The future of the Climate Debate

I must apologise for my brief disappearance. As I alluded to in Belief, Enlightenment and the Endless Climate debate, by wading in the murky waters of the ideological climate debate for a few months now, I had reached a form of disillusionment, much like being stuck in Sunday school with a teacher who noticeably goes to great effort to ignore very reasonable evidence based conclusions in astrophysics and biology to continue teaching flat-Earth creationism. Made worse, the teacher has already lost one child to Polio with the belief that life is the will of God and is in no way improved by “the dark arts” of medical science, such as vaccination.

It is difficult to maintain focus on my main points of interest – sustainable planning and natural resource management – when so many seem stuck on the first square (the reality of climate change), too sure of their opinion on subjects that they admit to having no idea about, but are opposed to in every way. How do you convince a morbidly obese person that their house-bound life style is killing them when they are simply too content ordering high-calorie food and entertainment to their doorstep? You’re a nutter, a radical, they’ll tell you with a smug smile, for trying to suggest healthy options and you’ll be accused of denying them their freewill for attempting an intervention.

With nearly 20,000 words spent on the Innovation series alone and probably as much again in related posts, I feel that my reasoning is well rooted. It’s obvious that those who wish to disregard such arguments are not debating the subject on the same playing ground as myself. Therefore, I will make a stronger effort now to shift my focus beyond this starting point and to focus on topics that interest me more. Fossil fuel addiction has made us lazy and quite obviously, miserable. Diversity is the spice of life and I believe that we can have a bright and productive future through re-evaluating our activities. Bickering about trivialities (the most noteworthy is this public debate about climate sensitivity which is in truth a subject far too complicated for a lay-audience to provide meaningful contribution) is nothing short of paralysis.

If BHP CEO, Marius Kloppers, is wise enough to make a call for direct carbon taxing, where our leaders are too gutless to make a stand (hat tip to Mike), we might be seeing the beginning of something which I’ve spoken about previously; industry lead initiative in a changing world. As has already been witnessed within the agricultural sector, there are two alternative methods to address the future; government money (wasted) to support outdated methods or innovation. Longer term, the safety net of government assistance will dry up (but in the case of agriculture, it’ll probably be too late for many plots to be saved or rehabilitated), leaving individuals with no option. Innovation on the other hand will ensure freedom from a non-renewable energy source and long term economic viability. If it can include ecological preservation and/or obtain ecological services, it may enjoy further returns.

The public climate debate has run it’s course, with little more Area 51-styled conspiracy theories left to amuse the bored. Likewise, the scientific climate debate is as settled as it can be on the important aspects. What is left is the political climate debate and it is one where you will be unlikely to obtain an overwhelming consensus unless there is little financial gain to be made in business-as-usual (DeSmog blog have this recent post demonstrating that the climate debate is very much a democrat/republican debate). However, this really doesn’t matter, as long as the votes go in the right direction – starting with the public. As Kloppers demonstrates above, industry (and very possibly braver political leaders or clever public groups) can start the ball rolling.

We cannot get through to every smug slothful person, who would prefer to walk no more than within a 10m radius – between couch and fridge – but we can initiate the change, by providing increasingly functional and enjoyable mixed-use urban environments, where personal vehicles are less essential and many forms of entertainment are close at hand. An increasingly interesting urban environment will stimulate social changes and encourage many others to follow. This is the future of the debate.

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24 thoughts on “The future of the Climate Debate

  1. Hi ,

    Your efforts are much apreciated and I like how you are able to put my thoughts into concise coherent words .

    I was thinking about Marius Kloppers comments today and it occured to me that he is protecting BHPs interests by insuring the world economy dosent suffer under the even worse effects climate change will have by draining resouces away to dealing with the effects , it also means ( i assume) that he has looked at the science and sees it is sound enough to act upon .

    hope to be back soon Dave

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    1. Cheers Dave, glad you’ve found worth in my writing. I really must move beyond the trivial public debate – I am certain we can have a great future beyond carbon and want to paint that picture. 🙂

      You’re very right. Anyone who has seriously looked at the science would be rightfully concerned – especially in his industry. It’s foreward thinking like that within industry which will ensure survival in the next phase of human activity.

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  2. Hi Tim, that’s an interesting comment of yours on the Greenery blog (Note 8) that “.. the greenhouse effect was apparently disproved in 1909, yet we continue to use this flawed technology to grow pineapples in temperate zones .. “. I couldn’t find any information on this novel use of the “greenhouse” effect. Can you provide a link to your source? I’d have posted this comment on that blog but moderator Stewart Argo has banned me from Mike Kaulbars blog so I’ll post it here if I may since it is relevant to the topic on this thread

    Kloppers runs one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of export thermal coal. Leaders of big businesses enjoy earning large sums of money and building well-filled pension pots. All of the major energy companies see an opportunity to get funding from gullible taxpayers of research and development work that they would have to do anyway to stay in business. BHP is no different.

    Another individual who looks to be benefiting personal from this same UN-inspired confidence trick is Dr. David Viner, quoted reverently all over the Internet on sites like yours as well as in mainstream media such as the UK’s Guardian. Viner gives the impression of being a member of the team of scientists who devoutly supporter The (significant human-made global climate change) Faith but his motives appear aligned with those of Klopper. He used to earn his living at the University of East Anglia so had to contribute to the scare-mongering, which he has done regularly since he joined them in 1991. In 2007 he was forecasting we were heading for the QUOTE: upper end of the 1.5C to 5.8C temperature range forecast by the IPCC. “The pathway we’re following is the high end [of that range],” says Dr Viner. “It’s very bad news” UNQUOTE (Note 1). Scary, isn’t it!

    Viner moved on from UEA in 2007 but hasn’t stopped earning his living from this UN-inspired confidence trick. He joined the QUANGO Natural England as principal specialist on climate change (Note 2) and is now with another QUANGO, the British Council. This is “The United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities” (Note 2), where Vine is Programme Leader – Climate Change. Vine is doing his bit, through the Climate Champions (Note 3), to help AL Gore indoctrinate our youngsters with the UN’s propaganda. You can hear him (but keep a sicky-bag ready) at the opening of British Council Climate Faces – Changing Earth, Changing Lives in the lobby of the UN New York – July 14, 2010 (Note 4) as we head towards another UN climate change fiasco, COP16 in Cancun.

    It is worth providing some background about Dr. Vine, which is available from the horse’s own mouth in an interview during that COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen (Note 6). He studied physical geography at Sheffield University then did a PhD at Salford University (“less than 3 years”) on the use of weather radar for flood forecasting. After that he joined UEA in 1991 where for 14 years he was responsible for distributing data world-wide and his involvement with the IPCC was simply the setting up of its data distribution centre. Despite being “ .. at the hub of the global community on climate change .. ” I can find no record of him ever undertaking any worthwhile research into the processes and drivers of the global climates. Regardless of his lack of proven expertise in that fundamental area he has repeatedly claimed to know what will happen to global climates in the future. He spent time looking into the impact of climate change and reported on its impact upon the tourist industry but that gives him no grounds for claiming to know what future global climates will be like.

    As well as defending his friends at the UEA over the Climategate scandal he claimed in that interview that “I am not an environmentalist .. I’m passionate that the science is accurately reported .. ” but he is also “ .. passionate about cooking .. ” so that may explain his “cooking” of the facts about global climate change. Viner confidently predicts that “ .. the next decade, the 2010s are going to be the warmest decade .. we are committed to temperature rise of 2 degrees of more rise in temperature by the middle of the century even if we turn off all emissions now. .. We are commited to sea level rise for many many centuries to come. .. We’ve seen the melting of most of the world’s glaciers .. that is irreversible in the lifetime of myself, probably my children and their children .. ’.

    Vine concluded this nonsense with comments regarding getting the action that he pushes for “ .. it might take a shock .. Katrina should have been a wake-up call. We saw a city in the biggest developed economy in the world basically get obliterated overnight .. It will take big shocks like that, where many people will die, to get the action .. even though the science is absolutely robust .. ”.

    This is someone whose nonsense is quoted repeatedly by supporters of The Hypothesis – says it all about their gullibility. Another thing that he mentioned towards the end of that interview was “ .. Looking 5 or 10 years ahead. I want to develop professionally. We all have our areas we want to develop, get excited about”. Could it be that he is even more passionate about that?

    For anyone wishing to get a better understanding of how climates change (and always have done) I recommend a careful read of “The history of British winters” (Note 7). This extract gives a flavour “As a whole, the mid 1800s where very snowy (the little ice age ending), but the nearer the end of the century came, the smaller the snowfalls grew, until the early 1900s, they were little or average, emulating the 90′s. .. 1909-15 recorded little or average snowfalls, .. London came away with practically no snowfall in 1912-13, whereas Northern Britain was quite snowy. This decade was far from good for snow lovers! I bet they started talking of no more snow for the UK again, as we are doing now. Shows how wrong they were… The snow drought ended abruptly in 1916, with enormous falls of snow in the mountains, 10ft in the Pennines, Black Mountains, and the High Peak District. Several general falls of snow recorded. A very snowy year.” And so it goes on, presenting the obvious – climatic conditions change over time, without any evidence of a significant impact from our increasing use of fossil fuels.

    NOTES:
    1) see http://www.publicservice.co.uk/feature_story.asp?id=13326
    2) see http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/jan/09/g2.weather
    3) see http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/03_march/27/climate.shtml & http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3642929.ece
    4) see http://www.britishcouncil.org/new/en/press-office/press-releases/British-Council-Climate-Champions-to-make-their-voice-heard-at-Copenhagen/
    5) see http://www.britishcouncil.org/new/climatechange/
    6) see http://www.open2.net/creativeclimate/no_conspiracy_theory.html
    7) see http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=other;type=winthist;sess=
    8) see http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/a-glorious-defeat/#comments

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

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    1. Please Pete…
      Firstly, if you read the linked article which I was talking about, KE talks about how the greenhouse effect which is used to create – you guessed it – greenhouses, doesn’t really work, based on a single study over a century old.
      “quoted reverently all over the Internet on sites like yours”
      I base my work solely on respected peer-viewed studies and other case studies. You of all people should be the last to be so crude as to assume me a blind follower of someone ill-equip to hold authority of the subject as you yourself openly rely on grey literature over the science. Don’t resort to cheap attacks.
      As for the rest of your write-up.. it seems to be more spam. I suggest you post it on your own blog.
      Cheers,
      Tim

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  3. Tim, although we disagree about The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis I do have a lot of respect for you. In particular because you are prepared to leave sceptical comments on your blog. Thanks.

    Best regards, Pete

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    1. Reasonable comments, even if sceptical of reason and logical investigation, yes… And I’m happy to answer questions as well. You’re last comment however, diverged a bit Pete – obviously you have an idea floating around and just wished to share it.

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  4. Pete , do you understand the difference between weather and climate ? , the snowyness of one area or lack of over a short timespan is not an indicator of what is happening to the climate .

    If AWG is a Un inspired ruse just to get more taxes from people why does multiple lines of evidence from multi disicplines of science all converge towards agreement that GHG are having an effect on the worlds climate system .

    So Dr Vine likes to cook therefore he must cook the facts , please give me a break !! , if you dont think AGW is happening please explain why the science doesnt work but dont write miles of stuff about vague conspriracy theorys and shadowy world Govt takeovers .

    The best I heard at work was from a guy who believed that alien reptilians were heating up the planet so they could live here and that AGw was just a cover for that . lold so hard .

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  5. Hi David,

    Nice to hear from you but it would be even nicer to know whether you comment from a position of knowledge. There is a David Green OBE, FRSA FiE is Chief Executive of the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy (UKBCSE) (Note 1) who would have a vested interest in supporting The (significsnt human-made global climate change) Hypothesis.. Then again you could be David Green, Senior Consultant, BaC, Masters (Note 2). Both of these have Australian connections. Or maybe you are the young and inexperienced David Green who was a candidate in 2009 for Chair of London Young Labour (Note 3).

    So, come on David “please give me a break !!” and tell me something about yourself. Just a hint will do and I can use Google to dig deeper..

    You are mistaken when saying “multiple lines of evidence from multi disicplines of science all converge towards agreement that GHG are having an effect on the worlds climate system ”. You should have said “multiple lines of evidence from multi disicplines of science all converge towards agreement that GHG are having an effect on the worlds temperatures” but no convincing evidence exists showing that any such effect has a significant impact upon the different global climates. That bit is pure speculation based upon computer models which are themselves based upon our poor understanding of the processes and drivers of those global climates.

    BTW, please don’t distort what people say. I know that it is a common tactic of supporters of The Hypothesis but it does lower your credibility. You well know that I did not say “Dr Vine likes to cook therefore he must cook the facts”. That is your deliberate distortion of my QUOTE: he is also “ .. passionate about cooking .. ” so that may explain his “cooking” of the facts about global climate change”. There is a big difference between “must” and “may”. It is the same kind of distortion that the IPCC gets up to when distorting in its Summary for Policymakers the uncertain science provided in the WG1 Assessment Reports.

    You may well support the view of people like the sadly departed Stephen Schneider (Note 4) that “”To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest” but I don’t. You see it is dishonest – “do you understand the difference between” facr and fiction?

    NOTES:
    1) see http://www.powerbase.info/index.php?title=David_Green_%28renewables_lobbyist%29
    2) see http://www.coastalmanagement.com/main/about/our-team/29-david-green.html
    3) see http://www.labourlist.org/david_green
    4) see http://www.john-daly.com/schneidr.htm

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

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    1. “Just a hint will do and I can use Google to dig deeper..”
      Watch out Pete – this is the behaviour that has labelled you a stalker and unwelcome on other blogs.
      For something as trivial as a public debate such as this, it should be enough to have a reasonable name to target responses to a certain person within the thread. You’re not taking out a loan from them; You’re not trusting them to baby-sit your children; You’re not getting romantically involved with anyone; as long as they have a title and reference their work, their personal background should be irrelevant. That you go to such efforts strikes me as odd and somewhat an insecurity on your part.

      “Both of these have Australian connections”
      How is this a point worth mentioning in the context to the current discussions? If you feel that you see a flaw in having Australian connections, please do share them – I’m happy to put such nonsense in it’s place.

      “That bit is pure speculation based upon computer models…”
      No it isn’t, but you and I have discussed this before and very little in the way of scientific evidence can dint your view here – you’ve built a lovely little paradox in which you sit. What evidence suits your view is accepted without much further examination while any reasonable and valuable study and cluster of studies that reach conclusions contrary to your view are written-off as part of the conspiracy. There is nothing one, whom tries to assert scientific evidence as their reasoning, can offer your style of debate.

      “BTW, please don’t distort what people say.”
      David may have taken the short-handed approach, that came out as that you stated as much, but I feel that this is semantics for you quite clearly tried to suggest as much (not so cleverly really, as “cooking” has a different meaning in most cases).

      As for bringing Stephen Schneider’s quote into this… Honestly Pete, the man said it over 20 years ago! Move on! Much of the serious work, that tends us to be concerned about atmospheric GHG concentration changes, due to human activity, was in it’s infancy. Now that we have more than 30yrs of trends, coupled with much longer term studies and over 150yrs of studies into physical chemistry, the picture is becoming quite clear and disturbing. I, for instance, do not “capture the public[s] imagination” by lying or by hiding “any doubts”. If you’ve watched Stephen speak in public, he was an excellent lecture. I suspect that his “doubts” are based on the scientific uncertainty – which is much less now than it was when he made that statement in 1989!

      There is nothing dishonest here, Stephen just realised the public’s understanding of uncertainty – much like their confusion over “theory”. I’ve personally offered you more than 50 papers as references within our various conversation. My argument is not so much on the scientific basis of anthropogenic climate change, but more that it is in fact irrelevant when one looks at all the other related lines of evidence – a low carbon future is inevitable and by prolonging the transition means that such changes will be more dramatic in shorter-time frames and thus more disruptive. That people like you ignore so many independent lines of evidence is quite frankly, disturbing. It is like the rabbit before the headlights; paralysis in sudden realisation. Fossil fuel will be but a blip in human history and by ignoring this fact you expose yourself as a slave to the ideological nonsense of those who profit from business-as-usual.

      Now, for much of my life, I’ve ignored the atheist arguments, preferring instead to leave one’s spirituality to their private life. I have in recent months found myself becoming ever more interested in the arguments of people like Dawkins, I suspect, after battling in public debates with people like yourself. I naively (I will admit) assumed until the last year that science was clearing aware the cobwebs of ideology… how foolish of me. Watching Enemies of Reason, I was staggered at how much parallel I found to the anti-science conspiracy rubbish people like yourself sprout against climate studies. In this part of one episode (around 4mins in) they have an excellent discussion about what is happening – this scepticism of modern science. You almost entirely rely on what I would argue is grey literature (both on the internet and hardcopy). The result of the internet is that so much information is produced without discrimination. Soon a lie can manifest itself to a point of common knowledge – natural therapy and anti-vaccination being good examples here. Science is seen as cocky and arrogant.

      Dawkins makes the point that a scientist can lie, but science cannot. This is the very point where your argument falls down, where anti-vaccination falls down, where anti-GM-produce arguments fall down, etc… It’s right to be sceptical of science and scientists, but it is wrong to conclude that science is capable of pulling the wool over the collective eyes of the masses. It couldn’t survive scrutiny. You have brought up some dissenting scientific arguments. That is always going to occur. If there where any truth to these, they would endure, but they don’t. The only way a lie could endure is the highly improbable situation that anyone with a brain is in on it. It’s quite clear that the multiple lines of evidence behind climate science is more than just a hypothesis. It’s even more clear that the debate over this is irrelevant. You have fallen for this modern shift towards anti-science.

      As we sit back, stuck in this paralysis due to weak-willed governance and a world populous more ideological than enlightened, we will see increasing environmental degradation – that’s the danger and this business-as-usual future. That’s how concerning ideological nonsense is. You cannot escape Christian’s claiming that is doesn’t matter, we can take what we want from the Earth, God permits it and Jesus is coming very soon to take us from the sick world, so who cares about ACC? Your UN One World Government conspiracy is as hopelessly naive and dooming as the deeply Christian view.

      Of course, I suspect that as usual, when I get too involved like this, you’re write-it off as a rant. I don’t care really. You’re heels are deeply in the mud of ideology. I provide this more for other readers, for David’s sake and for myself. I know very well the difference between scientific reason and fiction and contrary to your earlier criticism, I have in fact looked very critically at the evidence and indeed the dissenting arguments in respected journals. I see no reason for such a hard-nosed denial against climate science as that displayed by you.

      Cheers
      Tim

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  6. Tim,

    I also share your weariness, and dismay with the debate. Indeed I’m waiting for the next phase.

    At the very least, your blog is helpong that conversation.

    Mike

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    1. I was a bit on the wayside there, for a bit… It gets hard to continue wading through the murky waters of ideology and not want to take a side step out of the scene. That Dawkins quite clearly shares my confusion of how ideology continues to enjoy an undeserved privileged peak, where evidenced based reason must fight, this has given me energy to motor-on.

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  7. Hi Tim, you may consider the public debate about The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis to be trivial but many of us do not. As for me considering having an Australian connection to be some kind of flaw, “give me a break” as David puts it. If your interpretation of that hit some open wound then I’m sorry, but there was no hidden meaning behind it.

    Regarding Schneider’s comment about scaring the general public by being dishonest (forgive me for distorting his statement but he “quite clearly tried to suggest as much”) this is as relevant today as it was then, as you well know. Although you may be correct when speculating that “I suspect that his “doubts” are based on the scientific uncertainty – which is much less now than it was when he made that statement in 1989!” that does not mean that we now have adequate understanding of the processes and drivers of global climates. There remain far too many fundamental uncertainties for us to be able to properly model the different global climates and predict how they will change in the future. As a scientist you shoould be able to understand that.

    Your concerns are about the impacts of changes in global climates upon the worlds ecology. I have no argument about that, but you accept without question the scare story that our use of fossil fuels is causing significant change for the worse. Although you have provided lots of evidence about ecological changes that are occurring you have not provided convincng evidence that the cause is our use of fossil fuels. That is our sole area of disagreement..

    As for the A/V comment (at 2.35) by Dawkins that “ .. mystics ceaslessly attempt to fill gaps in human understanding with fabricated meaning ”fit the “catastrophic clime change due to fossil fuels” debate perfectly. Of course “mystics” should be replaced with “dishonest politicians and scientists with other agenda”. It could be argued that “The Enemies of Reason” are those few scientists, like Schneider, who are prepared to distort the truth in order to pursuade the general public to their own way of reasoning.

    As Hawkins said (5.48) “Yes, we want to question authority … we have to go back to the evidence and find out what is actually true .. ”. Steve Fuller (Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, England Note 3) also made a good point (6.48-58). Dawkins missed out (7.17) one category of people circulating its lies “ .. in the blog community .. whipping up scares .. ” environmental fundamentalists. His most important words were near the end “8.23 – ).

    That picture of the tree (at 1.19) and the comments by Satish Kumar about spirituality reminded me of Polly Higgins and her “Trees have rights too” campaign (Note 2) to get the UN to introduce a “Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights”. There are many similarities between environmentalist and religious beliefs, but that’s a different debate.

    Although I have enormous respect for Professor Dawkins as a biologist he appears to have no expertise regarding the processes and drivers of the different global climates. I can find no references to any research by him on the subject. Despite this he seemed to consider himself qualified to declare just ahead of the UN’s COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen that “Climate change has been caused over centuries, has consequences that will endure for all time and our prospects of taming it will be determined in the next 14 days” (Note 4). As we all know, those 14 days ended in achieving NOTHING with regard to “taming” changing climates.

    We have far too much to learn about those significant scientific uncertainties before we can hope to exert any control over any climate beyond those tiny ones in homes, offices and greenhouses.

    I do not regard everything that you write as a rant. I am impressed by how prepared you are to carefully consider what others say and spend the time checking out and preparing your detailed responses. What you fail to do in those responses is to clearly finger CO2 as the cause of the changes that you see in your area of expertise – ecology. As I recall you saying on several occasions, you are not really interested in that aspect, only in what you know is happening to the worlds flora and fauna.

    NOTES:
    1) see http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stalk
    2) see http://www.treeshaverightstoo.com/a-call-to-the-un
    3) see http://www.interdisciplines.org/people/authors/steve_fuller
    4) see http://richarddawkins.net/articles/4724?page=4

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

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    1. Pete,
      you’re meaningless reference to individuals having Australia in common simply required further explanation. I know you consider the public debate important – you’re will to go to great lengths to ignore the science to do so.

      “There remain far too many fundamental uncertainties for us to be able to properly model the different global climates and predict how they will change in the future”
      Rubbish and if you don’t know this, well that’s your own fault. Many bloggers discuss modelling – the most recent on my reader is one from Skeptical Science which looks into Hansen 1988. There’s also another excellent presentation in Fool Me Once that explores the nonsense Monckton sprouts while also showing the IPCC projections and real life data. As I said – you only have yourself to blame to believing that climate models are so hopelessly flawed – the reality is, like much that we discuss, radically different to your interpretation.

      Again, I suspect Schneider has been taken out of context, regarding the publics understanding of uncertainty and that you’ve been led on a fools path in believing this conspiracy theory of the man. Quote mining is a pathetic straw-man argument.

      “Although you have provided lots of evidence about ecological changes that are occurring you have not provided convincng evidence that the cause is our use of fossil fuels.”
      Pete, you should know, as well as I do, that this is simply not true, such as this statement, “…you accept without question the scare story that our use of fossil fuels is causing significant change for the worse.” I’ve provided ample evidence, not only of ecological degradation with climate change, but also the basics of why the science behind ACC is compelling and also why it becomes irrelevant when we look at our reliance to peaking oil (and the importance of coal). That you continue to say that I’ve accepted without question and not provided convincing evidence simply demonstrates your ignorance; it’s all there, as are many of the answers that you ask for, but overlook. That link to the rebuttal to Monckton also leads to a wonderful paper with an in depth look into the science…

      You’re comments on the video are interesting – although it’s not surprising that you see the opposite.. In one part people who use dowsing sticks are shocked when a scientific test cannot verify their abilities to be more than guess work – their sceptical instead of the science and maintain their faith in their view. Denial is an insidious beast which no doubt blinkers your own views Pete. As I’ve said above and on other occasions, there is a strong evidence base – but you’re willing to conclude with absolutely ridiculous and near impossible assumptions that the entire scientific community are collectively, and successfully, pulling the wool over the eyes of the rest of the world. It just cannot happen.

      “There are many similarities between environmentalist and religious beliefs”
      If you think that this also implies to me, you’re a fool. My concern, as has it’s always been, is about safe guarding a world as good, if not better than the one I knew. This comes from understanding the world, resources and the flow of energy and matter between spheres and species. I promise you that my views are based on the evidence and not some tree-hugging passion.

      “Although I have enormous respect for Professor Dawkins as a biologist he appears to have no expertise regarding the processes and drivers of the different global climates.”
      Nor do you. Nor do I. Yet you make a bloody huge deal out of this trivial public debate. You also disregard those who do have “expertise regarding the processes and drivers of the different global climates.” Schneider is an example of this. Fundamentally, you choose to remain ignorant on the subject, disregard the evidence that you ask from science bloggers, such as myself, and you use ridiculous reasoning as to why the only people who do have the expertise can be safely ignored as lairs and cheats. This is a silly little stalemate position that cannot be concluded in any direction, which begs me to conclude that you have no real interest in clarity, but simply to Google as many people as possible…

      “As we all know, those 14 days ended in achieving NOTHING with regard to “taming” changing climates.”
      That’s simply because of the non-event “Climategate”, but as you appear to enjoy quote mining, maybe it was an event for you.

      “We have far too much to learn about those significant scientific uncertainties before we can hope to exert any control over any climate beyond those tiny ones in homes, offices and greenhouses.”
      I can give you one hint – we should keep GHG concentrations down. Few well trained scientists nowadays truly question the validity of ACC and I’ve offered enough evidence for this to you which our only too happy to ignore.

      Yes, indeed I am more interested in the ecological impacts – there’s no real point in learning bushfire management, just so you can watch it happen. Applied science has been far more interesting and practical to me. That said, I have provided ample evidence Pete. For a basic look at this – look at the Monckton paper I’ve referred to you already (direct pdf here), look at my comparison of Jo Nova and Skeptical Science handbooks here, look at the presentation on Fool Me Once, look at the Hansen article above… Many of the fossil fuel providers are also starting to admit that oil will peak within a decade (more likely sooner rather than later) – this too makes the situation more imperative. We are too dependant on a soon-to-be increasingly expensive energy source – oil goes right through every sector to human activity. I don’t care about gas (it was limited usages) – we need to preserve coal and reduce our dependence on oil as soon as we possibly can.

      I’ve provided a wealth of evidence based reasoning for concern. It truly is you who overlook contrary evidence based arguments to uphold your belief, not I.

      Cheers
      Tim

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  8. Hi Pete ,

    Iam just a normal David Green with a average brain that allows me to drive trains but spell

    badly , I have no online presence . Why do you want to dig deeper your scaring me now ! are

    from the government ?

    ” so that may explain his “cooking” of the facts about global climate change” What I was doing was condensing the theme of your witty lines into something more honest . The ” may” in that statement only indicates that you are unsure of why Dr Vines as you say made a false statement about climate change .

    If you had said ” so that explains why he MAY have “cook” of the facts about global climate change” then you claim you did not actually say he did do it only a suggestion he did .

    As for your other comments well Tim has argued the points better than I , and I feel your political or world view filter what what you can accept as facts on the subject .

    If you google msgrxx32.dll. you will find a forum where somene had the same problem and how to fix it good luck 🙂

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    1. Hi David,
      Ken, a retired scientist in NZ has this interesting post on the question of believing experts with probably explains the filter that our friend Pete obviously has. A worthwhile quote, “We think we trust experts. But a new study finds that what really influences our opinions, more than listening to any expert, is our own beliefs.”
      It’s worth reading and listening to the podcast. Much of my recent posts are about finding the parallel in climate change denial and other anti-science movements. It’s amazing how susceptible we are confirmed bias arguments over the evidence.

      Like

  9. Hi David, thanksfor the help on my Word spell-checker. I don’t know what happened but its working fine in other docukments but not this one.

    Don’t be scared. I scare myself sometines but as I keep telling my children and grand-children, we spend our lives worrying about thins that never happen.

    Keep enjoying life.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    Like

  10. Hi Tim, that’s an interesting response but very much in line with previous ones. As you have said, we’ve discussed it before. Only time will resolve our differences of opinion.

    About Australian connections, I made a guess that David was Australian or had Australian connections. That was all there was to it so don’t be so touchy. David has explained his level of expertise in the subject so I need to know no more about him. From what he said in his last comment I now know that my opinion is as at least as valid as his is and he has no expertise in the subject, like myself and yourself.

    There are plenty scientifically qualified individuals who share my opinion about how useless the models are at predicting future global climates so in your humble opinion they must also be talking rubbish. The pseudo-science presented at those blogs you mention needs to be regarded with scepticism. Reality is radically different from what they and the models claim.

    On Schneider, Wikipedia says (Note 1) QUOTE:
    In 1989, Schneider addressed the challenge scientists face trying to communicate complex, important issues without adequate time during media interviews. This citation sometimes was used by his critics to accuse him of supporting misuse of science for political goals:

    On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both. (Quoted in Discover, pp. 45–48, Oct. 1989. For the original, together with Schneider’s commentary on its alleged misrepresentation, see also American Physical Society, APS News August/September 1996.[6]).

    Schneider has accused people, including Julian Simon, of deliberately taking this quote out of context in order to misrepresent his views. UNQUOTE.

    I do not accept Schneider’s claim of being taken out of context. The significant words are “Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest”. Is it not reasonable to expect a scientist to stick to being honest. In my opinion an honest scientist, without any hesitation, would say “Yes”. Have a look at the 2003 debate about this (Note 2).

    You are at it again with your distortions. “entire scientific community are collectively, and successfully, pulling the wool over the eyes of the rest of the world .. ”. I have never said this and you know it. Perhaps you should give consideration to the fact that the entire scientific community does not support The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis.

    On similarities between environmentalist and religious beliefs, why take this personally. I have never commented on and have no knowledge of your religious beliefs. Neither have I ever suggested nor do I have any reason to believe that you are a tree-hugger like Polly Higgins. Try not to take every comment of mine personally..

    Once again you refer to “this trivial public debate”. Which planet are you on?

    You are wrong to claim that “. Few well trained scientists nowadays truly question the validity of ACC”. If you replace ACC with AGW then in my opinion you are absolutely correct. The disagreement is over the extent of AGW and its impact upon the different global climates.

    I was surprised by your reference to studying bush fire management. Is this what you specialise in? I had numerous similar exchanges on Senator Fielding’s blogs with someone who used the pseudonym
    Stormboy who works on that elsewhere in Australia. You may be interested in visiting his evangelical blog The Bloodwood Tree (Note 3). In his thread “Putting Climate Alarmists in their place” he says “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a body made up of representatives from 166 different nations to rule out political bias. The 152 lead authors and 650 reviewers include experts with all sorts of personal opinions for and against climate change but all bound by the one rule – they can only say what the evidence tells them”. Stormboy is a sincere supporter of The Hypothesis (and a sincere Christian) who believes that scientists should tell the truth. I wonder what he thinks of Schneider’s comment that I quoted above. I must make time to pop over and ask him.

    Regarding peak oil, you may be interested in this related comment that I posted earlier today on Senator Fielding’s “Is global warming man-made? Is global warming dangerous?” thread (Note 4).

    The political shenanigans carried out in the name of global climate change have all been for nothing. The politicians should have been honest instead of trying to con the voters. They should simply have said “we want your money so are going to get it, whatever it takes. We want to stop having to depend upon those nasty middle-eastern states who have nothing to offer but oil which we pay through the nose for then they use that money against us. We don’t want to continue depending upon countries like Russia for our gas supplies”. Saying that is not PC so they needed an alternative. What better than a scare campaign.

    None of this under-handed political spinning of the truth will make the least bit of difference to our use of fossil fuels. There is a meeting going on right now (Note 5) “Arctic claims summit gets under way in Moscow: An international meeting to try to prevent the Arctic becoming the next battleground over mineral wealth has begun in Moscow. A conference is being help in November in Lyons on the same subject. One quarter of the world’s resources of oil and gas are believed to lie beneath the Arctic Ocean” involving Russia, the USA, Canada, Norway, Denmark, etc. There is estimated to be enough oil and gas there to sustain a “business as usual” scenario for many many decades yet. QUOTE: .. Our sector in the Arctic is estimated to contain up to 100 billions tons of resources .. An Arctic strategy paper signed in 2008 by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the polar region must become Russia’s “top strategic resource base” by 2020. UNQUOTE” (Note 6) – that’s just Russia’s share..

    NOTES: I’ll post these separately as they may have stopped my post from appearing

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    1. “As you have said, we’ve discussed it before. Only time will resolve our differences of opinion.”
      No, you alone need retrospect. I’m at least willing to look into the scientific reasoning, instead of jumping to insane conclusions, based on quote mining in lieu of science. You previously stated that the public debate is important to people like yourself, which I’m also certain of as well. This has the wonderful flaw of no required evidence or thorough investigation – you’re quite willing to first ask for evidence and then say that the evidence proves nothing. It’s funny how much you’re like the hypocritical Evangelists who make absurd conclusions about what science is, how it works and of the private lives of scientists and that it is followers of scientific methodology are the faithers.

      “There are plenty scientifically qualified individuals who share my opinion about how useless the models are at predicting future global climates”.. and the following nonsense: You obviously didn’t look at what I’ve provided. The fact that the model predictions are matching up with observations and have done so for quite some time should put a compelling case forward as to the validity of models. They are doing a better job at predicting current climate than you’re, “I don’t know.” The science behind the greenhouse effect is providing the only compelling case for the observed changes to climate – most especially over the past 30yrs. Pseudo-science? Please – you truly are an arrogant old fool, making big leaps of faith to mock reasonable, testable and verifiable evidence while relying on, as your basis of understanding, mined quotes, limited scientific investigation (a simple, “I’ve got no idea what’s changing climate, and even if the science is matching up, it has to be wrong,”) and but a handful of validly discredited papers.

      I believe Schneider was taken out of context. Being effective and honest is the same as accuracy and precision. You cannot discuss uncertainty with a lay audience as you yourself illustrate – you run with it in the wrong direction.

      “Perhaps you should give consideration to the fact that the entire scientific community does not support The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis.”
      The vast majority do and most of the quoted work that disagrees with the findings of ACC that people like yourself wave around frantically in the air has been discredited. You support, for instance, the validity of Monckton – yet the man time and time again is discredited. I find your foundation highly questionable, which again brings us back to your public arena – you’re not interested in the science or learning about the science, but rather pushing some ridiculous notion of a communist plot. This has to be a joke!

      “Try not to take every comment of mine personally..”
      That you included it in our discussion leads one to suspect as much and coupled with your continuous and baseless assumption that I have not looked at the science, but merely follow it blindly, what else is one to think of this? Again, I couldn’t agree with you less. My arguments are devoid of much passion for certain species, but fuelled by an avid interest in understanding the natural world through science. Our impacts are having multiple impacts with you are clearly willing to ignore.

      I think I’ve made myself clear on your public debate.

      “The disagreement is over the extent of AGW and its impact upon the different global climates.”
      Over the past few months, I’ve provided a strong case for this, which you are only too happy to write-off. There is no need to wait for retrospect – it’s occurring all around us and on top of providing multiple lines of evidence for this change to you previously, I’ve also provided various impacts. You ignorance of this is a massive gamble and one few who have learnt and understood the science are willing risk.

      “You may be interested in visiting his evangelical blog”
      Again you take a low shot. How is one not to think that you attempt to suggest my views are based on faith? My field is ecology. My views on ACC are based on the evidence.

      I don’t care about the political nonsense that you sprout – it makes my ears bleed more than the tripe in pop media or engaging in evidence-free-zone public debates as like you encourage. The science provides an excellent and weighty evidence base on which to make policies. What politicians and the lay audience does with this information is separate, and increasingly frustrating – but of course, parrots of misinformation, like yourself, help to induce paralysis, so what should I expect?

      You have fundamental lapses in understanding in many fields of environmental science, science methodology and modelling. That you exploit the results of reason – such as the internet – to misinform, disengage and promote dogmatic hatred of science (somehow leaping to a communist connection) is nothing short of appalling.

      Like

  11. NOTES:

    NB: I have removed http://www. from 4) & 5) and http:// from the rest.

    1) see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Schneider
    2) see johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2003/09/19/honest-or-effective/
    3) see bloodwoodtree.org/
    4) see stevefielding.com.au/forums/viewthread/795/P4230
    5) see bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11387175
    6) see news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100921/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_russia_arctic

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    Like

  12. Tim, naughty naughty. You are starting to sound a bit like Ian Forrester with your “you truly are an arrogant old fool,”. Hardly a scientific argument!

    If I am arrogant what does “You cannot discuss uncertainty with a lay audience as you yourself illustrate – you run with it in the wrong direction. ” make you?

    You appear to have an over-inflated view of your own status. Your qualifications (BSc I understand ) are similar to many others (like myself) involved in this debate. I can find no peer-reviewed papers of any sort under your name. If I’m mistaken on that then please provide links.

    My reference to Phil’s evangellical site had nothing to do with likening your opinion on The (singificant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis to a religious faith. My mention of Phil was purely to do with the fact that he is in the same business as you and we have had very similar exchanges to what you and I have.

    I repeat, stop taking everything that I say as being a personal dig. All you do is expose your own uncertainty about the basis for your strong opinions. Have a chat with your dad about it.

    Must go as the boss is calling.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley.

    Like

  13. Hi Tim, just a quick visit during a few moments reprieve. Pleaee take a careful (and if possible an open-minded) look at the Power point presentation “Global WarmCatastrophe? Reconsidering Climate Change” by Michael Spencer.
    (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AWQHC647).

    Michael is another lay person who is at least as well qualified as you and I to have opinions on the subject.

    It may help to dissipate some of your arrogance.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    Like

    1. Arrogance? You’re truly becoming a bore and I’m tired of dancing with you in this foundation-free twilight zone. How could you call be arrogant, closed minded and a near religious follower of ACC while remaining unaware of this paradox that you create with your guise of a debate that ignores all relevant evidence? You’re not looking for clarity on the subject, but instead to promote a near Amish non-progressive life style on what is clearly an unworthy and sizable risk – as much faith as the Amish that modern science is evil as well, I might add.

      “Michael is another lay person who is at least as well qualified as you and I to have opinions on the subject.”
      That you say this demonstrates that my many thousands of words have been as wastes on you as much modern science. You just don’t understand it.

      I may look at this piece tomorrow if I’m sufficiently bored.

      Like

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