NZ Greens launch new climate policy: replace ETS with carbon tax and dividend

by Gareth on June 2, 2014

The NZ Emissions Trading Scheme has failed and should be replaced by a carbon tax, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman told the party’s annual conference yesterday [NZ Herald, Stuff]. Outlining the Green’s new Climate Protection Plan (pdf) Norman told delegates that the government’s mismanagement had “hollowed out and weakened [the ETS] to the point of redundancy, accelerated deforestation and driven up emissions.” If in government after September’s general election, the Greens would replace the ETS by a suite of policies built around a levy on greenhouse gas emissions, with revenues recycled to business and consumers through cuts in income taxes.

The key points of the new policy are (from the policy document):

  1. Set New Zealand on the path to be carbon neutral by 2050.
  2. Establish a Climate Commission to provide expert and independent advice to the government on: carbon prices, carbon budgets, and complementary measures to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
  3. Phase out the failed Emissions Trading Scheme and set an initial price on carbon:
    $25 per tonne on CO2 equivalent emissions for all sectors except agriculture and forestry. Dairy emissions will pay $12.50 per tonne. Forestry will be credited at $12.50 per tonne.
  4. Recycle all revenues raised from a carbon charge back to families and businesses through a $2,000 income tax-free band and a one percent company tax cut. A Climate Tax Cut. Households will be better off.
  5. Introduce a suite of complementary measures to support the rapid transition to a carbon neutral economy.

The tax and dividend scheme has been costed by independent economists BERL (report here). An average household will be over $300 better off per annum.

In addition to the new tax and dividend scheme, complementary measures which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will include:

  • Aiming for 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030.
  • Extending the current home insulation scheme to another 200,000 homes.
  • Low cost loans for rooftop solar installations, and a requirement that power companies pay a fair price for electricity fed into the grid.
  • Incentives for the biofuels sector.
  • No new coal mines.
  • Reprioritise transport spending towards rail, bus and cycle use.
  • A Green investment bank to support low carbon, resource efficient projects.
  • An end to coal and oil subsidies.
  • A certification system for on-farm mitigation of agricultural emissions to allow farmers to claw back some of the carbon tax overheads.
  • A suite of measures to encourage forestry and afforestation, including giving credits for riparian planting to improve water quality.

The government’s mishandling of the ETS has been attracting strong criticism, with Herald economics editor Brian Fallow commenting that the scheme’s integrity “lies in an unmarked grave somewhere”. Recent revelations that big emitters were pocketing free emissions units and selling them at a substantial profit — effectively a direct subsidy of their carbon emissions — makes a transition to a carbon tax look a sensible course of action, though it remains to be seen if the Labour Party, who will be senior partners in any Lab/Green government, will adopt the policy.

One of the most interesting ideas is the creation of an independent climate commission to advise government. This how the Green’s policy document describes it:

The Green Party will establish an independent Climate Commission, composed of recognised experts on the subject of climate change and macro-economic policy. The Commission will become New Zealand’s foremost authority on climate change.

The Commission’s role will be to advise government on:

  1. The emission targets for 2020, 2030, and 2040;
  2. A National Carbon Budget, its component five-year budgets, and the amount that can be carried over between them;
  3. The price and price path settings for carbon;
  4. Complementary measures designed to reduce domestic emissions; and
  5. A national adaptation strategy.

Like the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, the Climate Commissioner will advise government through annual reviews and self-initiated reports.

This has to be a good idea, and I hope it’s one that can find cross-party support. The creation of an independent body to assess the science, evaluate policy and advise government will help to take the politics out of the assessment of the risks climate change imposes. It won’t stop the arguments about policy, but that’s where the political debate needs to be focussed.

Overall, my impression is that this a carefully considered and constructed set of coherent policies that should deliver substantial emissions reductions without causing substantial economic dislocation. By adopting the thrust (if not the detail) of Jim Hansen’s tax and dividend approach, the Green Party has ensured that ordinary voters will benefit from reducing emissions. It will not be popular with the big emitters who have been profiting from a badly run ETS, but that’s probably a good thing.

{ 218 comments… read them below or add one }

Stuart June 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm

The ETS was meant to fail (under National). Katherine Rich formerly National appointment to the ETS Committee is daughter of Dr Jock Allison, retired agricultural scientist, advocate of farming (good) and prominent climate change denier (bad).

andyS June 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

The proposed Green Bank will be funded by the proceeds of oil production

“The Bank will cost $120 million over the next three years and will be paid for by raising oil mining royalty rates to those charged internationally.”

Bob Bingham June 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Most countries cheat with carbon taxes but New Zealand is particularly bad and a cynical fraudulent system. We don’t burn much coal and have an abundant supply of unused renewable energy which we should be taking advantage of. I would leave the farmers alone if they promise to clean up the streams and start reducing our $4 billion oil import bill.

noelfuller June 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm

At last a scheme is proposed that will engage our engenuity in a positive way, one I can support and cheer along. We’ll find interesting synergies.

Intensive dairy farming is a major part of our carbon emissions and also a major part of the pollution of harbours, rivers and streams. They can’t be left out of a credible emissions reduction scheme. Farmers are also of first importance in achieving sustainability and mitigation – returning the carbon to the soil. I’ve yet to see the details on a farming certification scheme but if my guess is correct then this will be critical. As far as oil imports are concerned a carbon tax gets everyone who uses fossil fuels. I also find the equivalence of the farm carbon tax and the forestry carbon credit interesting considering about 10% of many farms is better forested.

There are farmers who have been looking after streams for yonks. There are also subsidies on fencing streams but substantial farm source pollution cannot be dealt with by fencing or riparian planting alone. Nor can promises to be good be relied on.

Bob Bingham June 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm

When I said ‘promise’ I suppose I meant ‘to be financially coerced’.
There are still kilometres of unfenced streams with cattle wandering into the water and defecating. Not good for people down stream.

the biofarmer June 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm

The policy as announced makes no distinction between those dairy farmers losing the most nitrate to groundwater and those losing the least. It is hard to think of a more blunt instrument.

Why punish those family farmers practising sustainable dairying?
It makes no sense at all.

Gareth June 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

I suggest you haven’t read the policy. It explicitly mentions developing a system to reward farms that reduce agricultural emissions – and that includes nitrates.

the biofarmer June 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

It is reported that ALL dairy farms will have to pay regardless of their impact. It is reported that sheep/beef farms will not have to pay.
Can you show me where the Green Party has publicly corrected this apparent misreporting?

Gareth June 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm

You are correct, but you were asking about dairy. The policy is explicit that on (dairy) farm emissions costs can be clawed back by making on farm reductions. But all farmers will be able to benefit from credits for riparian planting.

Instead of misrepresenting what the policy actually says, why don’t you engage on the substance?

the biofarmer June 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm

I’m happy to engage on the substance. This “to-be -developed ” policy appears not to be in the public domain. Surely it was an important fact to have out there.

So tell me, would I be paying ab initio, and how could I reduce that cost, given that I have the lowest stocking rate of dairy cows that is possible while remaining economic?
(0.5 milking cows/Ha)

the biofarmer June 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Just to be clear ; that 0.5 milking cows/Ha is not a typo. There are lots of farms with 5 cows/Ha although 4 cows/Ha is more common.
So my question remains; why would I be paying anything?

Andrew R June 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Hi Bob. Did you notice the Greens carbon tax proposal includes tax credits for good riparian planting plus incentives for bio- diesel?

Bob Bingham June 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm

No I had not but its the way to go. Even if the Greens policy is not adopted by them it is now on the table and open to discussion. The greens are really a ginger group and can influence the bigger parties on both sides.

andyS June 2, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I think it’s great. A tax on everything that will affect the poor most (since it is a consumption tax and therefore regressive)

Not that I like hurting the poor, but I enjoy watching left wing parties hurt the very people who vote for them.

Thomas June 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm

It would seem that you can neither read nor comprehend Andy. Straw, lots of straw….. and utterly predictable tosh.

andyS June 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Thomas – Perhaps you can explain to me where my reasoning is wrong.

Let’s start here

(1) Is a carbon tax a regressive or a progressive tax?

andyS June 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Still waiting for an answer to question (1)

Thomas June 3, 2014 at 6:26 pm
andyS June 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm

I see from this FAQ that they admit that a carbon tax is regressive but they can fix it by wealth redistribution – i.e tax credits for the less well off (like WFF – working for families)

So in essence, it is yet another scheme that hammers the middle classes, makes no difference to the less well off and makes no difference to the corporates who will simply pass on their charges to the consumer.

The viability of schemes like this depends on the percentage of the population who are on welfare vs those who are earning. i.e how many people will vote for it assuming a level of self-interest in voting patterns.

If you hammer the wage earners enough, eventually everyone is on welfare, which is where the USA is heading in many states.

bill June 2, 2014 at 7:39 pm

When all else fails, do what the Right does best eh, andy?: make sh*t up!

Your bad habit of not reading the OP has done you no favours yet again.

andyS June 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm

I don’t need to read the “OP” (whatever that is)

This tax that the Greens propose is obviously designed to hurt people in the pocket.
We all use fossil fuels to some degree or other.

It seems kind of obvious to me, really

Macro June 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm

The National Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) costs motorists $25-$112 million per year, but they get nothing back, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Motorists have been paying between 2.2 cents and half a cent per litre on petrol as a cost of the ETS. Nationally, that amounts to between $25 million and $112 million a year.

“Motorists are paying tens of millions a year under National’s ETS but where is the money going? It’s certainly not being recycled back to households and businesses as it is under the Greens’ Climate Tax Cut,” Dr Norman said.

“This is the difference between National’s ETS and the Greens’ Climate Tax Cut.

“Under National, the money is siphoned off to traders and polluters. Under the Greens, all the revenue is recycled into tax cuts for households and businesses.”

Can’t see how that is designed to hurt people andy.. whereas what is happening now! How do you feel about $112m being siphoned off motorists to be paid to a few polluters?

Macro June 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm


The Taxpayers’ Union (hardly a left wing organisation) is supporting the Green Party’s proposal to ditch New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) in favour of a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

Reacting to the policy from the World Taxpayers’ Conference in Vancouver, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:

“For us the key questions are whether the Green Party’s policy will result in a simpler, more transparent tax system and whether it will reduce New Zealand’s overall tax burden. From what we’ve seen to date, it appears the proposals could do both.”

“So long as the Greens continue to indicate that money raised by a new carbon tax will be used to reduce taxes on personal and company income, we’re broadly in favour of a carbon tax over the existing ETS. A carbon tax would reduce compliance and administration costs and result in a stable price for emitters.”

bill June 2, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Original Post. Try reading it. HINT: ‘tax and dividend’ is a hint.

Since you’re just going to say something stupid again anyway, now consider; why did the Australian ‘discussion’ about the CT (I’ll let you work that one out for yourself) end up being about how much it was hurting our beloved industries and our super-duper-resilient and-yet peculiarly-vulnerable economy? Because after actual implementation no elitist reactionary with crocodile tears running down his cheeks could put together a non-risible case it was hurting ‘the poors’ – even with the active connivance of the Murdochracy – because it was designed by intelligent people who actually care and specifically ensured it wouldn’t. I know such un-self-interested behaviour is difficult for you to comprehend.

