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Too Hot for The Age

The following editorial will be printed today by by 56 newspapers in 20 languages, mostly on the frontpage. "... both the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age dropped out ofthe project after climate change convulsed Australian politics,demanding, they felt, a more localised editorial position."  Write and tell them they were wrong.

Fourteen days to seal history's judgment on this generation'

Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency.

Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted.

Climate change has been caused over centuries, has consequences that will endure for all time and our prospects of taming it will be determined in the next 14 days. We call on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen not to hesitate, not to fall into dispute, not to blame each other but to seize opportunity from the greatest modern failure of politics. This should not be a fight between the rich world and the poor world, or between east and west. Climate change affects everyone, and must be solved by everyone.

The science is complex but the facts are clear. The world needs to take steps to limit temperature rises to 2C, an aim that will require global emissions to peak and begin falling within the next 5-10 years. A bigger rise of 3-4C — the smallest increase we can prudently expect to follow inaction — would parch continents, turning farmland into desert. Half of all species could become extinct, untold millions of people would be displaced, whole nations drowned by the sea. The controversy over emails by British researchers that suggest they tried to suppress inconvenient data has muddied the waters but failed to dent the mass of evidence on which these predictions are based.

Few believe that Copenhagen can any longer produce a fully polished treaty; real progress towards one could only begin with the arrival of President Obama in the White House and the reversal of years of US obstructionism. Even now the world finds itself at the mercy of American domestic politics, for the president cannot fully commit to the action required until the US Congress has done so.

But the politicians in Copenhagen can and must agree the essential elements of a fair and effective deal and, crucially, a firm timetable for turning it into a treaty. Next June's UN climate meeting in Bonn should be their deadline. As one negotiator put it: "We can go into extra time but we can't afford a replay."

At the deal's heart must be a settlement between the rich world and the developing world covering how the burden of fighting climate change will be divided — and how we will share a newly precious resource: the trillion or so tonnes of carbon that we can emit before the mercury rises to dangerous levels.

Rich nations like to point to the arithmetic truth that there can be no solution until developing giants such as China take more radical steps than they have so far. But the rich world is responsible for most of the accumulated carbon in the atmosphere – three-quarters of all carbon dioxide emitted since 1850. It must now take a lead, and every developed country must commit to deep cuts which will reduce their emissions within a decade to very substantially less than their 1990 level.

Developing countries can point out they did not cause the bulk of the problem, and also that the poorest regions of the world will be hardest hit. But they will increasingly contribute to warming, and must thus pledge meaningful and quantifiable action of their own. Though both fell short of what some had hoped for, the recent commitments to emissions targets by the world's biggest polluters, the United States and China, were important steps in the right direction.

Social justice demands that the industrialised world digs deep into its pockets and pledges cash to help poorer countries adapt to climate change, and clean technologies to enable them to grow economically without growing their emissions. The architecture of a future treaty must also be pinned down – with rigorous multilateral monitoring, fair rewards for protecting forests, and the credible assessment of "exported emissions" so that the burden can eventually be more equitably shared between those who produce polluting products and those who consume them. And fairness requires that the burden placed on individual developed countries should take into account their ability to bear it; for instance newer EU members, often much poorer than "old Europe", must not suffer more than their richer partners.

The transformation will be costly, but many times less than the bill for bailing out global finance — and far less costly than the consequences of doing nothing.

Many of us, particularly in the developed world, will have to change our lifestyles. The era of flights that cost less than the taxi ride to the airport is drawing to a close. We will have to shop, eat and travel more intelligently. We will have to pay more for our energy, and use less of it.

But the shift to a low-carbon society holds out the prospect of more opportunity than sacrifice. Already some countries have recognized that embracing the transformation can bring growth, jobs and better quality lives. The flow of capital tells its own story: last year for the first time more was invested in renewable forms of energy than producing electricity from fossil fuels.

Kicking our carbon habit within a few short decades will require a feat of engineering and innovation to match anything in our history. But whereas putting a man on the moon or splitting the atom were born of conflict and competition, the coming carbon race must be driven by a collaborative effort to achieve collective salvation.

Overcoming climate change will take a triumph of optimism over pessimism, of vision over short-sightedness, of what Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature".

It is in that spirit that 56 newspapers from around the world have united behind this editorial. If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too.

The politicians in Copenhagen have the power to shape history's judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that we saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it. We implore them to make the right choice.


This editorial will be published tomorrow by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages including Chinese, Arabic and Russian. The text was drafted by a Guardian team during more than a month of consultations with editors from more than 20 of the papers involved. Like the Guardian most of the newspapers have taken the unusual step of featuring the editorial on their front page.


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Starting to Unravel

Just a few days ago, I posted to another thread praising the robustness of Science, and I come across this article:

United Nations' blunder on glaciers exposed. It says that a major estimate of the UN Climate report was based on an old, unverified opinion of a single, obscure scientist. What does it say about all the other stuff in the rest of the report? Coming on top of the leaked emails, and revelations that NASA got some of its temerature calculations wrong, it may be that (climate) scientists are starting to lose their credibility (with significant political repercussions).

Better Late than Never

The British and Aussie Chief Scientists speak out: Betruthful . But why only after all the relevations? Surely they've  always known that there was too much emotion and that too many of the extrapolations were weak.

A nerd's nerd.

Credibility? Think about it Jay. What kind of person decides to pursue a career as a "climate scientist"? Great pick up line. Oh sure -- life of the party. As if. Why? He had to give up stamp collecting because it was bad for the heart?


Typical of the Australian!

Jay Somasundarum, it is an isolated example. One scientist miscalculating, on the basis of a an incomplete understanding of the large body of scientific knowledge now available, does not discredit the work of thousands of genuine scientists or the reality of global climate change.

Last month I recall a story about La Paz, in the Andes, losing its water supply as the great glacier that has supplied it has melted away. Included were a sequence of photographs showing the deterioration of that glacier over several decades.

Likewise, think of the vanished "Snows of Kilamanjiro",  the Arctic ice cap and the de-icing of the Antarctic Peninsular.

An Inconvenient Truth

Paul, the story on the Himalayas is a single example, but it is not "one scientist miscalculating". It seriously questions the robustness of the process used by the committee to gather evidence.

The artic ice-melt, if I remember correctly, is caused by a rise in temperature of 3 decrees centigrade - much more than predicted by global warming. The melt is caused more by local variation in temperature than by global warming.

