JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Battle of the religions: Vatican may list Green Sins against planet

The Catholic Church eyes off the competition — the Green Church of hippie witchdoctors. Thinks about discovering a new commandment — thou shalt not hurt silicon dioxide, (or something like that.)

Some catholic delegates call it an ecological conversion. I call it a marketing campaign.

Harming planet could be a sin, say Vatican delegates

by Tom Kington, The Australian

Delegates at the Pope’s synod on the creeping destruction of the Amazon have called for crimes against the environment to be ranked alongside traditional sins and have raised the idea of “ecological conversion” to a greener brand of Catholicism.

Can’t beat the pagans — can join them:

Conservative critics of the Pope, who loathe his liberal stances on homosexuality and divorce, claim that he has no business fighting climate change. They also allege that the synod’s working document gives tacit approval to pagan worship by praising the closeness of Amazon tribes to ­nature. Cardinal Gerhard Muller, from Germany, a former senior Vatican official who was ousted by the Pope in 2017 over his conservative views, has criticized the term “ecological conversion”, stating: “There is only conversion to the Lord.”

The Vatican wants to be a guide for lost souls, a Sunday social program and the Global EPA.

PS: Rock pic etc coming when I have unpacked, done red dust eradication and overcome camping-lag.

Keep reading  →

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The State of Destruction

Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that destruction is creating something and that the government is a wish-fairy.

Nice quote “The Industrial Decalogue”  from 1916.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

by William J. H. Boetcker

–W.I.S.T. (Wish I’d said that).

The list is known by many names — like “the Ten Cannots”. Urban myth has it that Abraham Lincoln said it, but he did not.

Imagine if this (or something like it) was a school anthem?

(And there may be even better, shorter ones, suggest away…)

 

h/t Chris D

 

UPDATE: Joanne is getting back tonight to Perth, from her epic drive to Uluru. Over 5,000 km, about 2,000 km on dirt. She blew a tire and destroyed a rim hitting a rock on a dirt section near the NT border, and the other car she was traveling with lost a lug bolt, blew one tire,  and had a puncture. Otherwise the drive was uneventful, so far. — David

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Midweek Unthreaded

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Port Hedland: one man with a keen interest knows more about this site than the Bureau of Met does

If the planet was at stake you’d think the BOM would be doing this research, not unpaid volunteers.

Bill Johnston has shown again, that the BOM is apparently unaware and, perhaps most damningly, not even interested in most of the things that happened to their official thermometer sites.

Port Hedland is supposedly “one of the best” researched sites in Australia — so it is a certified ACORN site (one of the 112). The trends matter, and being remote, it influences a large area. But one man with dedication and no funding at all can find key historical maps and photos that the BOM, with its million dollar-a-day budget, cannot.  Instead of doing this hard work the BOM uses the magical homogenization process “to fix” up all the anomalies by hunting for data in sites hundreds of kilometers away that can be used to adjust the records at Port Hedland. This is the secret process that even the BOM admits it cannot describe in full to anyone outside the BOM. As Johnston says, it’s a process so bad it “should be abandoned”. There is no saving the error correction that starts with bad data, missing documents, and barely any historical research and then pretends it can mash more bad data to produce “truth”.

One of the biggest flaws in the homogenisation process is that changes to stations swept across the country around the same time at many stations. In the wake of parallel changes, is a trail of sudden very artificial step changes in records at far distant stations. During World War II, the RAAF controlled many of the sites and after the war ended, some sites went to the Dept of Civil Aviation, others to the Met Bureau. As managers changed, so did practices and positions. Then in the 1950s passenger jet travel “took off” and runways grew larger and longer. The thermometers were often shifted around during these expansions. Meanwhile in post offices automatic telephone exchanges were being added, and in 1972 Fahrenheit thermometers become Celsius ones. In the 1970s microwave towers were added. In the mid 1990s electronic sensors arrived to replace the older mercury or alcohol bulbs, and screens shrank from 240 Litres down to just 60 Litres.

Homogenisation makes it possible to take these artificial jumps and spread the errors and biases to stations without the same changes. The process is so use-less it is damaging the data. Rather than detecting climate change, the process invents it, making it appear that changes to sites were really a change in the climate.

The Bureau needs to go back to the start, to scratch, and the raw records, and do the proper documentary search for each site they use. Either that or Australia needs to go back to the start and axe a dysfunctional organisation get a proper Bureau — one that is interested in Australia’s climate.

In the meantime it’s left to volunteers.

The curious case of Port Hedland

Guest post by Bill Johnston

….

Port Hedland is a hot dry place in the far North West of Western Australia. The average rain is about 11 inches annually (286mm). Evaporation though, is a ferocious 3.2 meters a year. The Port Hedland post office started recording temperatures in 1912, was hit by a major cyclone and inundated in 1939. From 1948 the records come from the airport. In 1939 the towns racetrack was converted into a landing ground and an Aeradio base was set up. Aeradio was a tracking station to watch and connect with flights going from Perth to Broome and warn the pilots about approaching weather. But the RAAF were not happy with the tidal swamps around it, and they set up a few runways 12km east of there by 1943. It had a workshop and buildings and even a machine-gun post. Such were the times! The official screen probably moved there in 1944.

The official metadata record for the site only says that the airport site opened in 1948 and that there was no useful overlap between it and the postoffice — which is not surprising given how many changes there were in the 9 years before that.

The metadata mentions ” that the “site moved within the airport grounds (585 m north-northeast) on 27 March 1981”. Johnston wonders which site moved and what happened to the Aeradio and RAAF data before 1948.

 

….

In this figure Johnston lined up all the sites that were used to homogenize the Port Hedland record in the period around 1968 – 1975. It’s easy to see that these were also often affected by artificial step ups in 1972 or 73.

...

______________________________________________________________________________

Dr. Bill Johnston.

Former weather observer and research scientist, New South Wales Department of Natural Resources

Summary

Limiting warming that hasn’t happened to 1.5oC relative to pre-industrial times by some time in the future is based on the faulty notion that homogenised temperature data reflect the climate alone.

Introduction

Across the world and particularly in Australia no weather station sites have stayed the same. Therefore its important that effects caused by site and instrument changes are not attributed to the climate.

Discussion

Historic temperature data collected to monitor the weather were from thermometers of unknown quality exposed in the shade, hung on the wall of south-facing verandas, in Glaisher stands which were manually turned away from the sun, in ‘thermometer houses’ of varying design, inside iron-roofed Stevenson screens and in some cases inside buildings.

For most historic datasets like Sydney Observatory, Cape Leeuwin, Cape Otway; and post offices like Port Hedland, Bourke, Darwin, Barcaldine and Mildura, details of site changes and the conditions under which observations were made are scant or unavailable. For many it’s not known when Stevenson screens were installed or the state of the instruments or if the vicinity was watered. Homogenisation aims to adjust for non-climate effects, however as explained in this note, methods used by the Bureau are unscientific, biased and should be abandoned.

There is no evidence in their reports that independent peer-reviewers[1] investigated datasets or looked for problems in homogenisation methods, or in the way data are observed or the usefulness of historic data for tracking trends or changes in the climate.

The three obvious sources of bias ignored by peer reviewers are:

  • Non-existent or faulty metadata (data about data) is used as primary evidence of site changes and as noted by Della-Marta et al. (2004)[2] (p. 85) “The decision of whether or not to correct for a potential inhomogeneity is often .. subjective”. Subjective assignment of changepoints allows the process to be guided by pre-determined outcomes.
  • Comparative methods whereby target site data are adjusted relative to data for up to 10 correlated comparators (whose data may not be homogeneous) lacks rigour and is also biased. As correlated comparators likely embed similar faults the adjustment process coerces site-related step-changes into a trend.
  • Residual trends that result from arbitrarily identified changepoints and dodgy adjustments are passed-off as being due to the climate by default.

Of particular concern is that by ignoring network-wide changes that happened in the 1950s, 1970s and more recently, homogenised datasets embed trends and changes that have nothing to do with the climate.

The problem of correlated comparators

Use of correlated comparators to make adjustments is the most obvious source of bias especially when their data are likely to be tainted by parallel site change effects.

Network wide changes in the 1950s include the post-WWII reorganisation of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Meteorological Section in June 1946 when Aeradio staff moved to the Department of Civil Aviation, and meteorological (met) staff to the Weather Bureau within the Department of the Interior. This required construction of Flight Services offices and control towers and refurbishment of former Aeradio facilities as met and radio-aids offices.

