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Monday Message Board

November 23rd, 2009

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

Categories: Economics - General Tags:
  1. Uncle Milton
    November 25th, 2009 at 11:05 | #1

    @iain

    It will be if it’s a 20% reduction, even with ag emissions not counted. We’re not going to get a lot more cows and sheep in the next ten years.

  2. Fran Barlow
    November 25th, 2009 at 11:06 | #2

    comment50

  3. iain
    November 25th, 2009 at 11:10 | #3

    UM,

    No, it very likely won’t. Reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions will be replaced by an increase in scope 3 emissions. Refer EU ETS for precedent.

    A 20% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions included in the CPRS, may, quite likely, still mean that total emissions across all scopes will increase.

  4. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 11:15 | #4

    Tony – I don’t want to be exposed to ionising radiation from nuclear fuel. However I don’t want to be exposed to chlorine gas or any number of other industrial hazards either. The fact is that some things are hazardous. What matters is how you manage the hazards. The recent leak at three mile island does not seem to have had any public safety implications. Even including the impact of the Chernoble disaster the nuclear power industry has a long and good overall safety record.

  5. Chris O’Neill
    November 25th, 2009 at 11:36 | #5
    And that’s the way science progresses, we can’t pretend to have perfect knowledge, we don’t.

    TerjeP:

    Is this the same as saying the science is settled? Or not?

    Trenberth was talking about modelling for weather, not climate. As regards climate, we could say that important parts of it are 90% settled, as the IPCC say about human cause of climatic warming.

    BTW, climate science denialists appear to be deliberately dense when it comes to understanding the difference between weather and climate.

  6. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 12:34 | #6

    No he wasn’t Chris. He made explicit reference to climate systems and the fact that they did not have a good grip on what was happening. Nowhere did he mention weather or weather models. Are you ignorant or just telling fibs for the fun of it? Either way it’s a bad look and you should stop.

  7. November 25th, 2009 at 13:48 | #7

    Terje;
    “However I don’t want to be exposed to chlorine gas or any number of other industrial hazards either”

    The difference between nuclear waste and other industrial waste is that the nuclear waste stays highly toxic in the environment for many years, where as the hazards associated with other industrial waste dissipate over a shorter time frame relative to nuclear waste.
    The long term risks associated with nuclear waste are too great and we should not bequeath those risks on future generations if we do not have to.

  8. Gaz
    November 25th, 2009 at 14:27 | #8

    TerjeP, how about you read Trenberth’s paper as Chris O’N suggests?.

    If you did, you might understand why has says at one point “global warming is unequivocally happening” but elsewhere argues that more detailed understanding is needed of short term fluctuations in the global surface temperature, like the cooling in 2008 (currently being reversed big time by El Nino), and why the two are perfectly consistent.

    It really is a mark of the intellectual bankruptcy of the denial movement that Trenberth’s comments (and Flannery’s admittedly clumsy attempt to put them in context) can be seen as some sort of admission that a global cooling trend is under way and can’t be explained, or that the climate system is so poorly understnad none has a clue what’s going on.

    This is from the intro to Trenberth’s paper:

    “While a long-term trend is for global warming, short-term periods of cooling can occur and have physical causes associated with natural variability.”

    This is what he wants to explain and Chris was right in describe it as weather. Weather is what happens in a climate system over short periods of time. Is that so hard?

    Oh, and by the way, all you people rabbiting on about how someone is supposed to have said “the science is settled”, why don’t you first check to see if a climate scientist actually said it?

  9. November 25th, 2009 at 14:57 | #9

    Its depressing for a number of reasons to see the LP riven with conflict over the ETS. On the whole it is a good party which provides much needed political balance and ballast to the anthropological delusionism of Left-wing cultural elites. But it is not doing much of a service to the nation by catering to ecological delusionism in its own Right-wing rural and regional base.

    Worse, even contemplating a move to make Kevin Andrews as leader is a case of self-harm. He was not such a bad Minister for Immigration, he showed considerable courage in the face of Left-wing thought police to voice reservations about taking in more difficult to assimilate refugees. And the Haneef kerfuffle was a storm in a tea-cup. Evans, by contrast, is a disaster, pushing immigration way beyond the carrying capacity of the land. But Andrews drew up Work Choices which makes him Public Enemy No 1 for working people.

