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Abbott’s adviser hates wind farms, doubts climate change

Tony Abbott’s latest Coalition policy statement remains short on climate policy detail. More worrying is his selection of a noted anti-wind farm advocate and climate change sceptic as lead business adviser.

Tony Abbott’s policy statement promised the direction, values and policy priorities of the next Coalition government. It contained no additional detail on climate change policy beyond what was outlined in the Coalition’s 2010 election policy, which was largely expected. But what was more unnerving was outlined under economic policy:

We will establish a new Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council to advise the Executive Government on developing the economy. The Business Advisory Council will be chaired by leading Australian business leader Mr Maurice Newman.”

Maurice Newman has an impressive business pedigree. He was chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange and also rose through the management of what is now Deutsche Bank’s Australian subsidiary (acquired by Deutsche Bank in the 1990s) before becoming its executive chairman. This comes on top of a range of other senior business and government positions, including chair of the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

But he has also made a range of public statements that indicate his advice to Abbott will be detrimental to businesses focussed on clean energy and carbon abatement. On wind power, Newman wrote in the publication The Spectator on January 21 last year:

Even before they threatened my property, I was opposed to wind farms. They fail on all counts. They are grossly inefficient, extremely expensive, socially inequitable, a danger to human health, environmentally harmful, divisive for communities, a blot on the landscape, and don’t even achieve the purpose for which they were designed, namely the reliable generation of electricity and the reduction of CO2 emissions.”

On the issue of whether human activity is leading to warming of the atmosphere he wrote in The Australian on November 5:

When Mother Nature decided in 1980 to change gears from cooler to warmer, a new global warming religion was born, replete with its own church (the UN), a papacy, (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and a global warming priesthood masquerading as climate scientists.”

He then elaborated that:

Regrettably for the global warming religion, its predictions have started to appear shaky, and the converts, many of whom have lost their jobs and much of their wealth, are losing faith. Worse, heretic scientists have been giving the lie to many of the prophecies described in the IPCC bible. They could not be silenced.”

What would Newman think of the Coalition’s pledge to allocate $3 billion to an emission reduction fund or maintaining the renewable energy target at its current settings? He stated in The Spectator:

We have witnessed the birth of an extraordinary, universal and self-reinforcing movement among the political and executive arms of government, their academic consultants, the mainstream media and vested private sector interests (such as investment banks and the renewables industry), held together by the promise of unlimited government money. It may not be a conspiracy, but long-term, government-underwritten annuities have certainly created one gigantic and powerful oligopoly which must coerce taxpayers and penalise energy consumers to survive.”

To be fair to the Coalition, Newman is not in charge of the Coalition’s climate policy. But it comes on top of a range of other actions that raise serious doubts about the Coalition’s commitment to its 2020 emissions target, such as:

  • The appointment of Dick Warburton, who also doubts anthropogenic global warming, to advise on its carbon emission reduction policy
  • The repeated and widespread public mocking and doubt expressed about the need to address global warming by parliamentary members of the federal Coalition
  • The dumping of Malcolm Turnbull as leader, on the very issue of his commitment to climate change policy action.

Given this, it is especially important the Coalition provides much greater detail about the emission reduction policies it intends to implement.

Ian Macfarlane wishes to retain the two-yearly reviews of the RET, in spite of the investment uncertainty this would generate. In addition, the Coalition remains ambiguous about whether the RET could be cut to conform with Origin and Energy Australia’s “real 20%”.

The Coalition’s latest policy statement also fails to clarify some important components of its emissions abatement purchasing fund. In response to criticism of grant tendering as a climate change policy mechanism, Greg Hunt has been arguing his scheme would employ an auctioning process. Yet the recently released policy statement provides no mention of auctions and continues to talk of purchasing abatement via tender.

The statement outlines that funding for the emissions reduction fund will be $3 billion. A spokesperson for Hunt has since clarified this would be for a four-year period. Yet this funding is unchanged from what the Coalition pledged for the 2010 election when it had three additional years up its sleeve to deliver on its 2020 emission reduction target. It seems difficult to believe the Coalition could deliver the target without a major boost in funding considering the shortened timeframe.

More policy detail is the only antidote to scepticism surrounding the Coalition’s commitment to its 2020 emission reduction target.

