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Earth spirits' twin visions on climate

Richard Black | 09:22 UK time, Sunday, 11 April 2010

From the UN climate talks in Bonn:

Good news: I've had my sins absolved.

Well, not all of my sins, obviously - that would take more Hail Marys than there are days in the year - but my carbon sins, at least.

Tucked in my back pocket is a piece of paper saying I am "hereby forgiven" for sins such as flying where I choose, using a washing machine, and eating meat.

Christina_Wilson_as_Earth_GoddessThe "Earth Goddess" who gave it to me marks the most colourful display in "NGO alley", the corridor along which every delegate to the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) meeting here must walk to and from the conference rooms.

Most of the non-governmental organisations displaying their wares are campaigning for carbon controls - the Ecosystems Climate Alliance, the Women and Gender Constituency, EcoNexus - but this Gaia belongs to a group with a completely different agenda, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).

Frequently accused of being in the pay of oil companies (which it broadly denies), this organisation has campaigned for 15 years on issues including climate change, on the premise that "the power of the market combined with the applications of safe technologies could offer humanity practical solutions to many of the world's pressing concerns".

One of those manning the committee's table is Lord Monckton, the British peer who has become one of the country's most prominent "climate sceptics" - opposing carbon curbs on the grounds that science does not indicate the necessity, and opposing the UN institutions aiming to tackle climate change for what he sees as unacceptable interference in democracy.

There's no way I can sum up the scientific arguments in a single blog post, but I'll have a quick look at the democracy issue.

His concern - which he has elaborated at length during a series of public talks in the US - is that UN bureaucrats are aiming to take control of countries' elected governments through measures including a new climate treaty.

We walked to the meeting's document counter and took a copy of a document called FCCC/AWGLCA/2009/INF.2 [pdf link] - all documents here fall into this kind of numbering system - this one dates from late last year and was prepared by the climate convention secretariat, aiming to rationalise the highly disordered text that had emerged from preparatory talks in the run-up to Copenhagen.

A passage on page 18 deals with how countries' actions on reducing emissions, adapting to climate impacts and so on might be monitored and verified under a new climate treaty:

"The scheme for the new institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic pillars: government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism, and the basic organization of which will include the following:

(a) The government will be ruled by the COP (Conference of the Parties, the sovereign intergovernmental body of the UNFCCC) with the support of a new subsidiary body on
adaptation, and of an Executive Board responsible for the management of the new funds and the related facilitative processes and bodies."

The use of the word "government", together with the "facilitative mechanism" to enact decisions, is what aroused the Viscount's ire. He feels it is aimed at exerting unelected centralised authority over elected governments.

Meanwhile, a preceding clause, which says the new treaty

"...should include a financial mechanism and a facilitative mechanism drawn up to facilitate the design, adoption and carrying out of public policies, as the prevailing instrument, to which the market rules and related dynamics should be subordinate..."

...he interpreted as meaning that the treaty would have the power to dictate to all the world's commodity markets.

This text had not been signed off by anyone - it was a draft.

Apart from the US, Lord Monckton told me the passages had raised concerns in some climate convention delegations from Eastern Europe, mindful of their long years without democratic freedoms.

I'd urge you to read the relevant passage, and make up your own mind as to whether it constitutes a global threat to democracy.

Earth spirits were deployed in a very different way - and only abstractly - during a news conference with Bolivia's permanent representative to the UN, Pablo Solon.

The Plurinational Republic of Bolivia (so called because of its multi-ethnic population) believes that rather than aiming to keep the global temperature rise to 2C, as advocated by the EU and lukewarmly endorsed in the Copenhagen Accord, the target should be 1C.

As we are already about 0.7C from the pre-industrial benchmark, that would be a very tall order technically even if there were the global political will; but Mr Solon said that even now, Bolivia's glaciers are melting, causing problems with water availability (something my colleague James Painter reported on recently), and asks what will happen to people and the natural world if the existing temperature rise is tripled?

"At 2C, there is the risk that 25-30% of biodiversity can be affected," said Mr Solon, referring to projections in the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

"Are we willing to say that's a good goal? No, that's not a good goal."

Bolivia's refusal to endorse the Copenhagen Accord has led to the US withholding aid money designed for climate protection projects - Mr Solon accused Denmark of doing the same - but, he said, as a nation with "dignity", that would not change its position.

Evo_MoralesLater this month, Bolivia will host the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. About 15,000 people are scheduled to attend, including representatives of about 100 governments - 10 at Heads of State level.

Civil society groups - non-governmental organisations - will be well represented, he told us, which is crucial to developing a good global climate policy.

"If people of the Earth don't engage in this process we have now, the results are going to be terrible."

As well as themes that reflect the UN process - cutting emissions, spreading clean technologies - the conference will debate issues such as "climate justice", and whether there should be a worldwide referendum of people to give governments some kind of global mandate on the issue.

A declaration on the "Rights of Mother Earth" - paralleling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - is likely.

Bolivia's President Evo Morales comes from the indigenous Aymara people, and in Copenhagen spoke eloquently of the link between people and "Mother Earth".

He wants us to use a wider sense of Mother Earth and our guardianship of Earth, and derive policies on issues such as climate change from a deep ecological understanding rather than from Powerpoint presentations in hotel conference rooms in places such as Bonn.

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow's Gaia forgives us our sins; Evo Morales's will punish us for lack of care.

Which will you follow?


or register to comment.

  • 1. At 11:26am on 11 Apr 2010, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:

    Truly a case of the madmen taking over the institution.

    Our politicians should declare here and now that they don't want to be involved with this new-age nuttiness and, to avoid accusations of hypocrisy, only delegates that walk, cycle or swim to Bolivia should be allowed admission. Those who hitch a ride in Sting's private jet can camp outside in a tepee.

    I'm glad you picked up your papal indulgence. Keep it in your back pocket. When we eventually open a museum dedicated to the stupidity of mankind it will be a prized exhibit.

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  • 2. At 11:51am on 11 Apr 2010, knownought wrote:

    Who said,

    "Father, forgive them for they not what they do"?


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  • 3. At 12:00pm on 11 Apr 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    Good news: I've had my sins absolved

    I thought AGW wasn’t a religion, but a science? ;)

    The use of the word "government", together with the "facilitative mechanism" to enact decisions, is what aroused the Viscount's ire. He feels it is aimed at exerting unelected centralised authority over elected governments.

    It would seem, Monckton is justified


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  • 4. At 12:04pm on 11 Apr 2010, Anthony North wrote:

    Experts meet to work it out,
    Answers on warming, plenty of clout,
    But everyone bickers, says: It's not fair!
    Another source of much hot air

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  • 5. At 12:13pm on 11 Apr 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    I wonder if the BBC's budget will stretch to sending Richard to Chicago in May? Probably not, all the funds have been spent on Copenhagen, Bonn and I'm sure Richard will be going to Cancun later this year


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  • 6. At 12:43pm on 11 Apr 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Richard you are funny and you appear to be a bit of a wind up merchant;-)

    'Mother Earth' appears to be a bit annoyed with us at the moment (forgive the personification) I have been watching the daily natural events gathering pace around the world. The rumblings of Copenhagendas appear minute compared with nature's 'voice.'

    What is the Copenhagen loot being spent on by-the-way?

    I prefer the catch-phrase 'climate change' more than the catch-phrase 'global warming' (which is totally cringe-worthy) All of these big meetings around the world must be about something.

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  • 7. At 2:23pm on 11 Apr 2010, Paul Kerr wrote:

    Buying carbon indulgences to mitigate for enviromental sins is one of the reasons I think the decarbonisation of energy policies has caught on so well. But is mitigation of CO2 alone even it is possible going to alter the worlds climate?

