The Dim-Post

June 24, 2010

Berend bait

Filed under: climate change,Politics — danylmc @ 6:54 am

Most of the analysis of Rudd’s spectacular decline in popularity point to his decision to backtrack on implementing an Emissions Trading Scheme – so it’s worth taking a minute to point and laugh at people like Fran O’Sullivan and Charles Finny who advised Key to imitate Rudd’s cowardice and delay introduction of our own ETS in perpetuity.

There’s an (inevitable) Downfall video about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. As usual Hitler makes a lot of excellent points, but everytime I see those maps of the extent of the spill and it’s impact on the ocean I remember that most of the oil we extract is burned, turned into gas and expelled into the atmosphere. The Deepwater Horizon spill accounts for less than 0.1% of all oil extracted globally on a daily basis – look what it’s done to the local environment in a few weeks. Imagine a thousand times that amount of CO2 getting released into the atmosphere every day for a hundred years (of course the atmosphere is much larger than the ocean – although much of it gets absorbed back into the ocean). Remember that the position of the deniers is that this activity has no impact on our environment and can continue in perpetuity.

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39 Comments »

  1. Wait. Are you suggesting we set the Gulf of Mexico on fire?

    Comment by Jake — June 24, 2010 @ 7:30 am

  2. That is so so so obviously bait not even Berend will bite. Or will he be too scared like a chicken little mommas boy denier. Bork bork boooooork.

    Comment by arfarf — June 24, 2010 @ 7:32 am

  3. Danyl: Remember that the position of the deniers is that this activity has no impact on our environment and can continue in perpetuity.

    Although I can’t speak for all deniers, may I simply point out that

    1. Attributing Rudd’s defeat because he delayed ETS is a myth which DPF likes to perpetuate.

    2. I don’t mind if it’s getting a bit warmer.

    3. That Pacific Islands are rising.

    4. It won’t continue in perpetuity as the cost of extracting oil will at some point become large enough that other energy resources become cost effective.

    5. And finally that our climate has only a positive feedback loop in its computer models.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — June 24, 2010 @ 7:45 am

  4. But! there aren’t any crystalline spheres in the oceans. See what they do is keep the nice stuff in while letting the bad stuff leak out into space, through the medium of music.

    Comment by greg — June 24, 2010 @ 7:46 am

  5. “I don’t mind if it’s getting a bit warmer.”

    Ah the classic fall back position. Siberia will be nice in the winter.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — June 24, 2010 @ 7:54 am

  6. Danyl is on track for another record traffic day. You cynical populist you.

    Anyway everyone knows that trees need CO2.

    Comment by davy crockett — June 24, 2010 @ 7:57 am

  7. Berend,

    “3. That Pacific Islands are rising.”

    If by this you mean to imply that global sea levels are NOT rising, you perhaps should actually read the whole of the article you linked to

    “The researchers do not dispute rising sea levels, saying they have risen locally by 120mm over the last 60 years. What they do suggest is that coral debris eroded from the atoll reefs is deposited on the islands by the effects of storms and sea currents. “Because the corals are alive, they provide a continuous supply of material,” Mr Webb was reported as saying.”

    Further, “But [Kench] warned that an accelerated rate of sea-level rise could be “the critical environmental threat to the small island nations,” with “a very rapid rate of island destruction” possible from a water depth beyond a certain threshold. That threshold is unknown.”

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 24, 2010 @ 8:10 am

  8. Andrew, if I wanted to imply that sea levels are not rising, I would have written that. Because I did not imply this, I did not write it. See, reading comprehension 101.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — June 24, 2010 @ 8:25 am

  9. “if I wanted to imply that sea levels are not rising, I would have written that.”

    If you had written it you would have been being explicit, not implicit. See reading comprehension 101.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — June 24, 2010 @ 8:29 am

  10. Kench really stuck his neck out with those predictions.

    Comment by davy crockett — June 24, 2010 @ 8:31 am

  11. “Wait. Are you suggesting we set the Gulf of Mexico on fire?”

    You know, that’s an interesting suggestion. Saddam Hussein caused a significantly bigger oil spill than this one, back in the first gulf war, and then set it on fire (I think … my memory is a little hazy). Has there been long-term fallout from that?

    Comment by Repton — June 24, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  12. “Andrew, if I wanted to imply that sea levels are not rising, I would have written that.”

