Deal with Climate Reality as it Unfolds: Bob Carter

“OVER the last 18 months, policymakers in Canada, the U.S. and Japan have quietly abandoned the illusory goal of preventing global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, an alternative view has emerged regarding the most cost-effective way in which to deal with the undoubted hazards of climate change.

“This view points toward setting a policy of preparation for, and adaptation to, climatic events and change as they occur, which is distinctly different from the former emphasis given by most Western parliaments to the mitigation of global warming by curbing carbon dioxide emissions.”

So begins an article by Bob Carter recently published in Canada’s Financial Post. The article is a summary of a public lecture Professor Carter will be giving in Ottowa, Toronto and Calgary over the next week. It continues…

“Ultimately, the rationale for choosing between policies of mitigation or adaptation must lie with an analysis of the underlying scientific evidence about climate change. Yet the vigorous public debate over possibly dangerous human-caused global warming is bedevilled by two things.

First, an inadequacy of the historical temperature measurements that are used to reconstruct the average global temperature statistic.

And, second, fuelled by lobbyists and media interests, an unfortunate tribal emotionalism that has arisen between groups of persons who are depicted as either climate “alarmists” or climate “deniers.”

In reality, the great majority of working scientists fit into neither category. All competent scientists accept, first, that global climate has always changed, and always will; second, that human activities (not just carbon dioxide emissions) definitely affect local climate, and have the potential, summed, to measurably affect global climate; and, third, that carbon dioxide is a mild greenhouse gas.

The true scientific debate, then, is about none of these issues, but rather about the sign and magnitude of any global human effect and its likely significance when considered in the context of natural climate change.

For many different reasons, which include various types of bias, error and unaccounted-for artifacts, the thermometer record provides only an indicative history of average global temperature over the last 150 years.

The 1979-2011 satellite MSU (Microwave Sounding Units) record is our only acceptably accurate estimate of average global temperature, yet being but 32 years in length it represents just one climate data point. The second most reliable estimate of global temperature, collected by radiosondes on weather balloons, extends back to 1958, and the portion that overlaps with the MSU record matches it well.

Taken together, these two temperature records indicate that no significant warming trend has occurred since 1958, though both exhibit a 0.2C step increase in average global temperature across the strong 1998 El Nino.

In addition, the recently quiet Sun, and the lack of warming over at least the last 15 years — and that despite a 10% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide level, which represents 34% of all post-industrial emissions — indicates that the alarmist global warming hypothesis is wrong and that cooling may be the greatest climate hazard over coming decades.

Climate change takes place over geological time scales of thousands through millions of years, but unfortunately the relevant geological data sets do not provide direct measurements, least of all of average global temperature.

Instead, they comprise local or regional proxy records of climate change of varying quality. Nonetheless, numerous high-quality paleoclimate records, and especially those from ice cores and deep-sea mud cores, demonstrate that no unusual or untoward changes in climate occurred in the 20th and early 21st century.

Despite an estimated spend of well over $100-billion since 1990 looking for a human global temperature signal, assessed against geological reality no compelling empirical evidence yet exists for a measurable, let alone worrisome, human impact on global temperature.

Nonetheless, a key issue on which all scientists agree is that natural climate-related events and change are real, and exact very real human and environmental costs. These hazards include storms, floods, blizzards, droughts and bushfires, as well as both local and global temperature steps and longer term cooling or warming trends.

It is certain that these natural climate-related events and change will continue, and that from time to time human and environmental damage will be wrought.

Extreme weather events (and their consequences) are natural disasters of similar character to earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions, in that in our present state of knowledge they can neither be predicted far ahead nor prevented once underway. The matter of dealing with future climate change, therefore, is primarily one of risk appraisal and minimization, and that for natural risks that vary from place to place around the globe.

Dealing with climate reality as it unfolds clearly represents the most prudent, practical and cost-effective solution to the climate change issue. Importantly, a policy of adaptation is also strongly precautionary against any (possibly dangerous) human-caused climate trends that might emerge in the future.

Republished with permission.

Bob Carter, a paleoclimatologist at James Cook University, Australia, and a chief science advisor for the International Climate Science Coalition, is in Canada on a 10-day tour. He speaks at Carleton University in Ottawa on Friday.


78 Responses to Deal with Climate Reality as it Unfolds: Bob Carter

  1. Neville May 25, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    A very good column by Bob and we can only have a feeling of outrage when we understand that many billions $ have already been wasted on so called AGW mitigation in OZ alone.

    The US has wasted something like $70+ billion on this nonsense only to watch co2 emissions soar in China, India etc by billions tonnes of co2 over the last two decades, but virtually flatline in OECD countries.

    We must use adaptation as the primary response to drought, floods, cyclones, bush fires, SLR or whatever because simple maths tells us that we can never, ever reduce risks by the implimentation of AGW mitigation here in OZ. Certainly least by introducing this bi-polar induced lunacy of a co2 tax.

    The co2 tax will be a total waste of time and money and is obviously a total fraud and con trick inflicted on us by a govt that doesn’t care about increasing co2 emissions at all.
    So why are they doing it?

  2. Neville May 25, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    How desperate and vile is this clueless Gillard govt. Small businesses face fines of up to 1.1 million $ for telling the truth about the co2 tax.

    Of course it will cost more money for business and consumers, even Garnaut and the greens have admitted it a number of times.

  3. Debbie May 25, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Well done Bob Carter,
    He is highlighting some practical and achievable goals that we could all share and work on together.

  4. Luke May 25, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    The nonsense just flows

    “The 1979-2011 satellite MSU (Microwave Sounding Units) record is our only acceptably accurate estimate” – oh yea – says who?

