Home > Uncategorized > a positive side to global climate change?

a positive side to global climate change?

My reputation, amongst my friends and family, as a prophet of doom is growing, it seems, and certainly I give the appearance sometimes of someone who is very pessimistic about the outlook for humanity because of how severe I rate the threat of global climate change. But then I feel my pessimism is entirely justified, simply because the scientific evidence for such climate change becoming rapidly more severe with every passing year, or month even, is now simply overwhelming, a veritable avalanche of ‘bad news’. Nevertheless, despite the pessimism, or perhaps because of it, I can increasingly perceive the opportunities that knowledge of climate change provides for me as far as my own spiritual practice goes. To be specific, the positive aspects of the challenges of adapting to apocalyptic climate change are:

1. that the awareness of the lethality of rapid climate change sharpens the urgency of accepting my own mortality, an acceptance that, if deep enough, actually leads to an enrichment of the preciousness of each moment of this life and the determination to realise the potential of each moment for personal and spiritual growth. Indeed, meditation on death is one of the most transformative meditations within Buddhism, and contemplating climate change and its potential for imminent mega-deaths and mega-sufferings is a kind of meditation on the death of all living beings, which could be used, I tentatively venture to claim, to help extend the death meditation into a powerful spur to deepen my own compassion and my own wish to release all beings from suffering, thereby infusing my bodhisattva practice with the “fierce urgency of now”, to borrow a phrase from Martin Luther King.

2. that thinking about climate change helps me to deepen and enlarge the key ’emotional intelligence’ of empathy, which John Marshall Roberts (in his video on ‘The Global Urgency of Everyday Empathy’) convincingly argues is essential in helping humanity not only to collectively make the rational decisions necessary to ameliorate, and adapt to, rapid climate change, but also to generate enough compassion and lovingkindness to actually implement those decisions quickly enough and extensively enough. Indeed, I think it is now generally accepted that  in most emergencies, whatever they be, many of the individuals caught up in them find that the emergency itself is the crucial trigger for releasing depths of compassionate energy that they never realised they had, and that applying that energy to helping victims of the emergency is an incredibly positive feeling that injects a renewed sense of purpose and direction into their lives, even making their lives happier. Even apocalypse, it seems, has its silver lining…

3.  that it helps me to refine my understanding of the Buddhist concept of emptiness by seeing how the cause and effect relationships that are the immediate triggers for climate change are inextricably related to, and dependent upon, my own mind, and upon the collective consciousness of humanity at this time. This, hopefully, will be a way of helping me to eventually realise emptiness itself fully and also to further my ability to one day be able to apply this realisation to effectively helping others affected by climate change through my bodhisattva work as a  Mahayana Buddhist. I hope to be able to explore this much further in future posts.

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  1. February 5, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Hi Andy,
    you say that “the scientific evidence for such climate change becoming rapidly more severe with every passing year, or month even, is now simply overwhelming, a veritable avalanche of ‘bad news’. ” but where do you get that from? Are you a scientist? Have you above lay understanding of the processes and drivers of changes to the different global climates?

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • andydharma
      February 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Pete,
      Whether or not I am a scientist is an irrelevant question, so I will not answer that. What matters is what the majority of climate scientists say, not what I say. I merely take what they say as the basis for forming my views on the subject. My views could be wrong, of course, but that is for people like you to decide, and I can live with people thinking my views are wrong! What I can’t live with is the suffering that might arise for countless people if rapid climate change becomes catastrophic, and that is where I feel emboldened, ouyt of comapssion, to act in ways which hopefully will help mitigate such catastrophic change. Compassion, by the way, is for me one of the sources of eudaimonia.
      Best regards, Andy.

  2. February 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Hi again Andrew, for myself, whether or not you are a scientist is a very relevant question. On Wednesday I walked past the local Oxfam shop and was disgusted by the banner in the window “Climate Change Kills – what should we do about it?” (or words to that effect. I popped in and asked the shop manager what she thought we could do about it. She started ranting about cutting our emissions. I asked her why she believed that would help and she gave the same answer as you give – the scientists say so. Don’t you see how pathetic that reaction is?

