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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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Climate Research Group caught using taxes to lobby and party? NSF ticks it off

It must be some kind of misunderstanding. I’m sure the $25,000 Christmas Party was important to shed light on the impacts of climate change. (I think it’s already telling us something about invasive species.)

How could  fine, infinitely-caring experts do such a thing? (Could it be — character is destiny — the self-serving are serving themselves?)

The Washington Post reports that a climate research group got caught partying and boozing on taxpayer funds in a draft audit, but what’s worse, the National Science Foundation and Defense Department officials are under investigation because they signed off on it. A whistleblower leaked the sordid story, and now two US Senators are investigating. They warn that this may be a widespread practice because NSF documents show the foundation knew what the expenses were but still paid them.

Sens. Paul, Grassley challenge climate group’s spending on lobbying, alcohol and parties

Kimberly Kindy

Two senators are investigating whether the National Science Foundation and Defense Department auditors skirted federal laws by signing off on a nonprofit organization’s use of taxpayer money for “unallowable expenses,” including alcohol, lobbying and extravagant parties.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said the practice came to his attention earlier this year when a whistleblower provided him with a draft audit that showed a climate change group used federal funds to pay $112,000 for lobbying, $25,000 for an office Christmas party, and $11,000 for “premium coffee services” and an unspecific amount on French hotels.

The partiers were the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) — who received $90 million this year from the NSF.

On its Web site, NEON says it will collect data on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources from 106 sites across the nation over a 30-year period. The sites where scientists will collect their data are still largely under construction, and NEON says it will not be in full operation until 2017.

From 2009 to 2013, NEON classified all the expenses that Grassley and Paul are questioning as a “management fee.”

But it’s the cover up that is even uglier:

Internal documents show that the NSF was told by NEON that it was having a difficult time covering the costs because it had little in the way of private funds.

 Not once but twice:

According to Grassley’s staff, the auditor said two levels of supervisors signed off on his work. However, he told the senator’s staff that he said he believes the audit had stalled because DCAA management was concerned about spark a controversy for the high-profile program, the foundation, and the defense department.

Grassley’s staff said the auditor came forward because he believed the audit was going to be “whitewashed.”

The Washington Post

Bring on the audits and give the whistleblower a medal.

h/t to Willie

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Climate Research Group caught using taxes to lobby and party? NSF ticks it off, 9.1 out of 10 based on 76 ratings

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69 comments to Climate Research Group caught using taxes to lobby and party? NSF ticks it off

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      TdeF

      Interesting link. The first time I have read any actual connection between CO2, Global Warming, Climate Change and the new Extreme Weather Events. I wondered about “the science”.

      “Extreme weather events, which will increase in frequency and severity as global temperatures rise, are already taking their toll.”

      So Extreme Weather Events taking their toll are a consequence, of course, of a global temperature rise which has not happened for 17 years? Then the NSW bushfires in 2013 which Tim Flannery said were a Climate Change Extreme Event were caused by a very slight temperature rise which occurred in the mid 1990s followed the increase in CO2 in the 1980s, not the drought, the inevitable heavy rains in 2010 which ended the drought and the lush growth or the fact that the army admitted starting it. Of course.

      As for public servants partying on public money, the total cost of Rio, Copenhagen, Durban, New York? Business class airfares, limousines, quality hotels for hundreds of thousands of public servants to meet and discuss a the greatest moral challenge of a generation? There is a moral challenge, but it is not the weather. In the internet age Australia sent over 130 public servants to Copenhagen alone. A new UN orchestrated bacchanalia, an extreme event in itself.

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        Peter C

        There is a moral challenge, but it is not the weather.

        ;-)

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        Greg Cavanagh

        You’ve just scratched the surface TdeF.
        Consider also Kevin Rudd and what he cost the nation, and gave to the UN. Why? Because he was looking forward to a future when he was some sort of diplomat for the UN. He cost us dearly in the hope of a better job for himself.

        In fact the UN, EU, and all other such World Wide authorities do it for the same reason.

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        Skeptik

        You forget the cost of the ‘ladies of the night’ (although there are other preferences …).
        I believe that there was a mass migration (female, professional) to Durban. The other sex was less documented (blame the ZA press, not me!)

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    • #

      You really do have to wonder about the nature of the species, don’t you. What sort of people are we living amongst that they would make such absurd claims.

      Which of the so-called green jobs are not subsidised and would not disappear the minute that consumers weren’t forced to subsidise them? And where does the money come for all the tree planting programs and public works programs. That’s right, it is leftist magic money. The Left deal in magic money, magic jobs and magic technology. In the fantasy world they construct in their minds we all fly in solar powered jumbos, drive electric Ferraris and work as eco tour guides in forests being paid with magic money that comes from … somewhere.

