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Coalition wants to stop wasting ARC funds on “futile research” – Here’s a few more suggestions

Cut those waste-of-time academic projects? Not a moment too soon.

If the Coalition wins the election they want to refocus the Australian Research Council (ARC). The first “wasteful” project mentioned is about adapting to climate change through public art. What a good omen…

Some ARC funds appear to be nothing more than disguised government advertising. That has to stop.

MILLIONS of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants for obscure research projects – such as the role of public art in climate change – will be scrapped or redirected to find cures for dementia and other diseases as part of a Coalition crackdown on government waste.

And a further $1.1 billion is expected to be returned to the budget bottom line from the scrapping of the carbon tax, under the Coalition election promises costings to be released today.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that as part of the Coalition’s budget savings measures, a dedicated team will be formed under its proposed Commission of Audit to re-prioritise about $900 million in annual Australian Research Council grants.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that a list of the types of grants that would no longer be funded under new and more stringent guidelines for the ARC included an RMIT project on Spatial Dialogues: Public Art and Climate Change which sought to explore how people could adapt to climate change through public art.

Coalition sources also cited as waste several grants worth more than $1 million into philosophical studies including the meaning of “I” through a retrospective study of 18th and 19th century German existentialists.

Perhaps we can suggest a few wasteful grants from the ARC grants list 

Grants from the most recent round, copied below, include ones aiming for cultural transformation, climate governance, and a discussion of legal paths used to try to stop the use of coal. Lawyers who want to help the UNFCCC stop a major Australian industry can apply for grants from the ARC?

Why are we spending $800k to transform our culture?

Who decides what kind of culture we ought to have? Who voted for broader “societal change”?


DP130102229 Kashima, Prof Yoshihisa; Paladino, A/Prof Angela; Sewell, Dr David K  PSYCHOLOGY The University of Melbourne

Project Title Collective self-regulation: the case of climate change mitigation
Total $410,137.00

Project Summary
Solutions to contemporary societal problems such as climate change mitigation require cultural transformations, namely, widespread changes in the ideas and practices of community members. This project will examine how people may achieve this in part by regulating their own temptations and actions for the good of the community.


DP130100845 Kashima, Prof Yoshihisa; Robins, Prof Garry L; Kirley, Dr Michael G; Kashima, Dr Emiko S;
Peters, Dr Kim PSYCHOLOGY The University of Melbourne

Project Title  Co-evolutionary dynamics of culture and social structure
Total $414,444.00

Project Summary
Solutions to contemporary societal problems require cultural transformations, namely widespread changes in the ideas and practices of community members. This project will establish a new social scientific framework for the analysis of such transformations. Outcomes will aid future policy planning to steer the course of broader societal change.

This project shows just how deep the ARC-nanny-state funding goes

Why are research funds used to help pay for lawyers to assist in stopping our largest export industry, and possibly to advise activists on legal action to further UN aims based on a scientific assumption that has not been audited and for which there is no empirical evidence?

DP130100500 Peel, A/Prof Jacqueline; Osofsky, A/Prof Hari M
Project Title:  Transition to a clean energy future: the role of climate change litigation in shaping our regulatory path  LAW  The University of Melbourne
Total $250,000.00

Project Summary
As the world seeks a clean energy future,  courts in Australia and other key fossil fuel-producing nations, like the United States, are increasingly hearing cases seeking to block the use of coal due to its climate change effects. This project critically assesses the role such climate litigation plays in generating regulatory momentum to address climate change.

In an earlier publication Peel and others explain how litigation can be used to get new laws to respond to inadequate law-making activity (“inadequate” as defined by whom?). Isn’t this funding designed to oppose the democratic process?

“Litigation is often thought of as a forum for enforcement of the law, rather than as a site of potential regulatory development. In the climate context, however, litigation has often been used in a strategic fashion as a response to inadequate law-making activity by government and to prompt wider policy change.”

Imagine a conservative government funding lawyers looking at ways to use litigation to reduce UN influence, to block the use of government funds to subsidize the renewables industry, or to use legal cases to assist citizens wanting to respond to onerous or overly burdensome legislation? The only difference between them being that the conservatives could argue that it was in Australian citizens interests to reduce subsidies, reduce foreign unelected bodies influence and to help provide a balance and check against overactive government.

