To get serious about climate change we must recognise the role trade plays in enabling & exacerbating it, says Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy

By Gareth Vaughan

If we're to get serious about climate change we should recognise the role trade plays in it and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) appears a lost opportunity to do this, says Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy, a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Auckland.

Greenaway-McGrevy has been writing a series of articles on the TPPA for interest.co.nz and sat down last week for a Double Shot interview to discuss issues covered to date, and those still to come.(All articles in the series can be seen here).

One of Greenaway-McGrevy's articles covered the TPPA's environment chapter, and he notes that no where in this chapter, or indeed in the entire agreement is “climate change” or “global warming” mentioned.

Greenaway-McGrevy points out surveys probing attitudes towards global warming and climate change in New Zealand and around the world show the vast majority of New Zealanders think man made climate change is a potential threat, with the implication that we should do something about it.

"So the remaining question is; Is a trade agreement the appropriate place to address climate change? I would argue that the answer is yes. What we want is to have economic incentives that actually support action on climate change and right now we don't have that," says Greenaway-McGrevy.

 
 

​​

"Now we live in a world in which a country loses money if it does something about climate change. What we'd rather have is a world in which a country loses money if it doesn't do something about it."

"So what happens when a country unilaterally addresses climate change? Usually this involves taxing fossil fuel, which pushes up the price of energy. The next thing that happens is a lot of manufacturers - energy intensive sectors of the economy - shut down. You lose jobs and that production moves overseas to other countries that aren't cracking down on fossil fuel use. So in the end, you've shrunk your economy and you're still consuming those goods that have a high carbon footprint. But the difference is you're just importing them from overseas. And we've seen that happen," Greenaway-McGrevy adds.

The European example

Europe, he points out, is one place where this has happened.

"Europe was one of the few signatories to the Kyoto Protocol that actually adhered to what they promised to do, [and] brought down carbon emissions domestically. But then they just began importing more and more products from the US, from China, from emerging economies that were heavily dependent on fossil fuels. And so if you look at the CO2 emissions that Europeans are responsible for, they actually far exceed the emissions that are happening in Europe itself," Greenaway-mcGrevy says.

"So taking unilateral action on climate change, it's the worst of both worlds. On the one hand you're punishing your domestic industry, your domestic manufacturers, you're losing jobs and it's not clear that you're actually solving the problem either. You end up in a world where CO2 emissions are still being produced.They're just not being produced at home, they're being produced overseas."

"If we're going to get serious about climate change we really have to recognise the role that trade plays in enabling it, and indeed in exacerbating it. And a trade agreement is the place to do it," says Greenaway-McGrevy.

But will the US ratify it?

Once the TPPA was signed in Auckland in February questions turned to whether all the signatories would actually ratify it. Key question marks centre around the United States, especially in this election year. Greenaway-McGrevy points out in order for the agreement to go ahead, a minimum of six countries have to ratify it.

"And the countries that do ratify it, they have to comprise at least 85% of the total GDP of the trading block. So if the US doesn't ratify it, it's a massive economy, then it's not going through."

'We shouldn't see much of a restructuring of the economy because of the TPPA'

A key factor of the TPPA from a NZ perspective, is that our economy is well prepared for the "freer trade" promoted by the agreement because of the painful economic reforms undertaken here in the 1980s.

"Opening up to trade can be really painful for an economy," Greenaway-McGrevy points out. "As soon as you open up to trade there are winners and losers in terms of the composition of the economy. Usually when a developed nation opens up to trade it's the manufacturing sector that dies off and other sectors can grow."

"So we've seen this in the US, for example, where manufacturing is still on the decline and has been for a very long time."

"What's unique about NZ is in the 1980s we unilaterally opened up to trade. At the time people said this was perhaps foolish, we're giving up a few bargaining chips when it comes to trade negotiations, which is true to an extent. But what it has done is that it means we have gone through that structural pain already," says Greenaway-McGrevy.

"Our manufacturing sector has already shrunk.The manufacturers that survived that upheaval have learnt to compete in the global marketplace and compete with cheap imports. So really we shouldn't see too many job losses, We shouldn't see much of a restructuring of the economy because of the TPPA."

'What does the TPPA means for foreign investment in property?

Meanwhile, issues still to be covered in Greenaway-McGrevy's series include investment in general, and what the TPPA means for foreign investment in property. There'll also be a look at the implications of the TPPA on the Treaty of Waitangi, and trade remedies.

As an over arching theme Greenaway-McGrevy says the central idea of the TPPA is to put firms that are domiciled or operating within the TPPA block of countries on a level footing, on a level playing field.

"So for example NZ laws and regulations would have to treat a US firm supplying goods to NZ the same as a NZ firm supplying those same goods and services to NZ. And the flip side of that quid pro quo is a NZ firm operating in the US would have to be treated the same as a US firm."

