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Australian Climate Madness

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Hockey Stick - finally dead

Michael Mann's famous "hockey stick" graph, the ultimate alarmist propaganda poster, has, we hope, finally been laid to rest. The stick was a central part of the IPCC's third assessment report, but was strangely dropped in the fourth. However, our own government still continues to use a version of it in order to mislead the unsuspecting public:

Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has finally killed it off (although I can't imagine Michael Mann going quietly on this) by demonstrating that the characteristic shape was achieved by cherry-picking only certain tree-ring data that produced such a shape. If all of the data had been used, the result would have been far less interesting, and therefore would not have advanced the alarmist agenda (check out the black line in the following graph):
The next graphic compares the RCS chronologies from the two slightly different data sets: red – the RCS chronology calculated from the CRU archive (with the 12 picked cores); black – the RCS chronology calculated using the Schweingruber Yamal sample of living trees instead of the 12 picked trees used in the CRU archive. The difference is breathtaking.

This is sadly yet more evidence suggesting that climate change research has been corrupted by unscrupulous scientists seeking to advance a pre-conceived agenda. 
Read the full story here.

Coalition "in dark on ETS"

It seems that senior coalition figures are trying to run an argument that "the ETS was policy in 2007, so it should be policy now". This ignores the fact that a lot has changed in two years:
OPPOSITION emissions trading spokesman Ian Macfarlane has been forced to distribute the Coalition's 2007 election policy supporting an emissions trading scheme to his own back bench, after several MPs suggested an ETS had never been party policy or had been "slipped" past them.

Strong internal opposition is mounting to Malcolm Turnbull's strategy - endorsed by shadow cabinet - of negotiating amendments to the government's ETS next month.

Many senior Coalition members expressed astonishment that some backbenchers appeared intent on "rolling" their already-struggling leader on an issue, when all possible alternative leaders, including Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott, agreed with Mr Turnbull's political strategy.

Backbench dissenters such as Cory Bernardi and Wilson Tuckey seemed to be intent upon "driving the car at high speed into a brick wall in order to test the airbags", one senior Liberal said. Others said the campaign was aimed at forcing shadow cabinet to demand such extensive amendments that the government could never agree to them, achieving the ETS's demise by default.

Read it here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, ACM!

Australian Climate Madness is 1 year old! Nearly 900 posts later and we have a loyal readership. A huge thank you to all the people who have linked to my posts and included ACM in their blog rolls, but I must single out the following, who have really helped get ACM known in the sceptic community:
And of course a big thank you to you, the readers.

Australia is still heading down a path to economic oblivion with the government's proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS). By all accounts, however, as soon as anyone begins to understand it, they realise what a disaster it is.

I have posted here an ACM Summary which is a high-level bullet point list of climate issues for those interested in hearing an alternative side to the debate. Many will reject it out of hand, but it may stir sufficient doubts in the open-minded for them to begin researching climate themselves, rather than relying on the alarmism fed to them by the government and media.

So I have a small plug to make to my Australian readers: please send a link to the ACM Summary to your friends and/or colleagues, and hopefully, if we can raise sufficient awareness, we can avoid sacrificing our economy for a pointless environmental gesture.

Once again, thanks for your support and… stay sceptical!

ACM Summary

Welcome to the Australian Climate Madness Summary. We hope the points set out below may give you some food for thought concerning climate change.

ACM Climate Change Summary

1. Introduction

For hundreds of years, scientific advancement has proceeded on the following basis: first, a theory is proposed to explain a particular natural phenomenon; secondly, that theory is used to make predictions about what may happen in the future; thirdly, the empirical observations are compared with those predictions; finally, if the observations match the predictions, it can be concluded that the theory accurately models the natural phenomenon. However, if they do not, or if a result is obtained at some point in the future that does not fit the theory, then the theory must be modified, new predictions made and new comparisons made with observations. This process will often go through many iterations.

However, when we come to the debate on climate change, the media and the government (and indeed many scientists) will say "the debate is over" or "the science is settled" and "we need to move on from the science and tackle with the problem."

But is this really the case? Is the science really settled? If that were in fact the case and the evidence was so compelling, why is it that climate scientists need to "massage" data? Why is it that scientists who promote the alarmist agenda refuse to debate the issues? Why won't Al Gore, responsible for the most popular climate change film An Inconvenient Truth, debate the claims raised in the film? [We know why, of course: many of them were just plain wrong.] Why are those who question the "consensus" often ostracised by their peers in the scientific community, silenced or even threatened? These are important questions to which answers should be sought.

Presently in Australia, the mainstream media and the Rudd government have closed their minds to any dissent from the "consensus" on climate change, namely that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming. The Rudd government will not entertain any debate on the science, preferring to simply rely on the pronouncements of the politically driven Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC - part of the UN), and insisting on enacting the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), a name intentionally chosen to mislead the public (it is the colourless, harmless gas carbon dioxide that is to be reduced, not elemental carbon in the form of soot, and it is not pollution). Similarly, the majority of the mainstream media has already made up its mind and only publishes articles which advance the agenda of dangerous global warming (see here for a textbook example of media bias).

IMPORTANT: We are not seeking to change anyone's mind. 

All we seek to do is give readers the opportunity and the tools to find out more for themselves. If, after doing such research, readers are still convinced that AGW is real and dangerous, then at least they have been exposed to both sides of the story.

2. Key points on the science
  • The earth's climate is always changing - it has for 4.5 billion years and will continue to do so - to speak of climate change as if it is something "new" is misleading.
  • There is nothing particularly special about the climate we live in at the moment - it is very benign compared to some of the alternatives - but to attempt to stop the clock and "freeze" the present state is misguided.
  • That the earth is currently in a long-term warming phase is not in dispute. It has been since the end of the last Ice Age, and in particular since the end of the Little Ice Age a couple of hundred years ago. It is therefore not surprising, nor alarming, that temperatures today are higher than they were a century ago.
  • However, the cause of that warming is where the dispute arises.
  • There is no historical link (on geological time scales) between the harmless gas carbon dioxide (CO2) and temperature. Levels of CO2 have been far higher (thousands of parts per million compared to a few hundred at present) in the past without the planet entering "runaway global warming" or passing "tipping points" from which it could not recover - the fact that we are here today is evidence enough of that.
  • Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth showed a large graph of temperature and CO2 fitting together very closely, except that it was at such a small scale that it was not possible to determine that rises in CO2 actually lag behind rises in temperature (and vice versa) by about 800-1000 years. The long term warming and cooling of oceans releases and absorbs huge quantities of CO2.
  • On shorter time-scales, temperatures rose in the early part of the 20th century with little or no man-made emissions of CO2.
  • They also fell in the period 1950-1970 when CO2 emissions were rising rapidly in the post-war economic boom.
  • The link between future global warming and CO2 is based predominantly on computer climate models.
  • None of the computer models predicted the pause in warming (and even slight cooling) we have seen since 2001, despite rising emissions, so we must assume those models are flawed.
  • There must be other factors at work, such as solar variations, cosmic ray variations, cloud cover, ocean currents etc, which have a far more significant effect on the climate than anthropogenic CO2 (which in any event is only a tiny part of the global CO2 budget)
  • Every day, new peer-reviewed scientific studies change our understanding of the climate - to say the "science is settled" is pure hubris.
  • The livelihood of many (most?) climate scientists depends on perpetuating the existence of the climate crisis, and there is presently a worrying lack of impartiality in this discipline.
  • Studies are written with a pre-conceived agenda in mind, and the peer-review has, to an extent, been corrupted - in other words, alarmist papers are being reviewed by similarly alarmist reviewers.
  • The story of the Michael Mann hockey stick is a prime example of how scientists with an agenda can manipulate data in order to produce the desired (alarmist) result - see here to read more about this particular example.
  • The media and the government have already closed their minds to the subject - you will rarely read anything that contradicts the so-called consensus in the mainstream media.
  • Hence the importance of the blogosphere and independent sources of information on climate.
3. Key points on the economics
  • The IPCC attributes the current warming almost entirely to man-made CO2.
  • This is obviously in the UN's interest, since CO2 emissions can easily be regulated, unlike any other causes of climate change.
  • This allows the UN to "blame" developed economies for the current warming, and force them to accept reductions in emissions in order to tackle climate change.
  • Western government policy is based on the results of computer models which we have already seen are flawed.
  • Schemes such as the Australian CPRS, otherwise known as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will achieve nothing in terms of altering the climate - Australia produces less than 1.5% of global emissions. Even if we reduced those to zero overnight (a 100% reduction), it would make no difference to the climate (even if we assume that CO2 is the primary driver of temperature). So Kevin Rudd's 5 - 15% will achieve less than nothing.
  • The ETS will do enormous damage to our economy and the standards of living of everyone in society, but especially poorer families who will be burdened with higher electricity, gas and food prices - whilst doing nothing for the climate.
4. Key points on the politics
  • There seems to be, amongst Western societies generally, a desire to "do something" in order to assuage our collective guilt for 200 years of economic progress (although why we should feel guilty about this is a mystery, since that economic progress has lifted billions of people out of a miserable life of poverty).
  • For some reason we are embarrassed about our standards of living, and believe that we must engage in a quasi-religious penitence for the sins we have committed against the planet (see here for an excellent comparison between climate change hysteria and religion).
  • History shows us that environmental causes have often been used to advance political agenda.
  • The present climate "crisis" unfortunately provides such an opportunity for:
    • more global governance and regulation by the UN;
    • a redistribution of wealth on a global scale from richer to poorer nations;
    • widespread increases in taxation at the expense of economic growth and prosperity;
    • a scaling back of Western economic progress; and ultimately,
    • a dismantling of capitalist systems (anti-globalisation)
    • This is evidenced by the allegiances of environmental ("green") and/or climate change activists, many of whom align themselves with socialist ideals (witness the composition of demonstrators at climate change protests - primarily from the political left).
    • In Australia, the Rudd government is determined to push through the ETS before even seeing what other countries will commit to at Copenhagen. This may leave Australia in the position of having binding emissions reduction targets when much of the rest of the world has none. The inevitable result of this will be the export of local jobs and industry overseas.
    • ACM believes that the ETS is a pointless political gesture for a country that produces less than 1.5% of global emissions, since it will have no effect on the climate whatsoever, but if we have to have it, we should at least make that decision with the knowledge of what other countries will commit to.
    5. Conclusion

