Where will the wild things move? Innovation is key to the survival of our society, Pt. 5

As pointed out in my previous post, my plan was to jump straight into land use and species loss, but I felt the need to first set out some basics. At first, there might be some confusing as to why I needed to talk about climate change, sea levels and the decreasing pH of our oceans – indeed when one talks about land use and species loss, it’s usually discussing deforestation, degradation of environmental systems and other over-exploitation causes. These problems have made headlines for longer than I’ve been around (with little headway made to reduce our impact as I see it) and are not directly the focus here. Inaction has, without a doubt, been the result of avoidance and profit. Indeed, most people are within driving distance of a reserve of some sort and so feel that there’s a place for the our fauna and flora, however this is even less likely to do over the coming century.

When local is no longer home

According to the number found at the DEH, the Adelaide and Mt Lofty ranges cover 780,000 ha, of which 98,000 ha is remnant native vegetation. Of course this is highly patchy and much of it is land that was of low agricultural or social value. Any local would have also noticed the abundance of exotics – especially olive – in this “remnant” vegetation. My passion as a ecology student was this very issue  of islandisation and invasive species, so I’ll have to watch myself here. There has been a lot of work regarding biodiversity and species fitness within increasingly isolated patches of remnant vegetation, which suggests that patch size (Ferraz et al. 2007, and, Helzer and Jelinski, 1999), risk related to migration across inhospitable terrain (Bickford et al. 2010), and a need to address the overall diversity supported by the patch (Franklin, J. F., 1993) are among a number of important factors to species persistence.

As was made clear in the previous post, regardless of the forces (which are hotly debated among the general community), there has been a general and ongoing trend of global warming since the nineteenth century. This trend has noticeably effected and will continue to shift ecosystem function and climate (Traill et al. 2010). Range of many species has tended poleward and upslope as climate shifts to a warmer state (Anderson et al. 2009). Giam at al. (2010) also demonstrated that equatorial regions were at greatest extinction risks due to both climate change and socio-economic factors.

Returning to the Mt Lofty and Adelaide region, as outlined on the DEH website, there are various biodiversity conservation plans and policies aimed to preserve the remnant flora and fauna of the state. This may not do under changing climate factors, with distribution regions no longer suitable for the locals. In previous times of climate change, migration towards or away from poles would encounter only geographical barriers (such as mountain ranges, rivers and of course continent borders). Over the pass three centuries, land-use modifications and invasive species introduction relating to human activity has added to these geographical barriers. Plant distribution, for instance, is unlikely to be able to pass agricultural land – let along suburban sprawl. Feder (2010) and Ferraz et al. (2007) suggest that an individuals ability to survive would rely on being able to move great distances or be highly tolerant to climate change.

Predictions of the changing climate across South Australia (continuing the example) would strongly suggest that a poleward movement would mean that the majority of South Australia’s population (mostly coastal) and agricultural regions become major barriers for migration. As various species of flora and fauna have different potential for migration rate and tolerances to overcoming barriers, it would make sense that such migrations would also upset ecological interactions between species which would logically further increase extinction rates.

With the wild things looking for a more suitable home, it’s pretty evident that soil erosion (such as dry land salinity and acidity), altered water usage and sprawl have far larger effects than have been generally appreciated.

Ferraz, G., Nichols, J. D., Hines, J. E., Stouffer, P. C., Bierregaard, R. O. Jr., Lovejoy, T. E. (2007). A large-scale deforestation experiment: effects of patch area and isolation on Amazon birds. Science. 315, 238. doi: 10.1126/science.1133097
Helzer, C. J., and, Jelinski, D. E. (1999) The relative importance of patch area and perimeter-area ration to grassland breeding birds. Ecological Applications. 9(4):1448-1458
Bickford, D., Ng, T., H., Qie, L., Kudavidanage, E. P., and, Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2010) Forest fragment and breeding habitat characteristics explain frog diversity and abundance in Singapore. Biotropica. 42(1):119-125.
Franklin, J. F. (1993) Preserving biodiversity: species, ecosystems, or landscapes? Ecological Applications. 3(2):202-205.
Traill, L. W.,  Lim, M. L. M., Sodhi, N. S., and, Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2010) Mechanisms driving change: altered species interactions and ecosystem function through global warming. Journal of Animal Ecology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01695.x
Anderson, B. J., Akçakaya, H. R., Araújo, M. B., Fordham, D. A., Martinez-Meyer, E., Thuiller, W., and Brook, B. W. (2009) Dynamics of range margins for metapopulations under climate change. Proceedings of the royal society B. 276:1415-1420. doi:1098/rspb.2008.1681
Giam, X., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Tan, H. T. W., Sodhi, N. S., (2010) Future habitat loss and the conservation of plant biodiversity. Biological Conservation. 143:1594-1602.
Feder, M. E., (2010) Physiology and global climate change. Annual Reviews. Physiology. 72:123-125. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-091809-100229

38 thoughts on “Where will the wild things move? Innovation is key to the survival of our society, Pt. 5

  1. Tim (Mothincarnate), sorry about the name mix-up on the GreenFyre blog (Note 1). I don’t know why I referred to you as Phil. I’ll use the excuse that I’ve always had trouble with names, even those of real people, so you can imagine how difficult it is when people hide behind false ones.

    I’ve had another quick look at your blog and it appears from your most recent 10 posts that all you post about is the damage that humans have done or are doing to the environment. Don’t you recognise any of the many significant improvements that humans have made to it over many millennia in order to enhance human lives. Don’t you think that others may consider that you are being somewhat hypocritical, enjoying (in Adelaide?) the comforts of a developed western economy that derive from all of the beneficial impacts that humans have had on the environment. Maybe you’d like to consider whether or not your blog provides a balanced picture about human impact upon global climates.

    I am not aware that you (or Bravenewclimate’s Professor Barry Brook, who I understand is the Australian government’s chief scientific advisor on global climate change) have significant expertise in the processes and drivers of global climates resulting from extensive research. From the information that I have been able to find on the Internet Professor Brook’s distinguished is research area has been biology and ecology, particularly in relation to extinction. You claim to be involved in ecology and environmental monitoring (are you academically qualified in this area, to what level and what research are you recognised for?). I’m prepared to accept that Professor Brook has and you may have expertise in the IMPACTS of climate change on flora and fauna but see no evidence of expertise in the CAUSES of climate change.

    You say in “Detour into troubled water: Innovation is key to the survival of our society, Pt. 4” QUOTE: .. There is ever mounting evidence of our changing climate and a general consensus that this should be addressed as a matter of urgency both within the academic community and various governing bodies. UNQUOTE. Despite saying that here you claim on the Greenfyre blog (Note 1) that QUOTE: .. I can’t see a panicked cry .. I certainly don’t scream out for a sudden change, just for more appropriate debate and innovation .. UNQUOTE. There seems to be a contradiction here. To me the underlying message in your blog posts is the need for hasty action against climate change.

    I eagerly await your provision of the evidence that convinces you that current climate changes QUOTE: .. do not relate to our current situation and why they offer no reassurance for the future. .. UNQUOTE and that our use of fossil fuels is causing it. I have been looking unsuccessfully for such evidence since reading staunch environmentalist Mark Lynas’s propaganda booklet “Six Degees .. ” in March 2007.

    You say in your “Mining Super Tax and the fragile economy” blog QUOTE: .. this is a subject that I’m far from being an expert on. .. UNQUOTE. May I respectfully suggest that this is not the only subject. You might like to have a rethink about your understanding of those very complex (almost chaotic) processes and drivers of global climate change.

    (BTW, what’s that “Towers Up” post about?).

    1) see http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/a-glorious-defeat/#comment-8388

    Best regards, Pete Ridley


    1. First paragraph; I don’t hide my name – in fact most comments I finish with stating Tim. I don’t feel the need to hide. Moth comes from a nickname – tiMOTHy.
      Second paragraph; indeed I’ve spent an amount of time explaining the bad – but that is only the first part of a work in progress. I’m not some “greeny” out to de-industrialize the world Pete. I consider myself to be very much pro-progress. However, I am concerned about a number of over-exploitations currently at hand and a lack of realization / foresight about a near future (ie. next couple of centuries). All that I discuss thus far is based on our current understand and as I often make the point of, not heavily focused on AGW.
      Paragraph three; No, I don’t have any particular expertise in the drivers of climate change, nor, as is obvious, do you. I do have qualifications in ecology, which included a aspects of earth science and GIS. I’ve also worked for the SA EPA in air quality and currently for the Uni of Adelaide in relation to eddy fluxes (CO2, water vapour and net radiation transfer over various environments – in my case, Mallee scrub). As previously stated, I don’t focus on AGW, but it can be put in the same barrel of trouble to the issues that I do focus on. As previously stated, all the points I’ve made (in pt. 4 for instance) are true to the best of our knowledge and as far as I’m concerned make this debate that you’re so obsessed with, futile. I won’t speak for Barry, but I certainly trust his work and his knowledge and have read much of his papers. You’ve only provided world government paranoia based on a whim and a devotion to Monckton. I’m more likely to question you’re understanding of climate change than that of anything that I heard whilst working for the government of in academia (who certainly are not debating about the science – more what to be done about it). Impacts (of the obvious warming trends) are enough to merit change and ocean acidification is real. You cannot demonstrate otherwise or else I’m sure I would’ve already heard about it in a meeting.
      Paragraph four; You really like trying to find a note of hypocrisy don’t you? Address the science rather than trivial editing. It needs to be “addressed” urgently, I didn’t say “acted on” (ie. your paranoid fear of money changes) urgently. I certainly don’t like big steps to economy because of the disruption andthe addressing these problems sooner rather than later will ensure this will not occur (ie. better planning and less drastic shifts in short time spans). Plus I referenced it (or think I did), from a paper. Do you understand now?
      Paragraph five; so your qualifications are based on reading a book? I have no doubt that debating with you further is a waste of my time.
      Paragraph six; “respectfully suggest” – nothing is further from the truth. I am in a similar (albeit simpler) area to that of Barry and am quite aware of the impacts of climate change as it is occurring. If you read all my posts, you’ll see I begin with knowns, discuss the impacts and following this start discussing the future and how we can avoid too much damage to all forms of life.
      Your argument remains that it’s all a plot for a world government, with the rich getting richer (it doesn’t matter who you think these mystery people are), and that climate change is too difficult to predict so there’s nothing to worry about. And you read a book.
      I’ve not lied, nor have I been led down a strawberry path. There is enough occurring (that I have and will continue to write about) that would suggest that there is need to look at our belief of cheap and abundant energy.
      I’ve had a few run-ins with similar people as yourself and none of you have any relating qualifications at all and continue to feel that you have won when you do not follow the rules of academic debate. As others continue to say to you, you’ve cherry picked the few articles that share your views. I, on the other hand, don’t care about this little blog war over AGW because no-one involved has anything worth saying. The truth is, as pt 4 makes clear – there’s a lot going on. As I’ve discussed before and will again, peak oil/gas/coal are the mere height, but price will rise on the dip – and we’re at that point already with oil and gas is a hard one to pick, but the most worrying when we start to feel the pinch of it’s slump and cannot meet the nitrogen needs for agriculture (I may be a very old man by then, but I worry for my grand-kids).
      Towers up = the eddy flux tower I helped a rigger put up for a new site.


