Doomed Planet

Bushfires and Climate Change: No Link Whatsoever

The recent bushfires up and down the eastern coast have been a national tragedy. They have claimed many lives, destroyed hundreds of houses, and have decimated literally hundreds and thousands of hectares of bushland. Everyone agrees that we are overwhelmingly indebted to the fire-fighters who have been tirelessly waging war against nature — they have done a tremendous job, in the face of a seemingly insurmountable task.

Whilst the cataclysmic nature of the inferno is unanimously acknowledged, a chorus of Australians has hastened to the conclusion that global warming is the cause, and CO2 emissions the culprit. Sadly, this is exactly the sort of behaviour to expect in our post-Christian nation. Since we have abandoned God, we are constantly trying to find someone — some thing — to blame for the disasters that naturally and tragically occur. It is almost unbearable that we accept the reality that we live in a broken world in which nature is often hostile, and that this truth is more apparent at particular times in history. As Thomas Sowell wrote:

The reason so many people misunderstand so many issues is not that these issues are so complex, but that people do not want a factual or analytical explanation that leaves them emotionally unsatisfied. They want villains to hate and heroes to cheer — and they don’t want explanations that do not give them that.

Here’s why the climate change narrative fails to offer any meaningful solution to the recent calamity.

 

  1. Australia’s Historical Record of Bushfires

The truth is that the climate is,— and has always been — changing. Likewise, bushfires have always been part of Australia’s history, and the recent bushfires are not an historical anomaly. Long before the era of modern industrialisation, bushfires occurred sporadically due to factors beyond the control of humans. As the Australian government’s Geoscience wrote:           

The Australian climate is generally hot, dry and prone to drought. At any time of the year, some parts of Australia are prone to bushfires… For most of southern Australia, the danger period is summer and autumn. For New South Wales and southern Queensland, the peak risk usually occurs in spring and early summer.

The worst bushfires to ever hit Australia were the Black Thursday fires of 1851:

Fires covered a quarter of what is now Victoria (approximately 5 million hectares). Areas affected include Portland, Plenty Ranges, Westernport, the Wimmera and Dandenong districts. Approximately 12 lives, one million sheep and thousands of cattle were lost.

Australia’s total population in 1851 was around 435,000 people; not even 2 per cent of the national population today. You don’t need to be a mathematician to see that, per-capita, we have seen a much less devastating fire in recent days when compared to the inferno of 169 years ago. Not to mention that it is unthinkable to imagine the number of lives that would have been lost if the population in 1851 matched today’s 25 million.

Since 1851, the world’s population has far exceeded seven billion, requiring astronomical increases in the use of fossil fuels to produce the necessary goods and services. Yet, the irony is that both the frequency and intensity of bushfires has not changed at all since then. Various other bushfires occurred before the rapid industrialisation of the late 20th century, and therefore cannot be attributed to climate change. These include the: 1898 Red Tuesday bushfires, 1926 bushfires, and 1939 Black Friday bushfires. If climate change really is the fundamental catalyst for severe bushfires, wouldn’t they be practically absent from Australia’s pre-industrial history? Moreover, if Europeans have been in Australia for less than 300 years, it is highly likely that similar — potentially even worst — bushfires have occurred throughout our nation’s history prior to colonisation. Again, if this is the case, it completely dismantles the claim that anthropogenic climate change is the cause of the recent catastrophe.

 

  1. Fossil Fuels Saves Lives

 Rather than being the cause for bushfires, industrialisation and technologization — which have been brought about by the utilisation of fossil fuels — have alleviated the effects of natural disasters by allowing us to prevent millions of deaths. In 1900, over 1.25 million deaths were caused by natural disasters. As shown below, both the frequency — and number of deaths — has dramatically decreased since then.

These drastic improvements can be directly attributes to technological innovation and advancement. Here are just a few of these developments:

# Increased Transport — People can flee disaster zones more quickly, preventing their deaths.

# Increased Warning Systems — These systems allow us to more accurately predict when natural disasters will hit, allowing for time to prepare and evacuate from danger areas. This also allows us to save wildlife — such as Koalas — that would otherwise be eliminated by natural disasters.

# Increased Economic Productivity — Increased global GDP has allowed literally millions of people to rebuild their lives after natural disasters. Amongst many other benefits, increased GDP has increased our ability to deliver disaster relief, transportation of people out of disaster zones, and communication to those in danger areas through telecommunications.

# Improved Medical Technology — Dramatic increases in medical treatment has allowed us to deliver treatment to casualties caused by natural disasters, saving countless lives.

Industrialisation is not the cause of the bushfires. Rather, it has been — and continues to be — verifiably beneficial to victims of natural disasters. What a foolish and naive political manoeuvre it would be to restrict Australians access to fossil fuels when they are the very resources that mitigate those who are most suffering.

Just look here for some of the false environmental predictions and their drastic consequences on human life.

