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159 responses to “Temperature update: more warming coming up”

  1. Lefty E

    Thanks Brian. A new report suggest we only have till 2014 to get our act together to keep rises to 2 degrees.

    The “debate” (and I use the term derisively) is over. There is only thing that matters, and that’s immediate and serious reductions.

    One piece of good news – that map is also map of declining support for head in sand inaction of the sort avoured by our major parties. The days of our useless political class whoring for big carbon are numbered.

  2. wpd

    Great post Brian.

  3. patrickg

    Another fantastic post Brian. Jesus, though. That chart strikes fear deep into my heart. NZ is looking better every day.

  4. Peterc

    Ditto. But unfortunately useless political class whoring for big carbon continues unabated.

    Wong and Macfarlane on the 7:30 report tonight were highly complementary of each other – and their “negotiations” to increase $4b subsidies for coal fired power stations to $10b.

  5. Ambigulous

    complimentary AND complementary, eh?

    yin and bloody yang

  6. HuggyBunny

    Brian, that is a good post. First time I have seen the ocean energy change with rising temperature graphed like that. The energy change is relatively small so far but the rate of change is really scary.
    When energy is added to a cyclical system such as the weather you get larger excursions – more cyclones, more severe temperature fluctuations. Problem is of course that the weather is also chaotic – so it is difficult to extract empirical evidence for change from the data.
    The Politicians of all stripes are totally unable to come to terms with any of this.
    Keep up he good work.
    Huggy

  7. nasking

    Extremely worrying.

    Thnx for providing that info Brian. Well done.

    It’s yet another WAKE UP call to the Australian public, other nations, corporations & politicians.

    No more GAMBLING with our planet…& lives…& future generations’ lives.

    Enuff insanity! We need enLIGHTenment.

    N’

  8. Enemy Combatant

    Another bull’s-eye, Brian. Gut-wrenching and inspirational. Thank you.

    Nasking@ 8;

    “Enuff insanity! We need enLIGHTenment.”

    Would the last person to leave the biosphere please switch off the enLIGHTenment.

    Peterc @ 4;

    “Wong and Macfarlane on the 7:30 report tonight were highly complementary of each other – and their “negotiations” to increase $4b subsidies for coal fired power stations to $10b”.

    And well respected politicians they are too. Fair dinkum, we’re stuffed!

    A Reality Check from the Brink of Extinction:

    We can cut our consumption of fossil fuels. We can use less water. We can banish plastic bags. We can install compact fluorescent light bulbs. We can compost in our backyard. But unless we dismantle the corporate state, all those actions will be just as ineffective as the Ghost Dance shirts donned by native American warriors to protect themselves from the bullets of white soldiers at Wounded Knee……….

    The reason the ecosystem is dying is not because we still have a dryer in our basement. It is because corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities. It is because consumption is the engine of corporate profits. We have allowed the corporate state to sell the environmental crisis as a matter of personal choice when actually there is a need for profound social and economic reform. We are left powerless.

    Alexander Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of Russian anarchists working to topple the czar, reminded his followers that they were not there to rescue the system.

    “We think we are the doctors,” Herzen said. “We are the disease.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/20091019_a_reality_check_from_the_brink_of_extinction/

    Now there’s a pandemic we could use……. Germs for Gaia!

  9. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    So you will all be voting for nuclear power if we get a referendum on it? After all if the French can make 80% of their electricity our of nuclear then surely Aussies can also.

  10. Vidar

    No TerjeP (say tay-a) we will all be voting for renewable power.

    And the French heavily subsidise their nuclear energy to make it viable, which is what we will do as well. Just another way of handing over huge amounts of public money to private corporations, and the public are left to pay the huge costs for the clean-up when the nuclear power stations decommission as the corporation walks away with a few decades of large profits and ripping off the public.

  11. rob@wonthaggi

    just to give things a little more urgency … http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2009/10/oceans-are-coming.html

  12. David_H

    It has rained here in Canberra for about a month off and on but yesterday the clouds disappeared. It wasn’t a lot of rain, slightly above average for couple of months but it seemed like a lot. I mention it because I think one of the problems with the politics of climate change is that people tend to form a view based on their personal experiences. In north america for example, where things were a bit cooler than expected, suddenly the heat goes out the climate change debate (sorry for the pun but it seems unavoidable). Likewise here when the far south east of Oz gets a drink, then things don’t seem to be quite so diabolical.

    This doesn’t change the general world trends towards a warmer globe but it does create a situation where people can doubt the legitimacy of global warming based on their own personal experiences, a view that can then be exploited by those who have a vested interest in maintaining the current carbon regime.

    Anyone who expects our political system to be above such notions might like to look at how little has actually changed now that KRudd and Co are running the show.

  13. Huggybunny

    TerjeP (say tay-a)
    It is too late for nuclear. Even if we started building nukes on an emergency global basis it would be over 15 years before they even begin to displace other forms of generation, unless of course we want to throw all planning and safety constraints out the window.
    There is one basic problem with nuclear power; it takes many years to actually prove a design. This is because the effects of neutron flux on materials may take many years to show up. For example they had to in situe anneal the containment vessels of virtually all of the French reactors, due to neutron induced degradation. If they had not been able to do this they would have shut the entire French nuclear program down. It was an amazing feat of engineering.
    Bet you did not read about that in Le Monde.
    The dinky little green reactors on a truck do not exist and the newest “lower cost” and “safer” designs are completely untested over any credible time scale.
    Fusion power has been 5 years away for the last 60 years so don’t hold your breath.

    I seriously think we are looking in the wrong place. Imagine if every home in the world had an energy storage unit of say 20 kWh. Suddenly all forms of energy generation including intermittents such as wind and solar are equal. It does not matter where the energy comes from.
    “Base load” power becomes a quaint 20th century concept. The network becomes the generator the user and the distributor. Office buildings, factories and enterprises would contribute or pay or both. No free lunches.
    That way we don’t need that radioactive shit. A wholesale global conversion to gas would be achievable within 10 years and would start actually generating into the network within 5 years, this would buy us a bit more time for the storage unit development.
    Huggy.

  14. Ambigulous

    David_H

    for starters, there’s the distinction between “weather” and “climate”.
    Then there’s the difference between “low average rainfall in any case” and “drought”.

    Where to start?

  15. Peterc

    And the French have had to cut back there nuclear power output due to insufficient supplies of water to cool reactors. As climate change progresses – Europe is getting much hotter – this will only get worse.

    Nuclear energy is another technofix Chimera which will make matters worse, not better. And has HB points out – would arrive too late in any case. Missed that boat.

    We need a referendum on climate change, the CPRS and perhaps on a new form of governance to replace the current broken and corrupt non-representative system we have.

  16. carbonsink

    I have my eye on that yellow bit around SEQ which indicates a 7C rise

    I think I can see a slither of green down the coast, so hopefully “only” a 4C rise for me. Thank God for the sea breeze.

  17. Lefty E

    I think we need to be inventing plantetary sunnnies as a holding device.

    Then take global citizenship seriously: we declare state failure if Copenhagen goes belly up, and start shutting down the most polluting sites in each country ourselves with peaceful but utterly immovable mass blockades.

    Take the matter out of their useless hands. They’re practically begging us to with this utterly compromised charade.

    I nominate Hazelwood.

  18. adrian

    It might be a good place to ask why our major non-commercial news organisation just about ignores climate change.
    It must be because they’ve got more important issues to concentrate on such as the latest trickle of asylum seekers that will be blown out of all proportion while something that threatens the survival of the planet is pushed to the sidelines.

  19. Paul Burns

    Relatively cool but not hot here in Armidale at the moment. But its like that at this time of the year here. Two to three weeks and we’ll have the searing heat, which gets worse every year.

  20. joe2

    “I nominate Hazelwood.”

    Lefty E, that is the obvious target and sadly the guvmint well knows it. Best put your goods in your partners name if that is the path you choose.

    “….the Victorian government announced an escalation in penalties (one year jail and a $14,000 fine) for those who protest at coal plants.”
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/877401/the-new-green-inside-training-camps-for-activists

  21. Lefty E

    Yes, welcome to the new Carbo-authoritarianism Joe2. They’ve done the same thing for attempt to protect VIC forests. It is equivalent to admitting they are already a failed state on climate action.

    Great link – those people are global patriots.

  22. Lefty E

    Idea: We need to develop a new ‘Failed States Index’ on climate change and sustainability, with verifiable and annually updated criteria, and put it online – with US and Australia on top.

  23. Ootz

    EC re

    “We think we are the doctors,” Herzen said. “We are the disease.”

    Small corrections, some of our habits are the disease. As humans we are just like any life form neither good nor bad, just creatures of our habits, but still worth a place on this planet. As such, we don’t have an environmental crisis, the global environment has undergone several cataclysmic episodes and sprung back with more vigor. However, humans are a fickle species, which has clearly overextended itself. Like the sorcerers apprentice we have unleashed the technological genie and find it difficult to control it.

    Lefty E re Hazelwood
    The good news is, no need for illegal actions.
    All we have to do is to consume less. Simple really, however, like drug addicts we are hooked. It amazes me when ever I mention this, I get howled down as a Luddite and technophobe that wants to drag humanity ‘back into the Stone Age’ or worse ‘back to Nature’. Impossible everyone cries and wants the Governmnet to do something about it.

    Just have a look what our energy consumption was 20 years ago and compared it to today. What has changed, do we live an accordingly better life?

    For example, Oz has an obesity problem, we eat to much high energy food and move about less to the extend that our kids will have shorter lifespans because of the resulting health issues. I ask you, have you looked at trimming your own fat, energy and consumption? Maybe we need a slimming consultancy (eg like Jenny Craigh) or drug dependency agency (eg. alcohol anonymous)to help us lower our consumption.

    However, the worst problem is, we are still breeding like rats! Would someone have a quite word to the Pope please, re sanctity of global life.

  24. tssk

    The answer is simple. We need to stop nagging everyone else. We are the ones that need to consume less.

    Your neighbour with the SUV is never ever going to give a toss. You have to work out a way to minimise your consumtion in order to cover both yourself and your neigbour. It’s that simple.

