Scott Morrison wins Australian Federal Election

Scott Morrison has overcome the attempt to re-introduce class warfare into the Australian electoral system with a “steady as she goes” campaign strategy.

Labor’s Campaign

In a carefully calculated attempt to re-invigorate union control of the Australia economy, the ALP set out a programme to target all Australians who were not unionists. This programme included the following “difficult to explain” elements:

  1. Eliminating Franking Credits for retirees in self-managed superannuation funds, but keeping them for retirees who are in externally managed Superannuation funds, which are mainly union-managed funds.
  2. Supporting the proposition that there should be an increase to the minimum wage without regard to the possible negative impact on jobs.
  3. Allowing lawless union activity and removing the “industrial umpire” in the construction industry.
  4. Radical action on climate change beyond that agreed at COP21 and beyond that committed to by other comparable nations, with little real consideration of the employment consequences of this approach. Given its rhetoric, and reliance on Greens preferences, the ALP were unable to articulate a policy fix to work around this. This did not trouble voters in Melbourne or Canberra, since they did not perceive a risk to their own jobs, but it did worry voters in Queensland.

Maximising Scott Morrison’s win

Continuing failure of the Liberals to win over Canberra’s voters (and the opinion-makers at the ABC and SBS) will be a cancer on future Liberal policy making. In addition, the time is approaching when the ALP will not be able to govern in its own right, but in a future time its only hope will be to govern in coalition with the Greens. Already, the ALP cannot win many seats without Green preferences.

For the Liberals, it will not be enough to point out the overt socialism of Green leaders or the economic dead-end of Labor’s class war. Furthermore, the Greens are already starting to show more pragmatism than the ALP on policies like the Franking Credits changes, with plans to protect less wealthy investors. The challenge for the Liberals will be to come up with their own version of “reasonable and easily defensible policies.” Here are some suggestions for immediate action:

  1. Fix the “wages drought” by arguing for a $1 hour increase in the minimum wage in this year’s Fair Work hearing.
  2. Make Mabo Day a Federal public holiday.
  3. Explain that Australia is cutting its CO2 emissions in accordance with its commitments to COP21.
  4. Explain that the Coalition has a policy to provide dispatchable electricity via Snowy 2.0.
  5. Protect jobs in vulnerable sectors, such as horticulture, via modest tariffs.

Wages Drought

The government and the Reserve Bank have already agreed that inflation should be between 2% and 3%, yet it is currently running below that level. We know that inappropriate across-the-board increases in wages are the main cause of runaway inflation. Surely the corollary of that is that inappropriate wage-freezes are the cause of inflation running at too low a level. Therefore, it follows that a significant minimum wage increase at this time is appropriate. Don’t drop the ball on this, Scott Morrison. If you do, you will be opening up the field to the ALP to foster discontent.

Most of Australia’s export industries will not be hurt at all by this change, as they operate at the other end of the wages spectrum, with mining, medical research and IT sectors paying well above the minimum wage to most of their employees. The tourism sector could suffer some short-term impacts, but it is a highly vulnerable sector in any case with many other factors playing a more important part than the wages paid to minimum wage employees.

The import-competing sectors could suffer some pain, but the government has the means to address this issue by another mechanism, discussed below.

A change in the minimum wage will be much more effective in restoring balance to the Australian economy than can be achieved by cutting interest rates since that is likely to have other and unmanageable consequences.

Mabo Day

Most Australians recognize the importance of Australia Day. It recognizes the beginning of European settlement in this nation; most Australians are Europeans. On the other hand, Mabo Day could be an equally important day in Australia’s calendar. It would be a day to remember when the original inhabitants of this land began to get legal title to the land upon which they are still living. It can be a day when Aborigines, Torres Strait Islands and the European and other immigrant peoples remember and celebrate the original inhabitants of this land. Scott Morrison, don’t you think it deserves to be recognized?


In Paris, Australia made a voluntary commitment to cut greenhouse Gases by 26% to 28% by 2025 from 2005 levels.

Since Australia only emits 1.3% of the world’s greenhouse gases, it is not possible for Australia’s action to have any measurable impact on global warming. Therefore, it is appropriate for Australia to be a follower, not a leader in this matter, especially since its commitments to COP21 follow that requirement. Certainly we can do more, provided it can be done without seriously damaging our own economy and without destroying the jobs and incomes of ordinary Australians. This is the lesson of the recent election, which was claimed to be a “referendum” on this subject. The nation’s action on climate change should bring the nation together, not divide it, as the ALP and the Greens wanted to do. On this point, Scott Morrison was clearly correct.

While many in the electorate like the idea of Australia leading the world on climate change action, and probably most of the voters in Canberra (which includes the civil servants advising the government and the nationally-funded broadcasters, the ABC and SBS), it will have a cost in terms of jobs, a point which voters in Queensland clearly perceived.

In addition, Australia should not be party to the worldwide green conspiracy to deprive India and other emerging nations of access to cheap electricity via Australia’s coal. When the West and China emit less CO2 than India it may have a moral right to dictate how India should proceed in this matter. Whether it should do so, even at this point, is a matter of geopolitics as well as moral arguments.

Snowy 2.0

Only the Coalition has a workable policy to turn generated electricity into dispatchable power. This important contribution to this subject was made by the former PM, Malcolm Turnbull, being a policy that Scott Morrison has retained. Of course, Snowy 2.0 is only a start, but this “solution” is likely to be repeated, with the Kidson power project in North Queensland also being indirectly supported by the Queensland Labor government.

On this question, Labor and the Greens have been very quiet, hoping not to give any credit for real action on climate change to the Coalition. Scott Morrison and the Coalition should not allow this policy vacuum in their opponents’ rhetoric to continue to go unchallenged.


All major parties have a blind spot on tariffs, believing for some reason or other that minimum wage Australians can compete with people overseas on half, quarter and even one-tenth of Australian wages and conditions without any problems.

This is a manifestation of the arrogance of the Canberra bubble and I seriously hope that Scott Morrison can burst this bubble.

Critiquing Some Labor Policies

Franking Credits

The system of Franking Credits is an innovative approach to avoid double taxation for Australian investors. It was introduced by a previous ALP government. It had the significant benefit that overseas investors in companies of all kinds were no longer better treated than local investors (since overseas investors are only taxed at a notional rate on dividends and interest earnings). The outcome of the ALP’s tinkering could have been the beginning of the end of this scheme in its entirety, a result in which Labor’s class-war warriors would have rejoiced, urged on by the Liberals’ hard-right “free trade” faction. A plague on both their houses!

