Carbon Price

Jul 15, 2011

An Orwellian climate: carbon price and the atmosphere

Andrew Glikson, earth and palaeoclimate scientist at the Australian National University, writes: Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, chief climate science advisor of

Andrew Glikson, earth and palaeoclimate scientist at the Australian National University, writes: Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, chief climate science advisor of the German government and keynote speaker at the Four Degrees or More? Australia in a hot world conference held this week in Melbourne, made a point on Lateline that even the least-informed should be able to understand: “Our body temperature is about 37 degrees. If you increase it by two degrees, 39, you have fever. If you add four degrees, it is 41 — you are dead, more or less. And you have to think about the body temperature of our planet, which has been brought about through many, many processes over many, many millions of years.”

Global emission reduction targets — ranging from Germany’s 40% aim relative to 1990 to Australia’s 5% aim relative to 2000 — would still allow mean global temperatures to rise to +3 and 4 degrees Celsius later in the century, driving a major shift in climate zones. Schellnhuber emphasizes the non-linear nature of climate change where, once critical temperature thresholds are crossed, warming is amplified by feedbacks from melting ice, opening of water surfaces, release of methane from permafrost and from polar sediments, leading to tipping points.

According to projections by NASA scientists James E. Hansen and Makiko Sato: “… goals of limiting human-made warming to 2°C and CO2 to 450 ppm are prescriptions for disaster. They continue: “Deglaciation, disintegration of ice sheets, is nonlinear, spurred by amplifying feedbacks… Gravity satellite data, although too brief to be conclusive, are consistent with a doubling time of 10 years or less, implying the possibility of multi-meter sea level rise this century.” As their abstract concludes, “Rapid reduction of fossil fuel emissions is required for humanity to succeed in preserving a planet resembling the one on which civilization developed.”

The disruption of the carbon and oxygen cycles, which act as the ‘lungs of the biosphere’, has raised CO2 and other greenhouse gases to levels close to that of 16 million years ago — The Mid-Miocene — and is proceeding at a rate of ~2 ppm per year, unprecedented in geological history, with the exception of global volcanic and asteroid impact events which led to mass extinction of species.

The extreme rise rate of greenhouse gases retards the ability of species to adapt to fast changing environments, threatening a mass extinction of species, not least in the oceans.

A fundamental change in the global climate regime ensues in a permanent state of the El-Nino, such as existed before 3 million years ago. At that stage the cessation of polar-sourced cold currents results in a stable equatorial warm pool and the demise of the La-Nina phase. An intensification of the hydrological cycle leads to extreme weather events, increasing around the world.

An acceleration in the rate of sea level rise from the current rate of near-3.5 mm per year is projected by increase melt rate of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Research by polar scientists states: “If this trend continues, ice sheets will be the dominant contributor to sea level rise in the 21st century.”

According to leading Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) authors the “climate change that takes place due to increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop.”

Whereas a ceiling on the rise in mean global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius is currently discussed, temperatures are already committed to a +2.3 degrees C rise, had it not been for the masking effect of sulfur aerosols and the transient cooling effect of the oceans.

The focus on economic considerations ignores the consequences for the economy of +3 to +4 degrees global temperature rise, the shift in climate zones, indicated by CSIRO research. A dumbing down of the political and media discussion to the dollar price of carbon reflects years of cover-up on the essential evidence. Had the science been afforded full publicity in the Australian media, the current fury regarding the price of carbon would be seen in its true perspective, namely in terms of the future of the atmosphere-ocean system.

In a world bent on extracting all available carbon resources — coal, oil, oil shale, tar sand, gas, a phony discourse has ensued between those willing to undertake only symbolic action and those who deny the science altogether. The window of opportunity to turn the climate trend would close unless a coordinated global effort is made to reduce emissions and a technological breakthrough is made to draw-down atmospheric CO2.

According to Schellnhuber “We are simply talking about the very life support system of this planet.” What is required is what has never been done before in human history — a plan for the future.

44 comments

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44 thoughts on “An Orwellian climate: carbon price and the atmosphere

  1. kd

    [ Consensus is not science. The IPCC consensus was manufactured. Let’s respect the science. ]

    Excellent doublethink agent oksanna.

