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Global climate game abandons biodiversity

The latest climate talks in Warsaw may have achieved little in the way of action on climate change, but they were even worse for biodiversity. In fact, since early climate talks in the 1990s, biodiversity…

Why has biodiversity been forgotten in climate negotiations? Flickr/Dom Dada

The latest climate talks in Warsaw may have achieved little in the way of action on climate change, but they were even worse for biodiversity. In fact, since early climate talks in the 1990s, biodiversity has vanished from international and Australian climate policy. So, why has biodiversity become decoupled from climate change?

Biodiversity, carbon’s forgotten partner

Biodiversity is the global blind spot in climate change. Food, shelter, clean water and a climate that nurtures life are underpinned by biodiversity. It is simply not possible to avoid dangerous climate change without taking into account ecosystem services, the product of biodiversity.

Tropical forests absorb 15% of global emissions every year. Clearing them accounts for around 20% of global emissions.

All components of biodiversity – genes, species and ecosystems – are in decline. Extinction is now known to have ecosystem effects rivalling those of ozone, acidification and elevated CO2.

The problem is highlighted by deforestation.

Since 1997, about 200 million hectares of mostly rainforest have been cleared. Using conservative figures and assuming around 200 tonnes of carbon per hectare in these forests this amounts to about 147 billion tonnes of CO2. That’s equal to 245 years of Australia’s emissions at current rates. And this does not even include increases in the area of degraded forests, which is about 25% more.

The global trade in logging and felling forests grows. The trade is predicted to be worth about US$450 billion per year by 2020.

You could be excused for thinking that climate change is finally reason enough to help correct the failure of not properly valuing biodiversity. But you would be wrong.

Tropical rainforests are biodiversity hotspots, and store large amounts of carbon, but they’re threatened by deforestation. Flickr/sleepcreature

A history of neglect

Biodiversity was front and centre at the start at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Secretary General of the UN Boutros Boutros-Gali opened with two minutes silence for life on Earth and an impassioned speech warning we had “only a few years or a few decades to act" on biodiversity decline and climate change.

The Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change, were opened simultaneously for signature. So what went wrong?

The politics between Europe and the US collided. Europeans – fundamentally reacting to American consumerism - objected to the possibility that the United States could “buy their way out” of any real effort to reduce their energy emissions via investment in forests.

In global climate change deliberations this logic had the effect of demoting biodiversity to a mere offset. Instead of seeing the ecosystem sector working together with energy abatement - clearly the original intention - the debate deteriorated into a farce with Europeans “against” forests, and Americans “for” them.

In 1997 the role of the ecosystem sector activities (such as avoiding deforestation, forest management and agriculture) in climate mitigation was ousted from what became the Kyoto Protocol apart from narrowly defined afforestation and reforestation, resulting in a global policy discord that continues to have chaotic ramifications.

Forests (and frogs) were ousted from the Kyoto Protocol. Flickr/Arthur Chapman

Australian inaction

Before losing the election, Kevin Rudd announced cuts to the Biodiversity Fund to help Australia transition to an emissions trading scheme. The fund, part of the Clean Energy package, rewards land managers for conserving biodiversity and reducing carbon emissions.

Less well known is that two weeks earlier another Australian carbon and biodiversity initiative was quietly shelved: the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership.

Initiated under the Howard government, this ambitious project was to protect 70,000 hectares of peat forests, re-flood 200,000 hectares of dried peatland, plant 100 million trees in Central Kalimantan and lead to a reduction of 700 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over a 30 year period. From 2008 the project was severely scaled back, emasculated to the point of being irrelevant, and finally simply dropped.

But worse was to come for biodiversity. The new Abbott government immediately announced the repeal of Australia’s emissions trading scheme. The government structured their new Direct Action policy around the Carbon Farming Initiative, a Labor scheme to reward land owners for reducing and storing carbon. The initiative has real potential to transform landscapes through direct action, but this rests on a high level of ambition and a high carbon price both arguably dependent on an emissions trading scheme.

Biodiversity offers us ecosystem services, such as pollination. Flickr/Michael Dawes

What’s happening now?

Excluding forests from the Kyoto equations has added to the certain, permanent and massive loss of biodiversity without any influence whatever on American consumption patterns.

It has also effectively decoupled ecosystems and their biodiversity from climate change policy. It is possible to dismiss biodiversity, which can now be considered an after-thought (according to current Secretary General to United Nations Ban Ki-moon in the preface to the 2010 Global Biodiversity Outlook), or worse, a burden.

This is a perverse space. The European Commission, for instance, has banned forestry credits of any kind from the world’s major carbon market until at least 2020, because they are not considered real. This is despite their own report that predicts avoided deforestation measures could reduce extinctions by 86%-95% with a carbon price of US$25 per tonne CO2.

The international initiative of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) has also become entangled in an ideological debate about whether it is okay to use private investment to fund it. The estimated cost of reducing deforestation and degradation by 50% range is US$17-28 billion.

