Denier cacophony escalates as IPCC release draws near

by cindy on September 25, 2013

Cartoon figures of leading climate deniers in the "Dealing in Doubt" report.

Cartoon figures of leading climate deniers in the “Dealing in Doubt” report.

As governments meet in Stockholm this week to finalise the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers for its Working Group 1 report release,  I wonder if they can hear the shouting match going on in the world’s blogosphere and in some media.

The bleating of deniers is reaching a cacophony. They are rolling out every single trick they possibly can ahead of the report release.

Global warming’s paused and nobody knows why!
The IPCC’s halved its prediction!
NIPCC report says global warming isn’t happening! 

But their strategy isn’t going that well:  the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Australian and Australian Telegraph were all forced to retract part of their claims, as they were simply wrong.

Setting aside the cherry-picked shrieking, what’s what’s actually in the draft IPCC report has been leaking out over recent weeks, with the majority of the coverage, undertaken by some of the world’s better science reporters, telling it how it is.  Here’s some of it:

  • Bloomberg: The ice at both poles is melting faster than thought.
  • Reuters: The “hiatus” in warming is unlikely to last
  • Reuters: New Colour Purple depicts worsening climate risks
  • BBC: Human role in warming ‘more certain’ – UN climate chief

Scientists are also jumping in to explain some of the cherrypicked hysteria, such as this great piece by NSW University climate scientis Dr Andy Pitman in The Conversation. Many others are fighting back as well.  But it’s still a debate. And the public is probably still confused.

Dealing in Doubt

I’ve just finished the latest version of Dealing in Doubt, written for Greenpeace, updated since 2010.   The report outlines a history of the attacks on climate science, scientists and the IPCC over the last 25 years.  It’s by no means a full account and there are many players and incidents missed.  But it gives a flavour of the doubt-dealing strategies, funded by the fossil fuel industry over recent decades.  The same tactics they’re rolling out right now.

Last week the Heartland Institute (see case study in report) launched its latest version of the “NIPCC” – the “Not the IPCC” report, written by deniers Craig Idso, S. Fred Singer, Australia’s Bob Carter and co-authored by Willie Soon, all part of the “continental army” of deniers who’ve been working together for years.  What does it claim? Of course, climate change isn’t happening, we’re not causing it, nothing to see here move right along now everyone (and, as the argument goes, stop government intervention to curtail our use of fossil fuels).

Heartland is rolling out its  report across the US in the coming months.  It claims it’s peer reviewed, but, as Dealing in Doubt outlines, it’s probably more like pal review, one of the ways that deniers are “faking it”.

Or maybe their “peer review” is along the lines of the claims made in the Heartland document where many of the scientists whose work they used to back their claims were outraged at the misrepresentation.

A colleague went and talked with  Heartland about their funding – somehow they were reluctant to talk about who’s backing them.

Yet the deniers are still fighting – largely because they’re still being funded. They’re using the same tactics they’ve always used to sow doubt on the climate science.  And while the attacks on the scientists are getting worse,  some of them are now fighting back.

But their impact is diminishing as people see – and experience – the impacts of climate change.   The IPCC’s report this week will confirm this, confirm the certainty and confirm the science.

The history set out in this report,  as well as the prior history of denial by the tobacco companies and chemical, asbestos and other manufacturing industries, is important to remember because the fossil fuel industry has never admitted that it was misguided or wrong in its early efforts to delay the policy reaction to the climate crisis. To this day, it continues to obstruct solutions.

The individuals, organizations and corporate interests who comprise the ‘climate denial machine’ have caused harm and have slowed our response time.  As a result, we will all ultimately pay a much higher cost as we deal with the impacts, both economic and ecological.

Eventually, these interests will be held accountable for their actions.

{ 213 comments… read them below or add one }

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 7:04 am

What’s wrong with questioning science anyway? Science requires this to move forward.

Until the scientists actually explain why they were 90% confident the climate was going to warm within a certain range when it hasn’t, they will always be exposed to sceptics. And rightly so, that is how scientific debate works. It doesn’t mean the global warming theory is wrong to disagree with the models you know. But by not even questioning them when they are so clearly faulty just looks…..well unscientific.

If the scientists knew all this heat energy was going to get trapped in the ocean and not warm the air, why don’t their models reflect this?

CTG September 26, 2013 at 8:56 am

Climate models don’t make predictions, they make projections – there is a very big difference. Projections are based on many individual runs of a climate model, operating on a certain scenario. This can give you an average case, with 95% confidence limits. So one way to look at the accuracy of models is to see whether the actual temperatures lie within the confidence limits of the model projections. So far, if you look at models from the 1990s, temperatures are within the range of projections from scenarios that match what actually happened with emissions and natural variation. That’s the point, though – if reality follows a different path to the scenario used for the model, you are going to get different results.

There’s definitely an issue with the short-term ability of models, because natural variability due to things like el Niño can have a very large effect over 5 to 10 year timescales. So model runs from 10 years ago that used an average ENSO scenario would not replicate the actual conditions observed, because we have had a period dominated by la Niña.

However, it is possible to go back to climate models and replay them with the actual conditions observed, and see how they perform. You can read about one such attempt by Kosaka and Xie (2013) here.

Keep asking questions – be glad to help you out.

cindy September 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

There’s questioning science, then there’s cherrypicking and making stuff up. I don’t think they did know all the heat would get trapped in the oceans, but that’s where it is.

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

So why the high confidence levels then? If the models range included 0 degrees warming over the 15 years they could still argue they are correct. They did not so they are clearly wrong. They have records of climate variability so why couldn’t they model it correctly.

Come on, if your models are ‘projecting’ something, that leads to scientists making predictions. Same thing, but either way they are still wrong.

CTG September 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Could you be a bit more specific? What projections do you think are “wrong”?

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 10:19 am

Credit to you CTG, you are the only one who reads this site willing to make any effort to discuss the issues.

I looked at EPA ocean temps and they seem to be levelling off with the climate over the last 15 years. Where is all that co2 trapped heat going?

diessoli September 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Is this what you are looking at?
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/oceans/sea-surface-temp.html
Those are sea-surface temperatures whereas the data Cindy is referring to is about deeper ocean layers.
From the article Cindy refers to:
“Volcanic eruptions and El Niño events are identified as sharp cooling events punctuating a long-term ocean warming trend, while heating continues during the recent upper-ocean-warming hiatus, but the heat is absorbed in the deeper ocean. In the last decade, about 30% of the warming has occurred below 700 m”

Bob Bingham September 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm

one of the problems with the projection of temperatures is that water holds 24 time more heat than air. The seas absorb 92% of the heat and the atmosphere only 2%. The temperature in your back garden may be all you are interested in but it is only a very minor part of the whole heat distribution. We had similar pauses in 1900 and 1940 http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/temperature.html but it was only a minor hiccup.

cindy September 26, 2013 at 10:26 am
Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Why are we going off a climate blogs data rather than the EPA’s?

cindy September 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

well that was a summary of this paper that says the same thing http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50382/abstract

Thomas September 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Flat, cite the EPA data you were looking at.
If you are interested in the total ocean heat content 0 to 2000m depth, this graph from NOAA tells it all:
http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png
No hiatus whatsoever here. And mind you, the oceans take up about 90% of the excess heat in the climate system. Food for thought don’t you think?

cindy September 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm

yes and if one insists on using the EPA as a guide, how about their ocean heat page?

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/oceans/ocean-heat.html

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I would have to look into that one. I am a little skeptical around some of these climate graphs after the hockey stick episode.

Even so, lets say the suns heat is getting absorbed into the ocean. Why wasn’t this built into the models? The point is that the climate scientists can only tell us what is going to happen after it happens. Until the models can accurately predict the future there is not point listening to them. Maybe they are on the right track but have just overestimated the forcing effect of co2? Who knows? What we do know is the current models are wrong and the world aint burning up so we can relax.

CTG September 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I think you are rather overstating the uncertainty in climate models. As I said before, they are not predictions – that is, they do not have 100% certainty. But that does not mean they therefore have 0% certainty either, which is what you are implying.

Because climate models use the results of many individual runs to arrive at their projections, they are never going to completely predict what will happen, especially over short timeframes (i.e. less than a decade). But they can still be useful for looking at what might happen.

I can point you to some good explanations of how climate models work, if you’re interested in learning.

Thomas September 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Flat: When it comes to temperature, the atmospheric response to forcings is much more chaotic on short time frames than the oceans. The heat build up in the oceans represents over 90% of the entire heat build up and is running up according to expectations. The long term global averaged trend of the atmosphere is also running very close to expectations that the models produced. The latest correction in this trend is from 1.3 to 1.2 Deg/decade of warming. Pretty close don’t you think? No model can proactively predict variations of annual or decadal scales which are affected by unpredictable events such as volcanic eruptions, the depth of the next solar cycle, economic fluctuations causing more or less smog and particulate emissions, and the chaotic patterns of the La Nina/El Nino cycles.
When it comes to judging the long term outlook of climate change any talk about short term trend variations on decadal time scales is meaningless.
You will be familiar with the Climate Escalator graph which eloquently demonstrates the fallacy of looking at decadal sideways episodes in the atmospheric temps as obviously the long term trend is what is important and that is what the models attempt to forecast. They have done so with good accuracy.
Here is a good post with links to highlight the matter:
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/best-case-scenario/
If you look at this graph in particular then the concurrence with models and actual surface temperatures is rather good.
The more you involve yourself with the matter and rise from the “flat earther” perspective sold to the masses by Morano and his ilk, the more you will agree that the talk of any major mismatch between theory and prediction or of any major turn in global warming trends is plain and simply nonsense fabricated on behalf of Koch & Koch by their hired liars.

cindy September 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm

and if you want a different and more solid reference, maybe NOAA will do? http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

O.K. It is agreed that there will be climate change. Do we have an accurate handle on what that change will be in NZ over the next 15;30;45 years? This is what the public, especially farmers need to know.
What are the sources of climate predictions for NZ on these time scales?

Bob Bingham September 26, 2013 at 8:02 pm

My web site deals with the future climate projections for New Zealand and it is based on NIWA, MAFF and other World wide accurate sources.
http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/index.html

cindy September 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Agree that this is important for farmers.

NIWA does most of the research. This is their latest report, although it’s difficult to find on the MPI website (seems the Ministry prefers to talk about “doing our fair share” rather than focus on “what will happen if nobody acts”).

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Well you’re right nobody is going to act, least of all those that provide most of the growth in emissions. And the public has not been won over , and I’m guessing more countries will now follow Australia’s lead.

Thomas September 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm

….”And the public has not been won over , and I’m guessing more countries will now follow Australia’s lead.”… which is due to the criminal misrepresentation, distortion and derision of climate science by the activism of scrupulous and well funded circles and their plethora of mock institutes, lobby groups…. in short, the very people Cindy depicted in her post. This Marc Morano guy is likely one of the most culpable individuals on a global scale for orchestrating significant aspects of the misinformation campaign on climate science.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

For the area that I’m in the NIWA report says :

“, the prospect of increased exposure to drought ranged from minimal change through to over a doubling in time spent in
drought in these regions depending upon the climate model and scenario considered.” (by the middle of the century)

I read that as “it’s anyone’s guess at this stage “.

