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Australia’s climate tragedy

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Australia’s repeal of its carbon laws is the culmination of some sorry chapters in Australian politics and policy, but is by no means the end of the story.

The repeal represents a tragedy for our politics, a travesty for public policy, and a train wreck for climate action. But there are significant remnants among the wreckage.

The last decade has seen our politics dominated by greed, self-interest, poor judgment, and rotten luck. Despite this, a working and credible climate policy emerged.

By establishing a bipartisan consensus for emissions trading in July 2007, then-Prime Minister John Howard responded to years of growing climate concerns and business calls for greater carbon policy certainty.

Putting that political consensus into action was destined to be challenging in Australia’s economy, which has historically depended on coal for power and export.

Despite winning the “world’s first climate-change election” in late 2007, Kevin Rudd delayed legislating emissions trading. Given his relentless commitment to the Copenhagen climate negotiations, it is churlish to suggest that he did not take climate action seriously. However, his government rightly stands accused of using it to wedge a troubled coalition in 2008 and 2009. That this turned into a terminal reverse wedge issue in 2010 is an epic irony.

Rudd’s government failed to adequately reach out to the Greens, but they bear some responsibility for the downfall of the carbon laws and our current malaise. The Greens, along with some environmental organizations and progressive think tanks, relentlessly attacked Rudd’s framework, which offered a flexible system of limits on pollution. They let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

Post Copenhagen, when Rudd backed down on prosecuting for emissions trading, his political authority collapsed and, in 2010, Julia Gillard replaced him as prime minister.

The 2010 election allowed a miraculous triangulation of politics in which Australian Labor Party and Green hostility could be mediated by two country-based independents with conservative backgrounds. Despite – or perhaps because of – their backgrounds, Tony Windsor and Robert Oakeshott agreed on the need for climate action. Working with Greens MP Adam Bandt, they made carbon pricing a condition of supporting a Gillard minority government.

However, in early 2011, in what she later recognized as a mistake, Prime Minister Julia Gillard disastrously labeled their joint work on carbon pricing “in effect a carbon tax” – something she had ruled out introducing during the election campaign. This opened extra opportunities for political opposition while turbocharging scaremongering and rent-seeking from many in politics and business.

The scaremongering was almost completely without substance. Mining leaders openly acknowledged that the debate had moved beyond rational discourse, and others described the emergence of “post-truth politics” in Australia. That reaped its final bitter harvest upon repeal.

Repeal of the carbon laws is a travesty of policy because it is clear from the government’s own reports and independent data that for the two years they were in place, the carbon laws were working.

Pollution is declining in a growing economy. The latest National Greenhouse Gas Inventory showed the greatest emissions decline on record. A government report calculated that two years of the carbon laws would reduce pollution by 40 million tonnes. Independent analysts predicted that annual default emission limits in the laws would see Australia reduce pollution by at least 15 percent by 2020, compared to 2000 levels.

Meanwhile, the economy continued to grow, employment was largely unaffected, and inflation impacts were exactly as predicted at a fraction of one percent.

It was rotten luck that these reforms coincided with the impact of massive investment in electricity transmission poles and wires. This has been the true driver of most price increases.

In a cruel twist, much of this appears unnecessary. Energy efficiency measures, the Renewable Energy Target, economic changes, the carbon laws, and perhaps even the response to the scare campaigns surrounding those laws, saw an unprecedented decline in overall demand.

Now, Australia is left with a train wreck of climate action, without a policy framework that can credibly deliver the minimum five percent reductions off 2000 levels by 2020, let alone the up-to-25-percent that both major parties support.

To its credit, the government retains that range in international agreements. International focus is now shifting to the even larger post-2020 reductions needed. The United States, the European Union, China, and other major emitters will come forward with stronger emission targets over the next 12 months.

All of us bear some responsibility in this sorry saga. We should have better engaged across society and business, and communication could have been more consistent and better targeted. However, the biggest collective failure was allowing climate policy to fall so deep into cultural and partisan trenches.

Some prospects for a renewable-energy policy, if not a climate policy, appear to have been salvaged from the wreckage. The focus will continue to be on emissions trading schemes, which price and limit carbon pollution, as well as on international action. It looks like we may keep the Climate Change Authority, an independent body that has already verified significant, if not sufficient, global climate action and suggested that Australia increase its emissions reduction target to at least 19 percent.

The repeal of a broad national policy now unfortunately necessitates greater regulation at all levels of government. Nationally, the Renewable Energy Target, the government’s business “safeguard mechanisms,” and the inevitable need to permanently close some existing coal-fired power stations will likely be key domestic flash points. There will also be added pressure for businesses and investors, as there is an overdue but growing incorporation of climate and carbon policy risks in investment decisions.

The risks and realities of climate inaction will continue to grow, as will the opportunities for taking action. While all political parties acknowledge the need for climate action, there are unavoidable human, economic, and political risks. Let’s hope Australia manages them better in the months and years ahead.

© The Mark News

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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This is really sad. I once heard that Australia is the hottest and the driest continent. Wildfires will get worse and worse and unlike the US, they probably don't have other areas to use for agriculture. Add to this conservatives in the US who will say, "see, no one can handle carbon caps". End times are a' coming.

