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What does an Australian farmer have to do to make the news?


What has The Australian got against a destitute farmer? Compare their coverage of one farmers protest with other hunger strikers:

This is not to detract from the seriousness of some of the above claimants. But compare the reportage about Peter Spencer who started his hunger strike on November 23, 2009. For 25 days there was not even a short note to alert other farmers or landholders that there was a hunger strike underway by an Australian citizen, on Australian soil.

It was Day 26, before he got a mention in The Australian, just as a sideline

Where is the balance?

In the end, it was apparently “worthy” to note that a convicted serial killer had stopped a hunger strike after 5 days, but a law-abiding farmer, protesting against the government laws that had contributed towards the loss of his life savings (and which potentially affect hundreds of other farmers) wasn’t considered newsworthy until Day 42. And then most of the reporting was the repetition from one of Spencer’s brothers about the debt he owes the family, or a dark one-off event from 40 years ago. Peter Spencer’s claim for compensation for all farmers has still not been investigated by The Australian.

When more than 200 asylum seekers went on a hunger strike that lasted just two days The Australian reported quoted them saying they would be “willing to die”, even though in the same article it reported that they had already given up their hunger strike after just two days. The reason given by the spokesman for the Tamils was that

“There are already 100,000 Tamil civilians who have died in the war in our country, and we don’t want to add to that number unnecessarily, so that’s why we ended the strike.”‘

(Possibly they could have thought of that before they started). But The Australian interpreted the end of the brief hunger strike as “an indication of how much their case is being held up as a beacon by the international Tamil Community”.

Giving asylum seekers the benefit of the doubt, and bending over backwards to put a good spin on it is one thing, but The Australian appears to go out of it’s way not to report the case of an Australian facing ruin, feeling suicidal and asking for a fair go. Spencer has had it tough within our legal system, even a justice decreed his case was unconscionable. There are many stories of other farmers with sorry tales to tell on the internet, but instead of trying to verify whether this is a systematic failure of our legislation, The Australian seeks out views from those who oppose Spencer.

Even if you are a man who picks up hitchhikers and stabs them to death in lonely woodlands you don’t have to try as hard as an honest farmer to get your grievances aired in our National Newspaper.

Could it be that The Australian cares more for our carbon emissions, than they do about the lives of our farmers? Do the editors feel that somehow the country is better off if we don’t look too closely at any of the drawbacks of legislation aimed to reduce our carbon output?

The Australian’s coverage:

  • Day 26: Spencer finally gets a mention in The Australian, just as a sideline, in a story that was really about Barnaby Joyce. The paper reported on the labor effort to ridicule Barnaby for backing “a hunger striker” and suggesting the government should pay $100 billion. (It’s notable that the Labor Party did not protest the legality, or that the land was effectively “expropriated”, but they protested because $100 billion was a big claim. In a legal case, surely justice is decided on the merits of the case, not by the cost of the claim.)
  • Day 44: after a protest by over 300 people at Parliament House The Australian interviewed and headlined… Bill Heffernan–a man who helped create the legislation that is part of what Spencer is protesting about, and who claimed Spencer was no longer of sound mind.
  • Day 46: Spencer finally got a front page headline, but the news was not about his case but about how he owed money to his family and about an incident with a gun 40 years ago. I wrote about the attempt to smear him: Investigative Journalists work hard to … protext the government from the people.
  • Day 48: The Australian put in more articles, a repeat of the debt information from the day before, along with an anonymous letter allegedly from Peter Spencers family, but unsigned. It’s repeated in full on the Australians site. Another commentary was about Spencer’s work in Papua New Guinea before he took up farming. It was interesting, but hardly a high priority compared to all the other angles that need to be said.  It’s hard not to feel sorry for the family being caught up in this toxic legislative mix, but remember that if it is from the family, they probably want their money back, which might complicate their perspective. The Australian will publish anonymous letters “from the family”, but not named ones from Spencers neighbour, or other supporters, or legal experts.