    2. Ridley:

      I am not aware that you (or Bravenewclimate’s Professor Barry Brook, who I understand is the Australian government’s chief scientific advisor on global climate change) have significant expertise in the processes and drivers of global climates resulting from extensive research.

      And your expertise is?

      Yet you run a blog also.

      Sort of negates that thought of yours doesn’t it.


  2. Tim, I do not recall ever seeing a surname shown alongside your false name (Mothincarnate) of your given name. If it is not shown then it is not hidden (concealed, not accessible to view)?

    Am I to understand your QUOTE: .. a work in progress .. UNQUOTE to mean that you will soon be commenting on some of the many wonderful improvements that humans have made to the environment for the benefit of humans (and which I am sure that you take full benefit from)?

    I understand you to say that the government or academics with whom you have worked QUOTE: …. certainly are not debating about the science – more what to be done about it) ,, It (the science of global climate processes and drivers) needs to be “addressed” urgently ..UNQUOTE. Surely those are the very people who should be debating the poorly understood science with an open mind, since that is the unsound basis upon which the politicians are making significant policy decisions that will hit us all where it hurts most, in our pockets.

    I fully support and applaud any of your concerns and efforts to draw attention to QUOTE: .. a number of over-exploitations currently at hand .. UNQUOTE where they improve the well-being of humans. I was born just before the 2nd World War. My parents were poor and when I was 4 years old there were five of us living in a 2-bedroom upstairs flat with no bathroom and an outside toilet. This, combined with the effects of the war, formed my approach to the use of resources, which is that wherever possible don’t use, re-use, repair or re-cycle. Only as a very last resort should it be thrown away. I continue this practice to a high degree (much to the frustration of my wife who was born well after the war and had a relatively privileged upbringing) despite having left such depravation behind 55 years ago. My wonderful 5 year old grandson follows in my footsteps with his “you’ve left the light on” and “close that door” despite the – how shall I put it – less concerned approach adopted by his mother and grandmother.

    Although you may not focus on concerns arising from The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis the impression I have is that it is one of your major concerns. If I am wrong about that then please correct me. Excuse me for merging two extracts, but you said recently (14th & 10th June) that you are concerned about QUOTE: .. a lack of realization / foresight about a near future (ie. next couple of centuries) ..: However, it is naive and as short sighted as visions of a fossil fueled future UNQUOTE. These together suggest to me that you envisage fossil fuels being uneconomic within the next couple of centuries. As I understand it from the industry experts, fossil fuels abound.

    What about all of unused coal and natural gas? Australia is one of those lucky countries to be blessed with more than enough for its own needs (Note 1). So much so that it is the world’s major coal exporter (Note 2). Australian production of natural gas is growing twice as fast as consumption (Note 3) and exports have doubled since 2004 (Note 4). Then there are the enormous reserves of natural gas stored as clathrate just waiting to be extracted (Note 5). Russia has been doing this since 1970. Do you believe that governments and the energy companies are blind to this opportunity? Then when all of that is used up (centuries away?) there is nuclear (and whatever else inventive humans come up with in the meantime – which certainly won’t be wind.

    As I keep repeating, the UN’s real agenda has nothing to do with controlling global climates but everything to do with:
    – redistribution of wealth from developed to underdeveloped economies,
    – establishment of a framework for global government,
    – enhancement of the finances of a privileged few.

    BTW, I do not believe that the second will be successful in the long term if it even succeeds in the short term. We have seen one failed attempts at a smaller versions in the USSR and another (hopefully failing) attempt within the EU. A similar ASEAN structure is I understand being proposed/supported by Rudd.

    1) see http://www.australiancoal.com.au/the-australian-coal-industry_coal-resources.aspx
    2) see http://www.australiancoal.com.au/the-australian-coal-industry_coal-exports.aspx
    3) see http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Australia/NaturalGas.html
    4) see http://www.indexmundi.com/australia/natural_gas_exports.html
    5) see http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=6958

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    PS: It’s such a shame that so few people seem interested in debating your posts.


    1. i don’t understand your obsession regarding my name. Its Lubcke which i’m not conerned with hiding. When will it stop? Will you ask for a phone number next?
      I’m not concerned with AGW because it seems trivial when one looks at the larger picture, which i’m in the process of delivering. Oil is around peak currently and i do not agree with mountian top removal due to the ecological impacts. Acidification of oceans are another major concern and i’ve been privy to work related to near coastal impacts to date and coupled with acidification we will see increasing impact, a decrease n species fitness and certainly a reduction of biodiversity within the next century. I also feel that gas is too important to be burnt. All of this and more will be addressed.
      I don’t base my views on what you continue to argue is unproven/unprovable – indeed forcusing on these issues are worrying enough.
      As for addressing the wonders of the modern world, indeed this is part of my views (hense innovation in the title). To add to this, it was a toss-up between ecology and a tech field (such as electronics) when i applied for uni a decade ago as i’m as much fan of tech as i am with the natural world (especially invention history which is incredible from what i’ve learnt).
      I see no evidence of a world government plot, but i do see evidence for climate change and ocean acidification. You and Brad have obviously read Air Con. In about 24hrs I’ll comment with a link to an excellent review of this book. From my experience the loudest people regarding this concern are people who lived through the cold war and i fear it’s based on deep rooted propaganda regarding the ‘evil communists’.
      It’s good that you and Brad are concerned enough to take some environmental friendly practices, however our actions in general are far from sustainable. As far as i see it we’ve experienced too much growth over the past 2 centuries and have developed an ego of endless exploitation.
      I like life as it is and fear that without better planning, better policies and better integration with our local environment we will find ourselves in the middle of nowhere when the tank runs dry. We cannot expect nuclear to fill the void. It cannot replace fertilizers made from gas. It is also likely that pH of the oceans will be low enough by then to cause collapse of many aquatic ecosystems. Sea level rise will also cause a loss of coastal nutrient loads that support masses of species. This is much of my arguement and i worry about species loss and overall environmental health in the world my grandchildren will greet.
      I’m not just another amature blogger, writing from a passionate stance rather than evidence base. I base my views on my training and my experience. My biggest concern is political hot air acting against producing a sustainable world for future generations for the sake of quick and dirty money.


  3. Tim, thanks for your latest comment, which all helps for better understanding of each other’s opinions. As the AT&T advert says “To communicate is the beginning of understanding”. There is much of what you stand for that I fully support but I do not accept (as I believe that you do) that there is convincing evidence that global climate change, ocean acidification and loss of species is a result of our use of fossil fuels. As for the extraction of these fuels, the energy companies are developing technologies which achieve this without causing significant permanent damage to the environment such as removing mountain tops.

    Don’t overlook the fact that at 29 you have not been around long enough to say that you have experience of significant climate change. You can only have experienced weather fluctuations and trends. You, like the rest of us, including the scientists, are unable to predict what the weather is going to be doing during the few weeks never mind during the next century or two. I’ve been around for 73 years and recognise no significant climate change. That claimed 1C increase in the past 150 years is insignificant and who knows what it will be like in another 150. It may be the same, or hotter or colder and given a choice I’d much rather have hotter. Humans have to do what they have always done – adapt to whatever nature throws at us.

    You are delivering a picture that you have created from opinion not evidence. Talking of pictures, there are some brilliant ones by Tim Lubcke, including of tall ships in Adelaide Harbour. Are those photo’s by you and your father? Or are they different Tim Lubcke’s. My wife and I did a 6-month tour of Australia back in 2000 and loved the beatiful sites that we managed to see, both natural and man-made. We enjoyed most of the flora, fauna but particularly the waterfalls, forests and coasts. As I recall the drive from Adelaide to Melbourne was the most beautiful coastline. Of course we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy such an experience without the technological developments and environmental changes made by humans, especially during the last 100 years.

    On the matter of QUOTE: .. political hot air acting against producing a sustainable world for future generations for the sake of quick and dirty money .. UNQUOTE, money brings with it power and control which is the driving force for the majority of politicians – Al Gore is a prime example.

    Despite our differences we do have things in common. I too am agnostic

    1) see http://www.worldisround.com/articles/16517/index.html

    Best regards, Pete Ridley.


    1. I agree with much of your first paragraph, minus the last sentence. I would also like to add that as I’ve not covered more than first year chemistry and physics, I don’t focus heavily on the CO2 greenhouse effect. I will say that from my experience and training, I am aware that CO2 is opaque to long wave radiation and as it’s concentration increases in the atmosphere, sure it will stop more CO2 coming in, however, as short wave radiation eventually tries to leave the Earth as long wave radiation, this will suggest that more is trapped. In doing so, we would expect there to be less difference between temp max and mins as well as summer averages and winter averages – which we are seeing. I tend to believe that the result of more than a century of study has shed some light on this subject and while not being an expert, feel that the conclusion that CO2 induced global warming (feeding the climate change under way) is nothing but an orchestration by Mann or IPCC or UN or whoever you think is behind it, is impractical.
      It is true that I, being just shy of 30, have not lived long enough to have experienced personally noticeable climate change, however, I have also moved around a lot, which would also corrupt my awareness of this and besides this, I don’t base my reasoning at all on my experiences. It is based on scientific literature and what I see in the field. If you talk to multi-generational farmers, they will tell you that it’s not like it was when they watched their fathers farm. I am constantly heading back and forth from the Riverland and it’s easy to see more opportunistic farming habits that follow the rain rather than broad scale standard farming – people on the land have noticed a change.
      I’ll be discussing “having [it] hotter” throughout this work and I have to disagree with you. As much as I hate the cold, climate change is detrimental to many of the ecological processes which are imperative to other life – including ours.
      “You are delivering a picture that you have created from opinion not evidence.”
      No I am not and to follow on with that above, I am providing references in this current innovation work. I will admit that until relatively recently I’ve allowed there to be a deficit in supporting work – that is largely due to my experience, working within a group that takes change as a given (which it seems is clouded in the wider community). That said, I’m providing a bulk of literature to this work to make my point clear and weighty with supporting evidence. Your argument regarding predicting weather, thus predicting climate is a flawed favourite of the “sceptics”. Weather predictions rely on completely different models to those of climate science. For instance, weather predictions aim to give an indication of the amount of precipitation to expect in the systems in the near proximity in a relatively short time span, where increasing time also increases the uncertainty. Climate models look at patterns over long periods. Climate models will conclude that a certain storm type has a frequency of (let’s say) occurring once in 10 years. Making predictions regarding temperature trends, these models will make conclusions about the change in frequency and intensity of storms (ie. the once, 10 year storm, can now be expected to occur once in 6 years etc). To pick up a paper I have on hand, looking not at temperature or any of the typical climate debate material, but rather at the passive cycle of life (ie. first bloom, migration events, leaf bud and fall etc) Rosenzweig et al. have concluded that there is about a 90% probability that the changes in timing of these events is the direct result of anthropogenic activities (using ~28,800 documented cases). To add to this Amano et al. took 250 years of first flowering dates of 405 plants species from the UK and demonstrated much the same.
      I don’t base my arguments on opinion. I do base my suggestions on opinion, but this is based on my original scientific evidence base (of which I feel much more inclined to debate about as I feel the way forth is far from clear).
      The photos you’ve found are the work of my farther. I am, at best, an amateur photographer. If you found any of my photos, the name would include “Jr.” and you would probably find nothing from the past 4yrs. As like my graphic design, it’s a temperamental hobby.
      As for Gore; as I also said to Brad, I’m not concerned with him. Other than being drawn into such discussions, I don’t relate or reference my work to the IPCC, Gore or any of the favourites of the sceptics; the case is so strong that I don’t require them. Besides, I have been involved in government/scientific reporting in the past and have developed a deep set loathing of such reporting.
      Although I am an agnostic, I would say that I do sway more to an atheistic incline, but relax some what due to my fiancée being a strong gnostic. At best, if there is a god, it certainly plays no role or demonstrates any concern over affairs on this planet.

      Rosenzweig, C., Karoly, D., Vicarelli, M., Neofotis, P., Wu, Q., Casassa, G., Menzel, A., Root, T. L., Estrella, N., Seguin, B., Tryjanowski, P., Liu, C., Rawlins, S., and, Imeson, A. (2008) Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change. Nature. 453(15):353-357. doi:10.1038/nature06937

      Amano, T., Smithers, R. J., Sparks. T. H., and, Sutherland, W. J. (2010) A 250-year index of first flowering dates and its response to temperature change. Proc. R. Soc. B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0291


      1. A further paper for you to look at Tim: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123233053/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

        Trophic level asynchrony in rates of phenological change for marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments
        Thackeray et al (2010) Global Change Biology.

        Recent changes in the seasonal timing (phenology) of familiar biological events have been one of the most conspicuous signs of climate change. However, the lack of a standardized approach to analysing change has hampered assessment of consistency in such changes among different taxa and trophic levels and across freshwater, terrestrial and marine environments. We present a standardized assessment of 25 532 rates of phenological change for 726 UK terrestrial, freshwater and marine taxa. The majority of spring and summer events have advanced, and more rapidly than previously documented. Such consistency is indicative of shared large scale drivers. Furthermore, average rates of change have accelerated in a way that is consistent with observed warming trends. Less coherent patterns in some groups of organisms point to the agency of more local scale processes and multiple drivers. For the first time we show a broad scale signal of differential phenological change among trophic levels; across environments advances in timing were slowest for secondary consumers, thus heightening the potential risk of temporal mismatch in key trophic interactions. If current patterns and rates of phenological change are indicative of future trends, future climate warming may exacerbate trophic mismatching, further disrupting the functioning, persistence and resilience of many ecosystems and having a major impact on ecosystem services.

        (As an example, aphid flight is advancing by nearly one day per annum, bird laying dates (young chicks are often reliant on hatching around the peak of aphid activity) are advancing by roughly one day every 3-4 years.)


      2. Cheers for that Chris,
        I’ll look that paper up – it’s all an indication of how much climate change is having an effect on ecological systems and how we continue to ignore this at the cost of biodiversity.


    2. Ridley:

      Don’t overlook the fact that at 29 you have not been around long enough to say that you have experience of significant climate change.
      You can only have experienced weather fluctuations and trends. You, like the rest of us, including the scientists, are unable to predict what the weather is going to be doing during the few weeks never mind during the next century or two.

      So Pete, what relation exactly does a weekly or monthly weather forecast have to long term climate prediction?

      You imply the methods for doing both are the same, hence they both must be inaccurate if the short term one is inaccurate.


      I’ve been around for 73 years and recognise no significant climate change.

      What do you want?
      Some sort of biblical event?

      Here in the South of England there is no doubt that seasons are changing and weather event frequency is definitely changing.


      1. I’ve tried to highlight as much from studies (one uses nearly 30,000 data sets of physical and biological response, and another using 250yrs of blossom response) that demonstrate more than 90% of noted change are the result of obvious climate change.
        The response is that “climate changes, we all need to adapt,”
        That’s why I’ve headed out on this Innovation is key bit – to highlight that AGW debate is trivial when put in context to the bigger changes that are occurring all related to climate change and the use of fossil fuels.


      2. The Ville, I live in the South-east of England and recognise little change in 73 years. It has been a little warmer (until the last few years) and the growing season has been a bit longer, but I don’t consider it to be significant or have any concerns about a catastrophe. History tells us that such changes are the norm.

        Keep enjoying life – it’s wonderfull.
        Best regards, Pete Ridley


  4. Tim, I hadn’t heard of Air Con let alone read it so that’s another conclusion/opinion of yours that is incorrect. I have read another excellent book (which was also published in the run-up to the UN’s COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen) “The Global Warming Disaster – is the obsession with ‘climate change’ turning out to be the most costly scientific blunder in history?” by Christopher Booker, also an excellent investigative journalist. Another book that I’ve just been given by my daughter (who recently obtained her Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development) is “The Hockey Stick Illusion” by A. W. Montford. It’s front cover shows Michael Mann’s infamous “Hockey Stick” graph, which also appears early on in the You-tube A/V of Air Con, 4.51 minutes into Part 1, just after the appearance of that favourite propagandist of every supporter of The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis, Al Gore. – Note 1).

    I’ve read plenty other books on the subject, starting with “Six Degrees .. ” by staunch envirnmentalist Mark Lynas in 2007, followed shortly after by “The Greenhouse Delusion” by sceptic Dr. Vincent Gray, “Cool it” by pragmatic economist Bjorn Lomborg, “Playing Safe: Science and the Environment” by staunch UK environmentalist Jonathan Porritt and “The Politics of the Real World” by The Real World Coalition. My daughter has also just given me “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson (just to give balance to my library). Another that I keep hinting at is “Heaven and Earth” by Professor Ian Plimer (Pofessor Brook’s buddy across the corridor).

    BTW, talking of Professor Brook , are you following his “Sea level rise – it’s still happening, isn’t it?” bulletins on Bravenewclimate (Note 2)?

    In saying QUOTE: .. I am aware that CO2 is opaque to long wave radiation and as it’s concentration increases in the atmosphere, sure it will stop more CO2 coming in, however, as short wave radiation eventually tries to leave the Earth as long wave radiation .. UNQUOTE you appear to me to demonstrate a somewhat less than perfect understanding of the physics. Here is my understanding, having studied physics as a subject formally to about the same level as yourself. 1) CO2 is not opaque to long wave radiation. It only absorbs or emits a very limited range of long wave, far less than water vapour. The amount absorbed is a logarithmic function, not linear? 2) Short wave radiation does not try to leave the earth as anything other than short wave radiation and this only by reflection. I’m happy to be corrected on this if I am wrong. Few sceptics deny that physical laws as understood today prove what is incorrectly termed “the greenhouse effect”. Disagreement is about the significance of it and the assumptions made by supporters of The Hypothesis about the feedback effects and other processes and drivers of global climates.

    Neither do sceptics deny that climate change occurs. It always has. Climate change in the past has been both detrimental (ice ages) and beneficial (interglacials) to humans. That is why we have to adapt. You refer to what the farmers say, but what do their fathers and grandfathers really say? There are plenty reports in newspapers from decades ago about climate/weather events similar to today’s.

    You state that QUOTE: .. Weather predictions rely on completely different models to those of climate science. .. UNQUOTE but this is in direct contradiction of what the head of the UK’s Met Office said when interviewed on BBC Television about the “Climategate” scandal following the leaking of the UEA/CRU leaked files. He unequivocally stated that they used the same model for weather and climate projections. On the matter of earlier bloming, my recollection is that the Uk’s Kew Gardens (or similar organisation) found that some blossom was appearing all of a day or two earlier than 100 years ago. Hardly significant.

    Another of your opinions that I suspect is incorrect is your QUOTE: .. the loudest people regarding this concern are people who lived through the cold war and i fear it’s based on deep rooted propaganda regarding the ‘evil communists’ .. UNQUOTE. Speaking for myself the “cold war” and fear of “evil communists” has nothing to do with my opinion about the desires of some to have global power and control. My opinion derives from my experience of politicians and their lies, not just in the UK but in the EU and further afield. It’s good to hear you say of government reporting QUOTE: .. have developed a deep set loathing of such reporting. .. UNQUOTE. At your age I actually trusted politicians. At that time I believed that a United States of Europe was a great idea – bigger fool me.

    Although you think that QUOTE: .. we’ve experienced too much growth over the past 2 centuries and have developed an ego of endless exploitation. UNQUOTE I say thank goodness that we have experienced this growth because it has released many of us from the shackles of poverty. I wouldn’t even have wished to live 100 years ago, let alone 200. One thing that you probably do agree with is that many of us in the developed economies have been brainwashed into thinking that if we want it we should have it. I call it The L’Oréal Syndrome – “because you’re worth it” (Note 3).

    I was delighted to see on the news this morning that in Dorset, one of the most beautiful areas of the UK, there has been a new oil find. The Dorset Echo headlines (Note 4) “Dorset oil discovery ‘will not affect countryside” and reports QUOTE: .. Australian company Norwest Energy has found seven possible drilling sites in the ‘Wessex Basin’. .. UNQUOTE. Since 1979 British Gas (for whom I worked) then BP (1984) have produced high quality “sweet” oil and natural gas at Wytch Farm and shipping by pipeline and road (Note 5) QUOTE: .. The facility, operated by BP, is hidden in a coniferous forest on Wytch Heath on the southern shore of Poole Harbour, two miles (3 km) north of Corfe Castle. .. UNQUOTE. The area has remained a very popular residential area and tourist attraction despite that energy industry development.

    There is a very good BBC Radio 4 “in Living Memory” commentary (Note 6) on the increasing Dorset oil exploitation since the 50’s (which includes extracts from speeches of another of my heroes, Maggy Thatcher) and also includes an example of how consensus does not equate to validity.
    Then there is the promise of an oil and gas bonanza from major production in the recently discovered Falklands field, being compared with the North Sea finds of the 1960s (Note 7) QUOTE: .. Analysts believe up to 60BILLION barrels of oil lie in waters off the UK territory .. UNQUOTE.

    Global energy companies will continue making healthy profits from new discoveries of fossil fuels and developing new technologies for their economic extraction for many decades yet. With proper environmental management procedures in place and effectively implemented there need be no unacceptable lasting impact upon the environment and the development of oils and gas exploitation in Dorset provides a blue-print of how to achieve this. How does Australia’s BHP Billiton stand in comparison with the achievements of British Gas and BP in Dorset? Mentioning BHP Billiton brings to mind the letter to shareholders (Note 8) that chairman Jac Nasser sent out on 11th June (fancy doing that on my birthday) about the Australian Government’s proposed super tax on the resources industry. Rudd is determined to raise money somehow to try to reduce the horrendous debt ($1 trillion?) he has led Australia into, with his taxes on essential resources.

    Also, mentioning BP and environmental concerns reminds me of another “conspiracy theory” that you may be interested in reading about in “Evidence Points to BP Oil Spill False Flag” (Note 9).

    BTW, I see that on Mike Kaulbars “A Glorious Defeat” thread (Note 10) you say of me QUOTE: .. He’s since moved over and started on me personally on my blog .. UNQUOTE as though I’m attacking you here. Don’t be so sensitive. Debating with yourself or only with those of a like mind does not improve your understanding of alternative opinions. Three years ago when I first read a review of Mark Lynas’s “Six Degrees .. “ I was very concerned about what the future held for my beautiful grand children. I started reading both sides of the argument and debating it with supporters and rejectors of The Hypothesis. I’m learning from both sides and (as for all involved in this debate) there is much much more yet to learnt. From first being very concerned I became agnostic and the more I debate the more sceptical I become.

    On agnosticism, I fully agree with yur closing comment. For me, there is no reason to believe that whatever caused creation and an infinite universe has any interest at all in what we humans are doing.

    1) see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90otAJORkK8
    2) see http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/06/14/sea-level-rise-1/
    3) see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/jun/12/becauseyoureworthit
    4) see http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/8093374.Dorset_oil_discovery__will_not_affect_countryside/
    5) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wytch_Farm
    6) see http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ls6xg/In_Living_Memory_Series_10_Oil_in_Dorset/
    7) see http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3001329/Rockhopper-Exploration-locates-huge-oil-field-off-the-Falkland-Islands.html
    8) see http://www.bhpbilliton.com/bb/home.jsp
    9) see http://www.congress.org/soapbox/alert/15124161
    10) see http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/a-glorious-defeat/#comment-8388

    Best Regards, Pete Ridley

    PS: Will you be going to the Anthony Watts Australian tour meeting in Adelaide 24th? It’ll be a fine opportunity for you to hear at first hand from a renowned and respected sceptic.


    1. Sorry about the assumption that you have read Air Con. I’ve not myself, however after discussions with Brad and yourself, I heard a lot of similarity to your views and the book (turns out I was only 50% on that one). Happy to admit the mistake.
      I only read part one of Barry’s post, I’ve not had a look at part two as of yet.
      As I did say, I’m no expert on the physics (of which I only studied up to first year of university and that was near a decade ago now). I have more understanding of nutrient / chemical cycles and a general understanding of greenhouse gases. That said, I don’t make much of a point about this and really don’t feel that I need to.
      What you assume to be part of a flux in a climate cycle, I’m reading in the literature is highly likely to be the result of our activities. The combination of physical and biological indicators are worrisome enough. We can, if you’d like, excuse the farmers. I also agree that we’ll have to adapt (nothing we do at this point will dramatically change climate change within my lifetime). Life will indeed need to adapt. But in many cases 1) the rate of change is too great, 2) changes to landscape use restrict species latitudinal movement to changing climate, 3) A combination of over harvest, high nutrient explosion and carbonic acid (and more reactive compounds from our emissions) threaten almost all ocean ecosystems, 4) species loss due to other anthropogenic causes further decreases ecosystem resilience to change, 5) sea level rise will lead to a loss of landscapes that have provided properties imperative to supporting ecosystems, which are the result of thousands of years and will not be found in new locations, and 6) ignoring the obvious changes, species loss and degrading ecosystems will lead to increasingly poor agricultural decision making, conservation efforts, a loss of potential ecological services and medicinal compounds (not herbalism, rather bio-prospecting for cancer treatment ect).
      From literature published earlier this year, Amano et al. concluded, by using 250 years of blossom data, that for every degree C, first blossom shifts by an average of 5 days. This in itself may not be a major concern, but when you put this into context with a whole ecosystem, with food webs and time periods suitable to brood etc, plus land degradation already occurring due to our actions, the picture isn’t so trivial any longer.
      I cannot say on what happens over in the UK, but I do know that the models and predictions that the Aust BOM use / develop are not from the same models as that used to do the forecast.
      This might be another point of disagreement, however, from my experience, the people making the most noise about a global government are those who experienced the cold war. In almost all ways this, I feel, is impractical and something that no government would be able to pull off. I strongly believe that no-one is trying to use the undeniable facts of a changing world to orchestrate some Orwellian future. Short of mind control, very few people of the west (and probably the rest) would allow it to happen. Dictatorship of that scale is nothing short of madness nowadays. Khan had the biggest empire that the world will ever see. As for my own political views.. I guess I’m more or less a lefty without passion. I just go with the evidence and equality. However, I’m more or less disinterested in politics and think the bunch of them are even more immature than grade 3 bullies.
      As for the growth; I agree. It’s freed us no end. But there is now a strong detachment from reality and an ego that the world is our oyster. It’s all, “chuck it out and upgrade…” this mindless “growth is good!” and “more consumers means more money” is absurd and nothing more than shortsighted. It’s plague mentality and will lead to collapse. Because a machine can churn out millions, little thought is given to the true value of the product or the materials and if it’s made too well, you lose your customer (indeed they won’t need a replacement). This will not take us much further.
      Note 9 sounds to be in the same league as the 9/11 truthers. If any truth does come of it, I’m sure the correct people / companies (or their scape goat) will be discovered and brought to trial, thus it’s not that interesting really. Similar can be said regarding the stolen emails and the work carried out by Mann and co. – if there was a scrap of evidence that to this concern, their peers would’ve been the first to catch them out. Same for the emails – denialists wouldn’t need to quote mine and take sections out of context. There’s simply no reason to doubt their work. It’s not going to be some hard nosed blogger, such as McIntyre who will bring it all undone, but respectable scientists. They are not working in mass numbers and there are thousands reading each others work. This would be a much more educated attempt against climate change and anthropogenic influence.
      I apologize for that statement now – however at the time our conversations were less civil.
      No, I won’t be going to Watts presentation – I barely stomached Moncktons (I watched a recording of one last year). DeSmog blog have painting quite an opposite view than that of a “respected sceptic”. I have no problem with looking at the quality of met stations (I’ve been involved of such work myself), however, even when the data is compared between what he considers to be a good or best station with less favourable station, the results are nearly identical and don’t change the message being said in the data. In this regard he’s only managed to make the Americans waste more money developing more isolated stations.


  5. Hi Tim, thanks for the responses which I am enjoying. I have to agree with much of what you say although I suspect that we will disagree on the cause of climate change until we head into the next cold period. You appear to be happy to accept without question what scientists who support The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis and reject out of hand any challenge to it.

    It struck me that you may be using this blog to develop your thesis for a Masters in ecology. Is that the case?

    Best regards, Pete


    1. Our discussion certainly has improved since becoming more civilised.
      “until we head into the next cold period”
      “You appear to be happy to accept without question what scientists… reject out of hand any challenge to it”
      That is supposing that this is just a flux, of which the science tends to disagree.
      As for accepting what scientists say; firstly, I am a scientist, albeit at the lower end, secondly, it’s the old quote (most likely inappropriately associated with Newton) of standing on the shoulders of giants. You assume scientists are lairs. I admit my understanding of climate science is rather basic, however I understand ecology much better, which is painting a worrisome picture and coupled with changes noted but major authorities (such as NASA, NOAA and Aust. BOM) plus their predictions, I am concerned that the observed trends will only worsen over the coming centuries (and without proper management and correct concern, at a major cost to biodiversity). There has been very few geniuses to grace our history – and I am certainly not one of them. Therefore I form my understanding on the work of those in other fields whom I’m sure stand up to scientific rigour and incorporate it with changes being observed within ecology. I cannot blindly hope that this is just temporary and ignore the signals given by ecological systems that are stresses nor can I assume that my great-grandchildren will solve the problem of nitrogen fixation for agricultural use when gas is short in supply, nor can I cross my fingers that species with calcium carbonate shells will adapt as pH continues to drop in oceans and while we continue unsustainable harvest.
      I’m not using this blog to develop a masters in ecology.


  6. Tim, first let me say that I fully agree about the improvement when exchanging opinions in a civilised manner. One of the things that struck me when I started blogging on Mark Lynas’s “World Saved Planet Doomed” thread. is the vindictive attitude of many of the people involved in debating The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis. I try hard not to get dragged into this, although I do relapse on occasions – I am only human after all. The only reason that I returned to the Greenfyre blog recently was to see if Ian Forrester – the worst example of Internet invective that I have encountered – was still as insulting and foul-mouthed as I had previously found him.

    Thinking about The Ville’s comment reminded me that we must not be overly influenced by local weather and short-term climate changes when considering possible long term changes to the various global climates. It also jogged my memory about some of the recent points that you make with which I disagree somewhat or have some more questions.

    If you prefer I can make this my last comment on your blog, at least for the time being (I may return) but would just like to leave you with a few things to think about.

    You have said that you “.. like life as it is ..”. That is a fine attitude for those of us who are privileged enough to have all that we need and more but have you considered the life of many millions of humans around the globe for whom life is nothing but a struggle for survival? They’d love to be in our shoes and should not be prevented from getting there. Then there are those who have the essentials for survival but no “luxuries” like running water or electricity in their homes or whose homes are little more than shacks. People live like this in developed as well as developing countries and some are only a short drive from Adelaide. I’m sure there are a lot of aboriginals in the Adelaide area who’d love some economic development.

    You talk about ecology (“The science of the relationships between organisms and their environments”) and specie migration. Don’t overlook the fact that humans are a significant part of that and are top of the hierarchy. The “Range of many species has tended poleward” because of better living conditions in those areas and the human specie is included in this poleward movement, as experienced by you in Australia and we in the UK. In our case the driver is not global climate change but global economic change.

    You have said of the opinions of others that “the conclusion that CO2 induced global warming (feeding the climate change under way) is nothing but an orchestration by Mann or IPCC or UN or whoever you think is behind it, is impractical”. Have you formed that opinion after properly considering the various ways in which politicians, environmentalist organisations and academic establishments use climate change as a means to furthering their various causes having nothing to do with climate change? The words in “Why We Disagree About Climate Change” by Professor Mike Hulme are relevant. QUOTE .. the author .. is a scientist who helped write the influential reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many other influential government agencies .. “The idea of climate change,” Hulme writes at page 326, “should be seen as an intellectual resources around which our collective and personal identifies and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us.” According to Hulme, climate change can do a lot: “Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs” (p. 329) .. UNQUOTE (Note 1). May I suggest that you Google “use climate change to” and read a few of the articles.

    You may react to that with “ .. How often I hear that kind of tripe .. ” but linked with comments from Maurice Strong and his associates and other big names in the UN involved with the human-made global climate change propaganda raises the concerns of many about the true UN agenda. You say that I “assume scientists are lairs” as though scientists do not lie.. You must have enjoyed a very sheltered scientific career so far if you are not aware of the devious practices used by scientists in both acedemia and industry in order to acquire research funding or enhance their individual careers. Scientists are humans not angels. Politics (with a small p) is played in all walks of life and politics (with a capital P) is rife within the UN’s IPCC. Where there is political influence there are lies and among the biggest liars are politicians, who can be trusted even less than used car salespeople.

    When I refer to the UN’s true agenda behind its climate change propaganda I am not rejecting the need for giving aid to the deprived inhabitants of developing economies. I do object to handing money over to the politicians in many of those countries because it is used to the benefit of the greedy not to improve the lot of the needy. My reference to the framework for global government relates to the clearly defined framework for global taxation and the control of the collected funds, as spelled out in the COP15 draft agreement (Note 2)

    You have said that “.. temperature trends have been on a sharp upward slope following the industrial revolution kicking into gear”, implying that industrial activity is the cause. Have you properly considered this in relation to the warming from about 200AD and the cooling from 1000AD (Note 3)? Also, have you considered the suggestion (Note 4) that QUOTE: .. The Earth entered several thousand years of conditions warmer and moister than today; the Saharan and Arabian deserts almost completely disappeared under a vegetation cover, and in the northern latitudes forests grew slightly closer to the poles than they do at present. This phase, known as the ‘Holocene optimum’ occurred between about 9,000 and 5,000 years ago .. UNQUOTE?

    You have also opined that “ .. we’re seeing .. behavioural changes (ie. changes to first bloom, distribution range etc etc) .. ” but farmers have welcomed the benefits of slightly longer growing seasons

    You also opined that “ .. Over the past century we’ve increased the concentration of CO2 .. decreasing the pH of the ocean so far by 0.1 and with ever increasing emissions pH will decrease more so and do incredible damage to any life form which rely on calcium carbonate (exoskeletons and coral)”. Are you satisfied that such pH changes are other than localised and not due to other causes than our use of fossil fuels?

    You’ve also expressed concern about “peak oil” and Natural gas being on the way out when you are but the industry experts appear not to be concerned about availability but about political effects. As an example in the lead up to the UN’s COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen BP CEO Tony Hayward stated (Note 5) that QUOTE: .. The problem in meeting that goal isn’t geological, it’s political. We have the natural, human and financial resources. We have enough reserves of hydrocarbons to last for decades and reserve estimates are rising as we develop ways of unlocking unconventional resources. .. UNQUOTE.

    You have also expressed concern about natural gas running out and it not being possible to produce fertilisers but isn’t the Haber process only one of several suitable ones, e.g. from coal (which is abundantly available) and from sodium nitrate (Note 6) or QUOTE: .. Ammonia can be produced in an environmentally friendly and reasonably efficient process, using simply water, air, and electricity .. UNQUOTE (Note 7). With electricity generated by nuclear wouldn’t this be a viable option when natural gas runs out in many many decades time?

    You have expresses concern about food supplies in 100 years time. Considering that in only 70 years we have seen a five-fold increase in production from a corn field as a result of human innovation I see no reason to get over-concerned. There was a report in the Daily Mail today (Note 8) about a GM salmon that produces twice the meat of natural ones and is almost ready for the market. In 200 there was a report “Giant GM salmon on the way” on the BBC (Note 9) that QUOTE: Genetically-modified fish, which can grow up to 10 times faster than normal, could be cleared for human consumption within a year UNQUOTE. Of course The Guardian (of all things to do with the environment) tried scare-mongering over the impact of these escaping to the wild, but QUOTE: .. Aqua Bounty said there is no danger of its fish cross-mating with wild fish because only female eggs that have been treated to ensure they are sterile will be created UNQUOTE.

    In your Part 9 “About Me” you mention your interest in the history of invention so if you haven’t already seen them you may be interested in reading “A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times” by Donald Hill, “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson and last but not least “The Ascent of Man” by J. Bronowski. All three present a fascinating picture of how humans have improved their living conditions through innovation during several millenia.

    BTW, I have mentioned Mark Lynas several times here because he is responsible for me taking this keen interest in what I see as a UN-inspired scam. I highlighted numerous distortions and omissions in just the 1st chapter (“One Degree”) of staunch environmentalist but non-scientist Mark’s the six-chapter Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet” propaganda booklet in December 2008 but he never responded and I cannot remind him of these because Mark seems to have removed the comment facility from all of his articles (Note 10) since the UN’s COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen.

    This post wasn’t accepted initially so I’ve removed the NOTES, which I will post sepearately.

    Best Regards, Pete Ridley


    1. Pete,
      4th paragraph; Of course everyone would want to be as affluent as developed countries, such as yours, American and Aust etc. I argue that we live in excess and by unsustainable practices. If economy didn’t ride on cheap, short lived produce, if buildings where built etc, we could have what we have at less energetic requirements. In that respect, it would be good to transfer this understanding to other areas abroad. As for indigenous Aust., the problem there is very different and more a social issue that is poorly addressed (they don’t wish for economic development) – they are given money mindlessly but many remain in poverty due to other factors that I don’t go into here.
      5th paragraph; this is blatantly wrong. Species don’t move poleward because of better living conditions. The tropics are traditionally to most productive regions on earth. As for Australia, the fastest growing area of human population growth is in south east Qld – the sub-tropics – much like the retiree desire to move to a condo in Florida or Miami in the US. Species and certain ecosystems have evolved to local climatic conditions, and as they shift poleware this suggests climate region shifts are the cause – this have also been witnessed in agricultural belts in Europe, the US and locally.
      6th paragraph; there is no doubt that there is greenwashing – over the past 6 yrs I’ve witnessed an ever increasing amount of this. However, this has been largely industry based, not governance or academically (not to say that none of this has happened – I know it has). I maintain that it is impractical to think that such an organized orchestration has occurred. Many efficiency campaigns have been done in the name of reducing CO2 emissions which have lead to practical energy reductions and innovation (such as the CCCP for an example). Far more in fact than “swindling” – which I maintain has largely been industry “eco” greenwashing.
      I feel sorry for you if you live in a world where the scientists cannot be trusted. Most of the technological breakthroughs that you praise are the result of scientists. As I said above and previously, to assume that climate change is a myth orchestrated by the science community is absurd. It’s not a buddy system; there is a lot of competition and certainly more scientist trying to out do other scientists than educated bloggers trying to prove the another blogger wrong. Such a “swindle” would take an implausible amount of effort and organization over multiple generations. It just cannot occur. In that way, I’ve not lived a sheltered scientific and public career. It can be ruthless and certainly frustrating. I don’t disagree on politicians – I’m very wary of them and currently we one of the worst in charge of the liberals. I’ve also been involved in political scientific reporting and been aware of much more. That’s why I’m not overly concerned with Gore or the IPCC work and remain with the scientific literature.
      8th paragraph; I also am in favour of assisting poorer nations and am wary of many of their leadership which definitely demonstrates a lack of concern for the people and little to no respect for the supporting ecosystem.
      9th paragraph; there’s a lot of this floating in opposition to climate science. Firstly, I find it rather hypocritical that people jump on warm period arguments at the same time of being critical of scientists (you believe that they lie in general) and while pointing out uncertainties associated with climate modeling (including the relatively short time we’ve been experiencing this global warming). You cannot have it both ways and choose the science that fits your views. If you accept warm periods on the scientific evidence, then you must accept that the results of up to date work conclude that the effects of our emissions have also outstripped normal fluctuations over the past few decades and the shape of the graphs produced by these models that demonstrate the recent temperature spike.
      10th paragraph; they may be experiencing slightly longer growing periods, but they are also experiencing greater periodical rainfall. Greater falls and greater droughts. Locally we’re witnessing more opportunistic farming and a change in crop – this shows that farmers don’t trust what they used to rely on. The agricultural belt in the US has also noticeably shifted northward. As many plants respond increasingly earlier, this will put increased stress on other species to keep up. Growth/spring period may increase, but that means winter decreases – when most fauna recruitment occurs.. Larva miss the first bloom or leaf budding, they lose time to build bulk – again, you have to look at the whole picture, not just the parts that support your argument. As around 60% of agricultural pollination is the result of natural processes, the potential increasing rift between blossom and pollinators also risks a decrease yield.
      11th paragraph; pH studies are not just in one region (ie. the work at Hawaii). They have been done around the globe at increasingly frequency over the past century. It’s not a local event.
      12th paragraph; peak oil is a real concern. The jump in prices of oil in 2008 had a massive effect on economies. This no doubt had a part to play with the financial collapse in the US, where people were unable to maintain housing repayments in the wake of higher food and petrol prices. We are around peak oil and it will only get dearer from here on in and economies reliant on oil will become increasing nonviable.
      13th paragraph; this is true, and certainly of less concern if we make a major move to nuclear. However, without coke derived from coal, it would take nearly 90% of annual wood harvest just to supply charcoal coke to maintain steel production. My argument is that fertilizers, steal production and other dependent industries (ie. aircraft and shipping etc) security should be paramount over other uses of coal and natural gas. I also fear that biofuels cannot play a major role, so this isn’t much of a defense in the wake of reducing oil supply.
      14th paragraph; food production increase has largely been on the back of natural gas and diesel. I also believe that GM development will play a major role in securing food supply. For instance, crop development that means grains are modified to produce “legume nodules” on their roots will further decrease the difficulties of nitrogen fixation. Salmon, however, that are GM’ed to grow bigger are not really viable. They are a carnivorous species and require 3 times (if not more) the proteins than is harvested. Aquaculture developed on GM’ed herbivorous species is a far more sustainable source of proteins. GM’ed faster growing and larger herbivores (short lived) are a major part of future food supply, as is improved grain and legumes. But it needs to be addressed practically and this frankenfood stigma needs to be addressed first.
      15th paragraph; I’ve read a number of books and those sound interesting. My attitude is to continue this tradition of increasing standard of living through innovation rather than the current business-as-usual ideology (I recently got attack on BraveNewClimate for urging for every increasing efficiency regardless of how abundant nuclear energy may be – those who disagreed urged for business-as-usual under the new mask – I was a “tree-hugger” for thinking of efficiency in the future… c’est la vie).


  7. NOTES: NB: I have removed http:// from Notes 2), 7) & 9) and http://www. from the rest.
    1) see americanthinker.com/2009/07/what_climate_change_can_do_for.html and oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/?p=2274
    2) see unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/awglca7/eng/inf02.pdf
    3) see worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/02/11/a-2000-year-global-temperature-record/ /
    4) see esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc130k.html
    5) see bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=98&contentId=7057148
    6) see hydroworld.com/index/display/article-display/0927773395/articles/hydro-review/volume-28/issue-7/articles/renewable-fuels__manufacturing.html
    7) see chestofbooks.com/crafts/scientific-american/sup6/The-Production-Of-Ammonia-From-Coal.html
    8) see dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1287084/Scientists-create-GM-Frankenfish-grows-times-fast-normal-salmon.html
    9) see newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/708927.stm
    10) see marklynas.org/

    Best Regards, Pete Ridley


  8. Tim, I think that you are taking a rather simplistic view when saying “.. everyone would want to be as affluent as developed countries .. ”. For many millions it is not a case of desiring affluence but aspiring to more than merely a subsistence existence (or worse). Taken to the extreme it could be argued that anyone using resources beyond those needed for survival while others are dying through deprivation are living in excess and anything used that cannot be replaced is unsustainable. How far do you propose we go in reducing our use of non-renewable resources? Do you practice what you preach? One person that I was debating with suggested that we stop using fossil fuels because it was too valuable a non-renewable resource but what value does a natural resource have if we stop consuming it? I agree that many of us do live in excess, especially when compared with how the genuinely deprived live. (I do not include in that category those who live on state hand-outs by choice so can’t afford to buy for themselves or their children non-essentials that they want but do not need – and there are more than enough of those in the UK). I also agree that economic development in the west is over-dependent upon what I regard as non-productive activities and that our use of energy is wasteful but I’m puzzled buy your “ ..if buildings where built etc .. ”. Before we start trying “.. to transfer this understanding to other areas abroad .. “ we should concentrate on spreading this understanding at home – literally.

    Regarding “ .. for indigenous Aust., the problem there is very different and more a social issue that is poorly addressed (they don’t wish for economic development) .. – they are given money mindlessly but many remain in poverty due to other factors that I don’t go into here” I have little understanding of the desires of indigenous Australians other than what I experienced during my 6-month tour in 2000. This is the opinion of an Australian friend who grew up in close contact with at least one community. QUOTE:

    There is definitely variability and many indigenous Australians have pursued western aspirations very successfully. If I understand your discussion correctly however, the contention is about those communities that do currently live in poverty and the reasons for that. As Tim has said, these are very complex but you could roughly divide them into two categories –
    1) Communities that simply don’t have a materialistic outlook but value their own traditions and culture, and
    2) Communities that have been stripped of their culture and due to generations of suffering serious human rights abuses (have a read of http://www.hreoc.gov.au/pdf/social_justice/bringing_them_home_report.pdf as an example to get an appreciation of this) have a dysfunctional community structure and cannot make headway. This is a common issue globally – victimise a culture such as the indigenous South Africans, the East Timorese, New Zealand Maoris, Native Americans or African Americans and when the pressure is removed you have a lot of healing required before the community can recover an identity and cohesive functional purpose.

    Australian assistance to the Aboriginal nations has typically taken an approach of looking at broad indicators, e.g. dollars given, access to services etc. The problem with this is that it doesn’t recognise the issues I’ve described. There is also still a deeply ingrained racism in parts of the country, where councils will not even make an attempt to address serious issues. The bottom line is that any strategies that relied on simplistic ideas such as ‘trickle down effect’ have always missed the point. Assisting big business may create jobs, but that doesn’t help a community where people are still recovering from trauma and locked into alcohol and abuse cycles. They take a job, accept a cheque then leave and spend it on something to perpetuate their addictions. The answers require a deep level of engagement and recognition of the real issues. As Tim has said, they are primarily social issues.
    UNQUOTE. (you may be interested in visiting his blog at http://bloodwoodtree.org/category/aboriginal-justice-reconciliation/).

    I find your “ .. Species don’t move poleward because of better living conditions” very puzzling as it appears to contradict your “ . . Species and certain ecosystems have evolved to local climatic conditions, and as they shift poleware this suggests climate region shifts are the cause .. ”. My lay understanding is that migration, whether seasonal or long-term, is to a locale that is more conducive to the well-being of the particular specie. With your training in ecology you should be able to clarify for me why species of birds and insects in the Northern Hemisphere are claimed to be migrating northwards as a result of global warming if conditions are better for them nearer the equator. All species have to adjust to climate change. They always have and always will. The adaptations that you talk about are nothing new.

    I like your “ .. The tropics are traditionally to most productive regions on earth .. ” because this suggests to me that if the globe continues its present (claimed) slight warming it could return to conditions experienced many millions of years ago during the Miocene when (Note 1) when QUOTE: .. The climate .. was similar to today’s climate, but warmer. Well-defined climatic belts stretched from Pole to Equator, however, there were palm trees and alligators in England and Northern Europe. Australia was less arid than it is now .. UNQUOTE. I understand that these conditions continued well into the Piacenzian age, only 3million years ago (the earth equivalent of a couple of weeks in a human life-time?). Doesn’t sound too bad to me!

    You keep implying that I do not trust scientists – full stop. Your claim that I “ .. believe that they lie in general .. ” is wrong. I trust no-one all of the time about everything. People, which includes scientists, whether within or outside acedemia, suffer from human failings. They are not paragons. I know no-one who believes “ .. that climate change is a myth orchestrated by the science community .. ” – do you? As you say, that is absurd. Of course that’s a different matter from believing that there are those who benefit significantly from exaggerating the impact that humans have on global climates through using fossil fuels. I’m halfway through “The Hockey Stick Illusion” which provides a good example of a “hockey team” of scientists using statistical manipulations to suggest that the medievel warm period and the little ice age were myths. Mann certainly comes across as a scientist not only “ .. trying to out do other scientists .. ” but trying to out-do more expert statisticians like McIntyre, McKitrick, Wegman and Hand (UEA CRU “Climategate” enquiry Note 2).

    One of the reasons that I do not choose to “..accept that the results of up to date work .. ” is because of the concern by experts in statistics about the dubious manipulations used by climate scientists to present an argument appearing to support of The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis. These recognised experts in statistics say that the techniques used are inappropriate.

    Regarding pH changes, have you read the CO2 Science article “The Ocean Acidification Fiction”3rd June (Note 3). Professor Idso seems to have a significant relevant track record relating to The (significant human-made ocean acidification) Hypothesis.

    I think that you are way off when suggesting that the cost of oil was a significant factor in the global economic downturn we are experiencing. In my opinion the problem was caused by The L’Oreal disease. We in the developed nations have forgotten basic household economics. If you borrow to buy what you want but don’t need and can’t afford then you will be called upon to pay back with interest. It is now pay-back time, with a vengeance.

    I like your attitude towards GM food and agree with the need to remove the frankenfood stigma, but the “greenies” will keep fighting against the crops and the “veggies” against the herbivores (although they may be a bit more relaxed about the salmon). Perhaps they have to have a cause to make them feel good about themselves.

    As you know, I fully agree with you on the need for increased efficiency, i.e. less (much less) wasteful use of resources.

    1) see http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm
    2) see http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.com/2010/04/can-there-be-independent-investigation.html
    3) see http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N22/EDIT.php

    Best Regards, Pete Ridley


    1. Pete, First paragraph; this is more semantics than the point – I merely brushed over it, as to say pretty much the same thing as you – that there’s a difference between affluence and excess. Arguing about how I worded it (carelessly, I will admit) is trivial.
      2nd, 3rd and 4th paragraph; your friend is correct. I’ve grown with both indigenous Austs and NZ. The biggest thing I’ve noticed (apart from as that your friend said) is that they don’t accept western Aust’s assistance. They’ll take the money, and more or less waste it out of frustration. There’s a few top indigenous ppl that are doing really good work, giving an identity to younger generation and a creative outlet – this is really good to see. I care a lot about equality and empowerment of all people – especially the true Aussies and it’s a difficult place when you feel that you can’t do much. however, standing with them when they need you always helps.
      5th paragraph; you miss the point. If you wish to learn a little bit about it, I could forward to you some excellent literature regarding bio-physical responses and climate zones. Basically, species are evolved to certain climate regions/zones. As temperature trends increase, these zones shift towards the poles. As this happens, species tend to try to follow. Those who can’t, respond to earlier physical responses. In short, you have a loss of biodiversity (both in new climate regions and older regions) and ecological function of these regions are diminished. There’s plenty of studies that demonstrate ecological resilience to shock is improved with a preservation of biodiversity or at least key stone species. Climate change is a really worry because of this loss of biodiversity which is exacerbated by landscape use changes due to our actions. Adaptation is not new, but the causes facing this need are new.
      6th paragraph; those changes were at a much slower pace than we’re witnessing. Plus the added stresses of our species. Sure, we keep this up, you might get a tropical desert in England – because most species will be unable to keep up with the change. It’s arrogant to think that human induced changes on that magnitude are a good thing. the worst thing will be that equatorial zones will become climate zones that don’t currently exist on Earth – which will dramatically lower biodiversity in regions that are currently biodiversity hotspots.
      7th paragraph; If you wish to go into the hokey stick, I suggest you discuss with with John over at Skeptical Science. I’m not an expert on climate science and am more concerned with the data records and changes over the past 2 centuries. Otherwise enjoy your conspiracy books. There’s a lot floating around recently, with many of the scientific community rallying up against this anti-science movement. Recently it was demonstrated that 97-98% of climate scientists currently working and publishing in the field believe that our actions have resulted in AGW. See this piece at climate shifts on the paper http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=5515
      That’s good enough for me to focus on the ecology instead of every related field of climate science. Three independent inquests have cleared the scientists in this climategate ordeal and I personally can’t wait to hear the end of it.
      8th paragraph; Statisticians are not climate scientists, so their refuting the science, while certainly interesting (and indeed would be taken on by the vast majority of the scientific community if it were true – Mann isn’t the be all and end all). McIntyre has an interesting (to say the least) track record. I’m not one to trust the word of a few interesting characters rather than the bulk of the scientific community.
      9th paragraph; you’re entitled to think that I’m way off on the down turn. With as much as 40% of a US households income spent on transport, it seems logical that the massive price jump of fuel in 2008 had an effect on transport costs, food costs, energy cost – indeed almost everything – and families that were “getting by” suddenly weren’t. Of course they loaned too big – but if they couldn’t scrape it in, the banks wouldn’t have lent. It was greed on ever side that broke when oil got too expensive. Indeed I’m not the only one to put them together. Again your more than welcome to disagree however.
      10th paragraph; Yeah, I’m not a greenie and certainly not a passionate type. Sustainability seems a moral obligation. If I “followed my dreams”, I’d be in robotics or a novelist. I annoy both leftys and the right; I don’t really fit either well. So my reason for my field and drive behind this blog is because there is such an unsustainable push for what is increasingly becoming an unethical business-as-usual mentality.
      Sorry I don’t often reference – as I’ve said a lot of this in posts, I just get lazy re-referencing everything.
      I might add that I really don’t think there’s anything that I’ll be able to say that will convince you of the dire situation much of our biodiversity is in – especially while there is such lack of concern. I don’t know what you’re looking for, other than a retrospective clarity that cannot exist until it’s too late. There is an overwhelming consensus, there is no doubt that the temperature trend is increasing, there is an increasing glacial loss (in both cases, it’s slowed in rate over the past couple years, but certainly is still increasing), CO2 is acidifying oceans globally, not locally and as water temp increased (which it is beginning to), it will release a lot of this CO2, plus the loss of ice albedo means more more absorbing heat (which I remember enough to know has a high specific heat, so will take longer to respond, but will only increase climate change and storm frequency); all of which will have a massive effect on species distribution and stress on species that cannot move quickly and thus a big effect in the many inter-species relationships. Then there’s all the other effects that we’ve had on landscape changes and over exploitation. Then there’s the high likelihood of peak oil around now – which will only lead to situations like that seen in the early 70’s and the peak in 2008…
      I just don’t know why there’s such a fight against what’s little more the spell checking what you feel is nothing but a hypothesis.


  9. Tim, where on earth do you get “those changes were at a much slower pace than we’re witnessing .. ”? We have had perhaps 1C increase (if the stats can be trusted) over the past 150 years. Paleo evidence suggests that past changes have occurred over a few decades.

    Your suggestion of “ .. a tropical desert in England .. “ is pure speculation. Even the IPCC tells us that most of the warming will be in the winter, at night and in the Arctic. Would you like to expand on what magnitude you are talking about when saying “ .. It’s arrogant to think that human induced changes on that magnitude .. ” and I have never before seen a suggestion “..that equatorial zones will become climate zones that don’t currently exist on Earth .. ”. I get the impression that many of your ideas are based upon pure speculation.

    I would be most surprised of it could not be demonstrated that 97-98% of all scientists believe that our actions have resulted in AGW. Most of the sceptics that I’ve read comments from would agree that humans cause climate change. What is rejected is that such changes are significant let alone catastrophic. You won’t hear ther ned of the debate on Climate gate and all of the other IPCC-gates. The statisticians that I referred to do not refute the science, they challenge the statistical methods used. Although “ .. Mann isn’t the be all and end al .. ” his “hockey stick” became the emblem of the “Catastrophic AGW” movement. The IPCC’s AR3 showed it repeatedly and it literally figured large in Al Gore’s propaganda movie “An Inconvenient Truth”.

    Regarding bank lending, I believe that the attitude in the USA was just the same as in the UK. Lend money to anyone no matter if they can repay it. Why the stupidity? I can only put t down to individual greed for the largest possible bonuses. Banks here were virtually screaming at everyone “borrow, borrow, borrow”. We had 10 years of unsustainable economic growth which was eagerly supported (even sponsored) by our Labour government. We have just had the first emergency budget of the new Concervative/LibDem coalition attempting to sort out the mess. It’ll be your turn next.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley THE END


    1. Pete,
      1st paragraph, A change in the differences between min and max temps are enough of a change to knock around environmental cues for many species. Paleo evidence doesn’t include anthropogenic stresses, but sudden changes did also coincide with many of the major extinction events, you can should be able to see why I’m concerned.
      2nd, more or less as stated above. You will witness a major species loss in England (certainly not tropical species unless you physically brought them over). There is a number of paper that state that as traditional climate zones head poleward, that this will open a currently non-existent climate zone along the equator which will be for most species, uninhabitable. I still maintain that writing-off these changes for their potential benefit (Rogerthesurf liked the idea of a fertile sahara) is short sighted and is short of appreciation for other species.
      3rd paragraph, I can get that paper if you wish. However, it seems that no paper – whether it’s on climate change or on scientific consensus will change how you think other than when it agrees with your views. I don’t rely on Mann, the IPCC or Gore and everything I offer is largely ignored – leading us back to this point of the hockey stick. The truth of the matter is as I included at the bottom of the last comment. This is beyond the IPCC, Mann or Gore – this is based on the literature. If, as I continue to say, the statisticians or anyone else can prove how our estimates are wrong, this would taken up by the scientific community with great haste – regardless of what Mann or the IPCC do. Those who continue on a flawed basis of reasoning (ie outdated understanding) wouldn’t be taken seriously. The consensus remains as I stated – the overwhelming proportion of scientists actively working in the field support the view of AGW and demonstrate concern over the potential impacts. You can find this surprising if you wish. Sure there is some speculation regarding the future impacts – the only way to know for sure is retrospective understanding, as I’ve stated. However, this speculation is informed and based on our understanding – not just a whim. Regardless of this, there is potential for great innovative changes if addressed properly rather than ignored or put on hold to indulge in futile debates. The worst that can happen if we approach this situation properly is that we have increased sustainable and healthy communities. The worst that can happen if we approach it improperly is a useless shift of money (ie. cap and trade) followed by a complete collapse of western societies. The worse that could happen if ignored is a complete collapse of western societies.
      4th paragraph; it probably won’t happen here unless Rudd gets the boot. If Abbott gets in, things will get a lot worse for the average Aussie. Rudd stays around, big mines will be hit for more fair taxes, boosting economy. Abbott in; he’ll protect big profit at the expense of the people and it’ll be left to the community to pay the debt. One can argue that it was Rudd’s money that got us in debt, but it also saw us through the down turn – saving us from the troubles seen elsewhere. If he wants to hit mega profits from companies that exploit Aust minerals, c’est la vie – it should be Aussie wealth.
      I’m not a fan of unsustainable growth (if you read through the majority of my posts you would hear time and time again that I am opposed to the economic attitude of growth = profit – growth on finite resources is not that simple). I’m big on innovation – ie. that profit in doing things better, not necessarily bigger).
      THE END? This just demonstrates that you have a closed mind. I’ve answered all your questions. I can provide you with a wealth of literature (none of which is Mann or the IPCC). I’ve tried to demonstrate that I’m not a mindless lefty green. I’ve also tried to demonstrate that there is a vast amount of room for profitable innovation that is not based on impractical renewable energy base. You’ve just demonstrated that you “would be most surprised” if the literature is correct, based solely on books and opinion based grey literature that confirms your already established world view (including the insane idea of a secret agenda of a world government).
      I don’t know what you hoped for in this conversation for you’ve not addressed the scientific understanding nor a practical reason why I shouldn’t be concerned by plague mentality of our species and the various bio-physical indicators of a changing world.


      1. Tim,

        I think you misread Pete’s comment (my bolding).

        I would be most surprised of it could not be demonstrated that 97-98% of all scientists believe that our actions have resulted in AGW. Most of the sceptics that I’ve read comments from would agree that humans cause climate change.

        I would query

        Most of the sceptics that I’ve read comments from would agree that humans cause climate change.

        We can not know which “sceptics” these are unless Pete tells us, but there are certainly some who deny exactly that, including some who deny that the “greenhouse effect” is real.


      2. Cheers, you’re right – I miss read him..
        In many cases these sceptics can only provide news articles and books that they found “most enjoyable” to back up their statements, while anyone who argues the case for AGW, ocean acidification etc, have a wealth of literature at their hands…
        As I continued to ask Pete – with the wealth of evidence, with all the bio-physical indicators, with looming peak oil and the following price rises, why not look at efficiency and improve our methods? This always falls on deaf ears…


  10. Tim, you really should try to read what I say more carefully instead of interpreting my words to suit yourself, a trait that you have n common with other supporters of The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis.. You say “ .. I continued to ask Pete .. why not look at efficiency and improve our methods? This always falls on deaf ears… .”. How do you arrive at this conclusion when I said on 22nd “ .. our use of energy is wasteful .. ” and “ .. As you know, I fully agree with you on the need for increased efficiency, i.e. less (much less) wasteful use of resources. .. ”.

    Are you basing your comment about Aristotle’s mythical uninhabitable climate zone around the equator on that piece of “grey literature” by economist Nicolas Stern “The Economics of Climate Change” (Note 1)? Does paleontology tell us that when temperatures were much higher than today there was “ .. currently non-existent climate zone along the equator which (was) for most species, uninhabitable .. ”? Please would you provide a link to the non-“grey literature” that provides the evidence that such a zone will exist in the timeframe of your concerns – a few hundred years (well before the 1Billion years when the sun gets nasty). Also, would you provide the same non-grey literature that confirms that “ .. You will witness a major species loss in England .. ” in that same timeframe. I have searched for this but cannot find any.

    Truesceptic, try visiting a few more sceptical blogs instead of merely sticking to blogs like Greenfyre, Bravenewclimate, Deltoid, Climate Progress.

    1) see http://www.urban-age.net/10_cities/07_mumbai/_essays/india_Stern.html

    Best regards, Pete Ridley


    1. Pete; don’t jump on the band wagon – I admitted that I misread you.
      As fall the energy bit – if you’re so big on efficiency, you wouldn’t bother with me – I’m not so obsessed with AGW like you and a big group on the web. It falls on deaf is, everything falls on deaf ears, because I offer literature and you prefer your opinion based books.
      Aristotle’s mythical uninhabitable climate zone??? As climate regions shift to higher latitudes, new climate regions open up around the equator that are unlike that typical for a many thousands of years. I’ll find the relevant literature tomorrow. However, regarding species loss in England, it is a continuation of what I’ve tried to explain to you time and time again; bio-physical indicators are changing in relation this noticeable temperature shift. The further this happens, the more this will interfere with species distribution and inter-species relationships. that is to say that it will be detrimental to many systems as different species will react differently to change and all climate events have been punctuated with an increased extinction rate. This, I went on to assume, would include species loss in your country with increase in climate change – you may have had more tropical like species in the past, they they’re gone. You won’t find them spontaneously appearing with climate change as you unfold your deck chair to enjoy a tropical midsummer.
      You’re attitude is do nothing until it’s certain. Mine is to assess the relevant literature and work by probability… Your assumption that climate change is one that I believe is unlikely when I look at the recent history. It is one that I don’t care about as bio-physical indicators tells me of stressed ecosystems on top of the other impacts that we’re having on other species. It is one that is hopeful for benefits of a tropical UK summer, which does not show any concern for the upset to other species. It is one based on grey, opinion based literature and one that cannot be altered.
      You refuse all the references that I provide. You were obviously upset by my comments on Greenfyre, but did you look at the graph? We’re enjoying a very hot year. The is no cooling, only a mild reduction in increase over recent years and when this year is done, I’m sure we’ll have another year for the record books.
      As much as you want to believe McIntyre’s re-evaluation of the hokey-stick and as much as you distrust Mann and the IPCC, you reject all else that science provides contrary to your views.
      Talking with you is nothing short of going around in circles with someone who has a fixed assertion, no interest in supporting evidence, no concern about observes indicators and one that continues the, “let’s do nothing until we’re absolutely sure,” mentality that will insure that we’ll find ourselves in quite literally deeper water and less likely to be able to react productively – instead it’ll be more an act of pure survival.
      I’m tired of wasting my time discussing this with a wall.


    2. Pete,

      How dare you suggest that I visit more “sceptical” blogs? Why on earth do you imagine that I have such a low opinion of science denial? It is precisely because of the delusion, dishonesty, and idiocy displayed in most of those blogs.

      I have to say I was unaware of the scale of the anti-science propaganda war being waged in the blogosphere until ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ motivated me to join Channel 4’s science forums, which led to various other sources of information. I quickly learned who the “good guys” are. They are the ones who cite the science and do not misrepresent it. They are the ones who do not uncritically accept whatever absurd pseudoscience or egregious lie some blogger promotes.

      Why can’t you denialists even get your story straight and stop believing a hundred contradictory things at once? You really don’t care, or are incapable of noticing, as long as 1) it’s not CO2 and 2) it supports your right/libertarian beliefs. Really, what a credulous lot you are!

      If Tim doesn’t want this here, fair enough, but your comment deserves a reply.


      1. I don’t mind Trueskeptic.
        I too was relatively unaware of all this rubbish going on until Monckton visited Aust late last year. Up until then my work had most focused on the reality of the situation and I was quite frankly shocked by what can only be seen as an anti-science movement. It’s appalling.
        Feel free to argue anywhere you spot in on my blog – I’ve certainly wasted thousands of words trying to provide some reason with Pete and others like him. This is why I started the Innovation bit – so I can get it out once rather than waste my time over and over again.


  11. Tim, as I understand it you believe that humans are causing significant global climate change through using fossil fuels and the world will keep on getting hotter if we continue, leading to climate catastrophe whereas I reject this notion. You are convinced that you are right whereas I see no convincing evidence for believing it. We have discussed this without either of us changing our opinions – because that is all that they are since neither of us have the required degree of expertise to speak from a position of knowledge. That is why I send in a previous comment THE END because we are getting nowhere. I have enjoyed our exchanges because you have given me food for thought. Thanks for that.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley


    1. Pete, I do have relevant qualifications and working experience to which I speak.
      Here’s some papers for you that back up what I’ve tried to explain.
      “we demonstrate that rigorously defined networks of protected areas can play a key role in mitigating the worst impacts of climate change on biodiversity”
      Hole, D. G., Willis, S. G., Pain, D. J., Fishpool, L. D., Butchart, S. H. M., Collingham, Y. C., Rahbek, C., and, Huntley, B. (2009) Projected impacts of climate change on a continent-wide protected area network. Ecological Letters. 12(5):420-431
      “The studies generally confirm the hypothesis that tropical and subtropical agriculture in developing countries is more climate sensitive than temperate agriculture. Even marginal warming causes damages in Africa and Latin America to crops.”
      Mendelsohn, R. (2009) The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Developing Countries. Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research. 1:5-19
      “Remarkably, the tropics appear to have already expanded — during only the last few decades of the twentieth century — by at least the same margin as models predict for this century. Several recent studies, using independent datasets, show robust trends in different measures of the width of the tropical belt. Based on five different types of measurement, they find a widening of several degrees latitude since 1979.”
      “The edges of the tropical belt are the outer boundaries of the subtropical dry zones (Fig. 1) and their poleward shift could lead to fundamental shifts in ecosystems and in human settlements. Shifts in precipitation patterns22 would have obvious implications for agriculture and water resources and could present serious hardships in marginal areas. Of particular concern are the semi-arid regions poleward of the subtropical dry belts, including the Mediterranean, the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, southern Australia, southern Africa, and parts of South America.”
      Seidel, D. J., Fu, Q., Randel, W. J., and, Reichler, T. J. (2008) Widening of the tropical belt in a changing climate. Nature Geoscience. 1:21-24
      “The geographic and socio-political impacts of climate change will be asymmetrical; tropical regions are likely to experience a relatively greater loss of biodiversity than other regions and many of the world’s developing economies are situated within the equatorial belt.”
      Traill, L. W., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Delean, S., and, Brook, B. (2010) Wetland conservation and sustainabile use under global change: a tropical Australian case study using magpie geese. Ecography.
      “Range-restricted species, particularly polar and mountaintop species, show severe range contractions and have been the first groups in which entire species have gone extinct due to recent climate change. Tropical coral reefs and amphibians have been most negatively affected. Predator-prey and plant-insect interactions have been disrupted when interacting species have responded differently to warming.”
      Parmesan, C. (2006) Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual review of ecology, evolution, and systematics. 37:637-669
      Then if you care to look at any of the references I’ve included on my blog, you’ll see that I provide more than opinion basis and grey literature. It’s just not to your liking.
      Enjoy your venture.


    2. “The coming climate changes appear very likely to upset the current dynamic equilibrium of the cloud forest. Results will include biodiversity loss, altitude shifts in species’ ranges and subsequent community reshuffling, and possibly forest death. Difficulties for cloud forest species to survive in climate-induced migrations include no remaining location with a suitable climate, no pristine location to colonize, migration rates or establishment rates that cannot keep up with climate change rates and new species interactions.”
      Foster, P. (2001) The Potential negative impacts of global climate change on tropical montane cloud forests. Earth science review. 55:73-106
      “At present, reductions in abundance at the lower-latitude extremities of species’ ranges are often matched or exceeded by increases at the poleward edge. However, several waterbird species breed on the poleward margins of continental landmasses and have nowhere to move to. As species continue to move poleward, increasing numbers of species will face this problem.”
      Maclean, I., Rehfisch, M. M., Delany, S., and, Robinson, R. A. (2008) The effects of climate change on migratory waterbirds within the African-Eurasian flyway. UNEP Tech workshop paper << Well worth a read. (although I guess they're already in the swindle Pete?)
      "In countries overlapping Biodiversity Hotspots, plant species endangerment increases with climate change-driven habitat loss. This association suggests that many currently threatened plant species will become extinct owing to anthropogenic climate change in the absence of potentially mitigating factors such as natural and assisted range shift, and physiological and genetic adaptations. Countries rich in threatened species, which are also projected to have relatively high total future habitat loss, are concentrated around the equator."
      Giam, X., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Tan, H. T. W., and, Sodhi, N. S. (2010) Future habitat loss and the conservation of plant biodiversity. Biological conservation. 143:1594-1602.
      "As an example of a tropical system, north Australia is projected to experience sea level rise and more frequent and penetrating saline intrusions into freshwater systems due to increased storm surges (Bindoff et al. 2007), increased CO2 concentration affecting plant growth and competitive interactions (Malhi & Grace 2000), heightened mean temperatures (0.2–2.21C by 2030, and 0.8–7.21C by 2070) relative to 1990, increased rainfall, and more intense (but not necessarily more frequent) cyclones (Hennessy et al. 2007)."
      Traill, L. W., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Field, H. E., and, Brook, B. W. (2009) Climate change enhances the potential impacts on infectious disease and harvest on tropical waterfowl. Biotropica. 41(4): 414-423.
      That should do.. if so much literature doesn't have an effect on your reasoning, even the potential effects of climate change will go by unnoticed by you as they occur (granted that people like you continue to provoke inaction).


    3. Just stumbled by this paper too that should interest you. Seidel, Fu, Randel, and, Reichler (2008) Widening of the tropical belt in a changing climate. Nature Geoscience 1, 21 – 24
      “Some of the earliest unequivocal signs of climate change have been the warming of the air and ocean, thawing of land and melting of ice in the Arctic. But recent studies are showing that the tropics are also changing. Several lines of evidence show that over the past few decades the tropical belt has expanded. This expansion has potentially important implications for subtropical societies and may lead to profound changes in the global climate system. Most importantly, poleward movement of large-scale atmospheric circulation systems, such as jet streams and storm tracks, could result in shifts in precipitation patterns affecting natural ecosystems, agriculture, and water resources. The implications of the expansion for stratospheric circulation and the distribution of ozone in the atmosphere are as yet poorly understood. The observed recent rate of expansion is greater than climate model projections of expansion over the twenty-first century, which suggests that there is still much to be learned about this aspect of global climate change.”
      It can be found here: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n1/full/ngeo.2007.38.html
      Best regards


  12. Tim, long time no speak. Sorry to have neglected you but I’ve been busy elsewhere talking about the need for climate models to be properly validated.

    I’ve had a quick read of those earlier quotations of yours and see no evidence that our use of fossil fuels is causing any of the climate changes to which they refer.

    Your 25th June comment says “The coming climate changes appear very likely to upset the current dynamic equilibrium of the cloud forest.” But where is the justification for assuming that the authors know what is coming? Climate models cannot reliably predict anything. None have been validated, as acknowledged by the IPCC who, on having this pointed out by reviewer Dr. Vincent Gray, changed the Draft WG1 report (2001 as I recall) from “Climate Model Validation” to “Climate Model Evaluation” and replaced “validation” with “evaluation” no less than 50 times..

    I have no reason to challenge the claims made about the impact of changes if they were to continue in the direction claimed for the past few decades, but there is no convincing evidence that this will happen, only speculation that it may.

    As for your most resent post, are not changes such as those described normal during an interglacial, before the usual turning point prior to the next ice age?

    BTW, I’ve nearly finished reading Rchel Carson’s scry story “Silent Spring”. My initial reaction was similar to that when I first read Mark Lynas’s “Six Degrees .. ” then I started to recognise the same style of presentation, merging facts with opinion and speculation to create a scare about looming human catastrophe to support an ideology. I’m preparing a more detailed assessment in which I aim to highlight similar distortions to what Lynas used to get his environmentalist message across. Of course it is easier with “Silent Spring” because it was written nearly 50 years ago and time has shown the scare to be unfounded. There has been no catastrophe for humankind. On the contrary, population has increased, people are much healthier and life expectancy has increased.

    I anticipate that a similar situation will exist in another 50 years – another scare proven to be mere speculation.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley


    1. You wouldn’t have found evidence in what I provided, because you wanted papers that suggested low latitude changes and impacts on biodiversity. With that in mind, did I point out another paper that’s recently been on my mind: Deutsch et al. (2008)?
      “The results show that warming in the tropics, although relatively small in magnitude, is likely to have the most deleterious consequences because tropical insects are relatively sensitive to temperature change and are currently living very close to their optinmal temperature.”
      The changes I wrote about in my most recent post are not simply normal events during an interglacial, but as I describe, a clear indicator of an amplifying greenhouse effect that is the result of human activity.
      No other possibility fits global temperature anomaly across latitudes nor a more noticeable warming night trend other than an increasing greenhouse effect which I also made clear in the post has been identified as a reduction in brightness (ie. most absorption) of longwave radition associated to CO2 and CH4. It couldn’t be any more clearer than that.
      Climate models have been run against real world data and shown a fairly good correlation, but as this is largely the root of your argument, I’m sure the books you have read have already dispelled the validity of these studies. As you’ve no doubt seen, most models give a number of predictions to fit various scenarios, but what is clear from these models is that if we continue to increase emissions, we will continue to change the climate. This isn’t just the findings of the IPCC or a couple papers, but the result many decades research. However, we are both aware that you do not trust scientists so we cannot really discuss this.
      I’ve given you many examples of biology already effected by the observed climate change (in the recent post I also highlighted a very recent paper that showed a 30% reduction in coral growth in the red sea since 1998) as well as very reasonable predictions of further impacts as a result of continuing climate change.
      There is a very strong case for AGW.
      As for population, that’s a relatively naive way to look at it. Around half of the world lives in poverty and certainly are not much healthier and have a greater life expectancy. Only in privileged countries like yours and mine do people enjoy a better life. With the majority of people in poverty living at lower latitudes (and poor countries relying on the productivity and lands at lower latitudes) it is pretty obvious that this amplifying greenhouse effect will have terrible consequences for these poorer countries as traditional farming becomes more difficult and species loss reduces ecological services that were relied upon.
      You might one day enjoy a subtropical climate in the south of England, but it will be only at the expense of many people and other species. It’s nothing short of ignorance to sweep of the weight of evidence supporting anthropogenic climate change as nothing more than “speculation”.


    2. Thinking of the strong case supporting anthropogenic climate change (ACC), I’ll use the following analogy.
      A wife was found murdered, with another man, in her bed (ie. temperature record). Later, the husband was found randomly driving around the streets. He had the victims’ blood on his hands and clothes (ie. global temperature anomaly, night warming trends, longwave radiation brightness changes etc). He had the weapon in his coat pocket (ie. greenhouse gas emissions). No other prints, except for the three individuals were found in the room, nor was there any evidence of forced entry or items being taken (ie. clearly not strongly correlated to solar activity or urban heating effect).
      Although he was vague, he didn’t clearly admit to the crime.
      Are you telling me that you think that the husband is not responsible or at very suspicious simply because a few years ago a couple were found dead in their bed, which turned out to be the result of house invasion (ie. other climate change events)?
      This clearly ignores the differences in the two cases; like the love-triangle, no evidence of a house invasion, that only the husband can be traced to the room and has the murder weapon in his pocket and is covered with the victims’ blood and was obviously not attempting to contact the police.
      All you’re basically telling me is, because the victim didn’t clearly admit to the crime (ie. the argument that, “we need to be 100% certain of ACC before we take action!”), you think the evidence against the husband is nothing but speculation?


      1. Indeed I can – when I’m discussing the subject with reasonable people.
        I could write a complex review of 80,000 words with hundreds of reference scientific literature and it wouldn’t make you flinch.
        There’s isn’t much point using scientific argument so I tried to give a more practical comparison. The case to support AGW is strong, but it’s not something we can properly discuss because we look at science from very different points.


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