Tuesday 16th of July 2024

spittle from shock jocks...


Professional shock jocks have an unfair advantage — in the climate change information debate — over serious scientists...

This is a shorter version [more boring] of an article posted on this site ("letter to Prue" — repeated in various formats on the website). It is designed to alert shock jocks to the unfair power they have, in dis-informing the public, by being ignorant of the real scientific facts while spittling false information — eventually confusing good thinkers. This short version was submitted to Crickey.com. I leave it to Crikey to do the right thing. Crikey might write it better... Picture above is of clouds coming down low... Gus.

Dear Annabel (Crabb), Prue (McSweeney), Alan (jones) et al...

It's the privilege of politicians to tell the truth — or whatever rot — while not believing in it. Like Kevin Rudd saying that global warming is the greatest threat to humanity, then becoming pragmatically impotent about it. Abbot told us global warming is crap while getting his information from George Pell who gets his skewed information from the non-climate scientist Ian Plimer, all to suit the catholic fantasy and the mining enthusiasts...

Global warming is REAL. NASA tells us by its observations that this planet surface is warming up and has been doing so for the last 150 years. We need to understand what this means for us, where does this warming comes from, and if it continues — what consequences can come of it.

Till about 150 years there was ONE "average" natural carbon cycle on earth. Lengthy and complex studies of the dynamics of the surface of the earth would place the last major carbon "super-cycle" at many millions of years ago. This was the last time when massive amounts of carbon were sequestered below the surface. Carbon is sequestered daily in the seas at the bottom of oceans and other places... It takes a very long time to turn a bog into a coal seam... It takes a long time to sequester carbon.

So till about 150 years ago, humanity's carbon was "re"-cycled back into the natural carbon equilibrium, though some scientists believe the last big melt was helped along by humans burning large forests. These fires would have induced massive release of CO2 and removed some of the ability of the earth to "re"-cycle it fast enough. The geological record shows an enormous amount of ash from wood-burning (not volcanoes) associated with this warming period. An increase of about 5-6 degrees C globally induced MASSIVE sea-level rise. Aboriginal people recorded the event. The catalogue of fish in the overhangs of Arnhem Land show a dramatic artistic representational change. Freshwater species were replaced by saltwater fish species. Rivers became estuaries. Plains became sea.

So till about 150 years ago — after this warming 12,000-10,000 years ago (which some other scientists concluded should be followed by a cooling period, according to patterns of the geological periods we're living in) we humans were subsisting on burning wood and some "animal" oils.

150 years ago, we discovered the hidden treasure: the buried carbon... Some coal had been used before by humans but in quite negligible quantity.

The newly discovered carbon had been buried for millions of years... The rest is the history of the industrial revolution, in tandem with the "privatisation" of ideas and inventions.

Petroleum, which had been used in small quantities till then (surface petroleum from tar pits) became a magic product. Scientists invented "Cracking" to break down its heavier molecules. Refining crude oil became a gigantic activity for humanity. And the more we refined, the more we were pushed to consume. Nature had provided us with a bountiful cheap source of energy...

We are in carbon heaven. But...


The answer is YES but it is very complex. It's much easier to deny and carry on burning the EXTRA carbon.

Carbon dioxide IS a global WARMING gas. In the last 150 years we've added roughly 100 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in our atmosphere... according to serious calculations, this has raised the average temperature of the globe by about one degree C...

We're adding about 2 ppm of CO2 per year at the moment.

Anyone who says that this won't have an effect on the dynamics of the atmosphere is negligent or criminal...

Before going any further I would like to point out, that you, Prue, Alan, Annabel, etc, are professional talkers/writers, and in any debate on this subject, a professional scientist is a... professional scientist.

Not many scientists have communication skills at the level you have, and from your position you can control the polemic. Facts and figures are dry uninteresting arguments and while it appears you don't understand any of these, you get away with bull brilliantly... It makes great television, radio and great writing. It makes a very poor information channel... No-one is the wiser, the scientist goes back in his/her box and the clock is ticking...

Thus, the viewers and readers have had their dose of mindless entertainment, while the arguments — which are not much more than facts and figures — to explain global warming have not been aired. I must say here that some greenies have gone too far on the other side of the scale and presented an Armageddon picture of global warming... It is not.

