Please read more, Senator Fielding

Steve Fielding has returned from Washington and he says that he has some questions for the government:

“I heard views which challenged the Rudd government’s set of ‘facts'”

And one of these is on solar activity and the influence on climate change.

“The idea that climate change is a result of the variation in solar activity and not related to the increase of CO2 into the atmosphere is not something that I can remember ever being discussed in the media.”

You think that he might actually read some of the material itself. Does he only get his information from the media? Let’s look at some of the published literature.

The IPCC discussed the influence of solar activity in 1992, 1994, 2001 and 2007. For example, from the 2007 Summary for Policymakers we have:

During the past 50 years, the sum of solar and volcanic forcings would likely have produced cooling.

The summary then goes on to discuss how solar and volcanic activity was used in the models.

Our own CSIRO has produced a pamphlet titled “The science of climate change” which says:

Natural variability such as the El Nino cycle and variations in solar activity can affect the temperature, while large volcanic eruptions can lead to cooling.

These are just a couple of references to solar that I have found. Maybe the senator should do a little more reading of the science, and not just the media reports.

Here is a video that covers some of the facts on solar activity and climate change.

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278 Responses

  1. Gee, Fielding goes overseas on his own money and hears something contradictory to the government’s set of facts and wants to test them…why should anyone have a problem with that?

    If he is convinced by Wong and the scientists he will vote accordingly which is what a fair proportion here want.

    Or would it be that you would rather play the man instead of the ball???

  2. Scaper

    I do not have a problem with it – I just have a problem that he say that there is no discussion about the influence of solar on climate change when there clearly has been. Just because he has not read enough is not an excuse.

    That is my point.

    He is fully entitled to have an opinion – just when he misrepresents the facts (that solar has not been discussed) I will play the man.

    Anyone can have an opinion – but we have to start with one set of facts.

  3. I don’t know what Fielding has learnt on his fact finding mission, there might be something new for all we know.

  4. No scaper – he has falsely said that solar has not been discussed. And it has.

    He has not done his research.

  5. You have a valid point there.

    Have you come across any research that studies the effect of magnetars on our planet?

  6. In his article Fielding says this:

    Has the Minister seen modelling which shows that solar radiation is highly correlated to global temperature changes, and if so, why can this not be a plausible alternative explanation for global warming?

    And did you see how the graph that showed the correlation between solar and climate stopped in 1970 – because after that the correlation went away? The part about it being “highly correlated” is just not true.

    I am all for scepticism, but when the same discredited arguments are used again and again I get quite annoyed.

  7. I’m sure the scientists and Wong will point out his mistake if and when his request is granted.

  8. I think what Senator Fielding needs is a “Little Golden Book on Climate Change” and then he might be able to come to terms with the issues and implications…

  9. No – are you suggesting that magnetars are responsible for climate change?

    Look – yes – the climate has always changed, and yes, the science from the IPCC does take the known natural factors into account. And the conclusions that the majority of scientists (who are actually concerned with climate change) come to is that man is increasing the rate of change, to a point that life on this planet will not have a chance to adapt quickly enough. and that we can act to reverse that rate of change.

    And I was in a bookshop on Saturday and had a brief look at Plimer’s book and I saw how he did not actually say that AGW was not occurring. He was very clever to put that in so he could come back and say – “Wait – I was not wrong, I was just trying to create discussion” – his defence seems to be that he is just wanting to put out some other theories (that have been discussed and dismissed).

  10. Scaper

    So Fielding just needs to keep bringing up discredited theories again and again?

    Why does he not just read the IPCC report instead of making assumptions about what has and has not been discussed?

  11. Speaking of Wong, did she not attribute this drought to global warming on several occasions?

    I thought it was caused by the El Nino cycle or has the CSIRO changed their position?

  12. The effects of the changing climate mean that the effects of the normal occurring events (such as El Nino) will be exaggerated. I believe that was her point.

    The number of hotter days will increase, the amount of rainfall in certain areas will decrease. etc etc.

  13. And I quote from the CSIRO:

    Rainfall is very likely to increase in high latitudes and likely to decrease in most sub-tropical and temperate land areas.

  14. “He is fully entitled to have an opinion…..Anyone can have an opinion.”

    Absolutely joni. Opinions are like arseholes in that everyone’s got one, but my my beef with the Good Senator’s is that his opinion may be one that determines the issue in the Legislature.

    Now, unfortunately all opinions are not equal. Some have more effect that others. And Senatro Fielding’s, no matter how half-baked and ill informed, has the potential to determine policy.

    That sucks, IMHO.

    I don’t care how many study tours he undertakes at his own or our expense. He should either take the time to study the issue properly and closely or else disqualify himself from voting on it.

    And reading-up on an article by some denialist shmuck concerning media-coverage of this or that possibility does not constitute proper research.

    He might as well read the TV Guide. A few of the IPCC Reports would be better, but perhaps they’re just too long, dull and boring for him to be bothered with.

    Just remember folks, this guy could end-up making policy, so its up to us to demand that he bloody-well inform himself of the facts before he purports to do so.

  15. He should either take the time to study the issue properly and closely or else disqualify himself from voting on it.

    Exactly.

  16. What is the ‘Heartland Institute’; and how is it that spending a few days in the Heartland means Senator Fielding came back brainwashed, not for his having a newfound skeptical spirit but for his pretending he hasn’t had a brain or any memory for the last ten years of an active political debate?

  17. Regardless of how much or little research he has done he will have an opinion and he has every right to vote or are you suggesting he is excluded from the process?

    I doubt that the Greens will be passing the legislatio (not a typo) in its current form either.

  18. Posted on June 8, 2009 by joni
    “Our own CSIRO has produced a pamphlet titled “The science of climate change” which says:

    Natural variability such as the El Nino cycle and variations in solar activity can affect the temperature, while large volcanic eruptions can lead to cooling.”

    The biggest mistake that they are making, and is gradually being realised, but not yet allowed for in their modelling, is that there is much more driving our weather and climate than El-Nino.
    For Australia, Africa, South and SE Asia, the Indian Ocean has far greater influence over most of the region as well as most of Australia than the ENSOI. Obviously they are linked being adjoining systems.
    The problem is one of perspective. The scientists were taking El-Nino events and linking them successfully to known climate or weather events. However what they weren’t doing was starting with known climate and weather events and trying to link them back to El-Nino events where they would find the correlation considerably less. However when the IOD is added into the equation, correlation goes quite high.
    I believe this obsession with El-Nino invalidates much of the science based on El-Nino being as being the dominant influence as claimed.
    I was actually on the phone less than an hour ago discussing this very matter with a DPI soil and water scientist who had previously done a project concerning El-Nino and it’s effect on local conditions. I asked him whether the IOD had been allowed for in the previous study, (it hadn’t been as insufficient was known about it then, this is just a few years ago) and whether the findings of the study would have been different if it had been allowed for. He felt that the findings would have been somewhat different.
    Here we have a somewhat familar situation happening yet again, just this week BOM have issued an outlook for the next few months being below average rain, and another agency an outlook for above average rain for the same period.
    We’ll see who changes their forecast during the coming week.

  19. johnd, I’m not sure that many people know what the IOD is so here is a link.

    http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/news/indian-ocean-drought/

  20. Legion

    I have been avoiding discussing the Heartland Institute for fear being accused of playing the man and not the ball.

    Remember – it was the Heartland Institute that had a list of 500 scientists who’s work contradicted AGW. But when the list was published a lot of those on the list were appalled to be included – here is a quote from one such scientist:

    I have NO doubts ..the recent changes in global climate ARE man-induced. I insist that you immediately remove my name from this list since I did not give you permission to put it there.”

    Dr. Gregory Cutter, Professor, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University

  21. johnd and scaper – and no where have the scientists denied that natural events are having an effect – the point is that man in increasing the rate of change.

    Notice how they say “such as” instead of “only”.

  22. I do not deny Fielding voting at all – but he should do some research himself, instead of making statements that are not true.

  23. joni, on June 8th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I tend to concur Joni, but when the good Senator has been traipsing off to a conference hosted by an unelected entity with environmental free-marketeering as one of the central policy planks of its raison d’etre and its activisms, then they are fair game in my books; and especially when Senator Fielding magically rounds off his ‘fact’ finding mission and quotations with a genuinely startling claim for market non-intervention (surprise!). But we’ll let that issue drop. 😉

  24. Here is something that never gets any discussion from the news article.

    “The one question that nobody seems to asking, according to Senator Fielding, is whether or not we even need an emissions trading scheme.”

    What prevents us from cleaning up our act and moving towards sustainability without an ETS?

  25. Nothing prevents that. But Fielding seems to deny that climate change is occurring, not that we could address sustainability in other ways. Which is why he poses that question.

    Such as this statement from Fielding:

    I want to know why she is confident carbon emissions are driving global temperatures when during the past decade carbon emissions have been increasing rapidly but according to some scientists global temperatures have not been rising.

    Notice how he carefully provides his get out by saying “some”.

    IMHO – you seem to be wanting to wash over his denial.

  26. Joni, are you referring to natural climate change or man caused climate change when you mention his denial?

  27. That well-known radical Harry Clarke said a while ago that Senator Fielding was of to a ‘Delusionist Love-In’. Sometimes ‘radicals’ like Harry are on the money.

    http://www.harryrclarke.com/2009/06/02/als-senator-fielding-go-to-delusionist-love-in/

    Note comments from John Mashey.

  28. scaper…, on June 8th, 2009 at 1:20 pm Said:

    “johnd, I’m not sure that many people know what the IOD is so here is a link.”

    scaper, thanks for posting the link. Even though those UNSW people are on the right track, they seem to infer that it is their discovery and fail to mention the researchers whose work they are actually presenting.

    This link will take you to those people who actually identified the IOD in 1999 and IMO are years ahead of anyone else on their understanding of both the IOD and how it relates to climate change. When the IOD is taken into account a lot of pieces start to fall into place and add a new dimension to the debate.
    http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/

  29. Try ‘off’.

  30. Joni, you are right on the money RE: scaper. You will note that he is trying, with every post, to change the subject from Fielding’s erroneous statements to anything else.

  31. John you continually come across as though you are an expert in this area and know more than just about anyone including other scientists, who you say have it wrong.

    How about you come clean and tell us your credentials in this area and what is your expertise?

    I won’t argue the science as the scientists are doing that, but you seem more than willing to argue the science. You also seem to really have it in for the BOM, something personal there?

    As to Fielding, as usual he had a pre-conceived notion or belief and went looking for something, anything, that conformed to that belief and then in his ignorance and without researching it spruiked a lot of nonsense as he normally does.

    How Strongly Does The Sun Influence The Global Climate?

    There is only one solar (longwave) radiation theory that is getting any credence or traction at the moment including a full scale experimental lab able to produce clouds in a chamber, and that is the effect of cloud forcing on solar radiation. Without some sort of forcing or amplification the amount of solar radiation that hits the earth is nowhere near enough to account for the warming taking place, a fact the scientists who first raised this theory have now admitted and who have recanted their original theory.

    I can’t find the original link where I read about the experiment (they received quite substantial public funding) but this is some stuff NOAA is looking into, and 90% goes right over my head.

  32. Yeah B.Tolputt the red herrings he kept throwing in were not that subtle.

  33. Damn link didn’t work, nofollow is not allowed here but is in another blog.

    Surface Cloud Forcing in the East Pacific Stratus Deck/Cold Tongue/ITCZ Complex

  34. Interesting…I take it Adrian you know the questions that Fielding will be putting to Wong and the scientists?

    I don’t because I was not at the shindig in Washington so who knows…you?

    I believe I’ve stayed on topic here.

    I put this to you…why can we not move forward to clean up our act and attain sustainability without an ETS?

  35. I put this to you…why can we not move forward to clean up our act and attain sustainability without an ETS?

    No reason whatsoever, and in fact going down other paths instead of an ETS would in all likelihood be more effective, especially in light of the way the government plans to implement an ETS will not do a single thing to abate carbon emissions and actually rewards big polluters to pollute whilst punishing ordinary consumers.

    Maybe that’s the plan, hit the consumers so their unsustainable life styles are cut back to a more sustainable level. Stupid way of going about it.

    Still doesn’t go to what Fielding did or said though, which was as I said, going to a forum with a preconceived opinion and then looking for anything that enforced that opinion whilst ignoring anything that didn’t and all out of complete ignorance.

  36. Interesting…I’m sure I agreed that Fielding was mistaken or whatever word you care to use on this thread.

    Speaking of preconceived and ignorant, can you not see that what Fielding is attempting to achieve could put him in a self-wedged situation.

    If I was Wong I’d be smiling.

  37. The topic was Fielding’s bulldust story about solar not being discussed in Australian media in regards to man-made climate change. You have:
    – Asked whether we need an ETS (not on topic)
    – Asked whether we know the research on magnetars
    – Asked about Wong’s attribution of the drought to global warming
    – Asked whether we would deny Fielding his vote in the senate
    – Asked whether we can clean up our act with an ETS

    It is obvious that you cannot stick to the topic because the man in the Senate sticking up for your position on AGW happens to be either a liar or an idiot. Fielding is obviously Australia’s Christian Right representative and acts accordingly. There need not be facts to back up his claims, so long as it “feels right” for those in his flock.

  38. Mobius Ecko, on June 8th, 2009 at 2:19 pm Said:

    Mobius, there are still two sides to the debate, it is far from settled.
    Anyone who claims we know all there is to know about what drives our climate is delusional, or trying to fool that large body of people who are unable to make up their own minds.

    Both sides will have some things right and some things wrong, but in the end one side will prevail given the difference in the direction each are leaning towards.

    Experts or not, some of them will be proved to be wrong.

    With regards to BOM, it appears that the weather may only be a topic of discussion for you, I doubt that your livelihood depends on it, otherwise you most certainly would have a different opinion. Even amongst people like yourself, jokes about BOM forecasts would not be exactly unknown. Perhaps if you had 100’s of thousands $ riding on accurate forecasts (not me), your critical appraisal may be somewhat different. Spending $600 or more is peanuts if the private forecasts received have a high reliability, and the returns on such investments can be extraordinarily high, either in extra income, or money saved.
    Virtually everyone now is aware of El-Nino, so much emphasis has been placed on it in recent years with regards to our weather, and now the global climate.
    But take a look at a globe and using a bit of common sense ask yourself, could events such as El-Nino be the ONLY driving force for global weather or climate?
    There are other bodies of water that must be doing something other than passively sitting there.
    Now for the really big question, common sense tells us that our weather generally comes from the west, so looking at the globe again ask yourself how come the Indian Ocean doesn’t seem to get mentioned much in relation to Australia’s weather, surely any moisture deposited here in Australia has been picked up there and not in the Pacific. Now that would be common sense surely.
    It is starting to change but the IOD is hardly considered in most of the models presently used. If it’s influence covers such a large area as indicated in the link I posted, surely it has some impact on the global climate. Perhaps you can show me where it has been given the weight it deserves in the modelling being done.
    Have a look at the predictions of the various models on page2 of this link and tell me how much weight each of them give to the IOD. I’m interested in what you might observe.
    http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/DPI/nrenfa.nsf/LinkView/36E3F84B59CE66B4CA2575CA000E0D44987715D08D0205F9CA2573E100030E40/$file/The%20Fast%20Break%20Newsletter%20May%202009.pdf

  39. Tolputt, I suggest you read the post and related links as all my queries are on topic.

    Nice to see you read all my comments though…

  40. I have to agree with Ben here – you have not stayed on topic (not that it is a bad thing to drift away).

  41. Did that scaper. Also noted what joni focused on.

    It was not whether the science proves or disproves AGW (that’s been hashed out ad nauseum in other threads). It was about Fielding’s trip resulting in him peddling a bulldust story about Aussie media not discussing the solar theory for global warming.

    Joni provided material disproving his claim that it had not been discussed and why it is not discussed further.

