Media sheds tears for axed carbon tax


It's all too much! Sob!

It’s all too much! Sob!

The inner-city basket-weaving yoghurt-knitting sandalistas that make up the Fairfax and ABC’s environment desks are already writing the eulogies for their beloved tax.

First cab off the rank is the ABC’s Sara Phillips (see ACM here), who attributes the public’s lack of enthusiasm to an ignorant fear of the unknown, stoked up by who else? Tony Abbott:

In the lead-up to last year’s election, Abbott repeatedly told us that the carbon tax would be a wrecking ball through the economy. He told us that electricity prices would be all kinds of terrible as a result of the carbon tax. He told us that the carbon tax wouldn’t bring down Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a tax, he said. A Great Big New Tax On Everything.

He was wrong on all of these accounts, of course. But the damage was done.

‘Of course’ he was wrong! You fools! She continues:

But like Shelley’s creation, it was not quite the horrendous beast we feared. The economy continues to defy prediction, quietly growing.

The latest figures from December show that Australia’s emissions have dropped 0.8 per cent, with most of the fall being explained by a 5 per cent drop in emissions from electricity generation.

It grew thanks to putting adults in charge of the shop last September, and the removal of that hopeless bunch of pre-schoolers who had spent six years grinding the country into the ground with their incompetence. But nice try, anyway. Just remind me what difference those emission reductions would have made to the climate again… oh, that’s right, zero.

Fairfax isn’t far behind, with a gushing, tear-stained hymn of praise for the Senate climate warriors of the Left. Be warned, strong stomach required:

Amid ongoing speculation over Christine Milne’s leadership style and future, the Greens leaders’ Senate performance has been passionate, emotional and, most of all, resolute. Senator Milne had a great deal invested in the legislation that created the price on carbon that kicked in on July 1, 2012. Its abolishment [sic] on Thursday was personal.

She has spent much of this week seamlessly switching between offering forceful condemnations of the government’s undoing of the legislation and in promising renewed vigour from her minor party in restoring action to address global warming.

Just moments before the final Senate action that killed the carbon tax 39 votes to 32, Senator Milne appeared very much a political leader determined to keep climate change at the forefront of the political debate.

“This is a critical moment for our nation and there are a number of new senators in this chamber today,” she said.

“Their vote today and the vote of every person in this debate will be the legacy of their political career.”

And with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten committing Labor to campaign on an emissions trading scheme as a central theme of the next federal election, his party’s leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, championed the cause with her usual skill and smooth, calculated passion.

Another standout performer in this debate has been Tasmanian Labor senator Lisa Singh, grasping her new junior environment and climate change portfolio with gusto.

The shadow parliamentary secretary was Labor’s most riveting advocate this week for keeping the price on carbon.

Again, just moments before that argument was lost, Senator Singh delivered a stinging rebuke to the government and those senators who joined with it in repealing the legislation.

“We are sending this country backwards,” she said.

“All for what? For playing politics. Playing politics with Australia’s future; playing politics with the environment; playing politics with our children.

“And it is an outrageous moment in Australia’s history.”

Too much for my stomach… Pass the sick bag.

Bigger, badder hurricanes say climate scare-mongers


Wrong again

Wrong again

A good old fashioned scare story from the Silly Moaning Herald, just like the good old days. Remember the cover of Al Gore’s book (see right), showing multiple hurricanes approaching the US (one even spinning the wrong way for the Northern Hemisphere…!)? Well it’s time for that scare to be recycled once again:

The number of Atlantic storms with magnitude similar to killer Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, could rise sharply this century, environmental researchers reported on Monday.

Scientists have long studied the relationship between warmer sea surface temperatures and cyclonic, slowly spinning storms in the Atlantic Ocean, but the new study attempts to project how many of the most damaging hurricanes could result from warming air temperatures as well.

