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Climate skeptic wakes up

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, August 1st, 2012 - 83 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, science - Tags: , ,

There aren’t many climate skeptics whose opinions can be affected by mere evidence, so hats off to Richard Muller (ht Joe90). Here’s extracts from his piece in the New York Times:

The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.

These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming. …

What has caused the gradual but systematic rise of two and a half degrees? We tried fitting the shape to simple math functions (exponentials, polynomials), to solar activity and even to rising functions like world population. By far the best match was to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice. Just as important, our record is long enough that we could search for the fingerprint of solar variability, based on the historical record of sunspots. That fingerprint is absent.

How definite is the attribution to humans? The carbon dioxide curve gives a better match than anything else we’ve tried. Its magnitude is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect — extra warming from trapped heat radiation. These facts don’t prove causality and they shouldn’t end skepticism, but they raise the bar: to be considered seriously, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as carbon dioxide does. …

What about the future? As carbon dioxide emissions increase, the temperature should continue to rise. I expect the rate of warming to proceed at a steady pace, about one and a half degrees over land in the next 50 years, less if the oceans are included. But if China continues its rapid economic growth (it has averaged 10 percent per year over the last 20 years) and its vast use of coal (it typically adds one new gigawatt per month), then that same warming could take place in less than 20 years. …

Richard A. Muller, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former MacArthur Foundation fellow, is the author, most recently, of “Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines.”

The main graph can be found here:

The following chart shows the annual land-surface average temperature using a 12 month moving average of surface temperatures over land. Anomalies are relative to the Jan 1950 – December 1979 mean. The grey band indicates 95% statistical and spatial uncertainty interval.

In other topical climate related publications, see:

“Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math”,
“Top Ten Things Climate Change Is Making Worse Right Now”,
“Climate Emergency Action Plan: Five Ways We Can Still Avert Catastrophe”.

Now is a time for Leaders. Nationally, globally, I just don’t see them.

83 comments on “Climate skeptic wakes up”

  1. lprent 1

    It has been rather fascinating watching this. Especially since the Koch Brothers funded at least part of this investigation.

    I see Mann on that

    Prof Michael Mann, director of the Earth Science System Center at Penn State University, said that there was “a certain ironic satisfaction” in seeing a study funded by the Koch Brothers “demonstrate what scientists have known with some degree of confidence for nearly two decades: that the globe is indeed warming, and that this warming can only be explained by human-caused increases in greenhouse gas concentrations”.

    Predictably Anthony Watts the inept meteorologist has been using our local scientific illiterates spoiler defence of being accountants about siting of land based tempature sensors. Also as usual he doesn’t even bother to state what hypothesis he was trying to prove. It has been known back to the 19th century that location was everything to getting accurate tempature records. Now Watts has done a great favour (to television weather people like himself) of proving it again. There have more rigorous studies done over the decades. I remember ones that were looking at the discrepancies between satellite and ground based that were far more extensive and actually used maths that was meaningful in the 80’s and 90’s.

    But it is meaningless in the climate change debate unless you can show that it affects the trend. In other words he’d have to show that the siting was the same or better in the past records to show that it changes anything. Since there have been active efforts in every country I’m aware of to improve the siting of stations over the last 2-3 decades – I suspect that the opposite is true. Certainly that is what the satellite and land measurements show in areas that actually have significant tempature movements – ie as you’d expect in the polar regions. And he hasn’t attempted to do so because he has only looked at current sites without even referencing siting in previous decades.

    I guess that he just likes looking at a single point on a trend line. It is rather simple-minded. Still I suppose that it is only there to fool the idiots about science like David Farrar.

  2. marsman 3

    With arseholes like the Koch brothers and Gina Rinehart throwing heaps of their ill gotten gains into funding publicity and climate change denying ‘experts’ there certainly is a call for Heads of State and their Governments to take charge and legislate for changes in order to control carbon emissions. Take note John Key, take note Federated Farmers.

    • marsman 3.1

      @ lprent. Did not see your comment until after I posted mine. Does that mean that the Koch Brothers are going to take note of the findings and stop their hoodwinking?

  3. Colonial Viper 4

    But if China continues its rapid economic growth (it has averaged 10 percent per year over the last 20 years)

    We can relax…just a tiny bit…China is going to find it impossible to sustain even 6% or 7% growth pa on average over the next ten years.

    there certainly is a call for Heads of State and their Governments to take charge and legislate for changes in order to control carbon emissions.

