Morals take back seat when it comes to taking political advantage

Crikey readers have their say.

Peter Slipper: Roger Davenport writes: re. "Huge win for Labor as Slipper takes the chair" (yesterday, item 1). Well what a surprise, the Speaker of the House of Representatives resigns before the Parliament closes for the summer recess. The Collation cries foul play, unprecedented etc, etc, they had not seen it coming, not cricket. Obviously we could not expect them to remember the Mal Coulson deal done under John Howard, which allowed the Coalition to get controversial legislation through the Senate, including the sale of Telstra. Both sides will use any trick in the book to get the upper hand, morals take a back seat when it comes to taking a  political advantage What will our Prime Minister do with this advantage she has won, yes the pokies legislation becomes less of a problem. However, the most pressing issue she needs to resolve is the offshore processing debacle and the stand-off by Tony Abbott put to rest. It will be interesting to see what the Coalition will do when the issue is sent up to the Senate. Flannery v Hadley: Phillip Gray writes: Re. "Ray Hadley v Tim Flannery ... and 'David' the neighbour" (yesterday, item 5). I read with some curiosity Ray Hadley's (who?) view that Crikey is lightweight, and Flannery may be having some sort of "episode". Perhaps he should just realise that he is an unknown in Western Australia -- we have our own on air jockey underraters, who have to keep stirring some poor old possum so that their radio overlords don't give them the big bum's rush. How many people would part with their hard earned to hear what contrived drivel Ray may want to sprout (as against free-to-air redneck ranting)? I am happy to subscribe to hear what Crikey has to say. I am also greatly heartened to hear what Professor Flannery has to say -- he is a most measured and reflective speaker and has the ability to communicate. Western Sydney is not Australia -- it is only a part of a wonderful land that is screaming out for genuine defenders of its environment, people, and true sense of place in a world that is now on a complete knife edge. Libya: Niall Clugston writes: Re. "Flames of revolution in Yemen flicker ever closer" (yesterday, item 15). Not sure why Charles Richardson believes "the early signs from Libya's transition look pretty good". Apparently because of a nominal nomination of an interim cabinet.  Or is it because Saif al-Islam Gaddafi hasn't yet been murdered like his father? (The war band that captured him being better disciplined.) But no, because Richardson, citing Voltaire, believes a cowardly murder and an incompetent cover-up is a "real advantage". If this is "liberation", then I'd prefer a stable dictatorship, particularly if I was part of a religious/ethnic minority, or secular, or female. Margarine: Stilgherrian writes: Re. Michaela Banerji (yesterday, comments) wrote that "to look at the way that margarine is manufactured would make a mother weep, and never buy it again ... happily providing butter to her family instead." I strongly suggest she spend a couple of days on a dairy farm and make a fair comparison. Oddly enough, farming isn't quite as delightful as portrayed in the TV adverts. Baillieu one year on: Henrie Ellis writes: Re. "Baillieu govt one year on: a 'let 'er rip' approach to environment" (yesterday, item 12). Will the real Ted Baillieu please stand up? Far from being the amiable, decent, "compassionate conservative" that his spin doctors portrayed him as in the lead-up to the state election last year; a tactic that no doubt influenced many swinging voters, he has at last been revealed as a captive of the far right of his own party and the hayseed mafia in the National party. He has neither the force of personality to stand up to the likes of Peter Ryan, the Deputy Premier, regarded by many as the "real Premier", nor resist the importuning of environmental vandals allied to his own party. He has handled industrial relations in an amateurish way and wedged himself after giving the Police Association what Ryan wanted. He has trashed any educational credentials he might have had by slashing funding to arguably highly successful programs in literacy/numeracy and vocational training in schools while reneging on teachers' salary promises. All opposition leader Daniel Andrews has to do is portray him as a weak, duplicitous premier beholden to the "top end of town"  and putty in the hands of the doctrinaire special interests that infest the coalition parties. Forget the polls, currently he is looking like a one-term Premier with feet of clay, for sadly despite many new faces in the coalition ranks, his ministry is bereft of talent and potential future ministers on the backbench are scarce on the ground. Ted, the honeymoon is over! China: Iain McCoy writes: Re. "Rundle: Europe's stuck, nothing changes in Italy, and the Pope must die" (yesterday, item 4). Guy Rundle's claim yesterday that: "China's provinces are really 20 separate Greeces, leveraged to f-ck off the books and in imminent danger of collapse." I'm intrigued by this suggestion. Any sources/references? Climategate II: Tamas Calderwood writes: Re. "New Climategate emails reveal life is tough for scientists" (yesterday, item 3). Graham Readfearn claims that Professor Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph has "withstood extreme scrutiny since it was first published in 1999". Interesting, because it was never explained why they used a "trick" to "hide the decline" of the tree ring data when it didn't agree with the instrument data. The three investigations that "cleared" all the scientists never bothered with details like that. They just assumed all the science was correct. How could it possibly be wrong? I understand that this new round of emails will be dismissed by global warmers, just like all the other un-alarming climate facts such as the lack of warming since 1998 and the lame 0.7º warming in the past 150 years. But as the world does nothing while Australia forges ahead with its brave tax, the government's stock will continue to sink because most people are wise to the fact that our carbon tax is a meaningless but expensive con that cannot possibly affect the climate. So as it is so succinctly put in Climategate II email <1682> Wils: "What if climate change appears to be mainly just a multidecadal natural fluctuation?  They'll kill us probably …" Well, I wouldn't go that far …  but there will be hell to pay -- and it won't be because the press were such meanies in reporting these climate shenanigans.

