Ignorant, patronising climate propaganda


"Feisty carbon particle"

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency plugs a propaganda drive by ClimateWorks Australia, which plumbs new depths of inanity and ignorance:

Today, ClimateWorks Australia (link here) launched its national public engagement program aimed at showing how Australia can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The Empower campaign is aimed at raising awareness of how business and households can take up low cost opportunities to reduce their emissions and save money.

The actions highlighted in the program involve energy efficiency measures (such as retrofitting buildings, upgrading equipment, reducing waste and the use of co-generation), land sector measures (such as reforestation and soil carbon sequestration), and power sector measures (such as wind and solar).  It outlines simple measures households and businesses can adopt to reduce their emissions and save money on their power bills.

The program involves presentations to industry and community groups, train-the-trainer sessions and on-line video materials.

As part of the program, a YouTube video animation has been developed starring a feisty character called CP, which is short for carbon particle. CP has a dual nature; in moderate quantities he can be good (Dr Jekyll), but in large quantities he turns bad (Mr Hyde).  Using easy to understand graphics and dialogue, the video shows how Australia can achieve a clean energy future. (source)

I really wish I was making this up, but I’m not.

Once again, the population is treated like total morons. “CP”, or carbon particle, lectures us on how we should cut emissions and lead virtuous low carbon lives. Unfortunately, particulate carbon has NOTHING to do with global warming, climate change or whatever. Carbon dioxide, the alleged part-cause of the modern warming, is a harmless, invisible, trace gas.

And the level of the accompanying video would insult a six-year-old. It is unbelievably patronising, juvenile, unfunny (despite trying desperately to be so) and deeply painful to endure. I’ve embedded it below, watch it and weep. Actually you only need to watch about the first minute. That’s really enough.

[tube]yg52cVVWQo4[/tube]

Note: CEO of ClimateWorks is Professor David Griggs, who is a fully paid-up alarmist, formerly director of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre (appears in a few of the Climategate emails as well), head of IPCC Scientific Assessment Unit, and recently spoke at the Four Degrees or More conference (link). So none of this should be a surprise. Embarrassing that an organisation led by someone of his pedigree would intentionally confuse carbon dioxide with particulate carbon, but in the propaganda game, anything goes.

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?

 

"And the Eureka Prize for climate propaganda goes to…"


Propaganda

… John Cook, who has been awarded the gong for “Advancement of Scientific Knowledge” in the 2011 Eureka Prize. Cook publishes the website Skeptical Science, which allegedly “rebuts” all the filthy lies peddled by evil deniers (© any alarmist you care to mention).

The Sydney Morning Herald crows:

John Cook, a physics graduate who created the Skeptical Science website to debunk lies and misinformation about climate change science, won the prize for advancement of climate change knowledge, sponsored by the NSW government.

Mr Cook, co-author of Climate Change Denial, started the website in 2007 and has published scientific rebuttals to more than 150 climate change myths. (source)

Impartial presentation of scientific knowledge, however, it ain’t. It is an ideologically driven propaganda site, the sole aim of which is to rubbish, ridicule and dismiss anything which challenges the precious consensus. If you need further evidence of this, simply look at Cook’s publications, which are more concerned with attacking “deniers” than seeking scientific truth. Also check out Lubos Motl’s response to Cook’s “rebuttals” here.

More than anything, however, the award reflects extremely poorly on the Australian Museum, which awards the prizes, and, like so many formerly respectably scientific institutions, has been wholly compromised by a blind acceptance of climate hysteria.

We sure are having a bad week for the integrity of science…

Clean Energy Future advert: count the lies


[tube]Au8-Mr1vGAc[/tube]

Government propaganda at its very worst. Let’s go through it:

