back to article UN: Fossil fuels should be terminaated 86 years from now

The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report alarmingly warned today that it was vital for the world to phase out fossil fuels by 2100. The committee claimed that cutting greenhouse gas emissions by between 40 per cent and 70 per cent by 2050, and to near or below zero emissions in 2100 "would likely …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. king of foo

    meaningless. how long?

    Petrol + diesel could be replaced by hydrogen. Plastics could be severely limited and replaced by wood, paper and other biological materials. Nuclear Power stations could be built on mass.

    Instead we are feeding greedy corporations masquerading as being green but in reality doing precious little to address the reality of the situation.

    I don't care if global warming is real or not, pollution is real; we can see the plastics in the ocean and the toxins in the air. In 86 years I'll be dead; I want to see change in my lifetime. Now.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: meaningless. how long?

      Hydrogen could eventually replace petrol and diesel, yes. But hydrogen cannot in itself replace oil. Hydrogen is a fuel, it is *not* an energy source. Nukes may be a large part of the solution.

      Toxins in the air? Were you around in the 1970s? Geesh, kids these days...

      If you wish to solve plastics in the ocean, then you need to think clearly about how exactly they got there. Hint - it's not shopping bags in landlocked cities...

      1. king of foo

        Re: meaningless. how long?

        Hydrogen as an energy source? Have you been sniffing Uranus? Nuclear Power could be used in the production of hydrogen (as a fuel). It would also make sense to combine such an operation with some kind of desalination plant.

        Toxins; I'm assuming you refer to the birth of the catalytic converter. C0 and carcinogens from diesel are still an issue today and I'd imagine there are far more vehicles on the road today...

        And plastics in the ocean is a problem, but oil based plastics that are toxic when burned and don't biodegrade are just, well, nasty full stop. There are alternatives that burn cleanly and/or completely biodegrade. Governments can make these alternatives far more attractive by effective use of taxation (and lack thereof) which in turn should lead to investment in R&D to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

        1. king of foo

          Re: meaningless. how long?

          Ha. Thumbed down for the Uranus gag. Obviously a few weren't listening in physics the day they told us about atmospheres on other planets. Uranus is mostly hydrogen. I wasn't trying to be aggressive, just wasn't sure where the assumption that I was mentally challenged (however true that may be) came from.

          Tree Hugging, I believe, is more about the weed and sense of belonging/rebellion than environmentalism, and focuses on the immediate term impact on local ecosystems rather than the "big picture". Both have merit but I'd tend to side with the tree huggers in that they are actively trying to protect something tangible that is being exploited for profit. I'd say we need to build new forests, say of bamboo, rather than cut down existing ones that have been there for centuries/were (shush...) planted by Victorian industrialists... I'd also suggest planting "glow in the dark" plants (I'm sure they exist!) in place of street lighting and perhaps along the side/middle of roads. I might look for some for the garden now I mention it!

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Charles Manning

      Needs

      Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

      Pre industrialisation, most people lived in the bottom bit - even struggling to get into the bottom bit. Until 50 years ago, famine was rife. Now it is fairly close to nonexistant, except for disturbances caused by local conflicts.

      The same for disease. Sure Ebola is making a lot of news, but that's not even 0.1% of what the 1918 flu pandemic was.

      Booming industry has brought us this wealth, and that is largely driven by low-cost energy.

      As people get more wealthy, and use more energy, their aspirations improve. One of the things they want is a cleaner environment. Wealthy societies can spend more on clean ups.

      USA and UK uses more energy (including oil) than ever before, yet the rivers and air are cleaner now than 50 years ago.

      London air is now far cleaner than it was in the 1960s and the streets cleaner than they were in 1900.

      The clean up is happening without the UN telling people what to do.

      1. king of foo

        Re: Needs

        Businesses love Maslow, me, I prefer Taylor. Maslow tells us we don't need a pay rise or a bonus because we should be content with our safe clean working environment; Taylor says we bloody well do you tight fisted b*****s!

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: meaningless. how long?

      Plastics could be severely limited and replaced by wood, paper and other biological materials.

      Yes, wood is very viable. Now go convince the Greens that it's ok to cut down trees in the forests or to clear land hit by a forest fire of the dying trees for salvage. Here in the States, I'm in southern Oregon and the only thing I can say is "good luck with that". Those people are fanatical about saving the trees. They don't seem to understand that paper comes from tree farms....

      1. Al Black

        Carbon Sinks:

        Yes - the answer to Carbon pollution is Carbon Sequestration by fast-growing young trees, binding that nasty CO2 into sacred-to-greenies timber. If I can describe to you a plan that will lock vast amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere for hundreds of years and will consume no arable land or threaten food production and will create new jobs and exports for our economy, do you think that would be a good idea?

        Forests are very efficient at converting CO2 into wood in the first fast growing 20-40 years, after which carbon capture tails off. “Old Growth” mature forests are almost useless for this purpose.

        The Farmers are afraid Governments will fund continuously expanding plantations of new growth to keep forests locking carbon in place, but the same result in Carbon capture can be achieved without putting any new land into forest, by better managing what we already have in bush. We also have a problem of increasingly dangerous forest fires caused by excessive fuel loadings in unmanaged forests. The answer is not to put more land into forest; it is to mill the "old growth" forests that are no longer pulling their weight in Carbon capture. Whether the wood is used for house framing or exported as lumber, pulp or fibreboard, it is out of the Carbon cycle, potentially for hundreds of years. Even if it is made into disposable products like paper, that remains in landfills for hundreds of years. Landfills should also be recognised as carbon sinks.

        Then the new planting that Greens want will be on the newly felled land, replacing the lazy "old growth" trees with fast growing carbon-binding new trees. In Australia we could replant with specific species of Eucalypts that Koalas like to eat, thus expanding their habitat at the same time. The tree felling, if done in strips across the prevailing summer wind direction, can also be used as fire breaks. It is all win-win! This will actually make money for the country, and is much cheaper to introduce than the untried technology of coal fired carbon capture at power stations.

        Sold properly, we'll have Tasmanian greenies protesting for more pulp mills to convert their forests into carbon sinks! And we would bring back a golden age of Forestry, strip felling vast swathes of bush with a clear conscience. I imagine the fanatical warmists would soon be demanding that we clear-fell 5% of our national parks each year to attain our Carbon reduction targets, by sequestering massive amounts of carbon into lumber.

        Smart people can probably add a bunch of improvements to these this fairly basic concepts, but the objective is clear - scrub CO2 out of the air to off-set our coal burning power stations with new wood. Carbon sequestration is most easily achieved by converting trees into lumber and building houses out of it, then growing more trees on the same ground.

        Just think of the slogans:

        The Tree-fellers will be our new Eco-warriors!

        Save the world thanks to Sawmills!

        The chainsaw shall become a symbol of hope to the Carbon-phobic!

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: meaningless. how long?

      "Petrol + diesel could be replaced by hydrogen"

      No, they couldn't: Hydrogen is incredibly reactive and makes metals brittle. It's a bitch to handle too.

      It may be an "ideal fuel" but only in the sense that the output is water.

      On top of that there's at least double the number of hydrogen atoms in a litre of diesel than a litre of liquid hydrogen

      Petrol + diesel could be replaced by petrol + diesel - once you're producing hydrogen from sustainable sources you may as well tack on some carbon (extracted from the atmosphere?) and make it shitloads easier to handle.

      As for wind/solar/tidal/wave powers, they're mostly a boondoggle held up by subsidies.

      They're great if you're off-grid, but they're never going to be economic unless we're relying on increasingly expensive oil for our power. That would need to be at least 10 times more expensive than it is now for them to _start_ start being commercially viable without subsidies and market distortions.

      Given the backup power generation requirements, intermittent power sources would find that they'd get 1/4 to 1/10 the payouts they're currently receiving without govt diktats - and even with all the costs/risks/etc it's more than likely cheaper to build a huge fleet of PWR nuke plants than spend the same money on wind (Please don't build PWR/BWR plants, they're intrinsically unsafe).

    5. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I want to see change in my lifetime. Now.

      I haven't seen any obvious change in my lifetime that needs to be reversed and I'm really not sure anyone else has, other than "you had proper summers when I were a lad".

