Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

Humbug . . . and then some—2
October 11, 2011

So the Carbon Tax has passed the House of Representatives. It’s a bad day. The Leader of the Opposition yesterday rightly suggested that none of the provisions of this legislation take effect until after another election. Government preferred cowardice; it cannot look the electorate in the eye.

Parliamentary despotism is commonplace in the modern world and likely to become only more so. In Australia it is unusual but is now the rule in Canberra. The basic definition of government is acting by deceit. Neo-Keynesiamism, NBN, “national security” and environmentalism: all have deceit at their heart. Not rubbish about being on the side of history changes that: thus Prime Minister Gillard:

“Whether they are on the side of history, whether they are on the side of action, whether they are on the side of change or whether they were content to stand against and watch the world change while Australia stayed the same,” she said.

Instead this government displays the deliberate intention to enter the trash-can of history like so many predecessors who have claimed the logic of history on their side. The Australian government can, today, continue only by lying. It is the most elemental definition of contemporary Australian government: lying to cover the utter cowardice of members of government and total contempt of the people of this country. Utterly loathsome.

Where now? Presumably the government must find some means by which to delay the next federal election due some time prior to 30 November 2013.

Update: The ABC finds much merit in the claim of The Atlantic that Prime Minister Gillard–or Gilliard for Americans–is a “Brave Thinker”. The claim is nonsense, fraudulent even, but since left-wing media organisations like the ABC and The Atlantic have little or no tolerance for the public generally, I guess we can expect no better. What’s brave about holding the electorate in contempt?

 

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The future has begun
August 3, 2011

At lat, a mainstream news organisatin that gets US debt levels right. AFP reports:

US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government’s debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

Treasury borrowing jumped Tuesday, the data showed, immediately after President Barack Obama signed into law an increase in the debt ceiling as the country’s spending commitments reached a breaking point and it threatened to default on its debt.

The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit — a slightly tighter definition — was $14.53 trillion as of the end of Tuesday, rising from the previous official cap of $14.29 trillion a day earlier.

Add to that Ambrose’s less than cheery outlook:

The West’s horrible fiscal choice

The US, Britain, and Europe are together embarking on a sudden and severe tightening of fiscal policy, in unison, before economic recovery has reached safe take-off speed. The experiment was last tried in the 1930s.

Yet somewhat contrary to A E-P’s consistently presented argument (which has continued for many months), he overlooks the unattractive reality of no less persistent bad governance. Neo-Keynesian deficit spending has, unremarkably, failed. And as Albert Einstein once remarked:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The outlook is, frankly, dreadful. (Forget China.) To date I have been surprised by the relative passivity of the southern European publics at the straits into which governments aided by a ludicrous media have led them. The analysis offered, at least in part in Kenneth Minogue’s  The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life, is discouraging. Debt and much else has proven to be a truly faustian bargain.  How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly–and the Stark Choices Ahead, by Dambisa Moyo barely scrapes the surface. The essential argument is right but the means chosen to prove it are most unsatisfactory. Add to these a widespread culture of death and the great scam of climate change (apd). Messy.

It’s over twenty years since National Interest published Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History” (see here).

A true global culture has emerged, centering around technologically driven economic growth and the capitalist social relations necessary to produce and sustain it.

Oops. Still, look on the bright side, lots of work for future historians!

 

 

Oakeshott: Robert not Michael
July 25, 2011

Robert Oakeshott, MHR (Lyne, Qld.) continues to put the interests of the government ahead of his fellow citizens. His main concern is to serve parliamentary despotism. He has confidence neither in the ability of his friends to make a case for change, nor for the good sense of the electorate in whom, at least in theory, sovereignty resides.

His namesake, a historian and philosopher, reckoned somewhat differently:

Because all action is conditioned by presuppositions, Oakeshott was inclined to see any attempt to change the world as reliant upon a scale of values which themselves presuppose a context of experience. Even the conservative disposition to maintain the status quo relies upon managing inevitable change, he would later elaborate in his essay On Being Conservative.

We see here in Australia, as elsewhere, governments displaying a rearkable level of contempt for citizens. There is a deepening comparability of various occasions over the last century when stubborn governments basically threw people under a bus. The Great War was just the beginning. As someone remarked recently: “Only Poor People Should Be Allowed To Fail”. In coming years the number of poor may rise exponentially, certainly in the West and among those who have but recently emerged into some level of prosperity. In Australia, false science shrouds a common thread of statism and contempt for the individual person. Elsewhere, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany proclaimed a few days ago: ‘It is our historic task to protect the euro. Europe without the euro is unthinkable.’ All that no matter the cost, no matter the legality of the measures concerned and regardless of public opinion.

