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Another Carbon abatement Ponzi scheme on the verge of collapse

I have been a bit under the weather over the last few days, in fact I have had a sort of flu like symptoms for the last week, you know with a sinus headache and a general feeling of utter lethargy. On top of that joyous present from my son I have been having a rather bad patch with my back.  that has seen my doctor prescribe me some even stronger pain medication and to be honest it makes be feel like I’m a bit “off with the fairies” sometimes. In fact my interest in politics has been a bit subdued lately. Oh I have been fighting the good fight a bit  in Latte land and now I think its time to offer a new post here to the loyal readers of the Sandpit. So without further adieu I’m going to consider the viability of the UN sponsored “global carbon trading scheme”. The Guardian is of course one of the most partisan and pro AGW papers  on the planet so lets have a look at the report in the latest edition:

click for source

What I am struck by upon reading this article is an inescapable feeling that the whole UN scheme is, like the Gillard monstrosity just another Ponzi scheme where its all about  creating “confidence”  but because that confidence is predicated on false expectations and and eternally growing pool of “investors”  the whole thing is bound to fail sooner rather than later:

Governments have a last chance to restore confidence in the system when they meet in Qatar this December to discuss climate change. But few participants hold out any hope that they will agree to toughen their 2020 emissions targets, which are scarcely even on the agenda. Instead, governments are focusing on drawing up a new climate change treaty by the end of 2015, which would stipulate emissions cuts for the period after 2020.

As I have been saying for ages if the response to AGW can not be made to happen at a truly global level then any efforts from a minority of the global emitters is at best pointless and futile.At worst it will be an expensive exercise in climate piety that is of no value what so ever. There is only one answer to the AGW question that is to do nothing, wait and see if any of the dire prognostications come to pass and if they do then we deal with each  problem as it actually presents itself rather than spending huge amounts of effort and treasure trying to forestall things that may never happen.

Cheers Comrades


I’ve always been impressed with the skill of ‘climate scientists’. Particularly when it comes to graphs. The first that comes to mind is of course that famous ‘hockey stick’ curve. And what a curve (ball) it was. Despite being shown to ‘hide the decline’ and be completely fabricated, it nonetheless captured the hearts and minds of the warmist brigade.

 A good graph will do that to you.

So it’s no surprise that I find myself in the same enthrall of some recently revealed data.

Apparently Australia’s plethora of Silver, and not Gold, Medals won in the London Olympics, isn’t due to a lack of training, or a surfeit of tweeting but something far more noxious.

It’s the Carbon Tax, Labor’s tax on carbon dioxide, that’s worrying our Olympians. They’re afraid to breathe in or out, lest they rack up a carbon dioxide debt upon returning home.

This graph proves that.

Yep, that’s right folks, our sportsmen and women are afraid to breathe, just as our businesses are afraid to  make a profit, in case they rack up a ‘carbon debt’.

This is the Labor way.

However, there is an upside to this supposed global warming apocalypse. As the next graph shows, when the global temperature supposedly rises, piracy on the high seas decreases.

 So rest easy folks, because, as the planet heats, you’ll be bothered less and less by pirates.

Flopping fish, the Rudd revival show, and the spectres of the past present and the future

As Labor seems to be flopping around gasping for political breath  like a fish on a jetty we conservatives can only look on with amazement at how that poor fish moves further away for any chance of getting back in the water instead of ending up in the frying pan of history as the only self filleting fish in living memory.  For those individuals who have nursed any hope that Labor could stage a spectacular come back after the Carbon tax failed to make the sky fall in are being sadly disappointed. The voters are all just so over Labor and just counting down the days until they can use their stubby electoral commission pencils  to put the party out of its misery.

