Under African skies

by Bryan Walker on November 3, 2010

Guardian journalist Madeleine Bunting has been in Mali, learning how it is affected by climate change. In an article published on Sunday she wrote of her visit to the remote town of Anakila where an enormous encroaching sand dune threatens.

“For years now, the elders explain, they have been worried by climate change. Disrupted rain patterns, shifts in winds have no parallel in collective memory; they notice how it is prompting changes in the behaviour of animals and birds. But all of these anxieties are dwarfed by the sand dune now looming above their town – the result of those drier, fierce winds and erratic, intense rainfall.”

 

She describes the action of the dune and the measures the people are taking to try to contain it. But it’s difficult to see it as other than a losing battle.

“The ecological niche in which they have built their lives has always been full of uncertainties – and often hardship – but now the niche on which they have built cultures of great sophistication and resilience is shrinking beneath them as desert threatens.”

Bunting comments that it is in remote places like this that climate change will hit first and hardest, in cultures built on a deep understanding of their environment.

“Anakila’s residents are the canaries down the mine, their experience a foretaste of an Earth hostile to human inhabitation. But their experience of threat, potential devastation and loss of livelihood is discounted and ignored. No dunes are threatening Manchester.”

She goes on to discuss the requirement of environmental justice that rich countries should assist affected populations in poor countries to adapt to the changes that are upon them, noting however the dismal likelihood that funds for climate adaptation will simply be poached from development aid budgets.

The deniers were out in force in the comments that followed the article, and are still going strong as I write this. No surprises in what they have to say. They have no difficulty brushing aside the notion that something exceptional is occurring. These are perennial problems not related to human-caused climate change which isn’t happening anyway. The population increase in Mali is the reason for the problem. The aid organisations are making a big song and dance out of natural events in order to get more of our money. African governments are corrupt. And so on…and on.

These kinds of arguments will continue to be advanced until doomsday by those who have committed themselves to the view that human-caused climate change isn’t happening. But the experience of the people in the town of Anakila is consonant with the expected impacts of climate change in their region. Sure it may have been worsened by deforestation and sure a rapidly growing population is not the best armoury against a diminishing environment. But the global warming which is basically driving the changes is not within the power of the local population to affect. It is within the power of the major industrialised and industrialising nations. Need those nations wait until they see grave impacts within their own populations, which they undoubtedly will before too much longer? Articles such as Bunting’s are early casualty reports of the damage inflicted on humanity at large by the emissions we continue to pour into the atmosphere.  We owe assistance to those already suffering the effects. And if we have any sense we will also take a warning from what is happening to them.

The Guardian has an accompanying photo gallery of the Anakila dune here, and some blogs of Bunting’s visits to other parts of the country here and here and here. She does a fine job of taking the reader right to where she is. Serious and responsible journalism at its best.

[Paul Simon & Miriam Makeba]

{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Bingham November 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I read this type of article with a deep sadness. I can still fill my car with fuel at a modest price. I can switch on the light from electricity and heater when I need it. My government allows the mining and burning of coal and I plan to fly to Europe next year.
We are all in this together but the poor and marginalised suffer first and most.

Dappledwater November 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm

and I plan to fly to Europe next year.

Don’t do it Bob!.

Gareth November 3, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I’m afraid I’m planning something similar, DW. But I will plant trees. Lots of trees (60 so far this spring).

Macro November 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Same
Actually I planted about 200 native around part of the wetlands this past autumn and all doing well. Perhaps its the CO2 fertilization? But I get dw’s point….

bill November 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I cultivate more than 12 000 local-native seedlings every year! How many flights round the world am I entitled to, then? This is a very dubious calculus, I’d say…

R2D2 November 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Hmmm. Perhaps we should ask the Africans what they would like us to do. a) grow food. b) plant trees.

Probably they wouldn’t be bothered cause neither will solve the average African’s problems.

Does planting trees really offset burning 200 million year old oil? I mean, sure, if we increase the amount of land in forest in the long term this locks up carbon. But if this is done, sooner or later all the ‘marginal’ land will be planted. At which point only emissions reductions or other sequestrations will be available to reduce our carbon footprint.

If we think about increasing the carbon locked in soils as a possible way to offset some of our emissions, but this will only ever be x% of the total carbon released to the atmosphere, then us taking up this opportunity sooner rather than later can not really be used to offset our own emissions can it (as opposed to the next generations emissions)? This reduction is only available once to one generation. Shouldn’t it just be viewed as one mitigation opportunity available to all humanity at some point, and the flights to Europe still part of Gareth’s and Bob’s individual carbon footprint?

Macro November 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm

We already know what they would like us to do. Remember the walk-out at the pre-Bonn conference? All over lack of action by developed and western Nations. How about asking Pacific Island States as well?
We know what we have to do. The problem is our weddedness to Fossil fuels. Spurred on by an economic system that demands continual “growth”, and fostered by aggressive advertising that promotes “wants” rather than “needs”.
No I’m not asking for sack cloth and ashes. Just an individual responsibility to sustainable living.

R2D2 November 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm

OK. We have heard about your opposition to economic growth before Macro.

But when we have land the choices are a) grow food or b) plant trees. You seem to have answered c) use less fuel.

laurence November 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

You really are full of it ain’t you R2, you know darn well that SFA of the food grown in NZ finds it’s way to the poor and starving anywhere, and that’s not going to change any time soon. And because it doesn’t seem to have occurred to you there are answers c to z.

R2D2 November 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Thanks for the friendly reply Laurence.

I realise that NZ farmers do not feed Africa. That’s why I put the comment “Probably they wouldn’t be bothered cause neither will solve the average African’s problems”.

Maybe focus on the last 3/4 of my post. My main point was that I don’t think planting trees can offset fossil emissions.

laurence November 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm

If the fist part of your comment didn’t require a reply, why make it? But then it’s par for the course for you isn’t it. smart alec comment, then when you get your butt kicked you whine that no-one loves you. Ever wondered why that is?

It’s all just a big game to you, bait the greenie to get a bite, look how smart I am. The problem is sunshine the game you are playing is Russian roulette and yours is not the only head under the hammer. There is no way back from where you want to take us, no second chance. You really should start thinking past the end of your willie.

Macro November 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm

This reply is to your later comments R2. (don’t have a reply button for them.)
You are making the point that there is a limited amount of marginal land available for the planting of trees – and that this is a once only event. Actually trees like all living organisms have a life span – some more than others. and yes when they die they rot and the decomposition releases CO2 – but far more slowly than burning the wood.
I’m not going to argue that one can plant more and more trees ad infinitum. But humans have cut down one hell of a lot over the years and we have a long way to go to get back to the state where human kind first started to make its mark upon the Earth.

You then go on to say
“At which point only emissions reductions or other sequestrations will be available to reduce our carbon footprint. ”

which is another way of saying

“We know what we have to do. The problem is our weddedness to Fossil fuels. Spurred on by an economic system that demands continual “growth”, and fostered by aggressive advertising that promotes “wants” rather than “needs”.”

How is it possible to reduce emissions if we don’t constrain “growth”. Take for example the NACT govt’s plan to reach economic parity with Australia.
http://thestandard.org.nz/nats%E2%80%99-economic-plan-more-oil-more-cows/

Geological Sequestrating of CO2 – are there really any viable operational sequestration plants now or in the foreseeable future that do not involve huge infrastructure and cost apart from the North Sea and Mississippi? These two sequestrate about the equivalent of a 350 MW plant in total. And only because there are the salt sands available.

bill November 9, 2010 at 12:24 am

My understanding is that revegetation can generally only hope to offset that part of the atmospheric carbon burden that is due to historic deforestation (the ‘new’ carbon sinks effectively replace the ones lost).

It will indeed, therefore, have relatively little impact on carbon that is extracted from below ground and dumped in the atmosphere after a short journey through an ICE (i.e fossil fuels.)

And any Australian can tell you (well, any thinking Australian – Bolt’s admirer’s and the IPA are capable of convincing themselves of anything!) that just because land exists doesn’t mean you can hope to cover it in vegetation! Even leaving aside ‘food or forests’ arguments we couldn’t re-establish all the forests we’ve cleared even if the will existed – and I’m pretty-sure the global situation would be little different.

(I can’t lose here – if you convince me I’m wrong
I’ll go to work and argue I’m not being paid enough!)

But I’d say on this basis alone – there are many others – the short answer to my own question ( how many flights round the world am I entitled to, then? ) is none.

R2D2 November 9, 2010 at 8:51 am

Thanks Bill that is what I was trying to say. Macro bill perhaps communicates this better than I do. Laurence I think you are reacting to past comments I have made. You say, “If the fist part of your comment didn’t require a reply, why make it?”, not all comments are made with the intent of provoking reply, I was just commenting. This comment is not intended to require reply, simply acknowledging that I agree with Bill.

Macro November 9, 2010 at 11:08 am

Yes totally agree with both Bill’s and your point here R2. There is however the factor of the reflected radiation to consider as well – not only the sequestration CO2. Forests convert solar energy, and CO2 into stored chemical energy far more efficiently than grasslands or desert. More forestation will help to reduce the black body radiation of Earth, Only small amounts admittedly – but global warming works on only tiny amounts of excess energy slopping around anyway. Around 1 – 2 watts per square metre.

John D November 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Bishop Hill has already done a piece comparing Bunting’s take with some more scientific views
http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/11/1/bunting-on-the-sahel.html

nommopilot November 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm

yes, they quote the abstract of a scientific paper and a National Geographic article which both are full of caveats that make it clear that there are no conclusions about the cause or stability of the observed changes.

still, that is pretty scientific by bishop hill standards, I spose

Steve Wrathall November 3, 2010 at 7:31 pm

“the experience of the people in the town of Anakila is consonant with the expected impacts of climate change in their region.”
What observations would falsify “the expected impacts of climate change in their region”?

Gareth November 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm

What observations would falsify “Steve Wrathall will submit a comment under every post about climate change impact X, asking what would falsify X”.

Do you think you’re proselytising, Steve? Or can’t you help it?

Steve Wrathall November 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Your annoyance at being asked for a test of falsifiability simply shows how, despite endlessly repeating that you represent the “science”, you are no different than a religion.

And Ohhh Look!!! the red button is back! Now all the warmists can give full vent to their true natures and make the heretics disappear at the push of a button. Go on. I know you want to. No pressure.

Gareth November 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm

No, Steve, long experience of your visits here shows that you are obsessed with that “falsifiability” argument, and that you are immune to serious answers.

You’re the one holding on to a view in the face of overwhelming evidence. You’re the one who feels the need to turn up here to preach your odd version of reality. What faith you must have…

RW November 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Your disappearance via thumbdowns will also be most welcome, following that of John D.

adelady November 6, 2010 at 8:33 pm

C’mon Steve. You know the answer to this one. All the prospective Nobel Prize winner has to do is to demonstrate that CO2 that happens to be in the atmosphere has different radiative properties from CO2 that happens to be used in a laser.

Simply put. There’s a lot, a real lot, of money to be made for anyone who can do this.

Macro November 3, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Perhaps a dramatic reversal of the continuing climatic change they are experiencing Steve! But don’t hold your breathe!

John D November 3, 2010 at 11:45 pm

What is a “reversal” of climate change?

No change?

Macro November 4, 2010 at 3:07 am

do you actually read the posts john? or is that too difficult for you?
no change means extinction.

John D November 4, 2010 at 7:47 am

Yes, I did read the piece Macro.

But NatGeo said this:

Desertification, drought, and despair—that’s what global warming has in store for much of Africa. Or so we hear. Emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html

Or do you prefer the doom laden prognostications of a Guardian hack?

Bryan Walker November 4, 2010 at 8:04 am

John, your description of an able journalist like Madeleine Bunting as a hack says much more about you than her. And I didn’t read her pieces as “doom-laden prognostications” – you’ve echoed Bishop Hill there I notice – but as sympathetic reports from populations for whose resilience and culture (not without reservation about the place of women) she shows respect. They haven’t imagined that dune.

John D November 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

Yes, but is it peer-reviewed?

You can take a post-normal view of the world, find a dune or a small subset of the Sahara and make a statement that it is all doomed, and then NatGeo comes along and tells us that the Sahara is greening.

And if a Guardian journalist rocks up at a Saharan camp and asks “show me how you are being affected by climate change, of course they are going to show her the dune, and not the good bits.

Wouldn’t you?

Bryan Walker November 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

Well John, that’s settled it. You don’t need to worry about villagers in Mali, or anywhere else probably. You’ll excuse me for not being so easily reassured. I realise there’s uncertainty about predictions for the Sahel region’s future under climate change. But I don’t agree that means that adaptation measures should be foregone, if that’s what you’re arguing.

John D November 4, 2010 at 9:16 am

Well John, that’s settled it. You don’t need to worry about villagers in Mali, or anywhere else probably.

For the record, I donate a monthly amount to a charity that helps developing nations.

I prefer to deal with problems directly, rather than attributing blame on everything to CO2 emitted by the developed world.

Bryan Walker November 4, 2010 at 9:47 am

Blame for everything? I would have thought that it is widely recognised that changes such as the increased number and severity of extreme events is interwoven with natural weather fluctuations. Predicting climate change impacts is an uncertain business, but that doesn’t mean they can safely be ignored.

John D November 4, 2010 at 9:51 am

widely recognised that changes such as the increased number and severity of extreme events

Do you have some data to back up this statement?

Sam Vilain November 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Do you have some data to back up this statement?

I think you’ll find a trove on this link

John D November 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Sam Vilain November 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm
Do you have some data to back up this statement?
I think you’ll find a trove on this link

If you wish to provide offensive links, then it only demonstrates the vacuity of your arguments.

Sam Vilain November 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm

If you wish to provide offensive links, then it only demonstrates the vacuity of your arguments.

non-sequitur.

The point is, that there is plenty of information on this site to back up his statements, if you just search it.

R2D2 November 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Sam, we are all aware that Hot Topic routinely claims the most recent world weather event was caused by human emissions of CO2. What John and I would like to see is evidence that; a) extreme weather events are increasing, b) that this increase is above natural rates of variation (ie not just an increase since the 70s), and c) that this increase is due to CO2 (not due to changes in solar activity).

Just as your lot are getting tired of providing the same old links, I am growing tired of being given the same old links. The fact that no robust research on a long time scale can show increasing severe weather events leads me to be sceptical that such a claim can be proven.

P.S. Please do not re-explain the theory that higher temperature means more water vapour means more weather. I understand this theory. But to be meaningful it needs to be quantified and observed. Does the observed increase in temps result in 0.01% more water vapour, or 0.1% more water vapour? Does this result in an increase in hurricane magnitude of 1%? Or 10%?

John D November 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Sam Vilain November 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm
The point is, that there is plenty of information on this site to back up his statements, if you just search it.

Thanks, that is really helpful

Gareth November 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm

R2: You misrepresent what I have written about extremes, and seem unwilling to read and understand the references. Now you demand quantification of the role of water vapour in intensifying weather events. You could always do some research, as Sam suggests. On the evidence of your previous form, however, it’s unlikely you would accept the answers you find — unless of course they’re provided by the usual suspects.

PS: If you make a habit of misrepresenting what I have written, you will find your posts being moderated.

CTG November 4, 2010 at 9:15 pm

R2: Does the observed increase in temps result in 0.01% more water vapour, or 0.1% more water vapour?

As Trenberth said in that article I referred you to, the increase in water vapour is about 4%, which is a sod of a lot of water.

Now, R2, either read the links that are given to you or STFU. You cannot claim to be interested in the science if you never read any actual science.

It’s really quite tedious of you to ignore the science like this. Grow up and do some reading.

R2D2 November 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm

4%! Thats huge. Thanks CTG we are getting somewhere. Can you please repost the link so I can read. You have to understand that I don’t look at this website every second. And sometimes when I come on here there are like 100 new comments. So I can’t always read every response that I provoke. Let alone every link in every response.

John D November 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Like R2D2 said, we are looking for some documented evidence that severe weather events are on the increase

Is this not a reasonable request?

There are graphs from the so-called “denier” sites that show no increase on the whole.

If you have no data to the contrary, then I’ll just have to assume that these are correct.

Just to be told to Just effing Google it is not particulary helpful
There might actually be people reading this blog whose minds aren’t made up, and that kind of statement isn’t going to help them.

Ancedotal evidence doens’t really count. I need graphs to compare with the so-called denier data.
Cheers

.

Gareth November 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm

You’re ignoring all the bloody references that have been repeatedly provided on this site. If you can’t be bothered to “effing Google it”, I certainly will not take the time to spoon feed you stuff you’ll ignore.

John D November 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Here’s the Google search results for extreme weather for this site

http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=extreme+weather+site:http://hot-topic.co.nz&hl=en&lr=&prmd=fdiv&ei=bGjSTJ_3AsbJcfbluIEM&start=10&sa=N

81 results.

I guess I’ll just have to go through them all and find the data that I want.

Thanks for the help.

R2D2 November 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm
David November 4, 2010 at 8:21 am

What? A Guardian journalist banging on about Environmental (aka Social) Justice! Who would have thought.

Anyway, she may have something with this collective memory thing. My Dad (whose 93) and I have noticed that in recent years the local cats seem to be moulting a lot more. The summers seem hotter and they seem to shred hair more often. Now the collective memory of our hapu cant recall this ever happening before so it must be down to climate change, oops I mean disruption.
Those oil companies are to blame for this and must be held to account. We want compensation for our moulting cats! Pity the small animals affected by all those greedy CO2 emitters.
To prove this we used the example set by that great scientist James Hansen.
We measured a cat moulting in a 1200 sq km “grids” (Its hard to hold a cat down to measure their hair) and have come up with a world wide model based on only 50 cats which surely demonstrates that CO2 is indeed causing cats to moult.
Wheres our money. We want justice for cats all over the world!

John D November 4, 2010 at 8:38 am

David, cats are very good at adapting to climate change.

The Norwegian Forest Cat (Norsk Skogkatt) is a known breed (also know as a weegie) occurred as a natural adaptation to the cold climate of the region

See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Forest_Cat

So David, you might be out of luck.

David November 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

John D,
Look, its well known that Exxon conspired with Crosby Textor to secretly genetically engineer the Norwegian Forest Cat.
It really started out as a hamster who slept too close to a fire. So dont be fooled. Its all the fault of CO2.

Anyway, I cant wait for the next scientific report from Ms Bunting. I hear shes in Tavelu investigating the story of an 80 yo Church member who when he was a boy marked his 1 metre height on a tree. That tree is now underwater!!!!!!!
This is definite proof that Nasa’s Jason/Topex satellite measurements of Sea levels only rising 3mm per year is WRONG.
Something must be done.

nommopilot November 4, 2010 at 9:17 am

sarcasm invalidates science!!

call the newspapers!!

David November 4, 2010 at 10:18 am

Nommo.
Whenever I read this blog I recall the saying by Juvenal 1
“Its difficult not to write satire”

Bryan Walker November 4, 2010 at 11:45 am

Satire is more demanding to write than you seem to think. Sarcastic ridicule is much easier. You manage it without difficulty.

John D November 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Yes, I ‘d agree. satire is hard, sarcasm is too easy, and not funny.

On the subject of satire, try this relatively inoffensive piece from the Mash

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/environment/boffins-unveil-world%27s-smuggest-house-20070611203/

bill November 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm

no thanks

John D November 4, 2010 at 3:29 pm

No, I forgot, you guys don’t do humour.

bill November 4, 2010 at 6:51 pm

There’s humour, and then there’s the Daily Mash.

Let’s see; links to Bishop Hill, the Daily Mash, not really reading the posts, cut-and-paste talking points du jour; you’re not our old friend Andy S / Dr. Checkzor, by any chance?

nommopilot November 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Checkzorb!! I might have known!!

tell me it’s not so??

nommopilot November 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm

He is a puppetmaster of many socks!!!

Bryan Walker November 4, 2010 at 9:22 am

David, of course we hope you’re right that melting ice won’t cause disastrous sea level rise and that the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets will stay exactly where and as they are. But I’d be grateful if you’d express this trust with a little more respect for the apprehensions of the people of Tuvalu.

R2D2 November 4, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Haha this made me laugh outloud as I read it. Very good

Carol Cowan November 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm

#rude word# R2D2

John D November 4, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Do you disapprove of laughter Carol?

Carol Cowan November 5, 2010 at 12:16 am

I disapprove of people laughing at the concerns of others. No matter what is causing the problems the people of Tuvalu are dealing with, it’s not kind to laugh at them.

