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Planet Earth Under Threat

How do we conserve the natural world in the face of CC?

  • Julian Hector
  • 27 Feb 07, 09:22 AM

On Tuesday 6th March BBC Radio 4 at 11.02 GMT on FM & LW and streamed on the Radio 4 website - and on demand here on the blog. Slowing down the human contribution to CC accepted, this programme investigates what has to be done now to protect the natural world. Much of the advice is whole sale land grabbing.

But the arguments are more complex as it's clear the impacts of CC on wildlife are, today, not the most important threat. The complexity comes in when it's argued CC will be the dominant threat to the natural world by 2100: more so than habitat destruction and over utilisation of natural resources.

This is not a depressing programme, it reaches out and really lays the challenge on the table - And this is a programme shaped by the contributions you have made on this blog.

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  • 1.
  • At 08:57 PM on 28 Feb 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

Oh dear! Yet more folk on adventure holidays emoting about the planet. Can we reduce Gabrielles carbon footprint?
Was Thomas Malthus right? Will the eco-fascists exterminate much if the human race that they blame for climate change?
A sloppy production with no, other than anecdotal, evidence.
Surely the BBC, with its vast financial resources, is capable of better.

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  • 2.
  • At 09:51 PM on 01 Mar 2007,
  • john cooknell wrote:

Tried to listen to this via the link, but got Roger Black on Sport in schools!

Ah well saving the planet will have to wait.

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Jon,

I note you haven't answered my two questions on the previous thread.
Vaya con Gaia
ed
03/03/2007 at 13:59:36 GMT

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Jon,

I note you haven't answered my two questions on the previous thread.
Vaya con Gaia
ed
03/03/2007 at 13:59:36 GMT
Got a 502 warning! Twice!

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  • 5.
  • At 08:14 PM on 03 Mar 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

Ed, I treated your post with contempt - Surely the burden of proof is the resposibiliy of those who propose an outlandish theory. Especially if the result of acting upon it would impoverish the world (as ever, the poor being impacted most harshly and no rich countries to continue aid).
You pointed to the IPCC review which has not published its scientific evidence and is merely a sociological diatribe.
You must admit that there is no smoking gun on "man-made global warming", only smoke and mirrors.

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  • 6.
  • At 08:30 PM on 03 Mar 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

Ed, I ignored your post, being simply bluster.
Surely it is the responsibility of those that propose an outlandish theory to provide the evidence. Especialy as the result of acting upon it would impoverish the world (as ever, impacting most harshly on the poor and no rich countries able to provide aid).
You referred me to the IPCC review (have you actually read it?), which is not a scientific paper but a sociological diatribe. They have not even published the scientifc work on which they claim to have depended.
You must admit that as far as "anthropogenic climate change" is concerned there is no smoking gun only smoke and mirrors

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  • 7.
  • At 09:52 AM on 05 Mar 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

The BBC canteen culture has chosen the wrong side in the anthropogenic climate change debate. Fetching photos of polar bears and Al Gore are no substitute for clear scientific method. It will be interesting to watch the "Climate Change Swindle" on TV Ch4 on thursday.

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It would be interesting to see / hear a proper scientific debate which takes fully into account natural geological processes and the warming / cooling cycles of the past. Similarly, the effects of changes in planetary orbits, the Earth's inclination and other natural phenomena, all of which affect climate.

If there were no humans on the Earth at all, the Earth would surely still be experiencing climate change at the present time - as indeed it has done for many millions of years before we (or motor cars and factories) arrived.

We desperately need some straight scientific debate to compensate for the emotive spin and other agendas being played out as part of the creation of the great climate change 'industry'.

Maybe the BBC could partner with other broadcasters around the world in order to gather some proper, non-political views and present a sensible overview? This would be most refreshing.

Regards to all,

JA

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  • 9.
  • At 07:26 PM on 05 Mar 2007,
  • john cooknell wrote:

Julian Ashbourne,

I am sorry to say you misunderstand human nature.

