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COP15: Still squabbling over form

Richard Black | 10:02 UK time, Monday, 14 December 2009

The second week of this conference is opening much as the first week ended - with disagreements on some pretty fundamental issues, and lots of squabbling about things that appear to be petty details but in fact mask big underlying concerns.

This morning, for example, the Danish hosts have scheduled a big session of "informal consultations" on "major issues requiring political guidance".

But that's not likely to be acceptable to some developing countries - in particular the African bloc - and "lively exchanges" are expected.

As with many aspects of these talks, the outsider will ask "why"? After all, when there are difficult outstanding issues - which there are - why not talk them through informally?

The answer is that developing states feel the Danish recipe - a single discussion - legitimises the idea of bringing everything together under a single new legal agreement rather than continuing with the Kyoto Protocol (KP).

Ed MilibandFor them, choosing this forum pre-judges the outcome of negotiations that are on-going - and pre-judges in the direction that favours the Europeans - and they're likely to ask for two parallel sessions, with issues concerning the KP dealt with in one, and other issues in another.

We'll see how this little spat plays out during the morning.

What else is up for grabs?

UK Climate Secretary Ed Miliband has just been outlining what he sees as the outstanding points of division:

  • emission cuts, where he said the EU "would like" to move from 20% to 30% (from 1990 levels by 2020), the implication being that the EU as a whole doesn't yet feel the rest of the world has made the commitments necessary for it to adopt its higher target
  • fast-start finance, where the EU is waiting for other potential major donors such as Japan and the US to match, approximately, the pledge of $3bn per year for the period 2010-2012 that it made on Friday
  • monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) - the plot here is that developed countries (the US in particular) want any emission curbs in developing countries (China in particular) to be formally binding in some sense, and open to international scrutiny - which is anathema to China.

He also outlined again why the EU is keen to end up with a single legal entity rather than the twin-track solution currently favoured by the African bloc and the small island states. An extension to the Kyoto Protocol in the absence of other measures would, he said, be "irresponsible for the climate", because it would leave some of the world's biggest emitters without targets for cutting emissions.

Mr Miliband - who generally appears unusually frank for a UK minister - said negotiators had to get on with things if there were to be a deal in Copenhagen - currently, there is too much left for heads of state and government to do, he said.

The most glaring divide, however, is the maximum level within which governments should attempt to keep the global temperature rise. While wanting the "most ambitious" deal possible, he suggested that the figure of 1.5C favoured by some of the smaller, most "vulnerable" countries is simply not achievable, politically or technically.

We shall see whether that placates the small island states and others that have adopted the 1.5C as a target for these negotiations.

The question we urgently need answering is: how far into next weekend has the conference centre been booked? Because that will probably determine the position of the wire down to which negotiations are sure to go.


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  • 1. At 10:49am on 14 Dec 2009, HARRY README wrote:

    A conference to plan the world's weather for the next 90 years.

    This is going to be in psychiatry textbooks in the future. They can rip out the chapter about Jim Jones and his Kool Aid.

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  • 2. At 11:01am on 14 Dec 2009, HARRY README wrote:

    How will the Climate Bonanza Fund operate?

    If my life has been impacted by dangerous climate change then where do I get the dough? Is there a form to apply?

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  • 3. At 11:06am on 14 Dec 2009, jon112dk wrote:

    All this talk and then they will all go away ignore all the 'binding commitments' they made

    .....except for the commitment China made to INCREASE it's emissions

    .....and the commitment from wealthy leaders of poor countries to accept any aid we want to give them and direct it to their swiss bank accounts

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  • 4. At 11:46am on 14 Dec 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Ocean Acidification & COP16 ? ?

    Nice article on ocean acidification Richard.

    I noted that the next full climate update by the UN is scheduled for 2013.

    Perhaps we should simply abandon this concept and have a permanent climate change conference until the situation is under control.

    It is technically possible to shoot for 1.5 degrees C. That would entail the building on millions of CO2 air-capture devices, which I think should be done regardless, as CO2 is already over the Planetary Boundary of 350 ppmv.

    Your report on ocean acidification brings up the threat to the principal food supply of ~ a billion people - and the melting glaciers worldwide threaten the food security of two billion more. That's almost half the world's poulation, and that is just the beginning of our problems.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 5. At 11:49am on 14 Dec 2009, manysummits wrote:

    I have one reply from my post #145 in the previous blog 'COP15' - from the well known glaciologist MangoChutneyUKOK, who pointed out, quite reasonably, that glaciers respond in various ways to inputs.

    After grade one comes grade two.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 6. At 12:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Addendum to #5:

    That would be my post #245 (not 145), in the last blog.

    - Minus 26 C in Calgary -

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  • 7. At 12:05pm on 14 Dec 2009, lburt wrote:

    @manusummits #4

    Again with the wildly unsupported claims.

    Let me make sure to beat you over the head with this once again...You have never provided significant evidence to support feedbacks being strong, much less positive. Your entire claim of "requiring" air capture devices is contingent on this one, entirely unsubstantiated claim. You and your alarmist brethren ramble on about how the feedbacks MUST be high because the organization assembled to examine what would happen if climate sensitivity (and feedbacks) were high...did what it was told to do and modeled that.

    The models were force fit to about about 2% of the total span of the interglacial. However, according to your beloved models it is physically impossible for the rest of the interglacial to be anywhere near the (much higher) temperatures that we know it was. More soon as the models were actually into predictions (instead of their forced fit into known temperatures) they diverged immediately. Let's see here, you forced them to fit (not very well either) to 2% of the time and they don't explain anything else. I think it's clear the models are based on the wrong assumptions.

    The "mountain of evidence" for anthropogenic global warming consists of (A) that its warming at all and (B) the horribly inadequate absorption math for CO2...math which was NEVER intended to be used in quite that way. This "supporting" evidence actually shoots your idea of needing CO2 capture devices to pieces as it only suggests an absolute maximum of about 1.2C for a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial levels. That's MAXIMUM. In reality the environment would respond to an increased gradient in the atmosphere with more powerful convection...negating SOME of the impact.

    You are wrong and you need to come to terms with it instead of spouting your inaccurate, alarmist claims.

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  • 8. At 12:32pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits #5

    from the well known glaciologist MangoChutneyUKOK, who pointed out, quite reasonably, that glaciers respond in various ways to inputs.

    I think you have me confused with somebody else, Manysummits, I am not a glaciologist (unless that is meant to be some kind of sly attack on me, which is wholly unjustified and does nothing for your credibility), but I’m pleased you have recognised that not all glacier retreat is caused by temperature rises.

    As I said Kilimanjaro is caused by land clearance causing the winds to blow further up the mountain affecting the snow and ice, not by temperature rise.

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  • 9. At 12:44pm on 14 Dec 2009, U14256852 wrote:

    It is always amusing how claims like #3's are rolled out to do nothing. Hard for any "wealthy leaders of poor countries" to put money into a Swiss account when for example no money promised under Kyoto has been paid out at all... as reported by the BBC. Which part of the commitment needs to be overseen first?

    The only absolutely fair final outcome is to cap everyone's per capita to some average sustainable value (or pay extra for additional allowance). This isn't even in the discussion because the developed world won't hear of it.

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  • 10. At 1:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, jmb19045 wrote:

    Re: ocean acidification.

    If it's such a big problem then how did coral (and plenty of other sea life) survive during the Jurassic period when CO2 levels were 5-10 times higher?

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  • 11. At 1:04pm on 14 Dec 2009, minuend wrote:

    Copenhagen Day 6: Rockall Delegate's diary

    That's it I have had enough. I can't take this anymore. I'm walking out. It seems my African colleagues agree with me. We are all walking out together.

    Until the Danes put back the bacon sandwiches on the breakfast menu there won't be anymore talks.

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  • 12. At 1:10pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lazarus wrote:

    So as far as I can tell, scientists can't agree on the science and politicians can't agree on the politics. Makes you wonder why they're bothering with the summit at all.

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  • 13. At 1:17pm on 14 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    just in case you missed them from the last thread

    "So as far as I can tell, scientists can't agree on the science and politicians can't agree on the politics. Makes you wonder why they're bothering with the summit at all" because they'll make a sh##load of money off it.

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  • 14. At 1:20pm on 14 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    i'll also state this point again, to see if richard finally picks up on it....

    Does anyone else find trying to limit the earths temperature rise to 1.2-2 C extremely arrogant given a) the temperatures are falling anyway and b) we have no way AT ALL of influencing the worlds climate to that degree.

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  • 15. At 1:21pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    It seems that Gordon Brown is very generous with taxpayer funds despite there being nothing left in the piggy bank and the UK under a huge burden of debt. And interesting that now they're on the verge of imposing huge additional taxes on their citizens the 'science' doesn't seem quite so important anymore.

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  • 16. At 1:25pm on 14 Dec 2009, crispy wrote:

    @jmb19045 "If it's such a big problem then how did coral (and plenty of other sea life) survive during the Jurassic period when CO2 levels were 5-10 times higher?"

    A. Ocean acidification came and went much, much more slowly prior to MMGW. It is estimated that their pH will fall by 0.4 units between now and 2100. This corresponds to a 3-fold increase of the mean acidity of the oceans, which is unprecedented during the past 20 million years.
    B. The Jurassic species were different and adapted to the slow change
    C. Key ocean regions reveal decreases in shell weights and corals that are less able to build skeletal material. 0.5% of the ocean is coral reef yet supports 25% of ocean life.
    D. The pteropod Limacina helicina has an important part to play in the food chain and functioning of the Arctic marine ecosystem. Its calcium carbonate shell provides vital protection. Studies (Sept Biogeosciences) have shown that the shell of this mollusk develops at a rate that is 30% slower when it is kept in seawater with the characteristics anticipated in 2100.


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  • 17. At 1:30pm on 14 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    ooo hang on a cotton-picking-minute. we could be saved....

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  • 18. At 1:31pm on 14 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:


    just one question.

    How did they manage to measure pH before 1931?

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  • 19. At 1:44pm on 14 Dec 2009, John OSullivan wrote:

    Well, well, the plot thickens and the G77 nations ( mostly third world) have walked out of the Copenhagen climate talks.
    This is the biggest blow yet for any new treaty as without unanimity, global climate taxes are dead in the water. At this rate there is no prospect of even a political consenus from Copenhagen let alone a binding legal agreement.
    Three cheers for Climategate!!! : )

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  • 20. At 1:48pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @LabMunkey #18

    litmus paper ;)

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  • 21. At 1:55pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @John OSullivan #19

    It's not over yet - wanna bet a deal is done in the 11th hour? That's waht i predicted before these talks started and i seee no reason to change my mind

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  • 22. At 1:58pm on 14 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @Mango #20


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  • 23. At 2:02pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    What do you guys know about the AGW hotspot in the IPCC Chapter 9 report?

