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Generation game warms legal climate

Richard Black | 16:56 UK time, Friday, 6 May 2011

There are times when writing articles about climate change brings a distinct feeling of deja vu.

There was a time five or six years ago when litigation over climate impacts featured regularly on this website.

Scientists were working up methods of attribution - methods that would allow you to say, for example, "60% of the risk of that particular impact happening was due to climate change" - and allow plaintiffs to sue on that basis.

Inuit on the ice

 

So we saw an Inuit group filing a legal petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on the basis that US emissions were melting away their way of life.

We saw legal cases brought against Shell over gas-flaring in Nigeria - thought to be Africa's biggest point source of greenhouse gases, and a waste of valuable fuel that could be used to improve lives locally.

We saw legal petitions go into the World Heritage Committee on the basis that climate change was melting Himalayan glaciers, putting lives at risk through increasing the chances of glacial lake outburst floods - and curbing emissions was the only way to protect these sites, as government are legally obliged to do.

US organisations argued that protecting some endangered species, such as corals, must mean curbing climate change, and lodged actions accordingly under the Endangered Species Act.

More directly, actions were brought against power companies and the state authorities that license them, notably in the US and Australia.

There was even talk of nation suing nation, with The Maldives at one point leading the charge of small island developing states to wring compensation from the high-emitting West.

In Europe, there was talk in legal circles about a suit based on additional deaths caused by the heatwave of 2003, although nothing came to court.

And so it's been intriguing this week to see the idea raising its head in a somewhat novel way, with a group of young people lodging a number of legal cases across the US, possibly amounting eventually to one in every state.

Among the leading lights is Alec Loorz, the 16-year-old founder of Kids vs Global Warming, who says he is suing the US...

"...for handing over our future to unjust fossil fuel industries, and ignoring the right of our children to inherit the planet that has sustained all of civilization.

"Even though scientists overwhelmingly agree that CO2 emissions are totally messing up the balance of our atmosphere, our leaders continue to turn their backs on this crisis.

"The time has come for the youngest generation to hold our leaders accountable for their actions."

The concept of "inter-generational equity" is something that campaigners have urged for some years without necessarily managing to turn into a major support winner.

Alec Loorz

 

It's not just a climate issue, they say.

Every barrel of oil used unnecessarily now is one barrel fewer remaining for the next generation.

As far as I'm aware, the Kids vs Global Warming lawsuit [pdf link] is the first to stem from the idea.

So how will they get on?

In a strictly legal sense, the portents are not good.

The majority of the cases mentioned above (and there are others) did not result in sanctions that materially altered emissions, or that paid compensation.

Peter Roderick, a London-based adviser to the Climate Justice Programme who was involved in several of these cases, said:

"I think if as a lawyer people came to you saying 'I've suffered this loss, can we sue?', most lawyers would be very reluctant to take that on because no court has ruled on whether compensation can be given, and it would probably take years.

"But I can see how it could be done.

"So most of the actions so far aren't arguing for that, for compensation - they're trying to get curbs on emissions, and to get public bodies to act."

Even that, though, has proven hard.

Building water channels in the Himalayas

 

Is the science of attribution up to it?

Even if it is, how do you assign degrees of responsibility to different countries, especially bearing in mind the international acceptance that developing countries have a right to increase emissions in order to promote development?

And how do you put a monetary value on a melting glacier?

On the other hand, some of the actions have been brought against states for apparently ignoring, in this special case of climate change, pledges they have made.

One that hasn't yet been tested, as far as I'm aware, is the EU commitment to the precautionary principle in environmental matters.

If there's a reasonable chance that rising temperatures will impact biodiversity or fish stocks, for example, doesn't that suggest the EU is obliged to take every action it can to reduce emissions?

Some clarity may emerge next month, when the US Supreme Court is due to rule on a set of cases known as the AEP cases that's been rumbling on since 2004.

A group of US states is asking power companies that they describe as "the five largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the United States" to cut back on those emissions.

It's said to be an important case in the sense of setting a legal precedent for others - at least, in the US.

Meanwhile, Mr Loorz and his group will presumably press on with their actions.

Whether they succeed or not in a legal sense, they have found a way of getting the issue of inter-generational equity on the news agenda.

In his words:

"If we continue to hide in denial and avoid taking action, my generation will be forced to grow up in a world where hurricanes as big as Katrina are normal, people die every year because of heat waves, droughts, and floods, and entire species of animals we've come to know disappear right before our eyes.

"This is not the future I want."

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    thanks richard, i've passed the link on to my children. i hope they take an interest. imo if we ignore this generation we could be looking at protests verging on those of the arab spring

  • Comment number 2.

    I think I'm having one of my W.C. Fields moments...

  • Comment number 3.

    Whether they succeed or not in a legal sense, they have found a way of getting the issue of inter-generational equity on the news agenda.

    In his words:

    "If we continue to hide in denial and avoid taking action, my generation will be forced to grow up in a world where hurricanes as big as Katrina are normal

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

    Awww, bless. His very first lie for The Cause.

    What is it with you greenies? You can't convince the public you're right and you can't convince industry you're right so you decide the only option is to try and bully people into obedience through the courts.

    And using such low tactics too, the Helen Lovejoy "think of the children approach".

    Disgusting, truly disgusting.

  • Comment number 4.

    If "kids vs global warming" isn't your cup of saccharine goo, I recommend Mark Kinver's topical article here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13297004

    (It's interesting for various reasons, not least the way a "5% less than it would have been according to me favorite theory" is reported as a "5% decline". Sound familiar?)

  • Comment number 5.

    Shades of Hitler youth. The young have been cruelly propagandised at school instead of being educated to use their enquiring minds.

    A law case would reveal the evidence and show that in fact there is no evidence for AGW.

  • Comment number 6.

    What a gigantic scam climate change has become. The BBC will not be forgiven for encouraging this distortion of science for its own corrupt aims.

  • Comment number 7.

    "One that hasn't yet been tested, as far as I'm aware, is the EU commitment to the precautionary principle in environmental matters."

    Please, Richard, what is your version of this oft-appealed-to "precautionary principle"? Last time we discussed it, it ended up looking like a bit of politically-motivated legalese tarted up to look "scientific"!

    Someone -- please, anyone: refer us to a bit of non-illiterate writing that explains what this "precautionary principle" is. Are there any game theorists, for example, who appeal to it?

  • Comment number 8.

    PAWB46 #5 wrote:

    "Shades of Hitler youth."

    The environmentalist movement has always been a "communitarian" sort of thing, in other words a movement that values "integration" (into the community, "ecosystem", etc.) above "differentiation" (from the commonalty, orthodoxy, etc.).

    I'd better not mention youth organizations that openly describe themselves in "Volk" terms, but I can mention the biggest environmentalist philosopher of them all: Martin Heidegger, card-carrying, badge-wearing, lederhosen-slapping member of the German Nationalist Socialist Party.

  • Comment number 9.

    Children are always the easiest to brainwash. Had to laugh at the Katrina comment in particular.

    Of course, people who exploit brainwashed children have no ethics and represent the lowest form of propagandists.

