Climate madness and climate sense


Moon(-bat)

A few articles caught my eye this morning – more madness than sanity, as usual. Firstly a truly extraordinary rant by Paddy Manning in Fairfax, which I show just for amusement, really:

HOW pathetic watching sceptics squirm over the link between the recent floods and climate change. How much more risk do they want us to tolerate while we wait for the proof that might satisfy them?

Way too much. For decades we’ve been told that global warming will lead to more extreme weather events. Now it’s happening before our eyes. (source)

The rest’s the same. What’s even more pathetic, however, is watching pig-ignorant journalists and politicians with the memory span of a goldfish use the floods to make cheap political points, when there have been worse floods before, even in the microscopic 150 year flood record, with no evidence of increasing frequency or severity. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story, right?

Now, on to the UN. Whenever a sceptic dares mention that there may be an ulterior motive behind climate change action, like anti-globalisation, or anti-capitalism, or scaling back western economies, the Fairfax-reading, ABC-watching lefty heads can’t wait to pop. So isn’t it odd that Ban Ki-Moon(bat) is advocating precisely that:

The world’s current economic model is an environmental “global suicide pact” that will result in disaster if it isn’t reformed, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, warned today.

Ban said that political and business leaders need to embrace economic innovation in order to save the planet.

“We need a revolution,” he told a panel at the World Economic Forum inDavos, Switzerland, on how best to make the global economy sustainable. “Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete.”

He called the current economic model a recipe for “national disaster” and said: “We are running out of time. Time to tackle climate change, time to ensure sustainable … growth.” The Guardian revealed yesterday that Ban is ending his hands-on efforts to reach a global climate deal through UN negotiations, and move to focus on a broader sustainability agenda. (source)

“Sustainability” being a codeword for massive wealth redistribution, abandoning capitalism and its replacement with socialism and Marxism, of course.

But amongst all the madness, a glimmer of hope. Remember that the basis of science is scepticism and that “Question everything” should be the mantra… except in climate science, however, where the mantra is “climate models trump empirical evidence”. The opposite of sceptical is “gullible”, and more and more people are abandoning gullibility for scepticism:

The number of climate change sceptics has almost doubled in four years, official research showed yesterday.

A quarter of Britons are unconvinced that the world is warming following successive freezing winters and a series of scandals over the credibility of climate science.

The figures suggest that a growing proportion of the public do not share the belief of all three major political parties and Whitehall – that climate change is a major and urgent challenge requiring radical and expensive policies.

The survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, has plotted levels of acceptance of the theory of man-made global warming since 2006.

In that year it found that 87 per cent of people were at least ‘fairly convinced’ that climate change was happening.

Last year that share had dropped to 75 per cent. Numbers who say they are unconvinced went up from 12 to 23 per cent. (source)

Opposition budget ditches green tokenism


Spending on "green initiatives"

The Opposition will slash millions of dollars of pointless climate change spending promises by Labor if it regains power:

  • $200 million off reducing emissions on coal-fired power stations (spend it instead on reducing emissions of toxins and particulates, which would actually achieve some environmental benefit, rather than removing, at vast expense, a harmless trace gas essential for life)
  • $193 million off “climate aid” to poor countries (no global socialism here, thanks very much)
  • $76 million off funds encouraging individuals to reduce emissions (pointless tokenism)
  • $30 million ad campaign on climate change scrapped [BRAVO – Ed]
  • $278 million off a plan to develop “greener cars” (no, we need more cars like the Prius…)
  • $653 million off renewable energy schemes (which need massive government support to be even barely competitive)

All of these policies are predicated on CO2 being the primary and dominant driver of climate change, which $70 billion of research since 1990 has failed to establish. If it isn’t, every single one of them is completely, utterly, totally, and 100% pointless.

Read it here.

