Andrew Argyle: The unnecessary threat to Grangemouth petrochemical

Grangemouth petrochemical © John GNU Free Documentation

Threatened closure of INEOS’s Grangemouth petrochemical plant has been averted following a humiliating climb-down by the employees’ UNITE union and government intervention culminating in £134 million of government assistance.

Closure would have dealt a heavy blow to Scotland’s industry and balance of payments at a time when Scots are considering whether to secede from the UK.

Both Scottish and UK governments, desperate to avoid being found wanting ahead of next year’s referendum worked frantically to reverse the closure decision and mercifully, have succeeded.

INEOS blamed the high cost of energy and ‘feedstock’, the raw material used in production of petrochemical products like plastics, etc. Oil refinery by-products like gas oil or naphtha or, alternatively, heavier fractions of natural gas remaining after methane extraction can be used as feedstock.

But aren’t those costs simply a fact of life? Daily, we hear of gas, electricity and motor fuel prices rising and it’s the same, if not worse, across Europe so why isn’t the Grangemouth plant ‘cost-effective’?

Until recently the same was happening in the United States (US), petrochemical plants were migrating steadily to the Far East where energy and feedstock were, at least, as dear as in the US and Europe but other costs like wages and salaries were much cheaper.

The cost of energy and feedstock were increasing, primarily, because demand for oil and gas was outstripping supply due to rapidly advancing developing world, primarily, China, India and South East Asia.

US Energy information

In the US that trend has reversed, spectacularly, with the advent of copious supplies of ‘unconventional’ oil and gas produced from shale deposits by ‘fracking’ (using high pressure water to ‘fracture’ the shale rock, allowing the trapped gas to be freed and captured).

The price of US gas has dropped by two thirds in five years and companies are scrambling to repatriate petrochemical plants to take advantage of the abundant cheap energy and feedstock.

Alarm had also been raised over the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ associated with rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and the global warming and climatic catastrophes postulated to flow from that, resulting in the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, which came into force in 2005. Signatory countries agreed to cut carbon dioxide emissions by adopting various strategies like setting targets, investing in renewable energy and reducing energy consumption by a combination of energy-efficiency and punitive taxation.

By the time of the ill-fated Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, at which world leaders were expected to agree binding commitments in a new, post-Kyoto, agreement, climate concern had reached fever pitch; and the EU and UK committed to swingeing emissions reduction targets. The UK wrote its targets into law with the passing of the Climate Change Act, 2008 and Scotland followed suit with even more onerous targets.

No consideration was given to how these targets would be achieved or the cost implications. The ‘Planet needed saving’ and no expense or effort would be spared. Others, naturally, would follow our ‘leadership’.

Renewable energy, mainly wind, is uncompetitive and requires subsidy to pay developers twice and three times (on-shore or off-shore) the cost of conventional generation. Energy production from biomass, waste, etc., is similarly rewarded. “Renewables Obligation Certificates” are awarded for renewable energy production which utilities are forced to buy or earn to meet steadily rising targets to avoid fines and public opprobrium from being labelled ‘polluters’.

Renewable energy systems, by their nature, tend to be built in remote areas with poor or no electricity transmission infrastructure which then requires extension and reinforcement at great cost to cope with the new systems.

Special ‘Feed-in Tariffs’ (FiTs) for small-scale renewable energy rewarded developers spectacularly and energy companies were obliged to pay money towards and assist customers to improve the thermal insulation of their homes through the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme. A rapidly rising ‘carbon floor price’ was also introduced to ‘penalise’ the use of fossil fuels and heavy users of energy like petrochemical plants are directly in the line of fire.

The costs associated with all these schemes are passed to customers via their energy bills which are ballooning as the renewable energy boom continues apace.

Not content with adding these price pressures government has piled Value Added Tax (VAT) at five percent on top and the energy regulator, OFGEM, allows companies a profit margin of five percent of turnover, the result of which is that, not only do utilities have no incentive to reduce costs, they are actually incentivised to supply the most expensive form of energy. The higher utilities’ costs, the greater their profits, hence, their unbridled enthusiasm for ‘saving the Planet’.

Yes, the higher consumers’ bills, the higher the companies’ profits and the higher government’s tax take from VAT, corporation tax and income tax and NI on investors’ dividends and soaring staff levels. Neat.

To put this into perspective, under-fire utilities are now issuing information on the relative contributions of various costs to bills, notably:

  • Government environment and social schemes – 8 percent
  • Cost of energy purchase – 50 percent
  • Delivering energy to customers – 25 percent
  • Billing, customer service and IT – 6 percent
  • Profit – 5 percent
  • VAT – 5 percent

So…

  1. 13 percent (VAT + schemes) is directly down to government.
  2. Cost of energy purchase will grow as nuclear and renewable energy industries grow.
  3. Cost of the additional grid infrastructure associated with renewable energy will grow.
  4. Cost of keeping shale gas in the ground will grow.
  5. Halving the cost of delivered electricity, as things stand, would halve utilities’ profits.

The economic crisis of 2008-9 and the impending closure of ageing nuclear plants and coal-fired power stations due to EU emissions regulations have brought matters to a head. The UK is faced with investing hundreds of billions of pounds to meet energy demand and its own, unilateral, climate change legislation.

Just as the cost implications of the climate change legislation are coming home to roost consumers’ income has been severely constrained for several years, in many cases frozen and levels of fuel poverty and ‘extreme fuel poverty’ (energy costs more than ten and twenty percent of household income, respectively) are soaring. The predicted outcry is in full swing and politicians and the media have ‘lighted’ on the utilities, accusing them of ‘profiteering’.

True, there’s greed but utilities are by no means entirely to blame. Their managements are arguably performing well, ‘playing the game’ (mostly) by the rules set by politicians and regulatory authorities.

