The sort of prediction one should never make

Apart from the banal exercise of predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow, or that I am 90 per cent likely to have a cappuccino in the next day or so, I do my best to eschew predictions. They so often fail spectacularly, and I wrote an essay about failed predictions about climate change some time ago. But I recently came across such a beauty of the kind that I thought it was worth following up. On August 1st 2008, more than eight years ago, someone called Andrew Simms wrote a piece in The Guardian which told an apprehensive readership that there were ‘only 100 months to avoid disaster’ and that humanity was in ‘the final countdown’. Andrew seemed to be speaking for ‘group of global warming experts’, and what he and they had to say was pretty ‘confronting’, as today’s TV news presenters like to say. I’ll give you some little bits of it.

… in just 100 months’ time, if we are lucky, and based on a quite conservative estimate, we could reach a tipping point for the beginnings of runaway climate change. [For the puzzled, I think ‘lucky’ is used here in its ironic sense.]

Currently, approximately 1,000 tonnes of CO2 are released into the Earth’s atmosphere every second, due to human activity. Greenhouse gases trap incoming solar radiation, warming the atmosphere. When these gases accumulate beyond a certain level — often termed a “tipping point” — global warming will accelerate, potentially beyond control.

Andrew then talked about the ‘feedback loops’ that amplify warming, and what would happen in consequence, a decline in albedo leading to the melting of icecaps, a rise in sea-levels, doom and so on.

So, how exactly do we arrive at the ticking clock of 100 months? It’s possible to estimate the length of time it will take to reach a tipping point. To do so you combine current greenhouse gas concentrations with the best estimates for the rates at which emissions are growing, the maximum concentration of greenhouse gases allowable to forestall potentially irreversible changes to the climate system, and the effect of those environmental feedbacks.

We found that, given all of the above, 100 months from today we will reach a concentration of greenhouse gases at which it is no longer “likely” that we will stay below the 2C temperature rise threshold. “Likely” in this context refers to the definition of risk used by the IPCC. But, even just before that point, there is still a one third chance of crossing the line.

What should humanity do, or rather, what should Britain do? Andrew’s solution, no doubt also constructed by the group of faceless and nameless global warming experts, was somewhat on the draconian side.

[We need to] launch a Green New Deal, taking inspiration from President Roosevelt’s famous 100-day programme implementing his New Deal in the face of the dust bowls and depression. Last week, a group of finance, energy and environmental specialists produced just such a plan.

Addressed at the triple crunch of the credit crisis, high oil prices and global warming, the plan is to rein in reckless financial institutions and use a range of fiscal tools, new measures and reforms to the tax system, such as a windfall tax on oil companies. The resources raised can then be invested in a massive environmental transformation programme that could insulate the economy from recession, create countless new jobs and allow Britain to play its part in meeting the climate challenge.

Goodbye new airport runways, goodbye new coal-fired power stations. Next, as a precursor to enabling and building more sustainable systems for transport, energy, food and overhauling the nation’s building stock, the government needs to brace itself to tackle the City.

That’s just the beginning. Next comes a rolling programme to overhaul the nation’s heat-leaking building stock. This will have the benefit of massively cutting emissions and at the same time tackling the sore of fuel poverty by creating better insulated and designed homes. A transition from “one person, one car” on the roads, to a variety of clean reliable forms of public transport should be visible by the middle of our 100 months. Similarly, weaning agriculture off fossil-fuel dependency will be a phased process.

You get the flavour. Now we need to remember that this symphony of doom was composed a year or so before the great Copenhagen Climate Conference, and in the middle of the global financial crisis. Both those events have faded a little from contemporary anxieties, but I taste the flavour of Andrew’s brew whenever I hear one of the more passionate Climate Botherers speak out — for example, lamenting the failure of either candidate in the American Presidential elections to spend time — any time in any of the debates — on the most important issue of all, climate change.

Why is it worth spending time on Mr Simms’s essay? Well the one hundred months have passed, if my arithmetic is any good. We didn’t reach a tipping point for the advent of runaway climate change, and indeed, no one much talks about tipping points these days. That sort of language has gone, along with the notion of ‘runaway global warming’. If the subject interests you, start here. Nor is there much sign of the amplification he referred to. The strong temperature rise of the 1980s and 1990s has gone, to be replaced with a small up-and-down fluctuation. Yes, there has been a rise since 1998, but it’s not much at all. Andrew didn’t go into climate sensitivity, but most of the recent papers on that tortured subject are pointing to something around a 1.5 degree Celsius increase for every doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. There don’t seem to have been any ‘irreversible changes to the climate system’ in the past eight and a half years.

And his program to cure our climate ills has disappeared from sight. If you read it all (I have only provided a little of it) you are likely to be astounded both at its optimism and its far-reaching ambit. That you could have in Britain a ‘visible’ transition from cars to ‘clean reliable forms of public transport’ in eight years seems to me extraordinarily optimistic. And after the South Australian electricity outage in September, the combination of ‘clean’ and ‘reliable’ is perplexing. Of course, Andrew  he wrote the piece years before the outage.

No elected government could put into place such a program without there being an imminent disaster that the whole electorate could see. There isn’t one, and therefore there is no point reminding people of what Britain did during the Second World War or what America did with the New Deal — these were vastly different conditions. I came across an American equivalent of Mr Simms’s appeal to see what is happening in climate (whatever it is) as a dreadful crisis facing humanity only the other day. I don’t think it resonated with many people.

The piece in The Guardian told readers that they go could go to if they wanted to find out more, and how to take action, and who else was supporting the endeavour. When I went to the link I found that had disappeared, and an alert hustler on the Internet asked if I would like to buy the domain! I thought about it for a micro-sec0nd.

And what about Andrew Simms? Well he survives, and is still on the staff of The Guardian, which says this of him: Andrew Simms is an author, analyst and campaigner. His books include The New Economics, Tescopoly, Ecological Debt, and Cancel the Apocalypse: The New Path to prosperity. his new book We Want More Than This will be published in 2017 by Little Brown. He co-founded the New Weather Institute, is a research associate at the Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex, and a fellow of the New Economics Foundation. It seems that crying doom from a green perspective has been profitable for Mr Simms. He now blogs at The Guardian, and his prediction lives on in the title of his blog: 100 months to save the worldA monthly blog about the effects of climate change. Maybe it is the next one hundred months. Plainly, he is a believer.

And The Guardian? Well, I understand that its is losing about £100 million a year, but then all mainstream newspapers are more or less financially moribund. You’d think being spectacularly wrong with a prediction might have made both the writer and the newspaper somewhat more reticent in their claims. In fact, nothing has changed, since both still say much the same things, presumably to much the same readership. But both the paper and the readership are shrinking…

Join the discussion 176 Comments

  • Peter Kemmis says:

    Oh dear, I’m still laughing. Shame on me.

    Actually, a few weeks ago I had a friend (he is in his early thirties), tell me we would run out of oxygen, I think because of the steady death of plankton. Acidifying oceans, was it? The best bit was that it won’t happen till 2048. I kept a straight face, and wished him well, as I always do.

    Why on earth do they still believe this tosh?

    • tripitaka says:

      Laugh away Peter, I imagine their is little to laugh about in the rest of your sorry boring old white man life.

      A bit cowardly of you not to argue with your friend isn’t it? Or are you not up on all the details and unwilling to chance a discussion about climate change that does incorporate facts from science on the basis that you do not have the ability to understand the facts?

      Do you have a coherent idea of who ‘they’ are? I ‘believe’ the tosh because you deniers just do not have any evidence that there is any corruption in science or that the evidence science has found is suspect in any way. Do some work to prove your beliefs that nothing is happening.

    • margaret says:

      Peter I think I once said that you seemed like a ‘nice man’ – oh dear my naïveté when I entered the blogosphere. I was ripe for the picking shall we say.
      I had written something ‘womanly’ and, quirky! no doubt, not realising that women should be in the kitchen attending to the midday meal not commenting on erudite blogs run by professors (indeed you did at one point tell me Don is a professor), and you metaphorically patted me on the head kindly and all twinkly with it and at least you did reply to whatever it was I said unlike so many of the lurkers who just want the peace of being able to read the latest essay so for heaven’s sake! I’ll retire to the study while the wifey takes care of keeping me alive so that I can practice my jolly laugh for the Xmas party in seven weeks time when I finally exit the man cave and make an appearance as Santa Claus.
      Oh heavens an attack of hyperbole I’d better get my medication.

  • Neville says:

    These people are barking mad. So let’s just look at the period 2008 to 2016 and check the data about co2 emissions over that period.
    Here is a graph on the left at this EIA link that shows how the OECD countries co2 emission have flat-lined over that time while China, India and the developing world emissions have soared.
    In fact the total OECD emissions were 13.5 bn tonnes in 2008 but are now 12.9 bn tonnes this year.
    Non OECD emissions were 15.9 bn tonnes in 2008 and are 21 bn tonnes in 2016. So the first world has decreased emissions by 0.54 bn tonnes and the non OECD ( India, China etc ) countries have increased emissions by 5.1 bn tonnes.
    Why can’t these donkeys do proper research and why do they hate data? BTW at the bottom of the graph you’ll see a data link where you can see data starting at 1990 and extending to their projections until 2040. Needless to say the non OECD co2 emissions will soar until that time and OECD emissions are just above a flat line over the entire projection. I hope people can now understand what a con and fra-d they are pulling when they talk about the mitigation of AGW. China, India and the developing world must be laughing their heads off.

    • tripitaka says:

      Neville, where is your evidence that ‘these people are barking mad’.

      That really is not a proprer argument you know. The white man rules about logically argument say you need to define the term ‘these people’ and then you need to define ‘barking mad’ and then you need to explain how this information – and you need to provide some reference for your definitions – you can’t just make them up – this a rule of western civilisation you know – adds up to the conclusion that you have just stated that “these people are barking mad”.

      How long does the satisfaction you feel when talking about barking mad people last for you Neville? What else do you do to achieve the surge of satisfaction you feel when you denigrate your enemies as ‘donkey’s’ and claim that ‘they hate data’? I think this is another of Freud’s defence mechanisms that you are using to avoid having to face the facts about the way the world has changed.

      You need a real hobby. Remember the good old days when everyone had a hobby – they even asked you at a job interview what your hobbies were – and when those old white men retired with their gold watch they had something to do at home. Because the wife didn’t want them hanging around in her house making a mess and talking rubbish. Old white men died pretty soon after retiring to a home they had nothing to do with; now they get to amuse themselves by taking out their disappointment with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune on a screen and they can avoid ever interacting with real people. What a sad life.

  • Neville says:

    SA with its super expensive electricity and a state blackout is in a mess. But the idiot Andrew’s govt is hot on the SA path desperately trying to stuff up Vic’s reliable and cheaper power supply. And none of this will change anything at all. See my first comment and US govt EIA link above But it will cost Vic jobs and business opportunities and lead to much higher electricity prices.

