NZ hits 400ppm – climate denial vs climate reality

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Check out this climate denial bullshit put out last week by the farcical New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

Many newspaper articles over the past few years have emphasised the dangers of man-made global warming (aka “climate change”) and warned us that extreme measures are needed to save us from this imminent climatic disaster. Almost without exception, the authors of these articles have assumed that man-made carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming, rapid sea level rise and more floods, droughts, cyclones and so on.

But what does the evidence tell us?

Regarding world temperatures, historical records from ice cores tell us that it was warmer during the Mediaeval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Bronze Age. The Mediaeval Warm Period was experienced all over the world including Australia and New Zealand.

…this tripe goes on an on. The NZ Climate Science Coalition is to science what the Taxpayers Union is to Unions they’re both  astro-turf front group for interests who don’t want their interests to be seen.

This crap is being spouted  right as NZ hits 400ppm – the first time in bloody 3million years!

Science milestone not one to celebrate 

The last time the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere was at a level of 400 parts per million (ppm), sea levels were at least 10 metres higher than they are today.

During the Pliocene period, about three million years ago, when global temperatures were 2C or so above today’s levels, forests grew on what today is a mostly barren island in the Canadian Arctic and savannas and woodlands were spread across what is now North African desert.

It was a wetter, warmer period in the planet’s recent geological history.

And last week, at a windswept point at the bottom of the North Island, the 400ppm milestone was reached in New Zealand for the first time since.

Scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (Niwa) had been watching the readings recorded at the Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head closely at it edged toward the symbolic threshold.

It came a year after it was crossed at the Mauna Loa station in Hawaii, which has recorded a 24 per cent rise in carbon dioxide levels since it began gathering data in 1958.

…as a huge storm surge destroys Australia’s coast line, as NZ hits its highest green house gases in 25 years and as dairy intensification robs us of fresh water we are watching an environmental catastrophe unfold in front of our eyes that will have dramatic impacts on our civilisation…

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Arctic set for record-breaking melt this summer

The record heat that is baking Alaska is poised to smash a host of climate records in 2016, including the earliest snowmelt date at NOAA’s Barrow Observatory, the northernmost point in the nation.

Staff at the observatory reported snowmelt occurred May 13, the earliest snowmelt date in 73 years of record-keeping, beating the previous mark set in 2002 by a full 10 days.

The early melting follows a record-setting winter that saw temperatures average more than 11 degrees above normal for the 49th State, shattering the previous record set in 2015. At 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Barrow is usually one of the last places in the United States to lose snow cover.

And what’s the Government’s reaction to all of this? Denial and funding cut backs in our Conservation Department…

Minister must come clean on conservation funding

Maggie Barry must stop fudging the figures and come clean about Department of Conservation under-funding, the Green Party said today.

Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library and revealed by the Green Party on Q and A yesterday show that funding for DOC has fallen since National has been in government, adding up to $336 million over eight years.

“Maggie Barry disputes our figures and says that baseline funding has risen $62 million over eight years, but it’s not clear where she’s getting her numbers from. She needs to come clean because she’s not showing the whole picture of DOC funding.

As all the worst case scenarios from the IPCC play out, we need to understand and comprehend that we are beyond the tipping points and are now seeing run away forces take over. Our only possible way forward is a focus on adaptation yet our political system is in denial and our scientists regularly gagged.

When the methane time tomb explodes the pretence will be over. The realities of climate change will over take the political denial and force a radical agenda, because it will become an issue of survival.

 

 

39 COMMENTS

  1. Well said, Martyn.

    Bryan Leyland has quite a reputation for being self-serving and a bought-and-paid-for-liar-come-fuckwit of the energy and engineering sectors; it’s been going on for well over a decade to my certain knowledge.

    And as for Maggie Barry, well we know which club she belongs to: the ‘aren’t I just wonderful’ club, as she facilitates looting, polluting and exploitation.

