Lord Stern’s broadside: climate sceptics “irrational” and distort our understanding of risk

Stern

Fiona Harvey of The Guardian interviews Nicholas Stern (of the Stern Report fame):

Lord Nicolas Stern told the Guardian: “It is astonishing, irrational and unscientific to suggest the risks are small. How can they say they know the risks are small? The clear conclusion from 200 years of climate science and observations show a strong association between carbon dioxide rises and global surface temperature.

He added: “The science is unequivocal and shows there is serious danger. What is coming from [sceptics] is just noise, and should be treated as noise.”

He said some sceptics were in the pay of hostile industries, with a vested interest in contradicting the science, and were being “deliberately naive” in claiming the world could wait decades to deal with rising emissions.

“It (the sceptic response) looks very well-organised,” he said. “They are deliberately distorting the way we understand risk.”

Stern also correctly points out climate change is a risk management issue:

Stern said: “There is the danger of an abrupt change in the whole [climate] mechanism. We need to approach the issue as one of risk management.”

Here here!

98 thoughts on “Lord Stern’s broadside: climate sceptics “irrational” and distort our understanding of risk

  1. You must understand something about these deniers. They are like Terminators…. if you remember the original movie here is the monologue by Reece…

    “That Terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with, it can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop, ever!”

  2. john byatt says:

    “He said the current IPCC, producing the first assessment of climate science since 2007, was under “less political pressure” than previous reports.”

    this is encouraging as it was the BUsh admin which demanded that lot of the AR4 report had to be downplayed in confidence before signing off

    • Bill Jamison says:

      john said “the BUsh admin which demanded that lot of the AR4 report had to be downplayed in confidence before signing off”

      I’d love to see a credible cite for that claim because it appears you just made it up. Do governments “sign off” on the report at all? If so how can that be deemed “science”?

      • BBD says:

        The Bush administration censored scientists and prevented them communicating the scientific facts about AGW to the American electorate and the wider world. It muzzled scientists at GISS and NOAA and EPA. You want references, there’s an entire, meticulously researched book full of them. Educate yourself.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          What does any of that have to do with john’s claim about the IPCC?

          Oh wait, I know….NOTHING!

          Could you try actually answering my question instead of looking ridiculous?

        • john byatt says:

          financial times

          THE WORLD 12 hours ago
          Governments wrangle over final wording of landmark IPCC report
          …countries over the last…policymakers that governments have to approve…the larger report and its basic…used in these IPCC assessments…of warming over the last…warming trend over the period…last time the IPCC had a meeting…finalise its 2007 report, there were claims that governments from countries… Pilita Clark

          as I stated a few years ago gavin schmidt had related the process of agreeing to the certainty, the scientists argued that the uncertainty was zero zilch zip and certainty was about 99,9999% the Bush admin would not sign off above 90%

          You do not have to pay but need to sign on to read whole story, then you are pestered

        • john byatt says:

          s bill really naive enough to believe that governments do not try to interfere with the wording?

          http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/26/ipcc-climate-report-slow-progress

        • BBD says:

          Denying the obvious contextual relevance and refusing to educate yourself about the Bush administration’s suppression of science only makes you look ridiculous, Bill.

          But then, as Stern points out, deniers are irrational and most of what they say is noise.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          I’m sure in your mind it’s relevant but it’s not. It has NOTHING to do with john’s claim which he can’t back up. What he stated is wrong. Governments don’t sign off on the IPCC report otherwise it would probably never get published. To claim otherwise is false.

          Of course now john is changing the subject and claiming that governments try to impact the wording. Of course he ignores the actual statement in his link that talks about exactly WHO is debating the points:

          The world’s leading climate scientists have been locked into a Stockholm conference centre since Monday, thrashing out the final points of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report on the science of global warming.”

          Not government officials, not politicians, just climate scientists.

    • Nick says:

      Green is spot-on about the manipulation,hypocrisy and vacuity of politics, but he is quite wrong to implicate the voter as a passive colluder, [shrugging shoulders and saying ‘that’s politics’]…We as voters do not get to micro-manage our representatives! Politicians are immune to tactical and ethical guidance from humble voters; such attempts are filed in the bin.

      Hard as it is to believe, many voters were genuinely misled, and now have no redress, beyond angry letters, for 3 years. And as for resigned behavior, this ‘collusion’ is not some tacit approval or acceptance of COALition behavior that means we take on some responsibility for the malaise…The COALition is entirely responsible for the abysmal methods they choose.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Interesting read John.

      I’m reminded of George W. Bush, who also hid from public scrutiny. And for good reason.

