Election 2010: Labor is just so last year

Old and falling to pieces, like Labor

Out of touch, out of control, and with a bit of luck, soon to be out of power. Magnificent timing by Labor. No sooner has Joooolya Gillard launched her innovative and original “cash for clunkers” policy to “tackle climate change” than the Yanks have, er, yanked theirs:

The White House says its cash for clunkers scheme worked well but that it will not be repeating the offer.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said she will introduce a similar scheme if re-elected.

The US cash for clunkers scheme was created last year as part of president Barack Obama’s bid to help the car industry during the financial crisis. [But Joolya’s policy isn’t about helping the car industry, because the Greens want everyone to give up cars and ride ethnic peace bicycles™, but to save the planet, of course.]

More than 500,000 drivers received rebates of up to $4,500 to upgrade their cars.

The scheme was so popular the government had to provide another $2 billion. (source)

Such a scheme here would be yet more money down the drain on pointless climate policies that could be better spent on, you know, education, health, roads, infrastructure – in fact anything else.

Election 2010: Labor in self-destruct as polls slide

It’s all looking rather shaky for Labor this morning. Andrew Bolt summarises, but before we go to that, here’s Kevin O’Lemon Version 2 from the Liberals:

Over to Andrew:

A catastrophic result for Labor:

In a stunning reversal of fortunes for the Coalition after a disastrous week for the government, support for both the Prime Minister and Labor has plummeted; the Coalition now leads Labor on a two-party-preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.

This represents a 6 percentage point two-party swing against the government since the last Herald poll a week ago, and a 4.7 point two-party swing against the government since the last election…

The poll shows Labor’s primary vote has gone into freefall, plunging six points in a week to 36 per cent while the Coalition’s primary vote rose four points to 45 per cent. The Greens remained steady at 12 per cent…

The 58 per cent to 42 per cent lead that Ms Gillard enjoyed over Mr Abbott among women voters only a week ago has disappeared and the female vote for Labor and the Coalition is now statistically even at 49-51.

This result also comes just two days after a Galaxy poll put the parties at 50-50.

The import of this poll does not just lie in its predictive value. The poll will also hurt Labor’s already floundering campaign for at least several dark days.

First, the pressure now on Julia Gillard has become colossal. She faces not just defeat but personal humiliation if she leads Labor to defeat just seven weeks after assassinating a prime minister who was once our most popular on record. She will feel real fear, but betraying a glimpse of that will fatally make her seem out of her depth and out of control – the very opposite of what she’s projected for the past three years.

Second, Gillard will have to change to a much riskier tactic for her. She has tried to sail through the campaign serenely and regally as the frontrunner, barely engaging with Tony Abbott, trying to seem as the calm, impeturbable and methodical Prime Minister that Rudd in fact never was. Now she has to attack Abbott, who has seemed more assertive and even Prime Ministerial by the day. Can she do it without seeming shrill and scared? Her few digs at Abbott in the debate – patronising him as “naive”, for instance – seemed dangerously unsuccessful to me. It’s a challenge for a woman in politics to be strong without seeming just a bitch,

Third, Tony Abbott now knows he need take fewer risks – and certainly not of the magnitude of his absurdly lavish parental leave scheme. His real work now is to seem genuine prime ministerial material, now that voters are cooling rapidly on Labor and Gillard again.

Fourth, Abbott will have a surge of confidence – and confidence is a very reassuring thing to see in a political leader, providing it comes across more as assuredness than cockiness.

Fifth, the results will finally kill off that absurdly exaggerated claim that Abbott has a “women problem”. Having his shy wife and his daughters appear with him seems to have helped.

Sixth, journalists have the meme for the next week – Labor’s stumbles.

Seventh, as Osama bin Laden said, people tend to follow the strong horse. If the Liberals look like winning, more businesses will dare donate to its fund, and more public servants will dare to leak it revelations about Labor. On the other side, the Labor leakers against Gillard will be joined by the blamethrowers, advice-givers and the desperate.The party could yet blow right open.