    Which debate are the fringe online supporters derailing? (Certainly not a debate in our national newspaper.)

  • Day 50: Spencer was at least in the headline, and the story was reported as a news story with direct quotes from a radio interview with the man himself.
  • Day 51: (Jan 12th) Despite the lack of space for legal considerations, or words from supporters, there was room to print a commentary with vague allegations against unnamed people who  might be distorting the debate.  “SUPPORTERS of hunger-striking farmer Peter Spencer risk derailing debate on vital issues of property rights with their fringe views, a leading agri-politics expert has warned.“   Would these be the same property rights that The Australian doesn’t consider worthy enough to independently research, or to interview other alleged victims of? Which debate are the fringe online supporters derailing? (Certainly not a debate in our national newspaper.)

UPDATE – Legal Commentary: Simon on AustralianClimateMadness is a lawyer and engineer and he’s done what The Australian should have–looked closely at the legal history and cases. For those interested in more detail, an interesting legal commentary is here with more followup on the Native Vegetation Laws. It’s yet another example of why big media is losing ground to the internet. Bloggers offer for free what the mainstream media won’t even touch with millions of dollars to back them up.

UPDATE: Great news! After 52 days on the tower, Peter Spencer has agreed to come down a few hours ago. Can we talk him into running for the Senate?



* for some reason both the Ivan Milat stories are linked to by the search engine on the Australian, but the links are broken.

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No comments yet to What does an Australian farmer have to do to make the news?

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    [...] UNIPCC Patchigate, All those outside the elitist green clique say ‘hi”,Worried about CO2 – try here. You can love it here and the love fest continues here, Coming ice age?, Selective ignorance – governmnets and media ignoring the real issues. [...]

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    Michael

    My mother’s side of the family are all western Kansas farmers and on my dad’s side their are some in the dairy farming business. Most of the farmers here in the US are members of COOPs. I’m not familiar with Australian law, but can’t the farmers of the country be organized to not sell their crops for a week or two? The spike in food cost would get the attention of the people and the news.

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    Louis Hissink

    Private Property rights – while the communists have failed in their attempt to impose socialism by violent acquisition of private property, the Fabians seem to have achieved it by stealth – by allowing private property to exist, but then regulating it’s use via indirect means, so that in effect private property becomes redundant, as Peter Spencer’s case shows.

    Assaults on private property started with Native Title, then the various Kyoto sponsored initiatives such as vegetation clearing, local council permission to cut any trees on ones property. Further regulation by the state on our work practices via OSH legislation is another intrusion into our private affairs.

    The whole idea of private property was to protect an individuals unalienable rights, but forcibly taking that off an individual, Communism, has been consigned to the dustbin of history. It has been replaced by the Fabian nanny state and, more or less, achieved the same result by regulating it out of existence. Try not paying your taxes, for instance.

    It helps to remember that the news media is dominated by the political left, and many in the ALP parliamentarians came from the this profession – and given that the Fabians obtained control of the social science departments in our education institutions quite a few decades ago, it is fairly obvious why farmers are not newsworthy – they have property rights to vast expanses of land, generally don’t vote for the ALP, and are thus, along with climate sceptics, not considered newsworthy.

    To understand the media’s attitudes read Bernard Goldberg’s two seminal books on the matter, Bias and the other, Arrogance.

    The only other time a farmer might become newsworthy is doing some environemental vandalism. Come to think off it, miners are not that newsworthy either.

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    Thumbnail

    This is a prime example of what now is called Lamestream Media. I used to respect The Australian, but this story and their handling of it makes me fear for our future. If we continue to allow media to be corporatised, this is what we will get. Never let Rudd control the internet. If he does that, we are stuffed. I am going to Goondiwindi to learn more for myself about this matter.

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    I know of two local cases on the mid-North coast of NSW where the owners went ahead and cleared anyway. Nothing happened to them, because the same do-nothing attitude applies to prosecution as to regulation.

    These bureaucracies should work with farmers to kill vermin, preserve koala habitat, wildlife corridors etc. while giving adequate compensation. Guns and cool burning save wildlife. Having a state government that’s bog ignorant and flat broke makes that hard, of course.

    Hot burns in unmanaged scrub are not “natural”. If these people are concerned with wildlife and atmospheric carbon they need to change their minds in a hurry about their land management policies.

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    The whole sorry event is beginning to expose that our democracy is changing by stealth to a corporatocracy that controls all of our information. The exception, for the moment at least,is the ABC who should be encouraged to publish a National Newspaper on the TTT (Tell The Truth) principle. That is if we, meaning all of us, could guarantee its independence and that it is not sold off to pay for Government, (for Government, read Political Party ) debt.

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    LINDA

    That the media such as papers and radio complain about the fall in support across the board , its now a popular discussion that journalists along with editors and radio compares have niether the intelligence or inititive to bring real news to the good citizens in Australia.
    A high proportion of the news is so repetative it could have been taken from the same dialogue.
    In times of great uncertainty and with a looming election , one would think that issues of great importance would make headlines or talk radio NOT SO.
    A game of cricket or a whale story or football always seem to grab the front pages when something important is happening that will affect us all. To me i call them RED FLAG events , when i hear them on the news i know there is something they dont want us to know about and plenty are thinking the same now.
    Is it because the Government advertising is more important and valued rather than bringing real news to the Australian population , THE AUSTRALIAN reportedly Australias leading news , far from it and i note the rates are dropping.
    Little or no places for puplic comment , letters rarely get published unless on novelty subjects.
    No wonder Australia is one of the largest purchasers of books , we are starved of good quality journalism.
    Alan Jones and 2sm radio presenters should be nation wide , as they have taken on as the real MEDIA, especially in the PETER SPENCER HUNGER STRIKE and the truth he wants out in the open for every Australian .
    Mind you WESTERN AUSTRALIA is even worse the biggest event has been a Mr Richard Pennicuik in Thornlie perched in a tree ,started the same day Alan Jones hit the airwaves and it is still ongoing, then in mondays paper a lovely couple want to save bushland and minister Sue Pennicuik included in the story on the 50th day of PETER SPENCERS HUNGER STRIKE, one must ask why the treeman in Thornlie is getting so much coverage especially from 6PR radio.
    More so WHY are the MEDIA ignoring THIS ALL IMPORTANT ISSUE that PETER SPENCER wants the TRUTH in the open.
    Peters words are now NAIL ME TO THE CROSS AND BLEED.
    Peter Spencer has put his FAITH far above RUDD and MEDIA for truth and justice.
    So Australia say a prayer the goodlord gives him strength , because should he die , what little freedom and rights you have left will go with him.

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    Henry chance

    Michael:
    January 13th, 2010 at 7:08 am
    My mother’s side of the family are all western Kansas farmers and on my dad’s side their are some in the dairy farming business. Most of the farmers here in the US are members of COOPs

    This isn’t like Dodge City. Dodge has a lot of cropland in CRP and paid to not raise crops. This rancher is not given a choice nore reimbursement. I bought land in western Kansas and it was managed by a share cropper. Every year I got money to not plant rye. I have never raised rye. It is just another gubment gravy program.

    Spencer is in an Involuntary program. He is not allowed to plant and harvest crops.

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    Mark

    Peter Spencer has just announced to radio 2GB that he will come down today.

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    Clearly the Australian is a no-spin zone. LOL! I hope the poor farmer does not starve to death!

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    Search the Melbourne Age and no mention of Peter Spencer, surprise! If Peter was an unemployed layabout on hunger strike for better charity dollars to assist a drinking problem he would fill the front page of all the Fabian rags. We are in trouble as a nation when those that want to look after themselves, build farms and businesses or wish to contribute to the common wealth are seen as the enemy at worst or irrelevant at best. Make no mistake, Labour will let Peter die, he’s irrelevant to their social conscience and they will blame him for defying their actions or questioning their stealing our freedoms and property rights.

