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Gone Fishing

I am going to take some time out from this blog to try and complete a couple of projects that I’ve started, but am having trouble finishing. So there may be no new posts here for a while.

In the meantime you can subscribe for my irregular email updates here:

And check the ‘Community Home’ page for updates from other readers with their nature photographs and more here:

And here’s a picture I took of a fisher, a darter cormorant, in Kakadu National Park a few years ago.

Interestingly according to one account of life in the Lower Murray in South Australia one hundred years ago there was a bounty on cormorants (that are closely related to darters), with 34,000 taken in one year ostensibly because they ate too many fish [1].

[1] Travels in Australasia, by Wandandian see page 301

26th July 1909 at Caurnamont, near Mannum

‘Birds were very scarce, though we saw one fine old spoonbill wading round the swamp and swinging his head from side to side in the peculiar fashion these birds have while feeding.

On the latter day, while out shooting, I picked up a freshly decapitated turtle of the kind called by the natives “emys,” and on meeting a fisherman enquired of him whether he had caught many, and why it was without a head.

He replied that the turtles were so destructive of fish spawn, that a scalp fee of one penny was paid on the head of each by the Government, and that he caught a good many from time to time.

On further enquiry, I found that in the past year the South Australian Government had paid over £600 in scalping fees to various people for 116,000 turtles and 34,000 cormorants, thus satisfactorily explaining why the cormorants are so shy, and look upon every man with suspicion; for when one contemplates what a hunting they must have in the course of the year to furnish such an enormous “bag,” it would be decidedly strange if they were at all otherwise. In spite of all this I saw hundreds of them on the Murray and lake waters, so that I am sure many must pour in from outside to take the place of those that are shot, and should this be the case it will be many years before their numbers are at all reduced, or the Government get anything like the full value for their money, or even justify its expenditure.’

[Back then Murray cod were plentiful despite the turtles and the cormorant though now there are no Murray cod in that stretch of river below Lock 1.]


3,962 Responses to “Gone Fishing”

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  1. Comment from: cohenite

    poly cheap shot:

    ““Clouds….can transport CO2 in the liquid phase” What planetary atmosphere is HP Jr talking about?”


    “Carbon dioxide is soluble in water, in which it reversibly converts to H2CO3 (carbonic acid).”

    And you have changed the goalposts in your reply to my comment on what Pierce is saying when you say this:

    “The method is about detecting long term net change.”

    No, what Pierce is talking about is how well CO2 is mixed; the method he describes produces a false positive for well mixed; CO2 may be increasing but it may also be doing that in a way which contradicts the notion of it being well mixed.

  2. Comment from: Neville

    Poly, Gav have you looked at the EIA graph on co2 emissions to 2035 yet? Don’t be FRIGHTENED of a few facts and the truth Poly.

    Oh and simple kindy sums. Amazing Poly thinks that Oz can reduce 1.1% of global human co2 emissions by 5% by 2020 and it will make a difference.

    But I’ll concede it will certainly make a big difference to our economy and standard of living for sure. ALL BAD.

  3. Comment from: gavin

    coh, the changed state of CO2 in water is a red herring. Your author has no authority to use such an argument.

    Nev; I don’t get paid for any of this and it distracts from all my other interests

  4. Comment from: Debbie

    What are you claiming is right or wrong about your HP jr statement that you copy/pasted from wiki?
    At face value, it appears to support what KK and Cohenite are saying.
    Especially the concluding sentence.
    Also Polyaux, your link for March 2009?
    Did you happen to note terminology such as ‘our best guess’ and ‘estimated’ in the models?
    Wouldn’t prevailing weather conditions (which we are frequently lectured is NOT climate) be the main reason why in MARCH 2009 there was cloud/atmospheric concentrations of all sorts of trace elements/gasses in the NH? Including C02?
    It is now late OCTOBER and the sun/atmosphere ratio is changing in the SH. Already we are hearing alarming reports from Antarctic. It’s overwhelmingly seasonal weather isn’t it? The Sun is now shining longer in the SH not the NH.
    One can reasonably assume that concentrations of trace gasses/elements will alter as they have no doubt always done as seasons come and go.
    It’s all very interesting BTW. But do we know enough to draw alarming conclusions?
    . Is it ‘settled’?
    Who is accountable if the hypothesis is being ‘overstated’?

