How Tony Abbott killed the Australian climate sceptic movement and schooled them in realpolitik

In June of 2012 I wrote a post on the politics of climate change in Australia and what to expect in 2013 and 2014. At the time I thought it overly optimistic, if not risky given that most predictions turn out to be spectacularly wrong.

Titled The coming disappointment: how the deniers are about to get a harsh lesson in realpolitik I suggested:

  • Tony Abbott and the LNP would win the 2013 Federal election
  • Abbott would look to “axe-the-tax” (price on carbon) in name only, introducing a face-saving sleight-of-hand in but still maintain a price on carbon
  • The climate sceptic movement would be bitterly disappointed, as the realisation began to dawn on them that Abbott played the populist hand against the carbon tax in order to undermine the Gillard government’s legitimacy
  • For the climate sceptics (deniers) it would be an object lesson in realpolitik.

I should have also added it would signal the death knell of the sceptic movement as a cultural and political force in Australia. Abbott may shut down the Climate Commission as a symbolic act, but it will be no more than that – a sop for the more rabid elements of the Murdoch Press.

Now that Abbott is assured the Prime Ministership both he and the LNP are distancing themselves from climate change scepticism.

Abbott has just recently indicated that once he becomes Prime Minister he will work with China and the United States to formulate a global agreement and (believe it or not) raise their emission reduction targets:

The coalition will consider ramping up the national target for reduced emissions as part of its Direct Action policy, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt told an audience in Canberra last night Australia would “easily meet” the already set target of reducing emissions by five per cent by 2020.

Mr Hunt conceded his confidence was rooted in a future coalition government’s willingness to consider raising the emissions reduction target as early as 2015.

Mr Hunt’s concession comes as opposition leader Tony Abbott unveiled plans to play a lead role in convincing China and the United States to sign up for a global climate change deal if he wins government.

Mr Hunt said under a coalition government Australia would still be part of a UN climate change process but would also pursue action with key members of Group of 20 nations.

“Where a real global agreement will come is when China and United States reach a point of common position and when that’s backed up with India and the EU,” Mr Hunt told ABC TV on Thursday.

Mr Hunt said Australia would chair the G20 summit in Brisbane next year and it was in a unique position “to bring together the G4 as the basis for a global agreement”.

“I think (Tony’s) a fantastic negotiator,” he said

Yes that’s right – a global governance regime and working with the UN. The very things the likes of Christopher Monckton, Jo Nova, David Evans, Andrew Bolt and James Delingpole fear. Does this make Abbott an agent of the New World Order?

Hunt also recently appeared on the Andrew Bolt show arguing the case for global action:

GREG HUNT: If we act with China, the United States, India and the EU, that can be a positive. But acting alone, and at the moment, the Government is acting alone in a way where we have a higher tax than anybody else in the world is ultimately not effective, particularly when you are simply sending the emissions and the jobs to China, to India and to Indonesia. 

ANDREW BOLT: Can you explain to me why, and I always ask the question of you whenever I see you as you know… 

GREG HUNT: You do. 

ANDREW BOLT: And I always try to ask that of the Government when they don’t come into the studio anyway. But why is that I don’t get an answer anyway on that? I mean it’s quite a, scientists have got the figure, and they put it out there, this is the difference you will make and you guys never tell us, yes or no. 

GREG HUNT: The answer is we will make a difference of 155 million tonnes… 

ANDREW BOLT: No in temperature. 

GREG HUNT: Acting alone the difference is minimal but… 

ANDREW BOLT: Everyone watching us now has just seen me asking you the question a couple of times and everyone watching this now has seen you dodge it and they will say he’s not answering it. 

That’s what really strikes me, why do politicians never answer the very basic question. For all this pain what is the gain in temperature? 

GREG HUNT: There are different views on the impact. 

ANDREW BOLT: And what’s your view? 

GREG HUNT: My view is that alone it is minimal. With others you can have some sort of impact but above all else, we’ve got an environmental policy which is about clean air and clean land, things that you can support irrespective of where you stand on the science.

The LNP’s pivot back to the centre: ditching the crazies

Mainstream politicians don’t win elections pandering to extremists and conspiracy theorists. The Republicans failed to learn that lesson in 2012.

However Abbott & Co. is doing what the GOP and Mitt Romney failed to do in the final stages of the 2012 US election: swing back to political centre to capture moderate and undecided voters. Abbott learnt the lesson the GOP failed to learn – ditch the crazies.

The carbon tax protests of several years ago demonstrated to most Australians the sceptic movement is a collection of intellectual fringe dwellers and conspiracy theorists. Only 6% of the Australian public identify themselves as climate sceptics. It is a demographic the Coalition and LNP and Abbott would do well to ditch – and so they are.

Conservative commentator (and George W. Bush speechwriter) David Frum recently wrote the harm extremist views can have on the electoral prospects of a political party. Reflecting on the reasons for the GOP’s defeat in the last US Presidential election he noted the toxic role the “conservative entertainment complex” played :

“The alternative information system built by conservative elites imprisons them as much as it does the movement’s rank and file. Exactly at the moment when realism and restraint are most needed, those qualities are spurned by a political movement that has furnished its collective mind with pseudo-facts and pretend information.” (Why Romney Lost, 2012)

The climate sceptic movement is just that: an alternative system of knowledge. If you recall, every GOP presidential candidate stated they were a climate sceptic: not one of them became the President of the United States.

Abbott and Greg Hunt are smart enough to start freeing themselves from the grip of the sceptic movement: which is why the climate sceptic movement is dead.

Where’s the love Tony? Sceptics feel the cold shoulder

This reality is only just dawning on Australia’s more vocal sceptics. Evidence of this can be seen in a recent post by Jo Nova in which she lashes out at Abbott and the LNP.

Titled Australian conservatives going Labor lite – pandering to the “green vote” or just confused? she states:

Tony Abbott has a plan to try to convince China and the US to sign up for the “global climate change deal.” As if the world’s number one and two economies, with a population of 1.6 billion combined, will be waiting for instructions. And as if the global climate needed “a deal”. Hey but we do have 22 million people. squeak. squeak.

To make matters worse, Greg Hunt — the opposition spokesman for the environment — said a Coalition Government might not wipe out the emissions reductions target but… wait, they might lift the target instead. Thus taking something useless, expensive and ineffective against a problem-that-doesn’t-exist and making it moreso [sic].

It’s a mistake every which way. The Liberal Party could play them at their own green game and beat them, just by applying common sense. Instead its appeasing the politically correct namecallers [sic] (who wouldn’t vote for them anyway), and the price they pay is to look weak, irrational and lacking in conviction.

Jo can’t understand why Abbott and Hunt accept climate change as real:

If the Liberal Party were serious about protecting the environment, they would promise to drop funding for pointless fantasies and token do-gooder projects and get the science right first. A government that was serious about the environment would use some saved funds to set up an entirely new climate science research unit — one that aimed at predicting the climate (inasmuch as it is possible). Better climate models would help farmers, town planners, tourism operators, emergency services, dams and water catchments. It’s not just green, its a productivity thing too. Better than a wind-farm…

The new unit could compete with the BOM and CSIRO and may the best scientists win.

A real green policymaker would audit our temperature records independently. How can we be serious about managing Australia’s climate if our records have biased and inexplicable adjustments, that are described as “neutral”? Why would anyone who cares about the environment be prepared to accept shoddy data, bugs, and mysterious black box methods that no one can test?

Put aside her fantasy of creating yet another scientific institution – at great expense to the taxpayer – the necessary competition between scientists has already happened: it’s called the peer-review system. Over 95% of climate scientists agree humanity is changing the atmosphere of the planet.

Abbott and the LNP have accepted that scientific consensus: which is why the climate sceptic movement is dead.

Abbott’s coming political challenge: Australia’s business community want’s a price on carbon

A recent article in the Australian Financial Review stated both power and multinational firms are signalling their strong desire to see a price on carbon is maintained:

Power companies are demanding the federal opposition rethink its “direct action’’ plan for reducing carbon emissions, warning that its company baseline approach could be more difficult to operate than Labor’s trading scheme.

The Energy Supply Association of Australia said falling demand for power meant the Coalition must review its energy and climate change policy if it gains power at the September 14 federal election.

The warning comes amid growing support by multinational companies and major business groups for a market-based scheme, such as an emissions trading scheme, linked to the currently low prices set in European and other international markets.

ESSA, which represents big power companies such as Origin, TRUenergy and International Power, has long supported an emissions trading scheme.

“What we are seeing is the conditions in the market moving so quickly that there is a need to rethink the rules with a view to resetting or rethinking Direct Action,” ESAA chief executive Matthew Warren told The Australian Financial Review on Tuesday.

But the Coalition is refusing to budge. The opposition’s spokesman on ­climate action, Greg Hunt, said on Tuesday that it was committed to dumping the carbon tax.

“We remain completely committed to the policy as it removes a costly tax on business,” he said.

After the 2013 election the LNP will face enormous pressure from business to shift its position.

The hard sell will be trying to convince the voting public retaining a price on carbon is not a price on carbon. But a price on carbon is here to stay.

Would not the public see that as a cynical ploy, thus hurting freshly minted Prime Minister Abbott’s approval ratings? More than likely.

But the LNP will have a sizable majority in the lower house and the potential to ride out initial voter backlash.

Cynical? Perhaps.

But that is how the game is played.

Realpolitik triumphs: which is why the climate sceptic movement is dead.

Ironically it is Tony Abbott driving some of the final nails into the coffin of the climate sceptic movement –  the same man who famously called climate change “crap” and ran a tawdry scare campaign against the carbon “tax”.

There are times when politics creates situations of exquisite irony.

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265 thoughts on “How Tony Abbott killed the Australian climate sceptic movement and schooled them in realpolitik

  1. Nick says:

    Don’t worry, the paranoid ideators will just extend the list.

    I’ve counselled Eric before about the fact that the 8% make noise, not science or policy.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      8% can swing marginal seats. We might be so pissed off with Abbott we don’t vote for him – thought he prospect of another Gillard government is a horrible risk to take for a protest vote. I suspect in most cases he’ll at least still get our second preferences.

      • Nick says:

        You’ll vote for the COALition,or for coal either way….but the beginnings of policy response are there,because the science cannot be avoided and business is better informed than pseudo-skeptics.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Australia can’t go it alone without committing economic suicide.

        Given that the EU carbon price is around 2 Euros / ton (less than the cost of a bag of briquettes as Watts puts it), given that Japan and Canada have pulled out of Kyoto mk 2, given many of our trading partners, such as China and Singapore, don’t have a carbon price, any meaningful price on Australian carbon will simply accelerate the export of jobs.

      • Nick says:

        The world can’t go it alone [there is only one available] because it is committing ecological suicide on many fronts. Tony Abbott will not be getting any advice that undermines that long-building understanding. he is aware that other sovereignties are moving towards carbon pricing,not away from it,no matter the populism and teething problems.

        We are just seeing the beginning of broadening of international co-operation on the environment. By necessity. Plummeting wild fish stocks . Eutrophication,nutrification crossing boundaries. Ocean acidification. AGHGs. More vulnerable infrastructure and a rise in damaging weather events. SLR.

        The EU carbon scheme was flawed by the issuing of far too many permits. The framework is sound. Hissy fits all round,but the need to fix it is irresistible.

        The export of jobs was set in train decades ago by the floating of the currency,retreat of government and the indulgence of the globalism experiment.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        We are just seeing the beginning of broadening of international co-operation on the environment. By necessity. Plummeting wild fish stocks . Eutrophication,nutrification crossing boundaries. Ocean acidification. AGHGs. More vulnerable infrastructure and a rise in damaging weather events. SLR.

        Is that your explanation for why signatories dropped out of Kyoto in Doha? I’d say the evidence suggests political unwillingness to commit to expensive CO2 emissions reduction is the new international understanding.

        The EU carbon scheme was flawed by the issuing of far too many permits. The framework is sound. Hissy fits all round,but the need to fix it is irresistible.

        The recent EU decision against backloading (withdrawing credits from the market) suggests that even the EU has had enough of carbon pricing. The current EU carbon price, around 2 Euros per ton, is well below the 35 Euros which was originally identified as the level at which it would start to have an impact on corporate decisions.

        The export of jobs was set in train decades ago by the floating of the currency,retreat of government and the indulgence of the globalism experiment.

        So your solution to this distressing trend is to make it more attractive to ship jobs overseas? Or are you arguing that since all the jobs are going to go anyway, nothing we do matters?

      • Nick says:

        Despite your pessimism and fixation on short-term behaviors,the movement to price carbon realistically is unavoidable. It has enjoyed too many subsidies,gained too much inside running during privatisations of energy networks, and its environmental costs are irrationally discounted.

        Our problem with coal is that it has been locked into an energy supply dominance by actions largely beyond the public eye,and only now with the grudging admittance of renewables into the mix is some perspective being won,some REAL progress made on wasteful practice.

        The privatisation of power supply and the establishment of the National Electricity Market actually set back reform of electricity supply. The incentives created by its formation were aligned to the interests of big money,big coal and high consumption targets–how else would these interests have it? Legislators missed early opportunities to direct towards efficiency,pollution reduction and diversity of source.