    “The second most reliable estimate of global temperature, collected by radiosondes” – reliable – says who?

    Latest on ocean heat and aerosols not mentioned. shhhhh

    Still no Plan B from Bob.

    Same old same old.

  5. Debbie May 25, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I fail to see why this particular post upsets you so much.
    In essence he is asking for some realistic and achievable policy re dealing with the potential risk of climate change.

  6. Neviolle May 25, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Debbie I agree, at least Bob has the integrity and guts to give his opinion. Luke doesn’t or we must agree that his latest silly, inane comment really is his truth.

    That is to re educate we the great unwashed or send us to gulags and torture or bash some sense into us. Very civil and reasonable opinion I must say – NOT.

    So what would you do Luke, what’s your plan B or give us any plan that doesn’t require you to first wait for the introduction of your beloved totalitarian dictatorship.

  7. Luke May 25, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Well Debbie gullible people love to believe shallow propaganda. Neville is simply not a scientist as he has admitted.

  8. Debbie May 25, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    But Luke?
    This post isn’t really about the science, it’s about public policy isn’t it?
    What do you mean by shallow propaganda?
    What has science got to do with propaganda Luke? Shallow or otherwise?

  9. Neville May 25, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Geeezzzz Mr Coward I never claimed to be, but at least I can state my opinion backed up with very simple maths.

    Anyhow jellyback here’s more on your chosen energy generation idiocy and the horrendous cost to the German taxpayer. What’s wrong with using a bit of logic and reason?

  10. toby May 25, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    We have apparently seen a rather pleasant 0.8c increase in temps over the last 100 years, NASA and other reports suggest at least 40% of the 20th century warming was solar based, on top of that we know that human activity such as land clearing, land use and urban heat effects have also contributed in part to recent pleasant warming. On top of that we also know that just a 1% change in cloud cover is all that’s required to account for the mild change we have seen. We also know that it is acknowledged that clouds are poorly understood. Couple that with ocean currents and our improving but still limited understanding…..and catastrophic co2 believers should be seen for what they are. Following the Russian’s recent report suggesting temp will cool further over the next decade or so, it seems that we should be thankful for recent warming. Because almost everybody agrees that marginal warming is more beneficial than cooling!?
    So given that all the models predict much higher warming than is being seen and none predicted a stasis in temp for the last decade or so…it doesn’t look good for believers in co2 leading to 2-5c temp increases by the end of the century …does it?…..

    Bob Carter is right, worry about mitigation if or when it happens.
    And for goodness sake remove the alarmists from policy creating positions in our governments, universities, schools and scientific institutions.

  11. John Sayers May 25, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Says who? you ask Luke – Bob Carter says Luke – if you disagree then point out why instead of just slagging off.!

  12. Luke May 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    We’ve only been over all this stuff about 100 times John. So tedious e.g. UAH – no poles, depth layers confused, calibration issues ongoing …..zzzzzz
    You get sick of geologists playing climate scientists.

  13. John Sayers May 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    The satellite calibration issue is an old horse Luke – why do you keep flogging it.

    who knows better about past climate than geologists Luke?

  14. Luke May 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    ” assessed against geological reality” – strange Bob never mentions the PETM preferring irrelevant ice cores

    and John – was more on satellite calibration just the other day – they’ll be flogging that horse for a while yet

  15. toby May 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    ” assessed against geological reality” – strange Bob never mentions the PETM preferring irrelevant ice cores”
    PETM the one possible example of positive feedback effects that the theory so desperately relies on to get any traction……

    This letter in the Australian today sums up why people no longer listen to the doomsday scenarios on which this cult survives..

    “WHY is Chief Scientist Ian Chubb surprised at the community’s attitude to science in today’s enlightened society (“Anti-science culture ‘endangers our economy’ “, 24/5)?

    The science-is-settled intonation has become a catch cry for climate change believers. And Chubb should know that science is never settled on any subject for too long. Science is what it is at any particular moment based on existing data. It is likely to change as new data becomes available, or new discoveries made.

    Fifty years ago, science was adamant there was no water on the moon but now we know there is water there. Likewise, before Edwin Hubble’s discoveries, science asserted that our galaxy comprised the total universe. Today we know that the Milky Way is a nondescript galaxy among billions.

    So when scientists used their computer modelling of climate data to arrive at predictions about how our world will degenerate by 2100 if we don’t mend our ways, they descended into the realm of guesswork.

    Today’s enlightened society views computer modelling to predict the future 100 years hence as a variation of the Oracle of Delphi, animal entrails used by the Romans, or the fortune teller’s crystal ball.

    Paul Giardina, Bayview Heights, Qld

  16. Debbie May 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    I agree Toby,
    Alarmism is not a good way to approach either good science or good social policy.
    Bob Carter has called for some common sense here….especially since countries like Canada, the US and Japan are withdrawing from the ‘grand challenge’ or ‘grand experiment’.
    He is also suggesting we look in our own back yards and see what we can do to mitigate the local effects of the potential risks.
    I still fail to see why that is upsetting Luke so much.

  17. Neville May 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Good work by Montfort and Ambler writing about the con tricks used by Briffa’s cherry picking data to produce an uptick for 20th century warming.

    Only one graph shown provides this uptick and this data has been used since by other scientists for a number of different studies to show a temp rise over the last century .

    What a con trick and what an amazing person McIntyre has proven to be. He fought these fraudsters for years and soon must surely be given credit for undermining their fraudulent work for the benifit of us all.

  18. toby May 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    And the farce continues Neville….looking back in 20-50 years i am sure we will be amazed at our stupidity in trying to tax a gas that is the food of plants and thus brings life to the planet. It will make a very funny sketch. The sad thing is of course for now we are just damaging the environment further and causing rising hardship around the world as food prices rise and electricity becomes more and more expensive. And ruining our faith in science. Sad, very sad.