"That concept of a level playing field is applied to a variety of economic activities, - trade in goods, trade in services and trade in investments. If we thought about trade in goods we could think about a NZ firm exporting fruits and vegetables to the US and in order for them to be on a level playing field with a US firm supplying fruits and vegetables, they would have not to be impeded by say, tariffs or other barriers to trade. And vice versa. A US manufacturer, say exporting building materials to NZ, they would not be impeded by tariffs and other barriers to trade in order to put them on a level playing field with our domestic manufacturers," Greenaway-McGrevy says.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.

64 Comments

Maybe one should step back and re-think the simplistic "CO2 is bad" ideology developed by climate change functionaries whose cozy jobs depend on stirring things up.

University of Cambridge engineer M J Kelly has recently published a compelling analysis which shows that the current jihad on climate change will in its irrationality lead to "mass starvation, poverty and strife": http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/04/climate-accord-irrelevant-and-co2-cuts-co... NB: this is not about denying the man-made component of climate change, but seriously doubting that increased CO2 levels are only bad and that fighting them without thinking will lead to a lot more problems than solutions.

Is it fair to say, that regardless of which way you lean, fossil fuel availability will surely limit CO2 increases sometime in the not to distant future.

The last person you should consult about an ecological crisis is an engineer. Engineers devote their lives to making ecological crises worse.

"Compelling analysis that shows that the current jihad on climate change..."

I stopped reading after "cultural jihad". Do you expect to convince anyone with such emotive and provocative language? Let's face it, this is just a way for you to blow off steam. Please take up tennis. It would be healthier for all of us.

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1300&dat=19570524&id=DlURAAAAIBAJ...

100,000 years ago there were hippopotamus, elephants and rhinoceros wandering around Trafalgar Square, Has anyone considered the traffic chaos? Let alone, the expense of cleaning up all the dung!! AND the smell. If only we could bring back a nice, tidy ice age. Everything nice and chilled out.

As opposed to climate change? The reality is we humans have been writing cheques the environment can't cash for years. As punishment for our sins we will all be living a life with far less available energy in the next 20 years or so. Will this have a terrible effect on poverty? of course. Just because something will be bad doesn't mean it won't happen.

The Universe doesn't owe you anything and doesn't care. Physics dictate what we can do and physics is saying it's time to stop.

"climate change functionaries whose cozy jobs depend on stirring things up."

I don't think they consider their jobs cozy... Have a read of this piece: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatolog.... Climate scientists are, apparently, internalising a sense of doom. They're pulling back from stirring things up.

"University of Cambridge engineer M J Kelly has recently published a compelling analysis which shows that the current jihad on climate change will in its irrationality lead to "mass starvation, poverty and strife"."

I'll move past your use of 'jihad' (FFS, though, grow up) - but obviously, climate change is leading to all of those things too. Changing is hard, no one is saying it isn't. But is it harder than irrevocably changing our environment and suffering the consequences? We need to do something, not think about it some more.

It's hard to work out what you are trying to say. It is a fact that CO2 has passed the 400ppm level. This is measured at Moana Loa and Baring Head(NZ). It is a fact that glaciers are retreating worldwide and as these are land based, this adds to sea level rise. The other factor is thermal expansion. This, coupled with acidification, is bad news, unequivocally.
The physics of how trace(greenhouse) gases are trapped in the atmosphere are well understood and space prevents me from explaining this in any detail. With warming, extreme events are likely to be more extreme and we are seeing this. Of course, some areas will see longer growing seasons-Sweden now has a small wine industry-- but this will be overwhelmed by negative consequences in many other areas.
CO2 is indeed necessary for human survival, but it is hard to see the long-term benefits of it at current or higher levels.

Surely a world with less trade, and the use of tariffs, would produce less greenhouse gasses.

I can still imagine a world made up of sovereign countries, with limited immigration and diverse cultures. Countries producing as much as they can, to employ their own citizens, under their own laws.

Free trade, open borders, unions, immigration, all seem to point towards a push in the opposite direction, a direction that doesn't feel like it's making improvements for the people.

Is this just a slow and bumpy transition or a we headed in the wrong direction. DT isn't incredibly popular for no real reason, but is this people living in the past, or should we trust our politicians to take us into the future..

Cutting carbon, he added, could result in a dramatic reduction in the world's quality of life that would usher in mass starvation, poverty and civil strife. Massive decarbonization is "only possible if we wish to see large parts of the population die from starvation"

Considering the carbon we burn is finite, what do people think is coming down the pipeline in the decades ahead? Anyway, I know what will help - more growth and the sale of farmland.

Nuclear fusion, for example. Or some breakthrough in battery technology that will make non-fossile sources of energy more practical. I am confident we will come up with ideas by the time they are required.

