Salem Witch Trials

April 2nd, 2008 at 3:47 pm by David Farrar

, Political Editor at The Press, has blogged on an amusing Hollow Man song, but more pointedly on the TVNZ beatup last night, which I blogged on this morning.

Colin takes a similiar view to myself:

On another issue, is anyone else puzzled by TVNZ’s lead story last night? Two National MPs, Lockwood Smith and Maurice Williamson, allegedly don’t “believe” in . What? Quelle horreur! Have them arrested at once! Surely this is a hanging offence now in this country?

For a start, I’d be amazed if the Right-leaning and ultra-dry, cynical and conservative Locky or Maurice did accept the science behind climate change. Not that TVNZ had any proof of this, besides the pair’s refusal to state on the record that they were “believers”.

It has been going around the traps that both MPs have made scoffing noises at a couple of private gatherings about climate change. But so what? Both told TVNZ they accepted and supported National’s party policy, which is that climate change is a real and present danger. So what’s the problem here? I’d be staggered if all 48 National MPs did accept climate change. After all, Key himself is a relatively recent convert.

David Parker, the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues, has put out a braying release this morning taunting National for having a couple of MPs with the temerity to suggest his portfolio is not as important as he would think. He should be careful. I’d be equally staggered if every MP in the Labour Party accepted climate change either. In fact, I can think of a couple of names off the top of my head who I’m pretty sure think it’s a load of bunk.

Isn’t it interesting the religious overtones that have crept into this debate? We talk about “believing” in climate change, and having “converted” to it. It’s like a new branch of Scientology.

Personally I accept the weight of scientific opinion that the planet is warming, and that human activity is at least partly responsible. I am, however, unclear as to whether the efforts being made to date to mitigate this are anything more than political tokenism and window-dressing.

I also defend the right of Lockwood Smith and Maurice Williamson to remain dubious about it. I just wish they’d have the guts to say it in public.

Salem witch trials, anyone?

Colin has been blogging for a while now and he is often forthright in putting forward blunt opinions on how he sees things. That’s the whole point of blogging.

What is somewhat noteworthy on this issue, is that the journalist who fronted the TVNZ story is One New Political Editor, ,. As many know, Guyon and Colin are brothers. Now I don’t point this out to embarrass or cause hassles for either of them. I respect both Espiners for the jobs they do (while reserving the right to criticise on individual stories).

I just think it is a healthy sign that the sibling relationship didn’t stop Colin from stating his disagreement with the TVNZ story. And that is not to suggest that he has done so in the past – it is just the first time I can recall a fairly direct (albeit unnamed) criticism in such a situation.

On the same topic The Greens made some fair and useful points:

Labour’s attacks on John Key and various National MPs for not believing in climate change are interesting, but ultimately a bit of a sideshow. It doesn’t matter whether Cullen and his team believe in climate change or not if their actions are not doing anything to address the problem. Believing is a relatively easy step to take given there is a global scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by humans.

Cullen and Clark can talk about sustainability and carbon neutrality as much as they like, but they are currently responsible for an increase in coal mining, dairy conversions and carbon emissions. Greenpeace says that their own target for the acceptable level of global warming is not low enough. On this issue Labour’s record is not significantly different than National’s.

Indeed. The percentage increase (which is based on) of greenhouse gas emissions for NZ under Clark has been higher than for the US under Bush and Australia under Howard.

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124 Responses to “Salem Witch Trials”

  1. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    I refuse to say that the Greens are right so I won’t comment.

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  2. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    It isn’t like these are backbenchers, or even potential ministers of health or other portfolios. These are people charged with making decisions about finance and transport. Their opinions and ‘skepticism’ (batting down decades of scientific evidence) are going to have direct impact on how this country deals with climate change if National forms a government.

    That said, since I’m being fair, Sue Kedgely’s attitude to science isn’t something I’m comfortable with either – but she’s a long way from being minister of anything.

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  3. jafapete (757 comments) says:

    Could you remind us, DPF, which of the Espiners was the one responsible for all of the obsequious reporting on Brash that featured in “The Hollow Men”? Is this the reason for the mysterious reference to the “Hollow Man song”?

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  4. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Personally I accept the weight of scientific opinion that the planet is warming, and that human activity is at least partly responsible. I am, however, unclear as to whether the efforts being made to date to mitigate this are anything more than political tokenism and window-dressing.

    Thank you Colin, bout time this viewpoint made it into the MSM!

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  5. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    jaffapet – when do the kiwi witch trials start- is it before the hollow women show or after it ?

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  6. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Their opinions and ’skepticism’ (batting down decades of scientific evidence) are going to have direct impact on how this country deals with climate change if National forms a government.

    George:

    Last time I looked, every MP has a ‘direct impact’ on every piece of legislation since we haven’t totally surrendered to rule by executive fiat. Yet.

    And I don’t know if you’ve ever been involved in politics, but I have — though as a less exalted level than Cabinet. Any organisation that is a Borg Collective when it comes to policy debate is not only a delusion, but outright dangerous if it ever becomes a reality. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m reliably informed that Nanaia Mahuta’s personal view of the Foreshore & Seabed Act is that she’d rather it had never gotten on the order paper. But she lost that argument, and had submitted to the notion of collective caucus and Cabinet responsibility. I’d expect Maurice and Lockwood to do the same.

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  7. siobhan (278 comments) says:

    As a mouth piece for Labour policy, Guyon is just suring up his rights to exclusive interviews with Helen in the lead up to the election.

    Once upon a time people were allowed to have a differing view of the world. Salem witch hunts indeed.

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  8. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Their opinions and ’skepticism’ (batting down decades of scientific evidence) are going to have direct impact on how this country deals with climate change if National forms a government.

    So what your saying is, just believe it at face value – dont spend anymore time testing any of the theories?

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  9. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    Do you get carbon credits from the tree huggers if you burn some witches?

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  10. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    georgedarroch, please

    Do the words Transports spokesperson and carbon emitting transport vehicles not suggest something to you? Please tell me that you can at least acknowledge that transport sector emits carbon (irrespective of your views of AGW).

    Possibly the only more insane option to having this guy as transport spokesperson is John Banks and his non existent grasp of reality when it comes to the public transport sector.

    Can no one see that petrol will be at $2, $2.50 or even $3 a litre soon, and that public transport is going to be in huge demand. It’s already happening across the rest of the world, we are not in a cocoon.

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

    With enemies like these who needs friends?

    From: Alison Donald
    Date: 2 April 2008 12:11:34 PM
    To: omcshane@wk.planet.gen.nz
    Subject: Climate science question

    So Owen,

    The MSM doesn’t care about your silly little pseudo science club.
    Now your mate is dead, all you got is kiwiblog. At least they think
    you are smart. How cares, in ten years time, when anthropogenic
    climate change is accepted by everyone, you and your mate Gray
    will be dead and rotting… good riddance.

    My question is, why do you sop spreading lies.

    Much love,

    Allie
    Send instant messages to your online friends http://
    au.messenger.yahoo.com

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  12. Mark (496 comments) says:

    Since 1998 global tempratures have fallen – in the last 9 years about 1C in total.

    I’m waiting for the next climate scientist to predict the next ice age.

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  13. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Jesus Dad if (and this is a big freaking if) you were a funny guy, try making some funny comments.

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

    Paul,
    The private vehicle fleet (the only one which can be affected by public transport) accounts for only 8.5% of our fossil fuel use.
    Most of those vehicles are in towns too small to have public transport systems and most of their driving is not work related but is for entertainment, shopping, school and recreational use.
    And just to make matters worse (or better for those of us who enjoy our freedoms) the public transport fleet of buses and trains is less fuel efficient than the modern modern car. Taxis and shuttles are efficient of course because they go point to point too. Aircraft efficiency (planes are also public transport) depends on trip length and loading.

    Food on the other hand accounts for about 30% of the average household’s carbon footprint so if you are worried about such things the new Minister of Food and Obesity is more important than the Minister of Transport. Building construction is the next smallest slice of the carbon footprint pie. But cars and buildings are easy to tax and regulate.

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  15. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    Indeed Craig. All politicians have to swallow dead rats from time to time, it’s the nature of the game. I don’t dispute that. But being Minister of a particular area is much more than being a lone voice in the caucus or cabinet – and that was the point I’m making. I’m scared that Maurice Williamson will commit us to more roads, and that Smith will deprioritise investment in reduction and mitigation of climate change.

    Bevan – these theories are tested and have held up under intense scrutiny. I take the word of experts in a particular area, and don’t pretend to know better than them.

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  16. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    Williamson – the guy who protected the Telecom monopoly through the 90’s – so much so they felt safe neglecting the local market with underinvesmtnet and high prices charged to consumers while they paid themselves huge dividends while expanding into Ausralia with their stupid AAPT investment. He doubts climate change like he doubted competition in telecommunications (I bet he has Microsoft shares too).

    Smith – the TV quiz guy, comfortable with anything traditional like farming and unquestioning conformity on free trade but anything more complicated …, the next question children – “why is climate change invalid science and evolution supported by most scientists who understand it, while those of us who know better know that its bunk coz the bible does not mention the word evolution, nor say that pollution is the sin of the end times causing drought, famine or flood.

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  17. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Mark, regardless of your thoughts on AGW, do you seriously think that this planet is in a healthier position now than before we took guardianship, and if so, could you please tell me which of the major Northern Hemisphere major cities various shades of grey to yellow skies do you prefer. For me it was the romantic skies of Hong Kong, they say it’s an Island, but I wouldn’t know the whole time I was there visibility was down to a couple of hundred meters.

    Once again despite your skepticism, Climate change (anthropocentric or not) is a real phenomenon. It gets hotter and it gets colder, but then we are talking about major differences over thousands indeed tens of thousands of years, in that time humanity has adapted. The rate of change (anthropocentric or not) is too great these days for humans to adapt (we aren’t as clever as we think we are), and apart from the poor animals the ones to suffer the most from Climate change (hot or cold) are humans.