*This article was originally published at Climate Spectator

37
  • 1
    Apollo
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    C’mon. It’s all lips service from the LNP. They are not serious about policy on climate change. Once they are in power, there will be plenty of excuses for them. “We’ve got to compete with China, we need economic growth, we need to get the surplus blah blah blah…” Next thing you know they’ll have Monckton and Plimer as their climate change policy advisers.

    My nephew has a brilliant idea for new kind of wind power generator on every rooftop, hopefully it will take off.

    Crikey’s new colours are very similar to the Ozflag design my nephew has been designing on our computer. Is Crikey getting access to our desktop? Spooky!!

  • 2
    jm
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    It is a pity they are not up to date with the performance of SA where over 25% of their electricity is wind generated!

  • 3
    K.D. Afford
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Beyond Newman, the Liberal government is surrounded with nay sayers, beginning with sanctimonious Nick Minchin, then there is Grahame Morriss:
    Grahame held key positions in Federal and State Liberal Party politics for two decades and has been involved in many of the public policy issues of the last 30 years. He has also devised and executed many election campaigns, communications programs and policy platforms.
    On Quanda last year he said:
    Look, just on all of this carbon tax thing, you know, the global warming, in the last ten years, this decade, it’s a bit ambivalent. You know we are still not sure if all of these climate change gurus - we’re still not sure if all of these climate change gurus are going to be gurus or in 20 years time the 21 century charlatans. We’re just not sure. You know, the last ten years it has not - there has not been a huge impact on global warming and remember where we started. This was all about global warming but then lots of the world cooled so all of a sudden now we talk about climate change, not global warming anymore. (Indistinct).
    You can read the full transcript or warth the program on:
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3532634.htm
    Abbott is still on his charger intent to dismantle the Carbon and Mining Taxes as continued proof of his lack of care for the planet.
    This party must be viewed with contempt for its concentrated efforts at denial especially in light what has come about across the world in weather events in the past year - look at Australia this past week and tell me Tony Abbott is on a winner!

  • 4
    CHRISTOPHER DUNNE
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Tony “climate change is crap” Abbott surrounds himself with another rightwing ideologue who says climate change is a conspiracy of socialists.

    So what’s new?

    It was Nick Minchin who put Abbott in over Turnbull, and his idiotic conspiracy theories about climate change and climate science are well on the pubic record.

  • 5
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Morrie “Dumbing Down” Newman?
    Who wanted more skeptics on his ABC - and was apparently happy with the lack of science in Limited News?

  • 6
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    …. could be worse - could have been “David Worry”?

  • 7
    CML
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Pardon my ignorance, but is this Maurice Newman related to that lun+tic in Queensland? If so, they sound like a blo+dy good pair. If not, must be something to do with the name??!!

  • 8
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    There was “Alfred E.”.

  • 9
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    … American spelling - but the same jeans.

  • 10
    Microseris
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Windfarms “a danger to human health”! What if your hang gliding?

  • 11
    Steve777
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    …one gigantic and powerful oligopoly which must coerce taxpayers and penalise energy consumers to survive

    I don’t think those who are working for action on Climate Change are that powerful otherwise much more would be being done now.

    It is just so clear that any role constructive action on Global Warming on the part of the Australian Government will cease should Abbott become PM. Why doesn’t Tony talk about his ‘Direct Action Plan’. Well, no credible commentator thinks it would be effective without massive expansion and huge expenditure and no one expects it to be actually implemented. Of cousre when it isn’t, will the Murdoch tabloids and and shock jocks excoriate Abbott as a liar?

  • 12
    Tony Kevin
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    With Dick Warburton and Maurice Newman as advisers, we can expect from Tony Abbott resurgent surges of climate change denialism if he gets into power.

    Pray for a late Labor electoral comeback during 2013. I fear for Australia’s climate change policy - now slowly getting on the rails - if Abbott gets in.

    Tony Kevin author of ‘Crunch Time” (Scribe, 2010)

  • 13
    David Hand
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Look, I share many people’s concerns about ideologues occupying important policy positions but while Flannery sits in his high paying government job pushing out propaganda, accusations of the climate cult being a religeon resonate with the general public.

  • 14
    CHRISTOPHER DUNNE
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, David, you’ve been reading the “Australian” again haven’t you.

    There’s a health warning to go with that rag, didn’t you know? It can apparently reduce your IQ.

    You need to take care.

