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Farrar peddles climate change denial nonsense

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, September 3rd, 2018 - 151 comments
Categories: blogs, climate change, David Farrar, dpf, Environment, global warming, national, same old national, science, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

You would think that the blog site most closely associated with National would be a little more circumspect.  Maybe DPF just wants to show that he is a champion of free speech.  Whatever happened he has peddled more nonsense from a climate change denier.  He used to express some belief that global warming was actually happening but has expressed no such belief in his latest post.

For those of you who do not know the guest columnist, Bryan Leland, is an electrical engineer.  For a long time he has been saying that climate change is a myth and global warming is not happening.  He writes occasional blogs on the New Zealand Centre for Policy Research website, which has as contributors right wingers such as Don Brash and Muriel Newman.

He sees himself as a champion of the cause and complained to the Media Council when the Herald refused to publish one of his articles.

The Herald was disparaging in its response:

Just because someone holds an eccentric view, it does not mean they are entitled to run in the paper.

Although interestingly the Council did not consider Leyland to hold eccentric views it did not uphold his complaint.

Leland chose to recently complain to the Royal Society of New Zealand that its view on climate change was not supported by the data.  From the post:

It all started with a statement by the Chief Executive (CE) and two reports that made it clear that RSNZ supported the belief that that man-made global warming was real and dangerous and urgent action was essential. The [New Zealand Climate Science Coalition] asked RSNZ to provide convincing evidence based on observational data that supported this belief. The Royal Society were unable to do so and passed the query on to Prof James Renwick who has close links with the IPCC. He too was unable to provide the requested evidence. It seems that the evidence does not exist.

The NZCSC then lodged a complaint with the Society on the grounds that statements made by the CE and authors of the report breached RSNZ’s Code of Ethics because, among other things, they had ignored the requirement that statements to the public should make it clear if there were uncertainties in the science and if other scientists held different views.

This is akin to an anti vaxxer complaining to the Medical Council that it is wrong to support vaccinating kids.

Then the comments started.  The easiest way to describe them is that most of them said that climate change was utter bunk, that global temperatures are not increasing, and that all climate scientists are on the take and influenced by left wing politicians.  To them New South Wales’ drought, California’s forest fires and the disappearance of ice from the North and South poles are not happening.

Someone called MJW bravely tried to swim against the tide.  He or she said this:

We are in the middle of a massive change to the chemical balance of the atmosphere, not seen for millions of years, and always associated in the geological record with other significant ecological changes.

Those are very simple, basic facts. Forget the models, forget the ‘controversy’. Humans have extracted and burnt massive amounts of carbon resulting in a massive chemical change to the earth. I can’t see how those facts can be disputed.

Then guess who popped up?


Your first paragraph fact is not true.

We are not in the middle of a massive change to the chemical balance of the atmosphere.

Rodney Hide

In response MJW tried to inject some of that evidency stuff into the debate:

The massive chemical change of the atmosphere is the increase of CO2 from about 280 ppm to over 400 ppm in the last 1000 years, with most of the increase in the last 100 years. You can view this data, extracted from ice core records and measurements at manu loa at: https://www.co2.earth/co2-ice-core-data.

The last time carbon dioxide was this high was about 3 million years ago. E.g. https://www.skepticalscience.com/pliocene-snapshot.html, https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-the-world-passed-a-carbon-threshold-400ppm-and-why-it-matters.

So again, those are the facts. Human extraction and burning of fossil fuel has changed the chemistry of the atmosphere in a way not seen for three million years.

But in comment after comment his or her attempt to bring some reality to the debate was met with contempt.  And to add to the level of bile and vitriol some commentators took the opportunity to insult indigenous people and suggest that everyone was on the take.  I guess to a right winger the concept of someone being on the take may be business as usual but to the rest of us …

The post highlights why National was so inept over climate change.  It did not go as far as to deny it was happening, it went along with the IPCC and the international negotiations for reduction of green house gas emissions.  But in area after area it weakened and damaged the policy response that had been established by the last Labour Government.

The reason is clear.  Its base wanted this to happen and would not tolerate the type of tough policy decisions that are needed to address this most difficult of issues.

The right is involved in a culture war with the left over the issue where winning is all important.  Their anti intellectualism and their complete distrust of the left as well as their contempt for any environmental campaign means that they automatically oppose any suggestion that change is needed.  Added to their unfailing belief they are right, and a bunch of corporations willing to use this distrust and you have all the making of a policy impasse.  At at time where it is clearer than ever that we are in the middle of a crisis and that urgent action is needed.

151 comments on “Farrar peddles climate change denial nonsense ”

  1. Kat 1

    Rodney Hide!!!
    Who on earth would take anything he said seriously, the “do as I say not as I do” man is a sad and pathetic joke and should be ignored.

    • Johnr 1.1

      Well said. The father of Auckland super city. How’s that working so far?? A classic example of a boy trying to do a man’s job

  2. Andre 2

    One of the things I find tragically ironic about the attempts from the right to suppress climate action is that taking a bunch of reasonable steps to get off fossil fuels would in fact be massively stimulatory to the economy from all the infrastructure and support works needed.

    Y’know, economic growth, jobs, new business opportunities … all the stuff righties claim to be in favour of and better at. As well as the economic benefits from ceasing to send billions of dollars offshore every year to import nasty polluting black shit that just gets burned.

    • Nic the NZer 2.1

      Same problem holds for this as for the science denial. Mainstream eonomists don’t believe it will be stimulatory based on a fictional abstraction.

  3. roy cartland 3

    The sad thing is, I wish they WERE on the take. I wish they were all lying or wrong. Hell, sometimes I even wish that I could just convince myself of as much, and say climate change wasn’t happening too.

    But I can’t. Because it is. And the possibility of a few polluting business losing profits doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the possibility of ecological collapse.

  4. Ad 4

    Next month it’s the Global Climate Action Summit – one of the largest international gatherings on climate change the world has seen – will be held in San Francisco.

    The event theme is “Take Ambition to the Next Level,” aims to serve as a launchpad for accelerated action that will enable the world to meet the goals set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement. If Minister Shaw attends, I hope he comes home firing on all cylinders.

    We need some policy.

    • e-clectic 4.1

      Policy? Maybe.
      Coordinated action, immediately.
      Revise the zero carbon by 2050 to 2030.
      Junk the ETS and apply stiff carbon tax – NOW.
      Stop pussyfooting around and create a media/publicity campaign that is reasonable and doesn’t minimise the problem.
      It will be electoral suicide in the short-term but when the effects really bite the population may prefer to go with the honest approach.

      The right simply has to deny climate change. It scares the bejesus out of them. The environment supported by science proves that they have a failed political ideology of unlimited resources at their disposal that only requires the market to provide its invisible regulation. If you allow that humans can adversely affect the climate then you probably have to have sympathy for the RMA and environmental regulation – where does that end?
      That’s why the right will continue to deny even as sea-level rise laps at their waists.

  5. Pat 5

    “The right is involved in a culture war with the left over the issue where winning is all important.”

    Over simplification….as always its a spectrum and there are varying degrees of acceptance of the science within political parties and the wider public irrespective of self identified political persuasion (if any).

    Crucially, it is the reluctance to make the necessary societal changes regardless of any level of acceptance by almost all.

  6. cleangreen 6

    National-are devout climate deniers’

    Best they lern to grow gills now ready for the sea level rise that is physically coming as we daily witness.

    Just go to eny beach now to see that every year we lose anioter 2 meters of beachfront.

    That is very hard to ignore.

    and the loss of our water supplys with droughts now rising in many areas we will need to change our dairy practices now.

    Yes dairy is a large strain on or resources and where I live in the hills 1600 ft above Gisborne’s most northern reach it is very damp always with lots of rain to replenish the water supply.

    But now we see that down in the lower plains the dairy farmers are relying on artesian water and are always nearing drought so we really need to select the right areas for dairy that don’t take water from the regions where water is not plentiful.

    National have no plans to fight the inevitable.

    We are doomed if national get control again.

    • Kevin 6.1

      Climate change was one of those rats National had to swallow.

      A classic example of being on board with CC publicly but behind closed doors, a different story.

    • dukeofurl 6.2

      I thought you lived on Kennedy Rd in Napier, hence the problem with truck noise from the motorway which you raise constantly with ministers and officials

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    It’s all about evidence & denial of evidence. Reminds me of those historical accounts of Galileo finding the moons of Jupiter then inviting his sceptical colleagues to see for themselves – who were also professors. They arrived, took a look through the telescope, then denied that they could see the moons!

