5.5% of GDP

November 19th, 2007 at 8:43 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports on the latest IPCC missive.  As always I am interested in the hard numbers so one can do meaningfull cost vs benefit analysis.

We have the already known prediction that by 2100 sea levels will rise by between 18cm and 59cm – an average rate of 1.8mm – 5.9 mm per year.

We then have the statement that stabilising CO2 levels by 2050 will mean decreasing global GDP by 5.5%.  Now I have not yet gone to the source data, but maybe someone could clarify if it means have GDP in 2050 5.5% less than it is today, or have the total GDP growth to 2050 5.5% less than it would have been otherwise.  For now I am assuming the latter.

Now what is 5.5% of global GDP? It’s US$2.65 trillion.  Not exactly spare change. And this is an annual amount of reduced wealth.  Now I’m not against this – just saying we need to be clear about the cost – reducing the world’s wealth by $2.65 trillion a year.
But hey if that is the price to keep temperatures stable, then that may be fine.  But is it?  You see that is the price to keep CO2 levels stable by 2050.  Now again I have yet to read the source report but maybe someone who has could explain whether that means keep them from increasing after 2050, or have them at 1990 levels by 2050?

And then once that is clarified can someone please find what either of those scenarios means in terms of average temperature by 2100 and average sea level rise?

Because if parties in NZ are talking about reducing the 2050 levels to 30% to 50% below 1990 levels, I guess that $2.65 trillion isn’t enough.  You see that’s the figures I really want to know.  How much money has to be spent to stop global warming due to CO2 totally by say 2050 or 2100?

Please note I am accepting everything the IPCC says as correct.  I am assuming they are experts in both climate science and economic forecasting and costing.  I just want to use their own figures to get clarity over the costs and the benefits.  Because at the moment they are expressed (at least in the NZ Herald summary) in a way which is incomparable. If we want the benefit to be stopping at 18 to 59 cm increase in sea levels, what is the cost of doing that?  Is is stabilising CO2 levels by 2050 or is it much more than that?

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134 Responses to “5.5% of GDP”

  1. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    The IPCC says we are all doomed.

    Well from the moment we’re born we’re all doomed.

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  2. Peter Bickle (35 comments) says:

    Hi all

    Whatever the cost us suckers in middle incomes in the first world will suffer the most. It always amazes me that the answer is taxation. What we need is a concerted effort between people/groups that are going to create new technologies. No interference from the left wingers who want to dump on us to ‘save the planet’
    Oil will be still burned for the next 30 years so GDP will need to decrease to ‘save the planet’.

    I am one of the sceptics out there, CO2 is a warmer, but it’s effect is not really known I feel. The science is not settled as there is a lot of rorts in the GW industry and a lot of funding is at stake due to this.

    Being a scientist I think the answer was always known in GW, how do we stitch the data up to prove this?

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

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  3. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    I have never read anything so stupid as these claims “that by 2100 sea levels will rise by between 18cm and 59cm – an average rate of 1.8mm – 5.9 mm per year.”

    How could anybody actually ‘measure’ a sea level rise of 59cm over 100 years.. much less 1.8mm – 5.9mm..!! The fucking sea doesn’t stay still enough to measure that amount for Christs sake! Have any of these fools heard of waves and swell? And what would these idiots think one can measure against? A rock which will have been washed away or at least subsided in a few years, or maybe a bloody deck chair on the beach?

    Even pretending that the sea level will rise by this negligable and immeasurable amount, don’t you think that the human race could adjust to this over a 100 year period? Really.

    How is it that otherwise intelligent human beings have fallen for this absolute bullshit?

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  4. Peter Bickle (35 comments) says:

    Hi all

    I think sea level is measured at mid tide.

    The GW models used to say the poles will be afected most, but Antartica is cooling. Now it appears that it is the sea and winds that are causing the cooling, so how the fuck can models predict sea level rises in 100 years?

    This shows that the science is not settled, maybe we have warm winds now bc of other things that may have occurred.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

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  5. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Actually I’d be very wary of having any faith in the IPCC at all. Their economic forecasting is grossly misleadingly done, and since this has been pointed out to them and they refuse to change, one can only conclude that the errors are deliberate. They practice only to deceive. For those wishing to doubt the errors, why would one calculate outputs based on nominal exchange rates rather than some form of PPP ?

    The scientific evidence that they rely upon consists almost entirely of numerical modelling outputs, which are unverifiable and which don’t have good error estimates. Several tonnes of salt are required for the ingestion of this propaganda exercise.

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  6. Pita (373 comments) says:

    Political imperatives will prevent unanimity of purpose…so who is going to stump up the shortfall?
    5.5% will not be enough.

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  7. Sam Dixon (596 comments) says:

    David – can’t you read? “The cost of cutting emissions to a stable level by 2050 is small. It could decrease annual global GDP growth by 0.12 per cent, or could even increase global GDP growth.”

    So, its a cost of 0.12% of GDP per year. Growth would still happen but would be 0.12% per year, or 5.5% in total by 2050 lower than it would be without intervention. Now, that ignores the economic costs of climate change and the extent to which those will be avoided by stabilising emissions.

    The costs of climate change are inestimatable. There will obivously be major economic impacts from shiftng weather patterns and mean temperatures, there will also be colossal losses of capital such as arable land, low-lying cities etc, and costs that can’t readily be converted into dollar fighures, such as spieces loss. Entire nations will have to move and culutres will be destroyed. And that can all be largely mitigated for twice the cost of the Iraq War, or about twice what the US spends on healthcare in a year.

    Your continued ‘let’s’ do nothing’ spin is pathetic.

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  8. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    Sam – I have asked a series of reasonable questions. I have not spun anything – you are being pathethic by attacking me instead of helping have an informed debate.

    WHat I have asked for is how much of a difference that $2.75 trillion will make. Will it stop global warming? Provide answers and then we can debate costs vs benefits rather than your hysteria.

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  9. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    I don’t mind if we do nothing about global warming.

    But if we do do nothing I think everybody who doesn’t “believe” in global warming should be made to sign a bit of paper, and if it then does happen we should be allowed to shoot them and their children.

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  10. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Sam, get a grip. DPF was clear that he hasn’t read the report, so it isn’t a question as to whether he can read, it is a question of whether he did. And I didn’t see any “do nothing spin.” Can you not manage even a slight amount of politeness for your host – say, enough to actually read what he wrote before you attack it?

    DPF, assume Sam is right (I’ve had problems before when I believe his quotes, but this one seems safe). Global GDP growth drops by 0.12% per annum. I personally believe this – if we all doubled our power bills we could go entirely renewable according to the pricing for green power. That sounds like a lot, but power is a pretty small percentage of our total spend, and we could definitely increase the efficiency of using it if we could be bothered (turn off items rather than standby is apparently worth up to quarter of the average house’s consumption). Some major policy change would be required – NZ’s best source of renewable is hydro, and we haven’t built any new plants for a long time.

    The more interesting question is who takes the drop in GDP. The developing nations are growing very fast, and it doesn’t seem reasonable to attempt to cap their economies at a fraction of the GDP per head of the west. But if we accept that they grow, and that carbon emissions are correlated with GDP per head (which is a bit of a leap, but if we assume no policy change is probably true), then the west has to make pretty heavy reductions. So the GDP impact potentially will be felt much more heavily in the west than in the remainder of the world.

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  11. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Sam, don’t be silly….

    “there will also be colossal losses of capital such as arable land, low-lying cities etc, and costs that can’t readily be converted into dollar fighures, such as spieces loss. Entire nations will have to move and culutres will be destroyed”!

    You, and people who think in these terms are, I would suggest, wrestling with extreme paranoia, fear and panic in your lives. It must be horrible for you to live with this all-pervading negative and depressing life script. I would suggest you try either one of the mood-lifting pills available at your local herbal shop, or a course of therapy with a decent psychiatrist; they also have pharmaceutical medicines which will help you.

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  12. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    So, you are telling me that $2.65 TRILLION DOLLARS will stop the oceans from coming up to my knees when I live to be 124?!

    What a bargain.

    How do these people argue with a straight face?

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  13. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    So, you are telling me that $2.65 TRILLION DOLLARS will stop the oceans from coming up to my knees when I live to be 124?!

