CSIRO: Climate change skeptic’s nonsense

The CSIRO, which really needs a loon pond broom put through it for this research, has released its annual “attitudes to climate change” survey. The results are interesting in a number ways. The headline result has the community strongly behind the notion of climate change:


But not so much that it is human induced:


Some of the fury of the debate can be put own to the, ahem, narcissism of skeptics who wrongly believe they represent some silent majority:


And who base that view not on science but on an inflated opinion of their own “common sense”:


I note as well that a quarter of believers are equally ill-informed. Over time we can see that the campaign to change attitudes has largely failed:


But has gained a little traction in not blaming peeps:


Science needs more selling. Full report.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Is CSIRO still doing research? I thought only managers are left after the last few rounds of redundancies. CSIRO will need serious injection of funds, and fast, before all is lost.

    BTW, what happened to the post of science minister after MT ousted TA? Was the position reinstated?

      • Here you go RT
        “At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet,” Zwally said.

        The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice – enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise. [NASA.gov, 10/30/15]

        Lead Study Author Astutely Warned Deniers Would Misuse Study To Dismiss Global Warming

        Lead Author Jay Zwally: “I Know Some Of The Climate Deniers Will Jump On This,” But “It Should Not Take Away From The Concern About Climate Warming.” In an interview with Nature, the study’s lead author, glaciologist Jay Zwally, warned that “climate deniers” would wrongly tout the study as proof that “we don’t have to worry [about global warming] as some people have been making out”:

        The findings do not mean that Antarctica is not in trouble, Zwally notes. “I know some of the climate deniers will jump on this, and say this means we don’t have to worry as much as some people have been making out,” he says. “It should not take away from the concern about climate warming.” As global temperatures rise, Antarctica is expected to contribute more to sea-level rise, though when exactly that effect will kick in, and to what extent, remains unclear. [Nature, 10/2/15]


        So as moisture is sucked out of the rest of the land mass and the world becomes more temperate the extra water is deposited in the arctic until the tipping point. Then surfs up at the big red rock

      • Just keep to the science Mark, the climate changes all the time… and the reason why we are having ice ages over the past three million or so years is the result of Australia moving north and the advent of the circumpolar current which has cooled the earth down 5-7 degrees cooler than it otherwise would be.

        Personally, I would prefer a world with forests at Antarctica… but each to his own.

      • RT

        Don’t you just LUV those people on the right who have a rigorous knowledge of their industry and then think they can extrapolate that to any another industry to suit their own bias.
        The science is in, the author of the report you have you have tagged states that your interpretation is a distortion AS USUAL.

      • Researchtime is a Young Earth Creationist. You can safely ignore anything he has to say on the subject of science.

      • A young earth creationist talking about climatic conditions prior to three million years ago?


      • Absolutely… God created everything. Earth ~4.45Ga, second generation universe, with enough heavier compounds to create carbon based lifeforms. Writing a paper on it at present actually.

        I am sure your not interested – its science thingies…

      • This may interest…

        “…over the past 45 million years (after the extinction ofthe dinosaurs in the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary periods 65 mil- lion years ago [n. 106]), further atmospheric change is again found to have occurred. Recent studies show that carbon dioxide abundance declined by a factor of four or five over that 45 million years to the present level, in concert with the doubling of ambient oxygen levels from 10 to 21 percent by volume over the past 205 million years, cf. Mark Pagani et al. and Paul G. EHkowski et al., Science 309 (2005), pp. 600-603 and 2202-204.”

    • The digital-research arm of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will merge with National Information Communications Technology Australia (NICTA) to form a CSIRO digital-innovation team, called Data61. Announced on 28 August, the merger follows the Australian government’s decision to halt NICTA’s funding after June 2016. Funds for Data61 will come from CSIRO’s already-stretched budget, itself subjected in 2014 to cuts of Aus$115 million (US$82 million) over four years. The merger could result in the loss of as many as 200 jobs.

      • I was wondering why they keep merging and restructuring in perpetuity……

        Oh, I know!! So that the management can get rid of people!!

      • Full Definition of COMMON SENSE

        : sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts
        It cannot be common if the majority of the population is not in agreement with the said evidence – you should say uncommon evidence H&H.

    • they said the ice was shrinking on Antarctica ……. wait a minute its growing now

      Idiot. Antarctic land ice is shrinking, at an accelerating rate, and the ice shelves are doomed. 😮

      The gain in land ice on the eastern side is a contested finding (see article below).

      The much less important sea ice, which comes and goes every year, is getting bigger because of a drop in ozone levels over Antarctica (the hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole has caused cooling in the stratosphere. This strengthens the cyclonic winds that circle the Antarctic continent (also drying out WA by stopping the rains moving there). The wind pushes sea ice around, creating areas of open water known as polynyas. More polynyas lead to increased sea ice production.

