Time for an Australia New Zealand Royal Commission on Global Warming

A group of Australian and New Zealand organisations and scientists today called on the governments of Australia and New Zealand to set up an Australia New Zealand Royal Commission on the Science of Global Warming (to be known as “The ANZIG Royal Commission” – the Australia New Zealand Inquiry into Global Warming).

The chairman of Australia’s Carbon Sense Coalition, Mr Viv Forbes, said that many groups and individuals in Australia and New Zealand had listened with alarm and disbelief to plans of both governments to saddle their people and industries with the burdens of carbon taxes and the risks of carbon trading which he described as “an open invitation to massive fraud”.

Below is a copy of their press release:

“We also fear the enormous costs of taxing and decimating our backbone industries of farming, mining, power generation, cement making, forestry, mineral processing and tourism and subsidising many expensive and ineffective alternate energy proposals. The very high costs to society of the actions being proposed require that we settle the science before forcing the whole ANZ community into a futile and expensive exercise to solve a problem that may not exist. ‘Do it just in case’ is not an option.

“The Australian Government has set up the Garnaut Review to look into the likely costs of various proposals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. However, we need a parallel independent inquiry into the science to determine whether any action at all is required.

“The science is definitely not settled. Hundreds of qualified independent scientists around the world now question whether sufficient attention has been paid to the proven historical influence of natural solar cycles, and many other aspects of climate science. Since the scientific investigations for the IPCC fourth assessment report were completed 18 months ago, new research and new observations have cast serious doubt on many of the IPCC’s conclusions.

“Everyone, from the highest government minister to the lowliest taxpaying consumer, must realise that unless it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt that carbon dioxide causes excessive global warming, there is no justification for imposing restrictions and costs on emitters of carbon dioxide. These burdens will pass inevitably on to the whole community, and will fall most heavily on those who can least afford them. No valid, verifiable scientific proof has yet been established. All we have are hypotheses and speculations based on computer models. Governments have a duty to create an opportunity for the full range of scientific evidence to be examined and evaluated. This can best be done by way of a Royal Commission of Inquiry,” Mr Forbes continued.

“Australia and New Zealand are both heavily dependent on primary production and world trade, neither have nuclear power, and both are leaders in science in the southern hemisphere. The whole hemisphere would be very damaged by the global warming extremism of Al Gore and old Europe. Al Gore is more motivated by extreme Green politics than scientific truth while Old Europe believes that their nuclear capacity protects them from the carbon costs they plan to impose on others.”

Mr Forbes said that this proposal is the joint initiative of The Carbon Sense Coalition based in Australia and the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and is supported by individual scientists and industry representatives such as:

* Leon Ashby (Mt Gambier, SA), Chairman Landholders Institute, President Bushvision, and Centenary medal recipient for services to conservation and the environment.
* The Australian Beef Association, via its chairman Brad Bellinger (Ashford, NSW), director John Niven (Grenfell, NSW)and director, John Michelmore BAppSc(Chem), (Eyre, SA).
* John Carter (Crookwell NSW), Rural activist and commentator, Founder and Director of the Australian Beef Association.
* Professor Bob Carter (QLD), palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist, a research
*Professor at James Cook University (Qld) and University of Adelaide (SA).
* Howard Crozier (NSW), councillor of the NSW Farmers Federation and previously General Manager Finance and Administration of CSIRO.
* Emeritus Professor Lance Endersbee AO, Former Dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Monash University.
* Past President, The Institution of Engineers, Australia (1980). Author, “A Voyage of Discovery”, a history of ideas about the earth (2005).
* Bryan Leyland MSc, FIEE, FIMechE, FIPENZ, MRSNZ, consulting engineer to the power industry and chairman of the Economics Panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
* Owen McShane, director of the Centre for Resource Management Studies in New Zealand, and chairman of the policy panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
* Dr Muriel Newman (NZ), proprietor of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research.

“We are all of the view that CO2 in the atmosphere is a benefit not a threat to humans, and there is no need to launch a massive assault on our lifestyle, industry and prosperity to solve a non problem.

“We have four recommendations:

1. That the Australian and New Zealand governments commission a joint public inquiry to investigate and report on the science underlying the claims that man-made CO2 causes dangerous global warming. This enquiry must consider whether it is likely that human activity has had a significant effect on global warming and the extent to which the policies being proposed to cut man’s greenhouse gas emissions are likely to affect global warming or any other aspects of climate.

2. That the inquiry be under the charge of at least three commissioners including at least one Australian and one New Zealander, preferably well qualified in science and able to take an objective, independent view of the IPCC process. The chairman should be skilled in obtaining and assessing evidence. (To ensure it has full jurisdiction in both countries, each government may appoint its own enquiry with one or two commissioners, and a common chairman, with meetings to be held concurrently, some in each country).

3. That the inquiry have the power and funding to initiate wide ranging scientific inquiries into all aspects of present knowledge on climate and to take and consider evidence on climate change and to analyse the likely effects of currently proposed policies on reducing carbon emissions.

4. That until such an inquiry has reported, no steps be taken to institute an emissions reduction programme of any kind in Australia or New Zealand.

Mr Forbes said that it is clear there is growing concern among the world scientific community about the conclusions being promoted by the IPCC.

“In contrast to the 2000 or so scientists who are claimed to have contributed to the IPCC (many of whom do not support the extremist political conclusions promoted by the IPCC) there are at least 20,000 scientists who have signed their names in public opposition to the IPCC. (See references below).

“In addition, many organisations, think tanks and business leaders have voiced opposition to the radical proposals from the IPCC, and many more are quietly dismayed. There is no consensus about the science, even if scientific questions could be decided by a show of hands. Scientific questions are determined by facts and evidence, and this is what a Royal Commission can discover and make public.

“In further support of this proposal we have appended links to various submissions made recently to the Garnaut Enquiry, and other relevant documents,” Mr Forbes concluded.

Terry Dunleavy, secretary of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, comments: “An ANZ approach to this vital issue is a natural flow-on from close co-operation already existing between the two trans-Tasman neighbours. Australia and New Zealand have one of the most open economic and trade relationships of any two countries. This is based on a comprehensive set of trade and economic arrangements, collectively known as Closer Economic Relations (CER), which underpin substantial flows of merchandise trade, services, investment, labour and visitors between the two countries. Implemented in 1983, CER has already seen such joint official bodies as:

• ANZSFA, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Authority;
• JAS-ANZ covering classifications and standards in official statistics;
• Ensis, a joint venture of forestry R & D.
• Negotiations to form a joint Australia New Zealand Therapeutics Agency.

“In New Zealand, government advocates of a carbon emissions trading regime have referred to the desirability of harmonising with Australia. Surely, it is logical to first establish that there is scientific justification for the imposition of an economically burdensome carbon emissions scheme, before going down that costly track, whether together or separately. Two countries as close together as we are in so many official ways should have no difficulty in sorting out any jurisdictional complexities arising from the creation of a joint ANZAC Royal Commission to look at an issue that is so common to us both,” said Mr Dunleavy.

