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The Pacific as we know it is doomed

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, November 4th, 2015 - 211 comments
Categories: accountability, climate change, disaster, global warming, International - Tags: , , ,

Pacific nations are in the front lines of climate change, and they are desperate:

Pacific islands make last-ditch plea to world before Paris climate change talks

‘Unless the world acts decisively in coming weeks, the Pacific as we know it is doomed,’ says Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama

At a summit in Fiji last week, the last major gathering of Pacific island nations before crunch UN climate talks in Paris next month, islanders thrashed out their collective plea to the world to help address the health impacts of climate change, particularly upon women, infants and adolescents.

Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Fiji’s foreign minister, said the country was dealing with the re-emergence of climate-influenced diseases such as typhoid, dengue fever, leptospirosis and diarrhoeal illnesses. Last year, a dengue outbreak in Fiji infected 20,000 people.

“We in the Pacific are innocent bystanders in the greatest act of folly of any age,” said Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama.

“Unless the world acts decisively in the coming weeks to begin addressing the greatest challenge of our age, then the Pacific, as we know it, is doomed.

“The industrialised nations putting the welfare of the entire planet at risk so that their economic growth is assured and their citizens can continue to enjoy lives of comparative ease. All at the expense of those of us in low-lying areas of the Pacific and the rest of the world.” …

And what are the chances of the Paris talks taking significant action? Effectively nil:

World’s climate pledges not yet enough to avoid dangerous warming – UN

Analysis of plans put forward by nearly 150 countries suggests temperatures will reach just under 3C by the end of the century rather than 2C target

However, while the plans represent a significant advance on current trends, which would result in as much as 5C of warming if left unchecked, they are not enough in themselves to limit global warming to the 2C threshold that countries are preparing to agree on. This is widely regarded scientifically as the limit of safety, beyond which many of the effects of climate change – floods, droughts, heatwaves, sea level rises and more intense storms – are likely to become much more dangerous.

Some of the world’s poorest countries are unhappy with the 2C target, because they are likely to be most damaged by climate change – not least the small islands of the world, many of which may be swamped by sea level rises at 2C but have a chance of survival if emissions are cut further and warming limited to 1.5C by 2100.

Recall that the reduction commitments are “voluntary”, there are no consequences for missing them, and the world has an abysmal record of hitting previous voluntary reduction targets (RIP Kyoto). Recall also that NZ’s expected contribution to the Paris talks is so abysmal that environmental groups are asking us to stay away for fear of the damage that we will do.

How can we look our Pacific neighbors in the eye?

211 comments on “The Pacific as we know it is doomed”

  1. Colin 1

    Oh please, has one, just one, of these “the sky is falling, we’re doomed” predictions come to pass over the last two decades of this AGW scare? And at every single one of these climate conferences, without fail, they’ve claimed that “this is the last chance for the world to act” – honestly, it’s just white noise now, they’ve tried to scare us with worse case scenarios for so long with a 100% track record of being wrong that the public in general is just tuning them out.

    Frank is just trying to make sure he gets his snout in the trough before the money runs out, like pretty much everyone else involved. What do you want to be that this conference is a failure, like every other one before it, but all those participating will still find an excuse to keep their ‘jobs’ and have another conference in a nice city in a couple of years time.

    Why don’t they do it all by video-conferencing and really reduce their carbon footprints?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      When a car drives off a cliff, everybody inside seems “fine” for a short while.

      Only an idiot like yourself would actually think that.

    • infused 1.2

      Pretty much.

    • Bill 1.3

      I’m inclined to agree with your claim that it’s all so much white noise now. We should have acted 20 odd years ago, but didn’t. After Copenhagen, a very short window of opportunity was still ajar. We didn’t act. And lately I’ve noticed that Kevin Anderson seems only to speak in terms of global reductions, meaning he’s given up on equity, which implies that we’ve basically left everything too late.

      In related news, “Nasa research finds ice in the region (west Antarctica) has gone into ‘irreversible retreat’ and claims effect is ‘unstoppable’ ” and “researchers at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research pointed to the long-term impacts of the crucial Amundsen Sea sector of west Antarctica, which they said “has most likely been destabilized” ”


      • Daniel Cale 1.3.1

        And yet that piece from NASA is directly contradicted by this https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses.

        I’m with Colin on this one, it’s a con.

        • Bill

          Wanna present a coherent argument as to why thousands of scientists in the field would conspire to lie about CC? And explain why not one of the supposed conspirators has broken ranks or blown the whistle or spilled the beans? I mean, before you say ‘funding!’, take into account that funding is being sliced and diced by a few countries – meaning that plenty of scientists would have nothing to lose and a fair bit to gain by exposing any globally orchestrated conspiracy by the scientific community.

          • Daniel Cale

            I doubt very much thousands of scientists are conspiring, the problem is what they are saying is being misrepresented. All scientists agree climate is changing. Some posit that man is almost entirely responsible, others that we are partial contributors, still more that we have little or no impact. There is not widespread consensus on either the primary causes or the meaningful cures for climate change, despite the lies of the alarmist choir.

          • Robert Atack

            Actually Bill, and I’m not trying to score points or offend, but most scientists are way understating our predicament in what to ‘us’ looks very conspiratorial.
            Most of them are looking at their funders , if they rock the boat to much they don’t get anymore backing, they are way understating how fuck it all is just to keep their jobs, we don’t need to know how fast the arctic is melting anymore, its so fucked it doesn’t matter if we know it is 25 years or 20 years and 6 months, before we are playing king Canutes.
            Next to no one is telling us that 400 ppm is locked in extinction for humans …. inside of 10 – 15 years = to 6-7 boxing day tsunamis a day worth of death.
            There might be as much as 100 million people at the moment only a few meals away from extinction, all due to habitat loss.
            60 million DPP
            7.6 million Yemenis on the cusp of starvation, before the hurricane.
            There are only about maybe 5 ‘scientists’ out there saying it as clearly as is needed for most people to understand – Guy McPherson being one of the top ones. Even Bill Nyes (The science guy) has sold out
            Maybe what this dying society needs now is poets not scientists )
            There is no lie or misrepresentation in 400 ppm CO2 and nearly 2 ppm CH4, which is = to at least 200 ppm CO2e …. ho hum….. the last time this happened 96% of ALL life went extinct, It wouldn’t matter if every human left the planet tonight or became clones of me 😉 we would still see most life on this planet wiped out inside of 15 years .
            And if you want to be an alarmists it is being said we are 18 months away from seeing way more than 2 million deaths per day.
            Sadly I will not be able to say I told ya so.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yep but when you get a single paper that contradicts pretty much everything else that’s been published then we need to question that single paper not just take it as a given.

          Really, you come across as someone looking for anything and everything that will support your beliefs rather than someone looking for the truth.

          • dukeofurl

            As President Obama put it:

            “”If you go to 100 doctors and 99 of them tell you you have diabetes … you wouldn’t say ahh, that’s a conspiracy,”

            To be honest I dont think Nasa is contradicting anything here. Its just more information, adding to the big picture.

            [Until you apologise for your blatent ageism and ad hominem attacks from the other day, stay away. I flagged you on a number of your comments – something, it seems, that you’ve chosen to ignore. You were in moderation. You are now banned.] – Bill

            • Daniel Cale

              Diabetes is a clinically verifiable phenomena. There is no scientific certainty that can accurately measure man’s contribution to climate change. Speculation is based around 1. mans contribution to atmospheric Co2, and 2. the impact of rising Co2 on climate. Both factors are subject to speculative claims.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There is no scientific certainty that can accurately measure man’s contribution to climate change.

                Wrong. There is, quite literally, gigatonnes of evidence out there and it’s been successfully measured.

