TDB Today: Facing the future – no Bridges too far

In my post at The Daily Blog today — Facing the future – no Bridges too far — I take a look at the Royal Society of New Zealand’s latest information paper about the need to move New Zealand to a green economy. There’s a yawning gulf between the rational world view embodied in the RSNZ’s paper and the policy settings adopted by the current government. Which comes as no surprise…

Below the fold I’ve embedded the infographic designed by the RSNZ to accompany its paper. It’s well worth taking a look…

Facing the Future: Towards a Green Economy in New Zealand

by Dumpark.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

188 thoughts on “TDB Today: Facing the future – no Bridges too far”

  1. Get rid of Bill and the biofarmer before they destroy your site. You could change to a Facebook person check because it is a bit more difficult to fake. Don’t worry about upsetting them or hurting their feelings they are professionals and will move to another site and start all over again.

    1. Hu? I guess you meant: Get rid of AndyS and Biofarmer if anything??

      Perhaps a simple cure could be to no longer respond to their denier nonsense as there is very little chance that anybody can alter their state of denial from where they are operating from.

      1. “Perhaps a simple cure could be to no longer respond to their denier nonsense as there is very little chance that anybody can alter their state of denial from where they are operating from.”

        That pretty well sums up the problem; arrant nonsense from Thomas spouting the official gospel. Well done Thomas ; you got the key “in-group” words in twice in one sentence.
        Everyone feeling more secure now?

          1. Wrong on both counts Nigel. I have noted your propensity to assume that a question is rhetorical when it is not.
            It saves giving a revealing answer right?
            (That last is not a rhetorical question)

            1. Biofarmer you do ask rhetorical questions. Example your one in a previous article asking about CO2 trends and how we know they are caused by humans.

              The answers have been pointed out to you before on previous articles, and are easilly found anyway.

              But rhetorical questions are great for spreading doubt aren’t they, and substituting for your lack of actual knowledge.

    2. If I thought Andy (not Bill, I presume) and biofarmer were really derailing the conversation here, then I would take action. Andy is already on moderation, and bio needs to be reminded to stay on topic, but the best approach is just to ignore them.

    3. Au contraire. In 10 or 15 years, my son is going to be asking me why his generation has to clean up the mess that my generation has created. I want to be able to show him evidence of the painful stupidity that we had to fight. The more that andy and bio demonstrate their scientific ignorance and moral bankruptcy, the better.

      1. No one is stopping you or your son, if you want to walk everywhere, lobby for a $20 a litre surcharge on petrol, and carpet the north island in wind turbines, be my guest.

            1. AndyS your silly exaggerations about wind energy farms covering all the north island. That one. The childish one.

          1. Andy is being alarmist a $100 per tonne carbon price would add about 25 to 30c per litre.

            He does his position no credit when he keeps making up such obviously bogus claims.

            1. It is not a bogus claim.
              It is a rhetorical technique of reductio ad absurdum to see where the position might lie.

              So apparently putting up petrol by 30c a litre will solve the “climate crisis”

              Great, let’s do it.


            2. This is not discussing in good faith (see comment policy). You are inventing straw men and derailing discussion. I will not pass further comments if you don’t at least make the effort to engage in intelligent discussion.

            3. I thought it is a very reasonable question to ask

              I keep hearing the need to “take action”

              Isn’t it reasonable to ask what form that action might be in quantifiable terms?

            4. It would be, but that’s not what you’re doing. You offer deliberately absurd straw men as examples, without really engaging in discussion.

            5. AndyS, no reductio ad absurdum is a maths and logic argument. Your argument was just a straw man argument and scaremongering. Nothing new there, you do it all the time.

    4. But I already gave a link to both the FB page and the website that pertain to our activities.
      More paranoia?

      Oh right!
      It could have been a false flag attack.

  2. I would say some climate sceptics are paid professionals or belong to some lobby group. You can recognise them by their style. They make short statements designed to get a response, then their answers are often very short and often amount to some simple claim.

    This never stops like a long game of chess and its designed to keep the doubt going, and saturate articles with the least possible expenditure of effort. This reminds me of AndyS.

    1. Nigelj

      Perhaps you could make a list of the statements I have made that you either find offensive or misleading and we can deal with those

      I don’t recall actually making any claims about climate recently, more about other areas of interest

      1. AndyS I find most of your comments missleading. You typically quote one paper that you think supports your argument, while ignoring all the many that dont.

        When others respond to you and take the trouble to quote science or specific papers, you ignore them and change the subject. You show no respect.

        1. maybe you could give me an example of a paper that I have quoted that supports your claim.

          As for showing no respect, you have to cut me some slack. [Pointless self-pity snipped. GR]

          1. AndyS quoting the two recent papers claiming low climate sensitivity, while ignoring dozens that show the opposite. Plus the papers you quote on low sensitivity are based on dubious short term trends, but thats just fine with you apparently.

  3. Looks like I posted on the wrong thread.

    Gareth, it’s not obvious to me that there is a yawning chasm between us.
    I wonder how much of the following you would say is not sensible (these are paraphrased words of a well known commentator) :-

    “. . . it is high time that we break the “hegemony” of carbon-based fossil fuel producers not because it is immoral to produce energy and make money at it, not because CO-2 is an enormous risk, but because it is dirty, expensive, a waste of precious pre-synthesized organic molecules of enormous value UNBURNED, and not a suitable basis for a steady-state world civilization with a high global standard of living, the only kind of world that might one day transcend war, poverty, and widespread preventable human misery.

    It is also good to prevent any single corporate interest group from amassing enough wealth and structural dominance that they become a political factor at the expense of the people they serve, a tail wagging the dog, and this has long since been passed with e.g. oil companies

    So I’m all for solar (sustainable forever, basically); thorium (sustainable for at least 1000 years, long enough maybe to solve the fusion problem); fusion ; biodiesel IF it is sustainably profitable without subsidy and ecologically no worse than oil wells; conservation measures based on clever technology that are themselves life improvements (faucets that go on only while you use them, toilets that flush themselves, lights that only go on when there is somebody there to see the light, heat that goes on only when somebody is there that needs to keep warm).

    A lot of this stuff has positive ROI just because the resources saved cost more money than the device with any reasonable amortization.”

    1. You are right, there is much (but not all) in that statement with which I would agree – but I do strongly disagree with the apparent dismissal of CO2 as a reason for action.

      Where we differ bio, is in the sources we use for information. You seem to rely on propaganda sites like Jo Nova or µWatts for your info on climate. I prefer to talk to scientists working in the field, read the peer-reviewed literature and reports, and in general to trust the expertise of the science community – just as I trust the expertise of doctors and surgeons. It’s not blind trust, but it comes from a recognition that someone recognised by his peers as an expert is likely to be the real thing.

      We are long past the stage of needing to debate the science or the need for action. The real debate is about what we do.

      1. You think that climate modification is important : I think that it’s a sideshow.
        I think the issues are energy and populations whatever the climate.
        How much clean energy is available and how should it be allocated to how many?
        I include food as a subset of energy because that is what it is.(amongst other things).
        I don’t believe that there will ever be the concerted world action that would be necessary to alter climate if that ever proves to be both desirable and possible. If it’s not profitable then it won’t happen. Subsidies are not sustainable.
        So we should be talking about the future of Godzone within a population/energy framework, which would obviously involve a balance between agriculture and conservation.
        Instead we spend a lot of time talking about something that we cannot change, even if it should prove to be possible.

