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How do you think about climate change?

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Monday, 25 April 2011 11:57 by Ad astra
Reading two books in parallel recently proved to be an informative exercise. One was Richard Dawkins’ 2009 The Greatest Show on Earth – The Evidence for Evolution, the other Tim Flannery’s 2010 Here on Earth – An Argument for Hope. It was informative because the two books exemplified contrasting ways of viewing and investigating the world in which we live.

Dawkins, arguably the greatest living exponent of Neo-Darwinism, makes out a compelling case for evolution by natural selection. He has arrived at his conclusion through a reductionist process whereby he has ‘drilled down’ to uncover fragments of evidence, mostly fossil, that support his case.

Reductionism is a regularly used approach in science and has yielded spectacular results. Let me give one personal example. One of our sons, a molecular biologist with a PhD in genetics, along with thousands of others around the world, contributed to the Human Genome Project by sending to a database the results of DNA sequencing done in the course of other work. DNA sequencing determines the order of the nucleotide bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine in a molecule of DNA. It requires a reductionist approach, drilling down to the smallest components of the gene. Together, all the contributions resulted in the mapping of the whole human genome, which was announced in 2003. The project identified the twenty to twenty five thousand genes in human DNA and determined the sequences of three billion base pairs that make up human DNA. Reductionism is a vital approach that has brought a myriad of benefits in science and medicine to the whole of mankind.

But is it the most appropriate approach to climate change? Is it enough to drill down into more and more detail, but not look at the broader picture? More of that later when I will explain why I think it is not.

While reductionism yields so much, the opposite, the holistic view, gives a different perspective. Let me give another personal example. Another son with a PhD in limnology, a division of ecology or environmental science, which is the study of inland waters: lakes, ponds, rivers, springs, streams and wetlands, did his thesis on the effect of snags (fallen tree branches) in rivers. It involved on the one hand a reductionist approach that delved into the intricate biology and chemistry of waterways that had snags, yet it also required standing back and looking at the whole picture. Too many snags results in obstruction to water flows, and in heavy rain predisposes to flooding. But removing all the snags results in such profound alterations to the biology of the stream that fish and other life is threatened. So not surprisingly the best solution is not achieved solely by the reductionist approach, but by looking at the big picture too, and to coin a phrase, using ‘controlled snagging’. We saw this applied recently in Bourke where it seemed to be preserving fish life yet not creating flooding. I tell that story to emphasize that we must view these natural phenomena from both angles to find the problems and create the solutions. The same applies to climate change.

Before getting to climate change though, let me give you another illustrative example of reductionist and holistic perspectives from my personal experience in family medicine. In teaching students and residents we were at pains to emphasize the need to take both reductionist and holistic approaches. Sometimes the answer to a patient’s problem is to found ‘down there’ at a cellular, molecular or genetic level, so the doctor needs to able to drill down through laboratory tests and imaging to discover the cause, very occasionally a single one, and from that derive a solution. But the doctor then needs to ‘stand back’ and visualize the condition against the person’s nature and background, the family, work and community setting, the physical environment, and as government is involved in health care, against the prevailing political environment. Only by taking all these factors into account, and by assessing how they will likely interact, can a comprehensive diagnosis be made and suitable therapy fashioned. This is the holistic approach.

To reinforce this combined use of reductionist and holistic approaches, we use an analogy – the zoom lens. Using the telephoto lens fine details can be brought up close to establish a diagnosis, down to a molecular or genetic level. This is the reductionist view. Then the lens need to be zoomed out to normal focal length for the doctor to see the condition in the context of the whole person, then zoomed to wide angle to see the person against the many environments: family, work, community, and so on. This is the holistic view. Sometimes the diagnosis is 'out there' in the environment, in the circumstances of the patient's life. The able doctor uses the zoom lens continually, looking sometimes at the fine detail, sometimes at the broad picture, both necessary for understanding the patient’s condition in all its complexity. The operational model is systems theory.

Now to climate change.

Climate scientists use the reductionist approach to measure global temperatures in the oceans and the atmosphere. They measure atmospheric CO2, ocean acidity, study ocean and atmospheric currents and river flows, take into account El Niño and La Niña patterns, drill out ice cores to measure atmospheric carbon concentrations over the years, measure the change in the behaviour of glaciers and the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps, and they do this all over the globe, again and again. But they know that none of these alone can give the answer to the question ‘is the globe warming’, and ‘how much of this is due to man’. They need to take into account all the data, all the operating factors, and the way in which they interact. They need to look at the scene holistically.

In his book Tim Flannery describes an approach to climate studies developed by James Lovelock, born near London in 1919, the ‘Gaia concept’. Interestingly, Alfred Wallace, a contemporary of Charles Darwin had a similar concept, of which Lovelock probably was unaware. Both saw the atmosphere as the key to understanding life as a whole.

In 1965 an astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California told Lovelock about recently derived data about the atmosphere on Venus and Mars, showing that it was composed principally of CO2. Lovelock realized that this was evidence that they were ‘dead planets’, and that Earth was different because living things had reduced its atmospheric CO2, and replaced it with oxygen. Then with data about the temperature of the Sun three billion years ago, Lovelock developed the image of the Earth as a living organism able to regulate its temperature and chemistry at a comfortable steady state. This he described as the Gaia hypothesis that is now regarded as soundly based and profoundly important to our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth. It embodies a holistic approach.

Lovelock describes Gaia as “a view of Earth…as a self-regulating system made up from the totality of organisms, the surface rocks, the ocean and the atmosphere tightly coupled as an evolving system…the system has a goal – the regulation of surface conditions so as always to be favourable as possible to contemporary life.”

Richard Dawkins disputed the validity of the Gaia hypothesis, which prompted Lovelock to develop a computer model he named ‘Daisyworld’, an attempt to see what would happen on an imaginary planet with a very simple ecology that followed the same orbit around the Sun as the Earth. Several modifications of the model all gave the same result: “…life as a whole (albeit virtual life) regulates conditions to suit itself. That is, until a force so great – such as an asteroid or emission of greenhouse gas – as to overwhelm its control mechanism.”  That is what climate scientists warn us about – excessive emission of greenhouse gas has the potential for overwhelming the Earth’s control mechanism. No wonder they are worried, increasingly so as the emerging data suggests that the worst-case scenario is increasingly more likely than a less severe outcome.

Tim Flannery is an advocate of the holistic approach to understanding climate that the Gaia hypothesis provides. I have no data on how many climate scientists hold the same view, but Flannery asserts that a growing number do. My personal experience in other fields leads me to the view that this holistic approach holds great promise. You would need to read Flannery’s book for more detail. I recommend it wholeheartedly, and acknowledge that several of the quotes in this piece are derived from his book.

I personally believe the evidence of a myriad of climate scientists around the world that the globe is warming and that this is significantly due to the activities of man. I’m sure I don’t have to spell out what these activities are.

But how do we manage those with vested interests to oppose action and the skeptics and deniers?

Regarding vested interests, Flannery points out a deep source of tension: “…the deep interconnectedness central to the Gaia hypothesis presents a profound challenge to our current economic model, for it explains that there are… limits to growth…”. Yet business is wedded to growth.

Regarding the deniers, we know some are ignorant rat bags, but one could not apply that label to one of Tony Abbott’s mentors, Archbishop George Pell, who believes that environmentalists suffer from a new ‘pagan emptiness’, and even compete with religion. In 2008 he said of climate science: “The public generally seem to have embraced even the wilder claims about man-made climate change as if they constituted a new religion. These days, for any public figure to question the basis of what amounts to a green fundamentalist faith is tantamount to heresy.” Is it any wonder that Abbott vacillates and changes his position so wildly, so often?

Abbott associates himself with those who argue that because CO2 is a naturally occurring substance it cannot be harmful, after all it is the bubbles in soda water. The scientific stupidity of such a claim is mindboggling. Let me give just one example to illustrate why it is so stupid. CO2 is a normal component of blood, and a necessary one as it is the chemical that stimulates the respiratory centre at the base of the brain so that we continue to breathe. But too much in the blood (hypercapnia) is poisonous and leads to death. We see this in terminal lung disease. So CO2 is both normal and necessary in correct amounts for normal respiration, yet deadly in excess. The same applies to our planet.

I could go on for pages debunking some of the more stupid assertions about CO2, but the example above will have to do.

More difficult to counter are the deniers with a scientific background such as Adelaide geologist Professor Ian Plimer, and Lord Christopher Monckton. Both are highly plausible, articulate and convincing to those who have no scientific background or knowledge against which to assess the veracity of their claims. They cherry-pick the data that suits their argument, misrepresent it by way of word and graph, and argue from questionable historical data. They do not mention the holistic Gaia hypothesis as it does not support their argument. While the rat bags have nuisance value, these deniers are dangerous as they are able to convince intelligent (but scientifically ignorant) people to their cause. They are well funded by vested interests and travel the world, often at the invitation of denialist shock jocks, spreading their misinformation, and often downright lies, often with no challenge from climate scientists, who are not welcome at their performances.

To return to Flannery’s discussion of the Gaia hypothesis, he concludes by pointing to the new science of sociobiology that seeks to explain the social behaviour of animals through evolutionary theory. Its founder, Oxford University’s Bill Hamilton, has come as close as anyone to bridging the gulf between Richard Dawkins’ Neo-Darwinism and the Gaia hypothesis, wedding the reductionist and holistic approach to evolution.

This is not the place to discuss the most appropriate ways of combating excess CO2 in the atmosphere that is leading us towards dangerous global warming. That is for another piece.

But I trust I have explained clearly the reductionist and the holistic approach to scientific problems by reference to my own experience and that of family members, and that you are ready to consider the value of both, and the importance of using them together. I hope too you are willing to consider how these approaches might be useful in the study of climate change, and the folly of limiting consideration to just one of the multiple factors that affect climate, such as the stupid argument that because CO2 is natural, it cannot be harmful.

I trust you have found this interesting and informative.

How do you think about climate change?

Comments (230) -

April 25. 2011 01:45 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Hi AA,
Great article, very clearly explained.

Yes, another way to put it is, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”.

Approaches to the opposition to explaining global warming as human-caused are not homogenous either.  Some, as you point out, have a vested interest in denialism.  For instance, there are those who have a financial stake in the status quo, eg owners, shareholders, employees involved directly in the fossil fuel industries, or indirectly as shills.

Also, some people have a particular personality trait (anti-elitism, perhaps) that automatically makes them suspicious of, or even antagonistic towards, anything an “expert” says.  Possibly they didn’t do well, or under-achieved, at school and resent those who did and who went on to make something of themselves professionally.

Another hot-bed of opposition comes from particular religious types.  Adherents of the latter are very suspicious, to say the least, of the “Gaia Hypothesis” (GH), on the grounds that it is, to them, a neo-pantheism.  They ascribe GH’s roots to the Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) which, in their eyes, are pagan and, ipso facto, inferior to Western, “true”, religion.

There are probably a few more sources, but the main point I make is that the human-caused climate change denialist/sceptic phenomenon is heterogeneous and a multifarious approach is required to combat it.

Thanks again for a great article.  Enjoy the rest of ANZAC Day and Easter Week.  AC.

Acerbic Conehead

April 25. 2011 02:04 PM

Feral Skeleton

You know it makes sense, I know it makes sense, however the fantasists who come out of the increasingly powerful, and already quite powerful in the US, Religious Right, prefer to expend their energy concocting a view based upon the foundation of their beliefs.
   Thus we have, the not so openly-articulated thesis that, even if there is Global Warming, God will sort it out to enable the survival of the human species and those animals that he thinks should be saved, akin to the Noah's Ark hypothesis which saw God choose who would get a place on the Ark to continue life on Earth after the 40 days and 40 nights of rain. Silly, simplistic nonsense but the sort of stuff that otherwise intelligent people waste their lives finding the 'evidence' to support. Like Cardinal Pell, whom you quote above.
  Science, as you know, has never been able to completely successfully argue against such blind faith, for they will never believe us, and will continue to try and make us believe them. Especially directing their energies to the gullible and poorly educated in scientific analysis.
  Also, I note that you correctly refer to the fact that the Climate Change Deniers and Sceptics in the media never allow an open contestable debate between the parties on their programs. Media Watch proved that conclusively. Alan Jones and Ray Hadley only ever have Ian Plimer, Christopher Monckton and Prof Bob Barker, I think it is, on their programs. I don't know if Prof Tim Flannery has ever been on there, but if he has it is only to be shouted down by them. There has definitely never been an open debate between one side and the other, that's for sure. Unlike in the Climate Change Commission meetings being held now around the country, where Climate Change Sceptics and crankpots are free to come and put forward their cockamamie point of view.
   We cede too much ground to these prevaricators in the name of a 'balanced debate'. Pity they will always be unwilling to concede the veracity of our arguments, based as they are, upon facts and evidence, and not just some pie in the sky imaginings.

Feral Skeleton

April 25. 2011 03:54 PM

Rx

Not that Malcolm Turnbull warrants much credence, but one observation he made which I believe is pertinent here is about the age of climate change deniers. They're overwhelmingly elderly.

Old, self-centred, narrow-minded, zealous about holding to a mode of thinking - these are the steretoypical traits of the denier / caller to TripleK talkback.

Rx

April 25. 2011 04:24 PM

Feral Skeleton

Rx,
   'TripleKTalkback' Love it! The ALP should cheekily drop that one into the conversation as much as possible. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 25. 2011 04:32 PM

thenewjj

FS,

'Proof? Put up or shut up, jj.'- Go watch the Qanda with Rudd again...that is my proof.

'a Double Dissolution is not just a trip to the Candy Shop for a fresh bag of lollies.'- well according to Gillard, Rudd and co it was, "the greatest moral and economic challenge of our time.", so dont you think that that would be worth a DD? No of course not, the times have changed and so that was all just hyperbole.

What do you mean by Coalition talking points? What, because some of what i say concurs with what some on the conservative side of politics argue? Well if that is the case than isnt this whole blog an ALP megaphone, made up of ALP members who buy and regurgitate Labor spin.

'And I suppose the Conservatives never had an 'Expenditure Review Committee'?'- well of course they bloody did, but the Howard government's cabinet discussions took precedent. Under Rudd (exposed by the AFR) Kitchen Cabinet made all of the decisions, with cabinet just acting as a rubber stamp. You cannot deny this, as this was one of the promises Gillard made to her party after taking the leadership, to bring back cabinet.

'Proof, jj? Post 2010 election, that is.'- what do you mean post 2010? So what, it's alright if she lied to the electorate before the election? Did she have an Epiphany or something after the election that justifies her new found drive for an ETS? This woman doesnt know what she stands for...that is the problem.

'He has said it's 'absolute crap', and that 'Climate Changes'.'- Talking of liars and ALP talking points. How about you quote the whole sentence of Tony Abbott's on climate change. oh no, but wait, then it wouldnt be useful to deceitful people like you. Abbott never said that but the Labor party use it anyway. Gillard however on camera and on radio said repeatedly, "There will be no carbon tax under a government i lead" and then after the election announced that exact policy. If you dont think that, that is a lie than you must have some big rocks clunking around in your head.

You are a liar and an ALP megaphone, nothing more FS. it is due to the attitudes of people like you that your party is slowly going down the gurgle.

TT,

Who is to say that you are not a Troll? I come to this blog and comment to make sure that much of the stuff your comrades type is not left uncontested. It is a shame that people take this blog seriously. if they didnt, i wouldn't bother.

thenewjj

April 25. 2011 04:40 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Thankyou Ad for yet another brilliant post, "How Do You Think About Climate Change", how do you fit writing into your already busy life? I sure am glad you do. You write such balanced, honest, well thoughtout pieces.  Well we, on "The Political Sword" are very appreciative of you, and for providing and maintaining TPS.


CO2 is a naturally occurring substance it cannot be harmful, after all it is the bubbles in soda water.

You know Ad, the Liberal Mp's turned up at Parliament with cans of coke, to make a point, how embarrassingly stupid,and incredibly narrow minded.

There is an amazing amount of information on the web about Climate Change, for and against. Far too much for me to read it all.  But  I did enjoy,  one recent article by Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo, "How can we borrow from our Grandchildren":-


there’s no getting around the fact that at a global scale climate change mitigation involves us making a (small and completely manageable) sacrifice for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

larvatusprodeo.net/.../

lyn

April 25. 2011 05:54 PM

Ad astra reply

AC
Thank you for your comments and kind remarks.  Your point about the Gaia Hypothesis is well taken; indeed there may be some who feel that it is aligned to closely with pantheism and religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, which some Christians may regard as ‘pagan’.  