    Do you realise how important the hotspot is?

    There is a little more information on the previous thread

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  • 24. At 2:02pm on 14 Dec 2009, c watkin wrote:

    This is brilliant news. The whole party must have cost millions, released more CO2 than a small volcanic eruption and achieved zilch.
    Man made climate change is a false doctrine, pushed by greedy, politically controlled scientists, to ensure they get their research grants. They turn on their own at the feeding frenzy and taint the good name of science. Shame on these fear peddling scientists and their political masters. Climate change is a natural system and has been since the earth was born. The only thing politicians can forsee is the influx of carbon tax money from the misled masses eg £50 carbon tax for England supporters flying to South Africa for starters!!!
    Get real world, the only thing to destroy this planet will be the politics of greed.

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  • 25. At 2:07pm on 14 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    This is a political process so those who keep discussing some calculations you have taken out of context or just extrapolate into something to fit your thinking are missing the point. The vast majority of countries have some commitment to impact climate change, like it or not, you have lost that battle. Now, because it is now a political process, the outcomes will be political. Interesting that I read an article sayinng that "Climategate" was no Climategate at all and numbers were not manipulated, but we wouldn't want to dwell on the past. Apparently the "deniers" have become "alarmest."
    China wants to implement something that will have a negative impact on the US ability to produce and the US wants to implement something that will have a negative impact China's ability to produce. The science arguments are caught in the large collection of trash floating around the Pacific ocean, there, but no one seems to care..

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  • 26. At 2:08pm on 14 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #16 Poodl;eBlair wrote:

    "A. Ocean acidification came and went much, much more slowly prior to MMGW. It is estimated that their pH will fall by 0.4 units between now and 2100."

    "It is estimated" -- verily, it is written.

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  • 27. At 2:12pm on 14 Dec 2009, bandythebane wrote:

    Poitsplace in #7 is onto the big issue. The IPCC as it has freely admitted itself has no idea of the size or even the overall sign of the feedbacks which modulate the direct CO2 warming signal.

    Since these feedbacks are responsible for roughly 75% of the total warming the IPCC assumes, this means that the overall climate sensitivity it assumes could be as much as 3 to 4 times too high. In these circumstances for anyone to argue that one emissions reduction will result 0.5 degrees less warming than another is pretty much gibberish.

    Regarding sea level, S. J. Holgate's 2007 paper which is as definitive a study as any on the issue, suggests a sea level rise of 2mm per annum beween 1904 and 1953 and a rise of some 1.5mm per annum from 1954 to 2003.

    Tuvalu I am sure has many problems, but why should we think that a rise of 1.5mm per annum which it would appear is largely natural, figures very largely amongst these? And why should our taxpayers take any resposibility for it and pour billions of our hard earned cash into "solving" this non existent problem?

    Acidification seems to be a last desperate throw of the dice by some now desperate men. I doubt if it will take much time or effort to show that this too is yet another attempt at alarming the more feeblminded amongst us.

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  • 28. At 2:13pm on 14 Dec 2009, HARRY README wrote:

    Sadly the G77 delegates haven't flown back to G77 in their private jets.

    No - they're just sulking in the jacuzzi for a few hours.


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  • 29. At 2:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, HARRY README wrote:

    Just wondering if G77 is related to FORTRAN77 in any way?

    Top climategate scientists use Fortran77 in their prize-winning models.

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  • 30. At 2:18pm on 14 Dec 2009, U14256996 wrote:

    Hi, I have a university interview in two days time and this is all very likely to come up... please could somebody (anybody!) tell me what the developing countries will lose if the Kyoto Protocol is replaced completely? I can't work out what the actual issue would be, as presumably targets in the developing world will be increased, and funding will be found for the poorest countries, regardless of what document is used (?). Is it just that they want to keep as distinction between them and the countries that signed up to the Kyoto Protocol to try to keep the targets that they are set low in comparison?
    Would really appreciate some help if anybody knows!

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  • 31. At 2:26pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    25. At 2:07pm on 14 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan

    Ghost, this was always about politics and never about science. Once the 'science' has served its purpose, its messengers are easily discarded. See the links in my post #15 above and this -

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  • 32. At 2:34pm on 14 Dec 2009, minuend wrote:

    Copenhagen Day 6: Rockall Delegate's Diary.


    The African delegates and I are now in crucial talks with our Danish hosts about the breakfast menu scandal. I sense victory and believe that right is on our side.

    Outside we here the activists cry out, "We stand with Rockall - Bacon sandwiches now".

    It brings a tear to your eye.

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  • 33. At 3:02pm on 14 Dec 2009, Jack Frost wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 34. At 3:08pm on 14 Dec 2009, HARRY README wrote:

    Thanks for a good laugh, minuend :-) and I want Mango to put on his geordie accent again and give us "day x in the climate house"

    Interesting change on the Have Your Say page

    The screed says

    "Negotiations at the UN climate summit have been suspended after developing countries withdrew their co-operation. Will this affect the possibility of a deal?

    The UN summit in Copenhagen, which started a week ago, is scheduled to conclude on Friday, when more than 100 world leaders will attend in an effort to agree a new global treaty on climate change.

    Were the developing countries right in suspending the negotiations? What are the chances of a global deal on climate change? What do you hope to see emerge from Copenhagen?"

    Oddly the comments are dated Friday 4 December

    These people were answering a different question, dudes.

    As usual the first page of comments is closer to public opinion than the BBC's own left-liberal house view...

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  • 35. At 3:32pm on 14 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 33. nice read,

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  • 36. At 3:34pm on 14 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Politics is the art of compromise. When the banks and the governments compromised on non-regulation of financial instruments in exchange for the promise of higher tax revenues, we ended up with a worldwide financial crisis. As the bankers and financial services are eyeing the emissions trading system I would be concerned if this were to be implemented as we would have those with the ethical standards of jackals managing this process. Sometimes it is better when nothing happens. China and India have been sold the Western model of growth, short term gains for long term problems and coal is the cheapest way to fuel this growth. China believes that resources exist in Africa and has invested there as the West has abandoned Africa. Different masters with different puppets all playing their roles in the show for the media. Things change because the majority of peole with resources want them to change by making choices in what they purchase not because governments do anything proactive. The bank building being much taller than the government buildings is more than symbolic. Oil and coal are "advised" by their bankers too.

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  • 37. At 3:37pm on 14 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    #16 Poodleblair you are completely wrong. Basically, this is a fall back position for pro-AGW, now there is no warming and CO2 still rises.

    1) Please read "Henry's Law"

    Some very basic chemistry for you, when co2 and H20 mix they form H2CO3, which is not a stable compound and the H cations or + keep running away and you end up with Richards little story from today. Being basic only, in sea water, you therefore get HCO3- and H+. So there is a bicarbonate and a lonely hydrogen atom swimming about. Being simple, there are some big bully calcium atoms floating about which are CA++. They see that HCO3- floating around near a weaker H+. So they basically beat the H out of HCO3 and kick it off to the other H+ which feeling a bit bruised go and find that other lonely girl called O That leaves CACO2 and H2O.

    Now that is very simplified but if the idiots want to go for this angle the same thing happens with the human body so whatever is dreamt up they are going to need to tell us why as humans we haven't exploded yet!

    By the way the study actually found that crabs and other shells grow thicker shells whilst other species didn't. The test was done at 1000ppmv, normal request for more grant aid.

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  • 38. At 3:44pm on 14 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    And just as AGW alarmist thought they could fall back on ocean acidity this little message from research in Australia

    Next fictious claim please

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  • 39. At 3:47pm on 14 Dec 2009, minuend wrote:

    Copenhagen Day 6: Rockall Delegate's diary


    Just smell that bacon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 40. At 3:49pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Good afternoon, Richard Black & Colleagues: just about time for a spot of tea where you are, isn't it?

    Morning for me in Ventura County -- still quite a bit of jet-lag, though, so my mind is actually on your time.

    Some thoughts:

    1. If the US are demanding MRV, they should be the first ones subject to it. Most Americans of the power elite remain clueless about the true dysfynctionality of their own economy. China should call the bluff and say: "Very well, we will submit to Monitoring & Verification -- provided you allow us to send teams of our experts all over your landscape to take notes on everything that makes no sense: from overproduction of food, to the crazy way that food & medicine (or other life essentials) prices are marked up, to the waste in your stadium-sized supermarkets, to your decrepit coal-fired power plants that are in fact no better than our own..." Let's have an all out info-fest and slug it out over which of the two Emissions Superpowers has the longest way to travel on the way to environmental recovery.

    My bet is that China wins that race. Roger Harrabin's reports seem to be pointing in that direction, certainly.

    One of the advantages China has -- the silver lining to the monolithic system -- is that it has a unified message delivery centre that can promote a coherent policy once that has been adopted, as well as a harsh system for enforcement that is more likely to apply the needed pressure for compliance.

    Which is not to say that all is perfect in China. Far from it. But I know the US scene thoroughly: what most Americans cannot see, behind the feedback static of the "we are exceptional, and exceptionally wonderful" mantra, is how little of the American Way of Doing Things actually makes any kind of sense any more.

    In my children's public school systems, they are putting the finishing touches on a complete reworking of education into something monstrously addle-headed. Perfectly good, universally accepted methodologies have been chucked out the window in favour of completely "new" -- bogus -- curricula, which come complete with massive costs for new technology, new textbooks, new teacher training, new testing modules -- not to mention bug-riddled Computer Programmes that actually issue permanent scores & marks, overriding teachers' "unreliable" assessments... America is swiftly becoming the Village Idiot of the Planet, on Steroids. And this, by Choice!

    Heaven forfend anyone should actually follow these American "innovations in education!" Guaranteed to come with further absurd, counterproductive "innovations in management!"

    So by all means, call them on their stuff.