Driven by the need for improved upper-air forecasts for aviation, the second change included deployment of radiosonde balloons to monitor temperature and wind profiles, METOX radar to track the balloons and wind-finding (WF) radar to provide reliable coverage along major air routes. New met-offices usually distant from the previous Aeradio office supported such developments and met-enclosures were up-graded and moved as other facilities such as airport terminals were upgraded and runways strengthened and lengthened to handle jet aircraft.

Also, at about the same time, automatic telephone exchanges were built in post office yards and by the late 1970s, towers for microwave communications. On 1 September 1972 metrication resulted in thermometers across the network being replaced and units of rainfall changed from points to millimetres from the 1 January 1974. Next was the widespread introduction of automatic weather stations (AWS) and they becoming primary instruments from 1 September 1996.

As most network-wide changes are time-coordinated, correlated comparators likely reinforce rather than correct faults in homogenised data.

Changing to 60-litre screens

Replacing 230-litre Stevenson screens with 60-litre ones accelerated from about 1995 and is the single most important cause of network-wide warming and recent record temperatures.

Small screens are not buffered to the same extent by the enclosed air-volume as standard screens and transient eddies from pavements, passing vehicles and aircraft movements cause spikes on warm days, which the Bureau routinely reports as being due to the climate.

Practices that reduce natural cooling via the water cycle such as ploughing, spraying-out the grass and gravel mulching in the vicinity of sites also cause increased warming. Small screens beside dusty tracks at airports, roadsides and in paddocks, which accumulate dust and grime between infrequent service visits are also biased-high while changes such as new buildings, roads and other developments results in frequent over-ranging. In addition, satellite images confirm wind-profiler arrays installed close to screens at Canberra, Adelaide, Coffs Harbour, Tennant Creek and other airports cause up-steps in data that don’t reflect the climate.

As governments depend on the Bureau’s fake-news as much as the Bureau depends on the government’s largess, there is little wonder that those in charge of Australia’s climate are not interested in holding the Bureau to account.

Conclusions

  • Site change impacts (most recently the introduction of AWS and 60-litre Stevenson screens) dominate trends and changes in Australian temperature records and no datasets show warming that unequivocally due to the climate.
  • Action on climate change and the Paris agreement with all its buzzwords – limiting warming that hasn’t happened to 1.5oC by some time in the future is the greatest scam ever perpetrated in the name of science.
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Homogenisation: The Magical system which uses thermometers in Victoria to correct the temperature in Tasmania

Trying to fix past mistakes through homogenization

Lots of things can muck up a perfect thermometer spot, like shade, new roads, new screens, or old paint. In order to remove these annoying non-climatic effects, the BOM compares each station to those around it to look for odd changes. In theory this sounds like a good idea. In practice it’s more like hepatitis – bad news that spreads. It’s a rogue code, sweeping through records, trying to find undocumented changes, and enabling any amount of revisionism.

The BOM “detects” these mysterious shifts at each site through thermometers that may be hundreds of kilometers away, even across a mountain range or the Bass Strait.

Among other sites, Cape Bruny in far south Tasmania has been corrected with the help of Ballarat 812 km away on the mainland, over mountains and across the Bass Strait. In 1991 Cape Bruny was found to be “statistically” wrong, and adjusted down by over half a degree.

Cape Bruny Island, Tasmania, Thermometer, Bureau of Meteorology

All these sites marked in red were used to correct the record at least once at Cape Bruny, a distant island in the far south of Tasmania.

It’s a tough life for old screens: Their wooden houses get cracked, their lawn doesn’t get mowed, they get moved around the corner, and then the old thermometer gets swapped for a new one. Sometimes careless people build buildings and carparks in inconvenient places, bringing shade and windbreaks. Sometimes these are recorded, sometimes not.

No one is saying that the raw data doesn’t need any adjustments, but the BOM should be doing the historical research first, as the unpaid BOM audit team does — and for these kinds of changes, especially Bill Johnston. Only after the BOM has all the documentary photos and site moves should it even think about letting an algorithm sweep through the raw data trying to make up for all the inadequacies of the recording equipment or the lack of good information about the site.

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Australia: 2019 was not the hottest summer say satellites — it was just as hot in 1991

All that global warming and nothing to show for it?

