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Weekend reflections

December 19th, 2008

It’s time once again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. As always, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. charles
    December 20th, 2008 at 08:35 | #1

    Another central bank buying commercial paper directly.


    At what point do we start looking at commercial banks as nothing more than retail intermediaries. In Australia they are effectively nothing more as the debt is effectively picked up by the government anyway.

    And when people work it out, how long before banks are regulated in a manner that force them to behave as responsible service provider for the central bank?

    And while I’m asking dumb questions, why didn’t the government pick up the 2 billion dollars worth of CBA shares on offer. If they had it would be 2 billion dollars of capital still in the economy that could be used to back more useful projects.

  2. Tony G
    December 20th, 2008 at 21:20 | #2

    By Bob Carter;
    Re published without permission from her here;


    THE Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model of dangerous, human-caused climate change has failed. Independent science relevant to supposed human-caused global warming is clear, and can be summarised in four briefpoints.

    First, global temperature warmed slightly in the late 20th century and has been cooling since 2002. Neither the warming nor the cooling were of unusual rate or magnitude.

    Second, humans have an effect on local climate but, despite the expenditure of more than $US50 billion ($70 billion) looking for it since 1990, no globally summed human effect has ever been measured. Therefore, any human signal must lie buried in the variability of the natural climate system.

    Third, we live on a dynamic planet; change occurs in Earth’s geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and oceans all the time and all over the world. No substantive evidence exists that modern rates of global environmental change (ice volume; sea level) lie outside historic natural bounds.

    Last, cutting carbon dioxide emissions, be it in Australia or worldwide, will likely result in no measurable change in future climate, because extra increments of atmospheric CO2 cause diminishing warming for each unit of increase; at most, a few tenths of a degree of extra warming would result from a completion of doubling of CO2 since pre-industrial times.

    These facts notwithstanding, the [Australian] Rudd Government is poised to introduce a CO2 taxation bill on doubly spurious grounds. It presumes, first, that dangerous warming caused by human emissions is occurring, or will shortly occur. And, second, that cuts to emissions will prevent significant amounts of future warming.

    There is, therefore, now a dramatic disjunction between scientific reality and the stranglehold that global warming alarmism has on planned Australian climate policy.

    Today’s public views about climate change are based upon 20 years of promulgation of dangerous global warming by what has become a hugely powerful coalition of self-interested groups and agencies.

    Beneficiaries of warming alarmism include individual scientists, managers of research centres, morally pretentious environmental non-government organisations, prestigious science academies and societies, bureaucrats from government greenhouse and climate agencies, big businesses poised for carbon trading (think Enron and Lehman Brothers), alternative energy providers, those in the media who remorselessly promulgate environmental alarm stories, and, last but not least, those uninformed politicians who seek political advantage from cynical exploitation of the public’s fear of global warming.

    The Australian Government does not possess a national climate policy; instead, it has an imaginary global warming policy, based on sub-prime science, sub-prime economics and sub-prime politics.

    In dealing with the certainties and uncertainties of real climate change, the key issues are prudent risk assessment and adaptive response. As is the case for other unpredictable and unpreventable natural planetary hazards, policy to deal with climate change should be based on adaptation to change as it happens, including the appropriate mitigation of undesirable socioeconomic and environmental effects.

    We therefore need, first, to monitor climate change accurately in an ongoing way; and, second, to respond and adapt to any changes — including long-term warmings, the likely more damaging coolings, and severe weather or climatic events such as cyclones — in the same way that government and voluntary disaster services now deal with hazardous natural events such as bushfires, droughts and floods.

    The main certainty is that natural climate change and variation are going to continue, and that some manifestations — droughts, storms and sea-level change, for example — will be expensive to adapt to.
    Adaptation will not be aided by imprudent restructuring of Australia’s energy economy in pursuit of the chimera of “stopping” an alleged dangerous human-caused global warming that can neither be demonstrated nor measured. In reality, too, our lack of understanding of all the climatic feedback loops is such that cutting CO2 emissions is as likely to “harm” as to “help” future climate.

