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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:45 pm
“The debate over human-caused global warming has been settled,” declares Professor John Quiggin, in his Takeshi Kaga-like role as Grand Imperial Debate Arbiter:
More significantly, perhaps, 2005 saw the final nail hammered into the arguments climate change contrarians have been pushing for years.
Hammering nails into arguments, eh? Just as well the debate is over; some of us seem to be getting a little tired.
UPDATE. Ian Plimer dares to continue debating:
For about 80 per cent of the time since its formation, Earth has been a warm, wet, greenhouse planet with no icecaps. When Earth had icecaps, the climate was far more variable, disease depopulated human settlements and extinction rates of other complex organisms were higher. Thriving of life and economic strength occurs during warm times. Could Greenpeace please explain why there was a pre-Industrial Revolution global warming from AD900 to 1300? Why was the sea level higher 6000 years ago than it is at present? Which part of the 120m sea-level rise over the past 15,000 years is human-induced? To attribute a multicomponent, variable natural process such as climate change to human-induced carbon emissions is pseudo-science.
Plimer is a professor of geology at the University of Adelaide and former head of the school of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne. Quiggin is an economist.
- Calling him an economist is pretty generous.Posted by dsmith_michigan on 2006 01 05 at 01:46 AM • permalink
”…now that the scientific phase of the debate is over, attention will move to the question of the costs and benefits of mitigation options.”
Amazing…..is John Quiggins declaring an end to basic research on world climate? If so, we must know everything there is to know about this planet.
So I suppose all those scientists are shifting from basic research to practical applications.
Is that right?
[crickets chirping]Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 01 05 at 01:48 AM • permalink
- “More significantly, perhaps, 2005 saw the final nail hammered into the arguments climate change contrarians have been pushing for years.”
is 2005 therefore YEAR ZERO in Greeny speak?Posted by WeekByWeek on 2006 01 05 at 01:52 AM • permalink
Could Greenpeace please explain why there was a pre-Industrial Revolution global warming from AD900 to 1300?
I thought the now-sacrosanct tree-ring hockey stick graph “proved” that both the Mediæval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age never happened?Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 01 05 at 01:59 AM • permalink
is 2005 therefore YEAR ZERO in Greeny speak?
No, that would be 1970, the year of the first “Earth Day”.Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 01 05 at 02:02 AM • permalink
- #6 Obviously PETA isn’t worried about greenhouse gases. (Especially if she’s a bean-eating vegetable-aryan.)Posted by andycanuck on 2006 01 05 at 02:13 AM • permalink
- The other thing the chicken littles never acknowledge is that Global Warming is not necessarily a bad thing.
Certainly sea levels will probably rise, as some ice caps melt, by maybe a foot in the consensus view. And storms and hurricanes may get worse, though its hard to separate the warming effect from the natural cyclical variation in hurricane strength, at least in the Atlantic. What does seem to be clear is that the warming disproportionately will occur in colder, drier climates. For example, a large part of the world’s warming will occur in Siberia.
When I hear this, I immediately think longer growing seasons in cold climates plus less impact in already warm climates = more food worldwide. It strikes me that since the climate models tend to spit out warming not only world wide but by area of the world, it would be fairly easy to translate this into an estimate of net impact on food production. This seems to be such an obvious area of study that I can only assume it has been done, and, since we have not heard about it, that the answer from global warming was “increased food production”. Since this conclusion neither supports scary headlines, increased grant money, or the anti-growth agenda, no one really talks about it or studies it much.
Sure, a new ice age would be bad, but mild amounts of global warming could usher in a new era of human prosperity.
Certainly Australia should be over the moon about global warming. The biggest ecological problem we face is lack of rainfall. Global warming will increase Australia’s rainfall, making us able to produce more food and house more citizens because of greater water supply.
- Not only is Quiggan an economist, he is a centralised economy fan- they’ve been proved to be SOOO credible in their own field of endevour throughout Eastern Europe.
Beardo the Weirdo needs to shut the fuck up and concentrate on working out how his own theories can convert is six figure tenure into a handful of magic beans- shouldn’t be much of an effort.
- I have ssen a few “horror” stories about food production and global warming before.
None of them depended on moving crops to suit any changes though.
Wouldnt sound scary enough to say that you could grow mangoes a few hundred Km futher south i suppose.Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 01 05 at 02:31 AM • permalink
- Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir formulated these guidelines to provide a means of identifying bad science:
1.The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.