    As always, scaper, you are talking crap…

  42. And another thing…my position on AGW is there is no conclusive evidence thus far and when the proponents start hurling abuse because people question the science I get suspicious of their motives!

    I am an avid supporter of cleaning up our act and attaining sustainability to a degree that I’ve outlayed a lot of money and time over the years instead of sitting on the sidelines and I did this regardless of climate change and will continue.

    This ETS is all about control and money and will not solve anything in the long term

  43. No abuse has been hurled – just that the deniers keep bring up the same discredited topics again and again.

  44. And what have magnetars got to do with AGW?

  45. Here we go again…joni pointed out that Fielding was mistaken and I acknowleged that joni had a valid point.

    You are just spoiling for a fight and I’m not interested, I will debate you if you’re up to it on this topic.

  46. johnd, The east coast of oz is affected by a lot of weather systems that pick up moist from the ‘pacific ocean’. East coast lows, tropical cyclones or even stationary highs. There may be case for investigating the IO effect but there is more to it than just that. I suppose it depends on which part of oz you live.

  47. Joni, because magnetars have a possibility of having solar influence.

  48. We know your position, scaper. You let us know it everytime the subject even borders on AGW. The issue is not who does & doesn’t believe in AGW, but in the use of discredited theories and outright bulldust in order to keep the appearance that both sides of the debate are “equal” in credibility.

    Funnily enough, it is similar to the theory of evolution vs “intelligent design” (i.e. creationism). A majority of the biological and anthropological branches of scientific inquiry back the theory that man (over millions of years) evolved from primates such as the Neanderthal. Religious groups (overly Christian in origin) continually try to prop up “their side” of the debate with long discredited theories & misdirection in order to keep the existing true believers from questioning the problems the theory of evolution presents to the “six thousand year old Earth” theory (i.e. Christian/Judaism).

    When people such as Fielding present long discredited theories & claim they are missing from public debate – they are not interested in real debate, but in perpetuating the feeling that those that disbelieve in AGW (for whatever reason) are being leaned upon by a vast scientific & media-based conspiracy.

  49. I have every confidence in intellectual giant Penelope Wrong putting this Fielding chap in his place. No one should challenge the bien-pensant consensus that AGW is a fact.

  50. I will debate you if you’re up to it on this topic.

    This topic, of course, being “Fielding made false claims in regards to solar theories being presented in the Australian media”.

    Joni pointed out that Fielding was mistaken and I acknowleged that joni had a valid point.

    Man… that was easy 😛

  51. According to the link from The Australian that was presented, Fielding has a belief that there might be solar influence, he wants to question Wong and he questions a need for an ETS.

    If Joni does not want discussion on all of the link he should make that fact plain.

    I also note that El Nino was mentioned, hence the mention of the IOD by johnd and my link to such as I’ve never seen it mentioned before on this blog and suspected that not many here would be aware.

  52. Perhaps Senator Fielding should have visited this site.

    http://www.grist.org/article/series/skeptics/

    And maybe this link in particular?

    http://www.grist.org/article/its-the-sun-stupid/

  53. handyrab, on June 8th, 2009 at 4:20 pm Said:
    “johnd, The east coast of oz is affected by a lot of weather systems that pick up moist from the ‘pacific ocean’.”

    Agreed, but it generally is the edge of the continent and mainly the northern half. Being on the edge of the Pacific, the same as the east coast of Africa is on the Indian Ocean, some influence will be had.
    BUT complete weather systems ALWAYS move west to east continually circling the globe and it is this that determines from where the rain falling here today was generally being picked up from yesterday.
    It was in 2001 that the Japanese researchers determined that there was a high correlation (0.4) between the IOD index and the Darwin pressure index. The areas of highest correlation were the central Indian Ocean and interestingly, SE Australia, but covered all of Australia. Because the Darwin pressure index is the western pole of the SOI, those forecaster who were aware of the ENSOI but not of the IOD were creating models that ignored the IOD but tried to make the connection between ENSOI and weather over most of Australia. They could get good correlation one way, ie a high number of El-Ninos coincided with droughts, but not the other way, only a small number of droughts coincided with El-Ninos.
    Now it has dawned that the key is the IOD, but whilst the knowledge is growing, it is still not being included in the models as yet, except for the Japanese models and those of some private researchers who really have the jump when it comes to providing reliable forecasts. The link I gave above, johnd, on June 8th, 2009 at 3:46 pm, demonstrates this on page 2.
    Whilst this is generally weather related, the fact is that ENSOI is being included in climate modelling. If, as is now being shown, much of what behaviour has been consistently attributed to El-Nino over the region, is in fact due to a recently discovered connection with the IO, just how valid are the assumptions previously made when it comes to climate. Until historical IO data is compiled and then included into existing models, I don’t think any crucial decisions should be made.

  54. If Joni does not want discussion on all of the link he should make that fact plain.

    Yeah, because we all know how well you follow directions such as that. I remember a recent invitation for you to remove yourself from the blog, you know, as an example of such a direction.

    There are some I generally disagree with on this blog that I would believe thought that the article was about AGW in general not, as the damn title of the post clearly indicates, about Fielding’s media claims. However, you are not one of them.

  55. scaper said:

    If Joni does not want discussion on all of the link he should make that fact plain.

    I will debate all on Fielding’s comment – which is that he says that these things have not been discussed – and they have.

    You are the one who suggested that the CSIRO had changed their position on El Nino – when they have not.

    Now what about those stars – what do they have to do with it?

  56. Gee, I just asked a simple question…have you came across any research of magnetars and their effect on climate and you did not reply!

    A simple yes or no would have sufficed.

  57. johnd. what bothers me, and I read the link scaper provided, is that this ‘newly discovered’ IOD can be traced back 100 years (correct me if I’m wrong) and a correlation between between IOD events and various droughts therefore established.

    You’ve obviously got some experience in these matters (or maybe a skeptics passion).

    And please explain, if you could, given the systems move west to east (they don’t have much choice) why there aren’t contributing factors to oz weather west of the african continent? Just askin.

  58. Um – see my comment where I said:

    No – are you suggesting that magnetars are responsible for climate change?

  59. My mistake, I missed that one.

    My answer to your question is I don’t know but some research would be interesting as nothing should be overlooked.

  60. Latest on this topic.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25605159-12377,00.html

    But climate scientists said Senator Fielding had been misinformed, while Greens leader Bob Brown said the solar flare theory had already been rebuked.

    “His thinking is somewhere about 1985,” Senator Brown said.

    “He’s very slow on understanding the science and he’s made the remarkable decision to go to the sceptics before going to the global scientists, and he’s already today being rebuked by some of them.”

    “It’s only a pity that some of the flare on the sun wasn’t being shone on Senator Fielding in understanding the threat of climate change.”

  61. “as nothing should be overlooked”

    Heard of Occam’s razor?

  62. handyrab, I’m a bit crooked on the UNSW study. They give the impression that it is their discovery whereas it was the Japanese researchers at this link that both discovered it and are leading the research.
    http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/

    Even as far back as 2002, an Australian private forecaster produced an article virtually coming to the exact same conclusions as UNSW, I don’t have a link to his article at hand.

    I guess to some degree what happens anywhere in the system to the west does have some influence all the way around, but the weather is all about transporting heat, and by default, moisture. This initial energy comes about due to adjacent areas being unequally heated hence starting the cycle. Thus the cycle goes on, picking up heat and moisture, and then dissipating them all in 3D. As it passes over various land masses or expanses of water, somewhere the system probably loses energy and comes back close to it’s original state before starting all over again. I guess those days when there seems to be a lull in the weather could be such a point. The doldrums.

    Looking at a globe, it seems to me that the IO would be a better environment, water surrounded by land from the pole to the tropics and beyond, for unequal heating rather than the rather large expanse of water of the Pacific, obviously still surrounded by land pole to pole.
    It would be interesting if they found that somewhere such as the IO was actually the starting point and the other regions were all downstream and just slave to it.
    To me the areas where the highest degree of unequal heating would be those areas most subject to cyclones or the like. Just thinking.

  63. Nature 5, on June 8th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    N5, these debates remind me of Parkinson’s Law

  64. I found a reference to the CLOUD experiment which shows promise on the effects of cloud particles forcing solar radiation, but alas the link is dead. I remembered it was a CERN experiment with a huge slab of money for research.

    The ongoing “Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets” (CLOUD) experiment at CERN seeks to address the weakness in earlier studies that have investigated the relationship between climate and cosmic rays. As this article (http://npg.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7108/full/4431 …)

    Too much almost unintelligible science and lots of sources in searching for CLOUD but it does show that solar radiation on its own cannot in any way be responsible for the current global warming.

    Fielding is barking up the wrong tree if he thinks he’s going to waste time in attempting the government to research this. He obviously ran into someone who snow jobbed him (pun intended).

  65. My answer to your question is I don’t know but some research would be interesting as nothing should be overlooked.

    Hand up who on his blog is an expert in meteorology &/or climate patterns? Anyone, perhaps an astronomer focused on local (solar system) phenomena? Perhaps someone with a background in science pertaining to the weather in general? No-one?

    Wow. I guess that makes us eminently qualified to throw up things that should be researched for some connection on global warming. Me, I pick the game of “two up”. Given the last 100 years worth of warming and the history of the game – there is some correlation there. And nothing should be overlooked right?

    Yes, for the humour impaired, that’s sarcasm 😛 The idea that strange stars at least 9000 light-years away have more effect on our global climate than, say, what us humans are pumping into our atmosphere is ridiculous in the extreme.

  66. johnd, on June 8th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Yes John there are two sides to the debate as it is in nearly all science. But it is not an equal two sided debate as the opponents make it appear to be by continually muddying the waters and throwing lots of crap out there.

    Though the proponents have thrown in some shonky and discredited science, it pales into insignificance to the amount and scope of that been put up by the opponents, all of which has delayed the serious science and muddied the waters, which is their aim.

    They throw something out there, it’s discredited, so they throw something else up and so it continues, but rarely do they directly challenge the peer reviewed scientific debate, they do it like Plimer does in unscientific or non-peer reviewed papers that still float around for years after they have been discredited.

    I for one would be very pleased to see global warming discredited, yet the gains in sustainability and pollution reduction remain in place. Currently I have not seen it discredited at all as every counter theory is taken down one by one only to be replaced by another. I hope this continues for each failure to disprove the global warming hypothesis makes those making the case for it more rigorous and their science more solid.

    Having said that, like the CERN studies, there is some really good science been conducted into reasons for the warming other than anthropogenic, and no it’s not natural. There is scant little science out there to prove what has occurred over the last two centuries is natural.

    Until that good science makes the mainstream as being credible and peer reviewed then I will take notice but in the meantime unlike you I will not attempt to argue very complex science on little bits and pieces and localised events and factors.

  67. Mobius Ecko, on June 8th, 2009 at 7:01 pm Said:
    “solar radiation on its own cannot in any way be responsible for the current global warming.”

    Adrian,
    Is that in spite of the fact that solar energy is the planet’s greatest source of heat energy?

    I saw some data somewhere recently that showed that CO2 is many times more efficient at absorbing or reflecting incoming solar radiation, than it is of absorbing or reflecting outgoing radiation. That would suggest that increased CO2 would have an overall negative effect on the nett heat balance.

  68. I thought you were all experts on climate change but I’m not surprised considering there has been no mention of the IOD here before today.

    Here’s a link to get you magnetic influence deniers started.

    http://jp4.journaldephysique.org/index.php?option=article&access=standard&Itemid=129&url=/articles/jp4/pdf/2006/08/jp4139011.pdf

    Talk about being ridiculous…do some research before shooting your mouth off for a change!

  69. Fielding is not too bright but an influential person. The creeps at Heartland scored a victory.

  70. as being credible and peer reviewed

    That’s the decider for me. Books that sell heaps are irrelevant in regard to scientific ‘truth’. Anyone remember Erich von Däniken and his Chariot of the Gods which sold more than 4 million copies and is still in print?

    ‘peer review’, while not infallible, provides the opportunity for all to put up or shut up. Plimer knows that but perhaps he is simply trying to recoup some past losses?

  71. scaper…, on June 8th, 2009 at 7:38 pm Said:

    Here’s a link to get you magnetic influence deniers started

    The link doesn’t work for me but the one you provided re the Melbourne to Brisbane rail line one did and it demonstrated that once again you were well off the mark – In fact going in the complete other direction.

    As for:

    do some research before shooting your mouth off for a change!

    Great advice. BTW, ‘research’ doesn’t mean reading one article that just happens to suit your POV. Just sayin .

  72. Mobius Ecko, on June 8th, 2009 at 7:20 pm Said:
    “complex science on little bits and pieces and localised events and factors.”

    Adrian, if you are referring to the El-Nino, it was the proponents of AGW who starting to include it into the equation.
    Now some of those assumptions based on ENSOI are starting to unravel.
    They actually started to unravel about a decade ago, and whilst the realisation is starting to grow, the models built to include ENSOI have yet to be adjusted to allow for the new information and so they continue to roll on making projections that are being proven wrong almost as quickly as they are being made.
    Check out this link and the climate model predictions on page 2. It’s only 2 weeks since they were compiled but already the one that is completely different to the 10 others is looking pretty solid. Check back in 2 weeks and see how they are all looking then. Basically it’s either going to be one right and 10 wrong, or one wrong and 10 right. Over the last couple of years it has been that one odd man out that has been proven remarkedly accurate.
    http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/DPI/nrenfa.nsf/LinkView/36E3F84B59CE66B4CA2575CA000E0D44987715D08D0205F9CA2573E100030E40/$file/The%20Fast%20Break%20Newsletter%20May%202009.pdf

    This might be about the weather, but if a lot of the assumptions that weather modelling is currently based on are proven wrong, than many of the assumptions that climate modelling is based on will by default, also be wrong.

  73. Senator Stephen Fielding

    “What I heard at the conference is that solar activity seems to be more closely aligned to global temperature changes over a long period of time.”

    Well he should have looked at this where it shows that in the past at a time of increased solar activity the globe cooled and that in the last 30 years the connect between solar activity and warming has well and truly broken apart.

    Yes there have been long periods of lock-step indicating solar radiation is a factor, including a period of very little activity during the period called The Little Ice Age. But none of that explains the disconnect and why temperature is now increasing more than the amount of solar activity historically projects it should.

    So for Fielding to be shown long term data showing warming and cooling in lockstep with solar activity must have been a Eureka moment, and he must have thought it confirmed his deep set opinion. He just didn’t bother to take that one further step and just do a little more online research.

    —————————
    Yay found it: CERN experiment looks at cosmic rays, clouds and climate

    Fascinating stuff.

  74. scaper what makes you such an expert?

    Why are you so certain it is magnetars, It could be argued that the CERN CLOUD experiment is more on the mark in disproving CO2 caused global warming?

    Magnetars, piffle give me CLOUD any day.

  75. johnd, on June 8th, 2009 at 7:56 pm Said:

    many of the assumptions that climate modelling is based on will by default, also be wrong

    Seems like a ‘may’ or ‘might’ could be missing from that statement. Yes? No?

  76. Nature 5, on June 8th, 2009 at 8:10 pm Said:
    “many of the assumptions that climate modelling is based on will by default, also be wrong

    Seems like a ‘may’ or ‘might’ could be missing from that statement. Yes? No?”

    No.
    If you go to page 2 on the link I provided earlier (johnd, on June 8th, 2009 at 7:56 pm) you will find a range of GCM’s. These are General Circulation Models which are used for weather forecasting and weather modelling.
    They are key components of another GCM, Global Climate Models. If the General Circulation Models are shown to be wrong, then that error is carried up into the Global Climate Model. Until, and even now ,models are still being produced that ties ENSOI to certain weather patterns and events.
    Now it has been discovered that some of those patterns and events are actually caused by systems based in a totally different ocean. But not everyone accepts that as yet, and it may take some time before they are willing to concede that what had been built on years of work may be fundementally flawed.
    On the chart on page 2 there are 11 predictions, only one as far as I know includes the IOD as part of its model. It is that model that has been proven remarkedly accurate since being developed in recent years. Remember, the IOD was only identified in 1999. However the other 10 models continue to turn out their version of what the future weather is going to be. They will get it right at times, and all will get it wrong at times but the SINTEX Japanese is the one more and more people are looking to for reliable forecasts.