      How many of the ‘renewable energy jobs’ in China are in toxic factories churning out solar panels to sell to dumb leftist Western countries? I remember once hearing this twerp talk about getting rid of ‘dirty’ industries and replacing ‘clean, green industries’ like those making wind turbines. And when he said it, his voice went all soft and warm and fuzzy as if he were talking about a cute little animal. What a DUMB commie. What do you think wind turbines are made from, you idiot? That’s right, metals that are mined and transported using fossil fueled trucks, trains and ships, and are refined mostly in coal-burning foundries. And those turbine blades may be composite rather than metal. Know where resin comes from, Comrade? That’s right, from the petrochemical industry. You have to always remember that not all leftists are evil; most of them are just plain dumb.

      Beliefs do not have an existence of their own. They are the product of the mind of the person who holds them. If you want to understand a person’s beliefs, look at the person and not at their beliefs. For example, take a good hard look at the warmists and you will find that many, if not most, fit into one of the following five categories:

      1. They are psychopaths who will do or say anything to keep the money flowing in. Think of a certain carbon billionaire.

      2. They are self-loathing leftists who for one reason or another see themselves as victims of society and therefore are drawn to every cause that operates against the interests of society. Put simply, they want revenge, and like the common vandal they live for nothing other than the sense of malicious pleasure they experience when they bring other people down by destroying things of value to them.

      3. They are juveniles whose puppy hormones have kicked in compelling them to socially advertise themselves by adopting causes that have the appearance of being virtuous. The people in category 1 ruthlessly exploit these naive juveniles.

      4. They are well-meaning but not very bright people who respond to simple messages and are not able to reason through complex problems. Think of your typical thin, bearded, thirty-something, straw-hat-wearing public servant who is deeply concerned about the environment and speaks of it in grave, breathless tones. Such people respond to simple messages such as CO2 causing catastrophic warming. Their concern manifests as support for all sorts of absurd proposals to reduce CO2 output, but, because they are not able to reason through complex problems, they cannot see how absurd their ideas are. Their support for renewables is nothing more than a WISH that renewables were a practicable solution.

      5. They are alert to the problems their ideas will cause but for one reason or another they believe the ‘benefits’ outweigh the harms. (This one is an out for me – in these authoritarian times we all know that we have to take great care with comments that might be taken to reflect on particular individuals.)

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    Things have never been the same since the tax-funded binge at Copenhagen. Nobody wants to pay for a beano or two, never mind a carbon tax.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/the-real-doh-about-doha/

    Pointman

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    Peter Miller

    So what’s the fuss?

    Is any ‘climate funding’ spent wisely?

    Boondoggles and manipulated data, add goofy activists, gullible politicians, a biased media, dishonourable ‘scientists’ and Gazprom funding and not surprisingly everyone involved wants to party at the taxpayers’ expense.

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    diogenese2

    I think that some arithmetic and a sense of proportion is here needed to gain an insight into the process at work here. The sums involved in the headline are no less than 0.015% of the annual grant. Some 0.004% was spent on “staff welfare”. Had I spent 10* that on maintaining the morale of my staff I would not have had any, certainly not the personal loyalty I was privileged to enjoy. What’s a Christmas party FFS! The headline obscures the actual issue of “where has the money gone?”. The (unquantified) reference to “management fees ” point to a rather bigger issue. Also the information that (apparently) 5 years of activity (since 2009) has produced NO outcome, nor will for at least 3 years (2017). This rather indicates a serious issue of quality control within the NSF!
    That NEON may be brought down by maladministration of 0.015% of their budget reminds me of the fate of Al Capone, gangster, criminal and mass murderer who was eventually destryed by a charge of Tax Evasion!
    As an aside, many decades ago I was privileged to occupy his cell in Alcatraz, in pitch darkness, in the days when this was part of the tour. I have a nostalgic regret that this outcome is no longer available for our current miscreants (nor is the tour).
    It would be a bit crowded in there.

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      Graeme No.3

      There is the vague reference to French hotels. What is a national organisation doing in France?

      Also the reporter’s version isn’t a model of clarity, but it seems NEON got $90 million and handed out about half to “sub-contractors”. Where did the rest go? And why did it have to do any lobbying (for more funds)?

      And looking at the number of organisations involved makes me wonder whether a stringent round of “zero budget” allocating is needed. I mean that several need to justify their existence, let alone being left to bleat for more funding which will apparently produce a result about the time global warming starts again.

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        Rodzki

        Maybe it’s a euphemism – along the lines of French Letter or French Kiss. Maybe a “French Hotel” is a venue for salacious partying.

        Saving the planet is hard work. You’ve got to have some time to get your rocks off!

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          Graeme No.3

          The problem as far as the auditor was concerned was
          1. there are strict instructions from the Government on what they can’t spend money on.
          2. they went and spent it on those anyway
          3. then they tried to cover it up

          I agree with diogenese2 that the sums mentioned are not significant, but they were breaking the regulations, and they knew it. With the attitude that “it’s our money and we can spend it anyway we like” there are likely to be other dodgy expenses. Has the auditor told all? Did he think that he hadn’t found other covered up amounts?

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            Yes, Graeme, I think the issue the senators are most concerned about is whether this is a widespread practice of the NSF and DoD. Do they actively turn a blind eye to expenses that breach clear rules?

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            Sceptical Sam

            And what’s more, their arrogant disregard for the proper expenditure of taxpayers’ funds and its cover-up is symptomatic of a much deeper ethical issue.

            If they are prepared do treat taxpayers with such arrogant and cavalier disregard, then it’s a very short step to treat the “science” with similar cavalier disregard. Especially if its manipulation tells can be made to tell the warmists’ story.

            The evidence is pretty well in on both of those issues.

            One shouldn’t generalize, however, an audit of Australia’s BoM would most likely show a very similar mode of behaviour, regrettably. Along with an ethical and moral malaise.

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              MRW

              Taxpayers don’t pay for government expenses in countries with a sovereign non-convertible currency and a floating exchange rate, such as Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United States.

              Taxes as, or for, revenue has been obsolete in those countries, and others, from the days when their currency was no longer convertible to a metal. For the US that was 1934.

              The hauteur over expenditure of taxpayers’ funds should rightly be replaced by a sense of civic duty required of all citizens regardless of their present income situation.

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                Sceptical Sam

                That’s obviously what Wayne Swan, the class warfare socialist, thought too with his voodoo economics.

                Swan and his MRW look-alikes ran up a Commonwealth debt that currently totals $339.4 billion which Hockey is desperately trying to bring under control with taxpayers’ money.

                I hope your understanding of science is a tad better than your nonsensical understanding of economics MRW.

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                Gbees

                What the hell are you talking about? What complete drivel.

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    TdeF

    Next week is Climate Week in NY. “120 Heads of State to attend Climate Summit in New York” Not ebola, the Ukraine, world wide Islamic extremism, air safety, crises in the Middle East, world economies but about the desperate need to do something about the terrible global warming which is not happening and of which there has been no sign for seventeen years? Now that is an extremely expensive weather event, hosted partly by Leonardo di Caprio, the new UN messenger of Peace. Unbelievable.

    Clearly global warming has created and sustained worldwide economic growth and vast Green opportunities not least for employment, without any actual sign of warming. WWI lasted four years. WWII lasted six years. The Global warming crisis and supporting industries have lasted for twenty years without doing any damage or warming. Oh, the humanity!

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      scaper...

      Actually, there is a summit on Islamic extremism (Islamic State) the day after the wankfest that Tony Abbott will be attending.

      Julie Bishop drew the short straw and will be attending the fest. Julie has already stated she won’t be playing ball. Last I heard, Greg Hunt has no interest in attending the fest. I believe he is in Europe and is flying back now to attend Parliament sittings next week.

      Australia is slowly backing away from the madness.

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        Yonniestone

        Often to induce change all it takes is the actions of the unassuming or forgotten to stir the memories of what was once to the what once were.

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    Chuck Nolan

    Turn them over to Trey Gowdy.
    He’s a hawk.

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      Roy Hogue

      I’d give a lot for a couple of dozen more of Trey Gowdy. He’s not a hawk though, more like an angry pitbull with a taste for corrupt public officials slowly roasted over an open fire.

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    The result of it all is budget cuts to things that matter while global warming flatlines. So will these climate criminals be charged with simple theft or get away with it?

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    John F. Hultquist

    NEON seems like a scam of the 1st order. It would be interesting to know who thought this up and what connections (wink, wink) exist between the proponents and the funding agent.

    I wonder how many studies like this the US Govt. has? For example:
    http://www.fia.fs.fed.us/library/fact-sheets/data-collections/Sampling%20and%20Plot%20Design.pdf

    Overview.
    The FIA Program collects, analyzes, and reports information on the status, trends, and condition of America’s forests: how much forest exists, where it exists, who owns it, and how it is changing, as well as how the trees and other forest vegetation are growing and how much has died or has been removed in recent years
    .”

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    the Griss

    The very tip of the iceberg…..seems to be on the rocks !!

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    Chris in Hervey Bay.

    They, the National Ecological Observatory Network, seem to be like the AWU, CFMEU, HSU / HWU here in Australia.

    I wonder who taught who ?

    This corruption seems to me to be a world wide cancer.

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    Party Lank

    Only $25,000 for an office Christmas party?
    These people either have very miserable social lives or the team consists of a small handful of heavy drinkers.
    Do they celebrate on other occasions?

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    stephen

    It seems every time you read a paper or watch a news bulletin some one somewhere is ripping of the public or just plain corrupt, it is passed time something was done.
    Start putting a few in jail !

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      And that is just exactly it, isn’t it Stephen (and Roy, Greg etc).

      Corruption breeds more corruption. When the lack of respect for the rules and for the taxpayer is endemic even moderately conscientious people stop bothering — they figure they guy in the next office is doing it, so why shouldn’t they? Keeping up with the Joneses takes on a new meaning.

      There must be a phase change point on the curve where the pace accelerates dramatically, and most countries exist in a state far beyond that — where everyone games the system. The marvel of the West is that for decades most of the people were honest most of the time.

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        Murray Dalton

        Jo, “There must be a phase change point on the curve where the pace accelerates dramatically” I think you have just identified a new tipping point.

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        Graeme No.3

        When the lack of respect for the rules is endemic, even moderately conscientious people stop bothering -

        Look at Greece or Italy. In both countries the government was regarded as a joke (and for good reason) and people stopped paying taxes and behaving like good citizens. Of 17,000 pools swimming pools in a rich Athens suburb only 324 had been declared on tax returns. Tax office officials were thought to have embezzled about 40% of fines, and discarded (for a bribe?) another 40%.

        Some years ago the tax authorities in Italy trapped one movie producer. As was usual he had declared his income as a fraction of the real value (say $6000 instead of $130,000). The tax authorities issued a list of estimated income for prominent people in the industry, and his name was well down the list around $25,000. He was so indignant at being rated so lowly, that he revealed his real income.

        The problem becomes much bigger when everyone decides that money going to the Government only gets wasted. The EU is doing their best with spending on ‘climate change’ to persuade europeans to just that notion.

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    pat

    19 Sept: NY Daily News: Al Jazeera America suing Al Gore
    Al Jazeera America says it is entitled to the money because Gore, the network’s former owner, did not live up to a promise to indemnify the network for claims made against Current TV.
    In August Gore and Hyatt sued the network, saying that it was improperly withholding tens of millions of dollars placed in escrow when Al Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million.
    Al Jazeera America says it is entitled to the money because Gore and Hyatt did not live up to a promise to indemnify the network for claims made against Current TV. It accuses the pair of “misrepresentations.”…
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/al-jazeera-america-suing-al-gore-article-1.1945816

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    Roy Hogue

    Damn, I wish I was a senator. If I couldn’t find a better place to start chasing corruption than $25,000 I’d let you throw me down the capitol steps in disgrace and toss me straight into the Potomac.

    What’s the matter with Grassley? Why is he worrying about a paltry $25,000 when the president’s wife flies off to Africa on an extravagant vacation, taking her daughters along listed as staff to the First Lady and tries to justify it as some sort of goodwill mission — spending millions in aircraft costs alone.

    Grassley, the place to start is at the top of the corruption pile. Not down in the NSF somewhere. Just dump the NSF and get it over. We don’t need it anyway.

    Get a grip senator, get a grip.

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      Greg Cavanagh

      I’ll bet you could throw a dart in any direction and hit corruption.
      It can’t be that hard to find.

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        Roy Hogue

        You cheated and looked, didn’t you? ;-)

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        The challenge would be to find something that was not corrupt.

        The unlimited power to coerce wealth from its producers both living (taxes) and unborn (deficit spending) attracts the worst sort of parasites. Because of that, the environment is inherently corrupt and corrupting. It is powered by attempts to rewrite reality that attempts to cut the ties between cause and effect, and trying to get away with the impossible at other people’s expense. In other words it is Government in action.

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          Roy Hogue

          My wife just received an unsolicited letter from our old friends the World Wildlife Fund, complete with a bookmark and a number of handy wildlife stamps to put on correspondence or wherever. I note that the address in the seductive come-on letter is in Washington DC.

          Could it possibly be a coincidence that all the political pressure groups live in DC? I’ll leave the answer as an exercise for you, dear reader.

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    pat

    18 Sept: Climate Depot: Marc Morano: Gore preaches climate urgency at seminary: Allowing global warming is ‘Heaping contempt upon God’s creation’
    (Video of Gore’s speech here) – Also see: Video: Al Gore’s microphone fails while quoting Jesus on word ‘hypocrite’
    http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/09/18/gore-preaches-climate-urgency-at-seminary-allowing-global-warming-is-heaping-contempt-upon-gods-creation/

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      the Griss

      Really.. WHO does Gore think provided all that lovely coal and oil for us to use !!

      It would be wrong of us, from a religious perspective, to NOT use this gift HE/SHE has given us. !!

      HE/SHE wants us to use the coal and oil so as to replenish the CO2 in the atmosphere.

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        Safetyguy66

        And then get this. If your head isn’t spinning yet….

        Whats the end game for the religious in this debate?

        Are they saying that we have to keep the world in pristine condition so it can be destroyed in the approved biblical manner? WTH is the point of worrying what sort of world your children will inherit if they are likely to be sucked from it during the “rapture” anyway???

        The conflicting ideologies, the twisted logic, the contradictory belief sets, all held with equal vehemence.

        Reality is a distraction to these people….

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      Safetyguy66

      So Al has not put 2 and 2 together that if God did in fact create the universe etc, they he/she/it must also be responsible for global warming/AGW/climate change/climate disruption/unicorn crap.

      So the real question is, why arnt we taxing the religious to pay for it?

