back to article Scientists warn on climatic 'tipping points'

An international team of scientists has presented its list of those regions of the planet most at risk from global warming, which are in danger of "sudden and catastrophic collapse" should they pass "tipping point" thresholds beyond which they will never recover. The researchers, comprising experts from the Potsdam Institute …


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  1. carey pridgeon

    Its perfectly safe

    After all, the Earth has got over far worse in the past.

    Well I say safe, safe for the Earth, not safe for us. In fact it was a disaster for all living things when the Poles froze in the first place. I can't see the inverse being any less traumatic.

  2. James Pickett


    Amazon ... heading for 'catastrophic collapse'

    Does Jeff Bezos know?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    new business oppertunities for global warming

    I am seeking funding to start my new busness....

    it is going to be based on the wallmart model, stack it high, sell it cheep....

    to start with, my product line will be air conditioning units and refridgeration equiptment.... this will hopefully bring on the rise in global tempriture a little quicker... then the second part of the busness takes over,,,, selling small boats, and sunblock !!!!

    mine is not the green one !!!

  4. Anigel

    tipping points

    The planet would never recover if these "scientists" let the science do the talking instead of preaching doom and gloom and playing the government sponsored terror card (we will terrify you into submission).

    I frankly do not believe a single word any "scientist" says if they rely on trying to scare the pants off people to get the message across.

    All they are scared of is the money stopping flowing to them.

  5. Paul R

    B*LL SH*T

    -NEVER- recover? Utter rubbish. Despite what all the doom-sayers claim, we are currently in a relatively cold snap in comparison to temperatures over geological time. So, the fact is that there have already been times in earth's past when it has been much hotter, but the ice sheets etc still managed to form somehow.

    Come the next Ice Age (and it will come eventually) and the current ice coverage will pale into insignificance.

    NEVER is a very, very, long time!

  6. 3x2

    Seeing a pattern yet?

    [...] and the reporting has to get more and more hysterical [...]

    Nigel Calder - The Great Global Warming Swindle

  7. Joe K

    All joking aside

    This kind of stuff really scares the bejesus out of me.

    I think we're too far gone now, and that millions are going to start dying over the next decade or two.

    We're all fucked.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    .... threatening low-lying coastal cities.

    I wonder how much all that infrastructure is going to cost to replace? Still,

    I suppose if built to sufficiently low standards, it'd need to be replaced anyway.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    I know the trend is...

    I know the trend is to think of 'global warming' as the root of all evil these days, and I'm sure this comment will start a flame fest, but I don't think that researchers have enough data or experience to predict vast climate shifts yet. And the announcement last year that NASA found its own data in error, finding that the 'hottest day on record' is actually early in the 20th century, and that no real trend exists, did little to bolster confidence in the dire threat of global warming. The ecosystem on this planet is a complex and not well understood beast even now, and even a century's worth of data is a very minor blip in the planet's history. Should we strive to reduce CO2 and methane emissions? Should we make everything 'greener' and try not to pollute? Of course we should. It's common sense if nothing else. We all have to live on Earth for now, and only an idiot sh*ts where they eat. But I personally think that global warming is the new 'fad' or 'hip cause', and any wide ranging proclamations of catastrophe should be taken with a grain of your favorite chemical that has a low impact on the environment.

  10. H'arj Imladd
    Paris Hilton

    We're all dooooomed!

    Sounds like we're all buggered then.

    What we need is a bioengineering boffin to create some sort of self replicating, solar powered carbon dioxide absorbing device that could be spread around the world.

    For larger sites they'd need to be securely fastened to the ground and present a large surface area to the atmosphere via a network of upright and spreading connected bracing structures. The conversion engines themselves would need solar derived power, the power harnessing and generating component of the device would need to be sited close to or ideally in situ with the CO2 converter, such that each had an adequate supply of light and atmospheric CO2. We can call them Terrestrial Resource Environmental Engines, (abbreviated to TREE for simplicity).

    Where space constraints preclude a full sized TREE installation, maybe a miniature version could be produced along the lines of Portable Local Atmosphere Neutralising Terrestrial Solutions (lets call them PLANTS)

    Once self replicating versions of these TREE's and PLANTS can be produced the inventor will be laughing all the way to the bank!

    Paris obviously, as who else knows more about getting wood?

    gets coat and the knitted balaclava, thanks.

  11. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @Joe K

    They said the same thing in the 70s, and the 50s, and in the 1860s, and... well, on and on and on. It was bullcrap then and it's bullcrap now.

  12. Mark


    Nobody listens to the scientists. You hear them in the papers they produce but nobody goes there. They go to politicians, figureheads, newspapers. And they listen to them.

    You're busy texting someone while unbeknownst to you, you're on a level crossing. Someone sees a train heading for you and you cannot see it.

    "There's a train coming" he cries.

    You do nothing.

    "There's a fucking train! move it!!!!" he cries.

    "Stop getting hysterical" you reply.


  13. Tim J
    Thumb Down

    State of denial...

    Judging by most of the above comments, it still seems like people are in a complete state of denial about this.

    Things look bleak, yet no one seems to give a fuck.

  14. Robinson

    We're doomed!

    I read an article on the BBC website the other day about Sharks. "But what does that have to do with the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hypothesis?", I hear you ask. Well, it turns out that the less sharks there are, the more little fishes there are. The more little fishes there are, the less algae there is (because little fishes eat algae) and the less algae there is, the warmer the planet will be. CALL ME A COMPLETE IDIOT, but this catastrophism has now officially gone too far. The BBC article was effectively saying that SHARKS control the climate! If you want to sell your scientific paper to the media, make sure it has a global warming angle. I have one lined up already on the effects on global surface temperature of birds flapping their winds (creating a nice cooling draft). The less birds there are, the warmer the planet will be. Comprende?

    Now, in all seriousness, these hypothesis are nothing more than an exercise in curve fitting. That is, you get a load of data points and then fiddle with a load of variables until you can make a line go through all of them. Please check out for more information on this ridiculous so called "science", or for some entertaining archive links. There are more, many more. Scientists are fiddling (with statistics) while Rome (overpopulation) burns. If these very intelligent but unbelievably stupid people could turn their minds to something more useful, like promoting contraception and birth control, the planet would be in a much better state.

    I apologise in advance for my rant.

  15. Paul Kinsler

    scientists ... All they are scared of is the money stopping flowing to them.

    Let us imaging some recently qualified, numerate physics PhD graduate. What should he do?

    (i) 10 years as a postdoc at Imperial College (which pays quite well, relatively speaking) might get you to the top of the relevant salary scale, paying maybe 36k. That is, unless you have to take a pay cut (or freeze) to stay employed at all. Career takes off? I recall IC professorial salaries in the physical sciences are typically 60-80k.

    (ii) Walk out after your PhD and join some sort of investment bank(etc), start on 40k ish and earn a few bonuses. Probably not too hard to make 80k within 10 years if you try.

    Hmm, there's a tricky career choice for the money hungry.

    But wait! Also prepared to lie, sensationalize, and misinform, and clever enough to get away with it? Would you rather:

    (a) be part of a community of scientists, who, despite various foibles, really _are_ trying to accurately model the world around us, and who constantly cross check results, assumptions, and models.

    (b) invent, model, or sell complex financial instruments whose accuracy can only ever be determined once it's too late to do anything; and even then you don't really know: was it your model, or the (un)luck of the markets?

    Oooh, now that's a tricky one. There's little money in science, and it's harder to get away with sharp practice. Hmm....

    PS: Non-sensational climate science is in science journals. It is not the fault of scientists that the media generally only reports the sensational; nor their fault that the media reports the sensational because that is what sells.

  16. Albert Stienstra

    New religion

    "Global warming" is not just a fad or hip cause, it is a new religion, with new high priests scaring many people into paying them lots of money and respect which they would otherwise not get. While cleaning up you environment is a good thing, most things advocated by the high priests to "save the earth" are pretty ridiculous, such as hybrid cars (great big batteries, extra weight, wasteful charging processes producing pollution in other places, lots of waste lead scrap), the silly tree planting to compensate CO2 emission and especially all the braying talk producing even more CO2.

  17. H2Nick

    Top tip

    Dont buy anywhere to live in less than (100 - <your age>) feet above sea level...

  18. Justin Case
    Paris Hilton

    @ threatening low-lying coastal cities

    Can't see the problem. There's supposed to be too much rubbish for landfill. Why don't they use all this excess waste to build up the land to protect us from the ravages of allegedly rising sea levels?

    Global warming my...

  19. Wade Burchette

    We are screwed, so give us more money

    Have you noticed that as people get better informed and thus more skeptical of the doomsayers, that the doomsayers get more dramatic. If people aren't scared, people won't give them money or vote them into office. The truth isn't scary, the truth doesn't get ratings. The truth is Al Gore's worst nightmare.

  20. Tony Humphreys

    Man the lifeboats!

    Shock, Horror!

    Arctic ice retreating, melting like never before!

    The end of the world is nigh, imagine living in a world where it was so hot you could sail around the top of Canada.

    How did the vikings manage, how did they do it - did they have patio heaters and 4x4s to irrevocably damage the earth?

    I know what will fix the problem, Tax it. There - done.

    Now I am off to burn some history books to keep warm the day after tomorrow!

  21. captain kangaroo
    Paris Hilton


    You've fallen for trap 1. Citing discredeted sources... There are so many complaints about that show that I wouldn't even admit to having seen it in. Even the people in the film have denounced it as wildly inaccurate and mi-representing.

    That was easy...

    <--3x2, that's you that is... ;)

  22. Mark


    Sadly, I thought that the readership of Reg was a little more sophisticated than BBC HYS ranters or Ebaumsworld.

