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Killer Greenhouse Effect (or Pardon my Anoxia): A Note from Luke

Luke Walker reminds us that geological history includes evidence of mass extinctions from “killer greenhouse conditions”:

“Readers of this blog are often witness to accusations of alarmism by those opposed to scenario projections using contemporary anthropogenic global warming theory.

Comfort is often taken in the world having survived substantial climate swings in geological time and that some species such as reef building corals have come through that turmoil.

So it is with some irony that the October 2006 issue of Scientific American has a major article by Professor Peter Ward at the University of Washington suggests that extinction events in geological history have been caused by killer greenhouse conditions. What’s this – geological alarmism? Is nothing sacred?

“More than half life on the earth has been wiped out, repeatedly, in mass extinctions over the past 500 million years. One such disaster, which includes disappearance of the dinosaurs, is widely attributed to an asteroid impact, but others remain inadequately explained.

New fossil and geochemical evidence points to a shocking environmental mechanism for the largest of the ancient mass extinctions and possibly several more: an oxygen depleted ocean spewing poisonous gas as a result of global warming”

Apparently five times over the last 500 million years most of the world’s life forms have ceased to exist. End of the Ordovician 443 My ago; close of the Devonian 374 My; the Great Dying at the end of the Permian 251 My where 90% of ocean dwellers and 70% of land dwellers were obliterated; the end of the Triassic 201 My; and the end of the Cretaceous at 65 My with a likely asteroid impact.

However, new analyses are showing that some sudden extinctions were not that sudden lasting several hundred thousands of years.

It theoretically works something like this:

1. Volcanic activity releases carbon dioxide and methane

2. Rapid global warming occurs

3. Warm ocean absorbs less oxygen

4. Anoxia destabilises the chemocline where oxygenated surface waters meet H2S permeated waters in the ocean, anaerobic bacteria flourish

5. Hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) gas upwells through the ocean as the chemocline rises to the ocean surface

6. Green and purple sulphur bacteria in the surface ocean thrive while oxygen breathers suffocate

7. H2S gas kills land animals and plants.

8. H2S destroys the ozone shield

9. Ultra violet radiation from the sun kills remaining life.

“A minor extinction at the end of the Palaeocene 54My ago was already – presciently – attributed to an interval of oceanic anoxia somehow triggered by short-term global warming.” Evidence is also present at the end of Triassic, middle Cretaceous, and late Devonian.

So are these extreme greenhouse effect extinctions possibly a recurring phenomenon in the earth’s history. Atmospheric CO2 was 1000ppm when extinctions began in the Palaeocene. “

So if the modern earth got close to 1000ppm this might represent something for our children to deal with. But maybe that’s just geological alarmism for you.

I’m getting a Lotto syndicate going called “Killer Greenhouse”.

More reading:

Climate simulation of the latest Permian: Implications for mass extinction by Jeffrey T. Kiehl & Christine A. Shields Climate Change Research Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, Colorado 80305, USA

Abrupt and Gradual Extinction Among Late Permian Land Vertebrates in the Karoo Basin, South Africa
Science 4 February 2005:Vol. 307. no. 5710, pp. 709 – 714 by Peter D. Ward,1* Jennifer Botha,3 Roger Buick,2 Michiel O. De Kock,5 Douglas H. Erwin,6 Geoffrey H. Garrison,2 Joseph L. Kirschvink,4 Roger Smith3

Photic Zone Euxinia During the Permian-Triassic Superanoxic Event, Science 4 February 2005:
Vol. 307. no. 5710, pp. 706 – 709 by Kliti Grice, Changqun Cao, Gordon D. Love, Michael E. Böttcher, Richard J. Twitchett, Emmanuelle Grosjean, Roger E. Summons, Steven C. Turgeon, William Dunning,Yugan Jin

Massive Release of Hydrogen Sulphide to the Surface Ocean and Atmosphere during intervals of Oceanic Anoxia. Kump, L.R., Pavlov, A., Arthur, M.A. Geology: 33:5:397-400. May 2005.”

