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The End is Nigh. In other news

We were admonished on the blog by “Otway1” for our “seemingly deliberate scientific ignorance” because “[t]he evidence for anthropogenic (manmade) global warming driving climate change is overwhelming.”

I asked him for “one measured signal that suggests global warming is a problem.”

He replied that he was “spoilt for choice but try this one: NASA tells us Antarctica and Greenland are now losing ice 6 times faster than they did 40 years ago” and “that if all the land ice melted it would raise sea levels, not "by a few cm at top" … but over 60 metres”.

It’s true that earlier this year NASA headlined a press release, “Greenland, Antarctica Melting Six Times Faster Than in the 1990s”.

Let's start with the economic calculation behind the headline.

Politicians love to scare. It makes them important and enables them to take more money and greater control. Scientists love to scare: it makes for bigger budgets and increased research. And journalists love to scare: it grabs readers and hence advertising dollars.

The actual truth is that the ice loss is not news. And certainly is nothing to be alarmed about.

As my ten year old explains: of course ice is melting, we are coming out of one of Earth's many ice ages. Twenty thousand years ago our backyard was a glacier. It's now grass.

Ice Ages come and go: there’s no news or alarm in that. And yes, sea levels likewise rise and fall. Twenty thousand years ago the South and North Islands were joined.

The melt is not a straight line. For example, we had the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, all well before industrialisation.

Over the last 20,000 years the ice has accreted and diminished many times over and often in different directions in different parts of the world.

Ice Melting is not a signal that global warming is a problem.

But maybe the melting six times faster than 30 years ago is cause for alarm? Nope. It wasn’t melting much 30 years ago and six times "not much" is still "not much".

The NASA Press Release gives the numbers:

The team calculated that the two ice sheets together lost 81 billion tons per year in the 1990s, compared with 475 billion tons of ice per year in the 2010s - a sixfold increase. All total, Greenland and Antarctica have lost 6.4 trillion tons of ice since the 1990s.

My ten year old said that sounds a lot but thought some more and asked how much ice in total?

She and I did the sums.

“Otway1” tells us that all the Antarctic ice melting would raise sea levels 60 metres. That’s close enough to the best estimates.

The NASA Press Release explains the consequence of losing 6.4 trillion tons over 30 years:

The resulting meltwater boosted global sea levels by 0.7 inches (17.8 millimeters).

My ten year old did the arithmetic: so over 30 years Greenland and Antarctica have lost three hundredth of one percent of their total ice?


As best as we can estimate it.

That's 17.8 mm as a percentage of 60 m.

It's a nothing. It's certainly not a signal of anything out of the ordinary.

This one example illustrates how the government-science-media monster works: scary headlines that a ten year old can work out but endlessly repeated as true at school and in the media until we uncritically accept it as true.

That's how propaganda works.

And sadly that's what much of our news, our science and our government has become.

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70 comentários

27 de jun. de 2021

I have written three 'Comments' to answer some of the scientific ignorance exposed in and following Rodney's criticism of my earlier comment on his post, but none appear to have been 'published'. In the hope this may get through, I'll make one last plea to Rodney and his disciples to forget their conspiracy theories regarding scientific warnings of the many hazards climate change will bring.. Learn and stick to the actual FACTs before your fake news undermines the party - just as Michael Bassett and Don Brash have done in publicising New Zealand's early colonial history and the importance of balance. All new Zealanders should hear that.

Otway1. .


27 de jun. de 2021

To Guest#caf: Garbage.


24 de jun. de 2021

Since I've been away my iPhone has been swamped by at least 60 misguided comments aimed at me from respondents in Bassett,Barsh& Hide. It would be impossible to respond to each one so I'll use Rodney's "The end is nigh. And other news" as an example of some of the typical misunderstandings on climate change and rising sea levels.

First, the ice is not melting just because we're coming out of the ice age that he (correctly) inferred was at its height 20,000 years ago: Earth came out of the ice age about 12,000 years ago. Instead, the 19th century saw the end of the "Little ice age" - just as the industrial revolution was firing up - and there…

25 de jun. de 2021
Respondendo a

To carry on from where I left off at 3am this morning after being reunited with my computer: In terms of "alarmism", there is absolutely no alarm - just grave concern about the delay in taking action as the tipping point approaches. Once that passes, mankind will be no longer able to prevent damaging climate change from intensifying, only the opportunity, if we all work together, to slow down the rate of change. - with lots of luck.

In other words, it has become a moral question: Do we really care more about our own easy life as we bask in our warm winter temperatures or about our descendants very existence? Yes, believe it or not, it has actually come…


23 de jun. de 2021

I notice that many of the CC protagonists are heavy on effect and very light on cause. There is an active volcano under the Antarctic which is driving most of the melt, not really much to do with mankind is it?

Gerald Stewart
Gerald Stewart
30 de jun. de 2021
Respondendo a

Not to mention that there are 900,000 seafloor volcanoes/hydrothermal vents.

I wonder how we can fix that problem ? Nine Hundred Thousand water heaters.

I know --- throw more westerners tax payers money at it ---


In real time, TOP all the ships on the water BOTTOM - planes in the air Somehow my Ute is a problem.

But is our carbon footprint actually? In the Jurassic period atmospheric carbon content was 30 times more than now. Flora the dinosaurs lived on were huge and thriving.

Lefties have no idea. Upper crust who buy utes, will still buy them.

Farmers, contractors, transport companies, reps ETC will still buy, the cost covered by increases in produce, paid for by?

... The lower class, the lefties.

The rich electric car buyers get discount which most goes to govt coffers, lefties have no comprehension of COST price and RETAIL


Gerald Stewart
Gerald Stewart
22 de jun. de 2021
Respondendo a


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