    Then why did you bring it up? Pacific islands growing due to accumulation of dead coral is quite interesting, but it’s hard to see what it has to do with the topic at hand.

    Comment by Repton — June 24, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  13. Hmmm, it seems to me that Rudd might be at least partially going down because he is unwilling to send the Australian navy into the Timor sea to search, sink and destroy boat people heading for Australia. Australia, with it’s “Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi” jingoism has a remarkably xenophobic fear of the outside world for a nation that spends most of its time congratulating itself on its inclusiveness. Bolstered by being America’s sheriff, middle power prentensions and the Bali bombing they’ve totally brought into the whole-clash-of-civilisations-they-hate-us-cos-we-are-free-we-must-live-in-constant-terror-of-Muslims thing. Rudd it seems to me simply can’t outflank on the right the Howard hate being whipped up again by Abbot.

    The ETS undermined him because he was seen as weak in the face of hostile special interests. backing down on the ETS struck at his integrity as a politician to do the right thing, probably the most important part of the Rudd “brand”.

    But ultimately, what we are seeing is a clear demonstration of who actually runs Australia – the multi-national mining corporations, who have used a huge amount of dosh to get rid of Rudd since he announced the special mining tax.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 24, 2010 @ 11:06 am

  14. But the ETS cuts both ways..

    It killed the Opposition Leader and brought Abbott to fame and his party back to a real force; now on the other side it killed Rudd and dropped his party into trouble.

    That looks like balance to me, and leaves the other issues of the mining tax and Rudds genuine unpopularity within his party as the main problems.

    JC

    Comment by JC — June 24, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  15. “Remember that the position of the deniers is that this activity has no impact on our environment and can continue in perpetuity.”
    I can’t speak for the deniers, but as a card-carrying skeptic, I can tell you I feel “this activity has no impact on our CLIMATE and will continue only until we run out of cheap oil” which obviously is not the same thing.

    “Many voters reacted with dismay to his decision to defer [the ETS]” Stated as a fact, but it’s not clear whether the poll actually ASKED the question or whether the writer feels it to be true. A link would be nice if I’m wrong.

    “But ultimately, what we are seeing is a clear demonstration of who actually runs Australia – the multi-national mining corporations, who have used a huge amount of dosh to get rid of Rudd since he announced the special mining tax.”
    What, are you saying they paid the Labour caucus to vote for Julia Gillard. They bought her?! So she IS scary then:

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 24, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  16. “Imagine a thousand times that amount of CO2 getting released into the atmosphere every day for a hundred years (of course the atmosphere is much larger than the ocean – although much of it gets absorbed back into the ocean)”

    It is not the amount being put into the atmosphere that is relevent, but the % it makes of the total. A bucket of boiling water in an olympic swimming pool is not going to have much effect.

    For those who are serious about this issue you may want to calculate the possible effect of anthropogenic CO2 from the following figures, which are averaged from IPCC and Climate Audit sources

    % of Greenhouse Effect (GHE) caused by total CO2 – 5%, (90-95% of GHE is caused by water vapour)
    % of total CO2 that is anthropogenic – 5%
    Total increase in Earth’s temperature caused by GHE – approx 33 degrees C

    By my calculations the actual amount that the world is warmer because of anth CO2 is a fraction of a degree, but I may be missing something.

    If I am I ask any mathematician or scientist on the list to point out the fallacy of my conclusion, provided their reasoning is based on measurable and verifiable facts rather than suppositions, theories or computer models.

    Comment by BOF — June 24, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  17. “I don’t mind if it’s getting a bit warmer.” – FACEPALM.

    I totally support the idea of making polluters pay, BUT I think it’s pertinent to think about the way we’re going about it (ie. ETS). Aside from the reality that many governments, under pressure, have effectively given large industries a free ride, there are drawbacks to treating carbon reduction as a profit-making venture. Offsetting can come from creating pollution in other areas, as was the case with HFC-23. ETS is an overly simplistic, myopic way of dealing with a complex problem. There needs to be far more emphasis on the capping of carbon, using a range of policies, rather than just expecting prices to reduce emissions.

    Comment by Zo — June 24, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  18. “By my calculations the actual amount that the world is warmer because of anth CO2 is a fraction of a degree, but I may be missing something.”

