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Climate change and health: IPCC reports emerging risks, emerging consensus

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Impacts volume of the Fifth Assessment Report will be released today. Here, three contributors to the health chapter explain the ideas and evidence…

The largest impacts will occur in poorer and vulnerable populations. 'Collecting water' by UNAMID, CC BY-NC-ND

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Impacts volume of the Fifth Assessment Report will be released today. Here, three contributors to the health chapter explain the ideas and evidence behind the report.


The consequences of human-driven global climate change as this century progresses will be wide-ranging. Yet public discussion has focused narrowly on a largely spurious debate about the basic science and on the risks to property, iconic species and ecosystems, jobs, the GDP and the economics of taking action versus taking our chances.

Missing from the discussion is the threat climate change poses to Earth’s life-support system – from declines in regional food yields, freshwater shortage, damage to settlements from extreme weather events and loss of habitable, especially coastal, land. The list goes on: changes in infectious disease patterns and the mental health consequences of trauma, loss, displacement and resource conflict.

In short, human-driven climate change poses a great threat, unprecedented in type and scale, to well-being, health and perhaps even to human survival.

Extreme weather events have contributed to a rise in global food prices. 'Palm Trees, Wind and Ocean' by Brooke/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

The human health chapter in the second (“Impacts”) volume of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report concludes that the scientific evidence of many current and future risks to health has strengthened in recent years. The chapter, as in all IPCC reports, reviews all existing scientific evidence and is subject to external peer-review.

During at least the next few decades, the chapter states, climate change will mainly affect human health, disease and death by exacerbating pre-existing health problems. The largest impacts will occur in poorer and vulnerable populations and communities where climate-sensitive illnesses such as under-nutrition and diarrhoeal disease are already high – thus widening further the world’s health disparities.

Currently, the worldwide burden of ill-health clearly attributable to climate change is relatively small compared with other major blights on health such as from poverty, poor sanitation and exposure to tobacco.

Even so, in this early stage of human-driven climate change researchers in many countries have reported that rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have, variously, increased heat-related illnesses and deaths, altered the distribution of some water-borne infectious diseases and the insect transmitters (vectors) of some diseases (such as malaria), and have reduced food yields in some already food-insecure populations.

Less certainly, extreme weather events, influenced in part by climate change, are likely to have contributed to the recent rise in global food prices.

Climate change may render some regions uninhabitable. Shutterstock

The chapter discusses three impact categories in particular:

  • under-nutrition and impaired child development due to reduced food yields
  • injuries, hospitalisations and deaths due to intense heat waves, fires and other weather disasters and
  • shifts in the seasonal duration and spatial range of infectious diseases.

There is also mounting evidence of the adverse health consequences of workplace exposure to heat extremes, including reduced work capacity and productivity.

Looking ahead to 2100, for which some modelled scenarios now project an average global warming of 4 degrees Celsius, the report foresees that in such conditions people won’t be able to cope, let alone work productively, in the hottest parts of the year. And that’s assuming social and economic institutions and processes are still intact. Some regions may become uninhabitable.

Impacts on mental health could be similarly extreme, further limiting our collective capacity to cope, recover and adapt.

Overall, while limited health gains from climate change may occur in some regions, the health chapter concludes from the evidence that harmful impacts will greatly outweigh benefits. The impacts of climate change will also undermine hard-won gains achieved through social development programs, impeding progress in the world’s poorest countries.

The world community has dithered for two decades over climate change since it rose to prominence during the 1992 Earth Summit. As valuable time to reduce the risks (mitigation) has been squandered, the need to also focus on managing risk (adaptation) has increased. But excessive reliance on adaptation carries its own risks – including fooling ourselves that we don’t need immediate and aggressive mitigation.

Public health programs can help manage the effects of climate change. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, CC BY

The health chapter concludes that the most immediate effective way to manage health risks is through programs that introduce or improve basic public health measures. It also notes the need to boost human rights-based access to family planning.

As climate change proceeds, additional climate-specific measures (such as enhanced surveillance, early warning systems and climate-proofed building design) will be needed to protect population health, even in high-income settings. Recent extreme events such as the severe heat waves and fires in Australia in 2009-2014 and in Russia in 2010 underscore this need.

The chapter offers some cheer in stressing that the near-term and relatively localised health “co-benefits” from reducing greenhouse emissions (mitigation) could be very large. Reducing emissions of methane and black carbon, for example, may avoid more than two million deaths per year.

Other mitigation actions likely to improve physical health, social connectedness and mental health include:

  • encouraging communities to be more active via improved public transport and reduced car reliance
  • reducing exposures to temperature extremes with well-insulated energy-efficient housing and
  • promoting healthier diets through the transformation of food production and processing systems.

Impacts of climate change on mental health limit our capacity to cope, recover and adapt. Tim Caynes, CC BY-NC

In economic terms, the IPCC chapter judges that the health co-benefits from reducing emissions would be extremely cost-beneficial. They would, for example, be one thousand times greater than the economic co-benefits to agricultural yields from reduced exposures to short-lived, crop-damaging, airborne climate pollutants.

Overall, the up-front costs of reducing emissions could be substantially offset by early and extremely large health (and other) benefits.

Of course, none of this matters if human well-being, health and survival mean little to us. In that case we can emit all we like, then suffer, dwindle or even die out as a species and leave this planet to recover and thrive without us. One way or another we will then emit less.

We have a closing window of time in which to do something about global climate change.

Join the conversation

197 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

    1. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      We are on our own here....... relying on guvmints is wasting precious time.

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    2. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Amanda Barnes

      No Amanda, only 15% of the current government accept the science, even Greg Hunt claims to accept the warming but denies the consequences , re increasing bushfire season etc, a few of us have been collecting Hansard and media quotations from all government MP's will be ready shortly but is quite depressing to read

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    3. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Sarah Glass

      Like the vast majority of people, however, you are misinformed. Until I studied this to death, I too was misinformed, even retraining to join the renewable energy industry.......

      Fact of the matter is, all renewables and hybrid cars are entirely made with (even OF) fossil fuels. Your Prius' tyres and the road they roll on are 100% made of/from oil.

      If you go into debt to acquire these things, you are joining the unsustainable monetary system which require exponential growth to pay those debts off. The very growth that is the cause in the rise of emissions.

      NOTHING we do is sustainable.
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/nothing-we-do-is-sustainable-been-saying-it-for-years-now/

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    4. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Steven Fuller

      What you don't understand is that to 'switch' to your green dream technology will require the exhaustion of all the resources needed to make them. Then, when they are all exhausted, what?

      We will eventually, without one shadow of a doubt, have to resort to walking, growing our own food, and live more simply so we might simply live. So why not now? WHY generate even more greenhouse emissions just to keep the dream going for perhaps no more than 15 years?

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    5. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      I understand this, but the shift required for all mnkind will not come suddenly as you hope it will. Those with money and power and will hang onto it as long as possible. They are not leading the change, they are dragged along kicking and screaming for every penny they can get obtained the way things are now.

      The issue with your statements is that these resources will be used anyway creating phones, cars and technology that are not sustainable if these products are what the consumers are buying. Why not use them on the most "green" technology we have available instead of trying to make everyone simply stop, which you already know will absolutely not happen.

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    6. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Steven Fuller

      You still haven't addressed that we are hitting limits to growth and ALL of this will soon grind to a halt....

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    7. Victor Jones

      Freelance

      In reply to Steven Fuller

      "Why not use them on the most "green" technology we have available instead of trying to make everyone simply stop, which you already know will absolutely not happen."

      - Agree with this however we can continue to investigate and test, WHILE THIS IS HAPPENING, renewable alternatives rather than assume with the current body of scientific knowledge that non-renewables are inevitable.

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    8. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Victor Jones

      Non renewables are far far from 'inevitable'........ in fact they are fast failing us! Which is EXACTLY why I think the green fantasy won't happen, because without FFs, there will be no green fantasy.

      We could see liquid fuel shortages within five years. That's enough to largely grind the system to a halt......

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    9. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Jay Wulf

      All we have to do is stop servicing our debts, and the whole shebang comes down.

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    10. N Wilson

      Biologist

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      I agree, Janeen, they don't really, but....

      The 'poor' are sometimes useful to cynically run an emotional blackmail line to avoid action for other reasons. It is never more than a slogan and the 'poor' are used as a faceless lump or unnamed ciphers, but I have heard it in many forms for years. It is an old tactic, used not only in climate change.

      In fact, as this article alludes to, the 'poor' are most at risk. I am directly experienced in another risk element - the enormous problem of eroding deltas exacerbated by sea level rise impacting on those living in and off the intertidal.

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    11. Jay Wulf

      Digerati at nomeonastiq.com

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      But Janeen, they do care about the poor. They care about them enough to promise them the non-existing manufacturing jobs paying below the living wage hourly rates, preferably though non-unionised, hire-company causalised personal contracts. With 'flexibility' that includes 24/7, flat rate, stand-by conditions with the cost of training borne by the worker.

      How can you possibly say that is not caring!

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    12. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Sarah Glass

      I agree with your thinking Sarah. If enough people do what they can to use less energy by investing in solar panels, solar hot water, adding to the energy efficiency of their home by reducing air leaks, adding to insulation, heavy curtains, fitting double glazing (ideally when their home is built) we can make a difference by sheer number, though our individual contribution is admittedly small.

      The explosive growth in the number of homes with solar (over 1 milllion as at 2013) plus an increasing number of businesses with solar, indicates that many people are keen to reduce their electricity bills but also want to do something practical to address climate change.

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    13. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Jay Wulf

      So much to be grateful for Jay. We poor who will always be around, could be living in grass huts and having to find our own food and work, if the LNP hadn't come to our rescue with their caring policies.

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    14. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Mike, I am sorry if my impression is wrong but your rather jaundiced comments read like you are really promoting one of the fall-back lines of deniers.
      The armoury of deniers includes the line that oh well, nothing we can do will make a difference. This is defeatist and wrong.

      I believe we can and will make the transition to more sustainable living. This will take time and well-directed effort.

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    15. grant moule

      Consultant

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      I agree, especially continual population growth making many environmental problems worse.

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    16. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Conversations is a Scam

      Research the evidence yourself, it is everywhere. What you will not find, apart from climate crank blogs run by fossil fuel interests, is any EVIDENCE to support your theory.

      The general conversation and all academia has moved past that point now. It is only used by deniers to move the effort backwards and stall or divert efforts to deal with the reality.

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    17. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      "nothing we can do will make a difference" is NOT my mantra at all. I think we should do NOTHING! And I don't mean NOTHING to avert climate change, but rather do nothing so as to not make it worse.

      Every time you do anything, like drive to your job to pay for your solar panels or double glazing or Prius hybrid car....... you are making everything worse.

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    18. Suzy Gneist
      Suzy Gneist is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Multi-tasker at Graphic Design & Montville Coffee

      In reply to Jay Wulf

      I think we are so fascinated as a species with dystopian visions of our future, as represented in current media, film and literature, that most people cannot imagine another scenario for us and continue to act towards what they find to be most likely.
      Sadly this shows through articles and comments from a range of ideologies and puts down every positive idea, goal or vision before it can be properly explored and fleshed out.

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    19. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      I would really like to understand how individuals can rationalise their actions in this way. I have absolutely no doubt that these people fully believe the science. They are, after all, a fair way up the food chain on educational & intelligence markers. Yet, they are able to compartmentalise the inevitability of the negative results of their actions in order to sustain their position in the white boys & girl club. They are not alone. Corporate players are doing the same all around the globe. Is it some sort of collective psychosis going on? Any psychologists out there?

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    20. Robert Tony Brklje
      Robert Tony Brklje is a Friend of The Conversation.

      retired

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      I will explain to you exactly why they do live in a parrallel universe. The universe, our world, is what we perceive of it as humans and by extension as we share understanding as a human society.
      That shared perception however is based upon genetics, a human mind capable of socially sharing experiences and feelings. When that is broken as a result of genetic malfunction, you end up with different people no longer properly human, no longer properly capable of experiences and feelings, this failing…

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    21. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Jason England

      I'll request the same I did of the previous post making bold claims against all of the science available; evidence please?

      Those claims, appearing on climate crank blogs as I suggested, have been successfully refuted by science. They are misleading and wrong. The IPCC report has everything you need to know. They don't perform the testing, they evaluate the science.

      The denier line has now changed from "it isn't happening", to either; "it's happening but we aren't causing it", or "it's happening but it isn't that bad". It matters not to them however, the purpose is to stall, divert and frustrate with fallacy, circular arguments and hand waving. Mission accomplished.

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    22. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Jason England

      We can see denier blog written all over this comment Jason
      for a start the IPCC dis not say the CS is lower, the range is extended 1.5 to 4.5 Degc, what it was before AR4, the difference in the lower CS at 1.5DegC only gives an extra decade anyway

      the warming continues in line with predictions ...link?

      well if you have multiple model runs, how many of them do you think would be right?, data has remained with the 95% confidence range of the model runs

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    23. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Reminds me of another forum where a denier reposted US politician Joe Barton's claim that wind will solve global warming. He claimed wind was god's way of balancing the temperature and putting up wind turbines would slow the wind, making global warming (which he denied exists?) even worse.

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    24. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Jason England

      What evidence? Despite being requested of it multiple times you have not provided any?

      Gaia, despite being severely criticised by many more scientists than ascribe to it, may work in a natural world where humans are not systematically upsetting the balance. Apart fromthat, it is a theory not tested or having any other empirical evidence other than the opinons of the Lovelock who came up with it.

      You are correct, I completely reject Gaia. Although there is some irony in the fact this merry-go-round will put a stop to our tampering one way or another, possibly re-balancing itself one day many years after we have gotten off.

      Your post (as does Gaia) merely attempts to shirk the request for evidence, waves hands wildly and subverts, diverts and pushes the quest for solutions back to the argument stage; sonethign the scientific community is well past now.

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    25. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Jason England

      he asks for evidence and you post a newspaper article?

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    26. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to john byatt

      A newspaper article about a theory that we should reject global warming under the guise that the planet is able to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.

      This reminds me of climate crank denier Roy Spencer, who is actually a creationist and has reversed his previous stance supporting global warming under the belief that god created tthe universe, us and he will not allow global warming to destroy his creations. This could be true....perhaps he just didn't like dinosaurs?

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    27. Blair Donaldson
      Blair Donaldson is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Researcher & Skeptic

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      "What you don't understand is that to 'switch' to your green dream technology will require the exhaustion of all the resources needed to make them. Then, when they are all exhausted, what?"

      So what's your answer for when we ran out of fossil fuel energy? It is a finite resource after all – unlike solar and wind.

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    28. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Steven Fuller

      well it has seemed to self regulate before, over hundreds of thousands of years that is

      self regulation on the human time scale is a creationist, god will fix it belief .

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    29. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to john byatt

      Over a long enough timeframe the planet may well fix itself by ridding itself of us.....

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    30. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Sarah Glass

      China has seen the writing on the wall which is why they are the world leader in renewable energy investment. The West is a sinking ship inexorably tied to it's power elite. Our leaders cannot or will not make decisions in the interests of society. You are completely right Sarah. We really need to start thinking more constructively at what can be done at a grass roots level. On an earlier thread Brandon Young put up the idea of Systems Economics. Peter Ormandy also suggested the sustainable growth…

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    31. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Jason England

      That would be funny, if only it were...funny...or connected to anything, including something Steven had actually said. As is, I presume it's a "funny" line you thought up in the bath the other evening and have been waiting for a chance to inflict on the world.

      'Gaia' was a concept raised by the well-qualified, interesting but less-than-divine James Lovelock. As it turns out, the evidence doesn't particularly support the concept, so it's usefulness is highly debatable.

      Either way, it was simply put forward as an interesting concept to stimulate thought and research.

      For all that he was a worthwhile and interesting scholar, Lovelock is not some kind of supreme authority. For a start, I'm not at all sure that he was right about nuclear energy.

      But I can make these distinctions because I can tell the difference between opinion and evidence. If you were able to learn this distinction, the world would become less confusing and frightening.

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    32. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Steven Fuller

      But, Steven, as the great J. B. S. Haldane so memorably observed, the almighty does seem to have been inordinately fond of beetles!

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  1. Evolve the Issues

    logged in via Twitter

    Risks are all ready present and consequences occurring. If we could turn our use of carbon around on a dime today we would be facing continued impacts which lag behind it's use. There is no debate or lack of consensus among peer reviewed science in the world those who say otherwise are ill qualified to do so with their faux marketing. We need a quick carbon transition to clean alternative energy but the reality is there is to much invested in carbon fuels from legacy corporations. Nearly 2000 coal power plants have been proposed world wide for 2014 and China who has spent hundreds of billions on clean energy still needs more energy and announced they will increase their coal use by 25% in the near future. Something has to give.

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  2. john byatt

    retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

    Excellent and so much more from range shifts for disease vectors to wet bulb temperatures

    without urgent action it is no longer about if it will happen but when ,

    Abstract
    Thermal comfort is quantified in 15 regions using the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), examining past and future rates of thresholds exceedance corresponding to moderate, high, and extreme heat (28, 32, and 35 °C, respectively). As recent changes to thermal comfort appear to be dominated by temperature and humidity, a…

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  3. Andrew Kerber

    Database Administrator

    I will be really curious to see the evidence of the claims made here. After all, CO2 is a nutrient for crops, and so far harvests have been going up steadily since the 1950's. I wonder at what point they claim that harvests will start going backwards, and how they justify that claim. In addition, warming should provide longer growing seasons which should also increase harvests. It is well known that increased harvests lead to better nutrition and less susceptibility to disease, so as I said, I am really curious to see the logic here.

    Also, it is well known that improvements in crop breeding will reduce the susceptibility to drought and flood, and so I really doubt if the claims this author makes have any basis in fact at all.

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    1. Andrew Kerber

      Database Administrator

      In reply to Mike Jubow

      Well, I just read a bootleg copy of report, and I dont see the support for the conclusions that the author of this article stated. Pretty much every statement the author states as a conclusion is at medium confidence level, which means 50/50. Any business making decisions on those odds would go out of business.

      In addition, for some reason the chapter spends substantial time counting how many studies say one thing or another, without trying to determine why they reach different conclusions…

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Andrew Kerber

      It is based on science, a lot of which has been done by agricultural scientists in Australia. Here is a report from the ABC on a study published recently in the Nature Climate Change.

      "One of the study's authors, Dr Mark Howden of the CSIRO, says changes in climate extremes are happening faster than scientists had anticipated."
      "What we found is if we don't adapt to climate change, then there's a period where the yields won't necessarily go down, but after about two degrees of warming, then it's…

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    3. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Andrew Kerber

      "and so far harvests have been going up steadily since the 1950's"

      with world population reaching new record levels every year then food production also needs to hit record levels every year,

      that is not occurring,

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    4. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Andrew Kerber

      @Andrew Berber

      I have very high confidence that you are copy and pasting from climate crank blogs which is the source of "21 unpublished studies" meme.

      You are a database administrator, not a scientist. And so far you have not provided us with a link to a single scientific study. Nada, nothing, zilch.

      In fact I suspect you are addicted to the climate crank blogs. Time to front up with some science or find somewhere else to troll.

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    5. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to john byatt

      The reason being that huge amounts of fossil fuels have been increasingly invested in farming. 90% of the calories in store bought food comes from FFs. The production of these is slowing, or increasingly generating less and less energy profit........

      We are facing collapse, and it is the only solution to alleviating the worst of climate change. Can't happen fast enough.

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    6. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Andrew Kerber

      In the farming area in which I live the farmers are beginning to realise the extent of the changes that are happening.

      They are complaining that it is the evaporation rate that has increased, the storms are smaller in area and more patchy and less rain but are more intense and damaging because of small 'cells' in the storms that rip up sheds and windmills etc.

      The heatwaves are affecting the health of the livestock who can not adapt to these increased temperatures.

      The stone fruit crop this year was down and has been for several years because there has not been a good frost for years and stone fruit require a certain number of frost hours to set fruit.

      You need to read more widely.

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    7. Nick Evershed

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Andrew's comment is facile, but there may actually be some crop yield gains under very specific scenarios.

      In the journal article Mike Hansen is referring too, Challinor et al 2014 in Nature Climate, they've modelled yields under varying scenarios with and without adaptation measures.

      Without adaptation crop yields trend downwards across the board for maize, wheat and rice in temperate and tropical regions. However, with adaptation (eg. changing varieties, planting times, etc) there's the potential for gains in wheat (temperate) and rice (tropical) at higher temperature change ranges. Overall though the yield variability is far higher under all scenarios, and there are still declines even with adaptation, for wheat and maize in tropical areas.

      The greater variability thing is probably the biggest issue though, since most farming systems don't really seem to do well with drought etc. even at the moment.

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    8. Jay Wulf

      Digerati at nomeonastiq.com

      In reply to Andrew Kerber

      Or you could take the attitude of the russians who basically are welcoming the climate change as it will make russia a warmer place.

      Even assuming for a moment that your argument is true (and it is unsubstantiated), the sacred cow of Australian farmers 5% crop increases on the back of draughts, bushfires, coastal flooding.

      Myopic, short term and putting a minority over majority. Steady as she goes in other words.

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    9. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Andrew Kerber

      Andrew, you need to think of the consequences for Australia, parts of Africa, North America etc. Greenland maybe.
      "Warming should provide longer growing seasons"
      Not when warming means severe continued drought and lack of rain.
      And not when it means flooding for other regions.
      Improvements in selective crop breeding has been going on here for 100 years at least, but means little when seasonal rain is not what it used to be, and we lurch from increased prevalence of drought for Australia's southern agricultural zones. Higher temperatures mean increased evaporation. Plants and animals don't like heat-waves and lack of water.
      And this is exactly what is being predicted. Overall, food production will go down.

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    10. John Holmes

      Agronomist - semi retired consultant

      In reply to Andrew Kerber

      No very evident! We increased routinely achievable wheat yields in WA during the 70-90's using changes in agronomy - early sowing, herbicides, accurate plant and soil testing to accurately set fertilizer levels, appropriate varieties, and good rotations. In many areas this increased the frequency of achieving rainfall limited yields from < 30-40% to > 70% or more. Where it is not achieved, it is relatively easy to diagnose the limitations.

      A paper out of Israel re ancient wheat yields based…

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    11. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Yep....... you should've seen the state of my garden last couple of months, over 35 most of the time, and no rain.... and a dry water tank. I'm moving to Tasmania because of this stupid state of affairs. At least there the evaporation rate is minimal...

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    12. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      The climatologists i converse with are moving to new zealand if no action is started by 2020, taking their children as well.

      It is not hopeless yet Mike, it is the critical decade though

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    13. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to john byatt

      I've thought of NZ but what about the earthquake potential? Would that be a factor?

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    14. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to john byatt

      I considered NZ...... but I'm scared of earthquakes, so we're moving to Tassie...

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    15. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      away from those ares of course julie, but they were fair dinkum about it, in the mountains

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  4. John Campbell

    farmer

    The issue with climate change is 'business as usual'. What small gains were made in this direction have been undermined and wound back by conservative governments assisted by much of big business the media and generally well funded pressure groups.

    Identifying the problem seems easy enough, talking about it is even easier, but how to address it in a meaningful way poses the risks of upsetting rich and powerful interests and is clearly not going to be easy.

    What I would like to see is some movement in this direction rather than the easy option of just sitting back and winging about things.

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    1. Janeen Harris

      chef

      In reply to John Campbell

      What gets on my goat is those with the money and clout have failed to invest in new technology. Those who can afford to take the lead are being dragged behind, kicking and screaming, desperately trying to make every last cent from digging up dirt and making a mess when they should be at the forefront of investing in sustainable solutions and ensuring continued returns for themselves. The blind lead the blind.

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    2. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      For "investment", substitute "debt". For that is exactly what they are... the same. The enacting of either (or both!) results in growth, and it is growth that is responsible for the growth in greenhouse emissions.

      Never believe that "sustainable technologies" are sustainable. Most people are ignorant of the gobsmacking amounts of resources needed to build "sustainable infrastructure" Start here:
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/more-on-the-energy-cliff/
      and here:
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/with-fossil-fuels-you-can-do-anything/

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    3. John Campbell

      farmer

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      Yes, given that modern capitalism is increasingly unable to provide full employment and is tending to bumble from one crisis to the next we are also likely to be fed continuously with the sort of spin that says, yes we should do something about it but we can't afford to right now.

      We need to understand that the only thing in our way of addressing this problem is not money, technology or anything else but political will

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  5. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      You must remember though that Abbott did promise to match the 5% reduction of emissions, most of the population are naive and just believe that the governments take the best scientific advice despite their personal opinion, so those who voted for Abbott did so in good faith,

      The change will come in this year's poll after the warmest day week month year etc, i fully expect that the numbers for AGW will go beyond 50%, the number of those in denial will also increase as many go into denial through fear,

      Labor also needs to change their policy to push for the full 19% reduction and explain that it our fair share, only the greens have taken the fight up to the government on climate change, most likely that labor is too close to FF unions

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    2. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to John Newton

      The sceptics have not been silenced by the science, but grown tired of the relentless alarmist propaganda that dominates at the conversation.

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    3. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      They are a bit embarrassed about outing themselves in the WA senate election though, calling themselves the freedom and prosperity party, guess they realise that they are a bit on the nose in the electorate

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    4. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to john byatt

      "those who voted for Abbott did so in good faith"

      I can't quite figure out how denialists and those who don't care voted for Abbott "in good faith". Good faith had nothing to do with them voting for Abbott, except for faith that Abbott's actions will be based on climate science denial.

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    5. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to john byatt

      "guess they realise that they are a bit on the nose in the electorate"

      More likely they think that, since Abbott won the election, their former name is now passe.

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    6. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      the science is not well understood,so if both sides are offering the same thing 5% reduction then they are voting in good faith, the denialists within the population, also voted for abbott on two party preferred but they are currently attacking Abbott for even paying lip service,

      the campaign aided by the media was abbott can reduce the emissions exactly the same as labor but without the great big tax,

      people bought that to some extent but labor lost, abbott did not win,

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    7. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to john byatt

      "the science is not well understood"

      No, the science is outright denied by 46.4% of the population (according to the survey). In addition to these, 6.3% just don't care so they're not going to be influenced by "good faith" promises of emission reductions anyway. They probably don't want what they see as an unnecessary tax.

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  6. Stephen Morey

    Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Linguistics at La Trobe University

    The article makes it very clear the terrible impacts of climate change:

    "climate change will mainly affect human health, disease and death by exacerbating pre-existing health problems. The largest impacts will occur in poorer and vulnerable populations and communities ...".

    And yet more than half the population in Australia last year voted to undo the effective action against climate change (carbon pricing). We all need to offer support to the ALP and Greens MPs and others who are voting in favour of action on climate change.

    If Australia removes its carbon price, we are, as a country, all responsible for the increasing health problems pointed out in the article.

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  7. Comment removed by moderator.

  8. R. Ambrose Raven

    none

    Adapting our complex communities to increasingly demanding extreme weather conditions will demand large investments, plus trained people and highly-skilled networks of planning and emergency services.

    Australia is considered to be one of the most sensitive nations to the impact of increasingly extreme weather, regardless of the cause. As Australia labours through increasingly frequent heatwaves (in Jan ’14, the Eastern States had two), it is again obvious that these events take a heavy toll on…

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  9. Georg Antony

    analyst

    Citing malaria in the context of global warming is a clear indication of confirmation bias, calling into question the objectivity of the study.

    Malaria is not a temperature-related epidemic. Its vectors thrive all the way to the permafrost, with epidemics documented in Arctic Russia and Finland. http://www.malariajournal.com/content/4/1/19

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    1. Jay Wulf

      Digerati at nomeonastiq.com

      In reply to Georg Antony

      So just to get your position on this matter.

      You do not 'believe' that antropogenic climate change is 'a thing' correct?

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    2. Georg Antony

      analyst

      In reply to john byatt

      Try reading what the reference I provided is saying: malaria vectors are most likely indigenous in Finland and northern Russia.

      Hence, there is no need for vectors to shift any more, it is not global warming that determines malaria endemicity.

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    3. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Georg Antony

      Yes you still missed it

      Conclusion
      Northern malaria existed in a cold climate by means of summer dormancy of hypnozoites in humans and indoor transmission of sporozoites throughout the winter by semiactive hibernating mosquitoes. Variable climatic conditions did not affect this relationship. The epidemics, however, were regulated by the population size of the mosquitoes which, in turn, ultimately was controlled by the temperatures of the preceding summer.

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    4. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Georg Antony

      @G Antony

      Your own reference does not even support your claims. Did you even read it? This is from the conclusion
      "Northern malaria existed in a cold climate by means of summer dormancy of hypnozoites in humans and indoor transmission of sporozoites throughout the winter by semiactive hibernating mosquitoes. Variable climatic conditions did not affect this relationship. [this relationship i.e. the indoor transmission in heated buildings] The epidemics, however, were regulated by the population…

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    5. Georg Antony

      analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      "Your own reference does not even support your claims. Did you even read it? This is from the conclusion"
      ""The epidemics, however, were regulated by the population size of the mosquitoes which, in turn, ***ultimately was controlled by the temperatures of the preceding summer.***""

      Wilful misinterpretation of the quote. The conditions for malaria above the Arctic demonstrably existed for a long time and continue to exist. It needs no more warming.

      "This is indisputable evidence of a climate…

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    6. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Georg Antony

      " ultimately was controlled by the temperatures of the preceding summer."

      guess what?

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    7. Georg Antony

      analyst

      In reply to Jay Wulf

      Idea for an ideasmith: if you don't verbal people, they are more positively disposed towards you - if that matters.

      Another idea: it is not the fact of anthropogenic warming that is at issue here, but the proper measurement of its impact. This then determines the appropriate policy response.

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    8. In reply to john byatt

      Comment removed by moderator.

    9. Jay Wulf

      Digerati at nomeonastiq.com

      In reply to Georg Antony

      @G.Anthony.

      I did not 'verbal' you, I have tried to elicit your position which from the context and tone seemed to me was necessary. As to positive disposition, you do make a valid point. But there is only so much you can do by politely asking your neighbour not to poop in your backyard.

      I was not aware that the discussion was so nuanced. It would seem that smarter of the 'sooties' are now not claiming that ACC (Anthropogenic climate change) is not happening, it is now a matter of 'but how much it really matters'. Still FUD as far as I am concerned. But I guess its progress.

      So at the risk of being accused of 'verbaling' you again, your position is now that you accept that ACC is a 'thing' but that you dispute its impact. Correct?

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    10. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Georg Antony

      G Antony, do you even have the foggiest idea of who Tony McMichael is and his credentials, credibility and international respect?

      You'll understand, I hope, if I listen to someone like Tony before someone who 'comments in a private capacity' and seems to be unable to understand even something he posts himself.

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    11. Paul Prociv

      ex medical academic; botanical engineer at University of Queensland

      In reply to Georg Antony

      I’ve been following the above discussion, and agree that you, G Antony, are being attacked unfairly. Your detractors are accusing you of denying AGW, while all you have stated merely is that malaria is not strictly a tropical disease, and has survived in temperate climates in the past. Way back in about 1900, malaria accounted for as many as 10% of inpatients in the large hospitals of London - and it didn't disappear because the climate cooled down. (And, without expanding on the subject here…

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  10. Erica Jolly

    Writer about education

    Pessimism will not help the young. They will have to face what the combination of natural and human driven climate change will bring to them wherever they live. It is interesting that no one mentions education - not even in the article - which can be brought into play both formally and informally. The list of mitigating actions - public transport, energy efficient buildings and changing of patterns of life with healthier diets - provide practical avenues for people as families and perhaps as community…

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    1. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Erica Jolly

      My son has two science degrees and a master.

      He knows we are stuffed.

      And he's mighty pleased he has parents who know we are stuffed and are not following anything the mainstream is advocating. It's our (and his) only hope, for what it's worth..........

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      @Mike Stasse

      We are not stuffed! Your claims are nonsensical and nihilistic.

      You and Gerard Dean should get a room. Your arguments are identical - you both argue that we are hypocrites unless we don hairshirts and live in a hole in the ground.

      Your link on sustainability is essentially a rant against renewable energy - something you also have in common with Gerard Dean.You may have some good ideas buried in there but overall it is no solution to climate change.

      You say
      "For as long…

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    3. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      No....... it's not what I want, it's what will happen.......

      BTW, I hardly ever wear shirts, and I live in an award winning house..

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    4. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      "I live in an award winning house" Congratulations Mike but I have something even better.

      The BZE Buildings Plan with input from some of Australia's leading engineering companies which suggests that almost every Australian can live in an "award winning" house connected to an "award winning" renewable energy grid.
      http://bze.org.au/buildings

      These are some of the solutions at scale that if implemented nationally and globally will mitigate the worst effects of AGW.

      I am not ready to put my head between my knees and wait for the apocalypse. I will leave that to the evangelists. I am happy to keep campaigning against the cranks and vested interests confident that humanity will rise to the challenge.

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    5. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Yep....... I live in one of those. But you know what? If we replaced the entire housing stock in this country, we would double our emissions, and when the houses reach the end of their lives...... we wouldn't be able to replace them from lack of fossil fuels.

      I don't have my head between my knees either. In fact, at the ripe old age of 62, I'm planning to move from Qld to Tasmania to get away from this oppressive heat and chaotic rainfall...... where I will build another 10 star energy efficient house totally powered by a stand alone renewable hybrid solar/wind system. Because I can. For the moment at least. I'm selfish like that. I know how to do it, whereas, 99.9% of the people do not. Good luck to all of you, because you're gonna need it.

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    6. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Mike, We will all need luck but I think we will need the ability to cooperate with our community and to be adaptable. I and most of my neighbours in the small rural town where I live, believe that we will have a better chance of survival by working together.

      We - informally during meetings and just neighbours having conversations - have spread the idea that by sharing our resources and being cooperative we can create small enterprises and solutions that will work better for us all than if everyone does their own thing and competes for survival.

      We need both top-down and bottom-up actions.

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    7. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      They are not planning on replacing the entire housing stock. You could try reading the report.
      http://bze.org.au/buildings

      You have an apocalyptic vision of the future and your solution is personal. Good for you.

      But you are not part of the solution to climate change. There are 7 billion people in the world. Solutions need to be applicable on that sort of scale.

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    8. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Without being as condescending as it may sound, it's good to see the "older" generation are not all against the idea that AGW is a fallacy.

      My father in law and his brother, roughly the same age, will not shut up about how this "global warming thing is a beat up", yet neither one of them, both MDs, have invested more than a cursory glance at a Murdoch publication into the research.

      All the more ironic, is that both used to smoke, yet stopped at the insistence of their doctors due to the "scientific…

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    9. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      ABSOLUTELY........

      I have already been adopted by such a small town in Tasmania. it's amazing what relationships can be concocted and then nurtured online (with a visit in the flesh or two...)

      The small rural town where I live now in Qld doesn't have this community feeling I so long myself. The Tassie block of land I have my sights on is so much larger than I need that I am seriously considering setting up a Permaculture school of sorts there where I can teach people how to live sustainably in exchange for some labour.....

      The future is in bartering and self sufficiency.

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    10. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      So what will happen to the housing stock that won't be replaced? Like the houshold I recently did an energy audit for, whose power bill was $1600 (yes, a quarter!) even though they had a 5kW PV array on the roof...???

      My view of the future isn't apocalyptic at all........ it's apocalyptic for industry and commerce, and good riddance..... 99.99% of humanity's existence did quite well without them. Now we have knowledge. we just need to ensure we don't blow it by trying to keep business as usual going, only "greener"......

      I may not be the solution to YOUR vision of alleviating CC, but I am ABSOLUTELY part of the REAL solution of stopping CC in its tracks. And that's not emitting any more CO2 by building stuff we don't need.

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    11. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      You could try reading the report. Here is the executive summary.
      http://media.bze.org.au/bp/bze_buildings_plan_execsum.pdf
      "The Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan is the first comprehensive, nationwide plan to retrofit Australia’s buildings. This plan demonstrates how all existing buildings can reach zero emissions from their operation within ten years. It sets out how Australia can transform its building stock to reduce energy bills, generate renewable energy, add health and comfort to our living spaces, and make our workplaces more productive."

      You still have not explained how your "de-industrialisation" solution can scale to 7 billion people. Obviously they are not all going to be able to live in Tasmania.

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    12. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Beware beware, cults everywhere

      lived there for two years, chose your friends wisely

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    13. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      I have read the report, there's a copy of it right here in my laptop..... but unfortunately, much of it is hype.

      I'm a qualified house energy rater. trust me, 90% of the current housing stock could not be retrofitted to better than 3 stars..... even a 5 star house becomes unbearable to live in without aircon on 30 days of the year or so (in Qld at any rate...) when I first started designing (then 5 stars, now 10...) homes for clients, almost none of them could get builders to build them for…

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  11. Jane Middlemist

    citizen

    What I've gleaned from such evidence as is available to me, our current government doesn't give a damn about what will happen beyond the next election so we will all have to try and make a difference without any assistance (indeed with plenty of resistance) from the government.

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  12. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      nonsense model/Data comparisons show that the temperature has remained well within the 95% confidence range, the 2013 update will further verify that.

      http://www.realclimate.org/images/model122.jpg

      The royal society projections give 4DegC well before 2100,

      basically projections are lined up to emission scenarios RCP's

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Henley trolls his climate science denial but as usual is unable to provide a single piece of peer reviewed to support his assertions.

      "the models remain unvalidated" is just jibber jabber from the climate crank blogs.

      His claim that "nearly all the models are significantly overestimating the true amount of warming" is also simply not true.

      From the IPCC WG1 SPM
      "The long-term climate model simulations show a trend in global-mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2012 that agrees with the observed trend (very high confidence). There are, however, differences between simulated and observed trends over periods as short as 10 to 15 years (e.g., 1998 to 2012)."

      As anyone who has ever looked at the global temperature record knows, people who claim to know "the true amount of warming" from examining short term trends are deliberately attempting to deceive.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

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  13. Adrian Barnett

    Associate Professor of Public Health at Queensland University of Technology

    Just a small comment on the combined fires and heat wave in Russia. A recent study estimated 11,000 excess deaths associated with the 44 day heat wave, with 2,000 of these deaths in under 65 year olds (highlighting that it's not just the elderly who are at risk of heat-related illness). See here: http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Abstract/publishahead/Mortality_Related_to_Air_Pollution_with_the_Moscow.99329.aspx

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  14. Jack Ruffin
    Jack Ruffin is a Friend of The Conversation.

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    We waffle on at our own peril.
    The risk we take by doing nothing is greater than if we in Australia joined those forward looking governments planning and developing a sensible response to climate change.

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  15. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Conversations is a Scam

      Yawn. Evidence please? (although I doubt you will be able to find any credible evidence to support your opinion here).

      This post should be removed. Disputing scientific concensus with incorrect, unsupported claims and fallacies are not what 'informed' discussion stems from.

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    2. In reply to John Newton

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Conversations is a Scam

      You do understand that the overall long term temperature trends are still going up? You may be able to cherry pick any short term section of data to support any crazy theory.

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    4. John Campbell

      farmer

      In reply to Conversations is a Scam

      The evidence is everywhere both technical and environmental, I can only presume you have no desire to find it. I have given any amount of scientific evidence and I don't intend to repeat myself. Suffice to say I wonder what an anti science person like yourself thinks they can add to any meaningful discussion.

      Warming has certainly nor stopped nor have the ice shelves stopped melting but I'm sure none of this is of interest to you.

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    5. John Campbell

      farmer

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      I know that it didn't. I can only presume he may be referring to air temperatures not heating which of course are not monotonic and will vary from time to time depending on the likes of ENSO etc.

      But I suspect he has so little respect for the facts that he would not see any reason to get them correct.

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    6. Michael Coleman
      Michael Coleman is a Friend of The Conversation.

      IT Manager at SME Manufacturing

      In reply to Conversations is a Scam

      Congratulations! In just a few words of nonsense, you have destroyed your credibility completely.

      > "There is still not a shred of EVIDENCE of any kind that man's [sic] CO2 is caused [sic] the tiny 0.7 degree warming..."

      I look forward to you publishing your new theory that supersedes quantum mechanics. Proving that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas will make you famous for all time. </sarcasm>

      Where is the shred of evidence that CSIRO, BoM, WMO, AMOS, NOAA, NASA, et al. are engaged in a conspiracy to "SCAM" the world?

      The evidence presented here suggests that you are one of those cranks who believes that the moon landings were faked.

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    7. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Conversations is a Scam

      Another one to ignore. makes unsubstantiated comments when the real data completely refutes what he has written.

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    8. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Tony Burns' comment is an example of the behavioural moderation policy I would like to see adopted: delete all comments that do nothing more than deny a scientific reality that has strong evidence, without providing a shred of evidence in support of that view.

      I would delete these, along with the habitual "button pushers" who seek to disrupt or divert productive and reasoned discussion.

      That type should go elsewhere!

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    9. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to john byatt

      "Prefer statisticians myself"

      They teach engineers, e.g. Tony Burns, little or no statistics.

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  16. D. Weston Allen

    Medical Practitioner

    This report by McMichael, Butler and Barry might be more compelling had they avoided such apocalyptic postulations as climate change posing a threat "even to human survival" or that we might "even die out as a species". After all, Palaeolithic man survived the warmer Eemian and subsequent Ice Age; and modern man inhabits regions from the scorching Sarah to the freezing Arctic, and even space stations!

    In combatting climate change, we need to ensure that we do not deprive the poorest nations of…

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    1. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to D. Weston Allen

      We survived the Eemian? when global temperature was only a fraction of a degree warmer than the Holocene, We are staring at 4Degc by 2100,

      if you want links then include them yourself

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  17. Koenraad Kuiper

    Professor Emeritus and Honorary Professor at University of Canterbury and University of Sydney

    'We have a closing window of time in which to do something about global climate change.'
    The critical question then is what is the something we have to do about global climate change?

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    1. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Koenraad Kuiper

      reduce our annual global emission by 3% every year from now on

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  18. david higham

    nurseryman

    Mike Stasse,
    I like your comments.You might be interested in reading Tim Garrett's recent essay,The biophysics of civilisation,at the Collapse of industrial Civilisation website.

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    1. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to david higham

      Hi David........ I am a keen follower of XRayMike's website.......

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  19. Sherwood Botsford

    logged in via Facebook

    Given human nature, I don't think effective action will happen.

    The only changes that *will* happen are where it is to someone's economic benefit. Example: Right now for $24,000 I could put enough grid connected PV on my roof that I would have net zero electrical usage for the year. Ignoring interest rates, the money saved is about 3% ROI. Almost worth it. If I did most of the install myself, I could likely make it pay.

    So stop wringing your hands about stopping it. Figure out how you…

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    1. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Sherwood Botsford

      Bad news........ if it would cost you $24,000 to achieve net zero electrical usage for the year.......... you are consuming wayyyyyyyy too much electricity!

      We make $2000 a year profit from just $6,000 worth of PVs....

      The planet is dying of consumption......

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  20. peter mackenzie

    Transport Researcher

    Dear authors, what I find amazing is reports by some supposed experts, not denying AGW, but simplifying the consequences to just a straight out bit of warming, for which they then say will be good for crops etc in various places (and people as a result).

    That's in complete contrast to your predictions of: the threat climate change poses to Earth’s life-support system – from declines in regional food yields, freshwater shortage, damage to settlements from extreme weather events and loss of habitable, especially coastal, land. The list goes on: changes in infectious disease patterns and the mental health consequences of trauma, loss, displacement and resource conflict".

    So are those supposed 'experts' in denial; daydreaming;over-optimistic to the extent of delusional; or just plain liars at the behest of others?

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    1. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to peter mackenzie

      "So are those supposed 'experts' in denial; daydreaming;over-optimistic to the extent of delusional; or just plain liars at the behest of others?"

      think you covered it

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    2. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to peter mackenzie

      I think what one misses is that anybody could actually be either than stupid or that shameless.

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  21. Jack Ruffin
    Jack Ruffin is a Friend of The Conversation.

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    Assuming good will, I find it odd that so many of us find they cannot accept the science around climate change. The evidence is sound yet many people look anywhere but at the evidence and the equally sound review system in place. Why become so emotionally involved in denying the evidence?
    As an analogy we drive cars that are the result of scientific discoveries. Yet you would have to go a long way to find someone today who questioned the science involved.
    Why all the emotion?
    Why not actually read the report of the IPCC, look at the review processes that it has been through and accept it. Emotional denial will cost lives.

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  22. Comment removed by moderator.

  23. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      they are still working through it, big job for the mods today, there is no disconnect between models and data, if you have a link for that claim then post and we can discuss, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof

      and i have had a multitude of comments deleted, we all have

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    2. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      No, you made an extraordinary claim, one that has been refuted with evidence many times over here. What's more, you made the claim with no supporting evidence. Your comment was correctly taken down not only because it added nothing to the discussion, apart from rehashing long lost diatribe, but also to prevent the expected (and deserved) backlash of abuse such an idiotic claim would receive.

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    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Geoff, I think lies are not really encouraged here. Perhaps if you stopped lying you wouldn't get your comments removed.

      There is no disconnect between models and empirical data.

      And, frankly, if the editors discriminate against lies and demonstrable nonsense, then all they are doing is providing a valuable service. Opinions are fair game; lies are not.

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    4. Jack Ruffin
      Jack Ruffin is a Friend of The Conversation.

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Geoff, it sounds like you are more interested in an imagined ideological battle between left and right wings of politics.
      How about reading the IPCC reports and using your talents to find ways to develop the political will for climate change action from all sides of politics.? We all face the danger inherent in doing nothing so all sides need to be involved.

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    5. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      "All I do is point out the disconnect between climate models and empirical data"

      Maybe the problem is that you're not telling the truth. Did you ever think of that?

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    6. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      how many times do i need to post this until it sinks in ?

      this is the official IPCC model.

      http://www.realclimate.org/images/model122.jpg

      flatlining?, the temperature is doing exactly what you would expect in different ENSO,years with 2010 the hottest

      you complain that natural variablity is not considered but when it comes to models you deny that it occurs,

      i will tell you what the model was saying to me 2012 update. "climate sensitivity is about 3.3DegC

      The nearest the models have been to not capturing the calendar year temp was 1998, and these are calendar years, what was the hottest twelve months then?

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    7. Steven Fuller

      Asset Management

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Dr Roy again?

      Most of his theories have been dubunked, apart fromt he faith based assertion that since God created the universe he will prevent global warming from consuming us. It is a little hard to scientifically disprove that one.

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    8. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to john byatt

      Now you know why we ask for links geoff, how did that one turn out?

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    9. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      No, Geoff, accusing someone of lying when they make claims that are demonstrably untrue is simply more polite than calling them an idiot or an evil bastard.

      Unless you can suggest a fourth category to describe someone who makes a proven false claim about a matter of extraordinary importance to human wellbeing? All I can come up with is liar, idiot or evil bastard.

      Frankly, given the way you are happy to dish out abuse to highly qualified, hard-working scientists who have published careful research in peer-reviewed literature demonstrating al the things you have simply dismissed without a shred of counter-evidence, I'd also like to add that you are a nasty, ill-mannered child.

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  24. David Martin

    Naturally talented sleeper and eater

    Lots of interesting comments.
    Just to add to the endless joy....I notice nobody has mentioned the possibility/
    likelihood of biffo due to CC. Gwynne Dyer's book "Climate Wars" offers
    some delicious scenarios.....if you're interested.

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    1. David Martin

      Naturally talented sleeper and eater

      In reply to David Martin

      My apologies to the authors. Resource conflict does get a mention.

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    2. john byatt

      retired and cranky at RAN Veteran

      In reply to David Martin

      you could try the Pentagon though. recent article from them

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    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to john byatt

      Yeah, the US Defense Department and related crews (Marine Corps) are taking climate-driven conflict exceptionally seriously.

      I guess they must be in on the plot by those greedy scientists to get more research grants...

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  25. Blair Donaldson
    Blair Donaldson is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Researcher & Skeptic

    Human history is full of examples of societies being wiped out, displaced or suffering severe hardships because of natural climate events. Only fools would ignore or deny the warnings of the IPCC.

    It's a strange mindset that rails against the sage advice of using energy more wisely and efficiently, changing to cleaner sources, avoiding waste, decentralising energy production and other related and sensible community changes more suited to a sustainable lifestyle and hotter climate.

    You'd think the supposedly pro-business political parties, business groups and organisations would be jumping at the opportunity to get in early and make a killing in new industries and technologies, but no, all we hear is excuses to justify denial, lies, delays and derision.

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