Geologists' Debate Sparks Debate

Wed, 2008-08-20 07:16Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Geologists' Debate Sparks Debate

The International Geological Congress in Oslo, Norway this month apparently took a break from struggling with science in favor of hosting a reality TV segment on “climate change debate.”

Characterized by RealClimate. org as “a step backwards towards confusion,” and hailed in the denier community as evidence of open-mindedness, the panel included a grab-bag of international “skeptics” including Dr. Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Centre (“even though he's not a geologist, and said that he didn't understand what he was doing on the panel”).

The arguments, as reported, seemed pretty familiar: it's all about clouds; it's too soon to tell; forecasters can't handle the weather, why would we let them talk about climate? The latter view was put forth by a “Canadian paleoclimatolgist/sedimentary geologist.” (I am on the road, with access to a lame wireless connection that won't deliver the video. If anyone has the patience to sit through it, or to jump to the 43rd minute, Id love to hear who that was.)

There is, once again, an unquenchable enthusiasm in the denier community for “debate” of this kind, rather than the more conventional form of scientific argument, in which scientists must make their case, in writing, before a group of their peers and must stand accountable for the accuracy of their work. People like the Australian Bob Carter, who has no research credits in atmospheric science and therefore no expertise when it comes to criticizing climate models, stand up in a public debate such as this as quotable contrarians, not as literal “experts. Which, to belabour the point, means that this was not science: it was public relations.

And public relations on whose behalf? Ask yourself, who is the biggest employer of geologists - in Norway and the world?


I do not know anything about geology; but I do think the sincere efforts by geologists to provide assurance of a sustainable environment for our children and coming generations are noble ones. Perhaps one way of achieving this most vital of goals could be by changing the unbridled and unsustainable global political economy into an economy that is sustainable?

A Steady-State Economy

A failed growth economy and a steady-state economy are not the same thing; they are the very different alternatives we face.

Herman E. Daly
School of Public Policy
University of Maryland
College Park MD 20742 USA
April 2008

