‘Global warming’ or ‘climate change’?

At the beginning of the home page’s Perspective on Climate Change I wrote (in 2015) as follows:

I have written a large number of essays on ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (AGW) and its later sister ‘climate change’, a term which came into use in about 2004, when dedicated Climate Botherers could see that warming was refusing to rise as it had done, while carbon dioxide accumulations in the atmosphere were indeed rising as they had done.

A couple of commenters took exception to my statement that there had been a shift in the use of these terms at that time. On re-reading (and after the fuss) I agree that I might have expressed myself more precisely — perhaps to the effect that I felt there had been a greater use of the term ‘climate change’ from about that time. I had indeed noticed such a shift, as did others. But of course, as commenters said, ‘climate change’ was in the title of the IPCC, and had been used in some scientific papers even before the the establishment of that body.  I was pretty sure that I had come across a reference to the presumed cause of the change in usage, but I could not instantly find it. I said that I would return to the subject when I could locate it. That has taken me a few weeks, as I went through hundreds of essays looking for it, alas without finding exactly what I wanted.

The two terms still float around in discussion as though they were more or less synonymous. They’re not, of course, since ‘climate change’ has a much wider reference. Apparently Tacitus, the Roman historian, is the first person to have used the latter term, and he was writing in 114 AD. According to NASA, James Hansen is to be given the credit for the widespread use of ‘global warming’ after 1988.

[G]lobal warming became the dominant popular term in June 1988, when NASA scientist James E. Hansen had testified to Congress about climate, specifically referring to global warming. He said: “global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and the observed warming.” Hansen’s testimony was very widely reported in popular and business media, and after that popular use of the term global warming exploded.

Almost certainly, my reference in 2015 to the change from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ was connected to the discussion following a post by Judith Curry a year earlier, which you can read here. What is fascinating about her essay, going back to it now, is that it was arguing a reverse change — that by 2014 the use of ‘climate change’ seemed to have failed, and that the general discussion in the media and elsewhere, was returning to ‘global warming’. It was all based on a pair of public opinion polls, which suggested that people seemed to be more scared by ‘global warming’ than by ‘climate change’. The Guardian reported that Barack Obama, scientists and campaigners have all looked at how to engage Americans more powerfully on the environment. Now researchers have come up with one critical piece of advice: do say “global warming”, don’t say “climate change”. The science writer for Time put it this way rather earlier:  global warming generated more alarming associations, causing survey respondents to think of disasters like melting ice, coastal flooding and extreme weather, while “climate change” generated more banal associations with generation weather patterns.

Of course, that was ten years after the change that I had noted and referred to. The only link that I could find at about that time was,  paradoxically, the opposite of what I had remembered. Not only could I find no links that led me to originators of the change within the orthodoxy, but also the one link that was squarely on target had the Bush administration as the originator! The Guardian, which of course is never wrong about anything, was given a confidential memorandum from a consultant, Frank Luntz, to the Bush administration. The newspaper said that The US Republican party is changing tactics on the environment, avoiding “frightening” phrases such as global warming, after a confidential party memo warned that it is the domestic issue on which George Bush is most vulnerable. The phrase “global warming” should be abandoned in favour of “climate change”, Mr Luntz says, and the party should describe its policies as “conservationist” instead of “environmentalist”, because “most people” think environmentalists are “extremists” who indulge in “some pretty bizarre behaviour… that turns off many voters”.

Yet, in my mind I saw (that is, I fancy that I saw) a link to a statement from somewhere in the orthodoxy to the effect that the debate should abandon ‘global warming’ and stick to ‘climate change’. Indeed, by 2014 my view was that this was widely accepted, at least in the blogosphere and the mainstream media, if only because SkepticalScience had devoted an essay to why there hadn’t been such a change. Perhaps I got it from this comment on Judith Curry’s essay:

Skiphil | June 1, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
It was all “global warming” until nature proved uncooperative with the hysterical meme…. so then “climate change” came into vogue because almost any event, cold or hot, stormy or calm, etc. could be recklessly lumped under “climate change”…. a category so broad and so consistent with all of the natural record that it proved itself…

Perhaps there was a bit of this one as well:

andywest2012 | June 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
The whole point about either the terms Global Warming or Climate Change is that they *both* achieved prominence because their narrative success trumped any veracity they might convey. Although (many) conscious minds contributed to their introduction, over so very many minds the process is not itself conscious. But the terms were never meant to contain any truth, if I can put it that way. The very fact that folks can consider reintroducing a term simply because it evokes (via emotion) more action… demonstrates the point.

Or this one:

GaryM | June 1, 2014 at 4:50 pm |

The issue has never been what conservatives called CAGW. The issue has been the manipulation of the language by progressive politicians, media and “scientists.” THEY started adopting the term “climate change” as a defense to the “pause” and divergence of the GCMs from reality.

