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« Renewables industry moves to amend Energy Bill | Main | Obama's climate diversion »
Wednesday
Jun262013

Flatten the Earth Society

Environmentalists' efforts to seek out a neo-medieval future for society continue apace, with public-funded civil servants at the forefront. The Tyndall Centre - a kind of Opus Dei for the green movement - have announced a conference to brainstorm just how this future could be brought into being. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's being held at The Royal Society.

The Climate Change Context

With large-scale impacts of climate change becoming discernable from the background of natural variability, so concern is rising over the global community’s failure to control emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) captures this pivotal moment in history, when noting that "The current state of affairs is unacceptable … energy-related CO2 emissions are at historic highs”[i] and emission trends are “perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius, which would have devastating consequences for the planet”[ii]. In similar vein PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC)[iii], the UK Government chief scientist[iv] and a growing body of academics and researchers are allying current emission trends with 4°C to 6°C futures.

Why Radical Mitigation (i.e. emission reductions)?

Today, in 2013, we face an unavoidably radical future. We either continue with rising emissions and reap the radical repercussions of severe climate change, or we acknowledge that we have a choice and pursue radical emission reductions: No longer is there a non-radical option. Moreover, low-carbon supply technologies cannot deliver the necessary rate of emission reductions – they need to be complemented with rapid, deep and early reductions in energy consumption – the rationale for this conference.

Details here.

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Reader Comments (68)

A "radical future" with "radical repercussions" unless we pursue "radical reductions". These people are clearly rabid radicals, and like most radicals have lost all sense of reality.

Jun 26, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

In the name of God (or do I mean Gaia?) what planet are these people living on?
Who in their right mind in the present circumstances actually believes that " large-scale impacts of climate change [are] becoming discernable from the background of natural variability" and where is this "growing body of academics and researchers [that] are allying current emission trends with 4°C to 6°C futures."
Echo chambers or ivory towers. Wherever they are it's not the real world.

Jun 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The first line: "With large-scale impacts of climate change becoming discernable from the background of natural variability...."

Question: where is the empirical evidence to support this statement? Answer - there is none at all. As the statement forms the premise for all that follows we can only conclude this is a fraudlent attempt by vested interests to enrich themselves at the expense of hard-pressed taxpayers - again!

Jun 26, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

I want to voice my concern at fellow academics using such rhetorical and hyperbolic language. It has absolutely no place in the serious scientific discourse around climate change, natural variability and anthropogenic effects. I'm currently engaging in email correspondence over moderation of blog comments with PLOS blogs when my critique of a blog which used similar language and presented a future of climate armageddon has been rejected.

The four references associated with this conference are to: (i) The Director of the IEA, who trained as a primary school teacher, then took courses in Higher Management for non-profit organisations; (ii) The chief economics advisor to the IEA; (iii) PWC, basically an accountancy firm and the former government chief scientist. I think this tells us everything there is to know about the authoreity they have for their 6 degree rise claims.

Jun 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Dennis

"Failure to control emissions" has a rather late Victorian ring to it.

Do they think it will send us blind?

Seriously, the language is revealing (blush, blush). It is the antithesis of reasoned, balanced discussion. What TF is an "unavoidably radical future", other than a call to ditch the restraints on action? You know, boring stuff like democracy, civil rights and the rule of law?

It may be that people are growing restive, but I suspect that it is not in the way that they imagine.

Jun 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

I'd say 'discernible' would improve that sentence a little, but the substance is the same. The substance is the evidence it provides that some people alarmed about climate have very vivid imaginations.

They seem to live in a world in which their worst nightmares are coming true before their very minds. Looking out of the window, or under the bed, is often enough to calm a child in these circumstances, but what to do with these adults who seem so demented? Here we have the complexity that they might be just pretending to be because they have seen great advantage in doing so. We can continue to look, and tell them there is nothing there to be so scared about, but then some of them tell us we are in cahoots with the bogeymen of coal and oil who are the root cause of their alarm in the first place. So that does not calm them down. They get even more agitated.

