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back to article The New Green Aristocracy

An aristocracy is a form of government by an elite that considers itself to possess greater virtues than the hoi polloi, giving it the right to rule in its own interests. Aristocrats were referred to as 'the nobility', or 'nobs'. These days we prefer decisions to be made democratically – the idea being that we can judge for …

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Stop

Business as usual

So we stumble along destroying what little is left of European industry in fear of the great climate boogeyman - and all to make the supposed problem even worse - cutting euro emissions on production will most likely increase the overall emissions as productions shifts to less developed, less controlled areas.

Oh great - next time the bankers lose £££trillions at the racetrack and the government has to give them all our tax money so they can afford to pay themselves their bonuses we'll have even less real economic base to fall back on.

As they say - it doesn't matter how many people vote against them - the government always gets in.

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Anonymous Coward

*bang*?

So Carbon Dioxide emissions is a bit like Russian roulette. You pull the trigger and maybe it blows your brains out and maybe it does not. But the register says that in the absence of facts you might as well pull the trigger anyway "because there is no absolute proof that there is a bullet in the chamber".

Maybe a more intersting thing to look into is why all the green initiatives in GB seems to involve more taxes. Build a bloody big wind/water/biomass power station and rake in the £££ in taxes from the electricity meter. Use the same money to put solar warming on peoples roofs and you would probably save more CO2 (and balance of payments etc etc), but in the absence of a meter the goverment gets less money.

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Coat

Your coats

As a public services I'll be handing out the coats to the "active and well-funded ‘denial lobby’" that in no doubt will be turning up here, and in no doubt will be asked to, well, get their coats by the "enlightened masses" that also will be turning up here to quote "scientific sources" that have no scientific sources. Personally I was a part of the enlightened mass, but then I started to read. Due to that I am now wearing a trenchcoat myself and am thus anonymous.

So please tell me, which one is yours?

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Coat

If we accept...

that the current change in climate *is* man made (sorry, but personally I don't), then the UK acting more or less alone on this is akin to King Canute's attempt to turn back the tide.

Mine's the sackcloth one with the ashes in the pocket (as prescribed by the Green Aristocracy).

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one small question about climate change

OK, here's what I don't understand about the debate, as a whole.

We talk about reducing our (whoever "us" is, but that's not my real question) emissions in order to reduce the effect on the world climate. However, by doing so are we expecting that this will actually leave the oil we don't consume in the ground, and that no-one else will burn it?

I can't shake the suspicion that at some point in the future all the easily accessible oil and gas will be used up - if not by us (whoever "we" are), then by someone else. Now, I'm quite happy to do my bit and I would say I'm well ahead of the game in terms of keeping my consumption down. But if the result of doing so is simply that someone else picks up the slack, then the question about using up the fossil fuels comes down to who will do it and when.

If that is the case, then is there any real point in us (again, but this is getting boring) hobbling ourselves both economically and strategically for a conclusion that is already half-way to being played out.

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Coat

emissions?

Heres some simple ways to reduce the UK's CO2 emissions by about 20-25% with no impact on our lifestyle

1. Replace all fossil fuel power stations with nuclear.

2. Domestic appliance manufacturers told to improve efficiency by 10% across thier product range

3. All cars manufacturers told be told the same

4. All government buildingshave timers on them to turn the lights off after 8pm when no person is there

Sadly the green lobby will squash 1any way it can(legal or illegal), 2 might have a chance, 3 the car makers will bribe... oops lobby MP's to block that and 4 has'nt a chance either

Me ? I'm off to buy a boat

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Anonymous Coward

George says it best

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbFD4NC60EA

Personally I think the world wanted plastic.

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wot rot

A lot of this is just plain nonsense. There was no "bidding war" over carbon targets, there was just one party (the LibDems) who said they accepted the most recent IPCC findings, and two others who said they would listen to a review of evidence by Lord Turner before deciding (Conservatives and Labour).