      Where I live the weather is OK; we don't get washed away or serious droughts etc. More seriously, DO most people really give a fig about doing something for "our children" if they won't be there to see it - or in fact if even your children will be dead by then? Is that kind of altruism really that common or am I just overly cynical and selfish?

      1. Hargrove

        Re: I want to see change in my lifetime. Now.

        @JDX

        I haven't seen any obvious change in my lifetime that needs to be reversed and I'm really not sure anyone else has, other than "you had proper summers when I were a lad"

        Where I live the weather is OK; we don't get washed away or serious droughts etc.

        A perfectly rational point of view if you are one of the handful of folks who have solved the problem of living self-sufficiently on your own piece of land, with no dependence on any outside resources, and the weather stays "OK" where you live. .

        More seriously, DO most people really give a fig about doing something for "our children" if they won't be there to see it - or in fact if even your children will be dead by then? Is that kind of altruism really that common or am I just overly cynical and selfish>

        And the answer both your questions is a resounding "yes." And here's why you need to care. When the global warming first became an issue, I was concerned because I feared for the consequences that my grandchildren were going to be forced to confront. Some years ago, I concluded that my children would be affected. I now fully expect to have to deal with the consequences in my own life time.

        In fact, I am already having to deal with them. Cynically and selfishly, I was OK with the change when the consequences were that fig trees became "growable" on my property. When longer dry spells and extreme rain events caused unprecedented erosion requiring significant upgrades of a drive way that had been fine for almost 40 years--well not so much.

        As to why you need to be concerned, even if you are entirely self-sufficient. You may need enough firepower to defend what you have against those who are not willing to watch their children starve.

        My weather does not need to change, for global climate change to affect me dramatically. I have an associate who opines that the turbulence in the Middle-East may be the direct result of the catastrophic effects of wheat rust on the cost of food.

        Whether climate change contributes to the rapidly expanding disease is anybody's guess. That climate does radically effect the production of food crops is not debatable.

        [ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/wheat-rust-the-fungal-disease-that-threatens-to-destroy-the-world-crop-9271485.html ]

        It's fine that you live in an area where your weather is OK and will always stay that way, and you produce all your own food, water, electricity, provide your own medical care, and have your own army to protect your sovereign turf. Otherwise, as the kiddies are wont to say, "Good luck with that."

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: I want to see change in my lifetime. Now.

          By "where I live" I pretty much mean the UK.

          It seems rather suspicious that climate change, for all the "it can make things colder as well as hotter, dryer as well as wetter" claims (or excuses if you were cynical), only has bad effects. Some places will suffer, others will thrive.

          Whether we will have to face changes in our own lives or not, I rather suspect that we cannot fix/prevent the changes we'll experience in our own lives now, we can only avoid them getting even worse after we're gone. i.e. what we do now will have an effect 50 years down the line.

          1. Hargrove

            Re: I want to see change in my lifetime. Now.

            @JDX

            JDX's recent post makes a couple of well-reasoned points that need to be part of any serious discussion of climate change.

            The statement "some places will suffer, others will thrive" is spot on, as is the speculation that--if drastic climate changes are in store--anything we are going to be able to do in the near term is not likely to have an appreciable impact. I think the main reason that the news about climate change is all bad, is because bad news draws the larger audience, and the largest audience gets a bigger share of the advertising dollars.

            The thing that concerns me most is the potential disruption of global society a significant change in where food can be grown and people can reasonably live would have. A significant change would be highly disruptive, even if the net global effect were greater abundance of food.

            1. Bjorg

              Re: I want to see change in my lifetime. Now.

              "The statement "some places will suffer, others will thrive" is spot on"

              This is most definitely *not* spot-on. It assumes that places that were previously not hospitable will become hospitable and everyone will move there and start growing the exact crops that the land supports.

              The assumption that we can immediately adapt to any situation with perfect results is absurd. The Gobi Desert may be a perfect environment for wheat, corn, soybeans, etc at some point in the future, but will we know it? Will there be anyone there to actually farm it?

              We have infrastructure and population centers and farms where it's viable for humans to live precisely because it's *viable for humans to live there* and the converse is also true. And those things aren't so easily moved to new locations as you want them to be.

      2. zen1

        @ JDX Re: I want to see change in my lifetime. Now.

        I have, I'm going with the more or less unrestrained clear cutting and/or burning of the Amazon rain forest. Huge tracts of land have had the rain forest simply stripped away for cattle pastures. I've seen satellite images of where the smoke was visible from space... That's a LOT of smoke. That region of the world has always been referred to as the "lungs of the world", as well as sources of exotic flora, fauna and various types of new medicines. Several thousand acres a day gone; most of which could never be replaced.

    6. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: meaningless. how long?

      "The report itself is characteristically alarmist in tone. For example"

      But all those comments are entirely factual and as far as I can see have no emotive content. So stating the facts about AGW is now alarmist?!

  2. Mage Silver badge

    Hydrogen?

    No, Hydrogen is totally impractical.

    Synthetic LPG using waste carbon made using Nuclear, Solar, Tidal or Hydro is more practical.

    The Politicians are unlikely to do anything much anyway that's unpopular with results only to be seen in 10 years time never mind 50+ years.

    Pollution is a consequence of a Consumer society were things are disposable, rarely make it to the 2 years mandated by SOGA and little re-usability rather than recycling. Almost all the lead in car batteries is recycled as car batteries. What about the casing?

    Why are drinks and food containers not reusable rather than total rubbish or recyclable? It seems arbitrary as to which wrappers are recyclable and which are not.

    USA leads the world in resource waste and pollution per capita. About 5% of population and using 20% to 70% of each resource.

    Cut down on Dairy consumption and massively on Beef. Cattle Methane production is about 23% of emissions. Many societies don't have dairy at all and a small fraction of Population eats that Beef.

    Do Westerners eat Meat more than once a day? Do you eat Beef more than once a week?

    1. David Pollard

      Re: Hydrogen?

      Scale of human meat consumption, graphically illustrated:

      http://xkcd.com/1338/

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Hydrogen?

      Mage asked: "Almost all the lead in car batteries is recycled as car batteries. What about the casing?"

      Some would seriously believe that the plastic cases of used lead acid batteries are ground to dust and then taken down to the nearest ocean and tossed in. Which is the sort of incoherent thinking that leads to idiotic demands for bad policy.

      BBC Radio WS (&4?), Business, 'The Elements', Lead edition - tour of UK battery recycling facility. This would answer your question. In short, you have nothing to worry about. Except perhaps your choice of radio station. ;-)

    3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Hydrogen?

      "Why are drinks and food containers not reusable rather than total rubbish or recyclable?"

      It is entirely possible that, on the whole, it is far less environmentally damaging to convert used plastic containers to bales of shredded plastic for bulk recycling than to make the massive investment of time, money and resources to close the loop on a per container Part Number basis. Same with glass and metal.

      EnvironMentals need to instill in their mental infrastructure the following obvious fact: If your seemingly "environmental" proposal calls for a vast investment of resources (or worse, ongoing...), then you're doing it wrong.

      It's a case of very badly programmed instincts.

      PS: if you check The List, you'll see that plastics in landfills is on page 87,764 of the priority list. It's like The Least Important Issue Of Our Times. Unless you believe that landfills are being trucked to the nearest beach in the wee hours.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Hydrogen?

        In the case of glass milk bottles it is almost 100 times more energy intensive to make them, transport them, wash them out, collect and transport them back to the plant, wash and sterilise them and use them again - than it is to use plastic pouches.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen? Milk Bottles

          I saw a picture recently of a plastic milk carton recovered from a beach. The price on the container was still visible. It was in old pennies.

          Which is what it would cost to recycle old bottles if 'the market' was taken out of the equation. By the market I mean that strange thing that means if I want flip top bottles for my home brew its far far cheaper for me to buy them full of beer than it is to buy empty ones in the UK.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hydrogen? Milk Bottles

            Responding on some comments here:

            "Why are drinks and food containers not reusable rather than total rubbish or recyclable? It seems arbitrary as to which wrappers are recyclable and which are not."

            PTE,HDPE, Steel and Aluminium, from which most the vast majority of containers are made are fully recyclable.