    I think they’re more worried about the people in the future.

    Like when you’re 124 your great great great grandchldren will only be one or two years old, and up to your knees will be way over their heads, cos toddlers are short as.

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  14. Insolent Prick (417 comments) says:

    Exactly, Dave. Sam and his pinko friends conveniently forget to tell people who is going to pay the cost of it. “Only .12% per annum”, he says.

    Well, do you think China and India are going to tolerate the rest of the world imposing limits on their economic growth? What right has the developed world to tell the developing world that they can’t omit as much carbon dioxide as white people?

    Or, alternatively, you place massive and disproportionate controls on what developed countries can do–Kyoto Mk II–and tell the developing world that they can continue to play economic catch-up. Well, that’s a recipe for global insecurity.

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  15. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    You, and people who think in these terms are, I would suggest, wrestling with extreme paranoia, fear and panic in your lives.

    Like most of Europe and the Western world?

    If we don’t look like we’re doing something about global warming then none of these people are going to buy our products – just like they wouldn’t buy our woolen jumpers if we forced Blair’s two year old great great great grandchildren to make them.

    It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not – if lots of other people believe it then not doing anything will be bad for business.

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  16. tom hunter (4,898 comments) says:

    Like when you’re 124 your great great great grandchldren will only be one or two years old, and up to your knees will be way over their heads, cos toddlers are short as.

    Blair

    Did you not read rickjj’s earlier comment? People like you are not going to have grandkids because , before the oceans have come up to your ankles, you and your children will have been shot.

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  17. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    Did you not read rickjj’s earlier comment? People like you are not going to have grandkids because , before the oceans have come up to your ankles, you and your children will have been shot.

    Actually I said we’d only shoot him and his children WHEN the water came up to our ankles, because that’s how much proof you’re going to need before you admit maybe global warming is happening after all…

    So his children would already have had their own kids when we shot them.

    So he will have grandkids.

    But good try.

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  18. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Well it’s nice to see most people seem to have moved on from absolute denialism of AGW.
    I haven’t read the report either, and am a little sceptical that economic projections of this type have any value what-so-ever (treasury can’t get it anywhere near right just a year into the future), but I think Sam’s summary is correct.

    A .12%/yr drop in economic growth rate is piddling compared to the potential costs.

    [DPF: But you have not answerd the question - what benefits do we get - what is the actual drop in temperature from doing that?]

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  19. Brownie () says:

    Yes Tom, shot for demonstrating in an election year.

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  20. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    Yes Tom, shot for demonstrating in an election year.

    You’re just anti-business, commie.

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  21. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    dpf said..

    “..We have the already known prediction that by 2100 sea levels will rise by between 18cm and 59cm – an average rate of 1.8mm – 5.9 mm per year..”

    don’t you just love the ‘new certainties’/’impatiences’..

    ..of the formerly longtime/term climate change denialist..?

    eh..?

    (ya gotta laff..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  22. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    But if we do do nothing I think everybody who doesn’t “believe” in global warming should be made to sign a bit of paper, and if it then does happen we should be allowed to shoot them and their children.

    Hey rickyjj, if getting taxed all this money turns out to do fuck all to stop global warming, can we all send you the bill? Or would you prefer just to be shot?

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  23. ManukauMum (62 comments) says:

    Well since some NZ scientists called the report “dangerous nonsense” (& gave some pretty good reasons why) I’m not trusting IPCC’s calculations on anything! http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC0704/S00023.htm

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  24. Gareth (55 comments) says:

    Hi David,

    Could I suggest you read the full IPCC synthesis report? It’s only 23 pages, available at http://www.ipcc.ch.

    OK. First, those sea level rise figures specifically exclude increased melt water from Greenland and Antarctica – something that we know has increased since the cut-off for AR4. Unless we’re very lucky indeed, SLR this century will be more than 59cm. How much more remains to be seen, and that’s why those icesheets are a very active subject for research.

    The “cost” given in the Herald is actually a range from +1% to -5.5% GDP in 2050, related to the stabilisation level of atmospheric GHGs. The figure is “foregone growth”, not an absolute reduction, and 5.5% is equivalent to 0.12% reduction in annual growth over the period to 2050. I would argue that this is not a lot – well within the “noise” of variation in the global economy.

    If we assume that the international community decides to go for a stringent target for emissions reductions in the post-Kyoto negotiations, and the cost is 5.5% of GDP in 2050, that implies a total temperature increase of between 2.4 and 3.2C above pre-industrial during this century – something like 1.7-2.5C more than now. That takes us well into the adverse impacts range – on SLR the report suggests up to 1.9m increase eventually from thermal expansion alone, ignoring the impact of extra ice melting (which it surely will). Again, the full range of impacts is spelled out in the report.

    If we end up with a less stringent target (ie gentler emissions cuts) the “cost” will be less, but the impacts worse. How much worse depends on the targets set, and how lucky we are with the earth’s response to warming.

    Hope that helps.

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  25. Andrew Bannister (213 comments) says:

    How could anybody actually ‘measure’ a sea level rise of 59cm over 100 years.. much less 1.8mm – 5.9mm..!! The fucking sea doesn’t stay still enough to measure that amount for Christs sake! Have any of these fools heard of waves and swell?

    Dave Mann, do you ‘believe’ in tides? Using your logic, apparently not.

    DPF, you have forgotten one very important factor in your analysis – what does that $2.65 trillion represent in terms of increase or decrease in people’s well-being, contentment or happiness? While 2.65 trillion might sound like a lot (although to me it’s just a meaningless number) what does it actually mean in terms of every life?

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  26. longbow (118 comments) says:

    in a word those guys have no clue. they have no idea what they talking about. no one has yet given clear figures with convincing evidence on public media at this moment, on the topic of global warming.

    also we need to pay attention to China n India’s rapid economy growth. on one hand, you could not possibly just blame them after what you have done to the environment for so many years since industrial revolution, on the other hand, if China n India’s economy keeps growing at this pace (especially nearly all western countries are moving high pollution production to developing countries), all you westerner’s effort, sacrafice of GDP, etc etc, will be gone by lunchtime.

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  27. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    So, now I replay my broken record. If we go with a carbon tax or emissions permits that are auctioned by the govt, then the additional costs flow back directly to the govt. If the govt then lowers income tax to offset the additional revenue, I believe there is no economic impact whatsoever. If there is no economic impact and a chance of it improving things, why wouldn’t we do this?

    Valid arguments I can see are:
    1. If there is some reduction in emissions then something must have changed – maybe that something impacts growth? I would suggest that it probably doesn’t impact much, and the benefits of reduction of income tax would outweigh it

    2. Deadweight costs – some frightening administration will be necessary to run a carbon trading scheme and an audit programme to check that people aren’t cheating. Agree with this one – we need a competent govt to design a regime that imposes minimum additional cost (yes, you can read National govt where I just used the word competent)

    As to whether this would get us enough reduction to allow the developing world to continue to grow at a breakneck pace, and still stabilise carbon is very doubtful, but at least we’d be doing something.

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  28. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “Well since some NZ scientists called the report “dangerous nonsense” (& gave some pretty good reasons why) I’m not trusting IPCC’s calculations on anything!”

    Could you please point out the “pretty good reasons”? I didn’t see any.

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  29. casual watcher (289 comments) says:

    No point in getting your tits in a tangle chaps – liddle ole NZ is not going to make a jot of difference to the outcome regardless of which point of view you take. As individuals we can recycle and use less non sustainable resources etc etc but the reality is that the average bush fire season in Aussie will undo all our good work in 24 hrs. We should be concerned but lets keep it all in perspective and definitely do not put weights around our ankles in the form of extra taxes.

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  30. tom hunter (4,898 comments) says:

    Actually it was the act of shooting people that concerned me.

    However it would seem that as long as some genetic trace of the family remains rickjj will be able to sleep well. In fact it looks like some believers are already getting started:

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/4065/

    That Pentti Linkola eh? What a guy – and he’s not the only one. Bruce Shepard really winds up in this editorial:

    http://www.seashepherd.org/editorials/editorial_070504_1.html

    For those who don’t want to read the whole thing here are some choice quotes:

    “We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion……………….. We need to stop burning fossil fuels and utilize only wind, water, and solar power with all generation of power coming from individual or small community units like windmills, waterwheels, and solar panels. Sea transportation should be by sail……………….. Air transportation should be by solar powered blimps when air transportation is necessary. All consumption should be local. No food products
    need to be transported over hundreds of miles to market. All commercial fishing should be abolished. If local communities need to fish the fish should be caught individually by hand.”

