Happy New Year from ACM

New Year's Eve at Sydney Harbour, 2010

Just back from the 9pm fireworks at Sydney Harbour in time to wish all ACM readers a very happy and prosperous 2011.

To quote from Doug L Hoffman on The Resilient Earth:

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial (while it lasts) and, most importantly, stay sceptical.

Now for some champagne!


Adam Morton, The Age's hysterical propaganda merchant

Propaganda merchant

I could hardly be bothered reading this, let alone posting on it, since Fairfax made up its mind on climate change years ago, but The Age cannot be allowed to get away with this rubbish scot free. Morton has a catalogue of alarmist environmental reports in The Age stretching back as far as the eye can see, and he excels himself today with his breathless account of “The Deadly Decade”, blaming climate change for everything from the Victorian bushfires to the floods in Pakistan. Firstly, Morton tugs at the heart strings with a climate scientist wracked with guilt and remorse:

Neville Nicholls is a climate scientist. He has long believed his role was research, not advocacy. But when he woke on the morning following Black Saturday, turned on his TV and caught his breath after witnessing the shocking aerial footage of what was once Marysville, he instinctively blamed himself.

“My initial thought was: is this my fault? Has this happened because I haven’t been out there saying that this stuff is going to have catastrophic consequences for us?” he recalls. “It is the first time I have ever been shaken from my belief that I shouldn’t be an advocate on climate change.”

Sure, because there aren’t any advocates for climate change, are there? The public are completely in the dark (if you choose to ignore Al Gore, James Hansen, and thousands of other shills for the cause that clog up the newspapers and the airwaves every day of the year). Morton then claims that climate and weather can’t be linked, but then proceeds to do just that:

It has been said so often that it should be well known by now: no extreme event can be definitively blamed on the surge in atmospheric greenhouse gases since industrialisation. But when events closely replicate what dozens of climate models have predicted will come, neither can they and climate change be divorced.

The 13 members of Climate Scientists Australia believe February 7, 2009, was such a case: 46.4 degrees in Melbourne — not just the city’s hottest day on record, but more than 3 degrees warmer than February’s previous maximum.

Except it wasn’t, as ACM reported back in February 2009:

First, Melbourne did in fact have a hotter day before, four years before the Bureau of Meteorology started officially recording temperatures.

As the Argus newspaper reported at the time, the temperature on February 6, 1851, soared to 47.2C, helping to superheat the fires that then roared across 10 times more land than was burned last week.

And despite claims that global warming is now heating this land like never before, Victoria’s highest recorded temperature is still the 50.7C measured in Mildura 103 years ago.

Morton then tries to link the Victorian bushfires to climate change, a particularly desperate path, since the commission which investigated that tragic event found that it had nothing to do with “climate change” at all, but with a lack of proper management:

In the October edition of the Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society, Nicholls summarised: “A quantitative analysis leaves no doubt that the combination of weather conditions leading up to Black Saturday, and on the day, had not been observed previously in the 150 years of Melbourne instrumental weather data.

The commission, though, found neither the day nor the fires were unprecedented, accepting oral evidence from land and fuel management experts that the Black Saturday fires were not a shift from what had come before.

Nicholls, one of several scientists to lodge a submission with the commission linking the fires with human-induced climate change, was surprised. “I think a focus on the fact that we had not previously seen such extreme fire weather and climate conditions is important,” he says.

Well the commission didn’t think so. But that conclusion doesn’t fit with Morton’s alarmist agenda, so he continues to link the bushfires to climate change to plug the cause – maybe the commission was funded by Big Oil? And of course, no article would be complete without blaming extreme cold on global warming as well:

There is significant evidence to suggest that global warming is responsible for the extreme northern winters of the past two years. An increase in air pressure in the Arctic atmosphere caused by warmer heat coming off a relatively ice-free ocean is pushing cold air south.

There is no “evidence” at all, of course – just spurious outputs from this week’s favourite dodgy climate model, thereby justifying any weather conditions as signs of “global warming”. An unfalsifiable hypothesis isn’t science, by the way.

Then there is the usual parroting of the IPCC line [credibility shot to pieces], rising sea levels [same rate as the last 7000 years], Arctic ice declines [no mention of Antarctic ice increases]. This isn’t journalism but propaganda, and the conclusion fits the mould perfectly, cheerleading Australia’s pointless efforts to “tackle climate change”:

What are the hopes of a global solution to this diabolical problem? A recent prognosis by the Paris-based International Energy Agency found the national targets submitted under last year’s loose Copenhagen Accord would put the world on a path of 3.5 degrees of warming by the end of the century. Even if you assume that countries introduce policies to back their international promises — Australia and the US, to name just two, currently have no way of meeting their targets — few scientists or policymakers expect the temperature rise to be kept within 2 degrees, the goal agreed under the UN process.