It is astonishing that yet again governments and their mates should have fallen for such a self-evident temptation. But as Bertie Wooster once observed, “So it goes on, Jeeves, so it goes on”.* Bertie never seemed to age much, he rarely failed to make ghastly decisions but from it all he did learn. No such capacity from today’s politicians.

 

* P. G. Wodehouse, ‘Jeeves and the Song of Songs’ in Very Good, Jeeves, p. 95.

 

Malcolm Turnbull: climate change (apd) and (massively reduced) living standards
July 21, 2011

For some time I have argued that the foundation of policy in response to climate change (apd) is to reduce living standards. Evidently, when per capita “Australian emissions” (of CO2?) equal those of China and India, Malcolm Turnbull will be content. A number of critics of western governments’ obsession with climate change (apd) have held that the object is to reduce the possibility of rising living standards in the developing world. This always seemed a somewhat forced line of reasoning. To the degree that it was true, it also held for people of the west whose living standards, as Mr. Turnbull makes abundantly clear (and as have many before him) must reduce greatly. Anybody arguing for renewable forms of electricity generation have that as their starting point.

Then, too, Mr. Turnbull holds the old furphy that sceptics of means—presumably he includes scientists such as Richard Lindzen—simply endeavour to maintain the filthy sources of their wealth. Thus:

Mr Turnbull said parties with vested interests were trying to muddy the waters on climate science to prolong the export of coal, comparing their actions to tobacco companies discrediting the connection between smoking and lung cancer.

Some may do so; there’s always someone. Otherwise the claim is outrageous. It tells, again, of the pitiful state of Australian political and intellectual life. One should make mention, at this point, of the rent-seekers pursuing so-called renewable energy.

And contrary to this particular best friend of the ABC, this is an ideological issue for it is about remaking the world in which we live, mostly with a view to stamping out the human frailties that have resulted in climate change (apd). Contrary, too, to the ABC (AM and radio news), Mr. Turnbull appears not to have defended the science of climate change (apd). Rather he implicitly denies the right of Liberals—for starters—to ponder arguments of sceptics, what he reviles as denial. Science represents a monopoly of truth, what Bob Hawke used to call consensus.

In that context he is right to observe that the Liberal Party offers no substantial alternative to the government in the race to reduce living standards not only of those least able to manage but of the great majority of the population.

He also offers a false argument, or rather creates degree a straw man by which to indulge his want of curiosity. Opponents of the carbon tax, he said, would castigate a Liberal government no less than they do the incumbents. In short:

[T]he opponents of the science of climate change will be criticising that expenditure as pointless and wasteful with as much vehemence as they are currently denouncing Julia Gillard’s carbon tax. . . .

I mentioned a few days ago the public is piling a great deal onto the phrase “Julia lied”. Evidently Mr. Turnbull has failed to recognise this. He assumes that criticism of the carbon tax is based on the public’s perception of the science of climate change (apd). No doubt that is a part of it. Even so, the great bulk of the criticism is that the Prime Minister lied in order to win re-election.

No effort at parsing events and statements can change that. It provides the essence of the current political climate. If the government has not the courage of its convictions—even with the collaboration of numerous Liberal Members of Parliament such as Malcolm Turnbull—then it may expect to pay a very heavy price in future time. What form that price may take remains to be seen. At present the public is encountering the very heavy head winds of parliamentary despotism, despotism supported by the media which, much to its chagrin no doubt, has found itself heaping fuel onto the fire by its own overt support of the ideology and implicit support of the government.

Bear in mind that no branch of Australian media questions climate change (apd), least of all The Australian (although that paper has, apparently, ignored Mr. Turnbull’s speech). Look at the language of any article; one or two op-eds a year change nothing even if they are too much for true believers for whom absolute control of the debate is reckoned a proper duty. The political outlook is most discouraging.

Which brings us briefly to the NBN. In short what proportion of the public will be able to afford an internet connection when the entire system is controlled by a government monopoly? The great attraction for government and, it seems, opposition, is to stifle even the possibility of dissent. Like smoking, stamp it out by means of price.