On the basis of that I wouldn’t be making any changes to the way I farmed between 1975 and 1999 when most summers were long , hot and dry ; more like last summer, than the previous 12 or so, which were all excellent for pasture production.

Thomas September 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Quite right, for NZ as an oceanic nation, several different pathways into all this may play out, with locally different outcomes, depending on the local response of the climate system to the systemic change we can expect on a global scale. Most models predict however an increase of extremes. A warmer atmosphere is able to dry land out quicker where evaporation is predominant. (We observe this already in many parts of the world). But the other side of the coin is that what goes up must come down somewhere. Rainfall extremes will rise (we observe this already in many parts of the world). So if you are currently struggling with sufficient water supply in your area, I would expect this to get worse. If flooding has been an issue in your area, expect this to get worse too.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm

” A warmer atmosphere is able to dry land out quicker where evaporation is predominant. ”

Yep that’s why every farmer wants to bale his hay at 3 p.m.

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I actually hope this darn global warming slowdown starts again. Warmer temps will on average increase pasture growth throughout NZ and warmer air holds more moisture so we will get more rain. Improving water storage will be key, but you put hot days with irrigation and we can expect massive production gains. And we could do with more beach weather.

cindy September 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm

the warmer temps brought a bit of a crisis to the farming community last summer didn’t they? Didn’t hold much moisture then did they.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Yes , that’s right. Drought is drought; nothing grows.
But really, the effects of last summer were so bad , not because it was a nice warm dry summer, but because farmers were complacent after 12 cool wet summers ; because profitability was very low ; because they had not piled up reserves during the good years; because debt levels were at a record high ; and even if you had a cash reserve from the good years , there was bugger all that you could do because there were no reserves available anywhere.
Talk about setting yourself up.

But really , farming has been marginally profitable for most for too long. We will never become a rich country by selling low value milk powder to the poor.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm

“Warmer temps will on average increase pasture growth throughout NZ and warmer air holds more moisture so we will get more rain.”
That’s right , and when you throw in the increased growth rates from higher atmospheric CO2, such as has been observed in recent times , NZ could actually come out of this looking quite good. As you say , we do need to plan to take advantage of what we may get.

Sort of like “winning the start” and ” increasing your lead ”
Maybe we won’t go there.

Thomas September 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Not so fast: A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture and will dry land out quicker where the atmosphere remains warmer than the due point. Look at the Canterbury plains. The western air flow arrives sinking and warming up as it does from the central plateau. It has delivered its moisture on the west coast. Now it sucks up surface moisture. Hence the issues over artificial irrigation in the region that naturally would be much to dry to produce what it does. The effect will increase with warming of the atmosphere.
Many other areas of NZ are in similar situations.

The problem is Mr. Bio Farmer, that the drying conditions and the excessive rains happen in locations that can be a continent apart. Further, the increased rainfall elsewhere is often happening in form of extreme rain events that add little to the productivity there plus in fact probably promote soil damage and erosion, reducing production there too. So the two sides of the coin of a warmer atmosphere and its water carrying ability do not meet to make it good somehow, they deal a bad deal to either side of the equation!

Also, a warming atmosphere and oceans will shift weather patterns. With that the dominant locations of high and low pressure systems and the occurrence of atmospheric blocking patterns will change, often to the detriment of the steady conditions best suited to good results.

The so called productivity increase with rising CO2 is a mirage for any agriculture that today is water or fertilizer restricted. CO2 is one of the plant food components you need. But in large parts of NZ even today’s plant growth is limited not at all by CO2 but by water and fertilizer application, by soil conditions, by wind and other factors. Just applauding CO2 increase as a potential yield riser is very naive.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

All true I think, but I am not in Canterbury, not on the east Coast,, and water and fertiliser are not restrictions although I may use elemental sulfur rather than gypsum.
So far I don’t see any negatives for me in the expected climate change.
My system is designed to cope with all manner of variation; that’s sustainable agriculture.

Macro September 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm

“and water and fertiliser are not restrictions ”

spoken like a true farmer…

tell that to the rest of Canterbury and they will never believe you…

And what about the increase in nitrates and other “run-offs” into the surface and ground waters? Are these not restrictions too? Or are they someone elses problem…

I wish you people would get real.

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 4:37 pm

You have completely misunderstood my remark. My farm requires very little fertiliser ; that is why fertiliser is not restricting. To give you an idea, nothing was applied between 1981 and 2004, not even limestone.
You are talking to the wrong person.
Why is there so much ad hominem and sneering on this site?

Macro September 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

A herd of 200 cows is equivalent to the effluent discharge of a small town. I live in a small town, and our local sewage system occupies the space of a farm…These are the externalities that farmers do not in general take into account.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

The point is that 200 cows on 400 acres does not result in undesirable effects downstream.
I run 100 milking cows (year -round) on 500 acres, but I have other stock as well.
The science of nutrient loadings on soils is well developed but regional councils are only just beginning to pick up on it.

Macro September 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm

well good for you – in the meantime:

“Following on from its annual conference last week the New Zealand Freshwater Science Society yesterday issued a statement warning about the widespread decline of aquatic biodiversity and water quality in New Zealand.

“What society is seeing is 10 years of very rapid increases in agricultural productivity but the problem is it has been at environmental expense shall we say and it can’t continue this way,” Prof Hamilton told the Taranaki Daily News.

“Failure to act with decisiveness and urgency risks further environmental degradation and erosion of our international environmental reputation and branding.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8061580/Effluent-policy-surprises-scientist

Bob Bingham September 26, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Recent research shows that there have been changes in the wind direction and strength in NZ and this leads to more drought on the East coast. I cover this in my web site. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/drought.html . We maydo better than most big continental countries but its still not good. Farming is going to get a lot tougher.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm

” if you are currently struggling with sufficient water supply in your area, I would expect this to get worse. If flooding has been an issue in your area, expect this to get worse too.”

There are few if any water supply issues in this area, but I cut my teeth on “drought farming” anyway.

I’m expecting more flooding (I had about 40 dry acres out of 500 in the 2004 floods ) but the major effect will come from the fact that the berm land is being raised in each major flood by the amount of topsoil washing down from the hill country erosion; so the river channel section is getting smaller, and over half of my farm is outside of the stop-bank.
Of course the stop-bank which was erected in the 1960s , to protect all the city houses which were built in the floodways, has had the effect of raising flood heights in my area , because the water is now confined , and can’t spread out over the entire flood plain as it used to do.
To top it off , the City Council wants the stop-bank raised which will increase the flooding of my property inside the stop-bank. All to shift the liability for having allowed housing on the Class 1 soils in the floodplain in the first place.
However I’m outvoted on that one.

I’m investigating a mobile robotic milking set up so that I can have a sustainable business but it won’t be cheap; the best part of half a million dollars. But at least I can save my cows and my business.

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Are you talking a robotic plant or a mobile plant? How will this help you? Mobile milking plants could have huge potential in NZ.

We will always have droughts and floods, truth is farm production increases almost every year so things are not so bad really.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm

SAC Futureline Mobile robot. Milking the cows in the paddock , or anywhere else as weather exigencies dictate.

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm

CTG- the confidence interval has to relate to how confident they are the models are right. If the model doesn’t work you have to reduce the confidence interval or increase the range of the projections. No other way I’m afraid. You can’t have high confidence in a model that does not reflect actual data.

CTG September 27, 2013 at 7:33 am

Sorry, but you are conflating two different concepts there. Confidence limits refer to the spread of values around the average in a particular projection. This allows you to set minimum and maximum values on the changes you are likely to see at a given point in time – assuming that the scenario you are projecting turns out right.

Whether or not a model is accurate is a different thing, known as skill. This is tested in a different way. If you want to test the skill of a climate model, you run it again, but this time you use the actual conditions observed in the period since you first ran it, to constrain the model more closely to reality. How much you can constrain it depends on how the model represents different factors like el Niño, volcanoes etc. If your model has a simulation of ENSO by allowing random cycles in the SOI index, for example, you can replace that with the measured values for SOI. Then you run the model to see how well it matches the observed temperature variations. Again, you need to run the model many times, and take an average (with confidence limits), because any one individual model run can’t replicate the exact global climate (there are just too many variables involved). But if the observed global temperatures fall within the confidence limits of the constrained run, then you can say that the model has skill – that is, you can rely on it to make reasonably accurate projections.

This is what Kosaka and Xie did (have you read that post yet?) – they used the real world ENSO observations to constrain model runs, and found that when you do so, the models were skillful in their recreation of the last 15 years. In other words, the slower than expected rise in temperatures seems to be largely due to the predominantly la Niña conditions we’ve seen over the last decade.

Most of the model projections from 15 years ago that you are claiming are “wrong” would not have had this ENSO behaviour built into them, which is why temperatures are tracking along the low side of the projections. Future model runs will take this into account, and will probably also allow different ENSO patterns to be included in the scenarios. The current la Niña dominated phase will probably end soon and switch back to an average pattern, or even el Niño dominated – but what would happen if the current pattern persisted for the next 50 years?

Here’s some reading for you if you want to dig into it further:
Physics of climate modelling
Climate model FAQs

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Look at the dairy boom that has happened in Canterbury. We are pretty smart we humans, we will find ways to utilize any climate conditions to maximize production and ultimately profits. Well managed farmland continues to produce more and more. I think nz farming has a great future…….well maybe not sheep.

cindy September 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I grew up in Canterbury.
it was never a dairy region – we didn’t have enough water. And we still don’t. Irrigation has killed our smaller rivers. Runoff has killed Lake Ellesmere. As more droughts kick in, the fights over water will be even bigger than they are today.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Total failure of the RMA in my view. There was more than one reason why it was not a dairying area ; but it was cheap land , for good reasons.
Stocking rates must be limited to what the land can absorb without significant losses to the groundwater.

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Bio farmer. Out of interest, what is the idea of the robotic dairy? Will this help adapt to the climate?

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Sorry missed that. Yeah great idea I will look into that. I see the potential to use a system like that to milk off smaller blocks of land. You could turn support blocks into good dairy land. Reducing the massive inferstructure costs of dairy farming can only be a good thing.

the biofarmer September 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Yep you got it; leave the manure in the paddock where it belongs ; cut out the lame cow problem. And as you say , put some cows on the run-off and stop this nutrient transfer to the milking platform that is causing most of the leaching losses; too many cows on too small an area to absorb the excretions.
Dairy “support” has gone way too far. 50 years ago it was called “buying your production”

Remember – production is vanity ; profit is sanity.

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm

You will actually find mixed cropping leaches more nitrogen than dairy on average, dairy just get the bad press. Good farm management can reduce dairy N leaching to sustainable levels, it just takes education.

Plenty of water there, most of it flows out to sea though.

cindy September 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Plenty of water there, most of it flows out to sea though.

The Selwyn, the Orari, the Ashburton… all those rivers have been decimated.

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 6:52 am

What do you mean by “decimated” in this context? Do you mean that the rivers that you mention have lost 10% of their flow, or are you referring to something else?

Thomas September 27, 2013 at 10:11 pm

bio, all the information on the Canterbury rivers and water situation is well accessible to anybody with an interest to look for themselves.
ecan.govt.nz/publications/Plans/cw-regional-context-part2.pdf‎
This might be a good start, especially one look at page 17. The colour red means bad…. to make it overly clear.

