Ignorance is… A quick review of pointless opposition climate change science

As yet another environmental issue unfolds, relating to fossil fuels, it seems ever clearer that we need to begin the change in human activity to those of increased sustainability. It is meaningless what any given individual believes to be the case with climate change; there are so many sibling environmental issues that however you choose to look at the situation, you always end up with an urgent need to shift away from fossil fuels (I’ve gone into it here, here, here, here, here, and here).

That said, there are a vast number of trivial movements out there that do little more than encourage a sluggish response to these issues. These movements would be entertaining where it not for the dire situation we find ourselves in. It is also somewhat confusing seeing as many of these individuals come from a conservative and pro-industry camp and what they fight is indeed true conservation and the most obvious progressive thinking (true biological and industrial prosperity).

Here, I will give a few examples that irritate me, to highlight typical critics and the pointless, baseless or simply trivial arguments they use. I do this because, if the reader has children, wishes to have children, cares at all for life as we know it or at the least has some sense of morality, they must see that such behaviour does nothing but stunts our awareness and progression. I made the point here that without innovative thinking, we will lead ourselves down a very synthetic and sick path.

The Aussie political blog

A while ago, while doing some research on senator Minchin, I came by the blog, Australian Climate Madness, which quite quickly exposes itself as the typical politically motivated dribble. An example of this was just written on May the third under Fallout from ETS dumping continues which illustrates the writers views; “[Climate Change] will sink down in public consciousness again, only emerging briefly when there is some pointless UN gabfest on… Nobody really cares, as more and more people (including politicians) realise that there are more urgent and pressing things to worry about…”

Such a statement exposes the author to have little to no understanding of climate science while only having the capacity to think within the short time spans of political terms. I wouldn’t be surprised if the author would go as far as Donald Trump who believes a snow storm in the middle of winter disproves climate change (my rebuttal to Trump can be found here).

Weather and climate are two different things on two different time spans and regardless of what you believe to instigate the fact, we are seeing a warming trend over time (click here to look at the most recent article of many articulate and well researched posted from Skeptical Science regarding climate warming) and the myriad of environmental issues relating to this change. We have probably hit peak fuel supply and even if we haven’t, with population growth unabated, relying heavily on unrenewable forms of energy and fertilizers, supply will increasingly be unable to meet the demands of our species.

Good policy making should be aware of this and be;

  • innovative to meet the needs of the country while reducing dependence on other countries (a favourite point for the conservatives),
  • embracing of climate studies and how it can be applied to natural resource management and agriculture,
  • positive in the search for other sources of energy – especially renewable forms.

Although petrol might still be flowing from the pump and wheat available from the cereal box within Rudd’s life time, this will not excuse him and others for not taking action sooner rather than later.

Another point made on this blog is that CO2 is harmless. Sure it is a relatively harmless gas produced through aerobic respiration, however,

  • we have developed over a century of understanding that it is one of the more important greenhouse gases that permit life on this planet as we know it (even at such relatively low concentrations),
  • we have added billions of tonnes of the stuff to the atmosphere in a fairly short amount of time,
  • we are seeing a warming patterning in climate (put this and the previous point together if you wish – and should) and,
  • there is also mounting evidence that this CO2 is not so harmless when the bulk of it is then absorbed by the oceans (this is a wonderful resource of peer-reviewed work relating to acidification of our oceans).

To state that CO2 is harmless, well the writer is only looking at the gas from the most politically comfortable angle and not the reality.

A concerned citizen’s group

While surfing, I noticed the headline of a FOXnews piece; Exclusive: Citizen’s group plans extensive audit of U.N. climate report, and just had to read it.

As it’s put in the article, “a leading global warming skeptic recruited a group of concerned citizens to fact-check the sources referenced in the U.N.’s latest climate-change bible — and gave the report an “F.” Now she’s planning the nail in the coffin: a comprehensive audit of the entire report.”

As a leading global warming skeptic, I figured it only fair to visit her, Donna Laframboise, website, noconsensus.org. Under the heading of Global Warming Theory 101, she endeavours to explain her reason for being skeptical. On this page there are two photographs of people with weather balloons, under which is written; “We can’t predict next summer’s weather reliably. But we claim to know – within a few degrees – how hot it will be 100 years from now.”

This is Ms. Laframboise’s insightful argument; that far off weather predictions are in some way the same as climate predictions. No-one claims to know either weather of climate in the near or far-off future. It’s an ever refining process of modelling based on our ever increasing understanding of weather and climate. Regarding weather; I’m sure Ms. Laframboise grabs an umbrella if the evening news the night before says that there’s a good chance of rain. This is because our models for predicting weather are getting better.  The same goes for climate modelling and climate predictions (different models of course). Her logic is even more baseless than those made in the nineteenth century that a heavier-than-air craft could never fly and are just as counter-productive if applied.

If I was a smoker who denied the medical science consensus that second-hand smoke can cause various medical problems and gathered a bunch of concerned individuals to review the available literature, I’m sure a whole heap of obvious questions would arise; Am I not bias as a selector, more likely to choose “concerned individuals” that agree with my views? Who’s to say that such a review has any relevant training to critically audit such literature? How balanced would such an audit be – ie. would they also give equal weight for the evidence that goes against their bias or simply harp on when they find a spelling mistake? How transparent would the whole process be and what review would it in turn face for merit?

I have the distinct impression that such a review will only highlight the various issues already known and in truth will offer little more than the wonderful argument Ms. Laframboise puts forth on her global warming education page. It seems more a self-promoting act to make noise with the media outlets paying for her advertisement.

On the plus side however, this could provide at least an afternoon’s light reading before the next IPCC report to ensure that silly little mistakes don’t again take the attention away from obvious concerning trends to trivial debate.

The unqualified mentor

The last for this article will be one I’ve often talked about and is often considered the darling of the climate change skeptics; Lord Christopher Monckton. This only needs to be brief.

  • He seems to accept that there is mounting evidence that the climate is changing (although he tends to talk this down); his beef seems to be more with what is causing this (which he argues cannot be CO2). So he cannot have a problem with people who are involved in adaptive landscape science, relating to natural resource management and agriculture under the changing climate.
  • Sure, he probably won’t live long enough to see the end of fossil fuels, but he too (like Rudd etc mentioned above) must appreciate that this is unsustainable long term and nitrogen fertilizers too will be increasingly difficult to obtain once we have depleted the natural gas resource. So he really shouldn’t have a problem with research, development and policy changes to obtain more sustainable technology and life styles unless he really wants future generations to truly suffer.

Why the hell is he making such a noise about it then? He isn’t even a scientist in any form and one argument that he has made about biofuels (that I’ve mentioned here, here and here) is irrelevant to the quest that he’s on, because he isn’t the champion of the starving people in the wake of biofuels, he is the hero of tea parties and pointless debate. As with Laframboise, his too must be a self-serving act.

For what these people claim to stand for, they do the opposite and willing stand in the way of progress and development (I also argue that here). This defies logic and, I fear, sends us further up the river without a paddle with these people somehow thinking we’ll eat ourselves out of any problem; that growth solves all. That’s going to be difficult with 9 billion people, no fossil fuels left, once fertile agricultural lands now dust fields and all relevant study long since mocked and stunted by people who could only see up to three steps in front of them and not down the path they wished for us to head.


37 thoughts on “Ignorance is… A quick review of pointless opposition climate change science

  1. I am not ignorant and neither is anyone paying me. (would be nice though)

    Unfortunately old son, the unproven “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” upon which all AGW arguement depends is impossible to actually prove and has about as many disproofs as swiss cheese has holes.

    I invite you to comment intellegently on my blog which carefully simplifies the issues.


    I admit this is a bit of a test about your own reasoning, but I look forward to hearing what you have to say in support of your somewhat smug headline.

    Of course most sites such as yours simply spam comments such as this one as that course of action is simpler than having contrary comments that you have trouble answering on your list.
    So no worries, I also post these comments along with your web address at my other blog http://www.globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com so my readers can evaluate your reply or lack thereof and thereby decide how genuine you really are.




    1. Denialist, Alarmist, fear monger, etc etc etc; quite frankly, I have little time for such and indeed being “smug” as you suggested in your comment.
      I also don’t really care about the so-called “debate” over human induced climate change; it’ll all be irrelevant eventually anyway.
      My argument is that climate change is occurring (for whatever reason), we are too heavily supported on an non-renewable energy source, much of what we do is unsustainable and the longer we take to address these issues, the larger the cost (to biodiversity, to health, to the environment and to resource supplies). Because of such, we need to change our views and start developing more sustainable practices.
      Call me an alarmist if you will, but it’ll be people like myself who will eventually have to clean up the mess ignorance leaves in its wake and I refuse to do that to my children and those that follow.

      Reading on I see that you’re an economist, that certainly cleared up a bit for me. There is a major wedge between how an economist and an ecologist sees the world. It seems that you and I both think the others principles will adversely affect future generations, but as I stated above and in the post that caught your eye and in many many other posts (as you hinted; you’re not a fan of linking, so I won’t “spam” you with information); our practices are not sustainable. Our source of energy is not sustainable. Without natural gas being used to create fertilizer, we could not feed as many people as are living today – what happens when that is exhausted? There is an incredible wealth of study out there that shows climate change, acidification of oceans (regardless to yours and others statements about CO2 being treated unfairly by scientists) and again; fossil fuels are a limited resource. I’m not advocating any political views or these ridiculous ETS; I’m merely pointing out the fact that the issue is greater than any of this other discussion.


      1. Great answer!

        As I suspected you are completely unwilling to have your faith challenged.
        From this non answer which I must say typical of sites like yours, you are unable to reason why you believe in AGW. You didnt bother to read my blog to any extent and you immediately assume that I have no concern for the planet.
        Sustainability of current sources of energy and AGW are seperate issues and to use the former to justify the latter is part of the biggest crock in history.
        As an economist I not only care about the planet but I care about people and unlike you I understand the road to protect both.
        You do realise that a warmer climate and rising CO2 levels favour greater agricultural and pastoral production?

        Actually your answer coupled with some of the things in your blog show that you are basically confused and really need to get down and straighten these issues in your own mind rather than spout blindly what you are told and read.

        Your answer is posted on http://www.globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com for the benefit of my readers.




      2. It is not a question of any form of faith.
        Non-answer? Typical of sites like yours?
        I’m sorry, but my main argument is not focused on AGW (as I’ve made clear to you in these comments and throughout my posts).
        I did read your blog and noticing that you had labeled another person I’m familiar with, Davidpj, I read your conversation with him and have come to the conclusion that you don’t listen to any argument put forth by anyone – I’m quite sure it is you that is, as I make clear in this post, the type unable to look more than a few steps before you.
        Part of the biggest crock in history? Hmmm… you truly are very narrow minded. I am all about sustainability, as an ecologist and it turns out that in this situation climate science and I are on the same point. Again, I’m not heavily focused on AGW, my posts don’t dwell on AGW, but development towards increased sustainable practices. By the sound of it, all this goes over your head, so I’ll excuse you.
        I am well aware that warming climate and CO2 levels favour great agriculture – in fact that is where I’m currently focused on. May I remind you that more important than that is H2O > irrigation and being in South Australia I’m very concerned about water with the various changes that are occurring. That wouldn’t effect a country without much land to cause a shadowing effect, so I will excuse you for not being too concerned about the lives of millions elsewhere around the world.
        I’m not confused. In fact I’m very much involved with the science concerning landscape management in a changing environment. I feel sorry for people like you that desperately fear change. Yours is a faith that is quite disturbing for its lack of flexibility and ability to develop. I will remain in the realms of science, where evidence drives the endless search for clarity.


  2. Touche’ Mothincarnate!!! We will become an Easter Island someday, since this little planet doesn’t have the resources to handle 7 billion people much less 8 billion.


  3. After the oil volcano exploded have to say I am extremely concerned for this little planet. They are spraying wrecklessly and have not idea what the impact of the toxic chemicals might have on the planet, marine life or animals they are just adding fuel to the fire (No pun intented). We have no idea the impact on the plankton in the oceans where 70% of our oxygen comes from. It will take decades if not centuries to stablized this area. WE humans are the most destructive creature on this planet.


    1. Cheers Owl,
      sorry, I got caught up with this economist such as you’re comments slipped through unnoticed.
      On a local scale this spill is a tremendous problem and I wouldn’t be surprised if various unforeseen ecological and economical consequences are felt across America for a long time, although I have the feeling ol’ roger here would be more upset that no-one could profit from the wasted oil before it managed to pollute the water through acidification rather than greasing up the shoreline.
      I’ve discussed plankton with a number of researchers. There is little doubt that oceanic ecosystems have been polluted (both directly and the more subtle, such as absorption via the atmosphere), over fished, had numerous nursery areas destroyed and also an increase in energy absorption; all of which will change both biotic and abiotic systems (such as the conveyor system that transports water across the oceans) in many ways that we cannot yet predict, with ramifications that could go on for thousands of years (the conveyor system could, for example carry pollutants for many hundreds of years before they again rear their ugly heads up in the public eye).
      Unfortunately, fields of science regarding our oceans have a difficult time gaining attention and funding. Hopefully the many people involved and those around them help gain a loud enough voice so that endless empty nets don’t need to be the wake up call.


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  5. “I’m sorry, but my main argument is not focused on AGW (as I’ve made clear to you in these comments and throughout my posts).”
    Really? so why do you mention “climate change” at least 10 times on this page and “global warming” at about the same occurrence?

    I’m not surprised you know DavidPJ because he couldnt come up with anything objective either, although I gave him plenty of opportunity.

    Climate science/AGW has very little to do with sustainability. Look at the biofuel stuff up. People are already starving because of the consequential rise in food prices. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/may/09/foodanddrink.renewableenergy

    Sure I fear the change that the AGW madness is likely to bring on us. As an economist I am only too aware that meeting the IPCC emission reductions and wealth transfers will reduce us normal people to poverty and possibly starvation. In your country and mine.

    Your claim to be researching sustainability is commendable, I just suggest you recognise the difference between sustainability and the unproven “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis.

    “I will remain in the realms of science, where evidence drives the endless search for clarity.”

    Could be a very commendable statement. I just suggest the change of part of the phrase, substitute “seek the” for “will remain in”.




    1. Yes, I do talk about climate change quite a lot, but I can understand that, as a layman, there may be some confusion between climate change and AGW: mine is a discussion about what to do in a warming climate, your debate is focused on what is causing the changing climate. I’m not a climate science (but obviously understand the science behind the field somewhat better than yourself) and so I am not heavily focused on the cause of a the changing climate, but rather on how to manage natural resources – adaptation to a changing climate – as my main interest (I’m getting rather tired repeating myself).

      You may not be surprised that I am familiar with DavidPJ; your conversation with him however, seemed at best a complete waste of his time. He too had to repeat himself an awful amount.

      I might add that I am not at all surprised to hear you make the same point as Monckton about biofuels. I’ve made my point pretty clear on this subject many times (which you, strangely, missed when reviewing my posts to come to the conclusion that I am “confused”) – biofuels are not my interest at all. I am not focused on adapting current combustion engines and so I will leave you to vent on the biofuel industry on your own space. Biofuels and AGW are not the focus of my blog, so thus far I see little reason for your little spit on my posts…?

      On the discussion of starvation, I ask you; what viable sources of fixed nitrogen will support our ever growing population once natural gas is no longer available to be processed for fertilizer? This is often one of my arguments.

      I hear a lot of fanatics terrified of wealth transfers.. Personally, looking at the relevant history, I’m sure addressing such environmental issues will not leave the populous going hungry while the big bad biofuels and IPCC grow fat on the yoke of change.

      Come on! There’s already a stack of people out there that are probably very much like yourself who have made a quick buck on greenwashing! There’s always a market for the entrepreneur, the clever or the downright pocket holding gluttons. Surely as an economist you’re smart enough to understand that markets change to follow the money…

      It’s not a mere claim; my work has always been in governance, environmental monitoring / reporting and sustainability. I do recognise the difference between sustainability and AGW (which you seem unable to understand and unwilling to move beyond, regardless however often I say as much). My work is looks into sustainable practices in a changing climate (AGAIN); landholder empowerment if you will, not feeding the pockets of the IPCC, biofuels or in any significant way, myself (just a typical second step professional wage). I ask you to understand the difference between your agenda and what you are harping on to me about.

      But that wouldn’t suit your case at all. As far as I can tell;

      • You, yourself, state that you are motivated by fiscal concerns – that [green policies] will hit your pocket,
      • Your approach, within your comments towards myself and others, is not one of intellectual debate, rather, they are cheap attacks to incite an emotional response, (your comment about seek the realms of science is a wonderful example of such a jibe) instead of anything meaningful,
      • It has been argued many times (by myself and others) that you do not thoroughly check references or indeed listen to the person you are communicating with, but merely harp on from the typical sceptical approach of, “climate is always changing,”
      • You fail to see that I am not another blog crying black and blue about AGW, but one that argues that we require more awareness of unsustainable practices currently occurring and adoption of more balanced approaches to agriculture, natural resource management and land use,

      These reasons, when combined with your selection of blogs to debate with could be argued as evidence that you are in fact cheery picking your fights and coercing the communications to illustrate your strongly held view that all supporters of climate science are indeed involved in some ideologically driven conspiracy to drive the world into a new dark age.

      Yours is not a fight driven by any scientific logic for, if you truly believed in your convictions, you would instead do your homework, test your various hypotheses, analyse your collected data and provide this within professionally constructed arguments that are then placed out within the educated community to be discussed, debated and even improved upon, like many other individuals currently working hard to understand the world better and improve the lives of all, instead engaging in such futile attacks to protect your pocket.


  6. Can I first of all refer you to the title of your page.

    “Ignorance is… A quick review of pointless opposition climate change science”

    My english is fairly good and to me that means you are calling anyone who disagrees with the AGW theory ignorant. Or does “Climate Change Science” mean something else?

    If you mean “Science to cope with a changing climate” perhaps you should change the title and then I might agree with you little more.

    “You, yourself, state that you are motivated by fiscal concerns – that [green policies] will hit your pocket”

    I am refering to the IPCC CO2 emission reductions. If you are refering to other things you should make yourself clearer.
    CO2 emission reductions and wealth transfers as specified by the IPCC will starve us very much quicker than running out of nitrates for fertliser will. Thats what I mean by being hit in the pocket. Sustainability under climate change may be your thing, but economics is definitely not, so I suggest you do a little research in that area.

    “strongly held view that all supporters of climate science are indeed involved in some ideologically driven conspiracy to drive the world into a new dark age.”

    I wouldn’t go so far as saying all supporters, most of whom are like the sheep in Orwells book, but I think starvation induced by the IPCC would be a pretty good new dark age.

    However I must say I am getting increasingly confused when I reread your page. Seems to me there is a lot of AGW nonsense there no matter how I read it.

    And you accuse me of non academic debate? I’m trying to get some out of you and I havent succeeded yet.

    Remember that my first comment was an invitation “I invite you to comment intelligently on my blog which carefully simplifies the issues.”

    If you have done that, please refer me to the phrase because I have missed it.




    1. I’m sure you’re aware that climate has changed numerous times throughout known history. We are seeing a gradual increase of temperature that is causing a change in climate. In such a statement, AGW is irrelevant, isn’t it? My work is aimed at focusing on adapting to this change and I see such debates as your quest, futile, and counter-productive to public awareness to our changing climate. I DO NOT STATE MUCH IN THE WAY OF AGW. We are seeing an increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, we have been studying to greenhouse properties of gases for over a century and we are seeing a change in climate; that said, I offer the pieces. As far as I’m concerned, the bigger issue is that of ocean acidification. You have labelled me as a AGW alarmist, quite unfairly and rather hypocritically as it seems you see such labelling as primitive and uneducated.

      I see your point; at least, if we continue with business as usual, you will have enough food to fill your gut until your death bed – as for those who follow with a world of depleted fossil fuels, you couldn’t care less – that’ll be their problem. This is very much the iconic difference between the economist and the ecologist.

      I’ve not once discussed the IPCC (except in regards to the citizen’s group audit) and so to put me in the basket as another IPCC following sheep that would lead us to a new dark age is unfounded, baseless and very much childish finger pointing (which you like to label climate science “supporters” as being).

      I’m sure the arguments I put forth confuse you; you make it clear that you either don’t read or simply cannot understand the ideas express in your responses. Basically I argue that facing the various environmental factors with as much research and responses as possible, and working in hand with policy makers would lead to a more stable and efficient social structure. I don’t advocate these ETS or the like; working to improve our practices as longer term projects means you don’t require sharp changes that will cause such massive disruptions to communities and BY WORKING AGAINST SUCH LOGIC YOU IN TURN LEAVE THE PROBLEM TO SOMEONE ELSE – thus meaning that they in a generation or two have to make radical changes because you wouldn’t use foresight.

      You obviously just can’t see beyond your own bank account. The world is NOT your oyster. We have radically increased our population. We are living on a wave of non-renewable energy which will break. I argue for being proactive while you seem to fear change.

      Also; I’ve not bothered to reply, using scientific argument because I’ve talked with many people like yourself. Reviewing your alarmist list, there is nothing extra that I can offer you in the way of scientific argument. The answers are there, you just don’t like what they say. This is the approach of my blog and my reasoning with those who listen; we need to be pro-active.

      Your argument, like those mentioned in this post, is not a work of science, it is not worth entertaining, it is counter-productive and it urges us to leave the problem for someone else to fix.

      Well I’m sorry, but I refuse to be a do nothing like yourself and I WILL continue to work with communities to be more sustainable in their activities and pro-active to a whole host of environmental issues. You can continue your meaningless war against the IPCC (for, the pollies are on side with the do-nothings).

      Enjoy your ride!


    2. Well whatever,
      You still never tried to discuss my original query and spend a rather long time attacking me and my perceived deficiencies and at the same time how great and altruistic you are.

      Haven’t noticed any facts or logic or any attempt to explain away your alarmist heading to your page “Ignorance is… A quick review of pointless opposition climate change science”

      While you may show some skill in emotional criticism you certainly dont impress me or anyone else with your claimed understanding.

      Its good though because your character shows through and allows the readers to decide what sort of person you really are.

      Well I will leave you to your emotional and ilogical morass.




      1. I didn’t realize that I was the one on the back foot?

        I figured, with the weight of more than 150yrs of scientific research and debate, across many disciplines as support for the work that I do, that it was in fact you, an economist, who claims to knows more about environmental science than anyone past of present, that needed to prove why the weight of our understand is wrong.

        If you’re referring to your original question about AGW, I took the effort to look around your site and I can see that you have been given the science; on numerous occasions you have been invited to read through the bulk of education provided by SkepticalScience.com which endeavors to explain these some times complicated processes in a way that can be understood by your average Joe. That said, from looking over our conversation (and the amount of times I had to repeat myself) and your responses when referred to such resources, I suspect that you are not an average Joe and will require more time and simplification to understand such work. So I never took the bait (because you’ve proven it pointless – I cannot help a blind man to see), nor did I bite to your jibes, nor did I spam your meaningless space. I walk away happy.

        It’s funny, when reviewing all this, because you merely illustrate another form of attack and indeed call out for no-nothing-philosophy typical of the ignorant types I reviewed in that post; you ask questions and either ignore or prove yourself unable to understand the answers, you funnel-neck ever apposing view into your particular agenda and will not accept that their focus is necessarily aimed at your particular agenda (it comes to a logical conclusion similar, yet more gradual), when you fail to impress yourself and your readers, you turn to childish jibes to incite an emotional response, thus allowing you to write-off the other as petty (I’ve often felt like asking you to “grow up and discuss this as an adult”, but somehow it felt repugnant to do so to someone obviously older than myself), you’ve made it clear that money is your reason to make such noise – mine is science and sustainability; and you can only refer to newspapers snippets to refer to a sideline issue, while I could (and others have) refer to highly regarded scientific journals to illustrate our work, but you refuse to acknowledge the work. You are very much like the comic strip I made for that post, and as I’ve said before, I’ve talked to people like you and so knew that there was no point taking the approach others, that you have targeted, have, because you won’t listen.

        I’m going to have to leave you here because my patients has expired on such meaningless dribble and I will return to the science that will eventually help increase our sustainability and understanding of this world. My work helps everyone (including people like yourself). Many of the people I work with and many other people within the community take great joy in the work that I produce on this blog (where I don’t need to turn to insulting people to gain attention, but do debate again illogical approaches – such as in this post) and so your jibe here about the readers is also meaningless.

        If you comment further, I will not entertain you. I hope you’re able to hold onto your little money bag with all the strength of your paranoia.


  7. No need to apolize. I get caught up with idiots like the economist as well. So I understand. Unfortunately most cultures that have colapsed it is because of long term droughts, over deforestation, and etc. Today we are a global world and there is not other country or continent to go to. Unfortunately we have to look pass money and economy to solve many probems. If we don’t take the money today to try to save this little planet we won’t be here. As the wonder comedian George Carlin said “the earth isn’t going anywhere, but we are.”

    Speaking of the spill it may not be local depending on the ocean currents. It may make its way to England and many other countries. The US gets half of their sea food from the gulf coast, but don’t know the stats as far as the rest of the world.
    Just ran across this article last night on the last extinctions and it sure appears we are heading in this direction.


    As my boyfriend and I both agree we are in a mode of colapse and a chaos sitution, it is just a matter if it be CO2’s, deforestation, over population (which contributes to all the environmental problems), to much acid in the oceans and etc that the right sting on the spider web is pulled and everything colapses. I don’t think humans and mammals that breath air have much time left on this little planet. If we were all doing as you believe in sustainability perhaps we might have a chance. I know I do my best and encourage others to do the same. But we do not have the majority of people on this little planet doing the same.

    Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading all the stuff you put out.



    1. I watched an interesting documentary a while ago that was a sociologists argument into why populations crash – using a range of fairly recent examples and then using this to try to make sense of the incredibly fluctuating population size and migration within middle and northern South America. I’ll have to find the name of it.

      You are right; it will be a larger problem than local. I suppose, what I mean is that the problem will carry itself into various other industries as well as cause a whole range of currently un-thought-of ecological damages. It certainly is creating problems that will take decades if not centuries to fix.

      I’m not sure that I agree that life for air-breathers is coming to an end, although these is little doubt that we are causing a mass-extinction event. However, this has always occurred where our kind has turned up – and now we’re pretty much everywhere and breeding like rabbits! I’ve put forth a number of research pieces that are currently being published that stress that biodiversity is essential for healthy individuals/species, but that seems almost common sense. I’d say the world I’ve grown to know as I grew to be a man will not be the same world I will say fair-well to in the end, but I hope that I do the right thing, give the best information possible to my children and their child and continue on a daily basis to put forth a common sense approach against ignorance and counter-productive agendas.

      Thanks for the compliment Owl; it is nice to get feed back. 🙂


  8. Would love to see the documentary if you find it. Would it happen to be by Jared Diamond. Have read most of his books on the decline of many population and know he did a lot of research in South American and Africa. Jared Diamond’s book
    “Guns, Germs and Steel” and “Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed” both are worth the read.

    There may be a few mammals that survive. WE will see. Biodiversity does seem common sense, but unfortunately most people want immediate gradification with no conquences, or profit for big companies speak before common sense. As your economist well pointed out profit first. To heck with future generation.

    Glad you are doing everything you can to make a difference as I have for decades now. I appreciate this site of yours and hope millions of people read it.


    They are using dispersents with the oil leak and unfortunately no one know what chemical and toxins are in them. So the amount of oil coming from the oil volcano is dropping back down to the bottom of the ocean. What will be the impact on the bottom feeds and all the marine life that are world travelers like the dophins, whales and etc. Once again they are thinking in short term solution and have no idea of the long term impact of their decisions. They are making a horrible situation worse.


    1. You’re very right there; it is terrifying that people like Roger here, have the largest voice and that pointing out that they rely on a non-renewable source of energy is largely greeted with the same ol’, “Who cares – it’s beyond my life time.”
      Indeed it may very well be. He makes the point on his blog that in the 1970’s, there was fear of a depletion of fossil fuels by 2000. Fair enough to state that this was wrong – as new reserves are found. However, it has only pushed the date back, not changed the fact that we are living on the combustion of fossils which is a limited source. As for the science of climate and environmental science at large; we’ve come a long way from the 70’s! As a student I remember a number of run-in’s with various religious door knockers who became very interested in a debate once learning that my studies largely addressed biology, with some focus on evolution. They too relied on scientific material from the 60’s and 70’s as evidence that the theory of evolution was wrong. They too didn’t offer any scientific basis for their alternate views. Unfortunately for both, science has gone on and the evidence is mounting against such agenda driven views. It is sad that such people cannot see past their hopes and delusions to see the wonderful world standing before them, slowly being degraded to the point that it will be unable to support a human population as we know it. I only hope that in time such individuals fade away, like alchemy into the shadows of a backwards past.
      Quickly looking at Jared Diamond’s Wikipedia page that he hasn’t done a documentary. I’ll try this evening to find the one of I was thinking of – it does sound a lot like his work.


  9. Good ole economics helped cause the oil spill. They wanted to save money well now they will pay the price as well as the rest of us. As far as gas prices, damage to marine life, the everglades will take decades if not centuries for it to be back to normal. Economics has always been a problem when if comes to the environments. Never thinking in long term and the benefit the company might make if they acturally thought in terms of more than the immediate pocket book.



    1. very well put! 🙂
      I’ve try to address the issues between economic and ecological principles in that ecolomics piece.. Many different groups (especially those in governance) have also started to address the apparent incompatibilities between the two fields to avoid Roger’s paranoid future predictions. We need open discussion, not trivial finger pointing and childish name calling. Currently economics rules the school yard, however, I suspect the attitude is somewhat changing; that understanding that ecology is the driving force of economics (ie. resources) and standard economic models are hopelessly naive. This will finally hit people like Roger when the gap between what they want and what is available cannot be fixed with another gasoline hit.


      1. Hi Tim,

        Thanks for the link and will add Climate Shifts to my favorites. Yikes!!! I knew the oceans were in sad shape but seeing all the photos just reaffirmed my great concerns. I believe he summed it up at the end “We need to fix ourselves, our greed,
        our need for growth and inablity to image a different world than the selfish world we live in toay” I wonder if we can do that. Many have started but don’t feel enough have or will join in.

        I do love ted.com they have one Mike deGruy: Hooked by an octopus I think you will like.



      2. I’ve been looking (well Googling) for that doco – so far not much.. it was probably in the early 2000’s that I saw it.. Rather irritating being unable to remember it, but it was certainly in line with Jared. It was a mathematical model that based it’s assumption on a ratio or something simply like that.
        Climate shifts is one of my favourite blog groups without a doubt.
        http://planktos-science.com/ is another good reference website and they argue that the oceans made become very important to counter CO2 through iron fertilization. I tend to agree with them, but it will be only small steps until we’ve hit something like 420ppm of CO2 I believe and people start becoming concerned (if not about climate, certainly oceans will be in a bad way by then).
        In my newest post today, I mentioned DeSmog’s debunking of Monckton. The issue of Monckton is rather personal to me as I have family that have been hoodwinked by his inaccurate smooth talk and I find that disturbing.
        Anyway, one of his claims to fame is working for Margret Thatcher. On the video, they play a statement made by her stating that climate change is of great concern and that we’re merely custodians for a children’s world. I may have a slight problem with her, but that certainly made me give Thatcher a gold star and I really want to write down her quote as a reference in the future – it was well put.
        I’ll have to look at Ted.com.


      3. Thanks for trying on the link. It is frustrating when you know what you are looking for but can’t remember the name. Thanks for sending the link on Plankto-Science was just checking it out and can’t wait to read some more. We are moving right along with reaching that point with the oceans. The damage that has been done since I started the first Earth Day at my local high school in 1970 is frightening (Yikes, just gave away my age). I know I am just a layperson, but do what I can to prevent any more destruction to this little planet we live on. Being a Cherokee Indian we were taught to be good stewards to mother earth and my dad taught all us kids well. Am glad I ran across you on digg.

        Here is an article I ran across today on National Geographics on the gulf becoming a dead zone.

        It relates well with the video from Climate Shifts just adding more fuel to the fire.

        I hope Thatcher follows through and is not like Obama since he approve off shore drilling, clean coal, and nuclear power plants. He is a great orator but his actions do not meet with his words.

        Thanks again for all the links.



      4. Hey Owl,

        Only in it for the gold just posted a statement made in the Journal Science (Only in it for the gold’s post can be found here; http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/05/whole-thing.html ) The first paragraph sums up perfectly why we take action (as you have since in the 70’s).
        I’m still trying to find that documentary btw, I’m sure you would enjoy it.
        It sounds like you had a wise father; he certainly taught you valuable lessons that many of our westerns were not (in fact most from Judaic based faiths have been taught that the world was created for our enjoyment and to be exploited as we see fit). As I argued in my post about the ~30year olds, I think many people around my age had such an ego striped at an early age and one hopes that this backlash of absurdity rather quickly dissipates back into the twilight zone and enough willing and educated people from across a wide range of disciplines come together to finally address that fact that the rules of the game are not as we first thought and we must focus on changing our practices to better suit ecological systems before resource depletion is completely beyond repair.
        You and I spoke about Severn Cullis-Suzuki who has similar influences as yourself and puts this together beautifully in Biodiversity: Integrating conservation and production.
        Sorry for not clarifying btw about Thatcher.. Her rein was in the 80’s.. It was certainly a debatable period of English history (depending on whose side you take) and not being a fan of political discussion in general, I tend to avoid much of it (except for a call out for changes to practices obviously). That said, her statement made in that linked video was well put.


  10. NP,

    I will post your comment, which can only be described as some sort of parnoid attack rather than any attempt to engage in reason, on my site and leave it for my readers to enjoy.

    If you think Sceptical Science is an authority of any sort then you are beyond redemption.:)




  11. Following this ridiculous exchange with Roger, I (albeit, stupidly) went back to this economist’s page and found the following write up on our exchange:

    “As usual I look forward hopefully to an intelligent reply.

    Well as you will read, there was never much intelligence in any of his replies that I can discern. Definitely a lot of unfounded accusation though, but not one intelligent comment about my blog, of which it appears he certainly had no answer.

    Then he claims that he is not a believer in AGW anyway which is strange considering the title of his page. (Ignorance is… A quick review of pointless opposition climate change science)

    Try as I might,I cannot see any coherence in this guys replies. As I said above, he avoided my original questions and then proceeded to attack what he thought my beliefs and character were. He wasnt even close actually:)

    My last comment was spammed.

    Well its entertaining at least.”

    The man is obviously hard of understanding.
    I replied on his space with this:
    “Interesting write-up on our conversation, however, rather inaccurate (you really do have a problem of either listening or understanding). The statement I continue to try to explain is the AGW is not my focus; that my write up did not take a stand on either side, rather than this argument is IRRELEVANT as climate change IS occurring REGARDLESS of what you believe or what the science suggests is the cause. I would suggest that it is you fail to understand my point and did so from the very beginning.
    If you consider my last comment to be spam, as I referred to skeptical science, I understand the flaw now in your approach.
    As scientists, we tend to rely on references rather than repeat other people time and time again (although I can see that this may help you eventually understand the science) to save time and space. One can then refer to the noted text by searching through the acknowledgements and then following up on the referred work. This is professional science and NOT spamming. Skeptical science indeed references a vast number of excellent research (of which you can provide NONE).
    However, if you desperately require the journal research, I can eventually provide a vast number of studies and get your expert breakdown on why they are wrong and you are right (based on what?)”

    Now, I am truly done; the man obvious ignores the science, is driven by concern about his personal cash and refuses to offer a logical reason as to why the science is wrong. What a sheer waste of my and other’s time.


  12. Now you have got all that off your chest, especially showing how learned and knowledgable you are, howabout answering my original comment in a rational reasonable manner?




    1. As links offend you so, I will refrain, but give you a list of reading that heavily encourages my work – these are the studies that I use as my pillars. You prove them all wrong, you discredit the work, you give a professional scientific evaluation of how the world really works and I will take back all that I have previously said. If not, I urge you to acknowledge the fact that it is indeed you that lives in some fantasy world.
      Put your money where your mouth is instead of in your sweaty little paw.

      Paleo-perspectives on ocean acidification; Carles Pelejero, Eva Calvo,and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, 2010, Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

      Physical and biogeochemical modulation of ocean acidification in the central North Pacific; John E. Dorea, Roger Lukasb, Daniel W. Sadlerb, Matthew J. Churchb and David M. Karlb, 2009, PNAS.

      Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem; Scott C. Doney, Victoria J. Fabry, Richard A. Feely, and Joan A. Kleypas, 2008, Annual Review of Marine Science.

      Dynamic patterns and ecological impacts of declining ocean pH in a high-resolution multi-year dataset; J. Timothy Wootton Catherine A. Pfister, and James D. Forester, 2008, PNAS

      Southern Ocean acidification: A tipping point at 450-ppm atmospheric CO2; Ben I. McNeila, and Richard J. Matear, 2008, PNAS

      The interannual variability of oceanic CO2 parameters in the northeast Atlantic subtropical gyre at the ESTOC site; J. Magdalena Santana-Casiano, Melchor González-Dávila, María-José Rueda, Octavio Llinás, and Enrique-Francisco González-Dávila, 2007, Global Biogeochemical Cycles

      That’ll do for acidification of oceans (for now if needs be).

      Collision-induced absorption by CO2 in the far infrared: Analysis of leading-order moments and interpretation of the experiment; A. P. Kouzov, and M. Chrysos, 2009, Physical Review

      Spectra calculations in central and wing regions of CO2 IR bands between 10 and 20 μm. I: model and laboratory measurements; F. Niro, C. Boulet and J. -M. Hartmann, 2004, Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer

      Semiclassical modeling of infrared pressure-broadened linewidths: A comparative analysis in CO2–Ar at various temperatures; J. Buldyreva and M. Chrysos, 2001, The Journal of Chemical Physics

      That should be enough on CO2 absorption

      Now for some closer to my interest;

      Organic farming in Europe: A potential major contribution to food security in a scenario of climate change and fossil fuel depletion; Lee, H., Walker, R.L., Haneklaus, S., Phillips, L., Rahmann, G. & Schnug, E. (2008), Agriculture and Forestry Research.

      Reducing Energy Inputs in the US Food System; D. Pimental, S. Williamson, C. E. Alexander, O. Gonzalez-Pagan, C. Kontak, and S. E. Mulkey, 2008, Human Ecology.

      Re-evaluation of Energy Use in Wheat Production in the United States; G. Piringer, and L. J. Steinberg, 2006, Journal of Industrial Ecology.

      Nitrogen in modern European agriculture; S. Vaclav,2005, Chapter 6 of Land, shops and kitchens: Technology and the food chain in the twentieth-century Europe.

      Nitrogen and Food Production: Proteins for Human Diets; S. Vaclav. 2002. Ambio 31:126-131.

      And some bedtime reading for you:

      Biodiversity: Integrating Conservation and Production; Editors T. Lefroy, K. Baily, G. Unwin and T. Norton, 2008

      Opportunities Beyond Carbon: Looking forward to a sustainable world; Edited by J. O’Brien, 2009.

      This should be enough to explain my work ethics. If you want more, I can always happy to add more. If you want to go further and understand why I’m concerned about our changing climate, I can refer you to work carried out by the Aust Bureau of Meteorology, The U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, a number of excellent landscape science academic groups and other atmospheric and ocean science groups actively studying our planet while you sit there and complain about this all being faith driven.

      I also suggest that if you have any conviction at all, you should produce our own scientific rebuttal or at the least give up arguing with us (relatively) lightweights and actually challenge higher academics such as Barry Brooks, Greenfyre, Michael Tobis, and others who know their stuff like Ari Jokimäki and John Cook.

      Yours is not unlike Laframboise’s and Moncktons campaign; one to make yourself feel good by making noise rather than by offering any particular advancement to human knowledge, sustainable living, increases to health or anything else remotely useful.

      Now, unless you require further references, I am beyond discussion with the like of you.


      1. You’re ignorance knows no bounds.. I pity anyone who has to put up with you in their daily lives.
        They are all part of a larger system, ie. our ecosystem. If you find fault in their work and indeed the certain criteria with which we base our research upon and with which we base our education (community groups etc) upon, well then you have unlocked the key to why you apparently know something beyond us environmental scientists.
        There is enough there to get you finally understanding the basics behind our work, our methodology and our concern. Chose to read it, then debate with the logic, then I may listen. I’m not a shepherd to lead the down right stubborn and baselessly arrogant to a better understanding of our work. Do you argue so intensely when a doctor says you have a malignant mole? Or only when the cost has to come out of your pocket – or indeed to pay for basic medical cover for all simply because the money goes to help others and not you (supposing that you’re healthy).
        If you do not wish to read this background research, then quite frankly you’re arguing through ideological means and are not basing your views from a professional scientific basis. Honestly, grow up and pick a fight on a subject you’re at least willing to learn about.


    1. My point remains; she’s his claim to fame and even she realises the threat of climate change and the danger of inaction.
      BTW, have you made an attempt to read any of my given references or did I merely waste more of my time?


    2. Thanks for the link on Margaret Thatcher. I knew she had been in power for quite awhile but didn’t realize it had been that long. She has done some good things and sounds like her works and actions match. I know many of the tribal people in Canada are not always happy with her decision, since I keep up with the native people of the Americas.


      1. Christine just covered an excellent piece which largely covers what you and I were talking about; that this slick has just found a short-cut to damaging the ocean. They also make the point that one hopes such a loud statement can work in the favour of making efforts away from fossil fuels.. I tend to be a little pessimistic however,


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