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urbotsat wrote; "counterpoints" There are no valid counter points to global warming and subsequent local-nonlocal climate change. All those points on the carbon energy blog have been addressed over and over by working climate scientists in consensus about the long term trend in global warming.

"We know what is creating our problem with climate and we know the best solution, which is to accept that mother nature, not governments or corporations sets the limits and we have got to meet those limits" ~ David Suzuki ~ Canadian Scientist, broadcaster and activist

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Australia is a hot mess at the moment. We have oil reserves that rival Saudia Arabia, yet over 90% is refined offshore (only to be imported again at a higher price). We're one of the biggest natural gas producers in the world, yet over 70% is imported from SE Asia. Best exposure to the sun, yet no meaningful solar initiatives in place. Did you know that Australia could power the entire world with a solar farm the size of Victoria?

All this potential, and yet the price of power continues to climb. Take your average power bill here (in Japan) and multiply it by 10. This is no joke...

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In nearby New Zealand, an 75 year old author has written a cli fi novel titled MiSTORY, Mr Philip Temple, with links here: http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/311813/climate-fiction-aims-show-true-danger

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turbotsat wrote; "gotcha covered." Covered about what?

Surely you are not questioning David Suzuki's credibility. As for the climate and earth scientist consensus, that is no longer a debate. As the long term trend in global warming and subsequent climate change is accepted science.

If so referencing registered North American carbon energy lobbyist is a failure.

Its called vested interest and the Japanese and English readers here are not that naive.

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Surely you are not questioning David Suzuki's credibility.

Absolutely. I question everyone and everything. Anyone who describes themself as an activist must have their opinions taken with a grain of salt.

I have no doubt the climate is changing, it has been changing constantly since the world began. For not a single moment during the entire history of the world has climate remained static. Stopping climate change is no different than trying to stop time, it isn't possible.

The world has endured many ecological catastrohophes of far larger scale than man is capable of causing. For those who haven't grasped the fact, man is part of nature, and anything caused by man, for better or worse, is natural. In the past the world has been far hotter and far colder. Co2 levels have been much higher, and much lower. Nature giveth, and nature taketh away. More species are extinct than exist today, without any help from human beings.

I enjoyed the fact that the north American ski season began one month early last year, despite the world being warmer. It was interesting to look at the Great Lakes as I flew over them last winter, when they were nearly frozen over for the first time in human memory. I hope it continues getting "warmer", I'll be able to do that much more skiiing.

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Climate change deniers are almost as bad as history deniers (Creationists).

About 97% of the world's scientists agree that climate change is happening. They base their opinions on scholarly research showing rising sea levels, melting arctic ice, increasing global surface temperatures, rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, etc. You know, actual research.

(See here what NASA scientists think. http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators/)

I'll go with real science over anecdotal evidence of flying over the frozen Great Lakes.

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Funny, the BAS (British Antarctic Survey) just recently suffered a power outage at their antarctic labs, which coincided with -62 degree weather, which happens to be the coldest temperature ever recorded there. I suppose this record cold was caused by global warming?

This week Nasa held a conference to try to explain why there has been a "15 year hiatus" in warming. Their short answer was "we don't know". They stated that recent warming average was only 1/3 the average over the last 60 years, despite the 1998 el nino event, polar ice melting, etc. They state that they do not understand the natural variables, so therefore cannot determine why predicted warming is not occurring. Of course the 1998 IPCC report Chapter 8 said that it would not be possible to ascertain whether any manmade warming was occurring until natural variabilities were better understood. Apparently they know as little now as they did in 1998, despite their "97%" certainty.

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sangetsu03 wrote; "Funny, the BAS ... power outage at their antarctic labs, which coincided with -62 degree weather ... coldest temperature ever recorded there. I suppose this record cold was caused by global warming?"

Interesting comment. So what is your point?

That you fail to understand the scientific consensus is that there is a long term trend in global warming. Which subsequently causes local and non local climate change.

Even evident in Antarctica where salt water sea ice is freezing and temperature plummets in certain regions. While the continents fresh water glaciers melt from warming along with every glacier on the planet.

Antarctic extremes further proof of climate projections done as early as the 1970s and 80s of the effects of global warming.

This decade an era when glaciers on every continent or island have now passed the tipping point and will soon disappear never to refreeze for thousands of years. ^

Perhaps you fail to grasp the North American economic system supports carbon energy corporations who are the primary cause of greenhouse gases causing global warming.

If the consensus of working climate and earth scientists are beyond your comprehension, thats ok. Your opinion really does not matter, as only those of working climate and earth scientist do.

^ EIS Extreme Ice Survey ; http://www.ted.com/talks/james_balog_time_lapse_proof_of_extreme_ice_loss

http://extremeicesurvey.org/

http://extremeicesurvey.org/2013/05/eis-in-antarctica/

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You may not believe in climate change but climate change believes in you. Also, what an irresponsible attitude to have towards your childrens' future.

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Paul Richards

Surely you are not questioning David Suzuki's credibility.

David Suzuki, the climate activist with the $8.2M (Canadian dollar, approx $7.5M USD) house and the massive carbon footprint? Canada's Al Gore?

I'd take Anthony Watts' FAQ on why he's not paid by big oil over David Suzuki's "Save Santa Claus" page where he sells e-cards posing as fake gifts for $49.99, entertaining as it is (himself pictured as an elf hanging on Santa's sleigh, lower right).