    I tend to disagree. What needs to change is an economic system and philosophy entirely reliant on growth. As I have said to Jenny on several occasions however, I think energy depletion will do all the heavy lifting and force that change on us pretty soon.

    • lprent 4.1

      I think energy depletion will do all the heavy lifting and force that change on us pretty soon.

      It is just depletion of cheap energy, specifically transport fuels that are the main economic issue. I suspect that that will merely push a efficiency into their usage as the price continues to rise. Effectively the economic value of their usage will remain in balance with their cost. That has only an indirect effect on growth by making it harder to do the early exploitation of growth opportunities which tends to slow it but not stop it. It just makes it harder fro underdeveloped countries to pull out of poverty.

      NZ has been a good example of the limited effects of fuel prices on a developed economy. Fuel prices have varied all over the place over the decades and nearly quadrupled in price since 2000 in real terms (link is in the chart).

      However it is only the shocks that seem to affect the economy. If the changes are slower then the economic system adjusts to extract value from the new pricing levels. Transport costs aren’t usually a major cost component in most goods and services. There are some that will get badly affected, but that is usual in any economic shift. Try buying a buggy whip or a millstone.

      Problem is that at present there is no economic signal that generating greenhouse gases is a bad thing, so consequently nothing is or will happen in the free market (as it will with fuel prices). It needs direct political intervention to protect the commons that will provide that economic signal.

      Edit: That was rather amusing. Putting the image and/or link in the comment triggered me into getting the Cloudflare captcha. Oh well that is why I don’t allow it in comments usually – the scope for spammers is pretty high.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        Costs are rising, due to debt, debt is due to avarice from cheap oil glut. so to say there is no bad signals, is to say that the huge debt overhang isn’t due to economic signals that show a market failure, a triple market failure, our economies are run on cheap energy, prospected on unlimited resources and ignorant of climate limits. The market is signally that we need to move to a low energy economy, where zero waste is the norm and on top of that carbon emissions are seriously capped.

        But its worse. Like a warmer bucket of water cools faster than a colder bucket. The reason why so many might argue against climate change is because the processes in the biosphere have
        accelerated to accommodate the excessive carbon in the atmosphere. This has three caveats,
        first we are slow to recognize the problem, second we have a bigger problem to deal with, and third the solutions might actually do more harm (as maxing out on co2 we then suddenly cut it while the planet is in over drive expecting high co2).

        Its was shit getting here, shit being here, so its likely to be shit getting out again.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        It is just depletion of cheap energy, specifically transport fuels that are the main economic issue…Effectively the economic value of their usage will remain in balance with their cost.

        1) Transport fuels are indeed the big problem, but those increased energy costs get passed on to everything requiring transport, from airfreighted computer parts to workers getting to and from the CBD. Effectively, higher energy costs mean financial wind resistance against every economic activity increases.

        2) I agree that the prices charged for services involving fuel usage (directly or indirectly) will remain balanced with the financial cost of that fuel. So as fuel costs rise, services which (directly or indirectly) use that fuel will also rise in price to offset the increased cost. But although the financial cost of fuel might increase, the economic value of the work done by that fuel does not necessarily increase. You just end up paying more today to do identical work than you did yesterday: eg. moving the same thing between the same locations, A and B. In other words, my position is that the financial cost of that work increases but usually the economic value does not. The result is pretty simple: when the financial cost starts to clearly outweigh the economic value delivered, work gets left undone and instead, capital value is drawn down on, holiday trips skipped, JIT systems break etc.

        3) Moving to a bigger picture, the increased spend on energy occurs in the context of GDP stagnation (and also household income stagnation). In NZ, GDP growth is less than 2% pa (which if you take into account GDP per capita is basically zero). Therefore, increased spend on energy tends to simply takes a larger slice of a fixed pie. Leaving less for every other sector of the economy. Increased spend on energy for a household, means there is less left to be spent at local shops, on recreation and holidays, on buying consumer crap.

        4) The upshot of all this is that energy price increases are a tax on every activity in an economy, but a very destructive one because although more is taken out of the economy daily, nothing extra gets put back in. You get exactly the same work done but at higher cost.

