ABC: climate still warming

Heaviest global warming in US for 60 years

Of course it is. No matter how much snow, ice and cold, the ABC will always be there to find a CSIRO scientist (funded by a government which is committed to the global warming narrative) to tell us not to believe our senses, but to put our trust in their flaky models: the climate is still warming, and don’t you forget it! The same is happening in the UK and the US as well, where the faithful are on a desperate crusade of spin to convince an ever more suspicious public that extreme cold is a sign of global warming, even though last year we said there wouldn’t be any more extreme cold, because of… er, global warming:

Snow storms in the northern hemisphere and torrential rainfall in parts of drought stricken Australia could have you wondering whether there’s been a permanent shift in average temperatures.

According to the CSIRO, the recent extreme weather in both northern and southern hemispheres reflect short-term variability’s [sic] in climate.

Barrie Hunt, an Honorary Research Fellow with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research , says periodic short-term cooling in global temperatures should not be misinterpreted as signalling an end to global warming.

“Despite 2010 being a very warm year globally, the severity of the 2009-2010 northern winter and a wetter and cooler Australia in 2010 relative to the past few years have been misinterpreted by some to imply that climate change is not occurring,” Mr Hunt said. (source)

Neither side of the argument should use individual short term weather events to claim that climate change is or is not occurring. The point is, however, the glaring hypocrisy of the warmists: on the one hand, they claim no single short-term weather event can prove or disprove climate change (especially when it is a cold event), but on the other, when it suits, they cite bush fires and heatwaves as “evidence” of global warming, and on the third hand, as a last ditched effort, try to argue that extreme cold is evidence of global warming as well! And you will never, ever read the opposite, but equally valid, assertion, namely that bushfires and heatwaves are ” entirely consistent with global cooling”…

With twisted logic like that, you can’t possibly lose.

Wind power hit by renewable energy certificate crash

Up in smoke

Another disaster for the green energy brigade, as the price of renewable energy certificates, essential for investment in wind power, sinks to a new low:

AT least $1.5 billion worth of investment in wind farms is in limbo after a collapse in the price of renewable energy certificates.

There is also uncertainty about when a revamp scheduled for next month will restore prices to viable levels.

And the nation’s biggest baseload renewable energy generator, the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative, faces receivership by February unless the price paid for RECs almost doubles in the next three months. RECs effectively subsidise renewable energy projects such as wind farms and solar schemes, which receive one certificate for each megawatt of power they produce above a baseline set by the Office of Renewable Energy Regulator.

And what has caused the dramatic price drop? Oh noes, it’s another “green energy” scheme:

The low prices have been caused by a glut in RECs issued to households that have taken advantage of government-subsidised solar-panel installations. The collapse triggered a revamp of the entire RET scheme in February and prompted Climate Change Minister Greg Combet to wind back the solar credits program earlier this month. Uncertainty over the future of the RET comes as the new Victorian Liberal government takes a tougher line on planning approvals for wind farms, increasing the buffer between houses and turbines and declaring several mountainous and coast areas “no-go zones”. (source)

Bravo to the new Victorian government for slowing the wind farm nonsense, at least. And in other news, it’s heartwarming to see two lefty environmental action groups at each other’s throats:

The Greens candidate for the seat of Clarence says she is surprised and disappointed by a campaign to help Wooli residents deal with erosion.

The national advocacy body Get Up has launched campaign to try and block the Clarence Valley Council’s proposed strategy of a ‘planned retreat’.

Local candidate, Janet Cavanaugh, says the council’s policy to relocate residents to other areas of the village is the only ‘realistic’ approach.

“I would have expected from Get Up that they would have actually consulted with their local members before taking on what is a very complicated issue,” she said.

“I disagree with the fact that they are criticising the planned retreat as a legitimate form of climate change adaptation.

“They’re calling for alternatives, though the campaign is extremely vague on what those alternatives should be.”

Ms Cavanaugh says Get Up’s stance is misguided and will further confuse residents affected by erosion. (source)

Keep it up – saves us the bother.

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.

Merry Christmas: polar bears "not endangered"

Party on, dudes

But, but, but… polar bears are the poster child of global warming, er, climate change, er, global climate disruption, or something, aren’t they? They’re the canary in the coal mine for the planet aren’t they? Here’s the national, taxpayer funded broadcaster, the ABC, just a few days ago:

A recent study that suggests there is still a slim chance to save the animals from global warming.