    And who will suffer the greatest from Climate change (hot or cold, anthropocentric of not) are the poor, and because they don’t count – well they can just get stuffed.

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  18. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    Paul do keep taking the pills. What a crackpot lemon.

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  19. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Owen can you please explain to me how 90,000 people using just one Bus route every day in Vancouver – the 99b line is less efficient than private cars? I really want to hear this one. The 2 or 1.5 lanes of Broadway which are busy all day every day will hardly be able to accommodate the extra 30-45000 cars? Or for that matter, the 3 million people that take the Tube in london every day, are they less efficient than cars – come on the logic of this one is going to be a doozie.

    And I was only picking on the car as one example, of course we need to introduce a comprehensive transport policy that is more efficient, including mass rail options. Remember the day that we had railways and they transported goods about and roads had less massive trucks on them?

    As for the food option, sorry grown all my own vege, and source nearly all meat and fruit from the wonderful Otago Farmers Market every saturday, buying local reducing carbon footprints.

    And as for the housing problem, sorry built a strawbale house, huge savings in construction and energy.

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  20. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    Owen M

    Do you think there is a case for calling for our Kyoto liability to be adjusted on the basis that we export much of our pastoral land production. After all we are the lowest carbon footprint producers meeting global demand …

    And that we should adjust our post 1990 level upward to take account of immigration since (as people living here reduces foreign per person obligation).

    Europe designed Kyoto to take account of their static population advantage over USA Canada Australia and us. Also to take advantage of Germany moving production to lower labour cost Eastern Europe and the rest of Europe to imports from China.

    Is it not just a more modern trade protectionism – this adding costs onto competitors.

    If climate change is a problem and it is preferable to manage our resource use to meet it, or to manage a declining resource in any case, why should any sense of unfairness in the scheme be tolerated …

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  21. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    crackpot lemon, is this an insult or drink?

    lets see;

    1oz of Mad Dad4 disease
    a dash of Climate change deniers
    a drizzle of religion and god
    a huge dose of toffee xenophobe
    mix in the blogosphere

    remember to hold ones nose, and gulp quickly because it’s a pretty bloody unpalatable concoction.

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  22. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Paul – did you actually read Owen’s post before that idiotic plug for Vancouver? You fuckwit.

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

    Paul,
    My stats are about New Zealand – all of them.
    IF everyone in the three major cities stopped using cars and any form of vehcile transport altogether they would reduce the nations fuel consumption by maybe 3%. If they used trains the fuel consumption would increase and that is true even in the UK according the UK governments own figures.
    BUT, presumably they would have to use extra food to walk and pedal around which would make up for most of this “saving”. They would have to live in the city so would not have any room to grow their own vegetables and eggs etc like you and I do.
    Indeed that is why the ARC wants to make it illegal to build single family homes in the rural areas. (See policy change 6) so they might forcibly remove you if you live in the Auckland Region.

    Anyhow, the new data from the NASA Aqua satellite reveals that while climate change is still with us global warming is cancelled.
    So relax and enjoy life.

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  24. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    Owen M

    Is the use of cars sustainable without oil? Is not the future issue, cost. The future price of transport (hydrogen and nuclear power energy battery costs)

    Does anyone factor in the building of more roads for cars to use because of car congestion?

    As for what you say, why is does a bus use more fuel carrying 30 people than 25 cars carrying 30 people? Does it?

    PS

    If the new data is compelling and the only relevant truth in this matter, why are not all those scientists immediately acknowledging your point …

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  25. AGW-HAHAHAHA (22 comments) says:

    “Two National MPs, Lockwood Smith and Maurice Williamson, allegedly don’t “believe” in climate change.”

    Marvellous, the cracks in the grand AGW conspiracy are starting to show.

    Here is the only rational take on the whole sorry tale:
    1. Climate change is real: – of course it is, and there’s heaps of historic evidence of that.
    2. Recent climate change is extraordinary/unprecedented/disastrous/catastrophic – pick your adjective: of course it is not. Historic records show recent changes in temperature, hurricanes etc are all within historic limits.
    3. Recent climate change is all about temperatures getting warmer: no, there has recently been a slight cooling trend and ocean (where the vast majority of heat energy is stored) temperatures are cooling
    4. Recent climate change is predominantly man-made (anthropogenic) through “carbon emissions”: no, man produces only a small fraction of total CO2 emissions and CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere. However, some human activity does cause localised or regional climate change (eg land-use changes reduced the snows of Kilimanjaro and excess water extraction for irrigation cause lakes to dry up.)
    5. We can affect climate change by reducing carbon emissions: well maybe in a million years, otherwise no chance. Climate change is by and large due to wholly natural processes.
    6. The climate is reaching a tipping point which will lead to extraordinary/unprecedented/disastrous/catastrophic change: no, the climate is a very robust system and, for example, very insensitive to changes in trace gases like CO2. The temperature regularly changes by many degrees, even over very short periods, with no extraordinary/unprecedented/disastrous/catastrophic results.
    7. The ice-caps are melting, sea levels rising and we’re all going to be drowned: yeah, right.

    The rational response is continue to grow our wealth (and help others to get wealthier) so we can all afford to adapt to natural climate variations whether they be warmer, colder, dryer or wetter.

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  26. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    Spot on AGW-HAHAHAHA

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  27. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Sorry Owen the arguement just doesn’t stack up.

    I will try to find the figures again, but “presumably they would have to use extra” food if the they are walking etc isn’t true. In fact they use less and they also eat less of the food with a higher carbon footprint.

    And Global Warming is real despite what you claim. Are we to assume that this data from the states is reliable as that of the weapons of mass destruction, they were very very real until too many people were killed.

    Nobody will answer my simple supposition – regardless of your position on AGW, what is the harm, who looses if we decide to clean up our act?

    America was responsible for the deaths of some 100,000 iraquis because they ‘believed’ a threat existed. In this environment change is an actual physically validate-able fact, and we aren’t willing to do sod all – indeed the right rushed to violently prevent a myth and are unwilling to do anything about the real.

    Shameful

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  28. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    AGW hahaha

    Have you ever emailed your post to a climate change scientist – just to see if someone who knows about this stuff is as convinced by your argument as you are?

    As to the rational response to any change being to grow our wealth … we are using up scarce resources to grow – the growth is not sustainable – money would have to be saved to develop new sources of energy (this reduces growth).

    Remember Bill English once opposed the Cullen Fund because it would reduce growth (I know because I then supported it being deferred till we got some growth and unemployment down first) but he has moved on…

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  29. Grant (444 comments) says:

    AGW – hahahaha
    I bet the lefties here didn’t even bother to read your post, but I believe it contained more truth, relevance, and common sense than all the employer’s time wasting efforts that Paul, SPC, and co have been able to come up with all day.
    G

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  30. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    So if we are agreed that climate change is a con the next question must be …….why are the left pushing it so hard?

    I have my own ideas but I would love to see that others think the reason might be.

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  31. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    AGW whatever you think your moniker should be,

    The climate is fine, as a geographer trained in meteorology and periglacial landscapes I could agree with you more. It will change and it will vary – greatly.

    The problem will be the ability of humans to adapt to the change – and simply we won’t. The earth will go on for the next 6 billion years until all humans have been long forgotten, that is until the sun comes to the end of it’s life cycle. The planet can take what we throw at it, we can’t, and it seems we can’t get our head around that.

    But once again, what is the harm in cleaning up our environment. Could one of you gonadless bastards try to answer the question.

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  32. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    Can anyone say with authority – who is going to be making all the money out the carbon trading scheme?

    Me thinks it won’t be anyone in this country.

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  33. Captain Crab (351 comments) says:

    Paul
    Happy to clean up the environment. I just dont want to send hundreds of millions of dollars offshore to some faceless political tool and worsen our own standard of living and deprive of us of the abililty to actually PAY OURSELVES to clean up our own act.

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  34. poneke (280 comments) says:

    I see Colin blogged that at 11.03am. At 8.42am I commented under your One News beat-up post that “It is becoming like the Salem witch trials.”

    I wonder if he lifted the line from there?

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  35. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    Poneke

    Without doubt, do you really think there is ONE political jounro with the smarts to think that up all by themselves?

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  36. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    “So if we are agreed that climate change is a con”

    we must then agree that lobotomies are free with the blue pill.

    You people are about as arrogant and insane as any on the planet. Peter Brown looks like an intelligent scholar compared to you lot.

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  37. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    Grant

    Ever wondered where AGW hahaha gets his talking points from and why they don’t convince scientists?

    Do you think it might be because they were designed for the public – just like creationism and Intelligent Design?

    I am still waiting for Owen M to explain how 25 cars carrying 30 people is more fuel efficient than one bus carrying 30 people. Let alone his claim that trains are less fuel efficient (is it based on oil fired power stations rather than hydro power …?) than private cars … The more people who use trains – the more carriages etc …

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  38. Grant (444 comments) says:

    No I havent SPC, but the origin of yours is pretty obvious.
    G

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  39. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Captain Crab,

    thank you, someone finally acknowledged that the environment needs cleaning up.

    Not sure why you think that the problem is confined to our borders, and that we are isolated from the problem and indeed the cause. See if the world and it’s economic systems were closed systems, then we could isolate ourselves from them. However as everything you buy on the shelves at the warehouse these days is from China, just that one slightly exaggerated example, shows that we are part of the global problem. How do these goods get here, hardly carbon neutral flying carpets.

    But thank you so much for the attempt to argue the points.