  77. Is it magnetic or radiation that you are talking about scaper? How do magnetars influence climate change?

    You are the one who has brought it up so you are the one to supply the evidence to back up your claims?

    Maybe I should start a meme stating that the number of McDonalds restaurants is a factor in Climate Change… and then ask for you to refute that claim. Cause it seems to me that arctic ice is decreasing as the number of McDonalds increases.

    Oh – and we are not trying to shut down debate – we just ask for you to supply evidence.

    We have never claimed to be experts, that is a lazy point that you make when you cannot support your own claims. All (I think) we do on here is base our assessments and conclusions on the evidence that the scientists provide.

    I accept that you do not completely accept the science, that is your right – but this thread is about Senator Fielding spreading false information about climate change. He should do better.

    Who on this blog shoots off his mouth eh? You started this thread by saying that I was playing the man and not the ball – which was false.

  78. Oh – and by the way – here is the only link I have been able to find that says that magnetars could affect climate change here on Earth.

    A similar blast within 10 light-years of Earth “would destroy the ozone layer,” according to a CfA statement, “causing abrupt climate change and mass extinctions due to increased radiation.”

    But it then goes on to say:

    None of the known sample [of magnetars] are closer than about 4,000-5,000 light years from us.

    So – please Scaper – where is your evidence to support your claim.

  79. johnd, Thanks for your response.

    The truth is I make no claims to expertise when it comes to the AGW debate. Certainly I make no claims to understanding the detail you provide.

    Nevertheless, i note that you do say:

    But not everyone accepts that as yet, and it may take some time before they are willing to concede that what had been built on years of work may be fundamentally flawed.

    I note that you do say not everyone accepts that as yet and further you do mention may on two occasions in the one sentence which seems quite reasonable and ‘scientific’. As you appreciate, science isn’t about ‘truth’ or ‘certainty’ in any ‘absolute’ sense but is about tentative truth, likely to be modified in the light of new evidence.

    Nevertheless, at the same time you are reluctant to admit that assumptions made in one aspect or area of science ‘MAY’ affect others, preferring instead to suggest they WILL ‘effect’ other areas.

    Frankly, I am surprised with your apparent epistemological ‘certainty’. Just sayin …

  80. Nature 5, on June 8th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    N5, when I said “may take some time” I meant some might accept it quickly others might take longer”. Likewise “may be fundamentally flawed.” was referring more to their willingness or otherwise to concede. Some might not ever accept that it is flawed.

    Models are mathematical formulas. If a basic equation used in one model is proven to be wrong, if that model then carries it forward into an even bigger formula the equation is still wrong.

    A lot of what I look at is not science, but simply being sure that what I am looking at makes sense or is logical.

    For instance this matter of El-Nino has always puzzled me. Not that many years ago, nobody ever knew of it, but suddenly it appeared as if our entire weather system was controlled by it. Each year, the weather was going to revolve around El-Nino or La-Nina. Most everybody would be very familiar with the terms.
    For people like myself that had traditionally “looked up and looked west” to get an indication of the coming weather, or listened to forecasts for Adelaide or Perth to get an idea on what might be coming, or studied the synoptic charts to see what weather systems were moving in from the west, or watched the satellite images on the TV of the systems swirling around, clouds all generally coming from the Indian Ocean, to be continually told that all this is due to some sea surface temperatures off the coast of South America, just didn’t gell.
    Ask yourself when you watch the weather forecast on TV, does it look as if the weather originates from the Pacific, or does it look as if it’s coming from the west.
    The next question was if the Pacific has the SOI, wouldn’t it be logical if the Indian Ocean had a similar indicator, and if so, how come there is no mention of it.
    Well, it started to get mentioned a decade ago, but still to today, as shown on the link I provided, most of the models are still including references to El-Nino, all except one that is. For the last couple of years their forecasts have been coming out almost completely opposite to ALL the others, but has been the only one to generally get it right.
    Whilst it may be a subject for science, the logic of why they might be getting it right and the others not, seems to be more a matter of good old common sense.

  81. Well common sense or a healthy dose of skepticism tells me that the general AGW theory might well be correct with or without a perfectly-modelled IOD, which could still be a chicken-and-egg thing in the larger scheme of things and causations and correlations.

    Anyways, I did want to record a ‘mental note’ that the Conference took two pathways in its activities, one following the natural science(s) path and the other following the ‘dismal’ science path; it’s that second path that often interests me as surely as it’s influenced by the first and informs the ‘agenda’ offered up for both paths.

  82. Senator Fielding didn’t got to a climate change conference that presented two sides of the debate, he went to a climate change conference organised by the US Heartland Institute and sponsored by the Australian Libertarian Society, whose mission statement is that climate change is a natural occurrence and nothing for us to worry about.

    In other words Fielding didn’t hear two sides of an argument and make an informed decision from that, he heard just one side of an argument and based everything on that. If Fielding had gone to a conference where both sides were presented or before he goes off to supposedly trump Wong, he goes to a conference that presents the other majority side to the global warming debate then he might have some credibility.

    As it stands he is yet again making a fool of himself over policy by going off half cocked by not carrying out proper research in areas he knows little or nothing about.

    The conclusion to the Duffy et. al. paper 2009

    In summary, the hypothesis of Scafetta and West — that solar variability is the dominant climate influence during the late 20th century — is a non-solution to a non-problem. There is no problem because the history of global temperatures during the 20th century is adequately explained by known phenomena: greenhouse gases, volcanic eruptions, aerosols, and, yes, to a small degree, solar variability. That conventional explanation is simple, self-consistent, and relies on well established physics. The Scafetta and West hypothesis is a non-solution because it is inconsistent with a range of observations and invokes new an unproven physics. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof; Scafetta and West have failed to provide it.

  83. *laugh*
    Yup, I came in here ready to refute scaper latest bulldust, but looks like the others on the blog did a good enough job for me 🙂

    Joni, best post on the thread. Nice to see you calling people out now. Be careful though – conflict can be addictive 😛

    As for you scaper, you have been thoroughly refuted now with the exception of one thing. Joni correctly stated that only you are claiming we’re climate experts (none of us did), but you are the one making claims desiring they be taken seriously. Are you an astronomer or climate change expert? If not, your idea is as invalid as my two-up or joni’s McDonalds theories.

  84. Adrian,

    After attending the Heartland Institute, Fielding spoke to White House officials, ostensibly to hear ‘the other side’ of the argument. He said this to Tony Jones on Lateline, and says so here on his own website:

    “I’m currently in Washington talking with officials at the White House about how the US plans to tackle climate change and their own emissions reduction scheme.

    Besides, I’m sure Penny Wong and associates will do their best to re-educate him.

  85. (Just thinking aloud, for a moment: Things seem to be descending to a very unpleasant personal level around here, at the moment. I, for one, don’t like it.)

  86. Legion, common sense also tells us that if we are plotting an environment subject to cycles, you cannot make sensible projections whilst within that cycle, and only once that cycle is complete, any projections made have no value unless several previous cycles are used as the base for such projections.
    Take environment to mean any environment, whether in the workplace, a laboratory or the natural world, or merely a sequence of numbers.

    Consider a football game with each quarter a cycle. At what point can your projections have a reasonable chance of predicting a realistic outcome, firstly for the game, then for the season, and then for succeeding seasons.
    Before you reject football as being a useful analogy, think about it. Football is subject to a large number of natural cycles that wax and wane through both short and long term cycles, and previous form can be an indicator to future form, but no guarantee.

  87. Mobius Ecko, on June 9th, 2009 at 7:39 am Said:
    ” and, yes, to a small degree, solar variability. ”

    Isn’t that the same uncertainity about CO2?
    To what degree? It’s all only theory, nothing has been proven.
    Isn’t the doubt about to what degree CO2 may or may not alter the behaviour of the other much more copious greenhouse gases?
    Isn’t the doubt about the degree as to what any negative effect it has on absorbing outgoing radiation offsets the rather larger positive effect it has on absorbing incoming radiation?

  88. Tony.

    He was talking to US officials on how they plan to tackle climate change, not the cause of climate change, for that he went to a conference that was only presenting one side of a debate on a very complex topic.

    My point is that at the very least Fielding should have sought out both sides before making his decision.

  89. @Tony:
    The unpleasantness has been around for a little while now, and is centred around one particular poster. The only reason I can ascertain for the poster’s continued presence is that reb & joni have neither the time nor inclination to censor the blog – as the desire for the person to remove themselves has been explicitly made known.

    At least, that is how I see it.

  90. My point is that at the very least Fielding should have sought out both sides before making his decision.

    That would depend on how he wanted to make a decision. For example, when Christian’s are having doubts about God – they are generally told they should seek guidance from the Bible &/or prayer. Neither of which is going to tell them God is false, uncaring, made out of meatballs, etc.

    My opinion is, like the above crisis of faith situation, Fielding went looking for something to back up his already preconceived notions. He wanted to be able to claim that there is at least a balanced debate on the subject so as to justify his voting with the Coalition on the ETS to his voters (again). He desperately wants to appear independent, and he may really think he is, but has been consistently an extra seat for the Coalition on the big bills (seriously, how can a “family values” guy justify doing nothing on alco-pops because his temper tantrum didn’t work?!?)

  91. I’m no more an expert on climate than anyone else here but I cringe when I see the “square earthers” say the science is settled.

    To dismiss other possible connections is denialist and people should think outside their paradigmatic thimbles instead of bowing to the new faith, CO2ism!

    I suspect many here never even heard of the IOD, little lone magnetars until yesterday and to ignore other possibilities is folly in my opinion.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/29may_magnetar.htm?list793087

    Take note of the date and the effect it had on the atmosphere in this link…is there a connection?

    There has been no research into a possible connection, in the scheme of astrophysics the discovery and understanding is still in its infancy.

  92. No where in that article is there a link between the magnetars and climate. It does say that it ionised the upper atmosphere and the radiation was detected by equipment. And the overloading was because the instruments were tuned to detect small amounts.

    And so I ask again – what is the relationship between magnetars and the climate.

    Are you saying that until we exhaust every possibility we should do nothing about a link which the IPCC clearly thinks exists?

  93. John you love to get down into the pedantic of an argument on an extremely complex subject, I guess in the hope of bogging down the debate with your background knowledge (you still haven’t told us your background in the science) or playing gotcha.

    As I stated I’ll leave the science to the scientists (you?) and blogs like this are not the place to get into those types of long winded arguments, especially since just about all of us here know four fifths of bugger all on the subject.

    All the science on the questions you swamped me with are there for you to read. The papers (peer reviewed and opinion) are easily accessible. So if you want to know the answers or conduct a debate on that level how about you go to dedicated science and climate websites and/or blogs to ask your scientific questions. I’m positive you will be enlightened and have a more meaningful debate in “picking brains” on that fora.

    I’m not going to get bogged down like Lotharsson did (he has your measure) and spend hours replying to the myriad of questions you will throw up, I haven’t got a fraction of the time required to do that nor the knowledge required to debate at that high a level.

    Sorry if that disappoints you.

  94. I suspect many here never even heard of the IOD, little lone magnetars until yesterday and to ignore other possibilities is folly in my opinion.

    And that there is the problem, scaper. In the opinion of some anonymous guy online without any background in the relevant sciences, we should ignore the stated majority opinion of the world’s scientific institutions and throw money & time into checking out his “hunch of the week”.

    I disagree with the AGW sceptics on this blog, but the ones I respect at least try debating the current science. You are introducing a type of star that is (at their closest) 9000 light-years away. You then try quoting someone to show that if the stars were 900x closer, we’d be in trouble. Wow, you know – if there were 900 times as many cats on this planet, we’d be overrun! Let’s start wiping them out.

  95. No one knows if there is a connection because there has not been any research to date!

    I’ve never said that we should do nothing at all.

    In your black and white world there is only one way forward, an ETS that will not have the desired effect…the big polluters will keep spewing out the crap and the public will foot the bill.

  96. No scaper – I believe that we must reduce the CO2 output and that an ETS is one way to do it – and that most economies seem to be moving towards and ETS of one form or another.

    To accept that we need to do something on C02 means that you have to accept that there is a problem.

  97. B.Tolputt, on June 9th, 2009 at 8:46 am Said:

    to his voters (again).

    Voters? I am not sure he has too many of those.

    I think Fielding is into base political considerations and this is just the latest manifestation. Last time, his primary vote was less than 2% which will certainly not be enough this time around so he is in search of a new demographic.

    He tried the ‘pensioners’ as evidenced by that protest in Melbourne but that group has been bought off. The AGW deniers are worth a go because Labor are believers and officially so are the Liberals. Thus there is an opportunity to capture those who are non-believers.

    He is getting plenty of publicity (regardless of whether it is criticism or not). he is getting his name up there. Base political motives explains heaps.

  98. Mobius Ecko, on June 9th, 2009 at 7:39 am Said:
    “There is no problem because the history of global temperatures during the 20th century is adequately explained by known phenomena: greenhouse gases, volcanic eruptions, aerosols, and, yes, to a small degree, solar variability.”

    That is a big claim to make, but has it been substantiated?
    Take the southern hemisphere, and that good old whipping boy El-Nino.
    Whilst El-Nino and La-Nina are normally associated with rainfall, they actually are driven by the warming and cooling of the ocean surface, so they are temperature related. We also know that the weather circulates continuously around the globe, and adjoining regions either experience or influence to a greater or lesser degree conditions of an adjoining region.
    We have been told ad-infinitum about how dry conditions here are a result of the system that brings wet conditions to South America.
    We also know when talking about the 20th century that for Australia, the first half was drier than the second half. Again we know of the Pacific Decadel Oscillation, a cycle that over a period of about 6 decades will bring one cycle of about 3 decades where more El-Ninos occur, and then a period of about 3 decades where more La-Ninas will occur, and this has been used to confirm the influence El-Nino has over Australia.
    However, as is now being revealed the ENSOI doesn’t have the influence it previously was thought to have. Now it is being revealed that in fact the Indian Ocean is a driving force that extends over a very large area including all of Australia, and conditions that previously were thought to be driven by events in the Pacific are in fact not the case.
    Because of the nature of the system, what happens here in Australia is now an indicator of what occurs, and has occurred in SE Asia, India and to an extent, Africa, more so than South America.

    So can someone please explain to me how the climate of the 20th century can be adequately explained when they didn’t even know the existence of a system that is a major driver of the weather in the southern hemisphere, and they were merrily producing and tweaking models, that firstly provide data for weather modelling and if proven reliable are then incorporated into climate modelling, to validate a connection that is now suspect.

  99. No one knows if there is a connection because there has not been any research to date!

    Nor has there been any research in regards to the connection between AGW and…
    – McDonald’s Fast Food Restaurants,
    – Bunyips,
    – The playing of two-up on ANZAC Day,
    – The number of megabytes zipping around the Internet at any one time,
    – Carmen Electra (after all, she is “smoking hot”),
    – Black holes,
    – The number of Dr Who episodes re-run globally each year, and
    – The number of German fetishists in latex fashions this year.

    Me, I’d attribute that tp the fact that those with a background in the relevant sciences see the implausibility of a connection there and so find their time would be better served looking at other things. However, I suggest if you are really worried – bug the scientists themselves. Being able to attribute the global warming to weird stars some 9000 light-years away is Nobel prize winning material… so long as they can actually prove it not rant that their “might” be a connection so we need to stop any progress until they are 100% sure.

  100. And just on the “unpleasantness” side issue – this is just a blog, nothing more. So to allow freeflowing debate we need to just skim over the “bad” stuff, and enjoy the good.

