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Infantile professor pronounces debate “infantile”

The Age — formerly a decent newspaper — never fails to take an opportunity to parrot PR for Team AGW.

Last week they gave a free shot to Will Steffen, Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute.

Will Steffen ANU

Climate debate ‘almost infantile’

(The Age, ADAM MORTON,  May 25, 2010)

A SCIENCE adviser to the federal government has described the debate in the media over the basics of climate change science as ”almost infantile”, equating it to an argument about the existence of gravity.

It takes a tax-payer funded Pro-fessor to equate AGW to gravity. It must have taken years of education to be able to issue pronouncements like this eh? If Australian taxpayers were hoping to get a bit more than just bluster and name-calling from certain public servants, they’re bound to be asking for their money back soon.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the existence of gravity is proven each day you don’t get flung off the planet when you get out of bed. We can measure gravity to twelve significant digits*, but our value for climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide varies from 0 to 10. Pick a number. We can’t even get one significant digit fixed. Quantifying gravity involves dropping a rock with a clock and a ruler. Quantifying carbon’s effect on climate change involves understanding cloud-formation, ice sheet changes, evaporation, humidity levels in air 8000 m above Singapore, and ocean currents at the bottom of the endless abyss that we can’t even measure.

Speaking at a Melbourne summit on the green economy, Professor Will Steffen criticised the media for treating climate change science as a political issue in which two sides should be given a voice.

Is it political? Heck No. It’s not about managing our economy, assessing risks, choosing between different courses of action… err… it’s pure science. Prof Steffen has modeled our future, there’s no need to involve the economists-consumers-engineers-investors-medical-experts-or those pesky kids we’re supposedly saving-the-planet-for. Managing the country is pure science now;  free speech and democracy-babble, who needs it!

This censorship of speech, and appeal to authority is the antithesis of science, and Steffen simplifies things ad absurdium. In Australia, he appears to have been appointed Carbon-King-of-Bluster. Find me a sentence where he substantiates a claim with something that amounts to more than “…it’s true because I say so”.

It’s a no-brainer. If you go over the last couple of decades you see tens of thousands of papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and you have less than 10 that challenge the fundamentals – and they have been disproved,” Professor Steffen said after an address at the Australian Davos Connection’s Future Summit.

“Tens of Thousands” of papers eh? So why doesn’t he dig out a few and help his colleague Dr Andrew Glikson who is at least honest enough to engage in a debate and try to answer the question: Can you name any paper that supports the claim that positive feedback occurs and will double or triple the direct effect of carbon dioxide? Without that amplification the big scare campaign is all over (and so is much of the funding that feeds the associated junkets, conferences, grants, Institutes, and certain “science advisers” to the government ).

And which 10 papers exactly have been disproved? Steffen can’t name them, won’t try, and helpfully leaves things vague as a one-size-fits-all whitewash. Pure bluster. Adam Morton dutifully prints all that without checking, as if it’s a pronouncement from the Mount and one of the ten commandments.

Don’t give me the excuse that he’s written giant documents with thousands of references, so the evidence is there “somewhere”. It only takes a few minutes to name and explain one paper. Waving vaguely at tomes is part of the shell game. If he wants rational discourse, this is where it starts, with details.

Right now, this almost infantile debate about whether ‘is it real or isn’t it real?’, it’s like saying, ‘Is the Earth round or is it flat?’

Actually, the only one trying to debate whether “it’s” real or the world is flat is him. No one else wants to reduce public conversation to meaningless descriptors as much as he does. What “it” is he talking about? Does he mean “climate change”? He’d sure like us to debate that, because he’d be on safe preschool-climate-science terms where he could win: Yes Esmeralda, the climate does change! But the rest of us keep asking him to debate the real issue instead of his fake-o-strawman-substitute.

[Climate change] is a hugely important question and yet we are not having a rational discourse in the media in Australia on this question. That is my biggest frustration.

This is quite funny really. (I laughed). So Steffen is frustrated that the discourse is irrational? This is the man who uses his academic authority to mock opponents (that he won’t debate) with strawman arguments that are irrelevant. He claims he wants rational discourse, but works hard to stifle any discussion that doesn’t agree with him. He actively contributes to the nightmare of government spin and irrationality.

Asked about the scepticism of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, he said scientists respected leaders from both sides of politics who showed respect for scientific expertise.

“Respect for expertise” is code for argument from authority: Trust me I’m an expert. It’s the cop-out.

Real scientists don’t have any respect for the fawning servants of bureaucracy or fame. We admire those who can reason, and not those who pour confusion on conversations with confounding pomposities. The ingratiates who take our money but call us names, while they dodge debates and hail vainglorious victories over points we never raised: these we mock.

Thanks to Ainslie for the tip-off.

*Thanks to BobC for pointing out that we can measure gravity to 12 significant digits (not 4).

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106 comments to Infantile professor pronounces debate “infantile”

  • #
    janama

    when I read his Age article I was so incensed I wrote an letter to the editor – here it is:

    he great debate

    PROFESSOR Will Steffen believes climate change is a ”no-brainer” and should be accepted with the same confidence as the laws of gravity and relativity (”Climate debate ‘almost infantile’ ”, The Age, 25/5). Who exactly has said the climate does not change? The question is whether man’s influence on the climate will cause that change to become catastrophic.

    Perhaps Professor Steffen and Age readers may be interested to learn that last week members of the historic Oxford Union Society, the world’s premier debating society, carried the motion ”that this house would put economic growth before combating climate change” by 135 votes to 110.

    The leader for the affirmative was that devilish denier Lord Lawson of Blaby, backed up by the exceedingly devilish Lord Monckton.

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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    Speaking at a Melbourne summit on the green economy, Professor Will Steffen criticised the media for treating climate change science as a political issue in which two sides should be given a voice.

    As Will Steffen and his ilk believe there is only one side to the story and refuse open debate, he must be right. Even if it’s only in his own mind.

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  • #
    Henry chance

    He feels threatened.

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  • #
    FijiDave

    Professor Will Steffen has dared to raise the ire of our Jo, and now his bones lie bleaching in the desert, so well picked over that even the buzzards having lost interest, just as the whole Al Gore Weather farce will one day (soon, I hope)loose relevance and die.

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  • #
    G/Machine

    Just when the feeling was that the standing of our science
    community call fall no lower, along comes Willy Steffen. Well
    done Will! Freefall it is.

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  • #
    D. King

    “Professor Will Steffen criticised the media for treating climate change science as a political issue in which two sides should be given a voice.”

    Old Russian Wood Cutters agree with Professor Steffen.
    http://tinyurl.com/2fm3wzs

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  • #
    mondo

    I recently sat through a ‘presentation’ by Will Steffen. It was terribly weak, used outdated and misleading information, was big on argument from authority (Will!) and rich with ad hominem. The question sessions were tightly controlled so that Will would not be exposed to ‘difficult’ questions such as “Show is some evidence that anthropogenic CO2 is causing Global Warming”. It was staggeringly poor quality from a supposed leader in his field.