  2. JennyG

    Oksanna
    I DO respect the science. I DO respect the IPCC and the Climate Commission report. Its references look pretty good to me. So please understand that when the oceans are dead from rising temperatures, when the Great Barrier Reef is dead and covered with algae, when all the vertebrate oceanic fish have been replaced by jellyfish, I’ll hold you and your fellow sceptics to account for holding back effective action on mitigating global warming.

  3. Oksanna

    JennyG

    the very well-referenced Climate Commission’s ‘The Critical Decade’:

    …is just rehashed IPCC political spin according to one review.

    Average air temperature….upwards trajectory…

    From 1700 to 1800 the temperature increased about 0.6 degrees. From 1800 to 1900 it was stable. From 1900 to 2000 about 0.8 degrees. And half of that was before 1945 when human CO2 emissions were negligible. No human fingerprint there, maybe just the multi-decadal oscillation and us coming out of the Little Ice Age. Your 0.17 degrees over three decades is under 0.6 degrees a century. Normal. On your own numbers.

    However, due to heat-island effect those land surface datasets are suspect. Satellites provide more reliable temperature data. And surface temperature increases and global warming are two different things.

    temperature of …. oceans continues to increase;

    No, the surface sea temperature is going down. And the heat build-up that the theory of man-made global warming requires to exist in the oceans, for 68 years just hasn’t been there.

    …net loss of ice from …ice sheets

    Er, no, that’s still an unknown. Some say more, some say less ice. Warmer weather means more evaporation, equals more snow over ice-sheets, which means more not less ice in the hinterland, even as relatively warmer water nibbles away at the edges.

    sea-level has risen at a higher rate…

    Yes, but now sea-level rise has slowed as the US and Australian climate scientists have shown in my previous post.

    That’s the consensus of 98% of scientists…

    Consensus is not science. The IPCC consensus was manufactured. Let’s respect the science.

  4. JennyG

    Oksanna
    Depends who your references are Oksanna. According to the very well-referenced Climate Commission’s ‘The Critical Decade’: Average air temperature at the Earth’s surface continues on an upwards trajectory at a rate of 0.17 degrees C over the past three decades; the temperature of the upper 700m of the oceans continues to increase; there is net loss of ice from Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets; there is a longterm downward trend in the Arctic sea-ice cover; and sea-level has risen at a higher rate over the past two decades, consistent with ocean warming and an increasing contribution from the large polar ice-sheets.

    That’s the consensus of 98% of scientists but what would they know? Hard to argue against Lindzen who’s regurgitating his 25 year old papers and ignoring recent data.

  5. Oksanna

    Apologies for the delay, TormentedbytheDs. On the low sensitivity of
    climate to increased CO2, pete50 has it nailed: –

    The study by Klotzbach et al (2009) shows a warm bias of 30% in IPCC reported surface temperatures. Eleven of the 12 years in the period 1995 to 2006 might not have been the warmest on record, JennyG.

    The recent modelling study by Spencer and Braswell (2008) suggested in the
    tropics, cloud feedbacks may be negative when IPCC models have them as
    positive.

    Then (as cited above by Pete50) a more recent study by Lindzen and
    Choi (2009)
    showed that feedback mechanisms in real-life (as opposed
    to the IPCC’s computer models) were negative not positive, and a doubling
    of CO2 will only produce 0.5 to 0.8 degrees warming not the UN’s 2.0 to 4.5
    degrees.

    That’s about a third of the warming that the IPCC says for a doubling of CO2.

    JennyG, that ‘Academies’ argument for CAGW is just an ‘argument from
    authority’ isn’t it? And the extreme weather link has no basis in fact.
    PeeBee, wrong. The Vatican supports the theory of CAGW.

    Sea-level rise is slowing, JennyG. There are the two recent US and Australian studies showing a long-term decrease (deceleration) in the rate of sea-level rise. So much for those scary maps the federal government made up recently. CSIRO is fuming.

    On your question of why no problem?
    Kuhn (in 1962 in his controversial book ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’) posited three stages of the scientific cycle.
    1. pre-paradigm phase (no consensus, just research)
    2. normal science (consensus, research constrained by dominant paradigm)
    Intermezzo: crisis period: (accumulating anomalies).
    3. revolutionary science: (new paradigm).