Researchers say the polar bear population this year appears to be in even worse shape than last year.

Researchers have predicted that by the year 2050, only a third of the world’s 22,000 polar bears might be left. (source)

And here’s the über-alarmist Sydney Morning Herald, also just a few days ago:

Climate change is pushing Arctic mammals to mate with cousin species, in a trend that could be pushing the polar bear and other iconic animals towards extinction, biologists said.

“Rapidly melting Arctic sea ice imperils species through interbreeding as well as through habitat loss,” they said in a commentary appearing in the British science journal Nature.

“As more isolated populations and species come into contact, they will mate, hybrids will form, and rare species are likely to go extinct.” (source)

If your sources of news consisted solely of the ABC and the Fairfax press, which they do for many in Australia, you would be forgiven for thinking that polar bears are in dire risk of extinction, because of your evil SUV and your incandescent light bulbs, right? At least Barack Obama has made one sensible decision in his disastrous presidency (strangely not reported by either the SMH or the ABC):

The Obama administration is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision to deny polar bears endangered species status.

In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the previous administration’s decision to give the polar bear the less-protective “threatened” species designation, a move that will frustrate environmentalists [Excellent news! I just love frustrated environmentalists! – Ed] who hoped for stronger protections under the Endangered Species Act.

FWS Director Rowan Gould said the 2008 “threatened” listing was made “following careful analysis of the best scientific information, as required by the ESA.” [Pity they can’t employ the same rigour with climate science – Ed]

Listing the polar bear as “endangered” as a result of global warming could open the door to using the Endangered Species Act to regulate greenhouse gases, an outcome the Obama administration has opposed. (source)

Odd last comment, since the Obama administration clearly doesn’t seem to mind the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulating greenhouse gases without congressional approval…

UK/Australian seasonal forecasts: FAIL

Verdict on Met Office and BoM

Both the UK Met Office and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are strapped in tight to the global warming rollercoaster. Their models staunchly ignore or play down any natural effects on the climate, and artificially enhance the effects of CO2 in order to prop up the pre-conceived alarmist agenda. As a result, their seasonal forecasts generally point towards warmer conditions [despite the fact that now there are freezing conditions in the UK, the alarmists are happy to bleat that such conditions are “consistent with global warming” – nobody in the MSM seems to bat an eyelid at the howling inconsistency there – why didn’t the models predict harsher winters? – Ed]. It really doesn’t matter how many teraflops your multi-million-pound supercomputer can crunch through – if the models suck, it’s still Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The result of all this is particularly obvious in the UK right now, where the government, relying on such skewed forecasts, failed to adequately prepare the country for the heavy snowfalls and freezing conditions it has endured over the past week or so. The Met Office is suffering from a case of sudden short-term amnesia, as it claims that it never forecast milder conditions. Unfortunately, highly recommended UK blog Autonomous Mind has a longer memory, and posts a chart showing precisely that:

click to enlarge

The post also links to an article from October in the UK Daily Express, in which an independent forecaster challenges the Met Office’s prediction:

Positive Weather Solutions senior forecaster Jonathan Powell said: “It baffles me how the Met Office can predict a milder-than-average winter when all the indicators show this winter will have parallels to the last one.

“They are standing alone here, as ourselves and other independent forecasters are all predicting a colder-than-average winter.

“It will be interesting to see how predictions by the government-funded Met Office compare with independent forecasters.” (source)

Interesting indeed. Epic FAIL for the Met Office.

Now onto the BoM, which, as Jo Nova points out, has hit the jackpot with a trifecta of duff predictions, which are no doubt a result of models which are skewed towards the global warming narrative:

For this spring the Australian BOM predicted it would be dry and warm, instead we got very wet and quite cold.  The models are so bad on a regional basis, it’s uncannily like they are almost useful… if they call things “dry”, expect “wet”.

On August 24 the Australian BoM had pretty much no idea that any unusual wetness was headed their way. Toss a coin, 50:50, yes or no. Spring 2010 was going to be “average”, except in SW Western Australia where they claimed “a wetter than normal spring is favoured.” What follows were 100 year floods, or at least above average rain to nearly every part of the nation bar the part that was supposed to be getting more rainfall. In the chart below, all shades of “blue” got above average rainfall. The dark blue? That’s the highest rainfall on record.