    Also the BOM, CSIRO and Flannery are also guilty of making false forecasts about our rainfall. This is a pay per view article.

    • tripitaka says:

      Hi Neville, It is amazing to me how the Bolter arrived at the conclusion that “sceptics now outnumber warmists”, but then I realised that all he needed to do to get these ‘true’ numbers was to survey News Corp journalists and commentators, and writers for The Spectator and Quadrant, and of course the staff of the IPA and Lord Monckton.

      Brilliant eh? “And there you go, QED and another scientific insight added to the world. No wonder the Bolter felt the need to contrast this rigorous methodology with the devious tricksters fiddling with the figures …”

      It is such a shame that Andrew isn’t up for nomination as scientist of the year don’t you think? And it is a crying shame that one has to pay to read his insights. That doesn’t seem fair does it? How is he supposed to provide the masses with the info they need when he is locked away behind a paywall.

      It is so good of the Guardian to provide free news for the poors. They must be nice people you think?

      And sorry about this but the previous thread looks dead so I thought I’d post my response to your wrongness about life expectancy here.

      According to this article, “Life expectancy fell for the U.S. white population in 2014 and remained flat for all population groups combined, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing how increases in death rates from suicides, drug overdoses and related causes are threatening an important measure of health and prosperity.”

      And it wasn’t fossil fuels at all that has increased life expectancy among white people, the most significant factor was cleaning up the stinking waste infested cities through sewerage and clean water, it was the introduction of safety measures for workers and many other innovations that were forced on the selfish and greedy rich by do gooders that would never have been done by the selfish and greedy capitalists.

      And if you look around at an old people’s home you might wonder of what benefit it was to increase life span while decreasing the quality of life.

      What to do with such extensive ignorance and deliberate obfuscation on this blog that is in the name of a respected academic is a worry for those of us who are wanting to make a better world for our children. It is amazing that everyone can’t see that is the foundation of any decent society. Surely the basis of the Australian way of life is to build a better world for our kids. What happened to that?

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        “those of us who are wanting to make a better world for our children. It is amazing that everyone can’t see that is the foundation of any decent society”

        No-one is ‘obliged’ to make a better world for their own (or anyone else’s) children. Today’s problems are the failure of the children to take any responsibility for creating a better world for themselves. They prefer to flee to countries with lavish welfare systems.

        Snide remarks about old peoples’ homes are just a cowardly cover for a reluctance to support a pension scheme that would enable these ‘feeble elders’ to have a decent quality of life.

        Cheap socialist scaremongering by a cheap socialist scumbag.

        • tripitaka says:

          Whoa you calling me a cheap socialist scumbag dude? lol

          Of course no one is ‘obliged’ to make a better world; I didn’t say that. I said that is the reason that humans have done things since we evolved a brain and realised the concept of empathy compassion and joy. This is the reason that we have been so successful at colonising the world and adapting to so many different environmental conditions.

          If humans did not have this innate desire – that is bred out of some individuals in some cultures – to make the world a better place we would be still be living nasty brutish and short lives but amazingly most of us who are not mentally damaged do have this desire to help other people and to make everywhere we are happier and more productive.

          There is no need to suffer the bad feelings that you do Bryan, there is therapy these days and we know that brains can change – have you heard of Normal Doidge – if they want to. So you could learn how to feel empathy and compassion and realise how good life is when you care for other people and their feelings.

        • margaret says:

          “Your children are not your children.
          They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself …”
          Khalil Gibran

  • Doug Hurst says:

    Thanks Don – another doomsayer to add to the list of those whose whose failed predictions have not prevented their continued pursuit of a successful and well paid academic career. They just shrug off the failures and keep going – I note that Tim Flannery, quite undeterred by the lack of ongoing drought, has another book out, this time about how to adjust to the inevitable climate challenges etc.

    And thanks to Neville for the IEA link. The graph of OECD and non-OECD CO2 production says it all, and in a rational world would be enough to cancel the RET now, along with all subsidies to unreliables. To his credit, Josh Freydenberg is telling the ABC and others that China plans to double and India plans to triple CO2 output, but so far he has stopped short of taking the next step and declaring that this makes our puny but very expensive effort a serious waste of time and money.

    To me, this also tells us that China and India do not fear their plans will roast their people, which in turn suggests they don’t believe the alarmists and are paying lip service to the ‘climate threat’ to appear good world citizens at the UN and so they can keep selling windmills to the gullible West.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    If you are still wondering why such ignorance about climate science permeates our society, and is costing us (and the world) $trillions, you have only to read the responses of Australia’s Chief Scientist to questions from Senator Malcolm Roberts at a recent Senate Committee hearing. The Chief Scientist undertook to express his views to the Committee in writing and I can hardly wait. I hope it nails him to the cross. How a man with such a black-hole knowledge gap of the Scientific Method and how Science should progress, can attain the position of the nation’s Chief Scientist (and this applies also to his predecessor), remains a mystery to me.

  • tripitaka says:

    Predictions are a thing that great white men like to do you know Don. And they do fail unless one couches them in language that is open to interpretation. That is the way to go if you want to be remembered in the new narrative that we non white men are writing; keep your narrative ambiguous.

    And these predictions fail so often as you note that one wonders – I do anyway – why you bother to waste your time and effort talking about this silly person and his silly predictions – that nevertheless do contain verifiable facts and ideas about how it could happen and what people can do about climate change.

    Very petty and a desperate look I think, for you to present this as some sort of cogent and telling argument that climate change is not happening, or perhaps I simply missed your very subtle point. I am not all that sophisticated and did not learn the political correctness that applies when conversing with my betters. So do point out more clearly how this story justifies your foolish contrariness.

    It seems obvious to me that the term ‘denier’ comes from the first of Freud’s defence mechanisms and was applied to people who so obviously were and are using this most simple of cognitive mechanisms to avoid what is called cognitive dissonance. Ignorant old blokes and women like Bettina Arndt-women-so-awful who don’t understand current psychology, can google these terms and learn something new and relevant to what is happening.

    The crowd is increasingly wising up, seeing how ludicrous your dance of denial is and coming to the right decision now they have access to all the information. Thank Dog for social media and the internet. People are reading here and in every other rwnj site how you have nothing to offer but abuse and nastiness and the same old same old western white man ideas that are now shown by western philosophy, science, and even economic maths – heard of Picketty? – to be wrong.

    Only deniers choose not to read the evidence that they are denying. You only read other deniers denying the undeniable and defending the indefensible.

  • spangled drongo says:

    People with the God Complex just have to get us all “Doom Ready” as best they can.

    When most of the sandwich boards have been worn out with the old, well used, hoary, hairy chestnuts suddenly along comes this fantastic scenario that ticks all the boxes awa having the potential to make the greatest scoundrels and deceivers very rich.

    Also it gives the moral majority free rein to play pretty well every card in the book on their fellows for what ever reason they choose.

    Long after it is shown to be the garbage it is it will still be the great lurking weapon.

    For these feeble-minded Goddies, what’s not to like and embrace?

    • tripitaka says:

      Here is a song for you Spangled Drongo – don’t go thinking you have won me over with your sweet talking. I still think you are a sad old bloke not worth talking to but I do take pity on some of you as I remember how my rwnj grandfather died with no one to give a flying fuck for his passing.

      • spangled drongo says:

        That’s the way, Trip. When complete absence of reason, ideas and logical argument leave you stranded, you can always resort to insult.

        But I’m a bit disappointed in your lack of imagination going down this track so quickly.

        Surely you had other cards to choose from.

      • Nga says:

        Wow, JT’s Thick as a Brick! I listen to that in the car sometimes.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          One assumes it’s a tune that resonates in the cavity between your ears.

        • tripitaka says:

          utube is like magic for me. It is wonderful to be able to play all the old tunes and video clips. I did a nostalgia day last week and played all Peter Paul and Mary’s Dylan songs. The quality of the photography in the old black and white clips is different to the digital photography today; the film gives people lovely complexions whereas digital shows up every mark and blemish.

  • David says:

    “…. I do my best to eschew predictions.

    So Don when you were Vice Chancellor of Canberra Uni, how did you go about deciding how many academic staff to employ the following year, if you were not into predictions. Did you run an office sweep and pull a number out of a hat?

    • Don Aitkin says:


      We tended to get funded after the event — our student numbers, presented to the Government, helped define what we would get next year. Of course, we were always trying to estimate what would happen in various courses, and those running them were always doing their best to keep their student numbers up. But making predictions, no. We left that to astrologers

      • David says:

        To select the number of political science lecturers to be employed in 2017, would you
        (a) randomly pick a whole number > 0 or
        (b) Develop some model to predict the University’s teaching requirements for the following year?

      • Nga says:

        Don was Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra from 1991 to 2002 according to Wikipedia. If you type “University of Canberra forecasting” into Google, all types of things that Don apparently dismisses come up:

        -“Forecasting dementia in 2050 and counting the cost” University of Canberra media release
        -University Of Canberra weather – local weather forecast
        -Majors & Minors – University of Canberra Business Forecasting
        – An economic forecasting microsimulation model of the Australian …
        – forecasting the characteristics of consumers in 2010 – NATSEM
        – etc…

        Maybe with a little bit less ideologically motivated complacency and a little bit more forecasting we could have predicted how mortgagees walking away from NINJA loans in the USA would have turned triple A rated debt based securities into junk and eventually caused a GFC that cost the world ~ $US 25 trillion dollars. But empirical forecasting is not for our Donald who, like Ronald and Nancy Reagan, would prefer the services of a “good” astrologer …

        • spangled drongo says:

          “we could have predicted how mortgagees walking away from NINJA loans in the USA would have turned triple A rated debt based securities into junk and eventually caused a GFC that cost the world ~ $US 25 trillion dollars.”

          You really shouldn’t display your soiled sheets for the world to see.

          You haven’t got a clue, have you enge, luv?

        • David says:

          Nga, nice argument!

          Over to you DA.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            It is a poor argument, but there you go. As he points out, I left UC in 2002, fourteen years ago And there is no indication that the vice-chancellor of the university made any of these statements. Nga is given to insults, not to analysis.

          • margaret says:

            “As he points out, I left UC in 2002 …”
            Nga is, I thought – a woman.

          • spangled drongo says:

            So it’s not the logic or the facts that count, hey davie?

            Just the side?

            It sure doesn’t say much for your judgement.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            You didn’t have to think, she admitted as much.

          • Nga says:

            Donald says:

            It is a poor argument, but there you go. As he points out, I left UC in 2002, fourteen years ago And there is no indication that the vice-chancellor of the university made any of these statements.

            You missed the point of the argument.

          • Nga says:

            Donald is of course lying about not being interested in predictions or engaging in predictions. Donald makes predictions just as much as everyone else. Here are a couple of examples of Donald predicting that we will benefit from a warmer world:

            Given the contribution that more carbon dioxide makes to the lives of plants, and therefore animals, I can’t see why another degree or so would be other than beneficial.


            On the face of it, and up to a point, a warmer world ought to be better for us than a colder world.