    According to Thomas Kuhn, a dominant paradigm will not be abandoned by
    scientists just because it has been proven false. There must be a credible
    alternate theory before they ‘jump ship’. (There is an anthropomorphism
    reference there somewhere).

    We are now entering the intervening crisis stage of anthropogenic climate
    change science. Research is showing the holes in the science, and recent
    temperature stability has not helped. However an alternative has yet to
    present itself. GCR theory? – but the CLOUD results are not out yet. The
    new paradigm may be a reworked variation of an older idea such as Le
    Chatelier’s principle of natural equilibrium. Richard Lindzen’s adaptive
    iris effect is a possible contender. Whatever the new paradigm to replace
    global warming, according to Kuhn, it does not have to be true, just
    believable. (Kuhn’s cynicism astounds).

    If the warming movement has peaked, then it is moving inexorably toward
    Kuhn’s third stage, its nadir. This will be accompanied by a mass exodus of
    scientists and then a convenient rapid onset of collective amnesia to
    deflect the blame and shame of the old paradigm which will in hindsight
    seem bed-wettingly silly.

    So, with accruing empirical evidence against it, why is the author of this
    piece, Dr Andrew Glikson, still writing panic pieces about frightener
    scenarios and supporting catastrophic man-made global warming theory?
    Got to be a reason.

  6. PeeBee

    Jenny, no matter how many times people have pointed this out, he keeps repeating the same stuff over and over again. A bit like a record where the needle keeps jumping the track and going over the same ground.

    Then again, I note that he is no longer a climate change denier either (like our house of lords viscount) so something must have sunk in.

  7. JennyG

    Pete50
    Global temperatures have not been flat for 13 years. Certainly 1998 was a very hot year but if you take temperatures on a decade-by-decade basis, the last was the hottest on record, hotter than the 1990s which were hotter than the 1980s which were hotter than the 1970s and so on back to the 1940s. As for sea-level rise, check out this CSIRO webpage which has a graph of sea-level rise: http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/
    Your grandchildren may not be able to enjoy your seaside block.

  8. pete50

    Ah yes – if only it were as simple as that. I’m not denying climate change, it seems to be happening all the time. From what recent research has shown it seems that CO2 has a much smaller effect on temperatures than the IPCC thought in 2007.

    IPCC models tell us that atmosphere and ocean temperatures are rising, just as CO2 is rising. However, while CO2 is rising in the atmosphere, actual global temperatures have been flat for 13 years at least, and satellite records show sea level rise of only 0.5 mm per year for the last twenty years.

    I wouldn’t support power station closures and a tax on everything for which electricity is used on that basis.

  9. JennyG

    PeeBee
    Not sure that the hideous Monckton has ‘turned around’ on the issue after watching him at the Press Club the other day. He acknowledges warming but says the temperature rises will only be minor and thus of no importance. He might as well straight out deny it’s happening. Anyway, this forum and many others indicate that deniers are alive and well. I don’t understand the rationale. Surely the evidence is staring them in the face, if not in increased bills and insurance, but on their TV screens showing the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

    But thanks for trying to cheer me up…

  10. PeeBee

    Jenny, I would like to point out that Monckton has turned around. Along with such notable deniers as A Bolt, T Abbott, The Vatican etc he now agrees that the world is warming and humans activity is the cause.

    We have now reached a new stage in the contrarian position. The ‘do-nothings’. These people live with there head in sand and cannot contemplate that warming can have a detrimental effect to their standard of living.

    Already we are starting to see the cost of doing nothing. I have the flood levy to pay, my house insurance went up 25% this year, my electricity bill has climbed significantly to replace the infrastructure lost in the fires. My latest water bill is the highest I have ever had, despite being a wet winter – mainly to pay for a desal plant, built to mitigate the long dry spells expected. I am paying 20% more for my food.

    This is a minor cost and inconvenience to me as I can afford it. But when I see those climate refugees in the southern Somalia where they are experiencing decades of drought, I am thinking, what will it take to get the Do-Nothings get their heads out of the sand and have a look around.