  19. Luke May 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    “doomsday” scenario is just denialist framing. PETM is directly relevant. Ice age thaws aren’t.

    After all McIntyre’s banging away – little has changed. 90% still stands.

    All this blogging and non-publishing will simply be consigned to history’s scrap-bin.

    Or Toby you might look back and wonder how you got it so wrong !

  20. bazza May 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    “Deal with Climate Reality as it Unfolds”. Bob, where have you been? It has been unfolding and it is being dealt with. Climate sensitivity was estimated to be 3C give or take, about 30 years ago. IPCC began in 1988 and the evidence for a climate sensitivity of the order of 3C give or take a bit less has been growing and growing. Of course there is a bit of uncertainty in the folds. But while the evidence justifying dealing with the reality is growing, Bob’s has been in denial and on hold. As the gambler sang “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away and know when to run.” His policy of walking away – “preparation for, and adaptation to, climatic events and change as they occur” is nonsense in view of attribution problems as he well knows. As shown by simple average measures the climate has already changed but proving the extreme events are more frequent would need many more decades of data to see to what extent the deck has been stacked. Obviously even longer if historic records are short and the climate is variable. A sensible adaptation policy is to recognise the uncertainty, monitor change as best you can and adapt as best you can.

  21. Debbie May 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    How is this remarkably different to what Bob Carter has said?

    A sensible adaptation policy is to recognise the uncertainty, monitor change as best you can and adapt as best you can.

    That’s perfectly reasonable.

    What Bob has outlined is that the :
    ‘policymakers in Canada, the U.S. and Japan have quietly abandoned the illusory goal of preventing global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions’

    “This view points toward setting a policy of preparation for, and adaptation to, climatic events and change as they occur, which is distinctly different from the former emphasis given by most Western parliaments to the mitigation of global warming by curbing carbon dioxide emissions.”

    and then further:

    Extreme weather events (and their consequences) are natural disasters of similar character to earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions, in that in our present state of knowledge they can neither be predicted far ahead nor prevented once underway. The matter of dealing with future climate change, therefore, is primarily one of risk appraisal and minimization, and that for natural risks that vary from place to place around the globe.

    Dealing with climate reality as it unfolds clearly represents the most prudent, practical and cost-effective solution to the climate change issue. Importantly, a policy of adaptation is also strongly precautionary against any (possibly dangerous) human-caused climate trends that might emerge in the future.

    So ….. perhaps the ‘grand challenge’ of tackling global climate change through taxing human C02 emissions is not the best approach or ‘the only card to play’ after all?

  22. toby May 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    I might look back and be wrong Luke, but i am still willing to put my money on it that we will not see anything worth worrying about….what a shame the likes of james annan wouldnt take my bet 5 years ago

    Doomsday scenario is not denialist framing at all. Because as has been recognised up to about a 2c increase is likely to be beneficial to humans. Warmer is better than colder.

    The physics says double co2, get roughly 1c increase. That would be great for most life on earth.

    To get concerned by co2 effects you MUST RELY ON POSITIVE FEEDBACK EFFECTS, for which there is little evidence other than PETM.
    Only zealots would verbal realists for pointing out the bleedin obvious………it is obvious that negative feedback effects dominate climate and the planet because otherwise we would continually be moving away from equilibrium into a state of chaos etc. Clearly that is not the case.

    Now perhaps if the “movement” had selected population as an issue, rather than a trace gas that clearly suports life on earth, some traction might have been gained. Instead many of us can only sigh and laugh at western humanities stupidity and its need for creating a catastrophe.

    for over a decade we have seen no warming, so that co2 trace gas better start acting soon cos the clock is ticking and the theory is looking weaker and weaker on a daily basis and only the last few zealots are not waking up to that fact. Even the likes of lovelock admit they exagerated and as we know thanks to climategate…”its a travesty that we cant find the warming”.

  23. bazza May 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Deb, I said the current climate reality is being dealt with and I ended with how many already manage uncertainty. There are a few other points of difference you could find.

  24. Debbie May 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Comment from Bazza May 16th 11.58am.

    Does a carbon tax help? As world leading emitter with carbon dependent economy and already most vulnerable to climate variability , it is the only card to play.

    Mind you Bazza, I think that your latest comment here:

    A sensible adaptation policy is to recognise the uncertainty, monitor change as best you can and adapt as best you can.

    Is a far more practical approach.

    Point of difference?

    You’re claiming that :
    Bob’s has been in denial and on hold. As the gambler sang “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, Know when to walk away and know when to run.” His policy of walking away – “preparation for, and adaptation to, climatic events and change as they occur” is nonsense in view of attribution problems as he well knows.

    Sorry Bazza….I don’t think Bob is the one who has been in denial….I’m fairly sure he has been saying that the ‘grand challenge’ and basing it on projective modeling was not the best way to manage the potential risk from the very beginning.

  25. Neville May 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Geeezzzz once again Bazza tell us your solution to mitigate AGW ( your problem) and how would it change the temp and climate?

    You claim this problem is so important so here’s your chance, because if you can’t answer we’ll know you’re like Luke, all talk and no answers.

  26. Ian Thomson May 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    Need the like button.
    The Czech president’s very incisive words can be accessed via Marc Morano’s Climate depot and are worth the read , on this subject. We basically need to overthrow a whole religion . ( If we can )

    O/T Deb, we had an SA Senator 2 days ago, accusing the MDBC and Vic of “bringing politics” into the plan . All faithfully reported by your ABC.
    They forgot to look at the MDBC colour map. Coloured politically along State borders !

