Global Warming/Climate Change

2010 Hits Top of Temperature Chart

by Alexandra Giese, Earth Policy Institute

Topping off the warmest decade in history, 2010 experienced a global average temperature of 14.63 degrees Celsius (58.3 degrees Fahrenheit), tying 2005 as the hottest year in 131 years of recordkeeping.

This news will come as no surprise to residents of the 19 countries that experienced record heat in 2010. Belarus set a record of 38.7 degrees Celsius (101.7 degrees Fahrenheit) on August 6 and then broke it by 0.2 degrees Celsius just one day later. A 47.2-degree Celsius (117.0-degree Fahrenheit) spike in Burma set a record for Southeast Asia as a whole. And on May 26, 2010, the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan hit 53.5 degrees Celsius (128.3 degrees Fahrenheit) — a record not only for the country but for all of Asia. In fact, it was the fourth hottest temperature ever recorded anywhere. (See data at

The earth’s temperature is not only rising, it is rising at an increasing rate. From 1880 through 1970, the global average temperature increased roughly 0.03 degrees Celsius each decade. Since 1970, that pace has increased dramatically, to 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade. Two thirds of the increase of nearly 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the global temperature since the 1880s has occurred in the last 40 years. And 9 of the 10 warmest years happened in the last decade.

Global temperature is influenced by a number of factors, some natural and some due to human activities. A phenomenon known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is characterized by extremes in Pacific Ocean temperatures and shifts in atmospheric patterns. The cycle involves opposite phases, both of which have global impacts. The El Niño phase typically raises the global average temperature, while its counterpart, La Niña, tends to depress it. Temperature variations are also partly determined by solar cycles. Because we are close to a minimum in solar irradiance (how much energy the earth receives from the sun) and entered a La Niña episode in the second half of 2010, we would expect a cooler year than normal-making 2010’s record temperature even more remarkable.

Since the Industrial Revolution, emissions from human activities of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide have driven the earth’s climate system dangerously outside of its normal range. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen nearly 40 percent, from 280 parts per million (ppm) to almost 390 ppm. As the atmosphere becomes increasingly overloaded with heat-trapping gases, the earth’s temperature continues to rise.

Even seemingly small changes in global temperature have far-reaching effects on sea level, atmospheric circulation, and weather patterns around the globe. Climate scientists note that increases in both the frequency and severity of extreme weather events are characteristics of a hotter climate. In 2010, the heat wave in Russia, fires in Israel, flooding in Pakistan and Australia, landslides in China, record snowfall across the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, and 12 Atlantic Ocean hurricanes were among the extreme weather events. The human cost of these events was not small: the Russian heat wave and forest fires claimed 56,000 lives, while the Pakistan floods took 1,760.

Although the weather of 2010 seems extreme compared with that of earlier years, scientists warn that such patterns could become more common in the near future. And while no single event can be attributed directly to climate change, NASA climate scientist James Hansen notes that the extreme weather of 2010 would "almost certainly not" have occurred in the absence of excessive greenhouse gas emissions. Warmer air holds more water vapor, and that extra moisture leads to heavier storms. At the same time that precipitation events are becoming larger in some areas, climate change causes more intense and prolonged droughts in others. By some estimates, droughts could be up to 10 times as severe by the end of the century.

Like a growing number of extreme weather events, an increase in the number of record-high temperatures — and a concomitant decrease in the number of record lows — is characteristic of a warming world. For instance, while 19 countries recorded record highs in 2010, not one witnessed a record low temperature. Across the United States, weather station data reveal that daily maximum temperature records outnumbered minimum temperature records for nine months of 2010. Over the last decade, record highs were more than twice as common as record lows, whereas half a century ago there was a roughly equal probability of experiencing either of these.

Temperatures are rising faster in some places than in others. The Arctic has warmed by as much as 3-4 degrees Celsius (5-7 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 1950s. It is heating up at twice the rate of the earth on average, making it the fastest-warming region on the planet. Disproportionately large warming in the Arctic is partially due to the albedo effect. As sea ice melts, darker ocean water is exposed; the additional energy absorbed by the darker surface then melts more ice, setting in motion a self-reinforcing feedback.

