JoNova

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Are ARC grants for science or a form of government advertising disguised as research?

government funded science becomes advertising for government policies

ARC Grants have just been announced for 2013

Let’s look at what won a grant in light of the fact that nearly 80% of all the applications for ARC funding fail. (Indeed Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt wonders if our best scientists are hobbled by an arduous waste-of-time process where they spend up to 30% – 50% of their working life applying for grants.)

Looking at the current round of successful grants. How do you beat four out of five candidates for funding? Here’s one successful method:

Step One: Use statistically insignificant results obtained by dubious techniques to generate a paper with conclusions that grab headlines.

Step Two: Make sure these “results” support contentious Labor Party policies, and actively promote the spurious conclusions in the media prior to publication.

Step Three (optional): Possibly go on to publish the paper, then again, maybe not.

Step Four: Apply for more money.

Apparently the ALP need to find budget savings from the science program to deliver their promised “surplus”. They are thinking of a grants freeze — which is a good way to create uncertainty and encourage the best researchers to leave the country. Here’s another idea, they could stop funding inept activists and just use science grants for scientists.

The man ultimately responsible for the use or misuse of taxpayer dollars through the Australian Research Council is The Hon Chris Evans. It is time he explained how research by scientists who break laws of reason, and have a record of producing unscientific, illogical, and  incompetent research get funding, when most researchers miss out and when the ALP is supposedly cutting wasteful spending.

Could ARC grants sometimes be used as a soft form of government advertising, disguised as research?

Case I: Define scientists who oppose a government policy as “pseudoscientists”, research ways to discredit them

Lewandowsky and Oberauer’s last joint effort took two years to analyze an internet survey which asked questions of the wrong crowd, had almost no relevant responses most of which were likely faked, was ethically dubious, yet scored headlines in the press to denigrate scientists, was delayed and remains still unpublished three months later. Stephan Lewandowsky, who  had his name on $1.7 million in government grants now has his name attached to $2m in grants since 2007.

 DP130101735  Lewandowsky, Oberauer & Brown

Information seeking, cognition, and individual differences

$138,000  for 2013
$100,000  for 2014
$100,000  for 2015

Total $338,000.00

The public now has access to vast amounts of scientific knowledge and information on the internet and in other new media. Paradoxically, this increasing availability of knowledge has been accompanied by the increasing traction of pseudoscientific misinformation. This project explores the reasons underlying those trends and seeks solutions.

Define pseudoscience: Is it the unscientific pronouncements of activists who think that computer models and internet polls are scientific “evidence” about our atmosphere? Is pseudoscience the practice of claiming that there is overwhelming evidence, but being unable to name any? Is it science to call other scientists names? Can Lewandowsky define his use of the word “denier” in any scientific sense, and with accurate English?

Case II: Provide good marketing opportunities for government policies

How do you beat four out of five applicants for funding? Is it by announcing results loudly in press releases which promote government policies, but which turn out to be based on a tiny sample, with non-statistically significant results, using a technique that was not as described and embarrassingly having to withdraw the paper? Is your work of such a high standard that unfunded volunteers took only three weeks to spot holes in it, holes that $300,000 and three years of study by expert peer review didn’t notice? Tick, Yes.

 DE130100668  Gergis, Dr Joelle

The University of Melbourne

The further back we look, the further forward we can see: 1,000 years of past climate to help predict future climate change in Australia.

Reconstructing 1,000 years of Australia’s past climate will greatly extend our understanding of natural climate variability currently estimated from weather observations. For the first time, Australian climate variations over the last millennium will be used to assess the accuracy of climate model simulations for our region.

2013 $118,785.00
2014 $115,920.00
2015 $117,100.00
Total $351,805.00

Thanks to Roberto Soria for heads up and help.

I repeat: The man ultimately responsible for the use or misuse of taxpayer dollars through the Australian Research Council is The Hon Chris Evans. Will the Coalition produce a science policy that aims for rigorous science, and prevents any dubious use of highly contested research funds? Is it possible to FOI the reasons these projects were selected over so many others? Someone, somewhere is responsible.

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125 comments to Are ARC grants for science or a form of government advertising disguised as research?

  • #
    DougS

    It would be difficult to improve on Michael Crichton’s idea of how research should be funded, viz:

    ….Sooner or later, we must form an independent research institute in this country. It must be funded by industry, by government, and by private philanthropy, both individuals and trusts. The money must be pooled, so that investigators do not know who is paying them. The institute must fund more than one team to do research in a particular area, and the verification of results will be a foregone requirement: teams will know their results will be checked by other groups.
    In many cases, those who decide how to gather the data will not gather it, and those who gather the data will not analyze it. If we were to address the land temperature records with such rigor, we would be well on our way to an understanding of exactly how much faith we can place in global warming, and therefore with what seriousness we must address this….

    Read his 2003 ‘Caltech Michelin’ lecture for more commonsense than the likes of Lewandowsky could produce in a lifetime!.

    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~scranmer/SPD/crichton.html
    —————-


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    • #
      John Brookes

      Yes, absolutely wonderful. But far more appropriate to medical research than climate science.

      And anyway, isn’t this what peer review is supposed to do anyway? You’ll find that many people working in climate science, even those following the “party line”, have trouble getting published.


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      • #
        2dogs

        “isn’t this what peer review is supposed to do anyway?”

        You clearly have no understanding of how controls work to prevent fraud. The control method being proposed here is often called “segregation of duties”, and works by ensuring that no one individual can both commit and conceal a fraud.

        Peer review is the “authorisation” control method and works by ensuring independent examination of work prior to acceptance.

        As fraud is on the increase, additional controls would be prudent.


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      • #
        Louis Hissink

        John,

        Peer review is primarily concerned with eliminating plagiarism, and nothing else. In its present form it is simply paradigmatic credentialisation.


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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Jo, we need to republish George Grinnel’s paper on the establishment of the London Geological Society during the early 19th century. He showed that it was originally a political discussion group, not a scientific one, and more interestingly, not one of the founding members was a geologist by any stretch of the imagination. The impetus for its formation was political, to counter the Torey stranglehold on government in the UK, and geology was the ship that the Whigs used to achieve political power.

    Today nothing has changed except now it’s climate change.


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  • #
    Bruce of Newcastle

    Last time I did an ARC grant application, some years ago now, it was a tome (we were successful). Our academic scientists are subjected to a form of natural selection, the survival of the fittest being the ones who can fill out long technically detailed forms really well.

    Thirty years ago we knew in organic chemistry that your application had to be about curing cancer. About 10% were successful. I didn’t want that rat race so I left for industry. Now they have to be about climate change. About 20% are successful, which is another reason why climate money is so popular.

    With a system like this you will get the politicised result and no other. What chance would a sceptic have of getting a grant application through? What chance would a warmist who honestly found and published a sceptical finding have for their next grant application?


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    • #
      Truthseeker

      I did a quick search of the document and more than 20 of the successfull applications used the term “climate change”.

      Still, a clear majority of them seemed to be based in real world problems and science.

      That is encouraging.


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      • #

        Since climate change and how we slow it, adapt to it or mitigate it are first order problems no wonder a number of successful applications were related to climate change.

        A bunch of rightwing nutjobs like this blog may disagree but luckily they have no say.


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        • #
          ExWarmist

          Hi Maxine,

          What is the difference between the right wing and the left wing?

          Are you able to formulate any contemporary issue between the right and the left that has anything to do with the acquisition, maintenance, or execution of legalised coercive power?

          I am neither right wing – nor a nutjob.


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        • #
          John Brookes

          Yes, I can see research into the most cost effective actions to protect/move seaside communities as the oceans rise. I can see a lot of research into alternative energy. There is a lot of work to do if we don’t want to be caught out.

          Unfortunately, too much work at the moment is put into building a monumental body of work proving that it is happening. A body big enough to withstand any “skeptical” challenge. A body big enough and solid enough to allow politicians to act. We even have poor old Lewandowski doing work on the psychology of “skeptics”, because to defeat the enemy, you need to understand the enemy.

          To me, each passing year reduces my doubts. The AGW crowd may yet be wrong, but time will show that more clearly than blogs. In the mean time, we need to act, just in case the AGW mob are right. By the time blind Freddy can see AGW is real, it may be too late to avoid the worst of it.


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          • #
            ExWarmist

            Hi JB,

            I see where you are coming from – but I strongly doubt that anyone on the Alarmist side is willing to publically admit the real costs of precipitate action to mitigate CAGW, and the real costs of diversion of resources away from solving real, current problems, such a child malnutrition to fight a problem that may never eventuate.