    The way our interface between brain & mind works is that sensory input is contextualised into what we already know. If that input doesn’t fit, the input gets rejected. Existing beliefs only get modified by new insights if the mind is open.

    Denial of reality makes the Nats more delusional collectively, unless sufficient Nats prove they have an open mind and learn from real life, and marginalise those in denial. It’ll be interesting to see if Farrar & the other losers prevail. Circumstantial evidence can be denied as insufficient – but courts routinely secure convictions with it.

    • cleangreen 7.1

      great article MICKYSAVAGE..

      But will they learn from this also”

      Besides the toxicity to our environment and public health we know that these tyre carbon particles do settle on icecaps and are melting the polar ice caps now every day as we speak.

      EU is aware of the gravity of tyre pollution now so why are the National Party simply ignoring tyre pollution as they now hold up EV vehicles as the answer, but have they looked under the vehicles to see what those round black things actually are??? tyres is what they are so EV don’t cut it national.

      Rail EV with steel tracks and wheels will be our salvation.

      National hate Rail immensely with a such a toxic energy.

      They are assisting the use of yet more oil for their support for oil companies.

      You would have thought by now that with all our “engineering” skills we could now make a totally ‘toxic free’ tyre now wouldn’t you?


      Press› Press releases ›Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – Polluters! Toxic! Unavoidable?
      Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – Polluters! Toxic! Unavoidable?
      EU to pass new caps on PAH upon urging from Germany

      The European Commission wants to make consumer products safer and is proposing standardized caps for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). PAH are present in many products such as tyres and toys.

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.1

        I read that years ago in philosophy & history of science books, of which I’ve read so many I can’t recall specific sources. I take your point that historical stories evolve through re-telling. It’s human nature to embellish them to impress others, so scepticism is sensible.

        The other side of scepticism is deliberate falsification of history. Contemporary sanitised accounts of Galileo & Kepler tend to leave out their astrological practices so as to convey the false impression that they were scientists. The word scientist was not invented till after the mid-19th century. Likewise Newton’s lifelong passion (alchemy – apparently the bulk of his original writing that has survived) is only nowadays being explored by historians.

  8. AB 8

    It’s not surprising. They will fight tooth and nail because the only viable response to CC is the antithesis of RW ideology – modest resource consumption, reasonably equitable distribution of what wealth is left, decision-making that is centred on the effects of any major action on all citizens and the environment, rather than driven by private gain. Self-sacrifice rather than self-enrichment – a complete ethical reversal.


    The other strange thing about climate denialists is that they are also fervent neo luddites who are doing their level best to obstruct innovation in the energy and transport sector. They deny that wind generation is competitive with thermal power, they are scornful about solar power ever being able to make a significant contribution to meeting demand during daylight hours, they are hell bent on stopping the inevitable replacement of petrol cars by electric cars, and they hate public transport like trains and trams.

    • OnceWasTim 9.1

      Very true!
      “……………and they hate public transport like trains and trams.”
      But then you get climate change advocates that are captured by muppetry and business interests that come along and fuck up a well-functioning system with something that’s never going to work.
      Case in point GWRC and its ‘big bang’ change to bus services.

      What’s worse is that rather than have to admit it was the wrong strategy; contracts let were less than satisfactory; and that the design was fundamentally flawed, they’ll continue to try and polish the turd.

      I’ve read the “Wellington Regional Transport Plan from head to toe twice over and the deliverables promised are a fail on almost every point. Surely that’d be reason enough for a cancellation or some pretty harsh penalties in a good contract.
      Apparently not – the turd continues to be polished, except that the gold leaf plating is still going to wear down to a very smelly turd.
      I imagine it’ll be career-ending for a couple of people. At least one of them still has a chance of redemption but so far he shows no signs of a mea culpa.

      And probably they deserve all the approbrium they get – burning as many bridges they possibly could have that might have ensured an easy regression of the ‘big bang’ implementation.
      It’s almost a case study in how not to do things.
      Keep polishing that turd Darren and Chris!

      • OnceWasTim 9.1.1

        btw JOHN I
        I’m not intending to derail the thread, it’s just that we should be very careful on who we should get to lead what’s necessary. Sure as shit, its not the likes of Chris Laidlaw or Darren Ponter (unless the latter is prepared to admit he may have been led up a garden path). My guess is either or both of them though, still haven’t cottoned on to the idea.
        (Btw…………. I’m hoping the Laidlaw will stand again – it’ll be a wetherwave as to public acceptance.
        Knowing a Ponter, I’m hoping he’ll put his tail between his legs, – publicly decry this monumentus fuckup, and go on to live for another day.
        I don;t hold out much hope tho’

    • dukeofurl 9.2

      Its not that wind power and even solar power cant be useful but they are nowhere near being as ‘reliable’ as thermal or even hydro.
      You can see that in Britains ‘heatwave’ last month. The amount of wind power had dropped substantially as an effect of the high pressure systems and of course the solar out put was higher but that has a well known fall off late afternoon.
      From a technical standpoint, the heavy generators from hydro and thermal spinning at 50 cycles maintain the AC high voltage network.
      Thats not something that wind power can do on its own, as South Australia found out. Lose your Grid stability and the inter connector from Victorias coal powered system will you cut off automatically.

      We are fortunate in NZ we have the hydro system as the back bone stability for the grid.

      • RedLogix 9.2.1

        Lose your Grid stability and the inter connector from Victorias coal powered system will you cut off automatically.

        Nothing to do with a storm knocking over an entire transmission line then?

        Actually the more widely you integrate renewables, the larger the system the MORE stable it becomes. The ultimate would be a global HVDC distribution system that linked all the continents … it would always be windy or sunny somewhere on the planet.

        And even now Australia is already responding to this;


      • Marcus Morris 9.2.2

        You are so right. Our lakes (will) act as superb batteries. All the more reason to develop and extend wind and solar power in our country.

  10. roy cartland 10

    Here’s an interesting article. It’s a bit shouty, but the pertinent sentence for me was:

    “When the greatest minds of your generation came up with the idea of enriching themselves to the extent that no one else can survive – financially or even physically – it’s time to acknowledge that we are in the throes of irreversible human cognitive collapse.”


  11. SPC 11

    Yeah sure, the deniers of “the” science are tiresome. However DPF only publishes such as Leyland to appease the right wingers on his blog/demonstrate his free speech credentials.

    However the science is not yet capable of determining a definitive path.

    There is the warming, and if it gets to a threshold methane could get released from sinks and intensify it – one extreme

    But there is another factor, another maunder minimum and while most see it as a lesser factor (that will not outweigh the warming), there is this take on a cumulative impact – one where it would be significant.

  12. fustercluck 12

    You guys do know that global cooling has happened for the past 18 months or so, don’t you? There are so many good reasons to stop pollution, increase efficiency, conserve resources, etc. Slavish devotion to computer models just distracts from real conversations about caring for the planet and enriching a layer of bureaucrats. Climate always changes. Humans have a huge effect locally. Resources are finite. These are incontrovertible truths. Applying them can lead directly to many of the conservation and even political outcomes sought by those with anxieties about the climate’s direction. Why not focus on that instead of defending policies driven by computer modelling which will always be flawed?

  13. RedLogix 14

    On my record here count me as one of the staunchest supporters of the reality of climate science and what it has been telling us for decades.

    But after many years of watching this debacle unfold, I’m convinced this is not a scientific debate, but a psychological one. There is excellent documentary evidence that a small minority of powerful, wealthy individuals have conspired to lie and obfuscate about the evidence simply in order to delay action that might impact them financially. Knowing the wilful treachery of these people invokes in me a white hot anger I do my best to restrain most of the time.

    Equally, and we’ve seen them in action here at TS, there is a small minority of vocal pro-environmental types who argue for the demolition of our economies, the ‘end of markets/capitalism’ and in some extreme cases the extinction of the human race as responses to this crisis. They openly decry ‘overpopulation’ and ‘overshoot’ … while pretending to be oblivious to the catastrophically murderous implications of actually implementing anything they say.

    On the left we naturally identify the fossil carbon burners as the enemy, while we should also understand that those with a more conservative right leaning view will identify nihilist ‘lunatic greenies’ as objects of deep suspicion. As a consequence, the vast majority of the moderate middle, which is where all the action needs to happen, are paralysed into a mutual suspicion and lack of trust about each others motives.

    The good news is that the techies and engineers are making fantastic progress to give us all the tools we need; but we need to maginalise the extremists on both sides, and start trusting ourselves and our ability to rise to this desperate challenge.


