A Cool Look at Global Warming, ten years later PART I

In April 2008 I delivered a paper to the ACT Division of the Planning Institute of Australia about the threat of global warming. Some months later we were to have the Copenhagen Climate Conference that was to solve all humanity’s problems. Many leaders said we had only a few weeks/months/years to save the planet. Al Gore, walking on stage to get his Nobel Peace Prize, barked to an interviewer that ‘the science is settled!’ Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had been rocketing up, and so had seemed to be global temperature. So 2008 was a year where global warming was much on the national and international agendas. Our Prime Minister had already proclaimed that it was the most serious moral, economic and social challenge to humanity, or words to that effect.

My paper, which had grown out of a few years of close study of the issue, was profoundly sceptical of this apocalyptic talk. Yes, there might be something in it, but if you looked hard at the way the issue was set out you did begin to stroke your chin and shake your head. Above all, the data of all kinds were rubbery, spotty and inconclusive. For example, while the oceans make up a little more than 70 per cent of the earth’s surface our knowledge of sea-surface temperatures for much of the 20th century depended on where ships sailed, and the measuring of sea-water temperature  in leather buckets. The location of land-temperature measurement sites is (unsurprisingly) heavily dependent on where people, and indeed where people in wealthy countries live.

My address made it to the local paper, and I gave a couple of talks on the subject on Robyn Williams’s ‘Ockham’s Razor’ program, plus a few addresses to Rotary, farming and other organisations. At one of them the German science attaché took me aside after the talk and discussion, and almost wagged his forefinger at me. ‘You are a senior figure,’ he said. ‘It is not right for you to say these things. The world is in great danger.’ I replied, as politely as I could, that I was used to reading scientific papers and judging how valuable they were. What I had said was what I thought was the case, after a lot of reading. How much reading in the area had he done? The conversation ended somewhat abruptly. I had come across my first ‘believer’. I was to meet many more, and argued with them too, twice in public.

Five years later I checked to see whether my judgments in 2008 were justified. They seemed to be. This year, the tenth anniversary, is a moment to look more comprehensively at the issue, and that requires two essays, of which this is the first. Two prefatory remarks are needed. The first is that a great deal more scientific work has been done in the past decade on the nature of ‘global warming’ and its running mate ‘climate change’. But quite a lot of it now does not support the central tenets of the climate orthodoxy. The second is that the international and national urgency to address the issue has passed. Governments occasionally talk the talk, but where they can they have stopped walking the walk. The Paris Accord of two years ago is without teeth and is not much referred to any more, except by believers. And these two terms, ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’, have nowhere near the salience they had ten years ago in the media (for Australian newspapers, for example, see here).

Nonetheless, those who believe that the planet is in great danger are still about, and if anything more worried than they once were, because they can perceive that by and large they do not have the political clout they used to have. Governments are in a bind, because they committed themselves to certain actions a decade or more ago and find it difficult now to get out of them. What we have is a kind of policy impasse. In 2008 I set out what I thought was the central proposition of the global warming issue. It is still the core of the scare.

Human activity in burning coal and oil, and clearing forests has, over the past century, put an enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere where it has combined with water vapour and other gases like methane to increase global temperatures in an unprecedented way. The evidence that this has occurred is clear-cut, and the increase in temperature will have, according to our computer models, dire effects on the planet, causing the melting of polar ice, the raising of sea levels, droughts, floods, storms and desertification. We must put an end to this prospect by changing our way of life lest catastrophe strike us. It may already be too late.

I then listed what seemed to me the seven important assumptions built into this scenario. The first was

1. The extent to which the planet is warming

 In 2008 it was commonly accepted that the 20th century had seen a rise in average global temperature of 0.6 ± 0.2 degrees Celsius. I pointed out then how imprecise the data were to support such numbers, but was prepared to accept a rough equivalent. One great problem with all this is the considerable warming that occurred in the first half of the 20th century, when the burning of fossil fuels was not as pronounced as it became later in the century. Attention has since been paid to the same metric for the 21st century. One reason is that the steady upward movement in temperature mimicking the rise in CO2 accumulations in the 1980s and 1990s flattened out quickly in the new century, though CO2 accumulations continued to rise steadily. Another was that much more notice is taken of satellite measurements, which only began in 1979, and are almost completely global in their coverage. You can see the trends at page 6 in Ole Humlum’s Climate in 2017 paper,  which is based on observations and the data from the five major climate datasets. Yes, temperatures began to rise again in the last three years, but they were accompanied by, if not caused by, the el Nino spike of 2016/7. They have begun to decline since, as the diagram below shows.

What we can say is that the approximately 1.5 degree C rise in temperatures in the last 150 or so years has been irregular. How much of this has been due to greenhouse gas emissions is moot. To this date no one has been able to distinguish the supposed CO2 ‘signal’ from the noise in the climate system, though there have been some efforts (for example, here). The tendency is to try to measure what is thought to be known (volcanic eruptions, ENSO etc), and then suggest that what is left must be caused by greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore by human activity. Such a method implies that all components of natural variability are known and easily measured, which is quite unlikely to be the case.

