Too ugly to contemplate

Crikey readers have their say.

Xenophon: Rohan Wenn, senior policy and media adviser to Nick Xenophon, writes: Re. "In naming a priest accused, Xenophon has gone too far" (yesterday, item 11).Two clarifications relating to your recent coverage of the Hepworth matter. It has been misreported by a couple of outlets that John Hepworth asked Nick not to name his alleged attacker. This is not the case.  John did tell the media during the day on Tuesday that his preferred option was for the priest to be stood down pending a proper inquiry and not named.  This was also Nick’s preferred option. But Nick subsequently spoke with John an hour or so before the Senate speech and indicated that the Church’s lawyers had made it clear they would not stand down the priest in question.  With this in mind John said he understood Nick’s decision to name the priest and he understood it was Nick’s decision to make. The second point of clarification relates to John’s age at the time of the initial alleged assault.  The Catholic Church in South Australia has repeatedly stated that John was in his 20s at the time of that alleged assault. However, John has told Nick that the initial alleged assault occurred "on or about the age of 18". The Australian: Peter Lloyd writes: Nick Cater (yesterday, comments) and Bob Brown are right: Australia would be worse off without The Australian. The point is not what it was, but what it is fast becoming: a broadsheet version of the Murdoch tabloids whose utility for the good of the nation is far, far harder to see. Beyond that, there's just Fox News, which positively detracts from American democracy. The Oz editorial team has shown a willingness to flirt with fantasy in a world intellectually polluted by climate change denial, creationism, and broad-scale voodoo economics. It appears The Australian in particular and the Murdoch media in general are keen for Australia to be led by a Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann. And that is simply too ugly to contemplate. Climate change: Tamas Calderwood writes: Re. "Fight against pipeline the new 'normal' in climate change politics" (yesterday, item 13). David Ritter wistfully concedes that the international climate change movement is kaput when he points out that Copenhagen failed and there is no prospect for meaningful action at the next UN climate meeting in Durban. And while David argues that unilateral action will help (like Australia’s proposed planet-frosting tax), his main point is that "specific political battles over industrial pinch-points" -- like stopping airport and power station expansions -- are key. Such battles include celebrities like Darryl Hannah and "intellectuals" like Naomi Klein protesting outside the White House to stop oil pipelines being built.  These "critical engagements", we are told, will "avoid runaway global warming".   However, David does lament that such "acts of civil disobedience [are] the only means left to try to obtain commonsense climate policy". But surely he is too pessimistic.  Think of what has been achieved by all those climate activists in Martin Place gathering signatures; by the multiple climate/sustainability institutes; by the complex financial trading systems for "carbon"; by our heavily subsidised solar and wind farms; by the “awareness campaigns” of countless environmental organisations;  by the vast media campaign that has promoted the "settled science". Somehow, incredibly, we have limited global warming to just 7/100ths of a degree Celsius since 1998 and just 0.7C in the past 150 years. I’m not saying we are saved from our obviously wicked path, but given the temperature data we are surely holding our own in this titanic battle against global warming.

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20 thoughts on “Too ugly to contemplate

  1. stephen martin

    re: Tamas Calderwood on climate change. Even if Tamas is correct and the majority of climate scientists are wrong it seems to me that a gradual change to renewable and alternative energy sources is the way to go.
    Even if the vast tar sands and shale oil deposits become the replacement for convential oil, they will be a very expensive alternative , and of course they will also run out, even if it takes a hundred or more years.
    A gradual replacment starting in the next decade or so will lessen or even obviate the shock to the global economy; and certainly clean air and blue skies are preferable to smoke stacks belching out toxic black smoke.

  2. klewso

    Peter Lloyd – watching the willful way “the Murdoch kids” play with our system of government, as it suits them, is like watching kids pull the wings off flies.