Negative Gearing

The system of negative gearing for housing investments has been a thorn in the side for taxation system designers of all political persuasions. A previous ALP government tried removing it, but had to unwind the change because it immediately caused property rents to increase. Undeterred, ALP’s Bowen planned to try to do this again. The problem with this plan is that rents provide a very poor return on residential property returns, with the shortfall made up by immediate tax deductions for the loss on property investments and the hope of future capital gains. Ignoring the likely adverse outcomes of a policy platform is not recommended.

Capital Gains Tax changes

There is a fairness aspect to the Capital Gains Tax discount and there is an economic incentive aspect. The fairness aspect relates to the “lumpy” nature of capital gains since, for individuals selling a business and receiving a capital gain, this could be a once-in-lifetime event. In this case, taxing at the full marginal rate of tax applicable in that year would be unfair. Even though averaging could be introduced at this point, there is a more important element that should be included when considering capital gains taxes. This relates to the nation’s need for capital investment and capital accumulation in order to maintain the nation’s prosperity into the future. Encouraging investment via the capital gains discount should help to build up the nation’s capital; even negative gearing also serves this purpose. At present, Australia has a problem with insufficient capital investment. The need for more investment is a matter that does not appear to have been considered by the ALP when proposing to reduce the capital gains discount and their changes to negative gearing. While their proposals had a ready audience among those who do not invest for the future, the ALP has no excuse for not putting national interest ahead of a “cheap win” in these matters.


Scott Morrison is to be congratulated for running an effective campaign, highlighting some of the inadequacies in the “bold agenda” put forward by Labor. It is now up to the Prime Minister to lead a government that really does work for all the people, not just for those who voted for the Coalition.

COP24 Katowice – CO2 Emissions

CO2 Emission targets for COP24 naturally follow on from COP21, which for real contributors was a cut of about 1% of total CO2 emissions – 356,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – until around 2025.

Given the range of global disparity in CO2 emissions, a cut of about 356,000 tonnes of CO2 per year is probably as much as can be realistically achieved in this period, at least until new ways of cutting CO2 emissions are fully implemented or even new ones invented. This could then be a CO2 emission reduction target for COP24, out to 2025.

Energy-Related Emissions – Actuals

When the actual figures for total CO2 emissions come out we will know the truth about 2017, but at present we can say that energy-related emissions grew by 1.4% in 2017. However, it is noteworthy that emissions have not followed the growth in GDP.

CO2 Emissions vs GDP

While the USA continued the downwards march of its CO2 emissions, most of the increases in 2017 can be attributed to China (up 1.7%), European Union (up 1.5%) and the Developing Asia (up 3.1%). Developing Asia (i.e. excluding China) can be excused for its increase in CO2, since this region is well below the world average CO2 emissions per person.

COP24 – China’s emissions

Even though China’s emissions are below those of most western nations, they are well above the global average CO2 emissions. If CO2 cuts are to be achieved China cannot just stand on the sidelines and point the figure at other nations.

China cannot even say, “India’s emissions are also increasing.” The fact is that India needs to catch up on its electrification, and there is plenty of scope for it to do so. Global average emissions are around 5.0 tonnes per person per year. India’s emissions are running at less than 2.0 tonnes per year.

In regard to 2017, seasonal factors could have played a role if some emissions had “moved” from December 2016 to January 2017, (as movements in atmospheric CO2 readings seem to indicate). But the real question to be answered by China is, “What will be energy-related emissions in 2018?”

COP24 – Europe.

Europe’s failure to cut emissions in 2017 is very disappointing, particularly given the EU’s criticism of other nations (particularly USA) when the USA is actually cutting emissions.

Factors contributing to the EU’s setback include Germany’s partial loss of faith in nuclear and the dysfunctional EU ETS scheme. The question for the EU is, “What are you doing to remedy your failures?”

COP24 – Immediate CO2 Emissions target

COP21 Paris required nations to set their own targets for CO2 emission reductions. Leaving to one side China’s effective non-participation in any realistic way in the “commitment” process, it was an effective way to proceed, since non-binding commitments are likely to be more ambitious than binding commitments.

There does not appear to be any basis to change the COP21 overall target, since cuts of this magnitude will contribute significantly to the goal of decarbonising the world’s economy.

There are even ground to believe that unanticipated cuts have already been delivered. Two possibilities stand out:

  1. China’s well-publicized cuts in coal consumption and the move to use higher quality coal should have cut China’s emissions  – but did this happen?
  2. A cut in India’s inefficient use of fuel for cooking and other purposes due to an increase in electrification of that nation should have given rise to a cut in net emissions – has this been factored into the IEA numbers?

COP24 – Future CO2 Emission target

Even higher rates of CO2 emission reductions are possible in the medium term. At present, the most fruitful lines of future development, not fully factored into the current targets, are:

  1. Increasing penetration of pumped-hydro as a way of dealing with the problem of unpredictable supply of electricity from wind-farms, without bringing in its train the “CO2 cost” of using peak electricity gas-powered generators.
  2. Increasing the community’s confidence in the long-term safety of nuclear-powered electricity generation, possibly via new technology currently under evaluation, leading to a higher level of take-up of nuclear energy.
  3. Eventual replacement of all petrol and diesel-powered passenger vehicles with electric vehicles.

If these all came to fruition, along with others not yet considered, a doubling of the annual expected CO2 emission reductions to one million tonnes of CO2 per year is not beyond practical delivery. This could be target set at COP24 for after 2025.

COP24 Katowice – Real Issue

COP24 Katowice is danger of being strangled by non-central issues. The real issue for this international conference on climate change is understanding CO2 and the reduction in emissions required for effective action.

COP23 – Attempted Sidetrack

An attempt was made to sidetrack COP23 (2017) by asserting that CO2 emissions would increase in that year by 2%, with the strong implication that the stall in CO2 emissions since 2014 had come to an end. Yet it does not appear that the “stall in emissions” has really come to an end. Instead, cuts in emissions are continuing around the world. Despite disappointing results in a few places, there does not appear to be a good reason to abandon the hope that the commitments made at COP21 will eventually result in significant and continuous cuts in CO2 emissions.

GDP vs CO2 Emissions
Demonstrating the “Stall”

COP24 – Potential Side Issues

When we are discussing climate change as a result of global warming, the real issue must always be CO2 emissions. Unless CO2 emissions are eventually cut to around a net zero level, global average temperatures will continue to rise and the disruptions that are currently occurring in a number of regions throughout the world will continue to happen.

