The odds are much worse than 50-50

by Gareth on February 1, 2011

Nick Smith, NZ’s climate change minister, told the Bluegreens forum in Akaroa last weekend that the government was considering gazetting their “50 by 50″ target for carbon emissions — a 50 percent cut in emissions by 2050. That target has been National Party policy since before the last election, so the only real news is that the government is considering making it “official”, in the terms of the Climate Change Response Act 2002. Smith continues to represent this target as challenging (which is true), and in line with other countries commitments (which is less so), but where it really falls down is by being completely out of line with what is actually required if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change in the future.

The last time the government considered emissions targets was in the run up to the Copenhagen conference in 2009. At the time, I posted an analysis of global and national emissions targets — The First Cut Is The Deepest. It still remains valid today, made more piquant by the sense of impending changes of climate and the notable extreme weather events that have accumulated since. Here’s my simplified cheat sheet…

  • The de facto international target of limiting atmospheric greenhouse gas load to 450 ppm CO2e only gives a 50 per cent chance of staying under 2ºC of warming.
  • Limiting warming to 2ºC does not guarantee climate change will not be damaging.
  • There’s credible evidence to suggest that we should limit total greenhouse gas load to 350 ppm CO2e if we are to retain a planet with ice at both poles.
  • CO2 has just passed 390 ppm.
  • International realpolitik implies that accepting an international target of 450 ppm (as the NZ government does) means that developed economies will have to shoot for reductions of 80 to 90 per cent by 2050, in order to give “headroom” to growth in China and India.
  • To be internationally (and scientifically) credible, NZ’s targets should be of the order of 80 – 90 per cent by 2050, with a recognition that there is a substantial risk that everyone — every country in the world — will have to cooperate to actively reduce atmospheric carbon levels sooner or later.
  • The risks confronting NZ (and the world) are not symmetrical. Doing little or nothing is not a credible option. Some impacts — perhaps severe — are now inevitable. There is a real danger that climate impacts will larger, and happen sooner than expected.
  • There is therefore a real risk that the international community will, when confronted by a climate disaster, demand a rapid series of emissions cuts. Wise governments will have enacted policy that makes that easier than continuing with business as usual.

The government is consulting on its “50 by 50″ target, and is accepting submissions until the end of this month. I urge all Hot Topic‘s readers to make a submission, to let the government know that their stance on emissions targets is ill-informed, lacklustre and limp-wristed. Smith’s press release does say:

This long-term emissions reduction target cannot be set in stone and will need to be regularly reviewed taking into account the latest scientific advice on climate change, progress made by other nations, and progress made in the development of new technologies that would enable New Zealand to reduce emissions.

I suggest that the first review should be now, that the revised target should be carbon neutrality by 2050, and the government instead of continuously consulting should instead embark on building a national consensus on the construction of a low carbon, sustainable and resilient country.

Submissions can be made to the Ministry for the Environment at 2050target@mfe.govt.nz and close on 28 February 2011.

[Zappa]

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Paulm February 2, 2011 at 8:41 am

Hear hear.

Sceptic Lank February 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

“The de facto international target of limiting atmospheric greenhouse gas load to 450 ppm CO2e only gives a 50 per cent chance of staying under 2ºC of warming” …. Bollocks! This is rubbish with no backing science – just arm waving and scaremongery.
How can you spout this tripe and keep a straight face? There is absolutely no scientific proof of this.
“To be internationally (and scientifically) credible, NZ’s targets should be of the order of 80 – 90 per cent by 2050″… and this would make NZ a laughing stock, a stone age group of islands.

steve wrathall February 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

“…NZ’s targets should be of the order of 80 – 90 per cent by 2050…”
Easy, just close down:
-our dairy industry
- the health system
- all transport other than electric trains

And only one hot shower per week (I bags Friday)

erentz February 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Steve, could expand on why you believe the health system needs to be closed down in order to reduce NZ’s emissions by 80% by 2050? What are its current emissions as a percentage of our total emissions? What parts of the health system generate these emissions through what process?

Would you be opposed to making an 80% reduction in emissions from non dairy sources? If not, why not?