In 2010, Arctic sea ice shrank to its third-lowest extent on record, after 2007 and 2008, and also reached what was likely its lowest volume in thousands of years. At both poles, the great ice sheets are showing worrying signs: recent calculations reveal that Greenland is losing more than 250 billion tons of water per year, and 87 percent of marine glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated since the 1940s. There is enough water frozen in Greenland and Antarctica to raise global sea levels by over 70 meters (230 feet) if they were to melt entirely.

Unless global temperatures are stabilized, higher seas from melting ice sheets and mountain glaciers, combined with the heat-driven expansion of ocean water itself, will eventually lead to the displacement of millions of people as low-lying coastal areas and island nations are inundated. Sea level rise has been minimal so far, with a global average of 17 centimeters (6 inches) during the last century. But the rate of the rise is accelerating, and some scientists maintain that a rise as high as 2 meters (6 feet) is possible before this century’s end.

It is not only coastal populations that are threatened by rising global temperatures. Higher temperatures reduce crop yields and water supplies, affecting food security worldwide. Agricultural scientists have drawn a correlation between a temperature rise of 1 degree Celsius above the optimum during the growing season and a grain yield decrease of 10 percent. Heat waves and droughts can also cause drastic cuts in harvests. Mountain glaciers, which are shrinking worldwide as a result of rising temperatures, supply drinking and irrigation water to much of the world’s population, including hundreds of millions in Asia.

More than any natural variations, carbon emissions from human activities will determine the future trajectory of the earth’s temperature and thus the frequency of extreme weather events, the rise in sea level, and the state of food security. The 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected that the earth would warm 1.1-6.4 degrees Celsius (2-11 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. Yet a rise of 2-3 degrees Celsius will make the earth as hot as it was 3 million years ago, when oceans were more than 25 meters (80 feet) higher than they are today. Subsequent research has projected an even larger rise—up to 7.4 degrees Celsius—if the world continues to depend on a fossil-fuel-based energy system. But we can create a different future by turning to a new path—one with carbon-free energy sources, restructured transportation, and increased efficiency. By dramatically reducing emissions, we could halt the rapid rise of the earth’s temperature.


  1. This is a sobering article, a good reminder of the seriousness of the climate situation. At the risk of stating the obvious to Permaculture minded readers, it is worth adding some elaboration to the article’s one sentence summary of a new path for a viable future for human civilization – “one with carbon-free energy sources, restructured transportation, and increased efficiency”. Carbon-free energy sources – yes. Restructured transportation – well yes, but to really restructure transportation and increase efficiency, we need to restructure markets, with meaningful localization of our economies through the building of bioregional self sufficiency. These considerations brings us toward the most important solution that is glaringly missing from this article – agriculture, and the huge potential for rapid carbon sequestration in soils through the action of mycorrhizal fungi. Massive, very rapid carbon sequestration over large areas and to profound soil depths has been demonstrated in response to planned grazing along the lines of Holistic Management principles and in response to converting to no-kill pasture-cropping in broadacre cereal production…not to mention Keyline development and the application of Permaculture principles to build soil. The beauty of these approaches is that they also build diversity and resilience into the landscape, so they assist with adaptation to climate change as well with its amelioration.

  2. Stop Global Warming – Global warming isn’t opinion. It’s a scientific reality. The science shows that human activity has made enormous impacts to our planet that affect our well-being and survival. We can however begin to make significant repairs to reverse those impacts but only through immediate action. That’s why this site urges you to join and have your voice counted:

  3. I must admit, I am a bit on edge about even voicing this as I have seen what happens to people on this site who express such views before.