      NASA Scientist Warned Deniers Would Distort His Antarctic Ice Study — That’s Exactly What They Did


      • Revert2Mean…….LOL….. I guess I must have read this article wrong……. You religious AGW wingnuts are hysterical….. Oh and if you can read this is from CNN so dont give me the Fox News excuse……

        “Antarctica is gaining more ice than it has lost, according to a new study by NASA.

        A NASA team came to this conclusion after scientists examined the heights of the region’s ice sheet measured from satellites.

        The new methods used by scientists to come to this study’s conclusion, such as measuring small height changes in the ice over large areas, warrant consideration. But the findings do conflict with more than a decade of research indicating that Antarctica is losing ice and that the loss has contributed to rising global sea levels.”

      • Gavin Schmidt, who directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and was not affiliated with the study, said that data from a pair of satellites called GRACE, which measure gravity, actually points towards a net loss of ice on the Antarctic continent in more recent years.

        Schmidt said that there are two methods for measuring the mass of an ice sheet. The first measures gravity, and the second measures the elevation of the top of the ice sheet. Both methods need to take different variables into account to be accurate. The method used in this most recent study measured the ice sheet’s elevation, and the most recent time period it considered ended in 2008.

        “I would pin more weight to the GRACE data than to this latest paper,” Schmidt told VICE News.

      • You do have a way with words R2M – I do believe in climate change unlike the majority of Australian’s, the climate changes every day; cool over night and heats up in day! Does it honestly matter if the sea rises 10 feet? No – people have time to move, look at the sunken settlements in the English channel, no big deal. Mountain out of a tax induced molehill. For the love of all things noble – give this BS meme a break!

    • http://grist.org/…/what-you-need-to-know-about…/

      What’s up with Antarctica gaining ice?
      A new study finds that the continent gained 112 billion tons of ice per year from 1992 to 2001.

      “The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea-level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea-level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea-level rise that is not accounted for.”

      In other words, the scientific community now has a mystery on their hands. Where is that .27 millimeters of annual rise coming from?

      LBS…. Logic dictates that not “A” does not automatically assume “B” or many things are counter intuitive so applying ones indoctrinated biases to determine T or F is fraught with error.

      Skippy… lastly AGW is a global problem and regional observations are just one data point out of a plethora.

      • See article I linked above, skippy. The study is out of date (did not look at data after 2008).

      • Aware of the 08 issue tho the paper I’m actually referring to is – http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/jog/pre-prints/content-ings_jog_15j071;jsessionid=pi1c23u2cqo4.alexandra

        Mass changes of the Antarctic ice sheet impact sea-level rise as climate changes, but recent rates have been uncertain. Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) data (2003–08) show mass gains from snow accumulation exceeded discharge losses by 82 ± 25 Gt a–1, reducing global sea-level rise by 0.23 mm a–1. European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS) data (1992–2001) give a similar gain of 112 ± 61 Gt a–1. Gains of 136 Gt a–1 in East Antarctica (EA) and 72 Gt a–1 in four drainage systems (WA2) in West Antarctic (WA) exceed losses of 97 Gt a–1 from three coastal drainage systems (WA1) and 29 Gt a–1 from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). EA dynamic thickening of 147 Gt a–1 is a continuing response to increased accumulation (>50%) since the early Holocene. Recent accumulation loss of 11 Gt a–1 in EA indicates thickening is not from contemporaneous snowfall increases. Similarly, the WA2 gain is mainly (60 Gt a–1) dynamic thickening. In WA1 and the AP, increased losses of 66 ± 16 Gt a–1 from increased dynamic thinning from accelerating glaciers are 50% offset by greater WA snowfall. The decadal increase in dynamic thinning in WA1 and the AP is approximately one-third of the long-term dynamic thickening in EA and WA2, which should buffer additional dynamic thinning for decades.

      • Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.

        Thomas Paine

    • “Stick to economics and politics, keep away from religion.”

      LOL!! Forget climate change, economics and politics are far closer to being a “religion” than half the things out there trying to pass as a religion!

    • Implying that economics and politics provide a truer and more rigorous study of reality than science?

    • Rent Seeking Missile

      “Stick to economics and politics, keep away from religion.”

      Excellent advice. The sooner they take it, the less egg will be on their faces when this whole appalling charade comes crashing tp the ground.

    • Some of them certainly are. We have our very own MB Loon Pond™ here to entertain, frustrate and enrage us. 😕

      But don’t be so naive as to think some are not doing it on the clock. 😡

  2. The CSIRO, which really needs a loon pond broom put through it for this research,

    I don’t understand this comment – if you want to get the ‘hearts and minds’ on the side of the angels on this issue, you need to know where they are now, and you need to have at least a notion of how they got there.
    And knowing that whatever you’re doing isn’t working is a pre-requisite for for fixing it.
    Hence, this research seems necessary.

    EDIT: While necessary, it also seems like it barely scratches the surface, though.

    • I agree. We need to know something about the deniers, who and where they are. The “why they are” is already apparent:

      1) The stupid, it hurts
      2) Mining mogul disinformation campaign
      3) Koch brothers, Scaife Family Foundation et al all spending billions to keep the stupid stupid. Lots of whisper campaigns about how (as skippy puts it) ‘the AGW cannot have our freedumbs’ etc

      • How do you point out how people are being deceived? How do you explain that this is the tobacco industry tactics – can’t you people see that??

        A similar example would be:

        Your doctor tells you that you need chemotherapy to treat your cancer or you will die, but 54.1% of the idiots out there would ignore them and do nothing.
        You mechanic says you have no break pads left, but 54.1% of the population would ignore it and keep driving.

        That 54.1% of the population do not think humans are the major contributor to global warming is staggering and shows how effective the ‘tobacco industry tactics’ being used by the fossil fuel industry is!

    • Agree, public sentiment seems to be an important thing to measure on this issue given how crucial it will be for effective action.

    • Rent Seeking Missile

      “I don’t understand this comment – if you want to get the ‘hearts and minds’ on the side of the angels on this issue, you need to know where they are now, and you need to have at least a notion of how they got there.”

      The comment means that the plebs are committing ‘Crimethink’, and will need to be either re-educated or removed from the survey pool.

  3. rob barrattMEMBER

    Assuming you’re right, So now what?
    The number of people without electricity: 1.3 billion (18% of earth’s population)
    You will find an overwhelming correlation between countries with the least access to power and countries with the highest rates of population growth (around the 3% mark).
    The people who will have to struggle hardest for access to power will be those LEAST able to afford the investment in infrastructure necessary to leverage effective technology.
    Now, when those lovely people go to Paris (to stay in very expensive suites in the King George V hotel no doubt) they will find overwhelming resistance from many countries who WILL NOT give up coal as it is their only foreseeable option. You see, they don’t view it from the perspective of our SUV driving, air conditioned, oh so well informed point of view.
    In short, the history of the human race with regard to it’s future was always going to be a race between the development of knowledge and blind population growth. If the former had won, we would have had a bright future (forgetting the odd asteroid for a moment). The latter won. Case closed. Oh, and that’s only energy. You want to look at access to water if you really want a zinger…

    • Now, when those lovely people go to Paris they will find overwhelming resistance from many countries who WILL NOT give up coal as it is their only foreseeable option.

      The countries in Asia whom you say will resist the cessation of coal use are heavily dependent on the slow summer melt of their glaciers for water. Once those glaciers are gone, they are f*cked, and the glaciers are currently melting at a faster and faster rate. I can’t believe they do not know all this.

      Melting Mountain Glaciers Will Shrink Grain Harvests in China and India


      • LBS for your information Religion is a codified belief about stuff which has zero backing save the mythology its practitioners believe, as such your proclamation about AGW is false.

        Whether you believe in AGW is irrelevant, AGW is not based on your emotive feelings about it.

        Skippy… now go slam some more gear and get back in the brogym…. one day you might be as smart as Schwarzenegger [depends on your metric of evaluation].

      • Skippy – no proof for religion, Oops! Jesus Christ has 10 times more historical references than Julius Caesar. All the religions are based on Men, (Jesus just happens to be a Man/God) and your AGW science based on…..mens assumptions and models about the collected data. The science is by no means settled and in fact, believers have become doubters as the CSIRO report shows. Show me the money honey……where’s the proof? Where’s the missing links? Where are all the EXTRA droughts, storms, ravishments, hunger, death, destruction etc, all caused by your AGW? Come on R2M show me the money!

    • rob barrattMEMBER

      Ah, doing nothing is not an option right Ladies and Gentlemen? Well, let me spell out what I think will happen. Let’s start with a question:
      Who works the hardest at bailing out water in a sinking ship?

      a) The 3 people in a skiff with a leaking hull
      b) The passengers in the First Class lounge when they detect a slight list in their gin and tonic?

      Now that’s us. When a crisis is immediate, such as for example, extreme air pollution in Beijing, authorities will eventually attempt to do something locally. Elsewhere, it’s business as usual. This series of local knee jerk responses will buy us time, but not fix the problem. The problem is population growth. Making energy consumption ever more efficient for ever increasing population will leave us with an increasingly vulnerable ecological footprint. The mathematics dictate the inevitable move to catastrophe. If you like, the beating of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil will bring a tornado to Boston.
      Now, are any of us willing to pass laws limiting our population (no, not China’s one child, but two?). I can hear the screams of the “anti-fascist” mob now. How will it work in darkest Limpopoland? Good question. It will be hard enough in SUV land. Too hard.

      • What’s the point of laws limiting procreation in a country where procreation is already below the replacement level, and has been that way for two generations?

        If Howard and Rudd hadn’t engineered a massive spike in immigrants, we could be looking forward to our population peaking in 2030 on the back of our low procreation.

    • solution can be very simple and in just few steps:
      1. calculate how much anthropocentric climate changing CO2 has been released in past few decades by people who are currently alive
      2. calculate how much of CO2 we were allowed to release from 1960s onward to limit the effect of GW
      3. divide this CO2 with the total world population to get lifetime allowance for everyone currently living on this planet
      4. subtract CO2 already released by each person and calculate remaining allowance
      5. establish simple and transparent online exchange for carbon credits

      this would not only solve the problem of anthropocentric global warming by forcing western emitters to quickly develop new technology but it would also solve or help solve the worst problems we have on this planet: hunger, poverty, inequality is education, healthcare, …

      GW may seem, in the West, to be the worst problem we are facing, but for starving families in poor parts of the world presents no issues at all. There are currently billion people struggling to survive ’till Monday and that problem is more important that potential treat of GW

      • rob barrattMEMBER

        There is a story, Doctor X about a ferret who is clinging on to the back of a rabbit who is swimming across a river. The ferret cannot swim. Halfway across, the ferret bites deeply into the neck of the rabbit. The rabbit screams ‘why did you do that? Now we will both drown!” The ferret replied “I can’t help it – It’s in my nature”. Our nature is “Me, me, me ,me me”. We never act in concert until the bombs are actually falling. What I am saying is: Your point 6 above – “simple and transparent”. Try selling that to the energy lords or the syndicated mafias controlling the black economy. The world doesn’t work like that.

      • the less we can burn the faster we can solve our biggest problems: poverty, renewable technology, etc.

  4. Science needs more selling.

    scientists need to study Philosophy of science and Epistemology to get their over-inflated self-esteem to the adequate levels before they can start being more convincing to the public.

    Every day, we are witnessing flood of “contradictory” scientific studies written in such language that makes public think they are reading paid marketing or political pamphlets.
    Media plays important role in this but the very nature of how scientist present their findings doesn’t help at all.

    • You nailed it, doctorX. There is too much bullshitting going on. Amateurish pseudo-“sales” attitudes among scientists which undermine their collective credibility. If you want to sell your ideas, do it properly.

      Also, activism and science are a toxic combination. They simply do not mix – oil and water.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Ah…. I think they were just calling for higher standards for the ‘selling of science’ for the purposes of improving the ongoing debate the general community is having.

        PS, disclaimer: I have no idea if climate change is occurring or if there’s any point in limiting CO2 emissions to mitigate that if there is, but as I’m not a moron, I’ll believe the general body of the scientific community who are telling me that it is happening and there is some point to limiting CO2. So please don’t add me to the pond. Thanks R2M.

      • Come on R2M, I know both how science should work in theory and how it does work in practice.

        In theory, science funding should have two components; one thinly and evenly distributed among all scientists and the other concentrated to hot spots. The first will lead to all sorts of discoveries and non-discoveries, most of which will die out through natural selection. But the few that remain standing will turn out to be a real deal that initiates the next wave of innovations. The second will be the likes of synchrotrons – capital intensive research targeted for specific needs. The success rate of the second should be higher because they spend more money and use better facilities.

        In practice, however, Australia decided to allocate a large chunk of funding for the likes of FHOG, so there is not enough money left for the first kind. So scientists spend most of their time writing proposals that do not fly and papers that nobody reads, while letting international students who hardly speak English, let alone know what they are doing, do the research.

        Of course, scientific (evidence-based) methods or scientific way of thinking are much broader than scientific research. And scientific methods always win over unscientific ones, as detailed in, e.g., Moneyball.

      • PS, disclaimer: I have no idea if climate change is occurring or if there’s any point in limiting CO2 emissions to mitigate that if there is, but as I’m not a moron, I’ll believe the general body of the scientific community who are telling me that it is happening and there is some point to limiting CO2.


        The only rational position to take.

    • Every day, we are witnessing flood of “contradictory” scientific studies written in such language that makes public think they are reading paid marketing or political pamphlets.

      I think that would have been more correctly written as:

      Every day, we are witnessing flood of contradictory scientific studies written in such language that makes public think they are reading paid marketing or political pamphlets.

      The problem is not “the sell” from the scientists. Scientists shouldn’t have to know how to counter a well-funded professional propaganda campaign.

  5. FiftiesFibroShack

    I would have liked to a see another option: Climate change is happening; humans and natural variation play a role, but recent change is mostly caused by human activity.

  6. the nature of science is to be sceptical – that is, after all, how they worked out that bacteria live in the stomach when all scientific textbooks pointed to that being BS

    They won a nobel prize for that work, and they went against the grain

    Whether the climate is changing or not, I don’t believe it is man made

    The science is NOT in, there is disagreement…this is having talked personally to a member of the IPCC…how many people here have talked personally with a member on the IPCC???? This was last year

    I care passionately for the planet – what we should be concerned about are the massive peat fires in INDONESIA, our neighbour, which no one talks about

    do each of you use palm oil (or vege oil)??? I try not to use this for that reason

    We should be concerned about the massive rate of population increase in the planet

    take Syria, for example..from 1960 to now the population has exploded, putting pressure on their precious water and marginal land, increasing conflict

    same as in Darfur, in sudan….more land pressures from OVERPOPULATION

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      You don’t “believe” it is man made. That’s more a religious view than anything based on evidence and certainly nothing to do with science.

      Show me any scientists that say humans have played zero role in climate change. There is plenty of argument about how much human activity has, or will play a role in future climate change, but no one with a brain is saying humans have nothing to do with climate change.

      • fifties and HnH

        I respect our difference of opinion

        humans always have an impact on our environment, and no one cares more passionately..i have been involved with land care projects in Australia, which I love

        all forms of energy have an impact on the environment…

        solar panels (I have a friend who owns a solar company) – mining beach sands, some people don’t like the visual pollution that reflected light makes

        nuclear – zero emissions, but costly to make, and people don’t like nuclear (I have no prob with it)

        wind farms – I love them, but people bitch about the noise they make, and the visual pollution – agl wanted one in the darling downs, but enough residents bitched about it and it stopped

        hydro – people don’t want rivers dammed

        The biggest problem is world overpopulation, species extinction, and everyone in the 3rd world wanting a first world life (and I cant blame them)

      • An intrinsic part of a 1st world life is very small families – 1 or 2 kids only.
        You give enough people a first world life, and overpopulation will cease to be an issue.

      • Show me any scientists that say humans have played zero role in climate change. There is plenty of argument about how much human activity has, or will play a role in future climate change, but no one with a brain is saying humans have nothing to do with climate change

        It’s actually fairly easy to prove man is behind the elevated CO2 levels due to the carbon-14 density loss & carbon-12 increase.

    • Whether the climate is changing or not, I don’t believe it is man made

      “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” (Neil deGrasse Tyson)

      “Climate change is not a belief system — it is a fact. This is science,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

  7. The comments section of climate change articles on MB would be a lot healthier if commenters stuck to the business, financial and monetary implications and left the science to the scientists.

    • Exactly. We never seem to get to the meat of it because it’s always derailed (deliberately). There are certain interests who do not want the implications discussed.

    • That’s right. The article should simply report the latest development, analyse what its implications to each industry sectors will be if the development is true, and list the odds of most probable returns for going short or long on each stock in the said sectors.

  8. Prof Bardi:

    We are one month away from the COP-21, in Paris, that should change everything – and will probably change nothing relevant. But change does occur, even though in ways that often surprise us, and in ways we may not like to see. The past decade has been a period of enormous changes and, also, a decade of gigantic efforts aimed at avoiding change at all costs. It is one of the many contradictions of our world. So, let me try to tell the story of these difficult years.

    – The acceleration of climate change. In 2005, climate change seemed to be still a relatively tame beast. The scenarios presented by the IPCC (at that time updated to 2001) showed gradual temperature increases and the problems seemed to be decades away – if not centuries. But 2005 was also the year when it became clear that limiting warming to no more than 2 degrees C was much more difficult than previously thought. At the same time, the concept that climate change is a non linear process started to penetrate the debate and the danger of the “runaway climate change” was more and more understood. The events of the decade showed the rapid progression of climate change. Hurricanes (Katrina in 2005, Sandy in 2012, and many others), the melting of the ice caps, the melting of the permafrost, releasing its deadly charge of stored methane, giant forest fires, entire states going dry, the loss of biodiversity, the acidification of the oceans, and much more. It was found that high temperatures affect humans more than it was believed and, as a last straw, that the negative effects on the human behavior of increasing CO2 concentrations are much more important than previously believed. We are discovering with horror that we are transforming our planet into a gas chamber and we don’t know how to stop.

    – The rise of denial. In 2005, the denial of climate science seemed to be in decline, to be buried in the dustbin of history by the accumulation of scientific knowledge on climate. It was not to be so. The campaign against science went into high gear, using the full range of propaganda techniques available. In 2008, we saw the so-called “climategate” scandal, possibly the most successful negative PR campaign ever mounted. In 2011, the “pause” meme was diffused by the Daily Mail, and it was another remarkably successful propaganda attack. Then, individual climate scientists were harassed, demonized, investigated, and even physically threatened, while the public was the objective of a barrage of contradictory information destined to create uncertainty and doubt. The campaign was successful, especially in the US. During the 2012 presidential campaign, we saw both candidates avoiding the climate change issue as if it was laced with poison. And, in 2015, we see something never seen before: none of the Republican presidential candidates agree that climate change is caused by human activities, and that it is a problem. Denial remains a heavy burden to the attempt of doing something practical to stop climate change.

    – The peak that wasn’t. In 1998, Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrere re-examined the ideas of Marion King Hubbert, who, in the 1950s, had introduced the concept of “peaking” for the production of crude oil. Their calculations indicated that the world peak – that they dubbed “peak oil” – would occur in 2004-2005. It was a reasonably good prediction in terms of “conventional” oil, which seems to have peaked between 2005 and 2008. But Campbell and Laherrere had not considered the role of “non conventional” oil; combustible liquids such as shale (or “tight”) oil. Using these new sources, the production of “all liquids” kept increasing and that has made the concept of peak oil as popular, more or less, as Saddam Hussein was in the previous decade. The effort of the oil industry to produce from difficult resources led to various bad consequences for the ecosystem (remember Macondo in 2010?), but the main one is that the CO2 emissions did not decline as a consequence of depletion, as it might have been expected.

    – The fading of green. In the 1990s, sustainability was still a fashionable idea and Green parties had considerable representation in many European parliaments. Over time, however, the political weight of the environmental movement has constantly eroded. The destiny of the Green parties closely follows that of all the ideas about environmental sustainability, which are not any more part of the arsenal of slogans of winning politicians. Even the European Union, once a bulwark of reason and of environmental consciousness, lost its focus,in particular with the mad hope of importing natural gas from the US. Most people all over the world seem to be so busy with their day-to-day economic worries, that they have no time or inclination to worry about an abstract entity called “the Environment”, which seems to be an expensive luxury that we can’t afford right now. It seems that the concept of “growth” has swept away the Environment everywhere as the thing to cherish most.

    – The financial collapse. The deep causes of great financial crisis of 2008 were never really understood and were reduced to contingent bad practices in finance. However, it was not just a financial crisis, it led the world’s real economic machine to grind to a near complete stop. The crisis was overcome by printing more money and the economy restarted to work; but it never recovered completely. And nobody knows whether another financial collapse is around the corner and what could be done if it comes. The financial collapse showed the fragility of the whole system and it fixated the attention of most people on financial/monetary factors; often leading them to forget that there exists also a real world, out there, and that “the economy” is not just financial transactions, but it means providing material resources for society to survive.

    – The rise of conflicts. Military confrontation and violent strife are on the rise. We have seen tanks rolling in the very heart of Europe and an immense strip of land in a nearly continuous military confrontation, from North Africa to the Middle East, and all the way further to Afghanistan. Entire nations are crumbling down under massive aerial bombing and civil strife, producing hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing. Is like a fire that flared once, and now is growing, engulfing one country after another. And nobody can say where the fire will stop, if it will. The only thing we can say is that destructive conflict tends to erupt in those states where the economy was in large part supported by the revenues from fossil fuel exports and where depletion led to the total or partial loss of this revenue. This was the case, for instance, of Egypt, Yemen, and Syria. The struggle may also be related to climate change and the consequent drought, as it is the case of Syria. We can’t say for sure of all this is a harbinger of things to come in other places, but it might well be.

    – And more…. The above is not an exhaustive list of all the things that have been going on during the past decade. One could add the erosion of democracy and of personal freedom in the West, the decline or even the collapse of several national economies, the ongoing de-globalization, the increasing competition for rare and limited mineral resources, and much more. But all these events have a common origin. In all cases, people and institutions reacted to change by trying to stop it. For instance, facing the oil and gas depletion, the industry reacted by doubling the effort to find more at all costs, both financial and environmental. And they also stepped up its effort to deny the existence and the danger of climate change. Then, most people tried to solve their immediate economic difficulties by working hard and ignoring the deep reasons of their troubles. And here we are: after a decade of effort to ignore and contain changes, we are facing unavoidable and drastic changes. And we don’t know how exactly to adapt to these changes. It is a difficult time that we are facing.

