Flannery fired

Pack yer bags, mate

Pack yer bags, mate

The Herald Sun reports:

PROFESSOR Tim Flannery has been sacked by the Abbott Government from his $180,000 a year part time Chief Climate Commissioner position with the agency he runs to be dismantled immediately.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt called Prof Flannery this morning to tell him a letter formally ending his employment was in the mail.

Public service shake-up as heads go

In the letter, Mr Hunt tells Prof Flannery: “The Climate Commission does not have an ongoing role, and consequently I am writing to advise you that the Climate Commission has been dissolved, with effect from the date of this letter.

He thanked him for his personal contribution and then said “The Department of the Environment will soon write to you concerning administrative arrangements for finalising your engagement as Chief Climate Commissioner.”

All other climate commissioners will also be sacked with the move to save more than $500,000 this financial year and $1.2 million next financial year.

The Coalition will now take advice on climate change from the Department of the Environment. (source)

The Climate Commission didn’t have one single climate realist on board, and was stacked with Australia’s worst alarmists, Will Steffen, David Karoly and Flannery himself. Far from being an independent climate body, it was a mouthpiece for Labor government propaganda and shameless scaremongering.

Good riddance to the lot of ’em.

UPDATE: Commission’s Twitter account (@ClimateComm) has vanished already! Sad to see the website still there… not for long, however.

UPDATE 2: The ever-warmist ABC (Anything But Conservatives) gives Flannery space to gnash his teeth and wail about the injustice of it all:

Professor Flannery, who is also a former Australian of the Year, has defended the commission’s role.

“We’ve stayed out of the politics and stuck to the facts,” he said. [BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! – Ed]

“As a result we’ve developed a reputation as a reliable apolitical source of facts on all aspects of climate change. [Stop it!! Stop it!! My sides are splitting!!!!! – Ed]

“I believe that Australians have a right to know – a right to authoritative, independent and accurate information on climate change. [Er, I think I just wet myself… – Ed]

“We’ve just seen one of the earliest ever starts to the bushfire season in Sydney following the hottest twelve months on record.” [And, Flannery goes out true to form, with a ridiculously alarmist statement… See ya’ later pal. Glad we won’t have to hear from you any more – Ed]

(h/t Baldrick)

Celebrate! Climate Commission to be abolished!

The Climate Commission

The Climate Commission

The hopelessly politicised Climate Commission, the function of which was apparently to spin government propaganda as “science”, is to be abolished, along with a raft of other pointless climate organisations.

Here’s how ACM reported some of the worst Climate Commission excesses:

Time for Tim Flannery and Will Steffen to pack their bags and ship out. The party’s over, as The Australian reports:

PUBLIC servants are drawing up plans to collapse 33 climate change schemes run by seven departments and eight agencies into just three bodies run by two departments under a substantial rewrite of the administration of carbon abatement schemes under the Coalition.

Coalition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt briefed public servants on the dramatic restructure of the federal climate change bureaucracy before the election was called and yesterday confirmed the Coalition was committed to proceeding with the plan.

Under the simplification, the Department of the Environment and the Department of Resources and Energy will run all of the climate change programs under the Coalition’s direct-action program.

The move is forecast to save the government tens of millions of dollars. The Coalition budgeted for savings of $7 million this financial year rising to $13m in each of the next three years for a saving of $45m across the budget period.

The changes will see all carbon abatement schemes run by three bodies: the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which will be overseen by the Department of Resources and Energy; and the Clean Energy Regulator and Low Carbon Australia, which will be run by the Department of the Environment.

The Climate Change Authority, which sets emissions caps, the Climate Commission, which has conducted research into climate change, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which funds renewable technologies, are all slated to be abolished under the plans. (source)

At last, the Green madness is being unwound. Australians should breathe a heavy sigh of relief.

Climate Commission’s latest report slammed as ‘environmental activism’

The Climate Commissioners on their days off...

The Climate Commissioners on their days off…

Tell us something we don’t already know. The Climate Commission has got nothing whatsoever to do with impartial, free-thinking scientific enquiry. It’s sole purpose is to regurgitate government climate policy, couched in pseudo-science and alarmism.

Monday’s “Critical Decade” report, which claimed that there is a one-in-two chance that there will be no humans left on the planet by 2100, has been rightly exposed as extremist environmental propaganda:

THE mining industry has lashed out at the latest Climate Commission report, labelling it taxpayer-funded environmental activism that would devastate the Queensland economy.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitch Hooke said the report, which called for an end to most coal mining, crossed the line from scientific analysis into environmental campaigning.

The report warns that unchecked climate change would hit hard at Queensland’s biggest industries: mining, cattle and potentially tourism, through impacts on the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics.

Climate Commissioner Will Steffen said an orderly transition had to be made from most fossil fuel use such as coal if the climate was to be stabilised this century.

Mr Hooke said extreme green groups had promoted an end to the coal industry in a secret campaign called Stopping the Coal Export Boom.

The document outlined a plan to eliminate the industry and he wanted to know why a taxpayer-funded agency with a charter that demanded scientific rigour was following the same approach.

Professor Steffen hit back, saying there were no conspiracies [Conspiracy? Quick, where’s Loon-dowsky when you need him? – Ed], he had not heard of the campaign and his organisation had no contact of any sort with conservationists.

“If he’d cared to read the report [Sarcasm, lowest form of wit – Ed], he would find pages of [alarmist] scientific references in it [and none that challenged the consensus],’’ Professor Steffen said. “(The report) is based on the [fudged and fiddled] science and consistent with what the International Energy Agency says, what the Grantham Institute says and what (economist) Lord Stern says.

“It’s well understood in investment and science communities [both of which are making shed-loads of cash from the climate scare].’’

The stopping coal document, which is sponsored by Greenpeace, Coalswarm and the Graeme Wood Foundation [remember to boycott Wotif.com] and is available on the internet, says its strategy is to disrupt and delay key projects while eroding support for coal mining.

Mr Hooke said there would be severe economic consequences if coal mining ended but no tangible environmental dividend.

“Eliminating the Australian coal industry would reduce Australia’s GDP by between $29 billion and $36 billion per year,’’ he said. “It would reduce Australian jobs by almost 200,000 and reduce income to the Commonwealth by $6 billion.’’ (source)

But that’s OK, because the activists’ quasi-religious duty to ‘save the planet’ trumps everything, including common sense, apparently.

Climate Commission’s emotive alarmist blackmail

You just need to take a close look at this image to see all that’s wrong with the government funded propaganda mouthpiece the Climate Commission. It has been annotated with some ACM comments:

Propaganda, alarmism and blackmail

Propaganda, alarmism and blackmail

Planet’s been here for four and a half billion years, yet this microscopic blink of ten years is critical, right chaps?

Read the whole sorry thing here – and see if you can find any reference to the divergence between models and reality. Most of it is just a cut-and-paste job from IPCC AR4. This is where your tax dollars are going. Aren’t you glad?

Summer not so angry after all

Who can spot the angry summer?

Who can spot the angry summer?

The emotive language and graphics of the Climate Commission are there to scare the population into thinking the worst. It’s pure alarmism.

As mentioned in the last post, the Climate Commission, Flannery, Steffen and the rest will all be gone by the end of the year – good riddance.

Murry Salby, professor of climate at Macquarie University, dismantles their latest explosion of hysteria:

CLAIMS from the latest report by the Climate Commission, titled The Angry Summer, have been widely circulated through international media. On the basis of a few sporadic episodes, which in any other era would have been regarded as marginal weather (infrequent but perennial), the Climate Commission has proclaimed that such events are now the norm – the signature of climate change come home to roost.

This report is but the latest in a series of dire proclamations from this panel. It just happens to buttress the government’s controversial carbon tax, a maladroit policy that will be pivotal in the forthcoming federal election.

The commission’s position, as proclaimed by its chief commissioner, is that “the baseline has shifted” like “an athlete (who) takes steroids”. “The same thing is happening to our climate system . . . We’re getting fewer cold days and cold events and many more record hot events” (The New York Times, March 4).

The evocative nature of these claims is matched only by the imagination behind them. On a continental scale (the scale relevant to climate), Australian temperature this summer was unremarkable – it was within the range of previous variability.

The Climate Commission was enshrined as an “independent panel of experts”. It was installed and paid for by the government. The panel is comprised of biologists and ecologists, a materials engineer and members of the business community. It has no demonstrated expertise in the physics or chemistry of climate, or even in meteorology, the scientific underpinnings of its conclusions.

Figure 1 displays the record of Australia mean temperature during January (blue) in its anomalous value (the departure from the long-term average January temperature). Last January was warmer than recent Januaries, but hardly unprecedented. It lies about a standard deviation above the average January temperature. And even during the relatively short satellite era, two Januaries were warmer. Superimposed is anomalous summertime temperature (red). It is even less remarkable. Near the three-decade average, it is no more significant than in preceding years. Neither record evidences a sustained shift in the continental baseline.

Figure 2 displays the record of anomalous temperature for all months. It places the summer of 2012-13 into perspective. Anomalous temperature (red solid circles) lies well within the envelope of other warm anomalies during the preceding three decades. Cold anomalies are just as numerous. If anything, they are even stronger.

For many on Australia’s eastern seaboard, this summer was not anomalously hot but, rather, anomalously cool and wet. This is confirmed by the temperature record at Sydney. The central station reported only two marginal days. And during the entire summer maximum temperature reached 32C on only three days.

In the light of the satellite record, as well as the absence of any systematic change in global temperature for almost two decades, the proclaimed interpretation of this summer should be recognised for what it is: a simplistic explanation of a complex physical system. (source)

No-one’s listening any more chaps.

Flannery, your days are numbered

The Climate Commission, 15 September 2013

The Climate Commission, 15 September 2013

Ah, the sweet satisfaction of seeing that government propaganda mouthpiece the Climate Commission shut down, and all its staff sent packing into the night.

Tim Flannery will, with luck, disappear and never be heard of again, except in reference to his laughably hopeless “predictions”. Will Steffen can go back to being an obscure academic, and we won’t have to suffer his endless alarmism on an almost daily basis.

And most importantly, the taxpayer will breathe a sigh of relief.

Here’s hoping:

A COALITION government would dismantle the climate change bureaucracy and put commissioners including Tim Flannery out of a job, Tony Abbott predicted yesterday as a report painted a gloomy picture of the future.

The Opposition Leader, who vows to remove the carbon tax if elected in September, said there would be no further need for the bureaucracy that supports it.

When the carbon tax goes all of those bureaucracies will go and I think you’ll find that particular position you’re referring to will go with them,” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott will consider dumping the Howard government’s renewable energy target, which he says is “significantly increasing the cost of power”. [yes, finally – Ed]

Speaking to Sky News last night, he equivocated on his previous support for the scheme, which aims to ensure 20 per cent of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. “There is going to be a serious review of this, should there be a change of government,” he said. “We’ll wait for the review before deciding what we do, but I take your point that renewable energy is increasing the price of power.”

The report, The Critical Decade: Extreme Weather, suggests worsening weather exacerbated by global warming is inevitable in coming decades, even if action is taken immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Report lead author, climate commissioner Will Steffen, and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet warned against complacency. “The action we take now in terms of getting emissions down . . . will have a big effect on what these extreme events will look like in the future,” Professor Steffen said in Sydney. (source)

Yes, that’s right Will, Australia’s 20% reduction of our 1.5% of global emissions (total, at absolute most, 0.3%) will really have a “big effect”… case closed.

Shock: Aussie heatwave "due to climate change" as UK Met Office downgrades warming forecast

Regurgitating propaganda

Joke organisation

The Climate Commission, the (very handsomely) paid climate propaganda wing of the Gillard government, trots out the drearily predictable line that the recent heatwave in Australia is all due to climate change and that if only we would reduce our emissions, the planet would get back to how it was in the Little Ice Age. At the same time the Greens are claiming the fires are “punishment” for the evils of burning coal. Who says the Renaissance and the Enlightenment never happened?

All of which is ably aided and abetted by the ABC, the Alarmist Broadcasting Corporation, naturally:

A new report from the Federal Government’s Climate Commission says the heatwave and bushfires that have affected Australia this week have been exacerbated by global warming.

The report – Off the Charts: Extreme Australian Summer Heat – warns of more extreme bushfires and hotter, longer, bigger and more frequent heatwaves, due to climate change.

It says the number of record heat days across Australia has doubled since 1960 and more temperature records are likely to be broken as hot conditions continue this summer.

When Prime Minister Julia Gillard linked the heatwave with climate change this week, the acting Opposition Leader Warren Truss said that was utterly simplistic.

But climate change experts have no doubt that climate change is a factor in the current conditions.

The scientific advisor to the Climate Commission, Professor David Karoly, has written the report for the Climate Commission to answer questions about the link between heatwaves and climate change. 

“What we have been able to see is clear evidence of an increasing trend in hot extremes, reductions in cold extremes and with the increases in hot extremes more frequent extreme fire danger day,” he said.

“What it means for the Australian summer is an increased frequency of hot extremes, more hot days, more heatwaves and more extreme bushfire days and that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing typically over the last decade and we will see even more frequently in the future.”

OK, who DIDN’T see that coming? Just like the recent floods and the drought and [insert any weather phenomenon you care to mention], it’s all caused or “exacerbated” by climate change. Well duh! Maybe the climate is changing. It says nothing about the cause. As any reader of this blog will know, if it’s hot it’s climate change, if it’s cold it’s “just weather”. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the Met Office has actually downgraded its warming forecast for the next five years:

AS Australians sweltered through a record-breaking summer heatwave this week, one of the world’s leading scientific bodies revised down its five-year projection for the world’s average temperature.

The revision, slipped quietly into the public domain on Christmas Eve by Britain’s Met Office, has fuelled a significant and growing debate about what exactly happened to global warming.

On one analysis, the forecast confirms what many people have been saying for some time. Global warming effectively stopped 17 years ago and, if the new forecast is accurate, that “pause” will be extended to 20 years.

Using new computer models, the Met Office now believes global temperatures up to 2017 will most likely be 0.43C above the 1971-2000 average, with an error of plus or minus 0.15C.

The Met Office had previously estimated the most likely global temperature increase to be 0.54C above the 1971-2000 average during the period 2012 to 2016.

The Met Office says despite the change, “we will continue to see near-record levels of global temperatures in the next few years”.

“This means temperatures will remain well above the long-term average and we will continue to see temperatures like those which resulted in 2000-2009 being the warmest decade in the instrumental record dating back to 1850.”

But the release of the data – and the way in which it was released – has fuelled a strong reaction. David Whitehouse, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the new prediction challenged the assertion that the underlying rate of change of global warming was unchanged.

“If the latest Met Office prediction is correct, and it accords far more closely with the observed data than previous predictions, then it will prove to be a lesson in humility,” Whitehouse said.

“It will show that the previous predictions that were given so confidently as advice to the UK government and so unquestioningly accepted by the media, were wrong, and that the so-called sceptics who were derided for questioning them were actually on the right track.”

In response, Britain’s science media organisation released quotes from leading climate scientists to explain the revision.

Richard Allan, reader in climate science at the University of Reading, said: “Global warming is not ‘at a standstill’ but does seem to have slowed down since 2000 in comparison to the rapid warming of the world since the 1970s.”

He said the slowdown reflected greater scientific understanding and was due in part to increased heat being trapped in the world’s oceans. “Nothing in their (Met Office) data leads me to think that global warming due to human influence has stopped, or is irrelevant. It hasn’t, and it isn’t,” he said.

Professor Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics Group at the University of Oxford, effectively said the revision provided a lesson in the dangers of spin.

“A lot of people (not the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) were claiming, in the run-up to the Copenhagen 2009 conference, that ‘warming was accelerating and it is all worse than we thought’. What has happened since then has demonstrated that it is foolish to extrapolate short-term climate trends.”

For the sceptical, the Met Office’s near-term predictions are coming home to roost. In 2007, it predicted that by 2014 the global average temperature was expected to have risen by 0.3C compared with 2004, and that half of the years after 2009 were predicted to be hotter than the current record hot year in 1998.

“Given that we have data for three of the five years of that period, and all show no departure from a constant temperature when analysed statistically, this is a prediction that will probably be totally wrong,” Whitehouse said.

“In any case, it is completely at odds with the new forecast.”

The headbangers are in strife, desperate to hose down this story, so Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science does it’s usual trick of assembling an article by cutting and pasting lots of scary GISS graphs and portraying anyone who could possibly reach a different conclusion as somehow one thermometer short of a weather station.

Happy New Year (just the same as the last one, two, five, twenty…).

Climate Commission's 'manufactured drivel'

Regurgitating propaganda

Judith Sloan rips the Climate Commission’s latest propaganda to shreds:

Sadly, I do not have space to address the deficiencies of another recently released government report, the Climate Commission’s The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change. (Note: the hyperbolic title.) This intellectually dishonest report paints a picture of international action on climate change that is at odds with reality.

Even the earnest environmental reporters in the mainstream media could not take its content seriously, pointing out its many gaps and misinterpretations. The report makes the most of countries’ commitments and a possible global agreement, while ignoring the soaring emissions from China and failing to recognise that the lower emissions growth in a number of countries is primarily due to weak economic conditions.

It states that “it is in Australia’s interest to tackle climate change”, which is an incorrect statement in the absence of global efforts to tackle climate change. Unlike trade liberalisation, going alone inflicts only economic damage on a country such as Australia and makes not a jot of difference to world temperatures.

The appendix of the report also contains a number of extremely misleading vignettes of climate-change policies, both in operation and those proposed (the two are deliberately mixed up), in a number of countries.

It waxes positively about the New Zealand emissions trading scheme, while failing to note that any further extensions have been indefinitely delayed and the local price on carbon emissions is currently well south of $10.

The Climate Commission is nothing but a mouthpiece for government climate propaganda.

Read it here (paywall).

Climate Commission's propaganda 'a call to arms'

Regurgitating propaganda

UPDATE: Read Will Steffen’s plugging of this report in the Silly Moaning Herald here (if you can stand it).

Even the Fairfax-owned Financial Review isn’t falling for the ludicrous spin of the Climate Commission any more, with a harshly worded editorial on their latest pronouncement. By the way, does anyone out there still believe that the Climate Commission isn’t just a mouthpiece for trumpeting Labor government policy, staffed as it is by a team of alarmists with not one single person in the clique to challenge the orthodoxy or put a contrary view?

This latest missive is intended to convince people that our carbon tax isn’t the economy-wrecking disaster we all know it is, and which will serve no purpose other than to appease the Greens, but is in fact essential for us to “keep up” with the urgent action being taken by the rest of the world  – hmm, like we were born yesterday.

The AFR, like me, isn’t convinced:

The report states that 90 countries, representing 90 per cent of the global economy, have committed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, and lists the efforts of major economies, country by country, in an appendix.

However, that list omits a great deal. For example, the report states that renewables accounted for 9 per cent of China’s energy consumption in 2010, but it does not say how much of that was due to the long-standing national focus on hydroelectricity.

A glowing report on Canada’s efforts does not mention that Canada formally withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol late last year, and a reference to South Korea’s emissions trading scheme, due to start in 2015, does not say that 90 per cent of the scheme’s permits will initially be issued for free.

Various emissions trading schemes are mentioned in the report, including seven that the Chinese government plans to develop in key cities from 2013, as well as schemes operating in the US. But for completeness, the report could have at least answered a devastating critique of the US schemes in a report by the Coalition-dominated Senate committee on the scrutiny of new taxes, released late last year.

The Climate Commission’s report is not the dispassionate analysis that we might have expected from a government body. It is more of a call to arms, presenting a selective view of international action on climate, and should be treated as such.

Bravo. Another clever trick with China is to use emissions “intensity”, or emissions per unit GDP, which, given China’s GDP is going through the roof, means emissions will too, despite intensity reducing. A cheap trick that fools no-one.

What a joke the Climate Commission is, with a joker in charge.

Read it here.

Will Steffen defends Climate Commission report

Sydney hot days (click to enlarge)

Will Steffen writes in The Australian today, claiming that the paper’s own articles last week somehow back up the Commission’s own alarmism about hot days in New South Wales:

The Australian apparently asserts that the commission did not look at enough weather stations to provide an accurate overview of changes in hot weather in the Sydney region. It published five graphs of changes in hot weather, the original two from the commission’s report plus graphs for Sydney Airport, Bankstown Airport and Prospect Reservoir. However, these other graphs confirm precisely what the commission has shown – that the number of hot days in western Sydney has risen during the past four decades and has risen at rate greater than that for the eastern suburbs.

In fact, the commission erred on the careful, conservative side by not including the station at Prospect Reservoir, which showed a much more pronounced trend than either Parramatta or Bankstown Airport. In fact the trend is an increase of about 200 per cent in hot days since 1965.

Note how Steffen shifts the goal posts back to 1965, despite the fact that the graphs published by the Australian and the associated article (see here) only relate to the last 20 years. Eyeballing the data for the last 20 years shows a small increase, if you’re being generous, but Steffen cannot say how much can be attributed to increased urbanisation rather than “global warming”, saying it’s “probably” due to a combination of both. What combination, exactly? Er…

Steffen concludes:

The Australian said in its editorial: “We accept that the majority of scientific opinion says human-induced carbon emissions are contributing to a warming climate.” That is correct.

It could have added that human-induced emissions are the main contribution to observed warming in the past half-century. Then it would have been spot-on.

So there is much agreement between The Australian and the Climate Commission on the science of climate change. It is time to stop the phony [sic], divisive, manufactured “debate” on climate science, and move on to solutions to the climate change challenge. (source – paywalled)

Steffen has no idea whether human emissions are the “main contribution” to recent warming because no-one does. It’s all based on incomplete climate models.

And the debate is far from phoney, despite the usual attempts by the consensus side to shut it down. If human effects are small or even of a similar order compared to natural variation, then every dollar we spend trying to mitigate climate change is a dollar thrown away. In other words, until we know climate sensitivity precisely, all of this is based on the precautionary principle, except the costs far outweigh the benefits.

And as for “solutions to the climate change challenge”, I would be grateful if he would kindly explain what the government proposed solution of a carbon tax will actually do for the climate, when China and India’s increasing emissions will swamp anything Australia can achieve unilaterally. Actually, don’t bother. We know the answer: NOTHING.

In any case, why should we trust the Climate Commission at all? There’s no dissenting view present, no alternative opinion to consider, nothing to challenge the accepted consensus, no case for the defence. It’s just a bunch of like minded climate activists pushing AGW propaganda to prop up the government’s climate policies.

%d bloggers like this: