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Rudd and the failed promise of climate security

Kevin Rudd once called climate change “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”. Despite the fiery rhetoric, support for climate change action declined during his tenure. So, how…

Kevin Rudd tried to turn climate change into a security issue, so why didn’t it work? AAP Image/Danish Foreign Ministry

Kevin Rudd once called climate change “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”. Despite the fiery rhetoric, support for climate change action declined during his tenure. So, how do we make sense of this?

Rudd’s return as prime minister is an opportunity to reflect on the successes and failures of his previous tenure as leader.

Climate change has been a common theme of these reflections, in particular the gap between his stated commitments to act on climate change, and his inability to secure an emissions trading scheme.

This gap between climate change rhetoric and action is a particular paradox. Strong claims by political leaders should build support and marginalise alternative policy.

The power of security-speak?

Rudd attempted to justify climate action in Australia in a range of ways. He pointed to the economic cost of climate change and the moral imperative of Australia doing its part to confront a global and long-term problem.

A less well-reported but potentially important justification, however, was that climate change was a security threat. This is particularly significant for theorists of “securitization”.

For these theorists, language is central to the process through which issues become security issues. An issue is securitized when important actors, such as political leaders, persuade a relevant audience that an issue is a threat and that urgent action is needed to defend against it. If the audience is convinced, this in turn enables emergency or extraordinary measures to deal with it.

Australia’s approach to the arrival of asylum seekers by boat from 2001 is a classic example of securitization. The Howard Government suggested that the “unauthorised” arrival of “boatpeople” undermined Australian sovereignty. It also argued that asylum seekers’ alleged willingness to jump queues or throw their children into the sea demonstrated that they threatened the values and beliefs of Australians.

Whatever the accuracy of these claims, the Howard Government’s stance on asylum was certainly supported by the Australian population. And deploying troops to prevent the arrival of asylum seekers, excising territory from Australia’s migration zone and processing asylum-seekers offshore might all be seen as “extraordinary” measures following securitization.

The failed securitization of climate change?

For many, this view of asylum seekers has continued under subsequent governments. But the Rudd Government suggested that a wider range of issues also constituted security threats. Central here was climate change.

In 2009 Rudd defined climate change as the “greatest long-term threat to us all”. In his 2008 National Security Statement to Parliament he suggested that climate change represented “a most fundamental national security challenge for the long term future”. This claim was repeated over time and by a range of other Ministers.

Broadly speaking, Rudd’s claim that climate change was a security threat found support among the Australian population. Opinion polling indicated that Australians still accepted that climate change was happening and were concerned about its effects. What did not find support, however, were the measures that Rudd attempted to justify through the language of security.

Here, support for the emissions trading scheme declined steadily. This reflected the success of opponents in mobilising against that legislation. Abbott’s elevation to the leadership of the Coalition, the campaign by fossil fuel industry groups against the emissions trading scheme and the activism of conservative media outlets and commentators were important here. So too was the failure of Copenhagen talks in 2009.

For securitization theorists, however, public acceptance of the reality of the climate threat should still enable emergency responses to it. Yet even relatively mainstream policies, such as pricing carbon emissions, proved too difficult for Rudd to implement.

Consequences of failed securitization

This case challenges the assumptions of securitization theory, but of course the challenges for climate policy are more important. Few issues in Australian politics have been as volatile as climate change, and politicians have struggled to find effective narratives to promote climate action.

The discussion of the international security implications of climate change in the UN Security Council in 2007 and 2011 also revealed similar disagreements between countries. These focused on who needs to respond to climate change, and how and when action should be taken.

In Australia, a Labor victory in the 2013 Federal Election might be enough to secure the carbon tax and help underscore the idea that climate change does indeed represent a security threat requiring far-reaching policy responses.

Would a Coalition victory mean the end of the attempt to define climate change in security terms? Possibly not. But if there is any attempt to link climate change and security, it is more likely that an Abbott-led Coalition Government would define climate action as a threat to Australia’s short-term economic security.

Such an approach would clearly make necessary climate action in Australia difficult to imagine in the near future.

Join the conversation

237 Comments sorted by

  1. Ivan Quail

    maverick

    The man who wrote the “Communist Manifesto”, Carl Marx observed that a significant proportion of people could be persuaded to believe that which they would otherwise not believe and to do things which they would otherwise not do.

    News Ltd and other media outlets including Television and Radio beholden to Big Coal, Oil and Gas have done a good job of brain washing some 1/3rd of the public through a concerted campaign of misinformation, untruths and withholding important information.

    It is…

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      It's not just the Murdoch Press.

      Progressive opinion leaders are doing a woeful job. For example, when Ann Summers was on Q&A she didn't mention climate change or the environment once yet she is/has been a board member of Greenpeace. Even with her background in environmental action all she talked about was defending Gillard.

      The 7pm ABC TV news does a woeful job ignoring climate change when reporting on the effects of climate, and giving big business and deniers more say than the science…

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    2. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      So who is this Carl Marx fellow? Any relation to Karl Marx? Tee Hee.

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    3. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      "Co2 is 62% better as a thermal insulator than air is."

      Heat leaves the earth's atmosphere by radiation, not conduction.

      Of course, CO2 is a vastly better radiator of heat than N2 and O2.

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    4. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      "Heat leaves the earth's atmosphere by radiation, not conduction."

      And the vast majority of heat transfer above the Tropopause is also by radiation, not conduction.

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    5. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Labor implemented a carbon tax because that was part of what the Greens demanded for their support in the lower house.

      Labor negotiated very hard with the Greens, and so the carbon tax has got so much compensation to both industry and consumers that it is pretty weak.

      'Fortunately' the greed of the electricity providers has had them build lots of new infrastructure so that they could increase prices, and electricity prices has gone up significantly enough to effect consumers and lower usage.

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    6. Ivan Quail

      maverick

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      To Chris O,Neill and others
      When light hits white ice the bulk of it is reflected back into space. The balance melts the ice. When light hits darker surfaces such as water, stone and sand it is converted to heat which is absorbed and re-radiated in the infrared wave length. A molecule of Co2 absorbs 62% less heat than an equivalent volume of air. The heated volume of air or Co2 is carried to the upper atmosphere by convection currents. (as in hot air balloons) As 62% less heat is transported in this manner by Co2 it results in global warming.
      In addition Co2 is a catalyst for the formation of clouds which you may have observed act as a blanket. ie clear skies at night = colder night time temperatures. More Co2 = more clouds, more rain and floods.

      If Co2 is not an insulator perhaps you can explain why deep sea divers who use double layer dry suits replace the air between the two layers with Co2 or Argon?

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    7. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris O'Neill,

      At the risk of upsetting you and all the other commentators on this blog who have indicated that I am not welcome here, but should just leave you alone, possibly to share with each other the basic science related to the warming of the planet by carbon dioxide, I would just like to say one thing.

      May I say that all of the heat that leaves the atmosphere (and the little that is directly radiated to space from the surface of the earth), does so by radiation. At all levels of…

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    8. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,

      Presumably you are referring to the lack of convection in the stratosphere because of the thermal inversion, Also since the pressure is very low, conduction is practically zero also, I believe.
      John Nicol

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    9. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      "A molecule of Co2 absorbs 62% less heat than an equivalent volume of air."

      The specific heats at constant pressure of air and CO2 are 1.01 and 0.844 kJ/kg/K respectively (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/spesific-heat-capacity-gases-d_159.html). The densities of air and CO2 at NTP are 1.205 and 1.842 kg/m3 respectively (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/gas-density-d_158.html). Thus the specific heat per unit of volume of air and CO2 are 1.22 and 1.55 kJ/m3/K respectively.

      Thus each CO2 molecule absorbs MORE heat than the average of each air molecule.

      Please stop lecturing us with you gibberish claims Mr Quail.

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    10. Ivan Quail

      maverick

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Look at the thermal conductivity figures. Air = .024 K-w/K. Co2 =.0146. (+64%=.023944)
      The specific heat of air =1.01 kJ/kg/K and of Co2 =.844 kJ/kg/K. Thus each molecule of air absorbs MORE heat.
      Get your facts right Chris

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  2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

    This article shows why Australia is doing so badly with climate change.

    The article concludes with "In Australia, a Labor victory in the 2013 Federal Election might be enough to secure the carbon tax and help underscore the idea that climate change does indeed represent a security threat requiring far-reaching policy responses."

    Labor only aims to reduced Australia's 1990 emissions by 0.5% (using the year 2000 to talk of a 5% cut is pure spin as other countries all use 1990 as the base year…

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Rory Cunningham

      Democracy is based on the idea of having people stand for election each with different policies and the voters deciding which candidate, and thus policies, the want.

      So ultimately it is a failure of the Australian people as most people have voted LNP and Labor even though it has always been clear that neither intended to make the significant changes required to take real action.

      Of course the media has failed us as well, and as I've already posted in this topic, not just the Murdoch press…

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    2. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      MWH,
      Australia sure did bad with climate change. The premature injection of a carbon tax, the waste of money and loss of life on pink batts, the mineral super-profits tax, building useless windmills .... no country should claim to be proud of such gross economic mismanagement.
      Note, also, that the people were scarcely consulted. Government by fiat should not become the future style.

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    3. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      WMH, So tell us which major policy announcements were, in your opinion, the results of an informed public asking a Government to act according to the informed public wish.

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    4. Henry Verberne

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

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Wind power is far from useless GHS! And the CT has had a positive impact on emissions. Offsets some of the emissions due to use of that JetA1 fuel too!

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    5. Ivan Quail

      maverick

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      The facts GHS regarding pink batts
      The insulation program covered more than 1.2 million homes and it has been estimated that by 2015 it will have produced savings of approximately 20,000 gigawatt-hours (72,000 TJ) of electricity and 26 petajoules (7.2×109 kWh) of natural gas savings.[10][dead link] All installations were conducted by private contractors as selected by home owners.

      Not such a waste of money! Pity the private contractors had 6 months expierience 40 times over and did things not approved by insulation manufacturers.

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    6. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      Though the insulation program reduced emissions, these were more than made up for by not bothering with other things.

      And insulation program or no insulation program - if Labor have their way our 1990 emissions will still only be reduced by 0.5% by 2020.

      One of the bad things about an ETS is that the emissions are set by how many permits are issued, and thus anything an individual, household, small business, council, corporation, state government, or federal government does to 'reduce' emissions does nothing to reduce the emissions - it just makes it slightly cheaper for someone else to buy the ETS permit and emit.

      Not only is Labor probably going to move us quickly to an ETS, it ha already tied us to the European scheme so that instead of reducing emissions here we just buy cheap permits from the EU.

      So the insulation program was more about giving the impression of action on climate change than making a difference.

      Shame Labor Shame.

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    7. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "Labor is also working hard to rapidly expand coal exports"

      It won't make much difference to the fact that 85% of global coal production is consumed in the country where it is produced. The best hope for minimising global coal consumption is for China and India to build as many nuclear power stations as they can.

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    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Only 9.5% of Australia's coal exports go to China, and 9.4% to India. Most (39.8%) goes to Japan.

