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Noah’s Ark revisited

Noah’s ark revisited:

An alliance of pro-carbon sceptics and fundamentalists is retarding 11th hour attempts at mitigation of dangerous climate change

Andrew Glikson
Earth and paleoclimate scientist
Australian National University


Mammals have only been able to attain large dimensions on land once atmospheric CO2 concentrations declined toward c. 500 ppm during the Eocene (56-34 million years ago) (1), with related cooling of c.5 degrees C, formation of the Antarctic ice sheet and decline of sea levels by c.70 meters. current atmospheric carbon gas levels (CO2 - 387 ppm; CO2+CH4 >450 ppm equivalent) threaten fast-tracking toward the top of ice age conditions (2).

In the wake of current global warming to temperatures as high as 4 – 6 degrees C, humans, having endured the sharp climate upheavals of the Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles (+5 degrees Celsius; 120 meter sea level rise), are likely to survive in sheltered environments, including clouded tropical mountain valleys, high elevation islands and sub-Arctic latitudes.

Under global warming on the scale of several degrees Celsius, the future of civilization, hinging on extensive agriculture in temperate climate zones prone to severe droughts, on cultivation in low river deltas prone to sea level rise, and on irrigation of mountain snow-fed rivers, is less clear.

A Climate Update

The progression of global warming through warm/cold pulsations (3) (Fig. 2A) and related climate projections (Fig. 2B), in part associated with the ENSO cycle and the sun spot cycle, allows sceptics to advance false hopes of “global cooling”, which affect the pressure for deep cuts in carbon emissions and development of alternative clean power utilities. Few scientists endeavor to communicate the realities of accelerating climate change, and those who do discover governments hardly listen, proceeding with policies guided by anything but the latest evidence. Unfortunately:

  1. Current climate change is now exceeding the maximum natural greenhouse radiative forcing level of the last 2.8 million years by 38% based on CO2 alone (387 ppm) and by 53% based on CO2+methane (450 ppm CO2-equivalent). Up-to-date studies define the upper atmospheric forcing limit of the Antarctic ice sheet at about 500 ppm CO2. Due to carbon cycle feedbacks and ice/water interaction feedback, this threatens accelerated collapse of polar ice and rapid meter-scale sea level rises within time frames shorter than originally projected by the IPCC, as reported by Hansen et al. 2008 and 2007 (4).
  2. The threat of irreversible tipping points in the climate system is more urgent than has been envisaged by the IPCC-2007 Report, as indicated by Lenton et al., 2008 (5) and recent studies of the vulnerability of the atmosphere and ice sheets during the most recent history of the Earth (Steffensen et al., 2008) (6).
  3. In view of the cumulative long residence nature of CO2, reduction of emission is no longer sufficient to avert positive Carbon feedbacks, notably release of methane from permafrost and from bogs, with consequent climate runaway process.
  4. Based on the above, Hansen et al. 2008 indicate the maximum CO2 level allowable should be defined at 350 ppm. As this level has already been exceeded, to avert climate crisis, every effort should be made to develop rapid CO2 atmospheric draw-down technology, such as already exists in principle, including chemical capture and fast-growing CO2-sequestering vegetation. CO2 being a cumulative long-residence time gas, the latter may be unable to mitigate global warming to extents illustrated in Figure 2B.

Figure 2A. Irregular progression of global warming correlated with the ENSO (El Nino – La Nina) cycle and sun spot cycle. (Easterling and Wehner, 2009, Is the climate warming or cooling, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 36, L08706, doi:10.1029/2009GL037810, 2009) (7)

Figure 2B. One realization of the globally averaged surface air temperature from the ECHAM5 coupled climate model forced with the SRES A2 greenhouse gas increase scenario for the 21st century. (Easterling and Wehner, 2009, Is the climate warming or cooling, Geophysical Research Letters, VOL. 36, L08706, doi:10.1029/2009GL037810, 2009) (8)


Climate Fictions with Reference to Plimer’s Heaven And Earth

Nothing could result in a greater collective sigh of relief had it been shown current global warming is a transient anomaly or, in the very least, not caused by humans. Such a discovery, once verified, would have resulted in more than one Nobel Prize.