    New Zealand already has a national monitoring and response system in place for earthquake, volcanic and flood disasters (GeoNet). This is linked, appropriately, to a parallel compensation and insurance system that recompenses victims of natural disaster (the Earthquake Commission).

    Even if generous funding were to be provided in Australia towards a similar preparation for climatic disasters (of which drought and flood relief are part), the net cost would still be orders of magnitude less than will be engendered by a fundamentally misconceived emissions trading scheme. To boot, contingent damage to the economy, the standard of living and the world food supply would be avoided.

    Attempting to “stop global warming” by limiting CO2 emissions is simply an arcadian fantasy, since making deep cuts to Australia’s emissions would at best help to avert or delay warming by about a miniscule one-thousandth of a degree.

    Australia needs a national climate policy that is rooted in sound science, sensible precaution, prudent risk assessment, and efficient and effective disaster relief. Lacking all such elements, the Australian Government’s global warming policy fails the basic test of duty to care for the citizenry.

  3. December 21st, 2008 at 07:49 | #3

    ?????? ??????, ?? ??? ???????? ?????-?? ?? ???????. ???????? ???????? ????? ??????

  4. Ian Gould
    December 21st, 2008 at 08:23 | #4

    Tony, reprinting articles in full without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

  5. stuart
    December 21st, 2008 at 09:20 | #5

    and I call BS on that entire article

  6. Ian Gould
    December 21st, 2008 at 11:47 | #6


    One of the major US carmakers is apparently in talks with Renault-Nissan to join Project Better Place.

    A national roll-out of the Project Better Place car recharging system is reportedly part of the Obama administration’s infrastructure spending plan.

  7. gerard
    December 21st, 2008 at 12:22 | #7

    Mike Connell, a top Republican IT expert directly implicated in rigging the 2004 election in Ohio, and key witness in the election fraud case underway there, has died in a plane crash after Karl Rove threatened him and his wife if he did not “take the fall”, in a clearly non-suspicious coincidence.



  8. gerard
    December 21st, 2008 at 12:33 | #8

    Bob Carter – marine geologist, member of Right Wing think tank Institue of Public Affairs, apologist for fossil-fuel industry funded research, with little if any standing in the climate science community – but one could probably have guessed as much by the fact that the Oz gave him a column.



  9. December 21st, 2008 at 13:12 | #9

    Strange how businesses get behind a plan once it is plain that there will be a lot of pork in there. I think the correct term is “rent seeking”.

  10. Ian Gould
    December 21st, 2008 at 13:39 | #10

    Andrew, why is it “plain”?

  11. Ikonoclast
    December 21st, 2008 at 21:35 | #11

    I wonder what planet Bob Carter is on? Clearly, he is not on earth. I’ve debunked a number of his arguments previously as have many others in this blog. It’s not worth wasting any more time on the AGW deniers.

    I have noticed that the deniers are becoming more and more hysterical lately. The image I get is of people with eyes screwed shut and hands clamped over their ears, screaming, “It’s not happening, it’s not happening.”

    That’s about the level of their arguments and their openness to evidence.

  12. Smiley
    December 21st, 2008 at 21:40 | #12

    I’ll give it a go Ikon, if for no other reason than to give Tony G something interesting to read for a change.

    From the Bob Carter article:

    First, global temperature warmed slightly in the late 20th century and has been cooling since 2002. Neither the warming nor the cooling were of unusual rate or magnitude.

    Barry Brook dealt with the “world is cooling” talking point in seminar 2 or 3 (I think) of this series and also in some older posts at his blog BraveNewClimate.

    Basically he has stated that “cooling” trends have been observed during other decades, but the warming trend has continued afterwards. Such anomalies are typical of “short-term variability”. You need to look at trends over a longer period.