  • Comment number 10.

    Here's the full paragraph which was partially edited by Richard. Read the first line which was deleted and you will see why.

    "Our addiction to fossil fuels is messing up the perfect balance of nature and threatening the survival of my generation. If we continue to hide in denial and avoid taking action, my and I generation will be forced to grow up in a world where hurricanes as big as Katrina are normal, people die every year because of heat waves, droughts, and floods, and entire species of animals we’ve come to know disappear right before our eyes."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/

    The "perfect balance of nature." LOL. No wonder this kid was so easy to manipulate.

  • Comment number 11.

    The precautionary principle means that I can do anything I want if there's a chance something might happen.

    Ideal for fear-mongering totalitarians and their ilk.

  • Comment number 12.

    #11
    naff strawman argument

  • Comment number 13.

  • Comment number 14.

    Given that the recent rate of CO2 rise is unprecedented for at least 800,000 years and probably unprecedented for tens of millions of years before that, and given that CO2 is a significant part of the greenhouse gas and a significant player on ocean pH, the precautionary principle is entirely valid here. There is cause for concern just knowing the above two facts.

  • Comment number 15.

    rossglory #12

    "naff strawman argument"

    Why don't you just give the rest of us a chance to understand or criticize your own version of this idea? Put it in your own terms, please.

  • Comment number 16.

    quake #14 wrote:

    "the precautionary principle is entirely valid here"

    Gee, that's a relief! Now what do you understand by "the precautionary principle"? Your own words, please.

  • Comment number 17.

    14. At 20:59pm 6th May 2011, quake wrote:

    " probably unprecedented for tens of millions of years before that"

    " There is cause for concern just knowing the above two facts."

    Fact and supposition aren't the same thing.

  • Comment number 18.

    well lets just stick with the ice core record then. The CO2 rise in the last 200 years is unprecedented for at least 800,000 years (which more than covers the entire history of our species). CO2 is a significant part of the greenhouse effect and is linked to ocean pH. There is cause for concern just knowing these facts.

  • Comment number 19.

    "well lets just stick with the ice core record then. The CO2 rise in the last 200 years is unprecedented for at least 800,000 years (which more than covers the entire history of our species)."

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

    So what? Show me why this is either a) unnatural or b) a problem.

    The seas we we were told will swamp low lying nations aren't, the Katrina strength hurricanes are notable only by their total absence, the polar bears aren't drowning or starving, snow still falls in winter and the Himalayan glaciers are going to be there for quite some time yet.

    The only thing we should be concerned about is which piece of greenie doomcrying will be debunked next.

  • Comment number 20.

    #18 - Let's just cover our ears and scream 'the debate is over'!!!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/26/co2-ice-cores-vs-plant-stomata/

    Water vapour is far more significant than CO2.

    The IPCC models have CO2 sensitivity wrong, among other things.


  • Comment number 21.

    @11 "Ideal for fear-mongering totalitarians and their ilk." I thought this blog wasn't about religion? Who teaches children that if they don't believe the right things, or obey a group of cross-dressing wierdos, a loving God will torture them forever in Hell?

    If that isn't child abuse I don't know what is.!

    There's plenty of evidence for climate change that I've seen. Just look at the glaciers melting in the Arctic Circle. The greenhouse effect is quite real too: without it the Earth would be too cold for many of us. The rest is discussion over the detail, from which it's very hard to exclude vested interests.

    I have a pretty good scientific education - and knowledge, but I wouldn't claim to know the whole truth. Alas, too many people just make up their minds about what they want to be true and search for wacky vids on YouTube instead of proper evidence.

    @8 A typical smear - either ignorant or dishonest:

    All cats are animals
    All dogs are animals,
    Therefore all dogs are cats

    OR Some Nazis were vegetarians,
    You are a vegetarian,
    Therefore you must be a Nazi.

    I suggest you learn to draw Venn diagrams. Oh, and who says Heidegger was the biggest? You do!

  • Comment number 22.

    @More than one, but mostly to @quake (reposting as we seemed to have switched threads - hopefully the mods will permit this)

    Sorry to possibly burst your little CO2 based bubble, but given that CO2 diffuses in ice aren't you a little out on a limb with claiming that you definitively know the paleo atmospheric concentrations at all.

    Not that a lack of knowledge has stopped your lot in the past.......

    Firstly, doesn't the later leaf stomata (Wagner et al. 2002) CO2 proxy work and the Taylor Dome ices cores disagree for the period between 7-8000 years ago (Indermuhle et al.1999) by about 50 ppm as well?

    And, doesn’t this simple difference suggest that the ice cores might not be a proper matrix for reconstruction of the chemical composition of the ancient atmosphere?

    Plus, before we go off on an anti-stomata kick, you might want to look at this 2011 paper:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/83765562u3413363/

    Are you, perhaps, aware of any work that either contradicts or further investigates the work that the Scripps Institution of Oceanography did, in 2008?

    A quick Google for the following should bear some, paper/.pdf shaped fruit:

    “CO2 diffusion in polar ice: observations from naturally formed CO2 spikes in the Siple Dome (Antarctica) ice core”

    Isn’t it actually much more probable that the agreement of the CO2 levels between the various ice cores is actually due to C02 diffusion under pressure?

    And finally, just answer the simple question does CO2 diffuse in ice?

    Hint, there is only a single (non-calthrate) answer to this question ;-)

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 23.

    Re 19:
    Here's the most obvious indication that it's not natural:
    http://www.cutco2.org/images/Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr-2.png

    It's automatically a problem if we can't be sure that sudden jump in CO2 is safe.

  • Comment number 24.

    Re 20. At 22:38pm 6th May 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:
    "#18 - Let's just cover our ears and scream 'the debate is over'!!!"

    Well that is in fact what YOU are doing by telling everyone that the CO2 rise is fine and safe. Yet you've presented nothing to indicate it is.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/26/co2-ice-cores-vs-plant-stomata/

    There is no debate about the validity of ice core CO2 data. That article is just fantasizing about non-existant problems with the ice core data while ignoring the real problems with stomata proxies.

    "Water vapour is far more significant than CO2."

    And how does that prove the CO2 rise won't have any effect? You still haven't provided any evidence for your position that the CO2 rise is unremarkable.

    "The IPCC models have CO2 sensitivity wrong, among other things."

    And that proves the CO2 rise is unremarkable and benign how? Saying other people's ideas are wrong does not constitute evidence for your own position that rising CO2 is a non-issue.

  • Comment number 25.

    #21. Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    "I thought this blog wasn't about religion?"

    Wrong. That's why they are now resorting to exploiting brainwashed children.

    "There's plenty of evidence for climate change that I've seen. Just look at the glaciers melting in the Arctic Circle."

    You obviously haven't "seen" this at all except on TV. And that information is conveniently all out of date. Sorry, that scare story died.

    hers's a clue... How's the heroic Caitlin Expedition doing?

  • Comment number 26.

    #24 - quake. Where did I state any conclusion about the recent increase in CO2?
    I didn't.

    More to the point, the real question is what that means. You obviously prefer the nice simple story. I see things being not so simple.