        1. Your “sideshow” is – quite literally – an existential threat. If we (and I mean by that the global community) can’t find ways of minimising the harm that will definitely result from continued unfettered carbon emissions, then the survival of our global civilisation is seriously at risk.

          That’s the big picture. NZ will have to play its part in trying to tame the tiger if and when the global community acts.

          However, the things that will help NZ to ride the waves of change involve building resilience and a willingness to adapt to the changes that are now inevitable (such as sea level rise). You and I might disagree on the mix of policies that would achieve that, but we might have a lot in common too.

          The point I’ve made in successive posts at TDB and here is that denial of climate risk greatly increases likely future costs of damage (by building infrastructure on land that we know will be flooded, for example), and it also makes no sense to build resilience if you ignore one of the biggest risks…

          1. Just for the record . . . We have been building on flood- prone land forever. That way we don’t have to walk so far to get food, because a lot of flood able land is very fertile.
            Undoubtedly it is stupid to cover the most fertile land with houses, but the flood risk is dealt with by subsequent building of stop banks to protect the authorities who would otherwise be liable for having issued the building permits.
            The developers get the free lunch.
            And we know what narrowing of the flood plain does . . . Increases the velocity in the channel and accelerates the erosion.
            It has never stopped us before.

      2. If it is the case that there is as much chance of a concerted global effort to raise the carbon(humus) content of the soils of the world (by removing CO2 from the atmosphere), as there is of a concerted global effort to halt the addition of further CO2 to the atmosphere, then we can be assured that atmospheric CO2 levels will continue to increase for some time.
        My personal view is that there was probably a better chance of achieving the former because the science was well-known- undisputed even-, and there is reasonable evidence that it could have had a significant effect on the atmospheric CO2 level.

        Now that the polarisation about carbon dioxide, and what level it should or should not be at has reached extreme levels , I doubt that there will ever be any agreement about any aspect of this.

        Which leaves individuals in possession of land with the option of capturing as much CO 2 , and sequestering same in their soils, as it is economically desirable to do. The positive environmental benefits are not in dispute; the economics are sound .
        The only problem would seem to be the cash position of most farmers being such that they cannot afford to put anything back, and must use excess nitrogenous fertiliser to screw the last dollar out of their soils , while losing the remaining carbon content.

        Could be a more immediate problem wouldn’t you say?

        And the solution would arguably achieve several ends.
        A no-brainer . . . you might think.

  4. Gareth if you are ever inclined to eliminate troll activity on this site , then I suggest that you simply block every post containing the following words-
    “denier; denial, and deny”.
    It is that simple.
    Why don’t you try it?

      1. That was just to prove that Gareth would struggle to clip your wings eh Bill?
        How to troll without saying denier 🙂
        Why don’t you be constructive and suggest a couple more words that would trigger an automatic block?
        Like . . . Troll maybe?

        1. A person who denies something is in denial. This is standard English usage, and long precedes WW2. In my experience, people who are quite obviously in denial about the reality of climate risks who pretend to take offence because of some putative association with Holocaust denial are being disingenuous.

          1. Ah . so you deny that calling someone a denier is trollish behaviour 🙂

            Can you name someone who denies nothing?
            Ergo . . .

            So what is the point of it , pray tell.

  5. Nobody denies the reality of climate risks ; nobody denies that there are substantial climate risks and always have been, and that the greater the size of the population and associated infrastructure the greater the risk.
    The more people that are forced into marginal habitats , the greater the risk of loss from climate events.
    I notice that those bandying the denier term about are always careful never to specify exactly what it is that they allege is being denied, or they make quite false claims , just as you did there. Of course climate is a risk .
    What did you really mean?
    Can you be specific about what it is that you believe that I deny?

    1. What’s being denied is the need to take urgent action to reduce emissions. There are many flavours of that denial, from the out and out rejection of radiation physics by the so-called dragon slayers, to the no warming for (pick a number) years, to people who say we can’t do anything to stop it. What’s lacking in all these sorts of positions is rational risk assessment.

  6. Let’s see, a Troll might be someone who has 6/10 comments – mainly silly and irrelevant comments at that – on the ‘latest comments’ list, for instance.

    And the ‘oh, call the wahmbulance, I’m being persecuted: I’ve been called a denier! help, help!’ thing is old hat and just dull, dull, dull. Denier.

    Now apparently you’re calling for outside help in knowing what it is you think! I’ll chip in ‘not much’; anyone else have other suggestions?

  7. An Environmental Protection Authority hearing is currently taking place in Wellington. Trans Tasman Resources is applying for a resource consent to mine ironsand from the seabed in the South Taranaki Bight – 50 million tonnes annually for 20 years. The company has received a $25million grant from the Government to support ‘innovation’.
    KASM (Kiwis Against Seabed Mining) has mustered approx 4500 submissions against TTR’s application. KASM needs $40,000 to be able to pay its lawyers and experts at least something and has currently raised $8,000 from its supporters.
    I am feeling very gloomy about the outcome.
    (PS: I am not connected to KASM except as one of the 4500 opposed to the project.)

  8. If put in the context of people denying that climate change is going to be a threat to civilisation I think its fair. The issue with the term in my view though is calling people deniers suggests the subject they are denying is beyond doubt. This is really the case in climate science as the vigourus debate on this site confirms.

  9. Rearly, my mistake.

    What if everyone on here agreed to call people sceptical of the threat of climate change sceptics? That would be the respectful thing to do and would stop the endless debate over what is a frivolous issue. It will be more constructive to discuss the issues rather than what each other are called.

    1. Because ‘skepticism’ has a long and noble tradition and is the basis of science.

      But a true skeptic must allow themselves to be persuaded by the overwhelming weight of evidence, otherwise what they have is merely a tenet of personal faith, or a belief.

      And so we get to climate change deniers: these guys just want to deny a truth that inconveniences them politically, and by tendentious and/or selective means*, even though any reasonable person would have to accept that reality the same way we accept the reality of, say, tectonic plate movement.

      These people are no more ‘skeptics’ than creationists are.

      ‘Beyond doubt’ and ‘proof’ are for mathematics. I could waste a lot of time in life qualifying every statement regarding the world science has revealed to us with the tag ‘of course, we can’t 100% prove this.’ And the fact that we can’t is then, in turn, exploited by the creationists …


      The issue with the term in my view though is calling people deniers suggests the subject they are denying is beyond doubt. This is really the case in climate science as the vigourus debate on this site confirms.

      is a bit, um, wobbly, but seems to infer that the existence of debate on this site proves that ‘the science isn’t settled’. If so, I’ll say ‘yeah, and the existence of creationist websites casts real doubt on evolution and the big bang.’

      *Such as playing the victim over the deployment of a word whose dictionary definition is ‘one that denies, a denier of harsh realities’.

        1. AndyS, The basic shape of Michael Manns hockey stick graph has been duplicated by dozens of other independent studies. The MWP does appear to be a weak event. I think if you go on claiming otherwise, you are a silly denier.

