What if climate change is worse, and does the public care?

A recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that warned of the possible effects of climate change largely focussed on what might be a less bad scenario than what some say is possible.

Temperature rise predictions are scientifically backed but are still just predictions. Some say things won’t be as bad (based on what apart from claiming scientists are wrong?), but if the science is questionable the predictions could just as easily be under-predicting.

Some warn that things could be worse, even much worse. But over the top alarmist warnings may be counter-productive.

NY Mag: UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That.

Effectively accusing everyone of ‘climate genocide’ unless we all reduce our emissions is turn the public off listening to an already problem that is on aa much bigger scale problem than their every day lives.

The alarming new report you may have read about this week from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which examines just how much better 1.5 degrees of warming would be than 2 — echoes the charge. “Amplifies” may be the better term. Hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, the report declares, should the world warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, which it will do as soon as 2040, if current trends continue.

Nearly all coral reefs would die out, wildfires and heat waves would sweep across the planet annually, and the interplay between drought and flooding and temperature would mean that the world’s food supply would become dramatically less secure. Avoiding that scale of suffering, the report says, requires such a thorough transformation of the world’s economy, agriculture, and culture that “there is no documented historical precedent.”

The New York Times declared that the report showed a “strong risk” of climate crisis in the coming decades; in Grist, Eric Holthaus wrote that“civilization is at stake.”

It risks becoming little more than a ‘the Martians are coming’ type warning to ordinary people. We;ve seen it all happen at the movies, and we still get to scoff ridiculous amounts of popcorn and walk out afterwards unscathed apart from being a bit fatter and adding to another crisis for humanity, obesity.

If you are alarmed by those sentences, you should be — they are horrifying. But it is, actually, worse than that — considerably worse. That is because the new report’s worst-case scenario is, actually, a best case. In fact, it is a beyond-best-case scenario. What has been called a genocidal level of warming is already our inevitable future. The question is how much worse than that it will get.

Barring the arrival of dramatic new carbon-sucking technologies, which are so far from scalability at present that they are best described as fantasies of industrial absolution, it will not be possible to keep warming below two degrees Celsius — the level the new report describes as a climate catastrophe. As a planet, we are coursing along a trajectory that brings us north of four degrees by the end of the century.

The IPCC is right that two degrees marks a world of climate catastrophe. Four degrees is twice as bad as that. And that is where we are headed, at present — a climate hell twice as hellish as the one the IPCC says, rightly, we must avoid at all costs. But the real meaning of the report is not “climate change is much worse than you think,” because anyone who knows the state of the research will find nothing surprising in it.

The real meaning is, “you now have permission to freak out.”

Scientifically it is as likely that temperature rises will be twice as bad as there being no change at all, if scientists are wrong in their predictions – and that doesn’t take into account that most science suggests that temperatures are increasing and will increase further, the uncertainty being simply by how much.


There is a major problem with all this planet scale problem telling and ‘scaremongering’ – as individuals we are pretty powerless and eating one chop less or having less milk in our coffee is not going to make any real difference.

Danyl Mclauchlan (The Spinoff): Step one: accept people don’t, and may never, give a toss about climate change

One of the things the IPCC report makes clear is that we’re already living in the climate changed future. The world has warmed by one degree since the beginning of the industrial revolution and this is causing storm surges, fiercer droughts, stronger hurricanes, heat waves; intensifying extreme weather events all around the world, causing massive economic damage and political instability. So if we want to see how our politicians will cope with the problem of climate change in the future, all we need to do is see how what they’re doing now. And … it’s not quite nothing, at least in New Zealand: there’s the oil and gas exploration ban, the carbon commission, the Carbon Zero bill. But, realistically, it’s not even close to what’s needed.

I don’t think this is the fault of our political class or the media, who are the usual scapegoats in this debate. Even the energy industry and its lobbyists – who are, to be sure, literally destroying the world – are only doing what powerful interests have always done, and will always do: defend their own wealth and privilege, deluding themselves into believing they’re on the right side of history by defending society against a malevolent conspiracy of climatologists. The core problem is much deeper and harder to fix: it’s that not many people care about climate change.

