Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Poznan climate conference denial


Hundreds of delegates have descended on Poznan in the west of Poland for the United Nations climate conference, ostensibly to “discuss” a global response to global warming. But the last thing that the environmental movement, and many governments, want is a “discussion” about anything at all.

The 12 day climate catastrophe shindig started yesterday with Poland’s environmental minister taking the chair, and Prime Minister Donald Tusk making the opening speech. He said the correct, soothing things; he kept to the script. “No human activity should disturb the symbiosis between man and nature…”

The Poznan summit is but a prelude to a deal, which every country on Earth must sign up to, seemingly, which will be made in Copenhagen next December. Before then a lot of talking will be talked, a lot of carbon miles will be burnt up in diplomatic travel, a lot of hot air will be aired.

The climax of this year’s event - which picks up the Bali baton of last year - will be the arrival of the Climate Catastrophist Superstars, in the bulky shape of Al Gore and even more bulky Arnold Schwarzenegger . Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa will also be attendees, but where they fit in is anybody’s guess.

You get the feeling that the Polish government just loves having the UN on its patch to talk climate change. Status! Ping! You also get the impression that Poland is an unlikely host to such a thing.

You see, Poland, aided by Italy and supported by at least six other EU countries, are challenging the targets of the EU - which are even more strict than the UN proposals, to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2020. Poland is - according to Greenpeace - among the top 20 twenty carbon emitters in the world, due to its jolly old fashioned reliance on coal for 90 percent of its energy needs.

PM Tusk has led the charge in Brussels saying that if he does not get concessions on the targets he is going to veto the whole thing. This will not please Brussels. With its constitution/reform treaty thing put in cold storage by those pesky Irish, the climate deal is the next main chance to show us how relevant they are and how the world needs them so, very much.

So Poland is the host of the climate change summit while at the same time being an arch enemy of climate renewal, or whatever Greenpeace et al term such a position.

Taking the peace out of green

So Poland has become a target for Greenpeace and other groups. It has launched its usual media savvy protests (who needs a mass movement of greens behind you when you can simply turn up regularly on the Six O’clock news?) aimed at the coal industry in Poland. Two weeks ago it blocked an open face coal mine in Konin, on the way to Warsaw from the west, causing, say owners, a 100,000 euro loss of production. Miners, understandably, got a little annoyed with this mixture of Polish greens and climate change tourists, and fisty-cuffs was the result.

The new liberal/left seemingly has little support for the working class and trade unionists - how dare they want to protect their jobs, and even want more in general, when we have to 'save the planet'? Or not.

I heard a Polish Greenpeace activist saying on the radio yesterday that, “we have no choice” but to cut carbon emissions… “The Science” supports us…etc, etc.

Whether the science supports the global warming thesis is still open to some question - and the debate within science goes on, although you would never believe it. But it does - one of my favourite web sites is this one, and you can read for yourself both, and many, sides of the argument and judge for yourself.

But why do environmentalists stoop to use words like “denier” for anyone that dares disagree with them? And why do some of them say climate change denial is morally and socially unacceptable? And don’t they think that is a little, tiny-winy bit …authoritarian?

Compare the reaction to two documentaries. The first, Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth - the other, by climate-change denier, Martin Durkin and his The Great Global Warming Swindle (see documentary here).

Both films have some inaccuracies in them, in fact. But one won an Oscar and led to a Nobel Prize, the other director was frequently deemed in “climate change denial.”

“In denial”, a phrase associated with a psychological disorder or, even, Holocaust denial? George Monbiot, in the Guardian: “Almost everywhere, climate change denial now looks as stupid and as unacceptable as Holocaust denial.”

So, according to the new thought crime, to descent from the path of holy climate change - i.e. to question the amount of warming and/or that the only way to combat such a warming is to cut back on economic growth (even for counties like Poland that never had that much growth in the first place) is the moral equivalent of being…well,… David Irving!

I find that disgusting. Climate change is a political issue. And what is a political issue without political debate? Authoritarianism. Nasty.

82 comments:

ge'ez said...

Who says it's necessary to cut back on all economic growth?

In the US, unions and the workers they represent are increasingly supportive of many green building initiatives, industry conversion projects (retooling factories to produce wind power gears, etc), etc. etc.

All these types of projects create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and grow the economy. Win-win-win.

beatroot said...

industry conversion projects (retooling factories to produce wind power gears, etc), etc. etc.

But Geez, these are in Obama's little plan. But they will not suppliment economic growth. Forget those silly wind things. The future is nuclear and the sooner we realise that that is the only way we are going to produce the energy we are going to need - and in general realise that high growth policies are what we need in the future - then you are going to have to support population control laws and all the other horrors that you, my Catholic geeza, are gonna hate.

jannowak57 said...

beatroot said: “I find that disgusting. Climate change is a political issue. And what is a political issue without political debate? Authoritarianism. Nasty.”

This is the new fascism of political correctness which has created a climate of fear on university campuses were researchers dare not align themselves with views outside the approved orthodoxy for fear of retribution. There is no longer meaningful scientific debate on this.