    I expect intelligent people try to assess the validity of what they are told by doing their own research. You have a degree in social psychology so you must have learned how to think for yourself. As a qualified psychiatric nurse you must have learned how to tell fact from fiction. If a patient told you something surely you would investigate thoroughly before drawing your conclusions.

    I suspect that you have never visited a blog run by someone sceptical of the CACC doctrine. Have you ever read an article on one of the International Climate Science Coalition members’ blogs, Wattsupwiththat, Bishop Hill, Climate Audit, Climate Change Dispatch, Joanna Nova, The Science of Doom you’ll like that one, if you are the “prophet of doom” that you family and friends think you are, Climate Skeptic, Rocket Science, Skeptics Global Warming, etc. etc. etc. No, I thought not, but try a few as it may open your eyes to reality.

    Also, stop worrying about, peak oil. Once the oil is gone (and that will be a long time from now) there will still be stacks of coal (and nuclear) available for centuries to counter any hopes you may have for “the new age of material austerity”.

    BTW, you seem very shy about talking about whether or not you and yours have stopped enjoying all of those benefits of modern living, so I am forced to assume that you don’t deprive yourself very much if at all.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  3. andydharma
    February 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Hello again, Pete.
    Sorry, I just can’t see what is pathetic about referring to the scientists when talking about the need for emissions reductions. Referring to expert opinions in order to decide policy options is a normal part of public and intellectual life. I just find it bizarre that you should feel so strongly about using the research findings of scientists to inform one’s views or one’s conversations with others. When you expect people to do their own research, you surely do not mean that they should do their own scientific research? Surely just studying the conclusions of fully accredited scientists, such as those who contribute to the IPCC, is enough? So far I have seen nothing to invalidate the main scientific conclusions embodied in the IPCC report. In fact, much of the most recent scientific evidence shows that the IPCC estimates for global warming and climate change consequences are likely to be underestimates because of the lack of incorporation of known positive feedbacks.

    It’s also bizarre that you completely pooh-pooh the idea of peak oil, which is fast becoming mainstream and pretty much accepted even by oil industry insiders, including the CEOs of some of the big oil companies.

    As for me enjoying the benefits of modern living, what has that got to do with anything? I was never advocating that we all start wearing hairshirts (I don’t wear one myself, by the way)! I certainly don’t hope for a new age of material austerity, but we may end up with one whether we like it or not. Which is not to say that we will necessarily be less happy. On the contrary, there are ways of being happy even under conditions of great austerity – many meditators and contemplatives understand this from their own experience.
    Best wishes, Andy.

  4. February 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Andy, sorry to have left it so long before responding but I’ve been busy elsewhere, particularly on Judith Curry’s blogs (e.g. http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/#comment-48286 – well worth a read, especially the analyses by Roger Taguchi showing that the IPCC has seriously overestimated the warming that could arise from a doubling of atmospheric CO2). I’ve also been busy trying to sorts out a couple of issues on Mike’s WatchingtheDeniers blog.

    Roger Taguchi’s analyses relate closely to you last comment about “.. what is pathetic about referring to the scientists when talking about the need for emissions reductions”. I don’t disagree about the need to listen to advice from scientists who specialise in research into the emission of dangerous pollutants, which I believe should be reduced to an acceptable level that is not harmful to humans. Carbon dioxide does not fall into this category because, rather than being a pollutant, it is an essential, life-supporting substance. The present mean global atmospheric level is estimated to be about 390ppm, well below the optimum level of 1000ppm set in greenhouses for producing optimum crop yields. 1000ppm is also the estimated average level found in our homes, work-places and enclosed public areas.

    What I understand Roger to show is that if atmospheric CO2 was the only other controller of global temperatures next to the sun then a further increase of 210ppm to 600ppm would only cause another 0.7C increase in mean global temperature. There is no convincing evidence to show that such a small increase would have any significant impact upon the different global temperatures. Roger also shows that when taking into consideration the 0.7C increase since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the IPCC’s estimates of up to 6C increase for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 since that time are 4x too high, i.e. the claims about positive feedback are pure speculation.