    While I recognize that deforestation clearly leads to a destabilized climate, which leads to extremes in weather on a global scale. I have trouble getting worried about numbers such as the ones posted in the article above. Our record keeping is on a very human time scale, and we are dealing with climatic, biological and geological issues. Who knows what larger patterns overlay our small sample of record keeping. We know if things like 100 year floods occur, why do we assume there are not similar but larger patterns at play? We can get upset by video of icebergs splitting and falling into the sea, but I think it is important to keep in mind that this is the first time in history when we are able to access video of icebergs splitting.

    I am not saying our actions as human beings is not destructive but I would rather like to emphasize both that we are very ignorant as a species and to reinforce the point that Alexandra ends on. This is ultimately a issue of human comfort and survivability. We have to recognize the larger patterns (even if our information is sorrowfully inadequate) and create a design to accommodate what we observe and know.

  4. Christian, don’t we have all the evidence from ice cores that go back tens of thousands of years to show us what has been happening with our climate and carbon levels. There is a lot of evidence out there to tell us the story of what is happening to our climate, but it is difficult for the average man to follow and on this subject I prefer to live my life following the advice of people who are experts in their field. I fear that your focus on “larger patterns” pre-dates homo sapiens and now there are how many? Seven billion?

  5. Christian,

    when you say “as I have seen what happens to people on this site who express such views before” this sounds as if one would get personally harassed, insulted, or otherwise bullied here.

    I find that the editor (Craig) is doing a very good job here, even dealing with sometimes extremely difficult issues that nevertheless have to be discussed, such as permaculture and/vs scientology, in a very professional way. I so far have not seen any such rude behaviour here – have I missed something?

    So, I really wonder how you would substantiate such an assessment.

    Of course, there is a problem with rampant mis-information in society about all sorts of things, and that certainly does not help – regardless of what it is about – if the objective is to make wise decisions. So, I do not think it is overly surprising that many such things actually do get debunked on a permaculture blog. But this is about specific ideas.

    There might be rare frustrating occasions of persistent insistence (despite all obvious contradictions) that two plus two equalled five, but if certain people keep on repeating claims that have been shown to be wrong, it should not be too surprising that “repetition of misinformation” as a means of getting people to nevertheless take it is not accepted here.

    How would you as a car manufacturer react if someone persistently spread the rumor that all your cars can easily be opened using a tennis ball – a la

  6. Have to keep a balanced open mind on all these things as well.

    There was the hacker incident that claimed to show how climate data was modified to show greater warming when there was a cooling period going on:

    Then there is our own Bureau of Meteorology where you can find all sorts of climate data on different locations throughout Australia, some going back to the mid 1800’s to present day. There were some pretty hot years back in those days as well:

    Now I have not been able to really correlate trends using multiple measurement sites across Australia with the trend graphs from either side of the climate debate so I’m left as much confused as I originally was so I’ll just stick with the data I have seen and go with that for now which puts me back on the fence in-between both views.

  7. As Christian says, context is important. Thomas is also correct emphasising “the objective is to make wise decisions”

    This quote provides historic context IMO “If CO2 is indeed the cause of global warming, then global temperatures should mirror the rise in CO2. For the past 1000 years, atmospheric CO2 levels remained fairly constant at about 280 ppm (parts per million). Atmospheric CO2 concentrations began to rise during the industrial revolution early in the 20th century but did not exceed about 300 ppm. The climatic warming that occurred between about 1915 and 1945 was not accompanied by significant rise in CO2. In 1945, CO2 emission began to rise sharply and by 1980 atmospheric CO2. had risen to just under 340 ppm. During this time, however, global temperatures fell about 0.9°F (0.5° C) in the Northern Hemisphere and about 0.4°F (0.2° C) globally.

    Global temperatures suddenly reversed during the Great Climate Shift of 1977 when the Pacific Ocean switched from its cool mode to its warm mode with no change in the rate of CO2 increase. The 1977–1998 warm cycle ended in 1999 and a new cool cycle began. If CO2 is the cause of global warming, why did temperatures rise for 30 years (1915-1945) with no significant increase in CO2? Why did temperatures fall for 30 years (1945-1977) while CO2 was sharply accelerating? Logic dictates that this anomalous cooling cycle during accelerating CO2 levels must mean either (1) rising CO2 is not the cause of global warming or (2) some process other than rising CO2 is capable of strongly overriding its effect on global atmospheric warming.”

