Have we allowed the Climate Deniers to win?

82
10

1135759

With NASA coming out and admitting that the sea rise from melting ice will be far more damaging than conservative estimates have claimed.

With example after example of freak weather conditions being exacerbated by man made pollution becoming more and more frequent.

With more research showing we have crossed a point of no return with environmental feedback loops now starting to kick in.

Have we allowed the climate deniers, the peddler of lies and quack science for their own cultural bigotry to win the debate and doom us all?

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

In NZ we have one of the highest percentages of climate deniers in the developed world, with far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater, Karl du Fresne and Sean Plunkett at one end of the spectrum with outright climate denial and Government pollster David Farrar on the other side of the spectrum by denouncing climate ‘alarmists’.

The tactic is to raise enough questions about the science so that political inaction becomes the norm. Tobacco companies did it with cancer studies for decades to prevent legislation and big polluters and those with cultural bigotry towards agreeing with environmentalists have used the exact same strategy.

Nick Cohen from the Guardian believes we have allowed the deniers to win…

The American Association for the Advancement of Science came as close as such a respectable institution can to screaming an alarm last week. “As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do,” it said as it began one of those sentences that you know will build to a “but”. “But human-caused climate risks abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes.”

In other words, the most distinguished scientists from the country with the world’s pre-eminent educational institutions were trying to shake humanity out of its complacency. Why weren’t their warnings leading the news?

In one sense, the association’s appeal was not new. The Royal Society, the Royal Institution, Nasa, the US National Academy of Sciences, the US Geological Survey, the IPCC and the national science bodies of 30 or so other countries have said that man-made climate change is on the march. A survey of 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on global warming published in the last 20 years found that 97% said that humans were causing it.

When the glib talk about the “scientific debate on global warming”, they either don’t know or will not accept that there is no scientific debate. The suggestion first made by Eugene F Stoermer that the planet has moved from the Holocene, which began at the end of the last ice age, to the manmade Anthropocene, in which we now live, is everywhere gaining support. Man-made global warming and the man-made mass extinction of species define this hot, bloody and (let us hope) brief epoch in the world’s history.

…the idea that there is still some sort of scientific debate about manmade pollution causing the planet to dangerously heat is a delusion held by the blind who don’t want to see or who have a profit motive not to see.

Cohen goes on…

Clive Hamilton, the Australian author of Requiem for a Species, made the essential point a few years ago that climate change denial was no longer just a corporate lobbying campaign. The opponents of science would say what they said unbribed. The movement was in the grip of “cognitive dissonance”, a condition first defined by Leon Festinger and his colleagues in the 1950s . They examined a cult that had attached itself to a Chicago housewife called Dorothy Martin. She convinced her followers to resign from their jobs and sell their possessions because a great flood was to engulf the earth on 21 December 1954. They would be the only survivors. Aliens in a flying saucer would swoop down and save the chosen few.

When 21 December came and went, and the Earth carried on as before, the group did not despair. Martin announced that the aliens had sent her a message saying that they had decided at the last minute not to flood the planet after all. Her followers believed her. They had given up so much for their faith that they would believe anything rather than admit their sacrifices had been pointless.

Climate change deniers are as committed. Their denial fits perfectly with their support for free market economics, opposition to state intervention and hatred of all those latte-slurping, quinoa-munching liberals, with their arrogant manners and dainty hybrid cars, who presume to tell honest men and women how to live. If they admitted they were wrong on climate change, they might have to admit that they were wrong on everything else and their whole political identity would unravel.

…and that’s the crux of the situation we have now. This stopped being a scientific debate a long time ago, it is now a cultural debate. Right wingers and climate deniers refuse point blank to accept that human pollution is super heating the climate because the solutions demand more than their limited free market mantra can generate.

If the Right are wrong about their uber individualism fetish and unregulated ‘freedom’, then their entire philosophical platforms melt as quickly as ice around the polar caps.

Let’s just remind ourselves what is at stake.

As the planet super heats because of the CO2 we pump into the atmosphere, more and more heat is trapped. That heat pushes temperatures up, those temperatures melt ice at the polar caps. This melting ice does two things. Firstly it reduces the amount of white space on the planet that simply bounces heat back into space so it ends up quickening the heating process and more importantly it puts more fresh water into the oceans. As heat build, frozen methane trapped on the ocean floor and in Siberia is released in massive amounts, this rapidly melts remaining glaciers desalinating ocean conveyor pumps, particularly in the Labrador and Irminger Seas around southern Greenland which shut down the flow of heat from the tropics north which in turn plunges the Northern hemisphere into a new ice age.

Within the space of a decade we can go from a 7 degree hike in temperatures to a frozen snowball.

The ability for most species to adapt to that kind of climate extreme will see many become extinct and the ability for Governments and civilisations to function crumble.

We have allowed the self interested and the selfish to dominate the debate. The reality is that a response needs to now not only highlight this jealous sophistry and expose it for the spite it is, we need to also promote solutions that openly critique and challenge neoliberal capitalism with courage, not the meekness of those who feel humbled just to be included in the discussion.

Whether the Right like it or not, on Climate Change they are wrong, they are wrong, they are wrong and it is us who will jointly pay for their arrogance.

82 COMMENTS

  1. Just to kick off the discussion. Those who accept the gravity of our situation and those who deny, both are irrelevant the climate is now doing its own thing no matter what we do we can’t stop it, the climate deniers are a waste of breath like trying to convince some that the Earth is not flat! New Zealand seems to have escaped the worst so far but temps are guaranteed to go up a lot more, that is Global Average Temps. Also a sixth mass extinction is happening! Just google it to find out more. Apartheid ( Humorously) needs to be applied to deniers, let ’em get on with it!