            "Cut down on Dairy consumption and massively on Beef. Cattle Methane production is about 23% of emissions. Many societies don't have dairy at all and a small fraction of Population eats that Beef."

            Again this is actively being looked at, diet is a major factor, but also selective breeding also could play a big part. Feel free to have a look here:

            http://www.ruminomics.eu/

          2. Al Black

            Re: Hydrogen? Milk Bottles

            "Its far far cheaper for me to buy bottles full of beer than it is to buy empty ones in the UK."

            Talk about First World Problems! You're complaining about that? The third world would love our market economy if their despotic leaders and the UN (Including the IPCC) would let them have one.

            Solution: swap your full ones for my empties: the market works!

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Hydrogen? Milk Bottles

              It works the same in the developing countries, but most people just drink the beer and then reuse the bottles without thinking about it.

              It's arguably more efficient to transport full bottles to destination and reuse them than to transport empty ones - and you know they've been pressure tested too.

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Hydrogen? Milk Bottles

            "I saw a picture recently of a plastic milk carton recovered from a beach. The price on the container was still visible. It was in old pennies."

            And you don't think the beach isn't covered in bits of broken glass (ground down at the edges) including milk bottles? Go out a bit further and you'll find unbroken ones too.

            Arseholes litter and always have. The fact that the bottles are plastic, glass or waxed paper makes no real difference to them, nor does putting a return value on them (as a kid I used to collect dumped bottles in parks and use them to buy stuff at the local shops. They're now worth nothing - but interestingly there's less dumping than there used to be)

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Hydrogen?

        "It is entirely possible that, on the whole, it is far less environmentally damaging to convert used plastic containers to bales of shredded plastic for bulk recycling than to make the massive investment of time, money and resources to close the loop on a per container Part Number basis. Same with glass and metal."

        This is indeed the case.

        It's ACTUALLY less environmentally damaging to use used plastic as fuel and make new plastic from oil - the amount of energy (usually in the form of oil or coal) consumed during the recyling process vastly outweighs that consumed making new stuff, because most plastics manufacture is incredibly sensitive to contamination, plus all the different kinds need to be separated for most applications.

        Same applies to things like milk bottles. They went out of favour because it costs several times more to wash and reuse them than to buy in single-use plastic bottles or tetrapacks.

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen?

      Hydrogen is eminently practical. Piss easy to generate from excess electrical energy for solar/wind/tide*

      And we can convert it to the much more practical (for brrm brms etc) methane by passing it over a catalyst at relatively low temperatures (<70C) with some CO2.

      You can store hydrogen relatively easily - not with the same energy/volume that petrol has but if it leaks it goes up - a tanker of petrol poured down the drains of London would provide around 100Tonnes TNT explosion when mixed with air in the sewers - a similar amount of h2 escaping would rise up and warm a few offices.

      I dont have much hope though - your points about meat remind me that the US uses most of its land and and half the rainforest to produce two or three times the meat that a herd of unmanaged Buffalo achieved without modern accounting techniques. The inefficiency is staggering.

      * when you generate hydrogen you also generate O2 which can then be used to massively improve the thermal efficiency of 'backup' energy systems that burn things.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Hydrogen?

        "...O2... ...massively improve the thermal efficiency..." [of Heat Engines].

        Massively? The improvement to the Carnot cycle efficiency by eliminating N2 from the combustion is better described as a modest tertiary effect.

        Like all the other already-available improvements, it might not pay for itself and would be ignored.

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen?

      "Do Westerners eat Meat more than once a day? Do you eat Beef more than once a week?"

      Even cereals don't come out well when you factor in all the fertilizers (oil consumption), machinery used to plant/harvest/transport and process, then transport the resulting products to market.

      Multiple upvotes on Hydrogen being impractical. Those who push it haven't looked into the issues of hydrogen embrittlement for liquid/pressurised h2 and how much metal hydrides cost in quantities sufficient to hold hydrogen for automotive use (It would more than treble current vehicle costs)

      Even methane (CNG) has multiple drawbacks. The tanks have a tendency to burst(*) if not looked after and even when they are, they have a limited lifecycle (massive pressure cycling = microcracking and boom). It has a role as a niche fuel but the drawbacks are bad enough that even at 1/4 the price of petrol its market share in New Zealand plummeted after the first couple of tank explosions and subsequent (expensive) increased safety checks and requirements.

      (*) Websearch for CNG tank explosions. Most are _not_ BLEVEs (CNG tanks don't hold liquid), they're stress fractures and they usually happen during the filling process. Even without a subsequent fire it's spectacular and tends to shred the vehicle plus anyone unfortunate enough to be too close. The usual cause is our old friend Hydrogen Embrittlement.

      They're also highly susceptable to invisible crash damage - http://www.mvfri.org/Presentations/Stephenson-SAE2008.pdf

      Oddly, tanks caught up in fires, or which are full and damaged in a crash will usually vent safely. It's refilling which shows up damage (call it unsafe pressure testing)

  3. Dave, Portsmouth

    IPCC Credibility

    Admittedly I'm not an expert in climate change, but do read a lot and am an analyst by background, which means I like to see the reasons and data behind papers like this. For me, I find it hard to attribute much credibility to the IPCC because over the past few years I've seen a few too many things which makes me see them as a body which is trying to "prove" climate change, rather than taking an unbiased and independent look. I'd have much more confidence if I saw them occasionally recognising or acknowledging some of the data which *doesn't* support their conclusions, rather than omiting it.

    Basically, as a scientific organisation, they should be comfortable saying that "this is the evidence for A", "this is the evidence for the contrary view", and then "on balance we believe A is the true picture". Rather than "we believe A - this is everything thst supports A being true".

    1. ToddR

      Re: IPCC Credibility

      And the shameless Pachauri is an accountant I believe, who used to work for the Indian railways.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: IPCC Credibility

        Whereas his opposite number is a former kindergarten student who used to soil his own nappies

    2. Doug Elliot

      Re: IPCC Credibility

      If Climate Change is irreversible, why are we spending so much money trying to stop it?

      1. Wade Burchette

        Re: IPCC Credibility

        "If Climate Change is irreversible, why are we spending so much money trying to stop it?"

        Climate change is always irreversible and always has been irreversible because the climate has never been static and never will be static. Even if all humans were to disappear tomorrow, the climate would still change.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: IPCC Credibility

          "Climate change is always irreversible and always has been irreversible because the climate has never been static and never will be static. Even if all humans were to disappear tomorrow, the climate would still change."

          But at a rate at least several orders of magnitude slower than that already caused by AGW.

          The effects of AGW can be mitigated and slowed by taking action now. All the models show that minimising climate change now is far cheaper than the changes required to live with it if no action is taken...

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: IPCC Credibility

        "If Climate Change is irreversible, why are we spending so much money trying to stop it?"

        There's a difference between "car crash at 30mph and car crash at 60mph" - generally if you see one coming you should apply the brakes to reduce the intensity.

    3. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: IPCC Credibility

      Every time I see news of another IPCC report I am shocked that they are still going and that they are given any news space. Regardless of what is and isnt happening I find the IPCC to be a strong case for not believing in the doom predictions.

    4. Ilmarinen

      Re: IPCC Credibility

      Basically, it's NOT a scientific organisation

      It's the *Inter-Governmental* Panel on Climate Change, i.e. a political organisation.

      Some "science" does go on but, e.g. when they finalize the Summary for Policymakers, it is done by closed door negotiations with the press excluded (but Green NGOs included).

      I think it's most unlikely that they would ever find that there isn't a scary problem as their salaries and prestige depend on confirming that there is one.

      Donna Laframboise wrote an informative book on it which makes an interesting read - Recommended.

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: IPCC Credibility

      > Basically, as a scientific organisation, they should be comfortable saying that "this is the evidence for A"

      They started out that way - the problem is the "nay" camp are vicious and IPCC people end up being the targets of highly personal public attacks on their credibility. This tends to back people into a corner and make them come out fighting.

      Naysayers have a nasty habit of picking on several small periods in a trend which are slightly negative and when others point out that the values across much longer periods are vastly positive and that each "negative trend" has higher starting and finishing points than the last one, they again resort to personal attacks.