Why don’t more people care about climate change? There is any number of grand sociological theories but I think the heart of it is that humans “discount the future”. Our brains are hardwired to prefer upfront benefits and deferred costs over upfront costs and deferred gains. That’s why we have credit card debt. It’s why we eat unhealthy food. It’s why your retirement savings are locked away in an account you can’t touch until you’re 65. It’s why I make about 90% of the poor choices I make on any given day. You can get angry about this and rail against it, but we are what we are. Human nature is very tough to change.

(That whole article is well worth reading, I have quoted just a small part of it).

So we are relying on our politicians to do something despite us. And what do they do?

Jacinda Ardern admonishes fuel companies for putting prices up alongside taxes Ardern’s Government has put up because it might deter people from using as much carbon emitting fossil fuel. Mclauchlan:

Like Charlie Mitchell over at Fairfax I was struck by the juxtaposition of the prime minister talking about lower fuel prices on the same day the new IPCC Special Report on global warming emphasised the massive damage caused by fuel emissions and the urgent need to take very drastic action to reduce them.

And Simon Bridges and National start a petition demanding that the Government reduce fuel taxes. And that may get some support from people silly enough to give their phone numbers and emails to a political marketing machine.

Petty politics rules, and the public doesn’t care about that nor about the colossal climate change campaigns.

What’s the point in caring about what the world does to avert a climate crisis? We will probably eat ourselves to death before a cyclone strikes.

Darwinism may eventually kill off over-eaters so the surviving population consume much less on average, but that will take too long to overcome the floods and droughts that put food production into chaos.

Leave a comment

115 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 13, 2018

    People look out the window and figure things are not too bad. They are not wrong. The scary evidence just isn’t there.

    Reply
  2. What if it’s being massively overstated by these people and isn’t nearly as bad as they say? Does the public care if that’s the case? Are we even allowed to ask that these days. Or is that too politically incorrect, to question what has effectively become gospel in a field that was supposed to be scientific.

    Reply
    • Just so you know, disagreeing with the climate scientists that say both that climate change is occurring, and know that we’re mostly responsible for it, is not disagreeing with all scientists? Hundreds disagree with that, the thing I take issue with this isn’t the scientist saying that it’s happening, the thing I take issue with is the misrepresentation of how many are saying it, and how many aren’t, less claim that than we’re often led to believe in news reports and studies, and more claim otherwise than were led to believe to.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 13, 2018

        On World’s Wildest Weather the presenter said the amount of flooding that is now occurring annually worldwide is unprecedented, and the result of more moisture in the atmosphere.

        Reply
        • Did he prove it convincingly, citing piles of evidence, or did he just assert it and expect you to believe him?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 13, 2018

            Just video clips and an assertion. It’s a program series of video clips. There were some lightning strikes too although he didn’t get into whether there were more of them. The presenter doing the voiceover was a pom. So, hard to say, what evidence he was relying on. Might be something the IPCC said.

            Reply
            • Ah, well I appreciate the response, but I like to know the details and don’t trust broadcasters when they don’t give enough of them, that’s why I’m generally skeptical when it comes to assertions about climate change, I agree that it changes, but I don’t agree that there’s solid enough evidence, or even a consensus among scientists, to say that we’re definitively the cause, or that we can do much about it, the climate changes all the time anyways with or without us, the Ice Age happen without humans polluting with much of anything, we didn’t have the technology back then.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  October 13, 2018

          Evidence? Monsoon failures, Cape Town drought. Sounds like cherry picking to me. Hard to pick trends when natural variability is high.

          Reply
          • Cherry picking of weather events happens from both sides of the argument. Any one event proves nothing. However, there is growing scientific evidence being presented that more extreme weather events are becoming more common. There are contrary claims as well, but they are at least as likely to be wrong.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 13, 2018

              As I referenced the other day the frequency of US weather events (tornadoes, hurricanes) has fallen rather than increased. Is this enough to say that the climate models are wrong? If not, why not?

            • What period did that cover? If it was about 1950 to now it could be right. Otherwise it’s debatable.

            • And it’s as easy to find alternate claims.

              Are they getting worse?

              Two common measures used to judge whether hurricanes are becoming worse are the number of storms per year and the strength of each storm. Based on the total number of named storms, there has been an increase since the start of the 20th century.