    Actually a far bigger factor here is that most of the public are apathetic about this they are simply not interested until it’s in their face when they leave the front door, until then it’s all academic don’t you know? The US Pacific North West and Canada on the Pacific it is in their faces when they leave the door with massive wild fires never before seen at such a scale and choking smoke wafting over the sleeping sheople’s suburbia. Again google it to find out more. Australian and New Zealand fire fighters have gone over there to help out and they’re using prison labour and the army as well to fire fight. unprecedented.

    • Drought in the American west has happened before, sometimes over many decades, and it will again, all by itself, with or without a human presence or “global warming” It’s only unprecedented because there are now so many people living there.

      We can’t replace the topsoil or refill the Aquifers, and we will all have to realise that their are far too many people inhabiting this Earth.

      Climate change isn’t the problem, over population is. Mother nature may well have more understanding of what’s needed to fix the problem than all the climate scientists in the world.

      • If you look more deeply into the problem (I refuse to call it an “issue”) Mike, I think you’ll find that over-population is inextricably intertwined with pollution; soil degradation; environmental degradation; and increase in climate-change gases (CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, etc).

        You cannot separate out some elements from others because they may not be convenient. Nature doesn’t work that way.

        • How am I separating out some elements? I’m not denying degradation caused by humans. I just pointed out the loss of the topsoil and the Aquifers is because of too many humans. The obvious solution is to have a system where population is controlled, people striving to feed their families in Asia and Africa aren’t going to give a stuff about global warming,or harming the environment.

          In the pre European past, the 200 year mega drought in the western USA wasn’t caused by too many humans, or by CO2, Methane, Nitrous oxide, etc, as far as I know, nevertheless it still happened.

          Weren’t these climate scientist’s caught out denying the medieval warming period etc? Why would a scientist behave in such a way, and how can you still give them so much credulity.

          • Lung cancer existed before cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer.

            Droughts happened and the climate was different in the distant past, that doesn’t negate the greenhouse gas effect of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

        • My head is hurting! I agree with you Frank. 🙂

          Of course the world’s human induced environmental problems are all ultimately caused by too many people on planet Earth. It’s a no-brainer.

          How we rank those problems (for example I would put fish stock depletion further up the list than say global warming) is irrelevant. What matters is addressing the root cause.

          So having agreed that, can we now have a productive discussion on possible solutions?

          You first

          • Well, stick a fuzzy tail on me and call me Cecil the Squirrel, but you made good points in your 12.58 post above Andrew;

            So having agreed that, can we now have a productive discussion on possible solutions?

            Sure.

            Without going into a verrrry long post, I suggest;

            1. Transitioning from carbon-based energy sources to re-newables (wind, solar, tidal, geo-thermal)

            2. Encouraging greater use of electric vehicles (nil-interest loans? tax incentives? minimal registration fees?)

            3. Engaging in a programme of re-forestation

            4. A moratorium on new dairy farms, whilst encouraging development of value-added for current dairy production, so the industry remains profitable whilst producing the same/less)

            5. No more cheap carbon units from overseas

            6. Include the agricultural sector in the ETS.

            Just off the top of my head.
            Those are my suggestions. I’m sure others can come up with more.

            It’s not going to be easy, nor cheap. But as kids have to eventually “tidy up their rooms”, it’s time the human race started tidying up it’s own mess and putting right the problems we have caused.

            It doesn’t have to mean an end to our standard of living – just doing things differently and smarter.

          • Large Fish reserves around new Zealand would not only help make NZ wealthy It would help feed the world.
            If I remember rightly most of the haddock caught in the north Atlantic is from the edges of a large reserve.

            Why can’t something similar be set up in NZ?

    • ” The World on Fire: Record-Breaking Wildfires, Greenland Melting and Earth’s Hottest Month Ever ”

      ” Back home after my climb, the wildfires were all over the news. Several firefighters had died recently while battling the blazes in eastern Washington, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data show how over half the entire country was covered in wildfire smoke generated by literally hundreds of fires, and the smoke was bad enough in Seattle to have triggered health alerts.

      Climate Disruption DispatchesThe US is now officially in the worst wildfire season in its history, as almost 7.5 million acres across the country have burned up since spring. ”

      http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/32556-the-world-on-fire-record-breaking-wildfires-greenland-melting-and-the-hottest-month-ever-recorded-on-earth

  2. “Have we allowed the climate deniers, the peddler of lies and quack science for their own cultural bigotry to win the debate and doom us all?”

    Martyn, the answer is clearly YES, because the Government have allowed the press to push their junk science virtually on every network medium because they can do-nothing and spend less if assumptions of climate change calamity are lowered by these naysayers.

    Also the corporates that benefit from less control on greenhouse emissions such as road freight transport and coal burning energy sources to name just two will be financially rewarded by do-nothing,.

    The Corporate control globally is now complete at posting their views on their owned networks and use of lobbyists to melt down any laws that will harm their continued use of dirty energy sources such as road freight or coal fired energy generation plants.

    We can only hope that the Paris Global Climate change conference will finally set a new wide ranging set of guidelines that all Governments must follow with planning instruments because as f now the climate change deniers have clouded the waters so badly that when Local Councils and Central Government set their targets they are completely useless planning documents at present.

    Just watching the video below of the weather pattern of the year 2006 is scary enough to wake us up to see how interconnected we all are now climate change wise.
    NASA – A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2
    NASA Computer Model Provides a New Portrait of Carbon Dioxide

    http://www.global-warming-forecasts.com/

    • Let’s not forget that we are all shareholders in large industries based on emitting huge quantities of carbon. On our behalf, our government owns coal miner Solid Energy, and receives royalties from oil and gas mining. The NZ government cannot make independent policy on carbon emissions, anymore than the Taranaki Regional Council (owner of the local port company) can, without their own bottom line being negatively affected by making rules that make carbon-emitting industries less profitable. What to do?