Thanks Luke. And I’m going to add to your reading list: The Past is the Key to the Present: Greenhouse and Icehouse Over Time by Prof Ian Plimer, IPA Review, Vol 55, No. 1. March 2003, pgs. 9-12.


87 Responses to “Killer Greenhouse Effect (or Pardon my Anoxia): A Note from Luke”

Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

  1. Comment from: Toby

    I have given Pinxi some reasons why we should all be at least a bit sceptical earlier. Pinxi I am sceptical about other things as well…ozone…how come nearly all teh pollution is created in teh northern hemisphere and yet their is little if any depletion of ozone above the Artic?( its not as cold as south …but its still cold and given all teh pollution is up there why isnt it happening?!)…DDT clearly banned for outrageous reaons. OZONE has been banned since the montreal protocol and whilst it takes many years for ozone to float up into the stratosphere it sseems at least interesting that the hole appears to be getting worse not better?
    Acid rain is certainly a problem….but according to many it was supposed to devastate Scandinavian forests. I recall reading that infact they have found that the forests are flourishing because of the acid rain!?

    I know Luke you will say “says who” but I can not recall who or where I read it, and for a truly scientific statement I should back it up with peer reviewed papers. Live is Full I only have so much time and acid rain and ozone seem a lot less pressing and a lot less topical…so the time I have left over from teaching, trading( I have to make a living!)looking after my wife and kids, playing cricket and spending time on the coast,and now god forbid on this damn blog! (go away I hear you all say!)I do not have enough tim yet to investigat many of teh other things I am sceptical about.

    I said in my previous post that I make most of my money in the financial markets.. that is true (up until last few weeks ..taking a caning in gold and Aud/Nzd at the moment), But I gave up a ridiculously paid job in the financial markets a few years ago to teach geography, business management and history because I was sick of hearing about teh left wing/ politically correct bias in education.(having taught for a couple of years I can assure you it isnt malicious rumour)
    I actually teach about GW to year 10 students in Geography. Their text books allow for no doubt about the evil humans that are destroying the planet…and they are particularly certain about AGW. BUT the evidence they site in the text books is very weak in its validity. For the last 3 years I have given them a 1500 word assignment “Global warming we must act now!” Do you concur….I then ask them to look at the evidence for both sides…unlike their biased text books( SOSE ALIVE old and new)..and all the other teachers in my school who teach history or geography or environmental science. Interestingly the science dept is far more sceptical (hence my comment about using ice cores from antarctic for the head of science and his CSIRO mate when they drink scotch).
    The students are aware I am sceptical and why I am sceptical. BUT students can get an A+ for arguing either side of the argument.( I doubt they could in other classes!)
    I would also note that having read 3 or 4 of the climate change blogs from top to bottom I would still appear to be right to be sceptical. (I havent yet found the one about co2 lagging/leading climate change…but will keep looking).

    I am not an altogether bad bloke or I wouldnt have given up a fortune to get paid a few months tax bill to try and educate public school students!

  2. Comment from: Toby

    Just seen your post luke…off teh top of my head

    Temp up…yes but by 0.6 c in last 100 years and that after we were in a cooling phase (so i think maybe not significant)
    glaciers melting…well yes because they grew in the last mini ice age and its now warmer! Also very few glaciers have actually been studied so is it a fact? I note also I read recently that some glaciers are expanding again (new zealand i think and himalayas?)…Mt Kilimanjaro now if that isnt a classic example of local climate change caused by human activity then ntg is…..but it a furphy to use it as evidence for AGW.
    Troposhere warming….Last I heard/read this was not the case(I know you said they are now adjusting for micowaves or soemthing so they can now say it is….but sorry still sceptical….) Isnt it where we would expect to see the most change? logically to me it is.

    arctic melting…yes surface ice, slightly warmer temperatures have a greater effect than in teh south? But this is one of teh points that has made me turn from being a non beleiver back into a sceptic.

