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Is it possible our new chief scientist has doubts about climate “science”

The last chief scientist of Australia, Penny Sackett, was disappointed not to be invited to the cabaret at Copenhagen. She quit after she she felt “ignored” . Possibly she belated realized that the government may have appointed her to just so she would not disagree inconveniently with any of their pet projects, thus neutralizing the role of Chief Scientist and reducing it to a rubber stamp.

The new chief scientist is Ian Chubb, Vice-Chancellor of ANU, and a neuroscientist. Unlike Sackett, he’s already said he will “leave the climate debate to politics”. Surprisingly, his actual views on climate science are not easy to pigeonhole. He didn’t mind getting money to buy huge supercomputers for ANU climate modelers (what vice chancellor wouldn’t?). But when he spoke at an event at the ANU climate change conference in Oct 2007, many of his statements can be read both ways.

Is it possible… could it be, that he is a scientist enough to know what the scientific method is and be willing to be a guardian of it? Refreshingly, he does not like the name-calling and the hyperbole of the climate debate. He repeated calls for rational debate, from both sides. He wants a contest of ideas and (good news!) he realizes this is a multivariate problem which is highly complex, so at least we have a chief scientist who is not repeating pat anti-science lines like “the science of climate change is settled.”

I have done a smattering of transcription: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__zLZoBkFtc

Asia Climate Change Policy Forum at The Australian National University on 27 October 2010. Session one: Opening and Perspectives on the International Climate Change Regime

4.06 mins: Ian Chubb — I think everyone, no matter which side of the fence you sit on, thinks this is an important issue. This is one of those tricky issues, where opinions vary, scientific evidence of course is always a balance of probabilities. There is little that is proven, makes it easy to question it, and difficult to defend it, both positions have to be aired. The defense of the scientific method is an important part of understanding climate change and what the data show.

I have been a bit disturbed in recent years that the scientific method has been thrown in to doubt because it can’t prove anything… [repeats again, about science being the "balance of probabilities"]  There are people that wish that it could…

This extraordinarily complicated process has got many variables in it…

It requires intelligent debate, considered debate, reasonable and rational debate, and not something that has turned into name-calling and diversions, … when the main thing about this ….is how do we understand what’s happening. how do we understand the consequences of what’s happening…..

8:40 It’s important that people like you sit in this room and contest ideas. It’s through that contest of ideas that we need to advance.

I’m going to leave it to you because I’m not an expert in this area but I know what’s important to me.

I know what I feel most strongly about: rational debate.Thinking things through in a rational way.

But he’s neatly stepping out of being an advocate for the Carbon Tax:

Prof Chubb said he would be take an appropriate role in the climate change debate.

‘I think personally that the overwhelming bulk of the science is in and that we have to do something about it,’ he said.

‘What’s done is an issue for government and not an issue for me.’

Can you tell what side of the fence he’s on?

Is he on the net “believer” side, but decidedly uncomfortable with the poor quality of the public science debate, and hoping to just stay right out of it? Or is he a quiet skeptic who knows he would be pounded if he so much as let on, and this is as far as he can get away with? His comments can be read either way.

Probably, given statements like this, he falls more into the passive, uncomfortable “believer” who does not wear his belief with conviction: “I think the role of the scientific community is to provide all of the evidence that is available, arguing that there is climate change and there is human intervention, and something needs to be done about it.”

Either way, it’s good to have a chief scientist who is not an outspoken activist for one theory, and who holds rational debate to be of the highest importance. Such is the current climate, we’ve lowered our expectations so far down, that this seems like an advance: he acknowledges some scientists are skeptical, and doesn’t want to just call them names.

No doubt he’ll be pushed to utter stronger lines from the climate litany soon.

Perhaps we ought email him, asking if he could at least help to arrange some real public debate between climate experts from both sides of the fence.

UPDATE: On the 7:30 report tonight, perhaps I’m reading too much into things, he appeared to be suggesting exactly that– that he would arrange some real public debate. He did pointedly say let all the experts speak, and when asked about whether he’d help create the forums for that, there was a vague affirmative response.  Of course, he has yet to prove whether he really is a man of science on the topic, and it’s possible he is a mild version of “a Mueller” (the Berkley prof who appeared skeptical until he was put in front of the US congress). It remains to be seen.

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74 comments to Is it possible our new chief scientist has doubts about climate “science”

  • #
    manfred listing

    Back off for a while. There is no sense in demanding now that he paint himself into a corner. The side which pushes hardest now is likely to be the side which loses most credibility in the mid term.

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    David

    I agree manfred

    But the loudest are winning? It’s time for the silent majority to speak?

    Ian Chubb – he maybe the best thing that’s happened – and with “our backing” not his “paymasters” there is a victory in the future!

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  • #
    Mike

    Interesting line

    “There is little that is proven”

    and this line

    “I have been a bit disturbed in recent years that the scientific method computer model has been thrown in to doubt because it can’t prove anything… ”

    there, fixed it for him.

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  • #
    manalive

    little that is proven……science being the “balance of probabilities”

    I’m no lawyer, but as I understand it the “balance of probabilities” in the courts is the lower standard of proof acceptable in civil cases.
    When considering the virtual execution of the Australian economy, I think a higher standard of proof is demanded.