  101. @johnd:
    Mate, Adrian/Mobius has stated he is not interested in debating you on this. No-one here is a scientist with the required education/background to make you believe us (we’re neither right-wing nor climate experts).

    What you are doing to Adrian’s/Mobius’ posts is called cherry-picking. The conclusion of his last one to you is that he is not interested in debating you on that. Take it to a climate-focused blog where you are more likely to get the reception you’re after. I think it is obvious to all but a few slow people on the blog that we’ve all chosen the scientific institutions (&/or right/left-wing think tanks) we’re going to believe in. Unless you can wow us with your scientific background – you are simply beating a dead horse around here.

  102. Someone should explain the difference between ’cause’ and ‘coincidence’.

  103. joni, there lies my problem…it is all about CO2 and the ETS is all about revenue and power!

    What about reforestation and cleaning up our oceans and waterways to re-establish the natural order?

    I believe we could do it better without an ETS but we lack real leadership and the waters have been muddied so much by the CO2 issue that we are so polarised the opportunity is all but lost.

    I see Bob Brown is in trouble…I disagree with a lot of Brown’s actions and have no love for the man but I will be donating to his costs on principle.

  104. Perhaps all the “non deniers” here might explain why a market based scheme will be such a success, and ought to be supported? Particularly when many of its supporters have pointed out the recent failure of the market as a means of economic regulation?

    Why the whole hearted support for a market based solution now?

    Why will it work for carbon, when a similar market based solution is so untenable for allocation and distribution of water

  105. From what I gather – the purpose of an ETS is to transfer the free benefits that the high CO2 emitters get to give a start to the renewable/low-pollution industries.

    I read somewhere that the coal industry in NSW alone has obtained over $10 billion in effective subsidies over the last few years. Which is because the environmental impact of their industry is something that they do not pay for.

  106. Mobious, what I have been arguing is not science, but doubts and observations that any everyday person, enquiring person, with an awareness of the environment around them, and a sense of logic, should be seeking to better understand.
    I make no claims, except that I am not, and never have been, a person who is prepared to blindly follow others.
    If I don’t understand it, I make it my business to examine it from all sides, and then start asking awkward questions.

    I have never found any profit in running with the mob. I may see things through a different perspective, and approach things in a different manner, but there has always been someone out there who were looking for someone other than a run of the mill person to fill an other than a run of the mill position, and were prepared to reward accordingly. I’ve stood on a few toes, and challenged quite a few established “truths”, but I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever.

  107. @Tom of Melbourne
    Unless you have missed it, the “non-deniers” (as you call us) on this blog are not hole-heartedly supporting the ETS; we are criticising Senator Fielding’s lack of truth or education (depending on whether you think he is a liar or an idiot) in regards to the debate of solar causes of recent warming trends.

    For the record, the market for money failed in many ways; but most do not apply to the carbon markets. Primarily, carbon licenses are a finite resource with both a limited life-time & a value based on their usage. Regardless of what the market does – the carbon licenses will legally limit the amount of carbon that can be pumped into the atmosphere. Unlike money or shares, the government / corporations can’t just make more when they feel the market getting tight.

  108. Tolputt, I see you have gone off topic with your barb at Fielding concerning the alcopop tax.

    I’ll run with it and put it to you…why did the government not at least consider Fielding’s one request concerning alcohol advertising?

    The government claims to be at WAR with binge drinking but won’t entertain advertising restrictions???

  109. As always, scaper, running off on a tangent because the main topic is not working out for you. You want to discuss alco-pops – write an article & send it to reb, joni, or myself. We can start a new blog post and the debate can proceed in there.

    As easy as it is to debate you on this – alco-pops are only connected through Fielding, and you are not debating for/against Fielding (but against Labor) in your question. As such, any debate on the topic belongs elsewhere.

  110. kittylitter, on June 9th, 2009 at 2:03 am Said:
    “Tempers flare as scientists defend the solar debate”

    KL, I was particularly interested in the following quote from the article

    “Paul Cally, professor of solar physics at Monash University, said a gradual increase in solar activity during the first half of last century might have contributed up to 30 per cent of global warming.
    “But it was totally swamped by man-made effects late in the 20th century,” Professor Cally said. “It is very clear if you look at the data.”

    If the climate in Australia in the last half of the 20th century is any guide, than all I can say is let it continue. It certainly was good for the country to return to cooler wetter conditions as a respite.

  111. Gee, Tolputt…you introduced alcopops into the debate and you can not answer one little question?

    Me thinks that you are losing the debate here.

  112. I’ve used the term “non denier” as a disparaging term, as I think the use of the “denier” label diminishes its original use to relating to holocaust victims. I’ve considered the use of the term “denier” outrageous.

    Perhaps also explain why the market is so useful for allocating carbon consumption, but considered so ineffective for water allocation?

    Why is the government so determined to use the price mechanism on this occasion? It is a cop out.

    Implementation of the CPRS is a political activity, driven by wedge politics. The government isn’t serious.

  113. Tom

    You seem to be confusing extreme greed with market forces. Market forces are supposed to create healthy competition keeping prices low, however when the big are permitted to swallow the little, those market forces turn againt the population and in favour of the duopolys that are left standing being run by excessively greedy CEOs, management and Shareholders who expect unrealistic and totally unsustainable returns and salary packages.

    The reason for the mess we are in now is not due to market forces, but excessive greed and the lack of satisfatroy controls over greed in the market.

    Greed is a human nature that needs to be tempered by government regulation. Otherwise the vulnerable and low paid are left spiralling into oblivion when it lifes essentials.

    So long as there are sufficient controls in place to ensure excessive greed does not overtake the whole scheme then market forces should be allowed to operate within a regulated market.

  114. Me thinks that you are losing the debate here.

    Read the article, scaper. The topic is not about alco-pops. I referenced them as an example of Fielding losing his “family focus”.

    You have been given the opportunity to create the article in which to frame the debate about alco-pops. It is your recalcitrance on putting the work in to said article that stymies the debate, not me. I am more than willing to post your article, and join in the debate under it’s more appropriate topic. Put up or shut up, scaper.

  115. “Put up or shut up, scaper.”

    I see, you have your little slur, get challenged to substantiate it by answering one little question then dodge it by telling me to write a thread.

    The above says it all…when you are exposed you tell me to shut up, don’t like free speech?

    Here’s another curler that you won’t answer…if the government is so concerned about working families why won’t it consider alcohol advertising restrictions?

    No family focus???

  116. The side reference to alcopops was a reminder of Fieldings opposition to the tax – where his arguments were not based on fact, and how his position was one reason why the tax was never implemented. So lets move on.

    But I am still waiting for the relationship between magnetars and climate change…. and how ionisation of the upper atmosphere is the cause of the 1998 global temperature.

  117. scaper

    I am ane who is all for restricting alcohol advertising as I believe it costs the community more than smoking by way of violence, property damage, family destruction and many more areas of our lifestyle when it is abused.

    However have you ever considered that the businesses which now run the majority of alcohol sales and hotels would launch a major court challenge to alcohol advertising restricitions and then scream blue murder about sales dropping and job losses and denial of our freedoms and rights.

    The duopoly of Coles and Woolworths are the major players in alcohol sales as they quietly go about buying up everything under the sun without any apparent restrictions.

    In addition the advertising networks would also join the court case for fear of income loss.

    Smoking was a different matter as it is bad for you in any type of dose, whereas alcohol ( according to scientific results) can be beneficial in small doses and therefore to restrict advertsing would prove difficult given it is a legal commodity which if taken in moderation can provide benefits.

  118. That’s right, scaper. Either deal with the questions you are dodging in this topic or start a new one for the topic you seem to desire now.

    Feel free to show me up at any time with a new thread, until then show us why we should be looking at magnetars over the expansion of McDonald’s Restaurants. We’re all waiting…

  119. joni, I’ve already answered your question.

    I don’t know because no research has been done as of yet.

    Here’s another curve ball…it is a well known fact that the subterranean water tables have been receding due to excessive pumping of this resource by irrigators and the like.

    What effect has this had on the hydrologic cycle and the imbalance created by slow infiltration?

  120. Tolputt, you’ve been shown up here as it is!

  121. So the magnetars was brought up by you to support your doubts over climate change being man made.

    I will still put my faith (that is what you have when you rely on experts) in the IPCC and the scientists who believe that AGW is real.

  122. Tom of Melbourne, on June 9th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Good stuff (again) Tom and I agree.

    I have been guilty of using the term denier and sceptic but now prefer to use opponent and proponent, which I believe more accurately reflects the debate at the higher level.

    One religious zealotry and scepticism are used in blogging debates then methinks the argument on both sides is set in stone and there will never be any compromise or acknowledgement of other views.

  123. Oh and this is what a friend said in relation to Fielding:

    One needs to get in first with Fielding as he believes the 1st lobbyist who comes his way.

  124. No joni, I just believe that all possible influences should be investigated to garner a better understanding.

    You can put your faith in any ism you want, it is a free world…although our freedoms are diminishing.

    I choose to base my beliefs on hard evidence, thank you.

  125. B. Tolputt, you are attributing the visit of Fielding to his intention to vote with the coalition against the CPRS.

    When making a significant change to the regulation of the economy, it is up to the proponents of the change to justify it.

    You seem to take it as a fact that the appropriate policy response to carbon emission (climate change) is a CRPS. And one that has to be introduced as a matter of urgency.

    The politics seems to go only one way with your commentary.

    • Why is a CRPS (ie a price mechanism) the principal response of the government?
    • Why is the blunt instrument of price the means of control?
    • Could you point to some record of success before you load us up with this scheme?
    • Why is it not sensible to review the policy response of the world biggest emitter?
    • Don’t you see a level of logical inconsistency in your position?

    You seem to be among those that think the debate is settled and therefore the policy response is also settled.

  126. Tom of Melbourne, on June 9th, 2009 at 10:12 am Said:

    Why is the government so determined to use the price mechanism on this occasion? It is a cop out.

    Tom, the introduction of an ETS (emission trading) or Cap and Trade is not peculiar to a Labor Government here in Australia. Indeed Howard proposed that an Australian Carbon Trading Scheme to be introduced by 2012,

    A cap and trade system for carbon began in the European Union in 2005 and a cap and trade system for SO2 has been in North America for decades.

    I wouldn’t know whether it is the best system or not but if the rest of the world goes down that track then we have little choice.

    As for:

    Implementation of the CPRS is a political activity, driven by wedge politics. The government isn’t serious.

    i suspect that you’re not serious. Of course it’s a political activity because all legislation is political. As for being a ‘wedge’ re the LNP, that’s self inflicted. Turnbull has agreed that an ETS is inevitable but that’s not the view of the Nats and others within the LIBs

    Of course this post like yours are off-thread.

  127. Tolputt, you’ve been shown up here as it is!

    *laugh* Classic troll. I assume then that you cannot back-up your obnoxious posts with a single well-written article then? Not surprised.

  128. So where is your hard evidence that magnetars and the other things that you want to bring up?

    And note that the IPCC say that they have a 90% certainty that it man is the cause of the increase.

  129. “your obnoxious posts”

    Delusional is the word that comes to mind.

    I reckon that you are the obnoxious one here…so far you have told me to shut up and now you call me a troll?

    You are spoiling for a fight and I’d rather let you embarass yourself than go down to your level.

  130. Shane..a little off topic. The tobacco industry were able to be excluded from sports advertising because there was another large industry able to take over, that being of course the alcohol industry. However, as the government tried to explain to Fielding, it just wasn’t possible to immediately cancel advertising contracts plus other sponsors would need to be found. Not good enough for Fielding who could have had warning labels and other good things..cut off his nose to spite his face.

  131. joni, I don’t know if it is man made or not but I know we have to clean up our act.

    I just don’t believe an ETS will achieve this goal.

    We will get one eventually because that is what both sides of politics want.

  132. I choose to base my beliefs on hard evidence, thank you.

    *laugh* Yes, like magnetars.

    @Tom:

    B. Tolputt, you are attributing the visit of Fielding to his intention to vote with the coalition against the CPRS.

    Yes, I do. Were he not already inclined to disbelieve what they would tell him, a much cheaper and more convenient source of information could be found in the CSIRO. That he needed to go overseas for his fact-finding speaks volumes about his predisposition on the matter.

    When making a significant change to the regulation of the economy, it is up to the proponents of the change to justify it.

    No debate there.

    You seem to take it as a fact that the appropriate policy response to carbon emission (climate change) is a CRPS. And one that has to be introduced as a matter of urgency.

    Not at all. Were this subject about Fielding coming back from the USA with alternatives to the ETS – I’d not be so adamant about my position. The issue was his focus on the solar debate and how it didn’t get exposure in the media.

    You seem to be among those that think the debate is settled and therefore the policy response is also settled.

    I personally think the debate is settled as to what is causing global warming, yes. As to what we should do about it – I am not decided. That something should be done is something I believe in; but I don’t necessarily agree that the ETS is the best way to approach it. On the other hand, I don’t see viable alternatives being proposed at this point. If it is ETS or nothing – I’ll take the ETS.

  133. N5, I don’t think we should be inclined to the follow the prevailing/most common thinking argument when it comes to important issues, and this is an important one. Support by politicians of any persuasion is hardly a recommendation for good practice.

    I think we went into Vietnam at the time that politicians here and internationally thought it was a good idea. We also drained the Murray Darling with universal domestic support. Keating and the ALP supported a GST, then opposed it, so did the Liberals. There are too many examples to list of poor political decisions that have been opposed, then supported, then opposed, etc, etc by both parties.

    The fact that many politicians, here and elsewhere, choose an ETS should make us very suspicious, rather than having us regard the policy as good practice.

    I’ll regard the government as serious when they introduce some of the mechanisms that would limit (and education about) carbon emission. Until they do this, I’ll just regard them as behaving as divisive politicians.

  134. MIn

    agree regarding sponsorship.It really was a case of out of the frying pan into the fire.

    The problem is who else has the sort of money the alcohol industry has except maybe for the petroleum industry or the Banks and I can’t see either of them rushing to take over sponsorships as they already have monopoly control.

  135. Delusional is the word that comes to mind.

    You’re right. I assume you cannot back up your delusional, obnoxious posts with a single well-written article. Yes, that does read much better,

    Seriously, if you want to debate the alco-pops, you are more than free to write an article on it. I have already stated I will join you there.

  136. All I know is that not one of us would stand at the back of a car and inhale the exhaust fumes, or go to the top of a smelter smoke stack and breathe in the fumes.

    If we would not do that because we know the fumes are toxic, then it goes without saying that those fumes being pumped into our atmosphere by human action are toxic to the planet as a whole and if we keep increasing them we are eventually going to destroy ourselves. Especially since we continue to destroy the one thing that is a filter for pollution, namely trees.

    We need to do something. Sitting on our arses and watching and wating for the rest of the world seems a very lame excuse for inaction. A flawed process of change IMHO is much better than no change at all.

  137. Gee, you can not answer one question, can you?

    How can you seriously debate when you interject with slurs and insults?

  138. B.Tolputt – “I don’t see viable alternatives being proposed at this point. If it is ETS or nothing – I’ll take the ETS.”

    If the government was serious about carbon reduction, we address the following –

    • Why allow cooling of houses and offices below 24?
    • Why allow heating above 18?
    • Why is there not regulate to stop use of air-conditioning unless window awnings are used?
    • Why have tax benefits that encourage motor vehicles to be turned over every 3 years rather than 5?
    • Is there any education program or distributed consumer guide about carbon consumed in production of consumer goods or industrial production? Eg is it more carbon intensive to eat chicken, beef or lamb, is timber or steel better for use in building, is cotton, wool or polyester more carbon friendly?

    A program to educate the public on some of these items seems to be a sensible place to start. This program would not be divisive politically.

    ETS is just the price mechanism. It is the wrong place to start. The “take it or leave it” approach is just shallow.