    CO2 up , yes but whislt you would probably bet your childrens lives on this being the driver I think this is one of teh biggest flaws in the argument from what I have read..Let me find the discussion on that to further my knowledge. But I thought Jen’s link to the IPA Ian Pilger (Plimer?) artcle quite relevant!( you would I suspect say what does he know!?)….I am concerned that the siberian tundra which is an enourmous carbon sink may thaw out (is!) and if co2 is such a problem then we have a real problem.
    How much do all teh bush fires add to this? Havent they always burned and with nobody able to influence them in any way they were probably worse in teh past (think of the damage teh aboriginals did when they set fire to the land…could they control it in any way?…we arent great but we can do soemthing!), what about those coal seams that burn out of control due to lightning strikes that emit enormous amonut of co2

    Solar output constant in recent decades….really? I am sure I have read loads of articles saying the opposite!

    Peak hurricane intensity up….how do we know? we have only been measuring for a relatively short time….and the number of hurricanes has not increased in America infact from 2000-2004 they were down i recall from an average of around 12-14 to only 7! ( …and the dire predictions for this year have been WRONG!) and that the hurricanes in the gulf early last century were as bad or worse than today….they were apparently more frequent and equally strong…but nobody had retired there yet so it didnt really matter.

    Fewer frosts…tell that to the farmers from Yea I met at teh supermarket yday who have gone from having 2-3 frosts in winter to that many a week( ah but thats climate change i hear you say…extremes!)

    Greenland melting….I have certainly read many articles supporting this …but many that do not… and wouldnt we expect at least some melting since its a bit warmer?

    Antarctic melting..didnt greenpeace try and sell us this a year or so ago from their boat that couldn t actually get to Mcmurdo Station due to uncomnonly heavy seasonal ice?!….(that was naughty i m sure we both agree they probably do the most to damage the credibility of AGW supporters) But once again I recall from reading scientific arcticles that some 2% of the antarctic pensinsular is melting…but wait ….the rest is expanding? also the ice is getting thicker….and i know you can explain this ( and have…but are you right?) but as a layman its no wonder its hard to convince us!

    Off the top of my head your other points i ll have to read/ reread.
    Yes of course stuff is going has always gone on.

    BUT I promise I will go and read your other links along with the other blogs and there links from climate change etc..and maybe i will change from being sceptical. Now here is probably my real bias…to actually believe it is bloody scary…I d rather not unless there is overwhelming evidence ( can you blame me?).

    This does not mean society should do nothing…but as i have said technology is a wonderful thing I am sure you great scientists and my mates and their capital will help finance this technology so that we can all go on getting wealthier and leading better lives. Lets face it even if it is not happening enourmous amounts of money are already being spent on clean energy sources because oil is running out..and there is lots more on the way! Oh and yes to an earlier comment the same big businesses sell tobacco ( to make a profit)….but we buy it!
    But only a fool I beleive would not say that the market place is the best way to allocate the scarce resources we have!…so leave governmnts out of it apart prom giving research and development incentives

  3. Comment from: Toby

    saw your other post ..must put kids to bed.
    re the 0.6 so i was stupid..becuase i misinterpreted what you were saying with your global average
    sleep well everybody, drink and tv time now

  4. Comment from: Luke

    Tobes – nope, no, nah and nope to all your protestations above. Sorry ! Happy researching and good luck with the cognitive dissonance.

  5. Comment from: Hasbeen

    Toby, you have just quoted, damn near verbatim, what I have been thinking. Thank you.

  6. Comment from: Schiller Thurkettle

    I have a question.

    Has someone proved that warmer is bad and colder is good?

    I have a related question.

    Has someone proved what the ideal planetary temperature is?

    I have yet another question.

    When the planetary temperature changes, some will benefit, while others will be harmed; all will not be harmed or benefitted equally. Have we decided whom should be most benefitted by adjusting the planet’s thermostat?