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9 thoughts on “Morals take back seat when it comes to taking political advantage

  1. wayne robinson

    Sigh… Tamas still doesn’t get it. Starting a time sequence in a warm year due to an abnormally strong el Nino event doesn’t mean that there has been no warming since 1998.

  2. Roger Clifton

    @ Tamas. Indeed! And what if climate change turns out to be so savage that the survivors want to kill those who obstructed reform ?

  3. kd

    It’s Tamas incoherent gibberish, and he’s not going to let anyone take it away from him.

  4. T2

    Wo! Tamas…. You don’t even follow the latest research from your own side. Haven’t you read the Berkley analysis?

  5. Tamas Calderwood

    T2 – the Berkeley analysis confirms that global temp has been flat since 1998 and has seen only 0.7c warming since 1860.

    Wayne – read today’s AFR review. The lead article confirms no warming since 1998. How much has it warned since then according to your analysis?

    Roger – still no sign of this ‘savage’ climate change so I’m feeling pretty safe, thanks.

  6. wayne robinson


    Do you mean the opinion piece written by Mark Lawson? If so, it’s not a good piece of work. It reports what English newspapers have reported that Professor Curry of BEST said in a telephone interview, not what she actually said (and she has denied the newspaper reports in her blog). Mark Lawson is also a climate change denialist. He wrote ‘A Guide to Climate Change Lunacy’ put out by the same small publisher that produced Ian Plimer’s ‘Heaven and Earth’ (which I have read, a shocking travesty of bad and inaccurate science (eg ‘the Sun is a pulsar star’, no it isn’t, pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars, and the Sun has an iron core) and George Pell’s book.

    Mark Lawson is as credible as you.

  7. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Tamas, you are a massager. In previous comments to Crikey you have agreed that there has been an infinitesimal temperature increase since 1998. Which adds just a tiny bit to the general and measurable increase over the past century. You even provided a source for your information.
    You are as responsible for your own written opinions as those University of East Bumcrack academics. I agree with KD except it’s not incoherent, it’s just plain gibberish. Tamasgibberish. And the sea level is still rising, acidity is still increasing and, blow me down, there seems to be a coincident rise in atmospheric CO2. Who would have thought that what was so obvious could be so opaque?

  8. Tamas Calderwood

    It’s just that they keep predicting temperature increases of 2, 3, 5 degrees celsius by 2100. Where is the warming Charlie? On present trends the world will be maybe 0.5C-1C warmer by 2100.

    Why is that a crisis?

  9. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Tamas, I never said it was a crisis, you brought that word here. Just now. You go on and on about what “they” said or say, but we have all read all of them, Tamas. There’s wheat and chaff and you read the chaff like tea leaves. Cut to the chase, man. You are predicting (read your own words above) that “On present trends the world will be maybe 0.5C-1C warmer by 2100”. Does that mean something? Should we take this amateur scientific analysis of yours seriously? Or can we scan the whole field and see what the community, including the real and pseudo scientists, believe 0.5C or 1.0C or even 2.0C might mean. You have often told us that it is extremely difficult to predict events 90 or 100 years out so how is your level of confidence for your personal prediction? Oh, you’ve got a crisis of confidence have you? Welcome to the world.

  10. wayne robinson


    You do have a remarkably one dimensional (linear) mind. Have you heard of tipping points? The mechanism that involves positive feedback loops increasing the degree and rate of change. With global warming, one such tipping point is increased melting of ice and snow. As this happens, the Earth’s albedo decreases as less solar energy is reflected and more energy absorbed causing more warming and more melting of ice and snow causing a decrease in the Earth’s albedo causing …

    Another is melting of permafrost releasing methane from buried plant material.

    Another is out gassing of CO2 from the oceans as they warm causing increased warming.

    There are other tipping points.

    It’s extremely silly to think that you can extrapolate a future trend from a short time sequence, particularly when you persistently chose to start from an abnormally warm year.

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