Climate Council: junk science leads to record levels of alarmism


Only the ABC cares about Flannery any more...

Only the ABC cares about Flannery any more…

The Climate Council is nothing more than an alarmism generating machine. Every year the level of hysteria increases faster than global temperatures, and breaks records with monotonous regularity.

With Tim Flannery and Will Steffen slowly stewing in their own warmist juices, there is no moderating element to reign in the madness, which gets more and more extreme every year.

And, despite being a privately funded organisation, the Climate Council has the ABC as its uncritical media department, providing – for free – all the publicity that it needs. And when I say ‘for free’, I mean paid for by our taxes. [Read more…]

‘Angry Summer’ gives way to ‘Abnormal Autumn’


Chief Alarmist

Chief Alarmist

I wonder if the propagandists, sorry, er ‘scientists’, at the Climate Council sit around all day thinking of these cheesy monikers?

According to head agitprop generator Will Steffen, the climate is in a foul mood. No, really:

The climate system is in a foul mood. From “angry summer” to “abnormal autumn” – we’re running out of words to describe the relentless extreme weather that Australia is experiencing as global temperatures continue to increase because of climate change. Now the exceptional heat has carried on into the autumn of 2014 in Australia.

What we are witnessing here is the final crazy rantings of a scare that is in its death throes. Nobody is listening any more and we have to scream, shout and throw tantrums to get any attention.

Yes, we have had a warm start to Autumn, but other parts of the globe are colder than average, meaning, surprisingly, that global temperatures have still barely changed since 2001. As for the climate being in a ‘foul mood’, the weather outside today is a beautiful Autumn day, thanks very much. The only ones in a foul mood are the hysterical alarmists who aren’t getting their way any more.

That won’t stop them, however. We will no doubt have Wild Winter, Stormy Spring, Sweltering Summer… all thanks to our crazy catastrophist climatologists.

You’d think we’d never had a heatwave before…


Safe CO2 heatwave…

Safe CO2 heatwave… (source)

The ABC is acting as the taxpayer-funded PR agent for the privately-funded Climate Council, which itself is behaving as if it had never seen a heatwave before:

Heatwaves in Australia are becoming more frequent, hotter and are lasting longer because of climate change, a report released today by the Climate Council says.

The interim findings of the report, titled Australian Heatwaves: Hotter, Longer, Earlier and More Often, come as southern Australia swelters through a heatwave, with the temperature in Adelaide today forecast to hit 46 degrees Celsius.

The report says heat records are now happening three times more often than cold records, and that the number of hot days across Australia has “more than doubled”.

It says the duration and frequency of heatwaves increased between 1971 and 2008, and the hottest days have become hotter.

And it predicts that future heatwaves will last up to three days longer on average, they will happen more often, and the highest temperatures will rise further.

“It is clear that climate change is making heatwaves more frequent and severe,” report co-author Professor Will Steffen said in a statement.

“Heatwaves have become hotter and longer and they are starting earlier in the season.”

After notching up two consecutive days over 40C, Melbourne is on track to record its second-longest heatwave since records began in the 1830s.

Second-longest?

The longest heatwave in Melbourne was in 1908, when there were five consecutive days over 40C.

When CO2 was under 300ppm, well below the ‘safe’ 350ppm. Shurely shome mishtake?

Despite the IPCC and many other climate scientists refusing to link ‘extreme weather’ to climate change, the Climate Council and the ABC are quite happy to do so as part of a co-ordinated scare campaign:

Professor Steffen says the extreme weather patterns can be attributed to climate change, with the continued burning of fossil fuels trapping more heat in the lower atmosphere.

Professor Steffen says large population centres of south-east Australia stand out as being “at increased risk from many extreme weather events, including heatwaves”.

“The current heatwave follows on from a year of extreme heat, the hottest summer on record and the hottest year on record,” he said. (source)

But where’s the warming, Willy? Global temperatures have barely risen for over a decade. Whilst Australia is experiencing a heatwave, the US is freezing. Oh wait, that’s climate change too. Everything’s climate change.

