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December 31st 2016 print

Tony Thomas

Warmism’s Martial Plan

Obama declines to bomb an ISIS convoy because burning trucks will boost CO2 emissions ... Australia's defence wallahs fret about rising seas and drowning air bases ...  alarmist ratbaggery distorts strategy and budgets. Military effectiveness has a new enemy: the climate-scam crowd

green fleetThe US military is in flux as President-elect Trump prepares to rid it of Obama’s global-warming overlays. This switch is underway just as the Australian military is starting to adopt Obama-style environmentalism, after a decade’s passive resistance to  climate politics.

The ADF has already capitulated to feminists and inclusiveness mavens, with top brass applauding then-Human Rights Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick for her 2014 report castigating the force’s “masculine norms” and “warrior culture”. The ADF was also told by Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert in the Abbott government in March, 2015, to recruit an imam for the benefit of the force’s 100 Muslim recruits. The coming capitulation is to the hyped climate “science” of the ANU Climate Institute and Tim Flannery’s crusading Climate Council.

This essay looks at the status quo with environmentalism in the US military, and the recent flow-ons to Australia.

What happens when the military gets climate-minded played out in Syria a year ago. Russian President Vladimir Putin was annoyed at  Turkey shooting down a Russian SU-24 bomber. So he blew the whistle on America’s  reluctance to attack Syrian ISIS road tankers carting oil into Turkey. Those black-market oil sales generate the main funding for ISIS.[1]

Showing Russian reconnaissance footage, Putin spoke of “vehicles, carrying oil, lined up in a chain going beyond the horizon…a living oil pipe day and night.” US reporters wondered why the Obama administration hadn’t ordered US planes to  blow up the “living oil pipe”. The public explanation from former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell was that Obama did not want “to create environmental damage” or wreck infrastructure that Syrians would need in peace-time.

In an Obama version of shock and awe, A-10s Warthog ground-attack planes and Spectre gunships did start attacking the tankers, but only after leaflet drops to give the ISIS tanker drivers a considerate 45 minutes to “get out of your trucks now and run away from them.”

Concern about CO2 emissions from exploding ISIS oil tankers is just one facet of Obama’s generalship. Since 2009 he has been issuing progressively-tougher Executive Orders to government agencies, including Defence, demanding that global warming issues be raised to top-priority status. Obama has several times publicly declared climate change to  be an equal or greater threat than terrorism, and the Obama/Kerry team recently  moved climate change talks from the Oval Office to the “Situation Room,” for military/security discussion of  active threats to the US.

Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer and U.S. Central Command planner, says the Pentagon is introducing climate change, right down to military tactics, techniques and procedures level.

China’s military doctrine is less convoluted: “China’s armed forces uphold combat effectiveness as the sole and fundamental standard and work to build themselves into a people’s military that can fight and win.”  Putin, like his Chinese counterparts, has not afflicted the Russian military with climate provisos.

Another serious “threat to national security” posited by Obama is from politicians who deny that various extreme weather events are demonstrations of climate change.  Whatever dissent existed among the top US brass about the Obama campaign went mainly unspoken, while more ambitious officers competed publicly  to burnish their climate credentials. But in mid-2015, General Martin Dempsey, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made his disgust clear by issuing a 14-page policy statement on military doctrine that contains not one mention of climate change.

Trump’s eagerness to drain Obama’s military swamp is evident from his 74 questions to the Department of Energy. He wants to identify all programs tainted by Obama’s junk science, along with the programs’ bureaucratic champions. The specificity of the questions is impressive, and designed to trump any civil-service obfuscation and passive resistance. The Brits take a perverse pride in Yes, Minister bureaucrats who run rings around their politicians. Trump and his realpolitik appointees intend to (and know how to) beat the bureaucrats.

The US Navy’s so-called “Great Green Fleet” reflects Obama’s priorities, and has some direct Australian flow-ons. The background is the Navy target to run 50% on planet-friendly alternative fuels by 2020, along with many conventional energy-saving measures.  In practice, if a fuel stock contains as little as 10% biofuel, it can be fudged into the ‘green’ category.

Obama’s original intent was emissions reductions to slow global warming. During that era of $US120+ for a barrel for oil, producing fuel from chicken fat and old cooking oil didn’t seem wholly irrational. Even so, Navy coffers were depleted by at least a billion dollars in subsidies to biofuel refineries and infrastructure, with leakages to the usual green parasites and scammers.

The three US military-spec biofuel refineries can put out a mere 100 million gallons of biofuel a year, relative to the US military’s total fuel use of 4.6  billion gallons.

