Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Friday, 9 November 2018

When will the Federal Government realise there is a Climate Emergency?



The need for urgent and effective action on climate change is becoming a major issue in Australia .  More people are starting to realise that we are facing a climate emergency and that we are being caught short largely because of the incompetence of our Federal Government which continues to be captive to climate denialists and the coal lobby.

The message from the October 20 Wentworth byelection does not appear to have resonated with Prime Minister Morrison and others in his Government.  Morrison is equating the devastating swing against the Government with the electorate’s concern about the dumping of their popular member, Prime Minister Turnbull.  While that was certainly a factor, there were other concerns about the Government’s poor performance with a major one being its lack of effective climate action.

Despite all that Wentworth voters said about climate change (as well as the way they voted), there are Government members who claim Wentworth cannot be seen as comparable with other electorates. Wentworth is different! According to them, climate change is not a major issue elsewhere.  It will be interesting to see if this wishful thinking lasts until next year’s federal election campaign.

While Wentworth indicated the growing public concern about climate change, other recent developments in relation to climate have further shown how out of touch the Government is. 

Morrison started his Prime Ministership with the determination to assist drought-affected farmers.  But he brushed aside any linking of this latest severe drought with climate change.  However, the National Farmers Federation and an increasing number of farmers acknowledge the link and understand that simply throwing drought relief money at the problem is only a short-term solution.  Calls for discussion about land use in parts of the country are growing.   These include consideration of the viability of some forms of farming and whether farming will be sustainable in some areas as climate change impacts worsen. 

The latest data on Australia’s climate emissions for the twelve months to March 31 was released late on the Friday afternoon of the Grand Final weekend (September 28). The Government had been sitting on this data for months and quite obviously did not want it noticed – for good reason.  The report showed that emissions have continued rising as they have every quarter since the end of the carbon price in 2014. Emissions continue to increase simply because the Government does not have an effective policy to curb them.

Despite this bad result, the Prime Minister and Melissa Price, the Minister for the Environment, managed to put a positive spin on the figures.  Price claimed Australia would beat its 2020 target – an impossible achievement.   And Morrison, ignoring reality completely, claimed Australia was on track to achieve its 2030 Paris targets and would do so “in a canter”.  This is despite the analysis of experts who say we will fall drastically short unless there is an urgent change in government policy.

The recent dire announcement by the IPCC has shown just how urgent the climate issue is.  According to an analysis of the IPCC report published by the Climate Council “limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid and far-reaching transitions during the coming one to two decades – in energy, land, urban and industrial systems”.  (The aim at Paris was to keep global temperature rise well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to attempt to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. A rise of 2°C would produce catastrophic effects.)

At war within itself, our Government just does not have either the interest in the issue or the will do what is essential - to act effectively across the board to reduce our emissions drastically. This is in spite of the Wentworth result and all the polls indicating that a growing number of people are concerned and want effective action. 
As well as concerned individuals, scientists, environmentalists and farmers, it is significant that many in the business community, who know they need to take measures to protect their businesses in a carbon-constrained world, also want effective action from the government.

Just what are the chances of the current Government coming to its senses and acting in the national interest?   At the moment that seems unlikely.  We may have to wait for a change in government - unless a grass roots campaign across the nation persuades Morrison that he has no chance of political survival unless he changes tack.

Hildegard

Northern Rivers
29th October 2018

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GuestSpeak is a feature of North Coast Voices allowing Northern Rivers residents to make satirical or serious comment on issues that concern them. Posts of 250-300 words or less can be submitted to ncvguestspeak AT gmail.com.au for consideration. Longer posts will be considered on topical subjects.


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Science never was the exclusive property of Western civilisations


News Corps goes to battle in the seemingly neverending culture wars, 2  November 2018

The Guardian, 2 November 2018:

I have recently been involved in working on a project that aims to provide teachers with some insights and elaborations on how to teach the mandated science outcomes in the Australian National Curriculum by using historic and contemporary examples from Indigenous people and communities.

