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Carlos Chambers on costly flawed transport modelling; Economists' duty; Tesla's high; A clarion call for stronger action on climate change, Dilbert & more

Carlos Chambers on costly flawed transport modelling; Economists' duty; Tesla's high; A clarion call for stronger action on climate change, Dilbert & more

Today's Top 10 is a guest post from Carlos Chambers who is a member and spokesperson for Generation Zero. Generation Zero is an "organisation of young New Zealanders working to cut carbon pollution through smarter transport, liveable cities and independence from fossil fuels". He is active on Twitter via @CarlosChambers1.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to david.chaston@interest.co.nz. And if you're interested in contributing the occasional Top 10 yourself, contact gareth.vaughan@interest.co.nz.

See all previous Top 10s here.

1. Using his logic filled red pen, Lance Wiggs puts the spotlight on some extremely costly flawed modelling and broken forecasting in New Zealand’s transport numbers.

A new and different generation (that’s us) are increasingly bucking the assumptions and breaking the trends that are used in New Zealand’s transport forecasting, and decisions about where money is spent.

We want declining car use and increasing demand for quality public and active transport to be recognised.

In short, we want the numbers not to lie, and the transport spend to reflect this. 

Lance’s critique is of the recent publicly released Treasury Paper on the transport sector. As he points out - the executive summary acknowledges the flawed underlying assumptions from changing international trends.

The paper’s authors’ analysis on the other hand, does not.

With respect, the report's authors should say what they mean, and mean what they say. In a year where leaders will make substantial, long-term promises about transport spend, and New Zealand is thinking hard about where to get the most productive returns from, or bang for buck, this is important.

International and local evidence is that vehicle use is declining, driven by a new generation that cares about global warming, and prioritises iGadgets, internet use and public transport over cars and other structural shifts. So seeing a forecast like below is completely unreasonable (the red is my straight line projection again).

It’s a basic mistake that is and will cost the country billions – in over-spent costs to build more roads, and, worse, in the opportunity cost of not applying that investment to more productive areas of the economy.

2. US Secretary of State John Kerry calls out climate change as “perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction” (Reuters). 

Another high profile leader has weighed in - using radical language - on the urgency and seriousness of the risks of climate change.

Interesting on its own right, but perhaps more interesting from Kerry.

He is one of the key decision makers on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, a large oil pipeline through Canada and the United States facing deep and extended opposition from environmental groups due to its implications for increasing carbon emissions.

He added: "In a sense, climate change can now be considered the world's largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even, the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction."

The solution, Kerry said, is a new global energy policy that shifts reliance from fossil fuels to cleaner technologies. He noted the President Barack Obama is championing such a shift and encouraged others to appeal to their leaders to join.

3. Change starts at home, in our cities.

Recognising this, Melbourne has made a plan for net zero emissions by 2020.

Globally, there is a strong push from municipal and local governments around the world to set emissions reductions targets. Often, these are stronger than those at state or federal level, and target setters are taking big steps to achieving these. 

On the home front, two examples stand out. Christchurch has set a less ambitious but applaudable target of 20 per cent by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2050 net greenhouse gas emissions reductions (on 2008 measurements).  Auckland’s low-carbon action plan proposes reducing the city’s net greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2040.

“Change starts at home and the Zero Net Emissions Strategy outlines our commitment to making changes in our own operations such as trialling low emissions technologies and increasing the uptake of carbon neutral services,” Cr Wood said.

“What became very clear in the development of these strategies was that we can’t achieve change on a large scale alone. We have set the ambitious municipal goals of becoming a zero net emissions city by 2020, and switching our electricity supply to 25 per cent renewable energy. But commitment to change is needed at all levels to make this happen – from the local community, business and government.”

4. Economists have a duty to tell it like it is - they are the scientists of the financial system, and the truth bringers in a complex and often muddled world.

The global financial crisis continues to reinforce this. Similarly, the uncertainties and vagaries that climate change is already wreaking on our financial system, and others around the world, brings home the importance of this duty.

The 2013 drought, forecast to cost New Zealand up to $2 billion, or the super typhoon in the Philippines forecast to cost them $3 billion are two more sharp examples to add to this article.

That trend will only continue and this duty will not abate.

Floods in England and drought in California have brought another round of sterile arguments about whether climate change is to blame. Just as models of collateralised debt obligations all but assumed the impossibility of default, however, models of climate change all but assume it cannot have a catastrophic effect on the economy, no matter how bad global warming becomes. Far from exaggerating the threat, economists tend to understate it.

5. Tesla Hits All Time High and Apple might buy it.
I 'heard' Elon Musk (founder and largest shareholder) is low on cash, maybe he will sell?

That aside, here in New Zealand we need to produce more of all of the above - more Apples, more Teslas and more Elon Musks.

In the fourth quarter, Tesla posted $0.33 EPS on revenue of $615 million. The revenue number fell short of the $686 million analysts expected, but few care because earnings demolished the consensus estimate of $0.21 per share. Tesla delivered 6,892 cars in the last quarter, bringing their total 2013 vehicle count to 22,477.

Tesla stock hit an all time high on Tuesday after reports that Apple had considered Tesla as a potential acquisition target. As of 4:20pm EST, the company’s stock was up over 15% in after hours trading to nearly $225 per share — another new all time high.