    ACM is fully supportive of reducing pollution - and by that we mean proper pollution, particulates and toxins, and not CO2, which is a harmless gas and essential for all plant life on earth - from our environment. ACM is also fully supportive of conserving limited natural resources. However, the cost/benefit analysis based on these goals simply does not add up.

    If you consider all the above points and dismiss them, then that is your prerogative. However, ACM's view is that unless or until it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that the present warming is solely or primarily caused by man-made CO2 emissions, policies to reduce those emissions are pointless, and should be strongly resisted. Such policies will send millions of people back into poverty.

    ACM exists to communicate an alternative viewpoint to the one-sided presentation of climate change issues provided by the Australian government and mainstream media.

    Majority of Liberals oppose ETS plan

    Things keep getting worse for Malcolm Turnbull. In a crushing blow for his authority, a survey in The Australian has revealed that two-thirds of Liberal backbenchers disagree with his policy on the ETS:
    Over the past four days, The Australian contacted all 59 Liberal Party backbenchers in the House of Representatives and the Senate, asking: Do you think the opposition should negotiate amendments to the ETS with the government ahead of the Copenhagen conference?

    Only 12 MPs said they supported Mr Turnbull's decision to negotiate, while 41 wanted the opposition to either not negotiate at all or to do so only on the guarantee that the legislation would not be passed ahead of the Copenhagen conference in December. Six MPs were either unwilling to disclose their position or unavailable.

    Senior opposition frontbenchers have claimed for weeks that it is only a vocal minority of the Liberal partyroom that is critical of the negotiating position Mr Turnbull and his shadow minister Ian Macfarlane have adopted, and most media reports have reinforced this position.

    But The Australian's survey proves that the so-called maverick Liberal parliamentarians Wilson Tuckey and Cory Bernardi are reflecting the views of an overwhelming majority of their colleagues when they publicly criticise the shadow cabinet for endorsing Mr Turnbull to negotiate with the government over the ETS.

    Perhaps most concerning for Mr Turnbull is that when the results of the survey are broken down, the discontent with his decision to negotiate amendments is not only coming from one section of the party.

    Three times as many House of Representatives MPs do not want to negotiate at all (21-7) and when the data are broken down to include only marginal-seat MPs, 11 out of 15 MPs don't want to negotiate.

    ACM's view is that the ETS is bad law, and should not be passed, amended or not. It is now clear that Malcolm Turnbull clearly does not represent the majority view of his party on the ETS.

    Read it here.

    Denier Alert: Garnaut brands Nationals "sharks"

    Poor old Ross Garnaut. He just cannot believe that anyone could possibly not agree with his position on climate and as usual, resorts to the typical ad hominem. It's all so predictable:
    Australia's top climate change expert [Er, I don't think so, he's an economist - Ed] has likened global warming sceptics in rural areas to sharks.

    Ross Garnaut's comments come as a Newspoll shows the Rudd government losing support in regional Australia, with the Nationals benefiting from opposition to an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

    Without mentioning the Nationals by name, Prof Garnaut said climate change sceptics in rural areas were exploiting the ignorant.

    'That's a sad thing,' he told ABC television on Monday night from Beijing. 'There, you have climate sharks preying on the vulnerability of people who aren't in a position to be well informed themselves.'

    I sincerely hope you are not suggesting that rural people are somehow less capable of understanding the issues than the urban liberal intelligentsia like you, because that really would be patronising and offensive.
    Asked who the climate sharks were, Prof Garnaut said it was anyone who played on the human instinct to deny bad news.

    And now the inevitable D-word Alert:
    'It's the sort of denial we see going on with a lot of tragic circumstances, but you never make a problem easier to handle by pretending it doesn't exist,' he said.

    Unbelievable climate nonsense from a man in an ivory tower.

    Read it here.

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    Yet more climate talks…

    I thought they'd only just finished… Anyway, this is the last gasp before Copenhagen (at least we'll all get a break from climate hysteria for a while, with a bit of luck):
    UN negotiations for a global climate treaty have resumed in Bangkok amid fears that delegates will fail to agree on a draft text ahead of December's crucial showdown in Copenhagen.

    The talks are the latest session in nearly two years of haggling - known as the "Bali Road Map" - that have fallen far short of an agreement to tackle climate change beyond 2010.

    UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said on the eve of the meetings that there was intense pressure on the 2,500 participants gathered in the Thai capital. [2500 participants? Carbon footprint must be the size of Al Gore's house - Ed]

    "We're arriving here in Bangkok with about, I think, a 280-page negotiating text which is basically impossible to work with," de Boer told AFP in Bangkok.

    "We've got 16 days of negotiating time left before Copenhagen so things are getting tight and we need to get to a result."

    The suspense is killing me!

    Read it here.

    Canberra's 40-year low

    But because it's a low temperature record, it's obviously just weather, and therefore reduced to a tiny story in the dingiest part of the ABC website, whereas if it had been a high temperature record it would have been climate change [oops, I mean global warming] and plastered all over the front page of every newspaper and website in Australia.
    Canberra had its coldest September day in 40 years yesterday. The temperature hovered around 6 degrees for most of the day, peaking at 8.1 degrees at 5:00 pm AEST.

    Forecaster Paul Corello from the Bureau of Meteorology says it was unusual weather. "We've got a low pressure system sitting off east of Tasmania, a high over South Australia - those two systems dragged up a lot of cold air from over the polar regions and that cold air ended up over the south-east states," he said.

    Mr Corello says there was even light snow falls as low as 700 metres on the mountains surrounding Canberra. There was also heavy snow falls on the New South Wales Snowy Mountain ski fields.

    Neil Thew from Perisher Ski Resort says it is a remarkable way to finish the ski season which officially ends this week. "We've had 30 centimetres of the lightest and driest snow received this season," he said.

    "We've had snow down to 600 metres which is remarkable for this time of year."

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

    Read it here.

    Yet more hysteria: 4 degrees Celsius "likely"

    It's All Happening Faster Than We Thought Alert, as the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre cranks up the hysteria with yet another study showing how it's all tracking faster than the IPCC predicted [how does that happen, when the planet has cooled for the last eight years, which wasn't predicted by the IPCC? - Ed]:
    Global temperatures may be 4 degrees Celsius hotter by the mid-2050s if current greenhouse gas emissions trends continue, a new study says.