Since only US$4 billion per year from 2010 to 2012 has been pledged - barely a third of the lowest estimate - private finance will be essential. Keep in mind that global climate finance flows have now reached about US$364 billion, all but 5% of it driven by the private sector mostly from corporations or renewable energy project developers.

We have entered a time when good environmental outcomes no longer include biodiversity, but merely find cheaper ways for industry to reduce carbon emissions.

Join the conversation

100 Comments sorted by

  1. Joseph Bernard

    Director

    Carbon tax is a total distraction that has only delivered a great waste of time, mass debate, paper shuffling and creative profiteering. Meanwhile mass extinction continues especially here in Australia, where that canaries are arse up in the cage of life. With the loss of each old species we also step closer to a mono culture that is creating a mars-scape planet where the Sahara desert will proabably look like an oasis.

    This link is to TED talk that provides inspirational and profound insights…

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    1. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Joseph Bernard

      You should look up "Bill Mollison" and "Permaculture" and "Lessons from the loess plateau"

      All available free on youtube, you will love Lessons from the loess plateau

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    2. Joseph Bernard

      Director

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Yes, I very well aware of the work of Bill Mollison and Loess Plateau.

      Loess Plateau project is a prefect example of how good land management can turn desert into flourishing productive landscape.. It is however a high input project that required a significant effort to implement.

      Imagine the same results of the Loess Plateau but with a fraction of the human effort to achieve. This is achieved by using nature's forces to do the work. Paul Newell has for example, demonstrated how over 400 acres can be repaired just using a shovel, variety of different plants strategical placed and some lives stock.. He claims that it takes the same effort to repair 10,000 acres.

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    3. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Joseph Bernard

      That stuff is all pretty amazing but keep this in mind

      The climate change problem is basically taking Carbon stored underground and releasing it into the air/oceans

      unless you halt this process temperatures are going to rise to the point where the koala won't be able to survive in Australia

      ie. species that have adapted to certain environments will not be able to keep up with the rate of change

      SO all this talk about bio-diversity is great but unless we fix the C02 issue - by 2100 most…

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    4. Joseph Bernard

      Director

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Yes.. There is a significant amount of carbon added from underground cellars but there is approximately 30% of carbon that is locked up in trees. Trees and especially old growth forests account for a very large percent of the CO2 that is released which seems to be ignored in most calculations.

      Another very important factor is that trees and vegetation actually stabilize temperatures and create micro climates that are Life friendly. Try walking off a grass lawn onto a road surface on a hot day…

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    5. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Joseph Bernard

      I think you misunderstand the problem.

      We could burn all the forests on earth and not face significant climate change as this would just redistribute the carbon already present in the carbon cycle and would correct itself

      Introducing more carbon is the problem - sequestering carbon in tree's does not counter act this - unfortunately

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    6. Joseph Bernard

      Director

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Michael,

      I believe that very few understand the problem and the current policy makers are part of the problem simply because there continues to be increase in desertification and mass extinction.

      Carbon in trees and plants is NOT in the atmosphere and carbon in coal was put there by plants.. Or am i missing something?

      I will point you to Paul Newell because he and like those of Loess Plateau demonstrate how desert can be transformed into oasis.. And will argue that this is a reversal…

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    7. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Joseph Bernard

      You are missing something, I agree not many understand however I would humbley suggest that Brendan Mackey might have an understanding of the issue

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elHvmKDG80k

      Brendan Mackey from Grifith University seminar on "Does Planting Tree's Offset Fuel Emmissions"

      This fella knows his stuff

      I understand what you are saying but please listen to the experts, Prof Glinkson put out a paper a few years ago titled "No way forward except for sequestration" where he demonstrated that even if we cut emmissions tomorrow - we still need to sequester a large amount of carbon back

      However - seeing as we can't even get a commitment to 5% reductions in Australia - this sequestration talk does need to take a back seat to that - for reasons Brendan can explain better than I

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    8. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Joseph Bernard

      BTW, I am totally with you on Paul Newell and other sequestration projects, I think they are brilliant and would love to see the direct action plan do something similar

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  2. Michael Shand

    Software Tester

    OKay so it's real simple right

    If we don't fix the CO2 issue - Koala's are going to be facing extinction by 2505

    So you can go on about bio diversity all you want but unless you fix the C02 issue your paddling upstream in a loosing battle

    in 2050 large parts of Australia will be under servere bush fire threat every summer - so your bio-diversity issue can and will take a back seat to stopping C02

    Sorry :(

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    1. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Michael, even if actions today were threatening the koala in 2505, not 2050, we should be taking responsibility and acting in accordance with the common sense of protecting biodiversity now and in the future. Sadly, common sense is increasingly uncommon. Wisdom only comes with age, but age often arrives unaccompanied, as evidenced by some of the strange beliefs held by our politicians (not to mention those in the USA ... sheesh!).