        There is no invisible hand of markets…there are obscure little scrutinised choices and favoritisms directed by coal generation interests, ‘independent’ inquiries and Treasury bias that have seen Australia remain an unnecessarily profligate consumer of power and generator of waste.

        Similar situations develop everywhere when networks have been forced by economic ideologues into the hands of poorly accountable private interests who can only seek to operate in their best simplistic economic framework,and to hell with the local and global communities broader interests.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Similar situations develop everywhere when networks have been forced by economic ideologues into the hands of poorly accountable private interests who can only seek to operate in their best simplistic economic framework,and to hell with the local and global communities broader interests.

        Yet you think you can succeed without accommodating us.

        I disagree with you about which solution is optimal, but I think we’re closer to an understanding of how thinks work than perhaps you appreciate.

        Given that “poorly accountable private interests” have so far succeeded in blocking “broader interests”, isn’t it time you tried to work with private interests, rather than continue your futile campaign to push them aside?

      • zoot says:

        Great action plan Erric. It hasn’t worked so let’s try more of the same.
        WTF are you on?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Great action plan Erric. It hasn’t worked so let’s try more of the same.
        WTF are you on?

        IMO it hasn’t been tried.

        In the capitalist system, the surest way to displace a technology or process you don’t like is to innovate – to find a cheaper, better solution to the problem. No need for coercion or regulation – in this happy circumstance, people simply vote with their feet, and abandon the old technology or process.

        The obvious candidate for a cheaper, less CO2 intensive solution to power production is nuclear power.

        The current cost of nuclear power is not because of the basic technology of creating a nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear reactions are easy to ignite – David Hahn, “The Radioactive Boy Scout”, came perilously close to creating a fully operational nuclear reactor in his Mum’s back shed, using his pocket money allowance.

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

        The cost of nuclear power is the red tape, and the hideously expensive multiple redundant safety systems, such as containment domes, needed to make the system safe.

        The obvious question is – is there a way to do away with the red tape, and to make the system inherently safer, to reduce the need for expensive safety systems?

        The answer to the safety issue appears to be yes. A significant amount of research has been performed on “passive safe” systems, inherently safe nuclear reactor designs which can suffer complete coolant loss without releasing radioactive contamination or suffering a meltdown – systems which are safe even if all the supporting infrastructure is rendered inoperable by a natural disaster or sabotage.

        This leaves only the red tape. And to that I say – come on guys, in your view the safety of the planet is at stake. You are one stroke of the bureaucrat’s pen away from eliminating fossil fuel use globally. The combined campaigning ability of the world’s environmental organisations, combined with “deniers” like Watts, who are also keen on passive safe nuclear power, could create a massive surge of broad based support for a low carbon future.

        Wont you even give it a try?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Why? I’ve provided evidence Watts supports LFTR research. And replacing all coal generators with cheap LFTR would drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

        Which bit did I get wrong?

  2. Greg Hunt gave a talk at the ANU on the 18th April. Note at the beginning (the 1:40 mark) that he said: “In addressing Climate Change, let me begin with the important points that we agree on. We agree on the science, we agree on the targets, and we agree on the need to use market mechanisms.” After giving his view of the international situation he fairly briefly attached the government’s carbon price mechanism and then outlined “Direct Action”. Two experts, Adjunct Professor Martijn Wilder and Associate Professor Frank Jotz then took issue with some of his claims.

    I am only an interested layman. I would like someone with economic and policy expertise to analyse the Direct Action policy. I did see one on The Conversation but it did not go into a lot of details.

    Here is a link to Hunt’s talk:

    I agree, denier reaction to the Abbott government climate policy will be interesting.

  3. Eric Worrall says:

    I agree – Abbott’s about face is disappointing.

    But given Europe is now paying around 1 Euro per ton of CO2, and rejected measures to increase this, I suggest the invisible hand of Adam Smith will force Australian CO2 pricing to be watered down to insignificance.

    If even the green zealots of the EU hasn’t got the stomach to go the distance, Australia wont.

    Its just a question of how much our economy suffers before whoever is elected wakes up and smells the coffee.

  4. Moth says:

    Eric is third off the line on this one! Dang Eric, how did you let this one slip through your fingers?

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I was busy – sometimes got to do some of this work thing…🙂

      • Moth says:

        Denial apps won’t create themselves, I suppose….

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Hehe – just released a new version.
        https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/climategate/id386480628

        I used a radical new approach to the search algorithm, on my iPhone 5 it is now instantaneous – the search results change in real time as you type text you want to find.

        There’s a gratifying number of updates occurring. Its not going to make me a millionaire, but people still take an interest.

        Type the word “hide” and you get some intriguing results.

      • snrksnrk says:

        Christ, are the deniers still going on about Climategate/Fakegate? Geez.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Climategate is the gift which keeps on giving – such as the email I cited recently discussing how to conceal a mistake which originally escaped detection because the code wasn’t provided as part of the method.

        There’s more than a whiff of double standards about all this – if you guys had emails from “deniers” discussing how to hide the incline, and the best ways to conceal mistakes in research which attacks IPCC predictions, you’d still be citing them – just as I cite dodgy emails from alarmist researchers.

      • Nick says:

        Stop spinning, Eric. The email actually reveals a mistake. While it argues the mistake is trivial, it does not ‘discuss how to conceal it’. “Maybe a note to GRL and a link to the code” as Mann suggested.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Which part of “Please feel free to use this code for your internal purposes, but don’t pass it along where it may get into the hands of the wrong people” don’t you understand?

        Mann clearly is telling his mates about the mistake, but he doesn’t want to have to admit the mistake to “idiots” (but which I assume he means “deniers”).

        The fact the mistake didn’t come to light until Mann started reviewing and tidying up the code, making it fit to publish, in response to pressure to reveal his code, in itself demonstrates that the climate science tradition of not automatically providing all code and data with published papers is sloppy scientific practice.

        Who knows what other mistakes have been quietly covered up or have never been noticed because of this lack of openness – perhaps mistakes serious enough that scientists didn’t even admit them to their colleagues.

      • Nick says:

        Unlike yourself,I read the whole email…

        The idiots at the time,2004,were McKittrick and McIntyre. They were publishing flawed counter claims against MBH in Energy & Environment,and clearly Mann did not want to waste time with their tenacious junk. MBH had acknowledged some of the valid tidying up that M&M had demanded,but other claims were specious.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        So intellectual fraud is OK if you are confident the people criticising your work are time wasters?

      • Nick says:

        I think that we are more than confident about M&Ms time-wasting: their material effect on palaeoclimate understanding remains zip. They do not do any primary work. Their sole purpose is to promote uncertainty through attempted selective and partial re-analysis. Uncertainty about recons was well documented already,inherent and explicit in the discussions around the techniques devised and used,and expressed in the papers on individual regional and hemispheric projects. M&M also run a character assassination business,and peddle dodgy info to lobbyists,newspapers… and the fake Wegman inquiry.

        Others who demanded temperature series data have achieved nothing scientific. Watts? Pfft. It’s just the obfuscation that you have admitted to being proud of.

      • BBD says:

        Point to the flaw in the radiative physics. You are engaging in misdirection, not substantive argument.

      • BBD says:

        Above in response to Eric Worrall

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “Who knows what other mistakes have been quietly covered up or have never been noticed”

        I’m sure there are plenty of “mistakes” that make an insignificant difference to the results that have been forgotten about. Especially with methods that are superseded by technically superior methods and no-one rational has any great interest in the old method anymore.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        What I presented is evidence of a flawed procedure, which I have called out in previous posts, being abused to conceal a mistake. You guys can’t even bring yourselves to admit Mann apparently did the wrong thing on this occasion.

      • Nick says:

        Eric,what Chris said…and it does not matter,except for hypocrites with an axe to grind. Read the email without paranoia next time.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Eric,what Chris said…and it does not matter,except for hypocrites with an axe to grind. Read the email without paranoia next time.

        Mann is clearly using a flaw in climate science scientific procedures to conceal a mistake from people he doesn’t like. It doesn’t matter is the impact is not major – what he is doing in this case is wrong.

        At the very least, agree with Phil Jones that code and data should be published with scientific papers.

        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18599-climategate-scientist-questioned-in-parliament.html

      • Nick says:

        I’m fine with Jones,data and code are now more readily available than ever. Which makes the absence of meaningful ‘skeptical’ analysis even more puzzling….

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “Mann is clearly using a flaw in climate science scientific procedures”

        What do you mean “is clearly using”? “Is” is not the right word when you’re talking about history.

        “the mistake didn’t come to light until Mann started reviewing and tidying up the code, making it fit to publish”

        He didn’t do any significant “tidying up the code to make it fit to publish”. The code and method is what produced the results in MBH98. Whatever you think “tidying up the code” means it certainly didn’t include changing the non-centred PCA to centred PCA. THAT would have been deceptive but of course Mann didn’t do that.

        “to conceal a mistake from people he doesn’t like”

        Where is it that Mann concealed his use of non-centred PCA from McIntyre? McIntyre certainly knew about MBH98’s use of non-centred PCA in 2004 and stated in his 2005 E&E paper that Mann provided the “programs used for tree ring principal components”. So how anyone can suggest that Mann concealed his “mistake” from McIntyre is a total mystery to me.

        “It doesn’t matter is the impact is not major”

        If the impact is not major, why are you wasting time talking about it?

      • BBD says:

        Until Eric demonstrates a the flaw in the radiative physics he is simply engaging in misdirection, not substantive argument. This is why the climate liars are still banging on about MBH98/99 in 2013.

        I’ve said it many times before but it always bears repeating:

        They have no scientific argument so this is what they do instead.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Until Eric demonstrates a the flaw in the radiative physics he is simply engaging in misdirection, not substantive argument. This is why the climate liars are still banging on about MBH98/99 in 2013.

        There is no flaw in the radiative physics. The flaw is the assumption that rather feeble CO2 forcing would be amplified by water vapour.

        The main prediction of the amplification theory is the missing equatorial tropospheric hotspot.

        What the modellers didn’t notice was that their blanket is full of holes.

        Anyone who lives in the tropics or subtropics could tell you water vapour doesn’t simply rise ad infinitum – during the hotest months, the temperature rarely rises above 35c, because additional insolation simply creates chains of thunderstorms.

        Quite appart from the high albedo of clouds, which limits heating by reflecting more sunlight back into space, storms are very efficient heat engines, transports of excess heat from the bottom of the troposphere to the top, where the heat can radiate into space, unimpeded by the bulk of the Earth’s greenhouse gasses. They are the holes in the blanket. They form whenever the surface temperature rises beyond the local threshold, and dissipate any excess heat into space.

      • Nick says:

        You’ve abandoned your untenable email interpretation to revisit some untenable low feedback claims dismissed a decade ago. The Worrall Oscillation.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “The Worrall Oscillation.”

        A variant of the Gish Gallop.

      • BBD says:

        Eric Worrall

        There is no flaw in the radiative physics. The flaw is the assumption that rather feeble CO2 forcing would be amplified by water vapour.

        This was wrong last time you said it. Explanation was provided at the time. Are you stupid, Eric? Reading comprehension issues? Did you not read the Lacis study I linked? Are you lazy as well as thick?

        Here is my earlier response to your nonsense, again:

        It’s *all* radiative physics. The RF from water vapour is already a substantial contributor to the terrestrial greenhouse. As is CO2, which as a non-condensing GHG provides the underpinning that maintains tropospheric T at modern values and keeps the fraction of WV at modern levels. You cannot disentangle the two.

        Increase tropospheric T (eg by increasing RF from CO2 and other GHGs) and the tropospheric fraction of WV will increase. It cannot do otherwise. The hydrological cycle will speed up, certainly, but at any given time there will be more WV in the warmer troposphere. This is fairly basic stuff. See Lacis et al. (2010).

        Quite appart from the high albedo of clouds, which limits heating by reflecting more sunlight back into space, storms are very efficient heat engines, transports of excess heat from the bottom of the troposphere to the top, where the heat can radiate into space, unimpeded by the bulk of the Earth’s greenhouse gasses. They are the holes in the blanket.

        You really *don’t* understand the basics. The effects of CO2 are manifest at the TOA. It is here that the radiative imbalance occurs that causes energy to accumulate in the climate system as a whole. The TOA is far above the convecting troposphere.

        Listen to me, Eric. You cannot logically reject something you don’t understand. It’s stupid, childish and wrong. Snap out of it.

        Until you demonstrate a flaw in the radiative physics you are engaged in misdirection. You are doing this because you have no scientific argument and all the evidence contradicts your beliefs and highlights the depth of your denial.

        It is a miserable spectacle.

      • BBD says:

        uknowispeak sense

        Thanks for this context:

        Eric Worrall, my new favourite denier, for demonstrating the ability to make idiotic comments that demonstrate not only his silliness but also his laziness.

        And:

        He takes denial to a whole new level.

        We seem to be thinking along the exact same lines, right down to the choice of words. Speaking of which:

        I’ve been lamenting recently that I don’t have a special word for this kind of person.