              The number of storms is increasing

              Hurricanes are getting stronger and lasting longer

              The increase in named storms can be attributed to human-induced climate change. As a result, the world’s oceans continue to warm at a fast rate, which means hurricanes are more likely.

              https://www.theguardian.com/weather/ng-interactive/2018/sep/11/atlantic-hurricanes-are-storms-getting-worse

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 13, 2018

              Here are the Florida ones since 1900 by date and intensity:
              http://www.drroyspencer.com/2018/10/florida-major-hurricane-strikes-still-no-trend/

            • chrism56

               /  October 13, 2018

              PG rather than rely on something the Guardian puts out, which has bias, go to the scientists who know like Ryan Maue who has his PhD in the subject. He has put out historical Accumulated Cyclone Energy graphs like this

              or this one on the numbers

              He starts in the early 70s because he uses satellite data. The data before then relied on land and ship observations so there would be a step in the graph if it was pasted on.
              Neither show a trend, so alarmist AGW fail

          • Blazer

             /  October 13, 2018

            Reply
        • MaureenW

           /  October 13, 2018

          The storm that took out the Wahine was a wild weather event. Of course that was only due to bad weather. Funny, because if it happened today, it would be unprecedented evidence of man-made climate change.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 13, 2018

            Well, it might if it was part of a series of increasing numbers of worldwide storms and cyclones that were more numerous and larger than the previous yearly averages. I’m assuming someone is keeping these sorts of stats & can give us an update at some stage. Hearing about the size of these events in economic & even death toll terms is less useful to the argument than strict numbers of them, sizes of them, category size etc – the scientific data.

            The predictions are for more extreme weather – not just more storms, but some years back I read that there’s a natural 25 year cycle of increasing then decreasing frequency and size of hurricanes so that has to be considered as well.

            Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 13, 2018

            What do you mean, “unprecedented”? The point is, there’s precedence galore – storms of unusual size, frequency and ferocity all over the show; droughts too, with wildfires most spectacular and devastating. Unprecedented! Good grief!

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  October 13, 2018

            • Gezza

               /  October 13, 2018

              I don’t know yet if that’s clear robert. I watched a video on Youtube a few nights back that examined the worst and biggest hurricances but it was clear that they are hugely varied in both size and severity, and that the largest in size (i.e. surface area) doesn’t equate to their severity (windspeed, rainfall amounts) and none so far recently have beaten other historical shockers.

          • The Wahine event was extraordinary weather event and unprecedented in recorded history. It was actually two storms hitting head on around Wellington – an ex tropical cyclone (Giselle) that had caused a lot of damage coming down the North Island met a storm from Antarctica that had come up the South Island.

            The chances of a repeat of this happening in our lifetimes is probably very small.

            But this is irrelevant to climate change, which predicts increasing frequency and intensity of single storms – as well as increasing frequency, length and severity of the opposite, heat waves and droughts. This is fairly basic stuff.

            Reply
            • MaureenW

               /  October 13, 2018

              Does it predict increasing calamitous news coverage of weather events as well. Reports from the US about storms that may hit landfall in the next 7 days – I don’t know why we need this reporting other than to feed the climate alarmists.

            • I think it’s quite handy for people potentially in the path of destructive storms to be informed by media. It’s not easy to stop other people from seeing this reporting, but you can choose what news you take any notice of.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 13, 2018

              I think that our news does devote a lot of time to storms which may hit the US. As we don’t live there, we don’t need all that detail. The effects are news, of course.

  3. Fight4NZ

     /  October 13, 2018

    If the USA had spent billions invading countries to secure rainforests over the last 3 decades instead of oil supplies would this still be a problem?

    Reply
  4. Ray

     /  October 13, 2018

    Humans are very adaptable, we have survived ice ages that really cramped down on growth, interestingly there has been far more biological growth during the warm periods in the past.
    Being able to grow semi tropical crops in Southland and grain on the previous tundra will be interesting.
    Though I do note that people are trying to harvest wheat in the snow in Northern America right now, coldest since 1911!