  25. Lefty E

    I agree Ootz, but the wider problem is identified above – the major polluters get let of the hook by a sole focus on individual behavioral change.

    I think part of the the solution is a new international market in energy: governments’ role should be to ensure all carbon emitters pay the full actual cost of cleaning up their emissions, tonne by tonne. Then we’ll see who’s “efficient” at producing energy.

    They should get ZERO compensation for this – instead, we should focus compensation on retraining and interim replacement wages for any and all workforces made redundant by the overriding necessity of these actions.

    That’s how we secure political consent and isolate the corporate polluters and their political whores.

  26. Huggybunny

    Practical stuff.
    ” The major coal producing basins of New South Wales are attractive targets for coal seam methane. The majority of the bituminous coal resources occur in the Sydney-Gunnedah-Bowen Basin and the Clarence-Moreton Basin along the eastern coast of Australia. These large coal-bearing basins in New South Wales have substantial thicknesses of net clean coal at depths that are suitable (250 m to 850 m) for the extraction of methane. These coals have acceptable permeabilities, good lateral continuity, appropriate maturity, and are gas-saturated.

    It is estimated that the amount of methane contained within the coal seams is several times greater than the current reserves for conventional natural gas. From the perspective of coal seam methane production potential the coal-bearing basins possess appropriate depositional settings, coal distribution, appropriate depths of cover, coal rank, gas contents, and attractive coal thicknesses within suitable pay intervals.

    The following resources have been established in the Sydney, Gunnedah and Clarence-Moreton Basins (excluding National Parks, colliery holdings and urban developments):

    Sedimentary Basin Total (billion m3 Potentially recoverable [20% recovery factor] (billion m3)
    Sydney Basin 752 150
    Gunnedah Basin 752 146
    Clarence-Moreton Basin 1075 215

    This estimated potentially recoverable coal seam methane (511 billion m3) has an approximate energy content of 19,000 PJ. There are also strong indications of the presence of substantial coal seam gas resources in the Gloucester and Surat Basins. Over recent years there has been a dramatic increase in interest by both the coal industry and the petroleum industry in these resources.”
    http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/minerals/geological/overview/regional/sedimentary-basins/methanensw
    More:
    “Queensland’s coal seam gas industry has experienced
    remarkable growth over the last fifteen years.
    During that time the number of coal seam gas wells drilled
    annually increased from a low number of 10 in the early 1990s
    to a record high of approximately 600 in 2007–08.
    The coal seam gas industry has defied the recent global
    economic downturn with exploration and development activity
    remaining strong.
    As at 31 December 2008, proved and probable reserves (2P)
    reached 15 714 petajoules (PJ). In 2008, production increased
    to approximately 133 PJ, which represents more than 80 per
    cent of the Queensland gas market.” http://www.energy.qld.gov.au/zone_files/coal_files_pdf/new_csg_cc.pdf
    More:
    “Few people know it, but there is also an emerging view in Victoria that the Gippsland basin potentially has more gas reserves than either Queensland or the North West Shelf.

    Yet the Victorians who will vote in the Gippsland by-election continue to burn dirty brown coal in the La Trobe Valley that does more than anything else to deliver Australia the world’s worst record for carbon emissions on a per capita basis.

    While the green purists and climate change deniers can dream about “clean coal”, wind, solar and geo-sequestration, developing baseload capacity from these technologies is at least 15 years away.

    Australia should be closing down coal-fired power stations and building a stack of new gas-fired power plants right now. Instead, we’re years behind because John Howard was so captured by the carbon club.”
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2008/05/28/what-about-victorias-vast-gas-reserves/

    Now for our sakes and our childrens sakes we must get off our arses, stop bleating about “nukuler” and get moving on exploiting this, its a completly obvious thing to do.

    Resources are available around the globe:
    Country Estimated CBM Resource Base (trillion cubic metres)
    Canada 17 to 92
    Russia 17 to 80
    China 30 to 35
    Australia 8 to 14
    USA 4 to 11
    http://www.worldcoal.org/coal/coal-seam-methane/coal-bed-methane/

    Huggy

  27. Ootz

    Tssk,
    my neighbour has SUVs as well as a high powered car and a fancy sport car and other ‘toys’. He is also building a classic MCMansion (including a parent retreat room) while living in the shed and borrowing more and more money. Over the last year when I built my ‘unconventional’ comparative small and energy efficient house, adding things like insulation every where and PV panels. My Biolytix system is designed to grow, instead of lawn, corn and sunflower to feed my chickens. I grow my own vegies and fruits. Just harvested my fifth bunch of bananas since started cultivating 14 months ago. I am seriously looking at installing a small prototype Aquaponic system, to grow my own Sushi. Further, the TV got canned 4 years ago and I started to learn to play the guitar. As I do live in a region, I have a small car but walk or cycle most times for short trips as well as I do many tasks, such as shifting soil, slowly by hand. I am fit and trim, have no mortgage and own everything I have and I am happy :) .

    On the down side, I am considered an ‘eccentric’ by all and sundry around me. However, less and less so, I can see attitudes change. I don’t write above to blow my own trumpet, I do want to emphasise the ‘walk the talk’ aspect in this whole AGW issue, as well as highlight the importance of giving alternative examples of how one can live a dignified life! Because like it or not, given the current trajectory we are all forced to look at an alternative lifestyles one way or an other.

  28. David Irving (no relation)

    Well, I think I’ll put on my Ghost Dance shirt and stay drunk for the next 20 years. (I’m sure I’ve got one left over from 1970 … )

    Less flippantly, Ambigulous @ 14, I think David_H was pointing out that our politicians are either too stupid or too venal to distinguish between weather and climate.

  29. tssk

    See Ootz that’s the best we can do. In the end nothing is going to stop people from over consumption unless their resources run out. Hopefully they won’t take out people like you and me as well but that’s the best we can do.

    I really think that’s the attitude behind a lot of climate denialists. They just don’t want to give up any comforts. A lot of them I think are of the attitude that they don’t need the planet to last forever. Just their lifetime.

  30. Huggybunny

    Well my little nukeretards have a read of this:
    http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/mycle-schneider-slides.pdf
    Then go for a long cold shower.

    “Conclusions
    • Nuclear power plays a limited role. It is highly likely that it will
    further decline.
    • The industry has a a long term workforce problem and will struggle
    to maintain competence levels for existing facilities. (Australia has negative competence if you include ANSTO – HB)
    • Public opinion in the EU remains critical towards nuclear power and
    has a strong preference for other energy forms.
    • The nuclear industry has failed to deliver in the past. Large budget
    overruns, construction delays and excessive overall lead times. Much
    of this had to be covered by the tax-payer.
    • Problems with recent new build projects indicate that there is no
    change to be expected.
    • Hypothesis: Nuclear energy will rather hinder than favour reliable,
    sustainable energy policies.”
    This mess is going to save us ???
    Oh I forgot about the cute little green painted reactors that arrive on the back of a truck, how silly.
    Huggy

  31. Brian

    As it turned out my usual cast iron gut failed me this morning and I’ve been spewing my insides out.

    So I haven’t had the strength to read all the comments (thanks for the kind ones) but pace Huggybunny, if this thread turns into another thread about nukes it will start me spewing again.

    So if you’ll excuse me…

  32. Ootz

    They just don’t want to give up any comforts

    What comfort tssk?
    Comfortable about being in debt up to the hilt or having the superfund in some dodgy investment scheme. Comfortably watching Coke and screaming Hardly Normal ads on Tely. Comfort in gridlock to and from work? Comfortably participating in the competitive workforce till age 70 to keep the economy growing and to pay for our grwing health care cost? Comfort in knowing that the kids will have a future? Comfortably numb?

    Our primary task in the issue at hand is not to fix the Environment, or find a techno fix eg nuke, we’ll just chase our tail. Although there is a place for techno and enviro fixes, priority should be on lifestyle change with less props and waste and to reduce our numbers otherwise ‘nature’ will do it for us. Unfortunately, in the broader Global Warming discussion lifestyle change is not an issue, even though one way or another it is imminent, hence my rant.

  33. tssk

    I know what you are getting at Ootz but unless they find their own truth they will never see it.

    Those of us that can see will just have to make sure we do enough to not add to the problem and maybe even make up for their lack of a damn.

    It’s like the difference Clean Up Australia day has made to the environment. In the end the people that dump their rubbish still do it. The difference now is that some people who don’t make the mess sacrifice their time to clean up other people’s shit. It’s the way the world works.

  34. Fran Barlow

    PeterC

    I don’t want to make Brian sick, so I won’t … but I will respond briefly to this …

    And the French have had to cut back their nuclear power output due to insufficient supplies of water to cool reactors.

    Not so … the reactors in question were restarined from discharging water into rivers during the heatwave as this warm water would have had the potential in context to harm the river systems in question and so, in order to safeguard the environment, the reactors in question were shut down. That’s obviously not applicable anywhere a reactor isn’t water cooled or where it uses seawater, as they probably would here.

  35. Huggybunny

    OK Brian, ve vill not mention ze nukes OK?
    TSSK, your comparison with Clean Up Australia day is apt. I guess it has always been thus, the good guys clean up the mess left by the stupid thugs in the village.
    This time though the thugs have total control of the mess making apparatus that is destroying the village and the village council has been bought off and wants us all to donate lots of pigs to the thugs.
    Last time I looked there was no other island to go to so we are stuck here even after our island is completely covered in crap.
    This could turn very nasty, we need to join together with the other tribes on the island, overthrow the corrupt village council and the thugs, stop paying out pigs and fix the mess making machine so it does not make any more mess. We only have a very short time to do this.
    Huggy

  36. tssk

    Yeah Huggy but I can see the thugs driving us out. Of course when they drown in their own crap their last words will probably be curses directed at us for either not cleaning up their crap quickly enough or more likely complaints that we never told them this would happen.

    The end of Ben Elton’s book Stark is the most likely scenario.

    And the sad thing is that I think some of the denialists know this but they’ve done the math and worked out that it probably won’t get bad while they are alive.