It’s all a bit of a muddle, isn’t it. You can see there was a sharp increase in the use of ‘climate change’ from the beginning of the new century in the following graph, which comes from SkepticalScience, because I couldn’t capture the original from my computer screen. The data come from Google Scholar, which tracks the use of the terms largely in the scientific community. If you go to Google Books, which covers the more general field, you get a less marked increase at the same time, with climate change also the more important of the two terms. Try as I have done, I can’t get later data than about 2008. I don’t know why.


I don’t expect to have to write about the use of these terms again. I am satisfied that I was more or less right in perceiving an increase in the usage of ‘climate change’ as against ‘global warming’ early in the century. I ought to have expressed what I came to write more clearly, which would have saved me a lot of work. I will leave to others the search for any tantalising evidence about whether those in the orthodox camp thought they needed a better term than ‘global warming’, when plainly the sharp rise in global temperature had fallen away, though the rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide had continued onward and upward in an unchanged way.

But it would be ironic if both sides in the American climate debate had decided to change to the same phrase, but for contrary reasons!

Join the discussion 88 Comments

  • Does dangerous Climate Change really include dangerous Global Cooling? Are we building wind farms to prevent the possibility of dangerous Global Cooling.

    If “lying” is not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then many uses of the term Climate Change are “lying”.

  • Alan Gould says:

    I’m not too bothered about the exact date the term ‘climate change’ superseded ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’, only that it did, and did so as a deliberate, verbal ploy, and not as a scientific term that brought a sharper identification of the thing at issue. The same may be said by those who tried to bury the term ‘sceptic’ with the term ‘denialist’.
    Both terms are perfidious. ‘Global Warming’ may be understood as a concise, accurate statement describing something, assuming that the terms by which that aggregate global temperature can be agreed on by parties entering the controversy. By contrast, ‘climate change’ is a far more allusive term because it can, and does, plant in the mind that it is the ‘change’ that is scary, and clouds the simple truth that the veritable nature of climate is to change. Shrewdly, that shift of focus from ‘warming/cooling to ‘change alerts people to all sensational weather events as part of the picture of climate change for which they are now responsible. It feeds panic, it feeds self-righteousness and reawakens the old puritan sociopathy of human unworthiness and the consequences of that are imminent. The psyche re-orients itself rather like when you have a toothache, you think your whole body is your mouth. Then large parts of the media are captured on the caption of ‘The Science is all in’ and your toothache has become, not just your mouth, not just your body, but an identification with the whole planet. Manipulation of the language will be one of the important chapters when the history of this orthodoxy gets written and the actual science in it is seen to be trivial in comparison to its sociopathy.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s the best way to stuff up the electricity grid and help black out an entire Aussie state. Just apply to the Labor govt of SA and of course no change to climate or temp at all. But you do get slugged big time with a whopper increase in your electricity bills. And more of this pseudo- science junk coming to a state near you.

    BTW here is that recent talk by Matt Ridley at the Royal Society. Plenty of graphs and charts etc and a very good summary of AGW over the last few decades.

  • margaret says:

    SMH 21/10
    “[One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts] has asked chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel to spell out his logic in asserting that human-induced carbon emissions have been rising since the start of the Industrial Age, that this causes global warming and that warming produces climate change.”

    Climate change is a consequence of global warming rather than an interchangeable phrase denoting the same thing? …

    • margaret says:

      Exceeding my three comments with an interesting link. The title does use hyperbole as click bait, but …


      • spangled drongo says:

        “Pacific Islanders whose slogan is ‘We are not drowning. We are fighting.’ In countries like the Marshall Islands and Fiji and Tuvalu, they know that so much sea-level rise is inevitable that their countries likely have no future.”

        Please spare us the Naomi Klein blurb, Marg, and check the facts:


        When they eventually show the latest el Nino sea levels they will be lower than the lowest points on that graph.

        Strange how that ‘potent threat’ you mention still has not reached natural climate variability but if you really want to be a little educated on the subject of ‘climate change’ and show you know what you’re talking about try this talk at the Royal Society:

  • Chris Warren says:

    It is possible to view global warming and climate change as synonyms in contexts where the climate change is global. For example due to changes in Earths orbit or orientation.

    It is possible to view global warming and climate change not as synonyms in contexts where climate change applies to one zone. For example continental drift will change climate on a continent when there is no change in global temperature.

    So, to this extent, one can skip over this issue.

    However if you then change contexts to, specifically, “human induced” climate change, and “human induced” global warming then both concepts converge to the extent there is some part of climate change that is the result of human induced global warming.

    Most people will know where I sit on this one.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    The segue was deliberate. Global warming can be measured, and people were beginning to wake up to the fact that the ‘record’ temperatures were ‘records’ by tenths of a degree. Climate change was wonderful. Factual or not, every weather event was ‘unprecedented’ – floods, droughts, storms, fires. Christmas came early and often.