    The study, by Britain's Met Office Hadley Centre, echoed a United Nations report last week which found climate changes were outpacing worst-case scenarios forecast in 2007 by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    "Our results are showing similar patterns [to the IPCC] but also show the possibility that more extreme changes can happen," said Debbie Hemming, the co-author of the research which was published at the start of a climate change conference at Oxford University.

    Read it here.

    More lies: Australians back climate action

    This is the triumphant headline in The Age today, which goes on:
    THREE-QUARTERS of Australians believe that the price of fossil fuels should be increased to deal with climate change and 92 per cent believe a legally binding global climate deal is urgent and should be made at the conference to be held in Copenhagen in December.

    Gosh, that's pretty convincing… or it would be if it bore any relation to the truth. The survey was carried out by the Danish [think Copenhagen] Board of Technology. The Age gives little away about the survey:
    The project, Worldwide Views on Global Warming, had demographically representative groups of citizens deliberating in 38 countries, sending strong messages to their political leaders on the issue of climate change action.

    But literally ten seconds digging on their web site ( would have revealed to the journalist, Kelsey Munro (if he had bothered to look), that the whole exercise is nothing more than a carefully orchestrated propaganda machine for the Copenhagen talks, "educating" participants to give the answers they want:
    How did a WWViews meeting take place? 

    The national and regional WWViews meetings took place during one full day and involved roughly100 citizens. The citizens were informed thoroughly about the issues in ways that are locally appropriate -information videos, expert speakers, teaching sessions or video recorded interviews. The participants were put into smaller groups of 6-8 people with a moderator connected to each group.

    The moderator guided the discussions at the table through four consecutive sessions of debating and voting on different issues related to climate change. Towards the end of the meeting, each group of citizens formulated one recommendation for negotiators at the COP15. These recommendations were gathered and put to a general vote that determined the priority of the recommendations produced and the prominence, which they are given in the following communication to politicians.

    How will the WWViews achieve impact on climate policy?

    Together the partners of the WWViews Alliance have a truly awesome network of friends and colleagues reaching across the political globe. All parts of this network are now busy disseminating the results of WWViews to reach maximum impact on the COP15 negotiations and the debate surrounding it.

    To illustrate, a few highlights are appropriate:
    • Connie Hedegaard, the Danish Minister of Climate and Energy, is not only a formal Ambassador for WWViews; she is also the host of the U.N. COP15 negotiations. While no formal promises can be made, the Minister is ideally positioned to help bring the results of WWViews to the attention of the COP15 participants.
    • Each National Partner in WWViews has the responsibility to try to bring their respective national deliberation's results to the attention of their own nation's COP15 delegates and political decision makers.
    • The WWViews secretariat plans to organize public exhibits about WWViews and its results in Copenhagen during the COP15 deliberation. COP15 delegates will see those exhibits. The exhibits will also prompt local media coverage in Copenhagen and Denmark, which may in turn directly or indirectly come to the attention of COP15 delegates. 
    • The WWViews secretariat has organized a global media strategy publicized the WWViews process and results. Among other things, the WWViews deliberations were held worldwide during a single 36-hour period, and publicized immediately via the World Wide Web, building excitement, drama and media interest throughout the day. All of this media attention brings the project results to the attention of ordinary people, interest groups and political decision makers worldwide. Those people and institutions may, in turn, bring the results to the attention of national decision makers and COP15 delegates.

    Do you think any of this included anything not part of the IPCC-based "consensus of alarmism"? Here are a couple of the questions. Now here's a tricky one: what do you think happened between questions 1 and 2?

    Yes, that's right - they would have been brainwashed with an undiluted diet of pure climate alarmism, to scare them into thinking that AGW is real and dangerous and that we should act now. Do you think there was any presentation of the alternative science? You know, the thousands of peer reviewed papers that challenge the CO2-based hysteria? Er, I don't think so. I have emailed the organisers requesting copies of the materials used - I don't expect a response.

    And the list of links tells us all we need to know:
    The Cop15 takes place in Copenhagen in Dec 7 - Dec 18, 2009. This is the official homepage for the event:

    The Cop14 took place in Poznan in Poland in December 2008. The debate and results made at this conference is the stepping stone for the COP15.

    The homepage of The Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC is a UN organisation - the IPCC conducts the COP meetings and negotiations. The IPCC has also done extensive research in climate change.

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the predecessor to the Kyoto Protocol. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the climate change process, particularly the COP, the subsidiary bodies, and their Bureau.

    The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) works to facilitate the transition to low-carbon societies, to support climate proofing efforts, to improve understanding of climate change science, and to raise public awareness of this global challenge. UNEP has also been involved in creating the IPCC and UNFCCC.

    People's Climate Action
    PCA is funded by the Danish Foreign Ministry and was founded in November 2008 to prepare for COP15. The People's Climate Action is an umbrella organisation of more than 40 large and small Non Governmental Organisations and individual projects related to the COP15. is a campaign founded by U.S. author and amabassador for this project, Bill McKibben. The purpose of this campaign is to highlight the efforts of existing organizations and knit these many efforts together for a powerful global, scientific, and specific call to action.

    C40 is a group of the world's largest cities committed to tackling climate change, based on the thought that cities have a central role to play in tackling climate change, particularly as cities bear a disproportional responsibility for causing it.

    This is not an impartial survey, or anything approaching an impartial survey. It is a partisan, biased exercise in brainwashing in order to obtain misleading results to achieve a particular political outcome. Shame on The Age for uncritically publishing such obvious nonsense.

    Read it here.

    UPDATED: Rudd's rural popularity on the slide

    The rural communities are the only ones that really understand the effect of the ETS, and it is showing in recent polls. Green policies and environmentalism are fine when you live in the city, working in air conditioned offices, insulated from the harsh realities of those policies' effects.
    An opinion poll shows public support for Labor has fallen in regional areas as well as in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's home state of Queensland.

    The latest Newspoll figures, published in today's Australian, show an increase in support for the Coalition from voters outside capital cities.

    In regional areas, the Coalition now leads Labor 44 per cent to 39 per cent in primary figures and 51 per cent to 49 per cent in two party preferred terms.

    The figures can be at least partly attributed to a boost in support for the Nationals, who are leading a strong anti-emissions trading campaign in regional areas.

    The Coalition's primary vote in Queensland was higher by four percentage points to 42 per cent, only one point behind Labor.

    Read it here (this page has disappeared from the ABC web site for some reason, so this is the Google cache)

    UPDATE: Barnaby Joyce sums up the effect of the ETS very succinctly:
    "People just didn't understand it, and now that they do get it they just hate it,'' he told ABC Radio today. (source)

    Coalition admits it could lose double dissolution election

    That's the spirit. At least Julie Bishop had the guts to say "bring it on", but Ian Macfarlane, the new climate change spokesman, has thrown in the towel before the fight has even begun, effectively committing the opposition to agree to an ETS becoming law prior to Copenhagen:
    THE Coalition would lose an early election sparked by an outright rejection of Labor's emissions trading scheme and precipitate a "disaster", according to the opposition's new spokesman on climate change.

    Warning that the threat of a double-dissolution election was so great the Liberals and Nationals must now work to amend the Rudd government's legislation, Ian Macfarlane said yesterday his goal was to craft amendments that would bring the Nationals back inside the tent. [Any amendments that would please the Nationals would certainly be rejected by Labor - Ed]

    While deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop was still talking tough about the Coalition's readiness to fight an early poll, Mr Macfarlane said yesterday the reality was "we will lose".

    "The risk we take is that if we just oppose it outright, the double dissolution that precipitates and the likelihood (is) we would lose that election," the acting climate change spokesman told the Nine Network.

    "That means that the flawed legislation we have now will be the flawed legislation that goes to the joint parliamentary sitting. If that is the case, that will be a disaster. Far better for the Coalition to put up a practical set of amendments that will save jobs in Australia, and so I'll be taking a proposal to the joint partyroom on that basis."

    Except the government is unlikely even to consider your amendments… I mean, why should they? They know they will win a double dissolution election (you've just told them), so they can be as tough as they like in negotiations, and at any time they can just walk away.

