JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Delcons, Defcons, and elections in Australia 2016

With an election likely for July 2nd, the hottest topic in Australian politics right now is how to vote. So put your best case forward here. Hammer this out. Will Turnbull promise anything to win back the Delcons — the angry conservatives? The time to ask is now, and if the Liberal base are not prepared to vote against him, they have nothing to negotiate.

“Better to have a real conservative opposition than a fake conservative government.”

The elephant in 2016 is the ferocious boiling anger among betrayed conservatives and small government libertarians, divided over whether they can bear to vote for Turnbull (a Liberal*) who has been called the best leader the Labor Party never had. Delcons was tossed at the so-called “Delusional” Conservatives. But they took up the badge. Defcons means the Defiant ones.

Right now, and since September, I’m a Delcon, like Tim Blair, Merv Bendle, and James Allan. Convince me otherwise. (We love you Miranda but you are wrong.)

“As long as Turnbull is in charge there will be no real alternative for conservative libertarians.”

The issue: Is it better to vote for the lesser of two evils and hope a Turnbull-led party can be reformed after a win, or is it better to think long term, take the medicine and rebuild in opposition — and is there a realistic third choice?

Winning at any cost is a loss. It’s a matter of principle. As long as Turnbull is in charge there will be no real alternative for conservative libertarians. If the “true liberal base” will put up with Turnbull and support power for Liberals regardless of principles then their vote is truly worth nothing. I’m not just talking about putting small parties or independents ahead of the Liberal candidate, but the nuclear option — sending the preferences to Labor, despite its ghastly policies [and Tanya Plibersek, says DavidE, who incidentally leans more to the Miranda-line].

Both Labor and Liberal want carbon trading. Neither speak for the sensible center; both speak for the ABC crowd:

Come election day, many in the Liberal base that pollster Mark Textor said “doesn’t matter” will confront a question Malcolm Turnbull poses with very nearly his every utterance: Is a party that pursues power without principle worth the lead in a polling-booth pencil? — “The Samson Option” Merv Bendle, Quadrant

The old rules of voter loyalty, and the theory of wins-so-big they last two-terms are gone. But that means the landscape can change fast and new parties can transform it. The tired two party system has been captured. It needs to be broken to be reformed.

US politicians are not battling over the center anymore. If the establishment centrist Mitt Romney had won in 2012, Trump and Cruz would not be fighting it out now. Appealing to the passionless “fickle centre” is not a winner in the tweedle-dee-and-dum era. It’s a media-defined imaginary center, far removed from the sensible center in the street. Which sensible voter really wants to pay for wind turbines in the hope they will cool the world?

A least worst option: A Strategic Stalemate

It’s not necessarily Armageddon if Labor wins the Lower House, Lib-Nats, independents win the Upper. The Senate cuts the pain. Better to have a real conservative opposition than a fake conservative government. Shorten gets to be PM (ugly) but the damage can be limited if the Lib-Nats hold the Senate or, better yet, a serious alternative centre-right group gains a foothold.

Here’s a voting strategy: Choose your Representative carefully. Campaign non-left in the Senate.

Don’t throw the baby out with the water — keep the useful Libs, but weed out the weak. For starters, did they vote for Abbott in the coup?  If your member doesn’t measure up, choose an alternative, then put Labor before Lib in the House of Reps, but keep those preferences flowing to the Coalition (especially the Nationals) in the Senate.

Many conservatives and libertarians are supporting the Australian Liberty Alliance. Check ‘em out: see the ALA values and core policies. It goes without saying that savvy voters in Australia always send their preferences to smaller parties and independents first (keep the bastards honest), but ultimately, in a two party system, you have to pick one of the two parties. Do I need to say informal votes don’t count?

The Miranda defense of Turnbull

Miranda Devine coined the “Delcon” name. She justifies a vote for Turnbull by pointing out the ways Abbott let down real conservatives. But Abbott’s failures aren’t a reason to shift to Turnbull’s guaranteed success for Big-Government waste. Abbott didn’t get rid of the stifling, ridiculous 18C, but neither will Turnbull.

Miranda:

“Perhaps Turnbull is better off without the delcons. People so willing to cut off their nose to spite their face, are not really worth having on your side.”

Turnbull is not on my side.  My nose is not at stake.

More than half of Australians don’t buy the IPCC climate position. Who speaks for them?

Skeptics are the people who elected the Liberals. Turnbull is the one cutting off noses.  Let him and those who elected him face the consequences.

I’m with James Annan — spite is there for an evolutionary reason:

“…there are very good consequences in not allowing yourself to be played for a mug. If they know you will always vote Lib, provided the party is perceived to be just a smidgeon to the right of Labor, then Mark Textor is right in asserting that the base doesn’t matter.  We become irrelevant to their thinking, or virtually so.  In evolutionary psychology this is analogous to the person who does not take retribution when double-crossed (see my Spectator pieces from immediately after the coup).  It is a ‘loser gene’ and will die out.   The best long-term strategy is niceness and co-operation until you are stabbed in the back. Then you get even.  This has no good short-term consequences for you.  But it has great long-term consequences.  You are seen not to be a mug – in this case a Textor stooge. Now you can respond in three ways.  (1) The Libs will never lose another election so vote Turnbull.  (2) We can keep stop the political spectrum from moving to the left under Turnbull.  We really can.  (3) It is wrong-headed to think long-term and dynamically.”

If Abbott had led a government of MPs with principles and backbones — willing to take on the racial-vilification-bullies for instance — would he have axed 18C? Maybe. Probably. Would Turnbull? Never; it’s a silly question. A party of MPs with principles, who knew what they stood for, wouldn’t have been fooled by the ABC into voting Turnbull in. Nor would they have been fooled by Turnbull, as Minister for the ABC, into keeping the funding flowing to the ABC. There is no chance Turnbull will deliver the things Abbott failed on. Miranda’s reasoning is wrong. (But you’re still invited to dinner Miranda, anytime and with a smile.)

I don’t like being on the opposite side to Steve Kates either. In 2016 he says “Hold Your Nose“. But I’m still with Steve in Feb 2015 all the way. Steve in 2016 hopes that Turnbull will get voted in by the people, but voted out by the MPs afterwards, or at least kept on a leash. But Abbott couldn’t keep him on a leash.

What Kates gets right in 2016 is that Labor is completely unreformed, has not done any kind of mea culpa, and could do more fiscal damage than Turnbull. On that big-spending note, strangely the Libs have failed to pin them for the massive debt run up by Labor. Abbott glued them on the boats, even the ABC can see that, but where were the cries with every spending cut that these were “Labor-Cuts”, thanks to “Gillard’s Black Hole”, and “Kevin’s Golden Sheds”? None of the cuts in the Budget of 2014 would have been necessary if not for the profligate vandalism of the Labor Party during the iron-ore boom that rescued the economy. Any idiot can hand out other people’s money. (Wayne Swan’s job. Remember him? Cost Australia an awful lot of dollars.)

A vote for Turnbull is a vote for an Emissions Trading Scheme

He and Hunt have already said they want us to buy foreign carbon credits. They would probably be starting the trading right now if not for the election. (The introduction was flagged for mid 2016.) The Gore-Palmer combo put the option of a review to recommend this into the “Direct Action Plan”. It was the back door for Turnbull to say he’s technically sticking to the Abbott climate plan, and for him to do what he always wanted and was chucked out as leader of the opposition for in 2009. He hasn’t learned.

Perhaps Abbott’s success bore the seeds of his failure

“A better conservative opposition will help us get a better Labor option too.”

Abbott and the Liberals won so big at the last election that a lot of new first timer MPs were voted in. I’d guess these naive MPs in marginal seats were more likely to lose their nerve, fooled by the ABC, and to vote for Turnbull. (I haven’t crunched those numbers on the turncoats, feel free to show I’m wrong.)

Should we take the Samson Option and blow the house down? No. Let’s be more strategic. Don’t bomb conservative politics,  rebuild it. In the long run Australian politics will be stronger if conservatives lose the House of Reps but win the Senate.  The best choice is if the good Liberals stay in, and the spineless and the weak are weeded out. It’s a win-win. A better conservative opposition will help us get a better Labor option too. At the moment both are pathetic, and voting for Turnbull merely extends the problem.

What will make me change my mind?

Turnbull could categorically, unconditionally promise some meaningful basics (which also cost nothing). How about a blood oath? No emissions trading scheme – ever. No section 18C. No more subsidies to Big Renewables (lets do the research, not buy expensive electrons — remember the “free market”?). No more pandering to the ABC — split it to left and right wings, or demand equal time for conservative views, or better yet — privatize it and cancel some Labor debt. Odds of any of these? A million to nothing.

Turnbull does not have to bring in emissions trading, nor spend more on “renewables”. There is no grassroots conservative movement calling for either of these. Voter interest across the spectrum rates climate scares lower than low. Climate change is off the political radar in Australia for everyone except politicians and rentseekers. The only people who will protest these are people who would never vote for Liberals anyhow.

A weasel wordy endorsement of any of these would remind us of Julia.

Abbott supporters

Thanks to the legwork of Redbaiter and the TrueblueNZ blog there is a list of likely Abbott supporters and the names of the 54 who didn’t. The Liberals don’t necessarily have to be led by Abbott, but they do need a team that understands what the Liberal Party stands for:

Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Karen Andrews, Kevin Andrews, Chris Back, Cory Bernardi,  Bruce Billson, Jamie Brigs, Russell Broadbent, Scott Bucholz, David Bushby, Matias Corman, Peter Dutton, David Fawcett, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Josh Frydenburg, Ian Goodenough, Natasha Griggs, Andrew Hastie, Joe Hockey, Luke Howarth, Greg Hunt, Eric Hutchinson, Craig Kelly, Jo Lindgren, Russell Matheson, Ian MacDonald, Karen McNamara, Scott Morrison, Andrew Nikolick, Stephen Parry, Tony Pasin, Christian Porter, Melissa Price, Linda Reynolds, Andrew Robb, Zed Seselja, Ann Sudmalis, Michael Sukkar, Angus Taylor, Dan Tehan, Alan Tudge, Nikolas Varvaris, Brett Whitely, Rick Wilson.

The problem with this list: many here are not contesting. Some are in the Senate. Can readers fine tune this so we can update? There are new Liberal candidates — what do we know about them? I know I’d vote for Andrew Hastie, the former SAS officer if I were in Canning. Likewise, Cory Bernardi, SA Senate.   Send in your suggestions. Who speaks for skeptics? Who speaks for real science?

________

*Liberals? For foreigners, “liberal” in Australia still means something like a real liberal — a free-market, small-government player.  In the US  progressives stole the term and the silly Republicans let them misuse it.

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Environmentalist — becoming a dirty word

Once upon a time, nearly everyone was environmental. After the first glorious Earth Day fully 78% used the term to describe themselves. Incredibly in 1991 just as many Republicans identified as environmentalists as Democrats did.  Now only 42% of all Americans would use the term.

The long term trend appears inescapable. The Republicans are about 20 years ahead.

Environmentalist, Gallup poll, USA, political grouping. 1989 - 2016.

Keep reading  →

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Bill Shorten wants a lot of new carbon taxes and to help international bankers

 A gift for Turnbull, who doesn’t deserve it.

Welcome to Election-2016 in Australia.

We’ve done this before: Bill Shorten has promised there will be “no carbon tax under Labor”.  This almost exactly mirrors the promise made by Julia Gillard on her way to the most pathetic parliamentary win ever recorded in Australian history. Gillard’s barely-there-with-the-help-of-two-turncoats-success was based on this infamous deceit, which Mr Bill Shorten approved of and voted in. Channelling Gillard-2010

At least he is kinda upfront about saying there will be no tax apart from a lot of new taxes he calls trading schemes. What kind of trade are you forced by law to make? A tax…

“There will be no carbon tax under Labor, there will be no fixed price under Labor, what we are doing instead is we are working with the market to create an Emissions Trading Scheme,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.