    The headline emphasises the fact that some of the cleanest air in the world is now severely contaminated with life-threatening carbon dioxide but the numbers coming out of the Northern Hemisphere recently have been truly horrific:

    Daily CO2

    June 3, 2016: 408.25 ppm

    June 3, 2015: 402.90 ppm

    Up 5.35 ppm (versus 2005-2014 average of 2.11 ppm)

    June 5, 2016: 407.51 ppm

    June 5, 2015: 402.63 ppm

    Up 4.88 ppm

    and the recently updated trend line here:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/global.html#global_growth

    vividly depicts how dire the predicament is.

    It ever there was evidence that we are governed by mendacious fascists and fuckwits who couldn’t give a damn about the future, the policies of the Key government surely constitute that evidence.

    All government policies are geared to making the environmental predicament rapidly worse and ensuring there is no preparation whatsoever for the massive increase in temperatures (several degrees over coming decades) and massive sea level rise (several metres over coming decades) which have been triggered.

    Add to the burgeoning set of commonly-discussed catastrophes-in-the-making acidification of the oceans which, in combination with rising temperatures, will eventually annihilate most corals and life that used to flourish in and around corals.

    As you rightly point out, when the methane time bomb goes off it will be all over very quickly. NZ government policy is to activate the methane time bomb as quickly as possible via CO2-induced overheating.

  2. “The NZ Climate Science Coalition is to science what the Taxpayers Union is to Unions they’re both astro-turf front group for interests who don’t want their interests to be seen.

    This crap is being spouted right as NZ hits 400ppm – the first time in bloody 3million years!”

    That’s bang on as these “climate change sceptic’s” are just hired guns for all those dirty industries to keep on polluting – for as long as they can!!!!

    We need to expose their names all of them so when all hell let’s loose we can hunt them down and put them in a leaky boat in a storm of their own making.

    Grubby creatures they are!

    • I looked up their website.
      It seems they like to take the new right-wing way of thinking; which is to now admit that climate change is real, but tell us that most of it is actually good, and just not to worry about the bad bits (sea level rise, the Gulf Stream interrupted so Europe has another ice age,etc.) because science will take care of them before they do any damage.
      Talk about naïve!
      If science is really going to take care of the bad bits then it had better get governments to begin listening (yeah right!) pretty damned quick!
      I’m saddened to see Dr David Belamy in there, because I used to have a lot of respect for him.

      • Don’t forget David Belamy came to NZ about ten years ago to prominently promote the lies that global warming was amyth and that CO2 was a nutrient, so NZ could dig up and burn as much coal as it liked because that would improve plant growth. Arsehole.

        Just like Chris de Freitus, so-called head of Environmental Studies at the University of Auckland, who a decade or so ago was very much in favour of digging up and burning coal because ‘CO2 is a harmless gas’ and ‘global warming is of no concern’ -even when confronted with the truth. Arsehole.

        Then you have the dozens of others who have not been directly linked to climate denial organisations but used their positions to promote the extraction and burning of fossil fuels…various ministers transport and ministers of loot-the planet throughout the series of National and Labour governments. There have been too many to remember all the names but Duynhoven particularly comes to mind because he was specifically advised of the extreme danger of abrupt climate change and nevertheless promoted the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. Arsehole.

        • I didn’t know that about Duynhoven.

          I did know that he basically refused to enable any legislation to meaningfully reduce noise from wide bore exhausts fitted to motor vehicles. As a result NZ still suffers vehicle noise pollution at levels unthinkable in Europe, Japan or Australia.

          For that I’ve long regarded him as an arsehole.

          That he would support continued wholesale fossil fuel extraction doesn’t surprise.

          • Harry was known as Harry Do-nothing -you know, turn up for parliament, do nothing for year after year, and collect your salary.

            It would have been better if he had actually done nothing because on many occasions he was very active in promoting increased CO2 emissions, and as mayor of NPDC Duynhoven banned discussion CO2 emissions as a cause of climate change; he also promoted breaches of the Local Government Acts.

            So Duynhoven is worse than just being an arsehole, he is actually a criminal. However, he’s a member of ‘The Club’ and is therefore protected from prosecution by ‘The Club’.

