Ask A Broadsheet Reader




Rory writes:

Yesterday it was revealed that climate records have been shattered worldwide. I think that an important subject related to this is how much Ireland will be fined if it does not reducec arbon emissions to acceptable levels.

Brendan Howlin has previously stated that said fines could run into 100s of millions of euro.

But this article suggests the fine could be as much as 2 billion. And this is not taking into account the economic costs of 1-2 billion for agri sector by mid century due to climate change itself.

So how much could Ireland be fined?


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Graph: Environmental Protection Agency

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112 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. Susan The Silent

    Sure it’s sittin’ on top of the incinerator, that’ll burn it up, it’ll be grand. Everyone back in your cars, nothin’ to see here, and remember only one person per car and whatever you do don’t get on yer bikes!

  2. Eoin

    It’s God who runs the sun and the winds and creates the weather for us. So we should be paying money to the church if we want to influence climate instead of wasting money on silliness like cutting emissions.

    1. ahjayzis

      “It’s God who runs the sun and the winds and creates the weather for us”

      You’re out of date there. God Inc. was put into NAMA in 2008, his interests in the sun and the winds were written down and sold to a Denis O’Brien Special Purpose Vehicle in 2014 for ten cent in the euro. We now pay a fixed charge to access these services.

      1. Eoin

        Scandalous. And this is on top of God already getting the ‘no bid’ contract to provide us with weather in the first place. He’s definitely in someones pocket.

    2. louislefronde

      God is Mother Earth, without her we wouldn’t exist!

      …unless you believe that old yarn about a carpenter from Nazareth by the name of Yeshua Bar Yossef?

      Oh dear….. is that blasphemy, under that mad Irish law?

    1. ahjayzis

      I think they put a sensor or a bag or something on the cows ass, and it records the emissions,and this is like averaged out for a herd, and then for the cow population?

      I’m guessing the measurers lie about their jobs.

  3. Mulder

    Say there be a lot of badgers around the country, thinking, ohh jesus, no, not us guv we did not do it.
    Given the tb thingey and the cull of badgers.
    Seriously, i mean the Dail will have to be reformed and the Td`s removed for the good of the country otherwise it will cost an even bigger fortune, than what it already is costing.
    Hot air or just gas.

  4. Kolmo

    Has the carbon derivatives market taken a hit lately, should we increase ‘carbon’ taxes to add value to the commodified stock price?

  5. Vote Rep #1

    I was listening to a podcast about the late Victorian manure crisis (more interesting than it sounds) but they mentioned in it that studies of the polar ice caps show that greenhouse emissions are not a new thing and basically started to be an issue when modern farming started a few thousands of years ago. Modern technology has just made it all more efficient.

    1. Pip

      That’s it. I recall reading about the big concern in NYC around 1900 which was what to do with all the horseshit? It was piling up – in the city – as demand (from farmers outta town) was dwarfed by supply. Doomy forecasts and all that.
      And then came…. the internal combustion engine.
      See? It’s all about change and adapting.

  6. Jake38

    I have no idea what to do but I’m sure it will involve more taxes on the middle classes.

  7. Mulder

    A first emergency measure, Bertie of the Hearnes, will have to be removed from the country, as that yoke generates more wind and gas than 50 wind farms put together.
    That is just from his mouth, no even talking about the other end.

  8. Zuppy International

    Lies, Lies, Lies.

    Carbon Dioxide is not a toxin: it is a trace gas that is absolutely essential for life on earth (Without it we would have no food).

    And the earth is cooling, not warming.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise is either trying to pick your pocket or is an immense idiot incapable of independent thought.

    1. Pip

      BRILLIANT. Beautifully put. It’s a kind of religion, with benefits.
      The mainstream media never dare suggest that global warming scientists are all in thrall to…
      FUNDING. It’s the only show in town.

      1. edalicious

        Yes, it’s definitely scientists misleading people and not the multi-trillion euro fossil fuel industry that’s misleading people to protect their own interests.

          1. Zuppy International

            Two links actually but let’s willfully ignore the facts: like CO2 being good for the earth.

      1. Zuppy International

        Rory this is not a new study for me. Your skeptical science web page reads like an IPCC fan site, no science just nonsense like the 97% claim. I’ve seen it all before and I reject all the claims therein.

        Instead I”m dealing with the actual science as above: 1) CO2 is not a toxin, it is necessary for life on earth. 2) the earth is going through a cooling period at this moment in time.

        If you want to debate me on those terms fine, otherwise get Nigel the insult bot back here and I’ll have some more crack with him.