The Earth as a whole is approximately a steady state. Neither the surface nor the mass of the earth is growing or shrinking; the inflow of radiant energy to the Earth is equal to the outflow; and material imports from space are roughly equal to exports (both negligible). None of this means that the earth is static-a great deal of qualitative change can happen inside a steady state, and certainly has happened on Earth. The most important change in recent times has been the enormous growth of one subsystem of the Earth, namely the economy, relative to the total system, the ecosphere. This huge shift from an empty to a full world is truly something new under the sun as historian J. R.
McNeil calls it in his book of that title. The closer the economy approaches the scale of the whole Earth the more it will have to conform to the physical behavior mode of the Earth. That behavior mode is a steady state-a system that permits qualitative development but not aggregate quantitative growth.
Growth is more of the same stuff; development is the same amount of better stuff (or at least different stuff). The remaining natural world no longer is able to provide the sources and sinks for the metabolic throughput necessary to sustain the existing oversized economy-much less a growing one. Economists have focused too much on the economys circulatory system and have neglected to study its digestive tract.
Throughput growth means pushing more of the same food through an ever larger digestive tract; development means eating better food and digesting it more thoroughly. Clearly the economy must conform to the rules of a steady state-seek qualitative development, but stop aggregate quantitative growth. GDP increase conflates these two very different things.
We have lived for 200 years in a growth economy. That makes it hard to imagine what a steady-state economy (SSE) would be like, even though for most of our history mankind has lived in an economy in which
annual growth was negligible. Some think a SSE would mean freezing in the dark under communist tyranny. Some say that huge improvements in technology (energy efficiency, recycling) are so easy that it will make the adjustment fun.
Regardless of whether it will be hard or easy we have to attempt a SSE because we cannot continue growing, and in fact so-called economic growth already has become uneconomic. The growth economy is failing. In other words, the quantitative expansion of the economic subsystem increases environmental and social costs faster than production benefits, making us poorer not richer, at least in highconsumption countries. And even new technology sometimes makes it worse. For example, tetraethyl lead provided the benefit of reducing engine knock, but at the cost spreading a toxic heavy metal into the biosphere; chlorofluorocarbons gave us the benefit of a nontoxic propellant and refrigerant, but at the cost of creating a hole in the ozone layer that protects us from too much ultraviolet radiation. It is hard to know for sure that growth now increases costs faster than benefits since we do not bother to separate costs from benefits in our national accounts.
Instead we lump them together as activity in the calculation of GDP.
Ecological economists have offered empirical evidence that growth is already uneconomic in high consumption countries (see ISEW, GPI, Ecological Footprint, Happy Planet Index). Since neoclassical economists are unable to demonstrate that growth, either in throughput or GDP, is currently making us better off rather than worse off, it is blind arrogance on their part to continue preaching aggregate growth as the solution to our problems. Yes, most of our problems (poverty, unemployment, environmental degradation) would be easier to solve if we were richer that is not the issue. The issue is: Does growth in GDP any longer really make us richer? Or is it now making us poorer?
For poor countries GDP growth still increases welfare, at least if reasonably distributed. The question is, What is the best thing for rich countries to do to help the poor countries? The World Banks answer is that the rich should continue to grow as rapidly as possible to provide markets for the poor and to accumulate capital to invest in poor countries. The steady state answer is that the rich should reduce their throughput growth to free up resources and ecological space for use by
the poor, while focusing their domestic efforts on development, technical and social improvements, that can be freely shared with poor countries.
The classical steady state takes the biophysical dimensions- population and capital stock (all durable producer and consumer goods)- as given and adapts technology and tastes to these objective conditions.
The neoclassical steady state (proportional growth of capital stock and
population) takes tastes and technology as given and adapts by growth in biophysical dimensions, since it considers wants as unlimited, and technology as powerful enough to make the world effectively infinite. At a more profound level the classical view is that man is a creature who must ultimately adapt to the limits of the Creation of which he is a part (finitude, entropy, ecological interdependence). The neoclassical view is that man, the creator, will surpass all limits and remake Creation to suit his subjective individualistic preferences, which are considered the root of all value. In the end economics is religion.
Accepting the necessity of a SSE, along with John Stuart Mill and the other classical economists, let us imagine what it might look like.
First a caution-a steady-state economy is not a failed growth economy.
An airplane is designed for forward motion. If it tries to hover it crashes. It is not fruitful to conceive of a helicopter as an airplane that fails to move forward. It is a different thing designed to hover.
Likewise a steady-state economy is not designed to grow.
Following Mill we might define a SSE as an economy with constant population and constant stock of capital, maintained by a low rate of throughput that is within the regenerative and assimilative capacities of the ecosystem.
This means low birth equal to low death rates, and low production equal to low depreciation rates. Low throughput means high life expectancy for people and high durability for goods. Alternatively, and more operationally, we might define the SSE in terms of a constant flow of throughput at a sustainable (low) level, with population and capital stock free to adjust to whatever size can be maintained by the constant throughput beginning with depletion and ending with pollution.
How could we limit throughput, and thus indirectly limit stocks of capital and people in a SSE? Since depletion is spatially more concentrated than pollution the main controls should be at the depletion or input end.
Raising resource prices at the depletion end will indirectly
limit pollution, and force greater efficiency at all upstream stages of production. A cap-auction-trade system for depletion of basic resources, especially fossil fuels, could accomplish a lot, as could ecological tax reform, about which more later.
If we must stop aggregate growth because it is uneconomic, then how do we deal with poverty in the SSE? The simple answer is by redistribution-by limits to the range of permissible inequality, by a minimum income and a maximum income. What is the proper range of inequality-one that rewards real differences and contributions rather than just multiplying privilege?
Plato thought it was a factor of four.
Universities, civil services and the military seem to manage with a factor of ten to twenty. In the US corporate sector it is over 500. As a first step could we not try to lower the overall range to a factor of, say, one hundred? Remember, we are no longer trying to provide massive incentives to stimulate (uneconomic) growth! Also, since we are not trying to stimulate aggregate growth, we no longer need to spend billions on advertising.