    On the other hand, there has been at least one positive trend during the past ten years.

    – The renewable revolution. Solar and wind technologies have dramatically improved in terms of both costs and efficiency. There have been no technological miracles, just steady, incremental improvements. The result is that, in ten years, renewables such as silicon based photovoltaics and wind plants have grown from toys for environmentalists to serious technologies that can produce energy at costs competitive with those of fossil fuels. Renewable energy is the greatest hope we have for a non destructive adaptation to the unavoidable changes ahead. It will not be easy, but it is possible; we need to work hard on it.


  9. I am surprised that 45.9% of those surveyed are still taken in by the nonsense of human induced climate change despite the results from the models being so far off the mark. Maybe the group surveyed were biased. Even the climate modeller’s modeller, Syukuro Manabe, considers the current predictions are as reliable as fairy tales:
    “SM: As the models get ever more complicated – or, as some people say, sophisticated – no one person can appreciate what’s going on inside them. One modeller can be an expert in one component of the model, but doesn’t know the other parts. But now it is impossible to do so. If you make a prediction based on the model and you don’t understand it very well then it is no better than a fortune-teller’s prediction.”
    Taken from this interview:

    Manabe’s recent work looks at how well the various CGCMs predict cloud formation. There is wide variation between models and some distance from actual measurements. If they do not do this well then they will not make meaningful forecasts:

    Weather models cannot forecast 7 days ahead. What chance have they got forecasting 50 years ahead. They are as good as sticking a wet thumb in the air and proclaiming it will be warmer in 50 years – just embellished nonsense.

  10. The bad thing about this study is it may be seen as an admission or recognition by CSIRO that somehow ‘beliefs’ factor in to science.

    Beliefs don’t matter a damn in Science.

    • I’m not sure that it’s bad, Jason, and I don’t think its an admission or recognition that beliefs factor into science. It does (usefully I hope) quantify for policy makers a particular challenge that they will have to factor in to their response to climate change. It also provides insight into how beliefs have changed over time and how they may continue to change into the future.

  11. The MB Loon Pond™ (at least some are just spoofed ids created by the same person):

    ■ astroturfer
    ‡ merely deeply confused
    § the AGW can’t take away my freedumbs

    3d ■
    88888 ■
    Alien ‡
    Andrew ■
    AURules ■
    Aussie1929 ■
    Dan the Man ■
    DoctorX ‡
    Dumpling ‡
    Dystopeon/Guybrush ‡
    ErmingtonPlumbing ‡
    Failed Baby Boomer ‡
    Heissenberg (aka scheissenberg) ■
    Hugh Paveltich §
    Jagster ■
    Jaybonehead ■
    Jono ■
    LBS (aka musclehead) ■
    Lore ‡
    Mig (banned) ‡
    PhilBest §
    Researchtime (aka NoResearchTime) ■
    RickW-MB ■
    Robert ■
    Rusty Penny ■
    Simplicity ■
    Tim ■
    Ting Cow Foo (aka F’ing Cow Poo) ■
    Turncoat ■
    V ■
    Wiley Wolf (aka WilliWanka) ‡
    Willy Nilly ‡

  12. tsport100MEMBER

    What is the obsession with community opinion on this topic?? Just get on with the wholesale shift to clean energy and quit surveying ignorant boomers from the bottom 50% of the intelligence bell-curve.

    • Unfortunately ignoramuses vote and there are many blocks in the community to changing to clean energy which are political not scientific. Witness, for example, Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey and their ‘But windmills are ugly’ rubbish.

    • Totally agree- harnessing the sun’s energy makes sense regardless of ‘climate change’.

      As for man-made climate change, it’s not exactly fact. Sure, it may be there, but the degree to which it is occurring is questionable, and models are far from accurate.

      Finally – isn’t there the potential for a little bit of incentive caused bias here? The folks at the CSIRO who research this would be out of a job if they found absolutely no man-made climate change (not stating that this is the case, just outlining the possible scenario).
      Really need to align incentives so that those performing the research are not provided an incentive (consciously or otherwise) to go looking for a certain outcome.

      • As for man-made climate change, it’s a not exactly fact. Sure, it may be is there, but and the degree to which it is occurring is questionable certain, and models are far from more accurate than most people realize.


        New asshole for The List 🙄

      • tsport100MEMBER

        Hilarious! To fuel a GW of electricity generation with coal requires the burning of 15,000 tonnes of coal every day. That’s a 1 km long train burnt at 50% energy efficiency EVERY DAY. Rule of thumb is a GW capacity per million population so that’s roughly 22GW for the Australian grid.

        It doesn’t take a climate model to understand how GIGATONNES of CO2 ( 32 gigatonnes in 2014) are being emitted into the same atmosphere we breath, and I can’t see a logical argument for how that much pollution can’t have ANY effect!

      • Solar panels on my roof and batteries in the garage makes sense for me. Having chosen that path I can decide to stay with the grid or go it alone. Providing my top FIT remains in place I will stay with the grid and pump as much power into the grid as my system allows while running most of the house off grid.

        When I tell this story to skeptics they make a valid point that I am lucky to have this option and condemn me for taking advantage of the climate change rort in the worst possible way. I simply viewed roof top solar as a good economic choice for me and went that way years ago. Then seeing the writing on the wall with ever increasing energy costs I bought my first large format lithium battery pack four years ago.

        On the other hand if you are living in a high rise apartment in Sydney paying rent or paying off a hefty mortgage the possibility of rooftop solar on the limited roof space and batteries in the basement are simply not an option. If it is not practical for individuals then it requires the grid suppliers to step up. So far they are fiddling at the fringes. To replace a power station the size of Bayswater with solar panels and batteries would require about AUD5bn in hardware alone. Land then needs to be acquired. The power station would not be completely replaced because there would be a few days a year when there is not enough sunshine to charge the batteries so fossil fuel plant would be still needed.

        The solar/battery hardware cost to replace the NEM connected generators would total around AUD88bn. This is not out of the question for Australia. But think of China and India. China would need to find about USD2tn to replace their current thermal capacity. India about USD400bn. There is no economic case that can justify this sort of expenditure.particularly as the wealthy countries reduce their fossil fuel demand causing the price of fossil fuels to fall. In the long run fossil fuels will be uneconomic but the climate change rort is not the best path toward that future. Taxes levied to benefit the renewable energy sector condemns the sector to becoming fat and lazy; never becoming robust without the government support.

      • Taxes levied to benefit the renewable energy sector condemns the sector to becoming fat and lazy; never becoming robust without the government support.

        Funny how you never mention the gigantic subsidies to fossil fuels 🙄

        Take away fossil’s subsidies, enforce a dumping price on CO2 from fossil into air and water effectively and return those revenues to the owners of the air, remove the barriers to entry of the higher ROI alternatives, and the fundamental equation of business drives fossil out of the energy sector in very short order.

      • The folks at the CSIRO who research this would be out of a job if they found absolutely no man-made climate change (not stating that this is the case, just outlining the possible scenario).

        Why ?

        There is no question climate change is happening. Why would people researching it be out of a job if they found out it was “not man-made” ?

        Really need to align incentives so that those performing the research are not provided an incentive (consciously or otherwise) to go looking for a certain outcome.

        Where is your evidence of a multi-generational, worldwide, cross-discipline conspiracy to manipulate climate change science ? Big claims require big evidence.

    • But, but, but…

      What if the whole thing is a scam and we create a better world for no reason ?!

  13. This is the reality of a power grid that has become reliant on unreliable wind and solar:
    “Interestingly enough, the move to diesel power comes amidst a severe energy supply crunch. Britain is closing old coal plants no longer compliant with national and European Union climate policies, which has taken lots of cheap baseload power offline.”

    Maybe China can pay for its solar plants using the proceeds from selling diesel generators to Europe!

  14. Re the NASA findings

    ABC radio referred to results from another scientific group the day after this NASA finding was in media.
    That group finds water around Antarctica is becoming less salty, and thus freezes at warmer temperature.
    ABC didn’t make ref to the NASA findings, but I wondered whether one (freezing at warmer temperature) explains the other (ice sheet getting more expansive).

    I can’t find a link to the item I heard, but this article from SMH in 2013 seems to refer to the same phenomenon.


    Also, during my search, I discovered China reported similar findings to NASA back in March 2015

  15. http://www.eurasiareview.com/01112015-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses/
    NOVEMBER 1, 2015
    “A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

    The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

    According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.”
    ““We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.” Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”

  16. Holy fuck the amount of paid bullshit peddled by commenters here is fucking staggering.

    btw the largest contributor of C02 emissions is continued clearing of forests, woodlands and marshes/bogs – it overwhelmingly dominates artificial emissions (eg cars, power stations).

    Still, I’d rather clean air and low pollution than being a lazy shit and not bothering to maintain the environment.

  17. The reality of solar and wind is that it varies enormously. It can never offer a reliable supply at an economic cost without support from fossil fired or fission plants. The reality in the UK:
    The UK are increasingly reliant on nuclear power from France to make up the shortfall in their renewable energy output.

    The reality in Australia:
    The grid contribution for solar is piddling on overcast days. Albeit some demand is not recorded by the NEM because it is used within households and business and does not go beyond a metered boundary.