    To them the old phrase about us not inheriting the erath from our ancestors but we borrow it from our children is hippy dippy bull dust.

  37. Huggybunny

    Fran Barlow @ 34,
    You get the Huggy prize for sophistry and logic chopping.
    The discharge water would have made the stream water too hot for the fishies and things, ergo there was not enough water. Full stop end of story. Get it?
    Hugggy

  38. Brian

    Huggy @ 35:

    Last time I looked there was no other island to go to so we are stuck here even after our island is completely covered in crap.

    Gordon Brown says there is no Plan B for the environment and the time to act is now. So he’s going to Copenhagen himself. Laudable as far as it goes.

  39. David Irving (no relation)

    Problem is, Brian, there isn’t a Plan A either.

    Or at least there doesn’t seem to be a workable one.

  40. Jed

    Brian,

    I have only recently considered the nuclear option, thus I have ignored any previous debate on it, so I may have missed any discussion of the Generation IV nuclear reactors.
    It seems to me that the technological breakthroughs that have been made with the latest generation of reactors are very promising (uses ‘nuclear waste’ as the energy source, the end product is unsafe for 300yrs, as opposed to 100,000yrs, and is useless as a building block for nuclear warheads etc.).
    I am only just starting to learn about gen IV nuclear (or any nuclear for that matter) so there are no doubt problems I am unaware of, but golly, we’re hardly overflowing with promising and realistic solutions.
    Anyhow, I look forward to your thoughts if you have the stomch to put them forward.

  41. Fran Barlow

    It is the end of the story here in this topic HB@37 — we don’t want Brian being sick on our account — but my point was a fair one, given that the claim was a general one about nuclear power rather than one limited to nuclear plants using rivers as heat sinks in the midst of a heat wave. I will stipulate that I don’t think that using rivers in this way is good design, whether it is a coal plant or a nuclear plant or a gas plant.

  42. KeIThY

    nasking @ 7, should ‘conservatives’ really be placing such big bets?!?

  43. KeIThY

    Would the last person to leave the biosphere please switch off the enLIGHTenment.

    ^^^this is very clever and must become a mantra on the internets, IMHO!

    Let’s do it…. GO!

  44. Brian

    Jed @ 40, we’ve had a lot of posts on nukes. About 3 months ago I did one on 4th gen specifically. There were links to BraveNewClimate where Barry Brook is a leading advocate for nukes. You’ll find plenty there.

  45. Ambigulous

    DI(nr)

    Stupidity and venality are both a bit of a worry.

  46. carbonsink

    Gordon Brown says there is no Plan B for the environment and the time to act is now.

    When Gordon Brown announces a plan to replace growth capitalism, halt population growth, and stop growth of any sort in a finite world, I’ll start listening.

    “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” — Kenneth E. Boulding, Economist.

  47. KeithY

    A simple as ootz says: we have an attitude that demands the earth but this is not freedom! We have been fooled by the scammers with their faux philosphy of buy buy buy and all we have to do is DECLARE A BOYCOTT ON BULLSHIT! It is this easy: we might even be able to stop the terrorists trying to scare us into changing our attitudes because in the end that’s all they’re trying to do! SEX SELLS is a hopelessly immoral joke but it makes us buy big shiny utes and travel relentless miles burning oil and that is actually the circus that keeps people in power. And it is so easy to destroy by changing our attitudes…. DECLARE A BOYCOTT ON BULLSHIT! HOW MANY HOUSES DO YOU REALLY NEED? PUT YOUR MONEY IN THE BANK AND STOP BUYING CRAP THAT NO ONE NEEDS: SAVE TO SAVE THE PLANET TODAY! ….GO!

  48. KeIthY

    tssk @ 29, the 5 stages of dying will explain a lot of it… having to give up what seems like life itself to most people is obviously going to be difficult. The illusion(Mara) is what the ephemereal heart attaches itself to and only the sword of wisdom can cut these strings of Mara(the illusion)! The TV is hard to turn off sometimes but once it’s off you start doing things. We can’t expect things to turn on a dime but we can expect things to turn because the Earth does! Wrap your laughing gear around “BOYCOTT” and you will find it will start catching on as we all want freedom because it is the higher ideal! This faux capitalism, where people are simply trying to stop the next generation from affording a house, will be easily forgotten if people start seeing the alternative!

  49. Ootz

    Thanks KeithY,
    Yup, boycotting crap works albeit slowly. However, I think it is important to show integrity, to ‘walk the talk’ and to proof that the sky wont fall down if not adhered to wasteful convention. I’d like to die knowing that, even though I have no kids myself, I did my best to ensure a reasonable future for coming generations and to honor the sacrifices of my ancestors.

    I am rather encouraged by recent news of a small town banning the sale of bottled water, who ever started that campaign should have won the Noble prix. Another good sign I thought was the US considering taxing sugary drinks. If it works for tobacco, well why not tax the crap out of anything else nasty. Next thing we will hear of a class action against brown coal generators for willful damage. I also keep a secret stash of tar and feathers should I have the opportunity to bump into Wannaby Choice.

  50. Peterc

    Plan A is to move to Antartica when Australia (including Tasmania) becomes uninhabitable due to lack of water and extreme heat.

  51. Ootz

    PeterC, the problem with that is you’ll have to hire one of those vile people smugglers and you’ll be stuck for a while behind razor on South Georgia. A more feasable option would be to join the Fremen and get yourself one of those stillsuits.

  52. Mark Duffett

    Get a grip, Peterc. Have another look at that 4C world map. That’s a blue pixel representing Tasmania, if I’m not mistaken (which tells you something about potentially important shortcomings of the model related to lack of spatial resolution). Still not good, but a long way from uninhabitable.

    Smugly yours

  53. HuggyBunny

    The thing that puzzles me the most is the attitude of the youf.
    How many Vice Chancellors have been strung up by the nuts in protest at the lack of action?
    Where are the occupations, the police dogs and riots ?
    The youf of today are piss-weak.
    Don’t they understand its our survival as a species that is actually at stake?
    Well at least we know know why there are no other “civilisations” out there.
    They get to a certain stage, totally fuck their planet and the cockroaches take over.
    Huggy

  54. carbonsink

    The thing that puzzles me the most is the attitude of the youf.

    They’re too busy facebooking each other on their iPhones.

  55. HuggyBunny

    Carbonsink,
    Hey go easy on the iPhone, I have one.
    Agree about facebook, twitter and all that narcissistic dross.
    The it’s all about me generation is shaping up to be among the last.
    Starting to sound like an old fart must stop.
    Huggy

  56. carbonsink

    How do you know someone has an iPhone? They’ll tell you.

    For the sake of the gorillas, make sure you recycle it when you upgrade to iPhone 2.0.

  57. HuggyBunny

    Carbonsink,
    I and my design group are well aware of the situation with Tantalum, which is why we specify X7R ceramic capacitors instead.
    Huggy

  58. carbonsink

    Huggy, what are you designing? I sure hope its something for the mining industry, and its not something you plan to export.

  59. Huggybunny

    Carbonsink
    Actually its the next generation of solar inverters.
    1/10th the weight and volume of any-thing else in the world.
    They actually work and we are delivering.
    So don’t get up me about resource utilisation.
    Huggy

  60. Peter

    The thing that puzzles me the most is the attitude of the youf.

    No puzzle at all. Most of them were probably forced to sit through ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ not once but up to 3 times in 1 year at school. That would put anyone off.

  61. carbonsink

    Carbonsink
    Actually its the next generation of solar inverters.
    1/10th the weight and volume of any-thing else in the world.

    Very nice. Are you selling yet, and if so, where?

    If you plan to export, this is your future:

    Macquarie identifies the biggest losers [of the rising Aussie dollar] as defensive stocks with an offshore earnings skew … These include CSL, Cochlear, Resmed…

    The rampant Aussie dollar is destroying our great companies.

  62. Huggybunny

    Carbonsink.
    What would Macquarie know about real industry?
    All the firms you name have high tech low margin products.
    I think I am saying too much.
    Huggy

  63. carbonsink

    Obviously you’re not selling overseas. If you were an exporter you’d be screaming, and I don’t care what your margin is (mine is huge). When revenues get smashed 50% in 6 months, very few survive.

  64. joe2

    “Starting to sound like an old fart must stop.”

    It’s a good thing you did, because you both do.

    How silly to start pointing the finger at young people who did nothing more than get born into this mess. My rather bright (high results, anyway) teenage son saw Inconvenient Truth and other information at school and concluded there is not much hope for this planet.

    I find it hard to disagree given the cappo drongos in control and have no plans to give him a hard time for not worrying too much about the future. Indeed, I encourage him to ‘just enjoy’. Not much more we can do other than live in the moment and watch the show evolve. And that is not saying that I am not doing my best to cut back on our energy consumption.

  65. Ootz

    Let’s take the 4C climatic scenario for Australia in 2050, let’s assume a reasonable margin of error either way and then factor in the projected 65% increase in population in that time span. Make a reasonable best case scenario and then break into 4 decade steps. Based on that I could agree with Brian on the 2020 pear shaped situation. It will be interesting to see what the attitude of Huggies youf will be by then. Us old fogies may cop a hell of a flaming, so to speak. How can we ever plead innocent in this?

    We may have to mount the barricades ourselves sooner than later. Many of us had the experience and by now perhaps we are bit more mature in our approach. My inspiration for political protest is M K Gandhi. Would a non cooperative movement and mass civil disobedience work today in Oz?

  66. Fran Barlow

    I found this amusing, since we’ve been talking population and climate

    The culture war is up for grabs. The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they’re too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels

    Catholic goes nuts in the WAshington Post

  67. Huggybunny

    OOtz,
    Gandhi eh? Does that mean we all get to share our beds with young girls ?
    Seriously, population growth and global warming make an explosive mix.
    The Youf will have every right to be really angry.
    Mas civil disobedience will work until they bring in the crowd control devices.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4857417
    Huggy

  68. carbonsink

    Based on that I could agree with Brian on the 2020 pear shaped situation. It will be interesting to see what the attitude of Huggies youf will be by then.

