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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Want climate resistant oysters, or climate “Justice”? The ARC has millions to help. But no money for skeptics.

File this under “Monopolistic Science”

Australian Taxpayer funds in 2012 are supporting around 50 projects about “climate change” or “greenhouse gases”.

One David McKnight has got $95k to study how Australian governments “spin” the news. So which cancer research project was knocked back so he could study a “hyper-adversarial” news system? And what is so bad about a competitive news system in any case? What are we aiming for — real news or better propaganda? (See my response to David McKnight in The Australian to see how confused this journalism lecturer is.)

The dollar values here are usually for three year projects. Some of these projects potentially produce press releases which are nothing more than disguised forms of government advertising for big-spending climate policies.

Jo

———————————————————————

Guest Post: Dr Roberto Soria, Perth

The ARC Major Grant results for 2012 were announced in Nov 2011.  Here is what Australian scientists are up to this year.

The ARC (Australian Research Council) is the main source of funding for all researchers in all fields of natural, political and social sciences. Getting a grant will make a difference between carrying on doing research and finding another job, for many researchers. Take a look, for example, at the abstracts of the winning Discovery Projects.

I counted at least 50 winning projects with the magic words “climate change” or greenhouse gas emission in them (compared with about 10 astronomy projects, and 19 cancer research projects, for example). “Climate change” projects raked up $16 million in the Discovery category alone.

There’s a handful of them. But there are projects listed as geography, biology, film & digital media, oceanography, journalism, civil engineering, statistics, applied maths, soil science, political science, physiology, geology, archaeology, literary studies, psychology, econometrics, and more… all claiming in their 3-line abstracts that their various pet projects are going to help us understand, fight, adapt for, convince people of climate change. There’s one grant proposal that starts with the words “climate change represents a moral challenge to humanity“: it won a cute $200,000, no need to read more. There’s one that promises to study how oysters can be made resilient to climate change: here’s $285,000 coming their way. A $320,000 civil engineering research proposal informs us that “evidence” shows how floods and rains are getting worse because of global warming. Another one got $250,000 for drafting recommendations to achieve “climate justice” (whatever that is); expensive, yes, but do you want to put a price on justice? Then there’s a physiology professor at Sydney Uni who got $370,000 for a 3-year project that “will show to what extent individuals can compensate for temperature changes, and thereby render populations resilient to climate change” (I put on my sweater; I take it off. There, I have just saved you 3 years of work and $370,000).

For the old school Marxists, there’s a $239,000 Monash (where else?) project that will “develop a new cultural materialist paradigm” applied to science-fiction representations of extreme climate change. And we cannot miss a $314,000 Monash grant to study how climate change is shrinking birds (in California, climate change is making birds bigger, but never mind). A group of civil engineers got $320,000 for developing light-gauge steel roofing systems: they were clever enough to say that we need steel roofing to increase building resistance against “extreme wind events caused by climate change”. $100,000 went to two Queensland sociologists who will study how to guarantee “food security in Australia in an era of climate change” through “a multiplicity of agencies” (well, at least these two chaps have got food security for a couple of years).

If you want to study how housing prices change because of climate change, here’s $170,000 for you. The effect of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef is worth much more, about $490,000. $122,000 will be spent in the noble pursuit of reducing “climate-change associated mortality in rural areas of South Australia” (I guess mortality in the cities will be left to the next round of grants).

$335,000 will be used to study the history of Pacific islands abandoned because of climate change (a history that hasn’t happened yet?). And how can we forget the plight of the krill off the east coast, and of the “fiddler crab” suffering because of global warming in the mangroves of Darwin Harbour: $170,000 and $340,000 respectively is the least Australian taxpayers can do for these poor little creatures and their concerned minders.

And by the way, number of winning projects that propose to test whether climate change is real or catastrophic: zero. The climate-change industry has really become a monster out of control.

Some of those projects would not have got a cent, if the government wasn’t under the influence of this collective hallucination.

There’s a whole parasitic class of academics who make a good living off the catastrophic climate change myth, and the larger this class grows, the more difficult it will be to burst the bubble. Anyway, just in case you think this is just sour grapes, it is not. I actually won a grant myself this round, and it is one of the few projects that will do absolutely nothing for or against climate change :) But I am sad to see so much research money wasted for nothing.

Roberto


 

Projects to watch

Additional thoughts by Joanne Nova

Let’s keep a watch on these projects eh? (And do search the list and comment on others…)

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DP120100629
Spinning out of control: the management of news by two Australian governments, 2004-2010

McKnight, A/Prof David C
Total $95,000.00
Primary FoR 1903 JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING,  The University of New South Wales
Project Summary
This project will examine the use of news management or ‘spin’ by Australian governments. Is it a legitimate tool of
government in the face of a hyper-adversarial news media or a technique which undermines democracy? It will examine
‘spin’ in connection with policies on climate change, economic policy, indigenous policy and asylum seekers policy.

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Atmoscape: the aesthetic reformulation of the atmosphere using intelligent imaging systems

Total $368,000.00
Primary FoR 1902 FILM, TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA, The University of New South Wales
Project Summary
The proposed research provides Australia with an opportunity to advance its understanding of atmosphere and climate
by building the world’s first remote sensing visualisation system networked across three continents.

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DP120104797
Rethinking climate justice in an age of adaptation: capabilities, local variation, and public deliberation

Schlosberg, Prof David; Niemeyer, Dr Simon J
Total $250,000.00
Primary FoR 1606 POLITICAL SCIENCE, The University of Sydney
Project Summary
This project aims to produce recommendations, designed by citizens and stakeholders, for climate adaptation policies in three regions of Australia. These recommendations will be based on a definition of climate justice that incorporates basic needs and resources to be protected, as identified by potentially impacted communities.