Those who believe will continue to believe whatever happens or is discovered, and those who do not will not believe whatever s discovered or happens.

The current scientific consensus only fits one global warming event and no other, but it might be right, but I must admit to being a little sceptical purely on the probability.

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  • 10.
  • At 08:00 PM on 05 Mar 2007,
  • john cooknell wrote:

Julian Ashbourne,

I am sorry to say you misunderstand human nature, and certainly misunderstand the Media, they just reflect human nature.

Those who believe will continue to believe, whatever happens or is discovered, and those who do not, will not believe whatever is discovered or happens.

The current scientific consensus only fits one global warming/climate change event and no other, but it might be right, but I must admit to being sceptical purely on the probability. The Science is really not that important, its human physchology that rules, even the climate scientists are amazed at the Climate Chaos end of the world brigade.

I have heard it said by many a believer that this is like Darwins theory of evolution, but his hypothesis seems to fit most things, the AGW hypothesis only fits one, and by definition can fit no other.

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  • 11.
  • At 03:02 AM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • branded green wrote:

I find it fascinating, as I'm sure Ed does, that Jon will persist in not answering what is a straight question (x2). Perhaps more curious is that Jon makes so many comments on a programme that he seems to really dislike, maybe he can tell us why he has so much 'contempt', or is that guilt?

It seems that Jon and others will go to great lengths to not answer any question put to them, preferring incoherent hiss to an engaging and intelligent conversation.

So let's help by examining what has been said! Please help if you have the inclination!
First though some more questions;)
1)is the IPCC report really a 'diatribe'? Did you mean that it is your opinion that the report was designed to make society penitent for burning fossil fuels? Do you really think that? - a big WOW if you do. My guess is that you haven't read it at all so here:

2)How is combating climate change inconsistent with helping the world's poor?

Most development organisations are recognising the effects of climate change as having a disastrous impact primarily on the world's poorest populations Christian Aid and Oxfam are two of many.

3)Is the Stern report really 'airport fiction'? I'm starting to think that you've not read this either so again, here.

4)finally cut through the swathe of misinformation visit exxonmobil.

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  • 12.
  • At 11:20 AM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

As far as anthropogenic climate change is concerned the IPCC review boils down to the gut-feelings of a like minded group with vested interests. If you actually bother to read it you will find highly subjective opinions such as "likely" or "highly likely" - some science, some diatribe.
I realise that I touch the occasional raw nerve, but that is to be expected when dealing with a belief system of a new religion.

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  • 13.
  • At 11:53 AM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

A little goodie to brighten your day:
"Belief is an emotional state that is not susceptible to rational persuasion" - Spinoza.

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  • 14.
  • At 12:11 PM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • Chris Baskerville wrote:

Global warming etc - an alternative hypothesis :-
The hyper-activation of all living organisms (particularly of anaerobic bacteria) induced by the magnetic pulses generated by the passage of Earth Orbitals crossing through the Solar Wind.
What is the evidence.
1.Since Oct 1957 I understand that there has been a progressive rise in Carbon 14 in the Earth's atmosphere.(Fossil fuels contain no C-14)
Is this correct?
2. Likewise since Oct 1957 there has been a corresponding rise in CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere. Is this correct?
3. The current asthma and alergy epidemic commenced in Oct 1957.
Is this corect.
4.The Ozone Holes over the Earth's magnetic poles commenced in Oct 1957, due to paramagnetic HCHO (from plants) and magnetic migration.
Is this correct?
5.AIDS commenced in 1957,(initiated by body biochemical destabilisation induced by magnetic fluctuation.
What started in Oct 1957
Activity by Mankind in Space.

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  • 15.
  • At 12:31 PM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

ROFL

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  • 16.
  • At 02:30 PM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • branded green wrote:

The thing is Jon that when you claim to read something you really should read it properly: on Page 4 of 18 in footnote 6 the Summary for Policymakers, which is the only part of the 4th assessment available - the full report is to be published late in the year -, the following explanation of the terms is given.