Here is an article on Kilimanjaro .

God, Carbon, Redemption and Love?

 What are we supposed to do? Stop it?

For Geoff's sake - if you can't stop it then which bloody God has control of the climate thing - I haven't got  a clue (I always thought climate was a Christian God thingy - you know, floods, droughts and all that) so I googled "Climate God", this was on top of the list:

"Climate: The new god of left-wing Christianity"

Our new God will get a giggle from that one, I thought.

When I was at school (which wasn't very often) I learnt that the term organic meant: all organisms that contain carbon.

Dictionary.com: "noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon."

It's curious that an essential chemical which is an integral part of all life forms and valuable energy sources such as hydrocarbons (originally living organisms) is to be taxed.

All life is a part of, and depends on, the carbon cycle - it follows that a carbon tax is a tax on life (and past life) itself - all of us.

In these contemporary democratic times politicians find it difficult to introduce new taxes (for obvious reasons), so they have to have a bloody good reason to sell one; so what do they do? They insist that the human race will perish unless we buy (and sell) carbon credits to redeem our sins. When you think about it in old Christian terms it all starts to make sense.

Fear not dear child for salvation is yours - just purchase these carbon redemptions and Geoff will be very pleased indeed.

The reality is our new Christian God couldn't give a shit, and I'm not gunna argue with Geoff.

Anyway Geoff,  that earthquake you turned on near Samoa the other day was poorly targeted (and a day or two late) - no one was killed and  there was no tsunami; it's early days yet and I'm sure you are still getting a hang of things, so better luck next time.


Stuart, "... Or consider that within a year or two, we've all switched to light bulbs that use 20% of the electricity of the old ones."

I've got a heap of these energy saving light bulbs (for free) but was never told they contain mercury. Shit hey, we save ourselves from "infecting" the Planet with a pissy little bit of carbon and by doing so introduce a whole lot of mercury into the environment.

Carbon is not a poisonous gas - mercury is a deadly heavy metal.

Sadly the consumer will have no choice  but to use these inferior bulbs for incandescent light bulbs will soon be a museum item.

Are we rational creatures?

Now, when these energy saving light bulbs explode, which they do occasionally, what are you going to do with the mercury vapour that engulfs the room? Don't breathe it for Geoff's sake, and do a bloody good clean up - which will cost time, money and energy.

And when the bulbs wear out how does one dispose of them?  It would be unwise to throw them in the bin for the mercury will end up in land fill.

Or we could have them collected and disposed (or recycled) of in a environmentally friendly manner - which will probably cost a thousand times the energy we set out to save in the first place.

Or maybe we will throw the bulbs in the bin, feel good that we are saving the planet from that deadly carbon and conveniently forget about the mercury as it seeps into the water table, then into the food chain and then into our living bodies. Today you would have to be a mug to eat too much tuna - what next?

Mercury is a cumulative poison.

There is other nasty stuff related to these energy saving globes but it would be best to do your own research.

In short, it does make sense to replace the old light globes with new ones that are more toxic, less efficient and could well end up an costing far more than they save in energy terms; so why are we doing it?

Sadly, the powers that be have directed our attention towards carbon and climate warming while we no longer appear to be concerned with pollution. Maybe that is the way "they" want it to be. I haven't read or seen anything on pollution for yonks, have you?

When we are told to fear something it is usually for one of two reasons:

Because someone loves or cares for you.
Because someone wants to control you.

Who loves you?
Who controls you?

Those who love (sincerely) do not control; those who control do not love.

Carbon footprint zeaolotry, never mind the 'environment'

Justin Obodie: "Sadly, the powers that be have directed our attention towards carbon and climate warming while we no longer appear to be concerned with pollution."

You're right on the money Justin, but it isn't merely the "powers that be." I continue to be astonished at the zealousness with which the "environment" and/or "conservation" movement (many of them merely glorified NIMBY's in practice) has pursued climate change as the issue while dropping the ball on the other big picture problems which have us in hot water regardless of climate change. For example global food production, depletion of fresh water, loss of biodiversity (ie the 6th extinction event), ocean acidification, collapse of major fisheries, desertification, fossil fuel depletion, rare earth metals depletion (ie the stuff that makes 'green technologies' work). Raise these issues with most Greens politicians, NGOs etc and you get a blank stare, such is the extent of the obsession with reducing one's "carbon footprint".

Blame some lesser God

Actually Justin I think I stuffed something up on my last post ( "Some Real Science"), format-wise or something, but in any event only a fragment of what I wrote found its way to the board and without any of the links I  researched.

Hi Richard. If the balance of the post is irretrievable I would prefer the thing was deleted. As it stands, what is published  here doesn't at all reflect what I think. Again, my mistake probably. And, as usual, I didn't keep a copy of what I wrote.  

Tasty Nuts

An interesting opinion:
Mr Rudd, your misguided warming policies are killing millions

His bio makes him come across as a bit of a what the British so admirably call eccentric, but then so were/are Germaine Greer and Bertrand Russel, and they both had quite fascinating things to say. 

Some real science

The planet is about 4.54 billion years old.

There have been at least seven ice ages, four of which are regarded as significant. The most recent of these began 2 million years ago and continues to the present. That is we are in an ice age now. It peaked about 20 000 years ago and we are currently enjoying an interglacial period. It will get cold again. Very cold. The present ice age isn’t finished with the planet yet.

Around 130,000 years ago, global climates were generally warmer and moister than now but with progressive cooling to temperatures more similar to the present. After the last ice age peak 20 000 years ago it suddenly got warm and moist again about 14 500 years ago. This lasted more than 1500 years and then it got cool again for about 2000 years. Then it got warm for 1000 years and then things cooled down for 3000 or so years. Then it was warm again until about 4500 years ago (warmer and moister than now). For the last 4500 years the global climate has been pretty much the same as it is now except for a period about 2600 years ago when it was cold and wet for a while.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (which incidentally got its forecast for far northern NSW wrong 24 hours ago) claims to have reliable records for the last lousy hundred years only. Not even a flap of a bee’s wing in the bigger scheme of things. They reckon last year was pretty hot. Not the hottest year on record but nevertheless pretty hot. Comparatively. Compared to what?

I feel positively under whelmed by all of this.

They could be right. Maybe we are entering a period of relative warmth climate wise. So what? Such a thing is hardly unusual. What are we supposed to do? Stop it? It would be easier and more natural to put on a crown, go to the beach and order the tide to cease and desist.