Green Left Weekly: The case for ecosocialism


Socialism through climate

Following on from the earlier post concerning post-normal science, this article in Green Left Weekly (whose articles appear in my regular news feeds every Sunday evening) caught my eye for the same reason: the whole climate change movement isn’t about the climate at all. It is a means to a socialist end, this time even more clearly annunciated. Even the title of the publication gives it away! The article begins with the usual alarmist statements about the climate system:

The rapid melting of the Arctic sea-ice is one of the most alarming examples of the looming climate change catastrophe. But where most see disaster, some of the world’s richest corporations see a business opportunity.

The rate of Arctic ice melt in recent years has surprised and worried experts. It is not just the fragile Arctic ecosystem that is under threat. As the ice retreats due to global warming, less sunlight is reflected back into space by the white surface.

This means the whole planet has likely already begun to warm faster, as more heat is absorbed by the darker ocean. This, in turn, could help trigger other climate tipping points — such as the release of millions of tonnes of methane gas trapped in Siberia’s frozen soils — and make runaway climate change a reality.

In 2007, NASA glaciologist Jay Zwally delivered a blunt warning: “The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming. Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines.”

Unfortunately, little of this has any merit, since there is no evidence of any such climate tipping points existing. Temperatures have been warmer in the past, and yet climate has never spiralled out of control. That we are still here after 4.5 billion years is evidence enough of that. Next, the cause of the strife is identified, and you guessed it – capitalism:

In 1950, the German-American economist William Kapp came up with an apt description of the capitalist system: “Capitalism must be regarded as an economy of unpaid costs.”

He described the reality of an economic system that creates immense waste and pollution but makes nature (and the sections of human society that did not reap the profits) bear the “disposal” costs.

For centuries, capitalism has treated the air, rivers and oceans as a global sewer. The long-term damage to natural ecosystems are never reflected in any corporate bottom-line. And as capitalism has developed into a global system, the environmental havoc it creates has been globalised too.

As public concern about the climate crisis rises, pro-capitalist economists and politicians are under pressure to find answers. But the business-as-usual solutions they offer generally rely on extending the market to more aspects of nature.

But what about green capitalism? No good:

US sociologists Brett Clark and Richard York have argued that the short-term need of capitalist markets to constantly expand is at odds with the long-term cycles of regeneration required by the natural world.

They said in the November 2008 Monthly Review: “The pursuit of profit is the immediate pulse of capitalism, as it reproduces itself on an ever-larger scale. A capitalist economic system cannot function under conditions that require accounting for the reproduction of nature, which may include time scales of a hundred years or more, not to mention maintaining the particular, integrated natural cycles that help sustain living conditions.”

In a talk at Green Left Weekly’s 2009 World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, Canadian ecosocialist Ian Angus said green capitalism is a contradiction in terms.

“Capitalism combines an irresistible drive to grow, with an irresistible drive to create waste and pollution”, he said. “If nothing stops it, capitalism will expand both those processes infinitely. But the Earth is not infinite. The atmosphere and oceans and the forests are very large, but ultimately they are finite, limited resources — and capitalism is now pressing against those limits.”

And finally, the promise of a socialist utopia:

The ecosocialist vision of change is grounded in a vision of grassroots democracy and full equality for all people in the world. Unlike capitalism, the purpose of the economy would be to make sure everyone had enough. Under capitalism, much of the world’s population is condemned to extreme material hardship, while others are constantly urged to consume more.

A central goal of ecosocialists is to fight for a society that allows every human being to develop to their full potential — free of racism, war, poverty and discrimination. This goal of genuine human development, which applies to current and future generations, is unachievable unless society can be transformed to exist in harmony with nature’s limits.

This point was made forcefully by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at December’s UN climate summit in Copenhagen. “A spectre is haunting the streets of Copenhagen, and walks silently through this room”, he said.

“This spectre is capitalism — almost nobody wants to mention it … Capitalism, the model of destructive development, is killing people, and threatens to put an end to the human species. They are saying in the streets: If the climate were a bank, it would have been saved already.”

That the article quotes Hugo Chavez tells you all you need to know. But I think it is important for sceptics on the other side of the climate debate to understand where the true aim of “climate action” really lies. As the scientific consensus crumbles, the extremist environmental minority (as represented by publications such as Green Left Weekly) will see their dream of global socialism disappear, but they won’t let it go without a fight. So expect more alarmism and more hysteria (and worse) as they desperately cling to the sinking ship.