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    LINDA

    Just listened to Ben on 2gb , this is great news, now Peter Spencer the HERO of this Nation .
    Thankyou for the strength and wisdom in coming down.
    Now hopefully we get some real TRUTH in the MEDIA.

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    Mark

    Don’t hold your breath, Linda!

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    Mark

    Spencer’s legal advisor, QC Peter King has announced the foundation of a fund to help with legal expenses.

    It’s probably been posted elsewhere here that Peter King was the previous MHR for Wentworth who was knifed by the incumbent ETS supporter, Malcolm Turnbull.

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    muckypup

    Liberal senator Bill Heffernen (a farmer in case you didn’t know) was interviewed about this issue yesterday on the ABC Radio National Breakfast. He advised Mr Spencer to come down immediately and go to hospital.

    He also felt that this ’cause’ had been ‘hijacked by certain people who believe that if you have freehold property you should be able to do what you like.’ Mr Heffernen compared this misguided libertarian twaddle to the idea that if you own a car you can ‘do what you like with it’. In Mr Heffernens words most of Mr Spencers property ‘you would not clear in a fit’. He offset this by saying he supported further clearing of land in NW QLD where ‘the water is’.

    The full interview is available here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2010/2790228.htm

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    Bill Heffernen comments are true ABC speak, cars are on public roads sharing with other people so strict rules should and do apply and have nothing to do the use of land. Proper land management is a must, but that is not achieved by the mass banning of vegetation clearing. Proper clearing and land use adds to the environment and most farmers do it well.

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    Katie from Brisbane

    I am glad to see Peter Spencer stop his hunger strike. The last thing we would have wanted is for him to die.

    Clearly krudd was not going to listen, and the Australian did not report the truth and was “kinda” treating him as a bit nutty. This is deplorable by the Australian – I thought it was their job to report news, not pass comment on it

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    muckypup

    So Norm: are you calling Bill Heffernan, liberal senator and farmer, an ABC leftie?

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    Muckypup, no! but we all talk to our audience and respond to interviewers, sad that he uses ABC style metaphors that sound good but mislead. He knows private property rights are different from rights to use community property, but the difference would be lost on most ABC interviews so I guess he stayed the Politician.

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    pat

    i come across murdoch papers by accident and can hardly believe how pro-AGW they are. pages of stuff. as with UK Tele & delingpole, andrew bolt only blogs, while the printed papers continue full speed ahead to create a carbon trading bubble. tragic how it’s entering the schools:

    fujizerox: Environmental curriculum challenge launched with Minister Wong and Dame Murdoch support
    8th May 2009, Melbourne Australia – A unique initiative to roll out an environmentally-focused curriculum in Victoria was launched by Fuji Xerox Australia and the Global Green Plan Foundation today, supported by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and Federal Minister for Climate Change and Water Senator the Hon Penny Wong…
    Australia’s most high-profile centenarian and Patron of the Global Green Plan Foundation, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE, has called for community engagement in the initiative..
    Students are invited to imagine a world in 2030 where environmental solutions have not been found to our most pressing issues and then presented with the challenge of ‘making a difference’. The emphasis is on students finding their own solutions to the problems that global warming and diminishing resources present…
    http://www.fujixerox.com.au/about/media/articles/592

    Murdoch’s Daughter Hosts Obama Fund-Raiser
    David Blood, who runs an investment fund with former Vice President Al Gore that specializes in environmentally-friendly companies, is also listed as an “event host.”
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/murdochs-daughter-hosts-obama-fund-raiser/

    NYT & murdochs smear roger ailes, head of fox, no doubt cos fox very OCCASIONALLY questions AGW!

    9 Jan: NYT: A Fox Chief at the Pinnacle of Media and Politics
    He played a well-chronicled role in the decision in 2004 by Lachlan Murdoch, Mr. Murdoch’s eldest son, to leave the company; he thought Mr. Ailes was intruding on his corporate turf. Two other Murdoch children, Elisabeth, a television producer in London, and James, the only Murdoch scion employed at the company, are sympathetic to Democratic causes and frequently voiced concerns to their father during last year’s presidential campaign about Fox News’s coverage of Mr. Obama…
    “I am by no means alone within the family or the company in being ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to,” said Matthew Freud, who is married to Ms. Murdoch and whom PR Week magazine says is the most influential public relations executive in London….
    At a town hall forum on Oct. 26 sponsored by one of his newspapers, he had a heated exchange with Richard Shea, a Democratic councilman who was running for town supervisor. “I turn around, and there he is,” said Mr. Shea, who won the election. “He starts right in on the zoning. He says, ‘What are you trying to hide from me in the zoning?’ He said, ‘I own the newspaper.’ ”
    Mr. Shea continued, “My takeaway was that this guy is pretty much threatening me.”
    Mr. Ailes said he simply asked for Mr. Shea’s phone number and complained about “environmental zealots” in the town. “I am a conservationist,” he said. “I try to put the bottle in the right can.”..
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/business/media/10ailes.html?hp

    don’t hold your breath waiting for abbott or the coalition, or even barnaby joyce, to ever publicly mention climategate. there’s a science/media/political concensus, don’t u know?

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    Chris

    The story probably didn’t get much push from the closest mainline paper, The Canberra Times, because a lot of people here in the ACT know a lot about Peter Spencer, over many years. Efforts to get him treatment etc have not been successful. At least he is no longer threatening to kill himself up a pole. Your contacts in the ACT Government could fill you in.

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    J.Hansford

    Louis Hissink:
    January 13th, 2010 at 7:08 am

    “The only other time a farmer might become newsworthy is doing some environemental vandalism. Come to think off it, miners are not that newsworthy either.”

    … or commercial Fishermen.If we ever get in the news, it was always a portrayal as some kind of social or environmental villian, while using file footage not even related to the incident.

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    kuhnkat

    Chris,

    I guess you are telling us that since the man had previous problems it is OK for your gubmint to remove your rights to profit from land or other personal possesions??

    How about the farmers and other who have NOT had problems. Is it OK for the gubmint to take their rights??

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    J.Hansford

    Chris:
    January 13th, 2010 at 1:52 pm …. You just made a personal attack on Peter Spencer with your post mate.

    You insinuated that he is crazy and that he has no case worthy of public interest……. Very mean spirited of you.

    Yet you fail to address the fact that legislation is being used to stop a farmer from using their land… That is the point. You deliberately avoided that… And if Peter is crazy, then it is little wonder after the affect of these laws while people like you attack at every opportunity.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    There are really only seven questions a good journalist needs to be able to ask:

    What is happening now?

    What is the background?

    What is the current situation?

    What events may follow?

    What are the likely results?

    What is the “official” position?

    What are the “popular” opinions?

    And even then, they only need know which four or five of the seven are pertinent at any point in time. How come they find it all so hard?

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    J.Hansford: #24
    January 13th, 2010 at 3:30 pm
    Chris:
    January 13th, 2010 at 1:52 pm …. You just made a personal attack on Peter Spencer with your post mate.

    I’m with you! Peter Spencer might be odd. He might well be “well known” to the gentry in Canberra. But that doesn’t for a moment, mean that his problems are less real.

    It seems to me, that there is a combination of laws and regulations that create a Catch 22 situation,* otherwise known as “The Law of Unintended Consequences”. Even if Peter is totally delusional, it does not change the effects of these laws. To suggest otherwise is just an Ad Hominem attack.

    No, there is something more sinister going on here. Perhaps, just perhaps mind, the Editor of The Australian has been told by his “Proprietor” that anything that causes problems for the Government, “at this sensitive time”, i.e. before an election, is to be “treated with caution”. I don’t know, of course – I am just saying.

    * Catch 22: A wartime bomber pilot tries to get himself grounded by being pronounced insane, but is told by the military psychiatrist that only an insane person would want to fly, and therefore his desire not to fly proves that he is, in fact, sane, and is therefore fit to fly.