6. Climate change is here now and it could lead to global conflict - Nicholas Stern.

Climate change economist powerhouse Sir Nicholas Stern graced the front page of The Guardian earlier this week. In the wake of the major flooding in the UK, Stern has issued a clarion call for stronger action on climate change, highlighting the immense risks and economic costs in store if we delay.

If we do not cut emissions, we face even more devastating consequences, as unchecked they could raise global average temperature to 4C or more above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.

This would be far above the threshold warming of 2C that countries have already agreed that it would be dangerous to breach. The average temperature has not been 2C above pre-industrial levels for about 115,000 years, when the ice-caps were smaller and global sea level was at least five metres higher than today.

The shift to such a world could cause mass migrations of hundreds of millions of people away from the worst-affected areas. That would lead to conflict and war, not peace and prosperity.

7. A new scientific study has shed light on the claims of a so-called “hiatus” in global warming over recent years.

Earlier studies have shown that - while atmospheric temperatures may not have shown a significant trend - the accumulation of heat in the Earth system has continued unabated, with more of it going into the deeper oceans than previously observed.

The new study has discovered a plausible mechanism for this with the strengthening of the trade winds in the Pacific over the last two decades.

Is it safe to say what goes down must come up?

The idea that global warming has "paused" or is currently chillaxing in a comfy chair with the words "hiatus" written on it has been getting a good run in the media of late.

Much of this is down to a new study analysing why one single measure of climate change – the temperatures on the surface averaged out across the entire globe – might not have been rising quite so quickly as some thought they might.

But here's the thing.

There never was a "pause" in global warming or climate change. For practical purposes, the so-called "pause" in global warming is not even a thing.

8. The Maori Iwi Leadership Group announced plans to file a NZ $600 million lawsuit against the Government for lost value in treaty settlements as a result of the crash in New Zealand’s carbon price.

The Government’s decisions to allow unfettered access to dirt cheap international carbon offsets and delay phase-in of the Emissions Trading Scheme have seen the price of New Zealand Units fall 80 per cent over the last three years.

What we have seen to date shows that a low-risk, media safe election year strategy is the priority for the Government.  This could present a significant blight to the scorecard.

It will be interesting to see how they play this one.

The Iwi Leadership Group, which represents over 60 Maori tribes, told Prime Minister John Key this week that the Maori have been disproportionately impacted by the 80 per cent drop in permit prices over the last three years.

The move by the tribes adds to pressure on the government to make changes to the scheme, which an increasing amount of critics say is not working. The Maori hold around 30 per cent of the market’s permits based on carbon stored in their forests.

9. Auckland Council are having a crack at PPPs, on the exciting new SkyPath cycle bridge over Auckland harbour and beyond.

The success of the financing model’s success remains to be validated in the New Zealand context, however it is good to see Mayor Len Brown’s willingness to apply it to projects that will advance Auckland’s goal of being the world’s most livable city.

In a speech prepared for delivery in the morning to the Greater East Tamaki Business Association, Brown spoke optimistically of those schemes and his underground railway plans.

"The SkyPath will be Auckland's first public private partnership (PPP) and will eventually enable a great vision: a cycle and walking path stretching from St Heliers to Devonport. This will act as a real game changer for building pedestrian and cycleways around our city. This is a chance to cut our teeth on PPPs and show that we can deliver real value for money and better outcomes for ratepayers," Brown's speech said.

10. Quote of the week
In a world with rapidly increasing amounts of technology Roy Amara offers a useful thought:

"We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."

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101 Comments

Re #5 "That aside, here in New Zealand we need to produce more of all of the above - more Apples, more Teslas and more Elon Musks."
 
I am the owner of a technology that is ground breaking but the lack of interest in this country is gobsmacking. I think the reason is because it isn't digital or electronic, therefore not viewed as sexy or modern. Interestingly it is high tech by being low tech, or effective by simplifying things. As someone in the field said to me, it looked so simple we didn't think it could work but we thought we would find out anyway. They found out alright. Published in National Geographic and Popular Mechanics can you believe the relevant Ministry told me 2 1/2 years ago to take it to another country!

Don't leave me hanging, what is this technology you speak of?

I think it's the chimney gas reburner.

On the rare occasion I use my fire to heat the house, and can sit around long enough for it to heat the house, and am going to be inside long enough to make it worthwhile, it just doesn't seem efficient to meddle with the basic design of the fire place.   
 And since I rent this property, it seems silly to pay good money to improve someone elses fire, and the landlord doesn't chop the wood so they don't see the point either.

your comment, cowboy, is exactly the kind of  negative-tripe that would be seeded by a paid stooge on behalf of big-oil and big-power. As a dis-interested non-beneficiary of the technology you are a cheap source of fodder for them - you cost them nothing

Don't leave me hanging, what is this technology you speak of?

Probably 1000:1 return on investment ZZ. More will be spent on marketing/distribution than on manufacture. Technology wise you are talking a game changer, and the origial focus of the invention has an exclusive market of 8 million in the USA, 1.5 million in Aussie and even half a million here. On top of all this it sustainable and the technology itself has a payback for the customer. Quite frankly it doesn't get much better, but because it doesn't have the bells and whistles then it is under the radar of most.

Congratulations Scarfie, when will you be able to share a bit more information as to what your device does?!