Why the f*ck shouldn’t wealthy, polluting industries pay? That’s the real question. You blather on about the ‘obscenity’ of wind farms and want the actual battlers to bail out the bloody coal industry!

Incidentally, Australia now has utter buffoons who think just like you in charge, and it is an utter disaster. This is now mainstream opinion in Australia. Your great leader, Lord Rupert may think otherwise, but there’s a reason il Grande Buffone‘s approval rating is at 30% outside of The Australian and IPA.

andyS June 2, 2014 at 10:38 pm

Australia is run people that think like me?

Surely you can leave the “like me” but out, Bill?

Thomas June 2, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Its the old tactic of the political right, when trying to win the vote of the uneducated masses ( and helpful idiots who advocate their position to others with glee for no good reason whatsoever): “Tell them that taxes are a bad thing, tell them that public health care is limiting their freedom…. and any such Machiavellian lies as fit to the issue at the time.”
As a result we have the poor and the middle class barking against healthcare reform in the US while the ultra rich pay no taxes and laugh all the way to the offshore bank about the gullibility of the commoners…

Macro June 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm

For those who are worried that a Carbon tax will not reduced emissions – it will.
For those who fear that it will lead to economic ruination – it won’t.
I’v alluded to this on another thread before – but it is worthy of retelling here – This is a very similar scheme to that introduced by British Columbia in 2008.

For those that say it will stop “growth” in it’s tracks (as if it that is a big deal) – it won’t.
For those who think that NZ will become uncompetitive because of it – think again.
For those who want to know the truth about how such a tax and dividend scheme really works and just how an economy is doing that introduced a very similar one in the past –
look here:

To quote from the last paragraph of the above link”

“BC can boast of the crown jewel of North American climate policy. “BC now has the lowest fuel use in Canada, the lowest tax rates in Canada, and a pretty healthy economy,” says the University of Ottawa’s Stewart Elgie. “It works.” “

2 June 2014 at 2:56 pm
Sales of refined Petroleum products in BC have declined by 15% since 2008 – the year the Carbon Tax was introduced – whereas the sales of refined petroleum products for the rest of Canada have remained static.

Further quote:

“The tax has actually become quite popular. “Polls have shown anywhere from 55 to 65 percent support for the tax,” says Stewart Elgie, director of the University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment. “And it would be hard to find any tax that the majority of people say they like, but the majority of people say they like this tax.”

noelfuller June 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Yea! was waiting for Andy to complete the parade of absurd but predictable reactionary responses. The green policy is obviously working!

andyS June 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Yes it is Noel. Even the “right wing” Taxpayers union think it is a good idea, so presumably it is working very well for the better off

Mr February June 3, 2014 at 8:24 am

Bravo and hats off to the Green Party! Like Gareth, I think the strength and effectiveness of their carbon tax and tax cut policy can be largely measured by how close it is to Jim Hansen’s carbon fee and dividend. The addition of an independent Climate Commission is also excellent. Like Noel, I have some questions on the exemption for beef and sheep and a 50% reduction in tax rate for dairying. Politically, the Green Party trying to compromise and meet in the middle with the political leadership of NZ’s agricultural sector over climate change policy is about as sensible as Obama trying to reach a compromise with the Tea Party. The invective from Federated Farmers will soon fly, as will a backlash from the pro-business opinion makers.
Also the 50% reduction to forestry favours deforestation over sequestration.
However, all strength to the Green Party’s arm!

andyS June 3, 2014 at 8:43 am

The only slight problem is that (1) the Greens need to get into government
(2) The Greens need to negotiate with Mana, NZ First, Labour, Teh Interwebz Partie, and whoever else wants to join in the glorious new order.

Thomas June 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm

No Andy, the Greens already win hearts and minds as the only party who is grasping the issue head on and providing a comprehensive plan that can galvanize the nation. The rest of the gang are so far just treading water or pedal backwards (National) and are on the back foot on a topic that should be at the top our political agenda.

the biofarmer June 4, 2014 at 8:30 am

That is somewhat wishful Thomas. The public knows something about computer models and reality. The Green Party needs to acknowledge this fact if they wish to use climate to gain political traction.
It would be far easier to get the public on board if the focus was the pollution of NZ waterways.

[Link snipped. If you want to embed long links, please use html. GR]

Macro June 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm

“The public knows as little as I do about computer models and reality”.


What the public does know, and is becoming increasing concerned about, is that the Climate is changing – and not always for the better

Thomas June 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm

“The public knows something about computer models and reality”, yes bio, the public has had enough of people who themselves know way to little to afford an opinion but bleat like the proverbial sheep against “computer models” as a tactic to attempt to discredit somehow, any way imaginable, the work of the climate experts.
But the tide is turning against these dunderheads and the public is beginning to understand that it would be a lot better to listen to the message of the experts and the predictions they derive from their careful work, extensive models included.
The public bio, is wising up. And if you wish to dispute the work of climate science, you will need to publish your own theories. Good luck with that and make sure you checked your calculations carefully…. otherwise, farmer, stick with your own expertise and continue your good work on managing waterways. Your contribution will be much appreciated. Now leave climate science to those who are the experts. We will be better of that way.

nigelj June 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm

The “ETS” strikes me as an overcomplicated thing full of loopholes. I made a comment on Brian Fallows column about a week ago, saying this and suggesting a carbon tax would be better.

There is no reason why a carbon tax has to hurt the poor. You could pay part of the money collected back specifically to the poor, maybe as part of an increase to working for families. This is an advantage over the ets which always has a risk of passing costs onto everyone but very hard to quantify this and compensate anyone.

Bob Bingham June 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Where carbon taxes have been run properly (not here) they can improve the quality of life and stimulate power generation into, often cheaper, forms of energy. Previous generations in New Zealand did very well with the massive amounts of hydro and to this we can add geothermal and wind, We are not short of domestic power. lets make the most of it.

andyS June 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Do you seriously think that carbon taxes will result in cheaper energy costs?

This seems a little far fetched.

Macro June 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Of course it will be cheaper – when the real cost of burning carbon are taken into account. Fossil fuel is only cheap because we subsidise it.

andyS June 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm

If you actually believe that then maybe tell the Greens that they need to lobby for removal of these mysterious “subsidies” that you refer to.

From my reading, most fossil fuel subsidies are in the developing world,

There may be some “indirect subsidies” via tax breaks for certain operations, but I don’t think there is anything special about the oil industry in this regard.

FF certainly doesn’t get direct subsidies like wind energy does in most parts of the world.

Macro June 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm

If you think that the Greens are not already lobbying for their removal then you are a very ignorant person.
And they are not “mysterious” subsidies they are well documented.

For example in NZ alone:
“Financial subsidies that encourage the production and consumption of fossil fuels are increasingly being recognised internationally as a major barrier to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Production subsidies…inhibit innovation and the development of cleaner technologies, and they reduce incentives to produce and use fossil fuels more efficiently.”

The National-led government has significantly increased its support for oil and gas through indirect subsidies such as taxbreaks and support for exploration data and research – up from $6 million in 2009 to $46 million today. In total, support for consumption and production of fossil fuels has risen from $40.6 million to almost $85 million.”

World wide:
“The IEA’s latest estimates indicate that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $409 billion in 2010, up from $300 billion in 2009, with subsidies to oil products representing almost half of the total. Changes in international fuel prices are chiefly responsible for differences in subsidy costs from year to year. The increase in the global amount of subsidy in 2010 closely tracked the sharp rise in international fuel prices.”

And yes much of the subsidies are in undeveloped countries like Nigeria where the local population suffer at the exploitation of oil companies.
“Oil corporations in the Niger Delta seriously threaten the livelihood of neighboring local communities. Due to the many forms of oil-generated environmental pollution evident throughout the region, farming and fishing have become impossible or extremely difficult in oil-affected areas, and even drinking water has become scarce. Malnourishment and disease appear common.
The presence of multinational oil companies has had additional adverse effects on the local economy and society, including loss of property, price inflation, prostitution, and irresponsible fathering by expatriate oil workers.
Organized protest and activism by affected communities regularly meet with military repression, sometimes ending in the loss of life. In some cases military forces have been summoned and assisted by oil companies.
Reporting on the situation is extremely difficult, due to the existence of physical and legal constraints to free passage and free circulation of information. Similar constraints discourage grassroots activism.”

You think we as humans don’t pay above and beyond the price of petrol at the pump? Well think again!

andyS June 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I look forward to the Greens announcing that petrol and diesel are going up and that they are going to reduce the cost of living at the same time.

Always a winner

Macro June 4, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Of course no government in the past has ever raised road taxes or increased the price of cigarettes or the price of beer or the cost of car registration or influenced the cost of housing or rents on state houses or the cost of medicines or……no can’t think of any such thing like that.
Really andy why would anyone want people to stop burning petrol and diesel??

andyS June 4, 2014 at 8:35 pm

[Snipped. GR]

Just a [fatuous. GR] thought

andyS June 5, 2014 at 7:58 am

Why would they want to stop burning diesel and petrol?
Because it gets them to work, for a start

Macro June 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

Isn’t it about time then that we started thinking of other ways – which is the whole point of a Carbon Tax.
But as your head is so deeply in the sand over AGW I see no point in continuing with this discussion.

andyS June 5, 2014 at 11:47 am

So the point of a carbon tax is to help us think of alternative fuel sources.

OK, lets try Thorium – we can manufacture liquid fuels with that


Macro June 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Yes andy.

Thomas June 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Yep Andy, lets stick with the Nats and the right wing agenda. Lets borrow more and more from natures ATM machine as long she spits out the black stuff and sucks up the detritus we generate burning the same. F..k the descendants! Let them figure it all out. Who needs to sustain this planet for future generations if you could party on today as literally there was no tomorrow…..
Lets hide the astronomical environmental cost of today’s living standards of the affluent Western world for a bit longer and wait for the good fairy to wish all that debt are piling up away… Hurray and while the fairy is at it, perhaps she can wish these pesky Greens away who try to wake us up from our exponential growth pipe dream….

andyS June 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm

So I take it you use no hydrocarbon based products Thomas? At all?

Thomas June 5, 2014 at 12:35 am

Another straw man from Andy! Everybody alive uses oil and ff based products no matter what these days. Our society and its infrastructure and industry is based on it at present. So what is the point of your rhetoric question?

However Andy, and that is the point really: We must start the difficult process to untangle us to the extent possible from fossil fuels. I am happy to do my bit to do so. Factoring some of the true cost of FF into the economy now will assist our market driven system to develop the solutions and alternatives.
But what about yourself? What are you Andy willing to do to loosen the nous of fossil fuels around our neck?

andyS June 5, 2014 at 7:24 am

My point is that many people are telling me that oil exploration is unethical, yet they use oil products, every day,

So why do people think it is acceptable to use a product they deem to be unethical? Oil exploration is a dangerous business, people get killed.