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    Chris

    It just seems such a shame that Peter decided to go on a hunger strike before he had exhausted his legal avenues. Is he assuming that his High Court legal challenge to fail? If he hopes to get the law changed to allow farmers unrestricted wholesale clearing I doubt if he will be successful.

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    I recall a bit about common law that possession of land did not automatically entitle the owner to do what he likes with it but from the contributions so far for Mr. Spencer, that is not the issue which is fair compensation. So what if he is eccentric and more so after a few sherbets, it is the unfair way that his situation has been dealt with by the NSW Government and a law that allows for no compensation is an unjust law. The freedoms that we enjoy have been hard won for Australia and politicians who have been elevated into positions of power with little of life experience or the talent to exercise it should be reminded.

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    Don

    Well he is down now. Looking at the extensive media coverage I must say he looks in pretty good nick for someone who is supposed to be getting by on water and vitamins for 52 days. No Bobby Sands that’s for sure.
    The family seem pretty happy to see him back on terra firma, maybe now they can get back some of the $1 million plus he owes them.

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    Inmate

    It’s a disappointment when even the right wing press start printing the facts and detroy a great opportunity to smear a Labor government. Peter Spencer is clearly a troubled soul but good old Jo sees the truth that the rest of us don’t see. Let’s exploit his disturbed view on things for our own ends, let’s push our particular barrow despite any compelling facts or logic. That’s he nice thing about the lunar right, they’ll believe anything you write no matter how stupid or ridiculous.

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    Richard S Courtney

    Friends:

    I have been following this with interest, but I am not an Australian so the legal issues do not concern me. However, some of the above comments are disturbing to anybody with an ounce of compassion.

    Firstly, an injustice is not reduced because it is inflicted on someone who is unusual.

    Secondly, it requires a person to be unusual for them to take personal risks in seeking justice.

    Thirdly, justice won by one is justice achieved for all.

    Fourthly, going bankrupt while attempting to fight a legal case is not a method to achieve justice: lawyers must be payed.

    Fifthly, a common tactic of the those with power and/or money is to ‘string-out’ a legal case so the ‘little man’ loses by default when he runs out of cash or dies of old age.

    Sixthly, if it is accepted that the State can define that private property must stop being used for its established purpose then the State must provide full and proper compensation: anything else is a short step from totalitarianism.

    Seventhly, in this case the asserted reason for inhibiting the farmer’s ability to use his land is based on the false assertion that the inhibition could or would have a discernible benefit (i.e. in affecting global climate).

    Eighthly, there is a clear dichotomy between treatment of this case by the media and other cases (as Ms Nova documents above) which indicates extreme bias.

    Ninethly, anyone who chooses to dispute the above points is a prejudiced fanatic.

    Having said all that, one has to be pleased that Mr Spencer has ceased his protest that would have resulted in his death.

    Richard

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    Chris

    I have seen on other blogs the suggestion that Peter Spencer only has a leasehold property, not private property. Anyone know?

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    Tel

    I have seen on other blogs the suggestion that Peter Spencer only has a leasehold property, not private property. Anyone know?

    The bank were going to force him out to sell the land, then his family stepped up and paid off the bank, but presumably the family also wanted their money eventually and are now attempting to force a sale of the land.

    Doesn’t seem much like a leasehold situation to me…

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    As an Englishman who is no longer as active as he once was, I like to read newspapers on the web as a source of non-UK news as our media seems to have given up on it. I read you blog regularly, so perhaps you’d like to suggest the best Australian newspaper for me to read.

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    Tel

    Let’s exploit his disturbed view on things for our own ends, let’s push our particular barrow despite any compelling facts or logic.

    Inmate, you don’t even appear to have the necessary nous to figure out what is our particular barrow. I remain convinced by Peter’s description of the situation, it’s better argued than anything you or the mass media have produced.