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  40. Grant (444 comments) says:

    And Paul, if we’re all so arrogant, insane, and not to mention gonadless, why bother with us?
    Is it possibly because you like seeing your own verbose efforts on the screen?
    Your posts have joined sonic’s and PhilU’s as a waste of electrons and will be from here on ignored.
    Crashing.Bore.
    G

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  41. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    SPC,

    It was very satisfying being on a ‘bendy bus’ as my son called it, with roughly anywhere between 40-90 other people at only $2.25 for 2 hrs anywhere in Vancouver (well in the zone that is).

    Owen is also one of those people whom adhere to the “NZ” is so different from the rest of the world theory. Some how busses in NZ are astoundingly less efficient than overseas.

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  42. Captain Crab (351 comments) says:

    Paul
    I think we all agree the environment needs cleaning up. I just dont think tax is the answer. Legislation then fines maybe. Similar perhaps to what we have now for industrial spills.
    If you want to change the way China pollutes then political solutions involving them would be more fruitful. Heck, ban all they produce until they clean things up if you like. But leaving them out of this tax scheme is a waste of time and making us pay to rebalance their polluting ways is just stupid.

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  43. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    “The world is full of crashing bores” Morrissey.

    Because Grant unlike religion and other personal beliefs that people have that on the whole don’t affect others negatively (despite my agnosticism hold that one is entitled to be religious and it is good for them), however it is one of the goals in my life to make sure that the arrogance of others doesn’t leave this world in a place of such disrepair that my kids won’t want to live in it.

    Its a simple case of we don’t own this world and thus we need to look after it for the next generation. FFS they haven’t seen the sun properly in Beijing for nearly 20 years, it’s always behind a brown grey haze if you can see it at all. I do not want my kids to be like the children of China and wonder what the sun looks like.

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  44. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    So asking, “Do you believe in the scientific evidence behind global warming”=Salem witch trials?

    Very, very weak David.

    Understandably so.

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  45. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    If two National MPs are sceptical about man-made global warming, then that is a great reason to vote National.

    Thanks TVNZ for informing this decision!

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  46. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    Grant

    If it is so obvious, then you know – where do I get my talking points from …

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  47. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Captain Crab, I agree. I don’t adhere to the Kyoto elixir of life theorem, but it’s one way.

    I am very relieved to see that at least one of the right here acknowledges that the environment is in need of repair and that it is our doing, most refreshing.

    I also agree that China needs a kick up the ass, but then so does every gas guzzling yank that thinks it’s their god given right to consume 3x more than every other human being in energy and resources

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  48. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    davidp

    If one had respect for the acuteness of the thinking of the two MP’s on other issues … Williamson supported the Telecom monopoly, Smith is known for what other independent view on anything since he has been in parliament …

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  49. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Davidp is the environment in a better place now that previously as a result of human action?

    Please don’t answer with your arrogance.

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  50. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    …how 25 cars carrying 30 people is more fuel efficient than one bus carrying 30 people[?]…

    I’m not stating a position on this argument but I’d like to offer an possible answer to this question:

    The cars are only getting driven twice a day when commuting. The buses are getting run non-stop on the same bus route regardless of the number of people on them. So, the actual “formula” would not be
    25 cars X 1 person = more efficient than 1 X bus carrying 30 people
    instead it would be
    25 cars X 2 trips <= 1Bus X 40trips (per day)
    I could see how this would be less efficient. I could also see how the electricity used by trains to drag those massive carcasses around (I’d be interested in passenger weight as a percentage of the train weight) would be very power intensive. Like Paul says, the source of the power (hydro or coal) would outline the carbon footprint more.

    I know during the rush hour the buses are loaded but the rest of the day the buses are very very empty. When we used to have the Mercedes buses in Auckland and I caught a midday one I referred to the driver as my personal chaffeur.

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  51. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Paul, I think lots of people on the right think that the environment needs protection and rehabiliation. However, economically, the kyoto protocol doesn’t stack up. Being a “believer” in climate change doesn’t mean that you don’t think the environment is worth protecting either. I recommend everyone read “Collapse:Why societies choose to suceed or fail” by Jared Diamond for some incredible insight into where the world is at now.

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  52. peterquixote (231 comments) says:

    yous right farrar the witches here and they stay for awhile, there was a letter in the paper down here couple of days ago, [I can find it if challenged] that asked for non climate believers to be burned at the stake .. ..i do not believe it was a joke .. and in the Sunday trash there was the idiot witless Barry Coleman called for skeptical people [ his word negative] to be hanged in the square .. we are not progressive people farrar we allow ourselves these moron commentators numbly

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  53. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    Why on earth would we think that carbon taxes in NZ will clear the sky above Beijing?

    There is NO benefit to anybody by taxing ourselves out of existence, we produce 0.02 of the worlds total emissions, can anybody please tell me what difference we can make other than a symbolic one.

    Carbon taxes can best described as an idealogical wank.

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  54. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    China have banned all carbon taxes and anyone caught talking about it will have their heart ripped from them quicker than you can say dam it @!

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  55. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    Paul: Owen can you please explain to me how 90,000 people using just one Bus route every day in Vancouver …

    Vancouver is in Canada. I don’t know if you know that or not, but thought it is worth mentioning. Auckland, New Zealand and Vancouver, Canada are two different cities dealing with two different scenarios. Note the population of Vancouver is around 2.3 million, a tad higher than Aucklands. For reference in New Zealand, I chose Auckland – our largest city. Note also that Vancouver has the 4th highest population density in the North American continent, behind New York City, San Francisco and Mexico City.

    Public transport is not a one shoe fits all solution.

    P.S. Out of curiosity – how much of a difference do those scientists of yours reckon we’ll make to global temperatures by adhering to Kyoto?

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  56. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    Dont worry NZ has and will forever be part of china.WE chinese* and you NZs in the New territory under the FTA , can do as we do- pollute,smoke,kill tibetians and anyone else ,rape the planet,for all its worth Dont give a stuff about the planet remember,POLLUTE and then be called (made in china) with a sigh from the rest of the world .Remember pollution is progress,and strength
    thanks helen davis for this possible hated new world.OUT in less than 9 months time ,time to put the liarbor rubbish out on collection day
    *Quote possibly from the (little red book) a quote from probably the biggist mass killer in human history chairman mao,a past leader of china, a hero to some NZ politicians,dead thank god

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  57. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >Davidp is the environment in a better place now that previously as a result of human action?

    What a strange question. Do you mean is it better than it was 100,000 years ago? That really depends on your definition of the word “better”. Certainly the existence of people changes the environment in some way, no matter what they do. But that is irrelevant unless you’re advocating the extinction of people.

    Using my own definition of the word “better”, then human action has changed much of it for the better. Bennelong Point, Cumbria, and Wellington are examples of this. But most of the rest is still quite pleasant, even if it isn’t strictly an improvement. And I like that there are people almost everywhere I go… I like people and prefer them to “the environment”.

    >Please don’t answer with your arrogance.

    So daring to challenge the climate change religion represents “arrogance”? In this case, most scientists are arrogant. The idea that climate is only slightly effected by carbon dioxide, and that other factors far outweigh carbon dioxide, is supported by the evidence and is pretty much the orthodox view these days. We’re just waiting for the media to catch up and start telling people. Once that happens, global warming is going to look as quaint as every other apocalyptic vision that has been forgotten about.

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  58. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Has anyone noticed how the language used in this issue has changed over time?. First it was global warming (translated; we are all up shit creek) , then it was AGW ( translated; we are all up shit creek without the paddles and it’s all your fault), now it is climate change (translated; yes we know this issue is a crock of shit but we must keep the lie going and as the climate is always changing we can now cover our leftwing arses with words like climate change).

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  59. Hoolian (220 comments) says:

    I’ve blogged on this too.

    http://www.politicsandprose.blog.com

    Let me know what you think

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  60. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Pascal having just spent the last 6 months there, I very much know where Vancouver Canada is.

    I also appreciate that Vancouver is 1000x a far better place to live for too many reasons to mention here, but as a morsel lets give it a go.

    Vancouver is very very similar to Auckland in so many aspects, from geography and topography, through to history etc etc.

    Vancouver in the late 1950s early 1960s decided that the waterfront should remain open to the public, but as that is against the prevailing notion of most north american cities that used the waterfront for motorways, they realised that if the city was to flourish that massive and ongoing investment in public transport was necessary. As a result the waterfront right downtown is possibly one of the most beautiful anywhere in the world, and on any given bus route across the city you don’t have to wait more that 3-10 minutes for the next bus.

    They also saw that if they were going to limit the use of the car the inner city should be a living inner city and thus encouraged high rise development, but sought strict architectural limits. Hence there are roughly 80,000 people living in the downtown area in some of the most amazing apartment blocks see about (Auckland’s shoeboxes hang your head).

    Vancouver also has dealt with the rising pressures on it’s infrastructure by continuing to stick to the vision of an accessible and transport friendly city. Since I first started going to Vancouver it has twice expanded it’s skytrain route and is building a further extension out to the airport for the up coming olympics. Auckland built a light rail system to the air port for the Commonwealth Games or is planing one for the up coming Rugby World Cup – my arse!!!

    Vancouver City has the 4th largest urban pop density, but that doesn’t take into account the surrounding cities that make up the greater metropolitan vancouver, the vastly outlying Surrey, Port Moodey, North Vancouver and West Vancouver across the river (like the north shore), the large city of Burnaby, the newly asian populated Richmond city and quite far off Langley etc.

    One more example of the brilliance that is Vancouver, is the downtown football (soccer) stadium they are planning to build on the waterfront on Railway land. A stadium with roughly 25,000 seats and planning for only 150 car parks, as they have such a highly developed public transport netwok that it could easily accommodate concerts etc. 150 car parks!!!