    And from the nation’s point of view the spectacle of the LP being riven by delusionists is not a pretty one, even if reason and sanity prevailed at the end. Especially when it happens on the same day as a report predicting 4 deg C warming by 2065 with a BAU scenario. That would cause havoc for the children and grand-children of the current LP party room.

    I am pleased for myself because Turnbull’s victory in the LP caucus confirms my prediction first published around 16 months ago, that the LP would sign onto the ALP’s ETS. On 05 JUL 2008 I predicted:

    The LN/P will fall into line with ETS. More so than the ALP did with the GST.

    [snip]

    This is because the vast majority of the AUS populace are fair, reasonable and well-informed. And our political system reflects this.

    The failure of the LP Right in this stoush further strengthens to my major party convergence theory. So far as I am aware no other commentator or blogger got this prediction correct so far in advance.

    I was right. [ragged cheer rising from thinning ranks]

  10. Fran Barlow
    November 25th, 2009 at 15:08 | #10

    The LN/P will fall into line with ETS. More so than the ALP did with the GST.[...] This is because the vast majority of the AUS populace are fair, reasonable and well-informed. And our political system reflects this.

    Actually, they did it because the government made them an offer too good for the advocates of the big polluters to refuse. Who is going to knock back compensation starting at $7 billion and which will lead to practically no fall in emissions?

    Hearing Tony Abbott compalin about a the government using the ETS to hand out large gobs of money after they negotiated an increase in the handouts was most amusing.

  11. Donald Oats
    November 25th, 2009 at 18:21 | #11

    Newsflash! The Competitive Enterprise Institute is suing Gavin Schmidt. Deltoid gives the story at the end of the link.

    This is a classic strategy employed by bullies and thugs. If anyone is still thinking that the “sceptics” are merely some people who are a bit unsure about the science, think again. There is a hardcore group that are ideology driven; quite a few of them are also Intelligent Design wedgers. Sick bloody sick.

    Which brings me to a question: just because some research is taxpayer funded – more properly government funded, as governments can generate income from there operations – why should the lay public be expecting to access all and sundry research data/code/docs? What good is intermediate data, eg statistical preprocessing attempts to extract the strongest signal, for joe public? Face it, so few people have the expertise to understand the scientific principles that go into climate science (and other sciences, eg laser optics) that the code/data whatever is utterly meaningless to them. That is, until they start thinking they know what the scientists are doing better than the scientists themselves know.

    Don’t get me wrong; I believe the scientific glasnost, in which public websites, outreach programs, public lectures, and online open access research articles + supp data/code is fantastic. But we are on the cusp of sinking the ship with too much cargo. As far as I can see from the most recent excrable behaviour of data theft, the vast majority of casual commentators about the CRU emails don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

    I’ll give a couple of examples after dinner :-)

  12. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 18:30 | #12

    Regulatory compliance is such a burden isn’t it.

  13. paul walter
    November 25th, 2009 at 18:34 | #13

    Youve waited for that one for quite a few years, haven’t you, Terje?

  14. Alice
    November 25th, 2009 at 18:35 | #14

    @Donald Oats
    Well Don, Malcolm in the middle had a win against the lunatics in his own party. There is hope yet…mind you I am still mighty ticked off at the concessions they had to give the big polluters to get Malcolm in the middle to agree. Still, any teensy advance where the liberals get a hold of the fractured fruit loop denialist machinery in their own party is a positive advance. I actually feel sorry for MiM having to deal with them.

    Keep stepping to the left Malcolm. In about five years time you might get the current lunacy a la Tuckey, Minchin, Joyce etc out of the liberal national party. As for Rudd, in some ways any legislation on this is better than no legislation when you need a bunch of fruit loop denialist skeptics to get behind it. It hasnt proved easy has it? Now cut those benefits for big polluters next, after Malcolm in the middle has cleaned the sharp nutty edges out of that party ie labour two steps more to the left and liberals three steps to the left, given where they are, and its about time we got some balance back in both parties so the parties can actually connect with the electorate again.

  15. Alice
    November 25th, 2009 at 18:37 | #15

    @paul walter
    No he hasnt beein waithing that long Paul Walter – just mention the word government or regulation and Terje is in like Flynn.

  16. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 19:06 | #16

    Paul – I’m a patient man.

  17. Alice
    November 25th, 2009 at 19:43 | #17

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Patiently waiting for the world to change Terje?

  18. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 19:47 | #18

    Very patiently waiting for the world to change Alice.

  19. SJ
    November 25th, 2009 at 22:03 | #19

    Terje Says:

    When we have a computer model encapsulated in a piece of software that anybody with the appropriate hardware budget can download and run, and where it has for decades been pumping out acurate climate forecasts (rather than hindcasts) without any code modification I’ll be regarding the science of climate science as pretty much settled.

    For some reason, I’m picturing a bunch of moronic slobs sitting in a bar arguing against the national broadband network on the basis that they can’t find software that proves, in terms the morons can understand, that optical waveguides work.

    It’s laughable. The only conceivable reason they’d be having an argument like that is that someone else recognises their stupudity, and is exploiting them.

    Creationism, scientology, climate denialism, Amway, are all ways of collecting money or power by exploiting stupid people. The question you need to ask yourself, Terje, is whether you’re an exploiter or an exploitee, or importantly, just a wannabee exploiter who doesn’t have enough smarts to realise that you’re never gonna get what’s been promised to you by those higher up in the organisation?

  20. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 22:27 | #20

    For some reason, I’m picturing a bunch of moronic slobs sitting in a bar arguing against the national broadband network on the basis that they can’t find software that proves, in terms the morons can understand, that optical waveguides work.

    What an unusual imagination you have. Are the morons dribbling?

    It’s laughable. The only conceivable reason they’d be having an argument like that is that someone else recognises their stupudity, and is exploiting them.

    It is very hard to say for sure given that it’s your head producing the pictures.

    Creationism, scientology, climate denialism, Amway, are all ways of collecting money or power by exploiting stupid people.

    You forgot socialism.

    The question you need to ask yourself, Terje, is whether you’re an exploiter or an exploitee, or importantly, just a wannabee exploiter who doesn’t have enough smarts to realise that you’re never gonna get what’s been promised to you by those higher up in the organisation?

    Next time I’m at the bar looking for software that simulates an optical wave guide I’ll give your question some thought.

  21. SJ
    November 25th, 2009 at 22:37 | #21

    Those are all dodges, Terje, and don’t do you any credit.

  22. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 22:49 | #22

    SJ – you only asked one question. I assumed it was rhetorical.

  23. SJ
    November 25th, 2009 at 23:12 | #23

    OK, so you knew you were dodging. That’s OK. And you obviously know that the question wasn’t rhetorical, and that you’re still dodging. That’s OK too. Just so it’s all out in the open.

    Teh stupid… it burns.

  24. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 23:25 | #24

    You said it was a question that I need to ask myself. I generally take that to mean that it is something I should go away and reflect on not something that I should immediately deliver an answer to. In any case the question is clearly contrived and stupid. It seems to be based on some form of Marxist class issue. Given that you’re smarter than me you try and answer it.

    What am you?

    a) an exploiter
    b) exploitee
    c) a wannabee exploiter

  25. SJ
    November 25th, 2009 at 23:33 | #25

    Terje Says:

    It seems to be based on some form of Marxist class issue.

    I’m afraid that I’m going to have to repeat myself.

    Teh stupid… it burns.

  26. Ubiquity
    November 25th, 2009 at 23:44 | #26

    As far as science is concerned, political ideologies should be completely irrelevant. Those scientist at East Anglia forgot to apply this principle into their practice when communicating with their fellow colleagues.

    This corruption of science by the ideologies and their ideologues goes on all the time no matter what ideology you aspire to. I would expect same on all sides, when the pressure is on from the pollies to provide scientific evidence and consensus it is hard not to overstep the mark out of the of the world of science and into politics and its associated ideologies. Removal of rewards for such behaviour by parties who don’t understand that science is its own master, can minimise the problem, but it is the emotional connection with ones ideology which is the greatest polluter and contributor to politically corrupted science.

    Politicians should be passive observers, not pollute science by sheer force, for their own ends. Leave the scientist to do there job without a compulsion to deliver for their paymaster but rather to deliver results for benefit of society.

    To blame Libertarians is to completely miss the point, you should be blaming the scientists and politicians who forgot were science finished and politics begins. The Libertarians will always be skeptical of the sheer force with which a political system imposes itself on all aspects of our society including “the science”.

  27. iain
    November 26th, 2009 at 00:08 | #27

    “as far as science is concerned, political ideologies should be completely irrelevant”

    “you should be blaming the scientists and politicians who forgot were science finished and politics begins”

    Everything is political and subjective, even the hard sciences. What you choose to research, who funds the research, who determines research agenda, how you deal with uncertainty in data and results (and all hard science contains uncertainty), how you present your results etc. There isn’t a black and white line. Society just needs to manage this reality appropriately.

    Ignoring this reality is a sociology 101 fail.

  28. Donald Oats
    November 26th, 2009 at 08:26 | #28

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Yeah, funny how it was Bush that slipped through the “Data Quality Act”. Have a read of Chris Mooney’s opinion of the act and its intended consequences. Meanwhile, of course, Bush was deregulating the pre-GFCers who ran with it all the way to the bank – and nearly cost the bank(s) because of their actions. Na, I’m not in the mood to discuss politically motivated regulation as though it is prudent regulation.

    On the issue of RealClimate and the lawsuit against Gavin Schmidt: Chucking lawsuits at AGW-friendly websites in order to shut them down is distasteful in the extreme. In any case though, I cannot understand one of their points of contention – they go on about RealClimate being moderated by Gavin during his workhours, as though that is a problem.

    I don’t know about the USA, but in several of my jobs in the Australian science scene my work conditions had notional hours of work with flexible conditions, but the overall amount per week should at least match the notional. Usually it is way over and that is the case for many scientists – Pr Q has himself admitted to overcommitment on the workfront – so it is hardly exceptional for scientists to work beyond any notional working week. Furthermore, for senior roles my experience is that activities such as public education and outreach are part of the organisational goals, and they form part of annual performance objectives. Finally, senior staff are typically on contracts that have 24×7 requirements; eg, I was under the constraint that any invention, patent, etc that I wish to pursue outside of work is actually by default the IP of the organisation, unless they have explicitly granted me an exclusion. In other words, the work contract has no “off period”.

    Surely in the US senior scientists would have similar work contracts, in which case the contention about whether Gavin does website moderation during notional work hours or some other time, is really a moot point. Outreach and education are an expected part of the senior scientist’s role I would have thought.

  29. Ubiquity
    November 26th, 2009 at 08:46 | #29

    Iain, all you need to acknowledge is that those emails have implications far greater than the interest of adding to research in climate science. I also added this is something that I expect happens quiet often when politicians try to push the scientific agenda. This applies equally to scientist who have a political agenda. You clearly have failed to understand my point. You can disagree, but failure lies with the one who feels the most insecure and your defensive blogging only highlights this.

  30. iain
    November 26th, 2009 at 09:11 | #30

    lol, I’m pointing out a reality to you. You can ignore reality if you so chose.

    Go to Pielke and McIntyre and sprout your nonsense about politics and science being two completely separate spheres. thanks.

  31. Fran Barlow
    November 26th, 2009 at 09:23 | #31

    @iain

    Iain … Go to Pielke and McIntyre and sprout [spout] … sprouting is for plants…

    [/schoolteacher]

  32. iain
    November 26th, 2009 at 09:26 | #32

    heh

  33. Fran Barlow
    November 26th, 2009 at 09:26 | #33

    @Alice

    Well Don, Malcolm in the middle had a win against the lunatics in his own party.

    Actually he sold them on accepting less than what they would ultimately have been forced to accept if Rudd had had a modicum of spine and more political acumen …

  34. Ubiquity
    November 26th, 2009 at 09:33 | #34

    Iain you make a good preacher standing on a podium (with ear muffs). Now thats a funny look.

  35. iain
    November 26th, 2009 at 12:44 | #35

    Ubiquity,

    Politics and science aren’t completely separate. No amount of wishing on your behalf will change that reality.

    “you should be blaming the scientists and politicians who forgot were science finished and politics begins”

    There isn’t a black and white line. Society just needs to manage the reality that scientists are human beings appropriately.

    Ignoring that this reality exists (or wishing that it didn’t exist) isn’t productive.

  36. iain
    November 26th, 2009 at 12:48 | #36

    Alternatively, just point out where (you think) the line is and where (exactly) you believe it was crossed.

    Also, don’t forget to slander and “blame” scientists based on your interpretation of stolen emails whilst you are at it.

  37. Chris O’Neill
    November 26th, 2009 at 12:49 | #37
    Trenberth was talking about modelling for weather, not climate.

    TerjeP:

    No he wasn’t Chris. He made explicit reference to climate systems and the fact that they did not have a good grip on what was happening. Nowhere did he mention weather or weather models.

    You are still failing to understand the difference between climate and weather. Climate is the statistics of weather. So a climate model is something that produces statistics of weather since climate is statistics of weather. Anything that produces more than statistics, such as a forecast of actual events like El Niños, is doing more than climate modelling and is producing a weather forecast. This is one point where climate science denialists are being deliberately dense: El Niño etc. are weather events, not climate events.

    Are you ignorant or just telling fibs for the fun of it?

    No, but you’re being deliberately dense.

    Either way it’s a bad look and you should stop.

    Your look is absolutely appalling, like the look of the conservative parties.

  38. Fran Barlow
    November 26th, 2009 at 13:11 | #38

    @Chris O’Neill

    And if you look at the Trenberth quote, it refers explicitly to CERES in the lead up to his observation about “travesty”. This is an important piece of qualifying context which many journos missed.

  39. Donald Oats
    November 26th, 2009 at 13:46 | #39

    @Fran Barlow -
    Yes, that is one of the examples I have had in mind as a complete misrepresentation of what Trenberth meant. This scouring through emails by the denserati, looking for signs of dark intent, is crazy when they don’t even know enough to understand the scientific meaning – or English meaning – to make an accurate call. The ones who do know better, and who for example are perfectly aware of CERES, should not have clipped the quote so as to miss that. Furthermore, as far as I can see Trenberth is saying that in spite of the radiative imbalance over the last few years, since the temperatures have almost plateaued – albeit at higher than long term average global temperatures – the energy must be going somewhere into the system yet they don’t have adequate tracking of that currently. If the energy was primarily going into melting ice then that would be one explanation as why temperatures are not rising as rapidly now. Trenberth wants to improve the tracking so that questions like this are immediately answerable from the observational record or simulation, if I have understood the point correctly.

  40. Ubiquity
    November 26th, 2009 at 16:51 | #40

    Iain, A voluntary code of ethics that has wide consensus in the profession and those who depend on the profession is a good start such as,

    National Association of Science Writers

    @ http://www.nasw.org/about/ethics.htm

    or

    “The British government’s chief scientific advisor has set out a universal
    ethical code for scientists.
    Professor Sir David King has outlined seven principles aimed at building
    trust between scientists and society”

    “Code endorsed

    The scientific profession generally has high standards of integrity, and many scientists have a social conscience, according to Professor King. But there is no formal code of ethics.”

    “THE CODE
    Act with skill and care, keep skills up to date
    Prevent corrupt practice and declare conflicts of interest
    Respect and acknowledge the work of other scientists
    Ensure that research is justified and lawful
    Minimise impacts on people, animals and the environment
    Discuss issues science raises for society
    Do not mislead; present evidence honestly”

    http://blog.worldinfo.org/?p=4

    A brief google search for a political code of ethics didn’t bring up much but I guess I didn’t expect much.

    Also in your reply you addressed the following to me:

    “Also, don’t forget to slander and “blame” scientists based on your interpretation of stolen emails whilst you are at”

    your comments are slanderous and presumptious.

    At no point did I suggest a “black line’ a grey line is fine but I can see why it would make a consequentialist bitter, but rest assured I am a existential libertarian at heart.

  41. iain
    November 26th, 2009 at 17:19 | #41

    Ubiquity,

    Why are you saying we should blame the scientists? What are you blaming them for?

    On what basis? Please clearly outline why they should be blamed?

    It is slanderous for you to lay blame at the scientists based on the evidence so far. Or do you have evidence that no one else has?

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