    Again from Bob Carter’s article:

    Last, cutting carbon dioxide emissions, be it in Australia or worldwide, will likely result in no measurable change in future climate, because extra increments of atmospheric CO2 cause diminishing warming for each unit of increase; at most, a few tenths of a degree of extra warming would result from a completion of doubling of CO2 since pre-industrial times.

    I think that this post by Barry Brook quite clearly refutes that statement. Note where he states:

    In brief then, we are NOT currently feeling the impact of 450 ppm CO2-e. Because of aerosols and other cooling factors, we are most probably experiencing the partial result of the extra energy being trapped by about 375 ppm CO2-e. Indeed, we are not even feeling all of that, at least in terms of changes in air temperature, because so much energy is currently going into heating large bodies of water and melting huge chunks of ice.

  13. Tony G
    December 21st, 2008 at 22:16 | #13

    the “world is cooling”

    The anthropological global warming fraud has been replaced by a new messiah,
    “climate change”.

    There is going to be a few mortgages going into default when the masses realise that the climate still changes without government research funding. Not to mention the sullied reputations pinned to the mast of the sinking AGW ship, cooled by the rising tide of discontent and the falling temperatures.

  14. Ian Gould
    December 21st, 2008 at 23:03 | #14

    “The anthropological global warming fraud has been replaced by a new messiah,
    “climate change”.”

    While the term “climate change” has been around since the late 80’s – hence “International Panel on Climate Change” and “Framework Agreement on Climate Change” – it was the Bush Administration back in 2001 that decided (according to leaked internal memos) to substitute the less threatening “climate change” for “global warming” where ever possible.

    This double-barreled display of ignorance is quite remarkable even by the impressive standards Tony G. has set himself.

  15. Smiley
    December 21st, 2008 at 23:05 | #15

    The anthropological global warming fraud has been replaced by a new messiah,
    “climate change”.

    Actually I’ve read elsewhere and have seen at least one documentary where it has been suggested that Bush and Cheney started pushing the term “climate change” to soften the political impact. The term was then picked up by other republicans and gained wide acceptance.

    Yeah… it’s all a left-wing conspiracy isn’t it Tony!

  16. Smiley
    December 21st, 2008 at 23:09 | #16

    Oops, thanks for clarifying things Ian.

  17. TerjeP
    December 22nd, 2008 at 07:28 | #17
  18. Tony G
    December 22nd, 2008 at 08:32 | #18

    I haven’t got my temperature predictions pinned to a mast, so when it comes to trying to predict a future outcome based on a pseudo-science, we will see who the hot and cold “double-barreled display of ignorance” takes out .

    If it does turn out that we are experiencing a global cooling, as recent temperature readings indicate, are you fraudsters going to blame ‘that’ on anthropological activities as well or will we be allowed to to keep warm using fossil fuels in the normal way?

  19. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 10:09 | #19

    I suspect that rationalist fact-base3d side of this debt – the peopl you regularly slander as fools and liars – will admit any errors far more readily than you and your fellow delusional conspiracy-mongers.

    Hell, you have never even admitted directly that your claims The Rudd government had banned solar panels and abolished private health insurance were false.

  20. Ubiquity
    December 22nd, 2008 at 11:29 | #20

    The thing about AGW is that the science is still essentially unproven conclusively by scientific observation. If any one has conclusive evidence otherwise I would like to see it.

    OTOH their are many questions still left unanswered, such as the relevance of average global temperatures, the validity of climate model greater than thirty plus years into the future and the inevitable political,finacial gain, egos and agendas on either side of the climate change battle.

    It seems foolish, to me anyway, to implement huge changes to our society social structure, infrastructure and financial structure on the basis of a theory with many questions still unanswered. To make it worse it will be funded by government ponzi scheme that will fail once the population starts to become less productive.

    I guess the question that must be asked is, are you prepared to bet your house and life on the AGW theory? Some people aren’t, but I am sure many are sympathetic to the idea of looking after our world.

  21. nanks
    December 22nd, 2008 at 11:53 | #21

    The thing about AGW is if it is right and nothing is done then there is the possibility of flipping climate dynamics into a regime that is reasonably hostile to life. That’s a big downside.

  22. carbonsink
    December 22nd, 2008 at 12:10 | #22

    Ian Gould: It seems the Olympics hangover, the Chinese New Year, and the unseasonable weather continue to drag on China’s economy:

    Thousands of Guangdong Companies Close as China’s Exports Stall

    Slowing exports forced closure of 8,513 companies in China’s southern Guangdong province in October, more than in the first three quarters of 2008, state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported.

    Or maybe there’s some other explanation, like ummm, the worst global downturn in 70 years?

  23. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 12:15 | #23

    Carbonsink, I thought we were going to wait and see what actually happens rather than you maintaining your incessant barrage of anecdotal evidence.

  24. Tony G
    December 22nd, 2008 at 14:04 | #24

    ‘Changing the subject’ instead of discussing reasons to believe or disbelieve the merits of AGW , helps endorce my position Ian. (I notice AGW proponents often use this tactic as well as attacking the person and not the issues [you used both here]).

    “Hell, you have never even admitted directly that your claims….”

    OK Ian, I admit directly my claims that the Rudd government were to ban the solar panels or abolished private health insurance are false and an exaggeration of my position.

    Which is;
    (1)the Howard government subsidised too few panels and to his CREDIT Rudd doubled the amount of panels being subsidised to be 2 times too few panels. His resent change seems to be a further improvement and;

    (2)any policy forcing people to give up private health cover on the false premise that the public health system can cope with their requirements is crazy.

  25. Alanna
    December 22nd, 2008 at 14:08 | #25

    Merry Xmas to you too Terjp

  26. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 14:51 | #26

    So let’s not change the subject.

    Tell me Tony – did you hear about the follow-up research on theory that changes in cosmic radiation had a significant impact on global temperatures by changing cloud coverage.

    I ask because the follow0up research pretty much totally discredits the theory – and I’m curious as why the denialists who you claim are so passionate about factual accuracy and promoting debate don’t seem to have had a single word to say about it.

  27. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 14:56 | #27

    “The thing about AGW is that the science is still essentially unproven conclusively by scientific observation. If any one has conclusive evidence otherwise I would like to see it.”

    What would you consider conclusive evidence?

    Be specific.

  28. nanks
    December 22nd, 2008 at 14:57 | #28

    yes, Merry Xmas – from another atheist 😀

  29. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 15:07 | #29

    Personally as an atheist I prefer to celebrate Newtonmass – celebrating the life and works of Sir Isaac Newton who was born on December 25th (old style).

    Merry Newtonmass, everyone.

  30. nanks
    December 22nd, 2008 at 15:56 | #30

    Well spotted Ian, I will stumble and drop something in his memory 🙂

  31. Tony G
    December 22nd, 2008 at 16:19 | #31

    “What would you consider conclusive evidence?”

    evidence of warming, not cooling (pdf) as has been happening since 2002

    Taken from here Recent global cooling — news articles and interviews

  32. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 16:26 | #32

    Thank you Tony for showing that you don;t understand the difference between signal and noise.

  33. Tony G
    December 22nd, 2008 at 16:39 | #33

    More chilling noise

  34. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 16:46 | #34

    So tell Tony is the following sequence of number going up or down on average?

    1 1 2 9 8 8 7 8 7 8 8

  35. robert
    December 22nd, 2008 at 16:46 | #35

    But Isaac Newton wasn’t an atheist, was he?

  36. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 17:07 | #36

    No, far from it.

    But we actually know that he did exist and that he was born on December 25th and I’d argue that his legacy has contributed a great deal more good to the world than Christ’s.

  37. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 20:08 | #37

    So Carbonsink please grant us mere mortals further insights into your extraordinary and unique economic forecasting abilities (superior as they are to essentially ever professional economist who has looked at the issue of China’s growth prospects).

    1. To a pathetic imbecile such as myself it would appear that 75% fall in the oil price would result in a stimulus to the Chinese economy on the order of several hundred billion dollars. Now I’m sure you’ve taken that into account, but I’d like to know exactly what figure you assigned to this fall in imports and what the resulting stimulus on the Chinese economy was.

    2. Given that the economic crisis started in the US and resulted in the effective bankruptcy of large parts of the USA financial system, a mere mortal such as myself would tend to assume that the economic impact is likely to be greater in the US than in China. Since you’re effectively predicting a fall of 12%+ in Chinese economic growth (from ca. +11 to at least -1%), I can only assume that you expect an even greater fall in the US economic growth rate from ca. +2% to -10% or more.

    So is the US about to experience a more severe contraction than in any single year of the Great Depression or is my mere human brain simply incapable of comprehending your sublime and transcendent reasoning?

  38. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 20:17 | #38

    Tony @ 33

    I suspect that most people don’t bother to follow Tony’s links.

    But this one you really to see to believe:

    “The Next Ice Age – Now

    Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us”

    Yeah that’s the sort of factually-based non-alarmist science we need to counteract the AGW hypothesis.

  39. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 20:31 | #39

    I’m sure Tony will urge us to ignore to ignore the rampant insanity of the iceagenow.com website since what matters isn’t the messenger its the underlying reports collected from the media about record cold temperatures etc.

    Let’s try an experiment -type “heat wave” into News.google.com.

    “An unexpected heat wave hit metro Denver today, with the mercury hitting 30 degrees at about 1 this afternoon …”

    “Cape Town heat wave fans fires ahead of tourism season”

    “ADELAIDE’S record heatwave this year …”

    “2008, tenth warmest year on record since 1850, says WMO ”

    “IPSWICH and Gatton bore the brunt of yesterday’s scorching summer heatwave…”

    But I’m sure that’s totally different.

  40. mitchell porter
    December 22nd, 2008 at 21:02 | #40

    James Hansen’s latest is very interesting.

  41. mitchell porter
    December 22nd, 2008 at 21:17 | #41

    And here it is on Youtube.

  42. nanks
    December 22nd, 2008 at 21:59 | #42

    excellent paper mitchell – I shall pass it on. I was making a toned down reference to the Venus syndrome in my comment above.

  43. Ubiquity
    December 22nd, 2008 at 22:33 | #43

    Ian @ 27

    I won’t be dragged into answering an unanswerable question. Life is grey.It was rhetorical.Point scoring is fruitless.

    My point being that conclusive evidence on AGW is not possible, so then is all out revolution of society overnight justified and secondly will it stop a climate “armageddon” and thirdly what is the cost impementing AGW agendas if it turns out to be BS. According to Nanks his prepared to bet his “house” and lifestyle on this based, on his informed opinion.

    Their are others that are averse to change of the nature proposed by the pro AGW camp. A greener world policy is acceptable but taking a more conservative position on a science in its infancy, I am suggesting is more reasonable position based on the current evidence available.

    Our friendly but nihilistic environmentalist may still turn us into a totalatarian world, once the people lock in with the state on AGW what starts of looking social democratic, I fear may end up something like Mousilini Italy.

    Mitchell @40

    Is this the same “fear mongering” James Hansen,

    “If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore.”


    Find someone more credible, I mean trustworthy, who is pay check is no doubt subsidised by big Al.

    Point scoring has never been my style, but he is well ……. ??

  44. Smiley
    December 22nd, 2008 at 22:37 | #44

    The thing about AGW is that the science is still essentially unproven conclusively by scientific observation. If any one has conclusive evidence otherwise I would like to see it.

