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Hot and cold oil in Cancun climate

Richard Black | 18:55 UK time, Friday, 3 December 2010

 

Demonstration on beach in Cancun

Campaigners have accused governments of having their heads in the sand regarding the urgent need for action

Reading the runes of Cancun's first week at a distance (the BBC, unlike Britain's best-selling daily paper The Sun, is deploying its correspondent on site for only the second half of the meeting this year), it seems that the familiar top-line story of villains and double-dealing is underpinned by something a little more subtle.

You can interpret some of the developments as indicating that governments are looking at the latest data on temperatures and weather, then looking back to Copenhagen and asking "what have we done?"

The fingers of blame so far have been pointed principally at a fairly unfamiliar target: Japan.

A leader on energy efficiency, and a champion of the Kyoto agreement around the time it was signed 13 years ago, it now finds itself in the firing line from developing countries and from campaigners over its decision to say a categorical "no" to any chance of setting further targets for emission reductions under the Kyoto Protocol (KP).

This is a story that began in the middle of the year at one of the preparatory meetings in Bonn, when Japanese and Russian negotiators lined up side-by-side against more KP.

On the surface, the reasoning is simple. Not all big emitters are inside the protocol; so why seek a further agreement that doesn't set targets for, for example, the US and China, the biggest two emitters?

The reason why China isn't covered in this way is simple, yet something that some western governments apparently have trouble remembering from day to day; it's a developing country, and thus under the terms of the UN climate convention itself, it does not have to take the lead in cutting emissions.

Its per-capita emissions remain much lower than those of the US or Japan.

Caricature of Naoko Kan

Japan's Prime Minister found himself lampooned over objections to the Kyoto Protocol

What's exercising Japan, principally, appears to be the fact that China is set to emerge as the dominant East Asian economy.

At a time when Japan-China relations are also strained by a spat over ship collisions in the waters of a disputed island and by China's restrictions on exporting rare earth elements to Japan, giving way to Beijing on climate change is, it appears, not feasible.

On the face of it, Japan's stance makes agreement on an eventual package near impossible; it won't take more cuts under the KP, but developing countries won't budge without extending the protocol.

Add in the fact that no-one can yet be sure how the US can meet its target for emission cuts, and potentially you have a recipe for stalemate.

But this is where the more subtle undercurrents come in.

Exhibit One is India. In Copenhagen, its government was bullish, sticking out for nothing that could be taken as international restraints on its emissions, and co-leading with China the BASIC group of big developing nations that wielded the most power during the conference's final days.

Now, we have Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh talking of "being a bridge between the developed and the developing world".

As part of that bridge-building, Mr Ramesh has been working on a proposal for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) - in other words, making sure countries are constraining emissions as they say they are - that could answer concerns China has about preserving its sovereignty, while allowing the US administration to tell the Senate it has its eyes on what China is up to.

India, so I hear, now has reservations about the BASIC bloc - as do Brazil and South Africa - although a rending asunder isn't imminent.

Exhibit Two - much more profoundly - is the progress being made by countries involved in the Cartagena Dialogue.

Australia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Peru, Samoa, Thailand, the UK... just some of the loose grouping of countries from very different circumstances that all want to see progress within the UN climate framework.

Its genesis is curious.

Rare earth smelter in China

China's protection of rare earth elements has angered Japan - and others

On the final morning of the Copenhagen meeting, a group of about 20 leaders assembled in a chilly room expecting to meet Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and talk about a political agreement.

Mr Rasmussen didn't turn up - the previous evening, he'd launched his new-look, stripped-down Copenhagen Accord on unsuspecting leaders at the state dinner, and was busy pursuing that elsewhere.

Not quite knowing what to do, the leaders decided they might as well use their time constructively; and so the Cartagena Dialogue was born.

Meetings have taken place during the intervening year - and so it comes to be that there is at play in the meeting a group of nations determined to be constructive and build more than bridges.

They've managed to set up an informal group to discuss the Japanese/Kyoto issue and its wider context, for example - something that various blocs have vetoed in the past.

Finally come the comments from President Nasheed of The Maldives, who I interviewed in London at the launch of a new report on climate vulnerability.

He went further than developing country chiefs generally do in public about the case for breaking down the traditional silos that countries usually inhabit.

The G77/China bloc encompasses nearly 130 nations including oil-rich Saudi Arabia, small island developing states, really poor countries such as Togo and Haiti and ones that are rapidly developing towards western levels of affluence.

By any analysis, their interests in the climate issue are not the same. Yet historically, the shape of the UN process has assumed they are, by having them all inside the G77/China umbrella.

I'm told that privately, The Maldives isn't the only country wondering whether it's worth it, or whether countries should instead work in alliances that truly reflect their interests.

The bridge-building isn't without its domestic perils.

Mr Ramesh's efforts are being condemned in India - while in the US, four senators are now demanding that the administration withdraws the $1.7bn it's earmarked for climate assistance in poor countries this year, citing the national debt (measured in trillions of dollars).

It's far too early to speculate on whether Cancun will be a failure or a success - partly because no-one really knows how to define those terms - and at the time of writing, rumour has just emerged that a separate political agreement, a Cancun Accord maybe, is being drafted.

That, if it's true, will bring very uncomfortable echoes of Copenhagen. Usually reliable sources think it isn't true - in which case, there's a question to be asked about who said it was, and why.

Lots of smoke, and obscured mirrors - that's the UN climate process.

But some see in the shape of Cartagena a reason to hope that some of the smoke can be dispelled over the remaining week.

Comments

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  • 1. At 8:17pm on 03 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    I'm appalled by this mockery of Islam.

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  • 2. At 8:29pm on 03 Dec 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Richard - do I dedect premature exasperation ?

    You know how these events work: 2 weeks of enjoying the beaches then stay up all night on the last night and concoct a meaningless but pompous blurb. [The negotiators, I mean, not the journoes :-) ]

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  • 3. At 8:40pm on 03 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Great photo! Looks like the IPCC when faced with reality, or one of the UK whitewash panels when faced with the Climategate emails.

    In any case, got to love these silly stunts for their entertainment value.

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  • 4. At 8:54pm on 03 Dec 2010, jazbo wrote:

    Ricahrd, seriously, give it up.

    You link to the Sun, which has a story about polar bears "suddenly" carrying their young.

    I read that cubs are carried through deep snow and in water in books TWENTY years ago.

    But apparently the guys tagging them only saw it in 2007, so it must be new.

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  • 5. At 9:06pm on 03 Dec 2010, jazbo wrote:

    You can interpret some of the developments as indicating that governments are looking at the latest data on temperatures and weather, then looking back to Copenhagen and asking "what have we done?"

    UK record lows set, twice this year
    NORWAY record lows set, coldest November since 1919
    GERMANY - coldest start to a December on record.

    I could go on.

    What have we done?"

    Well, the MET and others have proclaimed it one of the three hottest years on record globally, despite the year having 5 very cold weeks to run.

    Cherry picking for Cancun? Surely not.

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  • 6. At 9:09pm on 03 Dec 2010, jazbo wrote:

    http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/polarbears/pbbirth.html

    Date of publication: 2001.

    "When ready, the mother polar bear leads her cubs to sea ice. Travel is slow with frequent rest and nursing stops. A mother will sometimes carry her cubs on her back through areas of deep snow or water"

    Would you comment on this Richard please?

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  • 7. At 9:13pm on 03 Dec 2010, SR wrote:

    @jasonsceptic

    2010 set to be the joint warmest year on record, globally.

    10 of the warmest years on record have happened in the last 11 years.

    Weather versus climate. Climate will always win, sorry.

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  • 8. At 9:16pm on 03 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:


    I think the time has come for this huge forum of nations to formally recognise that, in the same way as there are 100 different national agendas and all shades in between, there are significant REAL differences between BRICS.

    China is such a massive polluter ON THE WORLD SCALE that considering it in terms of pollution per capita is not only wrong it is intellectually untenable.

    The idea is to reduce *global* loading, so treating China as 'Developing' - ie. technically, financially and structurally unable to fulfil a full obligation, is disengenuous (to say the least).

    China WILL fulfill a full obligation *on its own terms* but, like the great USofA, it will not 'subject itself to the indignity' of being party to a globalised agreement.

    I fully expect the USA to find any and all excuses to fail to reduce its emissions in relation to its ambient levels; I fully expect China to succeed in its aims to reduce its levels. What we cannot expect is for either of the two *world-record polluters* to meet globally agreed reduction levels soon (or at all, in the case of the USA).

    Thus CO2, methane (digestive & clathrates), CFC-family, and particulate atmospheric pollutants will not reduce, will increase, and will influence climate, temperature distributions and human societies.

    My personal prognosis is apocalyptic through positive feedbacks - but we all know my stance, so this is not a revelation.

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  • 9. At 9:23pm on 03 Dec 2010, SR wrote:

    @5
    "Well, the MET and others have proclaimed it one of the three hottest years on record globally, despite the year having 5 very cold weeks to run."

    All that matters is the difference between recorded and 'expected'. We expect it to be cold in December so given that 93% of the year has already elapsed, it would require something VERY VERY cold to make any significant impact on the yearly average - regionally and especially globally. I could do some calculations...but the closer to the end of the year it gets, the closer you get to a position where a temperature less than absolute zero (-273C) would be required to appreciably change the average. For example, a temperature of absolute zero on Dec 31st (if we expect a temp. of 0) is equivalent to less than 1 degree averaged out over the year. Extreme example to demonstrate an important point, especially since some places have had average temperatures of over 3C above normal - 3 days of absolute zero would be required at the end of the year to bring it back to parity.

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  • 10. At 9:29pm on 03 Dec 2010, jazbo wrote:

    7. At 9:13pm on 03 Dec 2010, SR wrote:

    @jasonsceptic

    2010 set to be the joint warmest year on record, globally.

    I prefer to wait until the year has ended before believing the proclamations.

    "10 of the warmest years on record have happened in the last 11 years."

    Remind me how long our record is?




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  • 11. At 9:41pm on 03 Dec 2010, jazbo wrote:

    9. At 9:23pm on 03 Dec 2010, SR wrote:

    4 El Nino's in the past 7 years.

    a decade of very positive NAO.

    Change in jet stream caused heat in Russia this year, propping up that massive heat (remind me what the global anomoly is for this year, +0.38 isn't it?)


    Me? I'm glad all that natural variation has taken the edge of what could be a winter to remember.

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  • 12. At 9:43pm on 03 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #6. jasonsceptic

    Ah yes, polar bear tales. Remember all the hysterical news about drowning polar bears? Or cannibalistic ones? All allegedly 'unprecedented' and due to The warming?

    www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/05/16/where-are-all-the-drowning-polar-bears

    The Myth of the Drowning Polar Bears Due to The Warming is based on 4 dead bears in 2004... and...

    "there were reports of drowning polar bears in 2007, and they were directly attributable to human activities. But they didn’t drown because of global warming, instead, they drowned because they had first been shot with tranquilizer darts and then slipped into the sea and were unable to be recovered."

    Not that polar bears drowning is anything new.

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

    The Myth of the Starving Cannibal Polar Bears is also based on 2004 incidents - possibly one predatory bear - and is not new behaviour in any case.

    alaska.usgs.gov/science/biology/polarbears/unusualmortality.html

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  • 13. At 9:49pm on 03 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #9. SR goes on about the supposed 'hottest year,' again.

    You might find this interesting:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/3-is-the-new-1/

    But, I suppose it is better to believe an unsubstantiated speculative announcement made before the year is over but timed perfectly for Cancun.

    After all, these people never make convenient errors.

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  • 14. At 9:51pm on 03 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Geoff Ward

    More to calm your worries about the Great Flood:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/sea-level-fantasy-in-cancun/

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  • 15. At 9:56pm on 03 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #8. GeoffWard

    I guess you must be totally against the massive offshore drilling planned by Petrobras?

    And for the ongoing destruction of natural habitats to grow 'biofuel' monocultures?

    And for the (formerly) rich countries to send endless amounts of cash to 'poor' Brazil so they can 'adapt to climate change'?

    China and Brazil are both playing the same game.

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  • 16. At 11:17pm on 03 Dec 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    Well, all I can say is "Go Team Japan!!!"

    The sooner the wheels fall off this incredibly squeaky AGW cart, the better.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 17. At 11:56pm on 03 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    “Geoff Ward - More to calm your worries about the Great Flood: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/sea-level-fantasy-in-cancun/
    Re#8. “GeoffWard I guess you must be totally against the massive offshore drilling planned by Petrobras? And for the ongoing destruction of natural habitats to grow 'biofuel' monocultures? And for the (formerly) rich countries to send endless amounts of cash to 'poor' Brazil so they can 'adapt to climate change'? China and Brazil are both playing the same game.” (CanadianRockies 14 & 15)
    .........................................
    Rockies,
    Re#14: check back on posting – you should find that my comment referred to my aged father’s lack of concern about North Sea storm surges inundating the Holderness Levels (and his house). There have been Great Floods in the past – one of the biggest might just have inundated the land your house is built on.
    I am on record in Brasil press, Washington Post, The Economist, BBC, etc on your #15. I can handle deep-water drilling but not the associated institutionalised corruption; I have involvement (as you know) with the Brasilian anti-deforestation movement, but I prefer the cane-biofuel program to the North American corn-biofuel program. I am known to be vociferous critical about the trading paradigm for CO2 and biodiversity, and I have criticized President Lula’s basic instinct for profit in environmental trading. The Brasil-China economic axis is over x800 stronger this year than last year (2010:$28bn+) – China buying into Brasil’s plains grazing land for soya monoculture, solely for China export; China taking Brasil’s raw geology; China buying big into the deep & shallow crude-oil concessions. This, I’m afraid, is just the start.