2.The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the low level of significance of the results.
3.There are claims of great accuracy.
4.Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.
5.Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.
6.The ratio of supporters to critics rises to somewhere near 50% and then falls gradually to zero.Posted by niobium2000 on 2006 01 05 at 02:39 AM • permalink
- This comment by Gerry Jackson exposes Quiggins economic tripe on Kyoto:
The so-called greenhouse effect has given our Greens and their media mates a vital weapon in their war against economic growth. They know that energy is the life blood of any industrialised society. Apply a severe turnkey to the flow of energy and not only will you slow growth but you will cause major disruptions to the economy. And that is what carbon taxes will do. Once again The Australian showed its green colours with several items supporting this destructive policy. John MacLeay, its resident Green propagandist, provided Greens with another platform to attack the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics econometric study claiming that global cuts to ‘greenhouse emissions’ would cost Australians $9000 per head (The Australian 5/5/97).
Substituting Mark Twain for Disraeli (he cannot even get his quotes right) MacLeay led with the cliché “there are lies, damned lies and statistics. (The Inference is clear). What upset the Greens was that the ABARE study estimated the annual costs of curbing so-called green gas emission at 3 per cent of GDP, thus virtually wiping out growth. Naturally, the Greens responded with their own figures. Professor Quiggin stressed that ABARE’s $9000 was the net present figure using a 5 per cent discount rate. Dividing the figure by 20, adjusting it for the fact that 70 per cent of wage earners are below the average and that wages are about 60 per cent of GDP (gross wages are actually over 70 per cent) he massaged the figure down to $200. He then virtually eliminated the cost altogether by using a 10 per cent discount rate. Presto! Simple arithmetic manipulation has now made it possible to raise the cost of production by raising energy prices without affecting output, competitiveness and living standards.Posted by niobium2000 on 2006 01 05 at 02:44 AM • permalink
A new study has revealed that an extraordinary burst of global warming that took place around 55 million years ago dramatically reversed the world’s pattern of ocean currents, adding weight to modern concerns over climate change.
It must have been Bush’s fault.Posted by Kosmopolit on 2006 01 05 at 03:04 AM • permalink
- A geologist *pffft* what do they know about how the earth works?Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 01 05 at 03:08 AM • permalink
- Good stuff, Niobium.
Best quote from Prof. Pilmer: “There is no debate about climate change, only dogma and misinformation.”
Anthropological climate change is a natural issue for Lefties, always determined to create poverty and violent revolution. It has that perfectly un-falsifiable quality that makes great ideology for those who would be fooled again.
Also, I think we have a positive consensus on the PETA ads. They seem to be getting better. Is it possible to get two going? The current decorations could stand the improvement.
- #11, no, Yobbo, mate, you’re missing the point here. The point is that global warming will produce the least-desired climate change in each part of the globe. Australia therefore becomes even hotter and drier, northern Europe becomes even colder etc. It’s all there in the modelling. No questions thanks, it’s settled.
- Re #22: Probably all that belching and farting from drinking too much ale…..Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 01 05 at 04:23 AM • permalink
- John Quiggin asserts that 2005 was not an El Nino year.
My interpretation of this graph is that 2005 was an El Nino year.
Can anyone clear up what the actual situation is here?
- Spiny Norman wrote: “WeekByWeek: is 2005 therefore YEAR ZERO in Greeny speak?
No, that would be 1970, the year of the first “Earth Day”. “
Therefore, that would make the Earth 36 years old. Too early for a midlife crisis?Posted by WeekByWeek on 2006 01 05 at 05:10 AM • permalink
- Ian Plimer deserves an anti-idiotarian prize, if only for his anti-creationism efforts (which sadly, he didn’t play as smartly as he needed to). I bought his book “A Short History Of Planet Earth” which certainly provides some planetary perspective to the watermelon peoples’ religous fervour. A few more years and they’ll be making human sacrifices to keep global warming at bay like the Aztecs tried with drought. Hey, why wait for a confirmed theory – we need to start sacrificing NOW!
Funnily enough, the book’s published by ABC Press, yes, that ABC. The first media stop of every left-wing crank in the world. Go figure. Buy a copy and help the guy out.
