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China hints at new climate future

Richard Black | 14:34 UK time, Monday, 22 November 2010

At a recent meeting in Tianjin, there's been intriguing discussion about where the host country, China, is going on climate change.

Factory with chimney

And where it's going is, it seems, towards national legislation to restrict the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.

This national law is likely to emerge as part of the next five-year plan.

Details are scheduled to be announced in a few months' time.

The sneak preview of forthcoming legislation emerged at a meeting of the National People's Congress of China and GLOBE Legislators' Forum (GLOBE being the organisation Global Legislators for a Balanced Environment).

Other sources confirm the new law is more than just a subject of conversation within the Chinese political elite - it is a firm plan.

Precisely what'll be in it isn't clear, but I gather it's likely to include firm, legally-binding targets for improving carbon intensity - thus putting a brake on rising emissions.

One possibility is that it will set in stone the pledge made by China to the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) [156Kb PDF] under the Copenhagen Accord:

"China will endeavour to lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45%
by 2020 compared to the 2005 level..."

...turning the word "endeavour" into something a bit more mandatory.

Another is that it will increase the scale of that pledge, which according to some analyses doesn't go much beyond historical rates of improvement.

Sources suggest the government has three roles in mind for the legislation:

 • further stimulating the domestic clean energy industry;
 • curbing emissions, in response to concerns over climate impacts on China;
 • providing a legal mechanism under which authorities can force recalcitrant businesses and regions to comply with national goals.

What it will also do, however, is cast in even greater contrast the US's failure to pass legislation.

A lot has been written about the results of the mid-term elections, which increased the proportion of people opposed to climate action in the US Congress.

Even before then, the prospects of legislation were fading away. As the Washington Post puts it:

"Cap-and-trade was dead. Now it will be deader."
Hu Jintao and Barack Obama

Is President Hu overtaking his US counterpart in delivering climate legislation?

Now, President Obama is apparently pinning his hopes on the regulators - particularly the Environmental Protection Agency, which is being asked to set new rules for emissions from various sectors of the economy.

However, apart from the obstacles this may face in the form of legal action, there's no certainty that it can deliver the 17% cuts by 2020 (from 2005 levels) that the administration says it wants.

The same Washington Post article makes the case that it can't.

But the key role of legislation was already signalled in the language of the US pledge to the UNFCCC [pdf link]:

"In the range of 17%, in conformity with anticipated US energy and climate legislation, recognising that the final target will be reported to the [UNFCCC] Secretariat in light of enacted legislation."

So given that legislation is now deader than dead... what is the US target? Does it in fact have one?

The signs are that few delegations to the UN climate summit in Mexico want to see a big fight when it opens for business next Monday.

But the fact that the US position has materially altered since Copenhagen - from 17%, to an undetermined figure that is certainly less than 17% - is likely to be aired regularly.

The Copenhagen plan suffered from several issues, one of them being timing - in particular, coming just before China began drafting its five-year plan, the over-arching framework for policies across government.

But now, the scene is set for China - if it so chooses, and if draft legislation is mature enough - to stage something of a diplomatic coup in Cancun by detailing what its new law will cover, how far it will constrain emissions and how it will ensure compliance - all details that the US is unable to provide about its own emissions future.

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  • 1. At 3:33pm on 22 Nov 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    'At a recent meeting in Tianjin, there's been intriguing discussion about where the host country, China, is going on climate change.'

    At risk of seeing this thread close almost before it has started, as the word 'sources' seems to be quite prevalent, any hint as to who is being talked about here, and their relative heft, in more detail?

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  • 2. At 4:09pm on 22 Nov 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Sorry Richard but what sources?

    The people you refer to seem to have access way above any western gov't to the heart of China and it's very secretive 5 year plan.

    Sorry to say you are pinning a lot of hope on a country that does not give any credance to western idiology or petty concerns. They will do what is in their interests and only their interests, it is the nature of the beast.

    If they see advantage in paying lip service to the AGW gang then they will do it, but they will be looking at the amount of wind turbines and solar panels they can produce and sell to the west. Any reduction in CO2 is purely going to mathamatical to give the appearance of doing something,they are not going change their methods at this stage for anybody, especially not some discredited theory they are not that stupid.

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  • 3. At 4:44pm on 22 Nov 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:

    For all its failings the Chinese Government is able to take the kind of decisive action on climate change that western democracies are not able to take, perhaps the US and Europe would benefit from the Chinese model of government.

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  • 4. At 5:20pm on 22 Nov 2010, LarryKealey wrote:

    @Richard,

    A Few comments -

    First, as already requested - what sources? can you name them and their position within the Chinese government?

    Second, it is most interesting that China also announced that it would not permit transparency nor verification of any CO2 commitment. How convenient.

    Thirdly, China has made no pledge to reduce CO2 emissions - only CO2 emissions per unit of GDP - and considering their starting point, increasing the efficiency in their use of fossil fuels make these goals both realistic and obtainable - and goals which the Chinese government would have regardless of this whole CO2 thing. So, in my opinion, the reality is that China's position is for the 'west' to pay them to do something they are going to do anyway. What a cozy deal for them.

    China is currently the fastest growing economy on the planet. Personally, I am pleased to see that they are investing heavily in building new generation coal-fired plants and retiring (albeit at a slower pace), old, dirty coal plants built with 50's, 60's and 70's technology. Retiring these old plants and replacing them will have a real, positive impact on the environment. (unlike useless UN junkets in exotic locations such as Cancun).

    But be real Richard, China will do nothing to stiffle its growth. They will also use every bit of leverage they can. As I have said on your blog for the last year and a half - China is playing this thing for everything its worth - and so is India.

    Fortunately, clearer heads seem to be prevailing, as you reported any cap and trade scheme is 'deader than dead' in the US - and it would appear in Australia as well.

    I suppose that with the upcoming climate change junket in Cancun, we will be getting daily reports from you on all the political maneuvering as AGW and the IPCC go through their final death-throws. If nothing else, it will be entertaining.

    While you are there, can you provide us with a count of Lear Jets and Gulf Stream jets on the tarmac?

    Oh, and btw, there is some great fishing and diving there - you should avail yourself of the opportunity. And don't forget the ruins at Tulum - you can do a day trip to the ruins - do the one that stops at Xelha - the snorkling there is awesome - giant parrot fish - absolutely beautiful.

    Also, as Mexico seems to be the resting place for failed UN iniatives, would be so kind as to include a couple of pictures of the final resting place of the CCC resting place?

    Kindest.

    Kealey

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  • 5. At 5:27pm on 22 Nov 2010, LarryKealey wrote:

    « Previous | Main
    China hints at new climate future
    Richard Black | 14:34 UK time, Monday, 22 November 2010

    At a recent meeting in Tianjin, there's been intriguing discussion about where the host country, China, is going on climate change.

    And where it's going is, it seems, towards national legislation to restrict the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.

    This national law is likely to emerge as part of the next five-year plan.

    Details are scheduled to be announced in a few months' time.

    The sneak preview of forthcoming legislation emerged at a meeting of the National People's Congress of China and GLOBE Legislators' Forum (GLOBE being the organisation Global Legislators for a Balanced Environment).

    Other sources confirm the new law is more than just a subject of conversation within the Chinese political elite - it is a firm plan.

    Precisely what'll be in it isn't clear, but I gather it's likely to include firm, legally-binding targets for improving carbon intensity - thus putting a brake on rising emissions.

    One possibility is that it will set in stone the pledge made by China to the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) [156Kb PDF] under the Copenhagen Accord:

    "China will endeavour to lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45%
    by 2020 compared to the 2005 level..."

    ...turning the word "endeavour" into something a bit more mandatory.

    Another is that it will increase the scale of that pledge, which according to some analyses doesn't go much beyond historical rates of improvement.

    Sources suggest the government has three roles in mind for the legislation:

    • further stimulating the domestic clean energy industry;
    • curbing emissions, in response to concerns over climate impacts on China;
    • providing a legal mechanism under which authorities can force recalcitrant businesses and regions to comply with national goals.



    What it will also do, however, is cast in even greater contrast the US's failure to pass legislation.

    A lot has been written about the results of the mid-term elections, which increased the proportion of people opposed to climate action in the US Congress.

    Even before then, the prospects of legislation were fading away. As the Washington Post puts it:

    "Cap-and-trade was dead. Now it will be deader."

    Is President Hu overtaking his US counterpart in delivering climate legislation?
    Now, President Obama is apparently pinning his hopes on the regulators - particularly the Environmental Protection Agency, which is being asked to set new rules for emissions from various sectors of the economy.

    However, apart from the obstacles this may face in the form of legal action, there's no certainty that it can deliver the 17% cuts by 2020 (from 2005 levels) that the administration says it wants.

    The same Washington Post article makes the case that it can't.

    But the key role of legislation was already signalled in the language of the US pledge to the UNFCCC [pdf link]:

    "In the range of 17%, in conformity with anticipated US energy and climate legislation, recognising that the final target will be reported to the [UNFCCC] Secretariat in light of enacted legislation."
    So given that legislation is now deader than dead... what is the US target? Does it in fact have one?

    The signs are that few delegations to the UN climate summit in Mexico want to see a big fight when it opens for business next Monday.

    But the fact that the US position has materially altered since Copenhagen - from 17%, to an undetermined figure that is certainly less than 17% - is likely to be aired regularly.

    The Copenhagen plan suffered from several issues, one of them being timing - in particular, coming just before China began drafting its five-year plan, the over-arching framework for policies across government.

    But now, the scene is set for China - if it so chooses, and if draft legislation is mature enough - to stage something of a diplomatic coup in Cancun by detailing what its new law will cover, how far it will constrain emissions and how it will ensure compliance - all details that the US is unable to provide about its own emissions future.

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    PreviousNext1. At 3:33pm on 22 Nov 2010, JunkkMale wrote:
    'At a recent meeting in Tianjin, there's been intriguing discussion about where the host country, China, is going on climate change.'

    At risk of seeing this thread close almost before it has started, as the word 'sources' seems to be quite prevalent, any hint as to who is being talked about here, and their relative heft, in more detail?

    Complain about this comment

    2. At 4:09pm on 22 Nov 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:
    Sorry Richard but what sources?

    The people you refer to seem to have access way above any western gov't to the heart of China and it's very secretive 5 year plan.

    Sorry to say you are pinning a lot of hope on a country that does not give any credance to western idiology or petty concerns. They will do what is in their interests and only their interests, it is the nature of the beast.

    If they see advantage in paying lip service to the AGW gang then they will do it, but they will be looking at the amount of wind turbines and solar panels they can produce and sell to the west. Any reduction in CO2 is purely going to mathamatical to give the appearance of doing something,they are not going change their methods at this stage for anybody, especially not some discredited theory they are not that stupid.

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    3. At 4:44pm on 22 Nov 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:
    For all its failings the Chinese Government is able to take the kind of decisive action on climate change that western democracies are not able to take, perhaps the US and Europe would benefit from the Chinese model of government.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Get real.

    The Chinese are doing nothing but paying lip service to this whole thing - and taking advantage of it.

    If you are so infatuated with "The Chinese model of government' - that would be communism - why don't you go live there? Or perhaps North Korea? Another communist country. I don't believe anyone would stop you.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 6. At 5:51pm on 22 Nov 2010, RobWansbeck wrote:

    Was this 'sneak preview' leaked, hacked or stolen?

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  • 7. At 6:02pm on 22 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    The Chinese must just laugh at how easily they can dupe the AGW gang.

    Reality check. Note the coal-fired plants, and that is just the beginning.

    "Summarizing the actual electricity capacity being installed in China as compared to the US:

    Nuclear power plants under construction: China 24, US 1

    Hydroelectricity capacity added in 2008: China 20.1 GWe, US ZERO.

    Coal fired electricity capacity added in 2008: China 65.8 GWe, US 0.7 GWe.

    Wind generated electricity capacity added in 2008: China 4.7 GWe, US 8.5 GWe."

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/21/climarte-and-energy-news-roundup/

    (A commenter pointed out that in the original text a decimal point was missing from China's coal fired output... this 65.8 is corrected.)

    Another comment on this article added this:

    "The China nuclear power plans are even more ambitious than indicated...

    China Reactors Construction: 23
    China Reactors Planned: 29
    China Reactors Proposed: 120

    USA Reactors Construction: 1
    USA Reactors Planned: 9
    USA Reactors Proposed: 22

    The UK numbers are utterly pathetic, and are actually exceeded by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/reactors.html "

    P.S. Good to see Wolfiewoods(#3)showing his true Watermelon colours!