Politicians are thus faced with a ‘trilemma’ of their own making. They must balance their penchant for ‘Planet-saving’ with the necessity of ‘keeping the lights on’ while somehow keeping energy ‘affordable’.

It’s worth reiterating, ‘a trilemma of their own making’. Unlike the classic trilemma, ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’, this one is self-inflicted by politicians’ own unilateral climate change legislation – which they have the power to repeal at any time.

Developments in climate science clearly show future climatic risk has been overstated. Observations of actual global temperature have demonstrated that predictions from computerised climate simulation models have exaggerated the imminence and severity of ‘climate change’.

Meanwhile, nearly thirty thousand excess winter deaths occur, annually, in the UK; fuel poverty is a serious, growing concern, more worrisome by far than global warming whose alleged damaging effects the recent IPCC AR5 climate report admits are unlikely to appear this century.

Climate concerns thus fall before both affordability and security of supply. Security of supply, in turn, falls before affordability – it’s no good ‘the lights being kept on’ if we have to switch them off because we can’t afford them. The ‘trilemma’ is resolved, the order of priorities is clear: affordability; security of supply; de-carbonising our economy.

But what of the rising international gas price, that’s why our bills are going up, it’s going to overtake the cost of renewables and make them cost-competitive,…isn’t it?

No, like the US, the UK (and the EU) has vast reserves of unconventional gas, the problem is political; exploiting them would lead to gas and electricity prices falling as in the US, leading to on and offshore wind becoming up to four and six times the price, respectively, of conventional electricity, leaving our politicians looking even more foolish than they do now.

So the threatened closure of INEOS petrochemical plant was avoidable yet, given the prevailing political, statutory and regulatory circumstances, inevitable.

Worldwide, petrochemical companies are ‘upping sticks’ and heading to the US for the abundant cheap energy and feedstock and should the reprieved Grangemouth plant eventually close, it would come as little surprise were INEOS to follow suit.

As it stands, Grangemouth employees have been forced to swallow a package of measures designed to narrow the labour cost differential between operating in the West and the Far East and their UNITE union has been humiliated.

In the absence of cheap energy and feedstock INEOS has few options to maintain the competitiveness and hence, viability, of its plant other than to bear down on labour costs and as has transpired, obtain subsidy.

The first great irony is that the US, the ‘Great Satan’ of green fundamentalists, who never signed Kyoto, is reducing carbon dioxide emissions faster than anyone else (currently back to 1994 levels) due to the shift from coal to gas while the ‘Jolly Green Giant’ of the EU, Germany, is planning to build twenty three coal-fired power stations.

The second, bitter, irony is that, not only have energy costs spiralled upwards due to actions taken a few miles away in Edinburgh, significant reserves of shale gas and coal bed methane lie a stone’s throw from Grangemouth, begging to be exploited.

Holyrood must shoulder its share of blame and there are, at least, signs of repentance. Alex Salmond, nothing if not pragmatic, is visibly more restrained in his climate demeanour these days however the Liberal Democrats, in the vanguard of ‘climate change warriors’, continue to force the pace set by Ed Milliband. Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, has agreed to pay twice the going rate for a new ‘old nuclear’ plant with the profits going to France and China for thirty five years and is working hard to delay development of unconventional gas in the UK.

Cheap gas, after all, would be ‘unhelpful, embarrassing’.

Alan Reid, Westminster MP for Argyll and Bute, a competent, diligent MP is, nonetheless, a party to the immensely damaging policies imposed by Ed Davey and the Lib Dem hierarchy.

Note 1: The image at the top  – of the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, was taken in 2006 and is by ‘John’, – reproduced here under the GNU Free Documentation licence.

Note 2: The graph above in the text is reproduced from this article from the US Energy Information Administration [EIA]

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103 Responses to Andrew Argyle: The unnecessary threat to Grangemouth petrochemical

  1. The notion of ‘copious’ North American gas supplies at greatly reduced prices is seductive, but I was surprised to hear Jim Ratcliffe apparently putting all the Grangemouth eggs in the transatlantic basket – it sounded as if there was an assumption that the US government wouldn’t object to an international scramble to buy gas for export. Maybe there’s enough for everyone for long into the future, or maybe there’ll be a need to look elsewhere for supplies within a relatively short timespan.
    The £300m to be invested in a new import terminal could equally deal with gas from Qatar or Sakhalin or anywhere else, but I was intrigued at the apparent dismissal of the North Sea as a rapidly depleting asset.
    Strictly speaking that might be true, but just now Petrofac is a year off completing Total’s new gas processing plant at Sullom Voe, and this will be fed with condensate from the Laggan & Tormore fields being developed west of Shetland.
    The new Shetland Islands regional gas export pipeline will be ready to feed the product, via the existing Frigg pipeline, to St Fergus.
    The Sullom plant is designed to handle other West of Shetland fields in due course, and it makes me wonder if – in future – Grangemouth might not have to rely on far away supplies after all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    • Interesting comment, Robert, thanks.

      You may be aware already, Centrica have contracted a supply of gas from the US and are awaiting completion of a gas export terminal, I think from memory, in Louisiana, where Exxon Mobil are investing $10 billion and others are planning to build similar facilities.

      That and the worldwide development of unconventional gas (China has enormous reserves and is pushing on development) will help to keep the gas price down, especially, if we can ever get on with developing our own so provided the Laggan-Tormore gas remains viable at the price you may well be right about supplies coming from there.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

      • It’d be interesting to know how easily the lower prices for North American gas translate into cheap long term supply contracts, to provide the required degree of confidence in this source – as I understand it, natural gas spot prices can indicate a trend but aren’t necessarily a good indication of how a long term export supply contract might be priced. And given that the main European supply alternative to North America is Russia, and that the animated cartoon at the start of ‘Have I got News for You’ is no joke, transatlantic supplies might turn out to be less cheap than the fracking bonanza might suggest.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

        • I expect the Americans wil sell their gas for the best price they can get and their additional supply on its own may not make a big difference to what we ultimately pay.