    (2) A new agreement is called for. To be sure, the Kyoto Protocol is a major milestone, and ought to be signed by anyone who has thus far failed to. Certainly, President Obama is keen to sign it, even at this midnight hour -- and most Americans would like to see it signed. It is embarrassing that it has not been signed by the US leadership, to date. OK, maybe some Republicans will protest. Still, for symbolism, it ought to be signed --

    -- and then a New Copenhagen Agreement articulated around it. The KP could form a Chapter to this New Agreement. But something New & Greater is needed for obvious reasons:

    * more has been learned
    * numbers have changed & the Present is a different one from what have been envisioned in Kyoto
    * actual results (successes & failures) influence new thinking about the future
    * the wars, plus the global financial meltdown, were two major adverse influences that the KP could not have predicted, and must now be taken into account

    So it is not possible simply to say: "we keep working with the outdated, old-data Protocol from Kyoto."

    (3) With regard to funds demanded by developing countries, those can be scaled up as the world recovers (assuming it does) from the financial debacle of the past few years. Certainly, it is unfair to stress the EU more than it is already being stressed by global conditions. The EU has absorbed a number of financially wobbly states already. It offers generous aid to migrants unmatched by any other nation. Developing societies need to realise that if they slay this goose (the EU), they may lose out on all kinds of future golden eggs. So they need to crank it down a few notches and accept realistic consultations, instead of simply shouting at "the rich" to "transfer some wealth to the poorer nations so their corrupt power elites can enjoy a couple of years of high living before everything crashes definitively."

    (4) Realistically, even as the most well-intentioned leadership asks for legally binding commitments, it will not in fact be possible to compel or enforce results. No one is going to go to war to make sure everyone is performing 100% as promised.

    At the same time, there is a very real benefit from maximum compliance: better health outcomes, which inevitably also mean higher economic performance, for anyone who bothers to act in earnest.

    And there is always the Big Stick of Boycotts to focus the mind. These will not be difficult to orchestrate. People will themselves naturally choose to stop supporting the economies of those countries that are the least forthcoming about protecting the environment.

    But it has taken us 200 years to ruin Earth's Biosphere. As someone in the protest camp most aptly quipped: "There Is No Planet B." It will take years of dedication, focus, resolve and considerable effort to pull us all out of the precipice of climate collapse into which we have already begun to plummet (as the latest findings on ocean acidification confirm).

    The single biggest overriding result that is to come forth in Copenhagen is a Broad Consensus that we are determined to fix the faults tolerated by past generations, and working with furious diligence, without fixating too much on any one particular Magic Number, strive our collective hardest as a united Civilisation to implement Sound Practices -- on a lasting basis -- in every area of human activity.

    Individual by Individual, Household by Household, and State by State.

    Such an overriding consensus would, indeed, be an accomplishment, in spite of -- or because of -- the acrimony that is tainting these discussions.

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  • 41. At 3:50pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    34. At 3:08pm on 14 Dec 2009, HARRY README

    This is quite common with the BBC, Harry, when they don't get the answers they hoped for they change the question!

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  • 42. At 3:50pm on 14 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    At least the Daily Mail have had the guts to question the data, and mention the BBC in it as well.

    Richard - when are you and the other members of the BBC climate team going to cover the linked points raised?

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  • 43. At 3:51pm on 14 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Don't you love those honest politicians who always look after your best interests.

    Tony Blair has today registered the domain "Low Carbon Capital Fund". Thanks Tony but I never trusted you. Oh what "it doesn't matter that the science is wrong"(UK telegraph), just do as you say.

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  • 44. At 3:56pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    I’m upset how the climate story is one big waiting game, that is, waiting until the politicians have offered to spend the money, for what? Where is the big trusted messenger, who can show us, how to change our behavior. Someone who we can engage with and follow. We overpopulate, we consume more resources, at a quicker pace, we do not know how to stop. I ask you to ‘google ‘ professor Albert Bartlett, Colorado university,usa, and see his simple arithmetic. Where is the message?

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  • 45. At 4:12pm on 14 Dec 2009, ScudLewis wrote:

    Things to watch:

    MIT: The Great Climategate Debate
    December 10, 2009 Running Time: 1hr:58mins:31secs

    Kerry Emanuel '76, PhD '78
    Judith Layzer PhD '99
    Stephen Ansolabehere
    Ronald G. Prinn SCD '71
    Richard Lindzen

    Tonight on BBC4 - StoryVille: The Age of Stupid 'documentary' film @ 10pm

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  • 46. At 4:13pm on 14 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    whoops typo in my 37 that should read CACO3 the extra O comes from the plant life found in the ocean.

    All this CO2 is doing my head in, so I held my breath for a minute carbon credit please.

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  • 47. At 4:13pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    I like the idea of continuous summits, do it now, get some immediate results, how about a new bbc channel used to pull all the issues together, and build support to action.
    If the world temperatures go up, and insect pollination goes down, food harvests reduce, population numbers move up. There’s going to be a lot of angry people in that situation together. Is all this coference detail important?

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  • 48. At 4:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    #40 Maria Ashot:

    China would not fair well in a regulatory battle of comparative energy productions. China lacks enforcement of any environmental regulations outside of major cities. Rivers are poisoned, drinking water fouled by chemicals, unbreathable air in many production centers and the periodic report of slave labor to operate coal and other industries. And, of course no menaingful human rights. China is caught between providing the 300,000 million or so poor with opportunities for employment, Western model, and the costs of doing so. They have chosen cheap coal and open a new coal fired power plant each week. When you take a breath you are breathing polluted air from China.

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  • 49. At 4:21pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 30, Which university?

    The Kyoto Protocol defined some binding positions. These positions have not been met in reality. That is not necessarily any kind of crime or failure: it is merely evidence of how hard it is to reform an energy & consumption system that remains overloaded with rising demand and falling supply.

    Most electrical power today in the countries that matter (USA, China, India, plus a few others) is generated by coal. Coal is used to fire power plants. Most of these power plants are very, very old. Unreliable.

    There are substantial coal deposits, for example, in the USA: but the logistics of delivering them are costly & fragile. You know the US does not have a very modern railway network. Coal in the US is chiefly transported by rail. So there are lots and lots of problems with this old way of generating power.

    At the same time, the families that own the land that holds the coal reserves of the US are very powerful, and determined not to let anything stand in the way of their insatiable greed for more billions. (Have a quick look at the book, Big Coal, even just via amazon.)

    Coal, obviously, is dirty. There are ways to make it cleaner, but these are costly, take time to introduce -- and not as beneficial as the coal industry would like to pretend they are.

    Electric cars will increase the coal burden on the nations that rely on coal for electricity generation. Thus, electric cars are not, in fact, any kind of solution to the emissions problem.

    Meanwhile, oil fields are indeed being used up at a fast clip. New oil fields are being discovered, but it takes -- again -- money & time to make them work. Some of them are in places like the Arctic, which for all kinds of reasons pose challenges.

    So the problem with the Kyoto Protocol is that it was put together at a time when all kinds of information (such as the few items listed above) was simply unavailable. And the true rate of growth of key transitional economies -- notably China, India, Russia, Brazil plus a few -- was simply not known.

    At the time of the Kyoto Protocol, Indonesia & Malaysia were still heavily forested.

    Asia has lost some 90% of its forests -- mostly in the past decade.

    What the developing countries yearn for is a reality enshrined in Kyoto that simply no longer exists.

    Kyoto presumed that if its prescriptions were implemented 100%, we would be in a far better place today than we actually are. And -- most importantly -- Kyoto promised Funding to developing countries.

    The members of the delegations of these developing countries present in Copenhagen, by virtue of being in the "environmental" area of policy, would inevitably have some direct personal say in (and benefit from) how Funding Promised by the KP would be used in their home nations.

    Keep in mind also that at the time of the Kyoto Protocol, there was also some resistance to the ideas being advanced on the basis of the findings established by that time. It may hurt to have it said, but it is nonetheless true that at least one rationale behind the promise of Funding & Technology Transfer for Developing Nations was to create an incentive for obtaining their cooperation.

    In essence, a bribe of sorts. Same thing going on today. Some of the noisier delegations are essentially haggling over the price of their signature. Not a pretty picture, but certainly consistent with human nature -- and the very source of the problem, to begin with: self–interest being valued above virtue, by some participants.

    However, in the years since the KP, things have deteriorated further in the biosphere, so at the end of the day, the delegations will have no choice but to Bite The Bullet, Sign & Pledge -- on behalf of their nations, and also on behalf of their own sorry selves (those that are acting like tantrum-throwing toddlers).

    Does that answer your question?

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  • 50. At 4:22pm on 14 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    But it has taken us 200 years to ruin Earth's Biosphere. As someone in the protest camp most aptly quipped: "There Is No Planet B."

    What has this got to do with climate change? Pollution is not climate change.

    There is no planet B, but some of you are certainly on another planet.

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  • 51. At 4:28pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 52. At 4:43pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 48, ghostofsichuan: Entirely sympathetic to your assessment of the environmental degradation in China, which is the also the world's most populous single nation.

    Slave labour also exists in other countries. The use of slaves is an abomination. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is present even in such "enlightened" societies as the USA, albeit in considerably smaller total numbers of lives harmed.

    The air in many parts of India, and some parts of Russia, and certainly on some days in some parts of the US is actually even worse than the air in the most polluted parts of China.

    The very points you are making confirm the precise reason why we have no choice, no alternative, but to come to some agreement in Copenhagen, and to get serious -- truly serious -- about making lasting positive reforms.

    The mere fact that you make the points you are making confirms the first positive indication that a positive change is achievable. Before any Treatment, one must have Diagnosis. What you are writing here -- what I am writing here -- is part of that Diagnosis.

    The fact Humans even still have the capacity to Diagnose their own affliction is actually a positive sign. All has not yet been lost!

    Having lived almost all of my life in the USA, I am inclined to believe we have fewer physical bodies present in the USA who have as accurate an understanding of what is going wrong within their American jurisdictions, than there are Chinese people in China who have an accurate understanding of what is wrong -- and to what an extent -- in China.

    And because education has not yet collapsed in China (as it is in the process of collapsing in the US) I do not believe it is impossible to count on the Chinese leadership to make many intelligent decisions to improve on the existing situation.

    It will not by any means fix everything in China: it will not immediately remedy the human rights problems or the labour problems, any more than less pollution will immediately fix American schools -- but it is, absolutely, The Very First Item of the Greatest Urgency, without addressing which all else becomes meaningless.

    IF -- Big If -- we can mitigate and even gradually reverse course on the climate crisis, we can then look forward to a day when other, no less wide-reaching positive reforms also become possible, in every country that requires them.