A handful of people here know what it is Plutocracy, but for now I do wish to protect my psuedonym. Ask Bernard, David, or even PDK isn't hard to find, if you really want to know or want my contact details. I piss to many off to have my profile here connected with my technology for now :-P But the time will come when that will change.

Your invention could certainly help a scarfies! (pun intended). Good stuff!

KISS, keep it simple and stupid.....the higher the tech the more energy it usually uses to make a process more "effective/efficient"....
regards

#1 I absolutely agree, if you go look at the Ministry of Transport's data
http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/
there is no way rising projections are justified.

To me it is quite obvious that an awful lot of young people would rather sit on a train browsing their phone than drive. The National govt (and the NZTA dinosaurs) can't see the obvious; they even know better than what their own transport usage charts are telling them. 
 
I'd rather take public transport to work, but it isn't up to a good enough standard yet (although much better than 10 years ago). I would also like to try riding, but the 4 lane road with no bike lanes really puts me off. 

No need to drive when the current generation feels they should be chauffered around at their convenience.  Or when most of their world is just beamed into their lives courtesy of advertisers.

4 lane highway with no bike lanes put you off Jimbo, probably more like knocks you off

Could someone please reconcile this statement with the ANZ Truckometer usage which is available at:
http://www.anz.co.nz/resources/4/4/447b34eb-da65-4348-acc3-78be5c9d82c2/ANZ-Truckometer-20140211.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=447b34eb-da65-4348-acc3-78be5c9d82c2
 
This shows strong and ever rising demand for heavy vehicle road transport.
 
We need to be very careful to differentiate between  cars, taxis, public transport, commercial, light  and heavy vehicles all of which  require roads to travel on.
 
If the economy continues to grow and we wish to maintain productivity increases - after congestion pricing - new roading is critical to growth.
 
 

There are a couple of things causing the difference- the main ones are: 
1) The ANZ truckometre uses 2004 as a start year, and the fewer years you use the more the trends will jump around with effects of particular years. 
2) The vertical scale on the truckometer graph doesn't measure from 0, which highlights the differences but doesn't give a good sense of the overall changes.
I've lined the truckometer graphs up with the MoT data they are based on and taken a screenshot
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wmqqwt74wohc3ga/ScreenShot.png

It should be realised that isostatic rebound is a prime cause of Southern England's  current woes.  Before leaping to costly conclusions, based on correlation (<> causation).
 
A key line in the linked article notes:
"Similar disastrous breaches on the Dutch coast occurred in 1570, 1825, 1894, 1916 and 1953. "
 
Note the 1570-1825 gap.
 
The LIA.

Correlation vs Causation.  I've found that if something supports your views of the world its causation if it dosn't it's correlation.  
 
Southern Englands woes is weather not climate and as such cannot be directly linked to climate change however there is no doubt that climate change is happening and will result in rising sea levels which will have obvious consequences in the years to come.

I thought the very recent U.K. metservice report putting the floods in context of Jet Stream movements tying back to the Western Pacific was kinda interesting. For those who want the full report:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/1/2/Recent_Storms_Briefing_Final_S...
for those who prefer the Buzzfeed summary
http://www.buzzfeed.com/tomphillips/everything-you-need-to-know-about-wh...
(has more animated gifs than the met service report)

Good article in Rolling Stone Andrew.  And thanks.  Old Karl knew a thing or two.  But how did he know about our supermarkets?
4. Walmart (Monopoly).        The classical theory of economics assumed that competition was natural and therefore self-sustaining. Marx, however, argued that market power would actually be centralized in large monopoly firms as businesses increasingly preyed upon each other. This might have struck his 19th-century readers as odd: As Richard Hofstadter writes, "Americans came to take it for granted that property would be widely diffused, that economic and political power would decentralized." It was only later, in the 20th century, that the trend Marx foresaw began to accelerate. Today, mom-and-pop shops have been replaced by monolithic big-box stores like Walmart, small community banks have been replaced by global banks like J.P. Morgan Chase and small famers have been replaced by the likes of Archer Daniels Midland. The tech world, too, is already becoming centralized, with big corporations sucking up start-ups as fast as they can. Politicians give lip service to what minimal small-business lobby remains and prosecute the most violent of antitrust abuses – but for the most part, we know big business is here to stay.

Ahh abuses KH. So would Marx have been considered abusive in his day for his forecasting powers?

Interesting the many references to Marx's work in recent times.  Here is a different perspective that after reading makes a lot of sense to me (maybe I'm only "white" on the outside).
 
 
Longish but informative. 
http://www.filmsforaction.org/news/revolution_and_american_indians_marxi...

Link not work.

Strange - it worked for me.  Am having trouble with the paste option on this site though.
 
Maybe try manuel search for title - Revolution and American Indians: "Marxism is as Alien to my Culture as Capitalism"

On 4th or 5th attempt (now) it does work. I was getting 'link not found' messages.

A little righteous at times and I would take issue over a couple of point, but overall a very worthy read.
 
I can't help but wonder with the American Indians if they simply didn't have enough time to overpopulate the land but would have eventually. A bit like the Maori example.
 
