The Hockey Stick – finally dead

Michael Mann’s famous “hockey stick” graph, the ultimate alarmist propaganda poster, has, we hope, finally been laid to rest. The stick was a central part of the IPCC’s third assessment report, but was strangely dropped in the fourth. However, our own government still continues to use a version of it in order to mislead the unsuspecting public:

Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has finally killed it off (although I can’t imagine Michael Mann going quietly on this) by demonstrating that the characteristic shape was achieved by cherry-picking only certain tree-ring data that produced such a shape. If all of the data had been used, the result would have been far less interesting, and therefore would not have advanced the alarmist agenda (check out the black line in the following graph):
The next graphic compares the RCS chronologies from the two slightly different data sets: red – the RCS chronology calculated from the CRU archive (with the 12 picked cores); black – the RCS chronology calculated using the Schweingruber Yamal sample of living trees instead of the 12 picked trees used in the CRU archive. The difference is breathtaking.
This is sadly yet more evidence suggesting that climate change research has been corrupted by unscrupulous scientists seeking to advance a pre-conceived agenda. 
Read the full story here.

Coalition "in dark on ETS"

It seems that senior coalition figures are trying to run an argument that “the ETS was policy in 2007, so it should be policy now”. This ignores the fact that a lot has changed in two years:

OPPOSITION emissions trading spokesman Ian Macfarlane has been forced to distribute the Coalition’s 2007 election policy supporting an emissions trading scheme to his own back bench, after several MPs suggested an ETS had never been party policy or had been “slipped” past them.

Strong internal opposition is mounting to Malcolm Turnbull’s strategy – endorsed by shadow cabinet – of negotiating amendments to the government’s ETS next month.

Many senior Coalition members expressed astonishment that some backbenchers appeared intent on “rolling” their already-struggling leader on an issue, when all possible alternative leaders, including Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott, agreed with Mr Turnbull’s political strategy.

Backbench dissenters such as Cory Bernardi and Wilson Tuckey seemed to be intent upon “driving the car at high speed into a brick wall in order to test the airbags”, one senior Liberal said. Others said the campaign was aimed at forcing shadow cabinet to demand such extensive amendments that the government could never agree to them, achieving the ETS’s demise by default.

Read it here.

Happy 1st Birthday, ACM!

Australian Climate Madness is 1 year old! Nearly 900 posts later and we have a loyal readership. A huge thank you to all the people who have linked to my posts and included ACM in their blog rolls, but I must single out the following, who have really helped get ACM known in the sceptic community:

And of course a big thank you to you, the readers.

Australia is still heading down a path to economic oblivion with the government’s proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS). By all accounts, however, as soon as anyone begins to understand it, they realise what a disaster it is.

I have posted here an ACM Summary which is a high-level bullet point list of climate issues for those interested in hearing an alternative side to the debate. Many will reject it out of hand, but it may stir sufficient doubts in the open-minded for them to begin researching climate themselves, rather than relying on the alarmism fed to them by the government and media.

So I have a small plug to make to my Australian readers: please send a link to the ACM Summary to your friends and/or colleagues, and hopefully, if we can raise sufficient awareness, we can avoid sacrificing our economy for a pointless environmental gesture.

Once again, thanks for your support and… stay sceptical!

ACM Summary

Welcome to the Australian Climate Madness Summary. We hope the points set out below may give you some food for thought concerning climate change.

ACM Climate Change Summary

1. Introduction

For hundreds of years, scientific advancement has proceeded on the following basis: first, a theory is proposed to explain a particular natural phenomenon; secondly, that theory is used to make predictions about what may happen in the future; thirdly, the empirical observations are compared with those predictions; finally, if the observations match the predictions, it can be concluded that the theory accurately models the natural phenomenon. However, if they do not, or if a result is obtained at some point in the future that does not fit the theory, then the theory must be modified, new predictions made and new comparisons made with observations. This process will often go through many iterations.

However, when we come to the debate on climate change, the media and the government (and indeed many scientists) will say “the debate is over” or “the science is settled” and “we need to move on from the science and tackle with the problem.”

But is this really the case? Is the science really settled? If that were in fact the case and the evidence was so compelling, why is it that climate scientists need to “massage” data? Why is it that scientists who promote the alarmist agenda refuse to debate the issues? Why won’t Al Gore, responsible for the most popular climate change film An Inconvenient Truth, debate the claims raised in the film? [We know why, of course: many of them were just plain wrong.] Why are those who question the “consensus” often ostracised by their peers in the scientific community, silenced or even threatened? These are important questions to which answers should be sought.

Presently in Australia, the mainstream media and the Rudd government have closed their minds to any dissent from the “consensus” on climate change, namely that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming. The Rudd government will not entertain any debate on the science, preferring to simply rely on the pronouncements of the politically driven Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC – part of the UN), and insisting on enacting the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), a name intentionally chosen to mislead the public (it is the colourless, harmless gas carbon dioxide that is to be reduced, not elemental carbon in the form of soot, and it is not pollution). Similarly, the majority of the mainstream media has already made up its mind and only publishes articles which advance the agenda of dangerous global warming (see here for a textbook example of media bias).