      The diagram at http://www.skepticalscience.com/examining-the-latest-climate-denialist-plea-for-inaction.html illustrates this last point well.

      The issues with human-accelerated global warming are these:

      1: If it's true and we do nothing, things get worse (as in "extremely expensive" as well as other connotations)

      2: If it's not true and we do nothing, things stay the same

      3: if it's true and we do "something" - it's expensive but things either stay the same or don't get as bad (expensive) as they could do.

      4: If it's not true and we do "something" - it's expensive but things stay the same.

      Call it an insurance policy. Certain Arizona Sherriffs may decry such things but when bad shit happened he didn't have it to fall back on - and unlike him, if we do nothing and bad shit happens there won't be any other planets we can beg help from.

      The same attitudes can be seen by those who refuse to insure their cars (or do it and whine about being forced to have insurance) - it's there for a reason and if you want to play the odds society doesn't have to bail you out. In the case of Global Warming denialists, most of the denialists either take the attitude of "if it happens I'm OK anyway" or digging a little deeper finds that they stand to make massive profits from what might happen if GW is true. (This is the same kind of thing as a pump-and-dump scam)

  4. Guus Leeuw

    Quoting ad infinium

    Dear El Reg,

    you quote: "There are multiple mitigation pathways that are likely to limit warming to below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels. These pathways would require substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades and near zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived GHGs by the end of the century."

    The linked report states this:

    "There are multiple mitigation pathways that are likely to limit warming to below 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels. Limiting warming to 2.5 °C or 3 °C involves similar challenges, but less quickly. These pathways would require substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades, and near zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived GHGs by the end of the century."

    The sentence that was removed actually is the reference for the words "These pathways"... Even though they are similar, the removed sentence makes the whole quoted report less juicy (because IPCC foresees that less warming might start later)...

    Now, in the whole I don't think the report or the setup of the IPCC is perfect, as there are a lot of areas that would require clarification for the report to be of proper scientific use or origin, however the quote put forward by El Reg seems a bit unfair as well...

    Regards,

    Guus

  5. David Roberts Silver badge
    Coat

    TL;DR

    Bottom line - we need to invade China and shut it down.

    1. Tapeador

      Re: TL;DR

      Yes that's about correct. Don't forget we also have to also shut down any other country which seeks to lift itself from the mud, from chemical-free subsistence farming into anything like an existence enjoyed by developed nations, with those trifling things like industry, automation, exports, surpluses, growth, transport, infrastructure, goods, markets, etc.

      1. zen1

        @ Tapedor Re: TL;DR

        I remember reading about how they almost had malaria contained in parts of Africa until some jackass from the US through a fit because they were using DDT, As a result, the US stopped funding certain projects and cut off aid until they stopped using it. I call bullshit on my countrymen. Malaria is a major killer in Africa and imo it's worth the short term risk to get the mosquito's under control.

        Basically the same kind of mentality you're describing.

        1. Tapeador

          Re: @ Tapedor TL;DR

          Yeah I think your argument is that DDT harms the environment and that some idiot decided we should rather harm people instead. Were that true about DDT, then I think it would be a perfect analogy. I think DDT though does cause people such harm (birth defects, isn't it?) that it's trading off one human harm against another and I suspect the funders probably thought this would be the least human-harming-option (they have sophisticated ethicists making policy in the US too ;-))

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: @ Tapedor TL;DR

            DDT is relatively harmless in low amounts as originally applied in farming and as still used in mosquito control. At correctly used levels it breaks down fairly quickly.

            The problems with it occured when insects developed resistance to the stuff and instead of switching to something else farmers just kept increasing the amount they were spraying. It got to the point where it was being applied faster than it was breaking down.

            Ironically, DDT resistance amongst farm pests is back down to the levels it was before the stuff started being used.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: TL;DR

        "Don't forget we also have to also shut down any other country which seeks to lift itself from the mud,"

        The single biggest GW threat is caused by out-of-control population growth and paradoxically the best way to counter this is to help those countries do exactly that, because richer people have fewer children.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TL;DR

      LOL.

      More seriously, China recently signed a Siberian natural gas deal with Russia. Inherently it should displace Mongolian coal, present or future growth. Based on the stated dollar value of the 30-year contract, my back of envelope estimate puts the CO2 reduction of this one deal about about 1% of global emissions.

      I think that China is doing her part, including mass production of cheap green energy systems (e.g. solar panels for export) in vast factories presently powered by filthy coal. Cue sound of exploding heads amongst the environMentals.

      Now if they'd just replace the lunatic in charge of their ridiculous claims around the edges of the South China Sea. Geesh, another few miles it would include downtown Manila...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: TL;DR

        "Geesh, another few miles it would include downtown Manila..."

        Don't give 'em ideas....

      2. Tapeador

        Re: TL;DR

        china is indeed doing a good thing by making those solar panels, but it seems to have much of the mainland lit up 24/7 like a jackolantern, it's incredible, lights everywhere, on bridges, buildings, streets, honestly it makes times square look like cabin in the woods.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdAxMjJY2jA

  6. Chris Miller

    Must ... stop ... emitting ... CO2 ... by ... 2100

    I'll put a note in my 'To Do' list for 2080.

    More seriously, though, does anyone expect the bulk of our energy still to be produced from fossil fuels in 2100? (Particularly given the generous economic growth projections built in to the IPCC models.) Isn't this a bit like the forecasts from 1900 that predicted London's streets would be knee-deep in horse-shit by 1930?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Must ... stop ... emitting ... CO2 ... by ... 2100

      "I'll put a note in my 'To Do' list for 2080."

      That's the part that worries me. This is being interpreted as "business as usual plus more business" until the cutoff date. Phaseouts won't happen.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate to sound like a broken record...

    ...but NNNUUUUCCCCLLLLEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAARRR!

    Shout it from the fucking rooftops. It's safe- because it's so tightly regulated- and greenhouse-gas free. It'll let us create carbon neutral petrol and diesel analogues so we don't need to replace the world's billion-odd vehicles.

    It's also got a pretty low physical footprint and swapping to it would mean money flows into friendly countries like Canada and Oz rather than to the Saudis and Russians.

    Yes, there are risks. But more people die building wind turbines than nuke plants- and so far to cause a nuclear accident of any significance has taken a tsunami that wiped a town off the map or the threat of a good Gulag-ing to the operators if they didnt change how it was being run.

    BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS.

    1. ToddR

      Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

      It's also bloody expensive and dog slow if you go the PWR Areva route, (1970s technology). If Sizewell is built in 10 years from now, then I'll eat my hat. Now Thorium Flouride, that appears a sensible plan

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

        There is no need to build any new nuclear power stations in Britain.

        We can simply buy reliable French nuclear power while in turn selling them decent hard cheese and proper beer.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

          "There is no need to build any new nuclear power stations in Britain."

          How do you propose to shove 35GW of demand down a 2GW interconnector?

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

        "It's also bloody expensive and dog slow if you go the PWR Areva route"

        Any form of BWR/PWR reactor is inherently unsafe. High pressure hot water has a reputation as the universal solvent for damned good reasons and is therefore not the kind of thing you want circulating in a nuclear pile.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Go

      Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

      I worked at a Nuclear Power Station during its construction phase back in the 80's. Last I checked it was in the top 5 producing stations in the US. Controls were very stringent everywhere, It's really too bad there was a nuclear moratorium for so long in the states. That really hampered progress of nuclear technologies.

      I hope the prevailing thinking will be to examine nuclear as part of the solution.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

        @chivo243

        There was not a moratorium on building nuclear in the states. Any nuclear company could have built one so long as it could raise the funds to pay for itself and get insurance. None of the companies thought it made economic sense to do so until the government came along and started to promise to subsidise them.

        Same over here - the subsidies for our next nuclear power station are eye watering for something that claims to be cheap and efficient.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

          Whereas all new oil and gas production has to fund the costs of removing all that CO2 from the atmosphere ?

          1. Darryl

            Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

            I also liked the part about how much concrete is used building a nuke power station. Wonder how it compares to building something like the Hoover Dam....

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

          "Any nuclear company could have built one so long as it could raise the funds to pay for itself and get insurance."

          That wasn't the problem. Insurance companies were happy to provide cover - statistically they're very safe.