      Im going back to my padded room now, the droolers I share it with make more sense than the outside world.

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    pat

    14 Sept: Slate: Eric Holthaus: Forward, March!
    Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
    In a recent post on his Columbia University blog, ex-NASA climate scientist James Hansen, who first brought the issue of global warming to Congress in 1988, continued his push for climate activism: “Why march? You will have to answer to your children. You understood the situation at a time when it was not too late. Instead of standing up for them, did you choose to sit at home?”
    It seems his colleagues are listening…
    Peter deMenocal, Columbia University
    Expertise: Deep-sea sediments as evidence of past climate change.
    Attending the march?: “Yeah, I live here, so it’s easy.”…
    Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University
    Expertise: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report lead author.
    Attending the march?: Yes…
    Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University
    Expertise: Bridging the dialogue between science and religion.
    Attending the march?: No, but helped advise a satellite march in Flagstaff, Arizona…
    Kerry Emanuel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Expertise: Tropical cyclones and climate change.
    Attending the march?: No, “but I am delighted it is happening.”…
    Heidi Cullen, Climate Central
    Expertise: Communication on climate change.
    Attending the march?: Yes…
    Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University
    Expertise: Paleoclimate reconstructions, including the famous “hockey stick” graph.
    Attending the march?: No, will be at a conference in the United Kingdom…
    Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute
    Expertise: Water policy and climate change.
    Attending the march?: No, but “I would go if I was in town. I made an explicit decision not to fly to New York because of the carbon cost.”…
    Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), IPCC vice chairman
    Expertise: International climate policy.
    Attending the march?: Yes, but will not participate due to conflict with official IPCC roles and responsibilities…
    (This article is part of Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate.)
    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/09/people_s_climate_march_nine_leading_scientists_on_why_you_should_go.html

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    pat

    19 Sept: WSJ: Climate Science Is Not Settled
    We are very far from the knowledge needed to make good climate policy, writes leading scientist Steven E. Koonin
    My training as a computational physicist—together with a 40-year career of scientific research, advising and management in academia, government and the private sector—has afforded me an extended, up-close perspective on climate science. Detailed technical discussions during the past year with leading climate scientists have given me an even better sense of what we know, and don’t know, about climate. I have come to appreciate the daunting scientific challenge of answering the questions that policy makers and the public are asking.
    The crucial scientific question for policy isn’t whether the climate is changing. That is a settled matter: The climate has always changed and always will…
    Nor is the crucial question whether humans are influencing the climate. That is no hoax…
    Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole…
    Yet the models famously fail to capture this slowing in the temperature rise. Several dozen different explanations for this failure have been offered, with ocean variability most likely playing a major role. But the whole episode continues to highlight the limits of our modeling…
    ***That uncertainty need not be an excuse for inaction. There is well-justified prudence in accelerating the development of low-emissions technologies and in cost-effective energy-efficiency measures..
    Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future…
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/climate-science-is-not-settled-1411143565
    ***(Dr. Koonin was undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term and is currently director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University. His previous positions include professor of theoretical physics and provost at Caltech, as well as chief scientist of BP, where his work focused on renewable and low-carbon energy technologies.)

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    TdeF

    One tries to understand the arguments, but this morning’s article by Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor for the Australian just makes no sense. He says “good science and good physics says global temperature will rise in response to higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.” However he says “the debate is stuck on whether the “hiatus” in global average temperature rise has not lasted 15 years or 19 years”? No, it is stuck on the fact that the first statement is wrong.

    Then he lists the usual ideas including that natural cycles are masking the rise and increased ocean heat. “The confusion does not mean climate change is not real”. At this point I am lost. What confusion? If the rise in atmospheric temperatures in the 1990s was caused by CO2 and the models matched the results perfectly, how could the heat suddenly decide to go somewhere else? How can the models be right and then wrong?

    Then if the missing heat really went into the oceans, which are 400x as massive as the atmosphere (4km deep, 1 atmosphere per 10 metres), doesn’t simple heat capacity mean the temperature rise is 1/400th and no problem at all?

    So how can you have Global Warming without warming of the atmosphere? How can you have a Climate Change problem caused by an atmospheric temperature rise which is not happening? How can you have extreme events without a cause? Who is confused? It is not happening.

    Despite the fact that the heads of state for India, China, Japan, Canada, Australi are not going to New York and many others are just sending a minister, the conference is still expected to be significant and officially what is said will be more important than who says it. Really? Saudi Arabia is sending their Petroleum Minister. Does no one see a problem with that?

    As for the Climate conference in Copenhagen which every agrees was an abject failure. Does no one remember that the delegates were near frozen and it descended into farce?

    Finally he says China can highlight new rules on coal imports as a sign of good faith on climate mitigation? No, it could just be about a slowing Chinese economy, import restrictions, dropping domestic demand, foreign exchange levels, debt and protecting the local coal industry. The desire to praise the carbon policies of the Chinese is just perverse.

    What Global Warming? I must be confused.

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    john robertson

    The fallout from CAGW will focus taxpayer attention directly onto our kleptocracy.
    Bureaucracy is a cancer, unless starved to a rigid diet, it always grows to consume the host.
    Apparently the ratio of stupid and grabby are a constant of human populations.
    This thing we call civilization needs a constant morality play, to guide the fools and restrain the bandits.
    Apparently rule of law, impartial application of these laws and defence of the resulting wealth all require a bureaucracy to administer them.
    The function of the bureaus and those who volunteer to oversee them(Trust me I want to be your leader), is to provide this performance, to put on a show designed to convince the weak-minded amongst us that civilization is real.
    However the rest of us do not require this constant reinforcement of our morals nor our ethics, therefore we should be free to exact dramatic punishment upon these paid actors who fail to perform their roles .
    To quote the Vogons, “Deaths too good for them”.

    Failed politicians and criminal bureaucrats all require fitting punishment for their crimes against society.

    Hows that for “Social Justice”?

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      Roy Hogue

      John,

      The question before civilization is not what’s wrong. We know what’s wrong. The question is how to get enough of society to quit sucking the public teat long enough to teach them to pay better attention. The question is how to get something done about the corruption once identified and do it without destroying what you’re trying to save.

      Remember, one man’s corruption is probably another man’s livelihood. It ain’t as easy as talking about it or it would have been solved way back when the first humans formed tribes because they realized there was an advantage in being part of a group.

      I seriously doubt that human society has ever been free of corruption. At various times we’ve no doubt been better off than at others. But now, the advent of fast easy communication has enabled the corrupt to go global. I can communicate with Jo from the U.S. and get an answer back in as little as minutes. And so can the bad guys communicate just as easily. They coordinate their efforts very well. Why don’t the good guys do the same? Probably because there’s easier living in being the bad guy than in being the good.

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        john robertson

        Just so, we cannot tell the good from the bad.But I doubt if most voters could define civilization or explain what government is for.
        Without this base we cannot “fix” the system, as we do not understand it.
        Right now corruption is too many peoples livelihood.
        With so many invested in taking, whether directly as government employees or indirectly as compliance officials it is probably impossible to restore.
        Perhaps it has to crash and burn.
        What might be possible is some reform, such as recognizing that permitting takers to vote on the behaviour of makers is a very destructive conflict of interest.
        That taxation is theft, voluntary contributions may be the wave of the future.

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          Roy Hogue

          An interesting proposition, not letting the takers vote on the behavior of the makers. But how about simply not letting the takers vote at all until they’re makers again? I think the takers would soon shrink to only those incapable of caring for themselves for some legitimate reason. The makers really don’t like the takers. I know I don’t.

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    Neville

    Just more proof that these creeps think that everyone else owes them a living.

    BTW another new SL study finds that there has been about 1.7mm/ year rise (about 7 inches/century) in SLR since 1900. The Wenzel et al study also finds that SLs have fallen along most of the OZ east coast since the 1950s. So much for the extremist BS promoted by the former Labor and Green coalition govt.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/new-paper-finds-global-sea-levels-rose.html

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    Safetyguy66

    Completely unsurprised.

    People have utterly lost the ability to work out where money comes from and in the rare occasions they do, they don’t care anyway.

    Case in point.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-20/hockey-urged-to-step-in-to-prevent-victoria-power-bill-hike/5757832

    A story on the ABC today that power transmission companies who have to shift assets underground as a result of bushfire court rulings are asking for the ability to raise power prices to cover the cost. ABC glibly reports that despite the “Victorian Government providing infrastructure funding from the appropriate budget area” power transmission providers want more money from the public.

    Lets take a breath for a second and re-state whats happening here because the ABC (and this is also no surprise) does not seem to know where Government infrastructure funding comes from in the first place. Im pretty sure the Energy minister didn’t get a part time job at Maccas and save up a few hundred million for the fund, Id be guessing it came from $#!@$%^& TAXES!!! right??

    So the actual story should read. Power Transmitters ask for more tax payer funds to assist with the shortfall from the tax payer fund they have already begged, borrowed or stolen.

    So should we be surprised that taxes get peed up against the wall when all you have to do to get a stack of them is claim your concerned about mass extinction happening next Tuesday? No, in short no. What we should be surprised about is that the corruption, incompetence and downright criminality of the green movement is not more widespread than it is. I think it speaks reams about basic stupidity of eco tards that they arnt even that great at stealing.

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      bobl

      On the other hand would you rather pay for the ugly overhead cable to be undergrounded to ensure a reliable and safe supply of electricity to the Vicrorian public, or pay for bird chopping expensive windmills that actually increase emission and blight the landscape.

      Undergrounding is a good long term strategy that in fact lowers long term distribution costs. The underground cable has a high entry cost, but lasts longer, needs little maintenance and particularly does not have ties, which are almost impossible to inspect properly on overhead lines

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        Safetyguy66

        I not only have no issue with the proposed solutions. I cant understand why we half ass our power transmission with overhead lines anyway.