We have the confected outrage at Tony Abbott’s speech made in the USA the other day but I’ve carefully read the speech and its nothing it warrant the sort of criticism that desperate lefties have been trying to serve up.  The voters have, I think, already decided that Gillard is for the chop and the fact that they have to wait until 2013 to use those stubby pencils means that politics is relegated to the back-burner for most people. Hence the narrow and rather desperate hope that Kevin could be drafted to be the saviour of our oldest political party. Yes comrades just as a thirsty man dreams of water in the desert Labor tragics dream about a white knight leading them out of the wilderness and into a future where the Labor party is not reduced to a cricket team in the currently  fashionable Queensland and NSW style. The problem is that after Gillard succeeded in calling him out before he was ready to win the contest last February he promised not to challenge again. This put him and his backers in the rather tricky position of not being able to openly campaign or even do the numbers as Graham Richardson observes in the OZ    :

click for source

As much as I want the government changed the cautious me wants to see Labor at least make a decent show of it because we get better government when we have a decent opposition. That said even if we see Rudd raise Lazarus like form his political grave what is the chance that he will do anywhere near enough to win back even some of those dreamers of the stubby pencils? Would Rudd, for instance, re make our “asylum” policies into something effective? Would he dump the  truly despised Carbon tax? Would he tell the Greens that the door is that way? Even if he did all of that would it make the slightest bit of difference?

I am reminded of the way that Charles Dickens  opened his novel “A Christmas Carroll”

Labor was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to.

   Old Labor was as dead as a door-nail.

   Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Labor was as dead as a door-nail.

The trouble is that there will be no Ghosts to show the party the “glories” of its past (Gough anyone?) The bleakness of its present (a very  miserable  Julia Gillard ) and a portent of  its dark future (none other than Anna Bligh). Labor’s is a future without the possibility of redemption and there in we find the tragedy of a once great party that shuffles zombie like towards utter oblivion but the sad thing is that apart from some desperate denialists no one even cares any more.

Cheers Comrades




Wind schemes and socialist ideals

– The blades of turbines on a wind farm catch the wind 10 August 2007 in front of Aegean Sea on Evia island, off the eastern coast of Greece. (RAE). AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/GettyImages)

To say that “climate change” is all a load of hot air would not be strictly correct but it is very clear that the virtues of wind turbines have been very greatly over sold and now that there are a large number of these machines gracing  blighting the landscape its is easy to see that they are just not delivering the goods in terms of the energy that they are collecting. Were it not for subsidies schemes we would just not have so many of these useless monuments to Green vanity dotted like herds of lanky white elephants on the country side.

Good sense is starting to make itself known as recession hit governments realise that subsidising green energy schemes is not sustainable in the long term no matter how devoted  its protagonists are to the Gaian faith. Thus we have seen a very big cut back in subsidies for solar panels here in OZ (which will hopefully stop the endless telemarketer calls trying to sell systems to cynics like Moi) and In the UK the government is very keen to substantially cut the overly generous subsidies that has financed so many turbines in the UK.

click for source

    To me the real irony is that so many of the acolytes of the Green faith are so hot to trot for socialist ideals  and yet they  also endorse these subsidies that only  enrich a small clique of climate “entrepreneurs”.  Am I the only one who can appreciate the hypocrisy for a socialist endorsing Green  subsidy schemes whilewhining about lack of funding for  leftist agendas that they are passionate about? Isn’t it strange that they get so upset about the miners making a quid producing real benefits to the economy and the nation yet they don’t raise a single  eyebrow about the shysters ripping off the community in the name of Gaia?

Cheers Comrades

Germany Faces Energy Disaster and our Greens Follow Blindly

German media ‘Die Welt’ reports:

Germany only just escaped large-scale power outages. Next winter the risk of large blackouts is even greater. The culprit for the looming crisis is the single most important instrument of German energy policy: the “Renewable Energy Law.”

According to Die Welt, the “Renewable Energy Law” (EEG) stipulates the priority of green electricity supply. What was once useful as an aid for the market introduction of wind and solar power, has today, 12 years later, disastrous side effects.

It pushes those plants which alone can guarantee a stable power supply, i.e. gas and coal-fired power plants, out of the market far too early. More and more facilities are being decommissioned. The result is a significantly higher risk of large-scale power outages, so-called blackouts, whose duration and propagation is hard to predict.

Federal Network Agency (FNA) said the near-blackouts last winter are hard to overestimate: although the cold spell was short and mild, the situation in the German electricity network was “very serious” according to the Agency.

Of course that’s in Europe, it’s got nothing to do with Australia. Or has it?