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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    He repeated calls for rational debate, from both sides. He wants a contest of ideas and (good news!) he realizes this is a multivariate problem which is highly complex, so at least we have a chief scientist who is not repeating pat anti-science lines like “the science of climate change is settled.”

    Well, he won’t last long then … and neither will those who appointed him …

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  • #
    Neville

    Whether you choose to be a believer or a sceptic doesn’t matter.
    What we can say is that nothing one country or all countries do can change the climate at all.

    Flannery their top expert (? jeezzz) even concedes there is zero we can do to reduce temps within hundreds or perhaps a thousand years, so what more proof do we need?

    Trouble is China and the developing world will increase emissions at 20 times the rate of the developed world at least until 2035.

    So what more is there to understand,have your point of view but please don’t destroy our economy and export jobs and businesses overseas for a zero return.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/emissions.html

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  • #

    Good news. If he will convene, or at least listen carefully to, a thorough debate on either or both of climate science and climate politics (the two are hopefully not going to be intertwined so intimately for much longer). A debate with careful recording and opportunities for fact-checking, rather than a court-room style tournament in which the primary goal is to win the moment rather than clarify what sense we can make of reality. That notwithstanding, it might well be good to a have a decent legal mind facilitating and summarising the arguments, if one can be found less polarised than our best minds in science have been reduced to by the coarsening impact of politics.

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  • #
    lmwd

    Now that he’s in the position of Chief Scientist, it sounds like he’s savvy enough to want to stay out of a very dirty battle, at least publicly. Hence the reference today to it being left to the politicians…..In the interim, I doubt we’ll hear much more of Mr Chubb’s views. If he’s smart he may also realise that the political landscape is volatile and could change quickly. His new boss could even end up being Abbott, sooner or later.

    The more I think about it though, I do still wonder about Sackett. If she had been an activist/true believer in dangerous AGW, wouldn’t the Govt have made more use of her? Wheeled her out as their trump card? Instead they side-lined her, and bought in a dud like Flannery and others to tell them what they wanted to hear. No doubt there are some lessons here for Chubb.

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    Marcus

    Thought I would contribute to this debate with the answer to my question to the Climate Commission;
    Q: The Commission is apparently “an independent body set up to provide reliable and authoritative source of information on climate change, and help inform the debate on this issue of national significance. The Commission is made up of experts from a range of fields relevant to climate change and is not subject to Government direction.” Please advise how the Commissioners are appointed, what is their term and what remuneration they currently receive.
    A: … The Climate Commission was established by the Australian Government to provide all Australians with an independent and reliable source of information about the science of climate change, the international action being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the economics of a carbon price. The Commission is independent of Ministerial direction and does not comment on policy or provide policy advice. Commissioners are appointed by the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency following consultation with the Prime Minister. The Commissioners are appointed until 31 December 2012. The Chief Commissioner, Professor Tim Flannery, will commit an average of three days a week to his role and be paid $180,000 a year. The other Commissioners are expected to commit an average of three or four days a month to their roles and will be paid at a daily rate of $847.
    Got to love that “independence”

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  • #

    Good to hear he is against all the hyper-bowl!

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  • #
    Mack I Avelli

    Jo,
    I admire your optimism.I saw him on skynews today being interviewed by Keiran Gilbert( I think). Initially I got excited and thought that he was trying to sound almost balanced, but when pressed about whether the Science was settled,he retreated into the argument from authority along the lines, ” I am not a climate scientist, but I believe 95% of them assert that global warming is manmade.” I am not sure that he believed it, but with his record of government funding for the ANU and now being appointed Gillard’s Chief Scientist, like Tim Flannery he has hundreds of thousands reasons to toe the line, and won’t last long if he doesn’t.
    As my favourite contributor on your blog, and a few others, The Magnificent “POINTMAN” often says ” just follow the money.”

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  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    Just furthering my studies on what science has not contemplated.Such as this planet has had a vastly huge amount of water leave through the atmosphere in the billions of years it was created.

    Now this statement:
    “I know what I feel most strongly about: rational debate.Thinking things through in a rational way.”
    This is saying that as long as the discussion goes his way, it will be considered rational by him.

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  • #
    Tom

    At some stage, scientists have to defend science, not just their mates. All disciplines have been greatly damaged by the actions of a clique entrusted with providing judgement on an issue that has been presented as crucial to the future of the human race. Public trust in all branches of science has been shaken. Is that the fault of ordinary people? Are ordinary people are to stupid to understand climate science (because it’s inherently anti-intuitive, as presented by the IPCC)? How do most scientists view the conduct of the IPCC? We’re waiting to hear from you. If you want the public trust back, you have to earn it.

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  • #
    chappers

    yeah yeah yeah…already reads as a soft pore to me.
    i worked for CSIRO for 7 years in the late 50s to early 60s and when budget time came around you were expected to request as much equipment as possible, if you didnt the budget next year would be curtailed somewhat.
    same applied to management, if they didnt say what finance wanted to here,,,,,well?

    what we need is somebody with a bit of mongrel in him who is prepared to stand up and say ” a spade is a spade”, whorts and all.
    lets stop kicking the ball out of bounds all the time.
    spare me!!!! J.C.

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  • #
    Paul S

    A quick serach of Prof Chubb + climate change suggests he is pretty sold on the AGW hypothesis. His most recent public statements suggest he just wants to keep his head down.

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  • #

    It requires intelligent debate, considered debate, reasonable and rational debate, and not something that has turned into name-calling and diversions, … when the main thing about this ….is how do we understand what’s happening. how do we understand the consequences of what’s happening…..

    There’s your double blind. They got rid of Sacket for being part of warmist zombie apocalypse brigade. Just like they’ll be getting rid of Flannery real soon. Never forget the fundamental premise: the science is settled.

    ‘I think personally that the overwhelming bulk of the science is in and that we have to do something about it,’ he said.

    Grant money and climate change student fees. That’s the main game. The secondary objective is to see off this period of hysteria with scientific reputations intact.

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  • #
    TrueNews

    @manfred listing: #1
    I have to agree with you Manfred.

    I saw a Q & A session between David Spears and Ian Chubb today on Sky News Agenda.

    I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
    (I was expecting another Flannery / Steffan type)

    When asked directly “Do you believe in Climate Change”? his answer was neither definative or particularly evasive, but it certainly wasn’t a absolute yes.

    I must admit, on first impressions I liked the guy, and I am prepared to give him a fair go.

    I have to agree with you Manfred, if we leave him alone, then I don’t think this guy will hurt our cause at all.

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  • #
    chappers

    oh,, forgot to ask the chief chemist,how much will the earths temp.drop if we can manage a reduction of 5% carbon dioxide,,,,err any answer yet?
    no, thought not!

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  • #
    Speedy

    Chappers

    Real scientists are supposed to ask questions…

    Even Chief Scientists.

    Cheers,

    Speedy

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  • #

    #8 lmwd: I do still wonder about Sackett. If she had been an activist/true believer in dangerous AGW, wouldn’t the Govt have made more use of her? Wheeled her out as their trump card? Instead they side-lined her,

    Ah — but Sackett was never that convincing. And they didn’t get rid of her, she got rid of herself, possibly when she realized they didn’t really want her opinion, and weren’t going to give her influence, power or trips to copenhagen.

    The four skeptics who went with Fielding to parliament tell me that Sackett was not very well boned up on climate science. An activist yes, but not a well informed one. Someone, I hear, had to explain to her that CO2′s effect is logarithmic… odd that an astronomer didn’t know that pesky spectroscopy stuff.

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  • #
    TrueNews

    @chappers: #18
    …how much will the earths temp.drop if we can manage a reduction of 5% carbon dioxide,,,,err any answer yet?

    I can’t speak for the Cheif Scientist Chappers, but I can give you some kind of an answer.

    The Earths temperature would drop, exactly the same amount as it would, if China ceased all emissions for 1.6 DAYS.

    In other words, China’s emissions for 1.6 days = a 5% cut in Australia’s current emissions.

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  • #
    TrueNews

    Joanne Nova: #20
    Ah — but Sackett was never that convincing. And they didn’t get rid of her, she got rid of herself

    Penny Sackett may have been shunned by Rudd regarding Copenhagen, but I would have assumed that she would have put that down to Rudd being a Sociopath, with narcissistic tendancies.
    Then came Gillard, the chance of a new start, maybe even the hope of a change in attitude.

    Then came Flannery’s appointment to the Climate Change Commission, a slap in the face maybe.

    The timing of her resignation, a week after Gillard appointed Flannery to the Climate Change Commission, is very interesting.

    To walk away from a highly paid job, is actually not something that you give a lot of thought to, it is a ‘knee jerk’ reaction to a situation that has become untenable.

    I am sure that Penny Sackett would really love to tell her side of the story, but Gillard would have her covered with a Non Disclose Agreement for sure.

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  • #

    When you sleep with the enemy, you are compromised and can no longer hold your own opinion. Chubb is desperately trying to pretend that he holds no opinion and ends up being between fish and fowl – ie pond scum. By his accepting the position, he has become nothing but another confused source of intellectual and scientific noise. Expect nothing of lasting importance from him.

    Hoping is not a strategy. Wishing accomplishes nothing. Equivocated promises have no value. Knowing what is and and acting accordingly is what counts.

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    David, UK

    The sceptical way IS the scientific way IS the sceptical way is the… (repeat ad infinitum).

    The following quote alone is enough to tell us that Chubb is not a true advocate of the scientific way:

    “I think personally that the overwhelming bulk of the science is in and that we have to do something about it.”

    So, “the science is in” eh? Now there’s a quote that could have (and doubtlessly has) come from the lips of Al Gore. For “in” read “settled.” There’s nothing else it could mean in this context.

    So Jo, in answer to the opening question and title of this piece: No. Patently not.

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  • #

    @Mack I Avelli:

    Speaking of money …

    http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-GE_Shareholder_041911.html

    The CEO of General Electric is one of the last out of the door when it comes to abandoning manufacturing products whose saleability depends on massive government subsidies; that’s to say, politics. His shareholders are reminding him of who’s really the boss. Money talks, bullshit walks …

    Pointman

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    pattoh

    Just another smartarse comment, but after TrueNews @ 21; has anybody attempted to do the maths on the effort China made to clean up the atmosphere around Beijing for the staging of the Olympics?

    As I recall they went to extreme lengths to curb emissions in & around Beijing for a period so the air was clean enough (principally aerosols) for the athletes to run & the TV cameras & judges to see who won.

    With all the numeric comparisons of Australia’s annual emissions to China’s, the rate of commissioning of thermal power stations etc., it could possibly be a demonstration of just how pathetic & petulant our governments moral grandstanding really is.

    Go Julia!……just go

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    Keith H

    Just what is the role of “Chief Scientist”?

    We never heard a peep out of Penny Sackett in all her time: two PM’s virtually ignored her: 120 odd AGW junketeers were shouted to Cop 12 but Sackett was excluded; she was ignored to give a compliant idiot like Tim Flannery another plum, allegedly scientific, appointment. Advice seems to be obtained only from grant-compromised activist CSIRO and/or UNIPCC scientists like Karoly or from various vested-interest environmental groups.

    I hold no hope of any improvement or help in exposing the AGW scam under the current appointment.

    Rather, it seems to me a lot of money could be saved by abolishing the position entirely together with the positions of all the bureaucracy and papershufflers involved in support.

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  • #
    Bulldust

    There is a brilliant political assessment IMHO of the bind Gillard is currently experiencing:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/perfect-storm-for-carbon-crusader/story-e6frgd0x-1226041798709

    It is well worth the read and gives a balanced political perspective on the issue.

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  • #
    Keith H

    Pointman @ 25. A great must-read link. Loved these sentiments!

    “Investors must be made aware of the significant business risk associated with GE’s gambit to profit from climate change fears.
    “failed to inform investors that demand for the company’s renewable energy products is subjected to a host of political and scientific risks,”

    “GE must tell its investors that demand for the company’s wind turbines and solar panels is driven by government regulation and mandates. Accordingly, changes in the global warming debate – such as Climategate and Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives – diminish the political momentum to grant lavish subsidies that renewable energy depends upon to survive,”

    “GE’s attempt to exclude our shareholder proposal shows ….. does not want investors to realize the inconvenient truth that the success of his global warming business strategy depends on the whims of elected officials, a government that can no-longer afford to subsidize GE’s products and the deteriorating scientific foundation that man is responsible for global warming. If investors knew the truth they might choose to bet in a Las Vegas casino instead of a business plan that depends on Congress and shaky science.”

    Acknowledgement to http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-GE_Shareholder_041911.html

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  • #
    Me

    I agree with Lionels pont – bascially as Sir Humprey said in Yes Minister, never hold an inquiry unless you know the outcome first.

    You dont get the plumb jobs unles syoure singing from the same ideological hymn sheet…or at least you dont get in the way of the extreme Socialist agenda of tax tax tax tax tax tax …oh dear…has the economy died and all the jobs gone to china…never mind…tax tax tax tax tax tax….now we can comfortably merge with the rest of the 3rd world….tax tax tax tax……..hang on…no one lest to tax….Up the WORKERS!!!!!!!!

    Bl**dy fools…

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  • #
    Mack I Avelli

    Pointman @25
    Thanks for the Link.Seems the road to hell is not only lined with good intentions but has a solid base of corruption as well.

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    davidc

    I think that his comments on “consensus” and “the science is in” should be judged in a wider context that just climate science. These describe an important practical position all scientists adopt. Suppose you have in mind a research project that relies in some small way on thermodynamics. Would you, before you start your own work, replicate or try to independently verify, all the work that provides the foundations of thermodynamics? No, you just accept it and get on with your own thing.

    But this acceptance is provisional. If some circumstance arises that suggests you need to better understand the fundamentals then it makes sense to do that. So if the government proposes a tax on entropy to prevent it from increasing you might want to take a closer look at the 2nd law.

    The perversion introduced by political climate science is that acceptance of the supposed fundamentals is not provisional but absolute. Up to that point it’s pretty normal.

    So give Chubb a break for now. Let’s hope that by “the science is in” he’s expressing a provisional view and that he will start to smell a rat when his advisors try to present it as an absolute.

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  • #
    davidc

    manalive #4

    Exactly, we need “beyond reasonable doubt” at the very least. Atually, I’d ask for more. In particular, a falsifiable clearly stated hypothesis (so that “when the temperature goes up it’s AGW when it goes down it’s natural variability” doesn’t even get debated)

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  • #
    wes george

    Good link, Bulldust.

    As I see it this is a two pronged problem for the Gillard/Brown coalition and one they cannot win either way.

    Firstly, as Jo likes to say, it’s all about the science. New Chief Scientist (what an Orwellian position!) says he might like a public debate with all sides of the science represented. No way that level of transparency will happen because if it did and the Australian people actually heard both sides of the debate that would be the end of the Labor/Green government.

    Gillard, Brown and the ABC – they all totally depend on suppression of information to remain credible. (I was talking to my mother-in-law in Melbourne, a real news hound and gossip, yet she had never heard of Climategate.)