          1. Zuppy International

            You won’t directly debate me and instead you want me to read stuff (from the IPCC fan club) that I rejected years ago. No thanks.

            Why don’t you pick out the points you think are salient.

            [I miss Nigel]

          2. Deluded

            You can’t debate because your positions are baseless and hysterical. It’s like you’ve watched a load of Youtube and the Drudge Report because science is fecking hard, actually.
            You still haven’t mentioned methane.

          3. Zuppy International

            You’ve been debated and been found to be twisting meanings, words and scientific studies. A gutter tactic.

            [I notice you’re now trying to tack yourself onto Rory’s thread after getting your metaphorical arse kicked below]

            What don’t you tell us all about methane then since you bring it up.

            [Not that I care really]

          4. Deluded

            … you’re right though, sorry rory.
            There are more than two greenhouse gases and our influence over them varies.

            Methane has 20-30 times the heating effect of CO2. Its production increases with temperature across a range of processes separate to those of 7billion people, industry and agriculture.

            You are free to post a link that accounts for all the variables yet still arrives at a negative or neutral effect contrary to measurements and verifiable results.
            Wouldn’t it be nice if you were right?

  9. Zuppy International

    Despite no global warming in 10 years and recording setting cold in 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century. IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1° F per decade and 5-6° C (10-11° F) by 2100 (Fig. 1), which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly.


    However, records of past climate changes suggest an altogether different scenario for the 21st century. Rather than drastic global warming at a rate of 0.5 ° C (1° F) per decade, historic records of past natural cycles suggest global cooling for the first several decades of the 21st century to about 2030, followed by global warming from about 2030 to about 2060, and renewed global cooling from 2060 to 2090 (Easterbrook, D.J., 2005, 2006a, b, 2007, 2008a, b); Easterbrook and Kovanen, 2000, 2001). Climatic fluctuations over the past several hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling, on a general rising trend from the Little Ice Age.

  10. Junkface

    Lads, if the Earth is cooling and not warming, then why are the Ice caps melting? Why are massive chunks of ice drifting off into the oceans? Good Lord! Are you guys nuts!

          1. Zuppy International

            Here’s another connection:


            It’s therefore amusing that the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now drawing attention to the close relationship between climate change activists and BP – aka British Petroleum, an entity for which the descriptor “big oil” was surely invented.

            According to the Washington Post the green group Nature Conservancy – which encourages ordinary citizens to personally pledge to fight climate change – “has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years.”

          2. Zuppy International

            I get it Nigel, when evidence contradicts one’s belief system one is likely to reject the evidence and fall back on the belief. It’s easier to be fooled than admit one has been fooled.

            Science is against you though: CO2 is good for the planet, and Global Warming is a myth. Just ask the Nobel physicist Ivar Giaever I referenced above.

            Or do you claim he’s not a proper scientist?

          3. Zuppy International

            Nigel, it seems like you’re having a stroke. Put down the internet and go seek medical attention.

          4. Zuppy International

            Nigel the typical climate alarmist: No verifiable science. Just insults and fear.

    1. Paddy

      Probably the same reason ice melts in your soft drink in a pub. The liquid it’s in is warmer, so obviously it will melt.

  11. Deluded

    Hi Zuppy.
    You haven’t presented any evidence yet, just conjecture*, some funding conspiracy and the assertion that only certain scientists can do sums. I mean, Tim Ball, c’mon like. You post links claiming there is no climate change and then link a guy who claims it’s good for us.

    *Climate change models try to factor in variables that might affect the climate. Your models are supposing that past weather behaviour can be projected on a future with completely different species demographics, vegetation/forestation and industry.
    Maybe we will continue the cycle to another glaciation event but every inch of the planet will be poisoned by then, you cannot possibly argue that 7billion people have no impact.

    1. Deluded

      Oh gosh, there was so much there, I mean, they are talking about CO2 and ignoring methane, for instance. You can actually study this stuff yourself if you want (unlike Tim Ball) and do the experiments and take the measurements and do the maths, it’s not a secret, there are libraries full to the neck with all the information you need and the means to verify or contradict them.
      Who was the Nobel Laureate?

    2. Zuppy International

      Deluded, you’re well named.

      How is the earth being poisoned? If you claim CO2 then you’ll need to prove it.

      Several actual scientific studies reject the notion of carbon forcing (here’s a link to 50 such studies:

      Here’s a study claiming that CO2 helps green the earth, something we all learn as children:

      Quotable quote: “Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%). CO2 fertilization effects explain most of the greening trends
      in the tropics, whereas climate change resulted in greening of the high latitudes and the Tibetan Plateau.