    “Preferably vegan and vegetarian diets can be adopted…. We need to remove and destroy all fences and barriers that bar wildlife from moving freely across the land…. We need to stop flying, stop driving cars, and jetting around on marine recreational vehicles….Who should have children? Those who are responsible and completely dedicated to the responsibility which is actually a very small percentage of humans….

    and lest this all be taken as some reducto absurdum type of fringe thinking old Bruce makes it absolutely clear that all these efforts naturally derive from a single point that the majority of Greens agree with:

    This approach to parenting is radical but it is preferable to a system where everyone is expected to have children in order to keep the population of consumers up to keep the wheels of production moving. An economic and political system dependent on continuous growth cannot survive the ecological law of finite resources.”

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  31. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    Yeah, having read this thread I find it pretty hard to see the Greens going into coalition with National after the next election. It would appear climate change denial and “let’s do nothing” fatalism are alive and well in the National Party.

    [DPF: Yeah Tane because Jeanette is going to announce they were all keen on coalition right up until they read a thread on Kiwiblog. Very very lame. And also somewhat sad you have not even attempted to answer my questions - what are the benefits in terms of temperature and sea level reduction (or lessened increase) by stabilising co2 by 2050?]

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  32. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Could you please point out the “pretty good reasons”? I didn’t see any.”

    How could you? You call yourself a Libertarian, yet support this massive fraud that is designed to do so many things you should stand against- grow the size of government, give them license to steal more of our money, allow them to attack the principle of private property even more savagely, get more and more and more control over our lives and limit our choices. ..and the worst of it all- ITS AN UTTER FUCKEN FRAUD.

    The charlatan Al Gore is its main disciple for fuck’s sake. Backed up by the broken down defunct bureaucratic nightmare, that group of thugs dictators, totalitarians and criminals that is the United Nations. What more fucken evidence do you need?? Jesus H Christ on a bike you people are so blind. Of course you wont see it.

    Or maybe you’re just another government worker looking for a pay cheque. Is that it???

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  33. casual watcher (289 comments) says:

    Fuck off Tane – you are pathetic

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  34. Pita (373 comments) says:

    Longbow; you are right…in order for the IPCC objectives to be effective we need worldwide accord, I’d safely bet Paul’s left testicle this won’t happen regardless as to whether or not it is necessary.

    The economic cost to the developed world would be unacceptable.

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  35. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    Hey rickyjj, if getting taxed all this money turns out to do fuck all to stop global warming, can we all send you the bill? Or would you prefer just to be shot?

    Sure you can shoot me. The problem is how would you ever prove that it hadn’t done fuck all?

    How about this – if creationism is proved correct then you can shoot me and all my genetic traces.

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  36. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    Actually it was the act of shooting people that concerned me.

    If global warming gets out of control then millions of people will die.

    All because you people don’t understand/believe in science.

    If you don’t have a problem with the death sentence for a mass murderer/rapist, why would you have a problem with shooting people who cause the death of millions?

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  37. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    Michael Crichton makes some very good points here:
    http://www.michaelcrichton.com/speech-environmentalismaseligion.html

    “Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

    “There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe. ”
    Read the whole thing.

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  38. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Hey Red, I was just thinking what a sensible comment you made on the Californication thread, only to come back to one of your mindless rants here.

    I guess you couldn’t find these elusive “pretty good reasons” in ManukauMum’s link either.

    The fact that AGW is occurring doesn’t suit my ideology, but I accept that it is because the weight of evidence – which I have looked at as objectively as I can – says it is. Get your head out of the sand Red and deal with the real world.

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  39. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    Another quote from Michael Crichton:
    “So I can tell you some facts. I know you haven’t read any of what I am about to tell you in the newspaper, because newspapers literally don’t report them. I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned. I can tell you that the people who banned it knew that it wasn’t carcinogenic and banned it anyway. I can tell you that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people, mostly children, whose deaths are directly attributable to a callous, technologically advanced western society that promoted the new cause of environmentalism by pushing a fantasy about a pesticide, and thus irrevocably harmed the third world. Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die and didn’t give a damn.

    “I can tell you that second hand smoke is not a health hazard to anyone and never was, and the EPA has always known it. I can tell you that the evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit. I can tell you the percentage the US land area that is taken by urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5%. I can tell you that the Sahara desert is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing. I can tell you that a blue-ribbon panel in Science magazine concluded that there is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of carbon dioxide in the 21st century. Not wind, not solar, not even nuclear. The panel concluded a totally new technology-like nuclear fusion-was necessary, otherwise nothing could be done and in the meantime all efforts would be a waste of time. They said that when the UN IPCC reports stated alternative technologies existed that could control greenhouse gases, the UN was wrong.

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  40. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    Isn’t Michael Crichton a science fiction author?

    Seems like a good source to be getting your info from Laura :)

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  41. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    What a bunch of suckers. Governments need new innovative ways to raise more taxes The so called scientists rely on yes you guessed it government money.

    So the so called scientists write what the governments need to soften up the citizens so they roll over with legs in the air and pay the taxes.

    And the morons here and elsewhere all trill the governemnt line.

    Pathetic.

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  42. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    rickyjj did you go and read his article in full? Or are just willing to shoot the messenger without even listening to what he has to say first? And my name is Linda, not Laura.

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  43. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Michael Crichton doesnt exactly have oodles of cred…some US think tank even wheeled him out in front of Congress to back their argument not to do anything about about Climate Change a few years back just because he wrote a fiction book that really went against the grain!

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  44. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Crichton’s comments look like a member of one religion bagging another to me, both espose science lite.

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  45. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    What a bunch of suckers. Governments need new innovative ways to raise more taxes The so called scientists rely on yes you guessed it government money.

    What, the US government?

    I’m pretty sure you’ll find the Bush administration is giving very little support to science, and most of them are funded by private means.

    But yeah gd, it’s all about the tax.

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  46. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Ricky – the science was *proven* from flawed computer modelling and the discredited hockey stick.

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  47. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    i’d say it’d be worth removing the billions in subsidies that international petroleum corporates get…

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  48. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    rickyjj did you go and read his article in full? Or are just willing to shoot the messenger without even listening to what he has to say first? And my name is Linda, not Laura.

    No Linda I’m not going to read his article.

    I’m happy to read peer-reviewed scientific opinions however.

    As Al Gore apparently told a House committee:
    “If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor [...] if your doctor tells you you need to intervene here, you don’t say ‘Well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it’s not a problem.”

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  49. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    Ricky – the science was *proven* from flawed computer modelling and the discredited hockey stick.

    Wow Gooner you should tell all the scientists that!

    Apparently all those Ivy league tenure hacks aren’t as smart as they think.

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  50. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    So you don’t read anything written by non-scientists (eg journalists) about any scientific matter – just actual articles written by scientists that appear in peer reviewed science journals…

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  51. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Gooner, the models are sound and after extensive re-evaluation the hockey stick stands, the only significant change was a widening of the error bars for more than ~1000yrs ago

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  52. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I think a good addendum of sorts to the INITIAL questions would be whether GDP is the best measure of ALL progress in the world.

    Perhaps the “Beyond GDP” (http://www.beyond-gdp.eu/) conference — co-hosted by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Club of Rome, WWF and the OECD –will shed some light on this issue. This international conference takes place in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday, 19-20 November, and live webcast coverage begins at 14:00 GMT – 3am here i think lol…

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  53. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    How disappointing – no one has actually been able to answer my quite simple questions. I just want some hard data so I can form better judgements on costs vs benefits. We want our decision makers to do the same also – make informed decisions off the best data available.

    And all I am asking at the moment is what change to temperatures and sea levels will stabilising co2 emissions by 2050 make? And at what level are they being stabilisied – presumably 1990?

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  54. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Yeah, having read this thread I find it pretty hard to see the Greens going into coalition with National after the next election. It would appear climate change denial and “let’s do nothing” fatalism are alive and well in the National Party.