          1. Yes I agree Nigel, the Hockey Stick has been replicated by several other papers

            [Snipped. Your views on Mann’s work are off-topic/irrelevant. GR]

  10. I’m afraid that John C really doesn’t have a clue about how science works:

    The issue with the term in my view though is calling people deniers suggests the subject they are denying is beyond doubt. This is really the case in climate science as the vigourus debate on this site confirms.

    For a start, how do you define “without a doubt”? If you mean there is 100% certainty about something you have no clue since science cannot prove anything as 100% proved. That is why real scientists, as opposed to the junk scientists and pseudo-scientists who are deniers, put in uncertainty limits or error bars on their work, something that deniers refuse to even see or talk about.

    Funny how deniers take great efforts to try and convince us that they are not deniers when it is so obvious that they are. Now they may be denying at different levels of the AGW science but the end result is always the same “do nothing, nothing will happen if we continue BAU”.

    1. Hi Forrester, as you know I am a denier (see previous definition) but I put error bars on stuff and accept that there is a probability distribution to things like climate sensitivity.

      So I don’t think that denier scientists don’t use probabilities because many deniers do. For example the denier Nic Lewis uses errors and probabilities. Also,denier Doug Keenan talks a lot about proability time series etc. so I don’t think your definition of denier scientist is quite correct.

      Maybe you can think of a better one?

  11. I’m glad climate change is such a minor concern now. The real issue now seems to be the definition of denier. I must say that will be a relief to many.

      1. ” this latest ‘pointless’ round of discussion”

        When did it ever cease?
        Look at the first three posts on this thread.
        See the authors?

  12. I just seems to me the term denier is used deliberately to wind up sceptics. Either way, I’m sure we have all been called worse. On a more positive note I read sea level rise is slowing down to 2.4mm a year. Any sea level rise is concerning but the current trend is in the right direction. There has been a lot of talk about the pause, this would seem to support that. All the science was pointing to ever increasing consequences from climate change. Much of the recent news however seems to be of a reduced threat, if the discussion on CO2 sensitivity is anything to go by. I’m sure there is much still to argue about on both subjects but I can’t help but think the threat is reducing.

      1. No, I think “sock puppet” will probably be the first label. How convenient that someone pops up as a first time poster, defending poor andy from being labelled as a denier, and yet spouting the same denier myths at the same time. You must be so relieved, andy.

        1. It is definitely a conspiracy; we can’t think of anything else , so it must be so.
          Right , that’s settled then ; we have a 97% consensus.

    1. What other words in common English use should we avoid using in their correct context because such use may upset members of the climate change denial community? Evidence, is that allowed?
      “There has been a lot of talk about the pause, this would seem to support that.” Talk, yes, from the climate change denial community, but much less so from those concerned with evidence, you know the people who don’t tend to support their claims with ‘this would seem to support that’ or ‘I can’t help but think’.

    2. John C, on seal level rise, if you read the actual study that was published in Nature Climate Change the other day, and not just the deliberate misrepresentations about the same published in the blogs that produce climate change denial messages, then you will find this:

      “When the scientists corrected for this La Niña effect on rain patterns in the past decade, they found that the slowdown in sea-level rise disappeared and fell in line with the 1994-2002 pace, coming to about 3.3 millimeters a year. “

      You can read a good summary of this in Scientific American here:

      No Pause in Global Sea Level Rise
      Sea level rise as a result of global warming continues apace

        1. Biofarmer, another of your pointless rhetorical questions. Thanks for proving my previous point.

          Forget error bars, as all data has those. Google jason topex sea level data and note the upward trend in sea level over the last 100 years, and forget the little crinkles along the way.

          There is not the slightest sign of some basic change to the 100 year upwards trend in sea level. Why are you unable to see this?

          1. Nigel the answer was 0.4 mm.

            “There is not the slightest sign of some basic change to the 100 year upwards trend in sea level. ”

            Who said that there was.

            Are you allowed to say that here ? 🙂

            1. Biofarmer, so what? Almost all scientific data has a margin of error. You are stating the obvious. Sea levels are rising.

      1. Ooooh I like this excerpt, but how long is “the short term”?

        “Our results confirm the need for quantifying and further removing from the climate records the short-term natural climate variability if one wants to extract the global warming signal”

        Hmm! Settled science?

        1. In the light of what we know about short -term cycles , the absolute minimum period of observation has to be about sixty years.
          That is , if you insist that 100-200 year cycles are not short-term cycles.
          Do you so insist?

  13. We are a funny bunch on here aren’t we. No, never met Andy in my life CTG, although he does look like someone I knew when I was a kid. It’s my view that the term denier is used as an insult and seems to suggest frustration from the people who use it. Cheap insults will do nothing to bring the sides together but maybe we are past that point now anyway. Many people you label deniers believe the exact same as the climate change believers, they just argue over how extreme it will be. Denier is a pretty harsh term for them, but that’s just my opinion.

    1. The term belief has nothing to do in Science. There are however people who are prepared to actually look at the significant evidence we have and report on this objectively. And then there are those who want to wish the whole climate change issue simply away. They often never read what scientists actually publish but repeat messages crafted to deny the evidence. These people are called “deniers” because they are in denial about the situation humanity has gotten itself in. There is simply no better word for it. If this word seems insulting to you, then there is a cure: start reading what climate scientists are actually saying. Start questioning what the motives are of those who engage in and fund the denial campaign.
      You will find parallels and even the very same people involved who back in time fought tooth and nail against the recognition that smoking is a health hazard. Start asking why…

      1. And then there are those who take exaggeration to catastrophically alarming levels . . . for as long as the gravy train is rolling.
        Then they come back to reality.

        1. Biofarmer, you are really just spreading the usual unproven dribble about mysterious, dishonest scientists.Can you please name a peer reviewed paper that you claim exaggerates and prove your case with maths?

            1. Biofarmer please give a specific example of your media hysteria on climate change, with a hyperlink. Please make it mainstream media that people actually read like the Herald.

              I dont think they scaremonger about climate change, if anything herald editorials play it down.

            2. Biofarmer, what Listener article is hysterical about climate change? Exact quotes, page numbers and author please.

              And note The herald is dominated by Chris de Freitas and Rodney Hide, climate sceptics. 1ZB is dominated by Leighton Smith and Larry Williams, climate sceptics. Investigate is climate sceptic drivel.

              So I cant see much climate hysteria in the NZ media, it’s all denialist nonsense.

  14. It is worth pointing out some people deny climate change exists at all so I guess it’s factually correct to call them deniers, but from what I can gather no one here is making that claim.

    No interest in the slowing down of sea level rise? Or is that old news now. I only read it the other day.

  15. Facing the Future.


    “. . . a small amount of warming spread over a long period will, most experts think, bring net improvements to human welfare.
    Studies such as by the IPCC author and economist Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University in Britain show that global warming has probably done so already.
    People can adapt to such change—which essentially means capture the benefits but minimize the harm.
    Satellites have recorded a roughly 14% increase in greenery on the planet over the past 30 years, in all types of ecosystems, partly as a result of man-made CO2 emissions, which enable plants to grow faster and use less water.”