                • Daniel Cale

                  Wrong, again. There is evidence that mankind produces C02. There is evidence the climate is changing. But there is no evidence of causation. On the other hand, atmospheric Co2 levels have been far higher in the past, and climate change has been occurring for millions of years.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

                    Yeah, we’re not interested in your beliefs as they’re obviously wrong.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      That piece can be refuted from the first sentence by simply pointing to times in the past when atmospheric Co2 was considerably higher than today, but temperatures were lower.

                      “CO2 keeps the Earth warmer than it would be without it. Humans are adding CO2 to the atmosphere, mainly by burning fossil fuels.”

                      This completely misrepresents the proportion of Co2 emissions attributable to mans activities, which are a tiny fraction of those from natural sources. The earths atmosphere has dealt with high concentration of Co2 in the past, and it will continue to do so in the future.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      Herein lies a problem then Draco. You can cite me articles that claim mankind’s emissions are significant, I can cite you scholarly articles claiming they are not. There is no consensus around these issues. There is healthy debate and dissent.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Healthy like a cigarette.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      There is no consensus around these issues.

                      It’s not just one article to one article but several thousand showing climate change is human caused against a couple of dozen, that have mostly been proved wrong, showing the opposite.

                      That is consensus. You just don’t want to admit it because, for some strange reason, you want to continue to destroy life on Earth.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      The consensus alarmists claim is a lie. Scientists agree on certain things about the climate, but as my cites have shown there is much debate around the nature and extent of anthropogenic causation.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It isn’t speculative, you just have to understand what an isotope is, and yep, that’s probably going to be a bit difficult for you.

          • Daniel Cale

            One of the great challenges in debating the anthropogenic contribution to climate change is the unwillingness of alarmists to listen beyond the noise of what pushes their ideological buttons. A case in point is your comment about ‘a single paper’. This ‘single’ paper directly contradicts the posturing of another produced by the same organisation just days apart. Does that not give you pause for thought? But for the record, this is not just a single paper. There are many such pieces in the public domain contradicting alarmist claims about the antarctic ice sheet. This is a debate that is not ‘settled’.

            • Draco T Bastard

              One of the great challenges in debating the anthropogenic contribution to climate change is the unwillingness of alarmists to listen beyond the noise of what pushes their ideological buttons.

              Bullshit. All we’re doing is pointing to the science.

              A case in point is your comment about ‘a single paper’. This ‘single’ paper directly contradicts the posturing of another produced by the same organisation just days apart. Does that not give you pause for thought?

              Not really. As I say, the previous paper are all in favour of the one that shows the Antarctic losing ice at ever increasing amounts. So, we have one stand out which isn’t enough to change anything as to what we should be doing.

              The scientists will look at that one paper and try to determine why it does stand out. Once they’ve done that they may update the other papers or they may throw that single one away. I figure the chances are that that single one will get thrown away.

              There are many such pieces in the public domain contradicting alarmist claims about the antarctic ice sheet.

              No there isn’t as every single one of them has been proven wrong.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                one stand out

                No, it isn’t. The paper uses a data set that ended in 2008, and doesn’t cover the whole continent.

                You should know better than to take denier lies at face value.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I was using ‘stand out’ to indicate that it was different from the others. Not that it was any better.

              • Daniel Cale

                “As I say, the previous paper are all in favour of the one that shows the Antarctic losing ice at ever increasing amounts. ”

                No, they are not. And herein lies your problem…you only want to hear what you wan to hear.

                Citation: Bevis, M., et al. (2009), Geodetic measurements of vertical crustal velocity in West Antarctica and the implications for ice mass balance, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10, Q10005, doi:10.1029/2009GC002642.

                “Therefore, our initial geodetic results suggest that most GRACE ice mass rate estimates, which are critically dependent on a PGR correction, are systematically biased and are overpredicting ice loss for the continent as a whole.”

                “No there isn’t as every single one of them has been proven wrong.”

                Care to prove your point by referencing the NASA paper I cited? No, I thought not.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  [cites nearly every paper since 2009]

                  • Daniel Cale

                    So you’ve gone from “the previous paper are all in favour of” to “nearly every paper” in two posts. You’re making progress Draco.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No you moron. I obviously can’t cite the one that come out a few days ago that bucked the trend in every other paper.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      My point is simply that it didn’t. There is disagreement. That’s healthy. But next time you claim a ‘consensus’, I’ll be happy to point out this disagreement to you.

                    • McFlock

                      This seems relevant.

                      Disagreement is healthy. Being wilfully obtuse is not.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      When you start posting links to John Oliver…

                    • McFlock

                      “When you start posting links to John Oliver…”


                      I’ve been generally avoiding your bullshit. Others can argue with you until the cows come home. I can’t be bothered, simply because as far as I’m concerned you’ve more than demonstrated that you simply refuse to engage with reality. So maybe you are also incapable of differentiating between commenters.

                      Besides, John Oliver is usually much more accurate than you’ve been so far.

                      Anyway, allow me to complete your comment:

                      “When you start posting links to John Oliver… it’s a sign that Daniel Cale is a laughing stock, or would be if it wasn’tyour grandkid’s future he was wrecking

                    • Daniel Cale

                      So McFlock, tell me is the threat warming or cooling? And why can’t the scientists agree? I’m more than willing to debate the science with an open mind. Are you?


                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Too funny: the plagiarist strikes again, and is so lazy and completely lacking in personal responsibility, he hasn’t noticed that his plagiarised claims were proven wrong years ago.

                    • McFlock

                      well if DTB, OAB, Bill and everyone else can’t get it through to you, I can’t do any better.

                      Your claim of an “open mind” is contradicted by your “why can’t the scientists agree?” 97% of the scientists do agree on the basic point.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      “97% of the scientists do agree on the basic point.”

                      No, they don’t. At least not as alarmists state that point. Look I’ve provided cites to rebut this consensus nonsense. Have a read.

                    • McFlock


                      I just noticed that the guy who got precious about me linking to John Oliver linked to a Daily Mail article.

                      Anyway, I’ll take the DM article and raise it with NASA saying (with an actual reference and everything):

                      Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.

                      That is the basic point. As assertions become more specific (e.g. extent of warming, sea level expectations, etc), there’s more spread in data results and more opportunities for differing conjecture. But the basic point, the one you are denying, does have support from 97% of active researchers in the field.

                • Lloyd

                  I don’t want to hear that my children will have a coast-line 60m higher than our present coastline. Unfortunately almost every piece of information on climate tells me this is where the coast will eventually be. The only thing worth talking about is how long it will take.

                  The largest portion of the CO2 we are producing isn’t going into the atmosphere. It is going into the sea. The seas are becoming more acidic. The damage to sea-life will continue and the animals and plants in the world’s oceans will change drastically. I don’t want to know this but it is happening.

                  Most of the heat collected from the extra CO2 and methane man has put into the air is going into the world’s oceans. This is especially the Southern Ocean and the effects will continue for decades even if all the CO2 was miraculously removed tomorrow. I don’t won’t to know that, but it has been shown by numerous scientists, and almost all of them would be extremely happy to disprove any of these facts, as they would immediately be on the path to a Nobel Prize.

                  Wake up Daniel Cale. The sword of Damocles is swinging over your head.

                  • Daniel Cale

                    “I don’t want to hear that my children will have a coast-line 60m higher than our present coastline.”

                    You won’t need to worry. No-one’s predicting sea level rises anywhere near that, and the predictions that are out there have been wildly wrong for decades.

                    “The largest portion of the CO2 we are producing isn’t going into the atmosphere. It is going into the sea.”

                    Well that’s fascinating, but it doesn’t help demonstrate how Co2 emissions are changing the climate…it doesn’t help demonstrate how man’s miniscule contribution to total emissions can be significantly impacting climate.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      the predictions that are out there have been wildly wrong for decades.