More information about the Carbon Sense Coalition can be found at  www.carbon-sense.com.

77 thoughts on “Time for an Australia New Zealand Royal Commission on Global Warming

  1. The idea is to just set up the commision and ask the evil bastards to come up with some evidence.

    The evil bastards don’t have any evidence, won’t come up with any evidence, and so the commisions “work” will be done.

  2. Hey I want to email Sukrit. Could Sukrit please email me or could someone please email me or post his email address?

  3. This group is not assisted by the inclusion of John Carter of the Australian Beef Association. He is a well known nutter.

    Seems to fit in perfectly in this bunch of clowns.

  4. Ken,
    don’t think it has gone unnoticed that you have failed to offer any refutation, and have merely satisfied yourself with the turdy snivelling that seems to be the only recourse of those offended by the heresy of daring to question the irrational religion of climate change totalitarianism. Don’t tell me, lemme guess: ‘we’ need to ‘save’ ‘the planet’ by fighting evil carbon, right?

  5. You’ve had two years and you’ve not come up with anything. And yet you are putting people who do respect scientific evidence down. When scientific evidence means nothing to you.

    Now lets finally, once and for all, have that evidence.

  6. Once again Mark, I don’t think that CERN are suckers for testing the link between high energy radiation and clouds (which was theorised and investigated long before Svensmark). I do have a problem however with parts of Svensmark research – see Pattern of Strange Errors Plagues Solar Activity
    and Terrestrial Climate Data.

  7. Don’t tell me, lemme guess: ‘we’ need to ’save’ ‘the planet’ by fighting evil carbon, right?

    Unsurprisingly Justin, you’re completely wrong here.

    I just don’t like liars, frauds and fools. Of which you need to be at least one to be a global warming delusionist.

  8. Not unreasonable sentiment by Viv and his group, but of course anyone who has studied “Yes Minister” knows that no politician or senior bureaucrat of any experience launches an inquiry without a darn good idea of the conclusions that the commissioners will reach.

    Which is probably not what would happen under this scenario.

    So we can expect the Feds to continue keep the love-ins coming on ‘kitchen table’ issues, not this can of worms.

  9. “I just don’t like liars, frauds and fools. Of which you need to be at least one to be a global warming delusionist.’

    That’s your idea of coming up with some kind argument other than based on personal attack, is it? Not doing very well when put to providing evidence or reason, are you?

  10. When Ken refers to global warming delusionist, I am inclined to wonder which side of the debate he is talking about.

    In the face of a good sound rational argument as presented by Viv, it is unusual to get anything from the climate change truthers than histrionics.

  11. The intellectual bankruptcy of Ken Miles approach when his name-calling is specifically pointed out as such and he is challenged to put forward evidence and reason is reminiscent of what Mises said of the Marxists:
    “The enemy is not refuted: enough to unmask him as a bourgeois…. Marx and Engels never tried to refute their opponents with argument. They insulted, ridiculed, derided, slandered and traduced them, and in the use of these methods their followers are not less expert. Their polemic is directed never against the argument of the opponent, but always against his person.”

    Same with you eh Ken? Enough just to villify as a heretic, or a lunatic, anyone who dares to question the hysteria urging the energy base of industrial civilisation should be destroyed on pious mission to save the planet.

    ‘Look at me, how important I am. The fate not just of the whole of mankind, but of the planet itself, depends on my responsibility in seeing further into the future than the common herd of billions of human noxious pests what is really in their own best interests, if only they were able to understand it. In fact, there really is just enough of me, and far too many of them.’

  12. Look people. Don’t take this from this asshole Miles. Its great that Justin has called him on this but where are the rest of you? Its like you want me to take the heat for this.

    Ken must justify his snideness and his evidence free bullshitartistry. And all of you ought to line up to demand he makes an accounting for himself.

    You guys can say you are sick of the issue but the fact is its not going away. Either we win or they will. Either the guys who are after evidence win or the evidence-hating-assholes like Miles will.

    The fact is that CO2 has three absorption regions. Two of them aren’t even relevant for outgoing. They are far more relevant for incoming. As far as the one region that is relevant for outgoing radiation is concerned, it rather appears that its more suitable to help warm things up above zero and simply isn’t at a frequency that might allow for additional CO2 to have any sort of real contribution at the normal range of temperatures on this planet.

    We must not fall into letting Ken think he can pick holes in the other guys thinking and thats good enough. THEY MUST HAVE THEIR OWN EVIDENCE.

    There is some sort of mock-Popperism going on here where blokes like Ken believe they can get by on faux-Falsification alone. But they will not put up any case of their own.

    We simply must badger this loathsome bastard until he puts up a case or admits he does not have one.

    You have all been remiss in this matter. Justin alone excepted.

  13. These guys who think carbon is the enemy of life are the ascetic enthusiasts. What happened to good old self-flagellation? Instead we have carbon trading – the selling of indulgences.

    If the hydrogen car ever gets invented these guys will be complaining that the universe is running out of hydrogen.

  14. Justin — please remove the endnotes and personal details at the end. The editing is also a bit messy. Indeed, if possible a link would have been better than cut’n’paste. While we don’t have newspaper standards, please try to edit the posts like a newspaper op-ed.

    It might be a good idea to have a royal commission… but I don’t find this latest spiel from Viv very convincing. I think he over-states his case, and in so doing he undermines the skeptical side of the debate.

    It seems clear to me that Viv & friends aren’t skeptical. They seem very sure that co2 is good. If they were truely skeptical they would be open to all possibilities… including the possibility that humans are contributing to global climate change through the emission of co2. Instead of skeptically saying “well… maybe…” they are saying “absolutely no”.

    While the science isn’t settled (what science ever is?), it is fair to say that the overwhelming majority of scientists agree that human co2 contributions are playing some role in the climate. And while I hope that new evidence shows that it’s a minor role… it is perfectly legitimate for people (including people in government) to take action with less than 100% certainty.

    I still think the AGW-activists are getting carried away and using the hyped-up fear to introduce poor-quality policy which may well end up being an over-reaction. But the honestly skeptical crew (as opposed to denialists) should be open to AGW theory and have no reason to exagerate or to feel linked to any particular scientific outcome.

  15. Yes of course CO2 is good Humphreys.


    That is to say that industrial-CO2-release is GOOD.

    Thats what the facts say Humphreys. Thats the truth of the matter.

    Now our job is to get this locked in. To lock this reality into the party so that liars and their appearers cannot UNLOCK this position.

    Now don’t wipe my stuff again.

    If you cannot find the evidence just admit that you are wrong.

  16. John
    Viv Forbes sent me this and I asked me to publish it, and I did. I can’t see why it should not be published in its entirety. The name of the blog is Thoughts on Freedom: – these are thoughts on freedom. It is not an op ed piece.

    The absurdities, both in evidence and reason, underlying the religious fantasies of the whole tiresome totalitarian ‘the sky is falling’ school of thought have been repeatedly exposed and refuted.