It is fair to state human activity has some effect on climate but science does not have any means of quantifying with any certainty what it is or projecting future outcomes. Yet based on this uncertain or “we think it might go this way” science, major public policy decisions are being demanded by people who are scientifically illiterate.

My understanding is that China, India, Brazil, Russia and many developing countries are saying no because they feel there economic advancement to western levels of affluence will be stifled or halted altogether.

What meaningful deal can be worked without China, which is expected to surpass the US as the largest single polluter on earth?

BT said...

Your comments on Poland's attitude towards the Poznań negotiations are very astute. However, the second half of your post seems to show a departure in quality.

There is, in fact, almost no question in the scientific community regarding the existence of climate change and its human origins. The dominant questions in the scientific community are these: How bad will it be? How fast will it progress? Is there anything we can do to stop it? If we can't stop it, then what do we do?

We're looking at CO2 and temperature levels that the world has not seen in millions of years.

ClimateDebateDaily.com presents both sides of the debate in the popular media, not the scientific community. It pulls together blog posts, popular news, and opinion pieces written almost entirely by non-scientists, on the basis of lay interpretations of scientific data.

The debate in the popular media centers around the following questions: Does climate change exist? Do I like Paris Hilton or chocolate better? If I keep sticking my finger in my nose, will the climate thingie go away?

Needless to say, we're doomed.

Leopolis said...

The Poles have an opportune chance to wean themselves from dirty coal and diversify its energy mix (including Russian gas). Sadly, they are likely to squander this chance.

http://www.cepa.org/digest/the-tussle-with-brussels.php

ge'ez said...

Energy reconversion projects will be the engine of economic growth.

And methinks your blind faith in nukes is misplaced.

http://www.truthout.org:80/article/steel-workers-allies-launch-green-jobs-campaign


The Steelworkers Union Green Jobs campaign, in six states - Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Missouri, Tennessee, and Minnesota - is based on a Sept. 9 report showing $100 billion invested in green technology has the potential to create 2 million new jobs in the next two years, advocates said. That's four times as many jobs as the same dollars would create in the oil industry, it adds.

Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy, by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, says that of the new jobs, 800,000 would be in construction and the rest would be in the to-be-built factories turning out "green" goods, such as hybrid auto motors, wind turbines and solar paneling that converts sunlight into electricity.

The $100 billion would be split: $50 billion for tax credits to aid business and homeowners to retrofit buildings, plus investing in renewable-energy systems, and $46 billion in direct government spending on retrofitting public buildings, expanding mass transit, freight rail and smart electrical-grid systems, and investing in renewable energy. The rest would be federal loan guarantees underwriting private credit for retrofits and renewable energy investment.

The green jobs would also help combat global warming. "The climate crisis is on a global scale," USWA President Leo Gerard said in a telephone press conference unveiling the report and discussing the campaign. And he said there would be positive spin-offs in other industries. Many of the construction jobs would re-employ now-jobless workers - due to the housing industry slump - "doing pretty much what they have been doing anyway," he pointed out.

"If you retrofit public and private buildings, for example" - one recommendation of the report - "the materials will come from glass factories and building trades factories. People can make what they already make, but make it for green economy."

Another spin-off, he pointed out, would be rising sales in industries now reeling from the recession, high gas prices, or both. Gerard said tire company officials told him driving is down, so purchases of tires are down. USW includes rubber and tire workers.

Increased auto sales, when hybrids and electric cars are produced, would reverse that.

And he cited Gamesa, a Spanish-owned windmill turbine firm, as an example of use of tax credits to create "green jobs." That former steel mill in western Pennsylvania employs 1,000 people. It came there after the state offered tax credits for "green job" firms, Gerard noted. The Steel Workers have organized the Gamesa workers.

--> Oh and hurray for BT's ditty:
"The debate in the popular media centers around the following questions: Does climate change exist? Do I like Paris Hilton or chocolate better? If I keep sticking my finger in my nose, will the climate thingie go away?"

And finally there's too much of a debate imo. It's not being stifled. It's being pumped up by oil company and other corporate dollars. But oOooh-woooh. Getting called a global warming denier. Now that should put a stop to debate right there.

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

To suggest that there is some overwhelming consensus on climate change is simply wrong and I do urge you to read regularly the Climate Debate daily

http://climatedebatedaily.com/

Science is open ended and depends on a community interacting, comparing and contrasting findings. You can see the fluidity in this by the experience of Kyoto scientist David Evans, among others.

http://kevincolby.com/2008/07/24/confessions-from-former-greenhouse-scientist-david-evans/

It is also not true that just because many scientists think something then a political outcome must follow. Just because the climate is warming (although it hasn’t for the last ten years) does not mean governments have to decide to cut economic growth etc. There is another response - adaption, and finding ways to continue to develop but create new technologies.

But that is not the road environmentalists take. They seem to want to go back to a simpler age in some kind of neo-romantic response to modernity.