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    2. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Hey Doug....should we be protecting the environment? OOooofffffff Cooouuurrrrssssseeeeee

      but are we doing that? no

      your whole wisdom comes with age BS - a lot of old people in parliament mate, still not acting on climate change

      actually which demographic are least likely to accept climate change and take action? ohhbh right its the old people, sorry the wise people as you put it

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    3. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Michael, the whole quote is "wisdom only comes with age, but age often arrives unaccompanied". I suggest the Australian and USA governments are led by the latter group. Time will tell which group I belong to, being an oldie myself.

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    4. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      My experience is that what truly makes the difference is whether or not someone has the ability to be fundamentally honest, that is they do not make claims to knowledge they either do not know or could not possibly know and understands why belief should be apportioned to evidence - you know, betrand Russell style

      The leaders we have today; if someone is willing to believe in an all invisible sky god aka Abbott then by that fact alone - all bets are off, anything is believable

      As soon as someone…

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    5. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Michael Shand

      To Michael Shand
      There are a few principles of ecology that you may like to reflect on Michael:
      Every species (microbe, plant or animal) has an independent ecological role to play, has a right to life and supports all the lives of all the other species living. The health and happiness of all people depend on fresh water and the nutrient density of their food that only multiples of species in life and in decay (Soil) cycles, provide.
      The more species in a landscape the more function (production…

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    6. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Paul Newell

      I'm down with everything you said, I totally agree, however I still hold the position that unless we address the carbon issue the only thing we will be preserving bio-diversity for is our zoo's and even that won't last very long.

      The otherside of the coin is that after we are wiped out, I am assuming it will be business as usual until it's too late to prevent a runaway effect, the otherside of it is, it won't matter to any of us at all after we are wiped out

      So unless we stop the CO2 emmissions - please have a look at our carbon budget and what happens when the permafrost melt really kicks in - unless we stop this.....the moana lisa will be lost, the biodiversity will be lost, Mozart will be lost, everything will be lost

      this idea that we are too focused on carbon instead of bio-diversity is insane, we haven't even begun to wake up to the reality of what we need to do - you probably have, society has not

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    7. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Michael Shand

      To Michael Shand
      Thanks for the reply.
      What you eat as carbohydrate in the biosphere was CO2 in the atmosphere before the plants ate it. This is Nature’s way of drawing down the excess gasses of the atmosphere by using the living practices of plants and then animals and of course we can use plants to do so for us.
      If you defecate and pee on the “Earthworm Bed” at your back door, and cover it up, the carbon you ate is turned into MORE Earthworms and MORE soil to grow more of your own food that…

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    8. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Paul Newell

      Your talking nonsense, yes biodiversity is important for the environment and we should take care of the environment but seeing as we are not taking care of the environment stop your damn crying about biodiversity

      Also you seem to be out of touch with reality of modern day life, I'm in my mid 20's, I don't own land and most of my generation will never be in a position to be able to afford land and even if we could there is not enough to go around - there is a reality that needs to be noted, this…

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    9. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Michael Shand

      On The role of biodiversity in Climate Chang.

      Opps, sorry Michael I did not wish to hit a raw nerve but only appeal to your sensitivity to Nature. For my own part, I love the land and all the people on it.
      I don’t live a secluded existence, I have a local community that I treasure but I do reduce as much CO2 emissions as I can from where we live. CO2 emissions come from all forms of oxidation and fires. E.g. motors, industry, power stations, wild fires, crop stubble fires etc. I use the land…

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    10. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Paul Newell

      spare the tears about biodiversity cause unless we stop CO2 emmissions, none of this will matter in 100 years

      The article claimed that people had abandoned biodiversity because of climate change

      my point was not that they had abandoned biodiversity.....they had abandoned climate change altogether

      so yes biodiversity is important but it is only important if we are alive

      your talking about the importance of design and variety whilst your house is burning

      that is not to say stop doing what your doing, it is merely to say that the author of the article needs to grow up, Climate Change action hasn't abandoned biodiversity - Wake Up, climate change has been abandoned

      Getting rid of the Climate commission, the Price on carbon, rushing ahead coal developments and we are pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere than ever before, so spare the tears about biodiversity cause unless we stop CO2 emmissions, none of this will matter in 100 years

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  3. Jeremy Tager

    Extispicist

    Hi Penny,
    the loss of biodiversity and the increasing invisibility of this loss is appalling - and you can add a host of other crimes that are occurring in Australia - the abandonment of the national park concept - even the small areas in NP are now subject to hunting, fishing, logging and other damaging activities. Land clearing has begun again in Qld and if you're a mine a nature reserve is open for destruction (eg Bimblebox). However, linking biodiversity to climate issues hasn't necessarily been good either. it commodifies nature in new ways. It also has seen speculators, money men and others move into the space of carbon credits and REDD. Way too many of these schemes are shams. Way too many result in displacement of traditional people and culture. Way too many are of dubious climate or biodiversity value. Biodiversity is a critical part of a healthy planet but putting biodiversity in the hands of markets means that the priority will always be profit not protection.