 

  1. Australia’s Low (and Decreasing) CO2 Emissions

Australia contributes a low 0.3 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. When you compare this to China’s 26 percent contribution, our emissions are negligible. Furthermore, our nation has been decreasing its global emissions ever since 2000. The graph below shows that Australia’s ‘Emissions per capita’ have been sliced by almost a third, decreasing from 36 tonnes per person in 1990 to less than 22 tonnes in 2019.  

If climate alarmists truly believe that industrialisation is the cause for bushfires, they ought to chase after the primary contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. Further, they ought to acknowledge that our CO2 emissions are indeed decreasing without the assistance of multi-billion dollar climate initiatives, and admit that bushfires — such as those we have witnessed this year — are therefore not directly caused by climate change. 

 

Conclusion:

We live in an age when earnest debate is often exchanged for superficial slogans, and the climate change movement is a clear example of this. The quasi-religious commitment of some Australians to climate change is a manifestation of what happens to a nation when it abandons its Judeo-Christian roots. Let us give our hearts to those who are suffering as a result of the recent bushfires by doing all we can to support them. However, in the process, let us not sacrifice our brains on the altar of a hysterical political movement. What the victims of these fires really need is not social commentators blaming ‘climate change’ for their suffering, but rather a helping hand to restore their lives.

* Note: I am yet to meet someone who doesn’t believe that the climate is changing. What is debated is the degree to which these changes are primarily anthropogenic or not. For the sake of simplicity, I have used ‘climate change’ in this piece to refer to ‘anthropogenic climate change.’

42 comments
  • Ian MacDougall

    James:
    From Wikipedia (and a host of other sources should you prefer):
    “[CO2] concentration has increased by more than 45% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, [ie from C 1750 AD] from 280 ppm during the 10,000 years up to the mid-18th century to 415 ppm as of May 2019. The present concentration is the highest for 14 million years.
    In other words ‘normal’ is 280 ppm. The atmosphere-biosphere-cryosphere-hydrosphere-lithosphere assemblage is the most complex system we know about in the entire Universe, and as such, highly if not totally unpredictable.
    In other words, we are running an uncontrolled experiment on the only planet we have, and the fossil-carbon interests in position to call political shots are whistling in the dark.
    But your opposition to Godless climate hysteria or whatever it is you call it, does not explain the opposition of coal-shillery sites like this to renewables. Just a small sample from this site (without URLs, so they don’t go into that limbo called ‘moderation’):
    1 The Renewable Energy Myth — Quadrant Online
    2 Get Them Young, Make Them Green — Quadrant Online
    3 The Great Renewable Energy Rort — Quadrant Online
    4 german green energy — Quadrant Online
    5 Finally, Warmists Find a Real Threat — Quadrant Online
    6 Going green costs jobs — Quadrant Online
    7 They Make It Easy Being Green — Quadrant Online
    8 Teach ’em Green, Raise ’em Stupid — Quadrant Online
    9 The Green Gulf Between Fact and Fancy — Quadrant Online
    10 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 — Quadrant Online
    11 Inherit the Wind (and not much else) — Quadrant Online
    Feb 5, 2015 –
    12 Green dream jobs — Quadrant Online
    13. Coal, There’s Just No Alternative — Quadrant Online
    14. With Friends Like Oxfam… — Quadrant Online
    Sep 10, 2015 – “We have arguably the best renewable energy sources in the world, in the form of large expanses of land that can feed wind, solar, geothermal
    15. Blinded By The Sun — Quadrant Online
    Jul 28, 2016 – Let’s be generous and say that serious development of the two main renewable-energy technologies commenced in the 1980s. So how far …
    16. Banking on the Climate Hustle — Quadrant Online
    Jan 3, 2016 – It wants to shift at least USD600 billion of other people’s money into renewable energy projects. But only if governments establish ‘legal …
    17. Young Heads Filled With Green Mush – Quadrant Online – JIM BALL

    These I assume can be accessed via Google.
    Even the most convinced AGW denialist could possibly be persuaded that the finite reserves of fossil carbon we have would be put to better use as feedstock for the chemicals industry rather than thermal power generation. For example, modern agricultural water supplies depend heavily on cheap, reliable and rust-proof polythene (‘poly’) pipe, for which there is no real substitute. Increasingly, suburban water supplies do too. Also, modern road surfacing depends on fossil carbon for road tar. Yet if the coal shills and the vested interest they (wittingly or otherwise) speak for get their way, our descendants in the not-too-distant future will be driving (wooden?) vehicles without rubber tyres on cobbled roads, hoping that the next glaciations does not begin too soon or with too much of a vengeance.
    As for the rest of your rant above, you have tasked yourself with the philosophically impossible goal of proving a negative; as in ‘Bushfires and Climate Change: No Link Whatsoever’.
    Off to a bad start there.