    Regarding “Wise decisions”, there are many examples how following the global warming mantra has left civil infrastructure woefully inadequate. Winter chaos across the N.H. because it was “unexpected” – it was only unexpected by global warming proponents. Many meteorologists predicted the cold winter, apparently even the MET office predicted it, but their forecast was not made public as it was the wrong message for Cancun!

    Then in Aus, the floods were made worse by poor actions designed to save water for drought conditions.

    Two examples where people could have lost their lives due to “wise decisions” made because of global warming brainwashing. There are many more less critical but still important mistakes being made, farmers in England planting grape vines, or frost intolerant fruit varieties, because they have been told snow will be a thing of the past etc. permaculture books recommend trying warmer clime varieties etc. because of global warming is another example.

    As farmers we only need to know which way the climate is likely headed, and for the next 30 or so years that is cooler. The circa 60 year cycle has switched to it’s cool phase, confirmed by the overall heat content of the Oceans (ARGO Data) which has been trending down for 6 years (after trending flat for some years prior), this is a better indicator of global temp than the scientifically useless “global average air temp” (maybe Thomas can step in and tell us how many thousand times more energy the oceans can store than the atmosphere?).

    If we analyse the product of global warming activism, in a Permaculture context, the result is tacit approval, or at least political mandate, for carbon taxation bankster scammery, and a whole host of bad policy decisions. It also runs the risk of alienating people, and the risk of outright rejection, should there be a 30yr pause in global warming – and a total loss of credibility should the trend reverse.

    If we compare Permaculture activism to Global warming activism, we see that Permaculture answers all the same issues, without the risks, or the bad policy decisions.

    Hence I can not understand why PRI is on this bandwagon instead of concentrating on Permaculture activism.

  8. Peter,

    ad “incident that claimed to show how climate data was modified to show greater warming when there was a cooling period going on”. Let us not forget that we have multiple sources for temperature records that by and large are in agreement with one another. Note in particular that infrared sensor balloon experiments provide independent validation of satellite measurements.

    In order to judge the relevance of this infamous “trick to hide the decline” phrase with respect to potential scientific misconduct, one has to find out whether there was a difference in published research between the methods of analysis that were applied to produce data and those that were claimed to be used. But let us for now assume there indeed were dodgy things going on – wouldn’t we then expect independent experiments such as satellite measurements to give us a clue about that.

    By the way, thanks for the link – that looks quite useful for a number of reasons.

  9. Pete,

    ad “Logic dictates that this anomalous cooling cycle during accelerating CO2 levels must mean either (1) rising CO2 is not the cause of global warming or (2) some process other than rising CO2 is capable of strongly overriding its effect on global atmospheric warming.”:

    While this tries to sound impressive, let me re-dress it as:

    We actually know fairly well about other factors besides CO2 that influence global average temperature trends, and a visual presentation of their relative importance can be seen e.g. here:

    Considering this statement of yours (as well as related ones about Australia):

    Regarding “Wise decisions”, there are many examples how following the global warming mantra has left civil infrastructure woefully inadequate. Winter chaos across the N.H. because it was “unexpected” – it was only unexpected by global warming proponents.

    there are a number of independent assertions in this. Given your style of “discussion”, I have a hunch that you will next claim you never actually made any of these. But that does not matter as much as whether other readers of this discussion would agree with my subsequent analysis. I find in this short quote these contentions:

    1. There were no actual scientific basis for Global Warming
    (“The Global Warming mantra”)

    2. A major driver for present and recent decisions about infratructure investments were what decision makers think about climatic probabilities for weather events. (Ah, if it only would have been so – do a bit of research on the outcomes of this please:

    3. Winter conditions caused major chaos in the northern hemisphere because they were unexpected. (Given that climate is about probabilities for weather events, and given that the winter just before was kind-of a precedent in many ways, I do not think anyone actually really did seriously believe something like that could not happen again.)

