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After the deluge, what hope the politics of climate response?

I am writing with Hurricane Sandy having brought devastation to New York and the East coast of the United States. Much has been written on the politics of climate change. But until a few days ago, a severe…

The new normal? … Climate change will be at the forefront of discussion in the weeks following Hurricane Sandy. Wandering the World/Flickr

I am writing with Hurricane Sandy having brought devastation to New York and the East coast of the United States.

Much has been written on the politics of climate change. But until a few days ago, a severe weather event affecting the Presidential poll in the world’s largest economy and second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, would have been regarded as creative fantasy or another average Hollywood script.

And yet that is the situation now. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina led to losses of $US125 billion: the costliest event ever recorded in the US. It was also the deadliest single storm event, claiming 1,322 lives. Sandy doesn’t come close to those statistics, yet she has halted an election campaign, shut down a major global city and stopped trading on the New York Stock Exchange for two days.

In the autumn of 2005 when working at Downing Street on climate and sustainability, I spent four days north of New York with a group of scientists and business leaders concerned with the global climate problem. It was no hurricane, but while I was there the rain didn’t stop. At the conference I met a senior executive working with Munich Re, one of the two largest re-insurance companies. An actuary by training, he wasn’t the type of person swayed by emotion or any environmentalist requests to save the world.

Insurance companies have noticed the increasing frequency of devastating weather events, and now adjust pricing accordingly. rsgray16/Flickr

Re-insurers rigorously analyse the frequency and loss trends of different perils from an insurance perspective. They calculate and assess the risk, and advise on premiums accordingly. He had little interest in the political battles with sceptics and those denying basic climate science. He said he wasn’t qualified to understand the policy responses required. Having assessed the data it was clear to him that as the atmosphere warms, the relationships between ocean currents, ice caps, and atmospheric pressure become more turbulent. The weather turns more unpredictable.

In looking out of the window at the torrential rain all I saw were damp autumn leaves. But for him, the constant rain demonstrated the probability of future events that Munich were most fearful of: a pattern of severe storms tracking up the east coast to New York, New Jersey and Washington DC. Not the big “doomsday” scenario, but what Al Gore describes as an unstable series of climatic events that become “the new normal”.

Sandy is not some bolt out of the blue. It is the kind of event that insurers have been across for a while. And as the science, impacts and costs of global climate change become more clear and the risks more real, the next meeting of the world’s climate negotiators will take place in Doha at the end of the month.

Before the meeting Christiana Figueras, the diplomat charged with leading the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was in Australia last week. With a carbon price in place and potentially powerful institutions such as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in the process of being established, Australia is a place of great interest.

Figueras is a seasoned United Nations professional: highly intelligent, committed, knows the system backwards, and feisty. I sat next to her at a private lunch convened by the Clean Energy Council. She enthusiastically described the growth in the regulation of carbon with more than 30 emissions trading schemes now in operation. This is indeed positive, but sadly few, if any, can yet demonstrate a price that will come close to de-linking economic growth from emissions growth

Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Chatham House, London/Flickr

If only the politics of carbon pricing worked as well as the economic principles. And with the failure of Copenhagen to fulfil even the most modest expectations built up following the rise in public, business and political consciousness, there is currently no appetite to take the lead internationally on climate change.

Figueras sees this lack of momentum and argues it must be accelerated through three mutually re-enforcing dynamics: - government and business working in tandem - an understanding that a burden-sharing approach must be replaced with an international race to lead in low emissions energy and infrastructure - an end to the logjam that pits the rapidly developing economies against those that have achieved their high carbon development already.

On these criteria there is cause for optimism. The first is latent. There are notable exceptions, but business responses to climate change have waned and remain more about the need for conspicuous concern rather than achieving measurable reductions.

The second is very much underway. According to Bloomberg, in 2004 only $US34 billion was invested in clean energy globally. In 2011 the figure was $280 billion. That is a more than 800% increase. Last year was the first when new investment in clean energy overtook investment in coal and gas.

On the third, new alliances have been formed between India, China, and Brazil. For them low carbon has the potential to be a massive potential source of competitive advantage over coming decades.

Figueras is impressive. I disagreed with little that she said. She recognises that progress cannot come from the top down, or just the bottom up, but through the actions of multiple State and other players working together.

Yet she believes heads of state must be kept away from the negotiations. Certainly, the Copenhagen experience cannot be repeated: leaders turning up to make speeches and rehearse positions. But for the international agreement that this problem demands to ever be reached, heads of state must be involved. Decisions that have implications for global economic, energy, transport, and trade policy will not be taken by negotiators, no matter how deft and able, working for environment ministers.

Heads of state won’t be in Doha. The timing and the place is wrong. But for the international response to move from flirtation with the problem to putting in place the rules that might temper the scenarios that my friend at Munich Re continues to work on, they simply must be around the table.

Join the conversation

111 Comments sorted by

  1. Michael Shand

    Software Tester

    Great Article, Its always amazing to me how people and media especially fail to connect the dots between more and more extreme weather events such as fires, floods, storms, draughts to climate change.

    Scientists have been screaming at us for years saying that we should see these things coming but even when I read the article in the age this morning - front page headline about Sandy and no mention of climate change.....its very dissapointing

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    1. Nick Rowley

      Professor, Sydney Democracy Network at University of Sydney

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Thanks David - I wish it weren't such a clear correlation. I wish I had received calls from scientists looking at observed data and insurers interpreting it saying "this isn't as bad as we had feared". But the opposite is the case. The media and the political classes might have tired of the issue for a while, but the dynamics behind the problem remain . . . Nick

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    2. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Nick Rowley

      So you are amazed Mr Shand! So am I.

      It's always amazed me how people and the media who connect the dots between extreme weather events such as fires, floods, storms, droughts to climate change CONTINUE TO CHOOSE to burn JetA1 fossil fuel to fly to Europe for holidays.

      If you know that extreme weather events are caused by climate change which is caused by burning fossil fuels, how do you ethically justify your CHOICE to fly overseas for your own pleasure.

      You might have to use fossil fuels to get to work, to power the lathe or class room lights or to run the local hospital, BUT, you have a pure ethical choice when it comes to burning non renewable JetA1 fuel for your own pleasure

      You have a clear choice Mr Shand- stop flying to help stop extreme weather events, or keep flying, and thereby threaten the world with even larger misfortune.

      What is your choice, Mr Shand?

      Gerard Dean

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    3. Ken Swanson

      Geologist

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Will Steffen in his report only last year said there was no scientific evidence linking hurricane frequency or severity to human activity.
      What dots are you therefore referring to?
      Oh, and on the drought. That would be the drought we had in Australia over the past few years which was "to become the new normal", and the same drought which was the catalyst for our dams never being full of water again. The drought which was never going to end and in response to which compliant state governments were scared into spending billions of taxpayers money on desalination plants which will never be turned on.
      Yeah, we are all joining up the dots mate, but not the way you think.

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    4. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      It's called Offsets my dear parrot. Learn to squalk "Offsets" the way you squalk "JA1 Jet Fuel" and I will give you a cracker!
      It's also called investing for a larger return down the track.
      You see, sometimes to gain money, one has to invest money. What a paradox! And likewise, in order to make progress on global climate change, it's sometimes necessary for people to fly to places to attend meetings, summits, conferences, etcetera (Let me know when the words I'm using get too long for your little…

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    5. Tim Mulligan
      Tim Mulligan is a Friend of The Conversation.

      logged in via email @gotalk.net.au

      In reply to Ken Swanson

      I suspect you misrepresent Will Steffen to a consirable degree by taking comments out of context. The same applies to your comment on drought. Who said that, and what was the context?

      Below is an excerpt from an interview on Radio National with Will Steffen following the 'Critical Decade' report. The full interview is available on the ABC website.

      WILL STEFFEN: If you go into the scientific literature where scientific debates actually occur - science debates don't occur in the media, they don't…

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    6. Will Hardy

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Don't blame the consumer. Without a real, practical alternative, there is no real choice. If you want to change peoples actions, give them a real choice. For example:

      * In Germany I can choose between many renewable energy providers, each with very different environmental credentials
      * I can catch a train from Paris to Avignon in 3 hours, but Melbourne to Sydney is an uncomfortable 12 hours. Melbourne to Canberra by train is not even possible.
      * I can ride a bike safely, quickly and comfortably (no helmet!) through Amsterdam, or use public transport quickly and cheaply in any european city but in Australia you're pretty much forced to drive a car in heavy traffic

      It's not a choice, if there is no viable alternative, don't blame consumers for their "decision".

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    7. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Note that Gerald has made the same point about jet fuel in the discussion to several previous articles. Each time (like now) he has been thoroughly rebutted.

      He is not listening, not thinking, but he is wasting every bodies time.

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    8. Mike Butler Snr

      Managing Director

      In reply to Tim Mulligan

      As I recall, the comments about drought were made by our Chief Commissioner of the Climate Change Commission, Prof Tim Flannery!

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    9. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Mike Butler Snr

      I asked in the discussion of another article for a reference to what Flannery said (the full quote is needed, not just one or two sentences). There was no response.

      So for the second time I ask - please provide some evidence that Flannery got something wrong.

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    10. Ken Swanson

      Geologist

      In reply to Tim Mulligan

      Go to Steffen's interview with Andrew Bolt on the Bolt Report.
      He is asked this direct question and he answered in the negative.
      So no misrepresentation at all.
      And yes it was a quote from Flannery and no it is not out of context it was on the ABC

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    11. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Ken Swanson

      How about you provide a link to the quotes Ken. You are the one making the accusations.

      The Flannery "dams" quote has been dealt with here ad nauseum. The deniers always make the claim without supplying the quote because once the quote is provided in context, the claim evaporates like their "flat earth" science.

      So in case you are not getting the point Ken - time to put up or shut up.

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    12. Tim Scanlon

      Debunker

      In reply to Ken Swanson

      Can I just ask what Flannery has to do with anything?

      Flannery seems to be the Australian version of Gore's Law. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gore%27s_Law

      This should be a discussion about the science of climate change (hint: it's real and humans are driving it) and how we can go about fixing it. This article is talking about how to get action happening, how about the deniers in the room stop with the derailments.

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    13. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Tim Scanlon

      One of the reasons that many of the debates with the deniers is so time wasting is that if even if they are proven to be correct on some minor point - so what?

      If Tim Flannery had said back in 2009 that climate change would turn the sea red by 2011, so what if he is wrong? His being wrong does not negate the reports of the IPCC, Stern, Garnaut, etc.

      I've yet to read anything from a denier that casts any doubt on the scientific consensus.

      But the deniers won't stop with their attempted derailments - that is why they are here. Instead it is us to those who contribute, or The Conversation, to work out a way that those of us who accept the science can have a conversation that isn't derailed by the usual suspects.

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    14. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Account Deleted

      "Voluntary action on flights by a small proportion of people is never going to have much of an impact"

      That is an interesting ethical way of justifying hypocritical behaviour.

      And as for 'Offsets', they are a total joke. Nothing more than the modern equivalent of the Catholic Church's 'indulgences' sold to sinners. Pay an extra $2 per flight and feel good about burning non-renewable JetA1 fuel. In fact, many airlines have stopped offering Offsets because so few paid the extra money.

      No matter how you wriggle, if you choose to believe in climate change caused by burning fossil fuels and that climate change causes extreme weather events, then you choose to fly and burn JetA1 fossil fuel, you have chosen to be a hypocrite.

      Surely the health of the nation should come before your own pleasure.

      Surely

      Gerard Dean

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    15. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Will Hardy

      We don't have a choice when it comes to most day to day fossil fuel use; cars, trains, planes, lights, trucks, plastics, electricity.

      But, when it comes to flying overseas for a holiday, that is a matter where we have the choice. And if you believe in climate change caused by burning fossil fuels, then you choose to fly, you cannot be anything other than a hypocrite.

      Sorry, but it is that simple.

      Gerard Dean

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    16. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I am not wasting time. I am pointing out that many commentators on this article do not connect their own activities with their public protestations.

      If the world is really threatened by extreme weather events caused by climate change which is in turn caused by burning fossil fuels, surely we should stop burning fossil fuels.

      Surely, the scientists and academics and educated people who are reading this article should be the first to stop their own discretionary use of fossil fuels for their own pleasure.

      You blame me for making the same point. I will continue making the same point as long as people continue to lecture me to stop burning fossil fuels, then burn them themselves for their own pleasure.

      Gerard Dean

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    17. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      You are right that voluntary action by a few concerned people is not going to have much impact.

      That is why action is needed at a government level.

      It does make sense for someone who is urging the government to act on climate change (which will make a big difference) to continue to live a fairly normal life (because, as you admit, their individual actions will not make much difference).

      But really I think you are just trolling because you think if you can get a someone who accepts climate change to admit that they are responsible for some emissions then this somehow negates climate change being true or the need for government to act.

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    18. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      So what if someone who accepts the science is a hypocrite?

      Does that mean that the science is wrong?

      Is that a reason for not wanting the government to take urgent action?

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    19. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Whoops, the words I thought Gerard wrote were written by James Haughton.

      But James is right - what a few people do or don't do as individuals makes no difference.

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    20. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      No Gerard. You are being disingenuous. You have admitted many times on this forum that you are a climate change denier and a fan of Andrew Bolt.

      The reason you raise the "Al Gore is fat therefore climate science is wrong" argument is to attempt to discredit the science. In all your parroting of the this argument, you have never once been able to raise a scientific argument against AGW.

      As has been pointed out many times before, your argument is infantile. You are the hypocrite - you actively campaign here against renewable energy at the same time as parroting your childish arguments.

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    21. Mike Butler Snr

      Managing Director

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Transcript of Landline program in 2007:
      SALLY SARA: What will it mean for Australian farmers if the predictions of climate change are correct and little is done to stop it? What will that mean for a farmer?

      PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We're already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we're getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in…

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    22. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Mike Butler Snr

      Unfortunately you have just proven that you have poor comprehension of English.

      What did he get wrong?

      He said "IF that trend continues". He didn't say "and this trend WILL continue".

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    23. Mike Butler Snr

      Managing Director

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Wow! Talk about splitting hairs! Flannery knew exactly what he meant, and we all know what he meant. Now after an almost record wet year and the dams and rivers running a banker, obviously the trend didn't continue. Now that the trend is not continuing, does this mean we can stop worrying about climate change? I am dropping out of this conversation. It is pointless conversing with someone who believes that it is not possible for Tim Flannery to get something wrong.

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    24. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Mike Butler Snr

      I really did laugh out loud when I read your reply.

      So you know that when Flannery said "IF this continues" he meant that it will continue. How have you got this deep insight into what he meant?

      As I said in my previous reply, all that Flannery said in your quote is true. He explained how climate change was making the drought worse. And is there any doubt that IF the drought continued we would have been in big trouble? And other quotes from around the time make clear that Flannery was also saying that climate change would lead to times of greater rainfall and more flooding.

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    25. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Finally Mr Hansen, we meet again!

      Yes, if you describe a person who doesn't believe humans make a big impact on the earth's climate as a Denier, then I AM A DENIER AND PROUD OF IT!

      A Denier can CHOOSE to burn JetA1 fuel to fly anywhere in the world for a holiday without the guilty pangs that SHOULD stop Believers flying.

      Unfortunately however, Believers like yourself continue to tell me to stop burning fossil fuels to reduce climate change, but then you CHOOSE to burn fossil JetA1 fuel to fly overseas for a self indulgent holiday.

      I have chosen to be a Denier. Sadly it appears that you and many others have chosen to be Hypocrites.

      I know which one I would rather be.

      Gerard Denier Dean (I quite like the ring of that, actually)

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    26. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Finally, you have admitted you are hypocritical in your approach to this issue.

      The problem is that the message that we should reduce the use of fossil fuels is being carried by those who make the most use of fossil fuels in their private life- educated academics and public servants who have a high income and a lot of time on their hands to holiday overseas.

      Climate change hasn't fallen off the radar because of 'Big Oil', it is because people are sick and tired of being lectured by hypocrites…

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    27. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      So, Mr Wilbur-Ham, you claim that, and I quote, 'what a few people do or don't do as individuals makes no difference.'

      Now that is an interesting ethical outlook.

      Gerard Dean

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    28. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      I didn't admit that I was hypocritical. I'm saying that being hypocritical makes no difference to either the science or the good reasons for action.

      And so far no denier has come up with any sensible reason to question the science.

      And no denier has been able to explain how the scientists have got it wrong. Incompetence? Conspiracy?
      The deniers have no rational world view.

      But clearly something motivates them. It seems that Gerard thinks climate change is crap because those who say it is true continue to fly. Is he jealous of these people? Or is he scared that action on climate change will destroy his quality of life?

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    29. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I'll just argue with: "deniers have no rational world view." -- they have a very rational view -- money.

      We know if some who regularly hop onto these topics, and not others, who do not reveal their funding, but who are indeed connected with organizations ultimately receiving $ from Heartland, American Tradition, etc., as embarrassingly revealed by the Glieck releases.

      Their rational world view includes the likelihood that they'll be able to hide from future derision and even sponge off the rest of us, even their children, when the results of their disservices to humanity gain large effect.

      They are, ultimately, people who depend on others for their benefit, giving nothing back.

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    30. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      So Gerard "without the guilty pangs " fears guilt. Thus he feels guilty, as a psychologist would diagnose.

      Just imagine if you actually thought enough of your offspring, Gerard, to do things that reduced your negative effects on the world -- you know, just in the very rare, off-chance that you might just possibly be wrong about something like climate and all those sneaky 14C isotopes missing from air & water CO2.
      ;]
      Gosh, why so much 12C all around you, Gerard? It's just not natural.

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  2. Alex Cannara

    logged in via LinkedIn

    Media people everywhere indeed share the blame, with politicians everywhere, with commbustion folks & lobbyists everywhere, and with those of us who have been too lazy to study.

    Decades ago, scientists were well aware of the problem and a President actually asked for and got a solution: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa

    Where have the media been? We know where the politicians have been: http://tinyurl.com/73p7ler

    So instead of meeting JFK's goal to eliminate combustion power by 2000, we've…

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  3. Dianna Arthur

    Environmentalist

    I have been wondering for some time now - particularly after surviving Black Saturday in the Yarra Ranges, why insurance companies have not been more vocal about the pattern of weather events. Apart from my home insurance increasing, considerably, in price - silence. Do insurance companies really see a profit in increased extreme weather? I wouldn't think so.

    BTW

    "Sandy doesn’t come close to those statistics, yet she has halted an election campaign, shut down a major global city and stopped trading on the New York Stock Exchange for two days."

    A quick word to Mr Nick Rowley; storms, hurricanes and other named weather events are things; they don't have sex.

    And to the predictable contingent who will claim I am being overly sensitive (sigh) if we always referred to things as 'he', wouldn't that be considered sexist?

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      The insurance companies have it easy with predictions because they only need to predict one year in advance.

      If one day they decide that some areas are at much higher risk than before they can increase the premiums or even decide that they will no longer provide insurance to some areas.

      Perhaps one day their business model will be to provide much fewer people with cover but at much higher premiums. And this might be just as profitable as today's mass market insurance.

      Getting the premiums right is vital to the insurance industry, and this means having a reasonable idea of the risks for the next year. But apart from this whether or not the climate changes is irrelevant to their business.

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Gday Ms Art,

      My recollection is of reading the occasional article in the papers about insurers making statements about climate change. Perhaps Googling "climate change site:theinstitute.com.au", will inform an understanding of the Australasian insurance industry's attitude to climate change.

      Are you being overly sensitive? The answer depends on whether or not we commonly refer to Cyclone Larry as "he".

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    3. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur

      G'day back.

      I thought I indicated my objection to applying gender to things quite clearly. However, if you are having difficulties following an off the cuff remark I am regretting I made, I believe referring to any weather event as a 'he' or 'she' is just dumb.

      Same for ships, car etc. Sorry I pointed out some inconsequential sexism in an otherwise well written article. I just don't know my place.

      As for Googling insurance companies - sure anyone can do that. What I want is a comprehensive report on insurance practices and how they plan. Apparently, according to Michael Wilbur-Ham, it is only 12 months into the future - even shorter than our electoral cycle. Not giving me much needed hope that the human race will clean up its act in time to mitigate the worst of climate change. It is no longer about prevention; we have done nothing for too long, we are living with the consequences of polluting our environment right here and right now.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Hi Dianna,

      I should make it clear that I have no knowledge of insurance company planning.

      My one year ahead comment comes from it being normal to pay for only the next years insurance. At each renewal the insurance company has the option to refuse insurance or change the premium.

      I'm sure that they do plan further ahead, and such planning probably does effect our premiums.

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    5. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Hey Michael

      I just KNOW insurance companies have records that could facilitate much of the debate regarding climate trends. I know it the way I know the sky is blue on sunny days - but I can only prove how we perceive the colour of the sky.

      While the colour of money continues to be the primary goal, truth will continue to be a very poor second. As an example, tobacco companies are still fighting fit despite over 50 years of substantial evidence of the effects on health of tobacco.

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  4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

    Australia compares poorly with many other OECD countries in reducing its emissions. Compared to what is needed to be done for Australia to do its fair share to prevent climate change we are doing nothing.

    In Australia the business as usual lobby has effectively won.

    (Another example is the mining tax being weakened to such an extent that NO money was raised in the first period. Lots of talk from the Liberals that this tax would destroy the industry, and talk from Labor that this tax would give…

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    1. Glenn Tamblyn

      Mechanical Engineer, Director

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael

      Sure we need to do lots more, but actually we have done surprisingly better than I would have expected 2-3 years ago. Essentially the rise in renewables, particularly domestic PV solar, has allowed us to avoid the construction of at least 1 FF power station. Unfortunately Government policy settings have only played a small part in that - the main driver is that some clever entrepeneurial types in China saw that getting into PV solar big time would drive the price down. And it has. People are now putting Solar onto new houses from purely economic motives.

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    2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      Do you think future generations will thank us for achieving such token progress?

      I don't. I think they will curse us.

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    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      Some pretty impossible things have happened - changes in smoking for example, so perhaps, just maybe, climate change will one day be one of these things were the first small steps do lead to real action.

      Without hope all is lost. So lets keep that glimmer alive.

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    4. Glenn Tamblyn

      Mechanical Engineer, Director

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Yep

      Paul Gilding,in his book 'The Great Disruption' thinks that huge and rapid change is possible. But only when the human race gets to 1 minute to midnight. One chapter in his book is called: 'When the Dam of Denial Breaks'

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    5. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      There are two reasons why last minute might be too late:

      1 - It takes time for the carbon in the atmosphere to do its warming. So if we reduced emissions to zero from tomorrow the temperature will continue to rise for some time.

      2 - There are many possible tipping points - ice sheets melting, ocean currents changing, russian methane, etc and once one of these is started we cannot stop it.

      So with climate change when we get to 1 minute to midnight we won't be able to stop the clock ....

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    6. Glenn Tamblyn

      Mechanical Engineer, Director

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Oh I know all that Michael. We may have crossed some of those tipping points already. Ice free Summer Arctic in a handful of years, Critical ocean acidification in 20 years, permafrost melt already proceeding, perhaps northern hemisphere weather patterns starting to shift due to changes in the Jet Stream. And if we get serious about cleaning up emissions, particularly coal & oil, aerosol levels drop and the cooling effect they are having goesaway.

      My point wasn't whether we would be able to do enough.It was that a mass mobilisation of humanity to at least try to reverse things could happen very quickly when it does happen. Will that be in time? Dunno.

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    7. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      Why don't you start with the over consumption from the hypocrites who are flying around the world burning fuel, staying in expensive hotels and feasting like pigs while telling the worlds populas we all need to change?

      These proponents for climate change etc cannot even define sustainable development...go figure?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rappz9tIPXs

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEy6S7vfMKY

      If they are as worried about changing the climate as much as you lot on here...they sure have a crap way of leading by example!

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    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      Miles Davis was a woman beater. But I still love his music.

      Whether or not someone jets around the world might say something about them as a person (that is still open to debate due to offsets) but it says nothing about whether or not what they say about climate action is true or false.

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    9. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      They can't even define sustainable development but you would believe what they had to say about climate action while they eat, drink and fly their way around the planet?

      There are none so blind.

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    10. Garry Baker

      researcher

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      We can take it as a given that nothing of scale will be done about climate issues until the bells toll at a deafening level. Sort of like a heavy cigarette smoker puffing his life away in spite of getting a clear diagnosis of very ill health.

      Meanwhile the insurers, Swiss Re(the big one), and Munich Re,set their numbers folk on the problem and come up with a price(premium) for geographically weak areas around the planet. The price for living in say, flood prone Manhattan, will be determined…

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    11. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      Indeed, "there are none so blind" as those who dispose arguments via "they".
      ;]

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    12. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Indeed, as the latest analyses from UC Berkeley indicate, our swamping of the natural Carbon Cycle with 30x its yearly capacity has set up up for thousands of years of very challenging, expensive living conditions, land loss and food loss.. One can Google the UCB DePaolo group's publications to see why our descendents will indeed pee on our graves, if they have the time & water, and the graves remain above sea level..

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  5. Wade Macdonald

    Technician

    That is it....time to lobby politicians all over the world via facebook etc to stop the natural formations of super hurricanes!

    We can't have these 100% human induced events wreaking havoc on our idealistic lifestyles.

    Get a grip people.

    Frequency and intensity increases happen naturally and have little to do with human influence.

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      Does Wade really not know that climate science is predicting that extreme weather events will become more frequent and more severe, and thus the action required to prevent this is to rapidly reduce our emissions?

      Or does he know this, and is only posting the above nonsense to disrupt the conversation?

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      Thanks Wade, who writes: "Frequency and intensity increases happen naturally and have little to do with human influence."

      You might be interested in

      1) Coumou & Rahmsdorf's Perspective article "A decade of weather extremes", published in Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1452.

      2) Cohen et al's "Arctic warming, increasing snow cover and widespread boreal winter cooling", Environ. Res. Lett. 7 (2012), doi:10.1088/1748-9326/7/1/014007

      3) Jaiser et al's "Impact of sea ice cover changes on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric winter circulation", Tellus A 2012, 64, 11595, DOI: 10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.11595

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    3. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael,

      Actually a two year study by the scientists who prvide the material for the IPOCC reports, recently came to the conclusion that the possibility of linking extreme weather events in either magnitude or frequency was extremely low and possbly zero.

      Also, one only has to galnce at the many fraphs and bar charts showing frequency and intensity of hurrcanes and other extreme weather events to see that there has been NO increase over the years nationally nor for individual regions, and…

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    4. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Matthew Albrecht

      And we can add the following paper by the Skeptical Science authors rebutting the notion that global warming has stopped or even slowed.
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0375960112010389
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/nuccitelli-et-al-2012.html

      And an overview article at Skeptical Science discussing the the ways human-caused climate change amplified the hurricane's impacts with links to the relevant peer-reviewed science.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/hurricane-sandy-climate-connection.html

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    5. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Matthew Albrecht

      Thanks Matthew. I found it very difficult to find anything at all in your references on the suggestion that recent times had shown more severe weather than previously. Sure, a suggestion that warmer weather brings more sever cyclones but many cyclones in Australia's North have been as late as May when the waether is cooler. The most signifcant thing is in fact not the temperature over a region but the temperature difference across and area of ocean. If the temperatures were all uniform, it wouldmn't matter what the absolute temperature was - within limits of course. I note one of you eferences considers sea level rises against ocean temperature, but again does not appear to look at whether seas have risen faster recently ( which in fact they have not).

      Mikes references to Skeptical Science do not inspire much confidence in their validity I am afraid. But thanks also.

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    6. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Nicol

      Finally, we hear again from Nicol, the spectroscopic technician, who's willing to pass his responsibility on to his descendents and ours.

      So John, there you go again, studiously avoiding the unarguable effects of ocean acidification and sea rise; again hiding from the reality of isotopic analyses that show to anyone of honest ilk that human combustion of fossil fuels has altered both air & seas to produce both excessive solar energy absorption and record carbonic acidification of waters nearly all sea life depends on.

      Yes, if transcripts of your misinformed, disingenuous statements here ever meet your descendents eyes, will they still revere your 'contributions' to humanity?

      Will you at least post that contingency bond for them that we've talked about? Will you try adult introspection instead of disservice to those around you?

      The tide is against you and any handlers who profit from what you do to mislead.

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    7. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to John Nicol

      The first link is to a peer reviewed paper from the SKS authors. Both SKS articles have links to the peer reviewed science. If you read some of their articles, you may actually demonstrate more insight.and be able to link to some peer reviewed science instead of echoing right-wing denier blogs,

      This is from the SKS review article.
      "The bottom line is that while global warming did not cause Hurricane Sandy, it did contribute to the "Frankenstorm" at least by causing higher sea levels (and thus…

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    8. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Nicol

      "one only has to galnce at the many fraphs and " -- handlers rushing your typing John?

      Remember, they too see how you avoid the inescapable isotopic evidence in air, water, ice cores, sediments, fossils, etc.

      Your continued playing in the natural variance of low-energy-density (air) systems makes all that you say meaningless.

      But then, you admit you're no scientist or engineer. What are you? What will your descendents say of you?

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    9. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Nicol

      Nicol is either lying or again passing uninformed misinformation around the world -- why, would be the real question, eh John?

      The records in the US and Europe are clear -- unmatched temperatures since the end of the last Ice Age. Unmatched CO2 and temp rises in the last ~230,000,000 years. Unmatched ocean acidification from isotopically fossil Carbon added by humans in ~300,000,000 years.

      If you want to study and learn, or just not pass fibs around, John, do some reading. Here's a start…

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    10. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      Well, Wade, when " these 100% human induced events" affect your interests, or anyone you might care about, we'll have our ears perked up for your next opinion -- it might then actually have some weight.
      ;]

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    11. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Alex Cannara

      Alex, I think that almost everyone who accepts the science on climate change would be willing to answer the questions, no matter how dumb, from someone who is genuinely curious. The beauty of science as well as its power is that, if you are prepared to listen or do the research you can find out why science thinks things are true.

      But why are people here devoting so much time and effort to engage with the deniers?

      In all my years of reading discussions about climate change I have yet to find one denier who changed their mind. Not one.

      It is common to see deniers raise the same false claims again and again (totally ignoring the answers they received in earlier threads). This proves that they have no interest in moving towards truth - but are just here to push their ideology. We should not waste too much time on them.

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    12. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I agree, MIchael, but I don't care what the deniers or fact avoiders believe. I only care to understand their twists on facts so that others can be protected from their misinformation.

      As you see, I engaged Nicol last year, at his request, and saw him disengage when facts became uncomfortable for him. Similar happened with dear First Viscount Monckton of Blenchley a year before that -- he was even less technically astute, but getting $ from Fox, etc. The humorous part for me was that after alleging that so little CO2 in air could have no effect, he then was flummoxed out of sight by my offer to find a bank that he could move his accounts to that paid 400/280 more interest.

      The goal is not to change the minds of the devious, but to buttress facts that allow others to rise above the banality.

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    13. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Alex Cannara

      And while we (I waste time with deniers as well) think we are doing good, we don't tackle the real issues or educate those who accept the science about our true predicament.

      Australia now has an illusion that with the carbon tax we are tackling climate change. Labor has made clear that they have no intention of going further.

      What is the future climate impact of continuing with our current reduction plans?

      Is this acceptable?

      With all the debate about what is likely, what are the less…

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    14. Glenn Tamblyn

      Mechanical Engineer, Director

      In reply to John Nicol

      John

      "There is also the clear observations from NASA, GSS, HADCRUT that the earth has cooled very slightl;y in the last 16 years. How on earth, pardon the pun, does that translate into asn expectation that this most recent event is caused by Global Warming."

      Actually John, THE EARTH hasn't cooled in the last16 years. Maybe the ATMOSPHERE has, depending on how well you cherry-pick the start and end points. But heating of the atmosphere is only a small part of the heat being added to THE EARTH…

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    15. Glenn Tamblyn

      Mechanical Engineer, Director

      In reply to John Nicol

      John

      You, have been quite notably silent at replying to my email to you some time ago about the major flaws in Jack Barrett's statementsabout the GH effect and have never raised any comment or criticism of the two papers I referred you to - Edwards et al 1992 (one of the papers that the IPCC's estimates of the radiative forcing of CO2 is based on) and Conrath et al 1970, (one of the first and best tests of the agreement of theoretical vs observational data wrt the GH Effect).

      Should I take it then that you have no issues with any of them and that you now reject your previous statement that the idea of AGW is a 'farce'?

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    16. Tim Scanlon

      Debunker

      In reply to John Nicol

      John Nicol would deny the existence of his own mother if it didn't agree with his ideology.

      How many times has John come to a climate discussion with supposed factual statements that take one Google Scholar search to debunk.
      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/10/10/1209542109 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7198/full/nature07080.html http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v470/n7334/full/nature09762.html http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v470/n7334/full/nature09763.html http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110907/full/477148a.html

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    17. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Alex Cannara

      I survived the Canberra bushfires and the devastating Europe floods in Switzerland...some didn't though.

      It wasn't climate change that burn't down part of Canberra but urban sprawl versus deforestation management and lack of backburning effort. The weather was the same as plenty of previous summer days in Canberra's history.

      Floods in the Alps larger than the one I witnessed first hand have also transpired before and will happen again with or without human influence.

      The only reason infracstructure and human statistics are often higher than previous events are because both are more widespread than ever before not because of any intensity increase caused by humans on the climate.

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    18. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      Wade - Are you really this ignorant about climate change or are you just trolling?

      Who has ever suggested (apart from you) that before we started to feel the effects of human induced climate change that there were no bush fires, floods, hurricanes, big storms, etc?

      Your straw man is very badly put together.

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    19. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike,

      The claim that "higher sea levels from global warming caused more flooding..." - a maximum increase of about a millimetre again does not inspire confidence in the reference you have given me nor again in the peer review system.

      BTW: Gergis, David Karoly et al recently had a paper accepted through this peer review process which has now been withdrawn because it was shown before publication to be totally wrong! Many other items in every field of research also have papers published after…

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    20. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Nicol

      I would have thought that posts such as the above would have done better on Crikey or The Drum because the readers of those forums would have less ability to spot the errors.

      So I do find it strange that the deniers on this forum sprout pseudo-science to make their posts look sensible but are doing so to an audience more likely to see that the post is just denialist rubbish.

      Perhaps a scientific rebuttal of the above might start of questioning his assumption that climate change will lead to…

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    21. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to John Nicol

      "Reviewers are often aware of the likelihood of the material published being wrong, but, quite correctly, publish it any way for the wider community to judge.

      Any one seriously working in the field does not need peer review anyway - they only need to see a pre-print of the paper and can decide its merit for themselves."

      John? As far as I know a reviewer does his best to evaluate what he reads, if he finds it wrong he sends it back, with annotations telling where and why. And those reviewing…

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    22. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      As for "Again, basic physics tells us that uniform warming of the earth is NOT going to lead to increased storms etc. It also tells us that a uniform increase of 0.7 K is not going to have much effect in a temperature regime of 288 K. "

      You sure you mean this John, or maybe you would like to rephrase it? The average taken of a worldwide temperature tells you nothing of the local variations, as you must know, discussing physics? And a few centigrades locally can make all the difference in the world to the weather.

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    23. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, good points. This is why I try to remind all of the histroy that intended to prevent what we now are committed to, at least in the USA.

      Our scientists of the 1950s & '60s were well aware that the Carbon Cycle was being overwhelmed and that we were wasting valuable fossil hydrocarbons via combustion power. This is why the goal in 1962 was to eliminate combustion power by 2000: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa Only to see the mistakes of the 1970s thwart part of the solution: http://tinyurl.com/73p7ler

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    24. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      "The only reason infracstructure and human statistics are often higher than previous events are because both are more widespread than ever before not because of any intensity increase caused by humans on the climate."

      Now there's a 'scientific' statement!
      ;]

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    25. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Nicol

      Again, John, you display your lack of science. "basic physics tells us that uniform warming of the earth is NOT going to lead to increased storms etc. It also tells us that a uniform increase of 0.7 K is not going to have much effect in a temperature regime of 288 K"

      The average, being what you hide in, means little, as others try to pioint out to you. average sea level, you certainly understand, means little, when the variations across earth's seas are measured in meters at any given instant.

      The key for storm strength is evaporation from near-equator waters. Those are now warmer and you should also realize what 628 Watt-Hours per pound of evaporated H2O means.

      Keep the long drawn-out attempts to appear knowledgeable coming, John. Your descendents will 'love' reading them in any transcripts they may sadly find.

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    26. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Yoron,

      Thank you for your comment and yes I accept that reviewers do try to throw out papers which are found to be deficient for good reason.

      However, the point I am making is that just because a paper gets through "peer" review, this does not make, it right. Nor can an internal laboratory report or a conference paper which is not subject to peer review, be dismissed as unworthy of consideration. If someone knows his/her subject, particularly in a very objective field such as physics, he/she…

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    27. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Glenn Tamblyn

      Glenn,

      I think it is a bit doubtful that the "earth can warm" while the atmosphere cools, since the temperature of the atmosphere depends VERY heavily on the temperature of the earth beneath it including the sea. There does not seem to be any thing to suggest that either the land or sea has warmed - no exceptional sea level rise, the land cools down to its usual equilibrium temperature every night, and warms during the day.

      I am not sure how your claims can be justified. I do not know on…

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    28. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      We have to remember, Mark, that John et al only have 2 things to hide under: "peer review" and natural climate variability.

      They carefully avoid facts, like satellite data, isotopic content of sea, air, ice cores, fossils...

      And they surely avoid understanding orbital and sunspot cycles.

      "The coward dies 1000 deaths."

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    29. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to John Nicol

      More totally incorrect rubbish from Mr Nicol.

      "What evidence is there that this "hasn't slowed in the slightest"?"

      There's this -
      http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/piomas1.gif

      and this
      http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_17/shifting.gif

      and this
      http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/#seaLevel

      and it ain;t the sun!
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/Solar_vs_Temp_basic.gif

      But in John Nicol's world apparently pixie dust is responsible for record Arctic ice loss over decades plus persistent increase in high temperature anomalies and continued sea level rise due to thermal expansion.

      Best to ignore his pseudo science rubbish posts

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    30. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to John Nicol

      "I know people here have already made statements indicating that the global temperature has risen since 1995, the latest and most complete output from the holders of the keys to climate, NASA, GSS and HADCRUT demonstrate NO such increase"

      Nicol is pathologically not capable of telling the truth: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1995/to:2012.67/plot/gistemp/from:1995/to:2012.67/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1995/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1995/trend

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    31. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,

      As you will know very well, the lines drawn in this diagram do NOT reppresent the same regression lin drawn by HADCRUT4 when the data itself was published. It is you who is not telling the truth!!

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    32. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Nicol has known for a year or more that the choice of 1995 is scientifically wrong, but convenient for he who avoids facts. Nicol has known that the effects of sunspot cycles, volcanism, El Nino, and CO2 increases exactly predict what was seen from 1995 to 2000.

      And, Nicol studiously avoided the bet I offered him -- the same one refused (wisely) by Monckton in 2009, that temp rises would resume.

      That bet has already been lost. But will Nicol then look back at the real data and science to model past decades of global temps? Of course not -- Nicol is not in this for the truth.

      A couple of updates for anyone else...

      USGS 3/2012 Suchanek...
      http://online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar/2012/mar12.html

      NASA update (2012)...
      http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/#seaIce

      See, I like the Nicols of the world, because they offer opportunities for truths to reach more people when their lies are exposed. Remember the bet you feared to take, John?

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    33. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to John Nicol

      "the lines drawn in this diagram do NOT reppresent the same regression lin drawn by HADCRUT4 when the data itself was published"

      OK, so you weren't telling the truth when you said:

      "the latest and most complete output from the holders of the keys to climate, NASA, GSS and HADCRUT demonstrate NO such increase"

      Thanks for confirming that you are pathologically not capable of telling the truth.

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    34. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Alex Cannara

      I note Alex that Mr Nicol is incapable of answering my simple challenges - just continues to obfuscate and deny

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    35. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      And so Nicol rides off into the sunset yet again, leaving behind his trail of untruths and lying low until the next opportunity arises for him to continue spreading his untruths.

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  6. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    "After the deluge, what hope the politics of climate response?"

    If the Heartland Institute had been headquartered in New York rather than Chicago, a roadblock to climate response would have been washed away.

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  7. Mike Marriott

    Library Manager

    Thank Nick, an interesting article with some very useful links to other materials.

    I was very interested in the Pew report on the increased investment in renewable sources: fascinating given how much some sections of the conservative press spend time waging "war on renewables". This data clearly contradicts the claims that renewables are not feasible. And I do find it sad that the barest mention of the words "climate change" brings out the sceptics (nee deniers) of science.

    Of course it is…

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  8. Stephen Connolly

    logged in via Facebook

    You don't need to be a mental giant to know that tipping unnaturally massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere cannot possibly be a good thing. Now, who wants to argue that point?

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    1. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Stephen Connolly

      Just FYI, the DePaolo group's geological evidence is that we've been tipping >30x the Carbon into air & sea each year than the carbonate-forming sea life and mountain erosion can handle.

      Seafloor limestone formation and subsequent subduction into the mantle are quite slow, even when events like the Tohoku quake move ~30 meters of seafloor into the depths on 11 March 2011.

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  9. Mark Harrigan

    PhD Physicist

    It's Global Warming Stupid!

    At least, that's what Bloomberg Business says on it's latest cover

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/11/01/1122241/bloomberg-businessweek-its-global-warming-stupid/?mobile=nc

    "Yes, yes, it’s unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change. Men and women in white lab coats tell us—and they’re right—that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all.

    Clarity, however, is not beyond reach."

    "The broadening consensus: “Climate change amps up other basic factors that contribute to big storms. For example, the oceans have warmed, providing more energy for storms. And the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, so it retains more moisture, which is drawn into storms and is then dumped on us.”

    But, as usual, deniers gotta deny - or refuse to even talk about it.

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    1. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Very true, Mark. But the deniers give themselves away as logical paupers because they cannot discuss the irrefutable emissions effects delineated by isotopic air & sea content. Nor can they hide the physical chemistry of seawater expansion because of temperature rise.

      However, when it comes time to collect reparations from them, they'll be very silent and incognito. Such are the future destinies of cowards.

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    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Alex Cannara

      Agree Alex - but you are being too favourable and kind. Logical paupery is forgiveable since it is amenable to reversal and redemption. Denialism is a form of deliberate logical insolvency - a form of misrepresentation that is knowingly harmful.

      Not a single denier on these pages or others can explain

      1) Record loss of Arctic Sea Ice - where is the heat coming from to do this if it isn't increased retention of heat from an increasing Greenhouse Effect?
      http://www.realclimate.org/images//nsidc.jpeg

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    3. Alex Cannara

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Yes indeed Mark, and I liked Glieck's expose that showed just how much shame we Yanks must bear for Heartland, American Tradition, etc. emptying their troughs of claptrap onto poor Australia!

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    4. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Alex Cannara

      Not all, Alex, just some :) Alas Oz has more than it's share of organisations, pollies and others whose misrepresentations and actions (or inaction) on this matter are equally shameful.

      It's a global problem - and we are all in it together

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  10. Yoron Hamber

    Thinking

    Ahh, I'm afraid I'm a very negative person when it comes to international cooperation. And as I find selling and buying carbon rights a scam, more fitting to some pyramid lottery that to caring for any environmental sustainability? But as I'm also are expecting a continuing and accelerating warming world wide I have hopes for all countries to react, and force legislation inside their own borders. And from that we may see some world wide agreements too, in the end. the problem is when? And if arctics oil gets exploited, as well as other resources as methane? Heh, I won't be surprised if we postpone environmentalism again, and what that will lead too I don't know but I expect it to be catastrophic for the vast majority of mankind, not counting in all other flora and fauna depending on our choices of shortsightedness.

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  11. Arthur James Egleton Robey

    Industrial Electrician

    I attended the 17th International conference on Cold Fusion in Daejeon, Korea.
    Yes, it is real.
    Yes, it is repeatable.
    Yes, we do have a testable hypothesis for the phenomenon.
    Yes, there are cold fusion products being brought to market.
    Yes, you were lied to by Big Oil and Big Carbon and Big science and
    No. Australia hasn't got a clue.
    http://lenr-canr.org/

    Dying in the midst of plenty. Stupid humans.

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  12. John Nicol

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    Responses to the Deluge form people such as Matthew England and others from our Climate Commission, often omit to include some important facts, matters from history and from those closest to the action:

    AUSTRALIA’S Climate Commission has misrepresented data from the leading US meteorological bureau to highlight a link between climate change and the severity of Superstorm Sandy which this week crippled New York.
    In a statement on the disaster that hit North America on Monday, the federal government-sponsored…

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  13. Trevor S

    Jack of all Trades

    I happen to agree with Wade conceptually. I have accepted the Science, this means you have to do something .. NOW. I do think it's too late to make changes but that doesn't mean I shouldn't at least try. Look at the nonsense here, people saying "why don't Government do something" while they slap a few LED globes in their house and drive their kids to soccer practice across town. Would you vote for the candidate that puts an $300 /t tax on CO2, no offsets... reduces GDP by 50% and sends unemployment…

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