    When I talk about lay people doing their own research I simply mean carefully researching the scientific analyses undertaken by both supporters and critics of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate change hypothesis say. The IPCC does not do its own fundamental research but only gives consideration to the research of scientists who support CACC. That is what it was set up by the politicians to do.

    I reject an imminent “peak oil” problem because when natural sources start to run out there will still be plenty coal available to produce it synthetically. Google “oil from coal” to find out more.

    Enough for now. Speak again soon.

    Best regards, Pete

    • andydharma
      March 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

      Hi Pete,
      Welcome back.
      The IPCC was NOT set up by politicians intent on only considering the research of scientists who support CACC. I have read about the history of the IPCC, and what is clear is that the IPCC conclusions were systematically weakened or watered down by politicians involved in the IPCC process, and many of those politicians were responding to the lobbying of the big oil and coal companies. This undermining of the actual implications of climate science research within the IPCC is well documented by Jeremy Leggett in his book, The Carbon War: Global warming at the end of the Oil Era. Leggett was a delegate at many of the IPCC gatherings so he is a first-hand witness of many of the politicians’ activities within the IPCC. The overall effect of the political tactics within the IPCC was to underplay the real speed and intensity of global warming, and the latest climate science research frequently shows that actual global warming and its consequences are often more severe than even the worst-case IPCC scenarios that were allowed to be published. The latest climate science evidence is very well collated at http://www.climateprogress.org

      Of course CO2 is a life-supporting substance – in the right amounts in the right place at the right time. But if you only breathe in CO2 you will be dead (word of advice, don’t live in a greenhouse – it’s probably very bad for your health, especially if the CO2 levels inside it is blasted up to 1000ppm!)! And too much CO2 in the atmosphere causes too much global warming which leads to climate change that is too rapid (for humans to adapt to quickly enough) and leads to excessively frequent extreme weather events (excessive, that is, for humans to handle). The scientific research behind this is well summarised by http://www.skepticalscience.com/ and that is good enough for me, especially as that site contains detailed rebuttals of all the many objections raised by climate sceptics such as yourself.

      You seem to welcome an increase in the use of coal. If that is not a dangerous pollutant, I don’t know what is. My dad had to go to work in the infamous London killer smogs of the 1950s, and coal burning led to the ‘acid rain’ problem. And mining it is no fun either (coal dust poisons miners, by the way)! Anyway, producing oil from coal is way too expensive and could not be scaled up quickly enough to deal with the arrival of peak oil. Have you noticed how much it costs to fill your car petrol tank recently? And are petrol stations selling ‘oil from coal’ yet? Enough said.

      Thanks again for dropping by,
      Best wishes, Andy.

  5. March 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Andy, thanks for the reasoned response. It is good that although we have totally opposed opinions on the CACC issue we can still debate reasonably. It is a shame that others seem incapable of this. I think that we are agreed about there being overdue political involvement in the scientific debate about climate science and the effects of atmospheric CO2 on the different global climates. As usual, politicians distort the facts for their own ends. I disagree with your suggestion that “The IPCC was NOT set up by politicians intent on only considering the research of scientists who support CACC”. My research some time ago found evidence that when setting up the IPCC the WMO and UNEP specifically limited the IPCC to researching the science demonstrating that humans were causing significant global warming. As Christopher Booker said in his Sept. 2010 Telegraph article “A cunning bid to shore up the ruins of the IPCC” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7981979/A-cunning-bid-to-shore-up-the-ruins-of-the-IPCC.html) “ .. The IPCC was, from the start, essentially a political pressure group, producing evidence to support the view that global warming was the most serious crisis facing the planet. This guided the selection of all the key scientists chosen to compile the IPCC’s findings (such as those involved in the Climategate affair). .. ”.

