We want to survive

by Bryan Walker on December 4, 2010

We are facing the end of history. We don’t want to be the sacrificed countries of the 21st century. We want to survive.” These were the words of Antonio Lima, ambassador of Cape Verde to the UN, speaking at the start of the Cancún conference, where he is one of the delegates representing the 43 members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

They’re heartfelt words. They’re also knowing. The realities of climate change at this early stage are much closer to some countries than to others. Small island states are among them. Hot Topic has drawn attention to some of the most threatened such as Kiribati, the Maldives, and Tuvalu. To them can be added most of the Cook Islands and the Marshall Islands as nations which Lima said will be washed away by sea level rise (SLR).


The effect of SLR on Caribbean islands will be less total but a new report nevertheless reveals highly alarming prospects. Commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme, the UK’s Department for International Development and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, the report has been produced by Caribsave, a partnership between the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and the University of Oxford. There’s an excellent survey in this week’s Independent, written by the environment editor Michael McCarthy. The report itself is accompanied by a convenient publication which provides the key points and a summary for policy makers.

It carefully analyses the impacts of a one metre SLR this century. They include the loss of nearly 1300 km2 of land, the displacement of over 110,000 people, damage to or loss of at least 149 multi-million dollar tourism resorts, beach assets lost or greatly degraded at many more resorts, and the severe disruption of transportation networks. Severe storms would exacerbate these effects, as would the coastal erosion which will accompany SLR. The study also details the even worse impacts of a 2 metre SLR, which many scientists now consider cannot be ruled out.

The likely costs of adaptation are detailed in the report. Suffice to say here that they rise to very large percentages of GDP by the end of the century. The figures are staggering for developing countries.

AOSIS makes two pleas to the developed world. The first is not to accept a 2 degree rise in global temperature as safe for humanity. 1.5 degrees is the maximum we should settle for.  They are not on their own with such a claim. Indeed where the science is concerned it is becoming increasingly clear that 2 degrees cannot be considered a safe limit. As Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows put it in their recent paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, “the impacts associated with 2◦C have been revised upwards, sufficiently so that 2◦C now more appropriately represents the threshold between ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change.

I’ll briefly detour to note that Anderson’s and Bow’s paper, Beyond ‘dangerous’ climate change: emission scenarios for a new world, is one in a series in a Theme Issue of the Philosophical Transactions which considers the probability and consequences of a warming of 4 degrees or higher, as a not unlikely result if the present trajectory of emissions is not reversed more drastically than so far indicated. Their article speaks of a “pivotal disjuncture between high level aspirations and the policy reality”.

So if there’s little as yet to suggest that even the 2 degree guardrail is likely to be achieved, how much less likely is the 1.5 degrees that AOSIS pleads for?  One can almost hear the “get real” response from the big guys. But AOSIS are dealing in a physical reality:  ”The difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees is the difference between survival and collapse,” said Lima. It may not be a political reality, but it’s hardly their task to trim the science to fit what negotiators consider politically possible.

The second plea from AOSIS is for assistance in coping with the future effects of climate change. The Telegraph reports that they are calling for a global insurance fund to be set up.

“Poor nations at risk of sea level rise would pay an annual premium, but a large chunk of the money would come from climate change aid provided by rich nations. Like a normal insurance fund, the money would be invested privately so that there are hundreds of billions of pounds available in the event of a crisis.

“The fund would pay out according to damage, as it is impossible to prove weather is directly caused by climate change. However the insurance would only be available to nations that are affected by global warming and do not have the capacity to protect themselves. Also they would have to first take reasonable preventative measures, such as building coastal defences, so that the money is only used for extreme events.

“The insurance pay-outs could help whole nations pay for a new ‘homeland’ if sea level rise means it becomes impossible to live on their own island. It could also be used to repair airports, roads and hotels.”

The plea for assistance should not fall on such deaf ears as the plea for mitigation action is likely to. The Copenhagen Accord agreed that developed countries will support the implementation of adaptation action in developing countries, and that such funding “will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa.”

The closer we draw to the unfolding effects of global warming the more apparent it becomes that the costs of adapting to it will stretch our economic capacity. Beyond breaking point in the case of some developing countries if they do not receive assistance. Reports such as that on the Caribbean will be invaluable in identifying with more precision the adaptation needs in specific regions and prompting the preparations which simple prudence demands. They may also serve to jolt us into more serious endeavours to cut emissions. We don’t have to construct such a dangerous future.

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Bingham December 4, 2010 at 9:45 am

Cash payout seems a very poor return for having your whole country under water.

Dappledwater December 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Back on Cancun. A rather poignant video over at Joe Romm’s Climate Progress.

The head of the Cancun climate talks fought back tears in a meeting with youth activists

Thomas December 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm

To preempt the foreseeable rants of JF and other truth twisters one should highlight here again that while Brian said: “….It carefully analyses the impacts of a one metre SLR this century. They include the loss of nearly 1300 km2 of land, the displacement of over 110,000 people…..” he only talked about the above mentioned small island states. And while JF et.al. might predictably let us know that they couldn’t care less over a few thousand Km2 of land, globally of cause the impact of even only 1m sea level rise is orders of magnitude greater than this.

Artful Dodger December 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm

“it’s hardly their task to trim the science to fit what negotiators consider politically possible.”

Yes, that task has been assigned to the Denialsphere. Bought and paid for by David H. Koch and other fossils.

Richard C2 December 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Ironic isn’t it, that Japan is bailing out of the Kyoto protocol.

Richard C2 December 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm

“Hot Topic has drawn attention to some of the most threatened such as Kiribati, the Maldives, and Tuvalu. To them can be added most of the Cook Islands and the Marshall Islands as nations which Lima said will be washed away by sea level rise (SLR).”

Relax Bryan, both SEAFRAME and TOPEX are showing sea level fall (SLF) at Kiribati and Tuvalu.

Cessation of dynamite fishing to preserve reef protection would be a good start to help themselves and it’s not as if they are not getting NZ aid already.

Dappledwater December 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm

both SEAFRAME and TOPEX are showing sea level fall (SLF) at Kiribati and Tuvalu

Links?. Given the current strong La Nina, a drop in rates of sea level rise is to be expected. One only has to look at the long-term trend to realize the obvious:


Question for RichardC2: Does sea level go up monotonically every year?.

Richard C2 December 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm


Use the Interactive Wizard at the U of Colorado site for TOPEX.


Enter Lat and Lon for any specific location in the world, et voila!



See Figure 13 near the end of the report, shows sea level fall at Kiribati since late 2004

“Does sea level go up monotonically every year?.”

The answer should become apparent once the SEAFRAME and TOPEX plots are accessed for Kiribati , Tuvalu etc.

Even the global UofC metric shows a point of inflexion late 2004. The rate changed from 4.2mm per annum to 1.5mm per annum.

The latest data points are well below the 3.1mm per annum trendline i.e.the change in trend was occurring long before the present La Nina.

Thomas December 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Richard C2, I think you are misreading the graphs. The report at:
and at Fig 13 shows not the sea level, it shows the sea level trend in mm/year. And as anybody can see the trend is positive. In other words the sea level in Kiribati is rising with about 3mm/year at present.
The analysis of this is given to us in this report on page 11 of that PDF.
For Kiribati it says that the current trend is 3.2mm/year rising. The trend has slightly dropped (-0.2mm/year) from the previous month. These are short term fluctuations.

This shows perfectly how the denialsphere come up with so many erroneous soundbites as people simply misread scientific data.

Dappledwater December 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Thomas, I was anticipating his meme was all to do with La Nina, when it turns out he simply can’t read.

Richard C2 December 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm


Kiribati trend +6.0 mm/year Sept 2006


Kiribati trend +3.2 mm/year Sept 2010

From TOPEX/Jason

SSH variance for Kiribati from UofC 1992.96 – 2010.58


What do you see since 2004?

Thomas December 4, 2010 at 8:41 pm

You should read the introduction also RC2.
It says there, and you can see it in the graphs, that the long term trends will stabilize over time. You can see the high oscillations of the graph coming in at the installation date of the stations followed by an eventual attenuation to the real long term trend.
Short term fluctuations are not really relevant. The ocean heat content changes slowly.

Richard C2 December 5, 2010 at 9:59 am

Studious avoidance of Kiribati SSH variance.


Dappledwater December 5, 2010 at 10:55 am


Or boring.

Gareth December 5, 2010 at 11:29 am

What’s inconvenient is your focus on short term variation.

Richard C2 December 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm

6 years and counting

Gareth December 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

OK, RC2, here’s your challenge. Demonstrate that the balance of evidence on sea level rise indicates that these islands do not face inundation as this century proceeds.

Note: to do this you will need to demonstrate that:
a) current warming is not causing SLR, or
b) future warming will either not happen, or will not contribute to SLR
c) that major ice sheets are not melting due to the current warming
d) that future warming will either not happen, or will not cause increased melting of those ice sheets
e) why paleoclimate studies of the last interglacial (Eemian) are wrong when they show sea levels 6 m higher than today at a time when global temperatures were only slightly warmer than present
f) why rapid surges in sea level rise are not possible (where “rapid” means greater than 1m per century).

NB: “demonstrate” in this context means showing that the balance of real scientific evidence supports your contention. Blog posts, non-peer-reviewed articles, or any mention of Mörner, simply won’t cut it.

Thanks. I’ll wait.

Richard C2 December 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm

“Demonstrate that the balance of evidence on sea level rise indicates that these islands do not face inundation as this century proceeds.”

Inundation is one of a number of scenarios that may play out over the next century due to natural climate change.

For the record, I don’t deny the natural climate change that you posit and happen to loosely subscribe to the notion of a warmer than present climate circa 2050 as a result of a warm phase of the natural cycle and general warming coming out of the LIA. Hence the possibility of inundation. Before that happens though, the indications are that there is a cool phase on the way that is restricting sea level rise for the time being.

The repeat of phenomena such as a Maunder or Dalton minimum is not out of the question during that cool phase. On the other hand, what will be the magnetic effect on sea level due to gravitational changes from Greenland ice melt? Rise or fall? And where?

What the last 10 years have shown is the broken correlation between anthropogenic carbon emissions and atmospheric temperature. The last six years have shown a similar break in carbon emissions and oceanic temperature. But because the long-term trend as projected from the LIA indicates a warm phase will return circa 2040, the Islanders will still have to adapt to natural sea level rise again at that time if that scenario plays out and will require assistance but the motivations should be as per each countries normal aid policy and not as recompense for carbon emissions. In the meantime they have maybe 30 years to plan, which should be plenty.

What Greenland has shown by virtue of its name is that adaption as a consequence of natural climate change is achievable, so the Islanders can take heart in that.

Gareth December 6, 2010 at 9:20 am

Sorry RC2, this is just incoherent. You don’t rise to my challenge in any material respect, but just offer your views — and they seem to depend on a rewrite of the radiation physics of CO2. Good luck with that. Come back when you can answer a) to f) in the terms I outlined.

bill December 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

Wow – is that really the best he can do? The usual list of ‘Things I Find it Convenient to Believe, ENR*’ and yet more notions that hinge on some ludicrously short cherry-picked time-frame.

Talk about bathos; while RC2 clearly imagines himself to be spreading FUD in the warmists camp, the result is just fuddy-duddy!

*Evidence Not Required

Mike Palin December 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Some small bit of good news. The National Research Council of the US, in collaboration with the Chinese Academies of Sciences and Engineering, has just released a review of renewable energy development and deployment in the two countries. It is available for free (here). The summary indicates that the US is ahead of China in non-hydro renewable energy production by a factor of almost 3 to 1. If actions truly are more important than words, then perhaps the US deserves better than to cop a hiding because of its contrarian politicians.