            None of the above will prevent uninformed fools and deluded Labour supporters amongst the populace from voting for him when he tries to get his snout further into the public feeding trough again. He’s a councillor already halfway there. As a councillor, he adds his support to the planet-fucking that NPDC promotes on a continuous basis, just like every other council in the country.

            Don’t ever think there is hope for NZ or hope for humanity when the entire system is riddled with such arseholes and criminals.

            • Ain’t that the truth….couldn’t even get the bypass sorted & he was the assoc. Minister of Transport. We called him Duynhoven the Dictator when he was mayor. Thank god that didn’t last long. But you are right, one foot in the door again (geez they have short memories here). All that oil & gas going to waste……

          • Richard you are 100% correct.

            quote “I did know that he basically refused to enable any legislation to meaningfully reduce noise from wide bore exhausts fitted to motor vehicles. As a result NZ still suffers vehicle noise pollution at levels unthinkable in Europe, Japan or Australia.”

            Harry Dunghoven was the associate Minister of Transport in 2004 and our Environmental NGO sent requests to him then to assist us in vehicle noise,& pollution, and he (as Natzional are doing to us) completely ignored our repeated requests for assistance!

            We believe he was an agent of the Road Transport Association RTA and not really a labour Party member but a NatZ shill.

  3. ” As all the worst case scenarios from the IPCC play out, we need to understand and comprehend that we are beyond the tipping points and are now seeing run away forces take over. Our only possible way forward is a focus on adaptation yet our political system is in denial and our scientists regularly gagged.

    When the methane time tomb explodes the pretence will be over. The realities of climate change will over take the political denial and force a radical agenda, because it will become an issue of survival. ”

    100% correct. Adaptation must be our priority.

  4. Got to give you top marks for bringing this back to the limelight just as the MoU is being announced and on this mornings Morning report James Shaw was being interviewed by our own driller journo Guyon Espiner about being offered a cabinet position after Andrew Little hinted this, and James said he didn’t know of this!

    The next question Guyon asked if he was in cabinet would he go along with Labour’s policy on oil drilling James was very vague about this allowing oil drilling????

  5. The latest thing climate denialists seem to have hit on is that the Antarctic used to have forests. Somehow this fact makes everything okay, apparently. If you come across anyone spouting this fact, know it is a trend, not a unique argument from whoever says it.

  6. It’s only a matter of time before insurance companies stop insuring sea front properties. The value of these properties will collapse to next to nothing after that. They won’t find buyers and will only serve as squats until they finally get eaten up by the ocean.

    • The word is already out but most missed it.

      ‘Davidson said recent data that has been collected but has yet to be made official indicates sea levels could rise by roughly 3 meters or 9 feet by 2050-2060, far higher and quicker than current projections.’

      http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/04/12/405089.htm

      The game now being played is to prevent the masses from discovering the truth about their dire predicament via censorship and distractions such as corporatized sport, celebrity gossip and home improvement etc.

      Hence the importance of comments on TDB.

      Of course, under the accelerating conditions we are witnessing the 3 metre sea level rise by 2050 quoted will probably be far exceeded, both in vertical measurement and temporal measurement.

      There is only one way out of this mess…….call Dr Who. He specialises in saving doomed species and doomed planets.

      Come to think of it, better not call Dr Who because he did warn the English-speaking world about the extreme danger of drilling into the Earth to feed fossil-fuel addiction back in the 1960s (or was it 1970s), and was ignored, so he’d probably say: “I did warn you but you wouldn’t listen. You’ve run out of time.”

      • “Yet to be official..” is a euphemism for “the political right have not yet admitted that its true..”
        Do you notice how nothing is EVER official in New Zealand unless John Key has personally stamped it with the Great Seal of Natzsky?

  7. The NZCSC will continue to deny even in the face of incontrovertible evidence. It’s simply not human nature to easily back down, say sorry we got it wrong.

    Watch Alister Barry’s Hot Air to understand how special interest groups have scuppered any meaningful response.

