Planet A – Concert & March

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, November 30th, 2009 - 72 comments
Categories: activism, Environment - Tags: ,

Mark your calendar, and turn out next Saturday for the Planet A Concert and March (the concert to be webcast live):

planet-a-march

In Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, you’ll be able to march, dance, listen to speakers, sing, and jump on bouncy castles in support of a good outcome in Copenhagen. From a massive free public concert in Auckland featuring top NZ bands and special ambassador performances, to a march to Parliament in Wellington, to a kids day in the River City, this is your LAST CHANCE to get out and show that you want NZ to do the right thing on climate change.

In case you need reminding why it matters:

The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. Although the 6C rise and its potential disastrous effects have been speculated upon before, this is the first time that scientists have said that society is now on a path to meet it.

We need this day to be huge, people, so make sure you turn out. There is no Planet B.

72 comments on “Planet A – Concert & March”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.com/executive_summary.html

    Recent global temperatures demonstrate human-based warming: Over the past 25 years temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.190C per decade, in every good agreement with predictions based on greenhouse gas increases. Even over the past ten years, despite a decrease in solar forcing, the trend continues to be one of warming. Natural, short- term fluctuations are occurring as usual but there have been no significant changes in the underlying warming trend.

    Emphasis mine
    Can’t really get any clearer than that.

  2. This is a really good theme. There definately is no planet B.

    The basic premise is expressed really well by Blue Man Group here.

    Will John Key be there?

  3. You can help make the Planet A march a big one by sharing on Facebook:

    Magic link: http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://www.signon.org.nz/planet-a

  4. ben 4

    terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century

    Latest projection from the Hadley Center, was it? Brilliant.

  5. singularian 5

    So, do any of you guys thinks there is ANY doubt in the scientific methods used to come to these conclusions?

    • Andrei 5.1

      So, do any of you guys thinks there is ANY doubt in the scientific methods used to come to these conclusions?

      I actually doubt there was any science used in the methods used to come to these conclusions.

    • r0b 5.2

      No significant doubt.

      Some maybe, but you can doubt anything. Some doubt evolution. Some doubt that smoking causes cancer. Some doubt that America sent men to the moon. Some doubt that the earth is round.

      But when you put together the science with the observed phenomena – all over the world the ice reserves are melting – even that small doubt disappears. The world is warming. Human activity (greenhouse gas emissions) is the main cause. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar or a dangerous fool.

      [Edit: Case in point – Andrei is a dangerous fool]

      • grumpy 5.2.1

        Is “dangerous fool” similar to “useful idiot”?

        I don’t think it does much to advance your argument by insulting people who clearly are not “idiots”. Seems much like the tactics revealed in the hacked emails.

        • r0b 5.2.1.1

          Is “dangerous fool’ similar to “useful idiot’?

          Yup.

          I don’t think it does much to advance your argument by insulting people who clearly are not “idiots’

          But they are idiots. They have made up their mind what they want to believe and nothing will ever change it. They selectively cling to a few morsels of ambiguity plucked from the overwhelming tide of evidence, while actively ignoring the vast tide that doesn’t fit their view. They help create doubt and delay where doubt and delay endangers my children and my grandchildren. That makes me a wee bit cross, so I’m done being diplomatic. They’re idiots.

          Believe me I would rather not believe in climate change. It does nothing for me except provide pressure to change the way I live in ways that are sometimes inconvenient (inconvenient at first – it’s been great to ditch a car and get back to a bike!). I don’t WANT to believe in climate change. But I have to.

          • Andrei 5.2.1.1.1

            But they are idiots. They have made up their mind what they want to believe and nothing will ever change it. They selectively cling to a few morsels of ambiguity plucked from the overwhelming tide of evidence, while actively ignoring the vast tide that doesn’t fit their view.

            I don’t suppose it will ever occur to you that from my side of the fence that statement describes those who believe in AGW to a tee.

            Take this statement quoted in the post

            Recent global temperatures demonstrate human-based warming: Over the past 25 years temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.190C per decade, in every good agreement with predictions based on greenhouse gas increases

            The implication of that is we know the rate of change of global average temperature to within ± .001 C° which is ridiculous given that the input data is not recorded to this accuracy.

            Of course whatever the true figure is there is no causal relationship between that and human activity – the whole thing is predicated on assumptions some of them patently absurd

            • r0b 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I don’t suppose it will ever occur to you that from my side of the fence that statement describes those who believe in AGW to a tee

              Which fails with the fact that I don’t WANT to believe in warming. I really don’t.

              But it’s happening. Why is the Arctic ice melting Andrei?

          • ben 5.2.1.1.2

            R0b the I think mistake you and most warmists make is to lump those who deny that the world is getting warmer in with those who acknowledge the world is warming but who are some combination of a) unconvinced it is going to be a major problem b) recognise how little politicians can do to prevent it, c) fear the obvious dangers in handing over enormous power to politicians, and d) are not convinced scientists understand enough to justify such policy intervention before more is learned, and e) are not convinced the global warming movement has anything to do with the environment and has everything to do with collectivising the means of production. Undeniably, Copenhagen will move the world another few steps toward that end.

            The world is warming. Nearly every measurement confirms it. Casual observation confirms it. Few deny it.

            A more mature response is to separate the denialists from those who recognise warming but are skeptical that the problem is worth the risks and danger of the measures being proposed.

            • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1.2.1

              That’s not a problem for the mainstream ben.

              If the ‘OMG it’s creeping socialism’ crowd can’t distinguish themselves from the ‘Lalalala it’s not happening’ crowd, that’s their problem.

              I’d suggest you fight them off first, then we’ll talk.

            • r0b 5.2.1.1.2.2

              A more mature response is to separate the denialists from those who recognise warming but are skeptical that the problem is worth the risks and danger of the measures being proposed.

              I was asked about the denialist position, and was responding to a denialist.

              As to those who are “skeptical” of the risks, they need to explain why they hold that view in the face of the warnings of the overwhelming advice from climate scientists. Go and read the two relevant links in the original post. Much of the world will become effectively uninhabitable. That’s quite some risk to ignore.

            • lprent 5.2.1.1.2.3

              The problem for us on this side of the ‘debate’ about climate change is that we literally don’t hear people talking about what is required to mitigate climate change at a economic level. What we hear is mindless drivel by the likes of Andrei saying that human induced climate change is a myth. Which is patently false, speaks to a degree of illiteracy about science that is pretty crazy in this age, and appears to be completely faith based without substantive evidence.

              If you want to have a debate on the actual science / economics, then I’d suggest that you should starting fighting against the mindless hordes that comment drop absolute bullshit here and everywhere. Because when they sound ‘moderate’ they sound exactly like you. Right up until they’re pushed and they start sprouting crap.

              A good example of the ‘moderate’ stance is DPF who quoted calmingly from the IPCC 4 conclusions a month or so ago, without any apparent understanding of the limitations or it and previous reports. For f*cks sake, he even appeared to be illiterate enough to think that the IPCC report was a fixed datum rather than a checkpoint in a continuing process of data collection and assimilation. It is almost as pointless from my viewpoint discussing what the evidence says with someone like him (secure in his ignorance) or probably you, as it is to ‘discuss’ with Andrei with their version of faith based logic.

              Basically we do lump CCD’s and the minor mitigators like you together. From my viewpoint, you all appear to avoid looking closely enough at the topic to discuss it at any rational level. Suppose you start by running over what you think is likely to happen in the next 10 years and its implications for the 40 after that. Then discuss what is likely to come up in IPCC AP5 based on current evidence collected since AP4. Then we can figure out if you are rational, or if this is just another instance of the do-nothing tactical handbook – which is what I expect.

      • singularian 5.2.2

        So R0b – were ice reserves(?) static prior to the industrial revolution?

        Really though I’m not asking about that, it’s the methods used to arrive at these conclusions that appear to be the problem.

        When Jones said in July this year that the raw data used to build these models had been deleted in the 1980’s yet UEA said a couple of days ago that they will release all the data as soon as possible does that not ring a tiny bell for you?

        What data will they release? By the sounds of it the data will be the ‘adjusted’ data.

        If the raw data has been destroyed (that is a whole problem in itself surely?) then whatever Jones and co did to adjust the data can never be reproduced.
        Therefore the accepted scientific method cannot be adhered to which at the end of the day means that their models are crap.

        Also do you have any problems with what the emails reveal about the the peer review process?

        Anyone who says otherwise is a liar or a dangerous fool.

        Does this strike you as reasonable in relation to Science?

        • r0b 5.2.2.1

          So R0b were ice reserves(?) static prior to the industrial revolution?

          Over geological timescales not even remotely. Over the last couple of centuries, yes largely. Over the last 30 years the trend (with noise) is all one way. Melting.

          Really though I’m not asking about that, it’s the methods used to arrive at these conclusions that appear to be the problem.

          You don’t need a “method” to see the Arctic icecap melting, you need a pair of eyes.

          Does this strike you as reasonable in relation to Science?

          Science has its warts, but denialists are taking a microscope to the warts and ignoring the warthog.

    • quenchino 5.3

      While r0b makes his point clearly, another answer is this.. there is always doubt. There is no human certainty, most especially around a topic so complex and difficult as climate science.

      Is the AGW science perfect, final and absolute? Of course not. The rudiments of quantum mechanics (a considerably simpler topic) where discovered almost 100 years ago, yet just this week the CERN’s LHC has started operating, hopefully to uncover new science and further refine the models. Inevitably AGW science will also progress, progress that will come from new data, new observations, better modelling, more sophisticated analysis. These are tools that will over time reduce uncertainty.

      Cherry picking, misinterpreting, quote mining, and flat out lying, serves only one purpose… to increase fear, uncertainty and doubt.

      • grumpy 5.3.1

        The biggest fear I have is the creation of a Carbon Trading Market, which is predicted to be larger than the oil market.

        With the manipulation of existing “market” a recent problem – Oil, Food, Housing etc. creating another for the get rich quick brigade is something I would have thought the Left would want no part of?

        • quenchino 5.3.1.1

          Fair enough. But govts only really have two types of tool to effect change, regulation and taxation. A carbon trading market is a form of taxation, it uses market price signals to change behaviour.

          If you don’t like the market in action, then the other tool is regulation. Can’t see you liking that much either.

  6. singularian 6

    Cherry picking, misinterpreting, quote mining, and flat out lying, serves only one purpose to increase fear, uncertainty and doubt

    Yes, the emails reveal the hint of all those things.