Perhaps we can hope that as time goes by, and nothing extraordinary comes to harm them by air or ice or sea, they will calm down all by themselves, and let everyone else have some peace. In the meantime, we can try to reduce any harm they may do to themselves and to others by keeping a close eye on them, and doing what we can to help them get a better grip on reality.

Jun 26, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

IMO the RS et al are just the useful idiots pushing an agenda that they cannot defend and haven't thought through. The impetus has been to create a global fiat currency based on CO2. This has now reached such a level of development in terms of associated policy and investment that it will take a herculean effort to expose it's lack of substance. The private sector is happy to take the money all the while it is underwritten and risk free. Look to DRAX and the impact on their whole program if the carbon floor price had not happened. Few politicians have the skills or motivation to investigate and stand up to the nonsense that is built on "Climate Change". Listen to the words of Obama here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23032890

We are now in the era of "carbon pollution".

Jun 26, 2013 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

O/t _ Paul Dennis - apologies for the diversion but I've not seen you comment for a while. I left a comment on the "Birthday gongs" thread which might be of interest. I'll pick up with you on that thread if so:

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/6/15/birthday-gongs.html

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Paul Dennis (Jun 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM) is to be applauded for his statements.

It's a pity more true climate scientists don't speak out like this when confronted by such obvious 'scientific propaganda'. I hope Dr Richard Betts will also bring these people to task, especially in light of his previous articles and statements...
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/11/9/dangerous-climate-change.html

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Well they’ve taken a step forward. They are admitting to themselves that renewables aren’t working, though they don’t put it that bluntly. Who knows, one day they might realise that ticking a box on a survey doesn’t mean you really believe that CO2 will cause the end of the World.

I’ll believe they’re getting serious when they host a purely web based conference, free to all with almost zero emissions. After all Anthony Watts managed it on a shoestring with his 24hr webathon. Also a bit like AA the speakers should each have to step forward and admit they’re an energyoholic and say what their CO2 footprint is. Queue the shuffling of feet and 'oh, sorry is that the time I've got to be somewhere else.'

Some psychiatrist is going to make a mint writing about the disconnect between these people's words and their actions.

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

"With large-scale impacts of climate change becoming discernable from the background of natural variability"

Er, isn't that the other way round? Whatever the impact of CC, it would increasingly appear that natural variation is the major component.

Indeed, the statement implies that CC and natural variability are somehow different, presumably because the warmologists like to believe that CC is a new and worrying phenomenon that can only solved by giving them money...

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Religious fundamentalists like the Green movement do not care about truth or the effects of their demands, they are saving us from our sins. There is no logic to such thinking, only blind faith that they are right.

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

"the rationale for this conference"

Where, no doubt, delegates will be jetted in, lights will be blazing while coffee machines gurgle and puff steam, the heating or air-con (possibly both!) will be whirring away and all energy-hungry consumer comforts will be provided.

As Tiny suggests, they don't really believe this stuff - if they did, it would be held in a bus station using old laptops and shaky webcams...

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:14 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The title is "The Radical Emission Reduction Conference".

If organisations such as Tyndall are going to reduce their radical emissions, I would welcome that, but there seems to be little sign of it.

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

I heard Obama talking about "carbon pollution" in the news. The average man or woman in the street has probably only a vague idea about the extent to which their body is "polluted" by carbon. The situation is obviously worse than we thought. All we can do is to hope that those wise people in the Tyndall Centre come up with a solution.

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

I think we should refain from accusations of 'personal enrichment' being a core motivator of the alarmists. For the true believers I believe this is not the case. Saving the world and redistributing wealth to help the little guy is their reward. If you believe that you are really so noble then anyone who doesn't want what you want must be evil and in the pay of big oil (the devil).

Back on topic, the continued proclaimation that 'the science is settled' when the evidence is otherwise, is nothing short of astonishing ...

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Obviously anybody who actually believes a word of this CO2 caused "unavoidable radical future" rubbish must, by definition, be pushing for a massive programme of building CO2 nuclear power.