        5) You spoke of higher fuel costs pushing improvements in efficiency. Yes there will be a bit of that. But those efficiency improvements are extremely predictable. And IIRC, lie on the scale of 1%-2% pa. Liquid fuel price increases far outpace that rate of efficiency improvement. And this is reflected world wide: demand destruction is the main way economies cope with a 25% increase in the price of fuel, not improved efficiency. That is not a surprise as a lot of systems and infrastructure which used that fuel are fixed and difficult/slow/costly to replace. A Prius is a lot more fuel efficient than my dinger old Falcon, but I don’t have $50,000 to buy one right now. An electric tractor would be a lot more fuel efficient than my diesel one, but you can’t buy them, and anyways the bank already says I am overleveraged.

      • Jenny 4.1.3

        As I have said to Jenny on several occasions however, I think energy depletion will do all the heavy lifting and force that change on us pretty soon.

        Colonial Viper

        Yes, and no matter how many times you repeat this rubbish, it is still nonsense.

        http://werewolf.co.nz/2012/06/has-the-peak-oil-idea-peaked/

        It is too bad that you don’t read links then you might understand the fallacy of your position.

        You might also see the ridiculousness of supporting Bashar Assad as some sort of an anti-imperialist, standing up to the superpowers by slaughtering his own people.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.3.1

          Jenny. Good luck with your climate change campaign. You’ll feel good about yourself. But Kyoto is the most agreement the world will come to in terms of co-ordinated action for many many years to come.

          One reason being that governments throughout the world will be solely focussed on dealing with the negative effects of energy deletion and peak debt for the foreseeable future.

          Jenny: Gordon Campbell’s piece is good. But it doesn’t back your position. And he doesn’t understand the nuances of energy depletion that others do.

          • Jenny 4.1.3.1.1

            But Kyoto is the most agreement the world will come to in terms of co-ordinated action for many many years to come.

            Colonial Viper

            So you hope.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.3.1.1.1

              Oh they’ll be plenty of talk fests, but nothing more substantial than Kyoto will emerge.

              But don’t worry, energy depletion and peak debt will do all the heavy lifting for you.

              • Jenny

                But don’t worry, energy depletion and peak debt will do all the heavy lifting for you.

                Colonial Viper

                Keep repeating the same old mantra CV. Spicing it up now and then with nasty scapegoating attacks on the hateful middle classes, who according to you are all to blame.

                And for a complete change of subject let’s champion a murderer and torturer.

                Let’s all be a suck up like you, to the fossil fuel lobby and the extreme right who are determined to lead humanity to disaster.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey you better check out open mike.

                  Looks like you’re a keen supporter of Al-Qaida Iraq operating in support of the FSA now.

                  • Jenny

                    Looks like you’re a keen supporter of Al-Qaida Iraq operating in support of the FSA now.

                    Colonial Viper

                    CV apart from willfully overlooking the detention without trial, and mass murder and torture peaceful demonstrators that sparked the rebellion.

                    This of course is your hero Assad’s narrative. That you choose to repeat it exposes you as a lowlife. Of course any revolution attracts all sorts of carpet baggers. (Even the American Civil war where the term was first coined). But the influence and the size of the number of outsiders has been largely overblown by the regime’s propagandists. The regime’s main narrative from the first days of arrival of the Arab Spring in Syria, was that it was all the work of outsiders. First it was the Americans and the Israelis, latterly it is Al-Qaida which fits in more with the US narrative of events.

                    Why the recent switch to Al-Qaida and away from western spies and mercenaries?

                    The answer is that the Western powers have expressed concern that their interests in the wider region may be affected if Assad regime falls. So at the moment Assad and US interests coincide, reflecting the change in narrative by both sides.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So at the moment Assad and US interests coincide, reflecting the change in narrative by both sides.

                      Since your understanding of geopolitics is both shit and superficial (you’ve said before that the Free Syria Army is acting simply for the people of Syria and independently of the interests of other regional and global powers) you’ll excuse me if I laugh.

                      US Secretary of Defence Panetta says that the nail is now in Assad’s coffin and that Assad has no more legitmacy. Its not if, but when Assad must go, Panetta says. And you think that the US and Assad are currently on the same side? You’re fucking deluded.

                      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19043654

                      Turkish, Qatari, and Saudi interests are heavily involved in the Syrian conflict (and it happens that the US has strong military ties to all three).

      • I agree up to a point Lynn. James Hamilton has shown that 10 out of 11 recent recessions were associated with oil price spikes http://reason.com/archives/2011/03/08/oil-price-shocks-and-the-reces and Jeff Rubin has a similar paper http://research.cibcwm.com/economic_public/download/soct08.pdf.