  139. Gee, you can not answer one question, can you?

    Sure I can. Send reb or joni an article to put up (as it is obvious you won’t trust me to do it), and we can debate this to your heart’s content under the correct topic. I’m not going to hold my breath though…

  140. scaper…, on June 9th, 2009 at 11:01 am Said:

    I choose to base my beliefs on hard evidence, thank you.

    But on such a complex matter and science there is in all likelihood never going to be absolute hard evidence, just a preponderance of evidence pointing to a likely cause and effect.

    The lack of hard evidence was the tactic the tobacco lobby used to be able to kill hundreds of thousands if not millions more until the weight of causal evidence could no longer be ignored.

    And then there are those who will always throw in doubts and diversions, even when the preponderance of evidence is pointing to a likely single cause, for example the creationist who bought up Intelligent Design as a scientific debate.

    If you go by your tenet you will hardly ever believe in any scientific consensus or conclusion and act upon nothing because there is rarely anything that is not regularly challenged, even things we have long held as a hard fact.

    Why bother to spend time and effort in saving water systems, desertification is natural and has occurred many times in history? Central Australia was once water and green and probably will be again, so the drying of the eastern and western areas of Australia is all part of a cycle, which will give rise to new ecosystems where some flora and fauna will adapt and others won’t. We just have to learn to adapt instead of having the governments waste billions on water management.

  141. Tom of Melbourne, on June 9th, 2009 at 11:26 am Said:

    Support by politicians of any persuasion is hardly a recommendation for good practice.

    Indeed it isn’t. But for CO2 generation to be controlled, there is a pressing need for international action and some form of transparency is necessary if some level of trust is to be generated. How you achieve international co-operation without involving national and international lawmakers (aka politicians) is beyond me.

    There’s much at stake here. Not just huge economic impacts but also the health (future?) of the planet. Seems to me that a holistic view is badly needed and that won’t happen without political activity,

    As for:

    I’ll regard the government as serious when they introduce some of the mechanisms that would limit (and education about) carbon emission.

    Surely, that’s what they are trying to do? BTW it seems to me that the youth of the nation are much more aware than the ‘oldies’ which is encouraging.

  142. I have to run for lunch but I do believe that the government is actually proposing some of the other energy reduction points (and others) that you raise.

    I should be in a position to put some more details up a bit later.

    (My Mum is in town and I am taking her, dad and the boyf to Spice Temple for lunch).

  143. joni

    ” to Spice Temple for lunch”

    Hope you don’t get fart gas when you return.

  144. A program to educate the public on some of these items seems to be a sensible place to start.

    Prior to the above sentence, I was agreeing with you. Education is not the problem – it is actual action by the government. No government wants to take real action because, let’s face it, it’s going to be more expensive and less comfortable to the average citizen. If petrol wasn’t cheaper to fuel our transport system – it wouldn’t be used. Telling people they cannot cool their houses less than 24 degrees Celsius is going to cause an uprising.

    ETS is just the price mechanism. It is the wrong place to start. The “take it or leave it” approach is just shallow.

    I agree, the approach taken by the government is shallow. However, the public doesn’t have much choice in the matter. We are not presented with viable alternatives guaranteed to have an effect on the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere. While the ETS is going to have a small (negligible?) effect – it will have one and could (under a more courageous government) be ramped up to having a major effect.

  145. Tolputt, I don’t appreciate being ordered to do anything from anyone, especially people of your calibre.

    Your demand for me to write a thread on alcopops is just a diversion to avoid answering one or two questions that someone here had a good go answering.

    You are not having a good day, are you?

  146. Tom

    All of your suggestion si agree with except 1.

    Since birth I suffer from excessive perspiration which commences at 22 degrees. So I need to cool to 21 or it makes no difference to my comfort level.

    I had 2 cervical sympathectomies but the perspiration simply moved from my hands to my back and chest. These operations are no longer performed as a result.

    Apparently excessive sweating is far more common than realised. Therefore cooling needs to be to a level of comfort for the individual.

  147. Perhaps all the “non deniers” here might explain why a market based scheme will be such a success, and ought to be supported? Particularly when many of its supporters have pointed out the recent failure of the market as a means of economic regulation?

    Why the whole hearted support for a market based solution now?

    Tom, I’m prepared to go on record as saying that I’ve never supported an ETS. Even in the debate on tim’s blog I was a supporter of a Carbon Tax, but that seems to have never seriously been considered (? industry didn’t want it, they prefer to manipulate the market).

  148. Now this is just silly

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25609493-29277,00.html

    One should cease and the other commence the next day, whereas apparently there will be some delay in the new rebate scheme.

    A silly decision which will cause angst for the industry.

  149. joni, on June 9th, 2009 at 11:12 am Said:

    “And note that the IPCC say that they have a 90% certainty that it man is the cause of the increase.”

    There are some subtle differences as to what the GW debate is perceived to be and what it really comes down to.
    One argument is about whether the increased CO2 is related to mans activities or not. That is one rather minor uncertainty, and may be irrelevant.

    The crucial question that is really at the crux of the matter, and in doubt by some, is this.

    All 23 IPCC models are based on the concept that the relatively tiny amount of direct heating caused by the increased CO2 is having a POSITIVE feedback on water vapour and clouds in the atmosphere causing the cloud cover of the Earth to decrease with warming, which would let in even more sunlight and cause the Earth to warm to an even higher temperature, and so on. That is the run away temperature scenario.

    Those that disagree, argue that increased warming, increases the evaporation of moisture from the surface thus putting more water vapour and clouds into the atmosphere which then blocks and reduces incoming radiation thus reducing the heating effect, that is NEGATIVE feedback.

    There are many other factors considered also, but this particular point is what it all hinges on. If there is ANY doubt about the validity of this THEORY, then the whole AGW case collapses.
    Do all the research you want, but it comes back to that one simple point, is it POSITIVE or NEGATIVE feedback.

  150. Your demand for me to write a thread on alcopops is just a diversion to avoid answering one or two questions that someone here had a good go answering.

    Riiiigght. Because trying to discuss alco-pops in a thread about Fielding’s AGW bulldust is not a diversion…

    I guess only people of my calibre can pick up on that though; people of your calibre can’t be bothered backing up their opinions. I have, when pushed, published articles under my own name here on the blog. You, obviously, will not or cannot be bothered to. There is no “demands”, except on your part, because I simply refuse to debate alco-pops in a Fielding & AGW.

    You are not having a good day, are you?

    Why do you say that? My day being good, bad, or otherwise is not in the slightest affected by showing you up. The fact you cannot backup your own opinions by an article for all to comment on is just an added bonus. However, even if you managed to write said article and trounced in the following debate – it would still not affect my day. You are just not that important and I might actually have learnt something. *shrug*

  151. And Tom @ 11.04am ..also..why not make insulation compulsory?

  152. The lack of hard evidence was the tactic the tobacco lobby used to be able to kill hundreds of thousands if not millions more until the weight of causal evidence could no longer be ignored.

    And then there are those who will always throw in doubts and diversions, even when the preponderance of evidence is pointing to a likely single cause, for example the creationist who bought up Intelligent Design as a scientific debate.

    Adrian, are you not doing what you accuse others of, in those very paragraphs? Are you not introducing “doubts and diversions” of your own, by employing the “tactic” of falsely linking tobacco deaths and creationism or intelligent design with AGW scepticism?

  153. Whoops, apologies Tom. This refers to at 11.41am.

  154. At the risk of being slightly off-topic, I refer readers to this article on the scientific method as employed by the climate science community. An excerpt:

    What the current publication process has evolved into, at the detriment of proper scientific investigation, are the publication of untested (and often untestable) hypotheses. The fourth step in the scientific method “Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment” is bypassed.

    This is a main reason that the policy community is being significantly misinformed about the actual status of our understanding of the climate system and the role of humans within it.

  155. Tolputt, lets get one thing straight…you mentioned alcopops as an immature attack on Fielding after accusing me of being off topic!

    Don’t you see your hypocrisy at all???

    I have made my opinion quite clear on at least two threads here concerning that topic and don’t see any point in going over old ground as there has been no further developments on the issue.

    I won’t bow to your demands and you can call it otherwise but due to your insults and lack of debating skills I find you to be full of animosity.

  156. Are you not introducing “doubts and diversions” of your own, by employing the “tactic” of falsely linking tobacco deaths and creationism or intelligent design with AGW scepticism?

    I took it as Adrian pointing out a clear case of there being a problem but solutions being stymied by vested interests in the status quo.

    I’d be more than interested in an equivalent case that illustrates this just as effectively that is also as well known. I admit there are negative connotations to being linked to the tobacco industry in such a fashion, but cannot think of a case where the behaviour being discussed is so well known.

  157. Tolputt, lets get one thing straight…you mentioned alcopops as an immature attack on Fielding after accusing me of being off topic!

    Yes. I mentioned it in connection to Fielding. There was a connection to the topic at hand. Moving further afield into discussing the pros & cons alco-pop tax and it’s rejection in the Senate is a topic distanced enough to warrant it’s own article (should you wish to debate it).

    Don’t you see your hypocrisy at all???

    Not at all. You want to move completely away from the AGW topic in an AGW & Fielding related article. I do not. My comments were in relation to Fielding’s behaviour – your questions were in relation to Labor’s.

    I have made my opinion quite clear on at least two threads here concerning that topic and don’t see any point in going over old ground as there has been no further developments on the issue.

    If you are not interested in debating it – why ask the questions? If you are interested, this is an open blog. Simply send reb or joni the article you wish debate on. The choice rests with you, not me.

    I won’t bow to your demands and you can call it otherwise but due to your insults and lack of debating skills I find you to be full of animosity.

    I refuse to engage you on an alco-pops debate here; my choice over my actions. You demand I answer your questions here; your choice over my actions. See the difference?

    My only “demand” is a reasonable one of having people stick to the topic (when there is a clear one like in this thread). If we were to follow you and your wandering subject matter – we could end up debating the merits of Cybermen vs Daleks because Dr Who was mentioned peripherally in the course of making a point.

  158. I agree Min, insulation should be compulsory, and those that can afford it, should pay to have it installed.

    Taxpayers should help out those that can’t afford it, such as pensioners.

    I don’t see any need to me to pay for home insulation of well off people, any more than I’d pay for them to change from a conventional motor vehicle to a hybrid.

  159. I simply refuse to debate alco-pops in a Fielding & AGW.
    B.Tolputt, on June 9th, 2009 at 12:34 pm Said:

    Its all rather hilarious really…………..reading you lot tearing into each other. This Fielding thing is not about Climate Change. It’s about Fielding trying to remain relevant to his Victorian electorate. This “stance” of his is his latest stunt to remain relevant. He wants to be seen as “keeping the bastards honest”

    Just like his other stunts taking off his shirt in unison with Melbourne cab drivers or was it Pensioners (?), Medicare Levy Senate Vote, Luxury Car Tax Senate Vote, Alcopops Senate Vote. Oh and not to forget the ridiculous Internet Blocking stuff up. Good lord he even wanted 10 cents refundable on every glass bottle brought back in.

    His only hope for re-election is via a double dissolution where his quota will be possibly small enough to obtain re election. Don’t be surprised if he defects to the Lib Nats if he can see no other hope for re election.

    In 2004 he was elected on a 2% primary but then a flow of major party preferences delivered him his seat. It’s not going to happen again.

    So he needs to keep his ugly head in the spotlight continually. And stirring debate is his best way of doing so.

    Xenephon has managed to deliver his state some benefits to keep him very relevant to SA. Fielding is having a problem doing so. Hence he’ll latch onto anything contentious whether he believes in it or not.

    You lot forget……………..he is a politician and the only “oxygen” that keeps them alive is called a “vote”.

  160. I thought Adrian has a legitimate point there which I relate to Steve Fielding and his difficulty with critical thinking – (alcopops is an example). Perhaps being a fundamentalist christian makes it impossible for him to believe that humans play a part in climate change (George Pell is a denier too).

    it was only a few months ago that Fielding was saying that divorce had an environmental impact and caused an increase in our carbon footprint.

    That Fielding chooses to go to the Heartland Institute which has it’s roots in the tobacco lobby and believes the smoking and research is based on ‘junk science’ says a lot.

  161. Yay..we agree Tom. We had better break out the mateus this evening! I think that the government should have bitten (bited?) the bullet re ‘the politics of envy’ which would no doubt have made week long headlines and have means tested the current insulation rebate.

    With apologies for being off topic.

  162. I took it as Adrian pointing out a clear case of there being a problem but solutions being stymied by vested interests in the status quo.

    Then perhaps that’s what he should have said.

    By the way, there seems to be a tendency by some commenters here to use analogies, when none are needed. Instead of clarifying a point, these rhetorical devices often serve to confuse the debate instead.

    What’s wrong with facts and logic?

  163. Perhaps being a fundamentalist christian makes it impossible for him to believe that humans play a part in climate change (George Pell is a denier too).

    That’s another red-herring, Kitty. How do you then explain all the clergy who are climate-change believers?

  164. Walrus..very insightful. It could have been somewhere over at Crikey via Possum (not certain) but I read a few weeks ago that if there is a DD then Fielding is gone.

  165. I agree with walrus, I think he’s desperately seeking votes and he’s happy to take them from the deniers.

    I’ll be pleased when he is no longer relevant to parliament.

  166. That’s another red-herring, Kitty. How do you then explain all the clergy who are climate-change believers?

    Not all clergy are fundamentalist tony. The fundamentalists are extreme in belief.

  167. Kittyl..I was prepared to believe that Fielding was just naive, that is easily influenced by which ever lobbyist knocked on his door. But perhaps you and Walrus are right, that he is seeking votes/support from the section of christian fundamentalists who are deniers.

  168. IATW – “In 2004 he was elected on a 2% primary”

    So it seems to me that you’re suggesting that Family First is underrepresented.

    They only have about 1.3% of the seats.

  169. IATW – “In 2004 he was elected on a 2% primary”

    So it seems to me that you’re suggesting that Family First is underrepresented.

    They only have about 1.3% of the seats.

    And yet, to change that, we would need to over-represent them. *shrug* Problem with representative democracies the world over.

    I do think that IATW & kitty are onto something though.

  170. Another sort-of on-, sort-of off-topic item, from the WSJ:

    Global warming alarmists are fond of invoking the authority of experts against the skepticism of supposedly amateur detractors — a.k.a. “deniers.” So when one of those experts says that a recent report on the effects of climate change is “worse than fiction, it is a lie,” the alarmists should, well, be alarmed….

    We could go on, except we’re worried about the blood pressure of readers who are climate-change true believers. Our only question is, if the case for global warming is so open and shut, why the need for a report as disingenuous as Mr. Annan’s?

  171. They only have about 1.3% of the seats.

    Tom of Melbourne, on June 9th, 2009 at 1:27 pm Said:

    Well maybe but there would have been plenty of others who received a higher Primary vote but did not get the preference flow.

    I would have thought the very last Green candidate would have had a better %………….but maybe not.

    Holy Shit……………………!

    I now retract all my previous statements on this subject as I have just noticed that Kittylitter agrees with me.

    Hehehehehehehehehehe…!

  172. I don’t think anyone here is claiming Mr. Annan is an expert on climate change, Tony.

  173. Tony, on June 9th, 2009 at 1:41 pm Said:
    “Another sort-of on-, sort-of off-topic item, from the WSJ:”

    Thanks Tony.
    I found this bit interesting, I wonder why.
    I suspect the “new research” is reference to the revelation that a large amount of the effects previously attributed to El-Nino were in fact being driven by a different system in a different ocean.

    “The authors also claim that global warming is aggravating the El Niño effect, which has “ruined livelihoods, led to lost lives and impaired national economies.” Yet new research “questions the notion that El Niños have been getting stronger because of global warming,” according to Ben Giese of Texas A&M.”

