A Twitter hoax:

Gerard Henderson writes: Re. Yesterday’s editorial. We all fell about laughing yesterday at my coverage at the top of Crikey.

Anne has told me that Crikey believed that my reflection on “the Scotch Finger question” was all my own work.

As you will now be aware, Crikey was hoaxed — not unlike the fate that befell Keith Windschuttle recently.

For the sake of the record, it would be appreciated if Crikey could indicate today that the “@gerard henderson” site is not mine.

Rather it is one of many such hoax sites on the web.

I don’t twit.

Climate change we can believe in:

Ken Lambert writes: Re. “Lobbyists swarm Washington to fight Obama’s cap-and-trade” (yesterday, item 17). The AGW time bomb is Glicking. Our good doctor has yesterday slandered a swathe of respectable AGW sceptics as tools of Exxon and Big Oil interests. It is interesting that Crikey has twice avoided printing my pieces which offer an Earth temperature chart for the last 12,000 years of the Holocene. This chart is available to anyone on Wikipedia:

The venerable National Geographic Society (NGS) has printed charts going back 400,000 years which are consistent with the Wikipedia chart. The nice thing about the Wikipedia chart is the simultaneous representation of the components from 8 proxies and a running average of all. Helps you get a feel for the speed and variability of the ‘natural’ temperature cycles. The NGS and several sources show that CO2 rises steadily from about 260ppm to 380ppm over the last 8000 years covering many cycles of Earth temperature rise and fall.

It is very hard to find a correlation of steadily rising CO2 and temperature on this short 8000 year time scale, yet the AGW and IPCC theorists are doing so over the last 30 to 40 years when a large chunk of CO2 has been released into the atmosphere. Even if we accept that sensible conclusions can be drawn from the last 30- 40 years (the hockey stick bit), the last 10 years (slightly cooling) is dismissed by Dr Glikson as “weather” — not climate change. Seems to me that when the data does not fit the theory, Dr Glikson sees “weather”, and when it does fit — he trumpets “climate change”.

Dr Glikson still refuses to engage on the crucial point. Show me one climate model, which accurately duplicates the last 8000 years of Earth temperature history, with its five peaks in temperature warmer than the average– and further, please explain the correlation with steadily increasing CO2 over that whole period.

Tamas Calderwood writes: Andrew Glikson sure had a good spray at climate sceptics yesterday. He says the world is likely to warm 5.5C by 2100 and trots out the old “mass extinction, devastating ocean acidification, brutal heat waves, rapidly rising sea levels” apocalypse stories that will occur IF we warm that much — even though we’ve had no warming in the past 10 years, less than 0.4C in the past 30 years and about 0.7C in the past hundred. Guess we’re about to see a pretty rapid upturn in the temperature data.

He also says evaporation and water vapour are just feedback effects — even though water vapour makes up 95% of all greenhouse gasses. His most laughable part is accusing sceptics of “a reluctance to engage in direct public discussions with climate scientists”. This from the side that claims the debate is over, labels sceptics stupid and evil instead of addressing their arguments and receives billions in government funding.

So here’s a thought: Crikey should host a debate on “Is global warming man-made and is it a crisis”? With Glikson on the affirmative team. I am certain you will find highly-qualified speakers for the negative and I want five tickets.

As the “great moral, economic and environmental issue of our time”, what could be a more pressing?

Victoria’s bushfires:

Alan Lander writes: Re. “Foresters seize the moment to set Victoria ablaze. Again” (yesterday, item 5). Sometime soon I had planned to visit Victoria for a nature holiday, but after reading this, as far as I’m concerned the Victorian Government can stuff it. Looks like they’ve started already anyway.

The Wilderness Society (WA) State Coordinator Peter Robertson writes: Congratulations on another excellent piece of fire, forests and prescribed burning — in the face of the opportunistic “fire industry” it is a welcome dose of sanity!

Home and Away:

Moira Smith writes: Re. “Shock! Horror! Home and Away lesbian kiss will make your kids gay!” (Yesterday, item 21). Duncan Fine wrote: “Sober, humourless moral guardians are always ready to warn us that our kids are innocent lambs being led to a pop culture slaughter”. Totally agree. It’s actually the under-12s, in my experience, who insist on telling the off-colour jokes at the family dinner table.

I should also note that, in the (very) old days when I was an aspiring adolescent bisexual, there was no such thing as a “gay kiss” anywhere to be seen on TV, in magazines, or basically anywhere accessible other than the writings of Sappho and Colette … Made me miserable but didn’t stop me in the end.

I am glad to see times have changed.


Crikey lifer Steve Simmonds writes: Re. “Planes flying blind at regional airports” (yesterday, item 4). Normally Ben Sandilands gives his slant on airline safety and gossip and more often than not pretty boring to those not in the industry, but yesterday I was reading his item and he notes [strangely, and without any relevance to the story] that “flying schools which do a good business with students from non-English speaking countries”.

I instantly thought he was inferring that these airports were a training ground for future non-English speaking pilots intending on flying into the Opera House … and thought that this was out of character as he was normally not controversial.

Then I skip forward to item 14 (“Poisoning cyberspace with Arab hatemail“) and Ben devotes a whole article to defending Arab Pilots etc etc … Strange Ben, strange…

Workers on strike:

Stephen Martin writes: Re. Charles Kane (yesterday, comments) who wrote: “Workers are now afforded myriad rights through both exhaustive legislation and also their own employment contracts;” Indeed they do, and in the final analysis the contracts that Mr Kane talks about are finalized by negotiation, with the right to strike during the negotiating period, enshrined in law, as a legitimate negotiating tactic.

Far from being a form of blackmail it is the only weapon that the workers have in the face of intransigence. But I agree strikes outside the negotiating period should not be considered, particularly those that are overtly political.

Cambodia and Vietnam:

Niall Clugston writes: Humphrey Hollins (yesterday, comments) asserts that in Cambodia “ex Khmer Rouge still rule”. This is a well-worn distortion. Yes, footnote soldiers, President Hun Sen was a member of the Khmer Rouge when he was a young man and it was a broad left-wing movement battling American aggression. But when the Khmer Rouge began its rule of terror, he like other cadre became a target and fled for his life.

He returned as part of the Vietnamese forces which stopped the mass murder. Ever since then his government and its Vietnamese backers have been the most consistent and effective opponents of the Khmer Rouge, militarily, diplomatically, and juridically.

James Burke writes: The charming Mark Hardcastle (yesterday, comments), among several tendentious points, accuses me of providing a “rationale” for the “murder of Vietnamese”. I did nothing of the sort. I was providing a rationale for US withdrawal from Southeast Asia — they knew the war was a disaster and had no reason to believe their withdrawal would make things worse. Next time, try reading the text before commenting on it.

The ABC and SBS:

The Age’s Peter Martin writes: Re. “Macquarie’s curious Canadian bedfellows” (yesterday, item 28). Glenn Dyer, I love your work but this one tiny bit of your otherwise fascinating story about Macquarie Communications Infrastructure isn’t right:

The ABC and SBS facilities were originally owned by the ABC and SBS, but were privatised by the Howard Government.”

The ABC and SBS never owned them, much to their chagrin.

I’m pretty sure it was Telstra that had the contract, and before that it was definitely the Post Master General’s Department.

Paper cuts:

Erica Smith from Paper Cuts writes: Re. “The Conrad Black curse strikes again” (Wednesday, item 23). Thanks for including a reference to Paper Cuts in this story, but CNN misreported a number a few weeks ago that is now being repeated. More than 21,000 jobs have been cut at more than 500 (not 67) newspapers throughout the U.S. since January 2008.

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