"...the terms have been used to indicate the assessed likelihood, using expert judgement, of an outcome or a result: Virtually certain > 99% probability of occurrence, Extremely likely > 95%, Very likely > 90%, Likely > 66%, More likely than not > 50%, Unlikely Very unlikely Extremely unlikely

Then in footnote 7


"... the following levels of confidence have been used to express expert judgments on the correctness of the underlying science: very high confidence at least a 9 out of 10 chance of being correct; high confidence about an 8 out of 10 chance of being correct..."

And that is just in the first 5 pages, if you care to look on you'll find adequate explanations of terms, this summary was intended to be read by policy makers; therefore terms like very likley are intended to aid in the discussions held by policy makers.

So it is quite clear that far from a subjective account the ipcc report actually is grounded in science and, very nicely, they also express it what we might want to call 'normal everyday language'.

Now, with regards to this Religious jibe, have you no respect for all of the world's religions; instituted, some over thousands of years, often from one or just a few key texts and none of them peer reviewed - Do you really think you'll not cause offence to suggest that, like the growing mass of evidence from the science community about anthropogenic global warming, Christ, Allah, Shiva etc. are peer reviewed?

I question your categorisation methods!

Look Jon, if you really want to mess about should you really be proliferating such nonsense about such an important issue? There are chat show blogs that you can frequent. I dare say that Jeremy Kyle would welcome your kerplunk style of discourse.

Some of my links didn't work last time so here they are again:
"Most development organisations are recognising the effects of climate change as having a disastrous impact primarily on the world's poorest populations Christian Aid and Oxfam are two of many."

Christian Aid: http://www.christian-aid.org.uk/climatechange/index_more.htm

Oxfam : http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_we_do/issues/climate_change/introduction.htm

Stern report:
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/independent_reviews/stern_review_economics_climate_change/sternreview_index.cfm

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  • 17.
  • At 02:35 PM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • branded green wrote:

Also, those questions are still unanswered!

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  • 18.
  • At 03:07 PM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

Branded - you aren't serious are you...takes all sorts - I prefer to stick with "the reasonable man" to be found apparently on the Clapham omnibus.

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  • 19.
  • At 03:40 PM on 06 Mar 2007,
  • branded green wrote:

oh yes! I think they'd love you.

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  • 20.
  • At 12:51 AM on 07 Mar 2007,
  • Stephen Poole wrote:

Amazon Indians have been sequestrating CO2 for millenia: They bury charcoal in their farmland to improve fertility on a large scale. Read WWW.EPRIDA.COM then click on NEWS and NATURE to see a peer-reviewed description. With 5,000,000 charcoal ovens, we can remove all unwanted CO2. This is the only effective solution so far and it is economically viable. All that is required is some governments to invest in pilot-plants, so as to encourage private farmers to do likewise, and finally get rid of Global Warming for good.

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  • 21.
  • At 12:51 AM on 07 Mar 2007,
  • Stephen Poole wrote:

Amazon Indians have been sequestrating CO2 for millenia: They bury charcoal in their farmland to improve fertility on a large scale. Read WWW.EPRIDA.COM then click on NEWS and NATURE to see a peer-reviewed description. With 5,000,000 charcoal ovens, we can remove all unwanted CO2. This is the only effective solution so far and it is economically viable. All that is required is some governments to invest in pilot-plants, so as to encourage private farmers to do likewise, and finally get rid of Global Warming for good.

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  • 22.
  • At 12:53 AM on 07 Mar 2007,
  • Stephen Poole wrote:

Amazon Indians have been sequestrating CO2 for millenia: They bury charcoal in their farmland to improve fertility on a large scale. Read WWW.EPRIDA.COM then click on NEWS and NATURE to see a peer-reviewed description. With 5,000,000 charcoal ovens, we can remove all unwanted CO2. This is the only effective solution so far and it is economically viable. All that is required is some governments to invest in pilot-plants, so as to encourage private farmers to do likewise, and finally get rid of Global Warming for good.