    • Pat 14.1

      “The good news is that the techies and engineers are making fantastic progress to give us all the tools we need; but we need to maginalise the extremists on both sides, and start trusting ourselves and our ability to rise to this desperate challenge.”

      I am both surprised and heartened (though thoroughly sceptical) that ‘techies and engineers’ have the situation in hand, do you perhaps have some evidence you can point to to support such a notion as those scientists at the forefront of climate research have been increasingly saying the opposite and are ever louder warning that the window in which to act (and radically as the situation demands) is almost gone.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        Both are true at the same time; absolutely the window to act has been frittered away in the most imbecilic fashion. But equally the general progress towards good non-fossil carbon solutions is pretty impressive.

        Solar is now way cheaper than coal, the latest generation of perovskite/silicon pv cells are reaching efficiencies over 30%. storage technologies are being intensively researched with solid state hybrid graphene supercapacitors showing real potential to reach and exceed fossil fuel energy densities.

        Electric cars are within five years of becoming the dominant technology. We’re getting better at doing more with less and recycling resources all the time. If I thought anyone might read them I could link to literally hundreds, thousands, of embryonic, developing ideas …. of which only a few need to come to fruition in order to transform everything.

        What’s missing is the political will in the West to commit to chasing after this goal; it’s exactly as if we don’t believe we can solve this anymore.

        • Bill

          The boiling of the egg is making “fantastic progress”.

          It’s now at 22 degrees C and climbing and we have a whole 15 seconds in which to procure for ourselves a hard boiled egg.

          That being the basic problem (among many others) facing any technological advance on carbon free energy – there is no time.

          • RedLogix

            So what. Of course it’s a totally shit situation, and we know exactly who to blame for this.

            We have two options; pulling finger, engaging political moderates across the board, harnessing our staggering collective human ingenuity and energy to save what we can from this catastrophe… or we can wallow in a ‘woe is me, we’re fucked, won’t it be fun watching the human race go extinct’ nihilism.

            Me? I pick Lane 1 despite the apparently bleak odds.

            • Bill

              Well, I’m all with you on lane one.

              But it’s not “apparently bleak odds” if the idea is to save a semblance of how we do things now and avoid dangerous warming and the accompanying climate changes.

              We get to choose one or the other – ie, we either choose to preserve a semblance of how we do things or we choose to attempt avoiding dangerous levels of warming.

              • RedLogix

                We’ve spent decades lamenting the lack of action Bill.

                Now if you want interesting ideas, then look to the radical fringes. (Most of them will be bad interesting ideas, but some will be gold. You have to dig.) But if you want action, the middle is where it happens. Right slap on top of the middle two standard deviations of the political spectrum. These are the people who get up every day and make choices, take the actions which mostly determine what happens.

                If we want action we take the middle with us. We don’t do that by telling them they’ll have to give up everything they know. We don’t do that by telling them they’ll have to revert to the lives of their great-great-grandparents 200 years ago. People are a whole lot smarter than you think, and they’ll sniff out the humbug in that proposition within a flash.

                What will work is framing it as the next big thing; an existential battle to save as much as we can, re-shape the way we do things, do more with less and at the same time extend the benefits of this world to the whole of humanity. And you leave it to them to work out the best way to do this.

                Again people aren’t fools, they know that business as usual isn’t sustainable; but they aren’t going to let it go by us shaking sackcloths in front of them.

                • Bill


                  You won’t find anywhere that I’ve argued a case that we have to give up everything [we] know or that we have to revert to the lives of [our] great-great-grandparents 200 years ago.

                  We’re inventive and whatever else, and we have to do whatever we’re going to be doing without producing any carbon from fuel in the space of a couple of decades or three.

                  And if not, then we’re going to be like Canute before an unstoppable tide of destructive change.

                  So, today, we have to be cutting carbon emissions from energy by about 10% per annum or more, but emissions are increasing year on year. That’s basically all I say on that front in respect of “how we ought to be living”.

                  Oh. And I acknowledge that capitalism (markets and growth) doesn’t withstand those kind of cuts.

                  And on the other side of things, I call bullshit on stuff like the fantasists who think we can construct some carbon capture tech that will capture as much of our emissions as does the entire biosphere at present.

                  And point to such things as the deleterious effect increased carbon is having on the biosphere through knocking the nutrient balances of oceanic algae and land plants to hell in a hand basket.

                  I guess I also do posts on both the scale and potential speed of changes that will be wrought by warming.

                  But like I say. I never offer up blueprints on how to live (much to some peoples’ chagrin)

                  • RedLogix

                    I agree with your diagnosis 100% Bill. And I agree the climate engineering ideas are pretty damned flakey. But hell one of them might just come through and buy us some time, who knows?

                    OK so think it through, so far the way we’ve been fighting this has been a monumental failure. And everytime some lunatic leftie gleefully links climate change to the ‘end of capitalism’ we lose a little bit more.

                    We don’t have luxury of time any more, we stop indulging ideology and political purity now. From here on in we have to think in terms of raw, blunt, unglamorous pragmatism. Will this work? If not, then what will?

                    That’s all that matters. It’s a kind of freedom when you think about it.

                    • Bill

                      We don’t have luxury of time any more, we stop indulging ideology…

                      And the ideology we have to stop indulging is capitalism. We need to cut emissions from energy by 10% per year. And if capitalism crashes, as every economist thinks it will, then so be it.

                      But here’s the thing. The (so-called) integrity of capitalism is elevated above the pesky laws of physics at every turn by the IPCC and by every damned politician and policy maker in government around the world today.

                      And that translates as “nothing happening” and kicking the can down the road because “carbon capture fairy dust” and such like.

                      It’s not going to end well.

                    • RedLogix

                      A very reasonable argument can be made that the unconstrained neo-liberal version of capitalism certainly needs to be clapped in chains; and on that front there is pretty decent range of decent intellectual support.

                      But whenever someone more sceptical than me reads “the end of capitalism” with no other qualifier, they quite reasonably fill in the very fat blank by inserting ‘marxism/communism’. And that thought terminally contaminates any rational persuasion we might present around the science.

                      The 20th century buried marxism under a massive pile of corpses and that is that.

                    • corodale

                      Capitalism as a market efficiency is good, this we will keep. Capitalism as a governance is our current problem, this we will change.

                    • Bill

                      they quite reasonably fill in the very fat blank by inserting ‘marxism/communism’.

                      There is that. Though I’d tend to refer to it as the ‘Marxist/Leninist’ cult that (unfortunately) came to define “left”.

                      And… I’m kind of almost persuaded that Zionism is becoming, or attempting to become, to Judaism what Marxist/Leninism was or is to “left” too.

                      But that’s another story and a half formed post that probably won’t see the light of day. Or it may. 🙂

              • the other pat

                agree with you both and action is needed but i do have that thought that im 250m above sea level……i could have a lovely sea side house sooner than later!!!

        • Pat

          Is that it?…thought you were going to provide something of substance,,,like maybe how to convert an entire carbon infrastructure to renewables all in about a decade all while supporting around 8.5 billion souls…..no? oh well I guess the ‘techies and engineers’ havn’t ‘solved’ anything .

          • RedLogix

            Over the past decade here I must have provided concrete evidence of many hundreds of positive developments, but in my experience, providing links to people who don’t want to read them and can’t be arsed using google is a waste of time and energy.

            Yes the challenge is daunting; it becomes impossible when people like you insist it cannot be done. That’s my point.

            • Pat

              I wouldnt take issue with your view if you framed it more like…”Yes the challenge is daunting;” rather than “But after many years of watching this debacle unfold, I’m convinced this is not a scientific debate, but a psychological one.” and ” Equally, and we’ve seen them in action here at TS, there is a small minority of vocal pro-environmental types who argue for the demolition of our economies, the ‘end of markets/capitalism’ and in some extreme cases the extinction of the human race as responses to this crisis. They openly decry ‘overpopulation’ and ‘overshoot’ … while pretending to be oblivious to the catastrophically murderous implications of actually implementing anything they say.”…especially when you have no realistic alternative.

              If I had terminal cancer that had matisticised I’d expect my doctor to give me an accurate prognosis, not tell me to keep taking asprin and daily exercise will see me live forever but if thats what you want then go for it,

              • RedLogix

                It’s like you have a choice of two doctors; both tell you it’s serious. One however reckons there nothing that can be done, go home and die quietly.

                The other has the same bad news but also says this is a rare cancer and no-one has certain knowledge of it. In that light however there are some promising new research techniques that offer some real hope. Are you willing to give them a go?