    Does Auckland and indeed Auckland Uni plan to be waste free in the near future? For my knowledge UBC (60,000 + students – with a further 40,000 people living and working there every day – so in all the size of Dunedin with a hospital, police station etc etc) is within reach of being zero waste and working towards carbon neutrality – but then if you have David Suzuki on board you better be doing something right. Vancouver has in it’s plan a goal to being zero waste, and the steps they are undertaking to get there are dammed impressive. Auckland and Banks plan would be to increase?

    Banks is a visionless political hack whose hardon is his only political motivation, whom will not leave Auckland in any better shape than when he took office.

    All that and I still choose to live in NZ, because I think there is hope for the old place yet.

    “Public transport is not a one shoe fits all solution”, and yet if we are unwilling to look at what others are doing (in very very very similar situations), and figure out what is good and what can be done better, then we have no place calling ourselves human, we are leeches. To learn and presumably make a better environment used to be one of the guiding principals for life, we are in danger of throwing this away with arrogance and ignorance.

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  61. Hoolian (220 comments) says:

    I’ve blogged on this too.

    http://politicsandprose.blog.com/

    Let me know what you think

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  62. Fred (163 comments) says:

    Labrator, agreed the Jared Diamond book is worth a read. Paul I agree with you it’s critical the environment is protected. You say (I think) that Kyoto won’t hurt and is better than nothing, ie it’s a start. My view is no, if there is a problem then Kyoto actually distracts from finding real solutions.

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  63. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    I wondered how long it would be since the ugly feminazi Amazonian feminazi bitches would start blaming men for climate change. Stupid hucks make me puke.

    http://www.glennsacks.com/enewsletters/enews_4_1_08.htm

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  64. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    David, it wasn’t a strange question.

    I’ll narrow it down, is the environment now in a better state than it was 100 years ago. Don’t be so pathetically pedantic.

    Davidp, I assume you haven’t been overseas recently to some of the major cities and tried to see the blue sky? You haven’t been to the Colorado River basin, or for that fact driven across the Canterbury plains. Our very real and local example. Canterbury plains has been under intensive human change for the last couple of hundred years, and yet recently it has taken a rather foul odor of cattle from the intensive milk conversions taking place there. There once was a time a trip from Dunners to ChCH could mean the window down, now it’s not conceivable due to the stench. Don’t mention the war over water there.

    Climate change is not a religion, even at your most arrogant you will have to admit that the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT (not belief) of the science around climate change is real. It’s not handed down to us via stones and men in kaftans. It’s an observable fact and if we have not learnt anything from science (as we seem ready to dismiss these days), it the ability of science to go past simple observation (like you know several hundred years ago) through to a deep understanding of the processes and physics that determine the geophysical realm, thus we are able to model what might. might not and just down right won’t happen.

    Yoru rambling on about Carbon Dioxide etc is actually just wrong, so I can’t respond to that. What are these other factors you claim to know of, are these in the writing of L Ron Hubbard? No no don’t say aliens are up there we just can’t see them?

    Side show, the language used here has been assumed by the right, it is still climate change, AGW is some smart arssed right wing ploy to belittle the argument.

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  65. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    Media have continued to under report the amount of peer reviewed science supporting NGW.

    You know something is entirely political if you immediately become a pariah if you hold an opposing view. And if you really feel that strongly about AGW, you are on the wrong blog in the first place.

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  66. frog (84 comments) says:

    Actually the most commonly accepted theory is that ‘climate change’ replaced ‘global warming’ as the common term because of Republicans in America trying to de-emotionalize the issue. So we probably can’t blame leftwing arses.

    In interviews, Republican politicians and their aides said they agreed with the strategist, Frank Luntz, that it was important to pay attention to what his memorandum, written before the November elections, called ”the environmental communications battle.”

    In his memorandum, Mr. Luntz urges that the term ”climate change” be used instead of ”global warming,” because ”while global warming has catastrophic communications attached to it, climate change sounds a more controllable and less emotional challenge.”

    Personally I most often use ‘climate change’. Even though it fails to convey the urgency of the problem, it indicates that in different parts of the world the climate is changing in different ways rather than just universal warming. The real danger is increased catastrophic weather events and changed climate cycles rather than a bit of warmth. (although obviously it is all connected)

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  67. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    “feminazi Amazonian feminazi bitches”

    I’m starting to decipher the verbal dhioreah.

    It’s another exotic drink isn’t it Dad, are their limes and vodka involved because according to that attempt at wit, there was way too much vodka taken in in the making of that concoction.

    Fred, I don’t actually necessarily agree with the entire process of Kyoto, but without it we would still be sitting on our arses admiring our navels and the debate wouldn’t have moved on inch. What’s the harm in starting somewhere and using our so called intelligence and moving on from that, otherwise it’s just too defeatist.

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  68. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Thank you frog, it’s amazing how the hijacking of the debate has revolved around right wing semantic acrobatics.

    But then again collateral damage is a term for the death of someone, nothing surprises me after that.

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  69. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    Paul, “where else in the world do Amazons rule “? Other than Sweden. Talk about hip science global dripping from deranged fear factor nitwts. Get a life dipstick.

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  70. Tauhei Notts (1,724 comments) says:

    Paul,
    I have interests in dairy farms near Oxford, Mayfield, Orari and Ikawai. Your comment about the smell of the dairy farms is so totally ridiculous. The farms draw water from the Waimakariri, Rangitata and Waitaki rivers. The farms cannot draw off water when the rivers are at a low point.
    I have become somewhat concerned by the misinformation spread by people such as yourself.
    And those four farms contribute a damned sight more to the Canterbury economy than any number of cross bred wool producers with their romneys defaecating everywhere. Everybody wants the wool and sheep don’t smell. Yeah, right. Give me a break!

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  71. jafapete (757 comments) says:

    Oscars grouchy mum: “You know something is entirely political if you immediately become a pariah if you hold an opposing view. And if you really feel that strongly about AGW, you are on the wrong blog in the first place.”

    Hmm, trying to turn someone into a pariah?

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  72. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Oscar, what is the harm in acknowledge that we have damaged, altered, changed whatever you want to call it, the environment?

    It is not a political debate, it is a scientific debate hijacked by the right to protect corporate interests.

    Do you agree/disagree on plate tectonics?

    Do you agree/disagree on volcanology? How about interstellar volcanology? Until the mid 70’s the mid atlantic ridge was assumed but not mapped or studied with any great understanding, yet bugger me there she is.

    Do you agree/disagree on Denudation?

    Do you agree/disagree on Dark Matter?

    These are scientifically measurable and theoretically explainable, as is the science around climate and meteorology.

    Finally Oscar, we are not at the wrong place, consider us environmental missionaries, here to preach to the ignorant and arrogant.

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  73. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    Jafapete – I don’t want to turn anyone into a pariah, however from the point of view of a person who is more inclined to think that there is more validity to NGW rather than AGW, the media and others treat you as if you belong to the flat earth society. The only other group in this country that have been shouted down so vehemently recently have been the EB.
    Hence my belief that it is now a political arguement before it is an environmental arguement.

    Don’t misinterpret my what I am saying – I still recycle every week, I drink water from a tap etc. But to take on carbon trading at the cost of the new zealand economy when as many studies support NGW as AGW, then I see that as foolhardy.

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  74. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Tauhei Notts

    I have interest in the Canterbury Plains as they are my spiritual home. The stench I talk about is very very measurable and noticeable, why else at the smell of cows dung did I have to close the windows coming back south the other week – it was real and it is an unnecessary environmental consequence of the actions of humans.

    Further, thank your for your economic contribution to society (is the cloth cap tipped enough am I at bended knee enough), however why is it that economic activity is once again trumping environmental quality. There was a very interesting article in the Press the other day about a hard done by Dairy farmer decrying his inability to drill more bores to gain more water to change more land that isn’t suited to the said activity, and his main argument was that he should be able to self maximize. Every heard of the tragedy of the commons!!! If we all self actuallise then the environment and indeed economic activity is harmed. ECan has made some very good judgements with regard to the water rights on the beautiful canterbury plains.

    I see that the selwyn and Ashburton rivers were in all their gory the other day, not to mention the Orari river. My mother was born and raised by that non existent dry bed, once a beautiful river.

    Hey here’s a thought, lets hope the world demand for Dairy keeps up, or there could be 4 farms on the plains that are going to go cheap. Oh the arrogance – wool is actually strong at the moment, and no sheep don’t smell to the same extent that dairying does.

    Dairying is an economically arrogant agricultural practice.

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  75. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    “Amazons rule “? Other than Sweden. Talk about hip science global dripping from deranged fear factor nitwts. Get a life dipstick”

    Is this an question, does this resemble any know form of speech to anyone. It looks like words but all I can see is gibberish.

    Who the fuck are the Amazons and why are they in Sweeden, and then there is something about global science dripping somewhere, sounds nasty, and further something about the TV show fear factor and parts of a car?

    Gezz wayne

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  76. infused (656 comments) says:

    Paul, you’re an idiot.

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  77. jafapete (757 comments) says:

    Oscar,
    I was pointing to the internal contradiction in your cited statement — making pariahs… you don’t belong on the blog…

    But I commend your efforts to reduce wasteful consumption of resources, etc. Not sure that there are as many studies supporting NGW as AGW though. But I get the feeling that people in this thread are not about to be pursuaded to change their positions any time soon.

    Paul, Good try but you are dealing with true believers here, as Grant made clear in his post at 6.13pm.

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  78. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    Paul – enlighten me, if the whole world stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow, stopped farming dirty cows etc – Will the climate stop changing? Or is there a chance that the Sun and the Moon and the Earth itself might have its own cycle of climate change that whether you like it or not, we have no control over. Or has all that science showing previous ice ages and warming periods just a lie from right winged nut jobs.

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  79. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    Sorry about that jafapete – I do try to make sense and I don’t like to contradict myself.

    Being told that you are arrogant because you hold a different point of view – which I have taken time to think about and draw my own conclusions, irritates me.