  27. Luke May 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Gee Neville – who knows what big business can do with nuclear given the right price signals.

  28. Debbie May 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    Yes Ian,
    The MDBP has also long left the realms of science or anything approaching common sense.
    It also relies way too much on trying to predict the future rather than focusing on what needs to be done.
    It’s also about politics when it should be about good policy.

  29. ianl8888 May 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Predictably, most of the Resident Dipstick’s comments stand as monuments to stupidity without further effort

    There are two points, however:

    1) PETM Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. The PE time division is predicated on the Panganean continental breakup centred on 56m BP but obviously occurring over a huge time span. During this span, vulcanism contributed much to atmospheric changes as did altered ocean currents and multiple other geological factors. The proxies used to guesstimate these changes have enormous error bars to them. The irony here, well lost on the Dipstick, is that the evidence gathered for depiction of the PE comes from his much despised geologists. Oh, the agony of “climate scientists” (however defined) playing at being geologists

    2) As an example of what Govt can do with nuclear, ask the Hiroshoma survivors

  30. Neil Hewett May 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    I was impressed by Bob Carter, the geologist, whenI first heard him speak. Apparently he has now become a paleoclimatologist!

    Bull Shit!

  31. Neville May 25, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Completely agree Luke and would certainly be cheaper than BS CCS for coal and better as well.

    As far as I’m concerned they could start building a new generation nuclear plant tomorrow, just a pity that Germany has reneged on nuclear and will return to coal again. Japan also, but earthquakes and tsunamis are a real problem I suppose.

    But anything is better than useless, super expensive, unreliable wind and solar. If France can generate 80% of their power from nuclear why shouldn’t we make a start?

  32. John Sayers May 26, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Why can’t we just burn coal – we are getting better and better at it, we are extracting every piece of energy we can. We are polluting less into the atmosphere (and I don’t mean CO2), we can build super power stations where the coal is, we can air cool so we don’t need huge amounts of water.

    It’s simple really.

    the only thing stopping us is an enviro religion.

  33. Luke May 26, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Well there you go Neville – serious warmists have moved to go to “new” nuclear yonks ago. If AGW was a right wing issue this would have already happened – engineering solutions presented. And an incentive driven by a price on carbon (comprehensively globally) with perverse outcomes like rainforest clearing for biofuels not rewarded.

    Which is why Barry Brooks at had moved from debating the climate science to fighting out the solution. Barry has done his systems analysis. But I would add that climate science knowledge is important for adaptation especially in agriculture.

  34. Luke May 26, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    That’s Plan B !

  35. Neville May 26, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    I agree with a start on nuclear as a part of the mix, but fortunately for us coal in OZ is very cheap if not distorted by political mechanisms to make wind and solar cheaper.

    Nuclear’s problem in OZ is a leftwing political problem ( and price compared to coal) so if Barry really believes in nuclear he should spend his time talking to the leftie loons in the Labor and Greens parties. The coalition would agree immediately if the left made a move. ( I’m told)

    But John is correct , we should be burning coal for most of our energy, but if new storages can be built we should be using hydro where we can as well.

    Problem is if the decision to go nuclear was made today it would take at least 15 years before a plant could be built and only in a rush.
    So we’d be looking at 2030 before we could realistically expect a plant to start producing power.

    So get talking to all your leftie mates Luke and good luck because you’ll need it.

    BTW it isn’t a plan B at all because OZ nuclear power couldn’t change the temp or climate by a whisker and it is beyond stupid to even think it could.
    Even an idiot like GAIA Tim agrees that if the entire world stopped emitting co2 today we wouldn’t see a change in the climate for hundreds of years, if not a thousand years.

    Last time I looked OZ only emitted 1.3% of the planet’s emissions so our effort may take scores of thousands of years to make a difference. That’s if you believe Tim of course.

  36. Debbie May 26, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Especially in Agriculture?
    Show me ONE policy initiative in your plan A that was/is about a concern for Agriculture in Australia?
    Don’t bother with EC and agrarian socialism or single desks, they are not part of Plan A.
    Carbon sequestration doesn’t count either because it still relies on a tax payer, tax refund, Govt subsidy and extra bureaucracy merry go round that would actually cost more than EC and is not focused on ‘adaption’.
    Good for Barry Brooks but I seriously suspect he’s decided to stop flogging a dead horse.
    He is a very, very, very, very long way behind Bob Carter as far as looking at sensible, achievable, practical social policy is concerned.

  37. Luke May 26, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    If you’re perceptive Debs – you’ll notice Nob has advocated nothing. It’s called inactivism.

    I don’t have any mates Neville. And believing Tim is a big ask.

  38. Debbie May 26, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    No Luke,
    No personal offence….and I’m willing to believe you’re perceptive….which you seem to imply otherwise about me….I’m simply commenting on the ‘message’ here.
    To use your own terminology….that’s codswallop.
    The ‘inactivism’ has not come from Bob Carter or his ilk.
    The Barry Brooks’ of the world haven’t been arguing about the ‘science’…..they have been arguing about the use of statistics and a specific and singular policy action.
    As an example….why hasn’t Australia gone further down the nuclear path?
    What has caused the ‘inactivism’ in nuclear energy?
    Forget the right wing/ left wing mumbo jumbo….that is still politics and not a discussion about sensible or achievable social policy.
    Also….still waiting for a policy example from your Plan A that demonstrates a focus on helping especially agriculture to ‘adapt’ to a variable climate.
    I agree that believing Tim is a big ask….but????…..doesn’t he still believe in….. directly quoted from Bob’s address above:
    the illusory goal of preventing global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
    Isn’t that Plan A?