    About a year ago I did some research into the original IPCC Terms of Reference established by the WMO 7 UNEP which showed that the IPCC was set up specifically to look at scientific papers covering human impact on global climates. I haven’t yet been able to dig out the references but did come across my copy of the “WMO Volume 58(3) – July 2009 A history of climate activities by John W. Zillman” which says QUOTE: Tenth World Meteorological Congress in May 1987 considered both the outcome of the Villach Conference and an advance briefing on the conclusions of the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) which had drawn heavily on the Villach findings in highlighting global warming as a major threat to sustainable development (WCED, 1987). There were many calls from national delegations for WMO to provide authoritative information on the state of knowledge of human-induced climate change. Congress agreed with the Villach recommendation for periodic assessments of scientific knowledge but considered that the assessment mechanism should operate under the overall guidance of governments rather than solely through scientists serving in their personal capacities (WMO, 1987). It, and the immediately following session of the WMO Executive Council, authorized the Secretary-General to consult with the Executive Director of UNEP to establish what was soon to become the joint WMO-UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) UNQUOTE.

    Note particularly “ .. There were many calls from national delegations for WMO to provide authoritative information on the state of knowledge of human-induced climate change .. Congress .. considered that the assessment mechanism should operate under the overall guidance of governments rather than solely through scientists .. ”.

    I don’t see that supporting your claim that “ .. The IPCC was NOT set up by politicians intent on only considering the research of scientists who support CACC .. ”. Maybe you’ll find enlightening the August 2010 report “We Have Been Conned – an Independent review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”, by John McLean, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia in (http://mclean.ch/climate/docs/We_have_been_conned_rev2.pdf). A lighter read is his “The IPCC Under a Microscope” (http://mclean.ch/climate/IPCC.htm) in which he says QUOTE: The charter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is “… to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy .. UNQUOTE.

    You say “ .. The overall effect of the political tactics within the IPCC was to underplay the real speed and intensity of global warming, and the latest climate science research frequently shows that actual global warming and its consequences are often more severe than even the worst-case IPCC scenarios that were allowed to be published .. ” but you are accepting politically motivated speculation about future global warming as fact. We seem to have experienced a trivial 0.7C increase in mean global temperature during the past 110 years. During the past decade there appears to have been none.

    I am not surprised that you make reference to the writings of a staunch environmentalist like Jeremy Leggett. Although he was at one time a geologist he is not an expert in the processes and drivers of the different global climates and that is the area where the debate rages. Leggett is steeped in Greenpeace dogma.

    Once again your other references to http://www.climateprogress.org and http://www.skepticalscience.com/ are to blogs that are run by staunch environmentalists with an agenda having nothing to do with taking over Natures job of controlling the different global climates. Have you bothered to read those analyses of Roger Taguchi that I pointed you to? – no, I thought not. Roger shows that even if atmospheric CO2 levels were to increase from the present estimate of 390ppm to 600ppm and no other temperature drivers had any effect there would only be a further 0.7C rise. According to the highly suspect reconstruction of past CO2 concentration from air “trapped” in ice for decades, hundreds and thousands of years it has taken 100 years to increase by 100ppm and only part of the estimated increase of 0.7C (about 1/3 as I recall) is estimated to be due to CO2. (these figures are off the top of my head so may be a little out, but not far). You seem to ignore the fact that there was a Little Ice Age from about 1500 to 1800 AD and the globe has been coming out of it since – in other words it has been warming. That is perfectly normal and always happens during interglacials, before the downturn towards another ice age. Scientists are suggesting that we are now into a phase of several decades at least of cooling and some even speculate that the small amount of warming due to increased CO2 is helping to stave off the next ice age.

    I agree that coal CAN BE a dangerous pollutant and has been the cause of many deaths if used indiscrimately. You are from the London area and are aware of the terrible smogs that we had back in the first half of the 20th century. That was sorted by the Clean Air Act 1956 following the death of 4,000 people in the London smog in 1950. However, clean coal technology is available now which reduces pollution to acceptable levels. Coal can now be used without dangerous consequences and there is still enough left for hundreds of years of use. There are even new methods of extraction which minimise damage to the environment and danger to the miners.

    I don’t think that I have previously told you that after I read a review of staunch environmentalist Mark Lynas’s propaganda booklet “Six Degrees ..” back in April 2007 I was very concerned for the future of my children and grand-children. I was exchanging opinions on the blog of another supporter of the CACC doctrine, Linda McIver (http://lindamciver.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/fiddling-while-we-drown/) and made a comment about this which I may as well repeat here.