    Yes, god forbid we actually ask for the taxes skimmed off us actually go to doing something about climate change…..

    Tane, regardless of the climate change question. I dont deny we need to ensure we use cleaner technologies to generate power and run our motor vehicles. But hey I’d just prefer the money taxed off us in the name of the cause called climate change actually go towards developing a viable alternative fuel source, or a zero emission engine for our cars – ya know something long term and an actual solution, instead of just to plant more trees or buy more credits as that quite frankly is not going to help our environment any more than just freeing up the guilt for China and India.

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  55. rickyjj (163 comments) says:

    So you don’t read anything written by non-scientists (eg journalists) about any scientific matter – just actual articles written by scientists that appear in peer reviewed science journals…

    Prove I don’t…

    Yeah you can’t, because you can’t prove any thing except a few mathematical truths.

    Nobody can prove global warming, but I think the fact that the majority of scientists do and the deniers are people like fiction authors and old politicians says a lot.

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  56. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Who would’ve thought a climate change discussion on Kiwiblog would get off topic. I think its only a small aspect of climate change that you’re addressing David but good question anyway…

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  57. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    If the global warming catastrophists were real scientists, they would make their data and methods available for verifiability.
    http://www.climateaudit.org
    What have they got to hide?

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  58. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Someone answer the question.

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  59. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Ross, are people supposed to pick through years of posts at climate audit to find whatever it is that you’re refering to?

    beautox, most people aren’t foolish enough not to realise that ice displaces its own mass in water, it’s only you who is foolish enough to think that they are.
    The IPCC projections were that antarctic ice mass would increase due to greater precipitation, the increase in preciptation has occurred, what has also occurred is a greater than expected ice loss through faster glacial flow, so the net ice mass is increasing at a slower rate than expected. early IPCC reports expected this net increase to continue till 2050, now they expect a change to net loss to start sooner.

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  60. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “no one has actually been able to answer my quite simple questions. I just want some hard data so I can form better judgements on costs vs benefits.”

    That’s because what you ask is quite impossible David. It’s simply very difficult to assess what the precise economic costs of these sea level raises may be – and you know this. But not having an exact cost basis analysis doesn’t mean that there’s no economically rational assessment to be had. It just means that your particular form of linear analysis just isn’t very useful in this instance.

    A different type of risk-management analysis is needed. Now according to Australian of the year and one of the world’s leading climate scientists professor Tim Flannery – there is good evidence in the ice-core records that once the earth’s temperature reaches a certain point a powerful feed-back is triggered whereby the amount of water vapor in the air can increase very quickly. The earth can then undergo a temperature increase of 2 degrees or more in the space of around ten years. Clearly this would have an extremely dramatic effect. In would certainly cause many millions of people to die as fertile low-lands are flooded with salt water and made saline/unusable. Now according to flannery, if we continue in the manner that we are now 20 years away from reaching a global temperature range where it’s possible that this switch may be triggered. Moreover, if the growth in greenhouse gas emissions goes unchecked for the next 50 years, it’s likely that this catastrophe will happen.

    So what I’m trying to get at here is that we have a choice between slightly slower economic growth over the next few decades, and the very real possibility of a global catastrophe, resulting in the death of many millions of people. The only rational option is former.

    Here’s an interview with tim flannery that some may find interesting.

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  61. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “what change to temperatures and sea levels will stabilising co2 emissions by 2050 make? ”

    Even if the answer was quantifiable, it don’t matter a damn. One good volcanic eruption and the whole damn scenario is out the window.

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  62. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    beautox: “David : suggest you visit http://www.climate-skeptic.com

    This guy makes a lot of sense.”

    This guy: “The death toll from the worst storm in the US in recent history was well under a hundred”

    Wiki “At least 1,836 people lost their lives in Hurricane Katrina and in the subsequent floods, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane.”

    That guy can’t get the simplest facts right.

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  63. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    I’m not up on the economics David, Gareth recons he’ll have a bash at it.

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  64. MrHappy (70 comments) says:

    ‘ “what change to temperatures and sea levels will stabilising co2 emissions by 2050 make? ”

    Even if the answer was quantifiable, it don’t matter a damn. One good volcanic eruption and the whole damn scenario is out the window.’

    Redbaiter, with the greatest possible respect, this does not cast your understanding of the scientific issues surrounding climate change in the best possible light.

    We can debate causes and possible effects til the cows come home, but the ‘volcanoes > human emissions’ chestnut has well and truly kicked its heels up. I won’t do your Googling for you but a bit of research and you may find you want a different one-liner to scoff at ‘alarmists’ with.

    MrHappy

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  65. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Actually – it’s best to start here with that interview…

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  66. Gareth (55 comments) says:

    My reply’s stuck in moderation – what with having to register and all…

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  67. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “If we want the benefit to be stopping at 18 to 59 cm increase in sea levels, what is the cost of doing that?”

    “Is it stabilising CO2 levels by 2050 or is it much more than that?”

    It is a question of cost.

    If you cant determine the cost, then any cost-benefit analysis is impossible.

    I have demolished the “there is too much at stake not to do something!!!” argument numerous times and wont bother doing it again.

    Tim Flannery is someone who likes to panic other people to make a buck. Do you know what a significant source of his income is, possibly even the greatest source? Flying around the world (yes FLYING) to be paid to speak at events for $50k.

    A little bit of a credibility shortfall when the numero uno climate change worrier is contributing so much to the world-ending-problem he is being paid to speak about.

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  68. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Nome, what DPF is asking isn’t impossible. He isn’t asking you to quantify the costs, he is asking you to tell him what the expected outcome of the 0.12% reduction in global GDP is in terms of reduction in sea level rises and avoidance of temperature rise.

    I am presuming this is somewhere very obvious in the report – I think it is the kind of thing all the scenarios included. I’m at work at the moment so can’t look, but surely someone could look and post the answer. To be clear, DPF isn’t asking for some new research and magic here, he is just asking for someone who has read the report to answer a question, thereby avoiding reading the damn thing himself.

    From there, we can then have a discussion about whether we think 0.12% of global GDP is a good spend of money to a) keep sea level rises to only 20cm, or to keep rises to 1cm per decade, or whatever the model says.

    I do note that DPF has taken the worst case GDP impact, the actual report seems to have said that the GDP impact range was from 0.12% of global GDP to having a benefit on global GDP. Not sure if this is a gross impact (i.e. what it costs to GDP, or how it increases GDP), or a net impact (after allowing for the cost avoidance of whatever pain that sea level rises or temperature rises would cause).

    For those who think there is no impact to warming, there are a number of studies that show that tropical countries on average have much lower productivity, largely due to the impact of tropical diseases. A 3 degree rise in temperature would increase the areas impacted by tropical diseases quite substantially. Not impossible to mitigate, but pharma companies currently spend quite little attempting to cure or mitigate these diseases.

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  69. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    Thanks Gareth – I was expecting you to be the one to give useful answers.

    EFB will dominate for a couple of days. I’ll return to this topic maybe later this week for keen to explore if anyone can point to a level of CO2 emissions at which warming will definitely stop (or warming caused by CO2) so if that is the eventual target, then we can look at how soon to get there and how much will it cost.

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  70. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Looking forward to seeing that material too Gareth.

    I believe the technology exists to do this – I recall listening to a guy on the radio going through a number of office buildings that they had made energy neutral (once built). He carefully avoided talking about what the solar cells etc cost, but like anything it gets enormously cheaper once there is demand and attention on it.

    I completely disagree with those here who suggest that any taxation or other revenue should be directed into research, at least in the sense that the govt directly gives it to someone to do research. All evidence is that the govt is crap at this, and my guess is that it would just end up in the pockets of Jeanette Fitzsimmons and her company. Using market mechanisms to push up the price is enough, the research and development will take care of itself through the market. If the price of fossil fuels goes up, suddenly people can afford to buy solar. More demand equals investment in production efficiency equals reduced price equals more demand etc. Eventually the cost of these things will drag down enough that the developing world can afford to put them in instead of coal plants, and then we are all in business. After the initial hump, it becomes self supporting. At least in theory :-)

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  71. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “If you cant determine the cost, then any cost-benefit analysis is impossible.”

    That’s a nonsensical argument kimble.