    But if you are going to base your whole argument on the ice core data, then you must be able to explain why that record shows a non-stop roller coast of climate change and why the current period is fundamentally different or outside that range of natural variability.

    But aside from pointing at CO2 and trying to pretend that correlation means causation, you can't.

    Because I am not a natural climate variation denier, I see us heading into yet another cooling period... like the last one when the 'experts' were predicting a new Ice Age.

  • Comment number 27.

    quake - No. It just means the IPCC models and prediction are wrong - spectacularly wrong.

  • Comment number 28.

    "22. At 22:49pm 6th May 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    Sorry to possibly burst your little CO2 based bubble, but given that CO2 diffuses in ice aren't you a little out on a limb with claiming that you definitively know the paleo atmospheric concentrations at all."

    Aren't you a little out on a limb given the ice core records are not disputed in the scientific literature? Where are the papers calling for the ice core records to be tossed out?

    Plenty of skeptics accept the accuracy of the CO2 ice core records when convenient (700 year lag anyone?). This sudden infatuation with denying the ice core records and playing up stomata data, while ignoring problems with those records, is just a plain attempt to deny inconvenient science.

    The inconvenience here is a whole bunch of you guys really want to pretend the ongoing CO2 rise is a non-issue. In order to do that the false idea that the CO2 rise is unremarkable is tossed out. It's implied that the ongoing CO2 rise has happened many times in the past and nothing came of it.

    So you feel threatened by me pointing out that, on the contrary, the recent human driven CO2 rise has no known past natural comparison. Plus if we continue emissions as you guys think we should, well we are talking a much larger CO2 rise than so far. There is no data whatsoever, not even a clue of data, to support any past natural event where CO2 levels more than doubled in the space of just 300 years. Yet that's what we are going to do.

    The absurdity of people claiming that the CO2 rise should not be a issue or concern and that governments should just ignore it is staggeringly dumb.

  • Comment number 29.

    Re 26. CanadianRockies wrote:

    So you admit that the recent CO2 rise is remarkable has no known past parallel? And remind me again the basis for your position that the ongoing CO2 rise will have no ill effect, assuming you still believe that.

  • Comment number 30.

    #29. quake wrote:

    "So you admit that the recent CO2 rise is remarkable has no known past parallel?"

    It is literally remarkable but I don't know if there have been past parallels or not. Neither do you. Obviously there have never been so many fossil fuels burned this quickly, thus releasing formerly trapped carbon. That is new.

    "And remind me again the basis for your position that the ongoing CO2 rise will have no ill effect, assuming you still believe that."

    quake, do you always think in such simple black-white terms? EVERYTHING has an effect. Whether it is "ill" or not depends on who's deciding that question.

    The point here is whether this recent rise in CO2 will cause the effects predicted by the bogus IPCC models (or worse, the manufactured fears espoused by brainwashed children and the charlatans who exploit them).

    My conclusion is no, it will not. And even if it did warm that much, there would be as many positive effects as negative ones.

    Yet you seem to accept the absurd concept that all climate change is bad, that the climate should be stable and, even more bizarre, that the UN et al can do that if we just give them enough money and act like serfs.

    If you really are worried about increasing CO2, you should worry about China and India. If you killed off the entire UK economy tomorrow, China will make up the CO2 difference in no time.

  • Comment number 31.

    @quake

    "Aren't you a little out on a limb given the ice core records are not disputed in the scientific literature? Where are the papers calling for the ice core records to be tossed out?"

    Well I did give you one, that definitely calls them into question :-)

    So just simply: Does CO2 diffuse in ice (go on, you can look it up)?

    If the answer's yes..... which it is...... You've really got nothing as far as paleo C02 concentrations go ;-)

    1. There's definite diffusion between recent layers, the result of this is some smearing you can look up Steigs (diffusion uncertainty) work on this, which means that you can't exactly caclulate an annual CO2 ppm figure - you can also look for firn diffusion

    2. The paper I pointed you at looks at depths down to 950m....... Need I tell you that's a long way down and back in time.....

    If said smearing continues over many thousands of years, which it appears that it does, you really and I do mean really can't tell us anything about paleo c02 levels ;-)


    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 32.

    @Quake

    Sorry.... but sudden infatuation.... Where did that come from?

    I'm merely pointing out that your knowledge re: ice cores is defficient and that you are as a result of that defficiency way overstating your case.

    As to stomata proxies, I've no real axe to grind with these, but again, you were attempting to belittle them. I can point you to lots of recent validating papers if you're that interested or you could just google them yourself. Obviously, these have their own carbon 14 related dating problems and they can only go back 60k years or so but that's not the point - The only real point was that they don't agree.

    Even the basic chronology of ice cores have problems, they are not exact chronometers - they are approximate and they are not perfect repositories of atmospheric gases either. So, stop trying to quote them at people as though they are.


    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 33.

    Oh my, my. What happens to 'bottom up grass roots all good, intellectual academic top down all bad' when the shoe is on the left foot?

    I mean really, the Hitler Youth?

    Grow up, boys.

    As for the young persons doing this, I am impressed that they care enough to act, and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous old cynics.

  • Comment number 34.

    #33 - There is nothing 'bottom up' about this. They are exploiting a deliberately brainwashed kid. So Hitler Youth is entirely appropriate.

    This is no different than the Muslim extremists using brainwashed kids as suicide bombers.

  • Comment number 35.

    re: 11 CR "The precautionary principle means that I can do anything I want if there's a chance something might happen.

    Why take a valid point and stretch it to polemic absurdity?

    Do anything (what, imprison you for mowing the lawn? turn you into soylent green?) on a chance that something might happen?

    Who among the litigants above is suggesting, implying, or saying that?

    They are arguing that specific remedies be levied against specific actions that, on balance of probabilities, have a high risk of precipitating serious, and very deleterious, outcomes which can forseeablely be avoided.

    Personally, I don't think that suits based on the precautionary principle have a hope of success, and I think there are good reasons for this. But I think it is good that these issues can be heard in a court of law, and decisions based on a fair hearing of arguments and evidence be rendered. That's how societies based on the rule of law work.

  • Comment number 36.

    "This is no different than the Muslim extremists using brainwashed kids as suicide bombers."

    See, there you go again. No different?

    The kid is not going to die, and he is not going to kill anyone. That would be a qualitative difference in my books.

    He is also developing and using his powers of evidence gathering and logical argument to make his case, as he understands it, before a judge. That I reckon is a very good thing. Even if I don't completely agree with his understanding of the issues.

  • Comment number 37.

    #35 - chronophobe, see #7. So... your comments are not exactly relevant.

    As to the lawsuits that Richard mentioned, follow the money. And look who was behind them.

    And why are the tax payers paying for all these very high priced environmental lawyers filing what are for the most part nuisance suits?

    More self-serving planet savers/ambulance chasers, as usual.

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi Richard. You mention:

    "Scientists were working up methods of attribution - methods that would allow you to say, for example, "60% of the risk of that particular impact happening was due to climate change" - and allow plaintiffs to sue on that basis."