Anybody who claims to believe it but doesn't is, automatically, a liar not to be trusted on any other subject either.

It is conceivable that there is somebody in the CAGW movement somewhere who is believes the scam but I am willing to bet heavily that none of them will be at the Tyndal centre.

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

"Unacceptable" "No option" etc. etc. This is not good for my blood pressure. I am not a great fan of Monckton but it needs someone like him to give their 10 minute presentation and ask politely: "Why are you all talking such nonsense?"

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

mike fowle - Monckton has an even better descriptor - he calls it "baby talk." :)

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Moreover, low-carbon supply technologies cannot deliver the necessary rate of emission reductions – they need to be complemented with rapid, deep and early reductions in energy consumption – the rationale for this conference.

The Eco Taliban at their finest. Unicorn Utopia is a bust - time for real action.

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Registered Commenterbh3x2

A bit off topic but Australias' carbon tax lovin' prime minister has just been dumped in an internal coup due to poor poll ratings. A small chink of light ...

Jun 26, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterceetee

If they truly believe their own prophecies, they will surely conclude that the only way to achieve the >80% world-wide emission cuts is to forcibly impose said cuts on China, India and the like... the resulting World-War will, of course, decimate human population and thereby solve the problem within a very short period!

Jun 26, 2013 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

In similar vein PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), the UK Government chief scientist and a growing body of academics and researchers are allying current emission trends with 4°C to 6°C futures.

In most other areas one would expect proponents of an hypothesis to point to the actual strengthening evidence for that hypothesis, rather than the numbers who support it. But with the growing research that climate sensitivity is less than previously thought; the 15 year pause in actual warming whilst emissions accelerate; and the failure of short-term predictions, there is something of a credibility problem. So they quote opinions of opinions of models reliant on dubious assumptions, and block out the reality bits as best they can.

Jun 26, 2013 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

This is just tedious agitprop, I expect it from the Socialist Workers Party, not someone claiming to be acting with any connection to real scientists.

"Today, in 2013, we face an unavoidably radical future. We either continue with rising emissions and reap the radical repercussions of severe climate change, or we acknowledge that we have a choice and pursue radical emission reductions: No longer is there a non-radical option. "

Yes indeed, I acknowledge that I have a choice, and I choose to continue with rising emissions until such a time that anyone can identify any evidence whatsoever that they are having an effect.

Jun 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMax Roberts

Meanwhile, the latest yougov poll on what Osbourne should cut, throws climate change under the bus.

Jun 26, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterssatssat

BBC Radio 4's latest edition of Shared Planet (with Monty Don) has Paul Ehrlich on spouting the usual 'we're all doomed' message and we must do it four the grand-children. But he admitted it was all based on gut-feeling. Truly amazing, and the BBC never blinks an eye-lid.

Jun 26, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

@ ceetee

Meh, they have dumped the PM who introduced a carbon tax after promising not to, for the dickhead who claimed that fighting climate change was the greatest challenge of our time. ( in Australia, fyi)

Doesn't matter, they will be slaughtered in the election. It is supposed to be on 14 September, but the new boss could postpone it for a few months. They may pick up a few points, but with a baseline vote of 30% or so as of today, it is only a matter of whether the Chippendale chairs or the Bechstein can be saved as the house burns down around them.

Meanwhile, the Australian economy is slowing, in no small part due to the Government's attacks on mining, our most profitable export. They have constantly told the world that miners are evil, greedy, horrible people and that they will do their damndest to tax and regulate them within an inch of their lives.

Funnily enough, mining investors are looking elsewhere, and the great boom is grinding to a halt.

Just another sign of evil capitalism, they say, a conspiracy to deprive us of revenue.

Like many punters in the UK, I cannot wait to get rid of this government - although at least we have a choice, of sorts.