Hilary Benn also did not announce the Climate Change Committee last October, it was proposed almost a year earlier that by David Miliband. It is also hard to see how Benn was "easily trumped" by either a bidding way which didn't take place, or an announcement by Ed Miliband which didn't take place til a year later.

As for whether this is policy making by "nobs" like Adair Turner...that rather skates over the fact the the people who will vote on whether or not this target is included in the Bill are MPs, who are...err...democratically elected. They can choose to listen to Adair Turner or not when they cast their vote.

It also ignores the fhe point that the whole idea of having a Climate Bill arose not with Adair Turner, or even with Ministers, but with pressure groups who have won the campaign by mobilising thousands of the people the author claims have had no say on climate policy to lobby on climate policy.

I'm resigned to the fact that some people (the author included) will continue to trot out the usual "we can't be completely sure so we might as well do nothing" sceptical position. I do wonder how many of them have the same attitude to, say, their own pension provision, or home insurance ("scientists can't be sure when I'll die/if my house will catch fire so there is no point setting anything aside"). But at least when writing about things that have happened you could try and get it right.

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to pete

Pete

We can burn that oil - just not at the current rate. The climate is like a bath, with CO2 being the water. There are taps that pour carbon into the atmosphere, and a plug that allows it to come back out (when it is absorbed by plants, or algae in the ocean for example). At the minute we are running the taps about twice the speed that the plug is removing the carbon dioxide, so the concentration (or water level) is going up. If we halve it, the concentration will stay the same. If we slow the taps by more than 50% emissions will go down.

There are complexities - the actual rate of carbon being drawn down is affected by the temperature and concentration to an extent. And there are uncertainties - science doesn't give perfect answers. But the bath analogy shows we do not have to have a future with no emissions, no fossil fuels etc - we just need to use them rationally.

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Dead Vulture

The heck?

Please excuse me if I seem condescending or rude, but as an American, I have a question for you:

If so many Brits are opposed to the climate-fraud politics as seems to be the case from what I keep reading on El Reg and in the comments, how come there are climate-fraud politics in the first place? Are you guys just in the minority? Does your political system not reflect the will of the people or is it just slow in reacting?

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Doesn't come as a shock

The government didn't listen to it's own advisers on Iraq nor the public. It hasn't given us our EU Referrerendum vote either, as they so gleefully promised they would (lying bastards).

Why should 'the next big thing' be any different?

I agree with the poster above @Your Coats. Both sides of this debate are full of people who can only be classed as Spunk Weavils. Myself, I started off as a climate sceptic, then joined the 'climate change is real man' camp, then came-back to being a sceptic when I found the believers to be ever-so-slightly more fanatical than the unbelievers. There is *no* conclusive scientific study which proves it eitherway. Yes making changes to our fuel consumption should be viewed as a good thing, since the less oil we use the less reliant we are on fossil fuels largely controlled by foreign nations.

The government 'studies' are laughable. Of course they're looking after themselves. There wasn't a 'green' industry before the government launched one. The amount of ££ involved in climate change is immense. Now we're going to get taxed on our 'carbon footprint'. Where do all these tax monies go? To MP pensions? To expense claims? To banks?

I'm just sick of it all. The government, this country, climate-huggers, anti-climate-hiuggers, spunk weavils, piss faeries etc. Why can't they all just leave us, the common people, the fuck alone? Don't tell me what to do, or what to think 'cause all that comes out of your mouth is anal juice. Don't scam me fecker. This government has largely succeeded with the largest scam upon the British people ever. In the future it'll be known as the great British 419'er. Perhaps we'll get a national day to commerate the day the government raped its people, or perhaps not. We're still waiting for a St George's Day and for the EU to stop fucking around with our pints of beer.

