Last few days before Australian climate madness takes effect

The Australian economy…

On Sunday 1 July 2012, the Labor/Green government’s carbon tax of $23 per tonne will finally take effect in Australia.

We’ve heard all the usual spin from Greg Combet about how other countries are taking similar action and Australia must “catch up”. It’s all bullshit as anyone with half a brain could work out. Unfortunately, Combet and Gillard and their Green mates don’t have half a brain between them, so they can’t work it out. In any case, it’s all Green blackmail anyway, to keep Gillard in power.

Coming at a time when:

  • the European economy could collapse at any moment thanks to any number of bankrupt states teetering on the brink of default,
  • economic confidence in the US is low, and
  • our own resources-run economy is feeling the pinch from decreased demand from China (even ignoring the punishing mining tax),

to legislate what is essentially the world’s highest carbon tax, when European carbon prices have been falling like a stone, and now stand around $10, is pure climate madness – and what originally gave this blog its name back in 2008.

And of course, it will do NOTHING for the climate. Our emissions will actually rise. And China and India’s emissions will rise several orders of magnitude more than any notional reduction here in Australia for decades to come.

Gillard believes that when the tax comes into effect, people won’t notice and she can crow “See, it wasn’t so bad after all!” Some hope. Electricity prices are already set to rise 18 – 20% next year and the additional costs of paying the tax will inevitably be passed on to consumers (or suppliers, who will eventually pass it on to consumers anyway). Prices of virtually everything will rise despite the almost childishly simplistic refrain of “it’s only the top 500 polluters who pay”. Yes, and who pays them?

The cost of living here in Australia is going through the roof and the economy is already stagnant. Uncertainty about a second GFC is forcing Australian families all over the country to tighten their belts, slash discretionary spending and sit tight in their bunkers until the next election, which they hope will deliver a majority government capable of action.

Thanks to the carbon tax, the next 15 months will be even worse than that. I foresee the economy shrinking, retailers going under, businesses failing and unemployment rising. The housing market will shrink and families will be stuck in the negative equity trap. There can be no other outcome.

The so-called “green economy” is a myth. It survives on a life support system of generous government handouts. Withdraw the feeding tube and death rapidly follows. Only when such alternative energies become genuinely competitive will they be able to survive without government crutches. It is not the panacea that will see us through this crisis.

We can only hope that something forces an early election and this pointless and damaging tax can be removed as soon as possible thereafter. Otherwise, we’re stuck with it until at least the second half of 2013, by which time, the Australian economy may be too broken to be saved – and it may take generations of hard times foisted upon our, quote, “children and grandchildren” to restore it.

Harold Ambler: 'Don't sell your coat'

Great read

It’s a while now since I finished reading this great little book on the global warming scare, and other non-climate demands have subsequently prevented me from reading it again, so unfortunately this is more of a recommendation than a full review.

However, if you want a clear, very readable and straightforward exposé of the alarmism of climate science and the media, the myth of the green economy, the ostracising of dissenters and the myriad other distorted facets to this key issue for the 21st century, ‘Don’t sell your coat’ ticks all the boxes. It’s available on Kindle as well, for just US$9, so you can start reading it today.

Highly recommended.

Harold also blogs at Talking About the Weather here – one for your bookmarks.

‘Don’t sell your coat’ is available from Amazon here.

Rio+20 Earth Summit fizzles in the rain

Epic fail

UPDATE 2: Christopher Booker writes in The Telegraph:

The great global warming scare has long been dying on its feet, but that sad fiasco of a conference in Rio last week saw it finally dead and buried. “It’s pathetic, it’s appalling,” wailed a spokesman for WWF, one of the thousands of green activists who flew to Rio, many at taxpayers’ expense, to see the last rites read over their lost dream. Their cause has even been abandoned by one of its most outspoken champions, the green guru James Lovelock of “Gaia” fame, who now admits that the warming scare was all a tragic mistake, and that talk of “sustainable development” is just “meaningless drivel”.

UPDATE: George Monbiot describes the draft UN text as “283 paragraphs of fluff” and quotes one of them as follows in the Guardian:

“This paragraph from the declaration sums up the problem for me:

We recognise that the planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home and that Mother Earth is a common expression in a number of countries and regions and we note that some countries recognise the rights of nature in the context of the promotion of sustainable development. We are convinced that in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environment needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature.”

