JoNova

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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A survey of skeptics by skeptics

Mike has been an active skeptic in Scotland, and has designed a demographic and opinion survey that I think would give us interesting results. It’s very reasonable, I hope you can take a few minutes (it is short) please try to finish it if you start it. – Jo

 

I am writing to you on behalf on the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum, we are conducting a survey of those interesting in the climate debate. The aim of the survey is to understand the nature and background of those interested in the climate debate online. It will provide an invaluable insight into the education and work experience of participants, test the relevance of politics in forming views and assess employment and social factors for their relationship with views on climate.

We would be very grateful if you would take the time to complete the survey. The responses are confidential.

The url is:  http://scef.org.uk/survey/index.php/868721/lang/en.

regards,

Mike Haseler

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Rating: 8.9/10 (52 votes cast)
A survey of skeptics by skeptics, 8.9 out of 10 based on 52 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/kjqh8f3

103 comments to A survey of skeptics by skeptics

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    janama

    I must say – I query why a survey like this can understand why I’m a climate sceptic.

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      Jaymez

      It remains to be seen if that is the objective – from the questions, I don’t think it is. But I don’t want to spoil the end report. As indicated below you can see some preliminary results here (if you haven’t done the survey already): http://scef.org.uk/survey/index.php/statistics_user/action/surveyid/868721/language/en

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        AndyG55

        Interesting………Of the people who have answered the survey, there is a large % of particularly engineers and scientists.

        Those 2 areas making up OVER HALF of respondents.

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          PeterS

          That makes sense. Only real scientists are skeptics, all others are clowns or con artists.

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            Owen Morgan

            Excuse me? I am a sceptic (correct spelling, for the record), but I don’t claim to be a scientist. I don’t actually need to be, to understand the arguments.

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              Owen Morgan

              PeterS, I withdraw my comment. Yours is ambiguous, but I think I misread it and I am sorry. (I stand by the bit about the Aussie spelling of “sceptic”.)

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          Steve

          I think scientists and engineers like to get stuff *right*

          It took me a long time to accept a lot of people jsut go with the flow – I cant do it. If its wrong its wrong.

          Bazinga!

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            Safetyguy66

            How RIGHT you are.

            As I have said many times. Im not emotionally attached to my position on AGW. Im emotionally attached to the truth on all topics. I will switch camps in a heartbeat when I become convinced CO2 drives our climate and that more of it in the atmosphere guarantees catastrophe. So far I have yet to see convincing evidence of either proposition.

            The important thing is not WHO is right or wrong, but WHAT is right or wrong.

            If asking questions makes me an idiot, a ratbag, a midlife crisis white technophobe, a dolphin hater, a right wing extremist, a whatever….. then so be it. I will just ask twice as many questions.

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              PeterS

              Agree. I would switch too if the evidence was there; but thus far it isn’t so the correct state to be in is to remain a skeptic. I used to be a perfectionists but I eventually realized it’s impossible. The best we can do is make an honest appraisal of the available evidence divorce of any preconceived ideas, and come up with a logical, sensible and intelligent answer. The trouble with modern scientists is they too often have biased opinions on a particular matter and will bend the evidence to fit their worldview and discard any evidence to the contrary no mater how factual it is. It’s giving science a bad name and it’s becoming worse. Fortunately there are still many good scientists out there.

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            Eddie Sharpe

            How right you all are. As I keep having to remind my boss, authority is never having to know you’re wrong while engineering is never being wrong enough to matter.

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          Gos

          Interesting,the two main groups that are most influenced by money and prestige and who of late have shown to be able to compromise their ideals(just as politicians are able to do).
          As they say every man has his price,it just depends on who the bidder is!

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        JohnM

        I found that the most important questions were vague and the peripheral questions – who I was and what I did – was far more detailed.

        It looks to me like it’s just seeking to discover the dominant demographics among sceptics, and that makes me wonder why.

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          Eddie Sharpe

          I did wonder about that long one with several questions about your colleagues. Isn’t this just trying to feed the stereotype about Engineers being isolated, tormented, creative types who are never satisfied with anything, I thought .

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    PhilJourdan

    Took the survey from a link at WUWT.

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    RoyFOMR

    Some preliminary results were linked to from WUWT and are interesting to me at least.
    http://scef.org.uk/survey/index.php/statistics_user/action/surveyid/868721/language/en

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    Here in the USA, we are in the grip of the Insane Left, which is the immediate problem, not the egregiously incompetent “climate science” being promulgated by the tyrants.