  • Lie Number 1: Carbon Pollution. It isn’t carbon and it isn’t pollution.
  • Lie Number 2: The majority of scientists agree that climate change is a result of human activity. A manufactured consensus from a politicised organisation (the IPCC) which was formed to find evidence of a pre-conceived conclusion. How much climate change is actually a result of human activity? We don’t know.
  • Lie Number 3: We can avoid the worst impacts by reducing “pollution”. No we can’t. The carbon tax will do nothing to change the climate.
  • Lie Number 4: Climate change is predicted to lead to further rises in temperature, rises in sea levels and some extreme weather events becoming more common, making life more difficult. Temperatures and sea levels have been rising slowly for centuries, without any help from man-made emissions. There are no confirmed links to more extreme weather events despite what the media tries to tell you.
  • Lie Number 5: Countries around the world are already taking action [lists China, USA, India and Europe]. No, they are not. China’s emissions will rise for the foreseeable future despite a few token environmental gestures, India’s carbon tax is $1/tonne, the USA has backed away from any federal climate action leaving just the tiny RGGI, and Europe is a hopeless economic basket case on the verge of collapse, thanks in part to a crippling ETS mired in fraud and corruption.
  • Lie Number 6: These clean energy sources [solar, wind, tidal and geothermal] are sustainable, renewable, their supply cannot be disrupted by events elsewhere, and they don’t contribute to pollution. None of those energy sources can replace fossil fuels for base-load electricity generation. And wind and solar are “disrupted” when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Tidal power is non-existent in Australia, and geothermal is so tiny as to be not even worth mentioning. The manufacture of solar panels and rare earth magnets for wind turbines releases millions of tonnes of real pollution into the environment.
  • Lie Number 7: Developing these new industries means developing new jobs. False. Every fake green job costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and takes away on average 2 – 4 real jobs. Subsidising inefficient, unreliable and expensive alternative energy is like burning $100 bills. The market will decide when “alternative” energy becomes competitive, not the government.
  • Lie Number 8: Meeting the challenge of climate change means being responsible, staying competitive and Australia continuing to prosper. A unilateral carbon tax does nothing for climate change, it is totally irresponsible, will make Australia less competitive compared to its trading partners, and will damage the economy for no benefit.

Wow. Eight whoppers in just over a minute. Pretty impressive.

And it’s all paid for by YOUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

Angry yet?

Check out a proper climate illustration here.

P.S. They’ve disabled comments in YouTube. I wonder why?

World of "sham carbon policies" exposed


Henry Ergas

Earlier in the week we had the government plugging the same old line: “Australia is falling behind other countries and we need to catch up – and by the way, here’s a Productivity Commission report which agrees with us.” Henry Ergas in The Australian unpicks the spin:

CONTRARY to repeated assertions by the Prime Minister, the Productivity Commission did not endorse an economy-wide emissions trading scheme. Rather, its recently released report on carbon emissions policies models an ETS that applies only to the electricity sector and excludes all trade-exposed industries.

As the commission shows, current policies aimed at subsidising renewable energy incur high costs for pitifully little outcome. No surprise then that its modelling finds that scrapping those policies and imposing a carbon price of $9 a tonne on the electricity sector would cause less harm.

True, the eight countries the PC analysed have more than a thousand policies in place, many focused on electricity generation. But in aggregate those policies yield barely 210 million tonnes of electricity sector abatement.

Take China, the world’s largest and most rapidly growing emitter, which the Garnaut report says has “pledged large reduction targets, implemented reforms that deliver on its commitments, and set sail on a global mission to dominate new opportunities”. But the PC finds China’s abatement affects barely 1 per cent of its electricity emissions, while its abatement outlays, at one-third of 1 per cent of gross domestic product, are well below Australia’s.

Moreover, the PC’s measure of net abatement takes no account of subsidies to emissions. Recent estimates place subsidies to fossil fuel use in China at about 1.4 per cent of GDP. For each dollar spent curbing emissions, China therefore spends $4 promoting them.

Yes, some countries, notably Germany and Britain, devote substantial resources to emissions reduction. But even there, the PC finds high costs for modest impacts. Indeed, as the report notes, the Germans spend $150 to $300 a tonne of carbon securing emissions reductions that under the European Union’s ETS are simply offset by increased emissions in Italy and Spain.

That may seem irrational. But the reality is that this is an area whose politics are now entirely symbolic. Notwithstanding sweeping promises in international forums, and regardless of the homilies of climate change’s high priests, governments do not believe communities have any stomach to make real sacrifices for a goal that seems ever more illusory.