    And isn’t it interesting that programs which may have resolved any ambiguities have been pulled by the usual suspects. There is a reason for the war on science.

  45. Donald Oats
    December 23rd, 2008 at 18:26 | #45

    Ubiquity #43, which part of the scientific findings of Jim Hansen’s research team are (provably) incorrect?

    Merry Xmas everyone, and as Dave Allen used to put it, “may your god go with you.” [Obviously atheists may ignore that bit :-)]

  46. nanks
    December 23rd, 2008 at 19:22 | #46

    @Ubiquity#43 – I’m not worried about climate change for me at all. Much more important to my partner and I is that our children are prepared by being highly educated, mobile and pragmatically ethical. Good people having good lives. Or, for ‘green lite’, the ethics of ‘do no harm’, which is of course easier said than done.
    re informed opinion – I have some nonlinear dynamics from my work in neuroscience, but admit that it is rusty. I can understand Hansen though, and, courtesy of this blog, Barkley Rosser. His paper “All That I Have to Say Has Already Crossed Your Mind” answered in part a question I was going to put to this blog and touched on previously – Why the flawed model that seems to underly management/administrative practice? (ie that organisational dynamics are feasibly computable)

  47. nanks
    December 23rd, 2008 at 19:54 | #47

    of course my last post would sound better if I could spell – ‘underly’ 🙂

  48. Ian Gould
    December 23rd, 2008 at 20:18 | #48

    So basically, Ubiquity:

    1. You say no action should be taken until conclusive proof is provided (99.99999% probability isn’t enough) and also that conclusive proof is impossible.

    2. Action og global warming is going ot lead to a new fascist dictatorship

    3. James Hansen is being bribed by Al Gore.

    (You obvious have a whole different level of proof you require before engaging in criminal libel.)

    Presumably all the scientists who agree with Hansen are also being bribed by Gore.

    Tell me where you think Gore’s getting the money fall all this and what his motives are – apart from establishing a fascist dictatorship of course).

    Please don’t trot out “He owes a carbon credit trading company” since it’s simply not true.

  49. Ian Gould
    December 23rd, 2008 at 20:23 | #49

    It always fascinates me when skeptics claim their viewpoint is being censored and then supporting their position by posting the latest witless yammerings from the popular press by the like Christopher Boucher or Sen. Imhofe.

    Myaybe you guys need to be a bit more skeptical about people who claim they’re being censored and persecuted -week after week after week in major newspapers.

  50. Ubiquity
    December 23rd, 2008 at 21:55 | #50

    Donald #45 Hansens outfit at NASA were very sloppy when presenting data on Global Average temperatures in October of this year. This was followed by an admission of a GISS spokesman who explained the following,

    “GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen’s institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.”

    I guess, to be fair to Hansen it was probably an oversight, but intuitively I would suggest that the results were probably overlooked because they fitted the picture of the global climate agenda he is promoting and backing his reputation (and others) on. This is science “intoxicated” by politics.

    Nanks @ 46 thankyou.

    Ian @ 48 & 49
    Al Gore is not a climate scientist. Al Gore is “game show host” with an agenda to sell the deal. Good luck to him, but is this the way AGW should be sold to the world. Please find a more credible role model.

    My point as usual is that does the change to a greener world have to be so rapid given the many unanswered questions about climate change. I am certain the rapid change advocated by environmentalist and Hansen et al will have adverse consequences on our liberties. I personally would be happy and commited to make my life greener without the “strong arm” of the state. Give me the “invisible hand” anyday.

    What part of “Facism” does the proposed AGW solution by environmentalist not sound like this: (from wikepidia)

    “Various scholars attribute different characteristics to fascism, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: nationalism (including collectivism and populism based on nationalist values); third positionism (including class collaboration, corporatism, economic planning, mixed economy, national socialism, national syndicalism, protectionism”

    Yes its soft but grows once the ideological infrastruture is in place. Of course you may think the world is a static place. I think it evolves lets hope the decsions we make now we don’t pay for in the future.

  51. Ian Gould
    December 23rd, 2008 at 22:42 | #51

    “Al Gore is not a climate scientist”.

    Neither is James Imhofe.

    Has Gore ever claimed he was?

    Or has he been too busy bribing the National Academy of Sciences and the British royal Society to support him?

    I’m also fascinated by your rejection of the science of global warming based on your (absurd) beleifs regarding the likely consequences.

    Presumably as a child you didn’t believe in Measles because you didn’t like needles.


  52. Ubiquity
    December 23rd, 2008 at 23:14 | #52

    Al Gore and AGW, Kleenex and noses. No never claimed to be a scientist. But credibility and trust: Al Gore, AGW and climate scienitist would have a close correlation.

    You’re not fasinated just a little confused. AGW may be real, my question again, is the response proposed by AGW advocates, a measured one or one we will pay dearly for in the future. JQ current blog is relavant on N Taleb. Their are no contingencies and no safety nets. We keep trying to pick the right model, but it will always be flawed in some way. How big the flaw will depend on how big the bubble is (eg.governments subsidises). The bigger the subsidy the bigger the safety net needed to bail us out when it all comes crashing down. Show me a safety net or contingency measured against the great climate model response and I will reconsider my options.

    I will leave ” beliefs” up to Al Gore. I believe nothing without careful thought and analysis.

  53. Smiley
    December 24th, 2008 at 00:57 | #53

    AGW may be real, my question again, is the response proposed by AGW advocates, a measured one or one we will pay dearly for in the future.

    I’m extremely incredulous with the argument that we must keep consuming fossil fuels at unsustainable rate to keep the economy from faltering for two reasons.

    Firstly, we’re going to pay dearly for a business as usual approach with or without AGW. Almost everyone accepts that we won’t be consuming 30 billion barrels of oil a year in 30 years time and it will be a real problem for those of us who are less than 50 years of age. We know how inappropriate the current alternatives are for supplying our energy needs and we know that it will take time to develop the technologies and reduce our demand.

    Secondly we know if we reduce our reliance on mechanisation a lot of the work that needs to be done to keep our society functioning can be carried out manually. A carbon restricted economy will produce a lot more full-time jobs than the current economy does.

    In addition to this only some of the predictions of climate change need to be realised to destine future populations to a loss in the standard of living worse than any loss resulting from cuts in our energy consumption patterns.

    Our fixation with the dig-crap-out-of-the-ground-and-burn-it-economy is almost like the fixation that the Easter Islanders had with building statues to acknowledge their ancestors and appease their bird gods.

  54. Alanna
    December 29th, 2008 at 16:16 | #54

    I would really like to ask the question why we still (STILL) have planning laws that have permitted the construction of a vast number of units in the Sydney Metropolitan region over the past decade – each one so designed to leave not a shred of common property for an external clothesline – each unit mostly subject to body corporate by laws that prevent the display of washing drying on balconies. Our planning laws have automatic inbuilt climate change denialism embedded. Think of all those dryers in a country known for its sunshine desperately turning to get tightly wadded wet sheets dry in twice the time it would take the sun to do it. What madness presided over the the abhorrent state of planning legislation that has allowed this absurdity to occur?

  55. Alanna
    December 29th, 2008 at 21:59 | #55


    The Easter Islanders occasionally haunt me as well. We dont need scientists to tell us what damage production is doing to the environment – most of us have seen our own evidence of various different kinds (for me, no one swims in Lane Cove River anymore – despite two generations of my family swimming there – and the grey cloud over Sydney I could see from a hill in St Ives 35 years ago just got bigger and bigger).There are none so blind as those who choose to deliberately shut their eyes whilst stating that “they cant see” to any who will listen. It would be nice to suggest that some things can be done to halt the slide but it requires a government objective more immutable than the business objectives to seek favourable treatment. I dont like any of our chances.

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