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  • 18. At 00:08am on 04 Dec 2010, Poppy55 wrote:

    I found shocking that China neither USA wanted to assist.
    Mexico has lot of problems with poverty and drugs which are correlated to environmental problems. USA cannot demand by one way to reduce drug problems without trying to reduce its CO2 emissions.
    All is related. More pooverty means more destruction of forests and loss of biodiversity and increasing of black markets (drugs, rare animals and plants, slavery etc).
    Doing talks in touristic places also don't help a lot. It doesn't look serious they want to resolve problems on climatic change.Until when environmental problems will be taken seriously??:-(


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  • 19. At 05:25am on 04 Dec 2010, Jeric wrote:

    The reason these summits never accomplish anything is because they have more to do with new world order and wealth redistribution than the total emissions going into the atmosphere. Assuming CO2 does have such a strong effect on climate, it doesn't matter if it's coming from a developing country or a developed country the result is the same. The only true measurement that matters is emissions per land area. Right now you have a country like China with as many as 100 million people living a developed standard of living but also an additional 1 billion peasants that allow the very wealthy industries in China to keep polluting away because when combined with the peasants the per-capita is at a developing level. If you care about reducing emissions then put a hard cap on emissions from all countries based on their land area; if you want wealth redistribution then keep pressing for Kyoto but don't expect developed nations to be jumping on board to reward China for producing twice as much CO2 as any country in the history of the world by the year 2020.

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  • 20. At 07:04am on 04 Dec 2010, Cassandra wrote:

    Oh come on - is anyone really surprised by the lack of progress. This was predicted a year ago according to the recent cables released on wikileaks - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-cables-cancun-climate-van-rompuy

    The whole process has become a job creation scheme for environmental bureaucrats and NGO lobbyists.

    The best thing those wanting action on climate change could do would be to bring the farce to an end. At the moment the never ending meetings simply act as a fig leaf for the first world and trans nationals to pretend they are doing something.

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  • 21. At 07:57am on 04 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    "deploying its correspondent on site for only the second half of the meeting this year"

    don;t get paranoid about attending these meetings. these meetings are crucial to the future of the planet and the co2 footprint is probably equivalent to a couple of weeks' worth of junkets to the cayman islands for uk company execs just so they can avoid uk corporation tax!!

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  • 22. At 08:06am on 04 Dec 2010, This Comment Was Removed By The Moderators wrote:

    In the end it's fiddling while Rome burns (or at least warms up substantially). Market price rises for oil and gas will eventually make the low-energy economies so much more competitive, that the rest of the world will be desperate to find out how they manage, and their techniques will quickly be copied. The UK could be hydrocarbon- and emission-free within 10 years if the government wanted it to be.

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  • 23. At 08:14am on 04 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #19 jeric

    "more to do with new world order" - this is a valid point. it is much harder to resolve pressing global issues when there is so much fud about the global political balance.

    agw could well be a catalyst for an entirely new balance of global power. this all makes the uk 'children of thatcher' govt's paranoia about the special relationship look pathetically outdated.

    there is big change coming.......wish i knew what it was!

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  • 24. At 08:20am on 04 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #6 jasonsceptic

    "Would you comment on this Richard please?" - on what? the fact that open water existed in 2001?

    if you're interested in what biologist are saying (i.e. Polar Bears Unlikely to Survive in Warmer World) check out http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101124085607.htm

    #10 jasonsceptic

    "I prefer to wait until the year has ended before believing the proclamations."

    the global energy balance doesn't change overnight.

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  • 25. At 09:11am on 04 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black

    Please comment on the following, both of which are relevant to Cancun:

    I think Cancun will go the same way as the Chicago Climate Exchange - the same route as all failures. Interesting that the man behind the CCX, Richard Sandor, made an awful lot of money out of it:

    The CCX was the brainchild of Northwestern University business professor Richard Sandor, who used $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based left-wing Joyce Foundation to launch the CCX.

    .....

    While we don’t know how well Al Gore and Goldman Sachs fared on their investments in the CCX, we do know that there’s no reason to cry for Sandor. He received $98.5 million for his 16.5% stake in CCX when it was sold. Not bad for a failure that somebody else financed.


    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/if-al-gores-chicago-climate-exchange-suffers-total-failure-does-the-msm-make-a-sound/?singlepage=true

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

    Do you think Ottmar Edenhofer, German economist and joint chair of Working Group 3 at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the IPCC, confession that Cancun is really about the redistribution of wealth will have an effect on negotiations?

    First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

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

    Care to answer this time or is that your head buried in the sand?

    Thank you

    /Mango

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  • 26. At 09:41am on 04 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    From a mini conversation I had with someone, I gather that we have probably gone past the point of no return and mitigation strategies will merely lessen impacts.

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  • 27. At 10:04am on 04 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    If you want an interesting read (17 pages long) try Iona Miller March 2009
    http://sedonanomalies.com/Geomagnetism.htm Is Earth Driving Us Crazy? Flipping out over Geomagnetism.
    I don't dismiss interesting ideas.
    As for world meetings, I think we are all doing rather nicely here and we aren't asking for wages for our input, only exchanges of ideas. In the end it will be ordinary people who make changes because governments are constantly looking to see who are getting more resources than them. In a crisis everyone has to look after their families and friends because government help is often too late or rationed.

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  • 28. At 11:26am on 04 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    sensiblegrannie #26 wrote:

    From a mini conversation I had with someone, I gather that we have probably gone past the point of no return

    The person you had the conversation with is probably someone who thinks he has given up religion, because he no longer believes in God. But with his own guard lowered because he thinks he's given it all up, he has unwittingly embraced the standard issue apocalyptic old tub-thumping that has plagued mankind for thousands of years.

    No doubt he thinks of himself as a "sage" because he out-pessimizes the rest of us. No doubt there are many who also think of him as a "sage" for the same reasons. As JS Mill said, "I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage."

    C'mon sensiblegrannie, let's hope while others despair!

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  • 29. At 12:18pm on 04 Dec 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Met office climate supercomputer ......... £ 33 million
    Met office climate lady stuck in snow..... priceless

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  • 30. At 12:41pm on 04 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:


    "....First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community.
    But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy....." (MangoChutneyUKOK 85)
    .................................
    I consider China to be Developing from Undeveloped status, not Developed. 'Expropriated the atmosphere' is an emotive yet meaningless phrase.
    The Developed world was happy to export its atmospheric pollution along with the export of its manufacture. Thus, the 'world's wealth' was redistributed by the re-location of the world's manufacture to China. Climate policy trading is a lower-order redistribution.

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  • 31. At 12:44pm on 04 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    bowman, sometimes, just sometimes, you are very sweet.
    I don't despair about world issues.
    I strongly believe that ordinary people are far more resourceful than are given credit for. Academics and mathematicians have their calculus and computers for cold comfort but ordinary people quickly adapt the way they live when subjected to adversity.
    All it takes are a few good, intelligent, strong leaders and provision of a network of appropriate resources to motivate a population. The sharing of resources would be keystone change. Doubling up of the same resources is wasteful when the money saved could be more appropriately used.

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  • 32. At 12:46pm on 04 Dec 2010, jazbo wrote:

    24. At 08:20am on 04 Dec 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #6 jasonsceptic

    "Would you comment on this Richard please?" - on what? the fact that open water existed in 2001?

    if you're interested in what biologist are saying (i.e. Polar Bears Unlikely to Survive in Warmer World) check out http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101124085607.htm
    -------------------------------

    I have read plenty about polar bears thanks, for more than 20 years.

    Please spare us the warmer world nonsense.

    The issue is that animals migrate. Polare bears cannot migrate as they get shot, mostly by canadians and Norwegians. So it's man that is penning them in, rather than allowing natural migration and evolution now, not climate.


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  • 33. At 12:49pm on 04 Dec 2010, jazbo wrote:

    A second point regarding polar bears and sea ice. Do you think the 7000+ reported ice-breaker journeys through arctic ice annually may also just have an effect on the perimiter where polar bears hunt?

    Of course, it is far easier and simplistic to blame alleged AGW.

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  • 34. At 1:15pm on 04 Dec 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    @SensibleGrannie

    Don't worry about all this scary nonsense. Not many people really believe it.

    A true believer would not have children.

    The children would be condemned to a life of misery with all these scares - global warming, global cooling, peak everything, bio-security loss, man-bear-pig, sea-level rises, water shortages, flooding, droughts.

    Now look around at the scare-mongers. Would they have children if they really believed in this stuff?

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  • 35. At 4:27pm on 04 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    34. At 1:15pm on 04 Dec 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Now look around at the scare-mongers. Would they have children if they really believed in this stuff?

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

    We can only hope.

    But then, the watermelons aren't worried about AGW, they want wealth redistribution. That is their aim, that has always been their aim and it will remain their aim, long after this AGW nonsense has died a death and they've moved on to their next cause celebre in order to pursue their goal.

    Don't take my word for it, ask IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer:

    "The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War."

    "One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore"

    And to think, we were called conspiracy nuts and laughed at for saying the green movement was more interested in wealth redistribution than the planet.

    Who's laughing now?

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  • 36. At 4:50pm on 04 Dec 2010, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    I like the picture - global warming activists with their heads in the sand - very appropriate!
    I do hope Richard is enjoying his beach holiday in the sun at the expense of the BBC license payer sitting at home shivering and snowed in.
    Glad to hear the meeting is going so badly.

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  • 37. At 6:01pm on 04 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Brunnen #35 wrote:

    they want wealth redistribution

    That great philosopher of science, Prince Charles "of the grey goo and alternative holistic medicine" of Windsor: Do you think he wants wealth redistribution?

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  • 38. At 7:38pm on 04 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #37 bowmanthebard

    From your first comment (#1)to your last... its come full circle.

    "Prince Charles yesterday urged the world to follow Islamic 'spiritual principles' in order to protect the environment."

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1285332/Follow-Islamic-way-save-world-Charles-urges-environmentalists.html#ixzz0qVedA7z5

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  • 39. At 8:37pm on 04 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    If you read what Ottmar Edenhofer actually says, rather than how certain blogs and media chose to spin it, you'll find he's talking about the shift that would occur if the globe turns from predominately carbon based energy sources to non-carbon based energy sources.

    Here's what he means by "global wealth redistribution":

    Ottmar Edenhofer: "In the course of the 21st century it is not the fossil fuels that will become rare, it is the ability of the atmosphere to absorb additional greenhouse gases. We have more fossil fuel energy reserves in the ground than we can store in the atmosphere if we want to avoid dangerous climate change. That will not change because oil will run out. It will only lead to oil sands being used more and the liquidification of coal will become economical. A higher oil price therefore will lead to increased emissions. Further more coal will be used. And coal is relatively cheap and plentiful. You can turn and twist it as you wish: Climate policy has to make sure that the majority of the fossil reserves remain in the ground and are not used. Exactly that will diminish the income and wealth of the owners of oil and gas."

    Countries are all in agreement that global CO2 emissions need to be reduced. The sticking point is the countries that own oil and gas. That's why he says it's not a climate conference, but an economic one because the issue now is agreeing how to manage the economics of an energy switchover so everyone can agree on it.

    So the people who claim the issue is all about wealth redistribution as in some kind of communist plot are still conspiracy nuts. Sorry.


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  • 40. At 8:48pm on 04 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    39. quake

    Nice try.

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  • 41. At 9:13pm on 04 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    "One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore"

    Why didn't you try and spin this quote (from the same interview) quake?

    When someone from the IPCC says climate policy is about wealth redistribution, you just don't get to call us conspiracy nuts for saying that IPCC climate policy is about wealth redistribution.

    There's only one thing you get to call us: correct.

    But try and spin again, the important thing for the watermelon is that the red is kept on the inside, where the public can't see it.

    Too bad comrade Ottmar spilled the beans, huh?

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  • 42. At 9:27pm on 04 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Look who's bribing who for Cancun:

    "The prospects of an international deal on new climate financing mechanisms received a boost earlier today, when the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced it has granted €500m (£425m) to China to support the development of low-carbon projects.”

    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/1930032/eu-hands-china-eur500m-clean-tech-loan

    So now EU taxpayers can borrow money from 'poor' China to give it to China.

    China sure knows how to play suckers.

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  • 43. At 9:48pm on 04 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    Even better Brunnen, I'll even give you the context of that quote. The spin on Edenhofer's words is that wealth redistribution is the *reason* to reduce CO2 emissions. That's wrong and contradicts Edenhofer's own words. Wealth redistribution is a *side effect* of reducing CO2 emissions, not the reason for doing it. And by wealth redistribution Edenhofer is referring to carbon as analogous to wealth.

    Here's the context.

    Ottmar Edenhofer first says: "we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon stored in the coal reserves under our feet and we can at most shove 400 gigatons into the atmosphere if we want to hold to the 2 degree limit. 11,000 to 400 there is no way to avoid it, the major fraction of the fossil reserves must stay in the ground."

    So there we have it. Ottmar Edenhofer is not saying wealth redistribution is the reason for reducing emissions as the spin claims. He is clearly in his own words in the same interview citing environmental reasons for reducing emissions.

    The interviewer then responds to what Ottmar Edenhofer just said with:
    "De facto that is an expropriation from the countries that have the reserves. That will lead to a completely different developmental policy than has up till now been the case."

    He's pointing out that reducing CO2 emissions will mean countries with a lot of carbon infrastructure and reserves will lose out and countries that don't will gain. That is defacto wealth redistribution given that carbon is tied to wealth.

    So you've confused cause with effect. The cause for reducing emissions is indeed limiting climate change. Edenhofer makes that clear. Wealth redistribution is an effect of reducing emissions, not the reason to do it.

    And it's to the above point which Ottmar Edenhofer replies, including the part you quote:
    "Up till now it is the industrial counties that have seized the atmosphere from the global community. But it has to be clearly stated: Climate policy will de facto redistribute the world's economic wealth. That the holders of coal and oil reserves are not exactly pleased with this is obvious. We have to free ourselves from the illusion that climate politics is environmental politics. This has almost nothing to do with environmental issues, with problems like acid rain or the ozone hole."

