Investment policy and public policy

By December 11, 2019Other

What remains of our savings, after paying for our aged-care facility residence, is tied up in a thing called a ‘wrap’, in which our capital is invested over a wide range of equities, property and cash. I’ve never been especially interested in the money market, so the wrap works well for us. We get regular reports, and one of them contained a most interesting essay, whose point was that the biggest problem for investors might be the investor himself or herself. What followed was eerily familiar.

The problem is that all of us take short-cuts, or ‘heuristics’, that allow us to make decisions quickly and effectively. Effective they may sometimes be, but they also lead to cognitive biases that can trip us up, and lead to sub-optimal decisions and poor investment returns. Apparently there are over a hundred of these biases, and here are a few of them.

The Anchoring bias  Here we rely on, or anchor to, a particular event, or a particular piece of information. The Global Financial Crisis (GFC), for example, led some investors to say something like ‘I won’t let that happen again’ when they look on what they did in consequence of the GFC. Or they rely on the purchase price of an asset relative to its history. We need to consider a wider set of anchoring points, or we are likely to become trapped.

Herd mentality  Here we look to see what everyone else is doing, and follow the herd. What is important is to be aware of that likely bias, and ask yourself whether you are independent enough to make your own decisions for good reason. Yes, it can be hard, for you are going against the majority — and what if you are wrong? How embarrassing.

Confirmation bias  Here we pay close attention to information that confirms our existing belief, and ignore information that contradicts it. This tendency leads to our watching particular TV channels that tell us what we like, and not to watch others, or to reject as ‘biased’ newspapers that take a different stance to our own. For investors this can be disastrous: they should be testing their initial view against whatever information they can find. For all of us, I think, it is better to have got things right than to be happy but wrong.

Overconfidence bias  Here, characteristically, we attribute our successes to our innate talent and abilities, and put the losses down to sheer bad luck. We all have a tendency to  overestimate our strengths and minimise our weaknesses. What we need is careful risk-management, I am acutely aware that a large part of my own success in life came simply from the coincidence of my birth year, 1937, the lowest Australian birth-rate in the 20thcentury, and the rapid expansion of the Australian economy as I came of ageWe need the ability to distinguish skill from timing, or luck.

Loss aversion   People with this syndrome dislike losing money much more than they enjoy making it. The GFC created for many people an enduring fear of a big loss, which turned them into conservative investors, likely to miss out on innovative upturns in the market. If you are investing you have to understand that there is a risk involved, and periods of negative returns are part of that risk. We should guard against both excessive risk and an imagined ‘riskless’ strategy.

What are our own biases?   It is important, and not just with respect to investing, to be aware of our own biases, and critically examine our own positions where it is important to do so. The capacity to think independently, and to arrive at conclusions through reasoning, is the basis of successful investment and, I think, of a successful career in any field. Above all, we should aim for sound judgment and control over our emotions and other natural tendencies.

These cognitive biases are alive and well in the business of government policy. Ideally, public policies should advantage many more people than they disadvantage. In practice quite a number of public policies are instituted to help the party in power to win the next election, which is a form of self-interest. In the investment case, self-interest is assumed. I think it is worth considering how much other domains are affected by self-interest.

Take, for example, the legion of community-based organisations in the health area. They are commonly started by parents who lost a child to a particular disease, and they explain that they don’t want other parents to have to go through what they went through. They want money for research, and a strong body to get governments to listen and act. It sounds virtuous, and there is virtue in it. But there is also self-interest. I have been one of a group of Commonwealth superannuands who kept on urging government after government to use average weekly earnings (AWE) rather than the cost-price index (CPI) in adjusting our pensions for inflation. I cheerfully admit that our doing so was fuelled by straightforward self-interest.

There is a degree of self-interest, also, in the environmental NGOs. They are interested in more and more government action to curb land-clearing, to protect wildlife, to stop the building of dams, and in general to return the environment to what they feel it used to be before human beings despoiled it. It is not clear to me that these bodies are interested in the welfare of the ordinary Australian, and they are certainly not interested in the welfare of Australia’s farmers. Indeed, our agricultural industries are in decline, just at a time when it is plain not only that the world needs much more food, but that our country is a strong position to supply the world food market.

What drives the environmentalists? Ideology and success, I think. An ideology is a normative view of the world that is based to some degree on values. The ideological basis for environmentalists is a preference for the world of Nature over the world of human society. And success, because the environmental NGOs have been most successful over the past half-century. Our rivers and harbours are cleaner, there are lots more national parks, sheep and cattle numbers are way down, as are harvests over the past three years, for which drought is partly to blame. But our wheat production is only about double what it was in the 1960s. We need investment in agriculture, not environmental green tape.

The ‘climate change’ movement is similarly ideological. The alarmists say there is ‘no need for discussion’, ‘we need action’, and so on. Yet the science is not at all settled, and the dire forecasts of the future, which apparently terrify some children, are based on climate and economic models whose capacity to foretell the future is just about zero. If actions to ‘combat climate change’ are to be in the interest of ordinary Australians they need to be based on solid science, good evidence and good argument. In my judgment none of that is the case. What we have instead is shrill clamour and a total refusal to discuss the issues openly.

You can see all those biases in action in what passes for public policy, as well as in the matter of investment. It is such a pity, because we could do so much better, if governments were as interested in good public policy as they say they are.

Join the discussion 103 Comments

  • Karabar says:

    Over and over and over again even so-called “skeptics” like Andrew Bolt make issue of “emissions” and how Australia’s emission are only 1.3%. Emissions of WHAT?
    This only encourages the screaming idiots.
    How did this nonsense that CO2 has any effect on the weather get started anyhow?
    Why is it that someone doesn’t explain to the baying hounds that CO2 is a good thing?

    • BB says:

      The likes of Andrew Bolt and others do a great service by joining the argument. Tiresome I know but there is no chance of change if they don’t.

  • Spangled drongo says:

    Thanks Don, for another great assessment.