With regards to emissions from our dairy industry, given it is primarily an export industry the emissions are generated as a result of meeting the demands of other countries, i.e. they are a result of the demand of people in another country, so count against the individual emissions budgets of those purchasing individuals, and therefore as a whole count against the emissions of that country as a whole. Just as the emissions produced by a Chinese factory to produce the LCD TVs that I purchased counts against my personal emissions budget, and therefore against New Zealands emissions budget. So if we reached an agreement with our trading partners whereby these emissions from the production of goods were all taxed fairly in each country, and so contributed fairly to the trade balance, would you still be claiming it needs to be shut down? If not why not?

I’m assuming the shower part was a joke — clearly we don’t have an issue with generating renewable electricity for heating water in this country… :)

Steve Wrathall February 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Components of health system that generate GHGs: transport, heating, use of consumables, running of equipment, disposal of wastes, IT, construction and maintenance of buildings, education,…
Components of health system that generate no GHGs: none

“Would you be opposed to making an 80% reduction in emissions from non dairy sources?”

Yes

” If not, why not?”

I presume you mean “if so, why not?”.
(1) There is no technology even remotely likely to achieve such a thing and maintain decent standards of living.
(2) To force such reduction through taxing FF would cause extreme energy poverty.
(3) Such economic suicide would be more that counteracted by a few weeks growth in China.
(4) There would be no measurable effect on the climate.
(5) There is no evidence that continuing emissions of GHG are causing catastrophic GW, when adding an extra 1 part per 10 000 of CO2 to the atmosphere has not caused any warming outside naturally ocurring variation.

Your trade argument makes no sense. If NZers still consume the same # of Chinese TVs, and Chinese the same amt of NZ dairy, then what is the point? Carbon taxes only make sense if they are onerous enough to force people to stop doing what you disapprove of.

Thomas February 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Steve you are repeating once more this mantra of yours:

There is no evidence that continuing emissions of GHG are causing catastrophic GW, when adding an extra 1 part per 10 000 of CO2 to the atmosphere has not caused any warming outside naturally ocurring variation.

Lets put the record straight: went from 280 to 390 ppm, that is an increase of 40%! due to our civilizations emissions.

You seem to simply at a loss to understand how small amounts of something can affect the radiation balance of a system.

Have you ever wondered how it is that a layer of a few atoms thick of reflective coating turns glass into a mirror? We added a layer of CO2, if we took it all down to ground level, of about 1m….

The science about the interaction of CO2 with Earth’s radiation balance has long been settled.

Further, we are looking at severe FF energy shortages in the coming decades no matter what due to exhaustion of the easy accessible sources and the Energy Returned on Energy Invested on FF will drop significantly. It is in our economies best interest to fast track investment and R&D in alternative technologies. This is the future. You are arguing for us to stay stuck in an unsustainable past.

steve wrathall February 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Your blanket analogy fails. Half of all the GH effect of CO2 happens with the first 20 ppm. We are now way into the flat part of the CO2-warming graph. We’re adding a doilie to a stack of llama wool duvets.
And if you subscribe to the imminent peak fossil fuels scenario, then you cannot also subscribe to the catastrophic GW scenario. The first must solve the second.
And no I am not saying remain stuck anywhere. When FFs reach a certain price, the market will give all the signals required for which alternatives should replace them. What makes you think that politically-driven distortions of markets and energy rationing will have any result different than enriching ticket-clippers, and massive mis-allocation of resources-as they always have before?

How’s the Chicago climate exchange doing lately?

Thomas February 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

Sorry, you are wrong.
1. Climate sensitivity is considered to be about 4Deg for a doubling of CO2, the graph we are on is anything but flat.
Significant risks on the upside of this consists of potentially devastating positive feedbacks. The high CO2 world of the geological past had Earth at about 10Deg warmer than today.

2. Peak Oil (and FF) means that we have arrived at the half way point of FF extractions. That was 2006 for conventional oil and is still in the future for coal and gas. There is still enough FF in the ground to cause a doubling of atmospheric CO2 or worse.

3. Peak FF also means as you correctly pointed out rising FF cost. This is going to pull the rug from under our economies and undermine our ability to bootstrap us into a past FF world.