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I also started to read

The arguments on both sides are pretty much as shaky as each other. As "enlightened" I also had to read a few months ago when having quite a heated debate with the very worst kind of denier, a far-right conspiracy-believer republican, who, when he ran out of arguments just kept on calling academics liars, over and over again. Unfortunately, I think, there is a core of very intelligent people, dwarfed by masses of people jumping on the bandwagon which detracts from the debate as a whole. There are three points I'd like to make without having to go into the specifics of arguments:

1. There isn't a conspiracy in academia. The majority of people involved ARE intelligent, HAVE looked at evidence and HAVE made an informed decision. They are not doing it just to make money, in fact, if anything, it's more likely that the scam is on the other side, with oil companies funding plenty of studies, and simply not allowing studies that show them to be wrong to be published. Anyway, I digress.

2. The majority of scientists DO think climate change is "man-made" (by a pretty large ratio).

3. In times when there's evidence that suggests a catastrophe, it generally makes sense to do all you can to prevent said catastrophe, whether there's counter-arguments or not. If the evidence was evenly distributed, then yes, there would be a strong argument, however, looking at the ratios of peer-reviewed papers supporting or (and I deliberately phrase this) disproving a section of climate change theory alone, there is a huge majority in the supporting papers.

Now I don't really know what the effects of climate change are going to be, but I do know that at some point we're going to run out of fossil fuels, and delaying this as long as possible until we have the supporting power sources, and building those sources, is not going to be a bad thing. Just as it is inherently stupid to pick your kids up from school in a hummer, unless you have twenty kids.

When I've come face to face with the other side, I've generally found them inherently selfish, and not people who have looked at the facts (although I don't think many of the enlightened do either), and are quite happy to say "I've got a big car/power-guzzling company/big coal fire, and I don't want to cut back, no matter what" and are also quite happy to believe that the vast majority of scientists are lying to make money. I'm quite happy to admit that many of the "enlightened" come off as smug, arrogant tossers, but that doesn't mean they're wrong.

As for the man-made issue, I thought it was pretty general consensus, even amongst naysayers that the current climate change was caused by man, it was more a question of, if it is, what are the effects of it continuing another 20 years.

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Mobilising thousands of people

Interesting how some days the mobilisation of a few thousand people MUST mean that the public are behind something completely, and other days the mobilisation of a few hundred thousand people can mean that "they're just the minority and everyone else thinks the opposite".

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@The heck?

Ahh, that cheered me up.

> Does your political system not reflect the will of the people or is it just slow in reacting?

No, of course it doesn't. The british people get to vote once every 5 years or so. The two major parties in the UK have essentially the same goals and the same limitations, so what electors get to deide is which leader (for it is the leader they're really voting for in practice, not the particular individual who will represent their local constituency) they like most - or dislike least, based purely on perceived personality and who the tabloid press tell them is "best".

However, once in power the ruling party can effectively do whatever they please. They are neither bound to fulfill the promises they made in their election manifestos, nor are they limited to only govern within their stated boundaries. So, for example no electors were consulted about going to war (but that's never been the case), nor were they consulted about the billions they are being forced to spend on the 2012 olympics, nor on how much of their money should be spent on the recent bail-out of the financial system, nor if they want the huge numbers of CCTVs that surveille everybody, everywhere, nor on future energy policies, new roads, airport locations, housebuilding sites or anything else that has an effect on day-to-day life. In short voters in the UK are never allowed to express their will on any single items of policy - you take one bundle or another.

Do we get the government we deserve? probably. But that's british democracy for you - wonderful, isn't it?

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Boffin

Only one choice left

I thought about this "Ecocracy" issue long and hard now. The government and media have left no more space for debate. Scientists and the electorate no longer have any say in the Climate Change (non-)debate. The coming fall of democracy through socialisation and rationing is what these elitists are imposing on us to keep themselves and their children in power. Green-collar jobs they say? Isn't that a way of creating a government sponsored policing force who will stifle all criticism of the Ecocratic establishment in order to protect their "eco-jobs"? The last time such a thing was done was in the 1920s-30s. They were called Brownshirts and Blackshirts back then.