    Yes I am a Scientist. In fact I am sitting in my lab typing this now. I can ensure you that the Scientific Method is more important than anything to the vast majority of us.

    Like most scientists, although I have studied for longer and in more depth than a student medical doctor to get my Ph.D, my earnings are less than the average bricklayer. We do this work because it is important to us and to humanity. Perhaps this suggests to you that we are not a bunch of snide dirty liars who will do anything to get our hands on some cash? Had I spent my time and efforts into becoming a banker or a businessman or a medical doctor instead, I sure that I could be a very rich man by now.

    So far, the majority of evidence tested by the highly stringent Scientific Method suggests that global warming is very real. I find the uneducated layman who is prepared to declare his superior knowlege an interesting if frightenting scientific study in itself - e.g. christians do not believe in evolution as if the bible is wrong, there is probably no heaven (and therefore no afterlife), while global warming deniers may not want to admit the possibility, as they do not want to change their lifestyle (ditch the new 4x4/BMW, stop flying to Ibiza for 2 weeks every year etc), or simply cannot face the frightening reality that faces us.

    @ Paul R. So far as "oh well, humanity will deal with it, wrong. The last time the ice caps melted, the ocean conveyor stopped and the seas became stagnant and most sealife died. Huge amounts of poison gas were emitted into the atmosphere, and most of the larger life forms became extinct. Humanity could probably not survive this.

  23. Ash


    You're trying to tell me that from the time of the Industrial Revolution , we've pumped more CO2 and other "greenhouse gases" into the atmosphere than 4.5 BILLION years of orogenesis, tectonic activity, and biological life formation?


    Because when I did Geology (albeit A-Level), I was informed of exactly how these things affected the poles (Ice caps and magnetic), and how the alteration of the atmosphere attributes to these.

    Do you folk seriously not know that the magnetic poles aren't permanent? They totally disappear for a short period of time, then reverse (over a geological time period).

    Do you folk seriously not know that the Ice Caps aren't permenant? That minor ice-ages are in fact 10,000 year cycles (where the ice receeds and grows), and major ice ages occur every couple of million years (Where ice TOTALLY melts and reforms to cover large parts of Europe)?

    I guess not. That's why we have all this bullshit faux-science about Patio Heaters and cow farts.

    Flames for the convection heater warming my feet right now.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @State of denial

    yes but we're (EU) expected to solve global warming by paying a soon forthcoming carbon tax! (small places like India, Brazil, China, USSR and oh yes, USA excepted) as the whole thing is debatably of natural origin due to solar wobbles, cometary influence, cows flatulence - go on then - I admit Jeremy C. and his industrial revolution might have upped the rate of growth a bit.

    I just paid my TV license so I won't be arrested in 2008, if I pay my carbon tax(es) then I'm sure Global Warming will stop!?

    won't it?

    Paris understands everything

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Can somone explain please..

    ...why there are multi billion dollar projects, ongoing, which aim to create cities on reclaimed land in the middle east. Palm Island, World Islands anyone?

    It seems a little strange to me that we are predicting rising sea levels at the same time as actually building in areas which would be flooded? Should I believe the guys investing several hundred billion in just-above sea-level construction or should i believe the man in the lab coat with the brown envelope sticking out of his pocket?

    This is just another hobgoblin to frighten the population.

    Also, there is an elephant in the room - when our ill-conceived "solutions" to halt climate change fail, as they surely will, we will have to face that elephant.

    Its called mass-murder on a global scale. Maybe it will be called the "final solution"

  26. 3x2

    @State of denial...

    <..>Judging by most of the above comments, it still seems like people are in a complete state of denial about this.<..>

    Or perhaps we are not quite as gullible as some. Perhaps we know how to separate hard science from complete guess work. Perhaps some of us are old enough to have been here before. Northern cites under 100ft of ice, 25 billion starving humans by 2000 - any of this ringing any bells yet?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    "The Great Global Warming Swindle"

    Yeh, there is no proof that smoking causes cancer, all the scientists are still debating it, no evidence at all. My grandmother smoked 100 a day and died of naturally causes when the cancer naturally stopped her lungs working.

    People have died of lung cancer before man smoked so smoking can't cause lung cancer.

    It's urban smoke islands that cause lung cancer, people with lung cancer tend to congregate near hospitals causing a locally increased number of lung cancer victims near the centre of smoky towns.

    Whose to say the world won't be better if people die of lung cancer, what if hitler was alive today, would the would be a better place?

    Read about how them scientishians are cashing in, in my new book 'The Great Global Smoking Swindle" priced 13.99 at all good book stores.

  28. Thought About IT

    Who needs evidence?

    There seem to be a lot of people here who don't allow any amount of evidence to the contrary to affect their beliefs. A bit like religion, or more like the smoking lobby really. Perhaps our brains have been hardwired to self-destruct - a defect that wasn't spotted before release to manufacturing. Rendering the planet unfit for human habitation should do the trick.

  29. John Bayly


    You've got it wrong way round.

    By flapping their wings, birds are acting as a stirring device. They are increasing the kinetic energy in the molecules and are effectively increasing the air temperature.

    Save the planet - Kill more birds!

  30. Mark

    @Paul Kinsler

    Paul, what is the total government budget on research? Has it gone up in line with real inflation? Compare to the figures being spend in, ooh, 2002, when GW was "known" by the US government to be wrong. So wrong, in fact that people who proposed that it *could* be right were sacked from positions of authority in the US government heirachy.

    Now, please check how much money is being spend on research to find oil? Process oil. Make medicines. Research treatments.

    Has science spending gone up in these private areas more or less than government spending?

    Now, if it turns out that there is little change in government research, then how can scientists be making all this shit up just to keep a research grant? At worst, some scientists are not working under other areas, but they WOULD have still been paid if AGW wasn't persued, just in a different area.

    If private spending on research has gone up more than government spending, then surely if the scientists were worried about unemployment would be pandering to these private interests and taking jobs there, not trying to stymie their efforts to make more profit.

    And your conspiracy requires that ALL scientists are in on the scheme: even those arguing against would have at some time had an opportunity to be told "play along and we'll get loadsamoney" and then decided to just say "no" rather than extract the evidence of this conspiracy to defraud the public purse for the benefit of scientists.

  31. Mark

    @Graham Dawson

    They also said it before the Black Death.


  32. Mat

    They are not scientists anymore..

    They are political evangelists

  33. Luge

    Oh Dear

    I find it quite depressing reading many of the reactions posted. Let's assume that the average IQ of an El Reg reader is (probably) higher than the national average and certainly more informed than many on the planet.

    If approx 50% of people who have posted on this topic think we're being swindled into believing that global warming is pure hype, what hope is there for convincing others?

    Suggest you wake up from your denial paralysis and stop swallowing hook, line and sinker the media messages planted by the corporates to discredit the genuine research that has been undertaken.

    Wheeling out the 'odd scientist' and claiming that this negates all the other work to date is laughable or at least would be if there weren't so many muppets who actually believe it. It's taken nearly 40 years to get the global warming message into the mainstream media backed by millions of hours scientific research. However, no problem - we can offset all that by putting out a single programme that produces the element of doubt and bingo, jobs a good 'un.

    Seem to remember the same disbelief ref the ozone layer when first raised. Why is it that so many people require absolute proof when the indicators are already relatively clear? Surely the downside is so bad that it is worth trying to avoid even if the worst of the predictions don't come to pass.

    The Indians had it right when they used to ask "What impact will this decision have on the 5th generation?". Now we seem to be struggling to get beyond which hospital has Britney has gone into?

    For all those who wish to put their heads in the sand there is one positive -we are probably already f**ked. Hope you don't mind having your grave spat on by your grandchildren - then again I guess you won't be admitting your current stance to them by that stage. Consume and enjoy!

  34. Paul R
    Dead Vulture


    I never said anything like what you've attributed to me, so I'm not sure what you're talking about.

    But, even if what you say is true, and man doesn't survive such a catastrophe, so what I say. We do not actually hold some form of exalted position whereby we must survive against all odds. As a scientist I am sure that you're perfectly aware that we have only existed for the blink of an eye in geological terms. Whilst we may have achieved many things (not all necessarily stuff to be proud of) that no other species on this planet has, that does not imbue us with special survival rights when the inevitable *natural* climatic cycles roll on and bring about the next great catastrophe (and the one after that, and the one after that, etc. etc.) When we're gone and forgotten, some other species will no doubt arise to hold our position. May they repeat our successes, but avoid our failures.

  35. Anigel


    I find the comment about the uneducated layman to be a major proof of the lack of your scientific method.

    You have done zero research into me or my education so to assert that I belong in this group is a massive shortfall in your educated position.

    Try this for scientific method.

    We already have evidence that the planet has already recovered from situations far worse than predicted so therefore the whole NEVER RECOVER position is fundamentally flawed.

    I am sure you can apply scientific method to that and see the flaws without me hitting you with a cloo by four

  36. 3x2

    Here be Dragons

    [...] If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic [...]

    [...] The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard pressed to keep up with it [...]

    [...] The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change when the result become a grim reality [...]

    Newsweek April 28th 1975

    (Very lengthy article on the forthcoming Apocalypse of Global Cooling)

    As for "captain kangaroo" - pointing me to the Holy Scripture of your Priesthood won't make me a convert.

    "Even the people in the film have denounced it as wildly inaccurate and mi-representing."

    So Nigel Calder, ex editor of New Scientist, is wrong when discussing the media feeding frenzy for ever more fantastical predictions is he?