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  • 53. At 4:52pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    I have a dream, ( who said that?) Point me to population control. Slow economics, i.e. slow trains, efficiently slow, with slow farmers, watching the crops grow , closed shops on a Sunday…less anxiety, less stuff, l i s t e n t o m y v o i c e z z z z

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  • 54. At 4:54pm on 14 Dec 2009, Booyah wrote:

    Re: 51

    In your well chosen words.


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  • 55. At 4:55pm on 14 Dec 2009, kaybraes wrote:

    Liked the idea of the small nations walking out because they weren't getting enough money . What a bunch of chancers, the offer should have been withdrawn . Why the British and other European taxpayers are even considering funding the lifestyles of African and other "small nation " leaders is beyond me; especially in the present economic climate. It's doubtful if any of this cash will go to anything but politicians' Swiss bank accounts.

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  • 56. At 4:55pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    bbc you are so cruel to me! Do you still think we can stop Manbearpig by paying the leaders of poor countries to not improve their peoples quality of life and by decreasing the quality of life in the west???

    still, dissenssion in the ranks can only be a good thing.


    the link i tried to post you yesterday was to a website called Climate Sanity. they are certainly in the more moderate part of the debate and not subject to endless vicious slurs from proAGW mouthpieces. its worth a look.

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  • 57. At 5:12pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    'Today, global-warming "deniers" have all been told they must fall into line with "the science". But this is not science, this is propaganda. And we are not being asked to be more rational but to suspend our own judgment completely. That, not "runaway climate change", is the most dangerous threat to the world today.'

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  • 58. At 5:17pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    jasonsceptic, No. 50: Pollution has Everything to do with Climate Change.

    Pollution (exacerbated by excessively high rates of population growth especially in the most polluted, least sanitary parts of the world) is precisely what causes Climate Change.

    What do you think is meant by the arguments over "acceptable levels of carbon dioxide emissions"?

    Acceptable levels of... Pollution.

    Welcome to my planet.

    Sorry it took you so long to get here.

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  • 59. At 5:36pm on 14 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    Apparently the Beeb now claims that tigers are killing humans due to climate change! This is getting outrageous.

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  • 60. At 5:39pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    hehe. can you think of anything in my post 51 that would warrant its removal?

    pretty soon tears of our forefathers is going to disappear and be reborn, phoenix-like from the ashes of censorship until they starting constantly removing my posts again. then i'll open a new email account and begin again. The BBC belongs to all of us not just those left/liberal/ecowarrior types that it currently represents. i am here to try and tell the bbc that it can become again what it once was. abandoning it's hypocritical 'the debate is over its time (for you not me, i'm flying to copenhagen) to act'.

    regarding this:

    notice it's all about kyoto again? not a new, binding international treaty a 'son of kyoto'. Mr Black does this mean that one of the stated objectives of the copenhagen shindig has been abandoned??

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  • 61. At 5:39pm on 14 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Oh well what are they going to do now? It seems that the IPCC chairman has been caught with his fingers in the cookie jar. He surely wasn't trying to make money on carbon trading. FRAUD

    Well done James and business week, next pro-agw who comes on please treat them kindly for they have no idea. Just pat them on their back and smile, perhaps we could suggest a suitable home they can be sent to

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  • 62. At 5:39pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Maria Ashott

    Please read this:

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  • 63. At 5:40pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    'Welcome to my planet.

    Sorry it took you so long to get here.'

    give my regards to Xenu on Alderaan.

    Co2 is not pollution however many govt. departments declare it to be.

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  • 64. At 5:47pm on 14 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    The cognitive dissonance of the true-believers at Copenhagen is truly amazing. It's as if the revelations of climategate and all the fraudulent data manipulation and lying of these criminals never occurred. But when you stand to make millions, or continue with your jet-setting lifestyle at tax-payers expense, why let a bit of truth get in the way?

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  • 65. At 5:51pm on 14 Dec 2009, bandythebane wrote:

    Since posting 27, I have looked up "acidification" on Wattsupwiththat (where else?) and read Kambosleigh's link on 38.

    Sea water pH has reportedly fallen from about 8.18 to about 8.11 in the past 250 years at which rate it will reach 7 (i.e become neutral) in abour 3,500 years.

    I doubt if we can find enough coal or oil to keep it going that long and as the link in 38 shows shells actually prefer it to be a little less alkaline.

    So it appears "acidification" really is just another pathetic attempt to keep the scare going. Please give us a rebuttal Richard. You can surely think up something

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  • 66. At 5:52pm on 14 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    Did anyone listen to Clive James on a Point of View on the 11th? He's so good, it's amazing the BBC still allows him to broadcast.

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  • 67. At 6:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #61

    Good call

    Don't forget Al Gore is chairman of Generation Investment Management and earns a small fortune investing in green technology

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  • 68. At 6:01pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    jason, No. 59: I don't understand why you are astonished, Jason.

    The tiger story makes perfect sense.

    On the one hand, habitat degradation deprives large mammals of their usual food supply. This is a problem not only for tigers, but also bears, wolves, lions & other large predators.

    On the other hand, increasing human population and human habitat degradation -- due to climate change -- drives more and more desperate villagers deeper into dangerous forests, placing them at higher risk of being attacked by a large, hungry predator.

    We have also observed, in North America, and also in similarly landscaped parts of Russia, for example, that there are more very hungry bears & wolves venturing into villages & towns in search of food.

    In California, more mountain lion attacks. In the Southwest, more hungry coyotes.

    Yes, all consistent with the environmental degradation -- caused by Pollution -- that is implied in the phenomenon being referred to as "Climate Change."

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  • 69. At 6:29pm on 14 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    Re 65, acidification doesn't require pH to fall below 7. There mere act of lowing pH has documented effects on marine organisms. As someone already pointed out a few tenths of a degree drop in pH is a 3 fold increase in H+ ions.

    Studies have found both detrimental and beneficial effects to different species. This is ongoing, despite Kambo's and co2sciences attempts to cherrypick a subset and announces the matter closed.

    If ocean acidification can turn the tables on many species at the advantage of others over a short period of time then the overall effect on ecosystems could be huge due to the rearrangement. We aren't talking about this happening over millions of years but in a geological blink of an eye.

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  • 70. At 6:34pm on 14 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #68 Maria Ashot wrote:

    "On the other hand, increasing human population and human habitat degradation -- due to climate change -- drives more and more desperate villagers deeper into dangerous forests"

    What was keeping the population down, in your opinion, before their increasing numbers made it necessary for them to wander off into the forests to look for food?

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  • 71. At 7:09pm on 14 Dec 2009, Gates wrote:

    What worries me is how will any action on climate change be enforced and measured? The UN are not the most threatening organization, what is stopping countries from lying about cuts in emissions?

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  • 72. At 7:10pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    If someone were to ask me, right now, what I think the major problems facing humanity are I would answer population growth, resource shortages, resource inequalities and pollution. That is not to say that the climate is not changing and that CO2 is not a contributor to the problem. It is, and CO2//GHGs may well be significant - how much? I do not know - but many of the answers to these problems will also have a mitigating effect on CO2/GHG emissions.
    The habitat degradation that Maria Ashot refers to (68) has very little to do with CO2 at the moment, it is mainly due to the problems listed above. Which brings us to the current tendency to attribute all events to MMCC. People who live in flood plains get flooded, people who live in regions of marginal rainfall suffer drought. People who live on hillsides and cut down all their trees suffer mudslides, etc. Many lakes that have dried up have done so because of ill-thought out hydro projjects. The terrible Australian bush fires last year were exacerbated by well-meaning environmentalists who campaigned against the periodic cut back of vegetation.
    Please do not misunderstand, I am all for renewable energy. I am all for leaving coal and oil behind. I am all for moving towards a society where we recycle everything. I am all for sustainable development, conservation areas, protected marine habitats and the rest.
    For my part I am childless and have never owned a car. I like to travel though - mea culpa.
    Perhaps the Roman Catholic church would like to contribute by reversing its position on birth control?
    There are many things we need to do, but I am extremely doubtful that they will be achieved at Copenhagen.

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  • 73. At 7:27pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    I didn't get very far discussing risk management yesterday, so perhaps a different tack

    There is an interesting relationship between the price of oil and a carbon credit:

    Approximate 7 barrels of oil = 1 tonne oil

    1 tonne oil when burnt releases about 3.5 tonnes CO2

    Which means a burnt barrel of oil releases about 0.5 tonnes CO2

    So the price paid to release a tonne of oil-based CO2 is about $160 (current prices) = Euro 107

    Given that the price of oil has varied between $40 and $140 / barrel recently, this suggests a variation in the price of oil emissions of about Euro 50 to 200 per tonne CO2.

    Now compared to a carbon credit at around Euro 20, carbon trading is quite cheap - it's clear where the money really lies.

    Linked to the lack of (almost any) public data about oil reserves (and cost of getting it out of the ground) I would say it's going to make good sense to reduce our reliance on the stuff. It's only going to get more expensive and risky.

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  • 74. At 7:30pm on 14 Dec 2009, Spanglerboy wrote:

    ScudLewis #45

    I watched the MIT thingy that you referenced

    “MIT: The Great Climategate Debate
    December 10, 2009 Running Time: 1hr:58mins:31secs”

    I think it was Kerry Emanuel who made numerous references to the ‘machine’ - meaning big oil etc funding large-scale attempts to promote scepticism. I have no idea if this is true but I do know that it is totally unnecessary. The tactics and the rhetoric of the proponents of AGW have created more scepticism than big oil and big cheese and all could create in a thousand years.

    One of the favourite ploys of the AGW fraternity is the ad hominem. Whilst the citizens of the UK are by now well used to being treated with complete contempt by the government of the day, (and therefore relatively inured to acts of denigration), the interesting point is that people like G Brown and E Milliband are apparently too dim to see that calling a fairly substantial proportion of their electorate flat-earthers or saboteurs is counter-productive.

    So BP, Shell Exxon etc no need to spend any more on counter-propaganda. Leave it to Brown, Milliband and the zealots who post on these blogs to keep scepticism alive and kicking.

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  • 75. At 7:31pm on 14 Dec 2009, peter wrote:

    When are they going to stop talking about extending the Kyoto protocol,
    bad regardless of whether one is for or against CO2 reduction...

    A different take

    To begin with
    It's unfortunate that those against CO2 reduction schemes are ridiculed as
    "not believing that global warming is taking place".

    The point most skeptics make is if CO2 reduction schemes really will affect the progress of global warming,
    a point also made by those initially raising the alarm bells eg James Lovelock.