    Specific points that he made that are subject to challenge.

    1. He showed a ‘hockey stick’ of CO2 emissions whereby the Maunu Loa record is shown as ‘unprecedented’ in 400,000 years. No mention of the pre Maunu Loa measurements of CO2 in air. Source: Keeling and Whorf, 2000. Petit et al.

    2. He argued that the strongly rising CO2 levels are due to man’s emissions. He then showed rising temperature and stated that it is obvious that CO2 is causing the warming. No mention of the doubts/questions re the temperature records (why do unexplained “adjustments” account for most of the warming – NZ for example. Why have so many temperature stations been dropped?)

    3. He showed a ‘Hockey Stick’ of current temperatures being much higher than the MWP – this was Mann 2003.

    4. He showed a graph of Ocean Heat rising (Church 2010).

    5. He compared Arctic sea ice of 1979 with 2007. Why not show the experience since?

    6. He showed a graph showing sea level rise. No mention of land movement issues – rebound from the ice age, sediment loading on deltas, local subsidence due to groundwater removal, tectonic movements etc.

    7. He discussed IPCC 4. 90,000 comments. 1250 authors. Only a couple of mistakes.

    8. He discussed the Oreskes study that showed 1000 papers showing the problem. Not one contrary.

    9. He used ad hominem. If its not in the peer reviewed journals, it is not science. He said do not trust people like Ian Plimer and Bob Carter.

    He concluded that it is very likely that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the major cause of global warming.

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  • #
    Andrew Barnham

    I regularly read the age mainly to keep abreast of nonsense being presented in pop culture for the case for restructuring our world economy to drastically and rapidly reduce dependency on carbon fossil fuel. I long ago gave up expecting them to present anything that is likely to make me pause and think; around about the time the paper published a speech made by Penny Wong that just trotted out the same old tired logical fallacies I hear over and over and over again. But you never know, maybe one day they will surprise me.

    I’d rather suffer being considered stupid by every second stranger on the street for being a CAGW skeptic than accept on face value such weak reasoning and logic.

    I also felt this article deserved special mention due to its excessive amount of bluster and its generally shrill tone. Raise your voice even higher sir, because it makes your argument oh so much more compelling.

    I especially enjoyed the way the age reframed the issue in their online poll “Do you believe the media has exaggerated the uncertainty surrounding climate change?”. What a nonsense question yet at the same time a subtle misdirection.

    Brilliant reply from joannenova.com.au as usual.

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  • #
    Adolf Balik

    When I studied under communistic rule I had to pass exams on scientific communism. If I suggested doubt about scientific foundation of the subject I would be dropped from the school and taken compulsory to the Army for two years. Researchers in the field of communistic “science” produced piles of papers – all of them peer-reviewed – actually reviewed more then in the real science as the catechism line was watched very closely.

    If you retreat to such politicians your children will have to pass exams on an evangelistic pseudo-science and you would be deprived of freedoms in name of so-called science – not in the name of arbitrariness of dictators.

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  • #
    Ross

    How did this get to the level of Professor with blinkers that are so large ?? I just pity his poor students — he clearly would not be able to impart the ability to critically think about anything.

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  • #
    Gore Wants To Do Debbie

    Willy boy definitely knows a thing or two about gravity. His confirmational biased ego draws down a large salary paid for by the taxpayers.

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  • #
    Adolf Balik

    To Ross 10:

    I am afraid that in various social sciences in which the political correctness is incorporated there is the same situation and professors foist on the politically correct dogmatic as a “science” too. Well, up till now the natural sciences avoided contamination with the political correctness catechism. But the climatology is the first natural science, which has been infested with the political correctness.

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  • #
    Another Ian

    Sounds like time to remember Tom Lehrer’s line about

    “Ivy covered professors in ivy covered halls”

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  • #
    Another Ian

    Re Janama #1. You could also add a mention of

    “Royal Society To Accept Climate Scepticism
    Britain’s premier scientific institution is being forced to review its statements on climate change after a rebellion by members who question mankind’s contribution to rising temperatures. –Ben Webster, The Times, 29 May 2010″

    http://climateresearchnews.com/2010/06/royal-society-to-accept-climate-scepticism/

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  • #
    Mark D.

    Will Steffen, Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute.

    A bureaucrat is defined: (wiki)

    Max Weber defined a bureaucratic official as the following:[1]

    * He is personally free and appointed to his position on the basis of conduct
    * He exercises the authority delegated to him in accordance with impersonal rules, and his loyalty is enlisted on behalf of the faithful execution of his official duties
    * His appointment and job placement are dependent upon his technical qualifications
    * His administrative work is a full-time occupation
    * His work is rewarded by a regular salary and prospects of advancement in a lifetime career

    * He must exercise his judgment and his skills, but his duty is to place these at the service of a higher authority. Ultimately he is responsible only for the impartial execution of assigned tasks and must sacrifice his personal judgment if it runs counter to his official duties.

    * Bureaucratic control is the use of rules, regulations, and formal authority to guide performance. It includes such things as budgets, statistical reports, and performance appraisals to regulate behavior and results.

    *
    *
    *
    From the quotes of him above he is only protecting his bureau. (which is another spelling for ass)!

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  • #
    Dave N

    Mark Will down as another who will go down in history as a looney “scientist”. Sadly though, it might not be til long after he is gone.

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  • #
    Binny

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. It’s not the skeptics who made me a doubter it’s the true believers.
    The professors debating sleight of hand, is worthy of an experienced trial lawyer or politician.
    Gloss quickly over the real debate ‘the extent and speed of change’ then shift the focus to gravity? And is the world flat?

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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    I applied some propaganda analysis techniques to the article.

    The results are interesting:

    1. there were uncertainties about the pace and impact of change
    2. the world was warming
    3. the primary cause since the middle of the last century had been industrial greenhouse gas emissions
    4. [It] is a hugely important question [Note: the editor inserted the phrase "Climate Change" where I have substituted "It"]
    5. we are not having a rational discourse in the media
    6. [He is] Executive Director of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute

    Bold emphasis added.

    These statements, if reported correctly, have a historic focus and imply a loss of control – they are a rear-guard action.

    Professor Steffen will have some, if not all, of the responsibility or ensuring ongoing funding for his Institute and the future may be looking bleak.

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  • #
    pat

    how must james delingpole feel about louise gray who actually gets published in the paper, unlike his blog?

    2 June: UK Telegraph: Louise Gray: Eat less meat to save the planet – UN
    The world needs to change to a more vegetarian diet to stand a chance of tackling climate change, according to a major new United Nations report
    The group of international scientists said the greatest cause of greenhouse gas emissions is food production and the use of fossil fuels…
    The report, that will be presented to world governments, said the only way to feed the world while reducing climate change is to switch to more a more vegetarian diet. …
    Mr Steiner said governments could encourage people to eat less meat by reforming the system of taxes and subsidies so vegetarian food is cheaper…
    Lord Stern of Brentford, the author of the influential Stern Review that first argued for economic measures to fight climate change, also believes the world needs to eat less meat.
    He has already warned that the price of meat and other “carbon intensive” goods will need to go up to fight climate change.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7797594/Eat-less-meat-to-save-the-planet-UN.html

    am sure those poor countries the CAGW crowd want to save will be thrilled, given how low their meat consumption is now!

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  • #
    John Coochey

    I also went to the so called “deliberation” that Mondo went to and agree with his comments. Mark Stafford Smith’s lecture was the only one where we could ask a direct question from the floor. I asked him about a documented claim that the temperatures in the Canberra region had in fact declined over the last hundred years. The Deliberation was suppoed to be about the Canberra region. He did not attempt to answer it but talked about the weight of parrots declining in eastern Australia and that proved global warming. I am serious and so was he! I could equally well say a decline proved cooling-less food. I pointed out strongly, despite the flaffing around of the “facilitator” that that did not answer the question whereupon Steffen tried to come to his rescue by saying only Bureua of Met data was valid. I pointed out that that was the source which he might like to check over lunch before giving his own lecture. He did regutt the argument after lunch. Have you heard that Tuvalu and other Pacific islands are not sinking beneath the waves but are gettinb bigger? On ABC radio this morning

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  • #
    PeterD

    Jo, thanks for being here.

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  • #
    Frank Brown

    With the roof falling in on the IPCC, CRU, NASA, the “hockey stick” (I hate that phrase, it gives my favourite sport a bad name) et all..He seems to want to live in the past. Not a good place for a scientist.

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  • #
    Bulldust

    Being in the civil service in Western Australia I was rather surprised to hear of the sudden sacking of the Head of the Department of Water. I wonder if differences over “climate change” were contributing to this event:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/newshome/7336727/avoid-the-term-climate-change-water-staff-told/

    It seems at least one state minister doesn’t like the term being used at every possible instance. The problem is that declining rainfall in the State’s SW is a classic example of climate change in the way the term should be used. Unfortunately the AGWers have hijacked the words to imply a completely different meaning. Climate change now has the gravitas of certain swear words and should be used with caution… or so it would seem.

    Personally I still use the term as intended but with a cautious eye on how the listener perceives it, so that it is clear there is no misconception. I doubt even the craziest AGWer would claim the decrease in SW rainfall is linked to man-made CO2 emissions… but hey… there might be a loon or two out there.

    Incidently is it just me or do others think the portfolio combinations are weird… I mean Minister for Water and Mental Health? Is there something in the water we should know about? :D

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  • #

    My post on this here.

    It’s becoming really quite amusing to hear what desperate nonsense the alarmists are coming out with.

    Best regards,

    Simon
    ACM

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  • #
    wes george

    Great post Joanne. I’m sure Dr. Glikson is perusing those ten thousands papers for the handful of facts that he needs to build an argument for CAGW.

    As for Will Steffan, he can squeal, run and hide from the debate for now. But it’s not a sustainable position over the long term. He’s burning an un-renewable and limited national resource at an accelerating pace: Public trust and patience.

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  • #
    janama

    unfortunately Wes the powers that be listen to him and only him!

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  • #
    BobC

    Ross:
    June 3rd, 2010 at 7:24 am

    How did this get to the level of Professor with blinkers that are so large ?? I just pity his poor students — he clearly would not be able to impart the ability to critically think about anything.

    Actually Ross, it is very difficult to get through our excessively PC institutions of “higher education” without large blinkers (or, at least knowing when to keep your mouth shut). Some know it’s BS and just pretend to get along; but others, like our Professor Steffen, get brainwashed. It’s easier if you don’t have any talent for logical thinking in the first place. Critical thinking is definitely something you need to keep locked up until you graduate — it’ll only get you into trouble.

    Jo:

    We can measure gravity to 4 significant digits

    Actually, Jo, we can measure it to 10 – 12 significant digits (see here and here) — enough to determine how many people are in the office one floor above or the depth of snowfall on the roof, and detect mass flows in the Earth’s mantle (once you subtract out the tides caused by most of the other planets in the solar system). Raising the gravitometer one centimeter gives a measurably different reading.

    —-

    [Thanks BobC, I've updated the text. I wouldn't want to drop 8 significant digits!--JN]

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  • #
    BobC

    Rereke Whaakaro:
    June 3rd, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Professor Steffen will have some, if not all, of the responsibility or ensuring ongoing funding for his Institute and the future may be looking bleak.

    Aha, the motive for his mental blankout becomes clear — as Upton Sinclair said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on his not understanding it.”

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  • #
    Charles Bourbaki

    Prof Steffen -”If you go over the last couple of decades you see tens of thousands of papers in the peer-reviewed literature..”

    I presume he is referring to climate science papers. Let’s go with his figures and say 20,000 published peer reviewed papers in 20 years. So 1,000 per year on average, although there will of course be more in recent years with the vastly increased funding. But keep it as a 1,000 each year for 20 years. That’s four peer reviewed climate science papers published every working day for the last 20 years.

    What an extraordinary effort! They really are supermen (/women).

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  • #

    Seems an awful lot like social(ist) ‘science’ to me. Mr Balik @9 describes it well.

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  • #
    Tide

    The only way to equate AGW to gravity is to postulate that gravity too is anthropogenic. Is that what the good Pro-fessor is really suggesting? ;)

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  • #
    MattB

    I’m waiting to hear form Louis Hissink – as my recollection is that he thinks we have got gravity all wrong.

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  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    Bulldust (#23):

    I think you will find that WA’s SW isn’t “drying” due to unusual lack of rainfall.

    The water shortages in the Perth metro area are due to reduced streamflows into the dams caused by changes in catchment management policies and a tripling of population since the last dam was constructed. The former reduces the amount of water collected and the latter places more demand on what little is collected.

    Warwick Hughes has done some earlier work on this and still blogs on the subject often.

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  • #

    Thanks to BobC for updating me on gravity. (Updated the post).

    People, I don’t read The AGE or the SMH (or overseas newspapers). So, if you read something that makes your blood boil, email it: joanne AT “you-can-guess”.com.au

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  • #
    Bulldust

    Actually speaking of gravity measured to umpteen decimal places… it should be noted that the earth’s rotation is gradually (and I mean very gradually) slowing such that the days grow longer and the number of days per earth year are decreasing over the ages. There is ample evidence for this in the field of geology.

    Given that the rotation of the earth is gradually decreasing, the centripetal force is also waning, such that gravity is gradually increasing. Think of it this way… the earth’s spin has a tendancy to hurl you off the planet which slightly offsets the force of gravity sucking you toward the planet.

    If you are going to measure the force of gravity to many decimal places you would find there is sufficient change annually due to the earth’s decreasing spin to have to update your standards every year. I think this is how the CRC rubber bible stays in business :)

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  • #
    Bulldust

    PS> Slight correction – I suppose technically the force of gravity isn’t actually changing as long as the mass and shape of the earth remain near as damnit… it is the net “apparent” gravity we experience at the surface that changes. Even something as simple as gravity is freakin complex…

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  • #
    Brian

    SUBJECT: Rudd hints at faster, greener ETS

    THIS GLOBAL WARMING FRAUD MUST BE STOPPED FOR THE SAKE OF ALL AUSTRALIANS!!!

    ON NO ACCOUNT CAN THIS TREASONOUS ETS EVER BE ALLOWED TO BE PASSED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!!

    THERE WILL BE RIOTS IN THE STREETS IF THIS FRAUD IS PASSED!!

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/rudd-hints-at-faster-greener-ets-20100603-x294.html

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  • #
    Bulldust

    Hmmm looks like someone beat me to the research:

    http://www.ptep-online.com/index_files/2009/PP-16-02.PDF

    BTW that Rudd ETS move is a serious worry… any ETS negotiated with the Greens would have disastrous impacts.

    BTW caps are kool!

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  • #

    “We” may be able to measure gravity, to however many (sic – significant) digits,
    but what is it. ?
    We measure the effect, yes, but do we know how it is “made”, no. Do we know how it travels across distance, no.
    You have to accept an aweful lot of assumptions first if you want to change the above answers from no to yes…
    Questions, very basic questions, certainly remain.

    Jo wrote,

    Quantifying carbon’s effect on climate change involves understanding

    Small question, which should really come first in all honesty, does the “known physics of CO2″
    actually apply to the real, open, mixed atmosphere. ?
    I am not aware of any evidence that it does, except by the
    “delicious irony” (because he is a skeptic – giving the “consensus” it’s most basic building block)of David Archibald’s
    logarthmic CO2 effect plot, in a closed, isolated system..

    A rarther large, and usually unmentioned assumption (also unrealised commonly) there that
    “it” is does apply to a different system isn’t there..
    ie,
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-709.html

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  • #
    David Spurgeon

    Perhaps Prof. Steffen should be aware that his views are not in keeping with the Royal Society in England.

    In view of the recent decisions by the Royal Society to reinvestigate their interaction with the general public on matters scientific, for example Climate Change, it might be of interest to hear the first of the Reith lectures of 2010, given by Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, Astronomer Royal and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

    The lecture can be downloaded from
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/reith

    I have only heard part of it but it impressed me in one respect, namely that Sir Martin stated that the public at large must be informed and more importantly allowed to query and even disagree with scientific “consensus”. This at least is a gigantic step forward. See what you think.

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  • #
    Waylander

    In light of Will Steffen regurgitating politically correct dogma as a substitute for reasoned debate and objective analysis I felt I had to share this definition with you

    Political Correctness (def.) –
    a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the
    proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the
    clean end.

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  • #
    Brian

    This is the email address of this “Will Steffen” character:-

    will.steffen AT anu.edu.au

    Email him & let him know what you think of this TREASONOUS global warming FRAUD that he is COMPLICIT in promoting!

    —————————–

    [Please no nasty emails to anyone. By all means, let's give constructive feedback to all the bureaucrats who "serve the people", but clear pointed replies are the most useful. Talk science. -- Jo]

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  • #

    David Spurgeon:
    June 3rd, 2010 at 6:49 pm Post 40.

    David, have you seen this pdf from Rupert Wyndham to Lord Rees (and many others) regarding
    his speech and the RS’s position on climate change “science”.
    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/RS_science/pdf/RS_letter_2_June_2010.pdf

    Also discussed at,
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-734.html

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  • #
    Ed Gallagher

    Steffen sounds like one of the alarmists I am constantly doing battle with. Recently I caught him red handed posting misinformation and when called on it he said he would retract it when all the other misinformation in the thread was retracted. Keep in mind he considers misinformation anything that doesn’t agree with the gloom and doom scenario of the AGW KoolAid Club. He must be following the same playbook as Steffen. Seems that all the really obnoxious warmers use the tactics outlined in desmogblog and realclimate with argument from authority and ad hominem attacks at the top of the list.

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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    On an intermittent sat connection:

    1. Steffen does not understand gravity. The computation of the universal constant G, remains problematical – even Newton admitted to not knowing what caused the motion of bodies in space, but did work out mathematically how to predict their positions.
    2.The 3-Body experiment falsifies Newtons’ laws, since these only apply to 2-bodies.
    3. Gavin Schmidt is a mathematician, not scientist.

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  • #
    AC

    I think the gravity analogy is particularly appropriate.

    We all understand the certainty of the gravity business and the certainty of what it predicts. If the moon for example were to suddenly defy the predicted tragectories and started to drift off out of orbit, I would expect all serious scientists to be instantly alarmed and start to question initial assumptions.

    On the other hand when we so are so certain about the our understanding of the link between rising CO2 and rising global temperature, I would have thought the when CO2 is so undeniably rising, but then the global temperatures start to level off, Arctic ice extent starts to rise and the Argosy buoys are showing falling ocean temperatures, I would have expected that every serious scientist would be alarmed and start questioning initial assumptions.

    Why is it that serious scientists can have the same certainty of their climate models as they have for their solar sytstem orbit models and yet be totally indifferent when predicted temperature tragectories deviate from real world observed temperature data?

    That to me is the question that the good professor seems to be totally blind to.

    I think if the real world data is drifting away from his computer models, I think serious scientists have a sort of obligation really to ask questions. And as a publicly funded academic perhaps he has some obligation to explain it as well.

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    John Coochey

    Corrigenda to my earlier post, the erran professor did not “regutt” my arguments, a typo for which I take full responsiblity, he did not rebutt my arguments and did not provide any data about the actul temperatures in the Canberra region despite checking other alleged data over the lunch break. Having read his original article I am wondering what he actually said there. Apart from he should be believed, there was no development of argument or supply of data at all

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    Joe Lalonde

    Bulldust:
    June 3rd, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    You are more correct about gravity than most people will know! This is why past plants and animal were much larger.
    Mass…what power does mass have? None. Other forces are involved to create mass but that is not gravity.
    We have two significant energies in a rotating planet. Centrifugal force and magnetics. Iron is one of the main ingredients in water, plant life and animal life.

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    Tel

    Henry chance: He feels threatened.

    The thought of that man having to work for a living, use his hands to produce something. How funny would that be?

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    Wayne, s. Job

    Increasingly sad are the efforts of the true believers, this man is but a shell of a scientist. Almost every day for months, real scientists and real data is being released. Free from the shackles of ridicule due to sites such as this and the hero that released the damning emails truth has been set free. The follies and foibles exposed to an ever increasing audience. If a Bard such as Shakespeare were around today he could write his greatest work on the intricacies and inanities of man. Perhaps Jo could be a leading character, a princess fighting the princes of darkness. The more astute here could fill in the cast, there are certainly many to choose from.

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    I agree with Joanne’s admonition to avoid “name-calling”, but it should be extended to include the word “professor” when that label is inadvertently attached to an unworthy entity.

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    David Spurgeon

    Derek:
    June 3rd, 2010 at 7:58 pm
    David Spurgeon:
    June 3rd, 2010 at 6:49 pm Post 40.

    Derek,

    Thank you for the two links and I almost totally agree with the demarcation of some of the Lord’s remarks as lies, but I nevertheless have to be optimistic as to the new RS approach. It is a start, albeit a small one!

    It will be interesting come September, when the results (if any) of the Society’s pondering are published. I look forward, also to hearing the remaining three lectures!

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    David Spurgeon

    Wayne! Now there’s an idea – Jo as a beautiful princess! Where can I get tickets? !!

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    @Brian

    Way to play the man not the ball…

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    I know people are angry, but please, no nasty personal emails to anyone OK? The scientists involved are mostly minor fish swept up in the big scheme of things (the big fish run countries or … financial institutions). Yes we should let them know that we expect better, that we respect good reasoning, and will not be fooled by bluster or waffle. Let them know we will not be letting them get away with this.

    Better than writing to Steffen, write to The Age.

    Mock their ideas

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    janama

    Washington Post exposes who really is tied into Big Oil, and it’s not Joanne.

    http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2010/20100602161253.aspx

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    Grant

    Off topic… (Jo, it would be good if there was somewhere we could post ideas or thoughts we are struggling with)

    I need some help in understanding something. Perhaps someone has read something somewhere and direct me to an explanation.

    Diurnal fluctuations in CO2 concentration – During daylight hours plants photosynthesise, taking in CO2 and giving of O2. Over a day the CO2 concentration over and area of vegetation can be significantly reduced – I have heard to 100ppm or less. At night due to respiration there is a build up of CO2. Every living thing respires CO2. The CO2 conc increases through the night, and can be higher than the ~400ppm average global conc by morning.

    Here’s the physical observation that has me confused. The daily minimum temperature minimum usually occurs just after daybreak. That first half hour after the first rays of dawn is usually the coldest time of the day.

    How can this be? Surely the higher CO2 conc would mean that the temperature would rise rapidly first thing in the morning. Those first rays of the sun would activate the earth’s heating system and voila.

    I would be very grateful for funds to study this phenomenon. I am agnostic about the source – Government, Green NGO or Big Oil.

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    Bob Malloy

    By now I would anticipate most of you are already aware of the following news bite.

    Global Temperature Is Warmest on Record, NASA’s Hansen Says:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Global_Temperature_Is_Warmest_on_Record.pdf

    This leaves me with one question, If Hansen is the auditor of Global Temperature, who audits the auditor?

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    Bob Malloy

    Re my post above.

    BTW, at this stage that’s not peer reviewed.

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    Grant

    Warmest on Record

    Yeah! Whose record? Can we trust the data series has not been tampered with?

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    For overseas readers it should be pointed out that when Jo says The Age was ‘formerly’ a decent newspaper, she’s harking back to a time when paisley headscarves and lavender jeans were also considered acceptable.

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    Bob Malloy

    janama:
    June 4th, 2010 at 6:10 am

    WUWT has a report on Hansen’s claim Bob.

    Thanks for that Janama. This is from IceCap,

    The document will be submitted to Reviews of Geophysics, a scientific journal, Hansen said today in an e-mail.

    Which means while they value peer review so much that they corrupt the process, their willing to release alarmist stories to the press prior to review, just to keep the fire stoked, , which is why I ask whose auditing the auditor.

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    Jim

    As an ‘ism’ vanishes, its supporters use bluster and caustic trivialisations of the other point of view. Expect more of this stuff, he and others like him are riding the tiger.

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    Keith

    Steffen is protecting his rice bowl. Pity the bottom’s fallen out of it.
    Ian Chubb, ANU’s vice chancellor will be watching the so-called climate debate with increasing concern. Chubb is all about the bottom line. Funding is top priority, always. Steffen is one of Chubb’s current darlings, because of the funding stream to the ANU’s Institute of Climate Change. While Chubb has made pro-AGW comments in the past, if funding starts to dry up, he will not hesitate. Steffen knows this, having seen what happened to the Astronomy department, post 2003 Canberra bushfires. Chubb stopped his commitment to fully rebuild MtStromlo, once the insurance was found to be inadequate. Coincidentally, Sackett was in charge of the Astronomy department at the time. To lesser mortals this would have been a career stopper. Not for Sackett, who went on to be annointed as Chief Government Scientist. She is a CAGW warmist, but I’m that had nothing much to do with her exalted appointment.

    Off topic :
    Jo,
    I seem to recall reading a post here regarding climate refugees, and you referenced a UN report, but I can’t seem to locate it. My faulty memory ?
    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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    Harry the Hacker

    Bob@64

    Reputable scientific journals that I know about will not publish something that’s been published before.

    So if this has been released (and published) how can it be submitted to, and published in, a reputable journal?

    Something does not make sense.

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    Speedy

    Keith @ 66

    There’s an SPPI report (Monckton et al) report published about 4 months ago that deals with climate refugees, specifically the Pacific islands. It turns out that wind erosion is what keeps them about 5 metres above sea level. Any higher than that and they blow away.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.

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    Bulldust

    And here we go again … utilising the most dodgy of dodgy temperature sets we get the warmest year on record again!

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-warmest-year-yet-says-nasa-20100603-x7f5.html

    Hansen is predictable if nothing else.

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    Mervyn Sullivan

    I won’t call him professor, but Will Steffen’s claim that “…if you go over the last couple of decades you see tens of thousands of papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and you have less than 10 that challenge the fundamentals – and they have been disproved” is nothing short of a lie. Will Steffen knows full well this statement is a big lie, and he knows why it’s a big lie.

    I feel 99.9% confident that Will Steffen would be aware of (even if he hasn’t read it) a report titled “Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)” which was released in June 2009. The report is some 880 pages in length, and is the most comprehensive critique of the IPCC’s positions ever published. It lists 35 contributors and reviewers from 14 countries. It looks at evidence the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ignores.

    The report reveals an extensive amount of peer-reviewed scientific literature ignored by the IPCC that debunks the IPCC mantra on man-made global warming. We are not talking about ten papers… we are talking about many hundreds of peer-reviewed papers.

    I can only assume that as the “great global warming swindle” begins to unravel, individuals like Steffen must keep up the fight for AGW because they have reached a stage where they have everything to lose (like their credibility and reputation) and nothing to gain.

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    janama

    they have everything to lose (like their credibility and reputation)

    and their jobs – how many of these “Climate Change” departments throughout academia and the NGOs worldwide will survive if AGW is blown away.

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    MattB

    Louis I do hope, and I’m being sincere here, that when you are back from the outback you have time to expand on post #45.

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    @ MattB

    Hey! I was only kidding around the other night in an attempt to get a rise out of you. It worked. Unfortunately, I fell asleep before I could tell you I was only joking. I hope all is well.

    As far as Will Steffan is concerned, I wouldn’t worry too much as I am sure he has job security. Once his PC masters take a different tack they will probably “reeducate” him. At least he will go to some tropical paradise on the taxpayers dime instead of to a gulag in Siberia. Members of the PC crowd are like weathervanes in that they change direction in accordance with whatever way the winds of taxpayer funded financial fortunes are blowing. Maybe he will get onboard with what seems to be the next big green scare scam, ocean “acidification”.