    Oh, and it needs to be make publicly clear that carbon is not the only greenhouse gas, nor is it the most potent greenhouse gas. Hello methane and nitrous oxide. These should be the focus of regulation too, but it turns out it’s a lot harder to get people to eat less animals (which are the primary emitters of m&n.o) and animal byproducts than it is to get people to bike, walk or use public transport.

    Comment by Zo — June 24, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

  19. If I am I ask any mathematician or scientist on the list to point out the fallacy of my conclusion, provided their reasoning is based on measurable and verifiable facts rather than suppositions, theories or computer models.

    I don’t think you understand how science works.

    Comment by gazzaj — June 24, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

  20. If you think ETS is the answer to ‘fixing’ the ridiculous claim that we are ruining the world through ‘CO2′ emissions, your absolutely bananas.

    Although I am against commercial business having a free reign on polluting the planet, do some of you people not see that it’s actually us that get stung, by all goods going up in price, the cost of living jumping through the roof etc, and not big business who this is trying to target?

    Pay to pollute… it’s a sweet deal basically.

    People are making a share market based on absolutely nothing, and a lot of people will get extremely rich over this absolutely moronic scheme that has green washed the entire world.

    In the 1700’s the world was considerably colder than it is today, yet plantlife the world over still survived, we still survived as a race etc.

    Even before this somewhere around 900 AD (google it, you’ll see what im talking about), we were in a massive heatwave worldwide, with the temperature (from memory) around 2-3 degrees warmer than the average temperatures today, yet humans and all the animals, the arctic areas of the world, our food supplys, survived.

    It is a natural cyclic occurence that we are facing, not some overnight CO2 explosion.

    There are masses of scientists who used to be on the Kyoto Protocol, the UN board for climate change etc etc, who’s findings contradicted the ETS loving forecast. These scientists are still fighting to have their names removed from official papers which helped push forward the supposed need for an ETS system worldwide, where their data was manipulated to help the cause of the greenwashers. Dont believe me? Do some research and you’ll see exactly what i’m talking about.

    It is the biggest con since christianity…yet all the greenies are self righteous now thinking that it’s the solution to the worlds problems. IT’S A NATURALLY OCCURING PHENOMENON – IN THE 1970’s THE MEDIA WENT CRAZY SAYING THAT THE EARTH WAS COOLING – GLOBAL COOLING..GO FIGURE..and WAKE UP.

    Comment by Jimmy Smitts — June 24, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

  21. a)
    a) There’s one leader who’s poll rating was lower than Rudd, and that’s Abbott
    b) Rudd was still rating higher than Abbott as preferred PM

    Having said, that momentum was not on Rudd’s side, and he has never been a popular figure. basically he was tolerated because he won.

    from http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/labor-wastes-a-perfectly-good-pm-20100624-z0nx.html?autostart=1

    It was anger at Rudd’s high-handed leadership style, anger at his dismissive treatment of some of his colleagues, anger at his secretive and centralised decision-making, that drove a handful of key agitators to start the a revolt.

    The trigger for the spill (Australia, not Gulf) was that Gillard had pledged loyalty, both personally and publicly, to Rudd over the last couple of months. Everyone who has worked with her says this is one of her major strengths. Finding out that Rudd had sent one of his staffers around the ALP MsP (Members of Parliament) pissed off most everyone else because Rudd didn’t do it himself, and pissed off Gillard because it suggested that Rudd did not trust her.

    Anyway, now Australia is catching up with NZ – A female GG and a female Prime Minister. All we need is for the liberals to roll Abbott and install a female Leader of the Opposition.

    Comment by Martin English — June 24, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  22. Sorry, first line should read

    a) The Liberals, under Howard, came back from polls ratings lower than the current ALP and Rudd ones, this far out from an election (6 months or less) several times.

    Comment by Martin English — June 24, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

  23. I don’t think you understand how science works.

    Comment by gazzaj — June 24, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

    Oh but I do. The problem is that the whole global warming alarmism is not based on science, but faith. Believe what we are told by the scientists, or rather, some of them, because they know best. Scientists are just as prone to error, self serving rationisations, selective data choice, group think, fudging results, outright lying etc as any other group. But – if you think I’m wrong – it should be easy for you to show me the fallacy in my arguement.

    Comment by BOF — June 25, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  24. Actually BOF, the fallacy in your arguement is that you forgot about the positive feedback mechanism in AGW. The mechanism allegedly works thus: the slightly warmer temperatures from CO2 cause a spike in evaporation, which means a lot more water vapour in the atmosphere. And as you point out, water vapour is the powerful greenhouse gas. Of course, the fact that no one has found the mechanism in the real world means you still win.
    If the world was warmer during the Medieval Warm Period than now, why did the mechanism not kick in and start an upward spiral of temperatures?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 25, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  25. @CF: “Of course, the fact that no one has found the mechanism in the real world means you still win.”

    That’s not ENTIRELY fair – lots of people are looking at this issue, with some fairly complex results. See, for instance:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100128/full/news.2010.42.html

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 25, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  26. “Even before this somewhere around 900 AD (google it, you’ll see what im talking about), we were in a massive heatwave worldwide, with the temperature (from memory) around 2-3 degrees warmer than the average temperatures today,”

    Actually, there was a massive heatwave in the north Atlantic. World-wide, we’ve overtaken the mediaeval warm period.

    I googled for “medieval warm period temperature anomaly”, and here’s the top link: http://www.skepticalscience.com/medieval-warm-period.htm

    Comment by Repton — June 25, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  27. Nice one Repton I will check out the link.

    I hope every single Kiwi is stoked about this ETS horse shit that is going to inflate prices on EVERYTHING next week…well done greenies

    Comment by Jimmy Smitts — June 25, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  28. Yeah, looks like its warmer.

    What were the date ranges used in each graphic?

    Comment by davy crockett — June 25, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  29. “If the world was warmer during the Medieval Warm Period than now, why did the mechanism not kick in and start an upward spiral of temperatures?”

    Perhaps the fact the earth has for billions of years had temperatures staying within a quite narrow band would suggest the earth has the ability to self stabilise?

    Comment by TimM — June 25, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  30. The net cost of the ETS is zero. If it wasn’t for the ETS coming in, the government wouldn’t have been able to reduce taxes as much as they did.

    Jimmy Smits wrote: “I hope every single Kiwi is stoked about this ETS horse shit that is going to inflate prices on EVERYTHING next week…well done greenies”

    Comment by kahikatea — June 25, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  31. …well done greenies

    Actually, bringing in an ETS that achieves nothing for the environment and is merely an additional burden on taxpayers is all National Party, nothing to do with the Greens or any other party.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — June 26, 2010 @ 8:21 am

  32. Repton @ 26 “What the science says… Globally averaged temperature now is higher than global temperature in medieval times.” Try telling that to everyone who froze to death in the recent northern winter, LOL! Here’s another link to help ensure folk understand that there is no settled science as far as MWP v Now is concerned:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827131832.htm

    From what I’ve read, the science is not that conclusive, with folk on both sides of the argument saying that the science supports their claim. So for every link saying that the anomaly was restricted to the North Atlantic, there is one stating that the anomaly was global. PS, you notice that the medieval temperature anomalies described in the link are from Mann. In many folks minds, he has been somewhat discredited.

    TimM @ 29 “Perhaps the fact the earth has for billions of years had temperatures staying within a quite narrow band would suggest the earth has the ability to self stabilise?”
    So you mean a negative feedback mechanism? Like all that water vapour forming clouds and reflecting AWAY the sun’s energy. After all, the heat that we are worried about is solar heat: in a dry desert, it is hot under the sun, but during the night, the day’s heat radiates back into space making it quite a chilly place. In humid parts of the world, the heat is trapped and the night remains warm. I read that it is “settled science” that clouds make our days cooler (by blocking out the sun). They can also make our nights warmer, by preventing what little daytime heat there is, from radiating away, hence few frosts/little dew when there are clouds at night.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 26, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  33. kahikatea “The net cost of the ETS is zero.”
    Well, that’s a relief. Although I must admit to being relieved at not being poor, either, because the poor will have the most to lose if you are wrong, both in terms of jobs exported to non-ETS countries, and in terms of not coping if prices increase more than their tax cuts.

    Psycho Milt says: “Actually, bringing in an ETS that achieves nothing for the environment”
    Correct whichever way you look at it:
    (a) CO2 is not a pollutant
    (b) The fall in NZ economic activity (i.e. factories close down, unemployed folk can’t afford petrol or to heat their home) is infinitesimal compared to next year’s INCREASE in CO2 output from India or China.
    (c) What the government take in one hand through ETS, they quietly give back to industry with the other (I think ordinary citizens will be hard pressed to show their use of fossil fuels should receive compensation as “trade exposed emissions intensive activities”, so they will be, effectively, fxxked up the arse up the nice Mr Key).

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 26, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  34. Actually BOF, the fallacy in your arguement is that you forgot about the positive feedback mechanism in AGW.

    FWIW I hadn’t forgotten about the so called “positive feedback mechanism”. This is one of the standard variables in the IPCC computer models. My problem with it is that all GHG, including water vapour, should theroretically cause this, and this should lead to run away heating, which it obviously doesn’t. It is another GW theory that doesn’t match reality.

    Onr possible explanation for this not happening is that increased CO2 causes increased plant growth, which may cause increased shade,thereby cooling the land beneath. Another is that increased water vapour may lead to increased cloud cover which may reflect sunlight. Whatever the reason the positive feedback mechanism doesn’t seem to be a factor in global warming

    Regardless- the amount the anthro CO2 effects the green house effect, less than a tenth of a degree, would suggest that any feedback would be so small as to be irrelevent

    Comment by BOF — June 26, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  35. Correct whichever way you look at it:

    I was looking at in terms of the fact that if your ETS is meant to put a price on carbon emissions, configuring it to saddle the taxpayer with the cost is EPIC FAIL – but you’re right, it’s correct whether you believe reducing carbon emissions is a good idea or not.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — June 26, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

  36. @psychmilt – yeah but who was the party spear heading this whole ETS debacle years ago? Labour + the greens right?

    I think its funny that we’re the only nation in the world to bring this in.. ahead of everyone else.
    Especially considering our size and relative lack of industrial production that occurs here, it’s all one big sham which kicks in within a matter of days.

    Comment by Jimmy Smitts — June 27, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

  37. Sorry not to have caught up with your comments until today but I was at Otago University for the weekend and for some reason all internet was out.
    Glad that I have caused you to laugh. But actually i think things are a bit more complex than your post suggests. First, i think Rudd suffered in part because he beat up expectations on Copenhagen which were not delivered on and on then again on the Australian ETS which were again were not delivered on. I dont think that Fran or I have built up expectations, and I likewise dont think the Key Government has either. Policy before the last election was that National did not intend to lead the world. my position would be fully consistent with that position.
    Yes, i believe that we should not be moving ahead of our major trading partners. Let me give you one small example of why. I own an export focussed wine company. my competitors are largely international – not in France, but in California, Oregon, Washington State and Australia. My competitors are not facing the increased fuel and electricity costs that I am now facing and there is no way I can pass this increase on to anyone. It wouldn’t be as bad if I was given credit for the carbon my vines, shelterbelt and soil are absorbing (we manage the vineyard organically and absorb significant quanitities of carbon) but in their wisdom the Government is not giving horticulture any credits – so for us it is all cost.
    I will be entirely content once the US and Australia introduce schemes with similar impact to New Zealand’s. In the meantime I would prefer us to delay the ETS. I think it is badly designed (it will meet the needs of only those businesses who had Government’s ear) and it will impact negatively on the competitivess of the export sector.
    I have however, not advocated a do nothing approach and believe that New Zealand should be introducing a price on carbon through a modest carbon tax. This could be replaced by an ETS once we have a global market upon which credits can be traded. We are a long way from having this as only the EU, Swiss and NZ will have schemes up and running on 1 July, and only our scheme is comprehensive. The costs at this stage would be modest, but that is all we need as New Zealand does not need to fund any Kyoto liability – or so we are told…..
    Regards

    Charles

    Comment by Charles Finny — June 28, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  38. Thanks for your reply Charles – it’s so reasonable and temperate that you’ve made me feel like a real jerk for the tone of my original post.

    I don’t think we’ll ever see a US climate scheme since it would have to pass Congress, ie the world’s most dysfunctional legislative body.

    Comment by danylmc — June 28, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  39. But hasn’t the EPA determined that CO2 is a pollutant, so can use regulatory powers to control emmissions? Can’t seem to find summary info more recent than:

    http://www.epa.gov/NSR/documents/20100413fs.pdf

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100610/ap_on_bi_ge/us_greenhouse_gases

    “the world’s most dysfunctional legislative body” (Japan excepted?)
    Here’s hoping, for their economy’s sake.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 28, 2010 @ 8:02 pm


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