Thomas December 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

… then again the US consumes per capita about 8 times what China consumes. So on a per capita basis I would think that China is already ahead of the USA.

Mike Palin December 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Alternatively, one could say that the US is even further ahead of China in renewable energy production on a per capita basis.

Look, if you want to emphasize gloom and doom, go ahead. Personally, I’m tired of hearing about it. As a geologist, I know Earth will survive AGW even if many species and large human populations don’t. The bottomline is that what the US and China do with their abundant coal resources over the next several decades will determine how bad AGW and associated ocean changes will be for the next thousand years or so. Anything that helps keep that coal in the ground is good by my reckoning.

Dappledwater December 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Look, if you want to emphasize gloom and doom, go ahead. Personally, I’m tired of hearing about it.

Best not visit too many climate science blogs then.

I have seen this type of comment a lot recently from non-skeptics. Not sure what to make of it really. Doom and gloom seems to be where we are headed on our current course, that is simply a matter of scientific facts.

No one can say when the really bad stuff is going to hit western societies, and sure some people get turned off by the scale of the problem, but I don’t see how ignoring the truth is going spur action.

Mike Palin December 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm

It has become clear that doom and gloom AGW forecasts are not working to motivate change amongst the rich and contented. A bit of positive feedback to encourage switching to renewable energy might. Some are shifting tack precisely because they know and cannot ignore the scale of the problem.

Dappledwater December 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm

It has become clear that doom and gloom AGW forecasts are not working to motivate change amongst the rich and contented.

So who has ever contended it would?. Do we simply ignore facts because some find them unpalatable?.

I really do fail to see what will motivate the rich to change, apart from their cozy little empires crumbling to ruin. I’d like to be proven wrong (as I’ve stated before) but nothing to date in the world of politics convinces me I will be.

MrSmith December 4, 2010 at 10:41 pm

We need to educate the people as you are doing right now, don’t stop or give up please. The people have to go knock on there door and say how about turning that music down , and then they have to decide weather to fight or turn the music down. But only give them two chooses .

Mike Palin December 5, 2010 at 5:13 am

I am not advocating ignoring any facts just as I am not big on “framing” them for consumption by a specific target audience. I was simply pointing out that in spite of the general doom and gloom concerning politiics in the US, there are positive, albeit small, steps being taken to reduce GHG emissions. My home state of California for example kept its targets in place by a 60-40 popular vote – that’s a landslide in the American system.

adelady December 5, 2010 at 2:27 am

Motivate the rich?

Don’t know about motivate, but no snow at Aspen or the European snowfields when one expects one’s needs to be met by appropriate services, like snowfall, might bring home the reality. (I know there are snow machines, but they have limits.)

Similar thing for storms or fires affecting seafront or mountain second homes.

Dappledwater December 5, 2010 at 11:20 am

My home state of California for example kept its targets in place by a 60-40 popular vote – that’s a landslide in the American system.

Yup, a light in the darkness is California. I bet there was a collective sigh of relief when that oil funded proposition was voted down. I know I was relieved.

John D December 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Dappledwater December 5, 2010 at 11:20 am
Yup, a light in the darkness is California. I bet there was a collective sigh of relief when that oil funded proposition was voted down. I know I was relieved.

Yes, Dappledwanker, I expect you were relieved that so many Californians are now on the dole and that this state of the good ol USA is close to bankrupcy, like so much of Europe.

You love seeing people suffer don’t you?

bill December 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm


*Do Not Feed the Troll – Press the Little Red Button Instead

Thomas December 4, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I agree with you of cause. It is indeed so that what China and the US do will determine a large part of the global outcome. And I applaud the many great initiatives in the US.

I sometimes try to imagine how different the world would look like if the US establishment would embark on a Manhattan Project style R&D and deployment of sustainable tech with an ambitious target. How much ‘energy’ (of the people kind) and hope would be unleashed if all the (conservative) dead weights of the US system would disappear into the wilderness letting the rest of us get on with providing an exciting future for our children. Then I look with dread towards the 2012 elections there and how much damage they will cause….