  3. They are wrong Martyn. Dead wrong. Homo Sapiens does not have what it takes to survive global climate change. Goodbye…

  4. These kinds of predictions are hugely out of step with the IPCC. In the final draft of the Fifth Assessment Report the IPCC cut the 30-year projection to 0.3-0.7 Cº, saying the warming is more likely to be at the lower end of the range [equivalent to about 0.4 Cº over 30 years]. If that rate continued till 2100, global warming this century could be as little as 1.3 Cº.

    The science isn’t settled for anything, let alone climate. There are about 2000 new studies on climate each year, precisely because it’s not “settled”, so the science you make these dire predictions on is out of date.

    [Just to be clear, if we find anyone copying and pasting other written material and passing it off as their own debate, without acknowledging that they are quoting others, then not only will that post be deleted, but the user will have his/her posting privileges suspended for a long time. – ScarletMod]

  5. Carbon is our slave and, just like our antecedents who rode on the backs of African slaves, we are not very friendly with the latter-day Wilberforces of this world. It follows that the greater your leverage on the back of the slave-fulcrum, human or carbon, the greater your denial will be of any criticism of that leverage. This denial is ipso facto thus not about science, it is about the fear of loss of leverage, upon which the denier’s entire wealth and status rests.

    For this reason, you cannot reason scientifically with someone who feels fearfully fixated on their a natural right to buy endless oil at a fair market price from apparently bottomless wells, any more than one could argue logically with an equally fixated plantation owner who felt they had a natural right to buy slaves at fair market price from apparently eternal African slave-traders. The reason for this is that the argument is not just about scientific evidence or rational logic; it is at bottom a moral argument. Thus the discussion must centre on the moral hazard of a fixated material advantage over one’s fellow man, extended in time, so it not only enslaves him, but it also kills him, and all others on the planet, en masse. It is a question of the evil of a holocaust of planetary proportion: of what we are doing to constructively guarantee the extinction of some of us and our children, and all of our children’s children for all time.

    We must thus assert that the carbon economy is not just wrong in an economic sense, but that it is wrong in that its consequences entail the greatest moral evil of all human history. One does not have to go into the future to argue this. Simply ask any denier what moral right they have had to support the presently-achieved destruction of some 40% of the phytoplankton that are the anchor of the entire food chain in our oceans? Put the boot on the other foot. Ask that as they, with their support for the carbon-economy, have done this, willy nilly, what scientific evidence do they have to show that this is not a dire threat to all oceanic life, or even terrestrial life as well. Tell them we need to have a talk about the price of fish! Let them stew in their silence!

    Both Abbott and Key have a deep belief in ‘growing the economy’, i.e. an economy based on carbon consumption, in a fixated way that echoes our medieval antecedents’ correspondingly deep belief in growing an economy based on hauling vast amounts of stone around Europe to build cathedrals. In fact, they moved more stone than all the Egyptian pyramid builders. Any medieval Bishop Abbott or Canon Key would have eternally blessed this sacred masonry business and would undoubtedly have burned as many people at the stake as they felt necessary, if a James Hansen or a Peter Wadhams had suggested that their stone-hauling habit was a dead end deal. Imagine their horror if anyone had suggested that studying science and using our intellect to create material plenty to distribute to the masses, might be a better way of life than slavishly building grand stone boxes to support a fixated prayer habit, supposedly to ameliorate a life which was, for most people, famously said to be, ‘short, nasty and brutish’.

    There is as interesting loop here, in that if we do nothing about the Arctic methane time bomb and our CO2 excesses, very soon our lives will become equally ‘short, nasty and brutish’! Our children and grandchildren now being born will not die in their beds, as James Hansen has observed. The total tragedy is that a true, carbon-free green economy could be as great an advance for mankind as the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution were over each other – and over the age of medieval ecclesiastical masonry moving!

    It is for this very basic, self-evidently cold hard business reason we should be leading the world into this amazing carbon-consumption-free future and not sitting around like a bitter and twisted blacksmiths in denial, bewailing the advent of the motor car and what, God forbid, it might do to our investments in the horseshoe manufacturing industry.

  6. Correction

    Would you please delete the word ‘a’ in the last paragraph of the piece just sent.

    What I wrote reads,

    “….and not sitting around like a bitter and twisted blacksmiths in denial,”

    It should read, ‘bitter’ not ‘a bitter’ as follows.

    “….and not sitting around like bitter and twisted blacksmiths in denial,”

    Thanks for helping in the eternal struggle for clarity.

    Pasquino

  7. There is as interesting loop here, in that if we do nothing about the Arctic methane time bomb and our CO2 excesses, very soon our lives will become equally ‘short, nasty and brutish’!
    Sorry Pasquino
    400 ppm now is the same as it was last time, which I think was 255 million BC, at that time the global average temp was 5 C above what it is now, and the ocean was about 26 meters above where it is now, in some places around the global (SLR is not constant) Also 96% of land species and 70 % of ocean life went extant, with about a 10,000 year halt in forests.
    And back then most of the CH4 that is ‘priming’ the bomb today, had already been released, and converted to CO2, the non methane CO2 back then might have been as low as 380ppm, with the converted CH4 making up the balance ???, where as now we are at 400 ppm CO2 (with a large amount derived from fossil fuels and animal ‘cultivation’) Which hadn’t contributed to the CO2 last time, ‘they’ say we have increased CO2 etc something like 10,000 years faster than last time?
    At this stage in the game the smartest thing to do with regard to children or grand children is to hope to hell they aren’t born.
    With something like 2 million Kiwi Savers, it looks like most people are more interested in investing in the on going destruction of their environment. And regardless of what party they represent, every politician is happy to ‘support’ Kiwi Saver

    • When I wrote,

      “…that if we do nothing about the Arctic methane time bomb and our CO2 excesses, very soon our lives will become equally ‘short, nasty and brutish’!”

      the time bomb I was referring to is the potential eruption of a 50 gigaton burst of methane presently contained by an ice plug not far from the north pole. Both Natalia Shakhova of the International Arctic Research Center and Peter Wadhams of Cambridge and AMEG refer to this, saying it could happen literally at any time. Furthermore, Wadhams says that if (i.e. when) this blows there will be a 0.6 degree C temperature rise ‘within a decade’ from this source alone.

