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A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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How well have the media and PR groups informed us about climate ?

Given the multimillion dollar budgets and advertising campaigns about climate change, it would be safe to assume there was a high public awareness of the most basic facts about CO2 right?  But reader Gregg has taken the initiative and gone out and done a survey of 100 people and asked them a few basics and he’s made a valuable point in a prototype survey. The results tell us something about the aim of public education campaigns.

Governments and UN Agencies have enough resources to tell us that climate change will cause droughts, floods, storms, starvation, shrinking glaciers, extinctions, sea level rise, more aids victims, more wars, water shortages, rapes, terrorism, malaria, rabid bats, and biblical plagues of jellyfish (thanks to the Hooterville Gazette for the links to all those). But despite the acres of news space devoted to all these, Gregg’s quick survey suggests not many of our public servants or journalists have done much work to give the public the basic facts or to put things into perspective.

It seems that the average Australian is under the impression that there is 1000 times more CO2 in the atmosphere than there is, and that when it comes to sources of global emissions, people assume we put out about half of all the CO2, when really it’s only 3%.

In a perfect world, a good government would make sure it’s people had all the useful facts, so they could decide where they wanted to put their resources.

In the real world, the government has already decided for them, and it’s aim apparently is to filter the PR so that the public can reach the “right” preconceived conclusion. (An approach also known as “propaganda”.) Hence I can’t see the Climate Committee rushing to tell all Australians they only emit 1.5% of 3% of global CO2.

Question 1. What percentage of the atmosphere do you think is CO2?

Responses: Nearly all people thought it was “20% – 40%”, the highest said 75%, and the lowest estimated 2% – 10%.

Answer: 0.039% or  about one thousand times less than what the average punter thought.

Question 2. Have you ever seen the percentage given in any media?

Responses: All said ’No’ or they ‘couldn’t remember’.

Question 3. What percentage of the CO2 is man-made?

Responses: Most estimated it to be 25% to 75%, and answers ranged up to 100%. Only four people thought it was 2 to 10%.

Answer: Human emissions are about 3% of the total.

Question 4. What percentage of the man-made CO2 does Australia produce?

Responses: Ranged from 1% to 20%.

Answer: Australians emit 1.5% of the CO2 emitted by humans. So Australians, over the years, emitted at most about 1.5% of the 110 ppm increase in CO2 since pre-industrial times (that increase is is probably due to ocean warming, due to whatever has been heating the world since 1680), or 0.0000017% of the air (1.7 ppm).

Question 5. Is CO2 is a pollutant?

Responses: All but one thought it is a pollutant, at least to some degree.

Answer: If CO2 is a pollutant, it’s the only pollutant we pay money to pump into rose-gardens and tomato farms. It’s a fertilizer at current levels (and at levels up to five times higher). The only possible detrimental harmful effect is postulated by models which don’t get the regional, global, historical or future predictions correct.

Question 6. Have you ever seen any evidence that CO2 causes a greenhouse effect?

Responses: Almost all did not know of any evidence. Some said they thought the melting of the Arctic and glaciers was possibly proof.

Answer: Nearly all the claims of evidence amount to “effects” of global warming, and not the cause. (See the missing hot spot.)

The PDF Version of the questionaire.

We all know that the percentage of CO2 in the air doesn’t tell us whether CO2 controls the climate, but the point of this is that if the media and government were honest players, they wouldn’t be censoring the messages to the public.

The people might pay for the Dept of Climate Change, but the Department apparently serves the government, not the people, and the official line always refers to the megatons of CO2 that Australians contribute, and never ever to the percentage of the total, or some understandable quotient. Knowing that Australians only produce 1.5% of the global man-made contribution is arguably kind of relevant, especially given how little of the other 98.5% is being taxed.

Gregg suggests trying this out on your friends and family. He would be interested in results, and if anyone wants to use the survey, they can leave a comment, so we can provide them with more information. He commented that people he spoke to were usually quite interested in, and often very surprised at the answers, and he frequently got into long engaging conversations. He encourages anyone to try it on their friends and family. Me, I think, why stop there, you could meet all kinds of interesting people at the local shopping mall too. :-)

What questions would you ask?

What other factors are missing from our National dialogue?

I’d like to see a proper formal survey done, and if I was in charge of the poll I would add these questions:

7. Have you heard the term “ClimateGate” (my guess is that 98% of people would say “No”)

8. If so, can you tell us anything about it?

PS:  Do anyone you know happen to run a large national polling association?  ;-)

PPS:  I know that some commenters may pop up here or elsewhere with scornful comments about how skeptics are still going on about how little CO2 is in the atmosphere, and how they “don’t get” that most CO2 emissions are balanced. So for them, note, nowhere in this post do I argue that the actual ppm proves anything about the science. The point of the survey is about human perceptions and PR campaigns. If all Australians are going to have to pay the carbon dioxide tax, then all Australians ought to know we produce 1.5% of all man-made CO2, which means we are responsible for 0.045% of total CO2 emissions by every man, woman, child, fern, cow and amoeba.

Thanks to Gregg for sharing his project. Kudos to him for taking the initiative and getting out there and doing it.

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122 comments to How well have the media and PR groups informed us about climate ?

  • #
    PJB

    Our ignorance is their bliss.

    The public has been indoctrinated to accept that we are evil ravagers of the planet with no regard for our own safety and that wiser heads need to prevail and that we should support them unquestioningly.

    Get the information out. People are not stupid but they can be duped by those they trust or at least entrust with their own welfare. Betrayal of the worst kind.


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    pattoh

    Sadly we are living in an “Indian Summer” of self-delusion. It seems many of our politicians & media players are very happy to operate with a pliable society, living in a trusting warm fuzzy cloud of ignorance. That is where the money & votes (power) are!

    Scepticism is a vital component of an inquiring mind. Learning & discovery is both fortuitous & iterative. The growth in knowledge & understanding is built ON OUR PERCEPTION OF FACTS.

    Unfortunately with the AGW debate, only one side gets the podium & only one side presents the “facts”.

    The politicians & media players will I guess one day the truth of the oft-quoted biblical adage: you reap what you sow.

    GO JULIA! Just go


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    Peter Walsh

    Here in Ireland we have just had an election as you may have heard.

    I decided to have a few questions ready to ask anyone who knocked on my door canvassing for a political party. The first person who knocked just happened to be a candidate for the election (from an opposition party, Fine Gael)

    Question: Do you know anything about Global Warming. Answer not a lot
    Question: How did you find out what you know? Were you told or did you find out for yourself?
    Answer: I was told.
    In other words, he was only told the AGW line of things. I will follow up with him now that he has been elected. It is the least that I can do for the “cause. Good luck with your revolting PM in Australia. Her contrived Aussie accent/voice grates on me.


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    David

    The UK government revels in the same level of ignorance/propoganda as you guys.
    Apart from those stalwarts, Booker and Delingpole, there seem to be precious few journos who don’t toe the party line – which I find astonishing, viewed against the traditional cynicism of the Fourth Estate..!
    We still have a mountain to climb, it seems (oh, and I do have to agree with Peter Walsh about your PM’s elaborate Aussie twang – don’t you guys find it embarrassing..?)..


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    Greg

    I would also like to include questions about the water vapour positive feedback issue, although I would be pretty sure we would find no-one really does know much about it. How about asking how much the IPCC says the temp would rise if we doubled CO2 from today’s levels but there was no amplification effect from water vapour? And for anyone who was aware, ask about what evidence they know of for the amplification effect. Maybe even just ask ask if they know what the IPCC is.


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    pattoh

    “(oh, and I do have to agree with Peter Walsh about your PM’s elaborate Aussie twang – don’t you guys find it embarrassing..?)..”

    embarrassing, condescending & patronising but you get over it quickly & get back to watching “Home & Away”


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    Ivan

    @David #04
    “– don’t you guys find it embarrassing..”
    Nauseating is the word you’re looking for.


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    1DandyTroll

    Here’s a question to the AGW proponents of Australia: If the world needs saving would you agree to house all the people of the world in your country for the next hundred years to save the planet from a might be two degree centigrade increase of global average temperatures during the same time frame?


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    Adolf Balik

    Well, it is going to bring about distrust of the elites not only of the damned AGW agenda. Then the Western elites may face similar situation like the Arab ones. If it happened the current crisis would make its historical remedy job, which is expected of good crises, well.


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    bill allen

    People should be asked what they know about the green house effect and what is the main greenhouse gass and what % of the greenhouse effect is due to CO2.

    If they do not mention water vapor, then they should be asked if water vapor is a greenhouse gas and follow up by asking what % of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor.


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    Andromeda

    While the majority of people couldn’t care less what goes on in the world democracy is always going to be usurped.


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    pat

    sadly, the public know almost nothing about AGW or CO2. and they will not know more if it is up to the Coalition:

    2 March: SMH: Phillip Coorey: MPs to ignore climate belief and attack on tax
    TONY ABBOTT has ordered his troops to focus on the government during what will be a protracted climate change debate and to shelve their personal views so they do not become distracted by an internal fight over whether global warming is real…
    Mr Abbott told the party room that regardless of personal points of view, the Coalition accepted that humans contributed to climate change and MPs and senators must focus on Ms Gillard for breaking her promise not to introduce a carbon tax…
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/mps-to-ignore-climate-belief-and-attack-on-tax-20110301-1bd7q.html

    3 March WA Today: Phillip Coorey: Turnbull still has hopes of leading the Liberals
    MALCOLM TURNBULL says he still supports putting a price on carbon, has cast doubt on the Coalition’s policy and has not given up on the prospect of one day leading the Liberal Party…
    Last night, Mr Turnbull repeated his support for a price on carbon on the ABC’s Q&A program, and warned that the Coalition’s policy, in which taxpayers’ money would be used to reduce pollution, had the potential to waste money unless properly audited. He said that was why the Liberals traditionally supported a market mechanism…
    http://www.watoday.com.au/national/turnbull-still-has-hopes-of-leading-the-liberals-20110228-1bbsk.html?from=brisbanetimes_ft

    2 March: Ninemsn: Abbott climate plan to cost $30bn: Combet
    The federal government has released figures it says show the opposition’s direct action plan to tackle climate change would cost nearly 200 per cent, or $19.5 billion, more than originally claimed.
    Australian households would be poorer by an average of $720 a year under the coalition’s direct action plan, federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says…
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8218405/

    good poll question???