    For those brave souls who can read with an open mind , here is a link to that well-known propaganda site – the Wall Street Journal

    1. OMG! The mighty Matt Ridley has written a predictable opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.
      At least Bio, you could reference your sources. Some innocent bystander might think you are quoting an actual climate scientist, but you lifted the text verbatim without reference from the opinion piece of a right wing climate change denier who gets column space in the WSJ.
      Matt Ridley has coined many remarkable phrases of climate science. One wonders why one should take the man serious. He presided as Director and Chairman over the Northern Rock bank in the UK at the time when the proverbial hit the fan in the global financial crisis.
      Ridley was singled out back then for his failure and his “high-risk, reckless business strategy” that led to the banks failure.
      I guess he tries to now apply his “strategy of recklessness” to climate policy. Lets see if he can sink the planet after sinking one of the UKs banks….

      To your credit Bio, you have now added your source reference to your post above. Well done!

        1. No the WSJ is certainly influential but of cause partisan as always in the debate. But good on them to publish a wide range of opinions. No issue with that.

          However your step from finding an opinion piece by somebody like Ridley in the WSJ to concluding that Ridly is right about the science is a surprising one indeed!!

          When the NZ Herald publishes opinion pieces by Rodney Hide on climate matters, you think this actually shifts the facts of climate science?

          I often find that the discussion on climate science muddles two rather different issues:
          1) What does the science say is happening and what are causes of what is happening.
          2) What if anything should society do about it.

          We can and should have a very lively debate about (2) for sure. It is in my mind vital and essential that we do.

          But vested interests in the debate (2) continue to make ill informed and often outright and deliberately false assertions about the debate (1). The debate (1) is one that is best left to those who actually know what they are talking about. Arm chair debaters who try to deny the science published (1) have no leg to stand on. Ridley is doing just that, make sweeping assertions on matters that belong into the science debate (1) because he has a singular focus on a particular outcome that he wishes for in the debate (2). He – like many of the so called climate deniers – are stalwart right wing economists who can not stand the idea that perhaps liberal capitalism is not the best fit to a world running into significant global challenges. Despite wrecking one of the UK’s major banks (takes some doing!) he is carrying on with his course.
          So when Forbes Magazine or the WSJ publish opinion pieces, that is often simply a predictable blurb from the usual sources of people who desperately want the public to turn their eye from the issue of climate change because they are afraid that a global population that somehow manages to pull themselves together to face this issue, will arrive at new political arrangements that are at odds with their right wing philosophy.

          1. ” concluding that Ridley is right about the science is a surprising one indeed!!”
            Ridley is right to say that the book is never closed.
            He is right to say that alarmism is always counterproductive.
            He is right to call into question the economic costs of proposed actions.

            Did he say more than that?

          2. “1) What does the science say is happening and what are causes of what is happening.”

            There is little debate about what is happening although the instrumental record is scarcely adequate, and there are questions about accuracy and margins of error.

            The causes of what we observe are still under discussion and are the subject of many recent climate science papers. It is clear that there are considerable gaps in our knowledge of the mechanisms of climate cycles.

            But this is largely about the battle to capture the public approval of proposed actions.
            Currently there is no agreement to act.
            The public is unconvinced that there is cause for actions other than further discovery.

            1. BF do you ever read anything but the dishonest rubbish put out by denier blogs? You are a pathetic creature since if anyone does what you propose things will only get worse and worse. Have you read or heard about the new WGII summary. It says almost the complete opposite of what you have been preaching on this blog for far too long. I hope that you have a safe place to hide when the mobs come after people like you.

            2. I get to read the abstract of almost every new paper that is published in climate science.
              And then I get to read the same being torn apart by critics from all sides.
              I like that ; it is how science ought to be . . . debated.

              The only thing I have said on this blog is that I think we don’t have enough good evidence yet to form a firm conclusion on climate sensitivity to anthropogenic CO2.
              Apparently that is heresy in your parallel universe.

              I think that you are very much in the minority on this point.

            3. BF, it is you who is living in a parallel universe, one in which honesty, rational thinking and willingness to do what is best for future generations is completely lacking. I get very annoyed when people like you come along and make fun of what will be a very upsetting future if everyone thought and acted like you.

              I find people like you despicable. I am not in the minority but unfortunately it is a silent majority. I am thankful for Gareth and others like him who keep on allowing us to expose how mendacious people like you are in your support of the contemptible way fossil fuel interests are putting out future in jeopardy.

            4. I get to read the abstract of almost every new paper that is published in climate science.

              I seriously doubt that: you only ever post links to Nova or Watts, never to the papers themselves.

              We don’t have enough good evidence yet to form a firm conclusion on climate sensitivity to anthropogenic CO2

              We have a lot of evidence, from multiple sources using different techniques that indicate a likely range. These allow us to rule out very low sensitivities. “Most likely” response to doubling remains about 3C.

              Unfortunately we have no good recent paleoclimatic analogue for the addition of GHGs at current rates, beyond the PETM – and that was 55.8 M years ago. Nevertheless, we know it necessarily entails large changes in global climate. As an example, we can look back to the last time global CO2 was at current (400 ppm) levels – the Pliocene:

              Recent estimates suggest CO2 levels reached as much as 415 parts per million (ppm) during the Pliocene. With that came global average temperatures that eventually reached 3 or 4 degrees C (5.4-7.2 degrees F) higher than today’s and as much as 10 degrees C (18 degrees F) warmer at the poles. Sea level ranged between five and 40 meters (16 to 131 feet) higher than today.


              That’s where we’re heading.

              Low climate sensitivity? My ass, as our American cousins would say.

            5. There were 10,885 peer-reviewed articles relating to climate change published last year (but you already knew that, biofarmer, as you have read each and every one, eh?).

              Of those, 2 rejected the notion that humans are responsible for global warming. Yes, clearly there is a lot of doubt in the scientific literature, it will all blow over in a day or two. Nothing to see here, folks.

            6. No biofarmer, theres isnt any great debate about the basic causes of global warming. 95% of climate scientists say it’s due to human causes, have a read up on Cookes review of the literature.

              The weight of published science says global warming won’t be good for the planet. You are saying nothing, just spreading doubt and empty rhetoric.

            7. ” theres isnt any great debate ”

              Nigel ,you have at least the honesty to acknowledge that there is a debate.
              The debate of course is about HOW MUCH of the warming is due to human causes.
              Nobody claims that it is 100%

            8. Actually, the contribution of anthropogenic greenhouse gases to the observed warming is likely to be in the range 50%-150%, and 100% is smack dab in the middle of that range. Odd that you seem to have missed that paper from your encylclopedic knowledge of the climate literature.

            9. Perhaps you should read it again It is about hindcasting to tune the models.
              It says nothing about the predictive ability of the models.
              Conclusion : unvalidated models can be tuned to show the result that you offered.

            10. Biofarmer, there is debate about exactly how much warming. Whether its quite a lot or a truly huge amount.

              On your other post on abstracts of scientific papers on climate change, I doubt you read them all. Hundreds of climate science papers are produced every month, and there is no one list of all the papers released, so its easy to miss them.

          3. ” Despite wrecking one of the UK’s major banks (takes some doing!) he is carrying on with his course.”

            I suspect that when the full extent of the systemic failure of the banking system becomes clear (coming soon to a place near you) you will agree that Ridley had almost nothing to do with it.
            Right -wing economics similarly may be seen to be irrelevant to the collapse of the present financial system.
            The root causes may be the same old greed , fraud , corruption , and theft with a healthy dose of elitism.