It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It could be illustrated with rainbows and psychedelic unicorns and stuck on the door of your toilet. But without any proposed means of implementation, it might just as well be deployed for a different function in the same room.” (source)

Another pointless gab fest out of the way, and we can be glad that no progress was made towards the UN’s goal of global economic shutdown. The UK Telegraph‘s warmist Geoffrey Lean is not happy:

Even the skies wept. Glorious weather bathed Rio de Janeiro for the week running up to the Earth Summit, while some hope remained that it might produce even minor measures to tackle the world’s escalating environmental crises. But when the leaders flew in on Wednesday to rubber-stamp an agreement shorn of commitments to action, the rain started falling – and didn’t let up, culminating in a thunderstorm on the final morning.

It is always a bad sign when a UN conference ends on time: if anything substantive is at stake, these unwieldy gatherings of 190 governments invariably overrun, only reaching resolution in the early hours of the morning. So it says much about the inconsequentiality of the agreement in Rio that it was finalised even before the meeting began.

Brazil, as host country, was desperate to avoid a repeat of the Copenhagen climate summit, where the leaders found little agreed when they arrived and had to try to do the job themselves. Confronted with the failure of two years of negotiations to agree even an anodyne and non‑binding accord, Brazil watered it down even further and rammed it through: the 100 or so presidents and prime ministers were effectively confined to self-congratulatory speeches and public relations photo-calls.

But the effect was a greater failure. For at least in the Danish capital the leaders tried – and almost succeeded – to get agreement on ambitious measures. In Rio nothing was even attempted, despite the increasing urgency of action needed to combat overfishing, pollution of the seas, loss of soils, climate change and a host of other growing crises. (source)

Arctic warm periods 'inexplicable' by greenhouse gases alone

Drilling on Lake Unpronounceable

Quick, throw another heretic on the fire. The ABC momentarily abandons its trademark groupthink on climate to report on a paper which shows warm periods in the Arctic over the past 2.8 million years, and which cannot be explained by greenhouse warming alone.

Funny, because usually they can’t explain things but for greenhouse gases…

The Arctic went through ice-free periods of extreme warmth over the past 2.8 million years, based on a new analysis of deep sediment in Russia.

The team led by Martin Melles of the University of Cologne, Germany, drilled into an iced-over lake formed by a meteorite impact on the Chukchi Peninsula in Siberia for the longest sediment core ever collected in the terrestrial Arctic.

Since the meteorite struck an area of Lake El’gygytgyn that was not eroded by glaciers, the sediment record reaches back nearly 30 times further in time than ice cores from Greenland that cover the past 110,000 years.

The sediment reveals periods of extreme warmth that show the polar regions are much more vulnerable to change than previously thought, and are difficult to explain by greenhouse gases alone, according to the study in the journal Science.

Scientists have long known that the Arctic went through climate cycles, but the latest research shows some of these warm phases were “exceptional”, with temperatures 4°C to 5°C warmer and 30 centimetres wetter than during normal interglacials, the study’s authors write. (source)

More evidence of natural climate change perhaps? You can be sure this paper won’t make it into IPCC AR5…

Paper is here.

Lawyer's view on climate science

Legal analysis

It’s always interesting for me when a lawyer, trained and experienced in separating fact from fiction, turns his attention to climate science.

Put the kind of sloppy generalisations, blatant political interference, fudged data and concealed evidence that underpins the entire climate “Consensus” in front of a court of law and it would be demolished in seconds. Unfortunately, I cannot see a way of ensuring that could happen. The next best thing is to get a lawyer’s perspective, and that’s what we have here:

A review of the peer-edited literature reveals a systematic tendency of the climate establishment to engage in a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties and open questions regarding many of the key processes involved in climate change. Fundamental open questions include not only the size but the direction of feedback effects that are responsible for the bulk of the temperature increase predicted to result from atmospheric greenhouse gas increases: while climate models all presume that such feedback effects are on balance strongly positive, more and more peer-edited scientific papers seem to suggest that feedback effects may be small or even negative.

The cross-examination conducted in this paper reveals many additional areas where the peer-edited literature seems to conflict with the picture painted by establishment climate science, ranging from the magnitude of 20th century surface temperature increases and their relation to past temperatures; the possibility that inherent variability in the earth’s non-linear climate system, and not increases in CO2, may explain observed late 20th century warming; the ability of climate models to actually explain past temperatures; and, finally, substantial doubt about the methodological validity of models used to make highly publicized predictions of global warming impacts such as species loss.

