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The circuit breaker

January 27th, 2010

The Greens have proposed a carbon tax as an interim measure to begin cutting carbon emissions. Although there are strong reasons to favor an emissions trading scheme over a carbon tax in the long run, I think it’s time to look seriously at this option. Here a few points in no particular order.

* since the price of carbon is initially capped under the CPRS, it’s just like a carbon tax in the short run
* the way to dispel public fear of a new tax is to bring it in. Look at capital gains tax and GST, both the subjects of highly successful election scare campaigns (in 1980 and 1993 resp) and both now uncontroversial.
* the capture of the political right by delusionism is now irreversible, as can be seen from the embrace of the obviously loony Lord Monckton. There’s no chance, now or in the foreseeable future of a deal with these guys. In particular, the version of the CPRS negotiated with Turnbull and briefly supported by the majority of Coalition members is unsalvageable in every respect. There’s no way the deal can be modified enough to get Liberal support now, and on the other hand it’s too much of a dog’s breakfast to take to a double dissolution.
* The Greens will almost certainly regain the balance of power in the Senate after the next election. Much as the government dislikes it, they are going to have to rely primarily on deals with the Greens to get legislation through in future. They might as well start dealing now.

In general terms, the government lost control of the debate with the defeat of the Turnbull compromise ETS last year, and has done nothing to regain it. Turning up with the same discredited compromise in February makes no sense at all. This is a time for firm action, not more delay.

Categories: Environment, Oz Politics Tags:
  1. carbonsink
    January 29th, 2010 at 15:54 | #1

    @jquiggin

    ask yourself why I think there is no point engaging in debate with these guys

    I’m asking myself why ProfQ is engaging John Coochey when he could be giving us his learned opinion on James Hansen’s tax-and-dividend idea.

  2. John Coochey
    January 29th, 2010 at 16:38 | #2

    That scared hegh?

  3. wilful
    January 29th, 2010 at 16:42 | #3

    So you can’t ask one simple question?

  4. jquiggin
    January 29th, 2010 at 16:48 | #4

    @carbonsink
    As regards the tax-and-dividend idea, it’s fine, but it would be better if
    (a) it was a cap-and-trade scheme with all rights auctioned
    (b) proceeds were directed primarily to low-income households rather than uniformly

    On (a), Hansen seems totally confused in thinking there is a big difference between auctioned permits and a carbon tax. More likely, he assumes, incorrectly, that permits must be given away and that a tax will be free of exemptions or lump-sum compensation. Obviously, on that basis a tax would be better.

    (b) is largely a question of distribution preferences and political packaging.

  5. John Coochey
    January 29th, 2010 at 20:13 | #5

    The central issue remains, if Monckton is “doing so much damage and is without substance why is Quiggin and others not only not prepared to take him on in open debate but not even prepared to say if he would do so or not? If I had the chance to destroy “the great Satan” once and for all and have that success trumpeted around the world then I would do so. I have frequently taken on hostile audiences and interviewers but Quiggin seems afraid to do so. He can prove me wrong by a simple stroke of the pen.

  6. Donald Oats
    January 29th, 2010 at 21:47 | #6

    @John Coochey
    You can prove that Monckton has a case by presenting a list of his most central claims that bring down the foundations of climate science as it concerns the specific issue of enhanced greenhouse effect due to fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions, and an accompanying list of evidence directly relevant to these central claims, and an accompanying logical argument based upon the current state of scientific knowledge.

    Trouble is, Monckton makes a jumble of politics, ideology and goodness knows what else, all of which is irrelevant to the science; only the advances on the scientific front are relevant to the question of anthropogenic global warming, and on that issue Monckton makes wild assertions rather than reasoned argument. Debating with such people simply keeps them on the gravy train, as people with an agenda to push fund them to continue their public spectacles. Since around $100,000 has gone into his current tour in Australia (at a minimum), it is fairly obvious that this is how Monckton makes his dough.

    As a direct question to you John Coochey, do you know what the going rate is for a climate scientist to debate Monckton would be? Would it be as much as Monckton gets for his side of the debate?

  7. Kerry Bos
    January 30th, 2010 at 09:54 | #7

    It is interesting to see the list of excuses (sorry, reasons) given by the climate change alarmist proponents for not engaging some of their champions in a face to face discussion (Ithink ‘debate’ is not the right word) with Christopher Monckton. One of their main claims rests on the assertion that he is unqualified and therefore not worth the time. The same excuse (sorry, reason) was given by Senator Wong’s Chief Scientific Advisor when she refused to enter into discussions with Professor Bob Carter and Dr David Evans: “I wouldn’t cheapen the debate, etc.” or words to that effect. I should emphasise that Monckton is no intellectual pigmy and people who so denigrate him do themselves harm.
    One of the main thrusts of the arguments of Monckton, Carter, and others is:”If CO2 is causing potentially catastrohic climate change (Note: it used to be catastrophic Global Warming) then where is the evidence. This the scientists from the CRU, GISS, and elsewhere have consistentently failed to do. If they had empirical evidence then they would be trumpeting it from the rooftops. What they do produce by way of ‘evidence’ are estimates from computer models which themselves are based on assumptions as to the way things work and as to what information is and is not included in the model. The famous e-mail from the ‘Team” lamenting the fact that the results derived from the model did not match the measured data and that therefore the data must be wrong says it all. The Mann ‘Hockey Stick’ is another example of scientific trickery.
    I could go on and on but will conclude by saying that the ‘science’ behind catastrophic man made climate change has lost all credibility