  39. Luke May 26, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Well just tell us what Bob’s Plan B is – it seems somewhat a blank canvas. And of course given he’s shredded the tenets of climate science what indeed is left to build on …?

    As for your analysis of Barry Brooks – Wrong on all points

    Kerry Emmanuel (who I know Debs you will be familiar with) has said on left/right issues….

    “Especially in the United States, the political debate
    about global climate change became polarized along the
    conservative–liberal axis some decades ago. Although
    we take this for granted now, it is not entirely
    obvious why the chips fell the way they did. One can
    easily imagine conservatives embracing the notion of
    climate change in support of actions they might like
    to see anyway. Conservatives have usually been strong
    supporters of nuclear power, and few can be happy
    about our current dependence on foreign oil. The
    United States is renowned for its technological
    innovation and should be at an advantage in making
    money from any global sea change in energy-producing
    technology: consider the prospect of selling new means
    of powering vehicles and electrical generation to
    China’s rapidly expanding economy. But none of this
    has happened.”

    “Had it not been for green opposition, the
    United States today might derive most of its
    electricity from nuclear power, as does France; thus
    the environmentalists must accept a large measure of
    responsibility for today’s most critical environmental

    “Scientists are most effective when they provide sound,
    impartial advice, but their reputation for
    impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking
    lack of political diversity among American academics,
    who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops
    in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well
    documented intellectual homogeneity changes,
    scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist
    think tank. ”

    Excuse me for seeing most of AGW antagonism from conservative and/or libertarian quarters.

  40. Debbie May 26, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    I agree the title ‘paleoclimatologist’ sounds rather pompous and rather inventive.
    Apparently there is a team of over 30 paleoclimatologists led by Dr Joelle Gergis in Melbourne and the term pops up in all sorts of places.
    The wiki definition is here:

    ‘Paleoclimatology (in British spelling, palaeoclimatology) is the study of changes in climate taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth. It uses a variety of proxy methods from the Earth and life sciences to obtain data previously preserved within (e.g.) rocks, sediments, ice sheets, tree rings, corals, shells and microfossils; it then uses these records to determine the past states of the Earth’s various climate regions and its atmospheric system. ‘

    So I guess if we look at Bob Carter’s pedigree…it does fit this definition.

    All the same….it sounds like a BS name to me too….I think ‘geologist’ was a sufficient and acceptable name but I’m guessing the geologists (or their marketters?) didn’t think so?
    They aren’t the only mob into name changing BTW.
    A recent and highly topical classic is the name change of ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’.
    But…..there are heaps of others….’rape’ got changed to ‘canola’….which was probably a good marketting move because ‘canola oil’ has a much better connotative ring than ‘rape oil’.
    Whole bureaucratic depts undergo name changes at lightning speed as well.

  41. Robert May 26, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    “Excuse me for seeing most of AGW antagonism from conservative and/or libertarian quarters.”

    Gladly excused. But you left out the C before AGW.

  42. Debbie May 26, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    ‘Barry is a leading environmental researcher, modeller, data analyst and author, in the fields of ecology, conservation biology, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, and sustainable energy systems.

    Yes Luke…. he believes in Nuclear energy and as I said….good for him that he’s stopped arguing about the figures….because that’s his main focus….modeller and data analyst.

    And surprisingly Luke….I do not know who Kerry Emmanuel is….but enjoyed the political analysis of the problem…..
    It still focuses on politics however….not good policy.
    Bob does not have to have all the answers Luke.
    What he is trying to do is to get us to focus on some shared goals about formulating good social policy that uses climate science as a sensible part of that….rather than the exclusive or prophetic part.

  43. Debbie May 26, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    There’s plenty left if we stop our insane and destructive focus on the ‘prophetic’ part.
    Who/what is he actually shredding Luke?
    I like the work of BoM etc….never said otherwise.

  44. gavin May 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    More on that oz climate history study and how the MWP was a fizz!

  45. Luke May 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    No Debbie – he doesn’t “believe” in nuclear energy – he has derived it from years of systems analysis of the AGW issue as the only appropriate major solution (not saying other solutions can play some role where appropriate) Strange that his also a major conservation biologist. Not your archetypal greenie eh?

    and something you could well to read so you know what PDI is and why you should be concerned

    and about reductions in hurricane numbers

    And Bob’s answers are …. still waiting Debbie ….. zzzzz (and who needs social policy when you need engineering and science?)

  46. toby May 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Barry brookes does at least bring some common sense to the debate, and perhaps if he was a poster boy the theory might have more traction with the general population.

    As does Bob, I know you find it hard to comprehend the obvious luke, but bob is saying mitigate when problems arise. Clearly teh rather pleasant warming seen so far is ntg to worry about so dont waste money. save your ammo and spend it if and when its needed.

    probably hundreds of years until we need worry about sea lvl rise, and at teh current rate of temp increase the same goes there.

    Your condescending attitude to the russian royal academy of science does not surpise me, it doesnt suit your meme…… you are right of course to throw the same thing back at me for my attitude to all the crap science being pushed by teh likes of teh british royal academy, our csiro and hansen et al. Personally i suspect the russions are less entwined with the group think of western climatologists.

    Ive been reading Bill Bryson’s Seeing Further the story of science and teh royal academy, and it is very sad how they have thrown out their sceptiscm and now rely on consensus science and the precautionary principle and worse probablities based on models!!….whilst ignoring what is actually happening in the real world.

    very very sad….sigh…….

    but of course the lack of warming for over a decade really should speak for itself….clearly bob is right!