Insofar as establishment climate science has glossed over and minimized such fundamental questions and uncertainties in climate science, it has created widespread misimpressions that have serious consequences for optimal policy design.

Read it here. (h/t Hockey Schtick)

Last words on ANU FOI

FOI request

ANU have stifled any further attempt to reach the truth in this matter, having (a) refused to comment any further through their media office; and (b) quoted nearly $40k to search through their documents for the further evidence I have requested – a ridiculous amount clearly intended to thwart my request.

You’d think they’d have a big red file labelled “Death Threats” on a shelf somewhere, but apparently not. The threats were so serious (allegedly) that they kept no easily accessible records and will need to spend over 2500 man hours trawling through all their documents. Bizarre.

This signals the end of the line. I could appeal the quoted fee, but to be honest, I don’t have the inclination to pursue the matter any further.

Chris Merritt pens the final summary in The Australian:

ATTEMPTS to verify last year’s sensational reports of death threats against climate change scientists have been stymied by the Australian National University, which wants to be paid at least $37,800 to search its records for evidence that would support those reports.

The university has justified that fee by asserting that the search would take 2520 hours and occupy six employees for 60 days working seven-hours a day at $15 an hour.

ANU has also given notice that the final bill could be even higher as it would need to include an additional sum to cover the cost of deciding whether to make available the results of the search. Before it starts looking, the university wants a deposit of $9450.

The money demanded by ANU has forced lawyer and climate change blogger Simon Turnill to abandon his latest attempt to check the veracity of the assertions.

“I don’t know how they have arrived at this figure of over 2500 hours of work to identify these documents,” Mr Turnill said.

“The simplest option would be for ANU to come out and admit honestly what was received and what was not received. Making us go through an endless succession of hoops to get to the truth seems a very defensive and strange response.”

As part of his FOI application, Mr Turnill had also sought access to all documents and records containing communications with journalists — particularly those at The Canberra Times — about threats to staff at the university’s Climate Change Institute. (source)

Chris also writes here about the police reports of threats sent to them in 2006, years prior to the story breaking last June, and how statements from the ANU staff concerned, which would have allowed police to investigate further, were never received. The description of the letters provided by police does not tie in with the description supplied by the ANU in its statement.

So I guess we will never know the truth. People will inevitably draw their own conclusions from the evasive manner in which ANU have handled this entire episode, which has done little for openness, honesty and ultimately the credibility of the institution.

Sharing information, whether it be climate data or evidence to back up claims of death threats, seems to be very difficult for our climate scientists.

If you emotionalise the climate debate, expect scrutiny

And if you make exaggerated claims about AGW, expect scrutiny of those as well.

I really didn’t want to spoil my breakfast by reading anything from extremist Clive Hamilton, but I had little choice, as it refers to the ANU email story.

Regular readers will know Hamilton has made many dangerous global warming statements in the past, including suggesting the “suspension of democracy” to tackle the climate “crisis”, so it’s no surprise what comes next.

I’m not going to bother quoting anything from it, you can read it yourself here, but suffice it to say, Hamilton fails to acknowledge that there were no death threats received by the ANU, criticises The Australian for its reporting (naturally, this is the Murdoch hate media after all), and sneakily conflates the ANU story with some far more serious emails received by Phil Jones at UEA in the couple of months after the Climategate scandal broke.

[But was anyone ever charged with a criminal offence over these emails? Yes, they are deeply offensive and unpleasant, but, again, do they contain specific enough threats to kill that charges could be brought? I very much doubt it.]

In society there will always be a tiny minority of disturbed individuals who will send such material to high profile public figures, especially when they are front and centre of the news. I’ve said it a thousand times before, but will say it again: no conduct of this kind is acceptable in any circumstances and ACM condemns it unreservedly. 

However, when climate scientists themselves use the media to emotionalise the debate, to garner sympathy for their cause and implicitly portray anyone who questions the consensus as capable of such actions in an attempt to tar all climate realists with the same brush, they should expect detailed scrutiny of those claims. It’s all a meaningless distraction from the real issue anyway.

In Hamilton’s view, like with the climate debate itself, we, the ignorant unwashed masses, are not permitted to question the infallible authority of the climate elite, whether it is about man’s effect on the climate or receiving death threats. When some impudent upstart dares to do so, that is immediately branded “hate speech” by the “denier media”.

Sorry to be so childish about this, but really, who started this in the first place?

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