4. So called free markets have demonstrated an astounding failure to anticipate significant future developments and plan for these accordingly. See 2008 financial crisis. The players in the free market game of cards are interested to maximize short term gains on the back of the loss of others and by socializing the true cost of their endeavor. They are not well suited to plan for and implement a global cooperative strategy towards a sustainable future. Such a strategy must be set by policy that allows the transition to a sustainable future to be achieved. Free market mechanisms can then excel in deriving the technological and economic solutions best fit to that framework. But without a legislative and cooperative framework free market forces will drive the world towards fatal competition and conflicts over the scraps of our civilization.

Sam Vilain February 3, 2011 at 9:46 am

With regards to emissions from our dairy industry, given it is primarily an export industry the emissions are generated as a result of meeting the demands of other countries, i.e. they are a result of the demand of people in another country, so count against the individual emissions budgets of those purchasing individuals, and therefore as a whole count against the emissions of that country as a whole. Just as the emissions produced by a Chinese factory to produce the LCD TVs that I purchased counts against my personal emissions budget, and therefore against New Zealands emissions budget.

That would be one way to account it, but I think that only happens with the FF industry (because of course the simpler solution of taxing at the wellhead can’t be enforced – they’re the ones holding the guns). As I understand it, in general the producer is expected to pay the carbon tax for making their product.

Otherwise you get the old “pencil” argument – ie, how much carbon was used to produce this pencil? What about the car that drove it here? What about the production of that car? What about the construction of the factory used to make the car? etc etc.

Mr February February 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Ah a Strawman comment by Steve. And you know it is, don’t you, Steve? No one is saying “all industries and all uses of energy must be ended”. The message is, as I suspect you well know, is that industrial and domestic use of energy must be moved to non-fossil fuel sources.

But Steve’s comment seems somehow incomplete. What is missing? Hmmm …Oh I know, let me add the bit Steve has left out :

“Show is over. The game is up. Time for you warmist alarmists to give up!”

Steve Wrathall February 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

“industrial and domestic use of energy must be moved to non-fossil fuel sources….”
Wrong, not even that would cut it. As you should know, our perverse emissions profile mean that this fanciful target could only be met by closing down our beef and dairy industry. Tim Grocer should advocate that all countries shut such products of ours from their markets. That would be real “climate leadership” eh?

Tony February 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

“The de facto international target of limiting atmospheric greenhouse gas load to 450 ppm CO2e only gives a 50 per cent chance of staying under 2ºC of warming.”

The greatest concern is that even if we stopped all emissions tomorrow, positive feedbacks may lead to CO2 not stabilising until well above 450ppm. This could be easily achieved with emissions from the fast melting Siberian tundra alone.

I think what most denialists would have us prefer, is that we live it up while we can and hope like crazy nothing bad happens within our life times. The alternative is radical changes and soon. These are our only two options. Aiming for a compromise is not a solution to the problem.

Doug Mackie February 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm

6 thumbs down Tony. Must have touched a nerve, Good. Keep it up

bill February 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Looks like we’ve got the jerks – or a particular jerk – in pressing buttons again.

Speaking of which – here’s Lank; arguably the most obnoxious troll we’ve yet managed to garner (though Joe F gives him a run), and a shameless propagandist with not the slightest hesitation in simply in making it all up to suit himself! See above – ‘This is rubbish with no backing science – just arm waving and scaremongery. How can you spout this tripe and keep a straight face? There is absolutely no scientific proof of this’ – and then check the inconvenient facts -

Our current knowledge about the climate systems suggests that only stabilization around or below 400ppm CO2 equivalence will likely allow us to keep global mean temperature levels below 2°C in the long term”, and that for stabilization at 450ppm CO2 equivalence, the chance to stay below 2°C is still rather limited according to the majority of studies, namely “medium likelihood” or “unlikely” [Climatologist Malte Meinhausen here]

Or you could look at this slide from the Stern Report

Notice he simply ran and hid after dumping another steaming load fresh from Heartland on us all yesterday. He knows full well he as no real knowledge of the issue; he simply scoops up nuggets chummed around by WUWT and Jo Nova etc., dumps them on us, and runs.

Steve Wrathall February 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm

“How can you spout…”-NZ’s targets should be of the order of 80 – 90 per cent by 2050…”and keep a straight face?”