    Because I no that you like analogies, take the following one. Now you know for sure that someone is going fire a bullet at you. The possibilities are that …

    A) The bullet misses you and you’re not hurt you at all – (i.e. no climate change)

    B) The bullet wounds you badly but doesn’t kill you, or (i.e. some climate change, it results in an increase in the intensity and incidents of natural disasters but kills hundreds of thousands, not many millions of people).

    C) It kills you (i.e. global environmental catastrophe)

    Now you’ve decided that you’re not going to risk b or c, even though there’s a good chance that a will happen. But to dodge the bullet you’re going to have to dive into some gravel and you’ll almost certainly bruise and graze yourself (i.e. small economic costs of avoiding the possibility of eventualities B and C). So, would the threat of incurring imminent bruising and grasing stop you from attempting to dodge the bullet? Of Course not.

    Now that we have that established, your only defense is to say that, well, I don’t believe that B or C are remotely possible. The only problem with that is that the best science currently available disagrees with you on that point – meaning that your opinion is based on faith rather than reason. i.e. Your opinion is irrational.

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  72. Gareth (55 comments) says:

    Most of the warming will cease 20 – 30 years after we stabilise the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In the longer term (centuries) heat will continue to work its way to the bottom of the oceans, causing them to expand and rise, plus there will be continued ice sheet melt, particularly from Greenland, at almost any increase over current temps.

    The IPCC report gives the likely temperature rise for a given level of atmospheric GHGs, both for the end of this century and for longer timescales. The amount of warming depends on the cap we choose to aim for/achieve, and to an extent on the time we take to get there.

    You will find the Stern Report gives a good treatment of the cost/benefit analysis. Stern’s been criticised for being too “alarmist” on climate damages, and some economists dislike the way he has chosen to put a value on future damages (intergenerational equity), but for all that it remains a very interesting statement of the problem. There’s a lot more in the IPCC WG3 report, but it;s not so well written!.

    Stabilising GHG levels implies balancing our emissions against the natural carbon sinks that take CO2 out of the air (oceans, forest growth etc), but that leaves one potentially huge problem – acidification of the oceans. For this reason, we probably have to reduce emissions enough to allow the natural sinks to lower the atmospheric carbon levels, or actively take carbon from the air ourselves (sequestration). The bad news is that recent research suggests that those natural sinks are already beginning to to reduce the amount of CO2 they soak up, which means that more of our emissions remain in the atmosphere – thus speeding up warming.

    In other words, while we may aim for 50 by 50 or 80 by 50 (pick a number, any number), in the longer term we’re probably going to have to aim for a zero GHG emission global economy. That’s the big context.

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  73. longbow (118 comments) says:

    roger nome, bad analogy.

    if i can SEE bullets coming, i sure can DODGE it.

    did u see the bullet of “global warming” coming at you? or did u just hear some sound like a muffled gun, which is actually ur neighbour poping a champ? can you tell?

    you can’t tell.

    oh and that, if ice melt, the volume of water it resulted will be less than the volume of the ice, that’s basic physics. the problem is not ice melt causing sea level to raise, but the abrupt change of amount of salt level in sea water can change the movement of sea water in a global scale.

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  74. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Ross – that’s an arm chair chat based on pseudo science. Why did you bother?

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  75. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “oh and that, if ice melt, the volume of water it resulted will be less than the volume of the ice, that’s basic physics. the problem is not ice melt causing sea level to raise, but the abrupt change of amount of salt level in sea water can change the movement of sea water in a global scale.”

    The jury is still out on how large an impact on the thermohaline circulation increased meltwater will have.
    The sea level rise is a result of 2 factors, (1) as Gareth mentions in his comment at 10:22 that was held for moderation, warming of the seas, and (2) the melting of ice that is on land at the moment but will end up in the sea.

    “Ross – that’s an arm chair chat based on pseudo science. Why did you bother?”
    Yep.

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  76. longbow (118 comments) says:

    DPF, i’m not surprised no one could answer ur rather “simple question”. the reason is no one actually know the answer, not to mention to prove it.

    another even simpler question would be “why r we here”.

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  77. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Yay beautox, what you say is absolutely correct!

    I am a ‘scientist’ (which is to say I am intellectually capable of carrying out a simple experiment and emiprically verifying my observation).

    A couple of years ago I carried out the following ‘scientific’ experiment and, spurred by your comment, I have just carried it out again:

    1) 3/4 fill a large glass with cold tap water
    2) Top up the glass with ice cubes
    3) Mark the level on the glass with a felt tip marker
    4) Leave for ice to melt (IMPORTANT – do NOT under any circumstances yield to the temptation to sneak some of the ice for your G&T while you wait!)
    5) If you want to be really anal about it, cover the glass to prevent evaporation entering into the equation
    5) When the ice has melted, look at (i.e. observe) the level in the glass…

    If some of the idiot glabal warmist eco-fucks who fill the media with their stupid nonsense had the basic intelligence to do a simple experiment, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now.

    Linda, Thanks a million for the Michael Crighton link!

    rickyjj, read it

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  78. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Dave Mann, are you totally stupid?
    I ask this, not because I want to be mean to you but because of your last comment it seems a reasonable question.

    For the third time. It’s the water that is on land that melts and flows into the sea (along with thermal expansion of the water that’s in the oceans now) that will cause sea levels to rise, noone but you and idiots think that there is an argument that sea ice will cause rising sea levels.

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  79. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Dave –

    Firstly, most of the ice that comprises Antarctica is actually above water level (it sits on top of solid rock) – so your analogy is invalidated on that basis.

    Secondly both ice caps reflect a huge amount of heat back into outerspace. If they go, the earth will absorb much more heat and the oceans will become hotter – and they will consequently expand, which will lead to a rise in sea levels. Anyway, I’m not sure why I’m arguing this – it’s already Mr pub-talk Dave Mann against the IPCC, not sure why he expects to have his “science” believed over the world’s foremost climate scientists.

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  80. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Andrew W and roger nome. No, actually. There is hardly any land at all in Antarctica… its mainly bloody ICE, and mainly FLOATING on the SEA.

    As for ‘thermal expansion’… how long do you think it would take to heat up ALL the volume of water in ALL the world’s oceans by, say, one degree? Or three degrees or whatever it would take in order to have any measurable effect on the world’s sea levels? Hundreds of years. How much bloody water do you think the oceans contain?

    As for the “world’s foremost climate scientists” and the IPCC’s believability, your comment puts me in mind of the kind of thing that a prudent peasant might have said in the late middle ages to avoid the wrath of the Inquisition.

    The IPCC is quite obviously an many-headed monster which is feeding in an onanistic manner on the gullibility of governments, the environmental religion and the UN in order to swell its coffers and its power base.

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  81. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Dave, as you know, only 1/10th of an iceberg is above the water, in the case of antarctica most of the ice is on land that is above sea level. only the ice of the east antarctic ice sheet is on land that is slightly below sea level, but 9/10th of this ice is above sea level. ie ~90% of the mass is not floating

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

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  82. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    The debate around whether the earth was flat must have been like this. The prophets of doom telling everyone that if you sailed over the horizon you would fall off the edge and producing all sorts of science to support the view.

    I also note the prophets of doom are upping the anti. The figures are getting bigger and bigger as they realise that sensible citizens are buying into their lies.

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  83. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Science has known that the world is round for over 2000 years (google Eratosthenes), it was the religious who argued for a flat Earth. It is science that points to AGW, and again it’s those with a religious or ideological ax to grinds that argue against the scientific evidence..

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  84. Gareth (55 comments) says:

    Actually, AW, it’s the West Antarctic ice that’s grounded below sea level – that’s the one that’s most vulnerable. The East Antarctic sheet is high and cold but can still melt around the edges. The latest GRACE (gravity anomaly measuring satellite) data suggests both are losing mass.

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  85. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Yep, I noticed my west vs east mistake, wasn’t sure if net mass loss was definitevly established yet.

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  86. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Yes, gd, I think your ’round/flat earth’ analogy is very apt.

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  87. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    I guess that means you now realize your floating ice argument has run aground Dave.

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  88. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    On the contrary. I still maintain that the vast majority of Antarctica Ice is actually in the sea compared to the Arctic. It is the “Ice melt” brigade who are now changing their tune to fit the facts as intelligent counter argument (deyers, as you would probably call them) heats up (pardon the pun).