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DP120100961
Sending and responding to messages about climate change: the role of emotion and morality

Hornsey, Prof Matthew J; Fielding, Dr Kelly
Total $197,302.00
Primary FoR 1701 PSYCHOLOGY,  The University of Queensland
Project Summary
Climate change represents a moral challenge to humanity, and one that elicits high levels of emotion. This project examines how emotions and morality influence how people send and receive messages about climate change, and does so with an eye to developing concrete and do-able strategies for positive change.

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DP120100622
Locating science fiction

Milner, Prof Andrew J
Total $239,000.00
Primary FoR 2005 LITERARY STUDIES, Monash University
Project Summary
The project will devise and develop a new ‘cultural materialist’ paradigm for science fiction studies and apply it to a case study of science fictional representations of catastrophe, especially nuclear war, plague and extreme climate change.

—————————–

Tally’s of past grants from the ARC is listed on this PDF: Australian Climate Funding 2004-2009.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (48 votes cast)
Want climate resistant oysters, or climate "Justice"? The ARC has millions to help. But no money for skeptics., 8.9 out of 10 based on 48 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/7gavt9x

108 comments to Want climate resistant oysters, or climate “Justice”? The ARC has millions to help. But no money for skeptics.

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    FrankSW

    “hyper-adversarial news media”…if only


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    Sonny

    This is un-f#%^ing believable!!!


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    Sonny

    I will be pointing people to this information the next time they talk about the skeptics being funded by big oil? So correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that man made climate change is the most cashed up field of study. With all the people dying of cancer more money is going into man made “climate change” which has yet to kill a single person!

    I’m mad as hell! Are you?!


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    Mark D.

    Alright, those of you with appropriate credentials: Piled Higher & Deeper (PHD) Why don’t you apply for a grant under false pretenses of some pro-CAGW theme? Simply change the focus or be “astounded” when your study results in a pro-skeptical outcome.

    Sure you might have to defend yourselves in court from charges of fraud but that doesn’t seem to stop the warmists……………


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      Gee Aye

      No one has ever been charged of fraud for reporting the results of experiments. There would be no fraud as, believe it or not, scientists don’t know the results before they start. So if the results are pro or anti AGW then they are still data and still reported. The ARC would be asking questions only if there was no output from the money they allocated.


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        Winston

        And you are quite happy for your taxes to be spent on the tosh listed above- money well spent, you think? I think that is more pertinent question than whether or not they are committing fraud. What happened to appropriate prioritisation of funds?


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          Gee Aye

          maybe an FOI of the applications and the reviewer reports will give more information about the research. I think more information is needed than executive summaries before you dam the whole process. I can’t see why these can’t be public but I don’t know the details of the Act.

          A more useful exercise, if we are to be giving this a proper sceptic’s eye, would be to look at completed project. The current national priorities were instigated during the Howard government so go back to 2006 and pick out some titles and summaries and then judge the content of the publications. ie conduct an assessment exercise (with data) rather than a guessment exercise (which can’t be assessed for many years).


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            Winston

            Absolutely,Gee Aye.
            But this is a bipartisan politicisation of scientific funding and processes, and has been going on a lot longer than this current lamentable government, and it urgently needs an objective and comprehensive review of how scientific research is funded, conducted and prioritised, particularly according to the value it may potentially contribute to the broader society.

            I would argue, however, that if the executive summary of the research doesn’t inspire any confidence in the relevance or purposefulness of that particular study, why do it at all, and especially why spend our hard earned and valuable money doing it, if it merely is a pure unadulterated wank to begin with?


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            Gee Aye

            nothing close to this sort of review has been undertaken. This was one in-house effort http://www.innovation.gov.au/Research/Pages/FocusingAustraliasPubliclyFundedResearchReview.aspx

            it is definitely not what you mean


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            Sonny

            Climate justice? GTFO


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            Winston

            the nature of public funding arrangements for research have been refined over this period

            “Refined”- Hmmm. Doesn’t inspire confidence. And a look at the list of usual suspects overseeing doesn’t either. What is needed is complete objectivity- and governments are pathologically incapable of objectivity, because it might yield results they don’t wish advertised or highlighted. Governments are highly unlikely to find that government interference is tainting and skewing scientific processes and results, for example.


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            Gee Aye

            Sonny, is that a reply to me?


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        Streetcred

        believe it or not, scientists don’t know the results before they start

        Except of course if your name is Michael Mann.


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        KeithH

        “believe it or not, scientists don’t know the results before they start”.

        Sorry Gee Aye, in the case of the AGW hypothesis that’s not so. Under the definition of climate change set out in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UNIPCC were specifically directed to find: “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods” .

        This deliberate politicisation of the process triggered the arguments which have been going on ever since. Irrational fossil fuel hater (of coal in particular) James Hansen, had set the scene in his appearance before the US Congress in 1988 in which he first publicly expounded his alarmist AGW rantings, much to the embarrassment of many of his NASA colleagues. What was then needed by “the cause” was publicity for the obvious correlating link to CO2 (human-induced of course). Even though everything known of the correlation certainly did not indicate causation of any significant measurable rise in temperature, while slight warming due to natural variability was occurring, the parts per million graph of this essential trace gas was easily “monstered” at the behest of the many vested interests, into something catastrophic in the minds of a gullible public.

        And surprise, surprise. The UNIPCC found what they had been instructed to and knew they would before they started!


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          John Brookes

          Don’t be stupid Keith. Climate scientists don’t find what they are “supposed” to. There was an estimate of climate sensitivity in a recent paper of under 2 C. How did that get through? Similarly with the BEST team – they didn’t find what they expected, but duly reported what they did find.

          If you see conspiracies, that is because you are a conspiracy nut, not because there actually are conspiracies.


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            Sonny

            “If you see conspiracies, that is because you are a conspiracy nut, not because there actually are conspiracies.”

            Very useful advice John,
            It would have come in handy when first assessing rumours that Nazi’s were engaging in systematic genocide.

            BTW this wildly innapropriate analogy is for Matt’s benefit. See, we can both play the ‘analogy’ card! lol


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            KeithH

            Who mentioned conspiracy JB? I’m not into name-calling so I’ll leave that to you. I gave you a specific example which in my opinion corrupted the whole process from the start. The words are direct from article 1 of the UNFCCC and the embarrassment of Hansens’s colleagues in NASA is on record. I did not mention others so what has the Best team got to do with it or the authors of any other “paper” for that matter?

            The term “the cause” came courtesy of the Climategate emails from those involved in pushing the AGW hypothesis. I think you’re naive in your blind faith in all “climate scientists” holding the AGW faith, but you’re entitled to your opinion and interpretation of events, just as I’m entitled to mine. You may think me “stupid” and that’s your problem not mine but it does highlight your superior attitude to anyone who deigns to disagree with your blinkered views!


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        bananabender

        Scientists lie cheat and steal just as much as any other group. In fact some scientists sometimes simply publish results without doing any experiments.


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    Jaymez

    Great post Dr Soria, I particularly liked: “I put on my sweater; I take it off. There, I have just saved you 3 years of work and $370,000″ Of course you could add to that – “I turn the heater on, I turn it off”, “I turn the air-conditioner on, I turn it off”. Ha ha.

    Unfortunately this isn’t really a laughing matter. Especially when you consider this ‘pro Climate Change’ type funded research from the Australian Research Council is just the tip of the iceberg (excuse the pun!).

    There is a lot of research funding coming directly from various other Government sources such as the Department of Climate Change, the Department of Science and Technology, various state departments of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Conservation, State and Federal Health Departments and so on. The gravy train seems endless!

    Here are examples of funding which the alarmist psychology Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is currently bragging about:

    Australian Research Council (Linkage Grant, with Federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency). Creating a climate for change: From cognition to consensus. (Ben Newell, Brett Hayes, Marilyn Brewer, Stephan Lewandowsky, Andy Pitman, Matthew England, Chris Mitchell), A$216,000 (plus matching contribution from DCCEE for total funding of $432,000), 2012-2014.

    National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. What about me? Factors affecting individual adaptive coping capacity across different population groups. (Kerrie Unsworth, Stephan Lewandowsky, David Morrison, Carmen Lawrence, Sally Russell, Kelly Fielding, Chris Clegg), A$330,000, 2011-2013.

    Perhaps the coalition should state now that they will review and cancel any unnecessary ‘climate change’ research projects immediately they come to power. Perhaps that would better discourage people from doing the easy funding, ‘soft’ research and instead concentrate on research projects which would stand up to scrutiny regardless of which party is in power?


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    Graeme No.3

    Quoting from the article:
    “…projects would not have got a cent, if the government wasn’t under the influence of this collective hallucination”.
    “There’s a whole parasitic class of academics who make a good living off the catastrophic climate change myth…”

    Fully agree, but it is difficult to condemn a Professor, looking to fund students, for picking the easy road to a grant. It is hard enough to get grants, so if the “magic words” open the doors to the cave of riches, then they will utter them. It doesn’t necessarily mean they believe in AGW.

    On the other hand, universities are a semi-closed artificial world, kept alive by government funding. Their view of the “outside world” can be quite strange, as anybody having business with them will agree. It is highly probable that many academics do believe in AGW and regard sceptics as people of lower intelligence whose ideas must be rejected. You only have to look at comments by J. Brookes to see this attitude.

    But when the government ceases to believe in AGW and the funds stop flowing, the change in attitudes will be swifter than that ever achieved by the Vicar of Bray.


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      Grant (NZ)

      I didn’t understand the ‘Vicar of Bray’ reference at first, but thanks to Wikipedia I see it is an excellent analogy.


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    David, UK

    Unfortunately I don’t think this kind of scientific prostitution is limited to climate science. Wherever funding is up for grabs from an interested party (politically, financially or both) there will be parasites all too ready to take the bait. Sorry for mixing my metaphors there.

    The reason I mention this is Jo asked (rhetorically of course) at the top of the post “which cancer research project was knocked back…” Doesn’t the cancer research industry have its own parasites, also thriving on fear and ignorance within an emotionally charged climate (pun not intended)? Not to mention all the politically motivated “research” aimed at finding spurious links – second-hand smoke, for example (a statistical abuse akin to what we see in climate science). I just think the cancer research industry was probably not the best example of alternative funding.


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      Grant (NZ)

      You are absolutely right about the preying on fear and ignorance. Our Western society has been brain washed to expect eternal youth and immortality. It is like we need to eliminate all source of mortality, rather than accept the inevitability of our human condition – death.

      Medical research that merely defers the inevitable is a waste of money.


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        John Brookes

        Hey Grant, if I was about to shuffle off this mortal coil right now from some or other cancer, I wouldn’t think a treatment that might give me 30 years more life was a waste of money!


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      bananabender

      I read a comment a couple of years ago by an eminent Australian medical researcher (whose name currently eludes me). He said that the primary purpose of modern medical research is to produce PhD candidates. Useful outcomes are considered to be little more than an occasional serendipitous byproduct of this process.


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    Grant (NZ)

    To be fair, and it is only going by a few of the abstracts, the proposals are not apportioning blame for climate change. Some of the research is looking at adaptation which is necessary regardless of the cause of climate change (all in lower case so as not to alarm).

    Climate change is real. It is inevitable. Therefore adaptation is necessary. What is abhorrent to me, are those who want to change the climate or who claim that we can influence the climate and then want money to research that. Even more ahorrent are those who want the already over-burdened taxpayer to fund a scheme (ETS) to reduce CO2 emissions in the pretense that will do anything to ameiorate the climate. (One politician – I forget who – at least admitted that NZ’s ETS would not have any impact on global climate – it was just a token gesture. At the cost to the country it is more than just token.)


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    Sonny

    All these studies about “adapting” to climate change… What an absolute crock of shit.
    They could simply interview anybody who has moved from Victoria to Queensland.
    I think that showing this funding information to friends will be a very convincing demonstration of how “climate scienctists” are nothing but intellectual whores for government cash.
    At least when you go to a real prostitute you get something for your money.


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    Speedy

    Morning all.

    If the government don’t have any physical evidence for “Global Warming” then they’ll pay a lot to manufacture some. Even if it turns out to be an opinion piece by a PhD patsy who’s been on the gravy train for 3 years and would like another 3.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Jim Stewart

    One on the ARC list has my blood pressure at concerning levels, again.
    It’s grandly titled “Industrial transformation Research Program”. The target -”Richer, Fairer, Greener Australia”.
    Aim is to have 50 research ‘hubs’ within 5 years. 20 of which will include training in – “Social Impacts : Inclusion : Industrial and Community Transformation”.
    The cost – mere $236M.
    George Orwells 1984 Big Brother has really arrived.


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  • #

    It seems that basic research has become a quaint custom of the past. All research is now agenda driven. In the environmental sciences everything is directed at purported problems and funding to investigate a problem never finds that there isn’t one or that it isn’t very serious. More research is always needed. Welcome to the Brave New World.


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    Sonny

    Could not agree more.

    Perhaps the coalition should state now that they will review and cancel any unnecessary ‘climate change’ research projects immediately they come to power. Perhaps that would better discourage people from doing the easy funding, ‘soft’ research and instead concentrate on research projects which would stand up to scrutiny regardless of which party is in power?


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    RoHa

    Oysters are just gobs of living snot. Why would anyone want them to be any more resistant to climate change than they have been for the past few million years?


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    theRealUniverse

    Have a chuckle.. Piers Corbyn vs John Ackers (Climate alarmist supreme)
    Science vs the fool..Sky News interview.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6zSLQA-BrY&feature=


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    MattB

    MV will not be happy with this in the article:
    “(I put on my sweater; I take it off. There, I have just saved you 3 years of work and $370,000).”


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    Overseasinsider

    Sorry… but COMPLETELY OT…

    Quite possibly the most STUPID, most CONTRIVED warmist bit of BS I’ve ever seen!!! Had to pick myself up off the floor and take pain killers from all the laughing!!!

    OMG!!!


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      KeithH

      As I commented once before, this is probably why the dinosaurs becane “ex-stinked!


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      Graeme No.3

      Let us think about their claims.
      Sauropods appeared in the late Triassic, flourished in the 69 million years of the Jurassic and declined somewhat in the 79 million years of the Cretaceous; so the Jurassic should show the effect of their flatulence.

      The Jurassic started off with 1400 ppm CO2 and this climbed to 2600 ppm, plus the effect of all that dinosaur gas. So the temperature rose with the CO2 and DGW (dinosaur gas warming), didn’t it?

      No it didn’t; as the CO2 rose above 2,000 ppm the global temperature dropped, and there were ice sheets in the Antarctic for 13 million years. So neither CO2 or dinosaur gas caused any warming, unless you want to claim that the warmth of the following Cretaceous was a delayed reaction to the DWG.

      So either CO2 and/or methane don’t cause warming, or the effect doesn’t occur for 13 million years. THIS IS A COMPLETE REFUTATION OF AGW SCIENCE.

      You see, farting dinosaurs are more valuable than climate scientists.


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    justjoshin

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    Dwight D. Eisenhower – Farewell Address – delivered 17 January 1961

    We were warned 50 years ago of what was coming.


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    ExWarmist

    DP120100622
    Locating science fiction

    Milner, Prof Andrew J
    Total $239,000.00
    Primary FoR 2005 LITERARY STUDIES, Monash University
    Project Summary
    The project will devise and develop a new ‘cultural materialist’ paradigm for science fiction studies and apply it to a case study of science fictional representations of catastrophe, especially nuclear war, plague and extreme climate change.

    Literary studies of catastrophy in Science Fiction – this guy does not have a real job.

    Cultural Materialist at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_materialism_%28cultural_studies%29 – form your own opinion.

    How many homeless children could be taken off the streets for $239K over three years?

    The Fred Hollows Foundation can restore site for $25 a pop. That’s 9560 people who are currently blind in the world who could be enabled to see.


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      MattB

      To be honest that research title is as likely to be a skeptic crank who’s research could totally be oriented to making warmer types out to be fools.


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        Mark D.

        To be honest that research title is as likely to be a skeptic crank who’s research could totally be oriented to making warmer types out to be fools.

        Let me help re-arrange that:

        That research title is likely to be a honest skeptic who’s research could be totally making out crank warmer oriented types as to be fools.


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  • #

    There is nothing new in this, any applicants seeking funding have a far greater chance of success if they include the magic words of whatever is the current fad. It used to happen all the time in education – I called the process of applying for grants the “gold lotto funding approach”- when schools that included magic catch phrases e.g. inclusivity, community engagement, got the rewards. This doesn’t mean any committment to the AGW cause, just that they’ve worked out how to get the money. Follow the money back to the source, the ARC and of course the government. They’re the real shonks.
    Ken


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    Matt Bennett

    It’s a weird complaint you’re registering. (oh, I guess, unless you think AGW isn’t real). A problem slowly unfolds that has global effects and is likely to be felt in many sectors and you complain about public funds being directed towards a better understanding of it? Weird.

