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Australian Climate Madness

Saturday, October 31, 2009

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Break from blogging

ACM is taking a break. Other commitments mean that for a while I will not have the spare time to research and write this blog. Check out the Blog Roll to the right for all your climate sceptic needs, but I recommend:

Best regards,


Sunday, October 25, 2009

More photos of the "thousands" at global "350" protests

Here are the thousands that turned up in Rome:

There are precisely 58 people. I just counted them. And that's in a city of 3.7 million. They couldn't write the message on the ground except by lying down. Here are the thousands that turned up in Kiev (pop. 2.8 million):

Maybe a hundred, if we're being generous (excluding all the bystanders looking puzzled). But at least they could all stand up. Yet despite the almost laughably small size of these protests, they get huge coverage in the media. A Google news search of "350 climate" yields no less than 2,521 news articles in the past day (see here). Just another example of the undue weight the alarmist media affords to a tiny news story when it has the magic words "climate change" in it.

The photos are grabbed from a BBC story here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"350" Protest - that's the number that turned up…

All the moonbat media are talking this up as if it's a big deal, but of course, the pictures tell a different story. Here's The Age on the protests:
Thousands of people gathered on the steps of the Opera House for an outdoor concert and formed a giant 350 with their bodies, one of more than 200 events to be staged across the continent, said spokeswoman Blair Palese.

But here's the reality:

350 is approximately the number of protesters that turned up…

A few hundred at best. In Melbourne there were about half a dozen bikes, and in Darwin, the march looked more like a few lonely stragglers out for a stroll. But hang on, this is the biggest challenge to humanity since the dawn of time, isn't it? More from Ms Palese:
"Our global emissions are now perilously high, at 387 ppm [she means, of course, the current proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 387 ppm, which has absolutely nothing to do with "global emissions", but that is just the kind of sloppy thinking we are used to from environmentalists who do not have a clue what they are talking about - Ed]," Palese said. [And a good job she wasn't around in the Cambrian period, when CO2 reached seven THOUSAND ppm, or even the more recent Cretaceous, when CO2 was still well over two thousand ppm - she would have probably expired with the shock - Ed]

"The majority of expert scientists now say this has to come down to 350 ppm to avoid dangerous climate change. is calling for our political leaders make this their target."

Like you can just twiddle a knob and tinker with the climate. Yeah, right.

Read it here.

Carbon Sense - "Why Compromise is Defeat"

Another excellent article from Viv Forbes at the Carbon Sense Coalition:
The next few weeks are crucial. Australians can choose to assist the creation of the World Carbon Rationing, Tax and Redistribution Authority, administered by the United Nations, or we can take a step on the road back to energy and climate sanity.

The first step to sanity is to ensure that the opposition votes at all times to REJECT whatever Ration-N-Tax Scheme the Rudd government tries to get on the law books before the Copenhagen Climate Conclave. We must give no encouragement whatsoever to this international cabal of levellers.

Malcolm Turnbull and the warmist wing of the Liberal Party think that they are being politically savvy and achieving something useful by negotiating with the devil on a few clauses of the ETS (Extra Tax System). In matters as crucial as this, compromise is defeat.

Read it here.

If Higgins votes in Hamilton, they will get what they deserve

Clive Hamilton, enviro-loony from the extreme Left and author of Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change, is the Greens' candidate for the seat of Higgins, vacated by Peter Cosello. If the electorate in Higgins are dumb enough to vote this guy in, they will surely receive their just desserts. The Canberra Times goes typically misty eyed over this brave climate warrior:
''The motivating factor was that I'm just ... terrified about climate change. I think it's a massive problem looming on the horizon and the two main parties are oscillating between being weak and being pathetic on the issue,'' Dr Hamilton told The Canberra Times.

He became a Member of the Order of Australia this year for ''contributions to public debate and public policy'', was the ACT finalist for Australia of the Year two years ago and finalist for the Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year in 2001.

Looks like you need to be a climate hysteric to win the gongs in Australia. Nauseating stuff.

Read it here. 

UPDATE: Doesn't seem to like koalas, either… see here.

"Thousands" will attend climate protests

The dog-on-a-string brigade will be out in force today protesting about the lack of action on "tackling climate change". So all the usual suspects will be there, namely the Socialist Alliance, Socialist Youth Organisation, Socialist Alternative (like here, for example), oh yes, and a few Greens for good measure. Who says climate alarmism is about social change? And the ABC churns out its usual misleading photograph of CO2 to illustrate the story:

Harmless, colourless CO2, or is it particulates and toxins?

Australia will lead a day of international climate protests calling on world leaders to cut the planet's pollution and deliver a climate deal in December.

More than 170 countries are taking part in today's demonstration, with more than 3,000 events planned around the world.

Protesters are concerned that world leaders, including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, have not delivered strong enough emissions targets to avoid runaway climate change.

The day of protests kicks off in Australia with thousands expected to attend more than 230 events organised across the country.

Read it here.

Japan may "water down" emissions promise

But hang on - surely they should be following us Aussies in locking in binding emissions reductions before Copenhagen, so that whatever happens in December they will be obliged to meet them. Why would they possibly want to wait until after Copenhagen? That's cheating! Then they'll know what the rest of the world is doing and can respond accordingly!
JAPAN cautioned that it could water down planned 2020 cuts in greenhouse gas emissions if other rich nations fail to make deep reductions as part of a UN deal due in Copenhagen in December.

In Brussels, a draft report showed that European Union states were preparing to endorse an estimate by the European Commission that developing countries will need about €100 billion($150.1 billion) annually by 2020 to tackle climate change.

Disputes over 2020 emissions cuts by developed nations and the amounts of cash to help developing nations combat global warming are among the main sticking points in sluggish UN talks meant to end in Denmark on December 18 with a new treaty. [Ha, ha, stop it! My aching sides!]

"The possibility is not zero," Japanese Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa said when asked if Japan could change its 2020 target of cutting emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels if Copenhagen falls short on ambition.

He declined to say what alternative target Japan, the world's fifth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, had in mind for cutting emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels.

Japan's 25 per cent offer made last month is tougher than that put forward by the previous government and among the deepest by any rich nation.

"As environment minister, I want to go ahead with this pledge, but the government announced it with a precondition at the United Nations (climate change summit last month) so of course it could change," he said.

Gee, waiting until after Copenhagen? That seems sensible. Maybe Krudd & Co should consider it…

Read it here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

London's Science Museum unveils alarmist "climate change map"

Yet another Indoctrination Alert, and the fall from grace of another once great British institution. Only last month it was the Natural History Museum, unveiling a hysterical "Climate Change Wall" (see here), and now it is the Science Museum which has joined the alarmist bandwagon, and will be indoctrinating the thousands of school age children that pass through its doors each month:

BRITISH Foreign Secretary David Miliband has unveiled an interactive map demonstrating the impact of global warming in decades to come, to underline the looming threat. 
The map, presented at London's Science Museum, shows graphically how climate change could lead to water and food shortages, mass migration and conflict if action is not taken at a landmark summit in Copenhagen in December.

"The reason for publishing this map is that for many people, not only in our own country but around the world, the penny hasn't yet dropped that this climate change challenge is real, it's happening now," Mr Miliband said.

The effects of climate change are not in "some far flung future" but would affect hundreds of millions of people within his lifetime, he added, unveiling the map with his brother Ed, Britain's climate change minister.

A 4 degree celsius increase could happen in his children's lifetime, Mr Miliband warned.

"The penny hasn't dropped that Copenhagen is the chance to address - on a global scale - the challenge," he said.

The map shows sea level rises and storm surges with temperatures rising up to 15 degrees, bringing increased risks of forest fires and droughts in Europe, and slashing harvests by up to 40 per cent in southeast Asia and Africa.

Vicky Carroll of the Science Museum said: "We thought it was important for visitors to understand the whole picture. [Only the alarmist side of the whole picture, clearly - Ed]

"There's so much information about climate change but many people are still confused, so this gives them the evidence in a clear and accessible way."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned on Monday the world faces "catastrophe" if action is not agreed to curb the greenhouse gases held resposnible for global warming at the UN talks in Copenhagen.

To think I used to adore the Science Museum as a kid, and now look at it… tragic.

Read it here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Greg Combet: temperatures will rise "five degrees" by 2100

More climate lunacy from the intellectually challenged minister assisting the minister for climate change, as the ETS bill is re-introduced into Parliament:
"If we do not act, average temperatures across Australia are expected to rise by over five degrees compared to 1990 by the year 2100," he said.

"To put this in perspective, a one degree [rise] in temperatures risks a 15 per cent reduction in stream flow in the Murray-Darling Basin.

"Australia is highly exposed to the impact of climate change, the impacts of Australia's environment and economy will be serious, the health of our population, the security of our water and energy supplies and impacts on coastal communities and infrastructure all face unprecedented tests."

Five degrees? Where does that come from? But at least Barnaby Joyce is not standing for this nonsense, by asking the very simple question: what will the Australian ETS do for climate? Answer: nothing at all.
"They have said behind this is this feeling that if the ETS comes in, you'll save the Great Barrier Reef, there'll be no more droughts," he said.

"That's all just a load of rubbish. That is just a second hand vacuum cleaner salesman guilt trip that they're putting you on to try and get you to get behind the ETS, when really what it is, is just a massive tax grab."

Read it here.

"Proof" of manmade global warming debunked

We reported here about a new study by Yarrow Axford that "proved" that the warming in the last 50 years was unusual and man-made. The study relies on investigating midge larvae in sediment cores on Baffin Island as a proxy for temperature. Watts Up With That has posted several rebuttals, including this latest one:

As I’ve pointed out on WUWT several times, the study is terribly flawed, because they haven’t considered other possible factors, such as DDT and other pesticides being transported into the lake from nearby military outposts and settlements, plus the tendency for transport or organotoxins into glacial ice which ends up in meltwater lakes. Plus the nearby weather station shows no significant warming.

WUWT reader “Ecotretas” points out this July 2009  peer reviewed study Evidence for a warmer period during the 12th and 13th centuries AD from chironomid assemblages in Southampton Island, Nunavut, Canada by Nicholas Rolland et al, which uses the same techniques, but just one island west of Baffin… The Rolland et al study temperature reconstruction shows a significantly different result than that of Axford.

Read it here.

UK government climate ad to be investigated

We reported here about a disgraceful TV advert in which a child is scared witless by a fictional Armageddon caused by climate change. Due to the number of complaints received, it has been referred to the UK Advertising Standards Authority for investigation:
A £6m government ad warning about climate change is to be investigated by watchdogs over claims it is misleading and too "scary" for children.

The Advertising Standards Authority has received 357 complaints about the Department of Energy and Climate Change's "bedtime stories" ad.

The ad aims to make adults feel guilty about the impact their carbon emissions are having on their children's future.

The government has already been prevented from screening the ad during children's programmes.

But the ASA has still received complaints from parents saying it is too frightening, although most complainants questioned the scientific basis of the claim that climate change is man-made.

An ASA spokeswoman said: "It is not just about the issue of climate change in this particular case. We have had a huge number of complaints about the science but also whether the ad itself is scary for children."

She said the watchdog would be investigating whether the claims about climate change could be substantiated and whether the ad complied with taste and decency rules.

That will be an interesting decision to read.

Read it here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quote of the Day: Nils-Axel Mörner

The sea-level guru writes an open letter to President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, after the ridiculous "underwater cabinet meeting" stunt:
And let us, for Heaven’s sake, lift the terrible psychological burden that you and your predecessor have placed upon the shoulders of all people in the Maldives, who are now living with the imagined threat that flooding will soon drive them from their homes, a wholly false notion that is nothing but an armchair fiction artificially constructed by mere computer modelling constantly proven wrong by meticulous real-world observations.

Your cabinet meeting under the water is nothing but a misdirected gimmick or PR stunt. Al Gore is a master in such cheap techniques. But such misconduct is dishonest, unproductive and certainly most unscientific.

Read it here (PDF) h/t Climate Realists

The climate is most definitely cooling

From Watts Up With That:
Global satellite data is analyzed for temperature trends for the period January 1979 through June 2009.  Beginning and ending segments show a cooling trend, while the middle segment evinces a warming trend.  The past 12 to 13 years show cooling using both satellite  data sets, with lower confidence limits that do not exclude a negative trend until 16 to 22 years.  It is shown that several published studies have predicted cooling in this time frame.  One of these models is extrapolated from its 2000 calibration end date and shows a good match to the satellite data, with a projection of continued cooling for several more decades.

Read it here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

UPDATED: Comedy headline: 'Proof' humans cause global warming

See, the science is settled, you denier you. Just like a handful of trees in Siberia created the Hockey Stick, now we have a bunch of sediment cores in the middle of Canada cherry-picked to show that the Medieval Warm Period didn't exist, the Roman Warm Period didn't exist, the Holocene climate optimum didn't exist, it's warmer now than in the last 200 gazillion years, and it's all our fault after all. Now can we please just get on with taking our Western economies back to the Dark Ages?
"The past few decades have been unique in the past 200,000 years in terms of the changes we see in the biology and chemistry recorded in the cores,'' University of Colorado glaciologist Yarrow Axford said.

"We see clear evidence for warming in one of the most remote places on Earth at a time when the Arctic should be cooling because of natural processes."

Mr Axford is the chief author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For thousands of years, environmental changes in a remote lake on Canada's Baffin Island closely matched natural, cyclical climate changes such as those caused by the Earth's periodic wobble as it swings around the sun, the researchers said.

However, lake sediment cores dating from 1950 show that expected climate cooling was overridden by human activity like greenhouse gas emissions.

Just for interest, here is a section from Ms Axford's personal web page:
Why study the Arctic?

The Arctic is changing rapidly today. And ongoing changes in the arctic cryosphere (ice and snow) and hydrosphere (water) have important ramifications for global climate. Understanding how the arctic environment has changed in the past may shed light on both the future of the Arctic, and the future of the wider world.

My dissertation research focused on the climate histories of Iceland and Baffin Island. The economies and natural environments of Iceland and Nunavut are potentially very vulnerable to future climate change. It is important to understand the nature, rate, and magnitude of past paleoenvironmental changes in these regions in order to help constrain future risks. Paleoenvironmental records from the warm early Holocene provide glimpses of what the environments of Iceland and Nunavut might look like in a future greenhouse world. (source)

No agenda there, clearly.

Read it here.

UPDATE 1: Anthony Watts posts on this here, and links the decline to DDT use.

UPDATE 2: And this from the BBC, for all you who think tree-rings tell the whole story:
The intensity of cosmic rays also correlates better with the changes in tree growth than any other climatological factor, such as varying levels of temperature or precipitation over the years.

"The correlation between growth and cosmic rays was moderately high, but the correlation with the climatological variables was barely visible."

Libs to face "disciplinary action" if they are disloyal on ETS

This whole ETS debacle isn't exacly what parliamentary democracy is about. For a start, I cannot remember an occasion where an opposition "negotiated" with a sitting government on a bill. The job of the opposition is to hold the government to account in Parliament, not usurp the authority of Parliament by holding clandestine meetings in order to reach an "agreement" before a vote.

Now there are threats of disciplinary action against Liberals who don't toe the party line on the ETS, which seems a thoroughly draconian measure.
Liberal Party federal president Alan Stockdale warned that his party had power to take action against MPs who damaged its brand.

Commenting on a recent call by former Liberal staffer Grahame Morris for the party to re-examine its endorsement of MPs who attacked the party, Mr Stockdale said he would not publicly canvass the issues of disloyalty and bad behaviour.

But he said: "People should be aware that at both state and federal level there are mechanisms for reviewing preselections where people take action that damages the party.

"There are a whole raft of stages of counselling and disciplinary issues that arise before preselection."

Asked whether he believed any MP should face censure over the ETS issue, Mr Stockdale repeated his position that he would not discuss such issues in public, saying they should be handled between party officials and individual MPs. (source)

But at least Cory Bernardi isn't threatened. Speaking on ABC News radio this morning he said that there was no way he would be voting for an ETS before Copenhagen (no link yet). A breath of fresh are in increasingly crazy times.