So what choice do we have left to stand up for common sense in the face of this massive elitists robbery (carbon trading) which will come out of our pockets and could easily reach deeper into our private lives?

The eco-lobby used violence, bribery and extortion to win the ear of these politicians. Do we now have to do the same to defend democracy, the enlightenment and common sense? It seems we might have to raise an army. And if said army results in a couple of Oswalds acting on their own volition then so be it.

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Anonymous Coward

Resistance is futile. . .

. . . or at least site down. Pity really.

A few minutes of Google Research suggest that Climate Resistance is as guilty of using selective evidence as the people it opposes.

Questioning climate change science is, of course, entirely legitimate. That's how the scientific process works.

Questioning the anti-scientific hysteria of contemporary Greenpeace - valid.

That's making an ad hominem attack, which would get you laughed out of any genuine debate, although not, of course, political ones.

Of course, we can turn around and ask 'what are the motivations of the climate sceptics?'.

(Again, that doesn't mean their criticisms don't have to be answered).

We could also turn around and say - even if the climate science is incorrect or exaggerated, what are the actual downsides to us addressing the issue anyway - the figures for lost economic growth strike me as being very much pulled from thin air, given that no one has a good model for energy prices over the next decade, let alone 50 years - there has to be economic advantage in removing a dependency on fossil fuels, if not hydrocarbons.

Still, if we get onto ad hominem attacks, I guess there is good money in being the sceptical voice on the conference circuit, especially pandering to companies with heavy investment in the fossil economy.

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Anonymous Coward

Carbon Shmarbon, where is the beef?

I started out as a Climate Change activist for one of the major Green pressure groups. The more I reseached the more holes I found, and came round to being a skeptic about anthropogenic CO2 being the cause. I quit my activist role when I pointed out the lack of hard science to one of the Big Swinging Dicks and was told "It doesn't matter what the facts are, its what people believe that matters".

As an academic I found that many scientists were also privately skeptical, but that it didn't do to be open about it, funding went to those who followed the party line while dissenters were marginalised.

I haven't been actively involved for 5 years or so, but whenever climate change due to fossil fuel use hits the headlines I look for new supporting science and don't find it, usually just more politics or a new variation on the greenhouse gassers computer models.

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Stop

@wot rot

The fact is that we don't know what's going to happen with climate change or, the degree to which anthropogenic Co2 has an effect on climate. There is a lot of FUD sprayed out on both sides. We all agree something is happening, but that's just about the limit of it.

What worries me is that the quantity of money being spent on reducing Co2 emissions may be better spent on getting developing countries economies running properly, education, irrigating land and dealing with Aids and Malaria. I *know* that spending a trillion dollars on those would have a beneficial effect for billions of people. Can you say the same for a similar amount spent on reducing Co2 emissions?

How can we trust the advice of people who stand to gain financially from governments following that advice? The answer is we can't. That applies to the green lobby as well, it's become just as much big business as oil is or ever was.

Wake up.

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@ Carbon Shmarbon

Then stop being such an effing AC, and have the balls to post with some sort of name (doesn't have to be 'real', it just gives a string to your comments).

Stand up (or at least sit up) for what you know to be right!

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Flame

Fuck the climate.

Our energy supplies are controlled facist theocratic dictators.

When did that stop being a good enough reason to find alternate energy sources? When did we start needing to save a few fluffy animals before we'd take a sensible decision?

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Linux

One man's ambiguity is another man's error bar

"...Contrary to many a green claim, science has been unable to provide unambiguous advice from which climate change policies can be formulated...."

Tha'ts because it isn't the job of climate scientists to provide palatable choices that will let the Governing trough-noshers formulate policies that won't piss anyone who votes off.

AGW is a fact, even if Greenpeace and FotE are a bunch of tossers who couldn't put an argument together without hysteria if you put a gun to their head. Just like Evolution, there are uncertainties and lacunae in the understanding, but just like Evolution there's enough evidence that it stands up anyway. Trouble is, you let the Politicos (including the leaderships of organisations like Greenpeace and FotE) at it, and they start armwaving and drawing insupportable conclusions to try and keep people (who don't generally think very hard) on side.

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@fr33cycler

> The climate is like a bath

Specious logic. You know full well that a central area of dispute is the causal relation between CO2 levels and temperature. Your argument is circular in assuming that since there is a Greenhouse Effect, the earth is a greenhouse. It is also misleading in misrepresenting CO2 as the significant determinant in climate dynamics. But let's talk baths.

There is one very salient fact about baths you should know. Run them too hot, and babies and old people can suffer fatally. Run them too cold, and babies and old people can suffer fatally. Do you know any babies or old people?

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Gold badge

Big business.

Too true, too true.

Thus we end up in the laughable situation where the tax system *encourages* people to buy small diesels as city cars and they are doing so, in spades. Nitrates, particulates* and such are no longer trendy, so our cities' air quality goes down the tubes, sacrificed on the altar of the Carbon Cult. You couldn't make this shit up.

*Particulate filters need a regular good long blast up the motorway to avoid clogging and failure and are thus not suitable for small cars to be used primarily for short journeys. Urea injection systems are expensive, complex and bulky, thus only suiting large, expensive diesel cars**.

**Yes, the ones the Germans make so much money selling. No prizes for guessing exactly whose motor industry drives EU policy.

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Eco Cult

"Climate Science" has become the green version of "Creation Science".

It is a cult devoid of science or logic. The basic premise being that if you can reduce, cancel or ban something therefore making someone uncomfortable then it must be a good for the planet.

Scientific studies are quoted endlessly when they support the hair shirt policies, but, when science supports the status quo it is suppressed or shouted down and the authors villified.

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Oh, climate change...

Surely you meant "the *brother* of the foreign secretary, Ed Milliband"...

As for the climate change:

- there is no doubt there is a climate change.

- there is no doubt it's due to human activity.

And I will fight tooth and nail any attempt to "reduce my carbon footprint" coming from any government or a self-interest group. And if we all resist, may be in the end we will force them to come up with something that will actually work, for if we give in now they will claim that "everything is in hand" and then the waters will come....

All this nonsense about carbon rationing, windfarms on your rooftops, turning the lights off - it's just not going to work. It's in the human nature to not be able to voluntarily restrict ourselves on a permanent basis. We can live on ration cards for a couple of years, then we will tear them or those who impose them on us to pieces. We would never have moved out from the caves otherwise (which we did because the caves were not very nice places to live, let's admit it).

We are at a cusp here on Earth:

- we can get serious, invest in hard science research and technology, make an effort and come up with a solution - fusion power, industrial carbon sequestration, space colonisation while we still have the resources (oil, water, air, living space, scientists) or

- we can engage in deluding ourselves that we can all live happily everafter if we compost our crap while sitting in the dark room and singing a song to ward off the evil carbon until we all die, which will mercifully be very soon.

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Pirate

Here we go again....

I love this line from Shakje:

"The majority of scientists DO think climate change is "man-made" (by a pretty large ratio)."

Well that's that then... they must be correct.

Back in 1356, that same majority thought the world was flat.... AND that the Sun went around the Earth... You could be executed for claiming otherwise!

I'm a Denier. No one will EVER convince me it's man made unless it's actually proven. Not by some hippy with a love for daises, or some Green Nazi telling us all how to live, but bu proper environmental study.

Even less by Green Nazis telling the Government to hyke the price up on fuel.

I don't believe they are liars.. I believe they are wrong. As yet no-one has been able to actually prove to me they Climate change is man made.

I'm willing to be swayed.. but prove it first.. I'm not going to jump up and down screaming climate change just because a lot of people thing it's so.

Climate Change is like another religion.. it's running away with people, and the sad thing is no-one is asking any questions.

Sensible self levelling people, for decades have dismissed religion in favour of REAL Science.... now we are dismissing REAL Science in Favour of hysteria, and sadly Religion.