The difference between ambit claims and science being a meticulous review and verification system, by choosing non-scientific media platforms, repeating the same long-discarded arguments ad-infinitum, and not facing to direct debates, the sceptics’ approach amounts to a rejection of the scientific method. The latest example is Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth (9) and related media articles.

A long road leads from Galileo, persecuted by the Church for unearthing a new truth, to sceptics obtaining backing from a Cardinal (10). It is a wonder how a scientist who fought creationism tooth and nail (11), and a cardinal reported to be “comfortable with intelligent design(12) find themselves in the same camp denying human-driven global warming.

Having spent years trying to refute an alleged discovery of relics of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat (13) (Figure 3), a story echoing sea level rise associated with increased temperatures (c.1 degrees Celsius) in the early Holocene (c.10,000–6000 years-ago) (14), Plimer questions the post-19th century acceleration of sea level (from 0.11 to 0.35 cm/year) which is consistent with global temperature rise of more than 0.8 degrees C (15). Once account is taken of (A) the masking effect of industrial short-lived aerosols, and (B) albedo reduction of the Arctic Sea ice and other parts of the cryosphere, radiative forcings since 1750 approach the equivalent of near-1.5 degrees C (16).

In an attempt to negate the critical role of over 305 billion tons of emitted carbon during the 19th - 21st centuries, Plimer questions the established relations between the carbon gases and climate through time, demonstrated by multi-proxy studies (17), and further suggests a supposedly beneficial nature of current rise of CO2 and temperature (18).

Many of the questions raised by Plimer are answered in the comprehensive synthesis of peer-reviewed geological and paleo-climate literature of the IPCC AR4 2007 report, which states (19):

Climate has changed on all time scales throughout Earth’s history. Some aspects of the current climate change are not unusual, but others are. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has reached a record high relative to more than the past half-million years, and has done so at an exceptionally fast rate. Current global temperatures are warmer than they have ever been during at least the past five centuries, probably even for more than a millennium. If warming continue unabated, the resulting climate change within this century would be extremely unusual in geological terms. Another unusual aspect of recent climate change is its cause: past climate changes were natural in origin (see FAQ 6.1), whereas most of the warming of the past 50 years is attributable to human activities.”

Plimer rejects the IPCC (“The IPCC process is related to environmental activism, politics and opportunism. It is unrelated to science(20)). He further dismisses climate scientists despite hundreds of their peer-reviewed papers, for example where he states: “No evidence is provided for this statement and no signatory to this letter has published anything to support this claim” (21). Plimer claims “No critic has argued science with me. I have just enjoyed a fortnight of being thrashed with a feather” but has not to date responded in any detail to critiques of his book, i.e. by Enting, Brook, Vernon, Ashley, Sandiford (22).

To bring examples of only a few points in the debate (Plimer is cited in inverted commas):