      As we have already raised the global temperature up by 0.8 C since the beginning of the industrial revolution, suddenly adding 0.6 C to that is going to boost global heating, and the Arctic meltdown, very significantly. When you then note; the methane induced blow holes in the Russian tundra; the potential methane release from thawing Arctic tundra generally; and the meltdown of the methane clathrates on the Arctic sea floor, it is clear that there could be a very rapid temperature rise from these combined methane polar sources very soon.

      If we carry on with ‘business-as-usual’, the CO2 problem combined with the relatively sudden jump in polar methane emissions will terminate humanity rapidly. Wadhams’ estimate, based on his Arctic studies of the last 40 years, is that if we do nothing more than we are doing right now, we will all be gone by say 2080. He goes further and says that even stopping all CO2 emissions alone, right now, won’t work: we will have to geo-engineer our way out of our problem within a decade, otherwise it will be too little too late.

      To my mind for homo sapiens to thus end human life on earth, after his emergence some 200,000 years ago, in the next 65 years, is indeed to validly talk of a period when life will be increasingly, ‘short, nasty and brutish.’

      • Are there not too many people in the world at this present time? Isn’t that the number one problem? We all have to die sometime, and human life on Earth won’t end in 65 years, I promise you!

        • ” We all have to die sometime” is not a fatalistic excuse to do nothing, Mike. We might as well have not emerged from the jungle/caves/savannahs of Africa if that is how the human condition is to be viewed.

          • I’m being realistic rather than fatalistic. It’s because there are too many people in the world that we have this problem, and many more besides.

            • If people weren’t burning fossil fuels and adding extra ancient CO2 to the atmosphere we wouldn’t have global warming.
              We’d still have many, many other problems, but if CO2 was still 280 ppm, climate change wouldn’t be one of them.

  8. Cant disagree with 99% of what you are saying Pasquino, you are doing a better job than me, at explaining it.
    But to say we need to do X to reduce the CO2 emissions is a waste of time, as you point out – Wadhams’ estimate, is that if we do nothing more than we are doing right now, we will all be gone by say 2080, I’m saying @ 400ppm it wouldn’t matter if ‘we’ left the planet tonight, it would still be ‘short, nasty and brutish for any mammal left.
    If we stopped BAU, according to Guy McPherson et al – the washing of the particulates from the atmosphere, would also increase the temp by .6C
    The situation is fing hopeless,hence my ‘promotion’ of http://www.vhemt.org , as one solution (the only one) to reducing future suffering — if you are not alive you will not have to try and survive the impossible.
    The 50 GT burst would be our instant demise, but the on going 2 GT ‘dribble’ is going to do it as well. See off the coast of Gisborne last summer ‘they’ discovered 700 methane ‘vents’ up from 50 in the same area the year before.
    People laugh and complain at me/us for being ‘trolls’ but WTF how do you tell the truth to the best of your reckoning, without actually spelling it out?
    99.9% of the people in the know are not telling the truth. ‘We’ have maybe 10 (?) people world wide spelling it out, Jason Box, Shakhova, Wadhams, McPherson.
    I’ve had confirmation that CH4 could be 300 – 1,000 times worse than CO2 – IN ITS FIRST YEAR – and as the amount of CH4 is increasing we are actually always in the ‘first year’. The IPCC statement that CH4 is 80 od times worse that CO2 in its first 20 years is utter bull shit, as the stuff only hangs around to 10 – 12 years, we have been asking them what the 10-20 years forcing factor is …. no reply.
    The environment could be @ 400 ppm CO2, 600 PPM CO2e – (CH4) and 100+ CO2e with the other gasses/water vapor and the estimate of 60 ppm CO2e we get as a negative feed back from the particulates (pollution)
    An environment of about 1160ppm CO2e is not the kind of place I would like to bring a child into, or start my Kiwi Saver venture.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGlahPpgM8w&feature=share

    • Hi RA,

      What is easy to overlook in what I call the ‘crisis effect’. Studies with rats in labs show that overcrowding causes stress (well, what a surprise!) BUT, that stress is insidiously cumulative. Thus at a critical point virtually all the rats in one long-running overcrowding experiment (which alas I cannot name, but I knew its architect personally) had nervous breakdowns and died, en masse. It seems there is an unconscious instinct to hang on in hope, but that at a critical point, hope dies and suicidal self-destruction kicks in.

      Consider too how the world ignored the Nazis for far too long, then swung into action precipitously, in a delayed adversity reaction. The US U-turn was particularly apt. As Schindler observed upon hearing that an Australian fighter pilot had just flown over, when your enemies are coming from that far away, it is all over! This was his crunch moment and he changed sides!

      My favourite U-turn story was from a man I knew from my childhood until his death in my middle age, who was sent to Germany after the war selling plant and machinery as part of that grand post-war reconstruction plan. What was odd, he chuckled, was that literally every single person he met, told him that ‘in the war,’ that they had ‘been in the resistance’. No one, it seemed had been in the German army, navy or air force! Clearly Hitler and Goering & Co had taken on the world single-handed. No wonder they lost! Wind the movie back a decade and they were all worshipping the ground he walked on an rallies of unbelievable grandure…

      My point is that things happen precipitously and people (and animals) ‘change their mind’, or in the German case rewrite their past(!) quite suddenly.

      In light of this, your argument which hinges on the graph extending logically from its present parameters, may not be valid. Let’s add a sudden mind-shift and imagine what happens.

