Professor Stewart Franks writes at The Conversation

Flannery and Combet in the good old days…

Congratulations to Stewart on getting this piece, highly critical of Tim Flannery and other alarmist doomsayers, published at The Conversation (which, let’s face it, until now has been more like The [Warmist] Lecture). In particular, the article focusses on the recent severe drought in Australia:

Farmers struggled through very desperate times. The conditions were so bad that Tim Flannery, now Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner, declared that cities such as Brisbane would never again have dam-filling rains. Rather bizarrely, in 2007 he stated that hotter soils meant that “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems”.

Fast forward to 2012 and we see widespread drenching rains, flooded towns and cities, and dams full to the brim and overtopping. Indeed, the rainfall that we had last year not only filled Brisbane City’s Wivenhoe Dam water supply storage, but also all of its flood mitigation capacity. The resultant releases of water required to prevent a truly catastrophic dam failure contributed to the inundation of large parts of metropolitan Brisbane.

How is it that Tim Flannery could have got it so spectacularly wrong? The most obvious factor could well be Flannery’s lack of background in a climate science. He is an academic, however his background is mammalogy – he studied the evolution of mammals.

Flannery obviously has a great interest in climate change and no doubt has read some of the scientific literature and no doubts consults with other climate commissioners. I have no doubt either that he by and large understands what he reads.

The one thing he cannot do without a solid education in climate science is critique what he reads; without the background surely he cannot perceive the underlying and often unstated assumptions associated with what he reads or is told. He is perhaps best described as an amateur enthusiast, in which case I could actually have a little sympathy for him for getting it so wrong.

As I speak, the comments are pretty fair, much to my amazement.

A step in the right direction – towards sensible dialogue.

Read it here.

Sydney's largest dam set to spill

Warragamba's drum and radial gates open in 1973 (Panoramio)

A slowly moving trough, which is expected to take as much as three days to clear New South Wales, will dump enough rainfall into the catchments to ensure that Warragamba Dam, Sydney will spill for the first time in 14 years.

The floodgates of Sydney’s Warragamba dam are being tested as heavy rains put it on the verge of filling up for the first time in 14 years.

As the State Emergency Service keeps an eye on overflowing rivers, the Sydney Catchment Authority is expecting Warragamba to reach full capacity for the first time since August 1998.

Floodgates are scheduled to be tested for two hours from 8am (AEDT), with staff anticipating dam levels at one metre below full storage.

Sydney Catchment Authority acting chief executive Sarah Dinning says preparations are being made to release excess water.

‘Due to the variable weather conditions, we have staff available around the clock and the test will occur as soon as the dam reaches one metre below full storage,’ she said.

‘Once Warragamba Dam is 80mm above its full storage level the drum gate opens automatically.’

Evacuations are underway in one town and emergency crews are standing by in others as large parts of NSW continue to be deluged with the heaviest rains in more than 80 years. (source)

Perhaps it’s time to visit one of the dire predictions of Tim Flannery, Climate Commissioner (salary $180,000 for 3 days work), from 2007:

“Even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems. In Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months.”


Flannery fears "Norway-style attack"


Because as we all know, anybody who dares question the ridiculous predictions of the Official Government Climate Prophet is only a whisker away from buying a machine gun and killing dozens of innocent people.

Desperate to regain what little is left of his credibility after it emerged this week that he owns a waterfront property, having previously warned of drastic sea level rises, Flannery makes deeply offensive remarks tarring all “conservatives” with the brush of Norwegian madman Anders Breivik.

As The Australian reports:

While his place was, he admitted, “very close to the water”, the issue was how far it was above the water — something Professor Flannery would not reveal because, he said, it could help identify the location and subject him to a Norway-style attack by conservatives.

There really is no limit to the depths alarmists will go to protect their own interests and smear those who dare question them.

Read it here.

Will Steffen: Labor's Alarmist-in-Chief

Knows everything there is to know about the climate

It really is no wonder that the Climate Commission, headed by warmist Tim Flannery (salary $180k), and advised by Will Steffen, the Labor government’s chief scaremonger, has produced the skewed and catastrophist projections that it has. Let’s look at Steffen’s previous form:

In January 2011, Steffen linked the Queensland floods to climate change (whilst at the same time saying he wasn’t):

Climate change committee member Professor Will Steffen, the executive director of the ANU Climate Change Institute, said there was no direct link between global warming and the tragic flash flooding in Toowoomba which has killed at least nine people in southeast Queensland.