Bob Bingham September 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm

With increases in Westerly winds New Zealand will not be short of rain water it will simply be on the West coast and not on the East coast where the farming is. I propose we put dams in the mountains on the West coast and syphon the water into the rivers in the East.

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 6:50 am

You’re talking about the South Island , right? A fair amount of the precipitation falls as snow , which is already available on the East coast.

This Ruataniwha “development” raises some interesting questions , once you penetrate the blatant electioneering that is going on.
Will this dam be used to provide resilience against the effects of future climate change?

Bob Bingham September 27, 2013 at 6:59 am

The research on NZ rainfall indicates that were are going to be increasingly short of water http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/drought.html and all the figures will now have to be rewritten because the new IPCCC will almost certainly have calculations that shows the situation is nuch worse. I suspect that any source of water will be used to keep food production going.

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 9:16 am

Yes , but is the Ruataniwha dam going to be used to increase resilience to climate change , or will it be used to ramp up existing production to a level that cannot be sustained when the dam is depleted during a prolonged drought?
Does it matter?

Rob Taylor September 27, 2013 at 10:38 am

Yes, Bio, it does matter; here is the Tukituki river in all its beauty:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beautox/4493276933/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Bizarrely, I find myself in complete agreement with both the right-wing blogger, Cameron Slater, who rails against “this dodgy socialist dam”, and Russell Norman of the Greens, who said, in Parliament this week:

There are two agendas that are competing in New Zealand at the moment. There is the agenda for a smarter, greener, more compassionate New Zealand and there is the Government’s agenda of daft, dirty, and heartless, and nothing could illustrate that more than the debate around the Ruataniwha irrigation scheme.

It looks like a debate as to whether Nick Smith misled Parliament or not, but what sits behind it is that the Government is absolutely determined to pursue its irrigation agenda, regardless of the environmental effects.

What we know from the Ruataniwha scheme is that it is massively subsidised by the taxpayer—both the ratepayers in the Hawke’s Bay as well as central government, which will be kicking in a lot of money—we know it will have a huge downstream environmental effect of massive nitrogen contamination as a result of this dam project, if it is to go ahead; and we know that the only Government department with the statutory responsibility to stand up for the environment, to speak out for it, and to make a submission into this process is the Department of Conservation, and that is why the Minister of Conservation had to censor his department and prevent it from putting in a submission that was critical of this dam project.

The Department of Conservation’s original submission simply stated the science. The science around this is very clear. When you have a massive irrigation project—hundreds of millions of dollars this project will cost—and then you have tens of thousands of hectares of intensified agriculture as a result, you get massive downstream nitrogen pollution, with all the problems that causes, not only to the native fish in that river system but, of course, to the recreational trout fishery, as well. It is the fundamental destruction of the New Zealand environment.

The Department of Conservation was simply going to put in a submission pointing to these basic scientific facts, but it was unacceptable to the Government that the department should tell the truth about the freshwater science, so it had to be suppressed. It was just the same as when the Government got rid of the democratically elected councillors in Canterbury… They were standing up to the irrigation agenda of this Government, so they had to go.

That is why the Department of Conservation had to be suppressed and its submission had to be suppressed. It was not allowed to go into this process.

The Ministry for Primary Industries, of course, was allowed to put in a very large submission in favour of the dam project, but the Department of Conservation was blocked. What this means is that we are heading down an economic path where we kill the goose that lays the golden egg. New Zealand’s clean, green, and safe reputation, the foundation of our primary sector, is being destroyed by the Government while it seeks short-term profits, and simply an increase in more and more milk solids. The last drop of milk from the last blade of grass could describe this Government’s economic strategy.

Here is Slater’s take:

This dodgy socialist dam is being rammed through for ideological reasons with no notice being paid to either the science or the economics of the project. Nick Smith is in a world of hurt…

http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/09/nick-smith-world-hurt/#axzz2g2alfmDy

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm

So you think that it will be the second use that I suggested.
It is not ” going to be used to increase resilience to climate change “.

What role , if any , does the EPA have in this?

cindy September 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

the EPA appointed the Board of Inquiry

Flatearth2013 September 27, 2013 at 6:59 am

No need. Plenty of rain falls on the east side of the mountains. Where do you think the Waimak river gets its water from?

Thomas September 27, 2013 at 7:25 am

Plenty of rain for what is naturally there. Not nearly enough for the use of agriculture as we have it today. The water management issues of the region have been a matter of national concern.

Thomas September 27, 2013 at 7:48 am

You may also want to read this Flat:
http://www.niwa.co.nz/drought-in-a-changing-climate
or this:
http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/organisation/panels/climate/archive/2006-2/drought-workshop-abstracts/

But of cause you will think yourself so much ‘cleaverer’ than those dumb scientists from Niwa and the Royal Society and their ‘fraud models…..’

Flatearth2013 September 27, 2013 at 8:49 am

Ok, but the point is the models are not good at predicting the temperature trend, which is how they are being used. They a not sound enough to be basing government policy on. Yes there is a 10% chance they are still correct, but that’s not very convincing to all the sceptics who at least in part need to be convinced before real climate action will take place.

I think it’s great that the models can predict temperatures after they happen though, that’s a start I guess.

CTG September 27, 2013 at 9:05 am

How disappointing. You haven’t read any of the references I pointed you to, and you just keep repeating the same erroneous nonsense without presenting any evidence to back your argument. I guess you are not a real skeptic after all.

Flatearth2013 September 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

I have seen the NIWA stuff. All built on models that can’t predict the temperature trend. If one part is inaccurate, likely so is the rest. Remember NIWA predicts NZ temps to rise faster that the global ones, even people on this site disagree with than. Maritime climate and all.

Rob Taylor September 27, 2013 at 9:28 am

Welcome, Flattie; as this site’s new Designated Troll, here is a list of tried-and-true tactics you can use:

http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/the-denialists-deck-of-cards/

and for the history of your species, see:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/reports/dealing-in-doubt/

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 9:36 am

That is not very interesting. I’d like to hear your ideas on how we should be planning to adapt to climate change. I think that it’s time to start acting, because clearly there is not going to be a global deal to limit emissions. That debate has been had , and now it’s over. Time to work together I think.
I’m mostly interested in what NZ needs to be doing. Together, as a nation. If we keep fighting , we will do nothing.

Thomas September 27, 2013 at 9:41 am

OOps, you forgot to switch the sock puppet… dang.

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 9:44 am
the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 9:51 am

You’re Rob Taylor? That’s OK I suppose. It seems to me that in NZ we only need to respond to climate change in ways that are sensible anyway.
Like reducing pollution of waterways; using less fossil fuel / unit of output; building resilience into our production systems; etc – all the things that those espousing sustainable agriculture are doing anyway – because it pays.

Bob Bingham September 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Its not just the models that show it. Research shows that there has been an increase in Westerly winds which in turn has lead to a decline in rainfall. As the temperature rises and the rainfall reduces there is going to be a water shortage in an already dry region. The climate science is a lot more interesting than making up rubbish. The temperatures are still rising and it has not gone away.

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 9:59 am

If it is the view that those who are practising sustainable agriculture need to do more than they do currently, then I’d like to hear opinions on what those additional moves are.
Any ideas?

You can get some idea of current sustainable ag. practice here :-
http://www.biofarm.com

But I’m sure that there are other systems of a similar nature around the country.

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 10:11 am
Tony September 27, 2013 at 10:05 am

If you check this out, you will see the successful implementation of models, when all the necessary inputs are applied correctly:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/30/2236751/scientists-predicted-a-decade-ago-arctic-ice-loss-would-worsen-western-droughts-is-that-happening-already/

You will also see how Arctic sea ice loss can have drastic effects on vast swathes of agricultural land in the North American continent, which produces many times the amount of food than New Zealand does. Should we write to them and suggest water storage as a solution? Remember that there is a large surface area that needs water.

Many denialists will say that we have had droughts before, but the problem is, now they are only going to become more frequent and prolonged. The Arctic is not just a home for Santa, it is necessary for the temperature gradient that drives a stable climate. As the ice disappears, the American drought wlll only get worse.

In the long term much of the fresh water stored as ice in glaciers will end up in the ocean, so rivers in many parts of the world will dry up. There is no sign of glaciers growing back any time soon. Realistically we would need massive desalinisation plants such as in the Middle East, if that is indeed a solution. I’m not sure if it is realistic in the US where many millions of hectares inland require adequate moisture. Also if you have intense heat at critical times, the residence time of moisture in the soil won’t be very long.

It is all very well asking what is the solution, but first you need to come to grips with the scale of all the problems we have created, Only then can we start thinking of potential solutions. I would argue that only a global response can save us, not pockets of local initiatives.

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

Tony:- “I would argue that only a global response can save us, . . .”

Well I don’t see that happening in my lifetime. Why do you think that it will happen?

Thomas September 27, 2013 at 10:13 am

Who’s fault will it be if it does not???

the biofarmer September 27, 2013 at 10:39 am

That’s irrelevant isn’t it? Climate change will happen, I think. Do you think that there will be an effective global response which will prevent that ?

Thomas September 28, 2013 at 7:46 am

There could definitely be and given the consequences of a warming world don’t you think we have the moral obligation to do our best to get to this point??

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Of course; I’m just not sure that banging your head on a brick wall is the best use of your resources; the brick wall being the position taken by China and India , and probably others who will now join in.

Tony September 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Your question is a relevant one. I suspect that the answer can be obtained from human history e.g. Pearl harbour is the metaphor most commonly used. When Mother Nature puts on a good show, that even denialists will not be able to runaway from i.e. suddenly it affects them not just the poor countries, then I think decisive action will be taken. The only question then becomes, whether or not it will be too late to do anything. My belief is that there is still time to avert the worst, but not much time.

Flatearth2013 September 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm

All these doom and gloom prophecies miss an important point. We are told to fear these rising temperatures yet people continually move towards the equator. Why are UK residents moving to the Med in such numbers? Florida is still pretty popular too yet some Northern states have population decline. People are voting with their feet and they are moving to warmer areas. Even NZ has a Northern drift.

Warm is good. India is hot and stormy yet can support over 1 billion people. Have the doom merchants thought this through at all? If our future is a climate like Indias then population growth will be the main concern, not survival.

Thomas September 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Flat: from a 3D perspective it would be clear to even you that the inhabitants of Florida are utterly dependent on the food grown elsewhere and also on their air conditioners for the hot month of the year.
Egypt, nice and warm, is the biggest grain importer of the world. Pakistan is struggling between too little and too much rain and can’t produce what they consume anymore what wheat is concerned either.
The list is long of countries that might be nice for a holiday away from the places where the potatoes grow, but by golly, you must be knackered all right if you think these places are holding the future for you under a warming world.
To the contrary, in a warming world the current wheat baskets of the USA, Russia etc. will struggle immensely to produce what is required.
Now consider what a 4 Degree warmer world would look like…

Tony September 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Yes, India are a good example of sustainable agriculture in action. In the face of dry hot conditions, all you have to do is draw down your water tables to dangerously low levels:

http://bluetechblog.com/about-2/innovation-on-the-ground-%E2%80%93-serious-need-for-water-efficiency-technology-in-indian-agriculture/

Unfortunately some productuve agricultural areas don’t have water tables and are reliant on the elements.

Flatearth2013 September 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm

My point is people generally prefer a warmer climate. And as for food security, if we stop turning food into biofuel, we will have plenty. the US wastes about 40% of their corn on feeding cars. The fact is global food production is still increasing. And let’s just pretend food supplies were getting low, reducing dairy and meat intake would free up millions of acres for more efficient food production. I don’t see the problem.

Bob Bingham September 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm

The Americans own figures on the future temperatures show that the mid west is going to heat up by 10f in the later part of the century. I doubt if they will be growing grain or anything else by then.

Flatearth2013 September 28, 2013 at 7:29 am

That doesn’t mean it will actually happen. If it ever gets that hot, the climate will be pretty humid. Rain can be stored and pumped to where its needed. Remember we humans will be even smarter in 2100. I’m pretty sure we will work out how to feed ourselves.

Thomas September 28, 2013 at 7:48 am

Yea with ‘cleaver people’ like yourself, we will be pumping water anywhere its needed…. Perhaps you could devise a plan for India then as a thought exercise.

Flatearth2013 September 28, 2013 at 8:24 am

If it makes you happy to think we are all going to die from catastrophic global warming you just do that. The evidence suggests we are good adapters, but don’t let that ruin your fantasy.

None of this will happen unless warming starts again anyway. If the hiatus continues, all bets are off.

CTG September 28, 2013 at 9:24 am

Yes, all that adaptation comes for free with breakfast cereal, doesn’t it?

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Is that a joke?

CTG September 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

The joke is that Flatearth and co don’t want to believe in global warming because the cost of mitigation is high, so they say things like “we are good adapters” without calculating the cost of adaptation.

For example, let’s say that the only adverse effect of global warming is sea level rise. If we burn every last drop of oil, we are probably in for at least 1m of SLR this century, and a lot more than that in a few hundred years. Now, there are over 70 cities with 1 million+ inhabitants on coastlines around the world. Every one of those cities will either need to be relocated, or else have a bloody big sea wall built around them – we are talking many times the size of the Thames Barrier here. A quick back of the envelope calculation tells you that will cost many times more than the profits to be made from burning the oil, so where is that money going to come from? It’s not as easy as saying “we are good adapters”.

And no, it’s not a very funny joke, it’s a very tired and old joke and it’s about time people like Flatty just shut up and let us get on with the job of fixing the problem.

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

With respect I think that it is China and India that are stopping you , not Flatty. I give you zero chance of turning that around, but you remain hopeful of a global emissions deal. Why?

CTG September 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Did you not read my post? There will be a deal because at some point people will realise that it will cost way more to “adapt” than to fix the root cause. Pretending otherwise doesn’t help anyone, it just delays the time until the deal can be made – which makes it more expensive anyway.

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Yes , I did read your post. Given that cheap fossil fuels are coming on stream at an increasing rate, then the cost of “adaptation” is going down relative to the cost of the fix.
So I don’t expect that China will be closing down all of the coal -fired power stations that it is building at a fair clip at present (I have heard of one a month) anytime soon. I don’t see it happening this century.
If you have crunched the numbers , and can show that the breakeven point will be reached sooner than say the year 2100, then that would be interesting .

CTG September 29, 2013 at 8:29 am

I’m not an economist, so I really on the work of economists who have done the number crunching. And they have found that the cost of inaction greatly outweighs the cost of inaction.

So there is really no call for your complacency.

cindy September 29, 2013 at 10:18 am

There are many signs that China is waking up. Air pollution is the big one, and water. Xi is quite progressive on environmental issues, and the people of Beijing are getting sick of not being able to breathe.

Yes, China is still building coal fired power stations. It’s one a month now, but five years ago it was two a week. Now they’re closing the really dirty ones.

China’s air pollution problems are what’s doing it. In the three big coal areas, they’re closing plants all over the place – and actually stopped plans for a huge new coal plant recently. They’re also introducing carbon caps and trading in the areas designated pollution problems.

And talking of rates of things being built in China, wind turbines are going up at the rate of one every 30 minutes. see this story from last year.

Fossil fuels are not coming onstream at an increasing rate. Peak, cheap oil happened quite some time ago.

But in terms of numbers and costs, keep an eye on the Loss & Damage discussion at the UNFCCC talks. Developing countries are already being hit hard by major weather events (as are Australians), and those numbers are going up fast.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

Fossil fuels are not coming onstream at an increasing rate.

I should have been clearer. I was referring to the wave of shale gas coming on stream.
From what I’ve read , the new coal plants are quite clean and a large amount of useful fertiliser is being recovered from the flue gas.

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 11:16 am

Shale oil and gas has been labelled a ‘Ponzi Scheme’.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/us/26gas.html?src=tptw&_r=0

It would seem that the decline rates per well are very steep and companies can only maintain the impression of a growing production by an acceleration of drilling activity using new investors funds…. Then there is the small matter of EROEI…

ftalphaville.ft.com/files/2013/01/Perfect-Storm-LR.pdf‎

Bob Bingham September 28, 2013 at 9:26 am

I like to use the NASA figures for the big numbers because they have the satellites and know what’s going on. The difference between the pauses in 1900 and 1940 and now is that we have the satellites to give us the numbers. The heat is coming in and also leaving but 0.9 Watts per square meter is retained. Overall we are warming but if a bit more goes into the sea for a while does it make any difference over thirty years? Its not as if the situation has reversed.

Tony September 28, 2013 at 10:55 am

Models at best may give an idea of short term climate, but then after X, Y, Z happens, you have to rejig the parameters and develop a new model. If you want to get an idea of longer term effects you have to look at the very distant past or in other words ask a reputable palaeontologist.

Given the high stakes, I wonder whose judgment we should trust when it comes to the future of human civilisation, the palaeontologists or the blind optimism of Flattery and co. The former seem to be scared shitless regarding what the future holds on the basis of what they have observed in the palaeontological record, whereas the latter seem to prefer blissful ignorance.

My thought is that we should send a dairy farmer from New Zealand to say Seattle University to do a crash course in palaeontology for 3 years and learn all about, radioisotopes, tracking carbon in ocean sediments, ice core data, Permian-Triassic and PETM mass extinction events, the difference between geological time scales and milking time scales etc. then to come back to bridge the communication gap between the scientists and the polluters. Clearly scientists are currently failing to communicate with the masses, and it just may be that someone with the skills in both camps could pull it off with the right sort of language that everyone can understand. They may have to talk just a bit more slowly for our politicians to register though. Just a thought.

Thomas September 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I think scientists have been pretty clear and easy to understand really, with their texts and especially their graphs. Not too much wrong there. Anybody who really wants to know whats going on can inform themselves at any level of academic disposition about climate change.

It is due to the criminal effort, no less, of scrupulous lobby groups around these self obsessed right wing libertarian circles, with the money thrown in by Koch & Koch and similar, that the people have become confused.

There is nothing more obvious than the Hockeystick graph in telling where it is all at. It says it all. It has been vindicated not only by a plethora of checks and double checks including congressional hearings in the USA, but also by entirely separate research with comes up with essentially the identical graph again and again.

Nevertheless Flat and his compadres will happily spread the lies and the jist of a ‘broken hockeystick’ to anybody who’s ear they think they can find and bleat confabulations, cherry picked observations and invented uncertainties against the message of science. A cacophony of utter tosh indeed.
We need to put an end to the cacophony. The fact that a large number of our news media is controlled by big money libertarian denialists is extraordinarily unhelpful too.

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm

“The fact that a large number of our news media is controlled by big money libertarian denialists is extraordinarily unhelpful too.”

If you are searching for reasons why the public is not buying the AGW story, I suggest the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. But I wouldn’t call the NZ Listener a “big-money libertarian denialist” publication.
Remember the cover picture of the planet Earth erupting in flames and the headline “Last Chance to Save Humanity”. Yep , the scare tactic has been tried repeatedly; people just turn off after a while.

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Tony , you have to realise that if you marginalise people by calling them stupid , then they will just go their own way. It’s called pig ignorance.

Anyway you might be surprised at the number of farmers with tertiary science qualifications , and not necessarily in applied science either.

The problem of scientists failing to communicate gets talked about quite a bit, but recently we had Gluckman calling for more science and less advocacy.
Personally I think scientists should stick to their knitting ; if the results are useful in practice then it will be taken up.

Thomas September 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm

“Personally I think scientists should stick to their knitting”…

As long as people deliberately misquote what scientists say and spin doctor uncertainties and nonsense into their message, then, in the face of a grave danger to the survival of the planet as we know it: No chance to sitting still and knitting! And good on them! More and more Scientists who see it as it is can no longer sit in their ivory tower but grasp the moral imperative to speak out before its too late.

Bob Bingham September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I think Thomas has got it right. The scientists I have seen talking about their work in the field are extremely worried about the outcome. Jason Fox talking about his work in Greenland as just and example. He is concerned that the ice sheet is going to collapse (not next week) and we will have a big increase in sea level and his work is not included in the latest IPCC report.
We only need one meter of sea level rise and there will be a lot of cities flooded.
An even more urgent and immediate situation is the loss of Arctic ice where Jennifer Francis has done a lot of work on the way it affects the weather. That has a very fast reaction and can result in big losses to farming. It already has ruined crops in Russia. Europe and the USA and some blame this for the recent Syrian problems. Biofarmer thinks he can go on happily milking his cows for ever but its not quite like that.

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

” Biofarmer thinks he can go on happily milking his cows for ever but its not quite like that.”
Sheesh ; that is exactly what I did NOT say.

cindy September 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Here’s a story from today’s Guardian about farmers and climate change. Not in NZ, granted. But still.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/27/ipcc-climate-change-world-farmers

noelfuller September 29, 2013 at 1:30 am

Thanks cindy – adds to the picture. We hear lots about the effect of heatwaves on farming in USA, I read a little while ago a comparable story re UK farming and of course our drought has made the top 25 most costly weather events despite our relatively benign situation, but we hear little of the other places featured in this story.

Tony September 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Bio,

I was not trying to imply anyone stupid, I think the problem I am trying to highlight is that many people including dairy farmers do not have the necessary knowledge and judgment to make calls on such a serious issue as climate. They would get much greater respect, if they acknowledged that there are people with appropriate skills and knowledge who might be a better judge of what the future holds if we continue our current path. It is nothing to do with intelligence.

I think we are morally obliged to learn the truth and act in accordance with what is best for future generations not just personal self interest. The current government is whistling the tune of big corporations of which dairy is just one. To me this is immoral as it prioritises profits ahead of sustainability. Something needs to give, and while the injustice persists, some of us are not going to rest until something is done.

the biofarmer September 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I presume that many here will have read Tim Flannery’s book “The Future Eaters” And Jared Diamond has published similar thoughts.
The human race has never prioritised the long-term ahead of the short- term. Some would argue that we are hard wired not to do that , and our reproductive capability is part of that.
I don’t think that farmers , or any other group, wants or needs respect, (polarisation does that to groups within society) but they sure as hell will get none on sites such as this , regardless of their efforts at farming sustainably :-)

noelfuller September 29, 2013 at 1:33 am

I do note the smiley. I rejoice every time I hear of a farmer taking the sustainable road.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 7:59 am

I think that there will be more progress when dialogue is possible. Positions are too polarised at present. When you get posts like this one on what looks like an environmentalist blog, then people will just dig in deeper . Entrenched positions are hard to shift.

“Macro September 27, 2013

“and water and fertiliser are not restrictions ”

spoken like a true farmer…

tell that to the rest of Canterbury and they will never believe you…

And what about the increase in nitrates and other “run-offs” into the surface and ground waters? Are these not restrictions too? Or are they someone elses problem…

I wish you people would get real.”

Doesn’t help anybody really. Although it was mild compared to what I have encountered at other “green” sites.

Flatearth2013 September 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Too right Tony, we should only rely on railway engineers to answer the big climate questions lol.
Bio seems like one of the few people who visit this site to actually grasp the reality. There will not be a global climate agreement. Fossil fuels will continue to be burnt until they are replaced by an efficient cost effective alternative. If you honestly believe this will lead to climate doom you better start buying real estate in Siberia while its still cheap. The rest of us will carry on as normal and just adapt to any climatic changes that come along. Most people (even scientists) would say you can’t farm without plenty of fertiliser. As Bio has suggested good management can replace large amounts of fertiliser. There is a lesson there to those who say we can’t adapt.

The personal attacks show your frustration that the world has moved on from being scared of all this rubbish. That’s more to do with people like yourselves than sceptics.

Thomas September 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

“Too right Tony, we should only rely on railway engineers to answer the big climate questions lol.” what a stupid comment from your burrow in flatland….
The IPCC’s assessment is the summary of a very large number of scientist’s work. As of Pachauri, his resume is enviable at anybodies standard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajendra_K._Pachauri

BTW where is the $100,000 from your lost bet on planetary warming from the other post? I am waiting…!

RW September 28, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I think it’s time that tone troll moved on, perhaps to the twilight zone. Predictable denier rubbish.

Flatearth2013 September 29, 2013 at 9:35 am

The UK is not buying into AR5, seems like they are getting ready to role back green polices to help the poor. I will be surprised if this causes a voter backlash.

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 10:23 am

Let me rephrase this Flat: The UK gutter press, the Daily Fail and the Telegraph with their resident flatearther Delringpole cling on the last flotsam of the denier memes and don’t buy into AR5. Fair enough we don’t expect anything else from these sort of guys. Some are beyond it. Lets walk away from them in disgust.

Intelligent minds in the UK however see things rather differently:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/27/ipcc-world-dangerous-climate-change

cindy September 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm
the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I just searched Russia Today for ” IPCC climate AR5″. Not a single result. Same on France 24.
Is anyone able to search Chinese media ?

cindy September 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Yes, Chinese media were all over it – not least b/c they had a Chinese climate scientist at the IPCC press conference, speaking in Chinese. At least one Chinese journalist asked a question in Chinese (I think it was China Daily). They were at particular pains to ensure Chinese media were included.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 1:33 pm

From your Guardian link:-

“The spread of climate change denial now, sadly, touches government. David Cameron, who once expressed a wish to lead a coalition that would be the “greenest government ever”, has found himself surrounded by Tory colleagues who simply cannot accept that climate change is happening. ”

I wonder about the effect on public perception of changing the dependent variable from Delta t( AGW) to “climate change”. Many just take those two words at face value, and say well of course the climate changes; what are they talking about. It has at least been confusing.

CTG September 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm

So now you are just spouting effluent. There has been no change from “global warming” to “climate change”. Both terms have always been used – the IPCC was created in 1988, long before there was any public debate. Why would you go around spouting long-debunked myths, I wonder?

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Because that is what Cindy’s link referenced. What myth are you referring to?

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm

In her editorial Cindy wrote :-
” But it’s still a debate. And the public is probably still confused.”

cindy September 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

now now, keep the comments polite please people. Biofarmer asked a perfectly reasonable question here.

there has been confusion all round – I suspect using “climate change’ instead of “global warming” is the least of the problems in confusion deliberately spread by the denial machine.

Bob Bingham September 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I was going to say the same thing. I bought the Telegraph for thirty years and I had no idea I was sharing the news with such an ignorant, uneducated bunch of rednecks.

Tony September 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Bio,

Kudos to you for thinking outside the inept New Zealand newsmedia.

If you have time to watch the full report try here, other might be interested to watch this RT report as well, which features Lester Brown:

http://rt.com/shows/big-picture/climate-change-report-extinction-474/

I note that the IPCC has so far not uttered a word on climate feedbacks.

On that subject I was wondering whether someone like CTG could critique this report:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011GL047222/pdf

It is not clear to me whether they have factored albedo loss in their projections, and if they haven’t, has anyone else attempted to?

Bob Bingham September 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

If you want to keep up to date on the Arctic ice cover I recommend Neven http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/ Its a bit late now as we have gone past the minimum but it is a really informed site and gives an idea of the depth of the research.

cindy September 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Neven is good, of course there’s also this http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

Bob Bingham September 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Good quote. From The Conversation.
As pointed out by Andy Pitman, those who deny the science will not indicate which evidence will convince them climate science and the IPCC are essentially correct. But for the rest of us, ignoring the evidence of AR5 would be imprudent in the extreme.

Good planets are hard to come by.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm

It seems to me that the problem is the fact the people are talking past each other. There are a lot of good scientists being labelled as deniers , and I don’t think that the name -calling has done anything to bring the science debate towards some resolution. The use of the D word , in particular seems to have pushed the sides further apart.
On the positive side another 15 years of observations i.e. until the end of the current PDO cycle , will allow a much better calibration of the models. That seems to be the main point of contention.
It seems logical that if ENSO is not included in the models , because ENSO is energy neutral over a complete cycle, then the models will be shown to be correct when they have run accurately over a complete cycle i.e. 60 years. I’m not looking to debate science here; I’m making a suggestion about why the sides are so far apart, and what can be done about that.
How long have the models been running in predictive mode?

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm

But Bio, we do know all that. The models have been proven to predict the trend really well. No need to wait another 15 years for anything.
Look, I have shown this graph to you before (no wait, I showed it to Flat…):
http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/1_SAR_2012.jpg
See what I see? It is the 1995 IPCC model predictions against surface temp observations. What more do you need as evidence?
There are absolutely no scientific grounds to wait with CO2 reduction measures any longer.

And within the science community, people are united in their view with the vast majority of scientists standing firmly behind the IPCC reports. Only a few notorious characters with deep roots in the right wing libertarian movements in the US, UK, AU and Canada are bleating their contrarian nonsense these days, and in most cases you will find them being under pay directly or indirectly by Koch & Koch, Exxon and similar interests.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm

My question is about how to get everyone , including the public, who hold the final say , on the same page.
What is preventing that? I don’t accept that the public is stupid, and that stupidity is the problem.

My point was that using the period from 1975 -1999, without taking out the ENSO effect , may have provided an opportunity for criticism. And I suggested that this criticism will not be possible in 15 years time. Maybe time ie 60 years , is what is needed to silence this particular criticism.
I am not saying that this is the only cause of the schism in climatology. It is just one possibility and it will be easily fixed.

cindy September 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Yes, people are talking past each other, definitely. We started calling them “deniers” because, unlike skeptics, their mind is already made up. A great example is Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute, who was trashing the IPCC report to Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian. He then confessed to her that he hadn’t read it.

The deniers are desperate to be seen to be “talking,” ie “debating” the science. Because they crave debate – it creates public confusion and undermines strong calls for Government action. The only debate they won’t have is through peer reviewed journals.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm

The paradox is that each side is accusing the other of the same thing; the argument is over the method of science.
In science , you put up a hypothesis. Then line up ALL the arguments against it, and completely falsify every single one . And then you make all your data available and invite replication.

Ian Forrester September 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Biofarmer does not understand science:

In science, you put up a hypothesis. Then line up ALL the arguments against it, and completely falsify every single one .

Wrong wrong wrong.

You put up a hypothesis, show all the arguments which support it and try to falsify them. Why are you arguing about something you appear to know very little about?

And as for your comment:

Maybe time ie 60 years , is what is needed to silence this particular criticism.

That is exactly what the deniers want us to do, wait for ever or until they have used up all the fossil fuels. Have you any idea what BAU (or worse) will be like in 60 years? I doubt very much you are even a farmer if you want global warming to continue at the present rate for 60 years.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Well that’s another problem that we’ve identified then; there is no agreement on the scientific method. Unless that gets sorted , there will never be an agreement.
Why attribute positions to me that I do not hold? What is the point? Do you just want someone to disagree with?
I’ll leave it there anyway : it is clear that the rift will not be healed any time soon.
Thanks to those who engaged , Noel, Cindy and Tony. Wishing you all well; just remember to keep a smile on your lips, and a song in your heart.
Arohanui.

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Bio, whether you know anything about or agree to the way science works is entirely inconsequential to the debate at hand.

Ian Forrester September 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Biofarmer said:

There are a lot of good scientists being labelled as deniers

Please list those “good scientists” who you think are labelled deniers. I do not know of one denier who can be called a good scientist since they are not honest e.g. Lindzen who is very dishonest when he appears before politicians. Honesty should be the number one criterion for calling some one a “good scientist”.

And stop this nonsense about saying they shouldn’t be called “deniers”. They deny science for goodness sake!!. Calling them “skeptics” is just not correct, they are anything but skeptical.

cindy September 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm

hear hear!
and actually even Lindzen himself has said he’s quite happy being called a denier – he thinks it’s an acceptable term. And he’s Jewish.

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm

“Good planets are hard to come by.”…. and the Fermi Paradox can quite possibly be explained readily by “intelligent” species being normally unable to mange their greed once they figure out how to turn their respective planetary carbon fuel endowment (if they had one) into a short term boost in wealth. They in due course fry their home without fail! The fossil fuel age will at best last a couple of centuries, but will quite possibly deliver a death blow to the planet as we know it.

“Intelligence” of the sort that gives rise to the idiocy we witness currently is inherently a self limiting process in the grand fireworks of life’s evolution…. its just sad that not just the right wing nutcase libertarians will fry their own children’s future, no, they take the rest of us with them if we let them to it…

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Do you think that is why some of the agriculture in Godzone , particularly in the dairy industry, is not as sustainable as it could be? That it is not human nature?

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Yes Bio, it is our human nature to be greedy and to value today’s personal gains much more than tomorrows collective pain.

And unless we evolve our social skills and our collective intelligence to deal with this flaw in our human nature, it will indeed be our undoing. We have reached the time in the path of our human evolution where we have to leave the ‘libertarian capitalist utopia’ behind and embrace the truth that we can only survive collectively and through intelligent and fair restraint. If we don’t then a Mad Max future surely awaits us all.

The libertarians deep down know this too. Their frantic yepping and yelling these days is the death rattle of a dying meme.

Tony September 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Good point Thomas, it brings to mind the story of Marcus Licinius Crassus, who in the pursuiit of gold ended up getting his butt kicked by the Parthians, As a reward they poured molten gold down his throat, at least that is the story told.

It is quite possible that our undaunted desire to pump more carbon into the atmosphere will be met by Mother Nature, who will reward us with positive feedbacks, ramming more carbon down our throats than we would prefer. How humanity has changed in 2000 years!

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm

” How humanity has changed in 2000 years!”
In what way, apart from sheer numbers of humans?

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm

” this flaw in our human nature, it will indeed be our undoing. ”

A flaw? If it was not an evolutionary advantage then we would not still exhibit it. Of course evolution works at the population level, not the individual level.
If the global human population was reduced to 10% of its current level, it could not be said that the human race was in danger of extinction ; the human reproductive capacity is quite remarkable, wouldn’t you say?
And that remaining 10% would still exploit the environment as we , and all other species do.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I’m not sure what sort of off-topic restrictions apply on this site.

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Bio, evolution is a blind watchmaker. (Dawkins).

What is an advantage to a species at one moment in time, can easily prove to be its undoing at another.

Evolution does not care. It is a process, it has no goals and absolutely no foresight. The yeast bug in the brewing vet divides and grows happily until it dies in its own excrement….

If us Physicists had delivered Star Trek technology to the human race just in time (sorry, we can’t), then perhaps the experiment of exponential expansion could have carried on (and wrecked more than one planet in due course).

Even if our population was reduced to 10% (which 10% did you have in mind for the surviving btw?) then we would still be bound by the limits imposed by sustainability constraints. If we reduced our population to the 10% that constitutes the affluent western economies, then not much would have been gained from a sustainability perspective on today’s consumption rates…!

The mining ‘paradigm’ of the last centuries is inherently non-sustainable. We must live by the limits of what we can ‘harvest’ from solar (wind etc.) and geo thermal energy in the end, perhaps fusion if we ever get it going. There is no other option long term.

the biofarmer September 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm

“We must live by the limits of what we can ‘harvest’ from solar (wind etc.) and geo thermal energy in the end, perhaps fusion if we ever get it going. ” – in the long run.
Of course , nobody disagrees with that, but it is not a question of “must” . . . we “will”.
Yes I know how evolution works ; it is the changing environment against which “fitness” is assessed that is the arbiter of who shall endure.

The problem is that we do not have unanimity.

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Indeed, unanimity is lacking. There are always a few bad apples in any basket, nothing new.

Flatearth2013 September 29, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Bang on Bio. This is not want happens in climate science though. They should actually be trying to prove their theory wrong to really test it. And I agree, calling people like me a denier is a bit immature, I don’t deny the climate changes. I just not think there is enough agreement between scientists to waste billions of poor people’s money on. High power prices hurt them most. I guess I should burn in hell for such thoughts eh hot topic?

Thomas September 29, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Sure Flat, I guess we could make an experiment. Lets see, first we should find a planet. Then we would increase its atmospheric CO2 content by 40% and see if it warms, if the ice caps melt, if the glaciers melt and if the seal level rises. Then we compare the measurements with our theoretical expectations. We also carefully measure solar output for that planet to be able to attribute any external factors correctly.
We could build computer models to see if our theories simulate what we measure. We could then artificially remove the predicted impact of CO2 forcing and see if the actual measurements can be somehow produced by measured natural variations of the system alone.
We could run thousands of model runs with various permutations of parameters and see if any reasonable combination of natural variation can produce our data in the absence of the 40% extra CO2.

Uhm, I guess we did all that. It convinced the vast majority of those with the expert knowledge to know what we are talking about that its us with our change of the composition of the atmosphere who are responsible.

Sure, there are still some know-betters or flat earthers without much clue who don’t get it. Well, tough for them really but there is not much we can do about it in the end. Shrug and move on.

And then there are those who’s business interests are not served well by the news, who decided use tactics of smear, confusion, lies and intimidation learned in the tobacco wars to fight the message and the messengers… Those are the ones to take to account eventually with all legal means possible. The tobacco bosses had their day in court… stay tuned.

Flatearth2013 September 29, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Umm Ian, I’m not sure where you learnt about scientific method but your wrong. Proving your theory correct doesn’t prove that an alternative is not also correct. You have to prove all other possibilities wrong to know your theory is the only exclamation.

Ian Forrester September 30, 2013 at 3:30 am

Flatearth doesn’t understand science either:

You have to prove all other possibilities wrong to know your theory is the only exclamation (sic).

This is just the fantasy put out by deniers, all kinds of deniers. A scientist has a hypothesis he then puts forward all sorts of evidence to support it. Assuming honest scientists (97% of scientists are honest but the 3% who are deniers are dishonest) the evidence in support is correct. What you do is provide evidence that shows the original hypothesis wrong not the evidence supporting it. Doing what you suggest is like trying to prove a negative.

Good grief we are really getting the dregs at the bottom of the barrel in terms of deniers these days.

SimonP September 30, 2013 at 9:06 am

Your theories certainly do require some exclamation (sic).
A correctly chosen null and alternative hypotheses will be mutually exclusive.

Flatearth2013 September 30, 2013 at 7:45 am

Granted. By ignoring all the science that disagrees with your theory is not how it’s done either. The NIPCC has corrected a stack of papers the IPCC is not interested in. That is how the Himalayan glacier fiasco happened. How many layers of checks did that get through? Even when it was bought up they denied it was wrong. The IPCC has shown its got an agenda which does affect its credibility. You were probably defending the glacier claims too at the time? Be honest.

Flatearth2013 September 30, 2013 at 8:31 am

Collected sorry.

It’s a fair point. If IPCC has such high scientific standards why do they include work from greenpeace and WWF? Am I wrong on this?

These are questions asked with respect. I’m not just trying to argue for the sake of it. This is a serious issue. I actually accept some of the points made by yourself and others here ie. if the sea is still warming then global warming haven’t stopped. But Your side is not willing to look at failings of your arguments.

Rob Taylor September 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

Flathead, the “Himalayan glacier fiasco” was a typo, where “2350” was entered as “2035”, a simple mistake of the kind you make regularly in your posts.

By the way, there were about 18,000 scientific references in that report, whereas you are yet to offer a single one.

Doug September 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Flathead also expresses concern about the IPCC’s use of grey literature from WWF etc, yet his only source is the NIPCC produced by the Heartland Inst. Sound pretty grey to me.

Doug September 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

P.S The Himalaya mistake was in one of three WG reports. The WG1 report provided the correct information. Clearly an editorial issue. I wish had such a good average in my reports.

Tony September 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

Flatus,

I don’t think anyone has said that the IPCC are infallible, unlike the Pope.
They have been known to make the odd faux pas before, and will undoubtedly make them again. Take for example their projections on the Arctic ice melt. Had I at the time said that the actual ice melt was going to exceed their worst case scenario by miles, you would have branded me an alarmist, wouldn’t you? Be honest.

Clearly, therefore, if the IPCC have been unable to nail the Arctic ice melt i.e. melting falling well outside their 95% confidence intervals, then by your reckoning, their theories must be all wrong. That being the case, perhaps you could put up an alternative plausible hypothesis. The good news is that whatever you suggest, we can test it. We have satellite data galore and more, that enables us to test any theory. All you have to do is come up with a forcing that exceeds CO2 and you will have done it. The whole scientific community awaits. There could be a Nobel prize in it for you if you get it right.

BTW, the Arctic faux pas is far more serious than the Himalayan one. If surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last decade or so, you can thank the Arctic for that. But if the Arctic disappears, there will be no more mercy.

cindy September 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

bang on Tony.

I do laugh at the deniers seizing on the one mistake found in the AR4 on the Himalayas. As someone said, in a 4000 page report, that ain’t a bad batting average.

Compare that with the whoppers on basic climate science made by the deniers over the years, some of which they have admitted, most of which they refuse to. This one, for example.

Flatearth2013 September 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I seem to remember people alerting the IPCC to the ‘typo’ were peddling pseudo science at the time.

An alternative theory might be that co2 forcing has been overestimated? This would help explain the slow down.

Tony September 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Flatus,

“An alternative theory might be that co2 forcing has been overestimated? This would help explain the slow down”

Quite right, it would if we didn’t have the elephant in the room ie. an unprecedented ice loss of the Arctic. If GHGs are not responsinle for that you need to propose an alternative mechanism/theory. Try again.

Ian Forrester September 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Flatearth, do you dream in technicolour too?

I seem to remember people alerting the IPCC to the ‘typo’ were peddling pseudo science at the time.

It seems you have a very vivid imagination. People might gave more respect to your bletherings if you actually quoted sources for your “opinions” or gave enough detail that we could follow them up. Instead you are just another cranky blowhard who really doesn’t understand any of the science but gets a kick out of thinking he is correct and everyone else is wrong. Typical Dunning Kruger sufferer.

Flatearth2013 September 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I stand corrected. Voodoo science.

Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, has previously dismissed criticism of the Himalayas claim as “voodoo science”.

I thought it was a ‘typo’? Strange thing not to just accept it was wrong. Why do you need WWF to help write the reports? That is just inviting criticism.

Doug September 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm

They did not write the WG reports they were referenced, but give me the WWF any day rather than the Heartland institute.

Ian Forrester September 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

More bletherings from flatearth:

Why do you need WWF to help write the reports?

Where can you provide any evidence that WWF “helped write the reports”?

Quoting from one of their reports, which by the way are usually of a high standard, written by honest scientists (unlike the dishonest rubbish you seem to prefer), is not the same as “helping write them”. Why are you deniers so ignorant of basic information and interpretation skills?

cindy September 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm

The IPCC is not all about greenies. While they might look at “grey” literature like a WWF report (although I think as part of the review they have stopped doing that, taking only articles published in peer reviewed journals), one thing that deniers tend to forget is the long arm of the fossil fuel industry that has been involved in the IPCC pretty much from the outset. Exxon’s Haroon Kheshgi is one clear example.
Sourcewatch has the list of those scientists.

Dave Frame October 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

The citations from WGI are about 98% from the peer-reviewed literature, and the remainder is usually PhD theses and technical reports (from data scientists).

The other WGs… well their problems are different. If the only people who have thought about flooding on a river are consultancies and NGOs, then that’s the available literature. Their problem shakes down differently from the WGI/physical science problem. We have it comparatively easy (or at least well-posed).

Flatearth2013 September 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm

I just think including references from greenpeace and WWF and not including papers compiled by NIPCC makes the IPCC look a little biased. Why include activist groups at all in a scientific report?

Do you think it was ok to accuse sceptics of voodoo science because they bought the glacier error to the IPCC’s attention? It all gives the impression the IPCC has an agenda. How will this help a global agreement? Perception is everything.

Macro September 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

“Do you think it was ok to accuse sceptics of voodoo science because they bought the glacier error to the IPCC’s attention?”

Yes

they are not skeptics in the proper sense of the word simply “deniers” their agenda is not to improve the science it is merely to deny it.

Thomas September 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm

On the “NIPCC” this article might be of interest:
http://phys.org/news/2013-09-adversaries-zombies-nipcc-climate-pseudoscience.html

Oh and if you need any reference on who this “Bob Cater” character is, the so called “lead author” of the NIPCC, you will find it here:
http://www.desmogblog.com/bob-carter
If there ever was a grand list of contemporary Machiavellian miscreants, this due would be on the first page!

Flatearth2013 September 30, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Oh no Ian, say it ain’t so!

Investigative journalists at Popular Technology looked into precisely which papers were classified within Cook’s asserted 97 percent. The investigative journalists found Cook and his colleagues strikingly classified papers by such prominent, vigorous skeptics as Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner and Alan Carlin as supporting the 97-percent consensus.

Macro September 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm

” strikingly classified papers by such prominent, vigorous skeptics as Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner and Alan Carlin as supporting the 97-percent consensus.”