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  • 8. At 6:05pm on 22 Nov 2010, ManmadeupGW wrote:

    It is ironic that the BBC are still willing to present news about CO2 emissions as if they were a bad thing and damaging to the "shared environment"

    Anyone who has worked for a living,knows that energy conservation is sensible and protecting the environment sensibly is in man's interests. The green gravy trainers however think they should be flying around the world to stay in expensive hotels cavorting with junkett scientists whilst the rest of us should stay in blighty freezing our eco friendly socks off. This is not intended as a play on cold words.

    The climategate emails demonstrated many things, but for me it showed the game was up. British citizens who have reduced their use of energy have not been patted on the back, no their gas and electricity prices are being hiked up.

    Millions of pounds spent on fighting climate change, more like punching shadows, whilst the basics of life are not available to millions of people through out the world. What does the BBC campaign on? Well important matters like tuna stocks and climate change.

    We should have industries in this country, but the journo's destroyed them with their negative sensational reporting and will now go on to destroy our economy with their negative reporting of our energy industries.

    It does not matter how often it is repeated that CO2 emissions will cause dangerous global warming, the lie will not become the truth.

    Thank you Tim Berners-Lee for the world wide web because if we had to rely on the BBC we would be none the wiser.

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  • 9. At 6:06pm on 22 Nov 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    GLOBE

    Lord Oxburgh was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Science and Engineering Research Council (Singapore), as of 1 January 2002, and is a member of the International Academic Advisory Panel of Singapore and the University Grants Committee (Hong Kong).[9] He is honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association,[10] chairman of Falck Renewables, a wind energy firm,[11] an advisor to Climate Change Capital. He was chairman of D1 Oils, plc, a biodiesel producer, in 2007, and a director of GLOBE, the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Oxburgh,_Baron_Oxburgh

    Perhaps Oxburgh is the source?

    /Mango

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  • 10. At 6:19pm on 22 Nov 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    Richard states:

    But now, the scene is set for China - if it so chooses, and if draft legislation is mature enough - to stage something of a diplomatic coup in Cancun by detailing what its new law will cover, how far it will constrain emissions and how it will ensure compliance - all details that the US is unable to provide about its own emissions future.

    But we all now know that Cancun is all about wealth redistribution, because the admission came from the horses mouth:

    Ottmar Edenhofer, German economist and joint chair of Working Group 3 at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the IPCC told us the truth as he knows it

    http://thegwpf.org/ipcc-news/1877-ipcc-official-climate-policy-is-redistributing-the-worlds-wealth.html

    /Mango

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  • 11. At 6:22pm on 22 Nov 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Thank you for this report, which is both encouraging (China) and realistic (US).

    As agonising as the wait is, legislation is a crucial element in orchestrating an effective global response to the climate threat.

    Alleging a particular society is "secretive" or that actual results will be difficult to ascertain quickly on the kind of scale we need in order to keep track of phenomena is moot. Plenty of societies are "secretive." The US has its own ways of being inscrutable. In California, we are embarking on a voter mandated classification of industrial toxins as a first step towards prohibiting their use in consumables... This is a mammoth task that may actually yield useful data & even positive improvements, yet until it is completed one can only admit that there are huge knowledge gaps in every society, even those that tout themselves as 'transparent' -- and even where the will to know is considerable, and the conditions for knowing have been primed in fact for decades and decades.

    The Cancun summit will be more effective, and certainly cheerier, if we simply admit a priori that the US government & its delegates will not be forthcoming, helpful or enlightened. At least let us spare ourselves the gloom of disappointment.

    Let us accept that virtually all the countries of the world will agree on one set of principles, while the Americans stonewall & speak in vapid generalities. What else can they do? They have yet to reach at the federal level any kind of consensus about even setting forth on the journey to a cleaner, greener, healthier & more sustainable economy.

    But there is, indeed, a silver lining to that reality. Significant numbers of Americans, possibly even a statistical majority if not a statutory parliamentary majority, are in fact taking on personal responsibility for helping protect the environment & mitigate climate change. So even as the politicians posture, polemicise & puzzle over a picture they claim remains insufficiently intelligible for them to be able to cast votes without risking their political futures, from households to businesses to municipalities to entire regions and states, the commitment to reduce emissions originating in US sources is indeed picking up steam, and dramatically so.

    The economic situation is also encouraging conservation, moderation & responsible action, as well as innovative planet-friendly entrepreneurship.

    So the picture in America is not in fact as utterly, monolithically, impregnably stony-smooth as the demeanour of the US delegates might suggest -- and all the other participating sovereign states should take heart in the knowledge that many scores of millions of US residents wholeheartedly endorse your recommendations, even if the political system as a whole continues to exert a net dragging effect on the dynamics of the global movement for eco-sanity.

    Just pitch your declarations, proposals & exhortations directly to the American public -- and even more broadly, to all of us individual humans who inhabit this planet & are therefore accountable for its upkeep -- and as much as possible don't encourage the American politicians in their notion that they actually have much say about anything. Because they don't.

    A strong media component, using all the tools of PR, should sell the message worldwide, with at least as much spirit, news saturation & liberal use of strong visuals (along with music) as are used to promote the ideas and processes of the Olympics or World Cup.

    Then, maybe, we shall have a strong start to this race to improve our chances of survival as a Civilisation without being forced to give up entirely pretty much every vestige of comfort & joy.

    The choice is stark. And the permafrost is melting. We do nothing, carry on as before, and in a mere year's time we might be facing calamities that were not even integrated into the IPCC worst-case scenario... Or we act with intelligence, diligence and discipline, as harmoniously as we possibly can, and we improve our chances of finding effective solutions to these dramatic challenges.

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  • 12. At 6:23pm on 22 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LarryKealey #5

    Hi Larry. Glad to see you back.

    You may have missed Wolfiewood's gaff a few threads back. Managed to wish for three Khmer Rouge policies in one sentence.

    It's OK to be amused by Mr Woods. But please don't take his Wolfie persona seriously.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/10/from_the_un_convention_on_2.html#P102144030

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  • 13. At 6:40pm on 22 Nov 2010, ManmadeupGW wrote:

    @ Larry Kealey

    "I suppose that with the upcoming climate change junket in Cancun, we will be getting daily reports from you on all the political maneuvering as AGW and the IPCC go through their final death-throws."

    Harsh but fair!

    Maybe they will be doing the can can in cancun or the dance of the seven veils, but who will they seduce? The boys from the climategate emails are stark naked so no point in them doing the dance.

    Larry I used to post using a different sceen name that some bad person took away from me, I am not bitter and twisted just too cold to play.

    Take care hope your are still well.

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  • 14. At 6:46pm on 22 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "From Reuters AlertNet, the International Energy Agency gets it:

    Fatih Birol, of the IEA, said the gains from the tougher EU reduction target would roughly equal only two weeks of China’s emissions.

    “The United States and China are essential for combating climate change globally. We estimate extending Europe’s plan to cut emissions from 20 to 30 percent would roughly equal China’s two-week gas output,” Birol said in an interview."

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/22/a-double-whammy-of-reality-preceding-the-cancun-cop16-climate-summit/

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  • 15. At 7:28pm on 22 Nov 2010, 123dollar wrote:

    Wow, finally I read something positive about China from BBC.

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  • 16. At 7:47pm on 22 Nov 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    12. At 6:23pm on 22 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    @LarryKealey #5

    Hi Larry. Glad to see you back.

    You may have missed Wolfiewood's gaff a few threads back. Managed to wish for three Khmer Rouge policies in one sentence.

    It's OK to be amused by Mr Woods. But please don't take his Wolfie persona seriously.

    --------------

    ? Jane?


    I hope you don't mean me?

    I have only ever posted on the BBC with my real name.
    I hope you are not implying that I'm Wolfie

    The BBC can certianly verify that.

    ---------------

    China are playing the West for as many dollars and concession as the can get... only environmental correspondants are that naive - get a few buisness or political analysts on the team...

    Even the Guardian get China...

    Guardian: How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/22/copenhagen-climate-change-mark-lynas

    "But China's growth, and growing global political and economic dominance, is based largely on cheap coal. China knows it is becoming an uncontested superpower; indeed its newfound muscular confidence was on striking display in Copenhagen. Its coal-based economy doubles every decade, and its power increases commensurately. Its leadership will not alter this magic formula unless they absolutely have to."




    China and India will burn all their coal, and game the west all along the way...


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  • 17. At 9:45pm on 22 Nov 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Encouraging stuff. Not the end, but the end of the begining and all that hopefully. You've certainly hit a nerve today Mr Black - the full compliment of neo-cons are out in force with the 'we don't want to hear this' chorus.

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  • 18. At 10:38pm on 22 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Barry Woods #16

    No.

    But I can't rule it out. Wolfie may be implying a connection between you two. When I flagged up his copycat fan (izeezee, another sceptic satirising warmists and dropping little booby traps into his posts) Wolfie stated he uses another identity on these threads, but not izeezee.

    Thing is, I can't work out if he expected his satire to be recognised as such straight off. And by staying so in character some of his points are misunderstood by his target audience. Never mind the potential for humour. Sad.

    Oh and the Beeb can't vouch for any of us. The simplest way to have two identities is to use two email addresses.

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  • 19. At 08:57am on 23 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 11

    " We do nothing, carry on as before, and in a mere year's time we might be facing calamities that were not even integrated into the IPCC worst-case scenario... "

    Your basis for this comment is...... what precisely?

    @17
    " the full compliment of neo-cons are out in force with the 'we don't want to hear this' chorus"

    I think you're being more than slightly naive to think that from an uncorroborated source, that richard won't name (perhpas for good reasons), that china will make any real efforts to curb CO2. I'm open to being proved wrong on this- but it'll take more than a 'nudge-nudge wink-wink' article by richard to do that.

    My predictions for cancouldawouldashoulda (still love that) is nothing will get agreed- save for some 'vapid' commitments to reduce emissions nicely glossing over the HUGE co2 footprint of the event itself.... cAGW will then die a slow painful death. much like the Carbon trading schemes.

    All be over in a few years people- hang in there!

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  • 20. At 11:19am on 23 Nov 2010, SR wrote:

    I think we are all agreed that China are 'self interested' (which country isn't?).

    The thing confusing me is how such a self interested country would be stupid enough to 'pretend' the consensus view on AGW is correct because they would sell more green technology to the west. Think about it - the Chinese scientists must be clever, loyal and above all, independent. If they advise their politicians that AGW is exaggerated, the Chinese government would be wasting their time investing in green technologies because the science, as it advances and shows AGW to be exaggerated, would make them redundant, at least until the shortage of fossil fuels becomes the main driver for change.

    I believe that the only logical assessment of a scenario whereby China take a serious position on CO2 emission reductions is if they are genuinely worried. Their self interest is making them genuinely worried about the consequences of CO2 induced climate change. The interesting point made earlier was that the Chinese govt. do not have to worry about a backlash from voters who themselves are self interested and not motivated by the long term.

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  • 21. At 11:35am on 23 Nov 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke @#12

    Barry Woods @#16

    Just to set the record straight, I have no connection with Barry Woods, JaneBasingstoke causes confusion by sometimes referring to me as Mr Woods.

    Back on topic, it will be interesting to see what other countries follow China’s lead, I do not think that it will be countries with populist governments that take up the challenge. Thought that I would get some in.

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  • 22. At 12:08pm on 23 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    "I believe that the only logical assessment of a scenario whereby China take a serious position on CO2 emission reductions is if they are genuinely worried"

    nicely glossing over their almost complete monopoly on solar cell and wind power related production.

    It's in their direct interest to support this agenda from a business point of view. they'll make trillions off the west.

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  • 23. At 12:22pm on 23 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Wolfiewoods #21

    Thanks for that. Shame about the timing.

    Incidentally "Mr Woods" has a formality about it and a ring to it that works in some posts, particularly those discussing humour. And I have always paired abbreviated versions of posting names with the full posting name of the individual in question to prevent confusion.

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  • 24. At 12:22pm on 23 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Barry Woods #16
    @Wolfiewoods #21
    (@myself, comment awaiting moderation #18)

    No.

    But I am glad you brought the subject up.

    Wolfie claims to be using another identity on these threads.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/copenhagen_or_babel_-_a_climat.html#P103203604

    And Wolfie is no warmist. No warmist would wish for three Khmer Rouge policies in one sentence.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/10/from_the_un_convention_on_2.html#P102144030

    Now other people will also have noticed the shared surname. (We know it is Wolfie Woods rather than Wolfiewoods because of his references to BBC sit-com character Wolfie Smith.)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/05/ipcc_review_friend_or_foe.html#P96228867

    Of course "Woods" is hardly a rare name. And "Wolfie" and "Woods" alliterate nicely. However Wolfie must also have noticed the shared surname, so his delayed comment on it after his "another presence here" post is unfortunate.