        Perhaps you were simply being too polite? I can think of several😉

  5. uknowispeaksense says:

    Abbott cannot be trusted on anything. He flip-flops on every issue. Remember who his mates are, where the power in the LNP comes from, and which mining boards and thinktanks those powerbrokers and funders jointly sit on. Unless there has been a massive epiphany in the conservatives, they are still either mostly deniers or liars. http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/election-2013-senate/

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Actually there might be a more sinister issue.

      In the UK, the easiest way to get into trouble in the Conservative Party was and is to openly oppose wind farm subsidies.

      A lot of rich party donors are coining it from regressive wind farm subsidies for the rich, and they’re happy to splash their money around. Since politicians are highly dependent on donor cash, it doesn’t take too many rich donors getting a taste for rent seeking to create serious pressure to keep the party going.

      I’d like to believe that Abbott is just telling political lies (obviously still deeply reprehensible), but my fear is what I saw in the UK is happening in Australia.

      You guys have just recreated the feudal system, with miserable serfs (us) paying rich landowners an involuntary tithe through our energy bills. I hope you like it.

      • Nick says:

        You are an idiot. The feudal system was revived by the empowering of global corporatism…these unelected near borderless tax haven bandit groups in suits increasingly dictate economic policy with the help of business media hagiographers and bonded politicians …were you born yesterday?

        You must have missed the news from the UK that the major energy utilities are massively avoiding tax while hiking charges. Of course they love government to give them subsidies.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        There is an important difference.

        When I visit Woolies to buy my groceries, I do so of my own free will. I don’t have to go to Woolies – if I choose to go to Coles or Asda, Woolies won’t see a single penny of my money.

        But I don’t have a choice about paying a renewable tithe to rich landowners. Like a medieval peasant, I have to pay, whether I want to or not. My only option to escape the tithe is to become one of the exploiters – if I owned a house, with a decent size roof, I could charge my own tithe, offsetting or even eliminating the tithe I would otherwise have to pay.

        But by becoming one of the exploiters, I would just be passing my misery to people less able to afford the burden – my tithe would be subsidised by people who couldn’t afford a house with a large roof, or who couldn’t afford a few acres of land on which to erect wind turbines or a solar installation.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “with miserable serfs (us) paying rich landowners”

        So you’ve been advocating land tax then? Can you link us to some of your work?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        “with miserable serfs (us) paying rich landowners”
        So you’ve been advocating land tax then? Can you link us to some of your work?

        No, my point is that paying a tithe to rich landowners who host alternative energy installations (solar or wind) on their properties through our energy bills is not dissimilar to medieval tithes peasants had to pay to the local landed gentry.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “rich landowners”

        That’s funny, I thought you had a problem with landowners being rich. I guess you just used the word “rich” for the fun of it.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I might be a right winger, but even I see a problem with looting poor people and paying the proceeds to rich people. Its not like the poor people have a choice about whether to pay the renewables tithe.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        OK, so there’s no problem if the landowners are not rich.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Agree – however it is a shift in which the LNP has publically distanced themselves from outright scepticism. I suspect their efforts will remain lacklustre, far below what is required.

      However it signals – in terms of political discourse – climate scepticism is no longer a valid position of any major political party.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I agree – and it is a significant disappointment for us.

        But politicians heh?

        And given the ongoing collapse of carbon pricing globally, I don’t expect the Australian system to amount to much, even if Gillard wins. The economic pain of loading costs on locals which overseas competitors aren’t paying will sooner or later.

        I think I recall you mentioning this competitive effect as a tragedy of the commons a while back – if everyone doesn’t do carbon pricing, ultimately noone will.

      • Nick says:

        The environment will do the carbon pricing if humans are unwilling to do it….in fact,it’s already happening.

        The environment is also passing on the price of destructive use of the commons in every way. Human economics is actually quite a good indicator of costs,while being [often deliberately] crap at predicting them!

      • Eric Worrall says:

        The environment will do the carbon pricing if humans are unwilling to do it….in fact,it’s already happening.

        How?

      • Nick says:

        “How?” Very funny,Eric…it’s called climate change, extreme weather,sea level rise and ocean acidification. These are starting to cost money,in case you hadn’t noticed. Extreme rainfalls in the UK=record flooding=higher premiums,more community expense on mitigating floods= a cost of CO2 emissions.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Tornadoes are in a long term decline – America, which has some of the best tornado observation data, has observed a significant long term decline in tornado activity.

        http://www.norman.noaa.gov/2012/08/the-tornado-drought-of-2012/

        I’ve also provided evidence from the chief meteorologist of NSW a few posts back, indicating that Australian extreme weather is not getting worst.

        The *prediction* might be more violent, more extreme weather in the future.

        But the *observation* is a long term reduction in extreme weather events.

        SLR is still occurring at a rate of 1 – 2 millimetres or so every year. SLR probably contributed a few inches to Hurricane Sandy storm surge, relative to the last time a major storm caused flooding in New York. When considering a storm surge of 20ft or more, a few inches is hardly a major consideration.

        As for ocean acidification, I’ve yet to see evidence any of this alleged ocean acidification has damaged anything. Many productive fisheries experience intraday acidity changes far higher than the alleged long term trend.

        And of course we have the evidence that life thrived in far higher CO2 levels than today, including shelled life, and still thrives in far higher CO2 levels than today, in Champagne reefs. So any future distress from ocean acidification will simply cause adaptions still present in the gene pool to rapidly spread through the general population.

      • Nick says:

        Re Sandyis effects: Sea level around New York is now 30cm higher than it was a century ago.. Sandy’s effect not only generated substantial ongoing clean-up costs,but has translated into greater expense in new engineering standards to be met and higher insurance costs.

        “The observation is a long-term reduction in extreme weather events”

        Bullshit. BOM data shows that the area of the country experiencing above 95th percentile warmth has increased dramatically over the last century. Number Annual Days above high fire danger in Victorian has increased markedly: that is directly and immediately translated into extra community cost.

        And,etc.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “a significant long term decline in tornado activity”

        One year does not a trend make. The highest tornado year occurred in the last decade.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “SLR is still occurring at a rate of 1 – 2 millimetres or so every year.”

        Facts are clearly not your forte. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

      • Eric Worrall says:

        One year does not a trend make. The highest tornado year occurred in the last decade.

        The decline in storm activity has occurred over at least the last 30 years – its not a one year fluke.

        Models predict a rise in extreme weather activity – but it isn’t happening yet.

        “SLR is still occurring at a rate of 1 – 2 millimetres or so every year.”
        Facts are clearly not your forte. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

        3mm seems a little on the high side, but even if its right, FFS, I was out by 1mm. Sue me.

      • Nick says:

        Just technically,a decline in tornadoes is not a decline in storms. Tornadoes are a feature of some storms therefore a subset of storm numbers. Storms are not in decline,and total tornado numbers reported have increased though improvements to observation may account for some of that trend,even all.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Just technically,a decline in tornadoes is not a decline in storms. Tornadoes are a feature of some storms therefore a subset of storm numbers. Storms are not in decline,and total tornado numbers reported have increased though improvements to observation may account for some of that trend,even all.

        I agree there are significant uncertainties in the observations, but its fair to say that suggestions that storms are becoming more intense and frequent thanks to global warming is at best inconclusive.

        Like I said, the detrimental effects of global warming are currently predictions rather than observations. They may become reality, but that rather hinges on, among other factors, whether the models are correct.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “The decline in storm activity has occurred over at least the last 30 years”

        It doesn’t matter if the lowest year is the last of 30. One year does not make a declining trend.

        “3mm seems a little on the high side, but even if its right, FFS, I was out by 1mm.”

        1-2 mm per year. You could also say out by 40-70%.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        At 3 mm / year, thats 30 cm in a century – around a 1 ft.

        Hardly a reason to spend billions trying to reduce emissions.

      • Nick says:

        Past climate shows the expectation of steady SL changes extrapolated indefinitely forward from a year’s rate is nonsense,Eric. The last 150 years shows it as well.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        Continuing with the Gish Gallop:

        “thats 30 cm in a century”

        32 cm actually. Unless you can come up with some explanation that this has nothing to do with carbon dioxide then unfettered rises in the gas are hardly likely to keep it to 32 cm a hundred years from now.

  6. Sam McNally says:

    There are so many holes in so many of these “arguments” it’s imposible to know where to begin. I wonder why people aren’t asking, if they’re concerned about climate, “what are they spraying in the skies??” Who’s doing it?” and “Why?”. Oh, and “what authority has silenced Air Traffic Controllers, Airlines, and other aviation bodies” with regard to the spraying of chemicals in our skies? Is it possible a global authority has THAT much power, and if so, all of this argy-bargy stuff about policies and “believe in Climate Change” / “dont believe in Climate Change” stuff is completely moot.

    • uknowispeaksense says:

      Hear those drones Sam? They are coming for you. Better put on the tinfoil hat.

    • Sou says:

      It’s the lizard people. They’ve taken over the world and we do their bidding. Even this post and Sam’s are done at their bidding. Our minds are not our own. In fact Sam is probably one of them just pretending to not be under their control. (Tony and Julia are just pretending to be opponents. All leaders are lizard people everywhere.)

  7. zoot says:

    Just to remind everyone of Erric’s position.

    You can’t ignore us – because we can and will stop you from implementing solutions you favour, unless our conditions are satisfied.

    We don’t believe there is a problem – so it is you who has to come to us. I don’t like coal, but I don’t fear it the way you do.

    See it as blackmail, with the future viability of the ecosystem at stake, if you will – but work with us, or watch our deadlock destroy your world.

    Your choice.

    • Nick says:

      Yes he’s a miserable serf with amazing power over the direction of policy. Quantum Eric, simultaneously in two states

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Any local success in Australia has to be seen against the backdrop of failing carbon schemes across the world.

      Nothing is forever. The rich landowners I described failed to persuade the EU to prop up their incomes by backloading – the Conservative MEP (members of the European party) rebelled against the Prime Minister by voting against the measure.

      The competitive advantage enjoyed by countries which reject carbon pricing will eventually force others to ditch their schemes. But we could take a lot of damage before we reach this conclusion.

    • Mark Porter says:

      What a tool. Reads like the ranting of a psychopath.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        The last 20 years, despite all your efforts, has seen an unprecedented rise in CO2 emissions.

        You can choose to continue the same tired strategies, and continue to embrace utter defeat.

        Or you can try something new.

      • Mark Porter says:

        Under the spreading chestnut tree where I sold you and you sold me.
        Sorry Eric sweetie-love I’m not quite there yet. You’ll just have to try a bit harder old darling.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Hear that? Of course not – but its happening. Thats all the new CO2 emission sources switching on this year, as China continues its breakneck industrialisation, Europe turns its back on nuclear power, and even Africa is slowly awaking from its slumber and joining the modern world.

      • Mark Porter says:

        Mmmm… close, but no cigar for you pumpkin!

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You’re a funny man Mark.

      • zoot says:

        Say Erric!
        Has it ever occurred to you that the people blocking the uptake of nuclear are in the fossil fuel business? They’re the ones with the most to lose.
        Outrageous idea I know, but it’s a lot easier to swallow than a conspiracy of climate scientists.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Has it ever occurred to you that the people blocking the uptake of nuclear are in the fossil fuel business?

        Quite possibly. And of course people in the renewables business – nuclear power would wipe them both out.

      • Nick says:

        “The past 20 years has seen an unprecedented rise in CO2 emissions”

        What a meaningless statement! Every twenty years since the industrial revolution has seen ‘unprecedented’ rises in CO2 emissions…it’s all about the one organism who discovered how to burn fossil fuel. Duh!

        Less facetiously, aside from showing greater overall industrial and consumer demand,rises in CO2 output are an indicator of the failure of privatisations of power systems! Governments sold off public infrastructure to interests who were compelled to maximise their profits before anything else is considered…don’t you understand what perverse incentive is,Eric? Without any direction to reduce pollution and increase efficiency,private money just wants to dig up and burn more coal…it’s a simple brief.

        Promote power consumption over efficient use. Promote energy profligacy. Push air conditioning as much as possible…and in Australia governments spent billions of taxpayers money in smoothing the way for privatisation!! The communities interests in sustainable global activity is thwarted by the charters of capitalism.

        You really came down in the last shower! Why is the world being held hostage by the naivety of ‘economic purists’ unwittingly doing the bidding of the profiteers?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You really came down in the last shower! Why is the world being held hostage by the naivety of ‘economic purists’ unwittingly doing the bidding of the profiteers?

        I’m glad you finally admit we have substantial influence, and are not easy to ignore or sideline.

        Now will you take the next step, and work out how you can make reducing carbon emissions attractive to us? Or will you continue your pointless futile crusade to overturn Capitalism?

      • Nick says:

        I don’t want to overturn capitalism,I want to stop rorting in its name,and delusional economic activity involving unnecessarily increasing per capita consumption of energy. I’d like to see rational costing and accounting,not bullshit like dumping CO2 into the atmosphere and pretending it cannot be costed therefore is not a problem.. I’d like to see real scrutiny of the ransacking of community assets on the promise of greater efficiencies and lower prices which do not eventuate.

        I’d like to see people like you learn a bit of history…for instance the time line and processes that set up the National Electricity Market in Australia,and how opportunities to build efficiency into the market were thwarted. How the coal lobby holds a stranglehold over rational energy policy,and it has taken renewables a lot longer than necessary to penetrate the market..where they are finally influencing electricity prices and network pricing behavior in consumers favour.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Here I was thinking you wanted to reduce CO2 emissions.