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    1. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Jeremy Tager

      Spot on Jeremy.

      Our world leaders (those who actually attended Warsaw) still do not get that excess carbon in air and water is part a PART of the problem.

      We are not seeing any slow-down in clear-felling, coal/oil/gas mining, reduced pollution in manufacturing (and planning ahead for long lasting products and recycling), the list goes on.

      Meanwhile, back in Austraya, our government has destroyed anything remotely connected with clean sustainable technology, while claiming that planting enough trees will grow in time to suck up all the carbon that has been spewing since humans discovered fire.

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    2. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Jeremy Tager

      Good for you Jeremy
      .
      Most government schemes are fraud and Carbon trading is “Fraud”, most things humans’ trade is carbon, including coal, wood chip, and grain, iron orr, paper money, etc. Our bodies are carbon and water.
      That is why as a Farmer who only uses natural processes to increase food, water and fibre, I don’t apply for, or receive any, government funding, or ever enter into any government schemes. They are not even good business let alone good farming. Government schemes in rural areas…

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  4. Jim Inglis

    retired

    Possibly the greatest environmental damage has been done in the name of renewable energy.

    Getting carbon credits for biofuel that has caused the removal of huge areas of rainforest.

    The Drax power station that is now burning forests.

    The unintended consequences of a bad carbon budget.

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    1. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "Possibly the greatest environmental damage has been done in the name of renewable energy."

      That is clearly not true, the GREATEST damage has been done by renewable energy?

      so all the oil spills, all the chemical and industrial waste all the logging for furniture, etc - is less than the damage done by renewables?

      we have hundreds of years of damage being done before anyone even thought about renewable energy

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    2. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      In the past there has no doubt been environmental vandalism but these vandals, if discovered, were penalised.

      But since Kyoto, in that tiny period of a decade and a half there has been accelerating vandalism while all the time calling it environmental sustainability.

      And we're paying the vandals a fortune to do it.

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    3. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      And is it greater than all the other environmental damage or was that extreme hyperbole?

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    4. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "And is it greater than all the other environmental damage or was that extreme hyperbole?"

      Go back and read what I wrote and stop verballing me.

      You're concern about the demise of Koalas by 2050 from AGW is also a little misdirected.

      They are already disappearing from predators, traffic and disease at a far faster rate.

      When they live in areas that have a temperatures ranging over 50c annually they are not likely to be too worried by current warming which is currently at 1988 levels or 0.19c above average for the last 35 years.

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    5. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      I'll verbal you if I want but I also don't mind quoting you to yourself

      Jim Inglis said: "the greatest environmental damage has been done in the name of renewable energy"

      Mshand Said: And is it greater than all the other environmental damage or was that extreme hyperbole?

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    6. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Michael Shand said:

      Jim Inglis said: "the greatest environmental damage has been done in the name of renewable energy"

      Stop verballing awa telling lies.

      Jim Inglis said: "Possibly the greatest environmental damage has been done in the name of renewable energy."

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    7. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      When you warmers are quite prepared to make blatant misrepresentations like this, what else are you prepared to misrepresent?

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    8. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Yeah, even with the word Possibly you are still delving into extreme hyperbole

      it is simply not possible that renewables have done more damage to the environment than the industrial revolution

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    9. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Warmers - lol

      yeah NASA are the warmers, CSIRO, Oxford Uni, ANU, MIT, CERN - all just a bunch of warmers but jim, some random on the internet with no relevent qualifications can prove them all wrong

      Good on you jim

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    10. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "Warmers - lol"

      Absolutely. When NASA makes mistakes like that and admits it yet some "expert" softwear tester keeps spouting their data, insisting they are still correct, it is obviously not the science that matters.

      It's the warming religion.

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    11. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Dude, I have no personal opinion on this except - We should trust those qualified

      NASA are qualified

      the fact that they are not perfect is not a shock - it is expected

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    12. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      So you think we should trust them and believe them and send ourselves broke awa wreck the planet to conform to their wrong extrapolations and modelling because we believe in the cause?

      And you wonder why the smart people are sceptical?

      Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

      Hang sceptical !

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    13. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      As a member of the Australian Skeptics society - I don't need others telling me to be skeptical.

      Not only are smart people more skeptical, idiots are more skeptical as well, and conspiracy theorists - they are really skeptical

      I think we should trust the experts - that's correct, crazy as it may be, when I have a dental issue, I see a dentists, when I have a tax issue, I see my accountant

      When I want to know the best scientific understanding of our eco-system - I see CSIRO, ANU, Oxford Uni, MIT, CERN, NASA, NOAA, etcetera, etcetera

      call me crazy

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    14. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "Not only are smart people more skeptical, idiots are more skeptical as well,"

      I won't say a word.

      "I think we should trust the experts - that's correct, crazy as it may be, when I have a dental issue, I see a dentists, when I have a tax issue, I see my accountant"

      Dentists have been known to pull the wrong tooth and if you don't supervise your tax accountant you'll end up in gaol.