    Unfortunately it is far too like religion. The more peole 'contribute to the enviroment' the better they will feel. In terms of taxation it seems a win win situation

    But what will people feel about a) science b)the enviroment ? if it becomes obvious it was all for nothing

    Prof Lindzens ideas

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  • 8. At 4:12pm on 11 Apr 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) is a conservative DC-based non-profit organization. Its mission: to promote free market solutions to environmental problems. Its director is Craig Rucker. He believes that mankind faces a threat not from man-made global warming, but from man-made global hysteria.
    His voice and that of President Craig Rucker are 2 primary voices seeking to provide some kind of illogical alternative to major environmental groups like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club.
    CFACT’s financial backers have included Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund - so it's not hard to see where CFACT is coming from.
    CFACT is also a member organization of the Cooler Heads Coalition, which aims at supressing the "myths" of global warming through sound science and analysis.
    CFACT chapters have protested in defense of environmentally sustainable oil exploration and in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. CFACT supports sustainable drilling in ANWR that meets the standards of respecting wildlife (As if those two things are anywhere near compatible).
    I don’t believe in carbon controls. Why?
    Because I believe that climate change occurs for one of 3 reasons:
    1. Damage to the earth’s crust that shakes a poor little planet like a doll in the mouth of a rootweiler. I am against any deep drilling – offshore, in land, or anywhere else. I am against cluster bombs or any weapons that stab Mother Earth at her Core.
    2. Pole shift. This phenomenon occurs very, very seldom. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of every 200,000 years, but when it happens, it happens swiftly. In a pole shift, the earth's outer surface slips like the skin over a skeleton. (This explains how we ended up with warm weather animnals with stomachs full of green vegetation that got flash-frozen in the Arctic. This explains how we ended up with salt-water fish in fresh-water lakes atop of some very high mountains in the Andes.
    3. HAARP – the American toy that plays with weather, causing hurricaines, floods, draught, flash floods, earthquakes, and all sort of extreme weather mayhem. I believe HAARP is why the US can now be so compromising about nuclear weapons. Why not?
    The United States has HAARP. Why would you need a very contaminating nuclear bomb when you can HAARP people into starvation, bury them in mud slides, drown them in floods, etc. Only God controls the weather, right?
    I truly respect the Declaration on the "Rights of Mother Earth" as well as Bolivia's President Evo Morales who understands the link between people and "Mother Earth".
    I would follow his voice, his plans.
    But there are people in the world who would destroy the Earth, kill billions of people, and give not one care as long as they remained elite, wealthy and safe...Just try to contemplate the "evil" in that statement.

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  • 9. At 4:27pm on 11 Apr 2010, Borisnorris wrote:

    Don't worry about climate change - it's too late. I am sure we will continue to damage the ecosystem until our population and 'culture' can no longer be sustained, and then the Earth will recover when our population is reduced to a mere remnant.

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  • 10. At 5:20pm on 11 Apr 2010, Flatearther wrote:

    Not to worry. There is nothing sinful about carbon dioxide. It is good for the plants and animals. And if it actually were to cause warming (which it physically can't), then that would be good too. Most people would much prefer it be warmer than colder. It is our duty to "Act on CO2", i.e. emit as much as possible.

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  • 11. At 6:46pm on 11 Apr 2010, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:

    Anyone who doesn't believe that aliens are already here should read BluesBerry in No 8 above.

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  • 12. At 8:04pm on 11 Apr 2010, TJ wrote:

    Richard. You start by saying:

    "Good news: I've had my sins (carbon ones) absolved."

    Does this mean that you can now flatulate till you hearts content?

    I'm so pleased. It must be quite a relief for you........

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  • 13. At 8:16pm on 11 Apr 2010, SheffTim wrote:

    'And if it actually were to cause warming (which it physically can't)' #10

    It physically can; the heat absorbing properties of greenhouse gasses have been known for well over 100 years and can be demonstrated in a school lab.

    It's not just a question about temperatures becoming warmer; its more about changes to precipitation patters. e.g. see below:

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  • 14. At 8:24pm on 11 Apr 2010, rossglory wrote:

    apologies, a little off topic but if anyone wants to read a comprehensive rebuttal of just about any 'anti-agw' argument then it's worth reading the epa's response to comments section of the clean air act document at:

    very comprehensive, clear and concise.

    #3 mango
    "I thought AGW wasn’t a religion, but a science? ;)" - actually it's neither, it's an evidence backed, scientific if that doesn;t elicit a response then i don;t know what will :o)

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  • 15. At 8:58pm on 11 Apr 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory #14

    you're correct - off topic

    warmist regards


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  • 16. At 9:12pm on 11 Apr 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    I wonder if Richard Black will have a eureka moment soon at the ridiculousness of it all...

    0.7C a century - if you believe the adjusted, homogenised data, with big question about not enough correction due to urban heat island effect...

    in fact a number of countries Raw data (rural) indicates a drop in the temp for the last century..

    carbon indulgences, an elite buying indulgences to keep on 'sinning', while the minions flagelate themselves on a self loathing of humanity's sins...

    Of coures, none of that 0.7 degrees could be anything to do Nature, with (admitted by climate scientists) poorly understood climate, with computer models with acknowledge flaws and assumptions..

    so don't forget when anybody says climate change - ask them do they mean natural or man made... Many people seem to be denying the former.

    Professor Richard Lindzen:
    "To a significant extent, the issue of climate change revolves around the elevation of the commonplace to the ancient level of ominous omen. In a world where climate change has always been the norm, climate change is now taken as punishment for sinful levels of consumption. In a world where we experience temperature changes of tens of degrees in a single day, we treat changes of a few tenths of a degree in some statistical residue, known as the global mean temperature anomaly (GATA), as portents of disaster.


    "Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted to save Earth. Nations see how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. So do private firms. The case of Enron (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, Enron was one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon-emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to trillions of dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions.

    It is probably no accident that Al Gore himself is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense."

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  • 17. At 9:19pm on 11 Apr 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    The truth, however unpalatable, is preferable to secrecy.
    What evidence is there that HAARP does anything other than monitor the planet and educate others into understanding that monitoring?
    Prove to me that HAARP is being secretive and destructive.
    From what I can see from the HAARP site and other sites monitoring the Earth, they are falling over themselves to educate those who are interested in science. As for aliens, some of the graphs do look a bit weird as if aliens are scampering across the screen but that is only because it takes a while to learn and interpret data. I was only aware today, listening to the wind howling through the masts of yachts that the sound range is very similar to that demonstrated with the graphs. I truly believe that the scientific community would prefer us to take an interest and attempt to educate ourselves in the matters of the health of our planet. It becomes a win, win situation when we all make the effort.

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  • 18. At 10:39pm on 11 Apr 2010, b5happy wrote:

    #9, #9, #9, #9, #... oh, sorry about that...

    A throwback to my youth (which is still here, actually).

    #9 - You have said it all.

    Richard, just keep on keepin' on...

    "...don't mind the maggots!" Rolling Stones

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  • 19. At 11:17pm on 11 Apr 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    CC AGW... (abbreviated conundrum...)

    All for the increased efficiency in using energy and minimising pollution - except I don't think there is any actual evidence that it will have any effect on the climate! We have been sold a pup and have seen through the CO2 double speak.

    What we really need to do is to reduce the Worlds population to 3 billion - we are the pollution that is destroying the planet. If we do nothing about this gigantic problem it will solve itself through starvation, famine and disease - except that we will not like the process - aren't we able to take rational steps that will avoid the nasty brutish solution to our problem? One thing we can say for the Chinese is that the one child policy is apparently curtailing the growth in its population - we all need to follow where the Chinese lead - starting with the World's main religions.

    This is your duty Chief Rabbis, Popes, Metropolitans, Archbishops and Grand Ayatollahs etc., utter a fatwa, encyclical or whatever, to make large families a sin before God. God does not say in any of your religious books that his followers shall produce so many offspring that all shall stave - does God? It is your responsibility. Lead you followers to the promised land!!!! (PS might help if you stopped bickering along the way!)

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  • 20. At 02:04am on 12 Apr 2010, Brian wrote:

    All this comes done to the question 'Do mankind's carbon emissions really cause global warming, or is the increase in global temperature an entirely natural phenomenon?'. The earth has been warmer and colder than now over the past 10,000 years, when the ice age finally ended; the warm and cold cycles lasting approximately 1,400 years. This is well established fact, based on numerous studies in many parts of the world over several decades.
    This infers that any reduction in carbon emissions will have a negligible affect on global temperatures.
    Instead of agonizing over legalistic polysyllabic phrases of dubious meaning the UN and its subsidiary bodies would be far better off trying to establish mechanisms to transfer water to places (such as Bolivia) that will have no fresh water if the glaciers do indeed melt.
    Furthermore, wealthy countries where droughts are predicted, such as Australia and the southern United States, should actively pursue options to obtain fresh water for their crops and use that water sparingly. Fresh water may need to found by by piping it (e.g. from western Tasmania or the Pacific North West) or by desalination of sea water.
    It may become necessary, and necessity, as we all know, is the mother of invention.

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  • 21. At 05:44am on 12 Apr 2010, lburt wrote:

    This preoccupation with "danger" from rises of a few tenths of a degree, along with the entire hypothesis of substantial anthropogenic global warming will (as I have said before) be considered the greatest failure of science...something looked back upon with shame (within the sciences anyway). We should certainly not be throwing away a cheap and effective source of fuel (coal) when there are so many billions suffering...that could benefit so much from some cheap electricity.