Headlines rang out telling Australians that last summer was the hottest ever. But, according to the UAH satellite series, the hottest — just barely — was in 1991, when CO2 was a wonderful, safe 356 ppm. Since then, humans have emitted more than half — fully 58% — of all the emissions we have ever emitted since we crawled out of those dank caves. CO2 levels are almost 50 ppm higher now, and temperatures are almost as high.*

Wonder if this summer will get close to the summer of 1991 (and we wonder if Victoria will keep the lights on).

Australia, summer temperatures, Graph, 2019, UAH, satellite, hottest summers.

The UAH data comes from NASA satellites, which cover all the Australian land mass every day and night.

The BOM (and NASA) prefers to use Australian ground data which is based on sparse thermometers that keep changing sites and equipment, are located near airport tarmacs, buildings, and cars. When readings are too cold, the BOM sometimes deletes them. Temperatures from thermometers hundreds of kilometers apart are magically homogenized and “corrected” through a secret computer process and two thirds of our warming comes from those adjustments, not from CO2 or whatever is warming the planet. To measure climate change, the BOM compares new readings from super-fast electronic one-second measurements in small 60 litre boxes to old readings from slow glass thermometers in 240 litre boxes. The agency carefully calibrates these different thermometers then throws all that data away. What’s not to like?

Here’s the BOM temperature map for summer 1991

Summer 2019, Bureau of Meteorology Map

 

And for summer 2019

So, 28 years later the Australian summer was about the same in the places where 24 million people live. But possibly it was hotter in places where we have almost no people and hardly any thermometers. Maybe. In the BOM’s defence it was wetter in Northern Australia in 1991 than in 2019. However this just means that if 2019 was the “hottest” then it was due to the drought, not our CO2.
Summer 2019, Bureau of Meteorology Map

Drought means higher maximums

As Roy Spencer, Ken Stewart and Bill Johnston have independently shown, rainfall cools the maximum temperatures in summer in Australia. Obviously, in summer, wet ground is cooler ground and so is the air above it.  Tom Quirk has reported that the biggest differences between UAH and the BOM are in December and February.

In Australia, if the climate gets cooler we may get more droughts (due to less evaporation off the ocean), This may mean higher extreme maximums in summer than what we got during a lovely hot spell. Whatever happens, of course, a PR Bureau will call it “climate change” and they predicted it, even if they predicted the opposite.

DATA

Lower Troposphere Aust: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

BOM Temperature Map for Australian Summer of 2019

BOM Temperature Map for Australian Summer of 1991

 

* Unlike “expert climate scientists” I’m not claiming anything about CO2 because of one hot summer then or now. I claim that CO2 is largely irrelevant because the trends are not increasing, 28 million weather balloons couldn’t find the hot spot, 1,000 tide gauges show the seas are not rising fast, nor are they accelerating. Plus the climate models are wrong on the Antarctic, and hopeless on most things.

 

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Which expert put a thermometer on a hot tin roof for 40 years?

Is This the Wackiest Weather Station in Australia?

Guest post by Ken Stewart

South Australia puts thermometers beside incinerators. Victoria puts them behind prison walls. Tasmania has one beside piles of human excrement. New South Wales has them beside freeways. But Queensland goes one better — it has one on a roof.  And not just any roof, but on the shiny steel roof of a sugar loader, high above the ocean, and at the end of a jetty 5.6 kilometres out to sea. It’s in the Coral Sea, at Lucinda Point in Far North Queensland.

This station cannot possibly record meaningfully representative temperatures. But these temperatures are duly reported on the Bureau’s websites, and on TV and radio. Not only that, but temperatures at Lucinda are used to adjust temperatures at Cairns. Thus, they contribute to the official climate record of Australia, and also to global climate analyses by the likes of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) and the Hadley Climate Research Unit (HadCruT).

Putting a weather station on a roof is a direct breach of the Bureau of Meteorology’s own guidelines, which state:

3.6.7  “Shelters shall not be installed on the tops of roofs, or near the exhausts or heat exchangers of such equipment as air conditioners, refrigerators and the like.”

Here’s a Google satellite image of the Lucinda Point jetty and sugar loading wharf.  The Stevenson screen containing the automatic electronic thermometer is in the red oval.

Lucinda Jetty and thermometer

This image shows the length of the jetty.

Lucinda Bureau of Meteorology

Being on the roof of the sugar loader, 5.6km offshore, the weather station has not had an update to the site plan since 2002 (not surprisingly).

Keep reading  →

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Who knew? The Australian Bureau of Met just made last summer hotter, and history colder (again)

The cheapest way to prevent man-made global warming is stop the BOM altering the data

First the BoM had “high quality” data. Then, with fanfare, after we asked for an audit they had the miracle of ACORN circa 2011. Then early this year ACORN 2.0 was quietly birthed  with major adjustments as expert data became “more expert” but the BOM strangely didn’t want to mention that what was so good is now even better (apparently). The unofficial BOM audit team — especially Bob Fernley-Jones and Chris Gillham — have unearthed just how large the latest rewrite of history is. These men are truly independent, they have no funding, and nothing to gain either way. Please thank them for their unpaid dedication.

In this brazen latest round, even the summer of 2018 just got warmer. After all the headlines, after it was measured on supposedly modern first class equipment, even data just 18 months old is being re-fiddled. The temperatures read out on the news in January 2018? Nevermind what they said then. Those hottest ever records then were even hotter than the BoM thought, thanks to amazing new discoveries that the BOM doesn’t think are important enough to issue as a press release.

This time around the BoM have increased the warming rate by an astonishing 71%.

Who knew? Temperatures in 1910 are still getting colder. Pretty soon we’ll need to send blankets back with Dr Who so our grandparents don’t die of hypothermia.

– Jo

___________________________________________________

Whopper #1: Bureau of Meteorology covertly (secretly?) made summer hotter

Part 1: Guest post by Bob Fernley-Jones

In 2011, the BoM adjusted Australia’s temperature records with the objective of making corrections for the varying measurement conditions back in time.  Controversially, they deleted all data before 1910 by ruling them unreliable (especially the notably hotter values) and by adjusting the surviving early 1900’s values generally downwards.  Amid the controversy, this program received much official praise and publicity that culminated in a government sponsored report of 2017 declaring it to be among world’s best practice. Despite that acclaim, in October 2018 they found it necessary to quietly launch a new program that further increased warming rates. Whilst there was no media release to inform the public, it was presumably well received by the IPCC.

The two adjustment programs employ a methodology known as homogenization which is described under the acronyms ACORN-SAT (2011), replaced by ACORN-SAT version 2 (hereafter v1 & v2). The discovery of what follows arose from enquiries to the BoM made last year over existing concerns with v1 data and the fortuitous archiving of BoM data and graphics that no longer exist on line (but which are easily proven).   It resulted in citizen researcher awareness of v2 despite the lack of media release and thus in recent interest to compare outcomes.

The first example below animates the changes to the all-Australia summer averages (Southern Hemisphere DJF).  This selection was made to avoid any suggestion of picking the worst case that might otherwise result from regional variability, and it is not the worst case. It is derived from a BoM online download archived in early 2018 compared with the replacing v2 copy and shows a v1 warming rate of 0.07 0C/decade to 2018 and for v2; 0.12 0C/decade to 2019. That results in an increased warming rate of an incredible 71%.

Australian Summer Maxes, animated changes from 2018-2019. Bureau of Meteorology.

Australian Summer Maxes, animated changes from 2018-2019. Bureau of Meteorology.

 Animation by Chris Gillham (waclimate.net)


The extraordinary value in 2019 clearly has an impact on the increased v2 rate but the v1 data were also archived. This has enabled determination of the v2 rate less the 2019 value, as follows:

Australian summer maximums, changes to data 2018 - 2019.

Click to enlarge

 

From this, the increased warming rate v2 over v1 for 1910 through 2018 is 57% on top of that already accomplished in ‘world’s best practice’ of v1 over the original data.  Typically, cooling adjustments randomly increase downwards towards 1910 and oppositely towards 2019 (the dotted trend lines intersect and pivot roughly in the centre = minimal net adjustments around the centre).

But, it gets worse.  In Part 2, an increase in warming trend of 87% will be revealed, together with another problem where the State average data show inexplicable changes as late as in 2018 when none of its individual stations do (As also with the above but discussed in Part 2).

REFERENCES:

* Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) v2

* Technical report defining ACORN-SAT v1 (Trewin 2012)

* Technical report defining ACORN-SAT v2 (Trewin 2018)

* “Bureau’s procedures and data analysis as amongst the best in the world”  (3-year Technical Advisory Forum final report 2017)

*  Online time-series graphics and data v2.