    Don't forget to add ski resorts to your list. There were a few cases that were suing for loss of snow. I guess that will change to too much snow now.

  • Comment number 39.

    How do give the kids a balanced view of Climate Change when they read stories like this from CBC?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/05/06/bc-sea-level-rise-report.html

    "A new report from the B.C. government is warning builders and developers to plan for a one metre rise in the sea level within the next 90 years.
    The report, Climate Change Adaption Guidelines for Sea Dikes and Coastal Flood Hazard Land Use, predicts that sea levels will rise faster and greater than previously thought."

  • Comment number 40.

    Missed add to my #38:

    Messing up the "perfect balance of nature" LOL. Brain washing for sure, Scary........

  • Comment number 41.

    #36. chronophobe wrote:

    "See, there you go again. No different?"

    No. There you go again. I use an analogy, you come back disputing the number of angels dancing on a pinhead.

    "He is also developing and using his powers of evidence gathering and logical argument to make his case, as he understands it, before a judge."

    Look at the full quote in #10. This kid is spouting complete nonsense that has been poured into his head by propagandists. So your comment is beyond absurd.

    And this case isn't going anywhere - just like all the rest of the grandstanding nuisance claims that Richard dutifully reported. Just a way for sleazy lawyers to milk money out of the taxpayers. Eco-ambulance chasers.

    Is there a term for people who molest children's minds?

    Is there a term for people who exploit children like this?

    Clearly the AGW propagandists are getting desperate. And once again, they are proving that this issue has NOTHING to do with scientific evidence.

    How can anyone even associate themselves with people like this? Really.

  • Comment number 42.

    #39 - We have a pair of you nesting every year on our property.

    So, 'kek,' as they say, to you too.

  • Comment number 43.

    re: 37 CR "#35 - chronophobe, see #7. So... your comments are not exactly relevant.

    Precautionary principle in law is in an extension of responsibility in liability cases, e.g.: "ought you have known that not salting your parking lot was apt to cause a high risk of injury to my client? Did you follow best practices in ameliorating this risk? Did you take every reasonable precaution?" Etc., etc.

    The principle of establishing liability on the basis of what one 'ought' to have done (or not done), or known, based on 'foreseeable' circumstances is well established in tort law. The application to issues of massive complexity, scale, and contentious causality associated with climate change is new (and very interesting) territory. Welcome to the frontier.

  • Comment number 44.

    Well, I guess if you reckon the fact that he's not killing himself or anyone else as scholastic frippery, what can I say?

    But by all means, carry on using such rhetoric. It does wonders for your cause.

    It does puzzle me, though, why people who hold strong views on a subject cannot accept that others hold, with equal passion and sincerity, differing views. A modicum of empathy seems to me an essential virtue for citizens of a free and democratic society.

  • Comment number 45.

    At 22:45pm 6th May 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:
    "The greenhouse effect is quite real too: without it the Earth would be too cold for many of us." You are just repeating the mantra.

    Prove that without the greenhouse effect the Earth would be too cold for many of us. Many physicists have proved that the so-called "greenhouse effect" is a work of pure fiction invented by environmental "scientists". The laws of physics trump environmental theories.

    The IPCC won't allow any proper scientists to dispute these types of statements, which have no scientific basis.

  • Comment number 46.

    '44. At 04:59am 7th May 2011, chronophobe wrote:l
    But by all means, carry on using such rhetoric. It does wonders for your cause.
    It does puzzle me, though, why people who hold strong views on a subject cannot accept that others hold, with equal passion and sincerity, differing views. A modicum of empathy seems to me an essential virtue for citizens of a free and democratic society.


    Have to give that 10:10 in agreeing with the sentiment, but less so for consistency across the well-funded, extensively PR'd message-sharing industry. Especially where kids are involved. No pressure.

    'There are times when writing articles about climate change brings a distinct feeling of deja vu'

    Same could be said for reading 'em. Though I have an odd feeling this has already happened. Had to be said. Sorry. :)

  • Comment number 47.

    There remains the fake-scientific nonsense at the heart of 'climategate' that is: that we 'know' that man caused climate change and if only man could be stopped doing the wrong this then the problem would go away - this reasoning is simply wrong and what is more it diverts proposals for actions to ameliorate the effect of an ever changing climate away from rational actions, such are refraining from building on flood plains to international conferences where everyone just wrings their hands and wastes global resources themselves with the sure and certain knowledge that nothing will result.

    These very foolish, and at best misguided, 'climate scientists' (an oxymoron if there ever was one!) are doing far more damage to the planet than would result from doing nothing.

    Our climate changes as the result of large scale physical phenomena - such as the effects of solar radiation and disturbances in the rotation of the earth and moon. I feel very confident in stating this on the basis of the sound science that tells us that the sun provides the vast majority of the heat for the earth so minor changes in solar output and its incidence on the earth have major effects and these effects substantially outweigh anything and everything else.

    Since interplanetary engineering solutions are essentially beyond our skills set we should therefore concentrate on taking rational steps to enable our species and other species to copy with the changes that do occur - and this does not included doing things that will have no actual proven effect (such an bemoaning the use of fossil fuels)!

    I would ask any person not convinced by these arguments to do the physics themselves of the energy we get from the sun and examine the effects of minor disturbances in this before they resort to unproven and causally unsupported by the facts, and indeed unsupportable, so called 'climate science'.

  • Comment number 48.

    It's a bucket full of sand give or take a few rational arguments.

  • Comment number 49.

    Sasha Clarkson #21 wrote:

    "@8 A typical smear - either ignorant or dishonest:

    All cats are animals
    All dogs are animals,
    Therefore all dogs are cats

    OR Some Nazis were vegetarians,
    You are a vegetarian,
    Therefore you must be a Nazi.

    I suggest you learn to draw Venn diagrams."

    Excuse me, but do you take me to be presenting some sort of a syllogism in #8? Please write it out explicitly, if you can.

  • Comment number 50.

    30. At 23:54pm 6th May 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "The point here is whether this recent rise in CO2 will cause the effects predicted by the bogus IPCC models (or worse, the manufactured fears espoused by brainwashed children and the charlatans who exploit them).

    My conclusion is no, it will not. And even if it did warm that much, there would be as many positive effects as negative ones."

    So you've concluded "no" based on what? Obviously not the past behavior of CO2 and temperature, because as you say there's no known past precedent for the recent changes.

    "Yet you seem to accept the absurd concept that all climate change is bad, that the climate should be stable and, even more bizarre, that the UN et al can do that if we just give them enough money and act like serfs."

    No I just point out the risk. To our knowledge an unprecedented rate of increase in radiatively significant gases is happening. We are adapted for the current climate and switching to a radically different climate will shake everything up. Sorry but environmental change itself IS bad. It's what forces species to adapt or perish. If we just rearrange the world's weather systems so everyone gets someone else's weather, that's a massive adaptation challenge.

    "If you really are worried about increasing CO2, you should worry about China and India. If you killed off the entire UK economy tomorrow, China will make up the CO2 difference in no time."

    That's why an international ban on coal mining is needed.

  • Comment number 51.