Some are worried that a significant rise in ocean levels is inevitable, since the upwards march of atmospheric CO2 is inexorable. While a number of islands and low-lying regions have reason to fear a significant rise in ocean levels, it is currently quite unlikely that the doomsday scenarios being put forward in scholarly journals have any basis in a realistic forecast of future CO2 levels. The reason for this is that CO2 emissions have now stalled and should be forecast to be cut, not to continuously increase.

However, the looming side-issue for COP24 is the subject of the fund agreed at COP21 to provide money to mitigate the effect of climate change. The decision to set up this fund was a mistake and it has already been shown to be ineffective and misconceived.

No matter how much money is provided to this “mitigation fund” and no matter how well the money is spent, it will not stop global warming or the climate change effects. The main aim of COP24 should be capping global warming by reducing CO2 emissions. A desirable end target is to cap atmospheric CO2 at 450 ppm. It is currently around 410 ppm. This should be the real issue at COP24.

Energy-Related Emissions – Actuals

When the actual figures for total CO2 emissions come out we will know the truth about 2017, but it is true that energy-related emissions did grow by 1.4% in 2017.

While the USA continued the downwards march of its CO2 emissions, most of the increases in 2017 can be attributed to China (up 1.7%), European Union (up 1.5%) and the Developing Asia (up 3.1%). Developing Asia (i.e. excluding China) can be excused for its increase in CO2, since this region is well below the world average CO2 emissions per person. On the other hand, China and the European Union have a case to answer for their increases in CO2 emissions in 2017. In China’s case, seasonal factors could have played a role if some emissions “moved” from December 2016 to January 2017, (as movements in atmospheric CO2 readings seem to indicate). Germany’s partial loss of faith in nuclear and the dysfunctional EU ETS scheme could also have played a role. Since Europe has claimed for many years a leading role in the climate change debate, this more recent increase in CO2 emissions in the EU is very disappointing.

COP24 – Immediate CO2 Emissions target

COP21 Paris required nations to set their own targets for CO2 emission reductions. Leaving to one side China’s effective non-participation in any realistic way in the “commitment” process, it was an effective way to proceed, since non-binding commitments are likely to be more ambitious than binding commitments.

One can summarize the proposal cuts as representing a goal of an overall cut of about 1% of the level of 2015 emissions from 2016 onwards. If this were achieved, it would mean a cut of 356,000 tonnes of CO2 per year until around 2025.

Given the range of global disparity in CO2 emissions, a cut of about 356,000 tonnes of CO2 per year is probably as much as can be realistically achieved in this period, at least until new ways of cutting CO2 emissions are fully implemented or even new ones invented. This could then be a CO2 emission reduction target for COP24, out to 2025.

Using this number as a base, one could expect atmospheric levels of CO2 (at Mauna Loa) to increase by 2.35 ppm per year in 2018 (standard deviation 0.41 ppm), yet for each month since June 2018 they have been increasing at a (rolling) annual rate of around 2.0 ppm per year. While there is reasonable skepticism about the usefulness of this statistic in a short-term context  (see the article “Real-time verification of CO2 emissions”), at least it is on the side of a reduction, not on the side of an increase.

Given that increases in atmospheric CO2 from previous years’ ocean warming (measured by the Oceanic Nino Index) should now have worked their way through the system, we can be hopeful that some significant, previously ignored, potential cuts in emissions have occurred. Some possibilities stand out: 1) China well-publicized cuts in coal consumption and the move to use higher quality coal; 2) A cut in India’s inefficient use of fuel for cooking and other purposes due to an increase in electrification of that nation.

COP24 – Future CO2 Emission target

Even higher rates of CO2 emission reductions are possible in the medium term. At present, the most fruitful lines of future development, not fully factored into the current targets, are:

  1. Increasing penetration of pumped-hydro as a way of dealing with the problem of unpredictable supply of electricity from wind-farms, without bringing in its train the “CO2 cost” of using peak electricity gas-powered generators.
  2. Increasing the community’s confidence in the long-term safety of nuclear-powered electricity generation, possibly by new technology currently under evaluation, leading to a higher level of take-up of nuclear energy.
  3. Eventual replacement of all petrol and diesel-powered passenger vehicles with electric vehicles.

If these all came to fruition, along with others not yet considered, a doubling of the annual expected CO2 emission reductions to one million tonnes of CO2 per year is not beyond practical delivery. This could be target set at COP24 for after 2025.


Sea-level Rise Nonsense

A new article, predicting the likely level of sea-level rise, is an example of academic nonsense on climate change, since it fails to deal with China’s opaque COP21 “commitment” and the fallacy of predictions based on IPCC’s deliberate obscurity.

Sea-Level Rise nonsense

The article in Nature Communications includes two significant misstatements, which together give rise to my charge of “Sea-Level Rise nonsense.”

  1. It assumes that CO2 emissions will not peak until 2020, when actual observations indicate that CO2 emissions effectively peaked in 2013. Since the impact of CO2 emissions on CO2 atmospheric levels is incremental this is not an insignificant misstatement. What makes this mistake even more egregious is the fact that the report makes much of the importance of cutting CO2 emissions earlier rather than later.
  2. The article makes no indication of the climate sensitivity implied in their report. Since the IPCC includes a range of climate sensitivity estimates from 1.5C to 4.5C, this is not an insignificant omission. One suspects that the report is using the top of the range estimate. Yet the only hint that they are using the highest level of climate sensitivity estimates is given in the wording “high warming.” The use of the 4.5C estimate seems to be assumed in the prediction that sea-level rise will continue until 2300 under all scenarios. The lack of clarity in outlining the assumptions adopted is common in most “scholarly” reports on climate change, even though providing clarity on the assumptions adopted is a necessary element in all articles with the implied claim of being “scholarly.”


The Paris conference on Climate Change, tagged COP21, did not define the level of climate sensitivity implicitly adopted. Yet this was necessary at a meeting that must represent a political compromise. However, it is clear from the wording of the conference that the 192 nations that endorsed its decision implicitly accepted a climate sensitivity estimate of 2.0C, not the 4.5C at the upper end of the IPCC range, and not the lower end of 1.5C. Since the predicted sea-level rise is directly related to the assumed climate sensitivity, this is not an irrelevancy.

On the other hand, it was acknowledged that the action agreed at that time was not sufficient to cap global warming at 2.0C, and that future action would be required beyond that agreed at the significant meeting. For the authors of this article to fail to acknowledge that fact exposes their intention to write a report which is not strictly scientific, but rather is deliberately intended to be the advocacy of the particular viewpoint they are promoting. It is not even intended to spark debate of the matters at issue.

China’s Opaque COP21 “Commitment”

The only obvious difficulty with COP21 relates to China’s “promise” to keep increasing emissions until 2030. If they deliver on this promise we are all sunk, since it will result in CO2 atmospheric levels that suggest a very bad outcome for world weather, even with climate sensitivity of 2.0C.

Fortunately, China seem to be reducing CO2 emission levels, not increasing them.

However, the opacity of China’s “commitment” makes it extremely difficult to conduct a rational discussion of the action required to mitigate the impact of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere on global average temperature.

We need more articles on this theme, and not obvious beat-ups, like this article in Nature Communications, which for me is another example of Sea-Level rise nonsense.

Bjorn Lomborg – Climate Change nonsense

In the Saturday Australian, Bjorn Lomborg set out his climate change manifesto. He asserts that the efforts coming out of COP21 to reduce global warming are a waste of money! Yet he uses IPCC nonsense to make up his own nonsense.


Using or misusing IPCC reports, Bjorn Lomborg makes the extraordinary claim that “Achieving the 1.5C target would require ending the use of every single fossil fuel in less than four years.” If this claim has any basis in an IPCC report it would be by taking the upper estimate of the impact of greenhouse gases on global temperatures, and treating this as the final and likely result.

The IPCC provides some sensible and some “silly” estimates of the impact of greenhouse gases. One of these “silly” estimates means that at around 450 ppm of atmospheric CO2 the average global temperature will increase by 4.5C over pre-industrial averages. However, that is the upper level of their estimates. The bottom of the range shows that at around 450 ppm of atmospheric CO2 the global average temperature will increase by only 1.5C. This lower number is actually based on the empirically observed level – the IPCC only included that bottom element of the range because the evidence pointed so strongly to this fact. (Protests followed immediately upon the release of the 2016 IPCC report (the latest), arguing that the authors had conceded too much to the empirical evidence and their “hotter models” still held up satisfactorily.)

IPCC upper level forecast can’t be trusted

Bjorn Lomborg seems to have taken the IPCC’s bogus upper range “prediction” and used it as a linchpin for his proposition. (He should retire from pretending to contribute to scientific debate and start writing fiction. They same fate should await the IPCC if they can’t get their act together and start dealing with the evidence in a meaningful way.)

A rational argument from the latest IPCC report is that the world should at least be targeting a limit on atmospheric CO2 of 450 ppm. This is a feasibly achievable level, and one that was implicitly accepted in the Paris Climate Change conference of 2016 – COP21.


Bjorn Lomborg claims that the “Paris Agreement doesn’t stand scrutiny.” It seems to be that the COP21 agreement can withstand closer scrutiny than his wild assertions.

In Paris, the EU, USA and other developed nations, including Australia pledged to cut emissions by around 1% a year from now until 2030. The missing element was China, which pledged to keep increasing CO2 emissions until 2030 despite being the world’s largest emitter of CO2. In this, President Xi was supported by President Obama, despite the obvious disastrous consequences for the world climate if China delivered on its “promise,” and despite the political odium it has brought to his side of politics.

China’s political games (and Obama’s folly) are annoying and do not contribute constructively to the dialogue. Yet the evidence currently points to China actually cutting its coal usage, so all is not lost, despite the failure of Bjorn Lomborg to notice this development. In fact, there have been strong indications that China has been cutting its CO2 emissions since late 2013, when they appear to have reached their peak. However, on this the jury must still remain out, since China operates in an excessively opaque manner.

COP21 did not deliver the final solution to the problem of CO2 and N2O emissions, but it set in place a framework for further such emissions to be achieved. A “final solution” is still awaiting a new realistic technical and financially viable solution, assuming that a wider uptake of uranium-based nuclear power remains unacceptable in most democratic nations.

Just because a “final solution” has not been developed, there is a good case can be made that the nations of the world should do much as they can reasonably do in the meantime. This is because once CO2 is pushed into the atmosphere it remains in the CO2 cyclic bank, and unless a way of removing it naturally or technologically can be developed, it will continue its warming influence.

It was neither rational nor honest for Bjorn Lomborg to characterise COP21 as a failure. It was in fact the most successful such meeting to date, and points the way to a successful resolution of currently very difficult problem of growing atmospheric levels of CO2. Although it was an “interim solution” it was a useful one, and one that fits in with his own emphasis on finding a technological solution to energy creation. It does this without unnecessarily adding to the “atmospheric carbon bank.”

Likely CO2 vs. IPCC
Likely CO2 vs. IPCC “representative concentration pathways”

Journal Nature

Bjorn Lomborg also retreats into the sophistry produced by the prestigious journal Nature, which he cites as saying, “No major country is on track to meet its pledges.”

This journal is on a path to beat up climate change as its new reason to exist. Their claim is the kind of nonsense that Bjorn Lomborg seems to like, since in his citation there is no acknowledgement of the technological changes that are being continually developed. Even in Australia, moves have been made to make intermittent wind power more viable by introducing storage via its Snowy Mountains mark 2.0 proposal. This will make a very significant contribution, despite the scepticism shown by those who don’t understand either variable electrical demand or pricing theory.

Despite concluding his article with a plea for money to be spent on research on developing more effective low-carbon electricity generating facilities, in his role as an advocate for his own position, he did not think it worthwhile to debunk Nature‘s misleading claim, based on his own work, but rather misused it for his own advocacy.

When, oh when, will climate change debate be more mature? Propositions are put up in prestigious journals that should not appear in this naked and misleading form, and university professors write misleading articles. These are matters that should be able to be considered and rejected even at undergraduate level, but the lecturers and researchers are not providing their students with the tools that are required. Instead we have serious scientists and students marching “for science” to defend propositions that are easily debunked.

In the france24 piece cited earlier, Scott Pruitt, the head of the US EPA, was debunked for saying the quantum of the impact of greenhouse gases on the global warming is still being debated. Of course it is, even though the presenter thought he was talking nonsense! The IPCC has a range for “climate sensitivity” which goes from (an empirical) 1.5C to a modelled 4.5C. That means, for a CO2 level of 450 ppm (plus other greenhouses), the expected increase in global temperature since industrialisation could be in the range of +1.5C to +4.5C. Of course the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment is being debated! Scott Pruitt wants a debate on climate change. He does not meekly accept the bullying tactics of so-called “progressives,” who are always saying “accept the evidence,” when these same progressives do not understand the evidence themselves.

