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It’s getting (increasingly) hot in here, but our response is poor

Research shows that heatwaves are increasing in severity and some say government policy is still woefully inadequate globally, writes Liam Mannix at InDaily.

Heatwaves are increasing in frequency and intensity the world over, an Australian weather researcher has found, with his warnings being run up to the United Nations as it prepares its next climate report.

The work of John Nairn, a pioneering researcher at South Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, is up for inclusion in the next report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As debate grinds on in Doha over a global climate deal, Nairn is warning heatwaves present the most damaging threat to human life. A 2003 heatwave killed 70,000 people in Europe, while in Australia a series of hot days in 2009 resulted in almost 400 fatalities.

Nairn says heatwaves are increasing in severity and government policy is still woefully inadequate globally. While weather reports and government policies continue to focus on maximum temperatures during heatwaves, Nairn says the minimum is actually more important.

Back in the 1950s, the number of days of heatwaves measured … five to six days being more common,” Nairn said. “Now they’re reaching up to about eight or nine days.”

The number of separate heatwave incidents has steadily marched up by between 1-2% each decade since 1960. And general warm spells — prolonged hot periods that do not reach the temperature threshold for heatwaves — have also increased in frequency. ”Warm spells, irrespective of season, were quite strong and particularly the minimum temperature. It doesn’t matter what time of year, we’re seeing runs of warm spells,” he said.

The trend impacts the entire world but is most concentrated in tropical latitudes. ”The research shows … mid-latitude Australia, which is the southern half of the continent, is showing the signal of both increasing warm spells and heatwaves, in all of the parameters — amplitude, frequency and length of heatwaves,” he said.

Nairn’s research finds current definitions of heatwaves are incomplete, leading to ineffective government responses. The Bureau of Meteorology currently defines a heatwave as five consecutive days over 35 degrees, or three days over 40 degrees.

1990 was when the bureau was challenged to give a definition by the media,” Nairn said. “So they went out the back, scrambled around, came up with a relatively quick, tidy definition. Trouble is, when you get a 2009 event come along … it would turn out the minimum temperature is actually the most important temperature.

People need cool nights to recover from the heat of the day, Nairn says. A hot night doesn’t give them a chance to recover, putting their health at risk.

Because heatwaves haven’t been fully understood the bureau hadn’t been able to give the government correct information — which had led to poor outcomes according to Nairn. During the 2009 heatwave “anecdotal evidence was that a high proportion of the hospital admissions came pre-dawn”. ”And that was a pretty clear sign that people had been trying to cope, and they simply hadn’t had enough recovery, and as the next warm day was kicking in they were beginning to fail,” Nairn said.

If you can’t recover from the hot day as you prepare for the next hot day, you’re carrying forward an extra quantum of heat that is going to be another brick in the wall that you’re going to have to deal with. Renal, endocrine and cardiovascular systems in human beings [take] between two and six weeks to adjust to severe changes in temperature.”

*This article was originally published at InDaily

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  • 1
    zac48
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    When will some government, somewhere, have the courage to stop trying to treat the symptoms, of not only global climate change but the destruction of all of earth’s ecosystems, and start treating the disease. The world’s ongoing population explosion is the cause and the “ONLY CAUSE” of the planets problems. Treating pneumonia with some panadol and a good lie down won’t save the patients life, even if it makes the death a little more comfortable. I will not change my lifestyle at all until something realistic is done. Carbon taxes, solar panels or electric cars won’t make one bit of difference. The damage done by the increasing world population far out-ways this sort of short-term ‘repair’. The unbelievable ‘daily’ population increase is overwhelming, and doing more damage than the world can possibly hope to counteract with superficial measures. I think most people are quite aware of this fact, that’s probably why nobody gives a stuff.

  • 2
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    zac48, “I will not change my lifestyle at all until something realistic is done.” So if the government, the one that you want to ‘do something’, orders you to change your lifestyle in order to achieve a realistic difference, will you do as you are told?