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      PeterS

      Yes, it’s a shame to see such a great country as the US decline and ultimately collapse thanks to socialism. Very sad but to be expected as all empires start their decline from within.

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      Sean McHugh

      “Here in the USA, we are in the grip of the Insane Left”

      It’s the same here in Australia. The left are no longer in government but are still in control.

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      John Brookes

      OMG! The insane left. Have you absolutely no connection to reality?

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        Backslider

        OMG! The insane left. Have you absolutely no connection to reality?

        For once you are right John. They are not at all insane, but rather corrupt, bigoted morons.

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    Sean McHugh

    Of course you will get more scores for ‘Daily’ sceptical reading because more of those will be reading about and doing the survey. Sorry, this survey seems worse than useless and I question whether it should be promoted.

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      Eddie Sharpe

      All such surveys may be worse than useless, but relatively this ones seems much more honest that the duplicitous double dealing you can expect from the likes of Lew & Cook et al., on much so much warmist belief is predicated.

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      Mark F

      That might be why “preliminary” results are shown, with the survey still running. Do YOU read it daily?

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      Gos

      It’s just a survey,all surveys mean squat!
      What we have today is a survey driven life,our politicians won’t make a move without one,we have got to the point where people will not make a commitment unless their is someone in agreement,how sad that the courage of conviction has been removed by statistics.
      LIES ,damned LIES and STATISTICS,is far too true today.

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    Eliza Doodle

    Don’t want to draw any conclusions prematurely, but:-
    Yay, lets hear it for the Engineers (34%) and Scientists (24%).
    Not overwhelmingly so though.

    At least 2/3 seem to be Blogg Dwellers though, but any old Bloggs.

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    warcroft

    Did it. But the one a out flu epidemics I couldn’t do. Wasn’t able to shuffle them on my phone.

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      Winston

      Also done,
      Influenza epidemic question was especially not well thought out, especially given that a health professional (in my case) was filling it out. Like all surveys, it doesn’t really find out much definitively. For example- the SKS question versus skeptic blogs- I fell in the “infrequent” category for visiting alarmist sites, but yet I originally exclusively obtained my climate information, and hence observations of CAGW and its psychology, from reading SKS daily religiously without commenting for about 12 months, before even venturing onto Jo’s blog. Had I filled out that survey then rather than now, my result would have been entirely different, with infrequent visits to skeptic sites, and daily visits to SKS.

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        Bones

        Winston,you are thinking too much.Take out the mention of flu and just answer the question of who you trust the most to supply you with information.From the comments after the survey,the mention of the flu twisted a few people’s thoughts but the basic question was who do you trust the most.

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          Winston

          Except, on the basis of a flu epidemic, the only people who would have data to suggest whether a properly defined “epidemic” (rather than sporadic cases or seasonal fluctuations) was taking place would be Public Health Units as part of government.

          Now I wouldn’t trust most government departments as far as I could throw them, but I put government at the top of this information tree purely because they are the population data holders. That doesn’t however correlate with them being a trusted authority in other areas, especially climate, or economic statistics or any other area where they have a vested interest in providing data that gave them financial or political benefit.

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        Andrew Griffiths

        Yeah I don’t think about flu epidemics too much,I just trot of each April and pay $12 for a jab from my doctor and hope for the best

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          John Brookes

          And when I read your comments you had two thumbs down, I presume by people who think that vaccinations are a scam.

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    Apoxonbothyourhouses

    Jo, Off topic but if correct monumental in its implications. Are you intent on criticising?

    Independent data analyst, Steven Goddard, today (January 19, 2014) released his telling study of the officially adjusted and “homogenized” US temperature records relied upon by NASA, NOAA, USHCN and scientists around the world to “prove” our climate has been warming dangerously.

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    oblongau

    They asked:

    What has been your main working occupation?
    Please select between 1 and 2 answers

    How do I pick 1.5 answers?!!

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    mikemUK

    Trying to work out whether by joining in the survey I’ve become voluntarily ‘de-individuated’ or not; and if so,is it curable?

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    Bulldust

    So how many people typed “something random” in the second last box as instructed?

