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« Opengate - Josh 158 | Main | Is there an environment conference on the way? »

Planet under pressure

Lots of BH regulars are at the "Planet Under Pressure" conference in London today. There is a live video stream here if you can bear it.

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Reader Comments (45)

toe-curling? what did they say?

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

live stream.. Mann et al 2003 hockey stick just shown..

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Antartica 'appears' to be losing mass...

I thought it had gained 1% since the 70's

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

if we take a high warming scenario.. worst case..

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

we've past the Artic Ice tipping point....

only one so far.. this is the critical decade, running out of time...

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

the most depressing video made by young people I have ever seen ;(

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Bob Watson speaking in a few minutes and will stefan

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Bob Watson

We need to act NOW

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Bob Watson... We've got to get the governance structure right......

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

the oceans are coming more acidic...

by the end of the cenrury, oceans will be corrosive...

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

by the end of the cenrury, oceans will be corrosive...

Laughed myself off my chair!

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

When is a tipping point not a tipping point?

When it is the Arctic sea ice!

A tipping point is meant to be a major change from one physical state to another. For the Arctic that means a state when it has sea ice to another state when it does not have any sea ice.

We know that recent waxing and waning of sea ice extent and thickness at the Arctic is a regional phenomenon. It is not being replicated in the Antarctic. We also are beginnning to realise that Arctic was probably free of ice in summer during the Holocene. Finally the Arctic will always freeze over in the winter. There will always be sea ice at the North Pole no matter which catastrophic IPCC scenario you choose or believe in.

The Arctic represents a classical case of cherry-picking combined with misleading statements topped with a falsified assertion (i.e. tipping point).

If this represents the best in climate science then we know we are being lied to, and deliberately so.

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I just submitted a question..

Last Question:
(#8370) China is growing their emission PER capita at an ever increasing rate.(as are India other dev countries) Putting aside the rhetoric of the climate negotiators, China 's coal use and emissions are due to rise for decades to come. So when Chinas per capita emission are ahead of the EU average (currently equiv Italy's, ahead of France, match UK next year) how will politicians persuade the EU population to take any low carbon measures. Which of course is politics/economics not science.

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

This is turning into a ScareFest.

What is the point of that when the general public no longer believes or now cares?

Same old, same old!

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac


They are taking questions under the above hashtag.. on twitter

Mar 26, 2012 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Barry Woods

the live blogging is appreciated. May it continue through the thread.

Mar 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

sadly got some work to do!! couldn't afford to attend it. :( (very expensive)

Mar 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

omg - the tree of life and the web of life.. and the fabric of life

emotive rhetoric, littyle science.. losts of coulds maybe, worst cases risk from the scientists..

this is just alamist circle of depression in the build up to Rio.

Mar 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Question submitted

#askplanet since Rio(much political capital spent)Emissions actually risen 49%.Now Politically less interest,(austerity)what chance action?

Ie realistically should we not be talking adaptation?
As there appear to be no political will in the devloping world, or countries with rising emissions to do anything that will damage thier economies.. in the next few decades.

An example, is China, India refusal to even particpate in the EU carbon plans for airlines, risking a trade war. China's actions demonstrate political (ie threats to cancel airbus orders in retaliation) reality rather than any of their own rhetoric on emissions

A key part of the IPCC reports is Adaptation.

Mar 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods


'Scientists must renew/launch an assault on the 'climate change sceptics'!

Lord Giddens!!

Mar 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Someone just held up a poster on the stage,
"No More Greenwash".

It was aimed at Shell, but could apply to the whole conference :)

Mar 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Just ask them what the correlation coefficient (r) is between these two curves:

Mar 26, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Lord Giddons did some PR consultancy work for Gaddafi.

So are we have a Misrata type assault on 'climate change sceptics?

What nice people these Green types are!

Mar 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Sorry, who said the oceans will be corrosive by the end of the century?

I'm mean surely they ARE wrong simply because sea water IS corrosive right now! To prove this point let's put a few greenies electric Lexus's in the sea and see what happens!! :)


Mar 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Lots of QUANGO, NGO watermelonry on offer....for days!

Thursday, Oliver Morton of The Economist moderates another official gabfest.

WHAT is this? A world economics conference for the UN-minded not in the US?

When Mrs. Goldblog and I were living in Liberia, one of the best jobs to be found in Monrovia for actual Liberians was at a makeshift car-washing center near UN headquarters, where, every day, dozens of brilliant-white SUVs — Toyota Landcruisers, mainly – belonging to the dozens of NGOs in town were scrubbed clean of mud. It was a bizarre thing to see, these $50,000 vehicles belonging to “non-profits,” flyspecked by Liberians the NGOs were ostensibly there to help.

Scoffs law prof Glenn Reynolds, "Taking up the white car’s burden."

Mar 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

A good turnout from Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute (part of the School of Geography and the Environment):

Mar 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDR

hope this thread continues. could do with some good laughs (besides Josh, that is)....

Mar 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

The Sun is getting nicely into the spirit of things:

Confirmation of the Anthropecene [sic] is expected this week at the Planet Under Pressure conference in London. The argument is not if the period has begun but when it did. Some say very recently and others hundreds or thousands of years ago.

Dr Jan Zalasiewicz: "Our planet no longer functions in the way it did."