Maybe these sanctimonious anti oil people should actually stop using the products they deem to be unethical. After all, if I thought gambling was unethical, I wouldn’t pop down to buy a lotto ticket on my way to the protest.

noelfuller June 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Me use hydrocarbons? – apart from bus rides, none! But wait: I did spray a neglected spanner with CRC some months ago :(

andyS June 8, 2014 at 7:32 pm

I am encouraged that you use no fossil fuels whatsoever, apart from the bus.
Do you grow all your own food?

Macro June 3, 2014 at 6:20 pm

IEA urges Global leaders to take action on reducing Carbon Emissions and increasing Investment on Renewables and efficiency savings.

“Global investment in fossil-fuel energy continues to outpace new spending on renewable sources, leaving the world on track for temperature increases of at least 3.6 degrees, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.”

“Last year, more than $1.1 trillion (A$1.19 trillion) was poured into the extraction, transport and burning of fossil fuels, producing much of the greenhouse gas emissions largely blamed for global warming.
By contrast, $US250 billion was invested in clean energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, down from the 2011 peak of $US300 billion, the Paris-based IEA said in its inaugural World Energy Investment Outlook study. Energy efficiency efforts attracted another $US130 billion.

To keep global warming to within 2 degrees of pre-industrial levels – the internationally agreed target – annual investment in low-carbon energy supply would need to rise to almost $US900 billion and spending on energy efficiency needs to exceed $US1 trillion, said the IEA’s chief economist, Fatih Birol.

“Dependable policy signals will be essential to ensure that these (renewable energy) investments offer a sufficiently attractive risk-adjusted return,” Dr Birol told Fairfax Media.
Policymakers have “the most important role to play” in driving such investments, he said: “They need to provide clear and credible signals that lower risks and inspire confidence if we are to switch investment to low-carbon sources and energy efficiency at the necessary scale and speed to meet the world’s climate change target.”

Groser’s response today to the proposed Carbon Tax on RNZ was as usual smarmy and weasel worded and acknowledged and denied the science all in one go! The man must go!

vasahurrell June 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Even if there is a coalition on the left with Labour and the greens whose to say that Labour (the majority party) will agree with the greens climate change policy….. so does it really matter what the greens climate policy is…. just like it doesnt matterhow kim will finance the free internet.

andyS June 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm

So far David Cunliffe has been non-commital over the carbon tax, and Winston Peters has ruled it out, which will make a left coalition tricky from the outset.

All DC needs to do is say “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” and we can watch history be replayed.

Macro June 3, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Then DC won’t be leading a government. – because you can be pretty sure that part of the MOU for a govt between Labour with around 32+% and the Greens with around 13+% will include a carbon tax. (forget the Colmar Brunton as it persistently favours the right by around 3 to 5 % points). Mana – Internet with around 3+% will pretty much form a government of the left and Peters won’t be required. Mana will almost certain also adopt this policy, John Minto stood for Mayor of Auckland on the basis of a much improved public transport and this aligns with their policy also.
You may recall but it was Labours first choice to have a Carbon tax however, Peters stuffed it up, and the compromise was the ETS which the Nats trashed in 5 mins.

Thomas June 3, 2014 at 11:03 pm

It matters already as the policy will certainly galvanize support for the Greens and has done so already. And even if they are not elected into a position to enact this policy this coming term, time is entirely in the Greens favor as the direction of AGW and associated effects is going to propel the majority of voters into agreement with such policies in due course and leave those who are acquiring bad karma for doing nothing or deriding the matter (Nats, ACT, Peters) to run for cover….

vasahurrell June 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm

In my opinion the greens have been growing their support by being the new “cool” party for the younger demographic and I think much of this vote will be lost and wasted by voting for kim. Also if the greens policies were so mainstream why cant any of them let alone their high profile leaders win an electorate seat anymore?!

Thomas June 5, 2014 at 7:03 am

I don’t think a lot of people will vote for an off-shore ugly wrecking ball smashing around the NZ political scene with the attempt to keep himself out of jail for making his fortune on the back of the biggest copy right violation scam in history…..

In the USA a staggering 70% of voters seem to agree with the new direction of president Obama and the curbing of emissions! ABC News today
This would indicate landslide support of the people and indicate that the time of the tricks and lies of the republican right might eventually come to the end it must.

Rob Taylor June 5, 2014 at 3:15 am

To save Andy’s time, here is a pre-digested list of reasons why action to curb fossil fuel use will Destroy Life As We Know It:

Greenhouse gases are harmless, maybe even good for you
A carbon tax will kill people
The NZ Green Party are terrorists
A carbon tax would be a dagger in the heart of the middle class
Just because scientists say something, doesn’t make it science
The Greens want to destroy jobs and devastate our struggling economy
It’s all part of their socialist plot to redistribute wealth
Wind turbines are bad for your health…

andyS June 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

Greenhouse gases are harmless, maybe even good for you

Given that without Greenhouse gases, we would be a frozen ball of ice, yes that is probably true

A carbon tax will kill people

If you increase the cost of living by pushing up energy bills, then people die. This is a measured effect in the UK.

The NZ Green Party are terrorists


A carbon tax would be a dagger in the heart of the middle class

As I said before, it is an additional cost borne my the middle class, that gets redistributed to those on lower incomes because of the inherently regressive nature of carbon tax.

Just because scientists say something, doesn’t make it science


The Greens want to destroy jobs and devastate our struggling economy

It would appear so, but I think they are just deluded

It’s all part of their socialist plot to redistribute wealth

I’m not sure it is a plot. They have already said they are going to redistribute wealth via the credit system, so why is this a “plot”?

Wind turbines are bad for your health…

Definitely true.

Rob Taylor June 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

Thankyou, Andy, for confirming that you share the beliefs of corrupt US politicians who accept lavish bribes from the fossil fuel industry in exchange for derailing any legislative attempt to mitigate the disastrous pollution caused by that industry.

So, what’s your payoff, Andy? Or is it purely coincidence that you turn up here, day after day, preaching the same denialist nonsense?

andyS June 6, 2014 at 10:40 am

I have been through your points one by one and answered them.
Perhaps you’d like to address which points you disagree with

Rob Taylor June 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm

andyS June 6, 2014 at 10:40 am

I have been through your points one by one and answered them.

Andy, did you not realise I was paraphrasing the paid-for climate denialism of US Republican wingnuts?

Here’s the link in full – try to pay attention this time:

bill June 5, 2014 at 10:55 am

OK, but I feel sure you left out the word ‘Marxist’ somewhere… ;-)

In andyworld it’s both a plot to redistribute wealth AND an attack on the poors – go figure!

Rob Taylor June 7, 2014 at 3:54 am

Whilst Andy has to stick to the Koch brothers script, here’s a Nobel Prize economist to explain what’s really going on:

…attacks on the new rules mainly involve the three C’s: conspiracy, cost and China. That is, right-wingers claim that there isn’t any global warming, that it’s all a hoax promulgated by thousands of scientists around the world; that taking action to limit greenhouse gas emissions would devastate the economy; and that, anyway, U.S. policy can’t accomplish anything because China will just go on spewing stuff into the atmosphere.

Ask right-wingers how the U.S. economy will cope with limited supplies of raw materials, land, and other resources, and they respond with great optimism: the magic of the marketplace will lead us to solutions. But they abruptly lose their faith in market magic when someone proposes limits on pollution — limits that would largely be imposed in market-friendly ways like cap-and-trade systems. Suddenly, they insist that businesses will be unable to adjust, that there are no alternatives to doing everything energy-related exactly the way we do it now.

…if and when wealthy countries take serious action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, they’re very likely to start imposing “carbon tariffs” on goods imported from countries that aren’t taking similar action. Such tariffs should be legal under existing trade rules — the World Trade Organization would probably declare that carbon limits are effectively a tax on consumers, which can be levied on imports as well as domestic production. Furthermore, trade rules give special consideration to environmental protection. So China would find itself with strong incentives to start limiting emissions.

The new carbon policy, then, is supposed to be the beginning, not the end, a domino that, once pushed over, should start a chain reaction that leads, finally, to global steps to limit climate change. Do we know that it will work? Of course not. But it’s vital that we try.

andyS June 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Can you specify which of my points are “denialist”?
Any one will do. Just start with one and explain what I am denying.

Thomas June 7, 2014 at 8:59 pm
Rob Taylor June 8, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Andy, I am about as interested in debating your pseudoscientific gibberish, as I would be in debating the Bible with a Christian fundamentalist.

I do find it interesting, however, that you endlessly repeat the talking points of right-wing US politicians who we know are paid by the pollutocrat Koch bothers and their ilk to deny climate science.

One day, your children will be asking why you did this to them – how will you answer, Andy?

Bob Bingham June 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

A tax on carbon will help us to move away from fossil fuels and is right on many fronts. CO2 in the atmosphere is at 400 parts per million and will already destroy life as we know it. Coal is a dirty fuel and we should not be using it at all unless there is no other procedure.
We should be weaning ourselves off oil as it is a diminishing resource and has a volatile price. If it suddenly leapt in price what would we do for transport? It is better to plan for the future while the economy is still good because when there is an oil crisis everything turns to custard.

andyS June 5, 2014 at 10:13 am

A tax on food will help people move away from food
A tax on hypertension medication will help people away from hypertension medication
A tax on anything will “help” people move away from that because they can’t afford it,

Not necessarily the kind of “help” that we want though.

Maybe we can come up with some alternatives that actually work, make them cheaper and then people will move to that option (which is the point Bjorn Lomborg has been making for years)

Thomas June 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Yes Andy! However, when society invests into gaining breakthroughs in the mass production of alternatives such as PV power, which, thanks to the German’s investment over the last decades, has now become so cheap that its competing with retail electricity prices in NZ, our little right wing denier troll here jumps up and down and cries foul too… So what do you want Andy? Investment into making alternatives cheaper (we have done that very successfully) or accounting honestly for the true cost of Fossil Fuels (we need to do this urgently)?
If you don’t believe that we already have alternatives that work very well, perhaps ask Noel for a tour of his solar PV system and check out his power bills.
You are a shocker Andy! Almost as bad as your ACT hero John Banks…

andyS June 7, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Solar is not a cheap alternative.
It is not actually an alternative to anything, since you still need conventional power sources at the times you need it most, namely at night and in the middle of winter.

Thomas June 8, 2014 at 2:31 pm

AndyS, how many times can you be shown to be wrong before you are perhaps learning to investigate what you are blabbering about before posting.

1) you are still stuck with the ‘all or nothing’ nonsense attack on Solar. Just because current solar technology can not provide everything you deride it. There is no one single magic bullet that will solve our problems.

2) you are saying that we need power most at night, however if you were to investigate you could find for example this Australian Report on the Average daily electricity usage profile (residential and SME) versus system load.
As you can see, the daytime demand of small and medium enterprises (SME) makes up the bulk of the daily demand and it is perfectly aligned with the solar generation potential.
Thus solar PV can make a significant contribution the total annual amount of CO2 release from a fossil fuel based economy by replacing dirty fuel with free solar radiation over significant parts of the daily demand curve.
And yes, you need standby capacity. However who says that we can count on energy on tap, as much and when we needed it, going forward in history. You and your denier choms simply do not get it that we are accustomed to a lifestyle that is extraordinary and entirely unsustainable.
You think just because the bank manager (Earth systems) have been dishing out almost interest free money to you in the past (cheap oil and gas) it will continue to do so or that you will get away with not repaying the debt eventually (accept the damage we are doing to the Earth climate and ocean systems). You are completely blind to all this like the proverbial mole….

andyS June 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Hi Thomas,
I am in the process of designing a new house and appreciate your thoughtful and insightful comments.