The biofuels policy has required constant patches to make it sensible-seeming in the real world. In this era of sub-$US50 per barrel oil, justifying biofuels is not easy. Even to Obama, the program must look like a dead man walking. The flaws, and their patches, include

  • Low energy density: Normal biofuels pack less energy per unit volume, an obvious burden to the military. The suppliers must offer “Third Generation” biofuels which somehow equal the energy-density of petroleum.
  • Extra expense: Suppliers must win orders commercially, which is only made possible by government subsidies to upstream processing.
  • Transition problems: Supplied biofuels must be ‘drop-in’ capable and require no modification to ships’  fuel equipment.
  • No actual saving in emissions: The farm-intensive nature of biofuels means their life-cycle CO2 emissions are normally worse than for fossil fuels. Suppliers are now required to demonstrate life-cycle CO2 savings, or at least go through the motions of doing so.
  • Crop diversions from foodstocks to biofuels: Nearly half US corn production is now diverted to biofuels and the world’s poorest suffer because of more expensive foodstocks. Suppliers must show (somehow) that their cropping is “complementary” to food production.

A Rand report in 2011 for the Secretary of Defence concluded (p83): “There is no direct benefit to the Department of Defense or the services from using alternative fuels rather than petroleum-derived fuels.”

After all that, the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, can muster only two rationales for the biofuel switch. The first is that it benefits growers in Ohio and other corn-producing states. Well, it would. The second is that biofuels improve US fuel security : “It keeps … fuel from being used as a weapon against us,”  he said. This is absurd, given America’s vast new  wealth of  fracked petroleum and  impending energy self-sufficiency.

Back home now, as newsreaders say, and Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk last August took a break from the mass-hiring of public servants to sign a “high-level agreement” on  biofuels with the US Navy’s deputy under-secretary for management, Thomas Hicks. Her vision is for the US green navy to be able to refuel at Queensland ports with ‘drop-in’ local biofuels. This would ease the US Pacific fleet’s self-inflicted logistical issue of running on two different but equivalent fuel stocks, one of them virtually unavailable outside the US. Palaszczuk’s plan is to explore how to “make Queensland the biofuel hub of the Asia Pacific”. She sees the signing as “a giant stride” towards a new Queensland industry generating “the next wave of long-term, export-oriented job opportunities”.

She has also “lured” (her word)  Southern Oil Refining from NSW to build a $16 million biofuel pilot plant at Gladstone using sugar-cane waste. If successful, it would be scaled to a $150 million refinery making 200 million litres of military-style biofuel.

Meanwhile, Australian scientists are supposedly close to using eucalyptus trees to develop ‘green’ jet fuel. According to Anthony Bergin of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, this terrific idea could also revegetate arid areas and military training ranges with suitable trees, along with creating jobs for indigenes while ironing out the ups and downs of commercial fuel prices.”[2] This really over-sells some embryonic research.

Obama’s notions of a climate-friendly military are now getting traction with the Australian Defence Force. For example, the ADF is an official supporter of WWF’s Earth Hour. At 8pm next March 25, expect lights at the ADF’s Russell offices to twinkle off (happily, it’s a Saturday night).

The military is seen by Australia’s social-justice set as a trophy agency – capturing it would be a PR coup. A more sinister agenda emanates from the Greens Party, with its policy  for downgrading military capacity to non-offensive roles, with funding to be cut accordingly; ranks having the right to conscientiously object to what they see as illegal military actions; and closure of all foreign bases and joint facilities in Australia.[3] By also  loading up  the ADF with social-justice add-ons, the Greens can effect and enjoy the force’s reduction in combat capability.

Until 2009, the emissions-haters had got nowhere with the ADF, despite Kevin Rudd’s accession and his come-and-go assertion of 2008 that climate is the greatest moral challenge of our time. In a huge embarrassment to the warmist community, the 2009 Defence White Paper had this to say:

4.61  Uncertainty about the effects of climate change and the period of time over which potential impacts may develop makes it difficult to assess its strategic consequences. Large-scale strategic consequences 
of climate change are not likely to be felt before 2030.”  (My emphasis)

Although the White Paper went on to fret about drowning island states etc., along with imagined future droughts, floods and cyclones, the damage was done – who really cares about hypothetical weather 20 years hence? Not the ADF, for starters.

To add to the Greens’ annoyance, the 2009 White Paper also included a bitchy aside that social instabilities and resource pressures, “whether caused by climate change or other dynamics” could create issues.  Heavens, doubt is expressed!

Those 2009 heresies could not be allowed to stand, since military greenies were  clamouring that global warming is already upon us (regardless that atmospheric warming has now been insignificant for the past 18 years, apart from the 2015-16 El Nino spike). So in the 2013 White Paper, the year 2030 disappeared, along with any doubts about global warming . The White Paper continued to gloom about South Pacific islands and added the fashionable memes about myriads of climate refugees.  (The UN  converted this scare to farce by forecasting in 2005 a surge of 50 million refugees by 2010 . When challenged on it in 2010, the UNEP people furtively shifted the end-date to 2020. A further furtive shift is likely three years’ hence).