 

#1.  Love that graph.  Truely Friday funny

No 1 - well I have read the overview and skimmed the Treasury document. One thing that stands out to me is the word FREIGHT. The graph in this article highlights LIGHT vehicle use so a bit irrelevant to the Treasury topic.
Generation Zero do you have a Harry Potter wand to get dairy, logs meat etc to market?
And do you not think that industry also wants efficient and smart transport?
 
Carlos states:
"We want declining car use and increasing demand for quality public and active transport to be recognised".
In other words you want millions and millions or should I say billions spent on your groups idealogy and don't really care how product is moved around.  I can just see the little vegie grower peddling his puch bike, towing his cabbages in his trailor to hook up on the outskirts with the city quality public transport.

Thing is the Treasury document bears no relationship to the data coming out of the MoT. I've looked at these indicators, and you can to-
Grab the New Zealand Vehical Fleet Annual Spreadsheet August update from
http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/newzealandvehiclefleetstatistics/
and head to Figure 11.1 Truck and trialer travel it is basically flat since 2006 in terms of km travelled. Tonnage shifted can be argued a little bit about what will happen in the next few years, but the growth rate since 2004 has been pretty low. Looking at the 5 year compound tonnage graph, the long term trend is growth in tonnage slowing, slightly distorted by 2009 being _such_ a very bad year that anything after it looks better.

Dh - the km travelled being flat could be attributed to industry efficiencies. The last decade or so has seen many changes in the way freight companies operate like smaller vehicles used in the collection to depot/ larger truck for long haul. There are many technology efficiencies which have been implemented as well.
Changes to facilities especially onsite storage in both agriculture and horticulture whereby trucks are ordered up when enough product to fill truck to capacity is achieved.
Much of the High Country has been locked up so no production off that anymore, not sure what the total stock number decline would be.
There was also a change in configuration to logging trucks and found some stats on log and roundwood removal.
http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-resources/statistics-forecasting/forestry/an...
 
 

...maybe also an impact due to popn concentration occuring in the Auck/Ham/Tauranga triangle?

Could be either, as far as I know the figures are national, but some regional breakdowns would help to point to a more in depth answer. I'll have a hunt around the MoT research, to see if there is any evidence for decline in remote rural/ general efficiency vs concentrations in urban corridors, but I don't recall having seen anything like that when I had a good look last year- there is some regional material on household transport, but I can't think of a legit way to use that as an accurate proxy for freight.

Notane - pun intended, you're putting ht e cart before the horse. Same cranial omission I mention in the link below. 
 
There is no doubt whatever that we are running unsustainable levels of population, resource-consumption, unmitigated pollution, all on a finite planet. There is no 'if' about when that will stop; stop it will. The only question is 'when'? And maybe a supplementary one of "if we're smart enough, can we avoid the crash?
 
You are starting from the point of view that because a crash is abhorrent to you, it therefore will be denied. That's cranially deficient, not to mention illogical. Unles you can address energy-depletion (and demand, of course) and all the other parameters, remembering that you're starting from a point of gross overshoot right now - then all bets are off.
 
I wish his generation well - but too many of mine talk and act like you; which effectively means his chances of living a full span are nil. Think about it. And if it takes backing off to local, less, and less, to regain sustainability, then that's the valid choice. It's just stupid to urge continuance of something which ends in misery. Of course, you won't turn roung and acknowledge the wave, will you?

That has nothing to do with the forecasts not relating to the trends.

But if more people had public transport options the roads would be freed up for trucks.
 
Spending billions on a handful of road improvements will not make anywhere near as much improvement than getting people off the roads. Most road improvements just cause a bottleneck somewhere else. 

(In a cynical voice) Can we then expect them to foot the bill then?

Good reading Carlos.
 
I particularly like the dinghy/wave cartoon. That about sums up the usefulness of economics as a predicting discipline.
 
But "more Teslas" ? I'm not so sure. Here's a similar comment:
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2013/08/fueled-vs-electric-cars-the-great-race-begins-10
 
and my thoughts (for a column in another genre)
"Notice there’s no mention in that article or in the ensuing discussion, of the possibility of going by bicycle – which would circumvent the whole argument in one easy, healthy, sustainable move. (The mistake he made was in assuming ‘cars’ to be the goal, whereas the goal is actually getting our bodies from A to B – and there are other ways of doing that besides cars)".
 
Addressing Climate Change is a necessary, but not adequate, requirement for sustainability. Halting finite-resource depletion to zero (which by default requires 100% recycling), keeping renewable-resource depletion at or above renewable rates, and mitigating non-greehouse pollution to zero, are also requirements. Starting from a position of grotesque overshoot.
 
ppp's?  The problem is that at least one party will want a spendable profit. Either inflation has to track exactly equal to profit and interest and dividend expectations, or the expected spend will continue to draw-down one or more of the sustainability-requiring parameters. So another (non-physical agreed, so it's artificial, but nonetheless a consideration given that social chaos will follow it's collapse) prerequisite for sustainability will be moving to a steady-state economy.
 

Interesting link PDK, the comment stream below it also. Haven't been throught it all but I will come back to the point I have mentioned here before, I don't ever see concrete being delivered by electric vehicles. It is the density of energy that counts.

Volvo and Cummins have LNG long haul trucking options now that save fuel and cleaner air emissions than diesel and the Swedes are into DME so relax.

I make a point about other energy options being less dense than oil and you come back and prove my point by introducing a couple of second best options.
 