    Where you have probably got confused is what "climate politics" is. It's not the same thing as "reason to reduce CO2". Climate politics is all the bickering that goes on at these conferences. The stumbling blocks and issues of disagreement have nothing to do with climate anymore. All these countries agree in principle that CO2 emissions need cutting. The disagreement now is economic roadblocks. Countries disagreeing how to implement CO2 reductions because they all have different stakes in fossil fuels. ie the whole emissions per capita issue, developing vs developed countries, China vs US vs Europe. Hence why he describes the conference as an economic one because that is what any agreement is going to be about.

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  • 44. At 10:12pm on 04 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #43 quake wrote:

    "So you've confused cause with effect. The cause for reducing emissions is indeed limiting climate change. Edenhofer makes that clear. Wealth redistribution is an effect of reducing emissions, not the reason to do it."

    Toooo funny. What a convenient effect. They're just extorting money to save the climate. "Edenhofer makes that clear," so it must be true.

    Really quake, I think I have a bridge to sell you. Or, how about if you just send me a check and I'll promise to save the climate too. Honest.

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  • 45. At 11:13pm on 04 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    Re '"Edenhofer makes that clear," so it must be true.'

    So you were happy to take his words at face value until you realized what he's actually saying.

    Your use of the phrase "what a convenient effect" is misplaced. That phrase doesn't work when the cited "effect" is blindingly obvious and logically follows. Global CO2 emission reductions will affect countries with large reserves of hydrocarbons therefore shifting wealth from them.

    As for bridges, I think I've done my work here in putting Edenhofer's words into the context he made them and exposing the spin that has been made of them. Anyone scrolling down this thread is going to encounter my inconvenient posts. So bye.

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  • 46. At 11:36pm on 04 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    "Where you have probably got confused is"

    Stop you right there quake.

    I'm not confused at all. Comrade Ottmar clearly sees wealth redistribution as a good thing and the fight against climate change as the way to achieve this socialist goal.

    Why the hell should I pay more in tax so that people in China can have an easier life?

    Don't forget, China is one of those developing countries that us evil westerners have been exploiting, so they'll benefit from the redistribution of my money, even as they pollute.

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  • 47. At 11:44pm on 04 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    45. At 11:13pm on 04 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    So you were happy to take his words at face value until you realized As for bridges, I think I've done my work here in putting Edenhofer's words into the context he made them and exposing the spin that has been made of them. Anyone scrolling down this thread is going to encounter my inconvenient posts. So bye.

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

    Go Superman.

    What you seem blissfully unaware of is that reading the whole interview and seeing the quotes in context doesn't actually make it any better, it just adds waffle as he attempts to explain the agenda of impoverishing the west to benefit the delevoping world in the name of saving the planet.

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  • 48. At 00:45am on 05 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #45. quake

    I kind of feel bad 'ganging up on you' with Brunnen but...

    You wrote: "So you were happy to take his words at face value until you realized what he's actually saying."

    What this particular bureaucrat said is beside the point because his words were only stating the obvious, even with the spin.

    "Your use of the phrase "what a convenient effect" is misplaced. That phrase doesn't work when the cited "effect" is blindingly obvious and logically follows. Global CO2 emission reductions will affect countries with large reserves of hydrocarbons therefore shifting wealth from them."

    Seems you don't understand things too well. Wealth is not created simply from having those resources. Much more is created using them. Thus the Japanese economy has produced vast wealth with almost none of them while the Sudan, with big untapped reserves, is an economic basket case.

    And China is not getting rich because it has those resources, but rather because they are using what they do have and whatever else they can buy. You do understand that China is building coal-fired plants (as well as developing ALL other energy sources)as fast as they can, don't you?

    So your simplistic vision does not make sense. Moreover, in the real world CO2 emissions are not going to be reduced because China and India et al are ramping up fossil fuel use as fast as they can. In the real world peak CHEAP oil is happening and that is only going to INCREASE the wealth of those countries which have that and other energy resources. Noticed the price of coal lately?

    This increasing cost for fossil fuels will drive more efficiencies and more alternatives without any scary AGW stories.

    But, quake, if it would make you feel better to send some money to some poor country, be my guest. But you will need to go there yourself if you want most or any of it to actually get to the people who need it, and that will probably require the help of some fossil fuel powered device, and still more CO2 emissions.

    In the meantime, I have seen some reports that, due to the weather there, the UK could be facing a bit of an energy crunch. If that happens it will be a little taste of what the UN AGW gang sees as the future you deserve.

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  • 49. At 00:52am on 05 Dec 2010, quake wrote:

    You've made up a fantasy and you are sticking to it eh? "Comrade Edenhofer and his vast communist conspiracy"

    His own words in the interview paint a rather different picture:

    'The book includes a parable: A wandering group, the world community, is underway in the desert. The industrial countries drink half of the water and then say magnanimously: "Let us now divide the water equally." The others reply "That does not work, you have emptied half of the water. We want now to discuss your historical responsibility." The meaning is: If we now fight about the water supply because we cannot agree about ethical principles we will die of thirst. What we need to do is search for an oasis, that is the coal free world economy. It is all about mutually searching for this oasis'

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  • 50. At 02:37am on 05 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #49. quake

    Well, I see you'd rather not deal with the economic realities but instead quote some idealistic and guilt-ridden fantasy.

    But don't you think it is more than just a little tacky to write "Comrade Edenhofer and his vast communist conspiracy" in quotation marks, implying that I had said that? I didn't. You did. And if you were trying to counter your own "communist" strawman with that quote, it did not work - just the opposite.

    How much of the UK's energy currently comes from coal, and what is its cost relative to other energy sources?

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  • 51. At 07:18am on 05 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @46 Brunnen
    'Why the hell should I pay more in tax so that people in China can have an easier life?

    Don't forget, China is one of those developing countries that us evil westerners have been exploiting, so they'll benefit from the redistribution of my money, even as they pollute.'


    As you correctly point out, it is the West who are paying them to pollute..

    The West wants cheap goods.. so there is a real price to pay and its not at the check-out.. that is the economic reality Canadian Rockies hasn't grasped.

    We are simply exporting the emissions along with all the manufacturing jobs, because that is how laissez-faire, free market economics works.. you are going to pay more tax because you won't pay your fellow citizens what it costs to make consumer goods in the West.. and haven't done for years.

    ..so spare us the 'its all johnny foreigner's fault' diatribe...

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  • 52. At 10:21am on 05 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Could someone explain to me what is meant by this:

    "We want now to discuss your historical responsibility."

    What moral principle is being appealed to here?

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  • 53. At 12:17pm on 05 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #50
    (@quake #49)

    Why do you think quake was addressing you when he referred to someone in this thread labelling Ottmar Edenhofer with the title "comrade"? Why don't you think quake's #49 was addressing Brunnen.

    "The reason these summits never accomplish anything is because they have more to do with new world order and wealth redistribution than the total emissions going into the atmosphere." Jeric #19
    "Do you think Ottmar Edenhofer, German economist and joint chair of Working Group 3 at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the IPCC, confession that Cancun is really about the redistribution of wealth will have an effect on negotiations?" MangoChutneyUKOK #25
    "the watermelons aren't worried about AGW, they want wealth redistribution" Brunnen #35
    "And to think, we were called conspiracy nuts and laughed at for saying the green movement was more interested in wealth redistribution than the planet." Brunnen #35
    "When someone from the IPCC says climate policy is about wealth redistribution, you just don't get to call us conspiracy nuts for saying that IPCC climate policy is about wealth redistribution." Brunnen #41
    "the important thing for the watermelon is that the red is kept on the inside, where the public can't see it" Brunnen #41
    "Too bad comrade Ottmar spilled the beans, huh?" Brunnen #41
    "Comrade Ottmar clearly sees wealth redistribution as a good thing and the fight against climate change as the way to achieve this socialist goal." Brunnen #46

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  • 54. At 1:10pm on 05 Dec 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Lamna_nasus re: Brunnen's(and CanadianRockies) posts

    You're deliberately not addressing the point that spawned all of these posts - Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer – A Lead Author on the IPCC fourth assessment report and now co-chair of working Group Three “Mitigation of Climate Change”, who is admittedly an economist, said:

    "The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War."

    and

    "One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore"

    Which, Quake then didn’t help by further supplying this:

    "Up till now it is the industrial countries that have seized the atmosphere from the global community. But it has to be clearly stated: Climate policy will de facto redistribute the world's economic wealth. That the holders of coal and oil reserves are not exactly pleased with this is obvious. We have to free ourselves from the illusion that climate politics is environmental politics. This has almost nothing to do with environmental issues, with problems like acid rain or the ozone hole."

    The point that many sceptics have been making for a long time, is that the IPCC has very little to do with actual science and much more to do with the politics and the money. In the past many AGWers have claimed that this particular notion was indicative of paranoia (and lunatic tendencies) on the part of some of us sceptics and yet this would now appear to be proven.......

    Given the directness of the statements above, there is really no scope for continuing this argument, the case is now closed and a huge apology is probably due from warmists to sceptics - Let’s maybe move on to what little’s left of your case............

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 55. At 1:47pm on 05 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    How does one get a job in the climate business? It looks pretty lucrative if one knows how to brand one's cause convincingly enough. Perhaps UK could go into climate telesales as lots of its home grown trade is now done abroad.

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  • 56. At 2:39pm on 05 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @blunderbunny #54
    (@quake)
    (@Lamna_nasus)
    (@Brunnen)
    (@CanadianRockies)

    The economic thing isn't something that the IPCC has chosen to impose on the negotiations. Instead it's something that is a direct consequence of some very difficult international politics. It has been imposed on the IPCC.

    The US doesn't want to shoulder an unfair share of the economic burden of climate change. The BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) don't want to shoulder an unfair share of the economic burden of climate change. In fact no faction amongst the countries involved in negotiations wants to shoulder an unfair of the economic burden for climate change.

    And this is a problem. The costs of climate change and the costs of fixing climate change are far less clear than whether or not AGW causing problems is a real possibility. And there are different rationales for carving up these costs. Which is fairer? Costs divvied up according to what nation states can afford? "Equal" restrictions on new growth that will hit developing nations harder? "Equal" restrictions on total use that will hit the longest developed nations such as the UK harder than more recently developed nations such as Japan? "Equal" restrictions on current rate of use which will give developing nations an extra advantage in trade over developed nations.

    One of the fairest suggestions is "converge and contract". The only problem is that international markets are like a game of monopoly, they naturally create big differences in wealth, so we will never finish converging, so there can be no contraction.

    I don't see a way round this problem.

    There may be other ways to tackle climate change. Perhaps fusion, perhaps solar thermal, perhaps more efficient use of energy by technology, I don't know. Perhaps Richard Holmes (#22 on this thread) is right and the soaring price of fossil fuels will stimulate investments in technological alternatives to carbon. But the UN/IPCC route looks dead.

    In the interim I don't like some of the name calling on this thread.

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  • 57. At 3:16pm on 05 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    Sarcasm really doesn't work on this site, does it?

    I used the term 'comrade Ottmar' sarcastically. Too bad quake was too busy leaping to his defence to spot that.

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  • 58. At 3:18pm on 05 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #56 wrote:

    The costs of climate change and the costs of fixing climate change are far less clear than whether or not AGW causing problems is a real possibility.

    I would say "even" less clear rather than "far" less clear! Assuming AGW is even happening in the first place, the "problems" it is supposed to cause are not being "measured" properly at all, because obvious things are being overlooked... For example, linking this to yesterday's discussion about biodiversity, many people don't realize that if there are fewer individuals of one species, as a rule there must be more individuals of another species, for the simple reason that populations are mostly set by the food supply. If fewer nettles means fewer individuals of a rare butterfly, say, the nectar that they leave uneaten is bound to be exploited by members of some other species. If that other species is regarded as uninteresting, its increasing numbers will be overlooked. It will look like a "loss", when it is in fact a mere change, a combination of losses and gains.

    By systematically and habitually overlooking such obvious facts of the "economics of life" do people come to think AGW -- were it actually happening -- would be "catastrophic" rather than merely "different".

    As for what might be the best "solution" for something we don't even know yet is even a "problem", you used the three magic words yourself:

    I don't know.

    Exactly. None of us knows. Nor do we know what as-yet-unimagined technology or as-yet-undiscovered resources will be available to future generations. So let them pack up their troubles in Cancun, and go home to do an honest day's work. Let us optimistically put our shoulders to the wheel and try to get people back to work, back into education, back into enjoying life again.

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  • 59. At 3:55pm on 05 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    The UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Japan (last blog-topic (closed prematurely) refers):
    **In Richard’s previous posting on biodiversity**, CanadianRockies comments and asks questions about the UK that address the issue of absolute extinctions vis-a-viz population decrease.

    The UK, as we know, is a patchwork of worked and re-worked landscapes within a relatively small geographical area, sustaining a large range of modified ecosystems/biome-types. The spacially-close relationships where these communities overlap gives the UK potentially high biodiversity through the ‘niche’ (eg continental shelf marine), the niche overlap (eg estuary), the original (Caledonian forest), the modified (eg flood-plains/fluvial systems), the degraded (eg gravel extraction/waste infill), and the created (eg reservoirs, moors, cities, etc).

    These have evolved their interactively semi-stable complexity over the thousands of years of modification, and their floral and faunal associations have done likewise.

    What has changed with industrialisation is the rate and scale of modification. Some species associations have disappeared entirely from the UK region or the UK, (extinction?), but as a result of recent glacial/post-glacial history they frequently exist elsewhere in the adjacent continental land-mass and seas.

    Some species are incredibly difficult to make extinct – cockroach, rat, bracken, nettle – largely because we modify our environment in ways that favour their survival and expansion. Some, like the Japanese knot weed, Sargassum and Crepidula fornicata, came, stayed and thrived. Other species such as the North Sea cod, northern wolf, beaver and brown bear have been hunted to economic or biological extinction. It is only the ‘valued’, the evolution-isolates, the rare, the restricted-local and/or ‘uniquely located’- such as the vendace and burbot, that are at great risk of extinction.