    2 March: Adelaide Advertiser: Mark Kenny: A carbon-fuelled credibility crisis
    Poll: Do you believe in climate change?
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/a-carbon-fuelled-credibility-crisis/story-e6frea6u-1226014422034

    1 March: Huffington Post: Rupert Murdoch: News Corp Is Carbon Neutral
    The corporate parent of Fox News, the cable network most closely associated with denying the dangers of climate change, has achieved its goal of becoming carbon neutral three years after making the commitment, its top executive, Rupert Murdoch, announced in a letter to News Corp employees obtained by The Huffington Post…
    Murdoch also noted that some of his media properties have been recognized for their committed coverage to the threat facing the planet — though Fox News did not make that list…
    “Our support of clean energy – through on-site projects, renewable energy certificates, and carbon credits – spans the globe, from Los Angeles to India. Our UK businesses now procure 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. Dow Jones is close to completing a 4.1MW solar power system on its campus in New Jersey, which will be the largest solar installation of its kind in the United States; at peak, it will provide 50% of the site’s electricity needs.
    We have provided leadership in our industry, across our supply chain, and among the global business community. Fox Entertainment developed robust carbon footprinting standards and tools for film, television, sports, and event production, as well as a sustainable vendor guide. The standards we set helped lead to a new industry-wide consortium and the online, open-source Green Production Guide.”…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/rupert-murdoch-news-corp-carbon-neutral_n_829640.html?ir=Green

    1 March: Sky News: No carbon tax will hurt business
    Julia Gillard says Tony Abbott’s vow to axe a proposed carbon tax would damage Australia’s investment reputation in international markets.
    The prime minister said rolling back a price on carbon would deal a ‘damaging blow’ to the economy in the long term.
    ‘That message to international markets would be Australia is not a safe and secure place to invest,’ she told ABC Radio on Tuesday…
    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=583353

    Gregg’s survey is a great idea, but to start i have surveyed the MSM.


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    Bulldust

    Based on the empty rhetoric and gross assumptions posted by AGW supporters at the ABC I find the results of this survey to be believable. As a former educator (lecturer) I find the lack of knowledge quite disturbing, but not surprising. It is probably the single biggest driver for me to keep on blogging. I hope that an even tone (a lot of the time) and presentation of facts and common sense will sway a few more people towards a path of thinking for themselves rather than ranting aimlessly in the dark. Such is the folly of the hopeful educator…


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    Bulldust

    PS> I like question 7 >.> … I spelt it ClimateGate first time around, but I see it has morphed a number of times across the media. Mixed capitals and lowercase, a sure sign of a tragic gamer :)

    [Fixed :-) ClimateGate -- coming from the man who coined the term... you get a mention in Dellers up and coming book, Watermelons, BTW. - JN]


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    pat

    a final one to show Murdoch’s media is hell bent on misinformation. “climate change”, “carbon”, never a menton of GW, AGW, CAGW or CO2 and the suggestion China and India are on board :

    2 March: Australian: Rowan Callick: Nations split on route to reduce carbon emissions
    GLOBAL consensus is emerging around the goal of a less carbon-dependent world, but there is much less agreement about the route this requires…
    China is expected to declare in its new five-year plan, due out in a few days, that cleaner energy and environmental services are “priority industries”, and commit up to $500 billion to combating pollution over the next five years…
    India is to introduce next month a mandatory national energy efficiency trading scheme covering more than 700 companies in nine sectors responsible for 65 per cent of industrial energy consumption. The firms will be allocated energy intensity targets, based on previous performance, and rewarded with credits or penalised…
    The core supporter of both ETS and carbon tax routes for combating climate change, the European Union, has only recently reopened some of its carbon market after a month-long closure…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/nations-split-on-route-to-reduce-carbon-emissions/story-fn59niix-1226014388420


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    Llew Jones

    Don’t know about an Aussie twang many if not most Aussies find her voice revolting and patronising as she sounds her words out like a primary school M’am. When she wants to do a bit of working class as at an AFL (footy) do, “want to” becomes “wanna” etc. At our generally apolitical (writer excluded) house, where she is referred to as not that FAB again, the TV or radio is immediately switched to another channel/station when her voice is heard. She’s a blot on the noble Welsh clan.


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  • #
    Percival Snodgrass

    Climate Modelling Nonsense – CARBON DIOXIDE VAPOUR TRICK

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2009/10/climate-modelling-nonsense


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    incoherent rambler

    David @4.

    Embarrassing? No, it just makes me hang my head.


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    The Loaded Dog

    David @ 4

    I can’t stand listening to her.

    Besides, she’s a proven liar, so why listen?


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    Farmer Roger

    We should all take heart and the example of my personal hero Fred Singer who for years fought against the leftist tyranny of tobacco control and sulphur dioxide controls (as a farmer I know how valuable sulphur is, I put tonnes of the stuff on my soil every year to grow my crops and pasture. Like carbon it’s not a pollutant, it’s fertiliser). Now Fred has taken the fight to the Global Warmistas and we should stiffen our resolve and dig in for the long fight as he has done for 40 years. Make no mistake this will not be easy but is nothing less than a fight for our personal freedom and the right to drive our 4WD’s where ever we like and shoot as many kangaroos as we need to. If we need to knock down a few trees to put up a centre pivot irrigator there should be no control over that. After all we are just feeding the world here, or trying to with one hand tied behind our backs. Go Tony!!


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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    I think you will find that most government employees also labour under the same beliefs – hence why it is the problem that it is. Add the current state of education to the problem and it’s little wonder any one of the public grasps what the fuss is all about.


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    charlesd

    The biggest problem for the warmists is not the sceptical counterarguments, but the inertia of the public. While the average Joe will probably still say that “something” should be done about climate change, he will object if that something costs him anything. It is the cost, not scientific scepticism, that has people up in arms about the new ‘carbon’ tax.

    That being said, the sceptics still have a role. Most people are aware that there are sceptics out there, even if they don’t study the debate. If there were no sceptics, all parties would be united and riding roughshod over any public resistance to the cost.


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  • #
    LINDA

    Has anyone done a survey on how many ex ministers, local government officials have vested interests from the propoganda and quasi laws they put in place while in office years ago, to now being engaged or involved with recieving carbon offsets or funds from renewables.
    Agood start would be Ministers who introduced ENVIRONMENT BILLS, and funding from global companies that have long been in volantary schemes, that seeks to shift the blame and manipulate the truth and lay the burden at the feet of Australian taxpayers.
    Also Senator Bernardi, has been a stong voice about climate change, and they want him to resign,is it because he is a denier also.
    Great work JO and TEAM .


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    Ross

    Well done Greg.
    It is often “small” initiatives like this that help sort the ” wheat from the chaff”. An favorite lecturer of mine used to refer to bucket chemistry — before you get into designing some fancy experiment you go into the lab or pilot plant and have a quick play to get a broad idea of what you can expect and it often gave you a perspective you did not expect. Hence the full experiment was much better.
    In a way Gregg, you have done this with great results. Can I suggest that what ever you do to expand it (ie. just more people or an expanded question list or both ) that your goal should be to keep it simple and then , perhaps with Jo’s help if you are WA , or someone else with a public profile,try to arrange a meeting with Tony Abbott ( maybe via
    a local Coalition MP ) and present your findings. Maybe this will enlighten him abit more about what the average Aussie thinks — not the MSM and Canberra elite’s view.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    Here’s a refreshing breeze… a weather story about the WA storms of the last few days and weeks which talks only of La Nina:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/8935391/strong-la-nina-unleashes-rare-summer-fury/

    Not a single mention of climate change. Isn’t that refreshing?


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    brc

    pat : Tony Abbott is exactly correct in his call. Now is not the time to try for a political party to try and convince the public on the science. Yes the science is bad, but perceptions change slowly – too slow to stop economic damage being done in its name. The science will fail of it’s own accord over time, just like Eugenics, just like eveyr other incorrect scientific theory. What is important is making sure that no more legislation is enacted before the science fails. A bunch of liberal and national MPs trying to talk science is a disaster waiting to happen. One mess-up and the media will have a field day. Besides, half the Liberal MPs are still convinced on the science. The tax is bad even if you believe in the science, the tax is the current threat to the nation, so the focus has to be on the tax. The line should rightly be : even if you believe in doing something, this is not the thing to do.

    Personally I think a few of these questions might be asked of politicians via snail mail. You never know what answers might come back. At any rate someone will have to look up the answers and get a shock when they find out.


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    A C of Adelaide

    Off topic but I just emailed this comment (or similar) to Carmody’s excellent piece in the Australian this morning

    The whole Carbon Tax business appears to rely in the supposition that if Australia acts unilaterally on CO2 emissions, the rest of the world will be shamed into following. Why not apply the same principle at the individual level? Why not make the Carbon Tax voluntary – and let those who are worried about CO2 emissions act unilaterally? Those that Gillard, Combet, and Flanery can convince would also sign up. Those that worry about business certainty would sign up. And the rest of us would be so shamed, we would join up too. Doesn’t sound too credible does it, which is why the Carbon Tax must be mandatory. But if the unilateral action doesn’t work at a personal level, why on earth would anyone expect it to work at an international level?