Instead of treating advertising as a tax-deductible cost of production we should tax it heavily as a public nuisance. If economists really believe that the consumer is sovereign then she should be obeyed rather than manipulated, cajoled, badgered, and lied to.
Free trade would not be feasible for a SSE, since its producers would necessarily count many costs to the environment and the future that foreign firms located in growth economies are allowed to ignore. The foreign firms would win in competition, not because they were more efficient, but simply because they did not pay the cost of sustainability.
Regulated international trade under rules that compensated for these differences (compensating tariffs) could exist, as could free trade among nations that were equally committed to sustainability in their domestic cost accounting. One might expect the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO to be working toward such regulations. Instead they vigorously push both free trade and free capital mobility (i.e., deregulation of international commerce). Protecting an efficient national policy of cost internalization is very different from protecting an inefficient firm.
The case for guaranteed mutual benefit in international trade, and hence the reason for leaving it free, is based on Ricardos comparative advantage argument. A country is supposed to produce the goods that it produces more cheaply relative to other goods, than is the case in other
countries. By specializing according to their comparative advantage both trading partners gain, regardless of absolute costs (one country could produce all goods more cheaply, but it would still benefit by specializing in what it produced relatively more cheaply and trading for other goods).
This is logical, but like all logical arguments comparative advantage is based on premises. The key premise is that while capital (and other
factors) moves freely between industries within a nation, it does not move between nations. If capital could move abroad it would have no reason to be content with a mere comparative advantage at home, but would seek absolute advantage-the absolutely lowest cost of production anywhere in the world.
Why not? With free trade the product could be sold anywhere in the world, including the nation the capital just left.
While there are certainly global gains from trade under absolute advantage there is no guarantee of mutual benefit. Some countries could lose.
Now comes the problem. The IMF preaches free trade based on comparative advantage, and has done so for a long time. More recently the IMF has started preaching the gospel of globalization, which, in addition to free trade, means free capital mobility internationally-exactly what comparative advantage forbids! When confronted with this contradiction the IMF waves its hands, suggests that you might be a xenophobe, and changes the subject.
The IMF-WB-WTO contradict themselves in service to the interests of transnational corporations. International capital mobility, coupled with free trade, allows corporations to escape from national regulation in the public interest, playing one nation off against another. Since there is no global government they are in effect uncontrolled. The nearest thing we have to a global government (IMF-WB-WTO) has shown no interest in regulating transnational capital for the common good. Their goal is to help these corporations grow, because growth is presumed good for all-end of story. If the IMF wanted to limit international capital mobility to keep the world safe for comparative advantage, there are several things they could do. They could promote minimum residence times for foreign investment to limit capital flight and speculation; they could propose a small tax on all foreign exchange transactions (Tobin tax); and most of all they could revive Keynes proposal for an international multilateral clearing union that would directly penalize persistent imbalances in current account (both deficit and surplus), and thereby indirectly promote
balance in the compensating capital account, reducing international capital movements.
One problem for the SSE already raised by the demographic transition to a non growing population is that it necessarily results in an increase in the average age of the population-more retirees relative to workers.
Adjustment requires either higher taxes, older retirement age, or reduced retirement pensions. The system is hardly in crisis, but these adjustments are surely needed to achieve sustainability. For many countries net immigration has become a larger source of population growth than natural increase. Immigration may temporarily ease the age structure problem, but the steady-state population requires that births plus in-migrants equal deaths plus out-migrants. It is hard to say which is more politically incorrect, birth limits or immigration limits? Many prefer denial of arithmetic to facing either one.
The SSE will also require a demographic transition in populations of products towards longer-lived, more durable goods, maintained by lower rates of throughput. A population of 1000 cars that last 10 years requires new production of 100 cars per year. If more durable cars are made to last 20 years then we need new production of only 50 cars per year. To see the latter as in improvement requires a change in perspective from emphasizing production as benefit to emphasizing production as a cost of maintenance.
Consider that if we can maintain 1000 cars and the transportation services thereof by replacing only 50 cars per year rather than 100 we are surely better off-the same capital stock yielding the same service with half the throughput. Yet the idea that production is a maintenance cost to be minimized is strange to most economists. One adaptation in this direction is the service contract that leases the service of equipment (ranging from carpets to copying machines), which the lessor/owner maintains, reclaims, and recycles at the end of its useful life.
Although the main thrust of reforms for the SSE is to bring newly scarce and truly rival natural capital and services under the market discipline, we should not overlook the opposite problem, namely, freeing truly non rival goods from their artificial enclosure by the market.
There are some goods that are by nature non rival, and should be freed from illegitimate enclosure by the price system. I refer especially to knowledge.
Knowledge, unlike throughput, is not divided in the sharing, but multiplied.
Once knowledge exists, the opportunity cost of sharing it is zero and its
allocative price should be zero. International development aid should more and more take the form of freely and actively shared knowledge, along with small grants, and less and less the form of large interest-bearing loans.
Sharing knowledge costs little, does not create unrepayable debts, and it increases the productivity of the truly rival and scarce factors of production. Existing knowledge is the most important input to the production of new knowledge, and keeping it artificially scarce and expensive is perverse. Patent monopolies (aka intellectual property
rights) should be given for fewer inventions, and for fewer years.
What would happen to the interest rate in a SSE? Would it not fall to zero without growth? Not likely, because capital would still be scarce, there would still be a positive time preference, and the value of total production may still increase without growth in physical throughput-as a result of qualitative development. Investment in qualitative improvement may yield a value increase out of which interest could be paid. However, the productivity of capital would surely be less without throughput growth, so one would expect low interest rates in a SSE, though not a zero rate.
