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Broken record acts as wake-up call

For the first time in five million years the earth’s atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is about to rise above 400 parts per million (ppm).

UQ Global Change Institute Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg’s research has found marine ecosystems will be affected adversely if atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise to more than 80% above pre-industrial levels. The milestone is an important “wake-up call for policy-makers” to deal with rapid anthropogenic global climate change.

Citing an IPCC analysis, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg says that lowering GDP growth by 0.12% a year over the next 50 years, or losing one year of growth out of 50, is all that is required to reduce emissions to avoid the 450ppm or 2 degrees celcius guardrail suggested by climate scientists.

Read more at University of Queensland

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24 Comments sorted by

  1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

    Thanks for bringing our attention to this significant milestone, and including the economic reality that it is very feasible to prevent climate change.

    If this thread becomes the typical climate change debate on the conversation then we can expect many comments denying the threat of climate change, or saying that it is too expensive to tackle.

    Those who accept the science will write thorough rebuttals - even though they have not yet changed the mind of a single denier.

    And perhaps a few…

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    1. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Thanks Michael.

      As we have discussed elsewhere, leaving it in the hands of the finance sector through emission trading schemes is a recipe for failure; John Keane's contribution to these pages "A Short History of Banks and Democracy" (https://theconversation.com/a-short-history-of-banks-and-democracy-11991) provides an excellent background to noting that there has never been public debate on the optimal technique for completely pricing fossil fuel use out of all economies.

      Indeed, ever since…

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    2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      David - I note that you have made no comment as to how to get action to prevent climate change to happen.

      Yes, it is clear that you are strongly opposed to an ETS. But we now have a carbon tax, and it is now looking like Abbott might be able to win control of the Senate after the next election which will enable him to remove this TAX.

      I fear that your passion against an ETS is so strong that you will be pleased if I can do this.

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    3. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Thanks Michael, we can either get

      a) stupid action on climate change to happen, by impoverishing everybody in the world except for the finance sector, or

      b) we can take no action on climate change until the climate has changed so severely that any and all remaining people demand action (this will have the side benefit of exposing the lies of climate Denialists in all their Murdochian guises), or

      c) introduce a REVENUE-NEUTRAL consumption tax on fossil fuel (FFCT). Not only will voters…

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      David - I did NOT read most of your post - I don't see the point.

      Anyone who shares your view that an ETS is will just lead to "impoverishing everybody in the world except for the finance sector" will not listen to me.

      And anyone who thinks that an ETS is the best solution, or (like me) that an ETS is not optimum but that it is far better than nothing, will by now be ignoring you.

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    5. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      The point of most of my post is, for the last couple of decades, a whole lot of suits saw in climate change an opportunity to make lots of money.

      Now, they are clueless about climate science - I'm pretty sure by now that applies to you also, but they've been racing around the world telling everyone that it's a problem, and we all have to sign up to what they want now. No wonder people smell rats.

      Now, if these shiny-suited creeps were serious about the issue, they'd have begun by shutting…

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    6. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "David - I did NOT read most of your post - I don't see the point."

      That's a bit of a shame, Michael, since my post partially outlined how I would achieve a consensus on climate action, in accordance with your request in your previous post ... or was that a purely rhetorical gesture?

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    7. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      OK - just read it.

      While you say "the political Parties have kept themselves resolutely clueless about climate science" I think that if you read the long interview with Milne published by The Conversation you will see that she has the big scientific picture.

      A public education campaign would be part of any solution.

      But the scientists, even via The Conversation have been trying to educate the public. The IPCC is trying to educate the world. The conservation groups have been working on this.

      So who is going to do an education campaign that finally is effective? If not the party in power, who will fund it?

      How do we convince the party in power to agree on a good policy which they can then educate people about?

      And just as the pro-nuclear people here seem to think that it would be trivial to get everyone to support nuclear, I don't think it would be easy to convince most people that an ETS is as bad as you make out.

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    8. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Thanks MIchael. If "big picture" means that Senator Milne understands that the upper acceptable bound for atmospheric CO2 is 350 ppm, then she is part-way to an understanding, and is streets ahead of anything I've ever heard out of the LibLab Party.

      In the interview, she seems to accept that a 450 ppm world is somehow acceptable. Regrettably, the science already tells us that this is not so.

      You see, if the earth was to remain with an atmosphere at 400 ppm, the earth would continue retaining…

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    9. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Please note that the word "retaining" in the third paragraph should be replaced with the word "accumulating".

      The paragraph should read "You see, if the earth was to remain with an atmosphere at 400 ppm, the earth would continue accumulating heat for some centuries without the much by way of air temperature increase: instead, heat would continue to be stored in oceans and in melting ice and permafrost."

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  2. Peter Lang

    Retired geologist and engineer

    The question is, does it matter? What are the costs and benefits? What is the net cost and net benefit. If there is projected to be a net cost, when is that projected to happen.

    Bjorn Lomborg, Professor Richard Tol project that, based on IPCC AR4 emissions and temperature projections and the latest info on impacts, warming will be net beneficial to about 2070: http://www.lomborg.com/sites/default/files/Congress_testimony_April_2013_3.pdf

    Given this, we certainly cannot justify economically damaging policies like carbon tax and ETS and renewable energy targets (with subsidies and higher energy prices).

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Peter Lang - Using Bjorn Lomborg as a reference clearly shows where you sit on climate change - effectively you are a denier who ignores the evidence.

      Stern, Garnaut, and more show that economically it is worth it.

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    2. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Peter Lang

      MWH,

      What is the point of using pejorative comments like "denier"

      My reaction is you are just a dummy. You have a belief in doomsday. So what. Nothing new about that. Humans have held such beliefs for hundreds of thousands of years.

      Your CAGW doomsday dogma is irrelevant. Grow up.

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    3. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Peter Lang

      MWH,

      Just to make the point a different way, I'll rephrase your sentence for you:

      "MWH - Using Stern and Garnaut as a reference clearly shows where you sit on climate change - effectively you are a doomsayer who ignores the evidence."

      There. That's better.

      I did this to try to show you that no constructive conversation is possible if you, and those of your ilk, continually resort to name-calling, abuse, pejorative comments, obfuscation, avoidance, misrepresentation, dishonesty and the rest of the tricks many of you use in discussions.

      You might be interested to read: "10 signs of intellectual honesty" and "10 signs of intellectual dishonesty" http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/. You and many others of your ideological persuasion practice intellectual dishonesty much of the time.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Peter Lang

      A skeptic is someone who asks questions, and based on the answers makes a rational decision.

      A denier is someone who ignores the evidence and sticks to their view no-matter-what.

      Given your posts on The Conversation I think that calling you a 'denier' is not pejorative but an accurate description of your responses to the conversation.

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    5. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Thanks for putting it so clearly.

      Anyone who believes that the IPCC reports, and Stern and Garnaut are all incompetent or liars is, to me, so devoid of any resemblance to rationality that I'll try to ignore all your future posts.

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    6. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      My understanding of the Lang position is as follows.
      1) Climate change is nothing more than a Communist scare campaign.
      2) The only possible solution to climate change is nuclear power.

      Try doing a cost-benefit analysis on the costs of large-scale losses of coastal infrastructure (everything below 8m altitude by 2200?) against the benefits of not losing everything below 8m altitude for at least a millenium.

      Try doing a cost-benefit analysis on the costs of southern Australia desertifying…

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    7. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Not much scientific understanding in either Stern or Garnaut, by the way. They're both economists, and Garnaut in particular had the riding instruction to not even mention any alternative to emission trading.

      Here's some science. Do try and understand it.

      Earth is warmed by absorption 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 space…

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  3. Peter Lang

    Retired geologist and engineer

    >"If this thread is typical then not one person will discuss how we can make sensible climate action policy a reality."

    That is a ridiculous comment. It demonstrates you have a closed m ind and are not open to anything but to what is said that supports your beliefs.

    The rational contributors have been proposing a sensible policy over and over again. But it is strongly opposed by the so called 'Progressives'. The 'Progressives' have been retarding progress for over 30 years.

    The Progressives…

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Peter Lang

      What proves that Peter Lang is only posting nonsense is that he does not have to agree that climate change is real for my point to be easily shown to be true.

      Look at other recent threads on climate change, such as https://theconversation.com/zero-emissions-power-is-possible-and-we-know-what-it-will-cost-13866 and you can see that of those who accept the science not one post is about how to make policy actually happen.

      Whether you think climate change is crap or real, an analysis of the other…

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    2. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Peter Lang

      MWH,

      Your a waste of time. Your comments are really dumb. They are demonstrate you have a belief, but your mind is closed. The policies you advocate are going nowhere. They've been going nowhere for 20 years.

      "If you always do what you always did,
      you'll always get what you always got"

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    3. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Peter Lang

      "Well even Lomborg, whom he references in his previous post, now accepts that it will - but he argues that it is not economically sensible to do so."

      You are mixing things up. IF a global carbon pricing agreement with a high participation rate could be achieved, then carbon pricing could cut GHG emissions. But a global carbon pricing system will not be achieved. So carbon pricing will not achieve anything.

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    4. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      On the other hand, unilateral carbon pricing through a revenue-neutral fossil fuel consumption tax will prove so beneficial to Australia's economy, while decreasing Australia's emissions, that other nations will follow suit.

      It's exactly the "no regrets" policy with which Nick Minchin would have no argument.

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