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  80. Mags (38 comments) says:

    worth a look
    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7172
    shows we may be heading for a global cooling period

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  81. jafapete (757 comments) says:

    Oscar,

    Good point. Paul did use the word “arrogant” a couple of times, but you couldn’t have been at the forefront of his mind when he wrote that first time.

    I guess we should all take a little more care in the future in case we cast the net a little too widely.

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  82. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    infused, welcome to the debate – got something to say?

    Oscar I am assuming that you are slightly educated to the physics of the environment. There are natural cycles of heating and cooling of the atmosphere, this we know, we also know that the billions of tons of material that we have put into the atmosphere has altered the very core chemical reactions that take place up there. We know of the Ozone hole, we accepted that CFC’s were largely responsible for these and responsibly corrected our actions, without any real harm to us. However as much of the crap that we pump into the atmosphere has life cycles up there of up to 40-50 years, we still aren’t entirely sure what the harm we are doing now is, although computer modeling suggests possible outcomes.

    Oscars Mum, you don’t hold a view differently, you just aren’t aware of the science of the planet. The last great ice age actually was a result of factors outside the natural balance of the physical system. This system that you seem to have contrary knowledge of is indeed several billions year into it’s evolution, and it does indeed change, but I am assuming you are talking of the periods of ‘ice age’ and the current Holocene interglacial age as if they are within the realms of human sensory memory. These are events of geological history that are in some cases still hypothesised about, but indeed have occurred over hundreds of millions of years.

    You are of course able to draw your own conclusions about the state of the meteorological balance, but excuse me If I am able through the vast body of acceptable science to point out where you are just amassing assumptions based on beliefs rather than science.

    When they analysed the causes of the Chernobyl disaster, as it is outside of my science, I had to assume that it was correct, I may have had opinions but they are only that, they are not scientifically recognisable truths. Opinions are good, but if they are in the realm of the ‘earth is flat’ contrary for the sake of arrogance, then that opinion is adding nothing to the issues.

    Likewise when I go to an airport I have to assume that they have the science right on the aerodynamics of the plane that I am about to fly in. MY opinion that they aren’t workable are just that opinion, and of course silly.

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  83. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Paul, you are incredibly vocal here. One of my concerns about Kiwiblog at the moment is the sudden massive influx of lefties who aren’t really presenting arguments, but just shouting the same thing over and over again. The more sensible voices on the right aren’t commenting much – the volume is just getting insane. This leaves the feral bits of the right posting, and generally makes a mess of a site I used to enjoy a lot more. As to what to do, I don’t know, but I really don’t think you are adding anything to the debate.

    Anyway, on to the questions.

    Firstly, is the environment getting better or worse. All studies that I am aware of show that countries go through a development curve, they are very polluting as they move up the curve, as they get wealthy they start to value the environment more, and things get cleaner. All the major West European cities (particularly in the UK), all US cities have measurably lower pollution than they did 60 years ago. Pollution is actually reducing in the wealthy countries, and the environment is getting healthier. We are identifying new threats in the Western world to worry about – such as climate change/global warming.

    Meanwhile, in the third world, they are still at the point where many people worry about where their next meal will come from, rather than about whether the river out their back door is clean. Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs at work. We all worry about the carbon emissions in China, but they can hardly breathe some days. They are not realistically going to care about carbon emissions until they have first dealt with any number of hazards that are killing Chinese citizens each and every day. That is the reality. As they Chinese get wealthier, however, they also rapidly start to care about the environment. A large part of the answer is to help them to get wealthier faster, rather than to put up trade barriers that are ultimately designed to keep the third world poor. We wrap this up in noises about exporting jobs and lower labour standards, but it is really just old fashioned protectionism, and all the science tells us that protectionism is bad for everyone. If you are accepting the science on climate change, then you must also accept the economic science of free trade.

    On the question of public transport, I would agree that it can be chicken and egg. If we put a great bus service into Auckland tomorrow, it would run empty much of the time. Unfortunately, if you only run as many buses as you have people to move, you end up with a service that isn’t frequent enough, and it is inconvenient. When those buses are running empty they are way less efficient than private cars would be (given usage numbers).

    The chicken and egg bit is that if you have a city with great public transport, after 10 or 20 years, everyone uses it. They change their expectations of having a quarter acre section, they live near the bus (or train) lines. They get jobs in the central city, because it is reasonable to do so. Auckland doesn’t work that way at the moment – people are spread out all over the place, and they don’t all work in the city centre. Running a bus network that satisfied even a decent proportion of the people would be prohibitive – too many journeys are point to point rather than hub and spoke. If Auckland had grown differently, if it had great public transport 30 years ago, probably people would all live in apartments along the key train lines, and things would be very different. But it isn’t. What I am not sure is that you can retrofit public transport to a city that hasn’t had it. I see no case studies where that has been done and worked, only case studies where cities that already have public transport use it really well.

    Vancouver sounds like a great place (haven’t been there myself). Do you have any idea what sort of investment would be required to turn Auckland into Vancouver? Is it even possible with the resources that NZ (a relatively poor country getting relatively poorer) has to spend? We have to live in the world of the possible, not dream wonderful dreams about transplanting things we cannot afford, or about being able to elect mayors that weren’t on the electoral slate (your choice wasn’t Banks v’s some mythical ideal candidate with vision and talent – the other two candidates were even worse).

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  84. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Nice PaulL. Backs up the arguments others have made.

    The other Paul, I think I’ve counted at least 20 uses of arrogant or arrogance in your posts today. If you really need to practice it, write it backwards on your forehead and pop up and down in front of the mirror a few hundred times.
    Turn off your computer and save the planet (and our blood pressure).

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  85. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    Buggerlugs.

    It is utter human arrogance to assume that because one has a supposed knowledge of a topic that they can in some way change or assimilate that topic into their image if that topic can’t be.

    I can assume to have some knowledge of the global economics system, and because that system is a human creation, I can have valid opinions on the directions that takes.

    However if one to assume a position on the physics of say plate tectonics in which (no matter what they think or say) they have little influence on the physical processes involved, then that is nothing more than human arrogance to assume otherwise.

    I think that now makes it 22 uses of the word arrogant, bugger 23

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  86. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >David, it wasn’t a strange question. I’ll narrow it down, is the environment now in a better state than it was 100 years ago. Don’t be so pathetically pedantic.

    Nothing pedantic about it. You’re postulating a world where there are no farms or cities. The only way that is going to happen is if there are no people. Sort of a Pol Pot view of an ideal world. But, is it better than 100 years ago? In rich countries, yes. We have clean walkable cities, national parks, and access to clean water and tolerably clean air. We have trees and open spaces around us. And we’ve done it all while developing an economy that will allow us access to universities, hospitals, DVDs, and the Internet.

    It’s a different matter for poor countries, who remain dirty polluted places. The solution to that is to make them rich. Once China has a GDP per capita the same as NZ, then it too will have a mostly-clean and healthy environment like NZ’s. Anything that slows down that process, such as global warming hysteria with associated economic changes that don’t make any sense, will just prolong human and environmental misery.

    >Davidp, I assume you haven’t been overseas recently to some of the major cities and tried to see the blue sky?

    If it is a choice between a sky that is less that vividly blue, and an economy that allows us a life expectancy of about 80 years, then I’ll go with the health care and pensions, thank you. And I’ve been to London, Manchester, Sydney, and Melbourne in the last year and all had skies that were mostly blue.

    >You haven’t been to the Colorado River basin,

    Not in a while. But the American southwest is a spectacular place with an incredible environment. I’ve camped all over it. Thank goodness America is rich enough to preserve big chunks of it in national parks!

    >or for that fact driven across the Canterbury plains.

    No. But then I don’t own a car. You should be ashamed of yourself… filthy polluter! But I did bicycle from Sydney to Cairns a few years ago and didn’t encounter a single objectionable smell in the whole 3000km.

    >Climate change is not a religion, even at your most arrogant you will have to admit that the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT (not belief) of the science around climate change is real.

    The science says that altho carbon dioxide is increasing, since a recent high in 1998 the world has been getting slightly cooler. That suggests that carbon dioxide and temperature are only slightly linked, at best. The science also says that the rate of temperature increase in the first half of the 20th century was about the same as in the second half. Which is what you’d expect from a climate recovering from the medieval mini-ice age, rather than a climate that was governed by carbon dioxide. The science also says that the world is cooler than the 3000 year average. It was an awful lot hotter than this 1000 years ago, well before cars and power stations were invented.

    But you repeat the “arrogant” accusation. Not because I am arrogant. But I disagree with you. Am I suppose to bow and scrape a bit, even tho you’re talking a load of shite?

    >Yoru rambling on about Carbon Dioxide etc is actually just wrong, so I can’t respond to that. What are these other factors you claim to know of, are these in the writing of L Ron Hubbard? No no don’t say aliens are up there we just can’t see them?

    And now you just spin off into some weird zone that presumably makes sense to you.

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  87. jafapete (757 comments) says:

    PaulL Add karma Subtract karma +1 Says: April 2nd, 2008 at 10:14 pm: “Paul, you are incredibly vocal here. One of my concerns about Kiwiblog at the moment is the sudden massive influx of lefties who aren’t really presenting arguments, but just shouting the same thing over and over again.”

    PaulL, I think I may, with all due modesty, call myself a lefty, and I don’t think that your characterisation of us as “just shouting the same thing over and over again” does our contributions justice. In this regard I would refer you to Lee C’s post at 9am this morning on the “Total beat up” thread:

    “The last two weeks have seen a more concerted effort from the left to win the arguments and they have succeeded. Even humble little kiwiblog is becomig inundated with lefties ‘taking it to the opposition’. Whether they are here to seek answers or provide them they have been winning the arguments.”

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  88. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Paul, the science of climate change isn’t necessarily in doubt. However, even you would have to accept that it is relatively recent science. There are a number of areas that cast some doubt.