Read it here.

Climate change: global socialism and global governance


Climate change science

Thanks to Peter “Batts” Garrett and his insulation fiasco, climate change has taken a back seat in the media (despite the fact that “tackling climate change” is the reason behind the incompetent insulation programme in the first place). But a piece by James Delingpole in the UK Telegraph pointed me to a devastating article, on the blog Buy the Truth, about “Post-normal Science” which I find chimes exactly with my feelings on the climate change debate. Climate science is the perfect example of this new theory of Post-normal Science. But first, a few definitions:

Normal science

[Normal] Science is a logic inductive process leading to theory formulation, while all the way put through critical tests that have been deductively derived from the theory; Popper’s critical rationalist concept of science is an objective progression toward the truth…The term normal science refers to the routine work of scientists within a paradigm; slowly accumulating knowledge in accord with established theoretical assumptions…The paradigm is enlarged and frontiers of knowledge and techniques pushed forward.

The exercise of scholarly activities is defined by the dominance of the Mertonian CUDOS norms of science. They include:

(C)ommunalism – the common ownership of scientific discoveries, according to which scientists give up intellectual property rights in exchange for recognition and esteem;

(U)niversalism – according to which claims to truth are evaluated in terms of universal or value-free criteria;

(D)isinterestedness – according to which scientists are rewarded for acting in ways that appear to be selfless;

(O)rganized (S)kepticism – all ideas must be tested and are subject to structured community scrutiny.

Post-normal science

A new concept of science was introduced by Funtowicz and Ravetz during the 1990s…The concept of post-normal science goes beyond the traditional assumptions that science is both certain and value-free…The exercise of scholarly activities is defined by the dominance of goal orientation where scientific goals are controlled by political or societal actors…Scientists’ integrity lies not in disinterestedness but in their behaviour as stakeholders. Normal science made the world believe that scientists should and could provide certain, objective factual information…The guiding principle of normal science – the goal of achievement of factual knowledge – must be modified to fit the post-normal principle…For this purpose, post-normal scientists should be capable of establishing extended peer communities and allow for ‘extended facts’ from non-scientific experts…In post-normal science, the maintenance and enhancement of quality, rather than the establishment of factual knowledge, is the key task of scientists… Involved social actors must agree on the definition of perceptions, narratives, interpretation of models, data and indicators…scientists have to contribute to society by learning as quickly as possible about different perceptions…instead of seeking deep ultimate knowledge. (source: Eva Kunseler, Towards a new paradigm of Science in scientific policy advising)

So in essence, post-normal science is just another term for post-modern science: there are no absolute truths, value systems are always imposed on results, in other words a relativistic system of scientific investigation. Now any proper scientist would be horrified at this concept (as any proper science teacher would be horrified at the proposed new Australian National Curriculum in science, steeped as it is in marxist theory, cultural relativism and outcomes – where aboriginal dreamtime stories are as “relevant” as Newton or Einstein and the periodic table isn’t taught until Year 10, but don’t get me started on that…). Read what Mike Hulme, climate scientist at the University of East Anglia (of Climategate fame) has to say:

Philosophers and practitioners of science have identified this particular mode of scientific activity as one that occurs…where values are embedded in the way science is done and spoken.

It has been labelled “post-normal” science. Climate change seems to fall in this category. Disputes in post-normal science focus…on the process of science – who gets funded, who evaluates quality, who has the ear of policy…The IPCC is a classic example of a post-normal scientific activity.

Within a capitalist world order, climate change is actually a convenient phenomenon to come along.

The largest academic conference that has yet been devoted to the subject of climate change finished yesterday [March 12, 2009] in Copenhagen…I attended the Conference, chaired a session…[The] statement drafted by the conference’s Scientific Writing Team…contained…a set of messages drafted largely before the conference started by the organizing committee…interpreting it for a political audience…And the conference chair herself, Professor Katherine Richardson, has described the messages as politically-motivated. All well and good.