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          • #
            SteveG

            All well and good, JB, but governments are always reactive, the only time you see them being proactive, is when there’s a dollar in it. Labor is depending on their futile carbon and mining taxes to bring the budget into a plus, but they’ve spent the dough before they got it. (Very teenage.) Obama’s had this brainstorm to bring the economy back into line by pricing carbon. WTF. I thought it was about the planet, not balancing the budget.


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          • #
            Andrew

            Oh I don’t think at the current rate of 0.00 deg p.a. since 1997 that we’ll be inundated in our sleep one warm night. In fact, even if it accelerated to an improbable 0.01 deg p.a. we’d somehow muddle through (especially given that there aren’t enough fossil fuel reserves on the planet to drag this non-issue out).


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            John Brookes says,

            Unfortunately, too much work at the moment is put into building a monumental body of work proving that it is happening.

            And John, it has all failed. Where is the evidence? You still have none. That ought to tell you something but strangely, it doesn’t.

            I keep asking the one question that really matters and all I get is silence. John, it’s time to ante up or get out of the game.

            And then, as if in a saner moment…

            The AGW crowd may yet be wrong, but time will show that more clearly than blogs.

            And time is showing you, John. Your time has run out; not a single prediction come true; no evidence; just bloviating fools crying wolf.


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        • #
          ExWarmist

          Gee Maxine,

          You make it sound like enriching the atmosphere with life giving CO2 is a bad thing?


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    • #
      Jon

      A few years ago I visited Madrid and the Prada museum. Complete waist of time. 3 large floors with mostly religious paintings. The only positive thing is that it gave a dejavu feeling with today’s climate and environmental focus to change the World.
      The problem is that strong/dominant ideology/religion/people all want full and complete power over our lives and way of live.
      So the political and economic power will end up being used to support policy based unscientific propaganda. Propaganda that support the dominant political class interests?


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    • #
      Louis Hissink

      Jon,

      Much like a priest writing a thesis on the non existence of God (for this argument assumed to be proven), examined by his peers, and assessed by his superiors. Will the thesis be accepted?

      :-)


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Today nothing has changed except now it’s climate change.

    And all political parties have latched on to it as a good idea to justify a whole lot of stuff they could not justify otherwise.

    We no longer have a Whig party (later the Liberals), to come to our rescue.


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  • #
    handjive

    joannenova asks:

    “Will the Coalition produce a science policy that aims for rigorous science,
    and prevents any dubious use of highly contested research funds?”

    That would be a negatory, ma’am.

    No chance while these people are in charge.

    The Coalition welcomes the review and update of the climate science contained in the Climate Commission’s report issued today, “The Critical Decade”.

    The Climate Commission loses it’s mind. Claims weather is climate change. Blames alarmist global warming.


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    • #
      handjive

      Will a Coaltion get rid of the carbon (sic) tax?

      Few carbon tax prosecutions expected

      Baker & MacKenzie head of global environmental markets practice Martijn Wilder said the uncertainty over carbon pricing caused by the federal opposition’s pledge to scrap the system was affecting the way companies participated in the market.

      “There are certainly boards we have presented to who take the view that the carbon price won’t be here in a year’s time.

      That is a very high risk to take as a board.

      The feeling we get is that the legislation will stay and they will need to prepare for it staying.”


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      • #
        handjive

        BUENOS AIRES, Argentina November 8, 2012:

        Argentines Prepare for Huge Anti-Government March

        “The people don’t feel represented by anyone. It’s a complaint everyone has.

        The people are begging for the opposition to rise up, and for the government to listen,” said Mariana Torres, an accountant and mother of three who is among the leading organizers of the protests.

        “No more lying,” she said during a speech Wednesday. “It’s all that I ask of all the Argentines, that we speak the truth.”

        *

        And so it goes…


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    • #
      Louis Hissink

      We forget the Humphrey Appleby Factor…..


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  • #
    pat

    am ropable. one could ask “is the MSM a form of govt advertising?”

    foolishly i just checked the news & business menus on the sky news channel (remote on mute, which is the only way i can even go near the MSM these days).

    “Carbon Risk Lower” jumped out at me. it was as below, but the headline below is contradictory. you have to scroll down the item – who would bother really – to even notice the survey was done BEFORE the carbon tax even started. it ended with Pollock making claims that surely weren’t borne out in a survey done prior to the tax being introduced. these endless polls/surveys/reports on the impact of a CO2 price that Govts are hoping will rise by multiples make my blood boil:

    7 Nov: Sky News: Business thinks carbon tax poses risk
    Fewer big Australian companies are identifying risks to their business from the carbon tax than was the case last year, a new survey finds.
    However, the 2012 Australia and New Zealand report from the Carbon Disclosure Project still found almost three-quarters of the largest Australian companies said there were risks.
    Only three companies – David Jones, Origin Energy and OneSteel – said it was a ‘high risk’.
    In New Zealand by contrast, where carbon pricing has been in place since 2008, less than half of companies surveyed identified risks from carbon pricing.
    ***The annual survey of ASX200 companies – the 200 largest listed companies in Australia – was conducted before the carbon price started on July 1.
    ???’With the commencement of Australia’s carbon price behind us, most businesses are handling the transition with minimal upheaval,’ said report author BJ Pollock, a lead partner at Deloitte Australia…
    Of those businesses doing something to reduce emissions, three in five reported their measures related to energy efficiency.
    Opposition climate change spokesman Greg Hunt said this finding vindicated the coalition’s policy to replace the carbon tax with direct action initiatives.
    http://www.skynews.com.au/businessnews/article.aspx?id=814026

    greg hunt: “direct action” against what, for what???

    then POWER PRICES TACKLED caught my eye. my blood boiled further. SMART METERS R COMING. ELECTRICITY PRICES SHOULD BE HIGHER AT PEAK TIMES TO SAVE CUSTOMERS MONEY, COALITION AGREES, ENDED WITH MCFARLANE PLUS STATES SHOULD FOLLOW VICTORIAN EXAMPLE, O’DWYER/ABBOTT NOT INCLUDED IN THE NEWS MENU EXCERPTS???

    8 Nov: Sky News: Energy white paper to tackle power price
    The federal government will encourage the states to embark on bold electricity reforms, including deregulating their energy markets, to help families deal with rising power prices…
    It will advocate charging more for power at peak times and using new technologies to help households manage their bills.
    Smart meters, which allow customers to monitor and adjust their energy usage, could be a key part of the proposals.
    The meters have the support of opposition energy spokesman Ian Macfarlane, who says their proper use could help families cut electricity usage and lower their bills…
    But Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer said the government needed first to come clean about the impact the carbon tax was having on electricity prices.
    Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for the July quarter showed electricity prices in Australia had gone up by more than 15 per cent because of the carbon tax, she said.
    ‘If they’re really serious … about policy and not about the politics then they’ll get a bit real about the impact the carbon tax is having on business and is having on households.’
    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the white paper was three years too late.
    ‘If the government was serious about this it would have brought this paper out when Labor was in charge of the state governments,’ he told reporters in Melbourne.
    That was when Labor governments were ‘frankly, totally failing to do the things the government now says is necessary’.
    Mr Abbott said it was not ‘right and proper’ for the federal government to coerce the states into deregulating energy markets.
    If the government was serious about electricity prices it would scrap the carbon tax.
    ‘The whole point of a carbon tax is to increase power prices,’ Mr Abbott said.
    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=814158&vId=3637179&cId=Top%20Stories&play=true


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  • #
    pat

    apologies but one final rant before i go read a book. btw there are videos with all i’m posting, but i have watched none of them.

    this is AAP/Sky giving FIVE AND A HALF MINUTES PLUS to morons, yet thousands could protest the introduction of carbon dioxide tax and be vilified/ignored by the entire MSM:

    8 Nov: Sky News: Protesters take over energy paper launch
    The protesters, Dominic O’Dwyer and a man who called himself Fregmonto Stokes, from the Quit Coal Group, walked onto the stage holding paper masks of Mr Ferguson, forcing the minister to stand aside during his speech at the CEDA event.
    It took several minutes for staff to get the protesters off the stage, during which time they ‘congratulated’ Mr Ferguson on his energy white paper.
    One sang a song apparently related to the impact of carbon emissions on climate change.
    ‘Fergo, Fergo. Don’t worry about that global warming. It’s just those hippies moaning. It’s all about coal. You make a great big hole,’ he sang.
    They were among about six members of the Quit Coal Group at the event, some of whom were sitting in the media section…
    Outside the hotel, Mr Stokes told AAP he had stormed the stage ‘to support Mr Ferguson and congratulate him for developing brown coal industry in Victoria’.
    Mr O’Dwyer was among a group of several protesters who disrupted the start of a speech by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott last Friday.
    A few minutes into Mr Abbott’s address to the Melbourne Institute/The Australian 2012 Economic and Social Outlook conference, Mr O’Dwyer appeared on the stage saying he was happy to see Mr Abbott and looked forward to him becoming prime minister.
    He noted the opposition leader thought global warming ‘is a bunch of crap’.
    Mr Abbott was also mobbed by a small group of protesters as he reached his car when leaving the conference.
    Mr O’Dwyer was involved in a scaling of Victoria’s Parliament House in September and the unfurling of an anti-coal sign. – AAP
    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=814272&vId=3637633&cId=Top%20Stories&play=true


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  • #
    Jon

    Political think tanks?
    That produce mostly policy based “science”


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  • #

    Another ace, Joanne! Great forensic stuff, as usual!

    Forgive me for not being up to date, but had you seen today’s OZ and if so are you already preparing your response?? 8 Nov.
    OR is your article a response to this inteligence material? As I said, I am not au jour or au fait. Just trying to contribute when and where I can. Coals to Newcastle, perhaps. If so, SORRY!
    *
    “Link Grants to Innovation: Libs”
    The EXCLUSIVE by Patricia Karvelas and Nicolas Perpich lists and comments on “Some Recent Australian Research Council Grants”
    Among them are these:
    $340,000 to the boys and girls at ANU for “Fiddling while home burns. Climate change and fiddler crabs”.
    And $197,302 to the Univ of QLD for “Sending and responding to messages about climate change: the role of emotion and morality”.

    Joanne’s readers: Pls see the full article in The Australian.
    The Climate change grants do not merit specific comment, so you have tyhe floor, Joanne.


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  • #
    Barak Gillard

    More money for Gergis & Lewandowsky. Blarrghhhh. That’s the sound of me vomiting.


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  • #
    JMD

    You do realise Jo, that if they didn’t control your money they wouldn’t be able to misuse it? You then wouldn’t have to beat your head against a brick wall.

    You could misuse your own money on martini’s on the beach in Broome, or wine in some fancy establishment in Margaret River, whatever floats your boat.


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  • #
    pat

    as we’re speaking of money, bishop hill has found a surprising piece on FTAdviser, which, judging from the bottom of its web pages, is part of the pro-CAGW Financial Times:

    7 Nov: FTAdviser: Dennis Hall: Be wary of the regulator with a blind eye
    Dennis Hall is managing director of Yellowtail Financial Planning
    Giving ‘super powers’ to the regulator to allow it to shut down harmful investments cannot come soon enough, in my opinion
    There are times and circumstances when consumers really need a decent, effective regulator but, unfortunately, these are often the times when the regulator is looking the other way. How many vulnerable people need to be deprived of their life savings before the regulator (or anyone else for that matter) sits up, takes notice, and does something? One is too many but on past performance it will take a lot more than that.
    Last week I was contacted by a friend who casually asked me to take a look at something his father had unwittingly got mixed up in – carbon credits. His father had been cold-called by a firm selling carbon credits as an investment, and the next thing he was more than £50,000 worse off.
    For some perverse reason it appears perfectly legal for a non-regulated firm to set up and promote carbon credit schemes to ordinary members of the public, and do so without the regulator being involved because the sale of carbon credits is not regulated. This is despite the fact that they are promoted as ‘investments’.
    You may say that a fool and his money are soon parted, and it serves them right. But this is not just a hard-luck story. This is a man in his 80s, suffering from mild dementia and Alzheimer’s, who has scrimped and saved throughout retirement to amass this money for the sake of a mentally-ill adult dependent. Healthwise his wife is not doing much better, partially deaf and crippled by back pain. Proud people who have taken little from the state, left high and dry because they have been scammed by a high-pressure salesman with the gift of the gab, and unprotected because of an ineffective regulator…
    Giving ‘super powers’ to the regulator to allow it to shut down harmful investments cannot come soon enough, in my opinion.
    Yet the cynic in me thinks it would shirk its responsibilities and go for the easy wins. Let us face it, it has hardly covered itself in glory when it comes to preventing consumers from losses and it is only any good at closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. When the regulator tells people to be “very afraid” I fear it is warning the consumer rather than the financial criminal.
    http://www.ftadviser.com/2012/11/07/opinion/dennis-hall/be-wary-of-the-regulator-with-a-blind-eye-oGNQFDCMFfHnfs2AzPN99K/article.html?ftar=true

    if the cable business channels would report on loopholes/scams as Hall does here, i might watch them for more than the time it takes to catch a figure or two that might interest me.

    sky business channel recently behaved in a manner i felt could be classed as ‘criminal’. with a property rep & a stock trader as guests, the theme was young people – 20-30 was the Sky presenter’s claim – have lots of Super and they should start self-managed super funds, buy an investment property & put the rest in the stock market!!!!


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    I am currently writing an application for a research grant into “The Circulatory Patterns Of Young Females In Night Clubs, And The Impacts That May Have On Climate Change”.

    What do you reckon on my chances?


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    • #
      Peter Miller

      You didn’t make the subject scary enough, may I suggest:

      “The Circulatory Patterns and Consequent Uncontrolled Heat Emissions Of Young Females In Night Clubs, And The Dramatic Impact This Will Have On Inducing Runaway Climate Change”.

      There, that should at least make you comparable with Lewandowsky’s application.


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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        That is much better, thank you.

        Not only do your suggestions help me, in my quest for funding, they also demonstrate that peer review in Climate Science is fully utilised, and in a very effective way.

        I have always believed that peer review at the start of a project must be more efficient than peer review at the end.


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        • #
          Peter Miller

          Not only is peer review essential at the start of a ‘climate science’ project, but more important so is the accurate definition of that research’s final conclusion.

          Your project will undoubtedly provide a good insight into the obvious threat posed by young women to our climate. My own research has also suggested there is likely to be a much stronger correlation between the number of young women in night clubs, than rising CO2 levels, to the recent mild increase in global temperatures experienced over the past century.

          The relevance of your research will rank high alongside that of Mann and Lewandowsky.


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    • #
      Bob Malloy

      What do you reckon on my chances?

      I’d say great!!!


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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      I remember reading in New Scientist (about 12 years ago) about research which established a link between female fertility and the degree of fertility advertising.
      The “researchers” surveyed young women lining up outside a nightclub about how long it had been since their last menstrual period, then they measured the length of their skirts.
      I swear I’m not making this up.

      The data showed a significant correlation between skirt length and number of days since menstruation but only with a phase offset of 14 days, which means the women were showing off more leg whenever their next egg had just been released and were therefore at their most fertile. Legs were progressively covered up as the egg reached the end of its shelf life and the next period approached.

      Okay now I know I’m not making this up, see half way down this article for “Grammer (1996)” where this guy obviously read the same thing I read.

      I recite the story of this research any time anyone tries to argue that just because girls wear short skirts doesn’t mean they’re asking for it. Science says otherwise, and it may be entirely instinctive unconscious behaviour. Humans are mammals. Facts is facts. Men are also affected by it.

      My gosh where were we and what were we talking about.

      As yes, grants for dubious climate change purposes.

      Sounds a lot like a grant application idea you had once before, RW.


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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Sounds a lot like a grant application idea you had once before, RW.

        Yes, well that one required a lot of travel, so it was turned down on the grounds that I insisted on having a new Lear Jet.

        They tried to fob me of with one that had previously been used by a mere UN functionary. The cheek of it!

        Anyway, perhaps the two of us could work together, not only on my project, but also on validating the findings of the previous study? That should improve our chances of funding considerably. Would you have time between cocktail functions?


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          Andrew McRae

          Great plan.
          First conduct all the… observations.
          Second, validate the original findings by determining the effect of ovulation phase on skirt length.
          Third, determine the difference between original skirt variance and the variance in our new data set.
          Fourth is the analysis step. Global Warming Theory predicts a reduction in DTR (diurnal temperature range). Following standard practice, we will assume biology is incapable of adaptation and has not changed at all in 16 years. Therefore we will assume any difference between the old and new data is due to global warming. Since there is a lower limit on length, and warmer temperatures will result in shorter lengths, the variance will have reduced. Our data therefore should show that skirts fluctuate in length less in 2012 than in 1996, i.e. reduction in Dancefloor Temptation Range. I’m certain we will get that result one way or the other.

          I predict the circulation will have improved.
          But aside from us, the female nightclubbers circulation pattern may also have changed and that should also be tested for correlation with global warming.

          Of course if our survey suggested for any given subject that they might have a hormonal regulation problem, we would need to contact them to inform them of this potential medical concern, so obtaining their phone number would be the only ethical thing to do.

          Counting growth rings is notoriously difficult for these specimens, that’s really for advanced research only. Estimation made from a safe distance under dimly lit conditions are the safest way, basically a form of ‘peer’ review.

          I can probably fit this in between the Panasonic Pollution Panic Party on 23 Nov and the Cairns Climate Change And Beach Volleyball Conference on 25 Nov.

          Did you have any particular lines of inquiry or hypotheses in mind?
          How else could the two studies be combined?


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Well yes, I do have a few hypotheses, that I found lying at the back of the broom closet.

            One hypothesis is the circulatory patterns will be highly influence by the opposing forces of the bar, the ladies power room, and the cool looking guy in the corner; and that the combined influences from these three sources will cause the room temperature (and a few blood pressures) to rise relative to time, thereby proving that the room climate can be changed by anthropological activity.

            Another hypothesis is that the cool looking guy in the corner will eventually start to migrate towards the female with the longest legs and the shortest skirt. This extra activity on the part of the male, will have two effects. Firstly it will increase the observed room temperature, and secondly it will disrupt the previous circulatory patterns, so leading to a state where people are well mixed (or is that the cocktails? – no matter) with a tendency to bump into each other creating a potential tipping point.

            A third hypothesis concern the associated ovulatory processes, and how they relate to the above, but I can’t really explain that because my glasses keep steaming up. I am hoping that this is more your field than it is mine.


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            Andrew McRae

            I was hoping this was once more your field than it was ever mine.

            No three guesses about why I am posting this comment whilst still working from home on my “day job” at 9:22pm on a Friday night. Just me and the bats.

            I am not the cool guy in the corner.
            I am not even the bartender.
            I am the all-singing all-dancing crap of the world.

            Tyler Durden should have been President.


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            ExWarmist

            I suspect that the various trajectories that RW is describing are non-linear in nature and subject to Strange Attractors, and massive sensitivity to initial conditions – a whirlpool of infinite complexity that may be very difficult to navigate without wise guidance.


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          Peter Miller

          Taken to its logical conclusion, your research should be able to demonstrate that compulsory wearing of burkas for all women between the ages of 15 and 30 would bring an abrupt end to global warming.

          And for that you could win a Nobel Peace Prize just like Michael Mann.

          PS I am your man if you need any pal reviewing.


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          Roy Hogue

          Yes, well that one required a lot of travel, so it was turned down on the grounds that I insisted on having a new Lear Jet.

          What? No 747? No wonder you were rejected. Think big, big, big! The more waste the better! :-) Two 747s my friend are the ticket to success; one for you and your family and one for your grant manager and family. Then you look “executive” and capable of delivering the desired research outcome.

          You are hiring a grant manager…yes?


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      Grant (NZ)

      What do you reckon on my chances?

      Depends on what pick up line you use :-) Just don’t start out with the “I’m a scientist…” that’ll scare them off.


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      Grant (NZ)

      You might be doing your research in the wrong venue. We often joke that the ultimate research gig would be a study of driftwood. Now if we can work an AGW angle into that I will start my data collection in the Maldives, then move on to the Caribbean, and then work my way across the Pacific. You should see the results in a couple of days and the research results in about 15 years.


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      John Brookes

      Buckley’s, Rereke, but I’m willing to help in the fieldwork. I could possibly scare a few into your arms…


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Thanks for the offer, John. But I must decline for fear that you would bias the sampling rate, unless, of course, you have strong knees, and are a dab hand with a tape measure.


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      SteveG

      You can’t tackle research like that on your own, you’ll need some, “Fellows,” purely for peer review, of course.


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    Robbo

    Let’s dig into the Gergis case. She had already got $320,000 for a grant spanning mid-2009 to mid-2012, to do exactly the same thing. Easy to speculate that, as the end of her grant approached, Gergis & Karoly decided to submit a paper (their infamous reconstruction paper) this year, to use it as a way to justify another 3-yr grant. The timing of the paper submission cannot be coincidental. I guess their ARC application included plenty of references to their “successful” completion of their first grant, and its media attention. Then the paper fell apart, but for weeks, Gergis & Karoly pretended that the paper was simply on hold. It would have been their moral duty to tell the ARC that their new grant application was based on a flawed paper, and maybe withdraw it and apply again next year, but they didn’t do that. I think that’s the reason why they delayed admitting that the paper had been rejected, probably until AFTER their ARC proposal had been refereed (which happens before August). Just my guess, maybe I am too cynical…


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    JFC

    This is priceless from Joe Romm at Think Progress:

    The best conservative tweet of election night may belong to David Frum, former speechwriter for George W. Bush: “Horrible possibility: if the geeks are right about Ohio, might they also be right about climate?”

    Political junkies may know that the right-wing denial of data extended to the countless pre-election polls showing the President stubbornly retaining a lead in the decisive swing state of Ohio.
    Heck, there’s even a website, UnskewedPolls.com, that “fixed” the polls conservatives didn’t like by using a different — which is to say, more Republican — electorate model. Think of it as a WattsUpWithThatPoll — a website where cherry-picking and phony analysis allowed readers to exist in a parallel universe to our own, in this case one where the voting public demographically resembled the electorate of the 1980s.
    Reality intruded last night, as it inevitably does when one ignores basic arithmetic, statistical analysis, and inexorable demographic trends — or basic physics, for that matter.
    Frum is a card-carrying conservative — he coined the phrase “axis of evil.” And his ironic tweet foreshadows an even more painful reality that will eventually intrude on those currently duped by the professional climate science deniers. But instead of this being “Nate Silver was right about Ohio” it’s gonna be “Al Gore was right about climate change.”
    Unfortunately, climate denial is far more consequential than polling denial. And as amusing as Frum’s tweet is, it is of a kind with David Brooks’ line in a 2005 piece on conservative intellectual exhaustion, “Running Out of Steam”:
    Global warming is real (conservatives secretly know this).
    The tragedy is that seven years later, that remains the best-kept secret in DC.


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  • #
    Sonny

    As I’ve said before and I’ll say it again.

    “Science is P


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  • #
    Sonny

    “Science is Politics’ Bitch”


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    Sonny

    It’s all about the money. And scientists on government grants that sell out to the climate change freak show are [snip]

    They are [snip] who offer nothing of any value to society but instead suck up tax payer funding and [snip]

    ——————
    Sonny. No more crass language please – Jo.


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  • #
    JFC

    It’s time to reflect and think about the lessons here. Skip the first 4:36 if you dont want a re-hash of the election but the last few minutes are simply brilliant.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yHI0bR3gN0w


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    KinkyKeith

    The one thing that is important in getting grants, besides the topic choice, is to have an exotic sounding name.

    It adds authority to the “work”, “study” or Deception – Propaganda and creates an illusion for the Government commissioning the work.

    It paints them as “Inclusive”, which, on top of saving the planet in a spare afternoon, is a great vote getter.

    KK :)


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    Joanne Nova says:-

    Can Lewandowsky define his use of the word “denier” in any scientific sense, and with accurate English?

    Maybe I can offer a bit assistance. “Deniers” cannot be from amongst the 97% (75 out of 77) of climate scientists who accept the science. This was used in the Lewandowsky, Oberauer & Gignac paper as a criterion for science. So at a minimum “deniers” must not accept that average global temperatures have risen in the last 200 years and nor that human beings have made a significant contribution. So people like Lord Monckton, Prof Lindzen, Dr Roy Spencer and Dr David Evans are not “deniers”.
    Of course, Lewandowsky does not follow logic when it challenges his biases, any more than he adheres to rigorous statistical analysis.


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    • #
      John Brookes

      That is a difficult problem. I don’t think that accepting the past 200 years have warmed lets you off the hook. The real test is that when someone publishes a dodgy piece of work that purports to show cooling, or a lot less warming, or a looming ice age, do you post it on your blog? If you do, then I would classify you as a “denier”, but I prefer the term “fake skeptic”. Giving any credence at all to people like Salby & Plimer probably qualifies you as a “fake skeptic” too.