PS. there is no God.. I'm not religious, build a bridge.

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More Politics

Nice to see it's not just economists who think they are climate scientists, politics students are also having a go. Despite the painful writing style I think the message is: "Politicians make political decisions." Brilliant. Any other "experts" with a computer and a penchant for selecting the evidence they like best out there who want a try?

Does this sort of stuff count as debate about climate change? There appears to be two main groups here, scientists and a mixed bag of loons of various shades. The debate isn't between sciencists. It's a shouting match between the loons.

And Obama Smith. Please ask the nurse for two pills instead of one today.

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JT

Scientific Consensus & the public

To Matthew:

Science is not a religion. You'll find scientific consensus will change pretty rapidly once someone comes out with good, solid evidence to the contrary.

With climate change, so far, no-one has managed to do so. Until this happens, we plebs have to accept the "consensus" unless you're willing to examine _all_ the evidence yourself, including all background science: mathematics (including number theory, chaos theory, modeling theory etc), geology, soil mechanics, hydrodynamics, stellar physics, quantum physics, etc, etc.

Funny thing is, the deniers are the ones with quite a bit more funding behind them and yet, they cannot conclusively give proof that "all is well"? (I'm sure if you're a climatologist, getting funding from the US gov, or any carbon-energy exporting country for that matter is easy if you're willing to come up with research showing that carbon dioxide is not that bad after all...)

Whenever I talk to scientists (and I'm an engineer at a Uni, I meet quite a few) frankly they're either scared shitless or exasperated at the inaction and ignorance. Frankly at this point I think the only question left is if it is *we* that are screwed, or our kids.

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Go

ahem

@Matt Eagles

My answer is simply this: Make me pay taxes or force me to ration my already voluntarily meager lifestyle in order to enrichen the power of the elites, then I'll support whatever it takes to restore democratic accountability. Your piss take doesn't count as anything.

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Obama Smith doesn't need a pill, you should listen to him!

Maybe we should step back a minute and ask ourselves why we blindly believe people with degrees? Is it a lack of self worth? Is common sense and keen observation less valuable than a piece of paper? Just look at the total CO2 emissions from one volcaninc eruption like St Helens and then honestly look me in the face and tell me that the CO2 emissions from 250 years of industrialization have a greater effect. I dare you. I do not trust politicians, statistics or damn liars. I do not give consent for others to make any decisions, as important as these, for me.

I learned a long time ago that both Religion and Science are imperfect and there are no absolute truths in either.

Why should us "Skeptics" be prevented from questioning the so called issue of "global warming". I'll be damned if I am going to suffer rationing and taxation on my carbon footprint because some "Enviro-Lobbyist" pays off the politicians to make law in their favor. They are no better than the Big Oil Lobbyists and ANY politician that puts "Special Interests" above the best interest of the common man is guilty of treason plain and simple. Last I looked, the penalty for treason was death on both sides of the pond.

The following is a bit of wisdom from America's Founding Fathers. Too bad they can't come back to haunt the lives of a few select politicians today. Obama Smith may just have hit the nail squarely on the head, though "Oswalds" was a bit extreme. It IS time for a revolution!

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

-declaration of independance

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Anonymous Coward

So much rubbish

--Funny thing is, the deniers are the ones with quite a bit more funding behind them and yet, they cannot conclusively give proof that "all is well"?--

Funding my bottom. There is no orchestrated deniers (your pleasant term for people who don't agree with the pitiful dogma , oops I mean science, trotted out by all and sundry) movement unlike the many 'green' organisations...basically its a bunch of people who quite rightly come to the same conclusion .........the science to support AGW is utter crap. It is totally reliant on models, crap models

And by the way the onus is on the Al Gore bunch to prove AGW and not on sceptics to prove it doesn't exist ('all is well' as you put it) because if you had any understanding of science you'd understand that its nigh on impossible to prove a negative. All sceptics can and should do is to continue to scrutinise the science (pseudoscience would be more accurate) that is presented that supports the notion that we are all doomed because of CO2.