    Next they’ll be saying carbon is bad for life.

  17. Justin, the name “thoughts on freedom” doesn’t mean “please write badly edited articles” and Viv doesn’t edit this blog.

    Our aim is to provide unique op-ed style posts, though we don’t enforce the same quality-control as a newspaper. We want to avoid cut’n’paste jobs and we would like proper editing without a page of names, addresses, irrelevant endnotes and a word count. It’s a fair request.

    I agree that some on the activist side seem to disregard evidence and have a religious fanaticism. But it also seems that you and some others do the same from the opposite direction.

    It’s a fact that greenhouse gases result in higher temperatures. It’s a fact that humans have contributed to higher greenhouse gases through co2. It’s a fact that temperatures have increased marginally over the last 30-40 years. There are some points which bring the theory into question and make me a bit skeptical… but it seems absurd to me to simply dismiss the potential truth of the AGW story.

    The overwhelmingly most-likely scenario is that humans are having some effect, but aren’t entirely responsible. The reasonable debate then continues as to whether we are 10% responsible or 90% responsible… and whether there is anything cost-effective we can do about it anyway. I don’t think it helps anybody for groups to frantically and manically running around saying the world is ending, or saying there is a vaste socialist conspiracy. Neither is true.

  18. My take is much the same as John’s. Nothing is certain in this life but death and taxes. However there is a strong probability that human industrial activity has made *some* contribution to global warming and for Justin to ask Ken Miles for evidence here is disinguous as there is reams and reams of reports and evidence, just not ones that the extremist-denialists wish to accept anyway. If Ken cites something it will just be dismissed as a fraud or conspiracy by the usual suspects. The basic idea that CO2 absorbs infra-red radiation is well established and goes all the way back to Arhennius one of the founding fathers of modern chemistry. To deny this one might as well deny that the earth revolves around the sun. The quibbling and arguments are over the contributions made and then whether the regulation of emissions by one country unilaterally will make much of a difference. This is a perfectly legitimate topic for debate and there is more than enough wiggle room here even for libertarans. To go to the other extreme and posit a worldwide conspiracy makes libertarians a laughing stock and more importantly, wrong.

    Most businesses have already placed their bets in the face of the evidence and the argument that some form of insurance should be made for the contingency is not on its face either pro or anti-liberty as John’s proposed carbon tax/income tax switcheroo demonstrates.

  19. Last week, the Acton Institute (www.acton.org, or something like that) had an item on global warming, showing that the greatest temperature rise occurred in 1998, and temperatures have been declining since then. I hope this commission investigates the graph they presented, and the data it is based on. It all suggests that the sun plays a major part in any temperature variance, and humans play a small part.

  20. Doh, I wait too long to answer and John/Jason got the general gist of my planned response.

    Nicholas, the whole temperature has been declining since 1998 meme that has been floating around is just another of things that gets on my nerves about global warming sceptics.

    1998 was warming than usual (due to an extra strong El Nino), however, the underlying global temperature trend has shown consistent warming since the mid 70s. You can see the post 1975 data graphed here.

    As for the sun, I’ll simply direct you to this paper of which the abstract reads:

    There is considerable evidence for solar influence on the Earth’s pre-industrial climate and the Sun may well have been a factor in post-industrial climate change in the first half of the last century. Here we show that over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures.

  21. Justin and Jim,

    Perhaps you’d like to put up rather than mumbling about Marx and find some supporting evidence for this claim of Viv Forbes’s:

    Since the scientific investigations for the IPCC fourth assessment report were completed 18 months ago, new research and new observations have cast serious doubt on many of the IPCC’s conclusions.

    References to the peer reviewed scientific articles (ie. not blog posts, press releases etc) where this research was published would be good (unless the science journals are also in on the conspiracy – just like how they keep the creationists from exposing the truth).

  22. Ho-hum. This is just more of the usual amalgam of:
    – personal disparagement
    – appeal to absent authority
    – misrepresentation
    – mind-reading
    – assuming what is in issue, and
    – fantasy of cost-free governmental action
    – religious ecstasy on omnipotent omniscient government.

    The positive science is the least of it. There then arises the question of whether governmental action is warranted. This in turn goes into such imponderables as the costs and benefits, the equity as between individuals, between entire nations, and between generations, and the ‘rights’ of other species.

    To warrant governmental action would require a whole series of propositions to be answered in the affirmative, and almost all of them involve either astronomical complexity, or philosophical imponderability. I have seen threads where the piece of string is followed to the end, and every time the proponents of government action can at best muster a ‘maybe’ on the first proposition, and then a ‘we don’t know’ or ‘there is reason to think so, and reason to think not, and we really don’t know’ to a flat ‘no’. They are miles from making their case, and perhaps the best sign of that, is the supercilious bitterness and personality with which their arguments are invariably urged.

    The foolery is fully seven layers deep and Jason in particular has been called on this before. Last time he waded in with his usual mixture of insult and presumption and when I disarmed that and asked for actual rational argument, he ventured one utterly circular presumption and then when I challenged him on that, he went silent and slunk off, only to reapper running the same tactic here again, and doubtless in other places too.

    To talk about whether there is anything ‘cost-effective’ ‘we’ can do about it is just more voodoo and gizzard-lore. These things can’t be divined by statistical aggregates and mathematical equations. What are we going to do? Say ten losses of livelihood here equals a loss of life there? With a discount for futurity past the thousandth generation into the future, and a dash of social justice for being Chinese? And as usual, the ‘we’ whom interventionists are talking about are the police.

    Oh, and ‘don’t mention the war’. The crowning foolery of this whole fallacious parade is that it is a repeat, in ecological terms, of the superstition of omnipotent governmental ability to achieve social justice and the greater good by planning the astronomical complexity of the ecnonomy that has just been tried in the twentieth century at the cost of millions of lives. It is essentially a repeat of the same belief system: all the same assumptions of government omnipotence, and ignoring of the calculational and valuational problems are similar.

    It would be laughable if it were not for the fact that the proponents of centralised government action are saying that ‘we’ need to cut the energy use of modern civilisation by 50 percent, and 90 percent – and the sage who said that just got lionised with a Nobel peace prize! When you do the maths, and take into account population growth and international equity, they’re talking about reducing our use of energy to less than a tenth of what it is today. Yet it is considered to be impolite to mention the fact that this has major implications for the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. When specifically raised, it is simply dismissed with a wave of the hand on the explicit presumption that government will supply the shortfall – cost free of course with the usual magic wand. The utter credulity of the bleating stampede beggars belief.

    Ken, you’ve got the onus of proof back to front.

    I challenge anyone to show, not evidence that the climate is warming, but a justification of governmental action, giving a proper account of how government is going to take into rational and fair consideration the above objections., with any of the above fallacies an immediate disqualifier.

    The whole thing is too tiresome for me to be bothered further with this thread. This is at the level of Aeson’s fables.

