JoNova

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


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They say they believe but act like they don’t

Photo: Courier Mail

This week the Australian government tells us that we ought to pay more tax to prevent the increase in natural disasters that are dead-set bound-to-occur, yet the government itself is budgeting less for these events. Figure that. They’ve cut their expenditure projections for future natural disasters and apparently expect them to be less expensive than what the previous conservative government spent (way back in 2006), and far far less than recent bills.

LABOR has cut budget estimates to meet the cost of future natural disasters while simultaneously arguing that climate change is increasing the frequency of floods and cyclones.

Budget documents show Labor has allocated $80 million a year for the next three years — $23m less than in the last Howard budget and far less than the $524m spent last year.

The Australian

So it appears that the Australian Labor Party can warn us that natural disasters are on the rise (due to man-made emissions) but they estimate the costs of dealing with those disasters are going to be quite a lot less at least for a while. So either (a) they don’t really think disasters are coming, but they are happy to deceive the people about the risk, or (b) they do think disasters are getting worse, but they are happy to deceive people about the budget. Or there’s (c) no one is competent or organized enough to notice how these two things are wildly at odds with each other.

Once again, watch Penny Wong absolve herself of any responsibility. Apparently, the Minister of Finance doesn’t have a role in this. The bureaucrats decide:

Senator Wong said natural disasters varied in frequency, intensity, impact and cost and that budget estimates were based on a “longer-run trend” determined by agencies, not politicians.

Why do we elect her, if it’s not her job to determine how much money we ought to spend? Can we elect the bureaucrats instead?

We all know this isn’t going to happen, but if it did, the Greens would lose believers, and the workers would return to the Labor Party that once stood for them. The Liberals would look silly for having pandered to something they don’t believe in, but didn’t quite find the courage to stand against. It would be a Labor Party reborn. They would steal the rug from both sides.

If she had appointed unbiased non-religious advisers who didn’t research science with a predetermined conclusion, they would have warned her long ago (as we skeptics knew) that the La Nina’s were coming, they would bring rains and cyclones, and that the government ought to pack away more funds for those type of events.

This incongruous budgeting action is part of the pattern emerging post Climategate  — people are paying lip service to the “Climate Crisis” but at the same time, they are doing nothing or even unwinding previous positions. Think of Japan, even they don’t want Kyoto II.

It started not long after Climategate and Copenhagen. Everyone keeps saying how a bunch of emails didn’t change the core message at all, blahitty blah, but Kevin Rudd went from calling it the greatest moral threat in November 2009  to not being willing to call an election on it at all in February 2010 (as he had threatened to do).

Julia Gillard says climate change is a high priority, but the green programs that were supposed to fight it were the first to be cut once the floods rolled in and she needed some cash (and it was no minor turnaround, adding up to $1.5 billion dollars).

The big bankers keep telling us a carbon price is inevitable, but the traders and investors are abandoning ship. Meanwhile Kevin Rudd opines about fearful sea level rises, but spends $3 million buying a home on the coast.

In a way this is just what we’d expect if the skeptical message was seeping in. None of the committed parties can admit they were wrong, but they are quietly backing away from any commitment. That’s not possible for everyone of course. The scientists and figures who have no escape route have to play double or nothing. Rude names, brazen bluffs, and audacious threats. The players who can escape are gradually peeling out.

Wherefore art the carbon tax?

The part of the puzzle that doesn’t fit the theory above (indeed it could completely blow it away) is Gillard’s dedication to a carbon tax. But this is stuff of extreme-politics, all the normal rules are off, and she is being squeezed into a black hole on both sides, by the Greens and by the Unions.

The carbon tax may look like a safer way for her to appease the Greens, and possibly she hopes if she throws in enough concessions to the coal industry she can provide “certainty” while actually not hurting the industry too much. Though awkwardly, if the tax doesn’t hurt the industry, it won’t be trimming emissions either. It might be a kind of face saving action that is less awful than industry had been led to fear, but less useful than what the Greens want, and bound to employ a lot of lawyers, accountants, and auditors. A dogs breakfast of legislation.

In the end, Gillard may not be disappointed if the coal concessions mean the Greens ultimately reject the bill — so long as she looks “greener” than the coalition, the ALP won’t lose those green preference votes. The kicker is that the coal miner votes, regional swingers, and electricity consumers everywhere would punish any carbon tax that actually curtailed coal powered electricity and raised prices too much.

The simple answer the ALP don’t want to hear

There is a way for Gillard and company to escape the vice. Strangely, the best tactic to neutralize the green threat and the conservatives at the same time, would be to audit the BOM and CSIRO, independently, and to fully investigate the IPCC claims. They could show how there are far bigger environmental problems than our carbon emissions, and prove thus, that she was guarding Australians from corrupted claims and exaggerated threats at the same time  as using the best science to protect the environment.  Perfect. We all know this isn’t going to happen, but if it did, the Greens would lose believers, and the workers would return to the Labor Party that once stood for them. The Liberals would look silly for having pandered to something they don’t believe in, but didn’t quite find the courage to stand against. It would be a Labor Party reborn. They would steal the rug from both sides.