  8. If man can influence the climate, can we have Gold Coast temperatures here please. While we are at it, can we influence gravity so it can push and pull so cars could get pushed along without the need of petrol or electricity.

    • Here’s a little question for you Dave.
      If the earth is the size of a basketball, diameter 24cm – what is the diameter of the earth plus atmosphere?

    • Why not fit foot operated paddle wheels to cars? Won’t need to worry when coastal roads become submerged when the sea level rises.
      I’m surprised the political right haven’t thought of that one since they like to think they are the brainy ones.

  9. It doesn’t matter a large rodents backside what ‘we’ do.
    Ho hum, the environment is at 408 ppm CO2 bla bla bla, it is going to hit 600 ppm long before it sees sub 400 again. It is only a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ that humans go extinct, with all the fun things that the road to extinction has clogging it.
    We have supposedly done in 130 is years what last time took 10,000 years ??? or some such. IE bring CO2 up to 408 ppm.
    The last time the planet saw 408 ppm (and fast increasing), most of life was extinct, there is no way to write that equation, that doesn’t give the same result. 400 ppm CO2 + no ice = no mammals, and we haven’t even started talking about the methane @ potentially 600 ppm CO2e currently?
    About the only thing an individual can do is maybe reduce meat consumption, discourage reproduction, and help ban 1080. The BIG picture is so black, there is 100% nothing we can do about it, the only thing we can do is try and reduce near term suffering.
    Set up neighbourhood watch groups, as the people that can help you the most, and the ones that can cause you the most pain, are in walking distance, those are the people you need, and need to watch.
    Find out were all the guns are ?
    http://www.21ater.com 😉

  10. Oh for god sakes Martyn, there are more important things to worry about, like who is Max new girlfriend, just ask the NZ Herald.

  11. So what do we do with the northern hemisphere? There the ones producing most of the co2? NZ could produce no harmful gases and the human race is still fucked.
    So individually what are each of you doing to reduce your carbon footprint?

    • By FAR the most effective thing mankind can do to lower their carbon footprints/pollution/deforestation etc is simply to stop having children. It’s funny that no one seems to bring that up. But the facts are that as long as the global population continues to increase ever more of the planet’s FINITE resources are going to be thrown at it with complete with all the nasty by-products.

      • Agreed, we need a steady state economy and a steady state population.

        There is no future for the human species in any other course.

    • This is a misleading question Dale, because like Al Gore, it ignores that decision-makers in corporations and governments have far more influence over carbon emissions than any lifestyle change individuals and households can make, even if we all make them. Even if we all stopped buying petrol, that won’t stop the companies that operate our food supply bringing food from the other side of the world by diesel-powered ships and trucks.

      That said, I do believe in “walking the talk” and “being the change” and all that. At the course where I earned my PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate), one of the activities we did was a set of exercises created by Joanna Macey called ‘The Work that Reconnects’. The one that really sticks in my head involved working in pairs, and having my partner ask from the perspective of my many-times-great grandchild, what I did to help the Great Turning that made it possible for them to be born. So to answer your question for my own case;
      * I’m eat a vegan diet (if you’re not sure how this is relevant see the documentary Cowspiracy)
      * I buy locally grown food, and avoid food imported into Aotearoa
      * I buy food grown using organic methods, which involve folding and holding a lot of carbon back into the soil using as hummus and soil biota, using compost and biochar
      * as much as we can, my partner and I walk, or take public transport, instead of driving (when we can afford it we will convert our car to electric, or trade it in for an electric car)
      * I buy second hand goods (or NZ made where they are available), and donate anything I’m finished with to op shops so others can do the same
      * I go through dumpsters to prevent food waste, and recover any items that can be cleaned and/or repaired for re-use
      * No house I live in will ever again burn coal to keep it warm, we use locally-sourced wood (almost carbon neutral), supplemented when necessary with efficient oil-fin heaters
      * whenever I have the opportunity, I plant trees, prevent them being cut down, and prevent wooded areas being cleared
      * I supported the Save Happy Valley coalition against new coal mines on the Denniston plateau.
      * A few weeks ago, I joined the blockade of the ANZ bank, climate criminals who invest more in fossil fuel exploration and extraction than any other bank in NZ.
      * Given the opportunity, I will support more nonviolent direct action to shut down fossil fuel profiteers.

