White Possum Probably Not Extinct from Global Warming

SO many things are blamed on global warming.  A quick internet search of reported repercussions just beginning with ‘p’, includes psychiatric illness, puffin decline, plankton blooms, polar bears drowning, polar bears cannibalistic and polar bears deaf.   

Last week another was added when Professor Steven Williams from James Cook University, said a rare white possum might have disappeared as a consequence of global warming.

After some research of my own I discovered the “the white possum” is more commonly known as a lemuroid ringtail (Hemibelideus lemuroid) and is usually a charcoal brown colour. 

Professor Williams’ concerns are based on a 0.6 to 0.8C degree Celsius temperature rise in Australia over the last 100 years or so and not seeing any white possums during recent expeditions to the Carbine Tablelands in Far North Queensland – a place which was known to have had some rare white-furred individuals. 

Much of the possum species’ known preferred habitat (high altitude Far North Queensland), is extremely remote – places like Thornton Peak, at an altitude of 1,374 metres are difficult to access and treacherous to navigate particularly at night when the possum is active and thus most likely to be sighted. 

Indeed it would seem the professor’s concern, that this may be the first mammal to go extinct as a result of global warming, could be considered somewhat premature. 

Published research on lemuroid ringtails has concluded the species is most at risk from “habitat fragmentation” because they were reluctant to cross roads or even powerline corridors. 

Apparently, rope bridges can help maintain “social integration and genetic diversity” in such cases.   

Given the white possum prefers high altitude regions were there aren’t many roads, spending money on rope bridges may be no more useful than Professor Williams claiming we must do something about global warming.

I suspect future generations will look back and scratch their heads in wonder at the extent to which our scientists became so utterly captivated by the current global warming hysteria. 

You can find a complete list of things caused by global warming at http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm


Hat tip to Luke Walker for the link to a news article on the possum.  Much thanks to Neil Hewett for information on the possum. 

For further reading I suggest ‘Importance of canopy connectivity for home range and movements of the rainforest arboreal ringtail possum (Hemibelideus lemuroides)’, by Robyn Wilson, Helene Marsh and John Winter, Wildlife Research, Vol 34, No. 3, pgs 177-184.

This article is republished from The Land.

Picture is of Thornton Peak and taken by Neil Hewett.

61 Responses to White Possum Probably Not Extinct from Global Warming

  1. spangled drongo December 11, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    It’s hard to imagine that any educated person, let alone a professor, could conclude that a species that has lived through the last million years on earth with all its ups and downs weather wise, could be wiped out by this non-event.
    As the warmers foolishly like to compare mankind with the frog in the pot on the stove, the real world is completely the opposite.
    We [they, mainly] get hysterical when nothing is really happening.

  2. bIRDIE December 11, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    ” ….in a “National Clean Energy Summit convened by the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Dr. Chu described why he has moved from his background in experimental quantum physics to tackling global warming”.

    Dr.Chu is a Nobel Laureate in physics.

  3. Sams December 11, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    “I suspect future generations will look back and scratch their heads in wonder at the extent to which our scientists became so utterly captivated by the current global warming hysteria.”

    I wonder what future generations will think of Jennifer Marohasy and her Google research methods.

  4. spangled drongo December 11, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    There are many animals that are bell wethers for weather that is not so belle but the main reason for extinctions is removal of habitat combined with lack of adaptability of the particular species.
    The passenger pigeon used to be in flocks of many millions that blackened the sky and took days to pass overhead. By 1914 they were extinct. We probably ate too many of them as well but it was mainly loss of habitat.

  5. jennifer December 11, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Google can get you a long way. But I went to the University library for this one – at least to find out about “the white possum”.

  6. janama December 11, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    I’ve seen this story discussed before, probably at Andrew Bolt’s site.
    The white version is a rare morph and as Jen said, they are typically brown.


    It’s unbelievable that Professor Steven Williams is unaware he’s stretching the truth in his comments.

  7. DHMO December 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    I think you have missed the point. For some reason Williams has seen fit to speak out these possums which it appears are quite rare. What should he do talk a journalist and say “look these possums are becoming extinct we did not find any when looked for them just now. The reasons are quite complex I can give you some reference material. We really should research why this is happening”. On the other hand he can say the White Possum is becoming extinct it is most likely AGW. Bingo national and possibly international recognition. This is the way the world works.

    I heard a very well considered interview with him on the ABC where the interviewer challenged the idea that it was AGW. Pretty amazing the ABC, just as well the interviewer wasn’t Robin Williams. He would have said they probably will drown when the sea rises. Anyhow it appeared the statement to the press had been from another party not Prof Williams. Even more amazing was that the article finished talking to Bill Kinimonth who wholly discounted the story.

