Friday’s dust

The weekend’s coming, and so I’m clearing out some of the stuff that’s cluttering up my web browser. NIWA recently posted an excellent explanation of the carbon/greenhouse gas relationship in pastoral agriculture, taken from the July issue of their magazine, Water & Atmosphere: Why isn’t grass in, methane out, carbon neutral? Click on the image above to see the carbon flows in a typical paddock. The article’s a good overview of why agricultural methane’s important, worth a read.

Lord Nick Stern is giving this year’s Sir Douglas Robb Lectures at the University of Auckland (Sept 8 – 10, with live link to Wellington), on Managing the risks of climate change, overcoming world poverty and creating a new era of growth and prosperity: The challenges for global collaboration and rationality. Over three nights he’ll be considering how we can reconcile dealing with climate change while promoting development where its needed, the sorts of policies required, and the global context for action — developing themes from his book A Blueprint for a Safer Planet. I hope Key and co are paying attention…

The Australian Academy of Sciences has released The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers (web, pdf) this week, an attempt to:

… address confusion created by contradictory information in the public domain. It sets out to explain the current situation in climate science, including where there is consensus in the scientific community and where uncertainties exist.

It’s an excellent introduction for anyone new to the subject, and includes useful boxes dealing with standard sceptic questions (it’s the sun, cooling since 1998, etc & etc).

Finally, a snip from a screenshot from the climate deniers answer to John Cook’s excellent Skeptical Science iPhone app. The great and the good of scepticism (Monckton, Watts, Carter and the usual suspects) clubbed together to create a digital catechism of climate denial. Under “key climate theories” it provides a screenful of mutual contradictory arguments (as John Cook pointed out in the Guardian recently), but what made me laugh was this, snipped from their disclaimer page:


If only all sceptic nonsense came with such a helpful disclaimer… and our policy makers read the small print. 😉


13 thoughts on “Friday’s dust”

  1. Housekeeping note: I upgraded an element of the site software last night, and as a result the comment rating and comment editing functions are broken. I hope to have normal service resumed at some point…

  2. The NIWA graphic, and others like it assume a steady state condition. There’s a bit of discussion at the moment as to whether steady state is the dominant mode in NZ.

  3. Climate confuser Bjorn Lomborg makes up a new story, copied by ‘news’papers around the world: A 7-metre sea level rise is no big deal, and costs only 600 billion per year to cope with:

    “Tokyo coped with 5 metre subsidence since the 1930s, so we can cope with sea level rise as well”. Forgets to mention that subsidence was stopped in 1975 (, and that Tokyo is still 6+ metres above sea level!

  4. It seems the movement of voters from Labor to the Greens in Australia has resulted in a PM who thinks climate change is a socialist conspiracy…… interesting turn of events! ETSs really are a toxic issue aren’t they?

    (if you add the Labour Greens vote in all the swing seats that the Liberals won it is usually greater than the Liberal vote)

  5. Sounds like a useful lesson for Labour on not abandoning climate change policies sought by its supporters, plus a good reason to bring in proportional representation.

    Remember, reality itself gets a vote, and the continuing impoverishment of Australian agriculture will tell on the coalition’s rural support. I expect Oz will go to the polls again before long.

    1. But Labor were between a rock and a hard place because if they supported an ETS they would lose ~10% of support to the Liberals, if they didn’t support an ETS they would lose ~10% of support to the Greens. In the end they side stepped and dodged and no one really knew were they stood.

    1. hmmm yes we have a name for these political parties, they are called the minor parties! (but I like your comments though – even gave them the green tick)

  6. Abbott’s not in yet. And Greens have balance of power in the Senate. Balance of power in the House of Reps includes a Green and an ex-Green (who is still green) and another independent who sees an ETS as crucial to any deal with either side (and he’s going to move as a bloc with two other independents). At the moment, I think the smart money would be on a minority Gillard government with some kind of promise to bring in an ETS before 2013.

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