The irrelevance of the rabid right

By   /   May 15, 2013  /   77 Comments

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Why does the extreme right think that — in the face of all the evidence — denying a problem exists amounts to a tenable political position?

imagesWhy does the extreme right think that — in the face of all the evidence — denying a problem exists amounts to a tenable political position?

Rodney Hide may be on the outer in right wing politics, but he’s working hard to make sure that we know he’s still around. In his Hidesight column in the National Business Review last week, Hide reminded us that he thinks climate change is all nonsense:

The global warming hullabaloo has always been a religious movement. It has never been scientific. And as its political potency has waned, the modern-day clerics have become ever more strident.

Hide took as his text a Q+A interview in March in which VUW climate scientist Jim Renwick discussed the relationship between last summer’s remarkable drought and ongoing warming. Unfortunately, Hide has to misrepresent what Renwick said to make his very first point. In the interview, Renwick said that the evidence that greenhouse gases were causing global warming was beyond doubt. “There’s no other explanation that’s remotely plausible,” he said.

Hide turns this into “He was in no doubt that man-made global warming was causing the summer drought” — a straightforward misrepresentation of Renwick that then provides him with a springboard for a mishmash of distorted facts and sceptic tropes.

Hide is right up with the latest in denier thinking, having been a host for British far right politician and climate inaction campaigner Christopher Monckton during the Christchurch leg of the potty peer’s NZ tour. There’s been no warming for 17 years, apparently.

Tell that to the Greenland ice sheet, or the Arctic sea ice. Tell that to the warming oceans. Global surface temperatures may not be shooting up as fast as in the recent past, but heat continues to accumulate in the climate system. Rapid climate change is here, now.

So why can’t Hide see it? The answer is that his own argument — that belief in climate change is a religious act — applies far more accurately to those denying its reality than to scientists like Renwick.

A small group of embattled true believers, confident that they alone know the truth of the matter, see conspiracies all around. It doesn’t matter that the overwhelming majority of credible experts say that warming is a problem, or that basic physics says that future warming is about as certain as anything in science ever can be. No, the little band of climate deniers goes to its evangelical meetings with charismatic charlatans, and proselytises its sad beliefs in the pages of the NBR. No wonder the Flat Earth Society was so keen to welcome Monckton to New Zealand.

The tragedy in all this is not that Hide is a fool. He is not. But the adoption of outright climate denial by the libertarian right effectively shuts that strand of thought out of the debate about solutions. That is their loss, and perhaps our gain — but it makes for a weaker political process. To battle this issue, which will define all our lives in the coming decades, we need all hands on deck — even the ones we disagree with. It’s high time for Hide and his friends to rejoin the real world.

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77 Comments

  1. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Hide, Key, English and all the other bought-and-paid-for liars in parliament and in the mainstream media are protecting the banksters’ Ponzi scheme from immediate collapse, and are protecting their own and their mates’ short term rorts.

    The banksters’ Ponzi scheme is dependent on perpetual economic growth (which is in itself an absurd notion) and is dependent on perpetual increase in the use of fossil fuels. Now that times are getting desperate, Key and company are all for fracking, deep-sea drilling, or anything else that will delay the day of economic reckoning and will bring forward environmental catastrophe.

    Recognition that business-as-usual leads to Near Term Extinction of the human species (along with most other vertebrate species) around 2040 does not win elections, does not win funding from corporate sponsors of election campaigns, does not server the short term interests of road builders, does not serve the short term interests of trucking companies, does not serve the short term interests of the Automobile Association, does not serve the short term interests of moteliers, hoteliers and casinos.

    Hence, we are well and truly screwed. The CO2 content of the atmosphere will be 403 or 404ppm this time next year…. headed for 500ppm by 2035 or so.

    I have been doing battle with central government and local government on all this stuff for over a decade. The system does not know how to respond rationally to reality and is incapable of responding rationally to reality because the system is totally corrupt and is populated by scientific and financial morons.