  • beththeserf says:

    Weasel terminology required when temperatures aren’t rising, it isn’t surprising.
    In the article, this quote from Eric Pooley, senior vice president for, (ahem) strategy
    and communications at the Environmental Defence Fund, author of the book,
    ‘ The Climate War.’
    ‘Global warming was adopted early and became common parlance, and it is
    accurate – the earth is indeed warming. But climate scientists always knew it was
    too narrow a term to encompass all respects of what John Holdren prefers to call
    ”Global Climate Disruption,’ so climate change is a broader term encompassing
    changes in the hydrological cycle and other ( another ahem) manifestations. ‘

    The article cites some figures re ratio of terms used reports.


    • Alan Gould says:

      Day-to-day, climate-unit to climate-unit (30 yrs) the earth will COMPULSIVELY do one of three things, warm, cool or sustain an equilibrium. Only humans in our own epoch must fret themselves into an armageddon tizz when temperatures rise coincident with CO2 rise for a single climate unit.
      Conclusion? Maybe it is the epoch telling us something about ourselves, not the thermometer describing any peculiarity about the planet.

      • Chris Warren says:

        This all depends on understanding cause and effect.

        It also depends on your capacity to project various trends. beyond so-called “single climate units”.

        But first you have to stop denying that the thermometer is describing a particular peculiarity, and further that various other observations also show peculiarities.

        The you may be in a position to consider cause and effect without worrying about fret or tizz.

  • Neville says:

    Spangled if you add the UAH V6 data it more than backs up your point. And you’re correct the NATURAL big El nino made a big difference in 2016.


    Here’s Ken Stewart’s latest UAH V 6 update ( from Dr Roy Spencer’s data) for September. There has been little warming over the last 18+ years and the global warming trend since March 1998 is about 0.18 c per century. Or 0.018 c per decade. Since Dec 1978 it is just under 1.2 c per century. The south polar region has been cooling over the entire satellite record. And OZ has been cooling faster than other regions since 1998. Don’t forget the LT warming should be faster than the surface according to AGW theory.

    Also the latest SL study shows the globe has more coastal land now than 30 years ago. Something is seriously wrong with their theory. Plenty more info and graphs at Ken’s link.


  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    If you review what has been said in earlier threads you will know what you ask is irrelevant and erroneous.

    I can only add that I am only interested in human induced climate change or human induced global warming or human induced greenhouse effect no matter what term is used or silly disputes are raised as smoke.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “I am only interested in human induced climate change”

      So are we all, Chris, but if that meagre amount is all there is for the period of greatest human emissions, we can rest assured that it is more a benefit than a problem.

      But there is always a certain amount of Nat Var in the equation and as Neville points out above, the signal is not exceeding the noise.

  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    The amount is not meagre. Such statements suggest you are not aware of the exponential function. The annual trend for last 50 years is higher and the annual trend from 1979 higher still.

    You cannot represent an exponential function with a linear trend.

    The fact that the impact in the northern hemisphere is greater than the southern hemisphere indicates that the effect is largely human induced.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Chris, what exponential function might that be?

      Show us any evidence of exponential function.

      if CO2 induced global warming is happening it is supposed to be logarithmic so a proportion of that 0.1c that has occurred over the 21st c is so meagre it will hardly be an asset let alone a problem.

    • Ross Handsaker says:


      I think you will find that any change which affects temperature always has a greater impact in the Northern Hemisphere because of the different geography of the two hemispheres. For example, the annual range in actual temperatures is far greater in the Northern Hemisphere which has more land mass than the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Neville says:

    More corruption and fra-d from the exaggerators and alarmists. When will these people be prosecuted?

  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    Yes I thought you lacked the necessary info. So here it is:


  • margaret says:

    I try to ward off alarmism and easy reactions when the weather conditions topic comes up and is immediately blamed on climate change in random conversations but I am not a sceptic. I’ve also decide that the word lukewarmist is silly.
    Since this is a word usage essay, I do believe actually but just as the deniers detest being called that, so those called believers feel that the believer word itself requires a religion to accompany it and that they are not using their intellect just their ‘faith’.
    My ‘faith’ is in the scientists who do the work and present the facts.

  • Mark says:

    For what its worth:

    Using Google Trends (which goes back to 2004) we find that the term Global Warming was consistently used more often (and often significantly more often) than ‘climate change’ right up until around 2013. From then one term seems to be used just as often as t’other.

    That applies both worldwide and in the USA. Interestingly, in Oz ‘global warming was the preferred term up until around 2008 but since then ‘climate change’ has been consistently more preferred and is now used twice as often as GW.

    Now Google Trends is hardly definitive but this concurs with my own perceptions (and probably Don’s) that there was a marked change toward CC and away from GW at around the time that it became clear that the temperatures weren’t increasing to script and the so-called hiatus was real and ongoing.


  • Neville says:

    Werner Brozek has completed his WUWT monthly updates for the various temp data-sets. He uses Nick Stocks’ software to calculate the trends. Note that the two satellite data shows no stat. significant warming for 23 years 1 mth and 22 years 3 mths. Also the HAD 3 surface data shows no stat sig warming for 19 years and 8 months. Here are the results in his words.

    “On several different data sets, there has been no statistically significant warming for between 0 and 23 years according to Nick’s criteria. Cl stands for the confidence limits at the 95% level.

