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43 Comments

  1. deknarf says:

    Two minutes and eleven seconds into the video the “Selective Misuse of Data Bullshit Meter” went of scale and the “Borrrring Propaganda” light went red. Unsurprisingly I stopped watching as I’m not into such blatant propaganda foisted onto the public by industries more concerned in protecting their own interests that that of the people and the planet.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Well that is a shame Deknarf because the vid makes a very good argument for the pointlessness of attempts to use instruments like the carbon tax or any sort of ETS to “tackle” climate change. Even if you are a believer that is a reasonable argument. Its essentially the same argument being put may AGW true believer Bjorn Lomborg

  3. deknarf says:

    I suspect that the vid endeavours, despite the science, to make a very good argument that AGW doesn’t exist and that, ipso facto, carbon taxes and ETS’ are pointless. Taxes and Trading Schemes are blunt instruments, but they do say that a country is serious about doing something, and, strangely enough, despite the smug mathematical gymnastics by the presenter of this farce, Australia’s emissions actually fell by 7%. And the intent was to go to an ETS this year under Labor. I think you’ll also find that with ETS’ in place in Europe carbon emissions have also fallen there as well. There is also a lot of carbon emission reduction laws being introduced in many countries, including China and the US. The NO Coalition’s solution is to do nothing except provide taxpayers money to businesses to clean up their act — about as effective as a slap in the face with a wet lettuce. You might as well just burn the money, but that would add to world’s carbon dioxide burden, eh?
    The tragedy is that this shifty pseudo-science gets peddled as legitimate to those who lack the wherewithal to apply critical thought to the mal-arguments and see them for what they are, self-interested propaganda, pure and simple.
    Present a clear, balanced and evidence based argument and I’d certainly consider the presentation. This vid is none of those!

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf

    I suspect that the vid endeavours, despite the science, to make a very good argument that AGW doesn’t exist and that, ipso facto, carbon taxes and ETS’ are pointless.

    No that is not the line of reasoning at all, its much more an argument with the position of Bjorn Lomborg.

    Taxes and Trading Schemes are blunt instruments, but they do say that a country is serious about doing something, and, strangely enough, despite the smug mathematical gymnastics by the presenter of this farce, Australia’s emissions actually fell by 7%. And the intent was to go to an ETS this year under Labor.

    The point made by the vid is that the Australian scheme is a very expensive way to achieve a minscule reduction in our emissions.

    I think you’ll also find that with ETS’ in place in Europe carbon emissions have also fallen there as well. There is also a lot of carbon emission reduction laws being introduced in many countries, including China and the US. The NO Coalition’s solution is to do nothing except provide taxpayers money to businesses to clean up their act — about as effective as a slap in the face with a wet lettuce. You might as well just burn the money, but that would add to world’s carbon dioxide burden, eh?

    You are kidding yourself if you believe that any of these schemes will make any difference to the climate and after all don’t you want real results rather than just token gestures?

    The tragedy is that this shifty pseudo-science gets peddled as legitimate to those who lack the wherewithal to apply critical thought to the mal-arguments and see them for what they are, self-interested propaganda, pure and simple.
    Present a clear, balanced and evidence based argument and I’d certainly consider the presentation. This vid is none of those!

    Watch the vid please and then you can argue about the ACTUAL argument it makes instead of giving it a rather generalised spray as you do here

  5. Simon says:

    I’m sold, that was pretty compelling. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    I agree that the Carbon Tax was never going to solve the problem of climate change but where that video goes wrong is to suggest money paid in the carbon tax is ‘wasted’. They even portrayed it in a simple-stupid style such as images of money being flushed down the toilet and of being burnt. But the reality is money is never ‘wasted’ in a national or global sense and never actually disappears or leaves the world economy – it just moves around. Look, the carbon tax (as brutal an instrument as it’s been) is just another way of a govt raising revenue – and if they don’t tax one thing they tax another. Sorry, I think the video is childish and tainted, Iain.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    The rhetoric of the vid certainly is colourful but taht just makes the point, with extreme clarity that all of these attempts to “mitigate” “climate change” are all giving a really bad return in actual effect for the huge churn of money that they entail. Now while I accept what you say about activity, even for useless things being of value to the global economy the point is that were that activity to be for something more useful, like creating real infrastructure then the world would be a far better place. So its not just about keeping money moving about its also about where the money goes and what it does in its travels.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, the Government provides public infrastructure and would not provide any more if it did not charge a carbon tax. In fact it would probably provide less. Obviously.

