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Skin in the game

Skin In the Game


Guest post by Rereke Whakaaro.

It has jokingly been said, that people can be classified into two groups. Those who classify people into groups, and those who do not.

On the subject of Catastrophic Climate Change, almost everybody ends up being classified, in one way or another, and such classification seems to be unavoidable. You are either a Believer or a Denier, and that is it.

Or is it?

Are there no other classifications that could be considered? It seems that there are.

wilde, ozone, UV, sun, climate, tropopause

Take for example, the group of people who belong to professions that make pronouncements on Climate Change, but who in reality have no “skin in the game”. These are people who will utter dire predictions and make forecasts, but are not held to account when their prognostications do not come to pass.

I am, of course, talking about journalists, who are paid to watch the world go by; and career academics, who are paid to explain how the world goes by; and the career bureaucrats, and other Government employees, who are paid to keep an eye on the intellectuals, and to implement the policies they recommend. Do these people have any “skin in the game”? Is there a down-side for being wrong, for this group? Likewise, consider economists and bankers; who are never held to account for any losses incurred by those who misguidedly take their advice, even when those losses are counted in millions.

Compare the folks in that group, with your own Lawyer, or your General Practitioner, both of whom can be held to account by their respective professional disciplinary committees. Or compare those folks with dozens of other professions, all of whom have the legal obligation of “getting it right”, usually mandated in law; Engineers, and Accountants being obvious examples. This is the second group.

Which group would you trust more? Those who are answerable for their actions, or the advice they give, or those who are not?

And what of the politicians? Where should we place them? In which group, do they belong?

Well, they certainly have “skin in the game”. That fact is tested at each and every election. It is also tested within caucus and by the party apparatus on an ongoing basis. No political party wants to give ammunition to the opposition. But, even so, it is difficult to place politicians in either of the first two groups.

So I place politicians in a group of their own. Where members are required to make judgements, and decisions, on behalf of us all, based upon theoretical concepts, supplied by academics; public opinion, manipulated by journalists; international market trends, surmised by economists; financial mechanisms designed by bankers, looking for new investment opportunities; and do all of this, within the overarching bureaucratic structure. I am surprised that politicians do as well as they do, in the circumstances.

Also, we have the organisations that make up the lobby industry, pushing their own political memes to garner support from members and charitable donations from groups and individuals looking to reduce their personal tax liability. These “charitable” organisations march to their own drum, towards an ideal nirvana that can never be achieved. But they gladly accept donations from Industry, Governments, and the UN, on the hypothetical route to the future. This is the fourth group.

And then of course, there is the blogosphere, and blogs such as this, with a self-imposed mandate to keep the other four groups honest, by publicly pointing out when they are not.

The Ancient Roman aristocracy understood the power of the people – the plebeian classes – and were afraid of them. So it is today. Ultimately it is the people who hold all the power. So those with no skin in the game, will eventually find themselves out in the cold, and feeling very sad.

Jo deserves her weblog awards. They were voted for, by people like us: We are the fifth group – we are the people and like the Roman plebeians, we cannot be ignored.

And let’s not forget it’s a new year. Please take a moment of time and some of your treasure and tip Joanne via the PayPal link at the home page. Joanne does this blog because it is the right thing to do. Please help support free speech and proper science.

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130 comments to Skin in the game

  • #
    john karajas

    Rereke Whakaaro! That has a real ring to it. An excellent thought-provoking post and I thoroughly endorse your praise of Jo’s efforts. David’s efforts are pretty darn good as well, by the way. This web-site is a beacon of sanity in a world where our beloved Science and the pursuit of Truth has been besmirched. A pox on the journalistic profession!

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    • #
      Peter C

      A pox on the journalistic profession!

      Bit harsh there John,

      Journalists have the power to change public opinion, which is a big responsibility.

      They also have a responsibility to be fair and also accurate. A lot of them don’t live up to that (but not all).

      It is more than a pity, more like a terrible tragedy, that the ABC, BBC and Fairfax media seem to have lost sight of these principles on some issues, esp Climate Change

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Journalists have the power to change public opinion, which is a big responsibility.

        I wouldn’t put it that way. I’d say, journalists have the responsibility to inform public opinion. Power generally doesn’t fit with journalism. Once informed the public has the opportunity to exercise its power or not.

        Big difference there.

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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Journalism is wearing the advocacy hat when it should be wearing the information hat.

          Advocacy belongs only one the editorial page and needs to be clearly distinguishable from information content — the who, what, where, when and why that constitutes the news.

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          • #
            Peter Champness

            What was the original mantra of the ABC; “Inform, Educate and Entertain”.

            I agree about the advocacy.

            30

          • #
            tom0mason

            .
            Unfortuately too much of the ‘forth estate’* has become the fifth column mouthpiece in ensuring that the public hears and acquiesces to the propaganda for being excessively taxed at the behest of the UN’s requirements.

            * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate

            30

          • #
            D.J. Hawkins

            I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but my little reading of history has made clear that in the US, newspapers were unabasedly partisan at least through the first quarter of the last century. I don’t know when they started putting on airs and elevating themselves to Keepers of THE TRUTH, but I think it was all for show. Maybe someone here with a little closer experience of the trade can educate me.

            20

  • #
    Dave

    Rereke Whakaaro

    Great article
    Short, sweet & correct

    “Ultimately it is the people who hold all the power”

    And we’ll use it

    260

    • #
      scaper...

      Well, it hasn’t worked thus far. I’m not talking about the climate issue, I’m referring to the decline of society.

      Look at the mess Australia is in? The old axiom of ‘Divide and Conquer’ which is utilised by the grouping called “Politicians” has mutated into ‘Divide and Fracture’!

      Apart from some sort of ‘REAL’ calamity occurring I see no renaissance on the horizon that is needed to realign society, to get back on course to achieve a civilisation worthy of inheritance of our progeny.

      Defeatist? Not really. Plenty of fight left in this rooster…but is it worth the skin? We’ll see.

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      • #
        Dave

        It’s the politicians in the middle

        So eager to please they throw money at the No Risk, No Skin in the Game bludgers that have increased exponentially over the last 2 decades in Australia

        Every one seems to have a UNI education, then whinge when a plumber charges $90 an hour

        The turn around is close, when the plumbers price doubles, and the Uni Professor of Fornicating PNG Tree Rodents can’t afford them, that’s the final FLUSH.

        People are waking up to the Climate Alarmists Scam (too slow I agree), but they are.

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        • #
          scaper...

          Yeah Dave, I’m a multi-trade specialist that does stuff where one traders fear to tread. The focus on having a Uni education over the last few decades have rendered people like me as an endangered species. Does not bode well if there is a collapse in society.

          Know quite a few politicians and most acknowledge the malaise you allude to but what are they to do? My advice will be to stuff the rent seekers, do what is right for the future of the nation as one gets only one chance in the arena…do nothing is a cop out.

          Go hard without fear. Now, in politics, that is skin shedding!

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          • #
            Dave

            .
            scaper

            I agree

            “stuff the rent seekers”
            “do what is right for the future of the nation”
            “Go hard without fear”

            But will ANY party do this?

            If they are prepared to do this, they will have my vote
            So far “crickets” from all

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          • #
            Bobl

            I would agree, but there are simple things that could be done.

            1. Reverse the removal of censorship of public profanity on radio, TV and internet. We need to learn to be polite in public again.

            2. Revert all trades to take their intake at grade 10 again, and provide a “low doc” pathways to trade qualifications ( ie no tafe, learn by doing approach)

            3. Recriminalise drug use, price drugs off the market by applying much higher penalties to drug users, and put driving licenses at risk.

            4. Teach history of the great western civilisations in schools, and reintroduce patriotic symbolism, such as singing the national anthem at assembly and saluting the flag. Reaffirm rhetoric that Australian civilisation is the best civilisation in the world and instill pride in the flag at the expense of ALL other societies. Ie respect other societies but none should be on equal footing with being Australian.

            5. Make military service more widely available, defense has gotten very picky. You don’t need a university degree to fire a gun. More long term unemployed youth should be picked up by the military, so that idle youth do not become beholden to drugs, alcohol or endemic idleness while results in welfare dependence and troubled disillusioned youth.

            Do these simple things and attitudes to country and service to community will change a lot.

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            • #
              gai

              Criminalizing drugs does nothing.

              Look at the USA with the ‘War on Drugs’

              The major cause of death of among 15-24 year-old African Americans is Homicide. (Black on Black gang shootings mostly) It is the second leading cause of death across the board.

              The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal database show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males were shot.