    Max Keiser has just done an interview on this very topic, $444

    http://maxkeiser.com/

    In my latest dealings with my local council I described the present situation as ‘Life at the End of Empire on the Planet of the Maniacs’. The council doesn’t ‘get it’ because it doesn’t want to. of course. Merrily off the economic, energetic and environmental cliff via promotion of the Easter Island Mentality..

    But as Max and Stacy point out, consumers just want cheap stiff now, and are prepared to see millions of people suffer (and willing to sacrifice their own progeny’s futures) to have cheap stuff now.

    • DavidJ says:

      The Ponzi scheme is called ‘expanded reproduction’ it’s the only possible way capitalism is capable of existing for any length of time. I would encourage you to read around, it also explains why cheap raw materials are necessary. Hence the reluctance to address climate change.
      Also I would argue that those in power are far from idiots. Their behaviour becomes quite logical when you consider, they’re protecting self interests, the very system of exploitation which creates their positions of power.
      Such a system of political and economic relations is not a person, it cannot be reasoned with or convinced that it is in error. It must be struggled against, the actions of those who are subjugated to it must attempt to cast it down at every turn
      Its illogical for the majority to endure a system which virtually guarantees mass suffering and impoverishment for the majority. Lets hope the majority see this for the motivating factor in overthrowing the existing system that it is.
      Marx said, “the working class must overthrow capitalism under threat of their own destruction,”

  2. It’s inconceivable that supposedly intelligent, well-educated people like Hide can deny the science – and the evidence of his own eyes.

    What, does he think that NASA is involved in some grand conspiracy? Have the lizard-people from Zeta Reticulii infiltrated the NASA hierarchy?

    Are satellites telling lies with their sensor data?

    A little while ago, Bomber posted something on TUMEKE, listing all the climate-change denying groups that had been funded by the fossil-fuel industry. It would be good to see that list presented again.

    Meanwhile, I maintain that there is a purpose for climate-change deniers; they are the fools who will be buying up beach-front properties as current owners eventually decide to sell-up and evacuate.

    • andyS says:

      The fools buying up beachfront properties, like Al Gore and Tim Flannery?

      • Would you buy beachfront property, Andy S?

        ‘Cos I sure as hell wouldn’t.

        “Insurance council warns on winter flooding”
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10118209

        • andyS says:

          I already have a beachfront property in ChCh which I am still trying to extricate myself from when the insurance company finally makes up their mind.

          Thanks for asking

        • Richard Treadgold says:

          Frank,

          Believing the Insurance Council on the risk of damage is like asking the Axeman’s Association whether to use timber.

          • Thomas says:

            Dumb Richard!

            I suppose if you were an investor into insurance or re-insurance companies you would then tell them to insure anything that goes? Don’t think so.

            And even if it conflicts with your religion Richard, insurance companies are at the forefront of climate realism. They have to be, because they are investing other peoples money.

            Here is one example:
            http://www.munichre.com/en/group/focus/climate_change/default.aspx

            I always thought the best litmus test for true climate change deniers like yourself would be to ask them to invest in an insurance pool that only insures coastal property. We would quickly see who runs for the cover of what science has to offer with their money while perhaps publicly denying the same (trained deniers as they are…)

      • Turboblocke says:

        Has Al Gore actually bought beachfront property? His famous 2010 purchase in 2010 was of a house in the luxurious hills of Montecito described as having an “ocean view”. Not quite the same as beachfront, but a distinction too subtle for the average denier huh?

    • John Russell (Twitter@JohnRussell40) says:

      I suspect these people actually know what the truth. The problem is that their short-term interests are best served by shutting their eyes to the facts and encouraging as many other people to do the same. It’s exactly the same instinct that makes the vast majority of us leave that big bill on the hall table, unopened, so that we can leave exposure to the bad news we know it contains as late as possible before we can no longer shut our minds to it.

      The point I always make to those who deny, for instance, the melting of the Arctic ice caps — a clear sign that AGW is a fact — is do we think the fossil fuel companies are fighting for drilling rights and spending billions on Arctic exploration because they believe there’s a scientific conspiracy; or it’s all a religion?