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 13, 2018

      We are a large hairless ape which monopolises resources and massively alters our environment globally in ways no other large animal has done but are just one branch of a species & we even prey upon each other on spectacular scales at regular intervals. It is evident from the fossil record the planet cares not what happens to us and the prospects for our survival here on the historical timescale probably aren’t any greater than those of the dominant life forms before us. The good thing about the planet is that it seems geared to producing life even after cataclysms of the various kinds that have caused mass extinctions so if we crap out something else will probably repopulate the place.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  October 13, 2018

        “It is evident from the fossil record the planet cares not what happens to us”
        How does the fossil record show that the planet “care’s not what happens to us”?
        Is there some sort of petrified “note to humans” in there?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 13, 2018

          Yep. Scores of them. We’re only the homo sapiens sapiens species.

          Reply
        • MaureenW

           /  October 13, 2018

          As George Carlin said “the planet’s just fine, it’s the people that are fucked”.

          He was so right.

          Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  October 13, 2018

      “Humans are very adaptable, we have survived ice ages…”
      Some did. What about those who didn’t. We might be amongst that group “going forward”.

      Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  October 13, 2018

      “Being able to grow semi tropical crops in Southland and grain on the previous tundra will be interesting.”
      The pest insects, fungi and disease organisms that arrive with a warmer climate will also be “interesting”. The methane that escapes en masse from the tundra will be … interesting.

      Reply
  5. Patzcuaro

     /  October 13, 2018

    video/1

    Reply
  6. Gerrit

     /  October 13, 2018

    With world population heading north of 7 billion, a climate induced genocide, to reduce the population numbers to a figure with the capacity able to be on earth at any one time, is timely.

    Until the UN starts to talk about population controls, the climate genocide is all but certain. No amount of climate control will prevent it.

    Nature always wins.

    The surviving 1 billion or so can easily start another civilisation from the remnants of the old and the regrowth nature will provide.

    Reply
    • The UN has no right to impose population control on any Sovereign Nation, least of all the United States of America. The UN is not a solution to this problem, whether you want it to be or not. Globalism is bad for everybody.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 13, 2018

        as if!

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 13, 2018

        Why’ least of all’ the USA?

        The rest of the world has rights, too, odd as that may seem to some Americans.

        Reply
        • Yeah but we’re the only ones that truly seem to give a shit, besides the UK I guess, about protecting our national sovereignty. They tried to do brexit, but Theresa May is screwing that up, and they’re the only country right now that’s even comparable in my opinion

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 13, 2018

            I don’t suppose that you know how arrogant, insular and nationalistic that sounds. It’s the sort of attitude that makes America disliked by many people, that nationalism that is almost a caricature..

            Reply
            • I don’t give a shit if other nations “like” us. They’ll respect us, whether they like us or not. Is that arrogant, or just a statement of fact? I say the latter. If that makes me “arrogant” then so be it. You’re not going to shame me into being an apologist for America.

              We tried that with Obama, who I voted for btw, and while other nations appeared to “like” us more they also respected us a lot less. We would set boundaries, ask for compromise, and the boundaries were disregarded (e.g. famous ‘red line’ in Syria), the notion of compromise being paid lip service while we footed the bill or paid the price or took the risk or the responsibility, while reaping none of the benefits.

              I voted for Trump, in part, because I was sick of all that, and the man I voted for in 2016 has yet to disappoint on that front. Or any other, as far as that goes.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 13, 2018

              What a rude person you are.

              Don’t flatter yourself about people respecting you; bullies aren’t respected. It’s a good thing it you don’t care about people liking you, because I suspect that many dislike you and your boorish President. This is a man who kept the Queen of England ( a woman of 92 and a reigning monarch) waiting in the sun until he deigned to turn up, walked in front of her, almost knocked her over and then flattered himself that the visit had been a great success.

              I don’t know who would delude themselves that his reception in the UK was one of respect. If he hasn’t disappointed you, you must be very easily pleased indeed and not very discerning.

        • Trevors_Elbow

           /  October 13, 2018

          Why does America do what it wants?
          1/
          “Constituting less than 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans generate and earn more than 20 percent of the world’s total income. America is the world’s largest national economy and leading global trader.”

          2/
          “The US Navy maintains 11 carrier strike groups, 9 of which are based in the United States and one that is forward deployed in Japan.”

