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The IPCC now says it’s OK to adapt to ‘climate change’

Find below an excellent piece by Don Aitkin about the shift in the IPCC focus from mitigation to adaptation, which is something that I have been rabbiting on about for many years both here and elsewhere. I republish it here under the  terms of its creative commons licence. Further this post is dedicated to PKD  who still has not produced that long promised essay on Climate change.

When I first became interested in global warming ten years ago what puzzled me at once was the insistence on ‘mitigation’ — reducing or abolishing carbon dioxide emissions — and the  almost complete indifference to ‘adaptation’ — preparing in advance to deal with droughts, floods, high temperatures, and all the rest of the climate possibilities. We seemed to  be doing something in that direction, but hardly enough.

Professor Bob Carter, one scientist that has been sceptical from the beginning of the global warming scare, suggested long ago that Australia adopt  and adapt the New Zealand civil defence management system, which is built around the ’4 Rs’ — Reduction, Readiness, Response, Recovery. As any Australian of mature years knows, we are prone to natural ‘disasters’, and our SES system is one form of our own preparedness.

But the IPCC has never been interested. For it the key thing has been to get carbon emissions down before disaster overwhelms us. As I have argued many times, this strategy has three weaknesses: it is practically unfeasible to do it quickly, it cannot be done on a global scale, and the outcome of whatever any country does will have no discernible effect on temperature there. Given ‘the pause’, now approaching 18 years on one measure, one could also argue that there is no immediate need to do anything at all in the mitigation department. Isn’t it time, for example, that we built some more ‘flood-proofing’ dams?

Well, the IPCC has now given what seems to be a cautious go-ahead to adaptation. According to Chris Field , one of the co-chairs of the new report,

The really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change… Climate-change adaptation is not an exotic agenda that has never been tried. Governments, firms, and communities around the world are building experience with adaptation. This experience forms a starting point for bolder, more ambitious adaptations that will be important as climate and society continue to change.

Dr Field also declaredThe natural human tendency is to want things to be clear and simple. And one of the messages that doesn’t just come from the IPCC, it comes from history, is that the future doesn’t ever turn out the way you think it will be… being prepared for a wide range of possible futures is just always smart.

Does this mean that the IPCC is giving up on ‘mitigation’. No. But, at least it seems to me that, the IPCC may well be coming to the view that if it is to survive, it will have to have more than the mitigation arrow in its quiver. If I am right, then we can expect more IPCC papers on how best to adapt. Judith Curry devoted her 30 March blog to this subject, which drew 787 comments at last count. She cited an article by Andrew Lilico she had read in the Telegraph (London), which put forward the following:

… the global GDP costs of an expected global average temperature increase of 2.5 degrees Celsius over the 21st century will be between 0.2 and 2 per cent. To place that in context, the well-known Stern Review of 2006 estimated the costs as 5-20 per cent of GDP. Stern estimates the costs of his recommended policies for mitigating climate change at 2 per cent of GDP – and his estimates are widely regarded as relatively optimistic (others estimate mitigation costs as high as 10 per cent of global GDP). At a 2.4 per cent annual GDP growth rate, the global economy increases 0.2 per cent every month.

So the mitigation deal has become this: Accept enormous inconvenience, placing authoritarian control into the hands of global agencies, at huge costs that in some cases exceed 17 times the benefits even on the Government’s own evaluation criteria, with a global cost of 2 per cent of GDP at the low end and the risk that the cost will be vastly greater, and do all of this for an entire century, and then maybe – just maybe – we might save between one and ten months of global GDP growth.

Whereas previously the IPCC emphasised the effects climate change could have if not prevented, now the focus has moved on to how to make economies and societies resilient and to adapt to warming now considered inevitable. Climate exceptionalism – the notion that climate change is a challenge of a different order from, say, recessions or social inclusion or female education or many other important global policy goals – is to be down played. Instead, the new report emphasised that adapting to climate change is one of many challenges that policymakers will face but should have its proper place alongside other policies.

Our first step in adapting to climate change should be to accept that we aren’t going to mitigate it. We’re going to have to adapt. That doesn’t mean there might not be the odd mitigation-type policy, around the edges, that is cheap and feasible and worthwhile. But it does mean that the grandiloquent schemes for preventing climate change should go. Their day is done. Even the IPCC – albeit implicitly – sees that now.