  • 3
    zac48
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Hugh (Charlie) McColl, Until the government brings in at least a ‘one child policy’ and demands the rest of the world do likewise, I’m not interested. Anything else that I or anyone else might do, including Gillards ego-tripping carbon tax, is a meaningless,’feelgood’ waste of time.

  • 4
    2dogs
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    And Zac shows us the type of thinking that is required to justify doing nothing, thank you.

  • 5
    2dogs
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    A modern day parable:

    A bushfire had completely ringed, and was threatening to engulf a small town. There was no way to escape and it was decided that, in order to save the town and the lives of the people in it, nearly all the residents would be needed at the fire front to fight the blaze. This would require personal sacrifice and even then there was no guarantee that all the houses in the town would be saved.

    Entertainingly enough there was one group who flat out refused to assist in the fire fighting efforts and, further more, were exceptionally vocal in defending their stance.

    Some of the comments that they made were as follows:
    “Why should I do anything if we cannot mandate that everyone fights the fire?”
    “I do not have the best equipment to fight this blaze, unless someone gives me a water-bombing helicopter I am not going to help anyone”
    “This fire was started by a careless cigarette smoker. Until the government mandates and enforces a ban on smoking in the bush during the fire season why should I help?”

    So those individuals sat in their houses and did nothing but congratulate themselves on how clever they were not to help and barked savagely at anyone who suggested that doing something was better than doing nothing at all.

    It is a shame that they did not consider if they had access to a space ship to transport them to another “town”.

  • 6
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    This memo is to advise Zac48’s application for the DA Vinci PROFESSOR OF THINKING CHAIR is regretfully refused. Suggested additional reading Eddie De Bono.

  • 7
    zac48
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    2dogs…How about this one….There was a town that had grown so fast that eventually it couldn’t feed itself so the city fathers encouraged the community to expand the population faster and faster to provide more and more workers to work in the fields so they could feed all the new children being born. But there weren’t enough paddocks to grow enough food, so the people started going hungry. To solve the problem they decided that everyone should just tighten thier belts and go on a diet. But there was a small group of people who tried to convince the dieters that unless they actually took the hard decision to stop breeding workers the entire town would eventually starve to death. But unfortunately the dieters were so dumb and selfish they decided to take the short-term, easy way out and kept eating less and less in an attempt to keep spreading the food around. Finally the people from the town up the road couldn’t stand the rotten, rancid stench that kept floating on the breeze so they went to check on their neighbours and found a huge pile of dead bodies piled up next to the open, empty fridge.

  • 8
    zut alors
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Global warming will likely cause human natural selection to escalate. The cull will be done by Mother Nature.

    Meantime we continue to fund Costello’s baby bonus…

  • 9
    Paddy Forsayeth
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Zac48: Too true. The global population is essentially out of control. I have often thought that maybe (I haven’t done the figures)if every man on the planet was offered a free vasectomy (if enough “vasectomisers!” it might make a difference. Zut Alors is right…for the last 30 odd years a large slice of the global population has been shielded from natural selection. I think the inevitable response of nature will redress the overpopulation.

  • 10
    Liamj
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Funny, uber-consuming nations (eg. Oz) blame population, while the populous less-post-industrial nations (more justly) blame us.

    Sure we’ll all go together, but there’ll be alot of scapegoating first, and i wouldn’t be a published AGW-denier for quids.

  • 11
    zac48
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    There doesn’t seem to be many people who want to talk about this issue. I suppose after 100’s of thousands of years, next to breathing and eating, reproduction is one of humanities most primal instincts. But the idea that 300 hundred year old Australia, with a population of only 22 million people should be accused of having had some sort of unfair destructive advantage over third world country’s with populations counted in the billions who have had thousands of years to get thier shit together, is outrageous.

  • 12
    2dogs
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Well Zac I actually like my analogy better seeing how it is based more on fact and not this fictitious idea that some how birth rate is connected to carbon emissions and therefore climate change. The problem as I see it, is that it is very easy to see if your theory holds water.