Your point about some being suspicious of experts is also germane.  The problem that scientists have is well described by Karl Popper. For Popper, a theory is scientific only if it is refutable by a conceivable event. Every genuine test of a scientific theory, then, is logically an attempt to refute or to falsify it, and one genuine counter-instance falsifies the whole theory.  (Wikipedia)  According to Popper a theory can be tested and falsified, but never logically verified.  Climate scientists can never absolutely ‘prove’ that the globe is warming and that it is due to human activity.  They have to work on probabilities, as do all scientists.  Collectively, they say that there is over a 90% probability that this is so. The question then arises as to whether those odds warrant taking action to reverse the 90% probability that human activity is warming the planet.  Since those who are mature and advanced in life may feel that they are not under immediate threat, what of their children and their children’s children?  What will we be leaving them?  Do we back the red hot favourite that the globe is warming at a dangerous rate and do something about it, or do we back the rank outsider and take that chance that, to use oft-repeated words, that ‘climate change is crap’ and take no action?

I did have a good Anzac Day.  Among other things, Collingwood won.

FS
Thank you too for your thoughtful comments. Your ‘ark’ analogy has a ring of authenticity.  Those who believe that God made the world in seven days less that 6000 years ago may well believe that God has things in hand, notwithstanding man’s efforts to render the world he made uninhabitable.  

You are right, for many ‘blind faith’ wins hands down over scientific evidence, especially when scientists cannot deliver the absolute proof that they require and insist upon.  Blind faith needs no proof.

Your last comment about skeptics’ idea of a balanced debate being the matching of a denier or a skeptic with a scientist is salient.  If there is to be a scientific argument, based on facts, figures and reasoning, BOTH sides must play by the same rules of logical debate.  It is not balance when one side cherry picks the evidence that suits their case, while the other plays it straight.

Rx
That is a pertinent observation that many of the deniers are elderly.  The old and bold will be dead before they can know they are wrong.

Ad astra reply

April 25. 2011 05:55 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for always generous remarks.  I did not know that Opposition members had brought in cans of Coke to demonstrate the harmlessness of CO2.  That is incredible!

Thank you for the link to LP.  You are right, it is our grandchildren and their offspring that should govern our behaviour on climate change.  But it seems that some are not prepared to make any sacrifice for the sake of future generations.  Self-centeredness in the here and now prevails; too bad about the kids.

Ad astra reply

April 25. 2011 07:21 PM

Feral Skeleton

jj,
   Your 'Proof'= the self-serving words of Kevin Rudd trying to rewrite history to suit his agenda? Don't make me laugh.
Under Rudd (exposed by the AFR) Kitchen Cabinet made all of the decisions, with cabinet just acting as a rubber stamp. You cannot deny this, as this was one of the promises Gillard made to her party after taking the leadership, to bring back cabinet.
   Which=Gillard good, Rudd=bad, which is entirely the opposite position to that you were trying to get us to fall for in the previous blog, a feeble fight you have continued in this blog, in the best tradition of a snivelling little blog troll. Not one word about the subject of this blog, just your lame little, strangely coincidental 'opinions' which just happen to agree with Coalition Talking Points, which just happen to agree, strangely and coincidentally, with the tripe spewed out by the tabloid hacks and the slimy Shock Jocks. jj, can you honestly believe that you have an independant thought in your body?
  Oh, and jj, I will not only quote the 'whole sentence' where Tony Abbott described Anthropogenic Climate Change as 'absolute crap', I'll give you a first hand report of the whole event where the Weathervane changed his opinion yet again about Climate Change(it's in The Australian, so you'll have to agree as to its veracity, won't you?):
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frgczf-1225809567009

  'Gillard however on camera and on radio said repeatedly, "There will be no carbon tax under a government i lead" and then after the election announced that exact policy. If you dont think that, that is a lie than you must have some big rocks clunking around in your head.'
   No, I don't 'have rocks in my head', jj, just the courage to tell it like it is. It is you that is the craven liar, jj, as you continually fail to acknowledge any context around what the PM said wrt the Carbon Tax. As I have exhaustively explained to you previously, and which you have ignored, the PM has always said that her preferred approach to dealing with Climate Change policy was via an ETS, not a carbon Tax. Now, after the return of a hung parliament she had to change her position. You seem to think that's a hanging offence but have no problem with Tony Abbott being, one day, Malcolm Turnbull's biggest supporter for an ETS, as the article above quotes, then the next day junking it and calling it 'absolute crap'.
  Now, jj, I don't care if you want to keep coming back here and trolling until you are blue in the face, or, as you put it, 'comment to make sure that much of the stuff your comrades type is not left uncontested.', even while, at one and the same time you resent your own contributions being challenged, considering them virtually holy writ. Just know that, if I think you are being a twerp, making unsubstantiated accusations, I'll challenge you relentlessly to 'put up, or shut up'. And if your abuse becomes worse, you will be prevented from commenting here, as we like to maintain an air of basic civility. Something that the Conservatives and their fanboys and girls have forgotten the meaning of.

Feral Skeleton

April 25. 2011 07:23 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Congratulations Ad.  Your brilliant article is featured on "Blogotariat", I think it's fantastic for TPS. It was fantastic we had Acerbic Conehead's article posted there as well.

How do you think about climate change?
The Political Sword - April 25, 2011 - 11:57am
Reading two books in parallel recently proved to be an informative exercise. One was Richard Dawkins’ 2009 The Greatest Show on Earth – The Evidence for Evolution, the other Tim Flannery’s 2010 Here on Earth – An Argument for Hope. It was informative because the two books exemplified contrasting ways of viewing and investigating the world in which we live.
Dawkins, arguably the greatest living exponent of Neo-Darwinism, makes out a compelling case for evolution by natural selection. He has arrived at his conclusion through a reductionist process whereby he has ‘drilled down’ to uncover fragments of evidence, mostly fossil, that support his case.


http://www.blogotariat.com/

lyn

April 25. 2011 08:34 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for drawing attention to Blogotariat's featuring of How do you think about climate change.  That is quite a compliment!

Ad astra reply

April 25. 2011 11:57 PM

TalkTurkey

Ad astra
You are a constant source of information and of inspiration, and especially, astonishment. Thank you for all you do for the world. Your blood is worth bottling, as we used to say before HIV. Maybe one of your brilliant offspring could clone your DNA instead.  

Folks, I have been going back over the Sword posts during the Period of Uncertainty and Resolution last year. What a record this site is! It is truly a phenomenon, and especially given the tumult of those times, well worth a browse back. I would like to see a huge room all wall-papered with all the posts printed out!  

TalkTurkey

April 26. 2011 12:12 AM

Rx

Talk Turkey,

Yes TPS has always been a great read. There are some top-shelf writers here, and the overall tone is civil and conducive, with one or two exceptions who display perturbation at being comprehensively shown to be in error/deceit.

I couldn't get onto the site for a while there; the browser kept returning error messages. I'm glad that little problem seems to have resolved itself!

Rx

April 26. 2011 07:18 AM

lyn

Hi Talk Turkey

That's a nice comment you put up for Ad Astra, what a great idea a room wallpapered with TPS posts. Not really much use anyone telling me about our Ad Astra, my gratitude and admiration is set in concrete.
Talk Turkey, I left a welcome back comment for you, when you came back from Mildura, you didn't say,  I am  hoping you read it.

Cheers

lyn

April 26. 2011 07:27 AM

lyn




TODAY'S LINKS

Killing Boredom as Your KPI, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
With television increasingly dominated by the Outrage Business and shamelessly exploitative and cheap 'reality' shows,
http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/

Lest we forget - Anzac Day's not for politics, The Conscience Vote
taking advantage of a national day to push your bigotry, and you have mainstream media falling over itself to give you a
platform to tell everyone that you didn’t mean
consciencevote.wordpress.com/.../

The coming tsunami, Ray Evans, Quadrant Online
As the polls continue to show that Labor is heading into the dust-bin of history, so the hysteria behind the bring-back
Malcolm campaign will increase.
www.quadrant.org.au/.../tsunamu-politics

Ad campaigns are the last resort of failed lobbyists, DragOnista's Blog
Lobbyists have a legitimate part to play in a vibrant democracy such as ours. This would be better
accepted if the media made a greater effort to understand it.
dragonistasblog.com/.../

Swan's $15.5bn in hidden savings , George Megalogenis, The Australian
risking another wall of noise from a relentlessly negative opposition, and powerful vested interests
that are now used to shouting down the government.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frgd0x-1226044210326

The War On Science - Update, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices
Last Tuesday Simon Sheikh for the GetUp! team sent out an email which stated in part that this
organisation had; Put the shock jocks on notice with formal complaints about their misinformation.
northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/.../...e-update.html

Carbon Capers, John Izzard, Quandrant Online
Take companies, like steel and cement manufacturers, that can’t change their production methods — these companies wil
l be forced to either buy off-shore carbon credits, shift off-shore themselves or shut down.
www.quadrant.org.au/.../carbon-capers

$70b Future Fund at risk from climate change policies. Matthew Murphy, SMH
A spokesman for the Future Fund disputed that climate change risks were not discussed within the fund and at the highest levels
www.smh.com.au/.../...policies-20110424-1dswf.html

BP spill document dump: 30,000 FOI docs made public, Rooted, Crikey
After the tragic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, Greenpeace submitted over 50 Freedom of Information
requests to US government agencies. The results are finally spilling in, with over 30,000 emails,
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#more-2444

Grattan Institute Report Analyses 300 Climate Action Programs, Greg, CASES Climate Action – Sydney Eastern Suburbs
The evidence shows that what reduces emissions most effectively and cheaply is the creation of a market.
www.cases.org.au/.../

Understanding Climate Denial: Motivated Reasoning, Chris Mooney's Blog
Rather, climate denial seems closely linked to conservative and libertarian politics—the sense that the free market simply couldn’t have made such a mess of things; and the deep distrust of large scale government solutions that involve intervening in the economy
www.desmogblog.com/understanding-climate-denial-continued-motivated-reasoning

The "why" of carbon pricing, Alex White.
Scroll page down half way:
The media have already decided that the only way to report the carbon price story is through the prism of
conflict and criticism with the Government. The media lost interest in climate change and its devestating effects in 2009.
alexwhite.org/2011/04/the-why-of-carbon-pricing/

People won't even notice' CO2 costs, Deborah Nesbitt, Carbon Central
Australian households will change their behaviour to reduce energy-related GHG emissions once a carbon price
is introduced. But it won’t happen fast or cost nearly as much as people believe.
sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/.../

Massive Martian Dry-Ice Deposit may explain how Planet Used to Have Watery Surface, Discover Magazine
“If you double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, it’s quite possible that you could have liquid water,” planetary scientist Philip James of the Space Science Institute in Boulder
blogs.discovermagazine.com/.../


READING

Q125160 / QX62618, Neil Cook, The Bannerman
He lost his youth in New Guinea, in Papua, in New Britain. He turned 21 and didn’t realise the date had been and gone until he received a letter from home. His physical health was irreparably damaged by repeated bouts of dysentry, dengue fever and malaria. His mental health destroyed by the fear and anxiety
www.waddayano.org/.../q125160_qx62618.php#more

A manifesto for the simple scribe – my 25 commandments for journalists, Tim Radford, Guardian UK
25. Writers have a responsibility, not just in law. So aim for the truth. If that's elusive, and it often is, at least aim for fairness,
www.guardian.co.uk/.../manifesto-simple-scribe-commandments-journalists

lyn

April 26. 2011 08:02 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I was wondering what had happened to you! I thought you had already returned from Mildura but obviously you mustn't have, until just now.
  My, you are a dedicated follower of TPS' fashionable musings, going back over the old stock for another look. I, personally might find myself embarassed to re-read some of the things I have come out with, back in the day, however, if it pleases you then it can't have been too lame. Though I imagine you would have been concentrating on Ad Astra's work, and having a LOL at AcerbicC.'s rollicking good-naturedly humurous posts. Mine, I think, would come across as a little bit ranty. Sigh.

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 08:06 AM

thenewjj

FS,

Yes because you are so very civil to those that disagree with you! But that is the Labor Party way, when the debate gets tough, shut it down and revert to name calling.

You dont seem to say anything FS that hasnt already passed the lips of Labor ministers either. You are just one of a whole bunch of Labor mouth pieces that make up this I LOVE LABOR website.

To defend Gillard over the ETS is just ridiculous, but it just shows how brain washed you have become by Labor Party spin. Here are the facts again:

1. Gillard supported Rudd's claim that climate change is, "the greatest moral challenge of our time" and advocated this viewpoint in the political arena.

2. When Abbott took over and his campaign started to frighten those inside the ALP Swan and Gillard advised Rudd that he ought to DUMP (not delay) the ETS. You say that this is just self serving Rudd at his best (this is a man you supported as PM...LOL)however, if Rudd is lying than Gillard and Swan should come out and correct the record. Cabinet confidentiality is just a crap excuse as Gillard has shown herself. In the last election when a story was leaked that stated Gillard didnt want an increase in the pension in cabinet, she came out and contested the statement and corrected the record.

3. Gillard said on June 25: “I believe that if we are to have a price on carbon and do all the things necessary for our economy and our society to adjust, we need a deep and lasting community consensus about that. We don’t have it now.”

"Julia Gillard will today pledge to set up a Citizens' Assembly to spend 12 months examining the evidence on climate change, the case for action and the consequences of putting a price on emissions."..."If I am wrong, and that group of Australians is not persuaded of the case for change, then that should be a clear warning bell that our community has not been persuaded as deeply as required about the need for transformational change." (quoted from www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-fn5z3z83-1225895819673)

According to the latest Neilson poll the support in the Australian community for a carbon price is continuing to decline...not what i would call consensus building. However our PM is going ahead with a carbon tax.

4. "There will be no carbon tax under the government i lead"
Gillard took the cash for clunkers scheme and the citizens assembly to the election, with a promise to build up popular opinion on the issue of a carbon price before endeavoring to implement a price (2012-2013 were the dates mentioned by Gillard and co for a review of whether it is time to move).

5. Gillard announces a carbon tax after she wins the election.

Says that what she has announced does not make her a liar because her tax isnt really a tax.

Polls go bad so she goes on QANDA and says, ok it is a tax, but the greens made me do it.

Gillard dumps the two key climate change policies she took to the election (two which you supported and yet we didnt hear boo when she dumped them).

Gillard's tax turns out to be a hell of a lot like what was put together by Rudd (the guy she stabbed in the back due to this exact policy) and once again opinion polls show support degrading rather than forming into a consensus.

So in summary:

-said yes to CPRS and yes to Kevin.
-said no to CPRS and yes to Kevin.
-said no to CPRS and no to Kevin.
-said yes to consensus and no to ETS until consensus is reached
-said no to carbon tax but yes to citizens assembly.
-election
-said yes to greens over carbon tax.
-dumped two key policies that were to achieve consensus.
-announced ETS and carbon tax without forming consensus.
-it is not a tax.
-it is a tax.
-it was our tough decision in the national interest.
-it is the greens that made us do it.
-it is the same as the CPRS just more unpopular, has an even worse salesman, and has burned one PM and it looks like it is to burn two.

thenewjj

April 26. 2011 08:10 AM

Mobius Ecko

Thanks for this great piece, very thought provoking and mind expanding in how to look at things.

Mobius Ecko

April 26. 2011 08:24 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 08:32 AM

Acerbic Conehead

Hi Lyn,
Thanks for that information yesterday about the Liberal politicians bringing Coke cans into parliament to illustrate how benign carbon dioxide is.

Here’s one of them extolling the virtues of the carbonated concoctions; after all, he was reared on them and they obviously didn’t do him any harm!  He’s singing a version of The Rolling Stones classic, “Jumping Jack Flash”
www.youtube.com/watch
:- )
I was born in a CO2 hurricane
Since then, howled at the moon, suckin’ on a Coke can
And it's all right now, in fact, only a gas!
And it's all right
A CO2 bash
Its a gas! gas! gas!
:- )
I was raised on a diet of bubbly drink
Sent to school with a lunch like a carbon sink
And it's all right now, in fact, only a gas!
And it's all right
A CO2 bash
Its a gas! gas! gas!
:- )
As a kid, I was washed in a tub of 7Up
Never cleaned my ears, too busy havin’ a sup
I frowned at the thought of drinkin’ from a cup
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I was crowned as the king of the mighty burps
And it's all right now, in fact, only a gas!
And it's all right
A CO2 bash
Its a gas! gas! gas!
:- )
CO2 bash, it's a gas
CO2 bash, it's a gas
CO2 bash, it's a gas
CO2 bash, it's a gas
CO2 bash...

Acerbic Conehead

April 26. 2011 08:51 AM

Feral Skeleton

jj,
    You can continue to misconstrue every breath the Prime Minister has taken and put your own self-serving spin on it until you are Liberal blue in the face, however, until you take the mote out of your own eye about the man who has had more positions than the Kama Sutra wrt Climate Change policy, and while you continue to ignore the evidence I provide to you to shoot down your puerile assertions to the contrary about Tony Abbott, then I will just ignore you.
  I tried to reason with you but all you care about is being an ignorant irritant.