    There is little evidence that past warm periods (some only a few thousand years ago) of equal or greater warmth caused any significant harm to the ecosystem. The warming is not at an unusually high rate. All species alive today (unless they speciated in the past 1000 years or so) have experienced warmer global temperatures than today.

    Then we get to the horribly flawed "science" involved. GHG forcing cannot provide the forcing suggested because radiative transfer is not the dominant force of energy movement to the more restrictive (ie, colder) layers of the atmosphere...convection and latent heat are.

    Water vapor its self doesn't contribute to GHG forcing in the way suggested by the IPCC because it is inseparable from the (well established/observed) moist adiabatic lapse rate. Instead of causing a more pronounced temperature gradient across the troposphere (like suggested by GHG forcing) the absorbed energy simply forces more of the energy higher through latent heat by preventing the water vapor from condensing until a higher altitude. The parametrization in models allows these two processes to be treated independently when in fact they cannot be. Water cycle feedbacks are almost certainly negative or at worst, extremely weak.

    @BluesBerry #8 who wrote...
    "2. Pole shift. This phenomenon occurs very, very seldom. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of every 200,000 years, but when it happens, it happens swiftly.

    I assure you it doesn't EVER occur. Anyway, if what you were saying was true ALL of the animals in that region would have died, not just the odd animal here and there that were obviously caught in the first cold snap of a very long cold period in a region that already tended to be pretty cold year round anyway.

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  • 22. At 07:27am on 12 Apr 2010, Beejay wrote:

    Professor Lindzen says.....

    "It is probably no accident that Al Gore himself is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense."

    Most politicians are corrupt [well in the UK anyway] so why not climb out of the recession by stopping all carbon taxes/trading and reverting to good old coal and oil and extracting as much fossil fuel as we can. Outlaw/scrap any wind farms that are producing less than their claimed outputs. Modern Nuclear Power with very low residual waste and we won't have to be blackmailed by greedy overseas energy suppliers.

    That should save billions. Supply overseas aid in terms of goods not massive deposits in Swiss banks for despots to misuse to the detriment of their own people.
    It is going to make voting in the forthcoming election hard to find a suitable candidate/party.

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  • 23. At 08:44am on 12 Apr 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    Did you ask the eco-zealots how they got there? Surely if they are so keen on emission reductions they could have remained at home and campaigned on-line?

    I don't follow Monckton blindly but fundamentally I agree with that proposed solution.

    If the problem is REALLY CO2 emissions from fossil fuel then the solution is to fuel our current excellent quality of life using non-fossil energy.

    All the back to the dark ages stuff is only needed if you have a different agenda.

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  • 24. At 08:50am on 12 Apr 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Beejay at #22

    Except here it's not Gore but CFACT offering the indulgences - with Lord Monkton at the table.

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  • 25. At 08:55am on 12 Apr 2010, knownought wrote:

    #22 BEEJAY

    I think you've just nominated yourself to lead a new party. You'd get my vote, and that of most people I know, any day.


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  • 26. At 09:07am on 12 Apr 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Beejay at 22

    Had to smile at that quote. The bit where it says, 'the sale of indulgences is in full swing.' Do you think there would be a good trade in trinkets proclaiming, 'I have a low carbon footprint?' Good material for a political cartoon or a business idea for someone to trade in naff nick nacks depicting footprints, stop signs, etc.

    Masaccio, 'The Holy Trinity' fresco(c. 1426-28) at Santa Maria Novella in Florence springs to mind when you talk about the sale of indulgences. The donors are depicted in the immediate foreground in accurate detail. This is an example of an extravagant way of asking for an indulgence or an intercession.

    Perhaps the very rich who crave indulgences could defer their gratification and donate the loot that they have saved on not buying the £2million carbon hungry motor launch to sponsoring a wind mill on a wind farm (engraved plaque with images and names displayed prominently in a town centre somewhere):-)

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  • 27. At 09:36am on 12 Apr 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    #10 Flatearther, I just remembered, if CO2 didn't cause warming we would die of cold. CO2 regulates the temperature, and adjusting the amount of CO2 adjusts the temperature. Its a cycle thats controlled by billions of years of evolutionary feedback, the only question is, are we messing it up?, and you know as a scientist what side I'm on.

    Like I said in my last post the real problem with these conferences is that people like the IPCC are far to conservative, its more likely that their predictions hugely underestimate what is going to happen rather than over estimate it. There are to many unknowns and 'free' variables and that suggests increasing instability, the big thing though is that warming will tend to move the climate bands outward from the equator.

    Ironically the two big winters we've just had are likely to be part of a new convection cycle releasing cold air from the pole. A normal cycle but one that works by stealing long term cold-side heat energy from the poles, overall accelerating warming.

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  • 28. At 10:38am on 12 Apr 2010, blunderbunny wrote:


    No need to worry about HAARP and please ignore the man in the little tin foil hat.

    Normally, the silly season starts in August and it would seem that he's just making an early start...... Possibly, some new evidence for Global Warming.... Or, maybe he's just been watching the movie 2012 a tad too intently ;-)

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  • 29. At 11:21am on 12 Apr 2010, jazbo wrote:

    8. At 4:12pm on 11 Apr 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Sorry but this is just the most far out stuff and has no truth whatsoever.

    There is no proof that we have damaged the earths core whatsoever, nor tha it would effect climate.

    Earth crust displacement is a nutty theory and has nothing to do with the switching of the magnetic poles.

    HAARP is another internet-driven myth with absolutely no proof to back up the nutty cyber-chatter.

    Whether you believe C02 will logarithmically continue to drive temperature rises, or not, lets please not muddy the waters with such nonsense please.

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  • 30. At 11:39am on 12 Apr 2010, jazbo wrote:

    14. At 8:24pm on 11 Apr 2010, rossglory wrote:

    "actually it's neither, it's an evidence backed, scientific fact."

    Ah that again.

    SHOW ME graphical evidence that C02 rises are in line with current alleged temperature rises and are 100% proven to be driving them rather than other causes, such as strong positive AO, PDO and ENSO patterns etc over the past 30 years.

    SHOW ME graphical evidence that within the long term (last 100K years) temperature record that we are experiencing "unprecedented" heat or temperature rises that are proven man made beyond reasonable doubt.

    SHOW ME how current temperature data is 100% accurate. And while you are at it explain how GISS can accurately produce temperature data maps when it uses 1200km smoothing and extrapolates data in to regions it cannot possibly know the true data for - such as the Arctic.

    SHOW ME that a rise over 100 years of potentially less than half a degree is damaging to our climate.

    SHOW ME how the increased rate of plant growth due to C02 rises are damaging.

    SHOW ME that we are experiencing unusual, catastrophic Arctic melting, when we only have reliable data for the past 30 years, and when the ice monitors such as NSIDC use 1979 as the earliest baseline date, and when we have plenty of historical evidence for ice free passage in the 20th and 19th centuries.

    SHOW ME how carbon trading is something other than a way for big business to make money out of air.

    SHOW ME how it would be better to reduce greenhouse gas outputs so that we return to the natural cycle which everyone knows will lead us into an overdue ice age - and tell me how that would be better or mankind's future.

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  • 31. At 11:50am on 12 Apr 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    Personally, on reading the prepared conference document that Richard so kindly linked to above, I was quite alarmed that they didn't even start to mention the science involved in all of this until page 13!!!

    It would seem that the politics involved, is considered to be a bit more important than the evidence for actually doing anything about it. I especially liked the phrase "under an enlightened sense of solidarity"....

    It really doesn’t do much to help dismiss the charges of 'Groupthink' and 'consensus led science' that are often laid at the door of the pro-AGW camp.

    Still it's a jolly isn't it? Next real stop, sunny Cancun and time to top up all those tans!

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  • 32. At 11:50am on 12 Apr 2010, jazbo wrote:

    The problem is that man has a short term social memory.

    Look at how we "discovered" America, conveniently ignoring the evidence that the Scandinavians had been there centuries before.

    Look at the religion of the destruction of the Amazon, which most people believe has been untouched for tens of thousands of years. They are now finding that half the amazon basin was actually cultivated and full of the signs of civilisation, pointing to it being full of people just 1000 years ago!

    There is plenty of social evidence for Arctic sea ice melt in the 19th and 20th century, but the AGW "scientists" simply dismiss it.

    Joe public believes that we came out of an ice age, stabilised thousands of years ago, and suddenly we are causing renewed melting an temperature variations. Anyone with an open mind and eyes to red knows this is an insane viewpoint to take.

    The bottom line is that people can be manipulated to believe any old rubbish, a tactic government, the church etc have used for centuries.


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  • 33. At 12:16pm on 12 Apr 2010, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:

    32. jasonsceptic
    "Joe public believes that we came out of an ice age, stabilised thousands of years ago, and suddenly we are causing renewed melting and temperature variations."