    Also, regardless of the ice question, the idea that the earth is heating up (as opposed to just fluctuating on a natural cycle because of sun activity) seems proposterous and mad to me.

    And I repeat my previous question. How the hell could one measure a rise of MILLIMETRES in sea level, given that wind, tide and waves are always active in the sea and churning up the surface? Have you ever actually been on a BOAT? Its just too stupid to be taken seriously.

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  89. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    sorry *deniers… um er.. denyers… ahh… people who ‘deny’

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  90. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “That’s a nonsensical argument kimble.”

    No, it is the most logical argument you have read anywhere ever. If you dont know the cost, you cannot do a cost benefit analysis. You cant decide between alternatives based on the cost and the effectiveness of the solution.

    I can see why you dont like analogies, you suck at them, Nome. All you have done is assign arbitrary values : cost of action = the bruises and scrapes, cost of inaction = potential destruction of the entire world and everyfing.

    Following your logic, if there was a possibility that something bad could happen and it would wipe out all life on the planet (ie. an infinitely negative outcome) then it doesnt matter what the cost would be to prevent it. You would have to do it. It does not matter how remote the possibility is, the cost of inaction is so great, that any solution will be acceptable as it will cost less.

    So the obvious tactic of groups is to hype the cost of inaction and herd people into the solution they have prepared earlier. That is why you hear people saying that the city of Auckland will be under water by 2035. That temperatures will go up by 10 degrees. That Australia will become a waste land. It is why anything and everything is now attributed to climate change. Every hurricane is caused by global warming. Every drought. Every flood. Every hot day and every cold day. All because of global warming.

    Bullshit.

    The more I see the IPCC grandstand, environmental groups panic monger, and politicians pander, the less I am inclined to believe the worst case scenarios. You see this all as just more proof. I reckon if they are right, they can be right without exaggerating.

    If you think the science is settled, fine, you’re a blind idiot. But it doesnt even NEED to be settled for these sort of calculations to be made. What IS needed is a realistic estimate of the costs of inaction and the cost of various alternative solutions.

    The cost does matter.

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  91. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    But anyway, Andrew, that was a nice use of the ‘run aground’ metaphor! Nice one! Gave me a :-)

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  92. beautox (422 comments) says:

    Andrew W : you said
    “That guy can’t get the simplest facts right.” and pointed out a mistake. That mistake had little if anything to do with the science of climate change, etc. It was as you said a simple error. And if he had the correct figure, it would still not invalidate his argument.

    So can I assume that you can’t find anything wrong with the rest of what he says? If not, please explain his other mistakes?

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  93. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Dave the measurement isnt in millimeters, DPF was just taking the short term estimate and dividing it into individual years. The estimate is a range, probably a confidence interval. For simplicities sake, just take the midpoint between the two.

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  94. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Beautox, the mistake of his I refered to was in the first couple of paragraphs on his site that I read, after another look I have to admit that there are actually a few points that guy makes that are worth reading, this for example: “The statement that the entire Western Antarctic is floating is just absurd. God knows what that is supposed to mean, but even if we ignore the word “floating”, we can see from the map above we aren’t even talking about a significant portion of the Antarctic Pennninsula, much less of Western Antarctica.”

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  95. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Kimble, even at 5.9 mm per year…. even at 20 mm per year….. even at 40 mm per year there is simply no way on this poor benighted earth that it can be measured. Have you ever seen any part of the ocean so flat and still that you can make an accurate measurement of such an infinitesimal measurement? Swell? Wind effect? Waves? Otters flapping their flippers?

    The argument simply doesn’t add up. The people who are feeding us this bullshit are just speaking out of their arses…. and some people believe them. Just because a lie is repeated time and time again to milk the gullible and scare the world into negative growth, doesn’t make it TRUE.

    This whole ‘climate change’ madness is primarily the work of those who hate the idea of human growth and progress and who are consumed by a sick kind of ‘guilt’ because they have nothing better to occupy their deficient minds.

    Honestly… how could an intelligent rational educated person throw their critical faculties out of the window and actually think that this crap is true? The only answer, in my estimation, is the ‘religion’ argument, which posits a yawning spiritual gulf across the western world which is being filled by the invention of the Gaia hypothesis. This doesn’t make it true, but it goes some way to explaining how the madness has gripped the world. Its a religion.

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  96. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Dave: “regardless of the ice question, the idea that the earth is heating up (as opposed to just fluctuating on a natural cycle because of sun activity) seems proposterous and mad to me.”

    It may seem proposterous to you, but the heat island arguments have largely disappeared from the debate, now most sceptics accept that the warming over the last hundred years, and especially over the last 30years is real.
    Something has caused that warming, and measurements show no increase in solar output over the last 50 years.
    CO2 increases fit the data, no other explaination has withstood the scrutany.

    “And I repeat my previous question. How the hell could one measure a rise of MILLIMETRES in sea level, given that wind, tide and waves are always active in the sea and churning up the surface? Have you ever actually been on a BOAT? Its just too stupid to be taken seriously.”

    Gareth mentions GRACE (gravity anomaly measuring satellite) above, satellites have proven themselves remarkably accurate in measuring the Earth and features like altitude, mass and position.

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  97. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Dave, it isnt per year, it is over a century. MMs addd up to CMs. And you would notice a 500cm rise wouldnt you?

    Not that I am saying they will go up by that much.

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  98. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “This whole ‘climate change’ madness is primarily the work of those who hate the idea of human growth and progress and who are consumed by a sick kind of ‘guilt’ because they have nothing better to occupy their deficient minds.”

    You’re passionate about your ideology, AGW doesn’t fit well with that ideology, so it all comes down to a fervent (almost religious) belief on your part that it must not be true, so you need to believe it must be a conspiracy by those of an opposing ideology.

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  99. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Andrew W you may want to check into the sun impact theory a little more.

    Also, the historic rise in CO2 preceeded a rise in temperature in many/most cases. So it hasnt withstood the scrutiny.

    Not surprised you havent heard about it though. Why is that?

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  100. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    What has happened to global temperatures since 1998?

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  101. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    I’ve looked at the claims of solar input, the models the IPCC use that best fit observation do have the sun as a factor, it’s less than CO2 but is significant.

    The rise in CO2 before temperature is something I’ve covered on previous kiwiblog threads, it happens when Earth moves from glacial to inter-glacials,

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  102. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “What has happened to global temperatures since 1998?”

    1998 was an El Nino year, the 5 year trend line is still climbing

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  103. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Ok OK OK… enough. I’ll join your silly religion. But please PLEASE make the baptism ceremony in water surrounded by naked nubile girls with huge floating breasts and long wet hair. And can we also have the eucharist feature double martinis instead of that boring old wine? Wine is SO 12th century…

    The hymns are going to be a problem. I have had the misfortune of hearing Jeanette Fitssimons singing and it wasn’t pleasant… And don’t involve her in the baptism ceremony for fucks sake or you’ll lose all your converts.

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  104. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Cheer up Dave, we still get to have nuclear power if we want it, accepting AGW doesn’t mean we all need to be vegans, it just means looking for alternatives to fossel fuels. Solar power satellites anyone? ;)

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  105. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Come at it the other way Dave M. What are the real costs that you think apply here? How much carbon emission could be reduced without materially impacting anybody’s well being? If the price of oil doubled tomorrow, but we took an equivalent amount off your tax, would you be any worse off? Would your usage of oil reduce?

    I agree that some of the doomsday projections of some global warming groups are ridiculous. But damning the whole theory because of it is like telling me that Maori will never hold down jobs because you know some who are unemployed. It is clearly a ludicrous proposition, because some people/group’s arguments are stupid doesn’t weaken the arguments of the others.

    If there is a risk that looks like it might be real (and there are a lot of scientists saying that it is real) AND
    a lot of the world’s population is starting to think it is real, and might stop buying our products if we don’t play nice AND
    we think our government, in their infinite wisdom, are probably going to do something about the “problem” AND
    a well designed mechanism for reducing carbon emissions can do so with relatively small costs AND
    a poorly designed mechanism for reducing carbon emissions might make an absolute dogs breakfast of our economy THEN

    wouldn’t the wisest course of action be to be involved in the solution instead of arguing whether we have a problem? That argument has already been lost, despite what some of you seem to think. You can continue flailing around about it, but the reality is that nobody is listening, and David Bellamy and Michael Crighton aren’t credible rebuttals to one thousand odd climate scientists. Not saying that David Bellamy and Michael Crighton aren’t right, just that it doesn’t matter because nobody will believe them.