I am a lot less confident about government officials and functionaries imposing this process on us. Socialist central planning has never worked and it will not work with CO2 either. Too many vested interests are at stake to produce rational and objective policies.

Btw, from a purely scientfic point of view, our planet has been losing CO2 over the last millions of years (there was a lot more in the air during the age of the dinosaurs, for example) and it is continuing to do so. Eventually trees will all die and be replaced by grasses, as trees are less efficient in exploiting CO2.

Emitting CO2 is in my view not the worst thing to happen. It helps us reach what scientists only a few years ago called the "climatic optimum". Blasphemic, isnt it?

'Nuclear fusion'

Still clutching at straws? Almost no progress has been made since that idea was mooted the 75 years ago..

The crisis commenced a decade ago or so ago, and is getting worse by the day. 1.4 million km2 less ice cover than normal.

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

'our planet has been losing CO2 over the last millions of years'

That is absolute nonsense. The only gases the Earth loses in appreciable quantities are hydrogen, relative mass 1, and helium mass 4; CO2 has a relative mass of 44..

Don't forget that 'dinosaur days' correspond with average temperatures way above current and sea level rise of tens of metres above current..

The only solution nuclear offers is a nuclear war that takes out half the world population.

"Nuclear fusion, for example. Or some breakthrough in battery technology that will make non-fossile sources of energy more practical. I am confident we will come up with ideas by the time they are required." More wishful thinking. Fusion has always been '20 years away.' We no longer have 20 years.

How do you know that we only have 20 years? LEDs are a revolution in lighting technology and nobody foresaw it before it happened.

Remember the peak oil panic? All of a sudden we have an oil glut and oil prices in the basement.

Remember that acid rain was about to destroy all the forests? Must have been cancelled.

Humanity will react appropriately to new challenges. What is all the scaremongering good for?

However, I do agree that a LOT more tax money should go into (free) education, science and engineering and a LOT less into nonsense like developing aid, the refugee industry or climate summits.

PP, do you read anything other than engineering magazines?

You cannot eat LEDs. And LEDs won't prevent massive sea level rise or severe droughts or torrential rain episodes that destroy food systems.

That which is unsustainable and destroys the natural systems that make life on this planet possible will destroy itself as it destroys life on this planet. 20 years is a very reasonable estimate for how much time humanity has left.

'Remember that acid rain was about to destroy all the forests? Must have been cancelled'

In the early 1950s pollution in Britain caused thousands of deaths. Britain's answer was to build taller chimneys and export the pollution to Europe....hence the death of forests and lake life. When the Europeans complained Britain installed some flue gas technology to remove SO2 from exhaust gases, and in doing so increased CO2 emissions.

Hence the predicament we are in now.

if you really want to know why we have only 20 years try studying ecology and the environment.

Here is a good place to start:

http://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/climate-change-summary-and-update/

Truthie - peddling BS again. Guy McPherson is not a good place to start - he advises of his lack of scientific credentials at the top of the link you gave us. A good place for you to start would be the IPCC AR5 - have you read it? It has this to say about the coming floods you are so worried for other people about:

"In summary, there appears to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale".

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter02_FINAL

More total BS from you: "...export the pollution to Europe....hence the death of forests". Forest area has increased in Europe in the past 100 years. Some death that is! Countries like France have doubled their population and increased their forest area in recent times.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/12/04/watch-how-e...

Yeah, profile, you keep telling us about the small increase in forest areas over the past century in Western Europe (much of the regrowth a direct consequence of the measures I described ) whilst you completely ignore the massive deforestation that has occurred in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and South America etc. You cherry-picking to the maximum, as usual, 'profile', and to be quite honest is starting to look REALLY PATHETIC..

''According to the FAO, Africa lost the highest percentage of tropical forests of any continent during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s.[8] According to the figures from the FAO (1997), only 22.8% of West Africa's moist forests remain, much of this degraded.[9] Nigeria has lost 81% of its old-growth forests in just 15 years (1990–2005).'

'Russia's forests contain 55% of the world's conifers and represent 11% of biomass on Earth. It is estimated that 20,000 km2 are deforested each year.'

'In 2008, Brazil's Government has announced a record rate of deforestation in the Amazon.[52][53] Deforestation jumped by 69% in 2008 compared to 2007's twelve months, according to official government data.[54] Deforestation could wipe out or severely damage nearly 60% of the Amazon rainforest by 2030, says a new report from WWF.'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_by_region

Your comment regarding Guy McPherson is typical of the MISREPRESENTATION you try to get away with. Guy McPherson does not say he lacks scientific credentials. Quite the contrary:

http://ag.arizona.edu/~grm/

What he does say is that he is not a climate scientist but has studied climate science extensively over many decades because of the effect climate has on ecology. He also says that in fact most of the people who are thought of as climate scientists have no qualifications in climate science, climate science being relatively new. Most people thought if as climate scientists are actually physicists or paleo-climatologists or oceanographers etc., James Hansen, a physicist, being on of the most notable.