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    MattB

    Hey eddy – no worries no offence taken… we all have our moments;)

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    crakar24

    @ Brian in 37

    What does this show us? I think you will find the ETS is a political issue and KRudd may have found a way to push his political ideas.

    @ Bull dust 69

    Did you know that Dec-Jan snow cover was the highest on record and the last decade has been the snowiest ever recorded? Of course we all know the Arctic recovery is well under way. Funny thing is i have always associated snow with cold (lower temps) i challenge any warmist out there explain this conumdrum to me.

    @Matt 72

    I dont quite follow Louis either but i do remember reading a study where they used a model to predict the orbit of the planets around the sun based purely on gravity after two orbits the whole thing spun out of control as there is only 4% of the required amount of gravity to keep it all glued together. They assumed that whatever it was that kept everything in place was there but they could not see it, thus the term “dark matter” was coined.

    Dont know if this helps.

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    Fred Firth

    Money speaks and The Royal Society listens
    During a meeting, at The Royal Society, Michael Faraday was asked the question, “What is the relevance of your work?” by the then Prime Minister, Robert Peel, about his magnetic induction, he replied “I know not, Sir, but I’ll wager one day you’ll tax it.”

    In the golden age of Victorian progress, the point was taken and later proved to be correct. How we have progressed! In the new millennium, a Carbon Credit Tax is invented years ahead of any science to support the relevance.

    For their part, the Royal Society has debased 350 years of eminence and integrity for their star cash-cow called Advocacy.
    Under their new “tell it like it is” banner, Influencing-policy, The Royal Society states:

    As we celebrate the vision of our founders, the creation of the Science Policy Centre reflects our ongoing commitment to rational inquiry and evidence as the basis for good decision making. The Royal Society has flourished for three and a half centuries, but its work is far from done.”
    Lord Krebs of Wytham FRS
    Chairman, Royal Society
    Science Policy Advisory Group

    Sadly, I think the Royal Society’s work is overdone. Collaboration with the AGW policy makers has created the singular blot that is the undoing of a once proud history.

    Opinions of the 19th Century writer, Thomas Carlyle, could not be bought and sold, so his views on advocacy are stated here with merit.
    “It is a strange trade that of advocacy. Your intellect, your highest heavenly gift is hung up in the shop window like a loaded pistol for sale. “ Thomas Carlyle

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    Waylander

    Keith @ 66

    Had a bit of a search round the web regards climate refugees , I found these on the web , the first is one of the CAGW cultists predictions of 50,000,000 climate refugees

    http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/fifty-million-climate-refugees-by-2010

    The second one , 10,478,621 total ,is the number of real refugees
    recieved globally as of 4 months ago :

    http://chartsbin.com/view/81x

    How do these CAGW soothsayers make their predicictions ? It`s certainly not through assesment of availible data , perhaps it`s by sacrificing some unfortunate fowl to Gaia and reading it`s entrails ? I could be being a little unfair , maybe there`s 50,000,000 additional refugees who have built boats inland Noah style and are waiting patiently for the seas to rise and float them away as was prophesied by the Goracle ?

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    Bulldust

    Bernd Felsche @ 33:
    Just a couple things of general import (and I am sure you and I agree on this):

    1) Rainfall has definitely decreased in the southwest of WA over the last few decades on the west side of the Darling Ranges (not sure about further inland as I don’t deal with that area). The decline of water tables in borehole sensors has been consistent around the region.

    2) When it comes to run off into catchments (dams etc) land use has massive impacts. The mining rehabilitation that occurs in the Darling Ranges, for example, has been tweaked over time because of conflicting policies.

    With respect to point 2 think of it simplistically this way… plant more trees for more timber and less run off or vice versa. Recently Alcoa has been thinning rehabilited areas in the Wungong catchment to promote run off… the rehabilitation was “too successful” and sucked too much water out of the system. It is always a balancing act with land use.

    Naturally people are complaining because the company is thinning the vegetation they themselves (Alcoa) planted, despite the thinning being at the behest of government. You can’t win some days…

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    Brian

    “Waylander”, I reccon the fanatical followers of the church of al gore use OUIJA BOARDS to make all their predictions!

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    Tony

    He is being rather stupid. We all know that there is a very incomplete understanding of how climate works. Those who say it is decided know that statement is wrong. They might believe they are right but that is an untenable position. As Descartes said – it is irrational to believe in something you don’t understand. Therefore it is eminently rational not to believe in someting which is not understood.

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    Bush Bunny

    OT/ Now Al Gore has separated from his wife of 40 years, just watch all the gossip columns regarding why?

    Also Robyn Gunning was in Armidale recently an student of Al Gore, I sent my apologies to the Sustainable Living Association, but was angry she was invited to spout his
    agenda.

    I got an angry reply from the organizers, whose agenda
    and philosophy for sustainability I approve. But I doubt if I’ll be invited to join them again.

    They are frightened the monies they have received might
    be questioned, like Michael Mann is being sued by some
    hot shot in Virginia for taking 500,000 for research in
    AGW.

    Sort of getting money under false pretenses, I feel?

    Anyone else feel the same?

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    Louis Hissink

    MattB:

    The solar system dynamics are better explained by the equations of Maxwell and Lorentz – as are galaxy dynamics as demonstrated by Peratt and others who publish papers in the Plasma Physics section of the IEEE. That modelling does not need a gravitational input as the forces associated with the Maxwell-Lorentz equations are 10^39 stronger in magnitude than gravity.

    I have no time for an intellectually laziness on your part as I have pointed to this peer reviewed literature on many occasions.

    The one physics constant that seems inconstant is G.

    The proposal of dark matter to account for the unpredictability of Newton’s Laws for more than 2 bodies is a mathematical artifice made by mathematicians – who are not scientists, by the way.

    The scientific method demands that when observation contradicts theory, that the theory be questioned. Bolstering a falsified theory with a theoretical object (dark matter) to make it work is pseudoscience.

    I might add that the very theory of the planetary greenhouse gas effect has been falsified with experiment by NASA.

    So come back MattB when you have something useful to contribute here. I am too involved with combatting your Marxist mates in government to bother with intellectual dwarves trolling here.

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    janama

    OMG – Phillip Adams embarrasses himself totally – yet again.

    http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2010/06/lnl_20100603_2240.mp3

    “It’s really important to point out that sea level rise is not a human induced phenomena” (16.15) says his guest. “so it’s a local phenomena as much as it’s a global phenomena” (17.12)

    I found this program embarrassing to listen to and whilst his partner Patrice Newell grows wonderful organic garlic and operates a wonderfully sophisticated bio-dynamic farm of which I’m an enthusiast his contribution to the climate change debate gets more and more irrelevant every day.

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    Joe Lalonde

    Louis Hissink:
    June 4th, 2010 at 7:19 pm
    The scientific method demands that when observation contradicts theory, that the theory be questioned. Bolstering a falsified theory with a theoretical object (dark matter) to make it work is pseudoscience.

    There are a great many instances where actual physical evidence is pushed aside and ignored to keep the theories alive.
    Many of our theories fall apart when you put them to the test in the past and they become worse, the further back you go. Why?
    First, we are using a snap-shot in time science where science is individualized and is recorded at particular moments.
    Next, the system in place now by our planet was faster and closer to the sun meaning all the mathematical parameters in place now would all have to be changed.

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    Tel

    The proposal of dark matter to account for the unpredictability of Newton’s Laws for more than 2 bodies is a mathematical artifice made by mathematicians – who are not scientists, by the way.

    I’ll have to agree with you on that matter Louis. Something about the whole “dark matter” concept is deeply unsatisfying. I understand that people have discovered physical manifestations of balancing terms in equations before (e.g. pluto and the neutrino) but dark matter is more than a balancing term, it is better described as a fixup term, or possibly even a fudge factor.

    In my opinion there is a fundamental gap in our understanding that people are trying to plug with this “dark matter”, and only genuine experimental data can do the job. I’m willing to be agnostic on whether the electromagnetic field can adequately cover that gap (consider for example that there could quite reasonably be fields we don’t know about yet), but I go as far as to say that cosmic-scale magnetic fields must at least be possible. Someone just needs the job of rolling out very large loops of superconducting wire in deep space to take a few readings.

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    I’ve speculated for a number of years that gravity is the result of a vortex. The vortex being, fundamentally, a warping of space/time. All mass is a product of the net vortex effect within a certain localised area.

    There are certain vortex sweet spots that define what a ‘particle’ is. This might simply be a result of a resonance effect throughout the universe. So an atom, for example, is a set of vortices which make up that measurable unit of mass. The analogy would be similar to the main vortex and sub-vortices you would see springing up around a tornado.

    Blackholes, being the ‘big daddies’ of votices, exert the most amount of gravity. Even though we don’t currently define their mass as particulate in the way we understand it. And, as for stars, being serious vortices themselves, I consider the light they emit as being debris like what is cast off of a tornado.

    That’s my current working hypothesis. It could explain a number of as yet, unaccounted observations across physics.

    So stand up, spin around a hundred times or more, and view the universe from my perspective.

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    MattB

    louis in 83 – wow maybe you could get some sci-comm pointers from Jo? Way to sell your ideas!

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    Bernd Felsche

    Bulldust (#79)

    Your comment that it’s raining less to the West of the scarp doesn’t gel.

    Maybe BoM stations have moved to dry spots or have become dry due to local anthroprogentic factors. I’ve discussed this at some length with Warwick Hughes and IIRC we agreed that rainfall figures are very location-sensitive.

    I’ve only got access to a limited, alternative data source (Ag Dept) and I’ve graphed those rainfal on a monthly and 12-month running total for 13 years. (The blue curve is the monthly total and the red one the total for the 12 months prior.) I don’t see a significant trend at all over the past 14 years. Medina Ag station’s surroundings haven’t changed a great deal. There’s a “Motorplex” noise generation facility to the WSW that’s fairly new.

    There was a run of years (el Niño, IIRC) where the cummulative total didn’t reach 800 mm over 12 months. Caveat: May 1999 data are missing (!!), so there’s a “shortfall” of typically between 40 to 90mm.

    All the “workings” and raw data are in the OpenOffice spreadsheet

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    Reed Coray

    Professor(?) Will Steffen says: “If you go over the last couple of decades you see tens of thousands of papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and you have less than 10 that challenge the fundamentals – and they have been disproved.” I disagree with the “disproved” statement; and say “So What” to the number of papers. If the providers of research funding (1) favor papers that show adverse effects of global warming, (2) are neutral to papers that don’t mention global warming, and (3) give short shrift to papers that argue global warming might be good, then only an idiot would be surprised to see that most of Professor Steffen’s “tens of thousands of papers” discuss the negative effects of global warming. Furthermore, I believe most of those papers deal with the effects of global warming, not the existence or causes. I would like to know the percentages of those papers that exclusively or primarily discuss (a) the effects of global warming, (b) the existence of global warming, and (c) the causes of global warming. I haven’t done the analysis (nor do I plan to), but my “guess” would be:

    Effects: 99.%
    Existence: 0.99%
    Causes: 0.01%

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    janama

    OT – Flim Flannery is at it again.

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/well-pay-for-being-a-laggard-on-climate-20100604-xknf.html

    The New South Wales government’s recent decision to stop a planned coalmine in the Hunter Valley – the first time it has declined such permission – was a highly visible international signal of the coming volatility, as are demonstrations at coal loaders, and the enormous queues of coal ships at our loading facilities.

    His inference that the coal mine in the Hunter Valley was blocked because of global warming policy is total bunkum – it was stopped because it was heading up the valley near to precious horse studs and biodynamic farms owned by Gerry Harvey, Alan Jones and Philip Adams.

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    Regarding the present paradigms in science.

    I thought that science was supposed to move onto a new paradigm when
    the old paradigm did not explain something basic a new paradigm does.
    What I think gets lost is the constant, required, in ones mind proviso.
    It is only our best understanding at present.
    (It does not have to be right, but just enable us to understand more and better.)

    We probably do not have the right answers in many different fields of science at the present,
    but we do seem to have a very distinct recalcitrance to move on from (some) paradigms (especially PC ones)
    that now do not explain as much or as well as other known (possible) paradigms that are being ignored or belittled.

    In the times of the flat earth paradigm, the paradigm itself limited the improving of our understanding.
    Once the paradigm changed to a sphere for earth our knowledge moved on.
    It genuinely seems to me that in several fields of science at present they are stuck in “flat earth” paradigms.
    The reasons as evidenced in post 76 by Fred Firth are an unhappy result of the mixing of science (future funding) and politics (taxes).
    Throw in a short term massive profit (potential) for private businesses that tow the line, and
    I doubt you’d be far away from where “climate science” is at present.

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    Bulldust

    Bernd Felsche @ 89:

    The decline in rainfall appears to be less than the decline in resevoir inflows. I imagine the LAI (leaf area index – estimation of vegetation density) is as great, or greater, influence on decreasing resevoir inflows:

    http://www.greenhouse2009.com/downloads/Water_090325_1500_Croton.pdf

    Nothing a bit of logging or a few bush fires couldn’t fix >.>

    Of course now that we have the desal plant Watercorp will be utilising less of “God’s water” and allowing resevoirs to refill while utilising the desal plants to full capacity. Another way to think of this (being an economist I always think of opportunity cost) is that we are filling the drinking water resevoirs with desal water. Now no one in their right mind would do that would they? But indirectly that is what we are doing.

