Geologist: Plimer a "cherry-picking contrarian"


No agenda?

UPDATE: View the letters in response to Sandiford’s article here (thanks to reader Bruce in the comments).

Writing in The Australian Mike Sandiford takes a pop at Ian Plimer. Just by way of background, Sandiford:

  • approvingly quotes Naomi Oreskes, whose book, Merchants of Doubt, lumps in climate sceptics with those who deny the link between smoking and cancer
  • claims last year was the hottest “on record” (don’t forget, he’s a geologist)
  • writes for “The Conversation” (link) alongside such infamous names as David Karoly, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ian Enting, Ross Garnaut and  Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
  • is a signatory to an open letter from Australian warmists: “Climate change is real” (link)
  • writes alarmist articles for the Silly Moaning Herald (link)

so I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. Looks like Sandiford has had a problem with Ian Plimer for a while – another article in The Aus covering similar ground is here.

GINA Rinehart notoriously claims she has never met a geologist who believes “adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will have any significant effect on climate”.

To listen to prominent “contrarian” geologists such as Ian Plimer, you might imagine she never could.

But, despite the bluster, our contrarian geologists are out of kilter with their own community and seem deeply confused about the way the greenhouse effect – by adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, for example – has shaped both the past and the present.

All geology students learn of the importance of the greenhouse effect. It’s simply impossible to understand the geological record without it. [Read more...]

Sydney: coldest December in 50 years – no mention of "climate change"


December in Sydney

Naturally there shouldn’t be any mention of climate change in such an article – this is merely weather, after all.

Except of course, if it had been the “hottest” December in 50 years, we would have had all the usual rent-seekers and alarmists crawling out from under their rocks to announce that such a record was “entirely consistent with anthropogenic global warming” and that we can “expect more of the same in the future”… such are the blatant double standards endemic in both the alarmist camp and the mainstream media.

Actually, since you can now attribute anything and everything to climate change, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to read some desperate hack on the ABC or the Silly Moaning Herald claiming that “greater extremes” such as a cold December, are “consistent” with some flaky climate model somewhere.

From the Daily Telegraph:

IT’S a good thing December is almost over – it’s been the coldest for more than 50 years.

With two days to go, it seems certain Sydney will record its coldest December since 1960, with the average daily maximum so far this month 2.2C below the long-term average.

Sydney’s average top temperature so far this month was a chilly 23C – only 0.2C more than in 1960.

That isn’t going to change much over the next two days, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting showers and tops of just 24C.

Not once has the temperature reached 30C in the city this month, the first time since 1999 the mercury has failed to reach that mark in December.

Even in 1960, Sydney recorded two days with top temperatures above 30C.

The Weather Channel meteorologist Dick Whitaker said Sydney wasn’t the only city to suffer a cold start to summer, with Canberra and Brisbane also experiencing below average temperatures.

“Across eastern Australia we had a lot of cloud cover in December and on top of that we had an above average frequency of southerly winds,” Mr Whitaker said. (source)

In other news, the Daily Bayonet has crowned Julia Gillard as Hippie of the Year. She deserves nothing less.

Happy New Year!

CSIRO's Climate Change science kit


"Seriously real science"?

More indoctrination from our national scientific research organisation. Reader KA sent me a photo of the kit on sale, which sadly doesn’t provide many details of the materials inside. However, I thought we could have a pretty good guess, so here we go:

Contents:

  • 1 hockey stick (broken)
  • 1 climate change calculator (multiplies everything by a fudge factor automatically)
  • software for deleting emails (Windows and Mac)
  • phone numbers of editors of all sceptical climate journals with handy script for threatening voicemail message
  • model windmill (self-combusting)
  • Himalayan glacier ice cube kit
  • application form for government funding (pre-approved)
  • plastic polar bear to create your own Al Gore-style weepy animation
  • model pink batts insulation experiment, with fire extinguisher and pro-forma writ for negligence
  • fake carbon credit certificates (actually real ones, but hey, they’re the same!)
  • guide to Freedom of Information legislation in 50 major jurisdictions
  • application for IPCC lead author status (pre-approved)

Have I missed anything?

A bargain at just $29.99 (or $48.50 after the carbon tax).

Powerhouse Museum: "No more prawns on the barbie"


I saved the best until last. Prawns on a barbecue (“barbie” as it is colloquially known, as Aussies insist on abbreviating everything and suffixing “-ie”, “blowie”, “mozzie” etc) are a cliché and an institution at the same time. So naturally, it is an excellent target for the climate killjoys who try to blackmail us with scares and threats. None is more blatant than this one, seen in the Powerhouse Museum’s climate change exhibit (see yesterday’s post for more). The text reads:

“One third of the carbon dioxide we release dissolves in the ocean and turns into carbonic acid. Today the oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were in preindustrial times. High acid levels make it very hard for sea creatures to build calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. These include corals, clams, prawns and plankton that form the base of the ocean food web. Without their shells they will simply disappear. Animals that normally eat them will be affected too.”

