Earth Hour Open Thread


Not a CFL or LED in sight

UPDATE: ACM will be taking a break for a while. Comments on this thread will continue to be posted.

In honour of the pointless environmental token known as Earth Hour, I’m spending my weekend at ACM Towers (see right) replacing all the hopeless CFLs with evil tungsten filament bulbs (or “globes” as they are bizarrely called here in Aus). So it’s up to you to discuss any climate related issues here. Play nicely.

Don’t forget, celebrate Human Achievement Hour instead…

Australian Academy of Science makes Flannery a fellow


Where's my crystal ball?

Discredited alarmist institution confers fellowship on discredited alarmist scientist in recognition of his services to failed climate astrology. All mates together.

Representing Australia’s leading research scientists, the Australian Academy of Science annually honours a small number of Australian scientists for their outstanding contributions to science, by election to the Academy.

The new Fellows hail from institutions around Australia and have made internationally significant achievements in a broad range of scientific disciplines. The youngest is only 39 years of age.

“I warmly congratulate all of our new Fellows for their outstanding contributions to Australia and the world,” said Academy President, Professor Suzanne Cory.

The new Fellows will be admitted to the Australian Academy of Science and present summaries of the work for which they have been honoured at the Academy’s annual three-day celebration, Science at the Shine Dome, on 2 May in Canberra.

New Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science are:

Professor Timothy Fridtjof Flannery FAA
Environmental sustainability, Macquarie University
Advancing public awareness and understanding of science. (source)

Fridtjof. Heh.

(h/t JoNova)

Fellow Earthians: Greens' bizarre psyche revealed


Bunch of nut-jobs

We’ve always suspected that the Greens were a bunch of nut-jobs, since anyone who puts the environment above care for the human condition must have serious psychological issues.

But recently, their twisted and disturbed way of thinking was confirmed and laid bare by Greens leader Bob Brown, in a recent speech, which begins thus (and this is no joke – the link to the Greens website is here):

Fellow Earthians,

Never before has the Universe unfolded such a flower as our collective human intelligence, so far as we know.

Nor has such a one-and-only brilliance in the Universe stood at the brink of extinction, so far as we know.

We people of the Earth exist because our potential was there in the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, as the Universe exploded into being.

So far, it seems like we are the lone thinkers in this vast, expanding Universe.

Exclude yourself from the “thinkers” by the way, Bob. He ponders why other civilisations haven’t contacted us. His conclusion: because they have all “extincted themselves”. He doesn’t consider the miriad other possibilities, for example, that even at the speed of light, information from the other side of the universe may take billions of years to reach us, or that electromagnetic signals from such vast distances (unless stellar in origin) are too weak to reach us.

Or that the time we are currently living in isn’t particularly special on a universal scale, so why out of 4.5 billion years since the beginning of the Solar System, the alien signals choose Bob Brown’s lifetime (0.0000014% of that timeframe) as the exact time to arrive.

No, clearly alien life forms have evolved, built SUVs and sent their home planets into climate death spirals – talk about a blinkered, geocentric view of the universe! For all the talk of the wonders of the universe, Bob’s comprehension of it extends no further than the here and now.

And for those of you who still believe that “climate change alarmism as a means to global government” is a conspiracy theory dreamed up by filthy deniers:

We need a strategy. We need action based on the reality that this is our own responsibility – everyone’s responsibility.

So democracy – ensuring that everyone is involved in deciding Earth’s future – is the key to success.  

For comprehensive Earth action, an all-of-the-Earth representative democracy is required. That is, a global parliament.

The concept of world democracy goes back centuries, but since 2007, there has been a new movement towards an elected, representative assembly at the United Nations, in parallel with the unelected, appointed, General Assembly. This elected assembly would have none of the General Assembly’s powers but would be an important step along the way to a future, popularly elected and agreeably empowered global assembly.

We Earthians can develop rosier prospects. We have been to the Moon. We have landed eyes and ears on Mars. We are discovering planets hundreds of light years close which are ripe for life. We are on a journey to endless wonder in the Cosmos and to realising our own remarkable potential. 