            1. As Chairman of Northern Rock, Ridley should have been aware of the risks that the bank was taking. I’m a big fan of his books but ‘The Rational Optimist’ clearly shows that risk aversion is not in his nature.

            1. Bio, I think you must have a rather split personality!
              “Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst is not a bad strategy.”… If you actually meant what you said, then why on Earth are you so eager to tell the world that in your irrelevant opinion AGW is not a big issue??

              It would seem that rather than following your own premise above you’d rather have it that we all look away from the problem, stop talking about it and stop efforts to avoid the worst.

              And once again, I remind you that you should stop making assertions about climate science. You should frame your comments with: “In my humble opinion… ”
              At least then you are being truthful about the place your comments have in the greater picture of things. Statements asserting facts need evidence, not opinions, to back them up.

              As far as science papers go: Stop running to Jo Nova, Watts Up, and other such sites to look for papers being attacked. Of cause you will find every science paper attacked and ripped to bits there. That’s what these people do for a living just like the “Discovery Institute” (Misnomer of grand proportions) will rip into any paper on Evolution. It is their mission. Jo Nova, Watts, Heartland and many others ride on the mission to derail the public understanding of climate science. It is their mission and they will employ any old trick to advance their goal. They get funded to do this by people who have a vested interest in a particular outcome.

              The NRA in the US has the mission to derail and prevent gun control. They will rip into any paper providing evidence that availability of guns is responsible for gun crimes. It is their mission, the get funded very well do do this.

              With your mind the climate science denial artists have obviously have been rather successful in planting their memes. You have made that perfectly clear to us.

            2. ” AGW is not a big issue??”

              Because worse things can happen . . . obviously!

              “you will find every science paper attacked and ripped to bits there. ”

              Yep that is what I said . . . every paper, whether it is pro or contra, gets the same treatment.
              It’s called science Thomas.

              Why don’t you lay off the straw man arguments? It’s pathetic.

  16. I agree BF, no one is claiming climate change is not happening or that humans are not contributing. I don’t for a second believe the most alarmist claims of 1m plus sea level rises by the end of the century or warming of 2 deg. If the trusty satellites say it hasn’t warmed for 17 years I believe them. And if the sea is rising at 2.4mm/yr then it will take a long time to start lapping at the door of my bach. There is no real world evidence to suggest things are getting worse, if anything trends are going the other way. Yes it’s happening but too slowly to keep me up at night worrying. Most governments seem to agree it’s not worth gambling $trillions on. There has been too many scientific false scares and mid calculations to warrent that at this point. Can someone here tell me how climate change has adversely affected them lately?

      1. The article says the deaths were caused by heat combined with pre-existing conditions.
        No mention there of climate change.
        In fact it said the heat conditions had occurred previously . . .over 100 years ago.

        1. From your link:-

          “For Victoria, Tasmania, southern NSW and the southern half of SA, the heatwave ranked alongside those of January-February 2009, January 1939 and January 1908 as “one of the most significant” on record, the report said.”

          1. For the intellectually challenged amongst us, here is a comprehension question.
            Take the numbers 1908, 1939, 2009, 2014. What do you notice about this sequence?
            Here is a clue, 30,60, 5
            Yes andy – the differences are all multiples of 5 – *clever boy that!*
            But what about the size of the last figure?

            ps there are actually 3 three links – but some can’t read beyond 1

    1. Nice you are not worried John C! Shall we then take the fact that “John C over here is not worried” as a counterbalance to the message that the climate scientists have for us? Yea right!
      “here has been too many scientific false scares and mid calculations to warrent that at this point.”
      I challenge you John to actually name some of these “scientific false scares”…
      Btw on affected people, I heard somewhere that it was reported that AGW has an impact on people’s ability to express their thoughts in writing…:
      “There has have been too many scientific false scares and mid [? what the heck] calculations to warrent warrant that at this point.”

  17. Ian Forrester claims to be “very annoyed”. Climate change is at least part of the cause.

    ” I get very annoyed when people like you come along and make fun of what will be a very upsetting future “.
    On the strength of the above he may even be worse tomorrow .

    Will that do as evidence?

  18. Seriously, has anyone of you been personally affected by climate change? I haven’t. We have had some dry summers up our way lately, but it’s not dissimilar from the 90s. I’m sure you can understand why many people will be against Key spending all our hard earned money on climate mitigation when it affects most of us so little. I accept BF and his fellow farmers might see things differently but most of us will be struggling to put a personal cost on climate change.

    1. Lots of ways people are being affected right now by climate change. Note it is impossible to prove that the cliamte change observed has had a human cause but what is being observed is in line with what scientists are predicting to be caused by AGW.

      Out local city and surrounding area has had three “100 year” floods in the past 10 years or so, the one last June causing $6.5 billion worth of damages, this in a population of approximately 1.5 million.

      Just this week I received a letter from our home insurance company that they would no longer be covering hail damage since hail storms are becoming too frequent.

      And this is only at the start of what we will come to expect!

    2. Wow, Concern Trolling and now The Narcissist’s Critique – ‘why, I do declare; it hasn’t happened to me, so now how can it be a problem!’

      (Best intoned in your best ‘Southern Belle’ accent!…)

      Who remembers R2D2 / C3PO?

  19. ” it is impossible to prove that the climate change observed has had a human cause”

    “three “100 year” floods in the past 10 years or so,”

    In this area the same thing happened 1895-1910. The records exist.

    These things can come in clusters when a weather pattern shift occurs.

    1. If you are looking for proof, as in 100% probability, then that is never going to happen, because science does not work that way. The only way to get 100% probability is to let it happen.

      We are at least 95% certain that if we just let it happen, the result will be devastating. But because of that 5%, you are saying that we must condemn future generations to misery? Heartless bastard.

      1. He/they are just playing the windup game. Personally I am sick of seeing the recycled tripe being peddled by the current crop of trolls here – the antidote is to stay away for some time – though of course a new lot will probbaly be in residence by then.

      2. That is just Chicken-Licken/ The sky is falling stuff.
        You must be aware that there is no definite value of climate sensitivity and that the range of values is quite wide.
        So when you say “let it happen” you actually have no firm idea of what “it” is.
        So your “condemning future generations to misery” is just fantastic conjecture.
        You do not know that.
        It is quite possible that the lower end of the CS range would see the world much as it is now , apart from the inevitable climate changes that are naturally occurring.

        It’s quite clear that the world is going to let it happen , or at least take the time to collect more data and refine the models, mostly because it is not clear that the “risk” is of a catastrophe.
        It may be trivial.
        Nobody can put a figure on it at present.

        1. Bio, STOP MAKING UP ASSERTIONS FRAMED AS STATEMENTS OF FACT. You look so ridiculous when you do!

          Say: I Bio, believe that “it is not clear that the ‘risk’ is of a catastrophe. It may be trivial. Nobody can put a figure on it at present.

          Now if you do this, then people might simply shake their head and move on. There are all sorts of wonky people crying utter tosh from boxes on street corners at times….

          For people who want to have a look if indeed “Nobody can put a figure on it at present.” I might recommend to check out the summary that the World Bank has to offer on the subject.
          World Bank Executive Report on why me must avoid a 4 Deg warmer world

          And the full report, for people wanting to dig a bit deeper is also at the World bank website. The World bank is certainly not a loony greeny chicken little bunch of people….