    Lets look at the following data, GDP per capita, Carbon emissions per capita and Birth rate per capita. GDP is measured in US dollars, emissions are rated in metric tones and Birth rate is measured in births per 1000 people. I will also bracket were it stands in a world ranking. Data for birth rate and GDP comes from the CIA fact book and emissions data comes from wikipedia.

    Qatar 98,900(1)-40(1)-10.23(189) Strange?
    Trinidad 20,000(62)-35.8(2)-14.25(141) Still does not fit!
    Luxembourg 80,600(3)-20.4(9)-11.7(165) Wow, way out
    Singapore 59,700(5)-7.0(58)-7.72(219), 219!!

    Ok maybe I have it wrong lets go to countries with the highest birth rate, They will be swimming in pollution right?

    Niger 800(222)-0.1(205)-50.6(1) Well that’s not right
    Uganda 1,200(203)-0.1(208)-47.3(2) Still not high enough
    Mali 1,100(213)-0(214)-45.15(3) Not enough carbon output to even measure, do you feel proud of yourself as you sit in your house while the rest of the town is on fire?

    And somehow you want me to believe that these countries with the highest birthrates and yet shockingly low wealth are capable of producing too much pollution both directly and indirectly through purchasing products is a valid theory? Do you really think that these people, with shockingly low wealth are interested in purchasing petrol to run cars or electricity to heat their over-sized homes? This is the foundation on which you are justifying your inaction and blame on these very people for the current state of climate? Cognitive dissonance is the phrase that comes to mind.

    Oh and let me know how you go building that spaceship.

  • 13
    Paddy Forsayeth
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    2dogs: Your stats are correct in so far as they go. I think Zac was referring to the more populous countries India China and other population blocs whose huge numbers inevitably produce so much pollution and require more resources. Because of the enormous numbers even a small percapita output still results in a high gross output. Conversely Australia has one of the highest per capita outputs but its gross output is globally small. I don’t think that Zac correlated high birth rates with high pollution output. I agree with him that the planet cannot and will not accomodate the huge population of humans at present. Nature will redress this situation if humans won’t.

  • 14
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Undeniably population policies need to be reviewed, but what impact on GHG has the past twenty years of one child policy in China had on their emissions trajectory.
    I would suggest we need to look also at the consumption of the individual in our efforts to live within the resources budget of the planet we have.

  • 15
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Undeniably population policies need to be reviewed, but what impact has the past twenty years of one child policy in China had on their GHG emissions trajectory.
    I would suggest we need to look also at the consumption of the individual in our efforts to live within the resources budget of the planet we have.

  • 16
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    my apologies for the duplication

  • 17
    Apollo
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Hi Mike, nice to see you again. Population does not have to be a problem if civil engineering and mode of productions and transports move to sustainable non-poluting methods.

    Ants are the most populated in the world but their colonies have genius designs.

    There are developments in cold reaction material productions so they don’t have to use too much energy. But even if they use energy for production, there’s already technology to recycle green house emissions for energy, food and fertilizer productions. We only need the will to do it in mass scale and recycle everything. And water, the key source for life can be collected from air moisture, or extracted by recycling or desalination plant when electricity to power them can be harnessed in abundance.

  • 18
    2dogs
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Paddy this is my problem with the entertaining strawman that Zac is proposing, on an article about the spiraling state of the stability of our climate and the potential impact that it is going to have for every living thing on the face of the planet Zac believes that we should do nothing. He would like to somehow link population control with carbon emissions.
    He goes so far as to say that:
    “Until the government brings in at least a ‘one child policy’ and demands the rest of the world do likewise, I’m not interested.”
    which, at the very best, is an entertaining justification for doing nothing considering the potential consequences for the planet in doing nothing.

