This is between two waves: the theatre of climate change?

This has piqued my curiosity… I’m very keen to show see how the arts can address climate change.

There is much to be said for exploring the question of how the individual and society reacts to climate change. Film and theatre is potentially a rich medium for such exploration and reflection.

In the years to come we will see increasingly numbers of film and popular television drama exploring the topic:

SYDNEY is flooded. A climatologist feels guilty and anxious that he failed to predict the rising tide, having allowed realpolitik to drown his science.

This is Between Two Waves, Australia’s contribution to the theatre of climate change, written by and starring the actor Ian Meadows, who portrays Daniel, a Sydney climate scientist turned policy adviser awash in his home town, the Marrickville-Cooks River district.

But does theatre on global warming succeed, or does the message overwhelm the medium?

Meadows, who started work on the script as a feature film, says: ‘‘I wanted to deal with [climate change] in a way that wasn’t didactic, that didn’t get bogged down in the science necessarily, or too much in policy, but deal with it at a personal and emotional level.’’

Global warming may have gone off the political boil, but such contemporary concerns can take time to ‘‘agitate’’ through theatre, given the long time needed for script development, says Sam Strong, who will direct Between Two Waves as his last play as Griffin Theatre’s artistic director.

The stages have therefore been belatedly trading in tales of carbon emissions: British playwright Richard Bean’s black comedy The Heretic was seen in Melbourne this year. Sydney Theatre Company has just staged the British theatre company Filter’s play Water.

In Meadows’s script, anxious Daniel is trying to reconcile his relationship with Fiona, played by Ash Ricardo, who lives in the moment. ‘‘It is important to remember this piece is much more art than journalism,’’ Strong says. There is also a big dose of comedy in the play, he adds.

‘‘This is essentially a story about two people dealing with their relationship, and how they face the future,’’ Strong says. ‘‘The climate change is merely a backdrop for that individual struggle.’’

Details are here:

Having lost a lifetime of research in the worst floods Sydney has witnessed, Daniel – a climatologist and advisor to the government – isn’t in the mood for appreciating the irony of what he should have predicted. 

Paralysed by the knowledge that the world is consuming itself, Daniel takes little joy in planning for his future – somewhat of a problem for his spirited other half, Fiona. When Fiona tells Daniel they’re about to start a family, Daniel must choose between what he knows and what he loves. 

An urgent and searching new play about the most pressing issue of our times, Between Two Waves asks an anxious, warming world: how do we find happiness in the face of an uncertain future? 

A politically charged relationship drama set against a climate change backdrop, Between Two Waves is the first play to be produced out of the Griffin Studio, by one of the most talented new voices in the country.


55 thoughts on “This is between two waves: the theatre of climate change?

  1. Eric Worrall says:

    Personally I found the 10:10 “No Pressure” video an enlightening insight into what alarmists consider to be humour.

    Thankfully though the UK government drowning puppies ad campaign was withdrawn after a furious response from viewers.

    Frankly you guys have a lot to learn when it comes to communication. Your messages are almost unrelentingly negative – a reflection of your usually depressing inner life.

    I mean, Paralysed by the knowledge that the world is consuming itself, Daniel takes little joy in planning for his future – somewhat of a problem for his spirited other half, Fiona.

    FFS, should the audience collectively slash their wrists now, or wait for the interval?

    In politics, you don’t use a negative message to encourage people to vote for you. You use a negative message to convince the opposition’s voters to stay at home on election day.

    You could learn from that.

  2. In politics, you don’t use a negative message to encourage people to vote for you.

    You must HATE the Liberal Party then…

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Remember, parties deliberately target known opposition supporters with their most negative messages, in the hope they will totally switch off from politics.

      If they don’t think they can win your support, they want to stop you from voting at all, by making you feel intensely unhappy about politics.

  3. There have been a lot of books written about global warming and its aftermath, including one series of my books.

  4. john byatt says:

    “For example, if the Sun goes through a cooling phase, this could totally overwhelm the effect of greenhouse gasses. This is largely the idea of the scientists (not just Russian) who expect another ice age soon.”

    You mean low sun spot count like the Maunder minimum, this would have only a very small effect on the total warming by 2100

    links to papers.


  5. Eric Worrall says:

    SkS and the Climategate scientists dismiss the fact the sun hit a peak of solar activity in the 20th century greater than anything seen since the dawn of civilisation.