  • Lawrie Ayres

    Coal does not pay my bills but I note that when I retired from farming in 2006 I was paying 5.9 cents/kWh for irrigation power . My friend now pay 20 to 28 cents/kWh. What changed? The introduction of the RET and subsidised wind and solar. The dearest electricity is in those countries with high components of renewables. We have about 15% and some want a 100% which if at all possible would simply bankrupt the country and ensure manufacturing here was dead. Most of the useful idiots would be without income and sustenance due to the lack of taxes being paid. That could not happen to a more deserving group.

  • Davidovich

    Of course, the delusional one has beaten the rest of us to the commentary and he doesn’t disappoint.
    James, yours is a good, reasoned article and Sowell’s comment is an ideal riposte to the alarmists.

  • Ian MacDougall

    So Lawrie Ayres,
    Coal-fired electricity can only get more expensive, RET or no RET. But once renewable sources are in place: pumped hydro, wind, household and state-run solar, there is no need to keep spending on it.
    Of course, Australian manufacturers used to make solar panels, but they were small-time compared with the fossil-fuel magnates. They did not get the subsidies that fossil-fuels enjoyed..
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/global-fossil-fuel-subsidies-reach-5-2-trillion-and-29-billion-in-australia-91592/

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Thanks James.
    And yes: folk “do not want a factual or analytical explanation that leaves them emotionally unsatisfied.”
    But some clearly do want false-fact explanations of the kind dished up over at reneweconomy., where “subsidy” is so cunningly defined a reader would never know it includes quite a few dodgy assumptions, such as “putting a price on carbon (dioxide)”.
    There isn’t an official one here (yet) – but some folk very much want one – so they conjure up a 29 billion-dollar “subsidy”. Wow.
    Anything kind of semantic trickery, of course, is OK when you are a CC-evangelist and your goal is to shut down the entire fossil fuel (coal, oil, gas, LNG, petrochemicals) sector in less than a decade, a sector that currently supplies 85% of the global energy sector. (IEA)

  • ianl

    This link to factual analysis has been put up hee twice before – once by Alice Thermopolis and earlier by me.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2019/12/climate-change-and-bushfires-more-rain-the-same-droughts-no-trend-no-science/

    Therein, Andy Pitman (Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes) expounds on the non-relationship of drought to climate change. The MSM kerfuffle following this information, and the hapless Pitman’s embarassment when he realised his presentation had been recorded and then released to the MSM) is to be ignored – the howler monkeys, including our own trollster, simply wouldn’t have these inconvenient facts, thus all the noise and rhetoric.

    Drought dessicates the bush and primes it to burn. For many millenia in this continent. AGW contributes nothing to that sequence – Andy Pitman cannot find hard evidence that it does.

    Pitman’s presentation was leaked from the Sydney Uni conference he spoke at. It’s not hard to see that such information is rarely presented to the populace at large. This seems to me a bit like an incomplete black hole, where everything is tightly held inside but occasional streaks of light escape.

    The Pitman episode shows very clearly why scientific debate on climate is kept away from the public gaze.

  • Lewis P Buckingham

    ianl, You beat me to it,
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221209471930009X?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
    The authors were careful to do quality checking on their data.
    2.5. Additional data quality checks of total rainfall and wettest day of each month
    Just a sample.
    ‘In Sydney, high rainfall totals in the 1890s are matched with a high number of raindays, while the drought of the 1940s is linked with a drop in SDII. Sydney’s wettest year occurred in 1950, while the driest year was recorded in 1849.’
    The authors are careful not to offer a trend line due to differences in means and variance of the data.
    Hopefully a well worked calculation, with examples,will emerge indicating a trend in rainfall in the south western part of Australia, where we are experiencing Spring and soon Summer fire season.It may help farmers with the possibility of better planning rather that the adage,
    ‘A solar panel a day will keep the drought away’.

  • T B LYNCH

    MacDougall is suffering from invincible ignorance.
    0.5% CO2 is the natural level on Earth – twelve times its present level.
    0.5% CO2 is the Michaelis constant of RUBISCO.
    RUBIXCO is the commonest protein on Earth.
    RUBISCO turned 99.9995% of all the CO2 on Earth into all the oxygen and sugar on Earth.
    I have explained this ad nauseam.
    It is impossible to teach a zombie.

  • Bwana Neusi

    Thank you T B Lynch.
    It is a pleasure to read your comments and the supporting arguments you put forward.
    You are quite right about the Zombie (or whatever his name is).
    He does become quite tiresome with his (if that is what he is) fanatical rebuttal of anything posted that does not comply with his own priesthood tomes.

  • Peter OBrien

    At this link you will see the ‘drought’ trend in the USA since 1900 https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/25/wet-years-dry-years/
    Not Australia, I grant you, but here is the BoM rainfall trend for Australia
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/index.shtml#tabs=Tracker&tracker=timeseries&tQ=graph%3Drain%26area%3Daus%26season%3D0112%26ave_yr%3D0
    That is why Pitman said ‘climate change’ doesn’t cause drought. But of course drought could be the result of climate change, just not the warming kind of ‘climate change’ that Pitman embraces.