  1. So depleted is the atmosphere in CO2, that horticulturalists pump warm CO2 into glasshouses to accelerate plant growth.” The greenhouse glasshouse analogy is irrelevant as plants need to be constantly watered in these artificial environments (23) as distinct from open space agriculture and habitats. Plimer overlooks the fact that CO2 levels of the atmosphere, which oscillated between 180 and 280 ppm since 2.8 million years ago, are inherent in the natural environment in which current biodiversity and humans have evolved. The sharp departures from the maximum atmospheric composition of 280 ppm of the last 2.8 million years to 387 ppm is leading mid-Pliocene-like conditions with temperature rise of 2–3 degrees C leading to sea level rise by 25+/-12 meters (24).
  2. Carbon dioxide is an odourless, colourless, harmless natural gas. It is plant food. Without carbon, there would be no life on Earth”. Here Plimer makes two cardinal mistakes: (A) Once the balance of atmospheric composition changes, as it has through geological times, plants and organism adapt, but only over extended time periods. Sharp changes, as induced by volcanic, impact or greenhouse crises, lead to mass extinction of species (25). (B) The current rise in CO2 of c.2 ppm/year and of temperature (c.0.017C/year) by about an order of magnitude faster than the mean rise during the last glacial termination (c.0.002C/year) and faster than the 55 Ma greenhouse extinction event (26) threatens similar consequences as the latter event.
  3. The main greenhouse gas has always been water vapour. Once there is natural global warming, then CO2 in the atmosphere increases.(27). The opposite is the case: Whereas carbon gases have a long residence time and may be derived from buried geological sources, water vapor constitutes transient feedback. Thus, water vapor occur at very low concentrations over the fastest warming parts of Earth, namely the polar regions and deserts.
  4. Ice cores show CO2 increases some 800 years after temperature increase so why can't an increase in CO2 today be due to the medieval warming (900-1300)?” According to the IPCC-2007 4AR report mean global temperatures during the Medieval Warming Period were less than 20th century warming (28). The post-industrial increase in CO2 of over 40% the maximum of Pleistocene interglacial periods is clearly related to the industrial emission of over 305 billion tons of carbon and can not be compared to the medieval warm period, during which no anomalous CO2 rise is recorded (29). The lag of CO2 rise behind temperature during glacial terminations is related to the dominant role of forcing by ice melt/water interaction followed by CO2 feedbacks from warming oceans and drying vegetation (30).
  5. Some 85 per cent of volcanoes are unseen and unmeasured yet these heat the oceans and add monstrous amounts of CO2 to the oceans. Why have these been ignored?” Not so. Comparisons between the St Helens (1980), El-Chichon (1982), Pinatubo (1991, 93) and other eruptions and the Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 trend (31) display no marked signatures of these volcanic eruptions.
  6. Why have there been five significant ice ages when CO2 was higher than now?” The atmospheric CO2 range during the Oligocene – Holocene range, measured from proxies (stomata fossil plant pores, carbon and boron isotopes, sodium minerals, alkenones), indicate CO2 levels below 500 ppm (32). Previous ice ages include Jurassic, Carboniferous-Permian and Devonian glaciations with CO2 a few hundred ppm (33). Studies of Ordovician paleoclimate remain inconclusive in this respect
  7. Computer models using the past 150 years of measurements have been used to predict climate for the next few centuries. Why have these models not been run backwards to validate known climate changes?” Not so. Extensive climate modeling has been conducted on past climate changes, for example of the mid-Pliocene by the USGS (34).
  8. I would bet the farm that by running these models backwards, El Nino events and volcanoes such as Krakatoa (1883, 535), Rabaul (536) and Tambora (1815) could not be validated.” Climate projections do not include the effects of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, nor do they need to as volcanic aerosol effects are short term, whereas the volcanic CO2 effect is relatively minor.
  9. Several examples have been presented of inconsistencies between diagrams included in Heaven and Earth and original data sources (35).

In praising the “merit” of global warming, Plimer overlooks the causes of past mass extinction of species, triggered by environmental changes at a pace with which organisms could not cope. These included large-scale volcanic eruptions, asteroid impacts and runaway methane release, such as occurred at 55 million years ago (36).

A Medieval Climate

On 15th June, 2009, Senator Steve Fielding, leader of Family First, will cast a vote deciding whether the Australian government is allowed to take a first tentative step, be it woefully inadequate, to honor its election commitment of “the highest moral issue of our times (37).

Fielding is undertaking his own “open mind” “exploration” of climate science (38). Never mind that top climate research institutions worldwide (Hadley-Met, Tyndale, GISS-NASA, Potsdam, CSIRO, BOM, NSIDC) have already concluded dangerous human-driven climate change is tracking toward mean temperatures of +2, +4 and even +6 degrees C (39) (Figure 2B).

Straight out of meetings at the Heartland Institute, supported by the American Enterprise Institute, which received $1,625,000 from Exxon-Mobil between and 1998 and 2005 (40), Fielding states "So far I don't think there's been a real debate about the science" and "Let's actually explore that". Can it be that Senator Fielding’s “exploration” may in anyway be affected by his view of the Greens, expressed as "The Greens are in the extreme camp and like any fanatical group, they're locked into ideology" (41).

Following in the footsteps of Cardinal George Pell who, for several years, has been referring to environmentalists as “scaremongering” and “zealots(42), with “hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness(43), stating: “The science is more complicated than the propaganda”.

Setting themselves as arbiters of science, assuming the role ancient Egyptian priests in predicting the flow of the Nile, the rains, solar and lunar eclipses, with one exception: The Egyptian priests conducted their own astronomical and water level measurements.

Fielding states “They (the “skeptics”) have actually got models that show that the solar energy, in other words, the energy from the sun has a higher direct link with global temperatures than carbon emissions. And this is going back, not only over the last 10 years, but hundreds of years” (44).

In his climate “exploration” Fielding may not be aware that since the mid-20th century the role of the sun was limited to the 11 years sunspot cycle, oscillating at +/- 0.1 degrees Celsius (45), compared to mean temperature rise due to greenhouse warming of about +0.6 degrees Celsius (46), stating “And they were putting forward some science and some evidence and some facts that were questioning whether CO2 is actually driving global warming,” (47); nor does he appear to be aware of the basic physics and chemistry of the infrared greenhouse effect (48).


  1. Currently the atmosphere is tracking toward conditions of the Pliocene, c.2.8 million years ago, when CO2 levels of c.400 ppm and temperature rises of 2 to 3 degrees led to sea level rises of c.25+/-12 meters.
  2. With open-ended carbon emissions, the rise of temperature at experimentally determined climate sensitivity rates (3+/-1.5 degrees C per doubling of CO2 levels) (49) can only result in a shift in the Earth’s climate state to pre-ice age conditions, including major sea level rise, akin to conditions during which the dinosaurs thrived for 200 million years, a period three orders of magnitude longer than “sapiens”.
  3. A well financed alliance of neoconservatives, fossil fuel executives, ex-tobacco lobbyists (50), fundamentalists, right wing journalists and sceptics who operate outside the scientific peer-review system, receiving near-exclusive publicity in large parts of the media, disseminate untruths and doubt which are welcome by (A) those of prefer to live in denial of dangerous climate change; (B) those who would not understand the scientific method; and (C) provide governments with excuses to delay weak 11th hour attempts at carbon constraints.
  4. The motivation of those who continue to disseminate dangerous untruths which can only result in the continuous rise of atmospheric CO2 levels and temperatures, shifting the atmospheric state during which humans evolved over the last 2.8 million years, defies contemplation

Having endured the sharp climate upheavals of the Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles, humans are likely to survive in suitable environments, including clouded tropical mountain regions, high elevation islands and cool high latitudes regions. Hinging on extensive agriculture in temperate climate zones, prone to severe droughts, on cultivation in low river deltas, prone to sea level rise, and on irrigation of mountain snow-fed rivers, the future of civilization under global warming on the scale of several degrees Celsius is less clear.

Figure 3. “Noah’s Ark”. Mount Ararat area.


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Not quite right

Hi Michael, it was reported that Senator Fielding paid for his own trip to the US; also that he talked with Obama's advisors regarding climate change (I'm paraphrasing). Re the Chief Scientist, she was unable to answer his questions; ditto Penny Wong and her advisors.

If reported correctly both the Opposition and Senator Fielding voted to defer the Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation as it was too closely tied to the emissions trading scheme - this would appear to have been a Government tactic.  

I have read nothing to suggest that Senator Fielding thinks climate change is a conspiracy.

Senator Fielding's slow larning curve

Dear Senator Fielding

Your actions this week to vote down by deferring the Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation has placed the Australian solar industry into a dramatic decline. You have left Australians with little support for solar power installations. Affecting both its reputation to its suppliers, bankers and customers. The new legislation you deferred would have taken away from households installing solar PV additional financial support.

Can you please answer the following questions?

1. Why as a politician do you believe the evidence for climate change is a conspiracy? That the evidence provided by the Australian Chief Scientist is not factual? What criteria have you based your decision on regarding climate change?