    Does that fact that UEA had only ONE programmer for the incredibly complex models on the ‘team’ not worry you?

    Does the fact that they had NO trained statisticians on the ‘team’ not worry you?

    Does the fact that their data management seem to be nonexistent not worry you?

    This IS the future of the planet we’re talking about, right?

    • r0b 6.1

      Warts, warthog – see above. Why is the Arctic icecap melting?

      • ben 6.1.1

        r0b, bit of a silly response, really. The case for action does not depend on the climate changing. Everybody knows it does. The case for action depends mostly on the dire forecasts coming out of the climate scientists. The Hadley Center was the most respected of these groups. Before Climategate, we know they refused to share data, and refused to explain their processing of raw data. We also knew that there was a major divergence between ground and satellite measurements of temperature, only ground being subject to the sorts of manipulations of the Hadley center.

        The case for policy depends in good part on the quality of the work being done by Hadley and others, and now we know it is shoddy, at least for Hadley. The Nasa series was embarrassed when an unpaid amateur retired businessman, Steve McIntyre, picked up mistakes in the processing of their data. This forced Nasa to announce that 1934 and not 1998 is the warmest year recorded. NZ and Australian data has also come into question in the last 10 days.

        Before appropriating and reallocating $trillions, it is obviously important that the data behind be sound. Not perfect, but reasonably correct. Plainly, Hadley fails that test in every sense. What about the others? There is, it seems to me, a good case for delay in policy while the current mess is resolved.

        • r0b 6.1.1.1

          r0b, bit of a silly response, really.

          It isn’t a silly response at all. While you want more delay, the Arctic icecap is melting. Why?

  7. ben 7

    Here is what is ridiculous about the statement:

    The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century

    CO2 is expected to roughly double from pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The relationship between CO2 and warming, excluding feedbacks, is well understood. Doubling from pre-industrial levels will add about 1-1.5C degrees to the temperature. We’ve already had about 0.6 degrees warming. Where does the other ~4.0-4.5C degrees come from?

    Feedbacks. The case for anything more than a modicum of warming depends on there being positive feedbacks in the climate system. And scientists are the very first to say: the jury is out on whether climate is net positive or negative feedback. It is a genuinely hard question, and may not even be answerable.

    The certainty in the quoted statement is therefore ludicrous. Most of the warming in IPCC scenarios is due to poorly-understood feedbacks, not the well-understood CO2/temperature relationship.

    A couple of strikes against high feedback:

    # High feedback greatly over-estimates past warming. If the climate is high positive feedback, it should have been much colder in the past than it was with lower greenhouse gases

    # high positive feedback systems are hard to find in nature – they have a tendency to destroy themselves. Earth’s climate has survived major shocks, which is prima facie evidence for low or negative feedback

    Climate Skeptic is a useful, science-based, amateur site to learn more about this.

    • lprent 7.1

      Bullshit. You’re assuming a linear process without buffering of both the gases and the heat. Problem is that we’ve been filling the buffers for more than a century, and they appear to be getting pretty damn full from the ocean current heat shifts, the ocean acidification, and the rather rapid ablation on the ice sheets.

      Your basic premise has a hole the size of Eurasia in it because it assumes that the adsorption rate of emissions and their effects will be the same this century as it was in the last century.

      Your second premise is that our emission profile is similar to something like a volcanic event. It isn’t – perhaps you’d like to use that feeble device you call a brain to figure out why? The key words are ‘sustained output’

      Do you not know ANYTHING about the science? You sound bloody ignorant to me.

      • ben 7.1.1

        You’re assuming a linear process without buffering of both the gases and the heat.

        I am quite certain that the difficulty researchers are having with feedback is not resolved by dropping an assumption of climate linearity! In any case, not an assumption behind anything I’ve said, quite obviously.

        In fact show me the wording or subtext that allows you to infer the three assumptions you put on me. Show me. Either you’re not reading what I wrote or you’re playing the straw man. Poor show.

  8. r0b 8

    The certainty in the quoted statement is ludicrous

    Given that it is the consensus of the overwhelming majority of the world’s experts in the field, the onus is on you to prove your claim. A few ramblings from an amateur website won’t do the trick.

    Feedback is happening now, with the release of vast amounts of methane from thawing Arctic tundra. Methane is a much more dangerous warming gas than C02. Feedback is happening now as melting ice stops reflecting light/heat away and lets land/sea absorb more heat. Feedback is not an abstract scientific idea, you can see it happening now.

    high positive feedback systems are hard to find in nature they have a tendency to destroy themselves. Earth’s climate has survived major shocks, which is prima facie evidence for low or negative feedback

    Pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo. Whatever Earth has is its climate, of course it survives. The question is whether the surviving climate is much fun for (or can even sustain) human life. The high positive feedback of thawing methane reservers, for instance, might not be a “high” to the Earth (planet will still be here), but it’s bloody high feedback to the climate from a human point of view (moves climate out of the inhabitable range for much of the planet).

    Short version – humans and the agriculture that sustains them are more fragile than rocks.

  9. Bill 9

    In a world organised along democratic lines there would be no problem with CCDers….’cause there’d be virtually no destructive production processes due to the moderating influence of inclusive democratic procedures.

    But we don’t live in very democratic times which gives rise to, putting it mildly, a few problems.