I will start randomly turning off the power at the mains in our current house just to get used to the new order.

Thomas June 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Clearly the adjective “idiotic” comes to mind readily when glancing over your comments…..

synonyms: stupid, silly, foolish, half-witted, witless, brainless, mindless, thoughtless, imprudent, incautious, irresponsible, injudicious, indiscreet, unwise, unintelligent, unreasonable; ill-advised, ill-considered, impolitic, rash, reckless, foolhardy;
absurd, senseless, pointless, nonsensical, inane, fatuous, ridiculous, laughable, risible, derisible;
informaldumb, dim, dim-witted, dopey, gormless, damfool, half-baked, hare-brained, crackbrained, pea-brained, wooden-headed, thickheaded, nutty, mad, crazy, dotty, batty, dippy, cuckoo, screwy, wacky;
informalbarmy, daft; informalglaikit; informaldumb-ass, chowderheaded; informaldotish;
antonyms: sensible

andyS June 8, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Your endless stream of abuse is very welcome and provides me with much amusement

noelfuller June 8, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Let’s see now? I dont turn off the mains else I would not export any power. However last year I did turn on the hotwater heater mid-may and off again late August. This year I am seeing if I can do even better. I sometimes switch on the water heater when there is extra solarPV power around to give it a boost before too much cloud builds up. For people who like numbers these events number as follows:

October 2013 = 1hr
Early November 2 events totaling 3 hrs
April 2014: Cyclone Ita 2 hrs, 30th 3 hrs
May 6th: 4.5 hrs – forgot it was on!
May 21 to 30th: 6 events most about 1 hour.
June to 8th: 2 events totalling 5 hrs.

Total power boost over 7-1/2 months 25.83 hrs
About 8 kWh would have been drawn from the grid for the hot water cylinder since mid november when the PV became operational. 1kWh came from the grid during today, probably a few more over the next few days. Today also the laundry was used twice, the large lawn was electrically mowed, the solar charged battery powered weed eater was used, several bouts of cooking occured., the solar powered water pump never faltered. We only exported 2 kWhrs. Looks to me that the sun is doing us very well, even on a poor day like today.

The larger (and smaller) solar powered bio-devices are all doing well. The scarlet bouganvillia usually flowers in December. This year it has kept a lot of its colour till now and over the last few days has broken into fresh bloom for the first time in its 40 negelected years. Just as the fijoa bonanza finished, the laden lemon and grapefruit trees began to come in and the guavas are still prolific despite the birds.

Altogether something to celebrate but I will concede that some inhouse power storage would have me smiling still more during the evenings, or the odd power cut, provided I’m not reflecting on our government’s absence of vision.

I was interested to note that Tesla has been responsible for a considerable fall in the price of lithium batteries and if it’s new super battery plant gets going the prospects for off-grid or for night time systems look promising. I regret I did not specify a hybrid inverter rather than grid -tie only, even if I did not invest in storage initially. I should have looked into that some more.

Thomas June 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Clearly as Bob and you can ascertain, solar PV is here. Its clearly superior to leaving the $10K in the bank, generates a significant amount of the power a home needs and will do so earning the owner way more than the money left in the bank!
Andy, your position is nuts.

Bob Bingham June 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm

The electric immersion water heater is a major power consumer and so I have fitted a cheap timer which drives a solenoid switch. This switches on the immersion every day at 1300 and stays on for two hours. The hot water lasts through to the next morning for showers.

andyS June 9, 2014 at 10:20 am

Currently we are evaluating various options for heating in our new house build. solar PV may be an option as we are in a sunny location. Solar hot water may also be a better alternative, as up to half your electricity can go into heating hot water.

Solar hot water has about 90% energy efficiency vs PV which is 15% I think.
Hot water also is its own storage system in a lagged tank.

A recent university of Canterbury study showed that the economic benefits of PV were marginal once you take compliance costs into account.

noelfuller June 9, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Doing things right always seems to get confused among the swings and roundabouts. I did not know I would even consider a PV system when I had the solar water heating installed to a retrofit 135 litre cylinder. A new cylinder would have been larger, storing heat for longer and it would also have been better insulated but a lot more costly. As it was I paid $5000 with quotes up to $9000, some of which were obviously padded. Now would I have spent that money if I had a 5kW PV system in view which for 9 months of the year would easily have kept the cylinder heated without any imported power? I would have gone for a 3 kW system except I expected to make better use of the power during the day charging an electric car. That seems to have fizzed out, possibly because so many other cars came on line in China before production began. Except in the winter months there is so much solar power available with respect to both PV and solar water heating that efficiency hardly comes into it – if it does not get used or exported it is wasted.

Given my cylinder, with extra lagging, with one other resident the lasting power of the cylinder goes like this: (the temperatures are those read mid cylinder at 18:00 hours)

50°C – get through the next day in summer but not in winter.
60°C get through the next day in winter, possibly the next two days in summer
70°C not seen since 5th April – get through 3 poor days.- be careful in the shower!
80°C not seen since 22 april
90°C not seen since January 2013, maybe next summer.

Except during cold snaps temperature loss from 50-60° during sleep time or cloudy periods, is roughly 0.4°C per hour at my place. These numbers would improve with better and larger cylinders but you can see that most of the solar energy is wasted during the heat of summer. In addition the solar heating won’t kick in until the collector is 10°C hotter than the bottom of the cylinder which might not be until 14:00 hrs during the warmer part of the year so unless you also use a heatpump to store the heat underground somewhere, or have rather higher usage, most of the heat in summer is wasted. Numbers change depending on the size of the household. If several showers are required in the morning the solar heater will kick in much earlier.

noelfuller June 9, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Oops – can’t get at it to correct – for 22nd April read 22nd March. Sorry about the repetitious use of ‘wasted’.

I should add that the ref to 90° was not actually recorded at the time. I simply remember about 3 occasions in Jan 13 when the mid afternoon temperature in the cylinder was 92-93 °C and the collector temp was in excess of 100°C !!!

Thomas June 9, 2014 at 5:37 pm

For Andy and his house: Many people these days will no longer advocate a solar HW system. It is costly both for the components and the installation when compared to a PV system.

It is much more useful to install a PV system in my mind as you can use the generated electricity in various ways. Nothing is ever wasted as you will be exporting when all needs are met in the house.
A solar HW system is hot to the max at perhaps noon in Summer with the rest of the day’s solar energy effectively being wasted during the most productive part of the year.

The higher efficiency in % of converted radiation of HW solar panels is not really that helpful as a measure any more, considering the deep drop in solar PV panel cost. In fact it has become uneconomical to chase higher efficiencies in PV if the cost increase is more than proportional. It is better to simply add more PV panel space at marginal extra cost after the inverter and main installation cost are factored in.

You need to work out how many kWh of energy you get over the course of a year for your $$ investment. PV wins hands down over HW solar at this stage and it is only going to get better going forward.

If you have the spare $8 to $10K for a good solar HW system, invest in a larger PV array instead.
Anyway that is the sensible outcome of looking at the numbers all up.

I would like to see your reference to the University of Canterbury study. It seems absurd. The cost of compliance??

I go with the people who have installed solar PV and their actual reported economic benefits. Those are significant I would think.

I would only advocate low cost vacuum tube HW collectors (Chinese) if they can be installed off the roof on a rack with no compliance cost and low install labor. Best in low pressure systems. Then the low price of these gives them an advantage over PV perhaps.

andyS June 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm

For Thomas, the link to the UC study is here:

noelfuller June 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Your analysis for Andy and my record obviously agree that at some point there is no advantage in having the Solar heater when the cost is considered as well as the extra space it takes up on the roof where PV panels could more usefully go. ( The pigeons gather under it too when there is really foul N to NE weather not just for shelter but for the extra 2-3°C – but they don’t vote – they leave me to wash up after them)

There is one point where I should correct you. Although the highest solar radiation is at noon the highest temperatures I have consistently observed to happen soon after 14:00 hours – maybe 14:15 approx. A bit analogous to air temps being highest about 15:00. The collector lag is because a pump circulates the water through the heater on the basis of temperature differential.

Over several fine days the maximum temperature also builds up in steps. My solar collector is oriented North with a pitch of 37 degrees. The PV pitch however is 17 degrees and the azimuth is about 43 degrees – good in summer but not so good in winter. However they are mostly tracking above prediction.

For prediction go to the PVwatts calculator but note the cautions.

There are also passive factors to be considered in the cooling or heating of a house. I recall Phillips constructing a passive solar house within the arctic circle (as a tech demonstration), a cousin of mine built a passive solar house near Paihia (Bay of Islands).

An architect mentioned to me that deciduous trees growing west to NW of the house can be of great value in shading the house in the late afternoon when that side of the structure goes on heating until about 18:00. In winter they lose their leaves and let the sun in when you want it most. Alas my mother planted evergreens in that location. Now they are big they largely do away with the need for cooling via the heat pump, whereas previously the lounge got so hot (pre heat pump) it was somewhat unusable even with big fans. The trees also break the force of the strong NWesterly preceeding a front.

Way back when I used to install and monitor lots of platinum resistance thermometers on bridges I became well aquainted with this heat build up in the west – a real issue for engineers and achitects.

noelfuller June 9, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Concerning compliance I also wondered what these costs are. With PV in Auckland and Thames where requirement for permits was scrapped just befor my system was installed the only remaining issue was acceptance of the inverter by the lines company and that is of course built into the cost of the inverter with respect to certification. The installers handled all that. Contact installed for free the metering. That may be charged directly by some providers or in some areas.

There were more direct compliance issues with the solar heater – inspector’s visit – roof reinforcing, plumbing alterations.

John ONeill June 11, 2014 at 12:49 am

Are you using the heat pump as your main winter heating Noel? Also, can you spot any drop in solar cell output if they heat up? If so, angling them for more direct light in winter but less heating in summer would even out your seasonal variation a little.

noelfuller June 11, 2014 at 8:19 am

Only used the heat pump a few times, chiefly for visitors, so far this year. Northerly winds, some passive solar storage, and a computer that is used too much plus thermal clothing have reduced the need much of the time. Hello! the sun is shining in right now!

I have not checked out panel temperature. Once upon a time I had all the continuous monitoring gear but not now – get more exercise I suppose.

It is certainly true that at least twice the pitch would even out the solar production but it was not really feasible. The solar heater is at 37° and the water pump panel is variable.

It seems ridiculous but after 141.4 mm of rain (23,200 litres across the roof) I have to get out the hose to remove the hibiscus petals and bougainvillea bracts stuck all over the panels. 141.4 mm rain is more than twice the dump from Cyclone Ita. Heard some debris clattering on the roof during the night bt it blew away again.

noelfuller June 12, 2014 at 12:23 am

Oops, not 141.4 mm but 121.4 mm and ~20,000 litres. Without my glasses I mistook a 5 for a 7 :(

Thomas June 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

For New Zealand here is a document detailing Auckland’s electricity demands:
Page 15 and 16 show the daily demand curves. The peaks align well with daily solar radiation with demand maxima during the day and demand minima at night.