  9. deknarf says:

    I’ll take Ray’s advice that the video is childish and tainted thanks (just adds to my view that its self-interested, anti AGW propaganda. My view that;

    ‘The tragedy is that this shifty pseudo-science gets peddled as legitimate to those who lack the wherewithal to apply critical thought to the mal-arguments and see them for what they are, self-interested propaganda, pure and simple.
    Present a clear, balanced and evidence based argument and I’d certainly consider the presentation. This vid is none of those!

    Still stands.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf
    I am profoundly disappointed that you still won’t devote a measly seven minutes to watching the rest of the vid so that you can properly address the argument that it puts, sadly it looks like yours really is a religious position on AGW that is too threatened by the possibility that the profits of your faith may be a naked as the day that they were born.

  11. Iain Hall says:

    Ray you miss the point that these mitigation schemes are all tremendously bad idea that gives very bad return for their cost.

  12. deknarf says:

    Iain, I have carefully studied the evidence for AGW based on a background in science. The fundamental science is sound and unequivocal, the issue, rorted by the deniers, is that the end results are uncertain in their extent. Will the climate get warmer? Yes. Will the seas rise? Yes. Will climatic conditions worsen? Yes. Will the rise in temperature have significant impacts on people, economics and the environment? Yes!
    I’m not “religious” in my view of AGW and your implication is the insult of those who see such comment as the ultimate weapon of discourse! It isn’t. It’s farcical, and it has the implication that the user of such commentary has a closed mind! Unlike that of Yale Stevens, I’ve never made that assumption of you. That you have used it in refutation of scientific fact and evidence is disappointing.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf
    Please just watch the vid

  14. GD says:

    I find it surprising, or maybe not, that someone who claims to have scientific credentials can spend time on a blog chatting yet can’t find seven minutes to watch a posted video. This video by Topher is an excellent distillation of the sceptical argument against the alarmist scare campaign.

    I remember when Topher was trawling around for funds to produce this video. Thankfully, 690 people donated and made it happen.

    The video is common sense backed by references and source documents; they’re on the website. It’s a shame that self-professed ‘scientists’ such as deknarf can’t even look at it.

    That’s not science, that’s blinkered quasi-religious ignorance.

  15. deknarf says:

    No thanks Iain, rather not watch the vid for the reasons given. I try not to waste my time watching garbage, especially that which trivialises the science.

    GD, thanks for your reinforcement of the ‘religious’ implication. I don’t find it at all surprising that you would play the game of argument via insult. I won’t bother suggesting to you what it is indicative of.

    Suffice to say that the science is unequivocal and supported by a majority of reputable scientists and also others who have recognised AGW as a real (not imagined) threat to the world. As much as you wish to hide your head in the sand of ignorance and/or self-interested denial it will not change the evidence that the world is warming and that it is primarily due to the production of carbon dioxide (and other compounds) being injected into the atmosphere, predominantly due to the burning of fossil fuels.

    It will be interesting to see your reactions to reality when the permafrost reaches a temperature tipping point and releases large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. The data is clearly showing warming of the permafrost and the trend is an increase in temperature with time. There is no certainty as to when this will occur, but it will occur, if the earth continues to warm. I sincerely hope that I’m not around to experience it and if it doesn’t happen within the next twenty years there’s a high probability that I won’t be. However, your children and my children, and their offspring will.

    If you want to engage in debate then go and read the literature on AGW, show that you have a basic understanding of the physical principles underlying the arguments and that you have a form understanding of what the scientists are on about. I suspect, however, that should you do this AGW will have an acolyte rather than a detractor, and we will be arguing from the same side!

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf

    GD, thanks for your reinforcement of the ‘religious’ implication. I don’t find it at all surprising that you would play the game of argument via insult. I won’t bother suggesting to you what it is indicative of.

    Its hard not to see your argument as a religious one when you won’t even watch and therefore address the topic of the post

    Suffice to say that the science is unequivocal and supported by a majority of reputable scientists and also others who have recognised AGW as a real (not imagined) threat to the world. As much as you wish to hide your head in the sand of ignorance and/or self-interested denial it will not change the evidence that the world is warming and that it is primarily due to the production of carbon dioxide (and other compounds) being injected into the atmosphere, predominantly due to the burning of fossil fuels.

    This is just an appeal to the authority of the priests of the warming faith. Further a man of science you should not be refusing to consider any argument until you have at least looked at the evidence.

    It will be interesting to see your reactions to reality when the permafrost reaches a temperature tipping point and releases large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. The data is clearly showing warming of the permafrost and the trend is an increase in temperature with time. There is no certainty as to when this will occur, but it will occur, if the earth continues to warm. I sincerely hope that I’m not around to experience it and if it doesn’t happen within the next twenty years there’s a high probability that I won’t be. However, your children and my children, and their offspring will.

    This has been suggested but this out come is by no means certain, to be frank this is just millenarian scare-mongering.

    If you want to engage in debate then go and read the literature on AGW, show that you have a basic understanding of the physical principles underlying the arguments and that you have a form understanding of what the scientists are on about. I suspect, however, that should you do this AGW will have an acolyte rather than a detractor, and we will be arguing from the same side!

    if you want to be seen as credible “scientific” commentator rather than a religious one then please argue like the former rather the latter

  17. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I’m not arguing on the merits of a carbon tax (I don’t believe there are many), but on the merits and worth of that video. That is the issue here. The video misses the mark because it tries to say that any money raised under the tax is ‘wasted’ (ie gone forever). It doesn’t make sense to pretend that taxes (any taxes) raised by a govt (on anything) somehow disappear into the ether and are a minus on the value of the economy. That’s what they’re saying. It’s stupid and childish.

  18. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    The point of the vid is to explain that any mitigation scheme is just not going to work, as for the money being “Wasted” well you are right that it won’t just evaporate but enriching spivs and shysters who run such schemes is not of much social value either.

  19. deknarf says:

    There’s this: http://deknarf.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/en-passant-8-climate-change-sceptics-conspiracy-theories/

    And there’s this: http://deknarf.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/food-for-thought-13-climate-change-the-elephant-in-the-room/

    And there’s also this: http://deknarf.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/food-for-thought-3-spaceship-earth-%e2%80%93-%e2%80%98houston-we-have-a-problem/

    And finally. We’ve been along this pathway before, and as usual, it has led nowhere except to the observation that religion is about dogma and the belief in mystique, despite evidence to the contrary. In that I entirely agree with you. In that context I’d suggest that the religious boot is more on the foot of the anti-AGW believers than on those that, after considering the evidence, consider that AGW is a real threat to the planet and it’s inhabitants.

  20. deknarf says:

    PS: I note that my comments are now awaiting moderation. All I can say is that, sadly, that disappoints! All you have to do Iain is request that I no longer comment on your blog and, being the good mannered person that I am, I shall cease doing so! 😉

  21. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf
    you only got moderated because you had three links in one comment, which is automatic as an anti spam measure

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    Yes, deknarf, I don’t think Iain (as much as he disagrees with your opinions) would moderate you. It was clearly a WordPress default position that put your 3-link comment into moderation. I don’t agree with Iain on this either but, as you and I do not abuse him, we are free to express contrary opinion here. That is the way it has always been on Chez Hall.

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    as for the money being “Wasted” well you are right that it won’t just evaporate but enriching spivs and shysters who run such schemes is not of much social value either.

    Iain, there are many Govt tax schemes that “enrich” people regardless of their status or worthiness. I’ve just discovered a few today that “enrich” me – eg. Over 55 years old (which I am) there is no Capital Gains Tax on property that is used for business purposes – and, as I’m selling my holiday units, I am f*cking thankful for that! It’s just the way Governments are – there are inequities everywhere.

  24. deknarf says:

    Wakarimasu! Which in Japanese is “I understand’ with, as I understand it, apologetic connotations. 😉

  25. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf

    Having read all of the posts you link to I was able to detect that the majority of your argument relies upon the authority of “climate scientists” without much else by way of logical argument from yourself.You exhibit no questioning at all of the assumptions that underlay the notions that the propositions that you are endorsing. For instance in the last of the citations about the various Green house gases there is no consideration at all about the notion of sensitivity (which is an assumed value rather than something that has been empirically measured), more significantly, the single most important Greenhouse Gas which is WATER VAPOUR is totally ignored.
    Now I am not a scientist and my science education extends only to a High distinction in matriculation biology but its obvious to me that if you ignore the dynamics of greenhouse gas that forms about 99% the effect that keeps our planet habitable then your argument is very seriously deficient to say the least.

    Your second citation is a rather shallow attempt to show that “extreme weather”events are more frequent and that this is proof of AGW. The problem with this argument is threefold, firstly for all of your graphs and pie charts there is the underlying assumption that correlation equals causation which is a rather unscientific concept and secondly there is no attempt to separate the human signal from natural variation, and finally the data set for this claim is just of too short a temporal duration to make the argument.

    Your first citation is just a bowl of cherries that proves nothing more than “shit happens” its another example of your mistaken belief the correlation equals causation.

    There Now I have carefully read your citations and given you a considered response to their content so how about you return the favour and watch the rest of that vid?

  26. deknarf says:

    The difference between you and I is that I believe what the scientists are saying based on the weight of evidence. Water vapour in the atmosphere has always been around, and I will relook at the material available and see whether your argument is relevant.
    That is not to say that there are uncertainties in the predictions but the trend suggest, at the minimum, we should be exercising precautionary principles! I’ve done my homework on the issues and as each news piece of additional information/evidence comes to hand consider that in the light of AGW Yes/No. As I said the weight of evidence is on Yes.
    Unless the vid presents clear and unequivocal evidence that AGW is not happening then there is little point in watching what is, given the introductory couple of minutes, purely a propaganda anti-AGW piece.

  27. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf
    The vid does not even present the argument that “warming is not happening” it presents an argument that basically says what I have been saying for years now, namely that even if it is happening the proposed cure will not make a difference and that it will make that non difference at very great expense. Even AGW believers like Bjorn Lomborg are making the same argument.
    Looks its all very well to believe that AGW is real and happening but its another thing entirely to be taken in by the false hope that mitigation can be made to work. Heck you don’t even have to be a scientist to appreciate that history of humanity and the nature of our politics makes a mockery of any claim that mitigation can EVER work well enough or for long enough to make any difference.

  28. deknarf says:

    Fact of the matter is that carbon dioxide emissions have to be substantially reduced, and taxes and ETS’ are a means of driving down emissions. As are other forms of legislation. Certainly they are crude, and there is politics in the mix, but they do work, to some degree or another. The alternative to do nothing, or to pay polluters to reduce their pollution are not an options, especially the latter — it won’t work.
    It the taxes and revenue from an ETS are fed back into the economy then, at the very least, some value is gained from them. Additionally the evidence in Australia suggests that emissions have fallen 7% since the introduction of the tax. Given our per capita production of carbon dioxide that can’t be a bad thing, albeit only a small part of the global issue. Australia was seen as one of the leaders in getting control of carbon emissions and an example for the rest of the world. Sadly that’s no longer true.
    I mentioned previously the precautionary principle; and work has also been done to show that alternative energy sources, would be economically viable and globally and economically beneficial; given that the science falls strongly on the side of AGW then surely we need to take the appropriate precautionary steps to protect our interests, especially if the end result is more beneficial. AGW or no AGW!

  29. deknarf says:

    Water vapour issues via Wikipedia

    Water vapor accounts for the largest percentage of the greenhouse effect, between 36% and 66% for clear sky conditions and between 66% and 85% when including clouds.[18] Water vapor concentrations fluctuate regionally, but human activity does not significantly affect water vapor concentrations except at local scales, such as near irrigated fields. The atmospheric concentration of vapor is highly variable and depends largely on temperature, from less than 0.01% in extremely cold regions up to 3% by mass at in saturated air at about 32 °C.(see Relative humidity#other important facts) [84]

    The average residence time of a water molecule in the atmosphere is only about nine days, compared to years or centuries for other greenhouse gases such as CH4 and CO2.[85] Thus, water vapor responds to and amplifies effects of the other greenhouse gases. The Clausius–Clapeyron relation establishes that more water vapor will be present per unit volume at elevated temperatures. This and other basic principles indicate that warming associated with increased concentrations of the other greenhouse gases also will increase the concentration of water vapor (assuming that the relative humidity remains approximately constant; modeling and observational studies find that this is indeed so). Because water vapor is a greenhouse gas, this results in further warming and so is a “positive feedback” that amplifies the original warming.

    Now to track the references and dig deeper!

  30. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf

    Fact of the matter is that carbon dioxide emissions have to be substantially reduced, and taxes and ETS’ are a means of driving down emissions.

    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that you are correct that “carbon dioxide emissions have to be substantially reduced” what makes you think that a carbon tax or an ETS is the best way to go about it?

    As are other forms of legislation. Certainly they are crude, and there is politics in the mix, but they do work, to some degree or another.

    The point is that the “ to some degree or another” really amounts to such a small thing that it is worse than useless, because it give false hope to the faithful like yourself.

    The alternative to do nothing, or to pay polluters to reduce their pollution are not an options, especially the latter — it won’t work.

    Do I detect a derisory reference to the current government’s policy? To be frank I don”t rate that scheme any higher than I rate an ETS or a carbon tax.
    As for doing nothing, well that is surely better to do nothing than to something that is both expensive and utterly pointless.

    It the taxes and revenue from an ETS are fed back into the economy then, at the very least, some value is gained from them.

    If that is the ONLY benefit is the economy churn then that same effect can be achieved by putting the effort and treasure into other more socially useful things.

    Additionally the evidence in Australia suggests that emissions have fallen 7% since the introduction of the tax. Given our per capita production of carbon dioxide that can’t be a bad thing, albeit only a small part of the global issue. Australia was seen as one of the leaders in getting control of carbon emissions and an example for the rest of the world. Sadly that’s no longer true.

    But its such a tiny thing in the over all scheme of things, that will do nothing to the climate, not even in terms of inspiration.

    I mentioned previously the precautionary principle; and work has also been done to show that alternative energy sources, would be economically viable and globally and economically beneficial; given that the science falls strongly on the side of AGW then surely we need to take the appropriate precautionary steps to protect our interests, especially if the end result is more beneficial. AGW or no AGW!

    Strange that you mention the precautionary principle because that furphy is very well addressed, you guessed it, in the vid that you should watch 🙂

  31. deknarf says:

    Iain, you are obviously anti-AGW group and I am, alternately, in the pro-AGW group. Debate is therefore pretty pointless as the issue is based on whether you believe the science or you believe it is a scientific myth perpetrated by the climate scientists for some reason or another. Hence, I suspect the use of the religiosity references, which would be better apportioned to those of the anti-AGW forces who would prefer AGW to be a myth.
    Ultimately one of us will be proved right and the other wrong on this issue. I’m fairly comfortable that I sit on the winning side given the weight of evidence sitting on the benches with me. Time will tell! I just hope that it’s not too late and it’s too late, so to speak!

  32. Iain Hall says:

    OK Deknarf I will let you bow out gracefully without having to concede that your argument is flawed on many levels.

  33. deknarf says:

    Not exactly a concession Iain but rather a recognition that little purpose is served by trying to blow the winds of change through minds that are already closed to the zephyrs of reality! ;-))

  34. GD says:

    deknarf it hasn’t been proved that increasing CO2 levels cause warming. The global temperature hasn’t warmed in the last 17 years, yet CO2 levels have risen. There are far too many variables to take into account other than the theory that increasing CO2 causes catastrophic warming. Your alarmist phrase ‘tipping point’ is just that, an alarmist catch-phrase.

    If you can show proof that increasing CO2 levels cause catastrophic warming please do, but you can’t can you?

  35. deknarf says:

    You are really not over the available evidence and the science GD. There are plenty of solid pieces of work explaining AGW. Also the tipping point I was referring to was not about CO2 but the release of methane trapped in the permafrost. I didn’t even talk about methane in the deep oceanic methane clathrates.

  36. Iain Hall says:

    Speaking of available evidence Deknarf how are you doing with researching the primary GHG, water vapour?

  37. deknarf says:

    The wiki link gave the initial insight to the issue. At this point in time my weekly graphical manipulations is holding my attention. But I shall explore further the mysteries of that ubiquitous compound, so essential for life, but toxic in large quantities, dihydrogen monoxide!
    As a lot of energy is required to heat water to boiling point, so too is the energy required by oneself to get into the exploratories. ;-))

  38. Iain Hall says:

    This is most amusing, unless you are a fan of green energy schemes

  39. deknarf says:

    Interesting!
    Quick comments:
    1. Fox news (Murdoch owned conservative TV channel). Credibility with me “dubious to propaganda beat up”. Before you go righteously indignant there are others that do the same for the democratic side!
    2. How many successful start-ups were there versus fails? Had some working experience in start-ups and venture capital during time spent in a Co-operative Research centre. Usually a very high failure rate in most start ups hence the very high risk involved in venture capital.
    3. Doesn’t answer question did Bush do it too but for different industries?
    4. Seems that Australian politics emulates the lobbying and favouritism extant in both sides of American politics.

  40. Iain Hall says:

    You do have a point about needing to know what percentage of other start-ups fail Deknarf, but I tend to think that the percentage in this example is somewhat higher than average.
    i would not read so much into the source here at the very least we should remember that even a stopped analogue clock is correct twice a day!

  41. deknarf says:

    Maybe it is, but when you are given no comparators you have to at least suspect that the information being provided has some bias associated with it.

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