    So it is good to have this issue out in the open.

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  • 25. At 12:29pm on 23 Nov 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    '19. At 08:57am on 23 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:
    ... more than slightly naive to think that from an uncorroborated source,


    Kinda interesting that in the current climate of reporting, where 'sources' are poured forth like HP on on bangers in lieu of actual journalistic patience and professionalism, on-topic attempts to tease out more substance in complement will likely be blamed and excised for the near inevitable imminent plug-pull, whereas off topic, if generously complimentary, tribal baiting will doubtless remain, preserved in glory for time immemorial.

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  • 26. At 12:45pm on 23 Nov 2010, SR wrote:

    "It's in their direct interest to support this agenda from a business point of view. they'll make trillions off the west."

    But as a sceptic of AGW, you are gambling (with some conviction) that increased atmospheric CO2 will not result in temperature increases and atmospheric changes probablistically determined by the scientific consensus. If you are right, the scientific evidence will demonstrate this. If the temperature trends downwards for significantly longer than what scientists deem to be the period of natural variability, AGW looks shaky as the observations will no longer be predicted by the theory. A new consensus view will probably emerge and it will almost certainly revolve around the idea that CO2 isn't as important as we thought it was. This could happen very soon, but I doubt it will.

    If it did happen, where would this leave China? It would have to mothball most of its manufacturing capability because the major markets (USA, India, Europe) would relax requirements for renewables. Of course, *if* the consensus view is correct, China have every right to be concerned. It is particularly vulnerable to water shortages, floods and crop shortages and the effects would be hard on a country where so many people still make a living from the land. I sometimes think that people in the West simply do not want to believe that bad things can happen to them. Let's face it, nothing really bad has ever happened to this generation...

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  • 27. At 1:02pm on 23 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ SR.

    Sigh. Precautionary principle in all it's glory.

    I am making no such gambles. The evidence (yet) just doesn't support the cAGW position. There's a theory there for sure, but it's in no way concrete or well formed at present.

    China's self interest has zero to do with my position- you can try to infer a connection as you wish- a typical tactic used by 'your' side, but as ever it is a gross misrepresentation.

    For the record, i think China SHOULD do all it can to reduce ALL emissions. However if you think that china is producing masses of green technology for export to the west (how much is being used in house so to speak? they'd be VERY interesting statistics) just because they are concerned about the environment- then you too are quite naive.

    With the raw material stocks they've bought up at a collosal rate, and the green technology on the other side China have us meeting ourselves coming backwards.

    From an impartial viewpoint it would just seem like exceptionally sound buisness sense to agree and force forward a consensus viewpoint that REQUIRES your products to function....

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  • 28. At 1:02pm on 23 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Wolfiewoods #21

    "countries with populist governments"

    Thought your humour was getting a little repetitive, but LOL. You've been at the Plato again, haven't you.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosopher_king

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  • 29. At 1:05pm on 23 Nov 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    I'm puzzled by the references to mysterious sources. Richard's piece clearly states that the "sneak preview of forthcoming legislation" emerged at a meeting of the National People's Congress of China and GLOBE Legislators' Forum, and even provides a link to GLOBE. And what do we see there? That Congressman Wang Guangtao is both the Chairman of the Chinese National People’s Congress Committee on Environment Protection & Resources Conservation and the current President of GLOBE China. Someone who probably has a pretty shrewd idea of what climate legislation is being envisaged in China, I’d say.

    I'm also puzzled by Kamboshigh's notion that details of China's 5 year plans are kept "very secret" (at #2). Really? China's lead planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, announced the start of the drafting process for the new five-year plan in November 2009. It has sought input from international experts to the drafting of the new plan and elements of the discussion have been discussed in the media throughout 2010. It is correct that the details of the new plan haven't been announced as yet, but the draft plan was discussed in the CCP Central Committee only in October and the plan as a whole won't formally be approved until March 2011. Meanwhile officials from NRDC have been openly discussing possible climate/energy elements. In October they stated that the 12th five-year plan energy saving target would be released in the next one to two months (i.e. Nov-Dec), and indicated that the target for energy intensity reduction per unit GDP would be in the range of 15-20%.

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  • 30. At 1:29pm on 23 Nov 2010, david wrote:

    With apologies to the upright citizens of those boroughs - its funny that these 'climate' junkets are in places like Cancun, and not Wigan or Cleethorpes.. Of course, Mother Nature could always 'do a Copenhagen' and produce an unexpected hurricane or something..
    Anyway - as Ottmar Edenhofer (of the IPCC) has thoughtfully pointed out - these junkets are not about global warming/climate change/biodiversity any more - but 'wealth distribution'. This usually manifests itself as taking money from the poor of rich countries and giving it to the rich of poor countries - or am I at risk of being thought a tad cynical..?

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  • 31. At 1:49pm on 23 Nov 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    Some people accuse the west of using climate change as a trick to hold back developing countries, perhaps China will be turning the tables on the USA at Cancun, without a means of verification it is all meaningless.

    Wolfiewoods – I have just seen the bit two threads back where you said that you had another presence here – don’t tell me that your real name is Jane.

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  • 32. At 1:58pm on 23 Nov 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Symbolism is important in Chinese politics. Laws and regulations do not mean much when there is little enforcement. Rivers have changed colors because of industrial waste, streams and tributaries have lost aquatic life, the air is full of pollutants. China has little choice but to address these issues. There is concern from the people about the devastation of the natural environment. But, like most other countries, there will be a move toward an "accepted" level of pollution. The wealthy and influential will skirt the laws, larger firms will threaten to move the jobs to a more accomodating region and such, just like in the West. China has an abundance of money from the West and can create jobs by cleaning up the mess made by rapid industrial expansion. The global view of climate change is dependent on the local actions taken. This is more about the Chinese "reading the tea leaves" and seeing production moving toward alternative energies.

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  • 33. At 2:11pm on 23 Nov 2010, SR wrote:

    Labmunkey,

    China are not producing masses of green technology because they 'care about the environment'. They are doing it to make a profit. The response of the world's major economies to the scientific evidence (theoretical and observational) is inevitably going to be an increase in demand for these things and encourage firms to produce them - there is profit to be made. This is why China do it.

    It seems short sighted of you to think that a country like China would push a theory that it genuinely doubts (is this what you are saying?, you do imply that China are pushing AGW to sell more green technology...). I say this because China actually has far more to lose than to gain (long term consequences aside) from curtailing it's CO2 output. Alternatively, I feel it is far more likely that Chinese scientists are telling their leaders that AGW is a real threat and they are thus treating the long term economic effects as a Net Present Value.

    The key point is whether you trust the scientific evidence or not. I think it's hard to argue that China do not trust the science.

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  • 34. At 3:06pm on 23 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ SR- that's a very confusing post there mate

    Look. China if anything, will only agree to a reduction per gdp, so if gdp rises, so does co2 output REGARDLESS of their 'cuts'. Couple that with their extensive coal-plant building scheme and i think it's fairly obvious where they sit.

    How is it short sighted of china, who now already owns SIGNIFICANT raw material deposits and large raw material mining/production companies to 'play the other side' (i.e. cAGW) by creating more demand for a product that they have cornered the market on already.

    Even IF (and more likely when) the cAGW thing collapses, they will have made billions off the west- but unlike 'us' they will also have built numerous nuclear and coal-based power plants and have unrestricted access to large mieral wealth deposits- which they can then seel to 'us' at exorbenent mark-ups.

    They would be getting the best of both worlds, and are ingeneously getting the west to pay for it.

    just to step back a little- this is not my definitive conclusion on what china are or could be doing- i'm just trying to show that it is not only a good possibiilty, but from a long-term financial point of view to (for china as a whole) a very lucrative stance to for them to take.

    Hell, if i were a member of the Chinese goverment now i'd be urging them to do this very thing, they literally cannot loose either way.

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  • 35. At 3:38pm on 23 Nov 2010, david wrote:

    As has been implied in previous posts, Chna ia not embracing CO2 reduction because it has suddenly become altruistic - for the same reason that it produces the world's pretty hair accessories for girls - its to make money..! All those much-vaunted 'green' jobs trumpeted by politicians, are going to finish up in China - if they aren't there already.
    In the same way that the political requirements for climate change scenarios depend on funding, its the old story - follow the money...

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  • 36. At 3:53pm on 23 Nov 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke @#21

    Sorry about my timing, my internet has been down, still I am back now :-)

    A government such as that of China is able to take the long term view while western democracies can only take limited action during their first year or so in office, something that Plato regarded as mob rule.

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  • 37. At 4:22pm on 23 Nov 2010, SR wrote:

    In China, the ruling party look out of their window and see 800 million rural peasants. The high sensitivity to climate change in terms of the effect it would have on food supplies and rural poverty must be a lot further up on the agenda than how much money they can make tapping into the green technology market. So though a sceptic will argue that it is the chance to increase the size of the green tech market that is driving China's behaviour, the reality is that this is just a consequence completely isolated from the key question of whether China is acting on the science and genuinely want to decrease the chance of future catastrophe.

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  • 38. At 4:59pm on 23 Nov 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    #29 Simon haven't seen you around for a while and I hope you are well.

    Basically, I wasn't going to mention the guys name from China because quite obviously he is deeply involved with an NGO of which little information outside their website is available. I am sure you are fully aware of how the chinese gov't works, but to come out with the comments Richard is using would be not only endanger the man but put the whole Chinese Communist Party into a position that the west expects something to happen, when quite clearly they will do their own thing for their own benefit.

    The main point is, in desperation you and other warmists seem to be pinning your hopes on country that will deliver something that they neither believe in or care about in the hope of achieving a pipe dream. As SR says in post 37 and is quite right, "How much more can we earn from these Western idiots" is what the Chinese think.

    Your Chinese head of Global whatever use to be a Minister he is now just a member of the 16th CPC. That speaks volumes my friend!

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  • 39. At 5:35pm on 23 Nov 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @david #30

    you're not being cynical, as I pointed out in my post:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/at_a_recent_meeting_of.html#P103376623

    but not refered to by Richard in his piece

    /Mango

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  • 40. At 6:07pm on 23 Nov 2010, quake wrote:

    Well I see where this is heading. CO2 will continue rising, the world will continue warming up. By about 2020 the west will wake up to the realization that the warming isn't going to stop. China will be there with it's fully operational green energy industry to flog their stuff to the world that is suddenly rememebering they had to do something about this CO2 crisis afterall.

    Yep hiding behind the sofa for 40 years hoping the CO2 would just stop rising of it's own accord just isn't going to work.

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  • 41. At 6:11pm on 23 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Quite a lot of decent people (not just Plato and Aristotle) had mixed feelings about democracy. Here's Burke:

    in a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority, whenever strong divisions prevail in that kind of polity, as they often must; and that oppression of the minority will extend to far greater numbers, and will be carried on with much greater fury, than can almost ever be apprehended from the dominion of a single sceptre. In such a popular persecution, individual sufferers are in a much more deplorable condition than in any other.

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  • 42. At 6:15pm on 23 Nov 2010, quake wrote:

    The BBC have reported on 2009 figures for global CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions were higher than expected.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11799073

    This isn't entirely suprising given the increase of emissions in China and India, etc. This means the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere is going to continue accelerating. With increases in temperature in coming years I expect we will soon witness the 3ppm CO2 per year barrier broken. 400ppm already looms by 2015.

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  • 43. At 6:27pm on 23 Nov 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Another cold winter and climate change is TOAST.

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  • 44. At 6:41pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #37. SR wrote:

    "the key question of whether China is acting on the science and genuinely want to decrease the chance of future catastrophe."

    First, there is no such thing as "the" science. So if you want to pose this question, it is more a case of which scientific data they may or may not be paying attention to.

    Second, actions trump words. They are building coal-fired power plants (and buying up coal supplies and contracts) as fast as they can. If they really believed in the CO2 bogeyman they wouldn't be doing that.

    China is developing all sources of power as fast as they can because the "future catastrophe" the dictatorship there is worried about is an economic one, not an environmental one. All those single wifeless men that their 'one-child' policy produced, as well as millions more, need to be kept gainfully employed or trouble is brewing for that establishment.

    China's leaders are pragmatic and are happily taking advantage of this CO2 guillt cult... as are the globalists who are getting very rich shifting jobs and production to China.