Would it be possible to have qualitative improvement (e.g.
increasing efficiency) forever, resulting in GDP growth forever? GDP would become ever less material-intensive. Environmentalists would be happy because throughput is not growing; economists would be happy because GDP is growing. I think this should be pushed as far as it will go, but how far that is likely to be? Consider that sectors of the economy generally thought to be more qualitative, such as information technology, turn out on closer inspection to have a substantial physical base, including a number of toxic metals.
Also, if expansion is to be mainly for the sake of the poor it must be comprised of goods the poor need-clothing, shelter, and food on the plate, not ten thousand recipes on the Internet. In addition, as a larger proportion of GDP becomes less material-intensive, the terms of trade between more and less material-intensive goods will move against the less material-intensive, limiting incentive to produce them. Even providers of information services spend most of their income on cars, houses, and trips, rather than the immaterial product of other symbol manipulators.
Can a SSE maintain full employment? A tough question, but in
fairness one must also ask if full employment is achievable in a growth economy driven by free trade, off-shoring practices, easy immigration of cheap labor, and widespread automation? In a SSE maintenance and repair become more important. Being more labor intensive than new production and relatively protected from off-shoring, these services may provide more employment. Yet a more radical rethinking of how people earn income may be required. If automation and off-shoring of jobs increase profits but not wages, then the principle of distributing income through jobs becomes less tenable. A practical solution (in addition to slowing automation and
off-shoring) may be to have wider participation in the ownership of businesses, so that individuals earn income through their share of the business instead of through fulltime employment. Also the gains from technical progress should be taken in the form of more leisure rather than more production-a long expected but under-realized possibility.
What sort of tax system would best fit a SSE? Ecological tax reform, already mentioned, suggests shifting the tax base away from value added (income earned by labor and capital), and on to that to which value is added, namely the throughput flow, preferably at the depletion end (at the mine-mouth or well-head, the point of severance from the ground). Many states have severance taxes. Taxing the origin and narrowest point in the throughput flow, induces more efficient resource use in production as well as consumption, and facilitates monitoring and collection. Taxing what we want less of (depletion and pollution), and ceasing to tax what we want more of (income, value
added) would seem reasonable-as the bumper sticker puts it, tax bads, not goods. The shift could be revenue neutral and gradual. Begin for example by forgoing $x revenue from the worst income tax we have.
Simultaneously collect $x from the best resource severance tax we could devise. Next period get rid of the second worst income tax, and substitute the second best resource tax, etc. Such a policy would raise resource prices and induce efficiency in resource use. The regressivity of such a consumption tax could be offset by spending the proceeds progressively, by the limited range of inequality already mentioned, and by the fact that the mafia and other former income tax cheaters would have to pay it.
Cap-auction-trade systems will also increase government revenue, and auction revenue can be distributed progressively.
Could a SSE support the enormous superstructure of finance built around future growth expectations? Probably not, since interest rates and growth rates would be low. Investment would be mainly for replacement and qualitative improvement. There would likely be a healthy shrinkage of the enormous pyramid of debt that is precariously balanced atop the real economy, threatening to crash. Additionally the SSE could benefit from a move away from our fractional reserve banking system toward 100% reserve requirements.
One hundred percent reserves would put our money supply back under the control of the government rather than the private banking sector. Money would be a true public utility, rather than the by-product of commercial lending and borrowing in pursuit of growth. Under the existing fractional reserve system the money supply expands during a boom, and contracts during a slump, reinforcing the cyclical tendency of the economy. The profit
(seigniorage) from creating (at negligible cost) and being the first to spend new money and receive its full exchange value, would accrue to the public rather than the private sector. The reserve requirement, something the Central Bank manipulates anyway, could be raised from current very low levels gradually to 100%. Commercial banks would make their income by financial intermediation (lending savers money for them) as well as by service charges on checking accounts, rather than by lending at interest money they create out of nothing.
Lending only money that has actually been saved by someone reestablishes the classical balance between abstinence and investment.
This extra discipline in lending and borrowing likely would prevent such debacles as the current sub-prime mortgage crisis. 100% reserves would both stabilize the economy and slow down the Ponzi-like credit leveraging.
A SSE should not have a system of national income accounts, GDP, in which nothing is ever subtracted. Ideally we should have two accounts, one that measures the benefits of physical growth in scale, and one that measures the costs of that growth. Our policy should be to stop growing where marginal costs equal marginal benefits. Or if we want to maintain the single national income concept we should adopt Nobel laureate economist J.
R. Hicks concept of income, namely, the maximum amount that a community can consume in a year, and still be able to produce and consume the same amount next year. In other words, income is the maximum that can be consumed while keeping productive capacity 10
(capital) intact. Any consumption of capital, manmade or natural, must be subtracted in the calculation of income. Also we must stop the asymmetry of adding to GDP the production of anti-bads without first having subtracted the generation of the bads that made the anti-bads necessary. Note that Hicks conception of income is sustainable by definition. National accounts in a sustainable economy should try to approximate Hicksian income and abandon GDP. Correcting GDP to measure income is less ambitious than converting it into a measure of welfare, discussed earlier.
The logic of the SSE is reinforced by the recent finding of economists and psychologists that the correlation between absolute income and happiness extends only up to some threshold of sufficiency, and beyond that point only relative income influences self-evaluated happiness. This result seems to hold both for cross-section data (comparing rich to poor countries at a given date), and for time series (comparing a single country before and after significant growth in income). Growth cannot increase everyones relative income. The welfare gain of people whose relative income increases as a result of further growth would be offset by the loss of others whose relative income falls.
And if everyones income increases proportionally, no ones relative income would rise and no one would feel happier. Growth becomes like an arms race in which the two sides cancel each others gains. A happy corollary is that for societies that have reached sufficiency, moving to a SSE may cost little in terms of forgone happiness. The political impossibility of a SSE may be less impossible than it previously appeared.

