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As readers here will know, the GHG warming effect is pretty small on its own. Warmist publicity tends not to dwell on this. The assumption is that this slight warming will lead to more water vapour in the atmosphere and being a GHG this will lead to more warming, etc. This positive feedback could magnify the warming many times, depending on how much you wish to scare the politicians.

Positive feedback could get out of control hence the tipping point and the catastrophic ending where we all fry.

This is the sort of stuff that first raised my sceptical instincts and got me interested in this pseudo science. My first thought was that was given all the temperature extremes and CO2 concentration extremes, if a strong positive feedback was possible, it would have wiped us out long ago. Strong positive feedbacks are unlikely because they make the system very unstable. The relatively stable climate we enjoy suggests lots of negative feedback mechanisms that effectively keep conditions constant.

In other words the warming probably causes more water vapour, more clouds, less solar heating and hence cooling.

Leaving that aside for a moment, the question that never seems to get asked or answered is this one:
We don't actually need CO2 to start the positive feedback, just some more water evaporation. Why didn't the Medieval Warm Period kick off the water vapour warming spiral? When we had even higher temperatures in the earlier history of the earth, why not then?

The answer is probably that negative feedbacks always kick in. However, the point I'm making is that if heating creating GHG water vapor is the warming spiral, why do we need a role for CO2? We just need the initial heating from other natural causes.

Perhaps the importance of CO2 is that it fits with the man-made theme and big oil, etc. After all, if water vapour could do it all on its own we would have to consider water as a pollutant and blame someone for creating the oceans...

Mar 31, 2013 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Seriously - where do they think it is going to end?
Mar 31, 2013 at 11:13 AM johanna

Johanna,

I assume that it will end in hyperinflation. Essentially a pushing of the Reset button.

Mar 31, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Coldest easter on record, but it's just weather.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/388354/Coldest-Easter-on-record-as-Lapland-is-warmer-than-Britain

Mar 31, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

BBC Green Brainwashing Again ? in 2 BBC radio progs
1 - WE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS GET DEATH THREATS ! meme went unchallenged
"I'm a climate scientist", "a number of my colleagues have received unpleasant emails ..death threats & so on."
Mar 31, 2013 at 4:26 PM stewgreen

A year or so ago, there was a report in the Telegraph that said that Phil Jones had received more "death threats" after the FOI commissioner delivered his decision on UEA FOI.

Another FOI request was made and the UEA response said:

Specifically, we do not hold any recorded information that identifies the two death threats “...that arrived after the information commissioner delivered his "verdict"” We certainly received abusive email directed at Prof. Jones during the relevant timeframe but we do not have any recorded information that identifies exactly what Prof. Jones was referring to in his statement quoted in the Telegraph of 7 February 2010.

My conclusion: Prof Jones's claim to have received more death threats was simply the UEA attempting to play the "Poor Phil" card again.

Mar 31, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

BB
Please stop putting your ideas into my mind or your words into my mouth.
And stop trying to tell me I don't recognise something that was far from the "extreme" activism you might like to think it is.
The rest of your comment is bordering on the meaningless.
I'm not opposing capitalism though I would be happy to see a bit more evidence of your claim that you are a supporter.
Is that "unfettered" capitalism or do you subscribe to the Heathian view that there is an "unacceptable face" as well?
And how are you on my essential point that trying to solve the problems of the next generation but one is not very clever?
Or do you dislike the concept so much that you need to derail the debate before it gets started — as you usually do?

Mar 31, 2013 at 4:34 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

BBC Green Brainwashing Again ? in 2 BBC radio progs
1 - WE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS GET DEATH THREATS ! meme went unchallenged
"I'm a climate scientist", "a number of my colleagues have received unpleasant emails ..death threats & so on." 25.39 mins Chris Rapley speaking on BBC Radio : Material World 28/3/2013
REALLY ? .. Claims like this need to be substantiated before they are broadcast : A death threat will undoubtidly been reported to the police so can Chris Rapley show evidence of this and the prosecutions ??
- I will ask the BBC to substantiate or withdraw ..Given that the widely reported death threats at ANU turned out NOT TO EXIST (The Australian, 3 May 2012 .. also Delingpole opinion )