    This level of deceit cannot be maintained for long in a free democracy, it could be exploded in one honest 60-minute debate between Alarmist and Skeptical scientists on prime time TV. So the Labor/Green government knows that time is running out for them. That’s the real great moral urgency of their time.

    Secondly, the weather tax is becoming the greatest Australian political disaster since Whitlam failed to secure supply. So much for this government’s ability to manage the trajectory of complex nonlinear situations.

    It must have sounded like a good idea to tax the very air we exhale designed to purposefully force the cost of everything to skyrocket and then step in like heroes to redistribute the tax money to save the voters… thus making most citizens beholden to the Labor/Green government for paying their electric bills and putting food on the table. The ABC unwittingly revealed this was the true agenda when they questioned whether an Abbott government would “raise everyone’s taxes” by cutting back the redistribution part of the carbon tax!

    Scarcity of power, water, fuel and food is what the Greens promise in order to “Save The Planet.” Then they’ll ration it back to us as they see fit.

    So what we have is a government that is cynically attempting to subvert our democracy by using irrational fear-of-weather to seize control the economy. The fact that everyone—especially the Greens—knows that a carbon tax won’t have any effect on the climate is fine with them. It’s the foot in the door that counts. They’ll demand to expand government controls on our socio-economic liberty down the road. And once they have secured the precedent to tax the natural product of human respiration then what natural human liberty is beyond the federal government’s jurisdiction to proscribe? Nothing. Not even life itself.

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  • #
    The Loaded Dog

    This is one of those tricky issues, where opinions vary, scientific evidence of course is always a balance of probabilities.

    I’m afraid that the “balance of probabilities” is an insufficient standard of proof when you have governments desperately trying to impose an oppressive worldwide taxing and wealth redistribution program the likes of which has never before been seen in history.

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  • #
    Ross

    Maybe Ian Chubb is just a screwd reader of the “political winds” . He might believe in AGW but my reading of articles by Terry McCann and on Andrew Bolts blog ( as well as on here ) it looks like the tax is close to dead and buried , especially now corporate Australia seems to have belately woken up. So maybe Chubb can see what’s coming.

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  • #
    PeriBlue

    Is it possible our PM is looking for an escape hatch? Gillard must know by now that the carbon tax will cost her the prime ministership. Is it possible that she has appointed Chubb — with his openness to debate — to soften things, so she can at some point begin back peddling & thus find a way to delay doing anything re climate change?

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  • #
    CDM

    As soon as the announcement of his appointment was made, I did an internet search on him. His area was medical neuro science and teaching medical students. He hasn’t done any science for years, but has risen through the ranks as a University administrator. (you rise here directly from your ability to get money in from Governments for your Uni, not because you do anything in particular for your students). He has three decades of service to tertiary education and university governance in Australia, and internationally. Also a member of the Global foundation formed in 1998, which appears to be another organisation devoted to “sustainability” (read green ideas) targeted at business.
    He has also been on the board of the CSIRO for some years.
    The man networks well for himself, has perfected the projection of an amiable benign bear as his “brand”, and has been rewarded amply for doing so is about the best one can say. (Australian of the year 2011).
    I can’t find anywhere any information of him sticking his neck out for any cause, right or wrong.
    He is a prime example of an academic politician and is obviously good at it, as academic politics is even worse than NSW Labor.
    Don’t expect any change from the CSIRO.

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  • #
    brc

    I think, at this point, if a person isn’t shrieking the end of the world, then you can pretty much put them in the lukewarm or skeptic ranks. The real alarmists who have tied public reputation, future career prospects and research on the line to really push the alarmist line do not use any hedging language anymore.

    As the collapse of public support approaches, those that are heavily invested in the theory are getting shriller, and more to the point of ‘you’re with us or against us’. There is a definite closing of ranks going on.

    So anyone in a position of public profile is much more likely to cage their opinion in general terms, trying not to get involved. If it’s outside their area of specialty, then there’s really no need to get involved. For all the incoming chief scientist knows, their weighing in on something like swine flu or bird flu is more likely to be a feature of their career than global warming. And anyone involved in government now would have to start looking at the possibility of a change in government sometime in the next two years.

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  • #
    Keith H

    O/T but in a way relevant to all AGW threads and a stunning example of the success of the UNIPCC policy of Doublespeak!

    The Tasmanian Government has announced there would have to be budget cuts in the Health area as there wasn’t enough money to suatain current activities.

    The presenter for this morning’s ABC Hobart breakfast program asked listeners to suggest alternative areas in which the Govt could make savings.

    I sent this text message but forgot to put my name on it. “Stop wasting any more money on the AGW scam”.

    It wasn’t read in the next few minutes and I assumed it was because there was no name, so I sent another one:-

    “Abolish McKim’s job and his useless wasteful AGW scamming climate change department”. (Nick McKim is a Green and the Climate Change Minister in the unholy Green/Labor alliance)

    The 2nd one was read out but a few minutes later I received a phone call from a very nice lady, the ABC producer of the program.

    The following conversation took place. It may not be quite verbatim but is as close as my memory allows.