      But this is too clear cut, as there are shades of gray. (About 50, I’m told) At the completely black end you have the sky dragon slayers, and much more to the light gray end you have the likes of Jo who don’t dispute the basic science, but query the amount of warming, and the motivations of those pushing AGW.

      And on the other side you have the loony greenies who expect 6 metres of sea level rise this century. Ain’t gunna happen.


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      • #
        Winston

        Then we have the deniers like you John, that ignore the very real and imminent dangers of economic destruction of civilisation upon human survival through energy poverty, collapse of social infrastructure, increasing global commodity prices pushing the poor into starvation, all for the sake of a possible (and perhaps questionable) “climate catastrophe” of at best unknown consequences that “ain’t gunna happen” for one hundred years.

        Sort of analogous to the guy stepping off a cliff because he’s too busy worried about a storm cloud on the horizon. You mean that sort of denial, John.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        And then there’s John Brookes who can’t provide the slightest evidence to support his thesis, thus validating our skepticism.

        Dodgy (not the word I would use if I could) doesn’t begin to describe global warming.


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  • #
    manalive

    Nice graphic Jo, sums it up succinctly.


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  • #

    It is intersting indeed to see that David Karoly is at last acknowledging that NO research has yet been done which compared the output from models with past climate change. He is going to do this for Australia. The IPCC has not yet done it for the world, which presumably would have included Australia (hopefully!!)
    John Nicol Brisbane


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  • #
    Snafu

    The title of the paper:

    The further back we look, the further forward we can see: 1,000 years of past climate to help predict future climate change in Australia.

    Two quotes from Sir Winston Churchill:

    It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.

    &

    It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.


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  • #
    Juliar

    Combet now speaking about the Kyoto Protocol, yet talks about Tony Abbott the whole time. I watched for a little bit but had to turn off.

    Will the Coalition produce a science policy that aims for rigorous science, and prevents any dubious use of highly contested research funds?

    I am not happy about the Coalition’s position either but I will still be voting for them with Abbott as leader. They won’t change their position with the Direct Action Plan. I imagine that conservatives such as Bernardi & Jensen will cross the floor or abstain when voting on the Coalition’s legislation.


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  • #
    pat

    “carbon developer”?

    8 Nov: Bloomberg: Mike Anderson: Australia’s Biggest Carbon Developer to Start Trading EU Permits
    Climate Bridge, Australia’s largest developer of emission credits under the Clean Development Mechanism, will start a trading business focused on permits from Europe and other international markets.
    The Melbourne-based company is one of the first 11 to get the Australian Financial Services License that will be required starting next year to offer clients trading or advice on emission permits. Climate Bridge’s new business will help Australian customers execute spot trades as well as futures and options contracts for European Union allowances and so-called Certified Emission Reduction from the CDM system, according to Chief Executive Officer Alex Wyatt…
    Clients are already asking how to trade permits from overseas, even though full trading is three years away and despite the threat Australia’s carbon-trading legislation will be scrapped after the next national election, Wyatt said…
    While 95 percent of Climate Bridge’s work until now has involved selling those credits to European parties bound by the continent’s cap and trade system, that business is more difficult now, Wyatt said. It stopped signing up new projects in 2011 as the EU imposed restrictions on new projects from China and the prices of CERs collapsed. CERs have traded this month for less than 1 euro on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
    By selling European permits to clients in Australia, Climate Bridge is effectively reversing the flow of trade as Western nations become exporters of carbon allowances, said Sarah Chapman, who will head the new trading unit.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-08/australia-s-biggest-carbon-developer-to-start-trading-eu-permits.html

    CCAs drop 5 pct as California increases auction size
    SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 8 (Reuters Point Carbon) – California carbon allowances (CCAs) for delivery in 2013 fell 65 cents from their price one week ago to $12.30 a tonne on news that the state will offer more allowances than previously thought at its Nov. 14 allowance auction…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2052727?&ref=searchlist

    Long-shot US carbon tax suddenly part of fiscal cliff debate
    WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters Point Carbon) – A potential tax on big polluters, a taboo subject in the United States in recent years, has come back into the spotlight as some sense potential for a revenue windfall at a time lawmakers look for ways to the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax rises and spending cuts due in early 2013.
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2052675?&ref=searchlist


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    • #
      Dennis

      Climate Bridge corporate information: http://climatebridge.com/about-us/


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      Snafu

      Great……something to look forward to:

      Police suspect two of carbon credit fraud worth CZK 378m (AUD$189 million)

      24 October 2012

      Prague, Oct 23 (CTK) – The Czech anti-corruption police have accused two men of 378 million crowns (AUD$189 million) worth of tax evasion linked to carbon credits trade, for which they would face up to ten years in prison, if convicted, the police spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej writes on their website.

      The two say they bought carbon credits on behalf of a company from two Czech firms in 2010 and subsequently sold them to another company.

      However, they in fact did not buy them in the Czech Republic but from a foreign company for a price not including VAT. They eventually paid the tax on the sum corresponding to the difference between the price for the fictitious purchase in the Czech Republic and the subsequent selling price, i.e. not for the really completed deal.

      “They presented a fictitious transaction with the purpose to reduce the tax duty,” Ibehej writes.

      Moreover, the Czech firms from which the suspects bought the carbon credits, were not listed in the registry of carbon credit traders, the police found out.

      Within the prosecution the police have blocked the suspects’ real estate worth 11 million crowns (AUD$550,000) plus bank accounts with about 2.5 million crowns (AUD$125,000), Ibehej said.

      http://praguemonitor.com/2012/10/24/police-suspect-two-carbon-credit-fraud-worth-czk-378m

      One U.S. dollar is worth ~19 Czech crowns (CZK) so the amount these two men earned was nice, $20 million (AUD$19,284,000).


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      Roy Hogue

      Climate Bridge, Australia’s largest developer of emission credits under the Clean Development Mechanism, will start a trading business focused on permits from Europe and other international markets.

      May they have a swift journey to the bankruptcy courts.

      It’s too bad they can probably escape the criminal courts.


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    pat

    9 Nov: Bloomberg: Rudy Ruitenberg: Human Carbon Emissions Seen by Researchers Holding Back Ice Age
    Human emissions of fossil carbon into the atmosphere and the resulting increase in temperatures may be holding off the next ice age, according to research from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg.
    “We are probably entering a new ice age right now,” Lars Franzen, a professor of physical geography at the university, was cited as saying in an online statement today. “However, we’re not noticing it due to the effects of carbon dioxide.”…
    Increased felling of woodlands and expansion of agricultural land, combined with early industrialization, probably halted the so-called Little Ice Age from the 16th to the 18th century, slowing down or even reversing a cooling trend, according to the researchers…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-08/human-carbon-emissions-seen-by-researchers-holding-back-ice-age.html


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      Dennis

      I understand that scientists from Russia claimed that a new ice age beginning was a near future event. They made that prediction in the 1970s as I recall it.


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    pat

    just went to post the “ice age” stuff on WUWT, but Anthony has beaten me to it, and has the paper:

    WUWT: New paper suggests that CO2 ‘…could prove to be our salvation from the next ice age’
    From the University of Gothenburg , another head exploder for Joe Romm and company…
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/08/co2-could-prove-to-be-our-salvation-from-the-next-ice-age/


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  • #

    Maybe Roberto Soria can help answer these questions:

    Don’t ARC Grants require publication of results – whatever they may be?

    If publication is a prerequisite, then what are the penalties for not publishing?


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      Robbo

      A relevant clause could be 6.1: “The provision of any Funding for a Project is conditional on all information contained in the Proposal for that Project and all reports required by this Agreement from the Administering Organisation being complete, accurate and not misleading. The Commonwealth regards inaccurate and misleading information as including, but not being limited to, claiming fictitious track records, inflating funds obtained from other sources and false claims in the publication record, e.g. describing a paper as being ‘in press’ or accepted even if it has only been submitted.”
      It would be interesting to find out whether Gergis applied for a new ARC grant claiming that her paper was accepted or under review rather than rejected. That would be in clear breach of the funding agreement.

      The reporting requirements are in Section 31, too long to copy here, see the links below.

      An interesting clause from Sect 31 is: “Unsatisfactory progress on any Project may be noted against any further proposals under any ARC scheme submitted by, or on behalf of, the CIs and will be taken into account in the assessment of those proposals.”
      I guess the ARC did NOT consider it “unsatisfactory” that Ms Gergis spent 3 years and $320,000 of ARC grants to produce a turd of a paper that was rejected after 3 weeks…because they gave her another $350,000 and another 3 years. I wonder what the ARC considers “unsatisfactory progress”. Same with Lew’s case. So I agree with Jo that for the ARC, “satisfactory” = say politically correct things, regardless of research methods and accuracy.

      But have a look yourself please, if you can find anything else, in the Linkage and Discovery grant agreements
      http://www.arc.gov.au/pdf/LIEF13/LE13_Funding_Agreement.pdf
      http://www.arc.gov.au/pdf/DP13/DP13_Funding_Agreement.pdf


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      • #

        It seems to me that the only requirement under ARC funding is that the money be spent on “research”.

        That’s it. The only performance requirement is maintaining an auditable record of spending. Oh… and to spend all the money.

        Any “unsatisfactory” performance only appears to injure future funding of the institution. There is no recourse against non-performers (via ARC); with little to no chance of the institution seeking restitution/compensation of loss of notional funding from the non-performing researchers.


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    [...] The government continue on their merry way, funding pseudoscience failures. Jonova has found all the sordid details, Are ARC grants for science or a form of government advertising disguised as research? [...]


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  • #
    Alice Thermopolis

    ARC – ADVANCING FRONTIERS OF LGBTI KNOWLEDGE

    DP130102658 Gorman-Murray, Dr Andrew W; Dominey-Howes, A/Prof Dale T
    Approved
    Project Title
    Queering disasters in the Antipodes: investigating the experiences of LGBTI people in natural
    disasters
    2013 $125,015.00
    2014 $115,413.00
    2015 $84,755.00
    Total $325,183.00
    Primary FoR 1604 HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
    Administering Organisation University of Western Sydney
    Project Summary
    The purpose of this project is to investigate experiences of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex) people in
    Antipodean natural disasters, because they are especially vulnerable. No such work has been done in this field before.
    The outcomes of this project will include improved understanding of the needs of LGBTI people and improved disaster
    response.


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  • #
    Dennis

    The UN must be looking forward to receiving the carbon tax con grant equivalent to ten per cent of the tax revenue received by the Australian government. More foreign aid but taken directly from citizens unlike the rest handed out from government borrowing, debt.


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    pat

    6 Nov: Wind industries lay off hundreds of workers
    by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
    The federal tax credit that subsidizes wind energy is set to expire at the end of the year, and political uncertainty is putting the brakes on the wind industry. More than 500 workers are losing their jobs in the Red River Valley.
    By the end of November, 345 workers who make wind turbine blades at a Grand Forks, N.D. factory will be out of work.
    Bill Burga, who heads manufacturing in North and South America for LM Wind Power, the Denmark-based company that operates a turbine blade plant in Grand Forks, said orders for next year have dried up because no one is sure if Congress will renew the wind energy tax credit…
    Congress could act to extend the wind production tax credit before it expires in January. But even if that happens, Burga said it will take at least six months for the industry to get back up to speed. Some companies probably won’t survive the slowdown, he said…
    Wind industry layoffs are happening across the region and nationwide. Fergus Falls-based Otter Tail Corporation recently sold its West Fargo turbine tower manufacturer, leaving more than 200 workers with an uncertain future…
    Some industry analysts say about 30 percent of wind manufacturing jobs nationwide will be lost by the end of the year because of uncertainty about the wind energy production tax credit. Industry estimates say 3,000 of 11,000 manufacturing jobs will be lost. If the production tax credit is not extended, job losses could climb to 75 percent…
    This also is not the first time the wind industry has fallen off a cliff. About a decade ago when the tax credit expired, more than 75 percent of wind industry jobs disappeared, Kelley said…
    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/11/06/business/wind-manufacturer-layoff/


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      Philip Shehan

      Sonny, are correct that research into how the gay and lesbian community is affected by natural disasters is not science.

      However the ARC is not restricted to science grants. It funds research into the humanities, social sciences, economics etc. etc.

      Many other grant bodies cover specific areas of research eg, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC)


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      Roy Hogue

      So much for green energy (and a lot of other things)! Their chickens are coming home to roost. Expect a lot more layoffs. Obama and the Democrats will rail against it but their own policies are driving it. This is but the beginning.

      If it can serve to wake people up then maybe the damage can be worthwhile in spite of the harm to people’s lives.


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    James

    I agree. We should never ever fund any science. ;)


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      Sonny

      Research into how the gay and lesbian community is affected by natural disasters is not science.
      Nor is a lot of the wanker and tosspot “research” that the ARC throws funds at.
      Nobody is suggesting that REAL scientific research be stopped. So your comment is a pointless little snarky remark befitting a troll.


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    • #
      ExWarmist

      Hi James,

      The method matters – there is always the first post by DougS that outlines Michael Crichtons suggestion.

      But such a scheme would depoliticize science – is that a problem for you?


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      Philip Shehan

      OOps. Misplaced my reply to sonny to the above comment. However, as for the suggestion that there be no public funding of science, that would rule out funding of almost all basic “useless” research (apart from a few philanthropic organisations like the Wellcome trust).

      Furthermore, as last weeks 4 Corners program noted, even useful research in developing new antibiotics to fight superbugs is undertaken by drug companies because being a one shot cure, they would not return on the necessary invesment (unlike say viagra). Such research is being carried out in universities and publicly funded research institutes.


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      Philip Shehan

      OOps againn. Of couse that should have been not undertaken by drug companies.


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    Philip Shehan

    Sorry if this is a repeat but I think my initial submission was aborted.

    The idea that Chris Evans or any other politician should interfere in the award of research grants is outrageous. Grant bodies are composed of experts in their field to assess grants on their merits. That this does not suit the political agenda of the government, the opposition or other groups is irrelevant.

    The minister would also come under pressure to fund “relevant” research. The problem is, as Professor Brian Cox has pointed out in his current visit and Professor Brian Davies explains on Amanda Vanstones’s program Counterpoint this week “useless” research is the basis of modern society.

    Faraday and Maxwell’s work on electromagnetism in the 19th century had no foreseeable applications at the time. If the hardheads had said the time should not be wasted on such research but on developing more efficient oil lamps, we may well have cities lit on the smell of an oily rag by now, but no electronics industry.

    Scientists after the war were engaged in “useless” studies of the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei. This lead to my own area of research, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, an indispensable tool in Medicine (as MRI), studies of biological and other molecules leading to new drugs and treatments, chemistry in general, the study of the mind (MRI again) materials science etc. etc.

    Furthermore there is never any guarantee that a research program will deliver hoped for results. You may get an unwelcome result, no result at all, or the program my lead on to unforeseen tangential studies and results of great importance. You don’t know until you carry out the program.


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    • #
      Winston

      And Philip,
      Since that MR research when in its infancy could have had no political purpose, that research if conducted now in the post- modern era would not be funded at all, in favour of studies, for example, about whether climate deniers float when tied up and thrown in the river, and other such pressing matters of state.


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    • #
      Philip Shehan

      Winston, that is nonsense. I am involved in the submission and assessment of grants which do not have political implications. This is the vast majority of research programs. There is no “post modern” science, any more than there was “Jewish physics” in the thirties.

      And my point is that grant bodies are currently largely free from political interference. It will be a very sad day when that changes. The people on the granting committees are experts in the various areas of research (and again this includes humanities and fields other than science).

      People who resort to claims that researchers reporting results that are unwelcome are corrupt or in thrall of a political ideology are engaged in messenger shooting.


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      • #
        Winston

        Of course, Philip, as you well know, I was attempting to be amusing and exaggerating to make a point. Nevertheless, I stand by my observation that innovation out of serendipity that you suggest in your example is highly unlikely occur in the current situation, when political influence alters the grants landscape as it has currently- I think your reassurance that all is kosher and above board in scientific endeavour is hardly inspiring to anyone who is at all objective, given your climate alarmist inclinations.

        So, do you really think Alice’s example @#31 is a good expenditure of taxpayers dollars, and has some meaningful, as yet unseen applicability that would rival Faraday or Maxwell? Who do you think you are kidding, Phil? You’d be happy to justify that would you?

        It is apparent that absolutely anything which reinforces Climate Change alarmism is virtually guaranteed funding as it validates the current government policy, and allows them to maximise their carbon tax grab with impunity, principally to fund their ideologically-motivated pet projects and feather their own political nests (and future UN postings). While most of this wealth generated by these measures will harm whole economies for little or no benefit to the public at large either directly or indirectly. It will do little or nothing to advance Science, drive renewable energy advances, foster climate mitigation, or do anything other than add yet another onerous burden on productive people in the community, IMHO.