    Furthermore ask yourself why is it that countries like China have such high emissions in total yet such low GDP per capita, 8,500(98) against countries like America, who have similar emissions total yet much higher GED per capita 49,000(8)? What is going on in China if the people do not have as much money to spend? Is it possible that they are producing goods on a ridiculous scale for richer countries to consume? Is it possible that a major part of the climate mess that we are currently in is directly related to the way in which we consume goods, especially disposable ones, at an individual level rather than birth rate?

    And I still want to see those space ship designs.

  • 19
    Apollo
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    BTW, condolence to the Murdoch family. Dame Murdoch is Australia’s real treasure, and shame on all the kunts who attacked her for expressing her opinion on climate issue.

  • 20
    zac48
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    2dogs, your convoluted logic is not only wrong, but simply dangerous. A country’s per capita wealth has absolutely nothing to do with what we are discussing…Your statement that carbon emissions(pollution) has nothing to do with a country’s per-capita population growth is plainly and obviously absurd. Whether it comes from the increasing use of coal or the flatulence of the increasing number of cattle needed to support the population etc., there will be an increase in the damage done to their environment. Their increasing populations happens within their own borders and only effects their own country but the increasing pollution they produce effects the entire world. An analogy is, If you are burning off rubbish in your own back yard it may well be to your own personal advantage but the resulting smoke and pollution effects the whole neighbourhood. As the population of any country increases the greater the irreparable damage done to their own limited eco-systems which has a direct affect on the worlds environment. A country like India for example, has a “yearly” population growth of approx. the same number of people as the entire population of Australia. As their population and economy grows exponentially, the use of and damage done to their ‘limited’ environment increases exponentially as well. Instead of controlling the size of their own populations, the rationale of these country’s seems to be that when they run out of ‘everything’, not only resources but space, they will simply expand their populations and economies into the rest of the limited world, like a virus, consuming more and more of everything and producing more and more pollution as they expand… China is another example of irresistible population and economic expansion …Referring to my original analogy. Even if some of the dieters consume less food because they’re not as hungry in order to feed other dieters that are more hungry the eventual death of everybody is certain.

  • 21
    2dogs
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I am not denying that population stability will play an important part in the future of this planet but on an article about the instability of global climate and the general lack of action, at a local and global level to address this you insist on doing nothing and proudly pat your self on the back for your justification, clap clap.

    A country’s per capita wealth has absolutely nothing to do with what we are discussing”
    No it has everything to do with what we are discussing especially in relation to the implication that population is a greater driver of climate change than consumerism. So I will ask the question again, why is it that countries like America and China who have such different population and GDP have similar total emissions output? What would you rather, that everyone on the face of the planet consumed like the Chinese or the Americans and why? And for that matter why does China have such high emissions levels?

    By proposing that, if and only if the world go to a one child policy somehow, magically, the worlds emissions problems will be solved, is a simple answer to a complex problem.

    But then again, what would I know, I do not know where the nearest livable planet is and I certainly am not able to build a “boat” to get there. Please share with us your designs.

  • 22
    zac48
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    2dogs.PS..The only people with a spaceship design is the CIA? When they take off, heading for greener pastures to consume and pollute it will leave the rest of us fighting over the last slice of bread, but the more people there are at the party the more fun it will be….Oh, I think Pastor Bob Brown and his Green Space Cadets down in Tasmania are working on their own spaceship made out of environmentally friendly resources but they can’t find any so I don’t think they’re going to finish it in time.

  • 23
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    zac48, OK so design a one-child policy for Australia and show us how to implement it without a dictatorship. If you can’t then do you have a fallback position which is anything different from most government’s one-step-at-a-time?

  • 24
    2dogs
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh Hugh, but I have an even better question for Zac;

    Give us a number Zac, if population is truly the end point for resolving emissions and climate change what does the population of this planet need to be?

    I am truly looking forward to your answer.