As Andrew Bolt puts it:
So may as well fight for what’s right, rather than what seems safe - since it’s better to lose just an election, rather than your dignity and principles, too. (source)

Monday, October 19, 2009

UPDATED: WWF: "Five years to save world"

Five years, three years, ten years, fifty years - pick a number. The climate moonbats at WWF are in turbo-hysteria mode as Copenhagen approaches:
The economic modelling, commissioned by WWF Australia, has found that an emissions trading scheme is not enough to drive the change needed to sufficiently cut global emissions.

Instead, it says governments must rapidly put in place greater incentives for industry to make the transition.
Karl Mallon, a scientist with Climate Risk and one of the key authors of the report, says 2014 has been calculated as the point at which there is no longer enough time to develop the industries that can deliver a low carbon economy.

"The point of no return," he said.

"If we wait until past 2014 or that's what modelling shows, then simply put, it will be impossible for industries to grow to the scale that has to be achieved in the time that is available.

"So essentially, we'll miss the target and I guess then we are left with the consequences of what happens if we go about two degrees warming."

Ho hum.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Piers Ackerman skewers this story here.

Wong to hold talks with Opposition on ETS

It will be interesting to see whether the government is really interested in getting the ETS through, or whether it is more concerned with wedging the Opposition into forcing a double dissolution by rejecting their proposed amendments.
Senator Wong and her counterpart climate change spokesman Ian Macfarlane will hold talks this afternoon after the Coalition agreed yesterday to allow the party leadership to negotiate with Labor over possible amendments to the legislation.

Pledging to protect jobs and limit expected rises in electricity prices for small business, the Coalition yesterday released its wishlist for reform.

It includes protecting farmers by permanently excluding agriculture and treating food processing as an emissions intensive industry.

Electricity generators and the coal industry will also get more compensation, raising the prospect that the scheme will cost taxpayers more if a deal can be struck with the Coalition - a prospect Nationals and some Liberals insist is still unlikely.

Senator Wong said today they intended to continue negotiations in good faith.

"I intend to meet with him today and we will outline what the government’s timetable is," Senator Wong told ABC radio.

Read it here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Coalition backs ETS amendments

From ABC:
Coalition MPs have backed amendments to negotiate with the Government on its emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The MPs have just emerged from a marathon party room meeting in which Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull detailed the proposed amendments.

As Mr Turnbull left the meeting he said shadow cabinet had received strong support from the party room for the amendments.

He is due to hold a press conference at 8:10pm (AEDT).

The issue had threatened to derail Mr Turnbull's leadership in recent weeks with increasing backbench resistance to his desire to negotiate with the Government on the scheme.

More to come.

Read it here.

Coalition meets today to discuss ETS amendments

The harmless, colourless, odourless gas carbon dioxide, according to the ABC…

We can't forget that the Coalition will meet today to discuss their proposed amendments to the government's ETS legislation.
The Federal Opposition's emissions trading spokesman says he is optimistic that today's special party room meeting on emissions trading will accept the amendments he has drafted.

Ian Macfarlane will present amendments that he says protect jobs and industry but would still meet the target of cutting greenhouse emissions by 5 per cent by 2020.

Some in the Coalition argue the Opposition should not be negotiating with the Government on the issue.

But Mr Macfarlane says he expects the Coalition will accept the amendments he is putting up today and he says it will then be up to the Government.

"If the party room accepts the amendments as I lay them out then the negotiation with the Government will begin," he said.

The real question is whether the government will even bother to look at them…

Read it here.

Idiotic climate stunt of the year - Maldives cabinet

Let's hope they used waterproof ink…

Here's the line: the Maldives are being swamped by "rising sea levels," caused by "global warming," caused by the evil "carbon" emissions of rich countries, so we are going to pull off a ridiculous stunt in order to get the moonbat media (of which there is plenty) to devote millions of column inches to it and hopefully add more pressure to get an agreement at Copenhagen so that developed countries will send us their money. Phew. And all lovingly reported by Australia's own moonbat media, Fairfax, in the guise of The Sydney Morning Herald:
The Maldives' government held an underwater cabinet meeting on Saturday in a bid to focus global attention on rising sea levels that threaten to submerge the low-lying atoll nation.

President Mohamed Nasheed plunged first into the Indian Ocean followed by his ministers, all clad in scuba gear, for the nationally televised meeting in this archipelago known as an idyllic holiday getaway for the rich.

Nasheed and his deputy, Mohamed Waheed, and a dozen ministers sat behind tables arranged in a horseshoe at a depth of six metres (20 feet) and approved a resolution urging global action to cut carbon emissions.

Tropical reef fish swam among the ministers and the nation's red and green flag with white crescent moon was planted in the seabed behind Nasheed.

After surfacing, he called for the UN's climate summit in Copenhagen in December to forge a deal to reduce carbon emissions blamed for rising sea levels that experts say could swamp the Maldives by the century's end.

Trouble is, it is all wrong. For a start, sea levels have been rising at the same rate (2-3mm per year) for several thousand years, and in fact are rising more slowly at the moment. And furthermore, sea levels around the Maldives have actually fallen in the past 50 years. American Thinker sums it up well:
In 2004, Stockholm University professor Nils-Axel Mörner, of Sweden, published a paper in Global and Planetary Change (hardly a bastion for global warming deniers) regarding his extensive research of the ocean around the Maldives.  He noted, "In our study of the coastal dynamics and the geomorphology of the shores we were unable to detect any traces of a recent sea level rise.  On the contrary, we found quite clear morphological indications of a recent fall in sea level."

Dr. Mörner's research indicates that sea level about the Maldives has fallen approximately 11 inches in the past 50 years.  In fact, additional research indicates that about the time the leaders of Tuvalu created headlines in 2001, the sea-level surrounding the nine atoll islands of their country had recently fallen 2.5 inches.

So what's really behind the complaints?  In the case of the Maldives, the problem is idiotic development. 

The Maldivian islands are relatively flat atolls, composed of coral. Tourism was only introduced to Maldives in 1972 with the opening of the plush Kurumba Village Resort on the North Malé Atoll.  Now there are 87 beach resorts scattered primarily on three islands: the North and South Malé Atolls and the Ari Atoll.  Tourism has become the largest industry in the Maldives and the primary construction material used to build the expansive resorts is locally mined coral.  Digging up the local coral to build plush hotels and large conference centers is as stupid sucking the air out of your lifeboat to breathe.  The mining has severely compromised the atolls, creating the impression that the islands are sinking, when in fact they're being dug up.  The problem the Maldives faces is engineering lunacy -- not a rising sea. (source)

Once again, our biased and ignorant media have lapped up a global warming stunt in order to promote their alarmist agenda, all the while conveniently ignoring the facts.

Read it here.

P.S. Funnily enough, the Mörner paper is available in PDF on AGW alarmist Stephen Schneider's web site - here!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Climate sense from Terry McCrann

Writing in The Australian, Terry McCrann correctly equates the ETS to another GST, but one in which we have no idea what the rate will be:
IMAGINE if John Howard and Peter Costello had proposed a GST with an indeterminate variable rate, with the "variation" left hostage to the manipulation of clever investment bankers and other main-chancers, and you might begin to understand "Kevin Rudd's GST" -- his Emissions Trading Scheme, or ETS.

"His GST?" If we get the ETS, it is going to add to the price of everything -- not just power and not just carbon-based power in particular. On that point, it's worth noting that it is specifically designed to increase the price of all power -- quite deliberately, to make wind and solar power "competitive". That's to say we pay more for them, but they become "cheaper" than coal-based power.

Indeed, the ETS is intended to be, and will be, even more punitively pervasive than the GST. Because once we get past the early, politically driven, subsidies to hide its real impact and real cost, there will be no carve-outs, as is the case with the GST and fresh food and medical services. They will all become more expensive.

The pervasiveness and very significant impact on your everyday costs make Rudd's ETS the elephant in every living room. What will turn it into a dangerous, unpredictable rogue is the way it becomes hostage to market manipulation.