                A lot will depend on your courage.

                • Pat

                  If your doctor tells you that asprin and exercise can cure cancer its time for a new doctor and he (she) should be struck off…..courage has nothing to do with it, that is just a substitute for denial.

                  • RedLogix

                    Clearly you are trying to frame me as a fool who imagines ‘asprin and exercise’ is an equivalency cure for climate change. It isn’t. I’m absolutely clear on the magnitude of the challenge.

                    But let’s be absolutely crystal clear on this; the energy intensive industrial civilisation we are all part of sustains over 7.2 billion lives last I looked. If we allow ourselves to collapse back to pre-1800 levels, probably 90% of us will be dead. Or wish we were.

                    Now we may or may not be doomed to such a fate; I’ve no idea. But for me it’s morally indefensible to sit on my hands either pretending there is no problem, OR at the other extreme pretending the problem is terminal. Either framework is nothing more than an excuse for a failure of personal responsibility.

                    • Pat

                      so youre a moderate (for shame,lol)….and what aspect of your lifestyle are you (and expect the rest of the population) to forgo for a future?…for that is the bare minimum that is required…there is no technical fix, it requires a radical and rapid depowering , and then some….and even so millions are going to die though they will likely be poor and some ways from here…theres your personal responsibility

                    • RedLogix

                      Well as an automation engineer for the past 40 years I’ve almost certainly contributed WAY more to the net energy efficiency of the human race than you have. And if we are to beat this thing, it’s people like me who will be at the ‘coal face’ (bad metaphor intended).

                      Still if you want to argue that a radical de-powering is the only solution, then be plain that you are essentially arguing for the death of billions. And yet likely you’d be the kind of person who goes onto the internet and says that Hilter was a bad man. Man he was an amateur, he only got 63 million dead in WW2. How many do you think a ‘radical de-powering’ might stack up?

                      And you wonder why right wingers are still so obstinately suspicious of this ‘climate change’ narrative. That’s because they have no problem at all in decoding what you’re really saying.

                    • Pat

                      “Well as an automation engineer for the past 40 years I’ve almost certainly contributed WAY more to the net energy efficiency of the human race than you have”

                      thats one hell of an assumption…and I might argue as an automation engineer for 40 years you have contributed much to the increasing carbon emissions through promoting needless consumption….and illustrates why we will fail

                    • RedLogix

                      Nope. My last three major career roles all had a major energy/resource efficiency component. This is all normal stuff for us these days. Semi-random link:


                      One of literally hundreds of such offerings, packages and tool kits, and that’s before we even start to look at the project specific designs and programs.

                      And the rate of change is accelerating every year, even within this discipline. If we looked wider to areas like PV research, solid state batteries and across a thousand other specialties you and I are barely aware of … the total activity is quite astounding.

                      Will it all be enough? Maybe. But we’d stand a much better chance if the world committed morally and politically to the effort.

                    • Pat

                      energy/resource efficiency are neutral, it is the use they are put to that determines whether it is a net positive or negative…the current settings almost certainly guarantee their use was a net negative.

                      Yes the (mainly western) world needs to commit to the task…and the reality is that for a multitude of reasons and excuses they will not…and one of those excuses is that tech will save us….it wont and it cannot.

                    • RedLogix

                      If you keep moving the goal-posts this often the planet will be fucked before we get to the end of this thread. 🙂

                      No-one disagrees that we consume far too much needlessly. Actually that’s a really positive notion; it means we have the opportunity to reduce consumption quite substantially without having any important impacts.

                      But crucially; we don’t get to define what is ‘needless’ or not. This is not a simplistic problem; it’s complex, layered and resolves only in multiple domains and dimensions over many decades. We cannot impose a solution top down … but 7.2 billion people CAN make their own individual choices and actions, and start moving the needle in the right direction.

                      But we have to get them onside. And that loops right back to my first comment here. It’s primarily a psychological battle and we’ve been fighting it very badly.

                    • Pat

                      3 September 2018 at 3:00 pm
                      “The good news is that the techies and engineers are making fantastic progress to give us all the tools we need; but we need to maginalise the extremists on both sides, and start trusting ourselves and our ability to rise to this desperate challenge.”

                      and also loops back to this comment…which is patently false, as there is no tech solution

                    • RedLogix

                      as there is no tech solution

                      And there won’t be one if you refuse to look for one.

                      And your only expressed option is a ‘radical power down’. Yet no hint that you want to understand or take any responsibility for what that might entail. It’s almost as if mass death is what you actually want, but you know it’s not quite acceptable to say so out loud.

                    • Pat

                      ” It’s almost as if mass death is what you actually want, but you know it’s not quite acceptable to say so out loud.”

                      Youre big on unsubstantiated assumptions.


                      that should tell you something

                    • RedLogix

                      That’s rich coming from someone confidently claiming we needn’t bother with a tech solution because “there isn’t one”.

                      And still no acknowledgement of what ‘radical de-powering’ really means. You’ve had three chances now, so yes I’ve solid evidence that you don’t want to say it out loud.

                    • Pat

                      are you deliberately moronic?….radical de-powering is self explanatory,,we know whats causing climate change and we know the only way to slow its increase is to stop adding carbon to the atmosphere while we figure out some way to reduce that carbon we have added (we cant yet and we have no time to wait) …youre the one projecting mass death and yet as recently as the 1950s we produced comparatively little carbon…whats changed?

                      those alive in the 1950s led as happy an existence (some may say better) and without the benefit of a number of advances that COULD (but are not) be used to further reduce emissions.

                      No need to attempt to project your own fears

                    • RedLogix

                      And in 1950 the global population was around 2.5 billion, and the large majority lived in absolute poverty. Grinding miserable poverty, vulnerable to disease, starvation, horrendous tyrannies (Stalin and Mao right?) and general backwardness.

                      Still lets assume we can make a great big leap backwards to 1950. You’ve only eliminated around 5 billion people to get there, and dramatically slashed the standard of living for the few billion you’ve generously permitted to survive.

                      But this is before the invention of the Pill right? And with radical depowering it’s unlikely we’d permit the kind of high tech industrial matrix that might support a pharmaceutical industry … so population carries on expanding uncontrolled, especially in those countries now thrust back deep into poverty.

                      I could go on and on. It’s all speculation of course, but invariably whenever I hear someone spout a nice sounding big idea like ‘radical depowering’ they’ve never really thought through what exactly it might mean, the details and the completely unknowable risks it might entail.

                      Just because we’re in a shit situation at the moment, doesn’t mean that ANY damn fool idea will automatically be an improvement. In fact most won’t be.

                      I’m not trying to be mean to you Pat; quite the opposite really. I appreciate you’ve made your points reasonably and without rancour. Cheers.

                    • Pat

                      the world population was slightly over 2.6 billion and the assessment the bulk were ‘in grinding poverty’ is yours.

                      Whats changed is the consumption/travel patterns, the two main causes of increased carbon emissions.
                      We didnt travel as far or as often and seldom by air, our goods were generally produced locally (or at least nationally) and were durable and repairable and we had far less of them, food was local and seasonal.
                      Private vehicle ownership was approx a quarter of the current ratio.
                      Medical care was universal

                      And surprisingly we wernt all dying in the streets, nor were we in grinding poverty nor miserable.

                      So we know a western society (for it is predominantly the cause) can function perfectly well with considerably lower levels of energy consumption…we cant however be sure we can reliably feed 7.5 billion with that energy input however we (as you note) have some advances that may assist in that with renewable energy sources not available in the 50s. we have advances in medicine (including contraception) advances in genetics and a greater understanding of the environment….but we can be sure that by not doing this the world will not support anything approaching that number, or ultimately any at all.

                      My contention is not that we cannot address climate change, it is we choose not to ….and one of the feeble excuses used is ‘tech will save us.’

                    • Bill

                      Isn’t simply a question of adaptation?

                      We can adapt to survive the necessary yearly reductions in fossil fuel use, or we can adapt to survive a changing climatic system.

                      Obviously, with emissions going up, we have chosen to adapt to survive a changing climate, right? Well…no.

                      We are still building at sea level. We are still maintaining infrastructure that can’t even withstand current climatic conditions. We are not building any new infrastructure that’s mindfully geared to withstand likely future scenarios.

                      You said somewhere else (Red) that you’d pick lane 1, despite bleak prospects, and I said I’d join you there. But unfortunately, if you look over to your right, you’ll see the world of government and business and what not is on the other carriage-way and accelerating in the opposite direction.