  • 15
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    David Hand;
    Granted Flannery would be happy to rephrase a number of his comments in more sober terms in the past but the gatheriing evidence that he was essentially right on his projections is being effectively confirmed and at a bewildering speed.
    As one who casts a keen and enquiring eye to the daily skies the evidence of climate change and its’ implications are being presented on an ever increasing ferocity and frequency, are beyond doubt.
    While you don’t have to be Einstein to realise what going on, it would help a Murdochian career aspiration to deny the obvious.
    Have a look at the extroadinary weather events we have witnessed throughout the Pacific over the past six months.
    I have just had a deluge of in excess of 350mmm over 54 hours together with cyclonic force winds that are devastating the forests by uprooting mature trees.
    This last event was caused by a tropical low that tracked the coast from northern Queensland to south of Sydney on a north south axis.
    An anomaly in itself, as most of our weather events track East West or West East or are driven onto eastern land from the Pacific Ocean from the east.
    It is interesting to observe that our scientists have been warning us from confirmed data of the increase in temperatures of our east coast currents that are driving many of our fish species to cooler Tasmanian waters.
    Even Stern,at the recent Davos get together, stated that his 2006 IPPC report was couched in far too diplomatic language considering the weather patterns we are only beginning to experience.
    The head of the World Bank concurred with Lord Stern’s observation and suggested he too will be considerable more blunt in his assessment of the Climet Change challenges we confront and may pass onto as a dowry to our sons and daughters and future generations.

  • 16
    CHRISTOPHER DUNNE
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    The world’s re-insurance industry has already factored in the extreme weather events: premiums are rising accordingly.

    To the rational, the evidence is clear. To the ideologically blinkered, nothing will change their incorrect views.

    Andrew Bolt will be dribbling into his porridge and mumbling about how the world is getting colder long after everyone else is utterly terrified by what our carbon burning has wrought.

    David, you’re welcome to accompany Mr Bolt, just don’t pretend it’s based on anything more than cheap conservative’s politics to maintain a status quo that must change.

    Or we ruin a very nice planet…the only one we have.

  • 17
    Paddy Forsayeth
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    It took the Earth some 400 million years to sequester the initial carbon in the atmosphere (about 36%) into coal oil and chalk. During that long time plants evolved as the atmosphere changed to deal with the roughly current atmophere with 20 odd % of oxygen and tiny amounts of CO2. There has not ever been an entity on this planet which has deliberately dug up the coal oil and chalk to the extent the humans have, and in only 200 years. The “cycle” argument gives me the shitz. About 55 million years ago there was the great warming when the heat killed off a great proportion of species. It took the Earth some 20000 years to get back to our climate. Humans have embarked on a dangerous course, and probably like the 12 civilizations before us which perished, our consumerist “civilzation” may well go the same way.

  • 18
    DIY_Sunrise
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I love it when I hear that the worlds reinsurance industry being referenced as a disinterested source!!
    I have a suspicion that the double glazing industry and the Goldman Sachs carbon traders will also stand with hand on heart and tell us some more scare stories.

  • 19
    DIY_Sunrise
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Has anybody been watching the footage of the drought in Queensland? It is one of the worst kind and is actually called a Flannery Drought. It is probably about the only kind of drought in which people can drown.

  • 20
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    It is not hard to argue that, even if there were no AGW, renewable technologies would be offering serious competition to fossil fuel producers and users.
    Remember Margaret Thatcher’s, (a scientist before she was a politician or a lawyer) support and John Howard’s Australian Greenhouse Office, whose results Labor foolishly airbrushed out of existence, just out of political spite?
    The demonising of opponents by the mercenary flunkies of the fossil fuel industries is a recent invention that just co-incides with the rise of religiously inspired Conservative politicians.
    Abbott will emulate Bloody Mary in zealotry against his demonised opponents should he be empowered.( from, as the French might say, d’enfer?)
    That is the source of all this religious terminology.
    But those roof mounted windturbines seem like something whose time has come.
    Most designs follow the wind and are safe in cyclones and when finally integrated into energy storage techniques such as direct heating and cooling through compressed air( just as was done in Deniliquin in 1842, producing ice for the local hospital, using compressed air via a steam engine) the demnand for coal fired power stations will fall away.
    (think mass production in already established white goods factories and large economies of scale, and credit union levels of finance)
    What will also fall away is a massive demand of billions and billions for new power stations guaranteed a return by captive consumers denied a free-market choice.
    Reference Bloody Mary, roll forward half a millenia and the modus operandi is the same.
    Pathetic, really.