2. While you were in the USA on your taxpayer funded trip recently, what US Government agencies and universities did you visit on climate change and renewable energy? Are you aware that the US Pentagon of any government agency in the world spends the most on renewable energy and energy efficiency?

3. What is the current value is the Australian solar PV industry in employment and sales?

4. In the next three months what is the anticipated number of jobs that will have been lost due to your decision of deference to this industry?

5. How many families have you affected by not being able to access this program?

Awaiting your earliest reply

Fiona: Welcome to Webdiary, Michael.

Larning curve

Michael Christie, you should not be worried about the things Sen. Fielding does, you should be worried about the con artists that make up the Labor frontbench. Between them they have cost the taxpayers a fortune in overseas trips and have come up with scheme that all Green groups say is laughable.

On top of that as each day goes by Rudd and Swan are looking more like the antics of the Whitlam years.

What is it with Labor? When they get their fingers in the cookie jar thay become out and out crooks.

Holy fornicatory hades

We are being held to ransom by this person?

Go on then. Read it and bloody weep.

Holy hell

Anthony Nolan, Rudd and Swan lying to parliament, it's enough to make you weep.

Global warming is near upper range of projections

Researchers are warning the planet is facing a growing risk of abrupt and irreversible climatic shifts unless carbon emissions are reduced.

A new report says greenhouse gas emissions and other indicators are closing in on the upper limits forecast by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change two years ago.

The University of Copenhagen released the Synthesis Report overnight which draws on 1,600 scientific contributions to a global climate summit held in Copenhagen earlier this year.

Australian National University Professor Will Steffen was one of 12 researchers who contributed to the report, along with Sir Nicholas Stern.

"The climate system is now moving out of the envelope of variability in which our civilisations have developed," Professor Steffen said.

"In some aspects it's moving right near the upper range of earlier projections, this gives us a sense of urgency."

As our politicians continue to debate the reality of global warming. Science is telling us that there is a sense of urgency.

We should no longer be debating the science on global warming. We should accept that it is a given and act accordingly. We must act quickly or our children will face a very uncertain future.

Crucial challenges for the future of humanity.

Climate change and sustainable energy supply are crucial challenges for the future of humanity. It is essential that world leaders agree on the emission reductions needed to combat negative consequences of anthropogenic climate change at the UNFCCC negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009. At the same time, agreement is needed on actions to ensure basic energy services are available to all of the world’s people.

These global challenges require solutions flexible and varied enough to meet the needs of a wide variety of specific energy resources and energy security circumstances.

An extract from the science academies of all the G8 plus five other nations.

The likes of Senator Fielding should take note. How can we doubt the science with so many scientists pointing to the danger of C02 emissions?

Seize all opportunities to address climate change

June 11, 2009 -- In a joint statement, the science academies of the G8 countries, plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa, called on their leaders to "seize all opportunities" to address global climate change that "is happening even faster than previously estimated." The signers, which include U.S. National Academy of Sciences President Ralph J. Cicerone, urged nations at the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks to adopt goals aimed at reducing global emissions by 50 percent by 2050. The academies also urged the G8+5 governments, meeting in Italy next month, to "lead the transition to an energy efficient and low carbon economy, and foster innovation and research and development for both mitigation and adaptation technologies

Senator Fielding, this should be enough for a layman to make up his mind on the dangers of climate change.

Please give the planet a chance.

Poisoning the international debate

And it is infuriating - as a public relations professional - to watch my colleagues use their skills, their training and their considerable intellect to poison the international debate on climate change. That's what is happening today, and I think it's a disgrace. On one hand, you have the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – as well as the science academies of every developed nation in the world – confirming that: climate change is real; it is caused by human activity; and it is threatening the planet in ways we can only begin to imagine.

Says James Hogan in his book  Climate Cover Up.

Senator Fielding should read this it may help him make up his mind.

Real change

Expecting politicians to 'fix' AGW by implementing a global carbon ponzi scheme is an exercise in futility. The film In Transition shows how real change can be made. You can download it for free this weekend. 

Problem with SRES Scenarios

Andrew, there is a big problem with the SRES scenarios, not to mention much of the climate change literature, ie the tendency to assume unconstrained growth in fossil fuel consumption/production until at least 2100. This is an invalid assumption, discrediting the literature, including AR4. See for example Kjell Aleklett, Reserve Driven Forecasts for Oil, Gas and Coal and Limits in Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2007 (Aleklett is currently in Australia). Too many scientists have been focusing on the exhaust pipe, without checking what's in the fuel tank.

David R: OTOH, the current actual warming track is above the highest of the SRES scenarios, which I tend to think is a bigger problem with them, and there is (unfortunately) plenty of coal and tar sands around to keep the energy use curve on the up (at even higher CO2 yield) whatever the track on 'easy oil'. 

Don't be so sure

David, don't be so sure. There is a growing body of literature comparing realistic reserve and production estimates of all fossil fuels including oil, gas and coal with the SRES scenarios. Though I'm reluctant to use the word 'consensus', you could say that most make a mockery of SRES, putting the maximum atmospheric CO2 concentration between 400 and 450ppm. Consider also peak oil is making this black gold a 'limiting resource'. Witness the serious reduction in demand for resources following the 'global financial crisis', aka 'third great oil shock', aka peak oil. The likelihood is that the rate of emissions will begin to fall over the next few years, if not already. Some of the implications of this include:

  • Discrediting of the IPCC (will they keep their Nobel Prize?).
  • Discrediting of emissions trading schemes based on economic assumptions and emission targets derived from AR4 and SRES (if there aren't the fuels to reach 550ppm or even 450ppm, why are we constraining economic activity to achieve those targets).
  • The economic circumstances will render an international agreement to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentration to 350ppm practically impossible.
  • Climate change deniers will have a field day.



As the earth cools, what will those who support AGW say?

David R: not a problem we're going to have any time soon. The fact remains that the last twenty years contain all of the hottest years on record, and the warm-up is tracking ahead of the warnings. 

Solar rebate comes to an end

Solar businesses say the industry has been left in chaos after the Government's announcement yesterday that the rebate would end at midnight. The industry says it was previously told the rebates would continue until the end of June.

Meanwhile $2 billion funding goes to CCS.

[From 2009 federal budget speech...]

Wayne Swan: Mr Speaker, the government is absolutely determined that our nation-building plans will create the low-pollution economy Australia needs for the future. That's why the government is introducing a carbon pollution reduction scheme, and expanding the national renewable energy target. Tonight, I'm pleased to announce the government will also invest $4.5 billion in a new, clean energy initiative: the critical infrastructure that supports low emission technologies and creates low pollution jobs. And we will support projects that demonstrate carbon capture and storage on an industrial scale from coal-fired power stations.

The solar industry doesn't have the same clout in Canberra as the coal industry seems to have. Why do we continue to support the coal industry while we reduce funding to the proven technology provided by the solar industry?

It is clear that Mr Swan is absolutely determined to keep the coal industry going, but I am not so sure he is determined to create a low pollution economy.

Solar or Coal

John Pratt, You summed it up when you said "Australia can no longer have the luxury of electing fools".

Well that is what has happened you have idiots like Swan, Garrett and Brown sitting in parliament.

An old debate

Graeme Pearman, who is former chief of atmospheric research at the CSIRO, says the solar flare debate has been around for a long time.

"Senator Fielding might have just learnt about it, but in fact the science community has been aware of it for many years," he said.

"The changes of output of the sun are well and truly documented. We've been observing this for over a hundred years.

"We understand that there was probably some warming earlier last century, due to changes of emissions from the sun, but no evidence that the recent warming is due to that.

"And therefore there's no anticipation that that will be a major factor through this century."

The fact that Senator Fielding is just now bothering try to and get his head around climate change shows just how far most of our so-called leaders are behind on the debate.

You don't have to go to the US and listen to the naysayers. All you have to do is listen to the majority of the scientists around the world. Fielding is just revealing to the world his ignorance on the subject.

Australia can no longer have the luxury of electing fools. The stakes are too high. Leaders who do not understand the threat of climate change should no longer be electable. We all need to make sure we know the science behind climate change. 



There is a lot more science in this whole business and the investigation has only been underway for a relatively short time. The good news for AGW worshippers is that the economic downturn is likely to suppress much of the projected increase of human CO2.

The solar aspects are particularly interesting. Research is very nascent but will progress swiftly, we all hope! Fascinating debate by believers but science will out!

Australians should be looking foward to owning a chunk of Antartica, once the ice is all gone..... Funny that no pollie has raised this one? Perhaps it is meant to be kept quiet while we "try" to limit CO2?

One of my problems with AGW is that they have not been able to predict climate accurately. Neither have the skeptics. If the solar activity continues to be minimal, then the apparent cooling trend, lasting at the most since 1998, will intensify with obvious temp falls, which may conclude the matter for me! If warming continued, then rainfall would increase and cloudiness would also increase. The recent drought end shows just how the world would be if the AGW were correct. The many dry years preceding that, suggest ordinary variability.

If we look at Google earth,  we can find the barrier island all made of heavy mineral sands, off the Queensland coast. They are 150 metres high, and up to 5k wide. They have wavemarks all over them. Not wind created dunes. Wash sand with water and when the impetus dies, the results look like these islands. They seem to show a tsunami over 150 metres high and over 1000km wide. If before the intergalcial then 250 metres high at least. Looking at the direction apparent, I trace it back to a Kiwi Volcano. See if you can find it?

I suggest that those seeking shelter from Armaggeddon try a cave. Strangely, that is where we seem to find all human fossils. Before 4000 years ago. A deep cave. Well inland. By voting with our feet, we might convince the tax gatherers that we want something done about our environment.

Belief in God is a problem

Andrew Glikson, a very thought provoking piece.

One's level of concern over global warming is greatly influenced by one's belief in a God. If you believe that Armageddon is only a matter of a few years away , global warming is hardly an issue. If you believe that the second coming of Jesus is likely in the next year or two then again global warming is no big problem - God will look after all his followers.

On the other hand if you believe that humans may be the only intelligent life form in the Universe, and that we are at risk of extinction then global warming is the most important issue of our short history.

So if you believe in an God that will intervene then we have no problem - it is all ordained.

God help us!

If there is no God we are stuffed.

Then again, maybe we are God

Another thought is if we are the only intelligent life form in the universe, maybe we are God or maybe we are evolving into God.

It has taken us 15 billion years or so to reach this level of intelligence - that is, we have enough intelligence to destroy the planet.

It remains to be seen if we have enough intelligence to save ourselves from ourselves. If I was God that is a test I would put into place before I let a species roam the universe.

This will be the big test. Maybe we are destined (ordained) to populate the universe if we can learn to live in harmony on this planet. We will eventually have the means for space travel and our future will indeed be infinite.

Then again what would I know? I am just an atheist.

We are facing an enormous challenge. If we can meet this challenge then maybe the universe will be ours. If we fail maybe on some other planet somewhere in the universe some other species will inherit the universe.

Noah's Ark

Thank you John for your comments (and for earlier comments on my articles).

With regard to the role of god in current events, it depends on what religion it is. In so far as the Biblical "fire and brimstone" god is concerned, this is one story.  If it is the Hindu trinity cycle of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, it's another story and one close to natural history dominated with mass extinctions and radiations of species (major extinction end Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous plus numerous smaller events). As in the article, it is my impressions humans are so adaptable, having survived abrupt +/- 5 degree C climate changes during the ice ages, there will always remain human enclaves in remote mountain valleys, raised volcanic islands and high latitude regions, where a new cycle may start.  While the underlying raison d'etre is less than we understand, this would be consistent with earlier evolutionary patterns of species multiplying open-endedly and eroding their resource base, i.e. Jared Diamond's "Collapse" theory. 

Whether a species can make a collective choice to reverse such a trend ... I wish it was true.

Know thine enemy

An excellent piece that dredges out the actual links between Fielding, Plimer, religious reactionaries and the class interests behind warming denialism.  Thanks, the information is useful.

Pat doesn't believe in science



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