He is offering a kind of “Cap N Trade”, which is bound to suit all the Aussies who’ve been lining up at protests saying “No Carbon Tax. We want Cap N Trade”. Have you met one ? Me neither.

Let’s not forget the advantages of trading versus taxes:

  1. Markets are forever. They create property rights and are almost impossible to unwind. (Too bad, ye voters).
  2. An ETS would create lots of jobs (in China).
  3. Fake markets feed fraud and corruption (we need more financial sharks right?).

A carbon tax-trade thing only hurts big “polluders”, and people who do things like heating, cooling, or travelling.

“There will be an ETS for electricity generators

Translated — will be a tax for electricity consumers,

“…and a separate one for businesses in other industries who emit more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon pollution per year.

And another tax for consumers buying things off big business.

Labor heard the wrong message:

“Shadow environment minister Mark Butler says Labor “heard a very clear message from the Australian people about the carbon tax” and says it will not be returning to that model.

What the Labor Party didn’t hear was that the Australian people didn’t really care about the model. They don’t want to pay more nor vote on this issue. Eighty percent don’t donate to environmental causes. Eighty-eight percent don’t even pay $2 to neutralize their flights. More than half are skeptical in survey after survey.

Can anyone help a poor banker?

Mr Shorten’s plan is to funnel large amounts of money through overseas bankers to buy paper certificates to change the weather.

“Labor said 100 per cent of the offset obligations could be met by buying cheap international permits.

Mr Shorten the-anti-banker-man wants a Royal Commission on Australian Bankers but will be the best friend of financial houses like Deutsche BankCitigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs etc et al. The large financial houses have been lobbying for international carbon markets for years. The largest fiat commodity market in existence? A license to print…

But lets not forget that Turnbull is planning a carbon trading-tax scheme too. Labor-Liberal, what’s the difference? Australians keep voting “No” and throwing them out, and both parties are still saying “Yes”. Time for an alternative. Please.

Graham Lloyd at The Australian says it’s an uncosted toll with few details that pretends to be a free market thing:

Keep reading  →

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BBC finds wind farms have no effect on climate

For a moment I thought the BBC was tackling a very important question:

Wind farms’ climate impact recorded for first time

Most taxpayers want to know whether wind farms have an impact on our global climate. But the BBC are looking at whether wind farms cause warming on the square kilometer below them. A question hot on the lips of almost no people.

In the first study of its kind, scientists have been able to measure the climatic effect of a wind farm on the local environment.

The team said its experiment showed that there was a very slight warming at ground level and that it was localised to within a wind farm’s perimeter.

Data suggested the operation of onshore wind farms did not have an adverse ecological effect, the group added.

That will presumably reassure all three residents living under wind-farms who were worried about their house overheating, or the clothes not drying on the line.

It may not reassure the 99.9% of the UK people who pay for the BBC and hope to see it report something useful. Voters might have preferred to see a cost benefit analysis on the billion-dollar industry: What’s the dollar return on a subsidized plant designed to stop floods and make storms nicer, and how many degrees of cooling does a trillion dollars buy?

Though the story does provide a handy link for people who want to say “Study finds windfarms have no adverse ecological impact”. A truthy statement — as long as we ignore the ecology of the species known as homo sapiens. If I were being cruel I could call it BBC style Bread-and-Circuses-clickbait.

The BBC would of course, not be biased in its choice of language.  “Wind farms” means industrial wind turbine generators. Henceforth at the Beeb, coal-fired power stations shall be called “Coal Farms”.

Keep reading  →

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18 million square kilometers more greenery due to “carbon pollution” that the Greens hate

What kind of pollution do you want to feed your plants? The carbon kind.

Yet again, a satellite study of leaf area shows that the world is greener than it was in 1982. There are more plants mostly thanks to CO2 aerial fertilization. The biggest benefits from CO2 are in the warm tropics. The extra greenery in colder areas was due to that other disaster called “global warming”. About a tenth of the greening had nothing to do with either carbon pollution or extra warmth and was apparently thanks to nitrogen from man-made fertilizers.

Obviously we need a $10 billion dollar program to stop this immediately.

Earth, Greenery, plant growth, Nature, climate change, 2016

Click to enlarge.

Humans are Greening planet Earth — ABC

The most comprehensive modelling of remote sensing data so far shows the area on Earth covered by plants in this time has increased by 18 million square kilometres — about 2.5 times the size of the Australian continent — largely due to the fertilising effect of carbon dioxide (CO2).

“[The greening] has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” said Dr Zaichun Zhu, from Peking University in China and lead author of the new study, which appears today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Drs Zhu, Canadell and colleagues found that the 46 parts per million increase in atmospheric CO2 between 1982 and 2009 was responsible for 50 to 70 per cent of the observed greening.

“Carbon fertilisation is the dominant process for greening across the globe, particularly in the tropics because there’s so much leaf area there,” Dr Canadell said.

The new study found other causes of the greening, including nitrogen from agricultural fertilisers.

As I keep saying: burn fossil fuels and feed the world.

Plants are so dependent on CO2 that they suck out half the CO2 out of the air before lunchtime each day.

Keep reading  →

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The Smug do mockery as a substitute for progressive argument

The state of “progressive” national debate has been reduced to backslappin’ self-congratulation about the dumbness of the other side. There is no need to discuss morals or ponder imponderables, it’s enough to crack jokes, point and snigger.

In left-leaning media-land, it’s one long empty selfie. For a change, left-leaning Vox has published a serious article that hits one  mark exactly — even if the writer is unaware how his arguments apply to climate change and other areas. There is admirable self-awareness on the glorified issue of gay rights versus the undeserving interests of the poor.

Emmett Rensin is persuading his fellows to be more respectful of the rubes they disdain, apparently in the fear that Trump is reaching those same rubes and may win come November. He foresees his colleagues saying “What the fuck happened?“. But there is insight as he disassembles the vacuity of at least some channels of political correctness. It’s worth reading, because Rensin is trying to solve a problem conservatives face — how to overcome the empty mockery and get the mockers to engage in honest discussion. Its not enough to have the right arguments if there is no debate.

Rensin hints briefly that “there is money” to reward the mockers (he’s referring to media-land), but doesn’t appear to realize that there is money driving things from the core. When half the population are dependent on Big-Government the darkest shades of mockery come from the parasites caving to base instincts to justify their free lunch.

Emmett Rensin The smug style in American liberalism

The smug style says to itself, Yeah. I really am one of the few thinking people in this country, aren’t I?

Ridicule is the most effective political tactic.

Ridicule is especially effective when it’s personal and about expressing open disdain for stupid, bad people.

You can’t be legitimate if you’re the butt of our jokes.

The working class left the Democrats over the last fifty years and the core of Democrat intellectual “centre of gravity” shifted to universities, media and elite enclaves. Rensin argues that the professionals can’t figure out why they couldn’t convince their old worker buddies to follow them. Rather than self analysis, or coming up with a better argument, they took the easy road, blame those who didn’t “get” their wisdom and called them stupid.

Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful, hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The rubes noticed and replied in kind. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Financial incentive compounded this tendency — there is money, after all, in reassuring the bitter. Over 20 years, an industry arose to cater to the smug style. It began in humor, and culminated for a time in The Daily Show, a program that more than any other thing advanced the idea that liberal orthodoxy was a kind of educated savvy and that its opponents were, before anything else, stupid. The smug liberal found relief in ridiculing them.

Smugness is a perfect circle. Once a person has decided that all their opponents are terminally stupid, all their arguments are “therefore” wrong, no discussion needed:

The smug style created a feedback loop. If the trouble with conservatives was ignorance, then the liberal impulse was to correct it. When such corrections failed, disdain followed after it.

The smug can’t lose. If a conservative was won over, the smug was right. If a conservative was not won over, the conservative was stupid (and the smug was therefore also right about the conservative being stupid). Geddit?

– And if cheap, bullying tactics of mockery “converted” someone, it’s pure genius right?

Rensin talks about “Good Facts” — pointing out that the Smug seem to feel they are not tainted by ideology. Without saying it Rensin is describing people who think they are scientific, logical and armed with “The Science”:

It is the smug style’s first premise: a politics defined by a command of the Correct Facts and signaled by an allegiance to the Correct Culture. A politics that is just the politics of smart people in command of Good Facts. A politics that insists it has no ideology at all, only facts. No moral convictions, only charts, the kind that keep them from “imposing their morals” like the bad guys do.

 He has the insight to recognise the act of “knowing” the Good Facts, is a form of virtue signaling :

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Polish wind power suddenly not so popular

Another snippet for the next time a climate saviour tells you the “whole world” is moving to clean energy.

Last year Poland  installed almost as many new wind turbines as Germany (the Kingland-of-Wind-towers). Wind make about 13% of Poland’s electricity. This year,  according to the wind industry,  the  new conservative Polish government wants to regulate them out of existence.

Bill threatens Polish wind power, warns industry -

Poland’s thriving wind energy industry has warned that it faces bankruptcies, rapid divestment
and an end to growth under a bill that threatens executives with prison.

“For some projects, it will be terminal . . . it will kill them,” said Wojciech Cetnarski, president of
the Polish Wind Energy Association, an industry lobby group. “This will result in bankruptcies.
That is for sure.

“No one will invest any more in this country’s wind energy industry if this law is passed.”
The bill will make it illegal to build turbines within 2km of other buildings or forests — a
measure campaigners said would rule out 99 per cent of land — and quadruple the rate of tax
payable on existing turbines — making most unprofitable.

This is what the voters apparently wanted from the new government:

Keep reading  →

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The Flaw of Averages

Lockheed EF-80 (P-80) prone pilot test aircraft

Lockheed EF-80 (P-80) prone pilot test aircraft

An interesting link from commenter Pauly about the danger of thinking in averages.

In the late 1940s planes in the United States airforce were mysteriously falling out of the sky. No mechanical faults could be found. A young researcher named Gilbert Daniels collected data on thousands of pilots body measurements to update the old 1928 averages and discovered there was no such thing as an average pilot. The cockpits were designed to fit a man that did not exist. Human variability is such that once three different factors were taken into account, even allowing the cutoff for “average” to include 30% of the population in each factor, a mere 3.5% of the population would match the average for all three.

Once more variables were considered, the bell curve got rapidly thinner:

The Flaw of Averages

Using the size data he had gathered from 4,063 pilots, Daniels calculated the average of the 10 physical dimensions believed to be most relevant for design, including height, chest circumference and sleeve length. These formed the dimensions of the “average pilot,” which Daniels generously defined as someone whose measurements were within the middle 30 per cent of the range of values for each dimension. So, for example, even though the precise average height from the data was five foot nine, he defined the height of the “average pilot” as ranging from five-seven to five-11. Next, Daniels compared each individual pilot, one by one, to the average pilot.

Before he crunched his numbers, the consensus among his fellow air force researchers was that the vast majority of pilots would be within the average range on most dimensions. After all, these pilots had already been pre-selected because they appeared to be average sized. (If you were, say, six foot seven, you would never have been recruited in the first place.) The scientists also expected that a sizable number of pilots would be within the average range on all 10 dimensions. But even Daniels was stunned when he tabulated the actual number.

Zero.

Out of 4,063 pilots, not a single airman fit within the average range on all 10 dimensions.

Gilberts remarkable conclusions meant that the Airforce did the unthinkable, they asked the manufacturers to build planes to fit individuals instead of averages, and adjustable seats, straps and helmets were invented. The planes stopped falling out of the sky.  It’s an interesting read from a new book The End of Average by L. Todd Rose.