    Much the same, but they’ll be twittering on iPhone 5.0.

  69. Zorronsky

    Plan C Sweeny Todd franchises.

  70. David Irving (no relation)

    Good modest proposalcall, Zorronsky! Matter of fact, a soylent green pie would go down a treat right now.

  71. Ootz

    Huggs, only if you practice brahmacharyat. Maybe you’d prefer 99 virgins waiting for you when you suicide bomb Hazelwood? Re MAD remind me to bring along with my earmuffs and a concave sound shield.

    Yeah Fran the religious nuts are a worry, some of them view global warming as fulfillment of the Book of Revelation, the promised Apocalypse. How to deal with this?

  72. Elise

    Just wondering, if things continue BAU, then can we suppose that:

    - No (or few) coal-fired power stations are shut down, thanks to lobbying and subsidies

    - All major businesses (power, resources and export industries especially) get a variety of subsidies, free permits, etc

    - Non-productive “carbon auditing services” proliferate, making ALL Aussie goods more expensive, due to compulsory extra costs to support this expanding rent-taking sector

    - As a consequence of carbon audit proliferation, cost of living goes up

    - Household power becomes more expensive

    - Fuel becomes scarce and thus more expensive, even more so if included in an ETS

    - As a consequence of increased power and fuel costs, cost of living goes up further

    - Inflation from all the increased costs makes us less competitive, and Aussie productivity declines, so our GDP eventually declines also.

    - Anything else you might like to add?

    In this unattractive scenario, perhaps households might react by becoming self-sufficient? i.e. Make our own electricity (solar PV, BlueGen, etc), run an electric car with our own power, DIY, farmers markets, etc.

    Whatever it takes to cut out the (government sanctioned) rent-seekers?

    Why doesn’t the Rudd government understand that every previous historical change in energy consumption patterns to lower carbon emissions (wood -> coal -> oil -> gas) was driven by LOWER costs and GREATER utility, not higher costs and increased effort (thanks to the Rudd government’s complex carbon auditing process).

    Did you know that mining companies are already expected to audit the lubricating oil used in mining vehicles? The assumption they are required to make, is I believe that 50% of the oil burns to form CO2. What sort of engine is that?

    The next problem is that a majority of the vehicle fleet may be leased from a contracting company, which uses their vehicles on various sites for different companies. So, we have lubricating oil requiring a raft of people in different companies to keep complex records. All for a miniscule contribution to carbon emissions.

    The Rudd government’s ETS is bureaucracy gone mad. That’s what we get from a government full of petty bureaucrats and lawyers.

    Australian competitiveness will suffer from all these wasted manhours chasing down a bumblebee’s f..t worth of emissions.

  73. Huggybunny

    Oootz,
    Yeah brahmacharya – right? Like I really believe in that. Oh riiight.
    “it was the green spaghetti monster wot made me do it your worship”.

    Elise, exactly.
    I hear that the “consulting” firms and the merchant wankers and all the rest are wild with anticipation over the CPRS.
    Its totally insane, they will be handing over huge dollops of our cash to entities that do nothing at all except account for CO2 and count beans.
    Huggy

  74. David Irving (no relation)

    Jesus, Elise @ 72, that sounds a lot like (shudder) ISO9000 accreditation.

    Aside from anything else, it opens up a lot more opportunities for fraud.

  75. Huggybunny

    Good one DI, you have nailed it.
    For those who have not been through the ISO 9001 process, have a look at this.
    http://www.ncsi.com.au/downloads/ISO90012008SelfAssessmentChecklist.pdf
    Then multiply it by 1000 add a huge bullshit component and an even bigger auditing component then double it all again.
    By now you will be coming to the edge of the CPRS.
    Huggy.

  76. David Irving (no relation)

    Huggy, you and Elise have just made me realise consciously why I’ve always been uncomfortable with the idea of the CPRS. It’s a bush lawyer’s wet dream.

  77. Huggybunny

    DI,’It’s the wet dream of every:

    Carpetbagger,
    Wide boy
    Bankster
    University curriculum board
    Pimp
    Copper
    Coupon clipper maker
    Mine owner
    Real Estate agent
    Consultant
    Stand over man
    Con man
    Academic expert
    Thug
    Professor looking for a trough
    Tout
    Power station owner
    Cement works owner.
    And that’s only a partial list.
    Huggy

  78. David Irving (no relation)

    You forgot what my son calls “coin clippers”, Huggy, by which he means stockbrokers, merchant bankers and other spivs (so I guess you’ve really got them covered, I just like his antiquated turn of phrase).

  79. HuggyBunny

    DI
    Sorry, forgot Spivs , coin clipper is good too.
    Huggy

  80. Peterc

    Mark Duffett, you think you can fit the entire population of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Eastern seaboard (10m+) on your blue pixel representing Tasmania? Best of luck.

  81. Elise

    Peterc @80, perhaps Mark was intending high-rise, dense, living arrangements?

    You know, as they do in Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

    Too bad about the SW wilderness region…

  82. HuggyBunny

    Elise,
    Tasmania, could easily house us all but we would starve to death.
    Huggy.

  83. Ootz

    We are not doing too badly either, thank you very much, in the NE tropics and precipitation wise too, provided the monsoon system will not collaps.

    I could envision a move SE and NE from the major population centers. Put it this way where do Adelaidians move to when they are sick of having no water + 4C?

    SEQ quo vadis?

  84. Brian

    Cheerful lot!

    I’ve got my eye on a spot in the S island of NZ about 80m above sea level. How high is the Canterbury Plain?

  85. Ootz

    Nearly forgot, where are all of those going too. Are they factored in already in the projected 65% population increase?

  86. Mark Duffett

    Why would I want to do that, Peterc @ 80? Don’t worry, we’ll be excising King and Flinders Islands from our migration zones, and stringing razor wire across the mouth of the Tamar ;-)

    But seriously. My main issue was with your statement that Tasmania would be uninhabitable; that is demonstrably not true.

    Since you mention it though, let’s look at Melbourne as well. As far as I can make out, the 4C world model indicates a 4-5C rise for Melbourne. That would give it an average annual temp equivalent to that currently experienced in, roughly…Sydney! 4.5 million people seem to be coping all right there at the moment.

    Yes, I know this is an oversimplification because it doesn’t account for stuff like extreme temp frequency and rainfall/evaporation balances, but we’re still hardly talking uninhabitability. Sure, it’s not good, but it’s not the apocalypse either.

  87. Brian

    Part of the problem, Mark D, is that the climate is highly unlikely to be stable at 4C. Very likely you’d have methane pouring out of permafrost and the peat soils, not to mention the ocean clathrates, along with the frying of the Amazon etc.

    Then there is the interruption of food production systems and an implied sea level change, which eventually would see very little permanent ice left in the world.

    The there’s ocean acidification, and major problems with the fisheries.

    4C is the usual threshold where the effects would threaten civilisation as we know it. So I tend to disagree with your last sentence.

  88. Huggybunny

    MarkD, Brian

    It actually all about humidity.
    At the equator there is lots of water vapour. This means that the temperature excursions are small due to the specific heat of water.
    At the poles there is no water vapour because it is locked up as ice.

    At the latitudes of Melbourne you can get big temperature excursions because the humidity tends to fluctuate a lot. You can get well below zero C and up to 46C in Melbourne. The record high in Brisbane is 42C and the temperature dropped to zero C in 2007 for the first recorded time. In the tropics the temperature seldom goes above 35C. The deserts in the tropics, either side of the equator get very hot because they are decoupled from the sea. These temperature differences may not seem to be very big but they represent huge differences in energy content because you are dealing with water vapour here – not air.

    As the polar ice melts the mediating effect of humidity will be entirely disrupted , it may be that Melbourne will actually experience reduced temperature extremes. (Possibly also because a lot of it will be about 5 m under water as well).

    The Huggy conundrum:
    The poles are cold because of the reduced energy input from the sun due to the oblique angle of incidence, however as the ice melts the ring of higher humidity air begins to contract upon the poles and transports (vastly) more heat into the region. I do not know if this positive feedback mechanism has been factored in. But if it has not we are in serious trouble.
    Huggy

  89. Brian

    The poles are cold because of the reduced energy input from the sun due to the oblique angle of incidence, however as the ice melts the ring of higher humidity air begins to contract upon the poles and transports (vastly) more heat into the region. I do not know if this positive feedback mechanism has been factored in. But if it has not we are in serious trouble.

    Huggy, I can’t speak from authority, but on the basis of my current glimmerings, this is what I think.

    Will Steffen’s recent report (pdf) said that the models used for forecasting only take into account short term feedbacks. There simply isn’t an empirical base for observing in detail the various processes in the disintegration of ice sheets, which in any case are all different. But I would take short term feedbacks as including heat transfer towards the poles via ocean currents and weather, notably rain. It now rains more and further north in places like Greenland, Northern Canada, Alaska etc.

    Whether it rains or not is quite important to a mother polar bear who doesn’t want the roof of her breeding ice cave to fall in.

    Hansen never tires of telling us that building ice sheets is a long and relatively dry process whereas their disintegration is wetter and faster.

    Dry ice reflects about 90% of the sun’s input, open water about 10%. Wet ice is somewhere in between.

    In the mid latitudes one of the main factors is the ‘expansion of the tropics’ which is not quite what it sounds. The increased vigour of the tropical systems means a stronger uplift of more humid air in the tropics which comes to earth dry in the mid latitudes, but in the form of larger high pressure systems because of the expansion of the whole circulation system. The mid-latitude jet streams are pushed further towards the poles.

    I’ve seen various diagrams, which are all simplifications, but this one from this article is one of the best.

    The other problem with the models, as I understand them, is that they deal with surface events on a 300km square basis. They really should include cubes of at least the troposphere and probably the ocean, at least to 700 metres, but the deeper the better. Two problems here. First, we don’t have the data on a worldwide basis. Secondly, if we did I understand it would stretch our biggest and best computers.

