The Dim-Post

November 28, 2015

The climate march

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 9:16 am

There’s a good overview in the Herald about climate change ahead of the Paris conference and the global climate march today.

Back in the early days of climate change activism there was a big emphasis on catastrophic sea-level rises, which will certainly be a big problem in the decades to come. But now that we’re actually living in a climate changed future it’s apparent that the present threat is from ‘extreme weather events.’ Droughts. Heatwaves. Floods. Storms. Mass extinctions. And the fallout from these will be political and economic. Recessions. Resource scarcity. Conflict. Many, many more refugees, everywhere. Problems we already have today and cannot solve. There won’t be a tipping point when the world suddenly ‘wakes up’ and realises it needs to get serious about climate change. Things will continue to be basically like they are now but gradually and incrementally worse.

I don’t think there is any hope of the Paris Climate Conference preventing that or accomplishing anything. It is just an opportunity for the governments of the world to pretend to be doing something. I will mostly ignore it. It won’t matter. I am going on the climate march today, even though I don’t like going on marches. I’m an introvert and being around large groups of people stresses me out. Also, these things tend to be dominated by the activist left who I think are basically just crazy, and I don’t like marching alongside idiots wearing Guy Fawkes masks and waving around placards with Key’s face and a swastika on it, or ‘9/11 was an inside job’ billboards.

It is worth doing anyway, I think, because at least it’s something rather than nothing. It’s a signal to the future that we weren’t all morons (‘There’s no climate change – it was cold last winter!’). At least we can tell subsequent generations that our political systems were broken but we still did what we could.

81 Comments »

  1. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. Climate change marches tend to attract ordinary New Zealanders, who look and feel like you and I. They bring their kids, and there’s a lot of smiling and joy.

    (Unlike the mouth-frothing fanatics who populate TPP/Palestine events.)

    Comment by Wurble — November 28, 2015 @ 9:56 am

  2. “an opportunity for the governments of the world to pretend to be doing something. I will mostly ignore it. It won’t matter…. ” even as ,for the first time ever, BigOil faces a future sitting on the rock of stranded assets?
    It’s probably too late to save the planet but maybe you should consider dying in a ditch. You know, think of the children.

    Comment by paritutu — November 28, 2015 @ 10:25 am

  3. Who the actual march is dominated by, and who the media coverage is dominated by = two different things.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — November 28, 2015 @ 11:09 am

  4. It’s not clear at all to me that our political systems are broken (at least in regards climate change). The outcome we get mirrors to me the beliefs of most of the people I associate with – they sort of vaguely care about climate change in an “I know nothing about it but I feel like I should care” kind of way, but then happily go and buy a big SUV and drive it around. Changes in behaviour are for other people.

    It’s therefore not a surprise to me that much of our political class gets in planes on a regular basis and flies to the other side of the world to talk about how awful it is that everyone flies around on planes and causes climate change.

    I’m not all that convinced that climate change is the most pressing problem facing the world, or even in the top ten. It looks to me like the warming will be very much at the lower end of the range.

    I also strongly agree with Bjorn Lomberg that any attempt to solve climate change that requires everyone on the planet to change their behaviour and accept lower living standards simply won’t work. Therefore I’d much rather see us investing in creating technology that is cost competitive with fossil fuel burning, rather than attempting to get people to vote for measures that make them financially worse off. His analysis of the likely costs of the promises made at the Paris conference (huge) and the likely benefits even if those promises were implemented in full (minuscule impact on the climate trajectory) really brought home to me how the climate change industry is basically just a huge patronage machine.

    Comment by PaulL — November 28, 2015 @ 1:20 pm

  5. I think it can go either way at this point. Either we will continue the slow transition towards renewable energy and electric cars, and Paris will be a major pivot towards that, or we will slow walk towards the end of our species as a civilisation. It is a bit paradoxical, sad and hopeful at the same time. In 2050, things could, and hopefully will be, very different from now. Green economies, clean cities (mostly), or something worse than Blade Runner. Either way we will find out in our life times.

    Comment by Seb Rattansen — November 28, 2015 @ 2:08 pm

  6. Great, normal crowd at Auckland’s march. I couldn’t stay for the whole thing as I was with a small child but it was definitely worthwhile going.

    Comment by Tamara — November 28, 2015 @ 2:20 pm

  7. I also dislike marches and only attend them as an absolute last resort (when I feel so strongly about something that the agony of not doing anything at all outweighs the awkwardness and irritation of being surrounded by people I despise). I did not feel strongly enough about the Paris conference to meet that standard. As a matter of fact the last protest I went on was a Palestinian solidarity march in Auckland last year during the latest Gaza conflict. I was expecting it to be awful, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the chanting was often fairly inane and I declined to carry a placard carrying some silly slogan, but there were families there and people of all ages and backgrounds. Contrary to what Wurble suggests, the people present were not, for the most part, frothing fanatics (even if a small number of frothing fanatics are capable of ruining a good cause for everybody).

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — November 28, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

  8. “Many, many more refugees, everywhere. Problems we already have today and cannot solve.”
    I just want to check: you aren’t one of those who are blaming cAGW for ISIS, are you?

    Also, can you link to stats that show “extreme weather” has increased? From what I understand, the IPCC seems to think it hasn’t yet.

    “I’m not all that convinced that climate change is the most pressing problem facing the world, or even in the top ten.”
    I’m with PaulL: deforestation, poaching, human rights abuses, refugees, terrorism, all much more important.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 28, 2015 @ 3:38 pm

  9. Big march for climate justice. Well done Wellington. As much as I enjoyed the march I was incredibly disappointed by the speeches at parliament. Mainly uninspiring and unrelated to climate change. Unionism will not save us from climate change nor will old left wing idiologs. Throw in some lame music and crap poetry and I left disappointed. 7000 people deserved better.

    Comment by simiananderson — November 28, 2015 @ 4:06 pm

  10. http://ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/images/uploads/IPCC_SREX_fact_sheet.pdf
    (Or http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/ and then click on fact sheet button)

    Apart from:
    —Observations since 1950 show changes in some extreme events, particularly daily temperature extremes, and heat waves.*1
    —Economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters vary from year to year and place to place, but overall have increased (high confidence).*2

    Everything else is future “will”: likely, very likely, virtually certain. Which is interesting, as it is based on the poorly performing climate models to provide “data” on which to base these probabilities.
    *1 You have to concede (but probably won’t): it’s a bit off to regard a fraction of a degree increase in temperature on a day, as a “climate extreme “.
    *2 As our stuff becomes fancier (especially our houses) and more and more of the world have moved out of poverty, any given weather event will damage more, and fancier, stuff.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 28, 2015 @ 4:35 pm

  11. So why wouldn’t someone with a popular blog, married to someone in the media and best mate with politicians give up buggaring around with some never to be completed global deal and use their pulpit to do something local that matters.
    Basically James Shaw is as relevant as Tim Grosser because they can all play lip service to their audiences, Shaw is missing a trick by not working with sayNick Smith in cleaning up waterways or Nikki Kaye with her issues…its just daft and all to much Norman and Turei and hiding behind non existent climate change when there were so many things that could have been achieved locally.

    Comment by David — November 28, 2015 @ 6:35 pm

  12. Nice array of classic denialist strategies in evidence here today. Were any of you people wearing Guy Fawkes masks when you contributed to this thread?

    Comment by McNulty — November 28, 2015 @ 7:21 pm

  13. I guess the climate change marchers are still hanging out together having a good time, while the deniers are posting comments. I’m looking forward to marching in Dunedin tomorrow and meeting up with other people who actually care about the future of human civilisation. Don’t know if marching will change anything, but sometimes you just have to stand up and be counted.

    Comment by Corokia — November 28, 2015 @ 8:14 pm

  14. Not many nutters in Chch. lots of families, and kids, and teenagers, and old folks. And some quite witty signs. It probably won’t make an appreciable difference. But we get together, we talk about what could be done, we begin to modify our own behaviour, and these things matter. (Interesting that there are so many people here muttering all the usual forms of denial from ‘it really won’t make much difference’ to ‘climate fraud’. I wish they were right.)

    Comment by Rob Stowell (@rob_stowell) — November 28, 2015 @ 9:20 pm

  15. @PaulL: “It’s not clear at all to me that our political systems are broken (at least in regards climate change). The outcome we get mirrors to me the beliefs of most of the people I associate with – they sort of vaguely care about climate change in an “I know nothing about it but I feel like I should care” kind of way, but then happily go and buy a big SUV and drive it around.”

    I think there’s a good case for this claim but I also think it depends on the framing of what the political system is meant to achieve.

    For example, we have constitutional law such as the Bill of Rights Act to, among other things, protect rights of minorities even if “most other people” at a particular time might prefer those minorities didn’t have those rights.

    With regard to climate change, it may be true that many today simply want to buy a big SUV because, hey, they’ll probably be dead in 30 years anyway as will many of the MPs who dictate policy. That’s in line with a particular age bracket (baby boomers) probably having had a much stronger voting influence than those around them since they reached voting age. But if you’re a child under 18, or perhaps haven’t even been born yet but will be having to cope with tomorrow’s consequences of climate change, then it might seem more persuasive that the very same political system has failed you because it so-easily enabled those who came before you to sell out the future state of the world for their own short term gain.

    Fundamentally is our political system only meant to serve people here right now, or is it meant to serve inhabitants of NZ in the past and/or present and/or future?

    Comment by izogi — November 28, 2015 @ 9:57 pm

  16. It’s not clear at all to me that our political systems are broken (at least in regards climate change)
    Except that the US senate has been bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry and anything that the rest of the world wants to achieve is entirely dependent on their approval.

    Comment by McNulty — November 29, 2015 @ 8:14 am

  17. Except that the US senate has been bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry and anything that the rest of the world wants to achieve is entirely dependent on their approval.

    The Developing World has annual electrical production/consumption of 11TWh, and will move to 75TWh by 2050, perhaps earlier. That’s adding one USA worth of electricity (currently about 4TWh) every 2-3 years for the next 35 years.

    I think what the rest of the world wants to achieve will increasingly have less to do with what the USA wants or does not want.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — November 29, 2015 @ 8:51 am

  18. I think what the rest of the world wants to achieve will increasingly have less to do with what the USA wants or does not want.
    Perhaps. It is true that China emits a little less than a third of the world’s total CO2 (7.4 per capita), while the USA (16.6 per capita) is responsible for about a fifth. The difference is that China acknowledges there is a climate change problem and appears to want to do something about it. Many influential Americans deny AGW is even happening so they’re not about to launch into meaningful action anytime soon. Despite the fact that the residents of Miami occasionally find themselves wading out to cars parked on the street, at least one state has refused to admit that there may may a problem.

    Comment by McNulty — November 29, 2015 @ 10:08 am

  19. Prince Charles says the troubles in Syria are caused by long droughts. This is true since nearly 10 years without real rain has caused the decimation of farming and communities in Syria. Climate change is now.

    Comment by ianmac40 — November 29, 2015 @ 10:21 am

  20. So you think the activist left are crazy and you’ve blocked every NZ minority voice on twitter. Must be nice and quiet in your echo chamber.

    Comment by Donna — November 29, 2015 @ 6:11 pm

  21. Hey Danyl sorry for crashing off topic but just spotted this and thought I’d draw it to your attention given your own views on this very theme in NZ:

    “This illustrates that the problem with the people currently at the top of the Labour party is not simply to do with their ideological complexion or their back catalogue of incendiary quotes. It is that they are simply bad at politics. And by being rubbish at politics, the people they most let down are those many millions of Britons who need a credible Labour party providing an effective opposition”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/29/labour-mps-party-agonies-no-way-to-lose-corbyn

    It’s almost like just as right wing governments clearly share the most effective strategy and language etc, left wing parties share their awfulness at politics across the world too.

    Comment by Joe-90 — November 29, 2015 @ 6:49 pm

  22. So you think the activist left are crazy and you’ve blocked every NZ minority voice on twitter. Must be nice and quiet in your echo chamber.

    Oh good grief. I haven’t blocked any minorities on twitter. I’ve blocked three or four middle-class white people who think they’re minority voices. I actually hear a more diverse range of opinions now I no longer have all that drama and inane nonsense filling up my timeline.

    Comment by danylmc — November 29, 2015 @ 7:17 pm

  23. As much as I enjoyed the march I was incredibly disappointed by the speeches at parliament. Mainly uninspiring and unrelated to climate change. Unionism will not save us from climate change nor will old left wing idiologs. Throw in some lame music and crap poetry and I left disappointed. 7000 people deserved better.

    I thought exactly the same thing. It was supposed to be about climate change, not the awesomeness of unions and the evils of neoliberalism and colonialism.

    Comment by danylmc — November 29, 2015 @ 7:20 pm

  24. China says they want to do something about climate change. And doing something appears to mean reducing their carbon intensity (which will automatically happen as they move from low grade manufacturing to services). In other words, they’re promising to do exactly what their economy would do with no changes, and no more. Yes, they’ve got the rhetoric right, but their promises are actually not useful. Without China and India, any deal is pointless. Even with them, any deal currently on the table will have no impact on the climate in 2100 (+/- 0.1 degree C).

    Comment by PaulL — November 29, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

  25. “I thought exactly the same thing. It was supposed to be about climate change, not the awesomeness of unions and the evils of neoliberalism and colonialism.”

    So what is it really about then?

    Comment by Redbaiter — November 29, 2015 @ 10:17 pm

  26. This time on topic …

    @ 24. PaulL

    It’s even worse than that – assuming China’s migration occurs because a proportion of manufacturing that might have once occurred there instead grows in substitutes like Vietnam, then there’s no net gain at all. Same applies to apparently cleaner first world countries. Basically there doesn’t seem to be any weightless way to live well and reduce CO2 – we need to consume less:

    http://www.monbiot.com/2015/11/24/false-promise/

    Comment by Joe-90 — November 30, 2015 @ 7:56 am

  27. “It was supposed to be about climate change, not the awesomeness of unions and the evils of neoliberalism and colonialism”

    The first speaker was the Anglican Bishop and I thought he was brilliant. We left when some academic was waffling about cultural hegemony and that climate change was colonialism. The left really is its own worst enemy.

    Comment by Sam — November 30, 2015 @ 8:34 am

  28. “It was supposed to be about climate change, not the awesomeness of unions and the evils of neoliberalism and colonialism.”
    Wow, you’ve still not realised that it is NOT about the environment: it IS (for many) about smashing capitalism/bringing down the “establishment/becoming part of the establishment; it IS for others about making money from the subsidies available to alternative energy forms/carbon trading. (The capitalists who have jumped on the bandwagon may one day regret their involvement.) The “success” of the movement owes much to the fact that, as a “problem” that “needs” a solution, so many disparate ideologies with disparate agendas and goals can latch on to it.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 30, 2015 @ 8:45 am

  29. “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy. ” – Timothy Wirth quoted in Science Under Siege by Michael Fumento, 1993
    That kind of gives you an insight into some of the thinking of the people pushing it for non-environmental reasons.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 30, 2015 @ 8:49 am

  30. Joe-90
    “A paper published earlier this year in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences proposes that even the relative decoupling we claim to have achieved is an artefact of false accounting.”

    And yet here we are, with our 2 cars per household, longer lives, tall intelligent children, good teeth and fewer of the world’s population living in poverty. “But that’s all imagined”. Mate, this kind of thinking is Malthusian. It is misanthropic. And it is racist. Because we want to deny the dung-burners of Africa, the wood-burners of south east asia, access to the same cheap and (relatively) clean energy that we grew up with.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 30, 2015 @ 8:57 am

  31. http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/paris-skirmishes-ahead-of-climate-summit/ar-AAfMVcj?ocid=spartandhp

    Good to see some hippies trying to disrupt the missile lopping yobs.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 30, 2015 @ 10:42 am

  32. @Clunking Fist:

    Apart from:
    —Observations since 1950 show changes in some extreme events, particularly daily temperature extremes, and heat waves.*1
    —Economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters vary from year to year and place to place, but overall have increased (high confidence).*2
    Everything else is future “will”

    There isn’t much in that particular fact sheet about observed changes in extreme weather events simply because it’s a tiny factsheet that isn’t really focused on identifying observed changes in the first place. The full IPCC reports (or even just the summaries for policymakers) include much more info.

    E.g., From the first table (SPM.1) of the summary for policymakers of AR5-The Physical Science basis: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

    Observed changes include increased frequency/duration of heat waves, increased frequency/intensity/duration of heavy precipitation events, increases in intensity/duration of drought (in some regions), increases in intensity of tropical storm activity (in some regions), and increased incidence/magnitude of extreme high sea levels.

    And yes, there are varying degrees of certainty attached to each of those claims. In science, nothing is ever certain. That isn’t an excuse for inaction.

    Comment by Matt — November 30, 2015 @ 1:43 pm

  33. Lol, first column: how likely that changes have occurred since 1950? Followed by: how likely that the change is caused by man? What’s the answer to: ½ times ½?

    I like that table: “Increases in intensity and/or duration of drought” is “Low confidence on a global scale. Likely changes in some regions.”
    Why do they pick on 1950? Perhaps because the data are sparse before that? So how can we be sure that 2015 weather that is different from 1950, isn’t just a return to weather of 1930? 1850? 1775? 4000BC? The age of the dinosaur?

    I note it doesn’t seem to equate well with table 12.4 in chapter 12 of the report of working group one in AR5. This chapter is the DETAIL that should inform that part of the summary for policy makers.
    From that table: “Long Term Droughts: Low confidence in projections of changes in the frequency and duration of megadroughts.”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter12_FINAL.pdf

    I’m finding it amusing that, whilst the IPCC and UK’s MetOffice have conceded that there’s been a “pause”, other more activist groups are trying to use statistical models to prove that there is no/has been no, pause. I.e. pause denialism. At the same time, other groups are trying to explain the pause, either through aerosol activity (volcanos, forest fires, etc) or increasing heat build-up in the deep oceans. That last one is a beaut: we have almost no data on which to base this theory, even Argo can’t help: they don’t go down that far.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 30, 2015 @ 5:41 pm

  34. Some splinter groups/factions/denominations even denied the medieval and roman warm periods, or at best argued that they were localised.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 30, 2015 @ 5:44 pm

  35. Lol, first column: how likely that changes have occurred since 1950? Followed by: how likely that the change is caused by man? What’s the answer to: ½ times ½?

    This is what irritates me about engaging with climate change deniers. How am I supposed to have a productive discussion with someone who:

    1) Lacks even a high-school level of understanding of probability and statistics. (No, the probability of the conjunction of two events is not necessarily the product of their individual probabilities! Look up “probabilistic independence”)

    and yet…

    2) Thinks he somehow has such mastery of statistics and the physical sciences that he knows better than an entire field of scientists with advanced degrees and years of study in the area. (97% of actively publishing climatologists agree that the Earth is warming, and human activities are primarily to blame: http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.short)

    You seriously can’t see that you might be being a bit arrogant here about your knowledge? What’s so special about you that you know better?

    Comment by Matt — November 30, 2015 @ 6:20 pm

  36. This is what irritates me about engaging with climate change believers: they still believe the 97% statistic! (And some still believe the hockeystick has stood the test of time (series)!)

    Matt, pretend that I believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Now pretend that the EU, US, Canada, NZ & Aus commit to binding targets for reduction in CO2 AND (lolz) TAKE ACTION TO ACJIEVE THOSE TARGETS.
    What happens to the level of co2 in the atmosphere? (Hint, think about China and India, building, what, a coal fired power station every week? Think also about the aspirations of the people in developing nations: are they happy to do their bit for the environment by continuing to cook their food by burning dung and scavenged twigs and branches? Forgoing diesel-powered farm equipment so as to continue to till the land by hand/ox? Will the West invade China, India and Russia to enforce emissions targets on them?)

    After 14 years, an anti-obesity campaigner has given up, having achieved nothing. And that’s in spite of the science of obesity being a bit better understood than the way the climate reacts to increases in co2. How long will it take warmists to give up/ (And move onto “ocean acidification”, the next emergent bogeyman.)

    “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”
    https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/501.htm

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 30, 2015 @ 8:03 pm

  37. Wow, this is actively painful.

    Only really ignorant people argue this much with science, because they don’t understand how much they don’t understand.

    Comment by flynnthecat1 — November 30, 2015 @ 11:20 pm

  38. What is the correct way to hold a march about climate change? What is the non-crazy way to be a climate activist? Please advise. I have been voting, recycling, writing submissions, signing petitions, using public transport and changing my lightbulbs. I have earnestly talked about climate change with my friends. I have even given up flying and been on a few marches. But I’m feeling like it’s not enough. I’m not quite seeing the change I had hoped for. Can you please explain? I would like to do more, but definitely don’t want to be labelled part of the crazy left.

    Comment by Mother of two — November 30, 2015 @ 11:35 pm

  39. @Matt: economic losses from weather events have largely increased due to the increasing amount of stuff in the way of disasters (e.g. people building more and bigger houses in areas that are hurricane prone). There’s quite solid research behind this, so this particular factoid doesn’t indicate that global warming is increasing the number or severity of extreme events.

    Comment by PaulL — December 1, 2015 @ 7:21 am

  40. Climate change is a bit like free-range eggs. 80% of people say they buy them, but they only account for 20% of the sales. Ask anyone and 80% of them will you climate change is a very, very important issue that the government has to do something about – but only 20% of them actually want the government to do anything that might push up the cost of their next holiday in Thailand. And raises the second problem about climate change. For us, it is a problem. In our and childrens lifetime it means worse weather events, higher insurance premiums, a rise in the price of food, and a bit of flooding at high tide. But really, we’ll be fine in the great scheme of things. Climate change is lethal for the same people so much of western policy is already lethal for, in places that are mis-governed or over-populated and are very poor. For those people endemic resource wars, massive population displacement and death awaits in a Malthusian catastrophe that we’ll all watch, and wring our hands over the disasters as they unfold, and then we’ll continue electing governments that won’t do anything to upset our addiction to hyper-materialism and over-consumption and over-population.

    Ultimately, like getting rid of battery farmed eggs or getting rid of plastic bags or only allowing the sale of ethically caught fish it requires legislative action by governments on our behalf to make us do anything about climate change, and we live in an era where global corporations controlled by a vanishingly tiny elite of sociopaths can now dictate and moderate the actions of local governments to a very significant degree.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 1, 2015 @ 8:44 am

  41. What is the correct way to hold a march about climate change? What is the non-crazy way to be a climate activist? Please advise.

    My two-cents is that good climate marches should mostly be about climate change, and that a good non-crazy way to be a climate activist is to advocate for policies to mitigate climate change. It sounds like the Auckland and Christchurch marches did a good job.

    Comment by danylmc — December 1, 2015 @ 8:47 am

  42. “…Only really ignorant people argue this much with science, because they don’t understand how much they don’t understand….”

    Here is a test for climate change deniers:

    Imagine you are tied to a large nuclear weapon. A scientist says “I’m a nuclear physicist. The nuclear weapon you are tied to will detonate in an hour with the force of 5 megatons and vapourise you unless you act immediately to prevent it doing so by doing x, y and z.” Would you believe him, or would you ignore him and continue doing nothing? And what is thew difference between a nuclear scientist telling you how to defuse a nuclear bomb you can’t escape from, and a climate change scientist telling you about how to save the planet you must live on?

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 1, 2015 @ 9:09 am

  43. Sanc, to be a genuinely comparable test, I think there also needs to be someone in the room pointing out that nuclear reactions are a natural part of the Universe (just look at all those stars out there!), and it’s possible that this is just another one of those.

    Comment by izogi — December 1, 2015 @ 9:18 am

  44. @PaulL #39:

    @Matt: economic losses from weather events have largely increased due to the increasing amount of stuff in the way of disasters (e.g. people building more and bigger houses in areas that are hurricane prone). There’s quite solid research behind this, so this particular factoid doesn’t indicate that global warming is increasing the number or severity of extreme events.

    The IPCC resource I mentioned (table SPM.1 from AR5-The Physical Science basis: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf) provides findings with respect to the frequency, intensity, and/or duration of extreme weather events themselves. The extreme weather events under discussion are defined in meteorological terms, not according to the economic losses produced. I didn’t say anything about economic losses.

    Comment by Matt — December 1, 2015 @ 11:20 am

  45. Wow, yes everybody: take a look at the table Matt links to.
    Look at the components of “Phenomenon”:
    LOW DAMAGE events: Warmer days/nights, fewer cold ones “very likely has happened” and “very likely caused by man”

    But the “OMG WE’RE GOING TO DIE” events: such as increases in tropical cyclone activity: “low confidence in changes” and “low confidence” in assessment of a human contribution to those observed changes.

    And then look at the “Likelihood of further changes” columns. Some of those aren’t OMG for the major events. These columns aren’t based on OBSERVATIONAL data, because we can’t get data from the future. They are based on output from really crappy models of the climate.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2015 @ 12:07 pm

  46. @Clunking Fist #45

    And then look at the “Likelihood of further changes” columns…. These columns aren’t based on OBSERVATIONAL data, because we can’t get data from the future.

    So predictions about the future are based on models, not directly on observed data?! Great Scott, your scientific insight knows no bounds…

    Comment by Matt — December 1, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

  47. Sanc, that is an interesting analogy. So how does the scientist know that the bomb will detonate in one hour? Because, really, that’s where we need to compare cAGW with your scenario. If the scientist herself is going to detonate the bomb in one hour (or has already triggered a timer), then there’s virtual certainty.
    But if the scientist is not a complete madman, but knows, having observed that this model of bomb are poorly manufactured and spontaneously detonate, anywhere between immediately after manufacture and 5 years after manufacture, then you have to deal with the probability of it detonating in an hour’s time.

    After all, the IPCC concedes that they don’t know if the equilibrium climate sensitivity is 1.5 degrees, 4.5 degrees, or somewhere in between. Or lower than that, or higher than that.
    AR5 again: “Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence).”
    And it is alleged that some scientists involved in the process have grumbled because the higher sensitivities are not really supported by “mainstream science” but have been kept in due to the lobbying and compromise that the report writing process entails.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

  48. flynnthecat1, “37.Wow, this is actively painful. Only really ignorant people argue this much with science, because they don’t understand how much they don’t understand.”
    By “with” I guess you meant “against”. Lol.

    I have (with Matt’s help!) set out some of the science (so, as you say, argued WITH science). Which bits are wrong, and how?

    You must appreciate how “actively painful” it is to hear bollocks claims from non-scientists on a daily basis in the lead-up to COP21. “20 metres of sea level rise”, “atolls (really?) sinking beneath the sea”, etc, etc.
    I see msn have taken down the 43-photo slide show of the damage caused by “Climate Change”. I’d love to show you THAT bollocks: I got 16 slides into it before I gave up because only 3 were actual claims of cAGW damage. The other 13 were examples of real issues damaging the environment: water pollution, deforestation, overfishing, resource depletion, etc. All of which were local and unromantic issues.

    Still, the 40,000 people attending COP21 with have a good opportunity to network! I wonder if they cycle from meeting to meeting…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2015 @ 12:37 pm

  49. “So predictions about the future are based on models, not directly on observed data?! Great Scott, your scientific insight knows no bounds…”

    So can you please list those among the ensemble of models that have proven to be robust in hindcasting actual climate change? In forecasting the “pause”? No? So why do you believe (have faith) that they can predict future climate states?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2015 @ 12:40 pm

  50. Why do I ask you to attest to the veracity of the models? Because, Matt, you and your fellow believers want to lay waste to entire industries, push up the cost of energy, make car ownership prohibitive, ban air travel (except for missionaries, obviously), push up the cost of food (and all other necessities), destroy more of the wilderness to erect wind turbines, destroy marine environs with tidal power stations, burn trees for heat, light and power.
    Do you not realise that all of the above could rest in unrest, even war? So, I could argue, you want to start a war, or series of wars. I could argue you are a terrorist.

    Or at the very least, guilty of group-think.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2015 @ 12:48 pm

  51. Lol, did any of you catch this morning’s guest on 9 til noon? About the banking crisis? He blamed left-wing activists and politicians and regulators. As well as the bankers, obviously. All very off-message, when all right(i.e. left) thinking people know that it were all due to the greedy bankers!

    Not a bit like cAGW: which is simply NOT an artifact of anti-capitalist activists, well meaning (or corrupt) politicians and regulators, or a Malthusian streak running through our elite. No, it’s all down to the plebs and their desire to own their own home, a car, a washing machine, maybe even have a holiday once in a while, watch sport.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

  52. Clunking Fist has certainly killed this thread. RIP.

    Comment by izogi — December 1, 2015 @ 1:11 pm

  53. I could argue you are a terrorist.
    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2015 @ 12:48 pm

    Clunking Fist has certainly killed this thread. RIP.
    Comment by izogi — December 1, 2015 @ 1:11 pm

    Yep. Clunking Fist is either a troll, or a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, but either way he’s not worth wasting time on.

    Comment by Matt — December 1, 2015 @ 1:20 pm

  54. @Matt: quote from your quote:
    “Economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters vary from year to year and place to place, but overall have increased”

    Comment by PaulL — December 1, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

  55. @Matt: quote from your quote:
    “Economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters vary from year to year and place to place, but overall have increased”

    Comment by PaulL — December 1, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

    Ah, I see. That bit is from the factsheet that Clunking Fist linked to, it just happened to be including in the part of his comment I quoted. The report I linked to discusses changes in the weather events themselves.

    Comment by Matt — December 1, 2015 @ 2:10 pm

  56. Sorry, further to my point at 47: ECS is how much temperatures will increase (after a lag) for a doubling of atmospheric co2 levels. That is, once we (or volcanos or the ocean) emit enough co2 in order to double the amount in the atmosphere cf the pre-industrial era, the temperature will increase by perhaps 1.5 degrees. Then another doubling is required to get another 1.5 degrees of warming; double the double is 4 times the pre-industrial levels.
    So if we embraced nuclear and electric transportation, we could probably cut our emissions. That, coupled with the falling birth rates associated with mortality rate improvements from industrialisation, maybe some serious reduction in emissions.
    But nuclear seems to be off the table. So is the short term fix of substituting gas for coal.

    So is it really about co2, or is it about Sanc’s suspicion that everyone (except him of course, on his lifestyle block) is engaged in “hyper-materialism”? Wanting medicine and an education for your child is hyper-materialism? Wanting electricity instead of the stench of burning biomass? Wanting access to farming equipment? Pensioners who want to be able to afford to heat their home in winter?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 1, 2015 @ 2:45 pm

  57. In our march (small town SI) there were also lots of families, some teenagers, quite a few retired folks. Not really any frothing lefties. The demographic that stood out by its absence was middle-aged guys. Some would not find that surprising but actually I do.. its pretty easy to see changes in glaciers and snowlines in the lifetime of the currently middle-aged. Maybe they’re just not very observant.

    Comment by petone — December 1, 2015 @ 4:30 pm

  58. So is it really about co2, or is it about Sanc’s suspicion that everyone (except him of course, on his lifestyle block) is engaged in “hyper-materialism”?

    Lifestyle block: Like writer’s block, only it’s about being morally bound to deny oneself such indulgent niceties as farming equipment, home heating, etc.

    Comment by Joe W — December 1, 2015 @ 6:23 pm

  59. @Joe W: if I had a lifestyle block it would be precisely because that would justify having a tractor, ride on mower, quad bike etc. Otherwise what’s the point?

    Comment by PaulL — December 1, 2015 @ 7:52 pm

  60. My two-cents is that good climate marches should mostly be about climate change, and that a good non-crazy way to be a climate activist is to advocate for policies to mitigate climate change. It sounds like the Auckland and Christchurch marches did a good job.

    Phew. opposing the expansion of the fossil fuel industry is ok then. Is it ok to also care about how that transition to a low carbon world happens? Like saying we need to be sure that workers have a voice? When the PCE released her report on sea level rise, It was reassuring to hear people say on the radio that maybe people who owned property, like lucky me, needed to be part of the conversation and even get some compensation because the rules were changing, but I haven’t heard the same sort of concern for people who don’t own property or people who will lose jobs (well, in mainstream media).

    However much I may agree with the speakers, it seems to me, the political point of the march was not what was said but that lots of people came and it got reported and it can be quoted in the ongoing coverage about COP21 so we know people care. I want to say a huge thank you to all the people who worked hard to make the march in Wellington happen knowing how little it would change things, that Paris will not deliver, but that it was necessary. (Interestingly, in the US the banners for the march read Jobs, Justice and Climate – recognising the interconnections between climate, social and economic struggles, whereas our motto was Solutions not Pollution). It seems to me the only moral thing to do is to keep going, using all the collective citizen muscle we have. I think Pala Molisa raised a really interesting question about the legitimacy of our institutions when they contribute to the injustices and suffering climate change brings. What does being a citizen look like in these circumstances? (my words, not his) What models do we draw on?

    Comment by Mother of two — December 1, 2015 @ 10:41 pm

  61. “…Wanting medicine and an education for your child is hyper-materialism? Wanting electricity instead of the stench of burning biomass? Wanting access to farming equipment? Pensioners who want to be able to afford to heat their home in winter..?”

    This comment is exactly the sort of dishonest and disingenuous shroud waving one has to come accustomed to when dealing with the nutters of climate change denial – distract, delay, denigrate. Hyper-materialism is hardly health care, education or the provision of electricity anymore than it is a reliable reticulated water supply or good government. Those are more or less the basic human rights that underpin society in the 21st century. Do I really have to play the long suffering parent to the particularly truculent and obtuse child and explain it to you exactly? Philosophically, hypermaterialism is capitalism’s psychological dead end where life masquerades as a kaleidoscope of environmentally damaging consumer choices. it is our society of institutionalised over-consumption where the planet pays the ultimate price. hypermaterialism isn’t education. It is SUVs the kids get dropped off in. It isn’t medicine, its the billions spent on snake oil anti-aging skin creams. It isn’t electricity, it is the latest and greatest gadgets everyone wants to charge with it. it isn’t farming equipment, it is the strawberries in winter that are grown using it are flown around the world to sate the desire of spoilt consumers.

    Dealing with climate change is difficult because it it confronts the decadence of late western capitalist materialism, an economic system that worships the consumption of trite services and vapid products and elevates epidemic levels of individual desire and greed to the level of being the sole economic authority in the land. In this country, it means breaking the trance like worship of materialism that is John Key’s New Zealand, a country that now largely resents any intrusion of ecological (or social) reality into their loving concord with their own unchecked greed.

    In order to deal with climate change we need not just policy changes, but a whole value shift away from the values of late capitalism, something which late capitalists and their apologists correctly understand to be an existential threat to their core values and the core values that underpin the economic system from which they currently – and selfishly – so benefit from.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 2, 2015 @ 8:32 am

  62. In a world where we (the public) are constantly let down by our media now more than ever I believe it is the responsibility of university academics to step up and speak out (and march if necessary – even if they are introverts – and I say this as an introvert who marches and I know exactly what you mean about the some of the activist left Danyl) themselves in public. Of course they have to pick their battles but to take one example – it really pisses me off when there seems little support from well remunerated academics for the living wage campaigns of university cleaners (i know there are a few exceptions) – for instance what about forgoing their own salary increases till ALL university employees are paid a fair wage?

    Comment by rodaigh — December 2, 2015 @ 8:51 am

  63. “It isn’t electricity, it is the latest and greatest gadgets everyone wants to charge with it.”
    How dare the plebs want to be connected, eh? (PS exactly how much electricity does a tablet and wifi router use cf with, say, your washing machine, your oven?) And what percentage of your friends, acquaintances, work mates actually renew their gadgets each year? Perhaps if you DO know someone like that, you could encourage them to ensure that their old device goes to a good home.

    “Dealing with climate change is difficult because it it confronts the decadence of late western capitalist materialism”
    Sanc, the only decadence that most of us see is that of Al Gore, Charles Windsor and other “leaders”. Most of us live pretty modest lives.

    “a whole value shift away from the values of late capitalism”
    Lol, I suggest you may have a cartoonist’s view of capitalism: fat middle-aged white men puffing on cigars, which have been lit using $100 bills, then blowing the smoke into faces of homeless children. In actual fact, “capitalism” is simply the freedom to do your best. So those hipsters who chucked in their web design jobs for MightyApe, to open a moustache-themed coffee bar, are capitalists. That semi-retired teacher who offers maths tutoring after school, is a capitalist. Your plumber is a capitalist. Your hobby farm is capitalism (unless you are giving away your produce?). Your local fish and chip shop is capitalism. EcoStore environmentally friendly products are capitalism. Wind turbine manufacturers are capitalists.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 2, 2015 @ 9:23 am

  64. “This comment is exactly the sort of dishonest and disingenuous shroud waving”
    You may think so, but many of us happen to feel that if YOU deny developing nations access to the inexpensive energy that we have enjoyed in our time since the industrial revolution, then YOU are denying those people access to those things you call basic human rights.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 2, 2015 @ 9:28 am

  65. Here’s some capitalism for you: http://billionsinchange.com/
    If you can’t be arsed following the link and watching the video – which is well worth while – it’s a multi-billionaire energy drink maker who is putting his money where his mouth is to fund (among other things) renewable clean energy producing systems specifically for developing nations and cheap water purification systems. The bastard.

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — December 2, 2015 @ 10:16 am

  66. Climate Change is the most important issue facing the world, according to a UN survey of 8.5 million people.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 2, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

  67. Hill and Knowlton, the US public relations firm that orchestrated the tobacco industry’s fight against regulation, had a checklist of strategies they used in their successful (for many years) campaign to keep us all smoking. This became a blueprint for other similar campaigns, such as the one against action to fight AGW. Just FYI here is what they do:
    *Launch a public relations campaign disputing the evidence.
    *Predict dire economic consequences, and ignore the cost benefits.
    *Use non-peer reviewed scientific publications or industry-funded scientists who don’t publish original peer-reviewed scientific work to support your point of view.
    *Trumpet discredited scientific studies and myths supporting your point of view as scientific fact.
    *Point to the substantial scientific uncertainty, and the certainty of economic loss if immediate action is taken.
    *Use data from a local area to support your views, and ignore the global evidence.
    *Disparage scientists, saying they are playing up uncertain predictions of doom in order to get research funding.
    *Disparage environmentalists, claiming they are hyping environmental problems in order to further their ideological goals.
    *Complain that it is unfair to require local regulatory action, as it would put the nation at an economic disadvantage compared to the rest of the world.
    *Claim that more research is needed before action should be taken.
    *Argue that it is less expensive to live with the effects.

    Comment by McNulty — December 3, 2015 @ 2:28 pm

  68. This guy is obviously in the pay of big oil, and is related to a ultra-rightwing politician. (Video only available for a limited time, I believe. Anyone know how to scrape/download it?)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03b1c7c

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 7, 2015 @ 11:42 am

  69. We are told that 2015 is n track to be the hottest year on record.
    Same thing happened last year: late November we started to hear this.
    Then it was confirmed. But what’s this? A greater than 50% chance that it actually WASN’T the hottest year? Big Lolz.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 7, 2015 @ 1:45 pm

  70. (Sorry: I assume that folk know who Gavin Schmidt is.)
    Do you know who John Cook is? He’s the fellow (lead author) responsible for the 97%:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421514002821
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11191-013-9647-9

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 7, 2015 @ 2:13 pm

  71. CF: There have actually been a number of surveys of scientists and scientific literature that back up the idea that almost all actual climate scientists agree that humans are changing the climate. Identifying John Cook as the sole person responsible for the 97% claim is pretty silly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Surveys_of_scientists_and_scientific_literature

    And having been to a climate science conference myself… if there are more than 3% dissenters, they’re sure good at hiding. But I guess that’s what you have to do when the evil global warming cabal is out to get you?

    Comment by Matt — December 7, 2015 @ 2:30 pm

  72. “And having been to a climate science conference myself”*
    What about at a Physics conference? Microbiology conference? Geologists conference? Meteorologists? Palentologists?
    Granted, a conference of the NZ Green Party might be close to 97%!
    *Out of interest, what % of attendees were actual “climate scientists”? Because, you know: if they’re not a climate scientist, we mustn’t listen to them.

    Other folk responsible for 97% claim:
    (1) Naomi Oreskes (well I’m convinced!); “Oreskes divided the abstracts into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals…Seventy-five per cent of the abstracts were placed in the first three categories (either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view”
    And in breaking news: EEVERYDAY 100’s of people die from murder, accident or illness!
    (Cook & Oreskes looked at papers on GW, did not conduct a survey of scientists.)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 8, 2015 @ 6:30 pm

  73. (2) “In 2007, Harris Interactive surveyed 489 randomly selected members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union… 97% of the scientists surveyed agreed that global temperatures had increased during the past 100 years; 84% said they personally believed human-induced warming was occurring,
    Catastrophic effects in 50–100 years would likely be observed according to 41%, while 44% thought the effects would be moderate and about 13 percent saw relatively little danger.” Whoa: 44+13 = 57% thought no C in cAGW? Halt the presses!

    (3)”Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch conducted a survey in August 2008 of 2058 climate scientists from 34 different countries… A total of 373 responses were received giving an overall response rate of 18.2%. No paper on climate change consensus based on this survey has been published yet”

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 8, 2015 @ 6:50 pm

  74. (4) “A poll performed by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at University of Illinois at Chicago received replies from 3,146 of the 10,257 polled Earth scientists (31% response). Results were analyzed globally and by specialization. 76 out of 79 climatologists believed that mean global temperatures had risen compared to pre-1800s levels.”
    Wow, skeptics aren’t exactly arguing that the climate hasn’t changed, that temperatures haven’t increased since pre-industrial times.
    (5) “A 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) reviewed publication and citation data for 1,372 climate researchers and drew the following two conclusions:
    (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC (anthropogenic Climate Change) [not catastrophic ACC, though?]
    and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.”

    (6) the Cook paper (discredited)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 8, 2015 @ 6:51 pm

  75. (7) James L. Powell… analyzed published research on global warming and climate change between 1991 and 2012 and found that of the 13,950 articles in peer-reviewed journals, only 24 rejected anthropogenic global warming. [Interesting, so: did the remaining papers actually contribute proof of CAGW, or simply accept the premise? Thinking here specifically about those papers like “The effect of Climate Change on the Lesser Spotted Mud Baum Mating rituals.” Etc]

    “A follow-up analysis looking at 2,258 peer-reviewed climate articles with 9,136 authors published between November 2012 and December 2013 revealed that only one of the 9,136 authors rejected anthropogenic global warming.” [again: did those papers present proof for cAGW, or simply accept the premise and attempt to assess (i.e guess/model) the effect of warming on something?]

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 8, 2015 @ 6:54 pm

  76. If co2 was a serious “greenhouse” gas, surely dry places like Arizona would see significant reduction in the differential between day and night temps? You know, a bit like the humid places are stonking hot in the day, and mind-blowingly hot in the night?

    Another question: how do coral atolls sink beneath the sea?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 8, 2015 @ 7:01 pm

  77. http://www.bbc.com/news/10222679

    Lol

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 13, 2015 @ 10:55 am

  78. CF: Have you not noticed that you are the only one posting now? This blog’s readers (and the rest of the world) have moved on…..

    Comment by McNulty — December 13, 2015 @ 9:04 pm

  79. Lol. Yet here you are.
    “and the rest of the world) have moved on” Well, not until 2020, surely? Until then we can “pollute” to our hearts content, knowing that we’ll be keeping global temps to less than 2 degrees of warming. Those 1.5/2 degree claims are being made with straight faces, I notice. Well done, climate scientists of the world: working out the mechanism that sets exact temperature according to human co2 emissions, regardless of the world’s natural emissions, sun spot activity, volcanic cooling, etc., etc. And in spite of the IPCC not knowing if ECS is between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees, or higher or lower.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 15, 2015 @ 10:53 am

  80. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34572157

    Even the BBC state publicly that COP21 is attempting to undermine capitalism. The leftists will be pleased that, although no environment was saved in the making of the agreement, there’s no doubt a spanner or two are about to drop into the works that is industry. Morning Report was full of talk of the “cost of carbon” going up. The bankers who have moved into carbon trading will be pleased. Consumers, particularly those on low incomes, less so.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 15, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

  81. Gavin Schmidt concedes theory states troposphere should be warming, but that there’s no evidence of it.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — December 21, 2015 @ 5:00 pm


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