        Or is teaching capitalists a lesson, curbing the free market, more important to you than finding a path to immediate, substantial reductions in CO2 emissions?

        Because we have, are and will continue to vigorously oppose what we see as curbs on our freedom. Your campaign to curb what you see as the excesses of capitalism will get nowhere – we will frustrate your efforts at every opportunity.

        Didn’t the fall of the Soviets teach you guys anything? People will risk their lives, risk unspeakable punishment, do all manner of unlikely things, for the toys of consumerism – we can and always will be able to dangle some new sparkly in front of people which can drive them out of their minds with desire. You can’t beat that part of our fundamental nature.

        http://www.asiaone.com/print/News/Latest%2BNews/Science%2Band%2BTech/Story/A1Story20111016-305328.html

        If you put your campaign to curb capitalist excess ahead of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, the CO2 emissions reduction is not going to happen.

        Time to decide Nick.

        Tick Tick Tick.

      • Nick says:

        What you don’t seem to understand is that in a crowded world, unreigned capitalism creates more costly problems than it ‘solves’.

        Neo-liberalism leads to a conspicuous regression from inclusive decision making,as corporations –which are limited representation entities with simple charters that do not consider broader needs–are allowed to grow large and powerful enough to wield influence over representative government and its decisions. There are many examples of the distorting and retrograde influence of unelected power on best public policy [and better distribution of wealth],and I’ve mentioned briefly the history of power generation privatisation. Public consultation was limited in the early 1990s when these processes were being examined and designed here. The result was considerable public subsidy and expensive power,and the locking in/further entrenchment of coal dominance. Surely that outcome fails to meet your ideals?

        We’ve come a long way from the eighteenth century,and I’m not anxious to go back to that sort of disenfranchisement. Offering shiny baubles in exchange for political passivity and powerlessness only goes so far. When the shiny baubles come with poor environmental values,wasteful energy use and irrationally discounted future costs,we know we are wasting our best knowledge–and a lot of money– on cleaning up after ourselves.

        Reducing CO2, and waste and pollution in general, is never a more vital outcome of best practice. However,in the narrow scope of the privateers,maximising short term monetary gain, never mind that it degrades long term outcomes,is the only end to be considered. Globally interacting communities cannot afford to be represented by narrow interests acting with limited liability.

        And in the narrow scope of your argument,you are happy again to misrepresent my interest as a ‘teach capitalism a lesson/ CO2 reduction is secondary’ and create a false dichotomy as well.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        And in the narrow scope of your argument,you are happy again to misrepresent my interest as a ‘teach capitalism a lesson/ CO2 reduction is secondary’ and create a false dichotomy as well.

        OK, while you are waiting for us to learn to be responsible, what is your strategy to reduce CO2?

        Because if your strategy for reducing CO2 hinges on us abandoning what you see as the worst excesses of Capitalism, you’ll have a long wait.

      • Nick says:

        We are turning the corner,though it will be a long curve,right now in Australia with the significant penetration of renewables into energy supply. Haven’t you seen the stats?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        We are turning the corner,though it will be a long curve,right now in Australia with the significant penetration of renewables into energy supply. Haven’t you seen the stats?

        If the German experience is any guide it will end in failure. Renewable capacity in Germany is around 30%. But the Germans are so unimpressed with their performance, their plan for replacing their decommissioned nuclear capacity is to build a string of new coal generators.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-19/merkel-s-green-shift-forces-germany-to-burn-more-coal-energy.html

        Until an efficient, safe way of storing energy is developed, renewables will always need conventional backup, to smooth the violent fluctuations in renewables output. And as the current German plan shows, the point is reached at which the country tires of renewables, and turns back to King Coal.

        Don’t underestimate the German commitment to renewables – they’ve gone further and faster than pretty much any other country. Their need to turn to coal is a huge embarrassment for them.

      • Nick says:

        The German ‘need to turn to coal’ is a massive brain-fart, at first blush. They have a perfectly functional nuclear network,and they are integrated with France and Europe so can trade solar,hydro and nuclear energy.

        At second blush,they are simply keeping out of circulation the nuke plants that were already offline for various reasons,and phasing out the remainder by 2022…all while continuing to add to their renewable capacity,and presumably buying naughty nuke power from external markets. So it remains to be seen just how much they are really ‘turning to coal’. Seems to me to be a temporary partial dependence.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        So it remains to be seen just how much they are really ‘turning to coal’. Seems to me to be a temporary partial dependence.

        Building 20 or so new coal plants is quite a commitment. It would be a hideously expensive exercise to shut them down a significant time before the end of their expected working life (around 30 years or so).

      • Nick says:

        I see as of May 2012, 2 brown coal, 7 black coal and 3 gas-fired plants under construction in Germany,which were clearly planned or under way before the decision to wind back nuclear. More plants are obviously in planning and proposal stages,also pre-dating the 2011 nuclear exit decision,but cannot be presumed to be built…how many proposals have genuinely materialised in response to the nuke phase-out??

        Renewables are making the profitability of new plants questionable…and I’d suggest the situation is fluid enough for the nuclear decision to be reversed in part or fully within the nuke phase-out period.

  8. Malamuddy says:

    I don’t think we should let Hint’s delusions of grandeur fool us.

    The US and China are already cooperating in the interests of reducing Climate Change. Apparently and completely unsurprisingly they felt that they could not wait for Abbott to be elected and tell them what to do.

    A report in The Hill (see ) in April this year says::

    “The United States of America and the People’s Republic of China recognize that the increasing dangers presented by climate change measured against the inadequacy of the global response requires a more focused and urgent initiative. The two sides have been engaged in constructive discussions through various channels over several years bilaterally and multilaterally, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process and the Major Economies Forum.”

    But even worse, as Maurizio Toscano, Lecturer in Science Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education at University of Melbourne, pointed out in the Conversation this month, China is unlikely to be impressed by Hunt’s crazy, unproven strategies for doing something about the problem. He points out that:

    “(A) recent agreement between Australia and China to cooperate on climate change could be a tipping point that makes the Coalition’s pledge to repeal the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme unachievable.
    Under the agreement, Australia and China will establish a carbon trading experts group and conduct joint research as China moves towards its own national emissions trading scheme after 2015. Pilot schemes are commencing involving a quarter of a billion people and carbon pricing is now a fundamental part of the China-Australia relationship.”

    So are Abbott and Hunt politically smart or just whistling in the dark?

    Me, I think that it is quite likely that both these giant economies will move to some form of carbon pricing before the end of the next parliament (2016) leaning the LNP (if they win government) looking like rather forlorn shags on a rock, and discredited for years to come.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Some really good thoguhts Malamuddy. Ultimately, Australia’s policies will be informed by the direction the US and China are about to take.

      Until know their argument has been “Let’s not get ahead of the US/China/the world” – that will soon switch to “We need to catch up!”

      Seriously, watch the politics of climate change and pricing GHGs next week. It will be a bumpy ride for the LNP as they try and shift gears.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Interestingly China’s solution to air pollution and carbon emissions seems to be large scale investment in Thorium cycle nuclear reactors – something many prominent “deniers”, including Anthony Watts supports.

      If you guys stopped antagonising us with carbon pricing, I don’t think we’d have a lot to argue about. An agreement to focus on nuclear power as the way forward would take the heat out of the whole debate.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/12/im-on-al-gores-radar-for-showing-a-path-forward/

      • Sou says:

        Eric wants to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on nuclear power plants. Fair enough. It’s a long shot, and very expensive for taxpayers, but might become necessary if other more benign solutions aren’t sufficient.

        Let’s hope that the ones that don’t need a constant supply of cool water aren’t too expensive, because that’s one thing that can’t be relied upon, especially in Australia. Not now and especially not as climate change kicks in, shorelines recede and heat waves and droughts become more frequent.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        If you look at the record, its renewable energy which is intermittent and unreliable. Nuclear power stations tend to have a high power loading – they are reliable, and they don’t stop working if the wind drops or if the sun is hidden by clouds.

        And if we replace fossil fuels with reliable, high density low carbon nuclear energy, won’t that avoid the emissions which you think will lead to the catastrophic scenario you just described?

      • Sou says:

        No Eric, slowing global warming doesn’t prevent global warming (by definition). Even if we stopped emitting CO2 altogether there is warming still in the pipeline. The best we can hope to do is to first of all slow the warming, then stop it.

        There is a good diagram showing how long different parts of the earth system take before their effect is expressed here on realclimate.org
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/on-sensitivity-part-i/

        France had to shut down a lot of power stations in recent European heat waves. US had problems in the recent floods. Nuclear is not a panacea for all climate change effects. Coal is not 100% reliable, neither is nuclear, neither is hydro or any single source.

        By combining energy solutions, such as on and offshore wind, solar, geothermal, wave, existing hydro and maybe nuclear – plus other technologies if necessary – eg biomass etc, we stand a chance of future generations getting through this warming.

        For redundancy as well as to limit losses through the distribution network (and the cost of a distribution network), the optimal way forward is a mix of different technologies with large scale power production and, especially in some locations, local energy production.

      • Sou says:

        To expand on my previous comment, “stopping” global warming is not the same as ‘reversing’ global warming. The latter would require no fossil fuel burning and figuring out how to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

        What will hopefully happen is that we will reduce emissions (not just from fossil fuels but from land use changes and other activities) to get the system to a state of equilibrium, where radiation out = radiation in. This will be at a higher average surface temperature than now.

        There is no chance of getting the atmosphere back to pre-industrial composition in the next several millenia.

        I reckon it’s confirmation bias or misunderstanding of the subject that leads many deniers to scoff when they hear that cutting emissions will not mean a reversal of global warming. It won’t. It just means that warming won’t be as great as if we don’t cut emissions.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        For redundancy as well as to limit losses through the distribution network (and the cost of a distribution network), the optimal way forward is a mix of different technologies with large scale power production and, especially in some locations, local energy production.

        Sou, nuclear power is the only low carbon option which Right wingers like Anthony Watts also favour. Sure you guys have managed to install some renewable capacity, but even in green Germany there is a backlash from the right, which is seeing a steady withdrawal of subsidies. In Spain the government abruptly withdrew all alternative energy subsidies when it ran out of money.

        You will never install enough low carbon energy to make a difference, unless you find a way to enlist our cooperation.

        Regardless of whether you think our position is rational, you can’t ignore it. We can and will continue to block measures we don’t like.

        The net result of the last 20 years struggle by people like yourself has been an unprecedented rise on CO2 emissions. If you want the next 20 years to be any different, stop antagonising us with carbon pricing, renewable energy, and the other measures we find politically unacceptable, and start talking to us about the low carbon nuclear energy option which we support.

        I reckon it’s confirmation bias or misunderstanding of the subject that leads many deniers to scoff when they hear that cutting emissions will not mean a reversal of global warming. It won’t. It just means that warming won’t be as great as if we don’t cut emissions.

        I understand the argument – that for a number of reasons we have not yet achieved equilibrium temperature for the current levels of atmospheric CO2. But don’t forget I have a very different perpective on this to yourself. Regardless of whether you think my position is irrational, try to understand it and be sensitive to it, if you want to find common ground with “deniers” like myself, common ground which could lead to real cuts in CO2 emissions.

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          You’re delusional if you think you have the power to “block measures we don’t like”. You are in an ever dwindling if what noisy minority becoming more irrelevant as the evidence for that which you deny continues to grow and your heroes like Anthony Watts and Monckton continue to become more irrational and subsequently more marginilised. Whether or not you accept that you appear batshit crazy is irrelevant because those of us who are in the rational and vast majority know you are and treat you accordingly….with pity and some bemusement.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        So when do you expect CO2 emissions to level off Uki?

        Your contempt for us hasn’t stopped us watering down the Australian carbon tax. It hasn’t stopped us pressuring the EU into not rescuing the European carbon market. It hasn’t stopped us blocking Obama’s attempts to curb CO2 emissions. And it hasn’t stopped countries like Canada, Japan and Russia from leaving the Kyoto agreement.

        And I doubt it will even stop the Keystone pipeline – though Obama may take the 11th hour decision to guarantee China a good supply of Canadian oil.

        You couldn’t even manage to cut CO2 emissions in the EU.

        So keep ignoring us – and watch your utter, abject failure continue.

      • Sou says:

        Regarding why we can’t hope to reverse warming any time soon – it’s got less to do with ‘equilibrium temperature’ and more to do with the fact that CO2 stays in the air for a very, very long time and is a greenhouse gas.

        And I have to ask, what is this “our” business, Eric. Do you belong to some elite ruling club, or better yet a denialist ‘cult’?😀 (Or is it just that you’re a paid up member of that Watts idiot and are delusional enough to think that matters to anyone at all – or that anyone outside the climate blogosphere has ever heard of him. Few if any have.)

        I don’t “have to” understand or be sensitive to your nonsense. If you want to discuss climate science the least you could do is learn something about it. I know the 8% are entrenched in denial and will never change their minds. On the other hand, helping to inform normal people is definitely worthwhile. That’s how innovation is encouraged, not by single-minded obstinacy of the Dismissives.