This past week could prove to be the one that lost it for Labor. This next week could confirm it, unless Labor finds something very special, or the Liberals manage some great pratfall.

Read it here.

Daily Bayonet GW Hoax Weekly Roundup

Skewering the clueless

Sorry it’s a day late – mea culpa. As always a great read!

iPhone app for climate sceptics

Rushing to post today as I am flat out, but you must check out the new iPhone app for sceptics.

Jo Nova has the story here and the app can be downloaded from iTunes here.

[You may notice a related link below “Only junk science needs an iPhone app to counter sceptics”, but since there exists an iPhone app for junk science, there is a need for one for proper science as well]

Poll: Most Australians want tough action on climate – really?

Centre for the Study of Choice, UTS

So says a report in the Sydney Morning Herald today:

MOST Australians want a more ambitious emissions trading scheme than the one abandoned by the Rudd government, whether or not the US and China take similar steps, according to the most detailed study of public attitudes yet undertaken.

The two-year emissions trading scheme study found the majority of the 7000 randomly selected people wanted to see carbon trading operating before 2012, even though it would be likely to lift some of the costs of living.

“The results clearly showed we do not want to wait for the Americans and the Chinese to act, which was a surprise,” Professor Jordan Louviere, director of the Centre for the Study of Choice at the University of Technology, Sydney, said. (source)

Sounds pretty compelling, doesn’t it? A little research and an email to Prof Louviere elicits more information about the study (see here for PDF). It was different from most surveys in that it required participants to choose between alternative emissions reductions scenarios, rather than answering Yes/No questions. All fine so far. In 2008/9 they developed 16 pairs of emissions scenarios, based on five key factors:

  • Start date (lower cost with earlier date): Labour/Greens – 2010; Coalition – 2012
  • What to do with revenues: redistribute (Labour); reduce taxes (Coalition)
  • Allocate 20% of revenue to R&D: Yes – Garnaut, universities, some interest groups; No – Mixed Labour, some interest groups
  • Exempt transport for 3 years: Labour/opposed by Greens
  • Concessions to energy intensive sectors: Which sectors (electricity, exporters, farmers); free permits – how many/how long

The following additional features were factored into the later parts of the study:

  • How fast to cut back to reduce 60% by 2050?
    • Should the 2050 goal be tightened?
  • Use “hybrid” permits with price caps in early years?
  • Role of efficiency/renewable standards
  • How much should Australian actions depend on other countries such as U.S./China?

All looks fairly reasonable up to a point. But what is the obvious flaw with all this? Clearly, it is the assumption that the requirement for an ETS is not up for question, and that implementing one will somehow be beneficial for the environment. The choice is only between different types of ETS, and, naturally, respondents are going to choose the one which they are informed will hurt them least. But there is another option which hurts the economy and their hip pocket even less than choosing between different types of emissions trading schemes, and that is to have no ETS or carbon tax at all. For as we all know, Australian emissions represent less than 1.5% of global emissions, and cutting them to zero overnight will make not the slightest bit of difference to the climate, whether globally or locally (even if we assume for the time being that the climate is sensitive enough to notice). But that option isn’t presented to them – there isn’t a “no ETS” route to take.

So the “choice” is a false choice, and not a realistic choice. The necessity for an ETS is assumed, and the public will clearly take the least worst option. But they will all damage the economy, and are utterly pointless from an environmental perspective. Give them the option of “no ETS with no discernible negative effect on the climate” and see what the results are.

For the Sydney Morning Herald to claim this as supporting an ETS is highly dubious. I will leave the last word to CenSoC, which reveals, at the end of the report, a motive behind the study:

We urge public policymakers to seriously consider the evidence from 7000+ Australians who took the time and put in the effort to evaluate many possible plans.

Sounds rather too much like environmental advocacy to me.

UK climate madness: Huhne wants more wind farms

Expensive, inefficient, ugly. Like Huhne.

Here in Aus, we haven’t yet got to this level of lunacy, but we’re well on the way. So as we watch the lights slowly fizzle out in the country formerly known as Great Britain, but which should now be known as piss-weak Britain [and I should add it is the country of my birth, so I don’t say that lightly], it is a salutary lesson to the rest of us.