  • 21
    Malcolm Street
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    DIY_Sunrise - hard as it is for Queenslanders to grasp, there are other parts of the Australia. Down South Sydney’s had its hottest day ever, and Canberra it’s second hottest.

  • 22
    kd
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I guess the only good thing is that Australian policy will be overtaken by events. Cheaper rooftop solar. Micro-generation multi-source renewable energy appliances that should hit $5-10k in every garage within a decade.

    Another good thing would be a theoretical LNP government threaening to bring the country to it’s knees by short term vested interests and thus exposing themselves as the hollow unrepresentative swill that they are. But this second part of my comment is probably wishful thinking. but we’ll see how the next british election goes.

  • 23
    DIY_Sunrise
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    demonising of opponents by the mercenary flunkies of the fossil fuel industries”

    You guys are beyond parody.

    Compete in a free market and let people decide what they want to spend their own money on. Without the AGW scare there will be NO wind industry at all.
    Fossil fuels are in no danger of being unable to sell their product and you are living in a strange world if you really believe that they give a toss about any half baked CO2 hoax.

    Most designs follow the wind and are safe in cyclones”
    You should be writing for Viz!!

    ” captive consumers denied a free-market choice”
    Yes. That is your only strategy to sell your ridiculous non-viable wind - deny consumers a choice. Nice. Thanks, by the way.

    Oh so Queenslands drought prediction is now something to be airbrushed out of history is it Malcolm? Inconvenient truth that Flannerys predictions were rubbish?

    If you guys all want solar panels then how about you pay for them yourselves rather than expecting the tax payer or electricity consumer to keep providing handouts. You do realise that eventually other people get sick of paying for your free ride in life, don’t you?

  • 24
    David Hand
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Mike,
    I accept that your view of extreme weather event increases is widely held. Extreme weather has entered the rhetoric of the cl imate lobby since it started raining in about 2009. Before that it was the message, peer reviewed and massivel y endorsed by the scientific community of course, that drought was Austral ia’s future under global warming.

    I have no issue that the world has warmed in the last 50 years. So I can reasonably expect that as Flannery et al are now pointing to extreme weather events and their frequency as proof of cl imate change, there will be a study, a statistical anal ysis that shows recent events to be non random with a high confidence level.

    Maybe you could point me to the study that supports the new improved extreme weather event narrative?

    One thing is absolutel y true. Extreme weather reporting has grown massivel y when you appl y the adjective to “reporting”, rather than “weather”.

  • 25
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Technologies already proven in “green” high rise buildings will eventually go domestic.
    Just as dishwashers were once only found in hospitals and used for disinfection as much as cleaning.
    And Abbott is an idiot.
    All inarguable, really.

  • 26
    John Bennetts
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    DH: Re extreme weather events.

    Imagine the traditional bell curve representing normal distribution of events. The peak is in the middle. It is also the average.

    Increase the average temperature, but also increase atmospheric water and increase the probability of extreme wind events, because they come hand in hand with temp rise.

    The bell curve elongates - its standard distribution increases. Weather extremes of all kinds increase. More extreme high temps, but also some increased low temps. More high winds, but also periods of great calm. And so forth.

    Climate change due to rising global average surface temperatures is happening; it is real. It is accompanied by extremes at both ends of the scale.

    However, as in the above example, note that globally the number of record high temps is significantly higher than the number of record lows, due to the mean rising.

    I hope that by this short essay you will come to understand why it is entirely to be expected that climate change will be associated by such things as the occasional North American cold winter. It stands to reason and is in no way surprising. This, despite the fact that the world is slowly being cooked by its inhabitants.

  • 27
    TheFamousEccles
    Posted Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    ” You do realise that eventually other people get sick of paying for your free ride in life, don’t you?”

    This to me is the right-wing of Australian political discourse, encapsulated. This nagging certainty that everyone in the country is getting something they don’t deserve, except for them.

  • 28
    DIY_Sunrise
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    So global warming has become ‘climate change’ because the planet has not warmed as predicted.
    Warming is supposed to move the middle of the bell curve up but apparently it flattened it out instead.
    Science by pronouncement courtesy of John Bennets.
    (please show us some workings from your quantitative model John. I would just like to see how you have managed to model something as complex as the climate of a planet. I am looking forward to being enlightened by someone who can do the impossible.)