      Already, I hear of an experiment at (was it?) Washington University in which CO2 is extracted from the atmosphere and turned into carbon fibre. Their claim is that given access to enough of the Sahara desert (some 10%, I assume for making solar electricity) they could suck all the excess CO2 from the atmosphere in a decade. Sounds too good to be true, but then the US Navy labs can catalytically pull CO2 out of sea-water and turn it into jet-fuel and a cost not much different from what they are now paying at the pump, so to speak. Then there is bio-char etc. etc. People are really malleable, vide: how NZ took to ‘carless days’ without batting an eyelid.

      Remember that if you advertise for a night-watchman, what you get is a burglary!

      The law of unintended consequences can be much kinder. There are many virtuous spirals out of the void!

      With Pasquino for king, Peter Wadhams as ice-man and Jim Lovelack as Gaia advocate, we’d knock the bastard off!

      • Rats dying en masse of nervous breakdowns- gullible much. Not seen ‘nervous breakdown’ on a post mortem for a century or 2.
        BTW, the US Navy needs to use ENERGY to pull CO2 out of seawater to make fuel, so don’t get too excited about that one.
        Guessing you weren’t around in the time of carless days, quite a lot of eyelid batting went on actually.

        My point is that we seem to be going from MSM denial/avoidance to full on hopelessness and ‘its all too late to do anything”
        cue R A to tell me it is all over and that the kindest thing we can do to our offspring is smother them at birth.

        • @HOMEWITHFLU says,

          ” Not seen ‘nervous breakdown’ on a post mortem for a century or 2.”

          I suspect these rats did not actually get certificates of their deaths! What is customarily written on human death certificates does not change the fact that they died, not of lack of food but because of overcrowding, they simply went into a catatonic state and expired. No disease seemed to be present. A very famous case of this has also been observed on an island in Scandinavia where a deer population also collapsed precipitously upon the introduction of some lemmings which helped to reduce their food supply to a critical point. Again, they were hungry and short of food, but they died in short order and did not slowly starve to death.

          I did not say the US Navy did not have to put some energy into the CO2 from sea water extraction process. My understanding is that the product was not, for all that, all that expensive. I was indicating this as something that could reverse the process of burning fossil-sourced jet fuel by extracting, not adding, CO2 to the sea. No doubt by taxing fossil fuel at source, as Hansen advocates, such processes could work in the right direction. For a start the US could stop subsidising oil extraction.

          And yes, I was in business in those car-less days. And, yes, being in business I could get an exception, but my point was not that the scheme was not perfect, which seems to be your case, but that there was not any significant opposition to it. People do not act entirely out of self-interest.

          My main point is that saying it is all over before the fat lady sings is not necessarily the most accurate comment!

          • No, they don’t do death certificates for lab rats, but they DO have to establish cause of death (especially if the entire population suddenly dies) and ‘nervous breakdown’ won’t make it into a peer reviewed scientific journal.

        • cue R A to tell me it is all over and that the kindest thing we can do to our offspring is smother them at birth
          Not sure where you are coming from with that statement ?
          I am pro children, as a non breeder myself I’m as much part of their group as they are, IE innocent victim.
          I haven’t created a wage slave to pay for my pension or wipe my bum. Personally I’m not planing on being around long enough to need them. )

      • “hope dies and suicidal self-destruction kicks in” see http://www.22after.com a great depiction of what is coming.
        How can we have a dawning of awareness, when the cannery has been paid off or gagged ?
        I’ve had a couple of good responses from 2 Green MPs with regard to my comments about how Kiwi Saver is an oxymoron, when promoted by the Green Party. Alas they are telling me they can not ‘go public’ as it is against the ‘party line’.
        Metiria is under some mistaken belief that – “They don’t require balancing”. And – “We can do both at the same time”. MT
        So if the only party in parliament that is meant to have it’s eyes wide open to CLIMATE CHANGE is sitting there eating their lunch, and waiting for a pension, like the rest of them, then what hope?
        The writing is clearly on the wall now, humans and especially this ponzi growth based society just can’t go on for the intended lifespan of the average Kiwi Saver, especially the ones that aren’t even born yet, that the Greens want to join KS, when they are.
        Where is the logic or honesty?
        We have done in the past 30 years that last time took 10,000 years – increasing CO2 to 400 ppm, what would the environment look like in another 65 years of growth / increase in Kiwi Saver investments ???
        The Greens continued promotion Kiwi Saver is currently their biggest crime against there own people?
        ho hum

  9. Is anyone else having problems posting on this blog?

    I’m using a brand new comp, and I still can’t get my comments posted?
    I don’t think I’m offending anyone ?????????????

    [Robert, you’re not “offending” (as far as I’m aware) anyone. We’re still having some issues with posts ending up queued in the wrong folder. I’m checking the Folders to find errant queued posts, and then relocating them. Please bear with us. – ScarletMod]

    try again
    Cant disagree with 99% of what you are saying Pasquino, you are doing a better job than me, at explaining it.
    But to say we need to do X to reduce the CO2 emissions is a waste of time, as you point out – Wadhams’ estimate, is that if we do nothing more than we are doing right now, we will all be gone by say 2080, I’m saying @ 400ppm it wouldn’t matter if ‘we’ left the planet tonight, it would still be ‘short, nasty and brutish for any mammal left.
    If we stopped BAU, according to Guy McPherson et al – the washing of the particulates from the atmosphere, would also increase the temp by .6C
    The situation is fing hopeless,hence my ‘promotion’ of http://www.vhemt.org , as one solution (the only one) to reducing future suffering — if you are not alive you will not have to try and survive the impossible.
    The 50 GT burst would be our instant demise, but the on going 2 GT ‘dribble’ is going to do it as well. See off the coast of Gisborne last summer ‘they’ discovered 700 methane ‘vents’ up from 50 in the same area the year before.
    People laugh and complain at me/us for being ‘trolls’ but WTF how do you tell the truth to the best of your reckoning, without actually spelling it out?
    99.9% of the people in the know are not telling the truth. ‘We’ have maybe 10 (?) people world wide spelling it out, Jason Box, Shakhova, Wadhams, McPherson.
    I’ve had confirmation that CH4 could be 300 – 1,000 times worse than CO2 – IN ITS FIRST YEAR – and as the amount of CH4 is increasing we are actually always in the ‘first year’. The IPCC statement that CH4 is 80 od times worse that CO2 in its first 20 years is utter bull shit, as the stuff only hangs around to 10 – 12 years, we have been asking them what the 10-12 years forcing factor is …. no reply.
    The environment could be @ 400 ppm CO2, 600 PPM CO2e – (CH4) and 100+ CO2e with the other gasses/water vapor and the estimate of 60 ppm CO2e we get as a negative feed back from the particulates (pollution)
    An environment of about 1160ppm CO2e is not the kind of place I would like to bring a child into, or start my Kiwi Saver venture.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGlahPpgM8w&feature=share