  3. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    While I remain sceptical (a somewhat unpopular opinion here to be sure) in regards to the effects of CO2 on the climate over the long-term (specifically in models “predicting” climate change 25-100 years out from now), I am nonetheless firmly with those who want to cut emissions. It should be incredibly clear by now that carbon-based fuel is a finite resource that WILL eventually run out. Do we really have to burn every last fucking scrap of carbon, before we INEVITABLY switch to something else? If we’re going to have to switch anyway (or start using a lot less than we do now), what are we waiting for? I guess the neoliberals will shout “market forces” will drive oil prices higher and solutions will come from that. Well the prices ARE going ever higher, and have been for many years, and I still don’t see the market providing any real solutions.

    • andyS says:

      I’ve been advocating Thorium energy for sometime now. This has the potential to solve all our energy needs.

      • Nitrium Nitrium says:

        Yes! And better still, the fuel cycle can’t be used for the manufacture of fissionable material for nuclear bombs.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle
        U233 cannot be easily weaponised (unlike U235).
        IMO nuclear reactors are not really suitable for NZ due to our high risk of earthquakes, but I think are acceptable as a component of a GLOBAL carbon-free energy solution.

        • andyS says:

          All good points. The other considerations for the LFTR design is its passive safety (doesn’t require electricity to shut it down). Plus Thorium is a very abundant mineral – we have at least 10,000 years of known reserves, many in easy access places like Australia and the USA. (i.e not requiring wars to get at it)
          On the question of waste, the Thorium fuel cycle burns all of the fuel and many of the by products are useful elements in, for example, medical technology, elements that we are running out of.

          Google “LFTR in 5 minutes” for a video introduction

        • John ONeill says:

          The earthquake in Japan caused dam collapses and refinery fires that killed a number of people. It was the tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima Daichi reactors, but nobody died from radiation, and two other, newer reactor complexes further up the coast survived the waves without major damage. It is much easier to make a reactor earthquake resistant than to make a gas or coal plant CO2 neutral, and New Zealand is still burning plenty of gas.

    • Richard Treadgold says:

      I guess the neoliberals will shout “market forces” will drive oil prices higher and solutions will come from that. Well the prices ARE going ever higher, and have been for many years, and I still don’t see the market providing any real solutions.

      Yes, I think market forces do a far better job than any group of government “leaders.” Business people are more motivated to get the business right; bureaucrats are wedded to some philosophy or other, not freedom.

      The prices for oil are not necessarily “going ever higher.” Brent Crude has been declining for two years. See http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=crude-oil-brent&months=300

      We won’t burn the last scrap of oil, we keep finding more, more keeps appearing and, slowly, good, efficient alternatives are being developed.

      Don’t interfere with that natural process.

  4. Anne says:

    Hidesight: to hide your dodgy business from public sight

  5. […] out of the boy — at least, not if you’re former ACT party leader Rodney Hide. In my Daily Blog column this week, I take a look at Rodney’s latest dalliance with climate denial, and wonder why it […]

  6. fambo says:

    “The answer is that his own argument — that belief in climate change is a religious act — applies far more accurately to those denying its reality than to scientists like Renwick.”

    So true – in fact the “true” AGW deniers are remarkably similar to Christian fundamentalists who will ignore all science that appears to them to be in conflict with a literal translation of the Bible (no matter how much they use it their lives, I might add). Like the CFs, you can argue with AGW deniers all you like and present all the facts and it will be water off a duck’s back to them.All you will get back is vague ramblings about growing grapes in Britain 1000 years ago and solar activitity.

    However, people like English etc probably do believe in AGW but refuse to recognise it simply because it would be politcally and economically inconvenient to do so. The biggest stumbling block to doing something about AGW is that too many vested interests stand to lose too much by acknowledging what is a huge challenge. The true AGW deniers are more a tool for muddying the waters and slowing down and even stopping any action being taken.

  7. Richard Treadgold says:

    Renowden is certainly unfriendly here, smearing Rodney as ‘irrelevant’ and ‘rabid.’ In the end he shreds his own credibility by claiming ‘we need all hands on deck’ — as though the rabidly irrelevant would chance his welcome!