Is this thing really worth the massive consumption of human energy and the vast deployment of resources that are being demanded of us, especially given that the chances of actually achieving anything is now more remote than ever? Surely the human spirit and genius is better employed on more worthy projects.

Climate Change Evidence: Annual Bureau of Meteorology report

Based on the analysis of daily (maximum and minimum) temperature data above and below set thresholds, there are clear upward trends in the number of hot events and downward trends in the number of cold events (over the period 1960 to date), consistent with the background of global warming.

 They don't however, go the whole mile and say that Climate Change is proven.  At any rate, this is the sort of convincing I've been looking for.

Sociopathic retooling

While the crash may have been partly caused by oil prices, I'm not a great believer in catastrophe caused by peak oil, population or whatever. History proves that humanity is quite good at solving specific technical problems when it wants to. We switched from whale oil when we ran out of whales. Does anyone doubt which way we'll vote if we had to decide between having electricity and being nuclear free? Or consider that within a year or two, we've all switched to light bulbs that use 20% of the electricity of the old ones.

We are a very wasteful society, I do hope that Rubin is right, and that oil prices quadriple. It's an absurd world when a litre of coke costs more than a litre of petrol. 

Who are the sociopaths?

Jay, I missed your post earlier but think it's worth a reply now because it contains some of the common misconceptions about peak oil.

The heading of your post is ironic. One of the main reasons we're in such a bind is the predominance of the neoclassical economic worldview that not only assumes everybody behaves like sociopaths all of the time, but makes a virtue of sociopathic behaviour while deriding its critics as communists or similar.

"I'm not a great believer in catastrophe caused by peak oil ..."

Neither am I. Personally I don't see the demise of perpetual economic growth as a catastrophy, indeed there are many positives. What it does mean though is fundamental change that differs markedly from conventional wisdom. There are many people who feel threatened by this. I'm not one of them.

"History proves that humanity is quite good at solving specific technical problems when it wants to."

Unfortunately peak oil is not a "technical problem", but a problem of energy, scale and time. The technology already exists, for example, to operate vehicles from alternative energy. However the technologies can't be scaled up to come anywhere close to the current petroleum dependent transport systems. We also know how to grow food without massive fossil fuel inputs, but it is a lot more labour intensive. In both cases what this means is that technology will not prevent massive changes in how people live, ie social change.

"We switched from whale oil when we ran out of whales."

Not quite true. We didn't "run out" of whales. What we did do was discover better quality sources of energy, ie sources that were more abundant, higher energy yielding, cheaper, easier to transport. This can't be said for any of the energy sources touted to replace petroleum.

"Does anyone doubt which way we'll vote if we had to decide between having electricity and being nuclear free?"

The nuclear power argument is irrelevant to the peak oil debate. Electricity is not a liquid fuel.

"... Or consider that within a year or two, we've all switched to light bulbs that use 20% of the electricity of the old ones."

This is a bit of a howler actually. Household electricity consumption continues to increase, and will continue to increase, despite changing a few light bulbs. The emphasis placed on light bulbs was a  classic case of political tokenism designed to fool gullible voters into beleiving that "something was being done" to save the polar bears or some such. Using this as an analogy to "solving" peak oil is ridiculous.

A lovely bunch of coconuts

We switched from whale oil when we ran out of whales."

Not quite true.

You're quite right, Stuart, we were using blubber for things other than energy (e.g. perfume) when we ran out of whales. I was enjoying my phrasing too much to worry about factual details.

The nuclear power argument is irrelevant to the peak oil debate. Electricity is not a liquid fuel.

I believe we had electric cars before we had the internal combustion engine. We have nuclear powered ships and nuclear powered aircraft may be possible. Wasn't there a brief, rapid conversion from petrol to LNG during one of the previous oil crises?

 "... Or consider that within a year or two, we've all switched to light bulbs that use 20% of the electricity of the old ones."

>> This is a bit of a howler actually.... Using this as an analogy to "solving" peak oil is ridiculous.

I gave the new fluorescent bulbs as an excellent example of an exponential change and rapid implementation, nothing more. As Geoff suggests, the ecological footprint may actually be greater. With regard to its impact on household electricity consumption, economic theory suggests that innovations such as this may increase energy consumption rather than decrease it. To reduce electricity consumption, we need to increase prices. By simply making devices more energy efficient, all it does is encourage us to buy and use more electrical appliances.

What I was trying to say in my original post is that those of us who feel society is dysfunctional and are using climate change and peak oil as bogeymen to scare society into changing are crying wolf. I believe that society, with the help of technology, can (and is likely to) weather both. While I think that society is somewhat dysfunctional and needs to change, using fear is counter-productive.

In response to the question in your title "Who is Sociopathic?", the answer is I am sociopathic. I invaded Afghanistan and Iraq (I don't mean to change the subject. It's just that I consider war stronger symptoms/evidence of selfishness and lack of feeling about the harm we do to others than climate change).

More misconceptions

Touche Jay Somasundaram. You're one up on me in the "invader" stakes, but that in itself doesn't make you a sociopath. Hopefully you're not a Collingwood supporter!

There are several more misconceptions in your post.

"I believe we had electric cars before we had the internal combustion engine. We have nuclear powered ships and nuclear powered aircraft may be possible."

The issues here, as I indicated previously, are (among other things), scale, time and cost, within the context of the broader socio-economic impact of peak oil (ie a prolonged global economic contraction) not technology per se. Even looking narrowly at cars illustrates this. Replacing the car fleet is a decades-long process. The phasing out of leaded petrol took 17 years, and that was with a mandate requiring that all new cars run on unleaded, using very simple and cheap technology, requiring no new infrastructure, in an era of economic growth. In an era of economic contraction car sales dive due to declining incomes, so affordability is a major problem. A lot of research shows that those who are most car dependent and vulnerable to the economic impact of peak oil are the least able to afford new vehicle technologies. So it's a socio-economic problem linked to problems like record private debt, unemployment, housing affordability etc. We are extremely unlikely  to see a take up of new car technologies anywhere near the current scale of car use because it simply isn't affordable.

"Wasn't there a brief, rapid conversion from petrol to LNG during one of the previous oil crises?"