The work combined various Indigenous and non-Indigenous scientists, science educators, curriculum experts, teachers, academics and editors. It looked at examples of traditional land management practices, understandings of chemical reactions and processes, astronomy, medicines and any number of fascinating topics of how Indigenous peoples have worked scientifically for millennia in Australia, and still do. It was a great project to be a part of.

I was quietly hoping this important project would fly under the radar of the ongoing culture wars that exist within Australia, but it seems that was wishful thinking.
It began with a piece on the Daily Telegraph website titled “Fire starting and spear throwing make national science curriculum”. Not quite unfortunately, it would be great if they were though.

I can see how it makes for a better headline though. “Fire starting and spear thrower are two examples of 95 different optional elaborations that teachers can use to help them meet the mandatory outcomes of the National Science Curriculum if they want to” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

"I can’t fathom the hubris required to think that after 60,000 years or so of being in Australia, Indigenous people wouldn’t have picked up a thing or two that the rest of the world could learn from."

If you want to understand the science of how a lever works, about stored energy and kinetic energy, or about mass, acceleration, inertia, and lots of other cool stuff that is mandatory in the curriculum, then a spear thrower is a great way to teach it.

And did you know that before the match was invented in 1826, most people around the world had to light fires the old fashion way? And by “old fashioned way”, I either mean by a fire saw, fire drill, fire plough, or by using flint. All of these examples can be found traditionally in Australia and you can use these methods to teach about combustion, friction, heat energy, kinetic energy, density, and any other number of cool sciencey things.

The article goes on with the standard emotive phrases we see in the culture wars: “racial politics”, “dumbing down”, “slammed by critics” – literally all just in the first sentence.

The front page of the Daily Telegraph carried the story on its front page on Friday with the headline “School Kooriculum: outrage over Indigenous school scheme”. Sure, “Kooriculum” is awesome and I am definitely stealing that in future, but there is no “scheme” and very little outrage.

There is Kevin Donnelly decrying this work as “political correctness” and claiming it is “dumbing down the school curriculum” even though, again, these resources are entirely optional, and have been created in response to requests from teachers.

Donnelly argues that “western scientific thought, based as it is on rationality, reason and empiricism, is not culturally determined”. He quotes Professor Igor Bray as saying that “science knows nothing about the nationality or ethnicity of its participants, and this is its great unifying strength”.

He talks about how Western science is “preeminent” in its value to the world, and can be traced back “through the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment to the early Roman and Greek scientists, mathematicians and philosophers”. So it seems that while science knows nothing of nationality or ethnicity, Kevin Donnelly does know that it traces back to the Greeks and Romans, and clearly thinks that what he calls “western science” is superior to all others.

Thousands of years before western science was even dreamed of, Indigenous Australians were developing a detailed and intricate understanding of, and relationship with, the world around them.

It allowed people to intimately understand the relationships of the moon and the tides, measure the equinoxes and solstices, develop a deep wealth of knowledge of plants, animals, seasons, the stars and countless other amazing feats of intellect and ingenuity that have long been denied in the ongoing narrative western civilisation has created about Indigenous peoples.

The ways in which this knowledge was interwoven with a holistic view of the world and the place of humans within it, the ways in which it was encoded and handed down through the ages is fascinating as well. Instead, Indigenous people have long been framed as primitive, backwards, deviant, having nothing of value to offer apart from free land and free labour, in constant need of saving, and deserving of countless punitive measures.

Western science can indeed trace much of its origins back to Greek and Roman societies and in exploring its rich history over the centuries, it’s not a bad idea to look at all the unscientific beliefs that were once science fact.

Read the full article by Luke Pearson here.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Quotes of the Week


“I fear that the danger of plastic bags is much exaggerated”  [Former sacked prime minister & Liberal MP for Warringah Tony Abbott quoted in The Guardian on the subject of plastics polluting the environment, 6 October 2018]

 “A key architect of the landmark Paris climate deal has lambasted the Coalition government’s inaction on greenhouse gas emissions, saying it “goes against the science”, squanders economic opportunity and risks Australia’s international standing. Laurence Tubiana, a respected French diplomat and economist, also says Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s claim that Australia will meet its Paris targets “at a canter” is contradicted by international scientific opinion.”  [Journalist Nicole Hasham in The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 October 2018]


“To me this particular event seems to show the Liberal party has been taken over frankly by extremists on the hard right who aren’t particularly motivated to win elections and aren’t particularly motivated to serve the public. They’re just motivated by a crazy agenda.”  [Alexander Turnbull, son of deposed Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in The Guardian, 11 October 2018]

Friday, 31 August 2018

A reminder that the world has known about the negative effects on the atmosphere of burning coal for over 100 years


Live Science, 14 August 2018:

A newspaper clip published Aug. 14, 1912, predicts that coal consumption would produce enough carbon dioxide to warm the climate.


Credit: Fairfax Media/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ

A note published in a New Zealand paper 106 years ago today (Aug. 14) predicted the Earth's temperature would rise because of 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide produced by coal consumption.

"The effect may be considerable in a few centuries," the article stated.
The clip was one of several one-paragraph stories in the "Science Notes and News" section of The Rodney and Otamatea Times, published Wednesday, Aug. 14, 1912.

The paragraph seems to have been originally printed in the March 1912 issue of Popular Mechanics as the caption for an image of a large coal factory. The image goes with a story titled "Remarkable Weather of 1911: The Effect of the Combustion of Coal on the Climate — What Scientists Predict for the Future," by Francis Molena. [Photographic Proof of Climate Change: Time-Lapse Images of Retreating Glaciers]

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Australian climate change denying journalists are at it again


This was @SkyNewsAust, tweeting on 3 June 2018:

.@chriskkenny: Australia’s total carbon emissions is around 550 million tonnes. That is lower than the annual emissions from volcanoes. If our emissions go up or down, it will make precisely no difference to the planet. #kennyonsunday

News Corp journalist, author, former Liberal Party political adviser and Sky News host of "Kenny on Sunday", Chris Kenny is toying with comparisons in an attempt to downplay climate change facts and figures.

According to the Dept. of Environment and Energy Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory annual greenhouse gas emissions for 2017 stood at 531.9 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e) by September that year.

That represents a 1.1 per cent increase in Australia’s annual emissions.

While according to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, human emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and cement production (green line) have risen to more than 35 billion metric tons per year, while volcanoes (purple line) produce less than 1 billion metric tons annually. NOAA Climate.gov graph, based on data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) at the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Burton et al., 2013. [my highlighting and emphasis]

Leaving aside the fact that Australia has no active volcanoes so no direct comparison can be made between domestic man-made greenhouse gas emissions and domestic natural volcanic emissions, it is clear that the level of human emissions far exceed volcanic emissions at global levels.

It is also clear that a rise in Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions will have an impact, because carbon emissions are still rising globally and this country's annual increase is factored into that total global increase.

It is precisely that total global greenhouse emission figure which is definitely making a difference to the planet and, according to established climate science, that difference is already causing global warming induced problems world-wide.

No amount of sophistry will change that fact.

This was also  @SkyNewsAust tweeting on 3 June 2018:

.@rowandean: On the first day of the calendar winter we've also had a record breaking cold start to the season despite, only a day earlier, the climate change-loving Bureau reassuring us all how warm it would be.

News Corp journalist, magazine editor, author and Sky News commentator, Rowan Dean, is confused about what the term "record breaking" actually means.

On 1 June - the exact date of the start of calendar winter - in Sydney the lowest temperature was 13°C. The lowest recorded temperature for 1 June was 2.1°C in 1932 and the average minimum for June is 18.6°C. 

In Melbourne on the same day the lowest temperature was 3°C. The lowest June record for Melbourne was previously set at 3.3°C in 1937 and the average minimum for June is 6.9°C. 

Brisbane's lowest temperature on 1 June was 8°C. The lowest recorded June temperature for Brisbane was 5°C in 2001 and the average minimum for June is 10.9°C. 

So yes, it was a cold start to winter. However the cold was no across the board record breaker.

When it comes to what the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) stated about Winter 2018 - it didn't state every single day would definitely be warm or warmer.

What it did state on 31 May 2018 was that:






 NOTES
*timeanddate.com at https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/australia for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane temperatures on 1 June 2018
*BOM at http://www.meteorology.com.au/local-climate-history for climate histories of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane
* http://www.eldersweather.com.au/climate.jsp

It doesn't take a genius to see that Sky News Australia (founded by Rupert Murdoch in 1989) appears to be running an anti-science agenda.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

It seems climate change deniers may be looking to that far-right lobby group the Insitute of Public Affairs (IPA) to organise defence fund appeals in the future




For more than a decade, Ridd [Peter Vincent Ridd] has been happily criticising the science linking dangerous climate change to greenhouse gas emissions and the science showing the impacts of humans on corals.

Ridd has also repeatedly, over many years, said that the impact of agricultural runoff and water quality on the health and growth rate of corals is overstated.

But his employer, James Cook University, initiated its own action against Ridd after he had criticised specific organisations at his own university in media interviews, saying they could not be trusted. This, the university alleged, went against the university’s code of conduct.

So this is not about Ridd’s “freedom” to say what he wants but is about an alleged breach of the university’s code of conduct — whether you agree with that code or not.

When the university censured Ridd in 2016, he ignored them. He gave an interview in August 2017 to another climate science denier, Alan Jones, on Sky News. Ridd was there to talk about his chapter in a climate science denial book produced by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

Ridd said 'we can no longer trust' the Government-backed Australian Institute of Marine Scienceand the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, based at James Cook University…..

The university alleged this constituted further “serious misconduct”, so Ridd took the issue to his lawyers and a case is proceeding.

To help fund his legal bills, Ridd got some help from the IPA (a key organisation pushing climate science denial in Australia for two decades) to set up a crowdfunding campaign that raised the necessary $95,000 in just 49 hours.

The IPA’s executive director John Roskam was the first donor with $500. Other notable givers included climate science denier and blogger Anthony WattsU.S. Interior Department employee and climate science denier Indur Goklany, Perth philanthropist and IPA funder Bryant Macfie and author and political scientist Don AitkenThe Washington Post and others have also reported how Goklany has had a key role in re-writing Department of Interior climate documents.

Many of Ridd’s cheerleaders have taken his scientific claims without scepticism and have not entertained the idea that he might be wrong.

Ridd’s marine pollution?

But Ridd repeated in detail several of his criticisms in a November 2017 "viewpoint" article in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin — opening up his arguments for scrutiny.

Now, as reported in The Guardian Australia, a team of nine scientists, many based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the James Cook University centre Ridd has attacked, have issued a response through the same journal. Their assessment of Ridd’s claims is sharp.

They say Ridd’s criticisms are based on 'misinterpretation, selective use of data and over-simplification' and that they ignore 'formal responses to previously published critiques'.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Climate change sceptics started the ball rolling again in 2018


It would appear that climate change denial remains alive and well, but with the same hearing and comprehension problems it acquired at birth.........

The Daily Examiner and Townsville Bulletin, 10 January 2018:

In today’s crazy world, western politicians are wasting billions of taxpayer dollars force-feeding costly unreliable green energy in the bizarre belief this will somehow change Earth’s climate.

Even more incredible, they fear global warmth and seem hellbent on creating global cooling. They should study climate history. It is snow and ice, cold dry air and carbon dioxide starvation we need to fear, not a warm, moist, fertile, bountiful atmosphere.
Climate change is natural and unstoppable. Just 20,000 years ago, Earth was in one of its recurring glacial phases.

A thick massive ice sheet smothered Canada, Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, North Asia and Europe as far south as present-day London.

Much of the animal and plant life of the previous warm era was extinguished. Even in warmer lands not covered by the ice sheet, plants suffered as the cold oceans removed moisture and carbon dioxide plant food from the atmosphere.

Then, because of changing cycles in Earth’s orbit and tilt, reinforced by changing solar cycles, the sun warmed the frozen lands.

The great ice sheets melted, sea levels rose and the warming oceans expelled moisture and CO2 plant food into the atmosphere. Plant life recovered.

Tundra, forests, grasslands and herbivores advanced towards the pole and fish became abundant in the shallow seas that flooded coastal plains. Hunters, herders, farmers and fishermen followed the food.

Human population increased greatly. They gave thanks for the warmth, and worshipped the sun. But the peak of the modern warm era is past, and the natural cycles controlling global temperatures are pointing downwards.

Only an idiot with a death wish for life on Earth would attempt to accelerate our inevitable descent into the next ice age.

Luckily, their costly war on warmth is totally futile, but their war on carbon energy will prove tragically misguided in the cold times ahead.

VIV FORBES, Washpool, Qld

NOTE: According to DeSmog, “Viv Forbes is the Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition, which was created to “defend the role of carbon on earth and in the atmosphere,” and which describes Forbes as a “pasture manager, soil scientist and geologist from Rosevale in Queensland.” [2]
Forbes has also had a long association with the coal industry. According to his biography at Stanmore Coal where he acts as director, Forbes has over 40 years of coal industry experience and has worked with Burton Coal, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, South Blackwater Coal Mine, Tahmoor Coal Mine, Newlands/Collinsville Coal Mines, MIM, Utah Goonyella/Saraji and Gold Fields.
He is also associated with other skeptical organizations including the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) and the Australian Climate Science Coalition (ACSC)
According to Forbes, the “Green Elite” has a “long-term agenda … to destroy human industry and reduce human population. Thus they are opposed to farming, mining, fishing, forestry, exploration and cheap power.” [3]

The Daily Examiner, 17 January 2018, p10:

Sceptic miscue

Savvy DEX readers certainly realise that sceptic science/climate denial mumbo jumbo has its origins in the ultra conservative religious right of the US political landscape.
Coincidentally but sadly for the rest of the world, many in the Trump administration are of this ilk.

Dedicated sceptic and Rosevale, Qld resident Viv Forbes has once again (DEX Jan 10) produced a pitch- perfect melody from the sceptic songbook.

As Viv points out, naturally occurring climate change takes place over thousands of years.

On the other hand, global warming is measurable over decades, is a direct result of human activity over the last century in particular and so is everything but natural.
Moreover, Viv is warning us of an impending frozen armageddan (in sceptic speak that should read OhMyGodden!)

I hope Viv appreciates that in the very same week as he made this dire forecast, the BOM has confirmed that 2017 was the warmest year on record for NSW and SE Queensland – timing is everything Viv.

The world may well cool in 25000 years or so, but world leaders rightly are more concerned with the immediate effects of global warming over the next few decades.
Nevertheless, we should probably remain grateful that Viv actually gets his name correct because everything else in his letter is nothing more than irrelevant nonsense.

Ted Strong, Seelands

The Daily Examiner, 27 January 2018, p15:

Tampered temperatures

TED Strong (17/1) commented: “As Viv Forbes points out, naturally occurring climate change takes place over thousands of years. On the other hand, global warming is measurable over decades, is a direct result of human activity over the last century in particular and so is everything but natural.”

Actually Viv said: “Climate change is natural and unstoppable.” He did not mention time, although the changes often occur rapidly.

During the Pleistocene Epoch, there have been many ice ages. The latest, which covered large portions of the northern hemisphere with mile-high ice, peaked 21,000 years ago and was gone by 11,700 years ago.

Since then there was the little Ice Age between 1400AD and 1850AD and a number of warm periods, which included two Holocene Optimums, the Roman Optimum from 250BC to 400AD, and the Medieval Warm Period from 800 to 1400. These four were as warm as, or warmer than, the Modern Warm Period, commencing around 1850.
So Ted could you explain what caused the previous warming periods, because they definitely weren’t “unnatural”?

But we keep being told that our current temperatures are the “hottest ever recorded”. So how do NOAA, NASA and the BOMs define “ever recorded”?

Our BOM stated: “…2017 was the third-warmest year on record, at 0.95 degrees above the 1961 to 1990 average” and that “Seven of the 10 hottest years, have occurred after 2005”.

Years ago the BOM decided temperatures taken before 1911 were “incorrect” and would no longer be taken into account. Obviously the 1890s temperatures were too high to explain.

But that left the 1939 era, which is still regarded as being the hottest since 1900. To overcome that pesky problem they established a baseline temperature using a 30-year average between 1961 and 1990.

This was a great choice because it included the chilly 1970s, when the world panicked that an ice-age was coming.

So our BOM, with a straight face, tells us that the “warmest on record” years have actually been selected from the last 28 years, and the 0.95 degree increase is based on the chilly 1961-1990 average.

So although the BOM openly says what period its figures are based on, it knows that the gullibles, and (unfortunately) the media, will submissively accept their fallacious statements as being from time immemorial.

JOHN IBBOTSON, Gulmarrad

The Daily Examiner, 31 January 2018, p11:

Climate warriors rattle cages

The war of words between the two climate change adversaries, one upriver and his opponent from down river, has reached a point where one party has delved into his “unseemly” bag to crudely criticise and try to belittle his opponent.

John Ibbotson can make his case with facts and figures garnered from research by Scientists that are not locked into the one eyed ideology that has evolved from the suspect science of climate change computer modelling.

Of course the Bureau of Meteorology can make mistakes, and has freely admitted to errors in the past, while Tim Flannery is an example of just how far off the planet these fear mongering so called gurus can get.

The scandal involving climate change scientists in the British Met in East Anglia will not go away nor will the fact that in the early 1990s temperature readings used to falsify average ground temperature data came from thousands of sites situated close by or near to, major heat sources such as American airports and bustling highways.
John Ibbotson makes his case in a calm and methodical way, Ted Strong just doesn’t like his precious cage being rattled.

FRED PERRING, Halfway Creek.

The Daily Examiner, 3 February 2018, p13:

Climate desperation

Blimey, things must be getting desperate in the John Ibbotson climate sceptic camp. He now has to rely on Fred Perring (DEX 31/1) for his great science knowledge.

PAUL STEPHEN, Yamba

The Daily Examiner, 7 February 2018, p11:

Wrong horse, wrong track

When compulsive scribe Fred Perring submits his favourites – ie maligning left-wing pollies or bashing the ABC – he does OK because the only requirements are bias, bluster and righteous indignation which Fred does in spades, while fact and logic seem to be of little consequence.

But when Fred comes out swinging, (DEX 31/1) in support of downriver sceptic, John Ibbotson, fact and logic become vital and so Fred flounders. Not only is he backing the wrong horse he is not even at, or on the right track.

The tiresome “facts” he trots out are Fred repeats, straight from the sceptic science hymn book and still unsupportable.

Even Fred’s well-known visually impaired namesake would by now have recognised that, particularly in the past decade, global warming is no less than the bleeding obvious.

Advice for Fred is the same as for John – stay away from sceptic websites and stick to the things you do best. Also thanks for the “heads-up” re my cage – I’ve checked it out and it appears quite solid if not completely foolproof.

TED STRONG, Seelands.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Climate denialists discuss suing a company for NOT increasing pollution


There are times when one wonders just how crazy the people associated with The Heartland Institute can get – then this sentence pops up a 6-page email from the Institute’s CEO Jim Bast to its Director of Communications Jim Lakely:

sue a company for not increasing CO2 emissions, force a court to consider the evidence on CO2 benefits.