        I would also argue that oil prices have a wider impact on the economy than oil shocks alone. John Michael Greer:

        “Only a few economists at the time, and even fewer since then, realized that these perplexities pointed to weaknesses in the most basic assumptions of economics itself. E.F. Schumacher was one of these. He pointed out that for a modern industrial society, energy resources are not simply one set of commodities among many others. They are the ur-commodities, the fundamental resources that make economic activity possible at all, and the rules that govern the behavior of other commodities cannot be applied to energy resources in a simplistic fashion. Commented Schumacher in Small is Beautiful:

        “I have already alluded to the energy problem in some of the other chapters. It is impossible to get away from it. It is impossible to overemphasize its centrality. […] As long as there is enough primary energy – at tolerable prices – there is no reason to believe that bottlenecks in any other primary materials cannot be either broken or circumvented. On the other hand, a shortage of primary energy would mean that the demand for most other primary products would be so curtailed that a question of shortage with regard to them would be unlikely to arise” (p. 123).

        If Schumacher is right – and events certainly seem to be pointing that way – at least one of the basic flaws of contemporary economic thought comes into sight. The attempt to make sense of energy resources as ordinary commodities misses the crucial point that energy follows laws of its own that are distinct from the rules governing economic activities. Trying to predict the economics of energy without paying attention to the laws governing energy on its own terms – the laws of thermodynamics – yields high-grade nonsense.” http://www.energybulletin.net/node/49332

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.4.1

          Beautiful.

        • Jenny 4.1.4.2

          Any excuse to justify inaction against climate change, eh CV.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.4.2.1

            There’s not going to be any effective action against climate change.

            The Great Recession is going to do all the heavy lifting for you as it severely depresses global energy demand and fossil fuel use.

        • lprent 4.1.4.3

          Yeah, there will be a shift at some point as the price/cost/supply/portable-calories balance change. But it is going to be a hell of a lot slower to affect economic growth in any marked degree than CV thinks.

          What I was arguing was that relatively slow changes in fuel prices alone isn’t a particularly strong economic driver of economic growth except in developing countries (where the balance is a whole different beast). I suspect it will be quite a few decades before fuel prices make much of an impact on developed or near developed economies growth rates and therefore on their greenhouse emissions. There are too many alternative routes these days to achieve the same outputs.

          Personal driving is the most price sensitive, and it isn’t that much of an economic driver because there are alternatives that can take effect within a few years. For everything else fuel prices mostly aren’t that big a component in the cost mix and are reasonably easy to manage.

          Even the pure energy cost/benefit equation isn’t that strong a driver because the value of energy is always positional. Otherwise any idea of a hydrogen based fuel system would fail before it even starts (it will ALWAYS lose energy in producing a portable energy source from fixed sources), and for that matter the German use of coal to petrol conversions in WW2 would have killed their war effort after they lost effective access to the refined fuels from the Romanian oilfields in the latter part of the war.

          • Southern Limits 4.1.4.3.1

            I respectfully disagree.
            There is a good reason why this economic recovery has been slow and consistently disappointing to classical economists: they have absolutely zero understanding of how much impact high oil prices have had on economic recovery. Look at the number of stories here about how the economic recovery is slower than expected: https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=economic+recovery+slower+than+expected&sugexp=chrome,mod=16&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

            Despite so called energy revolutions in the States and elsewhere since 2008 the price of oil is unprecedentedly high, not just over the last 8 weeks either with the concern from the Middle East.

            “The current failure of most western economies to achieve anything more than minimal growth this year (2011) is most likely because oil prices are already at levels that severely inhibit growth. Indeed, research by energy consultants Douglas-Westwood concludes that oil price spikes of the magnitude seen this year correlate one-for-one with recessions.

            Looking at conventional cost curves shows incremental development costs range from $45/b (Saudi) to $90/b (Canadian Tar sands and Venezuelan Orinoco heavy oil) with most of the incremental deepwater sources in the $70-80/b range. Simplistically, the historic production cost curve goes in increasing cost order: Middle East onshore, other OPEC onshore, non-OPEC onshore, OPEC and non-OPEC deepwater, Canadian tar sands/Venezuelan heavy oils. Incremental costs broadly follow the same order.

            …..

            On the latest budget projections, Saudi needs an oil price of $90-100/b for its revenues and expenditures to balance and if it is not to run deficits and consume financial reserves. It is likely that many, if not all of the other, OPEC members have revenue/expenditure break-even oil prices comparable to those of the Saudis.

