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And what if nothing happens at Durban?

DURBAN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: Progress towards a binding international agreement on targets to tackle global warming has been more than glacial. Yet despite growing alarm among the climate science…

No new climate dawn at Durban? It’s not the end of the world. Andrew Roos

DURBAN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: Progress towards a binding international agreement on targets to tackle global warming has been more than glacial. Yet despite growing alarm among the climate science community, the UN climate conference, which begins in Durban this week, will fail to deliver any breakthrough. Indeed, many predict there won’t be any real progress until 2015 at the earliest.

Let’s recap.

In 2009 in Copenhagen, parties to the UN Climate Change treaty (UNFCCC) agreed to aspire to limit global warming to below 2ºC. But, crucially, those parties failed to agree on binding global and national mitigation targets for 2020 and 2050. Instead, as a fall-back, individual states nominated their own voluntary national targets, which were subsequently confirmed at Cancun in 2010.

The major sticking point is entrenched disagreement between developed and developing countries about the future of the Kyoto Protocol, and China’s and the United States’ jockeying for global economic supremacy.

The Kyoto Protocol’s modest but mandatory targets apply only to developed countries. They cover a first commitment period – from 2008-2012. When current commitments under the Protocol end in 2012, only voluntary national targets will remain.

The Protocol also established mechanisms for achieving these targets. these mechanisms include emissions trading, and measures for developing and exchanging carbon offsets between developed countries (the Joint Implementation Mechanism or JI), and between developed and developing countries (the Clean Development Mechanism or CDM). The architecture of these lucrative trading mechanisms is not under threat.

The United States has consistently refused to ratify the Protocol, insisting China and other major developing countries commit to binding targets (despite the Protocol and the Treaty requiring no such commitment). Attempts by President Obama and the Democrats to develop a more inclusive stratagem remain blocked by Congress. Without a shift in domestic political forces, real progress by the US on this issue is unlikely.

We don’t have to put all our eggs in the basket of an international agreement. COP 17

China – a trenchant supporter of the Protocol - has been equally stubborn in refusing to articulate a binding national target or agree to a global 2050 emissions target (while accelerating its domestic measures to slow its emissions growth).

Why does this matter? Recent reports indicate the chasm between climate science and climate policy is deepening. Despite the current economic crisis, global emissions have reached an all-time high, propelled by growth in energy use in major developing countries and consumption of manufactured goods produced there and then exported to developed countries.

The recently-released OECD’s Environmental Outlook 2012 suggests that, “without more ambitious policies than those in force today, GHG emissions will increase by another 50% by 2050, primarily driven by a projected 70% growth in CO₂ emissions from energy use”.

The OECD report projects that, without more ambitious policies, global average warming of at least 3ºC and up to 6ºC above the pre-industrial average is likely to occur by 2100. The voluntary national targets agreed upon at Cancun will deliver, at best, a “four degree world”.

International and Australian climate scientists, marine and terrestrial biologists, and agricultural scientists, consider such an outcome to be catastrophic for social, economic and ecological systems in Australia and the planet as a whole. They regard this as the critical decade for major mitigation effort.

What to do, then? Australia and Norway have jointly proposed, at Durban, a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol by 2015. It includes binding mitigation targets for both developed and (only) major developing countries, and processes for scaling up ambition over time. Whether China, India and Brazil would accommodate such a shift is highly uncertain.

Rather than waiting for an international agreement, we need alternatives. Perhaps we need to look for models of success and apply them closer to home – to enhance the mitigation actions of individual nations, or groups of countries, in our region.

For a decade, the European Union – driven by its leading states, Germany and the United Kingdom – has operated as a “carbon bubble” which has adopted ambitious aggregate targets and achieved significant emissions cuts through “burden sharing” among its members. This is perhaps a model and path for Australia.

A comparable near-Asia-Pacific “carbon bubble” – using investment, technology transfer, shared governance measures, and carbon trading – could greatly improve collective mitigation targets and outcomes. Australia’s own current target of -5% below 2000 levels is alarmingly inadequate by any measure. Our own domestic effort must increase regardless.

But with regional partners – including wealthy, developed New Zealand, the heavily forested developing states of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the climate-threatened Pacific Island states – Australia could help build a confident regional institution.