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76 comments to They say they believe but act like they don’t

  • #

    A lot of other religions have the same problem

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    MadJak

    Jo,

    Tey need to find the $80 Million dollars a year it costs to run the oxymoron of the department of climate change from somewhere.

    After all, if they don’t take the money for the disaster relief budget – how else are they going to pay for the department of climate change. How else will they pay for the jaunts to copenhagen and Cancun.

    Oh wait a minute, I see, they’ll just raise the medicare levy again and tax the living CR*P out of we the peasants for whatever they want.

    I really wish this government would take a reality pill and understand that we the peasants have had enough of their incompetant, arrogant and condescending tinkering.

    I shudder to think what will be revealed from the books when this mob finally gets the boot.

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    Rereke Whakaaro

    MadJak: #2

    If there is no climate change, then you don’t need a Department of Climate Change, so what do you do? Well you reorganise the bureaucrats by merging that department with some other useless department, and giving the resultant useless department a new name.

    In that way, you can save $80m a year. The new department will only cost $100m a year plus whatever the other department is already spending. What a bargain!

    I am minded of a guy I worked with once. His grandmother had lived in nine countries during her lifetime, one of them twice, and yet she had never, in all of her eighty-plus years, ever lived anywhere but in the village where she was born. It gives tangible meaning to, “the tides of history”.

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    Rereke Whakaaro

    There was a time when I walked the corridors of power – wearing a grey suit, no less.

    There was one particular incident where a Minister (or Under Secretary) had gotten themselves into a hole. I was one of a group who were asked for advice in assisting said politician to extract themselves from the aforementioned hole.

    In the usual brainstorming session (which were fashionable at that time), somebody mentioned that the politician could just say that they were, “mistaken, or misinformed, or something similar”.

    The bureaucrat who was running this particular piece of interference was totally shocked at the suggestion. “But if the minister said that he was ‘misinformed’, that would reflect badly on his advisors”, he said, and presumably by implication on the whole bureaucracy.

    It was at that instant, that I realised that the politicians, for all of their games and petty politics, are actually irrelevant. It is the bureaucracy who are actually in charge, and the exercise that we were engaged in, was simply to keep the current useful idiot in place for as long as possible.

    The grey men run the asylum. So I switched to wearing blue suits, and went into industry.

    The point of this story, is that we tend to focus on the politicians primarily because they are there. And they are there, to distract the journalists and through them, the general public.

    We are supposed to focus on the politicians while those with the real power get on and do what they do. And they essentially do what they like, because they are actually answerable to no one but themselves as a group.

    People complain that the UN (and the EU) are not democratic, which is true. But in the post-modern world, democracies are not democratic either.

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    Colin

    Rereke, your story reminds me of a couple of truisms that I’ve heard from time to time.

    1. Remember politicians are just the actors on the stage, they don’t write the script.

    2. Democracy is a two(or three)headed snake. No matter which head you vote for the snake still wins.

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    Ross

    Unlike you Rereke @4, I have not worked in the bureaucracy but I have been very close to it on occasions ( industry/govt. committees etc ). I agree with what you say and the one thing I learnt was that you have to provide the bureaucrats with a solution to the problem and contrive it so they think the solution came from them, not you , “to enable them to get out of the hole”.( ie. let them take the credit for it ) This is what Jo is doing at the end of the thread — whether her idea will work is questionable but it is definitely the approach to take.

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    A very good article, one which Ms Gillard and Mr Combet should read. It would be improved if the latest ‘compromise’ by Ms Gillard to get the flood levy past the Greens were to be mentioned. $100m of solar has been returned to the budget plus $264m of rent assistance.

    The problem with this is not only does it show Ms Gillard does not believe, nor act on her beliefs, but she is willing to act cynically with another political party to get through a new tax.

    People really notice this type of cynicism. Especially when it hits the hip pocket like this does. In NSW years of this has led to a 22% ALP primary vote in the polls. The Neilsen poll this week shows ALP federally on the slide. Ms Gillard and Mr Combet should read these signs and firmly abandon greenwashing wasteful policies to save their own federal party.

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    Bob of Castlemaine

    It would be interesting to know the actual elevation above sea level of the Rudd and Combet houses. Would it be fair to assume they reject the “submerged eight story building” snake oil of the Government’s climate salesman Tim Flannery?

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  • #
    janama

    OT – The description of the cover of the current edition of Nature:

    On the cover, the southern Bavarian village of Eschenlohe in August 2005, partially evacuated after the river Loisach flooded following heavy rain. A significant effect of anthropogenic activities has already been detected in observed trends in temperature and mean precipitation. But to date, no study has formally identified a human fingerprint on extreme precipitation, and it has proved difficult to assess the human impact on specific types of weather events. Two groups now present evidence that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have significantly increased the probability of heavy precipitation and local flood risk. Min et al. compare observations and simulations of rainfall between 1951 and 1999 in North America, Europe and northern Asia. They find a statistically significant effect of increased greenhouse gases on the incidence of extreme precipitation events over much of the Northern Hemisphere land area. Pall et al. use publicly contributed climate simulations to show that increased greenhouse-gas emissions substantially increased the risk of flood occurrence during the extensive flooding in England and Wales in autumn 2000. In News & Views, Richard Allan discusses the technical challenges associated with predicting regional changes in the water cycle. Cover credit: Reuters.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/current_issue.html

    two papers!!

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  • #
    Ross

    Janama — more computer simulations, I think.

    Back to this thread — it’s not just the politicians that have to be convinced , its also the big money men & women

    http://www.mercer.com/climatechange

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  • #
    pattoh

    Perhaps Penny Wong has learned a few lessons from the insurance industry.

    1. Put the frighteners on the punters
    2. Claim you can provide a solution ( at a cost)
    3. Glitzy advertising/self promotion
    4. Take the money!
    5. Engage the best lawyers to interpret the law your way to create a precedent ( or make new laws)
    6. Tell the punters they were underinsured & after a protracted expensive battle, give them a pittance
    7. Use left over money to employ better spin doctors, image coaches & hair stylists
    8. Glitzy advertising/self promotion
    9. Take more money
    10. Q: “is the brand on the nose ?” >if no go to (4)

    > if yes got (1)

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  • #
    Percival Snodgrass

    There is One Word for all these GAIA WORSHIPPERS ssuch as Rudd, Flannery, Garnaut, Combet, Gore etc etc………

    HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!

    Their mantra is:-
    “Do as I say, not do as I do”.

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  • #
    A C

    I like this BOM audit – at least in part because for once it puts sceptics on the front foot instead of always having to react to the BS from the other side.
    On the otherhand I still see what China is doing or not doing as the key to the carbon tax. Yesterday in the Australia we saw a piece by Paul Howes of the AWU talking about unfair trade between China and Australia – but then the union movement want to impose a carbon tax! Go figure. There is a lovely graph in David Archibald’s recent power point (see WUWT for link) showing Australia, US and China’s projected CO2 outputs. This needs to be constantly put front and centre so that the graph is in everyone’s mind when the carbon tax debate finally gets going.
    I suggest all blog readers go find it and start circulating it.

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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    A C: #13

    OK, if I have got this right, you want me to go to WUWT, go through all the posts and comments there to find a link to a powerpoint presentation by David Archibald that compares the US and China CO2 outputs. You also want me to go to “yesterdays”, (relative to which time zone?) “the Australia” (sic) to find an article by Paul Howes.

    Ya know, a couple of links would have been real useful … especially since you want all blog readers to go find it before they can start circulating it.

    No offence meant, but you ain’t making it easy.

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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Ross: #6

    … you have to provide the bureaucrats with a solution to the problem …

    I am not sure that the bureaucrats see this as a problem. There are still a few more twists and turns that this story can take that will present excuses to levy more taxes.

    As Eddy is fond of saying, “Follow the Money”! And he is absolutely correct. Who benefits from increased taxation? Seriously?

    It is the bureaucrats who benefit from increased taxation! Sure they will spend a bit on delivering a few outcomes, but a sizeable chunk goes to increasing their span of control, having more staff, and hence increasing their own levels of remuneration.

    At some stage, the growth of the bureaucracy will reach a point where there are insufficient resources remaining for it to grow any further. At that point, the laws of biology kick-in, and it collapses under its own weight. We just have to hope that the rest of civilisation does not collapse with it.

    By the way, technically I was military and therefore not part of “the establishment”, as they call it in the UK. I just happened to have owned a grey suit.

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  • #
    cementafriend

    Rereke, this is the link http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/12/david-archibald-on-climate-and-energy-security/
    Interesting presentation about the influence of the sun and particularly about Thorium, I do not agree with the predictions about oil and gas peaking (predicted to run out eversince a coference in 1906)but certainly petroleum fuels can be recovered from coal, tarsands and oilshale for motor vehicles at a lower cost than converting to electric motors or hydrogen fuels.
    Back to the topic, good post Jo.
    The thing missing is the desire for power by the green and labour leaders and the lying and cheating which is inherent in all actual and want-to-be dictators. (did anyone hear Christine Milne say something like we are saving you by restoring the $100 million for large solar plants? – person with no knowledge of technology and no ability to weigh economic priorities telling Australian what is good for them and of course for her version of politics.)

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  • #
    John Brookes

    Yes, the Labor government in Australia does behave as though it doesn’t believe that climate change is a serious problem. That is why the Australian Greens get so many votes. The ALP policy has always been disappointing when it comes to climate change. The watering down of Ross Garnaut’s original ETS was the first bad sign. Then Kevin and Penny getting rolled over climate change (and that mining tax). Same in the Libs – Turnbull was rolled because the Libs don’t think climate change is a problem.