- Chris Rapley also said
"I see it in the reaction to the narrative of climate science" yes he a true believer really did call his own cause a "narrative"
- I see @Alex Cull @ Philip Bratby also commented on that prog
and the Bish has picked up Rapley as an Activist

2 - Future of Agriculture in Africa (Click Podcast ) sounded like true green brainwash edition .. WHAT DO YOU think ?
- the message sounded Mari Antoinette style : "Let them eat ORGANIC !" (while we outside Africa have our cheap bread, rice etc.)
- Florence Lubwama Kiyimba of NARL-NARO
was able to imply that the rainy season was ALWAYS predictable in the past ,but isn't now due to "climate change" ..whereas we older people know that climate isn't consistent and in long periods strange things do occur like Australia's 7 year droughts.
- 7 minutes in, she said "farmers have relied on the rain, but with the current change ahem we have also been hit just like the other continents.. as such it is no longer a given that we will produce in the rainy season" .."so during the 2 rainy seasons we encourage farmers to collect and store water"
(hang on wouldn't it be good if they did that anyway whether there is Climate Change or not ?)

- background

Mar 31, 2013 at 4:26 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Mike Jackson, your choice of the most extreme form of green activism to characterise all of your opponents is like using communism to discredit any form of thought to the left of your favourite right wing ideologue. It might make you think you have said something meaningful, but it is essentially vapid.

And with regard to people enriching themselves, that is the basis of capitalism (and I happen to support capitalism). There are many instances of vested interests capturing the policy agenda to promote or protect their interests. Protest against them all equally and I cannot argue with you.

Mar 31, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Got stuck in a google loop and ended up with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_Hill,_Illinois#History

..the religious communistic Bishop Hill community. Just what I'm accusing NLP of.

And of course I stumbled over this quote from one of Robert Owen's sons, about the members of the New Harmony community;

"a heterogeneous collection of radicals, enthusiastic devotees to principle, honest latitudinarians, and lazy theorists, with a sprinkling of unprincipled sharpers thrown in."

which pretty much sums up what I think of warmists.

OK, I'll shut up, no more about failed socialist projects from me.

Mar 31, 2013 at 3:45 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

"What ideas individuals may attach to the term "Millennium" I know not; but I know that society may be formed so as to exist without crime, without poverty, with health greatly improved, with little, if any misery, and with intelligence and happiness increased a hundredfold; and no obstacle whatsoever intervenes at this moment except ignorance to prevent such a state of society from becoming universal.”


So wrote Robert Owen, two centuries ago. Much of what he achieved was good, but when he carried his ideas too far beyond what human nature will support, he got New Harmony, Indiana. Which you can google to see the story.

I was juuuust about to comment linking Owen and his ilk to the NLP crowd, but Mike pre-empted me. They believe in what they are doing, they really do. They think it is for the best. But to use the excuse of a global warming panic to introduce policies which wouldn't be viable otherwise is underhand. That's why they cannot address the validity of CAGW claims nor the immediate ill-effects of the policy.

Mar 31, 2013 at 3:22 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

BB
It's not just the windmills and the taxes. The entire AGW philosophy is, and always has been, based on a pattern of impoverishment. I have said a dozen times that the eco-activists' aim is a return to the environment and by extension the living standards of the late 18th century.
While Blake talked about building Jerusalem in our "green and pleasant land" I can point you to a group of eco-luddites whose ambition is (or was, the last time I had dealings with them) to re-create New Lanark in 21st century Lothian! Grassing over pedestrian precincts and creating artisans' workshops in derelict mills were just two of their slightly less than totally unrealistic ideas.
I'm not going to dispute your assessment of the situation except to say that it is fairly typical of the negativity which, if anything, is going to make it more difficult for the next generation and the one after to solve their problems.
Have you thought of a slightly more positive approach? Like doing what little you can do to expose the whole AGW scam for what it is? And I don't mean by that that global warming isn't happening or even that some of it is my fault (and yours) but you know full well that it has become a money machine for a large number of people enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of us and a Noble Cause for the enviro-nutters who are determined to impoverish us and future generations in the name of "saving the planet". And all on the flimsiest of evidence.

Mar 31, 2013 at 2:13 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

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