Jun 26, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

This is just tedious agitprop, I expect it from the Socialist Workers Party, not someone claiming to be acting with any connection to real scientists.
And Sir Paul Nurse used to be what, exactly, Max?
From where I'm sitting the SWP and other assorted Trots, Leninists, and lefty-fascists have made a remarkably good job of worming their way into the body politic scientific while we weren't looking.
To endorse the point made above, if these people really as in really, really believed any of this claptrap they would not be swanning all over the world laying a "carbon footprint" the size of a medium-sized town (each!) every time they attend one of their oh-so-important-for-the-future-of-the-important-bits-of-mankind-ie-us conferences.
This little episode needs to be exposed as often as possible as the exercise in hyper-hypocrisy that it is.

Jun 26, 2013 at 1:26 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

If the matter is that urgent - why is the conference in mid-December..?

(With any luck - it will coincide with a static anticyclone; there'll be no input from wind; the grid won't be able to cope and the lights will go out in the meeting room...

I know - I'm not a very nice person...)

Jun 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Are these people walking around in blindfolds and ear defenders? Or are they just a left leaning group determined to move the industrial centre from developed countries to the emerging economies?

Jun 26, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Meanwhile, the latest yougov poll on what Osbourne should cut, throws climate change under the bus.

Jun 26, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterssatssat

He apparently has made a gesture. In the spending review today, he has announced a cut for the DECC of 8% on their budget.
However, large parts of the Foreign Aid budget are still there to educate third world farmers etc and mitigate climate effects.

Jun 26, 2013 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurfew

Yes, Johanna. At least the Gillard conclusion is not premature.

Jun 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

What better way to ensure that your overpaid job continues that hold a conference of like minds at the Royal Society who have themselves lost all original thinking.

Jun 26, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Wake up! Climate change causes premature aging:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nMNu68gsAPA

Now that is just plain silly.

Jun 26, 2013 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

If PricewaterhouseCooper say it is 6 degrees then it is 6 degrees. They have spoken. So sad that The Royal Society (Take no-ones word for it) is reduced to this.

A few weeks ago I was on Snowdon and the snow was up to my neck. It was "discernable" (sic). I discerned it.

These loons need to get out more.

Jun 26, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Crawford

MORE clueless student WWF [Trotskyite] climate change pornography and here we go again.

"Today, in 2013, we face an unavoidably radical future. We either continue with rising emissions and reap the radical repercussions of severe climate change, or we acknowledge that we have a choice and pursue radical emission reductions: No longer is there a non-radical option. "


This amorphous, mythical "we" - who, or where are the "we"s, who do Tyndallers include as "we" do they actually mean "they" - and then I want to know just who are the people the Tyndallers call "they" - for maybe it is "they" who must be the evil ones.

Another question, why is incumbent upon the 'west' or actually Britain - erm......... "we" to make these emissions cuts which will result in unilateral industrial suicide bring an end all manufacturing and thus cause a British economic catastrophe?

Haven't "they" realised that yet or, is it that they:
a. simply do not care,
b. deliberately aim to bring about industrial obliteration here in Britain?

Why don't "they" [Tyndall] fly over to Asia - and tell this to China and India - see how long it is, before they are slung in a very black hole.

btw - Rejoice Aussies - Joolya's gone and Darren in charge of the cricket - things are looking up!

Jun 26, 2013 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Athelstan: "or, is it that they:
a. simply do not care,
b. deliberately aim to bring about industrial obliteration here in Britain?"

I think it is a mixture of the guilt that comes with prosperity and perhaps the residues of a protestant conscience: life is good - that can't be right. And a desire for martyrdom. "Yes, it'll be tough", they say bravely, "but oh so worthwhile". Of course, they have no conception of the economic havoc that will be wrought and indeed the breakdown of civilisation that will inevitably ensue.

Jun 26, 2013 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Athelstan - they say that the darkest hour is before dawn (well, the Mamas and Papas did, she says defensively). Getting rid of Gillard and replacing her with Rudd is a step back, in practical terms. As for cricket, my ignorance could span the Milky Way.

I agree with mike fowle that there is a rich seam of guilt being mined here, and that we are probably stuck with it as members of the human race.

Jun 26, 2013 at 3:56 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Presenters will need to register for the Radical Emission Reduction Conference. The cost is £250 for bookings before the end of September and will rise to £300 thereafter. This cost does not include accommodation or the Conference Meal.