    Jennifer you would know that we the public in general are responsible for this sort of nonsense. We pay such little regard to scientific research that getting funding is a big problem. So if they can push the right buttons then maybe a living can be earnt. I am not saying they are dishonest it is much more complicated than that. I have read that climatology was an area that there was little money for 3 or 4 decades ago. Now that area of science knows very well how to make good money by creating an interest in the weather. Gilbert & Sullivan has a song in the Pirates of Penzance explaining how damn boring it was/is.

  8. Chris Johnson December 11, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    Here is a little bit of clarification of this story. The lemuroid ringtail possum occurs in two regions of the wet tropics, north and south. The possums in the north are genetically distinct from those in the south. In the northern region a high proportion of the animals are creamy white, rather than brown, but both colour morphs occur together. White possums are very rare in the south.

    Quite a while ago, it was predicted that this species would be vulnerable to warming, because it is restricted to high altitude rainforests where conditions are constantly cool and wet. The restriction to high altitudes is most extreme in the northern section of the species’ distribution, so it was predicted that populations in the north would disappear first. The places where the lemuroids live are regularly surveyed on sample transects. Within the last few years, those surveys have not located any animals in the north.

    The fact that no white individuals have been seen is not really the point, the worry is that at least some of the populations of this species in the north of its range seem to have vanished. It’s too early to say if all the northern populations have gone. More extensive searching will be needed for that. Nonetheless, anybody who actually cares about nature should be feeling concerned that this is the beginning of a decline that will take the whole species.

  9. DHMO December 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Chris if they are so sensitive what can be done? Perhaps give them air conditioners powere by their own solar power plant?

  10. Chris Johnson December 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    “Chris if they are so sensitive what can be done? Perhaps give them air conditioners powere by their own solar power plant?”

    Lots of species are heading for extinction under the current trajectory of climate change, especially ones like the lemuroid ringtail that have distributions that are already climatically marginal. There is really no doubt about that in the scientific community. The only way to prevent it is to get serious about drawing down atmospheric CO2, not just reducing emissions.

  11. Ian Mott December 11, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    You almost fooled us with your fake sincerity, Chris. If one was sincerely looking for a cause why not look at the impacts of far more likely natural events like cyclone Larry. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Larry

    “Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry (JTWC designation: 17P) was a tropical cyclone that made landfall in Australia during the 2005-06 Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season. Larry originated as a low pressure system over the eastern Coral Sea on March 16 and was monitored by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in Brisbane, Australia. The low-pressure area formed into a tropical cyclone two days later and quickly strengthened into a Category 5 storm on the Australian tropical cyclone scale. Larry made landfall in Far North Queensland close to Innisfail on March 20 as a Category 4 with wind gusts reaching 240 km/h (150 mph) and dissipated over land soon after. The total effects of Larry were nearly A$1 billion in damage and one fatality.[1]”

    Another noted impact was the almost complete defoliation of trees, exposed, high altitude rainforest trees in particular due to the relative softness of their wood. And if the particular transects used by the researchers were defoliated then the possums would have moved to more sheltered locations where the food supply was more reliable, and many would have remained there.

    The more interesting point is to ask why it was that our designated custodians of vulnerable species didn’t get around to assessing the impact of an event like Larry until two and a half years after the event? The species was listed as vulnerable long before Larry hit but it doesn’t seem to have dawned on them that these particular “state wards” might need a helping hand.

    It was, after all, well known that the species was reluctant to cross gaps in the canopy and making gaps in a conopy is one of the things level 5 Cyclones do best.

    Could it be that we have another instance where negligent and possibly culpable public sector “Lord Protectors” are seeking to avoid responsibility for their omissions and inaction by shifting blame to Global Warming?

    This temperature line was always bull$hit because possum kind have always dealt with hot daytime temperatures by SLEEPING THROUGH THE WORST OF IT. It is what nocturnal species do. Get used to it.

  12. Ian Mott December 11, 2008 at 2:38 pm #

    It should also be pointed out that another consequence of the mass defoliation of rainforest by cyclone Larry would be the subsequent regrowth of leaf mass on a grand scale in the months and years afterwards. This is likely to have produced a much wider spread of suitable food sources for the possums. So one reason why they may not be found in the same old transects is because they have dispersed over a much wider territory.

  13. Chris Johnson December 11, 2008 at 2:40 pm #


    Cyclone Larry passed a long way south of the distribution of the lemuroid ringtail possum. If it had any impact, it would have been mainly in the southern part of that species distribution, not the north where the white ones are (or used to be).

  14. FDB December 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm #

    How exactly do you do a “quick internet search of reported repercussions just beginning with ‘p’”?

    Do you have a different edition of google, especially for people who JUST MAKE SHIT UP?

    “I suspect future generations will look back and scratch their heads in wonder at the extent to which our scientists became so utterly captivated by the current global warming hysteria. ”

    I suspect you are wrong. I suspect future generations will rue the claptrap of denialist fools, and the extent to which they somehow managed to create a “debate” out of thin air, posturing, slandering good scientists and MAKING SHIT UP.

  15. DHMO December 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    Chris face reality humans will not and can not possibly reduce CO2. If it really is killing the possum you need another answer it is a false hope. Perhaps prayer would be effective.

  16. Ian Mott December 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    Chris, the Carbine Tablelands are only 150km from Innisfail. And as the winds were recorded as being in the order of 240km/hour at epicentre then we can safely assume that the winds at 150km radius and at altitude, were at least in the order of 180+km/hr.

    In fact, See http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/qld/cyclone/tc_larry/ which advises that the top of Bellenden Ker Tower (1450m) recorded wind speed of 294km/hr against only 113km/hr at nearby Mareeba. The Carbine peaks are at altitudes of 1200m to 1320m so any suggestion that they did not cop a real hiding in TC Larry is pure bunkum.

  17. DHMO December 11, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    Another thought Chris how are you connected to this? Researcher, pr, management in a connected university that is does it mean more money or security for you?

  18. spangled drongo December 11, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    “Lots of species are heading for extinction under the current trajectory of climate change, especially ones like the lemuroid ringtail that have distributions that are already climatically marginal. There is really no doubt about that in the scientific community. The only way to prevent it is to get serious about drawing down atmospheric CO2, not just reducing emissions.”

    Why would these animals that survived the Holocene Max, fall out of trees from recent minor temperature increases?

  19. jennifer December 11, 2008 at 6:27 pm #

    Warwick Hughes has posted some relevant temperature data here: http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=188

  20. Chris Johnson December 11, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    Dear Spangled

    We should remember this species is not extinct. The data suggest that its range is declining, consistent with published predictions of the effects of warming. No doubt this has happened many times before. The question is where things are now going. The maximum temperature in the Holocene was only slightly warmer than now. If we push the temperature up another degree or two we will be way past that, and heading towards a climate warmer than anything experienced over the last few million years. This will certainly be a novel and hostile climate for this species – through most of its evolutionary history it has lived in much cooler climates than now. Same goes for many others.

    Another important point about the mid-Holocene is that while it was generally a bit warmer then than now, the climate was also very stable because of low ENSO activity, and rainfall was high. Probably the high rainforests of the wet tropics were in near constant cloud, and local conditions were therefore cool. The predictions are that with current warming we will have drier conditions in the dry season up here, and that will expose high altitude rainforest organisms to combined warm and dry conditions at some times of the year. Probably, they won’t cope very well, and won’t get time to adapt.

    DHMO: I am a mammal biologist and Professor, also at JCU, but climate change is only a small part of my work and my job and research funding don’t depend on generating alarm over it. Honest to goodness, my interest in this issue comes only from my worry that while we have already lost a lot of species to extinction in Australia, we are set to lose a whole lot more as a result of climate change, among other causes, and I don’t want that to happen.

  21. sod December 11, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    Jennifer, did you notice the start difference between your original posts and the reply by Chris Johnson?

    Chris does exactly, what you claim you are doing (but in fact don t do). he is using an “an evidence-based approach to (this) issue”, while your original article does not contain any evidence, supporting your headline claim.


    apart from that, you are making the typical denialist error of “contradicting” climate change effects with other man made changes to environment.

    habitat fragmentation, land use changes, chemical use and micro- and macro climate changes all add up!
    species don t suffer from EITHER/OR one of these, but often from all of them.

  22. Bernard J. December 12, 2008 at 1:21 am #


    It’s a pleasure to read your calm and informed precise of the possum’s position, as a counter to some of the toilet-seat mammalogists above.

    Sod’s observation on the evidence-based approach that you use also deserves a hat-tip, as your comment is in stark contrast to the untested ideology of the others.


  23. geochemist December 12, 2008 at 5:53 am #

    Three cheers for the post with link to Warwick Hughes…….I am amazed at all the claims of global warming causing dramatic effects that don’t even bother to report, or maybe even explore, whether the climate of the area has even changed. Don’t know if this is the case here but I remain “skeptical” of these reports until data are presented that shows the climate has changed.

  24. FDB December 12, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Jen, I’m hanging out for an explanation of your net-search methodology. Help me out here! Please don’t say you JUST MADE SHIT UP again!

  25. Ian Mott December 12, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    Thanks to Warwick for the link to actual temperature but there is another far more relevant fact that Chris, Bernard and Williams have completely ignored. They talk about hot tropical daytime temperatures and we all think 35C+ and link this to our supposedly heat stressed little fuzzies.

    The only problem with this scam is that the Carbine tops where the Lemuroids hang out are above 1200 metres and there is no dispute in the fact that temperature drops 1C for every 100 metres of altitude. It follows that when the temperature in Cairns hits 35C these Lemuroids are supposed to be undergoing serious heat stress at only 23C.

    And when we add in the BOM anomaly data we find that in 2005, what might have been a 35C day in Cairns became a 35.5C day instead and what might have been a 23C day in the Carbine tops became a 23.5C day.

    So the question then comes down to issues of basic animal metabolic temperature. The equilibrium temperature of these possums is most certainly higher than 23C. Indeed, the range for mammals is 30C to 42C. So there is clearly a healthy margin for this animal due to the altitude it inhabits.

    So lets pin this down, shall we. When a daytime extreme temperature at sea level hits 42C, the Carbine tops will only be 30C, the very bottom of the range of temperatures that mammal kind can endure. The Lemuroids obviously do not just have a single body temperature, they will have a range of temperatures within which they function. Their capacity to cool themselves when temperatures exceed their upper range may be limited but there is still likely to be some residual capacity there.

    So assuming their upper range is only 35C then it would have to reach a massive 48C at sea level to pose a threat to them on the Carbine tops.

    These shonkademics have shot their mouths off, again, without bothering to check the basic biophysics of the species and the basic climatic variables of their habitat. It is the kind of Bull$hit that only makes sense on a campus or a metropolitan media studio.

    Meanwhile, up on the Carbine tops, the population that was decimated by TC Larry is slowly recovering. Old trees with nest hollows were the first to get bowled over in the storm and all the resulting gaps removed not just their food supplies but also their shade, their main method for regulating body temperature.

  26. Libby December 12, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    There’s hope yet for this site- Chris, Bernard and Sod. Thanks so much. Refreshing.

    “These shonkademics have shot their mouths off, again, without bothering to check the basic biophysics of the species and the basic climatic variables of their habitat. It is the kind of Bull$hit that only makes sense on a campus or a metropolitan media studio.”

    Fabulous stuff. How can experts in the field possibly argue with it??

  27. Lazlo December 12, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    Extracts from original Courier Mail article, 2 December:

    SCIENTISTS say a white possum native to Queensland’s Daintree forest has become the first mammal to become extinct due to man-made global warming.

    The white lemuroid possum, a rare creature found only above 1000m in the mountain forests of far north Queensland, has not been seen for three years.

    Experts fear climate change is to blame for the disappearance of the highly vulnerable species thanks to a temperature rise of up to 0.8C….

    Scientists believe some frog, bug and insects species have also been killed off by climate change. But this would be the first known loss of a mammal and the most significant since the extinction of the Dodo and the Tasmanian Tiger.

    “It is not looking good,” researcher Steve Williams said.

    “If they have died out it would be first example of something that has gone extinct purely because of global warming.”

    From ABC The World Today the following day:

    ANNIE GUEST: What do you put this down to?

    STEPHEN WILLIAMS: Quite potentially, literally to the increase in temperature. We’ve already had in Australia I think it’s between 0.6 and 0.8 of a degree of increase in average temperature.

    ANNIE GUEST: But you don’t have the local temperature data as yet, does that not leave you open to criticism?

    STEPHEN WILLIAMS: Not really, the, we do have local temperature data, but as I said it’s not really that average increase that’s important, it’s the average… it’s the increase in the record temperatures.

    ANNIE GUEST: It’s a potentially very frightening statement to say that a mammal may have become extinct due to climate change, how far away are you from proving that?

    STEPHEN WILLIAMS: We’re still a way off from that.

    ANNIE GUEST: Well therefore is it responsible to make these comments at this time, is it, could it be seen as premature?

    STEPHEN WILLIAMS: Yeah well I guess that’s the danger in talking to the media, because my original comments essentially were that we were concerned we had made no claim that it had gone extinct ever. It is sort of irrelevant because it’s just as serious if it hasn’t gone extinct.

  28. Ian Mott December 12, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    Just argue against the facts, Libby, if you can.

    And here is a few more;

    The town of Atherton (altitude 752m) has two sets of temperature records. The first, Atherton PO, goes from 1895 to 1972 while the newer one, Atherton, goes from 1992 only.

    The January max from the old series is 29.0C while the January max from 1992 to present is only 28.4C. The December max for 1895 -1972 is 29.7C while the 1992 to present max is only 29.0C, indicating a mid-summer cooling over the past 16 years of -0.65C.

    Of more relevance is the 3.00pm January Max since 1992 of only 26.2C and the 3.00pm December max of only 26.8C. This information is critical in understanding the nature of this scam because the key claim was that “more than 5 hours of temperatures above 30.0C would be enough to wipe out the species, wank, wank”.

    But it is pretty hard to get five hours of continuous temperature above 30.0C when the mid-summer 3.00pm maximum is consistently 2.2C cooler than the daily maximum of 29.0C. If, for example, the maximum continued until 2.30pm then five hours at that maximum would have to begin at a highly improbable 9.30am.

    A quick look at the UV index for Mareeba for today (12/12/08) has a maximum mid-day UV reading of 16 but only 11 at both 10.0am and 2.00pm. So the probability of a daily maximum temperature beginning at 10.0am and continuing for the full five hours to 3.00pm is close to zero.

    But wait, Atherton is at 752m AHD while the Lemuroid Possums are another 500m higher at 1,250m AHD and therefore 5.0C cooler. So the most likely December maximum in the Carbine tops will only be 24.0C with the 3.00pm December max at only 21.8C.

    So the Lemuroid Possum extinction by global warming scam is fundamentally compromised by five key considerations;
    1. Recent maximum midsummer mean temperatures are 0.65C cooler than the mean from 1895 to 1972.
    2. Current midsummer mean maximum temperature in the Carbine tops is only in the order of 24.0C, a full 6.0C cooler than the claimed critical temperature of 30.0C.
    3. The claimed critical temperature for Lemuroids of 30.0C is the lowest minimum body temperature that mammals are known to function at and the assertion that this species will not survive five hours exposure to this temperature has not been put to a proper test, even in a controlled experiment.
    4. The duration of the diurnal range in UV levels, combined with recorded data for 3.00pm maximum temperatures, makes it highly improbable that a daily maximum temperature would be maintained for as long as 5 hours. Indeed, to have a 3.00pm maximum of 30.0C would require a daily maximum that was actually 2.2C higher. And this would have to be a massive 8.2C higher than the December Maximum in the Carbine tops.
    5. A midsummer maximum of 32.2C in the Carbine tops would require sea level temperatures of 44.2C but there is still no actual experimental proof that this would be fatal to the species.

    It should also be kept in mind that these are Ringtailed Possums, by far the most adaptable of all possum species. Other Ringtails are known to shelter in a wide range of sites, including houses, rock caves, rock piles and even disused burrows if they are on steep slopes. And one does not need to go far under ground, or under cliff in shaddow, to start enjoying the temporary relief provided by ambient earth temperatures. This is particularly the case on mountain tops where high morning temperatures can be avoided by moving to the shaded side of the hill.

    In fact, any nook or cranny on a vertical, south facing cliff or even large rock will remain at ambient temperature throughout the hottest part of the day. So even if a controlled experiment were to prove that all Lemuroids (not just the least fit) will die from five hours of 30.0C+ temperatures it does not in any way confirm that Lemuroids in the field will suffer the same fate.

    This whole scam is just another totally speculative climate mafia beat up based on pure ignorance.

  29. Tom Melville December 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Very interesting, Ian. It certainly is a scam alright. By the way, has there been any real live research on what these possums actually do to cope on very hot days? Or is this even more speculation?

  30. spangled drongo December 12, 2008 at 1:55 pm #

    Thanks for informing a few Doltoids about life in the real world.

    Learnard Bernard,
    Perhaps you could run your story on how the Mountain Pygmy Possum is about to go extinct from the same AGW disease, past us toilet seat mamalogists once more.

  31. spangled drongo December 12, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    “species don t suffer from EITHER/OR one of these, but often from all of them.”

    Is that right?
    You mean the sceptics were right all along?
    If you’re fair dinkum, how come the AGW bias is the only reason the media quotes?

  32. Ann Novek December 12, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    Thanks Chris Johnsson for your scientific analysis.

    Sorry off topic guys , but found this information in my paper, about this site’s hero , Vaclav Klaus.

    ” Sweden’s Environmental Minister , visited the Czech Republic , and was met by it’s Environmental Minister, Martin Bursik , that took the opportunity to distance itself from Vaclav Klaus sceptic climate policy.”

    ” No serious person believes Klaus ” myth”, continues Bursik. This line of the President it is not the line/policy from the Government.

  33. Ian Mott December 12, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks, Tom and Spangled, its amazing how just a little bit of reality can blow these eco-bogans and their claptrap clean out of their tree.

    No sign of Chris, Sod or Libby yet. Must be comfort time with “Mr Thumb”.

    And I doubt if there is any research on Lemuroids conducted during a heat wave because these boofheads only go out at night when they can spotlight, and over the same ground every time.

    Clearly, deep tree hollows down inside very big trees would be much favoured by possums in heat waves. And those that just happened to have a thick leaf cover casting shadow between 11.00am and 1.00pm would be even more favoured. But who knows? They might even prefer a loose bunch of sticks that let the breeze through, provided it is in shade. And it is also likely to be the time when they prefer hollows that are closer to the ground so the trunk above the hole maintains shadow and ambient temperature.