      All the "experts" make mistakes that's why you should seek a second opinion, and a third.....

      Here's…

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    15. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      You mean like not only ask NASA but also ask CSIRO?

      I never thought of that....ohhh no wait, that's what I have been saying all along

      CSIRO, CERN, NOAA, NASA, MIT, ANU. Oxford Uni, Havard, Stanford, etc, etc

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    16. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      But if you realise that they all run off the same dodgy data and GCMs and still don't see that you are getting the same dodgy answers then there's no hope for you.

      And always check for a COI.

      You better cancel your membership to the ASS.

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    17. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "But if you realise that they all run off the same dodgy data"

      Really? so CSIRO, NASA, Oxford Uni, MIT, Stanford, Havard, CERN, NOAA,

      all these institutions are all using the same dodgy data and you can prove it huh?

      There is a nobel prize waiting for someone under the Xmas tree this year, please let me be a part of it, where's your evidence?

      lets present it together and we can demonstrate that the entire society of academics represented in these groups are all idiots who can have their work over turned by some random on the internet

      Just share the evidence with me and we can go from there

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    18. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "There is a nobel prize waiting for someone under the Xmas tree this year, please let me be a part of it, where's your evidence?"

      Bad luck Mike, you don't get Nobels for simple facts, only for warming BS.

      Wait for it now:

      Who does the satellites?

      Do you think they might all possibly use these NASA data?

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    19. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      No, if you can overturn a current scientific consensus which causes a paradigm shift - thats exactly why they give nobel prizes

      but hey, we shouldn't argue this, lets just present our evidence and let the committee deciede, but uh, where is the evidence again?

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    20. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      The evidence is right under your nose Mike but you won't look.

      The sources you quote are happy to use flawed NASA data but because it confirms your beliefs you look no further.

      That data won't begin to improve for another 3-4 years:

      http://www.gps.gov/governance/advisory/meetings/2011-06/bar-sever.pdf

      And when the existing NOAA data on OLR measurements shows a steady increase over the last 30 years plainly falsifies the GHG theory, you ignore that too.

      Like I said, time to turn your ASS badge.

      You're beyond help.

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    21. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Brilliant, the link you provided did not at all prove what you said,

      What I am after is the evidence that CERN, NASA, NOAA, Oxford, MIT, ANU, etc are all using falsified data as you described - intentionall or not.

      Once you have this I have Prof Glinksons email address, and a few others and we can get the ball rolling in regards to your Nobel Prize.

      Just provide the evidence, stop saying I won't look at it and just provide it

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    22. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      No wonder you're in denial Mike, you don't understand what you read.

      I didn't say anything about falsified data, I said flawed data.

      Without that stable Terrestrial Reference Frame that puts the precision of the baseline measurements well below the noise in the data, all we have are broader uncertain measurements. That’s why the plan is to provide ground based points of reference, something our current satellite systems don’t have.

      This is telling us we can no longer accept the bias in Topex, the drift in Jason or the ice loss or ice volume in GRACE gravity measurements.

      They are flawed data and have been all along.

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    23. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Ohh well that's all disappointing, you said that you had proof that they were all using incorrect data

      when in reality they are just using imperfect data

      how come out of all the scientists....none of them saw this as a major problem

      I mean you're here telling me the sky is falling and yet those with the relevent qualifications......don't see a massive problem with this

      how come? is it a massive conspiracy by all the scientists/ is CSIRO in on this? are CSIRO defrauding the government? if so we can bring a legal case against them

      I am happy to pay for the legal consuel

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    24. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "is CSIRO in on this? are CSIRO defrauding the government?"

      You are in serious denial. Did you check that CSIRO graph on sea level rise by Church and White?

      You don't think a !00% error is worth worrying about?

      Naaahh ! just a bit imperfect.

      It's one thing for models to make wild, incorrect predictions [they can't get it right using correct data] about the future but these are CURRENT MEASUREMENTS on which all models awa all IPCC decisions and SPMs are based.

      More than 20 years of dodgy data.

      You don't think that qualifies as a reason to be somewhat sceptical of the warmer "science"?

      Not to mention NOAA's problems as listed above.

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    25. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      You keep saying you have evidence

      I keep saying Awesome, show me the evidence

      and then you keep insulting me for some reason, we agree, it's all a massive conspiracy, now lets get on with holding them accountable for this fraud

      if we know they are defrauding the government by falsifying results by using data with known integrity issues that they have swept under the rug - we can sue them

      so lets stop fighting and start acting, what's your email address? this probably isn't the right forum to have this discussion

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    26. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      I appreciate your concern and honesty Michael. I, and others far more erudite, have brought this to the attention of CSIRO, BoM etc and they just get a metaphorical faraway look in their eye and carry on as before.

      Dr Richard Lindzen, Dr Roy Spencer and many, many others never stop pointing this out.