    Science presents evidence and likely consequences. But their message is being fed to and filtered by, the very people who have defended and encouraged the very activities that are the cause of the problem. (ie the media of the global family of corporates and politicians who serve to crisis manage the market economy that underpins the activities of the corporates)

    How is science expected to get it’s message to the public in an effective fashion when the means of communication between them and us are almost exclusively in the hands of entities whose futures depend on not treating climate change as a catastrophe to be avoided?

    Is there any more hope of science getting a message through as, say, an Innuit community watching it’s environment tube or any of the ‘million and one’ others who know from direct living experience that something is awry…that environments are changing faster and in ways cultural memories cannot account for?

    I think the answer is in the negative.

    And the solution lies in active disengagement from this market economy nonsense. When I say active, I mean that to leave control of resources in the hands of corporations could well mean a reduction in CO2 coming about by the simple act of absolute exclusion of the majority of us in the west from any production or consumer activity whatsoever. ( Already the reality if we look at humanity as a whole…billions in (for us) unimaginable poverty.)

  10. ben 10

    r0b

    Given that it is the consensus of the overwhelming majority of the world’s experts in the field, the onus is on you to prove your claim. A few ramblings from an amateur website won’t do the trick.

    Oh good, the standard appeal to authority.

    As I said, the temp increases beyond 1-1.5C depend on feedbacks, which I understand are far from settled among scientists. Without consensus on the either the sign or magnitude of feedback, you can’t have consensus on increases beyond 1.5C.

    Thanks for the example of a positive feedback system. It settles precisely nothing. Climate is, you know, complex.

    • r0b 10.1

      Oh good, the standard appeal to authority.

      Oh good, the standard appeal to a website you agree with.

      As I said, the temp increases beyond 1-1.5C depend on feedbacks, which I understand are far from settled among scientists.

      There may be debate about some details of the mechanisms, but not their significance or the fact that they are happening now.

      Say ben – why is the Arctic icecap melting?

      • ben 10.1.1

        r0b

        Oh good, the standard appeal to a website you agree with.

        Actually it’s the arguments on that site and others that I think are persuasive. Some of the arguments I have reproduced here. You could try addressing some of them. Instead what I have got in response is a set of fallacies – appeals to authority, mostly, and a classic ad hominem in the denialist/skeptic confusion, which persists.

        There may be debate about some details of the mechanisms, but not their significance or the fact that they are happening now.

        No. The research is trying to decipher the sign and magnitude of feedbacks. Fundamental stuff.

        Say ben why is the Arctic icecap melting?

        Do you think this proves feedback? Arctic warming tells us nothing about feedbacks. Is it direct effect or the feedback, or something else that’s driving Arctic warming? There is currently no way to know. Hard to see what justifies your apparent certainty when scientists themselves are unsure.

        • r0b 10.1.1.1

          Actually it’s the arguments on that site and others that I think are persuasive.

          Actually it’s the arguments of the overwhelming majority of real climate scientists that I think are persuasive.

          Some of the arguments I have reproduced here. You could try addressing some of them

          I have done so.

          Say ben why is the Arctic icecap melting?

          Do you think this proves feedback?

          “Feedback” is your new fetish now?

          Answer the question – why is the Arctic icecap melting?

  11. ben 11

    Pascal

    If the ‘OMG it’s creeping socialism’ crowd can’t distinguish themselves from the ‘Lalalala it’s not happening’ crowd, that’s their problem.

    I’d suggest you fight them off first, then we’ll talk.

    There’s no confusion about the difference among skeptics, I can assure you. It is the warmists who persistently make the mistake. For as long as you do, comrade, you’ll continue not to address the reasonable concerns skeptics raise, which it seems to me is incumbent on anyone who claims the mantle of science.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      You misunderstand. To the majority, you look like you are in cahoots.

      You cite the same people, run very similar lines and are hardly ever seen disagreeing with each other. That’s your problem, no one else’s.

      I personally don’t claim the mantle of science, I’ll leave that to the scientists. If you are having problems getting your reasonable concerns addressed, that’s your problem. Again, I’d suggest that clearly distinguishimg yourseleves from the anti-science nutters would be a v.good start.

      Crying and acting like a baby? Not v.good at all.

      • grumpy 11.1.1

        PB, that response could have come from either side of the debate. Which sort of proves the point Ben is making.

      • ben 11.1.2

        Pascal

        You may not personally claim science, but of course the warmist camp does (and correctly so). If you are confused by the similar lines from each group it is because you haven’t seriously considered what is being said.

      • mickysavage 11.1.3

        Good point.

        How about all deniers cite their scientific qualifications before they try to persuade us as to their firmly held conclusions.

        And how about they mix the precautionary principle into their analysis to persuade the rest of us that inaction is a good thing.

        And finally how about they indicate if they will apologise to humanity in 20 years time if they prove to be wring.

        • ben 11.1.3.1

          How about all deniers cite their scientific qualifications before they try to persuade us as to their firmly held conclusions.

          What is it with the appeal to authority?

          Both the Hadley Center and Nasa have been and are being embarrassed by unpaid private and unqualified individuals checking their models. Qualifications are a poor source of authority. But since you raised it, a great many qualified scientists have also signed a petition against the consensus.

          And how about they mix the precautionary principle into their analysis to persuade the rest of us that inaction is a good thing.