As for the science, I honestly am unsure. But the point of my post is that the greenies do not want a debate about this but merely want to impose a political solution in keeping with their reactionary world view. This is the new imperialism that India, China and Poland have to fight these days.
Climate change is ultimatly political, not scientific. The greens must get used to being challenged politically. But they seem to want to shut people up. That's authoritarian and reactionary.

ge'ez said...

Uh, when was the last time you felt threatened by a Green?

Anonymous said...

Ge’ez

“All these types of projects create jobs “.

Yes – they create jobs but not wealth. Creation of non-jobs, and an unproductive client class is the strategy of socialism.

“Uh, when was the last time you felt threatened by a Green?”

Every day – if they get their way, we will all suffer serious loss of quality of life. And I don’t just mean the optional luxuries. The basics, that we thoughtlessly assume are ours by right, are threatened.

beatroot said...

If I was confronted by a bunch of Greenpeace trying to block my way to work, I would be very concerned indeed about how influential these people are. Green is now the new conformist orthodox…they are not “radicals” any longer…

As far as it being a threat to people, this is true. Take immigration…pressure groups like the Optimum Population Trust with high profile members…David Atemborough et al…scream that the British Isles can actually take (sustain) a population of 35 million or …I.e. half the existing population. So implications there of birth controls plus a clamp down in immigration that would make a member of the fascist BNP jump for joy.
http://www.optimumpopulation.org/

As far as growth policies are concerned…the anti-growth lobby has almost achieved orthodoxy these days…just look at the cover of the Davos edition of New Economy magazine

http://cde.cerosmedia.com/1K49185ef6ade91012.cde

ge'ez said...

Anon wrote that government funded reconversion projects: create jobs but not wealth. Creation of non-jobs, and an unproductive client class is the strategy of socialism.

---

The money is going to free enterprise capitalists! If with a little jump start they make a profit, that creates wealth. If an unemployed workers gets a job as a result, he or she becomes productive and pays taxes. That all creates wealth.

Piotrek said...

Beatroot, you vastly overestimate the media power of the Greens in Poland. A beating from some miners earns them 30 seconds in the news. President Kaczyński goes for a spin on the Bullet train in Japan and gets three minutes.

"…the anti-growth lobby has almost achieved orthodoxy these days…"
You must be joking. It's all growth, all the time. No one is welcoming the recession bar perhaps some overpaid lifestyle journalists.

"It is also not true that just because many scientists think something then a political outcome must follow."
I doubt anyone believes that, especially not scientists.

"There is another response [to warming, though it's not happening] - adaption [...]
But that is not the road environmentalists take. They seem to want to go back to a simpler age in some kind of neo-romantic response to modernity."

They do? Who? If a green tells me to - or even by way of changing the law - makes me recycle glass bottles is this a return to the middle ages?

Anonymous said...

Check this out: doyenne of unfunny ignorant BBC morning radio Chris Moyles shows his true colours on Polish immigrants


http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20081203/tuk-moyles-polish-prostitute-gaffe-45dbed5.html

beatroot said...

"It is also not true that just because many scientists think something then a political outcome must follow."
I doubt anyone believes that, especially not scientists.


Piotrek, it is now become almost "common sense" that because there is global warming then we must cut back on everything...less planes, less economic growth, less everything. So a scientific fact (if that is what it is turned into a political policy.

And you say that greens have less media coverage in Poland than elsewhere...that is true. But the point is that this is not an issue of national sovereignty...the west's obsession with the climate will have effects in Poland too. That is the point of Tusk's opposition to the EU targets.

Anon - yeah, Moyles is an arse..always was, of course, though he is saying that the remarks were taken out of context and he was taking the piss out of sereotype thinking etc...

ge'ez said...

BR wrote: "it is now become almost "common sense" that because there is global warming then we must cut back on everything... less economic growth.

--> Who the hell is saying there should be less economic growth?

Different kinds of economic growth, yea. But *less economic growth* ???? Who?

roman said...

beatroot,

Excellent article. I agree 100%.

beatroot said...

Isn’t “why economic growth is bad for the planet” good enough?

Well, leading Guardian greenie columnist George Monbiot:

“If you are of a sensitive disposition, I advise you to turn the page now. I am about to break the last of the universal taboos. I hope that the recession now being forecast by some economists materialises….’

What a twat

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/oct/09/comment.economy

There is the move within academia and policy making to say that economic growth is not important measure of society but ‘social indicators’ Many examples of this…how about Abolishing GDP?

http://www.tinbergen.nl/discussionpapers/07019.pdf

\
And growth sceptics are now mainstream..

The New Scientist magazine front cover had the headline “the folly of growth”


http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026786.000-special-report-how-the-economy-is-killing-the-earth.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=top1_head_How%20our%20economy%20is%20killing%20the%20Earth

Anonymous said...

