Not quite so Mr. Vidal

When, on Monday morning in Peru, 4,000 diplomats from the world’s 196 countries start their mammoth session to negotiate a new legally-binding global climate deal, they will know they are in the last chance saloon. COP 20 in Lima is the last full meeting before Paris in a year’s time, when the deal is due to be signed. If countries cannot bury most of their differences on the major issues by Friday week, then the chances of a meaningful agreement next year are slim.

The result of failure would be that developing countries are condemned to unchecked climate change for another generation, and the UN process which relies on consensus to get results is fatally undermined.

Not really, no.

Whether climate change continues unchecked or not depends upon what we 7 billion human beings do. And changing what we 7 billion humans beings do is rather more dificult than enacting some “legally binding” treaty full of vaporous emissions and hot air.

This is the statist delusion in full flight. If we just pass a law then everything will happen. Works so well when we try to ban drugs or shagging for money, doesn’t it? And why would anyone think that it will work with people trying to keep warm on a winter night?

18 thoughts on “Not quite so Mr. Vidal”

  1. It’s a shame they don’t use the conference to agree on a global carbon tax, then no country would be at a competitive disadvantage.

  2. bloke (not) in spain

    “What do you get when you combine a periodic variation with an underlying increasing trend?”
    A good way of selling bull-shit.

  3. Matthew L

    “Ljh: What do you get when you combine a periodic variation with an underlying increasing trend?”

    What you get is not one single accurate forecast (from 10-15 years ago) having been delivered – and upon which the whole scientific “consensus”, and “action to be taken” (to avoid “C”AGW), was based.

  4. “Ljh: What do you get when you combine a periodic variation with an underlying increasing trend?”

    Depends on what length of time you have chosen as both your period and that used to estimate the trend.

    Over a thousand year span, for example, things look a bit more complicated.

  5. ‘Whether climate change continues unchecked or not depends upon what we 7 billion human beings do’
    Bollocks. It’s been changing for +3.5 billion years all on its own.

  6. I am reminded of the way Dubya was blamed for rejecting the Kyoto Protocol. Clinton signed it, but Congress rejected it, so he was not authorised to do so. He signed it anyway. Much celebration, even though his signature was meaningless, as it couldn’t be enforced in the US. Bush merely pointed out that Congress had rejected it years earlier, and for this was blamed for making some sort of change. It was never about the law (there was none) or its effect. It was all about the signature.

    It is interesting to me that the people who claim to be all sciency about this are the same ones who believe that you can change the world’s climate with signatures.

  7. If ISIS want a high-profile target for their (imaginary) dirty bomb–then that fucking green freak-show would be ideal. Even if the radioactive micro-aggression had zero effect on them the word ~~”radiation” would cause them all to expire from eco-placebo induced fright.

  8. The world warmed from 1977 to 1997. It hasn’t warmed since.
    What did mankind do to stop it?
    We held a long series of conferences in exotic locations for politicians and others to attend (all expenses generously paid).
    Perhaps the conferences themselves have been stabilising the climate, in which case we need to keep having them. Hence we do not want an agreement for that might end the conferences.
    Far fetched? Yes, but at least it correlates with the observed facts, which is more than can be said for any prediction coming from the IPCC.

  9. bloke (not) in spain

    What gets me about the gerbil worming fruitcakes is they’re such bloody hopeless tacticians.
    Look, they called the Great Global Warming Horror back when? 70s or so? It played well for a bit because temperatures were indeed rising. But they’ve plateaued for the last 18 years?
    The shrewd move would have been, around the 10 year mark when it was obvious it wasn’t a transient phenomenon, to have done a “Whoops, we may have made a slight boo-boo here. We’d better go back, check our sums.” Kept schtum for a while & then, if the temperatures started to creep back up they could return to the stage with “Yep. We checked our sums & the math & the evidence says the Gerbils are indeed Worming.”
    Worst they lose is a decade or so or “action on global warming”. In the long run, hardly make any odds
    The way they’ve played it, they’re in danger of destroying all credibility. Whatever happens, whatever they say they’ve probably set back any prospect of a global consensus a lot more than a decade. Possibly scotched it altogether.

  10. Whether climate change continues unchecked or not depends upon what we 7 billion human beings do
    I take that to suggest we prematurely end the current Holocene warm period. To do that we need to end the 100,000 year cycle by vaporizing Jupiter and Saturn. Doable, but it’s going to cost.

  11. “The result of failure would be that developing countries are condemned to unchecked climate change for another generation”

    Phew, glad I live in the developed world. I didn’t know climate change was so GDP-sensitive…

  12. A few months ago that 18 years was 16 years, just as an observation. I wonder how long it’ll be in a year.

    The real answer of course is that because of natural variation you can show a “pause” if you’re careful about picking your end-points. If, on the other hand, you stick to reality:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics/Escalator_2012_500.gif

    I didn’t know climate change was so GDP-sensitive…

    It’s not, but the ability to adapt to it is.

  13. Matthew L

    “A few months ago that 18 years was 16 years, just as an observation. I wonder how long it’ll be in a year.”

    There is no picking of end points – I think you may have missed how it is calculated?

    As I understand it, and you experts can correct me if I am wrong:

    As of today, how far back can one go before that best correlated line describes an up trend (to today). Ie, whilst not an up trend, there has been no increase over that period. There is no cherry picking – other than picking “today” at this end of the series!

    Hence, yes, if temperatures drop over the next few months, then that 18 years could easily increase more than those few months, depending on what the data looked like?

    And yes, FWIW, I totally understand the step change argument, but of course 10-15 years ago “C”AGW (and all the supporting models) wasn’t predicated on any pause…

    And if there is no C in CAGW, then the “disaster cost” of that economics equation somewhat changes.

  14. The claim that the cessation of warming is a pause that can be accommodated by the models is based on a circular and contradictory argument. You start with the assumption that temperatures are going to increase as dramatically as you said they would, then you can point to the recent lack of increase and call it a “pause” and show how it fits in with the long-term trend. Bit it only fits in with the long-term trend based on an end date way way in the future and a future hypothetical temperature based on the models that predicted there would be no pause.

    What scientists do when they make a prediction that is then repeatedly and consistently disproven by the real world is change their hypothesis. What climatologists do is stubbornly insist that their demonstrably wrong prediction was actually correct because it didn’t really mean what it unequivocally meant.

    Feynman must be spinning in his grave.

    (Incidentally, I believe the current cessation probably is a pause, but that’s just a guess. Until temperatures actually increase again, it’s a cessation. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be a peak.)

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