In Australia, next year will see a concerted effort from Labor, the Greens and significant parts of the business community to introduce a carbon price — most likely a tax that could evolve into carbon trading. If they succeed, attention is likely to turn to the challenge that has just begun to enter the public debate but will increasingly arise over the next decade: adapting to unavoidable change.

“Adapting to unavoidable change” – that’s the first and only sensible sentence in the entire article.

Read it here – and that’s the last post on Morton or any other Fairfax journo for the foreseeable future. Life is too short.

FAIL: environmental predictions of the past

Epic fail

With a track record like this, who could possibly doubt the environmentalists’ warnings of a forthcoming global warming apocalypse?

h/t The Air Vent – and as Jeff said, check out the present day back-pedalling from the original doom-mongers who probably thought they’d never be picked up on their embarrassing errors.

Gillard "faces backlash on clean power"

Hazelwood brown coal power station, Victoria

More trouble at mill for Labor’s green crusade:

THE government’s push to mandate clean power stations could backfire as electricity generators threaten to delay upgrades to dirty coal-fired plants.

In a submission to the government obtained by The Australian, the power generators say tough new carbon pollution standards could apply to expansions to old power stations.

This is despite Julia Gillard’s vow during this year’s federal election that the standards would not apply to existing projects and were aimed at ensuring a dirty power station was never again built in Australia.

The electricity generators have joined Australia’s big miners and banks in warning that the government is raising sovereign risk concerns that could spook investors.

“Owners could be deterred from improving the performance of existing plant if an expansion could trigger new and costly regulatory requirements,” the National Generators Forum states in the submission.

The forum – whose members produce 95 per cent of Australia’s electricity – warns that the plan for cleaner power stations repeats mistakes made in the US, where a crackdown on emissions from new power stations has deterred investors from building them and led to greater use of coal-fired plants that are, on average, 44 years old.

They also complain that the plan is based on technologies that are highly uncertain and say it is probably doomed to fail in Western Australia.

The backlash from the generators adds to the government’s woes over its handling of climate change policy. The government wants to put a price on carbon next year and has maintained this is a crucial economic reform to encourage cuts to pollution and provide greater certainty for business investment.

A multi-party climate change committee is expected to make recommendations on a carbon price by the end of next year.

But the National Generators Forum warns that policies such as an emissions standard for coal generators are redundant when the government has promised to a carbon price.

The group says it is “alarmed by the proliferation of ad hoc policies, at all levels of government, which distort otherwise efficient electricity markets for what are often ill-defined or marginal environmental aims”.

“These policies are rarely complementary to a future carbon price and are usually token policies announced by governments in order to be seen as ‘doing something’ to address climate change,” it says. (source)

Let’s be clear about this. We all want to see power stations emit less pollution, and by that I mean real pollution, such as particulates and toxins, but situations such as the above are all driven by the “global warming” dogma of reducing harmless carbon dioxide. And whereas the former would be governed by market forces and rational cost/benefit analysis, the latter is governed by fairytale green ideology – with predictable results.

Denmark's ETS scam

Licence to scam

Any ETS is ripe for fraud and corruption. In December 2009, ACM reported that fraudsters had pocketed an eye-popping €5bn from the European ETS, so it’s little surprise when stories like this come to light. Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for “Climate Action”, wrote in The Australian on Monday that the Cancun “deal” put climate action “back on track”. Apart from the usual warmists’ trick of blaming individual weather events, such as the Moscow fires and Pakistani floods, on climate change when it suits them (despite huge swathes of the planet currently experiencing extreme cold), the article claims that the deal would restore public faith in the UN climate process. Stop laughing. And today, it is revealed that the Danish ETS, the inception of which was presided over by Hedegaard herself as climate and energy minister, was so lax in its background checks that rogue traders scammed 2% of Denmark’s entire GDP in lost taxes:

The Denmark CO2 permit registry was set up with extremely lax rules and regulations, possibly intentionally. In 2007, Hedegaard removed the requirement for identification and in a very short period of time traders figured out the loopholes and started to back up the proverbial truck. How? To put it simply: you could round robin CO2 credits, booking the VAT as a bonus each time.

What is painfully obvious is that more than 1100 of the 1256 (about 88 per cent) of the registered traders listed in their system were illegally set up for fraudulent activity. The traders have since been delisted as the scope of the crime becomes obvious.

The fake but registered traders used made up, unique addresses for their business: in one famous case, a trader was listed as trading out of a parking lot in London. In another, the trader took the name of a dead Pakistani national.

The fraud centred on the use of VAT [value added tax, European equivalent of GST – Ed] as a mechanism to generate real non-taxed cash flow. An international trader would buy VAT free credits from one nation, and then resell them to a VAT added customer in a second nation, pocketing as much as 25 per cent of the cost of the trade as a personal commission. The trader then kept the VAT difference in lieu sending in the VAT to the necessary tax system, effectively arbitraging the VAT system (See, e.g., Cap and Trade; Leaving Las Vegas, “The Hole You’re In”). This trade was coined a “carousel” as the traders would re-export the credits, claiming the VAT only to re-import the credits and reselling them again with a new VAT assigned. They could wash, rinse and repeat booking up to a 25 per cent VAT in the process each time. (source)

But this is par for the course in climate action – emissions trading schemes, solar rebates, wind farm subsidies, you name it. The politicians simply turn a blind eye when the ends justify the means, since “saving the planet” trumps any trifling concerns about fraud. Just more of the same green waste with which we have become so familiar, and with which we will become even more acquainted if a carbon trading scheme is ever established here.