Was it REALLY necessary to copy and paste the whole thing into there? Ever heard of this amazing invention called a 'hyperlink'?

Richard, your link to the video is busted; looks like you spilled some copypasta.

(Note: If the above from steven is relevant or makes any sense, it misses me.)

Geologists have nothing to do with climate, except for a few involved in paleo-climatology, which doesn't relate much to AGW. Why don't a panel of dentists address climate change?

In the Sep 08 issue some paleontologists have dug up a bunch of 8,000 year old corpses in Niger.
Among the bones are fish, turtles, hippos, antelope,crocodiles, clams, giraffe - all sorts of animals that don't belong in a desert.
What they found was evidence of the Green Sahara - a climate change that caused the monsoon rains to shift north creating a lush watershed roughly the size of the United States across the deserts stretching from Egypt to Mauritania.
Now what part of that discovery could have happened without a geologist?
None of it.
You might ask yourself "What was the climate like 8000 years ago?", but without a geologist you would never get an answer.
You could try and ask Bob Carter.
Ah but Desmog went and queered that deal by backsassing Prof Bob and his whole profession.
So you are stuck with me. Luckily I have the answer.
8000 years ago was the Holocene Optimum and it was friggin hot. Hotter then the Medieval Optimum and way hotter then the pipsqueek global warming we got now. In fact the trend line from then to now is a decline of about 0.25° per thousand years. That's long term global cooling.

Many scientists would suggest that Geologists have a much better grasp of the topic than climatoligists.

A Much broader view.

A few geologists might be silly enough to think they know more about climatology than climatologists. But most scientists do not have rocks in their heads.

No - but they generally have their heads in the clouds

Do you all really want to pick a fight with geologists on their relevance to global climate studies??? Not a bright move considering: 1) you need the context that the study of climate and environment through Earth history provides in order to make compelling arguments; and 2) you need people who actually understand long-term (read: GEOLOGIC time) variation in Earth systems and why current events are different, which is vitally important b/c neither the deniers nor the 'modern crowd' have demonstrated a firm grasp.

The fact that many geologists are employed by the petroleum industry is irrelevant. By the sound of it, the event in Norway was made possible through a sponsorship deal and you can rest assured that most geologists working for the industry are not in blind to the current state of the world regardless of what the big business types say. Modern society, both the good and bad, is made possible by geologists simply through the procurement of nearly all resources and we're going to be part of the solution going forward, one way or another.