The feature also describes how women were similarly measured and similarly failed to be “average”, but the conclusions were that it was the fault of the women, and they needed to be fitter (and presumably the seeds of the aerobics revolution were born).

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“The Illusion Of Debate”: A History of the Climate Issue—Part 1

John Cook, history buff

History buff: Cook, who believes in learning from the great men of the past, dresses up as a beloved figure from the golden age of Consensus Science.

This timeline, like the climate debate, is best taken with whiskey. Strictly for climate-tragics, it’s layered deep, well aged, and may not make any sense at all. It’s art. It’s been a looong time coming (the second longest draft post ever under development on this blog).  Thanks to Brad Keyes. Smile :- ). — Jo

Introduction by J. Cook

The great Hoofnagle Brothers define climate Menshevism as a trick to ‘create the illusion of debate.’

Opponents of the climate don’t even need to win the debate—though they usually do—they just need the audience to think we’re debating. (Which is why we must never, ever do so.)

Please enjoy as Brad Keyes, my boss at Climate Nuremberg, looks back on some of the most colorful, least edifying moments in a decades-long debate that never happened.

— J. Cook
Twisted Tree Heartrot Hill
2016

_________________

c. 1850 AD

  • Fossil fuel revolution begins
    Environmentalists hail the switch to alternative energies—coal, natural gas and petroleum—as mankind’s best hope of kicking its whale-oil addiction.

1945

  • Peak Hiroshima occurs: there are more Hiroshimas this year than ever on record. (Scientists stress, though, that it’s too early to attribute any specific Hiroshima to climate change.)

1974

  • For 20 minutes Dr Stephen Schneider enjoys the only panic-free period of his adult life en route from cooling to warming alarmism.

1975

  • ‘Tobacco Strategy’ devised
    • Unknown marketing geniuses at Big Nicotine come up with the truly game-changing idea of disagreeing with claims you don’t agree with.
    • The tactic is so diabolical it will take humanity’s leading thinkers, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, almost 35 years to put their finger on it.

1988

  • The Science Awakens
    • The global warming movement is born when a scientist and his politician friend sneak into a government building and set the thermostat to a balance between truth and effectiveness.
    • The following day Dr James Hansen urges sweaty lawmakers to act on the 170-year-old process of “global warming,” calling any delay “criminal.”
    • Within a year, climatology—an academic backwater where data comes to die—will become the sexiest discipline ever. The field also goes by the name climate science, leading to speculation that it was once one of the sciences.
    • The abstract noun ‘science’ has never had a definite article, but climate thinkers welcome it as a way of capturing the fundamentally inert, static nature of the canon of human knowledge. (Science Is A Process, Not A Position, in the minds of high-school graduates everywhere: yet another myth Big Climate urgently needs to re-educate us about.)
    • Bewildered academics are now dragged, kicking and screaming, into the political spotlight. In time they learn to suffer celebrity in silence.
  • IPCC created
    • The Panel’s function is to periodically provide a big room—ideally in a hotel or resort—where Policy gets a unique chance to tell Science what to tell Policy to do, in a policy-neutral way.
    • IPCC estimates of certainty, confidence and risk will be determined subjectively, using NASA’s 1986 wisdom-of-crowds system—the same technology that put our Challenger astronauts in space.
  • Today ‘the [sic] science [sic]‘ is credited with an explosive growth in human opinion about nature—not to mention a profusion of new, climate-prefixed job titles nobody could have imagined necessary.

1989

  • Stephen Schneider, interviewed in Discover, calls on climate scientists to communicate more carefully, or ordinary people could get the wrong idea and stop panicking.
  • A coalition of Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Medium Tobacco, Republicans and the Murdochracy meets in secret to concoct the absurd myth of a climate ‘conspiracy.’

1995

  • Working late into the night, IPCC author Ben Santer single-handedly discovers what 2500 of the world’s leading scientists are saying.

1997

  • Almost every climate scientist in the world finds the upcoming 20-year-plus plateau in temperatures too obvious to mention. The Pause quietly begins.

    Keep reading  →

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