          The reason why gas is cheap there is because, due to the absence of export terminals, they have nowhere to sell it except their home market. If they export facilities become large enough the US price will rise.

          As I say, other countries like China have large resources but are behind in development which is a good reason for getting on with developing our own – to get it on the market before supply outstrips demand, as has happened in the US, and the price falls.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  2. Developments in climate science clearly show future climatic risk has been overstated.

    I am sure you are right, but I can’t find a reputable source that supports that view.

    It certainly isn’t what the IPCC is saying. Are they not to be trusted?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

  3. Hi Ed,

    I would recommend the blog of Dr Roy Spencer who runs the NASA AMSU satellite global tropospheric temperature series. Any doubts about his credentials check out the “About” section of his website.

    He and his boss John Christy are right at the top of the climate science game – “proper scientists”.

    There’s a short article “Maybe that 95% IPCC Certainty Was Correct After All, dated 14th October (a few down from the top. It’s tongue in cheek but the evidence is clear.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

    • Ed,

      In the sense that your comment suggests to me, I doubt it.

      However, whatever Roy Spencer thinks about those issues he may be right or wrong, what I would recommend is serious consideration of his arguments in the field in which he is authoritative i.e. climate science.

      By the way, he doesn’t deny carbon dioxide-induced warming, he only suggests that climate science is insufficiently advanced to make such categorical assertions about what the future holds, especially, in fifty to a hundred years time.

      One of the standard tactics of those who can’t counter someone’s argument with logic is to dredge up any aspect of their life, however trivial which, if presented in a negative light, may convey to readers that they are “mad or bad”, not “one of us”, etc.

      I’d also recommend Aristotle’s fallacies of argument, this one is a favourite of propagandists, the cynical “ad hominem” – “if you can’t win the ball, take down the man”!

      Buy Spencer’s books, they’re great, amazingly understandable, he keeps it as simple as it can be and recommends building from there, as opposed to the IPCC approach of building a house and starting with the roof i.e. predicting the future when you understand neither the past nor the present!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

      • I am familiar with the concept of an ad-hominem argument and agree that generally they are to be deplored.

        However, In this case I feel my point is pertinent. Why should I give credence to the judgement of an alleged scientist who does not believe in the theory of evolution . . .

        Why would anyone?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

        • Suit yourself, I like to listen to the arguments and try to dissect them. If I can’t manage it I start paying attention.

          Do you have anything you don’t like about John Christy?

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

          • No idea who John Christy is. My point was that Spencer does not accept a long-established scientific theory that 99.9% of scientists believe to be irrefutable, namely evolution.

            That does not, IMO, give him a very secure base from which to dismiss the findings and projections of the majority of climate scientists.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

          • Ed,

            Do you not want to be taken seriously?

            If you don’t know who John Christy is you have obviously not done very much research into climate science so I see why you prefer the “ad hom” approach.

            Have you heard of Richard Lindzen? Roger Pielke Snr? Roger Pielke Jnr?
            Judith Curry? Hans von Storch? Henrik Svensmark?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

          • I gather Christy works with Spencer. I found this quote from him:

            “it is scientifically inconceivable that after changing forests into cities, turning millions of acres into irrigated farmland, putting massive quantities of soot and dust into the air, and putting extra greenhouse gases into the air, that the natural course of climate has not changed in some way.”

            I agree with that.

            And yes, I’ve heard of the others. I have read some of Judith Curry’s work and found it interesting.

            Climate science is not my area of expertise though. Is it yours?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

          • I don’t disagree with that comment, either. It’s obvious that humans affect the climate in some way and that’s a very different thing from extrapolating from that point to say we are all doomed because of it. The question is “are we causing dangerous climate change?”

            At present the prosecution is unable to present persuasive evidence that we are. If you know of any, let’s hear it.

            Here’s another comment from Christy:

            “Here is how the confusion often happens. As shown in many results, the observed tropospheric trend is often near (or slightly below) the magnitude of the surface trend. Thus, someone may say “the surface and troposphere agree” as if that validates greenhouse warming theory. However, in model results (i.e. according to theory) the surface and tropospheric trends should NOT agree because in models the troposphere warms faster than the surface. So, if surface and tropospheric trends agree, then by implication, model output is incorrect.”

            http://www.staatvanhetklimaat.nl/2013/02/22/klotzbach-revisited-a-reply-by-john-christy/