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/30/the-worst-kind-of-ugly-propaganda-david-suzuki-targets-kids-at-christmas-in-the-name-of-climate-chnage/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/faqs/

Q. Are you paid to blog?

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/10/10/david-suzuki-a-man-of-property

OTTAWA - Green sage David Suzuki has some expensive tastes for someone who wants to shut down the carbon economy within a generation.

QMI Agency has learned that Suzuki, who's made a name for himself fighting for the environment and against development, owns four homes, including one property he co-owns with a fossil fuels company.

His primary abode is a sprawling mansion in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver, worth approximately $8.2 million.

At Occupy Vancouver, Suzuki extolled the virtues of his anti-corporate agenda and condemned excess.

He owns another slightly more modest property in the Kitsilano neighbourhood. Its value is listed as $1.01 million.

...

Perhaps most interesting is a property on Nelson Island of which Suzuki is one of several co-owners listed on a B.C. land title registry, another of which includes Kootenay Oil Distributors.

http://minx.cc:1080/?post=227584

David Suzuki's grand Tangwyn property is a struggle for him

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Australia's population is 25 million.

China and India together are 25 billion.

Even assuming all this carbon footprint nonsense is true, Australia's significance is 1/1000th of China and India.

My advice to Australians, forget all the carbon crap.

Australia is a vast, gorgeous country, people should be free to drive where they want, go camping, heat their homes, all without government interference.

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About 97% of the world's scientists agree that climate change is happening.

This "97%" figure was formulated by the University of Illinois in 2009. To come to the 97% figure, they interviewed 3146 scientists. But the study eliminated all scientists who weren't climate scientists, or who hadn't published climate-related equating to more than 50% of their work. So, of the original 3146 in the survey, only 79 scientists were qualified to be part of the survey, 77 agreed climate change was occurring, 2 did not. So out of a pool of 3146 surveyed, 77 scientists somehow equates to a 97% concensus? Am I really silly to be skeptical?

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Climate change is happening, it has been happening since the Earth was formed.

North America was almost entirely covered by Glaciers and that ice melted through natural climate change and the Earth's climate natural and sways and is never stable.

We are in a natural climate change cycle.

Taxing people won't change the weather nor will it affect the natural climate cycle.

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I have a Master of Science in this field, yet those with no appreciable education think their opinions have weight. Sorry, sangetsu, sorry, burning bush, you are incorrect.

Look up ocean acidification of you are skeptical. These problems are real and they are serious.

Many of you do not understand science, and project the ethics of your own professions onto science.

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I have a Master of Science in this field,

40 years ago, "experts" with Master of Science degrees were all huffing an puffing about Global cooling and the coming Ice age.

Whatever happened to that theory?

The Earth's climate is way more complex than "experts" think. Modern science can barely predict the weather a few days in advance, let alone 30 years into the future.

There's only one constant in climate science, every prediction is always wrong.

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Australia, at this point , is going through an extreme right wing fundamentalist chapter of Government. The present Govt is beholden to large business, and more so overseas media interests (Murdoch). All current policies are short sighted in the extreme. With current policies selling off Govt/Australian assets, and failing to afford any protection to what is now a shrinking manufacturing industry, Australia is placing all its hopes and economic future on mining. As other countries are also ramping up their mining reserves, the prices of minerals can only decrease. This will leave Australia as just another "Banana Republic".

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turbotsat wrote; Canada's Al Gore? " Why are you threatened by either a former politician or an environmental communicator and scientist? Is it disrupting your version of reality?

Why do you feel the need to quote to use questionable memes found on blog funded Heartland and Koch Bros. Both well known lobbyist for the status quo and against risk mitigation.

Where are the credible links proving allegations of impropriety of David Suzuki?

Why do you need to use spurious data provided by those Suzuki opposes in the carbon energy industry?

Because carbon energy as a group have been using a strategy of false claims he has successfully addressed many times. A disinformation strategy developed by the Heartland Institute in support of the tobacco industry since the 1950s.

Why is David Suzuki's stance on global warming so threatening to carbon energy corporations?

Is it because this 19th century carbon energy technology is threatened by the disruption of clean 21st century alternatives sources of energy?

Why fight risk mitigation on global warming? Is it because is a hoax? How can it be a hoax if the scientific consensus is this real?

From this worldview failure to grasp clearly outlined warnings from climate and earth scientist is delusional. Are you delusional. surely not? ...

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It's the Toronto Sun that said Suzuki lives in an $8.2M CDN house. Apparently he's got another place in an even more exclusive area since then.

Climate "scientists" were caught out in the Climategate emails.

The big money is in pushing the global warming idea, not denying it.

http://www.wnd.com/2009/12/118659/

12/11/2009

A story emerging out of Britain suggests “follow the money” may explain the enthusiasm of the United Nations to pursue caps on carbon emissions, despite doubts surfacing in the scientific community about the validity of the underlying global-warming hypothesis.

A Mumbai-based Indian multinational conglomerate with business ties to Rajendra K. Pachauri, the chairman since 2002 of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, stands to make several hundred million dollars in European Union carbon credits simply by closing a steel production facility in Britain with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

The Tata Group headquartered in Mumbai anticipates receiving windfall profits of up to nearly $2 billion from closing the Corus Redcar steelmaking plant in Britain, with about half of the savings expected to result from cashing in on carbon credits granted the steelmaker by the European Union under the EU’s emissions-trading scheme.

