Fighting climate change public insanity

picnic table and chairs set up in the sea

In the NZ Herald last Wednesday, David Venables, executive-director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, talked about world leaders at Cancun soon putting “the finishing touches to a global agreement on climate change.”

Why do we want such an agreement?

Though Mr Venables, oddly, leaves it unsaid, it is to reduce our emissions of “greenhouse gases” or “carbon” to halt what we now call “climate change.”

But is this enough? Will this stop climate change? No, it won’t, and there are two reasons for that: NZ’s tiny emissions and the eternally changing nature of the climate.

First, New Zealand’s emissions are minuscule. Taking everything we do: transport, industry, some smelting, the little thermal power generation we have, all agricultural emissions and even throwing in aviation, our output of “greenhouse” gases are a puny 0.2% of all human emissions.

Ruin the economy for nothing

Big deal. It means that if our entire economy closes down overnight and we all go back to scratching in the ground for food (those of us who survive the loss of electricity, pumped water supply and proper sewage disposal) the world won’t notice and the climate won’t change.

Although it would be an extreme and stupid act, it is clearly the most we could possibly do to reduce our emissions, yet it’s not enough. Anything less might permit the survival of our industrial and agricultural way of life, but will have less effect on our emissions.

Don’t overlook this simple but important conclusion: whatever sacrifice we make, however much it costs us, the climate will not be affected. There is no reason to put ourselves through the pain and the expense. It would be the ultimate in symbolic, empty gestures.

Stop the planet from turning

Second, the climate will always change. It has changed on every time scale as long as we’ve studied it. As far back as proxies can take us, we see the climate changing. We’ve identified no period when the climate failed to change. It’s just water and air — turbulent and dynamic; they won’t stop moving and therefore they will change, willy-nilly.

The ocean and the atmosphere move because the planet is turning. You want to try to stop it?

Air: 0.00039 CO2

Right now there are about 3000 gigatonnes (GT) of atmospheric CO2 (most of it natural). Doubling it, on some estimates, could take another 70 years. The total human contribution to the “greenhouse effect” is about 0.28% (including water vapour). Human additions of CO2 to the atmosphere are about 30 GT per year, only 7% of natural sources (683 GT). The whole carbon dioxide content of the air is so small that it has to be measured in parts per million by volume (390 ppmv).

That’s 0.039%. Just to put it into some kind of perspective.

The IPCC acknowledges that, if the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide doubles, the global mean temperature will rise by about 1°C. That small temperature rise is no crisis. Only prodigious, and highly controversial, positive feedbacks, mostly concerning water vapour, could create greater warming. Of course, the computer models of the climate produce such high climate sensitivity because they have the feedbacks programmed into them. They are used to promote the scary scenarios we’re familiar with. But the General Circulation Models (GCM) are human creations and have never been verified against real-world observations.

Climate models limited by our understanding

Defenders of the GCMs say the results mimic the observed climate for certain periods, but they don’t mention that the models must be heavily skewed with undisclosed “parameters” for aerosols, cloud cover and who knows what else to achieve their mimicry. They are so variable that two runs of a model never give the same results. That’s why the IPCC refuse to call them “predictions” and instead use the term “scenarios”.

Certainly, they are unable to predict the major oceanic cycles, such as La Nina and El Nino, which affect global weather for months at a time. Why not? Because nobody knows what causes them — nobody knows enough about the climate. Those GCM predictions of catastrophe in 100 years are incredible.

Who do you call a denier?

Climate has changed naturally since climate began; change is what it does. Those who would “fight” climate change obviously want to stop it from changing.

That’s revealing, isn’t it? Because you can only attempt to keep the climate the same if you deny the observed truth that its natural condition is to change.

So, far from climate sceptics being “deniers”, it is in fact those alarmists with preposterous predictions of catastrophe who are the deniers. Their fight for an unvarying climate declares their denial of change.

If we accept that the climate will always change, we remove the need to stop it from changing and so we won’t need these large, difficult (expensive) international negotiations.

If we stop trying to change the climate, there will be a lot of money for international aid and development programmes.

So stop fighting climate change and thousands of people will become free to perform useful work; stop teaching our children climatic lies and they will learn the truth.

Stop fighting the climate and end this public insanity.

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Richard Treadgoldval majkusAndyRichard C (NZ) Recent comment authors
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Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

“That’s why the IPCC refuse to call them “predictions” and instead use the term “scenarios”.” The IPCC calls output from scenario (SRES) simulations “projections” – not scenarios. A scenario defines a simulation. I’m OK with that on the face of it but problem being that there is one scenario missing from SRES. The missing scenario is the one that mimics natural variability using correlative parameters (e.g. solar-lunar cycles, cloud cover changes etc). In a sense this makes me a defender of the climate models and I disagree with the paragraph “Climate models limited by our understanding”. Parameters are disclosed and of necessity must skew the internal variables – that’s the nature of simulation whether it’s traffic, electricity, economics or climate. The problem is not that the climate models are skewed but that they are not skewed enough by inclusion of historical natural cycles (climate drivers) in the initial parameters that are at present neglected. The present configuration of climate models is totally inadequate to do a natural variability simulation, so when the IPCC does a “natural forcings only” simulation, the models fail miserably in hindcast because they have not been given a chance.… Read more »

Andy
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Andy

The cool phase will have a significant impact economically

Indeed. And add the little issue of imminent European economic collapse and you can see why the smart money is buying up gold right now.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

The smart money bought gold when it was US$250 per ounce Dec 2000.

http://66.38.218.33/scripts/hist_charts/yearly_graphs.plx

My money, on the other hand, was not smart and got caught up in a property investment gone bad.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

My reply to the NZ Herald article by David Venables (in the interests of self promotion).

Nonentity (Mt Maunganui)
10:07AM Friday, 26 Nov 2010
“The alliance is probably the most meaningful thing New Zealand can do to reduce global emissions.

David, the most meaningful thing for the New Zealand govt to do is quietly admit that they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by con-men and to get on with real substantiated issues.

That climate is controlled by natural cycles should be apparent by now. It does not matter how many times the AGW hypothesis is refuted (once is enough) because we are told by Ottmar Edenhofer (co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III, and was a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report) that:

“[W]e redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

http:/newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/11/18/un-ipcc-official-we-redistribute-worlds-wealth-climate-policy

And:

“Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.”

So it’s not about climate or science David.

Andy
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Andy

I see “Gandalf” has added some words of wisdom to the comments on The Herald too:

I have read all the sceptical websites and plenty of the books, but a little carefull checking of the fine detail and you find its all missleading nonsense. Im stunned at the gullability of some people and the way oil industry people knowingly spread blatant missinformation and nonsense. (Spelling mistakes his, not mine)

I am still looking for the Big Oil pay cheque; maybe it got lost in the post?

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

He’s “read all the sceptical websites”

I think I’ll take him to task on that – starting with CCG Open Threads.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Climate models limited by our understanding Defenders of the GCMs say the results mimic the observed climate for certain periods, but they don’t mention that the models must be heavily skewed with undisclosed “parameters” for aerosols, cloud cover and who knows what else to achieve their mimicry. I really have to take issue with this because that is not how it all goes wrong for the models (I’m a defender). This is how it goes wrong for NCAR’s CESM GCM with CAM atmospheric componant. CAM employs AER’s RRTMG as the radiative transfer (RT) module, note that NCAR and AER are two different organisations. From AER’s homepage:- “The foundation of our research and model development is the validation of line-by-line radiative transfer calculations with accurate high-resolution measurements.” i.e Validation by comparison with the observed condition and as can be seen from the Measurement/Model comparison plots there’s nothing untoward. So far so good because the RT module is not yet distorted by CO2. Now the RTM module is integrated into CAM. Radiation CAM4 > CAM5:- http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/working_groups/Atmosphere/Presentations/2010/conley1.pdf And we see the disclosed parameters:- ✤ Ice & Liquid Clouds + Snow and Rain ✤ Aerosols (Multiple Packages)… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

The link to AER’s homepage (very important in the above context). I’ll get this right eventually.

http://rtweb.aer.com/

Andy
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Andy

The Daily Mail has a typical rabble rousing article about Cancun.

Quite funny in places

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1333520/Hypocrisy-Huhne-eco-summit-personal-Jacuzzi-240-night-room.html

val majkus
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val majkus

Willis Eschenbach has a guest post at WUWT and has posed a puzzle
http://wattsupwiththat.com/
I’ve tried my luck but many of you have far more understanding of computer modelling and the greenhouse effect than I do so hope you have time to give an answer

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

“I’ve tried my luck but many of you have far more understanding of computer modelling and the greenhouse effect than I do so hope you have time to give an answer” Val, it’s not computer modeling knowledge that’s required, but physics and thermodynamics. Willis Eschenbach has put up some good posts especially “The Thermostat Hypothesis” But “People Living in Glass Planets” is not one of them. There is too much oversimplification and assumption to even begin to form a picture of the processes at work as many point out in comments. The “greenhouse” analogy should be dispensed with completely, “blanket” would be a little better. The less than helpful aspect is the lack of understanding of energy and its various forms: radiation. heat, chemical, mechanical, kinetic, potential etc. I have also found this at The Inconvenient Skeptic where John came out with “Heat and energy are the same thing”. If that were so then why is space so cold with all the energy in the form of radiation passing through it? This snippet from a comment at WUWT is a good counterpoint “I read a story of some soaring pilots who flew their… Read more »

Richard Treadgold
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Richard C, The IPCC calls output from scenario (SRES) simulations “projections” – not scenarios. A scenario defines a simulation. Thanks. My knowledge of models is far inferior to yours, so the following comments are made in considerable humility. If they are wrong, they need correcting, and I trust you’ll do that. The point I was making was this: the IPCC does not call the model outputs “predictions” or “forecasts” because they know the models are incapable of skilful predictions. (Our own Dr Vincent Gray was instrumental in compelling them to replace the term “prediction” throughout the draft Chapter 8 of AR4 with “projection”.) The models don’t “know” any more about the climate than humans do. Crucially, there are important features of the climate we don’t or are only beginning to understand, such as the effect of water vapour, the genesis of natural climatic cycles, the details of thermal transport, especially in the oceans, and some important details of the carbon cycle. If this was not the case we wouldn’t still be throwing up satellites and instituting further studies. The discussions of whether water vapour feedback is positive or negative — never mind the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

I think you have summed up well and yes the models are limited by our understanding but they are constantly evolving as our understanding increases. What is widely overlooked is that the model submissions for AR4 were rendered obsolete by model evolution even at the date of submission. The same thing is happening with AR5. For example NCARs submission to AR5 will use CAM4 but they have already moved on to next generation CAM5. I have read other commentators (can’t remember who) who say that reports at six year intervals are meaningless due to the progression of understanding. I agree that there is undue reliance on the supposed predictive skill of models. What has been exposed in Australia recently is that simple consultation of rainfall records for example was a better predictive method than the use of CSIROs supercomputed GCM output. The models there could not even beat the monkey mean (no change, do nothing scenario) Simulations are basically “what if” exercises within certain specified parameters and that is where it all goes wrong in climatology. The initial parameters in the current configurations do not provide a realistic basis from which to project.… Read more »

Richard Treadgold
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Richard C,

So basically my point is that it is what is already known that is neglected so there’s no point in integrating much new knowledge and projecting until the models can hindcast what we already know.

ROFL! Things are worse than I thought.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

I had a look for work done with models to explain the 30s and 40s warming (most pronounced in the Arctic) that the models missed in AR4 2007. I turned up this paper “The early century warming in the Arctic – A possible mechanism” from 2003. They looked at four possibilities either individually or in combination from anthro, solar, volcanic and internal variabilty, concluding after a 200 year simulation that it was internal variation in wind and sea ice cover and speculate that it was a random (stochastic) event. I think they discounted solar too easily given the near perfect correlations over that time especially sunspot cycle length. There’s good correlation with irradiance in the Arctic too. Those plots were from The Solar Evidence at appinsys.com. I also turned up a paper “USE OF A STOCHASTIC WEATHER GENERATOR IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIOS” that I haven’t read yet but a brief scan seems to say that downscaled GCMs can’t mimic local variability but stochastic models can but not in timing, hence prediction problems but at least stochastic models toss up realistic alternatives (scenarios), I think the first paper does show that… Read more »

Andy
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Andy

Christopher Booker chimes in with a nice piece on Cancun, or as they say now, “Can’t-cun”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8165189/There-are-black-days-ahead-for-the-carbon-industry.html

Great first comment in that article by Piers Corbyn.

By the way, I phoned my mother in the SW of England this morning. The “English Riviera” is having an unseasonably early start to winter with snow and ice as far south-west as Cornwall.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

I’ve seen the word “unseasonal” in a few reports same as last year.

I wonder how long before they adjust to the the new climate regime?

Or, how many years of unseasonal weather will constitute seasonal weather and therefore climate?

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

This paper addressed the “unseasonal” weather in UK and Europe. I was reminded of it while looking at the solar evidence page at appinsys.com http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part6_SolarEvidence.htm “Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity?” M Lockwood1,2, R G Harrison1, T Woollings1 and S K Solanki3,4 Published 14 April 2010 Abstract. Solar activity during the current sunspot minimum has fallen to levels unknown since the start of the 20th century. The Maunder minimum (about 1650–1700) was a prolonged episode of low solar activity which coincided with more severe winters in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Motivated by recent relatively cold winters in the UK, we investigate the possible connection with solar activity. We identify regionally anomalous cold winters by detrending the Central England temperature (CET) record using reconstructions of the northern hemisphere mean temperature. We show that cold winter excursions from the hemispheric trend occur more commonly in the UK during low solar activity, consistent with the solar influence on the occurrence of persistent blocking events in the eastern Atlantic. We stress that this is a regional and seasonal effect relating to European winters and not a global effect. Average solar activity… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Well, the BBC reports this yesterday

Coldest November night on record in parts of UK

Northern Ireland hit a new low of -9.5C (15F) at Lough Fea, Co Tyrone, and in Wales, a record minimum of -18C (0F) was reached at Llysdinam, in Powys.

Snow is still falling in Scotland, Northern Ireland and north-east England, and Edinburgh, Glasgow and Derry airports have been closed.

Forecasters say the cold spell will continue well into next week.

Met Office severe weather warnings for heavy snow and widespread ice remain in place for eastern and central Scotland, and eastern England from the Borders down to the East Midlands

Snow is also falling in Northern Ireland and north Norfolk, with some flurries possible in the southern-most counties of England.

BBC weather forecaster Alex Deakin said 10cm (4in) fell in Aberdeenshire in just two hours on Sunday morning, with a further 15-20cm (6-8in) likely in Fife, Perth and Kinross and Angus during the rest of the day.

Remember though, that this is just a blip. Last year’s cold winter was just a blip too /sarc

Andy
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Andy

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