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

          • “Suit yourself, I like to listen to the arguments and try to dissect them. If I can’t manage it I start paying attention.”
            Here’s some arguments you and your fellow right-wingers Jamie, January Robert W and Malcolm K might like to ponder (but I very much doubt if you will).
            Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, and Sulloway (2003) propose that conservatism has similar characteristics as to authoritarianism, with resistance to change, and justification for inequality as the core components. In addition, conservative individuals have needs to manage uncertainty and threat with both situational motives (e.g., striving for security and dominance in social hierarchies) and dispositional motives (e.g., terror management and self-esteem).
            Right-wing authoritarians want society and social interactions structured in ways that increase uniformity and minimize diversity. In order to achieve that, they tend to be in favour of social control, coercion, and the use of group authority to place constraints on the behaviours of people such as gays and lesbians, political dissidents, ethnic minorities, immigrants, feminists and atheists. These constraints might include restrictions on immigration, limits on free speech and association and laws regulating moral behaviour. It is the willingness to support or take action that leads to increased social uniformity that makes right-wing authoritarianism more than just a personal distaste for difference. Right-wing authoritarianism is characterized by obedience to authority, moral absolutism, racial and ethnic prejudice, and intolerance and punitiveness towards dissidents and deviants. In parenting, right-wing authoritarians value children’s obedience, neatness, and good manners. Stenner, Karen (2009). “Three Kinds of “Conservatism”. Psychological Inquiry: 142–159.
            According to research by Altemeyer, right-wing authoritarians tend to exhibit cognitive errors and symptoms of faulty reasoning. Specifically, they are more likely to make incorrect inferences from evidence and to hold contradictory ideas that result from compartmentalized thinking. They are also more likely to uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs, and they are less likely to acknowledge their own limitations. Altemeyer, B. (1996). The authoritarian specter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
            Whether right-wing authoritarians are less intelligent than average is disputed, with Stenner arguing that variables such as high verbal ability (indicative of high cognitive capacity) have a very substantial ameliorative effect in diminishing authoritarian tendencies.[1] Measured against other factors of personality, authoritarians generally score lower on openness to experience and slightly higher on conscientiousness. Sibley, C. G., Duckitt, J. (2008). Personality and prejudice: A meta-analysis and theoretical review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 12, 248-279.
            Ad hominem possibly, but what’s sauce for the goose etc. And consider how this attitude affects reaction to your posts here.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

          • Why do you think my politics are “right wing”?

            Or did you just decide that they must be since you disagree with me about global warming?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

        • Darwin and Wallace published in 1859. Darwin was a trained Geologist in Huttonian Geological theory (which really was seminal work). It was Hutton that saw how the planet had evolved over 100′s if not 1000′s of million years.
          Anyone denying any of this, i.e. Creationists are calling into question every aspect of science from Big Bang and Hoyle’s 1948 thesis on the creation of the elements, through to quantum mechanical theory.
          We also know that the US coal, oil and gas industry pour huge sums to scientists prepared to provide legitimacy to climate change denying.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

          • Calling science into question is what science is about. That’s why theories need to be tested against actual observations and replicated by other scientists – to validate them as useful ways of describing some physical phenomenon.

            The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed climate scientists “hiding the decline” and refusing to supply model information and data to other scientists on the basis that they would “only try to find fault with them” (Prof Phil Jones, University of East Anglia).

            Graham Stringer MP, himself a scientist by profession, who was on the House of Commons investigation of “Climate-gate” commented on Briffa’s unreplicatable work “This isn’t science, it’s literature!”

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

          • Agreed, and agreed. But then you assert: “Climate-gate” revealed no such thing. It was confirmed there was no conspiracy and Prof Jones was vindicated as a scientist, allbeit a naive one.
            Most science progresses as you state by the proposal of a theory and then the testing of this for integrity and prediction. One elegant example I particularly like being Eddington’s 1920 confirmation of Einstein’s gravitational theory.
            The theories I quote by way of example, Quantum, Relativity, Neo-darwinism, Global Warming (incl ad Hominem) have vast research pools supporting them. The oldest, Neo-Darwinism is almost 150 years and still going strong, has a truly gargantuan body of research supporting it, with connections and support in virtually every scientific discipline.
            Global warming, though much younger also has a vast body of research supporting it, even including research by a team funded by the Koch Brothers, a brave publication given the impact on their funding stream.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

          • I hear what you’re saying re “Climate-gate”, Ian.

            First, the three inquiries were organised at the behest of the UK government who had just passed unilateral legislation to drastically reduce UK carbon dioxide emissions at astronomical cost. Of course, that doesn’t, by itself, mean the inquiries were white washes however I followed events with great interest at the time and in my opinion they lacked a lot – they were pretty “slap-dash”.

            Second and most importantly, the e-mails were in the public domain. Now, I don’t know if you read many of them – I did – and they did not paint a very pretty picture of our “ivory tower” climate academics on whose word we we were and are, planning to spend an additional £18 billion per year for forty years, “tackling climate change”.

            Of course, that was embarrassing however it pales in comparison with the information now available to us which enables us to compare predictions made by the IPCC climate models with observed reality. That comparison clearly demonstrates that the predictions are way off the mark.

            The entire project stands or falls on the climate model predictions since, in the absence of rapid global warming, the associated predicted extremes of weather and sea level will, presumably, not transpire.

            Global warming has been at a standstill for over fifteen years and the IPCC are unable to explain the “hiatus”.

            The IPCC has cried “WOLF!” and no wolf has yet appeared.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

          • Andrew, did you notice this bit (second last paragraph in the blog entry you refer to)

            It is worth stressing that most scientists believe long term global warming hasn’t gone away. Any global cooling caused by this natural phenomenon would ultimately be temporary, and if projections are correct, the long term warming caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would eventually swamp this solar-driven cooling.

            So – it might have a short-term effect.

            I don’t find that a compelling reason for inaction.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

          • I agree climate science is still an infant, and the science is extremely complex. But I am with Longshanks here: the IPCC look a lot more angelic (and numerous) at the moment than the other lot.
            Further let’s look at Public Policy. General good governance advice is: “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” Unfortunately, what is happening currently, particularly in the US, is: “Hope for the best because that’s the only game in town.”
            As I have alluded to already this position is driven by the money, which is another pointer if any more were needed.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

          • @Longshanks,

            I did see it and don’t have a problem with it. Nor do I have a problem with the suggestion that global warming may resume at some point due to increased levels of carbon dioxide however there is no convincing evidence that rapid warming is imminent or that the serious problems predicted to come from extremes of weather and sea level will actually transpire.

            Indeed, I understand a “consensus” exists that warming and enhanced CO2 levels will be beneficial overall up to another 2.2C of temperature rise and even the iPCC accepts that will apply until 2080.