                      Why do you believe the lies you are spouting? Who held the spoon?

                    • RedLogix


                      Unlike you I personally know the people who actually drill ice core and sea bed sediment samples in the Antarctic.

                      So I’ve a pretty good sense of what the truth is having heard first-hand from people who froze their arses off to get it.

                      Now I could resort to some standard old internet insult or slap-down here. But Daniel you are not an idiot; I think you are actually quite well educated and well read.

                      But from my own life experience I can assure you – none of this makes you immune to heading off down a rabbit-hole. Especially one that some else has spent a lot of time and money carefully constructing to entice the young and unwary down.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      No Red, I am quite capable of thinking for myself. Your friends in the antarctic would have difficulty contradicting anything I have posted simply because I do understand the science. And I’m sure they follow the daily ice reports at http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/, which reports on the total ice extent. I’m well aware of the fluctuations, I’m just not buying the rhetoric we’re causing it.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      OAB…here’s some reading for you:


                      Part of the reason an increasing number of people have shifted from an empathetic to skeptical viewpoint is because of the plethora of exaggerated claims and false predictions. To deny that is to simply not have been following the subject.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      an increasing number of people have shifted from an empathetic to skeptical viewpoint

                      Says who, plagiarist?

                    • RedLogix


                      Please refer to the first comment underneath that Forbes reference you just made:

                      The survey the author cites isn’t “scientists” as stated in the title of the op-ed, it is a survey of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta. That’s like surveying tobacco company CEO’s about the dangers of smoking. It would be a reasonable piece about the opinion of petroleum engineers in Alberta if that was made clear, instead that was hidden. I wonder why?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I wonder why they confined it to such a small narrow group and didn’t publish in Nature. Not to mention the national academies of science, the Pentagon, and the Nobel prize committee.

                      In summation, Quantum Mechanics predicts the Greenhouse Effect, Climatology explores the consequences, and every single prediction made by Arrhenius’ global circulation model has come true.

                    • Bill

                      it doesn’t help demonstrate how man’s miniscule contribution to total emissions can be significantly impacting climate.

                      Basic chemistry and physics that demonstrated as such back in the 1800s sometime.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …and since affirmed by Quantum Mechanics – Callendar 1938.

                    • thentheresme

                      Daniel, humanity’s annual CO2 emissions are 100 times that of all the Earth’s volcanoes put together.


                      We are, in fact, the equivalent of the supervolcanoes that have devastated life on Earth in the past.

                      Have you been to Hawaii, Daniel?

                      It would take a huge addition of volcanoes to the subaerial landscape—the equivalent of an extra 11,200 Kīlauea volcanoes —to scale up the global volcanic CO2 emission rate to the anthropogenic CO2 emission rate.

        • Naturesong

          Hmm, thats a change. I wonder why?

          What could possibly be happening that would cause the ice sheet in the sea surrounding the Antarctic to increase in area?

          Here’s a hint

          We’ve been seeing the same thing in the Arctic in recent years.
          It’s because they’re melting!

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Ah, the usual delusional cry of the idiots.

      Frank is just trying to make sure he gets his snout in the trough before the money runs out

      Money can’t run out as it’s created out of thin air. But if we really look at that argument of yours and follow the money we find that it’s actually the rich psychopaths that have their hands out and who don’t want to change their ways so that they can have more, more, more.

      What do you want to be that this conference is a failure, like every other one before it

      It will be, yes, but because of the business people lobbying governments not to do anything. They know that if we did anything all their ill gotten wealth will disappear.

      • McFlock 1.4.1

        what was the old line: isn’t it great that a few fossil-fuel billionaires and media magnates are able to nobly fight for truth against thousands of biased climate scientists who are just inventing a panic in order to get all those awesome research dollars…

        • Daniel Cale

          Many of these climate scientists are saying something different to what the alarmists are claiming McFlock. That’s a significant part of the problem. When alarmists stop mis-representing the science…on second thoughts that won’t happen. There’s simply too much money involved for people like Al Gore.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            So the science is reliable then, just not the alarmists.

            QM, for example: its implications for the atmosphere.

            Chemistry, and its explanations of the carbon cycle and ocean acidification.

            Isotope analysis, reliable, Paleoclimatology, reliable (or how does poor Daniel know that the climate has changed in the past without it?)

            NASA: reliable. Nature: likewise.

            No wonder insurance companies are alarmed 🙄

          • Bill

            The scientific data is being mis-compiled. This is true.

            The reason for that is an apparent imperative to avoid modeling CO2 reductions of above 5% per annum (you won’t find any although the science is calling for 10% reductions). And the reason you won’t find any is because…that rate of decrease ain’t compatible with a functioning market economy.

            So we get presented with a somewhat rosy, but essentially dishonest, picture that’s based on presenting odds (2 in 3 or 50/50) as kinda certain; false peak emission dates (set in the past and in the face of empirical observations); an unquestioned assumption that CCS tech will, over the next few decades, be developed, rolled out and work; false rates of emission increases (1990 rates used in stead of current rates); increasing the accumulative modeled total of allowable CO2 that will still result in no more than 2 degrees of warming (which is essentially full circle to the first point about the 2 in 3 or 50/50 chance).

            But don’t believe me. Go read listen and critique the scientists in the field who are calling bullshit on the politicisation of cc. http://kevinanderson.info/

            You might want to note that not a single scientist refutes or challenges the scientific basis of his arguments/observations/contentions.

            • Daniel Cale

              Your assertion seems to be that we are being presented with an overly rosy picture. Why then do we have myriad false predictions from climate scientists, virtually all grossly exaggerated? There is a huge credibility problem for scientists in this, and it is impacting on the publics attitude to science in a way that is alarming to those of us who follow the philsophy of science.

              • Bill

                Not aware of the ‘virtually all grossly exaggerated’ ‘myriad of false predictions’. Maybe you could provide some examples from any of the many major CC reports?

                btw – there is no ‘assertion’ on my part. The info is there. I’ve given you a link that will provide you with the explanations and present the disparities in modeled assumptions versus empirical data.

    • maui 1.5

      Can you remember any other years we’ve had major regional flood events across multiple regions? I don’t think I can. This year we had Dunedin, Wellington and Whanganui, and probably some others.

      Then this summer is supposed to be one of the worst droughts in memory.

      • Daniel Cale 1.5.1

        Maui these are weather events. They may or may not be due to climate change, and they provide no evidence of any anthropogenic link.

        Oh, and for the record, these flood events were not unique. This article (http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/69562014/state-of-emergency-in-whanganui-as-flooding-hits-lower-north-island.html) speaks of worse weather events 30 years and more ago, when the Co2 levels in the atmosphere were considerably lower than they are now.

        • maui

          A quick look at that article shows the river reached its highest level on record and a resident calls it the worst flood he’s seen in 70 years. That isn’t unique? All of these events happening in the same year isn’t unique?

          I’m not sure if I can argue with you if you don’t believe in mainstream science.

          • Daniel Cale

            You were referring to weather events as evidence for anthropogenic climate change were you not? You asked the question “Can you remember any other years we’ve had major regional flood events across multiple regions? I don’t think I can.” With respect, you were wrong. These events are not uncommon, at least not in the context of the life of the planet. One event you referred to was exceeded less that 30 years ago. How is that unusual?

            • maui

              You quoted me saying multiple and then you decide its enough to look at a single event. That’s impressive your memory can go back six billion years, maybe you can detail what years nz had these events occur.