Ge’ez said : “The money is going to free enterprise capitalists! If with a little jump start they make a profit, that creates wealth”

Um, no. These are jobs created by subsidies, so the activity is inefficient and/or not desired by consumers. The market distortion reduces, not increases, wealth production. The companies concerned are no longer “free enterprise capitalists”, they are beholden to the state.

ge'ez said...

Um, ever hear of Keynes? You can exit the 19th century if you try.

ge'ez said...

My oh my. You got a movement going there, BR. You got Roman to echo the Spiked message!

What's wrong with twats? You take Monbiot's quote entirely out of context.

And re. this and the other quotes, again what kind of growth? If the only seeming possibility is destructive growth, what good is it? You make it sound as if the greens are hegemoic. They are not. Indeed, they are fighting against tremendous odds in what looks like a hopelessly losing battle.

And again, reconversion of industries that are problematic is a real possibility that will spur growth.

beatroot said...

Geez, I think we are getting two things mixed up. Keynes was an economist, trying to keep GDP as high as possible by stimulating demand, as opposite to supply side economics. But he never questioned the need for an econ omy to keep growing, an that is measurable by GDP and other indicators.

But the new type of social science questions the very idea of economic growth. For these people, a growing economy is one that uses more and more resources and creates more and more waste and pollution. Making Africa more econically developed, like in the west, is a waste of time. We should measure progress in an economy in otjer ways, including “social factors.”

So the only way to make the planet less polluted and conserve resources the most is by cutting economic growth. Make economies smaller and simpler. Small is beautiful.

I think all of the above is complete bollocks.

old git leftie party said...

Beatroot is right. The leftwing has been taken over by a bunch of reactionaries, wanting to go back to “nature.” That was never what the leftwing project was about. We wanted more for everyone. Progress must include economic growth - the faster the better.

Anonymous said...

Ge'ez :

If you took the time to understand the words that you type, rather than childishly insult other posters, you would know that Keynesian economics worsened, not aided, the Depression.

I’ve often wondered why freedom and democracy are the exceptions, rather than the default mode, of human social organisation. After all, the concepts seem so simple. Reading your posts show that they are not – there are always people who just don’t “get it”.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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ge'ez said...

Sounds like the ol' RCP-UK above. Couldn't grow back then, ain't growing or resurrecting now. Funny how their attempt at reincarnation rests largely upon trumpeting what they call *growth* now.

ISTM that the headlines in the New Scientist are at variance with what the folks in those articles are actually saying. Or trying to say despite the insipid questioning which is indeed altogether ridiculous, imo.

A guy who champions Green Growth is not "anti-growth" any more than a politician who supports abortion rights for women is "pro-abortion."

How do you want to define "growth"? And please don't define it simply as a term of measurement.

ge'ez said...

Anon, you call me childish then you call me out for insulting other posters. Fuck you.

Anonymous said...

Old Git : There may be a few with misguided, but genuine, motivation about the environment. But they are too few in number to explain how AGW has become mainstream. For most of the establishment this is about control.

Mark said...

Bravo, Beatroot, you're absolutely right - by any objective measure, environmentalism is morphing into a new pagan religion with dictatorial pretensions. It is developing its increasingly misanthropic dogmas while shouting down anyone who dares to disagree with them in any way.

There are much better ways to decrease pollution without destroying economies in the process. More men like Vaclav Klaus are needed to challenge the growing political power of this new religion.

roman said...

ge'ez,

You got Roman to echo the Spiked message!

It's not the "Spiked message" at all.
It is a report which happens to appear in Spiked and many other politically incorrect media outlets. Just because their conclusions do not slavishly conform to the hysterical end-of-the-world paradigm manufactured by the greens does not make them any less important.
I do agree with you on one thing, though. A twat is not a bad thing!

beatroot said...

How do you want to define "growth"?

I mean growth, Geez, by increases in Gross Domestic Product. Have I not made that clear?

beatroot said...

I must say I am tempted to join the Old Git Leftie Party…I qualify on all counts, probably. But in truth I am not really old enough to remember the left in its heyday…I remember when the left was being given a mashing by Thatcher in the 1980s.

But anyway, I don’t know how Chairman Old Git feels about things, but I have no illusions, Geez, that the old left is going to make a comeback. It’s finished. For me, now, priority is maintaining and growing living standards in Poland and emerging economies. And green thinking - )and let’s not focus too much on Greenpeace et al…this type of thinking has gone right to the top these days) is threatening economic growth in places like Poland.

ge'ez said...

That's a measurement, not a definition.

It the main domestic products of a nation are something that have a negative impact on that nation's overall development, there's a problem.

Look at the US auto industry today. Largely because of out of control spiraling health care costs for workers -- which are provided by foreign competitor's gubmits -- but not by the US gubmit -- it looks like GM is going to go under.

GDP by itself is not a reliable indicator of economic growth or health.

beatroot said...

Look at the US auto industry today.

It's got nothing to do with health costs, Geez. It's because American cars are...CRAP! Have been for decades.

In Poland they say: never buy a car from one of the three Fs...Fiat, French...and Ford. Good advice. and goodnight the US car industry.

ge'ez said...