    Read it here.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    "The Australian" supports the ETS because it makes people "feel better"

    In an opinion piece today, The Australian correctly raises all sorts of tricky questions about the ETS which are simply not being answered:
    THE emissions trading scheme, as Kevin Rudd says, is not "political slap and tickle". It is serious legislation that could potentially have a greater impact on productivity, capital flows and jobs than the GST, which was subjected to intense scrutiny and almost cost the Howard government office 11 years ago. We've seen plenty of hot air, but the ETS has received little more than "slap and tickle" coverage from supposedly serious sections of the media, including some in the Canberra gallery. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong's confected October 20 deadline for the opposition to propose legislative amendments led news bulletins this week, even though that was the Coalition timetable anyway. It would have been more helpful to examine the government's failure to unveil the regulations that will largely determine the impact of the scheme.

    But what about the government ministers, well known to many in the media, whose scepticism about the ETS and climate change privately rivals that of Mr Tuckey and Barnaby Joyce?

    But what about jobs?

    But what about the expectations of business?

    Then there is the science. The public has not been well-served by scientists' contradictory findings on such basic points as whether the world is warming or cooling. Figures predicting sea level rises fluctuate widely. Some have turned scientific method on its head, no longer proceeding through a process of conjectures and refutations, but rather conjectures and affirmation, crossing the line between inquiry and activism. The science has been politicised.

    After all that, it's hard to see how anyone could possibly support the ETS. But The Australian somehow manages it, on the flimsiest of pretexts:
    What is not disputed is that Australia's contribution to global emissions is barely 1 per cent and falling. The Weekend Australian supports the government's scheme not because it will achieve much environmentally - it is too small for that - but because, like the scheme John Howard took to the last election, it is cautious and market-driven. Public opinion polls show most Australians feel better that something is being done.

    Feel better? This is an almost unbelievably cowardly justification for supporting the worst single piece of legislation since Federation. The Australian is the only news source that is vaguely critical of the ETS, yet even it shies away from the inevitable shrill cries of "denier" that would be hurled its way if it came out and spoke the truth, namely that the ETS is bad law and should not be enacted.

    Read it here.

    G20 - little chance of deal in Copenhagen

    Given that a binding global deal to slash CO2 emissions will send millions of people back into poverty, and at the same time make no difference whatsoever to the climate (which will change whether we want it to or not), let's hope they're right:
    European leaders voiced growing doubts on whether the world will meet a December deadline for a new climate deal as a summit here looked set to take up global warming in generalities.

    Twenty leaders who represent 90 percent of the global economy were holding two days of talks in the eastern US city of Pittsburgh, itself billed as a model of transition from decaying steel town to a green technology hub.

    The summit opened two days after a high-powered climate meet at the United Nations, where Japan and China offered new pledges on how to save the world from rising temperatures predicted to threaten entire species if unchecked.

    But with just a little more than two months before a conference in Copenhagen -- designated two years ago as the venue to seal the successor to the landmark Kyoto Protocol -- pessimism was growing.

    "When it comes to the negotiations, they are in fact slowing down; they are not going in the right direction," said Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, the current head of the European Union.

    "We are very worried that we need to speed up the negotiations," he said.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel also sounded a sour note.

    "There has been progress, in particular from the Chinese side, from the Japanese side now, and the UN meeting with (UN Secretary General) Ban Ki-moon," Merkel told reporters in Berlin before heading to Pittsburgh.

    "But I have to say that when I consider what still has to be achieved before Copenhagen, we cannot be happy," she said.

    Read it here.

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Rudd targets university students

    Two Indoctrination Alerts in one day? This is becoming a bit of a habit:
    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called on university students in the US to devote their time and talents to tackling climate change.

    In the US for the third G20 meeting, Rudd took the opportunity to speak to students at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh about climate change.

    He told the students that human use of technology had created global warming and it was humans inventing and adapting new technologies, that would lead to reduced emissions.

    The spin just gets worse and worse.

    Read it here.

    World leaders in Pittsburgh for G20

    And of course, Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swann, the Bill & Ben of Australian politics, will be there enjoying the free (carbon-fuelled) hospitality and (carbon-fuelled) flights whilst at the same time telling everyone how we should cut emissions:
    The forum, hosted by US President Barack Obama, will discuss progress on financial market reforms [socialism good, capitalism bad - Ed], a co-ordinated world strategy to withdraw stimulus spending and a sustainable plan for economic recovery and growth.

    The G20 will also further examine plans to crack down on bankers' salaries and bonuses. [The politics of greed and envy - Ed]

    It will also be the last chance many world leaders have to discuss climate change and financing arrangements for developing nations before the Copenhagen climate change talks in December. [King Canute style politics of hubris and arrogance - Ed]

    Sounds like one to miss.

    Read it here.

    Teacher preaches climate change alarmism

    Indoctrination Alert as yet another teacher outs herself as a climate alarmist, having learned all the necessary propaganda from Al Gore himself. The Warrnambool Standard is gushing about it (well it would be - it's part of Fairfax):
    ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner Rebecca Phyland has been educating the south-west about climate change [hysteria] and now she's taking her message to the world.

    The Narrawong teacher will make a presentation for international educators and policy makers at the Greening Education Conference to be held in south-west Germany next week.

    Ms Phyland is a permaculturalist* and teacher with South West TAFE and leads education and consultancy business Thornbill Eco Education.

    Earlier this year she was one of 300 people chosen to take part in a training session to enable her to present environmental campaigner and former US vice-president Al Gore's slideshow on the climate crisis [which we all know is a pile of steaming climate BS, by the way - Ed].

    I wonder what she might teach her students at TAFE? A balanced view of climate science enabling the students to use their own minds to evaluate the various arguments? Or ramming Gore-based propaganda down their throats? I wonder…

    Read it here.

    * "While originating as an agro-ecological design theory, permaculture has developed a large international following. This "permaculture community" continues to expand on the original ideas, integrating a range of ideas of alternative culture, through a network of publications, permaculture gardens, intentional communities, training programs, and internet forums. In this way, permaculture has become both a design system and a culture of rewilding the human species." So now you know. (source)

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Liberal Senator threatens to vote against ETS

    The first of many, we hope. Julian McGauran is threatening to vote against any ETS before any international agreement - dead right too.
    Senator McGauran, who defected from the Nationals in 2006, said he would not vote for an ETS before the international community reached an agreement on targets to cut emissions.

    Countries are due to decide targets at a United Nations meeting in Copenhagen in December.

    Senator McGauran said he'd vote against any ETS bill that came before the parliament before a global agreement was finalised.

    "There is no amount of compromise that would convince me otherwise," he said.

    "Once an international agreement is signed and active, a coalition amended ETS can be taken off the top-shelf and implemented in Australia."

    And we know how much chance there is of that…

    Read it here.

    Climate sense from Piers Ackerman

    A lonely voice of sanity amongst the hysteria.
    In the past 48 hours, Wong has set an October 19 deadline for the Opposition to present its amendments to the Government’s lunatic emissions trading legislation - overlooking the reality that Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull had earlier indicated the Opposition’s amendments would be ready for Federal Parliament’s resumption on that day.

    Before writing to Turnbull, however, she told correspondents in New York (where she is attending a United Nations picnic with the Prime Minister) that the so-called compromise plan she has advanced on Australia’s behalf would permit developing nations to continue to increase their greenhouse gas emissions.

    At the same time, Australia and other wealthy Western nations would have to suffer cutbacks by submitting their own legally binding economy-wide emission reduction targets.

    Even those who have gone along with the totally unproven human-induced climate change nonsense would have to see the idiocy in this illogical humbug.

    It is a case of unscientific theory being met with ill thought-through policy which can only have one outcome - the erosion of the industrial base of technically superior Western and Asian nations in favour of development of Third World economies.

    Despite all of that potential turmoil, none of it would have any possible effect on the emission of greenhouse gases or impact on global climate change. Further, Wong and Rudd remain determined to push through legislation which will drive up the cost of living for ordinary Australians and cost thousands of jobs in the key industries driving our robust economy.

    Essentially, the Rudd/Wong plan would reverse the development of Australia that has taken place since European settlement.

    The Rudd/Wong solution is, in short, a joke. Much like the UN itself.

    Read it here.

    Rudd, the home-grown toxic bore, sends the UN comatose

    And they thought one and a half hours of Gaddafi's rambling incoherence was punishment enough. The delegates were all stampeding for the exits as Rudd patronised and talked down to them in that trademark monotone. All the usual climate bull was wheeled out as expected:
    What is required globally is the leadership to embrace this truth [right on, man - Ed] and to respond to it accordingly because the truth is all our governments need ["ooh, ooh, yeah, the truth is all we need"- cue guitar riff - Ed] to reach beyond their self interests and instead fashion a grand bargain between the developed and developing countries of the world - a grand bargain on climate change which embraces both historical and future responsibility; a grand bargain which is anchored in the science of climate change [Science? SCIENCE??? You wouldn't know the science if it smacked you in the face - Ed] and the need to keep temperature rises within two degrees Celsius to avoid catastrophic climate change.

    What, no Rudd-speak? No talk of programmatic specificity? Such a disappointment…

    Read it here.

    UN conference: climate "pass the parcel"

    A more downbeat, and therefore encouraging, view of the UN talk-fest from The Australian this morning, with Tim Wilson stripping away the rhetoric to reveal, well, not a lot:
    INTERNATIONAL negotiations are like a game of political pass the parcel and every government is desperate to ensure they're not holding up negotiations when the music stops.

    Last July India was left holding the parcel of negotiating text for the World Trade Organisation's Doha talks when the music stopped, and was internationally condemned for the failed negotiations.

    At this week's UN Climate Change Summit in New York, the grand rhetoric from political leaders shows they are seeking to make sure the music keeps playing when they are in the spotlight.

    Kevin Rudd is proposing a "grand bargain", Chinese President Hu Jintao has proposed per capita emissions cuts and Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh is celebrating proposed domestic legislation for emissions targets. Their statements aren't about securing agreement but laying the foundations of blame for when the December Copenhagen meeting collapses in attempting to replace the failed Kyoto Protocol.

    Next week climate change negotiations resume in Bangkok to iron out details for a Copenhagen agreement. [Oh great, another week of climate nonsense to put up with - Ed]

    Present negotiating texts include radically different and mutually exclusive visions for emissions targets and how to secure them through instruments, including international financing and undermining intellectual property on low-carbon technology.

    Expect another round of media savvy statements to ensure no attending minister looks like they are holding back a deal. But the music will stop by the end of the December Copenhagen meeting and if ministers are smart, they won't be passing the parcel, they will be dropping it.

    And while Rudd and Wong seek to pass their emissions trading scheme they will be committing Australia to unilateral action to harm our economy while the rest of the world points fingers for Copenhagen's failure.

    So even if Australia isn't left with the parcel in Copenhagen, Rudd and Wong will come home to start a new game: ETS hot potato.

    Read it here.

    If it's not climate change, it will be something else…

    ACM's favourite alarmist is on top form again, this time in cahoots with an bunch of international enviro-crackpots, who have prepared a report on the "lines in the sand" that must not be crossed if we are to "save the planet." No, really, stick with it:
    The boundaries for climate change, fresh water use, pollution and ozone depletion among others, if transgressed, could bring the world into a new era of decline, the scientists warn.

    The global study brought together 28 researchers, including three Australians, and outlines exactly what levels are required to keep the world sustainable.

    For climate change, it's a carbon concentration of 350 parts per million; for biodiversity, it's the loss of only 10 species per million each year.

    "We are entering the Anthropocene, a new geological era in which our activities are threatening the Earth's capacity to regulate itself," said report co-author Professor Will Steffen, a director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University in Canberra.

    "The expanding human enterprise could undermine the resilience of the Holocene state, which would otherwise continue for thousands of years into the future.

    "Here we have a challenge ... on how can we get our act together?"

    So when the climate change fraud has finally been debunked, and the alarmists are desperately looking for another path to global socialism, this report gives plenty of options to choose from:
    The other areas include the stratospheric ozone, land-use change, ocean acidification, fresh water distribution, the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, aerosol loading and chemical pollution.

    You have been warned.

    Read it here.

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Headline of the Day

    Given who else is in the room, it ain't saying much:
    Rudd smartest guy in room, says Clinton

    "In my opinion, he is one of the most well-informed, well read, intelligent leaders in the world today," Mr Clinton told the audience.

    I guess that would be compared to such intellectuals as Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Silvio Berlusconi etc, etc… Everything's relative!

    Read it here.

    Climate deal edges closer

    Unfortunately, it looks more and more likely that some kind of deal at Copenhagen will happen. The news reports this morning are all gung ho about a deal, and the Chinese appear to be on board to some extent, although the quote from Hu Jintau was particularly vague:
    "We will endeavour to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by a notable margin by 2020 from the 2005 level." (source)

    There does seem to be some momentum behind it all. The Sydney Morning Herald is using the recovery of the ozone layer, resulting from the Montreal Protocol, to be an example of how a global treaty can work (i.e. as for climate change), sadly missing the point that the link between CO2 and "global warming" is far less proven than that between CFCs and ozone depletion.

    Even The Australian, usually healthily sceptical on climate, is gushing:
    PERHAPS frozen climate change negotiations are starting to thaw, both globally and locally. It seems certain no nation wants to be seen as sabotaging the Copenhagen climate change conference before it starts. And UN head Ban Ki-moon is calling for a 'fair deal" as the basis for the Copenhagen talks. It seems he might have cause for confidence. Ahead of a major speech in New York by China's President Hu Jintao on his country's commitment to tackling global warming, Chinese officials were emphasising the country's commitment to dealing with the "real and imminent" threat of climate change. The UN's climate change director, Yvo de Boer, is talking of "his high expectations" of what Mr Hu intends to propose. Even India, which continues to demand action from the US, appears intent on bringing some reduction measures to the negotiating table. It seems a sea-change on climate is in the offing internationally and perhaps at home. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong is saying that if the conservatives can come up with a settled stance on the government's emissions trading scheme by next month, she will consider amending the legislation.

    This is despite admitting in the next paragraph that the science isn't settled, but the public think it's a problem [why is that I wonder? Continual media and government misrepresentations of the facts perhaps? - Ed], so therefore we have to deal with it. And with Ban Ki-Moon blackmailing the planet by making the climate debate an issue of morality, it's hard to see how some kind of agreement, pointless as it will be, won't be reached:
    "Failure to reach broad agreement in Copenhagen would be morally inexcusable, economically short-sighted and politically unwise," he said.

    Mr Ban pointed to worst-case scenarios of UN scientists, who say that the world has only 10 years to reverse the course of climate change which would put at risk entire species and worsen natural disasters.

    "The fate of future generations, and the hopes and livelihoods of billions today, rest literally with you," he said. (source)

    Pure climate madness, I'm afraid.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Not acting on climate is "benign genocide"

    You heard it here first. The hyperbole reaches ludicrous levels as an alliance of small island states claims that failing to "tackle climate change" is equivalent to genocide, at least of a benign variety, whatever that is:
    The alliance's chairman, Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, says the states are gravely concerned for their survival.

    "We're already being threatened," he said.

    "What I'm saying is that those who are really concerned about humanity and about survival, would they just sit back and permit countries to disappear?

    "It is really an ethical question we are faced with now. A failure to act is sort of really a benign genocide in a sense."

    Is it also "benign genocide" when a volcano erupts, an earthquake strikes or when tectonic plate movement means an island sinks into the sea? No, they are the natural hazards of living on planet earth, just like climate change.

    Read it here.

    Penny Wong is a robot (again)

    What is it about the way Penny Wong speaks? It's the continual repetition of a phrase, like she's stuck in an endless loop, that rankles so:
    "We want the legislation passed, that's what we want, that's what we're focused on, not only early elections," Senator Wong said.

    "Why should we pass this legislation? Because it is squarely in Australia's national interests to take action on climate change, it is squarely in Australia's national interest to pass the carbon pollution reduction scheme."

    Exterminate, exterminate. And in any case, you're wrong. Please explain how crippling our economy, before we know whether other countries (our competitors) will cripple theirs, is in our national interests.

    Read it here.