          The issue was the endless litigation brought to court by zealots to prevent them being built - fighting them off is expensive and if the opponents plan things so they act serially they can't be enjoined in one class and then defeated once and for all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

      De-commission costs of Nuclear are astronomical and usually not included when costed against alternatives. We can't go on forever passing problems and sh#t on to future generations.

      We'd be better off capping human reproduction for the foreseeable future.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

        Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

        "...better off capping human reproduction..."

        You missed the memo. Already addressed in most regions. Peak in 2050, most recent forecast is down to 9.6 billion (Nat Geo, latest edition). Most likely will never achieve 10B. Even this 9.6B assumes extreme growth in Africa, everywhere else is already or will shortly flatline. I have my doubts about Africa; too much work to do and not enough time. I suspect there will be an ever increasing amount of headline worthy News from Africa over the coming decades. So the predictions there are probably too high.

        See also Hans Rosling on TED. Mandatory viewing if you're interested in this topic.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

        "De-commission costs of Nuclear are astronomical and usually not included when costed against alternatives. "

        Unlike USA plants, UK plants have to pay into a shutdown fund as they go.

        The biggest problem isn't the end of life plant - it's the 98% wastage of fuel and incredibly energy-intensive enrichment of uranium to make it usable.

        Uranium plants are effectively Newcomen Engines from a technology point of view.

    4. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

      Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

      Nukes "greenhouse-gas free"

      Not quite. Concrete production emits a vast amount of CO2, and nukes have a lot of concrete. It's trivial in the long run, but I'm just getting started. Mining uranium is done with big equipment powered by diesel. The whole supply chain emits CO2. The plants will have vehicles wandering around, powered by petrol. There will be generators that will need testing every month. So not 100% carbon free. Maybe 95%? Kidding, your point is still valid.

      On the other hand, when things go wrong, it does directly reduce CO2 emissions by forcing evacuation of vast areas, reducing farming and allowing two-head deer to wander freely. Ukraine and Japan both have seen this impact. The solution here is to get the old, less safe, plants replaced ASAP.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

        Quote

        "Nukes "greenhouse-gas free"

        Not quite. Concrete production emits a vast amount of CO2, and nukes have a lot of concrete. It's trivial in the long run, but I'm just getting started. Mining uranium is done with big equipment powered by diesel. The whole supply chain emits CO2. The plants will have vehicles wandering around, powered by petrol. There will be generators that will need testing every month. So not 100% carbon free. Maybe 95%? Kidding, your point is still valid."

        Whereas solar panels and wind turbines spring into existence with a wave of the magic fairy wand?

        Without the ability to deliver power 24/7

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Subsidies for nuclear power?

          Which is better, subsidies for nuclear power or subsidies for oil, in the form of $1 trillion escapades into Iraq? I hope no one who reads the Reg is dumb enough to believe that US involvement there was out of concern for the poor beleaguered people suffering under Saddam's boot heel. Many Iraqis - even those in groups persecuted by Saddam - would now say they'd wish he had never been pushed out, he may have killed/tortured some but he was a cuddly kitten compared to what ISIS is up to.

          I get very annoyed when people complain about subsidies for nuclear power (or solar/wind) and ignore the fact that the real subsidies on oil production in terms of military budget are larger than our subsidies would be if we subsidized 100% the construction of nuclear plants and putting solar panels on everyone's rooftop. We could have let the defense contractors manufacture them in the US to keep all the workers who would otherwise lose their jobs if we didn't have a military budget larger than the next dozen combined...

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: Subsidies for nuclear power?

            Let's not forget that one thing that raises the cost of every US nuclear installation is that construction is often delayed by protests and a combination of government incompetence and outright interference. As a native Mainer, I well remember the debacle that was the construction of Seabrook Station. Note there has only been one other nuclear power plant commissioned since and while there are a few currently under construction I think the present low cost of natural gas will sideline some of these.

        2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: I hate to sound like a broken record...

          BtC missed the "kidding...".

          "Whereas solar panels and wind turbines spring into existence with a wave of the magic fairy wand?"

          I written many times that solar panels and wind turbines are produced in factories powered by dirty brown coal.

          "Without the ability to deliver power 24/7"

          Nukes actually have a relatively poor duty cycle. Somebody decides to build one, start the investment clock. Twelve or fifteen years later maybe it starts working. After slowing clawing back up to 50% On time over 12-15 years, it gets turned off for six months of refueling, extended to three years due to cracked welds. By the time it's 30 years since the start of investment, it's still at 50%. Dishonest intellectually to consider them 100% duty cycle. They're just not.

          Only by building them in flocks, like six or eight at a time, can they actually be considered to be acceptably reliable.

          PS: All in favour of nukes. Should be smaller, standardized, mass produced, and situated somewhere where nobody is bothered. I'd be happy to store used fuel in my basement if suitably shielded, and emitting 8kw of free heat.

  8. lampbus

    And Fusion of course...

    Its crazy that politicians are scrimping on the ITER project which will cost the world only about as much as a couple of olympic games...

    (Or a crossrail phase 1. Then there will be a phase 2 and three at another 15 billion each)

    (Were the London Olympics worth it? 14000 athletes at 9 billion pounds = c650,000 per athlete for a 2 week event !)

    It is odd we can throw away cash like that for a bit of immediate sport gratification but cannot see further than 10 years ahead for the big important stuff.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      "...throw away cash..."

      The funny thing about 'cash throwing', it always lands somewhere.

      It rarely goes 'away'.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "...throw away cash..."

        That unfortunately is the problem with ITER.

        Imagine a consortium of all the Eu, Russia, USA, Japan, Korea, China trying to build something insanely complex, but instead of contributing money they all chip in the bits that they want to build - if there is any part that nobody wants to build it doesn't get built.

        And almost all the companies building the parts in those countries are defence linked so don't even trust themselves never mind the other partners.

        Then you site it in France so French govt bureaucracy gets to do the permits for everything.

  9. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    Aren't these tunnel vision Carbon-phobes dead already!

    The major population developing areas can't go lower carbon dioxide production and won't while they are upgrading so fast, so efforts by the developed countries maybe futile anyway, and of those, it seem the US is the most wasteful for numerous resources, which all cost energy.

    We need resource use driven by engineers and scientists with long term interests in mind, a proper free market may provide this, not fads of politicians, bought scientists and other Ponzi economics actors, like wasteful and distracting AGW nonsense and its ridiculous model predictions like this.

    We need dense enough affordable energy sources which provide enough power on demand, not inadequate drips of power when the wind happens to be blowing and the sun light happens to be bright enough, so currently Hydrocarbon based fuels and nuclear fission.

    It would be much better to spend on improving power generation technology, including safer and longer lasting fission reactors and fuel, developing Thorium fission and Fusion reactors, and developing distributed bulk power storage appliances so that we can smooth out power generation demand and improve generator efficiency; distributed bulk power storage could make wind and Solar power more useful too.

    The real problem is energy and resource availability at affordable cost; as time goes on, drilling and mining gets harder and costs more energy to do, because we already got the easier stuff e.g. some oil reserves may cost so much energy to get to and collect that it may only become worth it as chemical feedstock, not as fuel! California, a major farming state of the US, already has worsening water rationing in several areas because they have pumped water too rapidly out of underground aquifers; this is already having serious effects on farming there, and may have been addressed if brain dead eco-twits had not blocked a nuclear powered desalination plant there, decades ago!

    All manufacturing should look at the full lifecycle costs of a product, including farming, mining, manufacturing, pollution/waste costs, active energy use, and disposal e.g. for paper, it is probably more economical to plant more trees and use the waste as fuel, land fill or for fermentation, than recycling as paper, cardboard or building materials.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aren't these tunnel vision Carbon-phobes dead already!

      Here's an idea.

      Capture the CO2 from the coal power stations and feed it to the algae in the pond next to the power station (there is always a pond nearby). Then, feed this delightful tasty green stuff to the green eating cows. Then the cows grow fat and we can eat them, and while doing so will fart methane and ... oh wait a second, damn.

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Aren't these tunnel vision Carbon-phobes dead already!

      Inf "developing Thorium fission"

      India's job. Seriously. They have the brain power, the resources, the motivation (thorium). So relax, they're on it. All we need to do is support them, and maybe provide some expertise where needed. They'll take care of it.