Mike Palin December 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm


Le Chat Noir December 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Oxford’s Professor Dieter Helm, writing in the FT in support of a border tax on carbon points out that:

All of this looks fine, until you admit that energy intensive industries have been emigrating elsewhere. To give some idea of the scale of these effects, under Kyoto measurements the UK’s production of carbon fell around 15 per cent between 1990 and 2005. But once carbon imports, aviation and shipping are added it actually went up, by around 19 per cent.

The bottom line is that carbon consumption, not production, is what counts. Any serious global climate policy would have those who cause the emissions paying for them. And the obvious answer is to price carbon whatever its source.

While it is great that the United States have increased their production of renewable energy any reasonable comparison with China has to figure in both population and the net effect of trade between the two nations. You can find more information on consumption based accounting here.

Mike Palin December 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm

To avoid the worst of AGW, we will have to find ways to develop and deploy renewable sources of energy, so that burning of fossil fuels can be reduced and eventually terminated, as well as effective methods of carbon capture and storage. This is work for scientists and engineers, not lawyers, accountants, or politicans.

Le Chat Noir December 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Last time I looked engineers didn’t get to deploy anything significant without legal contracts, a cost benefit analysis and in NZ, compliance with the RMA, which is a law passed by politicians. “No man”, as someone once said, “is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

Mike Palin December 6, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Precisely! The negative effects of AGW are not yet severe enough for the lawyers, accountants and politicians to allow the means we have available to limit GHG emissions to be implemented. Instead, they argue over ways to enumerate emissions, construct tax schemes and negotiate international agreements.

Le Chat Noir December 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm

You’re right of course. Apparently the lawyers are still trying to get rid of those nuclear weapons that the scientists came up with 70 years ago. You’d think the lazy bastards would have sorted that one out by now, eh?

Mike Palin December 7, 2010 at 4:33 am

Hmm, now I see. No politicians involved in perpetuating the Cold War – all a plot by mad scientists and nuclear engineers?

One of my best friends is an accountant, but fortunately not any lawyers or politicians. Bit if you think together those professions hold the key to getting us out of this fix by negotiating more spineless international agreements, then you’re barking up the wrong tree. Like it or not, development and rapid deployment of lower cost (economic and environmnetal) renewable energy generation and atmospheric carbon capture and storage technologies are our best hope.

Le Chat Noir December 7, 2010 at 11:45 am

Jonathan Pershing is the U.S. Department of State’s Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change at Cancún.

Jonathan served as lead U.S. negotiator for the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on  Climate  Change and its  1997  Kyoto  Protocol.  He has  a  PhD in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Minnesota. 

So, not a lawyer or an accountant then.

Macro December 7, 2010 at 7:55 pm

“No man”, as someone once said, “is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

Francis Bacon :)


“Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method or simply, the scientific method.”

Le Chat Noir December 7, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Keep your bacon. I’m getting out the ham!

“This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune – often the surfeit of our own behaviour – we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; bookkeepers and lawyers: as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star!”

bill December 8, 2010 at 12:29 am

At the mention of both ‘ham’ and ‘foppery’, why do I immediately think of Lord Monckton?

On the topic of the bard, who remembers?…

Get thee to Gloucester, Essex. Do thee to Wessex, Exeter.
Fair Albany to Somerset must eke his route.
And Scroop, do you to Westmoreland, where shall bold York
Enrouted now for Lancaster, with forces of our Uncle Rutland,
Enjoin his standard with sweet Norfolk’s host.
Fair Sussex, get thee to Warwicksbourne,
And there, with frowning purpose, tell our plan
To Bedford’s tilted ear, that he shall press
With most insensate speed
And join his warlike effort to bold Dorset’s side.
I most royally shall now to bed,
To sleep off all the nonsense I’ve just said.

Macro December 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm

“by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star!”
How appropriate! Different problem – same rationalisation..

Carol Cowan December 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm

John Donne write that piece about no man is an island.

Le Chat Noir December 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Yep but Macro knows that. And Bill’s bards are Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett.