To give this vision security, we must get our own planet in order.

Anyone who continues to plug the conspiracy line – just look above. Brown doesn’t consider exactly the mechanics of how this would all work, but that’s irrelevant to Brown, who seems happy to abandon our own self-determination and hand over power to some remote global parliament. And if that’s still not clear enough for you:

So let us resolve that there should be established for the prevalence and happiness of humankind a representative assembly a global parliament for the people of the Earth based on the principle of one person one vote one value; and to enable this outcome that it should be a bicameral parliament with its house of review having equal representation elected from every nationAn Earth parliament for all. But what would be its commission? Here are four goals:

Economy. Equality. Ecology. Eternity.

Sorry, not global government but “earth parliament”. Away with the fairies, Bob.

And finally, if you think this was just Brown off on a frolic of his own, Christine Milne defends the speech in The Australian today, calling it “very inspiring”. Says it all, really.

Queensland: Green tokenism to be slashed


Celebrate, as another state begins the task of dismantling pointless and damaging green gestures. Yesterday it was Victoria, today, Queensland.

And delicious irony, the man who set them up now has to take them down – brilliant, Campbell Newman!

QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman has ordered Anna Bligh’s husband to begin dismantling green energy programs he helped create, as the new LNP government moved to slash environmental spending to offset the federal carbon tax.

The showpiece of the Gillard government’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program is now in jeopardy, after Mr Newman yesterday pulled the plug on $75 million in state funding pledged for the $1.2bn Solar Dawn solar thermal project near Chinchilla, west of Brisbane.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson yesterday suggested the federal government might withdraw its own $464m contribution, promised only last month. “If the new Queensland government chose to breach the existing financial commitment to the Solar Dawn project, the Australian government would naturally need to consider its own position,” Mr Ferguson said.

Mr Newman yesterday declared his LNP government would axe seven other green schemes, on the grounds the carbon tax would make them redundant. “We now have a federal government that is imposing a great big carbon tax on us and the rest of the country that is meant to solve all these (environmental) problems,” he said.

Mr Newman has given the job of dismantling the programs to the bureaucrat who set them up – Greg Withers, who is married to Ms Bligh.

“We want him to unravel those programs ’cause he’s the bloke who set them up,” Mr Newman said. “There are rumours going around that he’s packed up his office. I want to say very clearly that is news to me; he is, as far as I’m concerned, an employee of the Queensland government, and we would like him to do a few things for us at the moment.” (source)

Great stuff.

But Gillard’s not listening, as she believes that people will warm to the carbon tax when it finally lands:

JULIA Gillard intends to tough out her dramatic collapse in support in opinion polling, convinced the looming introduction of the carbon tax will allow her to regain control of national political debate by exposing Tony Abbott as a scaremonger.

But Labor insiders are continuing to warn that the Prime Minister’s broken promise over the introduction of the $23-a-tonne tax has so badly undermined her public standing among voters that she must address the integrity issue and change her political style. As Ms Gillard and her advisers put their faith in seeking to shift the political debate towards the economy yesterday, the Coalition chimed in on cue with an internet video ridiculing her claim on Monday that voters could trust her to manage the economy by highlighting her pre-2010 election promise not to introduce a carbon tax. (source)

Let’s just hope people have long memories.

Why conservatives 'deny' global warming


Amateur shrink?

Don’t bother with those tedious irritations known as scientific facts or evidence, or even, heaven forbid, finding out exactly what sceptics take issue with, just attack the messenger  – it’s so much easier.

So Chris Mooney’s psychological assessment of anyone who disagrees with the global warming narrative (particularly those on the right of politics) is worth a look, if only for a few chuckles:

So first off, let’s start with the facts about climate change — facts that you’d think (or you’d hope) any human being ought to accept.