    Given that your SkS article appears to focus on TSI, rather than on more powerful mechanisms such as the sun’s modulation of global cloud cover, I think its time for them to go back to the drawing board.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Peer reviewed paper linking Forbush events (abrupt changes in cosmic ray flux) with realtime changes in cloud cover.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Peer reviewed paper linking cosmic ray flux to mid level cloud cover.

        (plenty more where they came from)

      • john byatt says:

        If you are going to link papers then FFS read them first,

        This work has demonstrated the presence of a small but
        statistically significant influence of GCRs on Earth’s atmosphere over mid-latitude regions. This effect is present in
        both ISCCP satellite data and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data
        for at least the last 20 years suggesting that small fluctuations
        in solar activity may be linked to changes in the Earth’s atmosphere via a relationship between the GCR flux and cloud
        cover; such a connection may amplify small changes in solar
        activity. In addition, a GCR – cloud relationship may also
        act in conjunction with other likely solar – terrestrial relationships concerning variations in solar UV (Haigh, 1996)
        and total solar irradiance (Meehl et al., 2009). The climatic
        forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have
        had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar
        cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records (e.g.,
        Bond et al., 2001; Neff et al., 2001; Mauas et al., 2008).
        Further detailed investigation is required to better understand GCR – atmosphere relationships. Specifically, the use
        of both ground-based and satellite-based cloud/atmospheric
        monitoring over high-resolution timescales for extended
        periods of time is required.

    • john byatt says:

      and you are ignoring the last ‘sixty years

      The sunspot record and neutron monitor data (which can be compared with radionuclide records) show that solar activity has not increased since the 1950s and is therefore unlikely to be able to explain the recent warming.


      Bard, E., Raisbeck, G.M., Yiou, F., Jouzel, J., 2000. Solar irradiance during the last 1200 years based on cosmogenic nuclides. Tellus 52B, 985-992.

      Beer, J., Blinov, A., Bonani, G., Finkel, R.C., Hofmann, H.J., Lehmann, B., Oeschger, H., Sigg, A., Schwander, J., Staffelbach, T., Stauffer, B., Suter, M., Wölfli, W., 1990. Use of 10Be in polar ice to trace the 11-year cycle of solar activity. Nature 347, 164-166.

      Cini Castagnoli, G.C., Cane, D., Taricco, C., Bhandari, N., 2003. GCR Flux Decline during the last Three Centuries: Extraterrestrial and Terrestrial Evidences. In: T. Kajita, Y. Asaoka, A. Kawachi, Y. Matsubara, M. Sasaki. (Eds.), GCR Flux Decline during the last Three Centuries: Extraterrestrial and Terrestrial Evidences, Universal Academy Press, Inc., pp. 4045-4048.

      Muscheler, R., Joos, F., Mueller, S.A., Snowball, I., 2005. How unusual is today’s solar activity? Nature 436, E3-E4. (Reply by Solanki et al)

      Raisbeck, G.M., Yiou, F., 2004. Comment on ”Millennium Scale Sunspot Number Reconstruction: Evidence for an Unusually Active Sun Since the 1940s”. Physical Review Letters 92, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.92.199001.

      Solanki, S.K., Usoskin, I.G., Kromer, B., Schüssler, M., Beer, J., 2004. Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years. Nature 431, 1084-1087.

      Usoskin IG, Solanki SK, Schussler M, Mursula K, and Alanko K., Millennium-scale sunspot number reconstruction: evidence for an unusually active sun since the 1940s. Phys Rev Lett. 2003, 91(21):211101.

  6. john byatt says:

    “By widespread convention, scientists use a minimum threshold of 95% to assess whether a trend is likely to be down to an underlying cause, rather than emerging by chance.”

    What do you call yourself Eric, if not denier ?

    • Eric Worrall says:

      In 2010, Phil Jones gave an interview in which he agreed there had been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

      Not attribution. Warming.

      Later that year, the warming apparently crossed the threshold into significance, and Phil Jones gave a second interview to that effect.

      This is what I mean by the warming trend bouncing around the edge of statistical significance.

      RE attribution, we’ve had that discussion. According to IPCC AR4, there is a >90% chance anthropomorphic CO2 is the reason for global warming since pre-industrial times. I know you guys believe the reasons it is not >95% is political, but by your own definition, the IPCC position is that it is not scientifically certain.