              • Daniel Cale

                6 billion years? Huh? No, the article I cited reported events within the past 100 years (well within) that were the equal of what you claimed were records. Let’s simplify this. You are making claims that these weather events are somehow unprecedented. My site shows you were wrong. This is a pattern with alarmists…they claim some weather event is unique and forget to mention that it is only unique in the context of recent decades. It’s dishonest sensationalism.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No, your cite is a Fairfax media article, and makes no rigorous claims whatsoever. You’re a fool to rely on it.

                  Far better data on global weather trends is available, even if all you do is examine payouts for insured damage.

                  Lift your game. Right now it’s feeble.

                  • Daniel Cale

                    The fairfax article directly contradicted an uncited claim by Maui. I don’t blame him/her…alarmists have been claiming numerous current weather events are unprecedented when such claims are simply untrue. As was Maui’s.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      More plagiarised denial talking points. Trenberth had the last word on the connection between climate and weather years ago.

                      I note you can’t face the truth about insurance claims.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      OAB are you serious? You’re using insurance claims as evidence weather events are becoming more severe? Have you not even stopped to think that increasing population and urbanisation will make weather events more likely to cause more damage? Have a read of this about tornadoes…http://www.wunderground.com/climate/extreme.asp.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The point, plagiarist, is that geologic and other non-climate affected metrics have remained static.

                      Oh, and a moment ago you were drivelling that climate has changed, in which case Munich re’s figures are exactly as expected, but you forgot that in your haste to plagiarise your latest talking point.

                      Please try thinking before you copy-paste your next embarrassing failure.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      ” geologic and other non-climate affected metrics have remained static.”

                      Yes but demographics haven’t! Of course Climate has changed. But weather events today are not atypical. Another alarmist lie rebutted.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Munich Re are lying?

                      Then there’s a huge gap in the insurance market.

                      You’re still not getting it: the insurance industry grows with population and development: that’s to be expected. Decade by decade, weather related damage eats up a larger share of the pie, compared to say, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and non-weather related claims.

                      Still, I’m sure someone will be putting their money on new insurance policies based on your wisdom any day now. No, sorry, I’m being cruel: you’ll lose your shirt.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      “Decade by decade, weather related damage eats up a larger share of the pie, compared to say, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and non-weather related claims.”

                      So? That could simply be cyclical, or further evidence of human migration to high population density (certainly not near volcanoes!).

                      It seems to me your argument is built on one faulty assumption after another. Not a good foundation.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      it seems to me that you expect that the climate (which you say is changing) doesn’t affect the weather. Or that you haven’t actually thought about your assertions at all, and are merely plagiarising talking points from denier websites.

                      Yep, that seems more likely.

                      Why don’t you put your thinking cap on and stop reflexively denying? Why on Earth are you arguing that Climatology doesn’t have consequences for weather?


                    • Daniel Cale

                      “it seems to me that you expect that the climate (which you say is changing) doesn’t affect the weather. ”

                      No. I understand the relationship.

                      “Or that you haven’t actually thought about your assertions at all, and are merely plagiarising talking points from denier websites.”

                      No. I understand the science.

                      “Why on Earth are you arguing that Climatology doesn’t have consequences for weather?”

                      I’m not. Never have. I am refuting false claims (e.g. recent weather events are unique – when they are not). Alarmists tell lies to peddle their ideology. People are all to often afraid to expose them. I’m not.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Munich Re’s data shows that each decade sets an unprecedented new level of weather-related damage as a percentage of overall claims.

                      I already mentioned Trenberth.

                      As for specific attribution of individual weather events, since climate determines weather, its asinine to argue that variations in climate don’t produce variations in weather. As for the increased climate extremes we are experiencing, Hansen & Sato Perceptions of Climate Change 2012 is a good place to start.

                      The article you’re presenting as evidence doesn’t support your interpretation, by the way: the section under the sub-heading “record river levels” might have clued you in to that, and as I said, reading is a skill.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          “All scientists agree that climate is changing”, but the weather isn’t, eh.

          The Dunning-Kruger Effect is strong in this one.

          • Daniel Cale

            Weather is always changing. As is the climate. When there is compelling evidence that mankind is significantly contributing to that change, I will join the alarmists.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Atmospheric carbon isotope ratio. Why is it changing?

              • Daniel Cale

                I’m well past taking claims of any kind at face value when it comes to CC, including carbon isotope analysis. But you may want to read http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658, which relates to the phase relationship between atmospheric Co2 and temperatures. The link is to the abstract, but the paper is summarised here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/30/important-paper-strongly-suggests-man-made-co2-is-not-the-driver-of-global-warming/.

                You also have to factor in the rate of uptake of Co2 in the planets seas and forests, which remains uncertain, controversial and consistently underestimated.

                • One Anonymous Bloke


                  I knew you’d have to cite that lying dullard Watts at some point. Are you trying to look dishonest and stupid?

                  I’m going to ignore your red herrings of surrender and charitably offer you another chance to answer the question:

                  Why are atmospheric carbon isotope ratios changing?

                  • Daniel Cale

                    Good sidestep, but the paper was cited by Watts, not authored by him. And your question is simple to answer. Anthropogenic activities. Man is adding C02 to the atmosphere. But by minute amounts overall :
                    “Owing mainly to anthropogenic activities including land use change and fossil fuel burning, the 13C/12C [carbon isotopes] ratio of CO2 in the atmosphere has changed over the last 200 years by 1.5 parts per thousand.”

                    There’s your problem. You’re crying climate change. Yes it is. You’re crying man is pumping Co2 into the atmosphere. Yes we are. Your crying that Co2 is catastrophically altering the climate. That’s where your claims are nothing more than hot air.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That’s where your claims are nothing more than hot air.

                      Says one person who obviously doesn’t understand science against ~30,000 climatologists that do and have been working this for decades.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I note that your citation observes that global warming is not a natural trend.

                      Own goal, idiot.

                    • Daniel Cale

                      OAB…that’s becasue it’s from a pro-alarmist website. See I read from all sides of the debate.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Reading is a skill you don’t possess.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Previous unequivocal scientific claims?

                      Too funny, the poor chump has either never heard of confidence intervals or didn’t grasp the concept.

                      Mind you, what can you expect from someone who “argues” that climate both has and hasn’t changed, without once authoring anything original?

                    • Daniel Cale

                      I’ve never argued climate hasn’t changed. I have repeatedly stated climate is constantly changing. If you have to resort to misquoting me, you have exhausted reasonable rebuttal.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      Then whence your “argument” that Munich Re are lying about the weather?


                    • Daniel Cale

                      I didn’t at any time say Munich Re were lying. Again you are misquoting me.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      They must be very very very mistaken then.

                      As an insurer of losses caused by weather-related natural catastrophes, we are particularly hard hit by the effects of climate change.

                      Please set up a rival re-insurance company to take advantage of their errors. You’ll make a fortune 😆

    • Davidxvx 1.6

      Yes. Many have.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.7

      Paging Dr. Dunning- Kruger.

    • Pat 1.9

      you won’t have too wait much longer Colin, the ICs are already in the process of removing cover for areas deemed at risk…. that will give you some tangible issues to deal with, but its merely a first world problem compared to what many in the pacific and other low lying areas are beginning to have to deal with.

    • Matthew Hooton 1.10

      The next conference is not in a couple of years. It is next year. They have them every year. This year’s conference in Paris is the 21st annual UN climate conference.

    • Macro 1.11

      A 10cm rise in seal level results in up to 15m of sea shore erosion on an unprotected sandy beach.
      Pacific Islands have a lot to be concerned about – and many coastal communities around NZ.
      The current rate of sea level rise globally is around 3mm per year and this has accelerated from a average of 1.7mm per year over the past half century. The status of the West Antarctic Ice sheets are now unstable with ice being eroded from the bottom up from warming ocean currents. The East Antarctic Ice sheet is also signs of instability and if that were to go – it would not only be the Pacific Islands that would be inundated but half of the worlds major cities as well.
      Even if we were to stop the burning of fossil fuels tomorrow, with the current level of GHG in the atmosphere the Planet will continue to warm. Just how much is uncertain – but the best guesses are around another 1 degree – we have already had around 1 degree of warming since the pre-industrial era . When GHG were last at 400ppm around 25 million years ago Sea levels were metres higher than today.