    A local focus on electricity and transport alone (80% of CO2 emissions),
    with advantages to all regardless of the CO2 issue,
    would give the necessary 2020/2030 reductions anyway

    Moreover, it would not have to impact greatly on consumers in terms of cost,
    given long term industrial EU/state guaranteed loans, as described on the website.

    If the need is felt to target consumers,
    then energy efficiency based taxation - instead of bans-
    on light bulbs dishwashers buildings cars etc,
    would (unlike the bans) raise additional significant funds that could be used for these and other environmental measures,
    while also reducing sales (like the bans), yet keeping consumer choice.
    Just looking at ordinary incandescent type light bulbs: 2 billion sales of them in each of the EU and USA 2008,
    the preferred consumer choice around 9 times out of 10 as by the European Commission's own analysis.


    The EU authorities are happy to alienate EU consumers by telling them how they should live their lives,
    what they can or can't use in their homes,
    that "everyone has to cut down and save"
    - instead of positively dealing with providing any energy supply that is needed,
    with any emission limits that is seen as necessary.


    the EU and Copenhagen talk is also of extending the Kyoto and EU Carbon trading schemes.

    The problem with emission trading is particularly in the short term,
    that everyone now considers so important,
    since any squeeze on allowance permits takes years to kick in, all the more so with the free allowance handouts and offset schemes.

    The "No Goldilocks Solution",
    as seen in the EU where the problem with carbon prices is they
    are either too low and so cheap and meaningless as in recession times,
    or too high to lead to any reduction at other times, when evasive
    action for example involves paying off third world emitters (who
    according to a recent Economist article can simply be set up to rake
    in cash ie they would not be emitting otherwise), or tree planting
    exercises of dubious effect, which may in any case be fast growing
    non-native trees which changes local ecosystems.

    An artificial market will always be an artificial market.
    Understanding Emission Trading (Cap and Trade)
    Basic Idea
    Offsets -- Tree Planting -- Manufacture Shift -- Fair Trading
    Allowances: Auctions + Hand-Outs -- Allowance Trading
    Companies: Business Stability + Cost
    In Conclusion

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  • 76. At 7:37pm on 14 Dec 2009, Jack Frost wrote:

    # 33. At 3:02pm on 14 Dec 2009, you wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    It seems my posting word for word findings from a scientific Geology website on the varied effects of acidification on marine life is not in keeping with house rules.

    How very quaint.

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  • 77. At 7:40pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 70, bowmanthebard: We have been down this path before, sorry: Population does increase as more of the existing children grow up and have their own children.

    You can just look at yesterday's news stories from Africa (just look up "Uganda population growth" on any of the major news sites) for an explanation of how having one woman trying to feed ten children -- whether in Africa or India or Brazil -- does tend to cause stress.

    Especially when there is also a drought, or flooding, or loss of lands available for her to farm.

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  • 78. At 7:42pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Mr or Ms Forefathers, No. 63: Since according to you Carbon Dioxide is not pollution, how much would you like for breakfast?

    One lump or two (of coal) in your coffee or tea?

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  • 79. At 7:46pm on 14 Dec 2009, leigh557 wrote:

    Global warming won't matter after Dec 2012 - something much worse is waiting...

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  • 80. At 7:50pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:


    word up! congnitive dissonance and comedy (manbearpig) will undo all the hard work of the propagandists.


    i agree regarding the church and the tendency of proAGW peeps to attribute all sorts of random stuff to AGW. please read the link i posted no. 57. a worthy read.

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  • 81. At 7:50pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    think i'll take that 3 month world cruise in september 2012 lol

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  • 82. At 7:51pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    before any Global Warm-Mongers claim 21Dec2012 as their own, he's ours! We're the ones wearing tin-foil hoodies remember!


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  • 83. At 7:53pm on 14 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #77 Maria Ashot wrote:

    "Population does increase as more of the existing children grow up and have their own children."

    I'd guess we all agree on that. My question was: What do you think was keeping it down before it went up?

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  • 84. At 8:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    A note on regarding CO2 as a pollutant: This measure was in part taken by the EPA to put pressure on the congress and senate, and also to allow president Obama some measure of executive freedom.
    Is it a pollutant in the traditional sense? Of course not, not like SO2 or NO/NO2. Having said that high concentrations of CO2 will asphyxiate most animals. One can suffer oxygen poisoning, and one can even die from drinking the elixer of life itself water. It is a question of balance

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  • 85. At 8:02pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Truths, No. 72: Carbon Dioxide has been demonstrated to have an immediate causal effect on rising temperatures.

    That is not open to debate any longer. Hasn't been for quite a while, actually. There is just a tiny faction of contrarians, primarily members of the Palin Posse in the USA, who choose to fly in the face of known facts because they are already competing for campaign dollars for 2010 & 2012...

    Big Coal, Big Oil & Big Belly (that would be the corporate food giants) are major donors who are going to fork over Big Bucks to any viable candidate -- real or imaginary -- who pledges to get Americans to remain World's No. 1 Polluter -- which we are, unambiguously, on a per capita basis. Even the ME per capita figures for pollution are utlimately a direct result of the American Dream, so yeah: the Finger of Blame is legitimately pointing at U...SA.

    As anyone who has ever even so much as fussed over a single potted plant knows, growing your food in your own soil is not as simple as it sounds.

    Carbon Dioxide levels have had a direct causal effect on the incidence of drought, floods and severe weather events -- not to mention the respiratory health of farmers & their hired hands.

    The number of human beings present is obviously also a factor, but it is merely one component of this Vicious Cycle we need to break out of: more people generating more mountains of waste via an obsession with false dreams of "a Hollywood lifestyle," leading to widespread chasing of wild geese by selfish greedy unthinking souls, leading to inefficiency & poor planning & mismanagement of resources, leading to more people being born into conditions of economic stress, perpetuating all of the above.

    Will bringing down Carbon Dioxide levels cause humankind to grow a conscience?

    Actually, most people already have one, even if the mercenaries of Big Coal, Big Oil & Big Belly don't.

    Bringing down carbon dioxide levels will change the way we view the fossil fuels industries, the power sectors (both electrical & political) and our obligation to be better parents to the children/offspring we do produce.

    So, yes, Carbon Dioxide Pollution is on the way down. Doubt away: there is no choice. Either we do it or we die. So we will do it.

    Copenhagen is the last stand. No one who actually matters is going to allow it to go to waste.

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  • 86. At 8:03pm on 14 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @jon112uk #3
    .....except for the commitment China made to INCREASE it's emissions

    With US emissions of 20 tonnes per person and proposing a pathetic 5% reduction who can blame them? At around 5 tonnes per person in China, they have a long way to go to match US levels. How does it go again, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...."

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  • 87. At 8:05pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:


    lol why is my gender of such concern to you? i'm male FYI, not in the current high priority group regarding proAGW propaganda (see the Climate Change forces women to become Prostitutes meme). the use of forefathers in my nom de plume should have been a hint.

    how does your response make any sense at all?

    breathing high concentrations of co2 kills animals ergo its a toxin. breathing high concentrations of co2 is very beneficial to plants, who then produce oxygen ergo its not a toxin. it is not pollution, but lets assume it is: catalytic converters change CO to CO2 and water. Why did we insist all cars stop producing CO? because it is a toxin. it doesn't debond from haemoglobin and affects bloods ability to carry CO2 and O2. The oxygen crisis you refenced before (from the Grauniad)? LOL.

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  • 88. At 8:05pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @Mango 81: but will you offset your carbon emissions? ; )

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  • 89. At 8:10pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 83, Bowman, if you are referring to the Darwinian idea that the food supply alone will determine population growth rates, you will get little agreement from this woman.

    The food supply at the end of a war is next to nonexistent, yet masses of people at the end of a war immediately have children -- essentially to celebrate having survived, and also to make up for loss of family members.

    Having said that, I am not a fan of the Green Revolution, either.

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  • 90. At 8:13pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @selfevidenttruths #88

    No, i will buy a carbon trading company and sell myself credits

    oops, somebody has already done that


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  • 91. At 8:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Truths, No. 84: OK, but it does take considerably more effort to die of water intoxication, or even oxygen intoxication, than to die of Carbon Dioxide intoxication -- which is what most people die of in a house fire, for example.

    You won't wriggle off this hook.

    Carbon Dioxide is a Pollutant. All kinds of substances that are Natural and have a role in Natural Processes are. By definition, anything that originates on Planet Earth is organic. That does not mean it is not a substance to be avoided.

    If oxygen levels today were twice what they are, and Carbon Dioxide levels half what they are, all of us would only have better health, not worse.

    Switch the proportions around, and you get a whole lot of dead bodies, with more and more dropping...

    Did you know some cities in India have only 10% concentrations of oxygen in their air, on some days? And in Mexico, 12% oxygen is commonplace?

    Do you actually think we can carry on for long in that fashion? With impunity?

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  • 92. At 8:16pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @Tears 87: When I said high concentrations I meant very high! I do not think we are in disagreement here. No I was'n't referencing the Grauniad. It is just a fact .. tunnel vision etc.

    @Maria: While I agree with some of what you say I have seen no evidence linking CO2 to droughts. I am afraid your last sentence is exactly the kind of statement that does not persuade me ... can I have a picture of a dying Polar Bear please?

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  • 93. At 8:17pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    You can find me somewhere between 0 and 100 ....

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  • 94. At 8:23pm on 14 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @Sparklet #15.
    "It seems that Gordon Brown is very generous with taxpayer funds despite there being..."

    When I heard the figures, my reaction was that he being extremely mean. With a GDP of around 2,500 billion, an investment of 6 billion a year would only represent 0.25% of GDP.

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  • 95. At 8:25pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Mango, No. 62: Sorry, I disagree with Stan's sentiments (in the link you recommend).

    There are no innocents anymore.

    "Poor people" are responsible when they won't be bothered building a proper latrine for their family, as has been the practice for millenia before we had indoor plumbing; "poor people" are responsible for failing to rinse out the water bucket they washed the baby in before they pour more water into it for drinking; "poor people" are responsible for conceiving the next baby when they could just as easily have engaged in a different kind of sex act...

    "Poor people" are not helpless. Poor people have brains. Often their brains are even better than the brains of plenty of stupid rich people. The culture of excuses must end.

    As for that other lame-but-convenient excuse: blaming the Roman Catholic Church, as in No. 72, 'truths' post: I will accept your criticism of the Catholics amongst us when you have the courage to speak out against the polygamists who really crank up that procreation perpetuum mobile...

    Why don't you start with the true culprits here?

