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Flannery's admission

Another remarkable interview from Andrew Bolt, this time with top CAGW guy, Tim Flannery. Bolt manages to extract the remarkable admission that nobody will know the effects of emissions cuts for a thousand years.


Flannery: Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly.


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Reader Comments (34)

Just for information -
Very good comments below this article.

Mar 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterKarl Arrak

There's that falsifiability issue again. Not only aren't we allowed to prove CAGW isn't happening, now we can't know if the solution works.

How terribly convenient.

Mar 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

it doesnt damage the cagw agenda. its controlling future emmisions is the objective.

Mar 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterjo

Bolt hates Flannery with a vengeance. And Bolt is not your most objective media personality.

Wait until the fallout before making serious comment. This may well be a misquoting exercise.

(Disclosure: I hate Flannery and Bolt with about equal venom)

Mar 25, 2011 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

This proves it isn't a scientific theory.

Mar 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterLouis Hissink

"This may well be a misquoting exercise."

It was a publicly broadcast radio interview.

Mar 25, 2011 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterharry

The link to Bolt and Flannery.

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterMiles

Most telling part is, "the system is overburdened with CO2".

Over the last 550 million years levels of CO2 have ranged between 200ppm and 5,000ppm, and during that period we have periods of glaciation and high levels of CO2, and vice-versa. The system, this planet has never been overburdened by CO2.

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

There really are times in this game when it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry.
Here we have a palaeontologist telling us that the earth is "overburdened" with CO2 and four threads ago we have a link to a Met Office page witrh a graph that shows current CO2 levels as low as they have been in the last 300 million years.
In any other sphere of science (or even politics, come to that) all we sceptics would need to do is sit back and watch the "opposition" blow each other's brains out. It can surely only be a matter of time before they choke on their own feet.

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

I listened to the interview and read the transcript on Bolt's blog and as far as I can ascertain, it's fair dinkum, straight up and kosher.
Flannery's foolishness follows a long Antipodean tradition of tall stories about the know-it-all 'new chum' who makes an utter fool of himself. I would imagine that Julia Gillard has rapidly come to loathe and despair of the man she appointed to tell all the apropriate sciency stories for her.with this incredible own goal.

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

I love Bolt's style - he's very calm, no shouting or ranting.

By asking simple, straightforward, basic questions he elicits amazing admissions of ignorance from his interviewees - just like he did with EU Climate Commissioner.

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

Of course,this is all about missing the point as spectacularly as possible. Anybody who's been listening these last years will know that,given the properties of CO2, the trajectory for temperature is up whether we cut or not,given the slower acting feedbacks present. The reason to cut is to keep the temperature to a lower peak than it would reach under open slather. Yes,indeedy-doo,whatever peak the temperature reaches ,it will take natural processes a fair old time to remove the excess CO2 from the system,and a fair time for average global temperature to descend,failing the unpredictable intercession of extended heavy-duty vulcanism or a big downward lurch in solar output.

Whether you scoff at this,for whatever reason,don't pretend that you are not familiar with this concept,as it has been public information for a long time. This is no 'admission',just a restatement of a detail of the consensus position. I doubt if this even new to Bolt,though he is great at feigning horror.

Those who point to the distant past and higher CO2 levels need to also acknowledge where their 'analogy' breaks down. Because this has been often discussed as well.

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterNick

I fear it may be Nick who is missing the point.
The point is that the economy-crippling measures proposed will, by admission, have no discernable effects in the near future.
This is not how "carbon" taxes are usually sold to a gullible public. That particular sales pitch usually involves droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes and other plagues because climate change is REAL and it is happening NOW!
However, whatever Tim Flannery says is scarcely of importance. I think all sides of the "climate" debate are united in thinking he is dingbat of the first water.

Mar 25, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Perhaps the emphasis should have been more on 'cautionary' in dealing with the precautionary principle.

Australia's woes in implementing a carbon tax and the utter fultility of doing so is a cautionary tale that everyone should be aware of.

No one is going to impose economic grief today when the benefits are a millenium away.

Mar 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Real no-amplification climate sensitivity is c. 0.45 K [latest calculation accounting for overlapping bands with water]. Real feedback is probably highly negative. Real heating has probably been mostly natural and from polluted clouds, a self limiting effect now switched off..

What was a BIG mistake probably became a scam when NASA claimed in 2004 that clouds with small droplets have higher albedo because of a false 'surface reflection' argument. This was apparently concocted to cover up the mistake in the optical physics in the models revealed when the physicists proved no evidence of 'cloud albedo effect' cooling, why the modellers invented high feedback. In addition, there was evidence of strong, direct backscattering which the optical physics does not consider. See the original physics reports for what was not included in AR4.

Also, as glider pilots know, rain clouds with larger droplets have higher albedo, Therefore, the reduction of albedo by pollution making droplets smaller is another AGW. No need for CO2, and it explains palaeo-climate better [biofeedback from plankton in newly ice-free seas producing dimethyl sulphide, a known potent aerosol].

It's time their bluff was called.

Mar 25, 2011 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander


So if we accept what you say then the Green's message should be that the next few generations are utterly screwed, no matter what they do.

Shouldn't they be told?

Mar 25, 2011 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

The high-feedback CO2-AGW hypothesis has no experimental evidence.

The theory predicting the cloud part of global dimming supposed to hide it, was wrong from the very start and it was too embarrassing to admit it.

So, there will be no 1000 year effect, at least directly through extra heating.