          But, Oh, there is this Bio Chap on a farm in NZ, if only the world community would listen to him. He has divined somehow how we should all look at this and Good News! He KNOWS that all will be fine. Bio simply knows that stuff….

          1. You don’t read a word Thomas, but that’s fine with me.
            I have repeatedly said that nobody knows, and you continue to slaughter the straw man. (He KNOWS that all will be fine)

            Why do you make these false allegations? You know that I didn’t say that.

            It is you who claims to KNOW that the strawman argument that you repeatedly put up is wrong.

            So who is the know-it-all?

            1. So you still think that “Nobody can put a figure on it”??
              How absurd. Read the WB report and if this is not enough for you read the science that informed it. Read the IPCC reports if you wish. Read the massive pile of science that informed these summary reports.
              How can you say that nobody can put a figure on it?
              We have a very good idea indeed where all this is heading and putting figures on it is what climate scientists and paleo-climatologists have been doing!!
              Yet you simply restate the same nonsense: “I have repeatedly said that nobody knows”.

          2. So if CS is 1.5 Deg. then that is a catastrophe in your view?
            Do you say that a CS of 1.5 deg. is outside the realm of possibility?
            Why is the IPCC giving such a wide range for CS?

            Could it be that they don’t know a more precise figure?

            But you think that you do know.
            That’s fine; just don’t expect many to believe that you know.

        2. Your comment is ludicrous, biofarmer, and betrays a deep misunderstanding of managing risk. As I’ve pointed out above, low climate sensitivities can be effectively ruled out by looking at climate history.

          1. Gareth with respect it is not about managing risk when the risk has not been quantified. That is just guessing.
            If the IPCC has lowered the bottom boundary of climate sensitivity , then it might be presumed they had good reason to do that.
            I do not know why the IPCC appears not to share your view that climate history rules low sensitivity out.
            Do you disagree with the boundaries that the IPCC has suggested?
            If so , why?

            1. Once again, you show that you do not understand risk management. We routinely plan/design/build for low probability, high impact events.

              In the case of climate change, even if the risk of the collapse of civilisation is small, the cost of that would be so high that it is easily worth taking comparatively modest steps now to make that risk smaller.

              I outlined my reasons for finding very low climate sensitivities implausible in my comment about the Pliocene.

            2. Anyone wishing to catch up with the whys and wherefores of climate sensitivity should at the very least educate themselves to a point where they can think and write constructively about it. This article by Mann and Schmidt (yes them!) reviews the field very clearly and is up with the latest research on sensitivity..

            3. Yes I’ve read it Noel

              O/T I’ve been wanting to catch up with you on your power supply.
              I’ve been reading some stuff on the actual recorded outputs of solar panels (Australian conditions) which suggest that angle of incidence is a big factor in efficiency.
              Are you getting some useful numbers on this?
              And how difficult would it be to have panels that have at least some small amount of tracking ability?

            4. I’ve seen those “estimates” before Macro.
              And like all estimates , they are dependent on the underlying assumptions.
              But that doesn’t answer my question to Gareth.
              He may answer it when he’s ready.
              What is your acceptable range for a low CS?

            5. And you still believe in a CS of 1.5 – 2!!
              And what is your criticism of the underlying assumptions – pray tell?

            6. “And you still believe in a CS of 1.5 – 2!!
              You just made that up didn’t you?

              Got a quote? 🙂

            7. “So if CS is 1.5 Deg. then that is a catastrophe in your view?
              Do you say that a CS of 1.5 deg. is outside the realm of possibility?”

              “Just to be clear, you would say that a CS of 2 deg is low and implausible?”

              Or were you just saying that for the sake of “argument?”

              And what are your criticisms of the underlying assumptions of numerous studies on CS that posit a CS of around 3+?

            8. “Or were you just saying that for the sake of “argument?””

              No I was inquiring , but you did correctly ascertain that none of those quotes said what you claimed they said.

            9. “And what are your criticisms of the underlying assumptions of numerous studies on CS that posit a CS of around 3+?”

              I answered that above ; the assumption of positive feedback loops to arrive at the range of sensitivities. Without those assumptions the range is from -0.5 to + 1.5 (from memory- I’ll check that)

            10. -0.5 to 1.5! lol

              global surface temperatures since the turn of the 20th C have increase by around 0.8 C with most of that warming since 1970’s

              CO2 concentrations have increased from around 280ppm to just under 400ppm in the same period. (Note not yet doubled)

              So your -0.5 is well out the door! and the upper end of 1.5 is looking pretty weak as well. Indeed seeing you are so well acquainted with the climate science literature you will be aware of the study which notes that were CO2 emissions to end today surface temp would still rise to 1.3 C – i wont give you the reference because you already know it.

              And what pray tell is your objection to the inclusion of positive feedbacks which obviously have a role?

            11. And exactly how much would it have warmed without the CO2?
              And how do you know that?
              In other words what should the temperature be today , and why?

            12. “positive feedbacks which obviously have a role?”

              What is that role and why is it obvious? Where is the empirical evidence of their operation during periods of climatic stability e.g. interglacials

            13. “And exactly how much would it have warmed without the CO2?”

              Almost nothing.

              “What is that role and why is it obvious?”
              Well if you don’t know it’s about time you learnt.

              This one ?:-
              NO! I’m talking about peer reviewed science which is obviously foreign territory to you.


              “As expected, Huber and Knutti find that greenhouse gases contributed to substantial warming since 1850. In fact, greenhouse gases caused greater warming than was observed, because much of that warming was offset by the cooling effect of human aerosol emissions.

              “Greenhouse gases contributed 1.31°C (0.85-1.76°C) to the increase, that is 159% (106-212%) of the total warming. The cooling effect of the direct and indirect aerosol forcing is about -0.85°C (-1.48 to -0.30°C). The warming induced by tropospheric ozone and solar variability are of similar size (roughly 0.2°C). The contributions of stratospheric water vapour and ozone, volcanic eruptions, and organic and black carbon are small.”

            14. Yeah, well, Bio seems to think Quadrant is a peer-reviewed journal, so anything’s possible…

  20. So there is a lot of different projections about what the climate might do in future, but when it comes down how it personally affects you currently the costs appear minimal compared to the cost of action. I take your point Ian that insurance issues have developed, we are all experiencing that in NZ too due to a non climate related matter. I suspect though Ian that the cost of hail damaged will be minor compared to the cost of climate mitigation. I know nothing of the Queenland situation, but if you attribute say a 10%? increase in flooding (compared to average) to climate change, this cost also appears smaller than mitigation. Would government money be better spent on flood banks do you think?

    1. John, your myopic (that means short-sighted, just in case…) perspective is shocking, stupid and utterly selfish.
      The picture that climate scientists paint for our future is harsh. That fact that it perhaps has not yet noticeably affected your back yard is completely irrelevant.
      Your conclusion that: Because John C in Whaikickamookau can’t feel an effect of AGW in his backyard today humanity should not attempt to avert the looming catastrophe is perhaps the most stupid comment ever been made here by a troll!