      • SPC 14.1.2


        Lower cost and more efficient solar.
        Batteries for storage of power for the grid and for the home.

        The real issue is financing the transition from carbon production (given the indebtedness of the EU and USA – those who are supposed to invest in this for the third world) and getting the developing nations to use more expensive power.

        • Pat

          Finance is not an issue…the willingness to reduce western levels of consumption/travel however is.

          • SPC

            Yes it is.

            Governments that are trying to reduce their debt to 60% of GDP (EU requirement and also increase defence spending to 2% of GDP) cannot borrow the money. And if they do not, the US will not, and probably not under Trump anyhow.

            Travel in the west has nothing to do with affording the necessary finance for the third world clean energy production.

            And without this finance, steps that were supposed to have been made, have not been.

            While governments are restrained by debt, inaction on (already promised) help to the third world will continue. And without this global development – how many nations in the developing world will take up clean tech by choice (they are not part of the agreements)? And without this, most developed nations will make cursory and belated moves.

            • Bill

              Non Annex 1 countries need trillions of dollars to even begin laying in non-carbon infrastructure and whatever else. Annex 1 countries have promised (after much haggling) nothing even remotely close to trillions.

              Reduce fossil by 10% per year. If capitalist market relations, however they’re configured and managed can withstand that, then finance can be a part of the picture.

              If not, then finance as we currently understand it has got nothing to do with anything.

              Meanwhile and regardless, the laws of physics will have everything to do with anything we do around global warming. They come for free. 😉

              • SPC

                The first world cannot even afford the promises they have made to the third world, let alone what is actually required. Which is my point, finance is the problem, not the tech (we just have no means to make it available as widely as need be)

                Which is the problem with the financial system we have, and why it is (now) part of the problem.

                As for the developing world, such as China and India etc, and the production they now make for export to the first world until we can incentivise their uptake of cleaner teche (by placing a carbon tax on goods imported into the first world based on carbon used in production) …

                • Bill

                  …finance is the problem, not the tech (we just have no means to make it available as widely as need be)

                  Ah okay, got you.

                  The non existence of the tech is a kinda pesky detail though, don’t you think? Or, if you’re talking about existing solar and what not, the utterly impossible dance of scale and time is just as pesky, yes?

                  Question. If finance is the problem, then why are you still couching possible solutions in terms of current economic thinking in that last paragraph about China and production and carbon taxes?

                  • SPC

                    The Indians and Chinese have nuclear power options, it costs more than carbon, but a carbon tax on their exports to the first world provides the incentive.

                    Unless they do it because we ask them …

              • Poission

                Meanwhile and regardless, the laws of physics will have everything to do with anything we do around global warming. They come for free.



                • Bill

                  So New Zealand soil erosion might represent a carbon sink of anything between 1.1 and 5.6 million tonnes if we allow for a whole pile of “stab in the dark” assumptions (eg – burial of soil at sea running at 80% efficiency)?

                  How does he get from that huge range in estimate to the definitive statement that it all adds up to 45% of New Zealand’s fossil fuel carbon emissions in 1990?

                  Interesting arm waving on a colossally complex set of systems that might make for interesting conversation filler at some geology after drinks get together thang. 😉

                  • Poission

                    The paper is here.


                    it will also be necessary under the terms of the Paris agreement to fully account for all sinks and sources as full carbon accounting is required.

                    Weathering is an important part of the carbon budget,the enhanced feedback loop (-ve) is related to the atmospheric burden as Broecker 1998 suggested a warmer and wetter world the overall rate of chemical weathering would increase.

                    • Bill

                      Full carbon accounting on what, exactly? And why? And how accurate would any such “adding up” be? (Not very)

                      Fossil to zero. End.

                      That has all the flow on effects in terms of land use and whatever else that might be required to prevent further increases in warming.

                      That then leaves cement production.

            • Pat

              where were those considerations when approx 13 trillion US was provided to bail out the failing banks?….and a failing biosphere is rather more important than that is it not?

              Finance is predicated on confidence, what better means of restoring confidence than an investment in the future of all human existence (and the subsequent economic activity if thats your real concern)

              As Kevin Anderson notes, we must avoid triggering the tipping points (est 2C) at ALL cost

              • SPC

                The government component to the bail out after the GFC is a factor in the lack of finance because of the debt levels.

                The Fed and ECB see “QE” as having one purpose, maintaining the current financial system in place – and their method inflated the values of assets held by a small share of the population.

                How does one finance the transfer of clean/renewable power generation to third world nations. It is not now just the delivery of aid, it is for our mutual benefit on this planet.

                • Pat

                  What lack of finance?…if there was a lack of finance debt levels would be decreasing…not increasing as they are.
                  Finance is a construct for purpose…we can choose what purpose.

                  The asset inflation due to QE is because of a lack of investment alternatives…a carbon free infrastructure offers a myriad of alternative investment options.

                  How do the transfers to third world nations occur?…ask Chinas belt and road investors

                  • SPC

                    What about those buying up (or financing) ownership shares of assets, not being the same as giving their money away so third world nations can have ownership of renewable energy do you not get?

                    Developing nations are not doing it because of the availability of cheaper carbon. No incentives.

                    Third world nations cannot get the money for the renewable energy production without aid being given to them.

                    Yes China is investing billions, not trillions – but its ports and roads – its a distribution concept, not one based on clean tech (though some rail here and there).

                    • Pat

                      Rail and renewables are included.

                      Third world countries will need assistance (grants or aid or compensatory payments whatever you wish to call them) that is already agreed under Paris.
                      Consider the costs of mass migration and its an easy sell.

                      Theres also the fact that the current model (finance) is unsustainable in its current form so is going to default in any case….what do you think is going to happen when the insurance industry falls over? and the oil industry is left holding a bunch of stranded assets?

                      On current trajectory its all going down in a screaming heap anyway (as acknowledged by the IMF) so there is nothing to lose….and no time to waste.

                    • Pat

                      I have been thinking on your finance concerns and have concluded there is indeed a problem with finance, for the 3rd world but also transition generally and it is this.


                      The USD being the worlds reserve currency is key to the ability to back any investment just as it was in stalling the GFC…as long as there is no support for a transition in the Whitehouse the financial backing for any substantial investment will struggle.

                      In contrast should the US reinstate support then there would be no impediment….an alternative reserve currency would also provide the wherewithal but that is not so easy as the EU discovered.

  14. I find David to be embarrassing more than anything. To have this loop on his blog, to allow his commenters their free abuse of others, to have the odious Garrett stinking up the place – what a sad joke.

    We are in it now. There is no magic solution, no aliens or white knights – just what we have and who we are.

  15. Andy 16

    The good news is that the Zero Carbon Bill will pass into law soon and all the poor people in NZ will be ground into eternal poverty,

    How amusing!

    • KJT 16.1

      Of course we could put the funds we now put into oil, and wars over oil, into sustainable energy sources, and give many of those poor, work!

      Or we can continue the fantasy that wealth will allow you to escape AGW. And you can put all the costs on ever increasing numbers of poor. Worked well for French royalty. Eh!
      The Peter Thiels of this world are trying for the second. Using places like New Zealand as refuges from the disasters they caused. However. “How do you ensure the loyalty of your guards?”

      • Andy 16.1.1

        It is certainly playing out well for me.

        Shutting down the NZ economy for no environmental or economic benefit will drive the dollar down and my income up as a result

        Personally I’d like to see everyone get a fair crack at the whip, but middle class virtue signalling is going to drive the lower income voters away from the left as it makes them poorer.

        The Greens even admit that the poorest will be hit hardest

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Andy: The Greens even admit that the poorest will be hit hardest

          Hit hardest by what? Climate change or policies to counter climate change? yes, climate change is likely to hit the poorest the hardest unless we have polices to counter this.

          The GP policies state they are aimed at combating climate change and ending poverty.

          • Bill

            Shaw stood at a public meeting and defended the notion of “user pays” when challenged by an audience member.

            Financially, the poorest will be hammered under current Green Party thinking (if Shaw was representing it honestly/accurately).

        • KJT

          The poorest will be hit hardest, if the Greens do not succeed in their intentions.

          In fact, money heading towards sustainable industry is more likely to benefit poorer New Zealanders, and the economy. Instead of enriching offshore oil suppliers.

          The NZ dollar has been overvalued for some time. Advantaging foreign sellers to NZ, and killing our own industries.

          Are you admitting to being one of the legalised white collar criminals, who have made their fortunes rorting the NZ dollar?