China is important

In 2015, China used 1,793,000 kt of coal for electricity generation, and it generated 5449 TWh of electricity. This works out to be 329 kg coal per MWh.

In 2015, USA currently consumes 656,000 kt of coal for electricity generation, and it generated 4128 TWh of electricity. This works out to be 159 kg coal per MWh. If the USA is able to achieve only a 20% cut in coal usage by 2030, that would bring down the average to 127 kg per MWh. It can be expected to do much more than that.

Obviously China and the USA have a different mix of generating infrastructures, but it is clear that China has a long way to go in reducing thermal coal consumption in order to achieve parity with the USA. In this sense, China has a bigger “legacy problem” from its existing facilities than the USA.

Even if China just achieved parity with the USA on coal usage at 127 kg per MWh by 2030, and its electricity consumption rose to 11900 TWh, that would still represent a net reduction its total coal consumption. Of course, it can do much better than that!

The next step for China is to acknowledge that it too can make a realistic contribution to the COP21 pledges, and drop its promise to keep increasing CO2 emissions out to 2030.

Pumped Hydro can’t be ignored

In writing an article for an Australian newspaper, Bjorn Lomborg has not given any consideration to the potential for pumped hydro to resolve the generation / dispatch issue associated with wind power. Yet the Australian government has commenced a major project, Snowy Mountains 2.0, to utilise the capacity of existing water storage facilities for “electricity storage.” Even if Bjorn Lomborg has ignored pumped hydro because he rejects its ability to help to solve the dispatch issue with wind power, he should have explained his objections rather than ignoring it.

Instead, he writes, “When there is no sun or wind, we must still pay for back-up fossil fuels, which now cost more because they are used less.” An omission of this significance surely vitiates his entire article, even if it were the only omission and misstatement. But it is not alone, as I have already explained.

Global Governance is not required

Bjorn Lomborg cites an early advocate of action on global warming, Jim Hanson, who is quoted as saying, “Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in United States, China, India or the world as whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter bunny and tooth fairy.”

It is not clear from this what Hanson thought was necessary to achieve the objective for which he aimed, but we know that the IPCC is now committed to the idea of global governance, as explained by an IPCC representative at the end of this video on France24. Apparently, the IPCC does not believe that democratic governments are up to the challenge, despite the fact the democratic governments have done more to manage emissions than non-democratic governments. As a rather wild example, India’s CO2 emissions are 1.58 tonnes per person, whereas China’s CO2 emissions have grown from 1.83 tonnes per person in 1990 to 6.58 in 2015. On the other hand, USA’s CO2 emissions have fallen from 19.20 tonnes per person in 1990 to 15.53 tonnes per person in 2015. They will continue to fall as new approaches become available and viable, as one would expect in a democratic and capitalist nation.

The success of COP21 in charting a path forward for action of climate change has not been welcomed by some climate change activists, as well as being debunked by Bjorn Lomborg. Each side has its own agenda.

Welfare Spending is a diversion

Bjorn Lomborg’s own “think tank,” the Copenhagen Consensus advocates stopping spending on CO2 emission reductions, concentrating on welfare spending and research and development. He writes, “Analysis by the Copenhagen Consensus has highlighted many phenomenal development investments where a fraction of the Paris treaty’s budget would help vulnerable communities much more today than carbon cuts would in 100 years: things such as stepping up investment in combating tuberculosis, nutritional investments for young children, vaccinations and achieving universal access to family planning.”

All of this is “more aid” gobbildy-gook, which will just keep poor nations impoverished. A realignment of trade that sees each nation becoming more self-sufficient will do more for “vulnerable communities” in every nation than the Copenhagen Consensus’ diversion of funds from fixing the problem of growing CO2 atmospheric levels.

“No Action:” big downside & little upside

If CO2 emissions were allowed to continue at the current level right up to 2100, as Bjorn Lomborg seems to prefer (if technology doesn’t come to the rescue), the CO2 in the atmosphere will increase from the current 405 ppm by 2 ppm each year for the next 80 years. That will bring the level of atmospheric CO2 up to 565 ppm. We might get better crops, but the cost of this is unpredictable.

Even if the impact does no more than reflect the historical relationship between the increases in greenhouse gas atmospheric levels and the global average temperature, this will result in the global average temperatures rising by 2.3C. If, in addition, only half the worse result of the IPCC’s models is realised, they will increase by 4.6C! What a potential legacy to leave to our grandchildren!

Bjorn Lomborg is willing to accept the view that “climate change will cause hurricanes to become somewhat stronger but also less frequent.” He offsets this by arguing that since nations are becoming wealthier they can repair the damage more easily. However, this is a nice argument for Denmark, but I am not so convinced it works for Haiti, San Marie and the Dominican Republic, or even for the poorer parts of the United States.

COP21 was a fair result and a good model. If China would come on board, it will be a really good result. Bjorn Lomborg is not helping!

Global governance – the IPCC objective

Why will IPCC go to any lengths to push their position on Climate Change?

Global Governance

Today, I learned why from France24. The IPCC is 100% committed to global governance. This also helps me to understand Angela Merkel’s irrational and undiplomatic attack on Donald Trump. It is because he won’t join in the Europeans’ global governance party.

So Scott Pruitt said the unthinkable: there is too much debate on the impact of global warming: he claimed that it is far from resolved. He is correct!

Let us look at the facts. The IPCC has published estimates of climate sensitivity of between 1.5 °C and 4.5 °C, but are unable to provide guidance on the likely actual level, whether it is in the middle of this range, or at either extreme. Is this science? No it is not, especially when the empirical evidence is that climate sensitivity is around 1.5 °C.

So people marched for science, against those who don’t accept the IPCC’s alarmist scenarios. Yet that is not science, it is just advocacy. Those marching for science have become unwitting pawns in the IPCC’s global governance push.

It is not surprising that climate change advocates are not happy with COP21. A voluntary agreement doesn’t meet their idea that only global governance can fix this problem. They are wrong. A voluntary agreement is exactly what is needed.

It also explains why the Grattan Institute in Australia is not rejoicing over the government’s plan to increase the Snowy Mountains Scheme pumped hydro capacity, bleating that it doesn’t fix the short-term problem caused by the precipitate closing of the Hazelwood brown-coal generators. The reason for this bizarre response is that increasing the Snowy Mountains pumped hydro capacity it will undermine the pressure for a global governance solution for climate change. In other words, the favoured socialist solution to the world’s problems is likely to miss its moment. Time to rack up the pressure, eh?