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    Hi Jo,
    This story disturbs me – thanks for persisting with it even if the msm don’t care. What it shows us readers in Britain is that we could be facing this soon if we do not co-ordinate a campaign to stop the march of eco-fascism.
    In this regard may I kindly ask for your consideration to Australians (and others) in this: my associates and I over at climategate.com have been analysing among other things, the dropped ‘colder’ Australian and NZ ground weather stations and so far our findings are most disturbing and fit a growing trend of ‘cherry-picking’ of stations to falsely show more warming than otherwise exists. I’m currently in ongoing correspondence with Britain’s Climate Minister, Joan Ruddock and I’m pressing her to come clean about the widely unreported dropping of these 806 global ‘cold’ weather stations as first noted by ChiefIO
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/thermometer-langoliers-lunch-2005-vs-2008/

    OvOur site needs help from more volunteers all over the world who has some expertise in computer data analysis so we can complete our investigation of the facts behind the dropping of 806 ‘cold’ ground weather stations which we want to present to world leaders – including Australia. So far, we’ve gone through part of that long list checking into the details of the dropped stations – particularly their location – whether rural or urban and thus likely to be contaminated by the urban heat island (UHI) effect.

    You may well have guessed that what we’re finding so far from the few stations we’ve analysed is a trend that its mostly rural stations that have been dropped e.g. the dropped Australian and New Zealand stations are mostly rural (e.g. Port Nelson, Ruttan Lake, Joutel). Our readers successfully determined that the station count for the U.S. (in the GHCN v2_mean file) dropped from 1177 to 136 in April 2006. We were able to confirm this by importing the data and by doing a simple count of all station ID’s beginning with “425″ for the year 2006. Replication is straightforward apparently ( I’m no stats man -my contribution is as volunteer writer and legal commentator). I’m told this is a trivial task for any application developer to write the code to import this data and then analyse it. The most significant observation we have noted is that most of the stations left in the U.S. are airports (for the years 2006 and going forward- that’s a clear UHI type contamination in itself).

    What we desperately need is help from other volunteers to complete our task of checking all 806 dropped stations. I want to be able to press the case confidently against the UK Climate Minister as soon as practicable to shame and blame the guilty and to lobby hard for a re-think of the culture of closed-door science and research.

    If there is anything anyone can offer I would be extremely grateful. For more info and to read a copy of my latest letter to the Minister please see:
    http://www.climategate.com/allow-me-to-correct-you-uk-climate-minister-joan-ruddock

    Best wishes to you and your readers and keep up the great work!

    John O’Sullivan

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    Peter S

    It’s clear our media is either mentally challenged or corrupt.

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    Mark

    Peter S.

    I can assure you that the MSM are not the former. They are simply part of the “big end of town”. They go to lunch with the other members of the big end, scratch their backs and get their backs scratched in return.

    Why are people so shocked at their behaviour? They are part of the problem and will never be part of the solution because any semblance of integrity has long gone. I only buy one paper, the local one and it’s not because of the quality of journalism but merely to keep up on local matters.

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    As an American I lack the competency or background to comment on the nuances and intricacies of Australian law. That being said, it beggars the imagination that any country in the world whose law is based on English common law could allow such a travesty to occur. The attempt by the Greens and their political stooges to force their socialist agenda upon us all is a problem of nightmarish proportions. The fact that the Carbon Traders are trying to scam us by trading nothing but hot air is difficult enough to bear but the fact that they call themselves capitalists but are politically conjoined with communists demonstrates just how far conventional political wisdom has been stood on its head. True, politics makes strange bedfellows but this is downright pornographic! When the human race has reached the point where the government is willing to regulate a baby’s breath, where science is a tool to advance a socialist agenda and the fifth estate’s main concern is making a profit, the people must stand against this tyranny or accept an enslavement by those who place power gained through a fear fueled fraud above the basic needs of those very humans they claim to be saving. The proponents of Global Warming must be held accountable for their crimes against humanity. How many must die of hunger because of the ethanol scam? How many will die because the funds necessary to save their lives were squandered fighting a calamity that never existed? As Paul the Sixth of happy memory once said, “If you want peace, work for justice.”