  10. We have something like 2 million people in NZ who would rather listen to the lies of our politicians …ALL of them, spificaly that investing in this growth based savings scheme is a good thing it is the Green MPs that are telling the biggest porkies

  11. @Pasquino. From Stonehenge to Giza, from Athens to Chartres, humans constructed wonders of engineering, architecture and art which, hundreds and thousands of years later, generate revenue for the descendants of those who toiled to build them. They were built because of an over riding sense of something sacred – the earth, the moon, the celestial patterns, the year, the great mother, the sacred hearth, the sea, the conflict, the afterlife. This sense of something sacred, uncharted, mysterious, gives rise to belief and belief drives behaviour. A large cooperative group unifies itself with a sacred story or myth out of which rules and mores become the prevailing morality. Myth and a sense of the sacred inspired the ancient sagas, poetry, dance traditions, music, all that made humans more than just nasty and brutish.
    The last shuddering phase of monetarist global totalitarianism, the unregulated end time of capitalist industrialism is shredding every fragment of meaning out of the always fragile human condition. It has again re brutalised humanity and attempts to ameliorate this process through state capitalism, social programmes for health, education etc. have failed because Leviathan / Behemoth is not about life. It has fully revealed itself to be like the Minotaur in the Cretan labyrinth, about death and nothing but death. It pours its never ending narcotic substance everywhere into every fibre and cell and few can resist its poison. Those that profess to resist or who agitate about the coming planetary disaster have no sacred narrative to pitch against the global cult of death. Their attitude toward such narratives is one of disdain. Therein lies their helplessness in the face of the new brutality in all its
    coarse vacuity and crass stupidity.

    • “Myth and a sense of the sacred…”

      …and maybe regular ingestion of a few mind-altering (and potentially mutagenic) psychedelic compounds. See ‘Food of the Gods’ by Terrence McKenna for the anthropological and historical arguments for this idea.

  12. From Hymn to Earth the Mother of All
    Homer (7th century B.C.)
    O universal mother, who dost keep
    From everlasting thy foundations deep,
    Eldest of things, Great Earth, I sing of thee!
    All shapes that have their dwelling in the sea,
    All things that fly, or on the ground divine
    Live, move, and there are nourished–these are thine;
    These from thy wealth thou dost sustain; from thee
    Fair babes are born, and fruits on every tree
    Hang ripe and large, revered Divinity!

  13. The problem with the Doomer mentality, with all due respect to Robert Atak and the information he and others put forth, is that it ends up being part of the problem. If, as the Doomers gleefully sermonize, there isn’t a single change we can make in our lives that will make a difference, why not give up any attempt at an ethical life as a lost cause? Why rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic, when the band is still playing, and we can party it up while the boat goes down?

    If the Doomers were right, and our fates were definitely sealed, then this wouldn’t matter. Actually, convincing people to stop caring about the future, and treat what’s left of human civilization like a high-resolution, open-world, computer game, would be about the only ethical thing to do.

    However, despite its dedication to gathering and editorializing scientific data, the Doomer mentality ignores one very important scientific fact; by definition, the future is unknown, and unknowable. Any predication about the future becomes less likely to be true, the further into the future you project, and the further from your own known present you try to extrapolate. Thus, any absolute statement about the future of the whole planet, decades or centuries into the future, is almost certainly wrong, or at least incomplete.

    That said, there is one way to make the future more certain; the self-fulfilling prophecy. If we all listen to the Doomers (or the Deniers) and do nothing different, then the Doomers will be right, and we will all be screwed. If we do everything we can, yes, we *might* still be screwed, but there’s at least a possibility of things we can’t predict somehow amplifying our efforts and turning things around.

    Based on what we knew in 1950, nobody could have predicted the world we live in. Even as recently as the 1990s, most people didn’t see the internet coming, and the massive new possibilities for decentralized, global coordination it has opened up. Just because we can’t see a clear and obvious way right *now* to reverse the damage we’ve done to the stability of the biosphere, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. It just means we don’t have perfect information about the future. I, for one, find that very encouraging 🙂

    • Sorry to be posting so often.
      My main message is that we ‘should’ stop having babies.
      Unfortunately, I then have to be a ‘Dommer’ to qualify the idea of not breeding.
      I’m all for planting trees, and saving species, I’m pro animals – vegetarian for 33 years (ish) bla bla
      Humanity is locked in steerage, and the water is lapping the top of the funnels.
      It would be lovely if we could all hold hands and sing Come By Yar, just like a Green Party convention I guess ?
      But if we are all going tits out to make money or just survive in this current dog eat dog system. The shit storms of economic collapse peak energy, and climate change are hear now, we don’t have say 5 years to bring enough people up to speed to make a difference, at best there might be 100 people in NZ who understand how stuffed up it all is? make that world wide;) The majority believe the politicians and the MSM.
      It’s harder to convince people they have been lied to, than it is to lie to them.
      If your job/lifestyle depends on you not knowing something, you will move heaven and earth to stay ignorant. – Politicians MO
      So the whole system is geared to lies, and while most people are happy and dependent on/with that, nothing will change.
      Its not my fault the king is buck naked.