  47. Debbie May 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Two questions….two answers….
    1) No he’s not an archetypal greenie Luke….and once again….good for him for no longer arguing about the numbers and…

    2) Because the Engineering and Science needs social policy to support it….otherwise all the public money gets spent on something else.

    And I don’t know Bob Luke…. I’m sure he’d answer if you asked him directly….I’m also reasonably confident he’s a fan of engineering and science….just a wild guess from looking him up.

    He isn’t pretending he has all the answers Luke….that may be a slight case of you projecting perhaps?

    He is commenting on an over riding attitude problem we have been suffering from…..or as Emmanuel put it in your pasted quote above:
    who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops
    in cloistered cultures.

    It’s a bit odd that you want to split hairs and get pedantic over the word ‘believe’.
    It led you to say: he doesn’t “believe” in nuclear energy ??????
    He does believe in it Luke…and yes of course, that belief has come from what he has studied… LIKE….ummmmm….. DUH!!
    Do you think you might be able to get over your habit of trying to lecture others on their choice of words? You haven’t proved anything at all by doing that.

    I’m still patiently waiting for answers that I have asked you directly BTW 🙂
    There’s a long standing one you have never answered and another vaguley similar one at this post.

    I do try to answer the ones I can….and let you know when I don’t have the answers….first example being I haven’t asked Bob for his personal answers so truly can’t help you there…another classic example is I don’t have all the answers about future climate…and I don’t pretend I do….even though you often accuse me of claiming I do….and then asking me what they are.
    BUT….. I do know that the climate does not have a great deal of interest in co operating with human invented, statistically generated computer models.
    The climate is also not particularly interested in conforming to human invented calendar points either…decadel or otherwise.
    Thanks for the link to Emmanuel….shall look up later.
    I do know what PDI is Luke….and it is a bit concerning….but that’s all….a bit concerning….what do you propose I do about it?
    Worry myself sick over it?

  48. Neville May 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Luke, Gav, Bazza my point is there is zero OZ can do that would make a scrap of difference to change the climate and what’s more there is zero difference OECD countries can do to make a difference to change the climate.

    The numbers just don’t add up because the non OECD are just producing too many new tonnes of co2 each and every year and they won’t stop. Yes we’re flatlining but they’re soaring .

    So tell us what you propose to do that would make a scrap of difference, but I bet you can’t. Also the clueless Juliar and Labor couldn’t care less about increasing co2 emissions so why should we?

  49. Luke May 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Listen matey – it’s not upon us to come with simplistic solutions to grand challenge problems. Lots of cancer research doesn’t work either and progress is slow. As is progress in Afghanistan.

    Misogynist turds like yourself need more respect.

  50. toby May 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Neville didnt realise you hate women??!! Luke you mean misanthopy and it is clearly environmentalists and greens who hate people. Not the likes of neville or realists who see so much more harm being done in the name of the environment.
    Coal and oil have led to massive improvements in living standards and life expectancy world wide, now your mob are forcing up teh price of energy and food and all for ntg…it aint going to change teh climate….but it is lowering oiving standards….clearly you and your mates are the misanthropists??!!!

    If you hate humans then voting green and supporting radical environmentalism is a sensible paradigm…otherwise its a vote of ignorance….either way its hard to find something nice to say about them……..
    Humans have always adapted and if we dont waste our money on platitudes we will all be much better off in the long run in all probability.

  51. Neville May 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Luke I can hold my hand on my heart and tell you I like and respect women and not in a predatory sense either.

    But I’m sure with present technology there is nothing anyone can do to change the climate now or decades ( perhaps centuries) into the future.

    Sure there are no simplistic solutions, in fact there are no solutions. But the very last thing we should be trying to do is reduce co2 emissions because it is a complete waste of time and money.
    We must adapt to climate extremes or whatever and use our scarce economic resoures on more R & D into the future.

    Just a thought, we know plants take in co2 and produce oxygen, so how do we cheaply produce an artificial plant? Also how does algae use co2. Also what continents produce the most natural co2 emissions and what continents are the most natural sinks?

  52. toby May 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Neville, no matter how often you point out the futility of our efforts Luke and baz et al are convinced that moral gestures and platitudes are the “right thing to do”… and bugger the damage it does to our economy and everybodies living standards around the higher food and energy prices…and hence they are infact Misanthropists in reality. I am sure they dont mean to be that way ( Luke and baz…but i think a lot of greens do….) but the reality is when you take things to a logical conclusion this is the obvious outcome….cos even if we are heading towards 5 c increase ntg we are doing will stop it short of new technology…..and if countries are richer if it happens they will better be able to cope……
    But common sense is not common among our “intellectually superior”, co2 hating warmists.

  53. Debbie May 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Cancer research and grand challenges?
    That’s a long bow.
    How does cancer research relate to climate science?
    Why are you demanding everyone else comes up with a plan and then say you can’t/won’t because it’s got something to do with cancer research?
    That doesn’t make sense Luke.

  54. Luke May 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    “Humans have always adapted” errr nope ! The ones that haven’t just aren’t here to do the discussion.

    “see so much more harm being done in the name of the environment.”

    “clearly environmentalists and greens who hate people” the dogshit just flows effortlessly

    Just more rightist ranting. You’ve never had it so good Toby ! Here you are in a first world country with first world education, health, communications and transport.

    Supermarkets and block stores packed to the rafters. And you’re worried about standards of living. Go and have another TimTam and cafe latte. Excuse while I have a fit laughing. Clown.

    Meanwhile back at the science on real climate mechanisms and consequences for warming – wonder how Bob’s Plan B is shaping up?

  55. Luke May 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    What a dreadful country – the greenies have stuffed it !. ooooo oooooo whinge sook ooooooo

  56. John Sayers May 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    I’ve long suspected that Luke was a woman………

  57. Polyaulax May 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Really shoddy,and recycled, piece of concern trolling from Carter,totally at home in the Financial Posts delusional foxhole.

    His claims about post 1958 warming [all just a step change around 1998] are brazen nonsense,and the suggestion that a 10 year hiatus[never mind it being a non-statistically-significant cherry-pick] in warming says that the global warming hypothesis is wrong has been technically debunked so often that it is clear that Bob ignores evidence that doesn’t suit him.

    The temperature record is robust,once again a well-documented truth,with Clear Climate Code and BEST just the latest reanalyses to emerge. If he doesn’t like thermometers there is ample observational evidence through the shrinking cryosphere for world-wide warming: Baffin Island ice-caps revealing in-situ plant material not exposed since Roman times,numerous European Alpine sites revealing perishable artefacts formerly under ice since the mid-Holocene over 5000 years ago,glacial retreat in Canada and the US unseen for similar periods, shrinking equatorial ice in Africa,Irian Jaya and South America–all this occuring at a time when orbital/precessionary trends predict cooling. Then we could talk about phenological observations,ice out days,and sea-level rise…

    He does not seem to understand that moving to reduce CO2 dumping IS an adaptive act,because we are already committed by that dumping to further warming and global change over the next centuries. Mitigation is part of adaption strategy. They are not separable.

  58. sp May 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Comment from: Polyaulax May 26th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    “shrinking equatorial ice in Africa”

    Are you talking about Kilmanjaro Mr Gore?

    “already committed by that dumping to further warming and global change over the next centuries”

    But the real world temperature records do not show any warming even close to what been predicted, and for what warming there is, it is not clear that it is caused by manmade CO2

    Luke – like others I am also waiting hear of your plan.

  59. Polyaulax May 26, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    I’m talking about the Ruwenzori Range,Mt Kenya… and Mt Kilimanjaro. Whatever local effects at play on Kilimanjaro,they do not exclude a GW signal…and Gore did not say that Kilimanjaro’s ice loss was solely due to AGW

    Warming is close to what has been predicted–see Hansen 1981 and 1988 for instance…and given that projections for 2100 are 90 years shy of being realized,it’s a tad premature to call stumps now,eh?

  60. Luke May 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    Yes John – Toby is right – the country is buggered – I’m down to my last flash Cappuccino (imported coffee beans too at vast food miles – tsk tsk). I’m worried about the price of truffles too. oooo oooo oooo it’s the living end

    Anyway John – time for some music

  61. Johnathan wilkes May 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    “90 years shy of being realized,it’s a tad premature to call stumps now,eh?”

    Then why do you?

  62. Johnathan Wilkes May 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    “Humans have always adapted” errr nope ! The ones that haven’t just aren’t here to do the discussion.”

    Luke not every member of the species will survive, some adapt some not, but you with your bulging intellect know that don’t you?

    If so why do you obfuscate?

  63. Luke May 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Johnathon – mega-droughts wiped humans from broad regions – almost sending early humanity extinct. Hardly adaptation is it? If so why do you talk drivel ?

  64. sp May 27, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Gosh Like – you know everything about everything. But still no plan?

    There are still humans around – they are the ones that adapted!

    You driveler.

  65. Johnathan Wilkes May 27, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    I’m sorry Luke but your logic is wrong.

    There is a marked difference between surviving a catastrophe and adaptation.

    Nobody can “adapt’ to say a bullet to the head, to pick an extreme example.

    But humans did adapt to a wide climatic range for instance.

  66. Polyaulax May 27, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Johnathan Wilkes,I haven’t called stumps. Just pointed out a couple of Hansen papers as calling it right so far….so I may as well keep going back to all those other physics papers that predicted warming in the light of loading the atmosphere with CO2 starting with Tyndall and Arrhenius,eh? Callendar and Gilbert Plass,anybody? Wally Broecker in 1975,who even got close to a correct CO2 concentration figure 35 years later…

    On the other hand,late blooming rejectionists have successfully projected their curve-fitting low sensitivity/climate cycles where exactly? Scafetta?Oooh,that hindcasting is unfortunate Easterbrook?

    Face it, those many scientists interested in advancing understanding and integrating the knowledge of disparate fields have called it correctly,and this decades rejectionists are left to erect and dismantle their own strawmen,imagine up 1970s cooling stories,and generally fail to read the science and its history.

  67. Luke May 27, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    The disappearance of a civilisation by starvation or migration to another region is a hell of an adaptation

  68. Johnathan Wilkes May 27, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    We obviously won’t agree on the definition of “Adaptation” Luke so might give it a rest eh?

  69. Debbie May 27, 2012 at 11:57 am #
    As a helpful reference to the term ‘Misanthropy’?

    And Adaptation?
    I agree Johnathon,
    Total disconnect happening here on what ‘adaptation’ actually means.
    ‘Adaptation’ comes from the word ‘adapt’ which means to adjust from one thing to another or it can also mean to adjust something to make it useful for another purpose.
    ‘Adaptation’ is more the act of adjusting or the act of being adjusted or the process of adjusting the use of something for another purpose.
    ‘Adaptable’ actually refers to the ‘ability’ to readily adjust or it could also mean that something has the ability to adjust and be used for different purposes.

    It really depends on what definition of adaptation you’re using and why you’re using it.
    Some of us are much more adaptable than others….that’s for sure.

    But Luke?
    Just because historically some societies have proven they aren’t as adaptable as others doesn’t mean that humanity in general is not capable of ‘adaptation’.
    It would be necessary to negate a massive whack of human history to argue that case.
    Surprisingly, when we study human history and human evolution, there is more than ample proof that we are a highly adaptable species and continue to be so…..but that doesn’t then mean we’re perfect….plenty of history to prove that’s not true.
    Part of the reason humans are so adaptable is that we do have the ability to learn lessons from past mistakes….when we choose to.

    But….if we are suffering from misanthropy…..then all we’re going to do is harp on the fact that we make mistakes and we’re doomed as a species because we’re always going to make mistakes….and instead of seeing ourselves as an important part of the planet….we’re seen as a plague upon the planet…..and having no hope of being able to ‘adapt’ in the future because it’s all being ruined because of us in the first place.

  70. Luke May 27, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Well Johnathon – yes a bit tit for tat – but the context is important. If your definition is ultimate survival of the species – well OK you win. But if we were well adapted to an environment or situation would not you expect some success or even flourishing in that environment. In that desert lizards for example are adapted to an environment that we could not routinely survive in. So in the context of AGW – how much do climate circumstances have to change before we are unable to adapt. Humans obviously survive over a wide range of temperature regimes but it is food production, flood security and water supply that are critical to success. A few place like the Gulf States can have magnificent cities in deserts but not without massive energy inputs and importation of goods.

  71. Johnathan Wilkes May 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    If you take CAGW as a given ( and I seem to remember you objecting to the “C”,) but basically that is what you are talking about here, if I understand you right.

    So if that is what you are talking about then not only probably but quite certainly the human population will diminish in numbers for sure. I never believed that the population we have even now is desirable, but talking about it is not kosher in many eyes, so I don’t.

    But the fact remains that humanity will survive as long there is a scrap of place on this planet capable of sustaining it.

    You analogy of the “magnificent cities in deserts ” is a bit questionable, there were people living there in large numbers well before oil production began and will live there for as long as circumstances allow.
    The only difference is that the numbers were smaller and will again be smaller.

    But I still don’t take your premise of a catastrophic climate change as a given, I know you disregard any scientist who does not follow your line of thinking but I assure you, they are just as knowledgeable as the rest and they disagree with many of the findings.
    That is one of the reasons I don’t put up links, you will discard them anyway for one reason or other.

    Becomes almost like fighting by proxy, “my big brother against yours” I rather prefer finding out why others think the way they do by discussing the ideas.
    Being sceptical does not mean we are automatically wrong Luke.

  72. Luke May 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    That’s a shame. Don’t be deterred from putting up links or debating. You’all rubbish 100% of mine don’t forget. Hey my pet topic – movement of circulation systems and drying of the sub-tropics is a an important AGW prediction. Lots of people would be affected. History points to abandonment instead of adaptation. May not be globally “C” but certainly a bad hair day (decades of them) for those regionally impacted. MWP had mega-droughts in USA, China and Africa.

    Not all climate change will be catastrophic -likely to be winners and losers – but when does inconvenient for losers start to approach the big “C”??

  73. Robert May 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    You can put a C before most forms and periods of climate change. Gaia has always been a sour and vicious old hag. We’ve already had lots of C, mostly as Global Cooling, but Global Warming can have its own set of predicaments.

    For the dopes who aren’t burning coal in efficient new facilities, who didn’t develop nukes yesterday, it’s all going to be C.

  74. Debbie May 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    100% of your links are not rubbished.
    There isn’t anything inherently wrong with using projective modelling as a tool. Science isn’t the only profession that uses projective modelling. Projective modelling isn’t therefore science…it’s just a useful tool. When it uses scientific data….it’s still just projective modelling and a useful tool….. it’s not science.
    It’s when it gets used as ‘prophetic’ or ‘settled’ and then used as a means to dictate government policy that causes it to get what you call ‘rubbished’.
    It’s also being used as a tool to railroad us into putting all our eggs in one basket….which is not a good match with what most would call ‘adaptation’.
    The whole point of adaptation is that we are able to change and adjust….not be railroaded into one course of action….isn’t it?
    Some of those projective models do have a probablitly of being correct…..but our lack of control/knowledge over/about the variables and also the fact that the global climate doesn’t necessarily recognise human invented calendar points or human invented concepts of ‘long term averages’ means that it is only a probability….possibly even a good % probability…but not a certainty and not even a certain trend.
    And your comment here:
    Not all climate change will be catastrophic -likely to be winners and losers – but when does inconvenient for losers start to approach the big “C”??

    That is not a new philosophy or a new question. Human history is actually a testament to that.
    That question or variations thereof has been asked through millenium….even in our literature and arts….let alone in our religions and our recorded histories.

  75. el gordo May 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    ‘Humans obviously survive over a wide range of temperature regimes but it is food production, flood security and water supply that are critical to success.’

    A two degree cooling in mid latitudes might push us to the brink, population numbers should drop. Our ability to adapt to a Bond Event is better than it was 1470 years ago, but I still think mass migration will be on the cards unless we can offer food security.

    The Chinese are well aware of the problem and are expanding their agricultural investment in Africa and Australia.

  76. Debbie May 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Food security is defintely attached to water security in OZ.
    So where’s the policy that supports that?
    Instead we’re being told that the water security is going because we have apparently destroyed the rivers.
    And we’ve also caused unclear problems in SA 🙂

  77. Max May 28, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Bob Carter should have included Queensland in his list as well. Well done Newman!

  78. spangled drongo May 28, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    In light of the “science” we are being fed, adaptation [if it’s even necessary] is by far the most logical solution.

    An old [94 yo] relative told me this morning that when he was a young feller around 70 years ago, king tides came over the old family property to a height of around 8 inches whereas today they very rarely even cover it. This ties in with my own obs that king tides were higher 50 years ago and SLR [and all the AGW that goes with it] is something that we can easily live with.

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