    The right answer here is to design a mitigation scheme that minimises the economic impact, so that at least we’ll have an economy left to talk about in twenty years time when we are all sitting around saying “told you so.” (Not sure which side will be saying told you so, but I’m pretty sure we’d rather have an economy capable of funding our gin and tonics whilst we do so).

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  106. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    Hey PaulL, a lot of people think UFOs with aliens in are visiting us. Would you like some protection/mitigation?

    I can arrange an insurance policy for you that will pay out if you get abducted and subjected to anal probing?
    The premium will be $5,000 per year.

    The wisest course of action is for you to take out the policy instead of arguing whether this could happen.

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  107. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Ross, poor analogy. My insurance policy costs you nothing, your insurance policy costs $5000 per year. My insurance policy is against something that pretty much all the credible experts reckon is happening one way or another, and generally just argue about the magnitude. A handful of people with no credentials in the space reckon it isn’t happening at all. Your insurance policy is against something that only the crackpots reckon is happening.

    If that is the extent of your logic skills, I can see why you don’t understand the problem.

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  108. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “A handful of people with no credentials in the space reckon it isn’t happening at all.”

    A propaganda lie. Easily disproved. If you’ve got such a good case, why resort to this kind of bullshit??

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  109. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Nope, not a propaganda lie. Maybe a generalisation. Do you dispute that the vast majority of climate research scientists agree that global warming is occurring, and that the largest contribution to the change in climate is human caused?

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  110. tom hunter (4,898 comments) says:

    “Solar power satellites anyone?”

    YESSSS!!

    Okay – time to curb my enthusiasm. But it is nice to see one of the SF-like proposals of my youth slowly coming back to life – it’s even got the US military spending research money:
    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/09/07/350320.aspx
    http://www.space.com/businesstechnology070919_sps_airforce.html

    I doubt if there is any online link now available but back in 76/77 one Stewart Brand published an entire Whole Earth Catalog issue that dealt with SPS, although it was basically leveraging the work of Dr. Gerard O’Neill and was treated more as a spinoff of the central idea of L5 colonies, which was somewhat flakey even for the ’70’s.

    Anyhow, despite the advent of the Shuttle and the second oil crisis appearing to give the idea some more oomph in the early 1980’s, the eventual failure to dramatically reduce launch costs (still a problem) and the collapse in world oil prices meant the idea was dropped. Nice to see it’s back in a more concrete form.

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  111. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Ha, I had a facinating book, full of O’Neill’s idea way back then that I recently found online.
    http://www.nss.org/settlement/ColoniesInSpace/index.html

    A stroll down memory lane.

    I’m of the view that the biggest impediment to the space industry has been government control. The shuttle is the worlds most expensive white elephant, it was designed as a glamor machine to launch and keep politicians in office; NASA makes things harder than the need to be; NASA and other Govt agencies work to keep private enterprise off their turf.

    20+ years have been dithered away.

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  112. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    I don’t get why we’ve made no progress on reducing launch costs. It seems that there is very little innovation in the area at present, and nobody seems concerned. Is it some sort of market failure, or is there genuinely little demand for putting things into orbit?

    The range of ideas such as ground based electromagnetic launchers (basically railway tracks with a jump ramp at the end – you can hit orbital velocity without having to lift the launcher into the air), rockets that were piggy-backed on reusable carriers, so many options that have been presented over time. Space elevators sound like a great idea, but to my mind are much more complicated and error prone than some of these simpler ideas.

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  113. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “I don’t get why we’ve made no progress on reducing launch costs.”

    Government control? No competition?

    I think what would have made a difference would have been if Nasa had been restricted to noncommercial activities, science in orbit, probes to the planets etc, by classing the launch business as commercial there would have instantly been a demand created, which private enterprises would have competed to fill at the lowest cost.

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  114. tom hunter (4,898 comments) says:

    “I don’t get why we’ve made no progress on reducing launch costs”

    As AndrewW said I think you can basically blame NASA specifically and governments in general.

    With outfits such as the European Space Agency flying Arianne and the Russians launching their tried and true rockets there is basically no room left for private sector groups to gain market share. There are some who are trying – and have even got some contracts – but the literal bottom line is that businesses will look at the risks of a new, private-sector launch system, the fact that it does not have the deep pockets of a government behind it to recover from screwups, and play the safe bet when launching their stuff. Beyond all the complaints about government bureacracy that simply act of government’s around the world snaffling market share is what is killing the development of new ways of getting into space.

    In the case of NASA it has been the tens of billions of dollars pissed away on trying to force the flawed systems design of the Shuttle to be meet it’s original promises, when that money could have been spent on their original purpose of aerospace R&D.

    But more than that, when they have allocated budget to a shuttle successor it has gone nowhere. In the 1980s, there was something called the National Aerospace Plane. In the 1990s, there was the X-33 and the X-34. In 2000, NASA started the Space Launch Initiative. Each of these projects failed, in a pattern chronicled in the Columbia Accident Investigation Board’s report: “Optimistic pronouncements about a revolutionary shuttle replacement, followed by insufficient government investment, and then program cancellation due to technical difficulties”. Fucking great!

    They’re still at too. A year or so ago a bunch of ex-NASA engineers put together a proposal to adapt the current SST fuel tank and SRB system so it could launch the new Constellation spacecraft (i’ve got the PDF but don’t have the URL) and then the accompanying lunar lander.
    From a business perspective (and despite my science background that’s pretty much where I am nowadays) their ideas seemed conceptually brilliant. No need to build and “man-rate” a completely new rocket. No need to build a completely new cargo rocket, and no risk exposure to scheduling (NASA are not even starting this until 2013 or so) or budget allocation problems that could can it (and thereby can the whole ‘back to the moon’ scheme). Only minor revamps of the launch pad (mainly for service arms). Minor re-design of the external fuel tank. Use of existing commercial rocket engines. Use of existing production lines, with all the savings involved. It beat the current schedule and best of all, it would save billions over the current plan, freeing that money up for other uses.
    About the only downside seemed to be that this version would have lifted ‘only’ 100 tonnes to LEO, compared to NASA’s planned beast that could lift a Saturn V equivalent of 150 tonnes. But even that seemed to be something that could be tackled as an incremental improvement (bigger SRB’s?) down the line once you have the whole thing clicking along.

    As you might guess this proposal has gone nowhere. NASA will build an all new system from scratch.

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  115. tom hunter (4,898 comments) says:

    Ah!
    Here ’tis

    http://www.directlauncher.com/

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  116. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    The notion of “average global sea level” is a mathematical construct which has little if any relationship to the movements of sea level in any particular location.
    The earth is dynamic and the tectonic planets are particularly dynamic.
    In most locations the upward or downward movements of the plates overwhelms any temperature driven changes in sea level. This is why you can visit Tuvalu and find sea levels rising and go back the following year and find they are falling.
    The Scottish end of the UK is bouncing back from the last great ice age and so the sea is falling but the whole Island is rotating so the London end is falling.
    A recent map of the movements in NZ should tectonic plate movements varying dramatically as you move around the islands.
    So the only way to know if your local sea is rising or falling is to go out and measure it. IN reality these rises and falls of no consequence because we can deal with them so easily. IF you are paranoid then you can build a floating house like the dutch do in flood prone areas. When the sea rises the house rises with it and when it falls the house settles back on the ground again.

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  117. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    It drives me mad. The fascination with rockets is part of the problem. If we want to lift what a Saturn V did using a rocket, why not just build a Saturn V? The whole man to the moon thing is a joke – they are basically planning to put a man on the moon using the same technology and equipment they used last time. A capsule for gods sake. What is the point?

    I want to see a ground based launcher that can put things into orbit. A ground or orbit based propulsion system (e.g. a laser pushing something with a sail). Having to carry your propellant with you is a disaster in terms of economics. Once someone gets something working that doesn’t have to lift it’s own propellant off the ground, the economics will change overnight. NASA are supposed to be there to correct for market failure, but so far as I can tell they are the market failure. And they piss away money like it is going out of fashion. The X-Prize was a great idea, and has triggered some development, but it isn’t enough yet.