      So we have 2 facts:-

      1. Warming has been bouncing around the edge of statistical significance since 1995.

      2. Even the IPCC won’t say for sure that it was CO2 which did it.

      Given the emergence of Svensmark’s theory as a competing theory, and the body of evidence building up behind it, lets just say AR5 should be a popcorn event.

      • Sammy Jankis says:

        In 2010, Phil Jones gave an interview in which he agreed there had been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

        Woah. I’ve never heard that one before. How do you find all this fresh material?

      • sailrick says:


        He was asked if there was a warming trend for the past 15 years. He said it was too short of a time period to be 95% statistically significant, due to the statistical noise from short term variability. Climate science works with 20-30 year periods and longer.

        The warming trend was actually 92-93% statistically significant. Using the 95% figure is a convention among scientist. an arbitrary benchmark for statisical significance. It isn’t a scientific or mathematical law. He was being an honest, if somewhat naive scientist, when he responded. – Naive about how the science denial echochamber would twist the event into a misinformative PR event.

        And that is exactly what happened. The reporter worked for a British newspaper, that is known to print unscientific criticism of climate science. They printed a bogus headline, saying a leading climate scientist said there had been no warming in 15 years. This was picked up by other conservative news media and by the skeptic blogs. It remains a persistent myth among deniers. It is a flat out lie.


        Last decade – warmest on record

        Every year starting with 2001 and through 2011 – was warmer than any year in the 20th century, before 1998 which is now the 3rd warmest year on record.

        2010 – warmest year on record

        2005 – 2nd warmest year on record,

        2011 – warmest year with a cooling La Nina event on record

        10 warmest years on record in the last 12 years

        13 warmest years on record in the last 15 year

        The 2000 decade was warmer than the 1990s, which were warmer than the 19080s, which were warmer than the 1970s.

        How that looks like cooling to some people is beyond me

  7. Sammy Jankis says:

    Eric is absolutely right – the world HAS stopped warming. Maximum temperature here in Perth yesterday? 20 degrees. Current temperature? 15.1 degrees. Case closed.

  8. Sammy Jankis says:

    I should also add that, I think it was sometime last week, the maximum temperature forecast for a particular day was 23 degrees, but on the day it only reached 21.8 degrees. Another alarmist prediction down the drain. Clearly, the models don’t work.

  9. Sammy Jankis says:

    I don’t believe the projections of computer models – computer models I have good reason to doubt…

    I know! Why do computer models hate skeptics?

  10. john byatt says:

    Eric ” In 2010, Phil Jones gave an interview in which he agreed there had been no statistically significant warming since 1995.”

    to eric this means that it is not warming

    The warming is now statistically significant”

    Eric like any good denier now claims that this also means that it is not warming, oh yer a little bit,…………. 0.37DegF per decade in fact ongoing for the last three decades

    One thing that stands out with the deniers is the claim that the science ignores natural variation,

    yet eric’s whole argument is based on his own denael of natural variation,

    Eric has continually contradicted his own claims, the hallmark of a Troll

    I think that mike has Lewandowsky here reading this stuff from you to give more punch to his paper, fairly concrete evidence

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Actually we claim you ignore other forcings – pinning the blame entirely on CO2, while ignoring peer review confirmed observations of other forcings, makes you guys the deniers in our book.

      • john byatt says:

        Eric and the unknown forcings

        Paper out soon

        please list other forcings eric.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Cloud cover modulation through the interaction between the solar magnetic field and cosmic rays.

          Here’s a peer reviewed paper (again) which confirms directly measured realtime changes in cloud cover in response to abrupt changes in cosmic ray flux called Forbush events.

          I’ve supplied several other peer reviewed papers which measure this same phenomenon in different ways.

          And of course there is the evidence from the CERN CLOUD experiment, which confirms the creation of cloud seed like particulates when high energy particles from the CERN particle accelerator hit samples of air.

      • john byatt says:

        clouds are on the list

        fail try again

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Wrong. Clouds are on the list as an anthropogenic forcing, not as a natural forcing.

          The peer review study confirmed cloud effect I’m describing is not listed.

          Model fail.