For the data mining enthusiast: the EMI Website gives you the ability to see the NZ electricity demand and many other data sets for any day or period.
NZ, power demand curve is well suited a sizable Solar component, especially during summer, when the vast majority of our generation is demanded during daytime hours.

andyS June 10, 2014 at 8:48 am

The EA pdf shows that power consumption rises sharply at about 7am, declines slightly during the day, then tails off rapidly when most people go to bed
Weekend usage is less and has a noticeable dip in the middle of the day.(page 15)

These data are of no great surprise, then

What I find interesting is the Demand Side Management (DSM) discussed on page 22 etc.

NZ has a ripple switch system which allows for shaving off of peak load by cutting out hot water at times of very high demand for electricity. Users apparently don’t notice the difference and it saves on both power bills (lower tariffs) and extra power station requirements for peak load.

noelfuller June 10, 2014 at 5:48 pm

I looked through those pages too to P25. We live a solar day mostly. Breakfast about 9 a.m. any big cookup in the mid 4 hours for preference. However, the computer runs as much as 18 hours many days. If I’m out it is also from 9 a.m. (goldcard time) and unlikely to be in the evening.

Still those pages show a pretty solid demand throughout the day.

Bob Bingham June 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm

My electricity bill last month was $10.69. I invested $10,000 in panels on the roof and save $1500 a year. Best investment I have made and the saving is tax free because no money changes hands. I make more electricity than I use and the surplus is sold to pay for the grid costs.

Thomas June 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Brilliant! :-) Will do the same when we move next!

noelfuller June 10, 2014 at 6:07 pm

I made a list of worst days of the year so far for solar generation. There have been 3 so far including today with 1 kWh exported, yesterday no export and no more than 3 generated. The common factor is daylong heavy overcast, also rain. I also looked up the two cyclones passing, Lusi and Ita but they were quite reasonable generating days in contrast even though Ita rained a little more than happened the last two days.

andyS June 5, 2014 at 10:25 am

CO2 in the atmosphere is at 400 parts per million and will already destroy life as we know it

Do you have any evidence that CO2 will “destroy life as we know it”?

IPCC, for example?

Bob Bingham June 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm

We are already committed to a sea level rise of six meters over time and should see two meters this century. The economic consequences of this alone will destroy life as we know it. In addition to that will be an increase in temperature of 2C which will have a devastating effect on food production. We are living in a golden age but our grandchildren will not be so lucky. Try reading the World Bank ‘Turn up the Heat” This is no longer a scare story its real and the only people who are denying it are the fossil fuel companies and those who believe their media reports.

andyS June 5, 2014 at 10:07 pm

So you have just doubled the Tonkin and Taylor figure of one metre, who doubled the IPCC value of 50cm

Do we have any over takers?how about the man in the bile pullover at the back? 6 metres?

10 metres?

Any other offers?

Bob Bingham June 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm

The scientists on the ice wanted two meters but the models which are based on calculations can’t produce those sorts of figures, plus you probably saw the CEO of Exxon saying that they understood climate change and the company was involved in the drafting of the report.
What he did not say was that Exxon were there with a team of lawyers to make sure nothing was said that would damage Americas oil industry, so the report was watered down. It does not stop the ice melting.

andyS June 9, 2014 at 9:07 pm

” the scientist on the ice wanted two metres ”

Oh I see, this is an auction? Any advance on two metres? Four to the man at the back ….

Going, going….

Thomas June 6, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Wrong Andy, as usual and as always. You can set your clock by it… figuratively speaking. AndyS, like so many of the hard core deniers just make stuff up, post it as fact, in the remote hope that they somehow can create an alternative reality…
But the people are learning to check the facts and the shysters are getting caught out, time and again.

So then: Lets read the Tonkin Taylor report shall we?
Page 8 gives an overview over several outcomes projected by climate scientists, the maxima of SLR by 2100 to be expected range between 1.1 and 2m. I note that these were issued before 2010 and well before the latest bad news from Antarctica.

It would therefore seem conservative surely, to look at 1m only as a guidance for planing in NZ. The reality might turn out worse.
So far the deeper we understand and analyze the effects of AGW on ice melt, the worse it looked.

And any decent person will want to look at horizons well beyond 2100 and as Bob said, we have booked 6m SLR in the long run already. Nothing really that AndyS will want to consider.

Macro June 14, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Interesting comment on The Age on the Australian Carbon tax which “conservationist”
Tony Abbott wants to scrap.

“Two years after Australia started pricing carbon, the economy is growing above trend, unemployment has fallen and inflation is comfortably in the Reserve Bank’s comfort zone.
And now the government is promising to scrap carbon pricing next month with the assistance of Clive Palmer – and economic growth will fall and unemployment will rise.”

“You might remember that the sky was supposed to fall on July 1, 2012.”

“The reality is that the national accounts showed real GDP growth of a very nice 3.5 per cent in the year to the end of March.
The unemployment rate stayed at 5.8 per cent last month and 105,000 more jobs have been added over the past year.
Joe Hockey’s first budget says growth will fall to 2.5 and the unemployment rate will rise to 6.25 per cent. So much for axing the tax being the economy’s panacea.”

“It is of course ridiculous to blame the forecast downturn on replacing carbon pricing with a Micky Mouse “direct action” program – just as it was ridiculous to blame carbon pricing for the economy’s challenges two years ago.
What the numbers do show indicate is that our economy has handled the introduction of a carbon price with little effort.”

Macro June 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Now what were you saying andy about the proposed Carbon Tax?
The sky will fall?
People will end in penury?
It will trash the economy?
It won’t cut carbon emissions?

Macro June 14, 2014 at 5:03 pm
Thomas June 14, 2014 at 5:41 pm

So when will a revolt of the Australian people send the joker Abbott packing? What a hoot!

When the people elect an imbecile the outcome is predictable. One Farage after another….

However we can not afford to go on like that. Time is running out. We must educate ‘the other part of the population’, those who like to elect people like the before mentioned or the right wing nut cases in other parts of Europe of late. Let’s hope the first half of this century will not see a bad sequel of similar times last century…..It took a bad war to send the right wingers packing for a bit with their tails between their legs. Now the next generation of brick brains is angling for power. Beware!

bill June 15, 2014 at 1:19 am

Yep, the triumph of pseudo-populism means we have adorned Canberra with a bona-fide moron, to re-jig Mencken’s prediction about the consequences of the preening self-regard of the masses in the states.

But he is despised. The man really is an idiot. I was wrong when I said he’d be as unpopular as Gillard within 18 months – it was more like 8.

He’s making us all look like idiots on the international stage – deservedly so, I’d argue. A bit of shame might go a long way…

And the rest of the clique of smarmy private-school brats and cigar-chomping arrogant windbags are equally on the nose.

And, of course, amazingly enough, this gabble of sleazy reactionary ratbags are all freaking climate change deniers, to a man! Seriously; who’d have thunk it?!… (And yes, they are all freaking men! Guess who’s the Minister for Women?)

Thomas June 15, 2014 at 9:45 am

I guess I can guess….
The patriarchs probably secretly have some admiration for the jihadies who have ‘solved’ the ‘Woman’ issues once and for all. Deny them an education and stone them to death for adultery after they have been raped… all in the name of the merciful….
I hold some hope that one day the female half of the world will set and end to all this madness. Behold a few centuries of woman running the place might sort the species out. Then again there is Gina Reinhard… ……..

andyS June 15, 2014 at 8:32 am

The article states that emissions.dropped 0.8% in a year, and that some of this is attributable to closure of aluminium smelters,

The article doesn’t mention costs to business or consumers at all
So, I don’t really see the point of your comment.

Thomas June 15, 2014 at 9:56 am

Andy: For goodness sake: Cost to Consumers is NOT what we need to optimize! Cheap crap is not what wee need more of.

We need to optimize a pathway to the survival of our civilization into a post fossil fuel world! This must be the focus of our policy!

At the moment the true cost of our FF use are NOT at all factored into the consumers cost. You know this.

The true cost are written up as an enormous environmental debt to be payed by the coming generations! Your consumer cost oriented thinking is complete nonsense.

Besides, the main point of the discussion is not that the Australian Carbon tax has ‘solved’ the emissions problem, NO, the discussion is that despite the Tax and the reductions in emissions it part caused, the economy has been doing just fine and the cries of the Libertarians that ‘regulation’ would cause the sky to fall, this did not happen! The same outcome really as other regulations before such as catalytic converters or fuel efficiency standards…..

andyS June 15, 2014 at 10:23 am

I was actually looking for some evidence to support the statement that consumers aren’t being affected by the carbon tax, rather than argue the intrinsic merits of taxing consumption.

On the latter, we already have a consumption tax, which at 15% GST is on the low side from a global perspective. Many European countries have VAT at 25%

It is possible to create exclusions for fresh food,etc, if you wish to steer consumption towards a more “sustainable” position.
However, the flat rate of gst in NZ without exemptions makes tax compliance for business much easier than in Australia, whose GST rules are much more complex.

bill June 15, 2014 at 11:48 am

If andy doesn’t have an idea what the dire consequences of the Great Big New Tax are, nor of the scale of the tremendous boon impending upon our release from it, this is unsurprising, as neither do Abbott and co..

It must be remembered that these are the insouciant clowns who didn’t bother to do any modelling of the impact of a $7 Medicare co-contribution either, so it’s certainly consistent…

The GBNT was so clearly not the disaster the Hysterical Right – almost all of you these days – foretold (even proving to be a modest success in emissions terms!) that many wondered what the hell the Indignant Reactionaries were going to be able to wail about.

Thus the small ‘l’ liberals constantly undermine themselves; when you live in an evidence-based community it’s often hard to remember that those governed by their over-active amygdalas ain’t ever going to let the facts get in the way of the narcissistic thrills of a good horror story…

andyS June 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Despite this “transformation” of the Aussie economy away from resource extraction, thousands of NZers still head over the Tasman to find work in the mining industry.

bill June 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Thank you for your non sequitur. We will get back to you in due course.

Macro June 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm

True andy, emissions only dropped 0.8% (while GDP increased 3.5%).
But compare the fact that Aus is currently minus 2% of 1990 GHG emissions whilst NZ with it’s so called ETS is now 88% ABOVE 1990 emissions

Bob Bingham June 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Its popular in New Zealand to complain about the price of food so when I went to the UK I did a price comparison. Using major branded products to get a true comparison I had a basket of about 25 items and the result was that the New Zealand basket was more expensive by exactly the amount of the GST. Although putting GST on food is a bit unusual a high proportion of the population pay little or no income tax at all because they lose it in the business. At least this way every one pays a tax.

the biofarmer June 16, 2014 at 9:06 am

Noel and Thomas , I think that you will find this to be quite interesting, and open for discussion, even though you may not like what it signifies.
The release of a Theory of Climate Regulation that appears to work should be a matter of interest to everyone.