The 2016 White Paper, which had its main gestation during the un-green Abbott Prime Ministership,[4] keeps the climate story brief and muddled. It talks, as usual, about the Pacific islands’ instability, but not from 2030 (2009 report) but out to 2035. Quite a difference. With a rush of honesty, it puts the instability down to economic growth, crime, and social problems, with “climate change challenges” cited last on the list. Later it says climate change “will” see big sea rises and more and worse extreme weather events, with more calls on the ADF for neighborly help.

The “increased extreme weather” rationale is a croc. Roger Pielke Jr.,  professor of environmental studies at the  University of Colorado and a specialist in extreme weather’s history, has found  no significant trends in global tropical cyclone and floods frequency over the past 50-to-100 years. Nor has the IPCC. After giving such evidence to Congress in 2013, Pielke was witch-hunted by Democrat politicians falsely claiming he had dishonestly concealed fossil-fuel funding.

There is a new and somewhat comical concern for Australian coastal ADF facilities, because of the feared CO2-driven sea rises. There were further ADF inquiries in 2015 about the peril, putting the RAAF Townsville on the front line of sogginess (the findings are secret). I can assist the ADF by noting tide gauges at Townsville show 130mm of rise since 1959, that’s 5 inches in 57 years — or, put another way,  a bit more than the length of my hand (8in) per 100 years. Also that Queensland sea levels have been flat geologically for 7000 years; and that the current global sea rise is not accelerating.[5] Allowing for the climate models’ wild exaggerations to date, I’d say Townsville RAAF tarmac is safe from global-warming swamping till about 2100 or maybe 2300.  Indeed, a   Nature Climate Change study published in August found via satellites a net global gain of land totaling 58,000 square km. This included 13,500 sq km of coastal land surface, during  a 30 year period of spectacular CO2 emissions.

All-up, the ADF’s most workshopped public statements give global warming a perfunctory run of negative factoids, certainly not in the apocalyptic tone sought by green advocates inside and outside Defence.

The ginger group working to wean the ADF into climateering is led by ADF chief  (1998-02), and now ANU academic Admiral Chris Barrie (Ret.)[6] Barrie, like the HRC’s Gillian Triggs, also virulently criticized the Abbott-led asylum-seeker policy. Despite the degree of operational insight one would assume to be conferred by the title “admiral”, Barrie got it wrong on the tow-back solution, incorrectly predicting tht boats would be burnt and sunk by their undocumented occupants.

On global warming, Barrie is  heavily influenced by the ANU’s Climate Institute boss Will “Death Threats” Steffen. In 2015 they wrote a joint report for Flannery’s Climate Council on why the ADF should elevate global warming to a central place in strategy.

Another ardent climate pusher is Major Michael Thomas (Ret.) He says the politicisation of climate change had been “a huge distraction to defence”, i.e. it had resisted the urgings of the unelected academics and various ex-military. Thomas, who refers without quotes to the “progressive” Rudd-Gillard governments, said a year ago, “There are pockets of interest within the military on the subject, but it’s not something that has captured the attention of our senior leadership…”

Similarly Barrie, who teaches at the Australian National University, said captains and majors “get it” but “we were just not getting it where it really mattered…We do need to get the leadership all signed up in politics and the ADF.” Since Turnbull took over as PM, the brass  are publicly hitching the ADF to the warmist bandwagon.

A particular goal of the lobbyists is the creation of peak bureaucratic councils within the ADF on global warming, to include climate scientists and other activists.  This would give them more power than merely hosting external joint seminars and writing climate tracts for ADF consumption.

Chief of the Army Lt.Gen. Angus Campbell also has been nobbled by the ANU Climate Institute, inserting their apocalyptic factoids into an important speech to the Chief of Army’s Exercise last September 6. The speech drew on three luminaries from the Climate Change Institute –   Steffen, Andrew Glikson[7] and Janette Lindesay.

The speech drew on three luminaries from the Climate Change Institute –   Steffen, Andrew Glikson[7] and Janette Lindesay.

“For the first time in mankind’s history our planet may become unsuitable for habitation in many of the places where large populations presently live,” Campbell fantasised. He quoted the Institute that “changes would be irreversible on the time scale of human civilisation and would dramatically change the planet as we know it.”