Ford isn't doing all that bad.

It's GM, Chrysler, and (brain fart) that're tanking.

I've bought Fords for many years. I like them. I'd even go so far as to recommend them.

And American auto industry competitiveness has lots to do with spiraling astronomical health care costs. In the US, employers have to ante up for them where there are unions. I hope you are not going to argue against unions now. You have seemed pretty solid and even exemplary in that regard.

Meanwhile, in Japan and other advanced countries that provide gubmint health care, their auto industries don't have to worry about health care costs for their employees.

Of course, CEO and upper management salaries are a great drain as well.

ge'ez said...

Oops. The brain fart was Ford.

I still like Fords.

beatroot said...

maybe you have an irrational attachment to Fords? You shoild see a doctor :-)

ge'ez said...

Three small Fords in succession over about 20 years.

First two got over 100,000 miles with a minimal amount of repairs.

Current one has close to 100,000 with nary a major problem.

Next car if Ford and I am still around will be another Ford.

At the same time, I think this ain't just gonna be a sort swing in the economy. Looks like too many people have already been and are just now getting laid off and even more will soon follow.

roman said...

FORD = Fix Or Repair Daily.
They are crap, always been.

jannowak57 said...

Geez said: “GDP by itself is not a reliable indicator of economic growth or health.”

GDP is the recognized measure of growth but does not quantify how the resulting wealth was distributed or utilized in society.

beatrot said: “It's got nothing to do with health costs, Geez. It's because American cars are...CRAP! Have been for decades.”

This is not altogether correct, American cars have come a long way, they are nearly as good as Japanese cars but fall short in design and styling. Also too many models that nobody wants.

The big three carmakers suffer from the same problems; they are covering pension and medical cost for the retired workers. The ratio of 1 active worker to 3 retired workers on generous benefits is unsustainable. The Japanese plants in the US pay a similar direct wage but are not unionized; they also have minimal benefit and pension obligations. There was a figure recently mentioned that the Japanese plants in the US had a total cost of $44.00 per hour for their workers versus the big three which were into the area of $95.00 per hour.

Geez said: “Meanwhile, in Japan and other advanced countries that provide gubmint health care, their auto industries don't have to worry about health care costs for their employees”

Yes but it’s not a free ride elsewhere as everyone pays for state health insurance from corporate or personal taxes.

Then there’s the whole topic of free trade versus fair trade that impacts on the US auto industry.

beatroot said...

but fall short in design and styling...

For me that was always most obviously wrong with American cars. The interiors...they chuck any old thing at them...and the exteriers...???...usually boring but sometimes they get a bit weird...like the Diesel-Electric hybrid GMC PAD??????!!!!

http://www.carbodydesign.com/archive/2005/11/24-gmc-pad/GMC%20Pad%203-big.jpg

But it's always been thus...this was Chryslers first attempt at streamlining????!!!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:%2734_chrysler_airflow_hood_vents.jpg

Americans like function before everything else. And when the functionality goes, well, so does the company.

ge'ez said...

OK, Roman. What? You drive a Japanese car?

It's always cracked me up how so many Bushites drive Japanese cars. Where's the red-blooded Americanism there?

57, aside from the matters of distribution and utilization, I can see how some countries are too dependent upon a certain cash crop or product that may well contribute heavily to favorable GDP increases in the short term but are destroying the country in the long term. I'm thinking of palm oil for example. Or even non-agricultural products that destroy the environment in one way or another so that the potential for growth plummets over longer duration.

ge'ez said...

BR:

Re. yer bud, Rob...

From a Yahoo Friends of Poland listserve:

Re: Hamtramck votes down pro-gay bill


By claiming that the defeated ordinance called for "special rights" for homosexuals, Rob Strybel is validating the language of the American Family Association/Muslim coalition that defeated that ordinance. This is also the coalition whose supporters chanted "no
fags in Hamtramck" on election day. And worse.

As a supporter of the ordinance, let me point out that this law
offered the SAME protections to everyone, not special rights for any
one group. I invite you to the website: www.hamtramckunited.org.

Karen Majewski, Ph.D.
Mayor, City of Hamtramck

***
Hamtramck, Michigan, the once predomiantly Polish and overwhelmingly Decnoratic
enclave-suburb of Detroit, has overturned a city ordinance that granted special
protected status to homosexual and transgendered residents.
That success was possible thanks to an ad hoc pro-family Polish-Muslim election
coalition which did not believe such groups deserved preferential treatment.
Polish Americans are still the city's largest single ethnic group, but in terms
of religion, residents of the Muslim faith are now more nuemrous. They include
immigrants from Bosnia, Yemen and Bangladesh.
Rob Strybel
Warsaw

beatroot said...

Um...could you give some context to this...and explain a bit more what Mr Strybel has got to do with it? (Strybel is a Polish American journo working in warsaw, for those of you who are even more confused about the above than I am...)

Gustav said...