Read it here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ACM competition: "Spot the Bull"

Kind of like "Spot the Ball" but in this case we're using our sceptic olfactory organs to sniff out climate bullshit (of which there's plenty around).

Here is the ABC in full alarmist mode. In a completely uncritical interview with ACM's favourite alarmist, Will Steffen, on ABC's Catalyst, there is spin heaped upon hysteria heaped upon alarmism heaped upon… you get the idea.

The interviewer, Dr Jonica Newby, challenges Steffen on absolutely nothing, and swallows absolutely everything. Not a single difficult question, not a single alternative viewpoint, and this is our national broadcaster's flagship science programme acting as a platform for a well known climate alarmist. And it will only get worse as we approach Copenhagen.

So here it is: The Inaugural ACM Competition

ACM readers are invited to submit comments to this post pointing out the misrepresentations (or even, dare I say it, lies) that you can find in the video of the segment here, together with a transcript.

There is also a web extended interview with Steffen in two parts: first video is here, and second video is here (second part mainly plugging Copenhagen)

Feel free to complain to the ABC as well. With propaganda like this, there is little hope for the public ever having a balanced view of the climate change debate.

Google search engine - supporting scepticism!

Bizarreness Alert: on Google's blog search feature (, if you type in "arctic ice", which admittedly is a pretty general search term, the second result is … ACM! Result! Google would not be pleased to discover that a sceptic web site was nearly leading the search results:

Yet more bias and alarmism from the ABC

… to climate Armageddon, that is.

Margot O'Neill's execrable blog Countdown to Copenhagen (see here for previous post on this) acts as a kind of conduit for all of Australia's looniest alarmists, conveniently distilling them all into one place. In her latest offering, she quotes Amanda Lynch of Monash University.  O'Neill prefaces the whole thing with this completely even-handed and balanced introduction:
So what's happening? Are sceptics having a serious impact? Is the drawn-out argy bargy over the proposed emissions trading scheme anesthetising [sic] public engagement? Have scientists failed to cut through because they've been too cautious or too inaccessible? [Ha, ha, my aching sides - Ed]

A couple of recent US books argue that scientists need to loosen their lab coats. Unscientific America by Chris Mooney urges young scientists to undertake communication courses.

Of course, because it's just simply that we can't get the message across. Nothing to do with the science - hey, that's settled, you filthy denier, you - we need to reprogram the population to accept our message (as if the media and the government weren't doing that job well enough). Ms Lynch clearly thinks that censorship is the way forward to shut up the dissenters once and for all. Welcome to the People's Republic of Kruddistan:
What I am sensing right now is a very high level of anger and frustration particularly at the 'sceptics' who continue to derail the discussion. That frustration is probably at the forefront, and from many I've heard a real sense that to play the nay-sayer in the face of such serious consequences is deeply unethical. I've heard this directed both at scientists of various stripes and at members of the press.

O'Neill also quotes the following impartial observers of climate change:
  • David "Asteroid" Karoly (Melbourne University)
  • James Risbey (CSIRO)
  • Andy Pitman (UNSW)
  • Michael Raupach (CSIRO)
  • Will "ACM's Favourite Alarmist" Steffen (ANU)
  • Barry Brook (Adelaide Uni)
So pretty fairly balanced, then… Pity the blog doesn't allow comments (why not?).

UPDATED: Arctic to be "ice free" in 20 or 30 years

It's-All-Happening-Faster-Than-We-Though Alert: Tedious stories about the Arctic ice keep cropping up, like bad pennies, despite the Arctic ice actually having increased by a million square km since 2007.
The Arctic ice cap will disappear completely in summer months within 20 to 30 years, a polar research team said as they presented findings from an expedition led by adventurer Pen Hadow.

Note that this is the same Pen Hadow who participated in the Caitlin expedition earlier in the year. See here for a dissection of the alarmism that spawned.
It is likely to be largely ice-free during the warmer months within a decade, the experts added.

Veteran polar explorer Hadow and two other Britons went out on the Arctic ice cap for 73 days during the northern spring, taking more than 6,000 measurements and observations of the sea ice.

The raw data they collected from March to May has been analysed, producing some stark predictions about the state of the ice cap. [Gee, there's a surprise - you could have bet your house on it NOT saying the opposite - Ed]

"The summer ice cover will completely vanish in 20 to 30 years but in less than that it will have considerably retreated," said Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the polar ocean physics group at Britain's prestigious Cambridge University.

"In about 10 years, the Arctic ice will be considered as open sea."

And then of course the inevitable hysteria and call to action at Copenhagen:
Loss of sea ice cover will "set in motion powerful climate feedbacks which will have an impact far beyond the Arctic itself," he added.

"This could lead to flooding affecting one quarter of the world's population, substantial increases in greenhouse gas emission from massive carbon pools and extreme global weather changes." [One quarter of the world's population??! I think you've got frostbite on the brain, pal - Ed]

"Today's findings provide yet another urgent call for action to world leaders ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in December to rapidly and effectively curb global greenhouse gas emissions."

Yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn. etc.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Anthony at Watts Up With That does the required demolition job.

Idiotic Comment of the Day - Tim Costello

Congratulations, Tim, on your award for linking the Samoan tsunami and the Indonesian earthquake (both caused by tectonic plate movement) to climate change:
Mr Costello said the "ring of fire" that had exploded in our region in recent weeks, including the tsunami in Samoa, the earthquake in Indonesia and flooding in the Philippines and India, was directly related to changes in global weather patterns. (source)

I'd love to hear an explanation for that!

Bjørn Lomborg and climate engineering

Bjørn Lomborg is a voice of sanity in the climate debate. Despite believing that anthropogenic CO2 causes "global warming", he always argued cogently against emissions trading schemes, as they simply don't work. However, in this article, Bjørn appears to be advocating "climate engineering," which has to be one of the crazier ideas going around right now. There have been a few of these, like painting roofs white to reflect sunlight, injecting tonnes of sulphur into the atmosphere to reduce incoming solar radiation, many of which would have completely unpredictable results on the climate, and would be far more dangerous than the problem they are trying to solve, which Bjørn himself admits. But he does make a very valid point - that money should be spent on research and development rather than inefficient and unreliable "green energy":
Some suggested climate engineering technologies - in particular, marine cloud-whitening technology - could be cheap, fast, and effective. (Boats would spray seawater droplets into clouds above the oceans to make them reflect more sunlight back into space, reducing warming). Remarkably, the research says that a total of about $US9 billion spent implementing marine cloud-whitening technology might be able to offset this entire century's global warming. Even if one approaches this technology with concerns - as many of us do - we should aim to identify its limitations and risks sooner rather than later.

It appears that climate engineering could buy us some time, and it is time that we need to make a sustainable and smooth shift away from reliance on fossil fuels. Research shows that non-fossil-fuel energy sources will - based on today's availability - get us less than halfway towards a path of stable carbon emissions by 2050, and only a tiny fraction of the way towards stabilisation by 2100.

If politicians change course and agree this December to invest significantly more in research and development, we would have a much greater chance of getting this technology to the level where it needs to be. And, because it would be cheaper and easier than carbon cuts, there would be a much greater chance of reaching a genuine, broad-based - and thus successful - international agreement.

Read it here.

Caltex attacks "flawed" emissions scheme

So here is a prime example of the effect the ETS will have on the Australian economy, which the government is working hard to keep under the radar so that the public won't notice:
CALTEX chief executive Julian Segal has criticised the federal government's proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme, warning that it could mean the end of petrol refining in Australia.

Mr Segal described the government's proposed scheme as "flawed."

He said that if it was introduced, Caltex would not invest more funds in its two Australian refineries, as it would be cheaper to operate refineries in Singapore, where there were no plans to introduce an emissions trading scheme.

Mr Segal also said the price of petrol would fall after the scheme came into operation, because the federal government would be reducing the fuel excise.

He said this would provide an incentive for people to use more petrol, rather than less.