    Eccles, do I take it then that you feel you have an entitlement to the taxes of others (of all political sides)?
    There are plenty of low wage non-right wingers who object to paying extra for their electricity just so that Eccles the trendy inner-ciyt leftie can have a couple of ‘right on’ solar cells on his roof which he can admire occasionally from the plane as he jets off to another eco-conference in Tuvalu.
    It is not everyone in the country getting something they don’t deserve, it is a small group of self serving idealogies who happen to have latched onto the latest fad and are able to con government for tax money. It won’t last forever and when the tide turns these poxy solar panels will mark houses down as belonging to the parasite class.

  • 29
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    David;
    Thanks for your response. Perhaps if we had not ridiculed our scientists some twenty odd years ago and reacted in a mature and sensible manner at the time we would be well down the road today of mitigating our emmissions of harmfull carbon molecules.
    But the fact is we have bowed to the demands of our industries that are the primary source of these biosphere imbalances.
    The geological store of these materials is both abundand and given the wrong circumstances will be released back into the atmosphere. Tipping points!
    Evidence is growing in the Artic of geyser of CH4 being released.
    The warming of the northern tundras will activate naturally stored GHG to add to our biosphere
    dilemmas and will pose a threat to not only create a cascading series of releases but will prove to be beyond any chance of humans control or affect.
    The best our scientists can offer at the moment is a plan to hold our store of CO2 at about 450ppm and adapt to resultant 2 degree increase in the planets temperature.
    That,by itself is going to require major changes to our means of production and our current lifestyles.
    Over the past few years, under restricted GDP growth in most of the world, we have been increasing our deleterious emmissions by 3% pa and are quickly approaching our 450ppm projections.
    Ocean temerature are rising, acidification is occurring now and if we continue our ‘business as usual’ it will become a problem beyond our resolution.
    So the debate maybe, to some, becoming shrill but the enormity of the problem we are creating by our inaction and tentative approaches will have a devastatinf effect on us and future generations.
    David, we will make mistakes in our efforts to resolve the challenge but it is the alacrity and efforts we apply ourselves to its’ resolution that will define our generation’s sense of responsibities to future generations and the planet’s future.

  • 30
    Paddy Forsayeth
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    DIY is being silly and shows ignorance about statistics, modelling and bell curves in particular. What J Bennetts said has nothing to do with climate modelling. He simply asserted (correctly) that the mean of the bell curve is moving to the higher end of the curve, not UP in the sense of the vertical axis.Hence DIYs stupid assertion that the bell curve flattened…with the implication that bennetts and Co. have got the climate change thing back to front is inane and incorrect.
    Incidentally, most of the people I speak to do not understand the difference between heat and temperature. Sadly the climate debate often is based on scientific ignorance.

  • 31
    David Hand
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    John,
    Your essay on statistical analysis requires a bit more thinking. When you have a bell curve with the mean in the centre, the statistical analysis accepts that any random sample of measurements will fit somewhere inside the curve, with most measurements around the mean.

    When you get a cluster of measurements at the extreme there is evidence that the measurements are not random, that something has changed. For example, I saw an article yesterday that says that younger people are taller than their parents, on average. This means that some factor - diet, electricity, better health care, for example is influencing children’s growth.

    With climate, there is powerful and unimpeachable evidence that the world has warmed because of the cluster of high global temperatures in the last 15 years. They are not random.

    So the debate has moved on. It’s no longer about whether or not the world is warming. Even Tamas Calderwood acknowledges that the world is warmer today than it was 100 years ago. The debate is now about why it is warmer.

    On this matter, the science is less certain. One clear correlation is that there is more carbon in the atmosphere today than there has been for probably 10 million years so there is evidence it is contributing.

    But the climate lobby is not talking about that any more. The current rhetoric is about extreme weather events. There is this orchestrated campaign to look out the window at the weather events and say it proves AGW is true. If so, someone should be able to produce a simple bell curve histogram that demonstrates that the extreme weather events we are experiencing today are not random in the same way it has been done for global temperatures.

    Your failure to point me to one makes me suspicious that it doesn’t exist.

  • 32
    David Hand
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    A couple of points, Mike.
    1. It’s not climate scientists that earn riducule. It’s the activists and mystical members of the climate cult, such as Flannery that deserve ridicule. Organs like ABC’s Drum serve up a steady stream of activists and pundits who a) are not scientists and b) have already made their minds up to the extent that any event at all, hot, cold, mild, still, windy, dry or wet, prove AGW is true. There is no control for the experiment or the data. Any weather trend in the next few years of any kind will be spruiked as proof of global warming - something a climate scientist doesn’t do.