Just today, France24 reported on Nature Climate Change peer reviewed report. This report took the IPCC’s RCP 8.5 at face value. Now anyone who has done any research on this matter knows that CO2 emissions are falling, not increasing, and certainly not increasing in line with the entirely unrealistic RCP 8.5. Yet has any scientist called this journal to account? I am yet to see it and don’t expect to do so. The climate lobby is totally committed to the IPCC global governance agenda, and any false news will do if it supports the cause.

Likely CO2 vs. IPCC
Likely CO2 vs. IPCC “representative concentration pathways”

Pumped-Hydro – The Climate Change Fix

Widespread implementation of pumped-hydro is the only simple fix for global warming. It will radically cut CO2 emissions without putting up the price of electricity.

Updated 24 February 2017

Energy Storage is needed in Australia

Pumped-Hydro provides a means to store “electricity energy” that is not immediately required. It does this by using this energy to pump water uphill. Later, when this energy is actually required by the users on the electricity grid, it can be quickly converted back into electricity by allowing the water to run down the pipes used to pump it uphill, thereby turning the generators at the bottom of the hill (being the same “devices” used to pump the water uphill in the earlier stage). The losses from this “storage process” are minimal, and actually have a very low cost. Most of the costs arising from this process relate to the need to build water storage, pipes and electricity generators (which also serve as the pumps).

In Australia, there is a great need to be able to store this surplus generated electricity, since electricity generation from wind does not match the demand pattern. This is beautifully illustrated by this set of graphs from a study of Wind generation in South Australia.

Here the demand is shown in the top graph, and supply from wind is shown in the bottom three graph, broken up into three regions of South Australia. As can be seen here, the largest generation region actually generates most electricity during the off-peak period from 2200 to 0600. At present, this large imbalance has had a very bad effect – it has led to the Alinta generators at Pt Augusta being shut down, since they could no longer be run 24 hours a day. They couldn’t compete with electricity supplied at a negative cost from these wind farms – a distortion created by a dysfunctional renewable energy certificate scheme. A better fix would be to utilize the storage capability of pumped hydro.

Why Pumped-Hydro?

Electricity is generated from wind energy for 24 hours a day: the quantum dispatched depends upon the wind and not upon electricity demand. Electricity generated during times of low demand is effectively squandered unless it is stored. The primary storage mechanism currently available is hydro-pumped storage, which is the central plank (with wind power) for Portugal achieving over 50% renewable energy. It is also used in Denmark, where existing hydro facilities in Norway and Sweden are used to recycle otherwise wasted wind-power electricity.

In Australia, pumped hydro could be implemented in NSW at the Fitzroy Fall Reservoir. This is a part of the water storage facility on the Shoalhaven River. At present it is mostly used to condition electricity generated by wind farms. Something more is required.

Pumped-hydro - an Australian example
Pumped=hydro at Kangaroo Valley, NSW

It is easily understood that electricity is generated by wind at times when it is not needed, this being an issue especially during the night. On the other hand, wind generators have no capacity to increase output during times of peak demand. Indeed, the extra electricity generated during these off-peak times adds to significant inefficiencies in the total supply system, with other generators having to be shut down to accommodate the additional power being produced from wind. This has happened in South Australia, where the Pt August brown coal generators became uneconomic, simply because they couldn’t be run for 24 hours a day, as they were originally designed to do.

The conventional solution to this “over-supply problem” is to store the electricity generated during the off-peak times using pumped-hydro. For example, Denmark do this with their wind energy, selling it to Norway and Sweden, who store it in their hydro systems, using this system “as a battery,” by pumping water uphill, and then releasing it later. These countries then sell the electricity back into the European grid at a higher cost than they bought it, thus providing themselves with a nice little earner.

Funding Pumped-Hydro

Using pumped-hydro power in this way can be easily accommodated as part of a wider hydro-electric scheme, such as in Norway, Sweden, and in the Australian Snowy Mountains and at Fitzroy Falls. The question remains whether a pumped-hydro electric scheme can be developed that has its sole justification in this kind of storage and release arrangement.

The economics of such a proposal is quite simple:

  • Electricity is purchased at $A25 MWh at off-peak times. Even with a 25% efficiency loss, this would only equate to $A31 MWh.
  • Electricity could be sold at $A275 MWh at peak times.
  • The electricity dispatch could be run for 6 hours every weekday, for 52 weeks a year.
  • Since the pumping operation could be run for 9 hours every day, also for 52 weeks a year this means that the system could also supply Shoulder tariff electricity (at $A160 MWh)
  • Cash flow from direct operating costs would be $A244 per MWh for peak electricity sold, and $A129 MWh for Shoulder tariff electricity sold.
  • If it were to run for one year, 6 hours per day, 52 weeks a year, 5 days a week, 90% of the time, it would return a cash flow of up to $A340,000 per year per MW installed, just for peak-load supply.
  • If it were to run for one year, 12 hours a week, supply Shoulder tariff electricity, it would return an extra cash flow of $A80,000 per year per MW installed.
  • Total direct cash flow would be $A420,000 per MW installed.
  • Installed costs for Hydro have been costed at between $US1m MW to $US7m MW (= $A1.4m and $A10m)
  • Operating costs could be managed to be around 2.5% of installed cost.
  • Allowing for operating costs of 2.5%, and a 10 year payback period, it will be economic to install such a facility, provided the cost of such an installation worked out to be up to $A3.5m per MW.

Thus, with proper planning is should be possible to deliver a profitable operation, without actually increasing the cost of electricity as delivered. One should also be able to see the potential to actually reduce the cost of delivered electricity, once sufficient pumped-hydro facilities have been build and commissioned, especially if they began their life as government funded facilities.

Pumped-hydro is a viable option in Australia

For those interested in following up this issue, I draw your attention to a December 2016 Engineers Australia article (p.46-53) which reported that Professor Andrew Blakers, ANU, observed that pumped-hydro has a cost impact that is a fraction of battery backups.

Blakers is reported to say that, in order to be cost competitive, the system should have modern high-quality turbines, 10 MW or greater, with the “top dam” being 400-900m above the “bottom dam”. They should also be “off-river.” He also commented that such facilities would not be difficult to site.

While Australian government funded ARENA seem to be happy to fund projects, such as the Kidson solar + pumped-hydro, there seems to be some problem with wind + pumped-hydro. This points to a fundamental problem with ARENA and other government funding and private advocacy organizations. For them, it seems that it must be solar, nuclear, or nothing. To hell with cost. Surely this cannot continue. Contact your MP and demand that action be taken that will reduce the cost of electricity, not just funding “lovely to have” projects, as seems to be the case at the moment.