    Of course, on a mountain top the whole concept of proximity to the ground needs revision because the nearest ground might be out sideways. This whole issue of heat management highlights one of the most desireable features (for the fuzzies) of a nest hollow, multiple entries. A hollow that allows the user to shift around inside the tree as each side heats up and cools down is a much better option than two different hollows that require an external shift during the day.

    There are a whole lot of attributes that hollow users value at different times. They can actually be incorporated most easily in artificial hollows but our ecological lords and masters have decreed that the noble profession of woodland habitat enhancer is one that will never come to be. Can you believe it? What would have to be the most “sustainable” jobs one could ever imagine has been ruled out by the eco-nazis, in the name of “forest protection” no less.

    Either way, this GW scam is pure fantasy.

  34. Helen Osborn December 12, 2008 at 7:25 pm #

    What a wonderful cool breeze of common sense in the current climate of hot air surrounding this issue.
    My wish is for people like you to become government advisors. Not that I don’t think we should be caring better for the earth – I do, and I think we should. But let’s not get all hysterical and paralysed as a result, where we end up ‘straining out gnats and swallowing camels’

  35. WJP December 12, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    And of course has anyone else experienced possums of ringtail and brushtail variety firmly ensconced in a west facing flat roof cavity with a 6″ gap. On a hot day it would have to be 50.C in there.
    They would have to be amongst the toughest buggers in creation.

  36. DHMO December 13, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    I just had a thought we need to get one the possums and conduct experiments. I am sure Williams would be very willing to do so for a payment. First we need to establish what temperature the possum experiences. Do they live in the bottom of gullies half way up or at the top. If you want to find one where do you look in sunny or dark patches? We could see if the possum knows how to move away from uncomfortable conditions. This is a farce the temperature of the environment of an animal in any habit will be greatly variable. Contrary to environmental bullshit propaganda animals do actually move away from uncomfortable conditions. As I said early on this thread it is about public relations and it has been very successful. The fact that is a crock is obvious to anyone who is not deaf dumb and stupid.

  37. Ian Mott December 13, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Good point DHMO. But they don’t have clue how they cope in daytime heat because they only go spotlighting at night, and lately, they only go spotlighting where they used to be.

    What is now very obvious is that these guys actually want a species to go extinct so they can play it up for the climate scam. Don’t doubt it, these creeps are fully capable of sitting there looking the other way as a species goes extinct for the “greater good” of climate jihad.

    They clearly want some “climate martyrs” and Lemuroids, being really only a sub-group of the broader Ringtail species, will do just fine.

    Note how Chris’ only “solution” to the Lemuroid’s so-called problem was to put the entire planet on a moggadon holiday to make substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. As if that was a realistic prospect any time soon.

    If these bogans gave a tinkers cuss (or is that a Cuss Cuss?) then they would design an artificial nest hollow with high quality external insulation and enough thermal mass to keep the fuzzies cool through summer. A nest hollow inside a disused hot water system with a large volume of cold water that can be exchanged once it warmed up, would do the trick. All it would take is a bit of basic plumbing, a thermostat, a small solar pump and an insulated reserve tank and the species will be assured survival into two centuries of imaginary warming. They would probably fight over it.

    Who knows, when the little ice age hits they could even reverse the process and warm the little goobers up as well.

    As Bjorn Lomborg says, adaption is far cheaper than the cure.

    Hmmmn, 24 hours and not a word from Libby, 36 hours and not a word from Sod or Chris. The question is, is reality and common sense actually sinking in or are they just in denial?

  38. oil shrill December 13, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    Comment from: bIRDIE December 11th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    ” ….in a “National Clean Energy Summit convened by the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Dr. Chu described why he has moved from his background in experimental quantum physics to tackling global warming”.

    Dr.Chu is a Nobel Laureate in physics.

    …..and smart enough to know where the research grants are….

  39. Birdie December 13, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    ” President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who heads the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to be the next energy secretary, and he has picked veteran regulators from diverse backgrounds to fill three other key jobs on his environmental and climate-change team, Democratic sources said yesterday. Steven Chu is an American experimental physicist. He is known for his research in laser cooling and trapping of atoms, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. His current research is concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level. He is currently Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cellular Biology of University of California, Berkeley and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.”

  40. Danny December 13, 2008 at 3:32 pm #

    “What is now very obvious is that these guys actually want a species to go extinct so they can play it up for the climate scam. Don’t doubt it, these creeps are fully capable of sitting there looking the other way as a species goes extinct for the “greater good” of climate jihad.” – Ian Mott

    What an utterly unsubstantiated, reprehensible comment to make. What exactly IS your experience with lemuroid possums? Nothing. But from your cosy armchair you feel the need to google away and bore us with your self-important, aggressive, misleading rants. What an ego you have. No wonder those with common sense and decency leave you to it. As long as Marohasy has fools like you passing judegment on all and sundry here, her blog will never be taken as anything more than a sandpit for wannabes.