    Voters still in the dark on ETS and climate change

    The latest News Poll demonstrates how well the moonbat media, the IPCC, enviro-celebs like Tim Flannery and Cate Blanchett and governments of all political shades continue to brainwash a majority of the unsuspecting public into believing the following:
    1. that anthropogenic global warming [climate change?] is real and dangerous;
    2. that we need drastic cuts in emissions of "carbon pollution" to "save the planet";
    3. that Rudd's ETS will cost no jobs and will miraculously save the Great Barrier Reef.
     When the alternatives, namely:
    1. climate change is predominantly natural, in which the human signal from anthropogenic CO2 is almost undetectable (despite billions of dollars of research);
    2. emissions cuts means reducing energy consumption, which means limiting or reversing economic growth, which will plunge millions of people around the world (back) into poverty;
    3. Rudd's ETS will cripple the Australian economy, destroy thousands of jobs, and make not one iota of difference to the climate, either locally or globally
    is not even considered. At least things are moving in the right direction, however:
    According to the latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian last weekend, support for the government's [ETS] scheme is still strong at 67 per cent but is down from 72 per cent in October last year.

    Those uncommitted on a scheme have risen from seven to 11 per cent.

    Outright opposition to the scheme is a steady 22 per cent of those surveyed.

    Those "strongly in favour" of an emissions trading scheme have fallen from 35 per cent in October last year to 29 per cent last weekend.

    Slow progress indeed.

    Read it here. See also:

    Mixed messages: Libs split on carbon
    Climate change poll flags pitfalls for both leaders

    Miners warn of huge ETS job losses

    It doesn't seem to matter how many studies show that the ETS will obliterate jobs left right and centre, because the government always falls back on its Treasury modelling that says the whole thing will just be a minor irritation to the economy. And since they appear to have an almost religious duty to push through the ETS come what may, that's not surprising. But others have different views:
    THE minerals industry has demanded Kevin Rudd overhaul his proposed emissions trading system or risk smashing Australian jobs and the nation's industrial competitiveness.

    As the Prime Minister lobbied global counterparts for action on climate change in New York yesterday, the Minerals Council of Australia warned that his ETS plans were far too tough compared with new European Commission ETS proposals that emerged during the weekend.

    If Mr Rudd's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme went ahead, the council said, it would cripple the ability of Australian companies to compete against Europeans, costing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars and having no environmental benefit.

    The dire warning came as Mr Rudd continued to express pessimism about the chance of a new agreement on global emissions reductions at the UN Copenhagen climate change summit in December.

    MCA acting chief executive Brendan Pearson yesterday backed the cautious approach, seizing on weekend proposals from the European Commission to attack the CPRS as a potential job-destroyer.

    Under the EC proposals, Mr Pearson said, 80 per cent of minerals producers and manufacturers would receive free permits, meaning the coal, aluminium, copper and non-ferrous metals industries would faced little cost.

    At the same time, 90 per cent of Australia's mining exports, by value, would be produced without any compensation.

    "While Australia's coalmining sector pays $5 billion in carbon costs over the next five years, the EU industry will pay nothing," Mr Pearson said. "While the Australian gold sector pays $810million, the comparable industries in the EU (and US) will face no or limited permit costs."

    Sounds like a level playing field, doesn't it?

    Read it here.

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Rudd changes stance on ETS bill (perhaps)

    The Opposition are pouncing on comments by Kevin Rudd on CNN about the relative timing of the ETS bill. Just for laughs, check out the language our leader uses in a formal interview (an embarrassment to Australia wherever he goes):
    "The government I lead was only elected 18 months or so ago, we ratified the Kyoto Protocol immediately and we are into these negotiations big time," he said ["Into these negotiations big time"? Oh, please - Ed].

    "But you know something, our domestic emissions trading legislation was also voted down by our Senate a very short time ago.

    "That doesn't impede me from being active in these negotiations and my observation of President Obama is it doesn't impede him either."

    The Opposition's spokesman for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has jumped all over that statement.

    "The Prime Minister is telling Australians one thing at home and telling Americans another time abroad," he said.

    "It's absolutely clear as we've always maintained that we should get on and work on an international agreement that should occur before rather than after we finalise an emissions trading scheme in Australia, because we won't know what the form of the scheme should be until we know what the rest of the world is doing.

    "I actually think today's statement to the Americans on CNN by Kevin Rudd takes away his own argument for a system before the world comes to an agreement.

    We shall see. More likely, the Krudd spin cycle will deal with that little misunderstanding, and we will be back to square one by tomorrow morning.

    Read it here.

    Wong's grand plan is nothing of the sort

    This is Penny Wong's brilliant idea to get agreement at Copenhagen. Again, living in a kind of fantasy world, where she really believes that the whole world will take notice of the proposals of a country that contributes 1.5% of global emissions. I'm sure the world will listen politely, like one does to a demented great aunt, say "That's nice dear" and then get back to the real world:
    AUSTRALIA has unveiled a compromise proposal to break the deadlocked Copenhagen climate change negotiations that offers developing countries a more flexible way to pledge their efforts towards global greenhouse gas reductions.

    Under the compromise proposal, to be announced by Climate Change Minister Penny Wong today, developing countries would not have to commit to binding, economy-wide emission-reduction targets. But they would have to submit their own binding "schedule" of how and where their reductions could be made.

    The idea has been described by US President Barack Obama's special climate change envoy, Todd Stern, as a "constructive proposal".

    But then comes the big issue:
    In what appears to be a reference to China and India, she will say the developing countries with "greater capacity and responsibility" would have to promise actions that added up to "significant reductions below baselines".

    So although developing countries submit their own schedules, China and India's schedule would have to meet certain criteria to be acceptable? What are those criteria, Penny? Because, to be honest, only China and India matter in all this. And if you start setting criteria for China and India, you're back to, er, exactly where you started. Brilliant.

    Read it here.

    Climate fiction from EC President

    Actually it's not just fiction, but outright [insert L-word here]. Writing in the Fairfax press this morning, where else, Jose Manuel Barroso clearly hasn't been looking out of the window for the last 10 years:
    CLIMATE change is happening faster than we believed only two years ago. Continuing with business as usual almost certainly means dangerous, perhaps catastrophic, climate change during the course of this century. This is the most important challenge for this generation of politicians.

    And at the same time, Kevin Rudd has conceded that there is little chance of any agreement at Copenhagen… but that we should still plough on with the ETS before December anyway. Maybe one of you can explain the logic, because it eludes me:
    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he is not prepared to delay consideration of the Government's emissions trading scheme legislation despite conceding a global agreement remains some way off.

    Mr Rudd is in New York to advance international negotiations on strategies to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the December Copenhagen summit.

    However, he is worried progress on international climate change talks are progressing too slowly to reach an agreement before [at?] Copenhagen.

    And unfortunately, the Opposition's stand-in emissions trading spokesman, Ian Macfarlane still believes that negotiating with the Government is the best option:
    The Government says it is prepared to negotiate on the legislation if the Coalition puts forward specific changes to the bills.

    Mr Macfarlane says he expects to have amendments ready before Parliament resumes in four weeks.

    "I'm still confident that within a week, I'll be able to sit down with the Department of Climate Change and have a preliminary discussion about their latest information from Copenhagen and following that, frame up a set of amendments over the following two weeks that I'll firstly take to Shadow Cabinet and then to the party room," he said.

    Wrong answer.

    Read it here and here.

    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Astonishing quote from "The Age"

    The Age reports on another "yoof" climate campaign wittily entitled "Youth Decide" ("you decide," geddit? Link here.) in which the kids of today vote on which world they wish to inherit. Here are the three options:

    Note they don't include a mini Ice Age resulting from reduced solar activity

    Even The Age pokes fun at the poll, wondering why we should pay attention to the opinion of 12 year olds (brainwashed at school by endless showings of An Inconvenient Truth in science class, rather than in politics class). But it also includes an almost unbelievable quote, revealing a great deal about The Age's view on the campaign to save the planet from climate change:
    There is not, now, much value in arguing about the science of climate change. Even if it's wrong, enough people now believe it that it may as well be right. 

    In other words, give up trying to argue that the science is wrong. We've successfully pulled the wool over the public's eyes now, mostly thanks to the misrepresentations in the media, and primarily thanks to the alarmist Fairfax (which includes The Age itself and The Sydney Morning Herald), and so who cares if it complete BS? We will achieve our political goals whatever happens now.