    Before I go into that, I should state that I am a fence sitter on climate change – I suspect it is happening but wouldn’t be surprised if the hideously complex models that analyse it proved to have errors, or more likely, proved not complex enough. I am certain that Kyoto will make no difference other than to make some people feel good. I am certain that there are many actions we could take as an insurance policy that would make no or very little difference to our lives, and cost little or no money. I am equally certain that there are a whole bunch of actions that would cost a lot and disrupt enormous numbers of people, and for some of those I believe that the costs outweigh the benefits. The poor people that you speak about being disrupted by climate change would probably much rather that we gave them free trade (which costs us nothing – in fact benefits us), than that we attempted to prevent climate change – it would save far more lives. They would also probably prefer we gave them clean running water, education, and any of a myriad of other things that would cost less than preventing climate change would.

    Moving beyond that into the areas in the models that have some doubt.

    Firstly, the process for creating and reviewing the climate change models encourages consensus. The complexity of the models makes peer review very hard, so the peer review process typically involves reviewing a model against the other preexisting models. If there is misalignment the peer review process tends to question validity. The process creates a bias to produce similar outcomes. There is, interestingly enough, a branch of science called forecasting. The practitioners of this science have a lot to say about what attributes a forecast should have in order to be valid – a lot of things about cross checking, built in feedback mechanisms, falsifiability etc. The climate scientists who create the models know a lot about climate, it turns out that many of them know less about forecasting in a robust way. Should we take the concerns of the forecast scientists as being valid?

    Secondly, there is an unexplained lack of climate change since the NASA Aqua satellite went up. It was the first satellite that could give comprehensive measurements, and it shows that since 2002 there hasn’t been warming. Now, of course, warming is quite small – 0.1 degree per year or less, so a few years without a trend proves not a lot – it could be natural variability in climate that for a short time is obscuring a longer term trend. But a more concerning finding from that satellite is that cloud cover doesn’t behave as the models predict – as the earth warms we get more low cloud instead of high cloud, and low cloud has a cooling effect (why I can’t remember, but it does). Upshot is that this is an automatic control mechanism that acts against the warming effect, and it isn’t allowed for in the models.

    Thirdly, the oceans aren’t warming. New technology allows this to be measured, and since we started measuring it the oceans haven’t warmed. Again, can’t recall all the detail, but some drifting submersable things that measure temperature.

    Now, none of this means that we aren’t warming – like I say, fence sitting on that one, and I suspect we are. But it is clearly wrong to think that the science is settled and that the world is ending – that just isn’t true.

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  89. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    PaulL

    “All the major West European cities (particularly in the UK), all US cities have measurably lower pollution than they did 60 years ago” How does one account for the less than 3km visibility we had flying into JFK due to air pollution?

    I completely disagree with you on the busses. If you create great infrastructure people will use it. In Vancouver they increased busses before demand and the demand increased.

    Vancouver is spread out all over the place, this is my point the geography etc of Vancouver is a very good reference point for Auckland. The fantastic public transport there hasn’t limited urbanisation and suburban sprawl.

    To assume that the issues of Auckland are to big to address then we have once again put our thinking caps to sleep and aren’t willing to figure out what could be done. London was a mess before they built the Tube. It wasn’t a clean developing city, it was a mess of urban sprawl, possibly the messiest ever to try to base a mass public transport system around, but close on 100 years ago they did it. Are you saying that it’s too difficult, possibly for you and me and with our preconceptions, however for a designer or architect or planner without these misgivings there are possible solutions.

    So aside from London, Boston, San Francisco, Vancouver, St Petersburg, New York where is it too difficult to assume a mass public transport system. Sorry your claims just don’t stand up.

    Again to assume that we can’t be Vancouver is to put on the slippers and accept our lot. thats not how the settlers saw things. To build a mass transport system now will cost infinatley less than it would in the future, the shame is that it was infinately less back in the day than it is now. What you are saying is that you don’t want to spend the money?

    National is about to borrow to pay for tax cuts, surely we must be borrowing to develop infrastructure? These are the very basic building blocks of a modern society. Back to your points, Auckland is ideally suited to a decent public transport system. the 99B line I mentioned earlier, goes along the city and not into it, yet it is one of the most popular, as it links to hubs. The $2.25 fare from UBC campus on the very edge of the city out of peak time could theoretically get you right across the city. On the busses, trains or even boats. It’s called integration and it wasn’t too hard to recognise that there was a city of 300,000 on the north shore that lived played and worked downtown across the water, so include a boat system

    Have a look at http://www.translink.bc.ca/

    back to the Olympics. Previously serviced by busses and taxis etc, it will be soon possible to get on a sky train and head into the city. This is NEW construction, in a sprawling living city. It has caused disruption, but then that is progress? to assume that Auckland can’t have a light above the ground monorail ‘sky train’ similar to Vancouver is just defeatist.

    Again look deeper in to that site and what do you see, projects and future visions. http://www.translink.bc.ca/Projects/default.asp
    the Auckland site has reference to the ‘minimal’ work that is upcoming, but there is no grand vision section. Again back to Vancouver, there is a section for suggestions and visions.

    Try to find a copy of City Making in Paradise: Nine Decisions That Saved Greater Vancouver’s Livability. It should be on every town planner and councilors desk and well thumbed the length and breadth of the country. Vancouver and it’s transport system isn’t the be all and end all, but it is a very very good pointer as to where we could look to for bloody good suggestions.

    “Running a bus network that satisfied even a decent proportion of the people would be prohibitive ” Sorry that’s just too defeatist, think of the options. Who goes where, why and how, and how could we adapt a system that will work for these people. There is always going to be a solution.

    Actually back to City Making In Paradise, if town planners and developers and councils haven’t read this, they should all be sacked on the spot.

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  90. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Yeah, but Lee is only just within the borders of what I would call the rational portion of the right wing commenters here – sometimes rational, sometimes not so.

    And you’d have to agree that Phil has been going off the dial recently.

    I definitely find many of your comments to be repeating the same thing, and I disagree that the left are winning the arguments. The left are repeating partial arguments that take quite a bit of time to take apart, but only 5 seconds to rattle off. So by the time you’ve finished dissecting something there are another 50 comments of drivel, and you wasted your time. And people like Nome who pretend to academia by quoting and linking, but more often than not misquote or misrepresent. You have to read it all to point out where he is wrong, and it is not worth it. It consumes a lot of my time to try to do that properly, and really it has no payoff. Hence I am more and more not bothering.

    It is a pity, because some of the threads here do turn into decent discussions, and more often than not it turns out that there are large areas of agreement and a few areas of philosophical difference. And on most of those philosophical differences I am right :-) Which is pretty much how the world is – as I have said before, those on the left don’t push the policies they do with the intent of destroying the country any more than those on the right do – everyone has the same objective in mind, but different policy prescriptions for getting there. That is something we can have a meaningful conversation about.

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  91. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    PaulL (very nice to be engaged in debate – cheers mate)

    “However, even you would have to accept that it is relatively recent science” The mid atlantic ridge was only mapped in the mid 70’s and computer science as we understand it in the modern sense has only been around since the early 80s, yet they are valid and evolving sciences.

    Yes there is disagreement around the edges of the science of global warming, but if I am told that the vast majority of scientists working in this field are coming to a conclusion that x has a probability of happening, I tend to accept it. Just as I would with the medical sciences or the geophysical sciences other than climate.

    To assume that we can measure climate change in just over 5 and a half years is also gravely problematic. Scientists measuring interstellar scientific data don’t rely on only short amounts of data to prove or disprove something, indeed the science around Aqua will in most probability confirm the hypothesis which at this stage is still only theroetical. However it may come as a shock to many that plate tectonics is still a theory. It’s a bloody good one with some good science, but as we haven’t been able to peel apart the world and speed up thousands of millions of years of earths history, it is still a theory – again a bloody good one.

    However to sit around downtown Wellington and San Fan and suggest that because the science of plate tectonics is still a theory that we have no need to retrofit buildings to meet new scientific assumptions on earthquake magnitudes and frequency, one would look bloody loopy. People still do this, and when events like the Bay earth quake strike in Oakland they come up with all sorts of theories as to why it happened. Yes a church in the states blamed sin.

    All of the science around global warming, are based on what we know now and the computer modeling of what the outcomes will be rather then the measurable ‘here and now’ stuff. I watch the weather forecast to get an indication as to what is going to happen in the next day, week or even month, but I am not surprised if there is a variation on such a forecast, however I make decisions based on these predictions. If NIWA give a warning for the summer ahead as the did this year in more or less the right areas, then farmers etc make preparations on those warnings. It would be an arrogant (25) farmer to think that NIWA is a religion and that he wouldn’t heed the predictions of Drought in the Waikato.

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  92. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Paul, I agree that if we invest now for 30 years in the future, it might work. But we shouldn’t pretend that is an investment in reducing climate change now – for the first 10 years it will emit more carbon. People have to change their habits, change where they live, change where they work, change their expectations. I agree it could happen, but pretending it is easier than it is will just result in massive resistance when it doesn’t happen immediately.

    I am also incredibly cynical about the various lobbies who want particular types of transport. We want buses not cars, we want light rail not buses, we want heavy rail not light rail. Multimode is a pain in the arse for most people. We have the infrastructure for buses already, they should be what we do. We would need dedicated bus lanes in some places, maybe even dedicated bus tunnels where there is just no way to move otherwise. But bus will always be cheaper to build than light or heavy rail, and it can be built much more incrementally. Of course, we could also look properly at what sort of buses we get – why are there no hybrid buses available – buses would be one of the most effective uses of the technology (stop start motoring is their sweet spot). So yes, there are potential solutions, what I am saying is that if you set it up tomorrow, in 10 years people might use it. That is a hell of an expensive proposition, so someone needs to say where the money will come from. And it isn’t about greenhouse gases.