  23. So what are you saying Justin? That whether or not carbon dioxide absorbs infra-red radiation and secondly whether or not there is a correlation between the carbon dioxide released by industrial civilisation and climate change is dependent not on scientific experiment and the findings of peer reviewed research but on whether or not we like the prescriptions made by some of those who believe in the first two claims? Your attitude to the facts/values dichotomy puts the most post-modernist leftist relativist to shame. Next you’ll be prosletysing for feminist mathematics.

  24. Pray tell where the hell did I say anything about wanting to cut energy use by 50 to 90 per cent? As usual you’re jumping to the politics ahead of the actual questions.

  25. Justin… there are two different debates here that you seem to be confusing. One is about science, and one is about policy.

    The point being made by Ken, Jason & myself is about the science. Viv is taking a dogmatic stand against AGW theory and I don’t think that is justified by the available evidence. You seem to support Viv on the science.

    You then go on to say that the burden of proof is on the people promoting government action. Absolutely. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether the science is correct, but I totally agree with your point on policy.

    This is not ad-hom. Neither was Jason’s last question.

    Your points about cutting energy by 50-90% are weird and seem to be entirely a straw-man. I certainly don’t support that… and I doubt that Jason or Ken do either. I’m sure some extremist alarmists call for something like this — but those fringe elements aren’t relevant to the main ongoing debate.

    There is no value in complaining about the fringes. There is a real debate between two sensible groups of people (skeptics & mainstreamers), and alarmism or denialism don’t help that debate.

  26. Regarding the temp changes since 1998 — I don’t think this is honestly represented by either side of the debate.

    It is wrong to take 1998 as a starting point because it was an anomoly (+0.51 over a recent average). However, I note that some alarmists used the 1998 outcome to do some fear-mongering and they deserve to be condemned for that too.

    Temps did trend up a few tenths of a degree over a few decades, but they haven’t really increased much since 2002. The results for the last few years are:

    2002: +0.31
    2003: +0.27
    2004: +0.20
    2005: +0.33
    2006: +0.27
    2007: +0.28

    It is still too early to make any judgement based on these numbers. Skeptics are wrong to use them as proof against warming and they are doubley-wrong to use 1998 as a base year. But mainstreamers & alarmists may want to consider the possibility that recent temp trends might not be fitting the expected pattern.

    The appropriate skepitcal response to the recent plateau in temps is to admit we don’t know enough and wait for more evidence with an open mind.

    This also shows how silly some “skeptics/denialists” have been in how they debate. They use 1998 to make a dramatic point, but their point is easily undermined by the anomoly base-year. If they were more modest and moderate and instead used 2002 then their point would be less dramatic… but it would still be interesting and it would be more honest and therefore compelling.

  27. The confusion as to facts and values is the other way around. Science does not supply the value judgments.

    Apart from the policy implications, the science is no more and no less a matter of empirical speculation in its own right than is any other positive question of science, such as the mating habits of the banded frog. The whole reason the science is relevant is because it is being used to urge policy: it has no other relevance to the entire policy debate or to thoughts on freedom.

    If we want science on it, we can talk to the climatologists. Why would we want to know the opinion of Jason Soon, esquire, or you, on this complex of positive and empirical questions?

    The approach of all the non-scientists is to rely on the authority of the scientists, and urge the number and kind of scientists, and the thickness of wodges of data, as the ground of their argument on the science. They may as well measure the weight of the reports in kilograms and have done with it.

    Even if the science were beyond a doubt, nothing would follow from that as a matter of policy; and then what is the point of the entire discussion?

    The asinine vanity of these calculations just staggers belief. Perhaps if people addressed the issues that the science is being used to support we might have more light and less heat? Your take on how the cost-benefit calculations would take into account differences between individuals, between nations, between generations, and between species, how they are to be weighted or discounted for futurity and social justice, and how the central planning commisar is to know all this? This is the economic calculation debate all over again.

    This is just another case of, when all the rabbits are chased down all the burrows, we end up with a total failure to address the issues by those who suggest that global warming justifies any kind of governmental action.

    That’s two down. Anyone else care to venture open humiliation in front of the whole blog for sailing past the issues?

  28. Justin
    If nothing follows from the science, then why the hell are you calling for a royal commission on global warming and taking such great pains to exaggerate the arguments of the sceptical side to the point of stretching credibility? Why were you arguing about the science with Ken and asking him for evidence if ‘nothing’ follows from it?

  29. John, the whole “recent plateau in temps” is simply an illustration about why one should use a large number of data points when calculating trends from noisy data. If you selected six year periods from the 20th century global temperatures you would have a massive range of trends. Short answer: don’t calculate trends from tiny segments of data.

    Regarding the temp changes since 1998 — I don’t think this is honestly represented by either side of the debate.

    Err… the scientific community tends to show the entire temperature record (ie. Late 19th century to present). How that is dishonest, I do not know.

  30. Your points about cutting energy by 50-90% are weird and seem to be entirely a straw-man. I certainly don’t support that… and I doubt that Jason or Ken do either.

    Correct. I expect (and hope – but the alternative would suggest a probable disaster for humanity) that per capita energy usage increases over the next century. What should decrease is the proportion of energy generation which produces high greenhouse gas emissions.

  31. Ken, you should know better!
    I am not interested in disinterested science, I want news that conforms to my opinions!

  32. Justin… Viv offered commentary on the science. That’s what I took issue with. You seem to support Viv. If you don’t care about the science, why are you debating it?

    I admit I’m not a scientist. But I am a smart person who knows how to read. You might not like to discuss the issue with me, but I feel comfortable discussing the science with anybody who is interested.

    Ken — I agree it would be wrong to draw strong conclusions from six years of data. It’s too early. But it is interesting and it could indicate that the warming trend isn’t as strong as generally thought. I eagerly wait for more information. I hope that the warming trend is low so that we avoid the costs associated with AGW… but I am predicting nothing.

    Also, when I talk about the activist side exagerating their story, I’m not generally talking about most mainstream scientists. I’m talking about the shreeking “we’re all going to die” commentary from the fringe. Unfortunately, such people are over-represented in the media. Even at Lambert’s blog it is easy to find somebody predicting catastrophy, lower life-expectancy, halving of GDP etc.

    While denialists are an embarassment to honest skeptics, these chicken-little fear-mongers are the embarassment to the activist side of the debate. 🙂

  33. John, this short paper may interest you. It compares model predictions vs observed CO2 concentrations, global temps and sea levels. Basically, global temps are very marginal higher than what the models predict sea levels more so.

    I broadly agree with you that there are a significant number of over the top alarmists. And that they (especially Flannery) are a pain in the neck.

    I don’t mind Lovelock though. Being a genesis with a massive record of achievement buys one a lot of get out of jail free cards in my book.

  34. Ken

    where i distrust the true motivations of the Green movement is their refusal to accept the inevitability of nuclear power.

    let’s say you really really really believe that planet Earth’s going to be crisping before the century is over. if that is your belief, then surely you would do anything to reduce CO2 emissions. as nucelar is the only viable alternative to fossil fuels, why isnt it a shoe-in for the warming crowd?

    or are factors other than the long term health of mother earth at work??