    His claimed misrepresentation of Renwick is a will o’ the wisp. He overlooks that TVNZ and the NBR took the same perfectly clear message as Rodney did: the drought occurred because we, as Renwick said: “put more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and things warm up.” Because the entire context of the interview was the summer drought.

    I’ll have more to say at the Climate Conversation Group.

    While Renowden acknowledges that “global surface temperatures may not be shooting up as fast as in the recent past” (which is a figure of speech that means “have not gone up”), he tells us: “rapid climate change is here, now.”

    Yeah, right. But coincidentally he can’t show us any temperatures that have been rising. He talks about the deep ocean, where we know little about the conditions, which magically receives heat that hasn’t been detected in the upper ocean.

    Meanwhile, at the CCG we can show him air temperatures that have been pretty stable for about 17 years.

    Funny that.

    • … even while the icecaps continue to melt.

      Sorry, please go on Richard…

      • Richard Treadgold says:

        Frank MacSkasy,

        What melting? The Arctic sea ice has been melted slightly more than usual in mid-summer by air and water currents, the air temperature raised by incoming warm air. With a satellite record of only 30 years, we don’t know what natural variation might be. However, anecdotal reports going back more than 100 years tell us the Arctic has been both warmer and colder than in our own lifetimes. Nothing unusual.

        The Antarctic is not melting at all. The sea ice down there has been increasing slowly for 30 years and last winter was at an all-time high, the land-based ice is not melting, the air temperature is slowly declining.

        • Simon says:

          You’re on very slippery ground RT. An Arctic sea ice melt anomaly of almost 3 million km² is not slight. Something like this has not happened for hundreds if not thousands of years.
          The Antartic is more complex with parts warming quickly but others cooling as weather patterns change.

          • Richard Treadgold says:

            It was caused by warm winds and water entering the polar region, and not global warming. Evidently.

            You say it has not happened in an awfully long time, but you give no evidence of that.

            The ONLY part of the Antarctic that’s warming is the end of the peninsula — the bit outside the Antarctic Circle.

        • Remarkably, just about everything you state in the above is wrong. Arctic sea ice at minimum is a full 50% below where it was30 years ago. The best evidence we have, not just anecdotal, but sea floor cores, show that this is unprecedented for at least a couple of thousand years. Every large ice sheet on the planet is losing mass, Antarctica (east and west) included. You might wish what
          You say to be true, but out here in the real world it ain’t so.

          • Richard Treadgold says:

            Yes, remarkable. But you don’t show the northern melting is unprecedented, you merely assert it, hoping the evidence is correct. Sorry, but that doesn’t prove we caused anything.

            The ice sheet mass balance assessments are being reworked all the time and seem to be getting smaller. If they are wrong, and ice is melting a bit faster than we thought, it’s clearly not caused by global warming, is it?

            Your mention “wishing” but that’s projection, I fear. For you admit it’s the “best” evidence you have; you cannot quite bring yourself to say it’s watertight. You wish it were true, but dare not say so.

          • Richard Treadgold says:

            Gareth, you say the current anomaly is 50% below what it was 30 years ago, but it’s still only 20% of the maximum then. It needs the perspective of normal variability, but what is that?

            Next question will be, what’s the proof mankind caused it? We’re not doing anything to the Antarctic sea ice. If the globe was warming, both would be affected. Explain it, please.

            • The Daily Blog Martyn Bradbury says:

              Hold on, hold on, hold on – aren’t you THE Richard Treadgold though? Crazy as bat shit, climate denying, mate of the mad Lord Monkton Richard Treadgold who twists climate facts the way tobacco twisted science to pretend their product didn’t cause cancer?

              Aren’t you that very same Richard Treadgold?

          • Thomas says:

            Richard: Why don’t you start reading the leading climate science papers available BEFORE offering advice and opinion on the same to others. You are demonstrably completely ignorant of where climate science stands today yet indoctrinate others on your silly climate science coalition blog and elsewhere. Appalling!

      • andyS says:

        “… even while the icecaps continue to melt.”

        and?