      Of course Japan has an interesting nuclear history - but I'll leave it to Japan to work out what they do.

      As the Climate Commission pointed out, to prevent the worst of global warming we need to keep 80% of the coal in the ground. Also world coal usage must start to rapidly decline from 2016.

      Australia trying to export as much coal as it can as quickly as it can does not seem the right thing to.

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    9. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "loss of life on pink batts"

      All but one of the lives lost had absolutely nothing to do with pink batts, media hype notwithstanding.

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    10. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael WH,

      Could you, or anyone please tell me by how much the global temperature will be reduced in 2100 because we have followed this costly course of action.

      I have not yet seen any other country falling into line because of our carbon tax and do not expect to any time soon - but please do not forget to answer the main question - by how much for a 5% reduction, a 50% reduction and 100% reduction?
      Thanks, John Nicol .

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    11. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,

      Could you please tell me what the other three died from?

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    12. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "Australia trying to export as much coal as it can as quickly as it can does not seem the right thing to."

      OK but it's not going to make much difference to future growth in global coal consumption. The best hope is that in places where most of the growth is expected to occur (China and India), nuclear energy is the method for avoiding growth in coal consumption.

      It's interesting that Japan is importing more coal to replace nuclear generation so that's a reversal of what should be done. Australia's…

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    13. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Nicol

      John - Your ignorance is outstanding.

      Firstly, if you knew anything about climate change you would know that the aim of action is to reduce the increase in temperature. So the aim is to limit warming to 2 degrees or below, and avoid 3 to 6 degree warming by 2100.

      Thus global temperature will continue to increase. The question is by how much, and this depends on what we do.

      Secondly, as I've even written in this topic, "EU emissions were 4.3 billion tons in 1990 and in 2011 they were only 3.8 billion tons. The EU is on track for a 20% reduction on 1990 levels by 2020."

      So pretending that others are not doing anything is not only wrong.

      But I'm sure that you know all of this, and you are deliberately distorting and misrepresenting the truth because you are only here to lobby against action on climate change.

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    14. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris - A quick google found the following:

      "A recent report from the Climate Institute shows that if Australia builds up its coal exports as currently planned, it would produce 30% of the carbon needed to push global warming beyond two degrees. By 2020 the country’s coal burnt abroad will be producing three times as much CO2 as all the country’s cars and factories and homes; by 2025, four times. And so on."

      This is the sort of information that Labor don't want you to know.

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    15. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "By 2020 the country’s coal burnt abroad will be producing three times as much CO2 as all the country’s cars and factories and homes"

      It would be nice if Australia wasn't contributing to that, but as I pointed out above, cutting off Australia's coal exports is not going to make much difference to global coal consumption.

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    16. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael Wilbur-Ham,

      Quoting tons of carbon dioxide emissions is quite pointless unless one is prepared to try to analyse and present to us how much you believe this will increase the global temperature and to provide scientific evidence by discussing the details of carbon dioxide's characteristics.

      Similarly, while I fully appreciate that the aim of those arguing for the reduction in emissions is in the fond hope that this will have an effect on the climate, (in your words to limit warming…

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    17. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Well it would make a difference because us not being in the market would put the price of coal up - whether by just a little or more.

      But what shocks me from your view Chris is that though you post here defending the science of climate change you seem quite happy, as does the Labor party, to try to cash in as much as we can on doing our bit to make things worse.

      It seems to me that you have some strange loyalty to Labor that is greater than any morality to future generations.

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    18. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Nicol

      Once again John I've not clicked 'Read more'.

      In my opinion your views deserve as much respect as someone posting here that Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny really exist.

      You are writing both nonsense and non-science. And if you not being paid by the vested interests to do so then perhaps you should contact them so that they will.

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    19. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to John Nicol

      As you would acknowledge, modelling complex systems is very difficult. Economists have been trying to model the economy for at least 50 years and I don't think they have been able to reach their goal. Modelling climate is likely to be just as difficult.

      Turning to your post, I would like to thank you for your three questions, which I will attempt to answer, so you can correct me if you believe I am wrong.

      1. In dealing with any statistical issue, the more observations the better. So I would…

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    20. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "by just a little or more"

      Sure it would be nice to reduce global coal consumption by a few tonnes a year (out of the billions) but this is hardly going to make any significant difference.

      I can't see how I'm cashing in by pointing out a fact. I would expect that global coal consumption would be increased more by the reduction in nuclear power generation in Japan than it would be reduced by Australia stopping coal exports to Japan. You ought to be concerned that Japan is reducing nuclear power generation.

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    21. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to John Nicol

      "Could you please tell me what the other three died from?"

      G-O-O-G-L-E

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    22. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      I had thought that you were one of the good guys Chris.

      But as you are 'let's export the coal, and on climate change then blame Japan for buying it and not going nuclear' I see your real friends are Clive Palmer and the other miners - makes you a good Labor supporter too.

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    23. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to John Nicol

      I have to admit that you intrigued me with your citation of the Svensmark analysis of the (admittedly rather bizarre) relationship between the length of the solar cycles with northern hemisphere land-mass temperature. The long-standing pattern that he was able to show indicates that there is likely he has discovered something here.

      The last peak in solar activity he cited was in Sep 1979. Since then there has been a peak in Dec 2001, and then in Nov 2011 (with a possible double peak in 2013: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/01mar_twinpeaks

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    24. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Sorry about that: enter key accidently hit, mid response. Here it goes again:

      What was your insulting "G-O-O-G-L-E" intended to achieve? It didn't convince me, and I fail to see how it helped your case.

      BTW: I agree with the general tenor of the argument you have put elsewhere in this blog, namely that the total picture of global carbon-reduction action has to be taken into account. We should not to adopt a holier-than-thou approach.

      For example, removing Australian coal could increase…

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    25. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      I can't take a trick.

      My last reply was meant to go to Chris O'Neill (not to myself).

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    26. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Dr Graham Lovell,

      First let me say that I like your web site and you obviously put in a lot of good work keeping your articles relevant. I have clicked on a couple of invitations but am not quite sure what that means.

      Yes, I agree and am happy to discuss the matter from the perspective of the years 1910 to 2013 or better still back to 1850.

      I too believe that this is appropriate, but when I first became interested in Global Warming, a term I much prefer to “Climate Change” which is so misleading…

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    27. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      John Nicol is a troll who is beyond reason and as such is worthy of zero respect.

      I don't normally bother reading anything he writes but if I happen to glance at something of his I may write a response appropriate to his quality of argument.

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    28. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      It's a pity your response is a non-sequitur ad hom style argument Michael. Now I can only conclude for the time being that my argument that Australia cutting off coal exports would make very little difference to global coal consumption is indeed correct because you haven't put up an argument against it.

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    29. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      The climate commission has shown that to prevent warming of 3 to 6 degrees by 2100 the world needs to keep 80% of its coal in the ground.

      Clearly the best placed to start this is at mines that have not even started - it is easier to stop a mine from starting than to shut it down.

      Hopefully us taking action to keep our coal in the ground will inspire others to do the same - because if this doesn't happen warming well over 2 degrees is certain.

      As someone who understands the science I find it shocking that you don't mind us destroying the world.

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    30. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to John Nicol

      Thanks for your fulsome and informative response.

      I am not surprised the modelling of the climate is difficult, and wish those who have and are devoting their lives to this task the greatest of success. There are just so many variables. Svensmark appears to have found one. I imagine that modellers are also taking into account changes in atmospheric soot density, which I expect to have reduced in the last 20 years, and therefore to have given us some breathing space.

      In looking at the analysis…

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    31. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Dr. Graham, the fundamental question to me is "what average temperature would the planet have, without greenhouse gasses?" My reading to date indicates that Earth would be a snowball. If true, then we can reasonably assume that GHGs play a commanding rôle in setting the global average temperature (the globe in this case means the biosphere of atmosphere, land and oceans). If we agree on that, then the wriggle room is only the question of how much warming will occur as the level of GHGs rises…

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    32. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      You can cut off coal exports to the rest of the world if you want (which won't be politically possible for a long, long time). I'm just pointing out that the rest of the world has and will continue to burn practically just as much coal without anything from us.

      But a zero coal exports policy is not going to stop me from putting Greens ahead of the Labor party and advising anyone who's interested to do the same. I've put Greens before Labor in the Senate for a long time now because I don't want any value from my vote distributed to strange conservative parties that the Labor party has some weird relationship with.

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    33. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Very true about strange Labor preference deals in the Senate - we had a Family First senator for 6 years thanks to Labor!

      With the senate ballot paper likely to be a metre long and in very small print I'm really hoping that the Greens do such a sensible ordring of parties that I can just vote Green's 1 at the top of the ballot.

      Last election the Greens preferences were sensible enough for me to be happy to do this. It will takes ages to number all the squares if they are not as good this year.

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    34. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "blame Japan for buying it and not going nuclear"

      This is a little curious. Are you saying Japan is blameless for buying and burning coal?

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    35. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      I'm looking at what we do and our morality - not Japan's actions.

      So if we are trying to sell 30% of the worlds remaining carbon emissions to make a quick buck then I think we deserve to be condemned by future generations.

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    36. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      I can't really comment on John Nicol's views on GHGs, but I would be very surprised if he is actually saying what you are charging him with. However, I am not competent to make a judgement on propositions like "GHGs have totally saturated their spectrum of emissions." Are you saying this John?

      John did indicate that he was unable to find papers that supported the proposition of the basic physics of Carbon Dioxide's presumed role in causing additional warming of the earth. This seems to be a scholarly…

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    37. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Thanks for the suggestion, but I would rather let John answer for himself, if he wants to do so.

      Indeed, if we come to discuss complicated arguments involving academic papers from physics, I will be leaving that to others.

      Furthermore, even if he does argue that further warming is not likely to ensure from GHGs, it is not a sin to hold unconventional positions, at least I hope not, since I do the same thing in my own field. It is just difficult to get them accepted.

      Why don't we all take a deep breath, politely discuss the matters at issue, and let us all put our own cases as best we can, and respond on those matters that are within our ken.

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    38. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      "I would rather let John answer for himself"

      That's exactly what I said above. Just click on his history to see what his answers are.

      "if we come to discuss complicated arguments involving academic papers from physics, I will be leaving that to others."

      This is, of course, normally done in scientific papers. But John Nicol does not do this. Instead he asserts that the scientists who write those papers and have them published in scientifically-reviewed journals are fundamentally wrong and are running some sort of conspiracy. He has zero interest in getting his ideas published in a scientific journal. Why is it do you think that such a person has any credibility at all?

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    39. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I'm glad you're not denying Japan has some fault for buying coal and burning it. It's a pity our actions will make negligible difference to what they burn.

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    40. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Just to be clear, I think you are totally immoral on this issue and that in 50 or so years your descendants will see your views and rightly curse you.

      Of course I assume that you see things differently, and so (without talking about Japan nor nuclear) we can agree to disagree.

      Questions to those reading this in the far future - who do you think was right?