Bob Bingham December 5, 2010 at 7:49 am

Agreements at these big meetings mean nothing as the countries concerned go home and still increase CO2 emissions. We in NZ put ours up 25%. We need to build five or six big Hydo plants quickly and shut Hamilton and then we can say we are green. Unfortunately it is usually concerned Greens that stop natural energy construction.

Thomas December 5, 2010 at 9:19 am

Hydro plants are not such a clear cut thing. Drowning a valley will release vast amounts of CO2 as plants and topsoil decompose. Later these lakes become Methane emitters.

From the study linked to above:

“….in a study to be published in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Fearnside estimates that in 1990 the greenhouse effect of emissions from the Curuá-Una dam in Pará, Brazil, was more than three-and-a-half times what would have been produced by generating the same amount of electricity from oil.”

Green energy policy must provide a full audit of the consequences of energy projects and sometimes the outcome is counter-intuitive.

Tony December 5, 2010 at 8:25 am

“Look, if you want to emphasize gloom and doom, go ahead. Personally, I’m tired of hearing about it.”

I see. So if we just sneaked in a bit of good news now and then, that would kickstart people into doing the right thing?

Well, the good news is that in a post-apocalyptic world, the rich may survive in their bunkers with enough rations to last at least an extra 5-10 years or more.

Nature, however, without humans will require many thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years to reset itself. The forests that we have relentlessly trampled all over that could still save us even now, will ironically eventually bounce back whether we like it or not. The other good news is that the biodiversity will eventually be restored awaiting the next dominant species to evolve in the post-anthropocene epoch.

As Chris Tarrant often says “Well done everybody!”

Dappledwater December 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

Well, the good news is that in a post-apocalyptic world, the rich may survive in their bunkers with enough rations to last at least an extra 5-10 years or more.

Interesting idea that. If things really do begin to unravel, I suspect money & wealth will become meaningless.

You’d think that would suffice as a motivating force for the mega-wealthy, but it appears their vision is so narrowly focused on the road just ahead of them, they fail to see the yawning chasm up ahead.

Gareth December 5, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Here’s a telling little snippet that throws a harsh light on the commenter known here as Richard C2, but at Treadgold’s place just Richard C. There he writes, in response to Treadgold moaning about someone posting a link to Hot Topic:

RT, I think you are overlooking the sporting element. My current strategy is to see how many “Dislikes” I can amass.

Managed to achieve 13 and “Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.” for some inconvenient sea level info on Bryan Walkers latest weepy “We want to survive”.

A personal best.

And watching warmists hide inconvenient truths does provide excellent spectator value when mental images of squirming are conjured.

“Richard C” is henceforward on permanent moderation. His comments will only appear here if I consider them to be an attempt at good faith discussion and debate, not simple trolling.

Artful Dodger December 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Well done, Gareth. He’s had enough lulz.

Please continue to check your web logs to monitor his use of ‘sock puppet’ identities. Thank-you.


bill December 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Such smug self-satisfaction from someone caught out being unable to read a chart!

Carol Cowan December 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I hope 13 brings him bad luck.

Thomas December 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

Over there at the Climate Conversation poor old Richard Kick the Gold and Richard C are discussing things with each other in an otherwise rather empty chat room. Perhaps Richard C is a pseudonym for Richard Treadgold. Might as well…

Gareth December 6, 2010 at 1:45 pm

For those who don’t want to go there (and I don’t blame you in the slightest), here’s what the ever-charming and oh-so-reasonable Treadgold had to say about a visit to HT:

The dreary stream of not-listening-to-each-other, insulting ad-hominems is as depressing as it ever was. Almost nobody over there wants to accede the smallest point in comments which disagree with theirs. Much of it is infantile. Even the science is used as a blunt weapon to injure others.

When they grow up they are welcome to come here.