    Go on, dish up a classic serve…be true to form.

  41. Laffn Right Atcha December 13, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    Shit your funny Motty. You manage to convince yourself that when experts don’t respond to your silliness they are coming around to your point of view. LOL. What a prize tool. In reality (something that eludes you, snigger) these folk would see no point in engaging further with the village idiot. Like the rest of us they probably sit back and enjoy the pathetic old codger continue to mutter insanities to himself convinced he is the font of all wisdom and like we really give a damn about what he has to say. Give up Motty, or try stand up comedy.

  42. Ian Mott December 14, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    Aahh yes, and now comes the bile and spittle from folks who cannot bring themselves to address any of the highly relevant facts presented above. Thats right fellas, lash out all you want but the rest of the readers understand the context of your little tanti. Your high priests have been caught out again, sacrificing another innocent wildlife species to climate jihad.

    I’ll just repeat that para again as you like it so much.

    “What is now very obvious is that these guys actually want a species to go extinct so they can play it up for the climate scam. Don’t doubt it, these creeps are fully capable of sitting there looking the other way as a species goes extinct for the “greater good” of climate jihad.”

    Thanks for the feedback Helen. But advising government is totally futile. I have been there, done that, and they only want you there to give themselves the appearance of credibility and balance while the back-room spivs run fast and loose.

  43. Daniel G. December 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    You guys are so mean. Can’t you see what you’ve done? Ian has resorted to his Belligerent School Boy personality. “I’ll repeat it, boo hoo, and I’ll keep repeating it, naa, naa, naa.” This displacement behaviour means he can’t be Google Expert Ian at the same time. The two are in conflict. How can he inform us on lemuroide systematics and lecture us AGAIN on nest boxes when he is stamping his foot and wilding waving his little arms trying to gain some attention by being nasty from the back seat of the school bus? As the roll call usually goes, we’ll have Footy Thug Ian come out threatening to jump on dissenter’s throats; Hard-Done-By Man of the Land Ian, blaming all the greenie, poofta, urban, government-spiv scum for all his woes; and maybe even Alex and Tom Ian resplendent in their pom poms and Ian crop tops providing the cheer squad.

    Please, recognise this man as the EXPERT he is. He deserves it. And it is all too easy to get response, after response, after response from him as he loves to entertain the crowd. Go Ian! We love you mate.

  44. Ian Mott December 16, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    As I said,

    “Aahh yes, and now comes the bile and spittle from folks who cannot bring themselves to address any of the highly relevant facts presented above. Thats right fellas, lash out all you want but the rest of the readers understand the context of your little tanti. Your high priests have been caught out again, sacrificing another innocent wildlife species to climate jihad.”

    I rest my case.

  45. Lutz Jacoby December 16, 2008 at 3:46 pm #

    Is the first step not imperatively to catch one of these mammals and subject it to a temp of 30.1 deg C for 5 hours and see if it is dead? Maybe leava some water for it for balance.


  46. Lutz Jacoby December 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm #

    By the way FDB, you’ll need to learn to read more closely:

    “You can find a complete list of things caused by global warming at http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

    Now look for ‘p’.

  47. Ian Mott December 16, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    It might be a start Lutz but the 30.1C would need to be in conditions that possums might find in their habitat. But as they live on a mountain top then there is nothing to stop them spending the morning on the western shaded side, thereby reducing their exposure to maximum temperatures to only 3 hours. Ditto for the Eastern side which will be in shade all afternoon. Or maybe just curling up next to a large rock or wood mass at ambient temperature on the shaded southern side.

    This 30C threshhold has all the stench of rudimentary plausibility for the gullible. It is a finding that is completely dependent on the limits of the experimental options (and assumptions) chosen. Stick a bunch of humans in a freight container and they will not exhibit many strategies to keep cool because the container itself does not have any attributes that would allow them to employ such strategies. In the same way, the researcher has completely removed the possums from their normal environment so there is no way they can exhibit the strategies they would normally employ.

    Make no mistake, these people have been caught out telling massive “porkies” for climate jihad.

  48. Lutz Jacoby December 17, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    Thanks, Ian, for your thoughts. I was purely thinking of the facts: does the animal die after 5 hrs at 30 deg? Regardless of the strategies it might employ.

    I dive, and I have read many stories about how all the coral fish will die if the temperature goes up by 2 deg, for example. I have dived in the Maldives where the water was at 32 deg and at the Grear Barrier where the water was only 26 deg. Both places have most of the same reef fish (var. butterfly, damsels, clown and so on) but aren’t bothered by the different environment. No doubt, if there was a sudden change of temp, they may not be able to cope.