    Somebody’s ‘Law’ (it must exist), that states that the higher the food-value-to-humans and the larger the physical size of the species, the greater the probability of extinction. So, most of the UK big-wild-animal extinctions have already happened, and pre-industrially.

    I guess the biodiversity question is not (just) one of extinctions, it is one of the scope for re-adjustment of animal-plant associations as the total land-mass of these islands accommodates ever-higher population densities and modern mono-cultural agricultural practices.

    The more the landscape is simplified (like the grain-plains of the New World?) the less the regional biodiversity; but there will always be large numbers of non-human animals as long as ants produce anthills and the coastal mud-flats support Hydrobia jenkinsii…. The biodiversity we (fail to) see is frequently an ecological trompe l'oeil.

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  • 60. At 4:01pm on 05 Dec 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Post 16: “Well, all I can say is "Go Team Japan!!!"

    I have a lot of sympathy for the position of the Japanese, who have committed to moving to a low-carbon future. Given that AGW is being taken as a given, it’s untenable for them to support any outcome where certain countries refuse to get their own houses in order because of their domestic fossil fuel lobby. As an aside, I did find it mildly amusing reading some of the ‘skeptic’ astroturfers comments on another website carrying this story about Japan. Only having read the headline and not the article, these enlightened souls wrote about how much respect they had for the Japanese ‘standing up to the lefty-communisty-scam-conspiracy thing’...

    “Quake” regarding Ottmar Edenhofer:

    Thank you for putting those comments in context and clearing that non-story up. Like any good zombie argument, expect to keep seeing it repeated though...

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  • 61. At 4:27pm on 05 Dec 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @GoeffWard

    Re:Beavers

    They're back!!!!!

    www.scotsbeavers.org

    Plus, mudflats are to bio-diversity, what K2 is to mountains and if wasn't for our little green an pleasant agricultural patchwork, our mudflats wouldn't be quite so extensive or rich..... So, nothings quite so easy as it seems when it comes to bio-diversity ;-)

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 62. At 4:43pm on 05 Dec 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Yorkurbantree #60

    Doesn't really bother me why anyone say's no to this all of this rubbish, only that they say no. Quite Frankly, the sooner it all comes to an end the better.

    Science and the truth will eventually win out.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 63. At 4:54pm on 05 Dec 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Campaigners have accused governments of having their heads in the sand regarding the urgent need for action. I agree with this, but I think it's because the information that has been made available runs hot and cold.
    What to believe?
    Who to believe?
    Do you think that if the powers that be really and seriously believed that the earth was in critical danger of say - burning up - they would sit on their butts and do nothing?
    Either they believe that something so bad is going to happen, that they are just trying to avoid panic, or they don't believe anything is going to happen.
    The topic makes a good finger-pointer e.g. the Americans at China or
    developing countries at Japan, but where, I ask again, do we find the truth?
    I tend to agree with the question: "Not all big emitters are inside the protocol; so why seek a further agreement that doesn't set targets for, for example, the US and China, the biggest two emitters?"
    I see no solution to the arguments and the finger-pointing among countries, but the arguments themselves tell me
    1. NO country actually accepts the dangers of climate change or climate warming or
    2. SOME countries do accept the dangers but are are willing to sacrifice - i.e. their own people!
    It's far too early to speculate on whether Cancun will be a failure, but I think it will be a failure because most countries (that count) are too selfish to worry about islands get swallowed or tidal waves 60 feet tall.
    Lots of smoke, and obscured mirrors - but where is the truth about global warming. What is really going to happen?
    If we only knew the truth from the horses's mouth, but we don't even know the horse!
    Here's what I think is going to happen because it has happened before: Periodically global warming causes the earth to heave. Lands that were under water resurface, and many lands that are currently inhabited slip below the surface.
    This is why there are so many archetectural treasures under the water - like massive temples off the coast of Malta (Gebel Gol-Bahar) and Japan. Pura Taman is underwater temple situated in Pemuteran, Bali.
    I think huge junks of the Artic and/or the Antartic slither into the oceans. (I mean junks the size of at least Great Britain.) This may be caused by global warming, but it could also be caused by other factors, like the passing of huge asteroids that have a magnetic affect like that of the moon.
    Around the world, entire islands will sink. Coasts will be inundated. There will be tidal waves higher, faster and more dangerous than we have ever seen. There will be massive loss of life...and that will solve the population problem for a very long time.

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  • 64. At 4:58pm on 05 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    GeoffWard #59 wrote:

    Somebody’s ‘Law’ (it must exist), that states that the higher the food-value-to-humans and the larger the physical size of the species, the greater the probability of extinction.

    Sounds like it's curtains for cows!

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  • 65. At 4:58pm on 05 Dec 2010, John wrote:

    Hippies are the dumbest people on earth. They create myths and lies. "Global Warming" is a myth, it's a lie so people can sell their expensive and useless products which will supposedly help reduce "global warming". You can rest assured that every vehicle I buy and drive will be a gas monster. My Jeep makes 17 miles/gallon at best, and I love it. I will never buy a Hybrid vehicle, I will never "go green", I will never buy into the lies created by tree hugging hippies.

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  • 66. At 5:00pm on 05 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    Dear Jane, (JaneBasingstoke @ 56),

    thanks for your very thoughtful and considered posting on HOW an equitable and proportionate allocation of (eg) Carbon commitment & amelioration might be arrived-at.

    I worked for some years with those tasked to address the legislation underpinning quotas that constrained the action of exploiters of common property resources.

    I remember our early attempts to control Acid Rain and Lead in the atmosphere that incorporated sources, fluxes, transmissions and sinks.
    Much more relevant, I think, is the evolution of the exploitative quota regimes of the ICES that apply to N. Atlantic fish stocks. These allocate 'take' on many types of criteria and, whilst subject to corrupt practices (remember the Blue Fin Tuna posting), provide the best model for national allocations in an international environment.

    I agree that the current control model for amalioration of 'global warming' is illogical, bad, and unworkable, but I know that these battles have been worked through in the past and, with a bit of lateral thinking, can produce a better future.

    An emissions management algorithm is not fundimentally different to an exploitation management algorithm - get it right and things survive; get it wrong and things die-out.

    Management regimes through recent history point to the latter outcome, and I believe that the nations of the world secretely are resigned to this outcome - even to the extent that a large number of human societies will be amongst the dying-outs.

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  • 67. At 5:28pm on 05 Dec 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Lighten up, dude.

    Fewer and fewer people believe this apocalyptic stuff. Maybe they are deluded but at least they are happier.

    The public mood has changed since summer 2009.

    Go to the guardian website and see which comments get the most votes now: it's the skeptics.

    Check this blog - the comments are mainly skeptics.

    Check James Delingpole's blog - he gets 600 comments every day. Skeptics.

    Check the Independent website - their most visited page is a ridiculous prediction from 2000 about snow being a thing of the past.

    Chuckle about climate-warrior Vicky Pope stuck in the snow.

    And watch what people do - not what they say. Anyone having children this century does not really believe in these scares about the future.

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  • 68. At 5:30pm on 05 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    GeoffWard #66 wrote:

    I remember our early attempts to control Acid Rain

    So we have you to thank for making sure our forests did not turn into barren wastelands, and our rivers did not turn into lifeless flumes carrying industrial effluent? Gee, thanks!

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  • 69. At 5:50pm on 05 Dec 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    It is indeed hard to stick one's head in the sand when this is happening

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-11921396

    in the UK!

    Looks like old man winter is alive and well and the reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    Mother Nature is laughing at you all (as George Monbiot implies - Why has God forsaken the climate cause and shut down Gatwick airport!

    While you whoop it up at "Can'tCon" Climate Conference.

    Meanwhile, last week, the UK gets some of the earliest snow in 17 years.

    Richard, it is time to give up this particular aspect of religion and find a cause actually worthy fighting for. Sticking to the nonsense that is catastrophic man-made global warming is simply undermining the credibility of all other worthy environmental causes.

    Catastrophic Man-made Global Warming is Dead. Passed on! Ceased to be! Pushing up the daisies! Kicked the bucket!

    THIS IS AN EX-SCARE STORY!!

    Time to try some other big guilt-trip to rally around and siphon off taxpayer money with taxes and ponzi scams like wind power, solar power and carbon trading.

    The UN will need to find another "planet threatening scary monster" in order to drive their agenda of greater power, influence and self importance.

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  • 70. At 6:31pm on 05 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Shadorne #69 wrote:

    Mother Nature is laughing at you all

    Who is playing games in the sun and sand on the beach? Knocking back free tequilas and stuffing their faces with nachos and tamales? Dancing in the moonlight to the music of mariachi bands and guys with mega-colossal guitars? -- Meanwhile, who is huddled in the cold?

    Mother Nature may be laughing at them, but they're laughing at us!

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  • 71. At 7:43pm on 05 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    56. JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    @blunderbunny #54
    (@quake)
    (@Lamna_nasus)
    (@Brunnen)
    (@CanadianRockies)

    "The economic thing isn't something that the IPCC has chosen to impose on the negotiations. Instead it's something that is a direct consequence of some very difficult international politics. It has been imposed on the IPCC."

    You are putting the cart before the horse. The IPPC and the whole AGW scare was created for this economic plan, from the beginning.

    "There may be other ways to tackle climate change."

    Since climate change is a constant factor in the real world, and always has been, people need to adapt to whatever change impacts them LOCALLY. No need for any global Big Green Brother to manage this process, let alone one as greedy and dishonest as this one.

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  • 72. At 7:47pm on 05 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    CanadianRockies #71 wrote:

    The IPPC and the whole AGW scare was created for this economic plan, from the beginning.

    I disagree. That is a ridiculous conspiracy theory. Humans have always been susceptible to end-of-the-world stories from nutters right across the spectrum.

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  • 73. At 7:49pm on 05 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    61. blunderbunny wrote:

    "Re:Beavers

    They're back!!!!!

    www.scotsbeavers.org"

    This isn't going to turn out so sweet, unless the hysterical animal rights types accept the fact that these rodents will need to be culled.

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  • 74. At 8:22pm on 05 Dec 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Jack @67:
    "And watch what people do - not what they say. Anyone having children this century does not really believe in these scares about the future."

    Yes Jack. Whatever helps get you to sleep at night....

    "Fewer and fewer people believe this apocalyptic stuff. Maybe they are deluded but at least they are happier."

    Given the increasing displays of bitterness on this blog by the likes of Canadian, then I think your supposition that 'skeptics' are happier has a few flaws. As you like unfounded stereotypes - the two most common of relevance are the happy hippy environmentalist at a music festival vs the grumpy old daily mail reader winging about taxes. At least you're willing to admit they might be deluded though. Incidentally, as a posted before - the evidence in the UK is that acceptance of the mainstream science on climate change is back up to levels from last year. Plus the skeptic political parties were wiped out at the last election etc etc etc. Plus, as many people have said before: internet blogs and polls are NOT a relaiable indicator of anything. Based on internet postings you would think that the average Brit was a alarmingly racist, sexist, homophobic old man, with a hatred of pretty much everything and a penchant for conspiracy theories.

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  • 75. At 8:30pm on 05 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    72. bowmanthebard

    You might find this interesting:

    inthesenewtimes.com/.../1975-endangered-atmosphere-conference-where-the-global-warming-hoax-was-born

    The Club of Rome gang was also talking about the need for a 'global crisis' like this to acheive their agenda.

    Or did you think you were the only person who knows that "Humans have always been susceptible to end-of-the-world stories"?

    I guess you think that the creation of the EU was just a conspiracy theory too. That project goes back to the 1950s.


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  • 76. At 8:41pm on 05 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "Scam artists from around the world, capitalizing on lax regulations at the Danish emissions trading registry, have made off with an estimated $7-billion over the last two years, according to Europol. Denmark’s Office of the Auditor General is now investigating the fraud, which occurred after the Danish registry dropped requirements that carbon traders be documented."

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/12/05/lawrence-solomon-the-7-billion-carbon-scam/

    Gee, who could have been running things when this happened?

    "The Danish Minister of Climate and Energy who oversaw the illusory growth in the carbon market, Connie Hedegaard, has since been promoted to the post of EU Climate Commissioner. She is now in Cancun, representing the EU’s interests and arguing for steps that the global community needs to take for the carbon industry to regain credibility."

    Unbelievable!

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  • 77. At 8:48pm on 05 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #74. Yorkurbantree wrote:

    "Given the increasing displays of bitterness on this blog by the likes of Canadian"

    Bitterness? Why would I be bitter about the collapse of this? Perhaps you would like to provide one example of this "bitterness."

    As for your assessment of the state of this project, I'm wondering if you are one of the people on the beach in the photo?

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  • 78. At 8:56pm on 05 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #71

    I presume you're referring to the financial wing of the carbon trading people.

    They are a bunch of johnny-come-lately bandwagon jumpers, and they'd probably have picked up on peak oil or energy security if they hadn't picked up on AGW. And you don't get their mindset. They believe their own spin about their finance being win-win and good for the economy and their wealth trickling down to the rest of the population. Their self belief is what allows the world of finance to sell ideas such as light touch regulation to the politicians.

    Now I remind you that these are the same people that sold the politicians the idea that they could trade away risk on the financial markets. I consider powerful men believing in such nonsense a much bigger threat than the sort of conspiracy you seem to be talking about.

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  • 79. At 00:13am on 06 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    "I remember our early attempts to control Acid Rain ...." (me 66)
    ..........
    "So we have you to thank for making sure our forests did not turn into barren wastelands, and our rivers did not turn into lifeless flumes carrying industrial effluent? Gee, thanks!" (bowman 68)
    .........
    To be honest, as an angler, I was most concerned with having some fish left to catch. Even so, many a scandinavian salmonid did the belly-up-dance during the 70s-80s. I was more of a biodiversity/data-man at the time, but I spent happy, wet & muddy days surveying fish toxicity in Midland rivers & Irish Sea with the Water Research Centre, Warren Springs (RIP), now WRcPlc.