    2) Scientists may have a plan to restrict atmospheric carbon to 450 ppm, which they think might limit the world to 2deg warming. China India and the USA are going to blow us all through that target without any help from Australia. When the climate lobby says we have a window of opportunity, thay are l ying. The targets are unachievable and absolutely nothing Australia does will make a difference.

    If the climate lobby is right, it’s all over, folks.

  • 33
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    David; once again thanks for your eloquently argued response.
    With regard to point 1, Flannery apart, I would suggest you read Dana Nanccitelli’s article in the Skeptical Science, granted a journalist, but a well researched and corroborated article.
    Most of the public debate against action has been driven by non scientists with no credibility on the subject.In fact much of the denialist argument is presented by mouthpieces for the affected industies i.e. Fossil Fuel.
    I would also suggest you look at Seblacek and Knutt, both highly qualified on the subject.
    I am unable to comment on India but both China and America(USA) are awakening to the necessity for action albeit belatedly, but the sceptics towards action should be wary of wakening sleeping giants.
    Have a good one David.

  • 34
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    David;
    Further to your observations in your response to John about the Climate Lobby I suggest that having experienced the puerile and facile rejection by many in the MSM of the science and considering the immediacy and speed with which we are witnessing extreme weather events that had been projected I think it is time for us all to be concerned and highlight these experiences.

  • 35
    David Hand
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Yes Mike, but how do you know that you’re not merely experiencing something like a heightened sense of risk following a motor vehicle prang?

    I’ve not had many but in the aftermath of such an event, driving feels much more dangerous. The question then is how much is my prang random? If for example, the speed limit has recently gone up, or vehicle standards have been relaxed, it may well be that my heightened fear is valid because the risk has changed and my prang is not truly random.

    But if the motoring environment is exactly the same as it was before my prang, then my heightened fear is driven by my visceral experience, not by a real increase in road danger.

    The problem with the Climate Cult is that such scientific questions do not fit into the propaganda campaign that is underway. Facts and truth are not particularly relevant, whereas I believe it is absolutely vital that output from the climate council et al must be scientifically factual, especially as they are claimed to be such.

    I actually agree with you about the scientific credibility of the denialist argument but that is not where the damage is being done. It is Flannery, with his unthinking public relations programme that is the real problem here. He is making it up as he goes along and it shows. People’s opinions are influenced by the credibility of the person trying to influence them. The “drought is with us indefinitely” statement has done enormous damage to the scientific authenticity of the data because climate mystics aren’t interested in such boring and cerebral themes as the scientific method, testing hypotheses, statistical analysis et al.

    The sceptics would be blown away if the quality of the information from Flannery’s shop and the IPCC was not so politicised and open to influence from non-scientific activists. Let’s face it, people are being asked to radically change their way of life.

    And one can’t help feeling that the underlying reason is that such themes would not support the propaganda campaign. Hence the absence of an “Extreme weather event” histogram.

  • 36
    Pedantic, Balwyn
    Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Well why would we expect anything different from Abbott?

    Our next Prime Minister does not believe in Climate Change, an Australian Republic, equality for women, fairness in taxation, the rights of the disposed or afflicted to seek another country or any other worthy cause.

    Yet we will elect him in September. What does that say about Australia?

  • 37
    Johnfromplanetearth
    Posted Thursday, 31 January 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Pedantic: Climate Change? Alarmists believe we are all going to fry by next Tuesday, it appears by the length of this election campaign our PM doesn’t think so either! After all Australia is a land of droughts and flooding rains, it certainly was 110 years ago anyway. You can forget about a republic anytime soon from either party. As for the chicks and and equality, absolute gender equality isn’t going to happen; we have gender equality now. Even if in a million years, men and women somehow made this unrealistic ideal happen, there will always be a sexual distinction between men and women causing some sort of inequality (if only on the level of basic physical needs). Or should I say women and men, as not to imply a male superiority? Taxation? Surely you jest with the track record of this current Government? There is a proper process to gain admittance to Australia and it should be adhered too at all costs. Whoever gets elected in September is done so by the people and if they make a mistake like they have done in the past two elections then so be it.

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