    Prod. Hi. …. from the ABC. What does AGW man?
    Me: You’re joking !
    Prod: No. We don’t know.
    Me: But that’s what the argument’s been all about for the last 20 years!
    Prod: We don’t usually get acronyms and even our News team doesn’t know what it means.
    Me: You’ve got be joking !!!
    Prod: No. What’s the A stand for?
    Me: Anthropogenic – meaning man-made or human-induced.
    Prod: How do you spell it. R…. is about to do it and I want to put it on his screen so he doesn’t stuff it up!
    Me: I don’t believe this! A-N-T-H-R-O-P-O-G-E-N-I-C
    Prod: Thanks ……..

    I assumed they were then going to air my 1st text but either it must have been a bit much for R… or he ran out of time, as it wasn’t read out.

    It seems “climate change” has fully replaced AGW in some minds but of course, now that the catastrophic warming, more droughts, no rain predictions are turning sour, Climate Change itelf is already being replaced by “Climate Disruption”.

    Dr.Vincent Gray was truly prophetic in his article “The Triumph of Doublespeak – How UNIPCC Fools Most of the People All of the Time.”

    http://www.climatescience.org.nz/index.php?option=com_search&searchword=nzclimate

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    G/Machine

    This is one of those tricky issues, where opinions vary, scientific evidence of course is always a balance of probabilities.

    …Spoken like a true politician already.

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    Matt b

    Keith it was ABC Tasmania… you’d have had to let them know what an iPod was too, or an internal commbustion engine, or incest.

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    janama

    OT – our old mate Ove is at it again having a go at the article by Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks and Bill Kininmonth.

    I managed to sort him out I think. Unfortunately he’s on a very slow server so you may have to wait.

    http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=6564

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    wes george

    Janama,

    I went to Ove’s online Church of Climate Change, assuming you posted a comment there, but couldn’t find it. Personally, I’ve stopped commenting at True Believer blogs for the same reason I wouldn’t comment on a Jihadist blog. It’s hopeless, grotesque and possibly dangerous.

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    Matt b

    You should give it a try Wes. Sharpens the reflexes.

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    janama

    I posted there before wes and it was printed. It’s obviously still awaiting moderation.

    here it is anyway:

    Professor Bob Carter – I get 34 papers since 1999

    http://members.iinet.net.au/~glrmc/new_page_4.htm

    William Robert Kininmonth is a retired Australian meteorologist From 1986 to 1998 he headed Australia’s National Climate Centre, monitoring Australia’s changing climate and advising government on the extent and severity of climate extremes. He coordinated the scientific and technical review of the 1997-98 El Niño event for the World Meteorological Organization and its input to the United Nations Task Force on El Niño. As a member of Australia’s delegations to the Second World Climate Conference (1990) and the subsequent negotiations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1991-92) he had a close association with the early developments of the climate change debate.

    Associate Professor Stewart Franks – I count 26 papers since 1999.

    http://www.newcastle.edu.au/research/expertise/136652.html

    Dr David Evans consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010. Evans is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees including a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering.

    No wonder you keep making predictions that fail to materialise as your research skills are obviously appalling.

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    Ross

    A bit off topic but the US Supreme Court is finding it all too hard so it is palming it off the EPA ( which is getting a hard time recently in the US ). Interesting times.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/sc-dc-0420-court-warming-web-20110419,0,4564390.story

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    Keith H

    Matt b @ 42

    Watch it Matt b. You’re sailing very close to the wind with that last snide comment and it does you no credit. Because I know your self-admitted “blog-beat” style where your mouth and typing fingers drive off before you put your brain in gear, even as a proud 7th generation Tasmanian I choose not to be offended but other more sensitive souls seeing it may not be so magnanimous!

    That aside, are you inferring that the ABC is any better elsewhere in Australia? Dream on McMatt!

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    Matt b

    Keith, when the day comes that a mainland Australian can’t poke a bit of lighthearted fun at Tasmania it will be a sad sad day indeed.

    To tasmanian men, if your wives or mothers are offended please apologise on my behalf. For many of you that will mean only one apology *boom tish*.

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    Matt b

    That really would be better as wives or sisters.

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    Pete H

    pattoh:
    April 20th, 2011 at 6:37 am

    “the effort China made to clean up the atmosphere around Beijing for the staging of the Olympics?”

    They did the same around Shanghai last year for the Expo but judging by the murk last Saturday during the F1 qualifying its back to normal!

    By the way, Webber did you Aussies proud with a great drive to 3rd!

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    John Brookes

    the Berkley prof who appeared skeptical until he was put in front of the US congress

    But he is skeptical! He doubted the accuracy of the other global temperature measurements. He did not like the apparently subjective way the data was treated. So his team set up algorithms (no, its not another of those pathetic Al Gore jokes) to handle the data, so that there was no human intervention. Then when all was said and done, his results turned out to be pretty much like the others. Its hard to imagine being more skeptical than to distrust the existing results so you go out and do it yourself.

    Maybe what you meant to say was that he appeared to be on our side, but was weak and allowed reality to influence his beliefs.

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    Matt b

    Pete H that F1 story is indeed a good one. You guys think a carbon tax will force us to the back of the grid, but we’ll power to the podium more often than not.

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    Keith H

    Matt b @ 49 & 50

    Now you really have crossed the line but I’ll leave other posters to make their own judgement on you and the site moderators to take what action, if any, they see fit.

    For my own part, I once had some respect for you but that has completely gone and I will not be dignifying any of your future inane contributions with a response!

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    Keith H

    Janama @ 43 & 46.

    Your Ove post did make it and I’ll cross-post in case mine doesn’t.

    KeithH said:
    (comment awaiting moderation).

    If former premier Peter Beattie had listened to hydrologist Stewart Framks instead of the likes of rabid alarmist activists like David Karoly and Tim Flannery, Brisbane could have properly prepared for the major flood he correctly predicted and would not have suffered near the loss of life and devastating damage that occurred.

    They would not have been too frightened to release Wivenhoe Dam water at the proper time and lessen the flood effects, nor would they now have a useless, enormously expensive mothballed desal plant.

    Open your eyes Ove. The UNIPCC AGW scam is crashing round your ears!
    .

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    Matt b

    Come on guys, lets show that skeptics have senses of humour too and give some thumbs up for my Tasmania jokes.

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    janama

    I thought your Tasmania jokes were childish Matt b.

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    Damian Allen

    It sounds like greg combet’s MUMMY came up with this analogy !!!!!!!!

    Response from greg combet…………..

    “Think of a bathtub with a small drain hole without a plug, being filled up by a large tap, despite the fact that some of the water entering the bath is being released through the drain, eventually the bath will fill and over flow, in effect this is what is happening with CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    Great analogy Greg! That must have taken you quite some time and effort to think up that one.

    Does he think we possess the intellect of 2 yr olds ?????????

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    lmwd

    Bulldust # 28

    We’ve had Sheridan and now Kelly write fairly balanced and critical articles. Do you think the Australian is sensing the ‘climate’ has shifted on this issue? Even better were the 102 comments they allowed to be posted – with the exception of a couple of comments, all anti the tax and/or sceptical.

    Good comment from brc there too!

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    manfred listing

    You are a bad man MattB. (At 42) Tasmanians have known about incest for a long time.

    (The tick at 45 is mine too!)

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    Damian Allen

    Hey all,

    I found this interesting website.

    By the way it’s probably not what you would expect…….

    http://www.churchofglobalwarming.com/

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    Damian Allen

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-tax-plan-a-betrayal-abbott-20110224-1b6hl.html#poll

    Carbon tax plan a ‘betrayal’: Abbott

    Poll: Do you think Australia should introduce a price on carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

    Yes 44%
    No 53%
    Unsure 3%

    Total votes: 11855.

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    brc

    lmwd @ 59

    Yes, as usual, venting on Australian blogs instead of working. Shame on me! /handslap.

    I’ve been getting a lot of stuff published at the Australian lately – they seem to be letting a lot more comments through, maybe they worked out that comments == pageviews.

    Now, I’ve got to get back to work and stop reading the jonova comment feed!

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    wes george

    Tasteless jokes about Tassy are older than the hills.

    Matt does have quick submit comment reflexes, but his wit is as speedy as treacle in a Tassy winter and dimmer than the Tarkine on a foggy night…

    Matt, are you on the dole? I ask because you apparently don’t do much other than cyber-stalk Jo’s blog with your speedy Gonzales trigger finger 24/7.

    Pretty creepy.

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    manfred listing

    Janama at 57- I thought MattB’s Tasmanian jokes were childish too. Childish Tasmanian jokes are my favorite genre.

    For an adult laugh out loud moment check this one out soon though http://dilbert.com/blog/

    Sorry I can’t post it as a hyperlink- I haven’t worked out how. (For which I will now, no doubt, be mocked by one or more of my Tasmanian friends/colleagues/respondents.) (And no, it isn’t off topic, just obscure.) (And for a childish laugh out loud too, shave the Bieber when you get there- though that is off topic.)

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    manfred listing

    Omigod what have I done- it turned up as a hyperlink after all. Oh the ironing! Boy is my face red!

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    Mark D.

    Thanks for the link manfred. this quote from the link may help explain MattB

    Scott: There’s no way for you to know if it’s a prank. The only person who knows the answer to that question is me, and I’m not credible. But for the record, my non-credible answer is that the entertainment value of this endeavor was only a side benefit. With that said, I have to confess that giving verbal wedgies to people who desperately deserve them, in a public forum, is a lot more fun than you imagine.

    Of course it might also explain why ALL of us are here…… :)

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    Keith H

    Damian Allen @ 58

    The bathub analogy is from the late Professor Stephen Schneider,the man who who was an “imminent Ice Age” alarmist in the ’70′s (due to rising levels of CO2), but who seamlessly switched to being a leading AGW alarmist (also due to rising levels of CO2) a few years later!