Actually, the best option for increased pumped hydro is via the Snowy Mountain scheme, where it is likely that Tumut 3 power station could be upgraded to handle all the surplus electricity generated from wind farms throughout the National Electricity Market.

Useless arguments

Those who think that they know something about this subject are obsessed with establishing a carbon price, via some mechanism. My question for them is, “What will that do to resolve the problems caused by the over-supply of wind-powered electricity in South Australia?” The answer is obvious. “It will do nothing!”

The other “useless argument” is put forward by nuclear energy advocates. They don’t want anything to dampen their advocacy for that lost cause. Unable to really respond constructively to the risks indicated by the failures at Chernobyl and Fukushima, they attack pumped hydro as an improbable solution to the problem of a lack of consistent supply of electricity with non-arguments. We can forget about them until they can properly address voters’ legitimate concern about uranium nuclear.

More serious is the fact that the installation of a new 500 MW pumped hydro system in Germany because there is insufficient “surplus electricity” in that country. So it is the case, although they were prepared to go ahead with their plans when the ratio between average peak demand and average demand was 1.2 to 1.0. They delayed their plans when the ratio dropped to 1.1 to 1.0, which has been attributed to solar PV, which has taken the edge off peak demand, even though it remains a relatively minor contributor to total electricity supply. However, in South Australia the ratio between average peak demand and average demand is 1.4 to 1.0. If Australia were Germany, the extra capacity would be installed immediately.

It is time we left behind the dead arguments of 2007, and examined propositions more appropriate for 2017 and beyond.

Anyone who is concerned about global warming and climate change could surely not vote for a party that advocates an out-of-date, and ineffective, solution to the problem of too much CO2 in the atmosphere. Here the most vigorous advocates of action on this subject need to look carefully at their own motivation, for surely others will do the same.



Stable Electricity Supply & RECs

The oversupply of wind-power has seen the question of “stable electricity supply” enter into public debate in Australia. It is now very urgent that Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) scheme be modified to make it work for the nation, rather than just for “Green Advocates.”

Excuses are not enough

Update 10 February 2017. Now we discover that the REC scheme is even causing gas fired generators to be turned off. This situation is ridiculous.

RECs undermining a stable electricity supply

Who would seriously contemplate implementing a scheme that encouraged wind-farm operators to produce electricity in the middle of the night, when it is not needed? The Australian government did, via the REC scheme, in 2000. Surely it is the responsibility of governments to implement policies that result in a stable electricity supply, not an unstable one!

Under the current REC scheme, wind-farms can even deliver electricity to the grid at a negative price, since this apparent loss can be offset by approximately $25 per MWh. This is currently the approximate rated proceeds for each certificate produced, whether the electricity generated is really needed for successful grid operation or not. The electricity retailers buy this undifferentiated certificate, since this helps them to meet their “renewable obligations,” and they have no need or way to differentiate such certificates for themselves.

The downside of this is approach is that coal-fired generators (and nuclear for that matter), cannot be affordably run if they have to be shut down every day because there is insufficient demand from the grid for the electricity they would generate during the night. Unlike a wind-farm, coal-fired generated cannot be just “run on idle,” since they need the back-force of generating the electricity to offset the fierce power of their steam-driven turbines. Yet Alinta’s Port Augusta coal fired generators were turned off at night, causing Alinta’s operation to be unprofitable, and therefore to be shut down forever.

Who would support a scheme that caused the former back-bone of the South Australian electricity supply market to be shut down prematurely, causing unemployment in Port Augusta, and for South Australian businesses to consider moving interstate? The South Australian Labor government did and still does.

It is ideological madness to continue with this short-sighted approach, involving undifferentiated “Certificates” that do not distinguish between the “no need” electricity pushed into the grid by wind-power during the night, and the truly “useful” electricity generated by wind-power during the day.

Did the South Australian government know that too much wind-power was already causing disruption to the electricity supply in 2011? Yes. That was when an academic study showed the problems in the supply situation and called for an upgrade to the high voltage inter-connector to Victorian brown-coal backup power, as a way to address the difficulties. (My 2012 comments on this report can be found here.) So the inter-connector was upgraded, which led to even more wind-farms being installed in South Australia. Folly, built upon folly.

Wind-power – a viable Renewable option

The risk to the wind-power project is palpable. Yet wind-farms (and nuclear – but who wants that after Chernobyl & Fukushima?) are the only current viable solution to the need for long-term renewable electricity supply.

Despite the support of the Greens & government funded ARENA, current generation solar is a mickey-mouse solution, only able to supply electricity economically at the household level, not at the grid level, with or without batteries, except during peak periods.

Of the ARENA funded solar projects, only the Genex proposal to use grid-supplied electricity to create pumped-hydro electricity makes sense. This is a Queensland project, a state where there is almost no wind-power, despite the Queensland government dreamland proposal for a rapid uptake of renewable energy.

Grid-supplied electricity, generated overnight and purchased from the grid for about $25 MWh, and sold back to the grid at $275 MWh can make good logical sense, provided the capital cost is not too high. Pumped-hydro will deliver a stable electricity supply. This particularly applies to wind-power, because most wind-power is generated at night, when the wind blows more strongly, but also when it is not needed. By utilizing pumped hydro, “unneeded” electricity can be stored over the whole night and then released during the day. Yet it is not happening. Obviously there needs to be a push to force governments and the wind-farm industry to utilize pumped hydro. This can be achieved just by encouraging the Australian government to tweak the REC scheme.

RECs & a stable electricity supply

(Updated 10 February 2017)

My proposal is that RECs should NOT be counted if the electricity is generated in off-peak periods (10 pm to 7 am). This will allow the market-distorting effect of undifferentiated RECs to be eliminated.

Excluding electricity generated during off-peak periods means that wind-power will not soak up all the available demand during the night. Therefore there will be sufficient demand for base-load generators to keep working all night, and that unnecessary, costly, inefficient, and high carbon-emitting shut-downs and start-ups will be avoided. While it may be too late for Alinta’s Pt Augusta plants to be re-instated, it could allow the remaining Victorian Latrobe Valley generators to keep working until there is sufficient wind + pumped hydro capacity to permit them to be finally and rationally phased out. It could also mean that Engie’s Pelikan Point facility could be kept running.

While the concept outlined here may be a challenge for Greens voters and politicians, they should get on board. It is the only currently viable approach to achieving the higher level of renewable energy generation that they would prefer. At least, if the current REC scheme is continued, they are likely to see the de-industrialization of South Australia, so perhaps they will rejoice over that!