RW November 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

Bliss! A troll post disappears in a sea of negative ratings. Makes it easier to concentrate on the worthwhile contributions.

David November 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

Bryan,
The ice sheets have never “stayed exactly where and as they are”. Just like the sea currents which cool and warm them and the wind which moves them around.
I think we would have closer agreement about issues if you focused on soot for example as being one of the pollutants causing melt as opposed to CO2. I mean, dont you love the world. Dont you care about our children?
If you do, wheres the campaign to reduce the emission of soot?

Perhaps the people of Tuvalu would be less ignorant and stressed if their Government did not suppress evidence gathered by Nasa and Australian scientists proving that the sea level is not rising around their islands.

Bryan Walker November 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Yes, I do care about soot, and so does James Hansen whose work you have given the impression you have little regard for.

John D November 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I’d also be interested to know if the people of Tuvalu get any of the $4 million a year that the lease of the .tv internet domain brings in.

Dappledwater November 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Perhaps the people of Tuvalu would be less ignorant and stressed if their Government did not suppress evidence gathered by Nasa and Australian scientists proving that the sea level is not rising around their islands

Funny you should mention ignorant:

Sea Level & Climate: Their Present State Tuvalu December 2009

Tuvalu = “The sea level trend to date is +5.1 mm/year but the magnitude of the trend continues to vary widely from month to month as the data set grows. Accounting for the precise levelling results and inverted barometric pressure effect, the trend is +4.7 mm/year.”

John D November 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Is this trend mirrored in nearby atolls or countries?
I’d be interested to see how Tuvalu compared with non-reef based land.

Dappledwater November 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Is this trend mirrored in nearby atolls or countries?

Yes. Sea level in the whole South Pacific region is rising faster than the global average.

John D November 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Including New Zealand?

Are there any explanations why this might be the case?

Dappledwater November 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Are there any explanations why this might be the case?

Yes.

John D November 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Thanks, that’s really helpful

R2D2 November 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Subduction?

Dappledwater November 4, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Subduction?

No.

Carol Cowan November 5, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Sea level varies. See http://www.psmsl.org/train_and_info/faqs/ point number 1. Hope this helps.

John D November 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Great that the voting system has come back.

A simple (reasonable) question IMHO gets a thumbs down

I really don’t know why you guys don’t just get yourselves a private Google group and save us all the pain.

Carol Cowan November 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Who forced you to come here, John D?

John D November 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

No one forced me to come, and no one forced me to leave.

What I observe is what others see too.

Good night

Richard T November 4, 2010 at 11:16 pm

John D, can I suggest an exercize for you. Why don’t you go on to a denier blog site and post a comment like what Bob Bingham did as the 1st comment in this thread (which I would judge to be non-abusive nor provocative in any sense). Let us know how you get on.

Oh I nearly forgot; sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

David November 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Oooooh a 2mm variance between BOM and EdU Colorado results!
I guess you are ignorant of the level of margin of error….
Which is 3mm
Still, isnt it comforting that its a long way from the claims of 2-6 METRES?
Was that James Hansen again?

Dappledwater November 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm

David, instead of posting drivel, you could actually find the time to research this stuff.

BOM = Modern tide gauge at Tuvalu.

Satellite Altimetry = global mean sea level

A Tuvaluan whose crops are being poisoned by saltwater intrusion doesn’t care if the sea level hasn’t as altered much somewhere else in the world.

David = Moron.

John D November 4, 2010 at 3:56 pm

A Tuvaluan whose crops are being poisoned by saltwater intrusion doesn’t care if the sea level hasn’t as altered much somewhere else in the world

But it would indicate that perhaps something else is at play if the trend is not mirrored elsewhere. i.e it would indicate that it is not a global problem, perhaps caused by local artifacts.

Of course, the Tuvaluans would be happy to finger the blame on us.

Dappledwater November 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm

But it would indicate that perhaps something else is at play if the trend is not mirrored elsewhere.

Yes.

it would indicate that it is not a global problem

No.

perhaps caused by local artifacts.

Yes and No.

John D November 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Thanks, that is really helpful

RW November 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Also, David hasn’t answered my challenge about his fundamentalist religion and conspiracist beliefs.