  • btola

    “… without URLs, so they don’t go into that limbo called ‘moderation’”.
    The individual who writes the most and the longest responses in this site also feels that there is a conspiracy preventing him to post as much as he would like.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Wonders never cease, especially at this time of the year.
    In an idle moment, I revisited a QO post of 5th December and found the POSTCRIPT below, dated 19th December, presumably made “for posterity.” (Expect there are others like it too.)

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2019/12/believe-kiddies-or-the-tipping-point-will-bake-you-alive/

    Ian MacDougall – 19th December 2019
    POSTSCRIPT: DUE TO THE EASTERN-AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY, THE PRAESIDIUM OF THE OSTRICH SCHOOL OF CLIMATOLOGY HAS ADVISED ALL MEMBERS TO KEEP A LOW PROFILE AND SAY NOTHING THAT COULD RESULT IN THE INSTITUTION BEING HELD UP TO PUBLIC RIDICULE AND DERISION.
    FURTHER, IT ADVISES ALL CLIMATE SKEPTICS AND AGW DENIALISTS TO FOLLOW THE LEAD OF THEIR MENTOR, THE PM SCOTT MORRISON, AND LEAVE THE COUNTRY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, OR AT LEAST TILL THIS SPOT OF IDEOLOGICAL BOTHER BLOWS OVER, AND NORMAL COAL-SHILLERY AND AGW-DENIALISM CAN BE RESUMED.

  • Peter OBrien

    At this link you will see the ‘drought’ trend in the USA since 1900 https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/25/wet-years-dry-years/
    Not Australia, I grant you, but here is the BoM rainfall trend for Australia
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/index.shtml#tabs=Tracker&tracker=timeseries&tQ=graph%3Drain%26area%3Daus%26season%3D0112%26ave_yr%3D0
    That is why Pitman said ‘climate change’ doesn’t cause drought. But of course drought could be the result of climate change, just not the warming kind of ‘climate change’ that Pitman embraces.

  • john.singer

    Few people can survive without a belief system. As people turn away from formal religion they seek another belief system. the simpler the better. The last generation seized on Anthropological Global Warming. When that failed to deliver they rebranded it Climate Change. Common sense would tell them that the Earth’s orbit around the Sun must cause the climate to change and it has been orbiting long before Mankind emerged.
    Humans in Australia have caused a change. They have banned collecting firewood from forests and parks, they have banned animals grazing in the parks and blocked access roads. The resulting build-up of fuel and the difficulty accessing new fires adds to their intensity and that intensity is causing windborne ashes to carry much further distances making firefighting less predictable and more difficult and hazardous.
    I look forward to someone starting a new belief system, as efforts to inject commonsense into this debate is becoming tiresome.

  • Doubting Thomas

    One really annoying aspect of the current media love affair with “climate disasters” is that they pretend that the only real anthropogenic aspect of the disasters is either non-existent or irrelevant, ie where people choose to live. Without for one minute trying to minimise the personal tragedies resulting from these fires, or floods resulting from cyclonic conditions, if one chooses to live in or near a eucalyptus forest, or in an area prone to flooding, to cyclones or tornadoes, then one must understand that such phenomena are normal, and that disastrous conditions are more likely to occur over time than not.
    Measuring the results of a disastrous event by the dollar value of damage caused, or by the number of human lives, houses and livestock lost may make interesting reading to some, but it’s a totally misleading measure of the severity of the fires or storms involved.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    JS
    “I look forward to someone starting a new belief system, as efforts to inject commonsense into this debate is becoming tiresome.”
    Be careful what you wish for, John. Most belief systems, by definition, are irrational and hence impervious to reason, even when they claim the opposite.
    Trying to persuade a person to question their belief system using rational argument is a pointless exercise, even more so when a large sum of money is involved, as in the case of Big Climate.
    Furthermore, once embraced by the gullible and/or fearful, they are very hard to remove from the public square/mind.
    Then we have the carbon-capitalist class, determined to invent, trade and profit from carbon (dioxide) “indulgences”. When an ex-governor of the Bank of England becomes a UN “special envoy”, when central banks turn various shades of green and even the ex-CEO of BHP wants to join the CC party, then we have a belief system that has a long way to run.
    “Now we have a new phenomenon. Religion presented as science. Global superstition. Sure, we have Scientology, but this is the United Nations religion of Climate Change. It has the answer to every question. It is a belief system. Democracies are polluters and socialists and communists are holy. It makes true believers rich and powerful and even non-believers, bankers, merchants, manufacturers can make fortunes from “The Science”.
    So “The Science” is the new religion. Money flows into it like a river. Facts are irrelevant. Rational real science has been discarded and its acolytes are ever fudging the data to make it work, hiding the decline, extrapolating without reason or explanation. Few heretics dare challenge it. (TdeF, blog comment, 21 September, 2017)