    Which religion advocates the greatest amount of polygamy?

    Let me give you a hint. It begins with the letter ' I ' -- and let us all take that hint, and start with a hard look in the mirror. Because even you, 'truths' can do more to emit less Pollution.

    Right? Write!

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  • 96. At 8:31pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Maria Ashott


    CO2 is not a pollutant, it is not even toxic until well over 5000 ppmv

    If oxygen levels today were twice what they are, and Carbon Dioxide levels half what they are, all of us would only have better health, not worse.

    If oxygen levels were double todays value, we probably wouldn't be here as any fire would burn out of control due to the amount of O2 available


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  • 97. At 8:33pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:


    what hook please? you make no sense!

    sit in your lounge (sitting room in the US?) with 2 other people for an eveing watchin Idol or whatever rubbish appeals. at the end of the evening (assuming the windows and doors have been kept shut) the Co2 conc. can be up to 2000 ppm (parts per million). no one dies from that. i am on no hook. you live on alderaan and Xenu has told you CO2=uberbad. Wake Up!

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  • 98. At 8:33pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @Maria: you may not have noticed but there is still a debate going on about this. Increasing CO2 to double the concentration of the pre-industrial era may well lead to temperature rises, but how much is uncertain, other gases are important too, so is land use. If you have read my other posts you will see that I am quite happy to take measures that would mitigate this. With reference to CO2 as a pollutant, my point was that it was a political decision. Your point seems to be that everything is a pollutant. Well yes in the wrong proportions. It is just that you are already completely convinced that the proportion of CO2 in the air at the moment is going to kill us all. I am not, but that is not the same as saying it will not have an effect. As I said it is a question of balance. There are many brighter minds than mine who think that concentrating on CO2 exclusively is a mistake.

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  • 99. At 8:37pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    Anyone got a comment on my maths in #73 ?

    Chance to leave all these circular arguments behind and look at the issue from a different perspective...

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  • 100. At 8:52pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @Maria 95: You almost got me angry there. I have no problem calling Islam, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Mormons or any other religion or non religion that believes they can keep on having as many children as they want. As it happens I am an extremely secular kind of guy! It was not a lame excuse. I'll measure my carbon emissions against yours anyday! Please don't be so holier-than-thou. It is irritating. If you'd read my earlier posts you would see that I am actually in favour of many things which would achieve what you consider desirable. I'm going to enjoy some wine now, it is not organic so I'll say a few Hail Marys.

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  • 101. At 8:53pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Mango, Mr Forefathers and Self...truths: the only debate about Carbon Dioxide is inside your own consciences.

    There is a broad range of states that operates between the two extremes Optimal Health and Death.

    Carbon Dioxide concentrations that are not yet killing you after sitting in a closed chamber with friends watching rubbish (as you propose) may already be accelerating aging, affecting cardiovascular health and interfering with metabolism.

    Since the air whose quality we are fighting for in Copenhagen contains much more besides Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen, some of the other compounds present -- including endocrine disruptors -- are also having a detrimental effect on your tissues. Even as we write this.

    You can keep chanting away, in your corner, but, as a human organism -- not a plant -- my response to a Carbon Dioxide molecule is: Toxin! Get it out of here!

    If your buddies in the Denial Camp were not so busy clearcutting trees, and actually gave them voting rights, maybe those trees could legitimately argue from your position. As plants.

    So keep a few around in case you need them.

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  • 102. At 8:57pm on 14 Dec 2009, TVGgirl wrote:

    re : 30. At 2:18pm on 14 Dec 2009, U14256996

    At present, the Kyoto Protocol is the only legally binding international agreement which requires developed countries to reduce their emissions. Developing countries are keen not to lose this until something equally strong is put in place. This will not happen before the first commitment period of the KP expires, hence their demand to establish commitments under a second commitment period.

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  • 103. At 8:58pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @John 99: I see nothing to disagree with.

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  • 104. At 9:02pm on 14 Dec 2009, TVGgirl wrote:

    I guess AP is in on the conspiracy too?

    Science not faked, but not pretty

    "The 1,073 emails examined show that scientists harboured private doubts, however slight and fleeting, even as they told the world they were certain about climate change. But the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing that the world is warming as a result of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists were keenly aware of how their work would be viewed and used, and, just like politicians, went to great pains to shape their message.

    "The emails were stolen from the computer network server of the UEA climate research unit, and posted online last month. The AP studied all the emails for context, with five reporters reading and rereading them - about a million words in total. Summaries of the emails were sent to seven experts in research ethics, climate science and science policy. "This is normal science politics, but on the extreme end, though still within bounds," said Daniel Sarewitz, a science policy professor at Arizona State University."

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  • 105. At 9:07pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Truths, No. 92: How does a high level of Carbon Dioxide increase the incidence of droughts?

    Actually, rather simply:

    Carbon Dioxide has been demonstrated to increase warming of the air as its concentrations in said air increase.

    The dry, warmer air then absorbs more water vapor. The difference is like the difference between a dry sauna and a hot steambath.

    In the dry sauna, your body sweats, but the room itself, and its ambient air, remain dry.

    Rising Carbon Dioxide concentrations inevitably lead to decreases in precipitation. The fact that we get a few powerful storms does not alter the overall pattern.

    The precipitation data in states such as California, or for example in Russia, is well established -- and the correlations are clear. Zones of greatest carbon dioxide concentration also experience greater declines in precipitation.

    Warming further accelerates melting; melting releases water stored in glaciers and ice shelves -- initially this causes flooding, but it is then followed by drought, as the runoff leaves barren mountainsides where once there were icepacks and snowpacks.

    The permafrost is turning from hard rock to slush... Throwing mammoth stored up methane into the mix.

    (Some of you will say: "Methane is not a pollutant, either. From the perspective of some bacteria, it's food...")

    We have wrecked the water cycle in the name of the Hummer & Overconsumption. Can we unwreck it? Only if people smarter than you save the day.

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  • 106. At 9:07pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    @Maria 101: I have no 'buddies' in the 'denialist' camp. Slander will not help your case. As it happens deforestation is something I would dearly love to cease immediately, and would make an immediate difference. Perhaps we can agree on this at least. : )

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  • 107. At 9:20pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    94. At 8:23pm on 14 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea

    Have you seen the figures for our National Debt?

    and that's before the EU decimation of our Financial Sector and the additional phasing out of our EU rebate.

    (Not to mention the Govt making it really difficult for our industries to be competitive with last year's Climate Bill.)

    Don't our kids have enough of a debt burden to contend with, without saddling them with more?

    And why - so the mega-rich can get even richer!

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  • 108. At 9:26pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:


    nicely sidestepped! bravo!

    what hook was i on again? not the hook you subsequently rambled about right? that was a whole different point. did you mean to imply earlier that the only debate about co2 was in our own consciousness'? or did you mean conscience? either way: wrong! the debate (in defiance of the beebs official policy) rages where ever freethinkers seek to reach out and deprogram true-believers.


    i can't fault you maths but is that really relevant to the debate? maybe i'm thick and you can explain how the cost of various commodities relates to all the various proAGW propaganda and manipulation?

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  • 109. At 9:33pm on 14 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    TVGgirl #104

    Bad call, TVGgirl, the AP piece was written by the same guy who helped the AGW case

    Kevin, Gavin, Mike,
    It’s Seth again. Attached is a paper in JGR today that
    Marc Morano is hyping wildly. It’s in a legit journal. Whatchya think?

    Seth Borenstein
    Associated Press Science Writer
    The Associated Press, 1100 13th St. NW, Suite 700,
    Washington, DC

    @Maria Ashott

    Sorry, Maria, there is no point in discussing anything with you

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  • 110. At 9:43pm on 14 Dec 2009, Neil Hyde wrote:

    @TV Girl 104

    Yet again you quote the toatally impartial great god "Seth" , he who is named as a gatekeeper in the LEAKED emails .

    Try to come up with something not from the biased media.

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  • 111. At 9:45pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    @Maria Ashott

    Sorry, Maria, there is no point in discussing anything with you

    too true. IMO terrorism will be redefined in the coming years to include ++good proAGW trolls.

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  • 112. At 9:51pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    108 - Well, the first point is that the price of oil relative to any near-term carbon price is much more significant. Therefore the impact and meaning of carbon trading is not a financial catastrophy in the making.

    Second, reducing oil consumption obviously makes good sense because it's expensive (leaving aside the fact that coal and gas may be cheaper - you can't do as much with coal and gas).

    Third, anyone heard from Saudi Arabia recently on how much oil they've got left? Nope, not for 20 years and the last time was when they changed the OPEC quota rules to be based on reported reserves.

    So that means we don't really know how much oil the largest oil producer actually has...

    Oh, and the largest gas exporter in the world is Russia - Western Europe's best friend.

    So regardless of how you interpret the climate change science, there are many other reasons to reduce fossil fuel burning.

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  • 113. At 10:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    mr kazer;

    we have always been 20-30 years from peak oil since we first started using oil at the start of the 2nd industrial revolution. abandoning oil would return us to coal fired steam engine/powerplants or not even that if the ecowarriors get their way.

    please watch this and i would appreciate your opinion:

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  • 114. At 10:03pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    ps @112

    no reference to how the proAGW media has tried to scare the pants off of rational folks to stop them asking reasonable questions? any opinions on that or do the ends justify the means? FYI 'the ends justify the means' has an unpleasant historical record.

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  • 115. At 10:06pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 106, selfevidenttruths: OK, I accept your declaration that it is wrong of me to assume you have "denier buddies."

    Unfortunately for me, some of my own very dear friends are adamantly pro-Palin, anti-Copenhagen and love nothing better than to watch those of us with modest incomes squirm in the fumes of their exhaust pipes...

    I also have at least one friend who, in fact, kind of like "2012" (above) would rather everything ended already.

    As I have stated before, I have nothing against any interlocutor. It is a spirited debate for good reason, and in the spirit of good debating, I reserve my right to irritate from time to time -- even people I like, and agree with.

    The purpose of irritating people, from time to time, is to make them think -- harder.

    See, Mango is thinking so hard already, she won't speak to me anymore. Which is a good sign.

    Not feeling especially sanctimonious, please be reassured on that point. Your carbon footprint is probably as small as my own household's, maybe smaller. Like many of my friends, you have wisely chosen not to have offspring.

    Still, I must remind you that all religions are not equal. There is a very significant difference between the number of children that can be begotten with one wife, vs. four wives, vs. ten wives, vs. forty wives.