I'd guess accomodation is optional, but the meal could be a nice money-earner. No note on the cost for attendees. Is this just a scam?

Jun 26, 2013 at 4:31 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

While this kind of over-the-top alarmism is always tough to listen to, it's always doomed to backfire on the alarmists who preach this drivel.
Radical mitigation is just not going to happen, no matter how much they scream about it. It's just not in any governments plans right now. And 20 or 30 years from now when the world hasn't ended, these words will, hopefully, be remembered for the BS that they are.

Jun 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenry

"With large-scale impacts of climate change becoming discernable from the background of natural variability ..."

So often, it's the big lie right up front you have to spot.

Pointman

Jun 26, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

PWC are probably working on the basis that as loan periods in the UK now only go as far as next payday then the end of the world must be nigh.

Jun 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

well the hotel operators are going to have to stock up on plastic sheets with all those bedwetters in town

Jun 26, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenternoTrohpywins

mike fowle on Jun 26 at 3:38 PM 'they have no conception of the economic havoc'

I would also expect that few have a Scientific or an Engineering background. Not only does it develop skills that are useful in the real world, like problem solving, it also develops knowledge and experience of the real world itself. They probably have not worked in a small business (that makes a profit because it has to, to survive).

All those super-clever kids travelling effortlessly through school in the academic stream, choosing Philosophy, Politics and Economics (but with little Mathematics), growing up thinking they will change the world, and then end up being a little cog in a big political machine without a clue how anything works and being ignorant of the real world, and not even knowing they are ignorant, yet having to be noticed in order to survive!

The big political machine is nothing like being in an educational establishment. The Laws of Physics cannot be repealed. The voters keep changing their minds and they want their rewards now, before they have earned it, and the profit needs to be shared several times over with those who have not contributed, even if it has to be borrowed.

And all this is taught to our children as if it were the truth!

No wonder we are in a mess!

Jun 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

This whole dismal saga reminds me irresistably of the scene at the end of William Golding's novel 'The Lord of the Flies', just before the adults turn up.

One day, perhaps soon, we shall get back to adult science. Let us hope that it happens in time to save the world from these spoilt brats.

Jun 26, 2013 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Peacock

One could skip all of the alarmist talk about 6C and the catastrophies we are sure to experience. In fact we can ignore it all and skip to the part about "rapid, deep and early reductions in energy consumption" to realize these people are not playing with a full deck. Hell, forget the rapid and early part as well (sort of redundant anyway). Concentrate on "deep reduction in energy consumption". Are these folks really that clueless on what this means? As was mentioned above, this statement is a clear signal that they are finally realizing there is no such thing as "green" energy. Meaning the only remaining alternative is, to use their phrasing, instituting radical limits on how much energy people can use.

There is one small hope still. While politicians may like this issue due to the increased opportunity to control things, they, unlike your average environmentalist, are usually keen to sense when the public is about to turn on them.

Jun 26, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

Johanna - Birds singin' in the Sycamore tree / Dream a little dream of me.

I built an igloo last winter. I used snow which is a rare and exciting substance according to these knobheads. Sorry to call them knobheads but they are knobheads. I would love to build an igloo with them but they are too scared to get away from their computers.

Jun 26, 2013 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Crawford

I think I may have stumbled upon the dark secret at the heart of the Climate Movement.

Here is the chief honcho of the Tyndall Centre Mme Corinne Le Quere in action - she appears to be explaining herself to some kind of extra-terrestrial robot device - no doubt sent by from another galaxy by her lizard controllers.

We are all doomed.

Jun 26, 2013 at 5:35 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Is it normal for the Royal Society to be used as a venue for political gatherings? The question of what to do about climate change is obviously not a scientific one. It's a question of policy. So why is is being held at the Royal Society?

Jun 26, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Any mention of Corrine De La Quere and I can't resist speculating on AW Montford...

Forgive me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHR5Ly3TrwM

Jun 26, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Crawford

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