  5. Comment from: Debbie

    Also Gavin?
    Who decides who has author authority to use such an argument?
    What ‘authority’?

  6. Comment from: Polyaulax

    Cohenite,I have not ‘changed the goal posts’. Nor have I moved them.

    Pierce’s objection is absurd. “Thus there is no uniform distribution of greenhouse gases in real air” So what? No one said there was a uniform ‘distribution’. But we know that we can measure mixing ratios [the number of molecules of a substance in a fixed number of air molecules]. We know CO2 is a homogeneous,well mixed gas because these measurements tell us that its mixing ratio is similar anywhere you measure it.

    He is obviously a motivated rejecter of detection methods that have been accepted and routine for 50 years because he doesn’t want to accept some of the results. Is it the GHE and net forcing changes quantification that he wants to challenge by misdirection? Is HPjr saying:”We cannot make statements about global and regional forcings or changes in atmospheric quantities because humidity,pressure and temperature vary?” Is that it? That’s nonsense.

    “CO2 may be increasing {actually it is doing so} but it may also be doing that in a way which contradicts the notion of it being well mixed “{huh?}

    What? Is air now different? CO2 has acquired different properties? It’s now non-homogenous? Not mixing? Plant life is dropping dead?

    To JW,you want a ‘broader detection path’. Have a look at NOAA ESRL links.

  7. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; HP jr has produced a clumsy para in a clumsy argument and as such should never be published along side real science. There are no supporting statements, references etc that say cloud transport of CO2 is any different to atmospheric, given it’s near universal mixing ratio anywhere. His liquid thingy won’t wash either in atmospheric conditions.

    Who is HP jr anyway? Only a blogger who turns up in weird sceptic discussion links.

    Now go do some CO2 homework if you can on what is wrong.

  8. Comment from: cohenite

    poly says:

    “What? Is air now different? CO2 has acquired different properties? It’s now non-homogenous? Not mixing? Plant life is dropping dead?”

    I wouldn’t be surprised; AGW is deadly and capable of anything. Anyway as I understand him, Pierce has answered this bit of hyperbowl [h/t Ms Gillard]:

    “At STP (273 K and 1 atmosphere pressure), one cubic meter of dry air presently has about 390 mls (390 ppmv) or 17.4 mmoles. If this dry air is heated to ca. 333 K (60 deg C), which slightly higher than max temp every recorded in the desert in Pakistan, the concentration of CO2 is still 390 ppmv but its mass is 14.3 mmoles. If the dry air is cooled 183 K (-90 deg C, lowest temp ever recorded in Antarctica), the concentration of CO2 is still 390 ppmv but its mass is 26 mmoles.

    The mass of atmospheric gases in any unit volume of the atmosphere depends upon temperature, pressure and absolute humidity. Weather maps show there is no uniform distribution of temperature, pressure and rel humidity in space and time. Thus there is no unifrom distribution of the greenhouse gases in real air.

    The reason the climate scientists say the greenhouse gases are well-mixed is due to the methods of atmospheric gas analysis. In general a sample of local air is filtered to remove particles, dried to remove water, scrubbed to volitile organic compounds, oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, and CFC’s. This procedure produces the highly-purified bone dry air mentioned above.

    The composition of the atmosphere of local air from remote locations is fairly uniform thu out the world except for minor variations in the concentration of CO2. However, in locals where there is lots of human activities the concentration of CO2 can vary greatly in space and time suchas during rush hour in major cities or in winter in temperate zones.”

    As Pierce notes conditions vary enormously; human activity contributes to this through UHI which also obviously causes variation in the gas content of the air, at least regionally; and globally in terms of preventing uniform mixing. I really think this is uncontroversial.

    AND AGW is based on CO2 being a well mixed, that is, evenly distributed gas.

  9. Comment from: Robert

    Such a pity, all this heavy scripting. The POSSIBLE 1820s CO2 increase is like the MWP – don’t mention, or kill quick. The POSSIBLE 1940 bump is starting to look like the 30s heat + drought (with China awash) – don’t mention, or kill quick. The accepted CO2 graph is looking like a nice simple piece of straight string with an elegant up-sweep at one end, perfect for “Million Degree” Gore’s next Oscar-bait production. (Is this a hockey stick I see before me?)