Campbell hasn’t noticed that the nearly one degree of global warming to date has promoted massive gains in food output.[8] Nor that CO2’s beneficial effects in the past  30 years include greening the planet’s deserts to an extent equal to 2.5 times the area of Australia. Even the ABC couldn’t ignore that bit of news.[9]

Instead, the Lt-Gen has put his trust in IPCC computer models which, although claiming prescience to year 2100, never foresaw the past two decades’ warming hiatus (as measured by satellites), and on average are now overstating actual warming by a factor of two or three times.

Campbell doubled-down on his Year 2100 soothsaying, quoting that failure to check emissions would lead to a 23% drop in world economic output by 2100. This futurism on stilts derived from a 2015 Stanford-based study in Nature. An equivalent would be a cavalry colonel in 1900 forecasting army transport in 2000. A decade ago we had the UK report by Lord Stern, wildly mis-forecasting net benefits of emissions control over the next half-century. Economists mocked his use of an absurd 1.4% future discount rate to ensure that emission reductions came out all good.

Campbell also trotted out the drowning-atolls meme, which has been debunked by tide gauges,  post-war aerial mapping– and Charles Darwin, who provided the theoretical refutation in 1836.   The islands may be uninhabitable by 2050, as Campbell suggests. But that would be from eco-degradation by the fast-breeding  locals, not from  imperceptible sea rises. As mentioned, the 2016 White Paper hinted at the main causations.

All this may become moot when President Trump marches the climate crowd out of the military sphere. With the Turnbull government wedded to spending nine-figure sums on anti-global- warming symbolism, the ADF may continue to be white-anted by global warming accretions. Within the ADF must be thousands of front-line people sickened by their employer’s pivot to political correctness and irrational solutions to non-problems. How it all plays out will be seen in the next federal election. At least the social justice warriors aren’t yet demanding “safe spaces” in the military.

Tony Thomas’ new book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.

[1]  Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan,  owns an oil company and Syrian authorities say Bilal is the main buyer.

[2]  ANU researcher Dr  Carston Kulheim suggests: “If we could plant 20 million hectares of eucalyptus species worldwide, which is currently the same amount that is planted for pulp and paper, we would be able to produce enough jet fuel for five per cent of the aviation industry.”

[3] “The deployment of Australian Defence Forces (ADF) must be for defence and peace-keeping, and not for offensive action.”

[4] A discussion paper in 2014 on the impending report made no mention of climate change. Admiral Barrie has claimed Abbott banned use of the words “climate change”.

[5] It’s within the margin of error of the data, and that data has been heavily adjusted in the first place.

[6] Barrie hit the headlines in 2001 when he first endorsed, then disendorsed, a caption to a Navy photo that said asylum seekers of Siev 4 had thrown children overboard. Actually the asylum-seekers wrecked the steering and engine on 7 October, 2001 and next day, unsurprisingly, the ship sank.
Navy people rescued 76 children from the sea.  Distinctions between thrown overboard and dumped in the water are hardly material. One child was thrown overboard (Vessel Siev 7, 24 October, 2001), and another asylum-seeker made such determined efforts to throw a child overboard that he had to be handcuffed (Siev 9, 31 October, 2001).

[7] Glikson: “The unbearable knowledge, that global warming to 3 and 4 degrees C can only spell the demise of numerous species and a collapse of civilisation as we know it under extreme global temperatures, casts a shadow on day-to-day life.”

[8] The study led by Delphine Deryng, an environmental scientist at Columbia University’s Centre for Climate Systems Research, and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies predicted average yields of current rain-fed wheat areas, mostly located in the West’s higher latitudes, might go up by almost 10 per cent, with less water consumption needed. But average yields of irrigated wheat, which account for much of India and China’s production, could decline by four per cent.

[9] Robert Macklin in his 2015 book Warrior Elite  manages to get reality 100% wrong, writing,  “And nowhere is climate change more obvious, as the Sahara advances south at frightening speed.”

Comments [25]

  1. Bill Martin says:

    In the not very distant future children will incredulously ask their grandparents “gran/grandpa, is it true that when you were going to school you were taught that the world was heating up and everybody would die because … (get an endless list of details from any greenie to complete the question.)

    • en passant says:

      Bill,
      My 7-year old grandson, does not ask me your question.

      Instead he tells me with the experience of life that only pre-youth tots can assert with certainty: we are indeed going to fry & die, by heat, cold, starvation, resource depletion, industrial greed, pollution, mining, over-fishing, drought, drowning and disease et al … Education has changed since my day, but then I missed both the 20th Century’s totalitarian cults and learned to read, to write and became somewhat numerate. Fortunately, he has caught the Third Environmental Wave.

      Tony,
      I have a 50-year association with the military and retain a keen interest in Defence matters. Everything you say is correct, so we are doomed, but it will not be because of climate. Not only are our politicians inept and self-serving, to the point of treason in some cases (hat tip to Richard H for identifying their behaviour for what it is), but some of the numerous Defence related organisations to which I still belong, including the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), have been undermined.