      • weka 1.11.1

        that Guardian link, hard not to think about Dunedin (the beach and the harbour). Plenty of other places in NZ too.

        The NZGeo link raises issues of what’s fair. At what point do people become ineligible for compensation?

  2. maui 2

    Ok, just wondering how a 5deg rise is possible. We’ve burnt through over half of the worlds oil supply already. At the rate were going wouldn’t we exhaust the world’s oil supply well within the next 85 years/end of the century.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      yes. But Mother Nature has taken over the process now, it doesnt matter what we do.

      BTW plz include the billions of tonnes of coal which will also be burnt in the next few years.

      • b waghorn 2.1.1

        You might as well add large amounts of forest and scrub land in Australia /California and Indonesia to things that will be burnt in the near future. And that’s assuming the vast forest and peat lands of the northern hemisphere don’t dry out and go up in smoke.
        BTW there’s been 3 articles today in the herald that logically can all be pinned to cc ie storms forming in funny places ,
        A prediction of 1.5 to 3 metre see level rise
        And October in little old nz busting all records for warmth despite the fact elnino is meant to make spring colder.

        • Grant

          I wonder if China has figured climate change and sea level rise into their strategy of artificially reclaimed islands in the Sth China Sea?

          • CnrJoe

            just build ’em higher

            • Grant

              I’m not a big brain so can’t begin to calculate the requirements, but I suspect that continually raising those artificial platforms in an environment where climate change has generated extreme weather events including storm surges etc. might turn out to be not a simple thing to achieve and certainly rather expensive even for a large State like China. But I am committing the sin of diversion so shall herewith shut-up.

      • maui 2.1.2

        Or the millions of tonnes of coal that has and will be continued to be reduced in coming years. Indonesia the worlds biggest coal exporter, reduced exports by 15% this year. And with Chinas economy unwinding I can only see it heading further down.

        • dukeofurl

          Not quite

          China Burns Much More Coal Than Reported, Complicating Climate Talks

          Even for a country of China’s size and opacity, the scale of the correction is immense. China has been consuming as much as 17 percent more coal each year than reported, according to the new government figures. By some initial estimates, that could translate to almost a billion more tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually in recent years, more than all of Germany emits from fossil fuels.

          [Until you apologise for your blatent ageism and ad hominem attacks from the other day, say away. I flagged you on a number of your comments – something, it seems, that you’ve chosen to ignore. You were in moderation. You are now banned.] – Bill

        • b waghorn

          Yeah na there is no real reduction going on.

          • maui

            It will be interesting to see how that turns out. They still went ahead with Pike and Denniston here when things weren’t profitable.

        • Colonial Viper

          Or the millions of tonnes of coal that has and will be continued to be reduced in coming years.


          You’re talking about a few million tonnes less coal being burnt because of economic decline?

          Out of several billion tonnes consumed in total?

          What difference will that make?

    • Bill 2.2

      Feedback loops – when anthropological warming becomes a historical footnote in a world beset with ‘runaway’ natural warming that will stabilise at, well…no-one knows what new, global surface temperature.

      • Nessalt 2.2.1

        I seem to remember anthropological global cooling being a footnote in the 80’s social studies books when talking about the 70’s.

        • Freemark

          So if nuclear energy was going to potentially kill millions of people, and AGW is going to potentially kill billions, seems a bad call was made by a few noisy activists.
          The same activists who would deny Golden Rice & other highly beneficial GMO’s to humanity.
          The same who would wantonly destroy our own research into super-photosynthesizing pinus radiata.
          The same ilk who deny/decry the massive improvements in global standards of living, life expectancy, educational standards etc..just because it’s all a bit unequal, and some are doing better than others.
          Excuse us if many have little belief in the scale of the problem, or the validity of the proposed solutions, which when boiled down seem to equate to “ëat the rich”

          • Colonial Viper

            So clever pants

            Please explain how you can mine and refine thousands of tonnes of uranium ore without extensive use of fossil fuels?

            And how you can store the masses of radioactive waste created and decommission old nuclear plants, without extensive use of fossil fuels?

            You clearly haven’t thought shit through.

            Excuse us if many have little belief in the scale of the problem, or the validity of the proposed solutions, which when boiled down seem to equate to “ëat the rich”

            Don’t be a dick.

            The 0.1% are destroying the world via consumption and growth.

            It is they who are eating the future of the 99%.

            BTW you and your kids are going to be just as fucked as the rest of us. Enjoy.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Please explain how you can mine and refine thousands of tonnes of uranium ore without extensive use of fossil fuels?

              With electric tools powered by renewably generated power. Been telling you that for years now.

              And how you can store the masses of radioactive waste created and decommission old nuclear plants, without extensive use of fossil fuels?

              Storage is my big concern for nuclear. That in itself makes nuclear not worth the effort IMO.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The same ilk who deny/decry the massive improvements in global standards of living, life expectancy, educational standards etc… don’t exist anywhere outside of your mouldy prayerbook, Cheap Mark.

  3. CnrJoe 3

    We’ll have to open our hilly doors to them. Welcome, and Sorry.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The industrialised nations putting the welfare of the entire planet at risk so that their economic growth is assured and their citizens can continue to enjoy lives of comparative ease.

    Exponential Economist Meets Finite Physicist

    Physicist: [sigh of relief: not a space cadet] Alright, the Earth has only one mechanism for releasing heat to space, and that’s via (infrared) radiation. We understand the phenomenon perfectly well, and can predict the surface temperature of the planet as a function of how much energy the human race produces. The upshot is that at a 2.3% growth rate (conveniently chosen to represent a 10× increase every century), we would reach boiling temperature in about 400 years. [Pained expression from economist.] And this statement is independent of technology. Even if we don’t have a name for the energy source yet, as long as it obeys thermodynamics, we cook ourselves with perpetual energy increase.

    Physical reality tells us that we must stop growth and that we must stop it now.

    • Grant 4.1

      Interesting and entertaining article DTB, a great format for making complex ideas accessible to mere mortals like me.

    • Macro 4.2

      “It’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Sooner or later everything turns to shit. ”
      Woody Allen

  5. Davidxvx 5

    There’s still a real, genuine chance that Paris will enable cuts that keep warming below 1.5C – but only if there’s a real, meaningful review and ratchet up process.

    See: http://adoptanegotiator.org/five-key-takeaways/

    • Bill 5.1

      Sadly, I very much suspect the 2 degrees pathway the UN is touting incorporates Carbon Capture and Storage (an untested and highly experimental technology that, if it even worked at scale, would be 30 – 40 years away) and the ‘more favourable than empirical’ data that the IPCC models have used.

      Once upon a time we were swimming in the creek and a croc was on the far bank. Now both we and the croc are swimming in the creek but we’re looking over to the bank puzzling over what people might be getting animated about instead of getting our arses outta there.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.1

        Not sure they have a single method in mind, they seem to be a lot of standard stuff as well for staying at or below 2C


        Its not something I have followed but its interesting using graphics

        [Until you apologise for your blatent ageism and ad hominem attacks from the other day, stay away. I flagged you on a number of your comments – something, it seems, that you’ve chosen to ignore. You were in moderation. You are now banned.] – Bill

  6. Poission 6

    Recall that the reduction commitments are “voluntary”, there are no consequences for missing them, and the world has an abysmal record of hitting previous voluntary reduction targets (RIP Kyoto)


    What would the world avoided scenario be if the Kyoto protocol emission reduction enactions been 5-6 times greater /(and implemented).