            At present, previously drought-ridden areas like the Sahel in Africa are greening over due to plant fertilisation and drought resilience from higher levels of CO2 and increased precipitation due to warming.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

          • Ian,

            Looking “angelic” isn’t an accurate indicator of wisdom. Osama bin Laden agreed with the IPCC however that doesn’t mean the IPCC are right or wrong, it’s simply “reductio ad bin Ladenum” to coin a fallacy.

            “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst”. Which “worst” is that, the “worst possible” or the “worst we might reasonably expect given the evidence we have to date”?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

          • I understand a “consensus” exists that warming and enhanced CO2 levels will be beneficial overall up to another 2.2C of temperature rise and even the iPCC accepts that will apply until 2080.

            Could you please post a link to somewhere this ‘consensus’ is expressed?

            Thanks.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          • Translation: angelic=”on the side of the angels” i.e. the right side of the argument. This was not a religious or physical reference.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

          • I see I missed replying to a query from Longshanks about global warming being beneficial at moderate levels. The “consensus” is necessarily a small one owing to the lack of research into the economics of “climate change” and to my knowledge only one paper exists which has tried to assess the existing studies together.

            The paper, entitled “The Economic Effects of Climate Change” is by Richard Tol, a member of the Academic Council of the GWPF and is available free at

            http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/documents/Tol_impacts_JEP_2009.pdf

            Tol laments the lack of research on the economics of “climate change” versus the mountainous volume of research into the physical science however it might well be argued that, in the absence of solid physical science to provide a dependable basis for the predicted trajectory of “climate change”, comment on the economic effects is likely to be speculative.

            He gives it a shot however and without fully digesting the paper’s contents he seems reasonably even-handed about various uncertainties, etc.

            There is a graphical representation of the outcomes of fourteen studies which shows a “break-even” point at global temperatures about 2.2C than now with peak benefits occurring at about 1C higher than now.

            Tol’s conclusion is cautious with plenty of caveats. It is inevitably speculative IMO, not least, since the physical science is insufficiently advanced to draw firm conclusions about the path of future warming as evidenced by the inability of the climate models to account for the ongoing fifteen year flat-lining or “pause” in rising global temperature.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Some more information on John Christy:
    “Dr. Christy is listed as a “Roundtable Speaker” for the George C. Marshall Institute, a right-wing conservative think tank on scientific issues and public policy. He is also listed as an expert for the Heartland Institute, a libertarian American public policy think tank”.
    So we know where he is coming from!
    Link to above quote: http://www.skepticalscience.com/skeptic_John_Christy.htm
    This site also gives a series of quotes from Christy, plus rebuttals of them all – worth looking at.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

      • I just can’t help wondering why the IPCC confidence level in their predictions in the latest report has been raised while the projected temperature increase has barely been downgraded at all.

        Surely it’s not a conspiracy involving most of the world’s climate scientists in league with most of the world’s governments? That’s a scary thought.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

          • Careful – the IPCC’s main man is an Indian Railways engineer. And AGW ubermeister Al Gore majored in “Government” at Harvard, having been incapable of performing satisfactorily in science subjects and having an acknowleged aversion to maths. Doesn’t stop them crowing, does it? We’re all entitled to our views.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

      • Yes, as “Arethosemyfeet” has pointed out – Professor Armstrong “one of the top 15 Marketing professors in the US”. Here’s another quote:
        “Armstrong (2007, p.997) also concluded that the thousands of refereed scientific publications that comprise the basis of the IPCC reports and represent the state of scientific knowledge on past, present and future climates “were not the outcome of scientific procedures.
        Such cavalier statements appear to reflect an overt attempt by the authors of those reports [i.e. Armstrong's reports] to cast doubt about the reality of human-caused global warming …”
        Anyone who wants to hang out with fruitcakes like Armstrong etc. can’t be surprised if their credibility gets lost somewhere.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

      • In order to stick to the science, you have to quote real, credible, scientists. not marketing experts and right wing christian fundamentalist fruitcakes. Please.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  5. From the recent IPCC AR5 WG1 Report, Chapter 2:

    ““In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950”

    There you have it, “Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated.”

    The severity of consequences has been “overstated” – “from the horse’s mouth”!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

        • I did some searches, but I can’t find any trace of him – please help!
          As for: Andrew Argyle says:
          October 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm
          By reading your comments – are you implying now that you’re an anarchist?

          Ooops, sorry, you’re right – found him. Here are some quotes about him:

          The April 30, 2012 New York Times article included the comments of several other experts. Christopher S. Bretherton, an atmospheric researcher at the University of Washington, said Lindzen is “feeding upon an audience that wants to hear a certain message, and wants to hear it put forth by people with enough scientific reputation that it can be sustained for a while, even if it’s wrong science. I don’t think it’s intellectually honest at all.” Kerry A. Emanuel, another M.I.T. scientist, said of Lindzen’s views “Even if there were no political implications, it just seems deeply unprofessional and irresponsible to look at this and say, ‘We’re sure it’s not a problem.’ It’s a special kind of risk, because it’s a risk to the collective civilization.”

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    • In case you hadn’t noticed, that is talking about drought, not temperature.

      And in case you can’t see the difference, one is warming and the other is a potential – but not inevitable – consequence of warming.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

        • What has that got to do with your apparent confusion between drought incidence and average global temperature?

          Sorry, but that in itself is enough for me to decide that I would rather listen to the IPCC.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

          • No confusion Longshanks, read the article, no, tell you what, here’s the bit in question:

            “Developments in climate science clearly show future climatic risk has been overstated”

            From my above comment: “There you have it, “Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated.”

            The severity of consequences has been “overstated” – “from the horse’s mouth”!”