The extreme storms are highly sensitive to temperature changes, and the number of Katrina-magnitude events could double due to the increase in global temperatures that occurred in the 20th century, the researchers reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

If temperatures continue to warm in the 21st century, as many climate scientists project, the number of Katrina-strength hurricanes could at least double, and possibly rise much more, with every 1.8 degree F (1 degree C) rise in global temperatures, the researchers said. (source)

Funny that the accumulated cyclone energy is now almost as low as in the mid 1970s, when a new Ice Age was the environmental scare du jour. Apparently, 30+ years of man made warming hasn’t made much of an impact on cyclone and hurricane activity. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good scare, eh?

Catastrophic increase in cyclone energy?

Catastrophic increase in cyclone energy?

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.

Idiotic Comment of the Day: Fairfax's Jessica Irvine


Worthy winner

The Fairfax journalists’ training program works a treat:

LIES, damned lies and statistics. Many’s the poor statistic that has been tortured into yielding a false confession at the hands of a merciless interrogator.

Climate sceptics have turned such torture into an art form, picking point-to-point time comparisons to show a falling trend in global temperatures, focusing on ”outlier” cool years and redrawing trend lines on graphs. (source)

Funny how she conveniently forgets that its the warmists are the “merciless interrogators” that torture the data until it confesses – just ask Michael Mann, Phil Jones or James Hansen. It’s the sceptics that have to release the battered and weary data from the dungeon so they can finally tell their true story.

Actually, the hapless Irvine then has to concede that the correlation is not causation argument is correct. But don’t let that get in the way of a cheap smear against the filthy climate sceptics, right? That’s on page 1 of the Fairfax journalists’ manual.

Same ol’ same ol’.

Scientists predict… more of whatever we've just had


Climate astrology

The role of natural variability in climate must be squashed at all costs. Just think of the consequences if natural variability were allowed to persist: we wouldn’t be able to “control” the climate by tinkering with a harmless trace gas, and we wouldn’t be able to shame Western civilisation into abandoning centuries of progress in order to “save the planet”. We might have to just accept what nature throws at us – and adapt.

And, more worryingly for The Cause, we wouldn’t be able to fill government and research coffers with taxpayers money, extracted by means of “carbon pricing”. And that would be a disaster. So whatever weather phenomenon happens, we can be sure that we will get more of the same, and it will be blamed on “man made global warming” to keep the bandwagon rolling.

For the last decade, Australia has suffered a period of drought. Prior to its recent end, scientists were falling over themselves to say that this was the “new climate” that we must get used to. Paid government hacks like Tim Flannery wailed about dams never filling again, and billions were spent on desalination plants to cater for the future without water.

How things change. After some of the worst floods in recent history in New South Wales, the alarmist Sydney Morning Herald finds a scientist to say that in future we will have… more floods. In other words, more of whatever we’ve just had:

EXPERTS PREDICT SURGE IN FLOODS

SPORTS fields, car parks and parklands will be important assets; houses will have walls that open, and some people might need to lose their water views to prepare for bigger, more frequent floods due to global warming, according to experts contacted by the Herald.

As global temperatures rise, short storm bursts will increase in frequency and severity, resulting in more flash flooding, especially in urban areas. But the outlook for longer periods of extreme rain, such as those that caused the flooding of the Darling, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee rivers, and which made the Warragamba Dam overflow this year, is less certain.

There is consensus in the scientific literature that ”the flooding that happens on small urban type of catchments, which is a result of short rainfall bursts, is going up, because convection is intensifying”, Professor Ashish Sharma, an Australian Research Council future fellow in the school of civil and environmental engineering at the University of NSW, said.

He said it was ”99 per cent sure” that the cause was global warming. A warmer atmosphere holds more water and releases it in shorter bursts, as seen in the tropics, Professor Sharma said. 

And notice that they have a bob each way – claiming that long term trends are less certain – so we can have more floods AND more drought and they’ll be right in both cases! There’s more:

What scientists agree on is that the assumption the future climate will mirror the past, known among scientists as ”stationarity”, no longer holds. This has implications for flood planning.