Propaganda masquerading as science (click to enlarge)

The oceans have in fact become marginally less alkaline, since today the pH is a few tenths less than it was pre-industrially. The 30% figure is derived from the increase in H+ ions – but since pH is a logarithmic measure of hydrogen ion concentration, absolute percentages sound large (which the PH has exploited for dramatic effect) but are really fairly small (an increase of just 1 full unit of pH would be a 1000% (10x) increase in concentration of H+ ions). The ocean pH is around 8.07, down from about 8.17 in pre-industrial times. Still well short of even neutrality (pH 7), let alone acidic.

And again, such dire prophecies, whilst great for scaring children, ignore nature’s remarkable capacity for adaptation and survival. We have had higher CO2 levels present in the atmosphere before, yet shellfish remain in the oceans… When we fail to look at geological timescales, we fall into the trap of thinking that everything we see today is “unprecedented”.

Christmas Quiz: Powerhouse Museum's climate indoctrination exhibit


"EcoLogic" exhibit

A visit to the Powerhouse Museum to see the Harry Potter exhibition today was marred by an unexpected encounter with an area devoted to “explaining” climate change.

The purpose is clearly one of indoctrination and propaganda rather than a dispassionate and informative explanation of the subject, as evidenced by this video on display within the exhibit:

[tube]R21lnh21wR0[/tube]

In fact, according to the PH museum website, the science is settled, with a typical “flat-earth” style smear aimed at anyone vaguely sceptical:

“Scientific ideas aren’t always popular. It took 400 years for the public to accept that the Earth travels around the Sun, so it’s no surprise that there’s some public resistance to the notion of human-induced climate change. Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of centuries to debate the causes, so it moves into the realm of risk management.”

The world’s climate scientists say we should prepare now for hotter temperatures, rising sea levels and more extreme weather like floods and droughts. Consequently, systems that supply our food, water, clothing and shelter will be affected.  The exhibition explores options for adapting these systems and for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. (link)

So for a bit of post-Christmas fun, your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to point out the errors, misrepresentations and spin masquerading as impartial science in the following exhibits [click to embiggenify if necessary]:

"trained to be (un-)sceptical"

"Agents of spin"

Antarctic, anyone?

Note the year…

"almost unanimous agreement"

Solar? Schmolar.

Wetter and drier, hotter and colder

Inconvenient Truth, anyone?

 

Merry Christmas from ACM


ACM Towers chewing through plenty of coal-fired electricity

Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas (or happy holidays if you prefer) and health and happiness for 2012.

Simon

Global trade war looms over carbon taxes


This is what happens when we finally arrive at the pointy end of the ludicrous and dangerous policies implemented in the EU to theoretically reduce emissions [note: which don't work]. The Chinese are furious at the EU’s unilateral decree that it will start taxing international flights as part of it’s carbon pricing regime:

China has warned the European Union to abandon its controversial carbon tax on airlines or risk provoking a global trade war.

Adding weight to the warning, an industry insider told the Financial Times that the Chinese government was seriously considering measures to hit back at the EU if it insists on charging international airlines for their carbon emissions.

In a case initiated by US airlines, the European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that the EU’s carbon emissions trading scheme did not infringe on the sovereignty of other nations, and that it was compatible with international law. The change is set to go into effect from January 1.

Chinese airlines have also been preparing an legal challenge in Europe and they still plan to proceed with it, but Chai Haibo, deputy secretary general of the China Air Transport Association, conceded that the European ruling complicated matters as it means they will need to find an alternative reason to challenge the law.

Even if court action fails, Mr Chai was optimistic that concerted global pressure could yet persuade the EU to repeal its law. In the short term, he called on Brussels to delay implementation in light of the intense international outcry that it has provoked.

“Except for the EU, no countries support this,” he said.

He added that several Chinese government departments in Beijing were in the midst of researching possible counter-measures. Chinese airline officials have said before that they might refuse to pay the carbon tax, raising the prospect of a drawn-out legal fight. (source)

The realities of the imaginary green utopia begin to sink in.

Aussie Nobel laureate plugs alarmist line


Disappointing, yet again

I was very disappointed to read this article last night:

An Australian Nobel Laureate has urged climate-sceptic MPs to get a scientific opinion on global warming.

Astronomer Professor Brian Schmidt spoke during a visit to the Sydney Observatory on Wednesday. He was there with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to endorse a $2 million coalition pledge to restore a Howard government science in primary schools program which Labor axed.

The 2011 Nobel Prize winner for physics had words of advice for politicians who doubted the science of climate change.

“I would encourage anyone who has questions about climate change, especially in politics, to come and talk to the Australian Academy of Science,” the astronomer with the Australian National University told reporters.

“I accept that climate change is inevitable when you add Co2 to the atmosphere. I certainly believe it is something we have to worry about.” (source)

Apart from the fact that the Australian Academy of Science sold out to climate alarmism long ago, and that no-one disputes that adding CO2 will cause some warming, Schmidt seems to have little concern for the lack of integrity in the alarmist community, fails to appreciate the significance of Climategate, the corruption and political motivation of the IPCC, the conflicts of interest arising from massive government funding of alarmist research, or any of the myriad other serious concerns with the consensus science.

Wouldn’t it have been refreshing to hear someone like Schmidt uphold scientific integrity rather than plugging the usual politically correct alarmist line?

The irony of the story is that Schmidt’s fellow laureate in Chemistry, Dan Shechtman, challenged an established consensus, was mocked and ridiculed by his colleagues, but eventually proved correct.

India: "no binding commitment to reduce emissions"


Emissions to continue rising

Acres of newsprint have been wasted over the past week trying to convince everybody that Durban really did achieve something, namely that for the first time, China, India and the US have agreed to binding emissions cuts by 2020.

Despite the fact that Australia will have a carbon price for many years before the rest of the world, Julia and Greg have spun this to somehow justify Australia’s unilateral actions.

Graham Lloyd in The Australian falls for the line, in a piece yesterday:

The significance of setting a timeframe for a legal agreement that covers both developed and developing nations – with talks to conclude by 2015 and an agreement to take effect from 2020 – should not be understated. For the first time, large emerging economic powers such as China, India and Brazil agreed to legal constraints on their emissions.

“That would have been unthinkable” at the previous two big UN conferences in 2007 and 2009, says Anthony Hobley, head of climate change at London-based legal firm Norton Rose. “It’s a recognition of the reality of the shifts in global power.” (source – paywall)

But that’s not how India views the deal post-Durban:

Days after the Durban Climate Summit, Government today insisted that India has agreed to no legally-binding commitments to reduce its emissions in absolute terms in 2020. 

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan told Parliament that India has already announced a domestic mitigation goal of reducing the emissions intensity of its output by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in comparison with 2005 level. 

“This goal is relative in nature and allows India’s emissions to grow as the economy grows,” she said in identical suo motu statements in both Houses. 

She insisted that the decision of the Durban meet “does not imply that India has to take binding commitments to reduce its emissions in absolute terms in 2020.” (source)

The reality is, that whilst they may have vaguely committed to reducing emissions intensity (per unit GDP), they have made no commitment whatsoever with regard to absolute emissions, which will continue to rise. Similarly, China is building dozens of new coal-fired power stations every year, and there is no way on earth that China will bind themselves to reduce emissions, except (perhaps) in terms of intensity.

Which means, in short… emissions will continue to rise. Which means, in short, there will be no effect on the climate (assuming a climate sensitive to CO2 as the alarmists contend), which most of us were under the impression was the main aim.

So far from being a bold agreement to “save the planet”, Durban is a watered-down compromise which will see emissions continue to rise for the foreseeable future, and which will ensure that Australia’s tiny 5% cut by 2020 will be well and truly lost in the noise.

Australia’s unilateral action is pointless and damaging, will send our industries offshore and, thanks to rapidly spiralling energy costs, will consign many to poverty. And by the way, it won’t save the planet either.

Carbon price – EU: $8 (and falling), Australia: $23 (and rising)


The EU carbon price has slumped to a new low, making Australia’s $23 a tonne carbon tax in mid-2012 nearly three times the price on the European market:

European Union and U.N.-backed carbon prices plunged to new record lows on Wednesday, beset by worries about Europe’s economic turmoil and uncertainty about a future global climate pact.

Carbon prices have shed more than 60 percent since June, as Europe’s worsening debt crisis dented demand at a time when the EU emissions trading scheme, the world’s biggest carbon market, is oversupplied with hundreds of millions of permits.

Benchmark EU carbon permits tumbled more than 8 percent on Wednesday to a fresh record low of 6.43 euros ($8.41)a tonne. They were at 6.51 euros at 1305 GMT.

Front-year U.N.-issued carbon credits, so-called certified emission reductions, fell 11 percent to a new record low of 3.92 euros a tonne. (source)

And this won’t be the end. Carbon prices will end up like the Chicago exchange, worth a few cents, whilst Australia commits economic suicide from next July with a price of $23.

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