Spring rainfall - click to enlarge

On August 24 the BOM predicted that spring would be “hot across the north”. Instead it was cold everywhere except in the west of WA.

Max spring temperatures - click to enlarge

Epic FAIL for the Australian BoM.

It seems that we can now rely only on those forecasters who are independent of any government-linked body. The virus of AGW alarmism has spread so far in Western governments and their agencies that they can no longer be trusted to produce unbiased forecasts, and the results of blinkered reliance on such forecasts is plain to see in the UK and Europe.

More green waste – Gillard's "Green Start" scrapped

Governments need plenty of these...

Because wasting taxpayers’ money and axing jobs is just fine, so long as we’re “saving the planet.” Of course, if we trace the logic back, green loan schemes such as this are theoretically needed to encourage people to invest in energy saving measures, which are necessary to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, which are the source of greenhouse gases, which are the cause of “dangerous global warming”… or so states the IPCC.

The Gillard government uncritically swallows everything the IPCC says, and shuts its eyes and ears to any dissenting views. It also blindly relies on various compromised government advisers, including ACM favourite Will Steffen, who has been in good form recently, mudslinging, spouting propaganda and smearing deniers. But why wouldn’t he? The entire careers of climate scientists the world over, including Steffen, is paved with gold from the AGW hysteria they themselves help to create, so even if they had any doubts, why would they dare reveal them in public and thereby help kill the golden goose?

But what does the government find? Tragically, it’s not the green utopia that Bob Brown and his cronies keep promising, but the unacceptable costs of spruiking a green agenda in the face of harsh economic reality.

So it’s little surprise that yet another “green” scheme collapses in a heap, following close on the heels of the home insulation (pink batts), solar rebates and Green Loans debacles, and all of it can be traced back to the spin and misrepresentations of the IPCC:

EIGHT months after the Federal Government axed its disastrous home insulation scheme, it announced yesterday it would also stop its “Green Start” program because there were too many “risks” involved.

The axing of the environmental scheme just days from Christmas means that, within weeks, thousands of people will be without work.

Labelled a “disaster” by the Federal Opposition, the Government’s original Green Loans program was yesterday slammed as a “disgrace and a sinful waste of money” by one NSW assessor.

The multi-million-dollar scheme was supposed to provide 360,000 households with energy-efficiency checks and access to interest-free loans of up to $10,000 for environmental improvements such as solar panels and insulation.

Following criticism of the administration of the scheme, the Government announced in July the Green Loans program would be replaced by a Green Start program, to be delivered in two rounds.

But Climate Change Minister Greg Combet yesterday announced the Government would dump Green Start, forcing nearly 10,000 accredited and uncontracted assessors – 4635 in NSW – to find alternative work. (source)

Who cares? It’s all well intentioned. What’s a few jobs and a few million dollars between friends compared to the future of the entire planet?

Snow in summer – Sydney Morning Herald blames "climate change"

10cm of global warming fell in NSW yesterday

I hope to do the occasional post over the next few weeks, as time permits, and I couldn’t resist this one. From the Weather Isn’t Climate (Except When We Say It Is) Department…

Once again, we have to ask the simple question: to a climate alarmist, what weather phenomenon would not be a sign of “climate change”? Warmer temperatures? Obviously not – it’s global warming, stupid. Colder temperatures. No, because climate change creates more “extremes” (apparently, when it suits their cause – like today). More rain? No, because one of our models predicted more rain. Less rain? No, because a different model predicted less rain as well. We could go on (and on, and on). The answer is, that there is nothing that isn’t a sign of climate change. Everything and everything is “consistent with it”.

So when snow fell in the New South Wales mountains yesterday, at the height of the southern hemisphere summer, the Moonbat Herald blames climate change in the first sentence of its report this morning:

AS CLIMATE change tips the planet inextricably towards a more complicated future the weather already presents as downright confusing. (source)

So the question for the warmists is this: what weather conditions would not indicate “climate change”? This needs an answer, because at the moment, if everything is a sign of climate change, the flip side of that same argument is that nothing is.

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