Let’s all jump on the ghost of a bandwagon!
The front page of The West Australian declared “Barnett backs Obama’s climate plans”
The dead-horse is getting flayed a bit longer and the spectators are cheering louder than when it had legs. A foreign, lame duck President, who just suffered a major defeat in the midterm elections has managed the “feat” of getting the Chinese to shake his hand and solemnly promise to keep doing what they are doing for another 16 years. (After that, they agree to change what was probably changing anyway.) Those who spent millions on climate-scare in the US election are licking their wounds. Gallup polls show the public just don’t care — ranking it 13th out of 13.
Despite those hard numbers, those who forecast the horoscopes on herd movements are getting very excited. Andrew Probyn, political editor of The West, exclaimed “The politics of climate change are again in the ascendancy”. It’s political astrology.
As I keep saying, the media IS the problem. With journalists like that, we get politicians like this.
Colin Barnett, conservative leader of my home state, is mimicking the David-Cameron style unconservative, big spending, non-leader and dutifully joining the chorus. In 2100, how historians will mock the song and marvel that state leaders seriously fell for the idea that wind-mills would turn back the tide, and solar panels could stop the floods. Look out. Global warming causes global cooling, and a tax can change the weather! Hey but it’s just as likely as the Chinese volunteering to curb their economy because we asked them nicely.
Colin Barnett has “embraced Obama’s demand for stronger climate change action, saying Australia needs to be bolder in its emission reduction targets”. He thinks we should phase out of coal and into gas. Mr Barnett runs a state with lots of gas and not much coal. Did anyone notice? Not so much. Political editors saw the “momentum” they were hoping to see, aligned the planets, and proclaimed the mood is shifting. Any excuse will do in the rush to follow the herd.
My letter to The West Australian today:
To the Editor
Let’s get serious about the climate and start talking numbers. How much does that insurance cost, and how many degrees, exactly, will it cool the planet? The cost is measured in trillions, and the degrees are measured in one hundredths. If Colin Barnett is serious about the climate he needs to be serious about the decimal places. If it doesn’t have the numbers that matter, it isn’t science.
Buying insurance for insurance sake is something a salesman would push. Has Barnett been fooled by the advertising? There’s a word for people who are not sceptical — and it’s “gullible”.
Global Carbon markets were worth $176 billion a year at their peak and almost a billion dollars a day, globally, was invested in renewables. There are billions of reasons to try to control the weather, but they are all dollars, not satellite measurements, ice core results, or data from weather balloons.
And since we are doing the maths, lets talk about the numbers Obama has in the US Congress. This is a lame duck President freely offering other people’s money to stop storms and hold back the tide. How about some healthy scepticism?
Witchdoctors used to say “Pay me and I will give you nice weather”. When anyone in the tribe got skeptical they’d bully and badger the unbeliever, calling them names. We have silicon chips in the voodoo-dolls now — otherwise nothing has changed.
The nicest interpretation I can put on Barnett’s enthusiasm is that he might be just a pragmatic opportunist. WA is a mining state with resources in nearly everything but not so much in coal. The gas sector profits from the climate scare. But I see no sign he sees through the advertising.
PS: I don’t normally get The West and I don’t normally follow state politics. If locals want to sponsor a subscription I could change that. I need about 4 people to cover $2 a week.