      You need to go back to base and start some reading mate! And besides effects of a 4 Deg warmer world (where we are heading towards without a significant change in emissions) you will need to explain how the ocean systems will adapt to acidification. We already have made the oceans about 30% more acidic since the start of the human cause rapid increase in CO2 concentrations.
      But you don’t live in the ocean, so I guess this will be no bother you…

      1. “The picture that climate scientists paint for our future is harsh. ”
        Some do , some don’t ; most say that they don’t know.
        It is true that in the past , most “paintings” did tend to be at the catastrophic end, but that is changing as the science is developed.
        You should be pleased about that.

        It would be nice if those who care about the Godzone environment could together work on the changes that we know are possible and desirable.
        AGW seems to have completely divided the conservation movement.
        Committed conservationists are just getting on with it, irrespective of climate change.

        1. No Bio, you are the chicken!
          AGW has not divided the conservation movement, what utter tosh you make up once again. To the contrary it is energizing it as we speak.
          Have you read the World Bank Report on why me must avoid a 4 Deg warmer world? I put the link down for John C…

            1. For the last time: wipe the word “Belief” out of any discussion on science. This is NOT about religion.

              On CS: I take the evidence of the science community seriously and I consequently put a significant probability on us hitting +4C by 2100 unless we make sweeping changes to the worlds Carbon emissions and deforestation. There is quite a bit of evidence emerging the the CS is indeed higher than we thought.


              You may also take a peak at:

              You may be happy to put your head into your dung pit and gleefully hope for the world to do nothing declaring that a “win” of some unfathomable sort. The rest of us disagree entirely. (besides John C of cause and a fellowship of Lemmings who also want to put their heads into your dung pit too…)

            2. So , there is agreement that there is no certainty.
              From your first link:-

              “However, it remains true that we do not have a precise number for the ECS. Sherwood et al’s results give weight to higher values than some other recent estimates based on transient estimates (e.g. Otto et al. (2013)), . . . ”

              How long before there is something more definite, do you think? One or two decades?

            3. It looks like you are largely placing your faith in the prognostications of M. Mann.

              Good luck with that 🙂

        2. Biofarmer your post includes : “The picture that climate scientists paint for our future is harsh. ”Some do , some don’t ; most say that they don’t know.”

          Can you provide some sources for your latest make believe statements that most say they dont know?

          The IPCC have reviewed over 12,000 climate science papers, and they consider climate change will be negative for humanity. You haven’t read that volume of literature so you really dont know which way the evidence points.

          1. I am referring to the fact that most climate scientists (including the IPCC) say that they do not know what value to ascribe to CS.
            That being the case they can neither say that they know that the future will be harsh, nor can they say that they know it will not be harsh.
            They just cannot know.

            1. Your graphs appear to confirm exactly what I said ; a range of 3-4 degrees.
              I notice that so far nobody wants to say that a CS of 1.5 deg would be the absolute catastrophe that alarmists here are so fond of.

              O ye of little faith 🙂

            2. Biofarmer, the IPCC don’t say that. They say climate sensitivity is most likely in the middle of the range, but they don’t give high certainty at this point.

              The IPCC is very conservative. You obviously don’t understand how the IPCC work. Everything has to be signed off by governments, many of which are dominated by cranky sceptics like Tony Abbott. Take the IPCC report and then double all the negative predictions.

              Most peer reviewed literature points to the middle of the range on sensitivity, and I want you to explain to me why you personally would ignore the majority position.

              You haven’t got the expertise to really know better, and can’t possibly have read hundreds of sensitivity papers, in fact you said previously you just read some of the abstract summaries.

            3. Why do you believe that the IPCC cannot be wrong , especially in view of the knowledge that their logic for elevated CS depends on the existence of positive feedback loops which have yet to be demonstrated?

              This , after all is what the IPCC is paid to do.
              or will you allege that the members of the IPCC are not paid?

              I consider that the majority can as easily be wrong as can the minority. Do you say the majority must be right?

            4. Biofarmer , the IPCC doesn’t write science, the IPCC reviews the science. The papers on medium to high sensitivity are based on positive feedback loops.

              Many of these have been verified, the water feedback loop for example. Soden has shown increasing concentrations of atmospheric water vapour. The point its feedbacks are based on some solid evidence, and we are talking multiple lines of evidence from theory, paleo climate and recent observational evidence.

              The only real debate concerns cloud feedbacks, but even that looks positive and is only one component of feedbacks. Even with just modest feedback loops, climate sensitivity looks to definitely be in the medium to high range.

              The IPCC is not paid to find any particular finding. You are defaming them. They simply review the literature on which way the evidence points.

            5. I understand that the IPCC recently declined to give a figure which they consider to be most likely.
              Have I got that wrong?

    2. John C we are not talking about climate action to mitigate affects on us in the next five minutes! We are talking about a plan for the future.

      We need to consider not just how it might affect us, but also our children, their children, other people, and the planet.Just think about it.

  21. Gareth these “bridges” – motorway flyovers – were indeed bridges too far, and have been removed. This is a very encouraging article and shows those “doubters” on here just what it is the rest of us are banging on about. It is possible to deal with decarbonising our economy in a productive and positive way without the need to return to sack cloth and ashes. Indeed the future of BAU is for the majority a return to just that “sack cloth and ashes” as the picture of Seoul clearly demonstrates. What was built under the old economic model – still beloved by our doubting friends here – was the creation of a hell hole. The new economic model based on the rejuvenation of the environment and decarbonising the economy creates something far more positive and enjoyable.

      1. And you imagine anyone is concluding anything other than ‘geez this guy is a goose!’, I gather?

        Playing The Thing That Wouldn’t Shut Up on the internet ≠ winning, little troll.

  22. I can see the passion climate change brings out in people. To put that in context though, even though we have been experiencing climate change all our lives, no one here can point to how it is adversely affecting them. Who’s to say our children won’t say the same thing in 30 years time?

    I have read no good responce to why the warming might not be at the 1.5deg end of the range. Will this amount of warming justify the massive cost of mitigation? The lack of climate action to date would suggest not.

    1. “I have read no good responce to why the warming might not be at the 1.5deg end of the range. ”


      this was published 2007 and is about to be updated this year and you have the temerity to come on here and spout that sort of arid nonsense

      ps – it’s a summary addressed to policy makers – so it’s what politicians and local gov’t etc base their planning decisions upon.
      read it!

    2. Why do deniers always lie? John C you lied when you said:

      no one here can point to how it is adversely affecting them.

      I responded to this a couple of days ago. Did you miss it or are you just another pathetic liar?

      When a population of 1.5 million get a $6.5 billion hit caused by AGW enhanced floods that, at least to me, is an adverse affect since that money will not magically appear but will have to come out of our pockets.

      In addition, my house insurance has risen over 50% over the past 2 or 3 years due to increased damage due to climatic events in my local area. In addition they have now told me that they will no longer cover for hail damage.

      If you have nothing honest to say I suggest you just stay away from this blog.

    3. John C the majority of the scientific research suggests warming will be towards the medium or higher end. Look up climate sensitivity on

      There is already solid evidence of more extremes of weather happening in recent decades, and more intense storms, eg hansen (2011) and obviously this impacts on individuals.