"From Caltex's point of view we do support an emission trading scheme of some kind as a tool to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases," he told the forum. [Turkeys voting for Christmas again - Ed]

"However, the CRPS in the form it is in today is, I believe, flawed."

Read it here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nationals "agree to negotiate" ETS

… but will still vote it down anyway!
THE Nationals have given Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull the go-ahead to negotiate amendments to the federal government's emissions trading scheme.

But they have vowed to vote against Labor legislation - amended or unamended - setting up the carbon pollution reduction scheme.

The Nationals and Liberals will thrash out amendments proposed by the shadow ministry during a special joint coalition parties meeting in Canberra on Sunday.

"Well, you support amendments to try to tone it down," Nationals senate leader Barnaby Joyce told ABC Radio, adding it was "a safety provision".

"You do everything in your power to turn the volume on this ridiculous tax down."

Strange times indeed.

Read it here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ETS is "one of the worst examples of policy making" - Garnaut

I don't know which is funnier, hearing Ross Garnaut, the government's own climate guru, slagging of the ETS he helped create, or listening to the government slagging off Ross Garnaut for daring to criticise it in the first place. It's all too ridiculous for words:
The federal government has dismissed criticism of its planned emissions trading scheme by the man who helped develop Labor's model.

Ross Garnaut has described the carbon pollution reduction scheme as "one of the worst examples of policy making we have seen on major issues in Australia".

Professor Garnaut, the government's former climate change adviser, said it was extraordinary how political debate about emissions trading had broken down.

Whose fault is that? Maybe Rudd & Wong should take some of the blame for trying to railroad the scheme through Parliament before Copenhagen when it makes absolutely no sense to do so.

Read it here.

UPDATED: "Greatest threat to humanity" comes 7th on voters' importance list

The voters have had enough of the hysteria and alarmism peddled to them by the government and an obliging media. The greatest threat to humanity since the dawn of time (© Al Gore, James Hansen etc etc) is slipping steadily down the list as we collectively wake up to the dodgy science and the huge costs of an ETS:
AUSTRALIANS' anxiety about climate change is falling substantially, even as the issue dominates political debate in Canberra.

The latest Lowy Institute poll shows that tackling climate change is viewed as only the seventh-most important of 10 foreign policy goals, and global warming the fourth of a dozen "threats to Australia's vital interests", just a point or two above other threats.

In 2007, tackling climate change was perceived as the joint top foreign policy goal, together with protecting the jobs of Australian workers.

In 2007, 75 per cent of those surveyed said climate change was a very important issue. Last year, this fell to 66 per cent, and this year to 56 per cent.

Global warming was viewed as "a critical threat" by 68 per cent in 2007, 66 per cent last year and 52 per cent this year.

So that's a drop of 14% in one year, compared to just a 2% fall between 2007 and 2008.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Piers Ackerman dissects the whole thing here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Greens' ETS plan "laughable" - Fielding

From The Australian Conservative:
The Greens would rather send Australia back to the Stone Age than use common sense in negotiating on an Emissions Trading Scheme, Family First’s Senator Steve Fielding said today.

“I don’t know what planet the Greens are on, but by the look of their ‘Safe Climate Bill’ they look like they’re lost in space,” Senator Fielding said.

“If Bob Brown and his hippy friends really believed in their cause they’d ride their bikes to Parliament House instead of using the Commonwealth’s petrol-guzzling V8s.

“If we did what the Greens propose Australia would no longer exist because there’d be no industries left to drive our economy.

“I still think the Rudd Government’s idea of moving on climate change before Copenhagen is economically reckless.

“But what the Greens have put forward is just plain ludicrous and I can’t see how anyone could see this as a realistic alternative.

“The Greens’ proposed 40 percent reduction in emissions would cripple our economy and boot thousands of jobs offshore.

The hypocrisy of the Greens beggars belief with the way they carry on about the environment yet show no evidence of doing anything about it in their personal lives.”

From 1 July to 31 December 2008 Greens Senators spent $164,240 flying around the country, Senator Fielding said.

“The carbon footprint the Greens leave behind jet setting across the country is just another minor detail they forget to include when they campaign about lowering carbon dioxide emissions.

The Greens should either practice what they preach or just shut up and go away." (source)

More climate sense from Steve Fielding.

More trouble for Turnbull as $3bn hole found in ETS modelling

Trying to out-green Rudd & Co was always a huge mistake. And now the figures are starting to fall apart as well:
The Federal Government says it has found a $3 billion black hole in the Opposition's economic modelling on emissions trading.

Treasury has analysed modelling from Frontier Economics which has formed the basis of the Coalition's ETS figures.

Its conclusion will not help an Opposition Leader who is struggling to convince his backbench that he has a credible position on climate change.

Mr Turnbull unveiled the Frontier Economics modelling in August, saying it outlined a greener, cheaper and smarter emissions trading scheme.

The modelling was funded by the Coalition and independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Read it here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Turnbull meets resistance in WA

Wherever Malcolm Turnbull goes, he runs headlong into opposition to his views on negotiating with the government on the ETS:
Malcolm Turnbull has been delivered a slap in the face by the West Australian Liberal Party, with near unanimous hostility towards his plan to amend Labor's emissions trading scheme before the Copenhagen summit. A fiery annual state conference of the West Australian state Liberals last night passed a motion that the federal Liberal Party should "not conclude" negotiations with the Federal Government until after the December summit and, even then, support for an agreement should not be considered a fait accompli. The motion represents yet another serious headache for the embattled Liberal leader, who has been struggling to gain broader support from an openly hostile backbench and is now facing speculation that he could be replaced as Opposition Leader before Christmas.

Only one delegate out of an estimated 400 in attendance backed the Turnbull position that it would be "most unwise" to do nothing to amend Labor's scheme.

Speaker after speaker at the conference expressed scepticism about the science of climate change and warned that the Rudd Government's scheme would be disastrous for the West Australian economy, which is heavily dependent on mining and agriculture.

And at least one speaker had the ETS summed up nicely:
Liberal senator Mathias Cormann also spoke strongly in favour of the motion, saying Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's claim that the scheme would help reduce emissions was a "fraud, a scam, a con on the Australian people … In the absence of a comprehensive global agreement, it will push up the price of energy, it will cost jobs, it will place pressure on our economy, it will put our energy security at risk … and it will do nothing to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions."

Read it here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Disgusting UK government advert for climate action

From Watts Up With That:
The UK Government has lost all sense of realism and decency. As a father of two young children myself, I’d like to smack the person(s) responsible for this upside the head and say “what were you thinking!”.

Even normally pro AGW Nature calls it the Worst. Climate. Campaign. Ever. Watch this.

With the consensus collapsing around their ears, alarmist governments are resorting to the lowest tactics.

OT: Obama awarded Nobel peace prize

Along with 99.999999% of the rest of the global population on hearing this news, I said to myself, "WTF? What on earth for?". This is an embarrassment to the Nobel committee and to Obama himself who has done nothing to deserve such an award. It transpires that nominations closed just 11 days after Obama took office.

But the Nobel committee have shown that the award has become a joke, awarding it in previous years to an ever more ludicrous bunch of lefty moonbats, terrorist Yasser Arafat, comedy ex-president Jimmy Carter, and most hilarously of all to Al Gore and the IPCC.

The decent thing for Obama to do would be to decline it so that they can award it to someone who actually deserves it. But I would put big money on that not happening - not Obama's style to do the decent thing.

UPDATED: No agreement at Bangkok climate talks

Just like there won't be an agreement at Copenhagen either. So why on earth are Penny Wong and Kevin Rudd insisting that Australia pass an ETS prior to then? Wait, I know the answer that is always parroted out: "business certainty" - heard that one before.
The United Nations climate talks in Bangkok have failed to deliver consensus between the world's developing and developed nations.

The meeting finishes today after two weeks of intense negotiations.

The gathering of more than 190 nations was hoped to deliver the foundations for a new global climate agreement to be negotiated in Copenhagen in December.

Instead, the world's two biggest polluters are deadlocked, with the United States calling for the existing Kyoto protocol to be abandoned, and a new treaty to be discussed. China disagrees.