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  6. Andrew Argyle says:
    October 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Ahh, a resort to vulgar abuse – didn’t think you admitted to doing that sort of thing, but there you go ….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

      • All this personal abuse stuff is letting you off the hook – what about all those quotes saying your “authorities” are either bonkers or prejudiced? Care to address them?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      • Andrew, you seem to be struggling here.

        If you can’t stand the heat I am sure you can find a blog to express your views on global warming where comments are more vigourously moderated. I am sure you would be welcome on Bishop Hill for example, or WattsUpWithThat, places where you can preach to the converted and where nonbelievers comments blissfully disappear.

        Otherwise, if you continue to write grandstanding articles on here – a site that is to be commended for its open comments policy – then you must expect some strenuous disagreement and rebuttal.

        Try and take it like a man :-)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

        • There’s plenty of strenuous disagreement however I have yet to see any rebuttal.

          All I see coming back are insulting comments about myself or people I am quoting.

          You, at least, have attempted to put up some arguments, albeit, I suspect, in the end you are only trying to wind me up.

          It may surprise you however if you or anyone else has a rebuttal of my arguments i’d like to hear it because what is important isn’t whether I can defeat you or anyone else in an argument, it’s whether we are being sold a pig in a poke.

          I’d like to see the pig before I buy the poke because it’s coming in at a hell of a price so I’d like to known there’s actually a pig in it, as opposed to it still scrambling around the trough of subsidy money paid for by rich and “fuel poor” alike, whether in an Argyll farm cottage or a tower block in the East End of Glasgow.

          I’m interested in arguments, not trading insults. Evidence is overridingly important in science and the evidence I’ve seen to date has not persuaded me we have anything approaching a serious problem in the future.

          Put up the evidence and I’ll be more than happy to listen.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

          • There have been no insulting comments about you, apart from your proclivity to use highly dubious sources of information to back up your views. The comments about your sources have been made by reputable scientists. As for getting a life, I have one, but I don’t mind spending a little of it in exposing the lack of credibility behind your claims.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

          • I won’t bring up the fact that Osama bin Laden supported the IPCC position and it’s a fair bet he was a “creationist” as I could, quite reasonably, be accused of “reductio ad bin Ladenum”. Not least, because it would have no bearing whatsoever on whether the IPCC is right or wrong in its claims.

            As to whether I’ve been insulted or not, I’ll quote your comment above which is hardly complimentary:

            “Here’s some arguments you and your fellow right-wingers Jamie, January Robert W and Malcolm K might like to ponder (but I very much doubt if you will).
            Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, and Sulloway (2003) propose that conservatism has similar characteristics as to authoritarianism, with resistance to change, and justification for inequality as the core components. In addition, conservative individuals have needs to manage uncertainty and threat with both situational motives (e.g., striving for security and dominance in social hierarchies) and dispositional motives (e.g., terror management and self-esteem).
            Right-wing authoritarians want society and social interactions structured in ways that increase uniformity and minimize diversity. In order to achieve that, they tend to be in favour of social control, coercion, and the use of group authority to place constraints on the behaviours of people such as gays and lesbians, political dissidents, ethnic minorities, immigrants, feminists and atheists. These constraints might include restrictions on immigration, limits on free speech and association and laws regulating moral behaviour. It is the willingness to support or take action that leads to increased social uniformity that makes right-wing authoritarianism more than just a personal distaste for difference. Right-wing authoritarianism is characterized by obedience to authority, moral absolutism, racial and ethnic prejudice, and intolerance and punitiveness towards dissidents and deviants. In parenting, right-wing authoritarians value children’s obedience, neatness, and good manners. Stenner, Karen (2009). “Three Kinds of “Conservatism”. Psychological Inquiry: 142–159.
            According to research by Altemeyer, right-wing authoritarians tend to exhibit cognitive errors and symptoms of faulty reasoning. Specifically, they are more likely to make incorrect inferences from evidence and to hold contradictory ideas that result from compartmentalized thinking. They are also more likely to uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs, and they are less likely to acknowledge their own limitations. Altemeyer, B. (1996). The authoritarian specter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
            Whether right-wing authoritarians are less intelligent than average is disputed, with Stenner arguing that variables such as high verbal ability (indicative of high cognitive capacity) have a very substantial ameliorative effect in diminishing authoritarian tendencies.[1] Measured against other factors of personality, authoritarians generally score lower on openness to experience and slightly higher on conscientiousness. Sibley, C. G., Duckitt, J. (2008). Personality and prejudice: A meta-analysis and theoretical review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 12, 248-279.
            Ad hominem possibly, but what’s sauce for the goose etc. And consider how this attitude affects reaction to your posts here.”

            You even admit “ad hominem” in the text.

            That said, my normal good nature was stretched on Saturday following an over-enjoyable Friday night :-)

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Warming or not warming, the IPCC is so much hot air and chopped down trees wasted; the Chinese and the Indians will not hold themselves to agreements which threaten economic development. The chinese are building a huge quantity of coal-fired power stations. Any reduction we or even the US make in carbon emissions is a drop in the ocean by comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

      • Carbon emissions are roughly proportional to GDP; how long do you think the US cutting by however many % is going to result in a net reduction? Barring a significant upset China will surpass them sometime around 2025-30, with India following.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

        • It’s too easy for those who wish to do nothing to throw up their hands and say the game’s a bogey.

          It is estimated that stabilising atmospheric CO2 at 450ppm by 2050 would keep us within or close to the two degree threshold.

          That is not as impossible as it sounds.

          In order to stabilize CO2 concentrations at about 450 ppm by 2050, global emissions would have to decline by about 60% by 2050 while industrialized countries greenhouse gas emissions would have to decline by about 80% by 2050.