Corus has accumulated 7.5 million European Union surplus carbon allowances, given the company free by the EU, after corporate officials lobbied EU officials aggressively in Brussels. ...

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Burning Bush wrote; "... assuming all this carbon footprint nonsense is true, Australia's significance is 1/1000th of China and India."

Interesting comment.

It proves conclusively North Americans and all developed economies fail to grasp their type energy use is the problem. China is proportionately per capita outperforming North America and developing cheap locally available energy. Allowing it to compete effectively right across their country using cheap energy. With the automation replacing humans it is allowing very small operations to have high localised output.

By contrast North America is locked into large grids, dirty energy production and all the high infrastructure costs of transmission.

It is no coincidence the once great economy is winding down under the weight of old expensive technology.

Burning Bush wrote ; "My advice to Australians, forget all the carbon crap."

Yes, the Koch Bros meme.

Another interesting comment. Yet there is no examination of just who is the source of the information denying carbon emission damage and why.

Amazing, legally it is called willful blindness.

Yes older Australians want the status quo pushed by the very right wing conservatives. Buying into the same Koch Bros, Heartland vested interest logic as your flawed advice.

The end result in Australia is an emerging electricity glut due to the peoples uptake of home solar power providing cheap localised energy and grid feed in.

The irony is this is in response to the risk mitigation warnings from working climate and earth scientists. While politicians in Australia opt to back coal production, dirty energy.

Given the developing battery technology, emerging economies will not even need power corporations and their inefficient infrastructure. People will be able to live in cities and towns without even being on the grid, producing power in the home and small businesses with self sufficiency. That is true economic freedom that is empowering and all from 21st century good clean technology.

Africa and South America will soon be the greatest economic threat to North America. The primary reason US elite military back a risk mitigation response to global warming.

The irony is the righteous indignation of those who fail to see change is good and the clear economic decline following adherence to redundant technology.

Thankfully the delusional Disney Generation is becoming less relevant by the day.

I personally will take a working climate and earth scientist opinion over global warming and risk mitigation any day over the generation that lead us into this mess. So thanks for your opinion. But like many here I am aware your advice could only be motivated by self interest Burning Bush .

....

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When the world gets really, really bad, those of us alive today will most likely be gone, so why worry?

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1glenn - because our kids, and their kids, and their kids' kids, will be here? And cursing us for the mess we made of the world we borrowed from them.

North America was almost entirely covered by Glaciers and that ice melted through natural climate change

Yes, natural climate change that took place over hundreds of thousands or millions of years. The changes we are seeing now are happening in a very, very short time span, within living memory.

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The changes we are seeing now are happening in a very, very short time span, within living memory.

This is patently false. Even the IPCC admits that there has been no statistical increase in temperatures in 16 years. Last week saw the coldest weather ever recorded in the antarctic, cold weather was problematic across much of the world last winter. Last summer saw record accumulation of ice in the arctic in the very year the likes of Al Gore predicted there would be *no ice left in the arctic." Last year's comical expedition to mimic Edward Shackleton's antarctic voyage had to be rescued from rapidy forming sea ice, sea ice which did not exist or form during Shackelton's 1921 voyage. If the sea ice was greater in 2013 than it was in 1921, how much could the world have warmed?

Last week's climate briefing by Nasa was held to try to explain why there has been a "hiatus" in global warming. "Hiatus" means a break, or stop. No satisfactory explanation could be given, in other words, they don't know why it has stopped.

The sad thing is that we have no idea if warming is occurring or not. The number of thermometers around the world to measure average temperatures is declining year by year, from an original number of 6000 to the current number of 1500. Why? If global warming is occurring worlwide, why are we using fewer thermometers, and not more? How is it possible to determine an average or change when the length of the yardstick keeps changing? Satellite temperature measurements have been available since the late 70's, yet NASA and the IPCC do not use satellite data in their models, probably because these satellite measurements are not agreeing with the ground station measurements. Thes satellite data are showing far less climate change (within natural variables) than ground data.

Until there is some solid baseline decided upon among those 77 of 79 climate scientists who are somehow defined as "a concensus of 97% of the worlds's scientists", we have no idea what is really happening.

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turbotsat wrote; "The big money is in pushing the global warming idea, not denying it."

Seriously, you are actually framing this as a projection of corporate profit making. Get real.

There are orders of magnitude of difference between the trillions of dollars at stake in the carbon energy industry and working scientist. Do you actually know what scientists are paid?

Or that the alternative energy industry is less that 2% of the size carbon energy in North America.

The naivety in regards to the leveraging of power and wealth of carbon energy group is truly staggering. That is the weakest line of logic on this thread.

Very sad strategy turbotsa. It looks desperate parroting Koch Bros memes without thinking from this worldview.

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Even the IPCC admits that there has been no statistical increase in temperatures in 16 years

16 years is nothing in climate terms. I love how deniers jump gleefully on every cold snap/snowfall or sneeze and claim that 'proves' global warming isn't happening.

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WG1AR5_Headlines.pdf

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.

Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth's surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983-2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence).

One or two years of low temperatures, increased sea ice, etc., don't tell us anything about the overall picture, any more than asking one or two women at random whether they're currently pregnant can tell us anything about long-term population growth.