      • john byatt says:

        Another paper that you did not read

        The superposed epoch analysis confirmed the statistically
        significant influence of CR intensity decrease on the state of
        the atmosphere. The effect is visible only if FDs exceeding
        the threshold (7% amplitude with the Mt. Washington data)
        are considered. The result strongly supports the idea that
        cosmic rays influence the atmospheric processes and climate.
        The natural variability of atmospheric parameters makes the
        CR contribution difficult to detect. The DTR appears to be
        a useful quantity to consider in connection with CR intensity, avoiding some of the difficulties associated with satellite measurements of cloudiness. The present study should
        be considered as a preliminary one. Several consequences of
        DTR-CR connection remain to be tested:

      • john byatt says:

        Plus there has been no changes in CR since 1960

        FFS read the stuff you link to

  11. James says:

    I don’t think anything could rescue Lewandowsky’s paper – but that is a totally different topic.

    ‘The Arts’ have been addressing Climate Change and humans caused global disasters for decades if not centuries – so there is nothing unique about this play. And of course while such plays, books and films are meant to be semi prophetic, they have never actually come true. Off the top of my head and with a quick Google search some Climate Change/Human Caused disaster movies include:

    The Day After Tomorrow
    The Day the Earth Stood still
    An Inconvenient Truth (which I include in the list of fictions)
    Split Second
    Beyond the Pole
    Split Second
    Lost City Raiders
    The Age of Stupid
    The Arrival
    A1 Artificial Intelligence
    Odyssey 2050 (to be released)

    I’m sure there are plenty more.

    Of course there is an even longer list of ‘documentaries’ which have prophesied about the potential end of the world caused by humans, not just regarding climate, but over population, nuclear destruction, pollution and so on. Of course there have been plenty of fictional movies about those issues too.

    In the late 1980’s, I recall reading an article in Personal Investment Magazine. Various investment advisers were given individuals or couples who were seeking investment advice who were happy to have their details made public and the general advice they are given made public. The Western Australian couple were a married couple both PhD’s Environmental Scientists at Murdoch University. I note that Professor Richard Bell is still there:

    It is a matter of public record from the article that they both held the view that within 10 years the world would be physically unable to feed it’s population and that they had a pessimistic outlook believing that this would lead to global war and the possible destruction of the world. The adviser said that his potential clients really strongly held their beliefs which they felt was based on sound scientific analysis. Given they held that belief, if he were to make investment recommendations to suit them, there would be no point in focussing on retirement planning. Instead he would have to recommend defensive investments such as gold and silver bullion, plus shares in agricultural holdings and food producers which would benefit from food scarcity as well as arms manufacturers who would benefit from global conflict. However the adviser stated that because he did not agree with their assessment of the future, he could not in good conscience take them on as clients.

    Well it’s about 25 years on from the Bell’s dire predictions and they weren’t the only ones making such predictions back then. Yet Professor Richard Bell has continued to climb the academic ladder and I am sure he has a very healthy superannuation fund to retire comfortable on. It is interesting that had an investment adviser had such strongly held beliefs about the future and made investments for their clients based on those beliefs and lost a lot of money, they would no doubt be sued and would no longer be practising in the industry. But if you are an academic you can be totally wrong – fill the heads of your students with your wrong theories, and still keep your job and get promoted.

  12. john byatt says:

    Dr Richard W. Bell, Professor in Sustainable Land Management

    Richard Bell is a soil fertility and land management specialist with lecturing and research experience in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sarawak, and Sri Lanka. His research interests are in micronutrients especially boron, plant nutrition on problem soils, diagnosis and prognosis of mineral disorders of plants, plant adaption to mineral stress, saline soil management, mine revegetation, land restoration, catchment management, dryland salinity control, sustainable land use, and Third world agricultural development. He is the author of 9 book chapters, 107 refereed papers, 98 conference papers and 29 reports, and editor of 6 books.

    and some clown named James thinks that he knows more than this guy,

  13. sailrick says:

    Comment on an interview with professor Fritz Vahrenholt (European Energy Review, May 2)

    “Various solar and climate physicists, like Lockwood, Haigh, Gray and others have published analyses indicating that the solar influence in the warming of the last half century is low or absent. These analyses include the magnetic field effects, which – in contrast to what Vahrenholt is saying – are not neglected by the IPCC. A few years ago, Pierce and Adams modeled the potential cloud forming effect of cosmic rays and found it wanting by more than an order of magnitude, even when the most favourable assumptions possible were made.”

    from article at Planet3 dot org

  14. rubber taster says:

    Always remember – Eric believes that aliens are sending message via gamma rays from the sun. No joke. He believes this.