Mar 25, 2011 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander

Jerry - "I hate Flannery and Bolt with about equal venom"

From some of your previous posts you are equally venomous about Jo Nova as well. Is there anyone in Australia involved in the Climate Science/Carbon "Pollution" debate that you don't hate with equal or varying levels of venom? Settle down, have a Bex, pack your rods and go fishing for a month.

I don't hate any of these people. Sadly the debate in Australia has long left the scientific level. If it ever was there. The MSM are now earnestly debating how the $11 billion that the "Polluters" are going to fork out should be spent. Current thinking is that it should be handed out in tax cuts to the lower paid to cover their increased costs. Unemployed and pensioners to be compensated by other means. Middle and high income earners to receive nothing of course. Presumably to continue for 1000 years until our "Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme" fully kicks in.

It's not at all about wealth re-distribution of course.

Mar 25, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

I'm only an ignorant English student as anyone here will tell you so explain for me what are the properties of CO2 which mean that the trajectory for temperature is up whether we cut or not.
So far not a single climate scientist (as far as I can tell) has provided (certainly has not provided me with) any empirical evidence that the current or projected levels of CO2 can have any of the disastrous effects predicted.
Since the "consensus" appears to be that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels compared with pre-industrial revolution times is what will cause this disaster when will it start? We have already had 40% of that increase and I see no evidence of any significant change.
Except that it's got a bit warmer.
Which is nice.

Mar 25, 2011 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

If Flannery's statement included the bolded words below would people then understand the difference between "stop increasing" and "drop". As it is some of the commenter's here, by their statements, don't. BTW I have no time for Flannery, he is a Gore like master of exaggeration and crazy statements (not here).

"Flannery: Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet would stop increasing through increases in GHG's however the the average temperature is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly'.

Mar 25, 2011 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Larsen

Agree with you GrantB, no point in hating. A troubling aspect of this all is that Gregory Ivan Combet, career unionist with no experience of actual 'work', is the Minister for (!) Climate Change (how about that) and signed Australians up with a tithe - 10% naturally - that will go to the UN for green programs.
Thin edge of the wedge I would say!
Follow the money.

Mar 25, 2011 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMiles

Nick, the CO2 residence lifetime in the atmosphere is 5 - 15 years.

If it takes 1000 years for the temperature to drop, it hase ZERO to do with CO2.

Mar 25, 2011 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

GIGO rules in effect, gentlemen. Watch your postulates.

Mar 25, 2011 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

Let me see if I understand this. Let's say there is 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere now, there "should be" 300 ppm and the incremental 100 ppm is all due to human emissions. If as some claim, this CO2 will endure in the atmosphere for 200 years, I would have thought that the incremental 100 ppm would be gone from the atmosphere in 200 years. Is he saying it would take another 800 years for the Earth to lose the incremental 0.9 ± 0.3°C? It seems to me that the Earth cools that much when transitioning from el Nino to la Nina.

Mar 25, 2011 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Norman

So using your logic there is no point in planting oak trees. Me, my children, and my grandchildren will all be dead before they enjoy the experience of an oak forest.

Don't wory about the future they can look after themselves...ridiculous!!!!!

Mar 25, 2011 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterthefordprefect


You're absolutely right that you shouldn't be tearing down my house and planting trees in its place for the sake of shade for your presumed great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren.

Now take a deep breath and step away from the exclamation point.

There, feeling better? Now please tell me how Mr. Flannery's projections about drought in Australia have panned out. And the wisdom of the investment he urged in desalination plants?

Mar 25, 2011 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterEarle Williams

Using whose logic?
I didn't bother looking at your link as I am familiar with you from CA.
Warning! You will get shot down just as easily here as there.
I always enjoy that!

Mar 25, 2011 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered Commentertheoldhogger

Great fun, Ford. The analogy on the delightfully named climatescum website is even more fun. Here's one thing, though: if I chop down an oak, I know with 100% certainty that it has gone forever. Do you want to lead us down the primrose path of Mr Flannery's certainty levels?

Mar 25, 2011 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterj

Eppur si raffredda.

Mar 25, 2011 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDeadman

Planting trees will just supply more fuel for bushfires. government already murdered 4 installers because of its insane insulation scheme. How many people will burn to death that to trees in a climate that has had drought and wet cycles for hundreds of years?

Mar 25, 2011 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Your Grace

CAGW - Computer Aided Global Warming?


Mar 26, 2011 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterDP

Hey Earle, I wouldn't pick on the desal plants too much. Of all his idiotic ideas, that's probably the only half-decent one. Our waterways are incompetently mismanaged and you can be sure there's another drought on the way. We're the second driest continent after Antartica, and really we should've invested in them 30 years ago when they started becoming practical. I'd prefer expensive water to living under water restrictions.

Mar 26, 2011 at 3:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterNano Pope

It was interesting to note one of the phone in callers point out (I cannot remember the exact words) that Flannery, with his "Thousand Year" comment simply restated the fact that CO2 lags temperature. rise/decrease.

Seems a shame Bolt did not latch onto that quickly enough to challenge Flannery.

Mar 26, 2011 at 4:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

"However, whatever Tim Flannery says is scarcely of importance. I think all sides of the "climate" debate are united in thinking he is dingbat of the first water."

Hardly. He was Australian of the Year a few years ago and has only recently been appointed "Climate Commissioner" (or should that be "Commissar"?) by the Gillard government to sell their carbon (dioxide) tax policy.

I think he's doing a great job! Keep it up, Tim.

Mar 26, 2011 at 5:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterIren

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