  10. Rik Myslewski

    It's time to grow a pair

    Hilarious. In true Reg style, an otherwise rather straightforward article about the UN's detailed, highly specific, exhaustively researched conclusion that AGW is real and needs attention wraps up with a bit of crapola about a previous IPCC report being "pooh-poohed by the two most scientifically qualified politicos" on a UK Parliamentary select committee. And who were those two? A physicist/economist and a chemist — no expertise in anything even marginally relating to climate science.

    Unfortunately, much of The Register's climate reporting is a joke. The IPCC review process is based on over 12,000 scientific references, with a total of over 240 lead authors, 66 review editors from 70 countries, well over 400 contributing authors from over 50 countries, somewhere around 1,700 expert reviewers from 80-plus countries, with the final Summaries for Policymakers approved and accepted by representatives from 195 governments — and El Reg attempts to balance that expertise with statements from two practitioners of wholly unrelated disciplines.

    Hey, deniers — skeptics, doubters, whatever you want to call yourselves — it's time to grow a pair and admit the reality of what the vast, vast, vast — did I mention vast? — majority of the climate-science community is trying to tell you: climate change is real, global warming is the cause, anthropogenic greenhouse-gas production is the primary agent, and that steps need to be taken to adapt to its effects and mitigate its causes. Yes, it's a hell of a big problem, but one that can be overcome with guts, smarts, determination — and, yes, balls.

    If you think otherwise, you are quite simply and demonstrably wrong. And sadly, you're a dupe, manipulated by those with billions to lose in the switch to cleaner energy sources and equal amounts of cash to convince you otherwise by playing on your fears of the costs and paralyzing you with manufactured doubt.

    That worked out quite well for Hamlet, didn't it?

    Don't be dupes. Don't be ditherers. Don't be suckers. We've got work to do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's time to grow a pair

      "Unfortunately, much of The Register's climate reporting is a joke. The IPCC review process is based on over 12,000 scientific references, with a total of over 240 lead authors, 66 review editors from 70 countries, well over 400 contributing authors from over 50 countries, somewhere around 1,700 expert reviewers from 80-plus countries, with the final Summaries for Policymakers approved and accepted by representatives from 195 governments — and El Reg attempts to balance that expertise with statements from two practitioners of wholly unrelated disciplines."

      ... and the culinary delicacy of shit affirmed by its popularity with 500 billion flies.

      There is an exact definition of this fallacy, go look it up.

      Corrupt politics masquerading as the messenger of what is largely bogus science for its own benefit is not a reliable information source.

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: It's time to grow a pair

      The issue is not the skeptics.

      Science is self-correcting, this implies that some of the peer reviewed, journal published, widely accepted consensus science is actually wrong, and we don't know which bit. The skeptics are playing a key role. It's unscientific to tell them to STFU. You may find religion more to your liking.

      The real issue is that the environMentals haven't even got a priority list, let alone a plan.

      If the environMentals want see the real impediment, they should use a mirror.

      1. Rik Myslewski

        Re: It's time to grow a pair

        @ "The issue is not the skeptics."

        Being skeptical doesn't mean being correct — and your assertion that "Science is self-correcting, this implies that some of the peer reviewed, journal published, widely accepted consensus science is actually wrong" is, well, not to put too fine point on it, rather ludicrous.

        Of course science advances through re-evaluation — but if you want to help it do so, posit a bit of evidence that contradicts the world scientific community's widely accepted understanding of AGW as a danger to the climatological norm, and don't merely shy away from conclusions that make you uncomfortable.

        There's no "STFU" involved here, sir or madam, just a request for contradictory evidence.

        And WTF do you mean that "environMentals haven't even got a priority list, let alone a plan"? Jesus H. Christ, sir, have you done any research, reading, or investigation of alternative planning? Apparently not.

        Oh, and "environMentals"? Ah, such a wonderfully well-reasoned and balanced attempt at communication between dissenting groups. Insults are weak arguments.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's time to grow a pair

          i suppose you believe the 97% consensus quote is true...(do some fucking research it's not even fucking close).

          just because you walk around with your fingers in your ears, don't expect the rest of us to do the same..

          Just because your too fucking lazy to look at how stats has been misused to bias the results, does not mean they are correct. (Mann even managed to include upside down data, never mind the abuse of stats he did....)

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: It's time to grow a pair

          @ Rik Myslewski

          "Hey, deniers — skeptics, doubters, whatever you want to call yourselves"

          Last I checked these were labels used against anyone (absolutely anyone) who is not an extremist believer. On the vast scale of extremist believer all the way to extremist non-believer the vast majority of that scale is often branded with those words because the politically motivated priests of the new religion dont want to discuss or be questioned. And it has been very clear to see why. Funnily enough that does strongly point to that small extremist group to being the deniers (of science that is).

          "climate change is real, global warming is the cause"

          Cooking is real and oven warming is the cause!!!! I doubt you will find anyone particularly going to argue apart from pointing out that climate change is relative difference from its current state which is currently warming.

          "Yes, it's a hell of a big problem, but one that can be overcome with guts, smarts, determination — and, yes, balls."

          Did the religion suddenly move onto sacrifices (sacrifice your own nuts!)? It has promoted the monuments to the sky and ramping up energy costs to help people be greener (freeze to death) wasnt far from sacrificing to the gods of (which one is it?).

          "If you think otherwise, you are quite simply and demonstrably wrong."

          I did like this line. It truly takes a religion to claim superiority that all infidels (you calling us that yet?) are demonstrably wrong after a fair amount of your predictive religious texts have been demonstrated to be wrong. And as with religion the goal posts are always only just in sight. I would have a little more faith in your 'science' if when a prediction fell on its face the people would own up to it and accept their theory was wrong (feel free to go back to the drawing board etc, as in science) instead of saying 'yes our prediction was wrong, but we are absolutely right and it didnt work because the goblins are hiding somewhere' (*may not have said goblins. Possibly minions of Beelzebub).

          "Don't be dupes. Don't be ditherers. Don't be suckers. We've got work to do."

          Take your own advice please for the sake of the people around you. If you dont follow what I mean just picture the nutters (assuming you have seen them, they are nuts) who stand on the street with home made signs or a loud speaker and sometimes their groupies who shout about our end and come to the saviour etc. And like the others who walk up the hill waiting for the UFO or the lord or whatever I will be with most of the people. At the bottom of the hill in my nice warm home watching you walk back down in the morning.

          "Being skeptical doesn't mean being correct"

          This statement was gonna come back to bite. Being certain doesnt mean being correct. Being sceptical is to be inquisitive and can still be wrong but is in fact the driver of all understanding as a part of inquisitive nature (science).

          "Science is self-correcting, this implies that some of the peer reviewed, journal published, widely accepted consensus science is actually wrong"

          Brought to you from the group who already have a conclusion before having the results and people who dont try to prove the assumption dont fit in with such a group. Still doesnt make their huge and amusing mistakes (dumb predictions based on almost nothing) correct even if they have their consensus. As an example I ask you to walk into any faith building and see what the consensus is and of course they will exclude the daft opinions of those who would be sceptic which is everyone else not of that exclusive version of belief.

          "There's no "STFU" involved here, sir or madam, just a request for contradictory evidence."

          And so god is real because YOU have no contradictory evidence (BOOM). And because you cannot disprove the noodle'y godness you believe in the tiny teapot orbiting the sun, the flying spaghetti monster and the invisible pink unicorn. Well done you. My first requirement is to prove the opinion which is not done by ignoring reality in favour of models or selectively choosing the science that fits your belief and insulting the others. And of course being proven wrong scientifically over and over doesnt help their credibility either.

          MMCC, AGW or whatever acronym you now believe in may or may not be real. I dont know but I wont assume someone has the answer because they have written texts and a loud voice. And your comment about 'environMentals' being an insult I refer you to the start of this comment where he may be responding to your insult of sceptics and doubters when you have yet to provide reason to be assumed right

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: It's time to grow a pair

            " As an example I ask you to walk into any faith building and see what the consensus is and of course they will exclude the daft opinions of those who would be sceptic which is everyone else not of that exclusive version of belief."