This way, we could produce even more significant cuts to emissions during this critical decade - and perhaps spawn similar bubbles elsewhere - rather than delaying action while waiting for an uncertain global negotiating outcome.

Join the conversation

65 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

  1. rob alan

    IT Tech

    Govts work for masters other than the people we know that. The citizenship Vs dueling dictatorship in our case. To expect anything but a stall process in corporate political belief system operations is I think naive.

    Feel strongly about being self sufficient and have some security in life plus earning a little backup income wont devalue like raw currency, go alt power.

    Power costs will never go down. We know that to. Last to install will be paying through the nose coming decade no matter which corporate supply type takes hold.

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  2. Bruce Moon

    Bystander!

    Like James Sexton, 'so what'. But, I suggest the adoption of the carbon tax is beneficial for other reasons. And, hence, Durban may not really matter.

    Back in the 80's, as an environmental science researcher at a Brisbane Uni, I 'bought' the Greenhouse Gas dilemma argument. As a committed advocate, I tried to convince all those who (I believed) were ill-informed.

    More recently, I've questioned the veracity of the 'global warming' science, and adopted the view that rising temperatures are the…

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    1. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to James Sexton

      Skeptical Science's article on solar activity provides links to 16 peer reviewed science articles.

      Your response links to 2 denier blogs.

      Who is being dishonest?

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    2. Stephen Prowse

      Research Advisor

      In reply to Bruce Moon

      I also tend to think that not much will come from Durban and we are looking at the carbon tax too narrowly. It looks quite different if it is seen as a small step towards making our lifestyle more sustainable; something that is long overdue. We will not be leaving much for our children if we do also not tackle some of the other big sustainability issues such as food security, energy security, biodiversity, water use, land use, population density etc. Even if AGW is not shown to be correct, a more diverse supply of energy will be beneficial.

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    3. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike, read the information in the links I provided. In spite of your beliefs, I deal with facts. Putting your fingers in your ears screaming "I can't hear you" doesn't make these facts go away.

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    4. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      And to answer your question about who is being dishonest, firstly, my examples show that SS is being dishonest and has been for quite some time. Secondly, you would be intellectually dishonest if you refuse to view and consider the several facts I've presented..... removed or not, you know and I know those were facts that I did present, and there is no amount of censorship or hand-waving that makes them go away.

      Want to see how temps have been correlating with CO2?
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/scale:75/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend/scale:75/plot/esrl-co2/from:2001/offset:-335/plot/esrl-co2/from:2001/trend/offset:-335

      lol, Maybe the CO2 has an automatic resting period before it decides to absorb and release the IR energy that's constantly out-flowing from the earth. Or, perhaps what is more likely is that even Schmittner is overestimating the sensitivity.

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    5. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      By the way, Mike, you needn't worry about my honesty or the fact that this place censors discussions....... I've immortalize even your errant characterization of my comments in their entirety..... http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/the-conversation-is-actively-engaged-in-censoring-a-discussion/

      You see, unlike alarmists such as you and the people moderating this page and the people at SS, I'm not afraid to give people an open and honest view and dialogue. It is the ultimate of intellectual cowardice to attempt to silence dissent.

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    6. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      I could have, but then that may cause people to believe correlation is equal to causation, and us believers in science know that not to be true, right? Besides, the linear trend on the graph for the CO2 belies its exponential increase. And if you're going to compare trends, you should move your trend bar up a bit.(subtract less) to where the start points are closer for proper comparison. .... I'd suggest a -328 offset, this would better illustrate the divergence occurring that I pointed out, though…

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    7. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to James Sexton

      James Sexton is demonstrating a number of misconceptions that appear in the climate debate.

      Firstly, there is the mistaken assumption that anthropogenic greenhouse gases will produce a constant increase in temperature without noise. Instead, natural variablity is expected to be superimposed on top of the long-term increasing trend.

      Secondly, there is the flawed assumption that temperature is a simple function of CO2. This is equivalent to assuming a pot of water will boil the very instant you turn your stove on. Increasing CO2 will lead to a gradual increase in temperature (with natural variability superimposed) until a new equalibirum temperature is reached.

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    8. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Bruce Moon

      Gday Bruce, while you were an environmental science researcher at a Brisbane Uni, I was doing Physical Chemistry in Sydney. That, plus a bit of follow-up reading and thinking, allowed me to figure out a mechanism by which greenhouse gases regulate temperature.