Update:  “Tony Abbott says he and Malcolm Turnbull are at one on climate change.” If so, then the Liberal Party is irrelevant, at least on this issue—and probably well beyond. They could fight an election on the government’s apparent determination to terminate the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. meanwhile mark Colvin of the ABC makes the absurd claim that “The former Opposition leader gave a strong defence of climate change science last night”. He did nothing of the sort. Instead he denied that citizens here (0r elsewhere for that matter) have a right to question the so-called “science” of climate change (apd—which he fails to acknowledge).

 

Public not wanted
July 18, 2011

More evidence of official censorship.

Thus: CERN: “Don’t interpret the CLOUD experiment results”.

And this, also from Watts Up With That:

In an interesting opinion piece in The New York Times entitled “On Experts and Global Warming,” Gary Gutting, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, argues that the non-experts must accept the findings of the expert authorities in climate science.

Anthony Watts then proceeds to demolish this particular argument for collectivist uniformity. Kevin Rudd, you may recall, when Prime Minister likened the official position on climate change (apd) to that of Galileo. (JoNova rightly observed that official science is the establishment.) Given that peculiar instance of absurdity he, too, might care to read of genuine scientific endeavour. Not very likely, true, given his choice to side with lying propaganda and parliamentary despotism.

Meanwhile, A Look at the Australian Climate Network has examined The “Climate Data Derivatives” Market. This, in particular, examines the various sets of data available from the Bureau of meteorology, not least those manipulated to served a particular argument. In summary:

If an accountant were to use these same methods in preparing financial reports, he would surely go to jail for his efforts. And yet this obvious data manipulation seems to be the mainstay of modern “Climate Scientology”. It bears similarities to the financial manipulation that underlies the derivatives market in that the end product is almost unrecognisable from the data on which it is based. One wonders whether this “homogenised data” might better be labelled “Climate Data Derivatives”.

Whatever claims the BoM may have to operating an efficient weather station network, it is all for nothing when they let their data disappear into this cesspool of “homogenisation”.  As we can see from this small sample, none of the “homogenised” records bears any resemblance to the graphs produced from the presumably more realistic station data records. And when a whole century’s worth of “homogenised” data can be produced out of thin air, one has to ask – “what happened to the quality assurance procedures we were told about”.

Finally JoNova alerts us to “Election Now! National Rally Canberra + Tamworth event”.

Election Now 2011 National Rally

Canberra

Tuesday 16th August 2011

Parliament House

Canberra

It’s just the beginning for reclaiming sovereignty from the federal parliamentary despots. Difficult, because Australia’s frankly feudal-cum-totalitarian media will either ignore or condemn any initiatives emerging from ordinary people.

Censorship and liberty
July 6, 2011

Two articles at Quadrant Online subject the furore surrounding Christopher Monckton, a mathematician, and his choice of images last week, to ironical analysis.

The first, “Academics Declare War on Free Speech” by Bill Muehlenberg (Quadrant Online, June 30, 2011), observed that recent background to intolerance of different views that has characterised too much of university life both here and in the US in recent years. Curiously the author forgot the censorship by students and others at the University of Adelaide some time in the 1970s (if memory serves) of the psychologist H. J. Eysenk. Controversy followed Eysenk like a love-sick puppy:

By far the most acrimonious of the debates has been that over the role of genetics in IQ differences, which led to Eysenck famously being punched on the nose by a female protestor during a talk at the London School of Economics.

Eysenk never spoke in Adelaide; censorship ruled. By stifling debate, authorities, happily or otherwise, avoided difficult controversy and defending principles fundamental to liberal society.

And so it continues among the great and good, as Michael Connor tells it in “Silence of the gods” (Quadrant Online, July 6, 2011). PEN is his particular target, probably a good a source of hypocrisy as any. PEN, itself, claims that its primary purpose is to:

be an authoritative source on matters of free expression in Australia and internationally[.]

Connor observed that PEN abides by that principle as and when it suits. Clearly efforts to silence Monckton do not fit their remit. Nor, Connor noted, does the legal plight of Andrew Bolt. Helen Garner’s name appears on a list called ‘Writers Panel’. One might have hoped for better from one with Garner’s experience of intolerance. Well, in Oz, perhaps not. After in Oz, science is about consensus, not dissent.