Unbelievable, are you actually able to think for yourself at all?

And cheaper and cleaner is second best in what way? Who cares if it is less dense if it is cheaper and cleaner? Other than a eco zealot who prefers expensive energy that this.

Fallacious in two ways. First it is off the point and all you are really doing is illustrating to everyone that you lack the intellect to understand the density issue, which also takes value from anything else you say. Second is that less dirty technoloygy doesn't make it clean. I might know a little about this as I own the cleanest combustion technology in the world.
 
But keep digging your hole deeper.

Nice rant Scarfie - at least you are consistent. A fuel less dense can carry bricks no problem and as it turns out it is cleaner and cheaper. So you no longer need to worry that electric trucks won't be able to carry bricks.

You can't stop climate change, only prepare for it.... the intertia that it has already makes this so....

Paully- that's not quite enough.
 
You also have to stop making Climate Change worse - which we do, every day.
 
So that 'preparing for it' will have to be done without further fossil-fuel use. Bit of a problem, real-time. How do you raies a levee without using a diesel-powered digger?

Slaves?

For those that like industrial documentaries I recomend the BBC's "Seven Wonders of the Industrial Age" (or the book of it).
Check out the Grand Eastern, the peak of Victorian steamships- the same size as the Royal Navy aircraft carriers of the 1980s.
http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2008/08/last-victorian-leviathan-ss-grea...
 
 

Having read the top 10 and had a quick peak at generation zero, one thought really springs to mind. It may (or not) work in their target area of Auckland but it will be a struggle to justify many of the transport options in other towns/cities of NZ. No other place could have a connected rail link that could work.
I used to live near London in England and the transport system was great for the city and linked all forms of transport and locations well. BUT, it was useless for pretty much anything else. If  I needed to travel elsewhere I had to get a train south, get a tube, then back out on a train to go 30 km West of where I started.

Trains already work well in Wellington (although could do with more investment), they could work in Christchurch and possibly Hamilton. That is more than 1/2 of NZ's population. 
Agreed in other places it probably doesn't make sense. Although I have noticed in my home town Napier that there seems to be a lot more bus routes and cycleways than there were 20 years ago. 

In regards to cycle ways, I know a lot of people in Christchurch would prefer to bike to work etc but don't want to take the risk because of the traffic and anti cyclist sentiment that some people seem to have.  Of course if the roads were safer more people would cycle which would result in less cars on the roads.  A win for everyone you would think?

In a slighlty but no completely unrelated context, how does the Govt reconcile it's roading transport vision with the affect of climate change? By way of exmaple, from weatherwatch -
For motorists driving from Auckland to Hamilton State Highway 1 would be underwater as the sea engulfed the Waikato River. The mouth of the river would shift 80kms upstream from Port Waikato to Huntly. Huntly would no longer exist in its current location..
Millions are currently being spent on this very road link....and the Waikato in flood comes awfully close to s HW 1 even now.
one must also question the wisdom of undergound transport structures around central Auckland.
http://www.weatherwatch.co.nz/content/interactive-map-alarming-flood-scenario-nz
Any views on this Carlos?
Some good links thnks..

Global warming trend.
1860-1880     0.163 degrees C per decade
1910-1940     0.15
1975-1988    0.166
1998-2012    0.21 IPCC (prediction)
1998-2012    0.04 actual (UK Met office/UEA CRU)
1998-2012    about 1/3 of CO2 emmissions since 1750.
Ed Hawkins classic chart Models vs Observation (black line).
http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/aahawkins.jpg
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm
http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1...
 

I've said before you should really be using 30 year blocks for discussing climate, otherwise you are talking weather, particularly given the long oceanic cycles. I also get sad by people using uneven blocks of time, as that looks like cherry-picking.
Lets make a graph of global temperature for each year where each year is averaged with the preceding 30 to form a rolling average.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/t1lrk4o64ufevgr/30year.png
People can judge for themselves.
As I side note, I see Business Insider is reporting it has the 4th warmest gobal January since records began, though that is also only the hottest since 2007 (while the polar vortex in parts of the US got the TV news, most of the rest of the world has been unusually hot (though it isn't really that unusual these days to have a month in the 10 warmest ever recorded)).
I also see the shipping code for the Arctic Ocean (since it is getting so much traffic now, it needs its own one) is in its final stages.

Unfortunately nature doesn't work in 30 year blocks of time. Hansen only used period 1975 to 1988 block of time before he began stirring up hysteria.  Anyway the time blocks were from the Phil Jones BCC interview, based on 20th century warming periods, and Phil Jones didn't seem to have any problem with them. You make out like I selected them.
I'm sure youve made a great graph. Ed Hawkins made a great graph too. No offense but I'll go with Ed in this match up. http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~ed/home/index.html
Warmest year, yawn. We are in an interglacial. I guess you would say that when things are warming at 0.04 degrees C/decade. "...since records began" nice caveat. Btw I'm having my tallest year on record, under current trends I will be 2.5m tall soon.
Shipping code for the Artic - don't mention the Antarctic - why isn't it playing ball? Chastise for me using less than your preferred 30 year time periods and then pull out a bit of weather yourself at the end of the post.
Don't you think it is a bit odd it warmed so much before SUV's were invented yet so little in a period from 1998 when 1/3 of the post 1750 CO2 went in?