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  118. tom hunter (4,898 comments) says:

    Actually I should not over-emphasise the technology solutions to reducing launch costs. That’s what most people do and it’s a bit of a red-herring.

    I say that because I read an article by a former ‘rocket scientist’ several years ago where he discussed a rocket project he led for the US military. Like any commercial outfit they wanted their launch costs lowered so he and his team were thrown at the problem. They pushed the boundaries on rocket engine design and materials science and achieved an impressive reduction in launch costs for this particular task – some 20-30%. The whole thing was bundled up into a proposal and was approved – with the last minute caveat that the number of flights would be halved. BOOM. All the savings vanished and the project was shelved. For this guy at least it was one of those ‘scales falling from eyes’ moments.

    So it really is that simple. The more flights the cheaper it is – Econ 101 really.

    “It drives me mad……they are basically planning to put a man on the moon using the same technology and equipment they used last time. “

    Yep – and prepare to be driven madder. There has been a recent, ‘back-pages’ piece of news that depressingly confirms the launch number factor. Back in the 80’s, as billions were poured into the shuttle, I began to wonder what the cost would have been if they’d just continued to plug along with the Saturn V moon-rocket system. I got my answer about a year ago when none other than the current administrator of NASA wrote an article in some major aerospace magazine where he outlined an internal NASA analysis of this comparison.

    It showed that continuing to fly two missions to the moon every year from 1972 using the Apollo-era systems would have cost $US 5.6 billion per year compared to the $6.1 billion that the Shuttle has cost over that same time span to flop around in LEO!

    AHHHHHH!

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  119. tom hunter (4,898 comments) says:

    “$6.1 billion per year” – that is.

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  120. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Space flight development should progress in the same way as other transport industries have progressed, comparetively low capital investment to start with, but high per head flight costs, then a progression towards a greater capital outlay with more complex systems to achieve an eventual lower per head flight costs.

    So a progression might look like

    1. expendable rocket
    2. reusable rocket
    3. SCRAM jets
    4. ground based launch system
    5. space elevator.

    each step is built on the step before it.

    We might be seriously looking at Scram jets within 20 years, politics will determine if the’re the equivalent of Aeroflot run Antanovs, or Singapore Airlines run Boeings.

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  121. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Do you dispute that the vast majority of climate research scientists agree that global warming is occurring, and that the largest contribution to the change in climate is human caused?”

    Of course I dispute it. Both claims are utter idiocy. Anyone but you Paul, I’d be surprised they had to ask the question.

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  122. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, yes exactly. How anyone could pretend that mankind’s tiny influence on the proportion of an even tinier trace gas, CO2, (which represents 385 parts per MILLION by volume of the atmosphere) is having a catastrophic effect on the world’s climate is beyond rational thought.

    This mad thinking can only really be accounted for if you view the problem as a religious one, where superstition, guilt, doubt and a feeling of uncertainty and fear has taken the place of rational thought and scientific method.

    ——

    Owen Mc Shane, thanks for your explanation of sea levels in relation to tectonic plate movement. I’m still not sure that I would be happy to accept the accuracy of any ‘measuring’ system in a dynamic and shifting environment as the sea…. but the thought is intriguing anyway. Maybe the real Estate Institute should be the main sponsor and evaluator of this silly ‘climate change’ nonsense.

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  123. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Dave Mann, I’m not saying whether it is right or not. I’m just saying that the vast majority of climate scientists think that that is what is happening. To claim otherwise is stupid, all the surveys show that they do. Sure, there aer a bunch of scientists and other interested parties who dispute it, but the majority of climate scientists don’t. They spend their time arguing about how big it is, how to change it, whether it is worth changing it, and esoteric bits of their models.

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  124. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Ok PaulL, I’ll grant that you have a point here. It does seem that the vast majority of climate scientists think that “climate change” is a real, as opposed to an imaginary, or religious, phenomena.

    However, pandering to these people’s delusions and sending them to a Balinese resort in (literally) thousands does nothing to actually address the problems both sociological and financial caused by the lies that they are propagating.

    New Zealand, years ago, made the world gasp with the novelty and originality of its anti-nuclear stance. Isn’t it about time this country had the balls to stand up and expose the emperor’s clothes for what they really are on this issue? After all, countries like China and India are going to forge ahead and improve their standards of living and their industrial capacities regardless of what the masturbatory eco-fucks of the west say anyway (and good on them)…. so maybe we should show some moral backbone here and stop repeating obvious lies and buying into the “climate change” stupidity.

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  125. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    OK Dave, but here’s the question. Why don’t you believe the climate change scientists? Aren’t they the ones who should know? And why do you believe the grab bag of people who disagree with them, when they have much less expertise in the area?

    My problem is that I’m happy to point the left to economists and others who actually know what they are talking about, and question why they are choosing to ignore the people who actually know something. I’m not sure why I would do differently when it comes to climate science – it just makes me into what I am arguing against.

    I have some doubts and don’t believe the science is fully settled, but I would now agree that on the balance of probabilities there is warming and it is human caused. I am yet to agree that the impact of that warming is so significant that we would spend money on it rather than, say, alleviating third world poverty or pollution in China. But I see it as a cost benefit thing, and I reckon we could make a decent inroad with very little cost. If the cost is very small, why wouldn’t we do it? In fact, if we structure it right, it creates the possibility for a tax cut for those who care to manage their life that way, which is even better.

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  126. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Dave: “How anyone could pretend that mankind’s tiny influence on the proportion of an even tinier trace gas, CO2, (which represents 385 parts per MILLION by volume of the atmosphere) is having a catastrophic effect on the world’s climate is beyond rational thought.”

    I don’t know about “catastrophic effect” but 100 of those 385 ppm are due to human activities, CO2 is the main greenhouse forcing gas – water vapour contributes more to the GH effect but it is a feedback, not a forcing – as the Earth is 70% covered with water and as warmer air supports more water vapour at constant relative humidity, if more CO2 warms the planet there will be more water vapour in the atmosphere.

    As the planet is already warmed by the natural GH effect by 33 degrees C it shouldn’t be hard to understand how doubling the CO2 levels, combined with the increase in water vapour that the CO2 warming would cause, could result in a 9% (or so) increase in the total GH effect ie. another 3 degrees C on top of the natural 33 degrees C.

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  127. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    Needless to say the MSM never mentioned this press release which shows the “2000” scientist myth is just that – or indeed just another con. The 2000 turn out to be FIVE.

    “The time is well overdue to destroy the myth that there are ‘thousands’ of scientists supporting claims of catastrophic global warming,” says Owen McShane, chair of the policy panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

    “One of our people, John McLean, of Melbourne, has just completed an extensive analysis of the recent report of Working Group 1 of the Fourth Assessment Report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He found in the critical Chapter 9, there were only five reviewers, none of whom had impeccable credibility, who explicitly endorsed the claim that humans have a significant influence on climate.

    “John’s comprehensive analysis is available on the coalition’s website:
    http://nzclimatescience.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=163&itemid=1

    “It should be read by everyone who has been misguided into fears for the future of our planet, and those who will have to meet the costs of the unnecessary carbon charges that are about to inflate the costs of so many of the necessities of modern life.

    “Especially, it should be read by politicians, news media editors and zealots like Jim Footner of Greenpeace,” said Mr McShane.

    ends

    178 words

    Contact:
    Owen McShane, tel 094312775; mobile 0274767814
    Email: omcshane@wk.planet.gen.nz

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  128. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Owen, the 2,500 scientist people refer to are those from numerous institutions around the world whose combined efforts across many fields contribute to the IPCC reports.

    The “Five” you refer to are reviewers (not contributors) that are left after Mclean in his own little way, arbitraray dismisses most of the other reviewers as somehow being biased or tainted, ie. they don’t support his own denialist position.

    I thought you would have been bright enough to work that out by yourself.

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  129. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “Needless to say the MSM never mentioned this press release which shows the “2000″ scientist myth is just that – or indeed just another con.”

    Which just goes to show that while the MSM has many faults, there is plenty of BS that even they won’t swallow.

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