Last week's climate briefing by Nasa was held to try to explain why there has been a "hiatus" in global warming. "Hiatus" means a break, or stop.

I suppose people read into stuff what they want to read.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/08/06/nasa-climate-scientist-explains-15-year-global-warming-hiatus/

Read that and you have NASA telling you that the 'hiatus' is not a break or stop, but a slowing down in the rate of increase; the temperature is still climbing, but not as fast as before. They can't explain why something has stopped when it hasn't stopped.

"For average climate records, 30 years is like one data point," said Loeb, reiterating that while the Earth is warming more slowly, it is still warming.

we have no idea if warming is occurring or not

What are you talking about? One degree in a hundred years. The warmest 30-year period in 1400 years. The trend is up. There will be blips, it's not a dead straight line.

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sangetsu03 wrote; "Even the IPCC admits that there has been no statistical increase in temperatures in 16 years."

Interesting comment. So you actually believe this line of logic do you?

Disrespecting working climate and earth scientific consensus by saying there is no long term trend and say even the IPCC admits it.

Yet you provide no reference to where the IPCC says this in documents pages or paragraphs.

A keyword search of your phrases on google comes up with links to known lobbyists for the carbon energy industry.

Just how stupid do you think the Japanese and English speakers here are?

This is not a North American audience who did not finish a secondary education.^

Japanese are highly educated people who are taught critical thinking and can recognise cognitive biases.

^ At least show some respect to the Japanese english speaking readers and reference your allegations about the IPCC. Otherwise it just looks like you are copy and pasting memes from carbon energy groups with a vested interest in protecting their profit.

sangetsu03 An introduction to the latest IPCC report, the speaker at IGBP is one of the worlds leading statisticians explaining the IPCC statistics you commented on. But I don't recommend you watch it because it contradicts your comment:http://youtu.be/grZSxoLPqXI?t=2m26s

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16 years is nothing in climate terms. I love how deniers jump gleefully on every cold snap/snowfall or sneeze and claim that 'proves' global warming isn't happening.

You are right, 16 years is nothing in climate time, but that is a two-way street isn't it? 10,000 years is nothing in climate time, isn't that correct? What has happened over the last 100 years, or 1000 years means nothing because on great scale of time, it is far too short to provide any real insight. If unusual cold weather is no indicator of a trend, then neither is unusual hot weather, right?

But the IPCC predicted a certain amount of warming to occur over the last 16 years, it was predicted by using several of their taxpayer-funded, multi-billion dollar computer models. The IPCC apparently didn't believe that 16 years was too short a time to predict change, in fact, they trumpeted the results of their models' projections loudly, with their supporters telling us that the arctic would be ice free last year. Were they correct? Obviously not. And if they are not correct in this instance, despite untold billions spent, and the agreement of a "97% concenus", what else are they not correct about?

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Paul Richards

Your boy David Suzuki has an $8.2M CDN house, and a home on an island in an even more exclusive house, and at least a couple of other properties. And tons of money. That's just one person in the AGW industry. Al Gore supposed to be worth $500M US several years ago.

Oil companies make money coming and going. They don't care about carbon taxes. Check out green advertising by Chevron, BP, Valero, etc.

Didn't Europe shut down their carbon trading because the Mafia had rigged it?

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10,000 years is nothing in climate time, isn't that correct?

Why do you think that?

What has happened over the last 100 years, or 1000 years means nothing because on great scale of time, it is far too short to provide any real insight

You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

If unusual cold weather is no indicator of a trend, then neither is unusual hot weather, right?

Just as one swallow does not a summer make, one unusually hot (or cold) summer does not a long-term trend make. Do you understand the difference between weather and climate?

Since you provide no links to back up any of your claims, I tried googling 'ice-free arctic'. I found lots of ifs and coulds and mights, but no the arctic will be ice-free in 2013. Perhaps you'd like to enlighten us all by posting a link to this claim you say the IPCC made?

Another word, by the way, on that 'hiatus' you think means global warming has stopped; maybe this site can explain it to you better than I can. There has been no stop. Far from it.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/australian-pachauri-global-warming.html

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http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7mgiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7qkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5563%2C4123490 The Argus-Press, June 24, 2008, p. 7 - by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer: NASA Scientist: 'We're Toast' .... Hansen, echoing work by other scientists, said that in 5 to 10 years the Arctic will be free of ice in the summer.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7139797.stm 12 December 2007, Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013', by Jonathan Amos, Science reporter, BBC News, San Francisco ... "Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC. "So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."

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Hansen, echoing work by other scientists, said that in 5 to 10 years the Arctic will be free of ice in the summer.

If you're going to quote, at least quote accurately. ..in 5 to 10 years the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6995999.stm - Warming 'opens Northwest Passage' This is 2007, before Hansen even made his 'prediction'.

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You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

I seem to know no less than anyone else. The fact is, no one knows anything. This talk about a "consensus" is absurd. No scientific discovery has been the result of a consensus of belief, because a "consensus", no matter how great, still leaves room for doubt. Science is black and white, either a fact is proven by science, or it isn't. Scientific "theory" is grey, because theory is not yet fact. Climate change is a theory, which is why it is supported by a "consensus", were it a irrefutable fact, then a consensus would not be necessary. "Science" is not about consensus, period. Until the consensus proves it's theories, these theories aren not facts, and making important policy decisions which are not based upon fact is absurd, and dangerous. Theories are a matter of belief, just like religions. I find it funny and absurd at how gullible and stupid peopler are, and how they have remained gullible and stupid throughout time, to this very day. This all reminds me of the story of Napolean blaming Snowball for knocking down the windmill, and committing other mischiefs on Animal Farm in order to fool the other animals into working harder.