I'd back Ed Hawkins over me too, but I don't think that you are correctly understanding what Ed was talking about in the post he used it (or rather used all of it as that figure is just a quarter of the overall one, the rest has been chopped off). Would you perhaps like to explain what you think he was talking about here:
http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2012/on-comparing-models-and-observati...
but since you respect Ed, here is his explanation of why the past decade of slow warming is inconquential in climate terms
https://www.skepticalscience.com/hawkins-hiatus-gif.html
Now, if the statement that you are taller this year than ever is true, you are 99.98% likely to be under 20 years of age, so I can see you might have trouble with stuff that happened before you were born, but artic ice has been decreasing for many decades, it is not just a matter of short term weather.
https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
Of course, if you statement on tallness isn't true then you could be any age, but then it is more a matter of your general credibility rather than the ignorance of youth.

Our "friend" profile has been given the science over and over again.  But as the saying goes there is none so blind than those who refuse to see.

I agree with Ed on this too the observations are on the lower side of the model projections. It is fairly evident in the chart I posted. This is in line with the Nature link stating there was 0.04 degrees C/dec warming rather than predicted 0.21 C is it not? Business as usual - no need to run for the bunker or go all John Kerry on it. Hardly "climate change can now be considered the world's largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even, the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction".
As for skeptical science why would I bother going to a website run by a cartoonist who post edits his comments section to "win" debates and makes up quotes. I see down below I am being chastised for visiting those "denier" wedsites the BBC and Nature.
It warmed at a similar rate in periods early in the century and periods later in the century. Runaway global warming was a nice theory but it is just not panning out.
 
 

Thankfully no one takes you or your stupid arguments seriously.  Please stop wasting our time, perhaps take up smoking I hear your mates think they are good for you...

As PDK asked the other day - what does this add to the discussion?

Everything Ralph. The first thing that springs to mind is the Profile didn't think for himself (neither did you, but they you like the sound of your own voice so you post all sorts of garbage) but simply regurgitated someone elses data without analysis.

My analysis was  that it is a bit odd it warmed so much before SUV's were invented yet so little in a period from 1998 when 1/3 of the post 1750 CO2 went in. I take you are cool with the data.
Your analysis is to simply call someones opinion garbage. Good one.
Opinions backed by data are not cool but politically motivated factless John Kerry rants are gospel.

Good luck with the business venture.

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you really believe the stuff you are spouting.   Those temperatures you gave most certainly don't tell the true story.  As you linked in nature yet somehow missed the point of the article the ocean has been absorbing large amounts of heat and CO2 for that matter.  The ocean absorbing co2 dosn't cause warming but it does cause ocean accidification.  The warmer water has numerous impacts but most notably the melting of the northern ice cap.   
 
The key issue with Climate change comes down to climate forcings.  I'm not going to go into it you can look up the "correct response" to climate forcings at one of your denier blogs.  The key point is if the earth recieves more watts (energy) per square meter of earth than it radiates per square meter you have a warming effect and vice versa.   As the earth warms it tends to result in positive feedbacks as in a warmer earth ends up absorbing more energy, sure the earth radiates more energy as it gets warmer but less than the energy absorbed.  The same is true in reverse although currently the earth has a rather large net energy gain so cooling is not on the cards in the next while.
 
Most of the people on this site don't base their opinions on the rants of politicians whether or not they support our argument we use science.  

The temp periods I listed are the story - it is not about liking it or not. You really think Phil Jones would allow data that wasn’t the “true story” to be included in his interview linked? 

 The Nature byline states  “Sixteen years into the mysterious ‘global-warming hiatus’, scientists are piecing together an explanation.” The data demonstrates succinctly why they are still piecing it together. The forcings surely would have shown up in the last 16 years when 1/3 of post 1750 C02 industry CO2 was emitted. Instead we got 0.04 C/dec warming instead of the predicted 0.21 C. And the1975-1998 warming period turns out to be remarkably similar to 1860-1880 and1910-1940 warming periods rather than “runaway” warming.  You seem to miss the point that they are still piecing their hypothesis together and go off in a tangent some of the possible, but not proven, explanations.

 The most likely explanation is that the forcing have been overstated in the models and CO2 feedbacks  are not the major driver in the climate as proposed in the late 1980’s. The direct effect of CO2 - 1.2 C/doubling  is still there of course but the forcing are overstated else we would have seen a big temperature rise given the CO2 emmitted recently compared to pre industrial/SUV.

They pieced together the explanation, as Ive said countless times to you now.
http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm
regards

Seriously..?
Hey Scarfie, Thankfully no one takes you or your stupid arguments seriously.  Please stop wasting our time, perhaps take up smoking I hear your mates think they are good for you...
You know, seeing it typed on the page now this thing you call  "everything" seems disappointing to me.

It warmed 0.11~12 and the sun was a little quiter and the heat has gone int the oceans..
thats why.
regards
 

....point being??

I love how you think the scientists that spend their lives studying this are incorrect and you who read some conspiracy blogs think you have anything valid to add to the conversation.  Stick tochem trails and leave the science to the experts.