    • Pat 16.2

      the really poor dont live in NZ…and they dont have the luxury of a stable state that we have (currently)

  16. Mack 17

    It’s hard to believe that there are loons around who STILL believe in “climate change”.
    My comments in this thread…

    • Pat 17.1

      Mack’s comment at 11:08pm on the 8th of May

      …transparent to incoming shortwave……opaque to outgoing longwave…..” parrots Stephanie.
      I just love hearing those words…..”transparent” and “opaque”. They sound so sciencey, yet “BASIC”.
      Atmospheric quantum thermodynamics for dummies……or parrots.
      “transparent in….opaque out”
      “transparent in….opaque out”
      “transparent in…..opaque out” (squawk)
      Polly want a cracker.
      “minus 18C ….plus 15C”
      “minus 18C…..plus 15C”
      “minus 18C…..plus 15C” (squawk) (squawk)
      “the Greenhouse”
      “Greenhouse” (squawk) (squawk)
      “transparent in….opaque out”
      “transparent in…..opaque out” (squawk)
      “blanket” (squawk) (squawk)
      You’re a well trained parrot from the NZ “education” system, Stephanie.

      oh dear!

      • Bill 17.1.1

        Jeesuz. I wondered what the fuck that was you were submitting.

        And “Mack” has to audacity to talk of “loons”?!

        edit – I’ve tidied your comment up to clear potential confusion.

  17. Dennis Frank 18

    Retards, oops sorry Marty, I mean cretins aside, the first canary in this particular coal-mine to fall over dead will be the global insurance industry. Prior to that the gradual escalation of premiums due to too much storm damage will reach the point where only affluent folks can afford to keep paying the insurance companies.

    At that point will the cretins sit up & take notice? No, they won’t realise the shit is hitting the fan until the insurance companies agree the inexorable trend is killing their market, and the only way to save their businesses is to eliminate climate-change sceptics. Turning the cretins into targets will be the easy part.

    The hard part for the insurance industry will be having to accept that eliminating the problem individuals will only help global remediation policies become effective when it’s too late. The inertial effect of the global warming already in the pipeline has too much momentum to even slow down in the medium term, let alone stop. So watch global insurance payments: that evidence will be undeniable.

  18. Drowsy M. Kram 19

    “Men go and come, but Earth abides” – Ecclesiastes 1:4


    It’s a plague, sans climate change, that does the damage in this SF classic, but worth a look.

    “Around them and their children a small community develops, living like their pioneer ancestors, but rebuilding civilization is beyond their resources, and gradually they return to a simpler way of life.”

    • Dennis Frank 19.1

      Got my copy early sixties, when adolescent. Had forgotten the story but still have it in my library somewhere. Thanks for the reminder. Maybe why the environmentalist ethic captured me in ’68 so readily!

  19. corodale 20

    Transition economics is required,
    regardless of whether GHGs are the main driver behind CC.

    The positive ecological benefits of lower emissions are clear. We need to remove the FIRE from our economy to save our air, water and soils.

    “The Carbon Zero Act risks falling into technocratic Environmental Economics. What we need are the insights of Ecological Economics. Real drivers are required to address the ecosystem as a whole; economics which understand our environment as an ecosystem, a living web of intelligence.” (corodale 2018) (George Monbiot explains some of the dangers of Environmental Economics in his; “The Pricing of Everything.”)

    “Discussion on methane”, is this week’s call from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Methane being NZ’s most significant GHG issue. https://www.pce.parliament.nz/publications/a-note-on-new-zealand-s-methane-emissions-from-livestock

    Ecological Economics, when applied to our methane example, shows the potential to:
    -reuse dairy manure as nitrogen fertiliser in cropping, noting the gains from organic nitrogen, as it is more efficiently captured than synthetic nitrogen inputs.
    -increase in carbon capture, using the manure to improve soil structure, and develop humus.
    -reduce nitrous gas emissions by both reducing nitrogen fertiliser use, and reducing anaerobic soil conditions.
    -biological nitrogen fixing to replace the high energy process of nitrogen fertiliser production.

    Is the Zero Carbon Act a driver to capture the positive benefits mentioned here above? Where is the Govt policy to capture these win-win benefits which ecology offers?

    Conclusion: Environmental Economics suggests the politically difficult challenge of reducing the cow population. Ecolocial Economics says, “Don’t panic, go organic”.

  20. Cinny 21

    This bit…… “The right is involved in a culture war with the left over the issue where winning is all important”… Sums it up perfectly.

  21. Dennis Frank 22

    “The Paris Agreement seeks to limit the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C, and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels. Global temperatures have already risen by around 1°C, and the most recent (fifth) assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century (IPCC 2013). Achieving the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement will require major efforts to reduce emissions globally and across all sectors as far and as quickly as possible to minimise overall warming.”

    “The emission reduction target for long-lived greenhouse gases globally is unambiguously dictated by basic physics: net emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases must go to zero if the global average temperature is to be stabilised. By contrast, physical climate considerations alone are insufficient to set a target for short-lived gases: emissions of short-lived gases do not have to go to zero, but the lower they go, the less they will contribute to the overall warming the world will experience.”

    “global methane emissions (from both biogenic and fossil sources), including their consequences for other atmospheric constituents that influence the global climate, are estimated to have contributed more than 40% of the total warming effect (radiative forcing) from all human activities between 1750 and 2011. About two thirds of this is estimated to come from methane itself, and the other third from indirect effects triggered by methane emissions”.

    These sections from Simon Upton’s report summarise the context for designing a farming policy that is sustainable. The devil in the detail is referred to as “the other third” in the final paragraph above: methane breakdown effects.

    “emitting fossil methane causes warming first when methane enters the atmosphere and second after it has broken down into carbon dioxide. The additional warming caused by the remaining carbon dioxide is much smaller year-on-year because methane is a far more effective at absorbing heat radiation than carbon dioxide – but the carbon dioxide will then remain in the atmosphere for centuries to millennia.
    Taking this into account increases the warming contribution from a pulse of fossil methane by 5-10% over 100 years (Boucher et al. 2009), but contributes less than 1% to total global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities (Gillenwater 2008).
    By contrast, the water vapour produced in the decay of methane in the troposphere (the bottom 10-15 km of the atmosphere) does not add to global warming even though water vapour is a strong and important greenhouse gas. This is because most of the methane decays in the troposphere, where the concentration of water vapour is controlled strongly by ambient temperature (i.e. the evaporation and condensation of water vapour from its liquid form, and sublimation from solid ice). Additional emissions of water vapour therefore have virtually no effect on the overall water vapour concentration in the troposphere, where most of the atmosphere’s water vapour resides”.

    Despite the opaque effect of the last two sentences, this seems to reassure us that the devil’s attention is elsewhere and the consequences of methane breakdown are a bit player in the overall scheme of things. Whew! Seems a good report.

    • Bill 22.1

      heh – I just love how scientists are so adept at putting things across in plain English…

      Anyway. Whether methane is bad, or not as bad as thought, or whatever, the fact would remain that it’s a contributory factor to AGW, yes? And the fact is that without fossil use enabling a suite of practices (in agriculture) leading to enhanced methane emissions, methane levels would drop.

      So all we need to know is that methane isn’t flash and get off the fossil anyway, because fossil is bad.

      But we have a Climate Minister who wants to chase down an agricultural red herring with a petrol driven economy because it’s a fantastic business opportunity. 🙄

      • Dennis Frank 22.1.1

        The Fed Farmers VP interviewed on the AM show this morning was clearly on the ball and actively operating as part of the solution. He even had a cost of implementation for his own farm (fifty thousand) & mentioned that electric tractors are not yet available. Have to wait for blue-green tech to do its thing there because red-green thinking is tech-averse, right? Yet more dependency on the capitalists.

        I’ll reserve judgment on the climate policy but would be surprised if a plan for switching from a petrol economy isn’t part of it. I also hope a plan for reduced dairying, with enhanced horticulture, is included. In principle, we ought not to be importing food that can be produced here.

        • Bill

          I didn’t hear the interview.

          But electric tractors would be fine if the idea is to maintain the current scale of farms and current farming practices. That can’t be the only idea in the box though.

          Given that we ought to be cutting fossil use by 10% or more per year, shouldn’t we just be getting on with it and seeing what can be adapted to fit that evolving scenario and what needs to undergo radical change, while abandoning that which needs abandoned?

          Hanging stuff on things like “electric tractors” is a convenient ploy to excuse inaction – a form of denial.