            This means that, whatever the public statements, most OPEC members now require oil prices around $100/barrel to balance their books and will seek to secure higher prices by restraining supply if necessary. However, under sufficient economic pressure oil prices would fall with severe impacts on Opec budgets.” http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8410

            “Without increasing energy sources, we cannot increase economic activity. We can print money and harvest the earth’s assets and make it look like growth – for a while – but the piper will be paid. Nature shall not be mocked. In 2008, when the economy appeared to be roaring and traders pitched mortgage-backed securities on unsuspecting clients, energy production had ceased growing. As a result, the oil price almost tripled from $50 per barrel to $147. This equated to a $3 trillion increase to the world’s annual energy bill, which sucked discretionary income from every other market and helped crash the global economy. ”

            Read more: http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/1648/peak-oil-is-real-and-will-stunt-any-economic-recovery#ixzz22SaTLIlz

  4. mike e 5

    Where are all the Nihilists & deniers Christian fundamentalists who want early trip to heaven and to hell for the other 99% of non believers.
    The Guardian has an article.
    Even Exxon Mobil has changed its rhetoric but not its bribery and lobbying Stephen Joyce is in their back pocket.
    Brownoselee enough said!
    Camoron and Osborne(the technocrat even his own party wants to sack em both).
    Boris moved the Tories to the left in London and won against a massive local body swing to the left virtually anialating the lib dems and Tories.
    He canned all motorway building and focused on rapid rail 18x the numbers moved at 1/3 the cost.
    Simple economics but easily bought off by vested interests.
    We need to cut our fuel usage in half at least to stop our continual balance of payments deficits continuing to climb.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      We need to cut our fuel usage in half at least to stop our continual balance of payments deficits continuing to climb.

      Agree, but let’s start with a 10%, 24 month goal, so we don’t send the economy under in the first month?

      Further, renationalising the banks is a great way to improve our balance of payments by $1.5B a year.

      Reducing imports of crappy consumer gizmos, vehicles and luxury items would be worth as much again.

      Finally, increasing the local pool of capital by increased savings and also money printing would reduce bleed from the financial components of the balance of payments.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        sheesh CV. Way to go! Save the Economy, Fuck the Planet…y’know. Create a plethora of possible futures that exclude no possibilities except for ours. “But the books looked good!” said the tumble weed on the way through to nowhere.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Well Bill, as you know, any change proposed is going to have to be politically and electorally viable to actually happen.

          We can put down a rapid (say 10 year) 50% reduction in FF use as a goal. But I can’t see a way to make that politically and electorally viable, let alone economically viable.

          It is all easily physically doable of course. You order half the cars off the road on any given day, you ration petrol and diesel, you ban the use of heavy trucks between cities, you place a heavy tax on industries which are highly energy intensive to shut them down or force them to improve their processes, you enforce rolling blackouts instead of firing up Huntly.

          But how many months will a government with those policies last?

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            Why does any change have to be politically and electorally viable? That’s only the case if you expect governments to do anything. Which, for the perfectly logical reasons outlined above, I don’t. And given the growing numbers of people simply not voting any more, I suspect I’m far from alone in holding that position.

            And anyway. What’s this notion of hanging around waiting to be told what to do when you already know that something has to be done? Especially when you’re waiting from instructions from the one institution that is definately the least likely to grasp the nettle and the one that will one most likely to block any intelligent and necessary action.

            Is it simply stupid? Or is it stupid and immoral?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Well OK I probably misinterpreted your outlook.

              Greer’s philosophy of “Green Wizardry” acknowledges all of what you said. The action which is going to be successfully taken is going to be taken on a personal level, within families and tight networks of trust, and in local communities. Its one reason that I’ve started commenting more directly on energy depletion, here and with friends and family.

              Central governments, as you point out, and as I pointed out, are going to be largely irrelevant.

          • Jenny 5.1.1.1.2

            A straw man argument will not cut it CV. Being an extreme right winger of course you would choose narrow punitive measures to combat climate change, in a weak effort to discredit the real measures that could be taken.

            Though deadly opposed by the 1 percenters and their hangers on, most policies enacted to combat climate change would be extremely popular with 90% of the population.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Being an extreme right winger of course you would choose narrow punitive measures to combat climate change

              🙄

              See if you can get beyond the superficial Right/Left political narrative Jenny. When dealing with hard resource and energy constraints, its usefulness as a paradigm of analysing things is very limited.

  5. Bill 6

    So, I wonder. When are the non-skeptics with regards global warming going to wake up and realise that skeptisim…oceans of it…ought to wash over this notion that governments are going to take any decisive action on global warming? They will (at very best) be reasonably reactive in their responses to already unfolded realities on the ground; probably do no more than make half arsed attempts to crisis manage already unfolded realities and never…and I do mean never…be pro-active.

    Governments principle function is to take care of business. Literally. And since business (or the peculiar way it is run and that is particular to market economies) is what is causing global warming, governments are simply in the most wrong of (all?) positions to be in any way effective.

    You can give capitalism whichever colour you like. This years fashion is for green. But green capitalism is still capitalism which means the market will continue to function more or less ‘as is’ and as a result of that far, far too much CO2 will be produced.

    • grumpy 6.1

      The whole idea of a “market” is so someone can make money out of it. Surely it has not escaped readers of this site that markets can and will be manipulated. We have seen it with oil and food recently.

      The Carbon trading market, created by Enron, is just another………

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Of course markets are manipulated. The powerful call the shots even when nothing illegal is happening. But y’know. That’s what governments exist to serve. So why would anyone in their right mind expect governments to lead the way by insisting on, or dictating, measures to avoid effects of global warming, when such measures would, by simple cold logic, be necessarily anti-market in nature?

    • NickS 7.1

      Yes, cos Andrew Bolt is so totes a voice of reason and not full of shit at all 🙄

      • grumpy 7.1.1

        Seems to me that all Bolt does is present quotes from Muller and other warmist scientists that destroy the premise that Muller was ever a climate realist.

  6. Kotahi Tāne Huna 8

    Muller has done himself no favours here. His initial “scepticism” appears to have been based on the selective misreading of stolen CRU emails, but it was obvious within forty-eight hours that the whole “scandal” was nothing but a beat-up.

    Muller has yet to apologise to the fellow scientists he smeared. I doubt they care much, but it might do him some good.

  7. Bill 9

    Is this the first global warming post on ‘the standard’ that hasn’t attracted a steady dribble of denialist comments?

    • r0b 9.1

      I was expecting one of them to at least run the latest Anthony Watts stuff on warming data! A very poor show from the deniers…

      • Bill 9.1.1

        So, hopefully with their infernal distractions out of the way, the day will come (soon) when a global warming post leads to discussion on what has and needs to be done (by us, not governments).

        And then some day after that, comments will revolve around what is being done.

        Ah – I can, it seems, still dream.

    • Jenny 9.2

      Is this the first global warming post on ‘the standard’ that hasn’t attracted a steady dribble of denialist comments?

      Bill

      As the debate has progressed the deniers have been moved to the fringes. The battle to continue CO2 pollution at unsustainable levels has been taken up by the apologists. Those who say they admit to the reality of climate change but argue for doing nothing.

      In my opinion the apologists are probably more dangerous and certainly far more immoral than the deniers, (many of whom are just misguided). But it is the knowing supporters of continuing climate change policies that we will have to battle now.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        AGW is definitely happening. Its just that there are far more pressing issues to contend with. Which if dealt with correctly, will sort AGW out as well as a positive side effect.

        In my opinion the apologists are probably more dangerous and certainly far more immoral than the deniers, (many of whom are just misguided). But it is the knowing supporters of continuing climate change policies that we will have to battle now.

        😈

        • Jenny 9.2.1.1

          AGW is definitely happening. Its just that there are far more pressing issues to contend with.

          Colonial Viper

          Oh yes keeping right wing murderers in power seems to be your top priority at the moment. Scapegoating middle class people your next. But above all, your number one priority, keeping up your cheer leading for the fossil fuel industry.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1

            You’re a woman who needs to feel besieged with enemies to live out her life aren’t you?

            Oh yes keeping right wing murderers in power seems to be your top priority at the moment.

            Assuming you are talking about Syria, this is absolutely the funniest, most inaccurate description of Assad’s politics that I have ever heard.

            You do know that the Syrian popular uprising is probably more accurately named the Turkish-Saudi-Qatar funded foreign fighters invasion of Syria.

            • Jenny 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Assuming you are talking about Syria, this is absolutely the funniest, most inaccurate description of Assad’s politics that I have ever heard.

              Colonial Viper

              Keep it up CV, you are only bringing more and more discredit on yourself.

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re a hippy dreamer. Who has bought into the pro-war propaganda, ironically.

                Hey did you see those reports of Al-Qaida Iraq bomb masters operating out of Syria now? You must think that good news, being such a bitterly dedicated pro-war activist.

                • Jenny

                  And what are you, CV?

                  Some sort of neo-nazi apologist for climate change and murderous dictators?

                  • grumpy

                    I love it when you lefties have a “free and frank” discussion.

                    Like the old joke;

                    “should a couple be frank and ernest, or should one preferably be female?”

                    🙂

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I don’t think Jenny gives a shit sadly. The reality of the “massacre marketing” that the foreign sourced “Freedom Fighters” in Syria are participating in completely deludes her.

                    • Jenny

                      Without the pussyfooting around of the the right wing Mail.

                      Another take on the executions.

                      http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/assads-militiamen-executed-after-field-trial-rebel-leader/

                      Strange how Colonial Viper was silent on the mass murder of unarmed civilians and the mass detention and torture of women and children in the families of the deserters which began all the violence. For CV it is perfectly alright for dictators to detain and murder and torture unarmed civilians at will.

                      But, dare the people strike back, and Colonial Viper is all shock horror.

                      After his hero Assad threatened to use nerve gas against the insurgents, CV refused to condemn this option, claiming that it wouldn’t be a war crime.

                      I think most people’s disgust is reserved for the dictator and his apologists.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Jenny, still buying into the loner blog massacre marketing of the “Free Syrian Army” (long since shown to itself be staffed by foreign fighters, islamic and salaafi fighters, funded by Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia).

                      A bit of summary justice up against a wall now your style is it? Not even a chance for legal representation, appeal, or handing over to the Red Cross. I guess that’s a big improvement on Assad in your eyes, your FSA heroes.

                      After his hero Assad threatened to use nerve gas against the insurgents, CV refused to condemn this option, claiming that it wouldn’t be a war crime.

                      I think most people’s disgust is reserved for the dictator and his apologists.

                      You’re such a war-monger. And parroting the same WMD-threat lines the US used to justify war against Saddam Hussein? Wow keep sucking in the Western pro-war propaganda kool-aid Jenny.

                      Hey do you really like the fact that Al Qaida Iraq bomb masters are now working out of Syria?

                      And oh look, it looks like the CIA is supporting the FSA. You like the CIA right, Jenny? Wait didn’t you say that the US was on Assad’s side in this conflict? Oh yeah you were wrong on that because you have no understanding of geopolitical interests.

                      You still standing by the deluded idea that this “uprising” is of the Syrian people, by the Syrian people, for the Syrian people? Gotta admire your consistency against the facts from a dozen different official news sources, while you rely on some obscure blogs instead.

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9445649/CIA-authorised-to-offer-intelligence-support-to-Syrian-rebels.html

                      Strange how Colonial Viper was silent on the mass murder of unarmed civilians and the mass detention and torture of women and children in the families of the deserters which began all the violence.

                      You’re watching the collapse of a country engineered by external powers, and inflitrated by many thousands of foreign fighters funded and supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

                      Justify your bloodthirst how you like, but the disintegration of Syria that you revel in has just begun.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Jenny, a show trial and summary execution of Assad soldiers is what your blog link talks about.

                      Be warned, this is the new Syria you are waving in, along with thousands of foreign fighters, including islamic and salaafi jihadists, and Al Qaida Iraq bomb masters.

          • Grumpy 9.2.1.1.2

            Very harsh and completely undeserved.

      • Jenny, tell me, did you come to any conclusion about CFCs depleting the Ozone Layer?

        Or was that a prelude to climate change “apologists” planning their Grand Plan Conspiracy?

        Just what makes you more qualified to dismiss carefully researched science – including data from NASA satellites – than actual scientists themselves?

        And will you be switching off all electrical appliances in your house, since these gadgets were invented using science?

        In fact, there goes your internet connection…

  8. captain hook 10

    spare a thought for the stay at home voter.
    his empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows.
    a parade of grey suited grafters.
    lung cancer or polio.
    ecclesiastes: 18,9

  9. grumpy 11

    Another Australian scientist explains the science – which is “settled”……………………

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/7400061/Climate-change-science-tackled

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 11.2

      I wonder how humiliating it must be when your career has sunk so low that the only “journal” who’ll publish you is Fairfax media. I wonder how imbecilic you have to be to swallow Evans’ crap.