    Fear not Jason. The public isn't as thick as you think. Ask the man in the street and you'll be surprised just how many people smell a rat over this drivel.
    Younger people, of course, tend to have been indoctrinated by Greenpeace-advert geography lessons at school and so are more resistant to having their eyes opened than those of us who have seen these scare stories before but even so the ice is cracking.
    We have votes to cast. Does anyone know if any of the political parties have an anti-AGW agenda?

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  • 34. At 1:03pm on 12 Apr 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    {insert diety here} wept, there are going to be a lot of very stupid looking people when this whole thing blows over.

    it never ceases to amaze me how many and how broad a range of people will leap at the chance to 'fight the good fight'.

    Well, at least some skeptical papers are now getting published now the 'clique' has been exposed. Hopefully we'll see some decent science follow it.

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  • 35. At 1:22pm on 12 Apr 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    DrBrian at #33

    "Does anyone know if any of the political parties have an anti-AGW agenda?"

    Apparently the BNP does.

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  • 36. At 1:49pm on 12 Apr 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Market forces have given us such wonderful results: child labor, slave labor, unhealthly and abusive working conditions, lead in fuel, smog, oil spills and pollution, dangerous coal mines, etc...who could be against such a worthy process. Our latest and greatest financial collapse was continued until its destructive end because the banking lobbyist were arguing that Market Forces would correct the problems. "Progress", better and more interesting toys, has come with negatives, such as the waste from old comupters and cell phones and of course no real plans for what to do with nuclear waste. We can guess that since the science argument isn't working the opponents will now discuss "market forces", "free trade" and those other catchy phrases that play out as enviornmental degradation and limited regulation until the harms become too great to ignore. The plan seems to be that by spoiling the air and water that hundreds of millions will die and thus the human carbon foot-print will be lessened and therefore the problem is solved. The gentle hand of Market Forces.
    There are thousands of toxic waste sites around the world that have yet to be cleaned up and present present harm to populations, left by industrial and chemical businesses. Market Forces for those sites has been that the taxpayer is responsible to pay for the lack of regulation enforcement by governments and the abdication of responsibility, and apparently liability, by the private sector.

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  • 37. At 1:50pm on 12 Apr 2010, tom_cripin51 wrote:

    I'm glad Richard has mentioned Lord Monckton as he is the subject of Peter Sinclair's latest 'Climate Denial Crock of the Week':


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  • 38. At 2:03pm on 12 Apr 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    DrBrian asked "Does anyone know if any of the political parties have an anti-AGW agenda?"
    UKIP does

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  • 39. At 2:38pm on 12 Apr 2010, SR wrote:

    I find it difficult to see how so many scientists from so many countries have got it so 'very wrong'.

    AGW is not a science in itself. It is a phenomenon which exists. The extent to which it exists is still, and will always be up for debate.

    But for crying out loud people. The evidence from a large number of disparate fields is overwhelmingly indicative that AGW is happening and if emissions are left unchecked, mean global temperatures will continue to rise.

    AGW is not a deck of cards that will fall if you take one card away. It is more like a jigsaw - even if you prove one line of evidence is on dodgy grounds (which hasn't been done anyway, btw), there are still a large number of other lines of evidence conspiring to give away that AGW is happening, plus or minus error bounds that have been shown to be too small to simply put it all down to chance.

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  • 40. At 2:47pm on 12 Apr 2010, SR wrote:

    @36 ghostsofsichuan
    "Market forces have given us such wonderful results: child labor, slave labor, unhealthly and abusive working conditions, lead in fuel, smog, oil spills and pollution, dangerous coal mines, etc...who could be against such a worthy process"

    Market forces have brought more people out of abject poverty than any other force in the history of mankind. It does need a leash though.

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  • 41. At 2:59pm on 12 Apr 2010, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:

    Thank you simon-swede and smiffie.

    Seeing as our Great Leader intends to force billions of pounds into the Swiss bank accounts of the likes of monsters like Robert Mugabe as bribes not to electrify their rural backwaters and as virtually every other law now comes from the EU, the global warming controversy ought to be more prominent on the election discussion list. The trouble is that the 3 main parties are united in their policies on this.
    I can't face the BNP so I think I'll bone up on what UKIP is saying.
    I'll report back.

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  • 42. At 3:10pm on 12 Apr 2010, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    #33 DrBrian, UKIP has a sceptical position on climate change. It's almost enough to make me vote for them! Given that now only 26% believe man-made warming is established, this could be a big vote-winner for them this time, with the three main parties committed to AGW.
    I share Dr Brian's optimism. The public is not as stupid and gullible as the government and the BBC would like us to be.
    #34 LabMunkey also seems to have some encouraging news - what are these sceptical papers getting published?

    Personally, I think ridicule such as 'carbon indulgences' is one of the best approaches.

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  • 43. At 3:47pm on 12 Apr 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    The urgent need for global population control is one issue that has support on both sides of the anthropogenic climate change debate, but how is such control to be achieved? Schemes such as China’s one child policy can only be enforced in countries with developed government and administration, it is never going to happen in the slums of Mumbai or the lawless states of Africa. Most undeveloped societies value sons and do not value daughters, if only we could give them what they want, two generations later their populations would be sustainably small and women would be valued. I am sure that it would not be beyond medical science to develop a “sons only” male pill but it would undoubtedly be unethical. It would also be harsh for a generation of men unable to find partners but would be better than the present method of population control, namely famine, disease and female infanticide.

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  • 44. At 3:50pm on 12 Apr 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Ghostofsichuan #36:

    I have been doing a lot of thinking lately Ghost, and not a lot of posting.

    I like this Evo Morales, and his upcoming conference.

    I am leaning away from high tech solutions, especially nuclear and space based solar power, and towards low-tech.

    We can quickly reduce our energy and ecological footprint, or impact, by simply choosing to do so.

    The economic repercussions would be equally quick and dramatic.

    Therefore a new economics is required - one of de-growth, or devolvement.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 45. At 4:12pm on 12 Apr 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    #39 The reason you have so many scientists appearing to agree on AGW is very simple:

    1) Research grants from NGO or Gov't actually stipulate that finding, hence you get all these crazy claims AGW cause birds to migrate 10 miles further or Bees are dying out and so. The crazy list is over 700 items long.

    2)You will note that the vast majority of the papers produced have very vague conclusion using the words could,might,maybe, possibly or perhaps. Science does not involve such words or guesses.

    3)A large number of climate papers use the same data bases such a temperature sets, or proxies, frequently papers quote each other as gospel regardless of the errors. This obviously, compounds because of the theory garbage in/ garbage out. Hurricane frequency being the best of the worst, or hidding the MWP. Before you start Micheal Mann produced a proxy series showing that the MWP existed but only in certain areas. It was released 2 days after the climategate emails hack. Must have had it hidden under the desk!

    4) Then you have black marketing which is were if you pay a scientist enough he will find any result you want. Loads of examples, Benny's and Jerry's is a famous one. But how much was paid to create the H1N1 scare this year so that vaccines could be sold?

    Hence follow the money it is University funding and grant allocation which shows. Think about it there is no massive ice melt the Artic is back to the mean (forget the clutching at straws about mass), there has been no statistical warming for the last 15 years (Dr. Phil Jones on the BBC),there is no measurable rises in sea level anywhere (Argo shows a decline), in fact there is zero evidence of any of the supposed AGW signatures anywhere.

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  • 46. At 4:14pm on 12 Apr 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #15 mango
    off topic? but it was a response to your comment....never mind

    warmist regards to you too

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  • 47. At 5:00pm on 12 Apr 2010, Ricky Ward wrote:

    From your report:

    "..the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CACT).

    Frequently accused of being in the pay of oil companies (which it broadly denies), this organisation has campaigned for 15 years on issues including climate change, on the premise that “the power of the market combined with the applications of safe technologies could offer humanity practical solutions to many of the world’s pressing concerns”.
    One of those manning the committee’s table is Lord Monckton, the British peer who has become one of the country’s most prominent “climate sceptics” – opposing carbon curbs on the grounds that science does not indicate the necessity, and opposing the UN institutions aiming to tackle climate change for what he sees as unacceptable interference in democracy. (end quote)

    Lord Monkton accuse the UN of trying to do exactly what the WTO, World Bank, IMF have succeded in doing over the last 20 years and in doing so imposed "the power of the market ..." thereby destroying both democracy and social justice for billions of people.

    If the Cochabamba Conference succeds in exposing this, a great step forward will have been made.

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  • 48. At 5:45pm on 12 Apr 2010, SR wrote:


    1) Do you have evidence that reserach funding for climate scientists stipulate the findings? Why would this be the case? The government would love AGW not be true, as would the most of the business community. Don't forget, the strength of the AGW argument has emerged over many years, not just at once.

    2) Science of this nature has EVERYTHING to do with uncertainty. There are large stochastic influences on climate. Using probabalistic term is the ONLY way to describe it. Just because something is described probabilistically does not mean we are not confident in a conclusion. For instance, I could be 95% certain that the peak temperature on 15th July in London will exceed 14C. It COULD happen. It PROBABLY will happen. AGW COULD be happening, it PROBABLY is happening. Describing it any other way is not possible. It's no less scientific because the language describing a phenomenon is probabalistic.

    3) Well, there are a number of large networks measuring temperature and they all agree. The hockey stick graphs have been reproduced usng a variety of proxies, not just tree rings. It is hard to imagine how someone outside of the field or with limited statistical training can be so sure that these reconstructions are wrong. Even McKitrick and McIntyre have not been able to demonstratably show that they are fundamentally wrong.

    4) This works both ways you know. This is why you should ignore the media and go straight for the science, then demand that the science is rigorous.

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  • 49. At 5:46pm on 12 Apr 2010, franksw wrote:

    CACT is a contrarian organization, a shame you had to smear by association

    "Frequently accused of being in the pay of oil companies (which it broadly denies)"

    Of course it has been well documented elsewhere that oil companies sponsor both sides of the debate (after all they want to have contacts on the winning side of the debate) and that their funding is in the order of thousands LESS than that given to pro AGW organizations

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  • 50. At 5:49pm on 12 Apr 2010, franksw wrote:

    Lucky the conference was not in this country otherwise the Women and Gender constituency might have run into our anti discrimination laws.

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  • 51. At 6:07pm on 12 Apr 2010, franksw wrote:

    Vicount Moncton is right to be concerned about

    "The use of the word "government", together with the "facilitative mechanism" to enact decisions,"

    In the Copenhagen draft the relevant 100 page schedule to a two page appendix included mechanisms for independent raising of funds through taxation as well. Although initially limited to climate change issues we all know that control is often gained "one law at a time" as well as via a succession or "treaties" that do not affect "sovereignty" . If this sounds familiar to you then you will be thinking of the EU which according to many commentators now has primacy of over 70% of the UK lawmaking capacity.

    And to say that it is irrelevant because the Copenhagen agreement was never ratified misses the point. Had Copenhagen been successful, more of the powers of our democratically controlled government would have moved away to a remote non-electable political elite WITHOUT DISCUSSION by the general populace.

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  • 52. At 6:13pm on 12 Apr 2010, franksw wrote:

    "At 2C, there is the risk that 25-30% of biodiversity can be affected," said Mr Solon, referring to projections in the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."

    More interesting would be to give a historical projection from periods when the temperature did reach this 2C differential compared low of the end of the little ice age. We know that these temperatures were reached during the Roman and medeival times. What was the effect on diversity during those periods?

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  • 53. At 6:38pm on 12 Apr 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Richard Black wrote:

    'Lord Monckton, the British peer who has become one of the country's most prominent "climate sceptics"'

    As a sceptic, I think Monckton is as much a liability to "my side" as George Monbiot is to the "other side". They're a couple of politically-motivated, dilettante toffs having a comfy little family squabble for and against some arcane "free market" economic ideals. I suggest we forget them both as soon as possible!

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  • 54. At 6:54pm on 12 Apr 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #31 blunderbunny wrote:

    'I especially liked the phrase "under an enlightened sense of solidarity"....'

    Thank you (and others like you) for bothering to wade through the molasses. I hope it is a reward to meet the occasional sinister "gem" like that one.

    An "enlightened sense of solidarity" must be the sort of thing that puts "democracy on hold for a while" (as Lovelock put it). Solidarity with the "enlightened ones" those who agree with us, something else to the "unenlightened" ones who don't, and we know where you live by the way.

    The religious cult gets more and more religious and cultish by the day.

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  • 55. At 6:56pm on 12 Apr 2010, Douglas Holbert wrote:

    With all that 'brainless' power could they focus on earthquackes and volcanos for once. We have had over 2700 earthquackes here in the last few days. Just as the climate changes minute by minute so do the plates. Where is the panic ? They are powerless to stop or change this either.
    At least Monckton of Brenchley speaks the truth.

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  • 56. At 10:18pm on 12 Apr 2010, SR wrote:

    Monkton appeared on the Glenn Beck show in the USA and used a chalk board to explain why the conclusions of the IPCC are wrong and why the numbers do not add up. The video is on youtube.

    It took me about 5 minutes to work out where he'd gone wrong. It's a very obvious flaw. He tries to make out that even if AGW were true, there would be no point in cutting emissions because the effect would be so small. This is the rationale behind his skepticism. If anyone who has watched the video and wants me to explain why his logic is wrong, I will do so. It's not a blurry/fuzzy/subjective reason; it is a mistake in the mathematics.

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  • 57. At 11:48pm on 12 Apr 2010, lburt wrote:

    @SR #56 who wrote...
    "It's a very obvious flaw. He tries to make out that even if AGW were true, there would be no point in cutting emissions because the effect would be so small. This is the rationale behind his skepticism."

    Its not the only reason, its just one of many. We're committed to most of any warming no matter what. The industrial costs of converting quickly are so staggeringly high that small reductions are the only thing we can achieve without destroying the economy and the industrial base (and I assure you that "cure" is far, far worse than the "disease" of possible AGW.)

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  • 58. At 11:56pm on 12 Apr 2010, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:

    56. SR wrote
    "Monkton appeared on the Glenn Beck show in the USA and used a chalk board to explain why the conclusions of the IPCC are wrong and why the numbers do not add up."

    If you want to read an interesting dissection of the numbers involved then try Nigel Dawson's book "An Appeal to Reason". Written pre-Climategate he comments on most aspects of the debate including the morality and costs of adaption.
    I'd be interested in any holes you can dig in his logic.

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  • 59. At 00:53am on 13 Apr 2010, Dr Michael Cejnar wrote:


    The catastrophic AGW scare is indeed the most shameful abuse of science in our living history, and is a fitting climax to the West's growing infantilism.

    There have been over 500 published scientific peer-reviewed papers opposing or inconsistent with AGW:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    its just that the IPCC prefers to quote Greenpeace and WWF opinions instead: and [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    I found the the best video on science of AGW in this Finnish mainstream media documentary:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    and a great explanation of climate models here:

    Speaking of IPCC, anyone heard lately of IPCC authority and "scientific consensus" as proof of catastrophic AGW? No, the bandwagon has moved seamlessly onto sustainable energy, energy security, peak oil and green jobs - as the excuse to install carbon trading and bureaucratic control of the world finances by the UN.

    As an ex-communist country citizen, I say: beware of the bureaucrats - they will quietly usurp power over you, one law at a time, or if you prefer, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

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  • 60. At 05:53am on 13 Apr 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    I was just reading some of the stuff about HAARP, the place is a conspiracy theorists dream but it isn't affecting climate change. There's nothing innocent about HAARP, in its early days it was an unpleasant colour of Black, as in Black Ops. There was far to much secrecy around it - many people believed it was a radio weapon of some kind or connect it to the UFO conspiracy, maybe a tool for mass brainwashing the American people. Its stated purpose of developing surveillance and eavesdropping is probably just as clandestine.

    Like all these conspiracy theories perfectly reasonable suspicions are mixed with perfectly unreasonable extrapolations. Just like climate skepticism or 9/11 conspiracies their own mad blathering and adamant positioning probably covers up some real misdeeds. There was something smelly about 9/11 - 'so it must be the CIA blowing up the towers'. They didn't understand that a large aircraft flying at 300 miles an hour full of aviation fuel could destroy a tower. The real misdeed was in the way that the towers fell and that they fell so quickly. But the conspiracy had nothing to do with the attack, it was about poor design and low safety margins. - Actually it was that the structure was far to heavy for the design structure supporting it and there was to little redundancy.

    The reason climate change is such a serious threat is that our whole society is built like those towers, built on a shoestring and at 90% of structural load - like a jenga tower ready to fall.

    The amusing thing is that the very people behind climate change skepticism are the same ones accused of bringing down the twin towers and of building HAARP. I know there's a real conspiracy and it whispers in everybodies ears telling them that science shouldn't be trusted and that global warming and climate change aren't real. If you track them down they are the powers behind American politics, the corporations and Murdoch, the radical Christians, the Republican party and the right wing conservatives. What George Bush Senior called 'The New World Order'. They are the same people who have been attacking environmentalism AND science since the 1980's. To them science is part of the liberal Satan that has turned people away from worship and obedience of God (and themselves).

    So if you are a skeptic you should ask yourself, are your opinions your own or are you just quoting the words you've been fed by the newspapers for decades. The people who formate the information you rely on control your opinion. (and yes I know its true of me to)

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  • 61. At 07:50am on 13 Apr 2010, lburt wrote:

    I'm pretty much against the majority of conspiracy theories. I don't see the need to oversimplify the world this much. The supposed "conspiracies" most see are just groups of individuals acting (often entirely independently) but who have a common interest. Sometimes there are loosely connected groups "conspiring" (working together but not necessarily in secret) to do this or that.

    In the end the world has to wrap its self around their activities in a coherent way as with all other activities and events. Everything you take from one place means it can't be somewhere else. Every action by one group causes a reaction by everything else. Sometimes the interactions are known, sometimes they're not.

    I have no idea if there's some sort of special, secret motive behind HAARP...but I know they're not pumping enough energy into it to substantially impact global weather.

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  • 62. At 07:54am on 13 Apr 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "The real misdeed was in the way that the towers fell and that they fell so quickly."

    I think a sane person would say the "real misdeed" was flying aircraft into buildings filled with innocent people going about their daily lives!

    Big surprise to hear that we sceptics are not just (a) like Holocaust deniers, (b) in the pay of Big Oil, but also (c) in league with the people who committed the "real misdeeds" of 9/11!

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  • 63. At 09:20am on 13 Apr 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    Your absolutely right bowman, but there were at least three separate loci that killed people that day. The terrorists, the fragility of the buildings, and people coordinating the rescue. We can blame the actions of the third on that they didn't know about the second or enough about engineering or that they didn't realize how big the fire was.
    We can blame the second (with hindsight) because the towers fell so quickly. But the unforgivable thing was that once they began to fall the way they collapsed and that they collapsed so completely. There was no redundancy in the design to cope with worst case scenarios.

    Thats how our society is with everything, history is full of humanity dying because of climate or disaster, but we seem to be piling up the pieces ready to fall. Say there was another Krakatoa type event that caused a 10 year nuclear winter, the Victorians weathered it. - But today 10 years of crop failures would almost certainly push the whole world over the edge. That is why we should worry about climate change

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  • 64. At 12:50pm on 13 Apr 2010, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:

    Avoiding conspiracy theories I must comment on the causes of the 9/11 deaths.
    The vast majority consisted of passengers and crew on the planes and the people either killed in the initial impact on the first tower or trapped unsaveably above the impact zone. In addition a large number of rescue workers were killed in the collapse of the second tower. Not many civilians were killed in the second tower or in the lower 3/4 of the first tower as these were generally successfully evacuated.
    There was indeed some poor co-ordination between the rescue services due to radio incompatibility which led to the deaths of some rescue workers in the first tower who didn't receive the order to evacuate after the collapse of the second tower.
    The fragility of the towers was due to their truss supported open-plan floors. With a traditional design they probably wouldn't have collapsed so catastrophically but would certainly have burnt out. The majority of victims who were above the impact zone would still have died.
    Without the open-plan design the towers would have had more widely spaced stairwells but might have been uneconomical to build in the first place.
    To attribute the deaths to anything but the actions of the terrorists is a monstrous distortion of the facts and gives comfort to the monsters.
    That is, of course, unless you believe it all to be the work of the CIA, MOSSAD, MI5 or little green men from Mars.
    I don't know how we got off subject but perhaps the Gaia nutters also believe in little green men.

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  • 65. At 1:58pm on 13 Apr 2010, SR wrote:

    DrBrian @58

    I have not read Nigel Lawson's book and I refuse to buy it, but I know what his views are.

    Contrary to Monckton's view which states that there's no point changing because the effect will be negligible, Lawson gambles on two assumptions; one that the consensus view that increased atmospheric CO2 will not have the expected effect on global temperatures and two, that the costs of mitigation are large compared to the cost of adapting.

    Both of these assumptions are the polar opposite of what the great majority of experts think and also what the peer reviewed evidence shows. Lawson does nothing clever. His contribution is simply to perpetuate an unfounded assumption - mind you, this is precisely what he did as chancellor and that didn't end up the way he envisaged either.

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  • 66. At 3:25pm on 13 Apr 2010, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:

    65. SR
    "I have not read Nigel Lawson's book and I refuse to buy it, but I know what his views are."

    Definition of your closed mind I'd say.

    Scientists are falling over themselves to abandon the AGW nonsense. Join them and be saved!
    Put your energy into some other aspect of the Green religion. Lots of good work to be done on sustainability, whales, water supplies etc without saddling yourself with this busted flush of pseudo-science.

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  • 67. At 5:44pm on 13 Apr 2010, SR wrote:

    @DrBrian 66

    How is it closed mindedness if I already know what his arguments are?

    Show me a part of his argument that does not rely on dismissing two assumptions that are backed up by a mountain peer reviewed scientific evidence. I will look at this bit of his argument with care, but anything that relies on dismissing the consensus view without contributing a peer reviewed scientific counter-argument I dimiss a priori.

    Lawson has no scientific training and his book was universally slated by almost all climate scientists who bothered to read it. I don't know why anybody would use it to support their argument - it is, yet again, reliant on a reckless gamble on the majority of science being wrong, but with no good reason why it is wrong. Don't fall for it.

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  • 68. At 6:46pm on 13 Apr 2010, Clothcap wrote:

    Richard, have you read the green agenda?
    Also see where Club of Rome founders and Greenpeace sponsors, the Rockefellers are coming from here:
    Strong, co-author of Kyoto, co-founder with Houghton of UNEP and the IPCC is a member of CoR whose objective is one world government by stealth and any other means. Blair is also associated with the club as is Soros. Many members of the EU/EC and UN are too.
    Stated objective: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill."
    It is understandable why Monckton is concerned.
    Are you in denial that AGW aka MMCC is a scam to advance the agenda? The atmosphere is CO2 poor, that is why biomass is increasing 1% every 3 years as CO2 levels rise.

    #21 "Water cycle feedbacks are almost certainly negative or at worst, extremely weak. "
    As demonstrated by radiosonde balloon and satellite measurements. There is an error margin that lies between slight positive to strong negative, middle ground being slight negative. Besides, any positive feedback from whatever source (the Sun rising etc.) causes low clouds according to NASA and they are a negative feedback due to reflectivity and precipitation.

    #39 "I find it difficult to see how so many scientists from so many countries have got it so 'very wrong'. "
    You aren't looking any further than the propaganda obviously. The US alone has spent maybe 70 billion dollars on research funding targetting proof that CO2 is evil. After a couple of decades there is still no credible evidence human emissions influence the climate and there never will be.
    Read this:
    "More than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting the current man-made global warming scare, according to a new analysis of peer-reviewed literature by the Hudson Institute."
    "More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims according to the US EPW Senate Minority Report"

    #49 As I understand, Exxon made more money from green investments than selling oil.

    Those with little understanding of the climate arguments should read The Sceptic's Handbook available in many languages from

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  • 69. At 9:04pm on 13 Apr 2010, SR wrote:

    How can science be propaganda? It doesn't matter who funds it, the methods have to be proven to be correct. These papers are standing up like nails ready to be knocked down, but, if nobody can prove the methods are wrong, they will remain and the consensus view will be maintained. Nobody has been able to prove that the methods of the papers used to demonstrate the physical science basis for AGW are wrong - not to my knowledge anyway.

    Statements like 'water vapour feedacks are almost certainly negative, or at least very weak'. Can you provide evidence to back this up? I can provide evidence that this statement is wrong - evidence from journals like Nature and Science, specialist atmospheric science journals and the views of the majority of practicing climate scientists. Now, let's see where the evidence for your statement originates....i'm waiting :D

    I don't think you realise how 'wrong' your statements are perceived to be by the scientific community. There are good, VERY GOOD reasons for scientists holding the views they do. The propaganda machine is fed by misinformation and deliberate lies - i.e., the proliferation of pseudo-science, cherry-picking and misinterpretation to suit a particular position. You can't (as a rule) do this and get published in a prestigious journal. There is nothing stopping anyone publishing what they like on the internet, though. So who is the victim of the propaganda? Who's view is more substantiated?

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  • 70. At 10:44pm on 13 Apr 2010, Clothcap wrote:

    In #68 the link for "More than 500 scientists..." should read:

    #37 I read the attempt to smear Monckton. Ad hom and waffle. Thickness of ice is irrelevant to albedo and so irrelevant to temperature. The warmth since Jan is down to the El Nino that is declining, expected to reverse soon. The crock of doo is the author, Peter Sinclair. Cooling will continue as La Nina follows El Nino as night follows day. The near record southerly extent of snow this winter was nothing to do with CO2 either, that was down to a negative Arctic Oscillation.
    Last century's less cool winters from the late 70s were due to an extended AO positive phase and it seems the global MWP was similarly reinforced in the N. hemi. The AAO in the S. Hemi has a similar strong influence on temperatures. The ongoing absence of warming/slight cooling since 2003 is down to the PDO/AMO/AO synching in negative phase that ENSO reinforces or offsets depending on mood. Cooling is expected to endure for 20 years or more rivalling the mid 40s to late 70s cooling or worse. Ozone levels dictated by solar emissions and cosmic "rays" have a large influence on polar temperatures.

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  • 71. At 04:03am on 14 Apr 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    Well, at least we "know" what representative temperatures are around the globe since 1979. With 31 years of actual data, we eventually will be able to SEE whether the globe is warming or cooling.

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  • 72. At 08:40am on 14 Apr 2010, lburt wrote:

    @SR #69 who wrote...
    How can science be propaganda? It doesn't matter who funds it, the methods have to be proven to be correct."

    I usually put the "science" part in quotes, myself...when referring to climate "science". The "science" used by climate "scientists" involves not sharing data, adjusting data to fit the hypothesis and completely tosses out the concept of falsifiability. The methods used by REAL scientists have been shown to work pretty well...they just aren't used for a lot of the climate "science".

    "Statements like 'water vapour feedacks are almost certainly negative, or at least very weak'. Can you provide evidence to back this up? ...I can provide evidence that this statement is wrong"

    According to even climate scientists...MOST of the energy crosses the tropospere through non-radiative modes (convection and latent heat). The increases in water vapor and therefore latent heat/convection increase faster than all of the proposed positive feedbacks combined...and will simply remove any heat from these feedbacks.

    If you'll bother to look at your so-called "evidence" you will find that the majority of it involves the glacial-interglacial transitions...which involves a radically different set of conditions that are not at all comparable to the interglacial period. Others include volcanic aerosols...but these involve an entirely different type of forcing (incoming radiation) and are of relatively short that water vapor has less ability to counteract.

    Latent heat and convection compete directly with and rapidly replace radiative transfer through the troposphere as temperatures increase.

    "So who is the victim of the propaganda? Who's view is more substantiated?"

    Well if you're talking about between me and you and with respect to the hypothesis of substantial and dangerous AGW...either you're the victim of propaganda or neither of are. I don't fear the warming because I actually got off my posterior and looked into the way the climate has been during warmer periods...its a minor inconvenience at most but generally things are better. I looked into the conditions and feedbacks operating during the glacial period and noticed they're not terribly relevant to today. I looked into the greenhouse effect and its interplay with convection...and more importantly with water vapor/latent heat. I considered water vapor's behavior and realized that you cannot separate (or parmetrize) water vapor's absorption from convection/latent heat...they're locked together and in a way that essentially makes absorption a non-issue.

    To be sure, I didn't come to my conclusions without being exposed to both pro and anti AGW information (and propaganda)...but I did actually take some time to learn about the whole problem, not just the talking points. I do believe CO2 does something...just not much.

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  • 73. At 11:53am on 14 Apr 2010, Clothcap wrote:

    # 69 "if nobody can prove the methods are wrong". The onus is on the claimant to provide evidence in the first instance. The only proffered evidence is models and the climate has amply shown them to be a waste of tax funding. The missing hotspot is ample evidence of their wrongness. The failure of CRU and Britmet to produce correct forecasts for years using CO2 driven models has amply demonstrated their invalidity. There is no credible evidence that CO2 additions, let alone human CO2 significantly influence the climate after decades of research by some of the best minds and many tens of billions (milliards) of pounds invested. Weather action correctly forecasts using solar emissions. The late John Daly showed ENSO and solar emissions can predict the climate. CO2 variations cannot predict the climate. That alone tells a story.

    New Paper Suggests Long-Term Water Vapour Feedback is Negative
    A Reality Check on the Role of Water Vapour in Climate Change
    I would suggest if you have proof of a positive feedback effect, get in touch with the IPCC. The will award you the nobel alarmist peace prize.
    'tis interesting that we don't get feedback runaway warming going from night to day, going from winter to summer, in strong El Nino conditions (e.g. 1934, 1998, 2003)

    It is also interesting that the variation in CO2 annual additions in no way matches human emissions but can be correlated to ocean events, e.g. in 1998 additions were high and in 1999 low, at MLO 2.93 and 0.94ppm respectively.

    A number of papers suggest CO2 is a coolant, additions increasing radiation to space, causing IR to be converted to other energy forms that rise due to convection. The fact is the WHOLE atmosphere is what delays heat escape with WV being the dominant factor, CO2 at 0.038% is a tiny bit player whose importance is claimed to be in the cold upper troposphere but no sensible mechanism has been found to convey the heat back to the surface. In fact increasing CO2 density raises the altitude of total absorption of downwelling IR in CO2's range. In the absence of WV heat escapes upwards very quickly, there is no measurable delay in deserts cooling after sunset due to CO2 additions. Tropical rain forests have a similar temperature day and night due to their high humidity. Land detention of heat is measured in weeks, away from the tropics the warmest day occurs a month to seven weeks after summer solstice. The air itself doesn't do a very good insulation job, the temperature reduces rapidly after sunset in the absence of high humidity.

    "There are good, VERY GOOD reasons for scientists holding the views they do."
    Agreed. For rent seeking alarmists, ease of getting funded, ease of getting published, free pass on peer review, standing in the alarmist community, fame, fees from talks, guaranteed employment. Compare how much Hansen has gained from peddling opinion to how the sceptic Bellamy was treated.

    Humans assuredly influence the climate but not with CO2 emissions. Those emissions are perhaps the only good we do for nature as a species and the power and money bedazzled, the true enemies of nature want to stop us. People like Monbiot may find themselves in the dole Q if the fraud is allowed to collapse.

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  • 74. At 3:17pm on 14 Apr 2010, SR wrote:

    poitsplace said:
    "According to even climate scientists...MOST of the energy crosses the tropospere through non-radiative modes (convection and latent heat). The increases in water vapor and therefore latent heat/convection increase faster than all of the proposed positive feedbacks combined...and will simply remove any heat from these feedbacks."

    I'll make a simple statement. As temperatures increase, humidity increases. Water vapour is a strong greenhouse gas so increased water vapour results in increased temperature. I don't know what you statement means, especially the last bit. If more water vapour sits in the atmosphere, why wouldn't this enhance the greenhouse effect?

    Can you explain it in simpler terms for me to understand. As I understand it, there is almost universal acceptance and a huge body of research saying that water vaour feedback is strong and positive.

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  • 75. At 5:35pm on 14 Apr 2010, lburt wrote:

    Water vapor is different from other greenhouse gases in that it goes through phase changes. As it rises it cools but as it cools some of the water condenses out, releasing the latent heat that temporarily vanished at the ground when the water originally evaporated. Because the latent heat isn't dealt with until condensation occurs, any absorption by the water vapor simply keeps some of the latent heat from being released at that level and it condenses just a little higher up instead. In other words, the increase in water vapor absorption is built into the observed moist lapse rate.

    Eventually the concentration of water vapor falls enough to break this cycle but because this concentration is directly based on doesn't really change a whole lot with respect to the amount of water vapor present at the ground. In the mean time, the higher concentration of water vapor has allowed clouds to form at significantly higher temperatures...and clouds are essentially black body emitters for those temperatures.

    So as I said, you can't separate (parametrize) water vapor's latent heat from its absorption because of the way they are linked.

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  • 76. At 00:21am on 15 Apr 2010, SR wrote:


    You are basically conceding that an atmosphere with an increased temperature can 'hold' more water vapor, but the positive feedback caused by enhanced greenhouse effect (predominantly from increased WV in the upper troposphere) will be completely offset by an increase in cloud albedo?

    Well, we know for absolute certain that increased WV will lead to an enhanced greenhouse effect. The role of clouds is less certain, but it can work both ways. Higher, ice crystal clouds can be a positive feedback and lower clouds a negative feedback.

    You are gambling on the increase in clouds completely offsetting the enhanced greenhouse effect due to increased WV (which is huge) and the positive feedback from the formation of other types of cloud.

    This is not where the evidence is pointing.

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  • 77. At 01:35am on 15 Apr 2010, lburt wrote:

    I didn't say that at all. I said that because of the interplay between absorption and latent heat/convection the absorption doesn't actually slow the transfer of energy significantly.