          Fair call. Possibly the most persuasive argument in favour of action, IMHO. But the precautionary principle can also be invoked against the dangers of government action. History is littered with examples of the dangers of governments run amok. Yes, unlikely in this case. But possible, and correctly weighed against the risk of climate catastrophy.

          • mickysavage 11.1.3.1.1

            “What is it with the appeal to authority?”

            Easy. You are drawing very firmly held conclusions. I just wanted to measure your actual ability to do so. As to your further comments all I can say is prove it.

            And about that apology?

            • ben 11.1.3.1.1.1

              You are drawing very firmly held conclusions.

              How does your use of fallacy say anything about the firmness of my conclusions? About nothing.

              In any case what you say is simply untrue. I am genuinely uncertain what the best course of action is because a) important parts of the science are not settled, and b) the policy question is informed by much more than just climate. This is a truly complex issue and my comments reflect my respect for that complexity. Certainty of both problem and the solution is squarely in the warmist camp.

              • lprent

                ben: you are daft if you think that the science will EVER be settled. Possibly after we’ve terraformed a couple of hundred worlds… Since that hasn’t happened, then what you are saying is that you’d never be satisfied with the science. So you’re a true conservative. Too thick to look at anything that might be new. Also a bit short on the basic knowledge that would allow you to make an informed decision.

                In other words you’d prefer to do nothing.

                Too mindless to look at the science and understand it (in your previous comments you’ve made multiple errors in the theory as well as fact).

                Preferring to grab at any straw that says you don’t have to do anything. You look like another idiot who doesn’t have the vaguest idea of what you’re talking about. Wanting to look ‘reasonable’ without having to argue outside of whatever area you feel comfortable with.

                Looks like you’re another stupid CCD.

                • fizzleplug

                  I’m sure this has been said before, but personal attacks don’t make your argument more convincing. If you disagree with them, and find they can’t be persuaded in a few posts, personal attacks won’t change their minds. And I know from experience that it doesn’t make you feel better either, it just increases the blood pressure from arguing on the internet. It’s best to ignore them… even crazy people eventually get tired of talking to themselves.

                  I always think this about climate change – the majority of people agreeing with it don’t understand it, nor do those that disagree. Being popular is all that counts.

                  Personally, I’m apathetic. Climate change may be happening, but I don’t have to believe what scientists tell me (even intellectuals have their agendas – usually more funding haha). Any sufficiently advanced level of technology is indistinguishable from magic, and any technical scientific discussions of a certain level are babble to all but a few. And somehow, I don’t think those few frequent political blogs, so I don’t take anything on this blog (or any other blog) as being gospel.

                  If I did go to this, it would only be for a day in the sun (unlikely in Wellington) and any march to Parliament would finish as soon as we passed a bar. Politicians don’t care about us, regardless of what you believe. Neither side wants to make a difference, it’s all about power. All marching will achieve is sore feet, blocked roads, and idiots on TV with homemade placards (which incidentally, always strike me as pointless. I can just imagine someone standing up the front, ready to address the crowd, and seeing a placard that instantly changes their mind – “Oh you are right Ms Protester, I should go to Copenhagen. Your placard is so compelling in it’s simplicity!”).

                  Climate change – meh.

                  • lprent

                    I always think this about climate change the majority of people agreeing with it don’t understand it, nor do those that disagree.

                    My first degree was a BSc in earth sciences a bit less than 30 years ago. At that point it was a theory based on physics. There wasn’t the evidence to prove that it was happening one way or another. I’ve never actually worked in earth sciences – I did management and then computer programming. But I’ve always kept up with the evolving science in the area. I do know quite a lot about what is happening in this area – not exactly what you’re describing.

                    The supporting data had to be built starting from getting the monitoring systems in place and then accumulating data because it is figuring out what happens in a complex system. That was the late 70’s, 80’s and even up to the early 90’s.

                    The science basis was pretty well established by the early 90’s and almost entirely accepted by people almost everyone active in the field (ie climatology, earth sciences, and geology) as being an immediate threat (ie within the lifetime of people living). There is probably one of the highest agreements rates amongst any group of scientists working in the field that has happened in any field of science ever. The main things that they are arguing about for the last decade and a half has been how fast the oncoming disaster would hit and how big it would be.

                    The majority of the ‘skeptic’ scientists are people who trained in areas outside of earth sciences or who still have problems with the ideas of continental drift.

                    It is bloody irritating seeing dorks without any knowledge talking about issues that were covered in the earth sciences community 20 years ago in a far more skeptical and knowledgable basis.

                    So what you’re asking is that because others can’t be bothered making the effort to understand the issues, that I should be nice to them….

                    piss off… Why should I be nice to the lazy

                • ben

                  lprent

                  Not for the first time in this thread, the reply puts words in my mouth that I didn’t say. And, please, spare me the name calling.

                  I do not expect settlement for policy action to become appropriate. What I have pointed to is a major issue in the climate science necessary to support scary numbers like 6C that is completely unresolved: feedbacks. Neither the sign nor the magnitude of feedbacks is yet well understood. There is no consensus at all on that among researchers. Without feedbacks, climate will warm another degree in the next 100 years. The case for action depends largely on those feedbacks, yet the science on them is completely up in the air.