      Earth is warmed by absorbtion of short wave sunlight. Because of this, Earth's temperature can remain unchanged by returning the same amount of energy to space. That is, solar shortwave energy is balanced by the earth re-radiating to…

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    9. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to James Sexton

      James Sexton wonders why temperatures aren't monotonically increasing in response to monotonic increases in atmospheric CO2, and can refer to a lot of Denialist blogs.

      What he doesn't do is acknowledge the influences of
      1. Fluctuations in ocean current flows. 85-90% of retained heat is taken up by the oceans, which then redistribute it according to time-varying currents.
      2. Accelerating ice-cap melting, which absorbs heat without temperature rise.
      3. Air pollution, which decreased after concerns about acid rain caused the industrialised West to desulfurise its smokestack emissions from the late 1970's, and further decreased after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990's, and substantially increased after the industrial takeoff of China in the 2000's.

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    10. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to James Sexton

      Thanks for this, Peter Christoff.

      Me, I'm not too worried about prospective failure at Durban; in fact, I'd rather that the Durban talks fail. This is because if the Durban talks succeed, then there is a chance that "cap-and-trade" schemes will be the default mechanism for decreasing CO2 emissions.

      I have been strongly critical of "cap-and-trade" (aka "help a struggling investment banker") schemes ever since I first heard Tony Blair tell us how good they are.

      Instead, all we need are great…

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    11. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      I didn't say noise isn't to be expected. It is. But, 15yrs, after a 10% increase of CO2 would suggest something considerably different than just witnessing noise.

      As to your second paragraph, no, I'm not stating temps are a function of CO2, alarmists are. So, explain, if you can, why increasing the CO2 by 10% would gradually instead of immediately increase temps.

      Increasing atmospheric CO2 would have an immediate impact on temps. There is a constant outflow of IR energy from the earth, correct? CO2 absorbs certain spectra of the IR and the emits it omnidirectional. There isn't no delay in what I've just described.

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    12. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to David Arthur

      So, the earth doesn't constantly emit IR energy? David, you did an outstanding job of waltzing around the elephant in the room. The ice cap melt isn't accelerating. It hasn't in over 4 years. If you could be so kind, explain the same I posed to our friend Michael........Increasing atmospheric CO2 would have an immediate impact on temps. There is a constant outflow of IR energy from the earth, correct? CO2 absorbs certain spectra of the IR and the emits it omnidirectional. There isn't no delay in what I've just described.

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    13. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to David Arthur

      I thought the posit that China saved us from CAGW by their pollution deserved a different reply...... and I thought the best response would be to just reiterate your posit.

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    14. James Sexton

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Arthur

      BTW, David, you brought up a good point about the oceans sucking up all of the heat. Of course, this idea has been batted around a bit. During this conversation, I've present a few graphs with 2 separate time periods. So, I decided to investigate the ocean heat. Here is the SSTs containing the time periods I've referenced. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.25/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.25/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2001/trend

      Now, unless your in the Trenberth camp, positing that the heat changed properties and floated to the depths of the oceans, so as not to be able to be detected, and inverted its thermal expansion properties, we see that the oceans are not taking up an inordinate amount of the heat. In fact, they're trending almost exactly like the global temps.....

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    15. James Sexton

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to James Sexton

      Grammar correction..... "There is no delay in what I described."

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    16. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to James Sexton

      If one looks at the temperature record, one clearly sees natural variability on time scales of a decade or less. One can thus not draw meaningful conclusions from plots just showing ten years of data.

      While CO2 has an immediate impact on infrared radiation leaving the Earth, this starts to increase the temperature rather than instantly raising the temperature to a new equalibrium temperature. Turning on the stove and waiting a while for a pot of water to boil is reasonable analogy.

      It can be many years before the new equalibrium temperature is reached. For example, http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-10-4.html shows temperature increasing many years after CO2 levels have stabilised.

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    17. James Sexton

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Michael, the boiling water is an entirely different mechanism. But, I'll play along.......While it would take time for the water to come to a boil, once the fire is put to the pot, the temps of the pot and the water immediately start to increase.

      Again, you're not answering the question. How does one explain the lack of warming given the dramatic rise (exponential) in atmospheric CO2. We're talking IR, the speed of light. The immediate absorption and then re-emitting of the energy.

      So, ok with the 10 years.... I disagree, but, I'll leave that be for the time being. What do you say about the nearly 15 year time frame I've shown? (Will be 15 years in March)

      I appreciate the link, but I prefer empirical evidence and not some computer games which their validity is in serious question in the light of the most recent study of climate sensitivity.

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    18. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      James - even if they take the last 60 years the linear trend is 0.10 deg.C pe decade which extrapolates to 2100. There is no evidence of any increasing gradient in that period, yet it corresponds with when CO2 started to increase significantly after 1951.

      Hence there is no valid way of extrapolating that trend, curved or linear, to get anywhere near 3 degrees extra by 2100.

      hence "sensitivity" is much lower than models predict, which is proven anyway by those 9 authors who showed the rate of increase…

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    19. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Thanks Doug, I saw your posit if this earlier and I'm giving it a good go around. I've been trying to poke holes in is, but am having a difficult time.

      Assuming this is true, and staying consistent with the topic of these climate summits,...... in order for Copenhagen to be successful, the Durban conference can pledge to do nothing about CO2 and the temps won't rise by 2 degrees.

      Of course, that won't satisfy many people's urge to do something, anything, to avoid this imaginary catastrophe. Humans are built for action. We are conditioned to fix things, to make things better. So much so, we seek out things to fix. Our climate is not immune to this dynamic.

      Again, I don't believe anything will come of this gathering. Given Canada's announcement, Europe's financial condition, the U.S. reluctance, and China's ignoring. I'm really interested in what some people believe what accord could come of this and what possible effect it could have on future summits such as this.

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    20. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Nice site Doug. You should open it up for comments. Though, it does consume much of a person's time. You are more than welcome, as is anyone, to come to mine and comment about the various subjects covered. Aussies, be they alarmists, skeptics, or luke warmers, tend to have a unique view to various issues, which is appreciated in sites such as mine. http://suyts.wordpress.com/

      Perhaps I'll write a post considering what may come of the Durban summit.

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    21. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to James Sexton

      1. The surface of the ocean is not thermally isolated from greater depths. Heat transfer is non-zero.

      2. the surface of the ocean is not thermally isolated from polar regions. Heat transfer is non-zero.

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    22. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to James Sexton

      The assertion "... the ice cap melt isn't accelerating" is incorrect (refer Rignot et al, "Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to sea level rise", Geophysical Res Lett 2011.

      Regarding constant outflow of IR, recall that IR doesn't leave the surface, and go straight to space. If that were the case, the earth would have a climate similar to the moon. What happens is, radiative transfer (IR) dominates heat escape from the earth only above whatever altitude above which the remaining atmosphere is of low enough density as to be optically transparent.

      Below that altitude, heat transfer is via conduction and convection as well as radiative transfer, and the latter mode decreases in significance as the surface is approached. That is, a greater proportion of heat is transferred according to Fourier's law

      Q = (kA).(dT/dy)

      Coefficient (kA) is a heat conductivity term: as (kA) decreases due to increased [CO2], dT/dy must increase.

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    23. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      "Below that altitude, heat transfer is via conduction and convection as well as radiative transfer, and the latter mode decreases in significance as the surface is approached."

      A good point David which I too have been making all along. There has to be more conduction (diffusion) between the surface and the atmosphere because otherwise we would not get the observed thermal equilibrium. Radiation does not carry temperature information - you do not get as hot as the sun itself just by standing in…

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    24. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Thanks Doug. My remarks about convection and conduction relative to radiative transfer are of minor relevance to sunlight, because the bulk of incoming solar radiation is at wavelengths too short for interaction with atmospheric gas molecules (other than scattering, which gives us a blue daytime sky).

      With respect, I see a problem with your understanding of outgoing energy transfer; O2 and N2 do not interact with outgoing thermal radiation, other than thermal equilibrium. GH gas molecules DO interact (absorb) outgoing energy, thereby retarding its passage.

      What's more, the GH gases do this at altitudes above what I call optical transparency, ie the altitude beyond which radiative transfer is the predominant mode. This is why we observe the absorbtion spectra of GH species in radiation leaving earth, in fact that's what causes what's known as Anthropogenic Global Warming.

      I hope this helps.

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    25. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Of course "O2 and N2 do not interact with outgoing thermal radiation" - I have stressed that very fact at http://climate-change-theory.com

      They acquire thermal energy by diffusion (molecular collision) with the warmer surface (which was warmed by both direct SW radiation and IR "back radiation" from GHG molecules.) They then rise by convection but are unable to shed their thermal energy by radiation as you agree. So how do they cool?

      That is the question in my 11/11/11 challenge (linked at the top of my Home page) which no one on The Con has answered satisfactorily. Be the first!

      I say the answer is that they collide with cooler GHG molecules, transferring thermal energy by diffusion so that these GHG molecules then act as "conduit" channelling the energy out of the atmosphere by radiation. Thus CO2 also has a cooling effect which could roughly cancel out its GH warming effect. Tell me any other way.

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    26. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      "hey then rise by convection but are unable to shed their thermal energy by radiation as you agree" I take grievious offence at your suggestion that I agree with your stupidity.

      I have referred you, in another discussion, to the wikipedia article on Kinetic Theory of Gases. I suggest you revise your Year 11 Chemistry, since at the moment you're looking like a 'F'.

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    27. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      I didn't say oxygen and nitrogen interact with outgoing IR radiation. Basic quantum mechanics dictates that they don't.

      My full explanation is at http://climate-change-theory.com but, briefly, they acquire thermal energy by diffusion from the surface and also (according to those energy diagrams) play a part in the 23% of incoming radiation which NASA says is "absorbed by the atmosphere." See NASA diagram here http://earth-climate.com/CaseAgainst.html

      Oxygen and nitrogen cannot themselves…

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    28. Tim Scanlon

      Author and Scientist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Not one peer reviewed piece of evidence to support your claims of SkS errors. Whereas SkS is based entirely around the peer reviewed literature. Doug I have a rock that keeps away tigers I want to sell you.

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  3. James Sexton

    Network administrator

    Are you kidding me? What, specifically, was wrong with my prior comments? This is outrageous. Is the a place for a conversation or is this simply a parroting mechanism for alarmists?

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    1. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to James Sexton

      lol, some people take the time to give me a minus point for pointing out that I'm being censored here. And I'm "unconstructive"? Are you people advocating censorship? Or are we afraid of a frank and factual discussion?

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  4. James Sexton

    Network administrator

    Well, I guess we can put this site down as being on par with the rest of the alarmist sites. They simply refuse to look at reality. Its really very sad. It should be renamed "THE ONE-SIDED CONVERSATION."

    This is the third time on different threads that my comments have been deleted for no cause. It's a small wonder why the Carbon Tax got passed here. Censorship is the method approved by your government, journalists, and academics. State sponsored censorship...... now where has that happened before?

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    1. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to James Sexton

      Exactly, James. Thanks for your comment on my sites http://climate-change-theory.com and http://earth-climate.com

      Your site looks good too - you're welcome to include any of my ideas which I've also been sharing with Roy Spencer.

      Roy strikes me as one who is starting to change his views. It's usually those who do so who have really thought about the issues. Dr Harrigan doesn't think - he just reads the standard stuff and quotes it as though none of us have ever read it and decided it was wrong. So he needs to "teach" us all. But then he's a "climate Consultant" with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo so he can keep consulting to local councils etc about how to cut their emissions - as you'll see on his website.

      Feel free to email me dougcotton@live.com.au anyone

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    2. Theo van den Berg

      IT consultant and trainee farmer

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Come'on Doug and James, haven't you got anything better to do then to thwart those who attempting to solve a serious crisis for humanity ? I wouldn't even visit your sites considering you both have absolutely no qualifications in the topic discussed here. Yes, it could be an illusion, but I can think of many large groups of people who live their whole live in fantasy land. Do you pester them too ?
      Like you, I am an IT geek and it is best if we stuck to geeking instead of pretending to know it all. Could do some actual IT work instead maybe ?

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    3. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Theo van den Berg

      The reason I discuss the PHYSICS of the atmosphere is because, unlike many "climate scientists" who think there is such a thing as "Ocean Heat Content" for example, I do have qualifications and, more importantly, several further decades of both study and private tutoring in Physics. Tell me about what you know of physics. Tell me why you perhaps think heat transfer theory and quantum mechanics might not be relevant.

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    4. Theo van den Berg

      IT consultant and trainee farmer

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      and what has all that got to do with the TITLE of this article. Is that the same sound logic, you use in your work ? It is such a pitty, that we are such civilised people, otherwise . . .

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    5. Theo van den Berg

      IT consultant and trainee farmer

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      and . . . a simple Google on our Mr Cotton shows that he has reworded his qualifications many times in his TheConversation profile. How about going back to 3284 ?

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    6. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Theo van den Berg

      Theo said, " Like you, I am an IT geek and it is best if we stuck to geeking instead of pretending to know it all. Could do some actual IT work instead maybe?"

      Theo, I implore you to look at the data, view the problems and then understand that much of the controversy is because the climatologists don't have the damned sense to hire an appropriate DB manager. In fact, I don't believe they've ever heard of a database program. I kid you not, most of the data is in simple txt. files. Don't presume…

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  5. Phillip Lawrence

    PhD Scholar at University of Sydney

    I share Christoff's fear that at the conclusion of Durban the world will be no closer to an international response to the effect of looming catastrophic climate. And I share Rod Alan's assertion that gov around the world have other masters that am be internal or external. The point is each time the international forum occurs it really only serves to stall any international agreement making the next scheduled summit an even more impossible target needs to be set.
    It is interesting to listen to various spokespeople at the past conferences and google to see what their day jobs were. The influence of American based corporations behind the scenes at the these "events" is a worrying development. No wonder the developing world hasn't got a hope.
    A regional carbon bubble is a wonderful idea. The challenge is how to balance our extreme level of affluence while leading poorer nations to address carbon emissions in our region.

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  6. Bruce Moon

    Bystander!

    I am really saddened to read the various comments from James Sexton regarding the removal of his initial contribution.

    While James' originating contribution was quite tangential to the content of Peter Christoff's article, I thought it offered one reason to explain the assumed lack of progress / outcome at Durban

    The reason I am saddened is that the 'moderator' has not only removed James' contribution, but also the almost 'flaming' replies it garnered. I felt the best option would have been for…

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    1. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Bruce Moon

      Bruce, I thank you for the comment. I really can't say why my original comment was removed. I have seen several threads that had tangential discussions to the original article here at "The Conversation". When these things happen on individual blogs, I simply write it off as it is their blog and their right to do what they will with it. But, I think this place could be viewed differently, in that it is my impression that the public has an investment in it.

      Of course, I didn't think my comment tangential, for the reasons you noted. I honestly don't believe there will be much to come out of Durban. In fact, there really hasn't been much since Kyoto. As the author noted, Copenhagen really didn't have anything but a casual agreement to do something. Cancun produced absolutely nothing. Now contrast that to the recent events in the climate discussion and odds are, nothing will happen.

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  7. Tim Scanlon

    Author and Scientist

    I don't think much will come of Durban, simply because there is a lack of political will and a lack of public pressure for politicians to have political will.

    The science says we need to do something. The people say we need to do something (unless you are a denier, but they would have us reject gravity as only a theory too). Most world organisations recognise we need to do something. A lot of companies are already doing something. A lot of countries are already doing something. This should be a no-brainer.

    About time some of these supposed leaders showed some balls and stopped climate change.

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    1. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Tim Scanlon

      Do you have peer-reviewed evidence that "deniers" "would have us reject gravity as only a theory too." ???

      You and Dr H should remember me when you get macular degeneration and the evidence keeps growing that zeaxanthin and lutein could have prevented it.
      http://theconversation.edu.au/mondays-medical-myth-reading-in-dim-light-ruins-your-eyesight-3149

      Remember me too when you get prostate cancer, have a radical prostatectomy and can no longer experience erections or ejaculation, to say nothing…

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    2. Chris Plant

      Engineer

      In reply to Tim Scanlon

      Tim,

      You sound like that fool Mike Carlton on Q&A., trying 'prove' gravity.

      You obviously haven't heard of Einstein's General Theory of relativity.

      No doubt you are equally ignorant of the laws of thermodymanics.

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    3. Tim Scanlon

      Author and Scientist

      In reply to Chris Plant

      Yes Chris, as a scientist, I've never heard of the single most popular, and oft quoted, scientific finding of the past 100 years. And clearly my science training never, ever covered any basic fundamentals, like the laws of thermodynamics. [end sarcasm]

      My reference was to the denial movement and comments that were made about how scientific theories can't be taken as fact. This has been subsequently satirized by scientists by using the gravity example. If you are not familiar with this then you are clearly not understanding my point and instead wanting to create a strawman.

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    4. Tim Scanlon

      Author and Scientist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug, all the money I will have saved not buying unproven pseudoscientific pills that do nothing, will be used to fund any medical treatment I need in the future. You, on the other hand, will have wasted so much time and money on placebos that your beach side residence, which has been engulfed by rising seas, would have been the only way to pay for your operations. Pity.

      Don't worry, when I'm ultimately proven correct, when the last 5% of probability unaccounted for on climate change is understood, then I won't gloat too much.

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    5. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Tim Scanlon

      And you will age more quickly than you need to. I'm happy to pay for extra years of healthy life with less risk of chronic disease.
      http://slower-aging.com

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    6. Tim Scanlon

      Author and Scientist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Another link to another one of your sites. Wow. Doug Cotton: The perennial self promoter.

      Dyed hair aside, you actually look older than my dad and my uncle, who are both older than you. Given how much both drink, and how many years they have spent in the sun, it is amazing that you would make any claims to slower aging.

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  8. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    The "growing alarm" is probably more to do with how they are going to face the world and admit they were wrong about the warming.

    The lower troposphere is warming slower than sea surface these last 32 years, when in fact, for the models to be correct, it should be warming 1.4 times faster.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/2/9/2148/pdf

    About 23% of incoming solar radiation is absorbed into the atmosphere (according to NASA energy diagrams) which means most of it is trapped by oxygen and nitrogen…

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    1. Tim Scanlon

      Author and Scientist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug, you are still wrong on this. I posted the journal papers that covered the troposphere work, did you not read them?

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    2. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Tim Scanlon

      They do not negate the study done by those nine authors in 2010 - sorry.

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    3. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Tim Scanlon

      You have only to look at the trend in lower troposphere data to see that the paper I cited above is more than likely correct. The rate of increase is obviously not 1.4 times the rate of increase at sea surface.
      http://theconversation.homestead.com/latest.jpg

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  9. Jane Rawson

    Editor, Energy & Environment at The Conversation

    Hi everyone, can you please try to stay on topic. The topic is Durban, climate agreements and what other measures might be taken if no agreement is reached. The reason we remove off-topic posts is they stop people discussing the content of the article. There are plenty of articles that discuss modelling of climate change, so please feel free to take your discussion of the intricacies of measurement to one of those topics, where they will be able to grow and flourish. Thanks.

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    1. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Jane Rawson

      Jane, I thank you for that half acknowledgment, at least. However, as has been alluded to earlier, I believe that current events are entirely relevant to what is to occur at Durban. I suppose reasonable people can disagree......

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Jane Rawson

      "The reason we remove off-topic posts is they stop people discussing the content of the article."

      I agree - could you please apply this policy with consistent vigour.

      For people who are interested in climate change, it is very annoying having to repeatedly step over off-topic comments cut and paste from previous threads with arguments that were rebutted with patience 6 months ago.

      Is it possible to provide the serial offenders a sandpit where they can cut and paste to their heart's content. That way readers can choose to be bored to death rather than have it inflicted on them.

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    3. Tim Scanlon

      Author and Scientist

      In reply to Jane Rawson

      Thanks for your efforts Jane. I agree with Mike.

      Most of the discussion here has zero to do with the article, especially comments by James Sexton.

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  10. Theo van den Berg

    IT consultant and trainee farmer

    Now that James Sexton has had his say, maybe some others can join this conversation.

    I doubt that you would invite your neighbours again, if they insist on smoking cigars in your house and if their dogs keep doing their business on your carpet.

    Very unlikely for any useful global agreement in Durban with Canada pulling out of their Kyoto commitments, Cameron doing the shifty on the Oil Sands and the US . . . ah, well

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  11. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    Hopefully at Durban there will be some discussion of the latest climate information and perhaps the Climategate emails.

    There can be little wonder that concern was expressed in the Climategate emails about the slow rate of warming. As there appears to be some pattern of 30 years of natural cooling followed by 30 years of natural warming which appears to repeat roughly every 60 years, it is appropriate to take a trend over the last 60 years from November 1951. This should be long enough to satisfy…

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