But he told The Australian Online that climate change would lead to heavier, more frequent rain.

“As the climate warms, there is more water vapour in the atmosphere,” he told The Australian Online.

“This means that there is a probability that there will more intense rainfall events around the world.

There is some evidence that we can see them now. I think the place where the best data is the US.” (source)

Then back in May 2010, he compared those sceptical of catastrophic man-made warming to “flat-earthers”:

While there were uncertainties about the pace and impact of change, he said, the core of climate science – that the world was warming and the primary cause since the middle of the last century had been industrial greenhouse gas emissions – should be accepted with the same confidence as the laws of gravity and relativity.

“Right now, this almost infantile debate about whether ‘is it real or isn’t it real?’, it’s like saying, ‘Is the Earth round or is it flat?’ [Climate change] is a hugely important question and yet we are not having a rational discourse in the media in Australia on this question. That is my biggest frustration.” He called on the media to focus on areas where there was not a consensus, including the link between climate change and the south-east Australian drought and how rapidly sea levels would rise. (source)

Steffen has never, ever, conceded that there is any doubt in the debate. EVER. He clearly believes that he knows all there is to know about the climate, and anyone who dares suggest there are unknowns is simply branded a filthy denier.

So is it any wonder that a climate report prepared by him spouts the usual alarmist hysteria? Nope. Not in the slightest.

Idiotic Comment of the Day: Tim Flannery


I really hate having to give Flannery air time, but when he comes out with such lamentable nonsense, it is impossible not to. His latest announcement reveals his real agenda:

The problem with Richard Lindzen is that his politics is to the right of Andrew Bolt and Genghis Khan.

All I can say is “Keep going Tim.” With every day, your ludicrous statements will rapidly erode away what little credibility you had to start with.

Listen here at about 1:55.

Flannery finally flips

Maximo bizzarro. And this nonsense comes from our esteemed Climate Commissioner on a nice little $170k salary from Gillard’s Labor government. It would be hilarious, if it weren’t so serious.


Abbott pounces on Flannery's flannel

The ultimate Millennium Bug

Tim Flannery’s recent announcement that any cuts we make to emissions won’t have any effect for a thousand years is already coming back to haunt him, as Tony Abbott makes hay:

TONY Abbott has leapt on a declaration by Tim Flannery – Julia Gillard’s hand-picked salesman for action on climate change – that emissions abatement is a 1000-year proposition to renew his attacks on Labor’s proposed carbon tax.

And Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has distanced himself from Professor Flannery’s concession last week that even if all carbon emissions stopped today, it would take 1000 years for the atmosphere’s average temperatures to drop. While Professor Flannery, a paleontologist who is also the Prime Minister’s chief climate change commissioner, has expanded on his comments to insist the need for action in climate is urgent, his admission in a radio interview on Friday has compromised Labor’s sales pitch on its carbon tax.

In the radio interview, Professor Flannery said: “If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow, the average temperature of the planet’s not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps over 1000 years.”

In a letter to the editor of The Australian, submitted on Sunday, he expanded on the comments, saying his observation was not “an argument for complacency”. But yesterday, as the role of the carbon tax in Labor’s massive loss in the NSW election dominated federal political exchanges, Mr Abbott quoted Professor Flannery as he ridiculed the tax as “the ultimate millenium bug”.

“It will not make a difference for 1000 years,” the Opposition Leader told parliament. “So this is a government which is proposing to put at risk our manufacturing industry, to penalise struggling families, to make a tough situation worse for millions of households right around Australia. And for what? To make not a scrap of difference to the environment any time in the next 1000 years.”

And what is the government’s response? As usual, ignore the point and blurt out a robotic sound-bite:

Mr Combet said through a spokeswoman that the Gillard government believed in the science of climate change and was determined to act. (source)

Gee, the sheer power of that argument has convinced me, Greg. But you have to feel a bit sorry for poor old Greg and Julia, they brought Flannery in as Climate Commissioner because they thought he’d give them what they wanted, and already he’s become an embarrassment. Oops.