    Feel free to call me an unreferenced, unqualified whatever, warmies. But it’s getting so hard to believe anything you say. Everything has to conform to your infernal script. If you tell me it’s Wednesday, I’m going to have to check my watch and calendar. It’s not because you fib, but because you think your script is fundamental truth, and every fact and event has to be fitted to it.

    You are the new fundamentalists.

  10. Comment from: Neville

    OK Gav we all know that you can’t answer my questions. But Luke, Poly and Bazza have all thrown in the towel, so I suppose you’re in similar company when you’re confronted by the facts and simple sums.

  11. Comment from: Neville

    The idiot’s co2 tax starting to bite.

  12. Comment from: Debbie

    Yes Robert,
    it is extremely annoying that we need to ‘check’ everything we’re being told.
    It’s particularly annoying that the good work of good people gets inappropriately used and abused by both ‘sides’ of this ‘mindless sideshow’.
    Scare mongering is scare mongering no matter who is doing it and for whatever ’cause’, right, left, green, brown, up or down.
    who is Gavin anyway? Only a wierd blogger who turns up at blog sites?
    What a strange comment on your part.
    Who made Gavin the judge, the jury and the setter of homework?
    Someone in ‘authority’?

  13. Comment from: Polyaulax

    Pierce jr: on the one hand: ..”there is no uniform distribution of GHGs in real air” then on the other hand…” the composition of the atmosphere of local air is fairly uniform throughout the world except for minor variations in the concentration of CO2″ Contradictory, much? And is a sample of local air with the water removed still not local air? The other gases in the sample are there in amounts that show any local variation. HP is frankly potty and handwaving. A key to AGW –remember,energy can only leave the planet radiatively–is high in the atmosphere at the equilibrium radiation level,well away from surface flux variations. Up there,5 or 6km, CO2 is very smoothly distributed.

    debbie, ‘best guess’ does not mean pin the tail on the donkey. Don’t just look for words like ‘guess’ and apply a literal meaning from another context. We have accurate measurements of CO2 from the entire atmospheric column,taken daily and weekly. The ‘best guessing’ is in applying a transport model to its motion with the global circulation. Then the modelled–estimated– distribution is compared with the mass of observations that arrive over the year. –real information about distribution– to see how good the model is. It takes a lot of data and of course time to process,so Carbon Tracker is always behind. CT is aimed at getting regional carbon fluxes figured.

    To the reasons for the net regional distributions :The NH has most of global land surface. This is where the most CO2 is emitted,naturally and anthropogenically,and sunk. This is where the greatest seasonal flux is seen,the saw tooth pattern in the trace. That saw tooth is of a much smaller amplitude in the SH and gets less progressing south.

    The ACO2 remaining in the air is causing the rising trend year to year,seen in the trace regardless of latitude,and regardless of the amplitude of the pulse. The rate is comparable everywhere as CO2 spreads across hemispheres to closely equilibrate across the atmosphere.

    With background global dry air fractions for gases we know the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, 390 moles per every million moles of air. This figure is nearly the same everywhere because of CO2 basic mixing properties. From place to place [and always inter-seasonally] in the circulation short term it might vary by 20+ppm between SH and NH around that current growing annual average. It’s better mixed than water because water precipitates out as it is temperature controlled. There can be almost no water in big parts of the atmosphere such as over deserts and extremely cold regions. Also the higher you go the drier it gets and CO2 distribution is not affected. So the relative ‘radiative work share’ between H2O and CO2 is not equal everywhere horizontally or vertically.

  14. Comment from: gavin

    Poly; let them do it in their own words cause I reckon they can’t

  15. Comment from: Debbie

    that’s why it’s pointless to argue semantics.
    Of course best guess doesn’t mean pin the tail on the donkey.
    Ummmmmm. . . Wasn’t it Polyaux who got offended when it was used earlier in the thread?
    Wasn’t it Polyaux who took it literally?
    I don’t need to be lectured about semantics Polyaux. :-)
    You are literally arguing with yourself on this matter.
    It is very, very amusing if nothing else.

  16. Comment from: Robert

    I see a lengthy rebuttal…but of whom?

  17. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    “To JW,you want a ‘broader detection path’. Have a look at NOAA ESRL links.”