ABC: "warm weather" caused Moscow's freezing chaos

"Unseasonably warm"

Stop laughing at the back, the ABC is being deadly serious here. The closure of Moscow’s airports is nothing to do with “extreme cold”, which itself is a sign of global warming (© ABC, CSIRO, New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald etc etc), but “unseasonably warm weather” which itself is, of course, a sign of global warming… or something. My brain hurts.

Russian prosecutors have launched a probe into how bad weather caused massive disruption at Moscow’s two largest airports as passengers staged protests against the chaos that has left thousands stranded.

Freezing weather and power outages have delayed more than 200 flights at Moscow’s Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports, with some passengers staging protests in security check areas.

Moscow transportation prosecutor Yevgeny Pospelov says he has launched a probe into the massive delays aimed to “protect the rights of passengers”.

Ironically, the chaos was caused not by a cold snap but by unseasonably warm weather which meant torrential freezing rain, rather than snow, fell at the weekend, leaving a treacherous layer of ice on roads and runways. (source)

Pass the vodka.

Japan shelves ETS – Australia should do the same

Mt Fuji: try offsetting that...

China and India have no intention of strangling their economic growth with emissions reductions, the US won’t be enacting climate legislation anytime soon, but plucky little Australia, with its massive 1.28% contribution to global emissions (down from 1.5% as those from developing countries skyrocket) is prepared to sacrifice its prosperity on the altar of “tackling global warming”. Why shouldn’t we, says our Julia? The EU has an ETS (which hasn’t reduced emissions and is bogged down in corruption and fraud), New Zealand has an ETS (on their 0.11%, or just over one thousandth, of global emissions), and very soon Japan will as well… no, wait, reality check ahead:

JAPAN’S decision to postpone its plans for an ETS by 2013 has increased pressure on Julia Gillard over her goal of pricing carbon next year.

The postponement has also set back efforts for a global market to cut global carbon pollution [harmless carbon dioxide gas – Ed]

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt called on the Prime Minister to rule out an emissions trading scheme by New Year’s Day in the wake of the Japanese move.

The decision by the world’s fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter and Australia’s second-largest trading partner to postpone the scheme for a year comes after the US also stepped back from a national emissions trading scheme and as international firms remain concerned about lax pollution controls in China, which has no obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

Two weeks ago, [Greg Combet] defended the Rudd government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme, dumped by the former prime minister. He said it had included an emissions trading scheme that would have “provided the greatest certainty that Australia would meet its emissions reductions targets”.

But, Mr Hunt said, the government’s plans were “now in tatters”.

“First Canada, second the US and now Japan have all determined that there is a better way to cut emissions than a massive electricity tax.

“The Prime Minister should drop this electricity tax before New Year’s Day.” (source)

Not a chance, Greg Hunt. Don’t forget, Bob Brown and the Greens have a loaded gun pressed to Labor’s head – drop the carbon price, they pull the trigger. They’ll probably pull the trigger anyway, when Labor don’t agree to 90% cuts by next year, or whatever nonsense the Greens want.

In other news, The Australian’s Cut and Paste section is devoted to the cognitive dissonance emanating from the US warmists as snowstorms hit New York:

Judah Cohen in The New York Times, December 25:

THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside. All of this cold was met with perfect comic timing by the release of a World Meteorological Organisation report showing that 2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record. How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is that the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes. It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it.

John Goetz on the website Watts Up With That? on December 27:

[JUDAH Cohen] had to be joking, right? There is no way a “director of seasonal forecasting at an atmospheric and environmental research firm” could possibly believe the weather we are experiencing out here on the east coast is in any way different from the past. The New York City blizzard of March 1888 certainly left a lasting impression, as it was used to measure several other bruising storms. (source)

And an editorial warns us that watching the climate has blinded us to watching the weather:

Failure to watch the weather as well as the climate has arguably led to loss of life and injury that might have been avoided if authorities had spread grit on British roads as well as spreading the word about global warming. International airlines, so busy selling carbon offsets for global miles, might have been better employed ensuring that Heathrow bought a few more snow ploughs. The tendency to see the wood and not the trees was illustrated last month as ABC TV’s Lateline interviewed Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, the British special envoy on climate and energy security. While he was busy in Canberra talking about the long-term impact of climate change on national security, back in Britain the weather threat from cold and snow was looming as a real and present danger. (source)

A tiny puddle of climate sanity in a mighty ocean of climate madness.

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