  11. JennyG

    Pete50
    I fear that your optimistic belief is not backed by the evidence. If the major Academies of Science around the world and organisations like the Bureau of Meteorology say climate change is real and will get worse unless we reduce our emissions, then surely the rest of need to pay attention. As for the Australian situation, like it or not, we are amongst the top 20 emitters in gross terms (one of the highest per capita) and we have a moral responsibility to do our part in turning the situation around. The carbon tax is a good start. It’s only fault is that it should have been set at a higher rate.

  12. pete50

    JennyG

    Not everyone believes that this is the critical decade. While the UN and IPCC keep up the rhetoric about rising temperatures and sea levels, which they began back in the ’80s, what has transpired since then simply doesn’t accord with their projections.

    The same people who keep telling us that this is a critical decade, told us in 2000 that by 2010 the world would have 50 million climate refugees due to inundation because of sea level rise. And that figure is the low end of their projected range. Earlier this year the UN updated the forecast; now they tell us that by 2020 we will have 50 million climate refugees due to inundation by rising sea levels.

    Many of us honestly believe that they have got it wrong and that a carbon tax that cannot have a measurable effect on climate, either in Australia or the rest of the world, would be a major disruption to our economy and its achievements since the 50s.

    Even the Gillard Government has had to admit that their proposal cannot effect the climate, even if Australia produced no anthropogenic CO2. And those who imply, or state outright, that our introduction of the tax will encourage or shame other countries to do the same are not being realistic.

  13. JennyG

    The debate on this forum is reminiscent of Nero fiddling while Rome burns. This is the ‘critical decade’ to turn things around with respect to emissions, otherwise we face 3-4 degree warming and an increasingly unliveable planet. The denialist Christopher Monkton was laughable the other day in the debate at the Press Club – probably one of the greatest charlatans to appear in this country for some time. In contrast to his claims, the great weight of evidence is that we are warming the planet and, for those of us who care about our grandchildren, we have keep that warming within manageable levels for their sakes. That means strong action NOW to reduce emissions.

  14. kd

    aah, pete50 doorknob rooter extrordinaire. Well done, gold star for coming in at exactly the right time.

  15. pete50

    Tormented
    Warmists have a fear of facts and data – they love nothing quite so much as climate models. Despite that, the Crikey readers who look to blogs such as Rooted for clues in the climate debate expect a more serious response to the numerous studies that show that in the distant past CHANGING CO2 LEVELS PRECEDE TEMPERATURE CHANGE. The same time relation holds for rising and falling temperatures.

  16. TormentedbytheDs

    Ok

    Frank first

    “Empirical science will decide the issue.”
    As I said if you lot are wrong well the warmists will have won the argument but the planet is b*ggered for some geological size time period. “Try sociology” them there’s fighting words boy. We used to get dragged from the lab to do some at uni. They never taught the sociology students to count though.

    Ross

    “Isn’t it funny how they went from global warming to climate change.”
    Save that line for people who have never followed this debate.
    Google it and you will find out where that started.

    50
    “. . . there are no historical analogues for CO2-induced climate change; but there are many examples of climate change-induced CO2 variations.”

    Yep until we came along and dug up millions of years of fossil and burnt it.

    Thanks for the replies.

  17. pete50

    Tormented, the Warmists are well aware of the facts, derived from the data, in comparison with the predictions of the IPCC models (all eleven of them), they don’t want to face them. The models agree with each other, but all of them contrast sharply with the facts.

    First up: “. . . there are no historical analogues for CO2-induced climate change; but there are many examples of climate change-induced CO2 variations.”
    http://www.co2science.org/subject/c/summaries/carbondioxide.php

    Eight analyses, in the words of Idso [1], “suggest that a 300 to 600 ppm doubling of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration could raise the planet’s mean surface air temperature by only about 0.4°C,” which is right in line with Lindzen and Choi’s [2] deduced warming of ~0.5°C for a nominal doubling of the air’s CO2 content.

    Hence, there would appear to be a goodly amount of real-world data that argue strongly against the over-inflated CO2-induced global warming that is being predicted by state-of-the-art climate models.

    [1] http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr/10/c010p069.pdf
    [2] http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf

  18. TormentedbytheDs

    Thanks for the reply Oksanna.