    On 7th Sept last year on Jennie Brockies’ SBS program Insight, an audience of what were described as “climate doubters” asked questions of Professor Schneider who was “defending climate science”. He used the bathtub analogy word for word (as you described spoken by Combet) in one reply. At the end, Jennie asked if the Professor had changed anyone’s mind and only one woman raised her hand. Jennie asked what had done it, and with the starry look of the newly converted in her eyes, the woman said, “It was the bathtub”! (I’m not kidding)!

    Sadly for his family, just days after the recording, Professor Schneider died.

    As most regular posters would know, he was probably best known in sceptic circles for his statement:-”We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have”! He always claimed he’d been taken out of context but anyone interested can readily Google up his words in full context and make up their own minds.

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    GregS

    John Brookes wrote:
    So his team set up algorithms (no, its not another of those pathetic Al Gore jokes) to handle the data, so that there was no human intervention. Then when all was said and done, his results turned out to be pretty much like the others.

    This isn’t quite right. All he has done so far is to compare the RAW data, with the published (cleaned, corrected) data. He has NOT yet done the necessary corrections. (and yes, it seems that his processing will be fully automated, as you say) However, he surmises that because the trend in the raw data matches closely with the trend of the processed data, that the adjustments that have been done to the published data MAY be small. It will be very interesting to see the final results of his work. His testimony to Congress is here: http://www.berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Muller_Testimony_31_March_2011

    Greg.

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    GregS

    Sorry – just a correction to my correction – YES – he HAS applied his corrections to a small subset (2%) of the data. He has NOT yet applied the corrections to the full dataset, but he HAS calculated the trend of the full RAW dataset.

    Greg.

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    GregS

    Arrghh!. I was kind of right the first time. Even the 2% subset has not had corrections for systematic biases. Quote from the Congress testimony:

    Land average temperatures from the three major programs, compared with an
    initial test of the Berkeley Earth dataset and analysis process. Approximately 2 percent
    of the available sites were chosen randomly from the complete set of 39,028 sites. The
    Berkeley data are marked as preliminary because they do not include treatments for the
    reduction of systematic bias.

    So it is a test of their “analysis process”, but without corrections for systematic bias.

    Greg. (waiting for their final report)

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    John Brookes

    Thanks Greg. Appreciate the update.

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    Matt

    Just out of curiosity, why do we have a “chief scientist”?

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    Richard C (NZ)

    A challenge was issued by (not so) Silent under the Climate Conversations post “Now Gluckman wants evidence too”

    Why dont you guys team up and draft up a precis and send it to him?

    Sir Peter Gluckman is NZ’s Chief Scientist and adviser to the PM on science including climate change. Because I think the challenge is very constructive I’ve suggested that the challenge be run in the form of a competition. I’ve drafted the following to get the ball rolling, my approach being to keep it simple and to distill the issue to the one defining factor that either supports or disproves the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming e.g.

    To Sir Peter Gluckman,

    The theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming relies entirely on the notion that increases in the minor greenhouse gas CO2 result in increases of the major greenhouse gas water vapor, thereby supposedly increasing global warming to alarming levels of 2-5C per doubling of CO2 levels. Without this assumed and unproven positive feedback from water vapor, there is no basis for alarm.

    The IPCC states in their 2007 report:-

    “The average atmospheric water vapour content has increased since at least the 1980s over land and ocean as well as in the upper troposphere. The increase is broadly consistent with the extra water vapour that warmer air can hold.”

    The 2005 paper “Water vapor trends and variability from the global NVAP dataset” by Thomas. H. Vonder Haar, John M. Forsythe, Johnny Luo, David L. Randel and Shannon Woo based on the NASA water vapor data set [called NVAP] showed that water vapor levels had instead declined (with 95% confidence) between 1988-1999. The paper states,

    “By examining the 12 year record [1988-1999], a decrease of TPW [total precipitable water vapor] at a rate of -0.29 mm / decade is observed. This relationship is significant at the 95 % but not at the 99 % level [since when do climate scientists insist on a 99% confidence level?]. A downward trend would be intriguing since there should be a positive slope if a global warming signal was present.”

    While most NASA data is made available on the internet within a few months of collection and analysis, for some reason NASA NVAP water vapor data -which could either support or undermine the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming- is not going to be officially released for up to 12 years since collection. Dr Roger A. Pielke Sr.(Senior Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado in Boulder Professor Emeritus of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins) asks:-

    “Since this is such a fundamental climate metric to compare with the IPCC multi-decadal global model predictions (which project a continued increase in tropospheric water vapor), the achievement of an updated (through 2010) accurate analysis of the NVAP data should be of the highest climate science priority.”

    Should not also, the NZ government via the Office of Climate Change be pursuing this data as the most important (and only) action that the office undertakes because it is the one metric that either supports or disproves the CAGW hypothesis?

    If a downward trend in total precipitable water vapour (TPW) has continued since 1999, no further action needs to be taken in respect to man-made climate change as a result of fossil fuel emissions and the ETS can be repealed.

    Richard Cumming

    Professor Ian Chubb AC was appointed to the position of Australia’s Chief Scientist on Tuesday 19 April 2011. He will commence in the position on Monday 23 May 2011

    For general enquiries, please contact the office on:
    Ph: +61 2 6276 1727
    Email: chief.scientist@chiefscientist.gov.au

    http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/about/

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