  7. Ralf Crown 7

    Would it be politically too incorrect to point out that New Zealand’s close partner and master USA is responsible for 48% of the world pollution while only house 4% of the population, and New Zealand is the third worst polluter in relation to its 0.07% world population.

    • Matthew Hooton 7.1

      It may not not be politically incorrect. But it would definitely be factually incorrect.

  8. One Two 8

    Believing human beings can control the outcomes, is arrogance of the highest order

    • McFlock 8.1

      believing that human beings didn’t get ourselves into this mess is ignorance of the basest order.

      • One Two 8.1.1

        The point you missed is that the cause is irrelevant

        The outcomes will not be controlled by human intervention. That is impossible

        • weka

          Humans can stop burning fossil fuels. That that haven’t is an issue of will not possible.

          • Colonial Viper

            It’s theoretically possible to do what you say, just like it is possible for you to not buy or use any products shipped from overseas to NZ.

            But people aren’t going to do that.

          • Lloyd

            Humans could also stop having babies.

            Scary news for global warming, – the Chinese government has dropped the single child policy.

            We could all burn lots more hydrocarbons and coal if there were only one million of us on the surface of the planet.

            • Pat

              who and how is it decided the additional 7 odd billion are removed?

              • weka

                it’s an odd comment by Lloyd. Perhaps it’s a response to my statement about what is possible.

                • Pat

                  in a way he is right…over population is the greatest cause (read growth), but a timely resolution is politically impossible, not to mention morally impossible but one way or another it will occur

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I don’t agree that it’s morally impossible. Sure, we’d have to get the agreement of the majority of people in the world to reduce offspring but it would be moral to do that.

                    The problem we have is that it would be damn near impossible to get that agreement and so we’re going to default to usual immoral immoral means of population control of war, famine, conquest, and death.

              • weka

                it’s an odd comment by Lloyd. Perhaps it’s a pointed response to my statement about what is possible.

          • Daniel Cale

            1. No, it is not possible, at least not for decades, if not centuries. 2. Even if we did, it will make little or no difference to climate change. Climate change is a present and future reality, as it has been in the past. We must adapt or die.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              What would you know about it? You lack the intelligence to make any sort of meaningful contribution, and what little you do have you employ learning your lines.

              Everything you’ve dribbled in this discussion is plagiarised, confused, self contradictory tripe.

        • McFlock

          The fact that the cause is human-made increases the chance that it is human-solvable.

          At the simplest level, we caused the problem by dumping billions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every year.

          We can solve it by actively managing carbon levels.

          This does not mean it is easy to solve, and the longer we wait the more difficult it will be. But let me be very clear: the solutions to AGC are possible. We, as a population, merely lack the will.

          • One Two

            “We can solve it by actively managing carbon levels”

            Influence will not ever equate to solve

            • McFlock

              It’s lucky that I didn’t say “influence” then, ain’t it.

              We’ve discovered a key thermostat for the planet. We discovered it by whacking it to “too hot” for a couple of hundred years.

              The US alone put several billion dollars into putting people on the moon, developing all the new technologies required to do so in less than twenty years. The only thing stopping us from a similar advance in climate control is committment.

              • One Two

                Influence (I used the word) is all we are able to do

                Knowledge limitations , infinate variables and external forces beyond our control will ensure that influence, is all we will ever be able to do

                Unless you believe the forces of the ‘natural world’ can be ‘conquered’ by human beings

                I do not

                • McFlock

                  So you don’t believe we could, for example, get atmospheric CO2 back down to 250-300ppm? Because we managed to get it up to 400ppm without thinking about it.

                  • Bill

                    McFlock, we can’t bring CO2 levels down. It’s not like walking into a wrecked china shop with glue and patience – this shit just doesn’t stick back together. We can stop pushing CO2 levels up though. Time and the natural process, where CO2 washes from the atmosphere may bring levels down after that. That will take up to 100 years. I say ‘may’, because the possibility of feedback loops and runaway warming would basically mean that the entire game’s a bogey.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      People have to realise that in 2 or 3 centuries of modern industrialisation we will have released the carbon which took the ecosystem several million years to store.

                    • McFlock

                      And getting to the moon wasn’t like popping down to the corner store.

                      But there are a number of viable technologies being explored in areas from symptomatic treatments (spraying vapour into the atmosphere to reflect more light and mitigate warming that way) to full carbon sequestration. The trouble is that they are being explored by a large number of startups, mostly from private investment, rather than a coordinatoed and massively funded effort to address the problem.

                      And addressing the carbon issue will also address the ocean acidification issue raised elsewhere.

  9. johnm 9

    Why the Paris Climate Summit Will Be a Peace Conference
    Averting a World of Failed States and Resource Wars
    By Michael T. Klare

    ” A failure to cap carbon emissions guarantees another result as well, though one far less discussed. It will, in the long run, bring on not just climate shocks, but also worldwide instability, insurrection, and warfare. In this sense, COP-21 should be considered not just a climate summit but a peace conference — perhaps the most significant peace convocation in history.

    To grasp why, consider the latest scientific findings on the likely impacts of global warming, especially the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). When first published, that report attracted worldwide media coverage for predicting that unchecked climate change will result in severe droughts, intense storms, oppressive heat waves, recurring crop failures, and coastal flooding, all leading to widespread death and deprivation. Recent events, including a punishing drought in California and crippling heat waves in Europe and Asia, have focused more attention on just such impacts. The IPCC report, however, suggested that global warming would have devastating impacts of a social and political nature as well, including economic decline, state collapse, civil strife, mass migrations, and sooner or later resource wars. ”


    and: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/11/03/the-browning-of-the-world-blame-the-greed-of-the-rich/

  10. Steve Wrathall 10

    Meanwhile the 18 year pause in global warming continues, and sea level rise fails to show any acceleration beyond the 3 mm/year recorded since satellite measurements began.

    • johnm 10.1

      Sea level rise accelerating faster than thought

      Julia Rosen is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon.
      Email Julia
      By Julia Rosen
      11 May 2015 11:15 am

      If you’re still thinking about buying that beach house, think again. A new study suggests that sea levels aren’t just rising; they’re gaining ground faster than ever. That’s contrary to earlier work that suggested rising seas had slowed in recent years.

      The result won’t come as a shock to most climate scientists. Long-term records from coastal tide gauges have shown that sea level rise accelerated throughout the 20th century. Models predict the trend will continue. However, previous studies based on satellite measurements—which began in 1993 and provide the most robust estimates of sea level—revealed that the rate of rise had slowed in the past decade compared with the one before.


      And: Oceans Warming Faster Than They Have Over Past 10,000 Years

      Greenhouse gas emissions have been rising, but warming has plateaued in recent years. It turns out the heat is likely being absorbed by the ocean depths.

      Try the ocean. That’s one takeaway from a new paper published in Science today, one of a number of studies suggesting that the oceans depths seem to be soaking up the excess heat energy created by the accumulation of greenhouse gases. Researchers led by Yair Rosenthal at Rutgers University reconstructed temperatures in one part of the Pacific Ocean and found that its middle depths have been warming some 15 times faster over the past 60 years than at any other time over the past 10,000 years. It’s as if the oceans have been acting as a battery, absorbing the excess charge created by the greenhouse effect, which leaves less to warm the surface of the planet, where we’d notice it.


      If the above is too complicated for you to bother reading Steve I can sum up for you as: you’re mistaken due to ignorance of the facts. Do some research and you will remedy that state.

    • r0b 10.2

      There has been no “pause” in global warming. None.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      There has never been such a pause. The world continued to heat up the entire time. This has been explained to you before and so what you’re doing now is simply lying.