Jo Nova

Gareth June 16, 2014 at 9:31 am

Fails the sniff test, for two reasons:

1: Any alternative “control knob” to CO2 has to first explain why CO2 does not have the effect we expect (and observe). Remember that the radiative behaviour of CO2 is understood extremely well, or things like heat-seeking missiles wouldn’t work.

2: Looks like mathturbation.

the biofarmer June 16, 2014 at 11:57 am

Fair enough. But of course CO2 is not the only GHG and can never act in isolation. There is an awful lot of water up there, and it fluctuates.
Yes the mathematics is challenging , but fortunately the whole thing is in the public domain, and anyone with the necessary expertise can shoot it down . (when it is released that is).

A commendably restrained response from you .

The question is not whether CO2 has the predicted effects ; we all assume that it does Gareth .
The question is rather about whether the assumed positive feedback loops can be justified.

Don’t worry ; every man and his dog will try to shoot this down, and that is just what the proponents are wanting.

Early days.

Gareth June 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm

You need to read a little about the Clausius-Clapeyron relation. it is basic physics, and describes how warmer atmospheres must contain more water vapour.

Meanwhile, if wishes were ponies, Evans and Nova would be starting a stud. Interesting to note that Nova quotes Bob Carter and Monckton in support. In the real world, that’s as good a sign of nonsense as you are likely to find.

Macro June 16, 2014 at 3:40 pm

“There is an awful lot of water up there, and it fluctuates.”

***Rolling of eyes***
Where have we heard this all before?
Ah yes! It’s the the water vapour! Nothing to do with CO2… /sacr
Is this a new “discovery” bio?

the biofarmer June 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm

” Nothing to do with CO2…”

Do you know of anybody who says that?

Macro June 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Yes bio – it’s in 101 “Basics of AGW denial theory” taught on-line by Nova and co.

bill June 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Ah, yes, one of your key journals. Number 2s indeed!

Still slaying skydragons. You lot keep claiming – self righteously – to have moved on from all this, but then like a dog returning…

andyS June 16, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Heat seeking missiles work by infra red detection.
How do you go from here to CO2 being the “control knob”?

Gareth June 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Because the development of those missiles (in the 1950s) was one of the key drivers for development of a detailed understanding of the behaviour of all wavelengths of radiation in the atmosphere. See the section on Basic Radiation Mathematics in Spencer Weart’s great history of climate science.

bill June 16, 2014 at 1:05 pm

That comments thread is priceless. The po-faced solemnity of it all: indeed, let this wise conclave gathered here now determine for all time how many angels might dance upon the head of a pin!

Do you really imagine this is going to amount to anything, Bio?

the biofarmer June 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm

“Do you really imagine this is going to amount to anything, Bio?”

I’ll assume that yours is not a rhetorical question Bill.
Yes I do.

Gareth June 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Best laugh of the day so far. Well done bio.

the biofarmer June 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Happy to oblige. The idea that it would come to absolutely nothing was so obviously wrong. Bill’s question was so general that I could only answer in the affirmative.

bill June 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

What the? Is this just a dreary rhetorical game – you know, it didn’t amount to absolutely nothing because look: a whole lotta blogwafflin’s goin’ on – or do you really imagine this stuff has legs? I’m genuinely amused.

the biofarmer June 17, 2014 at 6:05 am

” Is this just a dreary rhetorical game –”

It’s your show Bill;you say.
If you have a precise question , I’ll answer it.

bill June 17, 2014 at 11:37 am

Now you’re just being evasive, Bio. How hard can it be to answer the question ‘do you really imagine this stuff has legs’?

Still, if one’s been caught out defending such a turkey, a convenient bout of incomprehension may well go a long way…

andyS June 17, 2014 at 11:58 am

Presumably, studying the work at hand will determine whether it has merit.

Why decide beforehand?

the biofarmer June 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Just say what you mean by “has legs”.

Macro June 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm

“Presumably, studying the work at hand will determine whether it has merit.”

Have, and it doesn’t.

That is why bill asks bio why he thinks it has.. other than the fact that Ms Nova says so.

bill June 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm

No Bio, you’re right; I am, indeed, asking you if you believe it’s in possession of limbs suitable for walking or standing. Who could imagine otherwise? Carry on.

bill June 18, 2014 at 11:58 am

Oh Bio, Bio, whither are you skulking?

Perhaps if we offer you some more gold nuggets from your new favourite journal you’ll be enticed?

the biofarmer June 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm

So you mean , will it be useful as a model?
Yes, to the extent that it advances our knowledge of climate mechanisms , and allows us to develop an estimate of ECS. That’s the number that we don’t currently have.

Gareth June 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Sorry bio, but you are talking complete nonsense. We have a great deal of knowledge about equilibrium climate sensitivity. You could start by reading the IPCC – but that might be too much of an effort.

You stick to clutching at straws, and I’ll keep you on moderation for breaching comment policy.

bill June 16, 2014 at 2:54 pm


All claustrophobically entombed in the bunker; the enemy may be closing in on all sides, but all the faithfull stalwarts understand that just as soon as the promised super-weapon is deployed the tide of the war will turn permanently in their favour… It will!

You are ridiculous. Do come back when Nova and co. manage to prove me wrong. The sound you’re not hearing is me holding my breath…

andyS June 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I’m sure that Dana et al will debunk this in due course.
If they can be bothered, of course

After all, our president Baracco Bermer has stated that denying climate change is like saying that the moon is made of cheese

bill June 16, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I think his minders rather botched that one: ‘like denying the moon landings’ would surely have worked better.

I rather suspect Dana and co. have bigger fish to fry, but if The Murdochracy / GWPF fancy it for chum I guess they’ll get around to it.

Macro June 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Man you can drive a bus through that “thesis” it is so full of holes! And the “author” – why one David Evans – enuf said!
Just to pick one little “highlight”:

“Speed freaks — skip to Figure 5 and 6 for the most important action! Look at the spike down at 11 years. See how it happens in all the datasets. (Figure 6 was the moment when Bob Carter sat up dead straight in his chair).”

” We did not attempt to pick a “best” empirical record, but instead tried to find the spectrum of TSI that best fits nearly all of the main TSI datasets. We only care about the amplitudes here, because the phases of the sinusoids cannot be reliably determined from the climate datasets.”

Notice anything here? Carter and de F did it in their so called ENSO “article”

I thought Evens was supposed to have some background in statistics – obviously he has – the use and abuse of such.

This so called show pony falls at the first hurdle.

the biofarmer June 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Make sure that you let them know Macro. You might be the only one to spot that.

Macro June 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm

They have been informed previously of their mis-use and abuse of statistics bio – many times – the problem is they are so keen to prove that CO2 has nothing to do with AGW that they are (to be generous) unaware that they commit these obvious but elementary and fundamental sins (Others might say I’m being overly gracious here- but I truly suspect that is the case). However, Carter is a serial offender as I have previously pointed out – I really don’t think he understands too much at all.
So no – I am not going to point this out to them – others might but the whole thing is a crock anyway and spending anymore time on it is simply a waste of time.

SimonP June 18, 2014 at 9:28 am

Did you actually read that stuff Bio?
Evans uses a Fourier Transform to try and relate Total Solar Irradiance with temperature. He then argues that the reason that there is no signal for solar variation is because there is a filter removing it. This notch filter is generated by a mysterious Force X which they hypothesise is due to the changing of the polarity of the Sun’s magnetic field every sunspot cycle. The mechanism is unclear but there is some hand-waving about how the polarity might affect albedo or cloud formation.
The accepted theory is that solar variation (< 0.1%) is so small that it is swamped by natural variation. The warming over the past century is due to increased concentration of greenhouse gases.
Which do you think is the more credible hypothesis?

andyS June 18, 2014 at 10:47 am

Lubos Motl is fairly critical of this theory


the biofarmer June 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

An interesting link. Especially the final two paragraphs.

Macro June 19, 2014 at 10:49 am

Now been removed andy – I wonder why? Didn’t ascribe to the party line?

the biofarmer June 19, 2014 at 11:27 am

That would be “subscribe” I think.

bill June 19, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Good grief; read your own comment immediately below! (You know, Bio, not ‘getting’ these little digs could be a sign of cognitive decay. Perhaps you should see someone? ;-) )

the biofarmer June 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Gosh!. Now how did I miss that. :-)

the biofarmer June 20, 2014 at 7:01 am

Lubos withdrew it himself ; he’s an honest player. You can read about it, and see why he had to withdraw.

the biofarmer June 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Looks like you have read too much into it.
X is described . but not ascribed.

bill June 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Sorry, other parties may have ‘read too much into it’?! That’s another replacement Irony Meter you owe me…

Macro June 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm

“X is described . but not ascribed.” lol
Maybe read andy’s link..
Mind you the whole thing is all “fluff” from start to finish.

the biofarmer June 19, 2014 at 6:45 am

David Evans has analyzed the black box system that is effectively “Sunlight In, Temperature Out”, and found a notch, a delay, and a low pass filter. The problem then is to work out their order and to fill in any other bits needed by the model.

bill June 19, 2014 at 10:29 am

Talk about ‘beyond parody’! You really possess not the slightest skepticism (if it suits your ideological purposes), do you, Bio?

Just like your mates.

the biofarmer June 19, 2014 at 11:25 am

Relax Bill, it’s just the pursuit of knowledge. Nothing to worry about.

Macro June 19, 2014 at 10:56 am

You are for real aren’t you bio – I mean you really do believe this stuff? Despite all evidence to the contrary, and the fact that solar variation, being less than 1/1000th of the total, is so small that it is swamped by natural variation? Your credulity is astounding.

the biofarmer June 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

“believe this stuff?”

You made that up obviously. I’m not sure what it is that you refer to as “stuff”.
I sure do believe that scientific enquiry is a good thing, and I’m especially in favor of theories that are testable and falsifiable.

So I’m not sure what all the ‘tut-tutting” is about.

Macro June 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

“I sure do believe that scientific enquiry is a good thing, and I’m especially in favor of theories that are testable and falsifiable.”

and yet!!!

The first thing these clowns do is to cherry pick their data – then they remove any trend – then they stuff up the maths (despite the advice of Moti who then washes his hands of it), and you have the effrontery to come on here and say Evan’s “theory” is worth further consideration! Unbelievable!

bill June 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

And let’s not forget this extraordinary Dunning-Krugerism from upthread:

it advances our knowledge of climate mechanisms , and allows us to develop an estimate of ECS. That’s the number that we don’t currently have.

The hubristic complacency has gone off scale! What you actually mean is ‘that’s the number we don’t like‘; then the statement makes sense.

(Leaving aside the obvious point that we’re only ever going to get a balance of probabilities figure derived from multiple studies for ECS; we have that already, of course, but you’ve simply chucked it down the memory hole…)

the biofarmer June 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Yes you are right Bill: I should have said “refine our estimates of ECS”. it would be surprising indeed if the IPCC were not devoting quite a bit of effort to doing exactly that.