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    Baa Humbug

    An excellent article by Lord Monckton in an answer to a question by an Aussie farmer. here

    “However, in the crazy metric of carbon inputs and outputs, sources and sinks that now obsesses bureaucrats too stupid and narrow-minded to understand the sheer, hilarious extravagance of its futility, the view is that the working of the land and the delivery of its produce to the market, together with various other agricultural activities, have a greater “carbon footprint” than the efficient growing of crops would save. Insane, but there it is”.

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    Baa Humbug

    And theres the nub of the whole argument. The greenies, backed by governments who signed the Kyoto treaty, believe growing and distributing FOOD has too big a carbon footprint. Solution? Take as many farms away from farmers as possible, hence reduce carbon footprint.

    Just too stooooopid to even contemplate.

    Tax an essential trace gas, stop growing food (especially meat) stop using cheap available energy and redistribute wealth around the globe. The whole thing beggars belief.

    Politicians like Obama Brown and Rudd must explain why the above is good for anybody.

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    Gary

    Rereke Whaakaro: @ #25
    “they only need know which four or five of the seven are pertinent at any point in time. How come they find it all so hard?”

    Because it is far easier for journalists today to only have to remember the one question they seem to ask the most..

    How do you feel? (or variations thereof).

    No thinking required – by the journailist.
    Limited thinking required by the subject – just a visceral response, kind of like a Pavlovian drooling when the bell rings.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Eddy Aruda:
    January 14th, 2010 at 1:54 pm: #39

    The attempt by the Greens and their political stooges to force their socialist agenda upon us all is a problem of nightmarish proportions.

    With due respect Eddy, I disagree that the Greens have a socialist agenda. The Greens actually have a Fascist agenda.

    Communists want collective ownership of property by the state. Fascists want private ownership of property, especially businesses, but want control over how that property or business might assist in achieving state objectives.

    The Australian government does not want to take Peter’s property. They are happy for him to keep it, if he can. They just want to tell him how he can, or cannot, use it. As it currently stands, the government is getting carbon credits from the re-growth of bush on the land. Peter is taking a corresponding hit in his potential income. The government does not want to compensate Peter, because that would negate the whole point.

    A final thought: Communism is usually established by revolution. Fascism is usually established by stealth, and in using the capitalist system against itself. As an American, you might want to think about that from your own domestic political perspective.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Gary:
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:49 pm: #42

    … [they] only have to remember the one question they seem to ask the most. How do you feel?

    Thanks Gary, I knew the list was missing a point :-)

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    Macha

    These enforced restrictions, like Mr Spencers, are happening here in Perth, Wa. too.

    http://www.inmycommunity.com.au/news-and-views/local-news/Kyoto-woes-hit-home/7546682/

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    Matt.B

    This is absolutley absurd that a farmer has to go to the lengths of hunger strike to try and get his case heard. The Labor Party puts it out in the media that the ETS will not affect farmers however they don’t say that any new treaty signed or global agreement will. In a similar story there was a woman that lives in my region who cleared 5 hectares of land because she thought it was a potential fire threat (at the time there were fires around our reason) she then incurred a $100,000 fine because she broke a native vegetation act (the same act affecting farmers like Peter Spencer) and everyday it was not paid another $11,000 was added.
    This legislation needs to be either changed for the better or abolished because we begin to risk safety for few trees that a government is tying to use to stop ‘climate change’. What I would propose is that if the Government wants to give farmers a ‘fair suck of the sauce bottle’ then pay the farmers the land they are locking up.

    Matt.B

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    Thumbnail

    The Australian Farmers have spoken, and the city folk are listening:

    http://agmates.ning.com/photo/albums/tower-of-hope-rally-2-feb-2010

    http://agmates.ning.com/photo/albums/tower-of-hope-rally-canberra

    Thank you JoNova for starting this ball rolling.

    I am organising a meeting in Brisbane to let the farmers speak directly to the city.

    I will announce the date and venue when it is all organised.

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