      The stunning Green kumbayah proposal that “The deployment of Australian Defence Forces (ADF) must be for defence and peace-keeping, and not for offensive action” is beyond answering as you cannot debate intellectual microbes. All I can think of is that we need their negotiating skills in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and wherever … because they know of course, that ISIS is just a fiction of the alt-Right imagination. Peace in our time …

      I thought this comment was beyond parody as it had plumbed the Marianas Trench of inanity, but it was easily topped by Admiral Chris Barrie’s fictional description of the current climate situation and our potential future.

      Unfortunately, RUSI has become critically infected with the Climate Whatever blather. I have been carrying the Winter 2016 RUSI magazine (Vol. 67, No. 2) around with me since last July. It contains an appalling Editorial Opinion supporting the ‘climate-change’ hoax as if it was both real and a serious threat. The absolute tosh presented as a threat to Australia (naturally requiring consultants to direct the ADF resources necessary to take action to fight this chimera. I wonder what ‘winning’ looks like – and how we could measure it?) is a disgrace to the lives of the real warriors tasked with defending Australia. That our non-combatant ADF commanders are focused on so many irrelevant shadow boxing climate and sexual preference non-issues, then the core purpose of the military is maligned and its fighting effectiveness is compromised. The Anzac legend is now history that can no longer be taught as students could not relate to their ethos.
      I counted 37 factual and statistical errors in a 4-page article, surely a record {at least until you give the (hopefully) last Australian of the Year some space and high heels in which to make a fool of himself. I would be happy to debate Admiral Barrie on his favourite myth, but I doubt he would accept my offer as debating on real facts and not parroted cliches are apparently not his strong point.

      I offered to write a reasoned and factual rebuttal to the Barrie fairy tale for the RUSI magazine, (without any histrionics, but no prisoners would be taken) but my offer was rejected. I assume an alternative reality does not fit the green-tinted propaganda I have increasingly noticed that RUSI has now subscribed to.

      If the ADF & organisations like RUSI continue to promote fictional analyses of non-problems, then the leadership of our ‘warrior scholars’ in adding value by intellectually contributing to the debate concerning the defence of Australia is severely diminished.

      The excuse given by Bozo Bazza for refusing to allow his military to kill the enemy because it might pollute the atmosphere is incredible in the true sense of the word. I am sure he had more personal reasons …

      I could go on, but then this would no longer be a comment, but an article in itself.

      As a bonus, let me predict that the fossil-fuelled French short-fin Baitfish will NEVER be built in Australia. You heard it here first.”

  2. Richard H says:

    In a better age, such vile efforts to undermine our armed forces’ fighting capability would be briefly described in one word: treason.

  3. Keith Kennelly says:

    Richard

    Yes that required all our ‘authorities’ to have a backbone.

  4. Bushranger71 says:

    The 2 Chiefs of Defence Force (both now Knighted) who followed Barrie had even greater damaging effects on Australia’s military integrity in my view, especially the Air Force member noted for his catastrophic support of many the flawed hardware decisions spawned by the Howard Government from Year 2000 onwards, and still rolling.

    The galling bit is that these guys are exalted by The Establishment. In recent times, just one Admiral chose to retire prematurely, probably because he did not want to be caught up in the snowballing quagmire; but it has been a very long time since there has been an Australian military leader prepared to fall on his sword to defend the undermining of military integrity by the politically correct disease that now infests the nation, and especially Canberra.

    • Bushranger71 says:

      Errata. I meant to say in the last sentence ‘…to defend against the undermining of military integrity…’. Not as sharp now at 79!

      The other key aspect worth mention here is the progressive breakdown of a functional Defence infrastructure and military cultural decay originated with the creation of a thinly-veiled unified ADF resulting from the Tange Reorganization in 1974. Both of the major political parties were complicit.

  5. Davidovich says:

    Thanks Tony, for this informative and alarming article. This dangerous inanity by Obama and defence leaders in the US and Australia needs to receive broader exposure as, surely, most Australians would be appalled by what is happening to our Defence Forces and thus to the real security of our country and, by Obama’s actions, to the world. On reflection, given en passant’s experience with his 7 year old grandson, perhaps most Australians would not be too concerned.