    Going back to the post, I think Latif was trying to explain why we can’t forecast future conditions in any way that is going to be useful to human beings in particular times and places to suit their purposes, just as the BOM can reasonably accurately predict scattered showers for you region, but not whether one is going to fall on your head.

  90. Huggybunny

    Thanks Brian,
    That helps.

    If rain is falling further North it brings with it the latent heat associated with the transition to ice. You want to melt ice ? Put it in the sink and pour lots of water over it , even cold water does the trick.
    Huggy

  91. Brian

    Huggy, and wet ice absorbs more heat. You might like to look at the images of Greenland meltwater in in this post, which show the direction things are heading. The more meltwater, the more heat is absorbed, the more meltwater.

    I remember reading a comment in RealClimate saying, it’s bloody raining here in Greenland which it almost never does. Probably just chewing away at the edges, but it all helps.

  92. Huggybunny

    I remember reading about a perched glacier that suddenly developed a number of moulins, the scientists expected it to stay around for 50 years or so, it entirely disappeared in a few months.
    In the Northern polar region the arboreal forest is moving northward at a brisk pace.
    Oh shit Brian, I was happy until you raised all this stuff.
    Keep up the good work, I really like being scared.
    Huggy

  93. Ootz

    Thanks for above explanations Brian, your 4C world link above predicts the Asian monsoon systems to extremely fluctuate from dry to wet. Would that apply to our monsoonal system up North? Any predictions on that?

  94. Elise

    Brian @91: “…it’s bloody raining here in Greenland”

    If you have ever spent time in a snowy part of the world, then you see with your own eyes how quickly rain gets rid of the snow.

    It can stick around for many days of sunshine and warmer weather (clean snow is a good reflector of light), but one decent shower of rain and it disappears. The water makes short work of supplying the latent heat of melting.

    Dirty snow also melts quite fast (absorbs more of the suns energy). If the Amazon burns and the fine ash is transported in the upper atmosphere to snowy regions, it might accelerate the melting process nicely?

    We could have quite a few interlocking systems which we haven’t seen on a large scale before and therefore haven’t modelled?

  95. Peterc

    Mark @ 86,

    Yes, I know this is an oversimplification because it doesn’t account for stuff like extreme temp frequency and rainfall/evaporation balances, but we’re still hardly talking uninhabitability.

    Further to Brian’s comment, extremes in variation are what really matters. Over 300 deaths were attributed to Melbourne’s 1 week heatwave in early February. This culminated on the hottest day ever – Black Saturday – when another 173 died in the fires.

    If these climate trend and associated events continue there will be mass migrations – all around the globe. Actually, this has started already.

  96. Elise

    Speaking of mass migrations, I have been wondering whether the future might hold a counter-intuitive migration AWAY from dense living in high rise, inner suburbs surrounding the CBD.

    The prevailing wisdom seems to have been that peak oil and carbon footprint argue for dense living and more public transport.

    However, the efficiency of public transport is similar to that of the new efficient diesel cars, and worse than the new hybrids. Amazing but true – perhaps due to one direction of the trips being relatively empty, and many trips being only partially full in order to provide a regular service.

    If households converted to more efficient vehicles and installed household solar PV and BlueGen, then they would emit less CO2 staying right where they are.

    Furthermore, dense living requires a total dependence on the system to supply all necessary utilities and consumables. What if the system starts to break down, due to the stresses and strains of climate change, sealevel rise, tens of millions of climate refugees, etc?

    Perhaps total dependence on the system, living in inner city apartments – tying ourselves hand and foot – may not be such a great idea in a system that is turning pear-shaped?

  97. Huggybunny

    Elise,
    I think the system is full of interlocking and dependent systems.
    The worry is that we have not identified all the positive (re-inforcing) feedback loops that are out there.
    We are in totally uncharted territory.

    I have asked my PhD student to organise the burning down of his university, perhaps that will help. He seems a tad reluctant to do this. Bloody pampered youf.

    Huggy

  98. Elise

    Huggybunny, why are the “Bloody pampered youf” of today so lacking in the normal student idealism? There seem to be only a few dozen people camping outside the coal-fired power stations, demanding change.

    Remember the 60′s and early 70′s? And where have all the Flower Power people gone? Why aren’t they out there protesting? Or buying solar power? Or bloody doing something proactive?

    Sheesh, what a mob of boiled frogs we Aussies have become… ;)

  99. Huggybunny

    Elise ,
    I remember those times,
    I spent most weekends and many evenings revolting.
    Kept down a full time job, and begat and raised 3 kids in the later 70′s.
    Now I get to boss these sissy boys about, totally apolitical they are – pro-active ? oh no.
    Sheesh.
    Huggy

  100. Elise

    Huggy, Regrettably I wasn’t revolting, owing to graduating at the end of the 70′s. Everything had gone quiet.

    However, one of the company psychologists at the first round of interviews suggested I might be “small r radical” – to be greeted with a blank look of amazement. The course had been too full-on for any radical activities, unless you wanted to do extra time on the same subjects.

    He must have extrapolated from one of those dicky, word-association psych tests they used to love in those days? Perhaps I had latent revolting tendancies, due to express themselves in old age?

  101. John H.

    Thank you Brian for an excellent post. Now I must change my trousers … . To hemp of course.

  102. HuggyBunny

    Elise, you come across as a free thinking fighter, really revolting. Congratulations.
    Huggy

  103. Pterosaur

    The oil leak off the Kimberley coast has been spewing volatile hydrocarbons for some (3?) months now, and reportedly now covers thousands of square kilometres of ocean.

    Apparently, the nature of the hydrocarbons being leaked makes any approach to the vicinity of the drilling platform extremely hazardous, if not suicidal, due to the risk of ignition of the volatile components from the leak.

    Question: Is this another disaster-in-waiting ? (Through the explosive ignition of huge areas of floating oil and gas)?

    If such an ignition were to happen, it seems that yet another nail is being hammered home :-(

  104. Elise

    Huggy @102, thanks Huggy – you made my evening! :)

  105. Pterosaur

    …. continuing from @103

    What would be the significance (if any), in terms of CO2e of such a combustion ? Anyone ?

    It such an event likely ? Possible ?

    Or are my concerns about this without foundation ?

    I don’t have access to the necessary information to make any meaningful calculations wrt to this, apart from the figure of 400 barrels/day given by the company “responsible” for the leak.

  106. Elise

    Pterosaur @105, current global oil consumption is about 85 million barrels/day (IEA estimate for 2009), most of which is burnt to make CO2 one way or another (heating oil, diesel generation of electricity, transport fuels, etc)

    As such 400 barrels/day in a global total of 85 million barrels/day is not a major increase. The significance in terms of global CO2 production is not a real worry. However, the waste of our national resources and the pollution of the Kimberley environment is a reasonable cause for concern.

    We consume an absolutely staggering amount of oil every day, if you think about it for a minute. According to IEA we will need about 4 Saudi Arabias (i.e. need to find 3 more) by 2030 to continue BAU. I’m not holding my breath about finding much more.

  107. HuggyBunny

    Elise @ 96.
    I would like to see a reduction in population density also.
    I have this sort of fantasy, string townlings out like peals along a light rail, every home is within walking distance of the station. Each home has broadband, each townling has a large community centre and communal gardens and orchards. Only vehicles required are for the lesser abled.
    Arr shite I am starting to sound like a utopian,
    @104
    Glad to be of assistance :) .
    Huggy

  108. Pterosaur

    Thanks for that Elise – should have thought to Google total usage myself.

  109. Brian

    Ootz @ 93, I haven’t spent a lot of time on regional climate forecasts, partly because it’s so hard to predict. I have heard that our monsoons are holding up well in part because of the Asian brown haze, but I don’t understand the mechanisms.

    Elise @ 94, not sure whether the ash from the Amazon would migrate that far northwards, but China’s muck has apparently been identified in Europe. I believe soot landing on Greenland from further west is a factor in causing more melting.

    John H @ 101, you wouldn’t be the first person who told me I gave them the … I think I’ll stop right there :)

    Pterosaur @ 103, I don’t know much about that leak except I heard the other day that the company had 300 people working on fixing it, but were not succeeding. Apparently they need more ‘resources’, whatever that means and it was suggested the gubblement should do something.

  110. Ootz

    Huggs, I recon you’ll see somesort of restructuring of society.

    On a micro level we’ll go to large family or living group/commune or village/street clusters. For example, I always have been fascinated by the ‘communal’ spirit that appears when a natural disaster occurs, like the cyclones and flooding we regular get up her, Some times upto 5 days no power etc. You really have to experience it to believe it. Further, it is only covenants and town planning regulations which hold current residential land use in its present form. Relax these restrictions and these places will evolve into more efficient form, though some may become slums.

    On a macro scale, particularly in QLD you’ll see regionalism, where as the state will do hard to retain power in the regions. Many states are already politically on the brink and there is talk about the Commonwealth to take over Health etc. I don’t know history of Australia to well around great depression time, but would not be surprised if there were some tensions in the regions. ecological and economic regions will try to assert themselves, such as catchment areas and resource rich areas.

  111. HuggyBunny

    OOtz
    Agree, pure survival will force people to co-operate in village style communities.
    Of course our masters will build domes and guarded enclaves with green nukes and stuff. The rest of us will have to get by with a communal approach and solar power.
    We need to start really thinking about this now, the consequences of GW could be really dire.
    Huggy

  112. Ootz

    Thanks for that Brian.
    Elise & HB
    Another reason I think we cant afford lower pop densities is because it would gobble up productive areas. Food production will also be under pressure from diminishing energy and resources required for cultivation, such as fertiliser, fuel, irrigation, transport costs etc. Further, low density zoning such as rural residental areas are not very cost efficient. Our Shire, for example will not create new rural residential zones, may even be in whole QLD under the new 2020 thingy. Rural residential areas take up far more resources to look after and are harder to administrate than residential areas. My personal experience too is most sea/tree-changers have difficulties adapting to the less prosaic aspects of low density/rural living.

    My prediction, as temp is rising pop densities will increase and you city dwellers will be on rations subsidised with carrots from your earth filled bathtub.