No, there were (and remain) subsidies for LPG conversions. LPG is a petroleum fuel, not LNG (liquefied natural gas). To put it bluntly, LPG comes out of the same hole as oil and is a bi-product of the refining process. This was another example of political tokenism. Converting the motor vehicle fleet to CNG (compressed natural gas) would be technologically possible, but runs into the same problems described above, with the added problem of encountering peak gas by the time the CNG vehicle fleet was up and running.

"With regard to its impact on household electricity consumption, economic theory suggests that innovations such as this may increase energy consumption rather than decrease it."

You're right on the money here. I was going to mention the Jevons paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox) in my previous post. As you say, increasing the efficiency at point of use actually tends to see an overall increase in consumption rather than a decrease. This is part of why peak oil is such a big problem, when you condsider the continuing massive increases in demand in the major developing economies.

"What I was trying to say in my original post is that those of us who feel society is dysfunctional and are using climate change and peak oil as bogeymen to scare society into changing are crying wolf. I believe that society, with the help of technology, can (and is likely to) weather both. While I think that society is somewhat dysfunctional and needs to change, using fear is counter-productive."

I largely agree with what you are saying, however the climate change and peak oil "movements" (for want of a better term) are not homogenous or monolithic. There are many different views and levels of understanding. If you look at what the better informed analysts of peak oil have been saying since the early 2000s a lot of this is already transpiring, far from crying wolf.

The problem I have experienced myself on many occasions in dealing with policy makers is willful ignorance and denial. I agree with you that society, with the help of technology, will weather both peak oil and climate change. But the point is that it will involve very substantial socio-economic change that policy makers simply reject out of hand due to blind faith in technology and ideological dogma that has no basis in reality. I have explained the nuances of peak oil to policy-makers clearly and objectively, without fear-mongering, on many occasions, only to be met with denial. So the response tends to be no different between objectivity and fear-mongering, with the resulting passivity becoming almost a self-fulfilling prophesy. Of course we can deal with peak oil, but we need to understand and acknowledge the problem first.

Unconstrained oil price is $73 or thereabouts

On the basis of yet another month's trading close, the final delivered price of WTLI is in the mid-70s when not supply-constrained - the flirtation with prices in the high 60s went away when the real oil users moved in at the end of options trading.

I don't think it will ever get to four times that, because (see my earlier stuff, passim), once it doubles, that will be high enough to stop economic growth, and it will then drop back to the unconstrained price again: repeat until economic paradigm shift - probably not this century. 

Put a tiger in your tank

"... a litre of coke costs more than a litre of petrol. "

It's when a litre of petrol costs more than a litre of coke that we have to start wondering about priorities. Still. You can always sniff the petrol ...

point taken

Sorry  Anthony.

 I remain profoundly sceptical of the people who run the show at this time in history.

I profoundly hope you and Stuart are right as to more intelligent use of resources in the future, but history tells me otherwise.

epi- fanny

Re Richard Tonkin's last post, I'd begin to agree.

After Stuart Mccarthy's link, a penny finally dropped. Why hasn't the set of circumstances described at another part of Stuart's oil industry journal, relating to the disgraceful Iraq "oil auction" been examined against the truth claims of Copenhagen summiteers as to carbon reduction, against the anticipated production increases described in those columns.

No wonder people like Alan Curran get irritated with these people and their blandishment. Iguess its to do with the political cycle, in the wake of a neo con crash or crash thru decade; while the world licks its wounds we are back to Blairite clones like Rudd, Obama and Rann doing "humanface", to finesse further neolib stuff through, past a now-sceptical public.

Still the mushroom club, am afraid.

Do you have a link Paul Walter?

Paul Walter, can you post a link to the oil journal article you are citing re Iraq? There's a lot of wishful thinking re potential increases in Iraqi oil production, particularly so in the context of global production. I could have a look at this article and perhaps dispel some myths here on WD.

I think the argument that you might be trying to make is something along these lines: as the world's leaders gathered in Copenhagen with the intention of reducing GHG emissions, efforts were being made to increase Iraqi oil production, thereby contributing to increases in global GHG emissions.

A few points to note:

  1. Current Iraqi oil production is about 2.5 million barrels per day. Notwithstanding any figures in your journal article, it might be  plausible (but wildly optimistic in the real world IMHO) for Iraq to increase its oil production to about 5 million barrels per day by about 2020.
  2. Current global oil production is about 85 million barrels per day. Production from the world's existing oil fields is already declining at more than 5 per cent per annum (and accelerating). Offsetting this decline in order to keep global oil production constant, ie not increasing, requires the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia to be discovered and brought into production every second year. This is a delusion.
  3. The wildly optimistic proposition (at point 1) that Iraq might increase production from 2.5 to 5 million barrels per day over a decade represents about one half of the existing annual declines elsewhere in the world. This from the country with the largest remaining oil reserves in the world.
  4. The assumption of perpetual global economic growth that underpins the negotiating positions of the COP-15 participants is based on an assumption of perpetual increases in global oil production. There is no evidence for this assumption, indeed anybody who suggest otherwise in policy circles is shunned (at best). This assumption is another delusion.
  5. If politicians do nothing about climate change, global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are very likely to begin to decline, as a result of declining production caused by geophysical constraints. Neither the IPCC nor governments, nor activists for that matter have acknowledged this. The real debate needs to be how to close the gap between this inevitable decline and the reductions needed to meet the mitigation target. This debate is not happening and appears unlikely to happen for years.
  6. The proposition of "managing" a reduction in emissions to stabilise average global temperatures below a 2 degree increase requires the urgent mobilisation of capital, labour and natural resources, with the scale and urgency of the Marshall Plan, in every country in the world. This in turn requires the relevant markets to remain stable, including notably the global oil market, in order for fuel to remain sufficiently affordable and available to achieve this massive building program over the next couple of decades, during an era of declining oil production. You can't build this stuff with solar powered machinery. There are many compounding delusions here.
  7. Iraq is a poor and war-ravaged country that depends on oil revenues to get back on its feet, and it only supplies the oil that is demanded by the world's rich countries. We (the rich industrialised countries) are to blame, not Iraq. Iraqis did not determine the domestic policies or build the oil-dependent infrastructure in our countries over many decades. We did.

To be continued ...

merry Xmass to you too, Stuart.

Stuart, am astonished!

The series of reports concerning the second Iraqi Oil Auction, under- reported in our press and media to an nth degree earlier this month, with an exponential ramping up of production following  is in the very journal you provided me and others a link for !!