"Thousand years" for CO2 cuts to take effect

Josh skewers Flannery

Thus spake Tim Flannery, on Melbourne Talk Radio with Andrew Bolt yesterday. Here’s a transcript:

Bolt: […] But we’re just trying to get basic facts, without worrying about the consequences – about what those facts may lead people to think. On our own, by cutting our emissions, because it’s a heavy price to pay, by 5 per cent by 2020, what will the world’s temperatures fall by as a consequence?

Flannery: Look, it will be a very, very small increment.

Bolt: Have you got a number? I mean, there must be some numbers.

Flannery:  I just need to clarfy in terms of the climate context for you. If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years.

So the pain we will endure today by wrecking our economy to make an insignificant change to global emissions may make a difference to Australians 30 generations away. Which means the bleeding heart arguments about “children and grandchildren” are, like most of the AGW scam, complete bulldust. And there’s more:

Yesterday we tried to get precisely the same answer (listen here) from Professor John Daley, CEO of the Grattan Institute, which is releasing a report which finds that our state and federal governments tipped $12 billion into emissions-cutting schemes that were close to useless, and which argues we should go for emissions trading instead:

Bolt: […] I’m very familiar with that argument, that if we don’t move, no one else will, and nothing’s done and it all goes to hell in a handbasket. What I’m trying to do is just get to the bottom-line facts: if we spend these umpteen billions on cutting emissions further, to the five per cent by 2020, how much will Australia’s action alone cut the world’s temperature by? That must be measured somewhere. That must be part of your report.

Daley: Well, I think it’s not been measured anywhere because it’s not seen as being the right way to think about this.

Bolt: Well it would be. People want to know the gain for the pain.  Have a guess then.

Daley: The reality is that no country in the world is cutting their emissions alone…So to what extent are we doing our fair share?…

Bolt: Look, we’ve got that argument….  I’ll ask just one last time… If you don’t know just say so, but if you do know, I know it’s got all those caveats, but just tell us how much the world’s temperature will fall if we do what you recommend and what Julia Gillard plans.

Daley: As I said, we haven’t run the numbers on how much it will make a difference if Australia acts completely alone.

Bolt: You should have.

Daley: The reason we haven’t done that is because Australia is not acting alone. Therefore it’s not a very helpful thing to analyse.

“Not helpful” means you’d realise the pain is not worth the gain. Whever we do – whatevery anyone does – hardly seems worth it, really.

And by “not helpful”, the people pushing the schemes say they’d rather not tell you the truth. You might ask too many awkward questions.

That is why no one yet pushing an ETS or a carbon tax will answer our question. And why we drew exactly the same blank a fortnight ago with Jill Duggan, from the European Commission’s emissions trading scheme.

It’s all smoke and mirrors, as we’ve known all along.

Read it here.

Bob Carter lashes Labor

Climate sense

A joy to read. Professor Bob Carter (who, let’s face it, is a proper scientist) teaches the warmist scaremongers Garnaut, Flannery, Combet and Gillard a lesson in basic science:

Do you understand the meaning of the phrases “empirical science” and “hypothesis testing”? [I can answer that one: “no” – Ed]

Do you understand that the correct null hypothesis is that gentle warmings, such as that which occurred between 1979 and 1998, and equivalent coolings, are to be viewed as due to natural causes unless and until evidence indicates otherwise. [Ditto, “no” – Ed] Gentlemen, where is that evidence, and why is it not presented in the voluminous reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that you and the government so often refer to?

Despite this lack of evidence for dangerous, or potentially dangerous, warming, and despite the lack of efficacy of cutting carbon dioxide emissions as a means of preventing the trivial warming that is likely to occur (cutting all of Australia’s emissions would theoretically prevent, perhaps, around one-thousandth of a degree of warming), the political course in Canberra is now set on carbon tax autopilot, and the plane is flying squarely into the eye of a storm that is labelled “let’s spin a regressive new tax as a virtuous environmental measure”.

For instance, the Prime Minister says:

I also want to be very clear with Australians about what pricing carbon does. It has price impacts. It’s meant to. That’s the whole point.