    4. With respect to global warming, people could be classified as “proponents” and “non-proponents”. (In what category would you then put someone who actually sees scientific honesty as the prime ethical imperative above every specific case?)

    5. Last winter’s problems could be attributed to a sufficient majority of “global warming proponents” (see (4)) among decision makers who (as you say) did not anticipate this (see (3)).

    6. “Global warming proponents” (see (4)) would not know the difference between weather and climate (otherwise they certainly would have had to take the possibility for this to re-occur into account).

    7. Every “non-proponent” of Global Warming (see (4)) did anticipate another cold winter.

    8. Global warming were incompatible with a lot of snow. (Actually, predictions are that winter precipitation can be expected to increase in a number of places.)

    9. “Believing in global warming” were to blame for damages due to certain climatic conditions.

    I get the impression that about four claims at least some people might contest (I do) per sentence gives a rough ballpark impression of your general style concerning what you write about climate change. I leave it to other readers to make up their mind about this.

    This section I find particularly concerning:

    If we analyse the product of global warming activism, in a Permaculture context, the result is tacit approval, or at least political mandate, for carbon taxation bankster scammery, and a whole host of bad policy decisions.

    If you actually did take a look into what “banksters” think, you would soon find out that pretty much each and every single one of them would assure you that it were a serious mistake to make bigger investments into climate change mitigation than determined by equivalence between the effective interest rate from climate damage avoidance and the interest rate from other non-climate related investments. In other terms, they would consider any climate change related investment that would by avoiding damages pay an effective interest rate of 3% as unreasonable if the money could instead be used to invest in the coal/GMO/nuclear/fashion/music/air travel/whatever industry at an interest rate of 4%. The rationale underlying their thinking is that it always were better to be richer (“for whatever problem we encounter, the solution will be easier to afford if we are richer” being the idea), and the prime objective is to make society rich as fast as possible. Any investment strategy that actually resulted in a deviation from the path of getting rich as fast as possible would be regarded as betrayal of that core belief. Do people interested in permaculture buy this logic without questioning it? I actually gather a few (mostly from the US) indeed seem to do (but ironically(!), these typically are not the ones considering CO2 emissions a substantial problem), while most would actually object to such overly simplistic logic. Certainly no one doing Permaculture would feel easy about the idea of letting “banksters” who demonstrably created so many problems through adherence to crazy ideology take control of emissions management strategies.

    But say, could having an issue with the idea of “banksters” managing emissions (which we all have, I think) be seen as a valid reason for persistently spreading half-truths and misinformation about the present state of our scientific understanding of the world around us? In my view, while there clearly are quite a number of people around doing precisely this, there never can be a valid justification for distorting science.

  10. Hi Thomas,

    You have a canny knack of redefining what I say, and then addressing that, instead of what I actually said, please quote me directly in future to avoid wasting each others time (as I have asked previously).

    You Say “there never can be a valid justification for distorting science.”

    Leading Climatologists seem to disagree….

    “We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
    Stephen Schneider (leading advocate of the global warming theory)
    (in interview for Discover magazine, Oct 1989)

    “Researchers pound the global-warming drum because they know there is politics and, therefore, money behind it. . . I’ve been critical of global warming and am persona non grata.”
    Dr. William Gray
    (Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado and leading expert of hurricane prediction )
    (in an interview for the Denver Rocky Mountain News, November 28, 1999)

    “Scientists who want to attract attention to themselves, who want to attract great funding to themselves, have to (find a) way to scare the public . . . and this you can achieve only by making things bigger and more dangerous than they really are.”
    Petr Chylek
    (Professor of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia)
    Commenting on reports by other researchers that Greenland’s glaciers are melting.
    (Halifax Chronicle-Herald, August 22, 2001)

    We must have a different definition of “distortion”. I would say claiming Co2 is a causal factor in multi decade ocean cycles is a clear distortion of science, I get the impression you think it’s not a distortion to claim such things.

    I would say claiming model results are evidence of impending doom is a distortion if science. Seems you would disagree.