  • PT

    Regarding fuel loads, I find it incredible that proscribed burns in winter have effectively been done away with over east given that’s what the aboriginals have been doing for thousands of years, resulting in a fire adapted ecosystem! Anything “aboriginal” is now made into holy writ – even Church services now start with the “acknowledgement” (surely deifying aboriginals)! And this is clearly why Pascoe got such a positive reception for his book of fantasy. But for something aboriginals across the country clearly did, and clearly works, we have to abandon! Why? Well inner city greens (and weed smoking hippy types camping in the bush) don’t like the idea of burning in the bush! Just as well AGW is thing, otherwise they’d have to invent it! Here in WA we’ve had a hot December and a serious fire in the northern fringes of Perth (and a couple of others elsewhere), but we’ve kept doing proscribed burns here (although not as many as a decade ago from what I can see). Despite higher temperatures, we haven’t had the same emergency the east has had! I don’t expect the main journos and talking heads to acknowledge this.

  • Ian MacDougall

    Alice:
    “Trying to persuade a person to question their belief system using rational argument is a pointless exercise, even more so when a large sum of money is involved, as in the case of Big Climate.”
    I put it to you that your statement above cuts both ways, and that the sums of money involved in the much-beaten-up research grants for climatologists are nothing beside the fortunes that have been made by securing proprietary rights to fossil carbon.
    One way or another, climate-change denialism gets all the funding it needs. (This site being an exception, of course.) It’s a ‘whatever it takes’ world: Politicians, journalists; possibly even websites…. this one being an exception, of course.. As I have mentioned before, while this site’s opposition to renewables (parroting Tony Abbott’s) is enough to raise the odd eyebrow, I am sure that it runs no deeper. Perish the thought that it is a common or garden coal-shillery. I dissociate myself completely from any suggestion that it is. I will not hear of it, and urge all others to do likewise.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Nobody here is against sane renewables, Ian. Nobody here is against hydroelectric, and apart from the idiot fringe of left Labor and the Greens there is very little if any remaining opposition to nuclear. The difference is that your opposition to coal is totally irrational, refusing to accept that here in Australia there are, as yet and for the foreseeable future, no reliable alternatives. Nor will there be when the people wake up to the real environmental costs of wind and solar and cease to be willing dupes of frauds.

  • Ian MacDougall

    DT:
    1. “Nobody here is against sane renewables, Ian.”
    Perhaps. Depends on how you define ‘sane’. See also list above.
    2. “Nobody here is against hydroelectric… ” I have posted above a partial list of this sites diatribes against renewables, and seem to recall arguments about the inadequacy of the lot: as in “coal: there’s just no alternative.” (Which is wrong, as the sky is the limit for wind and solar.)
    3. “Apart from the idiot fringe of left Labor and the Greens there is very little if any remaining opposition to nuclear.” Yes, I understand that the main opposition comes from insurance companies and banks, who are reluctant to underwrite nuclear projects, given the odd unexpected ‘impossible’ disaster like Fukushima, the ever-increasing components of renewables in the energy markets; and the falling costs of them, particularly of solar.
    4. “The difference is that your opposition to coal is totally irrational, refusing to accept that here in Australia there are, as yet and for the foreseeable future, no reliable alternatives.” See above. Also bear in mind the established heat-trapping properties of CO2, as in climate change, the Paris Agreement, etc, etc.
    5. “Nor will there be when the people wake up to the real environmental costs of wind and solar and cease to be willing dupes of frauds.
    So now wind and solar are frauds? Could you be a bit more specific re that sweeping generalisation? Also, have you reported what you know to the police?
    As far as I am aware, the only ‘environmental cost’ of solar is the shading of the grass underneath the panel arrays: so maybe some kangaroos and sheep have had to make do with less, with merely the rest of the continent’s greenery to nibble at and munch on. The odd individual bird of whatever species has been killed by a windmill blade, but Mr Darwin would probably agree that such blades are acting as selection agents and that as a result the more wary birds will be selected in, and make up an increasing proportion of the breeding stock of each species involved.
    In short, I think that your ‘sane renewables’ includes none of them, and excludes all of them. Argument by selective definition.

  • Doubting Thomas

    I don’t know what planet you live on, Ian, but both solar and wind have huge environmental costs. The materials they use, the manufacturing processes, the decommissioning and disposal processes, the sheer acreage required for solar farms sufficient to produce even a fraction of the capacity of one coal powered station is mind-boggling. Here in Canberra, hundreds of acres of local farmland have been covered by solar farms with still more to come because the local government is dominated by a radical Green holding the balance of power.
    You would know all this if you read just a couple of sceptical books by the likes of the late Professor Bob Carter and others who had addressed the downsides of these miracle cures to a non-problem.

    And, please, do us all a favour and drop your pathetic ad hominem and the rest of your fallacious crap.