          One way of doing this, proposed in a study by scientists at Duke University’s Nicholas School, would be for the G8 countries to decrease emissions by an average of 2% per year starting in 2011, using 2010 as a baseline, for 40 years, resulting in an 80% reduction by 2050.

          In addition, the five largest developing countries (China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico) would begin a similar program ten years later, reducing their emissions by 2% a year starting in 2021, using 2020 as a baseline, and the rest of the world would have to stabilize emissions between 2030 and 2050.

          Far from impossible if there is the will to do it.

          Rubbishing climate science and denying there is any problem is pretty irresponsible, but claiming there is nothing we can do about it anyway is not any better. And a three degree rise is preferable to a four degree rise, while a four degree rise is better than a five degree rise.

          Saying ‘to hell with it’ – while metaphorically appropriate – is simply not rational.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

          • What is your source for your claim that limiting CO2 levels to 450ppm would limit global temperature increases to 2C? What is your timescale for hitting your 2C prediction?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

          • No-one is rubbishing climate science, certainly not me, a great deal of creditable work has been done by serious and dedicated scientists. That said, I am deeply sceptical of proclamations about catastrophic or dangerous global warming made by some leading climate scientists who have extrapolated on a short period of warming in the 1980s and 1990s blending it with sophistry (“computer” models!) and claiming they have insights into the future which are not currently available because the science is insufficiently well developed.

            It’s reasonably well-established science that, all other things being equal, a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide level would lead to just over 1C of warming. Beyond that not enough is known about feedbacks and other influences like the interaction of solar activity and incidence of inter-galcttic cosmic rays causing variation in the rate of cloud formation, etc, to make such sweeping assertions about global climate.

            Science is by definition, NEVER “settled” and far from being “settled”, climate science is, literally, in its infancy as indeed is borne out by the unconvincing performance of the climate simulation models versus reality.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

          • It’s reasonably well-established science that, all other things being equal, a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide level would lead to just over 1C of warming.

            This is the figure generally accepted for pure CO2 forcing with no feedbacks.

            However, there are feedbacks, many of which are well understood.

            There has already been a rise of 0.8 degrees for a rise in CO2 of only 40% (from 280ppm to the current 400ppm)

            The latest IPCC calculation indicates a temperature rise from a doubling of CO2 of 2.0 – 4.5 degrees.

            Once again you are choosing to ignore the IPCC. Please explain why you choose to dismiss their findings.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

          • What is your source for your claim that limiting CO2 levels to 450ppm would limit global temperature increases to 2C?
            It is a widely accepted convention. If you haven’t come across it then you can’t have researched the subject very widely.

            Why not Google it?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

          • @Longshanks,

            Science is decided neither democratically (consensus) nor autocratically (by authority), rather by evidence which demonstrates that predictions flowing from use of a theory are borne out by empirical observation.

            The IPCC is an authority whose hinterland includes many intelligent, dedicated scientists who spend years producing the IPCC’s assessment reports, the most recent of which is the AR5 WG1 Physical Science Assessment which contains about 2000 pages of scientific information and which, I suspect, few people ever read.

            They also produce a Summary For Policymakers, prior to whose issue governments send representatives to a meeting to discuss the helpfulness, or otherwise, of the contents and in the most recent case this lead to countries demanding that the so-called “hiatus” in global warming be not acknowledged, explained away or references to it deleted from the text.

            That’s after the scientists’ deliberations have been sanitised by their own bosses. The Summary For Policymakers is largely what politicians and the media depend upon for their decisions and coverage.

            The last IPCC report AR4 (2007) claimed Himalayan glaciers could all be gone by 2035 and when the glaring howler was pointed out, IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri, himself a railway engineer, accused the critics of “voodoo science”.

            It turned out the critics were right, the claim was out by about three hundred years. Pachauri was forced, eventually, to retract and acknowledge that the claim was not scientific but based on a magazine article.

            Since then the pause in global warming has continued -now over fiteen years despite ever-increasing Co2 levels and every year the alarming predictions of rising temperature provided from the IPCC’s climate simulation models diverge ever further from observed reality.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

          • @Longshanks,

            There is wide agreement that a doubling in CO2 level will result, in the absence of other influences, in warming of just over 1C. To achieve higher warming than this requires other influence or “feedbacks” e.g. Melting polar ice reducing the earth’s reflective “albedo” to amplify the fundamental warming resulting from a doubling of CO2 level

            What evidence is there that global temperature will rise by 2C if CO2 level is contained at 450ppm?

            Have any of the global temperature predictions for current global temperature been on target?

            Why not?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

          • What evidence is there that global temperature will rise by 2C if CO2 level is contained at 450ppm?

            I don’t think you can technically have ‘evidence’ for something that hasn’t happened yet.

            It is a prediction, based on modelling that has so far been a lot more accurate than ‘sceptics’ like you would have us believe. (See my link in the post above).

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

          • @Longshanks,

            Model predictions are not evidence and cannot be considered “science” until such time as they make accurate predictions verified by observation.

            Out of 90 models only three are anywhere near current global temperature and they all still predict rising temperatures while global temperature has been steady for fifteen plus years.

            It’s no good coming along afterwards and saying “Oh, well, if we take account of natural factors and aerosols then the models wouldn’t be too far away.” Natural factors which were previously “denied” by the IPCC.

            The IPCC assumes not only that overall feedback is positive but that it is highly so. It seems likely they are tacitly acknowledging their estimate was too high now since they have lowered bottom of their climate sensitivity range to 1.5C to try and capture actual global temperature within it and have stopped giving a “most likely” figure which in the past was considerably higher than the bottom value.

            Cynics could be forgiven for thinking they are hoping global temperatures will rise just enough to be in the range and then the iPCC will claim they were right and the sceptics wrong.

            Whereas they are, in reality, backsliding towards the sceptics’ position that the level of expected warming has been exaggerated because natural factors were dismissed and climate sensitivity overestimated.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

      • So what? Who would buy all the Chinese, Indian and South East Asian exports if the Western nations hadn’t pioneered the use of fossil fuels?

        How many roads and runways would there be in Africa where average economic growth is currently around six percent?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  8. There are people who believe that there is nothing anyone can do about climate change – however, there is a lot we can and should be doing about adapting to it.

    Unfortunately, most money is being put into schemes where there is no evidence that they have any impact on climate change (e.g. wind farms) instead of schemes for helping people to live with it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

  9. @Andrew Argyle says:
    October 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    These comments are not complimentary or un-complimentary – they are statements from professional scientists. Not perhaps “hard” scientists, but scientists all the same, using”evidence which demonstrates that predictions flowing from use of a theory are borne out by empirical observation” to use your own words. I suggest you read them with an open mind. They bear on these posts in that individuals who have some of the characteristics described are more inclined to give credibility to dubious theories proposed by these climate change deniers. It’s up to you to work out how far that applies to you, but I do get a distinct impression …. However, nobody’s perfect, I get a bit over-heated too occasionally – my climate should change :) !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  10. How about this fella, then, the impeccably-credentialled “warmist” Hans von Storch who actually writes some of the computer models in question?

    Von Storch is one on the “warmist” side who is well worth listening to – pretty honest about the models’ shortcomings. That’s how you gain trust.

    http://notrickszone.com/2013/09/11/the-climate-science-capitulation-begins-hans-von-storch-we-definitely-have-seen-less-warming-than-expected/#comments

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  11. INEOS AND TATA STEEL (Financial Times).

    “Leading industrialists from companies such as Tata Steel and Ineos told the Financial Times that green taxes were putting their British plants at a competitive disadvantage relative to those plants’ European competitors. They urged David Cameron and his chancellor to extend their pledge to “roll back” the levies on households to manufacturing plants.

    “We are at a crisis point,” said Tom Crotty, director of Ineos, the chemical company.”

    “We will not have an energy-intensive sector in this country in 20 years’ time; it will not exist. You already see chemical companies closing assets, steel companies closing assets.”

    http://www.thegwpf.org/uk-industry-crisis-point-green-taxes/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • Undoubtedly some truth in this, but it does remind me a bit of a few years ago when the word on the street was that the government shouldn’t attempt to rein in the enormous sums that a swarm of fat cats – from bankers to BBC nabobs – were awarding themselves, for fear of scaring off the very people on whom Britain depended for its prosperity.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

      • Agreed, Robert, a pity we didn’t let some of them take their wares elsewhere, too.

        After the events of late October, however, I wonder which politician in government will call Mr Ratcliffe’s “bluff”?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    • Other terms for these shysters — tax evaders, greedy

      our friend from Grangemouth despite declaring his loyalty to Britian closed his English HQ down and hopped over to Switzerland to avoid tax.

      Wonder what would have happened if you or I did that –assuming we could afford it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      • Perfectly legal, and from recollection they’d tried to negotiate a tax break with the UK government to help them through a genuine financial crisis. Probably good for Grangemouth that they did cut their costs at that time, rather than disintegrate.
        The UK government seems to have gifted ‘sweetheart’ tax deals to some far less deserving outfits.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  12. (To the tune of “Poor Old Horse”)

    They say, old thread, your words will die
    (And they say so, and we hope so)
    They say, old thread, your words will die
    (Oh poor old thread)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. Andrew, I read with interest what the chairman of Ineos had to say, I think you can sum it up as an open letter of warning to all politicians in Europe, if they don’t get the message then there will not be a chemicals industry as we know it left in europe, governments need to look ahead, listen to industry leaders and act positively or we all pay the price – lost jobs and industries

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • Quite, Rchard,

      And it’s especially chilling for those UK and Scottish politicians who boarded the global warming PR gravy train and now that it’s ‘run away’, they can’t get off without career-wrecking and some of them, like the Liberals and Ed Miliband still haven’t ‘come down’ from the highs of the heady days of Copenhagen and the Himalayan glaciers which were forecast to disappear completely by 2035!

      At last, voices of sanity are beginning to be heard.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  14. Andrew, the sad thing is the very short memories of not only the politicians here in Scotland but also the electorate, everyone screamed like hell when Mr Ratliffe decided to shut Grangemouth, suddenly it sank in that the knock on effect would cripple Scotland, thank god sanity sunk in, the end result being that Grangemouth will be able to import shale products and compete.
    The sad fact is that neither the MP’s of Westminster or Holyrood have any long term forward plans, both they and the fickle electorate need to take a long hard look at reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • And you need to have a long hard look at why you have ended up with such anti-worker right-wing anti-empathic views about your fellow workers and countrymen. There is a large and comprehensive literature about this, and I feel you might, (if you are able to get over yourself), benefit from reading such material. But then again, persons of your proclivity are seldom able to overcome their indoctrination. Your loss.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Robert Wakeham says:
    March 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm
    You’re right – but I doubt we share the same concept of ‘moral’.
    Moral: concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.
    synonyms: virtuous, good, righteous, upright, upstanding, high-minded, principled, honourable, honest, just, noble, incorruptible, scrupulous.
    antonyms: dishonourable
    That fits my definition – what’s your’s Robert?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Exactly this list, but I think that you ‘interpret’ it to suit your own prejudices. For example – ‘righteous’ feeds righteous indignation, which sometimes feeds an intolerant rant.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      • Yes, well your “intolerant rant” is my reasonable argument, and no doubt you would “interpret” it the other way round for yourself. So what was your point? Are you implying that you have no prejudices – because I would very much doubt that – I even seem to recall an “intolerant rant” or two coming my way.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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