Read it here.

UPDATE: And The Guardian  has even better news:

Bangkok climate talks end in recrimination

Global climate change talks came to an end in Bangkok today in an atmosphere of distrust and recrimination, with the rift between rich and poor countries seemingly wider than ever. After two weeks of negotiations there have been no breakthroughs on big issues such as money or emissions cuts.

With just five days of negotiating time now left before the concluding talks in Copenhagen in December, delegates said it appeared a weak deal was the most likely outcome, and no deal at all was a possibility.

We live in hope.

Read it here.

BBC questions global warming dogma

This is a bit like the Catholic church questioning the existence of god, so it is pretty big news. The über-alarmist BBC has been at the forefront of climate hysteria for many years, but suddenly it appears to have woken up and smelt the reality:
What happened to global warming?

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.

But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

So what on Earth is going on?

Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man's influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming.

One thing is for sure. It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say its hotting up.

Read it here. (h/t Climate Depot)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Opposition hardens stance on ETS

This is good, as it shows that the Opposition may propose amendments so tough that the government will have to reject them and, well, you know the rest:
Before negotiations have even begun over the emissions trading scheme, the Opposition has hardened its stance - warning the Government that it needs to move its position a long way if it wants to secure Liberal party votes.

The strong opening gambit may be an attempt to move on from the leadership woes dogging Malcolm Turnbull and appease those within the Liberal Party who oppose any talks on the ETS.

Read it here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

McGauran will cross floor on ETS vote

From The Australian:
LIBERAL backbencher Julian McGauran has become the latest coalition MP to defy Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull, saying he will not support an emissions trading scheme under any circumstance.

On a day when Mr Turnbull argued unity was vital for the Liberals on the issue of climate change, Senator McGauran joined a growing chorus of unhappy Liberals.

He confirmed he would cross the floor and vote against an emissions trading scheme, with or without amendments.

"I will not be supporting the bill under any circumstances, and I've made that clear to my leader," he told ABC Television.

"And I think there'll be more than just one senator doing it."

He was the latest Liberal to publicly defy Mr Turnbull, joining party colleagues Wilson Tuckey, Mitch Fifield, Cory Bernardi and Mathias Cormann.

Senator McGauran also sent a word of warning to his leader, urging him to listen to dissenters.

"Any leader that blindly disregards the greater majority of the party room invites trouble, so this is all in Malcolm's hands," he said.

Indeed it is.

Read it here.

Turnbull - days numbered?

A summary of headlines today:
And the real tragedy is that by making this a leadership issues, Turnbull has turned all the focus of the media onto himself, and not where it should be, scrutinising the effects of the government's disastrous ETS.

Not Evil Just Wrong - Victorian screenings

From the Climate Sceptics Party:

Not Evil Just Wrong - World Premiere

I would like to invite you to the participate in the World Premiere of the documentary entitled Not Evil Just Wrong - The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria, to be held on Sunday, 18th October 2009.

Just as Australia is debating whether to rush into emissions trading scheme before Copenhagen, the launch of this movie comes at an important time and goes a long way towards exposing the environmental movement and challenging the assertions of Al Gore, the IPCC, the Minister for Climate Change, our Prime Minister and others.

You can view the trailer here:

We encourage every Australian who believes in accurate science to attend a screening of this movie - the more people attending the premiere will mean the greater our voice will be heard!

Melbourne Cinematic World Premiere

There will be a Melbourne cinematic screening at the Sun Theatre, a boutique cinema in Melbourne, at 7pm on Sunday 18th October - all are welcome!

The evening will be a great chance to meet like-minded people and there will certainly be the opportunity to have a coffee and a good chat before and after the movie.

Not Evil Just Wrong - the True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria
7pm, Sunday 18th October at the Sun Theatre
8 Ballarat St, Yarraville, Melbourne
Tickets: $15 (or $10 for Climate Sceptics members)

To book tickets:
Please send an email to stating the number of tickets required at $15 and the number of tickets at $10.

To pay for tickets by credit card:
- go to
- click the "Donate" button
- enter the Purpose "Not Evil Just Wrong Melbourne - x people" (e.g. x = 2 for two attendees)
- enter the cost of the tickets in Donation Amount (e.g. $15 + $10 = $25)
- please use the paypal facility to complete the payment
Your tickets will be mailed out to you on the next business day.

To pay for tickets by cash:

Please send an email to to arrange a time to meet one of our organizers in Melbourne CBD during business hours on any day Monday to Friday.

Host Your Own Screening

Would you like to host your own for-free screening of this movie ? You can purchase the dvd and show the movie in your home, church, community hall or local club. Please see the web site for details.

If you are planning to host your own screening in Australia, please email us at so that we can make a list of all the screenings around the country.

We look forward to seeing as many people as possible being a part of the World Premiere for this movie :)

Please forward this far and wide, to your friends, family, colleagues and email lists.

For further information, please email us at or call us on 08 8725 9561.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Turnbull challenged to rule out Senate block

Wayne Swann has weighed in to the debate now, and is basically ordering the Opposition not to look too carefully at the ETS, not to debate it for too long, nothing to see here, move along.
"Given that this legislation has been before the Parliament for well over six months it's about time the Liberal Party demonstrated their bona fides and made a commitment not to use procedural tricks and filibusters in the Senate to frustrate discussion of this very important legislation," he said.

"Malcolm Turnbull and the shadow cabinet must rule out using their numbers to block a vote on the [ETS] in the Senate - they must do that today."
Yeah, like we were born yesterday… Fortunately, the Opposition are having none of it:
Speaking ahead of today's shadow cabinet meeting, deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop has told Radio National the Opposition will not be rushed through debate on the bills in the Senate.

"If this is the greatest challenge of our generation, it should be subject to one of the greatest debates of our generation," she said.

"I believe we should allow the Senate to do its work thoroughly. The Australian people can only benefit from extensive debate, rather than the suppression of debate."

Read it here.

Climate sense from Peter Costello

Writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Costello explains the fallacy of the government's position on the ETS vote:
If the big countries (including developing countries) don't agree to reduce emissions, then nothing Australia does will have the slightest impact on global emissions. The only thing affected will be Australian jobs (which will go overseas) and prices (which will go up).

And that's why it's plain silly to say Australia must finalise the design of its scheme before the forthcoming negotiations in Copenhagen. The shape of our scheme will not affect what happens at Copenhagen. What happens at Copenhagen will determine the shape of our scheme. Let's get a sense of perspective here. The cock crows because the sun rises. The sun does not rise because the cock crows.

Read it here.

Andrew Bolt on the Hockey Stick

Thanks to Andrew Bolt, who returns from his sabbatical to write in the Herald Sun. As would be expected, not a single mainstream media outlet chose to run the story of the final debunking of the famous (infamous) hockey stick - I wonder why?
THIS mad global warming scare could at last be over. And all thanks to just 10 trees in Siberia.

Unreported in any newspaper here - and how typical that is - is a startling challenge to the central claim underpinning this greatest scare of our lifetime.

McIntyre found that Briffa could have used 34 more tree ring cores from Yamal that he'd actually referred to in other papers, and which had been collected by his colleague Schweingruber himself.

McIntyre then checked what difference that bigger sample of tree rings would have made, had Briffa added them to his sample of just 10. Answer: the bigger sample showed no warming at all over the past century, with temperatures today lower than in medieval times. The past 12 years don't include 11 of the hottest in history.

Briffa, who is ill, has not said why he did not include Schweingruber's trees but denies "cherry-picking" samples.

It's too early to say if his hockey stick is now broken, but not too early to say that the global warming theory is unproved.

Rather the reverse. The big scare now is not that we're heating the world to hell, but that so few journalists and scientists refuse to see the growing evidence that we're not.

Read it here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Penny Wong - rank hypocrisy

As talk of a possible filibuster emerges in order to sink the ETS, Penny Wong ignores the blatant hypocrisy of her government's position in trying to push through the ETS before Copenhagen, and cries foul on the Opposition for playing tricks:
The Opposition's Leader in the Senate, Nick Minchin, is now warning the Government that it might not get a vote this year.