      As Churchill said about people stumbling upon the truth. how they pick themselves up and hurry on, pretending the awful experience didn't happen.

      The CAGW weapon is far too effective to cast aside yet.

      It has too many unspent rounds left in the chamber.

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    27. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      What are you talking about - you don't go up to the NSA and say "We caught you in violation of the 4th amendment"

      No, you take them to court for being in breach of the constitution as has just happened

      I am not suggesting we have a nice little chat with CSIRO - I am suggesting that if you have the evidence you say you have - we can take em to court for intentionall defrauding the government in order to gain more research grants

      what's your email address so we can discuss this further

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    28. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Michael Shand

      If you are serious, the person to talk to is Anthony Cox, a lawyer, writer, sceptic and much more knowledgeable about the chances of legal success:

      http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/seven-recent-papers-that-disprove-man.html

      He's an Australian and not hard to find.

      With the high degree of uncertainty in the science and as many expert witnesses as likely to support one side of the debate as the other, the chances of achieving any outcome other than a big legal bill is unlikely.

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    29. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      What do you mean "If I am serious" - you have the evidence yeah? I can't do this myself

      Actually why haven't you done this yet? you have evidence that a massive conspiracy is going on remember? that sceintists are intentionally using false data from CSIRO through to NASA?

      What's stopping you from bringing the case forward, I said I am willing to help but don't lump this whole thing on me

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    30. Joseph Bernard

      Director

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Jim and Michael,

      while we all huddle in a corner and compare the size of our different graphs and the direction they point, there is a line in the sand which keeps marching and i mean sand.. That is the increasing size of deserts and wastelands..

      I am really skeptical of the all arguments relating to the CO2 because who really understands this system? .. But it is difficult to dispute that deforestation and desertification are increasing.

      with record mass extinctions reported, the canary is chocking in the cage and we must learn to adapt or face a mass population correction.. Our policy makers are prescribing desertification through policy and there in lies our problem.. Land and water mismanagement

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    31. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Joseph Bernard

      No I agree, I am just trolling Jim as he claims to have The Evidence that proves this is all nonsense

      I'm willing to believe he is being genuine and metaphorically, give him enough rope to hang himself

      They bought the NSA to court, they won, it is deemed unconstitutional, it will now go to a higher court but if you can take the NSA to court and win, with a federal court judge.....shouldn't be any reason why it would be harder to take CSIRO to court - especially if you have the evidence > but of course he doesn't

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    32. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Seriously, Jim, are you bringing the Tele to the argument as if it is a reliable source of scientific research? Is that the best 'evidence' you have?

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    33. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug, you are supposed to shoot the message, not the messenger.

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    34. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Jim, you shot yourself in the foot by quoting the Tele as a scientific journal. If you have any real, scientific, peer-reviewed evidence, you should bring it to the discussion, as requested numerous times by Michael Shand. So far, you have demonstrated reliance upon unreliable sources: what should we infer from that? Note, I am not shooting the messenger, but only asking for a credible message to evaluate.

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    35. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      "Note, I am not shooting the messenger, but only asking for a credible message to evaluate."

      Says he without one comment about the content of the message.

      Face it Doug, you just don't geddit.

      Neither that message nor AGW.

      You're a content-free zone.

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    36. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Doug: "asking for a credible message to evaluate".
      Jim: "Says he without one comment about the content of the message".
      Jim, you have missed the point. I would gladly comment on the content of the message, if only you would present a credible one, instead of relying on the Tele for your science and claiming everyone is ignoring your evidence. You have not presented any evidence. The problem is with you.

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    37. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      'You have not presented any evidence"

      You haven't been paying attention.

      "I would gladly comment on the content of the message,"

      No you wouldn't.

      You just demonstrated how you prefer to ridicule the messenger.

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    38. Ian Rudd
      Ian Rudd is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Retired accountant & unapologetic dissident

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Biofuel has been classified as a renewable only to pull the wool over people's eyes and allow the marketeers further opportunity for profit. Only a very small proportion of biofuel, ie the the use of waste organic matter to produce energy and thus replace fossil fuels contributes to reducing GHGs.

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    39. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Ian Rudd

      Read my comments and links.

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    40. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "the high degree of uncertainty in the science"

      Unlike the global average surface temperature rise over the past 17 years which Jim is CERTAIN is 0.0 C or less.

      Yes, Jim knows all about scientific uncertainty.