    I’m well aware of the site, but am I supposed to look at or for?

  18. Comment from: gavin

    “new fundamentalists” No Rob, anything but. I’m just a retired tech with a habit of checking many sources for clues and short cuts.

    JW; can you apply your intelligence to Pierce jr?

  19. Comment from: Debbie

    On whose or what ‘authority’ Gavin?
    Apparently, according to your earlier post, some people have ‘no authority’ to comment which I would imagine would require them to apply their intelligence?
    What are you trying to say? You ‘reckon they can’t do it’.
    Do what?
    Take a shortcut?
    It reads like you’ve got it all figured out.
    So please do explain.

  20. Comment from: toby

    same old noise going on, meanwhile temp hasnt gone up in any real way for 16 years, and if you consider the pinatubo volcano’s cooling effect of approx 0.5 c we can really go back over 20 years….and all this despite co2 rising rapidly.
    pretty tenuos link at best.
    nev as usual points out the bleeding obvious and the warmists just ignore or gloss over it like their “huge moral” problem isnt causing far more damage than harm.

  21. Comment from: Neville

    More fraud and con tricks from the IPCC.

    They are now using the withdrawn Gergis, Karoly paper in a draft of AR5 report. Do these people have any shame at all?
    What’s next a rehash of the Himilayan glaciers disappearing by 2035 BS? Yet our resident true believing fundamentalists will probably lap up this fraudulent rubbish, as easily as they deny soaring non OECD co2 emissions.

  22. Comment from: cohenite

    It is true that CO2 is more evenly mixed in the upper atmosphere but this is ambiguous:

    “So the relative ‘radiative work share’ between H2O and CO2 is not equal everywhere horizontally or vertically.”

    No it is not; H2O is far more dominant everywhere, especially at the TOA:

    The chart by Ramanathan shows that TOA emissivity is dominated by H2O which 2.5 times the radiative effect CO2 has.

  23. Comment from: Robert

    Toby, mention of Pinatubo makes me wonder how we would handle the one global climate catastrophe which is all but inevitable within a relatively short timespan. It is not two centuries since the explosion of Tambora, which dwarfs Krakatoa and Pinatubo. In the summer of 1816, temps in Spain, for example, did not rise above 15C.

    I don’t know if the Kuwae eruption has some kind of rating, but it spewed maybe six times as much particulate matter as Pinatubo. That wasn’t too good for the Ming Dynasty. Constantinople – though it probably would have fallen anyway – collapsed in the very year of the eruption, after insane weather and much scary phenomena. So ended the Middle Ages in 1453 – not with a whimper!

    While we are constantly being harped to about CAGW or The Coming Ice Age, a very great eruption will certainly occur at some time, since you don’t go long without one. If it equals Tambora in force, the effects will in some ways be worse than in 1816-17. Think aviation, just for starters.

    And if it exceeded Tambora in force? We’ve been conditioned to think that CAGW etc are sensible topics and that super-volcanoes are the stuff of bad Piers Brosnan disaster flicks. It’s the other way around, guys.

    It would be unfortunate if we had just finished dismantling all our coal facilities, and were getting ready to throw the switch on a solar future, just when some volcanic lump of misogyny in the Pacific decided to go the big spew.

  24. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; I have one word for some of these arguments, “shallow” particularly from the usual guys.

    Instead of demanding where I.m coming from or what am I gonna do, please put your own science or technical prowess up front first.

    Having spent many years grounding or truthing assumptions and other people’s ideas I really don’t need to play ball here. Those tiny picks don’t impress either coh.

    Anybody who is so good as to tell me how it is should write their own bloody climate science paper and get published in a suitablely recognized Journal and stop their blog bashing those that do. Go back to data sources yourselves and get it straight before calling fraud.

  25. Comment from: Debbie

    So what happened to the retired tech who is just just checking facts and looking for shortcuts?

  26. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes


    Instead of demanding where I.m coming from or what am I gonna do, please put your own science or technical prowess up front first.

    Gav as far as I can gather Neville is simply asking what mitigating action would you enact?

    Nothing to do with science as such.
    Bear in mind our tax on CO2 while we sell coal to anyone wanting it by the shipload?