        I see you’re a closet socialist (wanting the government to spend taxpayers money on nuclear power at the expense of schools, hospitals and infrastructure). However politics has nothing to do with the science.

        As far as renewables go, business seems to be taking the lead. If there were stronger policy frameworks giving businesses and investors more certainty, we’d all be better off.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I don’t “have to” understand or be sensitive to your nonsense. If you want to discuss climate science the least you could do is learn something about it. I know the 8% are entrenched in denial and will never change their minds. On the other hand, helping to inform normal people is definitely worthwhile. That’s how innovation is encouraged, not by single-minded obstinacy of the Dismissives.

        Yet the carbon emissions are still rising, despite your efforts. When do you predict your efforts will yield results – will cause a drop in global emissions? What are the impediments to achieving this goal?

        I see you’re a closet socialist (wanting the government to spend taxpayers money on nuclear power at the expense of schools, hospitals and infrastructure). However politics has nothing to do with the science.

        I don’t want government to “invest” in nuclear power, I want it to get out of the way – by providing pre-approval for passive safe nuclear plant designs, by recognising that passive safe plants don’t require the massive hideously expensive safety precaution that current generation active safe plants require.

        As far as renewables go, business seems to be taking the lead. If there were stronger policy frameworks giving businesses and investors more certainty, we’d all be better off.

        Who do you think is responsible for the weakness of those frameworks? Who undermines them at every opportunity, and ensures they are ineffectual? People like me of course – right wing “deniers”.

        You can keep the current stalemate, and watch CO2 emissions continue to rise. Or you can explore ways of reducing CO2 emissions which have a chance of winning broad based support.

      • Sou says:

        Eric, I’d say you’re deluded if you think the private sector will build nuclear power stations without government finance or public subsidy.

        In the UK:
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/27/renewable-energy-cost-nuclear-reactors

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Sou, nuclear power is expensive because of the red tape and safety precautions.

        But as the story of David Hahn shows, the kid who almost ignited a nuclear chain reaction in his Mum’s garden shed, actually creating a nuclear reaction is easy.

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

        Making nuclear attractive is a matter of finding ways to reduce the red tape and safety precautions.

        And such ways exist. Current designs for nuclear reactors are based on old cold war designs, designs optimised to produce plutonium for weapons. They are dangerous and difficult to maintain – hence the hideous construction costs, approval procedure, and maintenance costs.

        But next generation designs called passive safe reactors exist. These are reactors which can’t melt down – either they can survive total coolant loss without physical damage (e.g. pebble bed designs), or they have safety systems which activate when power is lost, which don’t require active measures such as pumped water (e.g. LFTR).

        Prototype reactors based on these designs have been built and found to be workable.

        All that is required is for governments to get out of the way, and be proactive about drafting laws which recognise the inherent safety of these designs.

      • Nick says:

        It’s sad and weird. Eric is crowing about the failures that he and his fellow travellers have forced upon us.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        It’s sad and weird. Eric is crowing about the failures that he and his fellow travellers have forced upon us.

        And will continue to force on you. Until you find a way to accomodate our needs.

      • Nick says:

        You don’t actually know what you need. You need to understand the true costs of your current life.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You don’t actually know what you need. You need to understand the true costs of your current life.

        Be that as it may, is your primary goal a long term campaign to wake us up to what you see as our responsibilities, or is your primary goal a rapid reduction of CO2 emissions by any means available? Even if it means leaving the curbing of other forms of capitalist excess as a battle to fight another day?

  9. Eric Worrall says:

    American newscasters struggling to explain the late spring to an increasingly skeptical audience in terms of “global warming”.

    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/8804457-good-question-is-global-warming-the-wrong-term/

    • BBD says:

      Most (>90%) of the energy accumulating in the climate system as a result of radiative imbalance (GHG forcing) is in the oceans. See Levitus et al. (2012). Link previously provided. Focussing on short-term variability in surface air temperature is *misleading*, Eric.

      Sou provides a general link to the NODC OHC page upthread (data from Levitus 2012). Here is a specific graph, showing the *increase* in OHC below 700m.

      There is no “missing” energy, and “global warming” has not stopped. One must be wary of being tricked by liars into re-broadcasting misinformation, Eric.

      • Sou says:

        I don’t think Eric sees himself in the role of the ‘tricked’. He prides himself on being one of the ‘tricksters’. (And boasts about his cleverness in other fora, to those he regards as fellow ‘tricksters’).

      • Eric Worrall says:

        No, I genuinely believe that CO2 emissions are not causing dangerous warming. I think ocean heat measurements are trash.

        To detect hypothesised global warming being swallowed by the ocean, each buoy, which has to cover around 100,000 square kilometers of ocean, has to measure ocean temperature in its allotted region to an accuracy of around 1/100th of a degree celsius.

        The claimed level of accuracy is utterly implausible – you can’t even reliably measure the temperature of a swimming pool without 2 – 3 thermometers taking readings at different positions in the pool. Even with the most sensitive and accurate measurement sensors available, to extrapolate total ocean heat content based on measurements this sparse is futile.

      • BBD says:

        Evidence denial is worthless, Eric. It’s just another way of admitting that you have no argument at all.

      • BBD says:

        Given that the OHC data are sufficiently correct to demonstrate the accumulation of energy in the climate system in accordance with theory, it is demonstrated that “global warming” has not stopped. Only the confused, the frightened and the dishonest deny this.

        And of course, Teh Stupid.

        Where do you see yourself, Eric?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/11/is-ocean-heat-content-data-all-its-stacked-up-to-be/

        A litany of data fiddles, dubious inference and short timescales.

        Remember Argo has only been around for a few years. Raw argo data shows cooling over this period, until it is “adjusted”. Conclusions from a temperature series that short are meaningless.

      • BBD says:

        Continued indulgence in evidence denial only highlights the fact that you have no argument, Eric.

        Please do not link to lies at WUWT when discussing scientific evidence with me. The relevant reference here is Levitus et al. (2012). Read it instead of ingesting the tripe on denier blogs.

      • BBD says:

        Conclusions from a temperature series that short are meaningless.

        First, this is a strawman. Second, it is wrong. See Lyman et al. (2010), Robust warming of the global upper ocean.

        Not WTFUWT.

      • BBD says:

        Eric Worrall

        Re Bob Tisdale’s post, here’s an alternative take on OHC data.

        The early part of the record is less robust because of low sampling density and instrumental bias, agreed.

        Data from ~1980 onwards are the product of rapidly increasing sampling density and better-constrained understanding of instrument bias.

        The data post ~1980 show a strong upward decadal trend in OHC substantially greater than the CI.

        Contrarians argue that ARGO is flawed, and why not?

        It is hugely ambitious and the first attempt of its kind. There have been problems, as we all know. Notably a cool bias.

        Since contrarians feel free to speculate, I suggest that ARGO may be systemically flawed and still underestimating OHC…

        Anyway, when the waving stops😉 the data show a strong upward decadal trend since at least 1980 and probably earlier. This is undeniable, so it stays on the table.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Anyway, when the waving stops the data show a strong upward decadal trend since at least 1980 and probably earlier. This is undeniable, so it stays on the table.

        After adjustments which assume warming are applied. Its a complete GIGO exercise.

      • Nick says:

        Eric,SLR….how does sea level rise without thermic expansion? Tisdale fails physical reality. So do you.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Eric,SLR….how does sea level rise without thermic expansion? Tisdale fails physical reality. So do you.

        Before or after adjustments? Or are you still using dodgy GRACE measurements of SLR?

        http://www.gps.gov/governance/advisory/meetings/2011-06/bar-sever.pdf

      • Nick says:

        Not using GRACE at all,Eric.

      • Nick says:

        So SLR measurements are manipulated and ARGO is fiddled with [always in a way that increases],global temperature data sets are fudged, models are preset to deliver result wanted and paleo evidence is given naughty statistical workovers…. paranoid ideation is always available to carry Eric’s ‘argument’ when the evidence is against him!

        {However,radiosonde measurements are always accurate!}

        In the energy field,nuclear is discriminated against by bureaucrats,coal is never , ever advantaged by decades of lobbying,sweetheart privatisation guarantees and industry incumbency and renewables are the only sector to enjoy subsidy… and AlGore!

      • BBD says:

        Nick

        You said it for me. Eric is a conspiracy theorist. His is the language of conspiracist ideation:

        A litany of data fiddles, dubious inference […]

        Those who engage in paranoid fantasies of data manipulation place themselves outside the bounds of rational discourse. Colloquially: “nutters”.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Perhaps we are conspiracy nuts.

        But there are an awful lot of us, and our vote is as good as yours.

        So far we’ve managed to dilute and water down every attempt made to date to reduce CO2 emissions. Kyoto etc has been an utter failure, thanks to the efforts of ourselves and our fellow travellers. There is no reason to think we won’t be able to continue this campaign indefinitely.

        So make a decision – work with us, to find a solution we can all live with, or continue to wallow in failure.

      • Nick says:

        Eric: “There is no reason to think that we cannot continue this campaign indefinitely”

        Indeed, nearly every post by shows your willingness to campaign in the face of evidence…so that bit of self-assessment is valid.

        Then you make an appeal to “work with us” !….!!…!!!!

      • zoot says:

        We can and will frustrate your efforts to reduce future CO2 emissions, unless you find a way to work with us, to make it attractive to us.

        Tomorrow, the world!!!

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “Conclusions from a temperature series that short are meaningless.”

        Unless of course, you’re talking about 16 years of global surface temperature.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        “Conclusions from a temperature series that short are meaningless.”
        Unless of course, you’re talking about 16 years of global surface temperature.

        Hey, its only one year short of climate hero Ben Santer’s minimum period of significance for a climate trend.

        https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2011/Nov/NR-11-11-03.html

        Tomorrow, the world!!!

        Given that CO2 emissions are still rising, in spite of what, 20 years of efforts from alarmists, I’d say we’ve already reached that milestone.

      • Nick says:

        Santer’s minimum period…thanks for noting that,Eric. But you’ve already been advised that slowed GAT rise isn’t a pause in system energy gain. Do want me to explain it again?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        But you’ve already been advised that slowed GAT rise isn’t a pause in system energy gain. Do want me to explain it again?

        We don’t trust the calculations which show energy is still accumulating, for a number of reasons.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/11/is-ocean-heat-content-data-all-its-stacked-up-to-be/

        It doesn’t matter whether you think our position is irrational – we can and will continue to act on our belief, and will continue to block or dilute measures to reduce CO2 emissions.

      • Nick says:

        It’s not that I think your position on global warming is irrational, it’s just that it’s demonstrably wrong. You can argue as you do only by harboring an utter distrust of a curiously coincidental and embracing suite of observations.

        Thus your position is not ‘irrational’,it demands a calculatedly rejectionist rationale!

      • BBD says:

        Eric Worrall

        Actually 1.6c is within the 90% confidence range of sensitivities supported by the IPCC, so 1.6c / doubling is in no way “denier” territory.

        I didn’t say that it was. Don’t misrepresent me like this. I said that the value is an outlier and incompatible with known paleoclimate behaviour. That’s how we know that Spencer and Lindzen (who both argue for an even lower ECS) and Lewis are wrong. Interestingly, all three are contrarians, something which seems to blind them to the core problem with their results.

        If the IPCC is willing to consider 1.6c / doubling as plausible, even though it is a long way from their median estimate of 3c / doubling, then it is not reasonable to diss studies out of hand which support an estimate of 1.6c / doubling.

        I did not “diss out of hand”. This is the second misrepresentation of what I said in a single comment. This is what I actually wrote:

        We cannot account for the general cooling over the past ~50Ma or orbitally-paced deglaciations if ECS to 2xCO2 ≤ 1.6C.

        The IPCC considers a value of ~1.6C for ECS/2xCO2 to be extremely unlikely, while a value of around 3C to be “most likely”.

        When the contrarians stop their incessant misrepresentation and mendacity and demonstrate some intellectual integrity, it might be possible to work with them. At present, the untrustworthiness of contrarian demagogues makes it impossible to deal with them.

        You would do well to contemplate on this.

      • BBD says:

        The above was actually in response to Eric Worrall here. Apologies.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        It’s not that I think your position on global warming is irrational, it’s just that it’s demonstrably wrong. You can argue as you do only by harboring an utter distrust of a curiously coincidental and embracing suite of observations.

        Thus your position is not ‘irrational’,it demands a calculatedly rejectionist rationale!

        I see – so in your opinion the evidence for dangerous warming is so overwhelming, that I must be lying about my beliefs.

        I guess thats a compliment in a way – a progress from fool to rogue. But it is also incorrect – I genuinely believe there is no evidence that CO2 is causing dangerous warming.

      • BBD says:

        I genuinely believe there is no evidence that CO2 is causing dangerous warming.

        Thus demonstrating that:

        – you don’t understand the difference between the present and the future

        – you are scientifically illiterate

        – you are in denial

        – you are buttock-stupid

    • BBD says:

      Eric

      After adjustments which assume warming are applied. Its a complete GIGO exercise.

      This is utter rubbish.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Its what I believe. And what many of my fellow travellers believe – so much so, that entire regions are voting to reject model based assessments of future SLR.