The Conservative/Liberal coalition has only been in power for five minutes, but has already demonstrated that it is as nauseatingly deep green as the outgoing Labourites, if not worse. Christopher Booker is incredulous:

The penny is fast dropping that by far the most disastrous appointment made by David Cameron to his Coalition Cabinet was that of the ultra-green, Lib Dem millionaire Chris Huhne as our Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Yesterday, after Mr Huhne issued his first annual statement on Britain’s energy future, it was clear that we should all be very, very concerned about the future of Britain.

As was only too predictable, the overall theme of Mr Huhne’s message was that ‘climate change is the greatest global challenge we face’.

We must do everything we can and more to cut down very drastically on our ‘carbon emissions’, as we are now legally committed to do by the Climate Change Act – at a cost of £18 billion a year.

But in the real world, the £100 billion-plus energy question that confronts us all in Britain today is how we are going to fill that massive, fast-looming gap in our electricity supplies when the antiquated power stations which currently supply us with two-fifths of the power needed to keep our economy running are forced to close.

The headline answer given by Mr Huhne is that we must build thousands more giant wind turbines.

As a 24-carat green ideologue, he is viscerally opposed to replacing the ageing nuclear and coal-fired plants which currently provide us with more than half our electricity.

Like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown before him, he dreams we can somehow fill that gap by erecting 6,000 wind turbines in the seas around Britain’s shores, and thousands more across many of the most beautiful parts of our countryside.

What is truly terrifying about Mr Huhne as our energy minister is that he seems so astonishingly ignorant about even the most basic principles of how electricity is produced.

He boasts about how the 3,000 wind turbines we have already built have the ‘capacity’ to generate 4.5 gigawatts of electricity.

Capacity is the crucial word here. As he could see from figures on his own department’s website, thanks to the fact that the wind blows only intermittently, the amount of power these windmills actually produce is barely a quarter of that.

In other words, the amount of electricity generated by all those turbines put together, at a cost of billions of pounds, is no more than that provided by a single medium-size conventional power station – equivalent to a mere two per cent of the electricity we need.

The lights will be going out in the UK pretty soon.


UK Met Office: greenhouse gases "the glaringly obvious explanation"

"Pollution kills polar bears" - the climate debate according to the Telegraph

The moonbat papers are gleefully trumpeting alarmist stories this morning about the latest State of the Climate report from the UK Met Office and the US NOAA,  like this one in the UK Telegraph:

The State of the Climate report shows “unequivocally that the world is warming and has been for more than three decades”.

And despite the cold winter in Europe and north east America, this year is set to be the hottest on record [in other words since about 1880, ignoring all the previous warmings which were likely to have been warmer].

The annual report was compiled by the Met Office and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Both the NOAA and Nasa have stated that the first six months of this year were the hottest on record [i.e. since 1880], while the Met Office believes it is the second hottest start to the year after 1998.

None of this tells us anything about the cause of that warming, but hang on, here’s the killer argument from the Met Office:

Dr Peter Stott, Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution at the Met Office, said “variability” in different regions, such as the cold winter in Britain, does not mean the rest of the world is not warming.

And he said ‘greenhouse gases are the glaringly obvious explanation’ for 0.56C (1F) warming over the last 50 years.

Ah, the “glaringly obvious explanation”! That’s the answer clearly! Just like the “glaringly obvious explanation” that irate gods cause thunderstorms, or the “glaringly obvious explanation” that stress and spicy foods cause gastric ulcers. It’s all just correlation, without causation.

Read it here.

UPDATE: And the ever-calm, ever-balanced ABC reports it thus:

Climate check-up ‘screams world is warming’

Peter Thorne, of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, says the scientists were not swayed by the debate over climate data and whether it had previously been manipulated.

“What this data is doing is screaming that the world is warming, and that cannot be driven by any single individual or even a small set of groups, because the evidence is there to see – there are lots of groups doing this stuff,” Mr Thorne said. (source)

Laughable, if it weren’t so tragic.

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