Thomas June 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Bio: You do not refine anything by throwing scientific nonsense into the discussion Bio. However you might add to the confusion of the gullible, which probably was the intention…..

the biofarmer June 20, 2014 at 6:59 am

I am simply referring to the fact that there is a range of values for ECS and no preferred figure (IPCC).
It makes a big difference for policy development if the ECS is at one end of the range rather than the other, because the range is so wide.
But you already know that . It’s unclear why you think that it doesn’t matter that there is no precision.

Gareth June 20, 2014 at 8:49 am

Nothing – repeat, nothing – that Evans is doing or has done is any way going to improve our understanding of climate sensitivity. It’s mathturbation, pure and simple. See Stoat for more.

Ian Forrester June 20, 2014 at 11:01 am

Biofarmer shows that he knows absolutely nothing about ECS, statistics or climate science by uttering this one sentence:

I am simply referring to the fact that there is a range of values for ECS and no preferred figure (IPCC).

This is wrong, wrong and wrong again. ECS is shown by all the scientists who have studied it as a bell shaped curve with the tails having very low probability (<5%) and the belly of the curve showing highest probability of around 3.0 K per doubling.

Why do deniers like BF keep on showing their ignorance of science? It just shows how nasty they are since they probably know that they are wrong but still want to obfuscate and confuse which is the MO of deniers everywhere.

andyS June 20, 2014 at 11:20 am

Ian Forrester, your statement about climate sensitivity is not true. There are a number of studies that have a modal value (i.e the peak of the curve) at around 1.2 degrees, and some that have a mode higher (3 degrees and higher)

The IPCC specifically state in AR5 Summary for Policymakers that the range is 1.5-4.5 degrees with no central estimate given.

“Deniers” repeat these statements because that is what the IPCC state

Macro June 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for the link to stoat Gareth – think I’ve found a long lost acquaintance from boyhood! Unlike Evans a real rocket scientist. He left NZ for post grad study at MIT and subsequent work at NASA on the space program. He comments on the “X factor”

“…., they’re about creating an alternative reality that can fool the unscientific. That’s all, but that’s enough, and they know exactly what they are doing.”

bill June 20, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Ah, yes, the One True Denier Discovery; you can carry on the form of scientific debate even if you’ve no meaningful content to insert into it.

Then you can use uninformed – or outrightly reactionary – media outlets to play up this Potemkin dialectic, yielding satisfying levels of FUD and consequent inaction.

And these people are permanently altering the course of history, Dear Reader, in a manner unlikely to be appreciated by your descendants…

If you really have a mind to discover what we actually KNOW about climate change – i.e. you’re neither andy nor Bio – here’s registered Republican Kerry Emmanuel from April this year delivering a presentation entitled just that.

The rest is just tendentious noise.

andyS June 20, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Bill, while you are bagging me in the comments, note that I haven’t actually made any observations about the Evans theory, other than to link to the (now defunct) Motl critique

Ian Forrester June 21, 2014 at 7:16 am

andyS is spewing nonsense once again. I referred to scientific papers not the IPCC report. It is too bad that political interference in IPCC reports obfuscates the science. However, my comment about a bell shape curve with the most likely value in the middle is perfectly correct. It shows that BF’s statement that he considers all values between 1.5 and 4.5 K to be equally likely to be absolutely wrong, showing up his ignorance of statistics ans probability.

Why are you so dishonest in your attempts to spew out misinformation and obfuscation? Why do you never read or cite actual science papers only the nonsense put out by your heroes at Bishop Shill, GWPF, etc? Does not say much good about your character, that’s for sure.

andyS June 21, 2014 at 8:47 am

Ian Forrester,

It doesn’t say much about my character when I quote directly from the IPCC does it?

Are we actually from the same planet?

andyS June 21, 2014 at 9:10 am

Ian Forrester, yes the typical climate sensitivity graph is an asymmetric bell curve, where the peak of the curve represents the most likely value. I am not disputing that. My point, which you seem at pains to distort, is that there are several studies that have different centre peak values, that range from just over one degree to above three degrees

The ones at just over one degree typically have sharper peaks, I.e are better constrained that the ones at 3 degrees.

These facts are easily checked, and if you continue to call into question my character based on this then you have issues.

bill June 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

Yes, andy, we all know there is a small number studies whose results you prefer; but what does a meta assemblage of ECS estimates reveal? Just what you describe, with a peak right where you don’t like it…

(At least you can discern it! Bio’s brain apparently simply filters out things he’d rather not know…)

( (Oh, and I love the idea that the more constrained curves – because, they’re, like, limiting the range of potential sensitivity, duh! – must be inherently more accurate… because you like the result!) )

andyS June 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

The point I am trying to make about sensitivity is best shown by the graph at top left


I don’t know that there is a mathematical justification for taking an “average” of these studies

bill June 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Yeah, one wonders why anyone ever bothers to do meta-studies – one simply can’t imagine how an assemblage of probabilities derived from varying studies using different methods and/or varying parameters could enable us to get more information about the most probable outcome!…

Well maybe this famous Republican thinks it might. WARNING: danger of learning something.

(WARNING x 2: before jumping on his comments about model’s projections you might first wish to consider where paleo studies leave you…)

Ian Forrester June 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

More misinformation from andyS, what a surprise (sarc). If he was honest in his discussions he would have read the papers from which he makes his erroneous statements. He shows a plot of ECS derived by a number of different groups. He gets all excited because he sees that one set of data shows ECS of 1K per doubling. However he obviously didn’t read the paper providing that number since that number was derived without using any attribution from anthropogenic sulphate aerosols.

Here is a quote from the Andronova 2001 paper which used that ECS:

Our results show indelibly that the pdf and cdf for AT2x very strongly depend on which radiative forcing factors have actually been at work during the period of instrumental temperature measurements. If one were to make a “best estimate” of this, one would likely choose T3 which does include ASA forcing

The scenario giving ECS of 1K (T1 in the paper) did not include numerous forcings.

andyS, if you want to be taken seriously then you should read actual scientific papers not the fluff stuff you normally read.

andyS June 21, 2014 at 2:23 pm

andyS, if you want to be taken seriously then you should read actual scientific papers not the fluff stuff you normally read

You mean the fluff I read in the IPCC reports?

andyS June 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm

According to Ian Forrester, my quoting the IPCC is “misinformation”

Actually, I wasn’t getting “all excited” about one paper (Andronova 2001) that is apparently misquoted in the IPCC report.

I was presenting a graph to support my case that there are a number of studies from varying sources that show a range of CS estimates

Another such paper is Forster 2011 (shown in grey in the figure)
Although this graph has a shorter and fatter peak, the original paper that didn’t have the prior probability distribution retro-fitted to it also had a prominent spike at just over one degree.

No doubt, this will be portrayed as “misinformation” by the party faithful, yet again.

Maybe I should go to Vegas. I’ve never been there. Sounds dreadful but the Red Rocks park has some great rock climbing in it.

bill June 21, 2014 at 11:58 pm

I was presenting a graph to support my case that there are a number of studies from varying sources that show a range of CS estimates

Huh? Rather the point we’re making, surely? But you only like the ones at the left end of the chart…

Ian Forrester June 22, 2014 at 2:27 am

andyS is so disingenuous he thinks he is smart but every time he says something it just reinforces our opinion that he is being disingenuous and dishonest. Of course I am not saying that the IPCC reports are fluff. It is your continual seeking misinformation from your denier sites and misinterpreting and misrepresenting the information provided by the science which is fluff. I would have thought that someone of your age would be long past telling such lies and facing up to what is actually happening in the world today in the case of AGW. Have you no conscience or regard for others?

andyS June 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

Ian Forrrester, I haven’t linked to any “denier sites” . I have presented a graph from the IPCC, which you seem to take exception to

If I can’t even present so called “consensus” information without you shouting at me, then what is the point?

I might as well walk away and watch your bizarre cult self implode.

Ian Forrester June 22, 2014 at 10:15 am

andyS stop your lying! I never said you cited denier sites. However, everyone who understands climate science can see that everything you say is what is reported on denier sites. Stop being so bloody dishonest, you are just showing what a despicable person you are.

More lies, you claim that I take exception to a graph in the IPCC AR5 report. That is just more of your dishonesty. What I take exception to is your dishonest characterization of the graph. If you were not so ignorant of English interpretation you would see that there is a vast difference.

Why is this poster allowed to post such dishonesty, especially when he is distorting what other posters have said?

andyS June 22, 2014 at 10:59 am

Ian Forrester writes

What I take exception to is your dishonest characterization of the graph

What did I write that was a dishonest representation? I just linked to it and pointed out (correctly) that the lower estimates of CS have sharper spikes.
If there is something missing from this interpretation that the IPCC are hiding from us, then it isn’t my problem

bill June 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

Also, tedious person, no-one is ‘taking exception’ to the IPCC charts, they’re taking exception to your willful misunderstanding of them.

As you well know.

I suppose if you can half-convince yourself that that’s what’s happening here you can half-convince yourself that it’s fair enough NZ taxpayers should foot the bill for your mates’ folly, too…

andyS June 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

Bill writes they’re taking exception to your willful misunderstanding of them.

Which part of the graphs am I wilfully misunderstanding?

Please explain

bill June 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

This is both disingenuous and tedious. Stop it.

Rob Taylor June 16, 2014 at 11:37 am

The fossil fuel fightback is well underway – the pollutocrats’ mantra is no longer “Renewables kill!”, but “Kill renewables!”

Widespread caps on emissions would choke the exports of fossil fuels and minerals that have underpinned Australia’s modern prosperity, and Abbott bristles at the thought of leaving vast remaining reserves of coal in the ground.

“I can think of few things more damaging to our future,” he told industry executives last month. “It is our destiny in this country to bring affordable energy to the world.”

By affordable energy, Abbott is primarily referring to coal and gas. By contrast, clean renewable alternatives are under siege.

The Coalition’s first Budget last month wielded an axe to agencies and initiatives that have propelled the growth of a A$20 billion ($21.7 billion) clean energy sector, which employs 24,000 people.

The PM is also desperate to abolish the previous Labor Government’s carbon tax, and is confident of securing required support from incoming senators led by balance-of-power MP and billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer. He is a key player in massive new mining projects approved by the Abbott Government, and the development of one of the world’s biggest coal ports near the Great Barrier Reef.

Gov. John Kasich just signed into a law a bill that freezes Ohio’s renewable energy mandate for the next two years, making Ohio the first state to make negative progress on its green energy goals.

SB 310 removes the requirement, first set in 2008, for utilities to add renewables to their energy mix. It sounded like a good idea then — it passed almost unanimously — and has done pretty well for Ohio since: clean energy’s brought 25,000 jobs and at least $1 billion in private sector investment, and cut electricity rates by 1.4 percent, resulting in over $230 million in cumulative savings.

Unfortunately for jobs, savings and the environment, conservative, libertarian and Koch-affiliated groups like the Heartland Institute, Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council have made renewables a political target.

“The fossil fuel and utility industry has been caught off guard by the rise of cheap, clean energy, and over the past 18 months they’ve responded in a really big way across the country,. We’re seeing the results of that campaign now in Ohio.”

We must fight these greedy, stupid and genocidal bastards.

andyS June 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

When you refer to the rise of “cheap, clean energy” I presume you are referring to natural gas?