- #25 2dogs, 2005 was what is called a borderline el nino by the Toowoomba climate boffins, but would be called a neutral pattern by most other climatologists. It was not an el nino like 2002. It was looking quite bad last Autumn, but there was an abrupt change in May-June to the SOI pattern, leading to significant out of season rain in June in northern parts of Australia, and saved the wheat crop in southern NSW. The Toowoomba boys called it a borderline El Nino because while it is not likely to result in a major drought, it will still likely to be fairly dry and hot. As the year turned out to be….the point is you don’t need an el nino to have a drought, and you can still have a wet year during an el nino event.
This year is looking better so far (as far as rain forecasts go), but should not tip into a la nina event. That said, unlike recent years of below average water temperatures off the Qld coast, the water temp is 29 degrees. Good cyclone conditions, but will incite scare campaigns about bleached coral. All we need now is a decent tropical low to park itself off the coast. The cattle producers and urban water supplies really, really need a cyclone.
- Given that cycles occur naturally, over quite a long term by human standards, and given also that control of human-linked emissions is not, repeat NOT controlled by Kyoto Proto-cols, how are we puny humans going to extert any control over the situation without either (i) ensuring that developing nations do not develop, or (ii)paralyzing the developed nations via stupid rules and giving the developing nations nobody to sell to?
“ah, denied i think this time”Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 01 05 at 07:56 AM • permalink
Could Greenpeace please explain why there was a pre-Industrial Revolution global warming from AD900 to 1300?
For fun I go to prehistoric earthwork sites here in the US. One of the cultures that built the biggest and most widespread was the Mississippian—their largest settlement was peak was from 1100 AD to 1400 AD.
Cahokia, near St. Louis, and it had a peak population of around 20,000. Now, that’s a city of 20,000 with stone age technology and only a single grain crop.
One source says the site was inhabited from “1300 to 600 BP”—or 600 AD to 1400 AD. The
The dates of the warm period and the peak of Cahokia are damn near identical.
I’ve not compared the times of some of the other big cultures—Hopewell/Adena and Poverty Point—with warming periods, but I’m pretty sure they also correspond with warm times. The Hopewell/Adena culture was around 200 BC to AD 500; Poverty Point was around 1700 to 700 BC.Posted by Rob Crawford on 2006 01 05 at 08:54 AM • permalink
- Global warming causes mass evacuations in China.
Must have been one of those “tipping points” that these global warming acolytes preach about in the Church of Gaia.
- Sorry, I was referring to his post on Crooked Timber.
That place is a hoot.
I think we should all repeatedly click on that bum. If nothing else it’ll encourage them to come up with even more outrageous advertisments, which is all to the good IMHO.
Australia! Let your colors bloom over bums all the world over!
*shrug* hey if they won’t show the flag at Bondi Beach ….Posted by memomachine on 2006 01 05 at 01:50 PM • permalink
Geologists—who tend to have a longer view of time than most other scientists—are as a group more skeptical of anthropogenic global warming. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists, to take one example, has a position paper on the subject that says:
“1. Climate is constantly changing, and has varied significantly over human history. Climate changes over any time scale chosen, whether as small as a decade or as long as a geologic era.
“2. Natural variability has been demonstrated to exceed any supportable estimate of human-induced variability.
“3. Earth is still emerging from the Little Ice Age (A. D. 1250 – 1850). Significant rises in global temperature are a predictable consequence. The current level of global warming is real and natural.”
“Human-induced global temperature influence is a supposition that can be neither proved nor disproved.”[irony]Of course, the AAPG is simply a mouthpiece for the Chimnaziburtonplastic oil industry, not a scientific society that publishes a peer-reviewed journal. Not at all like the unbiased paragons at the:
Union of Concerned Scientists[/irony]
I’d say at least two-thirds of my colleagues are AGW skeptics.
- Rob, what about the Anasazi? I remember they used mostly corn and decamped rapidly a few hundred years ago? Do you have any dates?
Oh, and I grew up just north of the Koster Site (at one time, and maybe still, the largest archelogical expedition in the US). While it was not concerned with moundbuilders, we have quite a few small ones around, although locals long ago quit showing anyone where they are, and went so far as to conceal most of them.
It looks like the Woodland Culture types I’m most familiar may have come about after some cooling made corn difficult to grow in many areas. They seem to have been mostly hunter-gather bands in small numbers.Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2006 01 05 at 04:04 PM • permalink
- I thought about it a bit more regd Plimer. If he is right, we are all doomed. Regardless of the causes (natural or otherwise), what are the consequences of global warming? Rising sea levels, wilder weather, more drought for some, more floods for others.