    • jaymam 11.3

      Didn’t you read the bit above about no denialist comments? We’ll have no such discussions in here thanks 🙂

    • “Dr David M. W. Evans is a mathematician and engineer …”

      So, not a climatologist or meteorologist then, Grumpy?

      Tell me, would you accept medical advice from someone not trained in medicine?

      • Grumpy 11.4.1

        Well, I don’t go homeopathy etc. So probably I’m against the majority here…….

        Just saying, that maybe the science is far from settled?

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 11.4.1.1

          Grumpy, is that zombie argument the best you can do? Déjà vu much?

          Once again then, Gavin Schmidt’s essay Unsettled Science puts it best – here’s the whole passage:

          The phrase “the science is settled” is associated almost 100% with contrarian comments on climate and is usually a paraphrase of what ‘some scientists’ are supposed to have said. The reality is that it depends very much on what you are talking about and I have never heard any scientist say this in any general context – at a recent meeting I was at, someone claimed that this had been said by the participants and he was roundly shouted down by the assembled experts.

          The reason why no scientist has said this is because they know full well that knowledge about science is not binary – science isn’t either settled or not settled. This is a false and misleading dichotomy. Instead, we know things with varying degrees of confidence – for instance, conservation of energy is pretty well accepted, as is the theory of gravity (despite continuing interest in what happens at very small scales or very high energies) , while the exact nature of dark matter is still unclear. The forced binary distinction implicit in the phrase is designed to misleadingly relegate anything about which there is still uncertainty to the category of completely unknown. i.e. that since we don’t know everything, we know nothing.

          That’s from 2009, and still you think “the science isn’t settled” is a persuasive argument? Credibility deficit much?

          • jaymam 11.4.1.1.1

            My LEC secretary told me, re climate, that “the science is settled”. I tried for a while to convince her and the other LEC people that the science was not settled, but they would not listen. I am not on the LEC committee any more.

      • Grumpy 11.4.2

        Perhaps I need to declare my interest.

        Like David Evans, I too have a degree in Electrical Engineering. mine is a lowly B.E., unlike his PhD, so naturally I take some notice.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 11.4.2.1

          Yep, he’s out of his depth, just like you.

          Full response to Evans’ self-inflicted injuries at Skeptical Science.

        • RedLogix 11.4.2.2

          Same qualification myself grumpy.

          But it’s an indictment on the profession as a whole at how many of us have remained stuck in an narrow arrogance; not that much more grown up than the piss-head tribal antics of our undergraduate days.

    • Murray Olsen 11.5

      Grumpy, please explain why you think Evans has the ability to describe anything to do with climate. He is a computer modeller and an engineer. I’ll grant that his scientific credentials are a bit better than Monckton’s, but that’s about it.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/david-evans-understanding-goes-cold.html

  10. Grumpy 12

    Good choice……

  11. PolishPride 13

    If political parties around the world were really interested in doing something about climate change They would realise that ETS will not fix the problem.
    Reforesting the planet will.
    ETS on the other hand….not so much.
    ETS is simply another form of taxation and wealth redistribution. The beauty of it is that because it won’t fix the problem it is something that they can keep in place for well pretty much forever.
    Until the so called leaders scrap ETS regimes and collectively agree to reforest (could even use the unemployed and teach them propogation and many other useful skills at the same time) then we are doing nothing more than pissing in the wind.
    Nature has the solutions to many of our problems, both real and perceived. If we started looking there for the answers we might one day have a far better world to live in.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 13.1

      Reforestation would provide something of a carbon sink, but would reduce Earth’s albedo. Not to mention the difficulty of growing Holocene species in an Anthropocene climate.

    • lprent 13.2

      Reforestation would help but it is rather pointless gesture when the rate of new CO2 emissions is higher than the amount that vegetation can sequester by at least an order of magnitude.

      At a rough figuring reforesting the entire world right now wouldn’t keep up with the increase in the annual increase in rate over the last decade that we’re pushing CO2 into the atmosphere. At some state such forests would hit steady state (ie maturity) and would start releasing as CO2 as they absorb.

      And of course currently most of the CO2 being emitted is getting stored in cooler ocean waters (and steadily making the oceans measurably more acidic – that is a *lot* of CO2 even for the volumes of the worlds oceans). Eventually almost all of that will get released back into the atmosphere over decades and centuries.

      The only viable solution is to drastically reduce the amount of CO2 released. Then sequestration techniques like forestation would be useful. They aren’t effective when the amount of CO2 being released from fossil carbon stocks keeps rising each year.

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