    QUOTE: Back in April 2007 Mark Lynas published his scare-mongering booklet “Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet,” (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_reviews/article1612169.ece) and The Sunday Times magazine ran an article summarising its contents. After reading it I was a very worried father and grandfather and decided to research the subject to see what could be done about combating it. After almost four years of searching for information a have moved from being uncertain about the issue to being highly suspicious of the motives of those who push their propaganda. My first task was to see if the claims made in “Six Degrees .. ” were valid. Time and again I found that Mark had merged fact with fiction in order to paint a frightening story-line. I challenged him on his blog over about ten of the instances in just the first section, where he had presented a highly distorted interpretation of facts concerning the impacts of a 1C increase but never had a response from him. If you’re interested I can dig out the comments that I made.

    When I’m suspicious about motives I have found that “follow the money” is a sound approach to resolving it. Follow the money trail left by Al Gore, Maurice Strong, et friends, a useful starting point being “Free Republic” (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2091792/posts). Please don’t come back screaming “conspiracy theorist” because I see myself more of a realist. UNQUOTE.

    That final paragraph is relevant to the motives of Jeremy Leggett. Surprise surprise, “Jeremy Leggett later became the founder and is currently executive chairman of Solarcentury the UK’s largest independent solar electric company. Leggett is one of a number of entrepreneurs who have started a renewable energy business. .. The company was founded in 1998 by Jeremy Leggett, the CEO, to design and supply solar energy solutions for the built environment and is based in central London. It currently employs over 100 staff. Currently offices are held in the UK, France, Italy, and Spain” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Leggett & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solarcentury). There certainly was a financial incentive for Jeremy to invest in solar when Labour was in power.

    Fortunately, under our much more down-to-earth Coalition Government QUOTE:
    .. Asset manager and private equity investor Matrix Group has pulled its two recently launched clean energy venture capital trusts (VCT) as fears remain that the UK government may withdraw its support for solar installations above 50kW. Matrix Clean Energy VCT1 and Matrix Clean Energy VCT2 have been withdrawn as uncertainty is likely to cloud much of the fundraising period. The Department of Energy and Climate Change announced on 7 February that it was to undertake a comprehensive review of the feed-in tariffs that were put in place in April 2010.
    The FIT, which gives subsidies to power generated from renewable energy installations sub 5MW, has ignited the UK clean energy industry with a number of new investment vehicles looking to target this area.
    The review of the FIT is expected to conclude in July 2011, with any changes to be made effectively immediately. .. UNQUIOTE.

    That has put the frighteners on those who have jumped on the CACC bandwaggon and I trust that it won’t be too long before the EU also stops its nonsense. Of course, Jeremy will fight to the bitter end to support his empire.

    I’m often in Brighton visiting friends so why don’t we meet up for a chat. You’re only down the road. Written communication can convey a completely wrong impression of the individual. I have found that the blogosphere brings out the worst in many of us.

    Enough for now. Speak again soon.

    Best regards, Pete

  6. March 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Andy, I was surprised that my latest comment hasn’t been posted yet. If there was something in it that you didn’t like then please let me know (paragraph numbers will do) and I’ll change it.

    i’ve been doing some more research into Jeremy Leggett and will be submitting a comment to his blog. He too gives the impression of being convinced that our continuing use of fossil fuels is leading to CACC so it will be interesting to find out if he can substantiate his opinion with convincing scientific evidence. I propose to challenge him to refute the excellent analyses posted by Roger Taguchi on Professor Judith Curry’s “Physics of the Greenhouse effect” thread (http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/).

    Although he was once an oil company geologist he has been an environmental campaigner since 1989 so I doubt very much that he will take up the challenge.

    In 2008 I issued a similar challenge to other staunch environmentalist, including Mark Lynas and Jonathan Porritt then challenged GreenPeace UK (http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/perspectives-geoengineering-20090902) but to no effect – why? because they can’t.