Yes those conspiracy blogs Nature and the BBC I linked to. I don't think climate scientists are wasting their time  - I just think the money could be better spent on todays issues like clean water and malaria research. $1 billion a day on R&D than helps people today rather than a shaky looking hypothesis than is not looking likely to pan out. 

Malaria is a climate sensitive disease. the Mosquitos that carry it flourish in warmer, wetter conditions.

Its not that sensitive to warm and wet else you wouldn't have had outbreaks in the UK. Million odd people a year die of malaria - how may die of climate change?

Most of us if not all of us as a species if we keep on going as we are.
regards

Malaria deaths since 1990 ~18 million – deaths from runaway global warming 0 (but may be some in the future…).
Get some perspective – if the money spent on global warming since 1990 was spent on malaria prevention it would no longer exist as a dangerous disease.

I honestly have no idea how to begin to respond to such a reality defying comment, so will just link to the World Health Organisation's malaria monitoring page which includes a map.
http://www.who.int/gho/malaria/en/
Normally I'm happy to discuss evidence, even with people I don't agree with, even if they might be trolling, but I cannot imagine an sincerely held set of beliefs that lead to the conclusion that malaria is not a tropical disease. So I have no common ground within reason for discussing evidence (and if the beliefs are insincere, I've better people to discuss things with). If Profile wants to imagine this as a victory in the world he lives in, he is welcome to.

DH - Climate change doesn’t have anything to do with eradicating malaria. How else do you explain tropical countries that have eradicated malaria? As for it being a tropical disease the UK (not a tropical country) had malaria last century but went to the effort of eradicating it.
 "In 2011, with the highly effective interventions we have available, no one should die from malaria. If we can achieve universal access to and utilization of these measures, while making the required investments in people and health systems, as well as in the research required to develop tomorrow's transformative tools, then the country and regional goals of malaria elimination, and the global goal of eradicating this ancient scourge, will become a reality." Dr. Robert Newman.
You read all those deaths on your link - if the same money spend on global warming hysteria was spent on malaria it would not exist as a problem. Global warming hysteria – taking money away from todays problems since 1990.

Basic biology is that living organsims have habitats and only live in a certain range of temperatures. Basic Mosquito biology is that Mosquitos find life difficult below 15 degrees C, and fall into hibernation below 10 degrees C. Mosquitos are the vector for Malaria transmission to humans. This is why it has been easy in history to eradicate Malaria in places that spend significant parts of the year below 15 and 10 degrees C. A warming planet puts more countries back in the comfortable range for Mosquitos. Wetness is also a factor when it comes to tropical control, but climate also governs wetness and warm air supports more moisture.
But as I said,  you can imagine you won this if you like because the difference between your world view and mine prevent rational discussion of evidence.
 

and how many billions spent on bombs?
regards

The BBC piece is 4 years old, so in effect obsoleted by,
Even if we focus exclusively on global surface temperatures, Cowtan & Way (2013) shows that when we account for temperatures across the entire globe (including the Arctic, which is the part of the planet warming fastest), the global surface warming trend for 1997–2012 is approximatley 0.11 to 0.12°C per decade.
1860-1880     0.163 degrees C per decade
1910-1940     0.15
1975-1988    0.166
1998-2012    0.12
So 0.12 is correct, even if you ignore the heat going into the ocean and it seems tghe sun has been a bit low on its output.
http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm
regards
 

The Nature piece is one month old, and the BBC link stands because it is climate historical fact not conjecture.
“Simulations conducted in advance of the 2013–14 assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that the warming should have continued at an average rate of 0.21 °C per decade from 1998 to 2012. Instead, the observed warming during that period was just 0.04 °C per decade, as measured by the UK Met Office in Exeter and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK.”
The Cowtan and Way 0.11-0.12 C figure is based on a “hybrid” “optimal interpretation algorithm”. I’ll take the Nature/UK Met/CRU figure thanks rather than the hybrid. And as I’ve said before Cowtan does say  “No difficult scientific problem is ever solved in a single paper. I don’t expect our paper to be the last word on this, but I hope we have advanced the discussion.” So even if he has “advanced the discussion” it is still half of the IPCC predicted 0.21 C increase and quadruple UK Met/CRU data.
And of course how surprising Cowtan and Way both “contribute” to the Skeptical Science website. A activist website well known for post editing peoples comments to support their world view.  
http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1...

Well sure take any number you want....I mean thats par for a wee cherry picker. meanwhile the best science says 0.11~12 even with some side issues that have caused a slowdown...which will of course reverse, or at best introduce a delay.
If you bothered to read the nature piece it clearly states some reasoning going on....but then as per normal you attempt to take it out of context.
"Skeptical Science website." yeah a site that brings all the deniers claims to the fore and shows them as the lies they are, all in one spot.
Simple, truthful.
have a nice day
regards
 
 

I am so, so tired of people who have no idea whatsoever what they're talking about boldly proclaiming that they know better than an entire field of experts in the face of all evidence. Doubly so when they're endangering so much life in the process. That requires a special kind of insanity. Where's the warming, profile? Look in the ocean (see link below). Do you see a pause there? Ask yourself why the sources you consult felt the need to conceal that rather important detail. Sounds to me like it's time to find some better sources.
 
 
http://cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/global-warming-6.gif

Real science acknowledges uncertainty.
 