IMPORTANT: We are not seeking to change anyone’s mind. 

All we seek to do is give readers the opportunity and the tools to find out more for themselves. If, after doing such research, readers are still convinced that AGW is real and dangerous, then at least they have been exposed to both sides of the story.

2. Key points on the science

  • The earth’s climate is always changing – it has for 4.5 billion years and will continue to do so – to speak of climate change as if it is something “new” is misleading.
  • There is nothing particularly special about the climate we live in at the moment – it is very benign compared to some of the alternatives – but to attempt to stop the clock and “freeze” the present state is misguided.
  • That the earth is currently in a long-term warming phase is not in dispute. It has been since the end of the last Ice Age, and in particular since the end of the Little Ice Age a couple of hundred years ago. It is therefore not surprising, nor alarming, that temperatures today are higher than they were a century ago.
  • However, the cause of that warming is where the dispute arises.
  • There is no historical link (on geological time scales) between the harmless gas carbon dioxide (CO2) and temperature. Levels of CO2 have been far higher (thousands of parts per million compared to a few hundred at present) in the past without the planet entering “runaway global warming” or passing “tipping points” from which it could not recover – the fact that we are here today is evidence enough of that.
  • Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth showed a large graph of temperature and CO2 fitting together very closely, except that it was at such a small scale that it was not possible to determine that rises in CO2 actually lag behind rises in temperature (and vice versa) by about 800-1000 years. The long term warming and cooling of oceans releases and absorbs huge quantities of CO2.
  • On shorter time-scales, temperatures rose in the early part of the 20th century with little or no man-made emissions of CO2.
  • They also fell in the period 1950-1970 when CO2 emissions were rising rapidly in the post-war economic boom.
  • The link between future global warming and CO2 is based predominantly on computer climate models.
  • None of the computer models predicted the pause in warming (and even slight cooling) we have seen since 2001, despite rising emissions, so we must assume those models are flawed.
  • There must be other factors at work, such as solar variations, cosmic ray variations, cloud cover, ocean currents etc, which have a far more significant effect on the climate than anthropogenic CO2 (which in any event is only a tiny part of the global CO2 budget)
  • Every day, new peer-reviewed scientific studies change our understanding of the climate – to say the “science is settled” is pure hubris.
  • The livelihood of many (most?) climate scientists depends on perpetuating the existence of the climate crisis, and there is presently a worrying lack of impartiality in this discipline.
  • Studies are written with a pre-conceived agenda in mind, and the peer-review has, to an extent, been corrupted – in other words, alarmist papers are being reviewed by similarly alarmist reviewers.
  • The story of the Michael Mann hockey stick is a prime example of how scientists with an agenda can manipulate data in order to produce the desired (alarmist) result – see here to read more about this particular example.
  • The media and the government have already closed their minds to the subject – you will rarely read anything that contradicts the so-called consensus in the mainstream media.
  • Hence the importance of the blogosphere and independent sources of information on climate.

3. Key points on the economics

  • The IPCC attributes the current warming almost entirely to man-made CO2.
  • This is obviously in the UN’s interest, since CO2 emissions can easily be regulated, unlike any other causes of climate change.
  • This allows the UN to “blame” developed economies for the current warming, and force them to accept reductions in emissions in order to tackle climate change.
  • Western government policy is based on the results of computer models which we have already seen are flawed.
  • Schemes such as the Australian CPRS, otherwise known as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will achieve nothing in terms of altering the climate – Australia produces less than 1.5% of global emissions. Even if we reduced those to zero overnight (a 100% reduction), it would make no difference to the climate (even if we assume that CO2 is the primary driver of temperature). So Kevin Rudd’s 5 – 15% will achieve less than nothing.
  • The ETS will do enormous damage to our economy and the standards of living of everyone in
    society, but especially poorer families who will be burdened with higher electricity, gas and food prices – whilst doing nothing for the climate.

4. Key points on the politics

  • There seems to be, amongst Western societies generally, a desire to “do something” in order to assuage our collective guilt for 200 years of economic progress (although why we should feel guilty about this is a mystery, since that economic progress has lifted billions of people out of a miserable life of poverty).
  • For some reason we are embarrassed about our standards of living, and believe that we must engage in a quasi-religious penitence for the sins we have committed against the planet (see here for an excellent comparison between climate change hysteria and religion).
  • History shows us that environmental causes have often been used to advance political agenda.
  • The present climate “crisis” unfortunately provides such an opportunity for:
    • more global governance and regulation by the UN;
    • a redistribution of wealth on a global scale from richer to poorer nations;
    • widespread increases in taxation at the expense of economic growth and prosperity;
    • a scaling back of Western economic progress; and ultimately,
    • a dismantling of capitalist systems (anti-globalisation)
    • This is evidenced by the allegiances of environmental (“green”) and/or climate change activists, many of whom align themselves with socialist ideals (witness the composition of demonstrators at climate change protests – primarily from the political left).
    • In Australia, the Rudd government is determined to push through the ETS before even seeing what other countries will commit to at Copenhagen. This may leave Australia in the position of having binding emissions reduction targets when much of the rest of the world has none. The inevitable result of this will be the export of local jobs and industry overseas.
    • ACM believes that the ETS is a pointless political gesture for a country that produces less than 1.5% of global emissions, since it will have no effect on the climate whatsoever, but if we have to have it, we should at least make that decision with the knowledge of what other countries will commit to.