    It’s like discovering that a 3km wide asteroid appears to have a 60-80% chance of striking Earth on a second passing in 2048 and then complaining when some of the budget for planetary exploration gets diverted towards trying to refine the multiple-body orbital problem represented by the asteroid. I think most of the normal people on earth would be able to recognize the need to prioritize and find out exactly if/where the asteroid will strike and whether there are ways of destroying or diverting it. Planetary exploration could be put on ice for a decade without much consequence.

    Of course, it’s even worse than that – folks on here would not only avoid spending the appropriate research dollars, they’d insist on funding anybody (even their dentist probably) who said they couldn’t find the asteroid in their 3-inch Tasco refractor….


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    • #

      This is just inane.
      I’m surprised you even bothered to type and post it.


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      Sonny

      Not even going to bother disliking this one.
      Irony is that being hit by asteroids is a real physical threat with historical precedent unlike CAGW which only poses a threat via the theft of tax payers money.


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      ExWarmist

      DP120100622
      Locating science fiction

      Milner, Prof Andrew J
      Total $239,000.00
      Primary FoR 2005 LITERARY STUDIES, Monash University
      Project Summary
      The project will devise and develop a new ‘cultural materialist’ paradigm for science fiction studies and apply it to a case study of science fictional representations of catastrophe, especially nuclear war, plague and extreme climate change.

      So Matt – The above project? Is it money well spent?

      What about the homeless children that could be saved instead?


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        Matt Bennett

        Hi ExWarmist, I agree this project (while probably of high importance to its author) is a waste of money when publicly funded.


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          Sonny

          Great start Matt!
          That’s exactly how I feel about each and every grant in this list.
          No value added.


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            wes george

            Matt B,

            I totally love your doomsday Asteroid metaphor! ;-)

            The problem is that none of the ARC grant money is going to be spent trying to find the asteroid.

            Why?

            Let’s run with your metaphor, shall we?

            Imagine that a clique of scientists tweak a computer model to project a 60-80% probability of an asteroid strike on Earth… there is no empirical evidence that an asteroid is on the way, other than that there is an Asteroid Belt out there, so… it’s possible…. But their computer models show a deadly strike is eminent.

            Scientists search the “Astro hotspot” where incoming asteroids should make an early appearance. Nada. But, hey, so what? They’re out there! Somewhere….maybe…hopefully?

            A section of our polity and intellectuals adopts the new “Asteroid Apocalypse” science as their political narrative, which–coincidently — generally supports the policy agenda they were seeking to implement before even knowing about Asteroid Apocalypse science.

            One of their leaders makes a film depicting how we are all going to die unless we change the orbit of Earth….Obviously, this will mean giving unprecedented powers to unelected “World Leaders” and a suspension of civil liberties, plus massive new taxes. He wins a Noble Peace Prize.

            The Science is Settle. The Debate is Over…or so Astro Alarmists tells us.

            Then an unlikely ragtag group scientists (allegedly funded by the notorious SFTC–the Single Flush Toilet Cartel) double-check the Asteroid Scientists’ math results and show there is only a 0.001 to 0.01.% chance of an asteroid strike, not a 60% chance… Worse, they find that some asteroid catastrophists HAD MANIPULATED THE DATA! Thus began the Asteroidgate, “Hide the Orbit” scandal. The HockeyPuck Fraud.

            By now the whole bloody world is riveted by the so-called “Asteroid Debate.” Everyone wants to know what the REAL truth is. Are we all gonna die???

            But the Asteroid Team scientists refuse to debate or share their data…they are even caught plotting to lock asteroid skeptics out of the peer-reviewed journals. Some journals like American Asteroid and Asteroid Nature refuse to publish anything by “asteroid deniers.”

            So the skeptics make their case online in blogs like Watts Up There, Jo Supernova and AstroAudit. The public loses faith in the emerging Asteroid Worship Cult as the sordid truth of the matter slowly leaks out. US President Barry Obutta refuses to support the global Asteroid Chit Market… the A-chit market collapses…

            Senator Brownie Bob, the Asteroidists leader endorses a one world dictatorship of the proletariat in order to welcome the Asteroid, which he claims might well be a spaceship piloted by alien lifeforms far more intelligent than us. Sen. Bob proposes to wave immigration processing for all aliens and offers to become their all-powerful representative to planet Earth.

            Rock bottom is hit for the Asteroid Cult when they produce a porno film depicting the murder of school children who don’t believe the Asteroid is coming….not surprisingly it’s a flop outside of a small Astrophiliac circle, most of whom are under AFP surveillance.

            Still, the intellectual, academic and media elite class of Australia — never the sharpest knives in the lucky country’s cutlery drawer — just don’t get it.

            In 2012 the ARC and gives out millions of dollars of grant money largely to develop a more advance Asteroid Apocalypse narratives designed to culturally adapt early 20th Century Marxist agitprop techniques to the Asteroid Catastrophist side of the debate without giving a single dollar the Asteroid Skeptics.

            But, far more telling, the ARC never gave either side any money to sort out the empirical evidence for the existence of an asteroid either way.

            Why is that?


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            Sonny

            wes george,

            absolutely brilliant takedown. MB is down for the count.


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            Ian Hill

            It won’t let me reply the Wes George directly, but his piece is offensive to astronomers who wouldn’t behave like that at all.

            Imagine that a clique of scientists tweak a computer model to project a 60-80% probability of an asteroid strike on Earth… there is no empirical evidence that an asteroid is on the way, other than that there is an Asteroid Belt out there, so… it’s possible…. But their computer models show a deadly strike is eminent.

            There are asteroids crossing the Earth’s orbit all the time and some come closer than the Moon. There are astronomers dedicated to cataloging each and every one of these objects with the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission. They work out the future orbits of these asteroids and assess the probability of a possible future collision with Earth.

            My impression is that there is no way astronomers would cause undue alarm and create doomsday scenarios in order to obtain extra funding, unlike climate scientists. They would never “manipulate” data and as a profession they are always willing to make observations of orbits available to anyone, amateurs included. Indeed, the best thing that can happen with the discovery of a new object in the sky is to alert people all over the world immediately in order to obtain more and continuous observations to determine the most accurate orbit as quickly as possible.

            It’s not the greatest analogy drummed up by Matt Bennett but Wes’ putdown of it isn’t great either.


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            Matt Bennett

            Wes,

            WTF??!

            Your whole ‘use’ of my analogy, as pointed out by Ian, is WAY off mark. Just like cohenite’s ridiculous mis-reading below. I didn’t say the asteroid ‘might’ be coming or is ‘projected’ to come following to application of the laws of chance to the distribution of bodies in the asteroid belt. It’s been observed and it’s on its way baby! Now, astronomers being the fantastic and intelligent scientists that they are have successfully given us an astronomical ‘window’ through which the object will pass. It’s like climate sensitivity, we’re not wondering IF the climate is sensitive to CO2 changes, we’re trying to nail down its quantitative value. In the same way, until more research is done by astronomers and until the asteroid’s path is tracked for a longer period, the extreme complexity of multi-body orbital mechanics and its sensitivity to the precision of our observed ‘initial conditions’ will render a more accurate result impossible. (hence the research dollars!)

            Note I did NOT say that AGW and asteroid strikes are the same thing, nor did I say their destructive sequelae are of equal threat/magnitude – just for the brain dead among you…


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            Matt Bennett

            And Sonny, if you think that’s a “brilliant takedown” you’re sure clutching at straws.


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            Matt Bennett

            Or even more appropriately at straw men!


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            Sonny

            Matt B I do enjoy your sense of humour. I liked your comment


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        Sonny

        The science fiction of extreme climate change?
        Looks like this one slipped through the cracks


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      cohenite

      So AGW is as bad as being hit by a 3km wide asteroid? Well, that is what happened 65 million years ago. Basically the atmosphere was set on fire and the top 100 metres of the oceans evaporated. That should stop people worrying about sea level rise then.


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      KeithH

      Matt. I know you’ll immediately want to shoot the messenger when you know who it is, but do you find anything wrong with the approaches advocated here:

      “Attempting to ‘stop climate change’ is an extravagant and costly exercise of utter futility. Rational climate policies must be based on adaptation to climate change as it occurs, irrespective of its causation.”

      Natural climate change being an important human hazard, research funding for climate change issues should be maintained at a healthy level. But the focus of the spending needs to be shifted from its present overemphasis on “greenhouse” alarmism and computer modelling research to a balance of: (i) documentation and analysis of modern weather patterns (earth observing systems), and patterns of past climate change (stratigraphic study); and (ii) deepening our understanding of all mechanisms of climate change, not just radiation theory.

      Planning for inevitable future climate change, both natural and possibly human-caused, will best be undertaken in the same way as we plan for other natural disasters such as bushfires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami and cyclones.”

      If you could read the following essay in full with an open mind it might ease the fear you seem to have about some computer-modelled projection of possible catastrophe in 100 years time based on various what-if scenarios if we don’t “do something”.

      http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2008/451/the-futile-quest-for-climate-control


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        Matt Bennett

        Thanks Keith, leave it with me and I’ll make it my job to give it a thorough read tonight. I’m certainly not into ‘shooting any messengers’ – I’ll look at the message and assess it on its own merits, as always.

        (exceptions would be repeatably debunked idiots who’re shown where they are wrong and continue to spout their nonsense… eg creationists like Ham or Hovind, ‘ID’ proponents like Behe or Demski or Monckton on anything ;-)

        M


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    Alice Thermopolis

    BUST CC BOONDOGGLER BOOM COMPETITION

    One way to expose the CC boondoggler research boom – make a successful spoof submission.

    Remember US physics professor Alan Sokal’s famous 1996 hoax?

    An article he had published in the cultural studies journal Social Text was revealed – by Sokal himself – to be a cunningly worded parody. It publicly exposed the meaningless jargon of the extreme postmodern critique of science.

    Title: “Trangressing the Boundaries Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.”

    Go to it, folks!


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      Alice, and you also Matt if you haven’t seen this already,

      actually, this ‘spoof’ submission has form, and dates back to 1947, and from a source you may not expect. I’ve mentioned it before here, but it’s worth bringing it up here again.

      While done as a spoof, it was actually done for practice.

      Isaac Asimov had already become a successful SF author by this time, even while still at Columbia and working towards his Doctorate in Biochemistry.

      What he wanted to do was to practice writing up a thesis for his Doctorate, and being an author of SF, he wanted to see if he could write in a more factual way that his paper would have to be written in.

      He was basing his Doctorate loosely around solubility, and he was using a substance called Catechol. He noticed that it dissolved almost instantly on contact with water. That gave him the germ of an idea to write something in the style needed for a thesis, basing it upon a substance that dissolved 1.12 seconds before coming in contact with water, and he then wrote The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline in the same style needed for his written thesis, complete with made up graphs, and false references etc, the whole lot.