Climate change is a political issue, but it is also a scientific issue. Evolution is a political issue too - but we readily ridicule (rightly) those who "deny" it. The scientific community is in broad consensus on both issues.

Sure, folks should be allowed to believe what they like, but we must stand firm and let them know that they are wrong, and move forward with measures against global warming accordingly.

Where your argument has significant traction, in my mind, is the deep social unrest that a quick change to green energy production would have. Where would we get it? Carbon-emissions fees would undoubtedly put heating costs out of reach for the millions of poor, rural Polish families in the deep, dark Polish winter. Then there are the lost jobs, etc, that you mention. How do we resolve these two issues? That is the question.

Nuclear seems like a golden bullet, but I admit I am on the fence. We have the technology, and it emits no carbon in energy production, but there are significant drawbacks as well. There are very few Polish engineers trained to operate such facilities, and to build one take around 15 years of VERY carbon intensive building. So after we get the nuclear plant, it's already 15 years down the road, it has to operate another several years just to become carbon neutral, and we don't have anyone to run it.

And I haven't even mentioned the tricky issue of storing the radioactive waste produced by such a plant. Shall we bury it in the park next to your block, beatroot? Because I don't think anyone else is going to agree to it.

The point is: climate change is happening, it is humans' fault, and whether we call people who argue that it is not "deniers" or just plain stupid is immaterial. We must do something about it. NOW.

But everything that we can do now would entail tremendous costs (monetary, social and potentially environmental) in Poland.

My own personal view is that much more money - much more - needs to be pumped into research of green energy technology, as we do what we can to switch over to those technologies that are available now. Better technology - I hope and believe - will provide better solutions (more efficient solar, wind and biofuel sources and technologies), but as a society we must agree to invest in the research to get us there as soon as possible.

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

Climate change is a political issue, but it is also a scientific issue. Evolution is a political issue too - but we readily ridicule (rightly) those who "deny" it. The scientific community is in broad consensus on both issues.

Gus, the status of the science on climate change is nowhere near Charles Darwin! J Most of it is based on computer models and are projections, which vary widely. Fact is, we just don’t know for sure. But many are making some wild political prescriptions for something very uncertain. They are asking a country like Poland to sacrifice half of their future GDP for the foreseeable future on this. I don’t think the evidence is good enough to ask any country to do that.

The point is: climate change is happening, it is humans' fault…

Climates have always changed…and they are changing for now for a variety of reasons. To what extent humans are responsible, well, I don’t know that and I don’t think you do, either.

Where your argument has significant traction, in my mind, is the deep social unrest that a quick change to green energy production would have.

The social unrest could also come from increased national rivalries as they try and cope with a new economic reality, with shrinking economies that - and I mean in the West, too - just can’t afford transforming economies so radically. This reaction to climate change could make nation’s poorer still and conflict will follow. Why make things worse?

Gustav said...

the status of the science on climate change is nowhere near Charles Darwin

I simply beg to differ beatroot. You're right, I'm no expert myself. But I do know that the climate is getting warmer when it should be getting colder (you're right that climates have always changed, but according to patterns we should be entering an ice age!). And climates have never changed as fast as they are now, and scientists are in broad consensus that humans are at fault.

Listen, I understand the economic repercussions - they are scary. And it is enough to make anyone WANT to question the science. That is why the arguments against get so much play in the media.

But facts are facts - the evidence is there, despite our desire to not want to believe them. You posted a link to a blog previously, I suggest you check out this one: http://www.realclimate.org/ - all of the arguments against debunked.

I agree that asking Poland to cut its GDP growth in half is unfair - but over time I don't think that is what is necessary. Indeed, getting China, the US and India to change their ways will do a lot more than getting Poland to. But still, as I said, I think that Poland ought to do what is economically viable now, while the EU and other international organizations pool their resources to make cleaning up their energy sources more economically viable. I think that's a reasonable compromise.

Because, even if you are right, the cost of my suggestion is just a cleaner environment, while if you are wrong, the cost is environmental disaster and strife for generations to come. The stakes are that high.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

But I do know that the climate is getting warmer when it should be getting colder

Gus, even something as central to global warming science as…well…global warming…is disputed. The Science is very much debated. Charles Darwin would be rolling in his grave if he heard you compare his work with what is at present hypothesis.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7329799.stm

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23411799-7583,00.html

http://www.cfact.org/site/view_article.asp?idCategory=4&idarticle=838

http://www.livescience.com/environment/060713_global_warming.html

But even so, this is about politics not science. If there is global warming - and if human activity is mainly responsible for it then several courses of action can follow - mitigation or adaptation. What we are presented with by the greenies is main hysterical calls to cut back on human activity and go and live in the trees - I.e. mitigation.

http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/climate-mitigation-and-adaptation.html

That kind of politics must be fought. I get the impression that even if it could be proved that beyond all reasonable doubt that adaptation was the best way forward, environmentalists would be against it. This is because theirs is a response not to global warming but to modernity itself. That is why they are so reactionary and conservative.

ge'ez said...