So what do scientific experiments and measurements tell us? I quote:
"The greenhouse effect was first notice by a man named Joseph Fourier in 1824. But it wasn’t really explored until 1896 by a man named Svante Arrhenius. He discovered the absorption of radiation by the atmosphere that actually warms a planet.

If there weren’t any of those greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide [and water vapour, adds Gus] the planet would be about 30 degrees Celsius cooler than it is.
" etc.

I quote from another source:
"The next major scientist to consider the Earth's temperature was another man with broad interests, Svante Arrhenius in Stockholm. He too was attracted by the great riddle of the prehistoric ice ages, and he saw CO2 as the key. Why focus on that rare gas rather than water vapor, which was far more abundant? Because the level of water vapor in the atmosphere fluctuated daily, whereas the level of CO2 was set over a geological timescale by emissions from volcanoes. If the emissions changed, the alteration in the CO2 greenhouse effect would only slightly change the global temperature — but that would almost instantly change the average amount of water vapor in the air, which would bring further change through its own greenhouse effect. Thus the level of CO2 acted as a regulator of water vapor, and ultimately determined the planet’s long-term equilibrium temperature.

In 1896 Arrhenius completed a laborious numerical computation which suggested that cutting the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by half could lower the temperature in Europe some 4-5°C (roughly 7-9°F) — that is, to an ice age level. But this idea could only answer the riddle of the ice ages if such large changes in atmospheric composition really were possible. For that question Arrhenius turned to a colleague, Arvid Högbom. It happened that Högbom had compiled estimates for how carbon dioxide cycles through natural geochemical processes, including emission from volcanoes, uptake by the oceans, and so forth. Along the way he had come up with a strange, almost incredible new idea.
It had occurred to Högbom to calculate the amounts of CO2 emitted by factories and other industrial sources. Surprisingly, he found that human activities were adding CO2 to the atmosphere at a rate roughly comparable to the natural geochemical processes that emitted or absorbed the gas..."

These were scientifically made observations [more than 100 years ago] without ANY OTHER PURPOSE than observing.

Since the 1950's, scientists have carefully noted we've added far more CO2 in the atmosphere that can be reabsorbed by "natural" processes. This excess is PRESENTLY warming the atmosphere according to Högbom and Arrhenius' calculations. More recent scientific studies and experiments HAVE CONFIRMED this. The processes are complex and to show the calculations and observations would take another several thousand pages of data. BUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CO2 AND WARMING OF THE ATMOSPHERE IS SCIENTIFICALLY UNDENIABLE. Furthermore, some new peer-reviewed papers just published confirm this link.


So, what effects have been observed so far?

Increase humidity in most parts of the world, polar melts, glacier melts, increasing frequency of bigger storms (cold and warm) with devastating floods, sea rising in some areas, increasing temperature average TREND of 0.05 degree C per year, acidification of oceans and more — ALL IN LINE WITH PREVIOUS RECORDS OF CO2 increase in the atmosphere... AT PRESENT, AFTER HAVING ALLOWED FOR ALL OTHER FACTORS (earth-wobble, volcanoes, sun activity, other greenhouse gases etc) global warming rests fair and square with the extra CO2 added by human activity, along with EXTRA methane, a gas which is 10 times more "greenhousey" than CO2 but tends to breakdown faster. This methane includes methane from permafrost and bogs that are defrosting due to human induced global warming.

So where do we go from here?...

Some captains of industry, aware of the reality of global warming, have turned the table and pronounced without flinching that warming is good for us.

This does not stack up. Studies of past geological events tell us that with warming and cooling come big changes in climatic conditions — beneficial for some areas and some dramatically bad in other places.

To minimize the rise at 2 degrees by 2100 we have to reduce our emissions of CO2  — 60 per cent of 2000 level, by 2050. What does an extra 2 degrees C mean for the world climate?

Bigger storms in most places, sea level rising by at least 40 centimetres worldwide, devastation in many parts of the globe and possibly cooler average temperatures in say Britain while other places will cook under the sun. Predictions are hard to make BUT things WILL change, NOT all  for the best...

This is minimum trouble... What chance have we got to reduce our emissions of CO2 when, the world will have eaten more food between now and 2050, than in the previous 8000 years (latest figure from the United nations). Energy demand will grow at more than twice the food demand, in those next 40 years.

