Lukewarming – A Consensus on Global Warming?

I have blogged on global warming in Jan 2016 and continue to follow the subject with interest. So I was very interested to hear what Viscount Ridley had top say in his lecture to The Royal Society on 17th October. The full text is here, and I strongly encourage you to real all of it.

The central thesis of his talk is that Global Warming can be real but not dangerous, saying:

Suppose they do indeed experience carbon dioxide levels of 600 parts per million or more, but do not experience dangerous global warming, or more extreme weather, just a mild and decelerating increase in global average temperatures, especially at high latitudes, at night and in winter, accompanied by spectacular global greening and less water stress for both people and crops.

He does not even mention “the pause” in global warming – no increase in global temperatures from 1998 to 2016. Instead he says:

I am not claiming that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas; it is.

I am not saying that its concentration in the atmosphere is not increasing; it is.

I am not saying the main cause of that increase is not the burning of fossil fuels; it is.

I am not saying the climate does not change; it does.

I am not saying that the atmosphere is not warmer today than it was 50 or 100 years ago; it is.

And I am not saying that carbon dioxide emissions are not likely to have caused some (probably more than half) of the warming since 1950.

The implications for energy policy are huge.

Also, I was delighted to find a piece of relevant science that was completely new to me. CO2 is proposed to have a direct effect and an indirect effect in raising global temperatures. Matt Ridley accepts the former and reject the latter. There is supposed to be threefold amplification of carbon dioxide’s warming potential, principally by extra water vapour released into the atmosphere by a warming ocean, and accumulating at high altitudes. However, NASA’s CERES data shows that there is a strong and significant, negative correlation: that higher temperatures lead to more cloud cooling.

There is so much more in this article, and I hope you will take the time to read it.

New Zealand Rugby – Crisis?

The BBC has today posted an article asking if New Zealand Rugby is in crisis? The BBC asserts that “these are dark times for New Zealand’s national sport, that has become mired in scandal”. This will be news to rugby fans in New Zealand, which is to say most of the nation.

The immediate spur for this article is presumably the recent release of video footage showing the starting All Black scrum half, Aaron Smith, entering a toilet cubicle with a woman who was not his partner.

They back this up by citing three other possible indiscretions:

  1. Members of a Super Rugby club, The Chiefs, were accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a club function.
  2. A teenager with the Wellington Lions was accused of assaulting four people.
  3. A former All Black, Dan Carter, is accused of failing a drugs test.

In none of these three cases has anyone been found guilty. The first two are history now, and Dan Carter denies the charge and will defend himself at a forthcoming hearing.

The BBC went on to say that it ” has asked New Zealand Rugby (NZR) how it maintains discipline and ensures that players remain role models”, noting sniffily that “NZR has yet to fully respond to our inquiry”. I very much doubt if NZR have any intention of indulging journalism as desperate as this.

Maybe there will be lots more of this leading up to The British & Irish Lions tour here next year, and through to the next World Cup. Because, just now, there is no sign of anything on the field of play that is going to upset this imperious All Blacks squad.

Or, maybe it was just a [very] slow news day in the UK.


Local Elections – Results

The results of the local elections here in New Zealand are in, and . . . Not much really. I asked a few people at a barbecue last night and they were unanimously uninterested. One thing they did share with me was that directly electing members of the Health Board was a nonsense. Over such a huge area, and with candidates running without party labels, voters have virtually no information to inform their vote.

Scanning the demographics of the mayoral election results did surprise me. Out of 67 Mayors, district council Chief Executives, elected there were:

48 White male.

13 White female.

3 Result not yet in.

3 Other.

Judging from the names and mug shots the three other were, all male, and; 1 Indian, 1 Chinese, 1 Maori.

I’m not sure what to make of that. Maybe the non-white population have more sense than to spend their time in local politics?

Oh, and there is a consensus on the main challenge facing these mayors, which will be familiar to UK electors. It is . . . the availability of affordable housing.