  174. Johnd,

    You may have already seen this article, but it addresses, in layman’s terms, the points you made above: Cloud feedback: positive or negative?

  175. Tony, on June 9th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks Tony, I have previously read various bits of his work. I have his book but it is as yet unread.
    He articulates his arguments in very clear and concise terms. He is talking to the ordinary person.
    Like many others, he was a senior figure in a large respected organisation NASA, but then found if he wanted to ask the question “what if” he would have to leave their confines.

  176. The same Roy Spencer who is a supporter of Intelligent Design?

  177. My post earlier was incorrect. The Institute for a Sustainable Future calculated that the fossil fuel industries “total magnitude of identified subsidies is about $8.9 billion” for 2001-2002.

  178. Looks to be the same bloke Kitty. From: http://www.squidoo.com/roy-spencer

    Roy Spencer has recently made a career out of appearing on television to attack the science behind global warming theory.

    Working with the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, Spencer has been part of an effort to advocate environmental policy that’s based on a “Biblical view” rather than science. Spencer has also been a defender of the pseudoscience of “Intelligent Design” Creationism, saying that the theory of evolution is really just a kind of religion.

  179. Kittylitter / Min, and the relevance is ??????? Don’t be shy.

  180. He’s also associated with several industry funded think tanks and actively suppressed the work of CC scientists whilst a political appointee at NASA.

  181. The same Roy Spencer who is a supporter of Intelligent Design?

    It might be, I don’t know. But, seriously, what if it is? Does that somehow disqualify him from holding an opinion on particular scientific matters?

    I personally don’t subscribe to the Intelligent Design ‘concept’, but I’m unwilling to discount Dr Spencer’s work in his own field of expertise because he does.

    He has published peer-reviewed papers on the topic at hand (and according to many here, per-review is the true test of a paper’s relevance). Should the reviewers have considered Dr Spencer’s position on ID as part of the review process, and rejected his papers on his beliefs in that area?

    Where does that leave other scientists who have religious faiths of various kinds? Should they be allowed to participate at all in the secular field of science?

  182. The logical fallacy argumentum ad hominem, for those who really don’t understand why playing-the-man is such a flawed debating tactic, is explained here.

  183. It might be, I don’t know. But, seriously, what if it is? Does that somehow disqualify him from holding an opinion on particular scientific matters?

    No, everyone is allowed to hold an opinion. But it does go toward testing his credibility. If the fact “he was a senior figure in a large respected organisation NASA” is to be mentioned by proponents of his viewpoint, his endeavours in the pushing of pseudo-science (as Intelligent Design is not scientific theory, lacking the capability of being falsified) is only fair in showing other facets of his reputation.

  184. kittylitter, on June 9th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    And?
    What about the validity of his work and research?
    A lot of that involves number crunching weather and climate data and running them through models the same as virtually every other researcher in the field.
    Interestingly, all his detractors try to discredit the man, few, if any look for errors in his work.

  185. I agree, ad hominem attacks are to be discouraged as they make no difference to the argument being presented. Were it not for the fact that johnd brought his position in NASA (& hence his reputation) into the discussion – I would be right beside you criticising this.

    However, if a man’s reputation is used in the debate – it is only fair that it be questioned. A scientist pushing a non-scientific theory in preference to a well-tested scientific one (as an argument against his reputation as a scientist) is on par with using his NASA position as an argument for.

  186. Oh, the hypocrisy is amazing!

    argumentum ad hominem
    argumentum ad hominem
    argumentum ad hominem

  187. B.Tolputt, on June 9th, 2009 at 3:35 pm Said:
    “If the fact “he was a senior figure in a large respected organisation NASA” is to be mentioned by proponents of his viewpoint, ”

    Ben, read that again.
    It was saying more about the mindset of NASA, and other large organisations, than the mindset of Spencer.
    Stifling is a word not unknown in many such workplaces, especially for those who can, and are prepared to think outside the box.

  188. Tony, on June 9th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    No.

  189. B.Tolputt, on June 9th, 2009 at 3:44 pm Said:
    “I would be right beside you criticising this.”

    OK, are you beside Tony yet? Soon as you are, let fly.

  190. @scaper:
    That would assume calling you a moron is in order to argue against your points. When in fact, I would be calling you a moron because you can’t accept I don’t want to debate your points in this thread. Subtle difference there but you’re not a moron, you actually get that subtle point, right?

    @johnd:
    If in fact, that is what you are getting at – then yes, I stand beside Tony in stating that his pushing of Intelligent Design is of no consequence to his arguments and shouldn’t really be aired here. If, indeed, the guy is shilling for think tanks lobbying against political acceptance of AGW (&/or solutions to alleviate it) – it should not be hard to find refutations of his arguments. Let’s stick to them (if they exist)

  191. The logical fallacy argumentum ad hominem, for those who really don’t understand why playing-the-man is such a flawed debating tactic, is explained here.

    Gee, thanks for that tony. Does it apply even when the man has so many affiliations with industry and they actually got their research wrong? (my bold).

    Roy Spencer
    Spencer and the “Interfaith Stewardship Alliance”

    Spencer is listed as a “scientific advisor” for an organization called the “Interfaith Stewardship Alliance” (ISA). According to their website, the ISA is “a coalition of religious leaders, clergy, theologians, scientists, academics, and other policy experts committed to bringing a proper and balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development.”

    In July 2006, Spencer co-authored an ISA report refuting the work of another religious organization called the Evangelical Climate Initiative. The ISA report was titled A Call to Truth, Prudence and Protection of the Poor: an Evangelical Response to Global Warming. Along with the report was a letter of endorsement signed by numerous representatives of various organizations, including 6 that have received a total of $2.32 million in donations from ExxonMobil over the last three years.

    The other authors of the ISA’s report were Calvin Beisner, Paul Driessen and Ross McKitrick .

    Satellite Research Refuted

    According to an August 12, 2005 New York Times article, Spencer, along with another well-known “skeptic,” John Christy, admitted they made a mistake in their satellite data research that they said demonstrated a cooling in the troposphere (the earth’s lowest layer of atmosphere). It turned out that the exact opposite was occurring and the troposphere was getting warmer.

    “These papers should lay to rest once and for all the claims by John Christy and other global warming skeptics that a disagreement between tropospheric and surface temperature trends means that there are problems with surface temperature records or with climate models,” said Alan Robock, a meteorologist at Rutgers University.

    Spencer and the Heartland Institute

    Spencer is listed as an author for the Heartland Institute, a US think tank that has received $561,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

    The Heartland Institute has also received funding from Big Tobacco over the years and continues to make the claim that “anti-smoking advocates” are exaggerating the health threats of smoking.

    Spencer and the George C. Marshall Institute

    Spencer is listed as an “Expert” with the George C. Marshall Institute, a US think tank that has received $630,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

    Spencer and Tech Central Station

    Listed as an author for Tech Central Station daily (TCS), an organization that until recently was owned and operated by a Republican lobby firm called DCI Group.

  192. Actually, kitty, it does apply even to him. What you quoted is a good example of what to look for when attacking his credibility. His links to the think tanks should simply serve as a trigger to go looking for these “factual” arguments rather than those based on his reputation.

    On the other hand, politicians should look at his links as this would similarly point out to them that there may be issues like this they can find should they dig deeper.

  193. Kitty – was just gonna post the same thing on Spencer.

    So – he stated one thing as fact, and the opposite was true. And now he has another explanation on why AGW is not occurring.

    And that is why his motives are being questioned.

  194. Kitty,

    Something is either true or false. Nothing about the person making the claim can change this.

    Someone might have been wrong about everything they have ever said before, but that doesn’t mean that what they are saying on this occasion is wrong.

    Because someone is being funded by a particular source does not mean that what they are saying is false.

    A person might be motivated by greed or ambition to say what they are saying, but it still might be the truth.

    The idea is to discredit the argument, not the person.

  195. (The above scenarios are used as examples for the purposes of the argument, and are not necessarily applicable to Dr Spencer or anybody else we have discussed.)

  196. And here is a detailed mathematical debunking of Roy Spencer’s latest “negative feedback” explanation of why AGW is not a problem.

    To me, this seems rather ridiculous. But I get the distinct impression that Spencer actually believes it. Which illustrates starkly that when one wants to believe (or disbelieve) something for ideological reasons, the ability to fool oneself can amplify to impressive force.

    It also illustrate why it’s so easy to “cloud” the issue of global warming, and so difficult for the layman to be confident when well-crafted misinformation is so prevalent. Spencer makes a very slick presentation. It’s taken me 3 installments to address his folly without making any single blog post prohibitively long. Now imagine that you’re a reasonably well-educated and informed lay reader who sees his presentation. It’ll seem to make perfect sense — unless you have lots of time and motivation to consider it in detail and the necessary skill to analyze what’s really going on. Spencer’s presentation isn’t the kind of “obvious” mistake, like “there’s more CO2 emitted by volcanos than by human activity,” which is easily debunked in a few lines simply by looking up some real data. It’s the sophisticated mistake, which the lay reader can’t generally see through with a quick and easy google search. Which is not folly — it’s a pity.

  197. Tony – is my link a satisfactory non-personal attack on Spencer?

  198. You can’t blame kitty for pursuing that line of inquiry though, Tony. I agree with you – regardless of the person, a correct scientific principle is correct regardless of who presents it.

    What I think is something worth debating though is that, by acknowledgement of most opponents to the theory of anthropologically accelerated global warming, we don’t know everything about weather / climate. If we did, all meteorologists and climate scientists wouold come up with the same answers. Instead, we have most stating that AGW is the most likely cause for the climate changes they are seeing whilst others are debating that.

    Which means, that what answer you get from the climate models we have depends on assumptions made when setting them up (along with the data you put in). It has been shown that the assumptions/data put into Roy Spencer’s models are suspect – which makes his conclusions suspect. We, as people not educated in the scientific background of climate modelling, cannot tell whether the conclusions he presents are because of suspect assumptions/data or because he has come up with something clearly not considered by other scientists in the field.

    As such, we cannot argue on an equal footing with him (neither, I doubt, could you with scientific proponents of AGW). For there to be any meaningful debate, we must make assumptions based on what has gone before. Were the same paper presented by an unknown, we would have to make the assumption that the research is genuine without proof otherwise. Because Spencer has made bad assumptions before in his climate modelling, it is only reasonable to think he may have done so again.

  199. Joni,

    I didn’t get past the first paragraph of your excerpt before I encountered this:

    Which illustrates starkly that when one wants to believe (or disbelieve) something for ideological reasons, the ability to fool oneself can amplify to impressive force.

    The writer is attributing a motive – ideological reasons – to Spencer, and accuses him of being able to fool himself because he wants to believe.

    Perfect example of an ad hominem argument. (I haven’t gonr to the link yet.

  200. Those that cite Plimer with acclamation are of course engaged in inverse ad hominem are they not, because Plimer has never published a peer reviewed article on global warming.

    Just sayin .

  201. I think joni’s latest link serves to prove my point. We here are all “lay readers” and cannot understand the presentation well enough to find faullt. On the other hand, his reputation serves as a good trigger for people who are skilled in the relevant areas to dig deeper and call him out on any bad assumptions / data he may have used.

  202. Cool – I accept that Tamino did that (ad hominem) – but what about his conclusions?

    I guess the bottom line is that Spencer has form on this topic, which is why people (rightly in my mind) question his motives. I have no problems with people having a different POV, but when that POV is borne from ignorance (in Fieldings case) then I will call them on it.

  203. I didn’t get past the first paragraph of your excerpt before I encountered this:

    Which illustrates starkly that when one wants to believe (or disbelieve) something for ideological reasons, the ability to fool oneself can amplify to impressive force.

    Actually, that is the conclusion reached after having debunked his argument. The above paragraph is not used to discredit the argument – the discrediting of his argument is used to reach the conclusion written in the quoted paragraph.

    That is not an ad hominem attack.

  204. B. Tolputt,

    I don’t care if it was the opening paragraph or the conclusion, it is an ad hominem attack, and it’s unnecessary. (The fact that most people couldn’t recognise an ad hominem if they fell over one is the more telling point.)

  205. Isn’t an ad hominem attack where the attacker attacks the person because they have no other argument?

    One definition for ad hominem is: appealing to personal considerations (rather than to fact or reason)

    And so the links I used do actually show fact and reason and so are therefore not an ad hominem attack.

  206. kittylitter, on June 9th, 2009 at 4:10 pm Said

    Somebody ??? doesn’t understand the process of modelling.
    You formulate a theory, create a model, enter the data, and then compare whether the output matches what is being observed in the natural world. Getting it right first go would be much more suspect than someone who repeatedly got it wrong.
    If the results don’t match expected outcome, then the theory has to be modified and the process started over again.
    Nothing difficult here, not much different to putting together a piece of knocked down furniture and the instructions are in Chinese. If you put it together in the right order….

    Perhaps a climate related example may help.
    El-Nino was known about in South America long before we were even around, it bought them rain. In fairly recent years someone formulated a theory that perhaps it was linked to droughts in Australia, so they (CSIRO? BOM?) started creating models. And the created and tested, and created and tested, and so on, and finally got one that seemed to work. It came up with some fairly reliable connections that El-Nino did indeed have a reasonable correlation with drought in Australia. But is seems that no-one tried to validate it by running it backwards, or if they did, they hid the results. Because about 7 years ago a private researcher did run the model backwards and found the correlation was very low, only a low number of drought years were actually El-Nino years???? Hmmm.

    Now someone, Japanese researchers, have created another model, based on a different ocean that DOES have a high correlation with drought in Australia.

    So, what was the question again?
    Thats right who was that shonk that produced a model that got it wrong?

  207. And so the links I used do actually show fact and reason and so are therefore not an ad hominem attack.

    You don’t think there could be both in the same article?

  208. Actually, it is not.

    An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

    The bolding is mine (obviously). The author of joni’s paragraph had finished addressing the substance of the claim (rebutting it quite well I must add, I understood it and it clicks with my engineering education on statistics). It would have been an ad hominem attack if he had stated this prior to or instead of debunking the claim.

    Having already debunked the claim, the paragraph in question is at worst a personal attack. That does not, however, make it ad hominem having not done it instead of or as a prelude to the proof against the argument in question.

  209. Someone might have been wrong about everything they have ever said before, but that doesn’t mean that what they are saying on this occasion is wrong.

    But it does attest to their credibility and the repeated history would be a reason people would wish to carefully scrutinise their research, public statements and affiliations.

    Ad Hominem is not fallacious if the attack goes to the credibility of the argument. For instance, the argument may depend on its presenter’s claim that he’s an expert. (That is, the Ad Hominem is undermining an Argument From Authority.) Trial judges allow this category of attacks.

  210. While what you say is true, kitty, the issue I think Tony has is that we are attacking the man’s credibility instead of his argument(s). I think the issue you & he will never agree on (and I think it a grey area) is that for people not educated in the background, it is impossible for either side to debate the pros/cons of the argument in question. As such, we need to look at the credibility of the person making the argument.

    An anology (which Tony seems to dislike, but I think is valid in this case) is how a court judges the veracity of eye-witness claims in a trial. Assuming there are no other witnesses capable of stating verifying or refuting the claims of the eye-witness in question (i.e. there is no one with enough knowledge of the matter to debate the pros & cons), the credibility of the witness is all that the jury (ourselves) can go on. If the eye-witness is a blank slate (i.e. no prior mistakes, incorrect assumptions, etc) – the jury must take the statements as fact. If the witness is shown, however, to have made prior false statements or made incorrect assumptions when making a statement before – this is something the jury rightly can take into account when judging whether what the witness currently claims is true or false.

    Joni found a guy who did debunk Spencer’s claims scientifically though. Which justifies our position that the guy’s reputation is a good trigger to dig deeper, if we understood the science enough to do so.

  211. Thanks for that link Kitty,

    This interested me:

    Sometimes the attack is on the other person’s intelligence. For example, “If you weren’t so stupid you would have no problem seeing my point of view.” Or, “Even you should understand my next point.”

    I seem to remember it being used earlier in relation to Sen Fielding. 😉

  212. joni, on June 9th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    joni, you’ve got me confused.
    Your link points to a “debunking” dated 1st Aug 2008, of a presentation made on 17th July 08 that appears to be based on a paper
    (http://www.drroyspencer.com/Spencer-and-Braswell-08.pdf)
    that was apparently peer reviewed and published 28th Feb 08
    Why would anyone debunk a presentation rather than the peer reviewed paper itself?
    It seems that the presentation was exploring new ideas and asking questions only.

  213. But was the presentation based on the original paper and the conclusions that it raised?

    And do note that this is exactly the same detail as the 29th May post by Spencer.

  214. johnd, on June 9th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    joni, correction, it was actually published Nov 2008., it was in it’s final form 28th Feb.

  215. @johnd:
    Quite often a paper, especially if it is a big one for the author, is accompanied by a presentation at a conference (temporally close to the paper’s release date). The presentation will take the audience through the salient points of the paper, most often also including material that could only be briefly mentioned in the paper due to space reasons.

    In other words, just because it is a presentation does not mean it is exploring new ideas &/or asking new questions. Much more often the presentation is more indepth than the paper itself due to the added freedoms in the communication medium (voice, video, & text) and added time to present the research.

  216. What is important is does the debunking linked to by joni also cover the paper itself. My reading of the debunking link (& scan of the paper linked by johnd) indicate the central issues covered in the research are the ones debunked.

    johnd: am I wrong on that? I’m willing to admit it if the research shown is different than the claims debunked.

  217. B.Tolputt, on June 9th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    The presentation was titled (exactly)
    Feedback vs. Chaotic Radiative Forcing: “Smoking Gun” Evidence for an Insensitive Climate System?

  218. I seem to remember it being used earlier in relation to Sen Fielding

    By me? I think you are trying to digress tony! I said something about his difficulty with critical thinking, I don’t recall saying he was stupid, just that his ‘faith based belief’ clouds his thinking on issues. You can see by looking at some of the public statements he’s made eg divorce is adding to climate change and voting against alcopops legislation when FF Policy states ‘Binge Drinking Destroys Families’.

    If the witness is shown, however, to have made prior false statements or made incorrect assumptions when making a statement before – this is something the jury rightly can take into account when judging whether what the witness currently claims is true or false.

    Agree BT, that’s why I think it’s legitimate to question his credibility when he’s admitted to having been wrong before…and when we don’t have the scientific knowledge to question the data, we do rely on credibility eg funding sources, partisan interest and motivation too.

    If it isn’t legitimate, why do the petrol companies go to such lengths to distance themselves from their direct involvement eg funding think tanks and other third party organisations?

  219. B.Tolputt, on June 9th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Without sitting down and digesting both of them it’s hard to tell if the presentation was introducing new ideas or just presenting the same ones from a different perspective. It was based on the peer reviewed paper that was published later in the year.
    Pulling apart a presentation is one thing, but to be credible it should have been done to the published paper.

  220. kittylitter, on June 9th, 2009 at 6:36 pm
    “Agree BT, that’s why I think it’s legitimate to question his credibility when he’s admitted to having been wrong before…”

    Kl, so where does that leave us with the CSIRO / BOM modelling. I realise that this IOD is still something new, 10 years, and hasn’t become mainstream yet, and we do constantly joke about the credibility of BOM forecasts, but this is somewhat bigger.
    As mentioned earlier (” Yet new research “questions the notion that El Niños have been getting stronger because of global warming,” according to Ben Giese of Texas A&M.”) I think this current re-evaluation will work its way eventually into all the Global Climate Models which will also have to pick up on the ones being developed for the IOD

  221. Kitty,

    By me? I think you are trying to digress tony! I said something about his difficulty with critical thinking,

    That’s slightly different from questioning his intelligence, I suppose.

    I don’t recall saying he was stupid, just that his ‘faith based belief’ clouds his thinking on issues.

    That’s a classic ad hominem (you shouldn’t need me to explain why).

    You can see by looking at some of the public statements he’s made eg divorce is adding to climate change

    I don’t know his arguments on that, but I don’t find it hard to imagine scenarios where divorce leads to one household becoming two households, thus increasing their overall ‘carbon footprint’.

    and voting against alcopops legislation when FF Policy states ‘Binge Drinking Destroys Families’.

    I don’t recall him saying he’d abandoned that belief. In fact, he wanted tougher regulations on alcohol advertising, did he not?

  222. I don’t recall him saying he’d abandoned that belief. In fact, he wanted tougher regulations on alcohol advertising, did he not?

    Then why did he not support the legislation, now we’ve got nothing.

    …scenarios where divorce leads to one household becoming two households, thus increasing their overall ‘carbon footprint’.

    So a couple that can’t stand each each other should stay together to avoid adding to their carbon footprint even if their staying together makes life for their children a misery. Much like the churches counselling abused and bashed wives to keep the family together. I guess that negates the FF anti-abortion stance as more children must add to the carbon footprint of families too.

    That’s slightly different from questioning his intelligence, I suppose.

    Actually, I think it is, different that is, intelligence, world-view and application of critical thinking skills.

  223. So a couple that can’t stand each each other should stay together to avoid adding to their carbon footprint even if their staying together makes life for their children a misery.

    How did you get that from anything I said? In the words of others here (who are much more comfortable with the term than I am): Straw Man!

    (BTW, did even Fielding say that?)

  224. kittylitter, on June 9th, 2009 at 4:10 pm Said:
    “According to an August 12, 2005 New York Times article, …………. It turned out that the exact opposite was occurring and the troposphere was getting warmer.”

    KL, in your rush to gather all the “evidence” I suspect that you didn’t read the story behind the story (you’re not a writer for a womans magazine are you 🙂 )

    I did, I had a dim recollection of having read about this years ago, and found it quite interesting reviving my memory.
    The satellite research in question actually dated back to an article published by Spencer and Christy in March 1990, thats a long time ago.
    Their work was the results of going through the mountain of data from short lived weather satellites, and weather ballon data, there were about 700 launched twice a day around the world, for the years 1979 to 1988, and then stitching it all together. They were the only scientists in the world doing this research at the time.
    The errors come about because the satellites orbit changed over time and the instrumentation on board was affected by sunlight and darkness, and so the raw data had to be calibrated all the time. When their work was finally reviewed it was found that the calibrations hadn’t been allowed for.

    I agree with you, it says a lot about the man and his work. But the story also says a lot more about those who use the story to attack the man.
    Perhaps we don’t agree on that point.

    Now where was that trashy womans magazine I use as a reference source?

  225. How did you get that from anything I said? In the words of others here (who are much more comfortable with the term than I am): Straw Man!

    ‘Families/Fundies First’ Fielding says divorce adds to the carbon footprint, so one would assume that he is saying don’t get divorced if you care about the environment – otherwise why would he say it at all? If mine is ad hominem according to you, his argument must be patriarchal strawman AND cognitive bias. It is a logical extension of the arguments that you offered. I notice you didn’t touch the ‘extra kids = increased carbon footprint’ logical extension of the argument too.

    Further logical extension of Fielding’s divorce=increased carbon footprint argument is that allowing gay marriage and polygamy will also reduce the carbon footprint of multiple households. Don’t think he advocates for that either does he? No, just the right to escape a bad marriage.

    johnd

    Perhaps we don’t agree on that point.

    no, it seems we don’t.

    (you’re not a writer for a womans magazine are you 🙂 )

    ad hominem?… or personal attack?

    Now where was that trashy womans magazine I use as a reference source?

    I’ll leave the trashy mags (of either sex) for you to use as references.

  226. kittylitter, on June 9th, 2009 at 9:11 pm Said:
    “ad hominem?… or personal attack?”

    Not personal, just noticed the general drift of your research work thats all.

    No new comments re the credibilty of Spencer, or CSIRO / BOM perhaps???

    Don’t bother leaving the magazines, you keep them.

  227. yeah, nice personal attack, goes to your own credibility.

  228. Pulling apart a presentation is one thing, but to be credible it should have been done to the published paper.

    Not at all. Not sure what your background is in science, but in my engineering background – you only need to debunk or prove to be false the central argument. Any papers, presentations, & research relying on the debunked argument is automatically proven false (or at least, needs to be redone based on a different supporting premise).

    If (as appears from my reading) the presentation & paper were based around the same small subset of data, proven to be too small to show the effects of feedback he was trying to prove, it doesn’t matter which one was used by the debunker – both are shown to be false by the same article. There is no need to specify all paper(s) & presentation(s) being falsified.

    Whole swathes of papers have been debunked before based on new discoveries / proofs. It makes no sense to require naming them all when debunking a central assumption of them all.

  229. sorry tony,

    It is a logical extension of the arguments that you offered.

    should read

    It is a logical extension of the argument that you offered in defence of Fielding.

  230. Meet the three modes of persuasion.

    ———————————————————–
    johnd, on June 9th, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Legion, common sense also tells us that if we are plotting an environment subject to cycles, you cannot make sensible projections whilst within that cycle, and only once that cycle is complete, any projections made have no value unless several previous cycles are used as the base for such projections.

    Most people who have known me for some time on this blog know me to have a thing about ‘us’ and ‘we’ type statements, particularly when my ‘me’ becomes a projected ‘you’.

    If you are trying to tell me, per an apparent implicit unresolved dialectic between notions of falsification and verification that you, and not I per se, are similarly bound throughout all of your discourses on the matter, and that I should attach equivalent weight to the untested and often untestable inductions of those who feel strongly one way or the other about the subject matter of one of the two or more sciences that I value and make parts of my meta-study, then so be it.

    ————————————————-

    Otherwise, me being me, I found the ‘ordering’ presented in the worldview captured in one of Tony’s snippets interesting for its usually unexamined significances in ‘the debate’, even though that ordering, and the inside-nesses and the outside-nesses, is a pivotal issue in ‘the debate’:

    This is a main reason that the policy community is being significantly misinformed about the actual status of our understanding of the climate system and the role of humans within it (bolding mine).

  231. kittylitter, on June 9th, 2009 at 10:23 pm Said:
    “yeah, nice personal attack, goes to your own credibility.”

    I think you are stretching out a long way out trying to make a case. This is what was written:-
    “KL, in your rush to gather all the “evidence” I suspect that you didn’t read the story behind the story (you’re not a writer for a womans magazine are you) 🙂 ”

    I don’t know what your perceptions about such writers are, and you can only speculate what mine might be.
    I guess it all depends on whether my suspicions were correct or not.
    Were they?

    About the only conclusion you could reasonably draw is that I suspected that your research was of a similar standard, but then you can only summise.
    But point of the matter was about research skills, or lack of, not the person themselves, be that Spencer, yourself or the magazine writer.

    We do know that you are dismissive of the research of Spencer and were prepared to attack his credibility by using an example of where his research was flawed.

    But after reading as to how the error he made came about, I feel that he could be excused as he was breaking new ground in that field of research by processing data never before done, and was blind to the accuracy of the raw data, whereas in your research your were just blindly following others.
    At least he did address the error and revise the conclusions.

    “When Peter tells me about Paul, he tells me more about Peter than he tells me about Paul”

  232. B.Tolputt, on June 9th, 2009 at 11:17 pm Said:

    The paper was peer reviewed, I don’t know whether before or after the presentation, and then published after the presentation.
    Again, what does being peer reviewed actually mean, anything?

    A friend of mine is often called upon to provide peer review on research related to soil and water, which includes weather and climate related matters, and even he is not sure if the process is of any value.
    He related one such piece of research that contained a basic error which compromised the whole point being made, interestingly enough similar to Spencers problem with the satellites drifting off location, though on a much smaller scale, but he is not sure whether the paper was revised, withdrawn or what. He generally doesn’t get any feedback.
    In that particular instance, the location of the data collected was a small distance from the location being studied. For someone with detailed local knowledge the difference was relevant. For someone in Canberra perhaps not so.

  233. Legion, on June 10th, 2009 at 1:21 am

    err, Yes.
    But don’t you feel it’s a shame when the subject of the debate loses out to the form of the debate, or the delivery.

  234. “yeah, nice personal attack, goes to your own credibility.”

    That coming from a person that insults my family and called me a ‘right wing extremist’!

    Hypocrisy personified.

  235. johnd, on June 10th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    No, because that idea is recursive and implies that there is some other objective and valence-free ‘best of all possible worlds’; which, again, is just one of the embedded problems for stake-holders and their sundry subjective models, in being incapable of making themselves disappear to leave behind an absolutely pure science or argument to speak for and interpret itself. The credibility of authors and interpreters of narratives is absolutely fair game, even down to the level of their broader mental states, which is not detached from their products except through dint of artifice and abstraction.

  236. Yes, peer reviewed does mean something. It means that obviously bogus arguments, assumptions, &/or conclusions can be detected. It also means that mistakes like those made by Spencer are more often picked up then not.

    Like all “Quality Assurance” methods, however, peer review will not catch all problems, just a majority of them. However casting aspersions on peer review because mistakes are made is like telling everyone that seat-belts are useless because people are still killed wearing them. No system is perfect, but peer review is alot better than letting anyone publish what they want in science journals.

  237. joni, on June 9th, 2009 at 4:31 pm Said:
    “And here is a detailed mathematical debunking of Roy Spencer’s latest “negative feedback” explanation of why AGW is not a problem.”

    I’ve had a little bit of time to give the debunking a more than casual glance.
    The first thing that stands out is that the author acknowledges that Spencers definition of feedback is different to his own.
    Rather than checking whether Spencers calculations stand up according to the rules established under Spencers definition, it appears as if the author is demonstrating that they don’t stand up by applying them according to his, the authors own definition.
    That is not exactly disproving Spencers assertions. Again this is not science, just an observation.
    The next point is that it appears that under the authors definition, day or night, summer or winter, makes no difference, but can be accounted for under Spencers.

    One thing I do agree with is that the time frame when dealing climate related calculations must be sufficiently long. He claims about 30 years, which automatically questions the validity of a lot of recently collected data and projections used by many.
    I personally feel that 30 years is way too short. For example the Pacific Decadel Oscillation has about a 3 decade positive cycle, and a similarly long negative cycle.
    Even if calculations were done to cover the full 6 decades, all that can be deduced is confined to what happens within one cycle, to get any idea as to whether the cycles themselves are trending up, or down, several such preceding cycles must be included. Again this is not science, just a simple principle probably taught in primary school.
    Unfortunately the reliability of data diminishes the further back it goes presenting researchers with the dilemma of whether to compromise their research with less reliable data, or simply less data.

  238. The first thing that stands out is that the author acknowledges that Spencers definition of feedback is different to his own.

    Actually, now you are playing semantics. The debunking states that Spencer’s definition of feedback differs from that used in most scientific contexts. Spencer then goes on to use this definition of feedback as if it were the standard definition. This is only one of the problems (the primary issue being there simply is not enough time sampled to make the predictions Spencer makes).

    You admit that you are no weather expert, but then state that the day/night, summer/winter is only accounted for under Spencer’s model/paper. How do you come to this conclusion?

  239. Legion, on June 10th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Legion, I would consider myself a contrarian, so possibly the credibilty of authors is either irrelevalent, or open to a level of questioning inverse to their perceived credibility.

  240. B.Tolputt, on June 10th, 2009 at 8:36 am Said:
    “Yes, peer reviewed does mean something.”

    The timing of the debunking in question is relevant for me.

    If it was done prior to the peer review, then does mean that the peer review debunks the debunking.

    One the other hand if the debunking was done after the peer review, then it is not only the original author that is being debunked but the reviewers as well.

    Certainly peer review means something, but is it something different in each case?

  241. B.Tolputt, on June 10th, 2009 at 9:11 am

    If scientists were to follow your line of reasoning, then they would never break new ground.

  242. I guess it all depends on whether my suspicions were correct or not.
    Were they?

    No

    BTW, I think that mobius may have asked for your quals once or twice, not sure if you answered – what are they?

  243. @johnd:
    In either case, the peer review debunks the central premise of the paper. Which satisfies the original request for a non “ad hominem” attack on Spencer’s latest paper.

    Whether it also calls into question the credibility of the reviewers is a side issue to the one most of us are/were talking about here. It is also a frutiless conversation to discuss whether or not the peer reviewers are shown to be less than diligent/knowledgeable in the field. In a general peer review, no-one knows who the reviewers were except the editor of the journal publishing the paper and the reviewers themselves.

    Something that hasn’t been mentioned here is which journal pubished the paper. As has come to light in this blog (though not this article) before is that, like newspapers, there is a quality spectrum in journals used to get a paper published. Some of them are not worth (scientifically) the cost of paper used to print them whereas others are looked at as the quality example other journals aspire to. Just as something getting published in “a newspaper” doesn’t make it worthy journalism, getting something published in “a journal” does not make it worthy science. One always needs to look at the reputation of the paper/journal.

    I’m not sure where you’re going with your last comment johnd, but I’ll just have to remain confused. I come to blogocrats to discuss/debate politics. Having debated the scientific method and pros/cons thereof twice in two weeks is making it not so interesting for me to spend time on. Look forward to your contributions in the next science-oriented thread, but I’m done here. Sorry.

  244. Another debunking of Spencer.

    How to cook a graph in three easy lessons:

  245. kittylitter, on June 10th, 2009 at 9:25 am Said:
    “I guess it all depends on whether my suspicions were correct or not.
    Were they?

    No”

    So I take it you did know about how the error came about and that the research was revised, but considered that irrelevant. But why haven’t you applied the same standards to CSIRO/BOM? They make mistakes too. Frequently.

    FYI, interested observer, who refuses to blindly follow others.

  246. So I take it you did know about how the error came about and that the research was revised, but considered that irrelevant.

    I have no idea johnd, I am no climate expert, but I’m happy to accept the work of a consensus of reputable scientists. In fact when the skeptics rely on misinformation, misleading and deceiving a largely ignorant public rather than refuting the science by genuine scientific inquiry it puts me even more on the side of the consensus opinion.

    You have to wonder what motivates a scientist to trash their own reputation in this manner and also what rewards them.

  247. Apologies for the non-working link above. Hope this fixes.

    How to cook a graph in three easy lessons

  248. kittylitter, on June 10th, 2009 at 9:37 am Said:
    “Another debunking of Spencer.
    How to cook a graph in three easy lessons:”

    The link didn’t work, but I found the article anyway.

    I haven’t gone through it yet, though may have when it was first published.
    The first thing to consider is that El-Nino and SOI are mentioned a couple of times at least. Spencer, and every other researcher, built models that tried to achieve calculated outcomes that matched the observed outcomes as what modelling is all about. It is now being demonstrated that much of what was attributed to those indicators was in fact being caused by a previously unknown factor in a completely different ocean. Therefore any data that seemed to prove the theoretical outcome matched the observed outcome will come to be seen as being flawed.
    Now you are trying to demonstrate that Spencers work did not stand up to scrutiny against “credible” calculations containing what now appears to be flawed data.
    What is it the link is supposed to prove?

  249. Just as an aside johnd, the main criticism from my readings on spencer and christy’s error was that they did not work hard enough at finding it out themselves, for near a decade they allowed the error to stand and it was left to others to clean it up.

  250. kittylitter, on June 10th, 2009 at 9:56 am Said:
    “So I take it you did know about how the error came about and that the research was revised, but considered that irrelevant.

    I have no idea johnd, I am no climate expert, but I’m happy”

    I’ve lost the link to a page detailing, by a third party, how the error come about. I’m sure you could find it with a search. I recommend reading it as it might give a better insight into the mans work.
    As I mentioned earlier, they were they only ones in the world at the time to try and use the mountain of data collected from satellites and weather ballons and tried to tie it all together. They had no precedents of similar work having been done to alert them to areas of possible errors. Note it was not data collected by them, but by various agencies around the world and NASA.
    Where they went wrong was that the satellites drift meant location data had to be constantly calibrated to allow for changes in position, and instumentation data on ballons and satellites had to also be calibrated to allow for errors caused by unequal heating and cooling of the instrumentation.

  251. The link is supposed to prove that spencer is manipulating the data to fit his agenda.

    …Is this news? Is this shocking? Is this something that should lead us to doubt model predictions of global warming? No — it is just part and parcel of the same old question of whether the pattern of the 20th and 21st century can be ascribed to natural variability without the effect of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The IPCC, among others, nailed that, and nobody has demonstrated that natural variability can do the trick. Roy thinks he has, but as we shall soon see, it’s all a matter of how you run your ingredients through the food processor.

  252. kittylitter, on June 10th, 2009 at 10:17 am Said:
    “Just as an aside johnd, the main criticism from my readings on spencer and christy’s error was that they did not work hard enough at finding it out themselves, for near a decade they allowed the error to stand and it was left to others to clean it up.”

    Perhaps an indication of just how hard it was to detect the error. If he had enemies back then, it certainly did take them a long time. Perhaps they were content to go after the man and neglected to scrutinise his work.
    Or was it that most were content to blindly accept it?

  253. kittylitter, on June 10th, 2009 at 10:25 am Said:
    “The link is supposed to prove that spencer is manipulating the data to fit his agenda.”

    Perhaps in years to come in might be revealed that many more even more credible researchers were also doing that when it comes to El-Nino and SOI.

    Got to go.

  254. Couldn’t let this one go unnoticed.

    Long-term forecasts ‘useless’
    http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2009/06/10/85191_national-news.html

  255. The skeptics continued to use spencer and christy’s error ridden data (even after it had been disproved) as their proof of no global warming.

    …Or was it that most were content to blindly accept it?

    They committed serial errors in the data analysis, but insisted they were right and models and thermometers were wrong. They did little or nothing to uncover possible sources of errors.

  256. kittylitter, on June 10th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Are you talking about your link, or the story linked in my last post. Your comments are most apt when applied to my link.

  257. Haven’t loked at your link johnd and I’m just off to work now so it’ll be delayed.

    You seem to gloss over the manipulation of data that Spencer does to suit his pre determined agenda, but that is what is known as scientific fraud, is it not?

    Nothing worse than that in the scientific community I’ve always been led to believe.

  258. kittylitter, on June 10th, 2009 at 11:45 am Said:
    Haven’t loked at your link johnd and I’m just off to work now so it’ll be delayed.
    You seem to gloss over the manipulation of data that Spencer does to suit his pre determined agenda, but that is what is known as scientific fraud, is it not?”

    Before you say too much it might be better to read the article referred to and digest it taking into consideration some of the points I’ve being making recently on related subjects. It will depend a lot on your perspective what you might make of it though.

  259. johnd, I had a look at your article and am confused as to why you think it is relevant to the discussion that we were having.

    The article says that a big boost in funding is necessary to build the super computers necessary to make the research into long term weather forecasting more reliable.

    Now, I can’t see how that article in any way refutes the science about AGW and CSIRO have already spoken about that.

    Dr Andrew Ash, CSIRO

    Professor Bob Carter quotes US Climate Scientist Kevin Trenberth in support of an argument that CSIRO’s ‘climate models are worthless predictive tools’. Trenberth does not question the reality of anthropogenic global warming, or the threat of future warming as predicted by global and regional climate models. All he argues is that the climate models cannot predict exactly how some aspects of regional climate will evolve in the years ahead.’…

    …Climate scientists are acutely aware of this and as a result they do not try to forecast the actual climate for a particular day or month or year decades into the future. They do not produce ‘useless regional climate forecasts’ (as Professor Carter alleges) but rather valuable projections of how the climate is likely to trend, as well as assessing uncertainties.’…

    …There is overwhelming evidence that the planet is warming, that it is very likely that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is due to human induced increases in greenhouse gases (IPCC). What’s more, we can say with confidence that this warming will accelerate if emissions are allowed to continue unabated.’

  260. If Fielding had read this and confronted the government on it then he would have had a lot of credibility, instead of going to a stacked ideologically sponsored funded by energy conference to come back home and confront the government on discredited nonsense:

    What Do Emissions Markets Deliver and to Whom?
    Evidence from Southern California’s NOx Trading Program

    A perceived advantage of cap-and-trade programs over more prescriptive environmental regulation is that enhanced compliance flexibility and cost effectiveness can make more stringent emissions reductions politically feasible. However, increased compliance flexibility can also result in an inequitable distribution of pollution. We investigate these issues in the context of Southern California’s RECLAIM program. We match facilities in RECLAIM with similar California facilities also located in non-attainment areas. Our results indicate that emissions fell approximately 24 percent, on average, at RECLAIM facilities relative to our counterfactual. Furthermore, we find that observed changes in emissions do not vary significantly with neighborhood demographic characteristics.

    Of course that would have taken a minister with at least half a brain, which immediately counts Fielding out.

    Why are so many, including here, concentrating on Rudd trivialities and non-events that have no resonance with the general public and are only being carried out in some childish desperate attempt to smear Rudd with anything that they believe might on the slightest off chance stick, whilst some of his major policy stuff ups (like this one) and gaffs are let slide by with only a whimper of a challenge?

    Why keep attacking Rudd on banality and trifle because you are doing him and the Labor party a favour, but are so tied up in stupid ideology, sour grapes and revenge for the almighty hero Howard being dumped to see it.

  261. kittylitter, on June 11th, 2009 at 9:32 am Said:
    “johnd, I had a look at your article and am confused as to why you think it is relevant to the discussion that we were having.”

    Firstly the article you linked to is 2 years outdated. Knowledge, and perhaps more so, realisation that perhaps something may be fundamentally wrong has grown considerably since then, in some circles at least.

    My article is relevant as it reports on a current government inquiry that examines and addresses the effects of the systems that have been used to produce forecasts up to the present time with such dismal results. As was accepted at the inquiry, “their inaccuracy made them worse than useless”.
    Whilst this may be news to many, previous studies such as the University of Melbourne study 5 years ago had already demonstrated that, and for those whom the weather is relevant to their livelihood, many would say it has always been that way. In fact many still use Lennox Walker, and Indigo Jones as the benchmark for reliable long range forecasts.
    Given that now it may be official that the effects of the forecasting systems currently in place may be flawed, the next step is to look for the cause.
    For some researchers they know that one of the causes has been known about for nearly a decade, and slowly slowly the mainstream researchers are beginning to give attention to the work of those crackpots and others long dismissed as lacking credibility.
    At the heart of the matter is the El-Nino / SOI. Increasingly over recent years it was given more and more weight not only in models for weather forecasting which carried it into long range global climate forecasts, but it was used to give extra weight to many of the arguments and debates on such subjects as AGW.
    ENSOI is now being studied as it is suspected that it’s effect is not as great as has been previously thought and allowed for in all modelling, weather and climate.

    When the IOD was identified a decade ago, it was discovered that it also went through cycles the same as the ENSOI does, over a period measured probably in decades, but not in tandem with ENSOI. At times it coincides positively and at other times negatively. Without knowledge that the IOD even existed, when the 2 systems combined positively, their combined effect were being wrongly attributed solely to ENSOI.
    In 2002 a private forecaster who also been studying the IO as well as the Southern Ocean began modelling both the IOD and ENSOI data and found basically what the UNSW recently claimed to have discovered.
    His work indicated that the CSIRO/BOM models appeared not to be incorporating this new knowledge as whilst CSIRO/BOM were struggling to get 40% accuracy in certain forecasts, which is worse than tossing a coin, he was able to demonstrate in excess of 80%, something people were quite willing to pay a minimum of $600 for, often considerably more.

    I think the light came on for CSIRO/BOM in 2007. They were confidently predicting a desperately needed significant La-Nina event. They were constantly predicting it’s imminent arrival, almost willing it to develop.

    On the other hand, those involved in IO research really began scratching their heads. What their predictions were showing was that not only was there no indications of a La-Nina occurring, the conditions that were developing in the IO were unique and had only occurred once before, in 1967, when one of the majors droughts of all time hit a large of Australia, especially the central and south eastern parts, including all of Victoria.

    This new push for funding by CSIRO/BOM to allow them to purchase new super computers, will coincide with a new approach to forecasting, and I suspect allow the previously ignored IO data to be quietly incorporated hoping no-one notices.
    When improved forecasts start appearing you can only imagine the back slapping and self congratulations that the boffins and the politicians will share amongst themselves about the foresight they had to invest so much money that so quickly proved to be such a winning investment.

  262. Oops:

    Researchers were stunned to discover recently that Earth is losing more of its atmosphere than Venus and Mars, which have negligible magnetic fields.

    This may mean our planet’s magnetic shield may not be as solid a protective screen as once believed when it comes to guarding the atmosphere from an assault from the sun….

    “Three of us who work on Earth, Venus and Mars got together and compared notes,” Russell told Discovery News. “We said, ‘Oh my goodness — what we’ve been telling people about the magnetic shield is not correct.'”

  263. Tony…very interesting.

  264. Yes Scaper, but you will note they use the word “may”.

    😉

  265. Oh shucks…puts eggs back in carton!

  266. I suppose Russell and the others are on the payroll of tobacco and oil companies too?

  267. Yes. A carton of cigarettes, and 20 litres of oil per month. Between them.

  268. Mobius

    If Fielding had read this and confronted the government on it then he would have had a lot of credibility,

    I’m not sure that I get your point here. The paper you refer to actually identifies that a perceived problem of ETS’s (that the cost of reductions is passed on the lower economic demographics) wasn’t in fact a problem (or at least there was no evidence of this from the RECLAIM program. Further, the entities subject to the RECLAIM program produced significantly greater emission reductions than those under a CAC (session limits) regime. In other words, the Paper offers support for an ETS scheme so I’m not sure why Fielding would ‘confront’ the Government with this.

    On your other points, I whole heartedly agree – discussions on policy are far more interesting and revealing than discussions about sauce bottles. I like reading the comments over at George Mega’s blog and follow some of the policy debate there however I’m pretty sure that GM gets frustrated with the way the debate usually falls back to basic political allegiances rather than being a genuine policy debate. Trying to debate CC policy is next to impossible. The skeptics can’t resist dragging the debate down to the issue of is AGW occurring or not (this debate is OK on this thread because it is the topic) . The skeptics seem impervious to debating the policy on the assumption that there is a problem.

  269. Has anything be heard of from the non-reading senator this week since his article?

    I have email him but have recieved no response.

  270. Tony, on June 11th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    No, they were unequivocal when they said they were planet-hoppers working the arbitrage triangle. A carton of ciggies and a bucket of oil slipped past Interplanetary Customs is probably worth a large fortune off-world.

  271. True Legion. Did you notice if they mentioned on which of those three planets the meeting was held, or whether they were attracted to a fourth more atmospheric venue?

  272. I do believe they mentioned something about a tele-meeting on E-prime, which I took to mean Earth Prime, where the spec(ta)ular effects of sundry magnet(ism)s were more or less apparent, Tony.

  273. Rather than satisfying Fielding doubts, Wong,Sackett, and ANU climatologist Professor Will Steffen may have given strength to them by introducing the matter of ocean temperatures.
    Apparently they are unaware that most recent research indicates that the oceans appear to be cooling over the last few years. and that this could be the single most important factor that will determine the outcome of the whole climate change debate.

  274. That’s right johnd. The warm waters from the Pacific that annually flow into the Northern Hemisphere are being cooled by the melting Arctic ice. This is having an adverse effect on the northern summers. We could, it is speculated, eventually see temperatures drop greatly in the Northern Hemisphere while ours soar.

  275. Miglo, just to clarify, the research is actually on the total heat contained in the oceans rather than just temperatures. Recent data indicates that the oceans combined have been giving up stored heat over the last few years.

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