        We are talking about global mean temperature here.
        Arctic sea ice has been in decline, apparently caused by AGW. Antarctic sea ice has been on the increase, also apparently caused by AGW.

        We’ve also had several cold winters in the UK and Europe in succession, also apparently caused by AGW

        It’s hardly surprising that people get cynical about these claims

        • Kiwiiano says:

          Richard & Andy, check your facts before lurching into print. The decreasing Arctic ice is linked to increasing water temperatures below the ice. The increasing Antarctic ice to increasing amounts of fresh melt water off the continent diluting the sea water and raising its freezing point. Don’t ignore the fact that the Arctic is an open ocean and the Antarctic a frozen continent, conditions that are about as different as it’s possible to get.

          • Richard Treadgold says:

            We didn’t predict that the polar regions would both respond earliest and similarly to global warming. Someone else did.

          • andyS says:

            Kiwiano, you are merely repeating what I said above. You just missed the explanation that the cold winters in the NH are also caused by AGW. I can help you if you want (Potsdam Institute is your friend)

          • Thomas says:

            Richard, how about a lecture by Prof. Brigam-Grette for you on the intricacies of the Arctic and Antarctic paleo climate research.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxbOSB7zDgY

            You know, you have been bleating your pennies worth of wisdom to the world on your blog for a long while. How come you are still so profoundly ignorant about how it all fits together? Surely in all these years of activism on your end, you would have studied the matter for the sake of figuring it all out? Or did you really just take all this as a debating game with no connection to some factual world out there?

    • geoff says:

      What about the consensus of science that warming is occurring and is getting worse? Are you actually trying to suggest that there is a global conspiracy of scientists?

      What about the melting of Arctic ice? What’s your explanation of that?

      • Richard Treadgold says:

        Cite me a scientist who says without prevarication that the climate has warmed significantly since about 1995.

        • Ovicula says:

          Only one. In that case, I’ll do.

          • Richard Treadgold says:

            OK, thanks. What is the evidence for warming?

          • Richard Christie says:

            OK, thanks. What is the evidence for warming?

            FFS, you are a moron Treadgold, a gold plated moron.

          • andyS says:

            Richard Christie, we are looking for evidence of statistically significant warming in the surface temperature record since 1998 or thereabouts

            Perhaps you would actually like to cite a reference rather than just calling people morons

          • Thomas says:

            Andy:The energy imbalance due to rising CO2 is getting worse, and heat has been steadily transferred as a consequence to our system.

            You will have seen this Graph?

            What do you see?

            I see that Land and Ice represent a very small portion of the overall rise in heat content of the Earth’s climate system. So what shall we make of a few wobbles in the land surface temperature record? What is that argument of yours actually worth in the balance of the entire discussion?

            Not very much indeed! Ah, well, I guess you always hope to be able to inflict some brain dimming on innocent bystanders who might wander into this blog looking for salvation and perhaps, just perhaps, your mischief will ad one more soul to heap of the Climate Denier Zombies. Good luck!

          • andyS says:

            Thomas, you show me a graph and ask me what I see. I see a lot of red and a lot of blue.

            However, the questions we ask are very simple.
            What is the evidence that the surface global land temperature record has increased at any significant level since the turn of the century

            None of the major temp records show any. Most climate scientists acknowledge this. (including Hansen)

            Why is it so difficult for you to acknowledge this simple fact?

            • What we object to, Andy, is not the obvious behaviour of the surface temperature record, but your continued conflation of temperature with warming. Stop claiming that “warming has stopped”, and we can move on to talk about ice melt, rapid Arctic warming, and the impact on northern hemisphere weather patterns instead of indulging in silly semantics.

          • andyS says:

            Gareth – I never claimed that “warming had stopped”. Ever.

            I am merely stating what I said above. Warming in the observed land temperature record has slowed/plateaued or whatever.

            It may well come back with a vengeance, I don’t know.

            It does to me raise some questions about our level of understanding of the climate, however.

          • Pull the other one, Andy. You might want to reflect on your comments at Treadgold’s little fantasy world before you use a big word like “ever”.

        • Just about all of them. See AR4, and AR5 when it comes out.