In any case, the level of warming is not great, and plainly has cyclic aspects. We don’t understand those very well, either.

2. Whether or not this warming is unprecedented

The allegedly ‘unprecedented’ nature of this warming is an important part of the global warming scare. If such warming never happened before, then it must be greenhouse gas emissions that have produced the warming. But what does ‘unprecedented’ mean? We have less than forty years of really good global data, and that’s not nearly enough to say anything much. The rubbery data put together from all sorts of sources for the 20th century, and back to the 1880s (where the evidence is increasingly scant) shows a similar warming in the first half of the century to that in the second half.

The similarity must raise doubts. It is sometimes argued that the first warming period was due to natural variability and the second to greenhouse gas emissions. But, to make the point again, there is as yet no way of isolating greenhouse gas emissions from natural variability. We do know, or at least we can estimate pretty accurately, that there have been a lot more greenhouse gas emissions in the last forty years than there were in the 1900 to 1940 period. But then, if it wasn’t greenhouse gas emissions, what caused the earlier warming period? And can some of the recent warming, or even most of it (a few sceptics would argue, all of it) be attributed to natural variability? If not, why not?

On the face of it, there is nothing at all unprecedented about the warming of the recent past. And it is well to remember that proxy data from ice cores, tree rings, sediments and the like suggest that there were past periods just as warm, or even warmer. The Romans enjoyed one around the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, and the Minoans much earlier enjoyed another, before they were wiped out, probably by a tsunami. Go to the beginning and consider Figure 3 in Ole Humlum’s climate4you.com. The ice-core data come from Greenland. Of these four warm periods (the other is the mediaeval), our present day is much the coolest. OK, Greenland isn’t the world…

 

[to be continued]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the discussion 89 Comments

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don

    This presentation is more a commentary than an analysis of climate change and global warming. Of course anyone can express their opinions and run commentaries, however the facts need to be sifted by more rigorous approaches.

    You state ” The first is that a great deal more scientific work has been done in the past decade on the nature of ‘global warming’ and its running mate ‘climate change’. But quite a lot of it now does not support the central tenets of the climate orthodoxy. ”

    But you did not present any refereed “scientific work” that corroborates this statement. You only presented Humlum’s self-published material.

    You imply that Spencer’s data for March 2018 supports a statement “They have started to decline”.

    However if you look at 40 years of March data at: http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

    -0.26 [1979]
    -0.03
    -0.13
    -0.32
    0.15
    -0.14
    -0.46
    -0.28
    -0.21
    0.16
    -0.31
    0.06
    0.23
    -0.14
    -0.43
    -0.19
    -0.07
    0.05
    -0.13
    0.47
    -0.08
    -0.01
    0.05
    0.24
    0.15
    0.35
    0.19
    0.16
    0.26
    -0.14
    0.03
    0.51
    -0.18
    -0.04
    0.1
    0.1
    0.18
    0.76
    0.23
    0.24 [2018]

    You will see a strong warming trend – superimposed on natural variation – of 1.2C per century. This does not support a decline in climate (ie 30 year trends).

    Natural variations would rise and fall equally with no short run trend other than due to solar variations and Milankovitch Cycles.

    It seem to me that a safe comment, drawn from Spencer’s data, is that climate change is at least 1C per century at Lower Troposphere levels. The impact of GHGs is much greater higher up.

  • Neville says:

    The HAD 4 data shows 0.55c /century of warming over the last 168 years. This is the IPCC approved data-set and of course comes at the end of the LIA or the coldest period for 10,000 years.
    The Concordia Uni study shows about 0.7 c of warming since the start of the Industrial Rev ( about 1800) and estimates OZ attribution to be 0.006 c over that time or 2011 years.
    Dr Curry and other scientists claim that warming started about 300 years ago, well before any AGW in the system, so there seems to be plenty of natural variability combined as well.
    Certainly there is nothing unusual or unprecedented about the slight warming or recovery from the LIA.

  • Neville says:

    Sorry, above should read “OZ attribution to be 0.006 c over that time or 211 ( not 2011) years.”

  • JimboR says:

    “The second is that the international and national urgency to address the issue has passed. Governments occasionally talk the talk, but where they can they have stopped walking the walk”….. “What we have is a kind of policy impasse”

    That sounds like blind optimism to me. The Brits are turning off coal-fired power stations by 2025 (unless they find a way to capture their emissions), France by 2021, Canada by 2030. Closer to home, AGL are running prime time TV ads explaining why they’re getting out of coal by 2050. Last week BHP quit the World Coal Association over a clash of views on how to combat climate change.

    • Neville says:

      Jimbo here’s my comment from a week ago. In fact the OECD countries have been turning off coal since 1980, just a pity about the developing countries soaring use over that same period.
      Of course none of the so called COP 21 mitigation fra-d will make any measurable difference to the temp by 2100. Just ask Dr Hansen.