        Our vote is as good as yours. We can and will frustrate your efforts to reduce future CO2 emissions, unless you find a way to work with us, to make it attractive to us.

      • BBD says:

        Work with you how, Eric?

      • BBD says:

        We are stuck with the laws of physics. Paleoclimate behaviour only makes sense in the light of the laws of physics.

        This is where Lindzen and Spencer and latterly Lewis come unstuck. We cannot account for the general cooling over the past ~50Ma or orbitally-paced deglaciations if ECS to 2xCO2 ≤ 1.6C.

        “Believing” stuff doesn’t change the laws of physics. If it did, then magic would work.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Work with you how, Eric?

        Watts etc. have indicated strong support for replacement of fossil fuels with cheap nuclear power.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/12/im-on-al-gores-radar-for-showing-a-path-forward/

        If you guys were to join forces with us to promote nuclear decarbonisation of the economy, and ditched measures which antagonise us, such as carbon pricing, you would find a lot fo deniers would support you. We don’t care about CO2, but as most of us are techno-optimists, we’re enthusiastic about nuclear power.

        You would get your CO2 reductions – and thats what counts, right?

        This is where Lindzen and Spencer and latterly Lewis come unstuck. We cannot account for the general cooling over the past ~50Ma or orbitally-paced deglaciations if ECS to 2xCO2 ≤ 1.6C.

        “Believing” stuff doesn’t change the laws of physics. If it did, then magic would work.

        Actually 1.6c is within the 90% confidence range of sensitivities supported by the IPCC, so 1.6c / doubling is in no way “denier” territory.

        If the IPCC is willing to consider 1.6c / doubling as plausible, even though it is a long way from their median estimate of 3c / doubling, then it is not reasonable to diss studies out of hand which support an estimate of 1.6c / doubling.

      • Nick says:

        It would be lovely to join forces on post-carbon energy suites with Watts,Eric. Just as soon as he joins forces with reality, apologises for smearing researchers, and stops promoting discredited ideas about just about everything else. Can’t wait!

      • Eric Worrall says:

        It would be lovely to join forces on post-carbon energy suites with Watts,Eric. Just as soon as he joins forces with reality, apologises for smearing researchers, and stops promoting discredited ideas about just about everything else. Can’t wait!

        Why? Isn’t reducing CO2 more important than whether Watts apologises? Do you really plan to put the future of the world in jeopardy (from your perspective) based on what someone says?

      • Nick says:

        Watts has had his opportunities to play in the real sand-pit…his involvement in genuine temperature observation papers…but it has ended in tears for him.

        So those force-joining exercises have been futile.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Watts has had his opportunities to play in the real sand-pit…his involvement in genuine temperature observation papers…but it has ended in tears for him.
        So those force-joining exercises have been futile.

        Are you really going to demand “deniers” like Watts agree you are right, before you focus on a way to reduce CO2 which he and his fellow travellers will support?

        Is vindication more important to you than reducing CO2 emissions?

      • Nick says:

        It’s not personal or a question of vindication,Eric. Nothing to do with me.

        Watts has no credibility, and has conspicuously blown his chances to act co-operatively, so he has nothing useful to bring to any alliance. Where are qualified climate or meteorology researchers wanting to work with him?

        I think you can look at his association with Roger Pielke Sr as significant. Pielke has stopped blogging as of late last year,retreating from interaction with Watts as it has become obvious any potential that Watts profile offered P was fatally contaminated by W’s tantrums, and lack of editorial judgement,quality and credibility.

    • Your brand of false scepticism is melting away as rapidly as the Arctic.

    • Chris O'Neill says:

      Not the first time acceptance of global warming depends on the weather.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Certainly an element of that – the American presidential election might have been a lot closer without Sandy. Though Romney was hardly the best candidate they could have fielded – the Bible Belt was lukewarm about him, because he was a Mormon, the Tea Party didn’t like him because he was a centrist, its a wonder he got any votes at all.

      • Nick says:

        It’s impossible for the Reps to field a ‘best’ candidate because of their utterly bonkers voting base. It’s impossible for anyone sane to hold numerous mutually contradictory positions,unite the party and appeal to those outside. The only commonality in the Reps camp is a loathing of reality.

    • Chris O'Neill says:

      “its only one year short of climate hero Ben Santer’s minimum period of significance”

      Of course, this confuses Ben Santer’s criterion, which was zero trend, with the bottom edge of the confidence interval of the trend being zero.

      But in denial world, confusion reigns supreme.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        What a bizarre statement – we have a climate trend which is statistically indistinguishable from zero. The observed “trend” could be observation error. That is in any reasonable terms a zero trend.

      • Nick says:

        And in any reasonable terms the trend could be more than is indicated.

      • zoot says:

        … we have a climate trend which is statistically indistinguishable from zero.

        By your own admission, we don’t yet. You’re a year too early to the party. Whilst I realise the Church of Watts believes otherwise, statisticians know 16 and 17 are different numbers.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “What a bizarre statement”

        You only think it’s bizarre because you have no idea what you’re talking about. If you want to argue with Ben Santer about his mathematical definition then go and argue with him. Don’t shoot the messenger.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “The observed “trend” could be observation error.”

        By the way, the wide confidence interval of global surface temperature has only a little to do with observation error. It’s almost entirely due to the large amount of autocorrelated noise in the natural system. That autocorrelated noise makes it difficult to pin down the trend over a relatively short period. Confidence intervals for this are calculated at http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

    • BBD says:

      Eric Worrall

      I see – so in your opinion the evidence for dangerous warming is so overwhelming, that I must be lying about my beliefs.

      And:

      I genuinely believe there is no evidence that CO2 is causing dangerous warming.

      What we believe doesn’t change the laws of physics, or magic would work.

      Are you a magician?

  10. The Australian Liberal Party isn’t the only conservative organisation accepting climate science another is the World Bank.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      The world bank is a “conservative” organisation? Are you guys for real? The world bank is essentially a government agency.

      • Government agencies are the most conservative bodies of all. Nothing radical comes out of an international organisation. They have to keep their nervous stakeholders on-board. It’s hilarious to hear the right complaining of radical international organisations – there is no such thing.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        The UN is a significant part of the push for renewables and global emissions trading – to suggest they are somehow “conservative”, as in right wingers, is completely bizarre.

      • To pretend the UN is progressive is to expose your divorce from reality.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Oh? Where can I buy shares in the World Bank? What are my voting rights?

      • You vote through your representative. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Bank#Voting_power

        You think investing on stock exchanges gives you power? W00t!

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Like I said, a bunch of public servants.

      • How do I vote against coal?

        Like I said, you’re a lemon socialist.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        How do I vote against coal?
        Like I said, you’re a lemon socialist.

        Haven’t you been doing that? The Greens got 20% of the vote in the last Federal Election. A green majority is not totally out of the question.

        My suggestion though is a more certain way of killing coal is to make it economically unviable – not through carbon pricing, which we’ll always find a way to undermine, but through simple technical innovation.

        In America the Shale Gas revolution killed a lot of coal use, and has created the first drop in US CO2 emissions in a generation (burning gas produces a lot less CO2 for a given amount of energy than burning coal). Shale Gas is so cheap, people can’t be stuffed to burn coal anymore.

        So it can be done.

        My suggestion is you find ways to remove the obstacles which make nuclear so expensive. Then you could complete the anti-coal revolution which shale gas started.

      • Nick says:

        We’ve already strenuously advocated removing subsidies from coal extraction and use,and regularising access to financial mechanisms.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        We’ve already strenuously advocated removing subsidies from coal extraction and use,and regularising access to financial mechanisms.

        Its a start – unconventional nuclear, such as LFTR, may also benefit from the regularising of access to financial mechanisms.

        But IMO more is needed. Legislative recognition of the inherent safety of passive safe nuclear systems, with streamlined approval, and far less expensive safety measures, would go a long way towards creating a low carbon, nuclear powered future.

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

      • BBD says:

        Eric Worrall

        The credible projections show ~30% nuclear and ~30% renewables in the energy mix by 2050 assuming strenuous efforts are made to expand both sectors, starting now. We are no more able to do without renewables than we are able to do without nuclear.

        Your grasp of the energy debate seems to be on a par with your grasp of radiative physics.

      • So Eric believes the victim should pay the price of pollution, not the polluter. Oil and coal not paying for their pollution is both a massive subsidy and injust.

        As for nuclear, it’s hard to think of an industry more state-supported. And its answers to waste disposal and decommissioning are unconvincing, at best.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        So Eric believes the victim should pay the price of pollution, not the polluter. Oil and coal not paying for their pollution is both a massive subsidy and injust.

        As for nuclear, it’s hard to think of an industry more state-supported. And its answers to waste disposal and decommissioning are unconvincing, at best.

        Pricing carbon is politically unacceptable to us, because we don’t think CO2 is pollution. Right or wrong, that is what we believe.

        As for the waste issue, one of the advantages of LFTR passive safe reactors is they can burn waste. Unlike current generation pressurised water reactors, which only extract power from the first step in the nuclear burn, leaving loads of hideously radioactive waste, LFTR not only burns Thorium, it burns the waste products of thorium, then their waste products, and so on down the chain of reactions, until what is left is only marginally radioactive.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor
        (look for “Removal of Fission Products”)

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          “…we don’t think CO2 is pollution. Right or wrong, that is what we believe.”

          Well, there it is folks. Regardless of facts, Eric is going to believe what he believes. Again I am reminded of idiotic creationists and conspiracy nuts who despite all the evidence to the contrary, continue to think the Earth is 6000 years old, man didn’t land on the moon, planes are spraying mind-control chemicals, Jewish bankers are trying to run the world, HAARP technology creates weather…no earthquakes…no weather and earthquakes, Elvis is alive and flipping burgers and shape-shifting lizard people parade as politicians.

          Thankyou Eric for finally admitting you are as stupid and wilfully ignorant as those who believe all the things I just listed.

      • BBD says:

        Right or wrong, that is what we believe.

        And sod the physics!

      • Nick says:

        Even without considering CO2,Eric, FF-burning waste is costed low. Extraction activity waste is undercosted as well. Just have a look at mountain top mining in the US…or the Chinese coal industry. Mine subsidence has compromised the effectiveness of dam catchments. Groundwater acidity issues are very long-term. Rehabilitation of open cut sites is cosmetic,etc.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Thankyou Eric for finally admitting you are as stupid and wilfully ignorant as those who believe all the things I just listed.

        My point (again) is that it shouldn’t matter whether we are irrational, from the perspective of the need in your view to reduce CO2 emissions. What should be important to you is reducing CO2 emissions, as soon and as rapidly as possible. Focussing on reducing CO2 emissions using technology which “deniers” actually support should be a no brainer.

        Right or wrong, that is what we believe.
        And sod the physics!

        I think your interpretation of the physics is bonkers. But my opinion of your view of the physics is not relevant to the issue of whether we can find a way to work together.

        Even without considering CO2,Eric, FF-burning waste is costed low. Extraction activity waste is undercosted as well. Just have a look at mountain top mining in the US…or the Chinese coal industry. Mine subsidence has compromised the effectiveness of dam catchments. Groundwater acidity issues are very long-term. Rehabilitation of open cut sites is cosmetic,etc.

        Agreed – which is a good part of the reason why cheap nuclear would displace FF so quickly this discussion would quickly become an academic spat about what might have happened.

        Nuclear reactions are easy to initiate – if a 17 yr old kid can create an almost operational nuclear reactor using duct tape, aluminium foil, and a host of other cheap and nasty components, then the core cost – the cost of creating an energetic nuclear reaction – cannot possibly be the expensive part of building a reactor.

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

        The expensive part of building a reactor must be the red tape and the multiple redundant safety systems. If a way can be found to reduce the cost of the safety systems, and if the red tape can be pruned, there is no reason in principle why nuclear power couldn’t completely displace fossil fuels by being the cheaper option.

        History shows that when new technology is cheaper and yields better results than the old approach, the revolution is swift and total. Simple economics forces businesses to adapt or perish.

      • I think your interpretation of the physics is bonkers. But my opinion of your view of the physics is not relevant to the issue of whether we can find a way to work together.

        Eric’s opinion of the overwhelming majority of scientists is exactly the reason we can’t work together.

        Are you really going to demand “deniers” like Watts agree you are right, before you focus on a way to reduce CO2 which he and his fellow travellers will support? Is vindication more important to you than reducing CO2 emissions?

        Vindication is irrelevant. What’s important is stopping this flood of civilization-paralyzing misinformation. Note that Watts and Worrall don’t have to agree that scientists are right about the science, they just have to stop baselessly accusing scientists of fraud and incompetence.

      • BBD says:

        I think your interpretation of the physics is bonkers. But my opinion of your view of the physics is not relevant to the issue of whether we can find a way to work together.

        Some points:

        – You *evidently* haven’t got the faintest idea about the physics Eric, so you are definitionally incapable of assessing my level of understanding.

        – It’s not “my” interpretation. It is the standard scientific position. My *opinion* is of as little relevance as your (incompetent) opinion of my understanding.

        – I find the confusion about the value of (their own) unsupported *opinion* vs the standard scientific position near-universal among deniers. It is a rather extreme and risible form of intellectual arrogance that deserves to be vigorously mocked.