One day perhaps the world will finally get back to true science where observations and theories are tested, and where the sceptic once again is respected.

Finally I also await the day when the Al Gore and the precautionary principle are both hung up by the balls and left to rot in some mosquito infested jungle in south america

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A bit like debate......

Go on I'll bite. Volcanos you say? The US Geological Survey references T.M. Gerlach with approx. 145-225 million tons of CO2 from volcanos per year. This somewhat less than the 30 billion tons from human activity per year.

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/index.php

There you go, I dared. Be as sceptical as you want, ask all the questions you want. Just don't get upset if the answers are not the one's you wanted.

As for Obama Smith and his urge to defend democracy with a military dictatorship (or will it be one of those nice coup d'etats like in the movies?) I'm a bit of a traditionalist and like to think voting is the best way to preserve democracy. His mention of Black shirts and Oswald made me think of Oswald Mosley (leader of the Black Shirts/British Union of Fascists). I therefore assumed he was advocating a fascist uprising. I now suspect it was Lee Oswald he meant, so was in fact advocating murdering democratically elected leaders (and passing policemen?)

So that's alright then. If becoming a terrorist is a rational response to carbon trading to Obama Smith, then definitely double doses of Largactil tonight.

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@Luther Blissett

>> The climate is like a bath

No the guy's right. Substitute "bath_tub" for bath and it's a reasonable model.

However, the question that pertains is how long does it take for CO2 to be scrubbed from the atmosphere?

If it's 50 years - which is the shortest guess I've heard then our short-term eco-frenzy may, just avoid the absolute worst of things. However, if it's 300 years which is the longest time that I've seen in the literature then we're screwed. The reason is that we'll burn all the oil in less than that time, so the "old" CO2 won't have been removed before the "new" CO2 is emitted. In that case it doesn't matter whether we take 200 years to use up all the oil or 20 years - the same amount of CO2 will remain in the atmosphere and so the climate change it causes will be the same.

In fact, if the longer timescales do turn out to be the case, it may be beneficial to the planet (not that the planet cares - needless anthropomorphism only weakens the argument) to go for a "short, sharp, shock" so that the recovery process can start sooner. Hmmm,.

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@Luther Blisset and Steve Crook

Pete seems to think a bit of anglo-american misundertanding between baths and bath tubs means you don't get the analogy. He's a generous fella - I suspect you just don't want to get it.

However, whether or not you think the CO2 causes warming once it is in the atmosphere, I'd love to hear what the hell you think happens to after we put it there. I'm presuming you think it comes back out at some point - which means the bath(tub) analogy has to stand up, even if you dispute the rather of flux into and out of the atmosphere (or the taps and plug if you prefer.) I'm also intrigued as to how you will argue against the proven fact that a gas that traps heat somehow doesn't trap heat when it is in the atmosphere....

Pete is therefore right that the rate of flux in each direction, and the length of time the gas stays there is crucial. I've read good stuff on this from the Tyndall Centre in Manchester ... even if I can;t dig out quote on it now.

But whle Pete is on the right track, that's more than you can say for Steve Crook. Exactly what is the turnover of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. And what is it for Esso and Shell? Are you still sure the former is as big a business as the latter?

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@ Matt Eagles

"So that's alright then. If becoming a terrorist is a rational response to carbon trading to Obama "

You mean just like the Green Terrorists do. Chaining them selves to 747's and hijacking trains etc.

So once again, it's OK for the Green Nazis to terrorise and impose by force so wimsickly little fad, but when it comes to fighting back we are told we are Nazi's, Racists, Bigots, Liars, etc. Once again, 1 rule for the Green Nazi's and 1 rule for everyone else.

The problem is that almost everyone is on a side. and they are determined that side will be right.

The study need to be done by a neutral party. This will never happen of course, but nice to think it may.