    Boy, they really have done a number on you.

  37. Richard

    Climate Change is a symptom

    a symptom of over consumption. Happens to be hydrocarbons today

    water tomorrow? We need to move to a market based on services not stuff..

    BTW I'm suprised at the lack of intellectual debate here...and anyone who quotes from the 'Great Global Warming Swindle' should be sectioned under the mental health act as a threat to society

  38. Robinson


    "So far, the majority of evidence tested by the highly stringent Scientific Method suggests that global warming is very real. I find the uneducated layman who is prepared to declare his superior knowlege an interesting if frightenting scientific study in itself -"

    You aren't a scientist, at least I'm sure you haven't read the Wegman report on peer review in Climate Science. If you had, you wouldn't be so patronising to us "laymen", many of whom are in fact highly educated independent thinkers. We do not rest our intelligence on the authority of others. You may do so, working in the Ivory tower of science, but don't assume we are all as compliant and thoughtless as you.

    The process of peer review is not a guarantee of scientific integrity and neither is it a guarantee of scientific correctness. In climate science, it isn't even stringent. In fact it is lax, "chummy" and totally inadequate. It would help if just for starters, the climate community actually occasionally published their data. Often they do not and when asked to do so by interested parties, call in lawyers to protect it. Moreover, it would also help if these people, schooled as they are in "Climatology", were actually experts on statistics. They are not. Once again, see Wegman and the whole hockey stick debacle (one of many, if you care to investigate for yourself).

  39. Mr C

    dont make me laugh

    i've been in the US and what strikes me is when talking to most US residents they seem to think that there's nothing wrong with the climate and that its all a natural phenomenon.

    On the other side of the world (EU) people are genuinely afraid.

    I know i'm afraid - not for myself but for my kids and their kids.

    i really believe scientists are doing a good job with the data at hand.

    We've never been in this predicament before so i can understand the sceptiscism about not knowing how to accurately read & interpret the signs available to us.

    BUT i really hope that Bush gets his head out of his ass and stops thinking about the economy (not ratifying the Kyoto protocol because "its bad for the economy" , or "lets undo the ban that Clinton put in place against building a road right through 43 milion acres of national forest") and instead starts thinking about the future of his little corner of the world

    There's just no changing the mind of US ppl, for each argument you have they have 2 more against it.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Oh well, back to growing crops in Greenland?

    Lets see... Vikings used to grow crops in Greenland and England had vineyards before it got cold the last time. So how is it wrong for the climate to return to the pre-chill temperatures?

    By the way, the largest greenhouse gas component of the atmosphere is H2O. Some one please tell me how we can reduce the H2O in the air (without killing everyone) so that we can turn the Earth into a snowball.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We are stuffed

    I'm not the scientist Mark is but I spent a lot of time doing 'green' work, not because someone told me to but because I saw a need for it after a lot of reading and thought. I'm careful with my carbon footprint (so the naysayers above can burn it for me I'm sure).

    I may be wrong, I may be right. If I'm wrong then some commercial damage will have been done and the economy will not have grown quite as much.

    If I'm right then the cost of a possible disaster could be truly immense (I said could be, not will be). So I err on the side of the precautionary principle.

    Others like their cars, holidays, gadgets and what doesn't hurt them or their family, personally, right now, does not exist. And the less they know about the subject, the easier it is to deny everything.

    Do the work then - read the IPCC reports (the shortened summary report at least), talk to climate scientists as I did, read the sceptics' posts and see how non-sceptics respond, then weigh the evidence, then post.

  42. 3x2


    <...> BTW I'm suprised at the lack of intellectual debate here...and anyone who quotes from the 'Great Global Warming Swindle' should be sectioned under the mental health act as a threat to society <...>

    Yes, I believe that's one of the methods all the major religions fall back on to silence heretics.

    He's probably paid by "big oil" or some such but what the hell ....

    <...>Suggest you wake up from your denial paralysis and stop swallowing hook, line and sinker the media messages planted by the corporates to discredit the genuine research that has been undertaken.<...>

    The worrying thing about the whole climate issue for many is complete lack of criticism by the corporates or indeed anyone else. When people become afraid to speak out against the prevailing view for whatever reason you have moved well beyond the realms of science.

  43. Mark

    @Ash hole

    "You're trying to tell me that from the time of the Industrial Revolution , we've pumped more CO2 and other "greenhouse gases" into the atmosphere than 4.5 BILLION years of orogenesis, tectonic activity, and biological life formation?"

    Yes (though for most of those 4.5bn years there was no biological life, so natch).

    Because we have calcification causing rocks to absorb CO2, we have increasing biomass locking up carbon and so on.

    On average, they cancel out.

    When we burn oil, there's no mechanism that takes carbon and creates new oil deposits.

  44. Mark


    I've done more research into you than you have into climatology. I read your posting for a start.

    As for calling you an idiot, I never did. I know NOTHING about wiring an electrical system. I'm fairly sure I could find out.

    You may be well read on engineering a dam (another area I know nothing about) but that doesn't mean you know squat about climatology and numerical modelling. That doesn't say you're stupid (opinionated and thin-skinned, yes) but there's only so much one person can know and it's a lot less than the sum of human knowledge (unlike the renaissance where a VERY smart person could know enough to be knowledgeable on any subject).

    So get that stick out of your arse.

  45. Albert Stienstra

    Oh, and about CO2

    A couple of nice graphs on global temperature change in the 20th century shows that atmospheric CO2 lags the arctic temperature graph. Typical of the political/IPCC establishment to address an effect of climate change instead of the cause. Of course, it is not so easy to turn down the sun...

  46. Ben

    Balance of power

    The Green house effect is real, no denying it, IR absorbing molecules in our atmosphere ensure a nice warm blanket. Human activity has with no doubt increased our contribution greater than simply breathing and breeding, and the earth is warming up. These are all facts, however what 4 degrees increase in global temperature will do to our sacred planet are at best educated guess and nearly always doom and gloom.

    Here are some of my (not at all educated, though I hold a PhD in chemistry) positive prediction of 4 degree increase global temperature.

    The Sahara desert will become a tropical paradise in the next 200 years.

    Greenland will reveal, large fertile plains and rise above sea level as the weight of ice is removed.

    Everyone will live closer to the seaside.

    New Trade paths will exist shorting the distance traveled by ships (saving energy).

    My point is the biggest fear from climate change is shift in power. If Europe and America suffer large drought and flooding, losing valuable land, whilst other areas of the world may gain something from the change of climate.

    But the real issue, is over population it is that which is the greatest threat to humanity and the world. It doesn't matter how carbon neutral the world gets, if it continues to grow, more ecosystems and land will be consumed to sustain us.

    Save the world, use contraception.

  47. Anonymous Coward


    Raise taxes! Ban some luxury items that emit inconsequential amounts of CO2! Tell everybody to not use energy! Develop carbon-neutral methods of energy production that can never meet any realistic level of demand (yes, wind, I'm looking at you)! DEMAND that everyone uses seriously impractical methods of 'transport'!

    Only these petty, ineffective measures can save us now!

  48. Mark

    @Paul Kinsler

    Paul, you opine that the only reason for pushing AGW as truth is because this continues funding.

    Well what proof is there that the funding of scientists rely on AGW?

    We had government scientists with funding in the past. We had scientists investigating AGW for more than a century (before this was a hot button topic), so faddism can't explain THAT. Yet you can't debunk that old investigation.

    Hence I asked the questions I asked. They could prove how much extra funding scientists get because they proclaim AGW and rating it against other forms of renumeration of a scientist would show whether this is a valid economic point.

    If it cannot be proved that there's more funding, or that more and better funding is from NOT persuing AGW investigations, then your premise that scientists are motivated in this investigation by grant applications must be incorrect.

  49. Paul Bottomley

    climatic tipping points

    .... are when cows falls over?

  50. xmfclick

    Wonder why they called it Greenland ...

    ... not "Whiteland" or "Iceland". Oh, hang on, that one was already taken ...

  51. Nick Woodson

    .....And now a word from an Ugly American

    I'd greatly appreciate it if the Brits in the audience would separate the general population from our "leaders". Almost everyone has disavowed the current leadership (anyone with any sense) and I believe that the average American would agree that the current state of environmental affairs is, at best, potentially unhealthy. If you're informed regarding our "problem child" you'll no doubt be aware that many NASA reports were tampered with because they didn't promote the right politcal agenda, thus resulting in a number of high-profile firings after exposure. In fairness, it depends on who was in charge of some of the studies over here as to their validity.

    That being said, we pretty much agree that the earth goes through natural cycles that still aren't totally understood, but the fact remains that damage done during the Industrial Age is becoming a measurable factor. Let's dispense with the hubris and get down to the work of cleaning house. We can't control natural cycles, but it's irresponsible to not at least attempt to control our own behavior...and for God's sake clean up or send the species to its grave without pudding!

  52. Dave Errington

    Has anybody ever considered

    I also am a scientist, with a proper science degree and everything. I get really annoyed by the use of the term "scientist" in any media report which apparently means that whatever is quoted must be true because the scientist says so.

    For the record, I have a degree in Chemistry, however i'm sure that if i really wanted to I could get some work making quotes for journalists on all kind of non-chemistry related topics and all would be believed if they called me scientist or boffin (Reg!).

    On a completely different note, surely there must be some positives from this whole global warming lark? If the ice sheets melt and the world heats up will there not be an increase in evaporation, resulting in beneficial increases in rainfall over vast swathes of the globe? Will the massive ice covered area of the old USSR suddenly become huge greem fields large enough to solve world hunger? Is it just a case of the people who currently "have" getting worried that the global balance of power will shift to the "have-nots"?