          • Rob Painting says:

            OK, thanks. What is the evidence for warming?

            1. Accelerated warming of the ocean. The ocean soaking up about 93% of global warming. See Levitus (2012), Nuccitelli (2012) and Balmaseda (2013).

            2. Accelerated ice loss from the Greenland and Antarctica. Shepherd (2012).

            3. Accelerated ice loss from mountain glaciers worldwide. See the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS).

            4. Ongoing heat uptake by the land surface (up to 2004 at least). See Huang 2006.

            5. Ongoing sea level rise (it’s not currently accelerating due mainly to the deposition of heat into the deeper, colder ocean layers – thermal expansion reduces with lower temperature). See the AVISO website.

            6. The polelward migration of tens of thousands of animal and plant species, anmd up mountainsides too, to escape the warming.

            7. Continued intensification of the global water cycle. Westra (2013), Durack (2012).

            8. The increased blocking of longwave radiation by CO2 – as observed by satellites. Harries (2001), Philipona (2004).

            The question is, why do people like Richard Treadgold pretend as if this stuff has never been explained to them before? Anterograde amnesia perhaps?

          • Thomas says:

            They go on pretending because they must. Saying ‘OOps I was wrong all along’ is not possible. With their logger headed writs engraved into the Internet archives there is no retreat and its ‘safer’ to drift into complete denial and conspiracy theories than to think the unthinkable – that the scientists have the expertise, intellect, evidence and ethics to say it simply as it is. And that all else is nothing but home made incompetent hubris or willfully fraudulent interpretation, misrepresentation or omission of the same.

          • Magoo says:

            Using the skeptical science temperature trend calculator below (don’t forget to clear the dates in the autocorrel function as sks states they raise the uncertainty factor), it can be seen that there has been no statistically significant warming from between 15-23 yrs depending on the data source:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

            ‘Data sources: GISTEMP, NOAA, HADCRUT, RSS, UAH, BEST.’

            No warming trend greater than the +/- error margins from the following dates:

            GISTEMP 1994
            NOAA (Land/Sea) 1994
            HADCRUT3 1993
            HADCRUT4 1994
            BEST 1998
            NOAA (Land) 1997
            RSS 1990
            UAH 1994

          • Magoo says:

            But didn’t you say that just about all the scientists claim that it’s been warming significantly since 1995:

            Richard Treadgold – ‘Cite me a scientist who says without prevarication that the climate has warmed significantly since about 1995.’

            Gareth Renowden – ‘Just about all of them. See AR4, and AR5 when it comes out.’

            The empirical data from the majority of sources & the scientists that provided it shows otherwise.

          • Richard Christie says:

            The question is, why do people like Richard Treadgold pretend as if this stuff has never been explained to them before? Anterograde amnesia perhaps? – Rob Painting

            This ^

            You have far more tolerance with disingenuous fools than I have Rob.

          • Magoo says:

            Someone voted down empirical data from multiple reputable sources? That’s hilarious, I almost spat my tea all over my computer when I saw that – very funny. Jeez, and sceptics are supposed to be the deniers.

          • Magoo says:

            Oh no Gareth, I comprehend the data very clearly – it’s plain for all to see from multiple sources. ‘In God we trust, all others bring data.’

            • You fail to appreciate that temperature is not the only measure of warming. For warming to stop, energy has to stop accumulating in the system. No sign of that happening.

          • Richard Christie says:

            Someone voted down empirical data from multiple reputable sources? That’s hilarious, I almost spat my tea all over my computer when I saw that – very funny. Jeez, and sceptics are supposed to be the deniers. Magoo (aptly named) .

            Apparently, I’d hazard a guess that, given your track record. they were skeptical that the periods you supplied would be the usual cherry picked intervals.

    • “Claimed misrepresentation”! Nowhere in his interview does Renwick say that global warming caused this summer’s drought. Nowhere. Hide made that up. Hide then argues that because there had been “no warming”, the drought couldn’t have been caused by it. Talk about swatting a straw an with an untruth.