  • 25
    zac48
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    For a start, only pay a child bonus to those ‘couples’ who have only one child. If they have two children remove it completely. Single women who have children not only get no child bonus but a reduction in support payments. etc.etc…But any methods that one might think up will be bitterly contested by the treasurers of all political party’s. Our economy runs on a capitalist ‘ponzi scheme’ that depends on an ever increasing population as I pointed out in an earlier post. By keeping increasing the population to support the ever increasing rate of childbirth and population growth keeps our capitalist economy ticking over and afloat. Remember Peter Costello pleading with Australians to have one child for mum, one child for dad and one child for the country. In fact as many children as you can pump out. That’s why the Labor Party aren’t at all fussed about illegal immigration, apart from it’s unpopularity in the community. The more fit, healthy young men Swan can get into the country the better. They will all get jobs and pay more taxes and buy more houses to live in and more cars to drive and more tv’s to watch and more clothes to wear and more food to eat, etc.etc.etc. continually stimulating and building the economy. (it’s called economic growth). I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but we never ever see ‘real’ refugees being welcomed to Australia. The elderly, the sick, the invalided, the children and their mothers, the unemployable etc. They have nothing to offer the economy and would be a drain on the country’s resourses….We are locked into a downward spiralling Keynesian capitalist system from which there is no escape unless there is a dramatic and huge social (peacefull) revolution where every one starts growing their own food in their own back yards, milking their own goats and collecting their own eggs etc. but that would completely disrupt the financial balance and structure of our society and chaos would reign, from banks that couldn’t lend money because nobody would need it, to supermarkets that couldn’t sell any food because nobody would need it, to energy suppliers who couldn’t sell electricity because everyone would have solar panels on their roofs etc.etc.etc. A completely alternative society to the one we know, and being unpractised at it the chaotic transfer would probably end in anarchy. So basically we’re stuffed. The system you know is better than the system you don’t….Anybody got any ideas?

  • 26
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    The article indicated that more people are expiring from the effects of heatwaves and so far the discussion is about population pressures.
    Is it really the population of certain idividuals, (who can be described as the idle rich) who are driving the unsustainable growth needed to pay the interest on their lent capital, that needs to be reduced?
    The borrow, to increase production phenomenon, that includes enough growth to pay off the interest?
    This driver of over consumption and overproduction is antagonistic to sustainability and has been throughout the growth of population over the centuries.
    If only the idle rich just spent their money instead of expectiong to live on their interest then perhaps there will be a susutainable future.
    The inherent destructiveness of the idle rich sysytem is not natural, it is man made.
    Perhaps the meek shall inherit the earth after all the polluting nations collapse under their own greed.
    Obviously one poster is not going to do anything until the idle rich stop being idle, greedy and stupid.
    All those collapsed civiisations around the shores of the ancient Mediterranean who destroyed their environments and actively, religiously sacrificed children to appease the environment gods.
    Yes, let’s try that solution again.

  • 27
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    G’day Apollo;
    Compliments of the season to you and yours!
    I do agree there are technical resolutions to much of what is required but the evidence points to the fact they will not suffice to overcome the problem in its entirety. Zac and others are right, that it has to be a whole of lifestyle approach along with technical innovation.
    When I read of the dessimation of the European Bee in the Northern Hemisphere and anecdotal evidence of its’ depletion here in Australia I awaite anxiously for reports as to the health of our ants. Frogs, a datum point of enviro health, are another species that seem to be under threat.
    Zac 48,If we areb to accomplish and meet our CO2e world budget and avoid our scientist’s least calamitous projections on the Australia or USA current per capita emissions, then we have only a short time to reduce the worlds population to below 2 Billion.
    .

  • 28
    2dogs
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I do agree with you Mike, population is only part of the problem (but an important part I do agree) as the way in which we consume will dictate the upper limit of a sustainable population.

    There is such a wealth of knowledge and innovation in regards to a sustainable lifestyle at the moment. It does give me hope that there is still the chance of redemption, the questions is will individuals and leaders step up to supporting such initiatives. The cold hard fact is that we will all need to reevaluate everything from one off packing material to how we harvest energy and get to work.

    I personally find it quite pathetic when people advocate doing nothing because they want to focus on one component of a much larger, complex problem.