  53. Dale

    Im amazed by the number of neysayers in here...

    As someone who works in IT support for atmospheric research I can tell you two things.

    1. 90% of research scientists are not very well paid at all. Im mid level IT support and I get paid better than most of the scientists here.

    2. This stuff is real. The people doing the research have no vested interested in telling people that we need to cut emissions, they are putting it froward simply because it is the most sensible option.

    3. There is a significant chance that we are fucked. Luckily for me my house is on a hill :)

    Why is it people seem to be happy to believe in something that suits their prejudices (scientists are all in league, its all a hippie hoax, etc, etc) so easily, but cant just go and look at the real documentation and peer reviewed articles. This would put any rational doubt people have to rest.

  54. Robinson


    "We had government scientists with funding in the past. We had scientists investigating AGW for more than a century (before this was a hot button topic), so faddism can't explain THAT. Yet you can't debunk that old investigation."

    It isn't exactly Rocket Science. Funding for Climatology, Atmospheric Physics, Oceanography and other disciplines has increased approximately 100-fold since this latest scare began. They tried it in the 70's with the great global cooling catastrophe and now here we go again. Chicken little.....

  55. Luther Blissett
    Paris Hilton

    @ "SHARKS control the climate"

    QDOS to Robinson.One of the best jokes I've read on AGW. Who would have expected the BBC to let slip the real truth, even if it happened to emerge clothed in metaphor rather than naked, plain and unvarnished.

    Climate of fear - Iran, credit crisis, terrorists, fear of smoke, fear of breathing, fear of food, fear of fear... How the sharks controlling all this propaganda are laughing while they are feeding.

    And still you think sociology is for people soft in the head?

  56. Albert Stienstra

    @ Mark

    Nobody disagrees that the earth is warming up. But there is significant disagreement among top class climate scientists that the climate change is caused by humanity.

    The IPCC who are lobbying this - as I am sure you know, as a Scientist - do not use the Stringent Scientific Method, because they remove people who disagree with their general consensus. Their peer review does not mean anything. That leaves us with proposals that are ineffective and harmful for many countries - especially developing countries. Not to mention tons of money going into this process.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yep that old warhorse about Vikings and Greenland has reared its ugly head again.

    Let's get it straight. (Putting his trained geologist hard hat on)...

    Greenland in the Viking Period was not a lush paradise, its coasts had isolated patches of marginal land, the interior was the same ice cap that's there today. Greenland was always colder than both Iceland and Norway; its winters were harsher and summers short and frost prone. The Greenland communities remained heavily reliant on imports from Iceland and Norway for even quite basic materials.

    Greenland got its name through Erik the Red's nordic spin-doctory; as the Icelandic sources put it: "He named the land Greenland, saying that people would be eager to go there if it had a good name."

    The whole situation ended with the passing of the Medieval Warm Period - a time of unusual warmth in the North Atlantic region. There is much less evidence of a global warm period at the time, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. It is therefore not analogous to the current warming which is not only global, but occurring much faster than the MWP.

    Scientists are much less concerned about the absolute temperatures we're seeing (it's still relatively nippy compared to the Eocene about 50mya when London had a pleasantly African climate including hippos), than the rate of change which is unusual.

    Admittedly it is not unprecedented; the aforementioned Eocene kicked off with the Initial Eocene Thermal Maximum which is associated with a major extinction event and massive changes in sea level; but it is one of the fastest we know about. At the moment, the best explanation we have is that our CO2 emissions are driving the warming.

    Oh and before I go, the ice age fears of the 1970s were well founded considering the state of knowledge of the time. Although it is worth pointing out that even then, the majority of scientists predicted climate to either remain unchanged or warm slightly.

    But back to the cooling hypothesis.

    For the last 12,000 years we've been living in an interglacial (periods of relative warmth between glacial advances). Isotope work done on Pleistocene deposits showed repeated advances interleaved with relatively short interglacials of between 10,000 and 20,000 years. The present Flandrian interglacial is already 12,000 years old it seemed to be reasonable to assume the climate would be turning inevitably towards the next glacial advance.

    We now know that interglacials can last in excess of 100,000 years and the switch between the two extremes takes much less time than we thought - ice ages don't take tens of thousands of years to develop or end, they appear quite abruptly.

    There was some evidence to support the cooling theory. The climate between 1940(ish) and 1970(ish) had cooled somewhat, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. We know know this was mainly due to heavy industrialisation during the post-War economy and the newer economies of the Soviet Union, China and Japan producing huge amounts of particulates from coal and unchecked emissions of sulphur dioxide. Through the 1960s and 70s, the West rapidly switched to oil and gas and began to filter SO2 from its emissions, the skies cleared and the climate turned back to normal.

  58. Dr Stephen Jones

    The Warmers are now quite scary

    "So far, the majority of evidence tested by the highly stringent Scientific Method suggests that global warming is very real."

    A few politically-motivated fanatics cooking the evidence and pumping into a computer model to get terrifying looking hockey stick temperature graphs. Which then don't stand up to a moment's scrutiny. Not what I call stringent.

    But not as scary as this:

    @ Richard:

    "anyone who quotes from the 'Great Global Warming Swindle' should be sectioned under the mental health act as a threat to society "

    Translation: anyone who disagrees with me is mad, and must have their liberties and right to free expression curtailed. You disagree with me. Therefore you are mad, and must have your liberties and right to free expression curtailed.

    Is that a threat?

  59. Justin Case
    Paris Hilton

    @ We are stuffed (Anon. Cow.)

    "I may be wrong, I may be right. If I'm wrong then some commercial damage will have been done and the economy will not have grown quite as much."

    "If I'm right then the cost of a possible disaster could be truly immense (I said could be, not will be). So I err on the side of the precautionary principle."

    So you'll be stocking up on rabbits' feet, not walking on the cracks in the pavement, attending mosque, church & synagogue as well as buying The Watchtower? What else - maybe the sacrifice of a few furry animals to appease vengeful gods? Can't be too careful when exercising ones precautionary principles can we?

    PH because she never takes precautions.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of Course's hapenning.

    If it wasn't, we'd still be in the last ice-age!

    Goes through cycles.

    We (humans) are almost certainly accelerating the issue, but the Earth will self-regulate...drought, famine, floods, whatever...

    Having said that, we should do more to cut down on the accelerators - common sense, really.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    And they missed one...

    ...which is the ocean, now is now getting to the point where it no longer wants to soak up much CO_2. Then the methane gassing out from thawing Siberian permafrost kicks in.

    Zut alors.

    My problem is that I will have to kill all those shore-dwellers when they come rushing inlands.

  62. Anony Mous
    Jobs Horns

    Assuming that global warmingcooling is real...

    Why don't the "scientists" (politicians) make a PREDICTION? You know, as in "if we reduce the number of cars on the road by such and such, the temperature of the Earth will decrease/increase by such and such degrees centigrade."

    Answer: because when a solid, testable prediction is made, it generally turns out to be complete and total bullspunky. It's much more effective to incite general panic by saying "the planet's going to DIE!" instead of giving solid, provable numbers.

    It's all bull. Don't throw trash out your window, but feel free to drive an SUV with impunity (assuming you can afford the gas...).

  63. Mark

    Re:Has anybody ever considered

    Ask the people of Boscastle whether they'd like some more rain.

    Take body armour.

    Oh, and for those yibbering on about Greenland, it was a real estate hoax. The people transported there dief out REAL quick.

  64. Mark

    Re: Oh, and about CO2

    Albert, do you know what that lag means? Are you a statistician to see what lags and what preceeds? Are you sure the graphs were for the 20th Century?

    Because what you're saying is bollocks.

    Prehistoric records show CO2 lagging temperature changes.

    But I suspect you don't know that, all you know is people have said that in the past CO2 lagged temperatures, so GW is a myth and you didn't bother to look.

    Am I right?

    Shit, why can't you people make good arguments against AGW? If they turn out to be right, we're all saved, if they turn out to be uncertainties then people working on it can see whether they can become UNcertain.

    But no, actually working to find a reason why AGW is wrong is too much work, so you make shit up out of half-remembered facts that help prove you right.

    Give some room to sceptics who

    a) know what the fuck they're on about

    b) can prove what they say is valid

  65. Mark

    There are two Marks, Agiel

    And I thought you were talking to me, hence "get the stick out of your arse".

    Apologies for jumping so hard on you.

    PS you're still wrong.

  66. Chris G

    Time to get the speedos on

    For most of us probably the only benefit of climate change is going to be not having to go so far to the beach. But, what really amazes me is the number of commenters who say glibly `there may be swings in the Earth's climate but it has always survived´.

    Of course it has bloody well survived or we wouldn't be talking about it in the Reg'.

    The point is ( as the dinosaurs could have told you if they had survived their climate change) the world is going to change quite a lot, with more energy entering the system, it may not be noticeably hotter it may just be that storms are a bit more energetic and more frequent ( insure against storm damage now for the next fifty years) the rain may be a bit more monsoon like. The infrastucture that we have now may not exist,but the Earth will still be around so that's OK. Just think it through.

  67. Mark
    Dead Vulture


    "Funding for Climatology, Atmospheric Physics, Oceanography and other disciplines has increased approximately 100-fold since this latest scare began. They tried it in the 70's with the great global cooling catastrophe and now here we go again. Chicken little....."

    Hmm. So how much WAS spent in the 70's combating global cooling, Robinson? You seem to know a lot more than the frigging newspapers that kept this frickin story alive!