      He took it along to his publishers and they accepted it immediately, and it was published. Asimov, not wanting to jeapordise his Doctorate for thinking that the examiners might think of him as ‘taking the mickey’, had asked Campbell to publish it under a pseudonym, and it actually came out under his real name, and three months before his ‘orals’ for his Doctorate.

      He thought he was stuffed, but it went well for him in fact. During those orals, one of the examiners even asked him a question about Thiotimoline, probably with tongue firmly planted in cheek, and that broke the ice evidently.

      Asimov got his Doctorate, and that short story actually produced three further short stories over the years.

      I know it only bears passing relevance to the thrust of this Post from Joanne, but oddly, this was one of the first things I thought of.

      For those who wish to read this short story, and some of Asimov’s own thoughts on this, I have a link.

      It’s a pdf document of 1.75MB, and is very long, so you’ll need to scroll down a long way. There’s no direct page numbering on the pages themselves, but most readers have page numbering in the document reader tool bar, and it’s on page 253, and it’s only relatively short.

      The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline

      Tony.


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    Matt Bennett

    Haha, I agree, great book Alice, I’ve got it on my shelf!

    Except in this case, climate scientists are the Sokals, exposing the shoddy misunderstandings of the geologists/”lords”/think tanks for what they are – a mish-mash of nonsense spun to confuse the gullible. Just like those French postmodernists! :-)


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      Sonny

      I see you have stopped trying to contribute real comments on this forum but instead are resorting to lazy trolling.I don’t blame you – It must be so embarrassing and shameful to have these grants exposed to the public, the majority of which are skeptical of CAGW but are definite believers in the affects of cancer.


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        Winston

        Cancer is just a convenient plot device used by vicious oil cartels to distract humanity from the dire consequences of fossil fuels causing CAGW, didn’t you know.


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    handjive

    Add this whopper to the scam list:

    The federal government has invested $40 million and UWS $15 million in the world-class facility at the UWS Hawkesbury campus.

    James Delingpole says it all so succinctly:

    The harmless trace gas carbon dioxide, as any halfway literate scientist knows, is plant food – not a pollutant.

    So really, you might not unreasonably think, any large-scale experiment to discover what kind of effect increased levels of CO2 has on eucalyptus trees would fall into roughly the same category as:

    * A large-scale experiment in the sea to discover whether or not water is wet.

    * A large-scale experiment in the Vatican to discover whether or not the Pope has Catholic tendencies.

    * A large-scale experiment in the woods of Canada and Alaska to discover whether or not bears defecate in arborial environments.

    * A large-scale experiment at Christmas to discover whether or not Father Christmas is a big, fat, jolly man with a white beard and a red outfit trimmed with white fur.

    * A large scale experiment conducted in the evening to ascertain as to whether night follows day.

    * A large scale experiment with ice-cream left outside on a very hot day to discover….

    It seems though that in Julia Gillard’s Australia the thirst for spending large sums of taxpayers money in order to research the blindingly obvious is still strong.

    Not to mention advertising:

    - THE Gillard government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars measuring the “impact and effectiveness” of its multi-million dollar carbon tax ad blitz.

    - Government spent $16 million in six months on carbon tax ads

    The waste & fraud continues…


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      Bob Malloy

      A large-scale experiment at Christmas to discover whether or not Father Christmas is a big, fat, jolly man with a white beard and a red outfit trimmed with white fur.

      Only since CocaCola© used him in a promotion, changing his traditional green attire to red.


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        Bob Malloy

        Come to think of it, that ould be worth a grant. Did Coke dressing santa in red rather than green contribute to climate change, $250.000 will do.


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    Sonny

    Do you think I can get a grant researching the impact that beer and other carbonated drink sales around the world contribute to CO2 emissions. I think we should ban beer.


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      Cans and glass bottles of soda (but not PVC bottles because porous to CO2 after a few months) are carbon sinks. They become carbon sources only when we drink them and release the fizz. Each regular-size can of soda contains 2 g of CO2. Using a sensitivity of Delta T = 1.2 C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2, it leads to a temperature increase of 1E(-18) C per can, or three times that value if we believe the IPCC feedbacks. People like Andrew Bolt may claim this is very little, but Australia should show leadership towards a low carbon future, we cannot afford to be left behind. So, I suggest that all existing carbonated cans in our fridges should be collected by the government and stored underground (geo-sequestration). Only non-carbonated cans of eCoke should be sold for drinking (with plain packaging). Government-funded studies show that replacement non-carbonated eCoke is just as tasty as the old fizzy one.


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        Sonny

        eco-cacola.
        Brilliant!
        Maximum cola taste with no carbon pollution!!


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          Sonny

          How long until “low carb beer” becomes “low carbon beer”?


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            Andrew McRae

            Mmm! Salty Water!* Bet you can’t have just one!

            Alternative envirowacko titles: Hansen Premium Light, Fewer Blonde, Victoria’s Bitter, and Ruddweiser.

            ———
            * = Warning, this product is processed on the same production line as carbon. May contain traces of carbon if left opened for long periods. Can is redeemable for 5 millicredits in SA ETS.


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            wes george

            Sonny,

            I’m pretty sure that if they ever test marketed a “low carbon beer” with consumers they would find beer drinkers say the taste is absolutely disgusting.

            Even if it was the same old beer just re-labelled.

            Btw, Andrew, LOL…. I’d sooner drink cat piss than Ruddweiser…


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    Fred Furkenburger

    What on Earth are we paying so much for these people to play with themselves?

    I thought that this country is supposed be in a huge deficit and we are borrowing money at a huge rate to to fund whatever it is that government is spending our (and borrowed) money on.

    I would have thought that the first thing we should be cutailing is the funding for projects like these where the recipients are more into self flagellation than serious study!!!