          • Dennis Frank

            You & I are comfortable with moving fast & taking radical options. Unfortunately most people aren’t. Trying to shoe-horn them into such a tight niche would only alienate them. Incrementalism is, I agree, an operational problem, but since politics only ever proceeds on a consensus basis, you have to build the numbers where the process is easiest. Low-hanging fruit.

            Think of it another way: turning the Titanic away from the iceberg, when the speed of turning the steering wheel requires as many hands as possible.

            • Bill

              Turning the Titanic away from the iceberg was what sunk the Titanic – just saying 🙂

              But that aside.

              If there wasn’t that pesky element called “time”, then we could sit around all day, all month, and for years, strategising about numbers and ‘best ways forward’ and whatever.

              But there is that pesky element called time, though it’s in precious short supply. Fortunately, through physics and its known laws, we know what we need to do.

              So we do it. It’s straight forward enough – reduce fossil use by the required amount over known periods of time. And we can have discussions along the way around how best or better to adapt to our changing circumstances.

              Or we can choose to not do what we need to do. That would be stupid though.

              • Dennis Frank

                I presume you mean turning too late – after the sighting of the berg straight ahead? Anyway whereas I agree with you in principle I get the distinct impression that your expectations of others are unrealistic.

                How much practical experience have you had obtaining consensus in group decision-making? Hard enough at the best of times when making easy decisions. On something as deep and complex as climate change, almost impossible. Most people just cannot see the necessity. Jaw-boning them doesn’t work.

                • Bill

                  I presume you mean…

                  No. Apparently the thing to do would have been to plow into it head on (with engines in reverse of course). That way, the prow would have been knackered and what not, but it could then have limped on to New York given it had a number of separated compartments (that got ripped open when the berg gouged down the side of the ship)

                  Consensus? Some. Enough to understand that consensus doesn’t require the complete agreement of all. And also enough to know that it’s a decision making process with limited applicability.

                  People don’t see the necessity because people haven’t necessarily been informed of the necessity. How many people are aware that there is a global carbon budget, after which 2 degrees becomes an impossibility? How many people understand that we may already have produced conditions that see us surpass 2 degrees or 3 degrees? How many people think that “2 degrees” just means ‘everything’ is 2 degrees above what it would otherwise have been? How many people understand that the 30 – 40 billion tonnes of carbon spewed out thos year is stacking on top of the billions of tonnes from yester-years?

                  And crucially, how many people simply don’t think about it because they trust that “experts” and governments have everything in hand?

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Oh yeah, I remember now how the underwater part ripped out the side & sank the ship that was designed to be unsinkable. Apparently the captain believed the corporate propaganda & refused to post a look-out for icebergs.

                    You got me thinking now, that the climate situation requires a pressure group similar to the Drug Foundation but somewhat more task-focused. Partly a brains trust but also a lobbying operation. It would have to agree on the optimal design of the climate solution for public policy, then apply pressure to successive governments in respect of any inadequacies in how the govt is performing on climate.

                    • Bill

                      The task is simple. Reduce those emissions by the required amount in the allotted time frame. Physics provides the numbers and what not.

                      As for the nuts and bolts of the policies that will reduce those emissions, well politicians wanted the gig, yes? So as far as I’m concerned they can do as they will, as long as those emission reductions are happening and they aren’t doing me over in the process.

                      If they had half a brain between them, they’d go for a simple hard sinking cap. But that would mean jettisoning a lot of ‘sacred’ truths they hold dear. So, whatever… if they can produce something apart from a hard sinking cap that actually delivers, then all good.

                    • Mack

                      So OK then, Dennis and Bill ,we need a “brains trust” that will give us a “simple hard sinking cap” ?

                      Bloody beauty, mate. You guys are a 2 man think tank.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Could always make it three. You just need to put in a contribution. 😎

                    • Mack

                      Nah, sorry Dennis, I’m not into groupthink and especially not the establishment groupthink of AGW. A “brains trust”?…nah, too much like one smart-ass saying…”Trust my brain, I know what I’m doing”.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I’ve never been into group-think – usually disagree with others. I’ve got several books by climate change sceptics. I graduated BSc in physics when I was young, so I know that to suss out complex dimensions of reality gotta be careful & thorough.

                      Not all climate-change sceptics are braindead – I appreciate the reasoning of those who give the evidence an open-minded appraisal. Some have made valid points. Critiques of alarmism are of two kinds: those that are rational & evidence-based, and those that are ideological and irrational.

                      So why bother to come here & comment? You really have no intelligence to demonstrate?? Just wasting your valuable time?

                    • Mack

                      “So why bother to come here and comment?” ” You really have no intelligence to demonstrate??”

                      I see you have a BSc in Physics, Dennis ,when you were young.

                      When I was young, the best I got was only a C pass in physics 101….so I guess you have more “intelligence to demonstrate” than me.

                      So let’s see what intelligence you demonstrate when it comes to examining Kevin Trenberth’s Earth Energy Budget Diagrams, Dennis. What do you make of them? Give me a little explanation of what is going on here….You are conversant with them? I hope?
                      In particular , how is 342 w/sq.m. incoming solar radiation arrived at?
                      We can then ascertain whether or not I’m “wasting” my “valuable time”.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      “At Earth’s distance from the Sun, about 1,368 watts of power in the form of EM radiation from the Sun fall on an area of one square meter.” “A planet twice as far from the Sun as is Earth would be feebly warmed by just 1/4th as much radiation (342 W/m2).”

                      Claiming that his views had been misrepresented, Trenbleth said “I was not questioning the link between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and warming”.

                    • Mack

                      Well you’ve just sent me off to a link that regurgitates the same pseudoscientific misinformation perpetuated by Trenberth’s looney Earth Energy Budget Diagrams that is, today, taught as a fact, as 1st year physics in every “learning” institute on the planet… and as a typical true believer in AGW, totally devoid of any individual thought process on your own behalf.
                      The EEB diagrams of Trenberth shows that there is insufficient solar radiation arriving at the Earth’s surface….and using the Stephan Boltzmann equation with an emissivity just rounded up as 1 (ie, near enough to a black-body) they get the surface average temperature showing an unreal, frozen –18deg C.
                      The reason is because these EEB diagrams show only about 161,163,168 w/sq.m. solar radiation at the Earth’s surface.
                      In reality, the TSI of about 1360w/sq.m is what arrives at the Top of the Atmosphere (TOA). It’s real and measured by the satellites. It’s a YEARLY GLOBAL AVERAGE..a bulk load at the TOA..which is not to be divided down by 4.. but must remain as it is.. The Sun never sets in space, and space is right there, at the TOA. The Sun just sits there 24/7. It’s 1360 w/sq.m. at the TOA, and this is sufficient solar radiation to keep the Earth’s surface temperatures at what they really are.

                      If you take this 1360w/sq.m., you can then geometrically divide it down by 4 to account tor the night and day geometric “attenuation” to get your 340 w/sq.m. but now that is at the EARTH’S SURFACE….NOT AT THE TOA.

                      If we then now take that 340w/sq.m. and slot it into the S-B equation …but using a total Earth’s emissivity of 0.82 (courtesy of Nasif Nahle 2011) we come up with a figure of about 19deg C.

                      You can do this right here yourself with this on-line S-B calculator..
                      https://calculator.tutorvista.com/stefan-boltzmann-law-calculator.html Put..emissivity= 0.82
                      surface area= 1 (sq.m.)
                      Temp= X
                      Radiation Energy= 340w/sq.m.
                      The temp. comes out as 292 K ,or about 19deg C.
                      This is still a bit high. The Earth’s surface global average temperature (GAT) they say is measured at around about 15deg.C, so the further reduction is accounted for by the atmospheric attenuation…such as clouds, atmospheric gases, aerosols,etc.

                      Geometric “attenuation” plus atmospheric attenuation on the real measured 1360w/sq.m. that exists at the TOA, using the Stephan- Boltzmann equation, provides us with the real measured surface temperature we have here on this Earth…..with no such thing as some unreal “greenhouse effect” in the atmosphere.

                      If there is no quantifiable “greenhouse effect” then “greenhouse gases” are bullshit also.

                      It’s an old, outdated, unreal,crackpot “greenhouse theory” which should be relegated to history.

                    • RedLogix

                      I see what you did there.

                    • Mack

                      Good show, RedLogix, here’s some further reading for you to understand…enjoy….


                    • Mack

                      Good show, RedLogix, here’s some further reading for you to understand…enjoy….


                    • Dennis Frank

                      So your reason for promoting Trenberth, Mack, was merely to discredit him? And then you expect us to be impressed by your own reasoning, as if you’re a climate scientist? Are you unaware how intellectually dishonest such a pretension is?