      For the interested reader: global surface temperature is only one metric of the heat accumulating in the system. Ice melt and ocean warming at depth are others. Take everything into account, and there has been no pause or halt, nor is there going to be one for a very long time.

  8. Jonny says:

    It amazes me that all focus is on carbon reduction rather than carbon consumption.
    Plants love carbon it’s what the sun turns into tangible carbohydrates that feed a large portion of the species on earth.
    We never “run out” of anything, it’s always here it’s just recycled atoms being aggregated into different forms.
    We spend so much time locking everything in to a permanent existence that there are less atoms available for us to use.
    It is the cycling of these atoms that give the prevalence of life, when we lock them away to make them not available for use, the system slows down, thus in turn slowing the life cycle.
    Plants LOVE carbon. Look around the trees are not three times bigger than they were a hundred years ago. One volcanic eruption can belt out as much carbon as we can in a year.
    It’s not that using fossil fuels is always bad … it’s that we’ve taken away the processors of the emissions.
    We MUST focus on re-forestation and ecology harmonization to consume the earths by-products. This has been the Earths design for millions of years. It is silly to think that we have some superior knowledge in the design process and can control a design that already knows what it needs to do. That is recycle atoms to make them continuously available for use.
    Make no mistake i am a believer that man has accelerated a natural global warming and cooling cycle. But it is a natural cycle not some new phenomena.
    The realities for life to continue is a scaling back of humanity on the planet.
    We need to die of natural causes, we need to have structures that decompose and recompose for other species to harness. We need to have life and death in order for the two to exist. They require each other.
    It is the pursuit of”life” and permanence being prevalent over everything else that is ultimately our downfall. It’s just not how the earth wants to work and it is starting to push back to bring things back into line.
    The sooner we recognise the earth as a giant recycling machine, our place in it (which is to live and die by whatever biological terms dictate)
    The sooner “life” will return to the planet. Maybe a positive consequence would be a greater value placed on just living instead of all the materialism we have become so consumed with.
    We are equally screwed if we focus soley on self preservation. The earth will continue to push until we know our place and that’s not over 6 billion of us.

    • andyS says:

      As it happens, the earth is getting greener as a result of increased CO2 in the atmosphere. This is an observed phenomenon.

      Furthermore, use of fossil fuels displaces the use of wood as an energy source. This has also led to increased forestation in many countries.

      In the Dominican Republic, for example, they subsidise the use of propane to stop the locals chopping down the forests for fuel. They have much more forest than neighbouring Haiti which doesn’t have this policy in place.

      Meanwhile, in the UK, the Drax coal fired power station is being refitted to run on woodchip. This will require the harvesting of thousands of hectares of forest which will be converted to woodchip, then transported across the Atlantic in diesel powered ships. Any suggestion that this is a “green” solution will be met with howls of laughter, from me anyway

      I am not advocating a “do nothing” approach to energy policy, but we can end up in all sorts of dead ends if we blindly pursue “decarbonisation” as the only goal.

    • Kiwiiano says:

      One particularly glaring error there, Jonny. Volcanoes emit between 65 and 300 million tonnes of carbon per year. Humans are burning 30 BILLION tonnes of fossil carbon per year. Best case 100 times more. Imagine what NZ would be like if we had 100 volcanoes for every one we have now. That’s about 500 active and another 700 dormant, yet globally that’s what humanity represents. Not counting our other activities of destroying forests and wetlands, acidifying oceans and generally polluting everything that disrupts the biosphere and its CO2 release and sequestering cycles.
      It’s gonna take a helluva lot of reforestation to compensate for 30B tonnes of carbon. Maybe we should be downsizing our SUVs to a maximum of 250cc…. laughable perhaps but feasible. Our mission, if we choose to accept it, is to reduce our CO2 release to 10% of what we take for granted now. If we don’t, Mother Nature may do it for us and her methods don’t even bear thinking about.

    • Thomas says:

      Jonny, the ‘Carbon Cycle’ is taught in Year 11 in our schools. Nothing new here. Certainly not to the science community, perhaps to you.