Trapped between the zealots and that brute fact, they resort to what are little more than bribes, buying, at absurdly high cost, a bit of abatement here, dispensing an exclusion from obligations there, and sprinkling the whole with scarcely credible claims to moral principle. Unsurprisingly, the policies born from this combination of shabbiness of motives and pretence to public spirit are as incoherent as they are socially wasteful. But that does not mean those policies are not privately profitable. Indeed, studies find even the EU ETS increased European generators’ profits by some 30 to 50 per cent, as free permit allocations ensured revenues increased by more than costs. Such transfers merely increase the inefficiencies, as profits are dissipated in attempts to secure and protect rents, while those who would bear the costs throw further resources at self-defence.

Only in bad light, and even then only by the weak-sighted, could such policies be confused for meaningful efforts at tackling climate change. That is the sham the commission’s spotlight exposes. But none are so blind as those that would not see. Forcing the government to face up to the PC’s findings is the task ahead.

Read it here.

Labor wastes $12 million advertising a tax that doesn't exist


Carbon tax advertising

The Climate Madness escalates to new heights, as Greg Combet announces a propaganda campaign, to be funded by 12 million of your taxpayer dollars, for a policy that doesn’t yet exist.

Hang on a minute, surely we should be waiting until the Climate Committee makes its recommendation, shouldn’t we? Nope, because the Climate Committee is a TOTAL SHAM. Like the one-eyed Climate Commission and all the other pointless talk-fests. This government doesn’t give a sh*t about what any of them says – it’s already made up its mind that there will be a carbon tax, and it’s already budgeted for the advertising. Un-freaking-believable.

Finally, FINALLY, the independents are slowly beginning to stand up to the utter nonsense and dishonesty being perpetrated by this embarrassment of a government:

TAXPAYERS are set to foot the bill for a $12 million carbon tax advertising campaign in an announcement that has angered independent MPs, who will have the deciding votes on the controversial reform.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today revealed initial plans for the campaign, which must still be signed off by the multi-party climate change committee and meet government advertising guidelines.

He said the “modest” campaign was appropriate to inform [brainwash - Ed] the public on a matter of government policy.

“The government considers that it is extremely important that the government [public? - Ed] has access to appropriate information [biased propaganda - Ed] about the policies and plans for carbon pricing,” Mr Combet said.

He refused to rule out an expansion of the advertising budget in the future.

Multi-party climate committee members Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor condemned the announcement as “incredibly unhelpful”.

“I totally disagree with the decision and totally disassociate myself from the decision,” Mr Oakeshott said.

Mr Windsor said the announcement was “dumb” given the lack of a concrete policy.

“It’s the presumption that money will be spent on something that doesn’t exist,” he said. (source)

On ABC news this evening, Windsor said it was “money for propaganda.” Bravo. Keep it up. Maybe the independents have finally each grown a set.

Government campaign of climate misinformation on the way?


Think propaganda

I guess that would finally finish off Gillard and her crooked Government. Spending tax-payer dollars to promote a policy that was explicitly ruled out before the election won’t go down too well, I would suspect. Excellent. Bring it on.

AUSTRALIANS face bombardment with glossy brochures, emotive TV ads and subliminal “below the line” marketing under a ready-made strategy to sell the government’s proposed carbon tax.

A communications plan drawn up for the dumped carbon pollution reduction scheme urged a “call to action” campaign to boost public support for cutting carbon emissions.

The plan reveals a $6.5 million mailout of 6-8 page information booklets was under consideration by the former Rudd government to win public support for its climate response.

It also recommended a $7-$20 million media buy to explain to households the need for climate action, which would cost them $4-$5 a week more in electricity bills and $2 more a week for gas.

The December 2009 document, obtained by the opposition under freedom of information laws, urged a multi-pronged campaign worth up to $30 million to address an “information gap” in the community.

“It is important to note that advertising will need to be a core component of the communications program,” the plan said.