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    Something only loosely relevant, but it’s been eating away at me ever since I found out about it.

    The Nobel Prize this year was worth nearly US$1.5 million. I don’t know what it was worth in 2007, when they gave it to Al Gore, but I dare say it was an awful lot. More important, of course, is the respect the prize is intended to bestow.

    I won’t say what I think of Al Gore. You can guess, maybe. But this lady was one of the other nominees that year:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irena_Sendler

    She died the following year, aged 98.

    I hope that, when Gore and GIM are just an embarrassing memory, the Nobel committee can find a way back to some respect and to some self-respect.


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      Andrew McRae

      If it’s any consolation, the Nobel Peace Prize has been a cynically corrupt joke since at least Kissinger in 1973. Gore was just another in a long line of insults to the Nobel name and Obama won’t be the last.


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    KeithH

    Don’t forget this lot from July last year!

    “$3 million to spin up carbon stories”

    Gemma Jones The Daily Telegraph July 01, 2011 12:00AM

    “DESPERATE to drum up support for a carbon tax, the federal government is now handing out $250,000 grants to groups willing to sell it to a sceptical public.

    A total of $3 million will be spent on the grants, with the cash given to organisations that “help the public understand the challenges of climate change and opportunities for a clean energy future”.


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    Andrew McRae

    Atmoscape??

    Please tell me this is not spending 368 grand to look at cloudy skies through a video camera.

    I mean, why don’t they… how can they tell… couldn’t they just…. Arrrgh! STOOPID GOVERNMENT.

    As for the adversarial media, well I have not really abandoned the MSM as a source of news, I basically never even started using them as a source of news. The Internet has more variety and as text I can skim as much as I want whenever I want. The newspapers are little more than yesterday’s RSS with extra spin and bonus dead tree.

    Last night I watched Q&A (a rare event for me). One of the tweets flashed up on the screen was utterly astonishing, though with the ABC leftards flocking to the show it should not have surprised me as much as it did:
    “The politicians may be on message, but is the media?”

    NO, I HOPE THEY ARE NOT.


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    John Brookes

    Any research on really stupid billboards with the unabomber on them?


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      rukidding

      Think you might find they have been taken down John because people on the skeptic side found them offensive.
      How are those 10:10 adds going. :-)


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      Sonny

      not with a title like that John, try this on for size:

      “This project will examine the link between stupid billboards with the unabomber on them and climate change, the greatest moral challenge of our time, as it is repesented in the hyper-adversarial news media. The proposed research provides Australia with an opportunity to advance its understanding of cultural responses to such billboards in indigenous and assylum seeker communities in addressing the moral and logistical response to climate change”.


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    3x2

    Milner, Prof Andrew J
    Total $239,000.00 – The project will devise and develop a new ‘cultural materialist’ paradigm for science fiction studies and apply it to a case study of science fictional representations of catastrophe, especially nuclear war, plague and extreme climate change.

    Q1 Please express a preference:

    (a)Jump the carbon scam and whip up an endless stream of funding for the foreseeable future
    (b)Leave academia and get a real and productive job

    Shockingly 97% of respondents preferred academia.


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    Peter Lang

    In the Budget announced tonight, projected Carbon Tax revenue:

    2012-13 = $4.02 billion
    2013-14 = $6.61 billion
    2014-15 = $7.3 billion
    2015-16 = $6.7 billion
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Burgess-Budget-2012-surplus-deficit-tax-A-spending-pd20120508-U4BXL?OpenDocument

    Taking that out of the productive economy and distributing it through Centrelink should really help Australia’s productivity, eh? [sarc]

    The good news is that many of the renewable energy and energy efficiency programs have been axed or their subsidies reduced.


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      Thanks for that Peter,

      SO, umm, let me see if I’ve got this right.

      If there was no Carbon Tax, then there would be no surplus, and checking forward, that’s no surplus this year, next year, the year after that, and the year after that.

      So, when a perspicacious Julia Gillard, promised us there would be no Carbon Tax, and promised us that the Budget would show a surplus, all she really was doing was breaking one promise so she didn’t have to break another promise.

      Now that’s forward thinking priceless.

      I guess those surpluses will slide back into oblivion after that, when the CO2 price drops to the World average. No, wait a minute, I’m actually wrong there, aren’t I? They covered that base didn’t they, by putting a floor price of $15 per tonne on CO2.

      No wonder he’s the World’s greatest Treasurer ….. (damn, lost that sarc off button again)

      Tony.


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    The site is about to go off for maintenance. :-)

    Apologies.

    Jo


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    Peter Miller

    Phew! It is just as well the new Carbon tax is coming soon.

    Someone has got to provide the bucks to pay for all these stupid, pointless projects.

    Just imagine, with all the carbon tax receipts you can fund at least ten times the number of this year’s stupid pointless projects.

    This is just another sad case of grant addiction, which is probably just as bad as drug addiction – totally addicted to third parties funding the habit and morally debasing to the recipient.


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    Captain Fatty

    Hey Roberto!

    A big hello from us here at MSSL. How are things going?

    Nice post, shame about the waste of money going to agw stuff.

    Cheers,
    (football) Matt


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      Hey Matt, greetings to you too! Great to find you here.
      Life’s good in the skeptical capital of the world (Perth).
      Nicer weather and prettier women. But MSSL not forgotten :)

      [sorry for the OT]


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    Hi everyone, 100,000 comments have gone awol,111 from this thread. We are working on getting them back. Hopefully by next week, it will all be fixed. – Jo


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    [...] nearly $200,000 – or $3 a word – to write a predictably hostile book on Rupert Murdoch. Dr Roberto Soria was onto this earlier this year (along with JoNova): And by the way, number of winning projects that propose to [...]


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