Just go to its home page and read the index.

Oddly enough, you seem to be aware of much of the detail of the Iraqi oil auction, contained in the reporting within the journal whos link you provided us , yet you want me to send you a link to your own  journal.

Give us a break mate.

You seem to be under a misapprehension that Iraq is an independent state; it has been an occupied nation run by puppets who have now signed its future away under terms imposed by the occupiers. HTF do you get the idea that I "blame" Iraq for Western policy??

Haven't you figured anything out about long term US foreign policy, inparticular,  in the Middle East over a couple of generations?

I certainly hope the people running things employ the extra oil production for constructive purposes, rather than more Ruddist Growth at any Cost, after the western nolib model?

But do you really think that is primarily what the Iraqi oil auctions are about? The article the journal you provided semed to think it was more about bailing Royal Dutch Shell out.

The 'occupiers' stuffed up big time

Paul Walter wrote: "[Iraq] has been an occupied nation run by puppets who have now signed its future away under terms imposed by the occupiers."

If the aim of the occupiers was to expropriate Iraq's oil for the sole benefit of western international oil companies they've stuffed up bigtime. Many of the big contracts were awarded to Russia's Lukoil and Gazprom, China National Petroleum Corporation, Malaysia's Petronas, even Angola's Sonangol SA.

If the contractors meet their production targets Iraq could earn as much as $200 billion a year. Even half that is a big lump of money in anyone's language. Much better than smuggling the stuff by the truckload acros the Turkish border under the UN's farcical and corrupt oil for food program.

Interestingly, Iraq has a 25 per cent stake in the licenses and will only pay the contractors a flat fee (vice a percentage) for each barrel produced. So the big winner from future price increases will be Iraq, not big oil.

Yes, I am well aware of the Carter Doctrine and the desire to exclude rival powers Russia and China from influencing the Middle East oil producers. With the exception of Saudi Arabia, this doesn't turn out to be working particularly well. Even then, many of the OPEC members in the GCC are in the early stages of developing their own single currency for the specific purpose of reducing US geopolitical and economic influence. This is potentially catastrophic for the US; hardly a roaring success.

is the difference that great?

 Stuart, I think that over time, the USA has realised that it must be a little more sophisticated in how it deals with Russia and China. If they seek the complicity of these for the new order, they must share at least share some of the pie with these; honey things up a little.

These regional powers are arguably right wing, non socialist components now useful for and incorporated into, the new order- the Americans gradually discovered it could be more constructive to "engage", particularly after the old military solutions were exhausted during the years of uncontested dominance peaking during the decade of hubris-driven neocon squander and are not currently viable, in the wake of consequent economic disruption and loss of credibilty.

The system has had to go back to "humanface" . Obama, Clinton, Rudd ( a new Blair clone) and the like have to acheive by diplomacy for the Western alliance, what the overt aggression and bombast of the Cheney Bush Howard years failed to accomplish.

All nice and happy and now shared around like good mates.

 A second best or plan "B, but hey, it's the era of the globalised interconnected economy, so a bit is better than nothing and keeps the peasants happy. Besides, a new generation of Madoffs should eventually be able to swindle the money back off the less sophisticated nations.

As to the prospective rebuilding of Iraq, I hope you are right. But Iraqi history, from the time of the installation of Saddam, tacitly and probably actively encouraged by the US, through to the present day is a sorry catalogue indeed of sheer bastardry, with millions paying for it with their lives. 

 As to "Energy Bulletin", merely went to its home page to read more of it, and there it was a few columns down. under the heading;

"Iraq and Oil auction aftermath- Dec 17".

Sorry, can't link on my computer (blush) but am sure you must be aware of the articles by now, since you would have had to go from the home of "Energy Bulletin"  to your linked article.

Ok, so its correct to cite or link where apt. My apologies.

Will check computer and do a bit of work on my computer skills over xmass, to remedy the technical flaws.

May the Spirit of Xmass permeate yourself and yours, Stuart. The journal excerpts were an informative read.

Which of the 786 links, Paul Walter?

Stop teasing Paul Walter! I estimate that I have provided 786 links on WD to various oil journal articles. Which one are you talking about? Be specific man.

A question?

Paul: I agree completely with 6. above and cannot imagine what advice Australian parliamentarians are (not) getting that allows them to (not) think about the small window of opportunity in which to to retool for renewables  prior to the cost of oil being so high that retooling is actually either impossible or it happens at immense social costs as public fianances are drawn to the project.

So the question is this: are you aware of any resource informed economist who has factored in the effect of probable oil price rises on the cost of shipping. My own reading of the situation, which is far from knowledgeable, is that global trade depends entirely on oil for moving goods and raw materials. How does China, for example, stand if the cost of oil for shipping goes up so much that whatever comparative advantage it enjoys from discounting wages, conditions and ecological conditions is eroded by shipping costs? Isn't the whole global trade system predicated on low oil costs for shipping?

"Retooling for renewables" and an economist who gets it

Anthony, "retooling for renewables" is highly misleading, and I think where many climate activists have gone seriously wrong. There isn't a hope in hell of renewables scaling up to come anywhere near replacing the energy that we currently get from fossil fuels. A much bigger and more urgent problem is what you might call "socio-spatial retooling" using much less sexy, but effictive, existing technology like trains, in order to become radically less energy dependent. Most (not all) climate activists tend to be energy illiterate and/or innumerate, indeed often gullible, hence their tendency to be duped by Ponzi carbon trading schemes or electric-cars-will-save-the-polar-bears hype.

The economist who "gets" the global trade implications of resource scarcity etc is Jeff Rubin, whos analysis has been right on the money for years. See for example What's the Real Cause of the Global Recession? in October last year. His recent book Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller is a must-read.

The Bottom Line. Obama in Copenhagen

I'm beginning to think that all the pre-Abbott bullshit was only so Australia could serve in Copenhagen as a more successful barracker for Barry. Try this from his Copenhagen spiel:

Now, as the world's largest economy and as the world's second largest emitter, America bears our responsibility to address climate change, and we intend to meet that responsibility.  That's why we've renewed our leadership within international climate change negotiations.  That's why we've worked with other nations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.  That's why we've taken bold action at home -- by making historic investments in renewable energy; by putting our people to work increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings; and by pursuing comprehensive legislation to transform to a clean energy economy.