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  93. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >Have a look at http://www.translink.bc.ca/

    I just did. And followed the link “Major Road and Transit Projects” to a page that told us what Vancouver is doing to build “Roads and Bridges”…

    “The Major Road Network will be upgraded with the following road improvement projects:

    North Fraser Perimeter Road ($60 million)
    Fraser Highway Widening ($45 million)
    Dollarton Bridge Expansion ($8 million)
    Coast Meridian Overpass ($60 million)
    204 Street Overpass ($18 million)
    Main Street Widening ($5 million)
    Murray-Clarke Connector ($25 million)
    David Avenue Connector ($15 million)”

    There is also an unpriced 6 lane Golden Ears Bridge due for completion in 2009. It looks expensive… the picture shows a giant cable-stayed bridge covered in vehicles, and there is 15km worth of new highway leading up to it. (Wikipedia suggests a figure of $808million, tho it isn’t clear whether that is just the bridge or the bridge and highway.)

    That’s more than $1044million worth of new and improved roads. So you’re telling us that New Zealand cities should also have extensive road building programs so they can match Vancouver? That’s great news!

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  94. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    PaulL, hat off to you mate, it only took all day, but we finally got to a good discussion.

    What really pisses me off (and I guess it goes for the right) and you alluded to it, are the flippant (which is where I assume arrogance (26) comes from) remarks such as

    “If two National MPs are sceptical about man-made global warming, then that is a great reason to vote National.:”

    Well that is no more assuming a ‘religious’ belief in a system than the so called left religion of environmentalism.

    Very nice chatting to ya, and get on one of those gas guzzling jets to Vancouver – direct flights these days. It’s a bloody fantastic city with lots of problems, but also lots of people willing to try for change. For example the ‘lower east side’ of downtown has some of the highest rates of crack and assorted drug abuse, the highest rate of HIV etc you get the picture – but people left right and centre are all suggesting options.

    The retrofit of the transport system is an on going system and one I hope will never stop.

    All this and a very conservative Mayor, Provincial and National Government, and I could still live there at the drop of a hat. Of course the media ignoring the Politicians is a very good and pleasing thing over there, you don’t hear from them for the sake of it and you can go days without hearing them on the TV or in the paper – imagine that here.

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  95. Paul (1,315 comments) says:

    davidp

    dunedin is about to spend 180million on a stadium, why not roading if public transport is included. It’s after the latest round of public transport spending in Vancouver, roads still exist in the left view of the world. However they have just undergone one of the largest upgrades of the public transport sector, this came first not the other way around in John Banks world.

    Where in the Auckland vision is this sort of statement “TransLink is preparing a 30-year transportation strategy for the region titled Now is the Time Trasport 2040″ that is vision.

    http://stephenrees.wordpress.com/2007/06/15/city-making-in-paradise-2/

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  96. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    “here was a letter in the paper down here couple of days ago, [I can find it if challenged] that asked for non climate believers to be burned at the stake”

    Consider yourself challenged, link please.

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  97. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    I can agree there Paul. The biggest problem in NZ is inertia, the lack of desire to even try. I think the govt has somehow done this to us, not entirely sure how. In Australia there is much more desire to do things, to try things. I feel like some of the life is getting sucked out of NZ – too many people saying why not instead of saying why. It is the tall poppy, but it’s growing instead of shrinking.

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  98. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    A “little” harsh on Auckland – after all they built Britomart first, just a shame there seems to be one rail line in and out, and this will become proof that Aucklnders prefer roads and cars – because with any growth in rail use there will be queues of trains parked outside Britomart infuriating passengers … some say it’s already too much … . It is not only will but also intelligence that seems to be in short supply.

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

    People keep making the “no warming since 1998″ claim, well, look at this graph:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png

    As you can see, by carefully cherrypicking the years;
    There was no warming between 1969 and 1985,
    there was no warming between 1973 and 1988,
    there was no warming between 1981 and 1996,
    and there was no warming between 1989 and 2000.

    Yet the warming trend from the 70’s through to the present is unmistakable.

    It’s accepted – even by denialists like Bob Carter, that El nino’s and La nina’s cause warmer and cooler (respectively) than usual surface temperature measurements, a result of how different wind patterns redistribute warmer and cooler sea surface water across the globe, 1998 was an unusually strong El nino, last year we had a La nina.

    PaulL, the Argo sea temperature results are contradicted by other data, so aren’t definative, and my understanding is that Roy Spencers claims regarding cloud negative feedbacks are yet to be scrutanised by the science community as they haven’t been published in peer-review. They also only pertain to some aspects of tropical cloud behaviour.

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  100. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (852 comments) says:

    ah I see andrew w turns up to enlighten us at last, the realclimate(tm) believers have finally got their talking points sorted to argue away the unfortunate anomaly of the warming not happening for the last decade.

    Still got your hockeystick keeping you warm andy?

    Well I don’t believe in man-made climate change, and for being a “denialist” I got turned into a newt….

    …..

    …..

    but i got better

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  101. David Baigent (172 comments) says:

    Paul said this word 26 times and counting.
    Always about others, BUT the frequency speaks volumes about his ego.

    “arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant
    arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant
    arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant arrogant”

    Paul can you tell me how many years must pass before the average winter time temperature
    become equal to the average summertime temperature.
    Would we have time to relocate.

    Please have the courtesy to answer “Would we have time to relocate”??

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  102. colinm (65 comments) says:

    Paul.
    You wrote “National is about to borrow to pay for tax cuts…”.
    Where did you get this little snippet of information? Could you cite some links or similar to show that this assertion is true please?

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

    Deity, the point I’m making is that 10 years is too short a period of time to claim a change in a climate trend, the noise levels are high enough over such a short period to hide long term trends. That’s not a new claim, it’s been around decades, it’s why 30 years is the standard time period for measuring climate.

    I guess that, even with the use of pictures it’s something you’ll never understand.
    Those with closely held religious convictions such as yourself have always resisted the change forced by the better understanding resulting from the scientific method.

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  104. Captain Crab (351 comments) says:

    Is it true that the Head of the IPCC has said that temperatures have not risen since 2002?

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  105. jafapete (757 comments) says:

    David Baigent Add karma Subtract karma +0 Says: April 3rd, 2008 at 8:41 am: “Paul said this word 26 times and counting.”

    Actually, Paul had only (cough) used the words arrogant and arrogance 7 times by the time buggerlugs said he’d used them 20 times, so the total is nowhere near 26. But 7 times was probably too many, even given the provocative tone of the climate change deniers.

    Your question about when will “the average winter time temperature become equal to the average summertime temperature” is so inane and bereft of even a fundamental understanding of the science involved that one can only assume that it is a deliberate attempt to again derail what finished up last night as a fairly civil and constructive debate. I hope Paul treats your disingenuousness with the contempt it deserves and ignores you completely.

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  106. virtualmark (1,531 comments) says:

    PaulL … enjoyed your long post about climate change. I count myself in a similar camp … climate change seems to be a continual process across history, and I wonder whether at the moment we aren’t guilty of taking a very short term view of it (in global timescales). I find the science that suggests climate change is due to human actions to be unconvincing – as recent developments such as the Aqua satellite are highlighting. And even if it is human actions that are causing global warming I suspect it’ll be cheaper and easier for us to adapt to it than to try to reverse it.

    Paul … I too have spent a lot of time living in Vancouver, and I agree their public transport system is a night and day comparison to anything in New Zealand. But, too be fair, my experience has been that it’s a night and day comparison with any other mid-sized global city’s. Certainly, if Auckland had a public transport system that was as integrated and effective as Vancouver’s then many of Auckland’s traffic woes would fall away. But I really don’t think it’d make any difference to our environmental position. Visual pollution sure. Quality of life too. But you’d just be exchanging emissions from cars for emissions from more & larger buses, trains & ferries.

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  107. David Baigent (172 comments) says:

    jafapete My question was just that – A question that you appear unable or unwilling to answer.

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  108. jafapete (757 comments) says:

    Unwilling. As I said, the question is “inane and bereft of even a fundamental understanding of the science involved”.

    To put it another way, since “the average winter time temperature” does not need to “become equal to the average summertime temperature” for irreversible changes in the earth’s climate to occur, your question is no more than an irrelevant provocation. It is fatuous.

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  109. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    it is a scientific debate hijacked by the right to protect corporate interests

    Protecting corporate interests? If environmentalists changed the playing field so that it was in businesses best interests to improve and protect the environment then you would see change. Businesses have fiduciary duty to their share holders to make money, in the USA atleast if companies spent money unprofitably and unnecessarily then the could be sued. If you think that this is a right wing conspiracy and name call accordingly then it is equally fair for right wingers to call “greens” names too.

    The solution to that is to make them [poor countries] rich

    This is a nice idea in principle. However the earth (as a whole) is not currently managing it’s resources efficiently and renewably enough to maintain first world standards for all of the third world population. If China alone was to achieve first world status for it’s people, the increase drain on the earths resources would be equivalent to a doubling of the earths population. This is because first world people consume so much more than third world people do. This is not to say we can’t achieve better living standards across the world but we cannot wholesale adopt our current firstworld standards to everyone. Something has to bend whether it be our standards or the quality of the earth.

    I cannot recommend enough Collapse by Jared Diamond. He eloquently treads the line between environmentalists and big business and has real solutions to the problems. No name calling, witch hunts or protest rallies.