      Thanks Martyn

      • But if we’re all screwed anyway Robert, why should we stop having babies? Why should we take any of the stuff you (and I) say about peak oil, climate change, overshoot etc if there’s no chance it’s going to make any difference? For anybody to do anything that isn’t based on short-sighted self interest (what would I enjoy *right now*, and bugger the consequences), we have to believe it makes a difference, all the more so when the prognosis is so dire.

        It might make you feel good to spend your time smashing other people’s ability to feel hope or motivation, in the same way it might make a small child feel good to smash other kids’ sandcastles. But in doing so, you are contributing to the very problem you seem to be so determined to educate people about. You would contribute more, and probably enjoy your life more, if instead of sitting in front of a computer dooming and glooming about how hopeless everything is, you spent that time walking in the forest.

  14. … in the meantime, to quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing system obsolete.” And that is something we can all do right now – such as the global transition movement is …

  15. @Strypey. Seems as though cave dwellers knew a thing or two. They actually survived through an ice age. Their drawings have sophistication and subtlety.
    Technology is the art of our time. This new Titan that we worship is bringing about our demise though. A grand exercise in futility.

    http://dreamflesh.com/library/david-lewis-williams/the-mind-in-the-cave-consciousness-and-the-origins-of

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/paleolithic-cave-painters-were-high-psychedelic-drugs-scientists-suggest-usi

  16. Sorry me again
    Martyn I just read the last part of your ‘article’.
    Why are you picking on the right?
    It was the left and far left that bought us Kiwi Saver, (bloody pain in the arse, always having to go on about this), what don’t people understand? Kiwi Saver is built on more shit being consumed, more Roads of National Significance, more prisons, more schools, more environmental destruction.
    All the right are doing is maintaining that growth, the fact they are skimming off dead children, is just how it has always been.
    maybe they really are lizard people? (sorry lizards)
    The lied to masses are partly to blame.
    It doesn’t matter what shade politician, none of them is going to push for 80% unemployment, and none of you would vote for it.
    The time of manufactured crap is over, we have to make do with what we currently own, that was as good as it gets.
    If I had my way it would be martial law. Think Cuba 1990’s.
    None of the above would make a jot of difference, only to maybe have us all die off with a little dignity, rather than the last man standing blood bath we currently face.

  17. The carbon crisis has basically been worsened by the carbon credit trading ‘market’. We knew when it was conceived that it would be an arena for fraud and speculation instead of mitigation and so it has proved. Genuine mitigation efforts have hardly even begun.

    • I always felt uneasy about the carbon trading scheme. Does it actually reduce carbon emissions, or is it just another way for people to make money whilst trading carbon credits back and forth.?

      • It could work – but low integrity carbon credits flooded the market – the BBC did a story on them. Russian.

    • Isn’t that why Cameron wanted to sell off the British forests as soon as he was elected? So his wealthy backers could get tax credits?

  18. In a nutshell: The Climate Deniers keep winning because they have the mullah, and when you have plenty of mullah you can afford to pay off all the doubters and hire the best spin doctors. The anti-climate change lobby cannot hope to have anything near what their opponents have.

    • Hi MtL The climate change deniers aren’t winning anything they’re a joke! This article is a beat up! Anyone with half a brain can use google and find out CC is happening! Are kiwis just plain rugby playing brain damaged aholes? I do wonder brainwashed by their stupid clueless media.

  19. ….and when exactly is all this supposed to happen?

    There have been so many false predictions, it’s getting a bit tedious.

    • Andrew, do you also believe that capitalism is a failure because they have “been so many false predictions, it’s getting a bit tedious”?

      What about advancements of medical science? Do you brand that as a “tedious failure” because once upon a time thalidomide and cigarette smoking was thought to be safe?

      Science advances. Data is collected. Theories are refined. It’s called progress.

  20. A very good post Martyn.
    Yes the climate deniers have won from the point of view that they have obfuscated and aided the delay of Governments taking effective action on what is the most important problem facing human kind today.
    But from the point of view of whether they have won a debate – this of course is a nonsense query, because there is no debate. Human induced climate change is here and the evidence is everywhere one cares to look.
    The important question now is this; “Is there a chance for human survival?”
    The future will not be like the present – that is certain, and continued Business as Usual will almost certainly result in runaway Global Warming the consequences of which will be catastrophic in the extreme, from which it is highly unlikely any living thing as we know it today will survive. Already we are in one of the great extinction phases of the Earth with almost all of known species under threat.
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/
    With all that in mind – can we as a species accept the damage we have done to the Earth and work collectively towards mitigating at least to some extent the inevitable consequences of our past actions?
    I believe that there still remains a small window of opportunity. We must have hope, if we have lost all hope then nothing can be done.
    That small window is Paris. If the countries of Earth can collectively agree to a dramatic reduction in Carbon emissions we might just scrape by with a 2 – 3 degree warming, (yes I know 2 degrees is the limit and we will see huge sea level rise in the years to come – but it might just avoid the worst tipping points.) But all of this presupposes the willingness of the negotiators in Paris – and if our rep Tim Groser is anything to go by – the world is fucked. We have to constantly and persistently demand that he and the NZ Cabinet get real here.No one can back slide on this problem. It will take the concerted effort of everyone on Earth to win what is rapidly becoming a War for Survival.

  21. It is a matter of historical fact that the Earth has experienced Ice Ages. Is it not too much of a stretch of the imagination, to think that maybe, the Earth has also experienced the opposite side of the coin, namely “Hot Ages” as well?
    Perhaps that is part of our present predicament, but I wonder if we had made at least some kind of effort in living in harmony with Nature, instead of fleecing her, things probably be better.
    Just a thought.

    • Except that the increase in temperature coincides fairly precisely with the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere, since the 20th century. And it’s been a fairly steep curve upward…

      • Nonsense Frank – do you have a source for this?