            I challenge you assumption on this premise: would you get the same consensus from a church, a mosque, a temple, and just about any other place of worship imaginable? I'm just wondering because the breadth of consensus appears to span across national, political, and even economic lines, aligning people who aren't necessarily motivated by money (because they're already state-funded, for example) religion (mainly-secular groups) or politics (the various privately-funded groups).

            Lemme put it like this. When have a Catholic, Muslim, Jew, Bhuddist, AND Atheist ever agreed on the same thing at the same time?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: It's time to grow a pair

              @ Charles 9

              "I'm just wondering because the breadth of consensus appears to span across national, political, and even economic lines, aligning people who aren't necessarily motivated by money (because they're already state-funded, for example) religion (mainly-secular groups) or politics (the various privately-funded groups)."

              Erm, wha? The breadth of consensus has notably been in the group that believes but not anyone else. There have been various complaints about how the 'science' is opaque and hostile to non-believers in these political groups. The IPCC made so many bull predictions that (is I remember it right) india and china decided to ignore them and actually do their own research to get facts.

              I question who you think isnt motivated by money on this as the political groups not only milk this subject but pretty much exist because they push this belief.

              "Lemme put it like this. When have a Catholic, Muslim, Jew, Bhuddist, AND Atheist ever agreed on the same thing at the same time?"

              And that is why I dont just believe a political group pushing a religion because they shout loudest. Instead I am more interested in the facts and the science. Why would I follow another religion when I dont believe in any of the established ones? (Btw you may not realise but Atheism is not believing in religion. It is not a belief but absence of. Like science).

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: It's time to grow a pair

                "Btw you may not realise but Atheism is not believing in religion. It is not a belief but absence of. Like science"

                I've said it before: a lack of belief is itself a belief: a belief in nothing. It's the stance that matters, much as a barrel is a barrel whether it is full or not. But the point stands. Unless you're willing to believe that most of the scientific world, regardless of boundaries, is in on a vast conspiracy, you'd have to consider ALL the scientists that research the climate and wonder how a very sizable chunk of them are coming to the same general conclusion, because logic dictates only two possible choices: either they're ALL in on it (and with a conspiracy, size goes against you) or they're all coming to the same conclusions independently, which bolster the cases of everyone else.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: It's time to grow a pair

                  @ Charles 9

                  "I've said it before: a lack of belief is itself a belief:"

                  Are you trying to sell the idea that not believing in something is a belief? That is amusing but wrong. Look up the term 'theology' which is entirely to do with religious belief. As I dont believe in any of the theologies that does not make me a believer. Instead it leaves me as someone who doesnt believe the current theories but doesnt discount me from believing something in future (in my case if something is proven). I also dont believe in the MMCC co2 doomsday religion but not believing their 'version' is not a belief. The absence of belief is not a belief.

                  "much as a barrel is a barrel whether it is full or not"

                  You assume a barrel exists. Just because you tell me a small teapot is floating around the sun but we cant see it doesnt mean I have have belief because I dont believe you. The stance of expecting proof before continuing means (in this case) prove the barrel and I will believe. Tell me there is a barrel and I can rightly be sceptical without strictly believing their is no barrel.

                  "Unless you're willing to believe that most of the scientific world, regardless of boundaries, is in on a vast conspiracy"

                  You seem to have high opinions of the inclusiveness of the MMCC co2 religion. Just because a group has a few sites/workers around the world doesnt mean everyone believes even if that is the preferred measurement for a religion (measured on popularity not fact). The political aspect (doom pushers) have proven over and over to have little relation to science and a consensus from a closed group (and still editing the result for the 'correct' result) again doesnt prove anything (back to asking a single religion for its consensus and their opinion of the validity of all the others).

                  This isnt XFactor. Claiming consensus on the small number of people who claim to be expert is irrelevant as is measuring their support from the public. And unfortunately that is the level of science often pushed in these debates over climate. Maybe things will turn out as the IPCC prophesy suggests but then they would have hit it on a guess (based on their past prophesies). But for every 1 who guessed right there are many wrong guesses. Or of course we could work using facts and proof.

                  1. Hargrove

                    Re: It's time to grow a pair--

                    @ codejunky

                    Look up the term 'theology' which is entirely to do with religious belief.

                    Mostly true if one accepts the OED (as what God-fearing English person does not.) Not entirely if one looks narrowly at the roots, in which case "the study of god" is more precise.

                    "Religion," as defined by the OED includes both belief and worship. (I've seen other definitions that include references to rituals.) Codejunky is right in asserting that atheism is not theology nor religion. There is no need to study or worship what doesn't exist. But, like it or not, atheism does take a theological position. And, like it or not, that position reflects a personal belief which--at least thus far--has eluded scientific proof.

                    I would submit that one may seriously reflect on and study the subject of theology without holding any religious belief--as millions of "devout" agnostics do. Millions of others have found the concept of a power greater than themselves to be empowering. Finally there are millions of people who believe in a God, for whom, as one of them succinctly put it (with apologies to the OED), "God and religion just don't mix."

                    Garrison Kiellor's annual joke show had another take on it.

                    An agnostic and a hard line atheist were arguing. The agnostic finding that the process was no different from arguing with any other fundamentalist believer, finally posed the following question.

                    He said, "You know how deer, horses, and cows all eat grass and leaves, right? Well, why is it--since they have the same diet--that the deer excretes little dry pellets, the horse big road apples, and the cow big, sloppy cow pies?"

                    The atheist replied, "How would I know?"

                    "I don't know either, but is seems strange that you can be so absolutely certain about something like God not existing, when you just admitted you don't know s--t."

                2. Bilby

                  Re: It's time to grow a pair

                  Lack of a belief is a belief in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

                3. Philip Lewis

                  Re: It's time to grow a pair

                  "either they're ALL in on it "

                  This is completely unnecessary.

                  It merely requires that sufficient number of climate scientists to have independent but similar interests and act according to those shared interests. The climate science community as whole, and the individuals within it specifically, have the same interest ... funding and continuing funding, and within their respective academic or other professional communities, recognition and for some, empire building. If the path to these interests is to promote AGW, then that is what will be promoted.

                  I would posit that these conditions exist, in a provable sense (follow the money and measure its growth over the past 15 years) and observe the ris in prominence of "climate" faculties and the fact that research grants pretty much require the climate card these days to have a shot at the h(m)oney pot.

                  You do not need a conspiracy. This is a false argument.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: It's time to grow a pair

                    But the presence of such a camp means you can get funding by CHALLENGING such a camp. And if it's EASIER to do that (which if the claim is mostly specious), then why aren't people claiming funding for research that proves his rival wrong?

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: It's time to grow a pair

                      @ Charles 9

                      "But the presence of such a camp means you can get funding by CHALLENGING such a camp. And if it's EASIER to do that (which if the claim is mostly specious), then why aren't people claiming funding for research that proves his rival wrong?"

                      Since when in history has that been the case especially with opposing a gravy train? Lets consider how any research that didnt support the predetermined theory has been pushed out or ignored while any slight sliver of anything (including the weather) is seized upon by a political agreement that it must be signs of doomsday. By the time scientists have analysed the bull claims and dis-proven them there are a tonne more claims. How many times does the IPCC have to be proven corrupt for example? Taking off the cuff remarks as if it is a scientific fact but even the scientist who said it disowned the comment.

                      Before a claim can be properly challenged a claim has to be proven/provable. However the goalposts of doomsday climate religion keep moving like any other religion. And when proven wrong they say 'but we are still right because we know it' and then go look for evidence to again prove the predetermined conclusion. Religions have done that throughout their histories too.

                      Your climate science is actually climate politics. Science cannot challenge the politics because the politics is not based on fact but popular opinion crossed with personal beliefs (and a plash of corruption of course).

                4. hplasm Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: It's time to grow a pair

                  "I've said it before: a lack of belief is itself a belief: a belief in nothing. "

                  You were wrong then- and guess what...

      2. zen1

        Re: It's time to grow a pair

        "The real issue is that the environMentals haven't even got a priority list, let alone a plan." Jeffy...

        It would also help if there was a bit of compromise from all parties, instead of just lopping off one source of energy for another.