  • 29
    Apollo
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Mike, you too. Boy the year has gone fast.

    Yes, I do agree with you on changing lifestyle. I was going to make a point on consumerism but did not want to risk entering into a conversation on economics and ideology with our fellow commenters so I stopped short.

    I fear it is too late for many species because human are too slow to act. In the past couple of years the rightwingers and their fear merchants have been successful in their campaign and swung the pendulum to the right on this issue. With the latest report and dire warning on this issue, there needs to be strong activism from those who are concerned and put it back on the agenda as a pressing issue, otherwise the merchants of doubt will defeat the cause.

  • 30
    zac48
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately the planets population has exploded past the point of return. Contrary to the facts the ‘experts’ try to propagate, the Earths population had increased to 6 billion people by the year 2000. John Howard encouraged us all to celebrate if you recall. Last year, 2011, it passed 7 billion(only 11 years). We will reach 8 billion people in less than 11 years, and 9 billion in even less than that if left unchallenged because populations expand exponentially(the more people there are, the more baby’s are being born). The planet could have sustained perhaps 3 billion people on an ongoing basis before it had been pillaged, consumed and it’s eco-systems compromised by a population more than double what it can support. The Earth is a living thing and now the damage has been done it would struggle to repair itself and sustain even 2 billion people. According to records the Earths population had been constant at a few hundred million people for tens of thousands of years until the industrial revolution coinciding with the discovery of real hygiene and modern medicines, enabling world populations to rapidly expand. The (Australian) discovery of penicillin has arguably had a greater effect on humanity than any other discovery or invention throughout history, including the moon landing. Before anti-biotics it was normal for people to die from all sorts of things at all ages, from infectious diseases to simple, common things like an infected flesh wound or an infected tooth abscess. These days there is virtually nothing that can’t be cured or at least mitigated thus helping to sustain an already exploding population. There is only one solution, and that is a radical culling of the planets population to a level well below half of what it is today….As a previous poster suggested, Mother Nature will probably take matters into her own hands, even by bringing humanity to the point of self-destruction, which is where we stand today.

  • 31
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Or you could enable all those poor doomed third world people to plant a few trees paid for by the carbon credits.
    But getting rid of the original Australian environment managers does not seem to have worked.
    The previously controlled death tree, the Australian eucalypt, has become an uncontrolled weed, which practically sef-combusts destroying all living things except itself.
    Even William the Batarde had enough sense to put forest wardens into his conservation parks to preserve his hunting from the ravages of drought and fire.
    In good old oz we have, instead, the “wilderness” slander that still pretends a terra nullius.
    If we were serious we would be repearing the damage of the ten thousand year drought(which ended when the rivers started to flow again five thousand years ago) which allowed our carbon rich topsoils to be blown out to sea.
    Look afer newly planted forests, bury not burn the leaf, branch and bark fuel load for tradeable carbon credits.
    Call it geo-engineering or common-sense but do get the populations out of the unsustainable cities, to meekly inherit the neglected earth.
    Just a small alternative to the “culling”.

  • 32
    AR
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Zac48 - just for fun (I’d not expect illumination to liberate you from your hobgoblins, sooo white bread,50’s)try putting some numbers to the population statistics, eg emissions & resource consumption per capita.
    Any number of graphs and pretty picture maps have been done to show the world as it really is, rather than as perceived in your morally/mentally constipated view.
    Think of it as the equivalent of the correction of the olde worlde Mercator world map (originally conceived to stop sailors & soldiers freaking out at the vast distances and insignificance of their home lands compared to the new continents they were visiting and conquering) and the physical reality

  • 33
    zac48
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Hamis Hill….There is absolutely nothing that humanity can do to mitigate the irreparable damage that has been done and continues daily to be done to the planet by 7 billion people. Absolutely nothing at all. At this stage of the ‘game’ you can trade as many carbon credits as you like. You can try to plant as many forests as you like, if you can find the space and the water to feed them and wait untill they grow. It will make no difference to the outcome. Our carbon tax is nothing but a feelgood pipedream. Any benefits at all gained by this sort of insignificant action will be ‘more’ than cancelled out each ‘day’ by the number of baby’s being born into the world over that particular 24 hour period. As unpalatable as it might be, the only hope humanity has of survival is to stop breeding like a self destructing virus ‘right now’. Playing around with ‘any’ other option is simply pissing into the wind and putting off the inevitable.