    One research paper showed that particulates were causing global cooling. Noted that this effect was uncertain and that the buildup of CO2 and other greenohuse gasses could be offsetting this but the trend would take a long time to see with any certainty.



    Newsweek picks it up and screams "GLOBAL COOLING WILL DAMN US ALL!!!!oneone11oneon"

    Then YOU swallow this crap hook line and sinker because you don't want to have to clean up your mess as long as you can't see the mess.

    For fucks sake, there are some good arguments countervailing AGW out there but you can't frigging find them for all the shite being spewed.

  68. James Condron


    Yeah, the Earth heating so much that in millions of years the ice melts sounds bad, but where has anyone said what will actually happen after that? Are we to believe that the ice melts and suddenly we're all dead?

    Consider freak summers when it gets dead warm, or el nino... yeah, tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage occurs, but millions is made due to warmer summers. Old people wont freeze to death. No pnuemonia.

    So penguins may die... do we not have zoos that can hold them? Why not a big zoo in the future? Gigantic sized freezers?

    As soon as someone says what will happen after the earth 'heats up catestrophically' then yeah, fair play

  69. tardigrade
    Thumb Down


    I am not a Scientist, I am merely a lowly Sys-admin. I do however know the difference between Climate Change, Global Warming and Man Made Global Warming and I don't like the way that the mainstream press don't seem to want people to understand those differences, as all three of those are interchanged randomly and used incorrectly.

    The only Science that we seem to need to know is that money paid as Tax develops the chemical ability to absorb huge quantity's of CO2 & Methane and negate the effects of water vapour. Amazing.

    A decade ago the serious Scientists were telling us that increased mean global temperature's would lead to increased evaporation that leads to an increase in precipitation and snow fall at the extreme ends of the spectrum. And that was the key element. Weather fluctuations at the extremes in localised environments.

    Now we are told about the ice shelf collapses in the western Antarctic but not the aggregate accretion across the rest of the continent that The British Antarctic Survey has mapped. etc.

    I was going to go on but what's the point? When Al Gore tells you that you have to change your life style but he doesn't need to because he can afford to pay (offset) someone else to suffer in his place. Then you just know that an issue whether serious or not has been hi-jacked by the Politicians.

    7m Sea level rises? Not in this millennium any serious Scientist will tell you that.

    @Mark "Yes I am a Scientist. In fact I am sitting in my lab typing this now."

    Shouldn't you be doing some climate modelling then, rather than posting to El-Reg on Government funded time?

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ justin case


    "So you'll be stocking up on rabbits' feet, not walking on the cracks in the pavement"

    I don't see the relationship between snuff-it lagamorphic podiatry and global warming, nor indeed do I find pavement cracks belching CO2.

    ", attending mosque, church & synagogue as well as buying The Watchtower?"

    Look up Pascal's Wager.

    While I take your point, I am an atheist and even if I was not I'd probably feel a sense of responsibility that went beyond merely invoking <deity> to look after me like like a wuz a likkle kiddy.

    "What else - maybe the sacrifice of a few furry animals to appease vengeful gods? Can't be too careful when exercising ones precautionary principles can we?"

    Animal/human sacrifice doesn't affect weather. That theory went out, oooh, years ago. I personally think curtailing anthropogenic CO2 would be better, don't you agree?

    So, you've managed to duck my point entirely, that knowledge is a sounder basis for debate and subsequent action than denial. Well done! Perfectly illustrated my point.

    *so* much easier than reading the IPCC reports, and quicker too.

  71. Eric Worrall

    Carbon Cult

    The ecofreaks remind me of the bible bashers who urge that the return of Jesus is imminent, and you better join their cult now. Sadly though, the Carbon Cult is infinitely more sinister than a few over enthusiastic evangelists.

    Last time the Eugenics catastrophists, confident in their scientific consensus that genetic pollution would return us to the stone age, killed 7 million Jews to improve the race.

    Now poor people are dying because only rich people can afford the self inflicted expense of trying to appease the Carbon God.,authorised=true.html

    How many poor Africans and Asians will die because of the great global warming swindle, before their pseudo scientific bluff is finally called?

  72. jay




  73. Mark

    @Albert Stienstra

    When you talk about top class scientists, are you referring to the 2,000 names on the Oregon (?) petition? Ones that included Einstein? Dr Death? Podiatrists?

    One scientist is often trotted out as having left the IPCC because of bias. However, none of you ask or repeat why he left: NOT because AGW is wrong or we aren't responsible for more than half of it but because the IPCC may (from his POV *are*) going over the top on how much worse hurricanes are going to be because of global warming. That's completely different from what is posited: that he doesn't believe AGW is real. He DOES. He doesn't think there'll be a 3% increase in hurricane severity by 2020 under "business as usual" climate warming. He thinks the number will be down and the severity up, though the overall effect will be a small increase in total damage capbility.

    Oh, and a point for Eric: Calling people "ecofreaks" is NOT going to get you thought of as the moderate voice. It'll get you thought of as an arsehole.

  74. J

    Personal responsability

    That's what these socialistic hippies denying AGW lack: personal responsibility. They don't want to answer for their past/present/future hedonistic, wasteful life styles, so they say it's not our fault. It's all the sun's fault, sue the sun! Or whatever. Just don't take my toys away... And if disaster does ensue (which always fucks up the miserable to begin with), who cares? I'll be dead anyways...

  75. Paul Kinsler

    erm @Mark,

    My comment above was supposed to demonstrate that money-hungry, numerate, PhD qualified exponents of sharp practice would be daft to stay in science (whether climate sci or not), and should instead sod off to the City to get more money.

    Or do some sort of consulting on the side, all the better to extract money from Big Business.

  76. Anonymous Coward

    Really scary stuff

    One of the key points in the 'climate debate' is that many of the people on side supporting the concept of AGW and advocating mandatory changes for other people are much the same people who were involved in other organisations in the past demanding a similar amount of change & control, but for entirely different reasons.

    If you follow some of the opinions through to their logical conclusion you end up with the sort of things advocated here:

    Read some of the comments. Yes, there are still people out there who think that the 'greater good' requires that a few people thinking the right kind of thoughts should have control over everyone and force radical change on them. You'd have thought that all the other times this has happened would have proved it isn't a good idea...

    If you really look at it the reason people support an idea is either a) they think they know better than you, and are convinced it's their duty to convert the world b) they want power (even if unconsciously), and the best kind of power is being able to make other people do what you want against their will or c) they don't believe a word, but there's profit in it for them; so, for example, campaigning against climate change while having involvement in a carbon credit company.

    Personally, I remain firmly agnostic at the moment. I'm waiting for proper evidence rather than hype, and mere consensus isn't enough - lots of wrong ideas have been widely accepted in the past, and it didn't make them true.

    I also remain firmly against compulsion or taxation as a method for changing behaviour; it's far more effective to make people want to do something because there's a real benefit compared to the old way rather than forcing them. Especially if the change you want to make isn't actually worth doing except to be seen to be doing something.


    Given what we've seen so far, I'm sure one day we'll end up with people advocating and enforcing something effective but immoral as a 'solution', say for example mass population culls. Kill a couple of billion of the poor and unproductive, or the poorly educated, or the old, or the 'inferior' and you'd certainly reduce emissions & general environmental damage.

    But it wouldn't make it the right thing to do.

    Though I'm not sure that those convinced of the rightness of their ideas would recognise this any better than they have before. And I'm sure that a large section of the populace would blindly support them, given they seem to believe a lot of the current crap, and history has shown even the worst excesses have had some measure of popular support - it's a bit difficult to work without people supporting you.

    Enviro-nazi might not be an entirely inaccurate description.

  77. Richard

    Looks like this message board has been taken over

    El Reg ought to look at a slashdot-like moderation system or full-transparency (as is partially implemented in Digg) so that we can see exactly from what IP ranges / groups of users the lobby groups are coming.

  78. Anonymous Coward

    Re:Looks like this message board has been taken over

    So, anything that doesn't agree with your point of view must be from an organised lobby group? Or paid for by 'Big Oil', for example?

    The lack or realisation that some people might not agree with you is sad.

    It doesn't take conspiracies or bribes for conflicting opinions to appear.

    Though freedom of discussion is always inconvenient for certain types of people.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mark == Climate Scientist? Or just pretending...?

    Mark, are you the same Mark who fessed up here a couple of weeks ago here in the middle of a crazy anti-copyright rant?

    "I'm a physicist. Actually took astrophysics but I'm not IT support.

    (guilty conscience?)

    "I did to fluid dynamics and got it COMPLETELY wrong but found out where I got it wrong in about five minutes when I talked to someone who did modelling programming for the Met Office."

    By Mark

    Posted Friday 25th January 2008 10:11 GMT

    So are you are you not a Climate Scientist? Or do you just like pretending to be one on The Register?


    "Shouldn't you be doing some climate modelling then, rather than posting to El-Reg on Government funded time?"

    I had the same thought. This bloke doesn't half have a lot of time on his hands. So climate guru or not, I guess it's us taxpayers who are paying for Mark's idle time.

  80. Gilbert Wham

    @ Really Scary Stuff

    "Yes, there are still people out there who think that the 'greater good' requires that a few people thinking the right kind of thoughts should have control over everyone and force radical change on them. You'd have thought that all the other times this has happened would have proved it isn't a good idea..."

    This is how it's _always_ been. Which is the reason why a desire for high political office ought to be a one-way ticket to the booby-hatch.

    I have a dream: One where high office is thrust upon the unsuspecting, much like jury service (let's face it, they couldn't do much *worse*).