All of the above is ably abetted, naturally, by the Bureau of Meteorology, which suddenly finds it an appropriate time to announce that it has introduced a definition of “heatwave”. Which begs the question, in a country which has been ravaged by heat waves since the dawn of time, why has it taken until now to define what one actually is? I’m surprised that the Bureau stopped at ‘severe’ in their heatwave categories, and didn’t jump the shark with ‘catastrophic’ (like the bush fires), or even ‘calamitous’, ‘apocalyptic’ or ‘cataclysmic’! My own suggestion would be ‘OMG we’re all gonna fry’…

Once again, the ABC dutifully does the Bureau’s PR work here.

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.

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.

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.

Glass jaw: don't criticise Flannery with 'vicious' attacks, says Steffen


Rapidly losing credibility

Advice to Climate Commission: when you’re in a massive hole of your own making, best stop digging. But they are so horribly compromised that such painfully obvious action is impossible.

The Climate Commission’s sole purpose is to “spruik the government’s case for tackling climate change” as the Sydney Morning Herald article puts it (somewhat too honestly in fact!), so what else are they supposed to do?

Anyone with half a brain (even Steffen and Flannery when they are alone with their consciences) knows that nothing Australia does alone will make any difference to the climate, so the Commission has to rely on blatant and shameless alarmism to scare the public into believing the government’s pointless carbon tax will actually make some discernible difference to the climate.

The latest chapter in this never-ending saga of alarmism from the Climate Commission was released on Monday and predicted dire consequences for New South Wales. Not surprisingly, many regarded the report as hysterical. And when the Commission gets called out for it, they have no response, except to attack their critics:

Climate commissioner Will Steffen has called on critics to stop their “vicious” attacks against the body’s chief Tim Flannery and rejected suggestions the federal government-created commission is alarmist.

Flannery, Steffen and the Climate Commission have a glass jaw. Note how, just with the ANU “death threats” non-story, criticism or disagreement of any kind is immediately emotionalised and exaggerated by being branded “vicious”. The report was described by various commentators and politicians as “alarmist” and “fear mongering”. Which of those terms are “vicious”, Prof Steffen? Maybe he was referring to the bloke in the penguin suit…

Flannery has a track record of making hopeless end-of-pier style crystal-ball gazing prophecies, as Gaia’s self-appointed incarnation here on Earth, which have been wrong virtually every time – and paid very nicely for by taxpayer dollars, lots of them. If he can’t take the heat, maybe he should get out of the kitchen, or take the criticism without resorting to this kind of whining:.

“Climate scientists take exceptional care to be absolutely straight,” [Steffen] told AAP in an interview on Wednesday.

“We don’t use inflammatory language, we don’t overplay and we don’t underplay.” [ACM editor snorts coffee all over the screen – Ed]

The ANU researcher compared climate scientists to the family GP.

While you wouldn’t want them only to give dire warnings, “you certainly don’t want them to underplay the risks you might face and can do something about”. (source)

But this is patently nonsense, and exposes Steffen’s impossible position of having to defend a pointless policy through alarmism. Because there is nothing we can do about it, even if you believe CO2 is the main driver of climate, unless China and India decide to do something about it as well. Otherwise, it is utterly pointless.

Claiming not to overplay the seriousness of the issue is verging on incredible, since the only way the government’s policy can possibly be sold is through fear. Here is what the report says (p10) about health risks:

  • increasing mortality due to heat
  • heat related injuries like dehydration
  • increased cardiac, respiratory and mental health problems and death
  • increased air pollution that would affect asthma, hay fever, lung cancer and heart disease
  • decrease in rainfall would “increase the suicide rate by 8%”
  • behavioural and cognitive disorders increase during heat waves
  • electricity outages due to “extreme weather” may cause refrigerators to fail and cause illness from improperly stored foodstuffs
  • damage to sewage systems may contaminate water supplies
  • droughts will increase algae and contaminants in dam water

It goes on and on. And the report is punctuated by scary graphics like this:

Just in case you weren't scared enough

And that’s just health, let alone all the other issues like sea level rises of a metre by 2100 washing thousands of houses into the sea, despite actual data showing sea level rising at the same rate (about 3mm per year), leading to a rise of perhaps 25cm by the next century. And many, many more.

All, allegedly, from an increase in global average temperature of less than 1 degree in the last 200 years, much of which was likely due to natural variation. And Steffen has the gall to claim that they take “exceptional care to be absolutely straight”.

Steffen also claimed in several interviews that it was like “the climate on steroids”. That’s not inflammatory language? If not, what is, pray?