The abstract to the publication (May 2012) about Climate Governance (linked above):

As international negotiations struggle to deliver timely, binding commitments to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels, the environmental legal community has begun to
contemplate the scope for climate governance ‘beyond’ the international climate change
regime. Many see merit in a more decentralized, disaggregated approach, operating across
multiple governance levels. This article examines the development of climate change law in an era
of multi-level governance. It analyzes several case studies of current manifestations of multi-level
governance in climate change law, including the fragmented global emissions trading system,
developing arrangements governing forests and land-based sinks, the growth of climate litigation
establishing transnational liability principles, efforts to ensure adaptation to unavoidable climate
change, and the emergence in federal systems of a decentralized approach to climate change
regulation. The article concludes by considering whether the emerging multi-level system of
climate governance is adequate to meet broader international goals of climate change mitigation
and adaptation.

Activists for bigger government get taxpayer funded legal advice on how to get what they want. The playing field is tilted towards growing the government ever larger. This is why even if the Conservatives defund these type of projects now, there will still be paid positions going right up til the next election working against citizens who want a smaller government. (The funding listed here is paid in parts from 2013 -2015).

The other publications of Peel are listed here.



The election has not been won or lost yet.

H/t To Brice. 🙂

8.6 out of 10 based on 34 ratings

45 comments to Coalition wants to stop wasting ARC funds on “futile research” – Here’s a few more suggestions

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    … litigation has often been used in a strategic fashion as a response to inadequate law-making activity by government …

    It is the prerogative of the Crown, through its delegated Ministers to make and review the law. It is the job of the courts to interpret and administer the law as it stands.

    They are suggesting that the separation of powers – a key constitutional safeguard – is being, and should be, subverted. I can’t speak for Australia, but that would be a serious matter in the UK.


  • #

    Sorry for the divergence but this is from commentor the sunshine grocer Thu 05 Sep 13 (11:27am)at the Andrew Bolt Blog:

    “On ABC 666 Canberra earlier this week the three breakfast talking magpies were discussing climate change and one on them mentionted “the skeptic with the bulging eyes” while referring to Lord Monckton. Another magpie said “oh, we aren’t allowed to talk to him are we?”
    The third magpie said “that’s an internal instruction, we can’t talk about that, let’s move on”.

    I’d love to know more about their internal policies of bias … seems like the prejudice is well entrenched throughout the ABC.


    • #
      Reed Coray

      If I were in attendance with the three magpies, I’d tell them it’s just possible that Lord Monckton’s eyes bulge because he sees the holes in the (C)AGW arguments and can’t believe the stupidity of people, like yourselves, who buy into that crap. With luck, that would have made three pairs of eyes fall out of their sockets.


  • #

    Don’t have to look far to find some doozies:

    Jakob, Prof Christian; Reeder, Prof Michael J; Swirepik, Mr Anthony
    Approved Project Title Evaluating the weather in climate models

    Project Summary
    Climate change will be experienced by society as a change in the day-to-day weather. This project will investigate the capabilities of modern climate models in simulating the weather with a particular focus on rainfall, and will provide guidance to the use of these models in projections of the future of Australia’s climate.

    Yes we are now trying to connect horribly flawed GCM models to weather… embarrassing to say the least. The following looks like money to be well spent…

    DP130100623 Leach, Dr Joan; Burns, Dr Maureen E; Coleman, Mr Ross H
    Project Title Frontiers of Australian science popularisation

    Project Summary
    This project details Australia’s role in science popularisation in the 1960s and 1970s, when the boundary between
    science fiction and science fact was often blurred. The project will explore how popular science of that era framed
    today’s crucial issues of climate change, overpopulation and space exploration.

    It’s SciFi all right… Oh and looky here … a couple of familiar names:

    DP130103261 Wigley, Dr Tom M; Santer, Dr Benjamin D
    Project Title Climate model validation and generation of probabilistic climate projections using data from
    Phase 5 of the Climate Model Intercomparison Project

    Project Summary
    New climate model results will be compared with observations to test model skill. Probabilistic projections of regional scale climate change will be developed and used to investigate a number of ecosystem impact case studies.