    Prompted by Ray Snoddy of Newswatch, senior BBC spokesperson Mary Hockaday offers some fine words on the notion of scepticism in reporting:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01111t6/Newswatch_07_05_2011/?t=6m35s

    About 6.35" in. I especially liked the bit at the end of the segment on engaging with differences in account.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01111t6/Newswatch_07_05_2011/?t=7m10s

    Oh, and also the feedback in conclusion from a viewer who was questioning the number of arts grads reporting science, citing an example of why it can matter.

  • Comment number 52.

    Re 32. At 00:51am 7th May 2011, blunderbunny wrote:
    @Quake

    "Even the basic chronology of ice cores have problems, they are not exact chronometers - they are approximate and they are not perfect repositories of atmospheric gases either. So, stop trying to quote them at people as though they are."

    I rather feel your motive is the latter point, to try (and you will be unsuccessful I should add) to make me "shut up" and stop posting inconvenient science.

    None of my points have been based on the ice core data being perfect. They don't need to be perfect for my point to hold. There is no example of CO2 jumping up to 500ppm in the ice core records. Therefore the atmospheric experiment we are performing has no precedent in those records.

    The ice cores are fine and so are my claims. I have made general claims that are well above the uncertainty in those records. There are no calls by the scientific community that the ice cores are so innaccurate they cannot be compared to recent CO2 changes, including in the paper you cited which cites uncertainties too far small to affect my conclusions.

    "As to stomata proxies, I've no real axe to grind with these, but again, you were attempting to belittle them. I can point you to lots of recent validating papers if you're that interested or you could just google them yourself."

    Stomata are like tree rings. Ie they are a proxy of CO2 but are also affected by a number of other things (rainfall, temperature). Ice cores actually contain trapped CO2.

  • Comment number 53.

    Re 47. John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "Our climate changes as the result of large scale physical phenomena - such as the effects of solar radiation and disturbances in the rotation of the earth and moon. I feel very confident in stating this on the basis of the sound science that tells us that the sun provides the vast majority of the heat for the earth so minor changes in solar output and its incidence on the earth have major effects and these effects substantially outweigh anything and everything else."

    In terms of extra energy absorbed by the Earth, a doubling of CO2 is equivalent to a 2% increase in solar output. So it isn't as clear cut as you conclude. You are ignoring the significance of the current CO2 rise.

    As far as we are aware it's completely unprecedented.

    Therefore you can't lean on past climate behavior to assume away the effects of the CO2 rise.

  • Comment number 54.

    For a short but penetrating look at the precautionary principle try 'An Appeal to Reason- A Cool Look at Global Warming' by Nigel Lawson (Mrs Thatcher's Chancellor and father of Nigella the Kitchen Goddess).
    He points out the need to be risk-adverse proportionally and quotes Prof Martin Rees in 'Our Final Century', a leading warmist, who feels that the main threats we face this century are nuclear war and bio-terrorism with global warming well down the list.
    Lawson suggests that the most important application of the precautionary principle may be to the "principle" itself otherwise we may end up spending huge amounts on less important matters while neglecting the most dangerous.
    The obvious legal response to the warming-obsessed schoolchildren and their grasping lawers is to point out the enormous sums being spent in countering proven threats and the insanity of spending similar amounts on threats that are more distant and unproven.

  • Comment number 55.

    The article itself presents a fairly simple, and IMO difficult to argue with fact, although many here have done so. We are grinding through our resources at a rate of naughts and some younger folk are concerned about it. Yes, there are many layers of complexity surroudning the specific suits being pursued and filed and yes, the science is complicated and controvertable enough that debate is meaningful. However, exactly how condescending and/or firghtened are those on these pages who describe these kids as brainwashed and akin to the Hitler Youth. There is a theory that bring Hitler into a thread means substantive discussion is over. I have no idea what your motives are, i.e. protecting your life-style form change or just plain bull headedness, but dismissing these kids in such off-handed and unbelievably condescending ways simply exposes clear insecurities and lack of intellectual (not to mention ethical) rigour. If your own efforts at brainwashing us into believing any change is natural and therefore (as far as I can see) that means we needn't worry about what we're doing seems idiotic. No matter how much we debate specific scientific papers and climate records of whatever origin with clearly articulated understadning of them. The core issue in this article is that these kids are concerned about the current usage of resource. All other issues aside I am entirely in agreement with them. I am not brainwashed and saw the back of 16 a long while ago. Canadian Rockies- Who are these propogandists? Molestation, Really?? I would think that there is certainly molestation occurring here, but by those who dismiss these kids rather than those who engage them. And John_From_Hendon- I see no connection between the fact that we are incable of stellar engineering and the consequences of using finite resources as quickly as we are, whether that be warming or simply reaching a point where we have none.

    We should be engaging these young people, not likening them to children who were genuinely molested. As ridiculous as it seems to have to say to clearly intelligient and articulate adults, grow up and maybe you'll be respectable enough to be these kids peers.

  • Comment number 56.

    Tophie101 #55 wrote:

    "However, exactly how condescending and/or firghtened are those on these pages who describe these kids as brainwashed and akin to the Hitler Youth."

    I wouldn't want to compare them to the Hitler Youth, but do you understand why some people are uneasy with the idea of children as political activists?

    Children are not given the vote, for the very good reason that they do not have the experience to exercise serious political judgement.

    And anyway, children's political decisions are likely to reflect the opinions of their parents, teachers or peers. Worse, parents, teachers others who exercise power over children know this, and are likely to abuse their powers for their own political ends.

    Children should be insulated from the pressures of adult politics, and while I don't want to compare the children to the Hitler Youth, I might want to describe their parents as "careless" or "manipulative".

  • Comment number 57.

    I can picture the TV ads already.

    "Have you ever had a hurricane which wasn't your fault? You could be entitled to compensation...."

  • Comment number 58.

    @Quake

    You really haven't bothered to read up or check on anything have you? You simply can't make the sort of definitive statements that you've been making. To borrow a popular CAGW phrase/meme:

    It's Simple Science ;-)

    Gases and CO2 specifically, simply do not remain trapped where collected.

    With regard to stomata and tree rings, again you are simply showing your ignorance of the subject. Stomata are much more reliable than tree rings as there is an actual causal relationship.


    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 59.

    The young person mentioned in the piece is 16 years old. At that age he is considered old enough to join the British Army as a soldier and be given a gun. Reckon I'd rather have someone that age choosing to take steps to protect the environment.

  • Comment number 60.

    simon-swede #9 wrote:

    "The young person mentioned in the piece is 16 years old. At that age he is considered old enough to join the British Army"

    Not by the British Army he isn't!

    I don't mind children having political opinions, but I don't approve of adults harnessing children for their own ends, plus of course the ends of highly-paid lawyers.

    It's old-fashioned to say it, and children will of course deny it, but children are impressionable. Adults should encourage children to think for themselves instead of "signing them up" to what the adults judge to be correct opinions. That actively discourages individual thinking.

  • Comment number 61.

    Bowman at #60: You are wrong. At 16 you can join the British Army as a soldier. Have a look at their web-site.