So much for science . . .
June 26, 2011

No doubt Professor Chubb has read the pertinent critiques of climate change (apd*); otherwise he would not speak as he has been reported. Nor is he scientifically precise to claim that the scientific literacy of politicians ‘is not high’. Like the Liberal Party, he denies the right to speak for Dr. Dennis Jensen, MP for Tangney, WA. Jensen earned a PhD in Materials Science and Physics from Monash University in 1995 for a dissertation on ‘Duplex toughening of ternary zirconia ceramics’.[1] He is sceptical of anthropogeneric global warming.

Because reports of migratory movements of “plankton, fish and even whales to into the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific” owing to “climate change”. Naturally, “the signs already point to far more trouble than benefit from climate change”. (The term “reports” refers not only to the report in the Telegraph (UK) but also to the same material being heard on both ABC and BBC but not mentioned on web sites of either institution.)

The Telegraph reports:

Warming ocean waters are causing the largest movement of marine species seen on Earth in more than two million years, according to scientists. . . .

Professor Chris Reid, from the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said: “It seems for the first time in probably thousands of years a huge area of sea water opened up between Alaska and the west of Greenland, allowing a huge transfer of water and species between the two oceans.

“The opening of this passage allowed the wind to drive a current through this passage and the water warmed up making it favourable for species to get through.

“In 1999 we discovered a species in the north west Atlantic that we hadn’t seen before, but we know from surveys in the north Pacific that it is very abundant there.

“This species died out in the Atlantic around 800,000 years ago due to glaciation that changed the conditions it needed to survive.

“The implications are huge. The last time there was an incursion of species from the Pacific into the Atlantic was around two to three million years ago.

Interesting is it not that the article makes no mention of the Northwestern Passages for it’s through there that this water must flow. Given that the medieval warming period (very roughly 950–1250 AD) made for temperatures much like recent decades (and perhaps even higher) but with higher rainfall, what do pertinent data tell, assuming any exist, of the passages then? And, accordingly, of marine migration.

Meanwhile the ABC has two other pertinent stories. The first reports Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens, keenly anticipating the demise of coal mining in Australia: “the coal industry has to be replaced by renewables,” he said. The ABC also tells of the horror of life for most in North Korea. They might have a slightly higher standard of living as a result of Senator Brown’s renewable sources of energy, but not by much. Nor will Professor Chubb be discommoded by carbon taxes: most will. And that for scientific falsehood.

Marxism, be it remembered, was also reckoned scientific. It’s leading scientist was Trofim Denisovich  Lysenko. He lived by a code that seems very much alive today:

“In our Soviet Union, comrades, people are not born. Human organisms are born, but people are created.”[2]

Significantly:

Scientific dissent from Lysenko’s theories of environmentally acquired inheritance was formally outlawed in 1948, and for the next several years opponents were purged from held positions, and many imprisoned.

Given the nature of the National Broadband Network, in terms of expense and capacity for censorship, the outlook not only for personal liberty but also for the integrity of scientific research is dim indeed. Already Professor Chubb has “criticised the media for giving sceptics the space to make their arguments”. Perhaps he could prove that point scientifically. With proof.

 


[1] Use <http://search.lib.monash.edu/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?menuitem=1&mode=Advanced&gt;. Key in Jensen, Dennis. Under “Material Types” choose “Theses”. Click “Go”.

[2] Quoted by Thomas Meaney, ‘Never Say Die’, WSJ, April 6, 2011. Review of John Gray, The Immortalization Commission. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2011.

So what is it? Science or something else.
June 20, 2011

The Australian tells us, on its home page today:

SCIENTISTS: Climate change deniers blasted

Inside The Oz elaborates–without evidence:

SCIENTISTS have warned federal parliamentarians a misinformation campaign about the evidence of human-induced climate change is undermining the value of other research.

More than 200 scientists will take part in the the annual Science Meets Parliament today.

They will ask MPs and senators to make sure the climate change debate does not harm the vital contribution research is making to the nation’s future.

The Federation of Australian Science and Technological Societies says misleading claims about climate science are spilling over into attacks on the credibility of scientific research in general.

“The valuable and credible work of all scientists is under attack as a result of a noisy misinformation campaign by climate denialists,” CEO Anna Maria Arabia said.

“It’s in the nation’s interests that our political leaders now lead the community forward on this critical issue.”