      BTW, climate is always changing.

        1. Zuppy International

          CO2 is not a toxin.

          The earth is going through a cooling period.

          What else is there?

          1. Deluded

            Water is not a toxin but it can drown you.
            You still haven’t presented evidence of cooling but cling to the conjecture I explained was false.

          2. Deluded

            (NASA)…finds that global temperatures over the past decade have “continued to rise rapidly,” despite large year-to-year fluctuations associated with the tropical El Ni\’f1o-La Nina cycles…”
            “This new record temperature will be particularly meaningful,” they wrote, “because it occurs when the recent minimum of solar irradiance is having its maximum cooling effect.”
            … perhaps that is the chart you posted…

          3. rory

            Hi Zuppy,
            RE: your claim that things are cooling.
            It sounds to me like you’re denying the long-term trend of increasing global temperatures by pointing out that there has been a decrease in temperature over the last four months. (A decrease from the highest temperature on record.)

            What would you say to that perspective?

            From NASA:

            From the website your website got it’s data from:
            (Please note the sixth graph down. This is the website’s creators preferred interpretation of temperature trends. Notice the long term trend of the mean temperatures. They are increasing.)

            I’ll throw this in while I’m at it.

          4. Zuppy International

            The 1930’s were much warmer then now (remember the dust bowl US?). But NASA has been fiddling its data to make it look like now is warmer.


            That doesn’t even take into account the medieval warm period that Alarmists seem to ignore. But evidence rarely trumps belief particularly when most people are consumed and groomed by a bubble of bullshit.

            Climate is always changing. It always has been, from the beginning of time. Why are you so against it now?

          5. Zuppy International

            Just found this:

            “In comparing the two records, it can be concluded that during the last 165 years, rapidly increasing CO2 concentrations only correlate with rapidly increasing global temperatures for one 25-year period (1977-2001). Put another way, for 85% of the last 165 years there has been little to no correlation between CO2 concentration changes and temperature changes.”


          6. rory

            You think NASA is wrong. What about the website your website got it’s data from?

            Zuppy, all these claims come up in the first link I sent you:

          7. Zuppy International


            Your skeptical science website promotes the lie that 97% of all climate scientists support the IPCC position that humans cause climate change.

            As I previously stated anybody who promotes this lie should be ignored.

            There is NO EVIDENCE that CO2 is a toxin. There is no evidence that CO2 causes climate change. You need to find better LIES.

          8. rory

            RE: Your ’97 articles against the 97 per cent consensus’ link above.
            Of the 97 articles, only 3 are papers from scientific journals.

            2 of said papers are from Richard Tol, who believes man made climate change is real:

            1 is from David Legates, who has received a lot of funding from ExxonMobil:

          9. rory

            You say the skeptical science website mustn’t be true because there isn’t a consensus.
            You refer to a link to a blog post to back up your claim.
            I’ve just explained why the link doesn’t have merit.
            Why not give the skeptical science website a go then? Because of Lord Monckton?
            He is not a scientist, he has received funding from the mining industry to voice claims that suit their interests, and he has been pointed out to be a liar on a number of occasions.

            About Lord Monckton:

            Perhaps its time to just do me a solid and give the skeptical science website a go. Give it a read a little bit. You might discover some things that interest you.

          10. Zuppy International

            I’m not wasting my time on nonsense I’ve read and dismissed years ago.

            Historically the IPCC lie about climate change. (“Hide the decline”/ 97% consensus)



            [Executive summary page 3/4: “The deconstruction of the surveys that follow shows the claim of a 97% consensus is pure spin and ‘statisticulation’ – mathematical manipulation.”]

            The IPCC have no credibility. The fact that you keep referencing them (or their supporters) means you share their lack of credibility.

            Now, if you would like to explain to me in your own words why CO2 is a problem for the world when almost every single living thing on earth relies on the perpetual exchange of CO2, then I’m all ears.

            Otherwise, stop repeating the same nonsense, non-science.

          11. rory

            RE: the 2 links you have provided in the comment above.

            Your 2nd link is from a group called Friends of Science.
            In August of 2006, a Canadian newspaper called The Globe and Mail revealed that this group had received significant funding via anonymous, indirect donations from the oil industry.

            You can read more about their connection to the fossil fuel industry here:

            This means that this particular link in your last comment, regarding the 97 per cent consensus, doesn’t have merit. In extension you have not provided a reliable source of info proving that there isn’t a 97 per cent consensus. Which means, as of yet, you have not begun to convince me that the Skeptical Science website isn’t a reliable source of info.
            With this in mind, perhaps you could read the link I previously sent you regarding CO2, and let me know what you think. Personally i think said links deal with the subject better than ‘my own words’ could.