Last week our Greens, those tree hugging, environmental loonies, have once again stepped outside their so-called area of expertise.

The Newcastle Herald and Lithgow Mercury both report that the Greens are introducing a bill before the House of Representatives, the No New Coal Power Bill 2012, which would halt the planning approval for the proposed Cobbora coal mine. Approvals for this coal mine, which is midway between regional townships Mudgee and Dubbo, would be scuttled under the Greens’ legislation.

Their reasons?

“The new power stations would flood the state with cheap electricity and undermine the viability of renewable energy and energy efficiency,”

That’s head-shaking stuff. ‘Cheap electricity??’

Spokesman for the Greens, Jon Kaye, goes on to say,

“Thousands of new jobs in the solar and wind sectors would be lost.”

These jobs are non-existent now, and if they eventuate, will be jobs reliant totally on government subsidies. Is this the future of our economy? A government funded society?

Wind and solar power are by no means a viable source of base load power, as the situation in Germany shows. As it currently stands, the power that runs our cities, our industries, can only be maintained by coal-fired or hydro power. Not only won’t the Greens approve new dams, they are now blocking new coal-fired power stations.

It’s obvious that the Greens are prepared to turn the power off before there are equally viable alternatives. And as a result, they are prepared to trash Australia’s economy in the name of their Green religion. This is their socialist manifesto. Hiding behind the environmental banner, they are prepared to return Australia to the 1930s.

Perhaps a further look at Germany may provide some perspective.

The before pictures in this pictorial look alarmingly like photos taken at the end of WW2. Unfortunately, they were taken some forty five years later in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This is what socialism looks like.

The after pictures were taken ten years later, after capitalism had a chance to clean up the mess that socialism made of East Germany.

The complete photo spread is here, and it’s shocking in its profundity.

Socialists, enjoy.

oh, and btw, an old DDR (East German) joke…..

What would happen if the desert became a Communist country? Nothing for a while. Then there’d be a sand shortage.


Looks like the barrier Reef will survive even if the most dire predictions about the planet’s temperature are on the money

On a brighter note it seems that Coral reefs may just be a bit more resilient than many alarmists have been claiming:

So for the likes of Craigy there is another reason not to believe all of the horror stories (well it is Friday the 13th 😉 ) about doom and gloom and the end of the world from your favourite millenarian cult because, as I have said repeatedly life and ecosystems are far more resilient than the likes of Gore and Flannery have been telling the congregation of the green faith

Cheers Comrades

Oh yeah and thsi information came from the Fairfax press so it must be good 😉


Cheers Comrades

The answer is not blowing in the wind (turbines)

The loopy Greens just love wind energy and in theory it sounds great if you have a good site but like so many schemes to save the planet there are always those pesky “unintended consequences) like maintenance issues and well tendency of these machines to chop up all kinds of birds both common and endangered,

Broken promises: The rusting wind turbinesof Hawaii 

Paul GIPE, a former California wind company executive, calls what happened next a ‘tax credit frenzy’.

‘The lure of quick riches resulted in shoddy products that littered California with poorly operating — sometimes non-operating — turbines.’

They were expensive and badly designed. Some were far too small to make a difference, others were just clunky machines designed by the aero industry with blades the length of a rugby pitch.

But thanks to the subsidies, it hardly mattered that some of the untested turbines were so sub-standard they barely even worked. 

Not to put too fine a point on it, for some wind energy investors it was simply a tax scam. 

But as tends to happen with a business that is driven by financial incentives, it lasted only as long as the subsidies. In 1986, the price of oil tumbled and the subsidies started to die out. Suddenly, the wind energy sums didn’t add up any more.

And just like the gold rush miners who had rushed to the same Californian passes a century earlier, the wind prospectors departed in such a hurry that they didn’t even bother to take down the turbines they had littered across the state.

With so many moving parts to worry about, maintaining turbines is expensive — too expensive when the electricity they could produce was suddenly worth so little.

‘So when something broke, you simply didn’t send a repairman because it just didn’t make financial sense,’ Hawaii wind sceptic Andrew Walden told me.

With some turbine makers going out of business, there were no spare parts either.

According to the California Energy Commission, the collapse in subsidies stalled the state’s huge wind energy industry for nearly two decades.

No one who has driven past one of America’s mega wind farms today can fail to be struck by how few have blades that are turning, even in strong winds.

The truth is that even fewer may be producing electricity than it appears. Many are switched to a mode in which the blades continue to turn just to keep oil moving around the mechanism, but no electricity is produced.

Unfortunately, the frenzy of windmill building during the wind rush didn’t just ruin the view, but also devastated the wildlife.

No one noticed until far too late that the 5,000-turbine wind farm at Altamont Pass is on a major migratory path for birds. The National Audubon Society, America’s RSPB, has called it ‘probably the worst  site ever chosen for a wind  energy project’.

It seems rather obvious to me that until they actaully design wind turbines that don’t fail in service and that don’t  shred the creatures of the air then that “dirty” coal fired power station is looking like a far more benign option for the environment than wind power… now can someone please explain that to Bob Brown and Christine Milne?

Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler, an open letter from Peter Ravenscroft about her book “Feeling the heat”

I am always happy to put up guest posts here at the Sandpit, being a humble man I like to share the tiny corner of that net that is may own with anyone who asks nicely or who writes something that I think worthy, Well today I offer to our readers  an open letter to Jo Chandler from Peter Ravenscroft who contacted me a little while ago trying to get in touch with the lady  herself, but it seems that the Age email address that I offered to Peter no longer works and that she is not contactable. So without further adieu here is Peter’s letter:

Jo Chandler

c/o Melbourne University Press.


G’day Jo,


I am reading your book, ta for that, much appreciated. I note the unease, but have some good news for you. What follows immediately is a little tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely …


(I see this got very long, so skip it,  if not of interest. But I will send it anyway)


First, carbonism is a classic millenialist movement. It sells fear and angst, as they all do, and it is as difficult for the devotees to see as part of a continuum, as ever. But, this time it is different, don’t you see? The Catholic church, with which you may be familiar, has sold little else for 2,000 years. It is a good business model. Then they sell indulgences. Now the new folk sell panic tastefully relieved with carbon credits. To cleanse the soul. I suggest, of course you got a trip to Antarctica. You are a very valued part of the sales team. I have read what you write. Stirring stuff. It stirs up the grant money. The heroic hermit priest, braving the elements, wrestling with the demonic forces implicit in the knowledge of the imminence of Doomsday.


Pull the other one Jo, it has an Angora goat tied to it. You clearly do not believe that anthropogenic CO2 is wrecking the future or you would immediately stop flying about in giant carbon dioxide-belching aluminium cans, to conferences and to the Antarctic, to sample assorted cocktails. And, you would definitely have told your son not to dream of making a career of piloting such canisters. When I believed that, we stopped Concorde overflying Africa. We did some hopeless minor protests, but the boss of FOE in South Africa told the Nigerians their cows would abort – very effective, that was. Instead, Concorde aborted and had no further offspring.


I am not as sensible as you, so when I first heard CO2 was a problem, in ’74, and was setting up environmental groups across South Africa at (white English –our union had lost the rest) universities, I hitched all round the country. The secret policeman I had temporarily displaced from the job declined to do so and flew instead. Sensible man. By the way, I have also had moments of existential wonder in Maputo. My brother and I where there when it became Maputo, just as the Portuguese were winding up their empire. Our great contribution was helping a lady anthropologist pack her Austrian bentwood chair, and then being  formally welcomed to liberated Mocambique by the leader of Frelimo in the slums, and drinking a toast to that with the last bottle of fizzy drink left in the community. While Chissano (sp?) headed straight for the Polana Hotel, and somehow never got around to meeting his local commander. So, we share some cynicisms.


Like you, now, I am a warmist. But not a carbonist. Like you, I wonder what makes both the planet and society tick. I have been at geology for 40 years now so am just a beginner, geological time being what it is, and am just learning how to get everything wrong and what a wry sense of humour Murphy has. I did some anthropology after getting to be a field geologist, under a delightful and  exquisitely-credentialed elderly lady, and so have been studying the fascinating new religion – in which I am some kind of marginal cleric – namely “Science,” for forty odd years also.  I have now had the luxury of five years to assess the climate science data, with no boss other than myself to pester. So, I read everything I could find.


Being an unrepentant member of the radical green left, an active prospector and an ex- and unrepentant director of FOE, I am now perhaps the most awkward person in the climate debate – anathema to the carbonists and a leper to the sceptics. I live in rural splendour on our organic subsistence farm and a fleet of old exploration caravans, best friend, after Denise, a donkey called Wills, who is much amused at the climate fuss, as are all the ant and bird people here. I am as green as ever, but just more than a little uneasy about the environmental movement being hijacked by the carbonists, who have all the answers and denigrate those who do not with extraordinary ferocity. The extremists call for jail terms for sceptics. And equally uneasy about the radical right monopolizing, and exciting to violence from the other side. The extremists call for jail terms for  carbonists.


I have been patiently (huh!, ask Denise about the steam coming periodically from the ears) explaining, as friends drift away, just as you have found, that the heat that is changing the surface planetary temperatures, starting with the oceans, is coming from the core-mantle boundary, either as the result of, or as the cause of, the shifts in the z or vertical component of the geomagnetic field at that depth. There is the Holy Grail, very simple, found purely by chance, no great privation in the Namib Desert required (been there, done that, quite useless) but unfortunately invisible, even in broad daylight, to those who are not blessed with contour map vision, preferably with both first and second derivative insight also. They used to hand it out in the Boy Scouts, at least in the basic form, but now, it is very rare.     


The maps of where the surface temperature is changing most and most consistently – Eastern Siberia north of Lake Baikal, the Antarctic Peninsula, the coast of Angola, and the region around the Caspian Sea, and the north magnetic pole – all match, to near perfection, the now extremely well-plotted shifts in the secular shifts in radial, or z or vertical, component of the magnetic field at the core-mantle boundary – 3,000 kms directly below your left foot.  The surface warming regions never match, ever, the regions of high mid-troposphere CO2, and just for added fun, those never, ever, match where we generate CO2 in our industrial cities either, unless you fake the data. And just in case you want confirmation, the seismic velocity anomaly maps of the lower mantle match the first two sets very neatly. Keep in mind, seismic velocity anomalies track heat (sort of), not magnetic field shifts. So, the confirmation is independent, and all from Royal Society p-r papers, long there for all to read.


Once the basics of the carbonist case unravels, it all unravels. Some years back, I started with the Vostok core, noticed the mainly negative slope between peak CO2 and peak temperatures (it is not simply 800 years, it swings out to 3,000 and is, at occasional times the other way, unless we have stratigraphic core loss, which is highly likely). Then  applied some of the basic tenet of core-logging (extreme scepticism about the writing of vast historical novels based on small pieces of inscrutable drillcore) and the physics of ice in continental glaciers – always moving – and of ice cores coming to surface un-pressurized. Coming up, from the phase diagram of CO2, the deepest cores go through two phase shifts, probably explosively, so Petit et al are slightly in dreamworld, I think, in thinking we can possibly know the nueric value of ancient CO2 peaks.


And, some 50 million centrifugal pumps are doing sterling work lowering water tables , with a very neat match in the volumes, after isostatic rebound is allowed roughly of the order of 1,000 cubic kilometres per year. That pretty much explains the enigmatic rise in sea levels – I did once work in eustatics, once had an irrigation business, and have run centrifugal pumps on my subsistence farm for decades now. Etc., etc. I have a 500-page book on all that, with lots of pretty maps and graphs. Never read, far as I know, by anyone.


But, surprise, surprise, Nobody on both sides of this fraught debate, or the public, or the science establishment, or the publishing world, wants to know even the one-liner. Which is where what would otherwise be depressing, in fact all gets interesting, from the anthropology point of view.


Deduction: The science establishment promotes stories, just as you do, but is not quite so honest about it. The editor of the Royal Society’s journal, for instance,  found she could not, in a blue fit, pass on my email explaining, to Paul Nurse, the president of her own society, whose grasp of geophysics is not exactly up to speed. As one of the spin-offs of seeing that the heat is from below is being able to see the heat build-up before earthquakes, on the NOAA sea surface temperature maps and it works – I have got about seven in advance now (though with a lot of false positives), and Geonet in NZ said ta and is on the lookout for the patterns, and NASA also said ta, – , one might have thought the Royal Society for the Advancement of Knowledge would at least have been prepared to read the essay and attached maps.


Hansen at GISS said all enquiries re the AQUA satellite data were to go to him, then declined to answer the awkward questions, as to why he disappeared all the AQUA satellite CO2 maps, without any explanation. Briffa and Jones of EAU do not reply. The “Nature trick” email was significant, because Briffa’s Yamil hockey stick, refuted by the Russians who did the original fieldwork – they published a dead flat one from the same data – is the only graphical support in the literature for the Mann hockey stick, a point all commentators have missed. Since time-series contour maps, even though they contain two orders of magnitude more data than a line graph, are not in favour in this debate, faking the Yamil graph with the spliced on blade, was in fact scientifically serious distortion.   


CSIRO likewise does not reply coherently. Flannery keeps mum. Monckton for the blue team thought the 50 million centrifugal pumps story, see below, was the only new thing in the debate in a decade – nice of him to say so – but did not like me suggesting he stop railing about it all being a commie plot, if he was coming to Oz, and so changed to hinting it may be a Nazi one. And then he quite forgot to ask his geophysicist friend to check the basics of what I had sent.


Geomagnetics? That some version of geomancy? The ABC is stone deaf, at about six different programs, the BBC ditto, and the eyes glaze over, on commercial radio, at about the second sentence, if not the second part of the first word. They have to carefully explain to listeners what a magnet is, as they do not use them in Footy. And in science the truth is, very few scientists are game to say, “I do not even know the units used, in the field you are talking about or which end of a proton precession magnetometer goes in your ear.” We are very pompous shamans.


Power, to contradict that bizarre man Chairman Mao rather emphatically, is largely about the ownership of the currently fashionable stories, and nowhere more so than in science. Scientists depend for a living on telling simplistic stories, reality being far too complex for all us rainforest monkeys, even the smartest Ph.D.s. Infinite number of variable, one arrow of time, link any three and you have a fine PhD. Or, an infinite possible series of them. We in science have no magic formula for finding the truth, we just sell fairy stories. First to ourselves, then to friendly journos, then to taxi drivers.


If you come from a successful and long-undisturbed culture like Australia, one inevitably ends up with a low skill-level in questioning the establishment and its stories. I had the curious privilege of growing up under a system most of us hated, to wit apartheid, so deep scepticism was endemic and rather popular. Also, we had many local cultures loathing the system from several inspired angles. Everything the political establishment told us was suss, so, slowly, we learned to be sceptical of our own culture also; that in my case being the tattered remnants of British imperialism. And, of determinist science.


I have had a go at trying to persuade all sorts of folk to simply look at the satellite temperature anomaly and geomagnetic anomaly maps with the brain in gear. They are free on the Internet. If you can read a contour map and are able to compare two, it is not difficult to see that carbonism is utterly untenable. 


It may be worth keeping in mind that the interested reading public (the one that ever needs to be educated by the informed establishment) was sold on evolution for decades before the establishment stopped backing the legend of the homicidal sky fairy they called God being in charge of geology and species design on the basis of personal itches and insane rages. Buck House debated evolution in 1844, at a garden party given by H. M., around Chambers’ Vestiges of Creation . Read Wells (1812), Matthew (1831) for even earlier stuff, and the reviews of the day on those. And read Darwin himself in the third edition of the Origin, where he very honestly listed 33 prior claimants to evolution, several of them invoking natural selection. But the Darwin industry wound itself to fever pitch again, recently, with the same old silly mantra as to his precedence.


The fashion parade in kindergarten science marches on. Arrhenius, on no sane grounds whatever, discounted the heat from below – read the 1898 original – the evasion is pathetic – it is that heat going below during the day will be lost during the night. An indoor chemist, he obviously never saw basalt lava. The temperature at the cmb is about 4,000 degrees C. Liquid metal, maybe nickel iron, maybe ultra-high-pressure silicates acting as metals, flows erratically down there and generates vast electrical currents and vast heat flows. Those flows can be and have been mapped. Basalt, as you will know, needs to be at 900 degrees C, minimum, to get to the surface as lava. The planet wobbles, as you noted, and so the temperatures deep down fluctuate hugely on decadal and centennial and every other scale, as the geomagnetic field forever wobbles towards and away from the occasional full flip. The temperature in space is just a little colder than that in the emantle. So, who said the crust is a perfect insulator? Same bloke as said continental glacial ice is a perfect leak-proof trap for CO2, over three-quarters of a million years, maybe? We are petrified that the climate has shifted a few degrees in a century? Given how it is down below, does that sound remotely sane?


The obsession with carbon driving the ice ages and the present shifts is, it seems to me, simply a function of the consensus-majority of the climate community never having done Geology 101. Or, with the few who did, not being game to speak up. My best mate at uni, now head of an august department never mind where, one day said Pete, you may be right, but we are in the very competitive business of getting funding, so I cannot possibly say so publicly. I said, the consensus of the privileged is not always quite the same as the consensus of the informed. We had a good chuckle.


Your taxi driver is not a field anthropologist you want to dismiss too lightly. The science establishment has to toe the going line, as above. But the thousands of folk the taxi driver talks to have to decide whether to go look for work in Mackay, plant potatoes this year, invest in an inner city unit or a farm or gold, or have another kid. They – we – have no real insurance – the compulsory pension funds having been invested in fairy floss – other than observing reality, as best we can. We do not get to faraway cocktail parties to either back or oppose fashion statements. And so, the collective wisdom of a couple of billion ordinary observers is a little more trustworthy, often, that that of the paid priestly establishment. Lots of geos, by the way, are really just cabbies in disguise, as the field used to be popular, too many of us were trained and got tickets, and there is not often enough work to go around. As we get older, we get tired of the heavy labouring standbys. Then we yap away and bore the other cabbies to tears, but it does get into the brain. Also, when billions of people look at an argument, and say that, well, if it was in my field, I would not buy it, so I am sceptical, just maybe, collectively, they are not as stupid as the media and the paid priesthood assumes. It does not matter if the folk wash hospital sheets or sell mortgages or fix diesel motors or raise cows for a living, a lot of people are into complex logic, just to survive. Not all sell stories with salaries or grants attached.


So, I do not wish to disturb your religious beliefs, but if you would like to contribute something new to this debate, have a read of Why Carbon is Innocent or at least skim the pretty pictures, and then, if so inclined,  get back. You could cause quite a stir, rather than simply running the old mantras, sprinkled with well-adjectives about heroic scientists. When I was a kid, I was also brought up on the culture of heroic expeditioning, hence the field geology, the truck expeditions, the hitching here and there, the kayaking, etc. Then, though, the mythology was about Johnny-come-lately geographic and cultural exploration. We did not see ourselves as angst marketeers.


I do not claim my case re climate is correct, it would be quite bizarre if I had something so complex all correct, or perhaps even partly so. Geologists have been at this ice age problem for 200 years, in the present run, and since Outzi,  in reality. But what is disturbing is this. From both sides, everybody goes to ground, claiming that all sorts of experts, over there somewhere, none of whom know very much, if anything, about mantle geophysics, geomagnetics, remote sensing data, geochemistry, physical oceanography or the vagaries of priestly cultures, knows perfectly well what is driving climate change. Since no-one on this planet is up to speed in those fields – least of all me – one would expect some doubts to be expressed by the devotees of carbonism.


But. Not one human has ever got back with detailed questions, except for one string of queries, that wanted to know who was paying me (no-one), and what I had published in the anonymously-censored-by-the-in-group, profit–and-copyright-for-large-corporations peer review system. The answer to the second  is also zero, as I publish in ordinary English, on the net, in the public domain.  I may still own www.publicdomain.com, but it is defunct as no-one a decade back chose to contribute. Google and the surname will find some of the other climate change wreckage, among all the antiwar stuff. 


The big hole in the carbon-sceptics case has been the lack of an alternative model with real data to back it, but they are obsessed with external solar changes. So they also flatly refuse to look at the vast body of hard geophysics data, against  the satellite temperature data, and their really ever-so-simple and clear maps. No-one will look at the AQUA satellite AIRS CO2 anomaly maps (280 of them) with the brain in gear and some memory of where our industrial cities are located, either. Those cities are not actually in the western Sahara, where the deep sedimentary basins naturally put out huge volumes of CO2 annually. You can fit a lot of blue-green bacteria etc,. in the cool and delightful environs of the biggest sandpile on the planet,  just a couple of metres below the solar-heated roof. The CO2 comes from there, and from warming and de-pressurizing (upwelling) seawater. Or, so say those heretical satellite maps. Not a lot of big factories where the Humboldt and Benguela currents surface, either.  


Real concerns? We are a species overrunning its resource base on many fronts, not least the metals sector. Peak copper? Peak zinc? Peak iron? Peak lithium? Peak iridium? Peak aluminium? Peak phosphorus? Only the last has surfaced so far. We have mined out, in 200 years, all the high-grade metals it took 4 billion to accumulate, so there is no way back to the Bronze Age. All the high-grade ore is gone, so we are locked into gigantism, as surely as the dinosaur was. How do I cope with the depression? Easy – species, as species, never survive, but we live now and life overall goes on. Specieism is like nationalism. Virginity is curable, but those two are brain diseases. Me, I am cheering for the ant and mosquito people, who are much better at prospecting and mining than we are and have lesser metals footprints. Meanwhile, fly with a clear conscience. We have coal for 20,000 years, believe me, checking that that is part of my professional game. South African Airways, though you may know, is already flying on avgas from SASOL coal. There is enough of the black muck to get rid of this poisonous oxygen atmosphere and get back our long-lost methane one. I cannot say anything coherent about oil, or non-coal seam gas, not my field.  


There is no such thing as free insurance, so the precautionary principle being invoked by carbonists may yet sink us as a species. The numbers of individuals of any species – plant, bacterium or animal, are a direct function of the cost of energy to the individual. So, push up energy costs rapidly and numbers go down. With humans, that usually means war. So, we are playing with fire.


Me, I have made my own solar shower out of scrap and have made and sold one electric bike at a very fine profit, and grow enough food – just – to get by. So if it all goes pear-shaped and the supermarkets stop supplying food, I will be perfectly all right – for the two days it will take the urban hungry to remember our orchards. My Dad was a heavy machine-gunner in the Western Desert and an Uncle ran a heavy battery on the Somme, but I  am simply too lazy for all that so we will not be able to explain properly, why hungry folk should go away empty-handed. Not entirely academic as two years back, my father-in-law got himself murdered by the irate citizenry, when in hospital and almost on his death bed, back in the good ole RSA. I think every member of Denise’s family has been attacked at least once, by folk feeling understandably a bit aggrieved about the resource distribution system in general.  So here, we do not now explain it all with any vigour to the channel-billed cuckoos, ten other bird species, the water dragons and the fruit bats, so we now get few mulberries, where we used to freeze huge crops. We are in training. 


We cannot collectively change what is happening at the cmb, and we best know it. Half of humanity, in the mouse traps called cities, is a very high-risk strategy – Stalin sent townies out to a few kulacks, and even that did not work overly well. And if you now look closely, you will see that exactly where the uproar is in N. Africa and the Middle East is where the ground temperature is up, crops have been failing, and where, deep below, the magnetic anomalies at the cmb are changing most. Allah Akbar? I would have merely said he was on leave or  mischievous. We cannot change cmb magnetic shifts – the devil down there is just that little bit beyond our reach and is laughing at our hubris. We best know it, so we can attend to food security and stop jet-jumping to meaningless feel-bad conferences, in exotic locations.


Get back, if so minded. If you come to think I may have the odd thing right, it  could give you a very different journalistic career – and a lot of flak to catch.

I have pretty much run out of interest in the topic, so I am not fussed either way. I do value your concern, but.


Best, either which way,


Peter Ravenscroft.

How’s them apples Comrades?

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