Goodness me!
Maybe they are skeptical!
And maybe the papers did contain information and data that supported the consensus.. Have you read the papers by the way?

You list 6 “scientists” out of how many??

As for- what was that rag now – oh yes Popular Technology! Now there is an authoritative piece of investigative journalistic literature i’m sure – bound to give Faux News a run for its money.

Thomas September 30, 2013 at 8:14 pm

None of these fringe scientists, some of which are under direct pay by Koch & Koch via the Heartland Institute and others, is stupid enough to outright deny the AGW effect of CO2! Hence even their papers to that degree support the general conclusion that CO2 is warming the planet. They however produce various colorful excuses for denying the severity of the AGW threat and argue for in-action as per the instructions of their fossil fuel industry paymasters while producing rubbish papers that continue to mislead their flat earther fellowship of ill educated but opinionated right wing cackophonists… all as per the strategic plan of Koch & Koch, right from the script book of the Tobacco industries war for survival…

Flat, if the global community would get serious about limiting the total amount of CO2 we can emit, as strongly suggested by the real science at hand, then the share value of the oil companies would plummet, because a significant portion of their asset base, their oil reserves, would be prohibited from ever being produced. This creates a many-multi-billion-dollar incentive to fight with any old snake oil sellers yarn against the climate science consensus and it creates lucrative job opportunities for fringe figures in the world of science such as those you named, especially if they were borne into families rooted in the right wing libertarian morass in the US.

Flatearth2013 September 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

“Do you think it was ok to accuse sceptics of voodoo science because they bought the glacier error to the IPCC’s attention?”

Yes

I think we have a problem here guys. The rest of you won’t allow this will you? I thought it was all about accurate science? Now you admit you don’t want to be corrected, even if its an obvious ‘typo’. You are just undermining IPCC credibility here guys.

Thomas September 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm

But Flat, the IPCC acknowledged the typo and corrected it.
But for the record: The Himalayan Glaciers are melting faster than ever. Combined with the effects of very unusual Monsoon rains this causes devastating consequences:
http://world.time.com/2013/05/27/fears-grow-of-a-himalayan-tsunami-as-glaciers-melt/
When exactly the last grand Himalayan glacier has vanished is entirely irrelevant. What is highly relevant is the decay of many of them at alarming rates:

Glaciers in the east and central regions of the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region are retreating at an alarming rate according to a new report released this week by the National Research Council…..
…..Warming is particularly acute at higher elevations of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau, which over the past fifty years have warmed at three times the global average.

http://www.enn.com/press_releases/4071

Flat, are you a masochist? Do you enjoy spouting nonsense only to have your mouth washed with soap at every occasion so far?

Oh and where are the $100,000 you owe for your lost bet?

Flatearth2013 September 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm

“Do you think it was ok to accuse sceptics of voodoo science because they bought the glacier error to the IPCC’s attention?”

Yes

That says it all really. Yes they did admit it in the end but not until after the voodoo science accusations. This is one of those times you just have to admit the IPCC acted unprofessionally, to defend this behaviour only threatens your own credibility.

I know I’m the bad guy here but for some reason I’m the only one who doesn’t feel the need to call people names.

Dave Frame October 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

Flatearth2013 wrote: “his is one of those times you just have to admit the IPCC acted unprofessionally, to defend this behaviour only threatens your own credibility.”

So the IPCC make the odd type, and the odd error. So do other scientific organisations and bodies. Can you point me at, say, half a dozen organisations of comparable size and composition, who always get it right, so that we IPCC people can learn from them?

Thanks.

PS – organisations who obviously do get it wrong, in spite of the high price attached to error, include the military (friendly fire incidents, accidents, etc), police forces (many examples)… in fact any organisation I can think of is subject to some human error. Is there a reason why you expect climate scientists to better than other people in this regard?

Rob Taylor October 2, 2013 at 10:53 am

Yes, Dave, as Flatearth2013 and his fellow climate change deniers can no longer credibly argue the science, all they can do is try to confuse the issue, hoping that, if they throw enough mud, some of it will stick.

Hence “Climategate”, “Himalayagate”, etc

BTW, how is Judith Curry’s research regarded by her peers in the climate science community these days?

Tony October 2, 2013 at 11:19 am

I am curious to see how long Flatus can hold off before dropping another Heartland stink bomb, meanwhile contributing nothing to the non-existent scientific debate and merely posing as having a genuine interest in climate science.

Perhaps DNFTT might be in order and we should shift the focus of the discussion to where it should be mitigation.

Rob Taylor October 1, 2013 at 4:44 am

Flatulence, you’re here simply to distract attention from the new IPCC report, which highlights the enormous danger Business As Usual presents to the Earth’s biosphere and our collective future.

If you want to be treated with respect, you’ll need to offer more than shallow denier memes crafted by fossil fuel industry shills and far-right idealogues.

Otherwise, I suggest you go sing your loony tunes with the dwindling band over at CCG; I’m sure they would welcome a fourth member.

http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/

Flatearth2013 October 1, 2013 at 7:39 am

Still can’t bring yourself to admit when the IPCC where unprofessional? Even when sceptics do things to further the science ie correct errors, they are ridiculed. Warmists need credibility to achieve their lofty climate goals and this type of righteous thinking won’t help. Who is in denial now?

Thomas October 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

Fleat: The denier circus is using Voodo and any other ridiculous nonsense they possibly can. You are a prime example of the ridiculous nature of the whole denier scene.

I second Robs assertion that you came here with a sole purpose: To inject the utter tosh you have been bleating out in order to grab some airwaves during the IPCC release.

Gareth, I think most of us really had enough of Mt. Flats nonsense. While its fun for a while to slap the truth around peoples faces until it surely must hurt them, the troll is wasting time.

Flatearth2013 October 1, 2013 at 8:24 am

All I am doing is bringing up important issues that will need to be resolved before climate action can take place. Blocking me will not solve anything.

The credibility of the IPCC is vital if they want governments to listen to them, yes? Why then accuse sceptics of voodoo science for correcting a typo? You can still have your theory, but not admiting this is counterproductive is crazy.

I don’t agree with sceptics that say co2 has zero effect on the climate. Why can’t you be objective?

Rob Taylor October 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

Flattie, were IPCC the most corrupt, incompetent and criminal organisation on Earth, the physics driving climate change would not be altered in the slightest.

The IPCC is a conservative organisation set up by the US and other industrial countries to review and report on established, and somewhat dated, science. It’s reviewers are professional climate scientists who volunteer their time for free.

The denialerati, on the other hand, are either professional spinmeisters paid by dirty industries such as oil or coal, or are rightwing nutters who would rather trash the biosphere than admit their ideology is dangerously wrong.

Your frenetic and ingenuous nitpicking clearly serves the agenda of the latter, which is why you will get no respect here.

Tony October 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

Flatus.

You really must be living in a matrix style virtual reality world with your brain hardwired to the Heartland Institute.

Just for your interest here is the reality of Arctic sea ice:

http://nsidc.org/news/press/20070430_StroeveGRL.html

You do know how to interpret trendlines I assume. The reality trendline is the red squiggly thing at the bottom. The rest is the IPCC faux pas. Call me old fashioned but I prefer empirical data to modelled projections that don’t fit the empirical data.
We are still waiting for you to answer the question I posed earlierr in good faith. If the forcing of CO2 has been overestimated, then what is driving the unprecedented rate of Arctic sea ice volume decline? You do understand, that quite alot of heat is required to achieve that don’t you? If it’s not CO2 then what is it?

As for the Antarctic, is it the land ice that is gaining or the sea ice? If it is the former, then you have an argument for cooling. If it is the latter, then that can only be occurring if the land ice is melting creating a pool of fresh water that freezes more easily than seawater. You have a 50:50 chance of guessing which one is the correct interpretation.

As for Cook et al, and Popular Technology etc. that was a phony cacophany reverberating in the denialist bubble, with no basis in fact, so much so that none of the reputable newsmedia thought it worthy of mention. Just another dirty tactic by denialists, whom you seem to trust without question:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/may/28/global-warming-consensus-climate-denialism-characteristics

I suggest you provide answers to the questions above, before treading off on another Heartland distraction. Give us some evidence that you are participating in this discussion in good faith, as oppoosed to denialist trollisms with no interest in the truth. I think the patience of others is wearing pretty thin, so redeem yourself and answer some questions or you will likely be destined for the twilight zone.

cindy October 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

Flat: All I am doing is bringing up important issues that will need to be resolved before climate action can take place.

aah, NOW your true colours – and denier strategy – are revealed. Keep throwing doubt on the science to stop the public calling for action. Straight out of the Tobacco industry playbook. Dealing in Doubt.

The issues ARE resolved, and climate action IS happening, whether you like it or not, Flat. The efforts of the denial machine are gaining less and less traction – especially if you look at the global coverage of the IPCC report. Aside from a few denial pieces, that coverage has been pretty straight. And global. and huge.

Even my Mum said to me yesterday: “you’ve been right all along. Everyone’s talking about climate change now and how real it is.”

Thomas October 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Flatus: The IPCC’s credibility is acknowledged by anybody with a brain between their ears. You however, and the sick hydra of right wing nutcases you represent here, will never accept this, because you can’t. Its against the paradigm you live by. Your little bubble of libertarian virtual reality, bewitched by the siren songs of Cornucopia, would implode. You would all for a sudden contemplate a world in which your piece of the cake was negotiated with the rest of the humanity plus the rest of the biosphere, and not an entitlement enshrined in your birth certificate. You would have to leave the kindergarten reality of Fox news and Rush Limbaugh shows and join the sobering reality that we are collectively staring at the burning fuse of the next grand extinction bomb. It will rival those great extinctions of the geological record we have documented.
But you can’t. Its not in your reach. You will remain in kindergarten until the bitter end. Now off to the twilight zone with you!

Bob Bingham October 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm

The credibility of the IPCC is not in doubt with governments and never has been. Its report are built into government policy all round the World. The bit about the melting of the Himilayan glaciers was not part of the science and was never part of the scientific report. Incidentally it was not necessarily wrong it was just not backed up by any research. Wait another thirty years and see if it is wrong. There are 500 million people depending on the outcome.
There are difficulties with the politicians who run the countries. Like Australia who makes a living selling coal. Canada who want the tar sand oil and the USA who have virtually no government at all and are run by big business.
In New Zealand we are rebuilding Christchurch at only one meter above sea level when we have some of the best Palaeoecological climate scientists in the World. It would be a brave politician who stood up and say don’t build it here.
Even with all that the IPCC figures will be part of the government policy.

Dave Frame October 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

The credibility of IPCC is well established. The credibility of the crazies pretending climate change isn’t real is not established. Governments understand this, even if parts of the popular press do not. That’s pretty much the end of the story. You’re just wasting everyone’s time here by pretending there is a significant issue where there is only an insignificant one.

Agree that it’s DNFTT time.

Flatearth2013 October 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

All orgaisations make mistakes. Not many accuse the people that point them out of voodoo science though. I would have thought the IPCC would welcome obvious typing errors to be pointed out?

I’m just not as sure as you guys are that the science is settled. The IPCC can’t even agree on the sensitivity the climate to co2. Maybe the climate will start warming again sometime but there is no hard evidence that I have seen to suggest out of control warming? All the heat might just go to the bottom of the ocean as is the latest theory? The scientists don’t even know for sure why the slow down happened, how can the science be settled then?

cindy October 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm

of course not all the science around climate change is settled. That’s just silly.
10 points, Flat.