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  • 78. At 07:37am on 15 Apr 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    DeBrian you are right about the numbers (I just checked on WP) but if the towers had stood for longer maybe a rescue effort could have been made. Around 350 firefighters died and the way their commanders sent them in showed that it never occurred to them that either of the towers were about to fall, especially so quickly. Like I said 'hindsight', a lot of lessons were learned in 9/11. My real point is that the structural design was inherently fragile from the beginning which made almost the whole building except its base a weak point. If the terrorists had understood that weakness they could have killed well over 10,000 people, if the 1993 bomber had known it might have been 50,000 or more.

    I note that you can't answer my central point that building our whole society very close to its structural limits makes us inherently vulnerable to collapse or disaster. A primary rule in things like engineering design is adequate redundancy, thats why not taking dangers like climate change seriously isn't stupid, its suicidal.
    And BTW if you don't believe in Gaia whats the alternative? Do you think its Astrology that's regulating the eco-system or nudges from god? Oh you don't think there is any regulation at all? the world is just there? even Astrology is a much better solution than that.

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  • 79. At 07:41am on 15 Apr 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    All these debates shouldn't be so much about skepticism but about finding better solutions - thats what engineers and scientists do. The scary thing to me is that all the solutions that the world community has come up with up to now are totally inadequate. - And part of the reason for that is that they are spending so much time arguing with the skeptics.

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  • 80. At 5:54pm on 15 Apr 2010, Clothcap wrote:

    #79 "All these debates shouldn't be so much about skepticism but about finding better solutions"
    ACO2 isn't a problem. It is a window tax equivalent. As carbon credits approach their true value in the US (10 cents per ton of free air) as the fraud unwinds, solutions to what I ask? A solution to the increased returns seen for example in rice yields in China and crop yields generally (Link1)(Link2)? A wetter Earth that is reducing drought (Link)? A more northerly crop growth limit? Longer growing seasons? Lower plant dependence on water leaving more for humans? Greening of arid regions? Longer tourist seasons in temperate zones? Faster sapling growth? Larger forests? Biomass expansion 1% every 3 years (Link1)(link2)? Theorised 0.005 to 0.05 deg C warming by 2100 due to human emissions (Link)?
    Here are some real problems to get your teeth into.
    Mercury pollution from low energy lights. In a decade from now there will be an estimated 100 million of these bulbs in the dumps, adding some 300 kilos of irrecoverable mercury compound to the ground water all around the world. In further decades ahead, this will cause mental diseases for which there is no cure.
    Windfarms. Besides destroying rural countryside by digging cable trenches, laying roads and creating noise pollution, these towers have been proven to kill large birds by the thousands. It has also been extensively proven that not one single fossil fuel power plant has been closed as a result of the intermittent and unreliable supply of electricity off these towers. In the final balance, windfarms add to the carbon footprint, they save nothing. (Link)
    Biofuels. Apart from the hike in food and fuel prices lowering standard of living and pushing many below the poverty line, causing many deaths by starvation and destruction of ancient rain forest, it has been extensively proven that the total energy requirement to produce biofuel is greater than the resultant "carbon savings" made by not burning fossil fuels. It has also been extensively proven that biofuels do not give as much power per unit of mass as fossil fuels and cause corrosion to engine parts. Diesel fuel yields over two orders of magnitude more energy per volume of fresh water used than does converting biomass to fuel. (Link) In the final balance, biofuels add to the carbon footprint.
    (Much of the foregoing from here.)
    Energy poverty due to maniacs in control: BERR estimated in 2008 that the 'surcharge' on electricity prices, attributable to climate-change policies, amounted to an extra 14% for domestic users and 21% for business. Furthermore, DECC's The Renewable Energy Strategy (2009) suggested that these surcharges could be as high as 33% and 70% by 2020 respectively (Link).
    Here's an economical idea that would go a long way to solving much of the aforementioned problems. Vote UKIP in the EU by-elections general election and petition your rep to have an EU membership referendum.
    BTW, if you want to maximise payout by the energy companies for solar panel electricity, make them produce energy at night and on cloudy days. Read this link.
    Eco commie socialist policy=insanity!

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  • 81. At 8:35pm on 15 Apr 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    Clothcap you would be amazed at the number of things you say that I agree with, "stupid and inadequate" includes both wind turbines and biofuels, and the way the politicians have done things is like a conspiracy. And in fact they are actually ignoring the real scientific argument and everything they've come up with is next to useless.

    If climate change is already happening there's little or nothing anyone can do to stop it. (and none of their plans will stop it) This argument between all the different sides about whether and by how much is so pointless, its like the whole world has started arguing about the angels on the head of a pin. And the joke is that carbon emissions have actually gone up since they started all this.

    At the same time they are doing absolutely nothing to prepare IF IF IF any of the bad things actually do happen. I think a lot of people secretly want it all to explode just so they can get their freedom back - hell sometimes I'm one of them. Our problem isn't climate change its all politics and the pigs in the trough that own everybody.

    The real problem is that our technology base is still basically so primitive, were relying on fossil fuels and primitive sources of energy to do everything. - And most of what they have come up with to replace it seems to be so incompetent. Within the environmental community there is a to strong 'back to nature' Luddite faction and I fear that they have far to much power - and they are woolly thinkers.
    Wind turbines were their idea, they work on a small scale but energy is needed on a colossal scale and they have created something amazingly polluting and inefficient. They are so poorly thought out that coal would almost be better. - Coal gasification would be better, Luddites don't make good engineers. And the big wind industry has become at least as greedy and pernicious and 'slippery' as the oil industry.

    Whatever happens this is a totally scientific problem, and what we really need is scientists in power. - I'm not talking about what we have today, I'm talking about real technologists, the kind of people we had before Thatcher spent ten years destroying British science. Hey we're buying Nuclear Reactors from the French because we don't have the technology or the engineers ourselves - we were the best in the world and now look at us! The reason the whole world stopped listening to Britain was that when most of us open our mouths today a farting noise comes out...
    When climate change happens and there are half a billion starving Africans trying to get into Europe and kill us all at least I will be able to say "told you so"!

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  • 82. At 10:16am on 16 Apr 2010, Clothcap wrote:

    Thanks Lucien. We definitely need to get rid of the sad and rotten jobsworths, yes men and EU bootlickers that are our current alternatives. UKIP is insufficiently mature and hasn't enough reps, BNP is plagued by its history and the constant belittlement and slandering by the ne'er do wells in the big parties. Greens would be a disaster, back to the stone age literally. But I don't agree with having scientists replace them.
    The Royal Society and all climate research orgs should be relieved of the burden of public finance. Government advisors should be elected by boards that are themselves elected by scientists, a board for each area such as climate policy, energy policy and so on. Godite cranks like Houghton and his creations, the advocacy businesses the IPCC, CRU and Britmet should be kept far away from MP's ears. IMO.
    Back on climate, what amazes me is that no measurements have been done in deserts and no tests have been done to see whether nature is replacing/will replace human carbon dioxide emissions, that is are we merely suppressing emissions from other than human sources? I strongly suspect that as additions are stable, average ~1.87ppm and the imbalance ocean v climate is greater than 50 to 1 while human emissions are only increasing, that is the case. The capacity of the oceans is enormous. (Alarmist poppycock says the ocean capacity is being reached.) Uptake is 9 months to 12 years from emission date. The volume in the air is dictated by ocean temperature v air temperature, NOT volume of emissions, e.g. oceans are theorised to emit over 90 Gt p.a. and uptake over 2Gt more than they emit. Given their capacity, if the conditions didn't favour the volume we measure in the air, it would be different regardless of the EU+eulab's green taxes and the penury they are putting us through.
    That CO2 additions have a negligible effect is amply demonstrated by their following temperature changes rather than leading. In ice cores for example, temperature drops before CO2 by hundreds of years. Al knew that before he released his sci-fi comedy of errors that is now used to brainwash students.
    Anyone who says they can measure human emissions remaining in the air and so prove us guilty is a liar. How long does CO2 have to remain in the deep ocean before it becomes identical to fos fuel produced CO2?
    A couple of links to essays by Happ and Wolk in which I find much to be logical and the rest to be plausible may also take your interest:
    Climate Change
    The atmosphere dancing in the solar wind; El Nino shows his face

    On the benefits of CO2 I mentioned earlier, I dug up a study to support my contention on rice.
    Impact of increased source capacity on rice yield: a case study with CO2 enrichment
    "The rice FACE experiments in Japan and China revealed that grain yield enhancement by elevated CO2 under standard N supplies ranged from 8% to 18% (mean:13.5%), with no marked differences between locations. The magnitude of the yield enhancement was smaller than that of other C3 species [e.g. wheat] (the meta-analysis mean: 24%). With its population explosion, China needs all the CO2 it can get.
    BTW did you notice the Sun exploded and winter will return for a short time in a few days?

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