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 08:57 AM

Ad astra reply

TT
Thank you for your most kind remarks.  The time and effort of creating posts on TPS is more than rewarded by such comments as yours.  With Feral Skeleton writing such challenging and insightful pieces and Acerbic Conehead delighting us regularly with his incisive and humorous satire, the site offers a variety of styles and content.  It is a great compliment that you have gone back over previous posts and have found them of interest.  I do that occasionally when the subject of a new post is related to a previous one.  An example occurred recently over the renewed NBN debate, where the earlier post remained as relevant as when it was posted.  In other instances time has rendered earlier posts less relevant and sometimes less prescient.  I guess that is the nature of our style of amateur journalism, maybe of journalism generally, notably when one ventures a prediction.  Anyway, it’s very satisfying, all the more so when comments such as yours are offered.

My offspring are an inspiration to me; their experiences are a valuable source of information and ideas.

Rx
Thank you too for your complimentary remarks.  You are right, almost all the comments here are polite and not confrontational.  Moreover, they contribute hugely to the excellence of the debate.  I am consistently delighted by their high quality.  They add so much to TPS and, along with Lyn’s superb links’ service, are the reason why we continue to enjoy such a large patronage from regular visitors and commentors.

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 09:38 AM

Ad astra reply

Möbius Ecko
Thank you for your complimentary remarks.  I'm glad you enjoyed the climate change piece.

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 09:52 AM

Ad astra reply

AC
You have a genius for finding just the right track for your clever verse.  Bringing cans of Coke into parliament to demonstrate conclusively the harmlessness of CO2 must be the lamest, the most infantile stunt, but most of all the most convincing exhibition of ignorance and stupidity we have seen from the Opposition for some time.

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 09:59 AM

Notus

My hope is that overpaid journalists in the main stream media actually read articles like this and compare it with the rubbish they produce.

Notus

April 26. 2011 10:10 AM

thenewjj

FS,

You and your comrades are nothing more than Labor apologists. You buy and resell Gillard and co's spin on a daily basis. You are denialists of another form, of a Labor party in terminal decline; a decline seen in the sort of absurd and silly comments posted by ALP members on this site; attacking anyone that disagrees, defending the indefensible. You and your party have stooped to a new and pathetic low, led by the red queen.

thenewjj

April 26. 2011 10:13 AM

lyn

Hi Ad

I went to find something written about the cans of Coke,
here is one blog:

www.socialist-alliance.org/page.php?page=1102

Two days before a March 23 rally against the government’s proposed carbon price took place in Canberra, Liberal MP Dennis Jensen told reporters gathered outside parliament house why he opposed the policy.

He opened a can of coke and poured it in a glass. “All of those little bubbles there, it’s the same stuff that you breathe out,” he said. “This government has managed to actually tax the air that we breathe.”

the Liberal party are carrying out a deliberate political strategy to distort the debate on climate change.

lyn

April 26. 2011 10:16 AM

lyn

Hi Notus

I really hope so too.

Thankyou so much for commenting on TPS, a big welcome to you.
We all hope you come back again.

Cheers

lyn

April 26. 2011 10:36 AM

Ad astra reply

Notus
Welcome to the TPS family, and thank you for your complimentary remark.  Do come again.

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 11:44 AM

NormanK

Ad astra
Thanks for such a thought-provoking article. There is much that I was not aware of and it does the brain good to entertain new concepts.
It will probably do my credibility no good but one of the angles from which I approach the climate change question involves confirmation bias.
It has taken us many decades, perhaps even centuries to finally realise that rivers are not infinitely self-replenishing and that dumping our garbage into them causes changes in the delicate balances. So too our oceans which must once have seemed so vast that nothing could conceivably affect them - we could fish them to our heart's content and fill them with our refuse with no discernible consequences. We've woken up to the fallacy of that world-view and now it is the turn of our atmosphere.
Again, standing in our backyard it would seem that the sky is infinite and incorruptible. The view from space gives the lie to this idea and many of the comments from astronauts who have been moved by looking back at Earth should help inform our concept of a very small speck of life spinning in the vastness of space. They all speak of how beautiful it is but at the same time remark on its fragility. The planet is a tiny bubble of life, protected by an incredibly thin layer of atmosphere, floating in a hostile universe which would not for one moment hesitate to reduce it to the bland lifeless deserts which our neighbours have become.
The confirmation bias I have succumbed to is such that if a seriously high percentage of climate scientists attested that the globe is cooling due to the extra particles of pollution we have been pumping into the atmosphere for centuries partially blocking the sun, I would entertain the idea. One need only stand on the streets of downtown Tokyo (for example) to know that all is not well with the air that we breathe due to motor vehicle exhausts. Multiply this by several million, steadily reduce the forests which might otherwise mitigate the effects of these gases and factor in the rapid accumulation of gases at toxic levels in the atmosphere and it's pretty clear that something will have to give.
Simplistic I know but it is somewhat in keeping with your zoom lens analogy - taking a close-up view of a single lung-full of foul air on a city street and zooming out to imagine it on a global scale. It would seem that some of the deniers are incapable of accepting that the atmosphere is a closed system and most definitely finite. We can no more justify polluting it than we can any longer condone dirty rivers and corrupted oceans.
Non-scientists such as myself must rely on experts to inform us but even on the most basic of levels it can do no harm for us to desist from altering the planet's delicate balance in such an off-hand manner. Even if the science ultimately proves to be somewhat incorrect, what harm is there in changing our carbon practices provided it doesn't unduly compromise our standard of living? Even there, I would be much more harsh than many others but the living generations are unwilling to concede they have an obligation to future generations and so we must stick to doing what we can and quietly apologise to our great-grandchildren and their offspring for not doing more, sooner.
Moving from a fossil fuel based economy to something more sustainable has no downside provided the economics are handled sympathetically therefore 9 to 1 odds that global warming is occurring looks like a pretty good bet to me.
Incidentally, those who believe that the planet itself will adapt to accommodate the changes might be in for a rude shock since the most practical adaption would be to eliminate the root cause - mankind.

NormanK

April 26. 2011 11:50 AM

Jason

thenewjj,
        Another day another rant! so
I went outside and saw that once again you were wrong the sky hadn't fallen in! So now we attack the likes of you! only because you are ignorant. You know nothing about the ALP and you know nothing about politics except for the tired old lines you run,you try to convince us just because a poll says something you will be in government the next day!And now it's but she said there would no carbon tax at the last election so there must be an election now! toughen up princess Howard got away with core and non core for years, did you want him to rush back to the polls?
Also just because some in cabinet or the caucus don't agree with something that means nothing, once the decission is made it's supported by all! so really another non arguement by you yet again and just highlights your ignorance.
You deserve all you get! there is no reasoning with you,a rational debate on the facts is beyond you! all we hear from you is what ever radio 2GB tells you.
Also if AA wants a blog where we "leftists" come to, who do you think you are to say otherwise? or demand that we change our opinions because it doesn't concur with your warped view of the world? Start your own blog, and as everything is so easy why don't you nominate to run against Windsor at the next election? in fact why don't you just become a member of the human race? your petty school yard take on all things political say more about you than it does about us.  

Jason

April 26. 2011 12:03 PM

thenewjj

Jason,

This government will go down in history as being one of the most incompetent. You and your mob, i know, will continue to stick your heads in the sand; but the polls, the political pundits, ex-Labor MP's and advisers are all saying that Gillard and the Labor Party are off in the wilderness, screaming and running from political shadows. You may want to support a PM and party that behaves in this way, but the real world does not.

All i am trying to convince you of is common sense. I have seen many mentions of your blogs name on other blogs around the place and almost all talk about you being a site for leftist rants. If you want to be taken seriously with your vendettas against News Limited, the ABC, the Coalition, Coalition voters, anti green groups, Channel Nine, Channel Seven, Channel Ten, Andrew Bold, Akerman, Chris Uhlman, Leigh Sales, Laurie Oakes and everyone else in society than at least post a major piece that gives a balanced point of view. I am yet to read a piece that is dedicated to criticising the Labor Party, or that shows some indication of support for a Coalition proposal.

You are a bunch of one eyed hypocrites feeding off one anothers hatred for everything.

thenewjj

April 26. 2011 12:09 PM

thenewjj

On the piece in question,

I dont know who to believe on the issue of climate change, but i believe it is to the benefit of us all if e live a more sustainable lifestyle. We should act, yes, as an insurance policy. However it is ridiculous that Australia should implement a tax on carbon emitting industries before our major trading partners have done so. It will cause industries to lose in the battle to stay ahead of their trade competitors because they will have another extra cost on top of the many other costs industry is struggling with at the moment (labour cost increases, a high AUD, high electricity costs etc). It is due to these reasons that i believe an incentive based policy (as proposed by the Coalition) would be better for the economy as well as for the environment.

thenewjj

April 26. 2011 12:17 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for the link to the story of the Coke-can-toting Dennis Jensen at the ‘Revolting People Rally’ demonstrating that the CO2 in Coke is harmless.  

On 19 March Andrew Bolt wrote about Coke in a similar infantile vein in How much will a can of Coke cost if Gillard taxes carbon dioxide? blogs.news.com.au/.../

What these people either don’t understand, or choose to be deceitful about, is that in biological systems, for healthy sustenance and growth naturally occurring chemicals need to be present in the right quantities, usually within a narrow range.  Too much or too little can be harmful.  It’s a biological principle as old as biology, but seemingly not part of the understanding of some Opposition members and deniers/skeptics.  

In this piece I gave an example of the toxic effect of too much CO2 in the blood – hypercapnia.  There is also a state of hypocapnia where there is too little CO2 in the blood, which occurs in a condition that every adult knows about – hyperventilation.  The rapid breathing in this anxiety-induced condition ‘blows off’ CO2 from the lungs and the blood, and as the CO2 level in the blood falls the patient experiences lightheadedness, dizziness, faintness, sweating, agitation and eventually tingling of the extremities and spasm in the feet and hands that is frightening to the extent that the person may have a feeling of impending death.  Anyone who has experienced this knows how terrifying it is, all caused by TOO LITTLE CO2 in the blood.  The management is reassurance and re-breathing from a paper bag until the CO2 levels in the blood are normal again, whereupon the symptoms disappear.  It is one of the few ‘magic’ treatments in medicine that takes but a few minutes to complete.

The point of this story is simply to reinforce the biological principle that too much of a naturally occurring chemical, or too little, can be harmful, whereas the ‘right’ amount is essential for life.  The same principle applies to atmospheric CO2.  Why this has not penetrated the minds of some politicians is a mystery, unless of course they do know this and are just being disingenuous.

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 12:30 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
What a thoughtful contribution you have made to this debate.  Your ‘view from space’ extends the zoom lens analogy by putting our tiny planet into perspective, and your examples of the pollution of oceans, rivers and the atmosphere highlight the perils of threatening the finite resources upon which all living things depend.  You correctly point out: “ It would seem that some of the deniers are incapable of accepting that the atmosphere is a closed system and most definitely finite. We can no more justify polluting it than we can any longer condone dirty rivers and corrupted oceans.

I agree with your conclusion: “ Moving from a fossil fuel based economy to something more sustainable has no downside provided the economics are handled sympathetically therefore 9 to 1 odds that global warming is occurring looks like a pretty good bet to me. Incidentally, those who believe that the planet itself will adapt to accommodate the changes might be in for a rude shock since the most practical adaption would be to eliminate the root cause - mankind.

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 12:40 PM

D Mick Weir

Eureka,
I have finally 'got it'

The solution to Global Warming was right before my eyes and I refused to see it.

Swordsfolk,
to save the planet Drink more Coke

D Mick Weir

April 26. 2011 12:44 PM

Ad astra reply

thenewjj
It is pleasing that we can agree on the need for action on climate change.

Unsurprisingly, you prefer the Coalition’s approach, but as it has been able to attract the support of virtually no economists, my preference is for the solution proposed by economist Ross Garnaut who has been studying this subject for many years; namely an ETS, but in the current circumstances preceding it with a temporary carbon tax.  I hope you won’t insult Professor Garnaut by labeling him a Labor stooge, as several Opposition members have chosen to do.  He is a fiercely independent thinker who is quite capable of deriding the Government, which he did regarding compensation to the polluters in the old CPRS.

This piece was not intended to canvass the solutions. Maybe that will be dealt with later.

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 12:49 PM

Ad astra reply

D Mick Weir
Are you sure?  Every Coke drinker I have seen seems capable of ear-splitting belches, and every time they belch, MORE CO2 goes into the atmosphere! OMG.  Perhaps we should therefore Drink Less Coke and leave that wretched CO2 in the can!

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 01:22 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Jeez, Tony Abbott is an A Grade Narcissist. I've just seen the footage he has had cause for the media to tape and transmit around the country today of him on Christmas Island doing his pre-jog stretching exercises with his legs akimbo! Also we got footage of him doing sit-ups. Howard in his tracksuit walking interminably around the streets of Woolwich and the world was bad enough, but Abbott encouraging the lens to pan up his jacksie is just a 'Fit and Able-bodied' piece of political imagery too far. Ew!

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 01:27 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Ad,
but, but umm, errr, ummm but isn't that the message from Australias' Greatest Saviour, umm whatsisname, you know, Tony Abbott isn't it?

D Mick Weir

April 26. 2011 01:29 PM

Feral Skeleton

jj,
   Until you are able to offer reasonable criticism of an obviously imperfect Opposition as much as you do the Labor Party, you will not be taken seriously. Whether it sends you into conniptions and froth-mouthed rants against the rest of us or not. You are so seriously one-eyed for it not to even be funny. You criticise us for something you yourself are guilty of.
If you want an honest appraisal of the Coalition from someone who is definitely not in any way connected to the ALP then you should take the time to read the Andrew Elder blog. He is at least honest about the Liberal Party and the National Party, as well as the ALP, and he does not just parrot lines from 2GB, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph, or SkyNews, as you do. You could learn a lot from him. Like how to still support the Coalition without looking like a dill.

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 01:41 PM

D Mick Weir

One of the small pleasures I take as I potter around this wide brown is listening to Radio National. A diversity of people and ideas and all sorts of thought provoking stuff. And some great music too.

One program I like is Bush Telegraph. Recently the had a couple of segments on communicating with farmers about climate.

This one is right up my alley:
Rigby winning over climate sceptics - www.abc.net.au/.../3186073.htm (link to audio of the show)

Using cartoons to explain weather and simplify the langauge used to communicate with rural communities about climate change. Have a listen.

Climate Dogs is an initiative of the Victorian Dept of Primary Industry
www.new.dpi.vic.gov.au/.../climatedogs

and speaking of music I really enjoyed listening to some new tracks by Gurrumul Yunupingu on Bush Telegraph and some other RN programs.
Gurrumul Yunupingu is, imho, a National Treasure.

D Mick Weir

April 26. 2011 02:06 PM

Feral Skeleton

DMW,
    That Yunupingu mob sure has strong music genes in 'em bodies. Smile
  I must say, I have enjoyed listening to Indigenous bands since I first went to a gig by No Fixed Address at a pub in Cremorne. I had records by The Warrumpi Band and Yothu Yindi. I find that they are able to produce music with an entrancingly mesmeric quality to it. As does Gurrumul Yunupingu.
  My late husband's cousin was a teacher in Alice Springs for decades and eventually went on to be Education Minister in Clare Martin's ALP government in the Northern Territory.

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 02:37 PM

Ad astra reply

D Mick Weir
Thank you for the links.  I particularly enjoyed viewing the animated ‘climate dogs’.  Visitors here may enjoy that too.  Although it is produced by the Victorian Department of Primary Industry, and therefore focuses on weather and climate in Victoria, the animation also gives an overview of the rest of Australia.  Each clip takes less than two minutes to play.

It is just this sort of animated messaging that could bring understanding about climate change to the electorate in a brief easily assimilable form.  Federal Labor should take note.

To view it go to: www.new.dpi.vic.gov.au/.../understanding-weather-and-climate

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 02:38 PM

Jason

DMW,
   I lived in Nhulunbuy for 20 some years and had Mandawuy Yunupingu as a school teacher!
Went to school and played sport with most of them.

Jason

April 26. 2011 02:41 PM

TalkTurkey

Rx FS Aa and especially Lyn, thanks for your welcomings, and not just to me, your TT, but from all welcomers to so many sincere friends on TPS. It is a touching thing to feel missed. I did indeed read your post back a few days Lyn, I know you know how pleasurable it is when someone fluffles one's feathers kindly. Thanks and sorry for not replying, catching up with others atm.