  113. Gordon

    Wow…what a topic!

    There are really so many solutions out there.

    The question to me is why the hell are we not implementing any REAL solution to fix this problem.

    I mean..wow…the world may be about to end as we know it…but hmmmm life goes on as it was. Wait we are trying to do something to stop it…but it must be porfitable first. And not just profitable, but profictable to those that are already hold power, eg. oil companies, banks etc.

    The reason I beleive things are not being done is that we do not have a government that serves the needs of its people. It serves the needs of corporations it seems. To me the political structure we live under is way out of whack.

    Basically we only have two main parties that we get to choose between, who all in all are not very different. Then we have lobby groups that have agreat influence on the decisions made by these parties. Unfortunately it seems that the lobby groups with the most power are those with the most money (corporate interests).

    I think we need a totally different electrol system which would trully result in a LEADER(S) that really represents his/her people. We need a leader that wants to be a leader so that he/she can trully bring goodness to its people.

    One of the meaning of the word politics is : “use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in business, university, etc.”

    So, basically a politician is someone who is good at using intrigue or strategy to obtain a position of power or control. Is this the kind of perosn we really want to be LEADING us? I thikn we need REAL LEADERS who do what they do because they care about people.

    The nature of capitalism itself is based on greed and need for more and more.
    Hence its very difficult for one to pull himself up and say “hang on I have enough.” One day I was thiking about how the very first commercial transaction may have come about. In history books and such it is stipuated that commerce is part of human nature and existed as soon as civilasation occured. Hmmm…I doubt this. Thousands of years ago, humans were communal beings that lived together in small communities or villages. Each person would do their task. for example, the men would hunt and fish (later farming). some would build and do other such work. the women would gather fruits, look after the kids etc. No one got paid and they were all happy. What drove these people to work for free? I beleive that it is simply the fact that these people knew that it would be beneficial for them to live and also for human evolution if they all simply worked together.

    so, then I’m wondering when did commerce first take place? was it within the community or was it from another community that came into contact with another community. By the wya another interesting fact is that the people of the middle eat develpoed agriculture (civilisation) first in the world. They travelled ot Europe and passed on this knowledge freely. I belevie they would have done so freely because again, they knew it was good human evolution.

    Hmmm…somewhere along the time from then to now we seem tohave forgotten about whats good for the human race.

    Anyway, the basis of commerce is…I have something you don’t have…what are you willing to give me for it? So, now commerce exists to constantly produce something you or i want or need and see what we are willing to give for it. first trade would have obviously been for goods which leads me to my next topic.

    Our banking system. We can’t fix the climate problem because it will cost too much. Thats the reason we get. It sound ridiculous otme, considering that the international banks can simply print as much money as they choose too. So why not simply creat a world climate fund and print of billion so dollars to fund this?

    Banks themselves are ridiculous. this sounds totally crazy. One day i decide I willbe a bank now. so, i print heaps of plastic things called money and give them to people. now people must give me thisback plus more. Who gave me the authority to print money (which rules our lives by the way)? Well, the history of banks, money and our modern banking system is a very interesting subject if anyone cares to learn about. It makes one question whether any of us are really free as we beleive.

    I only mentioned these things because I feel these are the problems with our system that causes our governemnts not to act out on issues such as climate change (also global poverty).

    An Australian solar energy scientist had approached the government with a proposal he had. In his proposal he estimated that he could provide approx. 90% of australias energy needs from solar power. the governemnt was not interested, so the guy went overseas. Shit we could easily have solar, geo thermal and wind power combined here in this country. Not to mention, wave power. then we could easily run electric cars. the technology is all there, but no investment or research and development has been put into it. Why is this so!!!??!?!

    anyways, i have basically just gone on a mad rant here which probably doesnt make any sense. but i’d love to talk back if someone has any input or queries.

  114. Ootz

    Gordon, it’s quite a shock when the penny drops isn’t it? Kind of like the proverbial rug being pulled out from underneath our understanding of civilisation and foundation of basic assumptions of life as it is. And all caused by this seemingly innocuous molecule which appears to pack a bigger punch than the cheerful fizz of a freshly opened beer bottle.

    Elise @ 96, in your comparison, public transport vs turbo diesel/hybrid, where you comparing just running costs/emissions or whole live cycle?

  115. Huggybunny

    Ah Gordon, you sound so young and fresh.
    This site is mostly populated by bitter and twisted cynics.
    I am told that there is a good book that may answer a number of your questions, it is; The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State by a guy called Fred Engels. “It was written when Engels was 64 years of age and at the height of his intellectual power and contains a comprehensive historical view of the family in relation to the issues of class, female subjugation and private property.”
    Well that’s what Wiki says about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Engels

    Huggy.

  116. carbonsink

    Huggy @ 107 wrote:

    I would like to see a reduction in population density also.</blockquote
    Out glorious leader does not share your vision:

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he believes in a “big Australia” and that the population forecast is good news for the country, but he does concede that it poses complex challenges.

    “That is why we’re taking a leading position on climate change but also the long-term sustainability of the Murray-Darling and the proper provision of water supplies for the future.

    “This Government is building for the future – we call it nation-building for the future. But let’s be optimistic about the fact this country’s growing, so many around the world are heading the other way.”

    Mr Rudd says the Government is developing long-term plans for health, the environment and infrastructure.

    “I actually believe in a big Australia I make no apology for that. I actually think it’s good news that our population is growing,” he said.

    “Contrast that with many countries in Europe when it’s actually heading in the other direction. I think it’s good for us, it’s good for national security in the long-term, it’s good in terms of what we can sustain as a nation.

    So get used to another 15 million of us all crammed on the coast, desperate for a sea view.

  117. David Irving (no relation)

    Those hippies who actually started living communally are just early adopters.

  118. Huggybunny

    Carbonsink,
    Yep and what exactly does he mean by:
    “it’s good for national security in the long-term”
    Tweet Tweet I hear a dog whistle.
    Huggy

  119. Ootz

    This site is mostly populated by bitter and twisted cynics.

    Speak for yourself HB, I am adamant to make a go of it!

    Gordons post reminded me of my realisation of the enormity of the situation. I too went through the all the 5 stages of griefing. It’s a bit like being told by a medical specialist that you have some rampant cancer and the chances are 10% you’ll come through.
    Denial – “Nothing is wrong with me!” This stage is mainly the domain of AGW skeptiks and denialists. Emotional reactions block cognitive rationalisation of the problem. A temporary position until the s..t hits the ventilator.
    Anger – “Why me and not these bastards that put me into this position!” Basically another emotional respond to disown the problem.
    Bargaining – “Well I’ll buy a hybrid car and that should see me through!” A temporary position of only partial recognision and acceptance of the situation. I would put most techno/economic/politic fixes into that category.
    Depression – “What can I do? I’ll just live from day to day then we are going to die one day anyway!” Resignation and disconnection from it all, some misanthropic tendencies start to appear.
    Acceptance – “Oh well this is really it, there is a small chance but I’ll not go crazy about it, I’ll just do the best I can do what ever happens.” As I mentioned before, we owe our future generations a decent life and need to honor the sacrifices of past generations.

  120. Huggybunny

    Ootz , being bitter and twisted does not preclude optimism and a determination to make a go of it :)
    Huggy.

  121. Gordon

    Thanks for the comments Ootz.

    I’m probably not as young as you may think and have actually been trhough all the 5 stages you mentioned.

    I just feel that in order for this problem and many other problems to be solved we need to move past focusing on ourselves as individuals and realise that we are all one and share this planet together. I also feel that in order to solve this problem and many others we all should know how the world really works. I’m all about the truth being told.

    nothing bitter and twisted. I am full of optimism…but in order for change to occur we need to know the problem first. right?

    I now carry on doing my thing, but along the way if i can open a few eyes thats great.

    Solar power, wind power, geo thermal power, wave power etc are all viable technologies. We simply have not put in enough research and development into them. The fully electric car is also a viable technolgy, which again has not had enough research and development. If these technologies received the reseacrh and development as cola power and petrol engines, then they would be equally as developed if not more.

    So, why don’t we do it?

  122. wilful

    huggybunny, in relation to your utopian town planning model, you may be intrested in this. I liked it so much, I bought the book (I even wrote a review)!

  123. Huggybunny

    Wilful,
    That’s it ! That’s exactly the model I had in mind. In the centre of each pearly loopy thing there is a playground and gardens fertilised with urea and phophorus from the on site human waste treatment plant. Around them more food producing facilities.
    Everything is recycled. Every-one walks or rides. Most work is local via the broadband.

    Gordon, Why don’t we do all those things you list?
    In one word; Incumbency.
    The bloated Capitalists who own the present crap want to stay bloated.

    Huggy

  124. Elise

    Gordon @121: “If these technologies received the reseacrh and development as coal power and petrol engines, then they would be equally as developed if not more. So, why don’t we do it?”

    Gordon, I would hazard a guess that the problem has something to do with the next best alternative. While you have a profitable and functioning alternative, your incentive to work on something else is relatively low.

    Cheap coal resources, and no charges for “externalities” like CO2, means that Australia lets its solar energy research languish and eventually head overseas in search of support.

    Cheap oil, and similarly no charges for CO2 externalities, means that we continue with combustion engine vehicles rather than electric vehicles.

    BP made a big fanfare about being the new energy company, and set up BP Solar. It gave them a point of difference for marketing. This is very useful if your product (i.e. petrol or diesel) is identical to that of another oil company – came out of the same refinery to fill the tanks at different petrol stations.

    However BP Solar was starved of funds to grow (not necessary if it already served its marketing purpose). I know this from talking to the CEO of BP Solar at a seminar in London.

    I bumped into him over coffee and enthused over his presentation, about developing a future energy strategy by coupling solar PV with electrolysis, to make hydrogen from water. The hydrogen could then be stored &/or transported to run fuel cells to make electricity. It all sounded very visionary and exciting.

    I asked about the size of the global solar market he expected, and he said it was 3 times GREATER (already in 2002) than they could meet with their solar PV production facilities.

    “Wow! So you must have a big cheque for expansion then?”

    “Regrettably not. The returns from BP’s investment in oil and gas are greater.”

    He looked quite gloomy and didn’t say anything more, staring into his coffee.

    Finally, the wheel is about to turn! With BlueGen, our own Aussie company will be selling fuel cell household generation units. We already have household solar PV readily available, plug-and-play. (I just checked our own solar PV system, and it is going gangbusters – exceeding nameplate capacity at the minute, due to a cool sunny day!)

    BlueGen fuel cells will be running on natural gas, to start with, rather than hydrogen. We don’t have the infrastructure for a hydrogen economy at this stage. When the natural gas starts to run out, in a couple of decades (depending on how much we flog to the Chinese), we might finally get to that stage. Then we will have a truely low carbon economy.

    I just hope that Aussies for once back their own team, and don’t let BlueGen technology migrate overseas to China along with our home-grown solar PV technology.

  125. John H.

    I bumped into him over coffee and enthused over his presentation, about developing a future energy strategy by coupling solar PV with electrolysis, to make hydrogen from water. The hydrogen could then be stored &/or transported to run fuel cells to make electricity. It all sounded very visionary and exciting.

    Hey Elise,

    I saw on the PBS Newshour circa 2 weeks ago a professor and his crew are working on exactly the above idea. It is a very good idea for cars and solves the major problem with hydrogen.

  126. John H.


    Everything is recycled. Every-one walks or rides. Most work is local via the broadband.

    Have a look at Sweden, apparently they model their urban areas on the principle of communities not cars or commerce. They love bicycles. I wish I could emigrate, nice and cold up there … .

  127. Huggybunny

    Elise,

    A word about the “Hydrogen Economy”.
    People who have never worked with the stuff are so sanguine about its safety. I have worked with it and I can say it is about the most dangerous material I have ever used. Explosive in air in almost any concentration, lighter than air so it can only be really safe on the top of a building. Not suitable for installation in the ground floor or basement as any leaking gas will waft up through the house and probably concentrate in a bedroom until some-one turns on the light. Oops no house. Energy density is really poor, not sure that hydride type storage (safer) will cycle too well. Wants to leak out of pressure vessels because of its tiny molecule.
    The Bluegen is a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell this type can be used to generate Hydrogen from electricity and thus store solar energy. Don’t know the cycle efficiency.
    Huggy

  128. Elise

    Huggy @127, yes I agree that hydrogen is not the easiest energy storage/transfer medium. However, NASA is seriously looking at it for their futuristic moon mission.

    I don’t imagine that we would be trying to store it as a compressed gas at a household level. Hydrogen cylinders are used in industry, fairly regularly. I worked in a petrochemical plant that used them (for hydrogenating unsaturated bonds in hydrocarbons), without any mishaps to my knowledge.

    Apparently compressed hydrogen cylinders were used for the Fuel Cell Bus trials, both here in Perth and overseas. The cylinders were mounted on the roof.

    http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/greentransport/19524.asp

    Metal hydride storage has been around for many decades – studied using it for peak load capacity in a final year project in the 70′s. Another option that has been proposed, was adsorption onto carbon nanofibres. No doubt other methods could be devised, if people put their minds to it.

    As I understand it, the point of BlueGen at this stage would not be to generate hydrogen. It would be to create household electric power during the periods when solar energy was not available (at night and on cloudy/rainy days). If run continuously, then the excess could be exported to the grid.

  129. carbonsink

    Lordy! I didn’t think there were still people who believed in the hydrogen economy. Lets just say George W. Bush was a big fan of the idea. Enough said.

    Spend some time at The Oil Drum and you’ll be cured of that particular affliction.

  130. Elise

    Carbonsink @129, I’m really disappointed in your link.

    I was hoping for a brilliant expose on the failings of the hydrogen economy. Instead it was the usual Oil Drum info about the oil industry.

    Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but not what you promised… ;)

  131. HuggyBunny

    Elise,
    If you really want a hydrogen economy go for Ammonia. NH3. Decompose it with a catalyst and you can throw away the N2 and all you have left is pure H2. BTW the energy density of Ammonia is higher than liquid hydrogen.

    It is liquid at reasonable temperatures and pressures so it is easy and safe to store. You can burn it in a stirling engine and get fuel cell efficiencies without the downside of fuel cells (efficiency in fuel cells drops to zilch once you go over the “knee”). Works very well in a free piston engine too.
    Leaks are easily managed with lots of water (I once shut down a huge leak in a refrigeration plant with no more equipment than a fire hose). You can run a car on it, safer than petrol in a crash.
    Has the advantage that you can certainly smell a leak and it’s not all that toxic, I am living proof of that :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia#As_a_fuel

    Huggy

  132. carbonsink

    You need to spend some time there, read the comments, soak it all in. Besides, TOD is not about the oil industry, its a peak oil doomer hang out.

    Here’s a couple of links for starters:
    http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/4405
    http://canada.theoildrum.com/node/4077

  133. Gordon

    Elise:

    “Gordon @121: “If these technologies received the reseacrh and development as coal power and petrol engines, then they would be equally as developed if not more. So, why don’t we do it?”

    Gordon, I would hazard a guess that the problem has something to do with the next best alternative. While you have a profitable and functioning alternative, your incentive to work on something else is relatively low.

    Cheap coal resources, and no charges for “externalities” like CO2, means that Australia lets its solar energy research languish and eventually head overseas in search of support.

    Cheap oil, and similarly no charges for CO2 externalities, means that we continue with combustion engine vehicles rather than electric vehicles.”

    That was the point of why i was raving on like a lunatic :)

    We need to realise that the fate of the world is more important than our economy or the fat cats that run the world. I think we should be at the point now of saying “we do it whatever it takes to stop this crisis and now”.

    This is also why i said that the whole problem is not the lack of solutions, but the system that runs the world (where evrything is judged on how profitable it is). this is why i said we need real leaders who are RIGHTEOUS, with enough balls to do the right thing and not the profitable thing.

    I wonder, do you thikn the civilised world could exist without money. I wonder how many pepole know the history of money and banks.

    Obviously, what i have just said would mean massive change in the world, the way things work and in peoples minds. Change is never an easy thing, especially such dramatic change. So, usually it takes catastrophe to set off such dramatic change. Whether this will happen or we will forever live as “workers” chasing dollars printed by banks to fund the mortgages on our homes that are actually owned by the queen is unknown.

    Anyway, thats just my opinion. all we can do is the best we can. In the meanwhile, the fat cats and the politicians will keep us confused and arguing as they go back and forth over one solution or the other, while throwing in a few distractions alng the way…while in the end they will do whats most profitable for them.

    Nice chatting with you Elise on a different level :)

  134. Peterc

    Gordon @ 113

    I share your concerns about the structural and political/system problems that are greatly hampering the implementation of real solutions for renewable energy and climate change.

    The question to me is why the hell are we not implementing any REAL solution to fix this problem.

    Here is an article I have written the topic that covers many of the areas and concerns you mention. It is still a work in progress.

    http://www.greenlivingpedia.org/The_end_of_the_world_as_we_know_it

    I think referendums on matters of import would be a step forward, at least we would get to vote on something substantive rather than for proxies of the coal industry.

  135. Gordon

    Peterc:

    Great article brother.

    I think we do share some very similar understandings and I’ve got a few ideas i’d love to share to.

  136. HuggyBunny

    A bunch of wankers from the WWF reckon we need to get low carbon industrialisation under way by 2014 and grow it at 24% per year – forever or we are totally fucked.
    If they are correct and I think they most likely are correct, we have about 5 years tops to overthrow the old thinking and turn the situation around.
    Unless a storm surge sends a wall of water own Wall street in the next few years this will not happen.
    So I suggest that we all go to gym and get really fit and supple so that we can each kiss our arse a fond farewell in 2015.
    Huggy

  137. David Irving (no relation)

    Danmn! I’ll be 65 in 2015, Huggy. It’s not an age at which I like the idea of facing the end of civilisation.

  138. Ootz

    Huggy @ 131, agree NH3 has got potential. I have worked with it 25 years ago in diazo processing equipment. Got a few good doses and had once a massive leaking valve on a high pressure bottle up on the 52 floor in a Sydney office tower. No windows open of course and you don’t want the evil smelling stuff to circulate through the aircondition system, neither did I wanted to get stuck with it in the lift …. yeah really simple, water totally neutralises it. I remember asking myself, when I was looking at NH3 specs, why it was not in wider use for refrigeration and heat-energy production. Someone should have a serious look at it.

  139. HuggyBunny

    Ootz, Elise too scroll down this:
    http://peakoil.blogspot.com/2008/09/ammonia-fuelthe-other-hydrogen-future.html

    Thing is we could use it in our cars without any major mods tomorrow all we really need is a supply of ammonia from non carbon sources.
    Huggy

  140. Gordon

    See….we will forever keep talking about anendless amount of available solutions. The real question, again, is why aren’t we doing something about it TODAY?

  141. HuggyBunny

    Gordon,
    ” The real question, again, is why aren’t we doing something about it TODAY”
    Because there are people out there who keep putting forward fantasy solutions such as nuclear power (sorry Brian) and rooftop solar.
    huggy

  142. carbonsink

    Because there are people out there who keep putting forward fantasy solutions such as nuclear power (sorry Brian) and rooftop solar

    Huggy, I’d be happy if we saw any progress on anything, whether its nukes, big solar thermal in the desert, huge wind farms on the coast, hot rocks geothermal … anything! Fact is, we’re a nation of coal junkies led by some nong who wants to cram in 35 million of us by 2050.

    Who here thinks we’ll reduce emissions by 80-90% with near-as-dammit twice as many people? Who here thinks out coal miners will be digging up less of the stuff in 2020 than they are today? Who here voted for that man who believes in a Big Australia?

  143. HuggyBunny

    Carbonsink,
    This weeks New Scientists describes some very large solar thermal systems to be built in Africa
    http://www.desertec.org/
    Also in Australia http://www.desertec-australia.org/

    This outfit has the backing of Siemens, Deutche bank, Munich.re and power utilities.
    Dc transmission will be used.
    “Big Australia” is another debate.
    Huggy

  144. murph the surf.