BR: "this is about politics not science"

Most scientists disagree. I'd say that proportionately even more reputable scientists disagree.

BR: "What we are presented with by the greenies is main hysterical calls to cut back on human activity and go and live in the trees "

There are all sorts of "greenies" out there. Most are not hysterical. While most agree that it is important to cut back on human activity *that intensifies and increases global warming* (not human activity in general or in total), my guess is that very few advocate that we live in trees.

PS: The bit about Strybel was in response to a post about him a month or so back. It was off-topic. Mea culpa. IMO, though, he should stick to reporting Polish recipes.

Anonymous said...

One of Britain’s top fashion models, who has graced the cover of numerous magazines and was winner of Britain’s Next Top Model competition, the beautiful Lauren McAvoy, has publicly declared her support for the BNP.

Lauren, who has a diploma in civil engineering, won Cycle 3 of Britain’s Next Top Model in 2007. Her prize was a contract with Ruby & Millie Cosmetics, a modeling contract with Models 1, and a six-page fashion editorial and cover for Company magazine.

Way to go, Lauren! Thanks for the support!

http://www.bnp-chronicle.com/2008/09/britains-top-model-lauren-mcavoy.html

beatroot said...

Um...

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKSIxmHtMME&feature=related

jannowak57 said...

Gustav said: “I agree that asking Poland to cut its GDP growth in half is unfair - but over time I don't think that is what is necessary. Indeed, getting China, the US and India to change their ways will do a lot more than getting Poland to”

Firstly it is exactly these demands by old Europe that will make any agreements on a meaningful commitment to limit harmful emissions impossible. You cannot ask societies that have been artificially held back for 45 years to suspend economic development; Poland needs 6% GDP growth per year just to reach a position of catching up to the living standards of old Europe. Once a comparable living standard has been reach reached then the conversations can start.

As far as China, Russia and India, they have made their position abundantly clear, nothing will be allowed to take place that will harm their economic growth. And further more if the west wants any measures to be put into action then the west will have to pay for it.

There is no body of evidence or credible science behind the notion that human activity has and is influencing climate change in a way as to bring catastrophic conditions at some future point. Yet in an effort to present it’s case this lobby is prepared to lie, mislead and falsify it arguments by stating they have actual science to back their positions.

Gustav said: “Nuclear seems like a golden bullet, but I admit I am on the fence. We have the technology, and it emits no carbon in energy production, but there are significant drawbacks as well. There are very few Polish engineers trained to operate such facilities”

There are plenty of good engineers and physicists in Poland. It is my understanding there is a research reactor in operation.

Gustav said: “The point is: climate change is happening, it is humans' fault”

Climate change has always been happening and predates the industrial revolution, you once again restated what no one has been able to verify and you expect government policy should be based on this. The flat earth society carries equivalent levels of proof for their position.

roman said...

ge'ez,

OK, Roman. What? You drive a Japanese car?

Yes, both were made right here in the good ole USA by non-union workers earning just a fraction less than those overpaid and over-bennied UAW workers. No wonder the big three are going down the toilet when each car made starts out with $3,000 built into the cost for pensions and bennies of retired Uaw workers.

Piotr said...

Climate Debate Daily, as pointed out above, pulls together articles from the popular media - not from scientific papers.

There's more. By scrupulously (presumably - I haven't had time to check every single post) presenting for and against articles split down the middle fifty-fifty, it gives a false impression that the debate is also split down the middle. Such are the perils of "balance."

Suppose the issue were Creationism vs. Darwinism and in the interests of "balance" 50% of whatever - schoolbooks, TV debate time, www.creationdebatedaily.com - was devoted to Darwin and 50% to Creationism. No sensible person would consider this a fair and balanced discussion. Worse, suppose I came up with a third theory to explain how we got here: the robots are creating an illusion of life for us. Let's call it the matrix theory. In the interest of balance, www.creationdebatedaily.com would have to divide its front page into three columns: Creationism, Darwinism and Matrixism.

Beatroot, you've been had.

beatroot said...

Piotr, I think you are getting a bit carried away with your meticulous content analysis. But anyway, anything that redresses the blanket greenie "let's save the planet by sorting our rubbish into three different bins..." crap is welcome. The relentless "message" slipped into programmes across the schedule in somewhere like the UK, for instance, is just nauseous making.

Take a simple cookery programme like Ready Steady Cook (in Poland it is called Smacz-ne-go!). A silly cookery contest. Late afternoon. regularly you will get some British chef going on about organic veg and mentioning "saving the planet, just doing my bit...etc") and not being challenged on it at all. It's become common sense, in the most nonsensical way imaginable.

So Climate Debate Daily a little quantitatively biased? Who cares, at least you can see there is a debate.

and I certainly have not been had.

ge'ez said...

So Roman, with two Japanese cars, you think we should go back to the time when there were no unions and no pensions. That sounds downright anti-American to me. You might as well join up with the Taliban.

jannowak57 said...