              The anti-gun crowd will say it is the guns. It is not as the Paris shooting showed. Criminals can always get guns. The problem here in the USA is the very profitable drug culture. I live in the middle of no where on a 6 mile road that has only recently been paved and we have three drug houses that I know of and a major problem with theft from the druggies looking for quick cash. I can not even count the number of times we have been robbed, often by people we know and almost all were on drugs.

              So what has the war on drugs done? It allows the police to confiscate any cash you are carrying. Going to buy a bull and have $3,000 to buy him? Get pulled over by the cops and they pocket the money and you WILL not be charged and you WILL not get it back.

              It is called “Civil Asset Forfeiture” and allows confiscation without trial therefore the police rather wait till all the drugs are sold and then confiscate the cash. No Arrest. No drugs off the street. Just plenty of $$$ for the department since they can keep 80 percent for themselves.

              …the government was allowed to keep whatever property it seized without ever having to prove a case. Seized property was presumed guilty and could be forfeited based upon mere hearsay—even a tip supplied by an informant who stood to gain up to 25% of the forfeited assets….

              “Civil asset forfeiture has allowed police to view all of America as some giant national K-Mart, where prices are not just lower, but non-existent – a sort of law enforcement ‘pick-and-don’t-pay.” – U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde

              http://fear.org/1/

              11

              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Gai

                Your plight sounds awful and a reflection of the US political system.

                My sympathies because it seems that not only are you abused by the criminals but also by the system which is supposed to protect you.

                KK

                10

          • #
            Len

            jack of all trades and master of none?

            40

      • #
        MacSual

        The Muslims,Chinese and Greens fighting for hegemony of Australia,that would focus or realign the population…or would it?

        There was a novel brought out in 1939 by Erle Cox called “Fools’Harvest”,we are preparing ourselves for a similar eventuality.

        We have unmitigated levels of debt,we have faithless people telling us what to have faith in,we have the most immoral group of people representing us in our Parliaments having the nerve pushing their moral turbidity,we have a public broadcaster showing absolute hatred for conservative values,so much so that any lie or crime committed by the left will go unreported.
        Strange days indeed!

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  • #
    the Griss

    RW, this blog and places like WUWT, Hockey Schtick etc have people from the blogosphere, but could also be placed in either the red or green groups.

    They are not mutually exclusive. :-)

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  • #
    Geoffrey Cousens

    Jolly good article R.W.!

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  • #
    TdeF

    So where do university educated scientists fit here, understanding that they are perhaps much less than 1% of the community?

    Even these you break down to academic scientists like English graduate extinct giant wombat specialist Flannery through to real scientists like genius physicist Edward Teller, the driver behind the very real atom bomb team who had signed the Oregon petition before his death. You get opportunist, perhaps second rate scientists who have no knowledge of meteorology but see a boom area and dream of being well paid climate commissioners. You also get professional scientists, working as scientists and even meteorologists who know a great deal but work for organizations like NASA where being outspoken will cost you your promotion and possibly your job. You get chemists who know little physics, physicists who know little chemistry, engineers, geologists, mathematicians and many more groups but you get the point. Climate is a huge non linear non homogenous system in chaos involving all these skills. The CO2 proposal is so simple as to be extraordinarily unlikely and now disproven, but the money keeps flowing.

    Possibly the biggest problem is that a lot of real scientists work for big companies and departments and are simply not able or willing to speak freely. Take the CSIRO or BOM or NASA. They have no skin in the game in that they cannot get an income from being involved but the cost of saying something is disastrous. Worse, they are not allowed to dissent from their own department’s conclusions, so they are forced into the position of de facto collaborators.

    Is that why you do not have them on your plot? Sadly most scientists cannot say anything publicly unless they are retired like Prof Carter or Plimer or, much rarer, independently wealthy or self employed like Tom Quirk? So the whole business of Global Warming is sadly left to non scientists, retired people and the very few scientists who are infuriated enough at this massively expensive faux science to speak out and have found a voice in blogs? For that we are all grateful.

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    • #
      the Griss

      “Sadly most scientists cannot say anything publicly unless they are retired like Prof Carter or Plimer or, much rarer, independently wealthy or self employed “

      Or remaining anonymous behind a blog name.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … the biggest problem is that a lot of real scientists work for big companies and departments and are simply not able or willing to speak freely. Take the CSIRO or BOM or NASA. They have no skin in the game in that they cannot get an income from being involved but the cost of saying something is disastrous.

      I disagree. These people do have skin in the game – they will loose their jobs if they say what they truly believe. So perforce, they say nothing. They are silenced by those who do get an income from being involved. That is the problem that I am currently trying to analyse and define.

      A lot of people want to speak out, as individuals, but are constrained by their terms of employment. Their opinions, are those of “the people” and the blogosphere is their channel for expressing their feelings and what they really believe. That is why sites like this, are so important.

      As the Griss, points out, the groups are not mutually exclusive – people are not that simplistic, and they will fall into different groups, at different times.

      What I ask people to do, is to assess which part of the matrix a speaker is sitting in, when they make a pronouncement. Do they have a professional duty of care, backed by a disciplinary process? Do they have something to lose if they are wrong?

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      • #
        TdeF

        Yes, but I think “public service scientists” like the CSIRO, BOM, even science advisers like the ABC’s climate change spruiker Dr Karl belong in the top right hand corner with a high duty of care and no skin in the game. Otherwise they are not directly affected by the success of failure of the whole thing any more than a member of the public.

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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          I accept that – good point.

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        • #
          Dave

          .

          But Dr. Karl may have a high duty of care BUT:

          He drops to the bottom because another factor of GREED becomes involved

          He loves to tell people how to save themselves against the looming death of the earth

          I think he’s just a parasite of the CAGW gravy train

          If this was Monopoly, he’d be in JAIL with no GET OUT FREE card

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      • #
        Rod Stuart

        An excellent essay, Rereke.
        As to your comment, the proof is in the pudding.
        Witness the number of souls that “come out” once they are retired or no longer part of the bureaucracy.
        (Sorry, I can’t think of any names right now, but I think they are numerous.)

        41

        • #
          gai

          Here are a few real scientist off the top of my head:
          …………

          Dr. Happer:

          Award winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Will Happer, who was reportedly fired by former Vice President Al Gore in 1993…

          “I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken,” Happer, who has published over 200 scientific papers, told EPW on December 22, 2008. Happer made his remarks while requesting to join the 2008 U.S. Senate Minority Report from Environment and Public Works Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK) of over 650 (and growing) dissenting international scientists disputing anthropogenic climate fears. [Note: Joining Happer as new additions to the Senate report, are at least 10 more scientists, including meteorologists from Germany, Netherlands and CNN, as well as a professors from MIT and University of Arizona. See below for full quotes and bios of the new skeptical scientists added to the groundbreaking report, which includes many current and former UN IPCC scientists.]

          “I had the privilege of being fired by Al Gore, since I refused to go along with his alarmism. I did not need the job that badly,” Happer said this week. Happer is a Professor at the Department of Physics at Princeton University and former Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993…
          http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=5EF55AA3-802A-23AD-4CE4-89C4F49995D2

          Dr Happer kills CAGW dead with actual observational evidence.

          This contains audio and slides of dr. Happer’s lecture to physics grad students plus a video of the John Locke Foundation lecture for non-physicists:
          http://www.sealevel.info/Happer_UNC_2014-09-08/

          Slides: http://www.sealevel.info/Happer_UNC_2014-09-08/UNC-9-8-2014.pptx

          …………….

          Fred H. Haynie
          Retired Environmental Scientist (USA EPA)

          Fred H. Haynie { 06.27.09 at 4:00 pm }

          To all concerned,

          One reason I retired early from research at EPA years ago was good science was beginning to be sidetracked for political purposes. In this case EPA has been completely derailed. I have spent the last four years of my retirement studying all the data I could find to get to the truth about climate change. I just finished a presentation that shows ample evidence that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide do not cause global warming. Carbon dioxide has been falsely convicted on circumstantial evidence by a politically selected jury. A just retrial could overturn this conviction before we punish ourselves by trying to control emissions that will have no effect on climate change. You can view the presentation and be your on judge and jury at http:\\www.kidswincom.net\climate.pdf

          Sincerely,

          Fred H. Haynie
          Retired Environmental Scientist

          …………………

          The Right Climate Stuff group which is largely composed of a group of NASA engineers and scientists.
          http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/

          WUWT: Hansen and Schmidt of NASA GISS under fire for climate stance: Engineers, scientists, astronauts ask NASA administration to look at empirical evidence rather than climate models

          Joint letter to NASA Administrator blasts agency’s policy of ignoring empirical evidence..

          49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden last week admonishing the agency for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question.