    3. EddieD

      Re: It's time to grow a pair

      There can't be too many Rik Myslewskis in the world...welcome back...and well said...

  11. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Go

    I'll take a Tesla...

    In return I absolutely promise to stop driving my gasoline-powered car.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I'll take a Tesla...

      Price is a fairly good clue to total embodied resources.

      $96k is a lot of embodied resources.

      I don't mind expensive things, but it is hypocrisy to claim that the Tesla is "green".

  12. Martin Budden

    Who is this "Team Register" author?

    Lewis, is that you hiding behind that desk?

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Who is this "Team Register" author?

      I doubt it, lewis would probably have looked into it and then ripped it apart. I am hoping he will give a review soon because they are far more entertaining.

  13. John 209

    Homo sapien or Homo plumbeus?

    Arguing over the myriad symptoms and their amelioration, while ignoring the root source of the problem - i. e., ever-increasing numbers wanting ever-increasing standards, only prolongs the disease and insures its final domination. As long as we uncritically entertain the ideas of the thoroughly unqualified and highly biased Pachauri and his ilk, we will continue down the path we're on, and that path will not end well for anyone. Re Homo sapien: We've been messing with Ma Nature to a positive exponential extent since the dawn of the scientific/technological revolution. With recent advances, we've almost eliminated all the negative feedbacks of natural selection on our population numbers, but failed to find the equivalent wisdom to put something reasonable in their place. Population-wise, that's put us in a positive feedback loop with a predictable outcome that even an engineer like Pachauri should understand (a few months ago, the U.N. quietly revised its decade-long certain prediction of population growth leveling off by natural forces at 9 billion in 2050 to perhaps 12 or 13 billion in 2100 - uh huh). Buttressed from attack on all sides by dominant mythologies and ideologies (religious, political, social, economic, etc) that render still-born any rational debate on the problem, we are likely to see a repeat of the response to calls for population control in the '60s and '70s when "alarmists" were rendered mute by the genius of Borlaug and his Green Revolution. His breakthrough in ag bought a few decades respite from the worst result of growing population - i. e., starvation, to come to grips with the problem in a relatively sane environment, but that respite has been totally squandered with wishful thinking, inept attempts at voluntary control through education, and draconian limitations that trample rather than employ the best integration of pschological, economic, social and cultural knowledge. It's time to grow up fast or pay the heavy price.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Homo sapien or Homo plumbeus?

      No, it's simply survival instinct. It's true of just about any animal out there. Every single living creature will fight tooth and nail to stay on the planet as long as possible. Declarations of defeat are extremely rare and usually only come about beyond some Captain Obvious point.

      So how do you convince a species hardwired to survive and breed to stop doing either in the name of survival?

      1. Bilby

        Re: Homo sapien or Homo plumbeus?

        "So how do you convince a species hardwired to survive and breed to stop doing either in the name of survival?"

        You subvert the programming. We evolved such that we stop surviving after a hundred or so years, no matter what we try to do about it; so the surviving part isn't a problem as long as we don't develop immortality any time soon.

        And we evolved in an environment where breeding and screwing were sufficiently well linked to be essentially synonymous activities from an evolutionary viewpoint. We have evolved to have a powerful a sex drive, and a much less powerful parenthood drive.

        So all we need to do is come up with a technology that allows us to screw with gay abandon (or rather, with heterosexual abandon) without having lots of children as a result. That technology was developed in the 1960s, in the form of a pill - perhaps the most important invention in history, and so important it is simply called 'the' pill.

        Wherever the pill is available, and women are moderately well educated, to the point of being able to make rational choices rather than be browbeaten by the agents of superstitions exported from the bronze age, fertility rates are below replacement levels. This situation is so widespread that, even with demographic lag, we can expect population to stabilise in the next few decades at around the 10billion mark - well within the carrying capacity of the planet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Homo sapien or Homo plumbeus?

          Your point is valid, but contraception was widely available long before "the pill". And the pill is far from the panacea that it is portrayed to be. I certainly wouldn't call it the most important invention in history. Even taking it for a relatively short time can cause some women to have long-term health issues. But that discussion doesn't belong here.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Homo sapien or Homo plumbeus?

          "So all we need to do is come up with a technology that allows us to screw with gay abandon (or rather, with heterosexual abandon) without having lots of children as a result. That technology was developed in the 1960s, in the form of a pill - perhaps the most important invention in history, and so important it is simply called 'the' pill."

          That's assuming (1) women are willing to take the pill, which may not be culturally acceptable and (2) evolution doesn't find a way to subvert the subversion. Some women have become pregnant even with the pill.

          "Wherever the pill is available, and women are moderately well educated, to the point of being able to make rational choices rather than be browbeaten by the agents of superstitions exported from the bronze age, fertility rates are below replacement levels. This situation is so widespread that, even with demographic lag, we can expect population to stabilise in the next few decades at around the 10billion mark - well within the carrying capacity of the planet."

          I wonder if that's less to do with the pill and more to do with women's lib which makes women voluntarily forgo sex for careers and such. Is there a way to separate the two? Furthermore, where's the evidence that 10 billion humans is still a sustainable population, especially as people seek higher technological levels which increase the per-human total costs of living?

  14. SeanEllis
    Flame

    UK missing a trick here

    Instead of giving subsidies for fracking, and paying the Chinese to build our nuclear plants, we should be funding home-grown next-gen nuclear (e.g. molten salt), so that we have the expertise and the design skills to sell to the rest of the world. But hey, this is the government that thinks PFI is a good deal for hospitals, so what did I expect.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The climate has been changing for 4 and a half billion years. Does anybody really think we should try to stop it from doing so, even if we could? What would be the long term effects of a completely static climate for decades? How would that effect the evolution of all the species on the planet.

    Suppose for a moment that the climate was 100% driven by CO2 (it isn't) and that we could control the level of CO2 in a closed-loop PID fashion to regulate the temperature and create the climate we want on the planet. The question then has to be asked, what kind of climate do we want? What is the ideal temperature we want the earth to be? Some species will thrive in the cold, others in the warm. Everybody will have a different answer. Who gets to choose?

    Of course we need to tackle pollution and look after the environment. But more importantly we need to learn to adapt to the changing climate and stop thinking that we should be able to control it, even if we could.

    1. Harry Kay

      The climate may have been changing for 4.5 billion years, but for most of that time we would have found it pretty inhospitable. For those that think a warming of a couple of degrees Celsius would be nice (less unpleasant winters, warm summers etc), remember that during the ice age the world's temperature was only 6 or 7 degrees less than it is today, and ice sheets came down to the Thames.

      Our civilisation has evolved in the stable climates of the last few thousand years (even the Little Ice Age and Medieval warm period were less than a degree away from conditions now).

      This is what we are now conditioned to.

      As for politicians taking the lead - bad effects won't be on their watch, will they, and they will always go for short term gain even at the cost of long term agony. Vision? What long-term vision?

  16. doctariAFC2

    Another pile of tripe from the UN and their misguided BS. Anyone who believes in these flat out lies has absolutely no living brain matter in the skulls.

  17. earl grey Silver badge
    Facepalm

    economically viable options

    Still waiting to see what that entails...

    24 hr reliable power generation at locations suitable for proper distribution to populations that don't bankrupt everyone....

    nobody wants nuclear in their back yard (well, a few may not mind, but not the general populace).

    Wind... off and on...not exactly reliable.

    Solar panels (the cheapo ones made in China that are good for a month before they fail); not exactly your 24hr source of reliable power.

    Batteries to store power - enormously dirty to produce and and recycle.

    Let's keep going with this... people are NOT going to stop reproducing and if weather changes cause all of Africa to migrate to europe, things will get real ugly (well, uglier than they are now).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: economically viable options

      "people are NOT going to stop reproducing"

      Well, true, but they WILL stop producing as often. This is an absolute empirical fact, and the demographers of the world have been continually downgrading the peak population value because as the standard of living increases, so falls the need and desire to breed. These facts are not in dispute.

  18. Rick Giles
    Joke

    If the Sierra Club

    had been around in the beginning, they would have kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden before God did...

  19. Asok Asus

    It rained here quite heavily a couple of nights ago, and then there was a light frost on the ground this morning. I'm pretty sure both were caused by climate change. Who should I report this to?

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019