The danger of a “normal” reading of science is that it assumes science can first find truth, then speak truth to power, and that truth-based policy will then follow…exchanges often reduce to ones about scientific truth rather than about values, perspectives and political preferences.

…‘self-evidently’ dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth-seeking…scientists – and politicians – must trade truth for influence. What matters about climate change is not whether we can predict the future with some desired level of certainty and accuracy.

Climate change is telling the story of an idea and how that idea is changing the way in which our societies think, feel, interpret and act. And therefore climate change is extending itself well beyond simply the description of change in physical properties in our world…

The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved…It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change – the matrix of ecological functions, power relationships, cultural discourses and materials flows that climate change reveals – to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come.

There is something about this idea that makes it very powerful for lots of different interest groups to latch on to, whether for political reasons, for commercial interests, social interests in the case of NGOs, and a whole lot of new social movements looking for counter culture trends.

Climate change has moved from being a predominantly physical phenomenon to being a social one…It is circulating anxiously in the worlds of domestic politics and international diplomacy, and with mobilising force in business, law, academia, development, welfare, religion, ethics, art and celebrity.

Climate change also teaches us to rethink what we really want for ourselves…mythical ways of thinking about climate change reflect back to us truths about the human condition…

The idea of climate change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identifies and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us…Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs.

…climate change has become an idea that now travels well beyond its origins in the natural sciences…climate change takes on new meanings and serves new purposes…climate change has become “the mother of all issues”, the key narrative within which all environmental politics – from global to local – is now framed…Rather than asking “how do we solve climate change?” we need to turn the question around and ask: “how does the idea of climate change alter the way we arrive at and achieve our personal aspirations…?”

We need to reveal the creative psychological, spiritual and ethical work that climate change can do and is doing for us…we open up a way of resituating culture and the human spirit…As a resource of the imagination, the idea of climate change can be deployed around our geographical, social and virtual worlds in creative ways…it can inspire new artistic creations in visual, written and dramatised media. The idea of climate change can provoke new ethical and theological thinking about our relationship with the future….We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilise these stories in support of our projects. Whereas a modernist reading of climate may once have regarded it as merely a physical condition for human action, we must now come to terms with climate change operating simultaneously as an overlying, but more fluid, imaginative condition of human existence. (various sources – see original article, including a Guardian article here)

The American Thinker’s review of Mike Hulme’s book, Why We Disagree About Climate Change, from where many of the quotes above are taken, sums it up nicely:

More than a few people will be tempted to buy this book based on the promise, implicit in its title, that it offers an examination of the ideas and motives of both sides in the global warming debate. But that is not what this book is about. Rather, it is the musings of a British socialist about how to use the global warming issue as a means of persuading “the masses” to give up their economic liberties. The fact that the author, Mike Hulme, is a scientist who helped write the influential reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many other influential government agencies makes this book more disturbing than informative.

…socialists like Hulme can frame the global warming issue in such as way as to achieve seemingly unrelated goals such as sustainable development, income redistribution, population control, social justice, and many other items on the liberal/socialist wish-list.

It is troubling to read a prominent scientist who has so clearly lost sight of his cardinal duty — to be skeptical of all theories and always open to new data. It is particularly troubling when this same scientist endorses lying by others to advance his personal political agenda.

Read this book if you want insight into the mind of a scientist who has surrendered all moral authority to speak truthfully about global warming. Avoid it if you are looking for a book that explains why we disagree about climate change.

And as the article concludes:

From what Hulme has admitted, the climate change debate is not about truth and physical reality, but a way of making it the “mother of all issues” in order to achieve socialist and Marxist aims, including de-capitalizing the West, and bringing about global governance by an elite. Hulme is delighted to be in the vanguard, and it is paying him handsomely. Critical to this is capture of the scientific institutions. Hulme says, we are all actors “in the unfolding story…alongside the personal gods of the heavens”. Climate change is a new lying narrative serving an agenda as old as the hills.