                  Policy is no free lunch, far from it. It will cost a fortune. Without really drastic taxes it will not have much effect on climate – we’ll get most of the warming we’d have got anyway. Many people can expect to stay in poverty longer because the cost of energy and price of food is increased, delaying development. The case for policy seems to turn on a) doing nothing could lead to global catastrophe, and b) ETS schemes and their descendants actually prevent global catastrophe. Now take those two long bows and multiply them.

                  Yeah. I’m skeptical.

                  Nope – I’m not a CCD. I have repeatedly acknowledged the climate is warming and AGW is real. What would be nice is if somebody here who is so certain of the need for policy action now could explain why policy is necessary right now when 80-90% of a 6C warming cited above depends on feedbacks nobody yet knows exists.

                  • r0b

                    ben – you’ve latched on to this magical concept of “feedbacks” as some kind of fetish to protect you from the evil truth.

                    Feedback loops are not magic, and they are happening. I’ve already discussed two, thawing arctic ice releases methane frozen in the tundra (there are billions of tonnes of it there), and decreases the reflection of heat from the Earth’s surface, both of which add to warming.

                    These effects are not mystical. The basics of feedback loops are well known, and the effects are happening. Really happening:

                    Meanwhile, the scientists have for the first time detected a failure of the Earth’s natural ability to absorb man-made carbon dioxide released into the air.

                    They found significant evidence that more man-made CO2 is staying in the atmosphere to exacerbate the greenhouse effect because the natural “carbon sinks” that have absorbed it over previous decades on land and sea are beginning to fail, possibly as a result of rising global temperatures.

                    The amount of CO2 that has remained in the atmosphere as a result has increased from about 40 per cent in 1990 to 45 per cent in 2008. This suggests that the sinks are beginning to fail, they said.

                    Professor Le Quéré emphasised that there are still many uncertainties over carbon sinks, such as the ability of the oceans to absorb dissolved CO2, but all the evidence suggests that there is now a cycle of “positive feedbacks”, whereby rising carbon dioxide emissions are leading to rising temperatures and a corresponding rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

                    explain why policy is necessary right now when 80-90% of a 6C warming cited above depends on feedbacks nobody yet knows exists.

                    Easy, you’re wrong, feedback exists and it is happening. Your ignorance will not prevent it.

            • mickysavage 11.1.3.1.1.2

              And what are your qualifications?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      They stopped being reasonable concerns when the real science put the probability of AGW @ > 90%. At that point, they became unreasonable and very, very dangerous.

      • ben 11.2.1

        Draco

        Again, the skeptics accept climate change and AGW. Climate change and AGW is necessary but not sufficient to justify a policy response.

  12. ben 12

    r0b

    I was asked about the denialist position, and was responding to a denialist.

    No you weren’t. Andrei’s initial comment was to question the science in the measurement. What does that have to do with the denialist position? Warmists like Monbiot are also concerned about what’s going on at the Hadley Center.

    As to those who are “skeptical’ of the risks, they need to explain why they hold that view in the face of the warnings of the overwhelming advice from climate scientists. Go and read the two relevant links in the original post. Much of the world will become effectively uninhabitable. That’s quite some risk to ignore.

    This misses the point. One can legitimately accept everything the scientists say about climate, afterall that is their specialty, and reject the case for action on the (non-climate) grounds my questions raise, namely whether action is worth the cost, whether it will make enough of a difference, whether handing so much power to politicians is worth the risk, whether the climate science process is corrupted in some way (by group think, by funding, by political factors, by ideology) and producing unreliable results, and whether the consensus is being produced by more than just than the science.

    None of these are about climate per se and each is reason to pause before substantially interfering in economies to their great detriment. Perhaps it is worth doing that. But one cannot tell without proper, robust examination of each. It is not clear any of these concerns are being considered by leaders or scientists.

    I cannot find a climate consensus which does not consider these process and policy issues persuasive.

    • r0b 12.1

      No you weren’t.

      Don’t tell me what I was or wasn’t doing. I know Andrei from other threads. I was asked about the denialist position, and was responding to a denialist.

      One can legitimately accept everything the scientists say about climate, afterall that is their specialty, and reject the case for action

      So there costs that are worse than the possible deaths of hundreds of millions of people (possibly billions), and the trashing of much of the currently habitable area of the Earth? Seriously – that’s your claim? Because since you now accept the view of the experts, that’s what they say will happen…

      • quenchino 12.1.1

        Ben’s channelling the neo-liberal angst against the whole notion of government. The root idea is that governments are useless at best, dangerous at worst… you know… like where’s a good bathtub when you need one? And if national govts cause such anxiety, the idea of any form of global governance has them hyperventilating.

        Of course this idea was always going to meet the day, when a truly global problem arose that actually demanded a global response.

        • ben 12.1.1.1

          quenchino

          You are correct, I will freely admit – my reservations about climate policy are in part driven by the near ubiquitous history of governments achieving the exact opposite of what they set out to do.

          The bio-ethanol debacle is a case in point. Subsidise biofuels, divert crops to fuels production and create scarcity in food, and therefore drive up the price of food to everybody including the third world. Then discover that your biofuels process is a net contributor to CO2. However, in subsidising biofuels you have created a class of producers that depend for their survival on continuing subsidies and invest heavily in lobbying to get it. A lose lose for everyone including the environment, and one that is replicated in nearly every government program you can think of in every area.

          This is not a coincidence. Its not as if better people or different circumstances could have helped. The reason governments so frequently achieve the opposite is the planning problem: planners generally cannot ever get their hands on the information they need to make good and timely decisions. Because of this the ethanol debacle is unsurprising – we should expect debacles most times, except by good fortune.