1. No, of course all of the science isn’t settled, but what IS settled is the fact that climate change is happening. That bit’s not up for debate.
2. what’s also settled is that climate change is being caused largely through humans digging up fossil fuels and burning them. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE.
3. If we don’t take further action than what Govts have pledged today, we are likely heading to at least a 3.5-4degC warming world
4. We’d better take more action now before it’s too late
5. Right not, it isn’t too late – and it’s possible to keep GW below 2degC, so long as we keep fossil fuels in the ground.
6. just because we might not know everything about the fact that the heat has gone into the oceans doesn’t mean global warming isn’t happening and we’re not causing it and we shouldn’t take action now
7. Just because the scientists are still working on issues like climate sensitivity doesn’t mean global warming isn’t happening and we’re not causing it and we shouldn’t take action now
8. Creating campaigns of doubt around the climate science is a campaign that has been largely funded by the fossil fuel industry who have poured millions into it.
9. Whether you’re paid by the fossil fuel industry or not, the arguments you’re running have been paid for by ExxonMobil and the Koch bros to stop action on climate change.
10. I wonder what you’ll say to your grandchildren when they ask you what YOU did to stop the climate change they’re experiencing in the future. “I did everything I could to stop anyone from doing anything about it.”?

Dave Frame October 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm

The IPCC made a very clear statement on climate sensitivity, and also make it clear why it’s hard to provide a narrow range.

Plus, you’re shifting the goalposts – IPCC never said there was any “out of control warming”. IPCC wouldn’t be that vague. You just keep repeating tired old lines that scientists can’t agree, and when someone shows that you are wrong, you just move on to a different tired old line. It’s weak stuff, dude, and a sign of just how broken your record is.

Flatearth2013 October 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Everyone on this site is suggesting out of control warming if we don’t stop burning coal.

Many fellow warmists have been trying to claim the science is settled, I’m glad Cindy disagrees with this. Tell the others.

How come after a hot year everyone says its proof of global warming, but after 15 years of not significant warming its just natural variability? I never understood how that works.

At current warming trends (zero) we have plenty of time to see what the climate does. Why not wait for another 15 years to see if the levelling off of temperatures continues? Save a few billion in the process. What harm?

Dave Frame October 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Flatearth2013 wrote: “Everyone on this site is suggesting out of control warming if we don’t stop burning coal.”

Yes but the people on this site aren’t (on the whole) on IPCC, so you shouldn’t use what non-IPCC people say to be rude about IPCC.

IPCC has never talked about “out of control warming.”

Bob Bingham October 3, 2013 at 8:20 am

You don’t understand the smallest thing about climate change and neither do most journalists. No scientist would say that a single hot year is caused by climate change. The heat wave in Texas was indicative of what it would be like frequently later in the century. Journalist need a story for an exceptional event and turn to climate change as a talking point. As a step along the way Jennifer Francis has done some research linking the loss of Arctic ice to exceptional weather in the North. I don’t expect you to look her up as you studiously avoid any science and just keep repeating Fox News stories

Tony October 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm

This I think is a good summary of what the IPCC says:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/27/ipcc-climate-report-digested-read

I note that the IPCC have not even started to assess the potential risk of catastrophic methane releases from permafrost. That doesn’t mean that catastrophic releases won’t happen, it just means that the IPCC haven’t put a number on it yet. They also don’t put a number on the expected effects on food production. These are the issues that are not settled. The IPCC, however, are talking about geo-engineeering. If they felt that we can afford to just take a punt and see what happens in 15 years, then why bother thinking about geo-engineering, which is a drastic intervention.

In my view we are gambling with the lives of our kids and grandkids. Using the tobacco analogy, I don’t have a problem if some people want to smoke and gamble their life away. Some live to a 100 most don’t, but hey who am I to judge. BUT.. if I and otherrs are forced to inhale their smoke then that is taking away a major freedom. Similarly with GHGs, the reality is, the bulk of the GHGs are emitted by a relative wealthy minority. That forces the rest to accept the consequences of their selfishness/inaction. There is no planet B to escape to. As more people become adversely affected, however, I expect we will see a major escalation of tensions.

Secondly, switching to renewables is not life threatening, but likely to bring numerous benefits, and long term cost savings. What is the harm of that? We have a choice of gambling with a potentially catastrophic future, or one that is more assured. It’s a no brainer.

Tony October 2, 2013 at 7:49 pm

On the subject of energy savings, I spent $3000 for a solar hot water system in 1998 when night rate electricioty was still just around 4c a unit, Over the last 15 years I estimate it has already saved me at least $10000 and still going strong, probably has decades of life in it too, its a convection closed loop circuit system so no pumps no fuss. Its called capital investment for long term savings.

Flatearth2013 October 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Yes but the people on this site aren’t (on the whole) on IPCC, so you shouldn’t use what non-IPCC people say to be rude about IPCC.

When was I being rude? I just suspect they have an agenda and this affects their credibility. I trust you will also intervene to stop the immature name calling in my direction too yes?

Secondly, switching to renewables is not life threatening, but likely to bring numerous benefits, and long term cost savings.

Where has this ever been the case Tony? Give me an example of where green energy policy has reduced energy cost? UK? No, Spain? No, Germany? No….where? I accept some small scale changes like solar heating water etc do help, but on a national scale green energy policy is an economic disaster!

Tony October 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I don’t think its fair to dismiss renewables just yet, as prices are coming down at a high rate of knots and they really haven’t been given a chance yeyt to take off, Solar PVs are my next goal, but until recently they haven’t been economic, it would have taken centuries to pay off. They now should well and truly prove their worth. Incidentally I built my house energy efficient etc. solar hot water, when under then National had an incentive scheme, which I took advantage of. That scheme had been dismantled, but I think even politicians at the time understood the long term benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy. What a pity they didn’t persist with it.

Tony October 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I’ve probably done enough ranting for a day but couldn’t resist adding this little gem:

http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/phoenix-solar-to-build-18-mwp-pv-plant-in-saudi-arabia_100012074/#axzz2gYAsoNaj

Dum ass kiwis pay billions of dollars every year for oil, while the Saudis spend up large on solar PVs using our money.

Flatearth2013 October 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm

If renewable energy can be competitive without government handouts I’m all for it. Hydro is a great example, although I wouldn’t want to see any more NZ rivers dammed. I agree with the small scale stuff, some of it saves money. But saying wind farms need to be given more time is crazy. They have been around for over 30 years and still can’t compete without handouts. All the evidence suggests wind power is continuing to increase power prices, not reduce them. What stats are you looking at?

Thomas October 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Flat: you are once more just spouting total and utter rubbish! Voodo statements indeed.

You know what: I will show you now the handouts to the fossil fuel industry: http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2013/012813.pdf
The report by the International Monetary Fund finds the fossil fuel subsidies add up to US$1.9 trillion a year. That’s 2.5 percent of global GDP! Of this, $480 Billion are direct cash handouts.

Against that Mr. Flat, subsidies for wind or solar in those countries who may have these amount to petty cash!

With a 10 minute web-crawl you will be able to find information on the cost comparison of various energy sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source
And you can see that Wind compares favorably with Coal indeed. And that is before any cost of AGW mitigation and damages for coal burning are even factored in.

Solar PV is now produced at well under $1US per Watt installed capacity. Even on NZ’s roofs and without any subsidy, a 2KW grid tie system can be had for under NZ$10,000 installed. It will produce around $600 worth of energy annually. That is a much better pay off than leaving your $10k in the bank. Plus the reward is in form of tax free avoided power purchase from the power company. Even PV solar is now cost competitive for the end user!

China aims to have 100GW of wind installed by 2015. Do you think a communist country will trick themselves into doing something that is not going to save them money? And 100GW btw is the same capacity as about 100 nuclear reactors….

You live in the stone age flat. Wake up!

Bob Bingham October 3, 2013 at 8:25 am

I have just put PVA solar panels on my roof and it is returning me 13% on my investment. No subsidies.

Tony October 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

One thing people like Flatus perhaps haven’t grasped is the relative payoff over 10-20 years of solar. By my calculations if you go out and buy a new car say $35000 and travel an average ~200kms a week for 10 years, plus use 8000kwhs per year for the same period you end up paying about $35k-40k in costs and that excludes inflation.

With solar panels if you buy a 10kw system for say $30K up front, and you convert your car to electric for about $35K, you will be able to travel 200kms a week (a small fraction of what a 10kw system can produce) and make a net $25K or more over 10 years to boot. So the net loss is $5K vs $35K loss for the petrol/mains supply after first 10 years. After 20 years solar becomes firmly in the black, whereas Flatus is now double the red. That all excludes inflation, which if we now factor in then Flatus’ liability is significantly increased, whereas solar grid tied earnings are increased, meaning the gap widens by a much greater margin.

The only people who are in fact better off with the use of petrol/mains electricity are the Saudis and the power companies, who are laughing all the way to the bank at the expense of consumers.

Flatearth2013 October 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm

It’s agreed then. No subsidies for any form of energy. Let the market do its thing.

I’m not against solar, if it works and its cheap great! In the desert yes, in Germany its not going so well. It’s horses for courses.

Beaker October 3, 2013 at 1:23 am

Yes, let the market do its thing if you have a level playing field. With fossil fuels there is the massive externality of 3rd parties shouldering the effects of combustion. It tends to be considered preferable to address the externality issue by offering a small carrot incentive for progressive change, rather than the cudgel of a blanket carbon tax big enough to have an effect, far below the level of a carbon tax to fully address the externality.
As for your request for instances where adding renewables has reduced cost, “… UK? No, Spain? No, Germany? No….where?” You ignore that over the period where there has been significant support and deployment of renewables such as wind, fossil fuel prices have exploded. The renewables generation has not only hedged against this massive price rise, the cost of adding renewables has come down. And this (you may like this bit) is before you account for the externalities of fossil fuel use.

Bob Bingham October 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

Just a comment on the Carbon Tax. What people fail to realise is that it is not supposed to be a case of ‘pay the tax and keep burning’. It is an interim stage to build up alternative energy before we stop burning fossil fuels altogether.

Flatearth2013 October 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm

This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

James Hansen : ‘This is the last chance’

6/23/2008

“We see a tipping point occurring right before our eyes,” Hansen told the AP before the luncheon. “The Arctic is the first tipping point and it’s occurring exactly the way we said it would.”

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

Just saying

Bob Bingham October 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm

The frightening thing about the loss of the Arctic sea ice is that it has an immediate affect on the weather in the North. Piomas show a mathematical graph that shows an ice free Arctic by 2016 https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas
The actual event is of little matter because it is already affecting farming and food production. Even if there is 10% left it is catastrophic. Lets hope the Daily Mail is right and its all OK and starting to heal itself. They are not very reliable though. More reliable on tits and bums

John ONeill October 8, 2013 at 1:17 am

This
http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/
should cheer everyone up.These guys reckon the IPCC are the denialists, for ignoring the Arctic methane feedback, and we should start geoengineering yesterday. That the computer modellers are saying not to worry, but the guys up in the tundra taking measurements are lighting methane plumes coming up through the ice.

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