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Scientific "theory" is grey, because theory is not yet fact

Don't tell me, you think creationism is just as valid as the theory of evolution.....

I find it funny and absurd at how gullible and stupid peopler are

But not gullible and stupid enough to believe your desperate, unfounded hearsay claims for which you have provided not a single link. :-)

Never mind, just close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears and sing, La la la la la, I can't see any evidence, I can't hear any evidence...

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"climate change"

I bet Mother Nature has a lot to do with that. Humans had better focus on dealing with climate change rather than trying to go against Mother Nature, which is WAY more powerful.

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But not gullible and stupid enough to believe your desperate, unfounded hearsay claims for which you have provided not a single link.

The problem nowadays is that I can provide links to published reports of Leprechauns living in trees in Alabama. A surprising number of people (one might call it a "consensus") do in fact believe that there are Leprechauns in Alabama. But then again Mobile is a port town, and I am sure a ship from Ireland has docked there at one time or another, so it's entirely possible that...

As for my quote about temperatures not increasing in the last 16 years, I got that from the BBC interview of Dr Phil Jones, IPCC scientist in charge of the Climate Research Unit at Hadley. The story is dated 2/14/2012, and is public record, you can read it yourself. He was quite honest in his answers to some tough questions, the interview was enlightening.

As for the record cold experienced the the British Antarctic Survey, that was posted in the mainstream news this week, you can find it yourself, if you like. I mentioned the reduction in temperature measuring stations around the world from 6000 to 1500, this is also public record. You can find the info at ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v2 You will have to do the math yourself, but if you are really as knowledgable as you seem to be, you should be able to figure it out.

Getting down to brass tacks here, have you ever read the IPCC reports yourself? Have you checked to see their predictions, and how these predictions have panned out? Do you know anything of the process involved in writing and editing these reports? I have, and I do.

Here is an interesting list of points listed in the peer-reviewed chapter 8 of the 1996 IPCC report on climate change:

"None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases."

"While some of the pattern-base studies discussed here have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed] to [man-made] causes. Nor has any study quantified the magnitude of a greenhouse gas effect or aerosol effect in the observed data - an issue of primary relevance to policy makers."

"Any claims of positive detection and attribution of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced."

"While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification."

"When will an anthropogenic effect on climate be identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, `We do not know. "'

But all of these points were removed without consulting the peer-review group. It was found that the above points "did not agree with the requirements of policy makers", so these points, and 10 others were deleted, and replaced with the two following paragraphs:

"There is evidence of an emerging pattern of climate response to forcing by greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols ... from the geographical, seasonal and vertical patterns of temperature change. ... These results point toward a human influence on global climate. [ch.8 p.412]"

"The body of statistical evidence in chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points to a discernible human influence on the global climate. [ch.8 p.439]"

These two latter paragraphs were added by Dr Ben Santer, lead author of the report. These paragraphs were not approved by the official peer-review group of scientists. In fact, the peer review scientists were never told of the changes, they first heard of them when the report was read to the public in Madrid in 1996.

Since any and all IPPC science is subject to edit and change by policy makers (politicians), how can we even call the process "science?"

You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

I have read the IPCC reports, I have compared their predictions to actual results, and found them different. Have you read the science yourself? Do you have more idea what you are talking about than I do? Or are you like the others above who need their food chewed for them? Every single one of the IPCC reports is public record, each and every one of them makes claims and predictions. Unfortunately, few of these claims or predictions have passed the acid test of time.

I am not a believer in consensus, or religion. I simply prefer to look at the facts and make my own choice. I have been around long enough, and have enough education to judge for myself. As Poe recommended, I believe nothing I read, and only half of what I see, I am the skeptic's skeptic. I hate left and right equally, because both are equally blind, and deserving of scorn. They don't realise they are merely different sides of the same valueless coin, and it is there ignorance and gullibility which makes the world as troublesome a place as it is.

But climate change as an issue is dying. Australia's scrapping of it's carbon schemes is only the start. Canada quietly opted out of the Kyoto Protocal, as did Japan. People are finding that climate change is not affecting their lives in the way they once worried it would. The arctic ice is still there, Polar Bear populations have increased since 2001, and I was able to get in 6 extra weeks of skiing last year because of a longer-than average winter.

But never fear, our leaders have already found a new social issue to replace climate change, it is called "financial inequality."

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The problem nowadays is that I can provide links to published reports of Leprechauns living in trees in Alabama.

But the only link you can provide to back up your claims about global warming (or not) is one blocked by a password?

Try again.

As for my quote about temperatures not increasing in the last 16 years, I got that from the BBC interview of Dr Phil Jones, IPCC scientist in charge of the Climate Research Unit at Hadley. The story is dated 2/14/2012

It's actually dated 13th February 2010 and what Prof Jones says is not that 'temperatures have not increased in the last 16 years'. What he says is This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. That is to say, he is saying that temperatures increased at a rate of 0.12C per decade. Not that they did not increase.