    5. Conclusion

    ACM is fully supportive of reducing pollution – and by that we mean proper pollution, particulates and toxins, and not CO2, which is a harmless gas and essential for all plant life on earth – from our environment. ACM is also fully supportive of conserving limited natural resources. However, the cost/benefit analysis based on these goals simply does not add up.

    If you consider all the above points and dismiss them, then that is your prerogative. However, ACM’s view is that unless or until it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that the present warming is solely or primarily caused by man-made CO2 emissions, policies to reduce those emissions are pointless, and should be strongly resisted. Such policies will send millions of people back into poverty.

    ACM exists to communicate an alternative viewpoint to the one-sided presentation of climate change issues provided by the Australian government and mainstream media.

    Majority of Liberals oppose ETS plan

    Things keep getting worse for Malcolm Turnbull. In a crushing blow for his authority, a survey in The Australian has revealed that two-thirds of Liberal backbenchers disagree with his policy on the ETS:

    Over the past four days, The Australian contacted all 59 Liberal Party backbenchers in the House of Representatives and the Senate, asking: Do you think the opposition should negotiate amendments to the ETS with the government ahead of the Copenhagen conference?

    Only 12 MPs said they supported Mr Turnbull’s decision to negotiate, while 41 wanted the opposition to either not negotiate at all or to do so only on the guarantee that the legislation would not be passed ahead of the Copenhagen conference in December. Six MPs were either unwilling to disclose their position or unavailable.

    Senior opposition frontbenchers have claimed for weeks that it is only a vocal minority of the Liberal partyroom that is critical of the negotiating position Mr Turnbull and his shadow minister Ian Macfarlane have adopted, and most media reports have reinforced this position.

    But The Australian‘s survey proves that the so-called maverick Liberal parliamentarians Wilson Tuckey and Cory Bernardi are reflecting the views of an overwhelming majority of their colleagues when they publicly criticise the shadow cabinet for endorsing Mr Turnbull to negotiate with the government over the ETS.

    Perhaps most concerning for Mr Turnbull is that when the results of the survey are broken down, the discontent with his decision to negotiate amendments is not only coming from one section of the party.

    Three times as many House of Representatives MPs do not want to negotiate at all (21-7) and when the data are broken down to include only marginal-seat MPs, 11 out of 15 MPs don’t want to negotiate.

    ACM’s view is that the ETS is bad law, and should not be passed, amended or not. It is now clear that Malcolm Turnbull clearly does not represent the majority view of his party on the ETS.

    Read it here.

    Denier Alert: Garnaut brands Nationals "sharks"

    Poor old Ross Garnaut. He just cannot believe that anyone could possibly not agree with his position on climate and as usual, resorts to the typical ad hominem. It’s all so predictable:

    Australia’s top climate change expert [Er, I don’t think so, he’s an economist – Ed] has likened global warming sceptics in rural areas to sharks.

    Ross Garnaut’s comments come as a Newspoll shows the Rudd government losing support in regional Australia, with the Nationals benefiting from opposition to an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

    Without mentioning the Nationals by name, Prof Garnaut said climate change sceptics in rural areas were exploiting the ignorant.

    ‘That’s a sad thing,’ he told ABC television on Monday night from Beijing. ‘There, you have climate sharks preying on the vulnerability of people who aren’t in a position to be well informed themselves.’

    I sincerely hope you are not suggesting that rural people are somehow less capable of understanding the issues than the urban liberal intelligentsia like you, because that really would be patronising and offensive.

    Asked who the climate sharks were, Prof Garnaut said it was anyone who played on the human instinct to deny bad news.

    And now the inevitable D-word Alert:

    ‘It’s the sort of denial we see going on with a lot of tragic circumstances, but you never make a problem easier to handle by pretending it doesn’t exist,’ he said.

    Unbelievable climate nonsense from a man in an ivory tower.

    Read it here.

    Yet more climate talks…

    I thought they’d only just finished… Anyway, this is the last gasp before Copenhagen (at least we’ll all get a break from climate hysteria for a while, with a bit of luck):

    UN negotiations for a global climate treaty have resumed in Bangkok amid fears that delegates will fail to agree on a draft text ahead of December’s crucial showdown in Copenhagen.

    The talks are the latest session in nearly two years of haggling – known as the “Bali Road Map” – that have fallen far short of an agreement to tackle climate change beyond 2010.

    UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said on the eve of the meetings that there was intense pressure on the 2,500 participants gathered in the Thai capital. [2500 participants? Carbon footprint must be the size of Al Gore’s house – Ed]

    “We’re arriving here in Bangkok with about, I think, a 280-page negotiating text which is basically impossible to work with,” de Boer told AFP in Bangkok.

    We’ve got 16 days of negotiating time left before Copenhagen so things are getting tight and we need to get to a result.”

    The suspense is killing me!

    Read it here.

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