  3. john byatt says:

    Go you good thing

    Climate Council ‏@climatecouncil 3h
    Good morning! We’ve nearly hit 50,000 facebook friends. Can you cross over and help tip us over?

  4. john byatt says:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-26/federal-intervention-to-kickstart-nsw-csg-sector/4982316

    “The important thing is to get the balance right and I am confident that that’s exactly why the O’Farrell Government is having this conference in Sydney today.”

    Earlier at the summit a number of protesters, led by New England farmer David Quince, were bundled away by security.

    “Unreal. It’s supposed to be a stakeholders meeting for gas and people from the agriculture and the bush that this sort of industry is going to impact on and we’re not invited here. It’s just unbelievable, unbelievable,” Mr Quince said.

    • Nick says:

      The ghastly Macfarlane is in full campaign mode: from The Guardian:

      “…Macfarlane, announced he would convene a special committee of “farmers, gas producers, gas consumers, financiers, pipeliners and other stakeholders” to try to agree on regulations for the NSW coal seam gas industry so that drilling of new CSG wells could begin before Christmas.

      “We’ve got to sort this out quickly, we’ve got to get the drill rigs going where the farmers want them going, where the geology’s safe, where the water’s safe, where the environment’s safe,” Macfarlane said after a special conference in NSW on the state’s energy “crisis”. “We’ve got to get them going before Christmas if we can.”

      Macfarlane said NSW’s looming gas shortage made the situation “urgent” as the state government comes under pressure to speed up approval and water down its rules.

      “People are going to lose jobs and they’re not farmers and they’re not greenies and they’re not people out in the bush,” he said.

      “The people who are going to lose their jobs are honest people who go to work every day in Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong.

      “When the gas gets short in a year or so’s time, probably very short by 2016, and it gets very expensive, it’s going to be average mum and dads who will lose their jobs because we haven’t acted fast enough.

      “So I’m not looking back, I’m not attributing blame, I’m just getting on with it. We’ve got to save their jobs.”

      What a dickhead, fanning alarmism about supply, attacking any opponents as not honest people, it’s our way or your jobs….this is outrageous divisive bullshit from a minister of the crown.

      • Nick says:

        In my area a few years ago, a transnational gas extractor claimed we had 25 years of gas reserves at NSW consumption rates in their Clarence Basin prospects. They had proposed a small gas power unit to supply local needs, next thing they proposed piping gas to Brisbane for consumption there and/or shipping overseas. So I ask: where was the supposed NSW gas shortage,and how was this project going to address it?

        They withdrew because of local pressure…and will obviously return when the COALition softens everyone up…but again,why was/is this gas not earmarked for NSW domestic supply if the need according to Macfarlane is so pressing?

  5. antipodeanspecies1 says:

    It doesn’t seem to matter how many extreme weather events occur, denialists invent any excuse to deny the bleeding obvious. It doesn’t seem to matter how much data is accumulated, if it conflicts with their ideology, it isn’t happening. I honestly don’t know how we can get around that problem. I’m at the point now where I think we have to let the dinosaurs die off and concentrate on providing credible information to younger generations they don’t seem to be as archaeologically driven (yet)

  6. john byatt says:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-26/collinsville-plant-makes-solar-shift/4982680?section=qld

    Coal power not viable

    Approval has been given to switch the Collinsville Power Station in north Queensland from coal to solar generation.

    Ratch Australia last year stopped using coal to generate power at the plant and shut it down, saying it was no longer economically viable.

    The Whitsundays Regional Council has approved a proposal to build two solar fields.

    Geoff Dutton from Ratch Australia says thousands of fixed solar panels will be built to generate energy for up to 7,000 Collinsville homes.

    “It will cover 44 hectares – that’s a very large area of solar panels – it’s not just like on top of your roof,” Mr Dutton said.

    Mr Dutton says he wants the plant to be generating solar power by 2015.

    Construction is expected to create up to 50 jobs.

  7. Bill Jamison says:

    Richard Muller of BEST on “the pause” and the IPCC report:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/opinion/a-pause-not-an-end-to-warming.html?hp&_r=0

    • FrankD says:

      I’m impressed Bill. Just when I think you can’t be any more of a cliché of denial, you are! Here’s a tip – if you want to be taken seriously, don’t just copy-paste luke-warmer BS from the Murdochracy.

      The “A” was a pretty good start, but then he hit rock bottom with “Pause”, and all the rest was bollocks.

      That article is cut from 100% cow pats, as any actual sceptic would realise. Two minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

      • Bill Jamison says:

        That’s funny when Richard Muller announced the results of the BEST temperature study alarmists hailed him as a hero. Now what he says is a “cliché of denial”????

        • john byatt says:

          “hailed a hero”

          do you twits dream up this stuff or is it rammed down your throats ?

          @RC

          Anybody expecting earthshaking news from Berkeley, now that the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group being led by Richard Muller has released its results, had to be content with a barely perceptible quiver. As far as the basic science goes, the results could not have been less surprising if the press release had said “Man Finds Sun Rises At Dawn.” This must have been something of a disappointment for anyone hoping for something else.

          For those not familiar with it, the purpose of Berkeley Earth was to create a new, independent compilation and assessment of global land surface temperature trends using new statistical methods and a wider range of source data. Expectations that the work would put teeth in accusations against CRU and GISTEMP led to a lot of early press, and an invitation to Muller to testify before Congress. However, the big news this week (e.g. this article by the BBC’s Richard Black) is that there is no discernible difference between the new results and those of CRU.

          Muller says that “the biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK.” We find this very statement surprising. As we showed two years ago, any of various simple statistical analyses of the freely available data at the time showed that it was very very unlikely that the results would change.

          The basic fact of warming is supported by a huge array of complementary data (ocean warming, ice melting, phenology etc). And shouldn’t it have helped reduce the element of surprise that a National Academy of Sciences study already concluded that the warming seen in the surface station record was “undoubtedly real,” that Menne et al showed that highly touted station siting issues did not in fact compromise the record, that the satellite record agrees with the surface record in every important respect (see Fig. 7 here), and that numerous independent studies (many of them by amateurs) also confirmed the warming trend?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Couldn’t find something other than your heros at RC to quote? Without attribution of course!

          How about DemocracyNow:

          “Climate Skeptic, Koch-Funded Scientist Richard Muller Admits Global Warming Real & Humans the Cause”

          http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/2/climate_skeptic_koch_funded_scientist_richard

          or The Christian Science Monitor:

          Prominent climate change denier now admits he was wrong (+video)

          “Richard Muller, who directed a Koch-funded climate change project, has undergone a ‘total turnaround’ on his stance on global warming, which he now admits is caused by human activity.”
          http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0730/Prominent-climate-change-denier-now-admits-he-was-wrong-video

        • john byatt says:

          You forgot the hero bit,
          you forgot to acknowledge the governments wrangle over final wording bit

          and you post this comment, how does that show him to be a hero FFS?

          you spruke utter drivel

        • john byatt says:

          you seem to have missed this

          john byatt says:
          September 27, 2013 at 2:08 am
          financial times

          THE WORLD 12 hours ago
          Governments wrangle over final wording of landmark IPCC report
          …countries over the last…policymakers that governments have to approve…the larger report and its basic…used in these IPCC assessments…of warming over the last…warming trend over the period…last time the IPCC had a meeting…finalise its 2007 report, there were claims that governments from countries… Pilita Clark

          as I stated a few years ago gavin schmidt had related the process of agreeing to the certainty, the scientists argued that the uncertainty was zero zilch zip and certainty was about 99,9999% the Bush admin would not sign off above 90%

          You do not have to pay but need to sign on to read whole story, then you are pesteredN

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Yes he was “hailed a hero” by alarmists that claimed he was a skeptic and had been converted, that he had seen the light and had been saved. Of course he was never a skeptic he always believed in AGW and the science behind it. It’s easy to prove since his writings can easily be found with a quick google search.

        • “Of course he was never a skeptic he always believed in AGW and the science behind it. It’s easy to prove since his writings can easily be found with a quick google search.”

          No worries:

          “He noted the October 2003 paper by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick published in Energy and Environment which alleged that correction of errors in MBH99 would show a strong medieval warm period, and said this paper raised pertinent questions.”

          AKA, proof by assertion of the existence of citations that contradict reality.

    • http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/opinion/a-pause-not-an-end-to-warming.html?hp&_r=0

      “Most of us hope that global warming actually has stopped.

      Alas, I think such optimism is premature.”

      Indeed.

  8. john byatt says:

    http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/poor-communities-suffering-climate-change-ipcc/2033210/

    “Climate change is not a future threat but a real and ever-present danger.

    “Our inaction risks putting prosperity, long-term health and security beyond the reach of millions,” he said.

    But the warning may not be heeded by the new Federal Government, after its first fortnight in office was marked by the axing of the Climate Commission and AusAid.

    While Environment Minister Greg Hunt has pledged the work of the commission would continue in the Environment Department, concerns about political interference in informing the public about climate change remain.

  9. john byatt says:

    Stewart franks provides the balance ?

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3857357.htm

    • Nick says:

      No, he provides the misdirection:

      “IPCC is arguably the sole voice for climate, yet there are thousands of dissenting scientists”

      Really,Stewart? ‘Thousands’… smells of Oregon,that number. Is he that audacious?

      ” By creating this elite body, you polarise the sight of a community. If you criticise it or if you disagree with aspects of its statements, then you’re going against the IPCC. You know, when science is actually about diversity of opinions and then testing those opinions, those hypotheses with evidence and with data, and I think the consensus approach of the IPCC is actually very artificial.”

      That is swill from start to finish. The IPCC process brings together multiple fields and their observations and projections. Given it is describing system responses to a pervasive well-proscribed input at global scale, how does Franks propose structuring the reporting process?

    • Dr No says:

      Stewart Franks opines:
      “It is a reasonable scientific question to ask: is it possible that the IPCC could’ve overestimated the chances of catastrophic climate change? It’s too important an issue not to ask that question.”

      Think about what is meant by “estimated chances”?
      If the IPCC estimates the chances to be 10%, that implies a 90% chance of non-catastrophic change.
      Or,
      if it estimates 60%, that implies a 40% chance of non-catastrophic change.

      If catastrophic change does/does not occur, how do you assess the correctness (or otherwise) of the above 2 estimates? Are they right or wrong?

      i.e. How can you prove that the IPCC “overestimated the chances”.
      This is a stupid assertion.
      If I buy fire insurance for my house and it does not burn down, have I “overestimated the chances” ? Should I be criticized for taking out insurance?

      I think Stewart is both simple minded and deliberately provocative. As with all sceptics I have dealt with, I suspect he is incapable of providing his own estimated chances – in which case he is not entitled to criticize the IPCC or anybody else who is willing to stick their necks out and make estimates in good faith.

      Finally, if catastrophic climate change does not occur by 2100, does that mean it will never happen? (for example, by 2200 when CO2 levels will be unimaginable)

      • Nick says:

        The use of ‘catastrophic’ is loaded, as Franks is trying to frame the IPCC as catastrophist and alarmist. The scenarios do not use that word….and of course Franks makes no mention of the scenarios which cover a considerable range of possible CO2 emission rates and targets with outcomes which,while not benign, have to be seen as non-catastrophic. If Franks is willing to offer deceptive simplifications, he should not be listened to.

        And as ever, the future brings the convergence of multiple factors: population growth,expectation of raising per capita consumption, the momentum of an obsolete economic world-view and depleting resources. Rationing of FF use will be compelled by these factors anyway! Why are we subject to fatuous facetious objections from mad Cornucopians who will not factor the big picture?

  10. john byatt says:

    http://www.rtcc.org/2013/09/27/live-ipcc-blog-un-releases-ar5-climate-science-report/

    note for bill the naive

    -Governments agree on 30+ page summary in early hours of Friday –

    • john byatt says:

      RTCC #climate news ‏@RTCCnewswire 12h
      Talks @UNCCD #COP11 could continue into night with USA + Brazil blamed for blocking progress –

        • john byatt says:

          full pdf at twitter above

           The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature data as calculated by a
          linear trend, show a warming of 0.85 [0.65 to 1.06] °C 3, over the period 1880–2012, when
          multiple independently produced datasets exist. The total increase between the average of the
          1850–1900 period and the 2003–2012 period is 0.78 [0.72 to 0.85] °C, based on the single
          longest dataset available4
          . (Figure SPM.1a) {2.4}
           For the longest period when calculation of regional trends is sufficiently complete (1901–2012),
          almost the entire globe has experienced surface warming. (Figure SPM.1b) {2.4}
           In addition to robust multi-decadal warming, global mean surface temperature exhibits
          substantial decadal and interannual variability (see Figure SPM.1). Due to natural variability,
          trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in
          general reflect long-term climate trends. As one example, the rate of warming over the past 15
          years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade), which begins with a strong El Niño, is
          smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade)5
          .

    • Bill Jamison says:

      Someone wrote the words “governments agree” on a blog and to john that’s PROOF that governments must sign off on the report.

      And he calls me naive. Yikes

      • john byatt says:

        yikes alright, bill denies governments have a say in this?

        could continue into night with USA + Brazil blamed for blocking progress –

        Lol

  11. john byatt says:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-27/human-role-in-global-warming-now-even-clearer-latest-ipcc-report/4985878

    hey bill

    “Government representatives from member nations haggled with the panel’s scientists long into the night over the precise wording of the report”

    • Bill Jamison says:

      So you’re claiming at the IPCC report is a political document and not a scientific one? Even more reason to ignore it.

      • john byatt says:

        I have told you previously that the scientists battled the government reps over the wording of AR4 and demanded that the certainty level was reduced to 90% when the scientists said that it was near 99.999%,

        China also insisted on changes but as no other govt could agree they compromised by removing the whole para

        the scientists do the science and write up the report, government reps notably the USA under Bush sought to and still seek to downplay that.so what you end up with is a report that is ultra conservative,

        and once more you show yourself to be a hypocrite.

        “so you’re claiming” is just plain stupidity as we have come to expect from you,

        • john byatt says:

          Wiki also has it

          Objections to original WGII language
          US negotiators managed to eliminate language calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, according to Patricia Romero Lankao, a lead author from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The original draft read: “However, adaptation alone is not expected to cope with all the projected effects of climate change, and especially not over the long run as most impacts increase in magnitude. Mitigation measures will therefore also be required.” The second sentence does not appear in the final version of the report.[21]
          China objected to wording that said “based on observed evidence, there is very high confidence that many natural systems, on all continents and in most oceans, are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases.” When China asked that the word “very” be stricken, three scientific authors balked, and the deadlock was broken only by a compromise to delete any reference to confidence levels.[21]

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Thank you for confirming that is is indeed a political document and not a scientific one. That’s good to know!

          I take it back john you were right politicians control the wording of the report so it shouldn’t be seen as a scientific document.

        • john byatt says:

          finds he is wrong, instead of accepting that he just goes off with more drivel

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Either it’s a scientific report written by scientists or it isn’t. Make up your mind. If politicians impact the wording of the report then it’s not a scientific document. You made the claim that politicians changed the wording of the report so now you have to live with it.

        • Debunker says:

          Wow Bill, first you claim that governments do not interfere with the IPCC reporting process, then when it is comprehensively pointed out to you that they do, instead of admitting that you are wrong, you then claim that it therefore can’t be a scientific report. You manufacture a false dichotomy to force an either or result which you then twist to your own agenda.

          There is is another option, (which you refuse to consider); ie, that it is a scientific report, the conclusions of which, various governments object to and which they insist on amending. Just because of that, there is no reason to dismiss the report as unscientific. Instead one should catalog the changes these governments insist upon to recover the full scientific conclusions.

          Are you this pedantic and nit-picky with the Reverend Watts?

        • “a political document and not a scientific one. That’s good to know!”

          Good to know the problem is downplayed because of political interference?

          What a bizarre notion.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          You guys don’t even realize that the “debate” was about the Summary for Policy Makers”. Not the IPCC report itself.

          John said “the BUsh admin which demanded that lot of the AR4 report had to be downplayed in confidence before signing off” and now he posts a tweet from RC saying the US and Brazil were blocking the latest report. Yet he never said anything about “the Obama admin” blocking AR5.

          Countries don’t “sign off” on the IPCC report and the Bush administration didn’t have any more impact on AR4 than the Obama administration had over this new report.

        • john byatt says:

          Summary for Policy Makers” is an IPCC report

  12. Debunker says:

    Not exactly on topic, but this is a bit disapointing from Robert Gottliebsen:

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/9/26/politics/take-five-climate-change-and-use-your-brain?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=435172&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=

    Note the way he approvingly refers to Bjorn Lomborg as “One of the world best strategic thinkers on climate change”, when in fact he is a discredited schmuck accused of being misleading by his own scientific standards committee.

    • john byatt says:

      comments seem to confirm your appraisal of lomborg

    • J Giddeon says:

      “accused of being misleading by his own scientific standards committee.”

      Yes, it true that those philosophically and politically opposed to his views launched a political campaign to silence him. They failed as the Danish science ministry and less politically partisan scientists got involved.

      ” A group of related scientists also published an article in 2005 in the Journal of Information Ethics,[29] in which they concluded that most criticism against Lomborg was unjustified, and that the scientific community had misused their authority to suppress the author.”

      I feel sorry for people like Lomborg and Wegman, people who spent their career just looking dispassionately at the facts and completely naive as to the storm of abuse awaiting anyone who enters the climate debate in a non-partisan way.

      Lomborg started off just trying to prove Julian Simon wrong and ended up realising that simon was right in most cases and that much of what he believed about the environment while he was a member of Greenpeace wasn’t supported by the facts.Pointing out the climate emperor doesn’t have any clothes isn’t a good career move these days.

      • “I feel sorry for people like Lomborg and Wegman, people who spent their career just looking dispassionately at the facts”

        So you’re a comedian.

      • Debunker says:

        Lomborg naive? Are you out of your mind? It is you my friend who appears to have been born yesterday. Lomborg is a masterful dissembler and disinformer. He is the Machiavelli of misinformation, the Goebbels of anti-Global warming. Consider the following:

        http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/9/30/science-environment/lomborg-misleads-ipcc

        This article points out that:

        “The lower bound of the temperature rises estimated by the IPCC, which Lomborg happily cites, are based upon scenarios where governments implement policies, which Lomborg argues against, to substantially constrain emissions.”

        So here the Lomborghini is claiming that the IPCC themselves say there is nothing to worry about, but this is quoting a scenario based on actions Lomborg specifically argues against. So how deceptive and misleading is that?

        On another topic, take a look at how he arrives at his claim that Polar bears are thriving. Lomborg says Polar bear numbers have increased from 5000 in the 1960’s to about 25,000 now. He claims to get the data from the IUCN Polar bear specialist group. There were various wildly different estimates from that time, but of of course, he picks the lowest one, even though the author he quotes subsequently raised that estimate to 20,000.

        http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/coolitBchap1.htm

        current numbers are estimated to be 20 – 25,000, most of the increase (if any can be attributed to stricter hunting regulations. This is not an err… “dispassionate analysis of the facts”, but a devious misrepresentation.

        Even worse,Lomborg claims:

        “The Arctic Climate Assessment finds it likely that disappearing ice will make polar bears take up `a terrestrial summe lifestyle similar to that of brown bears . .´ ”

        When the actual quote is:

        “It is difficult to envisage the survival of polar bears as a species given a zero summer sea-ice scenario. Their only option would be a terrestrial summer lifestyle similar to that of brown bears, from which they evolved. In such a case, competition, risk of hybridization with brown bears and grizzly bears, and increased interactions with people would then number among the threats to polar bears.”

        This is deliberate textual manipulation to convey the opposite of what was intended. Quite clearly, the actual assessment makes it clear that such a reverse evolution would be extremely unlikely and hazardous for the bears, conflicting wildly with Lomborg’s rosy assessment above. (As an aside, it took tens of thousands of years for Polar Bears to evolve from Brown Bears, can we really expect that they could take up the Brown Bear lifestyle again in at most 50 years or very probably much less? Lomborg is seriously deluded about the pace of evolution).

        This sort of textual massaging is typical of Lomborg, and it means that you cannot trust anything he says. You have to go back to the source each time to ensure that you are not being mislead. To him, facts are just putty, which he twists and prods to suit his political agenda. Naive? When I read that, I sprayed my coffee all over the keyboard. I am still trying to clean it up.

      • john byatt says:

        shame he did not understand much of it

        @RC

        Some media wrongly report a rise of “only” up to 82 cm by the year 2100. That is a misunderstanding: 82 cm is the average for the period 2081-2100, not the level reached in 2100. Both the curves up to 2100 and those 20-year averages are shown in Fig. 3 above. Note that the additional rise of up to 16 cm in the final decade illustrates the horrendous rates of rise we can get by the end of the century with unmitigated emissions.

        It is also worth noting that the 98 cm is the upper value of a “likely” range (66% probability to be within that range). As IPCC also notes, we could end up “several tens of centimeters” higher if the marine-based parts of the Antarctic ice sheet become unstable. Leading ice experts, like Richard Alley and Rob De Conto, consider this a serious risk.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Even with 98cm of sea level rise James Hansen’s prediction for NYC will still fall far short.

        • J Giddeon says:

          The 82cm (or 98cm) is based on RCP8.5. If you don’t accept RCP8.5 as a valid then the projected rise will be lower.

          So your only criticism of an article downplaying the alarmism, is that is doesn’t buy the most alarming guesses.

        • john byatt says:

          RCP8.5 is the RF for an emissions pathway where we take no action until it is too late,

          it is as valid as any other RCP RF

          it is all up to us and the action we take

          RCP8.5 is a warning to take action

        • J Giddeon says:

          Yes, I know what RCP8.5 is. But it is just one of several potential outcomes. I know you, and most alarmist, prefer it because it yields the scariest results and that’s what its all about.

          But other scenarios yield different, less alarmist guesses. Lomborg used one of those other scenarios for his sea level rise. So when you say he didn’t understand AR5 because he didn’t use the scariest guesses, you are wrong.

          I know that in this funny little world you inhabit, disagreeing with your conclusions is the same thing as being wrong, but you are wrong there.

        • john byatt says:

          Okay then which RCP did he choose?

        • J Giddeon says:

          Both RCP4.5, and RCP6.0 show a rise of 63cm ie 2ft

        • john byatt says:

          So which level of action is he arguing for, maintaining co2 concentration below 520PPM or below 620PPM

          RCP 4.5
          Emissions peak around mid century at around 50% higher than 2000 levels and then decline rapidly over 30 years and then stabilise at half of 2000 levels. CO2 concentration continues on trend to about 520 ppm in 2070 and continues to increase but more slowly.

          RCP 6
          In this scenario, emissions double by 2060 and then dramatically fall but remain well above current levels. CO2 concentration continues increasing, though at a slower rate in the latter parts of the century, reaching 620 ppm by 2100.

          both of these scenarios require global policies to start limiting greenhouse gases now

          even lomborg acknowledges that ” start fixing it now with low-cost, realistic innovation”

          .

        • J Giddeon says:

          “So which level of action is he arguing for”

          I don’t think he’s arguing for any level of action, or at least not the type of action you want.

          If you go back over Lomborg’s book and articles, he’s been consistent in arguing that we will naturally move toward a lower CO2 economy without the need for inefficient and distorting taxes and subsidies. As far back as ‘The Sceptical Environmentalist’ he’s been saying that the natural level of innovation and technical breakthroughs will make solar competitive with coal in the 2030’s and wind a little later with methods refined tomake both capable of being base-load. At that point the logic of the market will mean that emissions will decline. The CSG revolution is having a similar effect.

          So his basic view is that the scare is over-blown because the likely level of emissions into the second half of the century are over-blown because technical advances will naturally reduce emission levels. That’s why he’d go for a lower RCP scenario.

          In that vein, it is claimed that up to 60% of China’s emissions are caused by buildings. So a building that significantly reduces its own CO2 footprint would be a major breakthrough….
          https://www.som.com/project/pearl-river-tower?description=1

          If, by 2040, most or all new highrise were zero emissions, what would that do to the IPCC’s scenarios. Is that built into the models?

          the most important resource on the planet is the human mind. It is capable of solving most problems and there are a lot more of those minds around these days than ever before.

        • john byatt says:

          so lomborg thinks that it will happen by itself, that all the fossil fuel companies will shut down, that XL will cease operation and Australia will leave most of its coal and csg in the ground,

          and we end up with a RF of 4.5 to 6Wm2

          sorry do not try to change his position, you said that lomborg predicts 2ft SLR by 2100 and that is consistent with him accepting those RCP’s 4.5 and 6

          in other words he does not believe what he writes in his own books

        • J Giddeon says:

          “so lomborg thinks that it will happen by itself, that all the fossil fuel companies will shut down, that XL will cease operation and Australia will leave most of its coal and csg in the ground,”

          I’m at a loss as to how to explain this to you since it seems so obvious. I guess if you’re determined to not get it, you won’t.

          But its pretty simple really. If solar/wind/other become more economic than coal/oil/gas then the market will move to that form of energy. Its not a question of the FF companies shut down voluntarily, its just market forces. Now I know that the watermelon brigade will refuse to accept that the market works, but we don’t have to all buy into that lunacy.

          So if that happens then emissions will decline and RCP 4.5 and RCP 6 type outcomes will occur.

          I appreciate that you really really want to get to lower emissions through government fiat but its not the only path. A real bummer heh? Hardly any point to the scare if it can’t be used to enforce desired change.

        • john byatt says:

          in australia wind is already cheaper than new coal,

          so what is stopping the changeover?

          fossil fuel companies and lomborg claiming that there is no rush?

          and both of lomborg’s RCP’s accept a temperature rise over over 3 degC

          at 2 degc greenland will keep melting for centuries, sea level will continue to rise, and extremes become more extreme

          at 3DegC the Arctic is toast and we commence one of the biggest extermination events ever

          and lomborg thinks that 3Degc is okay based on his RCP selections for SLR

          and we wonder why you claim that it is actually not warming anyway as new heat records are just curiosities,

          in one day you have gone from it is not happening ( heat records are meaningless) to we do not need to hurry up, even though your own link says that we need to start right now

          why does lomborg believe that 3Degc is okay

        • J Giddeon says:

          “in australia wind is already cheaper than new coal,

          so what is stopping the changeover?”

          Good God, what a fool. Its cheaper with subsidies and when the wind blows, solong as it doesn’t blow too much. It has next to no storage capabilities and therefore can’t be base-load. Just how clueless on this are you?

          “and both of lomborg’s RCP’s accept a temperature rise over over 3 degC”
          Ahh no. That is within their range, that’s all. It could also be 1.5 to 2c.

          And they aren’t lomborg’s RCP. they just happen to be the closest scenarios to what he’s previously said and therefore why he used them when talking about SLR of 2ft. You take these things to absurd lengths and then wonder why you end up looking so foolish.

          “and we wonder why you claim that it is actually not warming anyway as new heat records are just curiosities,”

          I’ll say it one more time but its gunna go over your head…its not warming globally and in that regard region records are mere curiosities especially when there are regional cold records elsewhere.

          “why does lomborg believe that 3Degc is okay”

          Where did he say that?

        • john byatt says:

          are you insane?

          only one link per comment

          next

        • J Giddeon says:

          “Relative to the average from year 1850 to 1900, global surface temperature change by the end of the 21st century is projected to likely exceed 1.5°C for RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5 (high confidence). Warming is likely to exceed 2°C for RCP6.0 and RCP8.5 (high confidence), more likely than not to exceed 2°C for RCP4.5 (high confidence), but unlikely to exceed 2°C
          for RCP2.6 (medium confidence). Warming is unlikely to exceed 4°C for RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP6.0 (high confidence) and is about as likely as not to exceed 4°C for RCP8.5 (medium confidence)..

          AR5 SPM

          Perhaps you are unaware that there is a level of uncertainty in these things. Spending too much time being indoctrinated by sks methinks.

          Thanks for the BNEF.I’ve seen it before. Confirms what I’ve been saying

        • john byatt says:

          “I’ll say it one more time but its gunna go over your head…its not warming globally ”

          you do not even accept that the arctic is warming from your DMI claim, yet you do not even understand arctic summer temperatures

          so you claim that it not warming but then accept lomborg, which is a confirmation of the warming, with his 2 ft SLR by 2100 which you posted,

          quite bizarre

          how do we get a 2ft SLR and 3DegC by 2100 without warming?

          RCP4.5 you do not seem aware of is Radiative forcing of 4.5w2m

          double CO2 gets us to 3.7w2m and 1.5 to 4.5 temperature rise above pre industrial

          we need to stop at 450ppm to have any chance of not going beyond 2DegC anomaly

        • J Giddeon says:

          “so you claim that it not warming but then accept lomborg, which is a confirmation of the warming, with his 2 ft SLR by 2100 which you posted,”

          Its not warming currently. It was warming in the past and will probably do so in the future. Are you entirely incapable of understanding plain english or are you so bitter and twisted that the scare hasn’t gone to plan that you just twist every sentence? I’d really like to know.

          “we need to stop at 450ppm to have any chance of not going beyond 2DegC anomaly”

          IPCC seems to disagree with you. I guess in this funny little world you inhabit that makes them morons or one of you other childish pejoratives

          “more likely than not to exceed 2°C for RCP4.5 (high confidence)”. ie there is a chance that it won’t exceed 2c under RCP4.5.

        • john byatt says:

          i think you are reading as likely to exceed 1.5Degc as the top of the range

          here are the RCP temperatures for each RCP 2100

          and both RCP4.5 and RCP6 are emission scenarios where we take action starting now.

          try to understand what you have read,

        • john byatt says:

          “Its not warming currently. It was warming in the past and will probably do so in the future. Are you entirely incapable of understanding plain english or are you so bitter and twisted that the scare hasn’t gone to plan that you just twist every sentence? I’d really like to know.”

          “not warming currently is complete nonsense sea level is still rising glaciers are still melting the Arctic reached the lowest maximum volume ever this year
          both flora and fauna are shifting in altitude and latitude,
          Antarctica is now losing mass balance (not predicted)
          and you look at back to back la nina years and reach the nonsense claim that the warming has stopped

          will probably do so in the future

          okay i will bet you that it will definitely warm in the future, it has no option as you raise levels of GHG’;s

        • J Giddeon says:

          wow, you really don’t understand that there is a level of uncertainty with all these things. I don’t really know where to start to try to teach you and really haven’t got the stomach for it anyway.

        • john byatt says:

          you have been arguing for the still dangerous outcomes of RCP4.5 and RCP6 but want to get there by following the pathway of RCP 8.5

          again both RCP’s you quote require actions starting now

          read the SPM again

        • john byatt says:

          “Thanks for the BNEF.I’ve seen it before. Confirms what I’ve been saying”

          This new ranking of Australia’s energy resources is the product of BNEF’s Sydney analysis team, which comprehensively modelled the cost of generating electricity in Australia from different sources. The study shows that electricity can be supplied from a new wind farm at a cost of AUD 80/MWh (USD 83), compared to AUD 143/MWh from a new coal plant or AUD 116/MWh from a new baseload gas plant, including the cost of emissions under the Gillard government’s carbon pricing scheme. However even without a carbon price (the most efficient way to reduce economy-wide emissions) wind energy is 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas.

        • Chris O'Neill says:

          “wind energy is 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas”

          So China etc. will stop building new coal-burning power stations soon and the forecasts of massive increases in their coal burning will not come to pass.

          So we have nothing to worry about now.

        • Hansen was being asked what life would be like if CO2 doubled. So-called sceptics neglect mentioning the context, oddly enough.

          On the other hand, during Sandy, the West Side Avenue did flood. Also, and as oddly, not mentioned by so-called sceptics.

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