It is this that is pushing down the cost of energy in the USA, and also, as it happens, CO2 emissions

andyS June 16, 2014 at 11:50 am
Rob Taylor June 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Andy, do try to keep up – methane emissions from fracking have been grossly underestimated, making it dirtier than coal…

An Executive of a major shale gas development company has conceded what scientists have been saying for years: global shale gas development has the potential to wreak serious climate change havoc.

Best known for his company’s hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) activity, Southwestern Energy Executive Vice President Mark Boling admitted his industry has a methane problem on the May 19 episode of Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously” in a segment titled, “Chasing Methane.”

“I think some of those numbers, they certainly concern me,” Boling says on the show.

andyS June 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Oh, thanks for pointing that out. The evil frackers have been caught out!

If only we could install more than 4% of bird-blenders in the USA, we could live in a beautiful low-carbon economy


andyS June 17, 2014 at 8:07 am

I guess the better solution is the diesel generator one that the Brits are going for as they transition to a low carbon diesel powered economy

Beaker June 17, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Oh andyS you twit, you have already had it pointed out to you that the diesel generators are replacing frequency response (industrial shut down of supply) because thanks to broadband their response is as fast and they charge less.
Why do you stick with your guesses even when the shortcomings have been pointed out. Is it just because your guesses support your agenda whereas the evidence stubbornly refuses to.

andyS June 17, 2014 at 6:57 pm

These diesel generators that I refer to are the ones that Ed Davey is paying businesses to turn on if and when the national grid can’t supply the peak load.

The government will pay companies to sign up for the scheme, and then again when they actually have to deploy the diesel generators.

Do you think that large arrays of diesel generators is good for the economy and environment?

I appreciate your considered opinion in this matter Mr Beaker

Beaker June 18, 2014 at 8:08 am

“These diesel generators that I refer to are the ones that Ed Davey is paying businesses to turn on if and when the national grid can’t supply the peak load.” Yes, but they are REPLACING the equivalent existing function of paying businesses to shut down energy intensive applications if and when the grid can not supply the peak load. Its called frequency response, and is in effect an industrial scale equivalent of your own humble domestic emersion heater ripple switch.
I am delighted to hear that you appreciate (through gritted teeth?) my considered opinion on this matter. But I would perhaps believe you appreciated it if you did not carry on repeating these zombie arguments after the gaping holes in them had been pointed out to you. You see andyS, a twit you may be, but I doubt that you are actually thick AND unlucky to continually get this wrong. It very much appears to deliberate on your part. You have stridently denied being paid to post up this claptrap, so what drives you to push reactionary arguments that you know don’t hold water. Is it some sort of grim obsessive compulsive disorder compelling you? If so it must be exhausting…


andyS June 18, 2014 at 8:13 am

I do not appreciate your opinion. I was being sarcastic. I find your continual sneering and insults very tiresome.

The reason, as I am sure you know, that businesses are being paid to switch off is because there isn’t enough capacity in the grid due to lack of investment in new plant

If you seriously think that paying businesses to run diesel generators is a good idea, then I am at a loss for words.

andyS June 18, 2014 at 9:22 am

This article covers the issue I describe

Beaker June 19, 2014 at 10:50 am

“The reason, as I am sure you know, that businesses are being paid to switch off is because there isn’t enough capacity in the grid due to lack of investment in new plant.” Back into your La La La not listening routine I see. Calling you a twit is just about the only statement you appear to notice. We still have more dispatch able generation on the grid than the highest peak demand, and then we have the renewable generation on top of that. Businesses have been paid to switch off (short periods) for decades, its called frequency response, I told you about it again in the reply above. When you claim that businesses are being paid to switch off because of lack of capacity, you are just telling lies, do you like telling lies? As for lack of investment, you were just banging on about massive investment in new modular diesel plant a moment ago. Your Telegraph article is another funny one, the headline at odds with the NG bod pointing out that planned load shedding (as opposed to momentary frequency response) would be (note the future tense) a last resort behind adding interconnectors and more storage (AKA ‘investment’). If it comes to pass that operators of existing thermal plant sit on their hands instead of replacing capacity at the end of its life (because renewables undercut them and derailed their gravy train) then all we need to do is go to a new market arrangement for the diminishing requirement for thermal plant capacity. Instead of paying for the generator through lots of high marginal rate generation, we will pay for the generator to be there, and a bit more for the occasional fuel used for generation. Leaving aside the benefits of cutting CO2, it is better to have low marginal cost renewable generation and an insurance payment, then to have lots and lots of high marginal cost fossil fuel generation.

andyS June 19, 2014 at 10:57 am

Beaker, please take a breath, or use some punctuation

I posted a link to a Telegraph article that showed that businesses will be paid to switch off during periods of high demand.

Are you saying that this is not a new phenomenon? The head of the National Grid has stated that businesses should expect power cuts and unreliable grid operations as the economy ‘decarbonises”

Am I lying when I quote these people?

andyS June 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm

The reason the large power stations are being phased out is partly because of the EU large combustion plant directive.

It does seem a bit odd that Britain has done nothing to replace ageing infrastructure (and thereby facing either blackouts and/or skyrocketing power prices) when Germany is busy building new coal-fired power stations

When the power does eventually fail, Beaker, will you remain in the UK or try to find another country to live in?

Beaker June 20, 2014 at 12:37 am

“Are you saying that this is not a new phenomenon? The head of the National Grid has stated that businesses should expect power cuts and unreliable grid operations as the economy ‘decarbonises”” If you read it again you will see that power cuts (planned shut down of specific businesses in return for compensation) were described as a last resort. Interconnectors and storage were highlighted by this chap the telegraph interviewed, but they went with the alarmist power cut headline. Oh dear. Dishonest or accidentally and consistently wrong in a specific direction, take your choice.
“Are you saying that this is not a new phenomenon? ” If you can not or will not understand the difference between frequency response (an industrial version of your ripple switch) and power cuts due to lack of capacity, why do you even comment upon UK grid operation. You keep harking to a Telegraph article where the only part of it that supports your claim is the sensationalist spin, not what the bod from National grid actually said. Twit!
“It does seem a bit odd that Britain has done nothing to replace ageing infrastructure (and thereby facing either blackouts and/or skyrocketing power prices) when Germany is busy building new coal-fired power stations” Hmm, large fossil fuel plant that has been very profitable burning lots of fuel generating lots of power. Why have the owners chosen to close the plant after giving it one last thrash up to the deadline, rather than investing in cleaning up the plant to meet the (non CO2) emissions regulations. Could it be because they know that it will generate progressively less and less as renewables eat into its generation, undercutting it, being renewable and cleaner also. Come on andyS, Think! Was it you or johnD who used to bang on about all those new German coal generators, ignoring time and again that they were not building as much as the oft repeated claim, and the plants were replacements for older, less efficient and dirtier coal capacity being shut down, thanks no doubt to the EU large combustion plant directive.
The only thing that would encourage me to leave the UK is having a minister in charge of planning who tears up inspectors recommendations to deny consent for wind turbines, just because they are scared of NIMBY spin in the Telegraph/Mail being popular with UKIP NIMBYs and their hard of thinking fellow travellers. Don’t get me wrong, things are not as egregiously bad here as in Australia at the moment, but there are plenty in our government who are happy to throw evidence under the bus to appease ignorance.


Beaker June 23, 2014 at 7:40 am

Anyone interested in a more mature reporting of the UK grid operators plans for business shutdown can go and look at this weeks New Scientist. Funny after the shlock andyS posted up from the Telegraph, Grid operators are looking into paying for energy curtailment to lower peaks. An example, rewarding supermarkets if they agree to cut their refrigeration for a short period at the early evening demand spike. As an added benefit it will help push for an end to the open topped supermarket freezer, proof positive that electricity is not too expensive. Will some supermarkets turning down their refrigeration for 20min during a demand spike (cheaper than the eye watering marginal cost of the peaking plant) be bad for the UK economy? Only in NIMBY invective.

andyS June 23, 2014 at 8:30 am

[Counterfactual wind-trolling removed. GR]

bill June 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Speaking of intractably dumb, the assemblage of denialist commentary beneath the must-see photo-essay on the retreat of Alaska’s glaciers – taken from the newsfeed above – is also a gem.

Rob Taylor June 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Indeed, Bill, but not even Fox News can fool all of the people all of the time:

In an Op-Ed titled “It’s not censorship by ignoring those denying climate change,” Arizona Daily Sun editor Randy Wilson wrote:

Yes, journalism is supposed to give voice to the powerless, but that’s not the same as allowing a small minority to filibuster what is arguably the most pressing problem on the planet.

Does denying a seat at the journalistic table to climate change deniers amount to censorship and political correctness, in the sense that unpopular opinions are being silenced? As I am wont to tell some letter writers, you are entitled to your opinions, but not your facts. Let’s save our breath and get on with saving the planet.

CTG June 21, 2014 at 8:59 am

As an aside, here are some numbers that put andy’s “bird-chopper” claims into context. A study into human-related bird deaths in Canada showed that the leading human causes of bird mortality are:

Feral/Domestic cats: 100 to 350 million per annum
Building windows: 25 million p.a.
Electricity transmission lines: 25 million p.a.
Vehicle collisions: 4.6 million p.a.
Forestry: 2.09 million p.a.
Mowing/agriculture: 1.7 million p.a.
Trawling and offshore oil/gas: 50,000 p.a.
Oil & gas mining/exploration: 41,000 p.a.
Wind turbines: 28,000 p.a.

I eagerly await andy’s campaign to abolish windows on the basis that they are bird-bashers…

andyS June 21, 2014 at 9:17 am

Of course windows are a big problem for Golden and Sea Eagles.

Based on your curious line of reasoning, I will also assume that we shouldn’t bother about a bit of seismic exploration on the health of 55 Maui dolphins because set netting is a much bigger problem for them.

Rob Taylor June 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Listen up, Andy, and you may learn something from the discussion of wind energy on Kim Hill’s radio show this morning.

I’ll post the link as soon as it become available.

Meanwhile, how’s your op-ed for the Washington Times coming along?

The Koch brothers-affiliated, global warming-denying Heartland Institute is gearing up for its big climate change conference next month in Vegas. And to get everyone excited, they’re sponsoring an extra-special advertorial section in the Washington Times. Anyone with an interest in disputing the scientific consensus on climate change — and $10,000 to spare — is welcome to contribute their thoughts.

andyS June 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm

The radio NZ interview about wind is here

I listened to about 6 minutes of this content free session.

Most of his statements were completely wrong.

Gareth June 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm

No more wind comments *from anyone* please. They’re OT in this (admittedly laxly moderated) thread. I’ll do an open thread next week where the wind can blow free – as it always does, of course, unlike coal and oil…

Rob Taylor June 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm

As a general comment, please let me point out that, if Andy says something is “completey wrong”, then that thing is probably well worth considering!

Rather like Bismarck’s aphorism, “Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied“…

Thomas June 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

President Obamas speech at a graduation ceremony at UC-Irvine and his comments on Climate Change, which were central to his address, are very well worth listening to!

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