    Well, I have news for you, Michael Coulter and your colleagues in Fairfax. Whether you like it or not, we will continue to argue that the alarmist science is wrong until there isn't a breath left in our sceptical bodies. And nothing The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald prints will stop that.

    Read it here.

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Headline of the Day

    Cutting population to save the planet:
    Birth control 'could combat climate change'

    Read it here.

    Wong's hubris on Australian role in climate

    For some reason, Kevin Rudd has delusions of grandeur [delusions of adequacy? - Ed] when it comes to climate matters. For some reason, he and his "Astro Boy" sidekick Penny Wong believe that what Australia does in terms of emissions legislation will somehow influence the rest of the world - that because a country that emits 1.4% of global emissions will legally commit itself to reducing that figure to 1.2% by 2020, that fact alone will make the US, China and India see the error of their ways and sign up to a crippling deal at Copenhagen in December. It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.
    The Prime Minister warned yesterday international agreement was "not nearly a done deal" and shifted his climate change pitch to domestic politics, attacking opposition disunity on the issue.

    His attack came as Climate Change Minister Penny Wong also appeared pessimistic about Copenhagen but said Australia should still embrace an emissions trading system to set an example.

    The comments came as an expert in international negotiations told The Weekend Australian there was no prospect of agreement in Copenhagen because differences between the positions of the US, the European Union, China and India were too great.

    Alan Oxley, a former senior trade negotiator for the Australian government, said it would take years to craft workable agreements on reducing carbon emissions and emissions trading.

    Senator Wong, who yesterday met Democrat congressmen Henry Waxman and Edward Markey, who are sponsoring the US bill, said the message from the Obama administration and key congressional leaders was that they were committed to passing their climate change laws as soon as possible. [The chances are getting smaller by the day - Ed]

    She said the worst position for Australia would be to delay action, as it would only encourage delay by the US and the rest of the world.

    So even though there is little prospect of agreement in Copenhagen, and that the US climate bill is teetering on the brink, Australia should plough on to "set an example"? Madness.

    Read it here.

    Climate expert Hugh Jackman to speak at climate forum

    If this was the other way round, a celeb speaking at a climate sceptic forum, the media would be having a field day. The air would be thick with ad hominem digs about how he or she was not a climate scientist, or they are otherwise not qualified to speak, or ridiculing them for not understanding the issues, or criticising them for becoming involved in political matters, or… or… But because this fits in perfectly with the media's built in alarmist bias, it's all hushed admiration and fawning news reports:
    Actor Hugh Jackman and World Vision Australia chief Tim Costello will speak at a climate change forum in New York alongside world leaders including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    Jackman and Mr. Costello will call for urgent action during Climate Week NYC, a series of events being held throughout New York City from Monday.

    The 40-year-old actor, who is one of the most sought after stars in Hollywood and an ambassador for World Vision, is campaigning for a global agreement to alleviate the impact of climate change on the poor.

    'I hope to be a voice for the billion people in developing countries who will be the hardest hit by changing weather patterns, by the droughts and floods that destroy their crops and threaten their food security,' Jackman said in a statement.

    'Climate Week NYC provides an ideal forum to help underscore the urgency for world leaders to secure and fund an ambitious global climate change deal in Copenhagen that is effective, fair and binding.'

    A voice for a billion people. Modest as always, Hugh.

    Read it here.

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Who says the media is biased on climate change?

    Here is a textbook example of how the media (in this case Reuters, regurgitated verbatim by News Corp) and agenda-driven climate scientists can spin an optimistic story about the state of the climate into hysterical alarmism.

    As I reported here, the Arctic sea ice minimum is up by 500,000 square kilometers over 2008, which itself was up by the same amount on 2007. If you are an impartial observer, such a report should be greeted with thoughtful curiosity, since it appears that the late 20th century warming may indeed be slowing or reversing. Furthermore, you might go on to ask, I wonder what the possible cause of such a slowing or reversing of the temperature trend might be. If you were an impartial climate scientist you may think to yourself:
    "Hmm, this data doesn't seem to fit our models. I wonder what is missing from our models that meant we did not predict this increase in sea ice and the cooling of the planet over the last few years? This kind of data is helpful to us because it will allow us to improve our models to better predict the climate in future."

    And if you were reporting this story in a balanced media outlet, you might state "Arctic sea ice rises for second year in a row".

    However, Reuters, like most of the mainstream media, has an agenda of promoting climate alarmism. We're all going to die unless we slash "carbon" emissions.  So they sit down and think how they can spin this story to fit that agenda. And, after many long hours of consideration, they eventually come up with a headline that screams:

    Arctic ice melt third-largest on record

    So what does "on record" mean here? That's right, since 1979, which is utterly meaningless in terms of climate, and which doesn't include the 1930s, or any of the other less recent warmings, when there was far less arctic sea ice than today.

    And instead of open minded curiosity as to why this has happened, the scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the US, so blinkered by their alarmist agenda, try to explain it away, with caveat after caveat to justify why this growth in sea ice is irrelevant, and that "global warming" is still happening faster than ever. Here are a few examples:
    But scientists said they do not consider the slight upward fluctuation again this summer to be a recovery. [Slight upward fluctuation? It's a huge increase over two years. But they can't possibly admit that they may not have a perfect understanding of the climate]

    The difference was attributed to relatively cooler temperatures this summer compared with the two previous years. [And that is somehow not relevant? Why were temperatures cooler this summer?]

    Winds also tended to disperse the ice pack over a larger region, scientists said. [Ah yes, of course, other factors were responsible. But when winds cause ice to retreat, on the other hand, that's ignored and it's all attributed to "global warming". It's a can't lose situation!]

    "The long-term decline in summer extent is expected to continue in future years," the report said. [I think they really hope it does, because otherwise they're going to look pretty foolish]

    These so-called scientists have such vested interests that they cannot objectively comment on any data that doesn't fit their agenda, a cardinal sin which should bar them from ever calling themselves scientists again. I genuinely believe that they are so small minded that they actually want the climate catastrophe that their models predict, and all the disastrous consequences that go with it, simply to be proved right.

    The Arctic is the "canary in the coalmine" of climate alarmism, and when it doesn't play ball, the spin just gets more brazen.

    Read it here.

    UPDATE: Of course, the ABC here in Australia cannot resist the temptation either:
    Walruses die en masse as Arctic ice melts

    Hundreds of dead walruses have been found on Alaska's north-west coast, coinciding with reports that Arctic Sea ice has reached the third lowest level ever recorded.

    Some environmentalists in the United States think that is the cause of the deaths. (source)

    "Think"? Must be true, then. Quality journalism, as ever, from the ABC.

    ETS the acid test for Turnbull

    From The Australian:
    The ETS strategy is far from settled and presents the biggest challenges for Turnbull.

    The official position of the Coalition, the grounds on which it voted against the government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme the first time in the Senate, is that Australia should not legislate an emissions trading scheme with targets and carbon prices until we know what the position of the world's three biggest greenhouse gas emitters - China, India and the US - is after the UN conference in Copenhagen in December.

    But the reality is, and Turnbull's preferred position is, that the Coalition should work on amendments to correct a "flawed scheme", have them accepted and then pass the CPRS bill. Turnbull, who believes in an ETS, would then embrace the scheme, avoid a double-dissolution trigger and try to consign the Coalition's politically poisonous legacy on climate change to the same dustbin as WorkChoices.

    Turnbull accepts there will be revolts along the way, with Coalition MPs and senators - including all the Nationals and up to four or five Liberals - crossing the floor, but believes he will prevail. If he doesn't, his leadership will be in the same category as Nelson's was and will face the same fate.

    Read it here.

    Indoctrination Alert: schools aim for 350ppm

    I wonder where this came from? The students being presented with a balanced and objective view of the climate change debate, or from Marxist teachers brainwashing them about the evils of CO2 (and capitalism, and globalisation etc etc) and spouting quotes from climate crackpot James Hansen at them?
    BISHOP Druitt College has issued a challenge to other high schools on the Coffs Coast to join them in becoming a part of the 350 movement for climate change to reduce global carbon dioxide levels to 350 parts per million.

    The 350 ppm CO2 target is the objective proposed by the NASA chief scientist James Hansen and his colleagues to limit the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million.

    The goal is to avoid global climate change with potentially very large and irreversible effects on human society and the natural environment.