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    41. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Australia needs to be very careful at telling other countries that it has a moral responsibility to not sell them coal while burning it up at a very rapid rate per person itself. Hypocrites are usually ignored.

      You said above that hopefully us taking action to keep our coal in the ground will inspire others to do the same. I don't expect us to be very much inspiration at all while we burn coal ourselves at anything like the rate that it is now, regardless of what we do with coal exports.

      "if…

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    42. Shirley Birney

      logged in via email @tpg.com.au

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Funny that. Nine of the ten largest CO2 polluters in the world are nuclear states. Six of the nuclear states' climate change performance, to mitigate CO2 emissions, range from poor to very poor.

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  3. Mark Lawson

    senior journalist at Australian Financial Review

    this quote: "the campaign by fossil fuel industry groups against the emissions trading scheme and the activism of conservative media outlets and commentators were important here".

    I won't make any comment on the article itself but I will take issue with that statement. If you have some evidence that the energy companies paid any attention to the debate, apart from one or two execs speaking out and the odd, tiny payment to think tanks ($100,000 here $200,000 there), I'd be quite interested to hear…

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    1. Matt McDonald

      Senior Lecturer in International Relations at University of Queensland

      In reply to Mark Lawson

      Thanks for your thoughts, Mark. I have to say, CEOs speaking out against the ETS and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested to build a case against it doesn't immediately suggest itself as irrelevant to public debate, especially when compared to the Federal funds available and used to promote the scheme. Beyond the evidence you've acknowledged, I do have plenty of quotes from peak industry bodies criticising the ETS generally or the particular dimensions of it, including the Queensland Resources Council, the Energy Supply Association and the Minerals Council of Australia. In my other piece on climate politics in the Conversation, though, I do acknowledge that a range of industry group executives have indicated (at least in private interviews) that they're amenable to government regulation and the economic stability that might be created through pricing carbon emissions.

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    2. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Matt McDonald

      Do you think the CEOs would do nothing? They are paid to be there to act for shareholders.
      Those who would have preferred to do nothing might recall Samuel Johnson: "Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging."

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    3. Mark Lawson

      senior journalist at Australian Financial Review

      In reply to Matt McDonald

      Mat - your comments are fair enough but no, the hundreds of thousands of dollars don't count. Its small change. There is no indication that the energy companies changed their behavour or funding at all. The other points you mention - CEOs and industry bodies speaking out - is about what you'd expect. I also noticed that. But did they do any heavy lifting against it? Not really. Part of it was that no-one want to be seen to be against the ETS. Its like being against the NDIS. Another part is that mostly it just didn't affect them, electricity demand has been falling and prices can be passed onto the consumer.. As you note most of them privately were not greatly fussed over it..

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    4. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey,

      Being a CEO surely does not absolve anyone from our ethical responsibilities to the children of today and tomorrow. Those that have acted in ways contrary to the maintenance of a stable climate on this planet will surely have to face many questions in the future about their actions and inactions. Our suffering grandchildren will very reasonably ask them: ‘They knew what was happening, why didn’t they do what was needed to protect us?’

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    5. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark Lawson

      Mark, I fear I'm finding myself agreeing with you, at least partially, twice in one week!

      I think the fact always was that the carbon price, whether as an initial 'tax' or an ETS, really wasn't enough to cause them much concern - certainly not enough to spend serious social capital on trying to clock - sure, a few hundred thousand here and there in the background (I don't think that's quite as insignificant as you suggest but, compared with the kind of funding available when they really do want to cause a bit of grief, it wasn't that big a deal). As Matt notes, people like Mitch Hook from the Minerals Council engaged in some pretty fierce poleics, but then he always tended to, didn't he?

      In the end, more of a sulk than a proper tantrum.

      And most of the rest of us unwashed punters out there have figured out by now (if it wasn't obvious enough to begin with!) that the impact on us is minor.

      That pretty much only leaves the NLP.

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    6. Mark Lawson

      senior journalist at Australian Financial Review

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Dear lord - well, I'm sure they'll be plenty of room to disagree in other forums..

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    7. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Matt McDonald

      Matt McDonald,

      Do you not think that these industry bodies have a duty to speak out against something which has the potential to disadvantage their members - that is what they get paid for I would have thought.

      I think there would also be many CEOs whose opinion would be that the threat of a tax or ETS, which in particular is being pushed by government as inevitable, would be amenable to to going along with something in a way which is least likely to cause them individual grief.

      In many cases, such as the banks, there is the solid possibility of actually making money from it and any industry which can pass on its costs to the consumer without being challenged by competition, since all competitors are going to be equally effected, would not be in any hurry to oppose it. After all, they too will see that their profits and write ups, are usually expected to be as a certain percentage of costs - more costs, more profit, when they are not disavantaged relative to competitors.

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    8. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad,

      Another thought comes to mind when I look at the graphs of falling global temperatures, no sea level rise above the many hundred year average of about 1.7 mm per year, sea surface temperatures steady after thirty years of warming of the atmosphere, no increase in the last seven years in deep sea temperatures measured by the Argo buoys, the failure of the IPCC in 2013/2014 to demonstrate that their modles are capable of reproducing any rela world climate - not one Brad. The failure also…

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    9. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to John Nicol

      John,

      As I have said before, I would be very happy if you could prove that the consensus position of climate scientists is wrong. Unfortunately you haven't been able to do that.

      Although I truly wish it were otherwise, fairly simple graphs demonstrate that, regardless of fluctuations in atmospheric temperature, the planet continues to heat up

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

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    10. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      I am surprised that your views on business have not moved on since you posted your article on this theme.

      Perhaps you could answer this question in your next article. How would it help if a CEO let his company go broke while implementing an uneconomic scheme? In my opinion, someone else would pickup the slack, and the end result would still be no change.

      Unless a business has monopoly profits available to it, its CEO has to work within the parameters set by government. While he can be answerable…

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    11. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,
      Not quite my view. The CEO has to work within SOME parameters set by government. The CEO does not need monopoly profits. The profit generated from good projects, good work and good management provide adequate comfort.
      We have not lived in a democracy for many decades, sensu stricto. I remember the look on my CEO's face when he opened a letter from the ATO saying that they had revised an earlier opinion on treatment of certain funds, please find enclosed our account for $50 million. Then…

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    12. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,

      I stand by what I said above - "Being a CEO surely does not absolve anyone from our ethical responsibilities to the children of today and tomorrow. Those that have acted in ways contrary to the maintenance of a stable climate on this planet will surely have to face many questions in the future about their actions and inactions. Our suffering grandchildren will very reasonably ask them: ‘They knew what was happening, why didn’t they do what was needed to protect us?’

      We all have to make…

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    13. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad,
      You make the common, questionable assumption that governments and bureaucrats are in some unstated way superior to CEOs and able to make better rules. As the global warming fiasco continues to unfold, you will see it was governments, not CEOs, in the main, who assisted the contrivance (and in some cases derived illicit benefit from it).

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    14. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey,

      In no way do I assume that "that governments and bureaucrats are in some unstated way superior to CEOs and able to make better rules." The fact that they often don't is a part of the reason why I said that "The rules set by the government of the day are more like guard rails than the be all and end all of our ethical responsibilities."

      Like I said - "We all have to make decisions in the light of the moral implications. Beyond maintaining a social licence to operate, CEOs are human beings just like the rest of us and therefore have ethical responsibilities to the children of today and tomorrow. These responsibilities don't disappear just because you take on a particular job and you can't use your job description as a shield to hide behind."

      Of course you can and should say exactly the same thing about politicians and bureaucrats.

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    15. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad,
      The usual way to solve these difficult problems is to measure accurately and do a fair interpretation of measurement.
      Your use of words like "Our suffering grandchildren..." has no place in this discussion. It is mere guesswork and dogma. e.g. they suffer no more smallpox and polio could be knocked out.
      Can you name me a global generation that was worse off than its predecessor, and why?
      Never forget the capacity of the human to innovate.

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    16. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey,

      You may choose to dismiss your ethical responsibilities to the children of today and tomorrow but I take them very seriously. If we do not heed the warnings made by scientists around the world then future generations will very likely be worse off than we are because of our failure to act to change our behaviour so as to protect them from dangerous climate change. I get that you do not accept the consensus position of climate scientists but surely you are not advocating that we base public policy on the opinion of a minority

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    17. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad Farant,

      It is difficult to escape the paradox, that if the suggested Global Warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide does not occur, as many well qualified scientists show will be the case, from work other than computer models, which after all are plagued by constraints to minimise the effects of chaos.

      The fact that these models represent the only source of what is called "evidence" by the IPCC, but as now admitted by the IPCC in their AR5, 2013/14 Report, cannot be verified experimentally, our children and grand children will be far worse off because of the unnecessary and in many case quite ridiculous, schemes being put in place in the fond hope of reducing global emissions of CO2.

      The worst effected of course will be the third world countries which we are trying to lift out of poverty. It may be a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't!!
      John Nicol

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    18. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to John Nicol

      John,

      As I said above - I would be very happy if you could prove that the consensus position of climate scientists is wrong. Unfortunately you haven't been able to do that.

      Children in developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change
      http://www.unicef.org/media/files/Climate_Change_Regional_Report_14_Nov_final.pdf

      There are also a multitude of health and wellbeing reasons to reduce the burning of fossil fuels.
      http://caha.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/OurUncashedDividend_CAHAandTCI_August20121.pdf

      Children in third world countries would be far better off if we in the developed world transitioned away from our carbon intensive economies and helped their countries leapfrog to renewable energy generation.

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    19. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      I hesitate to enter in this side of the discussion, but I worry that imprecise consideration of the issues, which IMO has troubled the presentation of the entire zero-emissions case, is putting back the serious consideration of actions that could actually be undertaken immediately.

      For example, the report you cited from the Climate Institute claims that Brown Coal has $60 MWh "hidden costs", under the heading "Energy Sources Matter to Health".

      It is likely that there some hyperbole here, with…

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    20. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad Farrant.

      Dear Brad,

      Thank you for your query. I will do my best here.

      I agree that if there is to be climate change of either warming or cooling which causes harm to human beings, children in developing countries are likely to be the most vulnerable. However, my reasons for criticizing the IPCC, our Climate Commissioners and those in the many University based Climate units in Australia, is that none has shown that carbon dioxide can do as they claim while many physicists and…

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    21. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,

      I am not aware of anyone that has done the kinds of analyses you ask for, so sorry unable to help there.

      Regarding the health effects of burning wood etc for cooking etc, I don't think it makes any sense nor is it wise to replace one health and environment damaging practice with another. The quickest and best gains in this area can and are being made by providing decentralised renewable energy options such as solar pv and solar ovens.

      You will have probably heard today that the World Bank has committed to stop funding coal fired power plants in poor countries.

      "The World Bank says in the last five years it has doubled its financial support for renewable energy projects such as off grid household solar in Bangladesh and Mongolia, wind farms in Turkey and geo-thermal projects in Kenya."

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    22. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to John Nicol

      John,

      I think you may have misunderstood me.