    The true believing blitherers are so certain they are right, that when overwhelming logic begins to scratch a slight dent in their religious beliefs, they simply reconjure another model:

    “Some early results from the latest climate models — run for the IPCC’s sixth assessment report, due in 2021 — indicate a much larger climate sensitivity (defined as the temperature response to doubling of atmospheric CO2) than in previous models.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

    When all else fails, hey?

  • Mike says:

    Margaret Mead observed “we’re very friendly to stopping people doing things”.. Anything to do with nature is good but once touched is defiled. Then there’s always a bogey man. When you think about it the tribes we came from spent a lot of time around campfires telling stories. Isn’t it funny how that’s the only growth industry, sitting around arguing?

  • david purcell says:

    With respect to all these “biases” the degree of difficulty to invest wisely has become even more difficult due to pressure from activist investors. For example, banks indicating they will reduce or cease lending to fossil fuel companies by about 2025. Now ASIC is apparently planning to keep tabs on large companies to ensure they take climate change into account in their business models. Where does it all end?

    And climate sensitivity. I thought most researchers now were decreasing predictions to around 1 deg or below?

    • Aert Driessen says:

      David, I recently cashed in my SMSF because it was getting too complicated to manage, particularly having to sell shares at inopportune times to raise the cash to meet minimum withdrawal requirements (not that the fund was all that big). Anyway, I bought just one stock in my own name, a Hunter Valley coal producer which sells the best-quality coal in the world. Share price is so low (virtue-signalling funds won’t touch it) that it yields around 10%. Even if Australia doesn’t build a coal-fired power station, I see bulk carriers lined up outside Newcastle harbour (I was there 2 weeks ago) waiting to ship it overseas. And I note that even more coal-fired power stations are still being built as I write this. Common sense to me.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    It amazes me that any sane person would believe that a cut in Australia’s comparatively miniscule quanta of emissions would so alter the global climate that it would reduce the number and/or severity of bushfires. A better solution would be compulsory jail time for arsonists, who, it is known, are a significant cause of fire damage and associated economic loss.

  • Stu says:

    Don, it is interesting that the immediate focus of comments relates to the last subject you covered in the piece, climate. It says a lot.

    You wrote “Yet the science is not at all settled, and the dire forecasts of the future, which apparently terrify some children, are based on climate and economic models whose capacity to foretell the future is just about zero. If actions to ‘combat climate change’ are to be in the interest of ordinary Australians they need to be based on solid science, good evidence and good argument. In my judgment none of that is the case. ”

    I have to take issue with that entire set of statements. The science IS settled, except among a small, and shrinking, group of fringe science players. The science is settled. This is not about a handful of peak “climate scientists such as Mann, but is about the results from thousands of scientists and science research projects concerning every aspect of the world bio, eco, cryo, marine and meto fields. It is the accumulation of all that data that is accepted as settled. Your (and your acolytes here)sources seem to be restricted to quoting a small number of nit pickers and people of narrow, and unproven, single science aspects such as sunspots.

    As for the models, you should do a bit more reading. The models have been proven over quite a period to be fairly on the ball with predicting the current trends. Don’t believe the light weight blog post quoters on this site.

    As I have written before, be careful of thinking this is all about Bourke or Penrith, because it is actually about the entire globe.

    Consider for a minute the main subject in the COP talks is about holding the world temperature change to no more than another 1.5 degrees. Look what has been happening with the already experienced 1 degree rise since pre-industrial times. Why do you think people under 30 are very concerned and have no trust in the current generation of policy makers and climate anti-actionists?

    Further I think it is massively condescending to accuse little Greta of being a dupe manipulated by sinister adults. I know a few young people in that age space who most definitely have their strong opinions on the subject who are totally disgusted by the type of put downs going on here.

    To claim there is currently no solid science, good evidence, and good argument is a huge call. Perhaps we can get you onto Q&A with Prof Mann when he visits soon on his Australian sabbatical. Or maybe just a discussion with a non-climate scientist like VC Prof Brian Schmidt, who is at least a scientist, and seems to have a good knowledge of the subject.

    • Boambee John says:

      Stu, Stu, Stu,

      Still banging the same old drum, and still showing your profound ignorance of science.

      Good science is never “settled”, it is always open to new data, new hypotheses to explain those data, and new interpretations of existing data. The greatest failure of climate “science” is that it has closed the minds of its practioners.

      As for this heroic statement, “As for the models, you should do a bit more reading. The models have been proven over quite a period to be fairly on the ball with predicting the current trends. Don’t believe the light weight blog post quoters on this site.”, I am pretty sure you were not off on one of your sulks a few threads ago, when links were provided to a NASA statement about the models having only a very limited capability to make useful projections. Please try to keep up.

      You might also expand your reading beyond the IPCC Summary for Policymakers (written by a team of bureaucrats) into the deeper chapters of the IPCC, where the doubts and uncertainties of the scientific authors appear. Perhaps a bit more attention to error margins could help, and an understanding of significant figures also.

      You do, however, make a useful point with the statement “be careful of thinking this is all about Bourke or Penrith, because it is actually about the entire globe.”

      Nations such as China and India increase their CO2 emissions annually by more than Australia’s total emissions. Each has approval under Paris to continue those increases. IF you genuinely believe that there is a crisis, then you need to stop those increases now. Nothing that we do in Australia by way of reducing CO2 emissions can counter those increases.

      But there is absolutely no hope of stopping China and India, so IF you genuinely believe that there is a crisis, then the only logical action is to adapt to the inevitable. I see little enthusiasm for that course among alarmists.

    • BB says:

      If it is science then what is the test that will falsify what you call science? If there is no such test it is not science but faith. I also ask what religion were you raised as? Have you abandoned it? Many abandon their religion and then quickly adopt another such as the Greens doomsday cult.

      • Boambee John says:

        BB

        I assume that your questions are addressed to Stu (who has probably done another of his “final, farewell appearances”), not to me?