        It will be a very sad day when that changes

        I agree. And that day has already arrived, Phil, and the boat has sailed. The fact that the grant seeking is covertly political and tacit doesn’t make it any less the reality, or less insidious. The age of discovery is dead, my friend, and peak humanity has been reached- especially in an intellectual sense, but also in terms of population, individuality, innovation, courage, self-sufficiency, independence, etc. An Edison or a Tesla would be bullied into submission in the current environment, and thwarted at every turn. The post war era had a totally different paradigm, a curiosity to discover and prosper, to innovate and to progress humanity for its own sake. This is the price of alarmism that you preach, Phil. It is the death of everything that makes humanity special and unique, in favour of producing an introspective, apathetic species, ruled by fear of the unknown, yet thoroughly homogenised, tranquillised and ultimately, I fear, neutralised.


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          Philip Shehan

          Winston, your assertions of political direction in the awarding of grants is unbacked by any evidence and entirely counter to my experience of the processes. I hate to sound patronising but I doubt that you or any of the critics here have any first hand experience of that process.

          Similarly, ther are legions of latter day Edisons and Tesla’s out there who are not only not being bullied at every turn, but supported by these independent grant bodies. And the reason why extremely intelligent and capable people go into such a poorly remunerated and obstacle strewn scientific career path as scintific research is precisely because they are driven by “a curiosity to discover and prosper, to innovate and to progress humanity for its own sake.” I have worked with them and mentored and supervised the young recruits doing post graduate studies.

          As for the example given by Alice, I also roll my eyes at that one but then I have not read the proposal. The title and briefest of summaries does not reflect the detail that goes into these proposals which involves many, many pages explaining the proposal with supporting data and preliminary work arguing the case forwhy it should be funded. I would probably still be unconvinced with this onebut then that is my prejudice. In the division between hard and soft sciences I find social science at the decidedly squishy end of the spectrum. This is clearly a proposal for a study be assessed by one of the humanities or social sciences panels. It is not a science project as I understand the term.

          It is easy to find in the large number of proposals ones that any of us would see as unworthy, but I am not going to tell social scientists what they should do with their share of the grant budget.


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      Roy Hogue

      Philip,

      You are right. But now how do we weed out the ridiculous stuff like the Antipodes study above? Would you fund that from the public purse? I would not.

      There must be a limit to what can be done with tax dollars. Where is it, how do we find it and then stick to it? If we don’t get a grip on this problem it’s going to destroy science, not to mention lives.

      I’m sorry for the need to challenge you about this. But the other side of the coin desperately needs attention.


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    So! What else is new?

    QUOTE:

    A vital element in keeping (future Australians safe is our climate-science establishment). Our (science must be cutting edge), ready for instant action, so that no potential (climate change) may be (allowed to put Australia at) risk (of) destruction.

    Our (“scientific establishment”) today bears little relation to that known to any of my predecessors in (pre-Mann-MadeGW days) or indeed to (all previous generations of scientists).

    Until the (creation of the “global-warming” Industrial Complex) (Australia) had no (“climate-’science’”) industry. (Australian science establishments) could, with time and as required, (investigate and/or research climate issues) as well. But now we (are told we may) no longer risk emergency improvisation of (matters of “climate change”); we have been compelled to create a permanent (“climate ‘science’”) industry of vast proportions. Added to this, (many) men and women are directly engaged in the (“climate ‘science’”) establishment (and) we annually spend (vast sums) on (“climate”) “security.”

    This conjunction of an immense (government/climate-science establishment and a large (“green”) industry is new in the Australian experience. The total influence: economic, political, (especially) “spiritual;” is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We (are bombarded with propaganda insisting upon) the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved (and) so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of (the Australian experience), we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the “climate-’science’” industrial complex. The disastrous rise of misplaced power (is a fact of the Australian Left’s policy) and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper constraining and/or meshing of (political-power-grabbing Left Wing governments with the “scientific” and “green”-industrial machinery with our traditions, institutions, way of life), methods and goals, so that (societal) security and liberty may prosper together.

    Akin to and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our (“scientific”-industrial-governmental posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central. (It has also) become more formalized, complex and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for by or at the direction of the federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of “scientists” in “laboratories” and “testing fields.” In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge (hand-outs) involved, a government (grant has become the) substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every (actual researcher of old) there are now hundreds of computer (modelers).

    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.

    END QUOTE (With apologies to the United States of America’s then president, Dwight David Eisenhower)

    And them thar Lefties reckon they’re on the cutting (“progressive”) edge, eh?

    Brian Richard Allen
    Lost Angels – California 90028
    And The Very Far Away


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    Jean S

    I think you may add

    Step 3 b): If you do choose to publish, and something goes wrong, just claim it is a normal part of science, it does not matter, and that you found everything by yourself. If necessary, let the senior author give untrue statements to press.

    On June 15th, Dr. Karoly gave the following statement to The Australian (google a sentance in order to gain a free access to the article):

    Then Karoly stepped in. In an email to McIntyre he suggests it is the research team that first identified the mix-up but gives kudos to the bloggers “for your scrutiny . . . which also identified this data processing issue”.

    McIntyre believes the bloggers got there first, and points out that posts debating the Gergis analysis set the scene for the June 5 discovery. Karoly says the Gergis team had not seen these posts before June 5. “Several of the co-authors have chosen not to read the Climate Audit website because of the cynical and derogatory comments that are posted about climate change and climate scientists,” he says.

    This is untrue in many ways as revealed by emails released by a recent FOI request. For example, Gergis had written the following email to the rest of the authors already on June 1st:

    Climate Audit post
    Joelle Gergis
    Sent:01 June 2012 15:47
    To: David John Karoly; Raphael Neukom [retracted] Ailie Jane Eyre Gallant; s.phipps@[retracted]

    We should all be aware that this is unfolding:
    http://climateaudit.org/2012/05/31/myles-allen-calls-for-name-and-shame/#more-16194

    Isn’t this Dr. Karoly the same person who recently claimed high morel ground by stating that he prefered that “the comments of people like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt were, in fact, correct”?


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    pat

    greg hunt is at the Carbon Expo in Melbourne and, as i type, has a half hour on A-PAC which i have no interest in watching; however, here’s a clue as to what he is saying in these reports on the Expo:

    9 Nov: Bloomberg: Mike Anderson/James Paton Australia Ready to Join Europe in Extended Kyoto Pledge
    The European Union, overseeing the world’s largest emissions market, and Australia, which agreed to link with the EU system starting in 2015, are increasingly in sync on climate policies…
    Besides agreeing to an extended commitment to the 1997 Kyoto treaty, the EU and Australia are holding out the possibility of making greater pledges to cut emissions to encourage similar global action. New Zealand said today it won’t renewed(sic) its pledge to the Kyoto agreement.
    “By signing onto Kyoto as well as linking our emissions trading scheme with the European Union, Australian liable entities will now have access to almost all of the current global carbon market,” Combet said…
    The coalition supports the target of reducing Australia’s emissions by 5 percent this decade and would commit as much as A$750 million a year to reward entities that demonstrate their climate spending is the most cost-efficient, Hunt said.
    Asked if the coalition supports a renewed commitment to Kyoto, Hunt said his party supports international action to address climate change.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-08/australia-ready-to-join-europe-in-extended-kyoto-climate-pledge.html

    9 Nov: Herald Sun: AAP: Peter Osborne: Australia backs new Kyoto protocol
    The federal coalition has given in-principle support, subject to the current bipartisan emissions-cut target of five per cent on 2000 levels by 2020.
    “Our clear goal and intention is to be part of a further commitment period, but of course we would need to see the final terms,” opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt told AAP.
    “We support the current targets, irrespective of whether a new agreement is struck, and will achieve those targets if elected.”
    However, the coalition is concerned domestic emissions are forecast to rise under Labor’s carbon tax…
    British Secretary of State for Climate Change Edward Davey said the announcement would spur on other countries to sign.
    “Having Australia on board will really help to push the second Kyoto protocol period … as we make the transition to a new, global, legally binding deal,” Mr Davey said in a statement.
    But New Zealand won’t be following Australia’s lead, with Climate Change Minister Tim Groser saying his country stood by its existing commitments.
    Mr Combet was applauded at the Carbon Expo when he described Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s anti-carbon tax campaign as “complete bulls***”.
    He said Mr Abbott’s campaign had yielded good political dividends for 18 months but the tables had turned since the tax came into effect from July 1
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/australia-will-sign-kyoto-2-combet/story-e6frf7kf-1226513561421

    and this is why i will continue to vote informal.