    I’ll skip the political bits and focus on this. “how sensitive is the climate to increased amounts of CO2?” Well from your reply the answer seems to be I don’t know. Remember we are betting our spherical farm on this. Why are your lot so convinced that there is no problem?

  19. ross Strachan

    Isn’t it funny how they went from global warming to climate change.

    The sun is making fewer sunspots like 500 years ago when we had the little Ice age, when sun spots was at it’s lowest count and volcanic activity was on the rise, mmm seems like whats happening now.

    North america, Canada & Alaska are lucky to have a summer at all this year due to lower temps and record snow fall. must be global warming.

    I belive we should clean up our planet from global pollution, but at the cost of big business, as they are the real reason why the world is so polluted. If it wasn’t for their greed and control of power the planet would not be in this mess.

    What i mean by this is electricity, every nation on earth could be run on geo thermal power this tecnology has been around for at least 50 years, only problem is doesn’t use fossil fuels.

    Hydrogen engines been around for approx the same, do not use fossil fuels, just add water.

    Logging and paper, could have been done through hemp, but some nazi wanted to control timber logging. mmm go figure

    actually everything else could be made through hemp paint, cement, building products, paper ropes just about everything.

    So why should we have to pay for this global polution when it’s corparate greed that has made the world what it is.
    Why should we pay for them to clean it up through a carobon tax when every living tree strives on co2 to give us the esential ingreedent that we need to survive OXYGEN.

    Say no and make the big boys pay!

  20. kd

    Or to put it another way, if you actually believe the intellectually incoherent crap that you’re spouting, then you’ve allowed yourself to be manipulated through people pandering to your fear of change.

  21. kd

    Oksanna:

    Your climate delusional talking points are based on incorrect facts. Your reading of the economics of climate change mitigation is based on taking everything that short term rent seekers say at face value, then ignoring what they do (i.e. where they invest their money).

    This pathetic politicisation of a subject for which the science is well understood is pandering to pathetic short term interests by encouraging a pathological fear of change.

  22. Frank Campbell

    Torm: yes, everything I write on Crikey is censored.

    I agree with you: tech solutions first. I’ve said for decades that brown coal should be phased out. Brown coal doesn’t “seem” to be the worst, it is the worst, by far. 2nd worst power station in the world out of 900 tested a few years ago. And of course it’s not just CO2.

    Switch to gas? Greens won’t have it- the yawning gap between climate hysteria and rational climate action.

    “It was when the scientists used observation and hypothesis rather than relying on ancient text that progress was made.”

    Exactly. No mention of computer modelling. Empirical science will decide the issue.

    Since history of science for you seems limited to Aristotle, try sociology.

  23. TormentedbytheDs

    Hi Frank,

    I would have replied to your post but it seemed to come in only a minute ago even though it is time stamped a few minutes after my first post. It could be caused by the moderator?

    I could point out the allies destroyed Monte Cassino providing the Germans lots of nice rubble to fight from. Let’s hope we don’t have the millenarians and Moncktonites of the future fighting the battle over a wrecked climate.

    I am no fan of the carbon tax etc. It seems no matter what the problem, these days we expect an economist to find a solution. I’m a tech so I would look for a techy solution.
    The way we make most of our energy expels CO2 into the atmosphere so I would start with the biggest emitters and start to replace them. Brown coal electricity seems to be the worst so I would put it first.

    I still can’t see why the burden of proof isn’t on the people who say we can increase the CO2 without consequences.

    History of science hmmm. For most of the last two millennium Aristotle was considered the authority and he was wrong about nearly everything. It was when the scientists used observation and hypothesis rather than relying on ancient text that progress was made.

  24. Frank Campbell

    since you’re interested in wind turbines Torm, chekc this out, from Ontario:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svicELHAWyw

    Nice scene of an eagle being chopped up, plus all the miseries inflicted on residents. Worth a couple of minutes of your compassionate time.

  25. Oksanna

    Surely a true conservative would…

    … not recommend we shipwreck the Australian economy by introducing tax penalties in reliance on computer models which failed to predict the current lack of warming. Taking your first question at face value, TormentedbytheDs, and getting back on the topic of this Crikey article, Dr Glikson (the author of the above Crikey article we are discussing) is a qualified person here. He has said that we are already within the CO2 danger zone pretty much as Microseris put it.