These mitigation actions are ambitious, and we are taking them not simply to meet global responsibilities.  We are convinced, as some of you may be convinced, that changing the way we produce and use energy is essential to America's economic future -- that it will create millions of new jobs, power new industries, keep us competitive, and spark new innovation.  We're convinced, for our own self-interest, that the way we use energy, changing it to a more efficient fashion, is essential to our national security, because it helps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and helps us deal with some of the dangers posed by climate change.



Weishaupt's Fallacy

John Michael Greer's blog post this week nicely summarises the fallacy that is the premise of the UNFCCC/COP-15/IPCC. Thus the delusion of a "grand bargain" by the world's elites to "manage" a decline in global CO2 emissions. 

GW & Rudd

It is pathetic the way Rudd is trying to convince us that he is the only politician who is doing the right thing.

Tonight on TV, the newsreader on SBS stated that Rudd addressed the delegates and we saw a clip of Rudd talking, they gave the impression that Rudd was addressing all the delegates but as the camera panned round there was about a dozen people in the room.

Rudd is becoming a legend in his own lunchtime.

smoke and mirrors

Come on Alan, don't be silly!

Howard did all the same sort of stuff just as shamelessly.

Remember Howard in America,  standing next to the door of an aircraft waving to an imaginary George and Laura Bush, for a publicity shot? 

But yes, Rudd is very good, perhaps the best at this sort of politics since Tony Blair. Glib.

Post Script - The Spring Time of Vogon Disconnect

Following my earlier post (and my related climate calculations) I would like all our readers and contributors to consider the following (and enjoy the poetry): 

You know life occassionally presents us with an opportunity that is too good to be true; and then we stuff it up, opportunity lost. I've just had a brain wave while down the pub...OK the mice had the brain wave.

Here's the rub: Do we really want to reduce green house emissions? If the answer is "YES" or even "yes" ; "maybe" will do, then this is how we can do it, as ciphered using my state of the ark science, and a dash of faultless basil. 

Having dusted off my slide rule and thermometer I've calculated that all nations could meet their emission targets for the next 37 years, 9 months, 2 days and 23 seconds precisely. How ? This is the good bit.

As we speak there is a conference of politicians in the town of the Swindler and the Emperor (and from all reports the Emperors are looking rather impotent right now; must be the winter weather, but I'm glad I'm not there to see it).

Anyway, based on my very accurate Demo-OcuPogEnic Model, (that predicts future green house emissions per person, by age, occupation, weight and religion) we can confidently assure the reader that an investment of only 4.73 five hundred pound bombs, targeted at who know who, will do the trick, so to speak. Best make it six bombs to be sure. By doing this we can be sure that each of the six bombs will be emission negative to the extent as concluded above.

Now if this is not an opportunity of a life time then I don't know what is, so let's not stuff it up - even a big pussy would say: JUST DO IT!

A Vogon Sonnet  (dedictated to Paul)

The Spring Time of Vogon Disconnect

wwqdgyh  qkwdh E < MC2 > PI
DY/DX = doh doh NUTS where R = m- n. w=V+V
BARD hum boogles  qkwdh E < MC2 > PI
DY/DX > doh doh NUTS

GOOOOOOOOOO++++ = d. Miranda. + PIS ACK ACK MAN (sic +++)

I did inquire why the sextet had only five lines and was informed by my doctor, Mr Haneef, who is the cousin of a Vogon Department Head, that anything with sex in it had to be censored.

Anyway where does one get 3,000 pounds worth of you know what?

PS. If our methane emperor reads this I will be in deep poo poos mestinks.


Has any one ever wondered how much CO2 goes into making and deploying a bullet, a tank or a bomb?

Quite a bit I reckon, but I really don't have a clue; so best I brush up on warfare and climate:

According to some experts, detonation releases approximately 0.32 tons of CO2 per ton of explosive. Thus, any assessment of the climate footprint of war must take into account emissions from the millions of tons of explosives used by the military.

The (Iraq) war is responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) since March 2003. To put this in perspective:

CO2 released by the war to date equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US this year.

If the war was ranked as a country in terms of emissions, it would emit more CO2 each year than 139 of the world’s nations do annually. Falling between New Zealand and Cuba, the war each year emits more than 60% of all countries.

So there ya go (you can find the PDF here), and don't forget there are lots of other nasty chemicals and green house junk in military stuff.

Now,  for all those sceptics out there I do realise that the above analysis does omit one very material point. The efficiency of the ordinance. For example: if a bullet or bomb does not kill anyone out right then its CO2 emissions can reckoned in total. However, if a bomb only wounds people then that becomes an even bigger problem as far as GW is concerned.

Allow me to explain:

If a bomb does kill someone, or two or numerous then the carbon footprint of those now dead people would have to be offset against that bomb's emissions - in fact a bomb that finds its targets could end up with a negative output of greenhouse emissions. Well done.

OK OK I know, for all you statisticians out there I do realise we would have to take the ages of the dead into account. Babies would be best to kill, for they have a whole life ahead to pollute the world. Old people would score little.

And, we also must take into account the wounded, for they end up on the opposite side of the ledger. A wounded person (who recovers) will use up a lot more CO2 than a healthy person. Once again demographics do count.

I have crunched a few numbers based on the available data it appears that if a 500 pound bomb kills one baby it may well end up being carbon neutral. If it kills two or more babies (think a preschool or even better a maternity ward; that way you get the mums as well so as to prevent any replacements) then that bomb has well and truly earnt its keep.

Please note you would have to take out 7.96 large nursing homes to enjoy the same efficiencies of taking out one small maternity ward.

My research did note (predictably) however, that the most cost efficient targets were politicians. Their methane levels are extraordinary, however the poltician is usually hard to kill and refuses to go anywhere near maternity wards or preschools when the bullets are flying. 

Apparently one politician  emits equivalent green house crap to measure around 18.79 herds of cows or 11.6312 maternity wards. I you don't believe me do the science yourself. It's a fact.

I suppose the moral of the story is to make every bomb carbon neutral, or negative, otherwise would should retire from the stupidy of war. If war can't work for climate then it really ain't much use at all. If we did Mother Nature would love us and we could party until we all OD'd on our poison of choice - Mother Nature would love that too.

Anyway, hope that gives us all something to think about. I'm off to the pub, its really bloody hot. I'm taking my dear little white mice and me book of poems, and if I hurry there should still be some free peanuts.