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  • 116. At 10:20pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    Show me the data that proves we are not approaching/past peak oil. My point about the Saudi reserves is that no-one knows. I find that a bit scary.

    It's also a question of cost. Oil shales are only a viable resource at something approaching $140/barrel, and the Brazil deep-sea oil probably isn't far off that.

    If the Brazilian oil find gives us an optimistic 50 billion barrels, that's about 2 years worth of current world consumption. And it'll cost over $200 billion to even start pumping it.

    Those are big numbers - someone quoted a spend of $50 billion over the past 25 years on climate research - sounds cheap at the price.

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  • 117. At 10:23pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    Mr selfevidenttruths:

    i think i might be your 'denialist friend'.
    I have been mightily harsh to anyone i consider to be a ++goodproAGW troll but i have tried to be respectful of those who seem to me to be genuine (who am i to judge indeed).
    if i could ask you view the second link i sent in my 113 post. i'd like your (and anyone elses) opinion on that. Ms Ashot is IMO a troll and unworthy of the longwinded, pointless debate she seeks.



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  • 118. At 10:28pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:


    Still no opinion on the all proAGW propaganda and manipulation of public perceptions? and i'm a denier? lol

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  • 119. At 10:33pm on 14 Dec 2009, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    My friends I am taking a break but I shall return.
    PS: A vigorous debate is always fun! : )

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  • 120. At 10:33pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    John Kazer, No. 116: Exactly right.

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  • 121. At 10:35pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    #118 plenty of opinion, just offering a different perspective on the problem. There's more to the issue than AGW.

    A thought experiment. Assume that there is 40 years of oil left, 200 years of coal and 50 of gas (these numbers are approximate).

    Now, if it happens that the population increases by 50% (likely) and China and India grow hugely, what will happen to those years of remaining resources? We very rapidly have no oil at anything like an affordable cost.

    Once there's not enough oil, we'll have to burn the coal and gas quicker...

    And the great thing is, we don't know how much oil is left now. Nor how expensive it's going to get.

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  • 122. At 10:36pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re #73. At 7:27pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer

    What use debating 'risk management' when many of us perceive neither the risk nor the ability to manage it?

    And as for the effectiveness of carbon credits - well we've seen just how 'effective' they can be!!


    (And PS you may wish to reply to some of the responses on Friday's board)

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  • 123. At 10:40pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Mr Forefathers, No. 113: Who said anything, ever, about "abandoning" oil?

    For as long as there is petroleum that can be extracted, it will be sold -- and used.

    That fact, however, does not preclude the possibility of having considerably more efficient engines available.

    Why is it your side of "the debate" (that I insist is largely imaginary, as there are very few on your side) always attaches the most extreme positions to the pro-Copenhagen side? Implying, as some have said, that we advocate food rationing, redistribution of wealth, forced abortions, a mandatory 1-child policy, the outright abandonment of oil &c. &c. &c.?

    For the record: We Don't.

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  • 124. At 10:47pm on 14 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "No. 83, Bowman, if you are referring to the Darwinian idea that the food supply alone will determine population growth rates, you will get little agreement from this woman."

    I asked you a question -- you didn't answer the question. If you can, answer the question. If you don't, I will assume you do not understand the question, or else cannot answer it in a way that favours your own position.

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  • 125. At 10:51pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    mr kazer:

    its funny that your refutation of antiAGW comments stems from the 'peak oil' meme. yet when asked to respond regarding the proAGW misrepresentation of the facts you slide away saying that wasn't what you were discussing.

    you refute antiAGW arguments based on the Peak Oil Lie, and then claim you weren't talking about AGW at all. confused? i am.

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  • 126. At 10:52pm on 14 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Assume that there is 40 years of oil left, 200 years of coal and 50 of gas (these numbers are approximate).

    "Approximate" is a polite word -- they are stupid.

    If something becomes more scarce, its market value increases, so that less and less of it is bought. One can still buy whale oil, if one is prepared to pay a large amount of money for it. In 100 years, it will still be possible to buy mineral oil, if one is prepared to pay enough.

    The idea that a valuable commodity will suddenly run out like a tap going dry is ridiculous.

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  • 127. At 10:54pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:


    lol wealth redistribution? how much did the EU propose for poor countries? 7 billion (euros) A YEAR.

    Which (specifically) more efficient engines are there available? I can easily believe the oil industry has bought up patents on better, non oil based engines but can you give me an example or a viable alternative?

    If the debate is imaginary why are you responding to me?

    get back to Xenu.

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  • 128. At 10:56pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    With all due respect, Bowmanthebard, if my answer does not seem sufficiently clear to you, perhaps the question you should be asking is why you cannot formulate a question in such a way that its point can be discerned by the interlocutor?

    If you have a question pending, actually, and are not in fact playing a badgering game instead, you should rephrase it so that its value might be examined.

    Because we were speaking of habitat degradation & increases in predators attacking humans. As a consequence of growing human populations exacerbating food stress amongst said populations.

    Your point being...?

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  • 129. At 10:56pm on 14 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    if it happens that the population increases by 50% (likely)

    "Likely" when? What sort of time scale do you have in mind?

    So what made the population NOT go up by 50% in a similar time scale in the past?

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  • 130. At 11:01pm on 14 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Mr Forefathers, No. 108:

    Consciences. That's a compliment.

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  • 131. At 11:01pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    #126 bowman, that is exactly my point - price rise of oil. How high can you go?

    If you look at the annual data that BP releases on oil, gas and coal reserves, plus consumption,

    you will see:

    that the years left of gas have fallen year-on-year since 2000 (from 70 to 60).

    that the years of oil left have not changed since 1988 - amazingly the last date at which the Saudi's last released their reserves data.

    Now if I was looking for a conspiracy, this sounds like a good one.

    I'm not side-stepping the AGW debate - this is part of it. The data is clear - so far as it's available. But most of it is not... Sound familar?

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  • 132. At 11:04pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    regarding my 127 post:
    it was inded 7 BILLION euros (not proper money :) ) over 3 years. my mistake. apologies. just thought i'd get this in before i'm totally disredited by someone :)

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  • 133. At 11:07pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    interesting website you linked to. the rest of the it is pretty enlightening too. any still buying the 'all dissent is paid for by big oil' meme have a look.

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  • 134. At 11:08pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    World population estimates by 2050:

    = 9 billion. It's now 6 billion = 50% increase in 40 years.

    I love Wikipedia - free, public and easy to read.

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  • 135. At 11:10pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:



    peace out!

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  • 136. At 11:20pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 137. At 11:22pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    #133 Yeah, BP are an interesting organisation (although less so since Lord Browne left). Oil companies (some of them) take a long view - after all, when you invest billions a year over decades you want to know something about the risks involved!

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  • 138. At 11:30pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re #131. At 11:01pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer

    You may find the attached article of interest - posted on an earlier thread, I forget who by, but an excellent read.


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  • 139. At 11:36pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:


    mr bowmanthebard wrote an excellent post regarding simpletons not understanding Malthus i will (hopefully) wihtout his permission reproduce the relevant bits here:

    Many contributors to these blogs -- on all sides -- have expressed concern about the dangers of overpopulation.

    As a Darwinian, I'm baffled by these concerns. The number of members of any species would increase geometrically -- like multiplying 2 by itself over and over again -- but in fact it doesn't, because a "ceiling" prevents it from increasing geometrically.

    This ceiling is nearly always set by the food supply (plus a few complicating factors such as predation, disease, etc.) For example, leave a garden to itself and it will soon be overrun with "weeds" (our name for plants that are common because they are suited to our climate). There is never a "space waiting to be filled by weeds that haven't thought up the idea of sex yet"!

    Put some rabbits on an island, and their numbers will keep increasing -- and remarkably quickly -- till the grass begins to grow thin. Add some foxes, and the rabbits thin out, and then the foxes, but then the grass gets thicker again, and so on. There is oscillation, but it's always around a mean set by the food supply.

    The would-be geometric expansion of every species on Earth has been constrained from Day One -- when life (or replicating molecules) emerged -- by limitations on the supply of food (i.e. essential nutrients).

    This applies to all species of plants and animals, including all mammals, all primates, and all apes -- including humans.

    We living things "hit the ceiling" on Day One. We humans have been bumping along that ceiling since the emergence of humans.

    The human population did "explode" in recent centuries, because agricultural technology made huge advances. The technology was new, and the huge expansion in the food supply was new, but starvation and death by diseases of malnutrition is an old, old enemy -- and it's been the ceiling since Day One.

    mr kazer: wikipedia lies alot i'm afraid. if the subject is noncontroversial its fine but any controversy and wiki is as impartial as i am on AGW, or you are for that matter. i'm waiting for a few replies to things i've said to you that you seem to have ignored sir. tick tock.

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  • 140. At 11:44pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    #138 - Interesting, had not seen that research before. However:

    Takes a skeptical approach, citing lack of evidence and scale.

    I would also question the replacement rate - given the number of exhausted oil wells around (North Sea etc.)

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  • 141. At 11:45pm on 14 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    wiki on AGW is not reliable courtesy of this pretentious, lifeless troll:

    any attempt to even make them scale down the tone of the terrifying language is swamped by that fellow and his minions.

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  • 142. At 11:54pm on 14 Dec 2009, peter wrote:

    Re peak oil etc in the comments

    Instead of the trendy negative
    Let's All Cut Down and Save attitude,

    Compare a positive attitude of
    Let's Provide Whatever Energy is Needed,
    with whatever Emission Parameter that needs to be put on it.

    There is no energy shortage
    - on the contrary, more and more renewable sources are being developed
    and ('peak oil' etc)
    if there was an energy shortage of the finite oil-coal-gas fuels, then
    1 Renewable energy becomes more attractive price-wise
    2 The fossil fuel price rise automatically leads to demand for products that are energy efficient or use renewable energy.
    No need for any energy efficiency legislation.

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  • 143. At 11:55pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    134. At 11:08pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    "I love Wikipedia - free, public and easy to read."


    Not surprising really, John, just look who one of it's gatekeepers is


    one of the infamous Real Climate team

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]REAL CLIMATE TEAM

    Not surprising many of its articles are skewed towards the AGW theory.

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  • 144. At 11:57pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re #143

    Ah, I see Tears beat me to it in his #141.

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  • 145. At 11:58pm on 14 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    Well, one source in the Wikipedia article was a 2009 US Census Bureau report - I imagine they know something about population.

    I wasn't trying to make a detailed prediction of the future, just providing an example to illustrate a point.