  7. Comment from: Hill Billy


    Was the Plimer article peer reviewed?

    I ask this because lots of the material is at odds with widely avaliable scientific literature (plus also out of date). For example…

    page 12. quotes the faulty MSU data.
    page 10. The planet was not far warmer 120K years ago. The global temperature was at most marginally higher. The elevated sea level was not a result of globally high temperatures but because high latitude summers were much warmer owing to the orbital parameters at the time. This led to a loss of about half of Greenlands ice.
    Further, sea level was more likely 2-4 metres higher, not 6 metres higher.

    page 11. the feedback of temperature on CO2 and CO2 on temperature which is well understood is ignored.
    page 11. global temperatures were not some 10-15C colder at the peak of the last ice age. The figure was more like 5C.
    page 11. ocean currents were not responsible for the greening of north Africa. This was due to hightened seasonality at this time due to a greater inclination on the earth axis which caused the north African monsoon to penetrate further north.
    page 11. the suggestion that it was 5C warmer 500BC is inconsistent with the glacial records from central Europe which show the present to be about as warm as the present time.

    I would love to see evidence that proves me wrong.


  8. Comment from: Pinxi

    Schiller didn’t the US govt commission a report on this exact topic – the likely effects of climate change – and focus on a politically expedient interpretation that the far east and sth would bear most of the brunt, not the US which might benefit from extended growing season etc; and even better, if events went well, europe might get a freezing. ie relatively speaking, the US might do ok and reinforce its position as global saviour, therefore screw the concerns of the others? A while since I read it but I’m sure you’ll turn up the report if you do a little scratching about.

    Recent intense storms might have delivered a wake call though, so while your federal govt still denies responsibility or the need to acknowledge or address climate change, your states and businesses are beavering away, implementing measures and investments to mitigate, adapt and develop alternative energy sources and GHG neutral technologies that must make european nations blush in shame. Surely you should be protesting all of these state, uni and private actions!? It’s un-American!! Meanwhile Aust has been lulled into a false sense of complacency under the govts misguided perception that the US is doin nothin about climate change or energy.

  9. Comment from: Luke

    Schiller – sleep easy – I’m sure God is a WASP North American. Your ceral belt will enjoy extra warmth and better rainfall. And after you guys stop trying to prevent a transition to a fossil fuel economy, and after having wrung every dollar out of carbon, I’m sure you’ll be among the first to aloso sell us the new energy and transport technologies.

    This is why we sometimes say sepos go home !

  10. Comment from: Schiller Thurkettle

    Well, there is an international treaty that forbids using weather control as a weapon.

    Since climate control imposes unequal burdens, that amounts to weaponizing the climate, therefore, parties attempting to control CO2 emissions are engaging in global warfare.

    That being the case, we only need to determine who are the winners and losers in global warming to determine who has declared war on whom.

    That will simplify the decisions about whom to bomb.

    Will the Greenies want to bomb the greatest CO2 emitters? That’s not guaranteed; parts of the planet with the greatest concentration of Greenies might want a different climate.

    Climate is war, and adjusting the climate is war.

    Who will be the winners and losers? AGW non-skeptics will now tell us conclusively. AGW non-skeptics will tell us who is most advantaged and burdened by adjusting CO2 emissions.

    That *is* a gauntlet there on the floor, I believe.

  11. Comment from: Toby

    “recent intense storms might have delivered a wake up call though”…is that why oil prices have come off…since the predicted storms by the experts did not come about in the gulf?
    Is that why Warren Buffets Berkshire Hathaway Inc has just hit 100,000 per share? ( because the predicted storms have not come and the “predicted\’payouts through insurance claims have not been made!)
    The “experts” were so sure these storms were coming…….
    Havent the USA and Australia actually exceeded the requested emmision reductions for Kyoto …despite not signing the protocol….and yet the instigators , those loony europeans are failing to meet their own!?
    Those massive fires I read about today burning through Indonesia…how are they contributing to the c02? Australia cuts our emmisions to zero…no impact….doesnt mean we should do nothing…but come on a country the sizeofaustralia with 20 million people…surely we shouldnt be focusing on the output per individual but the capacity of our country to absorb our emmisions. I bet that statement upsets a few …but its a pretty rasonable one isnt it? its not like we dont have great distances to travel, huge infrastructure commitments for such a small pop in such a huge country etc
    off to cricket cya

  12. Comment from: Luke

    Schills – jeez ! Greenies and bombing ??

    “That will simplify the decisions about whom to bomb. ”

    I think you war mongers in the GOP have worked that out already haven’t you? The people of Iraq and Lebanon salute you for your kind assistance.

    Meanwhile back at the thread.

  13. Comment from: Luke

    Toby – Australia has “pseudo complied” to its “Kyoto target” by a one-off bit of trickery of banning land clearing in Queensland. Well was actually the Qld govt did – the Commonwealth did zilch and has provided no financial support. The got effectively has nicked millions of dollars of carbon from farmers, Suburbia salutes them. The reality is that energy and transport emissions are still going up through the roof. And we’re probably the highest emitters per capita in the world. And moving to a fully air-conditioned electrical appliance society so it will get worse not betetr (in terms of emissions).

    And yep – we long distances to market and a big country and resource industries that emits. That’s why it’s a problem. And no we should not stuff our economy overnight to comply.

    But can’t you see a time when the rest of the world has modernised and we’ll be on the receiving end of trade ban for not extracting the digit and moving our technology. There might be some considerable efficiency gains (profits) from saving GHGs and technical export opportunities for new technology.

    Any “background” vegetation burning such happens yearly in savannas around the world is considered part of the natural system and have been so for 1000s of years. One-off major fires in Indonesia are a concern but what do you do about it if caused by drought etc? Perhaps a feedback result from global warming :-) ??

  14. Comment from: Luke

    OK Toby – put up !!

    GLACIERS Worldwide Glacial Monitoring Service Kilimanjaro explicitly addressed

    SATELLITES & warming: Aug 2005

    Since the satellites now clearly show that the atmosphere is warming at around the rate predicted by the models, we will report on his no-doubt imminent proclamation of a new found faith in models as soon as we hear of it

    Nature advance online publication; published online 31 July 2005 | doi: 10.1038/nature03906
    Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years – Kerry Emanuel1

    Theory1 and modelling2 predict that hurricane intensity should increase with increasing global mean temperatures, but work on the detection of trends in hurricane activity has focused mostly on their frequency3, 4 and shows no trend. Here I define an index of the potential destructiveness of hurricanes based on the total dissipation of power, integrated over the lifetime of the cyclone, and show that this index has increased markedly since the mid-1970s. This trend is due to both longer storm lifetimes and greater storm intensities. I find that the record of net hurricane power dissipation is highly correlated with tropical sea surface temperature, reflecting well-documented climate signals, including multi-decadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming. My results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential, and—taking into account an increasing coastal population—a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century. Hurricanes and global warming

    Overnight temperatures have increased more than daytime temperatures, resulting in a decrease in the diurnal temperature range (the difference between the daily maximum and minimum temperatures). For areas affected by frosts, Collins et al. (2000) found that the annual number of frost days declined by an average of 5.6 from 1957 to 1996 and the average length of the frost season shortened by around 40 days. The shortening of frost season has contributed to an increase in wheat yield in Australia between 1952 and 1990 (Nicholls 1997).



    Vol 443|14 September 2006|doi:10.1038/nature05072

    Variations in solar luminosity and their effect on the Earth’s climate

    P. Foukal1, C. Fro¨hlich2, H. Spruit3 & T. M. L. Wigley4
    Variations in the Sun’s total energy output (luminosity) are caused by changing dark (sunspot) and bright structures on the solar disk during the 11-year sunspot cycle. The variations measured from spacecraft since 1978 are too small to have contributed appreciably to accelerated global warming over the past 30 years. In this Review, we show that detailed analysis of these small output variations has greatly advanced our understanding of solar luminosity change, and this new understanding indicates that brightening of the Sun is unlikely to have had a significant influence on global warming since the seventeenth century. Additional climate forcing by changes in the Sun’s output of ultraviolet light, and of magnetized plasmas, cannot be ruled out. The suggested mechanisms are, however, too complex to evaluate meaningfully at present.

  15. Comment from: rog

    * SATELLITES & warming: Aug 2005

    Since the satellites now clearly show that the atmosphere is warming at around the rate predicted by the models, we will report on his no-doubt imminent proclamation of a new found faith in models as soon as we hear of it…*

    What are you on about Luke, the latest graph from Spencer and Christy 1980 to now shows sfa warming in the lower troposphere – the big year was 1998.

    I thought I told you to stay away from the cheap red.

  16. Comment from: Luke

    Given Christy & Spencer couldn’t sort the problematic MSU data out in the first place I think they are without credentials ! Thanks for playing.

  17. Comment from: rog

    Do you refute the satellite data from NASA or dont you?

    I cant see how you can, without resorting to yet another character assasination

  18. Comment from: Luke

    It’s like taking candy from a baby. Just messing with you Rog to how much rope you’ll take. And yes I do refute satellite data not cleaned up for sensor decay and orbital drift.

    But anyway – perusing the very interesting paper below undertaking an analysis of 1979 to 2005 and I refer to Figure S2. That’s “Figure S2″ Rog boy. And I couldn’t stay off the red Rog. The massive red positive anomaly for that year – redder than anything else in the sequence. Hmmm a very big equatorial anomaly in an El Nino year. Oh dear. Nothing better than pooning nubes my son says. He also says eat my shorts.

    But anyway thanks for the motivation – what an interesting paper. Let me tell you the details. Almost enough for a special post it’s so interesting and because of you Rog.

    “Whether the observed trends in Fig. 1 are an
    integral part of the response to greenhouse
    warming remains to be seen. State-of-the-art coupled ocean-atmospheric models predict
    stronger warming in the tropical troposphere than in mid-latitudes and a poleward shift of the eddy-driven jets centered ~45 degrees latitude. A pattern like the recent trends, with strongest tropospheric warming centered ~30 degrees latitude, is not recovered in the simulations. Regardless of the cause, the poleward shift of the jet streams and the associated subtropical dry zone, if it continues, could have important societal implications.”

    How interesting is that Rog?

    Science 26 May 2006:
    Vol. 312. no. 5777, p. 1179
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1125566

    Enhanced Mid-Latitude Tropospheric Warming in Satellite Measurements
    Qiang Fu,1,2* Celeste M. Johanson,1 John M. Wallace,1 Thomas Reichler3

    The spatial distribution of tropospheric and stratospheric temperature trends for 1979 to 2005 was examined, based on radiances from satellite-borne microwave sounding units that were processed with state-of-the-art retrieval algorithms. We found that relative to the global-mean trends of the respective layers, both hemispheres have experienced enhanced tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling in the 15 to 45° latitude belt, which is a pattern indicative of a widening of the tropical circulation and a poleward shift of the tropospheric jet streams and their associated subtropical dry zones. This distinctive spatial pattern in the trends appears to be a robust feature of this 27-year record.

    1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
    2 College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730000, China.
    3 Department of Meteorology, University of Utah, 135 S 1460 E, Room 819 (WBB), Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0110, USA

  19. Comment from: rog

    Bang on cue.

    If you had taken more care, the date on your Science mag article is 26 May 2006 and the date on the Christy & Spencer data is September 2006.

  20. Comment from: rog

    I should say the last date is September 2006.

    Down the bottom

    Left hand corner.

  21. Comment from: Luke

    Bang on cue.

    I did take care but you’re not. You’re an idiot – graph your web link’s data first nursery boy – I did !(if you trust them to have their data right which is always a big ask of Christy & Spencer). Thanks for playing again ! What a chump. 1998 stands out like doggies ! Should have stayed in school Rog. And if you stop being nasty and doing one-liners you might learn something.

  22. Comment from: rog

    Personal abuse aside, we agree that the data indicates that 1998 was the hottest year.

    Try to have a better day Luke.

  23. Comment from: Luke

    That’s not abuse. That’s mild ribbing and I’m having a great day. :-). Now I told you not to spend time over at Climate Audit didn’t I. A short visit to confirmed my hunch.

    If you look at the paper I quoted above you’ll see the spatial plots have warmed since 1998 but not as warm as 1998, but the trend is up. You’ll also notice major shifts in the stratosphere (cooling) and the warming troposphere which may lead to circulation shifts.

    If you plot their moving average data (not what CA have graphed) you’ll notice something strange though. The northern hemisphere is warming strongly but the southern hemisphere is not. And it almost looks like a different data series started in 2005 in the south. Does this tally with what else we know about 2005 – I don’t think so but willing to have some advice.

  24. Comment from: Luke

    My last para refers to the Christy & Spencer data.

  25. Comment from: rog

    The total warming is minimal.

  26. Comment from: Pinxi

    get off his back luke yu mercenary, at least rog tried to put up something specific. Slaughtering him like that will only discourage his further effort and send him back to his usual 30 cheapshot 1-liners per day batting average.

    BTW, can you xplain to me the basis of the neo-liberal reasoning that gives proponents of any activity (eg GHG emitters) free license to do whatever they want regardless of the (potential/actual/direct/indirect) effects on others, but efforts to restrict such activities are likened to acts of war?! unbelievable. Individual rights without extended responsibility or any duty of care, is that all it’s about? As children, didn’t these people get told not to leave their toys out in the playground where other kids might trip over them?

  27. Comment from: Luke

    Sorry Pinx I have not taken my medication yet – I just hope the board doesn’t put me back in this week – it’s just that not every day we get Rog so comprehensively on the ropes. He’s been Done like a dinner with a warming troposphere.

    Rog says the warming is minimal – the physics of all this heat business are well known perhaps he can inform us what he’d expect to be the right answer.

  28. Comment from: rog

    Try and pay attention Luke, the ritalin has yet to kick in; pixie wants you to tell her about carbon credits and how they will cool the climate.

  29. Comment from: Luke

    OK then – sick of physics. Weeeellll … IMHO basically your God-fearing hard-workers who have struggled their way up through society to get where they have got, are totally offended by the thought that going about their daily business could be causing a problem. It just sound preposterous doesn’t it – I mean we live peacefully (except for Schills with all guns and bombs) and we pay our taxes (well maybe small business people like Rog don’t and Toby probably has a Cayman’s account) so how could I going about my day-today existence be doing anything. I think the whole idea sounds “silly” so it’s cognitive dissonance to the max. And suitable doubt fueled by who knows what Astroturf organisations looking after what selfish interests.

    In their mind it’s their God-given right to leave the toys in the playground.

    The wealthier you are, the more you’re likely to be a big emitter (or responsible for causing for such indirectly).

  30. Comment from: Schiller Thurkettle

    I find it alarming that nobody is answering the fundamental questions.

    Nobody is proving that warmer is bad and colder is good.

    Nobody is proving what the ideal planetary temperature is.

    Nobody is proving that climate control will not have differential effects which amount to warfare under international treaty.

    If we truly have the power to adjust the planet’s thermostat, we have a responsibility to stakeholders to say who will get desertification, and who will get a better growing season.

    If you are a neo-liberal, you recognize that power creates moral responsibility. And if you believe in AGW, where will be the deserts and swamps which must ensue to give the planet the perfect temperature?