    Australia has set itself firmly in the camp of followers regarding climate change. We will follow, unwillingly, where others lead.

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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    cementafriend: #16

    Thanks for the link …

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    Bulldust

    I love the hypocrisy of it all… but like they say, if you want to see what someone truly believes, look at their spending habits. Houses on beaches, cuts to disaster funds etc… all point in one direction.

    BTW the results are in and the computer beat the all-time greats of Jeopardy… actually “Walter” thrashed them thoroughly:

    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/machines-beat-us-at-our-own-game-what-can-we-do-20110218-1ayni.html

    It is hard not to think that the human race is on the brink (talking decades here) of dramatic changes in the way we live. I expect some of the X Prize competitions may result in significant and disruptive (in a good way) technology shifts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KxckI8Ttpw

    (It’s worth skipping to the end of the video just to see Prof Stephen Hawking in zero gravity if nothing else).

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  • #
    Mark D.

    Jo, yet another great post. I’ve said it before I barely understand US politics, I won’t try to understand AU politics.

    Rereke, another volley of excellent posts by you here.

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    A C

    Sorry Rereke Whakaaro: @ 14

    I dont have a very good history of inserting links
    I kinda thought I would save you the disappointment when the attempt crashed.

    Thanks cementafriend @ 16. for doing the honours

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  • #
    Crowbar

    John Brookes @ 17

    The ALP has blatantly and shamelessly used the whole Climate Change bandwagon for votes – pure and simple. When it would win them votes, it was “the greatest moral challenge ever.” When it would lose them votes, they walked away from it. “No ETS till 2015″. “No Carbon Tax.” Now they have got the votes to remain in Govt, they have brought both a Carbon Tax and ETS back on the agenda. If the lead-up to the introduction of a Carbon Tax proves too unpopular for them, watch them delay it again, well past the next election.

    Blatant gutless hypocrites.

    John, I don’t want Australia to follow any of this inane Carbon folly. Instead, we have a real chance to lead everyone to the healthy skeptical side, and start spending time, effort and money on environmental issues that we have caused and can fix.

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  • #
    janama

    Exactly Crowbar!!

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  • #
    Llew Jones

    Here is another more CO2 will produce bad effects inconsistency. Seems so to me anyway.

    If floods or heavy rainfall and droughts are going to be more frequent, due to burning fossil fuels, surely that means droughts will be shorter. And of course there will more frequent rains to fill the dams that won’t be as empty when the shorter droughts finish as they were when we had longer droughts. How can that not be a good outcome?

    It is more like a future utopia for farmers and those suburbanites who like to water their gardens whenever necessary and for the rest of us who like to sing under the shower.

    And Gillard wants to tax the stuff?

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    brc

    Look on the bright side. Kevin Rudd buying a house on the coast away from his electorate might mean he is planning on quitting politics soon and retiring.

    Woudln’t it be great if he quit and forced a by-election, thereby forcing the constituents of Griffith to hold a proxy vote on carbon taxes?

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  • #
    brc

    John Brookes

    That is why the Australian Greens get so many votes.

    I hate to break it to you but the Greens got 11.7% of the vote in 2010. Most of that is piled up in inner-city electorates. The greens senate seats come as a result of Labor preferences, in one of those deals that Bob Brown says he won’t do unless they are really really good, just like the political donations he won’t take, unless someone offers a nice one, which he will take.

    You will find that 2010 was the high water mark for the Greens vote (tends to lag the AGW scare by one election cycle, I would guess), which was repeated in the Victorian state elections. But narrow support does not a political party make. Adam Bandt is destined to be a one-term politician now that the Liberal party is reversing its policy on preference distribution. The NSW state election coming up looks like a static or falling greens vote, and the Greens are nowhere in QLD and WA.

    The greens are not a major political party, never will be and only exist because of backroom deals with Labor. Eventually the fad will pass, the youth will find someone else to go for, and they will go the way of the Democrats.

    Whichever way you look at it, you’re not going to have a major impact on the long term policies of a country with 12% of the vote. As soon as coalition parties are returned to state and federal governments (which they will, given this carbon dioxide tax nonsense) or even an absolute Labor majority the greens will return to their historic role of carping at the sidelines like the useless group of soundbite spouting idealogues they are.

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  • #
    Percival Snodgrass

    IPCC Official: “Climate Policy Is Redistributing The World’s Wealth”

    http://thegwpf.org/ipcc-news/1877-ipcc-official-climate-policy-is-redistributing-the-worlds-wealth.html

    THAT SAYS IT ALL!

    THE TRUE AGENDA IS REVEALED !!!

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  • #
    Percival Snodgrass

    Isn’t it interesting that the head of the Church Of Al Gore owns a beach house!

    WHAT ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING AND ALL THOSE RISING OCEANS?

    ===============================================================
    FIGURE EIGHT ISLAND REAL ESTATE
    This private, peaceful ocean side haven offers bright blue waters and long stretches of beach, and is home to notables like Al Gore, John Edwards, and others who relish seclusion and natural surroundings. This 1,300 acre 5 mile island does not offer hotels, shopping centers, and tourism. However if bird watching, quiet walks and sunbathing is your strong suit you may find life here appealing. There are only 441 homes, no condos, but it does offer proximity to activity rich Wilmington, NC. Enjoy the myriad architectural styles of neatly cared for properties if you can get onto the island. If this is your style, Figure 8 Island may be your place.

    http://www.joepascal.com/figure-eight-island.html

    ———————————————————————————————–
    Figure Eight Island is one of the places in North Carolina that is home to many celebrity houses. Celebrities like John Edwards and former Vice President Al Gore own houses on this island. The island has beautiful views as it is located between the Intracoastal Waterway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intracoastal_Waterway) and the Atlantic Ocean. The entire island only has about 440 houses making it an ideal place for couples and individuals to relax. It is also home to many beautiful exotic animal species.

    http://wilmingtonrealestatehome.com/561/figure-eight-island-real-estate-and-wrightsville-beach-real-estate/

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  • #
    Percival Snodgrass

    Isn’t it interesting that the head of the Church Of Al Gore owns a beach house!

    WHAT ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING AND ALL THOSE RISING OCEANS?

    ===============================================================
    FIGURE EIGHT ISLAND REAL ESTATE
    This private, peaceful ocean side haven offers bright blue waters and long stretches of beach, and is home to notables like Al Gore, John Edwards, and others who relish seclusion and natural surroundings. This 1,300 acre 5 mile island does not offer hotels, shopping centers, and tourism. However if bird watching, quiet walks and sunbathing is your strong suit you may find life here appealing. There are only 441 homes, no condos, but it does offer proximity to activity rich Wilmington, NC. Enjoy the myriad architectural styles of neatly cared for properties if you can get onto the island. If this is your style, Figure 8 Island may be your place.

    http://www.joepascal.com/figure-eight-island.html

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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    Totally Off Topic:

    Australian Chief Scientist Penny Diane Sackett Quits for Personal and Professional reasons.

    What’s the matter Penny, can’t maintain the charade any longer?

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  • #
    manalive

    Gillard leads the most incompetent rudderless federal government since Whitlam’s and is hardly likely to see the wisdom of Jo’s (Machiavellian?) suggestion.

    I’m not sure anyone can accuse Kevin of hypocrisy because of the beach-house purchase (other things yes).
    It may have been Thérèse’s choice and she may not be a believer; it was almost certainly her money.

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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    brc:
    February 18th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    The greens senate seats come as a result of Labor preferences,

    Not entirely correct, brc, as pointed out by cohenite just after the last election, Lee Rhiannon, the last green senator elected actually was elected by the last round of vote distribution of preferences from the libs. Cohenite at the time said had the libs given those preferences to the climate sceptics party, they would now have a senator.

    Cohenite at the time was taken to task over his statement. I can’t say with a 100% surety he was right, but by closely scrutinising a round by round count of where the preferences went I tend to agree with him. I hope the Libs don’t make the same mistake in the NSW election, GREENS LAST please people.

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  • #
    Bulldust

    John Brookes:
    Following whose lead exactly? Japan is dumping Kyoto 2… the US is dumping its climate legislation and the US EPA will be toothless, the Eurozone is a complete friggin mess (ETS included)… so are we following New Zealand’s lead? Seriously dude, what are you smokin’? I want some of that Nimbin stash*

    Australia is a political vacuum… neither leader (all three if you want to count the ironically named Greens figurehead) has any leadership qualities. I am all right with that, because I doubt either (any) of them have the political clout to accomplish anything. Business as usual scenario works for me. Australia ain’t broke and don’t need fixin’

    Amen!

    * Actually I don’t… smoke tends to make me nauseous. I shall stick to the brews for now, as nature intended.

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    pattoh

    Do you reckon Greg Combet will tone it down if his local state (coal) electorates give the Greens a bollocking as well as the ALP?

    Either way it will be interesting to map the changes in rhetoric of the Feds if the Greens get put last & tank.

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  • #
    LevelGaze

    This is O/T but probably pertinent for this site if not this thread. I’ve tried posting it to WUWT several times tonight, but it isn’t getting through. Hate to let my labours go to waste! :-)

    I’m really fed up with the way both sides of this debate throw around the term “peer review” as if it were in any way meaningful. So I’ll recount a brief personal anecdote.

    A few decades ago I was the lead author of a paper on the molecular pathology of mammalian tumours. The study involved the administration of substance LMN to tumour-bearing rats and rabbits. LMN had originally been prepared by an obscure enzymology genius – ABC – working in the top secret UK Porton Down military laboratories, by a tedious and difficult biosynthetic process involving fractionation and purification of rabbit urine. His method was published as ABC1960 (or thereabouts).

    LMN is an interesting molecule with potential anti-tumour properties and – praise the Lord – ABC later published an enormously improved totally synthetic catalytic preparation in ABC1970 (or thereabouts).