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    Granny by Star light

    OT. Now that the Warmists and their nonsense have been vanquished there are more exciting things going on in the Universe.
    A Super Nova exploded in the Gallaxy Messier 82 , about 12 million light years away , Wednesday morning between the Grest Bear and the Little Bear in the Northern Hemisphere.
    The closest such event since about 20 years.
    Visible through Binoculars

    If you’re in the Soughern Hemisphere you can watch it on the Internet
    http://m.space.com/24373-supernova-explosion-seen-in-nearby-galaxy-video.html

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      Vic G Gallus

      The morning of Wed 22 Jan 12 000 000 BCE.

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        Eddie Sharpe

        Or thereabouts, about 11.5 (+/- 0.8 ) Million (acc. Wiki ) years before the World woke up to CE marking.
        Isn’t that just incredible ? Yet it’s one of the nearest such events observed in the last 200 years.
        Not so sure if it was a Wednesday though.

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          Joe V.

          The CE Mark. The trading mark of the Communauté Européenne.
          More commonly understood to mean Buyer Beware, from the Latin : Caveat Emptor ,
          or more simply just, Beware ! from the Latin: Ecce !

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      michael hart

      I’m in the Northern hemisphere, and the internet seemed to work for me too. (Curiously, it also downloaded an advert for transparent bikinis, which I don’t normally wear at this time of year.)

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        Eddie Sharpe

        What’s that they say about tailoring averts to your browsing history ;-)

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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Stuff the Super Nova, what was the URL for the transparent bikinis?

        [You are joking, I trust? -Fly]

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          Graeme No.3

          Google is your friend.

          I haven’t viewed any of these so run a virus checker over them before you run your eyes there.

          I think they will be like Green policies, lots of promises but not likely to work in the real world.

          [Sorry Graeme, I have snipped them - some things are better left to the imagination on a family-friendly blog -Fly]

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          michael hart

          Rest easy Rereke. I’ve just looked, and they were neither transparent, nor all bikinis. I clearly need some more exciting browsing history. Still it was better than x-ray spectrophotometers which I got for a while.

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    Truthseeker

    Jo!

    The 2014 Bloggies are on! Better make a post to get votes. Voting closing soon.

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    MadJak

    Good survey, although I would be interested in the participants locus of control. That could be really interesting to analyse between both camps.

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    Done and disseminated – Cheers Jo.

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    Safetyguy66

    60 odd % of the respondents with science and or engineering backgrounds.

    The way skeptics of AGW are dismissed by people with equal or less qualifications in the field, for example John Christy being dismissed by idiots like Flannery just continues to make me scratch my head.

    This debate has levels of oddity that rival discussion on UFO’s and psychic phenomena. Its edging into the nonsensical, simply because it seems like everyday the weight of scientific qualifications and experience falls more and more on the skeptic side, yet the dismissal of skeptics as ratbags and idiots just gets louder.

    Go figure…

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    Vic G Gallus

    I thought of putting this into the comments section but it was a bit long.

    I will not trust someone who says that you must trust the science but will only let you see the corrected, deconvoluted or homogenised data. I will not trust a group that will convince school children with the ‘scientific’ explanation that it is like a greenhouse, nor even the possibly worse ‘CO2 is not transparent to IR radiation being emitted by the cooling surface and so is back radiated’.

    I’m reminded sometimes of Einsteins explanation of how wireless telegraph works.

    You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.

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    pat

    24 Jan: SMH: Tom Arup/Benjamin Priess: Climate change a subject for students of all ages, says Dr Vaille Dawson
    Climate change should be taught to all students from primary school and be embedded in a range of subjects, a senior science curriculum expert says.
    As the Abbott government launches a review of Australia’s school curriculum, the dean of teaching and learning at Curtin University, Dr Vaille Dawson, told Fairfax Media climate change was not explicitly mentioned until year 10 under the national system and should be introduced earlier.
    She said climate change was the most significant social issue the world was going to face and every student should have access to sound, evidence-based material on the underlying science. She said relating science to major social issues such as climate change also helped better engage students.
    ”Many teachers are already teaching climate change to younger students. But the rationale about getting it more explicitly in the curriculum is so that every teacher teaches it,” she said.
    Dr Dawson – who is due to present her views at a conference held by the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society next month – said the current curriculum review did not look like it would include more climate change, or other cutting-edge scientific areas, into schools…
    Canberra University earth and environmental science associate professor Leah Moore – who was on an advisory panel for the prep to year 10 curriculum and involved in writing earth and environmental science curriculum for year 11 and 12 – said she was concerned some teachers were not confident in conveying the scientific principles behind climate change.
    ”I’m worried that there is a risk you can teach them about issues without teaching what causes them or the evidence for understanding them,” she said.
    The deputy dean of Monash University’s education faculty, Deborah Corrigan said teaching of sustainability was too inconsistent.
    Science Teachers Association of Victoria president Soula Bennett said she was comfortable the curriculum gave teachers the opportunity to raise climate change at early grades…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/climate-change-a-subject-for-students-of-all-ages-says-dr-vaille-dawson-20140123-31bub.html