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    Farmer Roger

    It’s time we brought (in Jo’s words) that “gem of a man” our Good Lord Christopher back down to Aus and sort these lefties out. Speaking of pinkos did you see where Rachel Pinker had the temerity to testify to Congress against Chris’ interpretation of her work?? As if she would know anything about that! She’s clearly not qualified like our Lord to examine the science of these things. They will stop at nothing including trying to hide the proper interpretation of their own work! Amazing! See you in the trenchs guys, remember, fix bayonets! We are doing Gods work here!


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    pat

    (i have slighly changed Gregg’s questions and added a couple of words to a comment by Jo, but thought the following would make for a mass emailing to friends, media, politicians, etc. we could make it go viral)

    have you noticed the media and the politicians are not even mentioning MANMADE GLOBAL WARMING as the furore over the CARBON DIOXIDE tax (which they simply call “carbon”) rages?

    Feb 28: Quadrant: Shhsshh … don’t talk about the science
    by Bob Carter, geologist, environmental scientist and Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs
    Yet as I write, and after almost 4 days of saturation press coverage, not a single mainstream media commentator appears to have discussed the real issue at hand.
    That issue is, of course, supposedly dangerous global warming caused by human carbon dioxide emissions. And note the two adjectives “supposedly” and “dangerous”, for both are critically important to the debate that we are failing to have.
    Instead of analysing the global warming issue – about which, more below – press commentary continues to endlessly recycle tired, stale, sanctimonious and entirely misleading clichés about carbon pollution, climate change and energy efficiency…
    So what about the famous global warming which occurred in the late 20th century, whatever happened to that? Well, not only did the gentle warming terminate in 1998, but in accord with natural climate cycling that warming has been followed by a gentle cooling since about 2001. That’s ten years of no temperature increase, let alone dangerous increase, over the same time period that atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by about 5%…
    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/02/gillard-ignores-the-science

    here’s a quiz which might help you to understand what it’s all about, because the media cannot be trusted to inform you:

    Question 1: What percentage of the atmosphere do you think is CO2?

    Question 2: What percentage of the CO2 is man-made?

    Question 3: What percentage of the man-made CO2 does Australia produce?

    Question 4: Is CO2 is a pollutant?

    Answers:
    Question 1: 0.039%.
    Question 2: Human emissions are about 3% of the total.
    Question 3: Australians emit 1.5% of the CO2 emitted by humans.
    Question 4: If CO2 is a pollutant, it’s the only pollutant for which we pay money to pump into rose-gardens and tomato farms. It’s a fertilizer at current levels (and at levels up to five times higher). The only possible detrimental harmful effect is postulated by COMPUTER MODELS which don’t get the regional, global, historical or future predictions correct.

    If all Australians are going to have to pay the carbon dioxide tax, then all Australians ought to know we produce 1.5% of all man-made CO2, which means we are responsible for 0.045% of total CO2 emissions by every man, woman, child, fern, cow and amoeba.

    if possible, use the above information when you phone in to talk radio, or discuss the CARBON DIOXIDE tax with friends.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, VISIT:

    http://joannenova.com.au/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/ (Voted Best Science Blog in the 2011 Bloggies Awards)

    http://climatedepot.com/


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    pat

    more evidence of lack of transparency by public officials. read the comments as well:

    2 March: Gold Coast Bulletin: Matthew Killoran: Allconnex faces grilling at council meeting
    Mr Wood will be hit up about Allconnex’s refusal to offer discounts to community groups, its heavy-at-the-top management structure and $4 million office revamp and relocation to new headquarters at Robina.
    There has been unprecedented public anger at water price hikes since the company took control of water from the Gold Coast, Logan and Redland councils…
    Corporate Governance Committee boss Cr Jan Grew said there may be items in the report that must remain confidential. “I would need advice on that,” Cr Grew said.
    “This is not a sit-down with Kim Wood. This is a confidential agenda item with their quarterly report.
    “The difficulty is he’s there to present the report, not there to answer questions in relation to pricing.”…
    Mr Wood declined to speak with the Bulletin yesterday.
    http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/03/02/296211_gold-coast-news.html


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    Bulldust

    Some cross post action because I am having fun at the ABC … still on the old blog at:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/44542.html

    g said:

    “bulldust,
    I’ll firstly point out that your assumption was wrong about the abc moderators. I trust that you are appropriately humbled.

    secondly,.. you comment doesn’t actually appear to have much substance, you make a condescending statement, as if it has any meaning or relevance, then you move on to the strange assertion that allowing you, as an australian to amongst the highest of contributors to CO2 in the WORLD (yes, bulldust, I’m talking about you, not australia, you) is somehow financially beneficial in the long term.
    Of course, you’re not talking about the LONG term, you’re talking about your own personal wallet.

    If you want to shout at people for not understanding the science, then make sure YOU understand it in the first case. The science, as you no doubt know, it entirely robust. Given this, then of course it makes no sense that you try to claim that somone else’s comments “ring hollow” – of course, this assumes that you are actually aware of the current state of the science…
    you are, aren’t you? have you read ANY scientific peer-reviewed literature? you can get some at your local newsagent, cheap, quick, easy. No excuses.”

    I responded:

    “I have been “moderated” many times by the ABC despite writing well within the guidelines for blog posting. At the same time I have seen far more aggressive posts on the AGW side slide through to be published. It is because of that fact that I cross post sometimes to keep the mod squad honest.

    I am seriously considering an FOI on the matter because of the patent bias that has been on display. Were it a private corporation I wouldn’t give a hoot… their call… but this is everyone’s tax dollars at work and they have a mandate to be unbiased. It really is that simple.

    I can also link you to an example of the ABC’s permissiveness when it comes to defamatory comments posted by pro-AGW respondents and the ABC’s lack of action on the issue. If I seem a tad intense it is because I am tired of the “politically-correct” bias being shown by the ABC.

    G: You are another person who needs to do some real research. On what basis is Australia, and I quote you through the magic of copy and paste:

    “amongst the highest of contributors to CO2 in the WORLD”?

    Try some basic fact-checking… it is good for the brain:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

    Where are we? Oh down there at number 16, behind our neighbour Indonesia, at 1.28% of global CO2 emissions…. Compared to China at 22.3% and the USA at 19.91% that’s not what I would call punching above our weight. I usually quote Australia as about 1.5% of global GHG emissions… so I am being generous (to your side).

    You assert I know little of the science … care to debate? Shall we start on feedbacks, the hotspot, climate modelling (a favourite of mine as a modeller by training)… or something else? I am curious how you managed to ascertain my expertise, or alledged lack of it, through the opacity of anonymous blogging…”


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    John Brookes

    Is it surprising that the media don’t communicate the basic information?

    Well, no. There are a couple of reasons I can think of for this.

    Firstly, if the average person found out that 20% of the atmosphere was zirconium, they would just shrug their shoulders and look at you waiting for you to say more. The average person is smarter than the average skeptic, in that they know what they don’t know, and are prepared to live with it and leave the decision making to those who do know. They want to hear what the scientists say, not try and reproduce the science themselves.

    Secondly, the media likes controversy. If they keep explaining the basic facts, things become less controversial. For example, in the AFL in Australia, a football player can test positive to recreational drugs in the off season twice before they are in serious trouble. In the media debate about this the “recreational” and “in the off season” bits didn’t get repeated much. The average punter who walked into the debate late would end up thinking that you could get caught taking methamphetamine at half-time, and it wouldn’t be a problem.

    Of course its not just climate science that people don’t understand. Just ask the average person (or even the average person with a degree outside of science/engineering) why its hot in summer and cold in winter, and see what they say.


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    incoherent rambler

    John, I suspect that you are not correct.

    The atmosphere is 0.038% CO2.
    Human contribution to the CO2 is ~3%.

    Given these two facts, methinks that most people with a high school education would not believe that human produced CO2 has set us on the path to catastrophic global warming.

    The question is why the media does not give the population the facts and let them decide?

    You underestimate the capacity of the average human for rational thought.

    P.S. I would not accuse you of being average.


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    Connolly

    Farmer Roger before you bayonet charge your allies may I point out that there are a lot of climate realists opposed to the man made global warming dogma on the left of politics. Many of us are extremely concerned about the consequences for our manufacturing industry if the ALP/Greens Carbon Dioxide tax is imposed.

    As Winston Churchill said “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” and we have so much discussion, debating and organizing to do to get the truth (with its pants on) out there in our communities. The movement against the carbon dioxide tax and for the truth about climate change must be as democratic and as representative of our country as it can be if we are to succeed.


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    Connolly

    “Firstly, if the average person found out that 20% of the atmosphere was zirconium, they would just shrug their shoulders and look at you waiting for you to say more. The average person is smarter than the average skeptic, in that they know what they don’t know, and are prepared to live with it and leave the decision making to those who do know. They want to hear what the scientists say, not try and reproduce the science themselves.”

    John that statement really does sum up the real threat to democracy that the climate change faction of the environment poses. I’d rank your statement with that other great cynical estimation of the passivity of people in politics.
    “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think”. O sorry forgot to attribute that. Yes it was Adolf. Ecofascists indeed.


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    Bulldust I didn’t read all of the drvel by the sheep on that ABC site but I made my own contribution. We’ll see if they post it. Clearly if higher education tolerates the likes of Natalie and here subject of study, lots of taxpayer money is being wasted. You wouldn’t feed them.

    “Wow, Natalie I’m so impressed by your credentials.
    Another example of the devaluation of a university education and higher degrees in particular.