No, Prime Minister, that is not the point at all. The point is supposed to be attaining a meaningful reduction in future warming, which a carbon dioxide taxation policy will not achieve – even were it to successfully close down the entire industrial economy of Australia

Climate Minister Mr Combet believes that reducing “carbon pollution” to “drive investment in clean energy …. is fundamentally what a carbon price is about”.

No, Greg, the matter has nothing to do with either carbon or pollution, for the alleged dangerous warming is supposed to be produced by the atmospheric trace gas carbon dioxide. To call carbon dioxide a pollutant is an abuse of logic, language and science, given its pivotal role in the photosynthetic processes that underpin most of our planetary ecosystems. In essence, carbon dioxide is the very staff of life, and increasing it in the atmosphere helps most plants to grow better and to use water more efficiently.

Never has an important national policy issue been so surrounded with public dishonesty and deliberate ambiguity of language as is the issue of dangerous, human-caused global warming.

Choreographed over the years by green lobby groups, politicians and commentators alike now participate like puppets-on-strings in an entirely faux public gigue involving words or phrases like “carbon” (when they mean carbon dioxide), “pollution” (when they are referring to an environmentally beneficial trace gas), “settled science” (when the science is hotly contested, and the onus of proof of danger still rests, unattained, with the climate alarmists of a discredited IPCC), “climate change” (when they mean dangerous global warming), “energy efficiency” (in the same breath that they rule out the environmentally friendly baseload energy source represented by nuclear power) and “international good citizen” (at a time when international action on climate policy has never been less certain).

It is therefore entirely unsurprising that there has been a swing in public opinion against alarmism on global warming, though nervous Labor politicians are doubtless already sucking in deep breaths of surprise at the apparent strength of the swing. One recent online poll, in The Age of all places, received an 89% NO answer to the question “Would you support a climate tax?”; and another, in the Herald-Sun and with more than 30,000 respondents, received an 85% NO to the question “Do you support a price on carbon (sic)?”.

Wonderful stuff. Read it all.

Flannery: Climate commission "isn't selling anything"

Hopelessly compromised

Please stop it, I think my sides have split. Joke of the Week alert, as Tim Flannery, the Grand High Commissioner of Climate (or something), huffs and puffs and blusters and flusters in defence of his hopelessly compromised band of warmists in The Daily Telegraph today:

THE opinion piece by Tim Blair “Just pay up and ignore the irony” in Monday’s Daily Telegraph is not only insulting to members of the Australian Climate Commission, but contains serious errors.

Contrary to what was written, it is not the Climate Commission’s business to “sell” anything to the public. Our role is to engage people on climate science and the state of international climate change action, and to explain carbon pricing as Australia deals with this problem.

Your readers deserve also to know that the Climate Commission is independent of government. Having publicly criticised prime ministers from both sides of politics, I value my independence greatly, and would not have taken up the Chief Commissioner position were this not crystal clear. (source)

Independent of government, and also independent of any dissenting views. It’s a one-sided talking shop, where everyone has made his mind up and they all stew in their own warmist juices. Where’s Bob Carter or Ian Plimer? Where in fact is anyone with an opinion that doesn’t neatly fit into the IPCC’s consensus? Nowhere to be seen, of course.

But the fact that, according to Flannery, the Commission isn’t a tool for communication will certainly be news to Greg Combet, however, as the Commission’s launch document states:

“The Climate Commission has been established by the Gillard Government to provide an authoritative, independent source of information for all Australians,” he said. “It will provide expert advice on climate change science and impacts, and international action. It will help build the consensus required to move to a clean energy future.”

The Climate Commission would have a public outreach role, he said, to help build greater understanding and consensus about reducing Australia’s carbon pollution.

“The Commissioners are eminent Australians who are leaders in their fields and I’m pleased one of Australia’s leading science communicators, Professor Tim Flannery, a former Australian of the Year, has accepted the role of Chief Commissioner,” Mr Combet said.

“The Climate Commission will fulfil a key information and education role, enabling the Australian community to have a more informed conversation about climate change. I am delighted to lead this new Commission,” said Professor Tim Flannery. (source – PDF)

I suppose when the spin and misrepresentations are so blatant, you know they’re in a hole.

(PDF link thanks to Andrew Bolt)

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