”This represents a major break with past practice”, Seth Westra, a senior lecturer in the school of civil, environmental and mining engineering at the University of Adelaide, said.

”The notion that the climatic drivers of flooding are changing through time not only poses profound challenges on how we estimate future floods, but also challenges the way we design [for] and manage future floods,” he said in a paper written for the federal government-funded National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. (source)

How anyone could possibly “assume” that future climate will mirror the past, when climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years, is almost incredible. Even without the AGW scare, climate has always changed, over every time period, and always will.

What’s so amazing about this kind of article is the almost unbelievable lack of any historical perspective. So desperate are the Herald to link any weather phenomenon to global warming (especially with the Herald-sponsored Earth Hour just around the corner), that they will purposefully find a scientist who will say the right thing.

The unfalsifiable hypothesis gets stronger, and ever closer to climate astrology.

Heartland: Fairfax hypocrisy


The cartoonist gets the irony

Fairfax, part owner of the Earth Hour farce and propaganda machine for climate alarmism, publishes yet another article on Heartland today in the Sydney Morning Herald, and instead of hyperventilating about the perpetrators of the leak being brought to justice a la Climategate, breathlessly questions the motives of anyone who doesn’t submit to the AGW religion:

THE paper trail connecting the climate change sceptic movement in Australia and the conservative US expert panel the Heartland Institute goes back at least to 2009, documents released on the internet this week show.

The Heartland Institute, a leading group that funds activities designed to sow doubt about climate change science, was embarrassed this week when its strategy and budget documents found their way to a US blog.

The institute described the leak as a theft and said a police investigation was under way, while apologising to the 1800 companies and individuals whose identities were revealed as donors

Documents from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that a group funded by the Heartland Institute, via a thicket of other foundations and think tanks, provided the vast majority of the cash for an anti-carbon price lobby group in Australia in 2009 and 2010.

The Australian Climate Science Coalition, an offshoot of a conservative lobby group called the Australian Environment Foundation, received virtually all its funding from the International Climate Science Coalition, which has been financially supported by Heartland. (source)

The sums are trivial, around $50 or $60,000, and the fact that Ben Cubby gets so steamed up about them when Greenpeace and WWF have budgets in the hundreds of millions reveals the desperate desire of the alarmists to smear the sceptics. Why aren’t the motives of Big Green ever discussed at Fairfax? Because they have the politically correct moral high ground, perhaps?

Cubby also hints that the opinions of the scientists advising the ACSC were influenced by the funding, an allegation that Bob Carter regarded as “offensive”. Presumably, since Cubby cannot comprehend why anyone could possibly hold views contrary to his own, it must be down to financial incentives.

More importantly, Heartland stated on their press release that a key document in the bundle was faked, a fact which Cubby also fails to mention.

Typical Fairfax spin, as usual. But I’m very glad the cartoonist hit the nail squarely on the head.

(h/t Marc H for cartoon)

The Rinehart and Plimer double-act


Ian Plimer

This combination should get the Lefty heads a-poppin’ (especially at Fairfax, where Rinehart has just acquired another 8% of the company):

GINA Rinehart has appointed controversial climate change sceptic Professor Ian Plimer to the board of several key family companies.

According to disclosures made to the Australians Securities and Investments commission overnight Prof Plimer was appointed to the boards of Roy Hill Holdings and Queensland Coal Investments on January 25.

Roy Hill is the key to Mrs Rineharts ambitions of challenging the big three Pilbara iron ore players in her own right. The company is the manager of the Roy Hill mine, which plans to export 55 million tonnes of iron ore a year through Port Hedland when it is up and running at full capacity.

Prof Plimer is an experienced mining geologist, and a professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide. He currently serves on the board of stock exchange listed miners Ivanhoe Australia and Silver City Mines, and has held previous board roles at CBH Mining and a number of other Australian mining companies.

