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Behind the hockey stick

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, February 19th, 2012 - 136 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, disaster - Tags: , , ,

The famous hockey stick is the graph that tells us we’re all screwed. Climate change is causing extreme weather turmoil, and the underlying average warming is going to cook the planet.

There have been several interesting pieces on the politics of climate change recently. Let’s start with the Mann behind the hockey stick himself:

The inside story on climate scientists under siege

Michael Mann reveals his account of attacks by entrenched interests seeking to undermine his ‘hockey stick’ graph

It is almost possible to dismiss Michael Mann’s account of a vast conspiracy by the fossil fuel industry to harrass scientists and befuddle the public. His story of that campaign, and his own journey from naive computer geek to battle-hardened climate ninja, seems overwrought, maybe even paranoid.

But now comes the unauthorised release of documents showing how a libertarian thinktank, the Heartland Institute, which has in the past been supported by Exxon, spent millions on lavish conferences attacking scientists and concocting projects to counter science teaching for kindergarteners.

Mann’s story of what he calls the climate wars, the fight by powerful entrenched interests to undermine and twist the science meant to guide government policy, starts to seem pretty much on the money. He’s telling it in a book out on 6 March, The hockey stick and the climate wars: Dispatches from the front lines. …

For most of his professional life has been at the centre of those wars, thanks to a paper he published with colleagues in the late 1990s showing a sharp upward movement in global temperatures in the last half of the 20th century. The graph became known as the “hockey stick”. …

He has been regularly vilified on Fox news and contrarian blogs, and by Republican members of Congress. The attorney general of Virginia, who has been fighting in the courts to get access to Mann’s email from his earlier work at the University of Virginia. And then there is the high volume of hate mail, the threats to him and his family. …

Those opposed to climate change began accusing Mann of overlooking important data or even manipulating the records. None of the allegations were ever found to have substance. The hockey stick would eventually be confirmed by more than 10 other studies. …

Across America, this is the third successive year of weird weather. The US department of agriculture has just revised its plant hardiness map, reflecting warming trends. That is going to reinforce scientists’ efforts to cut through the disinformation campaign, Mann said. …

“Those of us who have had to go through this are battle-hardened and hopefully the better for it,” he said. “I think you are now going to see the scientific community almost uniformly fighting back against this assault on science. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but I do know that my fellow scientists and I are very ready to engage in this battle.”

The “Heartland Institute” leak is described here:

Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science

Libertarian thinktank keeps prominent sceptics on its payroll and relies on millions in funding from carbon industry, papers suggest

The inner workings of a libertarian thinktank working to discredit the established science on climate change have been exposed by a leak of confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising networks.

DeSmogBlog, which broke the story, said it had received the confidential documents from an “insider” at the Heartland Institute, which is based in Chicago. The blog monitors industry efforts to discredit climate science.

The scheme includes spending $100,000 for spreading the message in K-12 schools that “the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”, the documents said. …

If authentic the documents provide an intriguing glimpse at the fundraising and political priorities of one of the most powerful and vocal groups working to discredit the established science on climate change and so block any chance of policies to reduce global warming pollution. …

The tentacles of the denier industry reach all the way to little old NZ:

Kiwi climate sceptics get American funding

New Zealand’s most prominent group of global warming sceptics has received at least $84,000 from an American think-tank which has been backed by fossil fuel interests and accused of “climate change denialism”.

The Chicago-based Heartland Institute paid the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition grants of US$25,000 ($30,800) and US$45,000 in in 2007. The institute was once backed by corporate giants such as Exxon Mobil, but many donors have reduced their support in the past decade. …

Most dramas have an interesting villain to keep the plot ticking over, but the malefactor in our little tragedy is the most boring character of all, greed. An excellent piece by Bill McKibben, The Great Carbon Bubble: Why the Fossil Fuel Industry Fights So Hard, sets out the obvious argument – it’s all about money. Our collective future for the modern equivalent of thirty pieces of silver.

136 comments on “Behind the hockey stick”

  1. ianmac 1

    NZ does seem to be having unusual weather patters in recent years. I am sure that the records will show whether the weather is really any different and of course the actual temperature rise would be imperceptive to us on the ground day by by day, but perception of strange patterns is strong.

  2. Oscar 2

    The warmists would have you believe Warming causes Cooling which causes a rise in CO2 which follows temperature rises and the Earth has been in a warming cycle since 1998, when the opposite is true.

    700 people have been confirmed dead so far by the 3 week system that has stalled over much of Europe. That toll will probably rise to over 2000 when they can dig down to those villages that have been completely covered.

    The sun is entering a cooling period, methane gas from the seafloor is bubbling up in the arctic, and everyone agrees CH4 is even worse than CO2.

    As for DeSmogBlog, that document has proven to be false.

    And yes, it is all about money. Money and Depopulation. Not that there’s anything wrong with depopulation given this planet can’t sustain 7 billion people in an ice age. 1 – 2 billion is probably the upper limit.

    • Macro 2.1

      Good name for a load of TRASH Oscar.
      Practically every sentence you make is a load of crap!
      I can’t be bothered to list all the errors, but your effort is typical of the lies and obfuscation perpetuated by Heartland and their “useful idiots”.
      Truly pathetic.
      Go back to your garbage bin.

    • Compare the years after 1998 to the years before it and you’ll see the warming trend quite easily. More extreme winters are actually part of the overall warming trend. (You can read this in simple language here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/11/16/us-climate-winters-idUSTRE6AF3C720101116 )

      Everyone always agreed that methane was much worse than carbon dioxide, it’s just that as carbon dioxide comprises most of the problem, that’s the standard we’re using to measure global climate destabilisation, and it’s the primary emission that we need to reduce.

      Would you like to link to your rebuttal to DeSmogBlog, which presumably will be sourced with peer-reviewed papers in prominent journals if it relies on the science at all?

    • rosy 2.3

      Seeing as you’re relying on anecdotes – here’s another – from where I sit on my couch in Vienna, the cold snap was simply a delayed winter. We had one of the warmest Decembers on record. During the big freeze this month (-12 max during the day, for a couple of days), it still wasn’t as cold as the coldest maximums the winter before. It’s over now, and yesterday the temp was 20 degrees warmer than last weekend. Crazy.

      Despite the ‘big freeze’, it still wasn’t as cold as Dec 2010 (the coldest winter month last winter).

      And it’s barely snowed -There was no snow over November, December or January – the precipitation all went elsewhere. No white Christmas for us! It wasn’t until Tuesday last week that we got a day of snow. In fact, there seems to be a bit of a drought, and I understand there has been a bit of a concern about water levels on the Danube since last summer. Hopefully all that snow that fell late, elsewhere will melt gradually and replenish it. However, because it was so late I expect the next weather news on this side of the planet will be floods as it melts too rapidly.

      Hope that gives you a bit of perspective.

  3. Oscar 3

    Load of trash?

    Global Cooling evidence

    No evidence of global temperature increases for the last 11 years

    Signs of Cooling Cycle

    Death toll for European Freeze

    CH4 deposits in the arctic

    So, which part’s Crap, Macro? Perhaps you need to look at the long term global view and stop listening to your tinfoil hatted person that looks like James Hansen, that evil depopulation focussed hatemonger.

    • burt 3.1

      Oscar

      You seem to have forgotten that Humans are the biggest influence on climate. More than solar forcing, more than reflection from clouds, bigger than volcanoes…. Oh hang on – we can control humans and that’s politically a cool thing to do…

      Can’t tax a volcano … so sorry dude you’re the one who’ll be paying for Gore’s flights to tell you all it’s all your fault.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      Not one single link to an actual science site…

  4. burt 4

    Well the Mayan predictions that it’s all doom and gloom for 2012 are one thing. But another thing is sure – that ancient civilisation understood and acknowledged that there are longer cycles of events than can be observed in a single lifetime. They very concept that the last few hundred years of “accurate” (ignore the adjustments for a moment…) recording of ‘weather’ being the basis for predictions on the future would make the Mayan’s wonder just how a technologically advanced people could be so completely stupid.

    Currently we have a wicked cold snap going on in Europe – and…. Last year we had snow in Wellington for the first time in 50 years – and… The last decade was warmer than the previous [x] decades – and ….

    So Mann and his crew completely stuffed up with their hockey stick – who would have guessed. But hey they have found a world changing $84,000 has been granted to skeptics… In NZ… shock horror – how will we hide the decline (a cycle we know squat about) given that massive amount of money… Hell $84,000 could be much better used to put towards Gore’s annual travel bill..

    I don’t think we know shit about the climate, the cycles, the cycles within cycles and predicting the future is at this stage of the game Geo-politics – not science.

    • McFlock 4.1

      I don’t think you know shit about the climate. ’nuff said.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Well the Mayan predictions that it’s all doom and gloom for 2012 are one thing.

      You started off bad and went downhill from there.

      They very concept that the last few hundred years of “accurate”…

      But the climatologists are not basing their conclusions on a few hundred years but a few hundred thousand years.

      So Mann and his crew completely stuffed up with their hockey stick – who would have guessed.

      Well, you probably would have and, as per normal, you would have been wrong. The hockey stick is pretty much bang on as subsequent research has shown.

      Currently we have a wicked cold snap going on in Europe – and…. Last year we had snow in Wellington for the first time in 50 years – and… The last decade was warmer than the previous [x] decades – and ….

      Yep, had snow in Auckland to (I remember the day, cool but not cold and then suddenly it dropped to freezing (I went outside and watched as the snow came up from the south)) but, guess what, that’s just indicative that the climate is changing and the movement of air changing with it. A sudden cold snap thrown at warm, moist air will produce snow.

      But hey they have found a world changing $84,000 has been granted to skeptics…

      That’s just in NZ and is probably a significant proportion of what NZ actually spends on climate research and all of it going to the spread of misinformation. Globally, it’s tens of millions per year. So, which of the groups do you think is actually doing it for money considering that one group (The climatologists) actually does research with the money and the other group (The denialists) merely mouths off?

      I don’t think

      Well, those three words were correct – you don’t think – all the rest is BS.

    • Mike 4.3

      They didn’t stuff up, it got exactly the reaction they wanted. In the first IPCC presentation of the ‘hockey stick’ to the UN in around 2001 I think, the graph completely left out the medieval warming period where temperatures were higher than today yet there was no human industrialization to pour CO2 into the atmosphere. They left it out because they couldn’t explain it.

      The IPCC’s (Mann’s) own data shows a global cooling trend since 1998. Why else do you think they’ve slowly changed ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’. We are coming to the end of an interglacial period (The earth is in ice age conditions 90% of the time) and are heading towards an ice age, which is far more scary and damaging than warming.

      There was a statistical study to show that the 20th century was unusually warm. (Osborn, T.J and Briffa, K.R. 2006, etc,etc). This was used as another attempt to validate the ‘hockey stick’ and as per usual it sent the media into a doomsdaying frenzy. What was not reported in the media was another paper (Burger, G. 2007, etc,etc) showing that appropriate statistical tests that link climate proxy records to observational data were not utilised and, as a result, the unusual warmth of the 20th century disappeared. Both papers were published in the same scientific journal.

      • lprent 4.3.1

        The medieval warming period is largely a myth. If you believe it’s proponents, it lasted across 500 years – but in different parts of the world at different times. Most of the measurements outside of the Atlantic coast are margin of error stuff, and usually contradicted by other evidence from the same areas. In NZ for instance it has been claimed to have happened on the east and west coasts of the north island a century apart.

        There was a medieval warming period. It was around the Atlantic. It is likely that it was caused by changes in the amount of heat being pushed north by the gulf stream. There were flow on effects from that across parts of Eurasia and North America..

        The mythic nature of it in the eyes of CCD’s appears to be because they confuse it with the Norse Parthenon of gods – a nice simple tale for the simple of mind.

  5. Macro 5

    “So Mann and his crew completely stuffed up with their hockey stick”

    No burt

    There have been more than 10,
    that is MORE THAN TEN,
    I repeat MORE THAN TEN,
    independent studies that have also been subjected to peer review which CONFIRM the results.

    You can repeat the meme all you like – but it doesn’t make it true.

    • burt 5.1

      Right… 11 then ?

    • burt 5.2

      Really Macro, the same ‘adjusted’ data was put through the same model and the same conclusion was produced. More than 10 times… Well we proved the validity of the chip-set on the processors to do the same thing over and over… How brilliant we are.

      • Macro 5.2.1

        NO wrong again burt.

        smart reply but wrong.

        Since the hockey stick paper in 1998, there have been a number of proxy studies analysing a variety of different sources including corals, stalagmites, tree rings, boreholes and ice cores. They all confirm the original hockey stick conclusion: the 20th century is the warmest in the last 1000 years and that warming was most dramatic after 1920.

        • burt 5.2.1.1

          the 20th century is the warmest in the last 1000 years

          Well that proves the hockey stick then… them idiot Myan’s had some 5,000 cycle thing going on – what idiots… they should have know that earth cycles can’t possibly be that long and it’s a one way trip once we observe a change in a single direction over more than a few centuries…

          That medieval warm period – what sort of cars were they driving back then…

          Shit you’ve really been suckered into believing the “science” haven’t you – bet you were part of the team wanting to sprinkle soot on the polar caps in the 70′s to avert the impending ice age !

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.1.1.1

            If a cyclical climate event were responsible, you would expect CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to be trailing the warming trend- instead the opposite is happening, which suggests that for the first time man-made emissions are driving the temperature trend.

      • Macro 5.2.2

        Just as a matter of interest – you being a smart fellow and all that – if you wanted to know what the average global temperature record for the past 1000 years had been – how would you go about obtaining that?

        • burt 5.2.2.1

          The ice core data shows a surprisingly cyclic pattern, looking at that pattern it’s entirely predictable that we are where we are right now

          see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_core

          But hey, the possibility that the cycle will repeat as it has done for millions of years – that’s not cool.

          (silly Myan’s thinking that cycles are cycles and not controlled by oh so important humans)

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.2.1.1

            Don’t think anyone who believes in the warming trend of global climate destabilisation denies that temperature cycles exist that drive CO2 levels historically. We just have evidence that is inconsistent with that cycle for this particular temperature trend.

            • burt 5.2.2.1.1.1

              Right… and if our analysis of the timing (cause / effect ) were even 100 years out when pin-pointing dates in the 800,000 years of cyclic data then our conclusion of cause v effect could be completely ass about face. Yes/No ?

              • Except that we don’t need to be 100 years out, we’d need to be using different samples to test for temperatures and for CO2, which we weren’t- you take a sample at a section of the core and perform different tests on that same sample, so that you’re not getting different years for different tests. Basic methodology.

                The conclusion is very clear: in natural cycles, temperatures drives CO2. In our current cycle, CO2 is driving temperature. The obvious conclusion is that this isn’t a natural event, as we emit large amounts of CO2- and there is no good explanation for the disparity otherwise.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  It’s also worth pointing out that this phenomenon was predicted by quantum mechanics (and Arrhenius et al) well before it was observed in the real world.

            • burt 5.2.2.1.1.2

              Matthew

              If the cyclic patterns observable in the ice core data are correct, then things are going to continue to get more and more unstable here on earth for a few decade yet, then sometime in the next 100-1000 years it all turns cold again.

              Is it this possibility that drives us to formulate an alternate possibility that we have control over ?

              • If this were cyclic warming, I don’t think we’d expect to see the same amount of destabilisation, although I could be wrong on that. Natural warming would seem unlikely to change currents that warm northern Europe. I’ll look into that if I get some spare time to be sure.

                Really, whether the warming is anthropocentric or not, (and it is) we still need to do exactly the same things to deal with it, and it will likely still have the same effects. I’m not sure why you’d argue that we don’t need to address rising temperatures when we can emit less temperature-increasing gasses, just because we didn’t cause the problem.

                • burt

                  Matthew

                  I never said do nothing, I’m questioning the “human ego” centric view that we can control it. No more no less. I’ve got no illusion about climate change, it’s always been changing and always will be.

                  However… I’m possibly doing more than most to cover my carbon cost. 15 years ago I purchased a (substantial size for it’s proximity to a city) block of land and have actively encouraged the regeneration of native bush on it. Trapping possums and keeping bait stations stocked and also actively eliminating goats. The re-gowth from gorse to trees has been fantastic. The bird life that surrounds my house is just magnificent, very different to how it was 15 years ago.

                  I’m reasonably comfortable that riding my bicycle to work most days, a piffling 125cc scooter the other days and reducing my purchases of packaged goods are a good thing to do. I’ve embraced the reduce, re-use and recycle mantra.

                  I’m just not buying the view that we can change the natural cycle, that is however not stopping me from reducing my footprint… It’s how we should have always been living.

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna

                    You are missing a fundamental issue then. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is negligible – 0.039% by volume. And yet in pre-industrial times that was enough to warm Earth by around 33° – as Fourier and Tyndall showed in the 19thC. What do you suppose adding 30-odd billion tonnes more of this gas every year does?

                    Remember your Quantum Mechanics – the energy absorbed in the infra-red part of the spectrum has to go somewhere.

                    • Macro

                      Actually in pre-industrial times CO2 concentration was around 0.027%. Humans, having burnt so much coal and oil in the past 150 years, have raised that to the concentration you quote. (and that only because half of the CO2 emissions is sequested in the oceans, acidifying them to unprecedented levels in the process) otherwise the atmospheric concentration would be greater still.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Thanks for the correction.

                  • Richard Christie

                    No one really cares what a nobody like you on the interweb “buys” in regard to climate science.

                    Some people don’t buy that vaccines work.
                    Some people don’t buy evolutionary theory..
                    Some people don’t buy that smoking will hurt you.
                    Some people don’t buy that man landed on the moon.
                    Some people don’t buy that human activity is changing the composition of the atmosphere and influencing climate.

                    However people who wish to understand the state of scientific knowledge in regard to climate are best advised to take care to listen to the scientists who study it and to the organisations that represent them.

                    • burt

                      No one really cares what a nobody like you on the interweb “buys” in regard to climate science.

                      Then don’t get yourself so fricken worked up about my comments. Faaarc… give me a break. One moment you are ranting and calling me a moron… now you don’t care. Take your meds mate.

                    • Richard Christie

                      Wise up burt, this is the interweb.
                      We can scroll up and read your dumb arse dismissal of mainstream climate research and the individual researcher involved.
                      Don’t come across all precious when you are called out on it.

                    • burt

                      All good Richard, I’m pretty comfortable that my position of “dumb ass” skepticism of AGW fits pretty comfortable with not buying into it.

                      But sure, you’ve dominated the person attack score between us so far so I’m happy to be called a dumb ass – we don’t really need a flame war as much as you, apparently somebody who couldn’t give a shit what I buy into, seems to want to start one.

                      Rest well Richard, you ain’t gonna convert me to your “current science” beliefs no matter how many times you call me a dumb ass or a moron and point me at the scientific literature de-jour. Most of which I actively read anyway as part of assessing the science from the Geo-politics.

                    • Richard Christie

                      Science doesn’t work by belief, burt.
                      That’s not how things are done.
                      Save that for the hand wavers in religion.
                      If you want to understand the current state of climate science read the science, read what the organisations that represent scientists say.
                      Don’t reach into your big bad bag of stupid and bleat on about Al Gore, carbon credits, faked hockey sticks etc, etc.
                      Don’t confirm to everybody reading that you love your big bag of stupid by refusing the read the science and declare that you’ll never be convinced of what it might say.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Burt, no-one has to convince you, make you ‘believe’ – this is a matter of Physics and Chemistry – you can work it out on your own. If you can’t, perhaps you might trust a hypothetical politician. Let’s call her Margaret Thatcher:

                      “The real dangers arise because climate change is combined with other problems of our age: for instance the population explosion; — the deterioration of soil fertility; — increasing pollution of the sea; — intensive use of fossil fuel; — and destruction of the world’s forests, particularly those in the tropics.”

                      Oh, oops, that’s not a hypothetical Margaret Thatcher after all.

                      Source: the Margaret Thatcher Foundation

          • Macro 5.2.2.1.2

            So you would use ice core. ok fair enough.
            And of course that’s been done already.
            AND IT CONFIRMS Mann’s data.
            If you don’t believe me, get some Govt Funding, I gather it’s pretty easy to do, and head of out and check it all out! See what you come up with – Publish it in Nature and have every man and his dog scientist critic it. And hey! You’ll be famous.

            Actually burt cyclical events (solar irradation, milankovitch cycles, ENSO etc) up until 150 years ago were the climate forcings that determined the changes in Climate.

            But humans changed all that. There are now 7 Billions of us on the planet and climbing. We discovered how to use “cheap” fossil fuels to power our industries. Yes we had used coal before but in very tiny quantities. Now we began to use it and later oil in ever increasing amounts. I refer you to graph 2 here.

            The science of the greenhouse effect is well established (quantum physics). The forcings due to increasing GHG’s are well understood. The effect of humans pumping more and more GHG’s into the atmosphere far outweigh the relatively puny influences of natural variations. I refer you to graph 2 of the pdf here. The observations match the modeling so that we can now say we are 97% certain that the models predict the outcome.
            Just how much more evidence do you need?

  6. Macro 6

    “Currently we have a wicked cold snap going on in Europe – and…. Last year we had snow in Wellington for the first time in 50 years – and… The last decade was warmer than the previous [x] decades – and ….”

    don’t forget the unprecedented drought in Texas, and the continuing drought in Western Australia…

    These are all examples of a planet that is suffering from increasing energy (Global Warming) and a resulting breakdown of what has been for the past few centuries a relatively stable Climate. The difference between previous climate changes and this one is that THIS TIME it is pretty much being caused by us.

    How come the bitter cold in Europe?
    Well actually its relatively warm in the Arctic right now, and – just like that really cold snap we had last year, the Arctic Oscillation, is breaking down (only for us it was the Antarctic Oscillation) Jim Hickey summed it up when he said on TV “Someone has left the fridge door open at Scott Base”
    Well someone has left the fridge door open in the Arctic.
    What’s causing these Oscillations to break down? Probably extra energy being transported to the polar regions via ocean currents. We’ll just have to do more research.

    • burt 6.1

      We’ll just have to do more research.

      So the science isn’t settled… Oh boy I wish Mann (and his disciples) would make us their minds!

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1.1

        Duh! You really are scientifically illiterate, aren’t you?

        Burt, your dumbass talking points don’t amount to shit.

        • Mike 6.1.1.1

          Like you’re qualified to call somebody scientifically illiterate?? All I can see here is the usual personal attacks by the warming disciples without any verified scientific evidence to back up their arguments, hence the personal attacks.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.1

            Nope. What you are seeing is the usual requests to provide some evidence that is credible in scientific terms. In other words that the data has been carefully collected, analyzed, compared to existing hypotheses, peer reviewed, and then reproduced as part of the testing of it.

            Instead what we get is scientific illiterates like yourself who don’t provide squat apart from intuition, a strong tendency to confuse weather with climate, an apparent inability to read any material that others link to, and whose primary ability appears to be selective misquoting of anything you do read. In other words someone who appears to have no interest in science, who then whines that no one in the sciences takes them seriously.

            Basically a nut.

            Now I don’t work in climatology. But I do have a BSc in earth sciences. It is pretty easy to identify illiterates, and you are one. You would be one of the many that I have seen pass through this site in the past 4 and a half years.

            You are following in the well worn path stamped out by our previous clones – the other marching morons. They too were similarly too damn lazy to learn much from the vast store of public knowledge about climate sciences. Instead they frequent sites of the puppets paid for by the hydrocarbon industries who spend more time pumping their egos and with selective misquoting than they do with anything more rigorous.

            • Mike 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks for proving my point entirely.

              And just to check, seeing as though you’re such an expert on science. (chuckle). Is science based on consensus?

              • lprent

                No. And what is your point? If you try the usual technique of trying to draw out a contradiction with semantics, I will simply kick you off the site.

                That seminary style of argument went down well in the 10th century. It is quite obsolete and it just irritates me.

                Just present your argument and your evidence so I can poke the holes in it.

      • Macro 6.1.2

        yes I KNEW you would JUMP at that!
        The transportation of energy from the tropics to the polar regions has really nothing much to do with the research by Michael Mann. That part of the story is pretty much sown up.
        For a readable analysis of recent research into what’s going on in the Oceans right now you could start here.
        So one hell of a lot of heat is going into the oceans right now – we see the effect of it in diminishing Arctic sea ice and the Ice shelves of Antarctica.
        What we need to find out is just how this huge storage of heat is eventually going to play out.
        We are seeing some of it already in the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.
        Aren’t you just a wee bit concerned that it might not be all jock strap and jandals on the beach?

        • burt 6.1.2.1

          So that’s shift of energy has happened before, many many times – just this time it’s on a runaway track… Yeah… keep smoking it.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1.2.1.1

            So that bunch of nonsensical talking points has happened before, many, many times – just this time it’s going to affect the facts….yeah…keep smoking it.

        • Mike 6.1.2.2

          Oh here we go, another comment about the so called diminishing ice shelves in Antarctica. Why not tell the full story which includes snow falling in the antarctic highlands thousands of meters above sea level and shows that the loss of ice through calving and gain by snowfall are in balance. What about the satellite observations that are telling us the polar ice sheets are thickening? What about admitting that the calving of ice is the end result of a process that started thousands of years ago, well before humans used fossil fuels.

          I would love to see the data you’re basing your comment about the ‘increasing frequency of extreme weather events’ upon? Reason being that

      • Science never “settles”. It’s always open to more research on the specifics of existing theories, no matter how solid they may seem, and less well established theories can be completely overturned from time to time- as happened with the theory of global cooling.

        • burt 6.1.3.1

          I agree, so I’m skeptic of an evangelist touring the globe touting the science is settled and there is no doubt…. How about you ?

          • Macro 6.1.3.1.1

            You mean you are a disciple of the buffoon Monckton.
            Willing to believe anything – so long as you don’t have to face up to reality..
            keep smokin it.

            • burt 6.1.3.1.1.1

              Right… If I’m not a disciple of Gore I must be a disciple of Monckton… Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

              Not everyone needs a religious leader to follow…..

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.3.1.2

            The science is “settled” (as much as I object to that term) in the sense that nobody has offered a halfway credible alternative to anthropogenic climate destabilisation, and that there is significant, peer-reviewed evidence supporting that conclusion coming from over 90% of climate scientists. This is what we call consensus and it is the closest scientists come to saying something is true. We could be wrong about parts of it- in fact, we continuously get data suggesting that climate destabilisation is proceeding more rapidly than we previously thought. But it’s looking very likely that we won’t see any U-turns on this issue by the way that studies continually suggest that it’s a bigger problem when criticism is addressed or just when more up-to-date data is considered.

            I don’t care about one individual person and whether you find them credible or not- if there really is any good reason to doubt, it should be studied and the people involved should accept the conclusions their study comes to, even if they’re different from what they expected. That’s what happened with BEST, headed by former skeptic Richard Muller, and everyone involved is now behind AGW. As time goes by all skeptics who are seriously engaged with the science on this issue are conceding ground or performing experiments that address their criticisms and bring them into the mainstream of scientific thought.

            Science being skeptical by nature and self-correcting doesn’t give you an excuse to hold out- if you have criticisms you need to either make sure they’re studied or consider whether they’re actually important at all and whether the scientific consensus may actually be our best understanding, which you don’t seem to show any inclination to do based on how you’re stoicly ignoring any evidence offered to the contrary.

            By now there are really no credible reasons left for laypeople to be skeptical, and few avenues of valid scientific skepticism left. We should all be calling for collective action to address the rising temperature that could cause severe damage to our ecosystems by now.

    • Oscar 6.2

      Err,

      The cold spell in Europe is caused by Siberian air currents rather than Arctic.

      Current trends show the depression getting bigger and more stable.

  7. Wayne 7

    Climate change…..who cares?

    This is gonna be the real climate changer:

    Awesome pics between 2:39 and 2:45

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iUQN7QpMBI

    Enjoy :)

  8. burt 8

    Behind the hockey stick;

    Scientists Considered Pouring Soot Over the Arctic in the 1970s to Help Melt the Ice – In Order to Prevent Another Ice Age

    On April 28, 1975, Newsweek wrote an article stating:
    Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

    Obama’s Current Science Advisor Warned in the 1970′s of a New Ice Age … And Is Open to Shooting Soot Into the Upper Atmosphere

    Preface: My entire purpose for writing this essay is to urge that decision-makers do what is best for our planet and not do something which will cause more harm than good. Environmentalists should check my background below before dismissing this out of hand.

    When I pointed out a couple of days ago that a group of scientists and much of the popular press warned in the 1970s of an imminent ice age, I didn’t realize they had such a prominent member.

    Specifically, as New York Times science columnist John Tierney noted in September:

    In 1971, long before Dr. Holdren came President Obama’s science adviser, in an essay [titled] “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide,” Dr. Holdren and his co-author, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich, warned of a coming ice age.

    They certainly weren’t the only scientists in the 1970s to warn of a coming ice age, but I can’t think of any others who were so creative in their catastrophizing. Although they noted that the greenhouse effect from rising emissions of carbon dioxide emissions could cause future warming of the planet, they concluded from the mid-century cooling trend that the consequences of human activities (like industrial soot, dust from farms, jet exhaust, urbanization and deforestation) were more likely to first cause an ice age. Dr. Holdren and Dr. Ehrlich wrote:

    The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      burt, you just proved your ignorance again:

      Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere along with a posited commencement of glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles.

      • burt 8.1.1

        Right, todays description of the 70′s scientific opinion in wiki compared to original articles from the time …. You rock.

        My links from above seem broken, I’ll repost there here.

        Scientists Considered Pouring Soot Over the Arctic in the 1970s to Help Melt the Ice – In Order to Prevent Another Ice Age

        There are links there to the following;

        The colling world

        Emphasis added;

        To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

        And this one… (From Newsweek April 1978) well it makes you acknowledge the frailty of wiki with respect to historic event;

        The cooling world

        • Richard Christie 8.1.1.1

          You are a moron to get your science from blogs.
          If you are new to the real science as you obviously are, use NASA, or NOAA websites, read original sources and get it from real scientists, not The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, Newsweek or dumb arse blogs.
          Wise up.

          • burt 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes indeed;

            No argument for today’s current reports. However old articles copies as PDF’s are substantively better historical reports of the 70′s than wiki today.

            Only a moron would expect wiki to be totally accurate reporting what is an embarrassment to climate scientists.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.1.1

              …and press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles.

              I think I’ll stick with Wiki which has at least been proven as accurate as Encyclopaedia Britannica compared to the MSM which almost invariably gets things wrong.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.1.1.1.2

              What about the American Meteorological Society? Would I be a moron to rely on them?

              Citation: DOI:10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1
              The Myth of the 1970′s Global Cooling Scientific Concensus. Peterson, Connolley, Fleck, 2008.

              “There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an
              imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated
              the peer-reviewed literature even then.”

              There – you learned something today.

      • burt 8.1.2

        But Draco, the key point I’m making is that science evolves… All we can say is the what we believe to be true is exactly that believe. Only time will prove if the hockey stick is real…. Going bananas at people who don’t have the faith won’t make it real.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.2.1

          No, the temperature record proves that the hockey stick is real – or haven’t you grasped that it is not a forecast, but an observation?
          Pretending that science and belief are interchangeable concepts just makes you look like a tool, by the way – whether you believe it or not. “Not only is it not right, it’s not even wrong!”

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.2

          Physical measurements aren’t a belief no matter how much you’d like them to be. They’re a direct representative of reality.

          • Macro 8.1.2.2.1

            That is the point that burt is really struggling with. He thinks that all those millions of observations and data records are just made up, and scientists BELIEVE them.
            I think his problem is that he has his head in the “clouds” ;)

        • NickS 8.1.2.3

          If I was more awake I’d hunt down the cluebat posts I wrote years back addressing your ignorances, though they might be a bit above your reading level…

          Anyhow, science is provisional, in so far that we take evidence for x as true once said evidence passes muster with (actual, actively publishing/researching) experts in the field(s) the body of evidence for x involves. And will only be overturned new, more stronger evidence comes to light that x and it’s evidence is varying levels of wrongzors, which the fun implications of this is that you can’t say that x is going to be proven wrong in future at all without sufficient evidence. And until that point, x is provisional true.

          Also, per my post below, as your historiography is wrong, it makes your claim of this being an example of science changing wrong. If wanted to show change in climate sciences, you’d be better off looking at how modelling has changed with the rise of cheap computing, and how those changes have been rather incremental in terms of accuracy on the global averages level. And yet becoming far more powerful at predicting regional level changes.

          Of course, you’d already know this if you had but bothered to read up on climate history from the relevant places, instead of throwing together a half-baked mess drawn from pop-sci media reports.

      • burt 8.1.3

        But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend

        Gosh, that’s a familiar phrase isn’t it…..

        • Richard Christie 8.1.3.1

          If you want consensus opinion of scientists you could read what the bodies who represent them say. Read position statements of the Royal Academy, NASA NOAA and a every single scientific body on the planet. They are all on board in regard to changes and trends in the global climate temperatures. All of them. All the physical and earth sciences. All of them. No exceptions.

          Instead, you go to the innerwub and copy and paste from blogs and newspapers.

          Wise up.

          • burt 8.1.3.1.1

            So…. let me guess, people just made up all that stuff about impending doom of an ice age in the 70′s….

            Time magazine 1974…(If you have a subscription…)

            http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3.1.1.1

              So…. let me guess, people just made up all that stuff about impending doom of an ice age in the 70′s….

              Yep, they did. Journos being incompetent – again.

            • Richard Christie 8.1.3.1.1.2

              You’re just not getting this, are you Mr Smartypants.

              You want to understand the state of the science, read the science or statements of science’s representative organisations, don’t rely on magazines, nor politically motivated blogs or think tanks.

              See if you can manage it.

              • burt

                Sure, Is there a chant to make me absolutely believe it as well ?

                • McFlock

                  Says it all, really – you and the Noah’s Ark believers want to reduce the scientific method to equivalence with random religious belief.

      • burt 8.1.4

        And here is that link to the detail that Obama’s scientific adviser has learnt a bit since the 70′s – lucky he didn’t have such influence then eh ;-)

        http://georgewashington2.blogspot.co.nz/2009/12/obamas-current-science-advisor-warned.html

    • NickS 8.2

      Your histography’s wrongzors.

      i.e. when we actually look at the literature published then, rather than news reports, the it’s heavily weighted towards a warmer world*. The focus on cooling is due to ye olde media issues with not getting science (and sensationalism) and pop-sci authors cherry picking the literature, rather than reviewing it properly.

      Aka /learntohistoryn00b
      ___________________
      *Climate crock of the week has it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XB3S0fnOr0M there’s some history of science stuff pub’d in one of the climate journals, but Nick be fucking tired.

      • burt 8.2.1

        greenman3610 uploads a clip in 2009 – well he must be right ! It’s a crock… I’ll throw out the old time magazines and just start watching what greenman3610 has to say – after all – he knows which bits of the contradictory settled science and ‘almost unanimous’ views were the right ones every time they changed.

        Cheers Nicks, you have earned your rest.

        • NickS 8.2.1.1

          /facepalm

          Or you could watch the video and look at the references and go from their you douche-wit.

          There’s even this marvellous thing called “google scholar” which will allow you to hutn down papers quickly…

      • Oscar 8.2.2

        Not by Fire, but Ice is an excellent comprehensive look at the science behind how an ice age begins.

        One of the major factors is our orbit changing. Venus’ orbit has now been shown to have changed with the day being either 6.5 minutes shorter/longer depending which media article you read.

        In addition we’ve got the methane deposits coming through thick and fast. The increased volcanism underwater, as well as on land.

        Ten years ago the metoffice of the UK said that with Global Warming / climate change that snow would disappear within a decade. The opposite is true.

        Remember Carl Sagans famous words? “The history of our study of our solar system shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources.”

        Why is it so hard for warmists to even consider the possibility of longer, colder, snowier winters for the foreseeable future? We’ve been through a period of short winters and long dry summers for the past 10 – 14 years. Why is it so hard to debate the notion that we could very well have short wetter summers for the next few years, and more snow, along with a corresponding drop in temperatures which should show a trend around 2014/2015 of the average temperature going down, caused no doubt by the increased albedo snow cover provides.

        It’s not so much about cooling/warming as it is about making sure we’ve prepared our foodstocks and are able to provide medical treatment when required. Also need to consider how to provide heating and fuel and transport in a cooling situation. That’s thinking on a global scale as humans are far better adapated to the warmth than to the cold.

        Isn’t it better to be prepared and providing for either eventuality for a change instead of going down one path.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.2.2.1

          Why is it so hard to imagine?

          1. You have to explain where all the extra energy has gone – all that extra CO2 absorbs EMR in the IR range. That increase in Earth’s total energy doesn’t just vanish because you found an ignorant argument on a blog.

          2. What part of global average temperature is a cold winter in New Zealand?

          3. No, it isn’t better to ignore what we know at the behest of fools.

        • NickS 8.2.2.2

          Since you’ve been banned from Hot Topic (well done kiddo /sarcastic clap) I hereby give notice that I will not bother with anything you spew here-after, especially when I could be much more enjoyably engaged by eating a whole habanero chilli pepper.

          Anyhow: this is the book you mentioned: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Fire-But-Robert-Felix/dp/0964874687/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329637655&sr=8-1.

          Not impressed, it’s a decade old and googling quickly brings up multiple flaws, frankly, this book look like it is to climate change what Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box is to evolutionary biology, namely a big old pile of pseudo-science wearing a pop-sci mask.

          Please try again.

          Also in reference to you deleted sentence, /facepalm only works with counterfactual/illogical claims that are subsequently shown to wrongzors…

          Hmmn, another possible indicator of why you were banhammered.

          • NickS 8.2.2.2.1

            Squeeeeeeeee

            I just remembered who the author of that book is, namely that he’s a massive crank who makes shit up with gleeful abandon and is beloved by the early hours AM radio conspiracy cranks. Only he’s not even big name enough to rank up there with the likes of Chopra (or that classic crackpot Stuart Pivar), and only pulls in minuscule google hits despite the fanbois pathetic attempts.

            Heck, the only reason he even rings a bell is due to his crap on evolutionary biology an pole reversals, but it was so forgettable that I can’t even recall how I came across it.

          • Oscar 8.2.2.2.2

            /facepalm

            I think you have me confused dildo.

            I haven’t ever been on HotTopic. I’m intrigued as to what it is, but if it’s populated by ignorant bullshit science loving humpies like you, I’ll stay away.

            Perhaps you should read the book. Veilokovskys theories are gaining credence 60 years later because the same jackhammied IPCC wankers are finally going “oh, perhaps that crazy Russkie wasn’t so crazy after all”

  9. Kotahi Tane Huna 9

    I figure it might be nice if the people arguing with poor Burt got something out of this thread, so for anyone who doesn’t already know, Professor David Archer’s “Open Climate Science 101″ is available free from the University of Chicago. I’m someway into it and it’s well worth the effort.

    Open Climate Science 101.

  10. Jenny 11

    Behind the hockey stick, behind the deniers, is the fossil fuel industry.

    Don’t let science get in the way of a good profit.

    “adaptive management”

    Def. (the ability to learn on the job and not be impeded by a lack of scientific evidence)

    A law allowing mining of the sea bed comes before parliament.

    Lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry, (the same people who fund the denier industry), put their greed on show in their submissions to this bill.

    From Stuff.co.nz 05:00 19/02/2012

    ….submissions on the bill from prospectors, released this week, show the mainly foreign firms want a range of changes to make exploitation easier, reduce public scrutiny, limit ministers’ discretion and even allow the drilling of gas and oil exploration wells without a permit.

    The submissions closely mirror each other, hinting at an organised campaign. Companies want to avoid public hearings being the “default” position for applications.

    …… Origin Energy said public hearings could increase costs and delays without enhancing the decision-making process. They also want the right to cross-examine people giving evidence.

    …….New Zealand Oil & Gas was one of many calling for exploration wells to be drilled without consents being needed.

    (The Deep Sea Horizon was an exploration well, so this scum might be buying a fight with this last one.)

    There are also calls to make any activity not classified as prohibited or discretionary to be considered permitted and needing no consent. That could result in new activities slipping under the radar without regulators or the public realising.

    And finally, according to Stuff.co.nz in their submissions to this law the fossil fuel industry include a chilling echo of their own global warming denying puppets.

    There is a considerable focus from companies on “adaptive management”, the ability to learn on the job and not be impeded by a lack of scientific evidence.

  11. Mike 12

    Come on, the ‘hockey stick’ was proven to be a crock years ago. I suggest anyone who wants a factual, backed up by numerous sources, very detailed book upon AGW and climate change should read a book called Heaven + Earth.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.1

      The hockey stick is a crock?

      Which one? There are quite a few: here’s a small selection to help you.

      The one taken from boreholes?

      Or the one from stalagmites?

      Or the one from glaciers?

      Or the instrumental data?

      Full citations for each of these graphs can be found here.

      Kindly direct all criticism of the academic papers cited to the academic journals that published them.

      • lprent 12.1.1

        Nice reply….

        You notice that they seldom point to anything that has been peer reviewed. I wonder why?

        • Richard Christie 12.1.1.1

          Mike doesn’t point to peer reviewed work because Mike believes in a global conspiracy of Dr Evils skewing the research data and touting for research grants. Mike puts his faith in Christopher Monckton and James Delingpole.

      • Richard Christie 12.1.2

        Lol, Kotahi Tane Huna, that’s not being fair on Mike, he has his bag of stupid cannards but no idea as to what he is talking about. Mike recommends coffee table konspiracy theory books for his science information, Mike being too clueless to read what real scientists and scientific organisations publish on the subject.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.1.2.1

          Everyone’s entitled to their own confirmation bias, and as the ancients say “closely held beliefs are not easily released.”

          Still, the relentless requirement for learning moments does become a bit tiresome.

        • Mike 12.1.2.2

          Why don’t you instead of resorting to petty personal attacks and calling people clueless, help to educate me by backing your comments up. Point me to all of the non-scientific and incorrect information you’re talking about in what you’ve called a coffee table conspiracy theory book, that book being I’m assuming “Heaven + Earth : Global Warming The Missing Science” which I mentioned earlier? By that I don’t mean all the climate disciple bloggers.

          That is of course if you’ve read it which must be the conclusion drawn from your post. If not then I would bring to mind a quote attributed to good old Albert Einstein: “Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance”

          So, which is it, are you going to show us all how clued up you are (as opposed to clueless little old me) by revealing the depth of your investigation into said book or are you simply commenting from a position of ignorance? Suggesting that the author of said book is not a ‘real scientist’ is a really brave comment. Perhaps you could let us know what qualifies you to state that about the author? Whether you believe what he has written or not, I doubt very much you have anywhere near the credentials in science that he has but you could prove me wrong.

          But my guess is that you’ll reply with another load of personal abuse or attempts at ridicule.

          [lprent: Read the policy. Understand what robust debate means. In every case I have seen so far the 'abuse' has had a point attached. Also read the section about who sets the rules about standards of behavior here - I'll give you a hint. It isn't you.

          Stop whining. It is irritating. More importantly, it means I have to expend time to check the context. Wasting my time when I'm in moderator mode scanning comments is something that you do not want to do. ]

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.1.2.2.1

            Mike, why are you relying on one person’s opinion, in one book?

            What on earth is the value of a single opinion on this subject when we have IPCC AR4, which represents thousands of opinions?

            Demanding that we find a copy of Heaven on Earth and read it will just get you ignored. If the author has something significant to say a link to the peer-reviewed literature will suffice. I know I’m not qualified to judge the book’s claims, so without peer-review it’s of no value to me.

    • NickS 12.2

      lololololololololol:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_and_Earth:_Global_Warming_%E2%80%94_The_Missing_Science

      Plimer seriously fucked up, if anything the book is very much the in same strain of science-by-publishing pseudoscience shit that he’s slagged creationists for, with cherry picking and misreading of the literature, along with blatant lying. All summarised in the above link, and if I didn’t have a ton of reading to get through for bioethics, I’d dig up the various cluebattings the book got on the climate blogsphere, including Plimer citing a crackpot paper that claimed the sun was made of iron…

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.2.1

        Iron? That’s a compelling theory. Irons do get pretty hot after all. Is the science settled on this?

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1

          The sun is not ‘made of iron’, however it is ‘making iron’. The process, stellar nucleogenesis, is the main source of the universe’s supply of iron (and almost all other elements heavier than hydrogen and helium).

          These heavy elements are distributed in a widespread fashion when these stars either supernova or come to other dissolution.

          Roughly 0.14% of the sun’s weight is iron.

  12. Jenny 13

    Some on this site and elsewhere have argued that peak oil will do in civilisation before global warming.

    However evidence points to the conclusion that the fossil fuel, BAU, growth at all costs, head in the sand nutcases will see that every bit of hydrocarbon is drilled mined and burnt. To leave behind an Earth with a wrecked and degraded biosphere.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Nope. You didn’t account for EROEI.

      Once the retrieval, refining and distribution of 100 barrels of oil requires the energy from 75 or 80 barrels of oil to perform, retrieval and refining of oil will stop. At that point it won’t matter what price oil goes to, no one is going to do it.

      Its like using 1L of petrol to go down to the service station – where you can only get 2L of petrol – and using another L to get home again.

      It doesn’t matter at that point if that petrol is free. Or even if they paid you 20c/L to take it. No one will do it.

      So don’t worry, when oil drilling stops there will still be tens of billions of barrels of oil left underground.

  13. Jenny 14

    Coal the fuel of the future

    “Future Outlook”

    The US Energy Information Administration expects consumption of coal worldwide to increase by 49% from the year 2006 to 2030…..

    ……Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel, with existing reserves expected to last nearly 122 years at current levels of production, compared to 60 years for gas and 42 years for oil……

    …..Coal is also emerging as an alternative to oil, with advancements in the coal-to-liquids industry.

    Global Coal Use expanding

    Environmental impact of the coal industry

    Coal-fired power plant emissions are estimated to shorten nearly 24,000 lives a year in the United States, including 2,800 from lung cancer.[4] In addition to deadly atmospheric pollution, coal burning produces hundreds of millions of tons of solid waste products annually, including fly ash, bottom ash, and flue-gas desulfurization sludge, that contain mercury, uranium, thorium, arsenic, and other heavy metals.

    The above wikipedia article only briefly touches on global warming, and does not even mention the terrible cost in lives of the physical act of mining the coal. A case can be easily made that coal is many times more dangerous than asbestos.

    It is about time that this deadly industry was ended, or severely curtailed.

    What can we do?

    New Zealand could take the lead and make a statement that would be heard globally.

    Ban all coal imports and exports, into and out of New Zealand territory.

    Close all mines involved in the export of coal, progressively wind down the rest and replace with alternatives. They do exist.

    New Zealand should become a showcase to the world that 21st. C. human civilisation can do with out coal.

    To do less, is to give up.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      It is about time that this deadly industry was ended, or severely curtailed.

      Won’t happen. When gas and oil supplies start to seriously run down and prices start going seriously upwards, governments will have to choose between being overthrown by a cold, hungry people living in a stuttering energy starved economy. Or using more coal.

      So they’ll use more coal, every time.

  14. Jenny 15

    Hard Facts and Innumeracy: Coal Use Grows Despite Global Warming Warnings

    “There has never been such a depth of scientific illiteracy and basic innumeracy as we see today.”

    Vaclav Smil, distinguished professor of geography at the University of Manitoba

    Global Coal Use expanding

  15. Jenny 16

    The argument is settled, the debate is over.

    Time for action

    Let’s get started.

    No Fracking

    No deep sea oil drilling

    No coal exporting

    No coal to diesel pilot plants

    Save lives, Save the planet, plan the down sizing of the coal mining industry and redirection of the workforce into the much more labour intensive bio-char production.

    No more money for RONS, redirect the $billions put aside for that idiocy into public transport instead.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Let’s get started.

      No Fracking

      No deep sea oil drilling

      No coal exporting

      No coal to diesel pilot plants

      Save lives, Save the planet, plan the down sizing of the coal mining industry and redirection of the workforce into the much more labour intensive bio-char production.

      You’ll have to convince the top 20% of the population, the comfortably well off ownership middle class and the elite, to cut their consumption, lifestyles, income and investment return expectations by a half or by two thirds.

      Not sure how you might do that, honestly.

      • Jenny 16.1.1

        Well, you could start, by doing all you can to support the struggle of the wharfies to keep their union.

        You might ask, What has this got to do with mitigating climate change.

        In 1984 the biggest and most powerful military force on the planet could not dock their nuclear powered ships in New Zealand ports.

        The last American war ship to visit New Zealand; Starting with a walk out on the waterfront, led to a virtual general strike in Wellington.

        You convince working people and their families that climate change is a very real threat and if they are on a democratically organised workforce, they will find a way to collectively act to bring about change.

        Never doubt it.

        This is why we must defend workers like the wharfies, not just because of the service they have provided for peace and justice in the past, but because as organised workers they have real power to make a better world.

        Convince the wharfies and seafarers of the real dangers of climate change and no coal exports will cross our wharves.

        Win over the seafarers and they will refuse to man the tenders supporting deep sea oil surveying.

        Support the miners in their struggle for safety and justice and you may find that in alliance with the wharfies and the seafarers they have the power to demand that their employers provide training in alternative more sustainable industry.

        Change the facts on the ground, and as in 1984 the legislation will follow.

        Can’t be done?

        But, it has been done. Look to history.

        The Green Party, Greenpeace, Coal Action, Te Whanau te Apanui, if you want these workers to give you a hearing, get down to their Auckland picket line and stand with them this Saturday and Sunday.

        It’s that simple.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          Well, you could start, by doing all you can to support the struggle of the wharfies to keep their union.

          But maintaining good middle class incomes encourages higher levels of material consumption and energy use.

          Convince the wharfies and seafarers of the real dangers of climate change and no coal exports will cross our wharves.

          This is not going to happen since it is against the interests of everyone in the short to medium term (<10 years). That includes
          - India, China and Japan.
          - the Government (who likes GDP)
          - Auckland City Council (who relies on Huntly in dry years times)
          - POAL (who like tonnage crossing their wharves)
          - Shipping lines
          - Port workers (who like over time and a busy wharf since it means job security and income)
          - and Auckland city residents who like keeping the lights on and heat pumps going.

          Basically you got no one. Nada. Zip.

          Bottom line I stand by my original statement. I cannot see a way to convince the top 20% of income earners to give up their incomes and lifestyle expectations.

          The last American war ship to visit New Zealand; Starting with a walk out on the waterfront, led to a virtual general strike in Wellington.

          Nuclear weapons are clearly bad for most people. A heck of a lot of working class people on the other hand think that climate change is at best irrelevant to them.

          • Jenny 16.1.1.1.1

            Nuclear weapons are clearly bad for most people.

            It was never that clear that nuclear weapons were bad for most people. The defenders of these weapons claimed that they prevented a “Hot War”. And even latterly, that the cost of the arms race broke the Soviets and gave victory in the Cold War to our side.
            Here in New Zealand the argument was powerfully put by media the government and the military leaders of the time that we (New Zealanders) benefited by being able to shelter under this so called “Nuclear Umbrella” of which nuclear ship visits were a part.

            A heck of a lot of working class people on the other hand think that climate change is at best irrelevant to them.

            CV, As you point out the problem is one of cognisance.

            There are some people in positions of authority, in the media, in government, in business, who know that climate change is a terrible threat to humanity, but out of short term self interest, consciously and actively conspire to deny this fact.

            But it could all change quickly and almost overnight if this consensus was broken.

            Again there are historical parallels:

            I often use the analogy of the Second World War, because when the threat was made clear, millions of people willingly took huge cuts in their living standards, because they were convinced that the threat of fascism was real and immediate and therefore was worth the sacrifice.

            People gave up their comforts, their careers, their jobs, their families and even their lives.

            The Second World War Solution is also a term used for what would be required to reverse climate change. ie. energy rationing, blackouts of unnecessary lighting, nationalisation of vital sectors of the economy and industry. Rationalisation of production.

            The Coal industry must be the first thing to be sacrificed. As this industry is the number 1 cause of Greenhouse emissions. After that, a severe wind back of petroleum use and waste.

            Can’t be done?

            But it has been done. Look to history.

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Can’t be done?

              But it has been done. Look to history.

              You use the example of the 2nd World War.

              You seem to forget that everyone who fought in WW II was very clear about what a World War entailed, WW I having been just 30 years earlier. People ‘getting it’ was therefore no problem at all. Especially since the ‘enemy’ was the same as just one generation before: the Germans.

              The Second World War Solution is also a term used for what would be required to reverse climate change. ie. energy rationing, blackouts of unnecessary lighting, nationalisation of vital sectors of the economy and industry. Rationalisation of production.

              I’ll restate: you will not get the top 20% in society to voluntarily give up a half to two thirds of their consumption. No way, no how.

              Politicians know that the only way they have a chance to get voted in is to lie lie lie

              Hence even the Greens talking about sustainable “Green Growth”. Someone should clue them in: % quantitative growth is exponential, and it is never sustainable, Green or otherwise.

              • Jenny

                In hindsight things are different. At the time it wasn’t clear cut at all. To observers it looked obvious that German fascism was going to, (had virtually already), over run the whole of Europe. The ruling circles in England were of the majority opinion that all that remained was to make their peace with Hitler.

          • Jenny 16.1.1.1.2

            This is not going to happen since it is against the interests of everyone in the short to medium term (<10 years). That includes…..

            - Port workers (who like over time and a busy wharf since it means job security and income)

            Colonial Viper

            Kia ora Colonial Viper,

            Your statement that the wharfies are too self centred to be concerned about the environment, lest they lose overtime and wages. Has been disproven by events.

            Despite being in a bitter struggle with the Ports of Auckland to save their jobs the wharfie’s leaders took the time to comment on the the Port’s plans to reclaim a large part of the harbour to the detriment of the environment and the wishes of the people of Auckland.

            If these workers were just motivated by self interest then they would support the Port company’s plan to expand the port into the harbour and damn the environment, but they weren’t.

            Read the wharfies statement. Here.

            Read what they were reacting to. Here.

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.2.1

              Your statement that the wharfies are too self centred to be concerned about the environment, lest they lose overtime and wages. Has been disproven by events.

              Be careful there. My statement was that the wharfies are not going to give up their employment, their job security and their income in order to stop serving coal, petrol and oil shipping. So despite the irrelevant articles you have linked to (none of which suggest that wharfies will volunteer to give up job security and income), I believe my call will be correct.

  16. Spam 17

    Oh Noes! They got TENS-OF-THOUSANDS-OF-DOLLARS!

    THOSE BLOODY DENIERS! LOOK AT HOW MUCH MONEY THEY’RE GETTING!

    I mean, even poor old Michael Mann only got a cool half-million in one year. And another group only got a couple of million.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703657604575005412584751830.html

    Phil Jones only got GBP 13 Million.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6735846/Climategate-professor-Phil-Jones-awarded-13-million-in-research-grants.html

    [lprent: Don't SHOUT. It hurts my eyes (and everyone elses).

    My normal response is to WARN ONCE and THEN BAN on a second offence. This tends to encourage better behaviour.

    In case you haven't figured it out - this is a warning. ]

    • NickS 17.1

      /facepalm

      Come back when you understand what scientific grants are and how they’re spent, instead of assuming that they go straight into researchers pockets, and difference between this and those given to deniers (clue, it’s do with experiments, data collection and computer modelling).

      • Spam 17.1.1

        But you see, the argument is that for the evil ‘deniers’ industry is “it’s all about money”. It’s that the evil oil companies have so much to lose because global warming hysteria will put them out of business. The fact is that it won’t. The fact is that energy companies will continue to make money because the world needs energy and the energy companies can diversify (coal companies will face problems, oil companies are diversifying into gas).

        If the argument is ‘follow the money’, then a close look should also be at those that are completely funded to study not ‘climate’ but ‘climate change’. You don’t think that people receiving millions in research grants to study climate change don’t have a vested interest in keeping that gravy train rolling?

        I’m not saying that there are not people who have a vested interest in demonstrating that climate change is not happening or otherwise lobbying against regulation etc. But it goes both ways. There are a large number of people set to make very large sums of money from promoting climate change fear.

        • Jenny 17.1.1.1

          Spam; Your sheer affrontery is something to behold.
          Congratulations. You have taken to heart the theory and practice of Adaptive Management and wielded it with all the skill and finesse of a chain saw.

          I’m in awe.

        • NickS 17.1.1.2

          The stupid, it’s gone fractal.

          There’s these things call “grant boards”, in order to get cash from them you have to submit a grant proposal that for the majors ones has to be very, very rigorous and costs out everything properly. And on top of that, it also has to be a a novel line of enquiry, and probably produce publishable results.

          Oh and anything you publish will still be dragged over the coals.

          So yeah, methinks you’re full of shit and are utterly ignorant about how science funding works, and science in general.

          Come back when you’re no longer an ignorant twit cupcake.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 17.1.1.3

          No, the “argument” isn’t.

          The “argument” is all about the precise value of climate sensitivity, and for all the relevance it has to policy options it might as well be Joseph Fourier dancing on the head of a pin.

  17. Spam 18

    Right. So summary is: No-one has a vested interest in proving global warming, and yet ‘big oil’ which controls about 5% of the worlds oil supply must be stopped because they have a vested interest and are apparently spending a few thousand dollars… (Or used to, because they no longer do).

    @Nick: I know how science funding works. As part of that knowledge, I know that the grants awarded generally go to the sexy proposals that are topical. And its not just the science, its about who is going to see their particular vested interests benefit. They’re not getting grant proposals approved to investigate whether global warming exists; they’re getting them for by how much and what the effects will be.

    @Jenny: I have no idea what you are wanting to discuss with your threadjacking.

    • Richard Christie 18.1

      >”Right. So summary is: No-one has a vested interest in proving global warming, and yet ‘big oil’ which controls about 5% of the worlds oil supply must be stopped because they have a vested interest and are apparently spending a few thousand dollars… (Or used to, because they no longer do).”

      The stupid runs deep in this one.

      Science is not about proving things.
      Science doesn’t work that way.
      Observation before theory.

      Think before you make an ass of yourself.

  18. jaymam 19

    In the news from Forbes where Gleick has a blog, Peter Gleick admits to stealing the Heartland documents.

    Gleick does not admit forgery of the strategy document from which most of the blog bombshells were derived. There is still extremely strong evidence to consider this document to be a forgery and its text is now doubly suspicious given that Gleick happens to be one of the very few people mentioned by name in that document.

    • Richard Christie 19.1

      A forgery that appears to confirm content of all the undisputed documents that are skewering Heartland, lol.
      Deniersphere is working very hard to magic up some sort of diversionary smokescreen.
      Ian Wishart is pumping it (allegation of forgery) for all he possibly can. Go Ian, lol.

      • jaymam 19.1.1

        The most damaging Heartland quotes were fabricated and contained only in the fake memo.

        • rosy 19.1.1.1

          However the information that followed the fake 2-page memo is all true …

          A leading defender of climate change admitted tricking the libertarian Heartland Institute into turning over confidential documents detailing its plans to discredit the teaching of science to school children in last week’s sensational expose.

          In the latest revelation, Peter Gleick, a water scientist and president of the Pacific Institute who has been active in the climate wars, apologised on Monday for using a false name to obtain materials from Heartland, a Chicago-based think tank with a core mission of dismissing climate change

          “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts – often anonymous, well-funded and co-ordinated – to attack climate science,” Gleick wrote in a piece for Huffington Post…

          …. Heartland’s president Joseph Bast said the unauthorised release of confidential documents – and a two-page memo it has condemned as a fake – had caused permanent damage to its reputation.

          See also: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/-the-origin-of-the-heartl_b_1289669.html

        • Richard Christie 19.1.1.2

          Says the Heartland institute, and you believe them, lol.
          I expect they’ll be suing for libel then.
          Get out the deck chairs Smithers, could be in for some entertainment.

          • jaymam 19.1.1.2.1

            http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/peter-gleick-confesses-to-obtaining-heartland-documents-under-false-pretenses/253395/

            Gleick says that he got the document anonymously:

            “At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy.”

            I don’t believe Gleick, I think he wrote the fake document. However, let us keep watching events as they unfold – a new revelation every hour or so. You guys should really try to keep up.

            e.g. Gleick booted off as chairman of the Task Force on Scientific Ethics, American Geophysical Union, – their task:
            “Review the current state of AGU’s scientific ethical standards in the geophysical sciences and those of other related professional/scholarly societies;
            “Propose sanctions for those who violate AGU’s ethical principles”
            etc!

            • Richard Christie 19.1.1.2.1.1

              No, Jayman, there is no need to”keep up” or take our eyes off the ball by worrying about manufactured smokescreens over alleged fakes, or the consequent fate of whistle-blowers.
              The main story is that Heartland Institute has been further exposed as an organisation that supports the services of liars and that it has no problem trying to put the same misinformation before children.

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