                      Given that 97% of climate scientists are now in consensus that AGW drives climate change, why bother to persuade anyone they’re all wrong? Definitely a waste of your valuable time!

                    • Mack

                      I have no reason to discredit Trenberth, Dennis…..he is, after all, a NZer, so why would want to discredit one of our own countrymen? He’s brought the disgrace upon his own head…..he’s a disgrace to science and NZ.

                      “Given that 97% of climate scientists are now in consensus…blah, blah, blah”

                      Don’t start feeding me anymore of your 97 % “climate scientist” crap, Dennis. I’ve heard it all before…it’s on this list….


                    • Dennis Frank

                      You’re still not explaining what you’re trying to achieve here. Unless you start being honest, why would anyone bother to respond?

                    • Mack

                      If you think I’m dishonest, please point out where I’m lying.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Just explain your motive for participating here. If you expect anyone to engage with your technical reasoning, that won’t happen. Waste of time. Focus has to be on public policy re shit that’s happening. If you’re determined to remain part of the problem, do it elsewhere!

                    • Mack

                      ” If you expect anyone to engage….blah , blah, ”

                      Well you’re engaging, aren’t you…dumbkolpf?

              • Pat

                The Earth has an albedo of 0.3, meaning that 30% of the solar radiation that hits the planet gets scattered back into space without absorption. The effect of albedo on temperature can be approximated by assuming that the energy absorbed is multiplied by 0.7, but that the planet still radiates as a black body (the latter by definition of effective temperature, which is what we are calculating). This approximation reduces the temperature by a factor of 0.71/4, giving 255 K (−18 °C).[12][13]

                The above temperature is Earth’s as seen from space, not ground temperature but an average over all emitting bodies of Earth from surface to high altitude. Because of greenhouse effect, the Earth’s actual average surface temperature is about 288 K (15 °C), which is higher than the 255 K effective temperature, and even higher than the 279 K temperature that a black body would have.

                In the above discussion, we have assumed that the whole surface of the earth is at one temperature. Another interesting question is to ask what the temperature of a blackbody surface on the earth would be assuming that it reaches equilibrium with the sunlight falling on it. This of course depends on the angle of the sun on the surface and on how much air the sunlight has gone through. When the sun is at the zenith and the surface is horizontal, the irradiance can be as high as 1120 W/m2.[14] The Stefan–Boltzmann law then gives a temperature of

                {\displaystyle T=\left({\frac {1120{\text{ W/m}}^{2}}{\sigma }}\right)^{1/4}\approx 375{\text{ K}}} {\displaystyle T=\left({\frac {1120{\text{ W/m}}^{2}}{\sigma }}\right)^{1/4}\approx 375{\text{ K}}}
                or 102 °C. (Above the atmosphere, the result is even higher: 394 K.) We can think of the earth’s surface as “trying” to reach equilibrium temperature during the day, but being cooled by the atmosphere, and “trying” to reach equilibrium with starlight and possibly moonlight at night, but being warmed by the atmosphere.


                • Pat

                  Apologies to Bill…this was intended for Mack…and may explain why he never progressed from a first level paper

                  • Bill

                    No worries. I kinda figured something like that. What I can’t quite figure is why you and Dennis are engaging with a tree stump.

                  • Mack

                    “..intended for Mack”

                    Was that all your own work, Patti boy ? or just some parroting out of a “climate science” text-book. I see it contains the usual -18deg.C frozen Earth with this magical “GREENHOUSE” effect….aaahahahahaha a “greenhouse” effect !!!!! from the ATMOSPHERE!!!! providing 33deg K warmth!!!! to bring us up to the 15deg C .
                    I think I’m dealing with an intellectual pack of ignorant loons.

                    btw. some good advise..don’t get your science from Wiki.

  22. Pat 23

    “The present dominant socioeconomic system, however, is based on high-carbon economic growth and exploitative resource use (9). Attempts to modify this system have met with some success locally but little success globally in reducing greenhouse gas emissions or building more effective stewardship of the biosphere. Incremental linear changes to the present socioeconomic system are not enough to stabilize the Earth System. Widespread, rapid, and fundamental transformations will likely be required to reduce the risk of crossing the threshold and locking in the Hothouse Earth pathway; these include changes in behavior, technology and innovation, governance, and values ”


    • Dennis Frank 23.1

      It’s a succinct summary of what we already knew, well-presented. Having a visual representation of the stable state trajectories in relative context is good. Figure 3 is misleading, inasmuch as we’ve known about current melting of the Siberian permafrost for years & it is shown as a tipping point at more than 5 degrees of warming. I’ve seen a visual display of current global warming that shows Siberia as one of the regions warming fastest in recent years.

      • Pat 23.1.1

        I suspect that is a local (or regional) temp as we know the poles are heating disproportionately faster , especially the North which has been over 20 deg above normal at times in the past couple of years.

        We also know that the permafrost is already melting and hydrates in the artic ocean are already being released

        • RedLogix

          A very excellent point. An increased rate of warming in the mid-polar regions is one of the specific predictions of the AGW science.

          And the regulars here may recall a few comments indicating that I worked for a period in the deep Canadian Arctic last year… and experienced exactly this excess 20 degC warming for myself. No fancy models needed; you stepped outside and looked at the thermometer next to the door.

          • Dennis Frank

            Thanks Red – always good to have models validated by practical experience. Note that climate change sceptics routinely dismiss the experience of those affected by climate change as anecdotal. It seems to be a new type of mental illness – which will eventually show up in the DSM, I suspect!

      • Mack 23.1.2

        “I’ve seen a visual display of current global warming…”
        Been to any pig-flying air-shows ? ..great visual displays there, too, Dennis.

        • Dennis Frank

          Whereas it’s sensible to be sceptical of the validity of pictorial representations of scientific data, all one needs to do is check the source to estimate credibility. Then, if you have the time, compare with similar efforts by others. If none, take it on face value until something similar shows up for cross-comparison. Doesn’t mean you need to believe it’s true: blind faith is no good in science. Just a model.

  23. Dennis Frank 24

    Interim Climate Change Committee: “Chair of the committee is David Prentice, who was most recently the CEO of the infrastructure firm Opus International Consultants. The deputy chair is Lisa Tumahai the Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.”

    “The other committee members are: Dr Harry Clark, a New Zealand expert on agricultural greenhouse gas research; Dr Keith Turner, former CEO of Meridian and professional director; Dr Jan Wright, former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; Dr Suzi Kerr, an internationally renowned expert in the economics of climate change policy and emissions trading.”

    “The government’s Climate Change Commission… will be set up next year.” I’m recycling this April announcement due to commentators thinking progress is only being produced by the minister: “Mr Shaw said the committee had two primary questions to look at.”

    “Under what circumstances agriculture might join the emissions trading scheme? Remember it’s always been a presumption, right back to the 2002 Act, that at some point agriculture would come into the emissions trading scheme.”

    “The other is how we might achieve the government’s target of getting to 100 percent renewable electricity generation by the year 2035.”

  24. Dennis Frank 25

    “87% of surveyed Australians accept that climate change is real and happening and driven in some way by human behaviour. An overwhelming majority of climate scientists (97%) agree that climate change is caused by human behaviour.”

    “Robust studies of climate change perceptions in Australia, the UK and America show that only very small numbers of people actually deny that climate change is happening. The figures range from between 5 to 8% of the population. However this small minority can be influential in casting doubt on the science, spreading misinformation and impeding progress on climate policies.”

    That’s due to several decades of fairness doctrine in the media: journalists operate under a rule that both sides have to be given equal time in the debate. The idea is that truth will emerge from hearing both sides. Sometimes happens, but allowing disinformation to be recycled in the media also pollutes culture.

    • Dennis Frank 25.1

      Oz Liberal govt denial is supported by only 13% of Oz voters then. So much for representative democracy. And Labour, although not in denial, got booted out due to their own incompetence. So both sides working hard to destroy public confidence in democracy, just as they are in the USA.

  25. sumsuch 26

    ‘Economic rationalists’, meteorological irrationalists. Good shit. You’re undermining yourselves.

  26. R.P Mcmurphy 27

    david farrar is a fat fool. his desire for wealth and goods and arsekissing is such that he is blinded to all reality and the fact that the earth has used up most o fits resources to pander to would be capitalists like himself who have never worked but want all the goods this industrial society can supply so they can go one better than their fellow man. he is willing to risk all solely for vainglorious aspiration

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