  3. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    The one thing that disappoints me about Tamas Calderwood’s advocacy for a ‘do nothing’ approach to global warming is that he won’t acknowledge that the world’s climate is changing. I don’t mean changing in the way that over the last one thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand or one million years the “climate has been constantly changing”. I mean the way that over the past 100-150 years, as industrialisation has caused atmospheric CO2 to rise and the consequent greenhouse effect has raised global temperature by a degree, sea level by a few millimetres and ocean acidity by a notch, unmistakable changes are taking place in glaciation, in desertification, in weather severity and other measures – in direct response to these changes.
    Tamas seems to suggest that these changes, which may be statistically significant but that doesn’t really matter, can be explained in other ways – although really they don’t need to be explained because they aren’t important.
    So Tamas, if you agree that global temperature has risen by a degree or so in recent times and that there are measurable (negative and threatening) consequences of this change, how should the world community respond? Should we seek to understand the phenomenon and perhaps act to mitigate it or should we basically do nothing except try to find a faith-based explanation and pray for deliverance?

  4. skink

    FFS, this relentless printing of Calderwood’s missives has gone beyond a joke.
    The last time he appeared in Crikey he was well and truly torpedoed by a magnificent ‘Gotcha’ by Matt Saxon, where Calderwood was shown to be relying on the UAH satellite data, unaware that it had been discredited that very week and the editor of the journal responsible for giving it some scientific kudos had resigned. He still seems to want to parrot that bogus regression.

    I had thought that once whatever limited credibility Calderwood still possessed had been blown out of the water we would have heard the last of him, but Crikey still seems to want to act as a hollow vessel amplifying Calderwood’s misinformation.

  5. John

    @Rohan Wenn: the initial alleged assault occurred “on or about the age of 18”.

    Nice attempt to try to turn it into a case of child abuse again but, if John was about 18, Ian was only about 19 years old.
    21 was the age of majority then.
    18 is the age of majority now.
    17 is the age of consent in South Australia.
    Homosexual acts used to be illegal but aren’t any longer.
    DPP’s don’t bring retrospective prosecutions for consensual formerly illegal homosexual acts.

    This is not an act of child abuse.
    It may be an act of sexual abuse but it might also be a consensual act which was regretted by John many years later. Consent might have been ambivalent. Who knows? Where is the evidence of a crime?

  6. Lawyercat

    NO MORE TAMAS! Please Please Please!

  7. Tamas Calderwood

    Skink – Misinformation? So you are saying the UAH data is wrong? Has it warmed by more than 7/100ths of a degree C since 1998? What data set are you using?

    Charlie – 0.7C in 150 years and 7/100th C in the past 14 years is not rapid change.

    For example, 1973 Nobel Physics prize winner Dr. Ivar Giaever recently resigned from the American Physical Society because of his objection to the global warming dogma, saying:

    “The claim… is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”

    Interesting, huh?

    Stephen – perhaps we will change to new energy sources. But there is no global warming crisis, so why waste billions on inefficient wind and solar farms when the technology is so bad and so much cheap energy is available in hydrocarbon form?

    And your comment saying; “clean air and blue skies are preferable to smoke stacks belching out toxic black smoke” is absurd.

    Western societies are vastly cleaner today compared to only 30 years ago. Where is Australia’s ‘toxic black smoke’?

  8. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Tamas, completely irrelevant response. You want to argue about the measurement of temperature change – and then gossip about whether it is “rapid”, a “crisis”, “amazingly stable” or “interesting”. I asked about an acknowledgement that climate was changing and the symptoms of this change, as measured at glaciers, in the oceans and in desertification etc, were in plain view. You seem to be inside your cocoon looking into your calculator while outside there are signs written all over the landscape.

  9. Verio Browning

    I would like to know if Tamas Calderwood has any conflict of interest in his protestations about climate change. Does he, for example, have directorships, shares, pecuniary interests etc that would be directly impacted if the world moved away from a fossil fuel energy source to another, less impacting type?

  10. stephen martin

    @ Tamas Calderwood – And your comment saying; “clean air and blue skies are preferable to smoke stacks belching out toxic black smoke” is absurd.

    Really Tamas there is more to the world than Australia you know. Consider the Brown Cloud over Asia, that is said to have altered the NE monsoon, shifting it to the east. ( Editorial New Scientist last year)

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