        – Lies and confusion and delusions of competence of this type are why climate change deniers are a laughing-stock the world over and nobody wants to “work” with them.

        My goodness but you are an idiot, Eric.

  11. Sou says:

    Judith Curry is still touting her “uncertainty monster” to all and sundry. This time a US House of Reps subcommittee. She’d do well to learn some decision theory. Uncertainty isn’t a monster.

    And it’s time she stopped pointing the finger at science and pretending not enough is known yet (it is) and start to point it at political (and business) leaders to get them to do their jobs.

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/04/unreasonably-reasonable-confusing.html

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Every wind turbine or solar installation your political friends subsidise is a library of books you can’t buy for a school, or a few wards of a hospital you can’t afford to keep open.

      Wasting money has consequences.

      • Nick says:

        Your naivety is noted. Learn something about the privatisation of power generation in Australia,the costs to consumers and the loss to the community of control over emissions and efficiency.

      • Sou says:

        You are such a hypocrite, Eric. Based on your posts so far you couldn’t give a damn about children’s education or anyone’s health.

        Every coal-fired power station gets tax breaks and subsidies – the difference is that they add to the pressure on hospitals. Double whammy.

        I don’t care about political parties – you might. I care about making sure there is a sensible policy framework that leads to a clean energy future.

        Let the polluters pay, not the taxpayers.

        From everything you’ve written, the deliberate lies you spread, the contempt you have for society, you would rather no future at all if it meant having a sound economic basis, a flourishing society and a healthy environment.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        From everything you’ve written, the deliberate lies you spread, the contempt you have for society, you would rather no future at all if it meant having a sound economic basis, a flourishing society and a healthy environment.

        Not at all – I’m deeply concerned about the future. I’ve already indicated I’m keen for fossil fuels to be replaced by nuclear power, which should also interest you guys, because you can’t replace fossil fuels with nuclear power without substantial reductions in anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

        Our disagreements don’t arise because I don’t care about the future and society, they arise because we have very different ideas of how the world works, both climatically and socially.

      • zoot says:

        And we’d better do things Erric’s way:

        You can’t ignore us – because we can and will stop you from implementing solutions you favour, unless our conditions are satisfied.

        We don’t believe there is a problem – so it is you who has to come to us. I don’t like coal, but I don’t fear it the way you do.

        See it as blackmail, with the future viability of the ecosystem at stake, if you will – but work with us, or watch our deadlock destroy your world.

        Your choice.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Correct. Now get on with it.

      • zoot says:

        Talk about delusions of grandeur.

      • Nick says:

        Leading from behind.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I’m a flyspeck on public life – I’m not claiming any great personal influence.

        But I understand how many of my fellow travellers think, just as you guys have a shared understanding with each other.

        You should be thanking me for helping you to understand the problem.

      • zoot says:

        More delusions of grandeur. You’re really over reaching calling yourself a flyspeck.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Very constructive contribution zoot.

  12. Gregory T says:

    Perhaps you should have this posted every time you post, so everyone won’t misinterpret your posting as something official .

    “Referencing this site
    I am not an academic researcher and hence have no need for formal references. However, if you’ve found this site useful, an informal ‘mention in dispatches’ and a Web link wouldn’t go amiss.
    This cuts both ways, however: The algorithms used on this site have not been formally peer reviewed and hence should not be used unverified for academic publication (and certainly not for policy- making!). This site is only intended to help find interesting directions for further research to be carried out more formally.”
    I would also suggest that a distinction between what are your own words and who you are quoting be done. Since you appear to have no formal qualifications and you seem to be shlepping for notoriety for the web site and any information obtained from the site is not intended for any accredited use, I wonder what your purpose is. The first thing that pops into my mind is, why is someone trying to direct me to a web site that has no scientifically quotable purpose, asking me to reference the site in dispatches. Perhaps if you could provide yourPerhaps you should have this posted every time you post, so everyone won’t misinterpret your posting as something official .
    “Referencing this site
    I am not an academic researcher and hence have no need for formal references. However, if you’ve found this site useful, an informal ‘mention in dispatches’ and a Web link wouldn’t go amiss.
    This cuts both ways, however: The algorithms used on this site have not been formally peer reviewed and hence should not be used unverified for academic publication (and certainly not for policy- making!). This site is only intended to help find interesting directions for further research to be carried out more formally.”

    I would also suggest that a distinction between what are your own words and/or who you are quoting be done. Since you appear to have no formal qualifications and you seem to be shlepping for notoriety for the web site and any information obtained from the site is not intended for any accredited use, I wonder what your purpose is. The first thing that pops into my mind is, why is someone trying to direct me to a web site that has no scientifically quotable purpose, asking me to reference the site in dispatches. Perhaps if you could provide your bona fides, we could be assured that your statements are based upon solid, creditable and unimpeachable sources and not just party propaganda.

    It’s just a suggestion.

  13. Eric Worrall says:

    Japan streamlines approvals for coal power.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/japan-turns-back-to-coalfired-power-plants-20130425-2ihb0.html

    They’re in good company – über green Germany is building new coal generators for much the same reason – to replace decommissioned nuclear capacity.

    I wonder why they’re going for coal, when they have all that renewable capacity?

    In any case, so much for the “global consensus” on reducing CO2 emissions. Once again Australia is coming to the party late, after the pretty girls have left, with the beer running dry.

    • Nick says:

      The decision to idle the nuclear sector is a political one,perhaps understandable given Fukushima. The collateral damage of increasing CO2 is understood but marginalised by these circumstances. Unfortunate all round…but you see something perversely encouraging ?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Yes – I see another small triumph of economic rationality over eco-lunacy.

        I’d like to see more nuclear power, but I’ll settle for cheap power.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        No, I was thinking of passive safe fission systems, such as LFTR and Pebble Bed.

        I don’t expect ITER to produce anything useful – it has government white elephant written all over it. I’d love to see practical nuclear fusion – who wouldn’t – but I suspect someone will make a key breakthrough before ITER finish building the roof.

        If the government wanted to stimulate fusion research, they should do what works. Some of the most impressive innovations to date have arisen from private companies competing for prizes.

        Take the DARPA Grand Challenge.

        Many casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan occur when truck convoys are attacked with roadside bombs. No matter how much armour you weld to a truck, someone can always build a bigger bomb.

        So DARPA was tasked with designing a truck which could be driven by a robot. The thinking was, it wouldn’t matter if a few robot trucks were destroyed by roadside bombs, because there wouldn’t be any people onboard, so no casualties.

        They went to the usual suspects, Northrop etc. – their best effort was a robot car which moved at 12 miles per hour – well short of the 40MPH DARPA wanted.

        So they created a competition – $1,000,000 to whoever could win a 120 mile robot car race, maintaining an average speed of at least 40MPH.

        The first year was an utter disaster – the best robot travelled 11 miles before crashing into a fence.

        But the second year was particularly fascinating – it produce a winner.

        The car which came second was a conventional expert system / rules based AI – a large team sat down and tried to dream up every rule, every metric which a driving robot would need – they spent thousands of hours refining their expert system, creating a vastly complex piece of software, full of driving scenarios and expert responses. A clever, sophisticated solution, using well known techniques to produce a predictable outcome.

        But the car which came first was truly remarkable. The winner was a Neural Net – an unstructured network of artificial nodes, linked by random connections. But the creator of the network had a solution. He simply drove the car around the desert for a few weeks, with the network shadowing his every move. Using a system of rewards and punishments, he forced the network to converge on his driving responses – to become better and better at predicting the exact move he would make in any given situation.

        When the neural network because good enough that it was almost indistinguishable from his driving technique, he took his hands off the wheel.

        http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.111.1920

        To go back to my original point, sometimes thinking outside the box produces the best results. And one way to encourage such innovation is to be hands off – to set a goal, create motivation to reach the goal, but to let people reach it how they will.

      • zoot says:

        And one way to encourage such innovation is to be hands off – to set a goal, create motivation to reach the goal, but to let people reach it how they will.

        If, and only if, they use your chosen technology. And if they don’t you will block them, even if it means destroying the planet (including your daughter).

        You Erric, are full of shit.

      • Ah, yes, government failures. What ever happened to ARPANET? Your ideology falls short of reality.

      • Nick says:

        “…sometimes thinking outside the box produces the best results..”

        ..as long as it does not involve thinking about renewables! It’s simply amazing how Eric’s sincere techno-optimism fails to extend to renewable energy solutions.

        In the same spirit,I guess,as his indiscriminate embrace of inept blog ‘analysis’ and selective rejection of mainstream science. Maybe outside the box is another box,and another…

        I see in the US there are moves to allow renewables the same commercial license allowed the Fossil Fools: surely levelling the playing field a little more falls under the ‘create motivation to reach a goal’ category?

      • zoot says:

        It’s boxes all the way down …

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I see in the US there are moves to allow renewables the same commercial license allowed the Fossil Fools: surely levelling the playing field a little more falls under the ‘create motivation to reach a goal’ category?

        I’m amazed they didn’t already have access to this legal framework before. I like limited partnerships, they’re more flexible than corporations, yet at the same time they limit liability, in a similar way to a company structure.

        Ah, yes, government failures. What ever happened to ARPANET? Your ideology falls short of reality.

        ARPANET was a project run by the US military, by the same people who later became DARPA – and as you can see from my example of the DARPA robotic car project, for a government department, they’re surprisingly good at encouraging innovation.

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

        ITER is an international shambles managed by the French. Wonderful people, but I’ll never do business with them again. Ego isn’t the word for it.

      • Nick says:

        Let’s keep an eye on that limited partnership legislative move,Eric. We’ll see whether your Republican mates in the senate act for their constituents,or on behalf of their donors….

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Let’s keep an eye on that limited partnership legislative move,Eric. We’ll see whether your Republican mates in the senate act for their constituents,or on behalf of their donors….

        Indeed – it will be rather disappointing if a motion to extend limited partnerships to alternative energy is rejected.

      • ARPANET was only funded by the military – still government all the way down. As for the www, funded by CERN. Hilarious right wing backtracking. Government is bad unless it’s in uniform.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        ARPANET was only funded by the military – still government all the way down. As for the www, funded by CERN. Hilarious right wing backtracking. Government is bad unless it’s in uniform.

        They are interesting, because they appear to be a government department which understands its own limitations. Rather than attempt to innovate themselves, they reach out to innovators. Rather than crush innovators by forcing them into the straight jacket of a public sector contract, they offer simple prizes, with clear rules, and let people find their own way to claiming the prize.

        Most of the government departments I have subcontracted for have been downright paranoid about control – they want to micromanage everything, while at the same time doing everything they can to avoid any possibility of responsibility for failure being pinned on their micromanagement. Their behaviour is based on the assumption that their project will fail. So its refreshing to see the occasional exception to this norm which seems to get some things right.

      • zoot says:

        Most of the government departments I have subcontracted for have been downright paranoid about control – they want to micromanage everything …

        The ramifications of unclean toilets could be disastrous.

  14. BBD says:

    Unforgettably, Eric Worrall said:

    You can’t ignore us – because we can and will stop you from implementing solutions you favour, unless our conditions are satisfied.

    We don’t believe there is a problem – so it is you who has to come to us. I don’t like coal, but I don’t fear it the way you do.

    See it as blackmail, with the future viability of the ecosystem at stake, if you will – but work with us, or watch our deadlock destroy your world.

    Your choice.

    I’ve been giving Worrall’s take on Götterdämmerung politics some thought over the last few days.

    He seems blissfully unaware that this same pugnacious imbecility recently consigned the
    US Republican party as presently constituted to the landfill of history.

    First it marginalises those who employ it, then it condemns them to irrelevance as the rest of the world engages with reality rather than denying it.

    EW thinks he’s playing hardball realpolitik, but really he’s mindlessly following the other buffoons off a cliff.

    When the climate impacts start to be felt more fully in the coming decades, the public will remember that the Right was the party of denial. They will be frightened and angry and in a scapegoating mood. Today’s science-rejecting conservative demagogues are digging the grave in which their political descendants will be buried, forever, by a vengeful electorate.

    • The shrieks of the deniers will only intensify as physics makes fools of them. Expect even sillier in the months and years to come. And, you are correct, BBD, they will bury themselves.

      • BBD says:

        It’s funny how context-sensitive physics denial is. You don’t find it front of the muzzle of a gun or when you are hanging from a cliff by your fingertips. But ’tis all one.
        😉

    • Eric Worrall says:

      When the climate impacts start to be felt more fully in the coming decades, the public will remember that the Right was the party of denial. They will be frightened and angry and in a scapegoating mood. Today’s science-rejecting conservative demagogues are digging the grave in which their political descendants will be buried, forever, by a vengeful electorate.

      Perhaps – but if you are right, waiting until this point before the world sees sense will be something of a Pyrrhic victory. Because even if you convinced the world, in the face of global environmental disasters to immediately cease all CO2 emissions, things would be a lot worse due to feedbacks, before they finally started to improve, meaning it could be far to late to save civilisation or even the biosphere.

      If you are true to your beliefs you should be taking every opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions now, when it matters – even if it means compromising with people you despise.