Quite worrying, disregarding who is right or not. The fact is that it *is* happening. That is not in dispute, right?
- #44 chai:
The consequences … we’d probably get more “documentaries” such as Wild Weather that are appearing all over the telly …
- ADMIN OT: Hey, 2dogs, put a real email address in your profile, or else clear the tuudogs email address NOW. my admin account is getting all your bounced notification emails. Not fixing this problem will lead to a deleted account. Thank you.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 01 05 at 06:23 PM • permalink
- Plimer, yes- a sad case. He doesn’t get it, you see. Instead of hammering nails, he was just gettting hammered.Posted by Mystery Meat on 2006 01 05 at 07:10 PM • permalink
- The echochamber here might be interested in this:
Keep that in mind as you decide what weight to give to opinions of people who claim scientists predicted an imminent ice age in the 1970s.
HelenW, you can falsify anthro global warming and take my money away by betting against me here.
And Tim B. continues to avoid saying what he thinks is happening. Tim, is anthropogenic global warming happening, or not? Maybe he’s just more into the humor thing.Posted by schmidtb98 on 2006 01 05 at 09:40 PM • permalink
- Interesting that the wiki article states that Europe plunging into freezing cold as a result of GW is unlikely, and that it more likly to get warmer. I would have thought that would be clearly benefical to Europe as a whole. Who knows, they might be able to grow grapes in England again, like they used to in warmer periods than the present day. I am sure the loss of the lower lying areas of the netherlands would be greatly outweighed by increased crop production across NW Europe generally, and given current birth rates, there won’t be many dutch left by then anyway.
I won’t speak for Tim, Schmidtty, but my own view is that climate change IS happening, and there is no doubt some contribution from humans (we are present, after all), but that influence is greatly outweighed by natural processes.
Canute-type actions like Kyoto would be all well and good if it were to make people feel better, as long as they did not cause any harm. There is no rational argument disputing the economic costs of kyoto, and the ineffectivness of it as a strategy to address GW. Most readers on this site get pissed off with pointless symbolic gestures, and even more pissed off at pointless gestures that waste scarce resources that could have been put to better use helping people live with climate change.
- Russell, I suggest you read the wiki article and look at the evidence presented that there was no consensus in the 1970s. That’s not an appeal to authority.
I also suggest that memories can be mistaken, especially in the direction that people want to remember things.Posted by schmidtb98 on 2006 01 05 at 11:37 PM • permalink
Rob, what about the Anasazi? I remember they used mostly corn and decamped rapidly a few hundred years ago? Do you have any dates?
To be honest, I haven’t looked at the Anasazi nearly as much as the Eastern cultures. Most of the east is within a day’s drive for me, so I’ve focused on it.
The dates I’ve found on the Anasazi say they switched from hunting and gathering to farming around 600-700AD, and abandoned their settlements by 1300 AD. That corresponds with the Medieval Warm Period.
I’ve found some more info—and better dates—and posted them on my site.Posted by Rob Crawford on 2006 01 05 at 11:45 PM • permalink
Russell, I suggest you read the wiki article and look at the evidence presented that there was no consensus in the 1970s. That’s not an appeal to authority.
Neither is there a consensus now.
BTW—what’s your take on the correspondence I’ve found between historical warm periods and peaks in North American pre-Columbian cultures? I’ve matched up the peak of the biggest NAPC culture (largest settlement 10’s of thousands of people; culture covered from Minnesota to Florida; remnants still in existence until the early 1700s) with the Medieval Climate Optimum, possibly matched up the Southwest’s most prominent building culture with the same, and have good data tying another culture’s peak to a warm period around the Roman age.
I know for a fact that the second-oldest known earthwork site in the US was constructed during a time of warmer, wetter climate, and that was around 1200 BC.
I’ll have to dig out my books for the theories of each of these culture’s collapses. I know the ones around 0 AD are the outliers, but the others, as far as I can recall, were tied with the cooling and/or drying of the climate.
If warming’s so bad for people, why is it people did so well despite such low levels of technology? The Poverty Point culture didn’t even have agriculture or fully fired pottery, yet they literally thrived under warmer conditions.