      I’m no saint. I do as much as humanly possible, while living in a world that I don’t control (and don’t wish to). There’s probably more I can do, and for the sake of my many-times great grandchildren, and everybody else’s too, I will keep working on it.

  12. The reality of the predicament most people refuse to acknowledge:

    1. All industrial activity since the first copper ore was smelted about 8,000 years ago has generated CO2. Whereas until around 1780 carbon dioxide generated by industrial activity was absorbed by the oceans and/or converted into glucose by photosynthesis at about the same rate it was generated, since about 1780 the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased more than exponentially (an exponential function being one that increases by a constant percentage).

    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/wp-content/plugins/sio-bl

    2. Smelting ores, producing cement, making glass, textile manufacture, growing, processing and distributing food industrially, manufacturing solar panels and windmills, driving cars, operating heat pumps (and all other actions in an industrialised societies) all generate CO2 derived ultimately from carbon that was sequestered millions of years ago.

    3. Continuing to operate the globalised industrial economy and tackling climate change in a meaningful manner are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE CONCEPTS. We can either have present industrial arrangements for a little longer or a planet for our children to live in but not both (assuming it’s not already too late.)

    4. The rate of disruption of geochemical systems currently far exceeds that which occurred in previous Great Extinction Events, including the Permian Great Extinction Event which annihilated 95% of life on Earth..

    5. Rapidly shutting down current economic arrangements -the only action with any prospect of being effective- is an anathema to the bulk of the industrialise world so we can be certain it won’t happen voluntarily.

    6. Current economic arrangements are totally unsustainable (for resource depletion reasons and environmental reasons) and abandonment of present arrangements will eventually be forced on the participants.

    7. The longer the present system is allowed to persist the greater the degree of suffering to be experienced by our progeny.

    8. Even though current economic arrangements are in the process of rendering the Earth uninhabitable for humans (and numerous other species) and are certain to terminate, politicians are quite prepared to lie to the general populace on a continuous basis in order to keep current economic arrangements going just a little longer.

  13. Daily CO2

    June 6, 2016: 407.84 ppm

    June 6, 2015: 402.99 ppm

    Up 4.85 ppm

    I wonder how many people in NZ are aware of this catastrophic trend and what it implies. 100 people? 1000 people?

    Out of a population of over 3 million adults who are constantly lied to by the government, other political parties and the mainstream media, and on a daily basis are persuaded to keep squandering fossil fuels and keep raising the atmospheric CO2 burden there would certainly be fewer than 10,000 who recognise the dire predicament.

    (Note to self: do a survey.)

    I wonder whether ANY members of parliament regularly check atmospheric carbon dioxide trends or even understand what they are looking at if they do.

    Dr Megan Woods’ platitudes certainly do not impress at all. Norway committing to no fossil fuel cars being sold after 2025 is like an alcoholic who drinks a bottle of wine a day committing to drinking only 99.9% of each bottle a day and leaving a quarter of a teaspoon in each bottle 9 years from now.

    Norway currently extracts more than 1.5 million barrels (more than 240 million litres) of oil A DAY for combustion in Norway and elsewhere. We hear of no commitment to reduce oil extraction and burning (though geological depletion is reducing Norway’s extraction rate and it will eventually fall to zero).

    And, the construction and operation of electric vehicles generates nearly as much CO2 as the manufacture and operation of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. No traction in the fight to save the planet there. This has been known for decades.

    Meanwhile China and India have caught the car culture illness and are killing themselves as a consequence.

    Let’s face, politics is STILL all about orchestrating the conversion of natural resources into stuff and waste that will terminate most life on Earth in the fairly near future, and lying to the populace. And that is not going to change any time soon.