      • Nick says:

        You’ve invented the begging letter of demand…nice!

      • BBD says:

        Read the words, Eric:

        Today’s science-rejecting conservative demagogues are digging the grave in which their political descendants will be buried, forever, by a vengeful electorate.

  15. Sou says:

    Anthony Watts reveals his nuttery. He’s outed himself as just another run-of-the-mill whacky conspiracy theorist.

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/04/anthony-watts-has-gone-lysenko.html

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I agree that Lysenkoism isn’t the right model of what has gone wrong with Climate Science.

      That is why I usually cite the example of the Eugenics craze – a self sustaining pseudoscience hysteria which ensnared premier scientific institutions and thousands of trained scientists across the world.

      Does the history of Eugenics prove that Climate Science is a similar craze? Of course not. What the history of Eugenics proves is that such mass hysterias are possible, and that even trained scientists are susceptible to them en-masse.

      • Sou says:

        Oh Eric – we already know you’re just another nutter! As if two centuries of science involving hundreds of thousands of scientists from all around the world is a “craze”.

        Whacky doesn’t describe it!

  16. Snafu says:

    Speaking of Realpolitik [sic]:

    Loss blows $12b hole in budget

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/loss-blows-12b-hole-in-budget-20130428-2imsv.html

    Economists have warned of a horror deficit next month with some suggesting it could be $19 billion

  17. Snafu says:

    Here’s an experiment you can all try. Go to the following page:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/government-budget

    …now enter the following dates (including months) into the drop-down boxes

    Keating (Lib); March 1983 – June 1991
    Dawkins (ALP); June 1991 – March 1993
    Willis (ALP); March 1993 – March 1996
    Costello (Lib) – (longest serving Aust treasurer….wonder why?); March 1996 – Dec 2007
    Swan; Dec 2007 (ALP) – ???? (Sept – 2013)

    …I hope you are all sitting down….LOL

  18. Mark says:

    So after we’ve had one leader lie to the public about her CO2 intentions, you’re hoping against hope that another will do likewise? Not a chance.

    The penalty that JG and the ALP have/will pay for treating the Australian public with contempt will remain a salutary lesson for decades to come and won’t be quickly repeated.

    Abbott will do all possible to get rid of the CO2 tax. Now he may not succeed but he will ensure that he is seen as having done all possible, up to and including a double dissolution.

    It may be that he and Hunt are going quiet on CAGW recently but that is just a by-product of the overall strategy of calming things down. They Libs don’t want to spook the herd, so to speak, and there’s no benefit in picking a fight over AGW. The majority of Australians no longer buy the theory and will vote Lib. Those who remain devoted to their belief systems will remain so and wouldn’t vote Lib in a pink fit.

    As with all these things, I’ll look forward to reading your rationalisations as to why you were wrong in a year or so.

    You also assert “Only 6% of the Australian public identify themselves as climate sceptics”. There are two types of statistics…the ones you look up and the ones you make up. This falls into the later category.

    • uknowispeaksense says:

      “The majority of Australians no longer buy the theory”

      “There are two types of statistics…the ones you look up and the ones you make up. This falls into the later category”

      Ummmmm care to offer a reference for “the ones you look up” that suggest the “majority of Australians no longer buy the (AGW) theory” or did you make that up?

      • Mark says:

        Well there’s lots of places you could look if so inclined. But this one from the CSIRO is as good as any.

        It shows that, in 2011, 44.6% of Australians thought that climate change was “Human induced”.

      • zoot says:

        We demonstrate that opinions about climate change are subject to strong false consensus effects, that people grossly overestimate the numbers of people who reject the existence of climate change in the broader community, and that people with high false consensus bias are less likely to change their opinions.

        From your link Mark, my emphasis.
        The topic of the paper isn’t what you think it is.

      • Mark says:

        Yep, the authors used the data for other purposes. But it is still possible to think for yourself and look at the data without the need for it to be filtered.

        They asked 5000+ people what they thought and less than 50% said they thought climate change was caused by humans. That’s all I’m interested in in regards to the paper.

        That lots of people failed to accurately predict what the community as a whole thought is neither here nor there.

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          Suffering from abstractitis? Like me, you should consider purchasing a subscription to the journal so that you can access the paper and supplementary material. That way you can read a) the caveats and b) the actual questions asked including the prefacing for each question. When you have done that, feel free to report back…. or remain wilfully ignorant.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “less than 50% said they thought climate change was caused by humans”

        Still not as many as those who thought it was caused by something else.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “less than 50% said they thought climate change was caused by humans”

        “Still not as many as those who thought it was caused by something else.”

        Or rather, still more than those who thought it was caused by something else.

      • zoot says:

        According to the Lowy Institute’s 2012 poll, 81% of Australians agree that action should be taken on climate change.

        Only a third (36%) of Australians now support the most aggressive form of action, down from two-thirds (68%) back in 2006 who said ‘global warming is a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs.’

        The largest proportion (45%) of Australians now support the intermediate proposition that ‘the problem of global warming should be addressed, but its effects will be gradual, so we can deal with the problem gradually by taking steps that are low in cost’. Support for this option is up five points since last year. Interestingly, it is 18 to 29 year olds who are most likely to favour this option (56% compared with 42% of those 30 years and older).

        Support for the most sceptical position that ‘until we are sure that global warming is really a problem, we should not take any steps that would have economic costs’ is steady compared with last year, with 18% of Australians saying this, but still up from 7% in 2006.

      • Mark says:

        Oh please, please Mr know-it-all (aka uknowispeaksense) please tell us what caveats they spin on the data and how they asked the questions in ways to deform the fairly plan results!

        By the way, I noticed no one bothered to try to defend the 6% figure. I guess in some circles, numbers which suit are accepted without the need for thought.

      • Mark says:

        Yes zoot, its very easy to tell a surveyor that you’re in favour of spending money on this or that problem. But when it comes to actually ponying up…

        Sure, 81% of us think we need to address climate change. That’s why the plant food tax is so wildly popular and why JG is so far ahead in the polls. With so many people on board I wonder why JG ever promised to not introduce the tax…the silliest promise since Adam promised not to touch the apple.

      • Mark says:

        Wow. I’ve only been here for a day or so and already realise that, if words like idiot, dimwit and their various synonyms were banned, the comments section would cease to exist. Yet here you are complaining about a play on words of your nom de guerre.

        Or were you just trying to avoid the substance of the comment and the questions I raised?

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          I was disappointed in your unoriginality actually….because nobody has ever used a ‘play on words’ with my pseudonym before. As for the content of your remark, I’ve done my homework with the paper. You haven’t. Relying solely on an abstract to make your point can often leave you with egg on your face as it doesn’t reveal the finer details and qualifying statements of the results. I’ve gone to the trouble of paying my hard earned money to purchase journal subscriptions so that I can make informed comment. If you choose not to, that is of course your prerogative.

      • zoot says:

        Sure, 81% of us think we need to address climate change. That’s why the plant food tax is so wildly popular and why JG is so far ahead in the polls.

        No good telling me. Take it up with the Lowy Institute.

      • Mark says:

        Yeah, well its very easy to assert that you have access to secret data that disproves the bleeding obvious. But without evidence that you indeed have such surprising data it remains merely an assertion and I remain highly sceptical.

        Meanwhile the 6% claim remains friendless.

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          What a shame you aren’t sceptical of the paper you so readily wish to use as evidence to support your position. You might then be prepared to pay for a subscription and subsequently make truly informed comments. If you have an issue with the price, perhaps you can offer suggestions to the journal as to how they might recoup the costs of publishing and provide you free access to the “secret data”.

    • Nick says:

      Disaffection with Gillard and the ALP is based on much more than the so-called carbon lie. Abbott does not bang on about that so much as its potency was greatest only immediately after the action and before the legislation was enacted. If he brings it up now, people will be reminded that the economy did not collapse as he and his useful idiots so vociferously predicted.

      Thus, I agree that,for Abbott’s progress, AGW is not much of an issue worth reminding people about, but for the simple reason that it would work against him. Hence strident calls for vengeful reactions against the Climate Commission and figureheads will be hosed down in the name of party discipline up to Sept 13.

      Abbott will focus on the simple stuff for now,and so he should. The ALP–and News Ltd– have been doing his work for him.

      Sadly all indications are that an Abbott government will be a step backwards on environmental reality,which is the one that counts in the long run.

      • Mark says:

        I don’t recall that anyone “vociferously predicted” that the economy would collapse overnight following the introduction of the ‘plant food’ tax. It was always understood that it would need to work its way through the economy to have its full deleterious effect.

        So the roof hasn’t caved in yet. But you might have noticed a few unsettling creaks in the rafters lately.

      • Nick says:

        Abbott…Tony Abbott,Mark. Remember him?

        After =”http://www.phonytonyabbott.com/quotes/collection-quotes-tony-abbott-about-climate-change-and-carbon-pricing”>suggesting a carbon tax would be a good mechanism in 2009 ,by 2011 he was claiming that a carbon price would ‘badly damage’ Australian coal exports and wipe Whyalla ‘off the map’. Of course his mate Joe Hockey sang from the same book,backed by their News Ltd ‘opinion’ writing stooges like A.Bolt…so you forgot that campaign,young fella?

      • Nick says:

        Sorry, buggered the link,but you can find it…if you’re curious.

      • zoot says:

        I believe the promise was “Like a wrecking ball through the Australian economy.”
        Must be the slowest, lightest wrecking ball in history.

      • Mark says:

        Yes Nick I remember Abbott. I also remember that he never predicted that these changes would happen overnight as you want to think.(I know that in some circles, believing something to be true is the same as it being true, but alas,,,,)..

        As to Whyalla, he was only repeating predictions made by the AWU who were concerned about their members jobs. Jobs – the ALP used to be concerned about them but now they’re much more concerned about seeming to do do something to solve a non-problem so as to appeal to the greenie-left. Of course the AWU are always concerned about their members….who can forget how hard they battled to recover the funds stolen by JG’s lover.

        If the plant food tax survived for another 5 yrs or so we’d find out how accurate these predictions of gloom were, but that particular experiment in economic suicide is headed for the dust-bin of history.

        • uknowispeaksense says:

          “…also remember that he never predicted that these changes would happen overnight…”

          You’re right. I predict that I will pay $100 for a lamb roast in about 50 years time. Weasel words from you in defence of your hero. I’m fairly tempted to offer you a $100 bet with the money going to charity that Abbott will find it too difficult to undo the carbon tax due to the compensation he will be required to pay to all the businesses who have successfully incorporated it into their business plans. I seem to recall reading about one meat processor/ polluter on the darling downs praising the carbon tax because the efficiencies he has had to introduce have resulted in a greater profit margin…interesting. He certainly won’t be happy to see it repealed. No, we will see plenty of weasel words from the Mad Monk then.

      • zoot says:

        It’s slightly off topic, but 6 months ago the carbon tax was more popular than Tony Abbott:
        http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/11/26/essential-carbon-tax-much-more-popular-than-abbott/

      • zoot says:

        The Herald Sun (4 June 2012) reports: TONY Abbott has changed his attack on carbon pricing from warning of instant doom on July 1 to forecasting a long, slow strangulation of industry.

  19. […] 2013/04/25: WtD: How Tony Abbott killed the Australian climate sceptic movement and schooled them in… […]

  20. astrostevo says:

    “Now that Abbott is assured the Prime Ministership ..”

    Call me, well, whatever, but I still do NOT think this is “assured” – things look grim for Gillard now but the election is still five months away, the campaign hasn’t even begun in earnest and I still think things can change very dramatically indeed. Y’know what they say about a week being a long time in politics!

    I still hope Gillard can win another term and suspect that when it comes to the choice peopld will have more sense than to vote Abbott in onc ethey see hispolicy substrance or lack thereof. In fact I’m rather surprised Abbott hasn’t already blown it bigtime but there’s stilltiem for that.

    It ain’t over till its over.

    • astrostevo says:

      Typo fix, sorry. That’s :

      I suspect that when it comes down to the time and the choice, people will have more sense than to vote Abbott in once they see his policy substance or lack thereof. In fact I’m rather surprised Abbott hasn’t already blown it big time but there’s still time for that.

      I cannot see Tony Abbott ever becoming Australia’s PM.

      I think the Liberals underestimate Julia Gillard and she’s surprised them many times before. (Remember if you believe the right wing they’ve said Gillard as gone many, many times since she won the 2010 election.She’s still here despite their bad calls.I suspect they’re more worried about facing her than they let on.)

  21. […] to repeal Labour’s carbon pricing legislation at the first opportunity. Mike Marriot thinks that Abbott would look to axe the price on carbon in name only, introducing a face-saving […]

  22. […] climate science deniers who fervently expect Abbott to slavishly follow all their prescriptions. How Tony Abbott killed the Australian climate sceptic movement and schooled them in realpolitik | Wa… Coalition eyeing lift to emissions reduction target | Business Spectator Sign in or […]

  23. […] While “Ax the tax”. “Ju-liar” and “Ditch the Witch” were effective (but ugly) slogans they lacked substance. Simple opposition and the proposed Direct Action Policy are now being seen as lacking substance. Abbott has a growing problem, and it is a problem of his making. […]

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