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    41. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Reply to all,
      Sorry I am long winded on the subject of the Natural Ecology, but then so is Nature.
      What we are not focusing on in this debate is the role of Human Thinking that in general “does not know of that which it does not know” (Confucius). People generally have a very poor record of understanding Nature and this continues today, for our modern day civilisation has taught all the people all the disciplines of learning that support this industrial/export civilisation NOW in decline and the…

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    42. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Paul Newell

      I would suggest that lessons from the loess plateau as well as many other experiments have been a successful demonstration that we do know how to reverse desertification

      I mean you can go the low tech permaculture or the high tech Sahara Forest Project but either way....we understand the problems, we have the solutions

      the solution to climate change for example is to reduce the amount of GHG in the atmosphere - this stuff is not that hard

      I am always cautious when people rail against the…

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  5. Paul Prociv

    ex medical academic; botanical engineer at University of Queensland

    More human mouths to feed means more rainforest must be cut down and burnt; logging facilitates this; the freed land becomes available to cattle-ranchers, palm oil growers etc. etc. – so it’s a win-win situation all round; money is made, people get fed. Who gives a stuff about wildlife?
    Biodiversity boils down to lots of healthy and interconnected habitats, and everything we do, especially grow more of us, is whittling these away at an ever-increasing rate. Climate change, itself reflecting human consumption and population growth, is simply one of a great many inter-related factors. It's all way too difficult . . .

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    1. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      It's actually really simple, we understand the problem, we have the solutions

      the only thing stopping us is politics

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    2. Ian Rudd
      Ian Rudd is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Retired accountant & unapologetic dissident

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "the only thing stopping us is politics"

      But Michael in Australia at least the people vote in the politicians. Admittedly they are guided by a biased media and a culture of apathy but still they vote for these criminals every time.

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  6. Joseph Bernard

    Director

    The following comment is on behalf of Paul Newell paulnewell@landsmanship.org

    Good to see Biodiversity discussed.

    It appears to me that there is a mish/mash of Government policy and Ecological Understanding of Science in this debate over the symptoms of GW&CC.
    Governments work with policy, Science is an explanation of the Nature as people can understand it. Nature only works as Ecology. Science is always learning, for People are always learning or dead.
    Advertising and propergander are…

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    1. Joseph Bernard

      Director

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug,

      depends what is important to you?

      Given the current trends, regardless of how we think the CO2 affects our planet would you think that the ability to turn desert into functional land is more or less important than a report?

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    2. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Joseph Bernard

      Joseph, deserts exist because of Hadley cells. Any attempt to turn them into productive land is going to be energy intensive, no matter how well-intentioned. If one could make the desert blossom and remain carbon neutral, that would be worth doing.
      Less or more important than a report? Well, the idea of greening the desert is contained in a report, so I think the question does not parse.

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    3. Joseph Bernard

      Director

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      you probably don't believe this. Could it be that what we see manifest is mainly a reflection of our mind's imagination that is tapping into the pools of consciousness of this seemingly infinite universe.

      What we see manifest as deserts are simply due to the lack of precipitation of thought, imagination and Love.. This barren landscape is born from the mindset of scarcity and greed that is unable to give or nurture .

      What seem to be blind to are the swamps that are littered with bottomless…

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    4. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Fires, Climate Change
      and Converting Government from Firemen to Watermen.
      P.S. email to Minster for the Environment October 2013.
      I would further suggest to Greg Hunt that there are some people in the Australian Community NOW who don’t use fire or people, but do use plants, animals and their living practices of these species only, to both reduce the future risk of fire and flood as well as regenerate and hydrate all components of ecosystem, productively, profitably and simultaneously without…

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    5. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      The green leaf covered landscape absorbes the Sun's light all day as Energy stored in growing plants that also hold water. Deserts are reversed firsy by animal dung that replaces soil microbs that also grow MORE plants.
      Nature is even MORE simple than we are.
      Paul newell

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    6. Joseph Bernard

      Director

      In reply to Paul Newell

      Paul: Re "Converting Government from Firemen to Watermen."

      Letting plants gobble up their CO2 planet fertilizer and cool the planet, increase nutrients and ground water?

      Using animals to maintain function and increase biodiversity?

      Nar.. never fly .. too simplistic

      Lets just keep on doing what we are doing and pray to the holy tax to save us.. not smart enough to think we can do any better it seems.

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  7. Yoron Hamber

    Thinking

    I keep wondering when we will meet a irreversible reduction of biodiversity? I mean, cutting down woods, then planting the fastest growing trees? what happens to biodiversity there? Doesn't really matter if satellite photos states that there are new woods where we cut down the old, does it? And to me it has to do with how clever we've become in mass-producing effects/causes. The planet is really growing small those days.

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    1. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Yoron, I fully agree. Replacing established, evolved systems with monoculture of any kind has to have repercussions and we are only starting to wake up to the threat this poses. It seems humanity thinks all we need are ourselves and the animals we require for food. Homo Stupidus stupidus.

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  8. Geoff Clark

    Senior Lecturer at University of Tasmania, School of Architecture and Design

    As noted last week, on another forum regarding pollution of waterways, there is only one cut required, and that is a dramatic cut to the human population.

    Lets face facts, shall we?

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    1. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Geoff Clark

      Geoff, I couldn't agree more. We humans are too squeamish and Politically Correct to do anything pro-actively to reduce our numbers, but we will be culled one way or another. If global resource wars don't trim us down enough, Nature will find a way, because Nature bats last. I am picking a pandemic of drug-resistant disease: TB, anyone?