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

    Paul and others,
    The private motor car is the most efficient and effective means of transport ever devised when we look at its overall performance.
    However, public transport has several roles to play and we need public transport such as taxis, shuttles, buses and planes to address those needs. (trains are essentially obsolete technology in New World cities – New York excepted.
    THere are potent substitutions for travel available now such as telecommuting and simply working from home as I do. I commute twenty metres each day from home to my office. (Actually three offices and a sleepout).
    People have valued private point to point transport for ever and have used it from the time of domestication of the horse, donkey and camel etc.
    Horses use to eat 40% of the grain grown in the US and the food load of horses restrained population growth until the invention of fossil fuels and the motor car. Biofuels are currently a monstrous step backward. Cars cleaned up the air and the streets which used to run with liquid manure.
    We will never “run out” of oil (we never run out of anything – it just gets too expensive) but we will find other fuels for our p to p transport if we need to. eg we can use nuclear power and hydro power to electrify the fleet. The technology is all there.
    Cities are depopulating and decentralising on average all over the developed world and nothing will stop that because the forces of decentralisation grow by the day – and one of those is our growing affection for nature. I am a good example.
    Rubber on road is the solution for urban and rural land transport and HOT lanes deal perfectly with peak hour congestion.
    Commuter cars do have a loading of only about 30% while commuting buses at peak hour can have a loading of 40 – 60 percent one way. (They are normally near empty on the way out and start near empty on the way in.) But the whole of day loading of a private car runs between 40 and 45% while the whole of day loading of the bus runs at about 15 – 20%. And buses keep stopping and starting.
    The internet, cellphones and GPS are soon going to turn the whole private fleet into a public fleet in highly decentralised areas,
    and nothing will touch it.
    Finally, many of you confuse pollution with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant – it is a colourless odourless gas. If the skies above your head are yellow or brown it is not carbon dioxide. Indeed if your car is emitting excessive pollutants and you tune it up, the pollutants will diminish but the carbon dioxide will increase because of more efficient burning.
    Most of those scary photos of “smokestacks” with huge white clouds pouring out are actually cooling towers and the white clouds are – well , white clouds. (condensed water vapour).
    Vancouver is very nice but their planning comes at a price – it is the only city in Canada where housing is severely unaffordable. According to the latest Demographia study, Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada and 15th in the world for housing affordability. Vancouver’s affordability index is 6.6, measured by comparing median house prices to median household income. Anything above 5.1 is “severely unaffordable.” This multiple should not be greater than 3.
    NOw I have to go and write about climate change – a term invented by the UN Climate Framework Convention – not the US Republicans.

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  111. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    Paul, would you drive a Prius?

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  112. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Thank you Owen I hope Frog does not confuse the UN climate framework convention with the US Republicans anymore. I was right when I said “climate change” was uttered by leftwing arses.

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  113. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    I know someone who works for a cabinet minister who doesn’t DARE to say that he doesn’t believe in the human-induced climate change beat-up either.

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  114. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Thank you for spending all that time on that SUPERB post, Owen McShane. I think the sheer lack of commonsense in the whole public transport and urban planning thing, and the hugely negative unintended consequences, is just appalling.

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  115. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    There is a study somewhere, using data from the US Energy Dept’s “Transportation Energy Data Book”, that shows that on average public transport is about as efficient per passenger mile, as an average 1.8 litre car with one person in it. Almost ALL cars with 2 or more people are more efficient. Smart Cars, small LEV Hondas, and the like, are VERY MUCH MORE efficient.

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  116. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    I think things have to go a little further than “braying” before we can talk about Salem witch trials. Overreaction, anyone?

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  117. tom hunter (4,894 comments) says:

    Apart from all the other similarities with past apocalyptic prophesies there is this aspect:

    Here’s Paul
    …..however it is one of the goals in my life to make sure that the arrogance of others doesn’t leave this world in a place of such disrepair that my kids won’t want to live in it.

    and here’s a somewhat more famous namesake:

    “I’m scared, I have a 14 year old daughter whom I love very much. I know a lot of young people, and their world is being destroyed. My world is being destroyed. I’m 37 and I’d kind of like to live to be 67 in a reasonably pleasant world, and not die in some kind of holocaust in the next decade.”
    – Paul Ehrlich, Look (1970)

    Wish granted!

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  118. colinm (65 comments) says:

    I wonder where Paul has gone?
    As soon as someone starts to toss in this sort of one liner (“National is about to borrow to pay for tax cuts…”) in their post, I begin to question the veracity of the rest of the comment. Or, perhaps this is one of the more subtle ways ways of putting out Labour spin, insert the ocaisional one liner like that hoping it’ll register later on.?

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  119. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    @Tom hunter: Whilst I don’t disagree that there is a lot of scare mongering from environmentalists how can you say that the quote above didn’t actually postively effect some change so what he/she got 30 years later is better than what would happen?

    Evironmental warnings have been likened to fire alarms. Much rather the fire alarm went off and it was a false alarm than to not have a fire alarm at all.

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  120. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    HERE IT IS:

    A Comparison of energy consumption of
    Cars, Transit Buses Rail and air

    Based on Table 2.10 from:
    The Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 25 – 2006 ,
    a publication prepared for the U.S. department of energy
    by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Energy consumption of car-bus-air compared

    Table 2.10 lists energy consumption of various modes of passenger travel. It shows that modern, efficinet, cars use less energy than rail, transit bus or commercial air. Here are the numbers from table 2.10 and below (btu is British Thermal Units and is a measure of energy):

    mode

    btu/passenger mile
    Car, hybrid 1,326 (Honda Insight-see below)
    Van Pool 1,401 (National average)
    Car, efficient 2,488 (2006 KIA Rio-see below)
    Commuter rail 2,751
    Amtrak 2,935 Amtrak
    Light & heavy rail tranist 3,228 Light rail & heavy rail tranist
    Car, average 3,549 (National average)
    Commerical air 3,587 (see note in link)
    TriMet bus 3,792 (Data directly from TriMet)
    Transit bus 4,160 (National average)

    The car number is an average based on the average current fleet and an average number of passengers. More efficient cars are readily available, for instance the $10,770, 2006 KIA Rio is listed at 32 MPG city. This is 3906 btu/vehicle-mile, or 2488 btu per passenger-mile usning 1.57 passengers per vehicle, only 60% as much energy as a transit bus.

    For Portland where we drive alone more, the passengers per vehicle is about 1.3, so the following apply:
    With an average of 1.3 passengers, the 2006 KIA Rio becomes 3004 btu per passenger mile which is 26% less energy than Trimet busses per passenger mile. The Honda Insight at 60 MPG city is 2083 btu per vehicle mile (1602 per passenger-mile@1.3passengers), uses less then one-half the energy of a Trimet bus. At two passengers it consumes only 1042 btu per passenger mile – less than 1/3 that of a Trimet bus.

    Do high density cities have lower transit energy consumption than the average?

    No. See Figure 2.2.

    Why do people think that transit buses save energy?

    Because they did in 1970, but over the years, buses became less efficient and cars more efficient. See table 2.11.

    What about using Europe as a model, they all take transit don’t they?

    Figure 3.1 shows vehicles per 1000 people from 1940 to present. It also shows European vehicles per 1000 at two points in time, 1994 and 2004. Viewing the chart, the U.S. has about 750 vehicles per 1000 people while Europe has about 560, or about 75% as many. Interestingly, Europeans have about 75% as much income as we do. They also pay a lot more for fuel.

    Conclusion

    The most practical way to reduce transport energy consumption is to encourage people to switch to small cars.

    It will save more energy than transit and is more likely to succeed in actually reducing energy consumption.

    PDF of this page set

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  121. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    LINK TO THE ARTICLE:

    http://www.debunkingportland.com/Transit/BusVsCarTEDB.htm

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  122. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Here’s another really good one:

    DOES MASS TRANSIT SAVE ENERGY ?
    by David S.Lawyer mailto:dave@lafn.org More articles by D. Lawyer
    1996 (Revised 2003, 2006) Shows that the increase in energy efficiency of the automobile after 1970 and the decline of mass transit efficiency has resulted in mass transit being little more energy efficient than the auto. Furthermore, the additional travel engendered by new mass transit systems tends to result in further increased energy consumption. Compares the technologies of the auto to both bus and rail and explains efficiency in terms of the vehicle’s resistance to motion. Previous title: “Why Mass Transit Wastes Energy”.
    1. Copyright
    2. Introduction
    3. From 25 Years Ago to Today
    4. Bus vs. Auto
    5. Rail Transit
    6. Ridership
    7. Errors in Statistics
    8. Conclusion
    9. References & Notes

    * 9.1 US Government Abbreviations
    * 9.2 Mass Transportation Energy References
    * 9.3 Automobile Occupancy
    * 9.4 Auto BTU/PM Split between Urban and Rural
    * 9.5 Bus Miles/Gallon

    1. Copyright

    Copyright 2003 by David S. Lawyer. Feel free to make copies but commercial use of it is prohibited. For example, you can’t (except to an insignificant degree) combine it with advertising on the Internet. Please let me know of any errors or suggestions for improvement.
    2. Introduction

    The author is an ardent environmentalist and is even more opposed to the automobile than mass transit. The purpose of this article is to inform the public why mass transit, as currently implemented and utilized, unfortunately doesn’t save energy.

    Ever since the energy crisis of the early 1970’s, the myth that mass transit saves energy and reduces pollution has been widespread. Tens of billions of dollars of public funds have been spent (and mostly wasted) on subsidizing mass transit. An objective appraisal shows that mass transit today is little (if any) better than the automobile as far as energy use and pollution are concerned…………

    READ THE WHOLE THING:

    http://www.lafn.org/~dave/trans/energy/does_mt_saveE.html

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  123. SPC (5,642 comments) says:

    The NBR omits mention of the above research – while including another work which is indicative of negative feedback to global warming coming from cloud cover, which they conclude is reason to be in the climate change camp (those who feel that the prime problem may be climate changes rather than a global warming per se).

    Thus if both works are valid then one would surmise that Greenhouse gas is causing global warming (not solar activity) but that because of a negative effect from cloud cover, it might not be as progressive/great a build up of warming as some have feared.

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