  • Comment number 62.

    53. At 11:23am 7th May 2011, quake wrote:

    Re 47. John_from_Hendon wrote: [CO2 is not the cause of anything]

    "In terms of extra energy absorbed by the Earth, a doubling of CO2 is equivalent to a 2% increase in solar output. So it isn't as clear cut as you conclude. You are ignoring the significance of the current CO2 rise.

    As far as we are aware it's completely unprecedented.

    Therefore you can't lean on past climate behavior to assume away the effects of the CO2 rise."

    The science upon which the statement that you make with such certainty that there is a link between CO2 and anything is specious and bad science for a whole host of reasons.

    But nevertheless isn't it far more probable that changes in the solar flux are far more significantly influential than changes in CO2 - even using your own erroneous figures the sun's influence is fifty times greater than that you (incorrectly!) suggest for CO2! (100% more CO2 = 2% more sun)!!

  • Comment number 63.

    How wonderful. Now thousands of lawyers the world over will be able to buy even more and bigger houses, cars and yachts.

  • Comment number 64.

    @49 Bowman.

    You don't use explicit syllogisms, you just use implicit innuendos to imply incorrect ones. You smear by innuendo whilst stating nothing specific.

    By mentioning greens and Nazis in the same sentence you attempt to hijack the emotional opprobrium rightly attached to one group of people and dishonestly attach it to another. The tactic seems to come naturally to you: is your day job as a political spin doctor?

  • Comment number 65.

    re: tophie, simon-swede

    Very good points. Regarding enlistment, this is the link:

    http://www.army.mod.uk/join/20145.aspx

    (the site seems to be rejecting HTML at the moment -- or is that a fault on my end?)

    To assume this kid is under the sway of some evil manipulators is to assume a lot. And to forget that at 16 we all knew everything!

    Anyway, the real meat of the issue is in the US States' suit against the coal companies.

  • Comment number 66.

    re: 56 bowmanthebard:

    "And anyway, children's political decisions are likely to reflect the opinions of their parents, teachers or peers. "

    As are the political opinions of most, or at least many, adults. It takes a village ... (or is that too 'communitarian' for you?)

  • Comment number 67.

    There are too many people on this blog who (1) make categorical statements which they clearly aren't qualified to make with confidence, and (2) use very dishonest methods of arguing for their preferred viewpoint.

    (1) Ask yourselves "how do you know?". In most cases you don't, not with the certainty you profess.*

    (2) Try reading Robert Thouless' "Straight And Crooked Thinking", first published in 1930 and now deservedly back in print for the first time since the 90s.

    * Climate science depends upon mathematical models, and most verbal arguments on here don't reflect any comprehension of their fundamentals. I won't name names as I don't want to embarrass people whose opinions I normally respect.

  • Comment number 68.

    re: 46 Junkkmale

    Have to give that 10:10 in agreeing with the sentiment, but less so for consistency across the well-funded, extensively PR'd message-sharing industry. Especially where kids are involved. No pressure.

    Sure, there are emotive appeals made on both sides. Both sides have their sources of corporate and personal funding. Both sides reflect competing interests in society. But I draw the line at the notion of conspiracies: whether 12 foot establishment lizards, or two foot antipodean trolls.

    The irony is, both sides seem to share a lot of the same concerns with environmental degradation and the survival of the human race.

  • Comment number 69.

    Re 58. At 14:38pm 7th May 2011, blunderbunny wrote:
    "You really haven't bothered to read up or check on anything have you? You simply can't make the sort of definitive statements that you've been making."

    Yes I can, and I will continue to do so, because the science supports my position on this matter. I note that you nor anyone else have been able to provide an example from the past of a natural CO2 rise analogous to today's human driven CO2 rise.

    "Gases and CO2 specifically, simply do not remain trapped where collected."

    Neither do they disperse so much to make records completely useless. The state of the science today is that the ice cores provide an accurate enough record of CO2 records for the statements I have made.

    And whether you ignore the ice core records or not, you are still unable to provide a past example of natural CO2 rise analogous to the current human driven one.

    "With regard to stomata and tree rings, again you are simply showing your ignorance of the subject. Stomata are much more reliable than tree rings as there is an actual causal relationship."

    There is a causal relationship between temperature and tree rings too. But in both cases the proxy is also affected by other factors.

  • Comment number 70.

    re: Sasha Clarkson

    Mathematical models, sure. But at some point the boffins have to explain, and, frankly, sell, this stuff to the rest of us. It's not like they can expect to emerge from the temple of science and deliver their augury to the kneeling masses. It's political. It's economic. It's ethical. It's legal, and lots more as well.

  • Comment number 71.

    62. At 16:55pm 7th May 2011, John_from_Hendon wrote:
    "The science upon which the statement that you make with such certainty that there is a link between CO2 and anything is specious and bad science for a whole host of reasons."

    No it's good science, and all climate scientists in the world accept it. You just don't like it so you call it bad science.

    "But nevertheless isn't it far more probable that changes in the solar flux are far more significantly influential than changes in CO2 - even using your own erroneous figures the sun's influence is fifty times greater than that you (incorrectly!) suggest for CO2! (100% more CO2 = 2% more sun)!!"

    Compare that to the 0.1% reduction in solar output that made up the recent long deep solar minimum. The dominant changing factor at play is CO2, not the Sun.

  • Comment number 72.

    Some of the remarks being made on this blog are becoming outrageous, overly subjective and inflammatory. Two threads with insinuations about N.....'s is putting me off reading the comments.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    simon-swede #61 wrote:

    "You are wrong. At 16 you can join the British Army as a soldier. Have a look at their web-site."

    How do you like that -- the British Army website I visited says seventeen and a half (actually, absurdly, it says "17.5")! Those cunning b------s must have more than one website!

    But in any case, I don't think it's a good idea for a sixteen-year-old (or anyone less than 21, maybe) to be allowed to join an army. In a sense that's what the parents of these children seem to be doing, cramping individuality as they do it.

  • Comment number 75.

    bowmanthebard #56: "And anyway, children's political decisions are likely to reflect the opinions of their parents, teachers or peers. "

    chronophobe #66: "As are the political opinions of most, or at least many, adults. It takes a village ... (or is that too 'communitarian' for you?)"

    Please, enough of the C word. Yes it is too -- ugh, "communitarian" -- for me!

    By the way, are you suggesting that children should be allowed to vote?

  • Comment number 76.

    Sasha Clarkson #64 wrote:

    "By mentioning greens and Nazis in the same sentence you attempt to hijack the emotional opprobrium rightly attached to one group of people and dishonestly attach it to another. The tactic seems to come naturally to you: is your day job as a political spin doctor?"

    Passing over your ad hominem attack on my personality and integrity, are you trying to say there is no correlation between "green" movements and philosophers such as Rousseau?

  • Comment number 77.

    To repeat. Here's what our poster child said:

    "Our addiction to fossil fuels is messing up the perfect balance of nature and threatening the survival of my generation. If we continue to hide in denial and avoid taking action, my and I generation will be forced to grow up in a world where hurricanes as big as Katrina are normal, people die every year because of heat waves, droughts, and floods, and entire species of animals we’ve come to know disappear right before our eyes."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/

    Starting with the "perfect balance of nature" this statement clearly reveals that what he has said is NOT based on any logical analysis of any evidence or anything but is just speculative doomsday predictions for the usual sources.