  • DG

    All said and done; CO2 concentrations and ‘global averge’ temperature (that statistica fiction) remain uncorrelated; nevertheless correlation is not causation. The famous models so loved by the IPCC hypothesise a causation, yet are equally famously depart from observations. A hypothesis clearly in need of junking.
    And on all that we seek to tweak the tiny amount of CO2 released by human activity, when nature releases over 95% of the stuff.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Ian Mac, just for example, some of the adverse environmental impacts of wind farms:

    http://www.aweo.org/faq.html#coal

  • Ian MacDougall

    DT:
    Went to that site. It has some interesting stuff.
    Until the Holy Grail of controlled fusion is in place, which will use deuterium oxide from seawater (effectively an unlimited fuel supply) we will be stuck with conventional electricity sources.
    Fossil carbon, which is finite and has far better uses than as power station fuel, will run out completely inside 2,000 years at present rates of consumption (oil in 50-100 years). It has the down-side of the planetary heating by-product CO2, which the Ostrich School of Climatology argues is no problem at all, and is actually beneficial (think RUBISCO, and all will be well. Disregard acidification of seawater, effect on coral reefs, etc and all will be even more well.;-)
    Nuclear power station construction has slowed considerably, arguably because of insurance and funding costs and the still-unsolved problem of safe waste disposal and storage, the half-lives of the radioactive elements involved being in the hundreds of thousands of years. Renewables also eat into nuclear’s sources of investment capital; another possible reason for this site’s established hostility to them..
    Australia’s long-term best bet IMHO is investment in solar, wind and pumped hydro and batteries for storage. The established fact of the Snowy-Hydro puts us in SE Australia in an excellent position re that, IMHO.
    DG: As long as there is ice at both geographic poles, and on the high mountain ranges, temperatures will remain fairly constant. That is high-school physics. The real measure of global warming is sea-level rise.
    GMSL Rates
    CU: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
    AVISO: 3.3 ± 0.6 mm/yr
    CSIRO: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
    NASA GSFC: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr
    NOAA: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr (w/ GIA)

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    Do the arithmetic. 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr (CSIRO) ~ 33mm/decade (= 3.3 cm/decade ~ 33 ± 4 cm/century ~ 330 cm/1,000 yrs: ie 3.3 metres/1,000 yrs
    ~ 33 metres/10,000 yrs. So it has not been going on for long, otherwise the Ancients would have noticed and recorded it. And that is without the great hunk of Antarctica’s Totten Glacier slowly but steadily sliding into the sea.
    (As I recall, I have posted that on this site before.)

  • Ian MacDougall

    DT:
    BTW, I ignored your ‘ad hominem’ charge because I could find no evidence of such in any of my posts.
    Could you please enlighten me by specifically quoting an example of what you object to? Otherwise, please hold your peace.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Argumentum ad hominem: “typically refers to a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.”

    Ian MacDougall – 19th December 2019
    POSTSCRIPT: DUE TO THE EASTERN-AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY, THE PRAESIDIUM OF THE OSTRICH SCHOOL OF CLIMATOLOGY HAS ADVISED ALL MEMBERS TO KEEP A LOW PROFILE AND SAY NOTHING THAT COULD RESULT IN THE INSTITUTION BEING HELD UP TO PUBLIC RIDICULE AND DERISION.
    FURTHER, IT ADVISES ALL CLIMATE SKEPTICS AND AGW DENIALISTS TO FOLLOW THE LEAD OF THEIR MENTOR, THE PM SCOTT MORRISON, AND LEAVE THE COUNTRY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, OR AT LEAST TILL THIS SPOT OF IDEOLOGICAL BOTHER BLOWS OVER, AND NORMAL COAL-SHILLERY AND AGW-DENIALISM CAN BE RESUMED.

  • btola

    Press the Caps Lock button on the left of your keyboard, Ian Mac.

  • Ian MacDougall

    Alice,
    From your post:
    Argumentum ad hominem: “typically refers to a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.”
    Please show me specifically where I have done anything like that. I may have ridiculed certain propositions, but only in the course of ‘attacking the argument itself.’
    I readily confess that my suspicions have been aroused by the hostility of this site to renewables, and its apparent unconditional support for the arguable coal-shill Tony “the future is coal” Abbott.
    But were ridicule of a political or philosophical position to mean automatic disqualification, I would say that nearly all politicians, and most academics, would be out of a job.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Ian, you incessantly refer to the people in here who disagree with you, ie almost all of us, as “coal shills”, and “climate deniers”, just two examples sufficient to make our point. Your use of the phrase “whatever (his) name is” pejoratively is also blatant ad hominem, all red in tooth and claw. As someone who claims to have studied Philosophy at tertiary level, you should know this, and whether you were referring to us individually or collectively, or to non-participants in the community at large is irrelevant. That we are sometimes provoked to respond in kind is regrettable, but that will certainly cease when you grow up and behave like the educated person you pretend to be. You will then also cease your appeals to dubious authority, eg Wikipedia, hundreds of “scientific organisations”, and so on ad nauseam.
    Not holding my breathe, but it’s the season for New Year’s Resolutions.