Poor old sameoldjj, I would really like to be able to surround it with wellwishers from TPS and pat it and stroke it and soothe it and say It's all all right jj we are your friends, until like a Sturt Pea seed that has had its hard seed coat soaked in hot water, so that loving life force can penetrate and awaken the germ of common humanity that must somewhere lie dormant within, and help to nurture the tender shoot emerging into the unfamiliarity of light and warmth and water and growth, and bloom beautifully at last instead of remaining all crabbed and smelly like a pre-revolutionary Chinese gentlewoman's bound foot, and though I think it might be a lost cause because I guess sameoldjj can't by now conceive of genuine goodwill no matter what the evidence might be, I am actually completely sincere. Longish sentence that, but not as long as jj's self-imposed sentence thank Dog. But whether jj likes it or not we are mostly genuine socialistic goodwillians here, funny how that makes some people more livid that spitting on them would! And that's true! I bet jj'll hate this, (and if so it'll deserve to feel horrible) but I'd much rather it were able to feel comfort and joy from joining our commonality, and perhaps realize that our shared humanism has nothing to do with the blind gagaism of Happy Clappers nor the blind fury of Fascists but the very ordinary decent sensible moderate caring sort-of-proud-to-be-humble goodwilled beings that we are. It's not rocket science. But brains and hearts meet here, it's good and it's powerful.

Maybe that's why sameold hates us so. That crabbed embryo feels safe within its hard husk and only feels threatened by real life breaking in on it. I keep thinking there's little bits of humanity detectable there though, and hoping.

Oh and.

3-word slogans?

STOP THE CO2!
              - won't work, everybody knows that the more CO2 there is the cheaper Coke'll be . . .

SAVE THE OZONE!
                - won't work, everybody's sick to death of talking about bloody ozone and the sky's still there right?

But maybe

     SAVE THE OXYGEN!!!

            might get some traction . . ? . .

Most people think oxygen is pretty good stuff to have around . . .  the more CO2 the less O2, somebody argue with that?

TalkTurkey

April 26. 2011 04:29 PM

lyn


Hi Hillbilly

Your comment April 26. 2011 01:22 PM

Jeez, Tony Abbott is an A Grade Narcissist. I've just seen the footage he has had cause for the media to tape and transmit around the country today of him on Christmas Island doing his pre-jog stretching exercises with his legs akimbo! Also we got footage of him doing sit-ups. Howard in his tracksuit walking interminably around the streets of Woolwich and the world was bad enough, but Abbott encouraging the lens to pan up his jacksie is just a 'Fit and Able-bodied' piece of political imagery too far. Ew!


Hillbilly that footage was on ABC 24 after the press conference with Chris Bowen about The Asylum Seekers living on the roof.
  Honestly, just tell me what was that all about? so after Chris Bowen's conference, then the camera's switch to Abbott half naked, lifting weights, imagery too far as you said. Actually I was horrified, I said obscene, obscene, the amazement was, Abbott wasn't asked to talk, whoever the Journalist is, he is just as bad as Abbott and ABC24 should be ashamed of themselves. Revolting stuff yuck!, my eyes are sore.  

lyn

April 26. 2011 04:45 PM

Jason

AA,
  The Shadow minister for climate inaction has penned this http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/167224.html on the drum!
IT would seem to the untrained eye he would rather talk about statements made in the press from various ministers and to add insult he has the hide to call it "the facts about carbon tax"
AA should you find a "fact" could you please point it out?

Jason

April 26. 2011 05:16 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jason,
      Greg Hunt made a Faustian pact with Tony Abbott when he agreed to stay as his Shadow Climate Change Minister. His credibility has all been downhill from there.

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 05:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

lyn,
    'Honestly, just tell me what was that all about?'
    Exactly. It's taking the Spartan political imagery just a wee bit too far for mine.
   Actually, I do know the answer, but you'll have to wait for my next blog to find out! Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 05:27 PM

sawdustmick

thenewjj

i believe an incentive based policy (as proposed by the Coalition) would be better for the economy as well as for the environment.

Thank Christ finally a rusted on Liberalite that can explain to us poor dumb rusted on Laborites just how Tuggers DAP works over to you jj,I'm listening.

PS Please do not bombard me with Tugger planting trees and walking around with a bottle of grow plus and a watering can, that part of the plan I understand.

sawdustmick

April 26. 2011 05:37 PM

NormanK

Lyn
Thanks for today's links, in particular A manifesto for the simple scribe – my 25 commandments for journalists. A very worthwhile read for all us wannabe scribes and with less moralising than I expected.
I confess that The coming tsunami, Ray Evans, Quadrant Online came as a bit of a surprise - you're just making sure that we are paying attention, aren't you? Well written, interesting reading even if I don't necessarily share the site's views.
Cheers, Lyn. Smile

DMW
Thanks for the Weather Dogs - entertaining and educational, just what this pre-schooler needs.

NormanK

April 26. 2011 06:08 PM

lyn

Hi NormanK

I'm so glad you enjoyed the 25  commandments for journalists, as I did too.  Yes The "coming tsunami, Ray Evans, Quadrant Online"  was a good read, and no I don't agree with him either, but I like this para:

the university educated commentariat that Labor is the party of progress, reform and enlightenment, and that the Liberals represent the forces of reaction and darkness. This weltanschauung permeates the writing coming out of the Canberra Press Gallery, and it infects not only the ALP but also the Liberals,  

Hate this para:

now beginning to grasp the size of the tsunami which is coming towards them.

Norman K,  the column is well written, and it is interesting to read how some, apparently educated people see the future.

Cheers, I love seeing the rose on our page.

lyn

April 26. 2011 06:14 PM

thenewjj

FS,

I am more than happy to point out what i dislike about the Coalition:

1. I believe that Malcolm Turnbull would make a better PM than Abbott.

2. the Coalition has been too negative, however, they seem to be making some changes to their image with recent policy announcements.

3. not a big fan of Pyne.

4. I believe Andrew Robb would do a better job of shadow and eventually treasurer than Hockey ( Hockey is a bit of a light weight).

5. Sophie Mirabella is a pain.

Now come on FS who and what dont you like about the ALP?

thenewjj

April 26. 2011 06:40 PM

Miglo

I think it's all this daylight saving that has contributed to global warming. Smile

Miglo

April 26. 2011 06:51 PM

thenewjj

Ad Astra,

Just because an economist (or group) says that one particular way is the best, does not necessarily mean that, that is the right way to go. Economists seem to be quite terrible at looking at the human side of their figures and digits, and that is the problem with the ALP's plan. People need electricity and people need jobs to pay for their electricity. Without nuclear and without our mining and industrial (high emitting) industries, many people in Australia will have neither.

thenewjj

April 26. 2011 07:39 PM

D Mick Weir

jj @ April 26. 2011 06:51 PM
have I missed something again?

You appear to be saying that if a Carbon Tax is intoduced that within days if not hours electricity generators will close down, mining will stop and well maybe also the sky will fall in.

It is a bit too crazy to even suggest anything like that so I must be misreading you.

D Mick Weir

April 26. 2011 08:31 PM

John

Hi, All
Excellent article, AA.

In a former life I was a school teacher - Chemistry & Physics.

WRT climate change, I have (previously) taught using peer-reviewed information, using original data eg from NASA. I tried to include ethical considerations.

Some comments:

* Climate change has both natural and anthropogenic components.
* CO2, per se, is not 'evil'
* CO2 is one contributor to global warming, and seems to not have the greatest impact for each %increase in atmospheric composition. (I think methane has a greater effect for each % increase)
* However, CO2 is a gas over which we humans, individually & collectively, can have the greatest control.
* politicians will be reactive, rather than responsive, because they all have an agenda (to get elected/re-elected) and are more responsive to polling than to social & environmental concerns. In that vein, Tony Abbott reportedly told the Independent MP's he would 'do anything' to gain their support for him as PM - it shows a willingness to abandon principles in the pursuit of political power.
* there are certainly 'vested interests' funding some of the more prominent deniers. Big $ talks, as we saw with the campaigns from the tobacco industry, the big mining companies, the alcohol & gambling industries.
* the concept of a smaller carbon footprint is at odds with the hedonistic lifestyle advertisers promote, but is entirely consistent with ethics and at least some religions.
* taxes, while a blunt instrument, can change people's behaviour, but a carbon tax, if introduced, should be used only in the short to medium terms.
* a properly constructed ETS, with legislative controls to prevent abuse, will be a better long-term option, as world leaders are slowly dragged to some consensus. (I am reminded of the initial resistance, but eventual agreement reached, to stop the use of CFC's (chloro-fluoro-carbons) as aerosol propellents.)

Enough for now.

John
Smile

John

April 26. 2011 08:46 PM

Feral Skeleton

jj,
   First to your analysis of the deficiencies of the Liberal Party.
1. Malcolm Turnbull WOULD make a better PM than Tony Abbott. Which isn't saying much. He would not make a better PM than Julia Gillard. You think she's a liar, what about Turnbull's knowledge of, and complicity in, encouraging the relationship with a Treasury mole, Godwin Grech? Turnbull lied to the Australian people about his dealings with Grech and did not admit to them, until proof was provided, of the clandestine meetings he had with Eric Abetz and Godwin Grech in his wife's office in Sydney. That's a real lie, jj. I could never trust that man to tell me the truth ever again.
2. Yes, it's true that the Coalition are destructive rather than constructive. However the recent change in their behaviour you have detected is as a result of focus group feedback similar to what you have enunciated and so they are trying to be more positive in order to hoodwink people. As far as I can see it's not a genuinely-held behaviour change. Of course, I'll always keep a watching brief on them, and you never know, the Coalition Leopard may change it's spots.
3. Pyne is indeed a prissy pain in the neck. Smile
4. Andrew Robb didn't prevent the pre-election $11 Billion Black Hole from opening up, along with Hockey. So it's my opinion that Turnbull would probably be the best Shadow Treasurer. He at least knows what he is talking about. He could probably keep Abbott's flights of fancy in check too.
5. Sophie Mirabella is a pain...in the bupkiss. Everyone agrees about that!
   Now, as for my own similarly negative assessment of the ALP. Well, my next blog has one, and I have previously written a blog about the 3 Labor Stooges-Arbib, Dastyari and Bitar. I actively worked to get rid of Belinda Neal from federal parliament and have made many negative comments about her and her husband. Also, from time to time in comments I make negative assessments of moves that various Labor governments make.  Anything more specific than that you'll just have to watch this space. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 08:48 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi John,
great comment, good insights, thanks.

... a properly constructed ETS, with legislative controls to prevent abuse, will be a better long-term option, as world leaders are slowly dragged to some consensus.

You tap into my misgivings re an ETS. I am vary wary and even sceptical about a 'Trading System' to reduce pollution in whatever form. I keep 'seeing' Wall Street types manipulating the prices in a Trading System so that they, the money people profit, and the well-being of the planet and its' ordinary people are the losers.

I, for one, cannot work out yet whether our ETS will be 'properly constructed'.

D Mick Weir

April 26. 2011 09:03 PM

Feral Skeleton

  A Global Warming tale for the ages, the New Dark Ages:
www.alternet.org/.../texas_gop_fights_catastrophic_wildfires_with_prayer_and_global_warming_denial

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 09:13 PM

2353

One of the nice things about this blog is that there are few direct personal comments about other posters.

I'm happy we can all agree climate change is a real problem - now will those who seem to have a direct line to LNP or George Pell's HQ please tell their colleagues to pull their heads out of their fundamental orifice and do something about it.  While the CPRS (or whatever it's called) may not be perfect in Version 1, at least some action will give Australia some creditability and lead to refinements that will remedy the "jerry built" aspects of the first efforts.

Slightly off topic but I was happy to read (not in the mainstream media of course) that the CSIRO has demonstrated that the Home Insulation Scheme DID NOT dramatically contribute to house fires in Australia.  The net result apparently is a lot more Australian's keeping warm this winter with reduced energy consumption - SWEET!  On top of the BER scheme that apparently failed in spite of a better than 95% approval rating from those involved, there is a great gulf between the reality and the medias reporting of same.

2353

April 26. 2011 09:22 PM

Feral Skeleton

2353,
      'Just the Facts Ma'm'. That's our motto.
Although I admit jj sorely tempts me sometimes to reduce the level of civility as it were. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 26. 2011 09:29 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
You’ve been busy commenting while I was wielding the brush-cutter for a few hours.  It’s very satisfying to clear away the grass from fence lines and trees.  I wish I could clear away silly political ideas as easily.  Making a quiche for dinner was equally satisfying.

TT
Your analysis of thenewjj is apt.  The power is in your concluding sentence: “But brains and hearts meet here, it's good and it's powerful.”  If only all who come here would realize that.

Your description Lyn of Tony Abbott and his weight lifting exhibition makes me glad I was working the brush cutter – it must have been an dire image of our would-be PM.

I have to admire your perseverance Jason– I got half way through Greg Hunt’s piece on The Drum and gave up.  I find him one of the Coalition’s most annoying irritants, like a persistent mosquito. His photo suggests he should still be in high school, and what he says confirms that.

sawdustmick
We will breathlessly await thenewjj’s exposition on what to do about climate change.   Don’t worry DMW, all will be revealed!

NormanK
I agree that was a commendable piece on writing by Tim Radford. I have filed it for reference.  If only we all would write what people want to read.


MIglo
You’ve got, I think you’ve got it.


thenewjj
I have little regard for the opinion of many economists as they so often seem to be at variance with each other, but I do respect Garnaut’s.  By your logic, would a plan be better if no economists thought it was any good?  If so, the Coalition plan is a winner.

john
Thank you for a lucid statement about what we might do about climate change.  A well-designed ETS is what Julia Gillard wants, as does Greg Combet, and as did Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong.  The price on carbon is an interim measure to be phased out as the ETS takes shape. We are all looking eagerly for the details.

FS
It’s good to see that Texas governor Rick Perry has the answer to aberrant climate conditions – prayer.

2353
Thank you for your comments.  We’re all awaiting the answer from the Coalition about how to deal effectively with global warming.

I agree that it was satisfying to see the CSIRO comments about the HIP, and Possum’s analysis that showed that house fires per 100,000 ceilings insulated were reduced by two thirds after the HIP began.  The BER too was a great success.  But don’t expect any congratulations from the MSM.

Folks
Brush-cutting is tiring work – I’m off to bed.

Ad astra reply

April 26. 2011 10:50 PM

NormanK

Miglo
That's why Queensland is such a progressive state. The cows are more contented, the curtains don't fade, the lawn doesn't need mowing as often and we are looking after the planet. If only more states were as forward-thinking and radically adventurous as us - what a wonderful world it would be.

NormanK

April 27. 2011 01:57 AM

Patricia WA

Norman K, sorry to interrupt your bucolic dreaming......Tomorrow we can think constructively again.

This evening, FS and Lyn, this is for you!  

Australian Idol – Not!

We women do not like it
When Abbott comes on tele,
Showing off that he’s so fit.
The sight of his flat belly
Simply makes us want to spit.

Prancing on the beach all bare,
Does not impress one little bit.
We shrink from all that body hair
And budgie smugglers whose tight fit
Tells the world how little’s there.

Not that he needs a large tool kit,
Or one at all,  to be PM.
For that he'll always be unfit.
He only knows how to condemn;
Tear things down, turn everything to shit!

Patricia WA

April 27. 2011 07:41 AM

lyn

Patricia WA

Thankyou, brilliant, well done Patricia.  Congratulations. I wish we had a placard somewhere to parade your verse around, anyway the best parade is TPS.

I would like to add my thoughts to some of your words,  but don't dare, I couldn't stand to mar my reputation or upset my  dignity.

lyn

April 27. 2011 07:45 AM

lyn

TODAY'S LINKS


What I Think I Know About Journalism, Jay Rosen, Press Think
To feel informed, we also need background knowledge, a framework into which the relevant facts can be put. Or, as I put it in 2008, “There are some stories—and
pressthink.org/.../

Should Australia stop building its NBN? Paul Budde, BuddeBlog
opposing the project (mostly based on strong political libertarian convictions) an unlimited opportunity
– they will use any change, any correction, any discussion to declare that this is evidence
http://www.buddeblog.com.au/

Niall Ferguson as anti-Keynesian schlock jock, Nicholas Gruen, Club Troppo
The thing that took the cake for me was Ferguson falling for the right’s talking point that the mining tax showed a kind of Hugo Chavez kind of instinctive punishment of success.  
http://clubtroppo.com.au/

WikiLeaks releases top secret US intelligence about Hicks and Habib,Independent Australia
David Hicks and his treatment at Guantanamo Bay, and afterwards by the Australian Government, which you
can access by clicking here.
www.independentaustralia.net/.../

Thousands to be stuck in NBN 'limbo', Geoff Thompson, ABC
'Dave' says Telstra's attitude slowly changed when he enlisted the help of his local MP and contacted the
office of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.Eventually Telstra rolled out copper to all the new premises in his housing estate.
www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/26/3200127.htm

Tim Flannery and Michael Kirby to sell NBN,Maars. net
the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy is looking to recruit about a dozen “NBN champions”
who would be conscripted to publicly spruik the benefits of the Gillard government’s $36bn wholesale fibre network,
news.maars.net/.../

Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category, Australian Politics TV.
australianpoliticstv.org/category/daily-fix/

READING

Miracles, heroes and fairytale weddings, Mungo Maccallum, ABC
Kate Middleton is a pretty, talented and apparently sane young woman, yet she is prepared to become
a member of the most scrutinised and dysfunctional family in the world,
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/167238.html

Guantánamo Bay , Gary Sauer Thompson, Public opinion
This is not a concern for conservatives because their political agenda is one of rights curtailment; a systematic attack on human liberties; a displacement of peace by war
www.sauer-thompson.com/.../guantanamo-bay.php#more

lyn

April 27. 2011 07:48 AM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA
Lovely pome!  After reading Lyn’s description of Tony Abbott’s Christmas Island performance I was wondering what Lateline would show of him.  Fortunately all we saw was him punching someone’s gloved hand, a metaphor for his approach to politics, and doing some abs exercises before he made a comment about detention centres.  Why the preliminaries were considered newsworthy only the ABC would know.  Maybe he insisted on them to enhance his ‘Australian idol action man’ image and convince us all that he is fit for high office.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 07:59 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 08:25 AM

thenewjj

Weir,

If the electricity companies do not get the same or better levels of compensation under the carbon tax than yes that may be the case. Once the tax is implemented their asset price of the infrastructure they hold will instantly drop. These companies have debts (sometimes large) and so there could be a situation where they have to default and shut down operations, owing more than what they own. The Greens are calling for no compensation for such industries and so this is a possibility...no power.