        CO2 increases have been very high, but the measured temperature increases have been very modest and within natural ranges.

        According to Wikipedia the CO2 level is the highest its been for 800,000 or 20 million years (take your pick) but the temperature has been up and down like a yoyo in that time, and frequently been warmer than now.

        • CO2 increases have been very high, but the measured temperature increases have been very modest and within natural ranges.

          I don’t know where you get that from, but the temperature/CO2 increase have been rising together, here (http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/carbon-dioxide/) and here (http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/)

          Also from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ and https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/indicators/

          So unless you are privy to data that NASA and NOAA have missed, my money is on them rather than you, as you are without any evidence whatsoever.

          The increase in CO2 has been anything but “modest”, and you’ve either read incorrect information or are attempting to be wilfully misleading.

          • Have you even read these links Frank?

            None of them show that “the increase in temperature coincides fairly precisely with the growth of CO2”

            What the show is a large increase in CO2, and a tiny increase in temperature which is within the natural variations. These records show they aren’t linked.

            Interesting how you deliberately misquoted me – I said the temp increase was “modest” not the CO2 which I said was very high – typical of your level of dishonesty.

            • None of them show that “the increase in temperature coincides fairly precisely with the growth of CO2”

              So, you refuse to accept the data even when shown to you? You really are blinded by your ideology, aren’t you?

              What the show is a large increase in CO2, and a tiny increase in temperature which is within the natural variations. These records show they aren’t linked.

              Wrong again. Whilst the the temperature increases are small, it is the overall upward trend you should be looking at.

              But I suspect even if it was put in front of your face, you’d close your eyes and refuse to look…

              • The overall upward trend you refer to is the same one which has been occurring since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago.

                This same trend has been happening for 9800 years before the industrial revolution started.

                You can’t see the evidence before your own eyes or understand what you even write yourself – you admit that the CO2 increase is very large but that the temp. increase is small – to any rational person that doesn’t mean that they “coincide”, but apparently to you it does.

                You’re just another hysterical alarmist with a political agenda.

                • You are still ignoring the massive upward trend in CO2 production since the 20th century.

                  The only one here with a “political agenda” seems to be you; supporting a capitalist-industrial model that is leading us to a change in climate that our children will have to cope with.

                  Were you this blind to CFCs destroying the Ozone Layer in the late 20th century? Or was there less money involved?

  22. Establishing what is influencing our climate is a scientific matter, and science is not a debate, it is a process. The debate you refer to is in the realm of politics, and if that has been lost it is purely the fault of the IPCC. This organisation was established to “provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts”, yet it has drifted into the realm of fantasy with its failed predictions and sensationalist claims. This has simply allowed people such as Anthony Watts, Christopher Monckton and many others to not only discredit the IPCC, but also to drive doubt into the minds of the observing public.

    • I would suggest, BiaB, that climate change is a developing science and as new data comes in, thew predictions are refined.

      Just as the first indications that CFCs were destroying the ozone layer weren’t confirmed until satellite data confirmed initial observations.

      • All science is to some degree ‘developing’. However just as extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so catastrophic predictions require a robust and self correcting process. I’m unaware of any scientific organisation with the predictive failure rate of the IPCC.

          • I agree with you for once Frank – Nature definitely cares nothing for the IPCC and the climate change theories due to industrialisation and CO2 production.

            The sea-level has been rising steadily for 10,000 years and is currently about 110 meters higher that it was then, all of it due to the wobbling of the earth’s orbit, and nothing to do with industrialisation and CO2 production from fossil fuels.

            • None which is relevant to modern day sea level rises caused by CO2 emissions from human industrial and agricultural activity.

              Interesting – I’ve provided links to credible science organisations, and you still ignore their findings? Your denial is akin to creationists refusing to understand evolutionary processes.

              • More cheapshot insults as always Frank – you may not see the relevance of a 110 meter rise as significant compared to the millimetres due to supposed climate change, but I’m sure most people can.

                You seem to have changed your tune – when I previously raised this you called me a liar, so at least you’ve finally done some homework and agree with the facts.

                Here’s a link to a “credible science organisation” for you to ponder:
                https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-new-record-maximum

                • Oh dear, Sceptic, you seemed to have missed a few salient points in referencing that NASA article;

                  Just as the temperatures in some regions of the planet are colder than average, even in our warming world, Antarctic sea ice has been increasing and bucking the overall trend of ice loss.“The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected, but just like with global warming, not every location with sea ice will have a downward trend in ice extent,” Parkinson said.

                  Whilst Antarctica has gained ice mass, the Northern hemisphere (which ‘conincidentally is the most heavily industrialised) lost ice;

                  Since the late 1970s, the Arctic has lost an average of 20,800 square miles (53,900 square kilometers) of ice a year; the Antarctic has gained an average of 7,300 square miles (18,900 sq km).

                  As one scientist said;

                  “There hasn’t been one explanation yet that I’d say has become a consensus, where people say, ‘We’ve nailed it, this is why it’s happening,’” Parkinson said. “Our models are improving, but they’re far from perfect. One by one, scientists are figuring out that particular variables are more important than we thought years ago, and one by one those variables are getting incorporated into the models.”

                  Rather than trying to cherry-pick bits that suit you, and ignoring the whole picture, why don’t you spend your time researching the issue instead of validating your pre-existing notions?

                  Really, trying to invite the rest of us to bury our heads in the sand (or snow, in this instance) is pathetic.

                  • You have to be impressed by the logic – record levels of Antarctic ice when the IPCC et al predicts record lows, and it counts for nothing.

                    The best part was that researchers who went there to study the lack of ice became stuck and had to be rescued!

                    The most accurate statements are:
                    “There hasn’t been one explanation yet that I’d say has become a consensus”

                    “Our models are improving, but they’re far from perfect”

                    Pretty much disproves all your hysteria doesn’t it?

Comments are closed.