It said “below the line activities”, involving public relations specialists and digital marketers, should also play a role. (source)

Can’t wait, and I bet neither can you…

ABC's loathsome propaganda machine


Double whammy

The fact that the national broadcaster has a well-known and self-confessed climate alarmist as the presenter of its “flagship” science programme, The Science Show, is a perfect example of the ABC “groupthink” Maurice Newman exposed so clearly in March 2010. Robyn Williams is well known to the readers of ACM, having achieved a veritable litany of guest appearances (see here for a few examples) and is someone who accepts the politically motivated pronouncements of the IPCC, cobbled together as they are from environmental advocacy groups’ tatty leaflets, without a hint of scientific impartiality or healthy scepticism. So it is little wonder that whenever climate matters are discussed, it is invariably from the alarmist viewpoint, with generous helpings of “denier”, “flat earther”, “Big Oil”, “tobacco” and all the usual tedious ad hominems hurled at sceptics thrown in for good measure.

Oddly, for some strange reason, the audio and transcript from the 1 January 2011 programme, which opens with Williams wishing everyone a Happy New Year, has already been published on the ABC web site (making readers feel like they have tunnelled through some space-time wormhole), and therefore I can advise you to AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE [and avoid the following week's show even more, for reasons which I will discuss later - Ed]. For Williams’ guest on the show is none other than that other ACM favourite, Tim “Flannel” Flannery, whose name is almost invariably prefaced by “Australian Alarmist of the Year”  to add a bit of street cred. However, since the alarmists love to do this, I will just point out, purely for the record you understand, that Flannery isn’t a climate scientist, he’s a mammalogist and palaeontologist (according to Wikipedia), but despite that he is a “global warming activist” and since he’s plugging the consensus/IPCC/ABC/Labor view, that’s just fine. We only worry about qualifications when it’s a climate realist we’re talking about, right?

To an extent, the details of the interview are irrelevant (the transcript runs for a mind-numbing 20 pages), but as would be expected, Williams gives Flannery a free ride to plug his new book and spout all the usual misrepresentations about the current state of the climate. The two of them seem perfectly happy to inhabit this cosseted world, insulated from reality, where they can stew in their own alarmist juices. There’s lots of Gaia talk, a theme of the new book, which Flannery tries to argue has some scientific merit, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, since it has the same level of pseudo-scientific credibility as catastrophic AGW:

Robyn Williams: So there you’ve got an image of the earth, the planet as a god, but also a very sophisticated and credible scientific idea.

Tim Flannery: That’s right. I was tempted in the book to simply give in and call it Earth System Science, because Gaia is earth system science and in many university departments around the world, as you’ll know, Robyn, earth system science is a very respectable science. But as soon as you mention Gaia of course, the scepticism comes out. I didn’t do that though, because I think there’s a certain elegance to Gaia, to that word and the concept, and also because I think that within this century the concept of the strong Gaia will actually become physically manifest. I do think that the Gaia of the Ancient Greeks, where they believed the earth was effectively one whole and perfect living creature, that doesn’t exist yet, but it will exist in future. That’s why I wanted to keep that word.

“Physically manifest”? “It will exist in the future”? But that’s just the start – things get even more astrological, straying dangerously close to “energy crystals”, tarot cards and ouija boards, accompanied by the stench of patchouli wafting from the monitor screen. Williams actually dares ask a tricky question, but then doesn’t follow through:

Robyn Williams: How will it exist in the future? Because an organism is one thing; the earth is complicated, but it is after all a lump of rock with iron in the middle and a veneer of living things outside, and a very thin atmosphere. It’s not an organism, so how is the feedback system such that it stabilises things, temperature anyway, like an organism?

Tim Flannery: That’s the great question. I must admit that as I wrote the book I was unable to come to a clear landing on the extent of Gaian control over the system, because much of the data is equivocal. I think that there is clear evidence for something that I call in the book geo-pheromones, which are elements within the earth system, which when present in very small amounts have very large outcomes, a bit like ant pheromones. But they often do multiple jobs. Some ant pheromones do as well, but many of them are specific. One of those is course carbon dioxide, a trace amount in the atmosphere, four parts per ten thousand is enough to keep the earth habitable. Ozone is another one present in just a few parts per billion. Human-made CFCs are yet another one. Atmospheric dust may well be another one. So these elements in the earth system have a profound impact on the system, and there is some evidence that there’s some sort of homeostasis established, if you want. But you don’t have to look very far into earth history to see that homeostasis change. When I say homeostasis, that’s like my temperature is always at 98.4˚ or whatever it is.

Robyn Williams: As are your body fluids largely maintained.