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  • 45. At 7:00pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    40. quake wrote:

    "Well I see where this is heading. CO2 will continue rising, the world will continue warming up. By about 2020 the west will wake up to the realization that the warming isn't going to stop."

    No doubt CO2 will continue rising given the astonishing number of coal-fired power plants that China and India are now building, not to mention the car population explosion in those countries and others.

    If you believe in the simplistic CO2 Warming fairy tale that would mean continual warming. But it actually looks more like we are heading into yet another cyclic cooling period and you may well be wishing for more warming by 2020.

    And if you actually believe that "by 2020 the west will wake up to the realization that the warming isn't going to stop," why should we bother doing anything? If it isn't going to stop and we're heading for some incurable planetary fever, best to enjoy things to the max now.

    Go ahead. Pop some champagne and release some CO2. If it makes you feel better you can still pay somebody some carbon-guilt indulgence. Or if you are trapped in the UK you can just pay more for everything.

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  • 46. At 7:23pm on 23 Nov 2010, skywatcher1 wrote:

    #43 Jack Hughes: You mean, like last winter, which was globally among the top very few warmest on record? It was the warmest January (while we were shivering), the warmest January-April on record, we have had the warmest 12-month period on record between 2009-2010, and presently we are on track for the warmest year on record.
    For example:
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/17/global-cooling-hottest-january-february-march-uah-satellite-data/
    or
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/17/global-cooling-hottest-january-february-march-uah-satellite-data/
    At the moment the NCDC website is down but you can normally look at the NCDC State of the Climate reports for each month for the original material if you think Climate Progress puts a spin on things. NOAA's State of the Climate reports discuss world climate each month and there's also a larger annual summary.
    Or you can look out your window and pretend you can deduce global climate from snow falling in your back garden...

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  • 47. At 7:36pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #41. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Quite a lot of decent people (not just Plato and Aristotle) had mixed feelings about democracy."

    Seems to me that the key problem with democracy now is the brainwashing of the citizens... 'manufactured consent' as Chomsky called it.

    So the mass media spends years feeding a story to the public and, voila!, polls show they actually believe it. Or at least some of them do.

    Of course, when you throw in fear you also automatically get the instinctive reacations - mob mentality - and irrational thinking. Thus wartime propaganda methods... or more recently 'climate change' propaganda as relentlessly propagated by you know who.

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  • 48. At 8:42pm on 23 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    skywatcher1 #46 wrote:

    NOAA's State of the Climate reports discuss world climate each month and there's also a larger annual summary.
    Or you can look out your window and pretend you can deduce global climate from snow falling in your back garden...


    The people of Ireland are covered in what came out of the rear end of highly-qualified economic "experts". And here we go again, appealing to the "experts" of the NOAA, BBC, or a hundred or other acronymic, junket-surfing, scientifically illiterate "poor little rich kids".

    Let the anti-authority reformation begin! -- Trust your own senses rather than allow these priests to pervert everything they touch!

    What do you see out your back window? Do you feel cold?

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  • 49. At 8:55pm on 23 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Wolfiewoods #36

    "internet has been down"

    Wasn't down when you made the original "another presence here" post, which would have been the obvious time for such a clarification.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/copenhagen_or_babel_-_a_climat.html#P103203604

    Also wasn't down when you made an early post on this thread at 4:44pm yesterday.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/at_a_recent_meeting_of.html#P103372010

    Incidentally you may wish to reply to LabMunkey's questions: "why would you post under more than one name??? what do you hope to achieve by this??"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/copenhagen_or_babel_-_a_climat.html#P103205394

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  • 50. At 9:00pm on 23 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Wolfiewoods #36

    "A government such as that of China is able to take the long term view while western democracies can only take limited action during their first year or so in office, something that Plato regarded as mob rule."

    That's clumsy even by your standards. Picking up on the Plato angle after I posted a link covering how authoritarian regimes used Plato.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosopher_king

    Or are you now parodying clumsiness rather than extreme greens.

    @bowmanthebard #41

    Criticism of democracy is not rejection. Remember what Winnie said

    "Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

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  • 51. At 9:19pm on 23 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #43 Jack Hughes

    "Another cold winter and climate change is TOAST."

    another cold winter where?

    if you mean europe, two recent papers suggest you'll need to invest in some thermal underwear

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415080848.htm
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117114028.htm

    and neither of them refute climate change btw

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  • 52. At 9:20pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #48. bowmanthebard

    Yes.

    Cold is warm.

    War is peace.

    2 + 2 = 5

    The only thing that Orwell got wrong in 1984 was the date. And even he could not anticipate the AGW project.

    So where was all this heat that (allegedly) made 2010 the warmest year?

    Notice how all the (alleged) evidence is always 'someplace else'? Reminds me of the Big Lie about polar bears. Conveniently they are where almost nobody has any experience with them... so we are just supposed to take their word for it. Unless, like the Inuit who must deal with their all-time high populations, they don't talk the talk, in which case they are carefully ignored.

    And, for goodness sakes, weather is not climate... unless it happens to fit the Warming story, in which case is is 'proof.'

    And for polar bears, notice how almost all the (alleged) bad news comes from the southern Hudson Bay population, the southernmost polar bear population in the world. Yet the AGW gang is always portraying what is happening there as a poster child, as though it was typical.

    Even then, they do not tell the whole story, of course.

    Oh well. Speaking of blind obedience to authority, didn't the Brits change religions - to the Church of England - just because that was convenient to their masters? And didn't that also happen in other EU countries? Quite the tradition.




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  • 53. At 9:26pm on 23 Nov 2010, quake wrote:

    I see we have a hardcore of deniers in the house.

    Those experts. Those temperatures. Deny deny deny.

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  • 54. At 9:29pm on 23 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #48 bowmanthebard

    "Trust your own senses rather than allow these priests to pervert everything they touch!"

    your senses evolved to help you find roots and berries and avoid becoming a meal for a bear.

    remarkably we have also evolved a mind capable of rationality that lead to the golden age in greece, the mathematics of arabia and the western enlightenment.

    go ahead and use the former and ignore the latter, but i'd rather use them both where appropriate.

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  • 55. At 9:40pm on 23 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    more conspiracy theories. the chinese already make trillions from selling the west plastic toys, computer games, cheap clothes etc and could happily go on doing so for as long as the west is dumb enough to keep borrowing those trillions from china to do so (and it seems there are plenty in the west that fit that category and will continue to do so).

    the truth however is that the chinese people still respect and understand science and can see the truth about pollution and that scares the chinese govt....so much so that the chinese govt does something about it because it can (i.e. is not owned by transnational corporations, big oil and banks).

    simple really.

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  • 56. At 9:46pm on 23 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #52 canadianrockies

    "Oh well. Speaking of blind obedience to authority"

    you're just spouting what the george c marshall center wants you to....'your ignorance is your strength'

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  • 57. At 10:38pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #56. rossglory wrote:

    #52 canadianrockies

    "Oh well. Speaking of blind obedience to authority"

    you're just spouting what the george c marshall center wants you to....'your ignorance is your strength'

    OK. I'm too lazy to google it. And as you say I'm ignorant. What is the "george c marshall center"?

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  • 58. At 10:40pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    53. quake wrote:

    "I see we have a hardcore of deniers in the house.

    Those experts. Those temperatures. Deny deny deny."

    Yes. THOSE experts. Question, question, question.

    Do you believe all government statistics?

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  • 59. At 10:44pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #55. rossglory wrote:

    "the truth however is that the chinese people still respect and understand science and can see the truth about pollution and that scares the chinese govt....so much so that the chinese govt does something about it because it can (i.e. is not owned by transnational corporations, big oil and banks).

    simple really."

    Funny, really. And simple too. If what you imagine was true, why are they building so many coal-fired power plants?

    And why is China so famously polluted?

    Reality and your fantasy don't seem to match up.

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  • 60. At 10:47pm on 23 Nov 2010, skywatcher1 wrote:

    That's hillarious bowman #48 and canadianrockies #52. Is that really the best you can do? Scream conspiracy and shout that it's cold outside therefore the globe can't be warming?

    "So where was all this heat that (allegedly) made 2010 the warmest year?" Indeed, not in the UK, but I'll leave you to actually do some searching to identify the regions of the globe that were much warmer than normal (clue, they are often much bigger than your back garden). You can also take the 'allegedly' out there, as the globe has been warm according to both terrestrial and satellite sensors.

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  • 61. At 10:52pm on 23 Nov 2010, quake wrote:

    "Yes. THOSE experts. Question, question, question."

    It's just denial masquerading as questions. You make the questions but assume a particular answer.

    "So where was all this heat that (allegedly) made 2010 the warmest year?"

    Forgotten the Russian heatwave already? Or the heat in Canada during the 2010 winter Olympics? Why don't you look up such relevant weather reports rather than just making a question you have no intent of finding an answer to.

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  • 62. At 11:07pm on 23 Nov 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    CanadianRockies has some cheek! In post 52 he trys to claim George Orwell for his neo-conservative beliefs on climate change. Given that Orwell was a believer in democratic socialism, then I imagine the poor fellow is spinning in is grave. I can't be sure of course; however, I can be about Noam Chomsky, who he invokes in his post 47. Even a simple internet search reveals that Chomsky passionately believes in the legitimacy of the established science and is appaled by neo-conservative attempts to derail efforts to tackle pollution. I know fundamentalist iedology is impervious to evidence, but seriously - that is just unforgivable.

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  • 63. At 11:19pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #61. quake wrote:

    "Forgotten the Russian heatwave already? Or the heat in Canada during the 2010 winter Olympics? Why don't you look up such relevant weather reports rather than just making a question you have no intent of finding an answer to.

    Good cherry picking! As I noted in another post, weather is climate when it suits one's beliefs. And those events are supposed to 'prove' something?

    The "Russian heat wave." Do you know how large Russia is? In any case here's the story on the heat wave that hit part of Russia... at least according to NOAA, who you apparently take as an ultimately reliable source:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/19/noaa-on-the-russian-heat-wave-blocking-high/

    The "heat in Canada." Do you realize how large Canada is? In any case everybody knows that the weather pattern on the West Coast last winter was typical of an El Nino. Just like the last El Nino. In case you don't know how significant the El Nino cycle is you might want to read this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/19/integrating-enso-multidecadal-changes-in-sea-surface-temperature/

    By the way, the Vancouver area is currently experiencing an exceptional early cold snap. Is that supposed to prove something?

    Now here's something that will make you happy. Includes some nice maps of where it was warmer and colder than 'normal' and will fit your beliefs:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/02/giss-on-how-warm-was-this-summer/

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  • 64. At 11:22pm on 23 Nov 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    The debate here appears, as ever, to boil down to people's beliefs on the legitimacy of the mainstream science. If you think it is a load of garbage then China are just milking the West. If you think the science is sound then you think the Chinese are being rational and responding to a clear threat. It's delusional to think that the Chinese Government are a bunch of sandle wearing hippy environmentalists, but it's also delusional to think they are impervious to established scientific research. As long as you think the whole world revolves around WUWT then your brain will simply be unable to comprehend that anyone is genuinely concerned about carbon emmisions. 'Follow the money' = yes. It is a going to be a darn sight cheaper to try and tackle the problem sooner rather than later.

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  • 65. At 11:28pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #60. skywatcher1 wrote:

    "That's hillarious bowman #48 and canadianrockies #52. Is that really the best you can do? Scream conspiracy and shout that it's cold outside therefore the globe can't be warming?"

    Glad to amuse you. It is fun. But let me paraphrase your comment to something which we have heard much more often:

    Scream Big Oil conspiracy and shout that it's warm outside therefore the globe is warming. Its undeniable!

    And don't forget, you can use (selected/adjusted) data from short term trends to make long term predictions as long as it shows what you want.



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  • 66. At 11:32pm on 23 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #57
    (@rossglory)

    On the Marshall Institute

    They campaign for wisdom and science in climate policy.
    http://www.marshall.org/category.php?id=12

    They campaign to make science less political.
    Example they give is Al Gore's campaigning on global warming.
    http://www.marshall.org/category.php?id=7

    [I am not clear why campaigning by their opponents on climate is political and wrong when campaigning by the Marshall Institute on climate is apparently OK.]

    They campaign for a shield of defensive missiles, the Strategic Defense Initiative.
    http://www.marshall.org/category.php?id=13

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  • 67. At 11:32pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    By the way sorry for posting so often lately but it is extremely cold here... not that that means anything in assessing the global climate.

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  • 68. At 11:41pm on 23 Nov 2010, skywatcher1 wrote:

    Worth commenting that for those unsure about where it has been hot this year, one example might be the eighteen countries that have set national heat records this year:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1659

    This is more national heat records in any single year than in any other year (the second-largest number of records occurred in 2007, when there were 15 national high temperature records). How many countries set national low temperature records? None...