Many jobs could also be lost in the medium and short term as trade exposed industries (that are not necessarily high emitters) have to deal with higher input costs. These are both export and domestic industries that employ millions of people, whom a majority would ironically be Labor voters. To pass on these costs to consumers would cause sales to drop and therefore profits, as overseas producers do not have to deal with such an impost. So, many companies will have to start job cuts as to remain competitive.

I am not saying that the sky will fall in, what i am saying is just basic economics. This is a globalised world. An extra impost on Australian industry that is not imposed overseas will cause pain to our industries, and create greater opportunities for our overseas competitors.

thenewjj

April 27. 2011 09:42 AM

Feral Skeleton

  And about time too:
www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-fn3hskur-1226045214521

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 09:45 AM

Feral Skeleton

PatriciaWA,
           I'm disappointed you couldn't fit 'legs akimbo' into your pome. Smile
   Otherwise, a sterling effort! It's simply, as AA says, all about the 'I'm fit for office' meme, and the narcissistic posings of an exercise-junkie poseur.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 10:05 AM

D Mick Weir

Good Morning jj,
thankyou for your deference by addressing by surname. You may be a little young to recall or know that the proper form would be to address by surname then first initial as was done in the morning roll call at school.

Henceforth would you please do me the courtesy of addressing me as Weir D.

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 10:06 AM

Feral Skeleton

jj,
   The electricity companies are looking for a way to go forward with new plant investments. They would prefer to build Natural Gas-fired Power Plants, and the government is more than keen to subsidise this, 'moving forward'. However, if no Carbon Price is legislated, then the Electricity Generators will, by default, opt for the cheapest source of energy input, which is Coal.
   On the other side of the equation, many new start-up Power Generators are coming into the market, and doing deals with Chinese investors, to get up and running large-scale Renewable Energy power generating projects. Also, Base Load electricity supply can be guaranteed in the future from the Geothermal industry, once it gets up and running. Your espoused favourite source of electricity for the future, Nuclear, will actually, in a roundabout way, be the source of the heat to power the Geothermal generators, as they will have their wells dug in the granite belt of SA where the Uranium deposits are naturally generating underground heat enough to power turbines above ground. That is why we need to build the electricity grid that Bob Katter is so keen on. As for Nuclear itself, well, you often ask me how I disagree with the Labor Party, and this is one issue that I think they should change their policy on. However, whilst I advocate for a Nuclear Power Industry in Australia, and have even had a motion passed to that effect at my local ALP meeting, I have instead analysed the issue and come to the conclusion that Australia should just keep selling its Uranium to the rest of the world, and instead go down the path of 'Clean' Nuclear by investing in the construction of Thorium-powered Stage IV Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactors. Far safer wrt accidents, and much shorter half-life for the by-products.
  As far as job losses goes. Well jobs are lost every day. Businesses make the best decisions, as they see it to keep their particular industry a going concern, but at the end of the day, the economy is not preserved in aspic, and hard-nosed decisions need to be made to 'adapt or die'. That is the writing on the wall as I see it for some industries in Australia. I mean, look at what's happening to the Clothing and Footwear industries since tariff walls came down. Would you have preferred to have kept paying high prices for these so as to keep these workers in jobs while the rest of the world was getting cheap stuff and providing for the employment of many 3rd World citizens, not only in China but in India and Bangladesh too. Australia adapted to these changes, obviously, as our Unemployment level shows, and we are an innovative people, and we will do it again, and be ahead of the curve developing high value-added product, or, we can be left in the New dark Ages and be simply the world's quarry where most of the profit goes overseas, if Tony Abbott gets his way and hoodwinks the electorate.
   Anyway, the government has stated repeatedly that the Steelmaking industry and other trade-exposed industries will be looked after. Even though I think they shouldd be allowed to die a natural death in certain circumstances as far as exporting goes because we simply can't compete with the behemoths, especially wrt Steel-making, in China and India. Aluminium is a different case. Cement and steel should only be produced for the domestic market IMHO.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 10:08 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I seek your opinion.  

I listen to ABC radio exclusively and watch ABC TV plus Ten News and SBS News.  Over the last week or so, while PM Gillard has been overseas, I have perceived a less combative approach by journalists covering her tour.  I cannot recall instances of her being assailed with questions about local issues as she and her predecessor regularly were on overseas trips.  The questions have been relevant and courteously put.

On Lateline last night Mark Simkin’s report was balanced www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3200821.htm as was Stephen McDonell’s interview by Ali Moore www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3200823.htm  Both gave the PM credit.

This morning on AM Sabra Lane, who is travelling with the PM, reported favourably on her trip http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2011/s3200951.htm and I noticed that Naomi Woodley’s interview of Tony Abbott, who today will visit Whyalla to spruik opposition to the carbon tax, contained several quite penetrating questions, some of which Abbott brushed aside with his usual Abbott-speak: ‘I don’t think you can trust the Government’ [to do what it says].   Of course the interview may have been different if the acerbic Lyndal Curtis was doing it.

Then on ABC Melbourne radio this morning Sally Warhaft interviewed John Garnaut, SMH China correspondent and he gave the PM a good wrap.

And on the commercial TV that I have seen she has had good coverage and no brickbats that I have observed.

It feels strange that she has had such good coverage; I expected the usual media malevolence.  Have I seen a distorted sample of the coverage?  Have you seen less favourable treatment?  

Unless there are instances to the contrary, the question is: “Has there been a change of approach by the ABC towards better balance?”  I certainly hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.

What do you think?

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 10:16 AM

lyn

Hi Feral

Notice your name, I decided It's about time I used the correct name, in view of the fact, that one of our commenters recently suffered some confusion.  Slow learner here.

Feral thankyou for the link to the Courier Mail, sure is about time, and look at the boost to the budget. This is going to be a WOW! factor you know, the Liberals will go ballistic, just wait and see.  660,000 trusts amazing.

Budget to target high earners' family trust tax schemes , Michael Harvey, Courier Mail

We've definitely got these sorts of rorts in our sights, especially given they are being exploited predominantly by high-income earners and we know a lot of people are doing it tough at the low and middle end of the income range," a source said last night.

The nation's 660,000-odd family trusts are not taxed themselves, but individuals receiving money from trusts are taxed at their marginal rate. Taxation Office figures highlight the popular practice of placing assets such as investment properties and shares into family trusts and distributing "non-work" income to children.

Exploitation of the loophole dramatically cuts tax liabilities of thousands of rich individuals effectively delivering a form of income-splitting not available to regular taxpayers.


www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-fn3hskur-1226045214521

lyn

April 27. 2011 10:39 AM

lyn

Hi Ad

I agree with all of your comment, but did you see Melissa Clark's report on ABC 24 this morning.  Well she is very infatuated with Mr Abbott's action man persona, she provided a very descriptive comparison to the Prime Minister's formal, sombre, appearances.

A very juvenile report, and I though most annoying, honestly here is our Prime Minister representing Australia, extremely important meetings, there we have a little twerp reporting the action man difference.  I would love to hear what Mr Denmore would have to say about Melissa Clarke, probably OMG.

Ad after that report by Melissa, I will tell you, I love my digital TV but it is in danger of destruction especially if ABC24 doesn't improve their act, at least put their hired staff through a decent criteria when they apply for positions.
One wonders if their resumes have been copied from the internet.

lyn

April 27. 2011 10:45 AM

D Mick Weir

FS,
thanks for your answering of jj and his/her dubious assumptions.

I must admit to being a bit miffed that jj was unable to use 'correct' protocol and address me as Weir D.

Being that it is a week of right royal celebration I will draw on my (distant) British Heritage and maintain a stiff upper lip in the face of such impertinence

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 10:56 AM

lyn

Hi Ad

Just look at this report, God please bless our Country.

Get an eye full of the photo, no sorry Ad, don't look it will hurt your eyes. Now I've got a headache because I looked and read.

Abbott a hero on troubled Christmas Island,Paige Taylor , The Australian.


TONY Abbott was greeted like a pop star on his first visit to the Labor stronghold of Christmas Island.

.Mr Abbott drank shots with fly-in, fly-out workers, played pool with the navy and got a loud cheer when he told a blonde perched at the bar that she was "better looking than Julia".

Before dawn yesterday morning, Mr Abbott was exercising with the Australian Federal Police's elite organisational response group, which was flown in last month to respond to riots at the detention centre.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6nf-1226045245809

lyn

April 27. 2011 10:57 AM

Jason

FS,
  Last week we had Paul Howes braying at the moon telling Labor he would drop "his unions support" for the government should one of his members jobs is lost because of the Carbon Tax!
The SMH reports today www.smh.com.au/.../...nionists-20110426-1dv7q.html
"AUSTRALIA'S most prominent trade unionist has faced questions about figures revealing his union's much-vaunted growth is based on a surge of ''phantom'' members."

Jason

April 27. 2011 11:00 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I didn’t see Melissa Clark’s report on ABC24.  What you report is disappointing.  I wonder if the key factor in the favourable reporting on Julia Gillard’s overseas trip is that most of the reporters are there with her, seeing her perform commendably.  I presume Melissa Clark is not with her, and is somewhat infatuated with Tony’s physique and unimpressed with Julia’s ‘sombre’ and ‘formal’ aura.  If Tony were PM, would he be doing his ‘action man’, ‘budgie smugglers’ act, and if so would Melissa think that appropriate?  What demeanour does she expect from our female PM – heel-kicking, fan-waving, dancing-girl?  In this regard, Melissa needs to grow up.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 11:06 AM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         As far as your perceptions go, in the main I agree. However, I have noted an element of waiting for a slip-up. There was a note of caution this morning on News Radio, along the lines of conflating two issues in the news today, that of the Wikileaks story about China always brushing off our plaints about Human Rights, and the PM's call for action by China on its Human Rights issues. So an element of snark to the reporting of the PM's brave call in public in China to 'not go backwards on Human Rights'.
  I must say, as some sort of background to the foreign correspondents' reports on the PM's trip, and wrt the Australian-based journos travelling with her, it is a matter of political lore that Alexander Downer was a pig to the media when he went O/S with them, acting all high and mighty as was his wont. Howard just wasn't a very warm and friendly guy, which I know for a fact from watching him behind the scenes in parliament, and he had an imperious air towards 'underlings', even towards those lower on the pecking order in his own party. So, with almost incredulous reports coming out of the touring party that is with the PM about how warm and genuinely friendly she is I imagine that some of the reporting is reflecting that. Maybe, as you also speculate, the new editorial policies have let loose a new era in reasonableness at the ABC.
   On the other hand, when the media have the Asylum Seeker issue to bash the government around the head with, maybe they can 'balance' their reporting of the PM with that.
  I think the proof of the pudding will be over the next couple of days when Tony Abbott goes back to Alice Springs. Chris Uhlmann has hitched his wagon to the Abbott Camel Train and will be reporting on the Intervention 4 Year Anniversary from there. Will Uhlmann give a balanced reporting of the issue, highlighting as many advances as failures, or will he just parrot the Abbott line? Time will tell.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 11:06 AM

Ad astra reply

Jason
As the SMH article suggests, Paul Howes should get back to being his union's secretary and ease up on the political comment.  It looks as if there is some internal heat on him, that might re-focus his attention.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 11:09 AM

thenewjj

FS,

A few issues with what you said:

1. The Geo-thermal industry is by no means at the point where it can become a base load source of electricity for our country. There have been quite a few problems in recent years with the technology, whilst there also being a large problem with isolation.

2. The Coal fired power stations require help to switch to cleaner technologies such as gas... this carbon tax does not offer such help. Apart from there being little help, the issue is also time. The electricity sector is saying that if a carbon tax is introduced without compensation, it could be a matter of months until they would have to look at closure. You see, an asset downgrade is instant, and banks do not like risk, and so time is not on the industry's side to make the switch to cleaner technologies.

3. You say that emissions intensive industries should just die a natural death; such industries include: steel, aluminum, electricity, much of the smaller mining activities, food manufacturing etc. These industries employ millions of people, and anyway, this would be an government imposed death rather than a natural death. A natural death would occur if demand shrunk for these industry's' goods due to consumer factors and natural competition issues; however, this is not what is occurring, demand is still high because we are still naturally competitive. What the government is going to do is place an artificial extra impost on these industries causing them to die an unnatural death.

4. Only Emissions intensive trade exposed industries will get assistance. Those trade exposed industries that are not in the high emitting band will have to deal with all of the cost impacts without any help, whilst also trying to compete with overseas exporters who do not have a price on carbon.

FS, the thing is i support a price on carbon, it is just, we need there to be a level playing field (amongst our trading partners) for our industrial sector, and at the moment we dont. We are thus heavily exposed, with the competitive nature of many of our industries eroded away to nothing.  

thenewjj

April 27. 2011 11:14 AM

Ad astra reply

FS
I read your assessment with interest and felt encouraged.  Maybe being treated civilly by Julia has taken the edge off the travelling reporters' tendency to be acerbic.  But like you, I have an uneasy feeling that this could be just a pause before the onslaught re-commences.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 11:18 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I heard on ABC radio and saw on ABC News on Lyn’s links this morning a piece by Geoff Thompson Thousands to be stuck in NBN ‘limbo’ [note ‘stuck’ and ‘limbo’], that reports that people buying homes in new estates where there are less than 100 homes will not get Telstra’s copper cable connection because Telstra feels it is a waste of its money to put copper cable in the ground ahead of it being replaced by NBN fibre.  To fulfill its Universal Service Obligation to provide telephony services to all, Telstra will instead provide new home owners with a free mobile phone, but not one that can connect to the Internet.  A couple of home owners have complained that as the NBN may be some time coming to them they will be left without Internet connection, perhaps for years.

So instead of paying for connection to the Telstra dial-up copper wire system, as all of us who still have dial-up do, they get a free telephone, a mobile one, and no doubt, like the rest of us will pay for calls.  So far they seem to be ahead financially.

But of course because Telstra is required only to provide a phone for telephony, (just as they do for dial-up customers), they are giving away free a cheaper phone for telephony, but one that can’t connect to the Internet.  So are the home owners really in ‘limbo’?  Why can’t they, like the rest of us, buy a mobile phone, or an iPad, or a computer dongle/modem for their computer that enables connection to the Internet?  

What are the disadvantages of not having a dial-up copper wire connection?  One is that they can’t use it for connecting to the Internet, as we all did before wireless access became available.  But has not dial-up been largely abandoned for Internet connection because it is painfully slow?  I still have it, but use wireless for the Internet, and pay for it.

In summary, it seems that the only drawback these new home owners are facing is not having a dial-up copper connection, which they likely would not use to access the Internet, and as a bonus they don’t have to pay line rental as they will have a free mobile phone supplied by Telstra.

The way the Thompson piece is written suggest great hardship for these home owners, which no doubt the anti-NBN forces will leap upon, yet makes no attempt to make the point that the ‘hardship’ of not having a dial-up copper connection (and having a free mobile phone instead) is not much of a hardship at all.

Am I missing something here?  Is the ‘limbo’ story a beat up?  Or is it as bad as painted by the news stories?

What do you think?

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 11:33 AM

NormanK

D Mick Weir
So you don't mind being referred to as WeirD?
Weird really. Smile

Patricia WA
Very well done although I could have done without the mental image of Mr Abbott's 'tool kit'. An insignificant quibble on my part. Your skills grow with each new effort. Thanks very much.