    We prepared LMN by the ABC1970 method with easy excellent high purity yields and got very interesting results from our poor bunnies and rats. So we submitted what we thought was a pretty good paper to one of the foremost experimental pathology journals of the day, in 1978.

    It was rejected out of hand. The (sole) peer reviewer opined that our preparation of LMN (done by the method of ABC1970) was rubbish since “it is well known the only way to produce LMN is by the method of ABC1960″. There was apparently no way of appealing this judgement by our anonymous, lazy, ignorant and possibly senile “peer”. Let’s call him “FKWT”

    Anyway, in disgust I absconded from academia to private practice and have published nothing since. A decision, I might add, I have never regretted.

    So, please don’t use “Peer Review” as a “gotcha”. It’s definitely not.

    Cheers.

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    janama

    yeah LevelGaze: I spent some time in academia and was suitably unimpressed.

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  • #
    LevelGaze

    @janama

    Don’t we know it. 3-4 years ago I was asked back to the Australian university where in a previous life I had been a senior lecturer, to give a couple of lectures a week. Offer sweetened with promises of an associate professorship and an office of my own.

    Well, I thought I would be lecturing to medical students.

    Wrong.

    These kids were in a B.Med.Biol course or some variant thereof. 90% full fee-paying overseas students with very limited English skills.

    How was I supposed to teach pathology to people who had never studied anatomy or physiology? I gave about 5 lectures than quit.

    Our universities need a really good shakeout.

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  • #
    LevelGaze

    @janama
    Tertiary education’s now a prostitute.

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    Lawrie

    Bob Malloy @ 30

    I wonder what the professional reason was. Tired of lying or was she frustrated because of all the non-believers? Tom Foolery might get the gig. 100% of his predictions have so far been wrong so he has consistency on his side. He also told the Drum he was totally independant. Seems he has all the necessary qualifications to advise the Gillard government including his vested interest in geothermal.

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    janama

    LevelGaze: I suspect it’s always been a prostitute but the fancy clothes and symbolism plus degrees after your name has always distracted everyone.

    I was a principal lecturer. My students gained their degree from the course I wrote, taught and administered but I never gained the degree myself.

    In fact it’s more bureaucratise than government.

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    On the subject of belief or lack thereof I found this item on the web today that leaves me shaking my head in utter disbelief:
    Scientists warn about prescribed burning
    Quote:
    Our analysis reveals that it is naive on present evidence to assume that Australian plants are adapted to fire, and that prescribed burning regimes are not only good for the bush but can be applied in any fashion and frequency with impunity
    I love that tag line “applied in any fashion” etc etc. It’s a nice little escape for the first part of the sentence.
    Naturalists and botanists and archaeologists, please correct me if I’m wrong. But didn’t the Aborigines use firestick farming across the continent for many thousands of years?

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    LevelGaze

    @janama

    Ha! what you say reminds me of a boyhood friend in Scotland who couldn’t get into university because he didn’t get A levels in English (a necessary university entry chip in these days) so he went to a Tech College in Glasgow to do electrical engineering, then stayed on as a lecturer.

    Time went by and he became the head of department. Then as was the fashion in these days (and still is, for all I know) the polytechnic was upgraded to the University of Strathclyde.

    Overnight, the boy who had never been (strictly speaking) to university himself, became Professor of Electronic Engineering much to his own amusement. And, I might add, was an international expert.

    Anyway, poor Al dropped dead on a New York street a few years ago from a coronary. Perhaps his second wife, a young red-haired red-hot Russian bombshell had a sad effect on arteries brought up on porridge and salt.

    Aw, don’t know why I’m saying all this… Maybe I just miss him. :)

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    Harry The Hacker

    Completely off the topic of the above comments, back on the topic of the post.

    I find it odd how somebody I respect (in other regards) has just posted in Fakebook about how we need to listen to David Suzuki about CO2 and the end of the world as we know it (for the sake of out children!).

    That same person has a post about their next overseas trip coming up – the first of 2011, and one of only 4 or 5 overseas holidays this year if last 2 years are anything to go by.

    I do love the stench of hypocrisy in the morning.

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    John Brookes

    Bob Malloy:

    Australian Chief Scientist Penny Diane Sackett Quits for Personal and Professional reasons.

    What’s the matter Penny, can’t maintain the charade any longer?

    Bob, you referred to this as “off topic”, but in fact its just off. Penny Sackett is a person, not some cartoon figure to make fun of.

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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    It is just a money grab of an excuse to generate a new tax to pay down the debt. But they do not realize that it is the bankers that will control the market and all they want is profit.
    So, if you think taxes are high now…..

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    LevelGaze

    John Brookes @44

    O c’mon. If you set yourself up as a public figure and dish it out (I’ve heard her pontificating on climate change) you should be prepared to take it.

    Maybe she can’t. We’ll just have to wait and see what reasons are forthcoming, then judge.

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    BobC

    John Brookes:
    February 18th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Bob, you referred to this as “off topic”, but in fact its just off. Penny Sackett is a person, not some cartoon figure to make fun of.

    Thumbs up for you, John! I’m really pleased to see that you have decided that ad hominem attacks on people you don’t know are “off”.

    Hopefully, we can expect to see no more of the same from you — mostly against skeptic scientists you have zero knowledge of (“grumpy old men”, “over the hill physicists”, etc.)

    (Of course, that means tossing out a big chunk of the “Pro-CAGW playbook”, but I’m sure there are plenty of logical arguments available ;-) )

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    BobC

    Harry The Hacker:
    February 18th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Completely off the topic of the above comments, back on the topic of the post.

    I find it odd how somebody I respect (in other regards) has just posted in Fakebook about how we need to listen to David Suzuki about CO2 and the end of the world as we know it (for the sake of out children!).

    That same person has a post about their next overseas trip coming up – the first of 2011, and one of only 4 or 5 overseas holidays this year if last 2 years are anything to go by.

    I do love the stench of hypocrisy in the morning.

    I have a friend who periodically sends emails urging that you make (instead of buy) Christmas and birthday presents in order to “reduce your footprint on the Earth”. The same email will contain a blurb advertising her latest guided trek to Nepal or S. America (which she does 3 or 4 times per year).

    If I bought a Hummer, and continuously drove it coast to coast (3,000 mi in the US) for the rest of my life, I still couldn’t come close to her “footprint”.

    I’m sure she would resent being labeled a hypocrite (I wouldn’t do that, anyway, as I don’t think she is doing anything wrong). I’m certain she hasn’t ever given a thought to the contradictions in her advice.

    Occasionally, I reply with links to studies that show, for example, that sea level in the Maldives (where she likes to scuba dive) has been dropping for the last 60 years. Just to keep her from getting too complacent.

    People want to enjoy life, so they use their resources to do so. They also want to feel important, so they lecture the rest of us on “right actions” to save the Earth. I doubt they ever consider that these two parts of their lives might need to be coordinated.

    Unfortunately, they also seem to have a disconnect between (some of) the actions they advise we take and the probable consequences of same. (The only consequences from my making Christmas presents would likely be that I would waste a lot of time and the recipients would be significantly less satisfied — shutting down coal-fired generating plants is a different story.)

    This disconnect seems to be something you can almost count on from those who push CAGW (e.g., Gore, Hansen).

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    Alexander K

    I discovered by experience a few years ago that most university-educated Greens don’t last long when they try dinkum country living. There aren’t enough people to boss around and when they try to educate fourth-generation farmers about correct farming and environmental methods, the experience quickly becomes very unsatisfying for them and they quickly flee back to the city. But that doesn’t stop them pontificating about the awful things farmers do to the environment, so they look for an outlet for their energy and get into politics where the can be properly bossy about stuff they have little knowledge of.

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    Mervyn Sullivan

    The Gillard government should pay attention to a 168 page report titled “Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path” by Craig and Sherwood Idso, published on 2 February 2011. It can be found at the following link:

    http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php

    Ten of the more ominous model-based predictions of what will occur in response to continued business-as-usual anthropogenic CO2 emissions are compared against real-world observations and are demolished.

    Julia Gillrad would be absolutely stunned by the report’s findings… particularly because the report refers to an enormous wealth of peer reviewed literature … the literature that her green tree hugging friends would have everyone believe does not exist… the literature they would prefer to ignore… the literature they would not want Gillard to even find out about. It’s the scientific literature that debunks the climate model predictions, well and truly, and proves why the IPCC mantra is false.

    I encourage everyone to download the report and then email it to their elected member and cc a copy to Julia Gillard and Greg Combet. That way, these politicians will never be able to claim “But we didn’t know”!

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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Denise Taylor, inferiae4542. inferiae4542 said: (Global Warming) They say they believe but act like they dont « JoNova: http://is.gd/NquYnB [...]

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    Fenbeagle

    We must all do our bit. And here in the UK we are pulling our weight, with wind folly construction, and recycling measures…..Handy Recycled advise here……
    http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/page/2/

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    Bob Malloy

    John Brookes:
    February 18th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I wrote:

    Australian Chief Scientist Penny Diane Sackett Quits for Personal and Professional reasons.

    What’s the matter Penny, can’t maintain the charade any longer?—

    You replied:

    Bob, you referred to this as “off topic”, but in fact its just off. Penny Sackett is a person, not some cartoon figure to make fun of.

    John if Penny has quit because of some family tragedy and needs time away from the job, I will apolagise here for all to read.
    But at the time of my post, no details made public. Having read reports of Steve Fielding’s meeting with Penny Wong and Ms Sacketts contribution I believe she has too closed a mindset to have held her position as chief scientist.

    Assessment of Minister Wong’s Written Reply. http://www.stevefielding.com.au/images/uploads/Assessment_of_Wongs_Written_Reply_.pdf

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    LevelGaze and janama,

    I agree about the universities. They are just big businesses. Got to keep “the rivers of gold” flowing in.