    Add in warm ocean temperatures and mild winter temperatures over regions such as Canada, and you see why it has been a hot year. Of course the deniers will bleat about weather not being climate, but climate is all about weather trends, and the trends are all hotter, despite the recent exceptional solar minimum. Add to that evidence such as reducing outgoing logwave radiation, increasing downward longwave radiation (at CO2-specific wavelengths), nights warming faster than days, winter warming faster than summer (both effects expected from CO2, not from other drivers), and stratospheric cooling/tropospheric warming, and the signal is painfully clear. No wonder the Chinese think it's a great idea to invest in renewable technology manufacture - soon enough everyone's going to be clamouring for it!

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  • 69. At 11:55pm on 23 Nov 2010, Liberal wrote:

    Thank you, Richard, for your unbiased opinion on how China is determined to combat climate change. However, some of the comments have saddened me by reminding me that there are still many people out there are ignorant and biased who believe that what the ‘communist regime’ does can only be wrong and bad.

    The fact is this, China is fundamentally different from North Korea. Even though it’s still called the communist party, the system is a hybrid. The astonishing change of people’s life is simply breathtaking. Only from this point of view to look at the government, we need to give equal credit on what they have achieved so far. It’s not only good to Chinese people itself, but for the whole world.

    Another fact is that the Chinese government will not should out loud any promises if they believe are unrealistic so that they are not likely to be achievable. Once they do promise, they will honour it. This is another yet significant difference between China and US.

    I do wish people around the world that still hold hatred toward China for some imagined and obsolete reasons, start looking at China with untainted eyes. Embrace and give credit to China when it’s due and deserves.

    BTW, I admire the insights from Maria Ashot. Thank you!

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  • 70. At 11:59pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    62. Yorkurbantree

    What is truly "unforgivable" is that you misrepresented what I said.

    But I forgive you anyways. Perhaps you just didn't understand my comments, or want to understand them.

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  • 71. At 00:14am on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    66. Thanks Jane

    If they "campaign for wisdom and science in climate policy," I would certainly support their campaign for putting objective science in climate policy. The wisdom part is a little more subjective, so I would substitute cost/benefit.

    "They campaign to make science less political."

    Good luck with that. In our era of so-called "post-modern science" that isn't going to happen. But as long as everyone understands that all humans are political animals, including those trained in science, that would help. The myth of scientific objectivity is one that needs to be understood by more people, particularly those who imagine peer review still means much these days in some fields. Depends on the knowledge and, most importantly, the objectivity of the chosen peers.

    "Example they give is Al Gore's campaigning on global warming."

    Bad example in terms of science. Better to look at the work of people like Hansen and other advocates who are masquerading as scientists. Gore is just a failed politician and greasy used planet salesman who stood to make a fortune if he could sell his scare story.

    "They campaign for a shield of defensive missiles, the Strategic Defense Initiative."

    Too bad. That's the biggest boondoggle that the military-industrial complex is flogging these days. Oooooh missiles from Iran! LOL. Just another example of using fear to extort funds from taxpayers.

    You mention that "I am not clear why campaigning by their opponents on climate is political and wrong when campaigning by the Marshall Institute on climate is apparently OK."

    Do they? In any case, political intereference from any direction in the scientific proces never helps, and is now worse than ever. The key thing is to recognize this problem because it is not going away.






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  • 72. At 00:22am on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    68. skywatcher1 wrote:

    "mild winter temperatures over regions such as Canada"

    Sigh. More misrepresentation by overgeneralization.

    But here's the most revealing part: "nights warming faster than days"

    Anyone who has investigated the urban heat island effect - which is influencing most or the (reduced number of) current weather stations - this is entirely predictable because of the heat retention of concrete.

    The surface temperature data is suspect, to put it mildly.

    P.S. Why are the Chinese building so many coal-fired power plants?

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  • 73. At 00:33am on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #69. Liberal

    Why is China building so many coal-fired power plants?

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  • 74. At 04:39am on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

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

  • 75. At 08:00am on 24 Nov 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Kamboshigh at #38

    Haven't being posting here that often because it seems to me that the comments on this blog are extremely repetitive.

    I don't think you need to worry at all about mentioning the guy's name. GLOBE is a well-known NGO (despite what you seem to believe) and it has been around for quite some time. It obviously doesn't bother him or GLOBE, as they post his name and photo on their site! But if you want to have your fantasy scenario, go right ahead - you are only fooling yourself - reality is something else.

    I am sure that China is pursuing the policies it is out of what it sees as its best self-interest. So what? To the extent that these may help address the problem, so much the better and good for them. At least if they already have a clear idea of the benefits they may attain, the more likely they are to follow through with the policies.

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  • 76. At 08:08am on 24 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    Wow.

    You go out for an evening and all hell breaks loose lol.

    Few points-those trying to use temperature anomolies to prove/disprove anything are on a hding to nothing- WHICHEVER way 'you' play it (i.e. hot or cold).

    There have been record warm anomolies AND record cold in the last year (and forecasts for winter in the northern hemisphere are quite.... chilly).

    It is the overall trend that is important.

    There are many factors combining that affect temperatures on a local or global level, the recent el ninio and il ninio events can be tied directly to 'local' temperature anomolies and can explain the 'records' in those regions quite simply.

    There is a disturbing level of cherry picking going on here by BOTH sides. If someone cherry picks, it is better to adress the issue rather than respond with MORE cherry picking.

    Re- china. as CR pointed out in #73 if China were realy concerned over C02 they wouldn't be building HUNDREDS of coal power plants- that simply does not marry with a pro-cAGW agenda.

    Re- temp data.

    This data is wholly compromised (UHI, extrapolations,interpolations, station siting errors, data homegenisation, 'hidden' stations, 'dummy' stations, proxies etc), you are clearly not a scientist if you cannot see this. HOWEVER the data is FULLY recoverable. But the important point here, specifically in this debate is that the temperature trend is almost irrelevant.

    It is a symptom- as yet no one outside of a dubious model has demonstrated that co2 drives temp- this is not to say that they won't, only that they haven't as yet. As such harping about wamrest ever tempt here, and coldest ever temp there show's nothing but the individuals abject misunderstanding of the situation.

    the points of debate wrt cAGW are-
    -degree of natual variation (and rational)
    -climate sensitivity wrt co2
    -clouds.

    As for China? I think unless someone can show how building hundreds of coal-powered power stations while simultaneously buying up most of the earths coal deposits supports the pro-cAGW position, we'll have to assume that china are following strictly business lead interests instead.

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  • 77. At 08:19am on 24 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    65. At 11:28pm on 23 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:
    #60. skywatcher1 wrote:

    Is that really the best you can do? Scream conspiracy and shout that it's cold outside

    I neither screamed nor shouted, but tried to draw your attention to the disastrous failure of another group of "scientific experts" whose supposed "science" was all wrong. Appeals to experts in any discipline are no good if you have no criteria for judging whether or not the discipline is a worthless pseudoscience.

    We are a species whose limitless obeisance to shamans, priests or pseudoscientific "experts" can be dangerous. Evolutionarily speaking, that obeisance may serve some social purpose, but in an age when technology has the power to kill, it's just turkeys following the farmer wherever he chooses to take them.

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  • 78. At 08:53am on 24 Nov 2010, skywatcher1 wrote:

    #72 CanadianRockies: sigh indeed. Your dismissal of the temperature record is all too revealing. Clearly if something soes not show what you want it to show, it must have been fudged, no? The satellite data shows essentially the same trend as the surface data (whether managed by 'skeptics' or not), and for the surface data to be suspect you need a conspiracy of all national meteorological offices, that just so happens to produce the same result as the satellite data. Satellite data, I need hardly remind you, is not affected by UHI. If you had the first clue about the UHI effect you'd know that (1) it is corrected for and (2) can hardly explain the same warming trend over the oceans, let alone melting ice. The skeptics' effort to pretend poor station siting/management, namely Watts' surfacestations project, ended up backfiring, as poor station location was found to result in reduced warming (Menne et al 2010)!

    So far as the Chinese and coal-fired power stations is concerned, I never said their motivations would be altruistic...

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  • 79. At 09:07am on 24 Nov 2010, skywatcher1 wrote:

    #77 I'd suggest, bowman, that you turn your second paragraph onto yourself. Comparing the economy to the hard physics of climate, understood since the work of Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius more than 100 years ago is akin to comparing gambling to engineering. You have no justification for throwing unsupported accusations about climate science into the wind like confetti. The underpinning science is old and as well established as quantum mechanics - without the understanding of radiative properties of substances, or without the understanding of the very small scale, we could not operate much of the technology we use every day (mobile phones, computers etc). You mention technology - that'll be the same technology, using the same knowledge, that the people you dismiss have brought you. I trust you live in a cave and use nothing more than a spear and (rather surprisingly) an internet connection, if you think science and scientists are no good?

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  • 80. At 09:08am on 24 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #77 bowmanthebard

    "Evolutionarily speaking, that obeisance may serve some social purpose, but in an age when technology has the power to kill, it's just turkeys following the farmer wherever he chooses to take them."

    the farmer consists in transnational corporations, fossil fuel industry, corrupt finance and the politicians they control and you are trussed and oven ready bowman. if only you hadn't spent your time gazing out of your coop at the sky gobbling 'it's ok there's nothing to worry about'.

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  • 81. At 09:20am on 24 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #76 labmunkey

    "Re- china. as CR pointed out in #73 if China were realy concerned over C02 they wouldn't be building HUNDREDS of coal power plants- that simply does not marry with a pro-cAGW agenda."

    not so. the govt is having to balance the two key issues that will destabilise china, a slowdown in economic growth and excessive pollution.

    when you are hungry and cold you do not worry about pollution you worry about economic growth. now a critical mass of chinese have been pulled out of poverty but at the cost of their environment and they now have the time to worry about it.

    and there are two other key factors:

    1. per capita emissions.
    if china splintered into a 20 countries all about the size of the uk they would all have far, far fewer emissions than the uk. for cumulative co2 pollution the uk tops the table....makes you proud.

    2. to a large extent their emissions are our emissions.
    if the west still manufactured the goods we consume our emissions would be off the scale.

    pretty simple really.

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  • 82. At 09:25am on 24 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #72 canadianrockies

    "Anyone who has investigated the urban heat island effect - which is influencing most or the (reduced number of) current weather stations - this is entirely predictable because of the heat retention of concrete."

    talk about shibboleths. how many times do these have to be shot down?

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  • 83. At 09:26am on 24 Nov 2010, skywatcher1 wrote:

    #76 LabMunkey: Where were the cold records in the last year? Not one country set a national cold record, whereas 18 set national hot records.

    We can agree on your statement that "it is the trend that is important". That trend, present in all satellite and surface datasets, is between 0.15 and 0.2C per decade and continued exactly as expected through the last decade.

    See: "The temperature record is unreliable" - http://www.skepticalscience.com/surface-temperature-measurements-advanced.htm

    Or Tamino's excellent "Riddle me this" archived here:
    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2009/12/taminos-open-mind-riddle-me-this-rss.html

    The second link shows that the warming trend calculated from 1975-2000 continues perfectly unabated through the 2000s, whether you use RSS, GISS, or the skeptics favourite UAH datasets!

    The independent replications by both professionals and amateurs show that quibbles about weather stations are also totally fallacious.

    We can indeed discuss climate sensitivity, namely whether it is ~2C per doubling, or whether it is as high as 4.5C per doubling of CO2. As shown by Knutti and Hegerl 2008 (www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf), there is very little room for it to be outside these values, whether you use geologic, palaeoclimatic, recent evidence, or response to volcanic eruptions, or even models. 2C warming, averaged globally is where we'll be well before the end of the century at our current warming trend, and that has plenty of usavoury outcomes, not least multiple metres of sea level rise.

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  • 84. At 09:32am on 24 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #80 wrote:

    if only you hadn't spent your time gazing out of your coop at the sky gobbling 'it's ok there's nothing to worry about'.

    If you think the scientific credentials of climate "science" make it more trustworthy than the "science" of economics, just explain why.

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  • 85. At 09:44am on 24 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    actually one thing orwell did predict is the plasticity of the truth that has been exploited by the 'right wing lying echo chamber'. this systematic dismantling of the truth and its constant repetition is why i believe so many here have such bizarre ideas. how you fight this stuff i do not know:

    Rachel Maddow Explores Right Wing Lying Echo Chamber
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBxzMMCokpI

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  • 86. At 09:59am on 24 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #84 bowmanthebard

    "If you think the scientific credentials of climate "science" make it more trustworthy than the "science" of economics, just explain why."

    there is no science of economics, there is a science of climate. does that help?

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  • 87. At 10:25am on 24 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #86 wrote:

    there is no science of economics, there is a science of climate. does that help?

    Not until you tell me what makes it a science. If all you can come up with is "the people who do it call it a science", you're going round and round in tiny circles!

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  • 88. At 10:52am on 24 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ skywatcher # 83

    re temps-
    unless i'm mistaken australia had some record 'cold' summer temps (though still hot by uk standards!).

    The UK too, if the Russians are to believed will get a record cold temp this winter. But again- i'll repeat- the anomolies are irrelevant,only the trend.

    re-temperature trend.
    Unfortunatley the data shows no such thing. as you rightly said THAT trend line does, but that is hardly representative of the point of recent cooling now is it. Just as i can use the vostock data to show recent temps are infact staggeringly low, you can use an arbitrary trend-line start point to show they are arbitrarily high (and as such mask the recent cooling).

    Pray tell, why wasn't the data pre 1970 used?

    Finally- to see if there's been a cooling trend from the 2000's it would be more appropriate to start that trend line FROM the 2000's would you not think.

    I would suggest you look at this again.


    re- temp record issues.
    -independant studies- don't make me laugh.

    The UHI has not been sufficiently addressed. The 'nightspot' technique that is used to measure the UHI effect is in many locations up to 300 KM off where it should be measured and the UHI adjustments are made by population NOT infrastructure.

    Even the most basic casual look comparing rural (and actual rural- not 'supposed rural 30 years ago') shows this. This assetion is backed by the higher night time temps.

    Couple that the issues with the sitings, in which their own report into it actually stated that a significant number of the stations fail their OWN criteria and i think it's clear that you're glossing over the problem.

    re-climate sensitivity.

    -none of the higher results take into account the effect of clouds and are typically modelled, not measured. No results including clouds give high sensitivities.
    -the vostock data suggests low sensitivity.
    - some studies suggest that the sensitivity could even be negative.

    Perhaps if you did less cherry picking and tried to look at this in a more scientific manner we'd get somewhere.

    Just before you go off on one- i'm not arguing the world hasn't warmed, or that we shouldn't pollute less or that co2 cannot warm the planet.

    i'm arguing the degree and significance of co2's effect and the integrity of the data.

    I'm also (unfortunatley) not in the pay of big oil. Which is a REAL shame, as i could do with a new car....

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  • 89. At 11:36am on 24 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @skywatcher1 #79
    (@bowmanthebard)

    Hi skywatcher1 (astronomer? meteorologist?)

    A warning about these BBC threads.

    You may be used to sceptics on some other climate threads spouting nonsense about the science.

    But here on the BBC threads there is a distinct faction of sceptics that are actually signed up to a lot of the core science. They have issues with climate sensitivity, relative contributions of feedbacks especially clouds, and reliability of models. (Oh, and of course big big big issues with Hockey Sticks.) This faction accept all the basic stuff like the properties of a greenhouse gas, and many of their concerns are at least partially recognised by the IPCC. You might characterise them as taking the same position as, say, Lindzen or Spencer.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-the-greenhouse-effect/

    I am not endorsing all, or even most of the content of their posts. Just saying they aren't nonsense merchants, so don't assume they are unless their posts contain nonsense.

    Bowman appears particularly interested in the philosophy of science. Be very careful picking holes in his posts, the English language is not always philosophy-friendly.

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  • 90. At 11:49am on 24 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ skywatcher

    "Bowman appears particularly interested in the philosophy of science. Be very careful picking holes in his posts, the English language is not always philosophy-friendly."

    i can attest to this first hand lol- tried it once and he destroyed me mercilessly lol. Was an interesting discussion mind :-)

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  • 91. At 12:23pm on 24 Nov 2010, quake wrote:

    "re-climate sensitivity.

    -none of the higher results take into account the effect of clouds and are typically modelled, not measured. No results including clouds give high sensitivities."

    Yes they do. The paleo derived estimates are all taking cloud changes into account. The model derived estimates include cloud effects, whether correctly or not is one of those open questions of science - but they aren't ignoring clouds. In fact some of these models suggest clouds are a positive feedback.

    The vostok data suggests high climate sensitivity as the total temperature change (~5 or 6 degrees C) is in excess of that which can be explained by the orbital forcings and low climate sensitivity.


    The bulk of studies into the matter, whether based on models, paleodata or modern obervational data, show high climate sensitivity. Studies finding low climate sensitivity are few and far between.

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  • 92. At 12:56pm on 24 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    quake.

    As far as i was aware, the vostock data implicitly shows that co2 lags temp and that and change link is likely to be slight.

    i am exceptionally puzzled by this statement : "in excess of that which can be explained by the orbital forcings and low climate sensitivity."

    Considering most climate scientist and the IPCC fully admit that they do not understand clouds, furthermore they do not know the degree or even ther SIGN of the forcings applied by clouds.

    It is this attribution despite and inspite of ignorance that puzzles me greatly.

    We are only just begining to understand the natural cycles, we don't have the first idea how clouds affect the grerater climate and yet we can say with virtual certainty that they pale into insignificance in the face of a trace gas. It's arrogance in the extreme and exceptionally poor scientific method.

    As for the paelo data used to support high climate sensitivity- you may be happy to accept that we can accuratley measure two seperate things, from proxies that are generally seperated geographically (and spatially) and are then 'homogenised' into complete records, but i am not.

    The fact is WE DON'T KNOW one way or the other, but the most complete analyses taking the most factors into account (inc clouds) suggest low climates sensitivity. Were the climate as sensitive to C02 as you suggest, then the vostock data would not look as it does. it amazes me that you even invoke it to support your argument.

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  • 93. At 2:00pm on 24 Nov 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    The Rothschilds bunged 800k at climate change in africa research the other week..

    yet in the Business section of the Time we find, that Nathaniel Rothschild, just created an Indonesian COAL mining giant (in a 3 BILLION dollar deal) - the largest exporter of coal to China - a company that will most likey enter the FTSE100 (Bumi plc)


    Best to read all sections of the newspaper, it wold be wise if the BBC had business analysts, political analysts look at agw SCIENCE AND POLICY AS WELL..

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  • 94. At 2:02pm on 24 Nov 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    by the way..

    www.realclimategate.org

    the exxon cheque, is VERY, VERY slow to appear...
    They are to busy promoting green energy in Sky ads these days...

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  • 95. At 2:34pm on 24 Nov 2010, melty wrote:

    Kealey ("Second, it is most interesting that China also announced that it would not permit transparency nor verification of any CO2 commitment. How convenient.").

    Don't worry -- we will soon have instruments in space that can provide verification (Japan already has one but it provides rather coarse maps). NASA
    's OCO-2 should be launched in the next few years. We do WANT to know where the emissions are from and their trajectory.... right?

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  • 96. At 4:14pm on 24 Nov 2010, Spanglerboy wrote:

    once again another pointless discussion about temperatures. Temperature not same as heat energy. Please try harder as I am getting bored

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  • 97. At 4:19pm on 24 Nov 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:

    skywatcher1

    Welcome to Richard’s virtual camp fire, you have certainly given the dirty energy side something to think about, hope that you stick around.

    Interesting user name by the way, I used to be quite interested in UFO’s too.

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  • 98. At 4:19pm on 24 Nov 2010, skywatcher1 wrote:

    Entertainingly condescending Jane. LabMunkey and bowman have failed to provide any science worthy of the name, only unsubstantiated and frequently long long-debunked denier talking points. Having a position similar to Lindzen or Spencer is no compliment either, as both of these people persistently fail to understand the science.

    Sadly, the discussion here is a long way behind the current science, and LabMunkey would appear to be some way behind the actual temperature record (go examine whatever temperature dataset you like for the past decade and you'll find a warming trend). I also find it amusing that in one breath he suggests that the temperature record is unreliable and in the next suggests that the globe is cooling... but how can you tell if the record is unreliable? Maybe LabMunkey is confusing a global temperature trend with the seasonal transition from autumn to winter? Try plotting the last 10 years on woodfortrees.org for your favourite temperature data series, and see if you can get a negative slope for 2000-present? You want to cherry-pick the start date? Why not pick June of this year and run through to the end of October - see, it's cooling! Claims of cooling are pretty disingenuous when the hottest 12 months in history was June 2009 through to May 2010.

    And trotting out the ancient canard of palaeo-CO2 lagging temperature should surely destroy the credibility of the person using it? (hint, forest fires can be caused by lightning; does that mean they can't be caused by humans?)

    CO2:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

    NCDC state of the climate:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global&year=2010&month=10

    woodfortrees:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2000.9/to:2010.9/plot/uah/from:2000.9/to:2010.9/trend

    An intriguing plot from a poster named BVM on Tamino's blog demonstrates the fallacy of cherry-picking short-term cooling trends. He has divided the HADCRUT3 such that the entire series is subdivided into cooling periods... yet somehow, somehow the world is still warming rapidly...
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NcA6oShqIwA/TN2RbRFU9II/AAAAAAAAADI/mjSWGq7F6ZM/s1600/wft-many-trends.png

    BTW, estimates of climate sensitivity from palaeoclimate automatically must includes cloud forcing. Strangely, they come to very similar values to those estimated by other methods, indicating clouds are not that important (Knutti and Hegerl 2008).

    So sadly, precious little constructive science on offer from the regular 'skeptics' on here, and some quite spectacular refusals to consider any data at all.

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  • 99. At 4:56pm on 24 Nov 2010, davblo wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #89: "But here on the BBC threads there is a distinct faction of sceptics that are actually signed up to a lot of the core science."

    Ha ha. You seem to have forgotten my list of well over 100, mostly outrageous claims denying the AGW effect, all posted on this very blog site.

    Weren't you around then?

    If not I can post it again...

    /davblo

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  • 100. At 5:28pm on 24 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @skywatcher1 #98

    I was not endorsing all or even most of their posts. Certainly not the old "CO2 lagging temperature" in LabMunkey's #92, which is below LabMunkey's normal standards. LabMunkey may have been influenced by Gore's clumsy over-simplification of Milankovitch cycles and the resulting "debunks" by sceptics.

    I was attempting to flag up that there was nothing in the science referred to in your #79 that Bowman would disagree with.

    Incidentally trends over a mere decade are not statistically significant. It is one thing to compare the noughties with years in preceding decades, taken as a whole they are significantly warmer. But you can only do this if you are comparing within a much bigger range of years. Just looking within the noughties or any other 10 year period is insufficient. There is too much interference from ENSO.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Ni%C3%B1o-Southern_Oscillation

    BBC thread software treats colons as delimiters. Here's a clickable version of your link
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from%3A2000.9/to%3A2010.9/plot/uah/from%3A2000.9/to%3A2010.9/trend

    And here's the same data over a longer period of time. I have deliberately cherry picked one 10 year period and another 11 year period to demonstrate how 10 year trends are rubbish.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/trend/plot/uah/from%3A1988.9/to%3A1998.9/trend/plot/uah/from%3A1997.9/to%3A2008.9/trend

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  • 101. At 5:37pm on 24 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @davblo #99

    Hi davblo, great to see you back. Yes I loved that list. Well funny.

    However not all the sceptics here are as bad as those that contributed to your list. They get upset when people assume they are signed up to some of the more nonsensical stuff in the blogosphere.

    Also since you compiled most of your list someone brought up the subject of Gerlich and Tscheuschner 2009. And Oliver Manuel's Iron Sun.

    By the way, is Olly's Iron Sun on your list, I can' remember?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQZe_Qk-q7M

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  • 102. At 6:11pm on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Maybe the AGW experts just can't do simple arithmetic. Here's another case, from the alleged historical record, of an error which, of course, conveniently supports The Warming:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/23/ghcn-v3-temperature-data-errors-spotted-within-a-day-of-release/

    Here's another one in an article which also provides some background on the real cause of The Warming ($$$). Looks like the Wall Streeters are charging forward with this global extortion scheme no matter what:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-23/climate-change-math-in-treaties-flawed-by-suspect-pollution-calculations.html

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  • 103. At 6:25pm on 24 Nov 2010, davblo wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #101: "...is Olly's Iron Sun on your list,...?"

    I couldn't find it on the list. I guess no one here "promoted" it at the time.