May I offer the Climate Commission a little more advice. If you want people to start listening again (because right now they are switching off in droves), you must cut the emotionalising, acknowledge areas of doubt, cut the arrogance, display a little more humility, cut the alarmism and stop trying to silence your critics and perhaps, just perhaps, you may be able to regain some credibility, because right now, your credibility is running on empty.

But there’s no chance of any of that – the Climate Commission is hamstrung – the inevitable result of an organisation having to defend the indefensible – a government climate mitigation policy that will do nothing for the climate.

Climate Commission's unceasing alarmism and spin


Climate activism

Why should we be surprised? Tim Flannery is a “climate activist” (thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald for confirming that – see screen grab here in case it gets posted down the memory hole) and Will Steffen is one of the most committed alarmist climate scientists on the planet. Although I was under the impression that the Climate Commission was supposed to be independent, it is actually anything but. A quick read of their terms of reference reveals that it’s nothing more than a mouthpiece for implementing government policy (my emphasis):

Purpose

The Climate Commission (the Commission) has been established to inform Australia’s approach to addressing climate change and help build the consensus required to move to a competitive, low pollution Australian economy.

Tasks

The Commission will provide information and expert advice to:

  • Explain the science of climate change and the impacts on Australia.
  • Report on the progress of international action dealing with climate change.
  • Explain the purpose and operation of a carbon price and how it may interact with the Australian economy and communities.

Like I have said on previous occasions, organisations like this are a shambolic kangaroo court: a crazed lynch mob pummelling the poor victim (CO2 and the Australian public) without any defence. Just the prosecution, with free rein to say precisely what it likes, and no opportunity for cross examination or presentation of an opposing viewpoint. Judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one.

And the inevitable result of all this is the kind of laughably alarmist nonsense spruiked all over the media yesterday, which concentrated (bizarrely) on Western Sydney:

NSW is becoming hotter and drier. Record-breaking hot days have more than doubled across Australia since 1960 and heatwaves in the greater Sydney region, especially in the western suburbs, have increased in duration and intensity.

This is the critical decade for action. To minimise climate change risks we must begin to decarbonise our economy and move to cleaner energy sources this decade. The longer we wait the more difficult and costly it will be. (source)

They must genuinely think we are complete morons. How will decarbonising the economy of Australia help Western Sydney? Extrapolating this kindergarten logic, maybe if I don’t use my coal fire in winter, my garden won’t get so hot in summer. In case they hadn’t noticed (and even if one assumes the significant effect of CO2 on the climate they claim), it requires co-ordinated global action to make any reduction to CO2 and therefore, allegedly, to climate. This kind of call to action is ludicrous when China will continue to increasing its emissions fast enough to wipe out any possible domestic reduction hundreds (thousands?) of times over?

But it’s the psychology of this kind of announcement that is so fascinating. The alarmists must realise their message has lost its impact, so instead of taking the correct course, namely backing off from their entrenched position, reducing the fear mongering, acknowledging doubt, a little more contrition perhaps in the delivery, rather than the arrogance and contempt for dissent to which we are all accustomed, they do the precise opposite: more alarmism, more ridiculous quotes, more nonsensical crystal ball gazing. Steffen yesterday used the term “climate on steroids” without any hint of irony. Is it any wonder that the public have utterly disengaged from such pronouncements?

Flannery was interviewed on 2GB yesterday afternoon by Ben Fordham. He was challenged about his prophecies about rainfall and refused to back down even an inch. It was painful to listen to. Instead, he should have said, “On reflection, some of my comments displayed a little too much certainty given the complexities of the climate system” or something like that. But no, he pressed on, defending his failed fortune teller impression in the typical “just you wait and see, I was right all along” type way.

Not only is the tone of delivery all wrong, but the methods used are decidedly suspect. Jennifer Marohasy shows how data has been cherry picked to show a recent trend in hot days, despite the existence of records going far further back, which, if included, would have shown far less of a trend.

UPDATE: The Australian reports that the Commission cherry picked certain locations to show more warm days, whereas other sites show fewer warm days. Note that “attempts to contact the Climate Commission were unsuccessful.” Why? Has the phone been cut off? Not paid their bill? 

Why do they have to be so dishonest?

All I can hope is that when a Coalition government is finally elected and the current corrupt bunch of incompetents are swept into the dustbin of history, the Climate Commission will be one of the first organisations to be abolished.

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