          The group, which includes seven Apollo astronauts and two former directors of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, are dismayed over the failure of NASA, and specifically the Goddard Institute For Space Studies (GISS), to make an objective assessment of all available scientific data on climate change. They charge that NASA is relying too heavily on complex climate models that have proven scientifically inadequate in predicting climate only one or two decades in advance….

          ….
          Dr. Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel….
          Wrote a scathing letter to: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society.

          WUWT published it here

          …..

          Nobel prize winner for physics in 1973 Dr. Ivar Giaever resigned as a Fellow from the American Physical Society (APS) on September 13, 2011 in disgust over the group’s promotion of man-made global warming fears.
          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/14/nobel-laureate-resigns-from-american-physical-society-to-protest-the-organizations-stance-on-global-warming/

          50

  • #

    Interesting RW. Every person who is in the non-”the people” group are also part of “the people” group (maybe in the blogsphere and maybe not). Do you perceive that their professional activity pulls their role in the blogsphere and therefore your blogshpere elipse could be drawn right around all the other elipses? Or does their role as people and community members when not engaged professional actually pull their professional elipse back from the extremes?

    27

    • #
      Mark D.

      Valid point to consider Gee, I suppose one “belongs” to the group with the most skin in the game. If for example you are a tenured academic but you moon light as a cardiologist then the group you really belong to is the one with much skin in the game i.e. doctors. On the reverse if you are a non practicing nuclear physicist that teaches night school political Science classes then….. well I’m sure you get my drift right?

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      The groups are not mutually exclusive, and people can move between groups at different times, as Mark points out.

      It is the context in which opinions are expressed, that is important. Is the opinion expressed in a professional capacity, by somebody with a duty of care, and therefore somebody with some skin in the game? Or is that opinion expressed in a private capacity, as a member of the general public?

      80

    • #
      James Bradley

      Rereke, great post.

      The leaf has a good point,

      Someone should do an algorithm to model how the dynamics between the groups will change,

      I propose the most influential forcing factors will be greed and those that have the least to lose but the most to gain e.g. a complicated factor would be Malcolm Turnbull who represents a number of interests within a single group as well as interests in other groups.

      Malcolm also ticks both boxes for a forcing factor multiple of both greed and nothing to lose and everything to gain.

      Now in my game it wont matter about the other cards as long as you hold a Turnbull you win – I call it a Royal Doulton Flush…

      40

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Interesting thoughts Rereke, I would expect nothing less from you. :)

    The question of accountability has been one of the biggest problems regarding the CAGW impost with morality higher up the scale, after looking at your graph we could easily give instances of professionals that should be held accountable but due to the moral/immoral loopholes created by the CAGW stigma they simply got let off the hook.

    I’ve seen over the years a system developed in workplace’s I call ‘handballing’ where no matter who’s at fault for mistakes or accidents there is always a way out for the employer and employee alike with maybe the loss of employment or a fine the worst outcome, considering how many people lose their lives at work every year in Australia it would seem little justice for family and friends.

    So considering the lives already lost directly from CAGW mitigations the big question is who will be held accountable, the decision makers, the financiers, governments, NGOS ? , after large wars there is usually a war crimes investigation for immoral breaches of agreed conventions, convictions for CAGW crimes against humanity could tie up courts for 100 years considering the moral loopholes and handballing that will take place.

    Rereke I think you have just exposed the tip of the post-CAGW iceberg.

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  • #
  • #
    PeterPetrum

    No doubt Journalists have no skin in the game. The Australian has an article this morning entitled “The heat rolls on as 2014 comes in third” in which it states that 2013 was warmer than 2014. Surely a more accurate headline would have been “2014 cooler than the previous year – climate scientists puzzled”. I despair.

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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    I’m not sure how you can say anyone doesn’t have skin in the game. We all share the same climate and ocean, so if the CAGW hypothesis had any merit then the resistant would eventually see the consequences of inadequate infrastructure preparation (even if no climate mitigation was possible).
    Only by presuming CAGW is false, or that “stopping climate change“ has no cost, can you place anyone in the No Cost group .

    Depending on the effective heat capacity of the ocean it will take a long time for a tiny 3W/m^2 to warm the world. Personally I think I will have been dead 150 years before the global climate temperature will exceed the average of the last decade.
    In that sense the only people with skin in the game are those cashing in on premature mitigation action in a climate of as yet unjustified urgency.

    60

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Correction to the above: due to the artifice of carbon taxes and public funding of climate boondoggle projects, we all have some skin in the game to a small extent.

      So the question of our skinnedness is blemished with spite and uncertainty.

      51

  • #
    mike restin

    Before you claim politicians have skin in the game let me remind you the US House of Representatives has an incumbent reelection rate in the mid 90% range.
    Paying attention to the NGOs helps keep many in Washington.
    Even if they lose their seat there’s always work in the lobby.

    80

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      That is a good point, Mike. When I placed politicians where I did, I was thinking about Australasian politicians, and not about the fossilised House members in Washington.

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      • #
        Bulldust

        As an aside I am surprised you were so lenient on politicians Rereke. You make them sound like victims of the system trying to do the right thing.

        Sorry but as someone who has seen how some of them operate, I laugh at that description. Where you say “…are required to make judgements…” I would suggest replacing “required” with “supposed to.” Politicians are motivated by self interest first, second and third (unless they are newbies, and that gets beaten out of them quick smart). After that public interest may get a look in.

        Also, policies that might make sense and be pragmatic often get mangled as part of the political bartering process, especially at the senate level. I Could go on…

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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          Thanks Buldust,

          I would have gone on … and on, so I did take it easy on the pollies. 1. Because I have little knowledge of the Australian system, and 2. because they need something to work with, and that “something” is provided by the bottom right hand corner.

          50

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        How many skins do politicians have?

        20

  • #
    realist

    An interesting perspective and useful for discussion and teasing out the concept. I assume the lower right hand corner of the diagram should have a designation, “cost of failure”. Yes, there is more than one simple classification of black or white, most is in the grey, and then if we alter the spectra, there’s a lot more that’s hidden, effectively in plain view, but just “don’t get it”. We might suggest many believers fall into that category of, “don’t get it” because they don’t hold an intellectual conviction, only an emotional one based on what someone else thinks. But let’s not get too taxonomic here and get into sub-species.

    I suggest there is another way of looking at this and a simplification of “skin in the game”:
    1. to win and 2, to pay.

    If we look at it in an economic or market model (no, not leftie Keynsian theory), there are buyers (think consumers) and sellers (think producers), or tax takers (think government and carbon tax) or tax payers (think energy consumers). Always two sides of a coin, as it were. Money is only a medium of exchange, so every commodity (to keep it simple) is traded in exchange for one’s labor or intellect. Therefore, everyone has skin in the game: it either comes “off” (out of your pocket), or it goes “on” (into someone else’s pocket). You lose it, someone else gain: the equation has to balance. That equation might be either politically based or pseudo science (still political), but someone wins (skin) at the expense of someone losing (skin).

    In the “north west” duty of care corner, how many politicians, doctors, lawyers, etc, have clearly shown they should perhaps reside in the opposite, “south-eastern” corner, along with the banksters and other shysters?

    It could argued the categorised Believers and Deniers (of CAGW) reside in ALL camps; the disinction is whether they stand to gain (profit) from it, or not (lose). How do we identify the “deniers” (but keep a low profile and their mouth shut) hiding in the “believer” camp, simply because they are well paid and have a mortgage to pay family to feed, and they’d be at serious risk financially if they “came out”? In all sociological or political surveys, there are the “undecided” category who simply don’t have a clue of the facts, and follow in line, like sheep trudging in the dust of another sheep in front to a dam for a drink on a hot day.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Yes, it is an analytical tool for teasing out the relative weighting of concepts, on two scales. The lower right hand corner represents no duty of care (no censure for being wrong), and no cost of failure (to the person failing).

      There is really no down-side for the people occupying the bottom-right corner. They can, and do, live in their own little self-referential world.

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      • #
        gai

        I beg to differ R.W.

        CAGW has a hidden cost for everyone on this planet including the ‘winners’

        By diverting so many resources into a fantasy, how much has the society as a whole lost?

        If the Banksters, Malathusians, Club of Rome and others not slammed on the brakes around the 1970s, where would we be? Colonizing the moon? How many inventions have been lost? One, ten, thousands, millions?

        One article says [US] Federal Regulations Have Made You 75 Percent Poorer: U.S. GDP is just $16 trillion instead of $54 trillion

        The growth of federal regulations over the past six decades has cut U.S. economic growth by an average of 2 percentage points per year, according to a new study in the Journal of Economic Growth. As a result, the average American household receives about $277,000 less annually than it would have gotten in the absence of six decades of accumulated regulations—a median household income of $330,000 instead of the $53,000 we get now….