    • padraic says:

      I remember reading in 2014 that story of how the ADF was castigated for having “masculine norms” and a “warrior culture” and thinking that such attributes were vital for such an organisation and wondering how they would cope with attributes approved by the feministas – perhaps instead of shooting at the enemy they could “counsel” them about their inappropriate behaviour, using all the unenemployed psychology graduates pumped out by our universities. God, what a mess. The feminisation of the Western male is in full swing. The other thing that Tony correctly highlights is the sale of oil by ISIS to fund their war. At least we now know it was being sold quite openly in Turkey as convoys of trucks crossed the border without too much trouble. So if Sunni Turkey supports ISIS and ships ISIS fighters to Europe masquerading as victims why hasn’t anyone called them out? It’s a little wonder that people in the West are becoming “deplorable” when they are being treated like mushrooms by their politician and media.

  6. Ian MacDougall says:

    According to the article: “The public explanation from former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell was that Obama did not want ‘to create environmental damage’ or wreck infrastructure that Syrians would need in peace-time. According to the link below, the American orders to spare the controversial convoy were about avoidance of civilian casualties, and NOT military timidity.

    But the agenda underlying this piece appears to be Tony Thomas’ long-established aversion to climatology. By implication, as science is essentially indivisible, he should also be agin the more basic science as well. He should be against Arrhenius, for his discovery of the heat-trapping properties of CO2 gas. Beyond that, he should also denounce the contributions made to chemistry by Antoine Lavoisier (concept of elements) Meyer and Mendeleev (the periodic system) because Arrhenius rested on them, and thus their work has negative implications for climate ‘scepticism’.
    That will leave TT with the theories of the Medieval alchemists, (phlogiston and all that) and precious little else. The physics of Archimedes, hopefully, might just squeak by.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/17/world/middleeast/us-strikes-syria-oil.html

    • Tony Thomas says:

      Thanks Ian. I’m perfectly comfortable with the theory of heat-trapping gases.
      I’m not happy with the IPCC formulation that more than half the past 60 years warming is due to human-caused CO2 increases. Since the IPCC’s understanding of natural climate forcing factors is poor (as the IPCC conceded in its 2007 report), its quantification of CO2 effects vs natural effects must be guesswork. How important to climate change is the multitude of overlapping oceanic cycles, including cycles of up to 60 years or maybe longer? How important is the sunspot cycle on warming/cooling? Cloudiness levels are known to be highly important to warming/cooling but the IPCC doesn’t even pretend to have a handle on global cloudiness levels and changes. The IPCC’s understanding of the global carbon cycle is also low; many elements of the cycle have previously been grossly miscalculated by the IPCC.
      In this milieu of wobbly climate “science”, far too many “climate scientists” have disgraced themselves by choosing to become political activists. The scandals involved have been legion.

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Tony,

        That may well be the case.
        BUT you have committed yourself to the proposition that AGW has to be a ‘scam’ and a total fraud, giving yourself no room to move except deeper into it. Because if you allow the tiniest smidgin of a chance of a possibility that mainstream climatology might just be right, then you are in much the same position as that occupied by the pacifists in the 1930s as the probability of a new world war steadily tightened in the direction of certainty.
        Likewise the 197 scientific organizations that endorse the position that climate change is being caused by human action, including the CSIRO, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Society: they all have to be wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!
        And it gets worse. In order to do that, mainstream climatology has to be presented either as a ship of fools, or as a 100% venality-motivated watertight global scientific conspiracy: one that would put the wackiest ‘9/11 truther’ in the shade. Moreover, any uncertainties in the science (and the systems that govern the climate are pretty chaotic) have to be trumpeted and pointed to as vigorously as possible. As you do.

        I would honestly like you to be right. But I will back the future of my descendants over the ever-diminishing chance that you are, and over the transient needs of the fossil-carbon industry and its shills any day.

        https://www.opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php

        • Tony Thomas says:

          Thanks again Ian. It may surprise you but I have never referred to CAGW (don’t forget the C-for-Catastrophic is an important part of the package) as a “scam” or “fraud” in general. The system here at QO is that authors write the articles but the editor writes the headlines and opening ‘precede’.
          The 197 science organisations you refer to as endorsing CAGW, with 3-4 exceptions, have never surveyed their members about it. In the case of the Royal Society, its pro-CAGW policy a few years back was strongly disputed by an internal group which forced the leadership to tone down their language in a re-issued policy statement.On the few instances where science-body members have been surveyed, the results (as I recall) are typically only 60-40 in favour.
          Keep in mind that the IPCC’s original remit was and is to study the risks of human-induced climate change, which rather begs the question. Its job is not to study natural climate change per se.