It is not my intent to pick a fight with "geologists" - only with semi-honest industry spokesters like Bob Carter. Here is someone who you would commend for his understanding of "geologic time" who nevertheless decrees that a seven-year flatlining of temperatures indicates a reliable cooling trend for the whole world. Conscientious geologists (whom I suspect are in the majority) must cringe.

Eight years of warming was enough for Jimmy Hansen to start hoohawing congress that the world would end in human induced co2 hellfire.
Likewise eight years of cooling is enough for Bob Carter (and sane people in general) to start calling Hansen an opportunistic crank.
That's the co2 measurement from NOAA. As is plain to see, atmospheric co2 content has risen about 20 parts per million over the last 8 years with no corresponding rise in temperature.
Bob's batting a better average then Jimmy.

Little Jimmy Hansen needs to get back on his teeter totter with little Big Al and play some tipping games so we don't have to listen to any more of their nonsense.
OK little Jimmy sweetie?

By showing verifiable FACTS (not virtual reality) about climate trends over melenia, Bob makes a very convincing argument that the little warm spell we had at the end of the last century was nothing unusual at all.

James Hanses on the other hand must use fudged models and fudged data to illistrate his fanciful cliamte dream.

"By showing verifiable FACTS (not virtual reality) about climate trends over melenia"

What? The only thing Carter did was to take two data points, draw a straight line, and call it a "trend".

But of course, Gary's going to totally ignore

(1) all the temperature records before 1998; and
(2) all the temperature records between 1998 and 2007; and
(3) heck, all the temperature records,

so that he can make the "case" that the global warming theory hinges on nothing but what he claims as "fudged" models.

Obviously, if you ignore all the evidence of AGW, then there's no evidence of AGW! Yeah, how shocking!

Sign the "Sue Us" Petition!
Urge Monckton et al. to sue Gore as promised!

Awww boo hoo - Gary isn't paying attention to the opportunist crank's constantly moving pre 1998 temp record.
When Hansen finds a pre 1998 thermometer reading that isn't subject to capricious adjustments, then come talk to me.

GISS and it's weather bureau derivatives are gov agencies in desperate need of an ego enema. Hansens been there too long. Get rid of him.

Before you start squacking think about it a minute. No man is irreplacible. If AGW is real then it doesn't matter who reads off the numbers.
That shameless zealot has become a hinderance to real science. Ten years past his shelf life, Hansen makes you fiscal socialists look like a death cult, grasping at the last plausible straw available to install your collectivist will to power.
If you truly think AGW is the problem you portray it as, then you would recognize that the issue is bigger than that tin dictator's ego.
You have to weigh the good of the planet versus loyalty to a self important pettifog.

"opportunist crank"

"shameless zealot"

"tin dictator"

"self important pettifog"

Wow, against such witticisms and the overwhelming weight of your own scientific expertise - so eloquently expressed here - Hansen must even now be packing his bags, sticking the Nobel scroll in the drawer and a lifetime of Nature articles in the round file.

Devastating, James. Just devastating. 

Devestatingly accurate.

Another parry. I marvel.

On the basis of what, particularly?

Fern Mackenzie

"Conscientious geologists (whom I suspect are in the majority) must cringe."

Richard, among a couple of dozen geologists who I know well, only one (yes ONE) believes that AGM is significant - much less a threat. I guess that I should seek out more conscientious friends - perhaps a few self-proclaimed climatologists like Hansen who don't mind fudging data to get the results they want. Then I could stop cringing.

BTW, geologists (I prefer the broader term "earth scientists") have been directly concerned with climate for about 150 years. Climatology has only been recognized as a distinct discipline for a couple of generations, which explains why some of the older warmists who identify themselves as climatologists have degrees in oceanography, astronomy, physics or whatever. I don't know of any who were educated in the relevant disciplines of meteorology or geology but, perhaps you can name a couple.

AGM ? Blah. AGW of course. I do that so often. Freudian? Not likely as I'm not a great attender of meetings. Maybe if I lock the M key ...


It's amazing what qualifies for a tax break in Australia these days.

The climate science misinformation promotion unit at the Institute of Public Affairs, a Melbourne-based “free market” think tank, are currently passing the hat around to raise cash to publish a book on climate change.

The IPA has been pushing and promoting climate science denial since the...

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