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  • 80. At 00:40am on 06 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    Re: GeoffWard 66 -
    "Lighten up, dude. Fewer and fewer people believe this apocalyptic stuff. Maybe they are deluded but at least they are happier.
    The public mood has changed since summer 2009....the guardian .... this blog ....James Delingpole's blog ....the Independent website .... Anyone having children this century does not really believe in these scares about the future." (Jack Hughes 67)
    ....................
    Thanks for the advice, Jack.
    I am retired and happy on the beach, but realistic about the problems that my boys will encounter. Economically, they may be in the pits in the UK, but climatologically I think they should be quite well located.
    Geoff.

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  • 81. At 00:47am on 06 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    78. JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "I presume you're referring to the financial wing of the carbon trading people.

    They are a bunch of johnny-come-lately bandwagon jumpers, and they'd probably have picked up on peak oil or energy security if they hadn't picked up on AGW."

    Well, yes, and no. This whole thing has been about global wealth redistribution from the beginning, in the guise of making the world a 'fairer' place... but really for the benefit of the global elite/multinational corporations.

    The carbon trading scam is just part of it. What about the grand plan to send zillions of dollars from the so-called rich countries to the so-called poor countries to 'help them adapt' and all that? That's from the UN and IMF and World Bank...

    "And you don't get their mindset. They believe their own spin about their finance being win-win and good for the economy and their wealth trickling down to the rest of the population."

    I don't think they actually believe that for a second. They 'believe' that for their own self-interest, and their trickle down story is just how they rationalize it. Now, by "they" I don't mean all the useful idiots lower down the food chain, who may actually believe such things, but rather the gang at the top.

    "Their self belief is what allows the world of finance to sell ideas such as light touch regulation to the politicians."

    Perhaps, but their money is what keeps politicians dancing to their tune, and there seems to be an open door between the world of finance and professional politics. So, if some politician gets the boot for enabling the ongoing robbery of the citizens by the banksters, they just get some fat job with them or, in the case of Tony Bliar, as a highly paid 'climate change consultant.' If all else fails they get a job with the most corrupt institution of all, the UN, or the equally corrupt EU.

    "Now I remind you that these are the same people that sold the politicians the idea that they could trade away risk on the financial markets. I consider powerful men believing in such nonsense a much bigger threat than the sort of conspiracy you seem to be talking about."

    You really think they actually believed that? Look at the bottom line. How did the Banksters come out of this (deliberately manufactured) financial crisis? Richer than ever. So they lied, as usual.

    And "sold the politicians..." They simply BOUGHT the politicians, and they did that a long, long, long time ago.

    I feel for you folks in the UK. You are already stuck with your economic suicide plan, and your country is already a basket case. Can you imagine how bad things would be there if you hadn't had the fossil fuel riches from the North Seas for the past few decades?




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  • 82. At 08:07am on 06 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black

    Hi Richard

    Could you convey to the Cancun delegates the absolute absurdity of believing in the climate models really is?

    As i stated here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/four_degrees_of_hurt.html#P103637718

    even the IPCC have grave doubts about the ability of climate models to predict the future and now a peer-reviewed paper shows just how bad the climate models really are at doing their job:

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a928051726&fulltext=713240928

    Thanks in advance

    /Mango

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  • 83. At 08:10am on 06 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    CanadianRockies #81 wrote:

    This whole thing has been about global wealth redistribution from the beginning

    Is that why Margaret Thatcher was "in" on it? Why David Cameron made trips to the frozen north (with his photographer) to "see the melting icebergs for himself"?

    I would urge you reconsider this sort of claim. It's a classic error to judge one's opponents to be insincere. You see it on all sides in every conflict (for interesting philosophical reasons that I won't bore you with here) and it's practically always wrong.

    Sceptics are not members of a "right wing echo chamber", or in the pay of big oil, although sceptics tend to be individualists. Non-sceptics are not members of a "tax raising conspiracy", although non-sceptics tend to be communitarians. It is foolish to dismiss sceptics as parroting a right wing political agenda or being in it for the money, and it is equally foolish to dismiss non-sceptics as merely playing their part in a great plot to redistribute wealth.

    I am a sceptic because I think the "science" stinks -- and I am willing and able to argue my case, despite being rather left wing myself. No doubt there are non-sceptics who think the science is wonderful, despite being opposed to international wealth redistribution.

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  • 84. At 08:21am on 06 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @bowman #83

    i think Rockies comment is more to do with Ottmar Edenhofer's comments on the real reasons for Cancun, which despite Quakes protestations looks awfully like redistribution of wealth

    /Mango

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  • 85. At 09:45am on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    #84. MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    @bowman #83

    i think Rockies comment is more to do with Ottmar Edenhofer's comments on the real reasons for Cancun, which despite Quakes protestations looks awfully like redistribution of wealth



    Mango, there's been a lot of discussion of this and, aside from all the stuff about people's alleged hidden motives, there's one thing that does interest me ....

    Given the massive redistribution of wealth from poor people to rich people (ie the massive increase in inequality of wealth) over the past three decades, what's actually wrong with a bit of redistribution of wealth in the other direction?

    Suppose some kind of carbon rationing turns out to be necessary, what is ideologically wrong with each person on the planet having the same initial carbon entitlement?


    Just asking ...

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  • 86. At 10:01am on 06 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    'looks awfully like the redistribution of wealth' Now todays Wikileaks disclosure looks awfully like the redistribution of information. EXCEPT that there are no juicy titbits of information about places that we should really be worried about. What is it all about?
    bluesberry
    I like your list of possible future catastrophic events.;-) How about adding... big meteor impacts the moon....just imagine what the consequences of that would be. I believe Cancun and other global meetings are really drafting out a global public liability insurance as a 'just in case' measure for those who can afford it.

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  • 87. At 10:15am on 06 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:


    "Somebody’s ‘Law’ (it must exist), that states that the higher the food-value-to-humans and the larger the physical size of the species, the greater the probability of extinction...." (me 59)
    "Sounds like it's curtains for cows!" (bowman 64)
    ..................

    Hi, bowman, we both hoist little 'teases' up the flagpole occasionally; it shows if people are awake and/or if we are being a bit boring.
    Like the alliteration - you win today's smile :)

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  • 88. At 10:29am on 06 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Paul Butler #85 wrote:

    Given the massive redistribution of wealth from poor people to rich people (ie the massive increase in inequality of wealth)

    Those aren't the same things at all. You seem to be assuming here that exchange is a "zero-sum game" -- i.e. if one side gains, the other must lose. But exchanges tends to enrich both sides. Most trade with the developing world has enriched the latter, even though they are less rich than the West.

    It raises the further question of "What's wrong with inequality?" -- Perhaps you are one of those who takes it as a "fundamental given" that equality is a good thing -- a very dodgy position!

    To suggest an alternative view, I'm against inequalities to the extent that re-distribution would improve overall well-being. For example, taking a pound from a millionaire barely harms him at all, but giving it to someone with nothing at all helps him a lot. Overall, that's more help than harm. But taking a pound from someone who has a moderate amount and giving it to someone who has less (but can still get by without it) might do more harm than good, as it threatens the very stability of property, which is the basis of exchange and therefore wealth.

    It's a complicated question of balance, not a simple "equality=good, inequality=bad" sort of thing.

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  • 89. At 10:31am on 06 Dec 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @bowman and mango

    I think that you're both right, it may have started out as scientific endeavour and perhaps for a while it had the best intentions, but somewhere along the line that changed. It became less about the science and more about the hype, the money, the kudos and the politics.

    Maybe, you could blame Gore’s involvement or at least pinpoint that as a bit of a turning point. Certainly, receiving a Nobel Peace Prize did them no favours and neither has the various machinations of a certain stick related team…..

    Still, it’s how we move forwards from here that matters. If final the outcome of all these political problems, would be a disconnect between the scientists involved and the politicians then I’d be a happier man.

    But then I’m essentially an optimist, I’ve always felt that good science will win out in the end - I’m just frustrated that it’s taking so long. All of the agonised squealing is getting on my nerves, as are the continued accusations that are levelled at us and our ilk (we are, after all, quite a broad church of opinion), but if the science eventually wins then I’ll be happy……. I take heart from the stance taken by Dr. Judith Curry, I may not agree with all of her views and ideas, but she’s at least engaging with us and in my own limited experience of her, she does seem to be quite a reasoned individual.

    Regards,

    One of the (increasingly optimistic) Lobby

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  • 90. At 10:52am on 06 Dec 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    Morning (just) chap and chapettes! Thread seems to have descended into the inevitable conspiracy theories/ad homs quicker than usual so I thought I’d throw a few things out for discussion-

    -anyone heard anything about (sigh) carbon-gate? Apparently there’s some work that shows that we actually CANNOT distinguish between man-made and natural atmospheric CO2 due to the assumptions around the carbon isotope used for this detection.

    Allegedly, assumptions on the type of plants that ‘break down’ into this carbon were (from memory) ~90% off, i.e. they assumed ~5% (allowing detection of man-made co2) and the actual figure is ~95% (making detection of man-made c02 impossible and further meaning all detected man-made co2 was actually natural).

    I know nothing further than this and was wondering if anyone else had seen this. At first pass I find it VERY hard to believe that the scientists involved would have made such a critical error. I have low opinions of some climate scientists- but not that low.

    Anyone heard about this? Has it been rubbished yet? (think it was in the Canadian free press or something).

    -Newest paper on model accuracies etc (via the perennial wuwt)- opinions?

    -chances of Cancouldawouldashoulda succeeding given US, japan and china’s almost certain rejection of any reductions?

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  • 91. At 11:04am on 06 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Conspiracy theories occur when "truth" becomes relative.

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  • 92. At 11:14am on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    #90. LabMunkey wrote:

    Apparently there’s some work that shows that we actually CANNOT distinguish between man-made and natural atmospheric CO2 due to the assumptions around the carbon isotope used for this detection.

    Allegedly, assumptions on the type of plants that ‘break down’ into this carbon were (from memory) ~90% off, i.e. they assumed ~5% (allowing detection of man-made co2) and the actual figure is ~95% (making detection of man-made c02 impossible and further meaning all detected man-made co2 was actually natural).



    Morning LM

    I don't know what research that is (will try to find it at some point), but my immediate reaction is to point out that work on the history of changes in atmospheric carbon shows pretty consistently that isotopically light carbon has increased in the atmosphere since the mid 19th century. See for example this paper (if you have access)

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1034/j.1600-0889.1999.t01-1-00005.x/abstract

    So if people think we're wrong about carbon fractionation in plants, they'd have to find some other way of explaining that trend.

    Cheers

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  • 93. At 11:17am on 06 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:


    "Morning chap and chapettes!
    Apparently there’s some work that shows that we actually CANNOT distinguish between man-made and natural atmospheric CO2 due to the assumptions around the carbon isotope used for this detection.
    Allegedly, assumptions on the type of plants that ‘break down’ into this carbon were (from memory) ~90% off, i.e. they assumed ~5% (allowing detection of man-made co2) and the actual figure is ~95% (making detection of man-made c02 impossible and further meaning all detected man-made co2 was actually natural)." (labmunkey 90)
    ................
    Interesting question in its implication. Awaiting a fuller reference to chase-up. As it stands I am brain-strained by the logic of your last para (above).
    Not one of the Chapettes.

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  • 94. At 11:21am on 06 Dec 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    People like me blog because we are interested in our world. Because we don't have a scientific background and because we are not in the pay of an environmental organisation we can ask the awkward questions with impunity. Those of you who do have the knowledge can always hint or direct us to where we can find out the information that we seek. That way everyone is happy except the guardians of the truth and the big wage packet.

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  • 95. At 11:25am on 06 Dec 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ paul.

    I'll try find that link for you- i'm by no means offering this as a counter to climate change- just as something i saw- also to be clear (though you've no doubt picked up on this) i find it very hard to believe that this kind of mistake could have been made.

    Basically (again from memory), the carbon isotope used as an 'identifier' for man made C02 emissions (think its C13) was labelled as such as the people who identified it assumed that only 5% of plants degraded to produce it- thus allowing the detection of the man-made component (simple math).

    The 'thrust' of this story was that this basic assumption was wrong- and that in fact 95% of the plants on earth degrade to produce this carbon isotope. Hence making any attribution of man-made co2 impossible (though the detection is still, clearly, very possible and reasonably well defined- even by my excessively strict standards).

    Ah found it-
    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/30577

    lol- what a site.... acacia diet indeed.

    Seems this story is from an upcoming book, so of course may not be peer reviewed in any way!

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  • 96. At 11:27am on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    #88. bowmanthebard wrote:

    Paul Butler #85 wrote:

    Those aren't the same things at all. You seem to be assuming here that exchange is a "zero-sum game" -- i.e. if one side gains, the other must lose. But exchanges tends to enrich both sides. Most trade with the developing world has enriched the latter, even though they are less rich than the West.

    It raises the further question of "What's wrong with inequality?" -- Perhaps you are one of those who takes it as a "fundamental given" that equality is a good thing -- a very dodgy position!


    No. I'm well aware that we aren't all equal. However, I think we should have an equal chance of proving our abilities, something we don't have right now and which the policies of the present government are making less likely.

    For your other point, while its true that some (although not all) developing countries are doing better now, that seems to have happened at the cost of significantly increased inequality of wealth within countries. This seems to have been OK when everybody's perceived wealth was increasing. But now that it turns out that a lot of the perceived "wealth" of ordinary people was based on inflated asset values and debt, whereas much richer people have been able to protect their assets (offshore, for example), the resultant perception of unfairness - when it turns out that we aren't "all in this together" - may well lead to social instability

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  • 97. At 11:47am on 06 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Paul Butler #96 wrote:

    I think we should have an equal chance of proving our abilities, something we don't have right now and which the policies of the present government are making less likely.

    I didn't accuse you of thinking people were factually equal, but of thinking equality in itself is a worthwhile goal. What you express here is pretty much the same thing: you regard equality of opportunity as an end in itself -- and despite the routine political rhetoric from people who don't think, that is an indefensible position. -- Do you think that you, as a man, should be given an equal opportunity to have a baby?

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  • 98. At 11:49am on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    #95. LabMunkey wrote:

    Seems this story is from an upcoming book, so of course may not be peer reviewed in any way!


    No, there's no indication of any peer review of this. And, to be honest, I'd have thought the whole tenor of the article might have triggered your skeptical instincts.

    I think my comment in #92 remains relevant. If what your authors are saying is correct, the historical measurements of fractionation in the environment would imply that plants have suddenly (and only over the past 150 years) started respiring considerably more isotopically light carbon.

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  • 99. At 12:05pm on 06 Dec 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 98

    "the whole tenor of the article might have triggered your skeptical instincts"

    It did, hence the great lenghts i went to to clearly state that i found this to be, at first pass, highly unlikely.

    But it did raise an interesting question- assumptions plague the cAGW theory, it is wholly conceivable that this kind of mistake COULD be made.

    However, were this work to be fully supported and factually accurate, i'd have imagined a release in a journal would have been more appropriate (and groung breaking at that- assuming they could get it published), the fact it's in a book and especially given the timing of it's release makes me wonder just how much substance is in there. Still, interesting concept.

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  • 100. At 12:12pm on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    #97. bowmanthebard wrote:

    Do you think that you, as a man, should be given an equal opportunity to have a baby?


    Bowman, I'm open to compromise, but please try to think of a more realistic argument than that!

    We don't need to deal in absolutes here, just the direction in which we should be moving. You would agree, would you not, that a child borne to a drug addict on benefits with a chaotic lifestyle, has more chance of becoming a criminal and less chance of going to university (or indeed of getting a job at all), than a child borne into a stable comfortably off middle class family?

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  • 101. At 12:18pm on 06 Dec 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Perhaps the BBC and Richard need to be a bit more sceptical of announcements of sea level rise and - what is it now 4.0C by 2060...

    JUST before a conference (Cop 16 Cancun)

    Perhaps it is all PR just to encourage the policy makers with a bit of alarmism...

    Evidence? - last years Cop 15 alarmism of sea level of 2m (or worse)by 2100, for example.

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

    Alarmist Doomsday warning of rising seas 'was wrong', says Met Office study

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1335964/Alarmist-Doomsday-warning-rising-seas-wrong-says-Met-Office-study.html#ixzz17KZaXtHJ

    "Alarming predictions that global warming could cause sea levels to rise 6ft in the next century are wrong, it has emerged."

    "However, the report says the IPCC was right to warn of a sea level rise of up to 2ft by 2100, and that a 3ft rise could happen".

    Note it says up to 2 feet, and that 3 feet could happen........

    Where as the most likely scenario based on observed sea leavel would indicate the lower end of IPCC predictions - 1ft - which is totally within the realm of a natural rise in sea levels since the last ice-age.

    Of course, if you are the Met office, at a time when the UK is in a massive deficit, you need to try to justify your existance and research(1 ft natural, why do we need to fund you - might the Coalition ask especially as the Met Office were predicting a mild winter for the UK as recently as October 2010, when all other forecasters were predicting an exceptionally cold winter (cold records being broken across Europe)

    I complained to the BBC about the uncritical reporting of 6ft sea level rises (IPCC said 59cm) and uncritical coverage of the COP 15 video, showing a tidal wave engulfing a small child...

    I had this response from Richard Black BBC - (complaint email - attached)
    (which did not cover my exact complaint, cop 15 tidal wave engulfing child video, the BBC uncritically showed it)

    -------------
    Dear Mr Woods,

    Thanks for your email.

    Yes, the IPCC said a maximum sea level rise of 59cm. But it also said it
    was unable to include a contribution from accelerated ice sheet melting
    as modelling was not yet advanced enough - so the 59cm was an
    underestimate.

    Best wishes,
    Richard Black
    -------------------

    I might ask them to be a bit mnore critical next time...

    Who exactly said 6ft, on what authority was it said, and what evidence is there? Also, is then any conflicting evidence or papers on sea level?

    What might be expected of an organisation, faced with PR from a political conference (Cop 15)

    To me, it was ALWAYS only a scary 'alarmist' 2m sea level rise announced to encourage policy makers at Copenhagen, with no basis in reality.

    So on whose authority and where did 6m come from?

    Also from the article:

    "In 2007 the IPCC reported preliminary evidence that the Atlantic conveyor belt that brings warm water north and keeps Britain relatively mild for its latitude during winters was breaking down."

    The Met Office article also mentions that the atlantic gulf stream was not shutting down (Day After Tommorow doomsday scenarios) This was reported as a scare by the BBC this year as well, earlier (quietly) this year

    BBC: Gulf Stream Not Slowing Down - Richard Black, March 2010
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8589512.stm

    This year at Cop 16, it has been reports of 4.0C of AGW by 2060...

    No doubt some 'alarmism' to encourage the policy makers at Cancun to Do something. I take that announcement in the same vein as the previous pre Cop15 sea level scare...


    My Copenhagen BBC complaint:

    Copenhagen Climate change - Scaremongering despite the science

    {Complaint:} Run up to Copenhagen Climate conference:

    There were numerous articles, clips promoting doom gloom and catastophe.

    Enough to scare my 5 year old daughter, with clips of children running away from sea level rises...(tidal waves)

    Yet: this was a factual program. Should it not report the facts/science. The IPCC say WORST case 59cm in sea level rise by 2100...

    So even if you believe in the AGW theory (I do not) the climate change prediction of sea level rising at a rate of 0.0006m a year.
    It does not warrant this appaling level of scaremongering and to be honest 'propaganda' perpetuated by the BBC...

    I though the BBC was supposed to be impartial. The science as I'm sure you are aware now is anything but settled..

    Just ask an astrophysicist vs a 'climate scientist'. ie predictions of cold winters, and cooling for the next 20-30 years coming true:


    ie Oct 9, 2009
    BBC - What happened to global warming? - Paul Hudson - Climate correspondent, BBC News
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8299079.stm

    He was even mentioned in the climategate scandal email (how about doing
    some proper investigative journalism in the worlds first global
    scandal)

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  • 102. At 12:32pm on 06 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Labmunkey,

    I know you're interested in cloud cover and climate sensitivity so thought you might be interested in this;

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-cloudy-outlook-for-low-climate-sensitivity.html

    Looks like there are quite a few studies going on in this area.

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  • 103. At 12:36pm on 06 Dec 2010, PAWB46 wrote:

    Has nobody told Richard that man-made global warming is a gigantic scam.

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  • 104. At 12:50pm on 06 Dec 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    #103. PAWB46 wrote:

    "Has nobody told Richard that man-made global warming is a gigantic scam."

    I can confirm they have.

    (I was at a conference at Imperial with Richard over a year ago where the majority opinion was that AGW was just an incorrect interpretation of the 'facts' and some of the so called 'facts' were based on bad science, and further, that there is a far more probably explanation in changes in global temperature than AGW - namely changes in the solar flux.)

    But there is none so deaf than those that don't want to hear!

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  • 105. At 12:53pm on 06 Dec 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ hotashes- Cool thanks for that. I'll have a looksie.

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  • 106. At 1:02pm on 06 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Paul Butler #100 wrote:

    I'm open to compromise, but please try to think of a more realistic argument than that!

    I'm just trying to bring your attention to the fact that equality is a much more complicated issue than political slogans might lead us to believe. For example, there is "factual" equality, such as everybody as a matter of fact being the same height or having the same skin colour. No one could really regard that as a worthwhile goal. Then there is equal treatment -- which sounds better, till you remember that if one person has a broken leg, and another has a scratched finger, we should give the first guy an entire short of morphine and the second guy none, rather than half a shot each. Then there is equal opportunity, which has its own problems as I tried to suggest already. There is also equal consideration of interests, but there are problems there too...

    As something to strive for, each of the above has its own difficulties. So the question of how much carbon each person should be entitled to emit, or whatever, is really a very complicated, nuanced question.

    You would agree, would you not, that a child borne to a drug addict on benefits with a chaotic lifestyle, has more chance of becoming a criminal and less chance of going to university (or indeed of getting a job at all), than a child borne into a stable comfortably off middle class family?

    Yes, of course, and I think extra help should be given to the former, so that his interests get due consideration. But what is "due" is a difficult question, and it really doesn't boil to any simple equation expressing "equality" of anything. That is especially the case with something as contextual as CO2 emissions. A multi-millionaire might live in the lap of luxury in the middle of California, say, emitting very little CO2 because he doesn't need to. An impoverished fisherman in Iceland might be in a similar position because of his proximity to geothermal springs. But some other people might need to emit much more, when you take account of where and how they have to live and work.

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  • 107. At 1:17pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #81

    "the grand plan to send zillions of dollars from the so-called rich countries to the so-called poor countries to 'help them adapt' and all that"

    That's in response to criticism of the "rich countries" by other powerful factions.

    In the context of climate talks it is only to deal with climate related costs. Those costs imposed on the poorer countries by the richer countries emissions, and those costs associated by the poorer countries reducing their own emissions.


    "just how they rationalize it"

    Er, can I clarify.

    I would normally say "rationalise" to refer to people lying to themselves, not to others. I think some of these big finance people lie to themselves a lot. I think lying to other people is somewhat rarer, apart from anything else they don't want to get caught.

    But your use of "rationalise" seems to imply the sort of lies where the liar is honest with themselves but lies to other people. Is that what you meant.


    "open door"

    The "revolving door" job thing stinks. Full stop.


    "How did the Banksters come out of this (deliberately manufactured) financial crisis? Richer than ever. So they lied, as usual."

    No way was the crisis deliberately manufactured. Don't forget, a few bankers actually did lose some jobs/power/money. Also I'm not clear whether you understand. Their business is gambling. The stock markets are a giant casino.

    The bankers came out richer than ever because they are too big to fail. This allows them to extort money from the taxpayers so that the bankers can be propped up directly (loans) and indirectly (quantitative easing). They have to pay back the money used directly, but they have the skills to mop up and keep the money used indirectly. And of course, they "deserve" such money and trumpet its acquisition, having the skills to make money in a recession is a good thing.

    You do see that extortion is different from a con, don't you.


    "Can you imagine how bad things would be there if you hadn't had the fossil fuel riches from the North Seas for the past few decades?"

    LOL

    Do you know any Scottish people? Scottish people can give you serious earache explaining how Thatcher stole their North Sea oil money.

    Seriously it has been suggested that the apparent successes of Thatcher's economic policies were actually down to North Sea oil money. Without the oil money, Thatcherism and monetarism could have taken a serious blow in their early days.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thatcherism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monetarism
    http://www.famouspeople.co.uk/m/margaretthatcher.html

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  • 108. At 1:18pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #83

    There are factions within both sides of the debate. There are right wing echo chambers out there, and some of them do their brand of climate scepticism. And sometimes they can be very noisy, look at the Delingpole threads at the Telegraph.

    However they should not be seen as representative of climate sceptics, because there are other numerically significant factions amongst sceptics, including the competent sceptic scientists, who out of all sceptic factions are responsible for much of the decent sceptic contributions to the debate.

    It is interesting you make the comment about individualists. You are definitely an individualist. But personally my observation is that most people tend to chose sides in the climate debate according to what their peer group thinks, or according to what fits most comfortably with their other beliefs and their lifestyles. (Which is not just true of climate issues.) So I have one relative who is a sceptic because his workmates take the p*** out of anything remotely girly like environmentalism. And another relative who is a warmist because she has already committed to a rather intense environmentalism.

    Unfortunately this link to peer groups and link to other aspects of life that people feel strongly about has contributed to some of the more poisonous misunderstandings in the debate.

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  • 109. At 1:21pm on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    #106. bowmanthebard wrote:

    But what is "due" is a difficult question, and it really doesn't boil to any simple equation expressing "equality" of anything. That is especially the case with something as contextual as CO2 emissions. A multi-millionaire might live in the lap of luxury in the middle of California, say, emitting very little CO2 because he doesn't need to. An impoverished fisherman in Iceland might be in a similar position because of his proximity to geothermal springs. But some other people might need to emit much more, when you take account of where and how they have to live and work.


    Those points are all valid. As I said, I'm open to compromise. However, the system as it stands doesn't take account of any of those nuances. Far too often, inequalities later in life (whether or not somebody is a criminal, or homeless) stem from gross inequalities of wealth and opportunity early in life. And you've agreed with that part at least.

    So going back to what I said in my #85
    Given the massive redistribution of wealth from poor people to rich people (ie the massive increase in inequality of wealth) over the past three decades, what's actually wrong with a bit of redistribution of wealth in the other direction?

    It looks as if you subverted that into a reductio ad absurdam whereby I allegedly believed in equality of everything all the time.

    So the argument stems from the idea that there is an element of justice in some redistribution of resources from developed nations which have been largely responsible for greenhouse warming to developing nations to enable them to develop more sustainably. I stand by that, while accepting at the same time that absolute equality is not a desirable or even definable goal

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  • 110. At 1:35pm on 06 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    Regading redistribution of wealth, I'm not opposed to it in principal. What I'm opposed to is the use of lies to achieve it.

    If you want to help poor countries become more affluent, fine. Be honest and tell the public that. If they support the policy, then so be it.

    What NOT to do is conceal your intentions behind a smokescreen of guilt inducing doomcrying.

    As to why Thatcher was a supporter of AGW theory, that one's easy and it's got bugger all to with the environment. She wanted to promote nuclear power to the detriment of coal power. The AGW theory was, frankly, a gift for her as it meant she could greenwash her hatred for miners and the coal industry.

    What, you didn't expect her to have honourable intentions, did you?