        Prof. Dr. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke talks of the breakthrough that came with Galileo, who gave us a systematic and standard method of science. We saw the results in going from driving a horse and buggy to a man on the moon in one person’s life time.

        It is that type of advancement that civilization as a whole has lost thanks to these numpties.

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    MacSual

    It appears that last year which was pretty mild in Victoria was the hottest on recored,yet we had very few hot days.
    Maybe the record was the “footy record” sold outside AFL games,I think it was pretty hot with footy supporters last year.

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    Safetyguy66

    Great Post Rereke. I think if the data and information you have was combined with the Scottish study recently posted here on the correlation between alarmists and those on the public purse, it may really put the finger on who is actually winning from what can only be described as a campaign of terror waged on ordinary citizens by alarmists.

    Very nice work.

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    pat

    skin in the game:

    6 Jan: Houston Chronicle: Michael Webber: It’s time for Republicans to pass carbon tax
    Michael Webber is deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.
    But what about concerns that the costs would hurt domestic oil producers? They’re a step ahead of us. Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, has already gone on the record to say that a carbon tax is preferable over cap-and-trade.
    In fact, ExxonMobil’s energy outlook released in December builds into its planning an assumption for implied carbon costs that hover around $80/ton…
    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Webber-It-s-time-for-Republicans-to-pass-carbon-5997549.php

    7 Jan: Reuters: Rory Carroll: California carbon market off to strong start in 2015
    The market’s benchmark December 2015 (v15) contract settled at $13.10 a tonne on Tuesday, up 8 cents from the previous day’s close on the IntercontinentalExchange.
    Traded volumes on Tuesday topped 2.7 million allowances, well above the average daily volumes last year, traders said, with buyers picking up allowances for a range of delivery dates…
    One trader said oil companies and others are already hedging their carbon exposure to match what they think their gasoline sales will be this year.
    The environmental program also slightly tightened the amount utilities, oil refineries and manufacturers can emit under the program, which traders said could also boost demand for permits.
    Despite the strong start, analysts forecast that the market will be long allowances over the next few years due to lower-than-expected emissions as a result of the still-recovering California state economy. If so, that would depress carbon prices over the short and medium term…
    The first major test for the expanded market will come on Feb. 18 when the state holds its first carbon permit auction of the year…
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/01/07/california-carbon-trading-idINL1N0UM03320150107

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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      If you could create a market for certificates to trade dog faeces, someone would find a way to make money out of it. So the corrupt banks, bureaucracies and vested interests have managed to get a price on certain types of air that is experiencing somewhat more price stability than at any time in the past? Like I said…….

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      mike restin

      Tacking on a 80 (pound/euro/dollar) tax would generate some tax revenue but do little to change the earth’s temperature.
      imho

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  • #
    pat

    6 Jan: Bloomberg: New York Reactor’s Survival Tests Pricey Nuclear
    By Naureen S. Malik and Jim Polson
    Exelon Corp. (EXC), the biggest U.S. owner of nuclear reactors, needs to almost double power prices to keep aNew York plant running in a move that promises to show just how far regulators will go to keep uneconomic plants operating.
    After recording losses that exceeded $100 million from 2011 to 2013, Exelon will need to charge about 83 percent more than wholesale prices to earn a profit at its Ginna plant, based on company cost estimates. State regulators have set a Jan. 15 deadline for a new power contract that’s rich enough to keep the Rochester-area plant running.
    Last month, Entergy Corp. shut Vermont’s only operating reactor citing low power prices. Ginna is one of 10 other nuclear plants that can’t compete in current markets, Moody’s Investors Service said in November. Retiring the reactors, which account for 10 percent of the nation’s nuclear output, would undercut a push to produce power without greenhouse gases as renewables such as wind and solar are just emerging…
    ***“The two game changers have been the shale gas and the distortive effect of subsidies” for renewable energy projects like wind, said Joseph Dominguez, Exelon’s senior vice president for governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy.“Those things really started to seriously impact the economics of plants probably around 2010.” …
    Retiring nuclear stations that produce power without greenhouse gases would undercut President Barack Obama’s plan to cut emissions..
    Other plants at risk of closing include Exelon’s Clinton station in Illinois, Entergy Corp.’s Pilgrim station inMassachusetts and FirstEnergy Corp.’s Davis-Besse plant in Ohio, according to Moody’s…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-05/new-york-reactor-s-survival-tests-pricey-nuclear.html?hootPostID=df3d4a58da324a94af92b49e1d764f6c

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    Leonard Lane

    Thank you Whakaaro. Your diagram is very instructive and generally correct. In my opinion, by its simplicity it has great value of explanation. Well done.
    Now if we go and look at all the exceptions and try to cover every possible exception, then your diagram will look like the spaghetti code in the Global Warming models or a group of rabbits tracks in fresh snow–circles and spirals, doubling back, some tracks taken multiple times, multiple crosses and overlaps, some starting and stopping, and so on.

    Your diagram is probably about optimum. Any simpler and it would lose explanatory power through over simplicity, and any more complex and it would lose explanatory power by overlapping elements causing confusion. Again well done.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Thank you, Leonard.

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    • #
      StefanL

      About the diagram layout ….
      Wouldn’t it be more logical to have both axes increasing away from the origin ?
      That is, reverse the horizontal axis so that the bottom left corner is “No Duty of care” and “No Skin in the Game”.

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    What never ceases to constantly surprise me is the number of people who seek information, and in the main, they come from that small circle with The People in it.

    And where do they go for that information?

    They go to the Blogosphere, also inside that same circle.

    The People are asking other people the questions.

    They’ve learned that the top left circle might have some people who can help them, and they’ve learned that the bottom right circle is one to avoid. The politicians won’t help them, because all they seek is to be re-elected. The Lobby Group circle has attached itself to that bottom right circle because they perceive that is where they (think that they) can wield the most influence.

    So, when it comes to information, they ask each other, until they get ….. EVERY point of view, not just a point of view to support the circle it comes from, but because they want to actually decide for themselves.

    That bottom right circle has its shills, acolytes, adherents, willing subjects who will preach the lines they tell them to preach, but when it comes to independent information, the people know where to look now. That’s why sites like Joanne’s here do so well, because of diversity. Some of those from that top left circle have ventured into the people’s circle, not to spruik their memes, but to answer the questions being asked by people hungry for real knowledge.

    Rereke, you’ve nailed this.

    Tony.

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      Safetyguy66

      Back in the day I was doing some internet dating. I got a message from a lady who named herself Gaia_Girl. I decided to meet her basically for the entertainment value, Im was not disappointed. We argued pretty heatedly for about 3 hours before going our separate ways. In summary Gaia_Girl believed strongly in the following;

      - Crystal powers
      - Reincarnation
      - Astrology
      - Buddhism
      - Auras and Chakras
      - Telekinesis and Mind Reading
      - Alien Abduction
      - Homeopathy
      - Pretty much any other fringe belief you want to name

      Gaia_Gurl did however draw the line on the following whacko topics;

      - Physics
      - Chemistry
      - Biology
      - Astronomy
      - Geology
      - Palaeontology
      - Any other mainstream science backed by evidence

      Her reasoning was, all science is controlled by the Government and cannot be trusted. The rest is all fine as it is controlled by “higher powers”.

      Basically Tony my point is, through nature and nurture, some people just end up completely confused to the point they do not even know why they believe what they believe. They see evidence as something that may or may not be handy to have, but certainly is not required to be sure of any particular position.

      Throw in a financial incentive to espouse what she described as “esoteric wisdom” (my favourite oxymoron of all time) which was provided by the book she was selling on all these topics and you have a recipe for the blind leading the deaf, dumb and bloody stupid and its just getting worse everyday.

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      • #

        What the hell is the matter with you SG66?

        You wrote line after line about this tree hugging chick but never mentioned what she looked like. I’m so disappointed in you.

        Remember Humbugs Law…..Biology trumps Morality

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          Safetyguy66

          Hey Humbug. My mum said if you don’t have anything nice to say …. :)

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        • #
          pattoh

          But Baa,
          Darwin had a bit of a theory on this biology stuff too:-Survival of the fittest ( or perhaps the most adaptable & cunning)

          Now the optically harmonic Carbon Cate is one of Australia’s current crop of icons & opinion lesees/leaders.

          She trades on her concern for the environment & Climate Change & we the taxpayers should be prepared to do more for these things!

          I read a while back she also owns a lovely pad in Vanauatu. – Great weather, lovely environment & FANTASTIC tax benefits!

          Screen Sirens or Polished Mudguards?