    No matter what Australia does it simply isn’t going to have any noticeable effect on world CO2 emissions. Are you smart enough to figure that out?
    That assumes you might want to actually do something as silly as stop putting a trace biological exchange gas into the atmosphere where living things can use it.

    If you truly and sincerely are concerned about Australia’s CO2 emissions you would be demanding a program to replace coal fired power stations with nuclear power stations. Australia could easily reduce its CO2 output by 40% or so that way. But you really aren’t concerned are you ? It is really about social engineering and trying to force people to live the way YOU want them to isn’t it?.”


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    Bulldust

    Dellers lays down some devastating report findings regarding the “Green jobs” BS we have been hearing for our deceptor in chief, Jooolia:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100078040/the-real-cost-of-global-warming/

    Recent economic reports show that for every “grren job” created a couple real jobs are destroyed. Not to mention the gross inefficiency of renewable energy generation requiring massive government subsidies.

    John brookes: Sometimes I wonder how you look in the mirror, mate… that argument in 34 was so remarkably bereft of common sense it is hard to imagine you considering yourself to be anything other than the lowest form of internet life … the common variety troll. If you have something useful to say about climate science I am all ears, but that latest “contribution” makes you look remarkably stupid.


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  • #

    Comment 30…he’ll be back very soon.


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    Speedy

    John @ 34

    When the person in the street is told that they will be paying good money because of bad science, then that person is very likely to start paying attention to the science. This is happening now.

    The media likes bad news – it sells papers. They regularly report the vaccuous utterings of James Hansen and Tim (trust me) Flannery. But try telling them that crop yields are increasing because of higher CO2 levels over the last 150 years, and they respond with a big yawn.

    To the extent that the media is meant to inform, the media are doing a great disservice to their public.

    Regards,

    Speedy


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    Keith H

    I think we may have a new troll alleging he’s a Farmer. Roger and out!


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    Farmer Roger

    Keith, excuse me very much but I am a farmer and I do have a very big problem with eco-facists.


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    brc

    Keith – Roger the Farmer and others certainly do not speak for me either. I certainly support the right of people to own whatever vehicle they like, but I don’t support the idea that you can just drive wherever you like. A certain amount of area can be set aside for 4wd trails and camping, but not open season. That’s just one difference.

    John Brookes – that last outburst was really a very poor piece of thinking and writing. It was basically a call for keeping the message in-house and not allowing anyone without the message to speak out. Then a call to listen to the scientists – which is all anyone really wants. But all scientists, John, not just the chosen ones.


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    Percival Snodgrass

    A CARBON TAX IS MADNESS

    Imagine one kilometre of atmosphere that you want to clean up. For the sake of the discussion, imagine you could walk along it.

    The first 770 metres are Nitrogen.

    The next 210 metres are Oxygen.

    That’s 980 metres of the 1 kilometre. Just 20 metres to go.

    The next 10 metres are water vapour. Just 10 metres left to go.

    9 metres are argon. 1 metre left out of 1 kilometre.

    A few gases make up the first bit of that last metre.

    The last 38 centimetres of the kilometre – that’s carbon dioxide.

    A bit over one foot.

    97% is produced by Mother Nature. It’s natural. It has always been in the atmosphere otherwise plants couldn’t grow.

    Out of our journey of one kilometre, there are just 12 millimetres left. About half an inch. Just over a centimetre.

    That’s the amount of carbon dioxide that global human activity puts into the atmosphere.

    And of those 12 millimetres Australia puts in .18 of a millimetre.

    Less than the thickness of a hair. Out of a kilometre.

    So in every kilometre of atmosphere, complete with green-house gases regulating the climate – in every kilometre reflecting back and retaining the sun’s heat on earth, just .18 of one millimetre is contributed by Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions.

    Now GILLARD’S Great Green Tax, the Emissions Trading Scheme is designed to reduce Australia’s contribution by 5%. That’s what it’s designed to do. GILLARD wants to reduce our point .18 of one millimetre by 5%.

    That’s what all the pain is about.

    It is simply madness. It’s not based on science. It’s a tax. Finally, a tax on the air we breathe.


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    Percival Snodgrass

    Quadrant Online – Peer review locks gate………..

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2009/11/peer-review-locks-gate


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Bulldust: #34

    Please remind me never to cross swords with you in a debate.


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    John Brookes

    incoherent rambler says:

    The atmosphere is 0.038% CO2.
    Human contribution to the CO2 is ~3%.

    Given these two facts, methinks that most people with a high school education would not believe that human produced CO2 has set us on the path to catastrophic global warming.

    Hmmm. I just looked at that and could only see half a fact. CO2 is closer to 390 ppm than 380ppm. You say

    Human contribution to the CO2 is ~3%.

    So you are saying that of the 390 ppm, 3% or 12 ppm are caused by the human contribution? So why has the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere gone from 316ppm in 1959 to 390ppm in 2010? That is an increase of 74ppm, of which you seem to think that 12ppm is from human activity, and the rest is courtesy of the tooth fairy – or the skeptics favourite fallback position – natural variation.

    But maybe I’m misunderstanding your 3%. If it means something other than the obvious interpretation I’ve given it, to quote a famous redhead, “please explain”.


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    Farmer Roger

    Brookesy old mate, it’s comes from volcanoes. That’s what Plimer reckons and he’s the expert.


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    Louis Hissink

    The carbon tax has nothing to do with saving the planet or avoiding CAGW – it is all about Gillard’s government taxing us to fulfil Australia’s share of the $100 billion per year the UN is going to give to the under-developed world from the developed world. It has nothing to do with balancing her budget – it’s all about redistributing our wealth via the thieves at the UN.

    Big picture folks, not the trivia that keeps the nitpickers busy here.


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    pattoh

    John @ 49

    I do not know where you get your dose of science from.

    There are strong agruments that the majority of the increase in CO2 is as a result of marine degassing ( apparently ~600yrs behind & therefore possibly the thermal “momentum” from the MWP ) & elevated CO2 production from exposure (that pesky melting ice again) & organic breakdown.

    Have a Bex & a cuppa & consider the real possibility that yes the CO2 is rising but perhaps a big chunk is a reaction to NATURAL VARIABILITY in the TSI, cloud cover & cosmic radiation.

    Do you reckon it may even go down a bit when it next cools enough? Ask the Tooth Fairy. I think he lives at the bottom of the garden ( Tasmania).

    You seem to naturally talented at picking nits.


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    Slabadang

    Jonova!

    We are not awere or invited to the strategic planning of implements of new politics/dogmas/ideologys as the climate treat profitiers are pushing.On how strategies on “changes” is sturctured we have my absolute favorite video lecture By Yuri Bezmenov/Tomas Schuman an defected Sovjet KGB trained propaganda real expert.He was placed as a journalist in the sovjet propaganda machine.If you set his lecture on “subversion” in the context of the climate propagands it may make you feel dizzy and afraid when you realize WHY the propaganda is spread and how well organized it really is.Bezmenovs lecture should be a mandatory part of every democratic states civilian education.If so almost no one would have been fooled by this propaganda.

    The lecture is in 7 episodes.But times flies by when you watch it.Everone has to se it! Spread it around you wil do the citizens of every nation a great favor.Civilina/voter/parent education at its best.

    Here is the link to the first part about “destabilisation” and subversion.Its entertaining är scaring at the same time.
    How to change/manipulate and control people lesson 1.Dont let the fact that the video is from the eightees stop you from watching it. Its a classic timeless allways acive fenoma that we all have to realize and be awere of.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN0By0xbst8


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    Albert

    In Ireland they lost all 6 Green MP’s, that’s a good start.


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    John Brookes

    But Farmer Roger (and I really think you are a troll), if you look at the rise in CO2 its very steady from year to year, implying rather constant volcanic activity. Seems rather unlikely, but we’d better defer to Plimer.

    Actually wait, its all coming back to me now, they are submarine volcanoes, and there are lots and lots of them that no one has ever noticed before, but trust Plimer, they are there.


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  • #

    The idea of a carbon tax is just lunatic – legislation for avoiding carbon output would be a lot more efficient.
    The war wether there is global warming or not is equally stupid – all we nee is cleaner air to breathe and that takes care of all the rest.


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    John Brookes

    A couple of years ago, Ross Garnaut released his emissions trading report. He toured the country (I know, because I went to the Perth talk) explaining the stuff in his report. Before him, Warwick McKibbin designed an ETS for the Howard government. It attracted wide publicity and was online for all to see (like Garnaut’s).

    To not have a passing understanding of the various options for emissions abatement you would have had to hidden under a rock for the past few years. And yet, many people are acting as though somehow the carbon tax has been “rushed”.


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    Andromeda

    Can government and democracy co-exist?

    Is it possible for both to operate for the same people at the same time?

    I read that someone once sent a “My Will” letter to one time politician Bill Hayden stating what they would like to see happen.

    Haydens response was, thank you for your comments but my will is greater than yours.


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    bunny

    John Brookes @34,

    What an extraordinary statement, even for you!

    The average person is smarter than the average skeptic, in that they know what they don’t know, and are prepared to live with it

    So the average person is smarter than the average sceptic because they KNOW that they are ignorant and they’re happy with that. Whereas a sceptic who is prepared to spend hours sifting through the information trying to find out the truth, is dumber than your average ignoramus. Not sure how you came to that conclusion, but I’m sure that you and the supporters of AGW would be very happy indeed if everyone was as pig-ignorant as you seem to think. Fortunately, that is not the case, and there are many of us who do not want to remain in the dark on important issues, and who are not content to believe everything the complicit media has to say on the topic.
    As for leaving the decision-making to those who know. Would you be referring to Ross Garnaut or Tim Flannery? Or perhaps you mean the bean-counter who runs the CSIRO?