    • Colonial Viper 10.4

      <blockquote.Meanwhile the 18 year pause in global warming continues, and sea level rise fails to show any acceleration beyond the 3 mm/year recorded since satellite measurements began.

      Dude wake up, we have been getting global record warmest years over the last 10 years.

    • Macro 10.5

      What pause??
      Get over it Wrathall your wrong – dead wrong – and you have been for years!

  11. One Anonymous Bloke 11

    The Pacific nations are going to need serious commitments to humanitarian aid, refugee resettlement and all that goes with it.

  12. Sirenia 12

    Why do people put so much energy into denying climate change?

    • Sabine 12.1

      because the other option is just too terrifying to even contemplate.

      once one admits that its fucked, and that it can’t be unfucked, one realizes that they have been chasing soap bubbles, that their house value mean nothing, their bank accounts mean nothing, and that what ever they thought they might be and have is nothing either.

      So much better to shove ones head up ones arse and pretend that it smells like roses.

      Fear. the biggest most destructive force on this planet.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1


        Couldn’t have said it better.

      • maui 12.1.2

        I think fear plays a big part in the discussions, does telling people that we’re heading for +4 deg temps and runaway climate really help them in addressing the issue? People generally turn the other way or just become immobile when that gets thrown at them. We need to get people interested in getting their food from local sources because its better in so many ways, how being heavily involved in their local community is better for them and how you don’t need to drive around an entire region each and everyday. If we cave into the fear we talk about geo engineering and other irrational actions.

        • McFlock

          I think that some deniers do so out of the basis not so much of fear as it means that the structures they’ve learnt to exist under will change dramatically.

          But then the doomsayers who argue that resistance is futile are also preserving their little social cocoon: they get to be Cassandra who fully comprehends the truth, everyone else is wrong, and the futility of any action means that they don’t have to do anything themselves.

          I also wonder whether some Cassandras are the final step in industry-sponsored propaganda: “we might have been able to do something but it’s too late now” (standard Foreign Policy response checklist from Yes PM: nothing’s happening, something might be happening but we don’t know what, we know what’s going on but we can’t do anything about it, we might have been able to do something but it’s too late now).

          Grassroots recycling or turning off the lights won’t affect all that much: we need a concerted effort aimed at long term carbon sequestration/sinks on a global industrial scale. But it’s always good to remind people that we face a major crisis that needs to be addressed (without claiming that it can’t be addressed).

          • Bill

            All of the individual cutting back – the lightbulbs etc…I read it can only ever amount to something like a 5 – 10% reduction. It should still be done, but real cuts involve completely stepping away from (utterly severing our ties to) fossil intensive production, transport, distribution etc.

            That leaves us the 30 or 40 years to develop and roll out non-fossil guzzling infrastructures etc. That may or may not (probably won’t, in my book) include CCS tech. Actually, even if we could suck CO2 from the atmosphere, then there’s still the problem of CO2 laden, warming and ever more acidic oceans interacting with the atmosphere to contend with.

            • Colonial Viper

              we have about 10 years to roll out that infrastructure ; i fear after that the resources, finances and stability required to complete major public works will be gone.

              • Bill

                Have just been watching a presentation that crunched some numbers.

                On nuclear.

                Nuclear provides about 2.5% of the worlds energy demand. There are 300 or 400 nuclear power stations worldwide.

                So, to get 25% of demand from nuclear would require 3000 or 4000 nuclear power plants.

                The sheer scale, whether we’re talking nuclear or windmills or whatever is so immense that to talk of ten years is a nonsense. It can’t be done. Rolling out a ‘Marshal Plan’ – and that’s probably what’s required – will still take 30 years or more before meaningful impacts are felt.

                Meanwhile, cut demand.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2

      For money.

    • infused 12.3

      No ones denying it.

      People are arguing the science behind the whole man made part.

      • weka 12.3.1

        it’s just another form of denial. As is ‘there’s nothing we can do’. All argued by the people who want BAU and would rather have their children’s world burn than give up their consumerism and overprivileged lifestyle.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.3.2

        If they were arguing that they’d be discussing the trend in the atmospheric carbon isotope ratio. Except that isn’t so much a discussion as a measurement.

        Hey, look, a panda.

    • Daniel Cale 12.4

      We don’t. But we do question to what extent mankind is responsible.

      • Ad 12.4.1

        So is it worth making the effort to adjust to climate change or not?

        Don’t beat about the bush now.

    • e-clectic 12.5

      Because they don’t want to change.
      Furthermore if they accept humans have affected the planet that undermines their worldview and political philosophy.
      Strong correlation between denial and right wing views.
      The right in general believe that the earth and resources are here for their untrammeled purposes and we can all do as we please. AGW contradicts that position, it requires use of resources to be assessed against societal good. That’s anathema to their politics.
      The real kicker that sits underneath all of this is that AGW fundamentally demonstrates that right-wing political philosophy is predicated on crappy assumptions. That’s why they get so defensive about it.

  13. weka 13

    Great, so instead of a discussion in response to the post based on what our political and ethical responsibilities are as a Pacific nation, it’s a thread dominated by CC denial debate. To my mind, it’s a stategy to distract us from doing something concrete. We are past the CC denial stage now and the only people running those lines are the people who don’t want change and are happy for the world to burn. They should be pariahed not engaged with meaningfully.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1


    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2

      Become vegan, plant trees, stop driving, attend Cabinet Club and buy some National Party MPs then force them into crossing the floor. What?

      • weka 13.2.1

        Do you mean you are unsure what to do so instead argue with deniers, or did you mean something else?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          1. Can walk and chew gum at the same time.
          2. A list of practical suggestions that can be expanded on and a pointer to the need for the right wing to get serious.

          • weka

            I’m sure that like most people here you can walk and chew gum at the same time, but that’s not what I meant. I meant that the act of posting denial in a thread such as this is meant to distract us from the conversations about what to do. Yes we can do both, but not sufficiently, there are only so many hours in the day that we all have and time is running out fast.

            It’s not a matter of dnftt, I’m saying throw the trole out on their ear* in such a way as to demonstrate that they are pariahs. Zero tolerance. If we can to take CC change seriously.

            (*actually sending them to Open Mike would suffice).

    • Bill 13.3

      Depressing innit? I guess in future posts from me on CC, the rider that any denialist nonsense will be met with a ban is going to be reinstituted. Haven’t had to do that for a couple of years now. Wonder what woodwork/rock they’re crawling out from all of a sudden?

  14. Ad 14

    “How can we look our Pacific neighbors in the eye?”

    That might depend on who we think our neighbours really are.

    I just want to stretch out a Utilitarian argument – something like Peter Singer might do.

    Starts with these kinds of assumptions:

    1. Our Pacific neighbours are more than humans. All animals and plants are our neighbours (it’s an argument from extended sentience as defining “interests”).

    2. Some islands are barely viable even for human subsistence living. Climate change will make them either more marginally viable, or completely non-viable.

    3. When humans leave non-viable islands, those islands to revert to their non-human-populated state. That is a good thing for our non-human “Pacific neighbours”.

    I thought it was a good signal for example that the current government is making a massive no-take area around the Kermadec Islands. A limit to human settlement on our part of the earth.

    You could extend the same logic of the overreach of human settlement to some of the Chatham Islands, as well as the Tokelau’s, Marshall’s, and others with socially and economically marginal conditions. Which will only get worse.

    Consider also the time and expense we have put into rehabilitating sub-Antarctic islands and coastal islands to be human-free and predator-free. We consider that worth doing.

    Simply pointing out that human “neighbours” are not our only “neighbours” to consider in terms of alleviating suffering.