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    2. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Nope, my bet is on greed meeting resistance, leading to small arms wars, leading to threats about nuclear retaliation. It's just about enough time since 1945 now. New generations, and everyone telling you that greed is good. You're 'sick' if you don't look after your own house first :) A perfect climate for wars, with the Arctics resources getting laid free by global warming, and no one willing to take any blame for it.

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    3. Ian Rudd
      Ian Rudd is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Retired accountant & unapologetic dissident

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      It's already happening. The world is in turmoil on all fronts, ecologic, economic and humanitarian. Most of our governments seem to relish the conflict while most of the governed are apathetic. Only a few are trying to stave it off.

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    4. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Ian Rudd

      I don't know Ian. You have the 'Arabic spring' which I see as a democratic try by people having a dream of democracy, inspired by the best things we have in the western parts. You have diminishing resources worldwide on one hand, pollution of water, Fukushima, Chernobyl, methane, CO2, all of them pollutants. On the other you have the Arctic opening up for exploitation. And you have all those short time interests colliding when different Country's try to make their weight felt.

      USA do not like…

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    5. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      The point I'm trying to make is that we're inevitably going to a life of diminishing resources, ignoring global warming for this. What we have aa a 'plus' though, is the Internet, nano technology, the ability to reduce our population world wide, if we dare :)

      Internet able anyone to speak to anyone, as long as it's not manipulated by short time interests. That's democracy of the most simple kind. Consensus comes from understanding each other, and that's what Internet is here for.

      But it's a clash between the 'old way' defined by hierarchies of different kinds, and enlightenment. When one realize that everyone is a human, on good and bad, and one start looking for what we have in common instead of what differs us. Then we'll have a chance. Doing the opposite will lead to war.

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    6. Ian Rudd
      Ian Rudd is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Retired accountant & unapologetic dissident

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Absolutely, we do need to look for what we have in common (and there is so much). To move that process forward we need to stop our governments from conducting their foreign and defense policies as if everyone out there is aiming to "get" us unless we "get" them first.
      We need a real ethical basis for conducting our international affairs and not a pretend one.

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    7. Joseph Bernard

      Director

      In reply to Geoff Clark

      "Let face Facts"

      yes, lets and that includes that there is not going to be a mass cull of population so let start to work out how to play the game with the cards we have been given.

      One such strategy is that offered by the "OnePlanet" framework that is been increasingly adopted by town planers around the world.

      If everyone on the planet used the same resources as americans we would need five planets to survive.

      If everyone lived like Australians then we would need four planets.

      http://www.oneplanetliving.org/index.html

      how about we learn to take responsibility for our own town planning otherwise we should be the first to be culled

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    8. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Joseph Bernard

      "Let face Facts"

      "yes, lets and that includes that there is not going to be a mass cull of population so let start to work out how to play the game with the cards we have been given."

      BUT, If things are, instead, better than we thought, maybe we have many cards that we don't even know about and maybe the world is, today, theoretically less populated than it ever was.

      First, not much warming in spite of CO2 going ever upward:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.4/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2001.66/trend/plot/rss/from:1996.65/trend/plot/wti/from:2000.9/trend/plot/hadsst3gl/from:2000.9/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000.9/trend/plot/uah/from:2005/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/normalise:0.5/scale:0.5/offset:0.34

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    9. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      In Reply to Jim Inglis.
      Thank you for the Charismas wish and I return the wish for you and yours.
      My glass is always half full and as long as I keep filling it, as “bottom less”.
      When we study Natural Phenomena occurring and The Natural Ecology Working we find “Fixed” principles, as Nature never changes Her Mind. There can be no exceptions to a principle of Science and if there is an exception, then the principle and the phenomena is not well understood. Science is Nature at work, as is the Natural…

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    10. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Paul Newell

      Thanks Paul for those wise words. If we all did our best along those lines the world would be a better place but living in cities divorces people from nature and reality. And the younger generations are more divorced from it than ever.

      However civilisation will always have cities I suppose, so things will probably not change much.

      But there is plenty of room for improvement.

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    11. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Geoff Clark

      In reply to The Conversation.
      What People do is an important factor in the climate change debate, but both mony spent and the human population number is irrelevant as long as all species present are living, dieing and maintaining an ecological balance locally where people live and no one species becomes dominant locally, over time.
      Civilisation is the social order relating to and dependant on the building of Cities where single species dominance is maintained. As civilisation declines in our…

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    12. Paul Newell

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Geoff Clark

      Reply to Climate Change Game.
      One of the real difficulties people have is that most people think that they or some other person can “fix” the problem of GW&CC symptoms that are real and quite frighting to human welfare in our day.
      Only the whole biological Community together, where we live, can reverse the symptoms of GW&CC in any region of the world as we know it.
      There is no example, or demonstration of GW&CC symptoms being changed where atmospheric CO2 has being reduced anywhere on Earth…

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