    So far no coherent answer.
    Maybe you will be the first one to step up to the plate and tell us?

    PS to my previous post
    “but am I supposed to look at or for?” should read as “but what am I supposed to look at or for?”

  27. Comment from: el gordo

    At last the big picture…bipolar seesaw.

  28. Comment from: gavin

    Response, selling our underground resources offshore is the easy bit and filling the hole not too hard but fixing the greenhouse mess almost impossible if no one does anything. By mining short term riches we should have an advantage now in changing our energy production to other sources.

    Gut feeling; Beware if Asian countries switch first. Passive solar everywhere is the very least we can do. Running down greenhouse science the worst.

  29. Comment from: Polyaulax

    Indeed,Cohenite….which shows just how very useful that colorless,odorless gas in insignificant quantities is,eh? More evenly mixed and immune to the temperature restrictions of H2O,CO2 is the matrix that keeps the whole show in the air. Take it away, the atmosphere is less opaque to direct outradiation and the system cools sufficiently due to water evaporating energy away and everything radiating out less hindered in the IR. A new equilibrium is sought. Eventually the ocean shrinks as the system temperature falls, it freezes, atmosphere dries further,the extra ice and expanded snow cover directly radiates away more incoming sunlight. There ain’t nothin’ old Sol can do about it,Earth is resisting his offers.

    Then the ice-sheets radical shifting of forces on the plates gives Robert the super eruptions he dreams of! Hopefully enough slow carbon gets thrown out as CO2, gets water back into a more benevolent tripartition,and if the nasty aerosols can fall out fast enough, system unfreezes enough for the next march of evolution.

  30. Comment from: Robert

    Poly, the causes of major eruptions are still uncertain and the events themselves unpredictable.

    Unfortunately, super-eruptions are not the stuff of dreams. They are not Poly-world scenarios, confected at the Poly-world console. They really happen – in a place called the world.

    Decade volcanoes are getting some monitoring, lives have already been saved. But if we get a situation like 1783, when a 6 VEI eruption was extended over a period of eight months, the toxicity and climatic effects (a Pinatubo every few days) could be worse than a 7 VEI like Tambora, though the eruption is much less violent.

    Freak heat and static high pressure during the Laki eruption in Iceland just happened to send the poison cloud on to the European continent, where thousands died from the toxic air. That was just the start. Then came true climate disruption, navigation suspended, bizarre fogs, global dimming and cooling, failed monsoons etc. The nearby Grímsvötn volcano kept erupting till 1785, so the misery kept coming. That super crappy El Nino pattern just after the French Revolution (apparent in Tench’s reliable Sydney records for 1791-2) didn’t help the recovery.

    A Peruvian volcano in 1600 had remote effects maybe worse than the local (which were terrible). The acid spike in the atmosphere was worse than Krakatoa. The dimming etc exacerbated Russia’s already cold weather, and a third or more of the population perished in the Great Famine.

    No. You don’t dream of events like Laki or Huaynaputina. Every century of so they really happen. This is not Poly-world.

    Let’s just hope we’ve got smart ideas, efficient new coal power stations and some nukes humming reliably next time Gaia spits the dummy. No sense wetting the bed over it: it’s just one of those things that happen. But Australia should be cultivating its energy advantage anyway – and making sure she’s rich and strong enough to help the rest of the region. Doesn’t pay to muck about with whirlygigs and solar panels when you’re up against nature, even when she’s being mildly benevolent. But when the worst happens…

    Don’t bring a butter knife to a gunfight!

  31. Comment from: Polyaulax

    Damn,Robert,I thought you’d enjoy that ‘what if’…

    I certainly wasn’t suggesting that was the only way to get majorly threatening vulcanism to revisit. It’s impossible indeed to really say that we’re due, but I agree it’s a clear and present danger…and solar panels are not going to like it at 6 VEI or 5,4 on the right latitude. Hudson volcano,and that recent one Chaiten [?] certainly sent aerosols around our way from Chile, to visible effect. I wonder if there is anything written on the modest dimming they brought locally?