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Stu, it has taken me some time, given the approach of Christmas, to deal with your assertion here: ‘The science IS settled, except among a small, and shrinking, group of fringe science players. The science is settled.’

      Despite your assertion, which is based apparently on the fact that other people and organisations that you take seriously have also said so, it is easy to show that the science is not settled, and can’t be.

      For example, the CAGW scare is based in part on the notion that current warming is ‘unprecedented’. But there is ample evidence of even warmer periods in the human past. Next, climate sensitivity, without which there would be no scare at all, is still set by the IPCC after thirty years, as lying between 1.5 and 4.5. At 1.5, and since most recent estimates are at the lower end, there is no reason to be alarmed about warming at all. Third, all the dire forecasts about the future are based on models. I don’t agree with you that the models have shown what is technically called ‘skill’, but in any case there is great debate over their validity, and that is not the sign of settled science. The notion that warming is intrinsically bad, or that there are tipping points etc, have no foundation in good science. They are hypothetical possibilities. The evidence so far is that warming has been good for the planet, and CO2 release is part of it. Great! Let’s have more. Now of course alarmists won’t accept that, and cling to their view that warming is bad. But that is not a sign of settled science.

      I’d back off that assertion, ifI were you.

  • Stu says:

    BJ, I was communicating with the doctor not the disease, butt out please.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Stueyluv, you are the disease.

      Now instead of simply waffling you would convince even the adults immediately if you produced measureable evidence.

      Where is it?

      And then name something that is happening with today’s climate that is any different to anything that has happened in the recent Holocene.

      • Boambee John says:

        SD

        “Now instead of simply waffling you would convince even the adults immediately if you produced measureable evidence.”

        In the models, of course.

        And if it isn’t, just tweak the climate sensisivity, or one of thd many other tuneable parameters that infest the models.

        I think Stu might have missed the commentary on simulation in an earlier thread! He does seem very enthusiastic about it?

    • Boambee John says:

      Stu

      So you have no actual, like, you know, logical points to make in rebuttal?

      As I expected.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Stu

      Boambee John can be ignored. It is just an attention seeking troll with no evidence.

      Engaging with it is like talking to a Drongo.

      • Boambee John says:

        Chris

        The benefit of being ignored by the likes of you and Stu is that I can point out the inconsistencies and absurdities in your posts, knowing that you won’t respond (usually for lack of any coherent arguments).

        Started your Beijing and Delhi anti-CO2 emissions campaigns yet? If you genuinely believe there is a problem with increasing CO2 emissions, the logical place to start is with those nations currently making major increases in their emissions.

        Or do you have a different agenda?

  • Kneel says:

    “…indicate a much larger climate sensitivity (defined as the temperature response to doubling of atmospheric CO2) than in previous models. ”

    AR5 expert opinion only covered up to about the mean of CMIP5 and went as low as very slightly negative.
    CMIP6 adds another 2C or so to CMIP5 across the board (min as well as max).
    The change came about because of changes in the way clouds are represented in the models – modellers were “surprised” and “didn’t know” why this “small change” made such a big difference.

    Fortunately, it’s fizzicks, innit? So the model must be right unless you’re a denier…

    • Chris Warren says:

      Kneel

      In the 1980’s EXXON scientists predicted that warming would be 1°C for every 100ppm increase.

      This is exactly how it has turned out.

      It is “fizzicks, innit?”

      The science is right unless you are a denier.

      • Karabar says:

        “Exxon knew” is now legally proven to be the vacuous empty dogwhistle it always was — a cheap stunt to whip up jealously and anger in gullible minds.
        Exxon wins first-of-its-kind climate change case against New York

        December 10, 2019, Josh Seigel, Washington Examiner

        ExxonMobil won a first-of-its-kind climate change fraud trial on Tuesday as a judge rejected the state of New York’s claim that the oil and gas giant misled investors in accounting for the financial risks of global warming.

        New York Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager said the state failed to prove that Exxon violated the Martin Act, a broad state law that does not require proof of intent of shareholder fraud.

        “The office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor,” Ostrager wrote in a 55-page ruling, deciding the case without a jury.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Karabar

          “What EXXON Knew” did not involve the linear greenhouse effect of 1°C per 100ppm which their scientists predicted in 1985.

          What EXXON Knew, is a fake meme being spread by denialist websites.

          This has been corroborated by measurements today.

      • Kneel says:

        “In the 1980’s EXXON scientists predicted that warming would be 1°C for every 100ppm increase.

        This is exactly how it has turned out.”

        Firstly, the physics governing the actual climate we experience has not changed. All that changed was what parts of that physics have been applied in the models. Even assuming that the modellers coded the known physics correctly (unknown), what other parts have been left out in the name of expedience (eg, “we’ll have to parameterise it, we don’t have the compute power to do a full simulation”)

        Secondly, it only turned out “exactly like that” if one assumes that all the increase in temp is from CO2 – an assumption that is highly questionable given, eg, the rises in the first half of the 20th C.

        BTW, if you download absolute temps from CMIP models, there is a 3C spread in GMST. IOW, the spread is of the same order of magnitude as the expected increase in 100 years time. Doesn’t inspire much confidence, and is a long way from the traditional “hard” physics 6 sigma threshold. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t even appear to reach 1 sigma at first glance. Hardly compelling, making Don’s “not convinced” not unreasonable. (apologies for the multiple negatives, I hope it is clear none the less)

        • Chris Warren says:

          Kneel

          It turned out exactly like that is not based on: “if one assumes that all the increase in temp is from CO2”.

          Where did this come from?

          The fact that it turned out exactly like that is based on direct observational data. If there is any assumption it has to assume that some part of observed warming was due to feedbacks – not just CO2.

          This has nothing to do with CMIP models.

      • Ted O'Brien. says:

        CO2 is not the only factor driving warming. ThE raw data tells us that some as yet unidentified factor is so much bigger than increasing CO2 as to hide the effect of CO2.
        Then there is the problem that the numbers are fiddled, subjectively “homogenised”.
        In December 1986 the Hawke government appointed a new board of management to the CSIRO, with Neville Wran as chairman. He was the first non scientist to hold that position. They put their own brand of ‘social scientists” in charge of the real scientists.
        Don’t try to tells that that action had no bearing on the science produced and published by the CSIRO subsequent to that date.