      I wasn't asking you to try to convince me that the consensus position of climate scientists is wrong. I am not a climate scientist nor do I have time to do all the work to become one.

      In many cases you seem to say that the available evidence is exactly the opposite of what the majority of climate scientists do. As I said above - I would be very happy if you could prove that the majority of climate scientists are wrong. I would strongly suggest…

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    23. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      So, one last try.

      Is it morally OK to imply, as the Climate Institute does, to use a report on a different subject to imply that brown coal is a major health hazard, when the information provided doesn't actually support that proposition?

      Is it morally OK to use a defective report to support your own case, when you don't think that there anyone who has done the kind of analysis that the report implies has been done?

      Is it morally OK to cite only one side of an argument, and not to indicate the complexities of the case, and the Climate Institute report does in the case for eliminating wood burning?

      Yes, I agree that distributed renewable energy projects have a place, but I don't think it is helpful to try to push poor countries to adopt expensive and experimental forms of grid-based renewable energy. Fortunately, they are mostly not going down that path, but are concentrating most of their grid-based renewable endeavours on hydro, which at least is proven.

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    24. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Dear Brad,
      Thanks for your reply. I am not sure if I had misunderstood you as you seemed to be asking me to show you where the IPCC is wrong. Rather than detail my own work, I had pointed you to the shortcomings from the basic science of the IPCC and several other scientific journeys which ended a a different location form that found by the IPCC and its many adherents.

      I am well aware that the climate units, IPCC, CSIRO etc, say all these things about the world warming but from a purely scientific…

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    25. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,

      You start by saying "So, one last try" and then go on to ask different questions. Not sure why you felt the need for sarcasm.

      You now ask - "Is it morally OK to imply, as the Climate Institute does, to use a report on a different subject to imply that brown coal is a major health hazard, when the information provided doesn't actually support that proposition?"

      I presume you are still refering to the Figure in the report titled "The hidden costs of electricity" with the further caption…

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    26. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad,
      The World bank does not make money fro pixie dust to install highly inefficient power sources in other countries. It gets the money from you and me, without having asked us if we want to contribute, or by how much, or to build what type of gear.
      I've no argument with humanitarian aid as long as one is not treating with a lousy, lazy bunch of cargo cultists whose leaders are not corrupt enough to pocket part of the funds.
      The World Bank has a rather sorry list of past top officials, not all…

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    27. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to John Nicol

      John,
      At JCU before your time I joined the first class in Science in its second year. Geoffrey Richards was Chem Prof.
      (Someone must have taught me to blog too much).
      Why, in your opinion, do these university types who argue so much here on TC refuse to believe the data presented by you under http://www.jonnic.net/fifteenyeartemps ??
      If it's any consolation, they refuse to believe me also.

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    28. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Dear Geoffrey,

      Thanks for your comment and for connecting me with your past at JCU. I went there originally as a temporary lecturer in Physics in 1966 and stayed until 1997. Geoff Richards left in about 1985 I think it was, when he went over to the States. You may have also known my good friend Ernie Senogles in Chemistry, who I still see from time to time, and who has told me that Geoff passed away a couple of years ago. Eric Carmen would have been head of physics but had left to take up…

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    29. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to John Nicol

      John, you really are a humorist. "To see how this gravy train was started", "the University of Queensland, which like most if not all Australian Universities, is hooked on the Global Warming Research Funds teat" - hmmm ... conspiracies abound in your world. Can you explain how John Cook's qualifications affect the science discussed at Skeptical Science? After all, qualifications in communication would seem useful to a communication site, imho.

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    30. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to John Nicol

      John, If you did not mind, might you please send me your email? I think that you have mine, but if not I'll post it here.

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    31. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey,

      I'll give you mine as it has been around the ridges already and as a result collects a fair amount of spam. So rather than you putting your's up and suffering in the same way, mine is: jonicol18 at bigpond.com Note the "18" and the rest follows from my name! I am sure I had an email from you but because of the high level of traffic in my InBox I can't find it right now.
      Cheers,
      John

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  4. John Nicol

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    Fortunately the evidence is mounting, for all to see clearly, that the promotion of Global Warming in the late 1950s was all about securing research funding, when, after WWII, the US government required most if not all research funding proposals for national support, to be framed in words which suggested the work was going to be of such national benefit. How would the measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide be of "national benefit"? Of course, silly me!! Simply by claiming it was likely to cause…

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Gotta love the bit about Bob Carter being 'sacked' by JCU.

      Even the Townsville Bulletin had th eprofessionalism and courtesy to get JCU's side of Carter's claim:

      "Dr Carter has not been sacked, or black-balled and the university has not caved in," a spokesperson said.

      "The simple truth is his term as an adjunct expired."

      Still, we mustn't let a bit of evidence get in the way of John's omniscience.

      I await his Nobel Prize acceptance speech when he proves it's all a scam.

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    2. Christopher Nheu

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I love reading John Nicol's posts. It's a bit of an adrenaline rush seeing ignorance get pumped through me.

      John Nicol is also part of the Galileo Movement (another Australian skeptic society).
      http://www.galileomovement.com.au/who_we_are.php

      Previously the Scientific American has blasted the Australian skeptic society.
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-carbon-dioxide-is-greenhouse-gas

      You don't even need to be a scientist to see where John's intention's at best murky.

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    3. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      MWH,
      You have to recognise that some of the finest brains work outside academia, largely free of pressure to publish or perish.
      You are quite free to imagine that academia is the source of our main wisdom - but then you would have to give some examples. On climate change, a few more years of current trends and the whole matter will likely be forgotten except by those who were scammed badly.
      Have another rejuvenating read of Climategate to see why some academic reputations are deserved to be denigrated.
      You can magnify it on your screen to big letters.

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    4. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey,

      While I agree that "some of our finest brains work outside academia" this does not mean that we are free to base public policy on whichever opinion of a few or a minority that happens to best fit with our own worldview. Public policy should be grounded in the best available science not the opinions of a minority.

      Although I truly wish it were otherwise, fairly simple graphs demonstrate that, regardless of fluctuations in atmospheric temperature, the planet continues to heat up

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

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    5. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Christopher Nheu

      I love the Galileo Movement too!

      I still think, though, that they should have called it the Black Crow Society, in memory of the famous 'all crows are black' syllogism which they so charmingly revived by claiming that, because Galileo was in opposition to the establishment of his day and he turned out to be right in the end, therefore anyobody who opposes orthodoxy is a victimised hero and defender of the truth...

      How come I don't remember seeing any of them at the old May Day rallies back in the seventies?

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    6. Ivan Quail

      maverick

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      GHS
      Please read the comment above and attack long standing, peer reviewed, basic fundamental scientific fact.

      Alternately you could try 7 times more salt on your food day after day and see how you go.
      Please be sure and give us an update on your health every month or so.

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    7. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael Wilbur-Ham,

      I am very sorry to have caused you such pain, but I had thought that the basis of the discussion on the Enhanced Green House Effect which is said might cause additional warming of the globe as the level of CO2 rises in the atmosphere, no more and no less, would very naturally involve a discussion of the basic science of carbon dioxide and its radiative properties in the atmosphere which also relate to its absorption of CO2 from the radiation field of the earth.

      I really…

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    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Nicol

      John - I didn't click "Read More" to read most of your non-science nonsense.

      I'll just point out that if you know more than the world experts, please publish in a peer review journal, and I promise I will be applauding when you win your Nobel Prize.

      Otherwise you are just a waste of time and not worth reading.

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    9. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Christopher Nheu

      Christopher Nheu,

      Wrong again Christopher. I am NOT a member of the Galileo Group which appears to have been able to get under your skin as well.

      It seems to me that the fact that not ONE of the scientists at our many "climate research units" has been able to provide a proper physical analysis of the important spectral characteristics of carbon dioxide which would possibly substantiate the claims that it presents a challenge in causing increased warming, is starting to cause some panic among…

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    10. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad Farrant,

      While I have debated with you on your approach to the hypothesis on the effectiveness of carbon dioxide in causing Global Warming, I would never have thought that you would be a naive person and have great difficulty in believing that you would consciously have intended to quote John Cook's site at Skeptical Science as a mantra of respectability in this debate.
      John Nicol

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    11. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Felix MacNeill,

      Talking of what we like and don't like, I really do like the way that you can write here post after post without saying a single word about the topic. Just providing very inaccurate analyses in your owninimitable style of other commentators.

      Surely it is time that you addressed the topic which in spite of the fact that it draws on the name of Kevin Rudd, is, as in the case of all climate related discussions, basically about whether carbon dioxide can cause serious global warming. Would youlike to comment now with some demonstration as to why carbon dioxide might be inclined to do that - apart from the claims made by unreliable models. Show us the physics of CO2 in air,, there's a good boy.

      John Nicol

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    12. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to John Nicol

      John,

      I post links to the Skeptical Science pages because they provide explanations that the average non-climate scientist can understand, along with links to ther relevant peer reviewed science for those who wish to delve in deeper.

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    13. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Nicol

      No John Nicol.

      To any rational person who respects academic expertise there is no longer any doubt that carbon dioxide is causing serious global warming.

      The issue your post raises is "Why are there people posting on The Conversation lobbying hard to create doubt about this now well established science?"

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    14. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to John Nicol

      Thank you for the patronising post, John, but I don't do remedial education for fools.

      Any high school science teacher could give you what you need.

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    15. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      MWH,
      It's not important, but I can show you information on CC that has a high probability of being faked.
      Knowing that there is little that a few more similarly perceptive people can do to remedy the situation, I propose to do nought about it until there comes the inevitable commission of Inquiry.
      The Australian historic temperature record comes under some definitions of 'faked' and some of us have been calling for an audit for some years now. There have been some adjustments that a reasonable…

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    16. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Christopher Nheu

      Christopher,
      If, like me, you had been a subscriber to Scientific American journal in the 1970s, you would have noticed its rapid decline from mostly good pop science to comic book status. My cessation of subscription in the 1990s was accompanied by a letter lamenting the fall. I was not alone.
      You take a risk if you rely upon SciAm or NatGeo as a primary science source. I've asked the Nat Geo editor in chief for a rewrite of an edition they puiblished a decade ago, on global warming, in order to correct the many passages that we now know are wrong (by admission) or questionable (by later research results).
      It's another fingers up the ears response from the Ed.

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    17. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad,
      Tell me you are joking, please?
      Not one scientist I know would rely upon that blog for more than a laugh.
      If you are pointing people in early childhood development in the direction of that blog, then you are doing a disservice to teaching.

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    18. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      Ivan, I have no idea which post you wish me to peruse, but I have doubts about domeone who world write 9or cut and paste) "When light hits white ice the bulk of it is reflected back into space. The balance melts the ice. When light hits darker surfaces such as water, stone and sand it is converted to heat which is absorbed and re-radiated in the infrared wave length"
      As one who actually owned a spectrometer, I am appalled that your oversimplification does not even mention that UV wavelengths act…

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    19. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey,

      Like I said - "I post links to the Skeptical Science pages because they provide explanations that the average non-climate scientist can understand, along with links to the relevant peer reviewed science for those who wish to delve in deeper."