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Travelling through the Gibson Desert Oct 1 – 10 — (sorry about emails)

Just a quick note to say I’ll be out in the Gibson desert beyond phones and emails for the next ten days. Apologies, as I won’t be able to reply and haven’t set up an email auto reply. Responses will be very very delayed. Posts are still coming, David will keep an eye on things. Thanks to the moderators for keeping discussion going. Merci! Back soon. — Jo

 

Olgas

Yes, I’m headed for that Rock next to these ones. It’s only 2056 km.
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Big Gov Octopus squeezes Russia into sending very mixed messages

Putin doesn’t think humans control the climate, and has said so openly. Now, he’s finally agreed to ratify the Paris agreement, though with very low targets. He even did it by a government order (which means he has bypassed the house — the State Duma) — presumably to avoid the people who would voice “the same kinds of arguments against the need for collective action that he himself has frequently expounded.”.

The Cold Calculus Behind Putin’s Lukewarm Embrace of Paris Pact

By Natasha Doff, Ilya Arkhipov, and Yuliya Fedorinova, Bloomberg

Putin, who presides over the world’s fourth-largest emitter, is trying to position himself as a leader of the same transnational regulatory movement that his first economic adviser compared to fascism. After three and half years of foot-dragging, Putin has finally decided to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement — and the reasons have less to do with the fate of the planet than with geopolitics and gross domestic product.

Mark it in your diary. Straight answer coming:

 In fact, when asked if embracing the Paris pact means Putin now agrees with the scientific consensus on the primary cause of planetary heating, his spokesman was unusually blunt:

“No,” Dmitry Peskov said by text message.

 He’s now speaking double-inverted climate speak — where he still says he doesn’t agree with the consensus but they should do some mitigation, while dropping coded complaints about “unidentified Western leaders who he said continue to cynically distort the issue for political and economic gain.”

In the leadup he was lobbied by leaders in Germany, France and Scandinavia.

[Officials involved in those discussions] said Putin’s policy pivot was driven by the cold calculus of economics and realpolitik rather than any real conviction in the efficacy of further crimping personal and corporate behavior.

The reason for the flip is that Russia is already isolated and faces sanctions from the West and he can see more coming. Environmental standards are being promoted everywhere and it’s just a matter of time before Russia is isolated further, and Russian exports  are taxed out of business.

In other words, no nation (bar the US, perhaps) can stand alone against the Big Government Octopus.  (It’s time other nations got organised – bring back the Commonwealth!) We need a coalition of countries, the Anglosphere, plus Brazil, Japan, Russia?

Because of the fallout from the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s emissions are 25% less than they were in 1990. So Putin could brag about that if he wanted too. Doesn’t count for anything though. It’s not how much CO2 you produce, it’s how much you say you care about it….

 

h/t Pat

 

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Weekend Unthreaded

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The unseen danger of declaring fake “climate emergencies”

A declaration of a fake emergency is just like yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre

Climate emergency protest, by Takver from Australia

Photo by Takver.

A couple of days after skeptics were banned by The Conversation, came an article advising how people who do illegal, potentially dangerous things can use the “climate emergency” as a legal defense. Skeptics and scientists might rub their hands with glee, waiting for the climate emergency to be vaporised by any half decent prosecuting lawyer. But that won’t happen — the alleged law breakers don’t have to prove there is a climate emergency, they just have to prove that a reasonable person would think there is. So when East Widgiemooltha declares a “mergency”, that is enough.

So when a local council succumbs to fashion whims or gets heckled into declaring an emergency it’s effectively encouraging vandals, tyrants, and paranoid eco-terrorists.

Activists are using the climate emergency as a new legal defence to justify law-breaking

Senior lecturer, School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University

 The defence permits law-breaking in circumstances of “sudden or extraordinary emergency” if:

an ordinary person possessing ordinary power of self-control could not reasonably be expected to act otherwise.

It’s a version of the common law “necessity defence”, which allows law-breaking to avoid greater harm or irreparable evil. This defence has been argued by climate activists in the US and UK for over a decade.

But unlike the common law defence, the extraordinary emergency defence is only activated by a sudden or extraordinary emergency.

Using climate change as a legal defence worked in the UK in 2008 when Greenpeace protesters painted graffiti on the chimney of a British power station. A jury acquitted them of property damage charges on the basis of necessity.

And earlier this year, another UK jury acquitted Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam and a fellow activist of similar charges. While the judge ruled climate change was irrelevant, the jury was persuaded by the defendants’ argument that their actions were a proportionate response to the climate crisis.

In the US, judges have been largely reluctant to let climate activists use this defence, and no climate activist has yet been acquitted of criminal charges when they do use it.

Valve Turners

….

 

And if that means that shutting high pressure gas pipeline valves down as a narcissistic stunt, that risks explosions, the “necessity excuse” might help someone avoid a 26 year jail sentence. Nothing says “we approve” quite like not punishing them.

However, in 2018, a US judge downgraded the charges against pipeline protesters to civil infractions and then found them not responsible on the basis of necessity. And, in 2019, “Valve Turner” protester Ken Ward succeeded in having his conviction overturned, on the basis he should have been allowed to argue necessity as a constitutional right.

But framing the “necessity defence” as an “extraordinary emergency defence” in jurisdictions like Queensland allows Australian climate activists to take advantage of the growing acceptance of climate change as emergency.

What they all need (the ABC, The Conversation, etc) is a calm voice reminding them of the 1001 reasons there’s no emergency. Obviously that won’t happen since they just banned calmness. Speaking of which: on this very important topic there were only 29 comments  of which 13 (50%!) were “automatically flagged for inspection by a moderator” and remain trapped there four days later. What’s the bet these comments will appear in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year — or only after Donald Trump is declared King?

The only good question Nicole Rogers asks:

Climate change emergency makes legal norms unworkable

So what is reasonable conduct in the face of the mounting climate crisis? The importance of asking this question cannot be overstated.

The Climate Emergency is a Conversation Emergency. We need to talk about our national conversations.

Attempts to avert this catastrophe through non-violent acts of civil disobedience will come to seem reasonable.

Only in The Monologues thought bubble Nicole.

If you live in a Climate Emergency Zone it’s time to get it rescinded.

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Eco-worriers new strategy: use Greta as a human shield against debate

The only reason Climate Scare Machine played the Child card was because they’ve given up the adult contest of persuasion.

As a marketing tactic it has a lot going for it. Playing the “girl under seige” card brings out protectors. Holding the “girlie hype” card whips the gullible and emotional into a frenzy. The people who don’t do numbers but rather assess the world via indignation-hope-and-fear can be galvanized into action. They may not be able to add up the megawatts to keep the lights on, but they can leverage emotional barbs to control whole dinner parties. In a gregarious species, that matters.

Strategically, best of all, the kiddie card means most adults will pull their punches, and anyone who tries to reply can be framed as an instant bully. As Laurie Atlas (on 4RO radio) said today, “she’s like a human shield” — the UN put her up there to stop people firing shots back. Just like terrorists hide behind civilians, Eco-terrorists hide behind children.

The UN can fire shots from behind her, and then hold up the Greta-shield to deflect returning missives. “How dare you!”

So the girl too-young-to-own-her-own-home can tell whole nations how to run their economies. She doesn’t have to make sense, teenage girls are known to panic and scream better than anyone, except perhaps three year olds, who presumably are the next step in the devolution of the climate debate. So Greta can say things that no national leader can. She has no responsibility, it won’t matter if she’s wrong, there are no trade-offs and she can write the whole thing off as a folly of youth.

Greta Thunberg

Oh woe is our national conversation.

Reasoning is so passe. Even David Attenborough, who once was a master communicator, has given up on persuasion. 

Speaking to Hack ahead of last week’s global climate strike, the 93-year-old threw his support behind young people taking to the streets in protest.

“Young people see things very clearly. And they are speaking very clearly to politicians,” he said.

Sir David said he backed the strategy of non-violent direct action.

“If they just sit on the sidelines, and [debate] in a nice, reasonable way, you know, they’ll say, ‘oh kids’. But if they actually do something in the way that they have been doing in this era, then politicians have to sit up and take notice.”

So, let’s decide national policy according to the number of children glued to crosswalks? May the most obnoxious, persistent trolls win…

Since her parents evidently didn’t teach her humility, Greta is going to find out about it one way or another.

In this case, adults have derailed a scientific discussion with a child actor. But other adults are derailing the derailing with satire.

……
Adult politics is a very rough game for a child to play.

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