          Of course, there is a role for government. But governments – especially unelected ones of the sort contemplated in the draft of Copenhagen – do not know when to stop, and regulation begets regulation. So, yes, I’m nervous about taking an institution that so frequently gets it exactly wrong and scaling it up to the global level. I am reasonably confident it will not help the environment at all and equally sure it will cost far more than anticipated. That in a nutshell is the record of government.

          • quenchino 12.1.1.1.1

            I’m not sure the bio-ethanol example is a good one. It was only ever a Bush Administration boondoogle to prop up the support in the MidWestern maize growing belt.

      • ben 12.1.2

        So there costs that are worse than the possible deaths of hundreds of millions of people (possibly billions), and the trashing of much of the currently habitable area of the Earth? Seriously that’s your claim? Because since you now accept the view of the experts, that’s what they say will happen

        Ok let’s talk about precautionary principle. The key word is possible, r0b. The experts do not say millions or billions will die. They say that event is very unlikely.

        It does not generally make sense to write policy on the worst case scenario, for at least three reasons. One, the scenario you paint is very, very unlikely (there is a consensus on that).

        Two, climate policy is not a one-shot deal – if we credibly learn that very bad outcomes are more likely than we thought, policy can change.

        Three, there are also catastrophe risks from taking action. Millions or even billions may also die from policy action. Governments have a rather bad record on human life through both intended and unintended consequences. Handing control of crop rotation decisions in China and India to an environmental planning board, which is plainly something that could happen down the road, has tremendous danger. Of course, millions or billions dead is unlikely. The expected cost of catastrophe either way turns on the relative likelihood of each event and the extent of the calamity that occurs under each.

        We can argue the merits either way until we’re blue in the face. The truth is I have no idea what the answer is, or even how to seriously think about it – my point is that neither do you, and neither does the consensus of scientists. Yet they are presenting ludicrous certainty in their forecasts and politicians ludicrous certainty in their call for action right now. This certainty, which is your own, is the product of leaving out the many confounding and unresolved issues that add ambiguity. It is not clear that policy action is needed now, important questions are unresolved, and the research process may be corrupted. It does not make sense to invest $trillions without thinking seriously about these and many other confounding matters.

        • BLiP 12.1.2.1

          The truth is I have no idea what the answer is, or even how to seriously think about it

          I know.

          • ben 12.1.2.1.1

            I know enough to be humble when looking at a very hard problem, Blip.

            • mickysavage 12.1.2.1.1.1

              So what are your qualifications?

            • r0b 12.1.2.1.1.2

              It isn’t “humble” to think, on the basis of reading a few like minded websites, that you have a better understanding of these issues than the consensus of the overwhelming majority of actual scientists/experts in the field.

              It isn’t “humble”, it’s profound arrogance. And before you dismiss this as “argument from authority”, I reply that it is not authority alone, but the data and science that underlies that authority, and furthermore that I much prefer that kind of authority to an “argument from ignorance”.

        • r0b 12.1.2.2

          The key word is possible, r0b. The experts do not say millions or billions will die. They say that event is very unlikely.

          No, that’s what you want them to be saying. What they are actually saying is that that is the course we are on:

          World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists

          Fast-rising carbon emissions mean that worst-case predictions for climate change are coming true

          The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. …

          6C rise: The consequences

          If two degrees is generally accepted as the threshold of dangerous climate change, it is clear that a rise of six degrees in global average temperatures must be very dangerous indeed, writes Michael McCarthy. Just how dangerous was signalled in 2007 by the science writer Mark Lynas, who combed all the available scientific research to construct a picture of a world with temperatures three times higher than the danger limit.

          His verdict was that a rise in temperatures of this magnitude “would catapult the planet into an extreme greenhouse state not seen for nearly 100 million years, when dinosaurs grazed on polar rainforests and deserts reached into the heart of Europe”.

          He said: “It would cause a mass extinction of almost all life and probably reduce humanity to a few struggling groups of embattled survivors clinging to life near the poles.”

          Very few species could adapt in time to the abruptness of the transition, he suggested. “With the tropics too hot to grow crops, and the sub-tropics too dry, billions of people would find themselves in areas of the planet which are essentially uninhabitable. This would probably even include southern Europe, as the Sahara desert crosses the Mediterranean.

          “As the ice-caps melt, hundreds of millions will also be forced to move inland due to rapidly-rising seas. As world food supplies crash, the higher mid-latitude and sub-polar regions would become fiercely-contested refuges.

          “The British Isles, indeed, might become one of the most desirable pieces of real estate on the planet. But, with a couple of billion people knocking on our door, things might quickly turn rather ugly.”

          Millions or even billions may also die from policy action.

          Mmm, yes, all killed by exploding green light bulbs I suppose. Sigh.

          • Andrei 12.1.2.2.1

            Mmm, yes, all killed by exploding green light bulbs I suppose. Sigh.

            No by hunger as food production declines, food storage and transport systems degrade because they are “emitters”.

            Don’t you nongs realize how much stupid green policies have already impacted world food prices and the consequences of that for the poor? And how much more they will be if you keep this nonsense up.