Guy McPherson is an emeritus professor of Natural resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, which is exactly why I recommended McPherson's website to PP as a good place to start studying ecology and the effect temperature and CO2 have on ecology.

As for IPCC AR5, one only need read the sections that refer to the urgent need for geo-engineering to prevent temperatures rising beyond critical thresholds to recognised what a shocking predicament we are in. And, as discussed many times, AR5 was out of date before it was even published, such is the accelerating pace of planetary meltdown.

The here is the most recent (April 2016) report on global flooding I have seen:

'Davidson said recent data that has been collected but has yet to be made official indicates sea levels could rise by roughly 3 meters or 9 feet by 2050-2060, far higher and quicker than current projections.'

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/04/12/405089.htm

How predictable you have backed of your European forests dying off BS and spammed out a goal post shift. Thanks for the wikipedia links - have you heard of a chap named William Connelly and his prodigeous editing of Wikipedia?

"Bottom-up land-sparing forces relating to farms and forests and top-down forces are collectively causing global greening, the most important ecological trend on Earth today. The biosphere on land is getting bigger, year by year, by 2 billion tons or even more. Researchers are finding the evidence weekly in places ranging from arid Australia and Africa to moist Germany and the northernmost woods. Probably the most obvious reason is the increase of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In fact, farmers pump carbon dioxide into greenhouses to make plants grow better. Carbon dioxide is what many plants inhale to feel good. It also enables plants to grow more while using the same or less water."

http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/issue-5/the-return-of-nature

"Yet how global vegetation is responding to the changing environment is not well established. Here we use three long-term satellite leaf area index (LAI) records and ten global ecosystem models to investigate four key drivers of LAI trends during 1982–2009. We show a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning). Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%). CO2 fertilization effects explain most of the greening trends in the tropics, whereas climate change resulted in greening of the high latitudes and the Tibetan Plateau."

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3004.html

Sea level rise is not flooding. Grasping at straws.

'profile'. are you actually literate, by which I mean do you actually understand English?

Or do you just quickly scan through sentences, looking for particular words that give you opportunities to churn out BS? Are you a human or are you just a fossil-fuel-funded robot?

'backed off European forests dying BS?

I have not mentioned European forests dying, other than in the context of forests being poisoned by acid rain that emanated from Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, with that particular poisoning of life being rectified n the short term by emission control technology to remove sulphur dioxide that exacerbated the long-term CO2 emissions predicament.

You seem to stuck in the past, presumably because you cannot handle the present or the future and cannot find recent Internet links that support your absurd narratives.

Oh, so you want to talk about flooding.

Here's flooding for you:

https://www.sott.net/article/319562-Floods-around-the-world-USA-Mexico-R...

and

http://www.smh.com.au/world/unprecedented-flooding-in-britain-prompts-re...

In an exclusive new interview Noam Chomsky reflects on the incredible period in human history we currently find ourselves in where climate change, and looming environmental collapse, threaten the very future of our species.

http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2016/06/noam-chomsky-on-climate-chan...

Noam Chomsky understands our predicament, so why don't you?

I think we already know the answer

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary (livelihood, income, status) depends on his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair.

You clearly spin so much so can't recall a few posts up. Which forest death were you talking about exactly here?

"In the early 1950s pollution in Britain caused thousands of deaths. Britain's answer was to build taller chimneys and export the pollution to Europe....hence the death of forests and lake life."

You last quote sums up the climate change industry precisely. $1.5 trillion a year riding on CAGW.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary (livelihood, income, status) depends on his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair."

"The $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth, according to Climate Change Business Journal."

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/07/30/377086.htm

'your European forests dying off BS'

Dying means happening at the moment. Your wording not mine. I said nothing about forests in Europe dying at the moment.

Yeah, 'profile', blah, blah, blah,,,.'70,000 years ago'...blah, blah, blah, blah.....'1910-1940' ....blah, blah, blah, blah....'1975 to 2009'... blah, blah, blah, blah ....'2005-2008'..... blah, blah, blah blah....

As previously discussed, you cannot come up with anything contemporary to support your absurd narratives whereas there is a veritable river of contemporary data and contemporary analysis that verifies mine.

This item is from early June 2016:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/arctic-could-bec...

And, of course you ignore anything fairly contemporary that challenges your absurd narratives.

This is from April 2016.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/04/12/405089.htm

Poor old Truthie - there is plenty of contemorary data to refute your alarmist diatribes. It really sucks when data doesn't fit the hypothesis. You need historical context to make informed decisions. No matter how much you ignore it the fact it warmed faster pre WW2 than it has in the satellite era - and this inter glacial warming rate is not accelerating.