    Strategically,moth-balled coal plants could be fired up if our glorious turbine army of the future has its collective bearings ground to shreds…but if it’s that bad…

  32. Comment from: Debbie

    we all agree that CO2 is beneficial and necessary. No one is suggesting otherwise.
    Your ‘what if’ scenario does not address the point of disagreement and is irrelevant.
    It is the ACO2 signal and its effect that is under discussion.Particularly re the C bit in CAGW.
    In essence, we are being repeatedly informed that C02 is harmful and dangerous.
    You have just explained why, in essence, it isn’t.

  33. Comment from: Neville

    Geeeezzzz Gav is that the best you can do? You’re completely divorced from reality, because we could all use solar and wind in OZ and still need other power sources when the wind doesn’t blow or when it’s cloudy and at night.
    Also tell us where the money is coming from? You see Wayne and the clueless Gillard govt have driven us so deep into debt that it will take many terms of a coalition govt just to restore a modest surplus.

    But again it still wouldn’t change the temp or climate by a jot, thanks to soaring non OECD emissions. Have a look at the EIA graph until 2035. Simple graph , simple maths, what don’t you understand?
    If you think that they will drop coal, oil or gas and stop using iron ore (huge co2 emitted when processing) etc then you’re even more delusional than I thought.

    BTW the co2 tax is becoming the disaster we all thought it would be.

  34. Comment from: Neville

    McKew’s new book just reinforces the fact that Gillard double crossed Rudd and the OZ electorate about a co2 tax.

    Because of bad polling she forced Rudd to drop the ETS and then she and Swann lied repeatedly (even a week from poll day) to the people about their real intention of introducing the co2 tax.

  35. Comment from: gavin

    Nev – “we could all use solar and wind in OZ and still need other power sources” cause current demand is unsustainable.

    Btw; I don’t do blot any more than watts so you are putting me off our debate. Come back with original thought.

  36. Comment from: Neville

    Well boo hoo to you too Gav. I’m off for a day or so, but I may have a chance to look in later.

    But I’m just trying to register a few facts from the real world to try and ground you people with a small dose of logic and reason.

    So come back Gav with some answers, if you can?

  37. Comment from: toby

    Robert, lets hope we dont have a supervolcano like this one!!

    lots of things mankind can really worry about ( not much that could be done!!)

    poly is correct to ask has anybody considered how much cooling may have ocurred due to icelandic and south american volcanoes. maybe thats where all the missing heat is!? if it is not significant however, since most seem to acknowledge pinatubo prob caused 0.c cooling, it does seem reasonable to to suggest no real warming for over 20 years!!?

  38. Comment from: Debbie

    An original thought about what in particular Gavin?
    There is nothing wrong with Neville’s question.
    Just because he has asked it a zillion times does not make it a less important question.
    Dismissing it because it isn’t original (or beneath you somehow) is just admitting that you either don’t have an answer or don’t want to answer.
    It’s a very clear and realistic question.
    Will you attempt to answer it if I reword it and therefore make it ‘original’?
    The ‘political consensus’ is that humans are causing catastrophic global warming or alarming climate change:
    The question is quite simple really:
    The stated desired ‘moral’ outcome is to reduce and/or control the average global temp rise. It has been called the ‘greatest moral challenge of our time’.
    However, if the rise in global ACO2 is far greater than anything that a CO2 tax in Australia can mitigate, especially if we are not concurrently reducing our coal exports, are we achieving any of the stated desired ‘moral’ outcomes?
    Neville has also supplied you a link that demonstrates those ACO2 increases and from where they will emanate.
    With numbers….please outline what the current Australian carbon tax will achieve in terms of its stated ‘moral’ outcomes.
    So Gavin,
    your claim here:
    fixing the greenhouse mess almost impossible if no one does anything.
    What is the ‘anything’ that you believe will solve the problem?

  39. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; nobody expects an Aus carbon tax as it is to do much to stop AGW, or at least any more than it will reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. So those numbers are just a sceptics game. Now credit the “warmers” for not being fooled.

    Leaving your argument in this numbers game won’t achieve anything cause it’s eventually not about us. Harping on is simply time wasting.

  40. Comment from: toby

    “nobody expects an Aus carbon tax as it is to do much to stop AGW, or at least any more than it will reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. So those numbers are just a sceptics game. Now credit the “warmers” for not being fooled.” stupid is as stupid does, as forest gump would say….or stupid is as stupid says……..
    dont bother deb, you are wasting your time and encouraging as well.