    You and I seem to agree about the “POLITICIZATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE & CO2” (http://nzclimatescience.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=374&Itemid=1). There is an updated version on my blog at http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.com/p/sundry-papers.html.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  7. andydharma
    March 4, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Hi Pete,
    Good to hear from you again. Sorry about not putting your comments online sooner. I’ve been very busy with other things. And I don’t have time at the moment to make a detailed riposte to all your points. But I was amazed and amused by some of your claims, which strike me as truly beyond all scientific evidence. You say: “We seem to have experienced a trivial 0.7C increase in mean global temperature during the past 110 years. During the past decade there appears to have been none”. A global increase in temperature of 0.7 degrees C is most definitely not trivial! I recommend you read James Lovelock, amongst others, in order to understand why. I think a lot of climate change deniers misunderstand the sensitivity of climate systems to apparently small changes in basic parameters. The Little Ice Age, by the way, was a European, purely regional phenomenon, not a global one, so pushing that bigtime is a red herring. As for the past decade, that has definitely been warmer than the decade before that, which was itself warmer than the decade before that; that is simply the overwheming conclusion to be derived from the observational data, but I know that there is no way of convincing you and other deniers simply because every reference to scientists or scientific data that I suggest will simply be rubbished as politically or financially compromised, or as being simply wrong or even unscientific. There can be no real debate as you cannot accept any of the scientific data or scientific consensus that I accept. I respect your right to disagree with the scientific data, but that leaves us just agreeing to go our separate ways. Meanwhile, the global climate will go on doing what is is doing at the moment regardless of our debate.
    Best wishes,
    Andy.

  8. peteridley
    March 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Andy, sorry about my impatience regarding my comment of 1st March but I tend to forget that others have day jobs and can’t spend as much time blogging as I can. My wife would argue that I spend ALL of my time, but hey, I’m retired after a long career and can now spend my time doing what I enjoy most, learning something new. This is my hobby.

    I can’t argue against your point that some of my claims are “ .. beyond all scientific evidence”, but the identical comment can reasonably be made about the claims made by supporters of the CACC doctrine like yourself, including those made by scientists who should know better. We are not engaged in discussing scientific principles here, simply interpretations of them, by you, me, Lynas, Leggett, etc. I did try to get you interested in the scientific debate (Curry & Taguchi) and am happy to talk science if you’d like to, but you could learn from those who are far more knowledgeable than I. Roger Taguchi is one and he was an award-winning science teacher with a particular interest in the “greenhouse effect”. Roger, like myself, has no hidden agenda, simply a desire to enlighten (others if we can and ourselves however and whenever possible).

    You said “ .. There can be no real debate as you cannot accept any of the scientific data or scientific consensus that I accept. .. ” but I disagree. Although I am hard to convince, as many an overly confident salesman has found after thinking that he’s reeled in another mug, I do listen and I do learn. When I was working as a Member of Scientific Staff at Bell-Northern Research, Ottawa in the 60/70s I came across the AT&T advert “Communication is the Beginning of Understanding”. They were emphasising telephone communication but there are better ways of exchanging information than telephones or the modern equivalent, the Internet (brilliant as it may be). What we are doing is a good way to start establishing an understanding of each other’s position but face-to-face exchanges enhance understanding. How about having a short chat when I’m in Brighton next – around May I think.

    Getting back to climate change, humans and nature, I did a search to see if any scaremongers were linking the horror of the recent Christchurch earthquake with climate change. No intelligent individual would try to do that unless they had some other agenda, because it is well understood that this was only the latest in many such natural recurrences in that region due to its position on the tectonic plate boundary. Of course there were a few trying to make more out of it than a natural event but not many at all, thank goodness (e.g. http://cherubim77.blogspot.com/2010/09/christchurch-earthquake.html, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYCXOEYHMZc – If you want to feel really sick google “Christchurch earthquake god”).

    Two sites that I found most interesting were:
    – Climate Change Psychology – see note below – (http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2011/02/eyewitness-account-of-new-zealand.html), where Kevin Trenberth, well-known to anyone who has researched the CACC doctrine and Climategate, was caught in the middle of it and offers a first-hand account of the dreadful experience people there had and are still suffering from,
    – The Climate Show (http://hot-topic.co.nz/the-climate-show-8-kevin-trenberth-and-our-shaky-future/)Related to that one Trenberth appeared on the New Zealand scare-mongering program “The Climate Show #8: Kevin Trenberth and our shaky future”. I’ll post separately on this but if you’re interested you can see my short comment on the linked thread.