      If you can find fault with any of the peer reviewed science referenced there then I would suggest that you should publish the evidence rather than engaging in defamation.

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    20. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      MWH,
      A good scientist will change views as new data emerges. Since the days of Bush the younger, & John Howard, quite a few satellites and instruments elsewhere have delivered new results.
      Unfortunately, the new results have not always agreed with the older. The latest paper on sea level change, about 3 weeks ago, estimated a continuing 1 mm a year. It is not right simply because it is new. It is plausible because it's a very careful analysis. But you would have found it in your reading.
      My pity is for those who, having been indoctrinated, lack the mental will or agility to keep up with the times.

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  5. Doug Hutcheson

    Poet

    "Such an approach would clearly make necessary climate action in Australia difficult to imagine in the near future." The elephant in the room is that failure to act to make meaningful changes to our specie's thirst for fossil fuelled energy, will ultimately make our inaction the cause of global climate changes that will be far worse for our collective economic security than any action we could take now. Sadly, there is little political mileage in taking the sort of action necessary right now. It would take more vision and intestinal fortitude than our current crop of pollies have collectively exhibited to date. The Greens 'get it', but their voice is lost in the noise of political reality.

    Sigh. Homo Stupidus stupidus. If we can't protect our future, we don't deserve to have one.

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    1. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Doug,
      What would be your first action if you were in charge? Shoot that elephant that troubles your dreams?

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    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey

      I'm not sure about Doug, but the first thing I would do if I was in charge was to take absolutely no notice of the brayings of ignorant deniers.

      Then I would ban any more fossil fuel exploration, remove all subsidies from the fossil fuel industry and redirect them to research and subsidises for renewable energy, and tell the coal industry that it has until 2020 then there will be no more coal mining allowed in Australia.

      Oh, and the carbon tax would become universal, not just on the top 500 companies, and there would be no free permits issues during the transition to the ETS.

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  6. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    What happened in Rudd's years?
    The global climate failed to warm significantly for 15 years; we are on the way to falsification of the greenhouse climate hypothesis/models; and heaps of former converts are jumping ship as they realise 'twas but a dream of wealth redistribution and greater power disguised as global warming.
    Any hard questions?

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    1. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      You must be reading (or believing) different research to that which is readily available from the CSIRO and the Bureau of Metoreology in implying that global climate is not warming, based on the limited sample of the past 15 years.

      Based on the observations cited by the CSIRO and the BOM, they were able to establish that the climate had warmed each decade for the last 80 years. I would have thought that this is a conclusion that is difficult to gainsay. If this is not true, perhaps you are able…

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    2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham - Like with with Labor and Liberal's schemes, you seem to be forgetting why we are doing anything.

      Action on climate change is needed because the consequences of a world with 3 to 6 degree warming by 2100 is too awful to accept.

      Any scheme so weak that it leads to warming of over 2 degrees is not real action on climate change - it is political action to enable business similar to usual while giving the appearance of action to pacify the public.

      And the real solution isn't just about electricity generation. It's reducing our burning oil, land clearing, coal mining, and more.

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    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham, I wouldn't be so sure the European scheme is 'failing' - it might be a bit too soon to call the undertakers.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      The thing about an ETS is that it is designed to cut emissions by what is set.

      The price of the permits will be based on how costly it is to reduce emissions. Because of the economic crises European production is down and thus the price of permits is way down.

      But whether the price is very high or very low - each permit still gets used and its emissions emitted.

      EU emissions were 4.3 billion tons in 1990 and in 2011 they were only 3.8 billion tons. The EU is on track for a 20% reduction on 1990 levels by 2020.

      Compare this to Australia where our target is only a 0.5% reduction from 1990 to 2020, and our reduction will be achieved buy buying cheap EU permits and so our actual emissions will increase.

      What the EU scheme has failed to do is to take the opportunity to make even greater cuts than the ETS originally intended. But they have succeeded in making real cuts (still not enough, but a great job compared to Australia).

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    5. Henry Verberne

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

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Start consulting some real science sites for your information on climate change GHS. I note Brad and others have already referred you to peer-reviewed science sites such as skepticalscience.com where genuine information is given and discussed.

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    6. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I agree that the EU scheme has worked as far as it was intended, but as you acknowledge, it could have gone further.

      In discussing this, it is helpful if we recognize that an ETS is not best described as a "market-based" scheme. It is more like a "command and control" scheme. Let me explain.

      An ETS tries to provide certainty in carbon reductions, and, as I accept, the EU experience shows that it can achieve this objective. This is the result of a successful "command and control" scheme - set…

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    7. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Whatever scheme is put in place the government will control the levers - either by setting the level of a tax, the number of permits issued, or by controlling any other scheme, eg how much is spent on direct action.

      The main problem we have in Australia (and that I read into your earlier proposal) is that everyone is aiming at too low a level of cuts to make much difference.

      We need a 40% cut by 2020, and at present both LNP and Labor are aiming for only 0.5%. This is the big problem.

      What scheme is used to achieve the target is only of secondary importance.

      And to me a market based approach is when business is able to determine the most efficient way of meeting the cuts. I don't think it should be left to the market to determine what level of cuts are made.

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    8. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      When would you call in the undertakers?

      The EU tried to claw back some of the emissions permits it had issued, but it couldn't do it.

      As a "command and control" system, the EU scheme is subject to political fights and mistakes are very difficult to unwind.

      A simple carbon price, if set at an appropriate (phased) level to allow the changes to be made over time, will drive down emissions inexorably. It cannot fail. Under this kind of scheme, too-many-emissions-permits cannot be issued, as zero emissions permits will be issued. It would be a true pricing mechanism that actually puts a price on carbon, and thereby changes the dynamics of the market.

      Get on board!

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    9. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      On climate change it is pretty clear that the undertakers will be busy. It's now unlikely that we will limit warming to 2 degrees, and the question is will 2100 be 3, 4, 5, or 6 degrees warmer.

      I'm also in favour of a tax.

      But in the political debates in Australia it is the target that is the main issue. So rather than debating ETS, DA or CT, I'll first debate 0.5% or 40%.

      And it is the details of any scheme which makes all the difference. For example, the massive rebates to industry and consumers pretty much negates the low carbon tax that Gillard put in place.

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    10. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,
      The following is not a peer reviewed paper because it uses data too recent to incorporate in a paper.
      For a detailed analysis of global temperatures, read the following and come back to the authors (or to me) if you disagree with what you read.
      The conclusion is inescapable. The global temperature has not changed for 16 years, within customary limits of significance. All major bodies that accumulate global temperatures have issued statements of this nature. I don't know where you get an argument that disagrees with the combined weight of the experts.
      http://www.climate4you.com/GlobalTemperatures.htm#Recent land surface temperature
      It's a lengthy, detailed article but it should set your science straight if you persevere.
      There are many other articles like this, easy to search, but if you deny the plateau of the past 16 years, you are the odd man out.

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    11. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,
      Why do you work so diligently on schemes to take even more money from our wallets? A normal person would be acting to put more back in.
      This is especially so as the evidence for global warming is falling away, year by year, with nobody except a few oddballs talking 6 deg F rises any more.
      Soon, there will be a chorus singing "How did we get it so wrong?"

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    12. Ivan Quail

      maverick

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      reply to Dr Graham Lovell
      I have looked at your blogspot item 7 for an explanation of your proposal. Is there a better more explicit explanation of your proposal and how it will work and if so where can I find it

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    13. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      My blogs are self-contained, and are intended to stimulate wider thinking on the subject of carbon pricing, rather than being tightly argued cases.

      I am guessing by #7 you are you refering to http://australiancarbonprice.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/the-economics-of-geothermal-electricity.html. If not, please let me know what one you are discussing.

      On enhanced geothermal, I feel that I am way out on a limb here, but my purpose is to encourage government authorities to look at enhanced geothermal more closely.

      In Australia, Petratherm have invested in a pilot well, have just got a conditional government grant for $13m to drill a "producer well". You could follow up their postings at http://www.petratherm.com.au/

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    14. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "The global temperature has not changed for 16 years, within customary limits of significance. All major bodies that accumulate global temperatures have issued statements of this nature."

      They have done no such thing because it simply isn't true. The only type of thing they could say is that there is about a 5% chance that there was no warming in 16 years. This does not qualify as "global temperature has not changed". Please stop spreading disinformation.

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    15. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Thanks for the feedback. I had a look at the web site you cited.

      Based on the 37 month smoothed data provided there (which can only be calculated up to 2012), and going back 15 years there has been a 0.1 degree increase in temperature anomolies, and for 16 years there has been a 0.25 degree increase in temperature anomolies.

      As you would be aware, temperature variations are very great, and individual events can cause unexpected variations. e.g. The scientists responsible for this chart noted that the reported temperatures were influenced by the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption (reducing it) and the 1998 El Niño (increasing it). That is why I think it is safer to take the data over a longer period.

      Nevertheless, even taking the data over this short period (which was your choice I must say), it can be considered to support the BOM/CSIRO analysis which indicates a 0.1 degree increase per decade.

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    16. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      Trying again. Probably you were actually referring to the post on the 7 May 2012, and you wanted more info on my fully-rebatable carbon levy proposal.

      Thanks for your interest in my proposal. Here is the link you are looking for: http://australiancarbonprice.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/switch-model-for-rebatable-carbon-price.html

      Since then I have refined my ideas, based on the current political situation in Australia.

      I would start carbon pricing all over again, once the government's obligations…

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    17. Shirley Birney

      logged in via email @tpg.com.au

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      @ G H Sherrington: “The global temperature has not changed for 16 years, within customary limits of significance. All major bodies that accumulate global temperatures have issued statements of this nature.:

      @ NASA: “The ten warmest years in the 132-year record have all occurred since 1998”:

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=80167

      @ Geoffrey H Sherrington: “As one who used to own a laboratory with expensive, state of the art equipment I know a little about analytical…

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    18. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      I wasn't aware that I was working on schemes to take more money from "our wallets." What do you have in mind? How would "our wallets" be impacted by my fully-rebatable carbon levy?

      I certainly do have a scheme for pricing carbon emissions. It is a scheme for ensuring the intangible impact of carbon emissions is given a price, with the sole objective of favouring lower carbon-emissions technologies over higher carbon-emissions technologies.

      I sure you are aware of the exorable and significant…

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    19. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,
      I have yet to read a credible paper on the alleged acidification of the oceans. There is no shortage of arm-waving supposition papers, complete with weasel words. There is also a fundamental problem, one of sampling. If you take the Argo buoys as an example, each one now deployed accounts for about 500,000 cubic km of ocean, taking observations every 10 days. The obs are for temperature, salinity, pressure and position- not for pH. This is important, because some of these affect pH and the…

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    20. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      You are a maverick aren't you! You certainly come up with some interesting propositions (and humorous lines).