  • John Stankevicius says:

    BJ – Stus comment that the temp has gone up by 1 degree since pre industrial times – what is your explanation/ point of view on this .

    • Chris Warren says:

      John Stankevicius

      The concentration of CO2 has increased well over 100ppm, so the global climate system has to warm by at least 1 °C.

      https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Screen-Shot-2019-05-12-at-3.23.36-PM.png

    • Boambee John says:

      John

      As the earth recovers from the Little Ice Age, it should not be surprising that temperatures increase.

      That said, and as I have pointed out to Chris and Stu on previous threads, I have no doubt that human activities have caused increasing temperatures. The UHI effect and Conservation of Energy are clear evidence of that.

      Where I differ from Chris, Stu, the IPCC, and other alarmists is on the scale of the human effect and its implications. The evidence that the impact will be catastrophic is simply nowhere but in the highly dubious models, which NASA considers to have very limited capability to make useful projections of the future.

  • Neville says:

    Stu I know you love your fantasy planet, but for a change have a look at the real planet earth and all of the countries’ emissions since 1970.

    Then have a look at the graph on the right and tell us what you see? Don’t forget that the non OECD countries will keep their emissions soaring until at least 2030 and that they’ve been the reason that we now have another 60 ppm extra co2 in the atmosphere since 1988.

    We can’t dumb it down any further for you, so please pack yourself and your silly, ignorant maths challenged ideas and take your protest to China, India etc. Let’s face it, you haven’t got a clue and even Wiki agrees with us. BECAUSE THIS IS THE REAL WORLD DATA.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

  • John Stankevicius says:

    Hi Chris and BJ
    BJ would like to hear your thoughts on that one.
    Chris re the increase in CO2 by 100ppm increasing temp by 1c.
    There is great presentation on you tube by Dr Daniel Britt – Orbits and Ice Ages.
    The previous ice ages had the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere at 1700ppm with no ice at the North Pole or Antartica.
    Antartica was sand, rocks trees and animals such as alligator and turtles lived there. I can’t remember what the temperature were but earth was not cooked and I do not know what the rest of earth was like.
    What was interesting was the impact of India colliding into China- caused a mountain
    Range the earth never had before and it’s peak was in the next level of the atmosphere. The process of rock washing occurred and CO2 was sucked out of the atmosphere.
    CO2 gets the wrap as a climate physiatrist of 61 years said “it’s because we think we can control it”.
    Man has an effect on climate – there are son many of us which breathe and built houses in concentrated areas.
    The one question I Have is how go we change the climate in Oz. How do we Turn the descending slow moving high pressure system so that cold and low fronts from the west and south are able to stay and peneTrate in land.
    In 2016 Adelaide received over 800 mm of rain as the temp in the Indian Ocean was cooler than normal. How do we repeat that. Love to hear your ideas.

    • Boambee John says:

      John

      See my comment above. Happy to elaborate later, have to go out soon.

    • Neville says:

      John, Adelaide received over 800 mm in 2016 because of the NEGATIVE IOD in the NW of OZ.
      This means the water in the NW was WARMER than usual from about Sept to Nov and led to more evaporation from that area of the Indian ocean.
      When a positive or neutral IOD occurs we ( below line from Broome to Wollongong) usually miss out big time, unfortunately.
      Here’s a good link to that very high rainfall in Adelaide in 2016 and we also had a flood in the Murray in my neck of the woods. Second highest rainfall in Adelaide in 2016.

      https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/south-australian-weather-adelaide-records-second-wettest-year-on-record-in-2016/news-story/31613362820e6b90e9ee0be9d1d77d7b

    • Chris Warren says:

      John Stankevicius

      Yes the Dan Britt videos are excellent.

      Yes, when enough CO2 is in the atmosphere, all land ice melts. This is a catastrophe for humanity.

      When CO2 was 1700ppm there were no humans. According to orbits – the Earth should have been heading into an ice age by now, but this has been reversed by greenhouse gasses.

      There is nothing we can do in Australia but plenty we should do, i.e.

      develop a lifestyle so that carbon emissions do not exceed carbon sinks and
      develop technology to sequester the best part of a gigatonne of carbon every year
      assist nations in our area to do the same.

      • Boambee John says:

        Chris

        “Yes, when enough CO2 is in the atmosphere, all land ice melts. This is a catastrophe for humanity.”

        How long will it take for all land ice to melt? To tue nearest 50 years would be an adequate estimate.

        “There is nothing we can do in Australia but plenty we should do, i.e.

        develop a lifestyle so that carbon emissions do not exceed carbon sinks and
        develop technology to sequester the best part of a gigatonne of carbon every year
        assist nations in our area to do the same.”

        So you propose token gestures that will have absolutely no practical effect, so long as nations like China and India continue to increase their annual CO2 emissions by quantities that far exceed Australia’s total emissions? What is your point?

      • Aert Driessen says:

        Chris, your comment “Yes, when enough CO2 is in the atmosphere, all land ice melts. This is a catastrophe for humanity” doesn’t explain the Late Ordovician Ice Age (around 450 Ma before present) when CO2 levels in the atmosphere were around 3000 ppm.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Aert Driessen

          Humans did not exist during the Late Ordovician Ice Age. Previous species became extinct. Do we want to repeat this event now ???? I think no.

          ice is melting now. It will continue to melt while ever present conditions exist.

          • Boambee John says:

            Chris

            “ice is melting now. It will continue to melt while ever present conditions exist.”

            How long for all the ice to melt?

  • Neville says:

    BTW John, have you watched these 3 recent BOM videos covering ENSO, IOD and the SAM? They are very good and only take a few minutes to watch. What a pity they don’t make our donkey pollies, MSM and silly kids etc watch them before they mouth off about droughts, floods, cyclones, co2 etc.