            Apparently, predictions are fine but only if they buttress Donald’s prejudices.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Nga @ 8.57am

            None of these is a prediction. And I’m sorry to have used the masculine pronoun. I did notice something you wrote from which I inferred that you were a woman, but I forgot.

  • chrisl says:

    It would be interesting to contact Andrew Simms and see what he has to say for himself. I would put it down to computer modelling* a vivid imagination and watching too many movies.
    * You know even those financial projection programs have a disclaimer that says “Past performance DOES NOT guarentee future performance” Modellers beware!

  • Nga says:

    Donald says:

    ” And after the South Australian electricity outage in September, the combination of ‘clean’ and ‘reliable’ is perplexing.

    What nonsense. This claim is yet more hollow and evidence free prejudice. The outage in South Australia was the result of many factors but some inherent and intractable problem with non-fossil fuel sources of electricity was not one of them. Notably, you’ve failed to provide any evidence to back up your claim.

    Donald also says:

    “The strong temperature rise of the 1980s and 1990s has gone, to be replaced with a small up-and-down fluctuation. Yes, there has been a rise since 1998, but it’s not much at all.”

    Again, this is nothing more than prejudice, deception and misrepresentation. Notably when Prof John Quiggin tried to pin down Donald on AGW by asking him to present his very own statistical analysis, Donald blinked and baulked. The truth, of course, is that Donald lacks the competencies required to make sense of climate change and instead simply borrows memes from denialist websites.

    My advice to Donald, not that he ever takes it, is to stay away from the anti-vaxxer, flat earth, fake moon landing and AGW denialist websites and instead look more at mainstream science sites. Of course, the latter are boring old meat and potatoes whilst the former are glitzy confectionery, and Donald is known for his sweet tooth, but for his reputation’s sake he may want to pause and consider whether it is time to start acting like a grown up.

    Here is an example of a grown up science site that Donald might like to consider reading:

    • spangled drongo says:

      “The outage in South Australia was the result of many factors but some inherent and intractable problem with non-fossil fuel sources of electricity was not one of them.”

      And poor, foolish enge has the hubris to call a sceptic like Don a denier!!!

      And it’s “Donald” now, hey enge?

      Why is that, I wonder?

    • Don Aitkin says:


      Have you read what the AEMO said about the outage? It was a combination, including the rapid failure of wind turbines when the winds grew too strong. That is the official position. In fact, until we know whether the pylons that went down were the only path for electricity (which would be unusual) the chief cause of the outage was the failure of the turbines and the lamentable fact that SA had no backup, and the intern connector could only supply 20 per cent of SA’s needs at any time.

      • Nga says:

        Yes, Don I did read the AEMO reports. According to the AEMO media release on 19/10/2016:

        Data now shows that nine of the 13 wind farms online at the time of the event did not ride through the six voltage disturbances, resulting in a loss of 445 MW of generation. Preliminary discussions with wind farm operators suggest this inability to ride through all disturbances was due to ‘voltage ride-through’ settings set to disconnect or reduce turbine output when between three to six disturbances are detected within a defined time period.

        If you look at the full report, linked to in the media release, you will see that five of the nine wind turbines have already had AEMO-approved changes to their ‘voltage ride-through’ software settings.

        Your claim that the wind turbines failed when “the winds grew too strong” is not what the AEMO says. May I ask for the source of this claim?

        • Don Aitkin says:


          You need to read (and study) 3.4.2 in particular. No, it doesn’t say that winds were responsible — it leaves you to wonder what exactly did cause the settings too operate. Can’t have been wind. Must have been gremlins, unicorns or something like that. AEMO is doing its best not to blame wind. But it is hard to find something else that would cause one of the 13 wind farms to cease production. Perhaps you have better information.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Oh dear. ‘settings to operate’. ‘nine of the 13’ Trying to do too much too quickly.

          • Nga says:

            “AEMO is doing its best not to blame wind.”

            First you said the “official position” of the AEMO was that a chief cause of the blackout was failure of the wind turbines when “the winds grew too strong” [your exact words]. Now that I have pointed out to that the AEMO makes no such claim, you’ve fallen back on conspiratorial thinking.

            Do you see now why I call you a denialist and not a skeptic? Skepticism is a state of mind as much as it is a rigorous approach to uncovering facts. A skeptic puts aside emotion and prejudice and examines the evidence with disinterest, does not jump to conclusions or invoke conspiracy and subterfuge to support a “pet theory”. In just this one case, your passions have driven you to misrepresent the facts by falsely claiming that you were merely citing the “official position” then grumpily fabricated a conspiracy theory involving the AEMO to explain why it did no such thing once I pointed out your error!

            Anyway, Don, I realise this is a futile request but could kindly provide hard evidence to support your contention that the AEMO doctored its report because it is part of a pro-wind farm conspiracy? I promise not to tell anyone and we can keep it all hush-hush by using the Cone of Silence:

          • Nga says:

            “You need to read (and study) 3.4.2 in particular.”

            I have read it. Numerous times. Only 20 MW of wind power was disconnected due to excessive wind. This is a tiny proportion of the network’s power and was a not a material fact in the blackout. If you think it is, please give your reasons and cite technical sources that back up your claim. I’ll pass them on to my uncle who has worked on the grid for 30 years to see what he thinks.

          • spangled drongo says:

            You could also ask your uncle why Kangaroo Is didn’t lose power and he may be able to tell you it was because they had a F/F power back-up.

            Unlike the rest of the state.

            “The AEMO report makes clear there have been complete and sudden losses of the interconnector on four previous occasions.

            Three of those happened when the now-closed Port Augusta coal power station tripped.”

            You need to stop denying and broaden your outlook.

            Even your normally alarmist sympathisers are sceptical:


  • Neville says:

    Christopher Booker outlines the extent of the Green energy madness that is costing the taxpayers in Germany, UK, Denmark etc hundreds of millions of dollars. And this will not bring any measurable change to the climate or temp at all. But the graph of electricity prices also shows that Aussies now pay some of the highest prices in the world. Aussies to pay very low electricity prices and we should still be at the lower end today, but thanks to the green fanatics we are made to pay some of the highest prices in the world. We have cheap coal and gas available that is exported all over the world, but we are denied the use of this cheap, reliable power because of this corrupt renewable energy fra-d .

    BTW Russia will not ratify the Paris climate agreement before 2020. Of course this is not a binding agreement anyway.

  • chrisl says:

    Meanwhile 100 months after the doomsday prediction it is snowing in Marysville Victoria
    Predictions are indeed difficult

    • tripitaka says:

      Chrisl you are a very silly person if you don’t understand that climate change does and has predicted that there will be areas that will experience colder than average weather events.

      I can’t believe you are so ignorant about the scientific facts. How do you think you persuade people that it isn’t happening if you don’t understand our arguments? That is not the way science works. If you want for whatever reason to keep coal as the way of the future you need to present scientific evidence that supports that idea. You need to understand that these are the rules of science.

      Maybe you should stick to Catallaxy or have you been smited by the awesome Doomlord with that very grown up mask and him an academic apparently. I heard today that he is shutting the blog down and I thought wow Jason Soon would be happy about that.

      But I wonder what Don would predict for the future of an economist like Sinclair Davidson? Is the mask a good look?

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Here is a challenge for you and anybody else on the climate change bandwagon. If the glaciers/ice sheets are melting at current temperatures, how will ‘holding’ temperature increases to less than 2 centigrade degrees stop them?

        I have asked it on several sites – it got me banned from ‘The Conversation’, but I have never had an answer.

        What would you think about “it won’t”?

        • tripitaka says:

          I think you are lying about being banned by the Conversation.

          I also comment there and I have had interactions with the moderators and you would not be banned for asking this question.

          I think you need to reassess the way this ‘banning’ happened and work out what the real reason for your banning was. You can ask for feedback from the mods there. They are reasonable people and will explain things to you. Possibly you were off topic. They are very concerned with keeping comments on topic. But you don’t like rules that you didn’t make up.

          it is silly and dysfunctional to go through life with all the misinformation that you have about other people; your life could be so much richer and worth living if you were able to take advantage of all the wonderful things and ideas that people on the left have built and will build when you old farts die out.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Trip, lefties like you wouldn’t have a clue what happens to conservatives at THE CON.

            Just as “all the wonderful things and ideas that people on the left have built and will build when you old farts die out” wouldn’t have a clue [and would studiously ignore it even if you did] about this:

            Info From Wikileaks- Hilary & Obama

            So here’s the REAL story. Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in
            order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia
            without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal
            through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the
            shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own
            military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by
            one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn’t arm the missile and
            the Chinook didn’t explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team
            recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of
            Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA. Obama and Hillary were now in full
            panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers.
            This was a “do-or-die” mission, which explains the stand down orders given
            to multiple commando teams. It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied
            them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn’t supply these deadly
            weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw
            Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK’d the BS
            talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video. Obama
            and Hillary committed treason…and THIS is what the investigation is all
            about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital
            evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the
            attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not.
            Further…the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the
            enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte,
            and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5
            Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn…everyone KNEW he was a
            traitor. So we have a traitor as POTUS that is not only corrupt, but
            compromised…and a woman that is a serial liar, perjured herself multiple
            times at the Hearing whom is running for POTUS. Only the Dems, with their
            hands out, palms up, will support her. Perhaps this is why no military
            aircraft was called in…because the administration knew our enemies had

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            I suggest you make a non-PC comment, and watch the reaction of ‘Alice Kelly’ ‘Mike Hansen’, ‘Peter Ormonde’, ‘Mike Swinbourne’, and the rest of the camp followers. Better still, log on in Russian or Arabic, and see how you get treated. The bias and bigotry has been noticed and commented on in Quadrant and elsewhere. All supported by YOUR tax dollars, supposed to be funding the education of YOUR children.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            That’s it girlie. You accuse me of being rude and discourteous, and promptly call me a liar. I don’t have to ‘re-assess’ the banning. I was there, remember. I have seen the liberties extended to the members of the ‘in group’, and the intolerance and aggression directed at people whose views differ. You would fit right in, and indeed, might well be one of them.

        • margaret says:

          “It won’t” – sounds right to me – glaciers being what they are. I have landed in a helicopter on one.
          Why particularise glaciers, Nature doesn’t plan to mow you personally down with one.

          • tripitaka says:

            It is interesting to keep track of the idiosyncratic cognitive patterns that can be seen in the way the collective of failed old white men who gather here go about their passive aggressive resistance to the normal progress of science and to the inevitable change that is coming. It is, with a bit of psych knowledge easy to imagine how the sort of ‘off topic’ trivial questions that Bryan Roberts obsesses about, assume an inappropriate level of importance for those who can’t cope with the current complexity, and are so fearful and angry about the future that has no place for their failed ideas about life the universe and everything.

            There are groups who are documenting and researching the psychological phenomena of climate change denial and how this aspect of human cognition can be understood as a ‘normal’ part of the diversity of human behaviour.

            Dan Kahan does a lot of work on the topic. This is a link to the abstract of just one of his papers but you can access his blogs from here.


            he writes that these “disputes are a consequence of one or another form of disruption to the system of conventions that normally enable individuals to recognise valid science despite their inability to understand it. To preempt such disruptions and to repair them when they occur, science must form a complete understanding of the ordinary processes of science recognition, and democratic societies must organize themselves to use what science knows about how ordinary members of the public come to recognize what is known to science.”

            It is the “ordinary processes of science recognition,” that we see is so disrupted and dysfunctional in the usual suspects who lurk here to obsequiously help out their Don Aitkin, the last of the deniers with any academic reputation.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        … and, courtesy of ‘our’ ABC, the following absurdity:

        “Sara Arthur is an environmental scientist who specialises in waste management and contaminated land. In 2001, her experiments on a fish tank of coral and goldfish revealed something she was yet to read in the scientific literature. “I was doing a lot of scuba diving at the time,” she said. “One day as I was adjusting the pH [in the tank] I realised what impact extra CO2 in the environment was going to have on the coral reefs of the world. “I cried. I wasn’t told, I worked it out for myself. The horror I felt was unspeakable.”

        “observations of the effects of photosynthesis and calcification reveal coral reefs are not victims of a fall of pH from 8.2 to 8.1 pH as suggested by Caldeira and Wickett 2005, Doney 2009 or Hoegh-Guldberg (2014). On the contrary as Gaia theory would suggest, coral reefs are actively regulating surface pH.” Jim Steel, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Hey, scumbag,

        You wanna reply, or retreat to a ‘safe space’, so your ‘feelings’ won’t be hurt?

        • margaret says:

          I don’t read or comment on other blogs, as yet anyway, but sometimes my interest is piqued so I had a skim of the contents page of Catallaxy and found that it has a section on trolls.

          “Be vicious to trolls. It’s not like you’re depriving anybody of food or oxygen.
          Be capricious. If you’re consistent, they’ll know where the line is; if they know where the line is, they’ll skate to the edge of it.
          Be indifferent to trollish suffering. Being called a facist (not a typo: most trolls can’t spell) who’s suppressing free speech* is not a cause for concern; it’s semantically equivalent to “You’re doing your job.”
          Be obnoxious. Trolls do it because it amuses them to do it. Being made fun of is not amusing, particularly when you can enforce a ban. Remember: they need your site more than your site needs them.”
          What’s especially interesting is who determines on a particular site who is a troll? Here it seems quite a subjective decision made by members of the old guard used to basking in like opinion and twirling their moustaches.

          • tripitaka says:

            One has to be strong to read the comments on Catallaxy.

            Dont’ go there in the early hours of the morning when the alpha males are flexing their muscles lol and escalating the usual level of abuse unless you want all your prejudices about stupid right wing people and their propensity for hate and violence validated. The women who support these men are sorry creatures and one can see the consequences for their self-respect or lack of this, in the way they tolerate the bad boy behaviour and stand on the sidelines egging them on.

            An interesting stoush the other night though when one lovely woman told another to go use her mouldy dildo. Big trouble about that and one of the grrrls has left in a huff. So much free entertainment.

            The funny thing is that the comments are a mix of libertarians or glibertarians which is a more accurate term, and stupid old truck driver type Pauline Hanson admiring conservatives. The only thing they have in common is a hatred of ‘teh left’ but they have no idea what teh left is about and theres so much confusion and bad feeling not to mention stupid truck driver folk wisdom about what is wrong, whereas a few years ago when the right thought that they were winning all discord was covered up by their hubris.

            I used to comment there about 14 years ago when it was a libertarian blog and there was some sort of intellectual standard. Since then, I have kept a file of some of the worst comments and confessions by some of the more aggro commenters of things they have done in their lives that would make your hair curl.

            There are commenters who are out and out white supremacists along the line of the KKK and there are diagnostically delusional and dysfunctional people. The way they interact is an example of right wing functioning in general; it is all about abuse, escalation of that abuse if one receives any resistance, winning at all costs and then crowing over the supposed defeat of the less able person who is now a loser.

            The decisions about who to ban is entirely idiosyncratic depending on who can be coerced into doing the moderation. It is a time consuming job to moderate a blog. One needs to be motivated and I think the motivation is lacking among those with a bit more decency than they bulk of the current commenters.

            The economist Sinclair Davidson, who seems to do most of the work on the blog, and so childishly wears an ugly mask in his avatar photo, has a secret identity as “Doomlord”. So cute. 🙂 I really do wonder if his students at the university where he teaches are impressed by his style, and I wonder how impressed the university is by his appallingly low publication rate.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            OK marg. Here’s the guy you’re defending. How about the following little gems,
            boring old white man
            the selfish and greedy rich
            we non white men
            petty and a desperate look
            deniers choose not to read the evidence
            no one to give a flying fuck

            I’m sure your patient and tolerant nature will give succor to the refugee from reason.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Another outpouring of spite from the consciously “non-white” troll.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            …who has not attempted to answer my question, preferring instead to indulge in a lunatic rant about another site completely.

            Maybe you’ld like to have a go, marg?

        • tripitaka says:

          It seems clear to me Bryan that it is you who has taken offence and if you check you will find that the first comment I made here was to say that I am not here to give any offence. If you take offence, you need to give it back because it is not yours to take.

          Seriously you think that woman of my age would be bothered by the feelings that a cranky old man on the other side of a screen elicits when I have lived with and among men like Trump, who think it is okay and even admirable to emulate male dogs on heat and claim to be unable to stop themselves drooling and slobbering and groping an attractive young woman?

          Do you fully understand how much disgust young women and girls feel when slobbering big ugly men force themselves on us as they have all our lives? We have to pretend to like it or else retire to a nunnery and of course there are some twisted women who are happy to prostitute themselves as trophy wives to well off men. It is called survival.

          You certainly have no idea what I really ‘feel’. 🙂 It would be like a screwdriver trying to understand an electric drill.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Trip, please stop: 1/ blithering, 2/ ignoring the fact that science is wrong more often than it is right, 3/ avoiding specifics, 4/ avoiding evidence, 5/ playing your ageist card, 6/ playing your sexist card, 7/ blaming others for your own incompetence, and just try being rational, objective and realistic for a change.

            To somehow think that it is the “ordinary processes of science recognition,” that the world is incapable of, that is causing your problem is hubristic beyond belief particularly when, WRT Cli-Sci, that “science” is being done by models that are almost completely wrong.

            But then you at least become more honest and admit your attitude is all mainly due to your hatred of old, big, ugly, white men.

            My cheese ‘n’ kisses must be a bit strange having been married to me for over 55 years, been a partner in all my life’s business and still relatively happy.

            How do you account for that?

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Babe, I don’t care what you “really feel”. If you’ld like to stop fulminating about the big old ugly ‘white’ men you imagine are dying to grope you, maybe you’ld like to return to the topic? How about explaining how increasing temperature by ANY amount is going to stop ice melting?

        • margaret says:

          Dear Bryan, Spangles et al.
          “Not all conservatives are stupid but all stupid people are conservative” – someone famous.
          Marx and Engels.
          “The first basic principle on which the dialectic rests is that the world is in a process of change. Society and nature are not static, neither do they ‘move in an eternally uniform and perpetually recurring circle’, as Engels says. Instead they undergo a ‘genuine historical evolution’. Yet static views of society are still very common today. Through all the hurly-burly of society certain values and institutions are seen as virtually eternal–the family, the market, nationalism, religion, parliamentary democracy and, above all, ‘human nature’. A dialetical view would recognise that all these ideologies and institutions have a history, that in the past they came into being and in the future they will cease to exist. Marx and Engels developed their own views in criticism of the ideas of the great German philosopher Hegel. But one of Hegel’s great virtues was that he saw ‘the whole world, natural, historical, intellectual… as a process, ie, as in constant motion, change, transformation, development’. Rejecting static views of the world is, however, only the first step. Trying to understand the way in which this process of change unfolds is the next step.

          Here the key is to see all the different aspects of society and nature as interconnected. They are not separate, discrete processes which develop in isolation from each other. Mainstream sociological and scientific thought ‘has bequeathed us the habit of observing natural objects and processes in isolation, detached from the general context’.59 Much of our schooling today still follows this pattern–the development of the arts is separated from that of the sciences, and ‘technical’ subjects are separated from languages, history and geography. Our newspapers and TV news programmes divide the world up in the same artificial way–poverty levels and stock exchange news, wars and company profit figures, strikes and government policy, suicide statistics and the unemployment rate are all reported in their own little compartments as if they are only distantly related, if at all. A dialectical analysis tries to re-establish the real connections between these elements, ‘to show internal connections’. It tries, in the jargon of dialectics, to see the world as ‘a totality’, ‘a unity’.”

          “So long as we consider things as at rest and lifeless, each one by itself, alongside and after each other, we do not run up against any contradictions in them.”

          • tripitaka says:

            Yes Margaret, “Not all conservatives are stupid but all stupid people are conservative”

            The consensus now about lack of intelligence and right wingery is that it is conservatism and the way people have to think to believe in the tenets creates stupidity in people because they cannot allow themselves to be rational and think thing through. So they can only react hence the book “The Reactionary Mind” by Corey Robin.

            The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin is a 2011 book written by political theorist Corey Robin. It argues that conservatism from the 17th century to today is based on the principle, “that some are fit, and thus ought, to rule others.”[1]:18[2] Robin argues that rather than being about liberty, limited government, resistance to change, or public virtue, conservatism is a “mode of counterrevolutionary practice” to preserve hierarchy and power.


            There are any number of reviews of this important book available online and the author himself contributes to the Crooked Timber blog.

            We can see an example of this reactionary cognitive response and the need to consider “things as at rest and lifeless, each one by itself, alongside and after each other, we do not run up against any contradictions in them”, in the way Don responds to the suggestion that he actually does indulge in ‘prediction’ despite his current claim that he doesn’t, by simply denying that the ‘predictions’ he made were actually predictions. Don just creates categories that suit his world view and puts things and events his idiosyncratic categories and then easy peasy he is right and everyone else wrong.

            His reactionary mind can’t wrap its rigid self around any self-criticism. Should we be empathetic?

            These spoiled little boy men are so delicate. Do you remember when women were told not to make fun of their sexual prowess or lack of, and never mention the size of the male member? But it was okay for them to quite openly rate women in a similar way.

          • margaret says:

            Tripitaka, I do wonder why it is that full frontal nudity, even on mainstream tv, can show women in their many splendoured variations and yet full frontal nudity and men, unless in X rated films (where they think they are looking their “best”), is never seen. Heaven forbid that the same variations, on which men, according to the fashionable body part fetish of the period, rate women, Trump style, should be applied to those who hide in their suits and use their ties to suggest their “personality”.
            A feeble attempt was made to balance things by admiring men’s derrieres and now their ‘guns’ and ‘ripped’ torsos (ironic terms no?), but so juvenile – the Seventies did little for women in the sex stakes, it did a lot for men though in conning women that love and sex could be free and flighty.
            Some born at the right time did hugely benefit from free university education and that is where progress was made. Don Dunstan perhaps, in his brief AFL type shorts and safari suits was one who broke the mould for men.
            It’s to Margaret Whitlam’s credit that Trump would run away in fear because he could not put her on a 1-10 scale. This notion that women are the ‘fair sex’ – it’s largely due to “we make them paint their face and dance” as John Lennon sang in Woman is the Nigger of the World.

          • margaret says:

            “***Those offended by John Lennon’s lyric should be aware that Lennon’s song – and its use of the “N” word as a device to express how shabbily women were treated in society – was a cause actively championed by a plethora of African-American civil rights activists in 1972 – including humorist Dick Gregory and Ron Dellums – Chairman and Co-Founder of The Congressional Black Caucus.”

  • Neville says:

    Perhaps I should link to the pie charts again to show how much of the TOTAL of a country’s energy comes from fossil fuels and S&Wind. Germany is promoted by the Greens for their splendid use of S&Wind energy. But after spending billions of dollars on this idiocy we still find that they produce just 2.9% of their TOTAL energy from Geo thermal S&Wind. Probably about 1.5% is just S&Wind. And hey presto as a result they have one of the highest electricity prices in the world and an unstable electricity grid as well. Here’s the pie chart and you’ll note that fossil fuels , Bio-fuels & waste still make up 88.4% of Germany’s TOTAL energy use. Bio&waste also produces co2 .

    Next is the world TOTAL energy. Geo S&Wind make up just 1.3% of TOTAL energy to run the world. Lomborg states that S&Wind probably makes up about 0.5% of TOTAL world energy and he quotes the IEA ( EU based) for that percentage. These pie-charts are from the IEA site.

    The TOTAL world energy produced by fossil fuels, bio&waste is still 91.4%. Anyone starting to see a problem? Data is a real bummer, but don’t worry I’ll let the dummies return to their fairy stories. Just a pity we’re wasting billions of dollars down the drain because of their mitigation fra-d.

  • JMO says:

    100 months to save the world? Wow, that is more generous than Penny Sackert (previous Chief Scientist) saying we had 5 years to save the planet! Over 7 years ago!!

  • David says:

    “Apart from the banal exercise of predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow, or that I 90 per cent likely to have a cappuccino in the next day or so, I do my best to eschew predictions.”

    This really is a very, very silly statement! The opening sentence smacks of intellectual vanity. If you avoid making predictions you will never be wrong. All the usual suspects are in furious agreement. But at what cost Don?

    The whole scientific process is based on prediction. We observe, we predict, then test our predictions. So we can learn and then re-calibrate some new predictions. Its called progress.

    Attempting to understand the world we live in, is part of the human condition. If we all really did do our best to eschew predictions, ALL human progress would stop.

    • margaret says:

      A poem for Don about predicting that (for the time being) the sun still comes up.

      … And Night shall die,
      Already, lo! the Morn’s first ecstasies
      Across the sky.
      An evil time is done.
      Again as someone lost in a quaint parable,
      Comes up the Sun.

      from Break of Day by John Shaw Neilson

    • Nga says:

      Excellent point, David. Donald apparently thinks Einstein was an idiot for producing all those silly theories that have astonishing predictive power and have furnished us with a rich seam of understanding that will be mined for technological advances for centuries to come.

      Who needs the False God of predictive science, says righteous Donald, who has committed to memory the infallible Gospels of Saint Matt Ridley, Saint Jo Nova and Saint Anthony Watts. Peace Be Upon Their Names and may all things under heaven glow sweatily in the Holy Spirit of abundant Carbon Dioxide. Amen.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s the IEA pie chart for China, the world’s largest emitter of co2. Fossil fuels bio & waste make up 94.6% of their TOTAL energy production. Geo Solar&wind make up just 1.3% of the total.

    The USA pie chart shows fossil fuels, bio and waste make up 87.9% of TOTAL energy. Geo S&W make up 1.3% of the TOTAL. The US has been able to reduce co2 emissions because they’ve transferred so much of their energy supply from coal to cheap gas. They’ve been successful because of fracking while the EU has seen little reduction because they’ve concentrated on sick joke energy like S&Wind. Little wonder that Dr James Hansen the father of so called CAGW calls Paris COP 21 just BS and fra-d.

    Dr Hansen also said that a belief in S& Wind is akin to a belief in the Easter bunny and the Tooth fairy. IOW just more silly fairy stories. Why don’t our pollies ever wake up to their mitigation fra-d? They only require simple logic and reason plus simple kindy maths. Not very difficult to understand is it?

  • Neville says:

    It’s interesting to look at the EIA graph again for co2 emissions from 1990 to 2020 projections and 1990 to 2040.

    The OECD countries emissions started at about 11.5 bn tonnes and will grow to about 13 bn tonnes by 2020. The non OECD ( China, India etc) started at about 9.95 bn tonnes in 1990 and will grow to about 20.5 bn tonnes by 2020.

    That’s a projected increase of about 1.5 bn tonnes from the OECD and a whopping 10.55 bn tonnes from China, India etc. That period is over 30 years.

    And from the 1990 to 2040 projections we see a rise of about 2 bn tonnes from the OECD and again a whopping increase of about 18.55 bn tonnes from the developing world. This is over half a century of projected increase in co2 emissions. Anyone still believe that OECD mitigation will make a scrap of difference?

    • tripitaka says:

      What will make a difference Neville is that we are living though what Marx called late stage Capitalism. It has failed as Marx predicted and climate change is the cost of this experiment in human behaviour. Socialism is the next stage.

      • Neville says:

        Oh so the answer is a dictatorship and more totalitarianism according to Trip.
        Brilliant stuff from a person who apparently has learned zip from history and the exploits of Hitler, Stalin , Mao, Pol Pot, Nth Korea etc etc.
        More left wing extremism is his answer, boy what a profound original thinker you are. SARC.

  • Chris Warren says:

    I was stunned when Neville provided a useful source. Unfortunately his source disproved his own statements. There is no flat-line to 2040. There is a steady, continuous, increase which totally reverses any declines that occurred after 2008. The facts are clear here:

    When you look at the cited data – the picture is worse. Neville’s source clearly states:

    “…world energy-related CO2 emissions increase from 32.3 billion metric tons in 2012 to 35.6 billion metric tons in 2020 and to 43.2 billion metric tons in 2040.”

    This is an increase of over 10% by 2020 and over 33% by 2040.

    This is an absolute disaster. It vastly increases the risks of CAGW.

  • Neville says:

    Geeezzzz Chris I’m glad you’ve caught up after I’d provided this blog with the same links since May this year. It takes a while to sink in apparently but still better late than never I suppose.
    The whole thing is a ridiculous fra-d and con, even though the OECD countries emissions are only elevated slightly for the 50 year projection from 1990 to 2040.
    Read what I’ve said above and then you may understand my argument about wasting endless billions $ on garbage like wind and solar. If you’re so concerned you should hop on a plane and protest in China, India and SE Asia. I’m sure you’ll receive a sympathetic hearing. So please go.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Yes, but it is the world community, including the Australian government that should;

      “hop on a plane and protest in China, India and SE Asia. “

  • tripitaka says:


    “Trip, please stop: 1/ blithering, 2/ ignoring the fact that science is wrong more often than it is right, 3/ avoiding specifics, 4/ avoiding evidence, 5/ playing your ageist card, 6/ playing your sexist card, 7/ blaming others for your own incompetence, and just try being rational, objective and realistic for a change.
    To somehow think that it is the “ordinary processes of science recognition,” that the world is incapable of, that is causing your problem is hubristic beyond belief particularly when, WRT Cli-Sci, that “science” is being done by models that are almost completely wrong.
    But then you at least become more honest and admit your attitude is all mainly due to your hatred of old, big, ugly, white men.
    My cheese ‘n’ kisses must be a bit strange having been married to me for over 55 years, been a partner in all my life’s business and still relatively happy.
    How do you account for that?”

    But why Spangy? Why should I stop? Is it bothering you?

    If what I do and say is “beyond belief” why do you bother replying? Surely it should stand as clearly beyond belief and need no comment from you to be recognised by others as such. Are you sure it is beyond belief?

    And Ooooh yes I do dislike big old ugly white men as a group, abused people usually do dislike those who have abused them but the individuals themselves like you, are usually such silly little boys when you get to know them that they are not a worry or a threat since I am old now and no longer a thing to be desired by that sort of man. It was such a relief to be free of the unwanted attention of unattractive men who didn’t care how unattractive they were and who blighted my early life.

    Lots of therapy though from other women has seen me through and none of my sons or their friends are ugly manly men so my life is better than it has ever been.

    It doesn’t worry me how much money is ‘wasted’. The money wasted on keeping our ‘borders’ safe lol is a far more egregious waste of money that we should be concerned about but really a society without money is the only solution to the greed and selfishness and stupidity and laziness that humans are prone to exhibit when part of a society that has as its sole objective the acquisition of wealth and power at the expense of less able people. So no concern for me about wasting money. The solution to all the problems you rwnj’s have about the lack of money to fix the damage that your ideas have done to our society, is to tax the very rich heavily like we used to back in the day when we believed in aiming for equality of opportunity for all and that money-grubbers were not very admirable people.

    As for you wife; why would I care to speculate what cognitive mechanisms she is using to cope with living with you. Perhaps she was raised to think she deserved nothing more from life than you? Perhaps she believed without any reason – women are emotional and irrational are they not? – that she couldn’t do any better?

    Humans are diverse and capable of very strange behaviour you know. Look at your own self. Clearly you are a reasonably intelligent person and yet you can’t see how bizarre and irrational your denial of science is?

    • margaret says:

      As a womb-an (just thought of that unifying word), I completely get where tripitaka is coming from. She is right also that we are in the throes of a shift from capitalism and its horrible consequences (property prices for one – nice if you own a home outright in any inner city location but a nightmare if you are trying to live where a job in the CBD doesn’t entail a two hour commute), to – something else. Socialism, maybe Engelsian Marxism? Anything but, this horrible self-serving so called meritocracy where men/Gina Rhinestone believe that they’ve made it purely on merit or, Daddy’s million dollars that he left me is inconsequential to my own hard work.

    • margaret says:

      Oh I so love the word blithering Spangles. ‘Twil always remind me of you. Pair it with a noun of your choice.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    You should stop, trip, because your whole post is self-justifying feminist/socialist tripe.

    No-one is “denying science”. If you (or anyone else) can tell me how the expenditure of trillions of dollars can stop the inexorable melting of glaciers/ice sheets (if it is in fact occurring), I will change my views immediately.

    • tripitaka says:

      Gee we are having some fun today.

      Tis usually so boring but here I am today with nothing better to do, and look at the boys spring to attention and try to woo me with their impossible promises.

      Thing is, you need to stop first if you want me to stop. In case you haven’t noticed, I am only replying to the comments you make to me. If you showed some self-restraint and didn’t engage there would be no responses from me. Do you understand cause and effect?

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Funny that margaret had no problem answering my question. You don’t even acknowledge that I asked it.

        • tripitaka says:

          Why is that funny Bryan?

          And how do you know Margaret had “no problem”? You make a lot of unjustified assumptions.

          I didn’t answer your question because it is ‘tripe’. It is your idea of a ‘gotcha’. It is clear that you will not change your mind despite your claim no matter what answer is given. You argue to win not to understand the other person and their reasoning and your ideas are not that impressive to me so far.

          As a non-climate scientist, who is quite sure that climate science is being done in the same way as normal science is done and is not corrupt, not being driven by some imaginary conspiracy of leftists, I don’t think there is any point to me keeping up to date with the details of this complex area of knowledge.

          My interests and abilities lie in other areas such as understanding and describing the cognitive mechanisms people use to fool themselves that they are rational and capable of objectivity.

        • margaret says:

          I did have a problem answering your question Bryan because it seemed – silly.
          But like Spangles ‘helping’ me to understand that in the Mallee I might see Mallee fowl, (I’d prefer to call them lowans as the first Australians did, I thought I should give you the courtesy of an answer instead of … (expletive deleted).
          Luckily I’ve been in close quarters of a glacier – 2 actually, both in NZ. I don’t think I could walk alongside Franz Josef or Fox as I did 18 years ago as they are mere icicles by comparison to then.

  • Don Aitkin says:


    You could have done some work on the West Coast glaciers and you would have found that you were wrong in your supposition. From Wikipedia:
    ‘Franz Josef Glacier had periods of advances from 1946 to 1951 (340 m), 1965–1967 (400 m), 1983–1999 (1420 m) and 2004–2008 (280 m).[8] The glacier advanced rapidly during the Little Ice Age, reaching a maximum in the early eighteenth century.[9] Having retreated several kilometres between the 1940s and 1980s, the glacier entered an advancing phase in 1984 and at times has advanced at the phenomenal (by glacial standards) rate of 70 cm a day. The flow rate is about 10 times that of typical glaciers. Over the longer term, the glacier has retreated since the last ice age, and it is believed that it extended into the sea some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago.’ It has been in retreat again since 2009. Much the same story applies to the Fox glacier.

    The advances and retreat of these glaciers don’t seem to have anything to do with carbon dioxide emissions. And I’ve been to both a few times, and flown in the helicopter, too.

    • margaret says:

      Yes, “icicles” is just my way with hyperbole. I understand about the retreat and advance of glaciers having occurred for aeons, but I’m very glad I saw them when I did because photos now show that you can’t trek alongside as you could then.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Of course you can! If you ask a guide he/she’ll tell you where the glacier was whenever you were there. When I was first there I was shown where the glacier was in 1770 when Cook sailed past. He thought he saw a shining white cloud in a valley. It was one of the glaciers, almost certainly but much higher than it is today. The advances and retreats are due to varying precipitation of snow, and represent changes in that variable a long time ago. Yes, prolonged heat will have an effect at the tail of the glacier, but not at the top, where the temperature is usually well below freezing. These glaciers are quite unusual, finishing as they do close to sea level in the temperate zone.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “I did have a problem answering your question Bryan because it seemed – silly.”

    I am quite a simple man, margaret.

    ‘Science’ tells us the world is warming. As a consequence, ice is melting and sea level is rising. Children and small dogs will drown
    We must, therefore, cool the world, so the ice re-freezes.
    Not stop the heating but start the cooling.
    Patently impossible, so trillions of dollars are being wasted on measures that will have no impact.The temperature will not fall, ice will continue to melt, sea level will continue to rise, and children and small dogs will continue to drown.

    Do you get it now?

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      I am sure you will object, but to which part and why?

      • margaret says:

        For your sport Bryan, I object to cruelty to children and animals.
        Do I get it now? You are the kind of teacher of my worst nightmare…
        Trillions of dollars are being spent on alternatives to the way things have been done since the industrial revolution – it’s called progress. But the trillions of dollars being spent on the mighty war machine? That’s okay isn’t it?
        As for this Andrew Simms – perhaps he uses hyperbole to get his message to the masses. Perhaps that causes hysteria – but as long as Peter Kemmis can laugh, you can rant, Spangles can theorise conspiracy and blither, Neville can keep churning out important data to ‘prove’ AGW is harmless, Alan can pontificate, and Dasher, dlb and the lurkers can look forward to another sane and reasonable sceptical account of the world according to the Don.

    • tripitaka says:


      “Children and small dogs will drown” That is a stupid claim that you cannot support – you just made it up and it shows how your unconscious works – and it shows a lack of respect for the person you are speaking to. Why would you expect a thoughtful answer when you are so obviously not prepared to listen to one?

      There is no doubt that you have what is called a closed mind and you will not be able to incorporate any information that you are given about the complexity and indeterminacy of the way climate change will affect the glaciers and the different areas of the earth. The answer is not clear and any speculations based on current knowledge will be too complex for your simple mind to incorporate. you would simply use your standard way of responding, you would come back with silly attempts to ridicule your ‘opponent’ and a simple bland refusal to accept as evidence that which is acceptable to real scientists.

      Do you understand the difference between concrete thinking and abstract thinking? It is possible that if a child is not introduced to abstract concepts such as infinity when they are very young they will never understand these things and so remain ‘concrete’ thinkers all their lives and not be able to understand that there is not always a simple correlation or relationships between events.

      I mentioned Normal Doidge who wrote “The Brain that Changes Itself” previously. It would be useful for you Bryan to read this and consider that it may be possible for you, with a lot of work and with sufficient motivation to change your outlook, to improve your ability to understand more functionally this world and it’s people that currently annoy you so comprehensively.

  • Neville says:

    Here is Lomborg’s summary of his PR study leading up to Paris COP 21.
    He finds there is little measureable temp difference by 2100 even if every country obeyed all the rules to the letter. We now know this is a joke and will not happen.
    Why would any govt pursue expensive, unreliable S&wind energy when we know it cannot work.

    • tripitaka says:

      “Why would any govt pursue expensive, unreliable S&wind energy when we know it cannot work.”

      Where is your argument for why these things will never work. I suppose you would have been someone who way back in time, looked at a stream tumbling down a mountain side and said nah you’ll never make electricity from that or a flowing river and said nah you can’t run a machine to mill wheat using that sort of energy.

      • Neville says:

        I don’t know why I bother but here’s just a quick response.
        What I meant was it cannot change the climate or temp or anything else by 2100. The cost of all that unreliable S&W rubbish would add up to trillions of dollars if we were stupid enough to actually keep funding this delusion for the next 100 years. All for a zero return on trillions $ wasted because they don’t understand simple kindy maths and simple logic and reason.

        • tripitaka says:

          If it was that simple to debunk why has nobody else realised it Neville? Are you some sort of unique type of genius or autistic that nobody has yet recognised?

          I think Malcolm Roberts is settling on Henry’s Law as the simple kindy maths that so many stupid people have missed. We are all waiting with bated breath for the greatest of all living climate science debunkers – or is that Andrew Bolt? – to reveal the truth.

  • dasher says:

    Interesting to come back to the blog after some time away. Nothing in that by the way Don, I think you are worth reading. However one thing has not changed, Margaret and David still avoiding the issue with more look over there posts with a new chum tripitaka. Dons article discussed dud predictions, something that is all too common in the discussion on climate change. Bereft of any meaningful comment the usual suspects start blathering on about anything but the subject. So what do David, Maragret and Tripitaka think about Dons piece and why do the “real” scientists never seem to stir when some of this highly contestable tripe is first stated. Don, for what its worth I think you should hold people to the topic. Most of the above is culture wars writ large…mostly garbage.

    • tripitaka says:

      Hi Dasher, are you a reindeer lover?

      Did you have anything to say to add to Don’s comprehensive critique of the failure of some people who write about climate change to be circumspect when they are making predictions about the effects of something as unpredictable as climate change. As a non climate change scientist I do not fool myself into imagining that I could possibly have sufficient understanding of this topic to be able to make any worthwhile comment to make about any aspect of the issue.

      I think anyone who isn’t a climate change scientists or who has not undertaken a period of intensive private study to keep up to date has no credibility asking the sort of childish trick questions that people here ask or making the confused and contradictory accusations about decent people. But the hubris and the old man logic is funny.

      I did comment about Don’s post. What more can I say except to ask why he thought this wrong prediction was more interesting than so many others? That would have been a good post for Don to make as he would have had to ask himself some of the questions that scientists ask to ensure they are not being led astray by their own preferences.

      But then you are not talking about me as one of the usual suspects are you? I’d have thought that it was Neville, Spangy and the other one who’s name I have forgotten – an elderly moment you know – who blather on asking over and over the same silly questions or snipping back at other comments with insults that must have come from a cheap Chinese version of insults for dummies.

      You think Don should hold people to the topic? So you don’t believe in free speech then?

      • dasher says:

        You use a lot of words to say very little and your last sentence indicates the depth of your thinking. My suggestion has nothing to do with freedom of speech, rather an attempt to constrain posts to the matters at hand. If I had $50 for every dud prediction and tipping point that had come and gone without comment by the so called experts I would have amassed a tidy sum. Surely this alone should pique our curiosity. It is an indication of the nonsense and zealotry that pervades discussion on climate change. Why else would normally sensible people accept such wildly inaccurate predications time and time again? I believe in climate change but I question how serious it is, (not sure) are the trillions we spend worldwide to reduce emissions making any material difference? ( I doubt it) is there massive group think at play (yes), do we know enough (e.g. sensitivity of atmosphere to CO2) to commit so much money and effort? (I doubt it). One could go on but you get the picture.

        • tripitaka says:

          Perhaps you lack the ability to fully comprehend my words dasher?

          You certainly don’t understand that free speech doesn’t have anything to do with how much it costs to host a website.

          Free speech is the right to say what one thinks, surely? Aren’t we all fighting for18c to be rescinded? And now you are telling me that there actually are rules that have to obeyed and I can’t say what I like…..? when did that happen and will 18c take these rules into account?

          • dasher says:

            Tripitaka, freedom of speech encompasses a number of things but it does not mean that you have a right to an audience. Don Aitken has every right to ask you to stay on topic on his blog. If you don’t want to comply with that you should be able to say whatever you like elsewhere with out being marched before judge to explain yourself. If you would like to hear excellent overviews on freedom of speech and how it should be applied google Christopher Hitchens debates on freedom of speech. You will emerge much wiser. Sorry Don breaking my own rules, but I think tripitaka would benefit from my experience on this subject..

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        As Don has (gently) pointed out in the past, he pays for this site, so speech on it is not ‘free’. If you don’t like it, go back to Catallaxy, or subscribe to Quadrant and rant at Tony Thomas or Peter Smith.

  • Alan Gould says:

    How peculiar our epoch is that the topic of Climate prediction should attract such an inordinate amount of pettifogging and pettishness as is evident in the comments above. How trigger-happy is the downtrodden woman and the downtrodden non-white to air their particular grievances irrespective of how these bear on the actual topic of either Climate Change or Prediction generally.
    I found your account of climate forecasting and your lampooning of Simms to be fair, not only because that 100 months has passed and Simms has been confounded, but because his 2008 piece, as you quote it, is clearly millenarian in its temper and its pitch.
    Of course humans make predictions every day and do so in order to better manage likelihoods that experience tells them will come in the future. Mostly this is short-term prediction, and local to circumstance, like how many Pol Sci lecturers will we need in 2017 given enrolments in 2016. This predictive behaviour has been with us since the trees.
    So also has that other type of prediction, the millenarian, that seizes on the idea of a universal doom. In 1066 it was comets, in 2008 it was a brief coincidence between rising global temperature and rising CO2 that faltered after 1998, and had been a cooling trend in the 30 years before 1976, so much so that sceintists were predicting the onset of a new ice age. Millenarian predictions have two attractions. They give the forecaster a sense of empowerment, and that is as old as the tribal medicine man, and they gratify that strange human satisfaction in feeling good when feeling bad about oneself. An epoch where the medicine man has become the journalist of course enhances both these effects.

    • tripitaka says:

      Hi Alan

      ” How trigger-happy is the downtrodden woman and the downtrodden non-white to air their particular grievances irrespective of how these bear on the actual topic of either Climate Change or Prediction generally.”

      Indeed we the downtrodden can be revolting. It is a normal human response to unfairness.

      The topic of prediction is interesting but it was the usual suspects who didn’t want to talk about that. The first two comments were essentially excuses to have a go at stupid warmists. Don should begin with those two people if he is going to go down the authoritarian path.

      “Extreme environmentalists are a case in point. Members of environmentalist groups who vandalize Hummer dealerships, destroy logging equipment, or torch scientific laboratories see themselves not as the terrorists that they are, but as environmental freedom fighters. And environmental groups who paint doom and gloom scenarios and exaggerate, distort, or even fabricate claims in order to keep the donations flowing only hurt their cause in the long run when doomsday comes and goes without incident or the claims turn out to be baseless.”

      • Alan Gould says:

        My word was ‘trigger-happy’ not ‘revolting’. To guage how revolting you were I would need to have had acquaintance with you and your situation to guage my degree of revulsion or your degree of revolt. You would need to show how your ethnicity had anything to do with Don’s exposure of a millenarian alarmist who, on the evidence cited, evidently enjoyed the business of spooking people.
        Don authoritarian? There’s that hair-trigger vilification, Trip! Autocrats do not seek to air topics as Don, generous democrat that he is, does in his posts from week to week. Autocrats avoid discussion rather than court it, because that makes the manipulation of power easier, and power is the core of an autocrat’s interest, not discussion. It is Don’s readiness to engage in open discussion for which I would wish him more focussed response than the above bellyaching from the Grievance Industry.

        • tripitaka says:

          So what that you didn’t say revolting? Why can’t I say revolting all off my own thoughts in response to your use of downtrodden. Do you not understand the term ‘riffing’? Oh well.

          No Alan, the article Don posted about was a trivial event in an ocean of false prophesies and so far without any more explanation of why this particular effort is worthy of a whole post that leads to the usual suspects dissing warmists with the usual glee and gay abandon and very little intelligence, Don is not exposing anything or digging very deep to air topics that are relevant and worthy of discussion.

          Don lets you stink up the place with your silly meaningless trite and over used old fashioned insults like “bellyaching from the Grievance Industry” and that’s why I’m here to appreciate fully how mean spirited and very silly old deniers really are.

  • Neville says:

    Here is the abstract of the LeClercq et al world glacier study. You ‘ll note that glaciers retreated faster in the earlier 20th century when co2 levels were just above 300ppm. This backs up some of what Don mentioned above. But remember this glacier retreat comes after the coldest sustained period for the last 10,000 years. Here’s the abstract.
    “Glacier fluctuations contribute to variations in sea level and historical glacier length fluctuations are natural indicators of climate change. To study these subjects, long-term information of glacier change is needed. In this paper we present a~data set of global long-term glacier length fluctuations. The data set is a compilation of available information on changes in glacier length world-wide, including both measured and reconstructed glacier length fluctuations. All 471 length series start before 1950 and cover at least four decades. The longest record starts in 1534, but the majority of time series start after 1850. The number of available records decreases again after 1962. The data set has global coverage including records from all continents. However, the Canadian Arctic is not represented in the data set. The glacier length series show relatively small fluctuations until the mid-19th century followed by a global retreat that was strongest in the first half of the 20th century, although large variability in the length change of the different glaciers is observed. During the 20th century, calving glaciers retreated more than land terminating glaciers, but their relative length change was approximately equal. Besides calving, the glacier slope is the most important glacier property determining length change: steep glaciers have retreated less than glaciers with a gentle slope”.

  • Neville says:

    Another new 2016 study shows very little SLR . In fact this Parker et al study shows that there is only about 0.25mm to 1mm a year rise . Below is the relevant part of the abstract. This is well below the rise during the 20th century. So where is the impact from increased co2 emissions? BTW 0.25mm a year is about one inch per century and 1mm a year is about 4 inches per century.

    “Tide gauges provide the most reliable measurements, and best data to assess the rate of change. We show as the naïve averaging of all the tide gauges included in the PSMSL surveys show “relative” rates of rise about +1.04 mm/year (570 tide gauges of any length). If we consider only 100 tide gauges with more than 80 years of recording the rise is only +0.25 mm/year. This naïve averaging has been stable and shows that the sea levels are slowly rising but not accelerating.”

    Here is the link.

    • margaret says:

      Oh Neville – Thank you!! Everyone, lurkers, motor mouths, womb-en and Don are all avidly reading this as I write! More please!

      • spangled drongo says:

        If you put head out the window occasionally marg, you would have noticed there is NO sea level rise in a tectonically stable part of the world like Eastern Australia in your lifetime.

        There used to be an active website called King Tide Watch but when the penny finally dropped they went very quiet.

        No SLR, not much GW. Oh, dear. Too bad. So sad.

  • Chris Warren says:

    “So where is the impact from increased co2 emissions?”

    This is denialist smoke and mirrors.

    There is no possibility of sea level rise while the impact of heat trapping is mostly in the northern hemisphere and is destroying Arctic ice.

    If you want to see what you cannot see – ie the impact, try this:

    When Arctic ice melts, obviously there is no sea level rise. This is exactly as one would expect.

    • Alan Gould says:

      Phooey, Chris,
      There have been summers in the Arctic over the last 10,000 years when there was no ice at all. When the Norse expanded to Iceland, Greenland, the Canadian east coast, Faeroes and Lofotens, they report no sightings of drift ice in the very good accounts they leave in their saga literature. They lived in what was called The Medieval Climatic Optimum where conditions were warmer than today, oaks grew well in Norway and Sweden, Southern Britain grew vinyards and exported wine, and the above-mentioned lands were attractive for settlement, pastures and some limited cropping. The Medieval Climatic Optimum was not as warm as the Roman Climatic Optimum, and that was not as warm as the Minoan.
      Why not grow up, at least to the degree that you do not need to reflexively denigrate any challenge with terms like ‘Denialist’ (Sceptics offer challenge, not denial) and ‘smoke and mirrors’.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “When Arctic ice melts, obviously there is no sea level rise. This is exactly as one would expect.”

    If you’re talking sea-ice Chris, you are certainly stating the bleedin’ obvious but your catastrophe-convinced confreres claim that Arctic awa Antarctic land ice is also melting:

    They are plainly wrong as GRACE is dysfunctional but that doesn’t stop them making the claim.

    The “denialist smoke and mirrors” is entirely on your side of the argument.

  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    I am not sure what point you are making. Neville pretended he did not know where there was any inpact of CO2 emissions.

    So I helped him out.

    You have provided more evidence of the impact of CO2 emissions – some 400 gigatonnes ice loss from land.

    This is all consistent. Obviously, if more heat is in the system the balance between ice and water will adjust.

    However 400 gigatonnes per year will not have a measurable impact given the total volume of ocean water.

    Nonetheless, as CO2 concentrations increase, such changes will increase.

  • Chris Warren says:

    So it seems Simms was pretty close to the mark.

    We probably have gone past a point of no return?

    Latest assessment is here:

    Lampooning does not change the facts.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “You have provided more evidence of the impact of CO2 emissions – some 400 giga tonnes ice loss from land.”

      Except that it isn’t evidence because it isn’t factual. It’s just more satellite stupidity, and fakery at the bakery. But if you are naïve enough to believe it, whatever floats your boat.

      “Lampooning does not change the facts.”

      What “facts” might those be, Chris?

      We would love some genuine facts.

  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    You have demonstrated a lovable genuine fact.

    Denialists think satellite data is “stupidity”.

    However the rest of humanity recognises that satellite data shows that the amount of heat being trapped in the atmosphere is enormous. It has resulted in a cooling in the atmosphere above the CO2 greenhouse layer of

    over 7.6 degrees per century (global average)

    but over

    9 degrees over the northern hemisphere.

    This certainly damages our ecosystem.

    You can lead denialists to facts, but you can’t make them think.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Chris, don’t think because satellites can measure temperature in the lower trop quite well they can also measure SLR and ice mass.

      Envisat showed what a joke satellite altimetry was and GRACE does not have a reliable reference frame.

      A true believer’s fact is often a sceptic’s fallacy.

      You never cease to amaze me the way you embrace the fakery.

      • Chris Warren says:

        spangled drongo

        That is just silly.

        Sea level and ice mass are being measured and the real problem is not sea levels or ice loss – these are results. The real problem is that enormous amounts of heat are being trapped by greenhouse gases and we are continuing to increase the level of greenhouse gases.

        Denialists crying “joke” and “fakery” are not skeptics.

        Skeptics resolve themselves through science. Denialists lampoon what they cannot accept or do not understand.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Chris, SLR is barely increasing let alone accelerating, ice caps are increasing so the “results” are not what you claim. We are still in the 10% of the coldest years in the past 10,000, and the trend has been overall cooling since the Holocene Climatic Optimum over 6,000 years ago.

          As I quoted earlier:

          We have been warming for 300 years, ending the coldest period of the past 10,000 years, the Little Ice Age. Now it appears that climate alarmists have enlisted El Ninos to buffer their increased CO2/climate change position.

          What was CO2 doing 6,000 years ago when it was much warmer? And why is temperature not responding to CO2’s sudden surge with a sudden surge of its own? Is it waiting for El Nino?

          Show me your evidence otherwise.

      • NH says:

        If GRACE doesn’t have a reliable reference frame wouldn’t that mean that Envisat didn’t have a reliable reference frame since they are the same reference frame?

        • spangled drongo says:

          NH, the altimetry satellites [Topex/Poseidon, Envisat, Jason 1&2] all had the same reference frame and very likely had errors from that too but Envisat disagreed with the others and showed very little SLR while the others showed considerable SLR.

          IOW they all [except Envisat] agreed because they were similarly adjusted but Envisat was an outlier until they were led down the paths of righteousness and suddenly the Envisat SLR quadrupled overnight:

          • NH says:

            Would those errors in the Envisat data due to the unreliable reference frame be big or important?

          • spangled drongo says:

            The errors of any satellite trying to measure SLR on a pear shaped geoid using statistical gobbledygook are always going to be big and important but when, on top of all that statistical gobbledygook it is evident that there is a huge amount of fiddling required to even make their results believable, there is this need to get all their fiddled statistical gobbledygook ducks in line if they are ever going to sell the CAGW message.

            They obviously failed to do this with Envisat and it showed up their “scientific” orchestrations for what they really were.

          • NH says:

            Do the big and important errors arising from the pear-shaped geoid and the unreliable reference frame affect the GPS system too?

          • spangled drongo says:

            NH says:

            November 5, 2016 at 9:33 pm

            “Do the big and important errors arising from the pear-shaped geoid and the unreliable reference frame affect the GPS system too?”

            You mean, as in, “will this wind be so mighty….”?


            In the early days of GPS did you ever get a zero intercept sextant reading that was more accurate than the GPS?

            Are you aware of the disasters that have befallen ships whose navigators stay in the warmth of their cabins reading their GPS plotters instead of keeping a look out?

            GPS accuracy has improved enormously for all sorts of reasons but if someone told you your house is moving in a certain direction at a certain speed due to their GPS calcs, maybe even you would be a little sceptical and ask for the S/N ratio.

          • NH says:

            These are big and important errors. Would they be the ones caused by the pear-shaped geoid and the unreliable reference frame?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Yes, that and silly people. Read and learn:

            The Geodetic Reference Antenna in Space (GRASP) is
            a micro satellite mission concept dedicated to the
            enhancement of all the space geodetic techniques, and
            promising revolutionary improvements to the definition
            of the Terrestrial Reference Frame (TRF), its
            densification, and accessibility. GRASP collocates GPS,
            SLR, VLBI, and DORIS sensors on a supremely
            calibrated and modelable spacecraft, offering an
            innovative space-based approach to a heretofore
            intractable problem: establishing precise and stable ties
            between the key geodetic techniques used to define and
            disseminate the TRF. GRASP also offers a solution to
            another difficult problem, namely, the consistent
            calibration of the myriad antennas used to transmit and
            receive the ubiquitous signals of the present and future
            Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The
            space-based GNSS reference antenna concept has
            already been prototyped with the GRACE mission, and
            GRASP is designed to compensate for the various
            shortcomings of the GRACE spacecraft, which were
            never designed or intended to serve as a reference
            antenna. The resulting improvement in GNSS signal
            modeling will benefit all precision applications of these
            systems, which are the cornerstone of many Earth
            science missions.

          • NH says:

            None of this answers the question about the pear-shaped geiod. The satellites would follow the geoid even if it were banana-shaped. And the tracking systems aren’t defeated by the earth’s asphericity. Where do the errors arise, and if any, how big are they?
            GRASP is a great concept, but it is not going yet. This makes doubly puzzling one of your comments somewhere that GRACE is going to be scrapped because of poor reference frames to be replaced by GRASP. GRACE is to be retired because its design life is over and will be replaced by GRACE Follow On, which is the same thing with some more advanced features, including a new laser measuring system partly designed at ANU. It will be launched in August 2017. If and when GRASP produces a more accurate determination of the Terrestrial Reference Frame the values will be used in GRACE, and all the other remote sensing systems.
            The TRF to me is one of the most astonishing feats of science ever. To use observations of the light coming from stars to determine the centre of the earth to within about 3mm seems on a par with the gravity wave experiment. Measuring systems are continually being improved, but that doesn’t mean the superseded system is unreliable or poor. Dr John Dawson at Geoscience Australia heads the observing at 5 sites in Australia.
            Even though GRASP should be able to reduce the ITRF origin uncertainty to about 1mm, which is even more impressive, the improvement in the reference frame origin error of sea level rise will be about 0.2mm. In addition it will be able to be applied retrospectively to improve the previous determinations of ITRF and hence SLR.
            I’m coming at this from a different angle from you, but you do seem to be interested in the actual measuring process, which I find much more interesting than the whole by-now tedious global warming debate. I’m impressed that you rely on your own measurements, which almost nobody does. Up against the satellites and acoustic tide gauges it does seem a bit like the Mahdists against the Maxim guns at Omdurman, but I don’t mean that in a sneering way.
            I don’t pretend to have got all this right, and if you want to crush it please spare the insults and the cut & pastes of well-known material. I confess in advance that I have never shorn a sheep, and the furthest west I ever got was a Raymond Chandler seminar at Bathurst.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Thanks for your frankness, NH.

            It would be good if GRASP could give us an accurate audit of the world’s tide gauges awa altimetrically measured sea levels we could believe in.

    • Ross Handsaker says:


      You like to use the word “denialists”. Perhaps a true denier is someone who believes the climate did not change before mankind began burning fossil fuels!

      If the cooling in the atmosphere you mention refers to the stratosphere I think you will find there was a slight warming in the entire stratosphere between 1996 and 2008 – see – research paper titled “Recent Stratospheric Temperature Observed from Satellite Measurements” – Quanhua Liu and Fuzhong Weng. They also stated that the previous cooling trend before 1996 in the lower stratosphere is correlated with the negative trend in the stratospheric ozone. NOAA data shows this warming trend in the lower stratosphere has continued through to 2014.

      Given that air temperatures cool with a rise in altitude and the temperature at the tropopause is minus 55C (compared with average surface temperature of around plus 15C), is the word “heat” (trapped in the atmosphere is enormous) appropriate? Also, CO2, which comprises only 0.04% of gases in the atmosphere and absorbs outward long-wave radiation in narrow wavebands (mainly 15 micron) must have some truly magical properties if it is responsible for the temperature changes to which you refer.

      • Nga says:

        ” Also, CO2, which comprises only 0.04% of gases in the atmosphere and absorbs outward long-wave radiation in narrow wavebands (mainly 15 micron) must have some truly magical properties if it is responsible for the temperature changes to which you refer.”

        Let me rephrase that:

        Also, [arsenic], which comprise[d] only 0.04% of [the victim’s bloodstream] must have some truly magical properties if it is responsible for [killing the patient].

        Now we’ve both said something amazingly stoopid.

        p.s. the CAGW theory relies on positive feedbacks that amplify the impact of increased GHGs. One of these is reduced albedo from, for example, less ice cover. As far as I can gather, this is happening albeit and fits and starts.

  • David says:

    “Also, CO2, which comprises only 0.04% of gases in the atmosphere and absorbs outward long-wave radiation in narrow wavebands (mainly 15 micron) must have some truly magical properties if it is responsible for the temperature changes to which you refer.”

    Ross this type of “mathematical” argument is unbelievably silly! So what of Ozone? That gas only comprises 0.04 ppm or 0.000004% of the lower atmosphere. Does that gas have any magical properties? And what of Oxygen? It comprises “only” 21% of the atmosphere. Does 21% make oxygen important or unimportant?

    My advice to you is leave the thinking to the experts.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Ross Handsaker

    You uploaded 3 paragraphs, but they do not demonstrate that heat is not being trapped.

    1) Do you have an example of “someone who believes the climate did not change before mankind began burning fossil fuels”. This is a false provocation.

    2) IN every time series you can always find periods of warming and cooling. So you have to look at the long-term trend. Changes in volcanos, ozone. ENSO etc etc are not part of AGW. The relevant change is the dramatic drop in heat flowing out of the earths system as observed above the CO2 and ozone layers. This is around 50 km up and into the mesosphere.

    3) Heat is entirely appropriate as this is the only way a temperature can be recorded. So called minus 55, is just a reference to a scale. The amount of heat is actually represented by a temperature of 218 Kelvin. The absorption of long wave radiation is such a well established fact I am stunned you seem to be casting dispersions on it. It is not “magical” it is “factual”.

    • David says:

      Good response!

      • spangled drongo says:

        Yes, davie, chris loves to focus but not think:

        “We should note that the Earth currently is in an ice age with periodic glaciations caused by changing orbital parameters (due to perturbations mainly by the planets Jupiter and Saturn) combined with suitable location of the land masses and ocean circulation, and that the Earth historically typically has been 5-10°C warmer than today. The oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and have a heat capacity several orders of magnitude higher than air and so contain (store) most of the heat received from the Sun for some period of time and are thus an important actor in climate change.”

  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    Milankovitch cycles have nothng to do with the trapping of heat by CO2.

    AGW is entirely caused by trapped heat by greenhouse gases.

    The only way Milankovitch cycles impact, is by producing a relevant change in solar insolation.

    Solar insolation has been constant between 1360 and 1362 watts/sq m since 1960.

    Blaming sunsports or Milankovitch cycles is quackery.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Milankovitch cycles have nothng to do with the trapping of heat by CO2.”

      Who said they did?

      But they have produced Global Warming 1000% greater and faster than ACO2 has done many times in the past.

      Just as many unknown aspects of natural climate variability in the absence of ACO2 has produced much greater warming in the past.

      My quote above was to try and get you to extend your focus to the broader, bigger picture.

      Because you can’t quantify the warming ACO2 is actually producing you simply don’t know how much of the present relatively tiny amount of warming is due to what cause.

      So don’t try and make out you do.

  • David says:

    Spang, CW is correct. You, or a climate scientist who knew what they were doing, could add data on planetary cycles to climate models anytime they like. Fairly straight forward to add a variable or two to the model.

    Why do you think reputable researchers like Janet Curry avoid those sorts of explanations like the plague? Smell the coffee!

  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    Denialists pretend “you can’t quantify the warming ACO2 is actually producing ”

    Scientists just use data such as:

    Denialists also pretend

    ” they have produced Global Warming 1000% greater and faster than ACO2 has done” etc etc

    but never produce evidence.

    • spangled drongo says:

      ‘” they have produced Global Warming 1000% greater and faster than ACO2 has done” etc etc

      but never produce evidence.’

      Is Bass Strait evidence enough for you?

      What do you think produced Bass Strait so rapidly, chrissy?

      Remember? That 120 metres of SLR that’s been pretty hard to ignore?

      But chrissy calls it denialist pretence.

      I know the old maps of New Holland denied its existence too but since Bass and Flinders circumnavigated Van Diemen’s Land in the Norfolk in 1798 it’s been pretty hard to deny.

      And remember the Aboriginals that walked across but couldn’t walk back?

      And the dingoes that arrived too late and never made it to that part of Australia?

      You really are in denial chrissy. You do need to keep up.

      Put your mum on and I’ll have a word with her.

  • spangled drongo says:

    And BTW chrissy, remind me again which of these warming trends is due to ACO2:

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