      “Here’s the EIA graph on use of coal from 1980 to 2040. Note that the OECD countries have been using about the same tonnages of coal since 1980 and projections show little change out to 2040.
      But the non OECD (China, India etc) strongly increased their use and will continue to do so until 2040. In fact China generates 66.7% of it’s total energy from coal while the US only generates about 17%.
      IOW there will be an increase in co2 emissions until at least 2040 because of development in non OECD countries.
      And Lomborg’s latest update shows that S&W now generates about 0.8% of the world’s total energy and the IEA estimates this could increase to just 3.8% by 2040. Just more proof that COP 21 is BS and fra-d, according to Dr Hansen.”

      https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/figure_4-1.png

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Jimbo, all your statements about turning off coal are talk, not walk. Our Government does the same. But as you can see from the fuss about Liddell, when someone actually does want to close a coal-fired power station we get anxiety from the Government. I would have thought that declaring that renewables would do the job was a case of blind optimism, since there is ample evidence that they can’t, as I have written before. But each to his own.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Don’s comment “Governments occasionally talk the talk, but where they can they have stopped walking the walk” unfortunately is too true.

      I can only assume that by letting investors place money where ever they want our economy is underpinned by fossil fuel exports, to the tune of $90 billion a year (excluding oil). Our governments – Shorten and Turnbull are tied to this revenue flow.

      How can we prepare for a global zero carbon future under these circumstances? Services exports ???

      • Neville says:

        Chris the Australian people are also tied to this revenue flow.
        And don’t forget that OZ co2 emissions make up about 1.2% of global emissions, and even Dr Finkel agrees that there is nothing we can do to make a difference.
        It all depends on the developing countries, so you should jump on a plane and demonstrate over there. Good luck with that.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s Lomborg’s recent summary of the latest IEA report and he shows that today S&W generate just 0.8% of the world’s TOTAL energy and this COULD increase to just 3.6% by 2040.
    But I think we’ll have to ask the non OECD countries about their very optimistic forecast. If they follow China’s example of 66.7% of TOTAL energy from coal the 2040 increase would be enormous.

    https://climatechangedispatch.com/where-do-we-get-most-of-our-energy-hint-not-renewables/

  • Neville says:

    Here’s China’s energy graph from the IEA, showing a whopping 66.7% from coal.

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/CHINA4.pdf

    And the US graph showing just 17.1% from coal. Starting to wake up yet?

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/USA4.pdf

  • Neville says:

    According to the 2015 IEA data the non OECD already uses 1.5 more energy than the OECD. Here’s the two pie graphs. And there are soon to be hundreds new coal stations in the next few decades.

    Some countries have the intelligence to not waste their money on the clueless S&W fra-d and con. OH, and after decades of this idiocy the OECD generates just 2.1% from Geo + S&W and the non OECD just 1.2%. Are we starting to understand yet?

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/OECDTOT4.pdf And the non OECD.

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/NONOECDTOT4.pdf

  • JimboR says:

    “statements about turning off coal are talk, not walk.”

    Don, the evidence is all around you. Playford closed 2015, Northern closed 2016, Hazelwood closed 2017, Lidell closing 2022. Didn’t you join the chorus singing from the “SA blackout was caused by the shutting down of coal fired power stations” song sheet? How can you simultaneously argue that and argue “turning off coal are talk, not walk.”

    Nobody is turning these plants off early, they’re being removed by natural attrition. As they hit their use-by dates they get bulldozed and nobody builds any new coal-fired power stations. That’s why AGL’s “we’re getting out of coal” is taking until 2050. They own valuable plant that still has decades of life in it.

    I know you’ve previously said 2050 is not fast enough, if you believed in turning them off, which you don’t.. or something like that, the logic is often hard to follow. But it is a transition, with a long term eye to the future, and hopefully one that won’t turn the lights out.

    “Our Government does the same.”

    What’s it got to do with the government? Conservative governments sold off these coal fired generators, and they are now being bulldozed by their owners.

    “we get anxiety from the Government”

    Not unfounded, according to AEMO predictions, but we’ve seen how ineffective their anxiety is.

    Have you seen the AGL “we’re getting out of coal” ads? They’ve been running them hard during the Commonwealth Games. Mining and energy companies are not shy about appealing directly to the people: remember the mining industry’s campaign against the mining tax? Yet AGL’s ad campaign doesn’t make a single mention of all coal industry’s chestnuts: royalties are too high, subsidies to renewables are too high… not a mention! They’re getting out of coal because they’ve seen the future.

    The government is irrelevant and impotent…. well except maybe for a few dinosaurs in it who think we need a soviet style central government owned coal fired power station to be built with my taxes. What ever happened to small government? A handful of Conservatives in Aus have turned into Communists, and meanwhile the Conservatives in the UK are turning off coal fired power stations, and the militant mining unions are trying to put a stop to it. Maybe it’s a Northern/Southern hemisphere inversion type thing?