    Your second assertion that if the media explained the basic facts, the topic would become less controversial is something I actually agree with. If the media went to the same effort to explain the basics as opposed to the spin, more people would realise what a total scam AGW is and support for it would plummet. The whole house of cards would come crashing down and they would never be able to sell the message.

    That is why sites such as this and WUWT are so important.


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    Andromeda

    John Brooks@56

    Is that the same Ross Garnaut who is making millions mining gold on Lihir island and giving the native islanders next to nothing in return.


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    crakar24

    I think Mike in 39 summed it up well.

    My own take on this is that everyone is different so everyone views things in different ways but to say as John Brooks (post 35) does that the general population is too stupid to understand so why bother telling them reeks of “figjam” syndrome.

    I would dearly love to see Julia stand up in parliament and try to explain why only 3% of the annual carbon cycle of the Earth needs to be reduced through oppressive taxation.

    I would dearly love to see Julia stand up in parliament and try to explain why our 0.045% of mans contribution (3%) of the annual carbon cycle of the Earth needs to be reduced through oppressive taxation.

    I would also like her to acknowledge that CO2 has been rising at a meagre linear rate of 2ppm per year this is because the Earth is recycling most of our emissions most probably through the rapid expansion of biomass (see Schimel et al) and there is no reason to doubt that in time our paltry emissions would be gobbled up by this process.

    I would also like her to acknowledge that no matter how big or how broad her oppressive tax is it will have absolutely no effect on co2 levels or indeed the global temp.

    I will leave you with a quote from John Welch former COE of General Electric “Control your own destiny or someone else will.”


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    crakar24

    If agriculture is included as the greens want we will be calling you “former farmer roger”, in regards to post 50 you are right Plimer is the expert but why does he say these dastardly things……well the answer is simple the majority of carbon here on Earth is buried underground and where do volcanos come from? Thats right under the ground, well ill be a monkeys uncle!!!!!!!!

    Oh but thats right the one scientist who was allowed to discuss this very subject at the IPCC disagrees and they do this by referencing their own work (just like when they discuss the sun).

    Andromeda in 60,

    Ross Garnaut leaves the locals plenty, plenty of pollution that is.

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/09/mining-garnaut


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    bananabender

    Why is the “Greenhouse Effect’ even being discussed? It is unscientific 18th century nonsense. Atoms are not solid. CO2 molecules do not simply absorb incident radiation and gain heat.

    The atmosphere is heated almost entirely by phase changes in water vapour and to a lesser extent thermal transfer from the surface via conduction and convection. This heat is advected to the top of the atmosphere and radiated to the vacuum of space.


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    Bulldust

    Rereke Whakaaro @ 48:

    I had been a tad silent for a couple of weeks because I was swotting up for an interview which was last week Tuesday… I am hoping to hear about the position in the next day or two.

    There was that and fighting City Hall (literally) over the height of a proposed building development across the street which exceeds the town’s own guidelines by 141% (61.5m in a 25.5m zone). Neeedless to say the Planning Committee paid virtually no heed to my deputation at the meeting a week ago because they dance to their own tune. I may submit an article to the Western Australian… we shall see. This was the proposal:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/8836805/plan-for-historic-hotel-aims-to-fix-snags/

    Got to love the way the city government put that in The West the day after I talked to the staffers about the mirespresentations of the proposed project in the Planning Committee Agenda brief.

    Yeah so I have some pent up energy LOL. I can be a tad intense at times… I’m on the Charlie Sheen drug ;) Haven’t assploded yet though… sadly I can kinda understand where the guy is coming from, but he is obviously teetering a tad close to the edge. Watched Apocalypse Now one too many times as well /nod. I watched it last night (Redux version) and found it to be yawnworthy, apart from a few memorable lines.

    I am normally a bit of a slacker by nature unless I get onto something I get passionate about – skiing, computer games, beer, climate change etc…

    PS> Did you guys read Willis’ life story on WUWT… that’s minblowing.


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    crakar24

    To John and the soon to be unemployed farmer,

    One of the main problems i have with this TAX is that it is not going to achieve anything, half of our polluters or being exempt and the other half will just pass the costs on. We will continue to export coal to china and elsewhere so how is the tax going to do anything?

    I have another proposal that i would like your thoughts on. Why dont we instead simply limit the amount of coal we can dig up? This will certainly reduce how much energy we use plus we will be exporting less coal over seas, each year we reduce the amount of coal that can be dug up therefore reducing our and others emissions……thoughts?


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    wes george

    The mass media, spearheaded by the ABC, has played a very foolish game for years. And now their ability to control information and manage public opinion in the age of universal Internet access is collapsing. We’re at a tipping point.

    For example, if every Aussie were actually to learn that the “climate change” scare is about 385 molecules of CO2 for every MILLION in the atmosphere. And out of those 385 molecules all but about 12 of them would be there naturally anyway. And all of them get recycled out every couple of years, so it’s not a permanent change at all.

    The average bloke—you know the one John Brookes is hoping is so stupid they wouldn’t know what causes the cycle of seasons— that average bloke would say:

    Hang on one second, mate! You mean to tell me that 12 extra molecules of CO2 for every MILLION in the atmosphere is gonna melt the ice caps, boil our rivers away and cause super-storms that will lead to a collapse of civilization unless parliament raises me taxes by a couple of grand or more per year forever????

    Bollocks! What a bloody #$%^ con! Throw the #$%^ bastards out!

    This is what tragedy looks like. Greedy, self-righteous fools begin to believe their own lies about their God-like powers to control the weather…

    They’re right about one thing: The End is Near…for them.


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    wes george

    Our mass media no longer control ALL the information we have access to now, thanks to the Internet.

    So eventually, they are going to be found out that they have been lying to us every day for years now and that’s going to change the relationship we the people have with mass media. The change has already begun, but it’s likely to accelerate as the same sort of consciousness awakening that has powered the American tea partiers and Middle East democracy protests comes to our shores. Of course, we’ll have our own distinctively laconically Aussie style of awakening, but you can feel a REAL change of climate in the air already today.

    We are getting on to the end game now. Things are looking grim for the mass media and their Green/Labor clients. They can’t stop lying now, they’ve got too much invested in the CAGW fraud, so it’s full throttle ahead. They’re going to give this one all they got, because it’s close to their last stand. But all they got left is lies.

    Ironically—though the total implosion of MSM credibility will come as result of their lies about climate change—its roots go back at to least two decades of politically biased yellow journalism. By literally giving Bob Brown and the Greens a total pass on all their wild-eyed moonbat positions, by never challenging the Green guilt and fearmonger we now have elevated a crop of pollies to parliament with truly sophomoric policy ideas that got push on up the ladder without the proper vetting a fair and balanced inquisitive mass media is suppose to provide in a democracy. So it’s fitting that the very morons the mass media failed to properly scrutinize are now not only committed to politically suicidal delusions of grandeur, but they’re going to take down MSM credibility with them.

    You see, a democracy can’t function with out an inquisitive mass media because the people won’t have the information they need to vote effectively. That’s how the Greens achieved the balance of power, through a public intentionally kept ignorant by the media.

    But it’s all coming to a head now as more and more of us move online to search out information liberty free from the blinders, the filters, the bigotry and the lies of our mainstream mass media

    So thank you Julie, Krudd, Garnaut, HairyPrincess, Tony Windsor who sold the cocky farmers of New England down the river, Wilkie and all the other Green/labor idiots that lied and cheated their way to power aided and abetted by the MSM.

    Thank You for the Wake Up Call!


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    crakar24

    Wes,

    Here is an interesting story

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/impacts_climate_mitigation_australia.pdf

    By the way if CO2 is more oxygen than carbon why dont they call it an “oxygen pollution tax”, the answer is obvious for some.


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    Richard Hill

    My question is..
    “Serious climate scientists, the actual authors of the IPCC, are 90 percent sure that humans are responsible for dangerous climate change. This is saying that they have humans at 10 to 1 on. If the favourite to win the Melbourne Cup is quoted at 10 to 1 on, would you bet your house on it?”
    Uncertainty is the elephant in the room.


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    janama

    John Brookes:

    you really are ignorant of the subject aren’t you. Yes we are at 390ppm but YES man’s contribution is only 3% of it.

    If you want to educate yourself then read this website:

    http://carbon-budget.geologist-1011.net/

    note it is all referenced!!


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    Sam

    Very sneaky Jo,

    You know full well that the 3% is cumulative and that it’s upsetting the natural carbon cycle balance. It’s like two people of the same weight sitting on a see-saw: add a mere apple to one side and it tips. It’s the same principle here.

    You seem to be saying you believe in the science whilst at the same time pretending that it’s not a problem. You can’t do both I’m afraid (unless you’re in la-la land.)


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    janama

    You should also read this article on a paper released recently by NASA.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/08/new_model_doubled_co2_sub_2_degrees_warming/


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  • #

    The first question to ask might be….

    Q-) Do you believe you will be taxed for Carbon, the black sooty kind, or Carbon Dioxide, CO2, the colourless odourless gas that you breath out and plants breath in?

    The other questions following this will be in better (more accurate) perspective.


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    janama

    Sam – what exactly is “the natural carbon cycle balance.”


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    Sam

    janama@74

    it’s the way CO2 is both emitted (eg by volcanoes) and absorbed (eg by plankton in the ocean.) Over a long period of time, they balance out.


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    brc

    Sam – it’s irrelevant whether it’s a see saw in balance. The argument was that 3% wasn’t the correct figure. References have been provided to backup the 3%. I had thought myself that the IPCC came up with the 3%.

    Besides, you can add one apple to the see saw – won’t matter if a watermelon (aka water vapour) gets added as well. The myth that nature is in a constant delicate balance is totally incorrect, as any cursory geological study will tell you. Things are always changing. Species rise and fall. Nothing ever stays the same. The delicate balance of nature is a nice story from writers with too much imagination and not enough observation.