    Upon completing your term of office, a referendum is held, the result of which decides whether you are allowed to go back to your old life, with a small stipend as a thank-you and maybe a grace-and favour house (nothing fancy mind), or be sentenced to spend the rest of your days as a vagrant, with the words 'Bad President' tattooed on your forehead.

    Granted, some kinks need working out, obstructionists may have to be 'removed' to smooth the transition to our New World Order, but the basic plan is sound, I'm sure of it.

    No apologies for off-topicness, this is Serious Revolutionary Business...

  81. James Hein

    Guess They Need Funding

    Whenever I see this kind of unsupported rubbish from 'scientists' I can't help but think that it must be funding time at the universities again.

  82. Paul M.

    Let's moderate out Evil Thoughts

    "El Reg ought to look at a slashdot-like moderation system or full-transparency (as is partially implemented in Digg) so that we can see exactly from what IP ranges / groups of users the lobby groups are coming."

    So my "consensus" has no choice but to fit with your "consensus"?

    Er... thanks. But no thanks.

    Just a thought, but the next time your unproven hypothesis tries to influence social policy on such a scale, can you at least try to bring a bit of science to the party? Or a few really cosmic scares? Hansen and his hockey sticks, and Al Gore's starving polar bears, just don't do it for me. I like to see a bit of empirical evidence, and causation, with my rationing.

    If you make a claim, you've got to back it up. Pointing your finger at "sources of authority" just doesn't cut it. Especially when those sources of authority are arranged in a circular shape, all pointing at each other.

  83. Jim Black

    @ Gilbert Wham (@Really Scary Stuff)

    Just a trifle late with your (really good) idea. See the book "Parkinson's Law", a series of essays by C. Northcote Parkinson, a professor at a university in Singapore in the mid-20th Century. One of those essays concerned the ideal way to recruit a candidate for a public office. The general thesis was that anyone who applied for the job was obviously incompetent. Therefore, a committee should decide who would be best and figure out a way to approach that person to accept the job.

    Parkinson also formulated Parkinson's Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. A lesser rule was that Government agencies expand at a constant rate regardless of what their mission is or even if they have no mission at all. He based his essay on the British Colonial Office from the time of "India, the Jewel of the British Crown" to the loss of the last colony in the 20th century. Most of his examples are from his knowledge of British institutions since he was a native of Great Britain.

    Back on subject, there is an enormous amount of absolutist fog going around on both sides of the AGW debate. I see no reason to completely believe those who think AGW needs draconian measures nor do I completely believe those who think everything will stay the same. To some degree, they are both wrong. Perhaps we would be better served to put the minds to figuring out how to survive the change. Change will come as it always does but the details are far from clear.

  84. Alan Wilkinson

    Questions are not Answers

    IMHO the current state of climate change models enables them to raise serious questions but not to answer them. The state of knowledge and quality and range of data available to test them is simply insufficient.

    As evidence of that, one of the latest and supposedly best refined models adapted to current data I am told is DePreSys. Eg:

    Improved Surface Temperature Prediction for the Coming Decade from a Global Climate Model

    Science, Aug 10, 2007, Doug M. Smith, et al

    Note the conclusion: "the year 2014 predicted to be 0.30° ± 0.21°C [5 to 95% confidence interval (CI)] warmer than the observed value for 2004."

    In other words, the predicted ten year warming is in the range 0.09°C to 0.51°C with 90% confidence in the estimate. But of course this error range does not include errors due to fundamental deficiencies in the model. It is merely calculated on the scatter the model produces when initial conditions are randomly tweaked. So at the very best we are told the model has an uncertainty in its ten year predictions of a factor of five.

    Extrapolate that to 100 years and the uncertainty can only increase.

    Furthermore, most science I have seen uses 95% confidence levels. Why not here? The obvious answer is that if the authors gave the error range for the usual 95% standard it would not exclude the possibility that the ten year warming outcome would be zero.

    As far as I can see the history of Viking farms in Greenland does in fact seriously question the doomsday scenarios regarding its melting icecap.

    Eg, see:

    Greenland was occupied by settlements of up to 1500 people for four centuries until about 1350 during much of which they farmed cows and sheep. The claim that they were supported during that time only by supplies from Scandanavia seems untenable.

    There are no reports that London was under water during that period.

  85. Ign R. Amis
    Thumb Down

    Fuck me

    What a depressing load of comments.

    "We already have evidence that the planet has already recovered from situations far worse"

    Yeah, maybe the *planet* has, but that doesn't mean that *humanity* will.

  86. Paul Murray

    One rule for me, another for everone else

    "I also remain firmly against compulsion or taxation as a method for changing behaviour; it's far more effective to make people want to do something"

    By "people" I'm sure you mean nice middle-class people like yourself, and would never dream of applying that sort of silliness to the kind of people who break into your house and twock your xbox.

    The point is: some kinds of behaviour are beneficial for the person that does them, but bad for everyone if everyone does them. For instance: driving SUVs. Regulatory laws exist in order to make society nicer by, shall we say, negatively incentivizing these types of behaviour.

    Compulsion and taxations are excellent ways of changing behaviour, especially in relation to things that most agree are good things to change. They take away the "why should I not X when everyone else is doing it anyway?" factor

  87. 3x2


    <...>El Reg ought to look at a slashdot-like moderation system or full-transparency (as is partially implemented in Digg) so that we can see exactly from what IP ranges / groups of users the lobby groups are coming.<...>

    This isn't Digg and we are not the mutual masturbation society that live at Digg. WARNING : Actual opinions may vary.

    Me and my lobby group are off to work now (for Big Oil of course) so I'll leave you with a bit of light reading. I'll leave the summary too as I feel you probably won't be reading it.

    WARNING : Viewing the listed material could lead to excommunication from Digg

    "Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them."

  88. Anigel

    To all the evangelists

    There has been biblical fire and brimstone cast down upon the non believers here, without the radical evangelists actually taking a second to consider the position of anyone but thier "scientifically proven" bible of MMGW.

    Anyone who posts something negative to each new and increasingly alarmist finding is immediately branded with negative terms like denier rather than positive ones like thinker or investigator after all much better to believe the world is still flat rather than investigate the opposite of the accepted position.

    Just because someone is not afraid to speak out against the alarmism used in publication or the whole man is driving climate change argument, does not mean that they deny any form of climate change. In fact I firmly believe climate change is a natural phenomenon which is happening and is very real but the impact man could have on the issue, short of destroying 50% + of the human population or going back to live in caves is just about negligable and is certainly less than the margin of error applied to all the existing alarmist findings.

    I think the following open letter to the UN signed by 100 of the worlds top scietists including heads of climate research departments and many other real scientists sums up my position quite nicely.

    Basically stop wasting all this time and money on more and more alarmist ways to blame mankind for the natural climate cycle of our planet and start researching ways to live with natural climate change.

    So to all the people branding me as a denier, my advice would be to stop being such a sheep and do a little investigation yourself. Once you start to read beyond the index page of the MMGW bible you will see there is very little actual science and a lot of faith (ie belief without proof)

    "In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated."

  89. Albert Stienstra

    @Mark, again

    Yes, the graphs showing atmospheric CO2 lagging the arctic temperatures are explicitly from the 20th century. Since this shows CO2 concentration like being just an effect, this probably also happened in prehistoric times, although I don't think we have such nice records from prehistory.

    If you are such a scientist, why are you so excited about these data? Are you already committed to a theory? Not very stringent, I think. Neither is calling people names.

  90. Dan

    Why care?

    It's just one other problem that may eventually become a reality, what scares people is that they see the causes every day, cars, buses, computers, power-stations (all arguable causes mind, after all it may not even be us apparently :roll:). Each time (thanks to mass media, gotta love it) they think about it, even if only subconsciously . At the end of the day I'd take slow eventual (and perhaps possibly survivable) "climate change" over short but most certainly terminal meteor strike or massive volcano eruption or whatever of the thousands of things that could blip us out of the universe in a flash.

    I suppose sure, we caused it (arguably) but we cause a lot of things extinction of hundreds of species, the culling of entire forests, etc.

    At the end of the day if your so worried why are you sat at your computer now and not out planting trees or whatever else people who care do..

  91. Robinson


    "El Reg ought to look at a slashdot-like moderation system or full-transparency (as is partially implemented in Digg) so that we can see exactly from what IP ranges / groups of users the lobby groups are coming."

    Once again, the poster would like to engage in Ad Hominem, but cannot without knowing who is talking, assuming all against are "lobbying" in some self interested way. That is a completely false accusation. In actual fact, since I think 1998, Greenpeace have spent nearly $2,000,000,000 on lobbying, a large percentage of which has gone on the AGW thesis. This dwarfs by an order of magnitude sums spent by the large petroleum corporations on anti-agw promotion.

    The unpalatable fact for the catastrophists is simply this: there are many many intelligent, thoughtful and knowledgeable people out there who *do not* agree with the consensus. I consider myself to be one of them; I don't drive and prefer to wear another layer to turning up my heating in the winter, by the way. I have no horse in this race whatsoever.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scary Stuff ?

    Hello Jim Black,

    I was thinking about Prof. Parkinson's book, read it 50 years ago , what he said was true then and is now.

    The bloke I borrowed the book from ,said something also true.- " You can't believe half the lies your told"

    Remembered that for 50 years, and I find it a good idea to apply it to this global warming hysteria.

    Where I live (New Zealand ) , in my town where I have spent about 70 years, the climate has become cooler and wetter over that period.

    I expect that this will be disregarded by the warming proponents , but I go by what I observe not what Gore and co. say.


  93. Mark

    @Anonymous Coward

    Are you the same anonymous coward that posts GNAA trolls to slashdot?