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Jimbo, You seem unaware of the fact of subsidies to renewables, and may have missed Alan Moran in the Oz:

      ‘Renewable subsidies have caused a doubling of wholesale prices by forcing the premature closure of coal generators. Requiring electricity retailers to buy wind and solar energy, soon to be 23 per cent of supply on the way to 40 per cent, gives them a subsidy of $80 per megawatt hour on top of the market price of $85/MWh. That market price was $40/MWh before renewables forced the closure of key power stations such as Victoria’s Hazelwood and the Northern in South Australia.’

      Why would a generator go for coal when the subsidies make renewables so much more profitable? There would be an almighty shift in corporate attitude if the subsidies were ended. Having said that, there are doubtless some ‘believers’ in the boardroom too.

      My guess is that we will see less and less of closures as the had facts of supply for demand start hitting cities and businesses in the next cold winter or hot summer.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Jimbo, I should have added that you completely misquote me at the head of your comment. I did not wrote what you put in inverted commas, but this:

      ‘Governments occasionally talk the talk, but where they can they have stopped walking the walk.’

      Please represent me accurately if you want to disagree.

    • JimboR says:

      Don, everything I put in inverted commas is a copy-n-paste quote of what you wrote, either in your essay, or in your comments. You need to read what you write!

    • JimboR says:

      “there are doubtless some ‘believers’ in the boardroom too.”

      Pretty much an absolute majority by all accounts. Perhaps you don’t realise just how minority your position is in mainstream Australia? Turnbull/Frydenberg rang each of the AGL directors and told them what they should do about Liddell and their CEO. They all stood by the direction the company is taking. They base their decisions on best available science.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        I take it you have discussed these matters with them all so you know it is the science that compelled their actions. If that is not the the case, it might have been more accurate to write that. ‘They say they base their decisions…’

  • Chris Warren says:

    A Warm look at Polar Bears

    “Mainstream scientists are in agreement that polar bear numbers will decline drastically as Arctic sea ice disappears, since the bears use the ice as a platform to hunt seals. Studies have found disturbing changes in the bears’ physical condition, body size, reproduction and survival rates, some of which have been linked to sea ice loss and more ice-free days.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/climate/polar-bears-climate-deniers.html

    • spangled drongo says:

      That’s all old hash and dumb prediction, blith.

      Susan Crockford v Jeff Harvey.

      I know who I’d believe every time.

    • spangled drongo says:

      As I keep pointing out to you, blith, [but you refuse to open your eyes and look outside] current sea levels and weather are only the noise of the natural variability of climate.

      Hansen et al., 2016 Sea levels during the Medieval Warm Period were 1.7 meters higher than present:

      https://i0.wp.com/climatechangedispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Holocene-Cooling-Sea-Level-Denmark-Hansen-2016-Anthropogenic-2.jpg?ssl=1

    • spangled drongo says:

      Make sure you at least read down to this comment, blith:

      Tom Halla

      April 12, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Sea level rise is the favorite theme for hysterics when they are not showing polar bears on photoshopped ice floes. There is about the same level of unreality to both.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Chris, Arctic sea ice is low but polar bear numbers seem to be quite high…

    • spangled drongo says:

      Here’s a good summary of blith’s very unscientific link on Polar Bears:

      https://climatechangedispatch.com/polar-bears-and-the-sleazy-new-york-times/

    • spangled drongo says:

      “…absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published” tweeted Judith Curry re Jeff Harvey, Michael Mann, Stefan Lewandowsky et al’s paper that our blith thinks is “science”.

      How could anyone in their right mind expect any less from a bully gang like that bunch:

      https://polarbearscience.com/2018/04/10/climate-mauling-polar-bears-and-the-self-inflicted-wounds-of-the-self-righteous/

    • spangled drongo says:

      Australian physics professor, Peter Ridd who is defending his right to criticize colleagues who predict extinction of the Great Barrier Reef, emailed Susan Crockford his thoughts about the issue of peer-reviewed publications raised in the Harvey et al. paper:

      “Dear Susan,

      Your description that the paper by Harvey et al as academic rape is fair. I would also describe it as a Mafia hit job. I have never seen an article like it.

      But it is evident that these self appointed protectors of “The Truth” are running scared as they are effectively admitting that the influence of these terrible blogs is having a profound effect. The disgraceful tone of their article will convert many over to our way of thinking.

      In my view, and I bang on about this point mercilessly, is that responses should always broaden the argument to the Replication Crisis in science – 50% of recent important peer-reviewed literature in many areas of science is wrong. This incredible and well documented fact is in the mainstream scientific literature but the public are not aware of it. The whole scientific system is failing, not just AGW science.

      So why does Harvey et al equate peer-review with “The Truth” when at best half is wrong and with the added problem of ideology in AGW (and Polar Bear) research we can expect much more than 50% to be wrong without even looking at any detail.

      Other areas of science are taking on board the Replication Crisis and trying to do something about it.