  31. Comment from: Luke

    Schiller -

    There’ no point in calculating colder as (a) we not facing it and (b) short of nuclear winter or asteroid impact I don’t think we could arrange it.

    Impact scenarios have been undertaken for many sectors especially agriculture. Read the literature. Then you’ll say but I don’t believe the outcomes – so why ask?

    “Warfare & climate control” – only a hypocritical neo-con astro-turfing yank would try that one. The most likely impact of continued emissions are beneficial to North America and not the rest of the world. Your emissions are likely turning my country into a desert – so go home yank ! And then you’ll ge flogging your carbon-free technology to us at a premium. The really clever thing is that you guys are throwing huge amounts of money at carbon-free energy and will sell it to the rest of the world at an exorbitant profit after you navigate us into the melting pot with your deliberate political inaction. Howard is being suckered right down the line with your smooth line on this one. Your administration that supposedly doesn’t believe in climate change action while going for broke on technological energy system transformation.

  32. Comment from: Schiller Thurkettle


    I note with interest that your rant contains no positive claim about human abilities to change the climate, what the global temperature should be, or who justly ought to be the beneficiaries or casualties of temperature adjustment.

    People who don’t know what they want, how to achieve it, or whom their efforts might hurt have no business advocating anything in their back yard, much less on a planetary scale.

    In fact, people that supremely ignorant should be held as far away from public policy as is humanely possible.

  33. Comment from: Schiller Thurkettle


    What is more, us Yanks will probably do with energy technology what we did with biotechnology. We’ll invent it, we’ll deploy it, neophobes will deride it and protest against it, governments will legislate against it, and in the end, we’ll still be the most innovative, energy-efficient, wealthy nation on Earth. And that’s because we’re on balance neo-liberals, not neo-conservatives. We don’t view regress as progress. We’re pragmatists. Except, of course, for the whacko Greenie fringe who are here becoming increasingly marginalized.

    After the rest of the world ameliorates global warming by 0.00000658 Celsius through carbon initiatives, we’ll have technology that makes efforts to grow more trees look pretty neolithic.

  34. Comment from: Luke

    Re your second last post – extract the digit mate and inform us. You may make a research comment too.

    Re last comment: Yes I assume that. Bloody sepos ! We don’t mind you yanks – it’s just that you’re so bloody loud. {P.S. Can we come and shoot up somewhere new with you guys soon}

    Better still – why not annex us and make us the 51st state?

  35. Comment from: Gavin

    Jennifer: some of these pathetic little one liners are enough the put anyone off blogs for life.

    In the early days of internet exchanges in public forums it was called “flaming”. Back then a chat room moderator would also shut down immediately on repetition. As intense discussion develops; most adults should know the value of self moderation. It’s normally expected since there is no point in making a bad point, such as we get here with contributors continuously ranting on about stuff outside their own particular discipline.

    Another issue for consideration regarding readers just browsing a blog: if individuals insist on giving nothing more than mere opinion mostly based on their single handed review of someone else’s stuff then get them putting in something of themselves from time to time.

    If I want mere opinion perhaps based on some consideration of your average passer by on an issue like AGW it’s so easy. I just ask my customers or do a private survey of people I run into down the street. In fact I often ask one or two as I go. Today was no exception. Let me humbly suggest it’s the best moderator. However my partner says I talk too much on the job and the blog.

    Reckon she is biased hey.

  36. Comment from: Jen

    Some one liners are insightful and sometimes they are funny.
    But people tire of nasty personal comment.
    I particularly dislike comment that closes down discussion by suggesting a novel idea is somehow wrong because its not the consensus/accepted view.
    I would like this blog to be about encouraging discussion of the novel idea, however, ‘wrong’ it may appear at first.

  37. Comment from: jim dykes

    Last time I checked an actual greenhouse, the off-gassing was oxygen. Plants absorb carbon dioxide. So, why the hysteria over oxygen?

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