Beats me. Come on guys. This is la-la stuff. Just think about it. Population growth amongst the highest in the developed world. Aging population with all the demands for high-tech health that that entails. And in 39 years our per capita GHG emissions will be ~10% of now.

If you want to sit in front of a parliamentary select cttee and prove you have absolutely zero connection with reality, go for it.

Carol Cowan February 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Have you noticed how these guys never all turn up at once? I am compiling an attendence chart.

bill February 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Gee, Steve’s replying to me – the Australian! If it’s any consolation I’m not likely to appear before any of your select committees…

As I type Dr. Karl Mallon is on the ABC News QLD talking about climate change and what it means for the community and the economy to increase the risk of events like the almost mind-boggling Yasi (predicted to still be a cyclone 400km inland! and to dump 100 – 150 mm on Alice Springs!) No sign of any denialist by way of ‘balance’ – hoo-bloody-ray!

By the way, because the spam filter swallowed my post, I couldn’t correct my link above; just for the record it’s slide 3 I was referring to on that Stern presentation.

Macro February 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I see the trolls are out in force! This really scares the pants off them!
Drafting my submission now.
Is there any way we can confer to ensure we all sing from the same song sheet? – the deniers will be, so it is important that we do not give the Select Committee any way to play one submitter off against another – “he says this – she says that – oh! better to do nothing”. The more people saying the SAME thing the better.

Steve Wrathall February 2, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I agree. All of you should write submissions advocating 80-90% reductions. ALL of you. No deviation. None. Say the SAME thing. Got it?

Macro February 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm

You really are running scared Steve. You’re getting extremely twitchy at the moment. I wonder why?

bill February 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Yep, Steve, you really are losing it on this one. You normally just run away. Could it be because the world seems to be rather fitting the warmist projections and not at all fitting your own lots?

Rob Taylor February 2, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Reality is a bitch, Steve, but, love it or hate it, it will get you in the end. Currently finding this out are the residents of Queensland, with the highest per-capita carbon footprint on the planet.

Of course, the real hard-core deniers are now trying to organise a collective suicide pact – if that excites you, Steve, here is a link:

http://www.salon.com/news/env/environment/index.html?story=/news/feature/2011/02/01/us_greenhouse_gases_1

bill February 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Yep, just how much more of The Dumb can the empire take before it collapses in on itself? And will 2012 bring The Dumbest Government Ever? Stay tuned…

Doug Mackie February 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm

To be fair to Steve, he has at least put his name to his comments, He really will leave himself open to the disdain of his kids and grandkids. Respect is the wrong word Steve but I appreciate your doing this. You are wrong but gloriously so.

Tony February 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

“To be fair to Steve, he has at least put his name to his comments, He really will leave himself open to the disdain of his kids and grandkids.”

Agreed. He must also surely now qualify though for a Guiness Book of Records for thumbs down on this forum. Some sort of trophy might be in order.

bill February 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

You can’t do better than the ‘Cardboard Medal of Honour’, in my view! Or, perhaps, Dishonour, in this case…

RW February 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Utter contempt is what my descendants and others will have for Wrathall and his ilk.

steve wrathall February 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

So, not only can warmists forcast the weather in 50 years, but also the opinions of those who will be living then. Amazing.
Care to slip me the lotto numbers bro?

bill February 4, 2011 at 11:03 am

Nice own goal!

For the record, dear reader, should you not already be aware; ‘skeptics’ can’t understand averages, cannot perceive trends, cannot get their heads around the most basic concepts of risk-assessment – and particularly do not understand the distinction between weather and climate! Thanks for the reminder, Steve!

Sime February 3, 2011 at 2:04 am

Hey Steve,

perhaps when one of these turns up round your way you can have a chat with it and see it it gives a hoot about your drivel…

http://www.goes.noaa.gov/sohemi/sohemiloops/shirgmscol.html

Stay safe if it’s coming your way!

steve wrathall February 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Please post evidence that Cyclone Yasi was caused by AGHGs and the QLD category 5 Hurricanes of 1899 and 1918 weren’t. Or are you just indulging in the usual warmist vulture-like behavior of swooping on any notable weather event, and implying (on zero evidence) that following your ludicrous economic suicide pacts would prevent such?

Rob Taylor February 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Steve, please post evidence that you are not a member of a global denialist death cult that is funded by Koch suckers and sworn to destroy the biosphere within 666 years.