    It should be noted that the latter site is a promotional site for New Zealand journalist, photographer and author Gareth Renowden

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  9. peteridley
    March 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    NOTE: That ClimateChangePsychology blog appears to be the brainchild of Tenney Naumer, who heads it with a very worthy quotation “Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology”. Unfortunately she goes on to spoil it by promoting the dogma of the CACC doctrine.

    As I’ve said before on your blog, if there is a puzzle, follow the money. I was a bit puzzled about Tenney and looked into her background and here’s what do I found. Nancy Tenney Naumer is very much involved with gems, especially diamonds, pearls, (http://www.flickr.com/photos/24507785@N00/) and gets very excited about gem fraud.

    It seems to me that Nanc Tenney is just another of those ambitious individuals who have jumped on the UN’s CACC bandwaggon.

    Pete

  10. peteridley
    March 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Hi Andy, this is some further information about the A/V broadcast by New Zealand journalist and author Gareth Renowden Gareth on his Hot Topic “the Climate Show – Kevin Trenberth .. ” thread (http://hot-topic.co.nz/the-climate-show-8-kevin-trenberth-and-our-shaky-future/comment-page-1/#comment-24817). I wouldn’t want you to waste your time listening to the earlier CACC doctrine propaganda from Gareth and his co-presenter or the later rubbish by John Cook of the biased-science blog SkepticalScience but Trenberth starts discussing climate (as opposed to the earthquake) from 29 – 50 minutes. Trenberth played a less-than-perfect but acceptable (for a scientist) political game when responding to the CACC-promoting prompts from Gareth, who first tried to draw him into attributing the Australian flooding events this year to our use of fossil fuels. Trenberth immediately turned to those worse-than-useless climate models, acknowledged that they aren’t perfect but still claimed that they were useful enough to indicate a human influence on climate due to warming. Fair enough to that point as no claims regarding how significant a roll that influence might be, so always wriggle room available over that response.

    Gareth then tried then to “up-the-anti” by likening increased water vapour to pouring petrol on a fire – well, like death by drowning (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.com/2010/09/death-by-drowning-next-phase-of_29.html), death by fire is very scary. Obviously Gareth has taken to heart what sadly departed CACC disciple Professor Stephen Scheider said “ .. we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Schneider) was needed.

    Again Trenberth was sensibly guarded, simply saying that tropical cyclones are affected by moisture content but sub-tropical by temperature gradient. Gareth then tried to link the claimed “hot” 2010 with the extreme flooding weather events in Queensland and elsewhere in the world. Now Trenberth played clever, linking the unusually strong El Niño with the small amount of warming without making clear that there is no way of knowing how much impact the warming (natural plus any human contribution) had compared with El Niño.

    Trenberth then tried to steer away from the real problem (the poor scientific understanding of the processes and drivers of global climates) and claim that the problem was not being able to communication with lay people. He also tried to say that due to warming, Australia, which had been experiencing serious droughts, was suddenly having extreme flooding because of warming. Considering that there has been virtually no increase in mean global temperatures (no warming) during the past 12 years and the floods have only just happened, that one needed further explanation.

    Gareth then brought in “turning the null hypothesis around” and up came more politics from Trenberth. “The IPCC said in 2007 that global warming was unequivocal and very likely caused by human activity”. Trenberth went on to say “global warming is happening”, but no mention at that point that warming had stopped around 2005 (http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/) despite human activity had continued its upward trend and no mention of any concerns about this “travesty”. Trenberth made it very clear that he is very much in favour of the onus being put on scientists to prove that human influence on global climates is insignificant, but is that a surprise? He knows full well that it cannot be proven either way with the current high level of scientific uncertainty about the processes and drivers of those different global climates.

    Trenberth went on to talk about lots of the things that we need to know more about but made no mention of the primary one – the science that describes climate processes and drivers. One thing that I did agree with him about was the need for far better measurement capability but he should have said not only better but over a much longer period (30+ years?) and under tight and independent scrutiny.

    Andrew, I’m sure that if you make the time to listen to that interview you will end with a totally opposed opinion about it to what I have but heh, that’s life.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  1. January 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

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