Article in Spectator Australia: "Defining Denial"

Spectator Australia

ACM editor Simon has an article in The Spectator Australia today. It considers the use of the term “denial” as a blunt instrument to silence dissent in the climate debate.

It is available in the shops here in Australia today, Friday, and I will post a link when it is available online.

Huge thanks to editor Tom Switzer for the opportunity.

Deaths from "extreme weather" at their lowest since 1900

More Gore-bull

Al Gore claims that “global warming” is causing more extreme weather events, because his investments will go south if he fails to keep up the fear. Note the irony that he was speaking at a “low-carbon investment conference”. You really can’t make this stuff up – just follow the money:

“Observations in the real world make it clear that it’s happening now, it’s real, it’s with us,” he said. Failing to take action meant the world would face a catastrophe. [In other words, his bank balance would face a catastrophe - Ed]

He added that nearly every climate scientist actively publishing on the subject now agreed there was a causal link between carbon emissions and the sharp increase in intense and extreme weather events seen across the globe. (source)

Gore cited the Pakistani floods as evidence of this claim. But unfortunately, the official report into the floods found NO LINK to climate change. Read the whole Guardian article – it’s a scream.

And it is strange that deaths from such “extreme weather events” are at their lowest for over a hundred years, even taking into account the greater reporting of such events thanks to better monitoring facilities:

Despite concerns about global warming and a large increase in the number of reported storms and droughts, the world’s death rate from extreme weather events was lower from 2000 to 2010 than it has been in any decade since 1900, according to a new Reason Foundation study. 

The Reason Foundation report chronicles the number of worldwide deaths caused by extreme weather events between 1900 and 2010 and finds global deaths caused by extreme weather events peaked in the decade running from 1920 to 1929, when there were 241 deaths a year per million people in the world. From 1930 to 1939 there were 208 deaths a year per million people. But from 2000 to 2010 there were just 5.4 deaths a year per million people in the world. That’s a 98 percent decline in the weather-related death rate since the 1920s. Extreme weather events were responsible for just .07% of the world’s deaths between 2000 and 2010. (source)

Daily Bayonet GW Hoax Weekly Round-up

Skewering the clueless

A welcome return for the Round-up – as always a great read!

Quote of the Day: Greg Combet

More tax! More tax!

Trying desperately to justify a pointless tax that nobody wants, Greg Combet plumbs new depths:

“Tariffs were iconic, and even now they instantly reappear in debate as policy responses to contemporary economic pressures.

“But John Button’s reforms made Australia stronger.”

Mr Combet said carbon pricing was “squarely in the Labor reformist tradition” which Senator Button helped to forge. (source)

Allow me to put it simply:

“Taxing people more is what Labor does best.”

US: Yet more bad science

Double standards

It is an ugly theme that runs through the consensus camp – proper scientific processes corrupted in order to get the right result.

You will recall that the US Environmental Protection Agency declared CO2 to be a “dangerous pollutant”, thereby enabling it to regulate emissions by the back door with no Congressional approval. Now it appears that one of the key scientific reports on which that conclusion was based was not subjected to those proper, rigorous processes and that “corners were cut” in order to rush it through.

Internal investigators at the Environmental Protection Agency said the agency failed to follow peer-review guidelines when developing a key scientific document that underpins its greenhouse-gas regulations.

The findings are likely to stoke Republican opposition to the EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases and could arm industry groups that are fighting the regulations in court. One prominent Republican is already calling for congressional hearings on the issue.

EPA said it “disagree[s] strongly” with the findings. An EPA spokeswoman said the findings focus on “wonky” government processes and do nothing to cast doubt on the underlying science.

The document in question was developed by the EPA and used to support its 2009 “endangerment finding.” That finding concluded that greenhouse gases—including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide—pose a threat to public health. It paved the way for the EPA to begin developing greenhouse-gas standards for refiners, power plants and other large emitters.

In a report released Wednesday, the EPA’s inspector general said the agency didn’t follow federal guidelines for peer review when developing a 200-page scientific document to support its findings. While EPA had the document reviewed by a dozen federal climate-change scientists, the agency did not publicly report the results of the review, the inspector general says. (source)

But that’s OK isn’t it, because the consensus boys don’t have to bother with tedious inconveniences like proper peer-review. Just ask the IPCC. Anyway, they can rely on “pal-review” if they get stuck. And the hypocrisy of the EPA is breathtaking, casually brushing aside the criticisms as a trivial irrelevance. Can you imagine the outrage if this had been a sceptical report? Double standards exemplified.

Ian Chubb: "warmest decade we have ever had on this planet"

Politics, not science

Don’t forget, Ian Chubb is Australia’s Chief Scientist, but he appears to have obtained his understanding of climate from the back of a cornflake packet (or a WWF campaign leaflet, otherwise known as the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report), given some of his quotes in the Joint Select Committee hearing yesterday. It’s really quite embarrassing.

Here are a few examples:

  • “I think there does need to be a recognition that the evidence of science is suggesting that we will have changed weather patterns and extreme weather events with much greater frequency than we have at the moment.”
  • “I have read the literature that says that a lot of work is being done in a lot of countries to try and get stabilisation [at 550ppm CO2], yes, and that there are a lot of countries now taking action, on the basis of the scientific evidence, to reduce their emissions.”
  • “The argument at the moment is that there will be, for example, much more intense cyclones and whatever they are called in the Northern Hemisphere, and more intense rain and flooding.” 
  • “With respect to this cooling stuff, I have seen the claim, but the evidence that I have seen is that the last decade has been the warmest decade that we have ever had on this planet, so I do not know what this cooling stuff means.”
  • “So I think where the modelling is at the moment makes it is quite clear that, for example, you do not get the Arctic ice melt just by natural events. You cannot reproduce it through modelling if you just factor in natural events, but if you factor in human activity then you get what is happening and you get the reduction.
  • “The latest information I have seen shows that the CO2 levels are high and that the rate of accumulation is accelerating. The scientists who study this would argue that it is getting to the point where something has to be done quickly in order to cap them at least and start to have them decrease over a sensible period of time. You could easily argue that it is urgent and that something needs to be done because of the high level presently and the accelerating accumulation presently. We do need to do something.”

Extreme weather events? Warmest decade we have ever had on this planet? “Ever had”? We need to “do something”? Am I listening to a scientist or a spokesperson for Greenpeace? Sadly, Prof Chubb has fully bought into the alarmist line, and is now clearly on the bandwagon of advocating urgent action. This is politics, not science.

You can read the whole transcript in a PDF here.

UPDATE: The bizarre “warmest we have ever had on the planet” quote is going viral, with Tom Nelson and Steven Goddard reporting it so far…

UPDATE 2: The ABC swallows it all whole, and, as usual, plugging the alarmist line, and reporting these comments without an ounce of critical thought. Listen here (if you dare)

Labor values closer to Coalition than Greens

Extreme and out of touch

In yesterday’s post, Who will Julia alienate next?, I should have included Labor voters in the list of past examples, since her alliance with the Greens after the election betrayed her mainly centre-Left base to a bunch of extreme environmental whackos. New research supports the point, which is obviously a problem for Labor, given they are now completely dependent on appeasing the Greens in order to maintain a working majority:

THE core social values of Labor voters are far more closely aligned with Coalition supporters than Greens, a new social cohesion survey finds.

On a range of questions – such as valuing the “Australian way of life”, concern over immigration rates, the importance of migrants “blending in” and whether climate change is the nation’s most pressing problem – the response from Labor voters was more in sync with Coalition supporters than Greens.

Results from the Mapping Social Cohesion 2011 survey published today highlight the politically delicate nature of the Labor-Greens alliance in Canberra, as supporters of the two political parties value vastly different social policies.

Overall, the survey found the nation’s social cohesion in decline, with trust in government recording a sharp fall since 2009. More people report being discriminated against than two years ago, and volunteering declined from 38 per cent in 2009 to 31 per cent this year.

But it’s the differences between Greens and Labor supporters and similarities between backers of Labor and the Coalition that highlight the challenge faced by Julia Gillard and her ongoing ideological struggle to hold together minority government.

The report, written by Monash University researcher Andrew Markus, says “there is less differentiation between the attitudes of Liberal and Labor supporters than between Labor and Greens”.

“For example, 70 per cent of those who indicate that they would vote Liberal ‘strongly agree’ that it is important to maintain the ‘Australian way of life and culture’, compared with 62 per cent Labor and 26 per cent Greens,” it says.

“(And) 44 per cent of Liberal supporters ‘strongly agree’ that ‘in the long run’ in Australia ‘hard work brings a better life’ compared with 39 per cent Labor and 29 per cent Greens.”

The survey of 2000 people asked questions about culture and identity, including if it was better for the country if different racial or ethnic groups maintained their distinct customs or traditions or if they adapted and blended into the larger society. Seventy-two per cent of Coalition supporters believe it better to blend in, compared with 61 per cent of Labor supporters and 28 per cent of Greens supporters. (source)

Core Labor voters are becoming increasingly alienated by Labor’s lurch to the left on social issues. The reality is that the Greens’ extremism has no place in Australian politics and has no support within the vast majority of the Australian electorate. The sooner this Labor/Green alliance is defeated, the sooner the Greens will be relegated to the dustbin of history, where their policies and views belong.

Quote of the Day: Ian Chubb


Professor Chubb is the Australian Chief Scientist, and has made a few appearances on ACM in his brief time in the job (see here, here and here). Given his comments today, it is apparent that there is little hope of any improvement in the level of debate on climate change in Australia.

Displaying an astonishing lack of proper scientific scepticism and a misplaced faith in the projections of computer models, Prof Chubb has completely bought into the warmist line at a Parliamentary inquiry, recycling the tired old “more respect for scientists” argument (somehow managing to ignore calls for sceptics to be gassed or tattooed, naturally) and raising yet again the non-existent death threats at ANU (FOI request still pending on that one).

So here’s the Quote of the Day:

Professor Chubb was dismissive of arguments that the changes can be attributed to natural events.

“For example, you don’t get the Arctic ice melt just by natural events. You can’t reproduce it through modelling if you just factor in natural events. But if you factor in human activity, then you get what’s happening and you get the reduction,” he said.

So let’s get this straight, because an incomplete and flaky climate model fails to predict the degree of arctic ice melt from natural causes, it has to be all man-made?

How about the alternative? The models suck. Geez.

Read it here.

Treasury modelling assumes global emissions trading by 2016

Dodgy modelling

We have always suspected the Treasury modelling of the impact of the carbon price was a crock, and now we have been proved substantially right, with the Treasuring admitting as much. Not only that, but a “finding” that carbon pricing would not increase unemployment was actually an “assumption” in its modelling. Astonishing!

THE Treasury has admitted that in modelling the cost of the government’s price on carbon it assumed countries would trade emissions after 2016 despite the fact there is no indication major emitters such the US and China will do so.

A senior Treasury official previously told a Senate select committee she did not assume countries would engage in emissions trading.

But critics such as economist Henry Ergas pointed out that Treasury had claimed in its modelling there would be a global price for carbon by 2016 and said the only way this could happen was if major countries were trading emissions.

At a Senate committee meeting on August 10, Treasury macroeconomic modelling manager Meghan Quinn said: “What we are assuming is there are mechanisms in countries to achieve emissions that result in an implicit or explicit carbon price based on those economies. It does not mean it specifically has to be an emissions trading scheme.”

The Treasury has now written to Professor Ergas conceding that the modelling undertaken in the Strong Growth Low Pollution report assumes “countries allow individual firms or governments to trade abatement with firms/governments in other countries through some mechanism”.

It says “some such mechanisms are currently in place under the UNFCCC framework”. All schemes under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change involve emissions trading or claiming a credit for emissions reductions.

Professor Ergas said: “They swore they were not assuming the US had an ETS. It turns out they were assuming the US had no emissions trading but some way of trading emissions. But they don’t tell us what that mechanism is or how it will come into place any time soon.”

The Treasury also admitted its finding that pricing carbon emissions would not increase unemployment was an assumption in its modelling. (source)

Henry Ergas responds in detail in an opinion piece entitled Lies, Deception and the Carbon tax. Read it all.

Who will Julia alienate next?


We’ve had the miners and resource workers with the MRRT, then the truckies with the “Convoy of No Consequence” comment (thanks A. Albanese), and, of course, those understandably concerned about the merits of a unilateral carbon tax (expressly ruled out before the election) being branded as fruitcakes and extremists.

As if that wasn’t enough, Gillard is now taking on real Labor heartland – the AFL and the NRL, who are opposing Gillard’s poker machine reform. But this isn’t as insignificant as it sounds. Andrew Wilkie, one of the independents currently providing a working majority for Labor, has threatened to withdraw support if the reforms are not passed into law.

So despite the fact that everyone is focussed on asylum seekers or climate change, it may be the lowly poker machine that brings down Labor:

THE Gillard government has a powerful new opponent of its poker machine reforms, with a cashed-up alliance of rival football codes to back the clubs industry’s campaign during grand final week.

In a move anti-gambling campaigners are labelling a disgrace, the AFL and NRL are planning to run television advertisements this week against mandatory pre-commitment technology for high-intensity pokies.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou and individual club presidents are scheduled to meet tomorrow to map out campaign strategies. (source)


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