      But I guess you have missed the fact that we have in the past 100+ years deposited a massive excess of CO2 into the natural carbon cycle and into the Ocean/Air system in particular. That excess at current rates of removal (the removal of CO2 out of the carbon cycle is rate limited by biological action, mostly ocean microorganisms at present) will take centuries. However we are still adding exponentially more. So on a business as usual proposal (Act, Global Climate Science Denier Coalition, various free lancing arm chair cryers…) we will have a very significant excess of CO2 in the biosphere for a very very long time. That excess and especially the speed of its arrival thanks to us, is unprecedented over the past millions of years. So will be the consequences.

      • Jonny says:

        I’m actually okay with humanity being scaled right back. It’s how it should be. We are not the most important thing on the planet.

    • Rob Painting says:

      Jonny – strange coincidence that, despite all that carbon-loving, the oceans were repeatedly devastated by rapid injections of CO2 into the atmosphere. You know, mass extinctions.

      Many of those previous extinctions appear to have been the result of ocean acidification, because less buffered marine calcifiers were preferentially extinguished. Now for some relevant perspective – those previous extinction events occurred from CO2 injections much slower than present-day. In fact the current rate of atmospheric CO2 is unprecedented in 300 million years.

      Don”t read too much peer-reviewed climate science literature do you Jonny?

      • Jonny says:

        Actually if you Read what i’m saying, i agree that man made global warming is happening. I also state we must focus on re-forestation of the earth. Ocean acidification has a lot more to do with deforestation and runoff than just carbon in the atmosphere.
        I also don’t personally jibe anyone for their opinion.

        • Jonny says:

          Oh and one last thing. No i don’t read to much peer reviewed literature. I’m living it.
          I’m out there everyday, coming up with new ways to preserve water, provide periodic shade from long hot summers, picking up hundreds of bottle caps out of lake beds including the dead birds that swallow them. I’ve watched lakes become toxic from algae bloom and picked up hundreds of dead turtles and spent all year getting the lake back to health for the few turtles that remain. I’ve been riparian planting mines and i’ve been turning “english gardens” back into natives. At the moment i’m building and growing a local organic garden for school children. So yes you’re right i don’t get a lot of time to read, but i do suspect that my actions have done more good than your words.

  9. […] Rodney Hide may be on the outer in right wing politics, but he’s working hard to make sure that we know he’s still around. In his Hidesight column in the National Business Review last week, Hide reminded us that he thinks climate change is all nonsense… Read More […]

  10. Ovicula says:

    Rodney Hide is obviously an expert on religious belief. Whether he believes it or not, the neoliberal economics he preaches is nothing but a religious cult. It just happens to be supported by the greedy rich. AGW is nothing of the sort.

    • andyS says:

      “The greedy rich”

      it is the poor that will bear the brunt of excessive CO2 regulation. The rich will make capital out of it, as they are with wind energy

  11. Tom says:

    Find a practical way to remove conservative saboteurs from the political process or nothing gets done in time.

    It’s that simple. Everything else is a waste of effort.

    Now, does anyone have any suggestions?

  12. Afewknowthetruth says:

    On top of the warming aspect we have acidification of the oceans by CO2 absorption to contend with: continuation on the same path [of burning all readily accessible fossil fuels] leads to ‘death’ of the oceans and ‘death’ of the planet. (Okay, bacteria, some kinds of algae, perhaps ants and cockroaches will survive into the distant future; humans certainly won’t.)

    It is the Royal Society that is saying this, on the basis of actual measurements.

    I’m sure Rodney Hide knows a lot more about the topic than they do, having spent less than three seconds in his entire life thinking about it.

  13. […] When Rodney Hide, in an NBR article, criticised Dr James Renwick for, in a TV1 interview, blaming anthropogenic warming for the recent drought, Gareth Renowden accused him of misrepresentation. […]

  14. […] My initial post supported Rodney’s article in the NBR and I defended him when he was lambasted by Gareth Renowden. […]

  15. […] The Daily Blog on May 15, 2013, at 8:13 pm, while discussing The irrelevance of the rabid right, by Gareth Renowden, I asked a […]

  16. […] The Daily Blog two weeks ago Renowden complained (emphasis […]



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