"The Government knows it's taking a risk in bringing such significant legislation back into the Parliament in November and that's on the Government's head," Senator Minchin said.

"We believe it's arrogant and cynical of the Government even to be using the last two weeks of sitting of this year's Parliament to seek to debate its emissions trading scheme. We don't think it should be debated until February.

"We're not saying we're going in there to delay debate, but our responsibility as legislators in the Senate is to vigorously subject this legislation to significant cross examination."

Delaying a vote in the Senate until next year would appease many disgruntled Liberal Party members who do not want any action until after the climate change meeting in Copenhagen in December, and it will frustrate the Government.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says it is too important an issue to play "tricky procedural games with".

"Mr Turnbull has said to the Government he wants to negotiate in good faith. Well, there are too many members of the Liberal Party who appear to be scheming to prevent this from happening," Senator Wong said.

"It's time the Liberal Party stopped doing anything they can to avoid action on climate change and are prepared to actually have the discussion and the debate with the Government in the Parliament."

"Negotiate in good faith", in the mind of the Wong-bot's central processing unit, means agreeing with everything I say.

Read it here.

ABC's "Countdown to Copenhagen" - more hysteria

It's a full alarmist rant, as you would expect. Of course, our national broadcaster has already made up its mind on climate change and that we have to turn the clock back to the Dark Ages in order to "tackle global warming", so I really shouldn't be surprised, but the bias is still breathtaking, even to me! Quotes from crackpots like James Hansen and David Karoly are strewn about with gay abandon, as are alarmist factoids that are treated as gospel. Here are a just a few examples:

A younger, passionate scientist argued that such niceties were not observed by climate change deniers and corporate opponents of greenhouse gas mitigation who regularly launched sweeping statements with no facts at all. Those campaigns were holding back vital, stronger political measures, he said. Wasn't it time scientists spoke out more?

Many of them have. NASA scientist James Hansen is probably the best known. He's even been arrested during an anti-coal mining protest. Less than a year ago I interviewed some of the world's other leading climate scientists who live in Australia. Even then they were willing to describe how the pace of global warming had left them gobsmacked: "... many, many scientists now ... are frantically, hysterically worried," said Professor Ann Henderson-Sellers, the former head of the UN's World Climate Research Program, now at Macquarie University.

From melting polar caps to acidifying oceans to increased frequency of drought, floods and bushfires, climate scientists have worked harder than ever this year to bridge the communication gap between what they know, what the rest of us think and what the politicians are doing. There are so many science updates lately that I've decided to provide a summary of some of the most significant in this blog each week.

Here's one recent example from The New Scientist:
"BY 2055, climate change is likely to have warmed the world by a dangerous 4 deg C unless we stop pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere the way we do now. This is the startling conclusion of a study by the UK Met Office, unveiled at a conference in Oxford.

I'm contacting many of Australia's most prominent [alarmist] climate scientists to hear directly how they're feeling about their research, public advocacy and the likelihood of political success at Copenhagen in December. Already one of the most common themes in some early replies is the yawning gap between the science and proposed political responses. I'll bring you their comments in greater detail next week.

It's almost too funny for parody. I for one won't be reading, and I strongly suggest you don't either. This is the tragedy. As the planet cools, the hysteria gets worse, and the ABC is peddling it for all its worth to an unsuspecting public.

Read it here (if you really must).

Climate sense from Terry McCrann

It's so obvious, why can't the politicians and the public see it?
In short we have a prime minister who wants to destroy the most basic foundation of a modern civilised society - cheap and available power. And then ' finish the job' some time in the future by destroying our export industries.

Along the way, Rudd's typically bureaucratic 'clever' alternative to closing our power stations, is to 'allow us' to pay billions of dollars to foreigners to let us keep them open.

I have to stress this, because the utter stupidity of what is proposed is so breathtaking, that the average person wouldn't believe it.

We would get nothing, repeat nothing for the billions of dollars potentially shipped overseas. Except the 'right' to keep emitting CO2. To keep our power stations open.

That any government would only be dragged kicking and screaming by global force, to reluctantly accept such a direct and massive assault on not just the prosperity of every Australian but the very basis of what makes this country work, would be bad enough.

But to have a government and a prime minister actually proposing such an attack on the country is beyond rational or even irrational belief.

Then there are no superlatives to capture the government actually demanding that proposal become implementation before anyone in the rest of the world has signed on.

Read it here.

Malcolm in a muddle on ETS

Acres of ETS coverage this morning, as the media dissects the events of last week. But more and more critics of Malcolm Turnbull's approach are coming out of the woodwork, the latest being Mitch Fifield, who has like so many others, called for the delaying of the vote until after Copenhagen - which, let's be honest, is pure common sense, except in the minds of Kevin Rudd, Penny Wong and, er, Malcolm Turnbull it seems:
MALCOLM Turnbull is facing a rebellion from the Liberal Party's West Australian branch, which is demanding he drop his plan to negotiate with the Rudd government on an emissions trading scheme before the UN summit on climate change to be held in Copenhagen in December.

The looming revolt in Western Australia this Saturday comes as divisions on the ETS spread to the Coalition front bench and the Liberal leader remained locked in a desperate battle with the Queensland branch of the Liberal National Party to save the career of promising frontbencher Peter Dutton.

The first item on the agenda at Saturday's West Australian Liberal Party state conference demands a rethink on the ETS, urging Mr Turnbull to "delay any negotiation with the federal Labor government on the design or introduction of any emissions trading scheme until after the climate change conference in Copenhagen". The motion from the state party's influential rural policy committee, which appears to have wide support among the West Australian Liberals, further declares: "We also ask that any future decision to introduce an ETS be in line with the actions taken by Australia's major trading partners." The motion follows shadow parliamentary secretary Mitch Fifield's call that any vote be deferred until after the Copenhagen conference. (source)

And Turnbull's decision to put his leadership on the line has also come in for a caning:
LAST week Malcolm Turnbull had one of his brain snaps that so many Liberals feared he would have.

He put his leadership "on the line" over an emissions trading scheme, accused some colleagues of being climate change deniers and called others "anonymous smartarses".

It was a public expression of frustration and a determination to assert his authority and impose his leadership through force of personality.

His bold endeavour - to simply tell the Liberals they couldn't have him as leader without his ETS policy - was also based on the belief that because there was no leadership alternative he would prevail.

He may be right but his strategy may be careering out of control because now the Liberal Party is snapping back. The Nationals have been snapping for some time and it's showing in the latest Newspoll surveys. (source)

And the Newspoll results are indeed pretty bleak:
LIBERAL Party support has slumped back to the level it was at early in Brendan Nelson's embattled leadership, as Malcolm Turnbull loses economic credibility with the public and fights his own back bench over an emissions trading scheme.

The slump in party support - which would wipe out the Coalition at an election if it does not improve - will increase tensions between the Liberals and Nationals as the Opposition Leader tries to impose his authority on the Liberal National Party in Queensland, rebellious Liberal MPs and Nationals threatening to split the Coalition. (source)

But we would do well to remember what the ETS will mean. Already, the government is setting up a "super bureacracy" to administer compliance with the laws, despite the ETS not even having passed into law yet. It will be a civil servant's dream:
At the heart of this is the Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority, which will be supported by a new division created within the Department of Climate Change.

Informed sources say that about 100 staff and officials will initially be involved in this operation, but this is likely to blow out dramatically when the full implications of what will effectively amount to a federal consumption tax on carbon emissions become clear.

This new regulatory agency will have sweeping powers to enforce the government's climate change regime. It will also issue and auction emissions permits and collect the revenue from these. The bill to provide for this agency went up to a Senate committee inquiry earlier this year but it received little attention as the focus was largely on the scope of the CPRS proposals. (source)

Oh joy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Email problem solved

I only discovered this morning that my email has been out of action for the last few days. It is now working again, so if you have sent anything since then, please would you kindly re-send? Thanks!

Apologies for the inconvenience.