          Next point is that for scientists to secure employment and research funding, they generally need to be ‘on board’ the CAGW bandwagon. For the sake of argument, if funding were directed ONLY to, say, solar influence on climate, you can bet that a vast global research industry on that topic would emerge. I wouldn’t expect many papers to be published saying that solar influences are negligible.
          Finally, despite this monopsonistic funding for CAGW research, the “science” of climate change includes hundreds of peer reviewed papers annually disputing the IPCC CAGW mantras. For some reasons this body of science is almost never acknowledged by the climate warriors. There were 280 such papers in 2015 and 240 in the first half of 2016.
          http://notrickszone.com/skeptic-papers-2016/#sthash.BMXWtI2v.Tgh7Br8I.dpbs

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            Tony:

            Finally, despite this monopsonistic funding for CAGW research, the “science” of climate change includes hundreds of peer reviewed papers annually disputing the IPCC CAGW mantras.

            Well then, it should be a lay-down misere for those climatologists in dispute with those ‘mantras’. Particularly if they also incline to use scare quotes when referring to their field.
            But I have noticed something puzzling about this online journal. Apart from its policy of continual disputation with, and dumping on, the “science” of “climatology” (see: you’ve got me doing it now) it takes a very hostile editorial stance on renewable energy: solar, wind – that sort of thing. See (partial) list in my next comment.
            I have been genuinely puzzled. If one disputes the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proposition or for that matter the catastrophic (CAGW) one, why should that dispose one to be hostile to renewables?
            I will devote my next comment to a few examples among many QO articles attacking renewable: unless I find myself shunted off into the usual limbo of ‘awaiting moderation’ – never to emerge.

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            The Renewable Energy Myth —
            https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2014/11/renewable-energy-myth/
            Get Them Young, Make Them Green —
            quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2015/04/get-em-young-make-em-green/
            The Great Renewable Energy Rort —
            quadrant.org.au/magazine/2010/07-08/the-great-renewable-energy-rort/
            german green energy —
            quadrant.org.au/tag/german-green-energy/
            Finally, Warmists Find a Real Threat —
            https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/…/finally-warmists-find-real-threat/
            Going green costs jobs —
            quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2011/03/going-green-costs-jobs/
            They Make It Easy Being Green —
            https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2016/03/make-easy-green/
            Teach ‘em Green, Raise ‘em Stupid —
            https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/…/teach-em-green-raise-em-stupid/
            The Green Gulf Between Fact and Fancy —
            https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2015/08/green-gulf-fact-fancy/
            Aug 14, 2015 – The solar- and wind-power capacity to meet Labor’srenewable-energy target would cost between $80 billion and $100 billion dollars.
            Tony Thomas, Opinion —
            https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/tony-thomas/
            Inherit the Wind (and not much else) —
            quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/02/inherit-wind-much-else/
            Green dream jobs —
            http://www.quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2011/…/green-dream-jobs
            Sep 22, 2011 – Australia’s economic advantages are not aligned with moving towards a green energy future. China’s are because, unlike us, they like nuclear,
            Coal, There’s Just No Alternative
            quadrant.org.au/opinion/tony-thomas/2014/…/coal-theres-just-alternative…

    • PT says:

      Yawn. Ian, what was going to happen with that exported oil in the trucks Obama wouldn’t bomb for “environmental” concerns? Oh that’s right! Refined into diesel and petrol and burned! I remember the spurious claims made by “experts” about how a war in the Gulf in 1990 would raise global temperatures by 3 to 5degC! The same “experts” who gave us the nuclear winter etc. clearly “the science” was excessively influenced by ideology!

    • en passant says:

      Jellyfish Ian is back, just as ignorant and repetitive in 2017 as he was in 2016. He is still Ommm, Ommmming his myths and will fight with all his might to achieve his objective.

      Unfortunately, he has no idea what this objective is, so maybe it is just the contrarian fight of being annoying that he seeks to achieve. At least he is good at that badness.

      Ian,
      If there is an objective (or Holy Grail) you seek, what is it?

      1. What is the ideal average global temperature? and
      2. What is the ideal concentration of CO2 all our mitigation efforts are designed to achieve?

      I know you have no idea, as it is the green kool-aid to which you are addicte, but surely if you do not know where you are going then, like the brainless Tinman in Wizard of Oz any road will take you there?

      Sounds about right … and you are keeping embarrassing company, accompanied by many scientifically illiterate politicians.

      Let me spoil the start to everyone’s year. I just paid my QUARTERLY all-electric home bill. It was $50. Then again, this is because I live in Asia, only 30km from a huge coal-oil-gas fired power station. My bill shocked me, until I realised it was only so big because we forgot to turn off the water heater for the two-months we were not living there.

      I have challenged every warmist wonk to list seven benefits of +2°C and in return I will list seven bad effects. I predict (with the help of a computer model) that Ian will obfuscate, but will not accept the challenge.

      In short, Ian will just annoy us realists for 2017, because he can. Like a jellyfish, he does not need a sensible reason for chanting his mantra, because he is just Ian being Ian.