  • 34
    zac48
    Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    AR, you sound like just another wholegrain brown bread, sandal wearing, handwringing Greenie. Like those people who made the maps of ‘olde’ that declared the Earth to be flat, it seems you have such an emotional investment in your established, already cemented ideal you will never face a new reality. Things Have Changed(Bob Dylan.2012). You’ve obviously got a computer, so check out the veracity of my comments yourself. Offer some positive solutions instead of negative criticism.

  • 35
    blahblahblah
    Posted Saturday, 8 December 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Population reduction _ that sounds really achievable (sarcasm). Down to what level? What will that achieve in terms of CO2 reduction? How long will it take? We have the experience of China’s “one child policy”, maybe someone with the time and math skills can do an analysis and calculate the difference in population size had that policy not been in place, assuming, lets say, an average of 3 children in the absence of such policy.

    But even if by some miracle we manage to stabilize the popula-tion of the planet, how do we then prevent the poor from aspiring to our more affluent lifestyle and consuming more? Simple answer is _ we can’t; we can’t do it practically and we have neither the moral nor the legal right to even try. So striving for global CO2 reductions by switching to low-emission technologies, despite its difficulties _ which are political rather than technological _ is our only realistic option, imho.

  • 36
    Liamj
    Posted Saturday, 8 December 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Zac’s population obsession is a childish rationalisation for business as usual, its like refusing to put the bins out cos theres litter on the beach. But millions of News Corpse parrots can’t be wrong, eh Zac?

  • 37
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Saturday, 8 December 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    The First peoples of this continent survived a ten thousand year drought, as described in “Riverine Response to altered Hydrologic Regimen”, (Can’t quote the author, a visiting North American geologist, who studied the present and prior stream sediments of the Riverina).
    Humanity has always faced the four horsemen of the apocalypse and probably always will, but the untold triumph of the First Australians in surviving that ten thousand years drought, (Even featured in one episodethat Dreamtime cartoon series that was broadcast on the ABC), shows that survival is not impossible.
    By the way, in a hundred years time those seven billion people will be dead, irrespective of climate catastophes.

  • 38
    zac48
    Posted Saturday, 8 December 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Will the last person to leave please turn off the light on thier way out, the power bills are killing me.

  • 39
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Sunday, 9 December 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Zac48;
    Perhaps the powerbill homicidal impacts will save us from the necessity to clone some Idi Amin’s or Goebbells in the furure that your myopic premise suggests.

  • 40
    zac48
    Posted Sunday, 9 December 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Mike Flanagan… My perceptions are based on the willing, self motivated act of preemption and acceptance of personal responsibility, not an arrogant act of mob extermination, eradication or obliteration. Perhaps 100’s of thousands of years of animal instinct might be recognised for what it is, and after such a long period of evolution, mankind, with the help of its own spiritually objective self-awareness and modern medicine might be able to rise above the animalistic urges of uncontrolled procreation, for sake of the survival of both civilisation and the planet earth….Congratulations must be offered to China for acknowledging reality and at least trying to come to terms with it’s own population dilemma. However, I hold little hope for the future because of the grubby self-indulgence of so many other society’s, both east and west.

  • 41
    simpson john
    Posted Monday, 17 December 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I beleive that it is time to give the power back to the professionals as the science actually indicates that the globe stopped warming soon after 2001. That’s probably why they don’t use ‘global warming’ anymore and prefer to use climate change. Say what you will but is there anything wrong with the planet or is it a case of its raining so God is angry at us?

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