It turns out that the case for human-caused global warming is based on simple and fundamental physics. We’ve known about the greenhouse effect for over one hundred years. And we’ve known that carbon dioxide is a heat trapping gas, a greenhouse gas. Some of the key experiments on this, by the Irishman John Tyndall, actually occurred in the year 1859, which is the same year that Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

We also know that if we do nothing, seriously bad stuff starts happening. If we melt Greenland and West Antarctica, we’re looking at 40 feet of sea level rise. This is, like, bye bye to key parts of Florida.

So firstly we go from CO2 being a greenhouse gas (which we all agree on) to the catastrophic melting of the Greenland Ice sheet, without even a pause for breath. So what are we denying here?

So then, the question is, why do people deny this? And why, might I add, do Republicans in particular deny this so strongly?

And if your answer to that question is, “oh, because they’re stupid” — well, you’re wrong. That’s what liberals want to think, but it doesn’t seem be correct. In fact, it seems to be precisely the opposite — smarter (or more educated) Republicans turn out to be worse science deniers on this topic.

This is a phenomenon that I like to call the “smart idiot” effect, and I just wrote about it for AlterNet and Salon.com.

Let me tell you how I stumbled upon this effect — which is really what set the book in motion. I think the key moment came in the year 2008 when I came upon Pew data showing:

  • That if you’re a Republican, then the higher your level of education, the less likely you are to accept scientific reality — which is, that global warming is human caused.
  • If you’re a Democrat or Independent, precisely the opposite is the case.

This is actually a consistent finding now across the social science literature on the resistance to climate change. So, for that matter, is the finding that the denial is the worst among conservative white males — so it has a gender aspect to it — and among the Tea Party.

So seriously: What’s going on here? More education leading to worse denial, but only among Republicans? How can you explain that?

And the rest is all the same kind of psychobabble. Conservative “morality” impels denial, that kind of thing.

It’s not that sceptics of any political shade ‘deny’ the basic science of global warming, they are suspicious of politically-motivated and corrupted organisations like the IPCC (and conservatives are generally opposed to big government and the UN in general), they feel betrayed and misled when climate scientists massage data and fudge results in order to strengthen their case and they are deeply concerned about the embedded environmental groups such as WWF and Greenpeace who have a clear agenda. And so on and so on.

And they are particularly offended by suggestions that they are in a psychological state of denial. Quite the reverse, those more educated and informed about the current climate debate are in a far better position to see through the lies, spin and misrepresentations of mainstream climate science than those who are less so.

Maybe Chris could apply the same industry as he has in this article to the sorry state of mainstream climate science, instead of attacking those who call it out.

Read it here.

Victoria abandons suicidal emissions target


Climate sense?

The green headbangers at The Age, like Adam Morton, just cannot believe it:

PREMIER’S BACKFLIP GALLING

FOR anyone concerned about man-made climate change, the symbolism will be galling.

A week after the Baillieu government confirmed it plans to hand its massive brown coal reserves over to industry to mine, it is dumping the state target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent this decade.

It will add to a sense that it either does not accept the mainstream climate science, or at least rejects the need for Victoria to play a part in tackling it.

It also suggests that it believes abandoning green policies will not hurt it politically. [very, very true – Ed]

It may be right: most polling finds concern about climate change is much less likely to influence how people vote than just a few years ago. [Also very true – Ed]

The economic realities of such a crazy target are lost on Morton. But then again, we can’t possibly expect any kind of critical environmental reporting when Fairfax (which owns the SMH and The Age) is the one-third owner of the WWF green-bankrolled Earth Hour project.

Thankfully, the new Coalition government in Victoria is starting to wind back the green madness of Labor.

Read it here.

Josh: Skeptical Science's secret bunker


I’m not posting any of Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science‘s denier-hate-fest leak (because this blog believes we should win on the arguments, not by airing others’ dirty laundry), but I am posting this, because it’s too funny not to:

John Cook's on the left, holding his Eureka award…

…er, except it wasn’t a massive gaping security hole, it was “stolen”, wasn’t it? Just like the Heartland documents, right?

(Cartoons by Josh)

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