Changes to the REC Targets

(Added 10 February, 2017)

In the Australian system, given the highly politicized nature of the debate on this subject, changes to the REC target are likely to be too difficult to implement. This applies even though such changes would be needed to effectively keep the current arrangements in place. Therefore, it is proposed that no change be made to the REC Targets, but rather that, after this scheme is implemented, renewable energy providers be allow to issue a REC for each 0.625 MWh generated (rather the current arrangement of 1 REC per 1 MWh).

Food Security: PNG Leader

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, welcomed the commitment of fellow APEC Leaders to strengthen food security around the region, that he said will benefit both the people and food producers of Papua New Guinea.

PNG leader on Food Security

The following is an extract from Papua New Guinea News Today.

After APEC Leaders delivered their Lima Declaration this week, the Prime Minister said APEC’s focus on regional food security will not only strengthen economies, but will open up skills training and technical support for Papua New Guinea.

He said food security is a further area of significant concern for APEC Leaders and they are encouraging greater action around the region and in individual countries.

The Prime Minister said, “APEC can address challenges to food security and this has implications for all people in the food supply chain, from farmer to consumer. As part of this, APEC Leaders have instructed our officials to place more emphasis on enhancing food markets, and this includes integrating food producers into domestic and global food supply and value chains. We further agreed that our Governments must do more to reduce food loss and waste, and for Papua New Guinea this is important in the post harvest-phase of production. This is the period after the crop is harvested and before it gets to market, and where food loses can have a serious impact in the incomes of our farmers and food producers.”

The Prime Minister went on to say that climate change and extreme weather pose a major challenge for food production and food security, noting that APEC Leaders have instructed officials in their respective countries to be proactive in dealing with this threat.

He concluded, “Papua New Guinea will participate in projects and technical capacity building programs that will help farmers better protect against climate change.”

Climate Sensitivity – it is not Science

The IPCC has published estimates of climate sensitivity of between 1.5 °C and 4.5 °C, but are unable to provide guidance on the likely actual level, whether it is in the middle of this range, or at either extreme. This is not science!

How can it be refuted (i.e. tested) if the premier organization does not dare make a prediction? Therefore, it is not science, since there is not an explicit statement that can be tested, and if necessary, refuted.

Climate Sensitivity

The expression “climate sensitivity” represents the warming theoretically expected if CO2 doubled from pre-industrial levels.

The use of this expression might have been an attempt to make an indirect proposition more understandable to lay-people. If so, one can say that has been fairly unsuccessful, and I believe it has stifled understanding and debate, rather than encouraged it.

In scientific circles, the effect of GHGs on the atmosphere is expressed more directly as “forcing” calculated as watts per square metre (W/m2). Scientists have calculated that the additional forcing for a doubling of CO2 will be 3.982 W/m2. (At least this part of the argument is reasonably treated as “settled science.”) So, expressing it another way, the IPCC are saying that additional forcing of 3.982 W/m2 is likely to result in an increase in global average temperature somewhere between 1.5 °C and 4.5 °C.

Complicating the use of this expression of “climate sensitivity” is the fact that CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas (GHG). What they actually mean is that any increase of GHGs resulting in a total increase in forcing of 3.982 W/m2 is likely to result in an increase in global average temperature somewhere between 1.5 °C and 4.5 °C.

One might be entitled to say that the definition and implementation of the expression “climate sensitivity” is too complicated to be useful in public debate. I prefer to use a new way of expressing this, referring instead to a “forcing multiplier,” even though it may superficially seem to be more complicated,

Converting the IPCC’s range of climate sensitivity into this new measure, we can say that the IPCC’s imputed estimate of this forcing multiplier would be from 0.38 to 1.13.

Forcing multiplier

Using the “forcing multiplier” we can directly compare forcing and warming.

We know that the additional forcing (since industrialization) from all GHGs has been 3.05 W/m2. Over that period the global average temperature has increased by 0.94 °C (from -0.44 °C to +0.5 °C). This means that the observed forcing multiplier can be simplistically calculated as 0.94 / 3.05 = 0.31. Alternatively, using a more sophisticated calculation, taking into account a number of different variables, and every annual value from 1850 to 2014, we can say that the actual observed forcing multiplier is 0.37.

We can see that the actual observed values for the forcing multiplier are slightly below the bottom end of the IPCC’s imputed range.

Alternatively, we can just say that the observed climate sensitivity is slightly below the bottom end of IPCC’s range for climate sensitivity.

This is a fact, but it is not something you are likely to find in a peer reviewed “climate change” journal.

Scientific difficulties

The major difficulty faced by most climate scientists is that their models predict a forcing multiplier much higher than the actual observed forcing multiplier. Indeed, the empirical data does not confirm their scientific analysis, so their proposition remains in limbo, and effectively “not proven.”

On the other hand, scientific propositions that are supported by the observed data are not being widely canvassed in the scientific literature. (Such propositions do exist, but they quickly disappear from view. Why?)

Currently there are no (accepted) scientific propositions to establish the forcing multiplier where both science and observations meet. We are in limbo on this subject.

We can present this problem graphically. Here we show just how far the IPCC upper range estimate of climate sensitivity (or forcing multiplier) is from the actuals. From direct communications I know that some climate scientists are expecting ocean temperatures to gradually increase, with the equilibrium (higher) temperatures of the ocean taking centuries to be achieved. While temperatures in the ocean are probably lagging the land temperature increases, there is no observable indication in the following chart that such a “catch up” has had any effect so far.

IPCC Climate Sensitivity fallacy
IPCC Forecasts cannot be trusted

On the other hand, those who try to reproduce temperature data without taking into account GHGs will continue to struggle to win the argument. As can be seen, the other variables included here, like the 11 year sun-spot cycle, volcanoes, and El Nino, are not sufficient to explain the long-term trend of an increase in temperatures.


If the forcing multiplier remains around the level of 0.38 per W/m2, the long-term strategy dealing with the likely continuing increase in global average temperature is clear. A steady reduction in CO2 emissions in developed nations (plus China) of about 2% per year is necessary.

If, on the other hand, if the forcing multiplier rises to 1.13 per W/m2, as the IPCC seem to either expect or are not willing to dismiss, more radical action on CO2 will be required.

Yet 165 years of evidence weighs against the wildest of the IPCC estimates. Accepting and acting upon an extreme estimate is likely to lead to extreme political difficulties right across the whole planet. The precautionary principle suggests we should wait for more definite evidence before acting on such unsupported claims.