Tim Flannery: Yes, all balanced and everything.

This kind of pagan Earth-worship stretches credibility as thin as it can go. And as always, Flannery goes on to presents the bog-standard alarmist climate arguments – faster, bigger, badder, worser:

Tim Flannery: … The climate science is getting more dismal at the same time this is happening. We’ve seen the IPCC projections are now ground truthed against real world change, and we see that we’re tracking the worst case scenario, which is 6˚ of warming.

Robyn Williams: Six! [Why does that surprise you, Mr "100 meters of sea level rise by 2100" Williams?]

Tim Flannery: Yes, that’s for the early part of the curve. You know what happened in 2001, the IPCC produced these projections and they indicated that if we double CO2 above pre-industrial levels there’s a 60% chance that the result will be a 2˚ or 3˚ rise in temperature, a 10% chance of a 1˚ rise and 10% rise of a 6˚ rise. Because those projections were done ten years ago, scientists are now going back and looking at the real world data and saying were the projections right or not? It turns out that they were wrong. They were too conservative, at least for the early part of the projection curve. We’re seeing the worst case scenario unfold.

Is this an outright lie? I guess not, because Flannery is relying solely on the UHI-contaminated, corrupted and fudged surface temperature record, which conveniently fits the alarmist cause (wonder why, with Jimmy Hansen in charge?). If he actually stopped to consider satellite records, which cannot be “adjusted”, global temperatures are tracking well below IPCC projections. But that’s not going to grab any headlines, and it certainly doesn’t fit the ABC’s groupthink agenda.

But as I said, all this detail is irrelevant. When you have a flagship science programme hosted by a presenter with a blatant political agenda to push, it is no longer science, but propaganda – precisely what Maurice Newman was keen to avoid at the ABC. Flannery is happy to smear a geologist, Bob Carter, for not looking at the “appropriate timescales” when considering climate – the ultimate irony, given that geologists have a far better understanding of timescale than climatologists or politicians – but why doesn’t Williams actually bite the bullet and invite Carter on his show? I mean, his arguments are paper-thin, so clearly he will simply make a fool of himself, right?

But it’s not that simple. This isn’t about being persuaded by facts or rational argument – this is all about religion and faith. Just as billions of Christians put their faith in the Christmas story and the Bible, so Williams and Flannery are devout followers of the Church of Global Warming, and anything that contradicts the holy scripture (An Inconvenient Truth) is heresy. Maurice Newman should kick Williams out of the ABC – nothing prevents him from making a career as a ecotard activist or Green politician, that’s his right as a citizen in a democracy, but there is no place for him at the national broadcaster.

You can read the transcript here.

And the reason you should avoid the following programme?

“Next week on the Science Show, the dynamic Naomi Oreskes at the University of NSW on merchants of doubt – how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming. I’m Robyn Williams.”

Lumping climate realists with Big Tobacco… the ABC propaganda mill grinds ever onwards, at your expense. More on this next week, no doubt.

NSW government uses black balloons to represent CO2


Because we all know that CO2 is black, right? Because it’s carbon, right? And it’s pollution, right? And it’s causing catastrophic climate change, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again. But that doesn’t stop the moonbat NSW government wasting even more precious taxpayer money (that could be spent on e.g. fixing the state’s woeful transport network or any one of a thousand more deserving causes) on no less than fifteen (count them, fifteen) adverts to blackmail the weary population to wear dirty, damp clothes covered in bird-shit (no warm washes, no tumble dryers allowed, line dry instead), suffer in cold houses in winter and hot ones in summer (turn down that evil heating and cooling), and of course, live entirely in semi-darkness with flickery, epilepsy-inducing CFLs (get rid of those tungsten filament bulbs right now) all to “save the planet”. I am all in favour of reducing energy consumption, but this is just pure Green propaganda:

[hana-flv-player video="http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/video/nsw_save_power.flv" width="400" height="330" description="NSW Save Power advert" player="4" autoload="true" autoplay="false" loop="false" autorewind="true" /]

There’s also a hideous new website [how much does that cost?] to go with it here, and plenty more of those sinister black balloons.

Welcome to the interfering, meddling, nanny state of environmentalism… or as we call it, New South Wales.

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