  8. Kerry Bos
    January 30th, 2010 at 10:47 | #8

    It is interesting to note that Christopher Monckton is consistent when he says:” Don’t believe what anybody says, including me. Look up the data for yourself.” And then he will tell you where to find it.That contrasts remarkably with the scientists from the “Team” who have shown extraordinary manoeuverability in their efforts to keep the data to themselves and who have shown a willingness, if confronted with a demand for their data, to lose it or even destroy it.

  9. Chris Warren
    January 30th, 2010 at 13:37 | #9

    Kerry Bos

    I get fed up with people, who say there is no evidence, get shown the evidence, then deny what they have seen is evidence.

    Incompetantly calling evidence “computer models”, “trickery”, or “based on assumptions” and etc.

    The evidence has been peer reviewed, the criticisms have been peer reviewed.

    We have seen all this artifical debates over cigarette’s and lung cancer, asbestos and lung cancer, and even going back to Copernicus when people like you refused the evidence that the earth moved round the sun.

    People developing findings in any field have the right to explain assumptions, develop and change datasets, provided their work passes peer review.

    So all your squabbling is petty, ignorant, denialist, dogmatic and useless.

  10. Chris Warren
    January 30th, 2010 at 14:22 | #10

    For all the denialists.

    Here is the data – comma separated values:

    316,317,318,316,315,313,313,315,316,316,317,318,318,318,317,315,314,313,315,316,316,317,318,319,320,320,318,316,314,314,315,316,317,318,319,319,321,320,319,317,315,315,316,317,318,319,320,321,321,321,320,317,316,315,317,318,319,319,320,321,322,321,320,318,316,316,317,318,320,322,322,320,319,317,317,318,319,319,320,321,322,322,322,321,319,318,317,319,319,321,322,322,324,324,324,322,320,319,318,320,321,322,323,323,324,325,324,323,321,319,319,321,322,323,323,324,325,326,325,324,322,320,320,321,323,324,324,326,327,327,327,326,324,322,322,323,324,325,326,327,328,328,328,326,325,323,323,324,325,326,327,327,328,329,329,327,325,323,324,325,326,327,328,328,330,330,329,328,326,325,325,327,328,329,330,330,332,332,332,331,329,328,327,328,329,329,331,331,333,333,332,331,329,327,327,328,330,331,331,332,333,334,333,332,330,329,328,329,332,333,333,335,335,334,333,331,329,329,330,332,333,333,335,336,337,336,335,333,331,331,332,333,335,335,337,338,338,338,336,334,332,332,334,335,336,337,338,339,339,339,338,336,334,334,335,337,338,338,340,341,341,341,339,337,336,336,337,338,339,341,342,343,343,343,341,339,337,337,339,340,341,342,343,344,344,343,342,340,338,338,339,341,341,343,343,345,346,345,344,342,340,340,341,343,344,345,345,347,347,345,343,341,342,343,344,345,346,347,348,349,348,346,345,343,343,344,346,346,347,348,350,350,350,348,346,345,344,346,347,348,349,350,351,352,351,350,348,346,346,348,349,350,352,352,354,354,354,353,350,349,349,350,351,353,353,354,355,356,355,354,351,350,350,351,353,354,355,355,356,357,356,355,353,351,351,353,354,355,356,357,358,359,358,356,354,352,352,354,355,356,357,358,359,359,359,357,355,353,353,354,355,357,357,358,359,360,359,357,355,354,354,355,357,358,359,360,361,361,361,359,357,355,356,357,359,360,361,362,363,364,363,362,359,358,358,359,360,362,363,364,364,365,365,363,361,359,359,361,362,363,364,364,366,366,365,364,362,360,360,362,364,365,366,367,368,369,369,368,366,364,364,365,367,368,369,369,371,371,370,369,367,365,365,367,368,369,369,370,372,371,372,370,368,367,367,368,370,370,371,372,373,374,373,372,370,368,368,370,371,372,373,374,375,376,375,374,372,371,371,372,374,375,376,377,378,379,378,377,374,373,373,375,376,377,378,379,380,381,380,377,376,374,374,376,378,378,380,381,382,382,382,381,379,377,377,378,380,381,382,383,385,385,384,382,380,379,379,380,382,383,384,384,386,387,386,384,382,381,381,382,384,385,386,386,387,389,388,386,384,383,383,384,386,387,387,389,389,390,389,388,386,385,384,386,387,

    Here is the source:

    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

    How is this not proof of CO2 concentration increase. Where are wrong assumptions? Where is there scientific trickery?

    A change from 320 to 380 is over 18%.

  11. iain
    January 30th, 2010 at 14:23 | #11

    @Kerry Bos

    The data is publicly available. A central link page is here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    Please highlight the significant gaps or deficiencies in this public data that changes any of the recommendations or conclusions of the IPCC AR4. If you cannot do this, then please withdraw your comment.

  12. sHx
    January 30th, 2010 at 15:21 | #12

    @jquiggin

    John, I am very sincere in what I said. I am/was Greenie for the last ten years and I am sick and tired of the dogmatic devotion of the Green movement to the uncertain AGW science and the expensive policy responses it seeks. I am considering voting informal in the elections this year since I cannot bring myself to vote for a right wing party.

    As for Monckton, I don’t like him and have paid little attention to what he says. Neither do I have much time for right-wing bloggers like Bolt and Nova. I am still a leftie and frankly it is very lonely being a leftie and an AGW skeptic at the same time. But I have tremendous respect for Ian Plimer. He earned my respect 15 years ago when he challenged an ‘Arkologist’ in public and in court. Plimer’s actions were based on principle and he almost lost his house as a result. I haven’t read Plimer’s book but I have read the attacks launched on his personal integrity and I am disgusted by it.

    As for those incredulous half-wits out there who label any contrarian a ‘troll’, well, here is a piece of what I said in one of those sceptical blogs several months ago when I was still and agnostic on the issue:

    I have been a life long liberal, leftist, greenie, or whatever you may call it, but I consider myself neither a sceptic nor a supporter of the AGW claims for the simple reason that this is a scientific debate not a political one. The reason I refuse to take part in this argy-bargy is because I am not persuaded by the claims of either side. Sceptics would like us to believe that all the evidence pulled in from various scientific fields is just a merry coincidence conjured by a small, self-serving group pushing forward a non-scientific interest. The advocates are acting like biblical doomsayers. Not only is there a global warming, they would have us believe, but it is definitely human-induced and, if we don’t do anything big and drastic very, very soon, it will be the end of humanity.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/the-climate-of-climate/#comment-10912

    .
    If you must know, it was the shady scientific practices and the uncertainty in climate science, as revealed in the East Anglia emails, that finally tipped me over to the sceptics’ side. The AGW faithful are still in denial about the degree of negative impact the revelations had and will continue to have on the credibility of science in general and climate science in particular.

  13. Fran Barlow
    January 30th, 2010 at 15:30 | #13

    @sHx

    Your comment above is self contradictory, and your last line shows that your grasp of the science was thin.

    Nothing in the emails revealed poor scientific practice or uncertainty about the science.

  14. sHx
    January 30th, 2010 at 16:21 | #14

    @Fran Barlow

    Compelling argument. I am all yours.

  15. Donald Oats
    January 30th, 2010 at 17:26 | #15

    @sHx

    As I’ve said elsewhere and in this forum, Ian Plimer’s book and his basic thesis largely miss the point – and on the book H&E, Plimer has made far more errors and mis-citing, mis-quoting or misrepresention of cited texts than expected from a professor. As someone who has at least some knowledge of Plimer from the people I knew in Adelaide a long time ago, I must say I was astonished at just what an apalling effort H&E turned out to be.

    With regards to the emails snatched from CRU, the biggest problem is that where they refer to personal attitudes concerning other individuals, we are all missing the rest of the detail like the history of individuals’ personal relationships and even their personalities. I did not like what I saw in some emails that I did read but I am equally aware of the manner in which sarcasm, in-house fooling around (on a particular topic), and other forms of implicitly conveyed ideas can be totally mis-understood when moved from face-to-face conversation and plopped into an email or two. Anyone old enough to have witnessed the flame wars in the late 80s and early 90s, as AOL newbies flooded the newsgroups (a precursor to the blogs of today) and totally misunderstood the oldtimer’s online culture, would appreciate that jumping to conclusions on what an email is really saying leads to a high rate of erroneous conclusions (and starts yet another flame war, but that’s another millienium ago now).

    The saddest thing about this – besides the political ramifications concerning delayed action – is the way in which other vested interests are exploiting this as a great way of destroying the public’s opinion as to the value and the validity of science as a means to discovery of how nature ticks. Strong Roman Catholics (I’m sorry I’m “bashing” them once again but the evidence is there) believe in large families, or at least removing impediments to having large families; various business groups and governments fear what a reduction in population growth rates would mean to their own economic growth; and, Libertarians are not by and large in favour of restrictions to the behaviour of an individual by government. The upshot of this is an amplification of many AGW deniers’ propaganda – it is just a fact of life, unfortunately. The few sceptics concerning aspects of AGW science have little chance of being heard unless they are publishing scientists with a respectable track record. The few I know of still share the view that AGW is basically correct – it is in aspects of the intricacies of the technical arguments that they have some scepticism.

    In wrapping up I would simply say that misinformed scepticism on AGW is easy to create, and the active denialists rely on it. So long as they present their version of the facts with enough truthiness to dodge immediate rejection by their audience, they can manufacture misinformed scepticism. My advice is to stay with the empirical evidence and the quantitative theories that have predictive power, and that should be convincing enough. Sophistry of the Monckton school is to steal from Obama, “nothing but empty rhetoric.”

  16. January 30th, 2010 at 18:17 | #16

    @carbonsink
    Raising energy cost (Fee & Dividend) increases forestry & more diverse land use by a combination of product substitution and return on investment question/harvest frequency changes.

    Cheap energy allows lots of product substitution. Steel and concrete for timber of every thing from houses to ships. Petrol & diesel fueled cars, trucks and trains for horses powered by hay. Synthetics for natural fibre. What this has done is remove a lot of demand to use our land surface for things other that food. In each case new fossil fuels replaced old solar based systems.

    Cheap energy has also meant we’ve been able to substitute artificial fertility for natural fertility.

    When the cost of energy is low, low return annual harvest systems make sense. When you dramatically raise the cost of energy, high return long rotation systems make more sense. We’ll always need a fair amount of annual harvest systems, our staple carbohydrate food stuffs are generally produced from them. If you harvest a system annually, the return is typically between 6% & 10%[1]. Plantation systems can return from 34% (over 6 years) to 310% (over 90 years). Harvest a natural system and you can get 1100% (over 300 years). If you have a cheap energy to drive an annual harvest, you can get more out of given area, over time. But the law of diminishing returns apply to the energy inputs.

    Raise energy costs and some of these reverse. In construction I can easy see a time when steel and concrete are only used extensively in public building, where the engineering demands require them. Hoping we don’t have to go all the way down to riding and working horses, and building ships from oak again.

    I’ve done some ‘back of the envelope’ calculations. They are based on EMERGY figures; Corn yielding at a 1.10 ratio and Radiate pine yielding at a 2.10 ratio, over 24 years. The figures also assume no cost to moving energy use between years and no yield from unused land.

    Say it taken 1000 unit of energy to grow and harvest corn. The harvested corn yields 1100 units of energy. Over 24 years that’s a net gain of 2400 units of energy, for 24000 units in.

    Now double the cost on energy. The farmer can now only afford 500 unit/year or 12000 in total.

    If the farmer just plants corn, he can only use half the land. That 500 units of energy in and yields 550 units of energy. Over 24 years that’s a net gain of 1200 units of energy, for 12000 units in.

    But if the farmer plants 47% to corn each year and plants 53% to Radiate pine in the first year, here’s what the farmer gets. 530 units are used to plant & harvest the pines plus 24 times 470 units to grow the corn each year. Total energy in is 11810 units (11280 units for corn + 530 unit for pines). The net gain over 24 years is 1711 unit (1128 from corn, 583 from pine).

    By using a corn pine mix, the drop in production expected with a halving in energy usage can be reduced from a 50% drop to a 29% drop.

    @Fran Barlow
    Fran, we have a fundamental difference of option on how to tackle global warming.

    My view is that a ETS that tackle carbon directly is only treating the symptoms. I think the best results will come from a Fee & divided system the tackle the root cause, burning fossil fuels for energy.

    agriculture in its broadest sense along with other land use changes contribute a lot.

    True, but it was the cheap energy that made this simplification possible. Remove cheap energy and one of three things happen. The land will continue to be farmed, without cheap energy to drive artificial fertility, farming will revert to a higher carbon mosaic we talked of before. Some land will be abandoned and without interference will revert to more complex, diverse higher carbon state. Other land will be abandoned, but be so degraded that it won’t recover to a diverse higher carbon state. This is one place what some of the dividend could be spend.

    …all one really needs to do is to work out what, above and beyond that, a particular enterpise generates.

    There is a paper tiger that will never work.

    I would advise farmers to avoid all greenhouse gases abatement permits completely. They represent financial risks. Farmers take on enough risk as it is via the risk inherent in the business (climate risk, via the weather and financial risk, via commodity price variation). They don’t need any more. Permits are potentially another Swiss Franc Loans fiasco.

    There is the risk that government will do thing that ultimately collapses the market, leaving the farmer out of pocket. Just look at how the federal government issues Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to encourage people to invest in solar hot water (without spend its own money) and ended up issuing so many that it collapsed the whole market. The collapses of the REC market currently threatens multi million dollar investments made by cane grower co-ops in northern NSW.

    Imagine selling permit at $20/tonnes and planting the trees. Ten years down the track, half die of disease or get burned in a fire. The farmer is then forced to market to replace the lost carbon at the current market price of say $180/tonnes.

    Ultimately farmers should decide to move to way from fossil fuel intensive farming methods to shield them selves from dramatically escalating energy cost. Unfortunately this is a catch 22, farmer can’t get the returns they need to support these change until high energy costs increase the prices they get a market!

    Having said all thing, I recognise that the ETS is the favourite, exactly because it does not act directly against fossil fuels.

  17. January 30th, 2010 at 18:20 | #17

    Err, forget the reference

    [1] David Holmgren, Permaculture Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability, p 65-7

  18. Kerry Bos
    January 30th, 2010 at 19:01 | #18

    @Chris Warren
    There seems to be a certain anger in your remarks. I am conscious that this has been a characteristic of the AGW issue. It is not confined to proponents of AGW. The opponents can be pretty tetchy at times too. However, I can’t think of a scientific controversy in which, when people question a hypothesis, they have been attacked and at times vilified because they had the temerity to question what was purported to be the majority wisdom.
    You suggested that the computer model ‘evidence’ had been peer reviewed. I think that the “Climategate” e-mails tells us enough about the ‘peer review’ process. The IPCC’s Himalayan glacier melting fiasco is an indictment of that process. As for the reliance on computer models as ‘evidence’, peer reviewed or not, the several models cannot agree and the IPCC, with the aid of such models, was able to produce a projected temperature rise, including error bars which, in retrospect, was far from reality.
    I’m sorry that you are so angry. It’s not good for your health. You should try to be calmer.

  19. nanks
    January 30th, 2010 at 19:37 | #19

    @Kerry Bos
    your concern is incredibly touching – so much so that I no longer believe AGW is a problem. Thankyou so much

  20. Chris Warren
    January 30th, 2010 at 19:40 | #20

    @Kerry Bos

    Poor Kerry, I’m not angry – just fed up with people who say there is no evidence, get shown the evidence (below) then say there is no evidence. In truth I’m laughing my head-off…….

    We have seen all this artifical debate over cigarette’s and lung cancer, asbestos and lung cancer, and even going back to Copernicus when people like you refused the evidence that the earth moved round the sun.

    All your squabbling is petty, ignorant, denialist, dogmatic and useless.

    If you want to claim trickery, then here is the data: – comma separated values:

    316, 317, 318, 316, 315, 313, 313, 315, 316, 316, 317, 318, 318, 318, 317, 315, 314
    313, 315, 316, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 320, 318, 316, 314, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318
    319, 319, 321, 320, 319, 317, 315, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 321, 321, 320
    317, 316, 315, 317, 318, 319, 319, 320, 321, 322, 321, 320, 318, 316, 316, 317, 318
    320, 322, 322, 320, 319, 317, 317, 318, 319, 319, 320, 321, 322, 322, 322, 321, 319
    318, 317, 319, 319, 321, 322, 322, 324, 324, 324, 322, 320, 319, 318, 320, 321, 322
    323, 323, 324, 325, 324, 323, 321, 319, 319, 321, 322, 323, 323, 324, 325, 326, 325
    324, 322, 320, 320, 321, 323, 324, 324, 326, 327, 327, 327, 326, 324, 322, 322, 323
    324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 328, 328, 326, 325, 323, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 327, 328
    329, 329, 327, 325, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 328, 330, 330, 329, 328, 326, 325
    325, 327, 328, 329, 330, 330, 332, 332, 332, 331, 329, 328, 327, 328, 329, 329, 331
    331, 333, 333, 332, 331, 329, 327, 327, 328, 330, 331, 331, 332, 333, 334, 333, 332
    330, 329, 328, 329, 332, 333, 333, 335, 335, 334, 333, 331, 329, 329, 330, 332, 333
    333, 335, 336, 337, 336, 335, 333, 331, 331, 332, 333, 335, 335, 337, 338, 338, 338
    336, 334, 332, 332, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 339, 339, 338, 336, 334, 334, 335
    337, 338, 338, 340, 341, 341, 341, 339, 337, 336, 336, 337, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343
    343, 343, 341, 339, 337, 337, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 344, 343, 342, 340, 338
    338, 339, 341, 341, 343, 343, 345, 346, 345, 344, 342, 340, 340, 341, 343, 344, 345
    345, 347, 347, 345, 343, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 348, 346, 345
    343, 343, 344, 346, 346, 347, 348, 350, 350, 350, 348, 346, 345, 344, 346, 347, 348
    349, 350, 351, 352, 351, 350, 348, 346, 346, 348, 349, 350, 352, 352, 354, 354, 354
    353, 350, 349, 349, 350, 351, 353, 353, 354, 355, 356, 355, 354, 351, 350, 350, 351
    353, 354, 355, 355, 356, 357, 356, 355, 353, 351, 351, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358
    359, 358, 356, 354, 352, 352, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 359, 359, 357, 355, 353
    353, 354, 355, 357, 357, 358, 359, 360, 359, 357, 355, 354, 354, 355, 357, 358, 359
    360, 361, 361, 361, 359, 357, 355, 356, 357, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 363, 362
    359, 358, 358, 359, 360, 362, 363, 364, 364, 365, 365, 363, 361, 359, 359, 361, 362
    363, 364, 364, 366, 366, 365, 364, 362, 360, 360, 362, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369
    369, 368, 366, 364, 364, 365, 367, 368, 369, 369, 371, 371, 370, 369, 367, 365, 365
    367, 368, 369, 369, 370, 372, 371, 372, 370, 368, 367, 367, 368, 370, 370, 371, 372
    373, 374, 373, 372, 370, 368, 368, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 375, 374, 372
    371, 371, 372, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 378, 377, 374, 373, 373, 375, 376, 377
    378, 379, 380, 381, 380, 377, 376, 374, 374, 376, 378, 378, 380, 381, 382, 382, 382
    381, 379, 377, 377, 378, 380, 381, 382, 383, 385, 385, 384, 382, 380, 379, 379, 380
    382, 383, 384, 384, 386, 387, 386, 384, 382, 381, 381, 382, 384, 385, 386, 386, 387
    389, 388, 386, 384, 383, 383, 384, 386, 387, 387, 389, 389, 390, 389, 388, 386, 385
    384, 386, 387, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Here is the source:

    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

    How is this not proof of CO2 concentration increase. Where are wrong assumptions? Where is there scientific trickery?

    A change from 320 to 380 is over 18%.

  21. chrisl
    January 30th, 2010 at 20:26 | #21

    Good work Chris Warren. You have tracked a minor greenhouse gas but what about the big one?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7101004/Water-vapour-is-a-major-cause-of-global-warming-and-cooling-find-scientists.html

  22. Freelander
    January 30th, 2010 at 20:35 | #22

    @chrisl

    If you were able to read more than the headlines, you would have read that these ‘cooling’ effects are self-limiting, and may reverse anyway. Hence, although the rate of warming has slowed for a while, warming certainly has not ended.

  23. Chris Warren
    January 30th, 2010 at 21:01 | #23

    chrisl :
    Good work Chris Warren. You have tracked a minor greenhouse gas but what about the big one?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7101004/Water-vapour-is-a-major-cause-of-global-warming-and-cooling-find-scientists.html

    The data was not presented to track a greenhouse gas. It was presented to test stupid denialists claims that refereed underpinning data of the global warming thesis was compiled with “trickery” or with false “assumptions”.

    So… what’s your point.

    Global warming could correlate with increased water vapour, methane too, but CO2 as well. CO2 and methane are gases water vapour probably exists in two states (gas and suspended liquid). Water vapour may well have a different effect to gases.

    I think you have jumped onto some tangent that just piles confusion on top of denial.

  24. Chris O’Neill
    January 30th, 2010 at 22:55 | #24

    sHx:

    But I have tremendous respect for Ian Plimer.

    The following was pointed out about something in Plimer’s book on Lateline 15/12/2009:

    he for once gives a reference to that claim, so you’re able to go back and check the reference and see if indeed it says what he says it says. And do you know what, it says precisely the opposite of what he says. It’s a paper by Charles F. Keller and it said that the recent data from satellite and radio sons, which are weather balloons, the recent data blows away the contention that there has been no further warming. And what does Plimer do? He takes that bit, saying, “No further warming,” and suggests that the paper is claiming that the satellites and radio sons show there’s been no further warming. Again, turning round the conclusions 180 degrees, straightforward scientific fraud.

    Anyone who thinks Plimer has any credibility in Climate Science is deliberately ignoring the facts.

  25. January 30th, 2010 at 23:25 | #25

    “Anyone who thinks Plimer has any credibility in Climate Science is deliberately ignoring the facts.”

    Chris O’Neill you are an idiot.

  26. January 30th, 2010 at 23:46 | #26

    Pilmer’s back ground is as a geologist. If he had any authority, wouldn’t in be in peak oil instead. Given his links to mining, his views are conflicted in both areas!

  27. Alice
    January 31st, 2010 at 00:04 | #27

    @Tony G
    Tony G – thats a big call coming from you.

  28. Alice
    January 31st, 2010 at 00:12 | #28

    My god – what has happened in here?

    I was put in the sin bin with Philo and Alicia (who somehow didnt notice)…and now…every denialist rationalist loony indoctrinated by catelpsy is bumbling around in here like zombies, crashing into each other and dragging down the whole tone of the discussion…

    Its a mess!

  29. Chris O’Neill
    January 31st, 2010 at 02:07 | #29

    Tony G deliberately ignores facts. That makes him an idiot.

  30. Rationalist
    January 31st, 2010 at 08:22 | #30

    @Alice
    One post per thread per day Alice, that is what the boss said :) . I prefer you to tame your slinging at me please, I am always courteous even towards people who I feel are misguided. I trust you will provide me with the same courtesy? Thanks :) .

    I still can’t get passed how the Earth existed with many tens or hundreds of times concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere while simultaneously being cold enough to yield an ice age.