    • #

      More sociology bunkum:

      DP130104842 Lockie, Prof Stewart D
      Project Title Conflicting temporalities of climate governance: a comparative sociology of policy design
      and operationalization in Australia and the United Kingdom

      Project Summary
      This project will investigate the ways in which climate policy in Australia and the United Kingdom deals with
      uncertainty in the timing of climate change and climate change impacts. It will evaluate the utility of various
      approaches to climate policy and the potential contradictions that arise between climate dynamics and the policy


  • #

    outstanding questions!

    Who decides what kind of culture we ought to have? Who voted for broader “societal change”?

    The really sad part is I don’t think the advocates of ‘broader societal change’ even know what that would entail.
    Where’s the evidence of a better culture and a better society that has undergone ‘broader societal change’ via political decree and legislation? I can only find societies who went through a great deal of unnecessary pain and heartache.
    When there are genuine rebellions against foreign authoritarianism (such as The American War of Independence) there is evidence of benefits to society…but that’s not we’re talking about here is it?


    • #


      There is a whole bunch of people being churned out by our universities that get to decide, they are of a higher moral standing than the rest.

      If culture is changed by legislation and political decree then you have socilism, for a brief period as you head towards communism.

      Think Greens in both instances, they always take the moral high ground and you are wrong simply because they are right, look at the Greens policies (raise taxation on rich to give to poor etc).

      Another waste of money is the Greens gave the “greens” (no relation) at Adelaide Uni 5K for jumpers (green one i think) and the rest was spent on a piss up, now how many uni’s in this country with a green uni political party time 5K?


      • #

        Ha ha! 🙂
        Higher moral standing 🙂
        Good one Crakar. . . . Loved it.
        I think Saturday’s results may deliver what Australia has decided about those ‘higher moral standards’. 🙂


  • #

    University staff can be cut. Too many “sustainability” and “environment” operatives. vis e.g. this Press Release from UWA.

    Coffee cup switch saves trees
    Reusable coffee cups are helping students at The University of Western Australia to put less rubbish in the bin – and send less waste to landfill.

    And their efforts were commended last week when UWA’s Student Guild won a Highly Commended Award in the Community category of the Waste Authority’s Infinity Awards. …

    In order to “save trees”, they’re encouraging the gullible to spend $10 on reusable coffee beaker (I’m sorry; they’re not “cups” if they don’t have a proper handle). A colourful, plastic beaker for $10.

    Reusable? Given how careful students generally are with personal hygiene, I see no problem lurking at all with the reuse of a warm, moist drinking vessel. /sarc

    Estimated number of trees “saved” after 4 months: Four (4).

    Guild Environmental Officer Daniel Stone said the number of coffees served in disposable cups had dropped by three per cent within just four months of the ******* campaign.

    Convince me that that statistic of reduced sales of coffee in disposable cups is caused by the (unspecified) sale of branded, reusable petri dishes.

    I note, as I compose this message, that the Church of Climatology is currently in session on the Oak Lawn at UWA, organized by the deludeddisciples of the AYCC.


    • #

      The drop in coffee cups used is probably less than the rate of drop in student numbers during the semester.


    • #

      Jeez Bernard, you, me and Jo are graduates of UWA. What the hell has happened to the place?


      • #

        It’s always been something of a circus. Very few clowns were running the circus back then; but the clowns’ guild eventually managed to place their agents in positions of actual power.

        Engineers used to be able to retreat to their side of the Oval, but now that Environmental Engineering has infiltrated every corner, beginning (I guess) via JImberger’s water research in Civil Engineering, there is no refuge and undergrad’s have to keep their heads down lest they have to pay a shirtload more money to complete their degree.

        As the last B.E. will soon be escaping from academia; new Engineering students have to “enjoy” both a graduate and post-graduate course while running of the gauntlet for a minimum of 5 years of persistent indoctrination that only the stubborn and the insane can resist.

        Henry Lawson wrote:

        Australian Engineers

        Boys who are slight and quiet, but boys who are strong and true,
        Dreaming of great inventions – always of something new;
        With brains untrammelled by training, but quick where reason directs –
        Boys with imagination and unclouded intellects.

        UWA no longer seems like a place that could produce many good Engineers. 🙁


  • #

    But how will we know if future public art installations will float in rising sea levels if we dont do the research?