    • gardner.peter.d says:

      There is at least one fundamental problem with the science of warming. The longest ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica both show that in early interglacial periods CO2 increases lag temperature. The cycle is approximately 100,000 years and the ice record extends through nearly 8 complete cycles. We are still in a natural warming phase. Science has not yet produced anything more than disputed hypotheses to explain these facts. No serious climate science claims that the earth’s climate is well enough understood for its behaviour to be predicted. Even the IPCC is on record as saying this is impossible. All the models without exception have been shown to run hot. They are no basis for sound policy planning unless this fact is taken fully into account, which it is not, and in any case the models make no predictions about the effects of temperature rises. The malign effects are just guesswork and the hypotheses used to substantiate them are easily disproved by empirical data.

  7. Matt says:

    There is much in this article that rings true and is commendable, but not the underlying assumptions about global warming.

    Let’s say that 100 oncologists have unanimously advised you that you have cancer and that if you follow a particular course of treatment there is a good chance of survival. If you do not undergo treatment, they advise, you will with certainty shortly die. But an accountant and also a bricklayer with an interest in the subject whom you know also have opinions. They both suggest that there is no problem and the situation will take care of itself. Denying that the climate is warming due to burning of fossil fuels, on the say so of a statistician and other out-of-field non-experts, is akin to taking medical advice from your local accountant over that of medical specialists. The palliative care ward awaits.

    • Tony Thomas says:

      Sorry Matt but equating “climate scientists” with oncologists is invalid. (I use the scare quotes because 95% or more of these ‘climate scientists’ work has no bearing on the all-important human attribution issue, they merely assume the attribution guys have got their equations right and then go off and do their secondary work). Cancer treatments e.g. drugs/surgicals recommended by orthodox oncologists I believe have been validated to good scientific standard. In contrast, CAGW temperature forecasts at 2050 or 2100 are nothing but futurology derived from modelling, subject to the GIGO flaw. The modelling predictions in the past few decades have failed by exaggerating the actual warming to date by a factor of 2-3 times. They appear to have grossly over-estimated climate sensitivity to CO2 increases, judging by numbers of recent peer-review studies..
      The complexities (including unknowns) of the global climate make modelling, say, of the Australian economy seem a cinch. Yet economic models crystal-gazing more than a year or three out would be viewed by economists as lightweight maths doodling. Even long-term modelling of relatively simple variables like food yields and population growth have got things wrong in the past half-century. (Club of Rome forecasts, anyone?)
      If 100 taxpayer-funded government experts told me that spending $10,000 on solar panels and batteries was a sure-fire investment for my home, and also would help save the planet from destruction, I’d figure there was a flaw in there somewhere. That’s a better analogy than talking about oncologists.

      • gardner.peter.d says:

        Quite right. Accurate climate modelling would require solutions to multi-variate partial differential equations which mathematically cannot be solved. The models are approximations. That’s good enough for engineering because you can build something based on approximations for testing which then tells you whether the result is good enough, not correct but good enough. Not all the feedback mechanisms that need to be in these partial differential equations are known with any certainty. It seems to be very difficult for AGW believers, even those with a scientific or mathematical background, to recognise the limitations of science. It is not too far off to say that the known science is well represented in the models but science has not yet proven all the variable causal relationships and even if it could the predictive modelling is probably beyond our current capability to perform because of both theoretical and practical limitations. In addition to which, the climate science itself is only the start. Working out the best response is a political and economic problem, not a scientific one.

    • ianl says:

      > ” … the climate is warming due to burning of fossil fuels …”

      The best measurements we have, and these of themselves have large error bars from indirect proxies, show a rise of 0.8C in about 150 years – and even the IPCC opines that about half of that is “natural” (no definition, of course).

      So, 0.4C in 1.5 centuries. That’s not scary. Statements like yours, ignoring any attempt at precision, are scary because of the propaganda intent behind it. You are probably just parroting the MSM, but it’s fake news nonetheless.

      And there are no “climate scientists” – more fake news. There are physicists, chemists, biologists, geologists, mathematicians who have applied their field of activity to examining various aspects of climatic change. There are economists who play with models of possible future events on the smallest of possibilities.

      And then there’s the MSM …

  8. en passant says:

    Ian has once again failed to tell us all the destination he seeks for climate, but like all climate wonks, it is the belief that counts, not reality.

    • gardner.peter.d says:

      You’re trying to say that some target of ideal temperature and CO2 in the future is some form of reality? Crazy. you can’t even determine the ideal numbers in a scientific manner. they are policy decisions. Even if you imagine there are such things do you really think humans are capable of controlling the world’s climate to within say 0.5 degrees of this ideal and 100 ppm of C02? We can only just achieve do that in a greenhouse. What means would you propose to achieve this miraculous control system?