            There are real world problems, such as hunger, malaria, lack of clean water etc which are all but intractable but instead of focusing on them and addressing them our elite have gone into flights of fancy about hypothetical 6m sea level rises 100 years from now from scientists who don’t even follow the elementary rules of science. Tui moment these CRU fellows have ‘fessed” up now they have lost all the raw data that their projections are based on.

  13. BLiP 13

    The billions being spent by the polluters on science-fiction to sucker the denialists is obviously providing fuel, but, really, aren’t they all just psychologically disturbed?

  14. fizzleplug 14

    See, it’s that name-calling again that makes you not take you seriously. Calling me a dork without knowing me doesn’t make you superior, nor does rattling off your education history (well, it might make you feel superior). It just makes you look like what you accuse others of being.

    edit: this is in a funny place…

  15. ben 15

    Micky, would a PhD in meteorology change your mind about anything I’ve said here? I would hope not.

    Surely your view is not just about the authority of the messenger?

    • But I am pretty sure that you do not have any appropriate qualifications but you still insist on being as satisfied about the issue as someone who does have the necessary qualifications before you will commit.

      I do not want to shoot the messenger but if he is not passing the message on because he does not understand it I do have questions.

      So what are your qualifications and why should these allow you to hold up humanity from reaching agreement about what is the most important issue facing it?

  16. ben 16

    It isn’t “humble’ to think, on the basis of reading a few like minded websites, that you have a better understanding of these issues than the consensus of the overwhelming majority of actual scientists/experts in the field.

    It isn’t “humble’, it’s profound arrogance. And before you dismiss this as “argument from authority’, I reply that it is not authority alone, but the data and science that underlies that authority, and furthermore that I much prefer that kind of authority to an “argument from ignorance’.

    Nope. You misunderstand me. Again. I am not contradicting anything the climate experts say about climate, including the fact that the experts are up front about feedbacks being unresolved. That is what qualified scientists say. It is, they say, a very hard problem. And it matters: large temperature changes rely on feedbacks, not on the direct effect of greenhouse gas.

    My point is that their projections are not sufficient evidence for action. That is a question of more than climate science. It is one of economics, of international law, and of personal values, among other things. Action is costly. Climate change is costly. Both action and non-action could possibly be disastrous. There are trade offs. I am not convinced that the process being followed goes sufficiently beyond the climate, which it needs to do because other disciplines besides climate matter when writing policy. The case for policy rests on certainty which, by the scientists own admission, is not there. Scientists’ call for action takes them outside their area of expertise. That is what I contradict.

    I strongly suspect the policy process is corrupted, and that the environment will be harmed by resulting policy. The Hadley emails raise serious questions about whether the research is also partly corrupted. Surely it is reasonable to look into how serious this corruption is before committing trillions of dollars. For context, $50 billion is the total aid ever given to Africa, and 2 million die of dirty water there every year. Given the scale of funds involved, delaying climate change policy for just one year could see funds shifted toward a very real and certain problem.

    This would not be the first time unintended, but nevertheless real, group think among educated people has had adverse consequences. It is surely not arrogance to point to important things that remain uncertain and ask for some of that uncertainty to be resolved before diverting funds away from the many other problems still waiting to be solved.

    Your reliance on the qualifications of speakers is short sighted. There are any number of dissenting views on many aspects of the CC debate with PhDs.

    • lprent 16.1

      There are any number of dissenting views on many aspects of the CC debate with PhDs.

      So what. Who cares about what the degrees they hold – look at what their degrees are in. If they have a PhD in English Lit, Geography or Environmental Science, then they are just so much waste paper in this debate.

      If they have degree(s) in earth sciences, climatology, geology, or computer modeling then they become worth listening to. If they have degrees in more than one, then they are even more interesting. If they publish in a peer-reviewed paper then I really start taking them seriously.

      The CCDs have a lot of crap paper talking about things that they don’t know about. Sure there are a couple worth listening to with reasonable qualifications and experience for dissenting theories. Many are from the fossil age of geology, but still worthy of respect. But the majority of the scientific ‘support’ for CCD theories is just junk backgrounds in geography and the like, often paid. Most of the respected names on the CCDs lists are just a CCD idiot appropriating someones name from a paper as ‘supporting’ the CCD position.

      There is no equating junk science from the CCDs doing ‘summary’ slanted papers from other peoples research, with real scientists trained and working in the field doing research.

      You are just another fatuous pillock of a CCD without any understanding of the issue.

      • Andrei 16.1.1

        So what. Who cares about what the degrees they hold are in look at what their degrees are in. If they have a PhD in English Lit, Geography or Environmental Science, then they are just so much waste paper in this debate.

        If they have a degree in earth sciences, climatology, geology, or computer modelling then they become worth listening to.

        Rubbish – what counts is scholarship and academic rigour.

        If you are dealing with feedback effects on non linear systems then mathematics or physics is probably where your skills lie for example.

        As for computer models of the climate or any other complex system for that matter the meteorologist and mathematician Edward Lorenz showed and quantified their limitations many years ago now.

        A great deal of seminal science has been produced by people originally outside the field. And a great deal more by multi disciplinary teams.

    • Ben

      Your reliance on the qualifications of speakers is short sighted. There are any number of dissenting views on many aspects of the CC debate with PhDs

      I am just trying to work out if you have the slightest understanding of the subject or the intellectual capacity to understand the subject and if not I am wondering why you think your view is relevant?

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