    Year 11 BDC student Miriam Adams-Schimminger said students at her school would be planting 350 trees and would be sending a petition to Canberra as well as forming the number 350 on the school oval.

    And here's the dead give-away:
    “We will be learning about it in science so everyone knows about it and why, and we want to challenge other schools to take part,” Miriam said.

    Science? Don't make me laugh. More like political propaganda. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in those lessons. Just be thankful you don't send your kids to any of these schools.

    Read it here.

    Another carbon-fuelled gab-fest

    More pointless talks about talks, hyped up by AFP as usual:
    REPRESENTATIVES of the world's 17 biggest carbon polluters [wrong on both counts - Ed] have kicked off a week of high-stakes talks on climate change with a discussion at the US State Department.

    The main aim of the week of meetings is to bridge differences ahead of the UN December 7-18 climate change conference in Copenhagen, where a pact for curbing global warming beyond 2012 - when Kyoto Protocol obligations on cutting emissions expire - is to be crafted [I'll believe it when I see it - Ed].

    Negotiators will meet for two days at the State Department in Washington, then move to New York next week and then on to Pittsburgh [I guess they're all travelling around by bicycle? - Ed].

    The meetings come as Washington tries to resume a leadership role on climate change, and follow a warning from UN chief Ban Ki-moon [-bat] that world leaders need to "get moving" on climate change.

    Read it here.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    ACM: CFL resistance

    Here at ACM headquarters I am proud to announce that I have replaced virtually every CFL with a traditional tungsten filament bulb. The result?
    • I can see properly in my study for the first time in 18 months (60W equivalent? Like hell) - I actually started thinking my eyesight was giving out!
    • I don't have to switch on my desk lamp and go and make a cup of tea while waiting for it to "warm up"
    • The dimmers work again.
    • I'm no longer at risk of triggering an epileptic fit thanks to the incessant flickering.
    • Spares are $2 and not $20 (and don't mention the $5 Chinese rubbish you get in Woolworths)
    • Disposal does not mean releasing highly toxic mercury into the environment (remember how the EU went to such lengths to ban mercury barometers? Talk about hypocrisy).
    Thanks to Rudd's crazy climate hysteria (mirrored around the world), traditional tungsten filament bulbs are being phased out to "save the planet". Already, you cannot buy the traditional shaped bulbs in certain wattages. But for now, you can still buy candle bulbs and "fancy round" bulbs in both clear and pearl. I intend to stock up on these to last me until I don't care any more.  The CFLs, on the other hand, will gently rot away in a box in the garage, unwanted and forgotten.

    Good riddance.

    US climate bill equivalent to 15% income tax hike

    Just so you know what you have to look forward to when Rudd's ETS becomes law. It looks like the US agencies have been "economical with the truth" about the cost of the US climate bill to households. Why would that be? Maybe because if they were honest about it, it wouldn't have a chance of being passed [Sounds like the ETS - Ed]:
    Documents (link to PDF) obtained from the U.S. Treasury under the Freedom of Information Act by the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute were released on Tuesday.

    The U.S. Treasury Department admits that a “cap and trade” system for regulating greenhouse gas emissions could cost every household $1,761 a year. According to the CBS News story, “the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent”.

    This comes in way over claims that the EIA says:

    The Climate Bill Will Cost You Just 23¢ a Day, EIA Analysis Shows. This works out to $83.95 per year. Big difference.

    Big difference? That's a humongous difference. I wonder how big the gap between Rudd's spin and reality is here in Australia? Hopefully, if the ETS sinks, we will never have to find out.

    Read it here.

    Opposition in disarray over climate

    A slew of articles in the press about the ETS, brought on by the party room shenanigans earlier in the week, and also by Brendan Nelson's speech to parliament. Tony Abbott has rejected Nelson's call to reject the ETS:
    Former Opposition leader Brendan Nelson urged Parliament to not support a carbon pollution reduction program before the world's three major emitters had declared their position.

    But Mr Abbott said the constituency opposing action on climate change was not wide enough.

    "Yes, in the end politicians do have to be people of conviction but we also have to win elections," he told ABC Television last night.

    "There's always a tension between those two objectives."

    Business people who wanted the coalition to "oppose the legislation to the death" needed to make their view "absolutely, crystal clear", he added.

    "People like myself feel very, very unhappy with the Government's legislation but I'm not sure that's the message we're uniformly getting from the wider constituency."

    So in other words, we're voting for the ETS because we don't want to force an election? Sounds like bad politics to me. It's bad legislation and should be opposed outright. At the same time, however, there are signs that the future for Turnbull will be very tricky:
    Turnbull retains strong support in the shadow cabinet and the backing of the partyroom for his strategy of proposing amendments to the government's laws when they are returned to the Senate in November.

    His spokesman on emissions trading, Andrew Robb, has sought detailed submissions from business groups about changes they would support.

    But the dissent within the Coalition is increasing: not just from the Nationals who are now almost certain to go their own way on the issue, but from many Liberals as well, who argue that by opposing the scheme the Liberals would be "standing for something".

    And just to finish off: Greenland 'could melt faster than thought' - I wonder when we'll see the story "Greenland 'could melt slower than thought'? Never, because studies like that never make the media.

    Read it here and here.

    The Age - climate change is bad for your health

    It certainly is if you have to read all The Age's hysterical alarmism every day. We predicted that the alarmists would get even more desperate as the planet continued to ignore the flaky climate models on which the whole AGW agenda is based, and we weren't wrong. Now it's the medical profession which has appeared to abandon its scientific objectivity (surely an essential component of medical research?), and has climbed aboard the global warming bandwagon:
    FAILURE by world leaders to reach a strong treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions this year could be catastrophic for world health, doctors from six continents have warned.

    In a letter published in two leading British journals, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and 17 sister associations described climate change as the ''biggest global health threat of the 21st century'' [yeah, right, let's just ignore, say, cancer, or poverty, or unclean drinking water, etc, etc ... Ed] and called on doctors to pressure politicians to adopt more aggressive policies.

    ''There is a real danger that politicians will be indecisive, especially in such turbulent economic times,'' the letter, published in The Lancet and British Medical Journal, said.

    ''As leaders of physicians across many countries, we call on doctors to demand that their politicians listen to the clear facts [what "clear facts" would they be? - Ed]… and act now to implement strategies that will benefit the health of communities worldwide.''

    Hook, line and sinker.

    Read it here.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Bravo Brendan Nelson

    The outgoing member for Bradfield, Brendan Nelson, former Opposition leader, has used his farewell speech to warn the Coalition against voting for an ETS:
    Debate is raging within the Coalition over whether it should consider voting for an amended emissions trading scheme by the end of the year.

    Dr Nelson has told Parliament it should not vote for the scheme until next year.

    "An emissions trading scheme in a country responsible for 1.4 per cent of global emissions - before knowing what the three major emitters will do - defies not only logic, it also violates Australia's best interests," he said.

    Right on the money.

    Read it here.

    Arctic sea ice on the rise again

    It looks like Arctic sea ice extent has bottomed out for 2009, and it's about half a million square kilometres up on 2008, which itself was about half a million square kilometres up on 2007. But don't wait up to read about it in the mainstream media, because it doesn't fit the alarmist agenda too well:

    Read it at Watts Up With That.

    UPDATE: And of course, right on cue, the ABC publishes a story about precisely the opposite:
    The Northeast Passage, which for the most part follows Russia's Arctic coastline, had seemed impenetrable to international commercial shipping.

    Yet with rising temperatures melting the ice cover at a record rate, an opportunity literally opened for the ships this summer.

    There's no other word for it, I'm afraid: lies.

    Read it here.

    Sickening emotional blackmail from Oxfam

    More desperation from the alarmists at Oxfam, this time tugging at emotional heartstrings by roping in "children" to ram their misinformation home:
    AT least 4.5 million children could die if wealthy nations fail to provide more funds to help impoverished countries combat global warming [surely "climate change"? - Ed], development charity Oxfam has warned.

    The organisation said in a report it was concerned that industrialised nations would take money out of existing funds dedicated to economic development in order to help poor countries battle climate change.

    World leaders will meet in Denmark in December to negotiate a new climate pact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions [fat chance - Ed] blamed for global warming.
    I don't need to tell you what I think of this.

    Read it here.