    Dr Glikson is grudgingly acknowledged by his opponents as one of the few scientists from the pro-AGW side willing to take on sceptics on their home turf. He wrote a piece for Quadrant on climate change last year, noting the danger of excess amounts of CO2, and it was followed with a response from the non-AGW side. This was followed by a series of to-and-fro debating-type pieces making a total of five parts by Dr Andrew Glikson and opponent going head-to-head.

    The question I would have asked instead of your question is: “how sensitive is the climate to increased amounts of CO2?”. That is the nub of it. Issues of sensitivity and feedbacks are central to the theory of anthropogenic global warming. If Dr Glikson and Dr Hansen are wrong and the sensitivity of climate to CO2 was over-estimated, then the cap-and-traders can happily forego their billions in profits, we don’t have to hamstring the Australian economy, and we can worry about other pressing issues like providing clean drinking water for the world’s poor.

  26. TormentedbytheDs

    Good one JamesH

    That question is a great way to confound Moncktonites when they corner you at a social occasion etc. and start coming up with all the usual talking points. It’s true that the effects of the increased CO2 are a matter of conjecture, including that they could be a lot worse or perhaps not. The second seems more and more doubtful though. The point is we don’t know and we only have one planet to test the theory. Surely a true conservative would want to keep the atmosphere as unchanged as possible. Imagine if Bob Brown suggested we double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere because it will be good for Pandas. Next weeks four corners is on wind farms and hopefully on the industrial scale scare campaign the CO2 lobby has generated. Can’t wait for Frank to saddle up Roscinante for another tilt at those pesky giants.

  27. Microseris

    Tormented. I understand 350ppm was the safe upper limit. Remember it was 275ppm prior to the industrial revolution. It is currently around 391ppm.

    James Hansen (NASA) recently said:

    “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm.”

  28. Frank Campbell

    Now that the science is settled, the government will shortly turn its attention to other intractable problems. You read it first on Crikey:

    Leaked Transcript of Julia Gillard’s Speech to the National Press Club, to be delivered on 15th August 2011:

    “Australians have had a long and difficult conversation about pricing carbon. I believe this conversation was necessary if Australians are to move forward to a clean, green energy future and prevent dangerous climate change. I understand that many Australians have been worried and anxious about how this great reform will affect their lives. But we can now move forward because the Government has put in place generous compensation to protect Australian famlies while making big polluters pay. Australians now know that they will be better off with a carbon price. My government is all about jobs for Australians. Australia must transition from dirty polluting industry to the industry of the future, creating thousands of clean, green jobs. I was in the great state of South Australia recently, visiting the great steel city of Whyalla. I can announce today that my government will spend $16 billion to build the world’s largest windfarm at Whyalla. This will power Whyalla’s steel plant with clean renewable energy. I also visited a coal mine in the great state of Queensland. I told those Queensland famlies their jobs were safe, that my government was all about jobs. I told them that the coal industry had a fantastic future.
    Australians can now move forward to address the second great moral challenge of our time- a challenge which threatens the health and happiness of all Australians, a challenge which fills the beds of our great hospitals, a challenge which causes many diseases and premature death. This great challenge is obesity. My government will immediately introduce legislation to put a price on fat. In three years this will be replaced with a Fat Trading Scheme. The FTS will enable the market to determine fat prices. Fat credits may be purchased overseas to offset the fat emissions of our great dairy industry and other fat-intensive industries. Foods with no fat content will be exempt from tax. There will be a sliding scale of $1 per gram for low fat content foods, rising to $10 per gram for foods with the highest fat content. Ice-cream, now known as Frozen Fat, will attract a price of $12 per gram of dangerous fat.
    My government is all about jobs, and we will take steps moving forward to protect fat-intensive industries. Polls show 97% of Australians want to reduce their weight. Australia cannot wait while the rest of the world takes action on the dangerous fat epidemic. Australians are being left behind. Australians are a confident people. We are not afraid of the future. Oh, I know the Opposition will deny Australians the right to be free from fat. Negativity is Mr. Abbott’s middle name. And I know the big fat producers will campaign for fat, just like big tobacco companies did. But Australians know that the dangerous fat epidemic must be addressed.
    I know some Australians will be worried and anxious about their jobs as we move forward to put a price on fat. But pricing fat will create thousands of jobs in new fat-free industries. Just yesterday I visited the largest carrot farm in the Southern Hemisphere. They are planning to double production, with the assistance of my Government’s Vegetable Expansion Scheme.
    I will be visiting with Australians every day, wearing out my shoe leather, to have the conversation we need about creating the lean, healthy Australia of the future.”