Data from today (contemporary enough for you?):

Arctic sea ice volume greater today that the non El Nino 2012 volume. Didn't melt in 2012 and not looking likely this year either.
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icethickness/images/FullSize_CICE_combine_thi...

Todays temp in the Arctic - bang on the '58 onwards average:
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

And Greenland still well above average.
http://www.dmi.dk/uploads/tx_dmidatastore/webservice/b/m/s/d/e/accumulat...

No one knows what tomorrow will bring but past alarmist calls on the Arctic were to be correct the sea ice would have been gone many times by now.

I know you hate it but here is some historical context for you so you can have a cup of tea and calm down:

"The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) peaked ∼21 ka ago, when mean annual temperatures over parts of the Arctic were as much as 20 °C lower than at present. Ice recession was well underway 16 ka ago, and most of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets had melted by 6 ka ago. Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ∼11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1–3 °C above 20th century averages, enough to completely melt many small glaciers throughout the Arctic, although the Greenland Ice Sheet was only slightly smaller than at present. Early Holocene summer sea ice limits were substantially smaller than their 20th century average, and the flow of Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean was substantially greater."
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379110000673

So, with a lower solar input to the polar region why has ice been melting at an unprecedented rate, if not because of elevated atmospheric CO2 and elevated atmospheric CH4? With summer only just begun it's too early to say how much Arctic sea ice will remain in September, despite the current record-low ice cover. Millions will be following the melt 'progress' over the coming months, many with trepidation. .

In the meantime, the main driver of planetary meltdown, atmospheric CO2, just keeps on increasing, often by unprecedented amounts..

June 5, 2016: 407.51 ppm

June 5, 2015: 402.63 ppm

Up 4.88 ppm date-to-date versus recent average of 2.11 ppm per annum.

https://www.co2.earth/co2-acceleration

In fact there have been numerous extraordinarily high values over the past 6 months and when the entire month of May data are processed and published they will undoubtedly reinforce the shocking trend seen here:

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/global.html#global_growth

You can rabbit on as much as you like with all your redundant and irrelevant data and warped narratives but NOTHING IS GOING TO REVERSE THAT CARBON DIOXIDE TREND, except perhaps rapid collapse of industrial civilisation. Of course collapse if industrial civilisation inevitable at some point in the not-too-distant future as a consequence of the ruination it causes but it will probably be a drawn-out process rather than rapid..

It has not been unprecedented has it. There was rapid warming and warming temps in the Arctic prior to today. If CO2 was the "main driver of planetary meltdown" it would be warming at a faster rate now compared with pre WW2 and not have been warmer in the early mid holocene or MWP etc.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1029/2001GL011111/asset/image_n/...

Rapid/abrupt warming/cooling is also found in plenty of other studies. For example:

"Varve thickness was used to reconstruct average summer temperatures for the past 1250 yrs, and shows abrupt shifts and large amplitude decadal-to-centennial scale variability throughout the record."

"Average summer temperatures rose rapidly by nearly 2 °C from 1195–1220 AD, ending in the warmest decade in the record (~4.3 °C). A dramatic warming event is seen around the same time (~1160 AD) in a tree-ring width record from Fennoscandia (Briffa et al., 1990)."

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~rjsw/papers/Moore2001.pdf

Every time we spend *more* money on climate research -- the temperature goes up!!!!!

Co-incidence?!?

Think about it people.

Before taking on board the scary doomsday scenarios from higher CO2 levels it would pay to reflect where do we think the massive limestone coal and hydrocarbons we have available all originated.

The answer is in a warmer damper very high CO2 environment that seems to have done very little damage other than endow us with massive resources critical to human development.

When India's 1.3 billion people and growing by 25 million per annum is faced with no affordable dispatchable 24 hour electricity and the option of coal fired electricity at ~ 4c/kWh then we need to realise that's what is going to happen.

We need to just take a deep breath and await the next generation of nukes which will offer economic solutions over medium time frames while we live comfortably in a little warmer world.

'a warmer damper very high CO2 environment that seems to have done very little damage'

It depends on what you consider damage, I suppose. I suggest you some research on the five previous Great Extinction Events, especially the Permian, which wiped out about 95% of life on Earth. (We are now in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction event, of course.)

'where do we think the massive limestone coal and hydrocarbons we have available all originated'

Don't forget that during the geological ages you refer to there were no mammals bigger than shrews because it was too hot for mammals bigger than shrews. Those shrew-like precursors of humans probably spent their days underground and came out at night to forage for food..

And don't forget that the biggest oil deposits were formed during periods of intense algal blooms that annihilated a large portion of other life on the Earth.

Raising the Earth's average temperature at the rate humans have been by burning fossil fuels has set up conditions for most of the Earth to be uninhabitable for humans fairly soon, and invites a repetition of an algal-bloom mass extinction event.