    I really do question the causality of CO2 concentration and warming. Not only do I know that there is no causation, it has been proven by individuals like Plimer and Monckton that there is situations where there has been no correlation either! So the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere has no correlation and not even any causation with global temperatures over the long term. The 180 year blip that we have measured through is far from geologically significant, keep in mind.

    Rather remarkable.

  31. Alice
    January 31st, 2010 at 09:44 | #31

    @Rationalist
    Rationalist – now be rational and locate precisely where I addressed any post to you recently?. Your name belongs generically to the english language and last I heard…no-one has any private intellectual property rights over its use including you…so no slinging there….Id put in a smiley but Ive forgotten how. Two little posts = one big one. Be fair ratio!

  32. Chris O’Neill
    January 31st, 2010 at 13:30 | #32

    Rationalist:

    I still can’t get passed how the Earth existed with many tens or hundreds of times concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere while simultaneously being cold enough to yield an ice age.

    Show me where in this graph the CO2 concentration was “hundreds of times” what it is now.

    Once you’ve done that, show us your data that shows CO2 “hundreds of times” what it is now at the same time as an ice age.

    Rationalist’s problem is that when he doesn’t understand what the vast majority of scientists are saying, he doesn’t do what a reasonable person does and try to find out more about the science, he assumes he’s right and the vast majority of scientists working in the field are wrong. With an arrogant attitude like that, it’s probably not surprising that he/she calls himself/herself “Rationalist”. Rationalist? Sure. If you say so.

    Not only do I know that there is no causation, it has been proven by individuals like Plimer and Monckton

    Ahahaha. Not only is Rationalist arrogant, he’s also gullible. I pointed out on this very page (comment #24) where Plimer has been shown to be a scientific fraud and completely avoided defending his fraud.

    Don’t expect to be taken seriously in climate science if you cite Plimer and Monckton.

  33. January 31st, 2010 at 14:13 | #33

    Chris O’Neill, “Don’t expect to be taken seriously ” as there is one fact that can’t be ignored “deliberately” or not; and that is you are an idiot . But that is not relevant here because consensus is the order of the day and facts are ignored….

    There use to be a consensus among the majority of scientists that the world was flat. Just because “the vast majority of scientists working in the field” and idiots like Chris though that it was, didn’t make it so.

  34. Ernestine Gross
    January 31st, 2010 at 15:21 | #34

    @Tony G

    The fact is that you are off topic.

  35. Freelander
    January 31st, 2010 at 15:28 | #35

    @Tony G

    They weren’t scientists. That was an era before science.

    Of course, scientists can be wrong. But, if I have to place a bet on the opinion of ignorant thought disordered evidence denying speculators and fantasists or on the consensus assessment of scientists within their fields of expertise, you should know who I and most others choose.

  36. Chris O’Neill
    January 31st, 2010 at 18:11 | #36

    Tony G:

    Facts are ignored

    Yes, the fact that Plimer turned round the conclusions 180 degrees, straightforward scientific fraud.

    Not only is Tony G an idiot, he’s a hypocrite.

  37. Alice
    January 31st, 2010 at 18:59 | #37

    @Chris O’Neill
    Chris – you havent met Tony before??

  38. Alicia
    January 31st, 2010 at 19:40 | #38

    What’s the evidence of AGW?

    The evidence is at the end of your nose. If you don’t experience and understand that it just proves you are already half-dead sensuously, the first and most important port of call for “scientific” understanding of what is going on in the world and what is washing over your body and shaping its consciousness and awareness.

    Your loss. Your corruption. Your irrelevance to the rest of us.

  39. gerard
    January 31st, 2010 at 19:46 | #39

    @Rationalist

    I really do question the causality of CO2 concentration and warming. Not only do I know that there is no causation, it has been proven by individuals like Plimer and Monckton that there is situations where there has been no correlation either! So the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere has no correlation and not even any causation with global temperatures over the long term. The 180 year blip that we have measured through is far from geologically significant, keep in mind.

    Rather remarkable.

    It is remarkable is that the insights of one established fraud and one professional clown are cited as counter-evidence to the scientific consensus. At least it would be remarkable if it came from a serious person rather than a sad, bored adolescent with a hobby as an internet troll.

    Here’s some advice:

    You’re still young, young enough to embark on a career in climate science. You can begin your degree this coming semester. You can go on to do a PhD and research these very questions. In fact, with the right qualifications, you could bring down the international climate-science conspiracy from the inside.

    Then with your qualifications you could earn a huge salary as the prized and feted darling of the denialist speaking circuit. The fact that Pilmer and Monckton are the best that the denialist side has got proves the total lack of competition – the job is there for the taking, if you only have the initiative.

    (I’d do it myself, but I’m not really sure that the climate-scientist conspiracy actually exists).

  40. January 31st, 2010 at 20:54 | #40

    Gerald said;

    “cited as counter-evidence to the scientific consensus”
    There use to be a “scientific consensus”by the majority of scientists that the earth was flat, but the fact was (i.e the real evidence, counter or otherwise) that it wasn’t flat.

  41. gerard
    January 31st, 2010 at 21:34 | #41

    Tony:

    There use to be a “scientific consensus”by the majority of scientists that the earth was flat, but the fact was (i.e the real evidence, counter or otherwise) that it wasn’t flat.

    No, there was never a scientific consensus that the Earth was flat.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth

    The Myth of the Flat Earth is the modern misconception that the prevailing cosmological view during the Middle Ages saw the Earth as flat, instead of spherical. During the early Middle Ages, many scholars maintained the spherical viewpoint first expressed by the Ancient Greeks. By the 14th century, belief in a flat earth among the educated was essentially dead. Flat-Earth models were in fact held at earlier (pre-medieval) times, before the spherical model became commonly accepted in Hellenistic astronomy.[1].

    According to Stephen Jay Gould, “there never was a period of “flat earth darkness” among scholars (regardless of how the public at large may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the earth’s roundness as an established fact of cosmology.”[2] David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers also write: “there was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth's] sphericity and even know its approximate circumference.”[3]

    In 1945 the Historical Association listed “Columbus and the Flat Earth Conception” second of twenty in its first-published pamphlet on common errors in history….

    The people who thought that the Earth was flat (e.g. the ancient Egyptians) were not scientists.

    They had nothing approximating the scientific method.

    The reasons they had for believing the Earth was flat were not scientific.

    As soon as people started thinking about the question scientifically (in classical Greece), they worked out that it was round.

    Eratothenes even worked out the circumference of the Earth to within a small percentage of the correct answer, 2200 years ago.

    If you knew even a tiny bit about science, you could come up with a better example. But you can’t because you’re a total ignoramus.

  42. January 31st, 2010 at 21:35 | #42

    Chris O’Idiot, Re 36

    If you were not so patently an ‘idiot’ I would be able to call you a “fraudster”, a “hypocrite” or any of the many other derogative terms that fit your persona. Then again if you add “fraudster” and “hypocrite” to the patently obvious first fact, we have a consensus of facts. This is evidence of who you are, as opposed to that of a consensus of scientists that is just an opinion.

    BTW, do not send my above student essay to the IPCC as they might publish it as evidence.

  43. January 31st, 2010 at 21:41 | #43

    Gerald;

    “If you knew even a tiny bit about science”, you would blacklist Wikipedia from your web browser as it is total crap (biased crap at that).

  44. Chris O’Neill
    February 1st, 2010 at 02:42 | #44

    gerard:

    If you knew even a tiny bit about science, you could come up with a better example. But you can’t because you’re a total ignoramus.

    Yes, Tony G is a very ignorant person. Very arrogant too. He also likes to ignore scientific fraud.

  45. Rationalist
    February 1st, 2010 at 05:22 | #45

    @gerard
    I already have a well paid and cushy private sector job :) .

  46. gerard
    February 1st, 2010 at 08:25 | #46

    since your job is so well paid, you’ll be able to help the d!ck from Noosa that sponsored Monckton’s trip

    “We have already had a number of offers of $1,000 and would prefer donations to be of that order, but of course any amount is very welcome.”

  47. frankis
    February 1st, 2010 at 11:04 | #47

    The wonderful thing about doofuses like Tony G is the way they sometimes stimulate responses from smarter and better read people like Gerard at #41. Thanks Tony!

    John Coochey: anyone who’s worked successfully as a bouncer has learned how to deal with clowns like Christopher Monckton. Responding to the nonsense they talk is, as presumably you must well know, not part of the way. You think he’s a legend and a luminary and a leader of men of course, just like the followers of the drunks in the pub. He’s not a scientist he’s a delusional narcissist with a Bachelor’s. Monckton has enough mathematical skill to create a bit of a puzzle, that’s all, he’s laughably out of his depth talking about the stuff he does but, then, his scientifically illiterate – and resolved to stay that way! – audiences aren’t about to deconstruct the gibberish he talks.

  48. February 1st, 2010 at 19:03 | #48

    @frankis

    Well said. Gerard’s comment was new to me, and very interesting. Funnily enough, if you check outside of Wikipedia you also find the same thing!

  49. Freelander
    February 1st, 2010 at 20:36 | #49

    @Tony G

    Wikipedia is an excellent start if you want to find something out. Where credible sources are referenced you are able to quickly check the credibility of an articles contents.

    Wikipedia is usually several cuts above typical denialist fantasy.

  50. February 2nd, 2010 at 00:21 | #50

    @jquiggin & @carbonsink

    Hi. I’ve lifted several comments @carbonsink & myself made about Fee & Dividend and lower energy agriculture using trees. One of my post included some back of the envelope calculations on the effect of adding trees has on system yields. I want to preserve these, with the context.

    I’ve posted them on my own blog as a post called Fee & Dividend and the Trees

    John, if you object, please let my know.
    @carbonsink, I don’t have any direct way to check with you. If you object, please let me know, via John.

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