  29. Frank Campbell

    Torment: “what the effects of increased concentration could be”. That’s the problem in a phrase. Empirical science is one thing, computer modelling/hypothesising quite another.

    Only the climate extremists have plumped for Armageddon. Pick any PPM number you like.

    The retreat has begun. Not like Napoleon from Moscow, more the Germans in Italy. Think Monte Cassino. A fanatical, determined, inventive retreat.

    The predictive record thus far of climate millenarians (M.Mann, Flannery) has been abysmal.

    The factories are now churning out defensive hypotheses.

    Seek consolation in the history of science.

  30. TormentedbytheDs

    A question for Frank Campbell or Oksanna. What PPM of CO2 in the atmosphere would you
    think should be an upper limit? I have asked this before and never got a straight answer. All we ever get is sniping at the people trying calculate what the effects of increased concentration could be. So give us a number.

  31. kd

    Wow, more angry gibberish from Frank. Good work.

    Meanwhile Oksanna has more nonsense to contribute.

    [ But I agree with you that the effect of solar influences has been overlooked by warmists in the recent past ]

    Just because you can repeate falsehoods you’ve heard elsewhere, doesn’t make them true.

    Cooling effect of the oceans? You mean how the heat capacity of the oceans is vastly greater than that of the atmosphere, so buffers the system somewhat? That’s a basic physical component of what is a large and complex system no?

    And you’re aware that Cosmic rays show no trend over the last 30 years & have had little impact on recent global warming? Not sure what the CLOUD study has to do this, apart from as a handy piece of climate change delusional misdirection.

  32. Frank Campbell

    And you’ve stuffed progressive politics- including environmental action (even on AGW)- for a generation. Looks at the poll mirrors. That’s climate hysteria staring back at you.

  33. Frank Campbell

    And the “Orwellian” rape of language is down to climate millenarians: “pollution” now means only CO2; “clean and green” means only “no CO2”, carbon tax is “reform” and “economic reform”;

    You’ve impoverished the language. Made it safe for your own narrow set of assumptions. Made it a tool for your own ends. Distracted everyone from the daily rape of the real environment.

  34. Frank Campbell

    There are now many defensive hypotheses appearing as climate orthodoxy struggles to cope with the Trenberth Anxiety. Chinese sulphate emissions is just one example. (and it’s “sulphate” and “sceptic” …try to get the gringo out of your heads).

    Some good may emerge from Andersonian climate hysteria- the role of tropical forests as carbon sinks is gaining recognition.

    Blaming the media for ignoring the science- as Glikson does- is absurd. We had nearly a decade of uncontradicted climate hysteria retailed by Gore, Flannery et al. Scepticism has grown as silly predictions failed (Flannery), alternatives were exposed as false or premature (wind turbines, Flannery’s Cooper Basin hot rocks fantasies), and temps plateaued in spite of Michael Mann.

  35. Oksanna

    Don’t go citing a blog…

    You are seriously going to hold me, a mere commenter, to a higher standard than the writer of the piece, Dr Glikson, who links to a CO2 panic blog, population control advocacy website and an alarmist eight years old daily newspaper article entitled “Action stations”?

    The cosmic ray theory is…discredited

    It’s a bit premature to discount GCR influences so soon. To date the evidence is patchy, but the CERN CLOUD test is still going on.

    But I agree with you that the effect of solar influences has been overlooked by warmists in the recent past.

    Again I’m calling you out…

    Save the ad homs for the GetUp protests, please.

    Anyway, a question. When Dr Glikson refers to the cooling effect of the oceans, what does he mean? Does he mean the “multi-decadal oscillation” or is it some effect of ENSO he is referring to?