  • Sean F

    I must agree with Ian! In fact, the coal industry conspiracy is much greater than many of you are aware of. Though I am unable at this time to provide documented proof, and it is only a matter of time until I can. The coal industry is controlled by a coalition of billionaires created from a breakaway group of Heavens Gate (before mass suicide). Their goal is to terraform the earth to prepare for an alien invasion. The intricate details of this plot are admittedly, complicated and lengthy. Still, I believe I can expose their lies, and apologies to myself and Ian will be forthcoming!

  • Doubting Thomas

    Sean, I wish both you and Ian a very happy and fruitful New Year. Should you succeed in providing the promised proof, count on me to grovel “fulsomely”. You can sell tickets.

  • Sean F

    Thank you, Thomas! I do hope others will join our battle against tyranny and prevent a future alien incursion.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Sean, ROFL.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    JJ: “……and admit that bushfires — such as those we have witnessed this year — are therefore not directly caused by [dangerous anthropogenic] climate change.”

    Main driver is the so-called Indian Ocean Dipole. Nothing to do with domestic emissions of carbon dioxide. Reference: https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/for-answers-on-drought-and-fire-look-to-the-indian-ocean-20191219-p53lg0 [behind paywall]

    Unusually high differences in ocean surface temperatures off the East African and northern WA coasts “is a major cause of this year’s heatwaves. And its reversal may be the key to breaking the country’s dry spell.”
    Scientists call it the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) or the Indian Niño, a reference to its analogue in the Pacific Ocean, El Niño.
    Wenju Cai, Director of the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research at CSIRO, said the influence of the phenomenon on fire conditions should not be underestimated.
    “The connection to bushfire conditions is very strong. They are much more strongly connected to IOD than to El Niño,” he said.
    The temperature difference between the east and west of the Indian Ocean peaked at around 2.1 degrees in mid-October, and has since fallen to 0.8 degrees.
    Problem this year has been that monsoon conditions, which rapidly decay IOD phases, have taken longer than usual to form.

  • Ian MacDougall

    DT:
    1. Ian, you incessantly refer to the people in here who disagree with you, ie almost all of us, as “coal shills”, and “climate deniers”, just two examples sufficient to make our point.”
    There are those who accept the mainstream science on climate change, as endorsed by those 198 scientific organisations worldwide, (over whose policies, incidentally I have zero control.) And they include the CSIRO, the AAAS and the Royal Society: all non-trivial organisations. There are also those who consistently deny, or find reason to oppose (wherever they are coming from) the validity of that mainstream science. They include bloggers (eg Anthony Watts and Jennifer Morohasy) and my old friend from my Vietnam Moratorium days, Keith Windschuttle, Editor-in-chief of this site.
    2. “You will then also cease your appeals to dubious authority, eg Wikipedia, hundreds of “scientific organisations”, and so on ad nauseam.
    I do not argue from authority, but from very basic physics and chemistry. Carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere absorb some of the radiant heat being emitted by the Earth back into space, from whence it came. They then pass this enhanced internal energy to other molecules which come into contact with them, thus warming the atmosphere, the rain, the waterways of the Earth the cryosphere and the oceans. That absorbed energy finally shows up as sea-level rise.
    The anti-mainstream climatology brigade attempt to explain this away, and deny that it has a human component, but they cannot otherwise explain it, and appeal to a long history of bushfires etc etc.. (NB: The Industrial Revolution began in Europe C. 1750 AD.) This makes them denialists, a term objected to by the denialist Ian Plimer, who complained in his magnum opus ‘heaven+earth’ that that term likened him and his ilk to Holocaust deniers: which, on reflection, it does. But that does nothing to disincline me to use it, because the consequences of AGW are potentially so disastrous, as in runaway climate change. (The proof of that pudding will only be in the eating, RUBISCO or no RUBISCO.)
    So could you please, a propos of all that, cite me just one instance where Wikipedia has been found to be wrong? (If you can, there are lots of dinner invitations and free French champagne waiting for you: of that I am certain.)
    My understanding is that Wikipedia is ‘crowd-sourced’, in that the articles are all written by experts in the fields concerned, constantly updated, and it has left in its wake such sites as Encyclopaedia Brittanica Online as source-of-choice for most users of the Internet. For that reason it is usually top of the list or close to it on google searches.
    If it was trivial, or a bit too often wrong, or wrong in even just one instance, that would probably change. Vested interests one way or another would make sure it was well publicised. But that does not happen.
    Finally, I choose to comment here under my real name. That caused one anonymous commenter here (‘en passant’) to start referring to me in a rather nasty way, as ‘MacBot’ etc. So I returned the compliment, referring to him from then on as ‘Eyn Pyssant (or whatever your real name is)’. To that he objected mightily, until I pointed out to him the hypocrisy he was mired in. But he seems to have drifted off anyway. Sadly missed.
    Some people choose to comment here under noms de blog, as do you. Some don’t. But the anonymous ones all have real names. I just remind them, and myself, of that fact.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Ian Mac, you have no idea what is or is not mainstream science, Ianl and others have already shot you down in flames there. If you think that Wikipedia is an authoritative source on global warming and its bastard progeny, you obviously don’t understand that its been proven years ago to have been infiltrated by the radical alarmists. Crowd editing is a bug, not a feature. Some years ago now, Wikipedia was forced to cancel one of its contributor’s editorial authority on climate change issues because he always edited any post about or by an alleged sceptic to emphasise that the individual was a “denier” and thus not to be taken seriously. That our own esteemed QOL editor does not treat your posts with an equivalent degree of contempt is a perfect example of the difference between left-wing zealots and conservatives.