      Contrast this with Harvey et al who do not accept any of their work is wrong and leave a horses head in Susan Crockford’s bed.” Peter Ridd

  • spangled drongo says:

    “They’re getting out of coal because they’ve seen the future.”

    That’s not the “future” they’re seeing, jimb, that’s simply dollar signs.

    If you believe that these coal fired power stations are not capable of producing the cheapest power by simply extending their life for a few years at a very low cost, particularly when all the necessary, in-place grid infrastructure screams at you that this is the logical solution, then you are away with the fairies.

    Why is AGL refusing to sell Liddell for a billion?

    But chooses to close it down instead?

    Natural attrition for these plants can be decades of good profits away in a normal free market.

    D’ya possibly think that when the govt stuffs up the free market like it has with subsidies, that AGL’s adds might be making the most of both the subsidies and the high moral ground?

    At the private consumer’s expense?

    “….a few dinosaurs in it who think we need a soviet style central government owned coal fired power station to be built with my taxes.”

    And how do you feel, jimb, about the “soviet style central government” spending around 10 billion of your taxes on hydro?

    I know which one is by far the best value and most productive!

  • Chris Warren says:

    Neville

    We have no choice. We have to level off GHG accumulation.

    Otherwise sea level rise will continue to accelerate, future years will have more record temp days, future El Nino’s will be warmer than the previous ones and the accumulated energy of cyclones will continue to increase.

    UNfortunately our denialists [notrickszone] are pretending that the globe is about to enter a long run cooling phase due to lower solar insolation.

    https://i1.wp.com/notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Cooling-Predicition-Cosmic-Rays-Stozhkov-2017.jpg

    • spangled drongo says:

      But any alarmist worth his salt would back the IPCC models every time, hey, blith?

    • Neville says:

      Chris, the OECD countries have not increased emissions since 1980, particularly if you take their population into account.
      And some of your other scary stories are just speculation and we know that SH cyclones have reduced in strength and numbers since the 19th century when co2 levels were about 300 ppm.
      Even their ABC Catalyst claimed that the last SUPER cyclone hit the Qld coast 214 years ago.
      So if you really believe your claims you can at least tell us how to mitigate future climate. We know Kyoto was and now Paris is just a super expensive fra-d with no measurable change in temp by 2100.
      So how do you get the emerging developing countries to stop building cheap and very reliable Coal fired stns? If you believe the clueless S&W fra-d and con ( I’ve supplied the IEA graphs to prove my case) it should be easy to convince the emerging nations to build more S&W instead of coal.
      Come on tell us how to change their minds.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      But Chris, there is abundant evidence that nothing ‘we’ do will have any effect of consequence on global temperatures. So why are we doing this, again?

      • Chris Warren says:

        Because we are not the only ones doing things and the solution needs action by all economies with no opportunist dragging ones feet by fossil fuel biased economies such as Australia.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Considering how concerned you are, blith, please tell us how you are correcting your own foot dragging.

          I don’t suffer from your warming enuresis but have made a few expensive “gestures”.

          So seeing as how it worries you so much, do tell us about your particular sacrifices.

          Or do you really agree with Don that it is likely a non-problem, feel it is for those more guilty and you can’t really do much anyway?

          I will take a “no reply” as confirmation that you make no special effort.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Yes, yes, it does require concerted international action. But there isn’t any, and plainly there isn’t going to be any. Why should Australia do these things when China and India, some 2 billion plus people to our 25 million, are not doing them — and what they do in burning coal simply makes anything we do irrelevant?

          It seems nutty to me, but plainly not to you. So please explain your rationale.

          • Chris Warren says:

            If there is not concerted international action then it is game over.

            We pay our politicians 100’s of thousands a year to deal with such needs.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Chris, for you the game is over. For me there seems to be increasing sanity about the AGW scare.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          Nearly 8 million motorbikes in Saigon (HCM city), most used for daily transport. Similar for other major cities in Vietnam and Cambodia. Reckon Indochina’s going to go carbon neutral anytime soon?

      • David says:

        that argument could be run against any form of co-operation. The whole reason why people and countries cooperate is because they can achieve more as a group that they can separately.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          I’m not sure what this comment is directed to, but if it is to my remark, then while I agree with you in principle, it is plain that countries do not agree that the international cooperation Chris wants is either necessary or valid for them. While that remains the case nothing important will happen except semi-religious virtue-signalling by Western countries like us and NZ.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Yes, informed scientific-based, international co-operation with rules, is the only hope.

            Otherwise it truly is virtue-signalling by the advanced economies.

            I will ignore snide remarks about supposed “semi-religious”.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Yes, informed scientific-based, international co-operation with rules, is the only hope.”

            You mean by “scientists” who know what caused our previous climate changes, blith?

            When science ever gets to fully understand the causes and accurately quantify any of their predictions it is then maybe time to listen.

            In the meantime they are more likely to be just plain wrong:

            https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2018/04/16/science-is-not-truth/

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Why is my reference to ‘semi-religious’ snide?

            For many people , global warming and climate change are matters of belief, not of argument and evidence. Interviewers often ask respondents ‘Do you believe in climate change?’ and identify people as not believing, as you do yourself, Chris, as ‘climate denialists’ or ‘climate change denialists’.

            Whether the climate is changing because of human activity is surely not a matter of belief or denial but of argument and evidence. As I explained in the essay and above, to talk about how important X is but not to do much about it is what believers in religions commonly do. It is also what governments do, for electoral reasons mostly, I think.

          • spangled drongo says:

            You’re being very gentle with blith with your “semi”- religious, Don.

            Aren’t true believers at least 97%?

  • spangled drongo says:

    As long as it’s a catastrophe it doesn’t matter whether it’s hot or cold.

    Could snowball earth be on the way?

    But, would you believe, sometimes even the models get it wrong?

    “Scientists relied on climate models, not direct measurements, to claim in a new study man-made global warming caused a slowdown in the Gulf Stream ocean current.

    It’s the very same scenario posed in disaster movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” where a slowdown in the Gulf Stream turned North America into a frozen wasteland. A catastrophic scenario could be decades away, some scientists are saying.”

    “We know somewhere out there is a tipping point…” Stefan Rhamstorf.

    Well…er.. we hope, anyway:

    http://amp.dailycaller.com/2018/04/11/day-after-tomorrow-global-warming/

  • Chris Warren says:

    Neville

    It is denialist cherry-picking to note:

    “we know that SH cyclones have reduced in strength and numbers since the 19th century”

    when the exact opposite applies for the globe as a whole, and for the northern hemisphere where CO2 concentrations are higher.

    Modern ACE for northern hemisphere is 151% of normal.
    Modern ACE for globe as a whole is 119% of normal
    Modern ACE for southern hemisphere is 97% of normal.

    97% is so close to normal that even your statement implying “reduction” is very suspicious. You failed to give a number, and failed to give a source.

    So here is the source:

    http://wx.graphics/tropical/

    And here is the data:

    http://wx.graphics/tropical/global_ace.dat

    If you extract a 30 year trend you will see a clear increase in ACE.

    How many times have you tried to cherry-pick is it now???????????

  • Neville says:

    Chris here is the BOM graph since 1970.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/climatology/trends.shtml

    When I get time I will link you to the BOM study back to the 19th century. I’ve linked to it before and both Pacific and Indian ocean cyclones show a reduction since those times.
    And there has been a 98.6% reduction in extreme weather deaths since1920.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      I do not know what the point is. Global warming is global, not Australian.

      Surely you are aware that the Northern Hemisphere experiences climate change differently to the Southern.

      Data collection from the 19th century is not necessarily comparable to that collected in the 20th.

      However relatively recent ACE calculations is respectable and global warming introduces more energy into the global system.

      • spangled drongo says:

        But globally, ACE is not increasing.

        In spite of our modern ability to detect every little storm in the remotest parts that we couldn’t do in the past.

  • JimboR says:

    DA: “Why would a generator go for coal when the subsidies make renewables so much more profitable? There would be an almighty shift in corporate attitude if the subsidies were ended.”

    So AGL are getting out of coal to lower their input costs? And yet you also argue that the reason your electricity bill is so high is because of the increased use of renewables. Seems self-contradictory to me.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Free market anyone?

      The govt takes billions from some electricity generators to reward others and is intended to drive the coal fireds out of business. They bought the giant Snowy Hydro generator for $6b, and are planning to spend $4.5b to build a hydro storage “battery” that is only needed in order to stop their pick-the-winner favourite new generators from destroying the grid or the household budget, whichever comes first.

      Coal and gas generators don’t need wind and solar but wind and solar gens need coal and gas to make these duds “reliable”.

      However govt subsidies make the combination of both around $30/mwh dearer.

      So the more of this subsidised crap AGL can have producing power the better for them.

      AGL has benefited enormously from the closure of Hazelwood and will benefit even more from the closure of Liddell [which it got for nothing] but retaining control of the market and holding all the cards is very appealing to them.

      That’s why they won’t sell it to Alinta for a billion. Alinta would throw a spanner in their works.

      You just need to think a bit more, jimb.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      No contradiction at all.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    A reader has asked me to post the following comment, which I do with pleasure:

    ‘Climate change is indeed “man made” as the only credible evidence is the man-made politically determined wording of the UN FCCC objective, definitions and associated documentation.

    The UN FCCC’s stated “ultimate objective” is “stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UN FCCC redefines “climate change” as dangerous, caused by GHGs (read CO2), and resulting from human activities. A man-made re-definition with no supporting scientific evidence or credibility.

    The UN FCCC objective is supported by another man-made re-definition that “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods” with no lower limit on “indirect attribution. Less than 0.01 percent “attribution” would qualify for any selected aspect of “climate” You can also cherry pick whatever period you need to qualify. And all that man-made wording is supported by the “precautionary principle” which requires action even when there is no evidence of need.

    Did I mention the $US 100 billion a year Green Climate Fund system of bribes to ensure UN member nations vote in favour of this massive global fraud?’

  • Neville says:

    Here’s the Catalyst program with Dr Nott from JC Uni explaining about the super cyclones of the past 6,000 years.
    The last one hit in the early 1800s, but they will probably occur in the future. So far we’ve been very lucky in OZ, but one day our luck will run out. Hopefully we shouldn’t experience a heavy loss of life because we now have modern communications and people can be moved to safety until the cyclone has done its worst.

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s382613.htm

  • Neville says:

    Here’s a study of OZ cyclone damage and frequency since 1970. Although there has been a big increase in co2 levels the frequency and damage from cyclones have both fallen over that time.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V17/oct/a31.php

    • spangled drongo says:

      Neville, as I have mentioned before, ocean-front houses on the Gold Coast that I spent nights trying to sandbag to stop them being washed out to sea during the ’60s and ’70s change hands these days for tens of millions.

      They have all forgotten what our past climate was like.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Can you believe the stupidity of this present govt?

    When we can’t sequester CO2 economically they are about to convert high CO2 emission brown coal into an unstable hydrogen fuel [with greater CO2 emissions than if making electricity out of it] and ship it to Japan.

    Turnbull was announcing $100 million of taxpayer money to research brown coal conversion to component gases CO2 and Hydrogen as a path to reduced CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Would the propaganda satellite tell us about those emissions even if it did pick them up?

    And you can bet AGL will be getting their corner:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/coal-to-hydrogen-trial-for-latrobe-valley/9643570

  • spangled drongo says:

    Ya can’t beat sea level rise for a cool look at Global Warming and when you add considerable bed-wetting to SLR, how cool do you want?

    Here’s some mindless bed-wetting that conveniently forgets about that recent period when Nat Var removed up to a 300 kilometer wide stretch of our “beach”:

    https://futurism.com/beaches-destruction-climate-change/

    But to be more specific, I doubt if the beaches in my area on the east coast of Australia have been in better condition in the last 70-80 years than they are currently.

  • spangled drongo says:

    But for serious bed-wetting over junk cli-sci SLR, it’s hard to go past the New York Times:

    https://climatism.blog/2018/04/13/mainstream-media-credibility-is-critically-vulnerable-to-junk-science-and-climate-alarmism/

    When “intelligent” people insist on believing this stuff is it any wonder that the majority remain sceptical?

    And keep checking their wallets?

  • David says:

    Don’s an succinct summary of your argument can be found here

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/98/01/13/9801131c94d9f063dc096766e5ac8f4a.jpg

  • David says:

    Don
    Since you wrote “A cool look at Global warming” 10 years ago your collection of misdirection’s on the science of global warming have been relegated from mainstream right-wing dogma to the political fringe (i.e. the Monash Group and One Nation).

    Why do you think your arguments have, with the passing of time, proved to be so ineffectual?

    • Don Aitkin says:

      David,

      I have no idea how effectual my essays have been, and I doubt that you have any idea either. I’m not even sure that we have the same meaning for ‘effectual’.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Incidentally, David, could you list a couple of examples of my supposed ‘misdirections’?

        • Don Aitkin says:

          And real data would help.

        • David says:

          Misdirection ? Hmmm. How about

          “…..temperature mimicking the rise in CO2 accumulations….” as in

          “One reason is that the steady upward movement in temperature mimicking the rise in CO2 accumulations in the 1980s and 1990s flattened out quickly in the new century, though CO2 accumulations continued to rise steadily”

          There you go,….

          • Don Aitkin says:

            David, you didn’t supply any data to show how what I wrote (which is correct) is somehow wrong. As it stands you are just waving your arms. You may not like the data, but they exist. CO2 accumulations rose steadily from 1960, or thereabouts, while temperatures remained flat, then rose, then flatlined again, yes with a small rise. Look at the diagram in Part II.

    • Neville says:

      David can please tell us where Don was wrong? And have you looked at the most recent GC Modelling lately, because they all show less warming than earlier guesstimates.

  • Neville says:

    Amazing that NZ tackles?????? our warming world and at the same time Bahrain has discovered another 80 billion barrels of oil.
    OH and NZ emits a whopping 0.1% of global co2 emissions . SARC. Unbelievable but true.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/new-zealand-offers-useless-sacrifice-to-warming-gods/news-story/9383e26e26c7ce2371052a48723a7d96

  • Neville says:

    Let’s look at the REAL world IEA energy data AGAIN. The OECD countries have been trying for decades to increase the use of S&W energy and what a mess they’ve made of the attempt.
    After decades of wasting trillions of $ on this idiocy they now generate just 2.1% of TOTAL energy from GEO+ S&W, while the NON OECD now generate about 1.2%.
    So they now generate about 0.9% MORE of their TOTAL energy from S&W than the NON OECD does. Can anyone not see the absurdity of this strategy and not understand the incredible waste of trillions of dollars for a guaranteed zero return on the investment??????

  • bb says:

    This is a whole lot of talk and it is talk that doesn’t matter its actions that do. Let us cut to the chase let us suppose that we are all going to fry what would we be doing? The argument is CO2 will cause the planet to warm to an extreme degree. Here in Australia would we be running around crying the sky is falling? Of course not the problem we are told is principally CO2 in the atmosphere and that is rising all the time. Does it make sense for Australia to concentrate on decreasing the use of fossil fuels? We produce 1.5% of the CO2 emissions. More than 50% is produced by four countries China, United States, India and Russia. Does it make any sense to essentially ignore it and spend our efforts on trying to reduce our 1.5%? It doesn’t in my world but it does in the environmentalist world. They think tails do in fact wag dogs. There has been much effort put into reducing emissions but whether it has any effect or not is obviously not important. The world measure of CO2 increases year by year it even is increasing in terms of rate that is it is accelerating. But is that of the concern? Nothing is said about it. I noticed recently in the UK a decision has been made to build their largest solar power station complete with battery backup. Is hypothetical at the moment but on paper it looks like it would work. Guess who is against it? Yes the Greens party of the UK. If you think you are going to fry because of CO2 there is only one means of generating electricity without emissions. Nuclear yes it may be costly and there might be deaths from radiation but surely that is better than the doomsday message of the environmentalist. No that’s no good either terrible idea could it be that we might have a energy system that actually works without emissions?

    So far every country that I have looked for a Communist Party in the Western world I have found one. All of them have a environmental policy almost identical to the ones pressed on us by the Greens party’s and fellow travellers. There is considerable Marxian influence certainly in the Australian Greens party. Learn the message well it is not about CO2 the core of the environmental movement are people that hate humanity and wish to destroy it. My brother who was a deep green certainly believe that. We can forget about energy policies they are not important diminishing Western civilisation is what the environmentalists are about.

    Of course there are many who are sucked in to their argument and think one should be concerned. They are the useful fool’s who have very little idea what is happening and what is the end game.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08stkynXUlc the Marxists don’t want to help the poor they just all hate the rich the environmentalist doesn’t want to save the planet they just humanity.

  • bb says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08stkynXUlc the Marxists don’t want to help the poor they just all hate the rich the environmentalist doesn’t want to save the planet they just hate humanity.

    • Chris Warren says:

      BB

      The rich don’t want to help the poor they just all hate the rest the oil company doesn’t want to save the planet they just hate humanity.

  • spangled drongo says:

    The view from my front yard is only a tiny part of the country but even this area often has a temperature variation of at least 12c at any one instant.

    The whole country often has a temperature variation of at least 50c at any one instant.

    And the world often has a temperature variation of at least 100c at any one instant.

    I mention this to put in perspective the claimed world’s total climate change of less than 1c of warming over a period of a couple of centuries since the end of the Little Ice Age.

    Because it makes it look like something that is boringly normal, natural and to be expected in the endless history of much greater natural climate variability.

  • […] you missed the first part of this long essay, it is here. I am looking at what has happened in the last ten years with respect to the central assumptions of […]

  • David says:

    “David, you didn’t supply any data to ….”

    Don it’s not the data that are the issue. It’s your inability to correctly interpret a standard error that is a concern.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Oh dear no. My capacity to understand a standard error is irrelevant. You have stated that my summary of the AGW issue is ‘misdirection’. I asked you to show the data that supports your position, since there is abundant data to support mine (in this case, that CO2 rose while temperature somewhat flatlined). An aspect of it is shown in PART I. You haven’t done it but have introduced an irrelevance.

      Don’t you realise how empty your argument is?

  • David says:

    Don

    If correctly understood the meaning of a standard error you would not be reduced to describing changes in temperature as “somewhat flatlined”.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      David — where are your data? You flop around avoiding questions by raising irrelevancies. Put up or shut up.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        I have added a diagram to Part II to show you how CO2 has gone on rising, and how temperature hasn’t done so. You are welcome to propose your own diagram.

        • David says:

          Flatling in the new pause, apparently.

          Don you have been peddling these pause-flatling arguments for years. They were wrong then and even less convincing now.

          For example in “Has Global Warming Stopped?” (April 2013) you begin with this familiar piece of hand-waving

          “And while warming has paused, the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has gone on steadily increasing, at the same rate as before the pause. ”

          Followed by misdirection to some clown called Werner Brozek (a retired Canadian physics teacher) who

          reports “…flat trend for quite long periods.”

          And conclude with this pearl.

          “There is an increasing dissenting chorus telling us that ‘it is the sun, stupid’, and that we are in for a long
          cooling period. I don’t look forward to that, and hope they’re wrong.”

          Don you have asked for data. Take your pick.

          https://www.google.com.au/search?q=global+temperature+trends&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwje_7Pp48naAhXGW5QKHQq7CvQQsAR6BAgAECw&biw=1138&bih=568&dpr=1.13

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