But Professor Plimer is better know in recent years as one of Australia’s most prominent sceptics of the idea that carbon dioxide emissions from industry are contributing to global warming.

He has been a regular feature in the media and on the speaking circuit, and released a book on the subject in 2009 which was heavily criticised by climate scientists.

His views are shared by Mrs Rinehart, who has also publically criticised the idea that human activity is contributing to global climate change and has been openly contemptuous of the Federal Government’s carbon tax legislation. (source)

Durban alarmism: permafrost – again


It's all over, pal

Funny, isn’t it, that when a stack of emails is released just before a climate conference, revealing climate scientists behaving badly, it’s regarded as malicious, whereas those very same climate scientists are perfectly happy to release alarmist research in an attempt to bolster that very same climate conference. Oops, I forgot for a minute – this is the mainstream media, where double standards are simply par for the course.

Today’s dose of alarmism, courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald (currently battling it out with the ABC for top spot in the climate hysteria stakes):

The threat to climate change posed by thawing permafrost, which could release stocks of stored carbon, is greater than estimated, a group of scientists say.

By 2100, the amount of carbon released by permafrost loss could be “1.7-5.2 times larger than those reported”, depending on how swiftly Earth’s surface warms, they said.

In volume terms, this is about the same as the amount of greenhouse gases released today from deforestation, they say.

But the impact on climate could be 2.5 times greater, as much of the gas will be methane, which is 25 times more efficient at trapping solar heat than carbon dioxide (CO2), they say.

Deforestation today accounts for up to 20 per cent of total greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

The study, published in the British journal Nature, coincides with a 12-day UN conference on climate change, unfolding in Durban, South Africa.

It touches on one of the biggest sources of concern, but also a major area of uncertainty, in climate science.

Permanently iced land covers around a quarter of the land in the northern hemisphere.

In essence, it is a carbon store, holding in icy stasis the organic remains of plants and animals that died millions of years ago.

The worry is that as temperatures rise, the soils defrost, microbes decompose the ancient carbon and release methane and CO2 to the atmosphere. (source)

This is obviously a dumb question, but why didn’t this happen in any of the recent phases of the climate that were warmer than today? And if it did, well, we’re still here aren’t we? That’s the obvious logical flaw in all of these tipping point arguments – if the planet is balanced so precariously on a knife edge, fearful of even the tiniest nudge, how come the climate system hasn’t toppled over and spiralled towards either permanent snowball or permanent hot-house in the last few million years, from which recovery was impossible? Answers on a postcard (from Durban).

Media hypocrisy: Wikileaks good, Climategate bad


Double standards...?

More journalistic double standards in our balanced media. Fairfax loves to defend Julian Assange, darling of the Left, for the release of the Wikileaks material, but is far more reticent about defending those who were responsible for the release of the Climategate emails.

Sunday Age editorial, 12 December 2010

Julian Assange and the public’s right to know

WikiLeaks, acting with newspapers around the world including The Age and The Sunday Age, is publishing information that makes governments uncomfortable. This action affirms the role of the media, which have a duty to expose the secret machinations of those who wield power. In the US, the chairman of the Senate homeland security committee, Joe Lieberman, has suggested that because it published some of the leaked information The New York Times might be subject to criminal investigation. This would breach the First Amendment protecting freedom of the press.

So leaks of intelligence that may damage national security is fine, because it is the duty of a journalist to “expose the secret machinations of those who wield power.”

The IPCC and climate scientists around the world also wield power. Lots of it. National governments are on the verge of turning their economies upside down on the basis of the IPCC’s dire predictions for the climate if emissions are not drastically reduced. How would The Age respond to exposing the “secret machinations” of the IPCC? Very differently, of course.