    Which, in response to your challenge in #139, you've not responded to either. I think my comments and data need some thought.

    In terms of the AGW debate, I've run out of energy (pun intended) and have no interest in going round in circles any longer. It's been done to death and no conclusion reached.

    If you want a debate with bowman on the origin of oil fine. But since the vast majority of oil company geologists would presumably have a great vested interest in this theory being correct but seem to severly doubt it, I don't think it's a long debate.

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  • 146. At 00:00am on 15 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    In #131 I provide data (from BP) that shows years remaining of natural gas going down by a year every year. That suggests we risk running out in 30 years.

    Since a huge amount of UK electricity is currently generated by gas, maybe we want to think about that a bit.

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  • 147. At 00:01am on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:



    fight the good fight sir.

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  • 148. At 00:02am on 15 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:


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  • 149. At 00:14am on 15 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    But I'm not using Wikipedia to reference AGW data. I'm using BP.

    Quick ferrets around Google for abiotic oil formation find essentially one pro source and a number against.

    I restate my comment about commercial viability and evidence - chemically it might be true but commercially it's not useful. Oil fields empty. Gas fields empty. Coal and shale contain fossils and produce oil.

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  • 150. At 00:24am on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    mr kazer:

    you're aware that (beware the Godwin) during the War (2nd one) both germany and japan produced large quantities of oil from coal? mr bowman is quite right that the Evil Market (assuming carbon credits aren't internationally enforced by the UN) will account for the decline in availability and rise of alternatives. How do you think Oil supplanted coal (despite vast coal fields remaining untapped)?

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  • 151. At 00:27am on 15 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    John everyone else can see what you posted was fine but some people were looking for a silly way to dismiss it rather than address it.

    Until the idea of abiogenic oil actually gains traction with the scientific community (including the parts working in industry) there's no point even discussing or looking at it. Some things are best left dead until they actually start walking.

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  • 152. At 00:38am on 15 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:

    Infinity, thank you. Now I'm off - likely back in couple days.

    Have fun with the numbers.

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  • 153. At 01:25am on 15 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Mr Forefathers -- and, also, Bowman:

    No. 139, as expected, and on time:

    Malthus-Schmalthus, Darwin-Jarwin.

    People are neither rabbits, nor foxes. We make stuff. You're typing this, reading this, probably in something a little more complicated than a rabbit-hutch. Likely you're eating more than a carrot or two, sipping something more complex than water from a nearby stream.

    Fascinating how intelligent human beings can fail to see with their eyes open what is right in front of them, because they are so busy parroting lessons from forty years ago.

    Human population grows not only because of agricultural advances but also because of advances in medicine. Rabbits and foxes on an island do not set up medical facilities. They do not invest in fertility clinics. They do not develop advanced weapons systems to keep predators (enemies) at bay.

    Mammals who are not human do not require labourers to come to work for them, so they do not create systems to invite them in, nor incentives for them to then procreate (to create more labourers); they do not create marketing campaigns to stimulate consumption; they do not establish banks and issue payments...

    The "natural order" model does not work -- however comfortable a Darwinist might feel about the whole "no sin ergo zero accountability" bits, the model Does Not Fit Actual Reality.

    It just doesn't.

    Human society is a lot more complex -- even more complex than Malthus & Darwin, who were just individual bits of protoplasm out of billions upon billions upon billions of others.

    And their limited experience of Life, filtered through their exclusive, privileged, male identities of centuries ago, does not tell the whole story... Far from it.

    We have overpopulation in the world because, in the 21st century, far too many women remain powerless & dependent; we have overpopulation because too many men find it easy to walk away from human lives they have conceived, often quite irresponsibly. And in the Malthusian/Darwinian culture of "zero accountability" begetting a child is just "part of the natural order": who cares what happens next?

    So we get a billion women or so looking after multiple children who are here through the negligence of absent fathers... And no one cares. Many of them will starve, or die from some dread disease -- but not before they have a chance, they as well, to beget others.

    We have overpopulation because there are too many men running around believing they have a biological right to get females pregnant -- and the "problem" is not theirs, its Hers. And they are NOT governed by any understanding of the "food supply," whatever your social theories say.

    Hoping the "food supply" will take care of overpopulation for you is like saying climate change is a natural mechanism for getting rid of Civilisation, and not to be tampered with...

    And yes, I do realise plenty of you (anti-Copenhagen crew) feel exactly that way.

    Except that when the moment comes for someone to help you when the social fabric wears thin, you remember the right numbers to ring up, don't you? And you don't exactly ring Charles Darwin. You hope some soft-hearted sap like me will be there, on the other end of the line, and not judge you by the harshness of your own judgement of others, but actually reacts with compassion.

    Trust me, no one ever leaves the planet without having once required some kindness from someone else.

    Not even the Darwinists and Malthusians.

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  • 154. At 02:19am on 15 Dec 2009, who said what wrote:

    We have overpopulation because there are too many men running around believing they have a biological right to get females pregnant -- and the "problem" is not theirs, its Hers. And they are NOT governed by any understanding of the "food supply," whatever your social theories say.

    #153 seems there's also a lot of females running around believing they have a biological right to get they say "it takes two to tango"

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  • 155. At 02:45am on 15 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Actually, who said what (No. 154): in the societies where polygamy is practiced, the problem is with the men more than with the women.

    "It takes two to tango" is a nice, logical concept from the civilised parts of the world.

    Yet even there we have epidemics of rape. However widely the degrees of violence in the assault might vary, a substantial proportion of pregnancies originate in sexual events that the female did not consent to. (That was the subject Baroness Stern was addressing this very day in the UK.)

    Far fewer women than most men realise, will of their own volition consciously embrace many consecutive pregnancies as any kind of "biological right" -- for the simple reason that pregnancy is actually a pretty challenging ordeal, and most women are not "just thrilled" to keep on experiencing it.

    Mathematically, who said what, one man can get many women pregnant concurrently -- while a pregnant woman, once she has conceived, is normally out of the conception game for a while.

    There is, in fact, a greater burden of responsibility, in terms of absolute numbers, on the male half of the species, if we are to bring the rate of population growth down. (I do firmly believe that young men can be taught to think, in spite of many cultural disincentives to do so.)

    While recognising that it is the frequency with which young men sow wild oats (multiplied by number of fertile partners) that together drive conception statistics, the more efficient way to reduce unintended conception is to promote the voluntary sterilisation of women who have had as many children as they personally would like to give birth to -- offering it free of charge, especially in those areas where there is greatest need for this intervention.

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  • 156. At 03:23am on 15 Dec 2009, who said what wrote:

    I think the proportion of young men with multiple children with multiple partners is not a huge and would not account for even a large portion of population boom.

    the more efficient way to reduce unintended conception is to promote the voluntary sterilisation of women who have had as many children as they personally would like to give birth to -- offering it free of charge, especially in those areas where there is greatest need for this intervention.

    Thats available now - I thought it was called resonpsible contraception but then we have religion spouting that its wrong...that where your argument should be focused

    You need a license to keep a dog but anybody can have children;)

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  • 157. At 04:08am on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:


    sorry if i'm late this time.

    'Malthus-Schmalthus, Darwin-Jarwin.' thus speaks an enlightened mind seeking to truly respond to the meat of my argument.

    regarding the rest: tldr ;)

    'You need a license to keep a dog but anybody can have children;)'

    personally i'm against dog licences as well. everybody should be free decide when and if they have children. i would strongly support more spending on reproductive education and contraceptive distribution (for disease as much as anything else) but to reduce CO2 emissions? no thanks.

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  • 158. At 04:20am on 15 Dec 2009, who said what wrote:

    #157 'You need a license to keep a dog but anybody can have children;)

    That was said with tongue in cheek.

    I tried to reduce my CO2 emissions but passed out.

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  • 159. At 04:25am on 15 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:



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  • 160. At 07:38am on 15 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @maria ashott #115

    The purpose of irritating people, from time to time, is to make them think -- harder.

    See, Mango is thinking so hard already, she won't speak to me anymore. Which is a good sign.

    Trust me Maria, that is not the reason I think there is no point in trying to discuss this with you. I would actually class your views on O2 alongside 21Dec2012's on the future ;)


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  • 161. At 4:44pm on 15 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 158, Your comment would be true -- if you only look at the date from North America, or some demographic segments in Europe.

    In Africa, and certainly in the polygamist communities of the Middle East, the proportion of young men with multiple children from multiple partners is exactly the opposite of what you say:

    It is Huge.

    I have personally met men who are the 42nd (and later) son of a father with over 20 wives, who are themselves on their sixth or seventh wife & their 20th or so 'heir'. This is not any kind of joke.

    One of the serious deficiencies at the heart of the Denier position is that so few of you seem willing to look at the state of the world as it actually exists beyond the limits of your personal driveway. You offer 'evidence' that is limited to your own backyard.

    You think because you wouldn't give life to fifty sons, no one else would. When the population data for the world shows precisely the opposite is going on: all over South America, for one, where you can find plenty of young bucks who think getting multiple girls pregnant is some kind of achievement.

    And what about those polygamist sects that we prosecute right here in the USA from time to time -- and that Canada is refusing even to prosecute?

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  • 162. At 4:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 160, I'll be seeing you in 2013, Mango. With oxygen pack.

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  • 163. At 4:48pm on 15 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Mr Forefathers, No. 157:

    Can't come up with anything more recent than Malthus or Darwin, right?

    Can't come up with a more credible argument?

    Because there aren't any, and the ones you cite don't hold water.

    Matters not whether you read, or agree, or consider what I say. You are a Darwinist: and we are evolving away from that false doctrine, at a very rapid clip.

    And thank God for that. Like it or not, it is happening: and thank God for it!

    At the end of every long period of Darkness comes the Sunrise.

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  • 164. At 00:56am on 16 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    149. At 00:14am on 15 Dec 2009, John Kazer wrote:
    "But I'm not using Wikipedia to reference AGW data. I'm using BP.

    Quick ferrets around Google for abiotic oil formation find essentially one pro source and a number against.

    I restate my comment about commercial viability and evidence - chemically it might be true but commercially it's not useful. Oil fields empty. Gas fields empty. Coal and shale contain fossils and produce oil."


    The article you quoted is dated 2004 so somewhat out of date.
    There is much more recent scientific evidence.
    "According to Sweden’s Royal Institute, “fossils of animals and plants are not necessary to generate raw oil and natural gas. This result is extremely radical as it means that it will be much easier to find these energy sources and that they may be located all over the world.”"

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