    On a slightly differing track, I would also like to know where all the polar bears were during the ice age. There couldn’t have been much of cyclical variation around the edge of the ice at that time, but they lived on something.

  49. Ian Mott December 18, 2008 at 12:32 am #

    Yes, Lutz, that is an interesting point, given that 30C is the lower limit of mammal body temperature. These possums must obviously have a range of body temperatures within which they operate and that range is unlikely to be only 30C to 30.5C. It is more likely to be a few degrees above and below a bodily norm.

    So is this 30C threshhold merely the bodily norm? Or is it actually the upper limit of a species that normally operates below the conventional mammal minimum? And if so, why?

    The closer one looks at this story the more inconsistent crap we find.

  50. Laffn Right Atcha December 18, 2008 at 6:00 am #

    How bloody easy is it? I cant stop laughing! Throw in a line and get a big fat toadfish bloated with his own self importance. He’s still going. What a prize tool!

  51. Ian Mott December 18, 2008 at 9:45 pm #

    It is a neat 7 full days since Chris Johnson last tried to defend his mate Stephen Williams and not a word in response to the relevant facts presented that completely exposed their squalid little climate scam. And the fact that they continue to organise tag team abuse from the likes of our gutless, anonymous mate above merely confirms the complete decimation of their carefully constructed bladder of misinformation.

  52. Laffn in the face of Lunacy December 19, 2008 at 6:29 am #

    Oh yes, highly relevant facts! Oh yeah. Keep ’em coming. You so don’t geddit but it’s blooody hilarious! No doubt Chris Johnson has run scared from your expertise Motty. Or maybe he’s running from the rabid village idiot. Motty wins again, he has the experts running scared or beaten into submission by his boundless knowledge and experience. Ha ha ha!!!

  53. Ian Mott December 19, 2008 at 12:40 pm #

    And still no substantive comment from Laffn. Shouldn’t you be back on some one handed porn site by now?

  54. Danny Harvest December 20, 2008 at 11:34 pm #

    Ian Mott,

    I noticed your distress that Chris Johnson hasn’t deigned to see what is happening on this thread.

    In the name of ensuring that your claims might be tested, and of permitting Dr Johnson to defend himself against your criticism, I undertook an extensive and probing google search and managed to track down his contact details:


    Good luck with your ongoing dialog. Please let us know how it goes.

  55. Laura Dotson December 24, 2008 at 6:19 am #

    Danny Harvest,

    Do you have a similarly impressive website for Ian Mott’s achievements in this field? He is, after all, an expert, is he not?

  56. Danny Harvest December 31, 2008 at 12:54 am #


    I searched high and low for such a web page, and I could not find anything that would indicate Ian Mott’s achievements in this field. In fact I couldn’t find any work by any of the people here who have disparaged Chris Johnson and his professional opinion on a matter central to his expertise.

    Of course, as you point out Ian must be an expert in this area. Perhaps he should refer us to the material that will demonstrate this.

    At the same time, I am keen to hear of his correspondence with Professor Johnson. I am sure that by now Mott will have contacted Chris and set him straight, and have a reply to forward on to us.

    Otherwise I might be tempted to comment that there is “still no substantive reply from Ian Mott…”


  57. jennifer January 3, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    You are appealing to authority – suggesting that the person with the best qualifications must be right. But this is a very unscientific approach.
    To quote Thomas Huxley:
    The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge
    authority, as such. …http://www.fullbooks.com/On-the-Advisableness-of-Improving-Natural.html

  58. Danny Harvest January 6, 2009 at 11:43 pm #


    I was appealing to credible experience (“achievements”, “expert[ise])”). To suggest that I was “appealing to authority”, is to suggest in error.

    I don’t see that I made any mention of “best qualifications”. In fact, I have scant regard for qualifications and authority beyond the fact that they loosely correlate with expertise, and my particular concern in the post above was to know how Ian Mott is capable of repudiating Chris Johnson’s understanding. This requires no appeal to authority in an educational context, but merely to authority in an experiencial context.

    My questions validly stand. What knowledge does Mott have, natural or otherwise, that justifies his particular criticism of Johnson? And if he does have such knowledge, why has he not pressed Johnson on these matter(s) and disseminated the results of such correspondence with this thread?

  59. Ian George March 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    Just came across an article that says that the possum is not extinct after all. They originally claimed that the heatwave of 2005 wiped them out yet, as has been pointed out, these creatures have somehow managed to survive colder and, most probably, hotter temps than today. In 1923/24 Cairns had a summer with average temps of 33.0C+ (Jan had a 35.6C average) and these possums survived that. So much for that theory.


  1. Celebrity Paycut - Encouraging celebrities all over the world to save us from global warming by taking a paycut. - December 13, 2008

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