      On the subject of ocean ph, I will concede that I am relying upon public claims to that effect. As usual, I will avoid subjects that are beyond my ken, and stick to matters that can be subjected to more prosaic analysis, leaving the science to those qualified to address it.

      Perhaps you would like to give me the benefit of your insights into the other matters I asked you about?

      "I…

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    21. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      For the sake of others seeking information about climate change / global warming, it should be pointed out that Geoffrey has claimed that global temperatures have not risen, yet his supporting evidence is a link to a post about LAND SURFACE temperatures only. As he knows, land surface is only a small part of the global heat sink and most of the warming is going into the cryosphere (melting ice) and the oceans (raising their temperature and causing expansion). For a clear explanation and links to the underlying science, I suggest you look at http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

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    22. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      It was an oversight on my part, my apologies, I'm under some stress. However, the land mass data have significance, because most people live on land and preparation for energy supplies, food supplies and the like are more concerned with land temperatures. But that is by the way.
      Too little is known about the ocean temperatures. The sampling is too sparse. Therefore, people tend to use sea surface temperatures rather than ocean heat content.
      There are compilations of combines land and sea surface temperatures. Here is a better example to incite you to argue, unless you do the normal act of capitulation in the face of obvious data.
      Here's the data you seek, from Bob Tisdale, a recognised top performer.
      http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/may-2013-global-surface-landocean-temperature-anomaly-update/

      The exercise is to take the last 16 years and see if there is a decline.

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    23. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Define "genuine" as opposed to "comical".
      From thre Sks site itself:
      Skeptical Science is maintained by John Cook, the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. He studied physics at the University of Queensland, Australia. After graduating, he majored in solar physics in his post-grad honours year. He is not a climate scientist. Consequently, the science presented on Skeptical Science is not his own but taken directly from the peer reviewed…

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    24. Shirley Birney

      logged in via email @tpg.com.au

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      @ Geoffrey Harold Sherrington: "It's past time for some of you guys to write, read and quote from proper sources. I've pointed to many on TC. Some of it is hard stuff, maybe beyond you, but you learn from adopting a challenge."

      Do you mean like your links to Bob Tisdale of no fixed address and bereft of credentials and who boasts he is an "independent climate change researcher and a regular contributor to the world's most visited website about global warming and climate change, WUWT."

      Give us a break Geoffrey. Your gaseous emissions and garrulous nonsense have exceeded your word limit.

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  7. Shirley Birney

    logged in via email @tpg.com.au

    Rudd and Abbott = Bib and Bub. When are we having a mini Aussie Spring?

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  8. Geoffrey Henley

    Research Associate

    " that Australians still accepted that climate change was happening "

    I do wish warmies would desist from using this meaningless terminology. Saying 'climate change is happening' is like saying 'the earth is still revolving on it's axis'. Climate change has been happening for eons and will continue to go on for eons.

    Another poorly defined phrase is "humans are causing global warming". This implies that only humans cause global warming which if of cause ridiculous.

    I note that John Cook still uses these types of unscientific terminology, which is indicative of the pseudo-science practised by him

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Does Geoffrey really not understand that most people know that "climate change" is short-hand for what is happening now mainly due to human caused increases in carbon emissions?

      And how can he call something "unscientific" when his level of science is of the order of "I believe in Father Christmas" thus it must be true. (Or in his case, "I don't believe in climate change so I'll ignore all the evidence that proves it is true and then I'll pretend that I'm a rational person.)

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    2. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Re your trhird paragraph: I once saw a man walking down the street; that implies that no other person will ever walk down a street. Nice 'reasoning' there Geoffrey.

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    3. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      The term 'climate change' on it's own fails to distinguish between climate change that is due to natural processes and climate change that is supposedly due to human activities.

      Hence the term by itself is ambiguous, misleading and unscientific. Frankly, why would I bother listening to people who can't use proper and precise scientific language. Is it really that hard to say 'human-induced climate change'?

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      I know that you are only here to waste our time as clearly you have learned nothing from reading the many articles on climate change published by The Conversation, but when most people talk about climate change we all know that they mean what is happening now, and that this time it is human induced.

      So there is no confusion, ambiguity, or anything misleading or unscientific about using the term 'climate change'.

      In all my reading of the comments on The Conversation though I've never found any post which has cast any reasonable doubt on the scientific consensus. So it is fair to say that all the post by the deniers have been misleading.

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    5. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "time as clearly you have learned nothing from reading the many articles on climate change published by The Conversation"

      That's because there is nothing to learn from articles published here, most written by those with little or no scientific credibility. The articles published here are lop-sided, biased and out of touch with reality.

      If you think that natural processes aren't currently playing a significant role in the global climate, then you are clearly misinformed.

      I've yet to see an article here that provides any credible support for the so-called consensus.

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    6. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      What basis have you got for your views?

      Prey provide some credible evidence to prove human-induced climate change wrong, or even to serious cast doubt upon it?

      And what is your purpose of posting to this forum? It can't be to enlighten us because you provide no evidence. It can't be just for fun because that doesn't make much sense.

      I've written before that I believe that there are people being paid to post climate change denial rubbish repeatedly on forums such as this. At least that is one reason that makes sense to explain your presence here.

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    7. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Oh the irony!

      Geoffrey has this to say:

      "....That's because there is nothing to learn from articles published here, most written by those with little or no scientific credibility. The articles published here are lop-sided, biased and out of touch with reality...."

      You might want to occasionally click on the profiles of the authors of the articles in the Conversation Geoffrey. You might discover that almost all of them are experts in the field they are writing about, and their views carry a hell of a lot more credibility than you - who has been demonstrably wrong just about every time you put your fingers on the keyboard.

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    8. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "And what is your purpose of posting to this forum?"

      So you are saying that because my views are different from yours, I shouldn't bother posting here?

      So you want a website where only people who hold a certain point of view are allowed to publish articles and all posts should only be those who hold the same view, so that nothing is questioned and nothing is learn't and you can live happily everafter in your confirmation bias utopia.

      In relation to the subject of climate change, the Conversation…

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    9. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Of course you are right in pointing out that climate change is happening continuously, and that it is not only humans who cause the climate to change.

      For examaple, in terms of natural phenonema, the massive amounts of material pumped into the atmosphere from volcanic eruptions could be one source of a natural, and sudden, change in the climate. Fortunately, we have not experienced a world-changing event in this regard for a long time.

      However, it is also significant that humans are having…

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    10. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      The interesting thing about the climate change deniers in this thread is that instead of the tactic of giving us lots of references (to junk) and claiming their great personal expertise and their personal research has found the real answer, they are now just openly questioning the character of all the experts.

      At least this makes them much easier to ignore.

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    11. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      ".....In relation to the subject of climate change, the Conversation is not an information site, but an indoctrination site, where the editors only publish articles which support their owns beliefs...."

      No Geoffrey. The Conversation is a media site which publishes articles written by - mostly - academics. And that is the reason why virtually every article on climate change supports the scientific position. Because they are written by academics, scientists and experts in the field. There are…

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    12. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "they are now just openly questioning the character of all the experts."

      No, they only question the tactics of some scientists who refuse to make data available for independent verification, who attempt to undermine the peer review system and attempt to have editors sacked simply because they espouse sceptical views.

      There are thousands of scientists, including many of the world's top climate scientists who espouse at least some degree of scepticism regarding CAGW.

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    13. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      "You might discover that almost all of them are experts in the field they are writing about"

      But few have any expertise in the field of climate science. They can be the World's foremost expert on child psychology or whatever for all I care, but if they have no scientific credentials, then their opinions regarding climate science are no more credible than the average man in the street.

      Their articles only appear here because they've jumped on board the CAGW express.

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    14. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      "If you want to read a different perspective - one which is not based on science and evidence - you can always try WUWT or JoNova."

      WUWT has numerous links to real world empirical data and peer-reviewed research. WUWT is an infinitely superior site regarding climate science than trashy sites like DeSmogBlog, Watching the Deniers and a host of others. And unlike John Cook, he doesn't try to manipulate the data to suit his views.

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    15. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      I thought that your purpose in posting to this forum was clear. You are not convinced by the consensus case for human induced climate change. Despite the fierce responses I am likely to get, until you are convinced you are entitled to put your position. It is a democracy after all, and we benefit from the process of dialectic.

      I say, keep posting. Until we have community consensus, the Conversation should welcome contrary positions being presented.

      In my own research (early Christian history…

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    16. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      "many of the world's top climate scientists who espouse at least some degree of scepticism regarding CAGW."

      You're fibbing again Geoffrey. How pathetic.

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    17. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      "But few have any expertise in the field of climate science."

      That never stopped denialists from loudly trumpeting the Oregon petition.

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    18. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      "WUWT has numerous links to real world empirical data and peer-reviewed research."

      Indeed, one of his techniques is proof by contradictory citation.

      "WUWT is an infinitely superior site regarding climate science"

      Pwahahahaha. Hilarious.

      "he doesn't try to manipulate the data to suit his views."

      Sure, if you say so.

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    19. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham Lovell,

      Your comment on the purpose of these discussions and the freedom which everyone should feel in being able to express their ideas is certainly welcomed. I have often observed that there is more stimulation in debating with someone whose ideas are different from one's own than in discussions with people whose ideas totally blend with those one expresses.

      I also find the debate interesting and enlightening, even though my own ideas are fairly firmly fixed after taking part in…

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    20. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      MWH,
      Please quote one example of a high quality paper from the last 2 years that shows that your definition of climate change is happening now.

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    21. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Aw Mike, stuff & nonsense on your part. You assume too great a capability of the voluminous academic. Scientists who rely on the SkepSci blog for primary scientific information should hand in their badges and put some voluntary lead behind the ear.

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    22. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,
      I did not know until now that your specialty was early Christian history.
      This places you squarely in the voodoo science camp, because you believe in a set of unproven, often impossible occurrences in a poorly recorded history that continues with the aid of the unproven assertion that there is life after death.
      What a joke.

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    23. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "....Scientists who rely on the SkepSci blog for primary scientific information should hand in their badges and put some voluntary lead behind the ear...."

      Well Geoffrey, once again you betray yourself as nothing more that a troll. I would agree with you - but of course, there isn't a scientist in the world who would do something so ludicrously stupid.

      Let me fix your quote to make it more realistic in regards to the debate on climate science:

      "....People who rely on the WUWT or JoNova blog for primary scientific information should be disregarded and have compulsory lead behind the ear...."

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    24. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I'm sorry that you have passed me by in your readings, MWH. I've given many, many references that cast profound doubt on your perceived wisdom. Scientific consensus? Nothing more than an argument from weak foundations, like the precautionary principle is.
      Why, every week I read at least 6 articles that place CAGW under very deep suspicion. Not comic book stuff, but actual observations and measurements interpreted fairly and well.

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    25. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      On the subject of payment, I've never been paid a cent and I do not know anyone who has, apart from the occasional donation called for to assist in a bit of travel to a conference. But the total over the last 10 years of actual monies that I know have been paid to those arguing the counter case (people employed to do so, like Professors of Climatology, excepted) would be below $10,000 total.