  36. kevin.rennie

    The Murdoch media ignored Professor Schellnhuber’s presence in Australia except for the sideshow ‘noose’ disruption at his 4 Degrees keynote speech. My take: 4Degrees+

  37. morewest

    The next time someone argues that Australia is already doing more than most on climate change point them to this:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/graphic/2011/jul/15/smith-school-action-climate-change 

    We, like the U.S. Canada, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, are right at the bottom of the pack. OTOH, the much maligned China and India are at the forefront.

  38. kd

    Well, a semi-coherent answer. But:

    1. Don’t go citing a blog associated with a management trade rag as if it’s on a par with the scientific literature.

    2. The cosmic ray theory of global warming is thoroughly discredited.

    3. If you want an answer to the effect of atmospheric circulation on SO2. Ask an expert. You won’t find one at this site, so I’m discounting your question as a politically motivated slight of hand.

    4. You’re forgetting the concurrent substantial solar minimum.

    5. There is no “recent cooling”. A decrease in the rate of warming, yes, but not such that any reasonal person can interpret a negative rate of warming (i.e. cooling). Again I’m calling you out on climate change delusional talking points rather than having anything of substance to say.

  39. Oksanna

    Or are you claiming that the observed data is “just a theory”?

    You are correct to ask, in that sulfates have long been postulated as nuclei for highly reflective clouds, and (perhaps with a little help from Svensmark’s rays?), and also due to their so-called ‘global-dimming’ effect thus probably contribute to an unknown amount of cooling overall. However, whether recent cooling, that is the lack of statistically significant warming in the past fourteen years, is due to those sulfates, or due to another reason is the real question here.

    Shouldn’t China’s sulfate pollution have caused more cooling in the northern hemisphere than the southern? Yet some show the opposite is the case. So couldn’t the idea that recent cooling is caused by sulfates be just that, a convenient theory?

    http://blogs.forbes.com/patrickmichaels/2011/07/15/why-hasnt-the-earth-warmed-in-nearly-15-years/

  40. JennyG

    Thanks for conveying the real urgency of the situation. As Schnellnuber says: “We are simply talking about the very life support system of this planet.” All discussion of costs to households fades into insignificance alongside the drastic implications of a 3 or 4 degree rise in temperature. Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times last year that climate deniers should be charged with treason. Perhaps too strong a punishment for the likes of Nick Minchin and Tony Abbott, but wouldn’t mind charging the shock jocks Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt in such a way. They have been largely responsible for turning public opinion against effective action on climate change. Australians don’t mind sacrifice if they understand the issue as they did in the World Wars. Climate change is a far greater threat than these and people must understand the consequences of not turning around the current trajectory on emissions.

  41. kd

    [ Gee, that “masking effect of sulfur aerosols” theory came out just in the nick of time to explain the current “lack of warming” ]

    Yeah, the nick of time. Like 1991:

    Charlson, R. J et. al. (1991). Perturbation of the northern hemisphere radiative balance by backscattering from anthropogenic sulfate aerosols*. Tellus A, 43(4), 152–163.

    Or are you claiming that the observed data is “just a theory”?

  42. Oksanna

    Gee, that “masking effect of sulfur aerosols” theory came out just in the nick of time to explain the current “lack of warming” that Trenberth talked about way back in the Climategate emails, hey? “A travesty” I think he called it. And with the Met Office and CRU Dream Team’s HadCRUT data now showing slight cooling since 2001, and the satellite data showing temps plateauing….just how much fear can another ‘scary scenario’ piece by an advocacy scientist whip up? The specious almost obligatory “cover up” claim evokes shades of NASA’s James Hansen. The facts: the Australian public is getting ‘climate scare fatigue’, and this government’s support base is dropping in tandem with the global temperatures.

  43. CliffG

    Surely it’s time the government made these facts widely known. Even some Abbott supporters might then get the message! People need to be given this information, not Abbottcrap.

  44. paddy

    While these predictions are horribly grim, it’s still refreshing to hear someone describing the realistic outcomes of 3-4oC global warming.
    Such a miserable legacy to leave to the next generation. 🙁

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