          3/
          The US of A doesn’t do much in the way of Socialism… its big, its ugly and frankly it needs little from the outside world. And that’s why Socialists, Democratic Socialists and Communists hate the States so much… because the States repudiates their fantasies on a daily basis with its very being and way of life… its available lifestyle opportunities are the envy of the world

          The Climate Change scam is driven by Socialists with a view to destroy Western Market lead societies…

          “”One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

          So what is the goal of environmental policy?

          “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

          For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn’t really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that “the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

          Mad as they are, Edenhofer’s comments are nevertheless consistent with other alarmists who have spilled the movement’s dirty secret. Last year, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a similar statement.”

          Climate has change since the earth formed. It has fluctuated massively over the last 2 million odd years that Humans have been around/evolving through various forms…. We don’t understand all the natural cycles and change drivers…. we may well be adding to the current changes, but to think we are the prime and primary driver is typical human hubris…

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  October 13, 2018

            Nah … Fuck that … redistribute it …

            Climate change is as good an excuse as any!

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  October 13, 2018

              “Fuck that … redistribute it …”

              No one is stopping you, you are free to redistribute all your wealth anytime you wish. Yet, strangely, you have not.

            • MaureenW

               /  October 13, 2018

              @Pink David
              Good ideas for other people only – a true socialist

            • PartisanZ

               /  October 13, 2018

              I dunno …

              Speaking as a citizen of the world at large, the inverse also applies to you …

              If you are ‘free’ to make grossly disproportionate income and accumulate obscene wealth at my expense – as a resource-owner, worker, consumer or even taxpayer – then certainly I must be free to redistribute part of that income and wealth …

            • Trevors_Elbow

               /  October 13, 2018

              hahaha Partizan…. you, as expected, fully understand the game that is Socialism: appropriation of wealth to given to slackers and moaners…. all dressed up in Feelz….

          • Fight4NZ

             /  October 14, 2018

            The USAs only enduring achievement will be that of being the shortest lived world power. It is in many ways like the ACT party. Driven by an ideology with little real world validity clung to by leaders that garner disrespect like trees absorb co2.
            Little surprise that the successor apparent is a one-party state with a centralised economy.
            Also the state that has planted 400million hectares in forest I have just learnt, acknowledgement to Alan.

            Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 13, 2018

      @Gerrit, I don’t believe any of that nor do I think there is any evidence to support it.

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  October 13, 2018

        Support what? I put the reference to the UN more to get a bite.

        Nature will put population controls in without the UN.

        The elephant in the room will be insurance or the high cost of reinsurance after more and more frequent destructive events. There simply wont be enough capital to carry out rebuild after rebuild ad finitum .

        Once people can no longer afford (or even be offered ) property insurance what will society do?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  October 13, 2018

          All of your statements in that original comment seem to me unfounded, starting with your assumption that the planet cannot support 7 billion people. The contrary evidence appears to be it not only can, it is and in better shape than ever in history.

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  October 13, 2018

            And anyway, population capacity is more about the quantity of life – since we’re making SFA effort to imbue it with equality and equity – while climate change is more about life’s quality … since we’re making SFA effort to imbue it with equity and equality …

            Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  October 13, 2018

      “The surviving billion” will no doubt need to be a chosen ‘master race’ …?

      Reply
    • Fight4NZ

       /  October 14, 2018

      Exactly, stripping it all back, the fundamental issue is population.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  October 14, 2018

        And there’s the rub Fight4NZ … Is population the fundamental issue?

        Or is it whether we can AFFORD the population, in which case it’s really classical economics?

        Because there’s other kinds of economics … ie Eco-nomics, New Economics, Human Economics, Natural Ethics … whereby we can afford whatever we want to …

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 13, 2018

      Extreme weather events are business as usual for Australia. When you look up from your boat and see driftwood flotsam high in the gum trees up on the river banks you know you don’t want to be around when it happens.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  October 13, 2018

      Does one persons experience of hail mean trillions of dollar should be spent attempting to change the weather and leave the entire world poorer for it?

      Reply
  7. Geoffrey

     /  October 13, 2018

    There is very convincing evidence that for the past two decades the global temperatures have cooled. And, there is no conclusive evidence that human activity (except the detonation of thermo nuclear devices) is able to effect any change. Natural global cycled seem to be a much more reliable cause for concern. Thus we would all be a great deal better off learning how to deal with any climate change without shooting ourselves in the foot

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 13, 2018

      Don’t agree it’s cooling or humans have no effect but certainly we should take economically sensible rather than destructive action.