Doug Mackie February 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Steve, If you have credible scientific sources that directly attribute Yasi to climate change we’d be interested to see them.

What I have seen are things like this from my Federated Farmer’s post:

Professor Karoly stressed individual events could not be attributed to climate change. However, he said the wild extremes being experienced on the continent were in keeping with scientists’ forecasts of more flooding associated with increased heavy rain events and more droughts as a result of high temperatures and more evaporation.

(The quote was about the flooding but the principle is the same and the principle is elaborated in Table 3.8 of AR4 with links to rest of report)

Steve Wrathall February 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I was referring to Sime’s comment above , gloating about the (then) imminent arrival of Yasi off Queensland. As if that proves anything.

Well it does prove something actually. No-one appears to have died, thank goodness. Or perhaps that should be: thank:-
-strongly constructed buildings
- good roads and bridges
- reliable telecommunications
- a government with a large “social surplus”
-in other words, all the infrastructure dependant on a large carbon footprint.

If countries like Australia had been following the anti-fossil fuels agenda for the last few decades its ability to withstand severe weather events would be about on par with Burma.

Thomas February 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm

… and if we continue to bet on fossil fuels we will have nothing to replace these with when they run so scarce that we can’t pay for them anymore. Then indeed we will all live like the people in Burma.

Look Steve, if we follow your advice to carry on using up the remaining FF as if there was no alternative, we will be totally stuffed at the end of the century in a world without adequate energy technology, no fuel and 4 Deg warmer than today.
If we however act now and reform or civilization for a carbon neutral world by 2050 we have a good chance to limit the worst effects of climate change AND we will have developed technology that will support a civilization beyond the FF age.
I prefer the later plan of action. It surprises me that you don’t.

Macro February 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Actually Thomas a 4 degree warming in 90 years time is not even to be contemplated! The results would be total disaster and runaway warming, the like of which, the Earth has never seen before. I seriously wonder if humanity could survive such a catastrophic warming.

steve wrathall February 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm

And if China, India, Australia, the US… refuse to join in this “…reform our civilisation…” crusade, what then?
And what makes you think that the “alternative” technologies that eventually win out in 50 or 100 years are the ones that politicians are so keen to throw money at now?

Sceptic Lank February 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Good points Steve.
I wonder how a few thousand windmills and solar panel farms would have fared? Of course they could be built below ground in cyclone prone areas to avoid them blowing away – probably get about the same power output anyway.

Doug Mackie February 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Lank, with your PhD in geochemistry and extensive work experience, been able to understand EG Beck and Ken Ring yet?

Sceptic Lank February 4, 2011 at 11:31 am

Doug, with your amazing science expertise can you understand Al Gore’s reasoning yet? Like your alarmist Nobel Prize winner hero, do you also believe that the unusually cold conditions in USA are caused by ‘non-colding’? Do you teach that to your students Perfessor?

Doug Mackie February 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Lank, with your PhD and extensive work experience, can you point me to where the IPCC use Al Gore as a source?
How about that analysis of EG Beck and Ken Ring?

Sceptic Lank February 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Doug, with your amazing science expertise why can’t you admit that Al Gore is on your ‘alarmist’ team of climate exaggeration. Is he an embarrasment?
Why can’t you show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record?

bill February 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm

The Stupid is strong in this one! There’s this thing called the IPCC…

But to shorten proceedings; all right, Lank, gives us the link to the peer-reviewed paper that rules it in as the sole cause! (PS WUWT is not ‘peer reviewed’ – your denier mates thinking ‘it’s great’ doesn’t count!)

While you’re busily avoiding doing that, let’s take stock; still no answer to my questions. Still no answer to Doug’s.

As for this absurd obsession you all have with Al Gore – admit it, it’s a bear thing, right? ;-)

To try to explain he’s not a scientist, and not in the IPCC, let’s start with the basics; just because someone represents something on TV that doesn’t make him that thing – Martin Sheen, for example, is not actually the US President…

adelady February 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Now, now Lank, you’re just playing at being Roy Spencer.

I think if you go over to tamino’s place you’ll discover that the problem is solved. It’s all down to leprechauns.