    I think the OP is a distortion of science, so much so I would call it propaganda. You seem to think it’s a good article, go figure.

    But this is all besides the point. We will never agree on the science because you are already convinced, me? well I’d much prefer the scientists explain exactly how the climate works with all it’s intricacy before they claim to model it.

    Even if I agreed that global warming were even a reason to act, is an average degree warmer over the next century really a higher priority than Soil erosion, deforestation/biodiversity loss, and pollution (as taught on the PDC)?

    Climate activism brings us, carbon tax, carbon trading, carbon capture, ethanol, geo engineering, GM crops, nuclear waste, and a host of bad policy decisions. Everything can be enacted in the name of global warming. Not to mention the risks of public rejection should climate not follow global warming projections.

    While Permaculture activism would address the same issues, without all the bad policy, or the risks.

    Thomas, please address the policy implication point. This really needs some discussion IMO.

  11. Pete, I think it’s important to recognise that understanding the truth about climate change doesn’t have to translate to having the industrialists view on how to address it. Rather, there are far more holistic solutions that need to be applied, and applying these will come from a holistic understanding on the causes, and what needs to be done. Increasingly people are realising that the industrialists ‘solutions’ are born of the same thinking that got us into this mess. Here are some posts that show we’re not about promoting reductionist measures, and that ‘geo-engineering’ can be done in ways that are win-win-win:

    Brushing off climate science just because some people react in dangerous ways to it is not a good way of getting at the truth.

  12. Hi Craig.

    I’m not brushing off climate science because people react in dangerous ways to it, I’m highlighting the results on the ground that climate activism brings.

    While contrasting the different results that Permaculture activism would bring, i.e. all the positives without all those people reacting in dangerous ways.

    Regarding the science, I’m brushing off the IPCC because there is something bigger going on that the IPCC scenario does not take into account, there is something external going on, something science does not understand yet, something driving the planet into a cooling cycle. It is happening right now.

    Joe Bastardi from Accuweather does a good summation…

    There are things going on here that are bigger than the normal course of affairs the IPCC projects, we need to stop piddling around with the failed IPCC scenario and find out what is really going on. Look at the trend, look at the negative PDO, the trend is for colder winters, we better sit up and take notice or there will be a repeat of the winter chaos we experienced this year.

    I can’t believe people still hold any faith with the IPCC alarmist projections in the face of a theory that has so completely failed to match it’s alarmist projections, but in essence that is what is comes down to, faith.

  13. Pete,

    above you write (apart from other quite specific false imputations, that is):

    Climate activism brings us, carbon tax, carbon trading, carbon capture, ethanol, geo engineering, GM crops, nuclear waste, and a host of bad policy decisions. Everything can be enacted in the name of global warming. Not to mention the risks of public rejection should climate not follow global warming projections.

    While Permaculture activism would address the same issues, without all the bad policy, or the risks.

    Thomas, please address the policy implication point. This really needs some discussion IMO.

    So, let us get this straight:

    1. You do not like the perspective of a future shaped by GM crops, geo-engineering, nuclear waste, and numerous other bad things. (Well, neither do I.)

    2. You think that there were some automatism by which measures to do something about our absurdly high CO2 emissions would automatically bring about these things. (I contest this idea of such an automatism.)

    3. As you really really do not like the things mentioned under 1., that sets your agenda for fighting tooth and nail against any mentioning of the idea that, actually, science could be right about CO2 and climate.

    Now, isn’t it strange that these nasty things such as going massively nuclear, or massively GM-bioethanol, etc., also is proposed by some as a response to the Peak Oil challenge? I take it you also consider Peak Oil to be “postmodernist science”, a conspiracy, whatever? Or not? If not, why not?

  14. I’m supposed to reply to your thoughts on what you think I think? Maybe you should look at the definition of condescending!

    “Now, isn’t it strange that these nasty things such as going massively nuclear, or massively GM-bioethanol, etc., also is proposed by some as a response to the Peak Oil challenge?”

    Not as strange as zero official governmental policy on Peak Oil.