  23. Biofarmer – facing the future (and the sun) with a tracking solar installation is not so OT.

    I gave thought to the matter of tracking but soon concluded that it was not really possible or cost effective ay my place. On your farm it would be far easier to find a place with day long sun even in winter. You can check out the advantages of tracking easily enough with a lux meter but beware, a few clouds moving in the sky anywhere near the sun result in very unstable readings I’ve found.

    At my place the direction is just short of NE and the pitch of the roof is 17 degrees. The installer gave me a forcast for a 5 kW system in Auckland based on an azimuth of 0° but the same pitch. Here are the numbers over 4 months:
    kWh forecast generated
    Dec 835 837.9
    Jan 880 854.62
    Feb 688 680.11
    Mar 681 694 est with 1 fine day to go
    …so going according to expectations in summer but
    Jun 335 ouch! That would about equal total demand but half would be exported anyway unless used to charge the still imaginary electric car !

    My solar heater has a pitch of 37 degrees. Up to 3 p.m. standard time it gets more lux than the pv panels but cutoff is sharp compared to the flatter PV panels. That does not matter as heat is way excessive during summer. The higher pitch favours winter. My 25 watt water pump panel can be altered in pitch but not direction. Last year on March 21 I altered it from 18° to nearly 50° at noon noting around a 20% increase in power. I have never had cause to complain about its ability to keep the battery charged and the 48 watt pump going – even when I spend a good while using it to clean the roof and panels. Thus if a fixed system more than meets one’s requirements it could be a waste of money and effort to have a tracking system. However, a tracking system would certainly boost the power generated and that might be worth exploring.

    I did conclude that with flat panels the tracking mechanism does not have to be super sensitive – the sun could move 10° say without any real loss before the mechanism moved it on 20,° if the movement is not continuous. Also, given the variability of the sky that could confuse a couple of light sensitive diodes, the tracking mechanism may be better driven by a clock rather than sensors.

    How many panels could one safely mount on a given tracking device – 6 perhaps = 1.5 kW ? If that is all you have you would definitely need a tracking system. But would it be more cost effective even if not as efficient, to have more panels fixed on the barn roof if it has a northerly aspect? It would be interesting to work that one out.

    1. “But would it be more cost effective even if not as efficient, to have more panels fixed on the barn roof if it has a northerly aspect? ”
      That was the thought.
      The other question relates to design.
      Assuming that the nameplate capacity is way in excess of actual average output, how many panels are required to get the full name plate capacity of one panel? 5 or 6? (that’s over 24 hrs)

      1. Over 24 hrs means storage capability and I gather you have a plan in that respect. The actual capacity of the system depends on your use profile over the 24 hrs.and across seasons. Nominal capacity refers to DC max which can be obtainable on a clear day with clean panels over the 4 hrs around noon standard time. My 5 kW DC system is rated 4.6 kW AC sometimes exceeded. The fat december bell curve is pointier in march. The question I presume becomes: how can your use profile be matched from renewable on-farm resources? I’m not well placed to give you an answer as to how many panels. Others might be.

  24. I did respond Ian, I queried if the cost of insurance issues might be out weighed by mitigation costs. As for the flood are you saying this is 100% caused by climate change? How can you determine the climate change contribution to such events?

    1. Ian said “caused by AGW enhanced floods” not 100% caused by AGW.

      I hope he will not mind me taking it upon myself to explain. Climate is the average weather. That is a functional definition. Climate change means that that average is moving. Has it moved 10% say? Then all weather has been affected to that degree and extremes have shifted. Even a very basic reading of climate science literature should have made this clear.

      This definition of climate also relates to that baseline shift syndrome that has been referred to. A graphic that treats normal as the average weather and range from 1900 to 1980 say will seem absurd to someone born since 1980 who has never experienced that ‘normal’ . The new normal has changed to warmer. A cold day in the new normal range may be regarded as the new ‘freezing’. It is also true that those of us who have lived a great deal longer also adopt the current climate as normal or it could be we forget or don’t realise that as we are older we tend to feel colder 🙂

      For anyone interested the matter of baseline confusions is made clearer here.

    2. John C please take a course in reading and writing comprehension. You are the one who said “no one responded”, not me.

      Here is a chronology of your comments and my reply.

      Seriously, has anyone of you been personally affected by climate change?

      ( March 29, 2014 at 10:38 pm)

      Here is my reply to that:

      Out local city and surrounding area has had three “100 year” floods in the past 10 years or so, the one last June causing $6.5 billion worth of damages, this in a population of approximately 1.5 million.

      (March 30, 2014 at 3:28 am)

      After my comment you said:

      no one here can point to how it is adversely affecting them.

      ( March 30, 2014 at 7:14 pm)

      Please note the time stamps for your erroneous comment.

      If you can’t even be semi literate in English comprehension, no wonder you have great difficulty in understanding science and statistics.

  25. That was my point Noel. Let’s say floods are 10% more common, then the cost is also 10% of the damage caused right? Will this be more than the cost of mitigation which will also be billions? Warmer weather will also bring benefits like better winter agriculture conditions which will reduce the true costs further. Obviously 4 deg will be an issue but current trends do not indicate it will warm anywhere near that much.

    1. John C really doesn’t understand what climate change means. The storms may be more frequent but that is not the only factor which is affected. The air is becoming more moist so when a storm occurs it deposits much more rain than previous storms. It is also the last few inches of the maximum crest height which does the most damage. So many storms with a lessor storm crest may not have done much damage at all but increase the height of the crest by just a few inches over the top of the flood berms then disaster strikes.

      John C stop burying your head in the sand, AGW is already having a huge economic cost in many parts of the world and it will only get worse.

    2. The difference between 0.5m of sea level rise and 1m may be the difference between building a sea wall to protect Auckland and having to rebuild Auckland somewhere else. You still think costs rise linearly?

  26. A linear relationship with costs? – you’re imagining things quite apart from this consumptionomics bubble called an economy. To those who are on the edge the tiniest nudge can be a disaster. Include the whole web of life on which we depend, in this thought – Thomas has just mentioned a little of it. I’m reading of a lot more.

    Adaptation without mitigation gets impossibly expensive and eventually fails. Mitigation reduces the cost of adaptation. Think about that. If undertaken with a will mitigation might remove those costs altogether – after a few centuries in some respects. Can you see why the sooner the cheaper applies?

    For several causes, of which climate change is one, the forecast is that food production will fall short of demand within a few decades so there is little long term comfort in winter warmth, or more plant food.

    4 degrees some time this century is the business as ususal trend – clinging to an outlier model result on the low end of the climate sensitivity range, in the illusory cmfort of our relatively benign weather, is a do no mitigation formula. Is that the intent?. Have you noticed that the low end sensitivity models do not track observations too well? If the model in your head is of the no worries kind you will indeed be caught out.

    Perhaps I should add that there are models that have come up with sensitivities all the way to 10. Models are used to answer what-if questions. They may be quite limited yet still valid in doing that but to go on and get extreme results for sensitivity indicates they are not comprehensive enough for that exercise. In the end, whatever the number, the tests of physics and past climates determines the range of credibility. If the sensitivity is only 1.5 the swings of ice age and warm intervals that have occured likely never happened as Gareth has pointed out. Recent evidence, I’ve read, suggest a sensitivity slightly above 3 as the best number to use.

    By the way did you read that article on baselines I linked to?

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