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  • 111. At 1:37pm on 06 Dec 2010, hotashes wrote:

    Re human fingerprint in CO2

    http://m.youtube.com/index?client=mv-google&xl=xl_tsp&desktop_uri=%2F&gl=GB#/watch?xl=xl_blazer&v=9S_82BUshM8

    This video highlights another reason to believe it is human CO2 emissions that are raising the temp

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  • 112. At 1:43pm on 06 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Butler #85

    What massive redistribution of wealth from poor people to rich people? Where's my share? Oh, of course, i'm one of the poor people, that's why i haven't got my share!

    @LabMunkey #90

    I think they can distinguish between man made and natural CO2

    /Mango

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  • 113. At 1:54pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @hotashes #111

    I am having problems getting your version of your link to give a climate related video. Perhaps this version of your link might work better.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S_82BUshM8

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  • 114. At 2:26pm on 06 Dec 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Perhaps the BBC and Richard need to be a bit more sceptical of announcements of sea level rise and - what is it now 4.0C by 2060...

    JUST before a conference (Cop 16 Cancun)

    Perhaps it is all PR just to encourage the policy makers with a bit of alarmism...

    Evidence? - last years Cop 15 alarmism of sea level of 2m (or worse)by 2100, for example.

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

    Alarmist Doomsday warning of rising seas 'was wrong', says Met Office study

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1335964/Alarmist-Doomsday-warning-rising-seas-wrong-says-Met-Office-study.html#ixzz17KZaXtHJ

    "Alarming predictions that global warming could cause sea levels to rise 6ft in the next century are wrong, it has emerged."

    "However, the report says the IPCC was right to warn of a sea level rise of up to 2ft by 2100, and that a 3ft rise could happen".

    Note it says up to 2 feet, and that 3 feet could happen........

    Where as the most likely scenario based on observed sea leavel would indicate the lower end of IPCC predictions - 1ft - which is totally within the realm of a natural rise in sea levels since the last ice-age.

    Of course, if you are the Met office, at a time when the UK is in a massive deficit, you need to try to justify your existance and research(1 ft natural, why do we need to fund you - might the Coalition ask especially as the Met Office were predicting a mild winter for the UK as recently as October 2010, when all other forecasters were predicting an exceptionally cold winter (cold records being broken across Europe)

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  • 115. At 2:28pm on 06 Dec 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Whilst 101 is being considered....

    You could read 101 here.
    http://www.realclimategate.org/2010/12/official-alarmist-warnings-of-2m-sea-level-rises-are-wrong-met-office-study/

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  • 116. At 2:39pm on 06 Dec 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    China - probably the worlds largest and fastest growing emitter - is exempt?

    Obviously this is socialist politics not 'environment.'

    The small minority still touting this nonsense are not going to pursuade anyone sat in -7 temperatures with hogwash like this.


    Stop the endless agreements no one will ever comply with. Start providing viable alternatives to fossil fuel energy.

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  • 117. At 2:42pm on 06 Dec 2010, andrew9999 wrote:

    I notice WUWT, Steve Goddard and the Global Warming Policy Foundation are up to their usual trick of hide the incline
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/3-is-the-new-1/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    What they don't tell you in these posts is they are referring to LAND only temperature datasets, as most people I'm sure realise the global surface temperature anomaly is made up of the land and the oceans.
    Glad nobody on here fell for this er..slight oversight. Land, ocean, land plus ocean, what difference does it make.

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  • 118. At 2:44pm on 06 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

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

  • 119. At 2:52pm on 06 Dec 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ mango # 112

    " think they can distinguish between man made and natural CO2"

    That's what the story i was talking about claims to debunk- the atribution of the human component.

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  • 120. At 3:17pm on 06 Dec 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:

    May be the delegates at Cancun should be leading by example, not enjoying too much of the good life while they are there, but lets face it, a few hundred people flying to this climate conference does not make any real difference to warming our planet but a few hundred million people flying and driving cars most certainly does. So let the delegates have a bit of relaxation from the rigors of climate negotiations, let them have the odd case of whiskey if that’s what they fancy, all that cognitive effort – they are doing it for us.

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  • 121. At 3:30pm on 06 Dec 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @120
    "they are doing it for us."

    They're not bloody doing it for me. If they're there, i want them working- a webinar/video conference would have managed- but no, lets go somewhere warm so we all stay on message....

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  • 122. At 3:34pm on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    117. andrew9999 wrote:

    I notice WUWT, Steve Goddard and the Global Warming Policy Foundation are up to their usual trick of hide the incline
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/3-is-the-new-1/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    What they don't tell you in these posts is they are referring to LAND only temperature datasets, as most people I'm sure realise the global surface temperature anomaly is made up of the land and the oceans.



    The nice irony about this, of course, is how in order to minimize the incline they're forced to use the supposedly "manipulated" CRU data, since these show much less warming than the satellite datasets

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  • 123. At 3:44pm on 06 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Paul Butler #109 wrote:

    It looks as if you subverted that into a reductio ad absurdam whereby I allegedly believed in equality of everything all the time.

    Aw come off it! I was drawing your attention to the fact that you seem to think there's something desirable about some sort of equality, yet you don't seem to be able to say what. In the above, you don't even distinguish "is" and "ought".

    Given the massive redistribution of wealth from poor people to rich people (ie the massive increase in inequality of wealth) over the past three decades, what's actually wrong with a bit of redistribution of wealth in the other direction?

    The "massive redistribution of wealth"? -- Obviously you think this is a bad/undesirable thing. But why? The Chinese and Indians were poorer 30 years ago than they are now. There has been an increase in inequality, perhaps, but not in poverty. If you think there is something wrong with inequality, please say what -- clearly. That is a question about an "ought", not about an "is".

    Inequality is not always a sign of exploitation unless you believe, wrongly, that trade is a zero-sum game -- that is what I accused you of, not "belief in equality of everything all the time".

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  • 124. At 3:46pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @GeoffWard #118

    Sorry Geoff. Me that reported you.

    PDFs are not normally allowed on the BBC thread because they need "obscure software" to open. (The old version of the rules actually used PDF links as a typical example of such a link.) This imposes restrictions on both sceptics and warmists, so your post needed the PDF link removed.

    I reported your PDF link to keep the debate visibly fair, warmists must be fair to sceptics if we want to be taken seriously.

    I thought they'd just take out the PDF link. But they've killed your comment entirely. You'll have to repost. Sorry.

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  • 125. At 3:56pm on 06 Dec 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ hotashes #102.

    Re- the link.

    I've had a look and they use models to simulate clouds and their effects, despite even the IPCC admitting that they do not have the faintest idea how clouds work.

    The amount of in-built assumptions are staggering.

    I like the use of the direct cloud data and the attempted modelling, specifically of the clouds- it's a step in the right direction- but i can't say it's helped any. We're still relying far too much on models here. Thanks though.

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  • 126. At 4:00pm on 06 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    124. At 3:46pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    Sorry Geoff,
    I thought they'd just take out the PDF link. But they've killed your comment entirely. You'll have to repost. Sorry.
    ................
    Sory back, Jane,
    posting lost to ether. Still, I now have a better understanding of the issue!
    G.

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  • 127. At 4:11pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @GeoffWard #126

    You should have got an automated email from the mods, doesn't it contain the text?

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  • 128. At 4:12pm on 06 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    Retrieved posting.

    The key question seems to be: “Do Anthropogenic emissions of Carbon Dioxide Exhibit a Distinct Signature?
    The low-key internal study (sic.) focused on the behavior of 13C/12C isotopes within carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules and examined how the isotopes decay over time. Its conclusions became the sole basis of claims that ‘newer’ airborne CO2 exhibits a different and thus distinct ‘human signature.’ The paper was employed by the IPCC to give a green light to researchers to claim they could quantify the amount of human versus natural proportions just from counting (sic.) the number of isotopes within that ‘greenhouse gas.’ Alkalaj, who is head of Center for Communication Infrastructure at the “J. Stefan” Institute, Slovenia says because of the nature of organic plant decay, that emits CO2, such a mass spectrometry analysis is bogus. Therefore, it is argues, IPCC researchers are either grossly incompetent or corrupt because it is impossible to detect whether carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is of human or organic (sic) origin. The 13C/12C argument being attacked by Mišo Alkalaj may be found in IPCC’s AR4 – The Physical Science Basis Working Group. The IPCC clarifies its position on Page 139 of that chapter. (Abstract below). According to Miso the fatal assumption made by the IPCC is that the atmospheric concentration of the 13C isotope (distinctive in prehistoric plants) are fixed. [I find no evidence of this. GW] They also assume C3-type plants no longer exist [I find no evidence of this. GW] so would need to be factored into the equations. Indeed, as Miso points out such plants, “make up 95% of the mass of all current plant life.” Therefore, decay of 95% of present-day plant material is constantly emitting the 13C-deficient carbon dioxide supposedly characteristic of coal combustion—and CO2 emitted by plant decay is an order of magnitude greater than all human-generated emissions.” (WUWT; with personal comment)
    My Note: Secondary releases from methane clathrates (& their transformations to CO2) and from (eg) Siberian peat deposits can be considered anthropogenic if the primary temperature elevation is human-induced.... which begs the original question 'can anthropogenic causation be shown and proved'.
    The IPCC reference statement (P 139) is:
    “The increase in CO2 mixing ratios continues to yield the largest sustained RF of any forcing agent. The RF of CO2 is a function of the change in CO2 in the atmosphere over the time period under consideration. Hence, a key question is ‘How is the CO2 released from fossil fuel combustion, cement production and land cover change distributed amongst the atmosphere, oceans and terrestrial biosphere?’. This partitioning has been investigated using a variety of techniques. Among the most powerful of these are measurements of the carbon isotopes in CO2 as well as high-precision measurements of atmospheric oxygen (O2) content. The carbon contained in CO2 has two naturally occurring stable isotopes denoted 12C and 13C. The first of these, 12C, is the most abundant isotope at about 99%, followed by 13C at about 1%. Emissions of CO2 from coal, gas and oil combustion and land clearing have 13C/12C isotopic ratios that are less than those in atmospheric CO2, and each carries a signature related to its source. Thus, as shown in Prentice et al. (2001), when CO2 from fossil fuel combustion enters the atmosphere, the 13C/12C isotopic ratio in atmospheric CO2 decreases at a predictable rate consistent with emissions of CO2 from fossil origin.
    **Note that changes in the 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2 are *also caused by other sources and sinks, but the changing isotopic signal due to CO2 from fossil fuel combustion can be resolved from the other components (Francey et al., 1995).* These changes can easily be measured using modern isotope ratio mass spectrometry, which has the capability of measuring 13C/12C in atmospheric CO2 to better than 1 part in 105 (Ferretti et al., 2000). [Data presented in Figure 2.3 for the 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa show a decreasing ratio, consistent with trends in both fossil fuel CO2 emissions and atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios (Andres et al. 2000; Keeling et al., 2005)].” (IPCC CH 2, p139)[link removed]
    **”Analyses based on 13C by Keeling et al. (1995) and Francey et al. (1995) reached contradictory conclusions, but the discrepancies are now thought to be due at least in part to 13C measurement calibration problems during the 1980s, which have largely been resolved during the 1990s (Francey et al., 1999a).”** (http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/111.htm)

    We do not yet have enough information. I await the publication of the chapter by Mišo Alkalaj, which will hopefully show the extent to which Ratio-change can be used as an adequate tool to apportion Anthropogenic contributions.

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  • 129. At 4:49pm on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    #123. bowmanthebard wrote:

    The "massive redistribution of wealth"? -- Obviously you think this is a bad/undesirable thing. But why? The Chinese and Indians were poorer 30 years ago than they are now. There has been an increase in inequality, perhaps, but not in poverty.


    I'm not sure that is true, however. According to FAO figures 925 million people are undernourished compared with about 875 million in 1970 and a "best figure" of about 780 million in 1995-1997.

    http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm

    Now I guess you can argue with those statistics, but they carry more weight as far as I'm concerned than your bald and unsupported statement that there has not been an increase in poverty.


    And as far the UK is concerned, the cycle isn't over yet. If the austerity program bites in the way its supposed to bite, people will discover that the rich will get to keep most of their wealth, whereas a great deal of the wealth of ordinary people will turn to be illusory, based on inflated asset prices and debt. That's why, unless the government is quite lucky and the private sector really does ride to the rescue, the outlook in many countries is some degree of social instability.

    Anyway, this is way off topic, so perhaps we should return to this on another thread

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  • 130. At 4:58pm on 06 Dec 2010, Gordon Docherty wrote:

    When talking about climate change, both detractors and supporters in the public debate seemed locked into talking only about carbon and whether it affects the climate or not. What I never see mentioned, however, is any alternative as, we are told, there is no viable alternative (aside from the "Nuclear bogeyman", which is usually presented as more of a threat than a solution.). Well, now there is an alternative - Hydrino energy (and, yes, it is coming, as are other forms of energy generation - see Blacklight Power, for example). So, rather than simply continuing with the pointless yah-boo politics of the "Carbon debate" (where the only thing achieved is the continued entrenchment of the idea that carbon is the only game in town), it is now time to start thinking of what seems totally lacking in all these debates - a future fair for all.

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  • 131. At 5:01pm on 06 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    So just to make sure I'm keeping up with the Contrarian theory.. anthropogenic climate change is a communist conspiracy funded by capitalist globalised corporations?.. wouldn't it rather more logical just to admit you don't like paying taxes for polluting the environment?..



    @67 - Jack Hughes
    '...Go to the guardian website and see which comments get the most votes now: it's the skeptics.

    Check this blog - the comments are mainly skeptics.

    Check James Delingpole's blog - he gets 600 comments every day. Skeptics.

    Check the Independent website - their most visited page is a ridiculous prediction from 2000 about snow being a thing of the past.

    Chuckle about climate-warrior Vicky Pope stuck in the snow.

    And watch what people do - not what they say. Anyone having children this century does not really believe in these scares about the future.'