The Opposition's job is to oppose

The Sunday Telegraph helpfully reminds Malcolm Turnbull of this basic point, in an editorial yesterday:
Let's recap what is being proposed here: a major reform of the nation's economy that, for the first time, will put a price on the carbon emissions that underpin Australia's prosperity.

The Coalition will not be implementing this. The Rudd Government will.

It is Mr Turnbull's job to hold the Government to account, to expose the flaws in the scheme and to speak up in the interests of Coalition voters.

Instead, he was suckered into negotiating the shape of the ETS by the Government in a classic example of the kind of wedge politics that Labor used to accuse John Howard of playing in government.

He shouldn't have been co-opted.

The Opposition should have simply waited until the legislation was presented and decided on its stance. Instead, Mr Turnbull was too keen to distance himself from the Howard Government and the allegations that the Liberals were slow to act on climate change.

He forgot that governments govern and oppositions oppose. Now he has been forced to stake his leadership on the success of a Government initiative.

It is needless and strange and a position in which he should never have allowed himself to be put in the first place.

Read it here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tony Abbott: the science is crap, but we still need an ETS

The latest in the long line of Liberal AGW apologists is Tony Abbott, who recently said that the science of climate change is "absolute crap," but for some reason we still need an ETS to keep the public happy. So instead of standing up for principles, and recognising that the public want "action on climate change" because they have only ever heard hysterical alarmist claptrap from the government and the media, once again we see a politician pandering to popularity, and the precautionary principle:
"I think that the science is far from settled but on the insurance principle you are prepared to take reasonable precautions against significant potential risks, and that's I think why it makes sense to have an ETS," he said.

"But it's got to be the right one not one that destroys Australian jobs and damages Australian industries."

I can't quite understand how Tony Abbott thinks the ETS is insurance against anything - it won't the change climate one bit. It's like an insurance policy with very hefty premiums, but absolutely no cover whatsoever.  You may as well burn your money instead.

Read it here.

Climate sense from Bob Carter

Writing in Quadrant Online's Doomed Planet section, Bob Carter spells out Malcolm Turnbull's misunderstanding of the climate issue:
Mr Turnbull has missed the point entirely, and in breathtaking fashion.

No-one is suggesting doing nothing about climate change. Calamitous natural climatic events such as this year’s bushfires and floods have properly convinced the general public that a national policy to deal with real climate events and change is clearly needed. And surely this week’s tragic news from Indonesia and Samoa underlines the reality that government’s responsibilities lie with dealing better with real natural hazards, not worrying about Playstation-4-created imaginary ones.

A proper hazard reduction and adaptation policy to deal with known future climatic threats is a very different matter to the political question implicit in today’s headlines - which is whether introducing an emissions trading system will do anything to prevent hypothetical, dangerous, human-caused global warming. (Answer: an ETS will have no measurable effect on future climate but will have a hugely damaging effect on the livelihoods and standard of living of all Australians).

Read it here.

Climate extremists tell Rudd: don't negotiate the ETS

This could be the best news we've heard all week. A group comprising some of the worst climate alarmists on the planet have threatened to withdraw their support for the ETS if it is "watered down":
The Southern Cross Climate Coalition - which includes the Australian Conservation Foundation, Climate Institute, World Wildlife Fund, Australian Council of Social Service and ACTU - has written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd warning its support will disappear if the legislation is made ''ineffective or irresponsible'' by amendments.

Mr Rudd made much of Labor's alliance with the group when it was announced in May, appearing in a joint press conference with ACF executive director Don Henry and others to spruik his environmental credentials.

But the letter, which was also sent to Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull and cross-bench senators Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding, warns that big polluters should not be offered further concessions.

''It's not effective or responsible to give windfall gains to booming coalminers or to give billions extra to businesses who bought brown coal-fired generators knowing a carbon price was coming,'' the group's spokesman, John Connor, said.

''We've made it clear to the Prime Minister and Malcolm Turnbull to say these industry proposals would make the [carbon pollution reduction scheme] ineffective and unsupportable,'' he said.

Loss of support from the high-profile group would be a significant blow for Labor, leaving it facing widespread hostility from environmental, welfare and union groups, with only parts of the business community onside.
So what will Rudd do now? Negotiate amendments with the Opposition to get the ETS through, but lose the support of the alarmist environmental groups, or cave in to their demands, refuse to make concessions to industry and lose support of the Opposition?

Read it here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Climate sense from Miranda Devine

Another excellent article from Miranda in the SMH:
By bowing to Rudd's threat of a double dissolution and announcing his ETS ultimatum to the media instead of to the party room on Thursday, Turnbull hasn't even tried to bring the party with him.

But the fact is that you can articulate a position on climate change that does not dispute man's contribution without buying into a complicated ETS, which benefits global financiers but has doubtful value for the environment. You don't have to be a climate sceptic to oppose a new stealth tax on Australians before we even know what the rest of the world plans.

But that is the false dichotomy Turnbull has created and on which his future rests.

Read it here.

US: no climate deal before Copenhagen

OK, Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong. Please explain why Australia should bind itself to emissions targets before Copenhagen when the US, China and India are doing no such thing?
A top aide to US President Barack Obama said there was virtually no chance Congress would have a climate and energy bill ready for him to sign before negotiations on a global climate treaty begin in December in Copenhagen, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The newspaper said the prediction was offered by Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, during an onstage interview in Washington.

It was the first definitive statement by the administration that it saw little chance of congressional passage of this bill this fall, the report said.

Read it here.

Playing politics with the ETS

It's been a rollercoaster week in climate change politics, with Malcolm Turnbull throwing down the gauntlet and staking his leadership on the Coalition negotiating with the government on the ETS before Copenhagen. The commentary in the media is mixed, with many saying Turnbull is taking the only sensible course, whilst others question his hot-headed reaction to the issue. Peter van Onselen in The Australian sums it up well:
At the beginning of the week The Australian surveyed the entire Liberal Party back bench. It is something the leadership team should have done a long time ago. Of the 59 parliamentarians contacted, a staggering 41 said they did not support Turnbull's desire to negotiate with a view to passing the government's ETS legislation ahead of the Copenhagen conference on climate change in December. Only 12 MPs agreed with their leader's position. That's one in five.

Initially Turnbull chose to question the survey's findings instead of learn from them. At a press conference on Wednesday, soon after returning from a short holiday in Italy, he said: "We can have journalists, you know, ringing up backbenchers and purporting to do surveys. Who knows how accurate they are?"

If Turnbull wants to question the findings of the survey, then that is his prerogative; shooting the messenger is one way to deal with a leadership crisis. Another would be to take stock of the findings and try to do something about it.

Perhaps Turnbull is more persuaded by established survey operations such as Newspoll, which for many months has shown him to be the least popular opposition leader in our nation's history.

After initial attempts to cast doubt on the findings of the survey, Turnbull turned half circle and realised he should probably emulate it and began ringing his colleagues to better understand their views on the ETS. Better late than never.

However, by the end of the week, Turnbull had had enough with soundings and consensus building, choosing instead to describe backbench colleagues critical of his leadership as "anonymous smart-arses". He boldly declared that if his party didn't support his position on ETS negotiations he didn't want to be leader. (Why he wants to be leader now anyway is another matter.) That was the threat.

So where to from here for Turnbull and the Liberal Party? He can't let the partyroom discredit his leadership by blocking him from even negotiating with the government, but the partyroom won't want a vote on the ETS legislation ahead of Copenhagen.

So the face-saving compromise is likely to involve getting the partyroom to support tough amendments that the government won't accept. The vote could then be delayed in the Senate by the Coalition dragging out debate and using its numbers to deny the government the chance to speed up the process. That would effectively meet the backbench desire to wait until after Copenhagen without embarrassing Turnbull (well, not too much anyway).

Turnbull would thus get to the end of the year before being forced to choose between supporting the wishes of his back bench and his desire to pass an ETS, thereby avoiding a double-dissolution election on climate change. In a sign late in the week that he was planning for the worst on this score, he weakened his rhetoric on the chances of the ETS passing, noting that he might well end up voting against it.

There is no easy way out for the besieged Opposition Leader. He has certainly made the situation harder for himself.

Read it here.