  35. Jason
    The science is a necessary, but not sufficient precondition to government action.

    I admit that I can’t be bothered looking up those papers. However I’ll go one better.

    Let us assume for the sake of argument, much in your favour, that there is no issue as to the climatology.

    Right. Then the whole purpose of government action on climate change is either to benefit the value of human interests, or to benefit values that are over and above human interests.

    As to the value of human interests, the first task facing the central planning authority, is going to be figuring out whether the government action is going to be worthwhile, or is it going to do what government intervention is notorious for, which is cause unintended consequences that are worse than the original problem. Now the relevant data set is the comparison of the values of each person’s interests without, and with the government action. All six billion of them, and all of them subjective. So obviously the first problem is that there is going to be no way the central planning authority is going to be able to know what it need to know in order to know whether any action is justified.

    Statistical aggregates, even without the problems caused by their tolerance of error, and mathematical equations are simply not capable of providing meaningful results on the central question.

    An objective measure of these values might be approximated by comparing the structure of prices with, as against without, the government action. The problem then becomes that we are talking about
    • the prices of everything in reality
    • compared with the prices of everything in a hypothetical state
    • without the means to separate out effects that do not relate either to climate change to the proposed government action.

    Obviously such knowledge is beyond the power of any human agency.

    A subset or surrogate will not be able to answer the original prerequisite, which is, to know whether the government action is going to make the original problem better or worse.

    But it gets worse.

    According to the UN, the costs of correcting the climate should not be borne equally. People should bear more or less depending on their current wealth. Also the whole purpose of the exercise is ‘sustainability’ – to allow to future generations an equal share by permitting current ones a lesser share than they might otherwise use.

    How is the central planning authority to know what is the actual share, and what should be the proper share, of present and future individuals respectively? Is there any discount for futurity, or is a person’s obligation to a stranger a million generations from now to be accounted equally with his current interest in providing for his own child? If future generations develop technology that requires them to use less of the relevant resource, how will the credit that they owe us – as a matter of the social justice that is the whole purpose of the exercise – be credited back in time?

    As to developing alternative energy sources to compensate for the lesser use of the current energy mix, these alternatives have not been used to date because they cost more than the current energy mix. How is the central planning authority to know whether the alternatives cost more not just economically, but in terms of natural resources of one kind or another? How are these costs to be calculated? How is government going to know whether its not making the situation worse instead of better?

    As to values over and above human interests, imponderable as this notion may sound, it is in fact what animates large parts of the environmental movement. According to this notion, nature has value in and of itself – intrinsic value – and human activity of many, or of all kinds, violates such value. But who has authority to speak for the these values over and above human interests? The limits on knowledge facing the central planning authority would be even more of a yawning gulf. How could this be anything other than the cipher of one human’s demand to get what he wants by using force or threats against other humans?

    And all this is to say nothing of the opportunities for political shenanigans miscarrying the original good intentions of the proponents of government action on a vast scale, opening a veritable cornucopia of privilege, patronage, and corruption.

    What foolery is this?

    Even with the science, the case for politically micro-managing the world’s climate is exceedingly poor; without the science, it doesn’t exist.

    But by all means, Jason, John, and Ken, go right ahead and answer the above questions and you still won’t have vindicated the science.

  36. Pommygranate is nuclear an inevitability? This large report by MIT suggests that nuclear will be an expensive option. Without a massive improvement in the economics of nuclear it will cost almost twice what coal and gas plants cost to run. If the sort of carbon tax required to make nuclear competitive are implemented, renewables and geosequestration will probably usurp nuclear place at the table.

    I don’t have an ideological problem with nuclear, but I suspect that it won’t play a big role in Australia for economical reasons.

  37. Ken

    France relies on nuclear for 75% of their energy needs. do they do something different?

    nuclear may cost twice the price of coal, but every other technology costs 10x coal!!

  38. Justin, you’re over analysising and if we followed your thought processes into everything we wouldn’t do anything. Dealing with uncertainty is part of life.

    My domestic policy suggestions is:

    1) Don’t worry too much about the rest of the world. Given time, they will start to sign up to international treaties and the like.

    2) Implement a carbon tax with corresponding cuts in other taxs. Economically, this shouldn’t have a great impact on Australia’s growth, but should accelerate decarbonisation of our energy usage. Slowly ramp up carbon tax with time.

    3) More funding for pure research.

  39. Pommygrante, nuclear currently only makes sense economically when you attach a value to its other products (national pride and nuclear material). The MIT report suggests that without a technical revolution in nuclear power plant construction, an approximate carbon tax of US$100/tC would make nuclear cheaper than coal. From the report (pg 42):

    With carbon taxes in the $50/tC range, nuclear is not economical under the base case assumptions. If nuclear costs can be reduced to reflect all of the cost-reduction specifications discussed earlier, nuclear would be less costly than coal and less costly than gas in the high gas price cases. It is roughly competitive with gas in the low and moderate price gas cases. With carbon taxes in the $100/tC to $200/tC range, nuclear power would be an economical base load option compared to coal under the base case assumptions, but would still be more costly than gas except in the high gas price case. However, nuclear would be significantly less costly than all of the alternatives with carbon prices at this level, if all of the cost reduction
    specifications discussed earlier could be achieved.

    The last conclusion ignores one important consideration. With carbon taxes at these high levels, it could become economical to deploy a generating technology involving the gasification of coal, its combustion in a CCGT (IGCC), and the sequestration of carbon dioxide produced in the process. The potential cost savings from this technology compared to conventional pulverized coal plants arises from (a) the use of relatively inexpensive coal to produce syngas (mostly CO and H2) (b) the higher thermal efficiency of CCGT, and more economical capture of CO2.

  40. Nuclear is the cheapest, cleanest, safest electricity source that there is. Nobody who says otherwise can come up with the goods. Its a leftist two-step. They say nuclear is more expensive which is an unsupported lie. Then they say that coal is bad for the environment which is the opposite of the truth. CO2-release enhances the environment.

    So its just a lying leftist two-step designed to deprive us of both.

  41. Ken’s reply to me consists entirely of assuming what is in issue.

    Let’s be clear here: no-one has been able to show a justification for government action on climate change with or without the science. This has been shown over and over again in discussion groups on the internet, yet the same people keep popping up over and over again running the same refuted fallacies.

    Yet when people raise their reasonable concerns at these proposals, they face an insulting bluster of piss and wind. Then when you call them on it, they pretend there were just a claque of the amateur climatologists’s society, or play at ‘I am sir Oracle, as who should ope his mouth, let no dog bark.’

  42. As I have shown, the climatological science is the very least of the problems facing the proponents of government action on climate change, and I personally find the whole technical argument to be utterly misguided, deluded and vain.

    I also note that ‘shrieks of silence’ were the only reply to my devastating and unanswerable arguments showing the vanity and irrelevance of the technical arguments.

    The relevance of the technical science is rather as a hide, providing a cover of credibility, or rather credulity for what is essentially voodoo. The superstitious proclivities of man have not disappeared in modern society: they have simply been transferred from natural objects, or gods, to the modern state, which is revered as omniscient and omnipotent, and technocratic scientists are the new priestly caste.

    The whole climate change thing is merely a re-run of
    a) the selling of indulgences by the mediaeval church for sins against heaven, only this time it’s the state not the church that’s collecting the payments
    b) the socialist attempt to plan the economy, only this time it’s the world ecology they’re trying to socialise.

    However for what it’s worth, I post this little snippet which may amuse.

    A Compilation of the Arguments that Irrefutably Prove that Climate Change is driven by Solar Activity and not by CO2 Emission

    Dr. Gerhard Löbert, Otterweg 48, 85598 Baldham, Germany. January 27, 2008.

    Physicist. Recipient of The Needle of Honor of German Aeronautics.

    Program Manager “CCV, F 104G” (see Internet).

    Program Manager “Lampyridae, MRMF” (see Internet)

    Conveyor of a super-Einsteinian theory of gravitation that explains, among many other post-Einstein-effects, the Sun-Earth-Connection and the true cause of the global climate changes.

    1. Climatological facts

    As the glaciological and tree ring evidence shows, climate change is a natural phenomenon that has occurred many times before in the past, both with the magnitude as well as with the time rate of temperature change that have occurred in the recent decades. The following facts prove that the recent global warming is not man-made but is a natural phenomenon.

    1. In the temperature trace of the past 10 000 years based on glaciological evidence, the recent decades have not displayed any anomalous behaviour. In two-thirds of these 10 000 years, the mean temperature was even higher than today. Shortly before the last ice age the temperature in Greenland even increased by 15 degrees C in only 20 years. All of this without any man-made CO2 emission!

    2. There is no direct connection between CO2 emission and climate warming. This is shown by the fact that these two physical quantities have displayed an entirely different temporal behaviour in the past 150 years. Whereas the mean global temperature varied in a quasi-periodic manner, with a mean period of 70 years, the CO2 concentration has been increasing exponentially since the 1950’s. The sea level has been rising and the glaciers have been shortening practically linearly from 1850 onwards. Neither time trace showed any reaction to the sudden increase of hydrocarbon burning from the 1950’s onwards.

    3. The hypothesis that the global warming of the past decades is man-made is based on the results of calculations with climate models in which the main influence on climate is not included. The most important climate driver (besides solar luminosity) comes from the interplay of solar activity, interplanetary magnetic field strength, cosmic radiation intensity, and cloud cover of the Earth atmosphere. As is shown in Section 2, this phenomenon is generated by the action of galactic vacuum density waves on the core of the Sun.

    4. The extremely close correlation between the changes in the mean global temperature and the small changes in the rotational velocity of the Earth in the past 150 years (see Fig. 2.2 of http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y2787E/y2787e03.htm), which has been ignored by the mainstream climatologists, leaves little room for a human influence on climate. This close correlation results from the action of galactic vacuum density waves on the Sun and on the Earth (see Section 2).

    5. From the steady decrease of the rotational velocity of the Earth that set in in Dec. 2003, it can reliably be concluded that the mean Earth temperature will decrease again in 2010 for the duration of three decades as it did from 1872 to 1913 and from 1942 to 1972.

    6. The RSS AMSU satellite measurements show that the global temperature has not increased since 2001 despite the enormous worldwide CO2 emissions. Since 2006 it has been decreasing again.

    2. Physical explanation for the strong correlation between fluctuations of the rotational velocity and changes of the mean surface temperature of the Earth

    Despite its great successes, the gravitational theory of the great physicist Albert Einstein, General Relativity, (which is of a purely geometric nature and is totally incompatible with the highly successful quantum theory) must be discarded because this theory is completely irreconcilable with the extremely large energy density of the vacuum that has been accurately measured in the Casimir experiment.

    Seaon Theory, a new theory of gravitation based on quantum mechanics that was developed eight decades after General Relativity, not only covers the well-known Einstein-effects but also shows up half a dozen post-Einstein effects that occur in nature. From a humanitarian standpoint, the most important super-Einsteinian physical phenomenon is the generation of small-amplitude longitudinal gravitational waves by the motion of the supermassive bodies located at the center of our galaxy, their transmission throughout the Galaxy, and the action of these waves on the Sun, the Earth and the other celestial bodies through which they pass. These vacuum density waves, which carry with them small changes in the electromagnetic properties of the vacuum, occur in an extremely large period range from minutes to millennia.

    On the Sun, these vacuum waves modulate the intensity of the thermonuclear energy conversion process within the core, and this has its effect on all physical quantities of the Sun (this is called solar activity). This in turn has its influences on the Earth and the other planets. In particular, the solar wind and the solar magnetic field strength are modulated which results in large changes in the intensity of the cosmic radiation reaching the Earth. Cosmic rays produce condensation nuclei so that the cloud cover of the atmosphere and the Earth albedo also change.

    On the Earth, the steady stream of vacuum density waves produces parts-per-billion changes in a large number of geophysical quantities. The most important quantities are the radius, circumference, rotational velocity, gravitational acceleration, VLBI baseline lengths, and axis orientation angles of the Earth, as well as the orbital elements of all low-earth-orbit satellites. All of these fluctuations have been measured.

    Irrefutable evidence for the existence of this new, super-Einsteinian wave type is provided by the extremely close correlation between changes of the mean temperature and fluctuations of the mean rotational velocity of the Earth. (see Fig. 2.2 of http://www.fao.org). Einsteinian theory cannot explain this amazing correlation between two physical quantities that seem to be completely unrelated.

    While the rotational velocity of the Earth and the thermonuclear energy conversion process on the Sun react simultaneously to the passage of a vacuum density wave, a time span of 6 years is needed for the energy to be transported from the core of the Sun to the Earth’s atmosphere and for the latter’s reaction time.

  43. Or how about this one: the foolery never ends. If enough scientists think the world is cooling, let’s all call on government to ‘tackle’ it.

    “Scientist says Earth could soon face new Ice Age

    The concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has risen more than 4% in the past decade, but global warming has practically stopped. It confirms the theory of “solar” impact on changes in the Earth’s climate.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008By RIAN

    Temperatures on Earth have stabilized in the past decade, and the planet should brace itself for a new Ice Age rather than global warming, a Russian scientist said in an interview with RIA Novosti Tuesday.

    “Russian and foreign research data confirm that global temperatures in 2007 were practically similar to those in 2006, and, in general, identical to 1998-2006 temperatures, which, basically, means that the Earth passed the peak of global warming in 1998-2005,” said Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of a space research lab at the Pulkovo observatory in St. Petersburg.

    According to the scientist, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has risen more than 4% in the past decade, but global warming has practically stopped. It confirms the theory of “solar” impact on changes in the Earth’s climate, because the amount of solar energy reaching the planet has drastically decreased during the same period, the scientist said.

    Had global temperatures directly responded to concentrations of “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere, they would have risen by at least 0.1 Celsius in the past ten years, however, it never happened, he said.

    “A year ago, many meteorologists predicted that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would make the year 2007 the hottest in the last decade, but, fortunately, these predictions did not become reality,” Abdusamatov said. l
    He also said that in 2008, global temperatures would drop slightly, rather than rise, due to unprecedentedly low solar radiation in the past 30 years, and would continue decreasing even if industrial emissions of carbon dioxide reach record levels.

    By 2041, solar activity will reach its minimum according to a 200-year cycle, and a deep cooling period will hit the Earth approximately in 2055-2060. It will last for about 45-65 years, the scientist added.

    “By the mid-21st century the planet will face another Little Ice Age, similar to the Maunder Minimum, because the amount of solar radiation hitting the Earth has been constantly decreasing since the 1990s and will reach its minimum approximately in 2041,” he said.

    The Maunder Minimum occurred between 1645 and 1715, when only about 50 spots appeared on the Sun, as opposed to the typical 40,000-50,000 spots.

    It coincided with the middle and coldest part of the so called Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America were subjected to bitterly cold winters.

    “However, the thermal inertia of the world’s oceans and seas will delay a ‘deep cooling’ of the planet, and the new Ice Age will begin sometime during 2055-2060, probably lasting for several decades,” Abdusamatov said.

    Therefore, the Earth must brace itself for a growing ice cap, rather than rising waters in global oceans caused by ice melting.

    Mankind will face serious economic, social, and demographic consequences of the coming Ice Age because it will directly affect more than 80% of the earth’s population, the scientist concluded.

    Source: RIAN News Service is an English-language newswire providing real-time coverage of key events in Russia, Baltics and the CIS.”

  44. Its great that you’ve finally put this one to bed and unoppossed.

    Because we have to get on with the serious business of surrounding the continent with twin nuclear power stations….. coupled up with coal-liquification plants.

    We must have the nuclear power station. And the liquified-coal plant right besides them.

  45. Justin you are talking complete tripe. Before you next start going on about “vaccuum density waves” or some other nonsense I suggest you get an education in physics first. Mathematics might help as well.

    ” …. parts per billion … ” Yep. 2C/century ala AGW is at least a parts per thousand phenonomem. Parts per billion will have a lot of leverage on it (not).

    Abdusamatov is a complete tool. He’s only published one paper (I’ve got a copy if you’re interested). It is probably the most banal peer reviewed paper I’ve ever read – it doesn’t say anything, certainly nothing that supports his extensive media comments.

    Basically all it says is that the sun is round, hot and a long way away. It’s complete trivia.

    If he’s your best argument for AGW being false, I’ve got some purple crystals here that relieve stress. If you’re interested give me a call.

  46. Justin, I’ll also call you out on this idiocy:

    “4. The extremely close correlation between the changes in the mean global temperature and the small changes in the rotational velocity of the Earth … http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y2787E/y2787e03.htm

    Your reference is to a really bizarre piece of numerology that is talking about the relationship between fish stocks and the rotation of the earth for heavens sake.

    Let me give you a clue here.

    If some piece of so-called called science tries to relate two totally different things, on different scales, across different domains … it is probably cr*p. And the cr*p index increases exponentially according to the number of things it references.

    This stuff isn’t too hard to spot, it usually looks like the rantings of deranged new age hippies after a long Saturday night on the crack pipe. And guess what? It usually comes from a long Saturday night on the crack pipe as well.

  47. Jesus Christ Justin, this is pure crackpot pseudoscience. I thought that Graeme was the biggest nut on this thread, but you’ve just taken the cake.

    Did you miss the discussion about recent global trends and solar influences in this thread? Oh that’s right, you “can’t be bothered looking up those papers”. At least creationists wait for a week before recycling discredited arguments.

    The bullshit that your sources are spouting isn’t even internally consistent. Can you see the flaw in the logic here (I’ve highlighted some key words to help you out):

    According to the scientist, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has risen more than 4% in the past decade, but global warming has practically stopped. It confirms the theory of “solar” impact on changes in the Earth’s climate, because the amount of solar energy reaching the planet has drastically decreased during the same period, the scientist said.

  48. I would never support government intervention under the current warming conditions.
    The best solutions will be free market, business solutions. The destructive force of government fines, regulations and taxes do not have an overall effect of stimulating innovation and product development.

  49. I’ll say it again – does anyone know much about kelp for use in biofuels – it might be cheaper than the long run cost of digging up oil.

    No need to subsidise it. It would just take over.

  50. By bio-fuels I take it you mean ethanol?

    Turning corn into ethanol is an established process and will happen on a large scale very soon in the US. This large scale will allow for lower costs.

    Turning any old biomass (I assume kelp falls in this category) into ethanol is not as easy, and I’m sure it’s not currently economically viable.

    It’s a fairly big area of research at the moment. – And I believe the research is focusing on bacteria fermentation aided by catalytic enzymes. This converstion is possible at the moment but is an energy expensive, multi-step process. I imagine there are quite a few scientists in government and private enterprise currently searching for the right enzymes, or trying to engineer the existing bacteria/enzymes to increase activity, or simply trying to optimise the fermentation process – temp, pH, gulcose, O2 levels, bacteria load etc.

    The word biofuel means any fuel from biomass, so that would also include methane and oils I imagine. -Don’t know much about these type of fuels.

  51. As I understand, the pipe dream is to be able to take bio-mass of any kind, and process it for ethanol. The type of plant would therefore ideally be irrelevant – as long as it’s plentiful, cheap or a waste product from agriculture or other primary industry – I suppose the waste from any large scale crop that is replanted annually, could be used after harvesting.

  52. JM and Ken Miles

    Don’t think it has gone unnoticed that your arguments consist entirely of:
    a) personal abuse, and
    b) begging the question.

    You have failed to show how, even if what you are saying were wholly conceded, the destruction of natural and social values following from government action on climate change would be less than the benefits, and how that would be calculated or known.

    ‘Emotional talk is beside the point. It is a poor disguise for the fact that these self-righteous advocates of restriction are unable to advance any tenable objections to the economists’ well-founded argumentation.’

    You haven’t got off home base in establishing the relevance of climatology to policy on climate change or thoughts on freedom. Your snivelling shit-headed insults and half-brained falacies mere provide argumentation that satisfies your own intellectual standards.

  53. Mark. This kelp business would clearly require the production of a whole new generation of sea-based capital goods for it to become viable. We are talking decades of capital investment and innovation here when coal-liquification and nuclear power generation are established technologies.

    Such sea-based harvesting and processing is a nice idea and the way to stimulate such a thing, in the somewhat distant future, is to set clear rules for the homesteading of ocean regions… I would say with natural buffer zones around these regions of private property, and this time not wall-to-wall private titles.

    So the homesteading should be attended to quickly. But such large-scale sea-based harvesting and industrial processing isn’t going to happen for some decades.