      Reply
  8. robertguyton

     /  October 13, 2018

    It’s like standing in a cage with a flock of cockatoos that have just eaten hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    Reply
  9. David

     /  October 13, 2018

    I just dont care, been warned for 20 years the end is nigh and yet here we are.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  October 13, 2018

      Been warned for 20 years the end is nigh and yet here we are…even closer to the end than before, but I don’t care !!! No one’s going to warn me of trouble!!

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  October 13, 2018

        In those 20 years, the majority of the worlds energy generation could have been moved over to nuclear , with much of the remainder moved to gas from fracking.

        This would have resulted in a very large reduction in CO2 emissions, rather than the steady increase that has carried on for those twenty years.

        Why did this not happen Robert?

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  October 13, 2018

          Because fortunately, we get somethings right, sometimes.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  October 13, 2018

            The only possible conclusion from that statement is that climate change is in now way as serious as you make out.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  October 13, 2018

              Indeed, Pink, climate change is “now way as serious as you make out.”

  10. MaureenW

     /  October 13, 2018

    There’s been more damage in New Zealand caused to life and property by earthquakes, than bad weather yet we don’t deal with this in any significant way with the exception of insurance companies seeking to minimise their own risk.

    What good does hand-wringing over bad weather achieve? The end game is to tax you more or is there some other fine weather utopia I’m missing?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  October 13, 2018

      fret not Maureen we are on our way to a brighter future.

      Reply
    • “There’s been more damage in New Zealand caused to life and property by earthquakes, than bad weather”

      As far as damage goes that’s debatable.

      “we don’t deal with this in any significant way”

      Property owners are having to spend a lot to upgrade buildings to withstand earthquakes. Much more so than flood, wind, drought or snow mitigation.

      Reply
  11. PartisanZ

     /  October 13, 2018

    Cartoon …

    A person standing thigh deep in water next to a partially submerged road sign …

    “I’m waiting for the decisive evidence to come in”

    Reply
  12. The Consultant

     /  October 13, 2018

    I’m still chuckling about the fuel price business and Adern’s and the Left’s psychosis caused by two mutally exclusive problems.

    First, as fanatical believers that AGW will destroy human civilisation they have to crush fossil fuel burning down to zero. One key component of that is to make fossil fuels ever more expensive. One could also consider a Police State that just enforces bans but the Greens are not ready for that – yet.

    Second, as idealists who supposedly want people to become less poor and be less hurt economically, they’re forced to confront the fact that massive, ever-increasing fossil fuel prices will hurt the less economically well-off, in fact it will hurt everybody who is not “rich” (say…. top 10% income earners?). If they subsidise all these people then they’ll just keep burning fossil fuels, which defeats the purpose – although there is that Police State thing again where you could use to force those people to spend the subsidies on non-fossil fuel burning energy sources.

    It was why Adern’s comparison of this to the 1980’s nuclear issue was so funny to me. That issue cost us nothing, aside from a few angry Defence and Security chappies. Whereas this will, necessarily, cost everybody – and certainly cost us a lot. Since that won’t work politically (see above), it’s vital that some groups (“the big polluders” – HT, Julia Gillard) be singled out to carry the can, and since farming is the only group that’s even slightly viable to talk about in the context of AGW, in our largely non-industrial country, they’ll be the ultimate targets.

    Reply
  13. alloytoo

     /  October 13, 2018

    It climate alarmists want us to consider their predictions, it behooves them to be right once in a while, you know like real scientists.

    Reply
  14. chrism56

     /  October 13, 2018

    One of the few new pieces of “research” the IPCC cited for their latest report was Baker et al. The paper is fundamentally flawed but the reviewers never picked it up, probably because it gave the “right” answer. What the paper did was cherry pick from other research the stuff that they wanted, without answering or explaining the flaws. It is explained here:
    https://www.cato.org/blog/significant-goof-nature-climate-change
    It is stuff like this that makes climate science almost as credible as astrology.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  October 13, 2018

      Astrology?? Gezza did a three year course on the subject.

      The IPCC, a few years back asked many contributing organisation to resubmit their findings because they were substandard. That’s not good coming from a substandard organisation to start with.

      Reply
  15. PartisanZ

     /  October 13, 2018

    Believing that the vast majority of scientists numbering tens or hundreds of thousands are part of some kinda global conspiracy – motivated by nothing more than an earn – (or more sinisterly a desire for world government and population control) – is akin to believing that corporations DO NOT have a disproportionately significant say in government policy …

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 13, 2018

      Most scientists have no more expertise re climate forecasts than you have, PZ. The honest ones admit it, the politicised minority don’t. The corrupted pursue climate alarm funding and genuflect to the necessary “may”, “could” or “concerning” conclusions.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  October 13, 2018

        But we appear to be talking about a significant majority being either “politicized” or corrupt … like I said, tens or hundreds of thousands of ‘scientists’ …

        It’s like the 911 conspiracy about all the passengers – constituting hundreds of people plus their ‘guards’ – being taken off the planes which were then replaced with flying-bomb-drones …

        Where are the whistle blowers?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  October 14, 2018

          No, there are not tens of thousands. Many have been signed up to anodyne statements that human activities are likely affecting climate by their professional associations but most sceptics could also agree with those.

          Reply
  16. The Consultant

     /  October 13, 2018

    More Deep Green chuckles.

    “When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it. This [rationing] has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not.”

    Mayer Hillman, author of How We Can Save the Planet, senior emeritus, British Policy Studies Institute.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  October 13, 2018

      Why do you characterise the statements of the senior emeritus, British Policy Studies Institute, as “Deep Green”?

      Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  October 13, 2018

      Rule by corporate-political elites is imposed on us now … What’s the problem?

      And all so-called ‘democracy’ is tempered, qualified and/or limited in some way …

      I vote for representatives who don’t really represent me … Politicians connection with the people is partial at best, tenuous or non-existent at worst … (sometimes seemingly despite the fact the politician is a person too!) …

      Majorities aren’t majorities of the population, let alone the voting population, they’re majorities of those who bother to vote … 29.8% in a recent Community Board by-election near where I live … 79% in the last general election …

      And maybe “protection of the planet from the death of life” is a worthier goal – and excuse for curtailing human rights – than either of wars on terrorism or drugs, or the ongoing iniquity, inequality, poverty, human degradation & depravity, destruction, pollution and environmental devastation attained from “keeping global ‘free’ markets open at any cost”?

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  October 13, 2018

        Pity I did not see your comment earlier. In this response you were honest, which makes your later response to my other question, irrelevant. Thanks. I suspected this was the answer, but it’s good to see it written down.

        Reply
  17. The Consultant

     /  October 13, 2018

    If we’re killing not just ourselves, but the entire planet, I wonder what actions would not be rationalised?

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  October 13, 2018

      And vice-versa inverted … If we’re killing ourselves on our present trajectory, I wonder what actions have not been rationalized and will not ultimately be justified?

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  October 13, 2018

        Simple deflection. The implication of your query is that our current actions have not been rationalised and will not ultimately be justified, which means that you and the other Thermogeddonists can point and shout “shame”.

        Which still leaves the question: by contrast any actions you propose to save the planet will be both able to be rationalised and justified?

        Why not just give an honest response?

        Reply
  18. robertguyton

     /  October 14, 2018

    “This summer saw temperatures in Ireland rise dramatically. The sun poured down from clear blue skies every day. There was no rain for a month (unprecedented in Ireland). Cattle drank the wells dry and the heat burnt the grass for their winter feed, the effects compounded by the lack of tree cover. The land was pushed to its limit, turning from green to brown.”

    Reply
  19. The Consultant

     /  October 14, 2018

    “Confidence is low for a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century, due to lack of direct observations, methodological uncertainties and geographical inconsistencies in the trends. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, this masks important regional changes: the frequency and intensity of drought has likely increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and likely decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950.”

    – IPCC WGI Fifth Assessment Report, Final Draft (7 June 2013) Chapter 2, section 2.6.2.3 Droughts

    But hey – maybe things have changed dramatically on the drought front since AR5. That’s the out I’ll bet.

    Reply

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