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    26. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mikee,
      Hand on heart time. How many times have you read either WUWT or JoNova?
      Please give but one example of what you found to be wrong.
      Please don't misquote me again, as you did above. Proper scientists do not do that. What I wrote was clear enough.

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    27. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "Not comic book stuff"

      Sure, if you say so Geoffrey.

      By the way, you forgot to deny spreading disinformation about "global temperature has not changed for 16 years". Your slip-up is noted.

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    28. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,
      Study this, please. The fact that it is from a blog does not matter as the data are unchanged from the official issue. Many blogs report these findings, some with NOAA included. Blogs are used to provide recent measurements, since peer review can take 12 months.
      http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/global-temperature-updateoctober-2012/

      Step 1. Go to the latest date and count back 16 years.
      Step 2. Fit a regression of your choice to the raw data as shown.
      Step 3…

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    29. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey,

      You ask me how many times I have read either WUWT or JoNova. The answer is too many times to count. And I have attempted to post on there many times to point out their errors, but it is a feature of those sites that they do not like criticism. More often than not, any correction to their errors is removed by the moderators.

      One example of what I found to be wrong? There are so many that it beggars the imagination.

      Christopher Monckton is a regular contributor, and he is well…

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    30. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "I'm not fond of fitting regressions to data like these and I do believe that confidence limits, often neglected"

      The irony. The trend since 1997 was 0.072 ±0.127 ℃/decade (2σ) in GISStemp according to a website calculator for which Geoffrey can only supply ad homs. That accounts for autocorrelation of course as any competent mathematician would do.

      This means there was a 26% chance based on only that data that there was cooling or no warming over that period that was obscured by noise.

      Of course, it also means there was a 26% chance of at least 0.144 ℃/decade over that period but denialists will never mention that.

      Climatically short periods like 16 years do not make it possible to make confident claims like "there has been no warming". We can only say things like, from only that data it's three times as likely to have warmed as cooled but, of course, denialists like Geoffrey are too intellectually dishonest to say anything like that.

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    31. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,
      The type of error analysis that these people use is poor. It is not uncommon to assume that normal distribution statistics apply, when I can show cases where they decidedly do not. There is often an assumption that an estimate of precision is given, with no incorporation of bias. Almost all of the ground-bases methods have been so adjusted by hand that the true bias is going to be very hard to reconstitute. There's not much point doing autocorrelation analysis when block of T data decades…

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    32. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "The type of error analysis that these people use is poor."

      Sure. If you say so.

      "It is not uncommon to assume that normal distribution statistics apply"

      The only assumption I can see here is your assumption. Let us know where the assumptions are in the methods section of http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022 . Until then, can you spare us your assumption.

      "Almost all of the ground-bases methods have been so adjusted by hand that the true bias is going to be very hard to reconstitute…

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    33. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,
      On normal distribution assumptions. Here's a raw data collection from Argo floats at different latitudes. The platykurtic appearance of this distribution, in classical statistics, should not be used without some prior work.
      http://www.geoffstuff.com/Willis%20flat%20SST.PNG
      Next, there is a well documented change in the century long temperature tend of Northern Hemisphere versus Southern. What the heck, throw them in together as many have done.
      Third, learn that errors can be of statistically-derived…

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    34. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      You're surely joking, Chris.
      The 2011 paper you reference by Foster (of RealClimate fame) and Rahmstorf (who was recently criticised by the extreme Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber of PIK for being too extreme) has been proposed by some of my colleagues as a candidate for the "Journal of Irreproducible Results" or even the "Ignoble Prize."
      If you can't see the problems with it, have a read here:
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/02/tisdale-takes-on-taminos-foster-rahmstorf-2011/

      Your basic problem…

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    35. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Tisdale? And Wuwt? I think I know the one who's joking.

      And where are you trying to go with this non-sequitur? You're the one who carries on about "no statististical significance". If you want to live by the Gaussian distribution then you can die by the Gaussian distribution. If you don't like 0.072 ±0.127 ℃/decade (2σ) for the past 16 years which comes from one of the "major bodies that accumulate global temperatures that issued statements of this nature" that you loudly proclaimed until a short time ago then please, please, please, put up your claim for confidence limits or SHUTUP.

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    36. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      The Tisdale and WUWT parts are not the ones to which you were referred. You were referred to the graphs contained therein.
      Don't close your eyes when you se them. You know that any major blog that falsified official figures would quickly be picked up, so regard the graphs as ok.
      How would you treat the different hemispherical means that the august bodies produce? Let's have some data analysis and statistical comment rather than personal invective. Unless you start to answer some of the questions soon, we'll just have to regard you as yet another incompetent cut-and-paste.
      What would you do to prepare the Argo temperatures two posts up for stats analysis? Did you know what playtkurtic was before you read by words?

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    37. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Chris,
      Here is one of the graphs I was looking for, covers a shorter time span. Which one of these Head organisations is showing a positive temperature gradient? This graph includes the type of raw data that Foster & Rahmstorf mucked around with.
      http://www.geoffstuff.com/Multi%20graph.png
      If you need more & varied, try
      https://www.google.com.au/search?q=global+temperature+UAH+GISS+Hadcrut+RSS&client=firefox-a&hs=pjX&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=TRXoUf6WMKjwiQfg-YGQCQ&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1336&bih=1344

      Shall you concede that you were wrong?

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    38. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "You were referred to the graphs contained therein."

      Where, pray tell, did you say that? And which of the graphs are you referring to? In future, if you want to provide citations to graphs, it would be better if they weren't embedded in one of Tisdale's crap posts.

      By the way, it says a lot about you that you think Tisdale is competent.

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    39. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "covers a shorter time span"

      So 16 years morphs into 10 years. No doubt about you Geoffrey, you try one dishonest trick after another.

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    40. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,
      Please give a good example of Bob Tisdale's alleged incompetence.
      Data trumps belief.

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    41. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      It would be dishonest if I failed to point it out, but I did. I chose that graph because it combines recent results from all of the major primary organisations. They have, overall, the appearance of a downwards trend to the right, or did you not notice that?
      Next year, they might suddenly trend upwards. I don't care if they do. As I've said many times, I'm not rooting for any particular outcome. Nature is what nature does.

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    42. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      It's intellectually dishonest to change the point and carry on, as you did by asking "Shall you concede that you WERE wrong?", as if the new point shows that I was wrong in the old point.

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  9. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    When 66% of the population thinks the threat of climate change is real, and the national leaders refuse to put it at the centre of policy-making decisions, it shows how out of step the two major parties are on this important issue. Kevin Rudd needs to make a commitment to pursue all means of encouraging industry and individuals to move to renewables. And sending coal overseas is NOT a viable alternative strategy.

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      Perhaps the voters should vote for what they want, rather than voting Labor (or LNP) and expecting them to change policy.

      If enough people changed there vote to Green I bet that Labor would be forced to change policy. But as the Greens are almost ignored by the media and progressive opinion leaders ignore them, Labor is not currently threatened by the Greens.

      Thus we can expect Rudd to soon move quickly to an ETS which will make polluting cheaper as all Rudd is concerned about is trying to beat Abbott.

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  10. Chris O'Neill

    Retired Way Before 70

    "support for climate change action declined during his tenure. So, how do we make sense of this?"

    A successful disinformation campaign.

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Rudd (and then Gillard) never tried to sell climate change. Rather they tried to sell what they were doing.

      Rudd giving up on the CRPS I think sent a message to some that he didn't take it all seriously. And Gillard promising that there would not be price on carbon at the last election again showed that Labor wasn't in a rush to do anything.

      The environmental groups made a huge mistake in just supporting the carbon tax because that left the impression that this was all that is needed. Rather they should have praised the carbon tax as a good first step but strongly sold the message that many more steps are needed.

      Certainly the media's poor reporting has played a part, but falling public support is, in my opinion, just as much a result of Labor failing to sell the real dangers of not acting on climate change (mainly because they dont' want to take real action).

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    2. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "Gillard promising that there would not be price on carbon at the last election"

      She promised there wouldn't be a Carbon tax, not a Carbon price.

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    3. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,
      A disinformation campaign has been tried by those pushing CAGW.
      It does not matter much, but results are still coming in and it appears that it was not successful.
      I'm reminded of General Turgidson in Dr Strangelove, after one of his Generals has gone nuts and started global nuclear annihilation.
      Turgidson: The duty officer asked General Ripper to confirm the fact the he had issued the go code and he said, "Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in and no one can bring them back. For the…

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  11. Chris O'Neill

    Retired Way Before 70

    "Yet even relatively mainstream policies, such as pricing carbon emissions, proved too difficult for Rudd to implement."

    Once Rudd's opponents in the Labor party started to white-ant him, it was difficult for him to implement much.

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      PS Chris - last time we talked here you asked me a question and I couldn't respond because they closed comments for that topic.

      So I will respond to your questions if technically possible :)

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  12. Dr Graham Lovell

    logged in via Twitter

    It is generally recognized that putting a price on carbon is the most efficient way of reducing carbon emissions.

    Then why has this approach been almost completely rejected (or in the EU's case, fallen apart, and cannot be resurrected)? Even China's ETS is nothing more than a token scheme.

    The answer is simple. No country wants to put itself at a competitive disadvantage to other countries, and to risk the unemployment that it is feared will follow.

    That is why all this chest-beating about…

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    1. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      No, Graham.
      The first question is not "How can individual governments act responsibly on carbon pricing, without putting their own economies at risk?"
      It is "Why should individual governments act on carbon pricing?"

      The case is not made and it is weakening by the month.

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    2. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Thanks for the response. At least you are not ignoring me!

      Is there hyperbole in your comment "the case is not made and it is weakening by the month"?

      I can't see how you think that the pattern of increasing temperatures has changed over the last 15 years, to which I have already responded. Now you are down to month-by-month changes. Wow!

      Can I assume that you feel that the tide of public opinion is moving in your direction?

      I doubt it, but I can wait.

      In the meantime action on reducing carbon emissions is continuing apace. http://australiancarbonprice.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/doha-failures-will-not-end-climate.html

      I believe it is a long term problem: it will require a long term solution.

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    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham -

      Do you seriously think that there is any possibility of your posts changing Geoffrey's mind?

      If you want to achieve something then talk to those in the middle who are undecided. (There don't seem to be many such people taking part in these conversations though.)

      It doesn't matter that there are a few climate change deniers with their heads in the sand. What matters is what most people think.

      So ignore Geoffrey - he really is irrelevant.

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    4. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I am happy to follow the beat of my own drum, and let others do the same. Actually, I have found my discussions with Geoffrey Sherrington (and John Nicol) quite interesting, and useful to me.

      To me, it doesn't matter what most people think; if I agree with the majority, then I can move on to other things. Indeed, I love the interchange of opinions where there can be some level of actual discussion, especially to test my own ideas in a competitive environment. If, at the same time, I can also test the ideas of others, so much the better.

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    5. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Dr Graham Lovell

      Well said Graham and thank you. I have certainly enjoyed our exchanges and I believe others on this blog would have also.