            In relation to your 1st link; it is from the Lavoisier group, which has a close relationship with the Australian mining industry:
            Because of this close relationship, this group has a vested interest in portraying man made climate change as not occurring, and in portraying the ‘climategate’ emails as proof of a vast conspiracy involving the fabrication of man made climate change altogether.

            As you may have guessed, or experienced yourself, i’m becoming a little bit jaded with this interaction. But saying that, you have piqued my interest with regard the sources of your information. I’d be interested in more links if you could send them my way. Thanks.

          12. rory

            Clarification: my first link predates that lecture by a little over a year, not by a few days as I previously stated (I got the year wrong.) Let me know if the article doesn’t address something that comes up in the lecture.

          13. rory

            Ok i’ve made it about 8 minutes into the video, to the bit you have quoted in your last comment there and I have to say, the line he’s going with is highly disingenuous.
            It bank’s on a lack of understanding of the role that water vapour plays in relation to climate change that, frankly, I find hard to believe he doesn’t have a grasp of himself. He was a scientist for a number of years after all (before that 3 year ‘hiatus’ that is.)

            To sum up this role briefly:

            “Water vapour is the most dominant greenhouse gas. Water vapour is also the dominant positive feedback in our climate system and amplifies any warming caused by changes in atmospheric CO2. This positive feedback is why climate is so sensitive to CO2 warming.”

            (Taken from here:
            Worth a read.)

            From the links I’ve already provided, and from the first 8 minutes of the video, i’m finding it hard to come up with a reason to keep watching this video. Unless you can tell me a reason, having watched the video yourself? Or perhaps you have another source of info?

          14. Zuppy International

            You tried a little Rory, I give you a little credit for that.

            But you stopped just before it gets interesting (and destroys the IPCC arguments) Increasing man made CO2 emissions have virtually no impact on the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2. Most atmospheric CO2 comes from natural sources and these emissions are strongly correlated with temperature: ie CO2 follows temperature, not the other way around.

            Of course, you’re free to dismiss all this actual science if you wish, and if you want to believe the half-truth and rumors postulated by the IPCC that’s up to you.

            The world is waking up to the lies though (the Germans and the Danes are pressing pause on the inefficient, expensive and dangerous technology of wind farms), so hopefully soon real science will prevail.


          15. rory

            Thanks for the nice words in your first sentence Zuppy.

            If you read the first link I posted with regard Salby, you would see that it debunks EXACTLY what you’ve just claimed with your ‘CO2 follows temperature’ spiel.

            I don’t think this conversation is worth continuing, for me. I’ve repeatedly pointed out why your claims and/or sources lack merit and you repeatedly are not taking heed. I’m finding it too frustrating. Thank you for your time and your last link. Take care.

      1. Deluded

        “BTW, climate is always changing”
        Yes, we acknowledged that already, you have now switched from denying change to arguing change in the other direction to acknowledging change, but, I can only presume as this is how this shtick usually fizzles out…
        denying human impact.

        1. Zuppy International

          Stop trying to twist my words and meaning Mr Deluded.

          Go away. I’m done with you.

    3. Deluded

      You only wanted to talk about CO2, not even about the methane that rory refenced in his post. That’s why you were confused and thought that “poisoned” only referred to CO2, not to the greater picture of human impact.
      CO2 is deadly though, it can kill, bet you didn’t know that!

        1. Zuppy International

          Deluded is as Deluded twists meaning, words and science. From the abstract you link to:

          “At low concentrations, gaseous carbon dioxide appears to have little toxicological effect.”

          Atmospheric CO2 is less than 400 parts per million. Yet try living on earth without it.

          1. Deluded

            Exactly, 240ppm, 400ppm, this difference relates to the biological effect- your links will be familiar to someone who supplements their glasshouse athmosphere with an anaerobic yeast reaction.

            We are talking about heating.
            And methane, you still haven’t addressed that one yet.

            Also- you project future climate based on that pre-industrial, pre-7000,000,000 people.
            How many cows?
            How much methane?

          2. Deluded

            Actually, just google “methane clathrate”.
            Believe me, I heard all this type of rubbish before, like with leaded petrol (still produced as “ethanol”- there’s an actual conspiracy) or when we banned CFCs (a blanket term for refrigerant gas, aerosol accelerants etc)
            … but nobody talks about it now because it’s over the Antarctic and we’ve forgotten.

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