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/a-challenge-to-dr-roy-spencer/

bill February 4, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Excellent – thanks Adelady! Whaddya know – Lank was cutting and pasting! Neural outsourcing is so much easier than doing think yourself…

Hey Steve, you should recognise this technique -

Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out leprechauns as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.

adelady February 5, 2011 at 12:35 am

The leprechaun theory has now been given the full blog science treatment by Dr Inferno.

http://denialdepot.blogspot.com/2011/02/why-leprechauns-cant-explain-recent.html
I *am* going to pin that graphic on my wall. It will make me smile whenever I see a really irritating comment from someone silly or nasty.

bill February 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Homework for the likes of Lank and Steve. What do you call an ‘extreme precipitation event’ where it occurs in conditions cold enough to form snow? But do you get more snow in relatively cold or relatively warm winters?

Lank will have no chance, because he doesn’t do think. And Steve just disappears or changes topic when things don’t run his way (hence he does it a lot!). So, let’s cut to the chace -

To assess possible future snowstorm conditions, the relationships of the storm frequencies to seasonal temperature and precipitation conditions, both estimated to undergo future changes, were defined for 1901–2000 using data from 1222 stations across the United States. Results for the November–December period showed that most of the United States had experienced 61%–80% of the storms in warmer-than-normal years. Assessment of the January–February temperature conditions again showed that most of the United States had 71%–80% of their snowstorms in warmer-than-normal years. In the March–April season 61%–80% of all snowstorms in the central and southern United States had occurred in warmer-than-normal years. The relationship of storm incidence to precipitation in all three 2-month periods of the cold season showed that 61%– 85% of all storms occurred in wetter-than-normal years. Thus, these comparative results reveal that a future with wetter and warmer winters, which is one outcome expected (National Assessment Synthesis Team 2001), will bring more snowstorms than in 1901–2000. Agee (1991) found that long-term warming trends in the United States were associated with increasing cyclonic activity in North America, further indicating that a warmer future climate will generate more winter storms.

Sorry to bring facts into it. I know that isn’t your preferred method…

bill February 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Note the deafening silence in trollville when confronted by scientific refutation of their pet theories. As predicted Steve has scampered off down the post to cast about a few ‘security blanket’ strawman assertions to try to draw attention away from his being unable to respond.

I repeat – What do you call an ‘extreme precipitation event’ where it occurs in conditions cold enough to form snow? Do you get more snow in relatively cold or relatively warm winters?

bill February 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Speaking of extreme precipitation events, such as are being studiously ignored by our denialist friends; ‘precedent this’! -

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/05/3130781.htm

bill February 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Weathergeeks might also enjoy the ‘Ferraris float, Mercs don’t’ video from Toorak Road in Melbourne that’s currently up on the HeraldSun homepage (right-hand column – sorry, I can’t find an independent link to the vid)

bill February 5, 2011 at 5:32 pm

gotcha! – disregard previous link

Macro February 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Ok Steve – you don’t have a reference?
Well just think about it for a moment. If you add more energy into a closed system – what do you think is going to happen?
Of course you deny the fact (and the physics) that the Earth is currently in an energy imbalance as the result of increased GHG’s in the atmosphere. But just for one minute accept the conventional wisdom of a greenhouse effect. Now if the Earth does receive more energy than it emits as black body radiation what do you think might possibly be the result? Hence my initial query. What happens when you continue to add more and more energy into a closed system?
The answer is obvious surely – the system is going to be increasingly energised.
Now the oceans effectively capture a major portion of the solar energy (about 50 percent) and transfer much of it to the atmosphere as latent heat of vaporization and as radiation. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_energy_budget
But that which remains warms the sea.
Gareth has posted a very forceful graph of sea temperatures here:
http://hot-topic.co.nz/too-many-teardrops/
The heat which is released from the oceans in the form of evaporation adds to the water vapour content of the atmosphere – which is steadily increasing vis:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BAMS_climate_assess_boulder_water_vapor_2002.gif.
Finally cyclones and hurricanes develop in warm tropical regions where the water temperature is at least 27 degrees C.
http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/hurricane2.htm
So while no one here says that AGW CAUSED any extreme climatic event – what we do say – is that you load the dice heavily in their favour.

steve wrathall February 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

“If you add more energy into a closed system…”
Earth isn’t a closed system. Your starting premise is wrong.