It’s a looking glass world they inhabit, apparently. And he still doesn’t understand that pointing out that someone is wrong is not ad hominem!

bill December 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Yes, I went and had a look too, and noticed that one. I particularly enjoyed -

You’ll be able to derive hours of enjoyment (and guffaws) from this pastime while the rest of us joust with equal (smug) satisfaction at HT

The ‘pastime’ referred to is reviewing headlines of the type Jo F and John D are so attached to pasting – all of 2 are given; what can one say about the forecast that this would provide ‘hours’ of entertainment and laughter?

However, ‘smug satisfaction’ is, for once, a perfect descriptor! But the unkind might suggest arrogance and ability were rather in inverse proportions here…

I believe the Conservapedia – no, you couldn’t make it up! – is about to officially redefine ‘ad hominem‘ to mean any challenge to any AGW denier / far-right / Tea Party figure. After all, it’s the only definition that fits the usage…

RW December 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Some sage must have had such activity in mind when he referred to “mental masturbation”.

Carol Cowan December 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Oh great, RW, now I have to clean spluttered coffee off my screen!

Daveosaurus December 6, 2010 at 10:48 am

I must admit that it was rather amusing to read Treadgold throwing a tantrum because someone had the effrontery to link back to here…

Bob Bingham December 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm

One of the problems in trying to convince the rich countries that the threat is real is that they feel insulated from the problem. Sea level rise only effects the Pacific Islands, Bangladesh etc. Louisiana and Holland make better examples. The loss of grain in Russia helped to get the Russians thinking it might be real. We need a clear climate change disaster in the USA to get the biggest polluters to realise it is their problem as well.

Steve Wrathall December 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm


Johnmacmot December 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Steve, one of your more intelligent posts. Thanks for the insight -it moves the conversation on, and shows that the denialiati are not half asleep as some suggest.

Could you provide some references for that position though?

Artful Dodger December 5, 2010 at 7:27 pm
Tony December 5, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Welcome back Steve.

I believe Doug Mackie asked you a fairly reasonable question a few threads back. You didn’t answer I assume because you might have missed it. Just in case, here it is again, as I am sure you wouldn’t want us to miss your side of the story.

Acidification (n).
The action or process of making something (more) acidic; conversion into an acid; addition of acid.
2006 New Scientist 5 Aug. 30/1 Most scientists think it is correct to describe any process that lowers pH as acidification.

Are you a chemist Steve? No? I am. (And my research group has been measuring ocean pH for over 15 years). The appropriate term is acidification.

bill December 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm

And just in case you don’t remember, Steve, your relevant comments below Bryan’s ‘Handle with Care’ post are here and here.

‘Bag of hammers’ is the phrase, eh, Steve? Sauce/Goose = Sauce/Gander

Steve Wrathall December 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm

You’re technically right, like McDonalds is part of a healthy diet.

bill December 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Ah – a non-sequitur! Tell you what Steve, just a bit of editing, and…

You’re technically right, like McDonalds is part of a healthy diet.


Gavin's Pussycat December 6, 2010 at 1:46 am

They shouldn’t be begging, they should be sueing. Setting up the legal infrastructure now.

Doug Mackie December 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Yep, the term is acidification and it is happening. What’s your explanation for this observation Steve?

Tony December 7, 2010 at 8:08 am

It certainly sounds better than less alkalinisation. I think that the main misconception is that the pH is the critical factor in the sense that if it is only less alkaline then that can’t be all bad. WHat most people don’t realise is that it is the carbonate concentration that plummets as pH drops and if carbonate drops too far then sea life dies out. And unfortunately you don’t need much of a pH drop to do that. Hence the need for immediate action. I suggest that we start with a global fossil fuel free day, where people are challenged to not use fossil fuels for 24 hours except for emergency services.

Lane December 6, 2010 at 10:34 pm

What a load of bollicks. Just like you cannot find anyone who voted for MMP, in 10 years time no-one will own up to the fear mongering being presented at his site. Get a life.

bill December 7, 2010 at 12:23 am

‘Bollicks’ – that’s a nightcap brewed from something unspeakable, isn’t it?

RW December 7, 2010 at 9:45 am
bill December 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm

…but that was my idea of witty repartee!

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