    Your contempt for the likes of Anthony Watts and Jennifer Marahosy confirms your total ignorance. Both have proved without a shadow of a doubt that the temperature records across both the US and Australia are corrupt either through sheer negligence or through deliberately fraudulent “science”. It’s almost solely through Watts’s efforts that we know about the extent of temperature records corruption due to the inappropriate siting of American weather stations, ie the urban heat island effect. It’s through Jennifer Marohasy that we know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been deliberately and controversially altering historical temperature records across Australia, using dubious rationales, to effectively ensure that records of historically famous heatwaves were “homogenised” reducing, but never raising, original recorded readings. See JoNova’s recent illustrated blog article demonstrating how it was done and how it is fraudulent designed to make it appear that recent temperatures are unprecedented.
    Your faith in the 198 organisations like the CSIRO who reflect “mainstream science” is so naive as to be laughable. I presume you include in that group the AMA, recently reported to have stated its fears about ACC and its alleged likely effects. Do you have any evidence that this organisation, which represents only a small minority of Australian doctors in any case, actually polled its members before making its statement to the media? I’d love to see it. On this issue, the American Physical Society made a similar statement a few years ago and was hit with many resignations of members who were upset that they were never polled for their views. The well-known sceptical blogs, eg WattsUp With That, Bishop Hill, JoNova, Judith Curry and the host of associated blogs have been providing compelling evidence that many professional associations are captured by zealots and rarely reflect the range of opinions among their membership. You woul be familiar with this tendency if you have even the slightest knowledge of how our local governments are similarly captured by activists.

    Do some real research,Ian.

  • if that’s my real name

    “My understanding is that Wikipedia is ‘crowd-sourced’, in that the articles are all written by experts in the fields concerned…”
    What a joke. I like much about Wikipedia, I use it often and I edit it. That is how I realise that it is mostly and at best, written by a bunch of naive enthusiasts like you, susceptible, just as “experts” are, to a whole lot of ideologies.
    “They then pass this enhanced internal energy to other molecules…” What is enhanced internal energy? Are they creating energy? do they do yoga?

  • Ian MacDougall

    DT: “Your contempt for the likes of Anthony Watts and Jennifer Marahosy [sic] confirms your total ignorance. Both have proved without a shadow of a doubt that the temperature records across both the US and Australia are corrupt … etc”
    That is why I never bother with temperatures, but use sea-level as my guide when debating AGW denialists. Like, say, yourself.
    .
    itmrm: sounds to me as if you go to WP in order to vandalise it, though I am sure that could not possibly be the case.
    Please cite me a specific instance on a specific topic where it has been proved to be wrong.
    When any molecule absorbs radiant energy, that energy does not flush down some cosmic plughole, never to be seen again. Matter-energy can be neither created nor destroyed; well not in this universe anyway. Electrons change energy levels, and when they drop back again to their previous level, photons are emitted. Or else the molecule’s own increased rate of internal vibration gets passed to molecules in contact with it, and shows up as heat: which is basically how a microwave oven works. The microwaves excite water molecules, and they pass that energy on to molecules in porridge, steak, potatoes or whatever.
    Or do you have some other more bedazzling smarty-pants version?

  • Ian MacDougall

    Bushfires and dry conditions that feed into them:
    In criminal law, we normally favour presumption of innocence. And rightly so. But as far as chemicals, food additives and such go, it should be ‘guilty until proven innocent beyond reasonable doubt.’ That is why we have testing requirements for such.
    Default position: carbon dioxide (and the coal whose burning produces it) are guilty in the Court of Climate Change until proven innocent beyond reasonable doubt.
    I know that still does not explain this site’s hostility to renewables, but IMHO it is a step in the right direction.

  • rosross

    Common sense is so refreshing and never more so than when supported by facts.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Bush fires and “climate change” – no causal link to local/regional/global carbon (dioxide) emissions:

    https://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/indian-ocean-dipole-breaks-down/530807
    Indian Ocean Dipole breaks down
    Ben Domensino, Tuesday December 31, 2019 – 15:35 EDT
    The positive Indian Ocean Dipole that has underpinned one of Australia’s warmest and driest years on record has finally broken down.
    While this doesn’t mean the weather in Australia will change abruptly, it does take this dominant climate driver out of the equation as we head into the new year.

  • Ian MacDougall

    “Bush fires and “climate change” – no causal link to local/regional/global carbon (dioxide) emissions..!”
    Notice the careful wording of that. No mention of ‘global.’

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