    As for hypocrisy I was in the back of a car a while ago while the person in front was saying how it was really great that the local member was making sure that airliners didn’t fly over *their* suburb. We were on the way to the airport where she and her husband were getting on a flight O/S for tourism!

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    Does Australia really need a “Chief Scientist” who “gives independent advice to the government on science and technology”?
    Even if this is so, a specialist astronomer is unlikely to be the right person. You really want a generalist with wide understanding of many fields and an excellent bullshit detector who can go to specialists when particular issues arise.

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    Eddy Aruda

    @john Brooks 44

    Bob Malloy did not engage in an ad hominem attack. CAGW is a charade, period. Bob merely asked a question. Coming from you, John, it is really rich; sort of like the kettle calling the pot black.

    You are such pathetic hypocrite! I often wonder if you are obtuse or mentally ill? Maybe it is both? Get some help, John!

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    peter k

    Go Eddy, nice to see you’d never engage in an ad hominen attack!!

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    Chris in Hervey Bay

    Maybe the chief scientist got wind of an audit coming her way and decided to jump off the stinking, sinking ship before it was too late.

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    John Brookes

    Fair call guys – I do go ad hom on his lordship, and anyone else I think is deliberately trying to mislead. And I guess from your point of view, you do the same. You see climate scientists as being deliberately misleading, and so you attack them on that basis.

    So we each see our ad hom attacks as justified.

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    Tom

    The scientists and figures who have no escape route have to play double or nothing.

    I wonder how long we will have to wait before ordinary climate scientists begin to denounce the hijacking of their work by the IPCC Team politicians attempting to implement Rajendra Pachauri’s economic program (UN wealth transfer to the Third World through CO2 regulation).

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    Penny Sackett is an astronomer. Not even a planetary astronomer. Her opinions on climate change should carry no more weight than those of any reasonably well educated person. Maybe less as she’d be inclined to believe what climate scientists say without doing much checking thinking it was like astronomy. Good riddance.

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    pattoh

    One would hope an astronomer would have a basic handle on what barycentre oscillations(?) could do to TSI.

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    Eddy Aruda

    John Brookes:
    February 19th, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    Fair call guys – I do go ad hom on his lordship, and anyone else I think is deliberately trying to mislead. And I guess from your point of view, you do the same. You see climate scientists as being deliberately misleading, and so you attack them on that basis.
    So we each see our ad hom attacks as justified

    I am still waiting for you to form an intelligent and cogent thought. When you do, please give me a call. Ask for Mr. Blue, that will be me holding my breath waiting!

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    Eddy Aruda

    peter k:
    February 19th, 2011 at 12:13 pm
    Go Eddy, nice to see you’d never engage in an ad hominen attack!!

    Only when I am taking out the garbage! ;)

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    John Brookes

    Oooh, isn’t Eddy witty today ;-)

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    Mervyn Sullivan

    It should come with great delight that in the USA, the Republican-controlled House has voted 249 to 177 to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases that scientists say cause global warming.

    The EPA had already taken steps to regulate global warming pollution from vehicles and the largest factories and industrial plants. The Obama administration got the EPA to use its regulatory powers to curb greenhouse gases after global warming legislation collapsed last year.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hNY9IzmIjoNmOK0lS-EGP99jBodQ?docId=91260a60cd08423e9c8ede7d78355847

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    Tim

    Senator Wong said natural disasters varied in frequency, intensity, impact and cost and that budget estimates were based on a “longer-run trend” determined by agencies, not politicians.

    A lawyer’s fine words. No specifics, nothing to address the truth. Totally bland and meaningless. Pure obfiscation. I hope her “longer-run trend” is an early retirement.

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    Eddy Aruda

    John Brookes:
    February 19th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Oooh, isn’t Eddy witty today

    OOOH, isn’t John Brooks half witty, as usual! ;)

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    Mark D.

    Eddy, is that half full or half empty?

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    Eddy Aruda

    Mark D.:
    February 20th, 2011 at 7:12 am
    Eddy, is that half full or half empty?

    “Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
    You gotta have somethin’
    If you wanna be with me”

    Billy Preston-1975

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    John M

    This is just part of a big budget massage to make the forcast figures look good and give the leftist media some nice news to broadcast on the imaginary budget surplus in 2013.

    The plus side of this for Labor is that if they underestimate the cost of natural disasters in the budget then they can claim the budget deficit is being made worse by them due to global warming.

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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Mike Borgelt: #55

    You really want a generalist with wide understanding of many fields and an excellent bullshit detector …

    Hmm … That sounds an awful lot like an Intelligence Analyst …? Nah, couldn’t be … ;-)

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    Mark

    The topic has evolved into discussion of the 2nd. Law of Thermodynamics. Whatever, it just proves the point that anyone who can never admit that they’re wrong even some of the time is usually wrong all of the time.

    Hang on! Did I just paraphrase someone there?

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