    The Katrina line is swallowed hook, line, and sinker. Apparently nobody checked recent hurricane frequency or explained to this lad what actually caused the Katrina disaster (poor infrastructure).

    The statement that "people die every year because of heat waves, droughts, and floods" is meaningless. They do anyways. Always have, always will... or maybe they don't in the fantasy 'perfect balance'?

    "entire species of animals we’ve come to know disappear right before our eyes"

    Really? At least he didn't mention polar bears though I assume that is what was on his mind. They do keep going on about this extinction wave but there doesn't seem to be any evidence of it actually happening.

    This poster child is just a parrot. Thus the next step is to understand who and why fed him this stuff. He may actually believe it but that doesn't make it any more true.
    Sixteen years old are gullible and easily influenced and manipulated. And he didn't get to be national news by himself.

    So... of all the topics I have seen covered in this blog, I think that the exploitation of this kid here is the lowest thing yet. So pardon my outraged rhetoric. But do not pardon those who are using children like this.




  • Comment number 78.

    #59. simon-swede wrote:

    "The young person mentioned in the piece is 16 years old. At that age he is considered old enough to join the British Army as a soldier and be given a gun. Reckon I'd rather have someone that age choosing to take steps to protect the environment."

    The 16 year olds are cannon fodder. The generals are the ones sending them out of the trenches. So your analogy actually supports my concerns about the use and manipulation of these brainwashed kid. Here they have used a different kind of 'patriotism.'

  • Comment number 79.

    Good article.It raises a few points for me. The flurry of legal action in pursuit of damages 5 or 6 yrs ago may have mobilised powerful elements to undermine the science behind climate change. Placing a monetary value on the climate issue is detrimental to both sides. This is about survival, it shouldn't be about money. Instead of arguing ratios of who's input is most significant- man or nature- we need effective mechanisms- from science, tech, habitat preservation to control our environment. For those who use the term *greenies* as derogatory, it's simply taking personal responsability for the environment and our place in it. Ironically,we need an interventionist approach to make sure nature can replenish itself.If we damage the ecosystem to the point it can't repair,we scupper our future too. Those who spend time arguing we should just carry on, business as usual are in denial. Much easier to cloak an unpalatable truth as the enemy, rather than work together for solutions.

    The Kids vs Global Warming lawsuit at least keeps the matter in the public eye & if, because of it, power companies diversify into cleaner, renewable energy it will be better for the US economy in the long run. If industrial and emerging nations are all competing for finite resources, in some cases, from unstable parts of the world, it would be better for the more high tech, richer nations to decouple from that & lead by example. Green Energy and high tech solutions which mitigate climate change (for our benefit) should be the status symbols of an advanced nation that other countries wish to emulate

  • Comment number 80.

    How could anyone possibly compare the Watermelon movement to Nazis?

    “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”

    - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, patron of the World Wildlife Fund

    “The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man.”

    - Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point

    "A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells, the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.“

    - Prof. Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb

    “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.”

    - Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution

    “We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

    - Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, lead author of many IPCC reports

    “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”

    - Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC

    “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”

    - Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

  • Comment number 81.

    #50. quake wrote:

    I wrote: "If you really are worried about increasing CO2, you should worry about China and India. If you killed off the entire UK economy tomorrow, China will make up the CO2 difference in no time."

    You wrote: "That's why an international ban on coal mining is needed."

    Now that is funny. Maybe start in the UK. Why not ban farming too?

    So, quake, other than the totalitarian one world government that Watermelons dream of, who will enforce this ban? You need to get up to speed on who's who in the world, and what China's priorities are.

  • Comment number 82.

    81. CanadianRockies wrote:

    "Now that is funny. Maybe start in the UK. Why not ban farming too?"

    Why?

    "So, quake, other than the totalitarian one world government that Watermelons dream of, who will enforce this ban?"

    Who enforces the ban on CFCs? Or the ban on biological weapon development?

  • Comment number 83.

    Re 80. At 19:53pm 7th May 2011, CanadianRockies

    You quote Sir John Houghton as saying “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”. You might want to read this:

    Fabricated quote used to discredit climate scientist
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/fabricated-quote-used-to-discredit-climate-scientist-1894552.html

  • Comment number 84.

    simon-swede wrote: "You are wrong."

    bowmanthebard wrote: [Your comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain]

  • Comment number 85.

    #82. quake wrote:

    "81. CanadianRockies wrote:

    "Now that is funny. Maybe start in the UK. Why not ban farming too?"

    Why?"

    Why ban coal mining in the UK. Well, got to start somewhere and that way they can show 'leadership.' As to farming...

    Me: "So, quake, other than the totalitarian one world government that Watermelons dream of, who will enforce this ban?"

    You: "Who enforces the ban on CFCs? Or the ban on biological weapon development?"

    CFCs were an easy problem to fix with an alternative available. Try replacing coal. Some people do not seem to realize how much energy is generated by coal, and how much our economies depend on energy. So, yes, we are 'addicted' to fossil fuel energy now the same way we are 'addicted' to food. So ban farming. It has major environmental costs right? Major source of CO2 if you want to follow that rabbit.

    And the "ban on biological weapon development?" Who says that is actually being enforced anywhere? Sounds nice.

    Bottom line quake, China and India see their future based on ramping up ALL available energy sources with a heavy emphasis on coal because it produces the cheapest power and it is a superabundant resource. If you think they are going to cripple their economies for this collapsing project you really aren't thinking too far.

    I'm assuming you are in the UK. What percentage of energy there is generated by coal? How many jobs does coal mining support? Do you think everybody can be a 'highly paid climate change advisor' like Tony Bliar?

  • Comment number 86.

    #83 - quake - Well, I learn something every day. Now, about those other quotes...

    But best not to start comparing the lie count.

    Here's a new one from an AGW hero:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/06/pielke-jr-joe-romm-lies/

    And this is now very out of date:

    Climate Science Scandals – List Of Gates Balloons To 129

    http://notrickszone.com/2010/12/07/climate-science-scandals-list-of-gates-balloons-to-129/

    They just keep pumping out 'stories' faster than anyone can keep up with them. The AGW crisis research-industrial-financial complex has huge sums of money to spend and no end of useful parrots.

    Heard about the looming pika extinction yet? Just keeps getting more absurd.

  • Comment number 87.

    It is not deja vu....nothing has changed...not back to a place but rather the place has not changed in time.
    Incremental bureaucratic inertia...further hampered by political interference directed by those who profit from the current situation..It is about the money...always is...that also has not changed. Cicero would always ask: Qui Buno? Who benefits? Today he would say: Show Me the Money.

  • Comment number 88.

    Re 86. CanadianRockies wrote:
    "Now, about those other quotes..."

    Forget quotes, other than making sure to get them right, they are just a distraction.