When Climategate 2.0 broke this week, The Age was more interested in the opinion of Phil Jones, one of the alleged “victims” of the leak, rather than staunchly supporting the release of the emails themselves:

The Age, 24 November 2011

Climatologist speaks out after new leak

The British climatologist ensnared in a major new email leak has taken his case to the public, arguing that he and his colleagues’ comments have again been taken out of context.

The University of East Anglia’s Phil Jones was one of the major players in the controversy that erupted two years ago over the publication of emails which caught prominent scientists stonewalling critics and attacking them in sometimes vitriolic terms.

The University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of how world temperatures have varied over time [not any more - Ed], and Jones came under particular scrutiny following the 2009 disclosures – even receiving death threats over allegations that he was a leading a conspiracy to hype the dangers of climate change.

Jones and his colleagues have since been vindicated by a series of independent investigations, but the university’s reputation has been dented by criticism that it refused to share data with sceptics.

Jones said that his “heart did sink a bit” when he heard about the most recent leak, which apparently consists of old messages held back the first time around. (source)

A quick Google search of “Wikileaks” at “site:theage.com.au” produces 15,400 results. A similar search of “Climategate” produces just 330, barely 2% of the coverage given to Wikileaks. Fairfax also invariably refers to the release of the Climategate emails as a “hacking”, in order to taint it with illegality or criminal behaviour. Naturally, Fairfax also avoids giving prominence to the story because it challenges one of their preset agendas, that of the reality of dangerous man-made climate change.

So instead of robustly defending the release of the emails as a “journalistic duty”, Fairfax pens a teary piece about the “victims”, including rehashing the non-story of the “death threats” in order to garner sympathy for the scientists whose confidences have been betrayed. Such a stark contrast.

Australian Alps to be "free of snow by 2050"


Six inches of global warming in the UK - that should never have happened

As if by magic, in the week that the carbon tax bills are due to be forced through the lower House, the government-funded scare stories appear – right on cue! The Sydney Morning Herald salivates:

AUSTRALIA’S ski slopes could be completely bare of natural winter snow by 2050 unless concerted action is taken against global warming, according to a government-commissioned report that paints a grim picture of the effects of climate change on alpine areas.

The report, Caring for our Australian Alps Catchments, has found the Alps, which stretch from Victoria through New South Wales to the Australian Capital Territory, face an average temperature rise of between 0.6 and 2.9 degrees by 2050, depending on how much action the international community takes to combat climate change.

”The effects of climate change are predicted to be the single greatest threat to the natural condition values of the Australian Alps catchments,” the report states.

Rain, snow and other precipitation will decrease up to 24 per cent over the next four decades, accompanied by more bushfires, droughts, severe storms and rapid runoff, causing heavy erosion.

Australia’s major mountain range, which peaks with Mount Kosciuszko at 2228 metres, is vulnerable to climate change and faces a dramatic transformation unless serious efforts are made, the study concluded.

”The scenario that is most likely is that there will be less snow both in total and in area, and that we shift more to summer rainfall,” said study co-author Roger Good, a retired botanist with the NSW government.

A “botanist”? Gasp! But he’s not a climatologist! Shock! How many peer-reviewed papers on climate change has he published? [Cue sound of gramophone needle being hastily removed from surface of record] No, wait a minute, he’s saying all the right (alarmist) things that back up our policies, so it doesn’t matter.

As usual, all of this is based on flaky computer modelling, which is as good as useless for any kind of climate projection. But who cares? The timing is perfect – government fear-mongering to scare the population into accepting, if not supporting, the pointless carbon tax.

But hang on a minute… what will having a carbon tax do for the Alps (even if we assume the nonsensical alarmist viewpoint of manmade CO2 being the only control on the planet’s climate)? Reduce the temperature by about 0.0001˚C, that’s what. And will it make any difference? Nope.

Reminds me of that article in the UK Independent that said that snow in Britain was a thing of the past… yeah, right.

Read it here. Full report can be downloaded here (9MB PDF)

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