    Let’s see… Perth’s first desal plant commissioned late 2006 (November) and next year we had 30Gl additional water in Serpentine dam:

    http://www.watercorporation.com.au/d/dams_storagedetail.cfm?id=11453

    Canning also got a 10Gl boost in stored water that year:

    http://www.watercorporation.com.au/D/dams_storagedetail.cfm?id=11933

    For comparison the desal plant capacity is 45Gl per year…

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    Keith

    Speedy, Waylander,

    Thanks for the tips.
    I think I’m getting closer through the UN sites. Curious that in 2010 there are 50 million expected climate refugees, while there only 10 million refugees in total. You’d think they’d have some explaining to do, but instead we get another alarmist estimate 150 million by 2050. El-Hannawi’s original book on this is shown as available at NLA, so I might take a look.
    Thanks again.

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    Professor Bunyip

    The comments on this thread have focused mostly on Steffen, and that is a pity. Steffen has his livelihood to consider when he promotes AGW, so his complaints are to be expected. Dogs bark, cats yowl, and charlatans fling insults when their cons are questioned. Such is the way of the world.

    The greater pity is the decline of the Fairfax papers, and not simply in terms of revenue and circulation. The commodity the Age and SMH have compromised is the most valuable of all: their constructive sceptisism.

    The Sunday Age has a state parliamentary reporter, formerly its environmental roundsperson, who recently jogged down the East Coast to “raise awareness” of climate change. She did this with her editors’ endorsement, and was even provided with a blog to record her observations of ecological degradation along the way (such as may be observed from atop a pair of plimsolls). If she raised awareness of anything, it was of her paper’s partisanship and abrogation of journalistic prudence, not to mention common sense.

    The worshipful stenographer, Adam Morton, who took down and relayed Steffen’s unchallenged piffle does so on an almost daily basis. No subject, no debate, sufficiently challenges his inquisitorial faculties that he feels obliged to report anything but what he is told. Since Fairfax is in all manner of financial trouble, perhaps the board might consider replacing Morton and many others with dictaphones, a cost-effective means of relaying unquestioned absurdities directly to the printed page.

    The Fairfax papers have been in decline for many years, and while we might shrug off their demise — imminent, one suspects, in the case of the Age — that transition to dust is to be lamented, as the Murdoch papers (the tabloids, at least) have no desire to concern themselves with anything but the affairs of footballers and misadventures of celebrities with large breasts.

    When Fairfax is swallowed whole by managerial ineptitude and editorial blindness, we will all be the poorer. It may not seem that way, but while the heart beats, the soul remains available for redemption.

    Should any Jo Nova readers have the quixotic energy to raise a voice of protest at the Fairfax, a protesting call or email to the editors of the Age and SMH would not go astray.

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    Maybe Rudd might decide to “save” Fairfax in the same manner as Obama is now suggesting in the USA..

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/no-more-free-speech-obama-thinks-it-should-cost/
    No more free speech, Obama thinks it should cost
    Air Vent blog
    Posted by Jeff Id on June 4, 2010

    Because of,
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/02/journalism-reinvention-smacks-government-control-critics-say/
    Journalism ‘Reinvention’ Smacks of Government Control, Critics Say
    By Joshua Rhett Miller

    Published June 02, 2010
    FOXNews.com

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    Louis Hissink

    Tel,

    I’ve had a little time recently to think about what drives Will Steffen and others in their support for AGW etc, and until yesterday it eluded me.

    Put very simply, mathematicians “prove” their theorems and axioms with logic etc. No argument with that methodology at all.

    It becomes problematical when this methodology is imposed on the scientific method that depends utterly on the idea that no scientific theory can ever be proved, but is easily falisified.

    In mathematics Euclids axioms are proven, but this is a matter of logic but not science.

    Both astrophysics and climate science seem to have been captured by the mathematicians – and it is this approach to empirical facts, the mathematical one, which is the problem. It is why AGW supporters, without exception, produce “proofs” of their theorem, and why they reject contradictory data.

    More on this in other fora – I have an intermittent satellite connection to contend with.

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    Bernd Felsche

    Bulldust @93:

    I agree that surface vegetation, quite often noxious weeds, are responsible for diminishing streamflows. Thanks to the link to Croton et al.

    Here are the current, official streamflows into reservoirs, which dropped much more sharply than the slight decline in rainfall into the catchment areas as documented by Warwick Hughes and noted by Croton et al.

    Vegetation density in catchments needs to be managed back to 1970′s levels in order to improve the quality and security of water supply. Such management is very, very much cheaper than desalination of sea water; and likely cheaper than building more reservoirs which wouldn’t “fill” because of over-grown catchments.

    An untapped resource remains in Wellington Dam (it overflows almost every year), but is too saline to feed to households. There have been recent proponents of a desalination project, using gravity to supply pressure for the reverse-osmosis process; which costs a shirt-load less than building a wind farm to generate electricity to drive pumps for desalination.

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    David Spurgeon

    re: Louis Hissink:
    June 5th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Excellent points, if I may say so, Louis.

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    mondo

    Bernard Felsch #98.

    You speak disapprovingly of vegetation holding back water in catchment. Clearly you are unaware of the work of Peter Andrews, Permaculture and others who argue (convincingly in my view) that holding water in wetlands, soils etc is much more efficient in terms of minimising evaporatioun losses than dams.

    Andrews points out that the current predeliction in some quarters for removing vegetation, particularly willows, in rivers is turning rivers into drains that efficiently remove any rainfall that falls as quickly as possible.

    Finding ways to store rainfall in the landscape is the key to re-hydrating the Australian landscape.

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    allen mcmahon

    The Salisbury Council is South Australia have been recycling storm water through wetlands since the 1990s and are considered world leaders in this area.

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    Bernd Felsche

    Mandi @100:

    How do you get the water from the wetland to the tap in the household? The metropolitan water supply for Perth is for domestic and industrial use. Not agriculture. Peter Andrews describes farming techniques. They are not relevant to a metropolitan water supply.

    Willows? In Western Australia? I hadn’t noticed them being an endemic species.

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    Bush bunny

    jamana:@ 91 Are you referring to the proposed coalmines
    in or on the Liverpool Plains? That was stopped because
    it was on one of the most fertile agricultural areas in
    New England, it is also alluvial.

    Plenty of brown coal there. I owned a property in Currabubula, and on the natural run off from Mt.Cobla
    adjacent to my acreage, the brown coal was in erosion
    trenches on the surface. I had an exploration order on the land, but … it went no where.

    After heavy rain, the water would pour off the summit
    in a water fall. Also the area is subject to drought
    and floods, but there is one big underground aquifer
    that is not renewable.

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    mondo

    Bernd Felsche. You say: “How do you get the water from the wetland to the tap in the household?”

    I think that Peter Andrews would say that if you succeed in rehydrating the landscape, then you will get more and more regular rainfall thus making the existing metropolitan water systems more efficient and effective.

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    Bernd Felsche

    mondo @104:

    You didn’t answer my question. You shouldn’t put words in Peter Andrews’ mouth.

    And the rain in Western Australia that ends up in the metro water storage mostly (>90%) comes from a place where it’s as hydrated as it’s going to get: The “oceans”.

    I doubt that much rainfall south of the Tropic of Capricorn comes from evaporation from land/lakes/swamps.

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