    As for John Brookes – why yes there are a lot of undersea volcanoes. A few have been found. They constantly pour out gases through vents. It was an exciting discovery to find life that doesn’t rely on photosynthesis but instead fed off chemical energy in an environment thought to be impossible to support life. If you didn’t know, the theory on the origin of the atmosphere is that volcanic activity produced most of it to start with. If you didn’t know, the entire Atlantic ocean is splitting in the middle and volcanic activity is observable right down the length. That’s how Iceland exists, actually. Hawaii too, for that matter.

    Besides, you should know something about the deep ocean. If it were a nymph goddess, so far humans have only explored from the eyebrows up – all the good parts are yet to be found. Space receives more attention than the oceans do. The deepest point has only been visited once. Every time a craft goes down, new species are found. Even the giant squid has never been seen underwater alive. There is virtually no budget for exploring the oceans.

    I don’t necessarily buy Plimers views but to dismiss him out of hand because you find it hard to believe there are undersea volcanoes that constantly vent co2 is a tad naive. It’s not like undersea volcanoes are an output from a computer model. They’re there all right, but nobody knows exactly how many and there is no way of measuring them.


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    Sam

    brc@76

    I totally agree that nature is not in perfect delicate balance. It takes something like several hundred thousand years for the carbon cycle to ‘re-adjust’ itself after it gets knocked about, so in between then, things can get ugly.

    As you said, species rise and fall. True, but personally I want us humans to stick around for a while ;)


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    brc

    Just before any pedants rush in, I know Hawaii is in the pacific. My previous statement re Iceland and Hawaii reads poorly like I think Hawaii is in the Atlantic. I’ve visited Hawaii and observed the awesome spectacle of new earth crust being created before my very eyes. I’ve also smelt the gases that come out with the lava.


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    wes george

    97% of the total annual emission of CO2 comes from natural emissions of the land and sea; human beings add a mere 3%. This man-made 3% of CO2 emissions is responsible for a tiny fraction of the total greenhouse gas, probably close to 0.12%. Propositions of changing, or rather destroying, the global energy system because of this tiny human contribution, in face of the large short-term and long-term natural fluctuations of atmospheric CO2, are utterly irresponsible.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/zjmar07.pdf

    I’m willing to punt that not only do the friends of John Brookes’ not know what causes the cyclical waltz of the seasons, but they are utterly ignorant of the logarithmic effect of carbon dioxide! Such ignorance is a prerequisite for the Climate Change fear campaign to succeed…

    Yet the Logarithmic Effect of CO2 is not disputed by anyone. Just kind of hidden from the general public… another little itsy bitsy fib the mainstream media has committed by omission.

    Ooopps.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide/

    In fact, it was this very graph that sowed my first doubts about AGW way, way back in the 1985 when I were but a wee environmental activist me self. What it means is that we could double and even treble the CO2 in the atmosphere today with no measurable effect on temperature that can be sifted from natural noise. Over 99 percent of the warming CO2 can cause is already in the system.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/co2_modtrans_img1.png

    So turn up the Air Con everyone. We’re free!


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    The Loaded Dog

    Farmer Roger – I know exactly what type of “crop” you grow buddy.

    And you’ve been smoking way to much of your own produce…


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    Tim

    Let’s not overestimate the number of informed Aussies out there. As long as lazy hedonists can wallow in sports, gambling, Video Games and entertainment circuses, they won’t have time to educate themselves. I think the majority just don’t want to anyway.

    PS. I’m not knocking all Aussies – just the slackers. (I’m 5th generation.)


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    wes george

    Sam reads wiki then chants the dogma.

    Mate, didn’t you know that there is pretty good evidence that atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been higher today, no not in the Jurassic era, but in 1940?

    Again, ol’ Warwick:

    Solubility of CO2 in warm water is lower than it is in cold. When climate warms, less CO2 can be retained in the upper 3,000-meter layer of the oceans, and it is exhaled into the atmosphere, where the CO2 content is more than 50 times lower than it is in the ocean. This is the reason that between 1880 and 1940, when the global average temperature warmed up by about 0.5c, the direct measurements in the atmosphere registered a very large increase of CO2 from about 290 ppmv in 1885 up to 440 ppmv in 1940– about 60 ppmv higher than now (Beck 2007). Then, between 1949 and 1970, the global temperature decreased by about 0.3c, and the atmospheric Co2 level dropped to about 330 ppmv (Boden et al. 1990)

    Wow, the oceans contain more than 50 times the levels of CO2 then the atmosphere and it swaps gigatons of the stuff back and forth every year!

    In other words, CO2 levels can vary dramatically, naturally over very short periods of time and whaddaya know—no climate catastrophes!

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/zjmar07.pdf


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    Bulldust

    A C of Adelaide referred to the Carmody article in The Australian in post 30 – here is the link:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/doing-nothing-as-preferable-to-this/story-e6frg6zo-1226014408604

    It is yet another massive take down of the economic arguments underpinning the current Government’s carbon tax policy… such as it is. Because it is a moving feast it is difficult to say exactly what they want. I guess we have to wait for Bob Brown to pull Julia’s marionette strings before we’ll know for sure.

    A C, you might be interested to know that WA has an optional Green scheme through its electricity provider. Individuals can pay extra to have “Green” electricity delivered. The opt in scheme means the provider has to provide an (auditted) amount of electricity from renewable sources based on the amount of buy-in by consumers. I don’t know what the percentage buy-in is for WA as a whole, but I imagine it is publicly displayed somewhere, and I bet it is very low.

    I’d love to see how many Green politicans use 100% renewable for their home accounts. :D

    Here’s the link at the Synergy page – you can calculate exactly what it is going to cost you to “Go Green”:

    http://www.synergy.net.au/at_home/gogreen.xhtml


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    @John Brookes #49 says…

    “So why has the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere gone from 316ppm in 1959 to 390ppm in 2010? That is an increase of 74ppm, of which you seem to think that 12ppm is from human activity, and the rest is courtesy of the tooth fairy – or the skeptics favourite fallback position – natural variation.”

    John nobody knows definitively what % of CO2 is man made and what % is natural.

    But riddle me this batman..Greenhouse keepers pump CO2 into their greenhouses to raise the CO2 level from about the natural 400ppm to over 1000ppm. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE EXTRA 600PPM? Are they pumping this extra CO2 into the greenhouse just for fun?

    The answer to us less than average intelligence sceptics is that the plants take up the extra CO2, forcing the greenhouse keeper to continually pump more in.

    So tell me John (above average intelligence) Brookes, why should we believe the extra CO2 from our SUVs isn’t taken up by the biosphere?


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    rukidding

    janama@ 72

    Thanks for the link very interesting.Ties in with something I was wondering the other day and that is why greenhouses pump their concentration up to 1000ppm for best growing conditions.Do we have evidence that the world could not survive at that concentration.


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    hmmm

    @Baa Humbug #49

    “John nobody knows definitively what % of CO2 is man made and what % is natural.”

    Actually, through studies of the C13/C12 ratio, atmospheric O2 concentration and emission accounting, the amount of CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels is well known.

    “why should we believe the extra CO2 from our SUVs isn’t taken up by the biosphere?”

    Because although plants might become incrementally larger in response to the extra CO2, they shed leaves and their roots rot and eventually they die, releasing CO2.


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    Llew Jones

    Sam @71

    All Jo has done is divide the present atmospheric CO2 concentration by one million i.e. 390/1000000 = 0.00039 or 0.039%.

    At present the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is 2ppm so by 2100, at that rate and given China, India and possibly Brazil do not intend to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, 2ppm/year is conservative so by 2100 CO2 will probably be a minimum of 570ppm CO2 or 0.057% of the atmosphere.

    Humans can tolerate 10,000ppm or 1% of CO2 in the air we breathe (Aussie work place standard limits are 10,000ppm exposure for 8 hours) so if we had enough fossil fuels and the same rate of 2ppm it would take just under 5000 years to get to a CO2 atmospheric concentration of 1%. In say 200 years when fossil fuels probably run out the concentration maybe about 800ppm or 0.08%. As it is calculated that the equivalent ppm emitted is about 6/year and only 2ppm/year end up in the atmosphere, natural processes like plant photosynthesis and the absorption of CO2 into the oceans probably are the culprits in reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Is there a natural symbiotic process that may limit the amount of emitted CO2 available to enter the atmosphere as that concentration increases?

    That’s all hypothetical but pretty irrelevant to the temperature changes driven by atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    The relationship is logarithmic so that the tangent to that curve asymptotes to zero. That means there is a “law of diminishing returns” operating which rules out the possibility of any temperature runaway effect. (assuming the feedback between CO2 and water vapor is not positive which appears more and more likely). As there is probably only enough fossil fuels to get us up to about 800ppm max the temperature increases are likely to be limited , by that relationship, to a few degrees at most by about 2300AD.


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    Percival Snodgrass

    “sam” the OXYGEN THIEF…………


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    Llew Jones

    Sorry Wes got sidetracked halfway through typing and had not read your excellent piece on what limits CO@ driven temperature increases. Just a silly little equation that is about the only climate science that has any meaning… for an engineer anyway.


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    Keith H

    Farmer Roger @ 44.

    You say you are a farmer. I accept that and apologise. As to the troll part. We’ll see, but nothing I’ve seen you post so far has served to convince me. Maybe I’m just getting old and cynical but I’ll be quite happy if you prove me wrong and will duly apologise at that time.

    John Brookes @ 55 & Farmer Roger @ 50

    “they are submarine volcanoes, and there are lots and lots of them that no one has ever noticed before, but trust Plimer, they are there”.