Try again.

Polar Bear populations have increased since 2001

Amazing that you can make a statement like that (again with no back-up) since googling of 'polar bear population' comes up with the information that no one is sure how many polar bears there are, and even less sure of how many there were at the start of the century. Those who tell us with confidence that numbers are rising seem to be those for whom increased numbers would be convenient - such as hunters after increased hunting quotas.

I won't ask you to provide conclusive evidence for your claim - there isn't any.

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I won't ask you to provide conclusive evidence for your claim - there isn't any

Just as there is no substancial evidence for man-made climate change. No comment on the policy maker's changes to the IPCC reports? Those changes of course are not disputable, they did in fact occur. And the fact that they did occur renders all the rest irrelevant.

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cl eo

If you're going to quote, at least quote accurately. ..in 5 to 10 years the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer.

My bad, the original was binary picture file so I had to type it in by ha nd :). However, cannot see as they're on track to h it "free of sea ice" by 2013-2018, either.

The BBC wrote their 2007 article based on ESA report that the Northwest Pass age was open according to satellite image reports for the first time since records began in 1978. But the passage was tra versed in 1903-1906 (Amundsen, Norway), 1937 (G all, Canada), 1940-1942 (Larsen, Canada), 1944 (Larsen, Canada), and 1957 (USC GC Sto ris, USA). In the face of that, 'first ti me since 1978' doesn't seem significant.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6995999.stm - Warming 'op ens Northwest Passage' This is 2007, before Hansen even made his 'predi ction'.

Bu t:

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_pas sage#Later_expeditions>

<http://tiny url.com/lz6tsu6> : E. J. Gall's 1937 pas sage in Hud son Bay Company ship Akl avik

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sangetsu03 thank you for your very long comment and insight into your set of values.

sangetsu03 wrote using Dr Phil Jones interview^ as proof there is no consensus on global warming and subsequent local and nonlocal climate change in an interview he quoted from an article.

From my perspective there has not been a better example of cherry picking information using cognitive bias on this thread. The context of the text from the interview cut and dropped into comment is clear. As Dr Phil Jones^ answers these later questions in the same interview:

BBC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

Phil Jones: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods. [putting all comments quoted in context]

BBC: How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

Phil Jones: I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity._

From this perspective: Students from K6 - K12 who are taught the foundations of critical thinking could see the flaws in your line of logic and identify the bias in comment. Thankfully these generations are replacing the disappearing Disney Generation of consumers of carbon energy causing the slow death of life on earth.

sangetsu03 wrote: "I have read the IPCC reports, I have compared their predictions to actual results, and found them different...I am not a believer in consensus, or religion.

There is no explanation why working climate and earth scientist are in consensus. What credible selfish motive could they have for coming to the conclusions they have many years ago and very importantly with their position strengthening?

Anyone who is in denial of working climate and earth scientist consensus who have repeatedly addressed all questions raised are clearly in a circle of dogma of belief. By any definition that is a faith based value set.

Putting the phrase "I am not a believer in consensus... " into context of the comments.

As all critical thinkers are open to the body of science layering over the old. Where there is no constant circle of dogma of disbelief, just examination and consensus of the science.

In this case the scientist who accept global warming as a long term trend is overwhelming. Will this change?

The probabilities are zero.

sangetsu03 wrote; "I simply prefer to look at the facts and make my own choice."

As for looking at the facts; cherry picking information to suit a personal premise does not develop a line of logic. Let alone bare examination for credibility.

sangetsu03 wrote; "... climate change as an issue is dying. Australia's scrapping of it's carbon schemes is only the start..." In your opinion.

However human history always demonstrated chaos before change. This is the greatest challenge our species has ever faced, denial is understandable and following the psychological 'stages of grief' very closely.

The fact that the centre of gravity in denial of the changes needed does not concern scientific consensus. Or the unusual step climate and earth scientist have made in warning clearly how the course and direction of political leadership is flawed.

After all the campaign waged by lobbyist is still being bought by the generation born in the middle of last century. As a group they will never face the consequences of their consumption putting the planet out of equilibrium. Questioning their freedom to burn the planet is unthinkable and central to denial. It is expectable they will die in this circle of dogma, unable to handle the fear of change in this era.

^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm#

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Ah, Mr Bold, much like the right-wing, high school dropouts who love to write in capital letters, lest we give their worss less credence (as if that were possible).

The fact that the centre of gravity in denial of the changes needed does not concern scientific consensus

Again (ad naseum) consensus is not science. A consensus of scientists used to believe the world was flat. A consensus of people created religions which persecuted and/or killed anyone who dissented. A consenus of teachers and scientists discounted evolution. A consensus of scientists believed in the "science" of eugenics, and supported Hitler's eradication of "inferior" people. Science is about fact, and the proving of fact. Would you fly on an an airline which 97% of people claimed was safe? Would you drink water that was claimed to be 97% safe?

It is expectable they will die in this circle of dogma, unable to handle the fear of change in this era.