    Which negates any point you were trying to make about those bad policies being done in the name of Peak Oil rather than as a response to the the Global Warming political campaign, in case you missed it, that was the point I was making, none of this was instigated in the name of Peak Oil, the whole agenda started about global warming.

    If we were talking about a response to Peak Oil, we’d be starting with EROEI comparisons and net energy, instead of lowest Co2 emissions, carbon capture etc. i.e. the focus would not be skewed into bad policy decisions.

    I’ve just read Paul Dennis from UEA talking about the “hide the decline” thing, this was very encouraging, I never thought I’d agree with anyone from UEA CRU

    “What concerns me about the ‘hide the decline’ debate is just that. The divergence in tree response to temperature was hidden without an adequate discussion of the reasons why. The decline doesn’t point to the unreliability of the modern instrumental temperature record. It highlights the poor control we have on past temperatures and our inability robustly to estimate what these are likely to be. This goes to the heart of the debate over whether modern temperatures and rates of climate change are unprecedented or not. I strongly suspect that in both cases the answer is a negative.”

    Without the tree ring circus, the whole “unprecedented” thing goes out the window IMO.

  15. Pete,

    I see a quite worrying pattern here. First, when you were confronted with a discussion why some of your key claims are untenable, you tried to brush this off with the remark that you “would not be chasing down rabbit holes”. This then turned into accusations of “grandstanding”, and now “condescending”. Any other smart ideas for blanket responses to counter substantiated objections?

    But apart from these issues – you are definitely wrong on the “no government policy on peak oil” issue. They might not have an official policy when asked about it, but a number of things they do actually indeed is all about bracing for the impact of Peak Oil. (Whether it seems effective is an entirely different question.) Fast-tracking planning permission for nuclear projects certainly is one of these things. This is definitely not about CO2 emissions, as politics evidently does not associate getting very serious about that with short time scales – so the ordinary planning permission process would do.

  16. I see a worrying pattern too. Your repeated insistence that your warped view of affairs were “substantiated objections”. I also notice you are outright misquoting me to bolster your warped view.

    Your fall back on black body physics fails to address the feedback issue. Your repeated retreat to this position highlights then hole in the CAGW argument, that without the postulated (i.e. guessed) feedbacks in the IPCC position, there is absolutely nothing to stand on.

    I said “zero official governmental policy on Peak Oil.”

    You said “you are definitely wrong on the “no government policy on peak oil” issue.”

    STRAWMAN ALERT – clearly you are misrepresenting my point so as to call me “wrong” when in fact you agree there is no official policy as I stated.

    [1] Published government policy:

    “The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was created in October 2008, to bring together:
    energy policy and
    climate change mitigation policy”
    So for all your protestations, Nuclear is presented as a low carbon climate change mitigation policy, not an answer to peak oil, which has no official policy as I correctly stated.

    My whole point was about agreeing with you about “the objective is to make wise decisions”. If we we’re discussing Nuclear in a Peak Oil framework, instead of “climate change” we might be able to assess the technology on EROEI terms, including the whole industrial process from mining to waste management. We might see many different environmental activist groups forming a huge campaign to at least have the issue looked at in the correct context, but “global warming” has clearly taken care of all that, and here we are fast-tracking nuclear power on the back of it.

    The result of Global Warming activism is a wrong footing for the anti-nuclear activists. The shouts are even louder from Nuclear Shills like Lovelock “James Lovelock: Nuclear power is the only green solution “ etc. [2]

    By jumping on the global bandwagon, you are enabling bad policy, weather you decry the bad policy being done in the name of global warming or not, by promoting it, you are enabling bad policy, face it.



  17. Pete,

    Ad: “I see a worrying pattern too. Your repeated insistence that your warped view of affairs were ‘substantiated objections’.”

    Well, I think we will have to leave it to other readers to judge here whether there is any substance in my objections to your claims. (That does not imply one has to like them – this is all about whether they are founded.)

    On this, it all depends who of us does here have a “warped view of affairs”. Certainly, at least one does.

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