    The details for several sets are below.

    For UAH6.0: Since September 1993: Cl from -0.002 to 1.801
    This is 23 years and 1 month.
    For RSS: Since July 1994: Cl from -0.033 to 1.800 This is 22 years and 3 months.
    For Hadcrut4.4: The warming is statistically significant for all periods above three years.
    For Hadsst3: Since February 1997: Cl from -0.029 to 2.124 This is 19 years and 8 months.
    For GISS: The warming is statistically significant for all periods above three years”

    Here’s the link. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/26/hadcrut-adjustments-and-the-1-5c-tipping-point-now-includes-september-data-except-for-hadcrut/

  • Nga says:

    I am satisfied that I was more or less right in perceiving an increase in the usage of ‘climate change’ as against ‘global warming’ early in the century.

    Your original was *not* that there was an “increase in the usage of ‘climate change’ as against ‘global warming’ early in the century”. Even if it was, the evidence you have provided to support this contention is hilariously feeble. All you have done is provide yet more evidence, not that any was needed, that this is just another pathetic tale about an old man with a fragile ego flailing about like a fool in the few short years before he turns into dust. The only thing that keeps me watching is a black sense of humour. I haven’t laughed so much since Mother and Son: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grEKGIMMrJ4

    • PW1202 says:

      Guten Morgen, mein Furher !

      • PW1202 says:

        Don, you may wake up one morning, and while you are enjoying tea and toast on the veranda, a pine oblong box, about 6 feet long, comes into view, led by a middle aged Asian in a black suit and top hat, followed by two burly blokes bearing shovels.

        Fresh banana skins may be spread on the path down to your front gate. Be careful !

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      You do realise you’re missing your therapy sessions?

      • tripitaka says:

        Bryan what would you know about therapy sessions? Have you ever participated in one of these events or read anything about how ‘therapy’ works? If not what use is your free speech if you use it to display your ignorance and your simple minded liking for insulting other people? Free speech indeed. It would have to be free because I wouldn’t pay you.

        But the real problem is that you have missed identifying the person here who clearly exhibits thinking patterns that indicate therapy would be beneficial. PW1201 reveals some thoughts that are not ‘normal’ and would to a clinical psych indicate further testing to determine if this person would benefit from therapy. If the delusional thoughts we see above remain just that, thoughts that allow this person to find some comfort in a world that is too complex for him, then there is no real need for intervention but it is not responsible for you to be encouraging this sort of irrational thinking. There may be family members who are having issues dealing with the disordered thinking that is apparent in this person’s imaginings. And the thinking could turn into actions like the stupid old white man who burned the Indian bus driver. So easy for you white blokes to go postal.

        It really is up to the wider community to put some limits on the craziness that festers here in the posts and comments by the boring old white farts who will be held accountable for their climate denying crimes against humanity by the people of the future. No doubt about that fellas. Your names will be mud and your descendants will be apologising for your choices, for your self-serving lies, your selfish shallow self-aggrandisement, and for your lack of any decency and good character. How did you get to be such horrible old men?

      • Nga says:

        Bryan, in the short time I’ve been reading this blog you’ve served up at least half a dozen paranoid conspiracy theories on everything from the climate to wind power, as well as demonstrating you have the math and logic skills of a tsetse fly. I will not be crossing paths with you in the waiting room of your psychiatrist because I’m fine. You obviously have a personality disorder and acute paranoid delusions. For the sake of the species, I hope you haven’t passed on your genes.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          “I hope you haven’t passed on your genes”

          Spot on, doll, the family’s extinct.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            “you have the math and logic skills of a tsetse fly” though with three higher degrees, and somewhere between 150 and 200 research publications (I stopped counting), my genes might have made a useful contribution, doncha think?

            This is unabashed self-aggrandisement, just to rub your face in the dirt. Silly twerp.

  • Neville says:

    Hurricane expert Dr Neil Frank exposes Hillary Clinton and Al Gore for telling lies to the US voters a couple of weeks ago.
    She lied not just about hurricanes but so called dangerous SLR as well. How do these dummies get away with their lies and deception? Yet people vote for these fools.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Face the facts. Nobody alive today gives a rat’s arse about the temperature in 2116. Likewise, nobody cares whether it will be due to ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’.

    Eliminate smog – terrific. Reduce pollution – great. Other than that, every poll says NOBODY CARES.

    • Chris Warren says:

      At least two members of the Climate Council do.

      Its a pity it is so few.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Au contraire. The tragedy is that it’s so many.

        • tripitaka says:

          Why is it a tragedy that some of us are able to imagine a future that is populated by the children of our children and want to be sure that future will include the things that we value about our world and our lives?

          Tell us why you think this is a tragedy?

          • Don Aitkin says:


            This a question for Bryan, but I guess the problem for me is that you have no idea about the environment — social, political, economic or ecological — that your grandchildren will be living in. Why then try to make changes, or provide outcomes, that might not be at all appropriate, let alone what they might want at all? To give just a single, hypothetical example, one of my grandfathers might have decided that it was important for me that Australia stay in the British Empire, because it was such a good thing. It might have seemed right to him in 1910, but not to me in 2010.

            My feeling is that we do our best to make our own time as beneficial to our family, friends and countrypeople as we can, in the expectation that out children and grandchildren will be able to build on what our generations did.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            “want to be sure that future will include the things that we value about our world”

            Kidding? ROFLMFAO

          • margaret says:

            I agree with tripitaka – there are many of us who while we can’t see into the future and can’t be sure, we want to think that our leaders care enough to try to ensure that those who come after us still have the beauty of the planet and some social democracy that we’ve all been privileged to enjoy. There’s something quite bizarre about the attitude of you Trump followers – you seem to want to live forever and hold the reins of power but when you can’t have it your way you have a nihilistic attitude towards the world after you’re gone.

          • spangled drongo says:

            You girls need to stop playing your all-too-obvious cards and take a cold shower.

            Or even a red pill:


          • Bryan Roberts says:

            margaret, every parent recognises they cannot guarantee the future if their own children, let alone their great grand children, yet you and your ilk presume to dictate the future of a planet. Global megalomania. Do I need to list the current issues the world has comprehensively FAILED to deal with? Could not the trillions spent thrashing around in climate delusion be better utilised improving conditions for those alive today, rather than writing astrology columns for a century hence? One serious meteorite strike, one major volcanic eruption, and all the ‘authoritative’ climate nonsense goes out the window.

          • margaret says:

            Bettina Arndt – ugh. I don’t know about that film – if it’s about men’s rights groups – ugh again.
            You don’t get it spangles – I’m not anti men. I’m anti the structure of patriarchy that shapes society and I’m anti capitalism gone berserk.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “You don’t get it spangles – I’m not anti men. I’m anti the structure of patriarchy that shapes society and I’m anti capitalism gone berserk.”

            That’s your story and you’re sticking to it hey Marg?

            IOW, anti the Red Pill.

            Read more Bettina and learn.

          • margaret says:

            A Poem

            To a Blue Flower
            I would be dismal with all the fine pearls of the crown of a king;
            But I can talk plainly to you, you little blue flower of the Spring!
            Here in the heart of September the world that I walk in is full
            Of the hot happy sound of the shearing, the rude heavy scent of the wool.
            Soon would I tire of all riches or honours or power that they fling;
            But you are my own, of my own folk, you little blue flower of the Spring!
            I was around by the cherries to-day; all the cherries are pale:
            The world is a woman in velvet: the air is the colour of ale.
            I would be dismal with all the fine pearls of the crown of a king;
            But I can give love-talk to you, you little blue flower of the Spring!
            John Shaw Nielson

  • Neville says:

    A post from Andrew Bolt that uncovers another global warming con trick.
    Another global warming rort, most expensive than warming itself
    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    an hour ago

    “We’re told global warming could ruin us. In fact, schemes to “stop” global warming could ruin us more. Latest example: taxpayers in Northern Ireland will lose hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to rorting of another green scheme.


    The Renewable Heat Incentive is likely to cost Northern Ireland taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.

    Failure to regulate it was described on Wednesday as “one of the biggest scandals” politicians had encountered since devolution.

    The scheme was supposed to encourage firms to switch from using oil and gas.

    They were encouraged to use renewable biomass boilers burning woodchip instead, but an overgenerous subsidy payment meant businesses piled in.

    With 20 years of guaranteed payments and the bulk of the money to be paid out of the Stormont budget, it has left taxpayers with a huge bill.

    The Irish News:

    This is public money – we can hardly afford a health service and now we are having to fork out for this. Utterly ridiculous. At which point did you realise this was going to blow up in everybody’s faces, that this was going to cost an unprecedented amount of money and is probably one of the biggest scandals that we will face here since the powers were devolved?

    Almost makes our desalination plants look like a brilliant investment”.

    • tripitaka says:

      Don says Tripiataka has “no idea about the environment — social, political, economic or ecological — that your grandchildren will be living in. ”

      But I have a grandchild and I can project from the evidence that climate science provides me, that the future will not be as easy for her as it was for me. The evidence is clear that there will be more unpredictable and dangerous weather events, that food will be more difficult to grow as agriculture faces challenges from the changing conditions, that animals we eat will suffer and not thrive in the adverse conditions that are likely even if catastrophic changes do not happen.

      There is a lot more that we can work out is likely to happen if we look at the evidence and do not rely on Andrew Bolts climate science abilities. We can project from our understanding of human behaviour, so It is stupid and lazy to just say that we have no idea and so should just stfu and let it happen.

      Then Don says “Why then try to make changes, or provide outcomes, that might not be at all appropriate, let alone what they might want at all? ”

      What does it matter what they will want? Human preferences are a conceit of rich humans like us who live in a bubble of useless ugly stuff, surrounded by greed and selfishness that is paid for by the less aggressive people of the world. Our grandchildren will need what humans always need safety, food, shelter and love..

      Then Don really jumps the shark and shows us how lacking in critical thinking he is when he thinks about climate change or is he this irrational about all topics. He suggests “To give just a single, hypothetical example, one of my grandfathers might have decided that it was important for me that Australia stay in the British Empire, because it was such a good thing. It might have seemed right to him in 1910, but not to me in 2010.”

      This is just the most trivial and pathetic attempt to draw parallels. Your grandfather and mine definitely did know what their grandchildren needed in the future and they did all they could to bring that about. Trouble is that most of our grandfathers were fools raised on the toxic myths of western white man superiority, christian superiority, civilisational superiority and this last century with the war mongering driven by our grandfathers has been a disaster for human progress.

      And then Don winds down with a maudlin useless conclusion that reveals his truly shallow selfish way of being in the world. He says “My feeling is that we do our best to make our own time as beneficial to our family, friends and countrypeople as we can, in the expectation that out children and grandchildren will be able to build on what our generations did.”

      And how do you do your best Don?

      You deny the work, the knowledge, that our scientists are telling us. You refuse for some strange personal reason that must float your boat somehow, to admit that we are breaking our planet. You cannot possibly be doing your best to make your time here beneficial to anyone but your own self but Isn’t that what you neo-liberals believe? Look after number one and let the rest of them look after themselves?

      • margaret says:

        Hear, hear. The way the Dons of the world believe they help the less comfortable is through ‘trickle down’ economics. Oh and possibly the power of patriarchal inheritance to their progeny. I’m alright Jack.

        • margaret says:

          Not saying that you should help those less comfortable, only that trickle-down is really so pissy as a sop for lessening inequality.
          But as the old song goes – there’s nothing surer, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. In the meantime, in between time, ain’t we got fun.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “I can project from the evidence that climate science provides me, that the future will not be as easy for her as it was for me. The evidence is clear that there will be more unpredictable and dangerous weather events, that food will be more difficult to grow as agriculture faces challenges from the changing conditions, that animals we eat will suffer and not thrive in the adverse conditions that are likely even if catastrophic changes do not happen.”

        The key word here is “evidence”, Trip, luv.

        Try coming up with some instead of blithering.

        Your hubristic nonsense that you will do better than your ancestors and as a result of your certainty of this “evidence” you feel duty bound to ridicule them, is beyond belief.

        All this is based on your starry-eyed confidence in a scientific process that, daily, comes up with conclusions that contradict itself, not just slightly but often completely, in all fields.

        Always bear in mind a famous scientist’s wise words:

        “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

        All generations are faced with problems but making the right decision has never been about embracing crazy future predictions as you and your true believer religious zealots are not only doing but also thrusting this foolish, unaffordable ideology upon rational people who are rightfully sceptical of it.

        While Marg cheers from the sidelines.

        Hear, hear?

        Dear, oh dear!

        • margaret says:

          Someone has to balance the roar of the deplorables with support for the reasonable.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Quite so, Marg. I know my place but that place is also to point out to the ideologically brainwashed that they need to think [y’know, I think, therefore I am?] and stop giving off-pat answers to complex situations based on the propaganda they have been fed.

            IOW, stop putting the horse before Descartes.

            And if you do consider yourself reasonable [?] think of your grandchildren.

    • JMO says:

      20 years of guaranteed payments? Wow – a 20 year gravy train which delayed global warming by a fraction of a second. This sound similar deal for my solar panels. I got them installed and connected to the grid on 16 December 2009 and receive a gross feed-in tariff of an obscene amount of 50.05 c/kw for 20 years. Yes, that’s right I produce unreliable near useless power which renders the grid less reliable (a la South Australia) and have a 20-year contract for doing just that, whilst appearing to be doing “my bit”in the fight against climate change.
      WHAT UTTER CRAP! Why? Beside the production, freight and instalment of my panels on my roof the corresponding CO2 debt may never be repaid over their effective life and,more importantly, because I sold my RET certificates.
      If I was REALLY concerned about global warming I would have torn them up because on selling them gives the right for the purchaser to emit CO2 (or equivalent infrared absorbing gas). Anyone who sells their RET certificates whilst saying they are doing their bit against global warming is a climate hypocrite.

  • tripitaka says:

    But Don, I do have to say that I am impressed that you are not a hypocrite about free speech and you have not deleted my comments and I have noticed that you tolerate negative comments that would not be tolerated on other rwnj sites – like Catallaxy. I get ‘smited’ if the Doomlord – lol – is around or just disappeared, after only two or three comments.

    So good on you for this and thanks.

    I do not come here to annoy people or because I hate you. I have relatives who are as unhappy and lost as you people are and I think you would all be a lot happier and that would benefit all of us if you could simply chill out and think about what the real problem is. What drives you to maintain the rage when all would be so much better if we worked together.

  • margaret says:

    For Bryan et al:


    JOSEPHINE “There’s a wonderful line by James Baldwin,” says Eddie Glaude jnr. “He says civilisations aren’t ended by wicked people, they’re actually ended by the spineless.” Glaude, the chair of the African-American Studies department at Princeton University, is sitting on one side of the expansive glass desk in the New York studio of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. There’s no couch on this breakfast show, no women in tight dresses, and no loyal friends of Donald Trump.

    “The spineless”, in Glaude’s view – the ones he says are risking civilisation – are the Republicans who, after endorsing Trump knowing full well who he is and what he represents, are only now choosing to dis-endorse him over the Access Hollywood tape.

    “I was horrified,” Glaude continues, pivoting to talking about the debate. “I saw the slow death of democracy by a thousand cuts of the stupid and the vile … when we talk about the state of our country and the state of our democracy, Donald Trump represents the bottom.”

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      margaret, when you can persuade beavers to cease manipulating their environment, regardless of the effect their activities might have on other ‘vulnerable’ (love that word) species, I might listen to you.

      Donald Trump represents the beaver.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Been following the pres elections, hey marg?

      I bet you devoured this bit:

      “Felony mishandling of classified information, including our nation’s most closely guarded intelligence secrets; the misappropriation and destruction of tens of thousands of government records — these are serious criminal offenses. To this point, the Justice Department and FBI have found creative ways not to charge Hillary Clinton for them. Whether this will remain the case has yet to be seen. As we go to press, the stunning news has broken that the FBI’s investigation is being reopened.”


  • Neville says:

    Tripitaka, you are wrong. Even the UN expects everyone to be much better off in 50 and 100 years into the future. Because of fossil fuels and cheap power human lifestyle and well being has increased markedly over the last 200 years, 100 years and 50 years. Average life expectancy has increased by at least 30 years since 1900. And that includes the developing world as well.
    Your silly ignorance is ridiculous and you should read more of the studies that are accepted and used by the UN. Here is Ridley’s Greening planet video to watch and perhaps you might start to wake up. But please tell us how to mitigate your concerns. Remember he is quoting data not silly fairy stories.


    And his most recent talk at the Royal Society updates the above video, with more detail.

  • Chris Warren says:

    This is disconcerting:

    “…but I guess the problem for me is that you have no idea about the environment — social, political, economic or ecological — that your grandchildren will be living in. ”

    But we do know there are serious risks. Surely there is a moral responsibility to avoid causing suffering for the next generation – today’s children?

    The science, clearly enough, establishes that we are risking a climate catastrophe if current trends continue.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      “The science, clearly enough” has not established anything. How much of the billions spent already has actually achieved anything? Expensive and unstable ‘renewable’ energy? Would those billions not be better directed to make cheap clean coal?

      Gee. Never thought of that?

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        …and yes, I have solar panels on my roof…but I know I can switch the lights on at midnight.

        Argument over.

    • Neville says:

      Chris please tell us how to mitigate your so called problem. Remember even Obama’s own EIA tells us that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040 and most of that increase will come from the developing world, like India, China and SE Asia etc. OECD countries increase in co2 emissions will be minor over that period.
      Remember the Concordia Uni study found that OZ was responsible for just 0.006 c increase in the earth’s temp since 1800. Today OZ emits 1.3% of the earth’s human co2 emissions and Flannery and the RS, NAS report tells us that it will take thousands of years before co2 emissions fall. That’s even if we STOP ALL THE PLANET”S human co2 emissions today. Obviously not going to happen any time soon. Just ask India, China etc.
      Bit of a problem for you if you believe their forecasts for the next few thousand years. I’m uncertain about their claims, but the Petit et al study did find that co2 levels remained high at the end of the Eemian IG for a further 6,000 years after temp had dropped. That’s a long lag time for co2 to remain high after a big drop in temp to end the last much warmer interglacial. But Greenland and Antarctic ice core proxies are very inconvenient for the climate astrologers.

      • Chris Warren says:

        You consistently make claims out of context and without providing any links.

        I am not going to waste time chasing up all your diversions.

        The issue requires much greater concerted action at the global level, much greater funding and much greater restrictions on fossil fuel economics,exploration and on trade in fossil products.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    …and, as a final word, if any of you negative Nellies believe you can persuade the citizens of the ‘third world’ that the benefits of twentieth century civilisation are not worth striving after, a million (and counting) immigrants to Europe say you’re wrong.

    The Ethiopian living next door in Lakemba isn’t heating his house using dried shit.

  • margaret says:

    On Spangled Drongo’s suggestion that I read more Bettina Arndt:
    Arndt has copped a fair amount of flak since her reinvention as a social conservative. To some, it seems a bit rich that the publisher of “Foursomes: the Joys of the Marital Quartet” (to pluck one article from the contents pages of Forum) should now be lecturing us on monogamy and family values. But nothing else she has written has created such out- rage as the Gillard column. “Rubbish”, “offensive”, “patronising”, “ridiculous”, fumed the hundreds who posted comments on the Herald’s website.
    She was taken aback by the reaction. “So many of them were just so nasty,” she says. And the messages sent directly to her email address were even worse. “You know, ‘Put your head in the oven, you old bag.’” She doesn’t regret having taken a stand, though. People can say what they like about marriage versus living together, she tells me. “The notion that the relationship is the same – that’s not what the research says.”
    This seems as good a time as any to mention to Arndt that I am not married. My partner and I have two fine teenage boys, a cat and a mortgage, yet have never felt the urge to walk down an aisle. “Of course!” she says, not missing a beat. “Of course there are people who don’t need the piece of paper, who are just as committed. And look, maybe I should have expressed all that more clearly”.
    No Bettina, it is all too clear who you are.

  • margaret says:

    Bryan I like domestic de-sexed cats, the mortgage was paid and I’m doing as our esteemed PM suggests – being agile.
    How’s about you get over yourself.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “a cat and a mortgage” “de-sexed cats, the mortgage was paid”

    Have another glass, darling. Cats (de-sexed or not) are acknowledged to be the greatest existing threat to Australian native wildlife (forget climate change), so you’re being a bit (a lot) disingenuous in waving your environmental credentials. And touting a mortgage,which you say you’ve paid off, as a licence to participate in civil society, well, get over yourself, indeed. I expected better of you.

    Don will be cross with me, but wtf.

  • margaret says:

    Hello, you’re nuts! – “was” doesn’t mean “is”. Cats are fine if they’re indoors and – I don’t have one anyway! Nor do I tout “environmental credentials”.
    Ooh scared of Don are we? Definitely wine o’clock now as the wind rages and branches fall from the desert ashes just missing the car. Another wild weather event is upon us. What a lark!

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “I have two fine teenage boys, a cat and a mortgage”
    “Cats are fine if they’re indoors and – I don’t have one anyway”

    You’re drunk or insane. I’d probably forgive the former, but I don’t care either way.

  • Neville says:

    Chris I’ve be condemned here in the past for providing too many links. I’ve provided links to my comments above many times over the last few months. What you’ve provided is absurd and won’t make any measurable difference at all to the climate or co2 levels or SLR etc.
    But it will waste endless billions of dollars for a zero return. Did you watch Ridley’s videos that use actual data to back up his arguments? The two links are above.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    …and Don, yes I’m done.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “My partner and I have two fine teenage boys, a cat and a mortgage”

    “Cats are fine if they’re indoors and – I don’t have one anyway”

    “I don’t have any fine teenage boys”

    This is not a post. It is a reproduction of verbatim quotes from a person who does not seem to have a firm grasp on reality.

    • margaret says:

      Bryan it was a quote from an interview with Bettina Arndt. The interviewer is the person with cat and teenage sons.
      But – it’s of no consequence, even though, I am in years much past the age of wanting to have teenagers.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        You make random allusions and expect people to interact with you. You’re an idiot. That’s not an ad hominem, that’s a fact.

        • tripitaka says:

          Bryan Roberts, you and the Spangled Drongo remind me of a pair of stereotypical vicious old queens with nothing better to do with your time than abuse other people who clearly have a more intelligent and functional way of interacting with the world than you two do.

          I keep asking this although I am sure neither of you have the ability to do it, but do you have any idea how and why this is the way you prefer, or choose to ‘be’? You do know that you could choose to be like Jesus and to not be complete dicks?

          But think about this, do you really get any satisfaction from this simplistic level of abuse? How long does the glow last as you hit the send button and sit back and appreciate your unique ability to crush and hurt people you don’t like? And of course you won’t believe me if I tell you that your responses are not that clever, not that hurtful because they are so predictable so hackneyed.

          You angry ugly old white men have had a chance to indulge yourselves and your need to sneer at other ‘lesser’ people. This trumpeting of your masculine desire to dominate is so ordinary and quite boring now. You’ve done it. You have coarsened the debate so that we can all use pussy as a word without thinking of Mrs Slocombe.

          It’s a good thing you think that people really have got over taking offence at behaviour that my mother would have called ‘common as muck’. So you go fellas, go on and indulge the worst of your nature (or culture) so we all can see how nasty the civilised western mind really is.

          Let it all out how you really see other human beings and let us all appreciate how blind you are to your own stupidity in not being able to admit you made the wrong call about climate change. Now all you can do is double down and nurture the personality disorders you are developing as you sexist white men have to increasingly ignore reality to maintain the delusion that you are the high point of evolution. lol.

          It is less than attractive how increasingly shrill and desperate you become as you pick on the marvellous Margaret who from the goodness of her nature (or culture) continues to offer you all the benefit of her wisdom and her humour and her tolerance. Wisdom that comes from not wanting to dominate and kill any thing that you don’t like or want.

          You have lost the culture wars you know. You rwnj’s never had any culture anyway.

  • dlb says:

    Don, what happened to the three comment limit per day?

    • tripitaka says:

      Don makes exceptions for his wicked and nasty little pets. Don is above all this petty squabbling and name calling but not above letting his favourite toadies and lick spittle acolytes do their performance art, in which they demonstrate for posterity the foul nature or culture of the great white man who lives only for himself and his own self-aggrandisement. hahaha a joke for the universe to ponder for all time; the failure of the great white man and all his empires of emptiness.

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