        My point is the taxpayer is getting it 4 ways and the media cant even work out where the money comes from in the first place.

        The story of this thread is about people have generally lost any respect for public money and that’s on the rare occasions they have any idea of its source.

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        gnome

        I’d rather not pay for power transmission in Victoria at all. If they want it, the Victorian power user can pay for it.

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        Anton

        The problem with going underground is INSULATION and it isn’t maintenance-free because insulation breaks down over time due to damp and electrical stress; is far more susceptible to minor earthquakes; and also to lightning strikes that preferentially seek out the cable.

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    pat

    TonyfromOz – hope u see this:

    for a week, i’ve been reading loads of MSM (especially Fairfax/ABC beat-ups) about China banning low-quality coal imports & how it might destroy the Australian coal industry, & suggesting China is turning away from coal blah blah.

    i found the whole story suspect from the get-go, as i could not find anything suggesting Australia would be affected in the Chinese English MSM, & the Minerals Council were reported in AAP on 16 Sept – China coal claims ‘alarmist’, says (Minerals) council, which included:

    - The council’s executive director Greg Evans said it appeared the proposed ban would only affect brown coal – which Australia does not export – and low quality domestic black coal.
    “There is nothing in the information which suggests that Australian coal exporters will be disadvantaged and we are confident that we can meet the proposed specifications,” he said in a statement.
    The council anticipates demand for Australia’s high-quality thermal black coal to remain strong not just from China but other emerging economies… -

    this did not stop our CAGW-infested MSM from writing alarmist articles daily, if not hourly! LOL. and now?

    19 Sept: Reuters: UPDATE 1-China power plants exempt from ban on using low-quality coal -sources
    By Fayen Wong and Sonali Paul
    China’s bid to limit the consumption of low-quality thermal coal in major cities to help curb pollution will not apply to power plants, traders and utility sources said, exempting a sector responsible for half the country’s coal use…
    The move led to worries among some Australian producers that deliveries to China – accounting for about a quarter of the country’s total exports – would be affected.
    But two sources from large power companies said utilities would be exempt from these requirements.
    “This regulation doesn’t affect us. It doesn’t apply to power stations so we will continue taking Australian coal if the price is right,” said an executive in charge of coal procurement at one of the country’s top utility firms…
    Industry experts noted the National Development and Reform Commission’s (NDRC) policy document set the most stringent requirement for coal known colloquially as “san mei” – a variety typically used to heat hotels or restaurants.
    Coal consumed by large scale power plants and other industrial users is typically referred as “commercial coal”.
    “No one was really sure what the NDRC meant by ‘san mei’, which is why the market got confused and thought it would include commercial coal,” said a trader from a large international firm.
    “But we have also received clarifications from our utilities customers that this regulation doesn’t apply to them.”
    The NDRC could not be reached for comment…
    ***The Minerals Council Of Australia has already said the regulation will have little impact on the country’s miners…
    China is also aiming to cut the share of coal in its total energy mix to 62 percent by 2020, down from about 65 percent now, according to a separate policy document published by the NDRC on Friday…
    Currently, about 50 percent of coal used in China is turned into electricity, but this should rise to 60 percent by 2020, the document said…
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/19/china-coal-idUKL3N0RK3BO20140919

    note NRDC, after having been caught out, begins a new deception by quoting a reduction for coal from 65% to 62% in China’s total energy mix by 2020, when obviously China’s use of energy will have soared further by then.

    19 Sept: Reuters: Stian Reklev: China cautious on fresh commitments ahead of climate change summit
    More than 120 heads of state, including U.S. President Barack Obama, will attend the Sept. 23 summit in New York, although leaders of big polluters like Australia, Canada, China, Germany and India will be absent…
    Beijing argues that the main responsibility to cut emissions lies with Western countries that have released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere since industrialisation began 160 years ago, although it is increasingly taking steps to slow down its carbon growth…
    ***The senior official admitted that coal consumption would continue to rise in China for many years, although China is striving to decouple coal and GDP growth, which would allow its economy to grow faster than fossil fuel use…
    http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3N0RK1XW20140919

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    DonS

    Tax payers money given to group which uses tax payers money to lobby tax payers representatives to give them more tax payers money and so on, and so on…. Same old story sadly. Money that could be used to do real scientific research wasted on the greedy and corrupt.

    When I went to university I went to study science in the hope of have an interesting career and perhaps even making contribution to human understanding of the universe. All I got was no job, no prospects and a debt that will follow me to the grave.

    What I should have done while at uni is join the right clubs on campus, network and suck up to all the right people. Then upon graduating, with barley passable results as all that networking leaves little time for study, I could have set up a “research” institute. Using my connections and by bamboozling ignorant politicians with fancy scientific jargon I could have scored wads of tax payer money. This I could use not only to keep my staff supplied with premium quality coffee and lavish xmas parties but also use it fly around the world attending very important conferences. Who knows I might even have actually turned up to one or two sessions in between the fishing, surfing, skiing or what ever entertainments the particular location offered. I could even get invited onto media outlets like the ABC to give my opinions on subjects I know noting about from civil war in Africa to life on Mars.