As discussed on many occasions, the level of ignorance in western societies is on one hand staggering but on the other hand is not at all surprising considering the grossly underfunded education systems and the level of inanity now promulgated by corporate media.

.

Great extiction events - put it in to context. Toba got our population down to 15,000 people just 70,000 years ago. CAGW deaths so far - zero. All we have to show for the CAGW theory is one hell of gravy train.

"Modern humans are known to have less genetic variation than other living primates, even though our current population is many orders of magnitude greater. Researchers studying specific genetic lineages have proposed a number of explanations for this, such as recent "bottlenecks", which are events in which a significant proportion of the population is killed or prevented from reproducing. One such event was the Toba super-volcano in Indonesia that erupted around 70,000 years ago, triggering a nuclear winter. Only an estimated 15,000 humans are thought to have survived. Another explanation is that the numbers of humans and our ancestors were chronically low throughout the last two million years, sometimes with only 10,000 breeding individuals surviving."

http://phys.org/news/2010-01-humans-endangered-species.html#jCp

So .... if 99.9% of the world's population dies out, it's no big deal?

I feel so much better.

There topic of climate change is riddled with more disinformation, delusion and mutually-exclusive concepts that almost any other, largely because the vast majority of people who comment about it are non-chemists and have no understanding of geochemistry, climate change or the nature of industrialised economies.

1. All industrial activity since the first copper ore was smelted about 8,000 years ago has generated CO2. Whereas until around 1780 carbon dioxide generated by industrial activity was absorbed by the oceans and/or converted into glucose by photosynthesis at about the same rate it was generated, since about 1780 the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased more than exponentially (an exponential function being one that increases by a constant percentage).

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/wp-content/plugins/sio-bl...

Recent data have been staggering high. e.g. June 3, 2016: 408.25 ppm versus June 3, 2015: 402.90 ppm, up 5.35 ppm (c.f. 2005-2014 average of 2.11 ppm per annum)

2. Most so-called reductions in emissions have been the result of failure to account fully for emissions. For instance, the closure of blast furnaces and coal-fired power stations led to a reduction in European emissions but a similar quantity of CO2 was emitted in China, as industries were relocated there. Hence there was no real reduction. Indeed, the transport of good from China may well have increase the overall level of global emissions.

3. Emission trading schemes have been nothing more than financial scams that have done nothing to reduce emissions.

4. Smelting ores, producing cement, making glass, textile manufacture, growing, processing and distributing food industrially all generate CO2 derived ultimately from carbon that was sequestered millions of years ago. Continuing to operate a globalised industrial economy and tackling climate change in a meaningful manner are therefore mutually exclusive concepts. We can have present industrial arrangement or a planet for our children to live in but not both.

5. Implementation of TPPA -presumably geared to increasing the production and movement of goods via ships and places- will exacerbate the CO2 predicament.

6.Rapidly shutting down current economic arrangements -the only effective action- is an anathema to the bulk of the industrialise world so we can be certain it won't happen voluntarily but will eventually be forced on the participants. .

7. Although NZ can do nothing to prevent accelerating planetary meltdown (other than show political leadership) it could take actions that would reduce the degree of future suffering . Sadly, there is no political will to ever do that and all policy is geared to ignoring the predicament for as long as possible whilst making it worse.

Breathing makes CO2, shrug.

Not correct.

Oxidation of food substances in cells generates CO2.

Breathing removes CO2 from alveoli.

Sigh.

Enter the pedant.

The comment was made to trivialise and downplay one of the most serious issues of the times, and therefore deserved to be jumped on.

95% of Scientists agree that climate change is real.
Unbelievably arrogant to say it doesn't.
The tide is coming in; good luck trying to hold it back.
Peak everything is coming... So there is NO downside to replacing ALL fossil fuels with renewables. DERR!
Norway just decided no more fossil fuel powered cars past 2020? (check year).

2025

The climate has never stopped changing. Noone denies that fact, except maybe the ones claiming cc is 100% human induced which has not been proven at all via any actual 'cause and effect' data.
And the 95/97% figure of scientists claim was debunked years ago.

I wonder whether Norway will stop selling all that nasty oil as well?

Maybe fiat currency is to blame , where government and banks can make as much $ as they want . Nothing to do with production or sustainable growth
Anyone for a gold standard ?

A big "thank you" to Gareth and the team for having me in.

After doing the interview I was told about William Nordhaus' "climate club" concept. The basic idea is to make market access conditional on meeting emission targets. Given Europe's appetite for action on the issue, perhaps Todd McClay should be sent to pursue this kind of deal with the EU. As a former EU diplomat he'd be just the man for the job.

Read more about climate clubs here:

https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.15000001

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2015/06/04/new-solution-climate-club/

Cut emissions. Get paid. This is what the next generation of trade agreements must look like if we are to get serious about the threat of climate change.

More evidence of accelerating overheating:

'According to climatologist Brian Brettschneider, 32.7 million square kilometers of the world ocean saw temperatures in excess of 30 degrees Celsius during May of 2016. A new record for the largest sea surface area above a high temperature threshold that typically sets off a range of harmful ocean conditions — including coral bleaching, lower levels of seawater oxygen, and increased rates of algae growth — even as it dumps copious volumes of high latent heat water vapor into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The new record belittled 2015’s May 30 C + extent of about 28.5 million square kilometers — beating it by over 4 million square kilometers. For reference, the new 32.7 million square kilometer record extent of such steamy ocean waters is about equal in area to the size of Africa and Greenland combined.'

https://robertscribbler.com/2016/06/06/extent-of-ocean-surface-above-86-...

There is no temperature increase acceleration.

1910-1940 0.16 degrees per decade.

Satellite era 1979-present 0.13 degrees per decade.

http://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm

"Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).

I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.

So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other."

Meanwhile in the REAL world of 2016

'23rd May 2016 Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration Has Passed the Point of No Return'

'NASA recently released data showing that the planet has just seen seven straight months of not just record-breaking, but record-shattering heat. It is clear, through the space agency's data, that this year we are already well on track to see what will likely be the largest increase in global temperature a single year has ever seen.

The NASA data also show that April was the hottest April ever recorded, as well as the fact that it crushed the previous April record by the largest margin of increase ever recorded.'

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/36133-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-conc...

And 10th May 2016

'Of particular interest is the most recent burst coincident with the temperature increase of 2016. It is clearly warmer than anything preceding it by some distance and approaching 1.5 degrees Celsius above the baseline average. The graphic plainly illustrates how unusual this year is in a long-term context, and it’s not difficult to see why climate scientists believe it is nearly certain to be the warmest year on record.

Hawkins also created a more conventional chart, shown below, which is also extremely effective at showing how anomalous 2016 is.'

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/05/10/t...

".. Has Passed the Point of No Return."

Thank goodness!

Perhaps now we can stop the ever more shrill, sky is falling, metal hat wearing, baked beans in the bunker disaster hysteria then.

So you couldn't find anything showing the inter glacial warming rate was accelerating. Thought not. It warms during inter glacials (and during El Nino years which you cut and paste fails to mention).

If you look at contemporary data (should I bold the word real here?) the warming rate is reverting to mean - down 0.23 in a month with the El Nino receding.

http://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html

You are comparing apples and oranges. Satellite estimates of temperature (RSS and UAH) are a proxy that have to be calibrated to surface temperatures. Your choice of time periods is simple cherry picking.
However, I agree that there is insufficient evidence of acceleration in surface temperatures. Future acceleration will depend upon our emissions profile.

I was at pains to point out that the selection of time period was selected by none other than the Director of CRU UEA - not me. It was a period of significant warming and as it turns at a faster rate than the satellite era. It is fairly clear cut. Inconvenient for some but clear cut.

Yes the satellites are calibrated just like all other temperature sensors. The orbit drift error was fixed a decade ago. The two satellite datasets appear to be good enough for the IPCC and UK Met etc.

From the UK Met "Changes in temperature observed in surface data records are corroborated by measurements of temperatures below the surface of the ocean, by records of temperatures in the troposphere recorded by satellites and weather balloons, in independent records of air temperatures measured over the oceans and by records of sea-surface temperatures measured by satellites."

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide/science/temp-records

Before we get too carried away with this global warming theory, let's look at some facts.
Here a couple:

U.S. state temperature extremes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state_temperature_extremes

Check out the state by state high temperature records which were mostly set in the early to mid 1900's and still stand today despite today's larger cities and huge urban heat island effects.

Only 2 states have their warmest temp in this century and they are equal to previous records.

Now you just need the Globalist owned media to inform the muttonheads of these facts and global warming is dead along with their plan to control and tax all energy sources in conjunction with deindustrializing and depopulating their planet.

It's for their children after all...

And

More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

http://www.climatedepot.com/2010/12/08/special-report-more-than-1000-int...

To say that the "evidence" is in and that 97% of scientists agree is just nonsense.

Further more, CO2 helps greening the planet, after all is's not a pollutant, but plant fodder.

Professor Matt Ridley CO2 Greening of the Planet Part 1 and 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e7fKXu4nkg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1ymlD6UNEw

Even the BBC admits it

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36130346

So relax, have a cuppa while you read/watch this.

There's a lot of money to be made out of converting the Earth into an overpopulated, overheated hellhole that won't support life much beyond jellyfish and cockroaches, so that is what the future holds.

.

I think rats will make it also.

Dead right - underestimate the rat at your peril!

Irrational response yet again.

'Arctic could become ice-free for first time in more than 100,000 years, claims leading scientist.'

'Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University predicts we could see ‘an area of less than one million square kilometres for September of this year.'’