It’s all too soon to say where this is going. But it would seem to me that the Abbott Government could pick up the drift and win a brownie point or two by talking sagely about ‘adaptation’ — and quote the IPCC in so doing.

A pleasant surprise in today’s Age

The Age is usually such a rabid AGW advocate but maybe this is the start of a new more balanced approach to the issue of climate change. Maybe its just a the removal of the execrable Jo Chandler from their staff that has seen them mellow, most likely its just a reflection of the fact that the interregnum between Christmas and new year is a time when regular writers are away on leave and the need for copy to fill the paper allows them to cast a wider net than usual. No matter what the reasons for its publication I found the piece by John Spooner most refreshing and worthy of praise:

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I hope that the real reason that this piece has got such a prominent place in today’s Age is that the minions at Fairfax are finally realising that they have hitched their faith to a false religion and that its apparently golden idols are nothing but  tat and cheap wax,  that the cold hard light of truth is turning them into the misshapen formless blobs that we sceptics always thought that they were.

Cheers Comrades

Or NOT!

Or NOT!

Graphology

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.

Floods wash away carbon tax support

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By Mark S. Lawson

In August 2009, after three years of computer modelling, a joint team of scientists from the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology announced that they had linked greenhouse gases to the drought then reigning over south-eastern Australia. They also declared that the decline in rainfall was likely to be permanent as more of those gases accumulated in the atmosphere and the world warmed.

The results of the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative were one of many warnings issued at the time, with the drought still in full swing, that rainfall patterns had changed and that dams had been built in the wrong spots. They would never be full again.

Warnings such as this, playing on understandable fears over what had proved to be a very long, dry period, prompted the building of desalination plants in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. More importantly, these warnings were repeated by a parade of activists and scientists (the distinction was often blurred) who found their way into the media both before and after the initiative announced its results. In early 2008, the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones, was reported as declaring that the extreme dry climate of the time was permanent. In 2007, Tim Flannery who is now the Federal Govenrment’s climate commissioner, declared that there had been a decline in the winter rainfall zone across Australia.

But in the end the warnings did little more than illustrate the problems of forecasting, any forecasting. For no sooner had the CSIRO-BoM scientists declared that the drought would continue than it started to rain and, it seems, has not stopped raining in South Eastern Australia. One result of all that rain, including two years of flooding due to back to back La Ninas, and now quite full dams, has been to wash away a great deal of public support for previous assertions about global warming.

Most of those who listened to or read the various gloomy forecasts made at the height of the drought would have little idea of any of the scientific basis for them, and would have barely heard any of the counter arguments. They have better things to do than get to the bottom of a technical issue. But they do know a lot of water when they see it, and would remember that the experts had told them their patch of Australia was drying up.

In the grand tradition of forecasters caught out by reality, the experts have broadly reinterpreted what was originally said. Media consumers are now told that the original forecasts emphasised that both droughts and flooding would increase as the world warmed (to be fair, some of the forecasts also mentioned floods).

The federal government’s Climate Commission has also issued a statement that people should look beyond the past two years of rain, floods and dams full to overflowing, and instead consider the 10 average which is still pretty dry compared to previous periods.

The trouble with these hurried reinterpretations is that those living in rural areas know perfectly well the level of the last severe flooding, perhaps back in the 1970s, as it is usually marked on a handy feature. The last set of floods came up to those marks. They and their city cousins may also have heard somewhere that rainfall is subject to cycles, and that the climate of Australia’s eastern seaboard has returned to the notably wetter conditions that prevailed from the late 1940s through to the mid-1970s. They may put those bits of information together to conclude that the experts were quite wrong in their assessments of the reasons for the drought.

Staunch defenders of global warming theory may brush aside such quibbles by pointing out that temperature and rainfall forecasts are quite separate matters, and they would be correct. It is possible to have both high temperatures and high rainfall, as anyone who visits a rain forest would know. The trouble is that scientists in 2009 were confidently linking increasing greenhouse gases to the drought, and telling everyone the dams would never be full, and promptly got more than two years of rain and full dams. It does them little good now to point to averages. In addition, the state governments built desalinisation plants with political fumbling making them difficult to switch off or dismantle in some states. They have become monuments to the folly of believing in forecasts.