    What really matters is the ongoing human driven CO2 rise, which has no known past precedent, and it's going to rise a lot further yet! What was the reason again that you think it won't significantly change climate?

    As for "CFCs were an easy problem to fix", I didn't claim CO2 rise was an easy problem to fix. I did however claim it was a problem. If you want to admit the problem but claim it's too hard to fix, sure go ahead.

  • Comment number 89.

    #2 bowman
    don;t worry it'll pass. it;s an age thing.

  • Comment number 90.

    @quake

    You're still banging on, but ignore responses to the previous thread.

    See here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2011/05/money_in_trees.html?postId=108599883#comment_108599883

    /Mango

    I don't deny climate change, I know climate changes

  • Comment number 91.

    #quake/simon/ghost
    i admire your persistence guys. in the end the science will prevail but you;ll not convince the usual suspects here who seem to swing between paranoia about nazis and communists.

    #sensiblegrannie
    i;d say stick with it and filter out the more extreme posts. some of the other comments are quite interesting.

  • Comment number 92.

    @Quake

    There are ‘simple’ physical processes at play - you could at least read the paper that I provided you with enough information to find. If you've got a paper with some contradictory findings, then I'd be very pleased to read it.

    As to, tree rings vs stomata, need I mention Biffra and divergence. Plus, they are not equivalent proxies.

    1. Stomata measure C02 concentrations
    2. Tree rings are supposed to measure moisture and temp
    3. Stomata still work
    4. Tree rings do not

    I’m failing to detect much equivalence ;-)

    Besides, this argument/discussion is about the strength of the ice core paleo record and you’re not really addressing that. I’ve provided you with some evidence of simple physical processes that calls this paleo record into question, you’ve responded with sneering. If I’m incorrect it should be a simple task for you demonstrate that.

    Regards

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 93.

    Im suprised much of the comments on this article are instead digressing into a debate on the causes of Global warming. It should be accepted that this is a complicated process and there are many factors at play, impact of the sun, 'solar dimming', CO2, natural and seasonal variations etc.

    Reverting back to the article, i think use of Global warming in litigation should be carefully thought through, as using Co2 output to justify damages should be used solely when there is a direct impact on the environment, leading to wider community loss

  • Comment number 94.

    '74. At 19:12pm 7th May 2011, bowmanthebard
    simon-swede #61 wrote:

    "You are wrong. At 16 you can join the British Army as a soldier. Have a look at their web-site."

    How do you like that -- the British Army website I visited says seventeen and a half


    In the spirit of looking at all arguments on a disputed point, I have decided to read further and seek factual references.

    http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regiments/8535.aspx#a6
    http://www.army.mod.uk/join/20145.aspx

    Seems even official sources, indeed the very folk involved, are a bit confusing on this.

    Norralorra people know that. Apparently. Worthy metaphor, mind.

  • Comment number 95.

    And the issues of global warming are entwined with Peak Oil.. see http://www.energy-measures.com/articles/building_resilience.php

  • Comment number 96.

    JunkkMale at #94 - there's no confusion if you read carefully.

    If you wish, you can join the British Army at 16 - it's that simple (your 2nd link).

    However particular parts of the Army have different entry requirements - your first link is that of the IVMercian (Territorial) regiment. If you look at officer training, another age system applies.

    Would have thought that those who claim to understand so much about so many complex issues wouldn't have found any difficulty understanding such a simple system!

  • Comment number 97.

    Re 92. At 10:04am 8th May 2011, blunderbunny wrote:
    @Quake

    "There are ‘simple’ physical processes at play - you could at least read the paper that I provided you with enough information to find. If you've got a paper with some contradictory findings, then I'd be very pleased to read it."

    The paper you cited does not support your position. It does not claim the vostok and epica CO2 ice core records are in such error that CO2 may have been anywhere near 390ppm at any point.

    "As to, tree rings vs stomata, need I mention Biffra and divergence. Plus, they are not equivalent proxies."

    They are both proxies nonetheless that are affected by a number of different factors. Stomata are not only affected by CO2 and are known to have serious biases. It's quite amazing to watch you try and completely dismiss the ice core records which are far more solid while you try desperately to salvage the stomata records. Talk about cherrypicking the science.

    "Besides, this argument/discussion is about the strength of the ice core paleo record and you’re not really addressing that."

    Actually it isn't really about the strength of the ice core paleo-record. If you personally ignore the ice core paleo-record (I shall not) that does not help you find a past natural change in CO2 equivalent the current one. So you are left in the same sticky situation:

    You cannot provide assurance that the current human driven CO2 rise won't lead to significant climate change. Remember we already know CO2 is a significant radiative contributor, if you can't use the past to show the current rise is safe, then what have you got to conclude that?

  • Comment number 98.

    Does anyone actually APPROVE of 16-year-olds becoming soldiers, getting the vote, etc.? If not, why would anyone approve of 16-year-olds getting involved in politically-charged litigation?

  • Comment number 99.

    Re 90. MangoChutneyUKOK:

    The paper you cite and the additional one I cite below in fact substantiate the fears over rising CO2 and climate change as being grounded and why governments would be criminal to ignore this issue.

    The paper you cite says that says 2.6 to 5 million years ago CO2 levels were similar to today's and yet Earth's climate was "considerably different", global temperatures were 2-3C warmer and there was arctic amplification of that warming to the extent that summer temperatures on Ellesmere island (in the canadian arctic) to be 11–16 degrees C greater than today.

    One of the co-author's papers cited, Tripati 2009 points out a similar case 15 odd million years ago:
    "During the Middle Miocene, when temperatures were ~3° to 6°C warmer and sea level was 25 to 40 meters higher than at present, pCO2 appears to have been similar to modern levels."
    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/last-time-carbon-dioxide-levels-111074.aspx

    CO2 has only just reached 390ppm high, having climbed from about 300ppm in the past 100 years, the climate hasn't had time to fully respond to current CO2 levels yet. Here's a thought: Perhaps the high temperatures in Ellesmere island during the Summer have something to do with a complete loss of sea ice?

    If we don't start reducing CO2 emissions we will push CO2 levels well above 500ppm, which is well above these past climates that were considerably different from today.

    The warning from those two papers couldn't be more clear.

  • Comment number 100.

    I'm new here, and read the article and all of the comments. It seems like people who want to do something about the effects of rising industrial output are missing the easiest step to take.

    By handing over production and control of so much manufacturing to countries who have little or no desire to limit CO2 production, the only effective course will be to lower our own demand for what they produce.

    You can always look at labels and buy things that were not made in those countries which you deems the greatest threat.

    Or maybe just don't buy them at all. If you direct your purchasing power toward things that might sustain you better, then your efforts to imrove things will have two-fold benefits:

    1. you won't be feeding the most wasteful producers, and
    2. you lead a more satisfied life.

    The real brainwashing of these children has been going on ever since they were born. They've been taught that the best thing they can do is spend their money on things they don't really need.

    You'll never convince people who don't want to be convinced, especially if it is going to limit the amount of money they get to take home.

    It's sad to think but the only thing that ever seems to change people's behavior is catastrophy.

    Good luck everyone!

 

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