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  • 23.
  • At 07:57 AM on 09 Mar 2007,
  • JT wrote:

I watched this program last night and I have to admit that I found it very interesting and a little bit convincing. Even just looking at the data comparing solar activity to that of the warming of the Earth is more convincing than the claims made about CO2.

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  • 24.
  • At 09:09 AM on 09 Mar 2007,
  • saul asghar wrote:

I think that global warming may just be a load of hogwash.Because i saw a program called'The Great Global Warming Swindle'at 9pm last night,which explained that global warming could be natural and that man has nothing to do with it.

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  • 25.
  • At 11:09 AM on 09 Mar 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Why is there no mention of Channel four's excellent documentary on the global warming scandal? If the BBC is going to join in the hysteria and ply us with guilt in different historical epochs (e.g. 'global cooling' in 1970's) then at least have the decency to answer compelling criticism

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  • 26.
  • At 11:27 AM on 09 Mar 2007,
  • john cooknell wrote:

Climate Change is a religion it is not a science.

We believe what we want to believe and that is all there is to it. We believe a hypocrytical politician called GORE, but we don't believe one called BUSH.

The current AGW hypothesis is accepted as fact by most, but by definition it only fits the current global warming episode, but some if not most will believe, because it is in our nature, we have always worshipped the Gods of the planet and made sacrifices to them.

The cause of and link to the mechanisms in AGW, to all other climate change episodes remains tantalysingly elusive. While this is the case others will not believe, and will put forward other explanations.

I lost faith with the climate change industry, when it became one.

Whether it gets hotter, colder, drier, wetter, or windier they have an explanation that fits and blames it on human technology, this reveals their true beliefs which is a hatred of such technology.

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Jon (5):

"Ed, I treated your post with contempt - Surely the burden of proof is the resposibiliy of those who propose an outlandish theory."

And surely it is the responsibility of folk making outlandish blanket statements that a report 'is discredited' and that its data don't compute, to back up their statements with evidence when asked.

That is all that my post which you 'treated with contempt' requested.

The report (summary for policymakers) provides plenty of evidence as well as (as noted elsewhere) with clear indications of areas and magnitude of uncertainty. Yuor approach is contemptible, not mine nor the IPCC's.

Vaya con Gaia
ed
10/03/2007 at 18:00:53 GMT

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  • 28.
  • At 10:54 PM on 10 Mar 2007,
  • Akhila Raman wrote:

a good initiative in this direction is by Kyoto USA:
http://www.kyotousa.org/

-Akhila Raman

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  • 29.
  • At 04:45 AM on 12 Mar 2007,
  • Mark Cherry wrote:

I must admit that I suffer from the terrible affliction of always believing the most recent documentary I've seen. This time last week, I would have been chiming in on the pro-AGW side - not that I had anything to contribute which hadn't already been said. Now I do have a reson to speak up.

C4's [i]The Great Global Warming Swindle[/i] was worthy of the [i]Horizon[/i] programs of yesteryear, starting with the various evidence trails and methodology, *actually showing* the results and graphs (current [i]Horizon[/i] producers must think these are a ratings-killer and rarely bother to indulge us with these) then on to the researchers' conclusions and a comparison of the competing theories. Level-headed, no doom-mongering or cheerleading here. Just an opportunity to look at some salient evidence which [u]hasn't received adequate public exposure yet[/u] and to make up your own mind.

Not that I think any of this lets mankind off the hook. Energy efficiency measures are still vital so that we do not rob our collective descendents of the fuels they will need, in order to enjoy lives at least as good as ours.

Anyway, it's a "must see" programme for anyone participating in this debate.

If issues surrounding senseless energy wastage can be decoupled from the CO2 issue then we can get on with taking constructive action, instead of wasting time debating the evidence.

Incidentally, don't worry so much about CO2 emissions: worry about deep-sea methane hydrate deposits, methane from thawing permafrost regions and methane from livestock.

Lastly, a thought for the week:

We all know about photosynthesis but it seems that too many people fell asleep in biology class and forget the part about plants also having respiration chemistry going on. They also consume oxygen faster, the warmer the local climate is. Photosynthesis predominates, however, and there is, indeed, a NET CO2 uptake and the rate of growth of the plant reflects the degree of this excess.

So... which lays down wood fastest - tropical hardwoods or arctic conifers?

Where are the 'lungs of the world', really?

(Don't forget oceanic algal blooms, while you're at it).

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  • 30.
  • At 06:07 PM on 12 Mar 2007,
  • Derek Rayner wrote:

The current media coverage concerning low energy light bulbs and their effect on CO2 emissions is disingenuous.

It is a fact that energy cannot be destroyed only transferred.

The difference between a typical 100 watt tungsten bulb and say a 20watt energy-saving lightbulb, is that on the assumption that they give a comparable level of illumination (generally disputed), is that the tungsten bulb emits, for the sake of argument, 80 watts of heat and 20Watts of light, while the energy-saving produces 20 watts of light.

Therefore unless a tungsten bulb was being used outside where its heat output would not impact of the internal air volume of the dwelling, then at times, except when ambient temperatures mean that no form of house heating is necessary to provide comfort, low energy bulbs do not reduce CO2 emissions.

The reason is that the heat emitted from a traditional bulb, be it tungsten, halogen etc., contributes to household temperatures and supplements other heating arrangements like gas or oil fired boilers and would directly impact on the gas or oil consumption.

For example if a household had 5No traditional light bulbs operating, they would likely contribute in heat output terms, 400 watts to the internal air temperature of the house and about a 100 watts of illumination. If you removed this ancillary source of heat you would need to produce via your gas or oil fired boilers and additional 400 watts plus and extra amount because a boiler does not convert its input source of energy (gas or oil) to heat energy at 100% efficiency, meaning that about 450 watts of additional energy would need to be provided via the house heating system, if the 5No traditional light bulbs were replaced with low energy ones.

Please check my assertions with scientists, not those with vested or political motives.

Regards

Derek Rayner

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  • 31.
  • At 11:32 AM on 13 Mar 2007,
  • john welch wrote:

Climate change: what will make people care, you ask? The short answer, in my case at least, would be correct identification of the problem. The current misguided obsession with carbon dioxide, which is not even the most significant greenhouse gas, let alone the villain of the piece, is deflecting attention from a proper, considered assessment of what exactly global warming is and to what extent we can mitigate its effects.

Protection of environment, retention of biodiversity, reduction of pollution are all worthwhile goals and necessary if we are not just to survive as a species but to advance in sustainable, civilised societies at peace with each other and in harmony with the planet which supports us.

Regards, John

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  • 32.
  • At 10:07 PM on 15 Mar 2007,
  • sidevalve wrote:

I wonder why Channel 4's admirable balance so signally eludes the BBC, which reached its own conclusion about climate change (and many other issues) circa 20 years ago, quite independently of the evidence, and has been pumping out the same party line ever since. It would be *SO* nice to hear the other side of the issue from the BBC, but on this issue, as on many others (Israel, speed cameras, traffic congestion, immigration, the EU, education, public transport and many others which are dear to its heart) the BBC is absolutely incapable of understanding that another side to the argument might exist - let alone actually bringing itself to give air time to that opposing view. Why do I have to pay a licence fee to receive such biased garbage as this?

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I have suggested new theoretical model title, "the Universal Energies"; it includes production of external magnetic field (ExMF) that can propel objects through a different mechanism. These are based on a new approach to the fundamental physics. These works are presented at: http://www.exmf-ps.com/ to science for science.
And: http://www.exmfpropulsions.com/ to those believes in science for life.
These works and invention require revisions and test! And above all the willingness from present quantified minded scientists!
This could help our environment and reducing CC effects! How? Simply, it is the way towards the alternative energy, just who care?

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