This creates a problem for the Gillard government, even bigger than the self-generated political mess into which it has fallen. It is committed to the carbon tax, which will come into effect in July, but even the least media-savvy voters are becoming suspicious of the warnings about climate change that inspired the tax. Voters in marginal electorates don’t follow politics much (who can blame them), but may well have heard about the problems with the desalination plants. If the experts were so wrong about rainfall, why can’t they be wrong about temperatures and so why do we need this tax? Or so the reasoning will go.

The Climate Commissions’ assurances, plus another climate report put out by the CSIRO earlier this year, and yet another by the IPCC, reiterating warnings that greenhouse gases will lead to substantial additional warming, will do little to offset this massive increase in scepticism.

On top of this is the general angst over increases in electricity prices, which on average have risen almost 40 per cent more than inflation since the election of the Rudd government in 2007. The Rudd and Gillard governments are only partially to blame for this increase, through legislation requiring a massive increase in green electricity. Most of the increase is due to changes in networks which will not be discussed here.

As noted earlier the carbon tax has yet to start, but once it is up and running it will be a handy scape goat. Voters can relieve their feelings over the high bills they have to pay by demanding it be abolished, and abolition will at least prevent a part of future price increases. All of this means that voters already suspicious of the carbon tax will soon consider it to be in the same category as the desalination plants in each state – as an expensive white elephant that should not have to pay for.

Labor may commit political suicide for a host of reasons unconnected with the tax, but it’s certainly not going to help them at the polls.

This piece is reproduced under the terms of its Creative commons licence and the original can be found here

James Delingpole promotes Killing the Earth to Save It in Perth

A nice account of James Dellingpole’s book launch in Perth from my good friend Matt Hayden:

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Matt offers some interesting observations about the changing demographics of Climate change sceptics but I can’t help wondering what our favourite decaf soy latte drinker would have thought of the whole thing.

Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler : “Melting moments put ice sheets in a new light” Hmm I think not

I can’t help wondering just why the Fairfax press keeps running the global warming pieces written by Jo Chandler.This effort “Melting moments put ice sheets in a new light” is actaully rather confused and totally lacking in internal logic. It sets out to discuss two different scientific papers about the changing sea levels in the past. This claim however

What the lower level of sea-level rise suggests, they say, is that both the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed during the protracted warm of the Pleistocene, when the dance of the Earth’s orbit increased the solar radiation that the planet received.

But the revised level indicates that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, the behemoth slab of ice spread over 11 million square kilometres and an average two kilometres thick, did not melt significantly through that long period of warming.

Is rather at odds with this piece of panic merchant behaviour just a few lines later

On Monday, researchers from Spain and Germany revealed findings that Greenland’s ice sheet is much more sensitive to global warming than previously thought, and may already be approaching a critical threshold.

They calculated that if global average temperatures reach 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels – and they have already warmed 0.8 degrees – the Arctic ice would likely tip towards irreversible loss.

It should be rather obvious to anyone that if the Antarctic ice sheet endured in a period of far protracted warming due to orbital variations of the planet then it is not going totip towards irreversible loss.“due to increases in CO2.  Sadly for the readers of the  Fairfax press this piece by their “Senior writer” is not going to help them appreciate  the science quite simply because its author is clearly lacking in the knowledge or ability  to truly understand the subject. There are times when being a devotee to the millenarian climate change cult  is just not enough and this piece by Jo Chandler is a very good example of just why the Fairfax press needs to get someone more knowledgeable and less sycophantic  to the white coated priests of the apocalyptic   faith to write on the subject of the  climate and humanity’s (possible) influence upon it.
Cheers Comrades

CO2 not only heats up the planet but it also makes you fat!!!!, well according to the men in white coats it does!

You have got to just love the way that just about everything can be co-opted to the Warminista faith as proof that “climate change is real” But this example is one of the more loopy ones out there.

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Like so many aspects of the Warminista liturgy this argument takes a simple coincidence and elevates it far beyond credible logic or reasoned argument, Is it any wonder that we can see the arse of the Goddess under those new “Green” threads?

Cheers Comrades

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

But the cold dead are many

As Europe freezes with its most severe winter in decades you can’t be surprised that the global warming millinerain panic merchants may well be scrambling to explain just how these events can be fitted into their climate narrative:

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Are they really making any ground on the “warming bad” and “cooling good” argument?

Hmm I don’t think that the freezing and  homeless poor would agree at all.

Cheers Comrades

Oh and check out what James Dellingpole has to say the Warministas  it here

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