    /sarcasm off


  • #
    Ian Hill

    I remember in the early 1980s when Malcolm Fraser’s Razor Gang got stuck into the Public Service. No more paydays where you were paid in cash. No more tea ladies. Later on no more typing pools as you did it yourself! Ah the good old days!

    This time, The Department of Climate Change has to go, of course.


  • #

    given the funding is being sought on account of INCREASES IN EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS WHICH AREN’T OCCURING, why not scrap all this funding?

    5 Sept: The Conversation: Who should fund Australia’s adaptation to climate change?
    by Roger Jones, Professorial Research Fellow at Victoria University
    Disclosure Statement
    Roger Jones has received funding from both the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research.
    We’re already seeing an increase in extreme weather, and climate models predict we’ll see more in the future, costing us potentially billions of dollars…
    In light of this, the shadow minister for climate change Greg Hunt announced A$9 million for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility in Queensland, or NCCARF.
    NCCARF has come to the end of its first five years of funding without renewal, and has been running on a skeleton staff. The funding announced by the Coalition may give the facility a new lease on life, but when it comes to adapting to climate change, is this enough?…
    Victoria is the most organised state, funding the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research supported by the state adaptation plan, with South Australia closely behind.
    However, in Queensland, one of Campbell Newman’s first actions as premier was to close the Office of Climate Change…
    Given the damage and loss currently being experienced from extreme climate events, adaptation is too important to be a political orphan, or a bargaining chip between the commonwealth and the states.

    About the author:

    Roger Jones is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES) at Victoria University, joining VU in early 2009. Previously he worked for CSIRO for thirteen years. Trained as an earth scientist, he now applies an interdisciplinary focus to understanding climate change risk, bridging science, economics and policy, particularly in developing methodologies for assessing adaptation and mitigation strategies for managing climate change risks. These have been used widely in Australia and internationally, contributing to the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the United Nations Development Program Adaptation Policy Frameworks and a range of individual projects. He is a coordinating Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II Fifth Assessment Report Chapter on Foundations of Decision-making.


  • #

    who funds these junkets, & when was there biodiversity outside a “changing climate”?

    City of Joondalup: 2013 International BiodiverCities Conference
    9-11 September
    Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing Climate
    The City of Joondalup in collaboration with the ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability and the Western Australian Local Government Association is pleased to be hosting the 2013 International BiodiverCities Conference.
    This three day conference will be held on the 9-11 September 2013 at the Joondalup Resort, Perth, Western Australia. Not only will you get to enjoy an extensive conference program but it will be Spring and wildflower season, a perfect time to visit Western Australia to see the diverse array of native wildflowers bloom in spectacular colour…
    The first day of the conference will be opened by Professor Tim Flannery, awarded the 2007 Australian of the Year Award for his outstanding contribution to research on climate change and the environment…
    Our keynote speaker line-up to date: …


  • #

    4 Sept: Bellingham Herald Politics Blog, Washington State: by Ralph Schwartz:
    Going to global warming school
    This blogger will come back armed with more climate truth.
    This Thursday and Friday I will be out of the office and in Seattle instead, participating in the Metcalf Institute’s Climate Change Seminar for Journalists. I was fortunate enough to be selected for this free two-day seminar with speakers who are luminaries in science, environmentalism and even on the local scene…
    Some of you will be disappointed to learn that Dr. Don Easterbrook isn’t on the speaker list…
    A rundown of the lucky journalist-participants in the seminar, with bios, can be found here (LINK)…
    COMMENT #1: I’m gonna assume that opposing viewpoint won’t be discussed?
    You’re a hack that claims to be a journalist
    COMMENT #2: Sponsored by the grantham foundation, huh? How objective. Ralph, you’re a tool. Writing advocacy pieces for the lackeys of the herald is no way for a self-respecting journalist to make a difference. You’re an errand boy for a tabloid…


  • #

    5 Sept: WUWT: Statistical proof of ‘the pause’ – Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years
    Commentary from Nature Climate Change, by John C. Fyfe, Nathan P. Gillett, & Francis W. Zwiers
    Recent observed global warming is significantly less than that simulated by climate models. This difference might be explained by some combination of errors in external forcing, model response and internal climate variability…


  • #

    The election has not been won or lost yet.

    It’s not over until someone sets fire to the dwarf.


  • #

    abc needs to correct the typo in the first mention of the carbon price rise factored in:

    4 Sept: ABC Lateline: Coalition will repeal carbon tax in government
    GREG HUNT: The tax goes from 424 to $38 on their own budgetary estimates, reinforced only a few weeks ago…
    GREG HUNT: What we see from the Labor Party is a $58 billion tax instead between now and 2020 and they’ve got a choice. They have to say do they stand by the fact that it’s going from $24 to $38 and therefore a 50 per cent increase in the tax or will they miss their budget projections…


  • #

    Some great news…….

    Coalition is not just cutting, but ending green waste:-

    This is a good start, but, THEY MUST ABOLISH THE DEPARTMENT OF CLIMATE CHANGE as a high priority.
    That alone would save hundreds of millions of dollars!!


  • #

    The current alp(Australian LIARS PARTY)/greens (REDS) have wasted taxpayers money on CRAP like “public art in climate change” !


    Thank god that this is being defunded …..


  • #

    It’s OK to have a laugh a some of the crazy research subjects, but it conceals a greater problem.

    Broadly speaking, academic freedom is a subset of freedom of speech. I will defend to the point of ridicule and inconvenience their right to research what they want, and I am even willing to have some of my taxes pay for some things I personally find risible. Over my lifetime I have seen some projects which were, on the first reading, fairly silly, but which proved later to be only a little ahead of public opinion. One which I recall in the early 1980s, on the ecology of roadsides attracted a fair bit of ridicule, but who would question its relevance today?

    On the other hand, there needs to be some balance. Perhaps simply restaffing the research Council with a better balanced mix of reviewers, but leaving the decisions without political influence is the answer.


    • #

      Broadly speaking, academic freedom is a subset of freedom of speech. I will defend to the point of ridicule and inconvenience their right to research what they want, and I am even willing to have some of my taxes pay for some things I personally find risible.

      Academic freedom you say? Tell that to the hundreds of academics who missed out on THE LIMITED FUNDS AVAILABLE because so much of it was flushed down the toilet of global warming.

      I believe in freedom of speech and academic freedom too, but when institutions have been infested with sandal wearing, tree hugging ‘progressive’ leftards, it’s time to pull their chains, even if it means a restriction on their ‘academic’ freedoms.

      I’d much rather the freedom of having a say into where my hard earned tax dollars go.


  • #
    Bloke down the pub

    You get what you vote for. Unfortunately in the UK, we have a whole other level of bureaucracy above what we can control, based in Brussels. They have taken the system of paying the ngos to lobby for the changes the bureaucrats themselves want to extremes. The only way to sort out the mess is to scrap the lot and start again from scratch.


  • #
    Rick Bradford

    MILLIONS of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants for obscure research projects – such as the role of public art in climate change – will be scrapped or redirected to find cures for dementia.

    Don’t need to redirect that cash to find signs of dementia — cures may be harder.


  • #



  • #

    From Der Spiegel. It seems that if you want “renewables2 to work – you need more “brown coal” power stations.

    Germany’s Energy Poverty: How Electricity Became a Luxury Good

    By SPIEGEL Staff

    Germany’s agressive and reckless expansion of wind and solar power has come with a hefty pricetag for consumers, and the costs often fall disproportionately on the poor. Government advisors are calling for a completely new start.

    [snipped due to length. mod oggi]

    German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe. But because the government is failing to get the costs of its new energy policy under control, rising prices are already on the horizon. Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany, and one of the country’s most important future-oriented projects is acutely at risk.

    [snipped due to length]

    Paying Big for Nothing

    For society as a whole, the costs have reached levels comparable only to the euro-zone bailouts. This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants — electricity with a market price of just over €3 billion. [snipped..length]

    If there is too much power coming from the grid, wind turbines have to be shut down. Nevertheless, consumers are still paying for the “phantom electricity” the turbines are theoretically generating.

    On the other hand, when the wind suddenly stops blowing, and in particular during the cold season, supply becomes scarce. That’s when heavy oil and coal power plants have to be fired up to close the gap, which is why Germany’s energy producers in 2012 actually released more climate-damaging carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than in 2011.


    Trouble Paying the Bills


    The Offshore Trap


    Hidden Costs


    The Storage Conundrum


    No Incentives for Storage

    Not surprisingly, the company invests very little in its pumped storage plants today. In Niederwartha, the buildings are filled with the musty smell of earlier floods, the paint is peeling from the walls and the reservoir leaks.


    All this gives credence to the claim that Germany’s energy reform is its own worst enemy. Despite the erratic expansion of wind and solar projects, the backup power capacity those projects require is lacking. One study found that Germany’s expansion of renewable energy will require additional storage capacity for 20 to 30 billion kilowatt-hours by 2050. So far the storage capacity has grown by little more than 70 million kilowatt-hours.

    More and more wind turbines are turning in Germany, and solar panels are basking in the sun, yet the amount of pollutants and greenhouse gases emitted by smokestacks increased last year. This dramatic turn of events is especially evident in small town of Grosskotzenburg, just east of Frankfurt.


    This is one of the most curious developments in the story of German energy reform. The country’s most heavily polluting plants are now also its most profitable: old and irrelevant brown coal power stations. Many of the plants are now running at full capacity.

    [snipped..length. Mate, you can’t just cut and paste whole swathes of copyright material. You’ll need to edit some pertinent/interesting sections, leave a link and let readers decide if they wish to pursue that link. Mod oggi]


  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Not content with slashing the budgets of government departments, the Coalition are keen to clamp down on the budgets of private industry too:

    Abetz told the Australian that, under an Abbott government, the Fair Work Commission would not approve workplace agreements that raised real wages unless there had been “appropriate discussion and consideration of productivity” (paywall).
    Why? So “lazy companies don’t just give wage increases because it’s the easiest thing to do.”

    Where are these companies that have money growing on trees? Apparently the Liberal-in-name-only party believes it can run companies better than the company’s own management. Well quit your day jobs, politicians, and go and do something productive for a change like company management! Seems the capitalists hate the unions so much they will even create greater regulation on capitalists to hobble Union collective bargaining. Credit to the IPA for noticing the irony.

    Of course the “liberal in name only” party have devised more ways to advance totalitarian socialism under the guise of “protecting the children”. Tip of the hat to MattB for noticing this very recent announcement:

    A Coalition government would force mobile phone operators and internet service providers (ISPs) to install filtering services to block adult content. In a policy backflip, the Opposition says it would create an opt-out filter similar to the one active in the United Kingdom.

    Former [Labor] communications minister Stephen Conroy dumped the plans for a filter after fierce lobbying from rights advocates and criticism from the Coalition.

    So BOTH the Labor and Liberal-in-name-only party believe they know how to run a company better than the company managers, and how to raise children better than their parents.

    Somehow everything will get better under an LNP government?? How??
    It’s all well and good that a few hundred mill of climate research waste will be cut out, but the Liberal-in-name-only Party is giving money with one hand while taking money and freedom with the other.


    • #

      Where are these companies that have money growing on trees?

      Look no further than the car manufacturing industry. Holden and Ford have received hundreds of millions in subsidies, only to spend most of it on overly generous pay rises to the strong unionised workers.
      FFS, these companies don’t even have the right to hire and fire workers without union approval.

      So there you go, a couple of companies with money growing on a tree species called taxus payersus


      • #

        That’s how GM management managed to stuff up the company completely. Give in to union thugs because it is easier than fighting. Obviously there weren’t any Kipling fans in management.
        It would be better to abolish the Fair Work Commission and let wages and conditions be set by agreement between an employer and employee. In Australia in 2013 nobody needs to work in a job where they don’t like the pay and conditions. Anyone is free to find another job or start his or her own business.


    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Well perhaps my numerous detractors will be reassured that I and the rest of the thinking universe were far too quick to rush to judgement on this Coalition Internet filtering announcement. We’re not sure how it happened, indeed there is zero explanation for how their policy was “poorly worded” or how it somehow accidentally tragically unmistakenly ended up saying the policy was the exact and total opposite of what they intended, but the Party Faithful may rest assured that the policy has been re-worded.

      See, they said “opt out”, but hehehe, gosh darn it, they really meant “opt in” all along. Honest.

      Now if they could refrain from using 11 million people as a focus group for testing totalitarian policies that would be very much appreciated.


  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    You have no idea what “useless academic climate projects” are. I would record some of the United States projects here, although people would vomit all over the floor, so I will withhold this experience.


  • #
    Reed Coray

    I’m beginning to think Stephan Lewandowsky is smarter than I thought. (On reflection, how could that not be true?) Maybe he saw the writing on the wall and got out of Oz while the getting was good.

    In the US we pay for our education system (K through 12) primarily via property taxes. I’ve often pondered how I could justify forcing my childless neighbor to pay for my child’s education. The best answer I’ve come across is that the US is a Republic where the citizenry elect officials to enact, adjudicate and enforce the laws we must all live by. An educated populace is necessary for such a system to work. Since everyone benefits from our form of government, everyone must pay. Fair enough–at least with respect to funding reading, writing, mathematics, history, economics, science, etc. But the connection between a high school football team and/or a marching band and the continued existence of our Republic is a stretch. I’m not against football, marching bands, or a million other activities. I just believe those activities should be funded not by the general populace but by the people who benefit and participate in them. I raised three girls who competed on the high school swim team. The effort definitely benefited my girls, but I see little if any benefit to my childless neighbors. Since my girls benefited and my neighbor didn’t, shouldn’t I, and not he/she, pay the costs?

    I read once (I believe in a Rex Stout Nero Wolfe mystery) that governments spend money for three reasons: (1) because they need to, (2) because they want to, and (3) because they have it to spend. If I ran the world, governments would spend money for (1), and occasionally, but infrequently spend money for (2); but they would be barred by law from spending money for (3). Spending money simply because “it is there” rapidly deteriorates into “vote buying”–where the damage far outweighs the benefits.

    Good luck Australia. May your upcoming election stem the tide of socialism that to me seems to be taking over the world.


  • #

    Hi Jo,

    James Delingpole has a post ( that highlights a paper by Jamie Whyte, Quack Policy – Abusing Science in the Cause of Paternalism that should be mandatory reading for all concerned with scientific research.

    There is also a good defense of this paper by Christoper Snowdon, The Bluff of Evidence Based Policy


  • #

    And after the disgraceful research grant process is cleaned up the next arena is taxpayer funded University courses and/or HECS-HELP funding of students to undertake ‘mickey mouse’ courses.


  • #

    Over at the taxpayer funded ‘theconversation‘ a post titled, “Who should fund Australia’s adaptation to climate change?”
    This is about the shadow minister for climate change Greg Hunt announcing A$9 million for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility in Queensland, or NCCARF.
    My question to the author, who is funded by NCCARF and active in comments:

    “In 4 years since it’s bi-partisan inception, NCCARF has produced 200 papers relating to climate change. I encourage you to show me I am wrong, which I will gladly acknowledge, but perusing though the list, and clicking on some (not all yet), NONE so far address the adaption to a cooling climate, which is a possibility. The current “pause in warming” was unseen, for example. Link to 200 papers at this GU link:”
    Nothing yet. Why fund a science department geared to a pre-determined outcome? That is not science.


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    A question that Jo didn’t ask and one I really should delve about to answer is “What is the percentage of the total ARC funded grants per year that relate to some aspect of climate change in the period 1993 to 2012?” Years are chosen not to cherry pick as SkS often accuses others of doing but is a randomly selected 20 year period. Personally I’d bet there’ll be a hockey stick in there somewhere


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    as climate change mitigation require cultural transformations, namely, widespread changes in the ideas and practices of community members. This project will examine how people may achieve this in part by regulating their own temptations and actions for the good of the community.

    Because they realize anyone with common sense is going to tell them to piss off. Therefore they need creative methods to fool or brainwash people into doing what they otherwise wouldn’t.


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    bit chilly

    congratulations australia,hopefully you will now lead the rest of the world into understanding of the great global warming swindle.
    i have just sent a letter or complaint to the bbc in the uk for their selective tv coverage of the oz election.
    the only reference to the major policy of scrapping the3 carbon tax was a quick mention that john abbott was a climate sceptic.
    considering this was a major issue in the pre election debate i cannot understand how the bbc could avoid this.
    in my opinion it was a deliberate attempt to stop the general public in the uk from learning that a major government within the developed world was taking an opposing view to that of co2 induced cAGW.


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    […] change’. This message was amplified by the Murdoch press and climate denial bloggers such as Jo Nova. More recently, Government cuts to CSIRO funding have been reported as resulting in major […]