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/arctic-could-bec...

There was less ice far more recently than 100,000 years ago... And anyway weren't you telling me further up you only like contemporary data so why are you now talking about 100,000 years ago? Is it ok for Truthie to use historical context but not Profile?

"Ice recession was well underway 16 ka ago, and most of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets had melted by 6 ka ago. Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ∼11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1–3 °C above 20th century averages, enough to completely melt many small glaciers throughout the Arctic, although the Greenland Ice Sheet was only slightly smaller than at present. Early Holocene summer sea ice limits were substantially smaller than their 20th century average, and the flow of Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean was substantially greater."

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379110000673

Yeah, 'profile', I'm sure you know much more about Arctic ice than Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University.

Of course you have shot yourself in the foot yet again because the article you linked points out that 'solar energy in summer in the Arctic was greater than at any time subsequently', the wobble of the Earth's axis and Milankovich cycles and all that..

Never mind the present highly elevate CO2 level, up about 180ppm on the long-term average"

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/wp-content/plugins/sio-bl...

because 'CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas', huh?

Contemporary: as of 8.46pm, 6th June 2016, NZ time, the Independent article is dated '23 hours ago'

Still peddling Wadhams - Hansens replacement had this to day about him: "Wadhams still using graphs with ridiculous projections with no basis in physics." https://twitter.com/climateofgavin/status/513995826553946113 Sounds like your kind of guy Truthie.

Peer review Millet et al vs. a newspaper article - I think I'll go with peer review thanks. Wadhams is a crank. He predicted all the ice would be gone by 2015. Only out by 7,000 km3 - give or take. In any other industry you would lose your job but the bar is very low is climate science.

From 2011 "Prof Peter Wadhams, of Cambridge University, said the ice that forms over the Arctic sea is shrinking so rapidly that it could vanish altogether in as little as four years' time."

Dr David Viner, Dr David Viner, asenior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) UEA.... said in 2000 that snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event” and “children just aren’t going to know what snow is” and he still works in climate "science". Worse still none of his peers ever called him out on his nonsense.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/8877491/...

Yah, that time for simple solutions is well and truely in the past. Now we are in the age of consequences, and yes you are dammned if you do, and dammned if you don't.

'One of the oldest human illusions is that culture is a conquest of, or an escape from, nature. It is an illusion we need to abandon fast.

We might nurture some desperate dream that, as the benign post-ice age climate that has made civilisation possible is destroyed by our own folly and greed, our own creations will survive.

Some hope. As the river Seine has risen in Paris in recent days, no less a museum than the Louvre has had to close its doors (along with the Musee d’Orsay) so that staff can save its artistic masterpieces from floodwater. This is not just a bizarre consequence of a bit of bad weather. It is a stark warning that civilisation can only survive in harmony with nature. If we destroy our planet, we destroy not just our current way of life but the human heritage itself – the high points of civilisation will be forgotten, drowned, ruined, effaced.'

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2016/jun/06/l...

Needless to say, industrial civilisation WILL continue to convert sequestered carbon into atmospheric carbon dioxide -that's what industrial civilisation does and is what industrial civilisation is totally dependent on- and it WILL destroy the biosphere and practically everything else in a matter of decades. There's no stopping the monster at this late stage in the game because the paradigm of Separation From Nature is far too well established in the developed world and is gaining ground in places like China, India and Vietnam.

One explanation for the lack of evidence of highly intelligent life in the universe is that shortly after discovering technology highly intelligent species destroy the habitat that allowed them to evolve. Species Homo sapiens: approximately 200,000 years; industrial civilisation; approximately 200 years.

From Wikipedia concerning the river Seine:

A very severe period of high water in January 1910 produced extensive flooding throughout the city. The Seine again rose to threatening levels in 1924, 1955, 1982, 1999–2000 and June 2016.[8] After a first-level flood alert in 2003, about 100,000 works of art were moved out of Paris.

Seems flooding is not abnormal?

Ya ain't seen nothin' yet.

Multi-metre sea level rise is now locked in.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/04/12/405089.htm

Possibly but a flooding Seine was not a compelling example.

"Greenaway-McGrevy points out surveys probing attitudes towards global warming and climate change in New Zealand and around the world show the vast majority of New Zealanders think man made climate change is a potential threat, with the implication that we should do something about it."

Please name and provide the surveys and the results......

Interesting comment from a sailor who recently went to Glacier Bay in Canada's West Coast illustrating the scale of natural variation which we must recognise in any analysis of climate.

Captain Vancouver as in the city went there in the Discovery in 1797 and noted the continuous wall of glacier extending to the coast. Hence Glacier Bay. Then 85 years later in 1879 Naturalist John Muir went there with Vancouver's maps in hand and noted that the glacier had retreated some 40 miles exposing the wonders of the myriad inlets we see today.