    Here’s ENSO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzat16LMtQk

    Here’s the IOD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6hOVatamYs

    Here’s the SAM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrhWsXCB3u8

  • Neville says:

    Geeezzz, I’m in moderation and I didn’t swear or call out any individual, but just tried to link to 3 BOM videos.
    What’s up?

  • Neville says:

    John, here are the 3 BOM videos I tried to link to before. Very short and very informative.

    Here’s ENSO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzat16LMtQk

    Here’s the IOD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6hOVatamYs

    Here’s the SAM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrhWsXCB3u8

  • Neville says:

    John, perhaps just 2 links may work okay.

    Here’s ENSO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzat16LMtQk

    Here’s the IOD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6hOVatamYs

  • Neville says:

    My bad, too many links ,here’s the third BOM link. Some sites allow many links but others don’t.
    Don’s blog definitely allows a max of 2 links and any more and you end up in the sin bin.

    Here’s the SAM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrhWsXCB3u8

  • Boambee John says:

    From commenter Sceptical Sam at Jo Nova.

    “Their IPCC tells us that “The total increase between the average of the 1850–1900 period and the 2003–2012 period is 0.78 [0.72 to 0.85] °C, based on the single longest dataset available (see Figure SPM.1). {2.4}”

    https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

    A mere 0.78 C° over 132 years.”

    That is, according to the IPCC, the TOTAL increase, including any natural variation.

    The IPCC, 0.78 C° over 132 years what a bunch of denialists!

    • Boambee John says:

      Chris

      “A picture says a thousand words …”

      I think a few more pictures will be required to beef up that thesis.

      Seriously? You regard a hand printed slogan held up by a demonstrator to be a substantive contribution to debate? Pathetic!

  • spangled drongo says:

    LITTLE ICE AGE – [CO2 levels 280 ppm]

    BLACK THURSDAY BUSHFIRES – Australia’s worst ever – 6th FEB 1851 (Co2 levels 285 ppm)

    MEAN SEA LEVELS FALL 149mm from first recording in 1914 [CO2 levels 300 ppm] to SEPT 2019 [CO2 levels 413 ppm]

    Sure supports the blitherers theory on “climate change”. NOT.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Global warning: Facts are facing extinction

    Andrew Bolt,

    CHILD messiah Greta Thunberg was excited: “500,000 people marched in Madrid last night … The world is slowly waking up to the climate and environmental crisis.”

    No, what the world should be waking up to this: Facts are now dead. Rarely have I seen newspapers report exaggerations on the scale I saw after the weekend rally by global warming hysterics, many of them young: “Organisers claimed 500,000 people turned out for the march, but authorities in Madrid put the number at 15,000.”

    The Washington Post, puzzled, added that there was “no immediate explanation for the disparity in the count”. But there is. It’s that facts no longer count. What counts is the myth. That’s why Thunberg is today’s great goddess, treated as an oracle by the United Nations.

    She’s just 16, refuses to go to school, claims her Asperger’s is a “superpower”, and is ascribed such mystical powers that her mother even claims “she can see carbon dioxide with the naked eye … how it flows out of chimneys”.

    Here is a symbol of a new invincible ignorance — a refusal to even engage with facts and arguments. No wonder Thunberg particularly inspires children, the least educated and most dogmatic.

    But this giddy disregard for facts now infects even the smartest adults. Take Therese Rein, who is not just the wife of former prime minister Kevin Rudd, but a very rich businesswoman. Even she joined in blaming Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the NSW bushfires, tweeting. “Parts of NSW on fire at least in part because your party has blocked, and also not initiated, effective climate change policies … Time to repent”

    Time to repent? That’s the hot language of faith, not the cool of reason. The science is clear. Morrison can do nothing to change the world’s climate and stop fires. Australia is just too small to make a difference.

    Rein and other critics such as Malcolm Turnbull are plainly irrational to suggest Morrison could dial down some giant thermostat. Is there any point in also showing that the fires aren’t caused by global warming, and that a recent NASA study shows fires are now burning less land, not more?

    No, facts have lost their power ever since postmodernism conquered our universities and reassured the stupid they were mere social constructs. Even conspiracies.

    To mention facts now is no longer to bring light into darkness, but to set fire to your reputation.

    From the Brisbane “Courier Mail” of 9 December, 2019

    H/T John Ray

  • Neville says:

    The silly donkey posts another silly photo. But today everyone around the world is healthier and wealthier. Just look up the data for yourself.
    Today 7.7 bn people have an average life expectancy of 70 years. See Our World in Data.
    Submariners live with co2 levels many times higher than everyone else and greenhouse workers do the same.
    In fact extra co2 is pumped into the greenhouses because the tomato plants love it and are much healthier and crop levels are much higher as well. See the Idso’s plant studies at co2 Science site.
    Co2 is the best plant food and only a fool would call this trace gas pollution.

  • John Stankevicius says:

    Hi Neville and Chris

    Thank you both for your informed contributions to my queries. Neville, the vigerons were really happy in 2016/2017, the surface salt was washed away in McLaren vale.
    Thank you for correcting the temp of the Indian Ocean – this is interesting – the warning of the Indian ocean between Broome and Woolongong – IF CO2 does cause warming what are the possibilities for inland Australia. Potential is huge. Further re ice is melting, civilisation is smart enough to harvest this water on land and the increase in air temp and inc in ocean temp would lead to convection and increased rainfall. Hopefully on land.
    This challenge is exciting for us.
    As has been stated above with informative facts, there was ice on earth when the CO2 levels were 3000ppm. The change in air flows that this may bring is interesting and Aust and Sahara could be renewed again.
    By the way is Alan B out there – I would love to hear how thorium could change our environment.

    • Neville says:

      John, just so you understand what I meant about Broome to Wollongong.
      I meant that rain falls during a negative IOD event SOUTH of a line roughly drawn from those two points.
      And the negative IOD means warmer water off the NW coast of WA and a positive IOD means that warm water becomes cool again and it’s Africa’s east coast that has higher rainfall.
      Look at the BOM IOD video to see what I mean and see how a neutral IOD works as well.
      For ENSO a la nina means warmer water off our east (QLD)coast and therefore more rainfall and cyclones. There can be exceptions, but that’s normally the case. Have a look at the ENSO video again and the SAM.
      But while we expect warmer waters for east coast OZ during a la nina, the global temp usually drops during these events and global temp rises during an el nino and OZ east coast then has lower temps while S America and California usually have higher temps and rainfall during an el nino.
      But look at the videos again to see what I mean, but I’m not sure I’m very good at explaining these changes.

  • Boambee John says:

    From Don’s essay.

    “If actions to ‘combat climate change’ are to be in the interest of ordinary Australians they need to be based on solid science, good evidence and good argument. In my judgment none of that is the case. What we have instead is shrill clamour and a total refusal to discuss the issues openly.”

    From Chris on 12 December at 0729.

    “develop technology to sequester the best part of a gigatonne of carbon every year”

    Efforts have been underway on sequestration for the better part of 20 years. The only results so far have been to find that the process requires massive amounts of electricity for limited results.

    This has to be an excellent, though probably inadvertent, example of Don’s concern about wasteful misapplication of scarce resources.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    Re Chris’ quoted comment regarding sequestration, planet Earth is already at (geologically) historical low levels of CO2 and if we reduce it to below 200 ppm we’ll stop photosynthesis. Then we’ll be really stuffed.

  • John Stankevicius says:

    Thanks for the links Neville – explained it perfectly. So how do me make it rain more from the West?

    • Neville says:

      John , the short answer is we can’t pluck a negative IOD out of the ocean or perhaps we could pray a lot more if anyone thinks that’ll help?
      But reducing co2 emissions to somehow increase our rainfall is a fools errand and very bloody expensive and we end up with a very fragile grid and that doesn’t help anyone. IOW all pain for ZERO gain.
      Anyway the entire SH is a NET co2 and methane sink, so all that could be done has already been done.
      Very simple maths and science, but don’t expect the alarmist extremists to understand.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Neville

        “…we could pray a lot more”

        Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha …..

        • Boambee John says:

          Chris

          Have you managed to learn anything about photosynthesis and the carbon cycle overnight? Or are you still totally bemused by both concepts?

      • spangled drongo says:

        Neville, praying for rain is the only solution that is 100% fool proof.

        Provided you don’t stop.

        I think I told you that I was apprenticed to the local chief Aboriginal rainmaker in my teen years and it was my job to write to all the rainmakers from the surrounding tribes to make sure they commenced their rituals on the same night and kept it up every night until it rained.

        The system never failed.

        Of course, blith wouldn’t understand such an obvious solution.

        • spangled drongo says:

          What’d I tell you, Neville?

          It just started raining here.

          Works every time.

          My old Betoota boss would be proud of me.

  • John Stankevicius says:

    Hi Neville
    Speaking to people in the real economy farmers, vignerons, building tradies, engineers etc the idea of filling the inland lakes and building mountain ranges has a lot of support. Is this a way to Green Oz.

    • Chris Warren says:

      John Stankevicius

      Is there any hard evidence of such proposals?

    • Neville says:

      John I’ve heard about these ideas years ago, but I’m not sure it would really change our weather/ climate. Who knows?
      BTW perhaps small nuclear modules may be the quick safe way to power our future energy needs?
      If you want to power a small city you could install one unit and if you had to power a much larger city or whatever you just add more modules to suit the purpose.
      They are built in a factory and shipped to the site and installed.
      The module size is about 60 feet by about 9 feet diameter and any number can be added as required.
      They are safe and use very little fuel and the USA will install some in the near future. I remember watching the USS Ronald Reagan video on you tube ( I think) and they claimed it hadn’t been refueled for 23 years. I wish all my vehicles would have performed as well over the last 23 years.
      But these modules are tiny and would require a very small area to install a certain number to power a large city. Seems a win, win to me, but I’m sure the apocalyptic donkeys will twist and turn and find something negative to yap about.

      https://www.wired.com/story/the-next-nuclear-plants-will-be-small-svelte-and-safer/

      • Boambee John says:

        Neville

        Not an expert on the subject, but don’t the modular nukes only provide the heat? Are the boilers, turbines and generators additional? I suspect that it is not as simple as you depict.

        • Neville says:

          BJ you could be correct and perhaps they just provide the steam to send to the turbines that drive generators etc.
          I suspect that would be in very close proximity, but I can’t find anything that provides any detail.
          But I’m amazed at the number of countries and number of companies involved all around the world.

  • Neville says:

    Interesting to read that Briffa, Jones, Vinther et al paper again and look at their table 1.
    If we look at the annual temp for Greenland in the decade 1851-60 we have a temp of minus -2.1c. ( annual)
    Then if we look at the decade 1981-90 we have an annual temp of minus-2.5c
    Then if we look at the decade 1991-2000 we have an annual temp of minus -2.1c.
    Alley’s graph ended in 1855 and we can now show above that the period from 1980 to 2000 was 0.3 C colder than the decade 1851-60. That’s a period of twenty years.
    Here is that study. tp://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/vintheretal2006.pdf The Table 1 is on page 11.
    Interesting how the recent winters and springs ( 1980 – 2000 ) were colder than the 1851- 60 period as well.

  • Neville Gardner says:

    Sorry above should read Table 8 page 11 and I’ll try to link again to the study.

    https://crudata.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/vintheretal2006.pdf

  • Neville says:

    James Delingpole interviews Prof Will Happer, a real climate expert and atmospheric physicist. Here’s a brief description of him.

    Top physicist, expert on high-energy lasers, and anthropogenic climate change skeptic Will Happer tells James about the global warming scam.

  • Neville says:

    Here is a recent 2019 post from Willis Eschenbach referring to the Vinther et al 12,000 year study of Greenland.
    There’s lot of food for thought from this study that Willis calls “Greenland is way cool”.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/01/08/greenland-is-way-cool/

  • Neville says:

    Here is the video of the USS Ronald Reagan and at about 24 minutes they discuss the reactors etc.
    They have enough fuel to power the ship for over 20 years and the pop on board is about 6,000 people. The power plant could power a city of 100,000 people and the graphic seems to show that the reactor + combined equipment would take up no more than about a third of the length of the ship.
    I hope this helps, but I’m sure there are better/ more technical links than this one online.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Listen denialist, science is true…

    https://archive.is/bVCOK

    • Boambee John says:

      Denialarmist Chris reverts to one of his weaker tactics, pedophrasty.

      Sad!!

      • spangled drongo says:

        BJ

        And when you combine his pedophrasty with his enuresis and his determination to ignore evidence of falling sea levels that is staring him in the face, this then promotes him to a triple denialarmist.

  • Peter E says:

    As one who helped Ministers dish out generous portions to environmental organisations, I have often been dismayed by the results. Why should taxpayer’s money go to lobby groups that press false solutions to non-problems, swanning around the world to push the orthodoxy? It shouldn’t, although some of these organisations do good things. What we need now is to cut back funding for many of these groups. Let them continue to lobby but not with funding that disadvantages the donors. So cut back, if not cold turkey, then via benign neglect.

  • Boambee John says:

    Via Catallaxy Files.

    “As reported in Engineering & Technology:

    [A] study carried out by Global Energy Monitor, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, claims that China could add 290GW in new coal-fired plants – exceeding the 261GW capacity of the entire US coal-power fleet in 2018. The findings of the report collide with the country’s previous pledges to build a power supply that is increasingly reliant on renewable energies.

    Notice the word “add”? What these organizations are telling us is that, in the next few years, the Chinese are going to complete and start using as many new coal power plants as the entire United States has NOW. They weren’t going to do that before, but now they are.”

    Are Global Energy Monitor, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club a group of denialists? Or is anyone who genuinely believes that CO2 emissions are a problem, and is not taking the argument to China (and also to India) just playing around?

    Or perhaps has a different agenda?

  • spangled drongo says:

    More denialarmists with backfiring virtue signals.

    UN’s Whopper of Hypocrisy: UN climate activists line up for Burger King at Madrid summit despite UN’s warning on dangers of eating meat – Harrison Ford confronted about flying up coast for a cheeseburger:

    https://www.climatedepot.com/2019/12/12/exclusive-video-uns-climate-whopper-un-climate-activists-line-up-for-burger-king-at-madrid-summit-despite-uns-warning-on-dangers-of-eating-meat-actor-harrison-ford-confronted-on-uns-hypocris/

  • Boambee John says:

    Which of these was caused by climate change?

    “The Black Thursday bushfires in Victoria in 1851 killed about 12 people and are thought to have destroyed five million hectares, or about twice the area burnt so far this year in NSW. The 1898 Red Tuesday bushfire, also in Victoria, killed 12 people and destroyed about 2000 buildings. Victorian bushfires across February and March 1926 killed 60 people. The 1939 Black Friday bushfires, also extending over two months, killed 71 people. In another month long Victorian bushfire emergency in 1944, nearly 20 people were killed. In February 1967, the Black Tuesday bushfire in Tasmania killed 62 people. The 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia killed 75 people and destroyed about 2500 homes. And the 2009 Black Saturday bushfire in Victoria killed 173 people and destroyed about 4500 buildings.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    The world’s biggest deception:

  • Neville says:

    At long last the Madrid fra-d and con trick is over and some countries have had the guts to stand up to the loafers and layabouts.
    That co2 emissions ( increase of 60 ppm since 1988) graph from Wiki should’ve been enlarged and shown to all the thousands of group-thinkers as they walked through the door every day.
    But I doubt many would have the brains to understand it.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/15/cop25-the-neverending-tory/

    • Chris Warren says:

      This is all typical denialists fakery. There is no graph showing 60 ppm since 1988.

      Neville is the one without the brains to understand what 60 ppm in just 31 years means.

      It represents the precise cause of global warming.

      Once again this incompetant Neville has posted stuff that undermines his own crazy argument.

      The rate of rise since 2000 has accelerated from the rate from Neville’s 1988.

      • Boambee John says:

        Chris

        “is the one without the brains to understand what 60 ppm in just 31 years means.

        It represents the precise cause of global warming.”

        And it essentially all comes from China and India.

        But Chris is not so stupid as to think that they will change, so he rabbits on here ad infinitum, totally impotent to achieve anything.

  • Neville says:

    For our resident donkey,here’s the link to the co2 emissions graph since 1970, or 1988 or 2000 or whatever you like.
    The data also shows there’s been about 60 ppm increase in global co2 emissions since 1988. ( 350 ppm to 410 ppm)
    And since that time nearly all of those NET co2 emissions have come from China, India and other developing countries.
    And the SH has always been a NET co2 SINK, certainly since 1800, 1900 or 2019. Although the Concordia Uni study still insists that Australia is responsible for 0.006 c of the warming since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions#/media/File:World_fossil_carbon_dioxide_emissions_six_top_countries_and_confederations.png

  • Neville says:

    Sorry above should read,”there has been an increase of about 60 ppm in global co2 levels since 1988″.

    • Chris Warren says:

      60 ppm since 1988 is the problem.

      It needs to be zero – unless you are a Neville or other brain dead denialist.

      • Boambee John says:

        Chris

        And it will never, ever, be zero until China and India decide to stop increasing annual emissions by more than Australia’s TOTAL emissions.

        So, IF you genuinely believe that world CO2 emissions will cause doom, get onto China and India about their policies. Oh, wait, umpteen thousand “delegates” just spent a fortnight in mMadrid, failing to do that.

        A sensible person, who genuinely believes that CO2 emissions are a problem would look to sensible adaptation policies, not babble on inanely.

        But you keep going, denying reality as you have been for yonks, the ultimate denialist. Or do you have another agenda?

        • Boambee John says:

          Chris

          To continue, and to return to the theme of this thread, sensible policy would be to invest in practical adaptation.

          Reliable electric power, to power the air conditioners we will need to live productive lives at the higher temperatures that you claim (with little real scientific evidence) will be inevitable.

          Additional water storage, to allow for increased evaporation at those higher temperatures.

          Engineering projects to hold back the sea level rise that you claim (with very little real scientific evidence) will be inevitable.

          We should not waste scarce resources on unreliable wind power, or intermittent (clear sunny daytimes only) solar power, except for small isolated centres that could not be economically connected to the grid.

          A few thoughts for you to reject?

  • Neville says:

    Here’s a graph showing the co2 levels from Mauna Loa and you can hold the pointer on 1988 and 2019 to check the co2 levels.

    https://sealevel.info/co2.html

    And here’s the CSIRO graph from Cape Grim Tassie AGAIN, showing 1988- 349 ppm and 2019- 409 ppm. Check it out for yourselves. That’s an increase of 60 ppm since 1988.

    https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/OandA/Areas/Assessing-our-climate/Latest-greenhouse-gas-data

    • Chris Warren says:

      So Neville, what was the cause of CO2 increase of 60ppm?

      Sunspots?

      Milankovitch cycles?

      El Nino?

      La Nina?

      Scientific fraud?

      Volcanoes?

      Burning fossil fuels?

      Denialists don’t know?

      • Boambee John says:

        Chris

        The greatest element of the cause is, and will continue to be for many years to come, the efforts of China and india to give their populations a modern lifestyle.

        And when they have achieved that, then the African nations will take the lead in increasing CO2 emissions, as they seek the same benefits.

        Is it your position that these nations should continue to be deprived of a better lifestyle? Are you, indeed, an unrepentent misanthrope?

        A rather more important question, though, is at what point, if it has not already happened, will IR absorption by CO2 be fully saturated, and cease to have any measurable impact on temperature? I recall that this point was debated on an earlier thread, you might like to revisit that thread.

        Consider that multiple thousands of “delegates” in Madrid recently spent a couple of weeks trying to achieve the CO2 emission reductions that you claim are necessary, and failed miserably. Time to consider adaptation policies? See my comments above.

        That is, IF you truly believe what you claim to believe, and are not, like many luminaries in global institutions, simply using the CAGW scare story to advance another agenda.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Please denialist, please explain…

    Why are we getting temperatures equal to previous records when SOI was over 6 when today SOI has been negative all year?

    Does this mean that SOI is not responsible for global heating and furnace weather?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/australia-heatwave-weather-forecast-warnings-climate-crisis-scott-morrison-a9248376.html

  • Chris Warren says:

    Australian carbon emissions are ridiculously small – so what is the problem?

    380,000 giga grams CO2 is nothing, just 0.38 GT [380 MT].

    http://ageis.climatechange.gov.au/Chart_KP.aspx?OD_ID=90435531762&TypeID=2

    In terms of carbon this is just under 104 MT.

    It would cost no more than half our defence budget to produce a lifestyle acceptable to all that can sequester this paltry amount each year.

    And the threat from climate change is many times worse than any threat from other nations.

    We are already reducing CO2 emissions on a per capita basis.

    Answer: too many denialists.

    • Boambee John says:

      Chris

      Again and again you (deliberately??) miss the point.

      While ever China and India continue to incerase their CO2 emissions each year by more than the TOTAL of Australian emissions, then nothing, absolutely nothing, done in Australia will stop global CO2 levels from continuing to rise.

      Unless you are completely and deliberately obtuse, then, IF you genuinely believe that the increase is a problem, you must either do what multiple thousands of “delegates” in Madrid have just failed to do, that is persuade China and India to reverse course, or start planning for adaptation. Wasting around $15 billion annually on tge futile pursuit of sequestration is not a productive use of resources that, if CO2 emissions really are a problem, could be better spent on adaptation.

      Unless, of course, you have another agenda??!!

    • Boambee John says:

      Chris

      “It would cost no more than half our defence budget to produce a lifestyle acceptable to all that can sequester this paltry amount each year.

      And the threat from climate change is many times worse than any threat from other nations.”

      Congratulations. I had no idea that you are either the Director-General of the Office of National Assessments or the Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation.

      You would have to be, surely, to provide such a confident assessment.

    • spangled drongo says:

      No, blith, too many lefty hypocrites.

      “So ban meat, it is, especially beef. But what do you suppose was the big seller for anyone looking for lunch at the UN climate conference? Burger King! Delicious all-meat American burgers, with not a single one of Burger King’s latest meatless Whoppers in sight.”

  • Boambee John says:

    Chris

    From that well known “denialist” paper, the Sydney Morning Herald.

    “December 18, 2019 — 10.00pm

    A massive expansion of coal-fired power in China is pushing the world’s climate change targets out of reach, as former prime minister Kevin Rudd said heightened environmental concerns in China were still secondary to economic expansion.

    Environmental groups have warned that China alone could exceed a coal power limit set for the entire world by 2035 with 148 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants currently under construction or likely to be revived, the 2020 Climate Change Performance Index found, as the country seeks to power rapidly expanding cities and stimulate economic growth.”

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, that Australia does can have any measurable impact on the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    As far as investment of public funds goes, IF CO2 levels are actually a significant problem, then our only sensible move is to invest in adaptation. Some suggestions:

    Reliable electric power, to power the air conditioners we will need to live productive lives at the higher temperatures that you claim (with little real scientific evidence) will be inevitable.

    Additional water storage, to allow for increased evaporation at those higher temperatures.

    Engineering projects to hold back the sea level rise that you claim (with very little real scientific evidence) will be inevitable.

    We should not waste scarce resources on unreliable wind power, or intermittent (clear sunny daytimes only) solar power, except for small isolated centres that could not be economically connected to the grid.

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