    • Humans think they are above ‘planetary’ issues, science and gward will save them. Hilarious as god, science and claims to virtue have ripped up life on Earth. How long will the ‘human supremacy’ mind set last, the dogma that sticks and won’t let go right up until the eventual near term end. We will have a huge push to ‘consume’ green con stuff and snuff ourselves right out.

    • “And, the construction and operation of electric vehicles generates nearly as much CO2 as the manufacture and operation of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.”

      I can’t see how this could possibly be the case unless you can show a number of things:
      a) electric cars cannot be manufactured without fossil fuels
      b) electric cars cannot be made locally for local needs, or transported using electric trains, or renewable-powered ships
      c) Amory Lovins is wrong that there are ways to add enough renewable electricity generation to a smart grid (through people buying electric cars installing solar panels on their roof etc) to cover both electric car use and other needs (see Reinventing Fire)
      d) people will always use cars as they are used now, not as a supplement to walking, biking, public transport etc such as when they need to transport something heavy, or go somewhere public transport can’t take them
      e) etc etc etc

      Perhaps you mean well, but over-stating your case like this, and ruling out every possible transitional tactic, is counter-productive. If you succeed in convincing us that humanity is doomed, and nothing we can can realistically do can make a difference, why shouldn’t we ignore the problem and party while the boat goes down?

      It’s only when people feel like its worth taking small but insufficient steps in the right direction, especially when we do it as part of a community of concern, that we overcome our paralysis, and become more informed and empowered to make more radical changes. The information you supply is important, but if you want to be effective in creating change, rather than just squatting on a perceived moral high ground, can I suggest that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down?

      • Industrial civilization has to stop, full stop. I have done everything I can, but looking at the clueless moron public it just isn’t going to change. It is a disaster in motion, happening right now and what are we doing? Business as usual, until we can’t!
        Watch the movie Experimenter and you will see why we are stuffed.
        I am getting an EV very soon, but I know it has a massive footprint before I even get in it. It is all ludicrous!

      • ‘I can’t see how this could possibly be the case unless you can show a number of things:
        a) electric cars cannot be manufactured without fossil fuels’

        Have you been following the discussion, or did this thought just emerge out of the blue?

        The extraction of ALL metal ores and the conversion ores into metals -iron, copper, zinc, aluminium, nickel, lithium etc. is achieved using oil and coal.

        Plastics are derived from oil which has been through refineries that use thermal separation and thermal cracking processes that are driven by burning oil or oil derivatives.

        Ceramics are made from materials that are mined and transported using fossil fuels and are processed using fossil fuels.

        If you can come up with an electric car that has no metals or plastic or ceramic components you will be into a winner!

        Then comes the matter of where the electricity to change you non-metal, non-plastic, non-ceramic car will come from, all electrical systems being ultimately dependent on fossil fuels.

        And finally the is the matter of the infrastructure on which you might drive your home-made car. All road surfaces are derived from fossil fuels and all road management systems are dependent on fossil fuels. The roads near where I live are resurfaced every 1-5 years.

        In other words, we have driven into a cul-de-sac and there is no way out because we cannot go backwards in time or undo what has been done.

        The predicament we are in is the result of what is referred to as a technology trap or a progress trap, (progress being an ever-greater distancing of a society from sustainability).

        Hunter-gatherers and peasant-farmers technology traps were miniscule compared to ours.

        Humanity, or at least the industrial sector of it (and probably all of it) is doomed because the majority of people are scientifically illiterate and clutch at any straw to avoid changing their way of living.

        Indeed, it seems that the vast majority of people in industrialised societies would rather lose everything and die prematurely in an unpleasant manner than change their thinking. So that’s what is going to happen. many are going to lose everything and die prematurely because they wouldn’t change their thinking. And take everyone else down with them, of course. And that’s the REAL crime.

  14. The debate is, can man influence the climate much? I think most people accept that man can influence the climate, it is the degree of influence that is the issue,. man has not harnessed the tides or gravity for example.

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