    You really are becoming tiresome with your inane comments John. Don’t you ever check thngs for yourself? Just Google “Submarine Volcanoes” and it will give you a choice of 80,800 sites, together with details of 5,000 currently active, lots of pretty pictures and loads of other details. Should keep you out of our hair for a while!

    Maybe you should check too Farmer Roger, just to confirm Plimer knew what he was talking about.


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    Bulldust

    Jo @ 14 …. dang I’d better give Dellers my real name and start collecting royalties!

    You made me a tad happy … a small contribution it was but so widespread now… the irony is beautiful given the context of the original quote.


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    janama

    it’s the way CO2 is both emitted (eg by volcanoes) and absorbed (eg by plankton in the ocean.) Over a long period of time, they balance out.

    surely that varies causing rises and declines in CO2′s presence in the atmosphere.

    It’s called natural variability.


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    Keith H

    This Labor Government has squandered billions of dollars on setting up giant new bureaucracies in worthless climate Departments, institutes and other quangoes, plus throwing money and generous subsidies at so-called clean alternative energy options.

    How many billions more are going to be wasted the same way, yet we are sitting on some of the largest uranium reserves in the world and as of Jan 19, 2011 in 30 countries, 442 nuclear power plant units with an installed electric net capacity of about 375 GW are safely in operation and 65 plants with an installed capacity of 63 GW are in 16 countries under construction.

    As of end 2009 the total electricity production since 1951 amounts to 64,600 billion kWh. The cumulative operating experience amounted to 14,174 years by September 2010. Safe and clean!

    There are also opportunities for more hydro-electric schemes, perhaps the cleanest most renewable energy of all, but the Greens seem to have such an entirely unjustified stranglehold on Governments of all persuasions they are too afraid to embrace either of these obvious options.

    What a shameful waste!

    http://www.euronuclear.or/info/encyclopedia/n/nuclear-power-plant-world-wide.htm


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    bananabender

    The amount of atmospheric CO2 is due to ocean temperatures – not human activities – according to Henry’s Law.

    Rising CO2 levels are due to warming of the oceans during the MWP. This is backed up by 700,000 years of ice core data which shows CO2 lags warming by around 800 years.

    The Greenhouse Effect doesn’t even exist (it was disproved by RW Wood in 1908) so atmospheric CO2 levels are irrelevant.


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    The Loaded Dog

    Farmer Roger’s a time wasting leftist troll. Wasting everyone’s time including his or her own.

    @ 21

    a) “We should all take heart and the example of my personal hero Fred Singer who for years fought against the leftist tyranny of tobacco control..”
    b) “this will not be easy but is nothing less than a fight for our personal freedom and the right to drive our 4WD’s where ever we like and shoot as many kangaroos as we need to.”
    c) “If we need to knock down a few trees to put up a centre pivot irrigator there should be no control over that.”

    Concluded with a snarky comment about “just feeding the world”

    Then we have this snide little crack @31:-

    a) “It’s time we brought (in Jo’s words) that “gem of a man” our Good Lord Christopher back down to Aus and sort these lefties out”

    and with reference to Pinker:-

    b) “She’s clearly not qualified like our Lord to examine the science of these things.”

    and of course this cynical clincher:-

    c) We are doing Gods work here!

    And finally @50:-

    a) “Brookesy old mate, it’s comes from volcanoes. That’s what Plimer reckons and he’s the expert.”

    Yes, I’d wager “Farmer Roger’s” got a few acres at a ranch out back o Deltoid.

    Or alternatively s/he’s just a shiny eyed ecozealot. Fuming as it were at the blatant climate hypocrisy of this site.


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    Richard

    An additional question could be:

    How much has the planet warmed in the last 2000 years?
    a.. -1.0 degree
    b.. -0.5 degree
    c.. no change
    d.. +0.5 degree
    e.. +1.0 degree

    I doubt that many people would choose a.. -1.0 degree i.e. cooled (or possibly a little more).


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    wes george

    Farmer Roger (@21) is NOT a troll:

    We should all take heart and the example of my personal hero Fred Singer who for years fought against the leftist tyranny of tobacco control and sulphur dioxide controls (as a farmer I know how valuable sulphur is, I put tonnes of the stuff on my soil every year to grow my crops and pasture. Like carbon it’s not a pollutant, it’s fertiliser). Now Fred has taken the fight to the Global Warmistas and we should stiffen our resolve and dig in for the long fight as he has done for 40 years. Make no mistake this will not be easy but is nothing less than a fight for our personal freedom and the right to drive our 4WD’s where ever we like and shoot as many kangaroos as we need to. If we need to knock down a few trees to put up a centre pivot irrigator there should be no control over that. After all we are just feeding the world here, or trying to with one hand tied behind our backs. Go Tony!!

    Get yer Intertube Lingo right….He’s the lowest form of virtual pond scum. He’s a “Moby.” A Moby is a kind of organic life form with no spine, somewhere between an amoeba and a worm. The name comes from the failed yankee rock star (yeah, I never heard of him either, I think he choked on his own puke during an OD in a bathtub in Rio?) who had the clever idea of posting racist, sexist, hate-speech comments on conservative websites that support the war in Iraq or BusHitler. The idea was to spark a dirty trick campaign on the American Republican Party which would help reinforce the mainstream media smears that were going on 24/7 in 2004.

    Mobyism failed because dumb-ass urban lefties and greenies on the dole can’t do credible imitations of bogans since they ain’t worked an honest day’s labor in their life.

    As if a bogan would know who Fred Singer is. Pffft. Or a farmer would support trenching paddocks with 4WD. Or boast about having to spotlight roos so the sheep don’t starve. What fair dinkum Aussie farmer would utter…

    “See you in the trenchs guys, remember, fix bayonets! We are doing Gods work here!”

    —(Farmer Moby @31)

    F$6k Roger. Pardon my French. Moderator, ban the bastard! He’s ain’t even an Australian.

    I expect we will see more Mobies in the future now that the Green/labor coalition have their backs against the wall.

    MOBY—An insidious and specialized type of left-wing troll who visits blogs and impersonates a conservative for the purpose of either spreading false rumors intended to sow dissension among conservative voters, or who purposely posts inflammatory and offensive comments for the purpose of discrediting the blog in question.

    The term is derived from the name of the liberal musician Moby, who famously suggested in February of 2004 that left-wing activists engage in this type of subterfuge: “For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you’re an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion. Then you go to an anti-immigration Web site chat room and ask, ‘What’s all this about George Bush proposing amnesty for illegal aliens?’”

    The strategy has been frequently attempted on conservative blogs, but has not been nearly as effective as Moby envisioned, since false rumors are easily debunked by fact-checking minions, and cartoonishly extreme commenters often get immediately identified as mobys and banned.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monocalcium_phosphate

    Buuuy, Buuuhy, farmer!


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    CameronH

    John Brookes @ 49. My understanding of this, and people can correct me if I am wrong, is that there is about 200 to 240 GT of CO2 that enters that atmospere each year from Volcanoes, Biological activities such as decaying vegetation, bush fire, ocean outgassing, weathering of limestone, animal respiration ect. This is balanced by typically the same amount that is removed from the atmospere by similar processes such as plant and algae growth,disolution into the oceans, coral reef formation ect. Human emissions are calculated at about 7 GT per year. Hence the 3% figure. It is interesting to note that the rate of increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is less than this 3%. It can be assumed then that a significant amount of this 3% extra is also removed from the atmosphere. The other thing to consider is that, as there is no way to determine whether any particular CO2 molecule is from natural causes or from the burning of fossil fuels nobody knows the real reason for the increase. It is only assumed that the removal processes can not handle all of the extra 3%.


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    brc

    Percival @ 87

    Seriously – ‘Sam’ so far has been polite and constructive in arguments, even if I disagree with those. That’s the purpose of debate. There’s no need for name calling. Someone called you on this on another thread. Be cool.


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    rukidding

    Bulldust@ 83

    And how do we know that they are not selling fossil fuelled electricity as renewable.Are the electrons a different color or do they say to customers sorry got no more renewable to sell.


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    Speedy

    RU Kidding @ 85

    Yes, the paleoclimate of about 350 million years ago had CO2 levels in excess of 5000 ppm. It tended to make the trees grow.

    On the other hand, plants tend to shut down (i.e. die) if the CO2 is less than 150. There are some nice examples of this at CO2Science.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere in the comments, increased CO2 are simply irrelevant from a practical perspective. It could be called the law of diminishing returns – or maybe an extreme version of the Pareto Principle; the first 5% of the CO2 absorbs 95% of the target wavelength (14.5 microns) The the rest of the CO2 is struggling to find whatever is infrared is remaining…

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    The Loaded Dog

    wes george @96

    Get yer Intertube Lingo right….He’s the lowest form of virtual pond scum. He’s a “Moby.” A Moby is a kind of organic life form with no spine, somewhere between an amoeba and a worm.

    Hmmmm. I was not familiar with the term “Moby”….

    but given the above description fits it perfectly; my deduction now – is that we most certainly have a “Moby” in our midst.

    Thank you for this very informative and educational lesson in Intertube Lingo wes…


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    wes george

    Whoops, sorry about the monocalcium phosphate link when I meant the link to the Urban dictionary definition of a Moby. I was multi-tasking. he, heh,

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=moby


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    John Brookes

    brc says:

    I don’t necessarily buy Plimers views but to dismiss him out of hand because you find it hard to believe there are undersea volcanoes that constantly vent co2 is a tad naive. It’s not like undersea volcanoes are an output from a computer model. They’re there all right, but nobody knows exactly how many and there is no way of measuring them.