(And if anyone tries to get to my site and cannot, I apologize. My server’s been acting flaky and I haven’t had time to deal with it.)Posted by Rob Crawford on 2006 01 06 at 12:01 AM • permalink
- #56 – I did read the wiki – it highlights some articles that I remember (leaving out a range of other articles) while laying out an editorial line (that it does not bother to document) that notes that people really thought warming was taking place – regardless of the articles saying it was cooling.
I was studying physics at university at the time – I remember the various campus lefties trying to get us all excited about the coming ice-age at the time. We laughed at them – it was fun. There is little reason for me to falsify my own memories at laughing at the funny people – there was no reason for me to make up the scaremongering articles that they used to wave in our faces.
You are certainly entitled to be deeply impressed by the “obvious” truth of the wiki article. Yawn!
- schmidtty’s right. There was no global-cooling alarmism in the ‘70s that should make us skeptical of global-warming alarmism now.
Also, there was no overpopulation alarmism, mass starvation alarmism, or complete oil reserve depletion alarmism, all scheduled to take place before 2000 and all taken as gospel by left-leaning anti-industrial types.
Get serious, folks. Global warming is real, and it’s going to lead to – uh – what’s it going to lead to again, schmidtty?
- Do I think global warming is happening? I don’t know. I hope so.
Do I think mankind is contributing to it in a significant way? I don’t know. If we are, we must continue.
Do I think we should spend billions of dollars deliberately fucking with nature for no benefit in an attempt to halt this desirable process and possibly kick-start an Ice Age? Hell, no.
Good enough for you, schmidt? Because quite frankly, I haven’t gotten one solid answer from your side on what the downside is. Just a bunch of “Change is bad, mmm-kay?”
- BTW, what is it about Australian lefties who are impervious to logic, facts and reason, and using blog names with “back” in the title? First we had Chris Sheil’s Back Pages Blog (good thing it’s a blog, I wouldn’t even have offered him the back pages of any dead-tree publication for his tripe), now this guy’s blog named “Backseat Driving” (maybe that explains why his arguments frequently resemble car wrecks).
And of course, we have the continuous stream of ass-imagery in those PETA ads. It’s a common point to accuse lefties of having their head up their ass, but one really has to wonder…
- I find the concept of arguing over whether there is “consensus” on this topic to be exceedingly bizarre. The physical sciences have never worked on a “consensus” basis on any topic except this one.
Sometimes there are competing “interpretations” a la “the copenhagen interpretation” of quantum mechanics. Interpretations are left to battle it out in the market place of ideas, unsuccessful interpretations die, unmourned and unloved, there is no consensus.
If you think consensus is important you have come from the soft sciences and you have wandered too far from your home.
- crumbs just posted and lost it.
What do the Toowoomba Weather Boffins say about the week five days in May 1996 when we got 22 inches of rain? The RAAF 75th Anniversary Airshow at Amberley was cancelled due to flooding and the sogginess of the ground (it had never rained on that long weekend before, that’s why they chose it). It took over two months for the soil to dry out. Prior to that there had been a drought for years and there was a mouse plague just before the deluge.
Oh, BTW – citing Wikipedia as a source is a sure way not to be taken seriously.
The problem with Wikipedia is that anyone can edit entries. That means, ummmmm, controversial topics tend to be vandalized. The entry on George W. Bush had to be locked out.
Wikipedia is certainly not a good source for other controversial subjects (e.g., global climate change), thanks to this same openess (as noted above, for global cooling). I do use Wikipedia, but only because it’s easy to use, and only for historical references, or to find other sources. I take it with a grain of salt every time.
From which I must conclude that schmidt is indeed naive. Not that I needed further proof, but it is amusing to see that he is still pushing his silly bet on climate change.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 01 07 at 12:58 AM • permalink
- Thanks Entropy, I thought it was that Mexican sheila’s fault. La Nina didn’t hang around for long.
I also agree with what you said about getting pissed off with pointless symbolic gestures.
And the coral bleaching incitement to panic has already started. It was covered on TV on Totally Wild last week (or the news).
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment is a firm believer in GW climate change. I saw Greg Hunt, MP, 2005 Australia’s warmest year on record. on TV the other night and thought that there was something wrong with it.*
*Er, did this already get covered here? I seem to recall a clever comment about aborigines with thermometers prior to 1770.
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I especially liked this part:
“Worldwide, 2005 was equal (to within the margin of error of the stats) with 1998 as the warmest year in at least the past millennium.”
Yes, it was 1.2 degrees warmer than the recorded worldwide average temperature in 1146 AD.