    Enough of the dreaming, back to the job search.

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      Len

      Thanks for sharing this Don. I have a friend at University who is involved in all the right campus clubs, trips etc. I was wondering how on earth he could fit study into the programme.

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    pat

    19 Sept: Chinatopix: China’s Coal Ban to have Less Impact on Australian Mining than Expected
    Nonetheless, new information reveals that China’s new coal regulations may not be as tough as they first appeared.
    Sources have since revealed that the new regulations do not apply to China’s power plants and utility sources. As a result, more than half of China’s coal consumption would not be affected by the new regulations.
    The confusion arose through a mistranslation of the National Development and Reform Commission’s (NDRC) policy document. The policy document stated that the new regulations applied only to “san mei” coal, the type of coal usually used for local heating. Originally, markets believed that “san mei” also included commercial coal used in power generation…
    It is only a matter of time before China expands its regulations and includes power plants as well. The day of reckoning hasn’t yet come, but when it does, Australia ought to be prepared.
    http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/11572/20140919/chinas-coal-ban-to-have-less-impact-on-australian-mining-than-expected.htm

    19 Sept: Carbon Brief: UK and Germany balk at coal exit plea
    The coal exit plea comes from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate’s New Climate Economy report…
    Two thirds of the EU’s coal emissions come from Germany, the UK and Poland according to campaign group Sandbag. These three countries have a combined capacity of over 100 gigawatts of coal-fired power plant.
    All three are high-income countries. So according to the New Climate Economy report they should commit to accelerate coal closures and stop building new plant now…
    DECC also points out that new coal plants in the UK would have to comply with the emissions performance standard set by the Energy Act. This amounts to a ban on new coal without at least partial CCS but it doesn’t affect old coal…
    The huge public opposition driving Germany’s nuclear exit means that its rapidly expanding renewables sector is effectively replacing nuclear, not coal, and this is set to continue…
    Reliance on the EUETS is unlikely to lead to a coal phase out, let alone an accelerated one, because the carbon price is so low. EU industry has so far largely been protected from overseas competitors not subject to carbon pricing as it has received free emissions permits…
    This practice is set to be extended to 2020, in a move that campaigners say will hand industry a €5 billion windfall for permits it doesn’t need. It is also likely to push the carbon price further down…
    In Poland new coal capacity is being added, a further 10 gigawatts is going through the planning system and EUETS funds that were set aside to help ease its low-carbon transition have instead been spent on upgrading its coal fleet…
    The New Climate Economy report identifies getting out of coal quickly as a priority for climate action. Yet some of the EU’s heaviest coal users do not seem to be willing to fully accept its recommendations. And the centrepieces of the EU’s climate policy – the EUETS and 2030 package – look set to leave coal unscathed or worse.
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/09/uk-and-germany-balk-at-coal-exit-plea/

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      DonS

      Interesting point Pat but the Australian coal industry does not need to worry about what quality coal the Chinese may demand in the future due to the way coal is mined, processed and exported. Basically you mix or blend high grade coal with low grade coal to produce a product that meets the quality outlined in the supply contract. Coal companies have a number of mines each producing different grades of coal that can be brought together and mixed in the right proportions to give a required product.

      We do not export the best quality possible we only export the contracted quality. The new requirements will simply mean adjusting the mix to include more high grade coal. Needing to use more high grade will mean that suppliers can negotiate higher prices so there is no actual economic cost to the industry and, as China is building a new coal fired power station every week, volumes should increase into the foreseeable future too.

      Once again the ABC has run with a story talking up an imagined problem for the coal industry simply as it fits into their green agenda. If they were journalists, and not lazy green parrots, they would have looked into this story more deeply than a Christine Milne press release!

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    thingadonta

    I’m sure lavish Christmas parties have a direct effect on snails and frogs.

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    JKM

    For the record, the figures shown are the most egregious examples for one entity (NEON) for one year. Total NEON expenditures for the period for fees were 800k+ and all of that was spent on “unallowable” costs. Across all of NSF management fees account for millions each year, and government wide its thoguht to be hundreds of millions per year with DoD as the worst offender. “Fee” is US Givernment code for “profit” so these nonprofits are effectively getting an unmonitored slush fund. NEON is merely a representative example of the problem.

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    thingadonta

    How can one evade audits, book French Hotels, and manage lavish parties for free?. Surely the public must understand that it takes a lot of ‘management fees’ to do all this?

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    MartinW

    And for confirmation of our own industry of public rip off comes this gem:

    http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2014/09/geoffrey/

    But unlike a christmas party, this investment of the public’s resources is shaping our future. Paging Mr Pyne…

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    Eliza

    So who’s auditing BOM these days over thar in wonderland hahaha

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