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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            How high is Vanuatu, above mean sea level, these days, I wonder?

            I am sure I read somewhere that the seas were rising, and all of these tropical islands would be no more.

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            • #
              pattoh

              When the cynics were talking about Cate’s pad on this site a couple of years ago I got the impression that it ( the realestate) was only ~+2m. However that was only annectdotal.

              However I read recently that Bono from U2, who is not backwards coming forwards when it comes to opening his mouth on poverty, “legally” shifts his financial affairs offshore to the Netherlands for tax reasons. I guess it is ok to spruik anything when your product/persona is bigger than your personal morality.

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        • #
          Peter Champness

          She sounds irresistable! :-)

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        the Griss

        “completely confused to the point they do not even know why they believe what they believe”

        We see them often on this blog.

        They appear, to all extent and purposes, as trolls. !! :-)

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        Rod Stuart

        Her reasoning was, all science is controlled by the Government and cannot be trusted

        Your internet date may well have been suffering from schizophrenic paranoia, or perhaps she is “paranoid schizophrenic affected”.
        It is common for folk that suffer from this disorder to imagine that ‘the gummint’ watches and controls their every move.
        I’m curious. Did she talk about numerology? Did she believe that ‘gummint agents’ monitor peoples’ lives by watching them thorough their television sets?
        Those are often harbingers of schizophrenia.

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        • #
          gai

          Unfortunately we found out the paranoids are correct. Uncle Sam IS WATCHING!

          U.S. Govt Snooping in Email Servers

          Well, now we have it in the news that the US Govt is openly and officially hoovering up all the email they can get and snooping in it. The IRS has also said they don’t need a warrant to collect email as “there is no expectation of privacy”. In other words, we’ve been had so long and so much we don’t have the right to expect moral treatment any more…

          It seems Ms Merkel, the German Chancellor, was not at all amused to find that the U.S. Government had been listening in on her “private” phone calls.

          E.M. Smith does his usual great job on both articles.

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      Bob Cormack

      Nice analysis Tony.

      I just want to make a comment about the difference I see between the group in the upper left and the group in the lower right. Actually, I’ll limit my remarks to practicing engineers and academic scientists. (Academic engineers, in my experience, are more like academic scientists, and some scientists really work as practicing engineers.)

      The biggest difference is due to practicing engineers being judged by real-world results and academic scientists are judged by peer approval. There is essentially no difference in understanding of physical theory — both groups have to learn the same things.

      It is, however, much easier to maintain a fantasy among Academics than among Engineers — you can’t fool Mother Nature.

      This is why politicians and lobbyists focus on the Academics — you can buy answers you want from (compliant) Academics, but you can’t bribe Mother Nature.

      Politically, Progressives are more like Academics, in that they believe what they want to and use the approval of their fellow Progressives as evidence, while Conservatives care more about what actually has been shown to work.

      It is not a coincidence that most engineers are not Progressives.

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    pat

    hmmm! yesterday it was EDF complaining about a “Climate change denier named Brazil’s Science Minister”.

    today, it’s:

    7 Jan: Times of India: Anahita Mukherji: ‘Fears of man-made global warming exaggerated’
    MUMBAI: Two of three scientists at a session on climate change and society at the Indian Science Congress on Tuesday felt fears of man-made global warming were greatly exaggerated…
    “While I agree that glaciers are melting because of global warming, if this is because of man, then what was the reason for the melting of the glaciers in the Gondwana period long before man arrived on the planet?” asked Dhruv Sen Singh, Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, University of Lucknow.
    “Climate change is a natural phenomenon while pollution is caused by man. We are definitely accelerating the process of climate change, but we cannot predict the rate or extent of climate change that can be attributed to man,” Singh said.
    According to him, fears of climate change amount to propaganda and “unnecessarily cause panic”.
    “The Cretaceous period 65 million years ago was the hottest in the history of the earth. Man was not around at the time,” he added.
    Singh said that if climate change was the cause of glaciers retreating, they should all be retreating at the same rate. “But in reality they are retreating at different rates, and some were advancing,” said Singh. “Despite the melting of glaciers, only at some places the sea level is rising, whereas at others it is constant, possibly due to the sinking of land,” he added…
    Hypothetically, even if man stopped industrial activity, stopped using cars and stopped using air-conditioners, monsoon patterns would still change,” said Agnihotri .(Rajesh Agnihotri senior scientist at the Radio and Atmospheric Science Division, National Physics Laboratory, who mapped changing trends in India’s monsoons).
    “Natural forces like solar intensity appear to be dominating monsoons to a greater extent than man-made climate change,” he added.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/Fears-of-man-made-global-warming-exaggerated/articleshow/45786412.cms?

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    Peter C

    Rereke,

    I enjoyed your article a lot.

    Not sure about your mathematics however (Venn Diagram).

    Firstly the diagram is not about Climate Change belief (or lack of belief). If you label one axis Accepts AGW vs Does not Accept AGW, then a lot of Doctors , Lawyers, Accountants and Engineers go into the first group.

    Secondly the axis are not independent variables (which they should be). Duty of Care is more or less the same as Skin in the Game.

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    pat

    no need to remind u bloomberg has a lot of skin in the game, but this is ridiculous and those commenting are not afraid to say so:

    6 Jan: Bloomberg/Businessweek: Bruce Einhorn: Australia Is Burning, and Climate Change Is Making It Worse
    It’s summertime in Australia, which means the fires are raging…
    This season’s wildfires are particularly damaging, destroying the largest amount of territory in more than three decades. The Insurance Council of Australia yesterday declared a catastrophe for regions near Adelaide in South Australia.
    Fires may be inevitable in Australian summers, but climate change is making the problem more severe, says Will Steffen, an adjunct professor at the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment & Society. “Pretty much all parts of the continent do burn,” says Steffen, who is also a councillor with the Climate Council, an NGO in Sydney. As temperatures rise, however, the patterns are changing, with the southeastern part of the country more vulnerable than before. “We are seeing an increase in the most populated areas of Australia. That’s really of concern, the fires that can encroach on the edge of cities.”…
    As the continent gets hotter, Australians will need to prepare for fire seasons that start earlier and are more dangerous, says Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, climate change program manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation, an NGO in Melbourne…
    FIRST COMMENT by Adam Smith: Ridiculous articles like this are why I cancelled Businessweek years ago.
    SECOND COMMENT by diggferkel: So a 0.5 degrees Celsius increase in temperature during the last 20 years has caused forest fires to suddenly start raging more? Yeah, right.
    THIRD COMMENT by Leslie Graham: What simplisitc junk…etc etc
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2015-01-06/australias-wildfires-are-getting-worse-because-of-climate-change

    u have to laugh. give it up bloomberg.

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    • #
      Lord Jim

      fires that can encroach on the edge of cities.”

      Not to mention: population increases mean cities are a lot bigger than they were 30 years ago…

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      mike restin

      “This season’s wildfires are particularly damaging, destroying the largest amount of territory in more than three decades.”
      ………
      Makes one want to ask why it took all this extra man made global warming to just reach the same extent as 3 decades ago?
      Wonder what cause the problem then?
      mr

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    pat

    wow! after reading the following nonsense, is it any wonder partly-taxpayer-funded SBS is showing a total flop – Years of Living Dangerously – which the public ignored in the US where it was made, on not one, not two, but on 3 channels over the Christmas/New Year season? only realised it was on SBS3, as well as SBS 1 and 2, when i was watching tennis on free-to-air and going through the menu:

    5 Jan: SBS: Comment: Women to suffer under Abbott government’s climate change neglect
    Removing Australia’s price on carbon is bad news for everyone – but it’s especially bad news for women.
    By Kelly O’Shanassy
    (Kelly O’Shanassy is the CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation)
    Leaving aside the exaggerated household savings estimate, which has been well and truly debunked, and the rather 1950s view of women’s role in society, let’s explore whether removing the carbon price really is good for women.
    The facts tell us the opposite is true – removing Australia’s most important mechanism to tackle climate change is bad for all of us, and it is especially bad for women.
    Why? Because the carbon price reduces the greenhouse pollution that causes climate change. This pollution is the major cause of climate change, and climate change makes our weather more extreme and heatwaves more severe. And the stats say women suffer more than men…
    The reality is older women are the people most susceptible to death during heatwaves in Australia.
    Research conducted in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane shows the elderly, especially females aged 75 and over, are the most vulnerable to premature death as a result of heatwaves.
    The study identified possible reasons for the increased risk to women including an adverse effect of menopause on thermoregulation and cardiovascular fitness as well as social factors such as living alone or low income…
    We have a responsibility to women in developing countries too who are particularly vulnerable to the extreme weather events that are becoming more pronounced with climate change.
    Work by Care International shows women and children are 14 times more likely than men to suffer direct impacts of natural disasters.
    More women are injured or killed during hurricanes and floods…
    More than anything Mr Abbott’s comments about women and the carbon price betray a serious misreading of what most women value in life.
    Polling by JWS Research in May 2014 for the Climate Institute showed women are more likely than men to believe climate change is happening and is a threat to Australia…
    In the hot days ahead, it’s important that we’re all keeping an eye out for our mothers, nanas, aunties, sisters, neighbours and friends.
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/01/05/comment-women-suffer-under-abbott-governments-climate-change-neglect

    would SBS ever ask Jo to participate in a debate, write an article, etc?

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    • #
      Annie

      Women need shelter, decent food and enough affordable energy to enable them to keep cool in the heat and warm when it’s cold. A ‘carbon’ tax would prevent their doing so.

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    MadJak

    Well put Rereke,

    Of course, the trouble is there are people from all groups who once they put their precious and delicate egos on the line just cannot bring themselves to admit that they got sucked in by the likes of Gore, Flannery and others.

    I believe strongly based on my experience is that this is what makes these sorts of issues so difficult – the good old Human ego. If it’s not from academics who are fearful of losing tenure, it’s be from politicians who chose the popular mantra (due to their own reasoning deficiencies).

    Once people are committed, they rarely back down.

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    Manfred

    Thank you for your thoughtful vignette RW.

    You refer to the notion of accountability which is, I believe key. Accountability is interesting because it represents a contemporary and illusory expression of trust. Trust is now inverted so that the person who requires to exercise trust now holds the ‘power’ in the form of a list of compliance, a list of observable actions that may be ticked off. This is the accountability game and it is a ‘Progressive’ version of trust. It is devoid of ethics.

    So why this faux-trust, this soulless accountability? Because in the Progressive inversion of so much of what is valued and aspired to in civil society we have been cultivated to believe that accountability gives us power. It doesn’t. It simply fixates the trustee on the accountability boxes and their subsequent tick. A committee provides the boxes and checks that the ticks have been applied. More importantly still, it absents any requirement of ethics. Doubtless the IPCC, UNEP et al. are all ‘accountable’. Do they have ethics? Do they act with openess, integrity and honesty? (think no further here than the documents for ‘policy makers’)

    Human relations that no longer aspire to a higher moral ground of ethical interaction diminish us all. Where there is risk of personal or group harm in human interaction, so was (is) found ethics. On the sports field it is seen as gamesmanship. No longer is sportsmanship chosen over gamesmanship. In this AMJ article a point is made that where there is no accountability in the sporting arena there appear no ethics. Gamesmanship has supplanted sportsmanship. So if someone dies at the hand of a bouncer delivery (one deliberately intended to pressure and/or hurt the batsman) the bowler faces no formal accountability in a court of law for manslaughter. Were this another working environment there would be hell to pay for a wide variety of participants.

    When trust is absent so to is ethics and the risk of harm may increase. Accountability on its own is almost meaningless, which is one reason why no bureaucratic elite gives a ferk about it. It is so easy to manipulate. The box ticker is presented with the list of boxes by a committee. If a crucial box is omitted (ie. the personal responsibility when making a multi-million dollar modeled prediction of weather/climate on which international political policy is based and upon which economic and personal harm will ensue) the accountability process becomes as vacuous as you have identified.

    Ethics was once the quality that ensured a generic basis for trust. It is the quality we absolutely need to demand and scrutinise for once again. Dispense with trust, the need for ethics disappears. Accountability is an self-interested regent; tick the boxes and all is well. The University and bureaucratic environments exemplify this culture.

    Now, if I understand your axis labeling and orientation correctly, (you said 12.1 “The lower right hand corner represents no duty of care (no censure for being wrong), and no cost of failure (to the person failing”)….

    …put another way, the lower right corner is bereft of ethics, replete with mindless, politically correct, progressive ‘accountability’. The top left corner still retains ethics (and accountability too) and are inclined to see the basis of their engagement with others as among other things, a mutually interdependent engagement. Politicians may do ‘surprisingly’ better because deep in the recess of their reptilian hind brain they want to survive in power and for that they literally need their electorate. It is doubtful they ever adhered to ethics very closely. Nevertheless, they serendipitously extricated themselves from ‘accountability’ (which might have been useful in their case given the absence of ethics in the first place) largely thanks to the rabid incompetence of the Progressive MSM.

    If we are to re-civilise the elite, we will need to find a way to institute ethics once again. I’m not holding my breath, but I believe that it is worth considering.

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    It has jokingly been said, that people can be classified into two groups.

    Rubbish! There are 10 types of people

    - those who know binary
    - and those who don’t

    Then there are the sceptics who can work in base 3.

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    KinkyKeith

    Short Concise and Worthwhile.

    My kind of post.

    And as you say, thanks Jo – unquerty.

    KK

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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Thanks for the comment Peter,

    It is not meant to be a Venn diagram, which as you point out, has a mathematical basis. It is, what we call, an attitudinal affinity matrix. It is loosely based on the principles and development methodology of the Boston Research Group, who developed this concept.

    It is not intended to be about AGW per se, but rather professional attitude.

    The horizontal axis is intended to show the amount of emotional, personal reputation, or financial investment, that must be made in order to practice a profession. Doctors, for example, will need to buy into a practice, or equip a surgery. lawyers will need to buy into a practice, etc. This is what I mean by having “skin in the game”. Compare this with journalists, who can publish articles that are dangerously wrong, and yet face no sanction.1

    What I am attempting to show, on the vertical axis, is that some professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc) also need to be registered and have a practicing certificate in order to pursue their profession. There tends to be independent bodies that establish oversight and disciplinary mechanisms over the activities of their professional members; providing the means of redress for the public, for any cause.

    This, I referred to as having, “A Duty of Care”, because any breach of professional or ethical rules, or any act of incompetence, can cost you your career. The opposite of this, is having no tangible personal cost of failure, other than a bit of gossip in the lunch room.

    (1) New Zealand, at one time, had two organisations using the name “CountryWide”. One was a transport company, and the other was a bank.
    A journalist got wind of the fact that CountryWide Transport was about to go into receivership, and published a story that, “CountryWide is about to go Bankrupt”. This caused a run on the bank, which forced it to stop trading, and eventually led to it being taken over by one of the other banks. The journalist who “broke” the story did not suffer in any way. There was no duty of care.

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    Another Ian

    Jo,

    Seems to fit here

    “The trust me crowd and the show me crowd ”

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/1/7/the-trust-me-crowd-and-the-show-me-crowd.html

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    Rick Bradford

    There is also the quadrant map invented by Italian economist Carlo Cipolla.

    The horizontal axis represents ‘benefits accruing to oneself’; the vertical axis, ‘benefits accruing to society’.

    * Intelligent people (top right), contribute to society and who leverage their contributions into reciprocal benefits
    * Naive people (top left), who contribute to society but are taken advantage of by it
    * Bandits (bottom right), who pursue their own self-interest even when doing so poses a net detriment to societal welfare
    * Stupid people (bottom left), whose efforts are counterproductive to both their and others’ interests
    * Helpless/ineffectual people (center).

    Most of the loudest voices in the climate debate would lie firmly in the bottom right (bandit) category, firmly and knowingly on the taxpayer funded gravy train. Many of the willing contributors to Green groups lie in the top left quadrant — in the left half of the graph, anyway.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_M._Cipolla

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    Anton

    “Ultimately it is the people who hold all the power.”

    Yes, and that is true even in places like North Korea; the point is that they don’t realise it (in both senses of ‘realise’). A generation ago Gene Sharp wrote an academic thesis studying what movements that successfully enacted regime change by peaceful means had in common. He then expanded it into a 3-volume published work and a short how-to handbook called “From dictatorship to democracy” which is available free online in many languages. A key point is to remain peaceable no matter what the provocation, because force is your opponent’s strongest suit if you are challenging the government. Doing this takes courage and there are likely to be martyrs. But Sharp explains why Rere’s comment (which I quote above) is correct. Download a copy while you can!

    Bureaucrats will always be at bottom right of Rere’s diagram. The best thing to do is have very few of them. It’s called small government.

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      Mark D.

      Good comment Anton, especially this:

      Bureaucrats will always be at bottom right of Rere’s diagram. The best thing to do is have very few of them. It’s called small government.

      Worth repeating.

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        Mark Hladik

        My half-pfennig on this:

        Agreed that in a Republic, the “power” rests with the people (T. Jefferson: ‘… deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …’), but in the 21st Century, slowly, inexorably, the “government” is taking the power away from the governed.

        SafetyGuy describes a person who only believes what she has been spoon-fed to believe, and told that ‘real’ stuff is all fake. The classic ‘low-information voter’; the ‘government’ is in the business of creating ‘low-information’ citizens, who are much more easily controlled than a high-information, thinking populace.

        Whether or not the trend is reversible, is yet to be determined. Personally, I boldly fear the morrow.

        Great piece, Rereke!

        Mark H.
        Casper, Wyoming
        United States

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          Anton

          You’ve missed my point Mark, ultimately a ruler cannot rule without his people’s consent provided that they refuse to be cowed and possess sufficient courage. Nothing to do with whether it’s a nominal democracy or an outright dictatorship. Gene Sharp shows how the people can act. You’d be surprised how many people, like followers of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, have used his work.

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            Yonniestone

            I believe the basics of a good democracy have been all but forgotten by people, we have moved from the right balance to an increasing left bias.

            To be very broad I’ll paraphrase an old saying about the left “We pretended to work and they pretended to pay us..” to “We pretend they hold power and they pretend to use it.”

            That to me is the massive game of trust undertaken by both sides in a democracy and considering the massive variables of the human condition it’s a miracle it even initially worked, good foundations are the key to successful democratic existence.

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      gai

      You can down load “From dictatorship to democracy” by Gene Sharp

      From the Fabian Society library along his book “Self Reliant Defense” in their Fabian Essays In Socialism
      http://www.bestebooksworld.com/ebook/16953/

      Copies of the book were seen by Journalists in the various uprisings in 2011.
      http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/02/25/after-egypt-and-libya-whats-next-for-those-still-under-dictato/

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        Mark D.

        If it’s Fabian, there is a problem.

        If it is in the hands of troublemakers then it’s sure to be by design.

        If it is the hands of opposing teams what does that mean?

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          Anton

          It’s available free at Gene Sharp’s own website (the “Albert Einstein Institution”); probably he assured the Fabians that he was happy to have them distribute it, as he is happy to have anybody distribute it. you are guaranteed the latest version at his own website as he tweaks it from time to time. More fascinating is Sharp’s mid-1980s book “Making Europe Unconquerable” about how, with awareness of the same principles, the people of Western Europe could have rendered themselves ungovernable by a Soviet regime that had managed to invade. Never have the people of the West been so unprepared for self-defence as today, and I do wonder how wise it is to delegate everything – absolutely everything – in the field of defence to armed forces that represent the highest of quality but are tiny in quantity in a multiculturalist society in which, to put it gently, not every single on of those ‘guest’ cultures is in sympathy with the umbrella host culture…

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    Don B

    Lewandowsky, theoretically a professional, has no fear of push back for his nonsense.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/1/6/lewandowsky-and-the-paleoparticipant.html

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    1. Everyone has his own skin in the game.
    2. That skin can be kept intact only if their choices and actions are coherent with what actually is.
    3. The use of coercive force can take only what currently exists but cannot create, innovate, or build new values.
    4. To believe, choose, and act otherwise is to be incoherent with reality and ultimately to fail. This is because the ONLY power coercive force has is to inhibit and destroy.

    4. The ultimate power is in the hands and minds of those who create, innovate, and produce.
    5. They can only do those things if they are free to learn, understand, choose, and act. Then freely trade the products of their actions with others of similar mind and motivation.
    6. When coercive force is applied, they are no longer free to use their minds according to their own motivations. Their ability to be productive decays and ceases to occur.
    7. Hence those who attempt to use coercive power will destroy the foundation of that which sustains their keeping their own skin.

    When it becomes impossible for the producers of value to continue to produce, the whole society collapses in upon itself. The lower right quadrant thereby put into action the forces that will cause their own demise. Sadly, it tends to take the rest of us with them.

    Our ultimate weapon:

    We have ZERO responsibility for keeping them alive. They have made their choice. Our choice is to require that they live and die by that choice.

    If you don’t have it, they can’t take it.
    If you don’t produce it, they can’t tax it.
    If you are not there, they can’t find you.

    Since “they” expect to live off you, they would have nothing to support themselves. They are then left with the bitter fact of having to eat each other or die. That is the final justice delivered by reality. We simply refused to be the subjects of continued human sacrifice.

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    On the “duty of care” axis I am glad to see that you put medical doctors at the top. But this is only in their own area. In the UK, when Medical Professionals speak about funding priorities for the National Heatlh Service, then they do not exercise a similiar duty of care in putting their immediate requirements in context of a “duty of care” to the taxpayer and to other spending priorities.
    This might be a limitation of the model. Academics in climate may believe they have a “duty of care” towards the planet, but put their views first. The more rounded view would be to consider the people as well.
    I think that academics do have a cost of failure. If academics do not publish they will lose funding. This can lead to a lack of care in getting their output right. They face the wrong incentives.

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    Manfred

    Forgive OT. More modeled catastrophe promoting the UNEP divest-invest “principles” I have previously alluded to. This time from University College London. It seems like we have to leave most the the fossil fuels, and definitely all the coal in the ground, if there’s any chance…….

    For the study, the scientists first developed an innovative method for estimating (?tossing the runes) the quantities, locations and nature of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves and resources. They then used an integrated assessment model to explore which of these, along with low-carbon energy sources, should be used up to 2050 to meet the world’s energy needs. The model, which uses an internationally-recognised modelling framework, has multiple improvements on previous models, allowing it to provide a world-leading representation of the long-term production dynamics and resource potential of fossil fuels. (?supercharged, LED back lit crystal ball)

    We’ve now got tangible figures (! impressive) of the quantities and locations of fossil fuels that should remain unused in trying to keep within the 2°C temperature limit.

    Lead author Dr Christophe McGlade, Research Associate at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources said: “We’ve now got tangible figures of the quantities and locations of fossil fuels that should remain unused in trying to keep within the 2°C temperature limit.

    “Policy makers must realise that their instincts to completely use the fossil fuels within their countries are wholly incompatible with their commitments to the 2°C goal. If they go ahead with developing their own resources, they must be asked which reserves elsewhere should remain unburnt in order for the carbon budget not to be exceeded.”

    Co-author Professor Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at and Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, who received an OBE for services to environmental policy in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list, said: “Companies spent over $670 billion (£430 billion) last year searching for and developing new fossil fuel resources. They will need to rethink such substantial budgets if policies are implemented to support the 2°C limit, especially as new discoveries cannot lead to increased aggregate production.

    Investors in these companies should also question spending such budgets. The greater global attention to climate policy also means that fossil fuel companies are becoming increasingly risky for investors in terms of the delivery of long-term returns. I would expect prudent investors in energy to shift increasingly towards low-carbon energy sources.” (UNEP six principles plug)

    The scientists’ analysis shows that their results are consistent with a wide variety of alternative modelling approaches from groups across the world with differing assumptions. Building on this analysis, their future work aims to investigate further the shifts in cumulative fossil fuel production between scenarios that lead to different long-term average global temperature rises.

    Peddled by the NZ MSM, lead item on the morning news after the Paris tragedy – Je suis Charlie

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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Thank you guys, tena koe, kia ora,

    I obviously based this post on some ongoing work in progress. I am probably not as far advanced in that, as I had hoped.

    But all of your feedback will be tremendously helpful in helping me to refine the ideas, and to explore some avenues that I have previously ignored. None of these comments will be wasted – they are pearls of wisdom.

    And even greater thanks are due to Jo, and the moderators, for making this site what it is – she deserves all the support she can get. (Hint, Hint)

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      Manfred

      RW, thank you for your contribution, your patience, insight and humour, all valuable and valued qualities in a World that skates on thin eggs.

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    handjive

    Thanks Rereke Whakaaro.

    Another erudite commentator @jonova who joins TonyfromOz & Eric Worrall.
    (apologies to any I may have missed)

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    old44

    How did Doctors, Engineers and Accountants get lumped in with Lawyers?

    Lawyers can give abysmal advice, perform poorly in court and use abusive tactics against vulnerable people to defend the lowest scum of society who commit the most despicable of crimes and then walk away with a clear conscience saying just doing my job.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Each of those professions have a process of registration, whereby members who do not meet the standard of professionalism required, can be forcibly removed from the profession, and forbidden to practice any further.

      Academic freedom eschews any concept of professional standards, even for professors, relying instead, on peer review and the threat of a wet bus ticket.

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    handjive

    CSIRO nominates world’s best climate here in Australia!

    Not only that, it has been going on for years during hottest year ever:

    Whatever the reason, the punters keep returning year after year and some eventually make it their permanent sea change.

    The fishing’s not bad either.

    news(dot)domain(dot)com(dot)au/domain/real-estate-news/yambas-best-beach-getaways-20150107-12ivjm.html

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    handjive

    Hottest year ever update:

    Cooler summer days have led to plenty of tomatoes at the Alice Springs community garden.

    “I am currently picking these gorgeous tomatoes,” she said.

    “We’ve been really lucky with the weather.

    “When it gets too hot the flowers don’t actually produce any fruit.

    “We have got more tomatoes than we can actually eat,” she said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-07/alice-springs-community-garden/6002820

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    handjive

    The Scientific Method

    Theory/experiment:

    1990: Finland introduces the world’s first carbon tax to stop “Doomsday Global Warming.”

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/10/29/factbox-carbon-taxes-around-world

    2015: Finland’s temperatures have risen at roughly double the rate of the planet as a whole, a new study suggests

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/land-of-the-midnight-sun-warms-fastest-in-world/

    Conclusion: carbon dioxide DOES NOT control climate
    OR carbon(sic) taxes DO NOT work.

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    In regard to your reference to the Roman plebs, I personally would break it down even further because the Plebs were a distinct upper class in themselves. It was fairly common for members of the ‘aristocracy’ – patricians – to marry their daughters off to men of of the Plebian aristocracy. The Head Count (capite censi?) were the real working class and made up the bulk of Roman citizenry, but the aristocracy generally didn’t fear it at all because it could be kept docile by cheap bread and games. The Head Count generally didn’t care when there were ructions at the top of the political tree, mostly because their votes were virtually worthless and partly because they didn’t care as long as they got the free grain dole or cheap grain.
    Australia has a pretty large Head Count!

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    pat

    skin in the game…

    ***report for DECC by Ecofys, which was part of Econcern (check Wikipedia) before it went bankrupt in 2009. Ecofys has since been sold to Eneco, a Dutch power company (through the 100% owned holding company Echo Investments):

    7 Jan: CarbonBrief: Simon Evans: Early EU carbon market reform paramount – UK study
    Early implementation of planned reforms to fix the EU carbon market is much more important than the details of those reforms, according to a report produced for the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
    Rapid reforms are needed to tackle the “myopia of firms” who risk getting locked in to a high-carbon path, says the report published by DECC yesterday. Early reform is the single biggest factor in correcting the problems faced by the carbon market, it adds.
    The EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) is central to EU efforts to tackle climate change. But it has been suffering from chronically low prices that are insufficient to drive needed low-carbon investments, potentially leaving firms facing higher costs later on if they are forced to retire high-carbon technology early.
    The European Commission has proposed to bring in ETS reforms from 2021 in an effort to tackle these low prices…
    The reserve should be introduced much sooner, in 2017, according to the UK, France and Germany among others, such as the International Energy Agency.
    They now have support for this position from a study looking at a range of options for the proposed market stability reserve.
    The report, prepared for DECC by consultants ***Ecofys, considers different ways to trigger the reserve into action…
    (FINAL PARA) Fixing the ETS is hugely important for EU climate efforts in both practical and symbolic terms. It isn’t just EU carbon targets that could be at risk. The rapidly developing global embrace of carbon markets could be threatened, too.
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/early-eu-carbon-market-reform-is-paramount-uk-government-study/

    ***re the following: all these fossil fuels must remain in the ground in order for the CO2 emissions trading scheme to get off the ground, once we’ve fixed it yet again:

    7 Jan: CarbonBrief: Roz Pidcock/Rosamund Pearce: Meeting two degree climate target means 80 percent of world’s coal is “unburnable”, study says
    More than 80 per cent of the world’s known coal reserves need to stay in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change, according to new research. Thirty per cent of known oil and 50 per cent of gas reserves are unburnable and drilling in the Arctic is out of the question if we’re to stay below two degrees, the new research notes…
    The implication is that any fossil fuels that would take us over-budget will have to be left in the ground.
    ***Globally, this equates to 88 per cent of the world’s known coal reserves, 52 per cent of gas and 35 per cent of oil, according to the new research…
    The University College London team used a complex energy system model to investigate the fraction of “unburnable” fossil fuel reserves in 11 specific regions worldwide…
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/meeting-climate-targets-means-80-per-cent-of-worlds-coal-is-unburnable,-study-says/

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    pat

    8 Jan: Bloomberg: Mathew Carr: Oil Plunge Seen Eroding Emissions Ambition: Carbon & Climate
    While the falling price of crude oil is giving consumers cheaper energy, it’s threatening long-term global pollution-control efforts.
    Reduced national income from energy taxes and “a low-growth economic environment” might spur countries to curtail their emissions-curbing pledges for after 2020, leading to more emissions of carbon for a longer time, said Zoe Knight, head of the HSBC Holdings Inc.’s climate change center in London…
    Public money “for funding low-carbon energy scale-up and energy-efficiency retrofits could be scarcer,” Knight said yesterday in an e-mailed note. Reduced government funds “leads to difficult choices on capital resource allocation, which in turn could mean high carbon lock-in over the long run,” she said…
    Emerging countries “have limited financial resources to embed resilience to the risk factors, which will affect the pace of economic development,” Knight said. “Developing countriescontinue to worry that developed ones are not doing enough to mitigate warming nor provide enough financial resources for adaptation; we expect this to feature heavily in a Paris deal.” …
    ***Lower levels of government money because of oil’s fall means it’s even more important for nations and companies “to signal they understand the long-term challenges of enabling a low-carbon world and are stepping up to tackle them by deploying capital appropriately,” Knight said…
    ***“The oil price drops shows the danger of having an economy that’s heavily dependent on fossil fuels,” said Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-08/oil-plunge-seen-eroding-emissions-ambition-carbon-climate.html

    ***not even using a female spokeswoman can make HSBC credible, Bloomberg…and as for Bob Ward/Grantham, people stopped taking him seriously years ago.

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    Owen Morgan

    I always read comments by Rereke Whakaaro, because they always repay reading. I’m not entirely convinced by this article, though. Rereke puts politicians in the middle, innocently defending policies which should not be defended. I can’t agree with that, from a British point of view, anyway. No British political party can claim innocence, when it comes to eco-lunacy. They are all signed up to it and they know what they are doing. Some UKipper is bound to object to that, but I’ll be interested to know when UKip made any effective objection to warmism. It certainly hasn’t happened yet.

    The other objection to Rereke’s piece…: I do know a thing or two about the Romans and I can assure you that the ruling elite there never feared the populace in any political sense. In the Republic, the mass of the population belonged to the last of the thirty-odd tribes whose votes were counted, come election-time, except that their votes were counted last, by the time they didn’t – well – count. It was like the American electoral college, which never meets: once you achieve a majority – never mind the votes – you’ve won.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Owen, I stand corrected, regarding the Romans; I was basing my analogy on what I have seen and read in the popular literature. My bad.

      As for the placement of the political group; I am certainly not defending the actions of politicians, other than implying that they are generally not competent in matters they are asked to consider. They end up around the middle of the “Duty of Care” axis because they are highly conflicted, in having a duty of care to so many divergent groups. As a result, they tend to rely on advice from those who claim to be the specialist authority on whatever subject is at hand. Knowing a great deal about very little, carries a lot of weight with the Whitehall generalists.

      It is made worse in Britain, in my opinion, by the still-existent class structure and the various implied moral authorities, that follow from that.

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    Jonah

    er, I think you’ll find lawyers are completely unaccountable, in this country at least. They are immune from professional incompetence actions.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      There are no Laws of Tort, in Australia? I was under the impression that all of the Commonwealth countries inherited that principle.

      Is there no Bar Association to which somebody, who has been shoddily treated can appeal? I could understand there being no redress if a case was lost in court, based on the evidence. But there should be redress if pertinent evidence was ignored, and not presented, for example.

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    William

    Sadly, I disagree with the entire premise of the post.
    We, the people, do have “skin in game”. But, contrary to the post, we have no influence.
    We can rant and rave; we can jump up and down; we can hold our breath until we turn blue.
    But in the end, the scum of the earth will feel no pain. Only we feel the pain.
    Accordingly, I have a better idea. It is an idea that was perfected by the Romans and should be implemented forthwith.
    Once a month we should take a random 10% of the group identified in the bottom right hand corner, and feed them feet first into a wood chipper.
    Not only would it make the world a better place, but it would provide lovely fertilizer for my vegie garden.
    I am sure that there will be no shortage of people wishing to supply wood chippers.

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    Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

    Great graphic. A picture can indeed speak more than a 1000 words. In my experience, some of the most rabid “climate change” proponents I have encountered enjoy selfish, childless “life-style choices.” They therefore have absolutely no skin-in-the-game.

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