  94. Mark
    Thumb Up

    Show me the Graphs, Albert

    Where are the graphs. I have the summary statement from the IPCC here (free download) and it shows it the other way around. There have been no science reviews intimating that such a gross error in the report exists. Heck, there's been no NEWS report saying it.

    Just you.

    So where dem graphs, boy?

  95. Mark

    " You can't believe half the lies your told"

    Surely you can't believe ANY of the lies you're told.

    And you seem to be believing the half of the lies that say AGW isn't true.

    The religion is the "scepticism": anything that says the scepticism is justified AND true is accepted without question (e.g. Volcanoes produce more CO2 in a year than humanity has over its existence: not true, but when it was true, 98% of life was wiped out. See, it USED to be true, but the implication made by leaving out WHEN is that volcanoes like Mt St Helens and Pinatubo do this. They don't. We manage something like 30x the rate of output of all the volcanoes).

  96. David

    stopping the thread

    Does my mentioning Hitler in this thread (and saying that you're all just like him) mean that you'll all have to stop and go back to work now?)

    Should I have called you all Nazis as well?

  97. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Typical.....

    So where did you get those figures from? PFYA?

    2005, Exxon ALONE spent $2.1m on studies to debunk or ameliorate AGW papers. That's listed in several places and is reported in the 10Q from Exxon (though not detailed).

    You have "I believe" a lot in there. Even the 2Bn seems strange. "Large percentage" means what?

    Some googling shows that in 2000 income was 100million euros (the exchange rate isn't that bad, is it?) of which 10million was spent on climate. And since that would include a lot more than just "write a paper" but would have to include transport to political meetings, flyers, poster campaigns, etc.

    So given that I HAVE looked and your figures are completely wrong, how do you know that your belifs as to why AGW is wrong are correct? You are most evidently wrong here, so how do you know you're right elsewhere?

  98. Anne van der Bom

    Trying to fit in with the crowd

    There is no problem ... there is no problem ... there is no problem... there is no problem... there is no problem... there is no problem... there is no problem

  99. Simon Round


    "I apologise in advance for my rant."

    If your going to apologise in 'advance' then best get it in before the rant and not after.

  100. Mark


    "The unpalatable fact for the catastrophists is simply this: there are many many intelligent, thoughtful and knowledgeable people out there who *do not* agree with the consensus."

    My sister doesn't believe in it because God is more powerful than us.

    My dad doesn't believe in it because he doesn't WANT to change.

    Some intelligent people have reasons. However, my sister's reason is rather tenuous (we DID get thrown out of Eden because of what we did, why can't we be thrown out of here for making a mess of it?)

    My dad's reasoning is OK. As I told him, he's already done most of his damage and he'll die soon. (oddly enough, though he likes to say "tell me I'm wrong in 50 years time" he doesn't like that, nor does he like "hell, why not make it five?".). However, because he doesn't WANT to know, why not shut up?

    The hockey stick was a good sceptical query once. When that problem was sorted out, the egnuine sceptics didn't say "well, it's still wrong" they looked for more things that could be wrong. That's how science gets to the truth. But "sceptics" keep bleating the same old "hockey stick" thing because they don't WANT to check. Too much effort. And no longer can we hear the real problems with the understanding of climate because one million idiots are squarking

    "it's the SUN!"

    "Volcanoes did it!"

    "Dinosaurs didn't have SUVs!"

    "Ecofacists hate us all and want me to live in a cave" (which is why you can't Godwin a AGW debate, ecofacist is used too frequently to make "nazi" stand out)


    A REAL sceptic may ask

    "Well, I reckon the clouds will cause more reflection, ameliorating the effect"

    to which the pro-side say

    "OK, work it out. Will it be better or worse (e.g.night time trapping of heat)"

    And the REAL sceptic will work on it, helping science get to the truth. What we have now is the closest to the truth we can get. If we've got it wrong, it could be that there's no problem. Equally, it could be we're seriously boned. So stop picking on the "no problem" side, if it's wrong, it doesn't mean you're right.

  101. Anonymous Coward

    The Elephant in the room

    ...Said it before, so I'll say it again:

    - Nobody (apart from 1 poster above) seems to mention the fact that at our existing technology levels, we could continue to burn C02 as we do now....if only there was 3 billion of us, rather that 6. And if we hadn't chopped all the trees down - but if there was only 3 billion of us, did we *really* need to chop them down in the first place?

    Serious kids - do the numbers on this. To the naysayers: give me one - if you can find one - set of evidence which shows our current GLOBAL population levels & birth rates are sustainable. Or even "a good thing". We already consume resources at a rate 2x higher than can be replenished, and that's not even including oil (which can't).

    It's typical human hypocracy to assume we have the right to control/cull other "lower" species, but do nothing (of any significance) to control our own. And that would be far more effective than the "tinkering at the edges" we're doing now, with our governments feeble efforts at CO2 reduction.

    Oh and...

    we have *not* dumped 4 billions years worth of CO2 into the atmosphere; we *have* merely unbalanced the system by deforestation (to feed those extra billions, remember), and creating more CO2 than the volcanoes. It's all that's needed. Put a 30billion ton weight on both sides of a scale. Pretend 1 weight is C02, and the other is the "negative" effect of our carbon sinks.Then add 1gram to one side, or take 1 gram off the other. Or both.

    And to the Naysayers:

    stick your fingers in your ears and go "la,la,la,la......". I'd give that more credience that the supposedly inteligent (and typically flawed) hyperbole I've seen here. And maybe you won't hear the agents from the department of population control sneaking up on you with the lethal injection.

  102. Anonymous Coward

    @ Mark == Climate Scientist?

    "I'm a physicist. Actually took astrophysics but I'm not IT support."


    That line made my day.

  103. Steve Wedge
    Gates Horns

    The Guardian?!?

    There's a real unbiased source!

  104. Ign R. Amis

    Crichton? You mean the guy who writes all those crappy novels?


    Why are you citing Michael Crichton? He's not a scientist, he's just a guy who converts scientific principles into turgid potboilers.

  105. Mark

    Re:The Elephant in the room

    Problem is, fixing that means someone has to die. Or they have to stop having children.

    And it's *always* someone else.

    Water shortages in the SE would seem to me we here in the UK have a population problem.

    Unfortunately, nobody wants to set up a cull in kent...

    PS it should have been "now IT support" rather than "not IT support".

    Maybe freudian, though...

  106. Albert Stienstra

    The graphs, and a lot more

    I have seen the IPCC stuff, not convincing at all. It has all the marks of a promotional document produced by a heavily managed political ideology group.

    You will find the graphs and a lot more in here: (the repeat in the URL is not an error). More entertaining than Al Gore's movie, with a lot fewer lies.

    An example of many things you have wrong: I am not a boy, I am a professor emeritus. Easy to check my age by by doing some simple research...

  107. Alan Wilkinson

    Wasting money means people die

    Mark, wasting money on ineffective actions and corrupted remedies will also cause people to die.

    The misconceived biofuels disaster has already caused that by diverting food production to fuel production.

    Nothing I have seen says Kyoto will fix anything, yet it will cost billions which could have been spent on doing directly useful things like feeding people, taking remedial action to adapt to any changes that are affecting peoples' lives, R&D for carbon sequestering and for new energy systems. Kyoto will be manipulated by governments and businesses for their own purposes as is already happening. I expect most of the offsets will be ineffectual shams and the biggest contributors will be shielded and immune.

  108. Anonymous Coward

    @Mad Mark

    "What we have now is the closest to the truth we can get."

    Only if you don't try, mate.

    For Mark's benefit, the IPCC has already declared its level of scientific understanding on climate forcing factors. El Reg even printed the graph:

    Greenhouse Gases: Scientific Understanding - HIGH

    Ozone: Scientific Understanding - MEDIUM

    Water Vapor: Scientific Understanding - LOW

    Surface Albedo: Scientific Understanding - MEDIUM/LOW

    Direct affect aerosols: Scientific Understanding - MEDIUM/LOW

    Cloud albedo aerosols: Scientific Understanding - LOW

    Linear contrails: Scientific Understanding - LOW

    Solar: Scientific Understanding - LOW

    Which looks like the science hasn't even started.

    I'm not sure where Mark works but I sure hope it isn't anything to do with the climate. People who say the science is over when our understanding of most of the factors is "LOW" belong in the Vatican, not a scientific institution.

  109. Anonymous Coward

    Re: The Elephant in the room

    Blimey, someone finally talks some sense round here.

    It's basic physics. It's known that CO2 causes atmospheric warming. We're taking lots of C out of the ground (where it was sat about doing, well, not much really) and mixing it with O and bunging it up in the air. Now, there are also *lots* of other things we're doing, like deforestation, lowering biodiversity, chucking particulates into the atmosphere etc, that also have an effect. Thing is, it's nigh-on impossible to determine if the warming is caused by us, natural causes, or both. But it's very well known that CO2 warms the atmosphere, so it might be an idea to cut back on burning fossil fuels, eh? Surely it's not too hard to build some nice nuclear power stations and hope they don't blow up, tax aeroplanes in the same way as cars, make people drive more economical vehicles, and stop flying bloody flowers and mange tout halfway across the world.

    It's a bit like smoking. You *know* smoking has a pretty good chance of cutting your life span significantly, and also reducing your quality of life for the duration you are alive, so it's a good idea not to smoke. You might not think you should stop, because you're addicted, but stopping really is the best thing. It might not kill you but the odds make it such that it's worthwhile doing something about it.

    Or, we just say screw it and hope there's a whacking great volcano soon to counteract all that nasty CO2. Whaddayasay, Yellowstone?