    • weka 14.1

      I agree about extending our notions of suffering (although I’m not a particular fan of Singer and think that we should look at ecosystems as a whole, not the individual species we classify as animals).

      Let’s take your idea further. What happens when we realise that the human population on the NZ islands is no longer viable if we take all life into consideration? Where would we all go?

      Humans have been part of the landscape for a very long time. I’m not convinced that removing them is better than the humans relearning how to live within nature. The latter is urgently needed no matter where humans live. I also think that the people that have traditionally live in places have important, irreplaceable understandings of what is needed there ecologically and that this will become more important as the effects of CC increase. Some people belong to the place they live and can’t be removed without doing substantial damage (tangata whenua).

      (needless to say, NZ should be taking CC refugees and resettlers from its neighbours. It should also be working to mitigate the worst effects of CC).

      • Ad 14.1.1

        That’s the really useful thing about New Zealand.
        It will on the whole do really well out of climate change, and for quite some time.

        Those non-viable islands such as Toklelau area already buying land elsewhere (in their case Fiji).

        I don’t feel remotely threatened about immigration here (whether they are defined as ‘climate change refugees” or any other) because we have been absorbing most of Pacific Island states for about 6 decades now, and it’s improved us.

        Our own Tangata Whenua were borne of migration and are exceptionally welcoming people. Our land mass very luckily is incredibly diverse, and very very adaptable, as our agrarian economy has shown over the last century.

        • Bill

          It will on the whole do really well out of climate change, and for quite some time.

          That’s really just an article of faith Ad. NZ might not get the same increases in land temperatures that will be experienced in larger land masses, but higher winds, heavier rains and longer droughts are another thing altogether. And those potential rains and winds and droughts can ‘total’ infrastructure and crops just as readily (in some instances more readily) than a simple temperature increase.

          • Macro

            yep! somehow people have not yet factored in the damage to our agriculture that persistent years of drought are now bringing NZ.
            For instance – the Waikato – once the home of dairying in NZ has suffered 4 droughts in the past decade. This year will bring another. Production has only maintained by the importation of Palm Kernel. With the downturn in dairy prices that resort is a thing of the past. The result this year will be even more severe than previous. The Hawkes Bay – Canterbury and other Eastern regions of the country are all highly likely to suffer more drought in the future especially in El Nino years and its not going to be pretty.
            Across the Tasman in Victoria and NSW, farmers are well aware of the increasing drought and its effects. They are not in denial in the least and are one of the major voices calling for governmental action on CC.

        • weka

          Ok, I thought by viable you meant ecologically, but I see how you mean in terms of human civilisation. I’m not sure what your point was now. If you want to talk about the suffering of non-humans, why would you not apply that to NZ as well as our smaller Pacific neighbours?

        • Pat

          feel that you may need to remove your rose tinted lenses…consider,an increase in extreme events (already demonstrated and expected to increase) which cause damage , of particular note infrastructure….the removal of insurance coverage for said events and a fast return period…how many times can you afford to rebuild it???….given you have the time which increasingly you will not…..add to that the need to resettle and support those of our neighbors that can no longer live in their current environs and reduced trade due to other societies dealing with similar issues, possibly on a greater scale…..do you seriously believe that the ponzi scheme we have going is capable of dealing with that???….history would show you are deluded if you do.

          • Lloyd

            New Zealand is amply supplied with potential alternative sources of energy.
            There are a multitude of micro-hydro sites;
            We have high sunshine levels;
            We have a very windy climate;
            We have a long coastline with high wave levels;
            We live on a long string of islands which have strong tidal flows;
            We have extensive geothermal areas;
            We have a great climate for growing firewood.

            If as a country we went all out in harvesting these sources efficiently we would have more electricity than we needed to power our railways, our cars and to dry milk to make milk powder.

            Many of the industrialised nations of the earth do not have such an abundance of alternative energy sources. If they go cold-turkey on petrochemicals and coal they will have to have another source of energy. New Zealanders should be working as hard as possible on ways to store and export our potential excess electricity to the world. With a little work we could be the energy equivalent of Saudi Arabia at the end of the century.

            Exporting compressed hydrogen has potential, as does making aluminium.

            • Pat

              read my other post….that is all well and good, an example for you to consider….ChCh is rebuilding from a series of quakes, it is part way through that rebuild and the city is broke, the ICs are looking hard at coverage, the reinsurers have already threatened to walk away and the government is pulling back on commitments to manufacture a surplus…..and tomorrow another big one hits….back to square one…..do we rebuild it?can we? will the ICs and reinsurers remain?who will risk investment?
              we still have ample hydro capacity and can grow all the firewood you like, we may even be able to export, but these earthquakes (or ACC events) are happening worldwide, so who can buy? and can we still get critical supplies?

  15. Ad 15

    Bill I have to go to a big bonfire right now but I’ll do more later maybe an alternative line.

  16. Mike the Savage One 16

    The sad truth is, most people out there do not care to think too much about climate change and the consequences. The common approach is one extremely blinkered one, and as such developments take years or decades, and move ahead very gradually and slowly, too many do not even “detect” the changes.

    Occasional news about disasters are quickly shrugged off, and once the pictures on the TV or computer or mobile screen vanish, the heads are quickly stuck deep into the nearest sand again.

    In a society, supposedly so “advanced” and “developed”, as in most developed and growing parts of developing nations, where people drive their cars to gyms to have physical workouts, human behaviour is not that rational and in touch with nature anymore. Who goes and rides a bicycle to get to work or study? Who does her/his shopping by using a re-usable bag to carry the stuff home? Who tells their supermarket manager they do not want one-way packaging for the goods they buy? Who does walk a few hundred metres, rain or shine, to get to places to shop or work or study? Who does not fall for fashion and fads, and refrains from buying fashionable clothes or the latest gadgets, and rather “saves” resources and uses things until they are no longer usable? Who does actually stop jetting to the Cook Islands, to Australia and elsewhere by plane, for their holidays, and perhaps instead stays locally, saving fuel and avoiding a large carbon print? Who does care about decisive action and agrees with more tax on petrol and diesel, with higher parking charges, with effective measures to get people using buses, trains, bicycles or their own feet to get to places?

    The answers will be evident and known, and that is the problem.

    We can demand as much change from governments as we like, but if most do not give a shit, and just carry on as they are, there will be NO change, NO progress and NO stop to climate change. And then of course, we get them here, at times, those that say, what difference will it make if we in NZ do change?

    Go back and stick your heads in the sand and carry your blinkers, and delude yourself, that nothing much will happen.

    The way things are going, the world and humanity will be truly stuffed, and the fight for survival will be full on, and those that have enough cash and other means, they will find ways to keep their privileges going, they will simply let the rest drown, fight each other, and destroy each other, or simply starve due to lack of food, all as a result of climate change.

    New Zealand is considered a “refuge” for some that come here from polluted and stuffed up places, which will also “sink” into the ocean along some shorelines. Many of those come here though, to carry on with their wasteful privileged lifestyles, and some of them buy homes in Auckland. They rather run than stand up for change, they are only interested in their own survival.

  17. Tautoko Mangō Mata 17

    “Oil Industry Pumped Up Spending on Disinformation This Summer to Kill California Climate Bill Provision”
    “The state Legislature was considering a climate bill designed to double the energy efficiency of existing buildings, increase electric utilities’ renewable energy use to 50 percent by 2030, and halve petroleum consumption by cars and trucks by 2030. The oil industry objected to that third provision, misleadingly dubbing the bill the “California Gas Restriction Act of 2015.” And, according to state data released this week, the industry tripled its quarterly lobbying expenditures — from $3.68 million in the spring to $11.5 million from July through September — to pressure California lawmakers to scrap the oil reduction goal.”
    These guys are criminals!”

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