    ---


    On the contrary, the Contrarian echo chamber is simply very good at flooding forums.. indeed much of the material is merely one Contrarian congratulating another Contrarian on recycling a piece of inaccurate and in some cases purely fictitious, political white noise.

    People have children regardless of what they think will happen in the future.. its a biological imperative to replicate genetic material.. indeed the more challenging the environment the greater the urge, as many impoverished communities demonstrate.. a very large percentage of the human inhabitants of this planet believe in an omnipotent and omniscient being who created everything and takes a special interest in them.. despite the complete illogicality of that belief.

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  • 132. At 5:11pm on 06 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    I was talking about India and China, with whom we trade, and which are developing. An increase in their overall wealth as a result of that trade leads to an increase in inequality, but a decrease in poverty. If that's bad, presumably it's because there's something so bad about inequality per se that it cancels out the goodness of the decrease in poverty. I'm having difficulties working out what that bad thing about inequality per se might be.

    If the entire world is poorer than it was in 1970, that might be because Africa seems to be in reverse gear, and that might be because it seems to be settling into an habitual state of "dependent victim". In which case, let us be cautious about creating more "dependent victims" simply for the same of stroking our middle-class vanity -- "aren't we great"?

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  • 133. At 5:35pm on 06 Dec 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Lamna_nasus #131

    So just to make sure I'm keeping up with the Contrarian theory.. anthropogenic climate change is a communist conspiracy funded by capitalist globalised corporations?..

    You have either made that up or you haven't been reading the comments. Either way, you're being a little economical with the truth

    /Mango

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  • 134. At 5:44pm on 06 Dec 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    Has anybody got a real link to the Met Office Report on sea level change? I am routed to Mail, Telegraph, etc.

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  • 135. At 5:48pm on 06 Dec 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Lamna_nasus #131 wrote:

    People have children regardless of what they think will happen in the future.. its a biological imperative to replicate genetic material.. indeed the more challenging the environment the greater the urge, as many impoverished communities demonstrate..

    In that case it's not "regardless", then, is it? -- The greater the apparent "challenge", the stronger the urge!

    But in any case, there's a confusion of "levels" there.

    Genes behave as if they were "selfish" or nepotistic: they cause traits (including behaviour) that promote proliferation of their own kind in future generations.

    An individual organism is different: its urges are more the "resultant" of the genes whose vehicle it is. Sometimes the "selfishness" of the genes causes altruistic urges. Sometimes it causes non-reproductive or even self-destructive urges, as with worker bees.

    When times are hard, for example when infant mortality rates are high, people tend to go for quantity rather than quality, as that is the more successful strategy for genes to promote their own proliferation. (And vice versa in affluent times.)

    So I guess people would have twice as many children if they thought half of them are likely to die in a sudden sea-level-rise!

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  • 136. At 5:56pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @GeoffWard #128

    Thanks for that.

    @LabMunkey #90 #95
    @Paul Butler #92 #98 #99
    @GeoffWard #93 #128
    @MangoChutneyUKOK #112

    This Alkalaj isotope stuff appears to be a chapter in a new book, "Slaying the Sky Dragon". The book has many authors, including, from front cover
    Dr Tim Ball
    Dr Claes Johnson
    Dr Martin Hertzberg
    Joseph A. Olson
    Alan Siddons
    Dr Oliver K. Manuel
    Dr Charles Anderson
    Hans Schreuder
    John O'Sullivan

    (Oops, I seem to have highlit one of the author's names. How careless of me.)

    The book apparently comes with the following blurb.

    "Even before publication, Slaying the Sky Dragon was destined to be the benchmark for future generations of climate researchers. This is the world’s first and only full volume refutation of the greenhouse gas theory of man-made global warming.

    Nine leading international experts methodically expose how willful fakery and outright incompetence were hidden within the politicized realm of government climatology. Applying a thoughtful and sympathetic writing style, the authors help even the untrained mind to navigate the maze of atmospheric thermodynamics. Step-by-step the reader is shown why the so-called greenhouse effect cannot possibly exist in nature.

    By deft statistical analysis the cornerstones of climate equations – incorrectly calculated by an incredible factor of three – are exposed then shattered.

    This volume is a scientific tour de force and the game-changer for international environmental policymakers as well as being a joy to read for hard-pressed taxpayers everywhere."

    http://www.ebookpartnership.com/our-ebooks/slaying-the-sky-dragon/

    So no doubts, caveats, or uncertainty there then.

    Incidentally Watts (of WUWT) has reservations even before reading the book because of all the Iron Sun Theory stuff that co-author Oliver K. Manuel has tried to post in the comments at WUWT.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/29/new-book-slaying-the-sky-dragon/

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  • 137. At 6:07pm on 06 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #83. bowmanthebard wrote:

    Re: "This whole thing has been about global wealth redistribution from the beginning"

    "Is that why Margaret Thatcher was "in" on it?"

    Thatcher was once "in on it" because she wanted to crush the coal miner's unions... a case of national wealth distribution which fit in nicely.

    "Why David Cameron made trips to the frozen north (with his photographer) to "see the melting icebergs for himself"?"

    Another publicity stunt by a politician who just happens to have a father-in-law and plenty of friends who will enjoy great wealth redistribution in their direction. Moreover, he's another Fabian, and if you know anything about that gang you will know they have a long term plan.

    That said, it is near sighted to imagine that professional politicians are actually in charge of much. They are just useful idiots too. In the UK Mervyn King is far more powerful, in the real world, than Cameron, and his bosses are more powerful still. Politicians come and go...

    "It's a classic error to judge one's opponents to be insincere."

    Many, if not most, of the AGW proponents are entirely "sincere." But once again, useful idiots reacting to three decades of 'manufactured consent' and increasing peer pressure.

    In any case, we shall have to agree to disagree. But to summarize our disagreement, it is rather like you suggesting that this whole AGW project has been the product of natural evolution while I am suggesting that it has been guided by 'Intelligent Design.'

    P.S. No, I don't believe in the latter in general.

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  • 138. At 6:21pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Gordon Docherty #130

    Hydrinos? LOL.

    http://techskeptic.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-nonsense-in-energy-sector.html

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  • 139. At 6:45pm on 06 Dec 2010, Brunnen wrote:

    129. At 4:49pm on 06 Dec 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    I'm not sure that is true, however. According to FAO figures 925 million people are undernourished compared with about 875 million in 1970 and a "best figure" of about 780 million in 1995-1997.

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

    Which represents a reduction in the percentage of the world's population who are undernourished. One has to take into account that the world's population has almost doubled since 1970 (3.7 billion then 6.9 billion now).

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  • 140. At 6:47pm on 06 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #107. JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    Re "the grand plan to send zillions of dollars from the so-called rich countries to the so-called poor countries to 'help them adapt' and all that"

    You: "That's in response to criticism of the "rich countries" by other powerful factions."

    What "other powerful factions"? This doesn't do anything to dispute my point at all - just the opposite.

    You: "In the context of climate talks it is only to deal with climate related costs."

    Yes, that's exactly why they promote this phoney climate crisis... so they can invent these alleged costs.

    Speaking of which, I watched the BBC's Hardtalk last night and the guest was the PM of the Maldives - you know, one of those islands which is demanding money because they are sinking because of the evil West but are not sinking at all. You know, the same guy who did the ridiculous underwater stunt last year. Watching that slippery suit in action just confirmed what a corrupt joke/extortion scheme that all is.

    Re "just how they rationalize it"

    You: "your use of "rationalise" seems to imply the sort of lies where the liar is honest with themselves but lies to other people. Is that what you meant."

    Much more complicated than than. Depends who exactly you are talking about, and at what level of the scheme they are in.

    Re "How did the Banksters come out of this (deliberately manufactured) financial crisis? Richer than ever. So they lied, as usual."

    You: "No way was the crisis deliberately manufactured."

    Please feel free to believe that if it makes you feel better.

    You: "Don't forget, a few bankers actually did lose some jobs/power/money."

    Yes, "a few did." Collateral damage, as the Pentagon says.

    You: "I'm not clear whether you understand. Their business is gambling. The stock markets are a giant casino."

    Yes, and who runs the casino? Have you noticed that casinos make a lot of money? I don't think you understand Jane. But here's a great website which will help you understand: zerohedge.com

    You: "The bankers came out richer than ever because they are too big to fail... "

    Yes, and do you think they didn't know that before this all blew up?

    Re "Can you imagine how bad things would be there if you hadn't had the fossil fuel riches from the North Seas for the past few decades?"

    You : "LOL Do you know any Scottish people? Scottish people can give you serious earache explaining how Thatcher stole their North Sea oil money."

    Yes, and the same dynamic is happening in Canada where Alberta is sending vast sums of oil revenue to Ottawa to be redistributed to the other provinces. But Alberta is part of Canada and, the last time I checked, Scotland was still part of the UK.

    You: "Seriously it has been suggested that the apparent successes of Thatcher's economic policies were actually down to North Sea oil money. Without the oil money, Thatcherism and monetarism could have taken a serious blow in their early days."

    Well without that oil bonanza I can't imagine how far down the tubes the the UK would be now. And if the UK had stayed on the same Marxist path it was on before Thatcher it would have been that much worse.

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  • 141. At 6:57pm on 06 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #129. Paul Butler wrote:

    "According to FAO figures 925 million people are undernourished compared with about 875 million in 1970 and a "best figure" of about 780 million in 1995-1997."

    Assuming that data is correct - in other words, assuming that their measure of "undernourished" has remained constant over this period, and that these statistics are reliable ( highly unlikely given that they are from an advocacy group)- what is the total global population now compared to 1970? In other words, has the percentage of undernourished people gone up or down?


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  • 142. At 6:58pm on 06 Dec 2010, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @133 MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    '@Lamna_nasus #131

    So just to make sure I'm keeping up with the Contrarian theory.. anthropogenic climate change is a communist conspiracy funded by capitalist globalised corporations?..

    You have either made that up or you haven't been reading the comments. Either way, you're being a little economical with the truth'

    ---


    No, I think you will find you are mistaken -


    *81 CanadianRockies
    '..This whole thing has been about global wealth redistribution from the beginning, in the guise of making the world a 'fairer' place... but really for the benefit of the global elite/multinational corporations..'

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  • 143. At 7:04pm on 06 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #120. Wolfiewoods wrote:

    "May be the delegates at Cancun should be leading by example, not enjoying too much of the good life while they are there, but lets face it... they are doing it for us."

    Well Wolfie, some times I can't tell whether you are serious or cleverly sarcastic. This kind of serf-think is too funny to be serious, right?



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  • 144. At 7:13pm on 06 Dec 2010, SteveBerry wrote:

    All these reports about snow in Scotland - I don't believe it. I mean I remember this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1951784.stm so it can't be true, can it? I mean, they said snow will be a thing of the past!

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  • 145. At 7:29pm on 06 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    For those interested in following the Cancun circus in more detail, as reported from a different state-sponsored propaganda source, this one is doing a fine job:

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010cancunclimate/index.html

    For (less extensive) coverage from the Green Inc. point of view:

    http://www.businessgreen.com/

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  • 146. At 10:27pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #137
    (@bowmanthebard)

    "rather like you [Bowman] suggesting that this whole AGW project has been the product of natural evolution while I [CanadianRockies] am suggesting that it has been guided by 'Intelligent Design.'" [CanadianRockies comparing attitudes to whether or not there was some form of deliberate conspiracy on AGW.]

    Not a bad comparison. CanadianRockies you have an amazing faith in the competence of those with political power. Which seems to contradict real history which seems full of c***-ups and fudges.

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  • 147. At 11:08pm on 06 Dec 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #142. Lamna_nasus wrote:

    "So just to make sure I'm keeping up with the Contrarian theory.. anthropogenic climate change is a communist conspiracy funded by capitalist globalised corporations?.."

    Mango replied: "You have either made that up or you haven't been reading the comments. Either way, you're being a little economical with the truth'"

    Sorry Lamna_nasus, but Mango is correct. Only you framed it in the terms of 'communist' and 'capitalist,' apparently because you don't understand what a false and simplistic view that is in 2010.

    But those buzzwords still do fool most of the people most of the time.







    *81 CanadianRockies
    '..This whole thing has been about global wealth redistribution from the beginning, in the guise of making the world a 'fairer' place... but really for the benefit of the global elite/multinational corporations..'


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  • 148. At 11:20pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @CanadianRockies #140

    "What "other powerful factions"?"

    I put quotes round "rich countries" for a reason. For starters some rich countries don't count themselves as "rich" and then demand "rich countries" do more.

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

    And some of the smaller countries are part of some very big negotiating blocks. They're not exactly dictating terms, but they do, en masse, have the power to say no.

    It's not about wealth redistribution. It's about jostling for power. And some very different rationales as to what is considered fair.


    "deliberately manufactured financial crisis"

    They haven't benefited enough directly to have manufactured it.

    The only benefit most of them have had from the crisis is that someone else has cleared up their mess. The money that they have mopped up by clever dealing on the markets after quantitative easing just replaces the money they lost during the crisis. Yes a few of them are better off but that is balanced by those amongst them that are worse off.

    Instead the general public paying to clearing up the mess allows them to gamble much harder chasing bigger rewards. So in the good times they can do a lot better than if they weren't backed by an unwilling public because they know they have this safety net. Heads they win. Tails the public loses.


    "And if the UK had stayed on the same Marxist path it was on before Thatcher it would have been that much worse."

    It's not either/or. Extremes of either right or left cause problems. Thatcher won 1983 by a landslide. This allowed her to implement far more extreme policies than otherwise. This included massive deregulation of the casino in the UK based stock markets.

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  • 149. At 11:30pm on 06 Dec 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Lamna_nasus #142
    (@MangoChutneyUKOK)

    "sceptic conspiracy theories"

    The sceptics, like us warmists, are a mixture. CanadianRockies's theories involve multinational corporations. Brunnen makes cracks about "comrades". Bowmanthebard doesn't like the conspiracy stuff on this thread.

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