I wonder how many of these self-described scientists have a coherent response to this headline from Watts Up With That?:

On The Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)

The author is Bill Gray, Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University. His point is:

I am very disappointed at the downward path the AMS has been following for the last 10-15 years in its advocacy of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis. The society has officially taken a position many of us AMS members do not agree with. We believe that humans are having little or no significant influence on the global climate and that the many Global Circulation Climate Model (GCMs) results and the four IPCC reports do not realistically give accurate future projections. To take this position which so many of its members do not necessarily agree with shows that the AMS is following more of a political than a scientific agenda.

One of his very specific points of criticism is the quality of contemporary climate modelling, not least given the vast sums of money poured in to climate research.

Which led to this reasonable response at Powerline:

To put it less delicately, an enormous amount of money has flowed into the global warming movement. It is lavishly funded, mostly by governments. For an AGW enthusiast to admit that his models are patently wrong would mean an end to the gravy train. Hence the ongoing frauds that are perpetrated in the name of climate change.

Australian scientists seem to assume they have a right to taxpayer-funded (or rather funds courtesy of government borrowings) research without question. I think not. Given the less than rosy outlook for prosperity the assumptions of their importance may encounter severe questioning, perhaps of the sort that they themselves should direct towards the data and claims that underpin the ideology and false science of climate change (as presently defined).

 

 

Sound familiar?
June 1, 2011

“New firm to tread softly in cable rollout.”

That’s the headline. Yeah, right. It gets better. The rules seem to have changed during the process of the tendering.

Senior executives from construction companies involved in the aborted tender were privately seething yesterday as they noted Silcar appeared to have been given preferential treatment.

Meanwhile, similar arrangements between Canberra and firms seem likely to obtain in the context of the carbon tax. Remember government telling companies to come talk with them privately. Nothing changes, really.

All this “cable rollout” (it all sounds so familiar) assumes the landholder can afford the connection fees. I know we can’t, nor can our landlord. And with no copper remaining. . . .

Yet Kevin Rudd and Guido Westerwelle (Foreign Affairs Minister of Germany), tell us:

New technologies have linked us in ways we could scarcely have imagined before, and now could not imagine doing without.

Not only that but:

[T]he degree of interconnectivity will become unimaginably more complex.

In a typically badly-written Rudd script, they go on, without context just the usual journalistic ‘but’, to discuss cyber warfare etc. implying (denials notwithstanding) imposition of censorship of unhelpful opinion and knowledge. After all, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has responsibility for both, the latter under the innocuous, pseudonymous term of “online safety and security“. This includes “Online content regulation“, where the descriptions of the department’s purpose are so deliberately vague that any function designated by the minister will come under its purview.

Bob Hawke’s infatuation with big government, big companies and big unions seems as alive as ever. Julia Gillard’s original justification for the NBN was downloading movies. No threat there from dissent (except critique of insufficiently progressive government). Quashing dissent provides the most immediate object of the whole exercise.

Update: See also this just published: William Voegeli, ‘Why Corporations Love Regulation’, Commentary Magazine, June 2011. (Subscription required.)

 

No Surprises here
May 31, 2011

NBN cost blowouts? And all in the name of monopoly, dated technology and, as time will show, censorship.

Heath risks of mobile phone technology. More time is clearly required for properly grounded data becomes available for truly meaningful conclusions. See here for long-standing interest in this question. ‘Prolonged usage’ seems to provide most cause for concern (heavy users’ reported average: 30 minutes per day over a 10‐year period). By rights authorities, not least parents and schools, should discourage children from using mobile phones. Using a hands-free headset minimises risks. (Update: Even more cause for caution!)

Recession: only a matter of time. The Australian economy has been in recession for several years. The only excuse authorities have for claiming otherwise is deliberately engineered indebtedness–all to be the responsibility of another generation. And add new taxes to complete the mix.

And the big scam of climate change (apd): note how difficult it is to find on <www.abc.net.au/news> reports heard on ABC radio. They differ in significant ways. Regular listeners hear, not least from spokespersons of the Australian Conservation Foundation, that green jobs simply await the starter’s gun, so to speak: the same shot that then destroys two or more jobs for every one, ahem, created by government. The mobile phone stories were different too, radio news seeming to belittle hands-free headsets. Meanwhile, Paul Kelly contributes more fatuity, looking after friends and trying to appear unbiased (that is, ineffectually concealing prejudices) and concluding in typically trite manner.

apd = as presently defined.