"Dogma" is a belief which is determined by consensus. Fact contradicts dogma. The majority is not always right, and in fact, majorities have been proven wrong in countless cases. Until man-made climate change is confirmed as a fact, it is by definition only a thoery supported by consensus, which in turn is an opinion, which in turn, is dogma.

unable to handle the fear of change in this era

Fear is the key word. Fear is the tool used by the 1% to control the masses. Fear of "inferior people" contaminating the human race, fear of the capitalists acquiring all the wealth, fear of the socialists redistributing all the wealth. Fear of burning in hell if you don't repent and pay a penance. Fear of the countr's enemies, so more is spent on national defense. Fear of people owning and carrying guns, fear of having your guns taken away. Fear after fear after fear.

Your leaders want you to be afraid, so that you will give them the money and power to "protect" you. Poor little sheep, keep singing "four legs good, two legs bad."

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sangetsu03 wrote; Again (ad naseum) consensus is not science. A consensus of scientists used to believe the world was flat."

Actually that flat earth belief was not a scientific position. It was theocratic stance by the Roman Catholic Church who ruled the civilised world for over eighteen hundred years. Much like those righteously indignant Christian Republicans in your culture influencing the centre of gravity on science within conservative values. Yet another example of the flaws in your line of logic.

However the projection of values is understandable. Many in North American culture are affected by Abrahamic values^, even when 'the pixies in the sky' belief is not followed.

sangetsu03 wrote; "A consensus of scientists believed in the "science" of eugenics, and supported Hitler's eradication of "inferior" people." Interesting digression. Another use of flawed logic.

That reference is to a very small subset of eugenics scientists under Josef Mengele's thumb. If this is your understanding of scientific consensus, with respect your comprehension is questionable. More importantly, irrelevant within the context of scientific consensus of global warming. [Seriously, tactics like this are just emotive.]

sangetsu03 wrote; Fact contradicts dogma. That is correct.

So far the weight of fact is climate and earth scientists have accepted global warming, with subsequent local and nonlocal climate change.

Which is commonly called in this era "scientific consensus on global warming".

No amount of weasel words or semantics in their use will alter this fact.

Yes, "Fact contradicts dogma." That is totally agreed and pleased you see the point.

sangetsu03 wrote; " Fear is the key word. Fear is the tool used by the 1% to control the masses ..." Interesting. Yes, 'the fear' of exponential change brought on by automation

Could not agree more.

Outside the nuclear / gov / military bloc fronted by the IAEA there is no greater influence geopolitically than the carbon energy transnationals and the global banking cartel. The financiers are amoral, supporting both government and the carbon energy corporations. Profit is profit to financiers, a group who carry the private mantra of "You make money, I make money and .... the customer."

Which begs the question.

Why are you personally backing the transnational carbon energy corporations and their friends with benefits? A group at the apex of the global economic pyramid or as you put it the "...1% to control the masses..."

sangetsu03 wrote; "... keep singing "four legs good, two legs bad."

Please do not start with reds under the bed, vaccinations, contrails geoengineering the atmosphere, and lizards running the planet. At least spare this thread from that.

sangetsu03 as for the heckle about my understanding of this script in the comment:

"Ah, Mr Bold, much like the right-wing, high school dropouts who love to write ..."

Please note; use of text script online is not breaking long standing online etiquette shouting using CAPS.

However using a pseudonym is commonly seen as ;http://goo.gl/WAFd0G

Something to think about: http://goo.gl/3YiLeC

^ Abrahamic values: http://goo.gl/Vzwwxr

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Please do not post messages in this format. A general reply will suffice. You do not have to analyze and reply to another reader's comments sentence by sentence, nor use bold face.

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Outside the nuclear / gov / military bloc fronted by the IAEA there is no greater influence geopolitically than the carbon energy transnationals and the global banking cartel.

In this you are wrong. There is no greater influence than that exercised in Brussels, London, Washington, or Paris. This influence is exercised by those who would use the public to back policies which would allow these few to control more than they already do. These are the ones who use you and I to give them the power to pull the strings of the so-called "nuclear/gov/military bloc. Government percentage of GDP in many developed countries is approaching 40% GDP, no industry of any type and size controls that much revenue.

You make a fatal error in assuming that those who work in government have a superior senses of duty or morality than those who work in industry, or that those who work in government are less greedy, and do not crave more power and more money. I do not have to buy oil from Exxon, I don't have to buy hamburgers from McDonald's. But I do have to pay to the government when they demand payment, in this neither you nor I have have any choice. Industry answers to the will of the people far more readily than those who would regulate industry, and through extension, the people. Industry cannot force use to buy their products, or prevent us from buying from other producers, but our governments can.

The amount of revenue generated by the "carbon transnationals" is insignificant compared to the amount of money government has spent in order to "fight climate change". That 97% consensus so often mentioned in this thread consists of (by definition) 77 climate scientists whose published work is more than 50% related to climate change. Of these 77 scientists, how many do you think are paid by policy makers (government politicians)? All of them. They have a distinct interest in publishing work which policy makers want published. Their science is neither objective nor neutral. They say what they are told to say, they publish what they are told to publish. The governments who fund their work have resources orders of magnitude greater than industry.

You have not refuted my mentioning of the changes made to the 1996 IPCC report. There you see the evidence of policy trumping science, it is written in simple black and white.

Here is a quote from a reasonably educated man on the point of consensus science,

"I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had."

"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."

"There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."

"Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way."

You can read the entire transcript here https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~scranmer/SPD/crichton.html You can read it for the entertainment value it contains, if nothing else.

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