      Unfortunately I have not had time to keep responding but perhaps we may meet at another time and place within The Conversation.

      Best wishes, John Nicol

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    6. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham.
      Good science does not (or should not) progress the way you outline.
      There are many, many instances in the history of science when important work was ignored because those who were supposed to support it waited until they agreed with the majority, which sometimes did not happen for various reasons.
      No need to quote cases, the pattern is well shown by the Helicobacter story and Nobel laureates Marshall and Warren.
      One of the prime purposes of a manager of scientists is to choose the most…

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  13. Ivan Quail

    maverick

    To Dr Lovell, MWH and others
    The Tides of the Kimberly can generate at least 6 times (300Gw) more electricity than we currently generate in the whole of Australia. Installed National generating capacity is about 54Gwatts.

    Too far away you think. A 6G/watt (6,000Mw) bulk HVDC power line can transmit the power to Sydney for a cost of 1c per Kw hr. It is cheaper to build and operate a bulk HVDC transmission line than a natural gas pipeline which carries the same amount of usable energy…

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    1. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      I think we are on the same page, at least on the possibilities for government backed renewable energy projects.

      On the theme of tidal energy, CSIRO have reported "... that wave energy could play a large part in Australia’s future energy mix. However, ocean energy extraction is an emerging technology and much further research and development is required on mapping the nature of the resource, technology performance and understanding the wider economic, societal and environmental impacts."

      There…

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    2. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Dr Graham Lovell,

      What a breath of fresh air you have brought to The Conversation in providing a sensible, polite well argued discussion on the topics you have addressed. I have to reply to you again on a thoughtful response you made to my "three questions" and will do so soon. I will be agreeing with some of your proposals and perhqaps disagreeing with others, but respect that we are here for that purpose - to debate in a civilised and meaningful fashion whith those with whom we may still disagree…

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    3. John Nicol

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      Very interesting concept. Since the total power output you are quoting reguires several different operating sites, one might think that a pilot plant at one of the sites would have been acted upon to take the power perhaps just to Darwin for starters. Do you have to go even as far away as the Kimberleys to get sufficiently large tides. Are these not similarly large close to Darwin?

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  14. Ivan Quail

    maverick

    Dr Lovell
    Regarding Australias potential contribution to global emissions reduction.
    It takes 6 kg of coal to produce 1 kg of Aluminium. We produce about 25% of the worlds bauxite but a small fraction of the worlds aluminium. Using Tidal energy (see earlier post) we could supply 25% of the worlds aluminium.

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    1. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      According to the CSIRO report, the best estimates for tidal are for a cost of around $100 MWh. This is the same as wind.

      At this price, it will not compete with hydro, which is at about $25 MWh.

      Using tidal energy for aluminium production is a long way off at this stage. It will come done in price over time, but there needs to significant technological innovation before competition with hydro can even be envisaged.

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    2. Ivan Quail

      maverick

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell
      The cheapest electricity produced any where in Europe is from the La Rance Tidal power station in France 240Mw.

      The CSIRO report has considered Tidal Stream or Kinetic energy only and is the result of a desk study covering the coast from Cairns down to Melbourne to Augusta and up to Geraldton. It has totally ignored the Kimberly coast and has not considered the Potential energy from the 8 to 12M tides of the Kimberly

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    3. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      Even if the La Rance Tidal power station operating cost is $US18 MWh, as per Wikipedia (reference not cited), this takes no account of the capital cost of 620 million francs at 1966 rates (say 400 million euros at today's prices). For an equivalent current project this capital cost would have to be taken into account.

      For an annual output of 540 GWh, an equivalent of La Rance proposal would work out at 750 euros per annual MWh capital cost. Even at 6% interest this would be 45 euros per MWh. It…

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    4. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,
      While in Brittany, France, would you like to throw in some figures about the high reliability & low cost of electricity coming from the large national nuclear program there?
      Why are people so reticent about nuclear France discussions when it's such an excellent poster child for national electricity supply?
      I suppose that the French Government is obligated to spend a couple of % of its power budget on non-nuclear if a couple of % of citizens complain - that's democracy, giving us La Rance tidal, I suppose.
      As for N-W Australia, is any significant hydroelectricity coming from the Ord Dam? Apart from the trickle that powers Kunnunurra? Expanding that would be a low-cost approach, since some front end costs are already sunk. The absence of a large scheme must mean that large scale electricity generation in the N-W has been evaluated and found lacking. So why do people keep talking about it?

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    5. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      Ivan,
      Except that no mining company in its right mind would consider a new technology that has unproven reliability. We will not see another aluminium refinery or alumina smelter in Australia until we go nuclear.

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    6. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      From an economic perspective it would be good if nuclear were a live option for electricity generation. It produces almost no CO2 emissions, and the comprehensive SWITCH computer modelling (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512000365) put its cost at about that of gas (at $US95 per MWh, cf. gas at $US92 per MWh, without a carbon price).

      However, it is unlikely that western democracies will find new-build nuclear plants palatable. This is because it is virtually impossible…

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    7. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      "This is because it is virtually impossible to put a price on a possible melt down that was threatened at Fukushima."

      Of course, there is no law of physics that says a nuclear power station must be designed and managed as riskily as Fukushima's and that it must be managed by a corrupt organisation like Tepco, despite some people apparently believing there is such a law.

      That said, I could only accept a nuclear power station whose design and operation information was completely available to everyone (like open source software). Of course, it wouldn't be possible for everyone to physically have access to the plant but it needs to be possible for a wide range of organisations to have access besides the obvious government regulator.

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    8. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris,
      The considerable number of people with whom I converse are somewhat worried that I'm spending time on TC. I do it for several reasons, one being to plumb the depth of response to serious questions.
      When a telecommunications engineer (the self-described you) makes no comments about the scientific part played by communications in satellite telemetry, in telemetry from ocean floats, in the (engineering) design of nuclear reactors, in the difficulties of stable switching management in grid systems…

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    9. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Graham,
      The media seem strangely quiet about the radiation damage to people near the Fukushima accident. Perhaps this is because none has been recorded, or if it did, the most common candidate, cancer of the thyroid, is amenable to treatment, as appears to have been done by dilution with ordinary iodine.
      If you are truly a man of the cloth, where is your compassion for the mental stresses and suicides suffered by those who were wrongly told of future dangers? You can look up the figure, but the…

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    10. Dr Graham Lovell

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      No. I am not a "man of the cloth", just an historian, with a former life as computer system analyst, finance executive, and then other odd jobs to fund my studies and research.

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    11. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Dr Graham Lovell

      Thank you, Graham. In return, I should explain that I did not chose 'Boss" as a descriptor. Some years ago I signed op to a social media account where I described my occupation as 'Boss" and my works as being for "The Geoffrey Sherrington Retirement benefit Fund NL, no guarantees given, all donations thankfully received." Or similar. Someone else chose "Boss". In real life I could have been described as a boss, being Technical Director of a scientific company I set up at age 29. But I don't use this term as a credibility lever.

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    12. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "When a telecommunications engineer"

      You're showing your true colours now, Geoffrey. When someone like me puts you on the spot, you respond with a massive ad-hom.

      "So far you are having fun with ad homs"

      Your hypocrisy is astounding. You wouldn't know what an ad hom was if it hit you in the face. Hint:

      Ad hom: You are an idiot, therefore you are wrong.

      Not ad hom: You are wrong because of X, Y, Z. By the way, you are an idiot.

      Try to understand that, Geoffrey.

      "a report of which will eventually appear before your superiors if you continue to carry on this way."

      Ahahahahaha. Hilarious assumption, Geoffrey.

      Now for the Nth time Geoffrey, stop spreading disinformation about "global temperature has not changed for 16 years".

      You rave on about scientific competence and all you can come up with is a shameless and just plain dumb cherry-pick.

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    13. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chis,
      You are wrong on 2 counts. Diametrically wrong. Sloppy work.
      First, I did not cherry pick. I noted that similar graphs were all over the net. It is fairly common for authors to choose periods of time to illustrate points. I chose 16 years because that's what so many authors have mentioned. Of course, I've done some cross checking on Australian data, as you should have also.
      Second, you failed to provide an example that denied my assertions of no warming over 16 years within the usual bounds of confidence. I really cannot think of any recent article by any of the primary collectors of data, like Hadley + CRU, GIDD, NOAA, UAH, RSS, that disputes the contention I made.
      So, show me a paper/blog/press release instead of waving your arms vaguely.
      Dear me, Chris, I studied logic in the 1970s and know what an ad hom is.

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    14. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "I did not cherry pick."

      You citation: http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/global-temperature-updateoctober-2012/ was a cherry-pick.

      However, if you're talking about your other silly advice:

      "Step 1. Go to the latest date and count back 16 years.
      Step 2. Fit a regression of your choice to the raw data as shown.
      Step 3. Report to me if you find that the temperature trend is an increase."

      The report from http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1997.5/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1997.5

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    15. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "I did not cherry pick."

      How could I forget. Anyone who picks a starting point (16 years ago) shortly before the biggest El Nino in more than a hundred years is making one of the most blatant cherry picks you'll find. There are none so blind as those (like Geoffrey) who will not see.

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    16. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      So, Chris,
      You'll be able to show us all the source of the raised temperatures in the decade or so before 1998; and the magnitude and distribution of the energy that produced it.
      You cannot simply assume that an El Nino occurrence will lead to a plateau of temperatures. That's like saying that mad dogs can predict a storm by baying at the moon.
      You need quantitative evidence, something that is very short on TC.

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    17. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "You cannot simply assume that an El Nino occurrence will lead to a plateau of temperatures."

      Plateau? What plateau? It is an empirical fact that 1998 was 0.2 ℃ above long term trend and that this was associated with a very strong El Nino, Mr cherry picker.

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    18. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      I notice you're still not denying your blatant cherry-pick of starting a trend just before an unusual high point (1998). All you have is your contradicted assertion "I did not cherry pick".

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    19. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Of course, your Creative God at Skep Sci does not use selected portions of graphs to illustrate points, now does he? Try the escalator for an example that's 10 times worse than your distorted view of whatever you seem to be accusing me of doing. I've answered it so many times that by Christmas you might catch up with all the answers up to this one. That's slow reading, mate.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

      I repeat, in graphical analysis of time series, it is not uncommon to use the technique of break points. Have a read of one of the many papers, such as
      http://www.stat.colostate.edu/~rdavis/lectures/Ottawa_05.pdf

      Why not concede that your beliefs were beaten by data, graph after graph of it from official sources.

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    20. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "Skep Sci does not use selected portions of graphs to illustrate points, now does he?"

      Unlike clowns like you, Sks shows more than just one cherry-picked part of the temperature record. That's the whole point of cherry-picking, only showing part of the data. I'm astounded that anyone can cite Sks's escalator and not get the point of it. I can only conclude that your political ideology or something non-rational has brought you to a state of being mentally deranged. You're as deranged as John Nicol. Consequently I won't be reading anything of yours again (unless it happens to be in my field of view with something that I want to read).

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