    And anyone who disagrees with him is a Nazi.

    And that there is a global cabal, trying to instigate a New World Order

    And that he is a better climate scientist than the climate scientists.

    And he understands ocean chemistry better than ocean chemists.

    Not bad for a piddling IT consultant who writes buggy little apps for a living…

    (I still reckon he must be a Poe – even the below average deniers dont use the crap that he cites)

    • john byatt says:

      Agree on the POE

      No one is this stupid

      Eric Worrall says:
      October 4, 2012 at 4:28 am
      Wrong. Clouds are on the list as an anthropogenic forcing, not as a natural forcing.

      The peer review study confirmed cloud effect I’m describing is not listed.

      Model fail.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Try looking at your own diagram John.

        Since clouds are in the anthropomorphic section, according to the diagram, and there is no section for natural cloud forcing, that leaves us with two possibilities:-

        a) The author of the diagram must only be considering postulated anthropomorphic effects on clouds (e.g. dirty clouds – cloud brightening).


        b) The diagram was drawn by an incompetent.

  15. john byatt says:

    Anthropogenic , Aerosols ,( direct effect and cloud albedo effect)
    this is what is measured.

    You want to include some forcing that does not exist.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I provided a peer reviewed journal which confirmed that cloud cover changes in real time, in response to Forbush events (abrupt changes in cosmic ray flux, caused by solar flares changing the level of cosmic radiation striking the upper atmosphere.

      You might not think something which changes cloud cover is important, but I put it to you that something which modulates the amount of sunlight which is reflected back into space on a global scale probably has an impact on global climate.

      • john byatt says:

        We know the current forcings eric

        “but Lindzen’s point is fundamentally flawed. Temperatures will respond to net forcing – not just CO2, or CO2-eq, and net forcing is around 1.7 W/m2 from the pre-industrial – that is under 50% of the forcing from 2xCO2, not 76%, nor 80% nor ‘almost’ a doubling. Claims that we should have reached equilibrium with that forcing are equally risible. Lindzen is effectively assuming zero heat capacity in the oceans and that aerosol forcing is 0 W/m2 with no uncertainty. The statements he makes on this have only rhetorical content – no science. – gavin schmid

        you are arguing that climate sensitivity is much higher with your nonsense

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Schmidt’s critique appears to be on a different phenomenon entirely from the one I described.

          Schmidt appears to be criticising Lindzen’s empirical estimate of climate sensitivity, by suggesting that Lindzen in incorrectly assuming we are at or near equilibrium temperature – Schmidt is arguing that we have a long way to rise, even with current levels of CO2, before temperatures level off.

          I’m talking about a mechanism for cloud forcing, measurements of which have been published in several peer reviewed journals, which would suggest that solar grand maxima (the highest level of solar activity for 8000 years), such as was experienced during the 20th century, could be expected to coincide with unusually high natural warming.

  16. john byatt says:

    then please provide your cloud forcing paper and please do not waste time with something that you have not read as usual

    of course high solar activity will increase the temperature, but it has been going in the opposite direction since 1980.

  17. john byatt says:

    Basically from eric

    clouds have caused the warming

    clouds will stop the warming

    make up your mind

  18. john byatt says:

    and before you start with the CERN nonsense

    We were clear in the 2006 post that establishing a significant GCR/cloud/climate link would require the following steps (given that we have known that ionisation plays a role in nucleation for decades). One would need to demonstrate:

    … that increased nucleation gives rise to increased numbers of (much larger) cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)
    … and that even in the presence of other CCN, ionisation changes can make a noticeable difference to total CCN
    … and even if there were more CCN, you would need to show that this actually changed cloud properties significantly,
    … and that given that change in cloud properties, you would need to show that it had a significant effect on radiative forcing.
    Of course, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part of the recent warming, you would need to show that there was actually a decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky, because there hasn’t been

    so now you can forget that cloud changes have caused the warming and go back to clouds will stop the warming,

    no need to thank me

  19. […] another trick of cosmic raysAway from GreyThis is between two waves: the theatre of climate change .wp-pagenavi { font-size:12px !important; } […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: