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Explainer: what is happening to Antarctica’s ice?

Two papers released last week in the journal Nature Geoscience provide evidence that warming and melt in West Antarctica are occurring at levels that are highly unusual compared to natural variability…

Antarctica’s ice is melting in different ways in different places: what’s the connection? AAP Image/British Antarctic Survey

Two papers released last week in the journal Nature Geoscience provide evidence that warming and melt in West Antarctica are occurring at levels that are highly unusual compared to natural variability.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet contains about 2.2 million cubic kilometers of ice; enough to raise global sea levels by 3 to 4m. What’s making glaciologists nervous is that the ice rests on bedrock which is below sea level; this makes it vulnerable to attack from below by a warming ocean as well as attack from above by increasing air temperatures. Whether basal and surface melt are currently exceeding natural levels, and the extent and speed at which they could destabilise the entire ice sheet are the subjects of intense research.

Warming up, melting

We already know that West Antarctica is feeling the heat. A study released late last year found that annual temperatures rose by 2.4 ± 1.2°C between 1958 and 2010. It is now ranked as one of the fastest-warming places on earth.

Thanks to satellite monitoring we also know that the ice sheet is losing mass. The weak points are the floating “ice shelves” which fringe the coastline and act like dam walls holding back the flow of ice from further inland. Collapse or thinning of ice shelves causes ice flow from inland to increase, speeding up the discharge of ice into the ocean.

On the Antarctic Peninsula, the northern-most part of Antarctica, widespread thinning and collapse of ice shelves (including “Larsen B”) appears to be driven mainly by melt at the ice surface in summer, causing decay from the top down.

Further south, temperatures remain for the most part too cold to cause significant surface melt. Here, instruments deployed beneath the ice (for example, on the Amundsen Sea coast) indicate that ice shelves are being melted from below by warming ocean waters.

Map showing locations of the James Ross Island (JRI) ice core used by Nerlie Abram’s group and the West Antarctic Ice Core Divide (WAIS) core used by Eric Steig’s group. NASA

Anthropogenic climate change or natural variability?

Determining the extent to which the rapid changes in West Antarctica are being driven by anthropogenic or natural causes requires a longer term view than the few decades of instrumental observations can provide. This brings us to the two new papers: the first led by Nerilie Abram of Australian National University and the second by Eric Steig of the University of Washington.

Abram and colleagues focus on a 360-meter ice core from James Ross Island on the Antarctic Peninsula (see map). In one of the first examples of this kind of study in Antarctica they use visible melt layers in the core to reconstruct the history of surface snow melt at the site (see Figure 1, bottom panel). They then compare this record to mean annual temperatures determined using the water isotopes from the core (See Figure 1, top panel).

Their results demonstrate that surface summer melting at James Ross Island is now occurring “at a level that is unprecedented in the past 1,000 years”; indeed, there has been “a nearly-tenfold increase in melt intensity since the late 1400s”.

A concerning aspect of their finding is that the melt rate appears to respond non-linearly to temperature increase. Abram and colleagues explain: “as average summer temperature increases and positive temperature days [days above 0°C] become warmer and more frequent, the amount of melt produced exhibits an exponential increase”. Their conclusion is that ice on the Antarctic Peninsula appears to be crossing a threshold where it is particularly susceptible to rapid increases in melt caused by warming summer temperatures. This could translate to a “poleward extension of areas where glaciers and ice shelves are undergoing decay by atmospheric-driven melting”.

Figure: An ice core record of temperature and surface melt over the past 1,000 years at James Ross Island (JRI), Antarctic Peninsula. Upper panel, the thin green line represents average temperature at the site expressed relative to the average between 1981 and 2001. Lower panel, the thin red represents snow melt at the surface, expressed in per cent of annual snowfall. Thick lines are smoothed versions of the annual data. Dashed lines show the 1981—2001 averages. Figure adapted from Abram et al.

There are similarities and also important differences between these changes on the Antarctic Peninsula and those occurring further south. Eric Steig and colleagues assembled data from a network of 16 ice cores on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet spanning the past 200 years, along with a new record from the central ice divide (the WAIS divide - see map) spanning the past 2,000 years. The paper argues that water isotopes in these cores (namely δ18O - the level of oxygen-18 in the ice with respect to standard ocean water) provides a record of changes in atmospheric circulation that are linked to West Antarctic warming, sea ice retreat and ocean driven melt.

The researchers report that δ18O in the cores increased to levels “probably higher during the 1990s [1991—2000] than at any other time during the past 200 years”, suggesting current warming and melt are equally anomalous. Looking even further back (and accounting for longer term changes linked to ice flow and orbital variations) they conclude that the elevated δ18O of recent decades is not unprecedented “but is near the upper limit of the range of natural variability”; specifically, conditions similar to those of recent decades “occur about 1% of the time over the past 2,000 years”.

Ice cores let us look back in time at Antarctic warming and melting. Joel Pedro

Long-distance connections

Some popular media reports have narrowed in on the apparent discrepancy between the two studies: unusual but not unprecedented warming and ocean-driven melt suggested by the cores from central West Antarctica, compared to outright unprecedented surface melt further north on the Antarctic Peninsula. But we would rarely expect climate change in locations separated by more than 2300km (the distance between James Ross Island and the WAIS divide) to unfold identically.

What’s been less reported is that good progress has been made toward explaining why we should in fact expect to see some differences in climate trends between the two locations.

The University of Washington study argues that the warming and circulation changes in West Antarctica are can be traced all the way back to changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean: warming in the Pacific triggers a chain of pressure changes in the upper atmosphere (Rossby waves) that ultimately increases the flow of warm air over West Antarctica.

By contrast, the record melt at James Ross Island appears to be mainly driven by a pronounced southward shift in the strong westerly wind belt that circles Antarctica. This contraction (technically a positive change in the Southern Annular Mode) has a clear human fingerprint. It is linked to the combined influence of increasing greenhouse concentrations and ozone depletion.

To conclude, ice core records now place current warming and melt in West Antarctica at or above the upper bounds of natural variability. The dramatic increase in summer melt on the Peninsula is especially worrying.

Ironically, to better project climate and ice sheet change in West Antarctica we need also improve understanding and projections of climate change in the tropics.

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149 Comments sorted by

  1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

    So as the evidence that climate change is not just a future threat but is happen now continues to grow, the questions arises of 'What are we going to do about it?'

    Since the Stern report we have known that the economic cost of dealing with climate change is greater than the cost of preventing it, and both Stern and Garnout have shown that it is economically feasible to do so.

    Instead we have both Labor and Liberal rapidly expanding our coal exports. As Clive Hamilton writes in another article…

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    1. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, where you write: "Instead we have both Labor and Liberal rapidly expanding our coal exports", are you attributing some sort of responsibility to Australia for the CO2 emissions from coal-importing nations?

      I argue that Australia is not "responsible" for coal use in other nations, even if the coal originates in Australia. My view is that Australia is responsible for coal use in Australia, just as it is responsible for imported petroleum use in Australia.

      The upshot is, there should…

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    2. John Geoffrey Mosley

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Arthur

      What a cop out, Did we keep exporting iron ore to Japan in World War Two? This is a war on the environment being waged with our coal. So of course we have a responsibility to keep it down under.

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    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      I agree with you on the issues of it not being prudent.

      But exporting our coal lowers the world price of coal making it a more attractive option compared to renewables or energy efficiency.

      It also gives Australia a huge economic incentive to not discourage international agreements which would force the countries we ship to to have to reduce emissions.

      And morally I believe it is very wrong, but perhaps here we will have to agree to disagree.

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    4. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      With all due respect, Michael, international agreements are not worth the paper they're written on. Anyway, on this issue we won't ever get international agreements - the only way to do this is to penalise carbon-intensive exports, which is achieved through consumption taxes on fossil fuels (FFCT).

      I've written on this many times here at the Conversation, and until and unless people read around the topic (FFCT to control demand) against cap-and-trade (supply-side attempts), their contributions…

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    5. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Geoffrey Mosley

      Thanks John. I agree that flogging coal issue has environmental ramifications, namely that Australia is trashing its future to keep feeding the world what the world wants to buy.

      However, moralistic supply-side measures are futile. Instead, the optimal technique to get the world off fossil fuel is consumption taxes on fossil fuels. Please read the following references:

      Ref 1) http://e360.yale.edu/feature/forget_kyoto_putting_a_tax_on_carbon_consumption/2590/
      Ref 2) Dieter Helm, Economics, Oxford University "The Carbon Crunch: How We're Getting Climate Change Wrong--and How to Fix It"
      Ref 3) Thomas L Friedman NYT op-ed, 17 March 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/opinion/sunday/friedman-its-lose-lose-vs-win-win-win-win-win.html
      Ref 4) http://www.ceda.com.au/media/121695/a%20taxing%20debate%20%20the%20forgotten%20issues%20of%20climate%20policy.pdf

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    6. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      I don't have time to read the references just now, but I'm also strongly in favour of high carbon taxes and not a trading scheme.

      I think a country should be responsible for all its use - so I would refund exporters and put a carbon tax onto imports.

      But politics is the art of the possible, and a well put-together ETS is far better than nothing.

      And international agreements can mean lots when people want them to. The WTO and free-trade deals seem to be fairly effective in locking in compliant governments such as ours :(

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    7. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to David Arthur

      Quote...."I've written on this many times here at the Conversation, and until and unless people read around the topic (FFCT to control demand) against cap-and-trade (supply-side attempts), their contributions to the discussion are going to just bleat around the morality bush."

      Exactly, the whole expansion of emmission trading schemes on carbon is enough to make you want to vomit. Riddled with those same polluting organisations being the judge, jury and auditors of their own vested makings.

      These clowns have plenty of financial interests/reasons in such schemes to promote fear in the masses of the global population. It isn't because they care for you, me or the environment.

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    8. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to David Arthur

      David,

      What you seek will never happen in any meaningful way for the environment.

      Have a read of this link then look at how much Rothchild's investment bank stand to make from carbon trading schemes in the bottom link.

      https://theconversation.com/duelling-dynasties-nat-rothschild-is-no-king-coal-in-the-boardroom-battle-for-bumi-12290

      http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/rothschild-australia-and-e3-international-to-take-the-lead-in-the-global-carbon-trading-market-154464275.html

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    9. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      Wade - How about tackling the issues in the article?

      Has the data been fabricated? Or have the scientists just distorted the results?

      Why are no other credible scientists pointing this out?

      Why are you even at a site which is written by academics if you think they are all liars?

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    10. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Your post is obtuse and not reflective of any position of mine. I have had some great conversations with scientists on here.

      My agreement with David is that ETS's are easily manipulated into many things that will never reduce emissions hollistically.

      Forgive me for questioning the motives of those who seek to profit from coal and the trading of coal through credits all at the same time.

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    11. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I agree Michael, wholeheartedly that it is correct that we just don't vote Green and convince as many people as possible not to as well for we do not need any more people doing knee jerks in jumping to conclusions that we can do something about climate change.

      Have another read of the article and you'll find
      First
      " The researchers report that δ18O in the cores increased to levels “probably higher during the 1990s [1991—2000] than at any other time during the past 200 years”, suggesting current…

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    12. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      As science is not your strong point, how about explaining the social situation of how and why the vast majority of climate scientists in EVERY country over the last few decades have got it so wrong.

      Your science is non-science. Any suggestion that it is all a vast conspiracy is nonsense.

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    13. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      If you claim that relative to me you are strong on science, how about you explain why might have been happening over thousands of years prior to the last 2000 are irrelevant.

      And then what conspiracy have I suggested?
      Or do you think it is conspiratorial to want to look at what has happened over a much longer life of earth's existence and to take into account what has been happening across far broader areas like the Sahara and from the universal with intensive solar storm activity peaking right now than relying on limited information from a couple of ice cores.

      Perhaps the real conspiracy could be panicking people like yourself prepared to jump on to every study that comes along to claim new hard evidence and expect knee jerk reactions.
      Sad for you I am glad to say, life is not like that and there is much more evidence about than ice cores.
      You will even find credible scientists willing to disclose that they are always looking for more information.

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    14. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg - Just spend a few hours on the internet and you can find all the information you wish. Asking me to explain the science to you is pure trolling because you, and the other deniers, have a proven record of ignoring all such explanations.

      And you are trolling about the social situation. If the science is wrong, you need to explain how and why all the scientists are part of some huge conspiracy.

      And if you don't know what a troll is then once again I recommend some research on the net.

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    15. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Err, Michael, perhaps you've misread what Wade writes? He's essentially agreeing with me about emission trading schemes, which is also my reading of your replies to my remarks.

      That said, if Wade is off-topic, perhaps it's because he's agreeing with part of my response to your original comment, so that I must accept my role in leading him astray.

      that said, I am deeply disappointed in your remark "But politics is the art of the possible, and a well put-together ETS is far better than nothing…

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    16. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      I think that the Greens in federal parliament have done a great job of doing what is possible.

      They voted against the CPRS because that would have locked in failure, they got 'no carbon tax during this term' Gillard to put a tax on Carbon (though Labor negotiated so hard that this tax doesn't achieve much).

      They support a step in the right direction whilst speaking out on why this is not enough, and they don't sell out on their morals (eg supporting Labor's offshore processing of asylum seekers).

      Isn't Wade one of the regular climate change deniers? If not I got things wrong.

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    17. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      All very typical Michael that you have fallen back on labelling and flippancy without being prepared to support anything other than say look at this study.
      The mere fact that new studies are being done continually says that there is continually more to be revealed but you do seem to be oblivious to any facts at all.

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    18. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg - You REALLY upset me.

      No, it's not that you are a denier. It is that you call yourself an Engineer.

      I'm a professional Engineer, and proud of it. Engineering balances science, art and economics. Nature and price are our judge and jury.

      Engineering is about rational thought, and it is also about, unless there is evidence to the country, trusting other professionals.

      Your climate change denial is not just non-science and irrational, but it is based on every legitimate climate change scientist being in every country for the last few decades either being incompetent or part of some huge conspiracy.

      I believe that you are just a troll and thus know my words will mean nothing to you. (Note that as a troll he will not answer my questions about how so many have got is so wrong, but instead he accuses me of failing to answer his questions :)

      I hope others recognise that Greg North is doing the profession of Engineering a huge disservice.

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    19. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " Engineering is about rational thought, and it is also about, unless there is evidence to the country, trusting other professionals.

      Your climate change denial is not just non-science and irrational, but it is based on every legitimate climate change scientist being in every country for the last few decades either being incompetent or part of some huge conspiracy. "

      If you want rational thought Michael, I do not see too much of it in your second paragraph for I've not said that climate change…

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    20. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      As you are trolling Greg it is of course impossible to know what you are saying.

      So lets go really big picture ...

      Is climate change enough of a threat that we need to take significant action now to lower emissions?

      If you agree, then I'm not worried about the details of the science and we should be talking about what to do to reduce emissions.

      If you disagree then you are disagreeing with the scientific consensus and thus I want to know how and why this scientific consensus is wrong.

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    21. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Greg North

      @Shorter Greg North

      "If I wave my arms about madly, talk endlessly about nothing, mention science occasionally someone may be foolish enough to believe that I know something"

      North - I seriously doubt that you have ever read a single scientific paper on climate science in your life. You spam the comments here with your endless and interminable talk about nothing.

      There have been numerous articles at The Conversation about climate science by the cream of Australia's scientists.
      https://theconversation.com/search?q=climate+science

      Why don't you read some of these articles and come back when you know what you are talking about. There is no shortage of puffed up climate science deniers trolling this site already. We do not need more.

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    22. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, you're changing the topic; sure, the Freens have acheved a bit, but when you consider just how much money is going to be wtuffed down the gaping craw of the derivative trading sector rather than invested in non-fossil fuel technology (like, they'll all replace their hybrid Lexuses with Teslas?) then any justification for the ALP's scjheme is not that far removed from voting Eddie Obeid in again.

      So, please start reading, please do your own thinking, and decide whether you can continue to stomach ALP dissembling on this issue.

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    23. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      David - we are half in agreement and half in disagrement.

      If you can work out how to achieve your perfect solution, then I'll leave it all to you and you can save the world.

      Otherwise we have to do the best we can in this imperfect world where we won't all agree on the best solutions.

      At the moment on climate change you have three main choices on how to vote. I see a huge improvement of the Greens compared to Labor or Liberal. And don't think the Greens are locked in to any solution. They are not likely to change their policy direction - but they have recently rewritten their policies to be less prescriptive of how things should be done in order to enable them to better negotiate with others in parliament to get good outcomes.

      But what is the point to taking to Milne, Bandt or Di Natile about the best way to do things if most people continue to vote for do next to nothing Liberal or Labor?

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    24. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Hi Michael,

      I believe in AGW for what its worth but some on here still call me a denier. I guess we all have varying perspectives on what is happening/going to happen etc from a purely scientific perspective. One thing I do know is that the filthy rich are taking full advantage of AGW and environmentalism more broadly through schemes like ETS's and marine parks tailored around landbased and offshore mining plans.

      Its a dark era of environmentalism in many ways for the worlds masses when and where such rich entities are behind these initiatives. The UN vice chair of biodiversity once said...."conservation initiatives ignore the real drivers of biodiversity loss and the resource demands of the rich world, instead they criminalise local communities and often promote violence against them".

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    25. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to David Arthur

      Just as the weapon industries not being responsible for what ends those weapons may come too, right? And that why we have all those regulations around this industry? Reasoning in a similar manner I say we can throw those regulations away :) He*, a free society, Let the market decide what's right, and f* those environmentalists and pacifists, running around complaining, eh, sort of :)

      You need a strong state and a good honest bureaucracy to regulate both weapons industries, and other market related ideas. What I'm saying is that even we don't think of coal export as anything else than business today, history may regard it otherwise.

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    26. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, the argument that the only way this imperfect world can only be influenced by choosing votes neglects the potential of argument and advocacy in the public domain, such as our discussion on this page.

      While at the moment we have two choices on climate change (either let 'er rip with the Libs, or give all our remaining money to the finance sector, which will probably not work anyway; after all, once the finance sector is making a mint out of permit trading, you can bet that they'll make…

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    27. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, what actual, real, practical political body or force is going to back what you're suggesting?

      It's not so much that I disagree with your concerns - they're fair views, obviously - but it's easy to sit back and bag the Greens without demonstrating any practical political force in the field that might even begin to advance the agenda you're suggesting.

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    28. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      Advocacy in the public domain is so far proven ineffective, and the few people who read all the comments on The Conversation will know that 80% of any discussion on climate change is just more of the repetitive and useless back and forth between deniers and those supporting the science.

      I agree with you that an ETS that just makes profits for bankers is bad. But an ETS can also be implemented that doesn't involve bankers, and there can even be ETSs which though bankers profit are also effective at cutting emissions.

      As I said before, if you can work out a way to convince the world that your perfect solution should be implemented please do so.

      Otherwise, while still lobbying for the best solution, we need to be in the real world and work out what is achievable.

      If you were the Greens making a deal with Labor would you have insisted that Labor introduce a carbon tax that never become an ETS. Because if you had taken this stance there would be no price on carbon today.

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    29. john davies
      john davies is a Friend of The Conversation.

      retired engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Agree Michael, from another (retired) engineer. You won't get discussion on facts or credible scientific research from Greg. Team Greg are just playing the game - to muddy the pool as much as possible!

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    30. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Thanks for that response Yoron, you raise some excellent points.

      My observation is that for any and every demand there is in the world, that somehow, someone will find a way to market into that demand. A consequence of this is that any and all supply-side measures to restrict consumption of anything will fail or, at best, prove sub-optimal. There was Chicago School monetarism in the 1980's, the War on Drugs onward from the 1960's, and Prohibition in the US of the 1920's and 1930's.

      I venture…

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    31. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      An alternative to or in addition to voting Greens, is the Save The Planet party which considers that our future is dependent upon a healthy (world) environment (which should be bleeding obvious rather than arguing what an individual country may or may nor contribute to pollution - somewhat moot I'd say).

      http://www.voteplanet.net/

      "POLICIES

      Energy

      100% renewable energy system based on solar concentrating thermal, wind, solar PV and some biomass back up
      No new investments in…

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

      sole parent

      In reply to David Arthur

      I agree with everything you say, except for your disagreement with michael. We are responsible for the coal being sold overseas, and the coal we burn. He is correct, a world-wide, and australian economy, based on run-away climate change is not one we should be thinking about.

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    33. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Thanks Michael.

      My purposes in engaging on 'The Conversation' include
      1) learning something
      2) learning what other people think
      3) presenting what I think to other people. thus having my arguments tested
      4) where my arguments are found wanting, I change my mind. What do you do?

      I remain sceptical that there can be an emission trading scheme that does not involve trading. This means that there must be a central trading market, and middlemen. Middlemen (and markets) do not exist without…

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    34. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Thanks Felix; "what actual, real, practical political body or force is going to back what you're suggesting?"

      To start with, any and all of the people who read my comments*; I understand that the trickle-up effect may be an figment of my imagination, but my hope is that at least everyone who comments here will realise what a load of utter tripe is dished up by our leaders, and served out by their academic helpers.

      * Don't just take my word for it; read the references I provide, and have a think.

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    35. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      So while the right unite to get Abbott elected all those who want substantially the same come up with alternatives so politically irrelevant that even I hadn't even heard of them.

      And where to preferences go. Will they preference the Greens before Labor and Liberal?

      Given the huge similarities with Green's policies, perhaps the interesting question is why do the people running this not support The Greens?

      Probably personality clashes - believe it or not, this is a common reason for splits…

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    36. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      David - You don't want me to change my mind on the issue of best scheme because I agree with you that a consumption tax is superior.

      Rather than very high prices one of my reason for not liking an ETS is the potential crash in prices as is now happening in Europe.

      Action on climate change is going to have some loose lots of money (particularly those who need to convert assets such as coal reserves into cash). It is also going to enable some to make money. If an ETS is put in place my hope is…

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    37. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      I run my own website on very non-related topic, and I know from my web statistics that almost no-one clicks the links.

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    38. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "If you vote Green number 1 at least some money goes to the Greens to help them campaign. But vote for this lot and as they won't get the numbers for payment you end up funding no-one."

      Amusing, because not so many years ago the exact same was said about the Greens.

      We need alternatives to extract Australia from this 2 party rut. I will, in all likelihood, vote Greens first, either an Independent or SaveThePlanet second - all to push down the preferences for the LNP and Labor. Although if I have to chose between the Libs and Labs will err on the side of Labor as being the 'least worst'.

      As for chemical free water being code for "no fluoride", I'm not certain about that and it is not a deal breaker for me, because if we do not take immediate action and transition off polluting non-renewable energy sources - no amount of fluoride is going to help.

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    39. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Many people don't know how lower house preferences work, nor that if the candidate they vote 1 gets above a quote that their party gets some money.

      All your preferences are recorded in the voting statistics until you get to either the person who comes first or second. So voting Labor then Green in most seats is never recorded as showing any support for the Greens. But voting Green then Labor shows Labor that you want them to do better, and shows the Liberal candidate that you prefer the other two.

      I can't think of anyone who has done more in the political arena to support real action on climate change than Christine Milne. So I'm still puzzled why this new party has formed.

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    40. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " So I'm still puzzled why this new party has formed. "

      More voices, Michael, more organised voices. I don't know why we have to have a "Family First" with the likes of Pyne and Abbott in the Liberal Party but we do.

      More voices, more choices - less two party preferential voting and sending message to both.

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    41. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Thanks for that Michael. If we're agreed about ETS's v FFCT's, then I may have at least provided more references to which you can install (ever-to-remain unclicked) weblinks.

      It seems our discussion has approached the issue of citizen powerlessness in this democracy - we may get reported for irrelevance to the site moderator. Just as I'm a technological optimist, I'm also optimistic that, if Good Ideas are bandied about sufficiently in public spaces, then eventually some Party hack or another…

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    42. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      That's a fair comment Alice, thanks; I agree that Australia is responsible for coal burnt in Australia, but I'm less certain about coal burned overseas.

      What we can agree upon is that Australia is responsible for the environmental damage wrought upon Australia by allowing mining operations to persist in Australia - we won't see mining corporations for the dust if we ever try to bill them for that devastation.

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

      sole parent

      In reply to David Arthur

      Yes, I agree David, and it' so good to have a polite dis-agreement. So then who do we hold responsible for the devastation caused by mining coal, to burn and produce electricity, heat the planet, and acidify the ocean by 30%(and growing). Surely the devastation is still a problem, if a different one.

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    44. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      It's pretty much the same as any other supply-side or demand-side argument. If there wasn't a market for coal, then no-one would mine it.

      Supply-side responses
      1) monetarism, as promoted by Milton Friedman et al in the 1970's and 1980's as a response to the stagflation of the earlier 1970's. The failure of monetarism paved the way for Thatcher's casino capitalism, the fruits of which are being experienced now.
      2) the War on Drugs.
      3) Prohibition, which paved the way for the rise of organised…

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    45. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to David Arthur

      If you by that mean that it should be each Nations responsibility to define what types of energy they consume, and how much of it, I sort of agree with you. But it also builds on how much we know, and understand, and it seems that a majority of people think of global warming as 'someones else's problem'.

      And the reason behind that I would define as one personal demands of well being and happiness collides with what we need to do. And Politicians do not want to go against the public, because if they do it may be their well being and personal happiness that comes into jeopardy.

      I could also call it 'greed' :)

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    46. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      "But it also builds on how much we know, and understand, and it seems that a majority of people think of global warming as 'someones else's problem'."

      The good thing about consumption taxation is, it guides and informs everybody's purchasing decisions. When you get your docket, you KNOW just how much CO2 was emitted to make that product - even if you don't read the docket, the price of your chosen purchase relative to the alternatives is affected by its carbon problem.

      In other words, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use automatically becomes an issue for consumers - to keep those emissions as someone else's problem, you will chose to purchase the less expensive item.

      This is how and why we can safely leave breast-beating about fossil fuel use to those who use that fuel, not the purchasers ... because it will ultimately cost those fuel users market share.

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    47. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "But if the only way they can get agreement in parliament to significantly reduce our emissions is by an ETS that makes the bankers very rich I'll praise them for achieving the significant cut."

      I'll not praise them, because the climate change already being wrought is silencing any and all remaining objections to climate action. As early as 2015, I confidently expect ZERO objections to taking action to cease fossil fuel use, due to the damage that even Blind Freddy will be observing by then.

      However, if we proceed with an ETS we'll have locked in an inefficient, unjust, economy-destroying mechanism. The politicians will deserve nothing other than our contempt, because many people have and are alerting them to the problem.

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    48. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      Unfortunately I feel confident that in 2015 we still will be doing next to nothing.

      Which perhaps explains our differences of opinion -
      you are confident that soon we will be taking real action and want this done the best way,
      I doubt we will soon be taking action, and so spend my energies trying to make something happen.

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    49. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, you said "As early as 2015, I confidently expect ZERO objections to taking action to cease fossil fuel use". That is about 20 months from now. Conditions will have to deteriorate sharply between now and then, to tip the scales for entrenched obfuscators like Rupert Murdoch and Chris Monckton.

      Perhaps an ice-free Arctic, combined with vast quantities of ice calving in Antarctica, would be sufficiently newsworthy for Murdoch media to mention them, but I am not a sanguine as you about the chances of the spin merchants shutting up shop by 2015.

      I fervently hope you are right, though.

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    50. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Rapidity of change in climate and personal health of octogenarian bilionaires should do the job.

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    51. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      If we stick with emission trading, your jolly well correct that we'll be doing nothing useful to alter the trajectory of climate change. Reason: collapse of EU ETS demonstrates the fundamental fallacy of cap-and-trading.

      If you do spend your energies trying to make something happen, then please at least spend your energy on making something useful happen. For that reason, grasping at the straw profferred by finance sector via "progressive" politicians is futile.

      While I commend your concern…

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    52. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      David - you have missed my main point about an ETS - that under an ETS the emissions are set (dependent on how many permits are issued). That the European price has crashes simply means that emissions have fallen and so there are plenty of permits going around. But if Europe was having an economic boom now instead of its problems, permits would be in demand, and the price would be high.

      I pointed out in another post what I suspect is the key difference between us. You are convinced that in a very short time everyone will be demanding action, that the government will act, and thus the main uncertainty is which method is chosen - and we know were you stand on that.

      As I've said before I see know promising signs that either Labor or Liberal will change their views on what action is required. Getting something to happen is my big challenge, and an ETS if far better than nothing.

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    53. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, I understand perfectly well that the main point of an emission trading system is that emissions are fixed in advance.

      As I have pointed out to you, therein lies the rub (I'm going to capitalise this so you can grasp the point). ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IS ALREADY FAR, FAR TOO HIGH. The immediate consequence of this is that every single molecule of fossil-derived CO2 that is emitted (actually, every single molecule emitted since 1988, when atmospheric CO2 exceeded 350 ppm for the first time in…

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    54. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, you encapsulate the issue very well - ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IS ALREADY FAR, FAR TOO HIGH.

      So what are you doing about this? As I've said repeatedly, the challenge is to get our politicians to take significant action to reduce our emissions. This is looking almost impossible but we must try.

      Whether or not it is a carbon tax or an ETS is not at all important as long as emissions are cut significantly and soon.

      Yes, I agree with you that a carbon tax is better. But not every ETS is equal…

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    55. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, I bitterly resent your pretence that my pointing out that "cap-and-trade" schemes are stupid, and point to the vastly superior consumption tax arrangement is in any way forestalloing action on climate change.

      Understand this: IT IS THE SLAVISH ADHERENCE TO THE RIPPING-OFF OF MONEY OUT OF ECONOMIES BY BANKERS AND FINANCIERS THAT IS A BARRIER TO TAKING ACTION. As a matter of fact, Dieter Helm explains how and why cap-and-trade schemes are so lousy and so USELESS at cutting emissions…

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    56. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      Sorry David, but this is getting us no where.

      I won't say that you are stupid, so therefore you must deliberately be distorting what I've said.

      I agree with you that a carbon tax is better than an ETS. What you fail to accept is that an ETS is far preferable than nothing.

      I'm not promoting an ETS - I'm promoting action.

      You are not promoting action - you are fighting against an ETS.

      And if you are so concerned about bankers making money -
      1 - there are plenty of other things you should be campaigning about (eg private/public partnerships), and
      2 - you should also accept that an ETS may happen and suggest ways of making it better.

      For example, it is possible to have an ETS where the permits are only bought and sold to the government. No bankers involved.

      Australia is not failing to act on climate change because of people like Greg North. It is failing because most of those who say they are concerned are politically ineffective.

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    57. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "Getting us nowhere"? Michael, your view seems to be, until and unless I sign on the dotted line for whatever the Party has voted for, I'm an obstacle.

      Don't you get it? It is the con-job that ALP did on the Greens that is the obstacle.

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    58. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      The Green's managed to get "there will be no carbon tax during the next term of government" Gillard to put a tax on Carbon. Well done Greens and thanks to all who voted for them.

      Gillard negotiated hard and the tax is far from what the Greens wanted, and has far too much compensation. But this is a step in the right direction, and the Greens insisted on an independent Climate Commission who would recommend to parliament future levels of emission cuts and thus provide an non-political (and hopefully…

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    59. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Politically, it was a foul-up on both sides - Gillard tried to finesse the issue by putting a "price" on carbon, rather than a "tax", and the Greens fouled up by becoming with a ridiculously complex scheme of arrangement that is as corruptible as anything the ALP has cooked up in a long time.

      By the way, a fossil fuel consumption tax wasn't fantasy - it was pretty much what the serious commentators on climate science (Hansen) and on economics (Helm, Friedman, Carmody, CEDA) were all working…

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    60. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      In many decades time if a school assignment where to look at this thread to determine why Australia failed to act on climate change when the science was obvious, I think the student who gets an A+ will be the one who quickly ignores Greg North and looks at your posts.

      I admit that a tax is better than an ETS. I admit that the current arrangement is too little and far from ideal. And I'm lobbying hard for more action.

      You just seem to hate the bankers and the Greens and are happy to achieve nothing.

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    61. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, you're a writer, that's excellent. What you are NOT is a reader, a thinker, someone who seeks to understand the views of others. You are as blinkered as any extremist.

      For the record, I don't hate the Greens, and nor do I hate bankers; hate has got nothing to do with the manifest flaws in any scheme that is
      a) corruptible,
      b) needlessly complex,
      c) destructive of economies and businesses,
      d) ultimately sub-optimal.

      I'm delighted that you are gracious enough to acknowledge the…

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    62. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Excellent list of priorities, Dianna.

      I'd just like to point out that a consumption tax on fossil fuel, steadily increased year by year until all fossil fuel use is phased out, and made revenue-neutral through offsetting decreases in other taxes, will guide and inform entrepreneurial enterprises in optimally seeking and implementing all the appropriate technologies you describe ... with minimal government intervention.

      There is at least one other contributor to this page who doesn't get this.

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    63. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      I'm starting to think that you are someone who is lobbying for doing nothing about climate change.

      It seems that you would have preferred the Greens to promise to support Gillard (or Abbott) without achieving anything on climate change.

      An ETS is not perfect, but you need to know the details of an ETS to be able to properly lists its falls. But your rhetoric is just so over the top that it is hard to believe that you are series. An ETS that is "destructive of economies and business" is only makes sense if you think that putting a cost on carbon will do this (tax or ETS). That "all secondary schools will be bank-owned profit centres" due to an ETS is, ..., is, let's just say rather over the top.

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    64. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      I can solve world hunger - we already produce enough food so all we need to do is redirect a small amount of world spending on defence into buying enough food and distributing it.

      Of course there is the minor problem that somehow we have to get this to happen.

      David Arthur is the same. He has a great solution. But he ignores the minor issue of how to get this to happen.

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    65. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, we are agreed that a fossil fuel consumption tax is superior to an ETS. It is remarkable that we are in agreement on this point, given that there has never been a broad public debate on which option is preferable.

      Instead, there has been over a decade fighting a rear-guard action against the forces of darkness, ie organisations that do not want people to realise that climate change is happening and is due to human activity.

      Meanwhile, the finance sector has decided that it will use…

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    66. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "David Arthur ... has a great solution. But he ignores the minor issue of how to get this to happen."

      How do I get it to happen?

      1. Get Michael Wilbur-Ham to agree that David Arthur's solution is superior to Michael's solution. That's done.

      2. Get Michael Wilbur-Ham to be moral enough to start arguing for the solution that he KNOWS is superior. That's not happening: instead, Michael continues to argue for ETS's although he knows that they will only further social injustice the division between the obscenely wealthy and the rest.

      Which side of that divide are you on, Michael?

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    67. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      The Greens did stick to their principles - they got the best deal they could.

      If you could do better then please do so. If you can convince people to get parliament to take real action please do so. And then, and only then, you can use your amazing powers to ensure that we have a carbon tax and not an ETS.

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    68. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      British Columbia has already instituted a carbon tax, not an emission trading scheme; their only problem is, the Canadian Federal government is a mob of climate change Deniers.

      If another sovereign nation followed British Columbia's lead, maybe the world would finally adopt the superior solution. There are those, however, who would rather see the banksters continue to grind the rest of the world into poverty - which means, by the way, the non-banksters won't be able to afford to buy non fossil fuel equipment and technology.

      This will solve nothing, but it's the course that the Collective's leaders have told it to choose, so that's the way we'll be dragged.

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    69. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      How many times to I have to say that I prefer a carbon tax to an ETS for you to get that message???

      To put it bluntly - one of us is an illogical idiot - and I doubt that further discussion will make any progress.

      If there is anyone other than us still reading this thread then you have probably already decides which one of us is an idiot, and will be pleased to know that I'm no longer going to debate David.

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    70. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "How many times to I have to say that I prefer a carbon tax to an ETS for you to get that message???"

      Michael, I got that message, loud and clear, from the very first time you wrote it.

      So why are you so logically bereft as to not just continue arguing for an ETS, but castigating those of us who do openly argue for the FFCT? You seem to believe that an FFCT is not politically possible; and neither it will, so long as moral cowards continue to not state what they truly think.

      Rest assured that any time I find a comment spruiking an ETS over an FFCT, I will explain how and why the latter is superior - whether or not the author of that comment has the decency to further debate the issue.

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    71. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      Just for the record, and for any remaining readers other than David, I'm lobbying for real action to reduce emissions and would much rather a not-perfect solution than nothing.

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    72. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Just for the record, cap-and-trade schemes are a curious blend of market-based pricing ("trade") and Soviet old-style centralised planning ("cap").

      Now, the "trade" part of the scheme is market-based, but is a market-based zero-sum game. [Nearly a zero-sum game, if we forget about the obscene fees of the trading houses]. That means that for every dollar someone makes out of emission trading [less brokerage], someone else is losing. Yes, we might say, someone else might be losing money, but at…

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    73. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Indeed, in getting Ms Gillard to agree to a carbon pricing scheme, the Greens achieved the best deal possible in the post-election circumstances of 2010.

      The deal that was achieved, however, was hardly in accordance with Green principles of justice, equity or even economic responsibility.

      It is in the interests of Green credibility that they push for the preferable solution at the first available opportunity; indeed circumstances can, and do, change.

      The forthcoming changed circumstances…

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    74. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      After the last election the Greens made a deal with Gillard that if she implement a price on carbon, a dental health scheme, and a few other things, they would support supply and motions of confidence.

      I think they achieved great things, fully in accordance with the parties principles.

      Apart from this deal the Greens have no 'association' with the ALP, and have often voted against Labor in both the upper and lower houses.

      I agree that the climate will continue to degenerate and that the next IPCC report will be scary.

      But the collapse of the EU ETS price says nothing about the effectiveness of the EPS. The cuts planned by the ETS are still being made, and given for the poor economy in the EU I can't see the politicians wanting to make the economy pay for further cuts.

      If the release of the IPCC report or the magic or David convinces our politicians that major cuts are needed and soon I'll be incredibly shocked (but pleased).

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    75. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      So, all the Greens did was agree to support supply and motions of no confidence (of which there have been a flood since Tony Abbott came to Lib leadership) the Greens didn't actually specify the particular corruptible, complex, inefficient, business-destroying scheme that the ALP finally put up.

      Excellent, this means that the Greens don't have ownership of the dog's breakfast aka Clean Energy Futures package: this means the Greens can disown that ETS at the first available opportunity, and instead argue for an FFCT, something that both Michael Wilbur-Ham and David Arthur argue is environmentally, socially and economically superior.

      The magic that I seek, Michael, is for you to be as good as your word, and actually start campaigning for what you know to be correct.

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    76. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Arthur

      David is either incredibly nieve about recent political events the political process, or he is deliberately disrupting the conversation.

      Anyone who has followed this know that committee was set up (the Liberals were invited to join but refused) where a compromise was eventually reached which became law.

      Compromise means that no-one was perfectly happy.

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    77. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      MWH & DA

      No wonder there is no practical action taken on actually doing something, when you two bicker over options that have yet to even see a monetary result.

      Meanwhile big corpa is laughing all the way to the bank.

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    78. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Thanks Michael. I was naive enough to write a submission to that committee, setting out how and why emission trading is inferior to a fossil fuel consumption tax; in this way, I sought to have my criticisms placed on the public record.

      The Committee replied, advising me that submissions were defined as "Correspondence", and hence would not be placed on the public record. That's what passes for democratic openness in Australia.

      My previous comment suggested to Michael that, if he considers a carbon tax superior to an emission trading scheme, that he continue his proud tradition of lobbying and seek to effect the change. I note that Michael's reply is all cast in the past tense; are you yesterday's man, Michael?

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    79. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Thanks for that, Dianna. (My surname derives from Cornish immigrants to the Lake Macquarie of NSW; we wouldn't be related, would we?)

      The "bickering" between myself and Michael derives from his apparent refusal to countenance further lobbying on his part to achieve his preferred outcome, and my inability to accept the present dog's breakfast (Clean Energy Futures package) as anything more than substandard.

      You suggest there is no practical action, which Michael blames on my objections to the…

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    80. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to David Arthur

      David

      My grandmother was from Cornwall - however that is on the maternal side of the family tree. I doubt we are related :)

      I am not going to pick sides between either you or Michael. Just wish you would use your passion and energy on convincing deniers or even fence sitters that we urgently require action now.

      A good start would be to join the protest at the opening of more coal mines in Queensland when we should be transitioning off the stuff. My opinion is that vested interests are trying to make as much money as they can before coal loses its value in favour of renewable energy.

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    81. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Thanks Dianna.

      Noting that you won't pick sides between myself and Michael, you advise that "big corpa is laughing all the way to the bank", of course they are: they've got the emission trading boondoggle they want, rather than the carbon tax that would force them to do something.

      Regarding more Qld coal mines, world demand for coal is now peaking and will soon start into decline. The Qld govt would be a damn pack of irresponsible fools to approve even one more mine - matter of fact, there's even an insane proposal to mine coal within 20 km of the Mary River Estuary (~30 km from Great Sandy Straits, Fraser Island and Wide Bay).

      With a bit of luck, perhaps they'll let the environment department do an honest appraisal of that project, which could only reject it (if they've got the in-house expertise to properly appraise it).

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  2. Tyson Adams

    Scientist and author

    In before the deniers.....

    Good article, leaves little wriggle room for the usual claims of "gaining ice".

    As Michael has already commented, we have the evidence, it is well past time to act. Neither of the major parties are doing what they should be doing on climate change. Time to let them know that isn't good enough.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Tyson Adams

      " Large uncertainties remain in the current and future contribution to sea level rise from Antarctica. Climate warming may increase snowfall in the continent’s interior1, 2, 3, but enhance glacier discharge at the coast where warmer air and ocean temperatures erode the buttressing ice shelves4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Here, we use satellite interferometric synthetic-aperture radar observations from 1992 to 2006 covering 85% of Antarctica’s coastline to estimate the total mass flux into the ocean…

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    2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Sorry Greg, but has anyone claimed that the details are certain? If they were we could save lots of money by ending all research.

      But there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that the threat of climate change is real, and in fact is no longer speculation but is happening now.

      You refuse to answer my question of how and why the worlds scientists have got this big picture view wrong. If you were a real person you would tackle this. People with different views usually jump at the opportunity to explain. That you do not answer me suggests that you are just here to troll and disrupt.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " Sorry Greg, but has anyone claimed that the details are certain? If they were we could save lots of money by ending all research. "

      Certain or not Michael, seems as though someone reckons there's sufficient evidence of not just a future threat!
      " So as the evidence that climate change is not just a future threat but is happen now continues to grow, the questions arises of 'What are we going to do about it?' "

      I have not said any scientists have got the big picture view wrong so why should…

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg -

      I will now leave it to the readers of this thread to decide for themselves which one of us is a troll.

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    5. Tyson Adams

      Scientist and author

      In reply to Greg North

      So, despite the article, you are trying to claim that ice is increasing in the Antarctic? Because my point was that you couldn't make that claim any more.

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Tyson Adams

      Nope Tyson, I haven't claimed that all but merely pointed out what information is in the link used.

      Obviously Ice will melt in warmer times and there have in very recent times for instance been huge slabs of ice break away, the reports of such also including belief that sea currents may have those slabs re-collide with other parts of Antarctica.
      I do not know whether that has occurred, what the pace of movement is and when it may be expected to occur, whether it is being monitored or has even…

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    7. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Greg North

      Science is not about believing, the closest you get a belief is statistics. And there are no set truths, which also is why you won't see scientists, normally and in their professional cappacity, state that they 'know'.

      But what you can say is that the probability for us moving toward a climate never seen before historically, as it is man made, not a natural trend. (And that is agreed on, no matter how many people arguing against it.) is raising much faster than predicted. Don't know how old you are but give it two more decades. Then see.

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    8. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Greg North

      North continues with more hand waving designed to bolster his climate science denial. His gish gallop style requires more effort than it is probably worth to debunk his nonsense but here are a few points.

      "Studies also reveal that Methane Gas emissions of some extent were occurring way back with the Romans..."

      Your point being? If you are arguing that because there was methane gas emissions in Roman Times that therefore climate change is not a problem you are presenting a logical fallacy. Is…

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    9. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      I agree Yoron, only time will tell even if it is not really telling us too much in two decades or even with progressive change what the longer term changes may be.
      The burning of fossil fuels, greater populations in humans and animals will also have an impact and yet what is not and will likely never be known is what future climates will be for there will always be the nature cycle and human/animal impact, with quite possibly the greatest effect coming from the solar system and universe.

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    10. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Greg North

      More handwaving.

      "only time will tell even if it is not really telling us too much in two decades or even with progressive change what the longer term changes may be"

      No. Not true. Basic physics tells us that emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at the rate of 34 billion tonnes a year will warm the earth substantially.
      https://theconversation.com/20-years-on-climate-change-projections-have-come-true-11245

      "quite possibly the greatest effect coming from the solar system and universe."
      No. Not true. We can measure the insolation quite accurately. Heard of satellites? The sun is and has been relatively stable. Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

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    11. john tons

      retired redundant

      In reply to Tyson Adams

      Hope springs eternal Tyson but I am afraid the deniers have little time for the scientific method. the science of climate change is seen as being driven by left wing extremists who have shaped their science to suit their attacks on the capitalist system. No amount of evidence will sway them. As for the idea that we have a moral obligation not to contribute to the global insanity by exporting our coal - no chance. Relentless economic growth demands that we keep burning and bugger the consequences.

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    12. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Rather funny Mike
      " “As is always the case in science, we cannot know for certain that the 1990 prediction was accurate for the right reasons but, given the apparent absence of any credible alternative theories and the robustness of the prediction, this evaluation strongly supports the contention that the climate is responding to enhanced levels of GHGs (greenhouse gases) in accordance with historical expectations,” "
      Kind of a bit in the same vein as Donald Rumsfeld with his unknown unknowns!

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    13. Tyson Adams

      Scientist and author

      In reply to john tons

      Yes, I have a saying about that phenomenon: Let's keep raping the Earth whilst there is still money to be made doing so.

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    14. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      And Mike, if you want something more substantial on solar storms, you might want to read up a bit more
      http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/preparations-begin-for-damaging-solar-storms-20130405-2hare.html
      giving an indication and for what is happening virtually right now
      http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/25/17914300-sun-fires-off-3-solar-flares-spacecraft-at-risk?lite

      Now those articles are more about what could happen to some of those satellites you have heard of and also possibly…

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    15. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Greg North

      So now you are whining that because science is unable to provide 100% certainty

      You are the master of the logical fallacy "because we do not know everything with 100% certainty, we know nothing"

      We do not understand gravity with 100% certainty. From today's news
      "Scientists have subjected Albert Einstein's famous theory of gravity to its toughest real-world test so far—and it has prevailed."

      BUT

      "And so scientists are testing the general theory not because they think it is wrong but because they are certain it can't be the final explanation—just as Isaac Newton's notion of gravitational force was superseded by Einstein's"

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324743704578444913060125542.html

      Learn some basic science Greg before posturing here.

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    16. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Greg North

      "We will just have to wait and see..." LOL

      You really are completely clueless on climate science Greg. Your mate Rumsfeld would have also advised that when in a hole, stop digging.

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    17. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike, it seems you are one doing more than enough whining for supporters and what you label as deniers alike.

      I have never said that we do not know anything because we ( scientists to the fore ) are always seeking more and confirmations.
      It does seem that you and Michael both have a problem with more and more being discovered and considering how what gets discovered fits with known data.

      Go and dig that hole of yours larger and at least it may broaden your outlook.

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

      sole parent

      In reply to Greg North

      Not this again, remember. Solar storms have a localised impact only, and the changes we are seeing are world-wide and have to be caused by human induced climate change. The nasa report you last posted stated that. The mini ice age, the previous warming of greenland, yeah those things happened but were still more localised events. The changes now happening are so wide-spread and so global that these blips don't compare. As for the sahara, there is some thought that humans played a role in desertification…

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

      sole parent

      In reply to Greg North

      "more and more confirmations", "more and more being discovered", "fits with known data", and the problem is yours. Because the fishing expedition you seem to be on takes no account of current discoveries, data and confirmations. But focuses more on minor "anomalies", already well explained in the context of climate change, (which you wilfully ignore), and wishful thinking.

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    20. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Have the posts by Greg North et al ever change a readers mind? I doubt it.

      Has there ever been a case on The Conversation of a denier changing their mind after reading posts from those who accept the science? Not that I've ever seen.

      So perhaps we should all stop pretending that this is a discussion and that anyone, including those who write frequently and passionately explaining the science, are achieving anything.

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

      sole parent

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Hi Michael, agreed, and once I suggested we all ignore them, and we did, it was good. Personally, I think we should all the time, but then I revert to argument, again, sigh. So now I try to do both, and ignore them wilfully on my terms, and also have other more relevant conversations. My title is a bit confusing for some, bait for others.
      This article has taught me something though. The west antarctic ice sheet sits on granite below sea-level.
      I once read somewhere that in considering a sudden massive ice movement, due to a "slip" forming under a big big piece of ice, and it giving way in a day or two, had this happened anywhere on the planet before? The scientists looked around and saw the Hudson Bay in a whole new light. The cataclysmic geography of the area was then explained. So yes this article is interesting. It can happen again. Water warming, big summer storms, wind, currents, a bit of movement, big-time swoosh

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    22. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      I wonder whether we will live long enough to see some major tipping point tip?

      If we do it will be amusing in a very sad way to see the public turn against the scientists saying "why didn't you warn us that this would happen?" and they won't be happy when they ask "So what can we do now to untip things?" and the scientists "nothing - it's too late".

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

      sole parent

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I now think we will see big stuff. And I also think about future conversations. Tony is the same age as me, and I imagine the conversations his grand-children will have, or not want to have with him. There will be pariahs, I hope litigation. Probably some wealth distribution from some of the worst, (Gina?).
      I just can't see enough happening to mitigate climate change, so bought 4 coffee plants, for the future, they will increasingly do well here. I don't want global uncertainty getting in the way of my coffee addiction. I want to grow it anyway.
      And I now believe in talking to as many women as much as sanely possible, because I think that as soon as this 50% minority, (sic) becomes mobilised, the argument for greater action could be realised. Women are the key, of all political persuasions, particularly the gardening cultured types. This is my mission. The conservative old white males should be called to account, and be seen for what they are. A loud speaking (actual) minority.

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    24. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Alice - I was a Green's candidate many years ago and literally spent one month on the streets talking to the people of Higgins.

      I can assure you that those who care about others and want action on climate change are not predominantly one sex or the other. I can assure you that some of those most opposed to taking action are mothers with young children.

      My list of those who I hold most responsible for inaction on climate change, in order, is:
      Rudd, Wong, Gillard, Turnbull, Howard. Do you notice…

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    25. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      You may claim that past events have just been localised and that may be partially true for Greenland though we certainly did not have satellites then and has ice coring been extensive enough to really know just how big a thaw there was after mini Ice Ages.

      You do need to read some more on Solar storms for they may be localised on the sun but the jury remains out on the extent they can affect much more than just local areas.

      What you do not doubt nor see is certainly up to yourself Alice and I have no interest in discussing just how that contribute to a wider discussion.

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    26. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      And you are entitled to your thoughts Alice and me mine as others are to theirs.

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    27. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Whatever perhaps you perhaps want Michael.
      Does a discussion need to have an objective of attempting to change peoples minds?

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    28. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      All very interesting Alice if at all sanely possible and when will you be telling to look out for the big Swoosh?

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    29. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      The Big Swoosh!, The Big Tip!
      Could be disaster movie titles if the making of them is not swooshed away.
      So you will be amused to see the public turn against scientists!
      Look, save the scientists and just give them my name.

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

      sole parent

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I agree, michael that those who want change are not predominately one sex or the other. What I'm trying to say is that there's a lot of overly technical language, shouting by predominately male conservative voices in the media who wish to control, obscure and lie. Many people including women are not inclined to want to have much of an opinion because of the nastiness involved.
      What I'm really saying is that the moment a movement has a significantly large cross-section of women start to actively lobby, then action will follow. At the moment it's not at that stage.
      My mother was a green candidate also.
      I used to garden for all these old lib club women. We didn't discuss politics. However these formidable women, armed with trowels, are the sort to move and shake environmental causes. I have a way into their world because I know a lot of latin, can frame an argument, and they respect my horticultural knowledge. So I do what I can. That's all.

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    31. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Alice Kelly - I wish you luck with your targeted 'marketing'.

      I think one factor which keen older gardeners will have noticed is the changes in the timing of events in their garden from the small amount of climate change we have already experienced.

      Keen older birdwatchers will probably have noticed that birds that you only used to see further north are now moving south.

      And remember the older Libs are Malcolm Fraser liberals not Tony Abbott libs. In conservative Higgins 20% of the Greens vote is from people who give the Liberals their second preference - ie this is the Greens getting support from liberals.

      Good luck!

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  3. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    Perhaps the record melt at James Ross Island (Antarctic Peninsula) is partly attributable to ozone depletion, then ozone recovery might ameliorate Antarctic Peninsula melting?

    It may be necessary to revisit conservation treaties and protocols over forthcoming centuries as the Antarctic Peninsula is increasingly recolonised by flora and fauna.

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  4. Billy Gamblin

    All round Hero

    I think Noel Pedro has some good points here. He really looks like he knows what he is talking about in his red coat, at the coal face. Go Noel - we're behind you!

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  5. Yoron Hamber

    Thinking

    Interesting article Joel. Remember that I was worried about W-Antarctica when I read Hansen's paper warning about it in the nineties (?) I think it came? He sounded worried in it, but the overall consensus at that time was that the probability of something like that happening was very low, so I let it rest.

    But history has a way of making us all wrong it seems :) And much faster than I ever thought possible. But I don't expect us to change anything here I'm afraid. We'll just move with the human momentum we have until we come to some breaking point. And then we first will try Geo engineering, no matter what we've seen in those limited tries done already, gene modifications etc. Then we'll find territorial conflicts growing, and maybe even major scale? From that I don't know.

    We could agree on one kid per person, globally for the next hundred years. That would make a real difference in thirty years, but we won't do that either. Anyway, I hope I'm wrong.

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

      sole parent

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Yeah I think it'll become horrible, but the real question is where is peter ormonde, "the conversation national treasure". I hope he is well.

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    2. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Agreed, he's a good man, and pretty sensible too. Makes me smile. The older I get the more it seems everything comes in cycles, each new generation doing the same thing as mine, although redefining it, making it 'new' :) And Peter seems well aware of it.

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  6. Yoron Hamber

    Thinking

    You might find this link interesting. It's about West Antarctica, and evidence of freshwater accumulating under the ice, also drawing some conclusions about its effects. Although, those of you wanting to stay comfortable believing in the markets divine guidance of us humans, or, eh, let's call it, happily ignorant, you better ignore it :) that, as it to me predict an further acceleration, again.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/10/1200602/-The-Antarctic-Half-of-the-Global-Thermohaline-Circulation-Is-Faltering

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    1. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Well, the whole of Antarctica really, but I can't stop thinking of West Antarctica, it seems :)

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    2. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      "Around as well as under the ice" I should have wrote. Wish one could edit posts here.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      That's an interesting article Yoron and unlike the claim that climate deniers will jump on the increased sea ice as an indication of cooling, I agree with the thought put forward that it is more complicated and could be confusing to many.

      I would add though that there is a danger in sometimes thinking things are more complicated than they need to be considered so, a basic premis of any investigation or project in many fields is to look at smaller chunks of information in building the bigger view…

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    4. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Greg North

      Well, the point making such a paper Greg, and putting it into a blog, I would call frustration. t is one thing that you as a scientist are very careful with what you say, both from a aspect of science don't have 'final answers' although they are looking for them. To that you can add strong economical and power related, and so political, interests wanting no one to 'rock the boat'. It's also a question of centralization relative decentralization. A robust system needs to be decentralized, but then…

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    5. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      I agree Yoron, there is a lot of greed on the planet and as simple a life as you or I may live it is all relative for everyone, the kids in Bangladesh for instance, living on river banks and scrounging floating plastic for reycling or ditto families in India, Lagos the Phillipines etc., all aspiring to a better life and I would not blame them and yet there would be some in their societies who see some taking entrepreneurial approaches to expanding their businesses as greedy.
      Likewise, you, I and…

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    6. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Greg North

      I won't dispute that there is good coming from the concept of greed too. But to my eyes we can share even without 'business nodes' accumulating personal wealth, distributing 'services', as construction etc.
      But, to me, that is a question for the individual, and ones own values as I see it. It's not a 'movement' in the ordinary sense, as for it to actually work, one need to build it from what values one find inside one self. If you can't stamp out your own greed, what makes you think you can stamp out others?

      That's the hardest thing there is, to question ones own values. It's exactly like education, the slowest way there is to change somethin, although once gathered one of the most long living ways to change something too.

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  7. Doug Hutcheson

    Poet

    It is interesting to see another report of changes to the cryosphere, to add to the rapid loss of Arctic summer ice extent and volume. Those who ask why global average surface temperature is not rising as fast as they would expect need turn only to the warming of the oceans and the melting of massive volumes of ice at the Arctic/Antarctic, as well as the retreat of many glaciers, to find the answer: energy is currently going into the oceans as heat and into the cryosphere as phase change to H₂O from solid (ice) to liquid (water). We are still warming globally and hiding from the facts will not change the facts.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Before you get started on a climatic poem Doug, there's some information about on both Artic and Antarctica recent Ice gains
      Artic - http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
      " Between the 2012 summer minimum and the 2013 winter maximum, sea ice extent increased 11.72 million square kilometers (4.53 million square miles), the largest increase in the satellite record. This was primarily due to the extreme record low ice extent in September 2012 "

      Yep we're coming off an Artic Ice low so we can say there…

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    2. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, do you agree that Arctic summer sea ice extent and volume is in a death spiral http://skepticalscience.com//pics/arctic-death-spiral-1979-201302.png ? Or, are you claiming that the loss of Arctic summer ice has inexplicably bottomed out and will recover from now on? If you think it has bottomed out and will rise from now on, what physical process is going to cause that? You must have a mechanism in mind, to make such a prediction.

      Antarctica, as you know, works on totally different parameters…

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      First off Doug, nowhere do you see me calling scientists mad nor blowing smoke and I find any attacks on scientists as with any other profession reprehensible.

      And I agree, that the reference you have linked does show a steady summer sea ice loss before a more dramatic one between 2010 and 2012, it no small wonder that the NW passage has been navigable in recent years without ice breakers, something that was also done in the very early twentieth century.
      I am no more an expert than you Doug and…

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    4. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, you said "the NW passage has been navigable in recent years without ice breakers, something that was also done in the very early twentieth century". To be accurate, for the sake of others reading this thread, Amundsen's 1903 expedition took 3 years to manage the north-west passage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen#Northwest_Passage_.281903.E2.80.931906.29, which is not close to the inference about the NW passage being navigable without ice breakers in the early 20th century. It took…

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    5. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug - I think Greg has done lots of research. He knows what to say to best misinform.

      I asked Doug North why he was here, and he would not answer.

      Reading his posts there are also the questiona of "What is he trying to say?" and "What does he want us to do?"

      Greg says "nowhere do you see me calling scientists mad nor blowing smoke and I find any attacks on scientists as with any other profession reprehensible." Yet isn't his whole reason for spending such a huge effort to post here to cast…

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    6. john davies
      john davies is a Friend of The Conversation.

      retired engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Agree wholeheartedly. Engaging with Team Greg is exactly what they want you to do.
      Their objective is to confuse. This is obvious from what they say on a range of subjects while dodging the real issues.
      It is political!

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    7. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to john davies

      I'm pretty certain that it is PAID political.

      Notice how each article on climate change always has one frequent denier posting. But we almost never have two of the frequent posting deniers posting at the same time nor do we have long periods of time when no denier posts.

      The frequent posting deniers tend to devote almost all their energies to just one thread, leaving their colleagues to post in others. And who posts is based on the type of article - this one is scientific so we get Greg North, the article "Beyond light bulbs: individual responsibility and climate action" is social, so they get Gerald Dean (who at the time of writing this comment has not written one comment for this article).

      And note that the people who I believe are paid to post climate change denial, population growth is good, etc articles are not party political. They are promoting the interests of big business and tend to avoid party politics.

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    8. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Sadly, Greg has succeeded in derailing the thread from the original topic of "What is happening to Antarctica's Ice", which I find more interesting than endless debates about the NW passage.

      The observed changes in Antarctica are consistent with a warmer ocean melting ice sheets from underneath, an increase in the speed of glaciers, and warmer air holding more water vapour, leading to increased precipitation of snow on the ice cap. I wonder if Greg has any thoughts about that?

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    9. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug - Can you give even just one example where the comments to an article on climate change are not predominantly off-topic back and forth between deniers and those who accept the science.

      They have not just derailed this thread, they have succeeded in derailing EVERY thread.

      I'm thinking of starting my own forum where trolls, non-science, and party spin will be banned. Step 1 is entering the name of the forum, and so the hold-up is deciding on a good name.

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    10. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Not surprisingly, after reading my post stating that the deniers tend to only post in one thread at a time, and mentioning the "Beyond light bulbs" article, Greg North has now posted to that article.

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    11. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      I was going to respond to you further up Doug but it is probably pointless and rather than me derailing the " What is happening to Antarctic Ice " , it was not I who posted
      " It is interesting to see another report of changes to the cryosphere, to add to the rapid loss of Arctic summer ice extent and volume. Those who ask why global average surface temperature is not rising as fast as they would expect need turn only to the warming of the oceans and the melting of massive volumes of ice at the Arctic/Antarctic, as well as the retreat of many glaciers, "

      We should wish Michael well with his new forum and perhaps Michael it could be called
      " No Open Minds Please "

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    12. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      My forum is going to be the opposite of "No Open Minds".

      Myself, Doug Hutcheson, and many others have all got open minds. We are all at The Conversation to learn and to engage in rational and evidence based debate.

      Unfortunately, as proven in this thread, real open minded debate is impossible when faced by profesional spin merchants such as yourself.

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    13. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Greg North

      Don't think you're spinning a tale of misinformation Greg. I think you're a engineer, just as you say. I also think you as me grew up in a society still trusting to that technology and progress, combined with a free market, would bring democracy and well being to all Countries, in their own good time.

      Since then we found 'new' mathematics as chaos mathematics, describing how earth evolves, with its life forms. We have also found out 'global warming', as well as that this planet isn't that place…

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    14. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Greg North

      Well Greg, that ice gain you're referring to is thin ice, not the old thick one. On the whole the water has raised just above one centimeter in the oceans, since the 1990:s as I understands it.

      Considering that earth consist of 70.8% Water, 29.2% Land I would say that this is a lot. Some of it should be due to more heat stored, expanding a ocean, but a lot of it will be fresh water, melted from ice.

      Imagine yourself calculating how much it would become if restricted to a single volume of ocean, as just the Baltic sea? I'm sure you can find the calculation checking on cubic volumes of oceans relative the Baltic.

      The problem is that, expanded over a whole planet we don't 'see it', yet.

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    15. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Eh, it's enough with calculating a area :) maybe using a percentage basis calculating what raise that restricted Baltic area would see. I've been toying with the idea, but I'm lazy :)

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