    ” huge wind farms on the coast….”
    Would this mean allowing wind farms to install aggregations of turbines along National Parks?
    As I understand things the National Park borders don’t include the sand.Large portions of NSW’s coast is next to such parks.
    With transmission losses being substantial when the farm is too distant to the grid or consumers (this may be an old idea please correct me if that’s so) what are the most suitable areas for this development? Byron Bay? St Kilda? Werribee?
    Redland Bay?

  145. HuggyBunny

    Murph The Surf

    None of those sites you list is suitable for wind – too low an average wind speed.
    Transmission losses are not an issue with dc and you can put the cables underground and undersea.
    I would run a dc cable from New Zealand all the way to Perth, Pick up wind farms along the way as well as bring power from solar farms down from North of Mildura.
    Such a cable would be always powered up because the wind and solar diversity start working for us.

    Plenty of good wind sites along the South and East coast, nobody lives there, or goes there much because it is too bloody windy.

    Huggy

  146. carbonsink

    Also in Australia http://www.desertec-australia.org/

    They’re deporting the founder. HAHAHAHA! Says it all really. I wonder if they’d deport a coal baron?

    Again, who voted for this mob?

  147. Ootz

    Agree CS, that is bl..dy disgusting.

    “My situation has to send a shiver up the spine of any non-resident foreigner involved in developing Australian business start-ups, particularly in solar energy or water,” he told Environmental Management News.”

  148. Peterc

    Gordon, you can contact me via the Greenlivingpedia wiki for a chat. You are also welcome to contribute to “The end of the world as we know it” article. You need to create an account on the wiki then you can edit it. There are some headings that need expanding.

  149. Peterc

    Brian, this blog posting is so good I would like to put your content into an article on Greenlivingpedia, with your permission. I would reference this blog post and you as the auther. Is this OK?

  150. Gordon

    at 146 Carbonsink:

    right mate..it does say it all. the worst thing is that this stuff happens so quietly and mainstream mdeia don’t report it, so most people have no clue. Things like this need to be spread to as many people as possible (if they even care) and we need to start getting angry about why our so called representative government is not doing much of a job of looking after our interest.

  151. carbonsink

    Things like this need to be spread to as many people as possible (if they even care)…

    I don’t think they care: Americans go cool on global warming

    The number of Americans who believe there is solid evidence that the Earth is warming because of pollution is at its lowest point in three years, according to a survey.

    There has been a similar shift in attitudes in Australia.

  152. carbonsink

    Which is possibly why Obama won’t be going to Copenhagen but he will go to Oslo two days before to pick up his peace prize. Time to move to the doomstead?

  153. John Michelmore

    An interesting international workshop consensus from Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog relating to Climate Change and Disaster Losses reads as follows:-

    “1. Climate change is real, and has a significant human component related to greenhouse gases.

    2. Direct economic losses of global disasters have increased in recent decades with particularly large increases since the 1980s.

    3. The increases in disaster losses primarily result from weather related events, in particular storms and floods.

    4. Climate change and variability are factors which influence trends in disasters.

    5. Although there are peer reviewed papers indicating trends in storms and floods there is still scientific debate over the attribution to anthropogenic climate change or natural climate variability. There is also concern over geophysical data quality.

    6. IPCC (2001) did not achieve detection and attribution of trends in extreme events at the global level.

    7. High quality long-term disaster loss records exist, some of which are suitable for research purposes, such as to identify the effects of climate and/or climate change on the loss records.

    8. Analyses of long-term records of disaster losses indicate that societal change and economic development are the principal factors responsible for the documented increasing losses to date.

    9. The vulnerability of communities to natural disasters is determined by their economic development and other social characteristics.

    10. There is evidence that changing patterns of extreme events are drivers for recent increases in global losses.

    11. Because of issues related to data quality, the stochastic nature of extreme event impacts, length of time series, and various societal factors present in the disaster loss record, it is still not possible to determine the portion of the increase in damages that might be attributed to climate change due to GHG emissions

    12. For future decades the IPCC (2001) expects increases in the occurrence and/or intensity of some extreme events as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Such increases will further increase losses in the absence of disaster reduction measures.

    13. In the near future the quantitative link (attribution) of trends in storm and flood losses to climate changes related to GHG emissions is unlikely to be answered unequivocally.

    Policy implications identified by the workshop participants

    14. Adaptation to extreme weather events should play a central role in reducing societal vulnerabilities to climate and climate change.

    15. Mitigation of GHG emissions should also play a central role in response to anthropogenic climate change, though it does not have an effect for several decades on the hazard risk.

    16. We recommend further research on different combinations of adaptation and mitigation policies.

    17. We recommend the creation of an open-source disaster database according to agreed upon standards.

    18. In addition to fundamental research on climate, research priorities should consider needs of decision makers in areas related to both adaptation and mitigation.

    19. For improved understanding of loss trends, there is a need to continue to collect and improve long-term and homogenous datasets related to both climate parameters and disaster losses.

    20. The community needs to agree upon peer reviewed procedures for normalizing economic loss data. ”

    We need to be mindful of the fact that localised events are not neccessarily attributable to climate change.

  154. Brian

    Peterc @ 149, that’s very flattering. The post started as a whinge about the weather to which I added a few things that seemed relevant.

    I’m not sure there is a decent entry there, but tend to trust your judgement. I’d have to say the the sea level rise thing you did last year was pretty neat, I thought, but it no doubt needs updating now, which is a pain.

    There is another issue that I’d rather email you about than discuss here, so sometime later today, with a bit of luck.

  155. Brian

    John M @ 153, one can easily agree with policy recommendations such as:

    14. Adaptation to extreme weather events should play a central role in reducing societal vulnerabilities to climate and climate change.

    15. Mitigation of GHG emissions should also play a central role in response to anthropogenic climate change, though it does not have an effect for several decades on the hazard risk.

    And the rest.

    But the problem with Pielke Snr is that I just don’t trust him. The statement is made (13) that

    In the near future the quantitative link (attribution) of trends in storm and flood losses to climate changes related to GHG emissions is unlikely to be answered unequivocally.

    The interest is in whether there is an increase in extreme weather events (not necessarily records) in recent years, and whether any trend can be observed. That is weather events as such irrespective of whether humans were in harm’s way and the cost of the damages.

    I remember seeing a brief report of a study in the time frame of about 2002 to 2006 which showed quite a startling step change, but I don’t have the link. Also again from memory when the head of Munich Re was here earlier this year he talked about such statistical trends, (they have the best data base around) but again no link. I haven’t had time to research it further.

    But if the Pielke’s happened to know of such a study I wouldn’t trust them to tell us about it.

  156. John Michelmore

    Brian,
    Some confusion here; these points were from an international workshop consensus from Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog relating to Climate Change and Disaster Losses. While Pielke Jnr was part of the workshop he reported it as a consensus of all the following participants (32 professionals in all)
    The participants were as follows:-

    Christoph Bals
    Germanwatch

    Laurens Bouwer
    Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit

    Rudolf Brázdil
    Institute of Geography, Masaryk University

    Harold Brooks
    NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory

    Ian Burton
    University of Toronto, Meteorological Service of Canada

    Ryan Crompton
    Risk Frontiers, Macquarie University

    Andrew Dlugolecki
    Andlug Consulting

    Paul Epstein
    Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School

    Eberhard Faust
    Climate Risks, Department of Geo Risks Research/Environmental Management
    Munich Reinsurance Company

    Indur Goklany
    Science & Technology Policy, Office of Policy Analysis
    Department of the Interior

    Maryam Golnaraghi
    Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Programme
    World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

    Hervé Grenier
    Risk modelling and weather derivatives
    AXA Reinsurance

    Bhola R. Gurjar
    Indian Institute of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering

    Armin Haas
    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

    Jaakko Helminen
    Climate Service, Finnish Meteorological Institute

    Peter Höppe
    Department of Geo Risks Research/Environmental Management
    Munich Reinsurance Company AG

    Claudia Kemfert
    DIW Berlin
    Department Energy, Transport and Environment

    Richard J.T. Klein
    Stockholm Environment Institute

    Thomas Knutson
    Climate Dynamics and Prediction Group
    Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA

    Thomas Loster
    Munich Re Foundation

    Robert Muir-Wood
    Risk Management Solutions

    Gunilla Öberg
    Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University

    Roger Pielke, Jr.
    Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado

    Silvio Schmidt
    GeoRisks Research Department, Munich Reinsurance Company
    German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) Berlin

    Gerd Tetzlaff
    Meteorology, Universität Leipzig, Institut für Meteorologie

    Hans von Storch
    Institute for Coastal Research, GKSS Research Center

    Koko Warner
    Institute of Environment and Human Security, United Nations University

    Martin Weymann
    Sustainability & Emerging Risk Management, Swiss Reinsurance Company

    Angelika Wirtz
    Department of Geo Risks Research/Environmental Management
    Munich Reinsurance Company AG

    Anita Wreford
    School of Environmental Sciences
    University of East Anglia

    Qian Ye
    Center for Capacity Building, National Center for Atmospheric Research

    Ricardo Zapata-Marti
    Focal Point for Disaster Evaluation, ECLAC
    CEPAL/México – Naciones Unidas

  157. Brian

    No, John, I got that. It’s just that if Pielke was reporting on the workshop you are likely to multiply a particular perspective or paradigm by 32. A problem with the anti-AGW group is that they are particularly bad at peer reviewing each other and a lot of crap gets free passage into the public domain.

    They are just too gentle with each other, while claiming just to be scientists rather than sceptics, denialists or whatever. In other words, while claiming to be rigorous and independent they show all the characteristics of camp-following behaviour.

  158. Huggybunny
  159. Brian

    Thanks, Huggy. Kinda helps and kinda doesn’t. It’s a flyer for what looks like a very interesting book, which probably does indeed have the information I was after.

    Munich Re have been putting a lot of effort in and I recall them saying they have a data base that gives a climate risk profile for just about every spot on the globe.