You will recall Lord Monckton speaking about how climate change is a tool to achieve global governance and socialist/marxist aims, and how the warm-bloggers scoffed and ridiculed such a suggestion? Well, there you have it – Hulme has let the cat out of the bag.

Read the article in its entirety here.

Copenhagen: Ethiopia advocates global socialism


The Ethiopian suggestion

The Ethiopian suggestion

And supported by France and Britain – surprise surprise. Sarkozy the closet socialist, and Brown the old-Labour socialist. Climate change is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s the perfect way to introduce global wealth distribution via the back door, without anyone noticing. The Ethiopian proposal is as close to this as it’s possible to get – I’m amazed they said it with a straight face, as they prepare to fleece the developed world right under its nose.

AFRICAN nations, led by Ethiopia and backed by France and Britain, have presented a plan to break the deadlock at the Copenhagen talks by raising billions of dollars to help poor countries cope with climate change through levies on international aviation and shipping and possibly even a controversial global financial tax.

Kevin Rudd discussed the plan with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown soon after his arrival in Copenhagen. Mr Brown, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is backing the Ethiopian scheme, although the financial tax proposal was last night meeting resistance from other developed countries.

A spokesman for Mr Brown said London supported the Ethiopian proposal and hoped it could “provide a way forward” for the struggling climate change talks.

Where will the money go? To adapting to climate change? Er, I don’t think so. Into the pockets of despots and dictators.

Stupidity really does know no bounds.

Read it here.

Abbott: ETS is old fashioned socialism


The ETS at work

The ETS at work

Redistributing wealth from “the rich” to “the poor” is what socialism is all about, and oddly, that’s exactly what the ETS would do. Nothing for the climate, of course – don’t forget that. And Tony Abbott is quick to point this out:

The new leader will sharpen his attack on the CPRS, moving beyond attacking it as “a great big tax” to accusing Labor of using it as a wealth-transfer mechanism.

Homing in on Mr Rudd’s assurances that he will compensate low-income earners to the value of 120 per cent of the impact of the CPRS on their living costs, Mr Abbott will say: “This is a redistribution policy dressed up as a climate change policy. The Liberal Party, by contrast, doesn’t like new taxes, doesn’t like politicised handouts and doesn’t like new bureaucracies.”

After winning the Liberal Party leadership by a single vote to end weeks of opposition infighting earlier this month, Mr Abbott turned the party’s policy on its head by reversing Mr Turnbull’s previous support for Labor’s CPRS.

Mr Turnbull had previously insisted that Mr Rudd wanted the opposition to reject his legislation so he could call a double dissolution of parliament and an early election.

But Mr Abbott will tell the NSW’s Liberal Party’s Millennium Forum that he would relish any election on emissions trading because the campaign would be about tax, not the environment.

“Mr Rudd’s policy will be to save the environment by raising the cost of living,” the speech says.

“Oppositions should live for elections because they are the only way to become a government. So I have a clear message for Mr Rudd and the early election that he has threatened us with: Bring it on and we will be ready for you’.”

Read it here.

Australia may "foot huge climate change bill"


Us (L), Them (R)

Us (L), Them (R)

Another global socialism alert, as a fudged deal in Copenhagen will mean that billions of dollars of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars will be sent to developing countries to help them “cope with climate change”, instead of where they should be going, to education, health, law and order and all the other domestic policies that are in such a disastrous mess under Rudd & Co:

AUSTRALIA faces having to make a hefty payout to help developing countries such as China and India cope with climate change in order to clinch a deal in Copenhagen.

Despite Australia facing a domestic Budget deficit of about $50 billion for the coming year, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told The Sunday Mail from Copenhagen that Australia would have to contribute to so-called climate “abatement” funds if India and China were to come into the climate-change tent.

“There are a range of figures flying around,” Senator Wong said. “(British Prime Minister) Gordon Brown has proposed a $100 billion mix of public and private money. We have not indicated a figure but we have indicated we’re prepared to do our fair share.”

Do you remember anything about this in Rudd’s election promises? That they plan to send billions of your dollars to other countries for no justifiable reason? I don’t, and I’m not happy about it.

Read it here.

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