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      The Black Adder

      This is big Pat!!

      Where are you Tony from Rocky ???

      “By signing onto Kyoto as well as linking our emissions trading scheme with the European Union, Australian liable entities will now have access to almost all of the current global carbon market,” Combet said…

      What the hell has Combet (aka Buddy Holly) done to us by signing this f#$n agreement??

      Is this Kyoto Mark II, I have not heard about this?

      Someone here, besides JB able to comment?


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        I don’t think anyone’s interested any more.

        They’ve won.

        Let ‘em crap on all they like.

        Until they actually close down coal fired power plants, all they have is hot air ….. and our money, but no one wants to hear that any more. It’s just a matter now of shifting blame, and, as usual, we’re the target.

        Tony.


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    Andrew

    How dare you draw the taxpayer couple as an OPPOSITE SEX partnership! How homophobic and heteronormative of you!

    (Unless of course the person in the dress is in fact a transvestite / transgender / Q or is otherwise bisexual / polyamorous and simultaneously partnered with another person currently, previously or with a future intent of being of the same gender – in which case I apologise.)


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      The Black Adder

      Hehehehee… Of course, you could just blame Tony Abbott!


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      Andrew McRae

      I noticed that too. Still more outrageous is that they are holding hands!
      You must stay further away than an arm’s length. No holding hands in the prison planet. It could lead to violations of the Two-Child policy.
      Damn breeders! :o How will we halt all the Climate Change caused by overpopulation with proles brazenly going around holding hands with impunity! ;)


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    pat

    here is the Liberal Government of Victoria sponsoring an elaborate CAGW CO2 lovefest:

    Carbon Expo 7-9 Nov 2012: Australia’s premier carbon trade fair & conference
    The event is to be hosted by leading carbon market industry associations the Carbon Market Institute and the Investor Group on Climate Change with the event’s Foundation Sponsor the Victorian Government…
    Diamond Sponsors include Westpac, AGL, Santos, Ernst & Young, Baker & McKenzie
    Platinum Sponsors include LRQA [Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance] & GE (use cursor to see all Workshop & Trade sponsors)
    Media partners: Bloomberg, Ecogeneration etc
    http://www.carbonexpo.com.au/

    9 Nov: Ecogeneration: See EcoGeneration at Carbon Expo this week
    The conference program for Carbon Expo will feature Australian and international industry leaders in carbon markets and carbon trading, in addition to leaders from across the political spectrum, including:
    Federal Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet
    Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus
    Federal Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage Greg Hunt…
    http://ecogeneration.com.au/news/see_ecogeneration_at_carbon_expo_this_week/078630/

    Ecogeneration is owned by Great Southern Press who tell nothing of who they are on their website
    http://gs-press.com.au/about/#our_people

    Great Southern Press Print Products
    http://gs-press.com.au/print/

    Linkedin: Chris Bland, Publisher, Great Southern Press
    http://au.linkedin.com/in/chriswbland

    Linkedin: Zelda Tupicoff, CEO, Great Southern Press
    http://au.linkedin.com/pub/zelda-tupicoff/19/47b/666?trk=pub-pbmap


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      The Black Adder

      Carbon Expo 7-9 Nov 2012: Australia’s premier carbon trade fair & conference

      I did not know there was a trade in Carbon!!

      I thought it was Carbon Dioxide… silly me!!


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    pat

    bolt has a thread on combet at carbon expo yet, if he’d held off a little, he and those commenting might have been able to mock the Coalition as well as the laborites. bolt includess transcript of a ridiculous tony abbott interview with lisa wilkinson (is she channel 9? there’s no link) about bringing down electricity prices, in which he repeatedly refuses to offer any solution other than getting rid of the carbon tax. why not say we will also review the RET? at least that would be something:

    Bolt: Combet’s global warming circus gets worse
    Greg Combet signs us up to a futile scheme that does not include the world’s biggest emitters…
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/combets_global_warming_circus_gets_worse/P0/

    7 Nov: FraserCoastChronicle: Nikenbah solar farm to help determine green energy benefits
    QUEENSLAND’S first community solar farm was officially opened this morning at Nikenbah with Energy Minister Mark McArdle cutting the ceremonial red ribbon.
    The MP said he was pleased to launch the $2.7 million project, which is also the state’s largest ground-mounted solar installation and will be used to offset the power consumption of Wide Bay Water Corporation.
    “It is a great honour to be opening this solar farm in the Fraser Coast,” Mr McArdle said.
    “What the farm is doing is helping us to understand solar energy, helping us to understand the industry and more importantly helping us to plan for the future.”
    Mr McArdle said although the former Bligh Government initiated the project the LNP had been quiet happy to take it up…
    “We need to look at this as a model,” he said…
    The MP said there was a general misconception about green energy that he claimed had been promoted by the Bligh and Gillard Governments and he said many Queenslanders wrongfully still believed green energy was mostly cost free.
    He suggested the Hervey Bay solar farm would help the LNP to better establish the associated costs with operating such a site.
    Ingenero chief executive Steve McRae said the 400 kilowatt solar farm had the potential to create enough power to supply about 100 houses…
    http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/minister-opens-qlds-first-solar-farm-nikenbah/1612919/


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    Andrew McRae

    Let us say these Climate-related ARC grants are propaganda factories.
    We know where the government (or its puppetmasters) make a buck out of global warming. We know the low-income segment makes a buck out of carbon tax compensation (at least until the compo runs out in 3 years).
    The grants are propping up expansion of state control and is government wealth redistribution by another name.

    If you watch nothing else in this old video from the Von Mises Institute, watch the 25 seconds from 11:03 to 11:28 here, which I transcribe for videophobes:

    I always say there’s a three word lexicon that explains the Tax Economy; Need, Greed, and Compassion. Need now means wanting someone else’s money, Greed means wanting to keep your own, and Compassion is the sentiment of the politician who wants to arrange the transfer. ;)
    These good old words have been completely perverted by the Tax Economy.
      - Joseph Sobran, Senior Editor of the National Review.

    The Greedy are those whom merely want to keep their earnings in their own pocket. The Needy are the banks, bureaucrats, government spinmeisters, regulation goons, pseudoscience fanatics, politicised science factories, delusional greens, and UN flunkies who desire a slice of the public’s money. The Compassionate are represented by the Rudds, Gillards, Howards, and Turnbulls of the village who are only too happy to make corrections in the market.

    As an aside, Ludwig von Mises, to his credit, did not refer to Keynesians as even being economists. He referred to them as “interventionist authors and politicians”. :)

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
      In Ludwig We Trust.


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    Blimey, that’s a lot of money to be spending on compost materials…

    We really need someone to actually set up an independent funding body that actually puts the science first and so construct it that it cannot fall into the hands of the politicians. Be hard to do, but I think its the only way out of this mess long term…

    It could also pass independent judgement on the quality of funding decisions made by government bodies as well. In effect define the standard they should follow.


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      Philip Shehan

      ecoguy, as I point out above (#35 and other comments, the ARC like the NH& MRC is an independent funding body. Projects are assessed and grants awarded are assessed by the most qualified and emminent researchers in the various fields. I know this because I have been involved in these processes as an applicant (successful and unsuccessful) and an assessor, unlike so many of those here pontificating here.

      It is political interference in this process that is being suggested by Ms Nova and many comments here.


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        Roy Hogue

        Philip,

        For better or for worse, no matter where you are, politics is how we govern ourselves. The very existence of a huge global warming “industry” sucking at the public tit tells me not to trust your confidence that all is well.

        I’m not challenging your honesty but I think you’re myopic because maybe you’re too close to the “system”.

        As a living, breathing citizen of this world I want better accountability for how tax dollars are spent. No, I demand it. You should too.


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        Gee Aye

        I’m with you Philip, if anyone presents some evidence for their assertions then there would be something to discuss. I see lots of toxic jealousy and fearful conspiracies.


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    [...] Lewandowsky’s name is listed on ARC grants totalling $2 million since 2007. (See here and here). More often, his “Disclosures” simply say he gets money from the ARC and has no commercial [...]


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    [...] Lewandowsky’s name is listed on ARC grants totalling $2 million since 2007. (See here and here). More often, his “Disclosures” simply say he gets money from the ARC and has no commercial [...]


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