David = nutter

Dappledwater November 4, 2010 at 8:19 pm

David = Moron + nutter

Gareth November 4, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Tone it down please, or I’ll have no option but to snip your comments.

Dappledwater November 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Delete my previous comment if you like Gareth. I try not to lose my temper. I’m not always successful.

David November 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I’m an atheist. you must be thinking of another David.

Nutter, moron, wow, what a nice bunch of people.

Bryan Walker November 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm

David, try reading James Hansen occasionally instead of parroting what you hear your denialist sources say about him. To help you, here’s a relevant paragraph from Storms of my Granchidren:

“The period of stable sea level is almost surely over. But whether human-caused sea level rise willl be a slow bump-up reaching a maximum only of the order of a metre or so or whether it will be an eventual increase of tens of metres, with disintegrating ice sheets, continual havoc in coastal cities, and a redrawing of global coastlines, depends on policies adopted in the near term. I believe it is possible to keep sea level rise at a small bump-up, but that will require the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide to peak soon and then begin at least a moderate decline.”

John D November 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Bryan, if you believe that then we are well and truly doomed.

Especially if you believe this piece from Ms Gray

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/8105844/Why-the-United-Nations-UN-climate-change-talks-are-now-largely-irrelevant.html

Bryan Walker November 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm

John, I see no reason to doubt that sea level will rise catastrophically over time if we do not rein in emissions. I don’t know whether doom is the right word, but I certainly feel deep alarm and don’t understand where some of our commenters find their insousiance.

John D November 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Subduction?

No.

Seduction?

David November 4, 2010 at 10:30 am

In Breaking News. Ms Bunting has just announced a major discovery.
Whilst preparing to address school children in a school hall, she blew onto the microphone.
A loud shrieking noise came back over the speakers. Startled, she asked, “what was that?” The technician replied “its feedback”.
Ms Bunting suddenly realised that she had exhaled CO2 onto the microphone causing the Positive Feedback. And even worse she discovered the end of the microphone was HOT.
Yes, she has proved that Positive Feedback causes Hot Spots!
Give that woman a 50 million dollar grant.

bill November 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Hey, Gareth, perhaps it would be handy if you could find the time to reinstate the ‘approve / disapprove’ buttons. This guy’s a doozy!

Gareth November 4, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Sussed it…

David November 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm

so judging by the “clicks” only 15 people read this blog.
Ha, and you guys take yourselves so seriously . It hilarious to watch.

Richard T November 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Just read an article in New Scientist which noted the interesting point that “snowball earth” climatic states have not occurred since life-forms evolved the anus. What hope is there to avert catastrophic climate change now that human-sized assholes have evolved?

bill November 5, 2010 at 3:24 pm

…glad to see your lack of logic is at least consistent! And clearly you, for one, take ‘us guys’ rather seriously, don’t you think?

Ian P November 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Gareth – Almost all of the blogs on this post are falling well short of enhancing climate science, and simply trying to demolish it. They stoop to continually repeating arguments that are exaggerated or false, besmirch the character of others they disagree with, and bully them into aligning themselves with their camp, rather than simply letting them evaluate and interpret the scientific evidence.
Biased and emotive reporting, spreading misinformation, political pressure, and unhelpful input from abusive commentators do not help the science progress, and to this extent the contributors here should be ashamed.

Richard T November 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Ian P – by blogs do you mean comments attached to the original article “Under African Skies” by Bryan? I had been thinking also that the general tone of the comments to “Under African Skies” hasn’t been that great. However you must realise that the deniers/contrarians who post here have no interest in a constructive dialogue or much of an interest in the scientific process, hence the at-times frustrated and off-colour remarks.

Gareth November 5, 2010 at 11:51 pm

What Richard said. For a taste of what passes for commentary at so-called sceptic blogs, I suggest you dip into the comments at Watts or Joanne Nova. Not an edifying experience. Everything you suggest happens here happens there, in spades.

Rob Taylor November 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm

True, but what more can you expect from a bunch of denialist Koch-suckers?

bill November 6, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I’ve been waiting for someone to use that one! I’m just too polite…

Carol Cowan November 6, 2010 at 11:02 pm
Eco Divad November 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm

LOL! Denialist Koch Suckers!

That is funny.

Eco Divad November 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: