catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Climate a changing

with 130 comments

Tom Switzer has a fantastic piece in the WSJ.

Until Mr. Abbott’s election as opposition leader last month, the climate debate in Australia had been conducted in a heretic-hunting, anti-intellectual atmosphere. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd claimed that climate change is the “greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.” In clear breach of the great liberal anti-communist Sidney Hook’s rule of controversy—”Before impugning an opponent’s motives, answer his arguments”—Mr. Rudd linked “world government conspiracy theorists” and “climate-change deniers” to “vested interests.” Much of the media, business and scientific establishment deemed it blasphemy that anyone dare question his Labor Party’s grand ambitions.

There’s more where that came from.

Update: More evidence the climate is changing. Read the comments.

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Written by Sinclair Davidson

January 13, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

130 Responses

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  1. Wasn’t that piece in the Speccie last week?

    Rococo Liberal

    January 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm

  2. Don’t know – don’t read the ‘Speccie’. Maybe Ken knows?

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm

  3. Oh my, another warmenist whopper bites the dust:

    Australian government climate experts have failed to detect an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones after analysing 26 years of data since the early 1980s.

    Climate scientists have warned that Australia should expect to see more intense cyclones in the future fuelled by rising global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases.

    But this latest research from seven Bureau of Meteorology scientists shows that so far there is no conclusive evidence to suggest this is already happening.

    So Gore’s hurricane hysteria was lies and now the cyclone baloney is exposed as well.

    So much for the “consensus.”

    C.L.

    January 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  4. Don’t read the Speccie? How appalling

    Rococo Liberal

    January 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm

  5. I’m so ashamed – my darkest secret revealed on the internet. 🙂

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm

  6. No, Sinc, haven’t seen it.

    But it does seem that global warming will increase stabbings.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/knives-out-in-heat-of-the-moment-and-the-night-20100112-m4tq.html

    Ken Nielsen

    January 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm

  7. Global warming increases my Margarita cravings

    tal

    January 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm

  8. Makes them melt faster, but.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm

  9. True Ken

    tal

    January 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm

  10. You have to drink up before the ice melts. 🙂

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 13, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  11. WTF is going on in the UK?

    A police unit set up to support forces dealing with extremism in the UK is helping investigate the leaking of climate change data in Norfolk.

    In November it was revealed that the computer server at the Climate Change Unit at the University of East Anglia had been hacked and e-mails leaked.

    An inquiry was started by Norfolk Police.

    Now it has been revealed the force is getting help from the National Domestic Extremism Unit, based in Huntingdon.

    A spokesman for the unit said: “At present we have two police officers assisting Norfolk with their investigation, and we have also provided computer forensic expertise.

    ‘Detailed inquiry’

    “While this is not strictly a domestic extremism matter, as a national police unit we had the expertise and resource to assist with this investigation, as well as good background knowledge of climate change issues in relation to criminal investigations.”

    The UK coppers now a good knowledge of climate change issues? WTF.

    jc

    January 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm

  12. Hey will you all shut up for a while?
    I’m trying to write a marketing plan – while listening to Bach – and you all keep provoking me to reply.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm

  13. Multi-tasking is just another word for easily distracted.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm

  14. I admit to multitasking like this too but only when I’m working on Excel, not when writing. When you see me commenting a lot on blogs, I’m running Excel functions

    jtfsoon

    January 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

  15. Just shows how honest the BOM is, then, CL, and how you can trust them when they talk about record heatwaves, etc.

    steve from brisbane

    January 13, 2010 at 4:33 pm

  16. Sinc, then you get a ice cream headache.
    Ken, settle down pet

    tal

    January 13, 2010 at 4:33 pm

  17. Steve:

    I’m truly shocked at how gullible you are still after the scandal.

    It’s no longer a matter of trust with anyone in that area of science. It’s now about instituting verification processes and auditing their work. Peer reviews has basically been shot to pieces.

    Trust doesn’t come into it. That’s just an emotional response.

    jc

    January 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm

  18. Everything is under control the UK has released the Climate Change Cops.

    tal

    January 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

  19. Actually i am hanging out for a cracker of a cyclone to occur in about four to six weeks time. Just as long as it doesn’t hit a population centre. The most desirable outcome would be to cross the coast north of Bowen, then come down through the dawson valley and the eastern Darling Downs to die out around Gunnedah. That would be perfect. Should be able to get rid of every drought declaration in northern Australia.

    BoM has a pretty good cyclone site where you can look at cyclone tracks. It is interesting that the rate of cyclones passing with 200km of Brisbane averaged out roughly once every three years in the last century, but there hasn’t been one since 1991. In fact the last decade has been pretty quiet on the east coast, with the obvious exception of Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry. And it wasn’t even a big one (you never hear it was cat 4 when it hit the coast, and was only briefly cat 5).

    The paper CL links to is obvious to anyone living in Queensland. What is interesting is that the likes of karolly basically say Yes, but they will get worse real soon now! He is a preacher, not a scientist.

    The modeling that forecasts increasing cyclone frequency and intensity is quite poor, and has no statistical significance. In fact I suspect a classic case of garbage in, garbage out. And the black box has been rigged to produce the result through its underlying assumptions. After all, these same forecasters suggest more frequent El Nino events too. But that would mean less cyclones, as big cyclone years are La Nina years (eg 1974). The buggers are trying to have their cake and eat it too. Anyway, pick any decade in the last 100 years except the 1970s and there are always more El Ninos than La Ninas.

    entropy

    January 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm

  20. Yes, the warmenist coping strategy is really starting to resemble the more apocalyptic types of American pentecostalism. Whenever the Rapture or the Endtimes don’t materialise, environmental Benny Hinns just dust themselves off and say they’re coming soon.

    C.L.

    January 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm

  21. “Just shows how honest the BOM is, then, CL, and how you can trust them when they talk about record heatwaves, etc.”

    Not really, I think it shows they’re learning we’re no longer as gullible as they previously thought; which more or less confirms what Switzer is arguing, that the politics of climate change (and I include here the promotion of climate science to the public) is changing.

    dover_beach

    January 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

  22. Tal – I’ve heard that if you press up on your palate with your thumb you relieve the ice cream headache. Haven’t had one since I heard that so can’t confirm just yet. Let me know.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

  23. By the way, did CL & DB notice how Roy Spencer had to explain exactly how satellite temperatures are taken so as to correct a big mistake Monckton made?:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/12/how-the-uah-global-temperatures-are-produced/

    And Lambert (calm down, JC) rips into Monckton’s maths and assumptions too:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_43.php#more

    He’s your crazy-eyed letter writing Lord CL (even if he can’t get Rudd’s title right), aren’t you at least a bit embarrassed about his satellite mistake?

    steve from brisbane

    January 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm

  24. And Lambert… rips into Monckton’s maths and assumptions too.

    LOL. Lambert and maths. This is the bloke who famously said that 59 is “similar to” 88 and is one of the world’s last supporters of the Lancet Iraq War death toll.

    C.L.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm

  25. the climate debate in Australia had been conducted in a heretic-hunting, anti-intellectual atmosphere.
    .
    What self-pitying horseshit. Truly!
    .
    The climate change debate, as it’s so spuriously called, is nothing but an increasingly hysterical shouting match between two camps who mistakenly believe that this is somehow an extension of the ideological squabbles between the left and the right which are increasingly more a matter of habit than of substance.
    .
    News Ltd columnists are paid to twist the truth about any way Rupert wants and, despite being part of a complex that owns 70% of the newspapers in this country, they have the chutzpah to claim they are somehow lone voices defending their honour like John Proctor against the forces of ignorance and superstition.
    .
    Certainly there is much to lament in the politics of climate change which is being used to justify a functionally useless gargantuan pork-fest but for yet another Murdoch organ to claim yet again to be the voice of reason in a debate in which the participants distinguish themselves by knowing almost nothing and lying to themselves and everyone else about what they do know is Pythonesque.
    .
    It makes me hope in some small corner of my soul that the worst happens and quickly. Because I’ll enjoy my last laugh just before headless chicken riot. The joke being the spectacle of conservatives turning around like Oceania’s best citizens, proclaiming that denialism has always been the preserve of the stereotypical residents of Balmain and like suburbs before declaring themselves entitled to preferential access to whatever small square of the Earth that remains habitable because, as always, they are the good people.
    .
    Hah!

    Adrien

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm

  26. Non-partisan Adrien nobly identifies the problem:

    …hysterical shouting match between two camps who mistakenly believe that this is somehow an extension of the ideological squabbles between the left and the right which are increasingly more a matter of habit than of substance.

    Non-partisan Adrien identifies the real culprits:

    News Ltd columnists are paid to twist the truth about any way Rupert wants… The joke being the spectacle of conservatives turning around…

    C.L.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

  27. “It makes me hope in some small corner of my soul that the worst happens and quickly. Because I’ll enjoy my last laugh just before headless chicken riot.”

    I hope that the best happens, we can poke fun at the ‘good citizens of Brunswick’ all the while knowing that few have been harmed.

    dover_beach

    January 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  28. I hope that the best happens, we can poke fun at the ‘good citizens of Brunswick’ all the while knowing that few have been harmed.
    .
    When I’m being rational I agree with you. But today I’m not being rational DB. Today I’m a herd animal and reason’s unfashionable. 🙂

    Adrien

    January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

  29. I am partisan CL. I think they all suck. After 3 years one’d thought that even you’d a picked that up by now.

    Adrien

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm

  30. I’m looking forward to an apology from all the warmening cultists if in 30 years time they realise their hysteria was unfounded.

    Abu Chowdah

    January 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm

  31. But you don’t believe “they all suck,” Adrien. You pretend that’s what you believe and then you carry on with conventional lefty blameshifting. We’re talking “climate change” and you go after Rupert Murdoch?

    C.L.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:43 pm

  32. We’re talking “climate change” and you go after Rupert Murdoch?
    .
    We’re not talking about climate change CL. We’re talking about rhetoric in the Wall Street Journal. Who own s that?
    .
    And please name politicians. Just one for whom I’ve expressed unqualified admiration?

    Adrien

    January 13, 2010 at 6:47 pm

  33. Steve,
    I’m very calm when discussing the Deltoid height disadvantaged blogger.

    Why the hell would you use that little twerp for any reference on math issues?

    Posing as an expert on war zone statistical methods the twerp has had his head handed to him. At the rate the Lancet survey was compounding Iraqi deaths 7.8 trillion would be dead now according to Lambert and the rest of those jerks that arranged the bullshit.

    Shorty isn’t a credible source on anything. He even lies when there is no reason to.

    You’re only doing yourself a disservice even mentioning the lightweight, indefensible little jerk.

    jc

    January 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm

  34. JC: “At the rate the Lancet survey was compounding Iraqi deaths 7.8 trillion would be dead …”

    JC, your criticism of Lambert is mathematics as poor as you claim Lamberts is.

    Since when is a death rate a compounding quantity? I wasn’t aware that corpses rose up to create new ones … unless of course we’re talking about zombies or vampires ….

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm

  35. Or Chicago Democrat voters

    tal

    January 13, 2010 at 7:11 pm

  36. JM

    Each bullshit survey they came out the death toll was increasing at frightening levels. These ‘surveys’ always seemed to coincide with the US elections which of course was purely random (of course).

    I just placed a compound rate and extrapolated out 2 and figured out that at the rate they were going there would have been 7.8 trillion Iraqi deaths.

    Do you think that is too low. You think there are more deaths 🙂

    jc

    January 13, 2010 at 7:20 pm

  37. No. I’ve only looked at the Lancet stuff (and then only reports on it) breifly, not enough to form an opinion beyond “seems ok”

    (I haven’t seen anything that questions it seriously, but if you want to point me at something, that’s fine)

    I was questioning your assumption of compounding rates. Seems to me that a death rate is if anything, self-limiting. Perhaps a logarithmic rate would be better?

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  38. “Perhaps a logarithmic rate would be better?”

    Oh really? 500 million dead Iraqis instead?

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 13, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  39. Me: “self-limiting”. In the context of a civil war, I mean.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  40. SRL, that would be an exponential rate, not a logarithmic one.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  41. Okay, please tell us how far off from reality you would have been with a logarithmic rate.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 13, 2010 at 7:55 pm

  42. Adrien: “… two camps who mistakenly believe that this is somehow an extension of the ideological squabbles between the left and the right which are increasingly more a matter of habit than of substance.”

    One of the more stable and rational comments on this topic.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm

  43. I’m just joshing about the compounding, JM.

    Yes the Lancet survey was sanctioned along with the survey leader by John Hopkins university for not using proper survey protocols and then (I think) lying about it.

    Being sanctioned in the worst possible way means it no longer can be used in any way. Shiny of course new about the sanction and only recently was found still defending it despite being fully aware of the action by John Hopkins. Basically it was like a grubbier version of Homer passionately defending Nazi economics and skanke ho being as Asian warlord’s wife.

    jc

    January 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm

  44. Sorry SRL, it wasn’t a very serious comment – as I mentioned to JC I haven’t looked at the Lancet stuff enough. I was just pointing out that IMHO a compounding rate wasn’t really appropriate.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 8:01 pm

  45. I’ll say it again JM. Basically this is why “climate change” is a load of drivel – it has been hijacked for the purposes of socialism or anti materialism.

    GW might be a very serious problem, except that the strongest voices calling for mitigation reject any cheap/effective solution in favour of socialism or anti materialism, in the name of the “precautionary principle”.

    If the green movement were not so (stupidly) left wing, this thing would be wrapped up already. [I recognise not all are, some are free enterprise, others intelligent, cautious left wingers on economic issues].

    Insisting that the Stern report was quality research, stonewalling on iron seeding, sulfur dioxide, even nuclear or tree planting, or heaven forbid, a simple carbon tax lieu of compensatory tax cuts leaves the strong proponents of mitigation little voice that they want an effective solution that maintains living standards and allows them to be raised in the future.

    Everything is against bad economics. Demographic change in 30+ years, the GFC and the urge of 3rd world nations to industrialise just can’t be fobbed off.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 13, 2010 at 8:06 pm

  46. Cyd and Phiul used to show up at the same time, spamming the site.

    Cyd sounded awfully like my old carbon slave metromick (sando). The plot really thickens especially if there’s some sort of manage a’ trois with Birdie, (full figured) Phil and Metro.

    jc

    January 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

  47. SRL (these are personal views just off the top of my head, right?)

    1. GW is a serious problem

    2. An ETS is both cheap and effective. We’ve experience with them and they work

    3. The precautionary principle is appropriate in this case as the potential impact is huge. The risks are skewed to the downside in other words.

    4. The Stern report was policy, not research

    5. Sulphur dioxide is not a solution, it’s stupid. The residence time is weeks or months while that for CO2 is decades or centuries (there’s also the acidic effect to consider)

    6. Nuclear can only be a bridge as uranium supplies are limited. Anyrate, as I’ve said before, anybody who can get nuclear power to work as a profitable enterprise without government subsidy is welcome to it. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible.

    7. Tree planting, no argument

    8. A carbon tax? FIne, anything that puts a price on carbon and uses a market mechanism is fine – better than prescriptive action. However, I don’t see it being politically palatable or achievable within the timeframes we need.

    9. I think population is a far more important driver than demographics (which are different for each country anyway)

    10. Industrialisation is only equal to carbon emissions for the 20thC oil and coal based economy and technology. We’re running out of oil and can’t afford to keep burning coal.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

  48. JM, I’m prepared to give you a pass on most of those articles of faith; but
    .
    2. An ETS is both cheap and effective. We’ve experience with them and they work
    .
    they work? at stopping global warming? and they’re cheap? how much will an ETS cost, exactly?
    .
    3. The precautionary principle is appropriate in this case as the potential impact is huge.
    .
    in that case it was appropriate for Pascal, the inventor of the precautionary principle, since the potential impact (going to Hell) was huge. The precautionary principle is as applicable to global warming as it is to the existence of Hell. Probability unknown, dire consequences if true.
    .
    9. I think population is a far more important driver than demographics
    .
    So… in an ideal world, what would we do about that? I use the word “we” but I really mean “you”.

    daddy dave

    January 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm

  49. An ETS is arguably effective, but not as simple as a carbon tax. Calling it a “market mechanism” is as market orientated as taxes are. Our CPRS is a piece of dogshit with ribbons on it in a Miss World Contest. They didn’t work in Europe. Look how far the ETS price for CO2 dropped as all parties cheated. Nuclear is as limited as long as I live for 100 000 years. Thorium reserves are yet larger. 9. ??? I was talking about the ability to pay for an ETS, the welfare state and state run pensions. Something’s got to give. We need an efficacious and efficient option. 10. Tell that 2.5 billion people accumulating wealth and acquiring 1st world status. We’re not running out of oil. Peak oil is a load of crap. Absolute unmitigated rubbish. Alternative sources of oil are simply huge.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm

  50. Dave, firstly Pascals wager is nonsense since there are so many gods you can’t appease them all. Secondly the precautionary principle is about real risks not imaginary ones. Thirdly, Pascal’s wager has nothing to do with the precautionary principle. It’s a piece of Christian apologetics, not a serious contribution to public policy.

    The costs of an ETS depend on the structure of the scheme. In the case of the Acid Rain Program they turned out to be significantly lower than estimated and the program succeeded ahead of time (or gave better than expected results, depending on how you want to phrase it). In the particular Australian case, the costs have been estimated and presented to Parliament. Refer to appropriate materials no doubt available online. (I hear they’re relatively small and roughly in line with Stern’s analysis.)

    Population? I haven’t thought about it a lot, but two things come to mind:-

    1. As living standards improve, families become smaller and the age structure of the population stabilizes

    2. If you’re really desperate, think about China’s approach. Ugly, but you have to admit, effective.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 8:41 pm

  51. SRL

    An ETS is arguably effective, but not as simple as a carbon tax.

    Depends on your perspective. Letting the market work is simpler IMHO than a huge raft of tax provisions at least as complex as the GST.

    Calling it a “market mechanism” is as market orientated as taxes are.

    But it is a price, is it not? And doesn’t the fact that tax systems don’t function well as price mechanisms – due to political pressures – tell you something?

    Our CPRS is a piece of dogshit with ribbons on it in a Miss World Contest.

    So what? Is the perfect the enemy of the good now?

    They didn’t work in Europe. …

    Not initially because they gave away too many free credits and stuffed the market up. It’s better now.

    Nuclear is as limited as long as I live for 100 000 years.

    Uranium is limited. (And I hope you’re not talking about the fusion fantasy which is always “30 years away”).

    Thorium reserves are yet larger.

    Thorium requires U233 (ie. very high grade) to seed the reaction and keep it going. It’s also a complex technology with a lot of research required yet to bring it to market.

    Re. 9. Increasing population is a huge driver of emissions. If we allow population to keep going we’re going to need massive per-capita cuts. Simple arithmetic.

    Re. 10. China might be going gangbusters on coal (and they are) but they’re not holding back on the alternatives either. They see coal as now, nuclear as a bridge, alternatives as technologies they want to dominate.

    We’re not running out of oil.

    You’re losing touch with reality.

    Peak oil is a load of crap.

    You’re really losing touch with reality.

    Alternative sources of oil are simply huge.

    Tar sands? What are the costs of extraction? And you’re worried about the costs of an ETS?

    (Cue JC)

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

  52. JM,that is really cruel

    tal

    January 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm

  53. oops sorry that 8.10 post was he wrong thread .. delete if you want.

    jc

    January 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm

  54. China’s one child policy I mean

    tal

    January 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm

  55. JC: “… the Lancet survey was sanctioned …”

    Yeah? I didn’t hear about that, do you have a URL?

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm

  56. They didn’t work in Europe. …

    Not initially because they gave away too many free credits and stuffed the market up. It’s better now.

    You have had a look at how how the CPRS is supposed to work? Does EITE mean anything to you? The biggest problem I see with the CPRS, is that even though everyone agrees that a market based solution would set the best price, the CPRS can only be described as such by lobbyists and financiers.

    And a carbon tax would also operate in the free market in any case, except the price is set by fiat. Big deal. The most appealing bit is there would not be a wonderful new artificial market in permits and derivatives, and there would not be any special treatment for favoured groups,

    entropy

    January 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm

  57. Item 1

    We have recently learned that Gilbert Burham, the lead author of second Lancet study, has been sanctioned by Johns Hopkins for deviating from the approved IRB protocol and collecting the names of many survey respondents, a fact that was implicitly denied in numerous public pronouncements.

    This error, and its possible coverup in subsequent public statements means that, in my opinion, we can no longer rely upon the Lancet II mortality estimates. If one major methodological detail was distorted, we simply cannot know whether other aspects of the study were carried out as stated. Until and unless there is far greater detail on these methods, I do not feel that their estimate of 650,000 post-invasion surplus deaths can be trusted.

    Item 2

    Because of violations of the Bloomberg School’s policies regarding human subjects research, the School has suspended Dr. Burnham’s privileges to serve as a principal investigator on projects involving human subjects research.

    Item 3

    The Hopkins website refers to data release but, in fact, no data were provided in response to our formal requests. Included in our request were full sampling information, full protocols regarding household selection, and full case dispositions — Dr. Burnham explicitly refused to provide that information for review.

    My take is explained here and here and here and here. All those ‘here’ relate to a single thread, so you could just read down the first one.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm

  58. “Letting the market work is simpler IMHO than a huge raft of tax provisions at least as complex as the GST.”

    It isn’t “the market”. Applying excise to all carbon fuels and cutting income tax is administratively simple.

    “But it is a price, is it not? And doesn’t the fact that tax systems don’t function well as price mechanisms – due to political pressures – tell you something?”

    Tax systems do work as pricing mechanisms. The ETS is a quota system. Neither are “the market”. The amount of graft in the ETS overwhlems what we see in the tax system pound for pound in an astonishing way.

    “Not initially because they gave away too many free credits and stuffed the market up. It’s better now.”

    Yes, and each nation cheated on the other in the Federation.

    “Uranium is limited. (And I hope you’re not talking about the fusion fantasy which is always “30 years away”).”

    Uranium is limited far beyond the lifetime of anyone here.

    “Thorium requires U233 (ie. very high grade) to seed the reaction and keep it going. It’s also a complex technology with a lot of research required yet to bring it to market.”

    No, that’s not right. Fast reactors are currently operational, under construction and in design phases.

    “Increasing population is a huge driver of emissions. If we allow population to keep going we’re going to need massive per-capita cuts. Simple arithmetic.”

    What does the welfare state look like by 2030? Especially if you think oil is going to run out? (e.g Norway).

    “China might be going gangbusters on coal (and they are) but they’re not holding back on the alternatives either. They see coal as now, nuclear as a bridge, alternatives as technologies they want to dominate.”

    Please tell us if they and India industrialise as they wish, how this throws out mitigation.

    “We’re not running out of oil.

    You’re losing touch with reality”

    Jesus Christ. Provide some evidence at least. “We’re running out of oil”…yep, since the 1970s we’ve been running out of oil.

    The difference between an ETS and tar sands is that tar sands represent scarcity, and an ETS is typically a really shithouse, costly, inefficient method to mitigate carbon output.

    This is exactly what I mean. After you are given some leeway to smash the bad ideas, we’re still left with all of the half baked, poorly researched and half assed excuses to do anything but impose a truly awful ETS system on the populace.

    An ETS has got bugger all to do with effective mitigation for a very high cost. It isn’t conservationist, it’s a penance.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 13, 2010 at 9:54 pm

  59. Sinclair, I had a look at the OpenEdNews link and I think the characterization is overwrought. The sanctioning relates to the capture and possible release of identifying information of interview subjects, not the method itself.

    It’s an ethics violation.

    OpenEdNews go too far (as do you in my view) when they extrapolate to “… we can no longer rely upon the Lancet II mortality estimates. If one major methodological detail was distorted, we simply cannot know whether other aspects of the study were carried out as stated”

    That’s too far. John Hopkins clearly had a very close look at this study, close enough to find ethical faults with the data handling.

    Yet they say nothing about the far more important issue of the analysis and method itself.

    Overwrought. Not worth getting your knickers in a knot over it.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 10:27 pm

  60. SRL, a fast breeder reactor is not a Thorium reactor (at least not practically yet). I quote from the Wiki page on fast breeders (my bold – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_breeder_reactor):

    In addition, a heavy water moderated thermal breeder reactor, using thorium to produce uranium-233, is theoretically possible …

    (Actually, to be fair, that’s a bit strong – there has been an experimental reactor. But those in the industry don’t take Thorium seriously as a practical option now or in the immediate future.)

    None of the reactors you refer to are Thorium based.

    Uranium supplies are very limited if reactor capacity is scaled up to the size required to come anywhere near replacing coal.

    Provide some evidence at least.

    I hope you’re not channeling GMB 🙂 Would Dick Cheney do? He’s spent the last 8 years madly securing US access to the last really significant and accessible oil supplies in the world despite his many statements during and after the first Gulf War that invading Iraq would be stupid.

    Sorry, that example is a bit cynical. But just think about it a bit.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm

  61. It’s an ethics violation
    .
    Whew!
    Well that’s okay then. Scientists who break ethical guidelines then cover it up are to be trusted on everything else because, well I guess they “used up” their resources of unethicalness. Everybody knows how exhausting it is to lie.

    daddy dave

    January 13, 2010 at 10:52 pm

  62. entropy: “Does EITE mean anything to you?”

    Yes. I don’t like the concept. I didn’t say the CPRS was perfect, I said it was better than nothing.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 10:59 pm

  63. JM, I’ve been hunting around and can’t find an answer to a question that’s eating away at me. Could you tell me what the evidence is that CO2 increases cause atmospheric temperature increases?

    daddy dave

    January 13, 2010 at 11:01 pm

  64. “I hope you’re not channeling GMB”

    I hope you’re not channelling George Negus.

    “But those in the industry don’t take Thorium seriously as a practical option now or in the immediate future”

    Name someone.

    “Sorry, that example is a bit cynical. But just think about it a bit.”

    I don’t care how you feel about clouds or if Titanic made you cry or not, evidence please.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm

  65. JM – what he did is a hanging offence and he got off very lightly. Bottom line, the results can’t be trusted.

    What else were Johns Hopkins going to say?

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm

  66. Dave, an ethics violation is serious, yes. But it doesn’t touch on the methods or the analysis, and it’s overwrought to stretch it that far.

    Because you can only make that stretch by concluding that a conspiracy exists – without evidence.

    JM

    January 13, 2010 at 11:06 pm

  67. JM the “bare braches” poiicy is not the answer

    tal

    January 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  68. Dave, an ethics violation is serious, yes. .
    .
    Really. how serious, in your world. Serious enough to have any repercussions at all?
    Let me quote Sinclair from the linked thread above:
    “And if they did not follow the ethical standards required of their own university, and the standards they themselves set for their own research, what other standards didn’t they follow?”
    .
    If someone’s caught cheating, they’re a cheat. They’re out of the game. End of.

    daddy dave

    January 13, 2010 at 11:14 pm

  69. Anyway, their methodology sucked, even at face value on its own merits. It was a ridiculous exercise.

    daddy dave

    January 13, 2010 at 11:17 pm

  70. JM, I hope you don’t think “better than nothing” is a legitimate argument.

    Perhaps the only person arguing for nothing is Nick Minchin. Not even Barnaby Joyce is arguing that nothing shoud be done (actually he is arguing for farmers to get sequestration credits, typical agrarian socialist).

    I think it is pretty clear I advocate a carbon tax and some sort of SA to manage a separate offset market where businesses can obtain credits. That said, having looked into the CPRS I think it very well might be worse than nothing.

    entropy

    January 13, 2010 at 11:19 pm

  71. “Not even Barnaby Joyce is arguing that nothing shoud be done (actually he is arguing for farmers to get sequestration credits, typical agrarian socialist).”

    They should. They got totally gypped by the Native Vegetation Acts.

    If you don’t like a fair ETS with an unfair NVA, then don’t have an ETS and/or and NVA.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 13, 2010 at 11:25 pm

  72. Oh, I agree with that. There is no need for a NVA if you are pricing carbon.

    entropy

    January 13, 2010 at 11:50 pm

  73. Sinclair: “… the results can’t be trusted.”

    Why not? What’s the peer community said? I’m not married to that result, I’m just asking for information.

    JM

    January 14, 2010 at 1:43 am

  74. Dave: “Could you tell me what the evidence is that CO2 increases cause atmospheric temperature increases?”

    You haven’t been around here very long, so you don’t know me. Don’t open that argument. Let me just give you a hint:- “radiative physics”

    I don’t think anyone here wants to see me rehearse that again with you as the victim.

    JM

    January 14, 2010 at 1:45 am

  75. Sorry Dave, that was an intemperate response. Very sorry.

    There is no doubt that increased CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the temperature of a planet. The greenhouse effect is well understood, and has been for over a hundred years.

    You can find an explanation on Wiki in the section “Greenhouse Effect” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arhennius and also here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

    The effect is based on the physics of the 20th Century that led to the atomic bomb and also the computers we are all using.

    No. Doubt. At. All.

    None.

    JM

    January 14, 2010 at 2:04 am

  76. Tal I don’t understand what you mean by “bare braches”.

    And to respond to your earlier point about the cruelty of China’s one child policy, I think we’re faced with these options:-

    1. Limit population by bringing the entire world into a standard of living where family sizes decrease and population stabilizes.

    2. Crush the third world so they all die and we can continue to enjoy our standard of living at some acceptable (to us) level

    3. Implement China’s policy of containing population growth so the required per capita reduction in CO2 is more palatable

    My personal view is that the first is the only viable option. And it requires alternative energy sources.

    JM

    January 14, 2010 at 2:21 am

  77. JM “No. Doubt. At. All.

    None.”

    It is a pity that many who believe in AGW overstate their case. There is always doubt about forecasts.
    It is only religious beliefs that are free from doubt.
    The evidence seems to be strong – strong enough to require action – but that is a long way short of being 100% certain that climate will turn out the way IPCC projects.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 14, 2010 at 4:42 am

  78. JM – the peer community has said nothing. What are they going to say and in which forum? The authors’ did not follow the advertised methodological proceedure. The ethics form part of the methodology. So we cannot know what they did, so we cannot trust the result.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

  79. “Limit population by bringing the entire world into a standard of living where family sizes decrease and population stabilizes.”

    JM I think most here would agree with that. Many of us also have a pretty good idea how it could be done – limiting corruption, freeing economies and such. Another reason why the current attacks on neo-liberalism are causing harm.

    I think most demographers would say that the fears of global overpopulation have just about gone away. UN estimates of where and when world population will top out (currently 9.2 in 2050) have been successively reduced – until the last one which edged up a little.
    Many demographers believe the UN is still over-stating it, which is what you would expect. A much faster drop in births would cause problems in many countries due to demographic skew. China is facing trouble already.
    Anyway, the “problem” is not birth rate but increase in life expectancy due to better health. Few would suggest we should change that.

    BTW A friend in Japan has calculated when Japan will be empty at current rates. Can’t remember exactly but it’s not too far off and certainly before GW becomes really serious. Of course well before that it will be one very big retirement home.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

  80. I think one of the great fringe benefits of alternative energy sources coming on board is that it limits our dependence and undercuts the power of what oen Graeme Bird Esq calls ‘those sandcrackers’ who are currently exporting ideologies of increasing rigidity to what used to be relatively moderate sections of the Muslim world and exporting all their nutjobs. I’m all for it, and I’m primarily hoping for a breakthrough on cold fusion and/or bringing down the cost of solar.

    jtfsoon

    January 14, 2010 at 9:05 am

  81. I like how JM gets kicked in the balls over stonewalling economically responsible, environmentally effective policy and technology and just ignores it.

    You are not in a position to be judgmental. You reckon that the nuclear industry doesn’t see Thorium as viable, but can’t name a single person in that industry who thinks so.

    Again, this obscurantism is why we don’t trust your ilk on mitigation. It’s very hard to swallow that you don’t want to reduce emissions for anything else other than socialism or anti materialism when you fob off economic concerns and come up with very lame excuses not to go ahead with nuclear etc.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 14, 2010 at 10:53 am

  82. JM, you use Wikipedia to prove your case, but wikipedia is hopelessly compromised by the interference of William Connolley in every article that touches on climate. It can’t be trusted as an objective source of information.
    .
    No. Doubt. At. All.
    .
    In that case, what is the relevance of the precautionary principle?

    daddy dave

    January 14, 2010 at 11:15 am

  83. If the precautionary principle means anything in this context it means not unleashing a regulatory gorilla to enforce policies which will not make a measurable difference to the climate.

    Rafe

    January 14, 2010 at 12:49 pm

  84. and come up with very lame excuses not to go ahead with nuclear etc.
    ….
    and hydro.

    daddy dave

    January 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm

  85. If only someone would propose a Lomborg tax in Australia. Low rates on C02 emission, all revenue to alternative energy research. The Canadians might join in on that.

    The WSJ article, which is presumably the article of the post rather than the usual internet fest of ’tis so’ ’tis not’ on AGW is flawed. The idea that Abbott is going to win the next election doesn’t exactly ring true.

    Pedro X

    January 14, 2010 at 4:53 pm

  86. I’m all for it, and I’m primarily hoping for a breakthrough on cold fusion and/or bringing down the cost of solar.
    .
    Hear hear. I’d like a choice of a multiplicity of energy providers, providing energy from all sorts or different sources with a price on carbon fixed in so there’s no inappropriate externality.

    Adrien

    January 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

  87. why more than one decent technology. you don’t want diffusion, you want specialization and centralized production to attract economies of scale.

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm

  88. The idea that Abbott is going to win the next election doesn’t exactly ring true.

    I’d assumed when Sinclair described it as “fantastic” he meant one of the following definitions.

    1. strange, weird, or fanciful in appearance, conception, etc.
    2. created in the mind; illusory
    3. extravagantly fanciful; unrealistic
    4. incredible or preposterous; absurd

    Steve Edney

    January 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

  89. Spreading out propellers-on-sticks and focusing magnifying-glasses-on-panels technologies that are all spread out to kingdom come will only cause costs to rise.

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  90. If the precautionary principle means anything in this context it means not unleashing a regulatory gorilla to enforce policies which will not make a measurable difference to the climate.

    Rafe, the precautionary principle is a bullshit. it works on both sides of the ledger.

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm

  91. “why more than one decent technology. you don’t want diffusion, you want specialization and centralized production to attract economies of scale.”

    That will come when one wins out. Until then we shouldn’t be preferencing any.

    Steve Edney

    January 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm

  92. “JM: No. Doubt. At. All.
    .
    daddy dave: In that case, what is the relevance of the precautionary principle?”

    Exactly right, dd. The precautionary principle (PP) only applies where scientific claims are merely plausible, not when they are beyond doubt. Of course, the charlatans that refer to the precautionary principle while also saying that the “science is settled” seem to be oblivious to this point. They are also oblivious to the fact that PP requires that there be a reasonable alternative to what is being condemned, a role that mitigation is unable to fulfil.

    dover_beach

    January 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  93. Steve:

    nuke wins out in all respects as there is nothing that even remotely compares.

    I agree with the comment made at Barry Brook’s site. You don’t want to make energy more expensive, you actually want to make it cheaper and abundantly plentiful.

    Once you get standardization in nuke plant installation, we could have as much energy as we want that could in fact make it even cheaper than coal.

    I’ll try to find the link to the comments as they are damned good. in fact they are the some of the best I’ve read for a while.

    My suggestion would be to role up the entire emissions targets and begin installing nuke plants as they become cheaper and standardized with the plan of actually beating the 80% emissions free objective by 2050. We could really be emissions free by then.

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:27 pm

  94. here.

    Read Peter Lang’s comments through the thread.

    The guy is terrific.

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/01/02/investment-we-arent-making/

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  95. Nuclear: Korea has just contracted to build four 1350 GW reactors for UAE for US$20 billion. That is US$3800/kW. But that is for first of a kind in UAE, first of a kind export from Korea, first of a kind power plants (none have been commissioned yet in Korea). It is reasonable to expect a significant cost reduction as experience grows. Could US$2000/kW be achieved within a decade?

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm

  96. 2. Coal: Current cost for new coal without carbon capture and storage in Australia is A$2450/kW (Black coal unltra super critical) and A$2700kW (Brown coal unltra super critical).

    3. Solar Thermal: US$8000/kW projected by 2025

    4. Wind: Current average is A$2611/kW. To that we must add back up generators at A$1175/kW and extra transmission at $1000/kW for a total of A$4786/kW

    Wind and solar are out of the question; they will be dropped once the public gets to understand how it have been misled. The task is clearly to get the cost of electricity from nuclear to be less than coal. To achieve this in Australia the main emphasis needs to be on the social engineering, not the technical. We need:

    1 Education facilities in every state

    2 A national body that is chartered to implement nuclear energy in Australia with the goal of providing electricity at least cost and with acceptable safety.

    The question of acceptable safety is where the social engineering is needed. The community needs to address the fundamental question: why do we need far higher safety standards for nuclear energy than for other industries? What is the cost and benefit of trying to reduce risks for nuclear to far below what we accept for other industrial plants?

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:39 pm

  97. These are some staggering insightful comments that are worth pasting here.

    Lang hits the ball out of the field, as far as I’m concerned. You want to be making non-carbon based energy cheaper than coal, which is actually achievable, not raising the price of energy and hurting people… particularly the poor.

    Hi Ewen,

    You say

    There are obviously two ways of making alternatives to coal cheaper — one way involves making coal more expensive and the other is to provide some sort of subsidy that exceeds the value of the environmental externality (subsidy) that freedom to pollute amounts to.

    There is a third way. Remove the blocks that are making nuclear more expensive than coal. Allow a genuine level playing field so that nuclear can compete with coal and gas on an equal footing

    You say: “I don’t agree that you will never get people to accept paying more for energy in real terms.”

    I understand the point you are making with this statement and your supporting points. However, we need to look beyond the developed world and beyond the current consumers of electricity. The massive growth for electricity over the next 50 years or so will be in the developing nations and from electricity displacing natural gas for heat in stationary energy and electricity displacing oil for land transport (either directly in electric vehicles or through synthetic fuels produced using electrcity).

    If we can get the cost of non-fossil electricity below the cost of fossil electricity then clean electricity will be built more quickly in the developing countries and will more quickly displace oil in the developed countries.

    The developing countries are going to develop; there can be no avoiding that. They will either go through the fossil electrcity stage or a clean alternative. The lower the cost of non-fossil electrcity (world wide) the faster will be their development and the less fossil fuel will be burnt (in total).

    From my perspective it is essential we, in Australia and the developing countries, turn our full attention to bringing down the cost of non-fossil fuel electricity as quickly as possible. That means nuclear, because renewables have no realistic chance of making any significant contribution.

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  98. More from Lang…

    Hi David Walters,

    I have great difficulty taking comments seriously that argue for trade protecionism. Similarly, I do not give much weight to arguments that bureaucrats and politicians, directed by the pubilc (which basically means by special interest groups trying to force their ideology on the rest of us), can manage the economy better than a free market economy with rational, light, and appropriate regulation.

    To me. profit is good. It is good for people.. It is good for humanity. It pays for everything we want. Without profit there are no investors, no jobs, no taxes, and therefore no public funding for health, education, infrastructure, environment or anything else society needs.

    If we want to nationalise industries in developing countries because we do not like the way the companies are poluting, or whatever else they are doing wrong in our eyes, then next time someone wants to build a plant in one of these developing countries the investors will require a much higher return on their investment to cover for the risk. The plant we are now complaining about was probably set up under the rules of that country at the time. It was probably set up with a 20 to 40 year expectancy of how the dividends would be paid out to the shareholders. I get very frustreated with the left-wing advocates who want to steal from investors and haven’t a clue what the consequences are. Currently we have advisors to government in Australia recommending that power stations be shut down and we (the public and tax payer) should not have to pay fair and just compensation to the investors. To me that is stealing. If we push that line, then the potential investors in nuclear power stations in Australia (with its 60 year life) will want an enormous premium on their return. How does that help humanity?

    I get pretty frustrated with what I consider the naievety of those who argue that the state should steal from the very investors who, only a few years ago, we encouraged to invest in our economy .

    jc

    January 14, 2010 at 5:49 pm

  99. why more than one decent technology. you don’t want diffusion, you want specialization and centralized production to attract economies of scale.
    .
    Not sure I agree. Especially considering the extent to which fossil fuel concerns distort and direct public policy. Have a grid and allow anyone to supply to it I say.

    Adrien

    January 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm

  100. Ken: “It is a pity that many who believe in AGW overstate their case. There is always doubt about forecasts.”

    No Ken, the specific question from Dave was ““Could you tell me what the evidence is that CO2 increases cause atmospheric temperature increases?”

    Nothing about forecasts at all.

    My response is that there is absolutely no doubt that increasing the concentration of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere – leaving all other factors unchanged – will cause an increase in temperature.

    Basic physics. No argument. No doubt.

    JM

    January 14, 2010 at 9:43 pm

  101. My response is that there is absolutely no doubt
    .
    That’s not answering the question. But never mind. Let it go… you already said you don’t want to get into it, and I guess neither do I.
    .
    Basic physics. No argument. No doubt.
    .
    No doubt? In that case, what is the purpose of the Precautionary Principle?

    daddy dave

    January 14, 2010 at 9:45 pm

  102. SRL my sources are people in the Uranium mining industry. I’m not going to name them because they are public officers of listed companies (small listed companies, but listed nonetheless).

    From one perspective they have a bias in favor of Uranium and against Thorium, but conversely they have to be concerned about Thorium as potentially threatening demand for their product.

    They aren’t. They don’t see it as commercially viable or available in any scale until a long way into the future.

    Sorry, that’s all I’m going to do for you in respect of backing that particular view. But if you want to pursue it, there are a spectrum of views including the people at Brave New Climate who I find very interesting and persuasive. The problem is that when I showed those views to my contacts they were very dismissive of the commercial viability.

    The figure I heard is that Thorium is only viable with Uranium prices well over $100/pound.

    There’s an IEAE assessment here that you might like to look at, which is actually quite positive, but says in its recommendations (my bold):

    (i) In front end of fuel cycle, thorium resources identified, so far, are a factor of three lower
    than those reported for uranium, in spite of the fact that thorium is three times more
    abundant in nature than uranium

    It doesn’t look anything like a mature technology even though it has been around for a long time.

    JM

    January 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm

  103. Tony started off strong but ultimately falters and fails:

    Over the next few months, I will be inviting relevant organizations to put proposals along these lines to the Coalition for possible adoption as policy in the run up to the election. At, say, an average cost per place of $50,000 a year, a 15,000 strong conservation corps would be expensive – although not on the scale of the Rudd Government’s unfunded stimulus measures. It would be an order of magnitude altogether greater than previous spending on green jobs that would indicate a new willingness to tackle environmental problems that have been festering for generations. Along with its other new policy proposals, the Coalition will announce the savings and revenue measures from which it will be funded in good time for the election.

    Michael Sutcliffe

    January 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm

  104. Sinclair: “JM – the peer community has said nothing. What are they going to say and in which forum?”

    If they’ve said nothing then possibly it’s because there is nothing to say? There’s an almost perfect free market in ideas and anyone could enhance their career if they could credibly attack the methodology. In any of the usual forums – I’m sure the Lancet would be interested in publishing a credible response.

    If they haven’t, then I’ll lean to the conclusion that the methodology was sound.

    JM

    January 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm

  105. SRL (and JC) a more jaundiced view of nuclear can be found here, quoting the key summary paragraph (my bold again):

    “Nuclear power generates approximately 20 percent of all U.S. electricity. And because it is a low-carbon source of around-the-clock power, it has received renewed interest as concern grows over the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on our climate.

    Yet nuclear power’s own myriad limitations will constrain its growth, especially in the near term. These include:

    * Prohibitively high, and escalating, capital costs ƒ
    * Production bottlenecks in key components needed to build plants ƒ
    * Very long construction times ƒ
    * Concerns about uranium supplies and importation issues ƒ
    * Unresolved problems with the availability and security of waste storage ƒ
    * Large-scale water use amid shortages ƒ
    * High electricity prices from new plants ƒ

    Nuclear power is therefore unlikely to play a dominant–greater than 10 percent–role in the national or global effort to prevent the global temperatures from rising by more than 2°C above preindustrial levels.”

    JM

    January 14, 2010 at 10:35 pm

  106. “The problem is that when I showed those views to my contacts they were very dismissive of the commercial viability.”

    Did they give any reasons?

    “The figure I heard is that Thorium is only viable with Uranium prices well over $100/pound.”

    This seems strange considering fast reactors use both.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm

  107. Yes very jaundiced, recycling 1970s era economic data.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 14, 2010 at 10:49 pm

  108. I’m not going to name them
    .
    so, in other words, you’ve got nothing.
    wikipedia, thinkprogress, and ‘unnamed sources.’

    daddy dave

    January 14, 2010 at 10:54 pm

  109. Well that’s an entertaining idea. Tony Abbott on 7.30 Report tonight says yes, he is seriously suggesting to the Greens that they should swing preferences to the Coalition instead of nearly always giving them to Labor.

    This from the man who admits calling climate change “crap” barely 8 weeks ago and has rewarded his skeptic supporters.

    Not showing a firm grip on reality, if you ask me.

    steve from brisbane

    January 14, 2010 at 11:20 pm

  110. Abbott has not rewarded skeptic supporters. Greg Hunt remains environment shadow.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 15, 2010 at 7:18 am

  111. There’s an almost perfect free market in ideas and anyone could enhance their career if they could credibly attack the methodology.

    I don’t follow your argument. Attack the methodology how? We don’t know what the methodology is because we can have no confidence in how the methodology is reported in the first instance. (mind you that hasnt stopped many people from exprssing extreme scepticism on the papers results). But it is not clear to me how a paper responding to the Lancet study latest revelations would proceed. What do you say when a person has been caught faking his experiements in the sciences? What do you say about a paper that is ethically challenged in a medical journal? How is saying that (whatever it is) a contribution to the body of knowledge so as to be published? But you are correct in suggesting that the market for ideas will continue to operate. The authors of the paper will experience a reduction in their reputational capital and the paper will be discounted as providing evidence but will be used as an example of politicised science.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 15, 2010 at 7:31 am

  112. Sinclair: And what do I call Nick Minchin – who started the whole crisis, and provided hundreds of ideas for Labor and Green pre-election advertisements – getting Energy and Resources, a portfolio with just a tad to do with climate change policy, I would have thought?

    steve from brisbane

    January 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

  113. Minchin was a shadow minister before the so-called crisis, and continues to be a shadow minister. Hell he was a real minister before. So I give up what do you call him?

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

  114. JM: My apologies. I misunderstood.

    But then your statement

    My response is that there is absolutely no doubt that increasing the concentration of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere – leaving all other factors unchanged – will cause an increase in temperature.

    is pretty meaningless because of the qualification “leaving all other factors unchanged”. In the real world other factors are changing all the time and in ways that we can’t see or measure. That results in doubt.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

  115. Well, I call him the person who has done most to ensure the maximum damage to the Coalition at the next election.

    He went from Shadow Communications Minister (in which his personal views on climate change had no relevance) to Resources and Energy under Abbott. I tend to think most people consider that the later is the more important portfolio, especially in the current circumstances.

    Of course, I did not mention Joyce and Bishop and Sophie in the rewards stakes, and now that I think of it, it will probably be a contest between Joyce and Minchin as to which can do the most damage.

    Hunt has never impressed me as a political performer, regardless of his status as a climate change believer. His retention is hardly going to offset the credibility chasm that Minchin, Joyce and Abbott have opened for all to see on environmental issues.

    steve from brisbane

    January 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

  116. His retention is hardly going to offset the credibility chasm that Minchin, Joyce and Abbott have opened for all to see

    Depends on your perspective. To my mind, his inclusion more than compensates for the crediblity chasm Abbott has opened up.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 15, 2010 at 11:01 am

  117. Only 19% of people supported the ETS strongly enough to want an early election over it.

    It’s like the republic thing. People want a solution to a perceived problem, but they’re not impressed by what is on offer.

    Rightly so.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

  118. “nuke wins out in all respects as there is nothing that even remotely compares.”

    I disagree, the Geothermal deep drilling stuff has the potential to be cheaper and cleaner. I’m not saying we shouldn’t adopt nuclear, we could begin replacing coal plants with the more or less immediately but at the same time this is potentially a better option in the longer term.

    Steve Edney

    January 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

  119. I have to say I agree with JC and Adrien. Nuclear looks like a winner but picking winners is a patently bad idea.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 15, 2010 at 11:10 am

  120. In the short-medium term I’m pretty sure nuclear is the winner. Longer term I’m not so sure. However I agree we shouldn’t be picking winners.

    Steve Edney

    January 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

  121. SRE: Governments trying to pick winners is a bad idea.
    Investors, gambling their own money, trying to do so is a very good idea.
    Capitalism produces good results because (among other reasons) it relies on lots of people trying lots of things. Governments like to make one big bet on one thing – the NBN is a good current example.

    But I reckon you knew all this…

    Ken Nielsen

    January 15, 2010 at 11:15 am

  122. There is an issue with the grid that I recently learned, which is that you can’t throw stuff on the grid as there has to be a certain level of balance.

    According to this study transient energy supplies max out at around 7% when using coal fired plants due to the fact that a coal plant requires a lot more lead time for response rates.

    So there are limitations in terms of what we can throw on the grid.

    As for picking winners. There are many choices other than nuke and carbon based supplies.

    jc1

    January 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

  123. oops anren’t

    jc1

    January 15, 2010 at 11:36 am

  124. So there are limitations in terms of what we can throw on the grid.

    Well yes the converse is that you need fast response power supplies that can be switched on fast so there will likely always be a multiple sources nuclear I believe also has long lead times.

    Steve Edney

    January 15, 2010 at 11:42 am

  125. Steve:

    If the problem is that transient energy upsets the grid, the obvious implication is that it ought to be thrown off, no?

    It sounds as though we’re trying to accommodate an energy supply that looks increasingly problematic.

    jc1

    January 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

  126. “If the problem is that transient energy upsets the grid, the obvious implication is that it ought to be thrown off, no?”

    Erm no. The problem is that *too much* upsets the grid. You want power you can turn on and off fast to manage demands spikes. You just don’t want to have most of the grid this way.

    Steve Edney

    January 15, 2010 at 12:14 pm

  127. We already have a winner. A thousand years worth of coal, for a start. What a strange discussion.

    C.L.

    January 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

  128. I’ve heard the max transient energy that can go on our grid is 7% top. Meanwhile Penny and Kev are suggesting 20%

    jc1

    January 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm

  129. CO2 has increased in the last 10 years, but temperatures haven’t. Therefore Co2 has nothing to do with rising temperatures. No doubt. ETSs and carbon taxes are a waste of time, invented by those who love complex solutions to non-problems. Go back to your Dungeons and Dragons or Sc-fi comics, you anoraks, and let the grown-ups get on with their lives free of your silly sophistry.

    Rococo Liberal

    January 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm

  130. Warmenist Danny Glover blames “climate change” for the Haiti eathquake.

    C.L.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm


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