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  • 104. At 6:42pm on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #100. JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    (skywatcher1 #98)

    "Incidentally trends over a mere decade are not statistically significant. It is one thing to compare the noughties with years in preceding decades, taken as a whole they are significantly warmer. But you can only do this if you are comparing within a much bigger range of years. Just looking within the noughties or any other 10 year period is insufficient. There is too much interference from ENSO.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Ni%C3%B1o-Southern_Oscillation"

    Yes Jane, and that "interference" could explain much more than you suggest as detailed in this rather profound article which I posted earlier and which I consider a must read for anyone who is actually more interested in learning about how the climate works rather than just discussing things inside the box defined by the AGW gang:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/19/integrating-enso-multidecadal-changes-in-sea-surface-temperature/

    Even the hard core AGW faithful will find this article interesting, even if it does challenge their views. But it seems that some people do not dare to think, or even look, outside the IPCC box.

    "to demonstrate how 10 year trends are rubbish."

    In terms of global climate that is putting it very, very, very mildly. I would suggest that even 100 year trends are rubbish. Just look at the long term Vostok or Greenland ice core data and that becomes perfectly clear. And it just gets worse when these short term trends are conveniently started from a cool point.

    Like the ones that begin in the 1970s (the satellite record); lest we forget, the 30 year cooling trend to the 1970's led such 'experts' as Schneider to declare that another Ice Age was coming.

    Or on a longer scale, the data set which begins in 1880, just when the Little Ice Age was coming to an end. Duh.





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  • 105. At 6:47pm on 24 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    skywatcher1 #77 wrote:

    Comparing the economy to the hard physics of climate, understood since the work of Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius more than 100 years ago is akin to comparing gambling to engineering.

    As JaneBasingstoke noted, I have no objection to the work of legitimate physicists. But none of the people you mentioned were "climate scientists" as currently understood, they were physicists whose work had a pioneering relevance to the climate (in much the same way as Golgi's work was relevant to studying the brain, yet psychologists cannot legitimately claim him as one of their own).

    I compared climate science to economics because I think neither is a legitimate science, despite what its practitioners would like us to think, and more gullible members of the public are happy to swallow.

    Legitimate physics involves the testing of hypotheses, which involves getting a theory to yield an observational prediction, which is subsequently checked. Depending on the result, the theory passes or fails a legitimate test.

    However, current climate science does little or nothing of the sort. Instead, endless discussion and "studies" are sustained on what the data imply. That gets it exactly backwards. I'm objecting to stuff like this, from quake #91 (but could have come from almost anyone on either side, as it is absolutely typical):

    The bulk of studies into the matter, whether based on models, paleodata or modern obervational data, show high climate sensitivity. Studies finding low climate sensitivity are few and far between.

    Do you see what's happening there? -- Instead of implying observations which can later be checked (thereby testing the theory that implied them), theory is here (mis-) understood as being "based on" something, usually pretentiously referred to as "data". Not only that, but when there is inconsistency in the results, the matter is settled with a show of hands between so-called "studies"! That is a parody of the scientific method. A stilted farce.

    You have no justification for throwing unsupported accusations about climate science into the wind like confetti. The underpinning science is old and as well established as quantum mechanics

    Rubbish. Current climate science is "underpinned" by physics in the same way as astrology is "underpinned" by astronomy. You really have no business bringing quantum theory into the discussion, as if climate scientists are all Bohr-and-Einstein types. The predictive power (hence testability, hence observational success) of quantum theory is stunning. By contrast, the predictive power of climate science is absolutely lousy, its practitioners eschew testing for the most part, and its observational success is practically zero. Shame on you for comparing them!

    Climate science as currently practiced is a complete dud, because of its "inductivist" methodology. It is outrageous to claim that it is "up there" with quantum theory, just as it is outrageous for psychology to claim it is on a par with cell biology just because some psychologists look at brain cells, or astrology to claim it is on a par with astronomy just because astrologers rely on Newton's laws to plot planetary positions.

    If you are not familiar with the term 'inductivism', think of Francis Bacon, or twentieth-century behaviourist psychology.

    I trust you live in a cave and use nothing more than a spear and (rather surprisingly) an internet connection, if you think science and scientists are no good?

    I think science and scientists are great -- what's no good in my book are the charlatans who call themselves scientists at the same time as using the methods of quacks.

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  • 106. At 7:07pm on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Back on topic, rather than discuss Richard's vague speculations about what the Chinese might be talking about, here's what they actually are proposing:

    "BEIJING - China's top climate official on Tuesday urged industrialized countries to play a major role in curbing global greenhouse gas emissions and promised that China will make serious efforts to achieve an early peak of its carbon growth...

    "Of course, China will not allow unchecked increase of its carbon emissions. Instead, the country is poised to take measures so that the emissions can peak at an early stage," Xie said.

    But he insisted that China will not accept any obligation beyond its ability as a developing country."

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-11/24/content_11599278.htm

    So, while they build coal-fired power plants as fast as they can they suggest that they may slow that down later. Such Green heroes! And still pretending to be a poor developing country when it suits them.

    But to address the question in the photo caption above - "Is President Hu overtaking his US counterpart in delivering climate legislation?" - the answer is yes because Obama is not passing ANY legislation on this.

    As Richard says "President Obama is apparently pinning his hopes on the regulators - particularly the Environmental Protection Agency," and that is already creating quite the backlash in the U.S. This attempt to override the democratic process is going to turn into quite the legal and political mess. And Obama's approval ratings are already in the 30% range, after his historic losses in the recent congressional elections.

    But at least he's still popular in Europe.

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  • 107. At 7:18pm on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #82. rossglory wrote:

    "talk about shibboleths. how many times do these have to be shot down?"

    It hasn't been "shot down" yet. But it has been denied.

    Speaking of bogus arguments, in your #81 you actually bring up the irrelevant point of "per capita emissions."

    Tooooo funny. But if you want to play that silly game, let's take it another step and go from countries to individuals, and look at the per capita emissions of the AGW promoters and cheerleaders who jet set around the world to conferences, etc.



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  • 108. At 7:38pm on 24 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @davblo #103

    No Iron Sun from dear Olly from the sceptics on these threads? Sure about that? Does this link not ring any bells? Not one but two Iron Sun papers involving Oliver K. Manuel. Oh look, there's Gerlich and Tscheuschner too.
    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

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  • 109. At 7:59pm on 24 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    CanadianRockies #107 wrote:

    look at the per capita emissions of the AGW promoters and cheerleaders who jet set around the world to conferences, etc.

    I wonder if there is a website (or similar) dedicated to estimating the per-capita emissions of Richard Black, George Monbiot, Bono, Sting et al?

    And if not, why not?

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  • 110. At 8:58pm on 24 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #109. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "I wonder if there is a website (or similar) dedicated to estimating the per-capita emissions of Richard Black, George Monbiot, Bono, Sting et al?"

    Probably not. That would be tooo inconvenient. But, as I recall, there are audits done on the energy pig Al Gore which, not surprisingly, shows what a total hypocrite he is.

    And, as I recall, there was some analysis of the Copenhagen revival meeting that showed similar gross hypocrisy. Of course, all the limousines didn't help.

    There's no end to this 'do what I say, not what I do' mentality in the AGW industry. Even if their so-called science had more validity that alone says something about what and who we are dealing with.

    But it is a great arrangement for the carbon offset (eco-guilt indulgences) business. Even better for people like Gore who own the businesses they pay off. And if they don't own them, their friends do. No surprise but there doesn't seem to be much close examination of those businesses or their net CO2 or environmental benefits either.

    But perhaps Richard will do a blog someday discussing his massive carbon footprint... or perhaps not.




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  • 111. At 01:15am on 25 Nov 2010, skywatcher1 wrote:

    You lot are really funny. But blind denial of the radiative physics of the atmosphere will only end up fooling yourself.
    1: The radiative properties of the CO2 molecule identified by Tyndall, circa 1859.
    2: Beginning of the 20th Century, Arrhenius deduces that changes in CO2 in the atmosphere would lead to temperature changes, due to the radiative properties of the molecule. Estimate 2-5C warming per doubling.
    3: Detailed analysis of the absorbtion properties of CO2 and other gases identified soon after WWII (due to the strategic nature of understanding the properties of different forms of electromagnetic radiation) and calculation of warming effect in more detail by Plass (3-4C warming per doubling). Non-precipitable gases are key.
    4: Observation of rising CO2 (Keeling curve) subsequently confirmed to be anthropogenic.
    5: Rising of CO2 reaches significant levels, overwhelming aerosol and natural forcing, lo and behold the temperature rises monotonically with noise largely from ENSO and volcanic eruptions.
    6: Warming effect confirmed as being as a consequence of CO2 due to satellite observations of reduction in outgoing longwave radiation at CO2-specific wavelengths, and increase in downward longwave radiation.
    7: Climate sensitivity confirmed by multiple methods, notably palaeoclimatic (which integrates clouds) as being unlikely to be lower than 2C per doubling.

    Hypothesis, prediction, testing, establishment of theory, further testing, confirmation of theory.

    Other corroborating observations include the warming of nights faster than days and stratospheric cooling alongside tropospheric warming, not possible in non-CO2 scenarios, and Arctic amplification.

    See Spencer Weart's excellent summary:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm
    Or Chris Colose's detailed discussion of greenhouse effect:
    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/greenhouse-effect-revisited/

    It's an old and decidedly hard science, grounded in atmospheric physics and supported by a plethora of other disciplines.

    And yes, of course we need trends >10 years. In fact you can statistically analyse the length of time you require data for a trend to be significant, based on the strength of the trend and the noise level - it's >15-20 years. We have an essentially linear trend since ~1975 which fits neatly with predictions, and is statistically significant since 1994 (probably 1995 now, given the record warm year we're having).

    But clearly people on here, most spectacularly JaneBasingstoke, LabMunkey and Bowmanthebard quite utterly fail to grasp the basics of climate science, and steadfastly blindly refuse to accept any data or observation that dares to suggest humans are modifying the climate. So not really worth trying to engage with the wilfully blind (especially those that blindly think they can see better than others), but hopefully the neutrals can have a read of the links I've posted for some quality science.

    Standard denier talking points are debunked at www.skepticalscience.com, a really useful place to learn about climate science.

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  • 112. At 05:38am on 25 Nov 2010, Liberal wrote:

    #73 & 76, pls. refer the following link for answers on why China's building so many coal-fired power

    plants.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/world/asia/11coal.html

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  • 113. At 07:23am on 25 Nov 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @skywatcher #111

    can you reference the papers which include the cloud effect you mention in your item 7 please?

    thanks in advance

    /Mango

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  • 114. At 08:03am on 25 Nov 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke

    skywatcher1

    Please remind me, which one of you supports the Peoples' Front of Judea and which one of you supports the Popular Front of Judea?

    Seriously though, I think what Jane is trying to say is that as well as some of the silly stuff that some of us say there are some serious players who are able to express their doubts about AGW science through the anonymity of a BBC blog, I wonder what these people do for their day job.

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  • 115. At 08:09am on 25 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    skywatcher1 #111 wrote:


    4: Observation of rising CO2 (Keeling curve) subsequently confirmed to be anthropogenic.

    "Confirmed"? -- Explain how, please!

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  • 116. At 08:56am on 25 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ skywatcher #98 and 111

    OK.

    This will probably be a long post- apologies in advance.

    From your #98

    Re- co2 lagging temp in vostock data. The link you provided is one 'explanation’ and assigns correlation NOT causation, though needless to say I’m not convinced by the link. Additionally the link provides misleading references that do not actually support what it is trying to say

    -example
    “Ice cores in Greenland find that warming in the Northern Hemisphere lags the Antarctic CO2 rise (Caillon 2003).”

    And excerpt from first paragraph of said link:

    “Determining the mechanisms that cause these variations is important for understanding climate change, but the explanation for the strong link between atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic air temperature is still unclear (5). One reason for this uncertainty is that the relative timing of temperature and CO2 changes is not accurately known (6).”

    And

    “The gas age–ice age difference (_age) may be uncertain by 1000 years or more”

    This would rubbish, quite comprehensively the claim the link is supposed to support. In fact I’m getting a sense of de ja vu wrt this link along these very lines- I’m sure this has been discussed on this blog before (perhaps before your time).

    I frankly, do not accept this explanation given the accuracy of the references. Furthermore, I find that the lag DOES suggest that natural factors outweigh co2 influences- otherwise the temperature fall would not be as pronounced, anyone with basic familiarity of temperature control programs will instantly recognise the pattern.

    But, this is not to say that there is not evidence out there to support you claims- just that the one you posted was woeful. Provide more, accurate work and I’ll happily look at it again.


    Re- the temperature record and global cooling.
    I was inaccurate. I SHOULD have said –no statistically significant warming since 2000 with a potentially negative slope.