    We know what needs to be done as far as energy-production is concerned. And thats to go under, over, around and through the environmental bastards. These sick sick bastards. People of a near-genocidal disposition who oppose nuclear and coal and would oppose ANY OTHER ENERGY PRODUCTION THAT WAS COMMERCIALLY VIABLE.

    They don’t oppose these things on account of any harm done to the environment. Since they cannot find any evidence whatsoever for harm done to the environment. Nuclear power does nothing to the environment, whereas CO2-release helps the environment.

    So there is no real point in talking about kelp except to remind us that homesteading ought to be a major part of our program. Its not kelp thats going to help us. Its nuclear and liquified-coal which means property rights and destroying the global warming racket.

  54. Graeme is right. Greanpeace are “sick sick bastards”.
    Every time someone comes up with an environmental solution, Greanpeace says its not good enough, or moves on to a more extreme position.
    Today I heard Virgin Atlantic powered a plane engine on bio-fuels that sucessfully completed a test flight. And Greanpeace are already having a whinge about it (saying developing biofuels causes CO2).
    The problem with much environmentalism is that it’s nihilism and or socialism in disguise. – For example, see the ridiculous policies of all Green political parties.

  55. Justin, stop being a little crybaby. If you don’t like ad homs – stop using them yourself. If you don’t like discussing the science of AGW – stop bring it up.

    Go away, get a hug from your mum and come back when you finally got a non-stupid argument.

  56. Mark,

    A friend of mine involved in the sugar cane industry recently told me of a technology that will enable much greater extraction from sugar cane. So there is another avenue to explore. Sorry, don’t have details to hand. I believe it involves extracting energy from the fibre of the stalks.

  57. Ken
    The difference between your personal arguments and mine is that your entire argument depends on them. Take away your personal snivelling and there’s no structural member left. Your ad hominem arguments are your foundation; mine are mere decoration.

    That’s why you, and all other advocates of government intervention on climate change, keep returning with nothing but personal disparagement and begging the question: you don’t have anything else.

    So let’s cut to the chase: your way of knowing that governmental interventions on climate change are not going to destroy more natural or social values than they are going to save is….? Answer please.

  58. John – very interesting…is it an enzyme or catalyst that allows fibres to be metabolised by yeast (celluose into sugars)?

    All in all, good developments, thanks for the update.

  59. When anyone gets in the way by talking about kelp or ethanol they are showing their bigotry towards nuclear. When anyone wastes time talking about solar or wind they are really getting in the way of liquified coal.

    When somebody expresses fantasies about hydrogen or plays make-believe that hot rocks can pick up a fraction of one percent of our requirements in the near future they are expressing their bigotry as a NATURE FACIST.

    Any of these energy sources may be tried out by any interested party at any time with the most miniscule fixing up of property rights.


    Our successful future lies in nuclear plants springing up all over the country. And beside each of those nuclear plants ought to be a liquified-coal (tar sands, oil shales, scrap wood, rubbish) plant. Two plants side by side for verily these are complementary technologies.

    When we were little boys we had our little boy ways. But now we are grown up we must put all such idiocy behind us.

    The goal of our policy must be to see these energy forms that are the target of nature facist bigotry sprouting throughout the country. I cannot express to you people strongly enough just how sick I am of you coming here to express you nature facist bigotries.

  60. Justin (#65):

    “You have failed to show how, even if … wholly conceded, the destruction of natural and social values following government action … would be less than the benefits …”

    Fish stock levels are social values? The rotation of the earth is a proper subject for government policy? Ok, tell me more and then I can respond in the terms you desire.

    “… haven’t got off home base in establishing the relevence of climatology to policy on climate change …”

    Ahh ‘climatology’, ‘climate change’. Don’t these two terms have something to do with each other? Is it controversial that I think are related? If so, I think you better get started on making the case that they are entirely separate.

  61. Justin (#65):

    “You have failed to show how, even if … wholly conceded, the destruction of natural and social values following government action … would be less than the benefits …”

    Fish stock levels are social values? The rotation of the earth is a proper subject for government policy? Ok, tell me more and then I can respond in the terms you desire.

    “… haven’t got off home base in establishing the relevence of climatology to policy on climate change …”

    Ahh ‘climatology’, ‘climate change’. Don’t these two terms have something to do with each other? Is it controversial that I think they are somehow related? If so, I think you better get started on making the case that they are entirely separate.

  62. Fish stocks, by themselves, are a natural value, in the sense that they can be objectively measured to be of such and such a quantity.

    That positive value of quantity by itself does not comprise a social value. Whether one thinks that there should be more or fewer fish, or that it doesn’t matter one way or the other, are social values, in the sense that they relate to the subjective value of a human being about their relations with other human beings.

    These two kinds of values are categorically different and incommensurable, but unfortunately many people have them mixed up, including and especially in environmental issues.

    The positive value of how much or how many fish there are, does not supply a value judgment one way or the other as to whether there should be that many, or more, or fewer fish.

    And the same applies to all other natural values.

    I have not said that the rotation of the earth is a proper subject for government policy so I don’t know what you’re talking about there.

    Do climatology and climate change have something to do with each other? They both relate to climate, and the science of climatology may show in what ways the climate is changing. So much is not controversial.

    But it is controversial, and it is a complete non sequitur, to think that any positive value from climatology supplies any social value as a matter of policy on climate change.

    Even if it were known as a positive fact that the climate is getting warmer, that by itself would provide precisely nothing by way of social value to say that we should do anything about it. The science does not, and cannot supply the value judgments. One may think that the world should be cooler, or warmer. That is a social value. And the social values cannot be known apart from the questions of human interests involved.

    The failure of many scientists to understand the dividing line between the relevance of positive values and the relevance of social values invalidates their contributions to policy discussion, because they have the two hopelessly confused. They also fail to understand that they fail to understand, so they are under the mistaken impression that their technical expertise is capable of dictating the course that policy should take.

    An example is where people think that by pointing to measurements which may indicate the positive fact of climate change, they mistakenly think that they have done all they need to do to show the supposed need for any given action.

    But the least of the issues is in consensus on the positive measurements. The real difficult issues are on what this means; what should be done if anything; why; who is going to pay the costs; how it would or could be known or calculated; if it can’t be known or calculated, what reason we have to believe or trust it; what makes it fair; what to do about inequalities between human beings at the starting point, in the process of transition, and in the outcome; what if we are wrong; what to do about things that can’t be known; how the sacrifice of human welfare as between one person and another is to be decided on; whether the sacrifice of human life is to be required; who is to decide and how; what is to be done about the self-interest of parties to the decision-making; and so on.

    What I find most concerning about the technical debate is the vacuity, vanity and dangerousness of the technicians, blind to the real practical and ethical issues, who mistakenly think that their technical expertise supplies conclusions as a matter of policy.

    So I repeat my question which so far no-one has answered in any forum: your way of knowing that governmental interventions on climate change are not going to destroy more natural or social values than they are going to save is….? Answer please.

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