Darn planet's on the blink - give it a good thump!

Mar 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

This wafflefest goes on for four days! They could cut it down to four minutes if they stopped beating around the bush and just called for global tyranny. If 'saving the world' is so urgent, I don't know why they're being so coy about it.

Mar 26, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter S

Orson --
A new climate initiative! If all cars were white, we would reduce the earth's albedo enough to save many TWh per year! Or more likely, a car-paint tax where one must pay a premium to choose a color other than white. ;)

Mar 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Richard Black is asking questions at the live press conference....

"why do you think all the effort put into this, will make a difference'?

Good question...

Mar 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Please ask someone at the Planet Under Pressure conference to comment on the 'global predicament' posed humanity on our watch by the unbridled growth worldwide of distinctly human overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities we can see overspreading the surface of Earth. What Andy Revkin describes as "humanity's growth spurt" appears to minimize, even trivialize, a grave situation that is becoming harder and harder to acknowledge, address and overcome because human global overgrowth activities are overwhelming the finite physical resources and frangible ecology of the celestial orb we call our planetary home. The colossal presence of humankind on Earth in our time is much more formidable and fearsome than some sort of adolescent growth spurt. To describe the explosion of absolute global population numbers in such terms is jejeune and represents a subtle form of denial of what primarily threatens future human well being and environmental health.

Thank you,
Steve Salmony

Steven Earl Salmony
Chapel Hill, NC

Mar 26, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Earl Salmony

ask yourself? I'm just sitting at home by a PC!!

Mar 26, 2012 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

@Steven Earl Salmony

That comment is a fine example of theological jejeune.

Mar 26, 2012 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

And thanks for the small contribution to my vocabulary. You might also want to know that I actually ate salmon for dinner tonight. Do you have the SkS files by any chance?

Mar 26, 2012 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Dr Jan Zalasiewicz: "Our planet no longer functions in the way it did."

Have they tried turning it off and on again?

It's probably just an Earth Genuine Advantage activation error anyway.

Mar 26, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

It appears to me as if it is incumbent upon us to speak out loudly, clearly and often about the need for change in words like the ones that follow from Lee Iaccoca does just below.

"Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, ‘Stay the course’

Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned ‘Titanic’.

You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up.

These are times that cry out for leadership. But when you look around, you’ve got to ask: ‘Where have all the leaders gone?’ Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage………. and common sense?.....

The silence is deafening.

Hey, I’m not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I’m trying to light a fire. I’m speaking out because I have hope……………….If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this:

You don’t get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action….. It’s not too late, but it’s getting pretty close."



Mar 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Earl Salmony

We may be outside the conference with a leaflet for any delegates who we might catch during breaks
At £400 a throw its v.expensive!! The conference costs around £1million+ - enough to give clean water for life to 40,000 Africans!

Mar 26, 2012 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterphilip foster

Steven Earl Salmony

My advice to you is to read The Rational Optimist. It is by Matt Ridley, who I believe just this week lost his father the 4th Viscount Ridley and now succeeds to the Viscountcy. The Rational Optimist, a copy of which is in front of me right now, was shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Book Prize in science and received appreciative reviews from as diverse quarters as the Guardian, The Independent, The Times and Boris Johnson.

Mar 26, 2012 at 9:25 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Planet Under Pressure

aka Blue Planet in Green Shackles subtitle What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom? (Vaclav Klaus)

Mar 26, 2012 at 11:20 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

"the oceans are coming more acidic...

by the end of the cenrury, oceans will be corrosive..."

But still not even remotely close to the pH of normal rainwater, which is far more acidic than the oceans will ever be. In fact, not even remotely close to the pH of pure water which is far more acidic than the oceans will ever be!

Mar 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Remember that the 10 most terrifying words in the english language are

I'm from the world government and I'm here to help


Mar 27, 2012 at 2:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Vital communication on the PMC blog is included for discussion here.

Comments from one and all are welcome.

Mar 28, 2012 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Earl Salmony

Major changes to the biosphere continue to be debated in a somewhat childish manner. Scientifically quantifiable changes are argued over as to whether they are genuinely caused by people or if they even matter, by people who appear to think that sulkily saying "can't prove is my fault" is a get out clause for anything. Science, as far as it is a method of measuring, is not fool proof, but can help us to view what we are doing with realism, but people are not very good at being realistic and to view science itself as a cure for the worlds ills, when it has created most of them, borders on religious faith.
The earth is a finite ball of matter. Matter is transformable energy. More and more of the biosphere is being transformed into people. Huge swathes of biosphere are given over to human activities, such as growing food, housing; it is transformed into products which do not biodegrade and are essentially taken out of planetary circulation. Less and less is available as habitat for other creatures (I would hope there is no debate initiated as to whether lots of other creatures are edifying to human existence or not.) Wilderness is vital to the planet in order to regulate the atmosphere. Forests are lungs and all that inconvenient jazz. Constant economic and population growth have an obvious end point which we continue to trot towards blithely hoping god, or the god science will somehow keep away as if by magic. It ought to be blindingly obvious by now there is no magic yet still humans have faith. It is frankly pitiable.

May 12, 2012 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr Gray.

Gray - the limit depends on our imagination

May 12, 2012 at 3:35 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

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