Democracy….So Long As You Vote For The “Good People”

©Reuters/Sukree Sukplang

The Thai military threaten to remove a democratically elected government if it doesn’t suit them:

“The ruling Democrats have been rattled by Miss Yingluck’s rise. Mr Abhisit, a youthful 47 himself, began the race more-or-less even with Pheu Thai.

Gen Prayuth Chan-ochan, the army chief, has signalled the powerful military may yet step into to prevent the opposition from assuming power. He urged voters to choose the “good people” and “make our country and our monarchy safe”. It was a thinly veiled dig at Mr Thaksin and Ms Yingluck.”

Thai general election upended by Thaksin Shinawatra sister

At heart of Thai election, a fugitive rallies

The Future Of Thailand’s Red Shirts

Thai Troops Fire At Pro-Democracy Protesters

A Geological Perspective On Climate Change

Click image for link

This has got to be the most sensible, eloquent and professional article I’ve seen for a long time. It makes me feel proud to be an archaeologist — and feel fortunate that my father is a geologist.

It saddens me that we are living in a time of extreme and fanatical arrogance, partly based on a lack of understanding, humility and awe regarding the wonderful creation, planet Earth.

Simply said, take away the research $$$ gravy train and politicians just wanting to stay in power and that don’t have the guts to say “NO!” and all this foolishness would dry up in no time.

I just hope the economy is not laid to waste by those self-righteous and thoughtless politicians like Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan.

UPDATE 12/6/11: “Beware the arrogance of human time versus geological time.” ~ John Meath


The natural history of climate change


By Ian Plimer

Some of us underpin our environmentalism with political and romantic idealism, others underpin it with emotion, others have a religious view of the environment, some underpin their environmental view with economic pragmatism and many, like me, try to acquire an integrated scientific understanding of the environment. An integrated scientific view involves a holistic view of the Earth and considers life, ice sheets, oceans, atmosphere, rocks and extraterrestrial phenomena which influence our planet.

Geology is about time, changes to our environment over time and the evolution of our planet. Geology is the only way to integrate all aspects of the environment. Past climate changes, sea level changes and catastrophes are written in stone.

Time is a beautiful but misunderstood four-letter word. Most of us can’t fathom the huge numbers that geologists and astronomers use, hence most of the community has little knowledge of geology. History and archaeology are rarely integrated with natural geological events. There is little or no geological, archaeological and historical input into discussions about climate change.

It is little wonder then that catastrophist views of the future of the planet fall on fertile pastures. The history of time shows us that depopulation, social disruption, extinctions, disease and catastrophic droughts take place in cold times and in warm times life blossoms and economies boom.

Climate has always changed. It always has and always will. Sea level has always changed. Ice sheets come and go. Life always changes. Extinctions of life are normal. Planet Earth is dynamic and evolving. Climate changes are cyclical and random. Through the eyes of a geologist, I would be really concerned if there were no change to Earth over time. In the light of large rapid natural climate changes, just how much do humans really change climate?

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Recap Of Negative Feedbacks

According to Prof. Richard Lindzen, the actual variations in the Earth’s climate, in contrast to variations in current climate General Circulation Models (GCMs), are dominated by strong net negative feedbacks. Climate sensitivity is on the order of 0.5 deg. C warming for each doubling of CO2, compared with the IPCC’s value in the range of 2 – 4.5˚C. Consequently, and to paraphrase Lindzen, any such warming that may arise from increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) would result in a surface temperature change on the order of 1 deg. C or less, which would be indistinguishable from the fluctuations that occur naturally from the myriad processes internal to the climate system itself.

To go a step further in such paraphrasing, while others such as Dr. Roy Spencer tend to agree that the real climate system is far less sensitive to CO2 than IPCC climate models predict, he also argues that there is no way to distinguish anthropogenic warming of a very sensitive climate system from natural warming within an insensitive one. Not with our current temperature data and satellite-based observations. Meaning climate scientists could be misinterpreting natural climate change as manmade.


Do Negative Feedbacks Dominate The Earth’s Climate System?

If negative feedbacks dominate, then AGW theory (which attributes the current warming to well-mixed anthropogenic greenhouse gases) is ill founded. AGW depends upon the strength of these (+ or -) feedbacks, and negative feedbacks would essentially dampen out the AGW components of any natural global warming cycles. So far, there has been no sign of a “runaway greenhouse effect”, as theorised, where positive feedbacks lead to the evaporation of all greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

As far as the Earth’s radiation budget is concerned, there is no evidence that positive feedbacks dominate the earth’s climate system—not anything we can measure realistically and accurately. (Note: when climatologists refer to “positive feedback” they really mean “weak negative feedback”, to use electrical engineering terms.) However, there is some evidence that negative feedbacks dominate. For example, oceans could act as negatives feedbacks, as determined by cloud and water vapour, and plants in response to increases in CO2.

31 July, 2010


“Keep in mind that “feedback” in the climate system is more of a conceptual construct. It isn’t something we can measure directly with an instrument, like temperature. But the feedback concept is useful because we are pretty sure that elements of the climate system (e.g. clouds) WILL change in response to any radiative imbalance imposed upon the system, and those changes will either AMPLIFY or REDUCE the temperature changes resulting from the initial imbalance. (While it might not be exactly the same kind of feedback electrical engineers deal with, there is currently no better term to describe the process…a process which we know must be occurring, and must be understood in order to better predict human-caused global warming.)

More than any other factor, feedbacks will determine whether anthropogenic global warming is something we need to worry about.”

‘UPDATE: Further Evidence of Low Climate Sensitivity from NASA’s Aqua Satellite’

‘Earth itself is telling us there’s nothing to worry about in doubled, or even quadrupled  atmospheric CO2’’s-nothing-to-worry-about-in-doubled-or-even-quadrupled-atmospheric-co2/

‘Do Negative Feedbacks Dominate The Earth’s Climate System?’

‘Lindzen on negative climate feedback’

(Last modified June 6, 2011)