    4 Nov: The Conversation: Vaille Dawson/Katherine Carson: What do young people really know about climate change?
    (Disclosure Statement: Vaille Dawson receives funding from the Australian Research Council.)
    There is a lot of research which supports the idea that until a person understands the science behind climate change, they may not support political regulation or make personal decisions to help reduce greenhouse gas production.
    Our new study, published in the latest edition of Teaching Science, has investigated the scientific understanding of 438 Western Australian Year 10 students in relation to the greenhouse effect and climate change.
    The results are startling.
    When asked for a written response to the question “what is climate change?” only half of the students gave an answer which showed some understanding of the science behind climate change. Furthermore, one-third of the students included some type of alternative conception in their answer…
    What can be done?…
    To start with, climate change is not explicitly mentioned in the Australian Curriculum in Science until year 10, despite young people’s exposure to the topic in the media much earlier. In fact, the results of our survey showed that TV was the most frequent source of information about climate change, with school science coming second (although school science was seen as the most trustworthy)…
    If we want to improve this situation, it needs to begin in school with a curriculum which promotes understanding of climate science as well as pro-environmental behaviour. Teachers need to be aware of common alternative conceptions (often held by teachers themselves) and be given the resources and skills to overcome them…
    http://theconversation.com/what-do-young-people-really-know-about-climate-change-19754

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      Bones

      PAT
      Canberra University earth and environmental science associate professor Leah Moore
      ”I’m worried that there is a risk you can teach them about issues without teaching what causes them or the evidence for understanding them,” she said.
      Last tuesday I had a talk with a girl exactly like this.She believed that warming was happenning and caused by humans,when I asked her why she had no answer{nothing, not even that it was hot}.She told me her ideas on warming were taught to her at school.No reasons for it,just that it was harming our future.My main worry is we will be indoctrinating a whole generation of sarah hanson young clones.Now I cant sleep.

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    pat

    READ ALL: 23 Jan: World Bank: World Bank Group President: This Is the Year of Climate Action
    Story Highlights:
    At the World Economic Forum in Davos, President Jim Yong Kim called for a price on carbon, requiring companies to disclose their climate risk exposure, and greater investment in green bonds in the fight against climate change…
    Kim also called for doubling the market for green bonds, which support climate adaptation and mitigation projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction, to $20 billion this year and $50 billion by the time a new international climate agreement is reached in Paris in 2015. He urged institutional investors to commit to green bonds targets in their portfolios…
    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/01/23/davos-world-bank-president-carbon-pricing

    23 Jan: Blue&GreenTomorrow: ‘This is the year to fight climate change’, World Bank president tells finance world at Davos
    However, Kim stressed that financial leaders must also lead sustainability efforts.
    “The so called long-term investors must recognise their fiduciary responsibility to future pension holders who will be affected by decisions made today”, he said.
    “Corporate leaders should not wait to act until market signals are right and national investment policies are in place. Be the first mover. Use smart due diligence. Rethink what fiduciary responsibility means, in this changing world. It’s simple self interest.”
    He added, “Every company, investor and bank that screens new and existing investments for climate risks is simply being pragmatic.”
    Kim also called on financial regulators to enforce disclosure of climate risks, requiring companies and financial institutions to assess their exposure to climate related impacts…
    The World Bank president called for the use of green bonds, as described in the Green Bond Principles released this month, to “expand the universe of investors who are investing in green assets”, and called on institutional investors to “commit to purchasing specific significant amounts of green bonds for their portfolios.” …
    http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/01/23/this-is-the-year-to-fight-climate-change-world-bank-president-tells-finance-world-at-davos/

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      Bones

      The world bank,what a bunch of SNAKE OIL SALESMEN.Get your green bonds,don’t wait,be the first mover,hurry hurry hurry before everyone wakes up.Get in on the ground floor but don’t use the staires cause they only go down.