Centrelink refused to give me any peanuts unless I dressed up like a clown and jumped through hoops.

Gee, I hope the boys at the Pentagon don't read this, they'll probably get a hard on.

You know, now that I have an agenda, I'm all for this climate warming stuff - providing we can stop war.

Thank you Dr Strangelove.

Thank you Phil:

 "If a bomb does kill someone, or two or numerous then the carbon footprint of those now dead people would have to be offset against that bomb's emissions - in fact a bomb that finds its targets could end up with a negative output of greenhouse emissions. Well done."

My first belly laugh on the subject you cynical bastard. Dear God, finally, a rationale that Duke Nukem would die for.

Methane Rising

cynical bastard

Why Anthony, thank you, that would have to be the only compliment I've received since 1961. Back in those days I was just The little bastard; at least the term cynical indicates my bastardry has matured somewhat.

Maybe I should call myself a politician, but I'm not sure if my methane levels allow; I'm working on it, but I won't be so  stupid as to visit preschools or maternity wards.

Clueless but in awe.

Why thank you David for doing what should have been done on Lateline. It certainly does appear that the general (current) trend is towards a hotter climate, but to what degree is human activity responsible?

I have read human activity accounts for around 3% of CO2 in the atmosphere, is this material at this point in time ? And do carbon concentrations in the atmosphere  account for the Earth's warming more than sun spot activity? What role water vapour and cloud cover? Can we really do anything to mitigate something that may well be unstoppable for reasons we do not properly understand? Do we really understand the matrix of relationships that drive our climate?

Sorry David that's the sceptic in me, but I do not deny that climate warming is (most probably) a reality. What does concern me is what are we going to do about it.

Somehow I can't help but feel we are being a little bit arrogant to think we can take on Mother Earth and get her to behave to our advantage, at least in a macro way. We can try but failure is the most probable result. Some will make a fortune.

David agrees that the Earth was once hotter than it is now. One would expect  that oceans levels were also higher than at current. Climate appears to be cyclical, and if the weather (or other variables) dictate that the oceans rise and fall then we will have to adapt, won't we?

Humans beings by nature, are to a lesser or greater degree, control freaks, controlling Mother Earth sounds romantic and sophisticated but somehow I suspect Mother Earth would prefer if we learnt to adopt to a changing climate and changing geography. After all, is that not what we humans excel at - the ability to adapt.

It will be genuine scientific knowledge, reasearch, communication, human creativity, transparency and honesty that will save us from ourselves, rather than economic agendas or trying to play god.

Yep, climate change may well define us as a people.

Paul writes: "I suppose you think that internet censorship is reallyabout stopping porn, too, do you Phil Moffat?"

I thought that internet censorship was more about stopping porn getting into the view of kids, rather than stopping porn. Porn like climate change is impossible to stop. At best we can try to control porn, but like controlling climate change that may be more wishful thinking than a real possibility. That is where the similarities end for internet censorship is a separate discussion.

Neither being a scientist nor intelligent does not rob one of forming an opinion, a belief even. But that opinion/belief can only be veritable if it is based on genuine data that has been processed with integrity. At this point in time we have loads of information but are we processing it properly? Personally if I were asked such a question I would readily admit that I didn't have a clue. And I don't; who really does?

Climate science is a bit like the science of psychology. The mysteries of Mother Earth are like the mysteries of the human mind; we have much to learn, but we are making progress. 

Scientists tell us Mother Earth's moods constantly change (for all sorts of reasons); she gets hot and then she cools down (women tend to be like that). It would appear, inspite of human activity, we can expect her to moods to continue. We best learn to love her the way she is and hopefully she will reveal her deepest secrets to a creative yet frightened species.

But then again maybe she will murder the lot of us.

Don't panic Paul, when the time comes I'll send you some white mice, a bag of peanuts and a poem from you know who ;-/


Phil, you probably think I'm a Vogon after the last lot. Sorry, really, really bad hair day. Ahhh, but  the consolations of  true poetry, though!

 And nothing like a bit of intelligent company, even tho some would dismiss the source you suggest as nothing more than sheer vermin and in fact lying rodents.

 And don't worry about the peanuts, Centrelink already looks after that (pouts).

But find your theory concerning Mother Nature's quirks as manifestations of cosmic PMS certainly worthy of further investigation - would explain so much. (ducks!).

you're either with us or against us

Lateline last night was interesting; probably a fine example of the rubbish we plebs have to tolerate.

Neither side was communicating, as such the educational process was rendered impotent.

The comments on this thread in relation to this interview  are polarising and predictable, although Richard has shown a wee bit of healthy scepticism.

When I turned off the tellie last night I thought they were both a pair of ratbags to be frank. Neither would, or could answer the others questions resulting in a battle of egos signifying nothing.

Has this been the hottest century on record? Well the data states that this is so, but the data only goes back for a very short period of Earth's long history.

David R: the most accurate measurements only go back a few centuries, but at the level we're talking about (global annual averages), ice-core data goes back tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. 

Has the Earth had hotter periods than at present? Apparently science supports that there has been warmer periods than currently, and there was no industry pumping out millions of tons of CO2.

David R: yes, has been hotter - when the CO2 levels were even higher: one of the big worries is that human forcing will push the temperature high enough to release the huge stores of methane in the permafrost, thus "naturally" forcing the temperature even higher. When the Earth was hotter than now, no humans lived here. Since a four-degree hotter world would pretty certainly melt the ice-caps in due course, and that would put almost all the agricultural land on the planet underwater, there probably won't be many humans living on the planet in that future, either.

I don't know about you but that interview last night did nothing to educate or help me make a decision one way or another.

I suppose that would make me a sceptic, for I get the impression George Bush logic reins supreme for those who have faith in AGW: you're either with us or against us. Do we really want to behave like that?


I suppose you think that internet censorship is really about stopping porn, too, do you Phil Moffat?

Is it (usually) only intelligent people or people with scientific training, who can see through the likes of Ian Plimer and his backers (or for that matter a Br-ck like Conroy) ?

Porn: Bathroom secrets

a breath of fresh air.

Jay, thanks for that priceless link.

Sickening and despicable, the mendacity involved in this "filtering" nonsense- and for such base motives.

So sayeth the shepperd

Show me a man asking for world change, and I'll show you a man desprately seeking inner change. Nothing Mr Monibot and his acolytes proclaim:

A. Surprises me in the least.

B. Worries me even less.

We live in a world when the day your opponent isn't claiming you to be a shambles and on the verge of smoking ruin is the day you become concerned.