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Iraq precedent

    " so it might be an idea" etc

    This is called the Precautionary Principle, aka Leap before you Look - and it's why we're in Iraq right now.

    There are better approaches than asking people to swap one superstition (CO2) for another (praying for particulate matter). We could add up the costs and benefits of the approaches rationally, and try and calculate their chances of success.

    Yes, we could halt economic growth and go back to the middle-ages, we can predict the cost will be extremely high, and we don't know if this will have any effect, since the anthropogenic contribution to greenhouse gases is minimal.

    With the planet cooling again, this is not the rational course of action. Just as taking drastic action on the bet that Iraq had WMDs was not rational in 2003.

  111. Mark

    @Mad Mark

    And you claim that the scientists are all conspiring to hide the truth, yet in the document they give you, they TELL YOU what they don't know well.

    So why don't you find out what really IS happening with linear contrails climatologically speaking? Rather than bleat "ecofacist!".

    And where did I say it was The Ttruth? I said it was the closest to The Truth we have. And then I pointed out that where we don't know, how do we know the error is going to be such a way that there is no issue, rather than "OMFG"?

    You spend a lot of time trash talking (you work for the Oil Industry?) why don't you help us know what's going on?

  112. Mark

    Re: Wasting money means people die

    So stop wasting money on armed forces until we've got world hunger sorted.

    Stop monetising GM foods until we've got world health sorted out.

    We waste money on lots of things.

    And with AGW we don't have any evidence that that money is wasted.

    Unless you want to work out what we should be doing and defend that against AC calling you mad.

  113. Alan Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    Re: Wasting money means people die

    "And with AGW we don't have any evidence that that money is wasted."

    That's already nonsense and will become more so as the vast bureaucratic industry based on Kyoto cranks into gear.

    I already said what we should be doing and am quite prepared to defend that against anyone - or more to the point listen to and consider criticisms objectively and rationally.

    Speculating on solutions ahead of firm evidence is a job for private investors, not for Governments with other peoples' lives and money.

    Clearly the science is not settled and the debate on both sides degenerates far too quickly into propaganda and personal attacks. In my opinion both Gore's film and the "Great Global Warming Swindle" opposition are polemics that cherry-pick rather than illuminate the facts.

    As I said before, from what I have seen of it I think climate science is at the stage where it can raise serious questions but not answer them. I believe good knowledge will eventually come out of it and good solutions will be found for the problems that turn out to be real but I do not think we can identify sufficiently either the problems or the solutions for them at this time. I am sure the current implementations around Kyoto will do much more harm than good.

  114. Mark

    What would be firm evidence, Alan?

    Some say "yeah, it's been warmer in the past" but then it's damn warm now. We know CO2 can cause that and we know that we are pumping out a LOT of CO2.

    So we need to reduce or even sopt producing CO2.

    So if you really need proof, why isn't that proof enough?

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "We know CO2 can cause that and we know that we are pumping out a LOT of CO2."

    Because a correlation does not mean causation. So case unproven.

    For a pretend climate scientist, you really don't know much about science.

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "So if you really need proof"

    Uh, as opposed to what? Believing you because... you look pretty? Or you are a Very Special Mark? Or should we just believe the most emotional argument going?

    Truly we are in An Age of Reason!

  117. Mark

    Re: @Mark

    Hang on, the causation IS KNOWN!!!!

    CO2 is opaque to IR radiation. THAT'S THE CAUSATION!

    And if you really need proof: you can go to your local college physics department and do the experiment to prove it yourself.

    Buncha idiots.

  118. Mark

    Re: So if you really need proof

    Well the most emotional argument going is "ecofacists are conspiring to get us all living in caves because they hate us!!!".

    Preffy effing emo.

  119. Alan Wilkinson

    Re: What would be firm evidence, Alan?

    1. A model that doesn't require significant twealing every time a new piece of data is obtained or when yet another year without significant average warming passes.

    2. A predictive ability that produces confidence in its estimate to within a small percentage of the predicted warming factor rather than one so large that the prediction is worthless.

    3. A solid understanding of cloud and convection formation and behaviour including both the reflecting and insulating effects of clouds and precipitation thereby improving our understanding of the critical atmospheric water vapour balance.

    4. A better understanding of polar ice behaviour patterns.

    5. A better understanding of soil and ocean carbon cycles.

    6. Better technologies for carbon sequestering at source as well as by enhancing and protecting natural absorption cycles.

    7. Better understanding of the cosmic and solar radiation cycles and their impacts and interactions with the earth and its atmosphere.

  120. Mark


    Way to spend all your efforts arguing with a troll. I stick by my one and only post. [c.f. Scientists warn on climatic 'tipping points' - Reg moderator]

  121. Alan Wilkinson

    Lonesome Mark

    It's a bit sad to see Mark on his lonesome here with hardly an argument to stand on except CO2 absorbs IR. So does water and a heap of other things - in fact pretty much every molecule that has vibrational quantum states. I may have spent more time working with IR spectra than you have, Mark.

    The big question is how our atmosphere controls water vapour content through convection and precipitation. And it is not one that has a simple answer - certainly not yet. Until we understand that we are nowhere near having predictive capabilities.

    I am not sure who Mark is (are there two?) or who he is calling a troll but it certainly doesn't inform any debate nor have any place in science.

  122. Mark


    OK, so all I have is CO2 absorbs IR. IR is heat radiated from the earth. trapped heat causes temerature to rise (like, ooh, a jumper keeping you warm,though it produces no heat in itself).

    And that's not any proof that global warming is going on????

    I take it you don't wrap up warm in winter because that's notgoing to cause body warming, eh?

    Troll or twat? Heck, you could be both.

  123. Alan Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    Oh Dear

    Now you are just being plain stupid as well as rude, Mark. CO2 absorbs IR. It also radiates it and disperses it via molecular collisions so that it becomes a transport medium.

    I don't wrap up in winter with a material that is constantly convecting and interacting with a much denser "insulator" (water vapour) that is also circulating, forming cloud barriers to incoming radiation (my warmth is generated internally, not externally) and in very complex dynamic equilibriums with huge variations in temperature from place to place and time to time.

    The amount of CO2 warming is small compared with water vapour. To have a significant GW effect it needs a multiplier deduced from a secondary positive feedback impact on water vapour concentrations. But we don't properly understand the negative feedback systems controlling water vapour, clouds, precipitation and temperature. Hence caution.

    A fool never knows what he doesn't know. And I haven't learnt anything useful from your posts yet.

  124. Mark

    Ha! Look who started it!!!!

    "it's a bit sad to see mark all alone here"

    yeah, apart from the other people agreeing with me.

    Can I add a gramme of cyanide to your coffee, alan? It's a miniscule fraction of your bodyweight and your body naturally produces it, so it should be fine, yes?

  125. Alan Wilkinson

    Sign off

    Saddam Hussein also found people who agreed with him and was pretty good with stuff like cyanide too, Mark. It didn't make much he said right or useful either. I'll leave you to your opinions and unpleasantness.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whether the global warming debate is ultimately proven or not - and I'm agnostic. I have to say the arguments used by those who don't believe it's happening are becoming remarkably similar to those who oppose other theories .. .like evolution .

    "It was tha sunspots what done it" "God put tha dinosaur bones there to test us".

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think before ranting

    It's funny how people say that it's all a conspiracy by the scientists to make money, and then go on about a film they've seen or a book they've read which proves everything, without realising that makers of the books and films have a money motivation of their own.

    You can tell how poorly educated someone is on the subject when they think that 1932 was the hottest year in recent world history (it is only one of the hottest years for the US, the whole of the world (you know, "global" part of global warming) has them all in the last 20 years). The actual figures are all freely available from the NASA website.

    Why is it that people promote the idea of huge areas of land becoming usable for crops but completely ignore that the current farmland near the equator would turn into desert? Plus, they completely fail to consider if the weather will even be suitable.

    Saying "Climate scientists were wrong in the seventies so they are wrong now" is like saying "Schumacher didn't win a single formula one race in the seventies so he won't win one now". There is such a thing as improvement.

    It's fair enough to react indifferently every time the media yells "We're all going to die!", but at least look into the actual reports that the documentary is based on (and that includes those who saw An Inconvenient Truth) before you start ranting about it all being rubbish.

  128. John Ryan

    @ Justin Case

    it's rather simple really -

    if climate change is happenning and we try to mitigate the causes and the effects we may avoid catastrophic damage to our society as well as enhancing our qualities of life (no cars pumping out shit) and increasing our technological versatility.

    if climate change i wrong and we've tried to mitigae it thru energy efficiency and changing our habits surely that's good as we'll have cut down our reliance on energy supplies from volatile/hostile region (the middle east, russia etc) and gained the advantages stated above.

    if climate change does happen and we do nothing our grandchildren will hate us forever and curse us as greedy and selfish.

    If climate change doesn't happen and we do nothing we'r stuck with the current system of getting our energy from despotic/unstable regimes and having the U.S control the levers of the world economy.

    I've tried little things - driving less, turning lights off when not in the room, making sure items aren't on standby and have noticed a slight financial advantage.

    and pls don't quote the great global warming swindle at me, the vast majority of scientists involved in that have complained they were mis-represented. All the denialists just don't want to alter their own behaviour (what do you mean I can't drive my 4x4)

    my problems with these vehicles go waaay beyond their emissions, they are not needed in most towns which, especially european towns.don't have road wide enough to properly accomodate them. also you're more likely to suffer serious injury if you're hit by a 4x4. most of my mates look at me in horror but if i was chanceor I'd slap a £10,000 a year tax on 4x4's and use the money to improve our public transport.

    let the abuse commence :-)

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