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    pat

    24 Jan: Guardian Economics Blog: Lord Stern: I should have been fiercer in climate change review
    Global temperatures are set to be 4-5C higher in the next century and governments are fooling themselves if they think this will only have a modest impact on their economies, says Stern
    Posted by Larry Elliott in Davos
    Stern is in Davos beating the drum for an organisation called the New Climate Economy, headed by the former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón. Its aim is persuade finance ministers rather than simply environment ministers that tackling climate change should be a top priority.
    This makes sense. Finance ministers hold the purse strings and dictate economic policy. They are much higher up the political food chain than environment ministers…
    Secondly, he says that someone is going to win the green race and at the moment the likeliest candidate is China…
    Finally, Stern says things have moved on in the eight years since his review. “I would have been much fiercer”, he says. “Emissions have gone up faster than I thought and some of the effects of global warming are coming through more quickly, such as melting of the glaciers and the polar ice caps. But technical change has been faster too.”…
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2014/jan/23/lord-stern-climate-change-review-davos

    23 Jan: Washington Post: Kofi Annan: A united call for action on climate change
    When Nelson Mandela formed the Elders in 2007 to promote peace and human rights across the world, he challenged us to be bold and to give a voice to those who have none. No issue demands these qualities more than our collective failure to tackle climate change.
    Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. It threatens the well-being of hundreds of millions of people today and many billions more in the future. It undermines the human rights to food, water, health and shelter — causes for which we, as Elders, have fought all our lives…
    Recent months have also brought examples — from typhoons in the Philippines to the polar vortex in North America and widespread floods in Europe — of the increase in extreme weather events that experts warn is the inevitable outcome of climate change. The costs are already enormous, which is why the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the International Energy Agency have joined the scientific community in warning about the risks. It is no longer only environmentalists who are ringing alarm bells…
    What is needed to prevent this catastrophe has been established. Global temperature rises must be limited to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This means turning away from fossil fuels and accelerating the deployment of affordable renewable energies, for instance by setting an internationally agreed price for carbon…
    Over the coming months, the Elders will appeal for bold leadership from governments, businesses and citizens to achieve a carbon-neutral world by 2050. If ever there were a cause which should unite us all, old or young, rich or poor, climate change must be it.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kofi-annan-a-united-call-for-action-on-climate-change/2014/01/22/3694fa0c-82c1-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html

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      Bones

      Pat,they just have no end to their crap,4-5C warmer by next century,China is going to win the green race and all we will have is more typhoons,floods and bushfires.Countries are going broke using renewable energy and all these clowns recommend is much more of the same.Are we on the same planet or are they escapees from Roswell

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      SteveMid

      We can fix all our climate problems by trading carbon credits an exchange owned by Goldman Sachs. Trading carbon credits at exchanges not owned by Goldman Sachs doesn’t work as well. Australias system of a carbon tax was doomed to failure as it had the possibility to raise tax income for the Australian Government. The Government might then have squandered that money on paying off the nations debt. This would have deprived the worlds merchant banks of some of the safest high interest sovereign debt in the world today. Reduced merchant bank profits are scientifically proven to contribute to global warming at least as much as carbon dioxide.

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    Joe V.

    The trouble with many people when they get an idea, is they don’t take account of how wrong they can be. That’s particularly true of Government employees, where its other people ‘s money they’re being wrong with.

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    tony

    Took the trouble to do it but it would not submit.

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    SteveMid

    Global warming is either real or its not. I believe it is real if the stats are taken over a period that start at the last “mini ice age”. Anthromorphic (spelling help please) global warming is either real or its not. For those who believe that the concentration of a trace gas in the atmosphere can completely derail the world climate I have an excellent “Green Investment Opportunity” for you all. I will post a link with my (Nigerian) bank account details later. For the rest of us I think it is very important to cut down on our squandering of the world fossil energy reserves ’cause we are going to need heaps of the stuff when the world warms and the climate goes crazy in order to live through it and stay warm/cool, grow food etc.
    Creating an exchange traded derivitive (carbon trading) will enrich the 85 odd super wealthy that Oxfam recons own half the world but wont make a blind bit of difference to global temperatures. I have however heard that a good witch doctor can, at the right time of the right year in the right place, make the sun disappear and, for the right tribute will make the sun re-appear after half an hour or so. Strong Magic at work there. Goldman Sachs have similarly strong magic that can make global warming go away, for the right price.

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