+3 B years of life support show that the Earth’s natural systems are dominated by negative feedback.

adelady February 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm

“…the Earth’s natural systems are dominated by negative feedback.”

So how did we ever come to exist? By that logic snowball earth would still be here.

Macro February 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

The same goes for this absurd statement of his as well:

“There is no evidence that continuing emissions of GHG are causing catastrophic GW, when adding an extra 1 part per 10 000 of CO2 to the atmosphere has not caused any warming outside naturally ocurring variation.”

But Steve does not hold with the greenhouse effect. He has a much better theory. – which we no doubt will all be appraised of in due course.

Macro February 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Steve I used the concept of a closed system for the very simple reason that you appear to so simplistic in your understanding that you would not comprehend the concept of a system in balance – as the Earth had been for most of the recent past.

bill February 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

I’ve asked this before, but Steve, do you ever tire of being a cartoon?

The more untenable your position becomes the more you slip into caricature; in this case the blustering, pompous, histrionic ninny of the ‘the most glorious, robust political and economic system in human history is only 3 solar panels away from anarchy and ruin’ school. You sound like some tedious self-funded retiree waffling on for the benefit of the cameras at one of Monckton and Plimer’s gabfests!

And look at what you list as strengths – it’s all bloody ‘socialism’ that did the good work here, Steve; you know, building actual communities rather than Libertarianâ„¢ rat races where the biggest rat wins all!

Get some perspective on yourself, man! Are you really looking forward to your kids ever reading back over this nonsense?

RW February 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I’m not sure if even that lunatic Perigo would be more extreme than Wrathall. But wait – I forgot – they of course are “rational” and “objective” – anyone else is a misguided fool, apparently. Seldom in the course of human history can there have been dished up such a potage of self-serving, hypocritical nonsense that claims to be noble and decent. I could have an atom or two of respect for “libertarians” if they simply admitted their real motives.

adelady February 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm

” all the infrastructure dependant on a large carbon footprint.”

Well that didn’t work out so well for Katrina and New Orleans, did it?

Apart from good organisation and other things, the main reason for Yasi not devastating large urban areas and populations was that, unlike Katrina, it deviated course so that it landed halfway very neatly between Cairns and Townsville. And slowed down so that the cyclone did not coincide with high tide.

Good management was helpful. Good luck was even more so.

David Foote February 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm

@Steve, climate scientists do not predict the weather, your confusing climate science with meteorology. Some climate scientists use models to make predictions about future climate variability within a specified degree of certitude… but the aren’t capable of predicting weather because in order to predict weather accurately you need a model as complex as the world. When the map becomes the terrain its not really a map any more.

RW February 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm

More cretinous garbage from Wrathall – and I notice a coven of trolls has been red-ticking en masse.

Carol Stewart February 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Collective name for trolls?
How about ‘a density of trolls’?

Doug Mackie February 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Underbridge

bill February 4, 2011 at 10:54 am

‘thickness’ / ‘gloating’ / ‘malice’ / ‘mire’ / ‘squawking’ / ‘prattle’ / ‘tedium’ / ‘ramraid’ / ‘hollowness’ / ‘badgecock’ (just like the sound of this one) / ‘cretin’ / ‘splat’ / ‘spatter’ / ‘spew’ / ‘sputum’ / ‘drivel’ / ‘bloat’ / ‘oafish’ / ‘sneer’

bill February 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

…’incomprehension’ / ‘derangement’ / ‘futility’ / ‘trainwreck’ / ‘snide’ / ‘gibbering’ / ‘rant’ / ‘cut-n-paste’ / ‘malarkey’ / ‘misinform’ / ‘badgering’ / ‘bafflement’ / ‘oik’ / ‘gainsay’ / ‘pretence’ / ‘insincerity’ / ‘waste’ / ‘vacuum’…

Rob Taylor February 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm

A thicket of trolls, surely?

johnmacmot February 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm

At least, the Trolly Boys.

The Boldy Rolls?

“I’m a troll, Boldy Roll…”
;-)

A thickness of trolls

A smog of trolls

A pall of trolls

johnmacmot February 3, 2011 at 9:39 pm

A smear of trolls

A deception of trolls

An insincerity of trolls

David Foote February 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm

A flame of Trolls?

Keith Hunter February 3, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Sounds more like a scourge of trolls to me. This description is very apt:
http://www.wowwiki.com/Scourge_troll

Macro February 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm

“These trolls were not very bright when alive and are even less so now — if attacked from multiple directions they grow confused and disoriented. ”
Yes I like that!

johnmacmot February 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Yep, that sounds like them, Keith.

Sime February 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Steve,

The world is round, smoking is strongly linked to lung cancer, and humans are causing the planet to warm. To insist otherwise is to be in denial – Dr. Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research

But you deny, we are all alarmist, we are all wrong…

OK Steve

What is your expertise and what are your qualifications? BSc, M.Sc, M.phil and PhD in what Climate Science, Maths, Physics, Atmospherics, Geology, Chemistry, Statistics, Computer Science, what?

What scientific papers have you published and on what topics and where are they published so we can all read them.

You apparently know better than 97% (http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm) of the worlds experts in Climate Science and related Scientific institutions. So we would all like to know what it is that you know that the experts don’t, what data have you and analyzed that the experts haven’t and when you will be releasing all this for peer review so your fellow professionals can make comments on and learn from?

You see Steve it’s like this people here trust experts, you know Climate Scientists, computer Scientists, Pilots, Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, Vets, etc to access risk, and base decisions on their expertise and experience, experience gained through recognized qualifications and years of hard work.

Why should I and others here trust the lives of our family, friends and most of the life on this planet to what it is you are saying over that of 97% of the worlds Climate EXPERTS.

Are you an expert Steve or are you in reality just another James Delingpole, you know “It’s not my job to sit down and read peer-reviewed papers, because I simply do not have the time; I don’t have the EXPERTISE.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36Xu3SQcIE0

Sime February 4, 2011 at 2:11 am

I Thought some of you might enjoy this up at Peter Sinclair’s “Climate Crocks” site

http://climatecrocks.com/2011/02/03/funniest-denier-posting-ever/

Tony February 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

I think now might be a good time for our resident denialist trolls to collectively write to insurance companies and explain that they have no right to raise premium prices since each of the recent disasters are nothing beyond natural variation.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4616075/Disaster-upon-disaster-Insurance-may-cost-more

Doug Mackie February 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Hey! How come only Tony gets thumbs down?

Tony February 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I think I might have hit a nerve again.

Tony February 4, 2011 at 11:34 am

And here is some more natural variation that could be easily solved by fossil fuels and carbon footprint based infrastructure.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12356835

All they need is irrigation. How hard can it be to irrigate the Amazon?

bill February 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm

We’ve got the cretins in pushing buttons again. Well, a cretin. Sad little man can’t win an argument, must resort to pathetic sabotage of those who have humiliated him, eh?

steve wrathall February 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm

If you are going to quote absurd claims of “97% believe”, at least check your links:
“the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances…”

But as this site displays, any climate researcher who challenges CAGW is immediatly accused of being a non-understander of nuances (and worse). So its obvious that this claim is based on what’s known in stats as a biased sample. A bit like getting Vatican officials to recognise miracles.

Himalayan glaciers gone by 2035.
40% of the Amazon to disappear.
97% believe…Pick a number, any number.

bill February 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Nice to see you getting into some serious recycling, Steve! And spreading lots of fertiliser around, too… not feeling a mite insecure, are we?

Doug Mackie February 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Gareth, any pattern to where the troll attcks are from?

Eco Divad February 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

A dollop of trolls

Eco Divad February 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm

A Kindergarten of Trolls

(like a school of trolls, only for more juvenile elements of society)

Rob Taylor February 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm

A trollop of trolls!

Macro February 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Yes I thought of that one too – but it seemed unfair to trollops. :)

Doug Mackie February 5, 2011 at 1:12 am

Lank, do you think Al Gore is wrong because he doesn’t have a PhD and extensive work experience like you?

I’ll gladly discusss Al Gore in detail once we deal with the 2 year old questions you refuse to answer about EG Beck and Ken Ring. Otherwise it looks like you are just Gish galloping.

Macro February 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

The Septic Crank is notable by his absence.
Perhaps he has tanked?
Whatever – good riddance.

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