On a brighter note: The daily calamities of this "conference" (where does one begin?), aptly prove why these clowns:

A. Shouldn't be in charge of much, least of all the world.

B. Thankfully aren't really in charge of much (ignore the titles), least of all the world.

Get em in the UN on that constant free merry-go-round of booze, pills, and escorts. There they definitely won't do any damage. It's worth double the price people!

None so blind as those who WILL not see..

Presumably, when Geoff Pahoff suggests "these rat bags must be opposed",  he is actually referring to Plimer and the other "ratbags" holding a gun to the head of civilisation. The old right cling to power the way sh-t sticks to a blanket.

Little wonder Stuart McCarthy is moved to the perhaps bitter observation that,

 "The joke is on governments and people who put faith in the oxymoron of sustainable growth, including the vast majority of climate change activists."

Well, most intelligent people of my generation did indeed hope that simple reason and sound common sense would prevail; even the "greedy-ing classes" might belatedly eventually realise that there is more to life than control freaking, power trips, ego trips and property. 

Since so much of the concept of sustainable development has been in the public consciousness for forty odd years, yet we are now forced to come to terms with the probability of peak oil and other forms of environmental degradation or depletion at the same time as climate change threatens. All hope now burned on a Bonfire of the Vanities which belongs far more to the Gordon Geckos, Bernie Madoffs, Dick Cheneys, Nick Minchins and Rupert Murdochs of this world than any battling greenie, crusading journo or earnest scientist.  

Maybe Richard Tonkin answered my question, after watching the same teev as me tonight.  I think the answer is in the last para of his post, unless I'm mistaken.

In the meantime, I will heartily concur as to empty Plimer's shattered glass jaw. A Howardist relic and the environmental equivalent of Professor David Flint ruling in favour of Jones and Laws, after  Cash for Comments surfaced.

These lunatics must be stopped

George Monbiot

 ".. .But it is also a battle between two world views. The angry men who seek to derail this agreement, and all such limits on their self-fulfilment, have understood this better than we have. A new movement, most visible in North America and Australia,..., demands to trample on the lives of others as if this were a human right. It will not be constrained by taxes, gun laws, regulations, health and safety, especially by environmental restraints..."

"...For a moment, a marvellous, frontier moment, they allowed us to live in blissful mindlessness....

..."The angry men know that this golden age has gone; but they cannot find the words for the constraints they hate. Clutching their copies of Atlas Shrugged, they flail around, accusing those who would impede them of communism, fascism, religiosity, misanthropy, but knowing at heart that these restrictions are driven by something far more repulsive to the unrestrained man: the decencies we owe to other human beings.

"I fear this chorus of bullies ... "

 And so on. Read it all.

This man is an undiluted raving lunatic. He could be the villian in a James Bond parody. In ordinary times he would be placed in the care of professionals by concerned relatives. Instead he, and others like him, has  influence among a whole sub-class of Western "public intellectuals" and the faithful in the media, the universities, politics and elsewhere.

This highlights just how dangerous the times have become. These ratbags must be opposed before it is too late. We may already be past the tipping point.


Pahoff's tantrum exactly what Monbiot means.

Oh dear Geoff Pahoff:

Monbiot "...and others like him has influence among a whole sub-class of Western "publicintellectuals" and the faithful in the media, the universities,politics and elsewhere."

Now you are getting the picture. Fox doesn't cut it with educated people and educated people provide intellectual and cultural leadership. Time is up, mate.

What is more he quite acutely characterises responses like yours with its accusations of lunacy etc ad nauseum as "angry men" who are "flailing". You missed your opportunity to accuse him of "communism, fascism, religiosity, misanthropy".

Never mind. Windschuttle is publishing a new book soon and that ought to keep you content for a while.

I am starting to enjoy myself.




Monbiot's opponent on Lateline tonight might have been picked for his massive glass jaw.  On superficial levels this bloke appeared to be a charlatan cooking his own books, slurring, and leafing through his own tome at every opportunity of self-promotion. His derision of a man presenting facts contrary to his own didn't help.

As a layman, on the strenght of this, I'd be siding with Monbiot.  The internal jury is still, however, unable to return a verdict.

Then again, now I'm watching Monbiot (on some doco) describing himself as "an evangelical atheist".. umm..

Monbiot demands restraints

 He demands restraints.

Who would refuse him? He would get no argument from me.

..."The vicious battles we have seen so far between greens and climate change deniers, road safety campaigners and speed freaks, real grassroots groups and corporate-sponsored astroturfers are just the beginning. This war will become much uglier as people kick against the limits that decency demands."

"This is bigger than climate change. It is a battle to redefine humanity"

He could be right.

What me worry!

Well, Phil a massive one has been under way for two centuries, its true, but don't worry.

Oh dear Paul, when someone tells me not to worry I do tend to feel a little uneasy. 

At least you didn't say: Don't Panic

When that be the case I think it may be time to foster very friendly relationships with white mice and Vogons.

Times up for the unsophisticated apes.

Monbiot captures the psychodynamic elements of the issue beautifully.

The limits are already here

I have always found the expectation that governments would take the leading role in addressing climate change to be bizarre. The nexus between CO2 emissions and economic growth has been well understood for decades. Ironically, this realisation coincided with the triumph of neoliberalism, ie Monbiot's observation that perpetual economic growth is the central policy objective of almost every government in the world. But an even bigger irony is that we have understood for even longer that the global economy would likely encounter limits to growth early this century.

What Monbiot doesn't fully appreciate is that global economic growth is already reaching its limits, not decades into the future but now. Indeed the global economy has been in overshoot for some time. The joke is on governments and people who put faith in them to deliver the oxymoron of "sustainable growth", including the vast majority of climate change activists.

mon brave!

Anthony, it issuch a beautiful state-of-play thumbnail, isnt it?

Perish the thought we ahould have to resort to being what we are; human.

Because that would draw on exactly that characteristic that got us here in the first place, our ability to do hard yards working out a situation and then making an effort at adjustment.

Most other creatures can't adjust in the way we can.

 Yet we'll always, in our vanity, go back to fight over the spoils of defeat, whilst the true prize, neglected,  slips away through lack of appreciation or the effort of even the most straightforward exercises of thinking


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