  41. Comment from: Debbie

    So Gavin,
    What therefore is the ‘anything’ that we need to do?
    And if it isn’t about us, who/what is it about?

  42. Comment from: sp

    Polyaulax October 24th, 2012 at 10:12 am:

    “Cohenite,I have not ‘changed the goal posts’. Nor have I moved them.”

    I guess there is subtle difference between “changing” goal posts and “moving” them.

    Polyaulax – what is the difference?

  43. Comment from: Robert

    Toby, Toba was big! They say you only get that every million years or so, which is why we’re here now, I suppose.

    I greatly dislike neat explanations for big, big things, and I don’t see how even a VEI 7 can have a rolling effect for decades. I’d call it plain bad luck that the likely worst eruption of the entire historic period, that of Mount Rinjani, not far from Oz, occurred in 1258. People can usually find such coincidences – comets are popular in this regard – but it’s certain that the climate was mostly downhill from that date. Some boffins refer to it as the LIA eruption. Needless to say, nobody knows a hell of a lot, except that Rinjani was huge and hurt a lot. My guess is that climate changes for a complex of reasons not understood by anyone. As I said before, I understand slightly more than a cocker spaniel, which understands a bit more than Al Gore.

    The 2010 Iceland eruption was only VEI 4, but conditions made it a real pest. A repeat of Grímsvötn/Laki, with everything working to maximise its effect, would have huge global consequences for agriculture, health, political stability, aviation etc.

    But – apart from ditching frivolous Green fetishism – what can you do? Of all global climate emergencies, a new Laki scenario seems the most likely to happen and hurt; yet the Decade Volcano programme’s UN funding fell through, last I heard. Their poverty-stricken website sucks – and I’d hate to see their brochures!

  44. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; for Rob’s sake, we could soon be lifting the lid on forces under Antarctica. You can say I’m optimistic, some life will survive. Humans depending on this and that can fight each other for the remainder.

    “frivolous Green fetishism” etc, same camp as Jones and Abbot perhaps? Foul!
    Far right rhetoric like that never impressed.

  45. Comment from: gavin

    Toby is excused on the grounds he probably can’t do better.

  46. Comment from: toby

    oh goodness me the insanity/ senility gets worse “we could soon be lifting the lid on forces under Antarctica. You can say I’m optimistic, some life will survive. Humans depending on this and that can fight each other for the remainder.”

    typical green stupidity and gross exageration.

    yes hanrahan, you are “optimistic” in the most pessimistic way possible!! r u for real?

    I am not sure who pointed me to this site it may well have been Rob.

    it gives an amazing potrayal of just how variable our climate/ weather can be and makes all hanrahans look like the catastrophist misanthropists that they are.

  47. Comment from: Robert

    Uh, oh. Looks like I’ve committed misogyny.

  48. Comment from: Polyaulax

    Just a joke,sp… I know Cohenite meant ‘moving’ the goalposts when he typed ‘changing’.. I mean,if the goal stays in the same place,while the posts are ‘changed’,it ruins the meaning of the metaphor,no? Still,you get a nice clean pair of posts… ;)

    Robert, Rinjani the LIA eruption? That’s interesting. Surely not enough by itself?

  49. Comment from: Robert

    “Robert, Rinjani the LIA eruption? That’s interesting. Surely not enough by itself?”

    Nope, not nearly enough. Sounds ridiculous to me, but some people call it that. In fact, the LIA is a very loose term. The weather started turning foul before the time of Edward II and the “Accursed Kings” in France, leading into a pretty crap 14th century as regards climate, war etc; the MWP was certainly over.

    However, my understanding is that the LIA was the period before and after that horrible dip around 1600. That’s when the Bosporus froze and Swedish armies could invade Denmark by walking across ice. It’s a mystery how people survived the combination of Huaynaputina and the climate of 1600. I guess many did not survive. The Ming Dynasty wasn’t sunbaking either.

    While I understand how horrific famines, cold etc can be connected with major eruptions, I don’t see how even a sustained volcano like Laki can “trigger” extended global cooling. I know that claim has been made, but I don’t get it at all. Then again, I haven’t got a clue how or why climate changes.

  50. Comment from: cohenite

    The LIA was solar:

    And global:

    AGW doesn’t have goalposts, at least real ones.

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