As a very wise person once observed: 
"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it." Andre Gide

Absolutely but to use the (minimal uncertainty) as an excuse for inaction when the stakes are so high is irresponsible at best.  How many people died of lung cancer while tobacco companies were playing the uncertainty card?  
 
Climate deniers take advantage of real scientists who, like you say never rule out other options.  If you think profile and his friends are looking for the truth well fair enough.

Hear your frustration Peak, but truth is that in another example of experts, by far the bulk of world economists could not see the wood for the trees with an impending GFC, and when it happened, all the "experts" had a lot of humble pie to eat. Never ever assume the experts know everything, but equally you have to respect the views, especially when the consequences are potentially large, but also keep an open mind to other possibilities.

I agree with your general point, don't trust experts blindly.  I would hasten to add I don't consider economist experts at predicting anything useful.  
 
I know I come across pretty heavy on the global warming thing but I am not closed minded and if anything the "skeptics" say has some merit I certainly look into it deeper before simply dismissing it.  
 
 

Economics is not a science. I'd be loath to even call it an art.

More Apples and Tesla's?  www.youtube.com/watch?v=jid2A7ldc_8
 

(Meant to be a reply to profile asking about accepting his data, but put it in the wrong box)
I just didn't, and still don't, see the point of singling out SUVs, and claiming something about world temperatures as a result. It is overall CO2, which gives graphs like:
http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/global-temp-and...
Now, it is not as clean a relationship as in the lab, where back in the 1800s it was realised CO2 is a greenhouse gas (and I assume you don't think the chemists of the 1800s and every chemist  since then in history has been engaged in avast conspiracy about the properties of molecules). But that variation can pretty clearly be put down to short term effects, which in  climate terms are a decade or so, as can be seen in the 1940s period.
Now, I could go to the trouble of putting a rolling thirty year average on the temperature data to  show how in the longterm it is a very, very good match, but you' em already indicated in the results of what I produce when I make these kinds of graphs, so I think I'll save that 15 minutes, If you really are interested in discovering the truth about climate change it is an exercise you can do yourself.
So, in answer to your question, no I do not accept your data, because you are using it in selective pieces while ignoring how the data tells a different story if you take all of it.
What it boils down to is the chemical properties of carbon and oxygen have been well understood since the 1800s, and what we see with thier behaviour in the atmosphere is (in the long term) entirely consistent with those chemical properties. If those are wrong, every scientific and technological advancement since the 1880s is built on a lie, but in reality it does all fit together and we are not just deluding ourselves that modern inventions actually work.

Your confusing the direct effect of CO2 which, I agree are well understood, and CO2 feedback theory which have been overblown - hence we have seen similar rates of warming in 1860, 1910 and 1975 and very little post 1998 when a 1/3 of the industrial CO2 was emitted.
 

Cherry picking, 1998 was an anomaly, hence a bad point to pick, unless ofcourse your intent is the tell untruths, which by now we can see is the case.
regards

No I am not confusing the direct effect of CO2 theory. You are bringing in strawmen feedback theory. The IPCC models are based on a basic linear relationship of CO2 to temperature, the direct relationship you claim you understand and accept.
http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/wp-content/IPCC-AR5-SPM10.png
The basic source of variation in the IPCC models is how much carbon do we add to the atmosphere from this point on, and how quickly do we add it. After that it is just the direct relationship.

Good discussion of the health effects of sprawl, housing affordability, high density housing, transport infrastructure, motorway centric vs. public transport and bike centric urban developments here. With plenty of examples from around the around the world and how they could relate to Auckland or Christchurch in particular.

Problem is going to be energy, limitations, something we have ignored for 150 years, all else is moot.
Yet the earthship's offer a high quality environment at close to zero energy use...
regards

Earthships should be allowed planningwise as an option alongside newtowns as discussed in Transportblog (New Houten?), cycle centric villages and traditional housing then leave it to people to decide how to respond to events IMHO...

The problem of responding to events is that is re-active and not pro-active, there is a time and scale factor that means not doing something in good time either costs a lot more, more than cant be afforded, or cannot be done.  Now if there was a level playing field and Peak oil was widely discussed and understood I'd be in more of an agreement. I dont think ppl should be overly dictated to but really its pretty obvious ppl can make stupid decisions...but, at all levels, LOL.
regards
 

"International and local evidence is that vehicle use is declining, driven by a new generation that cares about global warming, and prioritises"
Oh maybe cost of fuel?
Or the high un-employment in youth? I mean 28% as not un-usual kind of curtails discretionary spending on thinghs like petrol.
and this I suspect only applies to the Developed world.
Havnt heard of peak oil or something?
regards

All the evidence is that that even if you allow for factors like fuel costs and unemployment there is a clear trend for young people in Western countries not to be interested in driving cars and becoming drivers. About three years ago the numbers were still arguable, but it is pretty clear now. I know car manufactures a quietly acknowledging the trend and trying to work out how to respond.
When I grew up getting you licence was seen as freedom and power, but I think more youth these days see driving as a chore, sometimes necessary but not pleasurable. A view I have become increasingly sympathetic to over the years.

#8 So they gambled on easy money and lost....
regards

 Photovoltaics + water desalination as coolant story from today
http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/02/21/up-for-grabs-ibm-solar-co...

DH keep us informed about advances in efficiently storing power, then we might be talking about a game changer...

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