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White Flag

December 15th, 2008

The long-awaited White Paper version of the government’s emissions trading scheme is out. I’ve been too disheartened to read anything more than the summary so far. The target of a 5 per cent reduction on 2000 emissions by 2020 seems designed to secure the support of the Opposition, which will probably not be forthcoming anyway. That’s about the only defence that could be made for it.

The government’s main argument in favour of such a weak target is based on Australia’s relatively high rate of population growth. I have no objection to per capita, rather than national, emissions targets in the context of a contract-and-converge agreement leading ultimately to a uniform global allowance per person. But if you wanted to argue that way, the fact that Australia has one of the highest emission levels per person in the world means that our (interim and final) reduction targets must be more stringent than those of other countries.

At this point, the only real hope is that the Obama Administration will take a strong line on the issue. If it does, then the US-EU combination will dragoon recalcitrants like Australia into a sustainable agreement whatever Rudd and Turnbull might say or do about it.

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  1. BenFranklin
    December 19th, 2008 at 06:56 | #1

    You know its a political and not a scientific movement when they use words like “denier” to slime people who dissent from this fake consensus. Adding the slight tincture of “Holocaust Denier” to smear those who know AGW fake is real classy.

  2. Nettle
    December 19th, 2008 at 09:43 | #2

    All this kerfuffle about putting a price on carbon based on an as yet unproved theory about the impact of carbon on our climate. What about seeing it in perspective? A huge amount of the world’s resources have been poured down the hole of dubious financial schemes and policies also based on unproved theories. Why not add Bernanke et al into your hysteria group?

  3. Ian Gould
    December 19th, 2008 at 21:09 | #3

    Global warming “skeptics” are the funniest thing on the internet.

    Thanks for the laughs, guys.

    Meanwhile, back in reality;

    “Thirteen of the hottest years since records of global temperatures began in 1880 have clustered in the last 17 years. It is tempting – and it sure makes good headlines – to blame it on climate change. But does science support such a claim?

    According to new statistical research, it does. The recent glut of unusually hot years is incredibly unlikely to happen in a stable climate.

    Eduardo Zorita of Germany’s Institute for Coastal Research and colleagues calculated the probability of this happening in a range of scenarios.

    A key consideration is that the weather one year is not independent of the weather the year before. If it were, the odds of having any given temperature would be the same each year, and the likelihood of getting a such a 17-year cluster would be tiny – on the order of 1 in 10 trillion.
    Natural memory

    “An anomalous warm year tends to be followed by a warm year,” says Zorita, because of the way oceans store heat and release it slowly. “A devil’s advocate could argue that the clustering of warmest years at the end of the record could be simply due to chance, since the climate system has a natural memory.”

    However, even when Zorita included this natural feedback in his model, but excluded global warming, the odds of observing the cluster of record-breaking years was still about 1 in 10,000.”


  4. BenFranklin
    December 20th, 2008 at 01:52 | #4

    I’ve deleted a lengthy reprint of Morano’s lies, which has already been reprinted above. Nothing more like this please – JQ

  5. Tony G
    December 20th, 2008 at 14:48 | #5

    “Morano’s lies”

    Morano might be an anti AGW zealot and you can shoot the messenger if you want, but the message is loud and clear. The AGW science is far from settled and Morano has collated a comprehensive cross section of ‘scientists’ that are willing to put their hands up to confirm that fact. (debating exactly how many is a juvenile derision, considering more are coming out of the wood work as the planet cools)

    You can infer Joanne Simpson is not putting her hand up as a sceptic with the ‘Quiggin lie’ “a totally dishonest misquotation of Joanne Simpson”. The fact remains she said “as a scientist I remain skeptical.”

    No amount of deriding Morano or Quiggin lies will change the fact he has collated a comprehensive cross section of ‘scientists’ that are willing to put their hands up to being AGW sceptics.

  6. GreekAmongRomans
    December 20th, 2008 at 18:13 | #6

    Joanne Simpson also makes the point

    “One distinguished scientist has shown that many aspects of climate change are regional, some of the most harmful caused by changes in human land use. No one seems to have properly factored in population growth and land use, particularly in tropical and coastal areas.”

  7. Tony G
    December 23rd, 2008 at 22:59 | #7

    One only has to look at the temperature records to see “that many aspects of climate change are regional”

    A quick perusal of long established weather stations where the immediate
    surrounds have not been altered, so as to not subject them to warming from the urban
    heat island effect, which is due to a replacement of natural vegetation with
    manmade structures (buildings, parking lots, etc.) around thermometer sites.

    These un-heat island effected sites do not seem to indicate any recent warming temperatures, or any recent increase in the highest temperatures or any upward movement of the lowest temperatures recorded. It appears the ‘record’ highest temperatures were in the distant past.

    If there is global warming occurring you would expect it to be getting
    hotter with the highest temperature readings increasing recently. This doesn’t
    seem to be happening at these long established non heat island effected sites. Many other sites where the urban sprawl has encroached or the airports where the tarmac has been sealed show increased temperatures, but not these long established sites.




    I have included a few regional ones;









  8. Ian Gould
    December 24th, 2008 at 09:02 | #8

    So Tony how many stations did you look at to find the ones that supported your position?

    You know a while back I read up on the process for siting weather stations and adjusting for heat island effects.

    But I’ve forgotten some of the details so maybe you’d like to describe it for me and others and explain why you thinnk its defective.

  9. Tony G
    December 24th, 2008 at 11:30 | #9


    There are very few weather stations in Australia that are still operating and that have been operating continuously for a 150 years in the same spot( especially with a static local environment). The few ones that we have do not seem to support a recent warming.

    If you do find one that does support a recent rise in temperatures, it can usually be explained by a change to its localised environment and/or immediate development engulfing it.

  10. Ian Gould
    December 24th, 2008 at 12:55 | #10

    So how did you check the “static local environment”
    = field trips? Oh wait let me guess, a rise in temperature is proof that the local climate is being affected by the UHI and therefore the station needs to be excluded.

    While we’re at it I’m curious as to exactly what statistical tests you applied to the data to determine that there’s no change in the average temperature.

  11. Tony G
    December 24th, 2008 at 13:26 | #11

    So how did you check the “static local environment”

    Ian, you can get a good look at them in google earth or sites like this one ,which in some cases shows them in 1942.

    Ian if the hottest day on record was in say 1929 and not 2008, you do not need a statistical test to tell you that, just an accurate record of that event.

    ANyway Ian, I am putting up the white flag for this year, you won a few battles, but the war will continue when I return next year.

    Happy Hanukkah and have a safe and happy Xmas and New Year to everyone.

  12. January 20th, 2009 at 11:06 | #12

    “i think the deniers should put thier names on a big list to be handed to future generations, these are the people that screwed the planet”

    I’m late to this party, but heck: add me to the list! I am not convinced that AGW as currently understood is worth worrying about or doing much of anything about.

    Glen Francis Raphael
    New York, NY

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