The October 2017 email exchange can be read at https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4112082-Joe-Bast-Email.html

A list of people on The Heartland Institute’s mailing list who would be receiving such suggestions, courtesy of DeSmog Blog:

Heartland Institute's Climate Scientists Mailing List
Heartland Institute's Climate Economists Mailing List 

As far-right global warming denialists in the Turnbull Government tend to mimic US moves against science-based policy, I suspect that this pared-down version of the latest Heartland playlist will be used in Australia in 2018 whenever they plan strategy or are quoted in the media on the subject of climate change:

* be briefing news reporters and news readers
* simplify the issue by focusing on one or only a few arguments and images
* identify a few good spokespersons and focus on promoting them
* stop chasing the other side’s latest argument and focus instead on the benefits of CO2
* focus on the “tuning scandal” that discredits the models
* turn debate from referring to median temperatures to high temperatures, which show no trend
* find independent funding for [insert climate change denier of choice]
* respond to [insert climate report of choice]
* get good people onto EPA advisory boards
* we need to be able to say “EPA is reconsidering whether CO2 is a pollutant”
* document instances where EPA etc. fail to cite research findings that contradict their agenda
* conduct a new survey of scientists to refute the 97% consensus claims
* sue a company for not increasing CO2 emissions, force a court to consider the evidence on CO2 benefits
* read The Business of America is Lobbying to understand the tactics of those we are really up against
* never use the phrases “windmill farms,” “all of the above,” “carbon pollution,” “social cost of carbon,” or “air pollution”
* use “industrial windmills,” “reliable and affordable,” “carbon dioxide emissions,” “benefits and costs of fossil fuels,” and “air quality”
* emphasize that we are pro-science and pro-environment… and the other side is not
* always think about what is most important to your audience
* when being interviewed, deliver your headlines first, don’t let the reporter lead you astray or cut you off
* prepare to answer the “what if you are wrong?” question with “what if you are wrong? How much damage will you have caused by costing the average household $4,000 a year for nothing?”
* fundamentally challenge, reform, or replace the [insert government agency of choice], the source of much pseudoscience
* stop funding “more research”
* clearly distinguish “safe” – a policy concept – from “risk” – a scientific concept, and keep scientists from pontificating on the former and advocates from misrepresenting the latter
* doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase plant productivity by 35%.
* any SCC calculation that doesn’t include the benefits of CO2 should be rejected out of hand

Monday, 25 September 2017

World's most successful environmental agreement has been in place for thirty years this month


CSIROscope, 15 September 2017:  

This weekend marks the 30th birthday of the Montreal Protocol, often dubbed the world’s most successful environmental agreement. The treaty, signed on September 16, 1987, is slowly but surely reversing the damage caused to the ozone layer by industrial gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Each year, during the southern spring, a hole appears in the ozone layer above Antarctica. This is due to the extremely cold temperatures in the winter stratosphere (above 10km altitude) that allow byproducts of CFCs and related gases to be converted into forms that destroy ozone when the sunlight returns in spring.

As ozone-destroying gases are phased out, the annual ozone hole is generally getting smaller – a rare success story for international environmentalism.

Back in 2012, our Saving the Ozone series marked the Montreal Protocol’s silver jubilee and reflected on its success. But how has the ozone hole fared in the five years since?

The Antarctic ozone hole has continued to appear each spring, as it has since the late 1970s. This is expected, as levels of the ozone-destroying halocarbon gases controlled by the Montreal Protocol are still relatively high. The figure below shows that concentrations of these human-made substances over Antarctica have fallen by 14% since their peak in about 2000.

Past and predicted levels of controlled gases in the Antarctic atmosphere, quoted as equivalent effective stratospheric chlorine (EESC) levels, a measure of their contribution to stratospheric ozone depletion. Paul Krummel/CSIRO, Author provided

Read the full article here.