    Re- Trend start-points- it is interesting that you try to dismiss my concern by using a highly spurious example. The point still stands and I’ll ask you a few direct questions-
    -do you think that the recent warming bears any similarity to the one around the 20-30’s?
    - Is a trend line the best representation of temperature given this information?
    - Or do you think that it could be misleading?
    - Hell, do you even care so long as your message comes across?


    From your second post (111)

    I’m with you right up to # 5

    From #5 I’ll need evidence that co2 is overwhelming natural factors

    From #6 how the satellite data (which is good data for once) actually supports your assertion- as I think you may be slightly confused here

    From #7 same as mango posted in his # 113. Please provide links that show climate sensitivity to be high which includes clouds.

    The last point is really important- if the cAGW side can prove that- then the theory suddenly gets a LOT more clout.

    Final point skywatcher: I’m just trying to get to the bottom of this issue. It seems from your ‘tone’ (such as one can detect tone from a blog entry) that you are angry that people are even asking questions. I am not deliberately setting out to annoy anyone,

    I can sometimes say things quickly and ill thought out in a response (can’t we all), but I think my general message is clear. I am not a ‘denier’ as you would define and I’d thank you to not respond to me as such. I have very specific, narrow questions/issues with the cAGW theory. I’ve freely said, on numerous occasions that if those very specific issues are addressed that I’ll immediately change my position on the theory- this is after all how science works.

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  • 117. At 10:20am on 25 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #112 liberal

    thanks, that's interesting. i have no doubt the uk will be panicked into building coal power stations pretty soon and of course the technology will come from china.

    it's amazing how shrewd a govt can be when it is not kowtowing to big business (especially fossil fuel and finance). saying that i'm no fan of totalitarian regimes but economically they're running rings around us atm.

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  • 118. At 10:24am on 25 Nov 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #111 skywatcher1

    nice post but you will never convince the hardened contrarians here. and the reason for that is they are backing a political perspective not a scientific one.

    but you're right, in a way it is funny but the unfortunately the consequences are not.

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  • 119. At 10:31am on 25 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 118

    on the contrary- for myself at least, if skywatcher can provide the info that so far everyone else (including youself) have been unable to provide then he WILL convince me.

    That's the point dear chap.

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  • 120. At 10:51am on 25 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #118 wrote:

    you will never convince the hardened contrarians here. and the reason for that is they are backing a political perspective not a scientific one

    Translation: "I am unable to address scientific or epistemological questions myself, so I try to keep the discussion on politics"

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  • 121. At 11:10am on 25 Nov 2010, quake wrote:

    The sensitivity estimates from paleodata automatically include clouds. For example the 6 degree C global warming out of the last glacial maximum integrates the effects of any cloud changes that occured.

    Climate Sensitivity is measured in units of degreesC/wm-2

    An example of high climate sensitivity would be 0.75C/wm-2 (that's 3C warming per doubling of CO2).

    An example of low climate sensitivity would be 0.2C/wm-2 (that's 0.8C warming per doubling of CO2).

    So 6 degrees C global warming implies:

    High cliamte sensitivity: A forcing of 8wm-2

    Low climate sensitivity: A forcing of 30wm-2 (!!!)

    Basically what this tells us is that if climate sensitivity is low, a ridiculously high forcing is needed to achieve 6C warming. This is essentially why the paleo studies of the past assessing climate sensitivity find low climate sensitivity implausible.

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  • 122. At 11:20am on 25 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 121- quake thanks for actually adressing a question, not many here do.

    In these studies - do you know what the assumptions were- or ideally do you have the direct links? i'd like to check the inputs for any obvious omissions (at either level).

    Also, the calculations- from your example at least, seem to implicitly assume co2 is the cause (a circular logic)- what natural factors were identified/dismissed in the process? any idea?

    Cheers! LM

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  • 123. At 12:27pm on 25 Nov 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane.

    Re our eariler (few weeks/months ago) LONG discussion on GCR's. This just in:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/25/something-to-be-thankful-for-at-last-cosmic-rays-linked-to-rapid-mid-latitude-cloud-changes/#more-28279

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  • 124. At 3:01pm on 25 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @liberal #69

    "The fact is this, China is fundamentally different from North Korea."

    ???

    Straw man alert! Straw man alert!
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/straw_man

    No one here has put China into the same category as North Korea. That is way strong. But don't expect anyone here to give China an easier ride than we give the US or Britain, both of which get some stick on these threads.

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  • 125. At 3:05pm on 25 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @skywatcher1 #111

    "7: Climate sensitivity confirmed by multiple methods, notably palaeoclimatic (which integrates clouds) as being unlikely to be lower than 2C per doubling."

    IPCC AR4 language is very strict. And it is good to show the full range of climate sensitivities considered by the mainstream.

    "climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range of 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values."
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains2-3.html

    It is always good to remind the sceptics that the mainstream science includes caveats and takes account of uncertainties, and this exists in mainstream literature published before Climategate.

    Otherwise some of them get the impression they are the only people that understand scientific doubt and scientific scepticism, and get very tedious about it.

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  • 126. At 3:07pm on 25 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @smiffie #114

    I think I'm the Popular Front [ineffectual character sitting on his own].

    :-)

    Seriously I don't think skywatcher1 has noticed that my posts addressed to Wolfie are critical of Wolfie because he's a sceptic satirising warmists (and satirising us badly).
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/10/from_the_un_convention_on_2.html#P102144030

    And skywatcher1 may have missed the sarcastic comment in my post about the Marshall Institute. The Marshall Institute wants politics out of science (they want Gore to shut up). But they still feel it appropriate to campaign on climate politics themselves.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/at_a_recent_meeting_of.html#P103425752
    http://www.marshall.org/category.php?id=7
    http://www.marshall.org/category.php?id=12

    Skywatcher1 may also be unaware of the Phil Jones interview by Harrabin where Jones was asked about the "statistically insignificant" 15 year global temperature trend. And he may be unaware of the way that Jones's answer was grossly misrepresented by the Daily Mail.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8511670.stm
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html

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  • 127. At 3:23pm on 25 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Wolfiewoods #97
    (@skywatcher1)

    "Interesting user name by the way, I used to be quite interested in UFO’s too."

    Oh, having a dig at my "astronomy or meteorology" line, are we? Astronomy is relevant to discussions of climate, especially the other planets and some moons in the solar system. Flying saucers aren't.

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  • 128. At 3:58pm on 25 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #125 wrote:

    always good to remind the sceptics that the mainstream science includes caveats and takes account of uncertainties

    But the passage you quoted doesn't really "take account of uncertainties" at all -- instead, it says what proportion of a scattered range of estimates falls within a given tolerance. I don't think I'm being overly strict when I say that certainty and uncertainty have to do with how much confidence we can place in a belief, not what proportion of a range of estimates have a given property.

    The difference becomes stark when you remember that the estimates and their "scatter" all result from a whole set of assumptions any or all of which might be very uncertain, in the proper sense of the word.

    To illustrate this, consider the fact that over the years the occupants of my house have amassed ten computing devices that have a "desktop wallpaper" picture. Nine out of ten of those feature a traditional snow scene as a result of the users' keen anticipation of Christmas. Mine has a picture of a hot summer's day on the beach. Are we to say that "it is 90% certain that we will have a white Christmas" because 9 out of 10 "computer models" feature snow? -- I think not! What matters is not the proportion of "models" that show snow, but the trustworthiness/credibility of the processes that lead us to make predictions.

    When your chums say "climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range of 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C", they are making the mistake of confusing relative frequency and credibility. That is a classic "inductivist" error, which is every bit as serious as it is common.

    I'll say it again: scientific theories do not say anything at all about how much scientific theories ought to be believed! That is a much messier, more "philosophical" business than the above specious jiggery-pokery with numbers!

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  • 129. At 5:53pm on 25 Nov 2010, quake wrote:

    "climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range of 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values"

    This statement takes into account uncertainty. It's an assessment of climate sensitivity given everything known (models and observational based estimates), including the uncertainty of unknowns.

    No value is ruled out. Even less than 1.5C is listed as "very unlikely" rather than impossible, despite lower than 1.5C being outside the range of climate models.

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  • 130. At 5:58pm on 25 Nov 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory #118

    actually Ross, it's the one thing that would convince me that CO2 induced global warming is real, so bring it on please.

    FYI a new paper just out supports something else I have been saying for a very long time:

    Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/10941/2010/acp-10-10941-2010.html

    I haven't read the full paper yet, but the lead author, Ben Laken, points out that the study was not intended to prove or disprove CO2 driven climate change

    /Mango

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  • 131. At 6:01pm on 25 Nov 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    climate sensitivity

    there are no climate sensitivities based on observation which include the cloud effect showing high climate sensitivity

    if anybody thinks there are, then please provide a link or name of the paper

    no wild goose chases like last time please

    /Mango

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  • 132. At 6:19pm on 25 Nov 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    quake #129 wrote:

    This statement takes into account uncertainty. It's an assessment of climate sensitivity given everything known (models and observational based estimates), including the uncertainty of unknowns.

    But "uncertainties", or supposed measures thereof, have to do with doubt and beliefs, and scientific theories just don't say anything about beliefs. (Even psychology, which I don't regard as a real science at all, tends to eschew talk of such supposedly fuzzy/mysterious/flaky mental entities as "beliefs".) Beliefs are "subjective" things, and how much confidence we can have in this or that belief is even more "subjective"...

    What some branches of science do talk about is relative frequency (or limiting values of relative frequency), which is a completely "objective" thing. For example, if you roll a pair of dice over and over again, "doubles" will occur about a sixth of the time, and (assuming they're fair dice) the more you roll them, the closer the proportion will get to one sixth -- one sixth is like the "limiting value of the relative frequency of doubles when you roll a pair of fair dice".

    But "how much a theory ought to be believed" is an entirely different matter altogether, which critically depends on what an individual already believes, and much else besides.

    In the above quotation, whatever "everything known" may be lies way, way outside of the realm of scientific theories proper. And as for the "uncertainties of unknowns" -- you think scientists can attach a number to something that differs from one individual to the next? That way lies shaman-worship, I'm afraid! Even Donald Rumsfeld -- legendary for his ability to know unknown unknowns -- never claimed anything quite as extravagant as that!

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  • 133. At 7:11pm on 25 Nov 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #128, #132
    @quake #129

    Hi Bowman.

    I don't want to get into another long argument with you about inductivism. Previous attempts have faltered due to misunderstandings over language.

    So I will just point out that the climate sensitivity given is a very broad range. That broadness reflects uncertainties in the science, as and when uncertainties are reduced the range narrows. (It has narrowed very slightly since TAR.)

    Now I believe there are various caveats covering the credibility of the range given. The given climate sensitivity is an amalgamation of various approaches to estimate climate sensitivity, and each approach comes with its own additional caveats. After all the misunderstandings have been ironed out those caveats may or may not satisfy your requirements, I don't know. But there are both caveats and uncertainties involved in the IPCC's estimation of a range of likely climate sensitivities, even if they don't meet your full expectations.

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  • 134. At 8:06pm on 25 Nov 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    112. Liberal wrote:

    "#73 & 76, pls. refer the following link for answers on why China's building so many coal-fired power"

    Thanks for that link Liberal. Not news. And it misses the point.

    True that the new plants they are building are 'cleaner' but, as that article explains, China is now the world's largest CO2 emitter and rising rapidly. China is just beating its wife with cleaner clubs.

    So much for what Richard is trying to imply here (and see my post #106 for the difference between Richard's idle speculation and what they actually propose).

    But if you think that these newer 'clean' coal fired plants are OK, I assumke that you must also support building them in the UK or the USA or wherever? If not, why not?

    Here's what China (and India) are really doing, while they pretend to play the AGW con game:

    "22 Nov: Businessweek: Alistair Holloway: South African Coal Price Highest in Two Years on Chinese Demand

    A cold wave is sweeping across China from the west, lowering temperatures in northern regions by as much as 18 degrees Celsius today, the National Meteorological Center said. That may spur coal demand. Power-station coal prices at Qinhuangdao port, a Chinese benchmark, rose today to the highest since Jan. 25, data from the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association show…

    Buyers have increasingly turned to South Africa for coal because supplies from Indonesia have been hampered by rainfall and Australian shipments face infrastructure bottlenecks, she said…

    India may not be able to meet its own coal needs. Demand in the year starting April 2011 is forecast at 713.2 million tons, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told parliament today. Production in the next financial year is estimated at 591.8 million tons, he said…

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-11-22/south-african-coal-price-highest-in-two-years-on-chinese-demand.html"

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