Had we ignored the problem when the ozone layer was being depleted, we'd be in deep trouble. Lucky some SCIENTISTS found the cause and government around the world acted.

Now we have to do something far more drastic than eliminating CFCs. We have to seriously dismantle our carbon-based economy WORLDWIDE to avoid say a 4 to 6 degrees C increase by 2100. An increase of 9 degrees C may not be out of the question for 2150 if we do nothing.

The future of this planet is in our hand. SCIENCE HAS PROVEN we are inducing the climate shift.

Have a good day.

the deck chairs have gone overboard...

In an earlier post on this site (possibly 6 years ago), I wrote of "global hotting". I also indicated that we should have stopped adding EXTRA carbon to the surface of the earth (sea, atmosphere, etc) by 1996. A zero emission of "extra" CO2 policy. I still stand by these statements.

The ship has hit the iceberg and we're playing the violin... We rely on the already dead people in poop deck to close the watertight bulkheads, while the first class is still dancing in the ballroom, drinking champers — little finger up... In your dreamliner. We need to beach the beast or go to the liferafts.

reducing carbon footprint, for god....

Churches in Devon are going to try to cut their carbon footprint for Lent.

The policy, which has been agreed by the Diocese of Exeter, means turning lights off and heating down.

It also means encouraging parishioners to share journeys to church. Lent is the period of 40 days before Easter in the Christian calendar.

Martyn Goss, who works with Devon's churches on environmental issues, said they were aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 42% over 10 years.

He said: "We have some quite strong targets to aim towards."


jock straps...

Previously, Bolt and Price had hung up on the independent Rob Oakeshott because he wouldn't give a straight answer on whom he was likely to support to form minority government. When Tony Windsor went public last week with concerns about the increasingly dangerous tone of public discourse, Bolt promoted his Wednesday morning radio show with the item: ''Tony Windsor's attempt to play the victim to shut down a debate. We recall how this man who wants to 'take on' talkback hosts hung up on me the last time he tried.''

The boys at MTR are far from the only culprits contributing to increasing disrespect for the nation's leaders. Gary Hardgrave, a shock jock who became a minister under the Howard government before losing his Brisbane seat and returning to radio, hung up on Greens leader Bob Brown 10 days ago.

Brown tweeted afterwards: ''What a spineless uninformed jock Gary Hardgrave is, who when losing the argument cut off the i'view! Voters of Moreton knew a thing or two!''

In their defence, radio jocks are not journalists per se and therefore are not strictly bound to address politicians publicly by their titles or Mr, Ms or Mrs. But is there any cause to be rude, regardless of the temperature of the debate or personal views?

3AW's Neil Mitchell interviewed Julia Gillard just days after she announced the flood levy and the shock jocks were proclaiming the end of the world.


eddie has a blinder...

Eddie McGuire has stood himself down from his Fox Sports commentating duties after he mocked double amputee Cynthia Banham when she conducted the coin toss at Friday night's AFL match between the Sydney Swans and Adelaide Crows at the SCG.

Key points:
  • Eddie McGuire apologised unreservedly for making comments as Cynthia Banham tossed the coin
  • Banham lost both her legs and broke her back in a plane crash in 2007
  • Sydney Swans expressed its disappointment over the 'inappropriate' comments


"Out of respect for Cynthia Banham and the Sydney Swans, I have requested not to call today's game between Essendon and St Kilda," McGuire said in a statement.

"I am deeply sorry and regretful for the comments I made last night about the coin-tossing system.

"I should never have spoken without properly viewing the footage."

Fox Sports accepted McGuire's decision and issued its own apology to both Ms Banham and the Swans.

"Following comments Eddie McGuire made about coin tossing during last night's coverage of the Sydney v Adelaide game, Eddie has requested not to call today's game. We support this decision," Fox Sports boss Peter Campbell said.

"We are disappointed with the comments made and we deeply apologise to Cynthia, her family and the Sydney Football Club."

McGuire was slammed by the Swans for ignorance and a lack of empathy after he made the inappropriate comments about Ms Banham, the team's number one ticket holder.


Read more:



Not the first time that Eddie spills the hot teacup on his lap...

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Read from top.


We could give Eddie a penance: spruik for the scientists of climate change (aka global warming) rather tippytoe in it with Frydenberg...