If this neutral party where to prove 1 way or another, that's good enough for me... I'd go with that.

As it is, we have scientists being basically bribed by a government that want to rake in more money, and has fingers in the pies of "green companies". We have Al-Gore who is a twat... and various other loony bins work "for" the Climate side...(infact all they are doing is driving people from it)

On the other had we have the sceptics who are outnumbered, and are badmouthed by the Green Nazis. How have not much technical resource, and becuase there is not a lot of them they are viewed as nut cases too.

The Energy Companies are going on about it being fine, but they would, as after all it's there gas, coal, oil etc... SO they have a motive... no one will believe them because of it.

SO really there is no hope.

And to whoever Said it.... I know that Science is not a religion.. I was saying that people where ABANDONING Science for Religion/Wacky unproven hypothesises on Creation and Climate change.... not that Science is Religion.

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For a meagre £1Bn

I reckon I could ship in some Polish guys and Chinese bricks to create a 20ft wall around the UK. And still have it finished before the waves start lapping at the edges.

Make it £10Bn- still a snip compared to most climatey proposals- to account for over-budget bits etc and I'll get right on it.

Oh, and shipping in tonnes of nuclear fuel & building breeder reactors would make more sense than any other proposal that doesn't involve cutting consumption. Have you any idea what the carbon footprint of a photovoltaic cell is?!

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Who the fuck is this?

"Contrary to many a green claim, science has been unable to provide unambiguous advice from which climate change policies can be formulated."

If you look hard enough, EVERYTHING is ambiguous. And all we're left with is "I think therefore I am. Maybe".

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@Dan Paul

Did you look at how much Mt St Helens produced? 22,000,000 KG a day.

Human activity? From fizzy drinks alone, in the US alone, 60,000,000 KG a year. 150,000KG a day. From soda pop from 4% of the human race.

From all human sources? 22,000,000,000KG a day.

Each day.

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To Vladimir Plouzhnikov & Shakje (in particular)

Guys, unless you are both world leading "experts" in Climate Change analysis, then I'm going to politely ask you couch your opinions as opinions and not facts. People like you are precisely the damn problem. If you are experts - who funds your research? Now see the start of the sentence regarding opinions.

Shakje, you say :-

1) Conspiracy? Never EVER trust "facts" which have been funded by an interested party. It has been PROVED that Academia has cherry picked articles regarding Climate Change. Academia is like any business, it needs money to keep going. If your pay master doesn't like what you did last time, he's not going to come back. So work is "tailored" to suit the paymaster on BOTH sides of the argument. You will never ever convince me that the Green Lobbists are anything other than as big a bunch of self interested, self absorbed lying bastards as the oil firms.

2) Majority of scientists believe in your viewpoint. Unless this backed up by independent cold hard facts, then it's a crock of supposition. Oh, and see 1)

Vladimir you tell us that "- there is no doubt it's due to human activity". In a word, bollocks. The whole argument here and in the Hallowed Halls of Science (be it bought science or independent science) is exactly about this fact.

Climate Change is indeed a fact. Wake up and smell the coffee or alternatively look out the window. HOWEVER, Climate Change has been a fact for god knows how many zillions of years. This planet has seen Ice Ages, droughts, entire swathes have been turn into deserts or forests.

Until someone produces some independent, thorough, unfudged research that supports this anti human actvity theory then I'm afraid I think it's all a crock amply abused by govt and industry to skin yet more cash. It's the latest bogeyman for us to be scared of and beg our overloards to protect us from.

On the flipside I'm all for recycling, energy efficieny etc but that's just me.

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Academia is like any business, it needs money to keep going.

But why is that going into AGW? In the 90's it wasn't big. In fact, for most places, persuing AGW too prominently would get you sacked. See GWB's actions on environment agency high-ups saying there's a problem and him sacking them.

When that was going on, why were there still people persuing it? Surely they should all have been busy "proving" it wrong, so as to get all that lovely money.

Alternatively, you're talking out of your arse.

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