Sadly for American automakers even the Taliban have standards. You may note they seem to favour japanese pick up trucks.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with sorting rubbish? If you don't do it some child in an Eastern slum will do it, although I suppose the 10 cents an hour he gets for it means that wealth has been generated...

jannowak57 said...

Anonymous said...”What's wrong with sorting rubbish? If you don't do it some child in an Eastern slum will do it, although I suppose the 10 cents an hour he gets for it means that wealth has been generated...”

The consequence to the child in “the eastern slum” of not getting the 10 cents per hour may be starving to death.

Firstly for everyone to just to sort his or her garbage is ineffective. It’s the wrong approach plain and simple. At present in most places you separate the paper, plastic and glass from the other household garbage.

What a profound difference one simple act could make to reduce the human impact on the planet, just legislate a restriction on printed telephone books, junk mail and advertising flyers. Each household could voluntarily opt out of receiving such material; the advertisers and commercial interests could still direct the same material to you by means of the internet (no paper therefore no consumption of trees or generation of waste). Those who choose not to opt out because they either have no computer or just prefer the paper can continue receiving the material.

Mandating liquids to be sold in glass or aluminium containers that can be 100% recycled.

Mandate energy efficient light bulbs were 13 Watts does the job of 60 Watts.

People are getting fed up with the irrational hysterics backed up by the “politically correct versions of science” not to be confused with the accurate versions. Practical steps can be taken without causing catastrophic damage to the economy.

ge'ez said...

ford:

Late in the day the House of Representatives passed by a wide margin of 237-170 a bill to give General Motors and Chrysler $14 billion in emergency loans from a green modernization fund that Congress created earlier this year. (Ford is in better shape and has not asked for short-term emergency assistance).

beatroot said...

Anon
I suppose the 10 cents an hour he gets for it means that wealth has been generated...

That does actually raise the question of - when western countries just all over the developing world to cut out the child labour thing, what do they replace those wages - megre though they are - to the families with?

Answer - usually nothing. Sometimes human rights activists can do more harm than good.

jannwak57 said...

I’m advising everyone to buy an SUV now, don’t worry be happy.

“Don't spend much of your "worry time" on a new climate treaty however, says Avery. Global temperatures are doing their best to tell us that CO2 isn't very important after all:

.Global thermometers stubbornly refused to rise after 1998, and have plummeted in the past two years by more than 0.5 degree C.
·The world is now colder than in 1940, when the Post-WWOII Industrial Revolution started spewing lots of man-made CO 2 in the first place.
·On October 29, the United States beat or tied 115 low-temperature records for the date; Alaska, which was unusually warm last year, recorded 25 degrees below zero Fahrenheit that night -- beating the previous low by 4 degrees F.
·London had snow in October for the first time in more than 70 years.”

The rest of this article cab be found here:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17352

Anonymous said...

Gustav,

The scientific community is NOT in broad concensus on AGW - this is a media (MSM) lie.

jannowak57 said...

Gustav said: “this is a media (MSM) lie.”

You are a prisoner of your own dogma which is suppose to become a new unchallengeable orthodoxy. Free your self with the truth, I know in a world that leaves little for you to believe in, people grasp at anything. Read “The God Delusion”, are not just struggling with another variation of the religion game.

ge'ez said...

MSM.... arrgh. So we should believe the shitstream media? Well, I guess some folks do. And that wasn't Gustav saying referring to the MSM. BTW, I think the concept of the monolithic power MSM is largely an invention of the SSM. There simply is no MSM anymore.

Anonymous said...

Another variation of the religious game is precisely what we are looking at. Ever wondered why Christianity became a state religion just as the Roman empire began its decline ? So that the rulers could maintain control. The EU is the new Byzantium.

Anonymous said...

If this is the “shitstream media” ge’ez, why are you here ? Is someone paying you to push a message ?

ge'ez said...

There you Anon guys go again. I never suggested the BR was shitstream media. The BR is a blog. I don't even consider a blog to be media. And I don't consider the BR blog en toto to be shitstream, just some of the comments, mostly posted as anon, within.

But, yes, George Soros is paying me millions and billions (not). I can see we are in for a flurry of ad hominem here.

ge'ez said...

And the scientific community is indeed in broad consensus on global warming. It's pretty much unanimous with only a few scientist dissenters, many of whom are paid.

Anonymous said...

Um - verbal incontinence, but no straight denial. So, you are being paid.

I give up... said...

I cannot believe two people here have seriously advocated exploiting poverty-stricken children to save the environment. If that's the sane alternative give me greens under the bed any day.

ge'ez said...

Um - incredibly idiotic to think that anyone would get paid to post on the BR.

Anonymous said...

Struggling, aren’t we. What part of “straight denial” do you have difficulty with ?

ge'ez said...

Flattery will get you nowhere. And, indeed, it is flattery if you think someone is paying me to post on the BR, both to me and the BR.
WTF do you think would pay me to post here? Give me some ideas and I will promptly send them my resume.

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