    If I dismiss it out of hand, its a bit like dismissing the possibility of CO2 having a major greenhouse effect at such low concentrations out of hand. However, I have one obvious problem with these submarine volcanoes. Did they just get turned on recently? Because the rise in CO2 is only recent. Maybe they did, and I’m just being difficult again, but it still strikes me as a fanciful idea.

    So it seems that the 3% figure is the percentage of the annual turnover of CO2 which humans produce. And not all of it stays in the atmosphere, which is good. I’m not sure of their relative importance, but human emissions of CO2 are one thing, and changes in land-use which reduce the biosphere’s ability to absorb CO2 are another. Both would contribute to a higher level of atmospheric CO2. I’m sure some honest sod of a hard working scientist has tried to quantify the land-use component, but we never talk about that one, because it might imply that we needed to worry about our total population, and its not politically correct to talk about that. None the less, it would be convenient if land-use turned out to be the major factor, because then we could keep burning fossil fuels.

    Another factor will be changes to the ability of the oceans to absorb CO2. Again, I’m sure scientists have prognosticated on this, but don’t know what they’ve come up with. The general hand-waving argument is warmer oceans hold less CO2, so they provide a positive feedback to warming. This may well be too simplistic.


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    The Loaded Dog

    wes @102

    It’s all good wes, I just noticed I typed “climate hypocrisy” above with reference to the resident “Moby” above when it should have read climate BLASPHEMY…


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    John Brookes

    Oh, and thank you, Farmer Roger, your stay was brief but fruitful!


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    Siliggy

    Baa Humbug:
    March 2nd, 2011 at 5:39 pm
    “…the plants take up the extra CO2, forcing the greenhouse keeper to continually pump more in.”
    “…why should we believe the extra CO2 from our SUVs isn’t taken up by the biosphere?”

    Yes why would all the biosphere not react and grow, then develope a larger appetite, then grow some more etc etc? More endothermic photosynthesis. All no problem unless we reduce the CO2 being produced suddenly. Then little shop of horrors style the biosphere would scream “Feed me Seymore” as CO2 supply falls behind demand. The now more hungry than ever biosphere gobbles up all remaining CO2…The end!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLO7IxKwruc


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    The Loaded Dog

    John Brookes @ 105

    fruitful?

    Well I very much enjoyed helping expose it for what it was; so I guess it was fruitful in that regard.


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    Quiet Farmer

    Greetings all, Just to let you know that the Adelaide Advertiser is running a poll, “Do you believe in man made Global warming”. With 3 answers to choose from. Sorry I don’t know how to do the link.


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    wes george

    Hey, Johnny glad you’re online. ;-)

    Why don’t you explain to everyone how you can believe that temps are going to soar to catastrophic levels given that the CO2 logarithmic effect has already reached its plateau?

    Read this and get back to us. Honestly, I’d love to know what makes blokes like you tick:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide/

    Note that this single graph (link below) is utterly uncontroversial. IPCC approved. Settled science. Consensus of experts loves it. Get back to us pronto on how you keep your icon head from exploding when you finally grok its meaning.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/co2_modtrans_img1.png

    I’ll pop another cold one and await your reply.


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    Llew Jones

    bananabender @93

    Of course it is hard to measure what part, if any, our fossil fuel use contributes to the 2ppm increase and how much is natural churning.

    I took the worst case scenario and assumed it was all due to human use of fossil fuels. Even in that case the equation, that gives delta T, tells us there is very little to worry about in terms of being fried or roasted, drowned or blown away.

    Read Teuscher and Gerlach a while ago on the physical impossibility of the green house effect. Interesting but has some gaps as does AGW eg how can the oceans possibly be deep heated by CO2? Think that is also an impossibility and it requires old sol do somehow be involved.

    It should be obvious by now given the weather in the UK and the US a few months ago and Australia’s east coast for the last few months, that far more powerful climate factors that have been historically significant, for a long time, were in play. I would suggest that accepting the GH gas theory as valid and accepting CO2 as one of many climate factors it is still very insignificant.

    My half baked understanding of climate is that there are many factors in play in each climate region, which doesn’t preclude the effect of factors outside the reion and that the system is chaotic so that we should never expect to get all these factors to be in play at different times and with the same intensities. That I would suggest is the best way to define climate rather than in terms of weather.

    Thus though there may be similarities in cyclical weather they by the mentioned nature of the variables will never be exactly the same even in the same season. Thus to talk about climate change as though it should cyclically repeat weather in exactly the same way shows a naive understanding of the factors that are not constrained to combine in the same way act or with the same intensity. I suggest that true of all weather produce by the regional climate.

    That is why a naive and very dumb PM can thoughtlessly say I believe in climate change. A smarter person would have recognised the highly complex nature of climate systems and how they produce and effect weather and shut up.


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    Tel

    Question 4. What percentage of the man-made CO2 does Australia produce?

    With or without coal exports?


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    Tel

    You know full well that the 3% is cumulative and that it’s upsetting the natural carbon cycle balance. It’s like two people of the same weight sitting on a see-saw: add a mere apple to one side and it tips. It’s the same principle here.

    If the natural system really was so carefully poised, why didn’t it tip many many years ago? I mean, name one commonly seen system that can suddenly flip state with a very small input (sure, you named a see-saw but only when someone has carefully balanced up the see-saw first, which is almost zero probability to happen by accident, and even then it would need to be a perfectly friction free see-saw which you won’t find in any park).


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    Folks, in the very long term life is doing a great job of sequestering CO2. So good that I don’t think we have to worry about the sun becoming a red giant and swallowing Earth. Much, much less time than that. I can only hope that Tommy Gold was right and that the reserves of carbon in the Earth’s crust and upper mantle are truly vast.
    The sheer stupidity and lack of historical and scale perspective of the warmists appalls me. We’re in an INTERGLACIAL. The “normal” state of affairs in this epoch is kilometer thick ice sheets over a lot of the northern hemisphere. Clearly the climate of the whole planet changes over time even without humans although life has shaped many of these changes. I’m not certain that we could prevent or delay a new ice age even if we put our best efforts into it. I’m pretty sure that merely burning some carbon based fuels wouldn’t do it. The extra CO2 in the atmosphere is presently beneficial and not threatening to life and it isn’t even certain that it is solely due to human activity. Just what the hell are we worried about?

    BTW I saw a reference to undersea volcanoes a while ago. The number that I remember is 200,000 worldwide.


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    blastzilla

    Reminds me of that Horizon documentary the other day (Is science under attack?) where the scientist from NASA and the head of the Royal Institute proudly proclaim infront of the camera that humans emit 7x the CO2 as the planet earth. That “we know how much we dig out of the ground, how much we sell, how much we burn”… I guess even NASA has their facts wrong ;)


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    DWH

    Of the current atmospheric CO2 load, approximately 30% (~105ppmv) is of anthropogenic origin. The anthropogenic component is determined through the delC13 and also delC14(carbon) isotope fingerprints. These are unambiguous indicators of current CO2 sources in the current atmosphere. However, the effect of this added CO2 in increasing “global mean surface temperatures” (GMST), and in increasing the oceanic heat content (OHC)(at least above 700m depth) is clearly tiny,as indicated by the current GMST-time-CO2 and OHC data sets. This is not the place to enumerate the observations supporting these observations. Furthermore, there is evidence, clearly requiring more research to confirm, that the increased CO2 load is likely to have a beneficial effect on the biosphere – enhanced vegetation growth worldwide, and a slight GMST increase, of the order of 0.5 degree C or so: with this GMST increase occurring when the anthropogenic CO2 load in the atmosphere is doubled. For those of you who doubt the delC13 (and delC14) data on CO2, I refer you to the information in Ferdinand Englebeen’s website (Google this!)


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    BobC

    Mike Borgelt:
    March 3rd, 2011 at 8:44 am

    BTW I saw a reference to undersea volcanoes a while ago. The number that I remember is 200,000 worldwide.

    The estimates have done nothing but go up for the last 30 years. In 1990, the estimates were about 10,000 — now some are estimated 3 million or more.

    When the Gakkel Ridge under the Arctic was explored (first by the Russians, then the German-American team), 80% of the soundings found volcanic activity. For comparison, if you sampled Yellowstone at the same rate (randomly picked several acre patches throughout the park) you would be lucky to get a 1% hit rate.


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    This is an excellent survey. I hope it gets distributed widely. My questionaire has one question, so it can generate media headlines.

    Man-made C02 will have:
    A) a catastrophic effect on the biosphere
    B) a small negative effect on the biosphere
    C) no real effect effect on the biosphere
    D) a small positive effect on the biosphere
    E) a blossoming effect on the biosphere
    F) an unknown effect on the biosphere


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    brc

    I had another idea for this:

    Q) Satellite measurements of global average temperature started in 1979. How many degrees hotter or colder is it currently than the average for the same month in 1979?

    Most people would probably assume several degrees. When they find out it’s a fraction of a degree, probably less than the difference between the temperature of their palm and the back of their hand, they might be surprised.


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    [...] of Jo Nova’s readers recently asked 100 people questions about the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and came up with similar [...]


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    Mr Joshua

    Hi All,

    Great blog. I wonder if the PM knows the Molecular weight of Carbon of the top of her head,mmm!!! Do they realise what a Trade Balance or the latter Current Account is?

    Regards

    Mr Joshua


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    Roy Hogue

    Question 1. What percentage of the atmosphere do you think is CO2?

    Responses: Nearly all people thought it was “20% – 40%”, the highest said 75%, and the lowest estimated 2% – 10%.

    Answer: 0.039% or about one thousand times less than what the average punter thought.

    No end of truth there! I had this very conversation with a coworker yesterday and he had no idea what percentage of the atmosphere is CO2 nor did he know the percentage contributed by human activity (a very well educated and capable engineer by the way).


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