Ad astra
Unfortunately I watch much the same TV news as you do and can't give you a comparative analysis of other outlets. I agree the coverage of Ms Gillard has been favourable and sympathetic, perhaps it's because she is doing a good job. I have remarked to myself how comfortable and relaxed she has looked in the less formal settings. She is always caught smiling, attentive and sharing a joke and in general the body language between her and her respective hosts has been very encouraging. Some of that will be normal diplomatic good manners but I am inclined to think that she is winning hearts by being relaxed and remaining true to her larrikin character.
On the subject of the ABC, Uhlman at least has been more restrained in his manner over the last couple of weeks - his interview with Penny Wong was quite respectful without compromising on asking thorny questions. So too Wayne Swan where he made the unprecedented concession of acknowledging that he had repeatedly asked a question which no politician is ever going to answer directly - could he assure us that no jobs would be lost due to the price on carbon legislation? It looks like a quest for a gotcha answer until Uhlman acknowledges that 'Sure, but again, the kinds of guarantees that unions want are ungivable, aren't they?' Tone of voice is important in interpreting that quote but suffice to say I heard it as a concession and not a confrontation.
Leigh Sales the other night is the only blip I've seen over recent weeks and even then I wasn't as horrified as some others about her interview with Chris Bowen. My main criticism of that exchange was that she had already made up her own mind on what the answers should be and would entertain no difference of opinion. Not exactly an open mind.

NormanK

April 27. 2011 11:37 AM

BSA Bob

Hi Lyn at 10.56
I read your link & wish I hadn't. Abbott continues to advance the cause of misogyny in this country in leaps & bounds. A press that not only lets him get away with this but surreptitiously applauds is a disgrace.

BSA Bob

April 27. 2011 11:47 AM

D Mick Weir

jj @ 11:09 AM
'These industries employ millions of people, ...'

Lets be different and go with a few facts:
Mining employed 129,500 people in 2010
Source: www.ibisworld.com.au/.../default.aspx?indid=55
Elictricity Generation emploed about 8,242 people in 2010
Source: www.ibisworld.com.au/.../default.aspx?indid=1824
Electricity Distribution employed 31,147 people in 2010
Source: www.ibisworld.com.au/.../default.aspx?indid=1826

Lets see that makes 168,889 people employed so far

Lets add in Metal and Mineral Wholesaling another 10,585 people employed
Source: www.ibisworld.com.au/.../default.aspx?indid=345

Have we got to a quarter of a million people employed yet?

You will note that I have used statistics from a reputable and highly respected commercial source (IBIS World - http://www.ibisworld.com.au) as some people don't trust figures from the Bureau of Stats because well they are an arm of that rotten socialist guvmint.

I will accept that I have been a little 'selective' in choosing these but I am only taking a 'quickie' look to get a feel for it.

jj, you should realise by now that exagerated claims you often make will get blown out of the water with facts and figures from reliable sources.

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 11:52 AM

lyn

Hi BSA Bob

I shouldn't have put that link up I know, but my amazement takes me over. The trivia, pin up boy, action man image, flogged in the media day after day is making me revolt.

Cheers

lyn

April 27. 2011 11:57 AM

D Mick Weir

NormanK @  11:33 AM
Smile
You need to say it out aloud as it would have been at roll-call

Weir, Dee

You may be able to imagine the pain and humiliation. As I was moved to a number of different schools going through it all again; well you can understand why I chose to be known as 'Mick' though that had other pejorative connitations. The pain and humiliation for one close relative who had the same first initial was cause for them to change thier surname at first available chance.

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 12:19 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn and BSA Bob
When I saw the photo in your linked piece Lyn, I thought someone had thrown Tony Abbott from a leaky boat into the water and the AFP officers were rescuing him - just as those awful asylum seekers did with their children in ‘the children overboard’ saga, who were rescued by our ADF!  

So he was just having a swim!   I’m so glad Paige Taylor has adorned our National Newspaper – the Heart of the Nation - with such an appealing image of our action man would-be PM.  Every Aussie PM must be able to swim.

NormanK
Thank you for your balanced assessment and considered opinion of the recent reportage of PM Gillard’s trip.  As you say, the good reportage may be because reporters feel she has been very well received by her hosts and is doing a good job.  I hope that feeling will flow back to the domestic scene.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 12:24 PM

lyn

Hi D Mick Weir

I like your name it's got character.

lyn

April 27. 2011 12:32 PM

D Mick Weir

So I thought I might cut the cake a different way to look at the employment numbers.

Australia has an employed workforce of 11,439,900 people (according to the ABS)

So mining would be about 1.13% of the workforce, Metal & Mineral Wholesaling, 0.09%

Electricity Generation, 0.07%; Distribution 0.27%

If all those industries shed half their respective workforces, which I expect would be highly unlikely, it would create 0.78% of the workforce 'put out to pasture'.

I guess we could allow for some flow on effects and say it would increase unemployment by 1%. Not good but hardly 'the sky is going to fall in stuff'

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 12:37 PM

D Mick Weir

Lyn @ 12:24 PM
Smile thanks

I kinda like it too. I nearly just used my middle name but I got used to 'owning' the fact that my name described me.

Yep, I love being a bit of a 'weirdee' and taking a weird look at this crazy world we live in

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 12:38 PM

Harquebus

If I survive the consequences of peak oil.

Harquebus

April 27. 2011 12:48 PM

D Mick Weir

Oh no, jj I am wrong.

The sky is succumbing to the forces of gravity The Treasurer and the Acting Prime Minister (one and the same paerson) is at this very moment giving us the bad news.

Inflation has spiked, Fuit & Veg up by 15% Global Oil Prices are up and Petrol has added heaps to the inflation figures

Headline Inflation is through the roof, oh but hang on a moment underlying inflation.

On no we'll all be rooned

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 12:50 PM

Feral Skeleton

  New Housing Estates with <100 homes built will be given Copper lines to access Broadband, which indicates that the ABC story by Geoff Thompson was a beat up. Here's the link to a story with the actaul details in The Oz:
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6nf-1226045232846
  Of course, they style it as a 'taxpayers' have to fund...' story, but for a thousand or so homes over the life of the NBN, it's chicken feed and a  beat up by journalists with nothing more negative to write about when it comes to the NBN. No show without Punch. Malcolm Turnbull sticks his head up for a hyperbolic quote as well.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 12:58 PM

D Mick Weir

Peter Martin has an interesting little Post:
So its back to work. This could help - www.petermartin.com.au/.../...-will-be-useful.html

It's a list of 29 ways to be creative.

I have taken particular note of #16:
Allow yourself to make mistakes

FS, I was thinking of you when I mentally changed it to Allow yourself and others to make mistakes.  Smile

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 12:58 PM

tony s

Thanks for that very convincing evidence.
The mystical Gaia and the grandfather of environmentalism James Lovelock.

As Lovelock said:
The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they're scared stiff of the fact that they don't really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing. They could be absolutely running the show. We haven't got the physics worked out yet. One of the chiefs once said to me that he agreed that they should include the biology in their models, but he said they hadn't got the physics right yet and it would be five years before they do. So why on earth are the politicians spending a fortune of our money when we can least afford it on doing things to prevent events 50 years from now? They've employed scientists to tell them what they want to hear. The Germans and the Danes are making a fortune out of renewable energy. I'm puzzled why politicians are not a bit more pragmatic about all this.

    We do need scepticism about the predictions about what will happen to the climate in 50 years, or whatever. It's almost naive, scientifically speaking, to think we can give relatively accurate predictions for future climate. There are so many unknowns that it's wrong to do it.


tony s

April 27. 2011 01:05 PM

Ad astra reply

FS
Thanks for the link to Lauren Wilson’s piece: Taxpayers to foot bill for broadband service double-up in The Oz.  But even she has not got the full story, I suppose because her focus in on ‘taxpayers footing bills’.  She says: “…for estates with fewer than 100 units Telstra is allowed to install slower temporary copper cables, that will be shut down with the NBN rollout.”, but although ‘allowed’, Telstra has already said it will NOT do that and instead give these home-owners free mobile phones.  So how are taxpayers going to have to pay Telstra for shutting down copper cables that they do not intend to lay in the first place?

The standard of journalism continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 01:13 PM

D Mick Weir

I have just had one of those Ahh-ha, light bulb goes on moments.

I can't remember when I last opened a can of Coke cos I don't drink the stuff but, if memory serves me the CO2 bubbles rise when you open it. I am right aren't I?

Sooo, I think the very clever plan that TA has is to get more people to open more cans of Coke so that all the CO2 will rise to help prevent the sky from falling in.

That Labor Party are so dumb they couldn't see it.

We'll all be rooned if we don't do what the Opposition knows is right.

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 01:13 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
Even though FS has beat me to the punch, the Thompson story is a beat-up. The number of criteria which would have to be met in order to be stranded in limbo is fairly exhaustive - less than 100 houses, remote from existing infrastructure, poorly serviced by wireless and built by developers who refuse to see the writing on the wall and acknowledge that being 'NBN ready' is a huge selling point.
Market forces will sort all of this out - either Telstra gets its act together and services its customers (the article in The Australian suggests this is already the case) or the developers see market sense or NBN Co meet Telstra and the developers half-way and, where possible, jointly lay fibre.
I'm not sure why you refer to new copper as 'a dial-up copper wire connection'. I'm on ADSL2+ over old copper. At the very least, new copper would provide ADSL speeds.
As for the so-called waste of laying copper only to have it replaced in a few years' time, whilst it is lamentable, do we stop grading a dirt road because in a few years' time it is scheduled to be sealed?
I suspect that ultimately the amount of new copper which is rolled out and later decommissioned will be very small in the grand scheme of things.
I really do wish journalists would stop referring to 'taxpayer dollars'.

D Mick Weir
You know I meant no disrespect. A rose by any other name ... and all that.
Thanks for the statistics, they keep some of this hysterical hyperbole in perspective.

NormanK

April 27. 2011 01:21 PM

D Mick Weir

That really nice bloke, Avuncular Joe Hockey, has just informed me that Wayne Swan is 'wrong, wrong, wrong'.

Cost of living rises are all due to the fact that we have a Labor Guvmint. That the only way to fix it is to change the guvmint.

And Tony Abbott has proved there are no flies on him, apparently to produce steel you also produce lots of CO2 and therefore we should not have a price on pollution, oops, Carbon Dioxide.

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 01:37 PM

D Mick Weir

Cheers NormanK,
you know I wouldn't take offence, nor see direspect  Smile

I am getting to be a bit of a big boy now and well if I can throw a bit I can take a bit back and as I said I kinda like owning that I am a bit of a weirdee Smile

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 01:58 PM

D Mick Weir

NormanK,
your comment about developers getting the message rang a bell.

About two years ago I was in a conversation with a bloke, a dyed in the wool raving Lberal voter btw, involved in surveying an estate in Western Sydney that was going to include fibre to every house (about 70) in this exclusive estate. He reckoned it was the bees knees and that the interest was so high all would be sold before a sod was even turned.

D Mick Weir

April 27. 2011 02:11 PM

Ad astra reply

tony s
Welcome to the TPS family.  Do come again.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for quoting James Lovelock, who like all good scientists, expresses doubts about scientific propositions.  He understands Karl Popper’s dictum that while any theory can be disproved, it cannot be proved absolutely.  

What we are dealing with in climate science, as in all science, is probability.  Collectively climate scientists tell us that anthropogenic global warming is over 90% probable, and the accumulating evidence points to the catastrophic consequences that will overtake the planet and life on it if that is so and no corrective action is taken.  To use a gaming analogy, politicians have to bet on one of two horses, the one that has a 90% chance of winning, and therefore do something, or the one with a 10% chance of winning, and do nothing.  It’s not surprising that so many politicians in so many countries in Europe and Asia have put their money on the favourite.

The issue of taking action on something that may not take on disastrous proportions for 50 years is akin to a ship’s master taking ‘braking’ action well before his nautical juggernaut heads for dock, knowing that the momentum of his vessel is so enormous that slowing it down to docking speed needs to begin early.  Climate scientists fear that the momentum towards global warming with all its serious consequences is already such that unless action begins now, mankind may not be able to stop the juggernaut before it’s too late, and the planet becomes uninhabitable.

It’s a very serious matter, and while all well-informed opinion needs to be respected, we really are in a environmental ‘horse race’, that demands we place our bets now if what the climate scientists are telling us is right.  To delay placing our bets may leave us looking at a retreating field where the books have closed and all bets are off.

BTW tony s, could you please give us the reference, or preferably a link, to the Lovelock quote.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 02:42 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Thank you for your comment.  Of course you are right, ADSL can be provided through copper wire if it is available.  I don’t know whether it would be in new estates, but my own story makes me wonder.  We live in a rural area on the south coast about four kilometres beyond a substantial coastal town that has ADSL, but this stops a kilometre short of our home.  Yet a few kilometers further down the road, small settlements have it.  We are caught in between.  So my wife and I spent a couple of weekends canvassing support from householders who like us were caught in between, for a submission to Telstra to provide ADSL for us also.  We got fifty signatures that we took to Telstra only to be told that they had no funds to provide us with ADSL.  Even copying it to Stephen Conroy, who sent a courteous reply, made no difference.  So we took up Telstra’s Next G for use in the country, which for cost reasons we need to use also when we are in the city, where we could get ADSL, but at extra cost.

So I’m not optimistic that ADSL would be available to new estate homes, even if they did have copper wire.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 02:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

DMW,
    I'm only half right. The other half is left. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 03:00 PM

thenewjj

Here is a fantastic piece by Costello on Wayne's world economics:

www.smh.com.au/.../...es-world-20110426-1dv0m.html

Read it. I am sure you would just love to pick it to pieces.

thenewjj

April 27. 2011 03:00 PM

Feral Skeleton

   You know I keep wondering how Tony Abbott is going to talk his way out of the corner he is painting himself into when the cities of Whyalla and Port Pirie don't end up 'wiped off the face of the earth', and the Liberal-linked, Graham Kraehe-chaired Bluescope Steel doesn't go under and actually ends up well-compensated, and Paul Howes see his membership numbers rise in new industries, all as a result of the new low Carbon economy and Price on Carbon, eventually with a market mechanism ETS. Smile
  I win ReCaptcha Bingo today! I got 1984.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 03:41 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
I take your point. I had no idea that ADSL was still so patchy. Of course it makes sense then that if Telstra are reluctant to run new copper then they will be doubly reluctant to upgrade exchanges.

NormanK

April 27. 2011 04:23 PM

tony s

Ad Astra your weasel words are ineffective.
Lovelock is not saying AGW science can not be proved absolutely.
He says that the great climate centres around the world, privately concede their science is weak. That's right they publicly proclaim no doubt, but privately say the science is weak. They have no idea of future climate.

The 90% figure you quote is from the AR4 Summary for Policy Makers, which is a politically negotiated UN statement. It is in no way representative of anything except politics.
To attribute scientific probability to it is fanciful.
However I see it is in keeping with the way you think about climate change.

You like to think about it in a magical and very un-scientific Gaia form.
You like to follow environmentalists like Lovelock who know the science is weak.
You like to follow fools like Flannery, who has failed in every testable climate prediction he has made. Who profits from multinationals for spruiking green consumerism and space flights. Who profits from government grants to his failed energy projects. Who gets the science wrong about future climate whilst being the government's chief paid scientific advisor. Who you quote regarding conflict of interest!

The way you think is very disturbing.

tony s

April 27. 2011 04:36 PM

Jason

tony s,
      Is this you? "Right-wingers are making monkeys of themselves over climate change not just because their beliefs take precedence over the evidence, but also because their interests take precedence over their beliefs."

http://www.monbiot.com/2010/08/23/right-and-wrong/

Jason

April 27. 2011 04:58 PM

lyn

TonyS

Wow! what a rude person.  Ad Astra just treated you with genuine respect and what do you do, abuse his good manners.
Go and tell Menzies House your crazy interpretation.

Weasel words indeed, I know who has weasel words.

lyn

April 27. 2011 05:17 PM

2353

Tony S (& jj)

Answer two questions for me. Yes/No answers are permitted however if you would like to expand using some logic and facts, I'm more than willing to listen.

1. Do you have house and/or car insurance so in the unfortunate event that there is damage to your property you can claim the cost of the repair, for this you pay a premium to a company in the knowledge that if nothing happens - your money is kept?

2. Why wouldn't you be willing to pay insurance (through a CPRS scheme of some form) so in the unfortunate event the majority of climate scientists are correct and the earth needs to reduce the quantity of carbon, some action is taken when the scheme can be of the greatest effect - thus ensuring a future/better future for your (and my) descendants?

I have asked this question in a number of forums and no one to date has given me an answer beyond person vilification or abuse.  Can either of you do better?

2353

April 27. 2011 05:21 PM

clarkie

You write: Do we back the red hot favourite that the globe is warming at a dangerous rate and do something about it, or do we back the rank outsider and take that chance that, to use oft-repeated words, that ‘climate change is crap’ and take no action?

There is quite clearly a third option, which so few people talk about because they are much at daggers drawn about the other two. The third way is this: Assume that man-made global warming is occurring (or not, as you wish). But instead of looking at devoting billions of unaffordable dollars to a doomed effort to halt or slow the rate of warming, devote those dollars instead to managing and adapting to the consequences of warming. Mankind does not yet have the capacity to take deliberate actions to make planet-wide changes that can shift global forces, let alone halt or reverse them. Man is, however, experienced and adept at manipulating and changing his environment on a local scale - even up to country scale - to make that environment more liveable. We have been doing it for aeons - since we gave up nomadic life and settled to agriculture. We are good at adaptation. Smart application of science to anticipation of the consequences of climate warming and to development of clever responses will be the most intelligent and valuable response we can make. Expending our intellectual energy in endless circular arguments about the rights and wrongs of climate science (and burning up our limited supplies of civility in the process) is about the dumbest thing we can do.

clarkie

April 27. 2011 05:26 PM

thenewjj

1. yes

2. but why pay a premium when you can wait a while on a lower order insurance policy (Abbott plan) until some competition comes along (our major trading partners decide to impose an ETS) and insurance premiums are reduced or abolished (the affects of going ahead with such a scheme when our major trading partners havent)

thenewjj

April 27. 2011 05:29 PM

tony s

Lyn,
You think I'm rude and abusive for highlighting his 'weasel words'?

I find nothing ruder than to scaremonger about the end of the world on an 'uninhabitable planet.'
Is there anything more objectionable than to proclaim this in order to promote your political view of the world?

Not to mention how rude it is to call sceptics 'ignorant ratbags' and 'scientifically ignorant'.
Especially when Ad has clearly shown his poor scientific comprehension.

Not to mention his eagerness to associate sceptics with holocust deniers.
I guess in your world, that is considered polite?

tony s

April 27. 2011 05:39 PM

tony s

2353
Here is your logic flaw.
House burglaries are known and real events. The probability of it happening can be calculated statistically with real world known figures.

Catastrophic warming caused by CO2 is not a known event. It is a scenario created by climate models. The most sophisticated of these models began projecting earth's climate from 2001. In that time the earth has cooled according to Hadcrut, the dataset used by the IPCC. The models projected 0.2C warming which is outside one standard deviation of real world data.

Furthermore, paying a tax in Australia will not reduce Australia's emissions, let alone change our climate.

tony s

April 27. 2011 05:41 PM

NormanK

clarkie
So what you're suggesting is that humans are the only species we need to worry about? Let the ice melt, let the small islands go under, let tens of thousands of species go extinct just so long as we adapt our environment to suit our needs. We've got a wonderful track record of manipulating the environment - rivers poisoned, forests burned and chipped, oceans full of junk, major players in the food chain driven almost to extinction and vast tracts of land rendered unusable.
And of course we can do this with little or no monetary outlay.
Yes, we will need to adapt but surely it is worth attempting to mitigate the degree to which we need to fiddle with our environment in order to do so.
As for daggers drawn, I'm quite prepared to acknowledge that most of the reasonable camps have a case to put and that there is a middle road down which we could progress. Slow our carbon output, increase the means of capture (preferably by restoring time-proven natural systems) and adapt.
Perhaps I don't share your obviously high opinion of the value of human beings over every other species and your apparent lack of understanding of the interconnectedness of global bio-systems.

NormanK

April 27. 2011 06:00 PM

Ad astra reply

tony s
You seem to have not recognized the courtesy that was extended to you, and instead accuse me of ‘weasel words’.  You are following the pattern of climate change skeptics who demean the messenger when the message does not suit them.

If you wish to continue commenting here and responding to posted comments, and you are welcome to do so, please read what bloggers have actually written before giving them both barrels.

You say: ”Lovelock is not saying AGW science cannot be proved absolutely.”  Go back and read what I said: “ James Lovelock… like all good scientists, expresses doubts about scientific propositions.  He understands Karl Popper’s dictum that while any theory can be disproved, it cannot be proved absolutely. “ As Popper’s dictum applies to all scientific theories, and Lovelock knows that, expressing his doubts is perfectly acceptable in scientific circles.  I acknowledged Lovelock’s doubts, which you had pointed out, and you come back with a ‘weasel words’ accusation.  Please tell us which words of mine in reply to you are the ‘weasel’ ones.  You obviously think some in the original piece are.

You say: “ The 90% figure you quote is from the AR4 Summary for Policy Makers, which is a politically negotiated UN statement. It is in no way representative of anything except politics.  No doubt that is your view, but on TPS we do try to back our words with evidence.  So please furnish for our readers here the evidence that proves your point, preferably with references and links.  And let’s not have any weasel words.

You then go on to insult Professor Flannery by calling him ‘a fool’.  If you haven’t done so, I suggest you read his book Here on Earth and then come back here and repeat that he is still ‘a fool’.

If you think the way I think is disturbing, let me return the ‘compliment’.

Your reply seems to capture the expression portrayed by your Gravatar.  If you wish to continue blogging here, by all means do so, but spare us the personal insults and your thinly suppressed anger, give us the facts and figures (and by the way you haven’t furnished the reference to the Lovelock quote that I requested) and reason your case logically and you will be respected and responded to accordingly.  So far your response resembles many we have seen from the climate change skeptic/denier camp, deficient as they are in verifiable evidence and sound reasoning.

Finally, while I have taken the time to respond to you in some detail on this occasion, I am not willing to continue doing so unless you adopt a line more in tune with our way of doing business here on TPS.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 06:01 PM

janice

The way you think is very disturbing.tony s

I don't suppose it occurs to you that others might think the same of your thinking tony s.  I have no idea how old you are, but if you are young and likely to be around 40 years hence, I wonder what your thinking will be if you find the science warnings of today are fast coming to fruition and you are looking at the consequences of the inaction/delayed action of today.  Will your children admonish you for failing to do anything when you had the chance?  Will you remember you brushed off scientific warnings and pleas for action as scaremongering?













janice

April 27. 2011 06:07 PM

Ad astra reply

tony s
Your comment at 5.29 pm goes too far where you talk about my”… eagerness to associate sceptics with holocust deniers

That I have NEVER done.  You owe me an apology.  But I’m not holding my breath.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 06:12 PM

sawdustmick

Ad,
I posted on Greg Combet blog that I would like to know if anyone from either side of the great political divide can state that one single company had closed or one single job has been lost as a direct or indirect result of any government tax imposed since federation. To date I have not heard from anyone, perhaps some of our new contributors could enlighten me.  

sawdustmick

April 27. 2011 06:13 PM

Jason

tony s,
      You're a sceptic so what? do want our admiration an award what? However deal with this fact July one the senate changes and the greens have BOP!then it could be three years before Abbott should he be elected,before he could even try to unscramble the climate change egg!

Jason

April 27. 2011 06:18 PM

Ad astra reply

clarkie
You are another new commenter here.  Welcome to the TPS family.  Do come again.

NormanK has answered well your contentions about how to manage climate change.  It seems that you are suggesting that the human race learns to ADAPT to global warming, as they have adapted to many changes in the past, rather than attempting to REVERSE the warming by tackling its causes.  That seems to me to be a risky proposal.  What if, despite all the adaptation of which we are capable, the globe continues to warm until the effects of warming are irreversible?  I guess we would just have to say Oops, sorry kids!

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 06:25 PM

Feral Skeleton

  I don't know about you, clarkie, but I don't really feel like trying to adapt to an environment where the Murray-Darling River system dries up, and the desertification of Australia continues apace. Or The Great Barrier Reef bleaches white and dies a quick death, such that there is no habitat for fish nurseries and the marine food chain is disturbed so much that I can't eat seafood when I feel like it anymore. Not to mention the web of life on the rest of the planet. I'm not too fond of watching my fellow Australians homes being washed away in massive floods or burned down in bushfires on an increasingly frequent basis, either.
  I'd really rather not be so selfish now such that I bequeath a barren future to my children and their children.
  As for our contribution itself being unable to change the climate, well that's just the sort of pig-ignorant defence of greedy self-interest I'd expect from someone with their head in the sand about Climate Change. The scientific research has been exhaustively performed to determine how we can do something about Global Warming. Thank goodness for that, as I for one don't want to go the way of the dinosaur. I thought human beings were smarter than that. Though you and your Global Warming Denier mates make me wonder sometimes.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 06:29 PM

Ad astra reply

sawdustmick
Please let us know if you ever get an answer to your question to Greg Combet, or from anyone else for that matter.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 07:12 PM

tony s

Ad,
When I am critical of your weasel words, I am not 'demeaning the messenger' as you falsely claim. I am explicitly
being critical of your words and their false meaning. So there is yet another weasel misrepresentation.

I have clearly stated how offensive your words are, yet you continue to maintain innocence and a fake politeness.

So let's be clear, again, about your weasel words.
Lovelock is not expressing 'his' doubts as you falsely claim.
He is saying the great climate centres tell him that the science is weak. They are not his doubts.
They are the views of the 'great' scientists in the 'great' climate centres.
The science is so weak, they have no idea about clouds and aerosols, two major contributors to climate.
This is not some vague inability to absolutely prove a theory. It is a major flaw and inadequacy, amongst many others, which
demonstrates very 'weak' science. And that is substantiated by one of the leaders of the environmental movement.

You write "we try to back our words with evidence".
You believe in Gaia and holistic science without any evidence. It is not supported by the IPCC or any peer-reviewed science.

You are the person who first introduced the 90% probability figure. So by your own logic, please back your words with evidence.
It wouldn't surprise me that you have no idea where it came from. Or how the IPCC reports are written.
Perhaps you should do some reading before lecturing others with bogus claims.

Flannery is still a fool.
I particularly liked his recent comments. Lindzen is a reputable scientist, but the problem is his politics!

You can google Lovelock very easily.

You accuse sceptics of being deniers 4 times in your article. You are fully aware of its implications, as has
been spelt out by many environmentalists. Again, your fake innocence is not fooling anyone.

tony s

April 27. 2011 07:19 PM

tony s

janice, I think my kids will be astonished that millions of people were convinced that the end of the world was coming, and that it was because of CO2.

Jason, from a poltical perspective, I doubt the Greens will ever agree to Labour's price. Even if they do, it will cement the end of the government and the futile tax.

tony s

April 27. 2011 07:29 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         Remember Chrissie Pyne's lame attempt to link the accusation of Climate Change Denialism to Holocaust Denialism in the last session of parliament? Well, it appears to have gone viral among the Global Warming Sceptics community.There's the supposed link between you and Holocaust Deniers. As in it is now de facto 'truthiness', as practiced by Conservative supporters and Conservative politicians, when talking about Global Warming and Climate Change, to conflate the two, and use that conflation as a springboard to attack in a faux offence defence.
   The personal is the political. It's pathetic. When they can't argue based upon scientific evidence, they manufacture a straw man. An emotive one like Holocaust Denialism serves the purpose well. Remember Sarah Palin's enfeebled defence of her part in laying the groundwork in vulnerable people's minds for the Gabriel Gifford's shooting? She employed the term "Blood Libel', with all the emotionally-charged Jewish persecution connotations that went with it.
  AA, the people that seek to wreck a factual and sensible approach to Climate Change are serious in their intent to wreck any attempt to do something about it. Shooting the Messenger using any verbal weapon is just a case of, 'All's fair in love and War', and to them, this is war. It's about their future profit and control of large sums of our money which is invested in their planet-choking industries and their products.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 07:50 PM

Jason

tony s,
      What next you'll show me evidence that God exists!
organised religion have been telling their non questioning followers for ever that the end of the world will come if they don't heed their word, Why should C02 or what your doing be any different to keeping the masses scared?

Jason

April 27. 2011 08:18 PM

tony s

Jason, you are right.
organised religion has been warning about the end of the world if no one heeds their word.
Likewise, AGW is a religion which preaches the end of the world unless we heed their word.
Alarmists such as Ad preach 'catastrophic' consequences and an 'unhabitable' planet, as well as believing in a spiritual Gaia controlling our planet.
All prey to the new religion of fear, and non-scientific belief systems.

I am not a believer of these tactics or these beliefs.

tony s

April 27. 2011 08:38 PM

sawdustmick

thenedwjj

(but why pay a premium when you can wait a while on a lower order insurance policy (Abbott plan) until some competition comes along (our major trading partners decide to impose an ETS)

It’s too late for Tugger to wait for our major trading partners to impose an ETS he has already committed to the same reductions of CO2 emissions as Labor. Unless he is prepared to do a huge Backflip if and when he becomes the next PM and dump his DAP.  (I’m still waiting for you to explain this DAP)  The other problem with your lower order insurance policy is that the Taxpayer under the DAP scheme pays for the premiums not the emitters. I just wish I could find some dummy that I could call on to pay all my insurance premiums. Under Tugs scheme all the high emitters will be laughing all the way to their bottom lines.  So I hope you understand that Tones can not wait for the rest of the world to make the first move he has already made it. The biggest problem that he will face is number of years he has left to meet his deadline for 2020. To meet his targets he will have to find at the very least 30 billion dollars and he will have to find the money in less time.

PS, I hope you don't think I am picking on you I am just trying to understand your logic.

sawdustmick

April 27. 2011 08:39 PM

Feral Skeleton

tonys,
      Climate Change/Global Warming is not a religion, it's science.
   Climate Change is real. God is not. Gaia is a concept, not a God-substitute.
   You are merely parroting self-serving Climate Change Sceptics lines of attack.
   It will not be the end of the world if Global Warming continues to exacerbate Climate Change. It will just make survival impossible for some species of plants and animals. It will make survival for the human race more problematic.
  I prefer being a problem-solver that a problem-maker.
  You seem to prefer being a trouble-maker.
  Outright denial of something based upon invective and simplistic and misleading argument is no argument at all.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 08:46 PM

macca

I find it profoundly disturbing that the millions of dollars spent worldwide debunking climate science/scientists come from the same cabal of wealth that gave us collateral debt obligations.

My veiw is that the planet is crook, it's gunna get sicker and when the quantum step comes we humans are going to suffer. We really need to start doing something now. This earth of ours is a living organism and we have no right to kill it.

macca

April 27. 2011 08:54 PM

2353

jj said -

but why pay a premium when you can wait a while on a lower order insurance policy (Abbott plan) so while you are prepared to pay top dollar for the "protection" of your property you couldn't give a stuff about the world your descendants will inherit.  Charming demonstration of morals and values there.  By the way most of our trading partners have or are introducing a mechanism to stabilise/reduce carbon emissions.

Tony s said -

Here is your logic flaw.
House burglaries are known and real events. The probability of it happening can be calculated statistically with real world known figures.
  While house robberies are real you're paying the insurance for the "protection" of your property - not a statistical average which may mean your house is never robbed - while the next door neighbours are "done over" every year.  Accordingly your response attempting to prove an illogical assertion.  Taxing emissions will encourage polluters to change production methods.  Sort of like a Reaganomics "trickle-down" tax cut but in reverse because it will work - business and Government already pays extra for "Green" initiatives such as electricity, carbon capture schemes, carbon offset airfare products, diesel/electric vehicles and so on.  

BHP's recent $46 Billion (that's a B not a M) in Central Queensland suggests they are pretty relaxed and comfortable the world isn't about to collapse because of the "threat" of a "tax" on carbon emissions.

2353

April 27. 2011 08:56 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Congratulations to Mr Denmore.

The Failed Estate, has been chosen as a finalist in Best Australian Blogs, Sydney Writers Centre.

Best Australian Blogs 2011 competition.
Nominations and entries are now closed for 2011.

The Failed estate
Bob Denmore
http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com

lyn

April 27. 2011 08:57 PM

Jason

tony s,
      "I am not a believer of these tactics or these beliefs" your words not mine,But you have no problem putting them to use because you want to scare people and tell them they're wrong because The likes of Andrew Bolt or Lord Monkton says it's crap?
I was also unaware you were from the blog police fancy AA writing on his own blog, I just guess he's lucky he can't get a regular spot on radio or television like Bolt Akerman Jones et al imagine that, only for you to come along and tell him he's wrong.
Voltaire once said? "  I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."


Jason

April 27. 2011 08:58 PM

Feral Skeleton

  One for the Sceptics to ponder:
As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously remarked, while we are entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 08:58 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Sorry Ad, I forgot to post the link to the Writers Centre:

www.sydneywriterscentre.com.au/.../enter.html

lyn

April 27. 2011 09:17 PM

Ad astra reply

tony s
I can see from your last sentence that an appeal to reason from you is pointless.  Because I used the word ‘denier’ four times in the piece, you extrapolate from that that I am associating skeptics with holocaust deniers.  That is nonsense and you know it.  I’m still waiting for your abject apology.

You say Lovelock is not expressing ‘his doubts’ yet he states his concern about the science.  So are you saying that HE has no doubts although he believes the science is ‘weak’.  Is that not a doubt about the science?  Even a high school class in clear thinking would see that.

You say I believe in Gaia without any evidence.  Gaia is a hypothesis. That is all it is and claims to be.  You too can Google it and find: “The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life in the planet. The scientific investigation of this hypothesis focuses in the observation of how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms contribute to the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other factors of habitability in a preferred homeostasis. The Gaia hypothesis was formulated by the environmentalist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s. Initially received with controversy by the scientific community, it is now studied in the disciplines of geophysiology and Earth system science, and some of its principles have been adopted in fields like biogeochemistry and systems ecology. This ecological hypothesis has also inspired analogies and various interpretations in social sciences, politics and religion under a vague philosophy and movement. The Gaia theory posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life…

There is more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis   

As you declined to furnish your reference to James Lovelocks’ statements and left it to me, for the benefit of others who come here, here is the reference, an interview by Leo Hickman published in the Guardian on 29 March 2010.  I note tony s that you cherry picked the comments Lovelock made that suited your argument.  Well let me return the compliment by cherry picking some other of his words: “I think the sceptic bloggers should worry. It's almost certain that you can't put a trillion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere without something nasty happening. This is going to resolve itself and global heating is going to come back on stream and it's these bloggers who are going to be made to look weird when it does. When something like this happens again, they'll say we had all this before with 'Climategate'. But there's a danger that you can go off too strong, like they have. They are not sufficiently aware of the longer-term consequences. I think the sceptics have done us a good service because they've made us look at all this a lot more closely and hopefully the science will improve as a result. But everything has a price and an unexpected price may hit these bloggers. It's the cry-wolf phenomenon. When the real one comes along, they'll be laughed at.”

You queried where I got the 90% probability figure.  Take another look at the Lovelock interview where it says: “The IPCC's 2007 report concluded that there was a 90% chance that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing global warming, but the panel has been criticised over a mistaken claim that all Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2030.” You will find the same statements in many other places if you look.

The Lovelock interview is here: www.guardian.co.uk/.../james-lovelock-climate-change

Finally, don’t come here with your arrogant scientific superiority until you have got your facts right.  That is tiresome, and I can see several regulars are finding that.  You may find the Andrew Bolt or the Piers Akerman blogs more to you liking.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 09:20 PM

Jason

thenewjj,
        Earlier you posted something or other that Costello who it seems is moonlighing as a journo wrote!
Could you update him with some numbers he forgot.

1. Unemployment 4.9%
2. Headline Inflation 3.3% (underlined 2.7%)
3. Public Debts 7% GDP
4. RBA Interest rate 4.75%
5. Growth rate 3.3%
6. AUD Vs USD 1.085

You now need to put it against other key countries for comparative purposes — say Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

Jason

April 27. 2011 09:26 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for the link to the Sydney Writers' Centre Best Australian Blogs 2011 Competition and congratulations to Mr Denmore for his well-deserved nomination in the Commentary Category:

www.sydneywriterscentre.com.au/.../enter.html

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 09:35 PM

Feral Skeleton

jj,
   Stephen Mayne, no closet 'Leftie' and a former Jeff Kennett staffer, debunked the Costello article in today's Crikey:
Councils slugged for super blowouts, why not Canberra and states?
Stephen Mayne writes:
LOCAL COUNCILLORS, TREASURER PETER COSTELLO, WAYNE SWAN

Peter Costello nicely stitched up Wayne Swan in his Fairfax column this morning, pointing out how Labor has squandered the best terms of trade in generations.

However, Costello was also typically sneaky with the description of his own record when he wrote the following about the federal financial position five years ago:

    "The federal government was running budget surpluses. It had paid off its debt so it established a sovereign wealth fund -- the Future Fund -- to save for the future. This was to prepare for a time when things were more normal and to cover the costs of the ageing population. About $60 billion was deposited into it."

If the Howard government had really "paid off" all of Labor’s debt, then what on earth were the $58 billion of Federal government bonds on issue when Kevin Rudd came to power in November 2007?

Sure, the home page of the federal borrowing authority now reveals it is up to $189.84 billion, but Labor didn’t start with no debt.

Costello’s description of the Future Fund as "a sovereign wealth fund" is also completely misleading because it is nothing more than a half-funded superannuation scheme for current and past federal public servants, as Crikey has regularly pointed out over the years.

And it was Costello who recklessly allowed unfunded Commonwealth public section superannuation liabilities to blow out by $29 billion to $98 billion over his first 10 budgets before the Future Fund was established.

Costello then did the right thing and pumped in a quickfire $50 billion as the commodities boom started to take hold in the final two years of the Howard-Costello years.

It didn’t take Labor long to squander the surplus and simultaneously end additional contributions to the Future Fund, which will now take decades to be fully funded, rather than 2020 as the first Swan budget claimed.

Contrast all this with what the Victorian local government sector has been through over the past few months.

Vision Super, which handles the superannuation of all current and past council workers, slapped Victoria’s 79 councils with a $71 million bill earlier this year to top up the defined benefit elements of the liability.

Darebin, an inner-city council led by mayor Diana Asmar, who is married to a Stephen Conroy staffer, was hit with a $2.7 million bill and paid in cash on March 31. This hit will be fully reflected in Darebin’s 2010-11 budget outcome and the 2011-12 budget.

Indeed, many Victorian councils are jacking up rates by more than they had planned because of the $71 million cash slug to maintain fully funded super schemes.

Manningham City Council is having a special meeting of council tonight to approve the 2011-12 budget and our first ever 10-year financial plan. The officers have proposed a 5% rate rise and this is expected to be approved, even though the past two years have both been lower at 3.7% and 4.8% respectively.

The superannuation slug was the final straw that saw a majority of councillors move back to the long-term plan of compounding 5% rate rises.

The Manningham budget reveals a total provision for the super blowout of $2.5 million, comprising $1.34 million in 2010-11 and $1.14 million in 2011-12.

Even after this slug, Manningham remains completely debt free with $50 million of cash in the bank, although some of this is restricted cash for liabilities such as nursing home bonds and long-service leave.

But none of that cash includes funds set aside for superannuation, as this is handled off balance sheet by Vision Super. In other words, Manningham really does have no debt and a net cash position after considering all liabilities, unlike the Commonwealth during the Costello years.

Contrast that with Peter Costello and Wayne Swan who, for all but two of the 14 budgets between them, have failed to properly fund ballooning liabilities for public sector superannuation, the majority of which relates to ridiculously generous defined benefit pensions for the military.

In the case of Costello, he has even erroneously claimed that the inadequate funds that have been set aside for military pensions are somehow equivalent to a sovereign wealth fund like those run by genuine saving countries such as Norway and Singapore.

The very simple question for Peter Costello and Wayne Swan goes as follows: if Victorian councils are forced to fully fund defined benefit blowouts as soon as any shortfall is identified, why not the Commonwealth and why not states like NSW and Victoria which together have more than $40 billion in unfunded super liabilities?

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 09:42 PM

Feral Skeleton

  www.alternet.org/.../meet_the_religious_right_charlatan_who_teaches_tea_party_america_the_totally_pretend_history_they_want_to_hear

This is a disturbing article to read for a number of reasons. Firstly, by reading it you get an outline of the Religious Right's argument against taking action on Global Warming. Second, you get a better understanding of why they are so obsessed with rewriting history and taking that fight into the classroom by seeking to rewrite textbooks and curriculums. Finally, and most disturbingly, you hear echoes of statements Tony Abbott has made about issues in Australia like welfare/unemployment and religious institutions performing what were once government programs.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 09:50 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Did you know Gai Waterhouse criticised Julia Gillard's dress sense in a column today, of course that gives everybody else a chance to jump on the "let's be nasty bandwagon".

Below is a picture of Gai Waterhouse in her own fashion sense, you judge.


Here is a link to the dicussion about Julia Gillard:

www.3aw.com.au/.../20110427-1dvqz.html

deemadigan dee madigan
by clubwah
The Gai Waterhouse who criticised the PM's fashion sense (Via @SpudBenBean)

http://twitpic.com/4q39h9

Cheers

lyn

April 27. 2011 09:51 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason, Lyn, NormanK, 2353, janice, FS, sawdustmick, macca,
Thank you all for your supportive comments.  I hope tony s may soon realize we are reasonable people here and begin to treat us with respect.

I'm packing in for the night now.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 09:54 PM

Jason

FS,
  I'm at a loss! During the 11 and a half years of "honest John" where we were told there were WMD's, A ministerial code of conduct, children were thrown over board core and non core and a litany of other lies, where were the skeptics then?  

Jason

April 27. 2011 09:54 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I see we are back to triviality again.  When Gai has her makeover, I suppose she will be in a position to advise Julia.

Ad astra reply

April 27. 2011 09:58 PM

lyn

Goodnight Ad

Have a good rest, and don't worry about those anti's, they are not worth a minute of your valuable time.

Cheers

lyn

April 27. 2011 10:01 PM

Feral Skeleton

lyn,
    Pathetic, isn't it, how the media hides behind Gai Waterhouses' bitchiness about the PM's clothing and sniggers along with her?
   It's just another case of the media scouring Twitter for someone saying something outrageous, which they then just 'report'. As if their reporting is just a mere retelling of some fact, as opposed to someone's opinion, which they then use to have an indirect go at the PM.

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 10:11 PM

lyn

Hi Feral

Pathetic, I agree, outrageous gossips, who need to buy
themselves decent mirrors.

The media have deteriorated though in the last twelve months,
wonder how far the decay can go.

I have enjoyed your informative comments today feral, funny have to get used to the name.

lyn

April 27. 2011 10:20 PM

Feral Skeleton

Grog:
grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../...ting-toughness.html

Feral Skeleton

April 27. 2011 10:28 PM

lyn

Hi Feral

You beat me I just finished reading Grog:

See what our favourite blogger has to say about Gai Waterhouse.

Inflating Fashion; deflating toughness, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut

And I have to say, Gai is on the money. How dare the PM of this country not turn up at a scene of devastation without a beaut looking fascinator and a frock that would pass muster in
the mounting yard on Cup day?

http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com

lyn

April 27. 2011 10:32 PM

tony s

Feral, I suggest you talk to Ad Astra who believes in 'catastrophic' consequences in an 'uninhabitable' planet.
Nothing living on earth is as good as the end of the world.

You have odd logic. You think I'm a trouble maker for not believing in the end of the world?
And you think you are virtuous for offering a solution to a fabricated problem?

2353, you are still confused. Real burglaries are not prevented with insurance, as you falsely claim.
Insurance just pays to replace goods if you are robbed.
Conversely, catastrophic climate change is just a fanciful computer model scenario.

Jason, so you think I am scaring people because I don't believe there is any evidence for AGW?
Please explain who it is I am scaring, and how exactly?

tony s

April 27. 2011 10:51 PM

tony s

Ad, it is you who should be apologising for using the word denier.

Now I am not aware of the level of your intelligence, but from what I've read here, you have very poor comprehension skills. For the third time, Lovelock is not expressing his opinion. He is repeating the words of the scientists at the leading climate centres. These scientists say their science is weak. It is not Lovelock's opinion.
Got it yet??

Lovelock's opinion is as relevant as any activist.

Just because Gaia is a hypothesis, it is not scientific.

I am the one who told you where the 90% figure came from.
You still don't understand that it is not in the report, but in the Summary for Policy Makers. And you still have no idea how that political document is written.

And you call me arrogant?

tony s

April 27. 2011 11:03 PM

lyn

And you call me arrogant?

Arrogant is being kind, after your rude comments.

Ad Astra would leave you for dead in academic qualifications.

My advice to you, Mr so and so Tony S, is not to challenge Ad Astra, you will come of a long way from second best.

Give it a rest, you will see clearer in the sunshine of a new day.

lyn

April 27. 2011 11:26 PM

tony s

quack quack

tony s

April 27. 2011 11:39 PM

Jason

tony s,
      And I really don't care what you believe! Troll denier sympathiser grand wizard take your pick who cares!
Your a skeptic/denier we're warmist as you would call us and the problem you would have with that is? and if we don't change to what you find acceptable?

Jason

April 28. 2011 12:24 AM

tony s

Jason your logic is as confused as your grammar.

Please do explain from your previous post, who am I scaring and how?

tony s

April 28. 2011 07:31 AM

lyn


TODAY'S LINKS

Inflating Fashion; deflating toughness, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut
big news of the day was the release of the inflation figures which showed a bigger than expected increase
in the last quarter CPI of 1.6 per cent (for an annual CPI of 3.3 per cent).
http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Liberaleaks, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
Here at Politically Homeless, we have our spies, we know what's going on.
http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/

Drawing lines in the carbon price debate , Doug Evans, Earthsign
Abbott’s unholy alliance can be relied on to stir up any real or imagined injustice in the carbon price
implementation for their agenda.
duggyvans.blogspot.com/.../...on-price-debate.html

Southbank Jester redefines "confession", Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
I hate to start a short week with the Southbank Jester, but this effort yesterday is a pretty spectacular example of outright misrepresentation.,
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#more-9880

"Abbott" a Hero" Still Life With Cat
Full story here. Try not to look at the photo; Mr Rabid has managed to get himself photographed nekkid again and
I'm here to tell you it's not a pretty sight.
stilllifewithcat.blogspot.com/.../abbott-hero.html

The Australian’s Hero!, Pollipomes, PatriciaWA

When Tony Abbott gets undressed. Paige Taylor watched him have a swim, Then wrote how Christmas Island welcomed him.
http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/954/

NBN Champions , David Havyatt, Anything Goes
He might like to reflect on the fact that when he first ran OzEmail and all customers used 300bps he probably couldn't have imagined why anyone would even need 1Mbps.
davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/.../nbn-champions.html

Forecasting from nowcasting, Nicholas Gruen, Club Troppo
Speaking of $100 bills on the pavement, I haven’t looked into this – but look forward to doing so at some stage.
http://clubtroppo.com.au/

What’s with these detainees on the roof?, Aussie Criminals and Crooks
step up the efforts of the law-abiding refugees waiting their bloody turn…Who the hell do they think they are?
aussiecriminals.wordpress.com/.../

The endless cycle of asylum seeker politics, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo
in the guise of Michelle Grattan demonstrates, is that in response to any kerfuffle involving detention centres, the
government has to ‘do something’.
larvatusprodeo.net/.../

Coal Seam Gas: is it too late to Lock the Gate?, Sandi Keane, Independent Australia
in Tara, west of Toowoomba, where a blockade has been mounted to prevent drilling teams accessing their properties.
www.independentaustralia.net/.../

Study shows developed nation's reduction in CO2, outpaced by developing country emissions, Bob Yirka , Physorg. Com.
We suggest that countries monitor emission transfers via international trade, in addition to territorial emissions, to ensure progress toward stabilization of global greenhouse gas emissions.
www.physorg.com/.../...n-co2-outpaced-country.html

The DUMB DOWN CARBON TAX debate ,Eyeball, Eyeball Opinion
some investigative research so as to confirm the claims – the first question they should be asking is Mr ABBOTT an authority on this subject?
bleyzie.wordpress.com/.../

The difference between Labor and The Coalition, Reb, Gutter Trash
The results speak for themselves. Australia survived the GFC relatively unscathed, and to this day remains an economic
powerhouse the envy of the developed world.
guttertrash.wordpress.com/.../

The comeback Kevin Rudd, Paul Strangio, The Conversation
on balance, I would think that a change in leadership on the opposition side is more likely between now and the next
election than any change on the government side.
theconversation.edu.au/.../the-comeback-kevin-rudd-1121


READING


The myth of the ageing ‘crisis’, Ben Spies-Butcher, The Conversation
If we want to improve living standards in retirement, supporting the provision of basic services, like health and
aged care, is a cheaper, more direct and more efficient mechanism.
theconversation.edu.au/.../the-myth-of-the-ageing-crisis-1113

Why I Gave Up the Newspaper to  Save Newspapering, Nicholas White, Mediashift
trust that if we keep following people into the places where they gather to trade gossip, argue the issues,
seek inspiration, and share lives, then we will also find communities in need of quality journalism.
www.pbs.org/.../...er-to-save-newspapering115.html

lyn

April 28. 2011 07:54 AM

2353

Obviously someone up there ^^ can't agrue the reasons for a CPRS so they start throwing red herrings.

Of course insurance doesn't stop incidents happening - it does however mitigate the "cost" of any incident that happens TO YOU.  In a similar vein, a CPRS scheme won't stop climate change on its own, it will manage people's behaviour to mitigate the effects (or if "climate change" is a furphy, extend the predicted timeline until various forms of carbon based fuels such as oil, coal and gas run out).

Now try answering the original question.

2353

April 28. 2011 08:08 AM

Feral Skeleton

tonys,
       I don't believe the world will end as a result of Global Warming, just that it will become very uncomfortable for a range of species, some of whom will fail to adapt and will die out.
  Please don't misrepresent what I say in order to bolster your feeble, fact-free argument.

Feral Skeleton

April 28. 2011 08:16 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Amazing, isn't it, how the ignorant bombastically think that selectively quoting a few sentences here and there from one or another published work equates to a persuasive argument?
  They've got a nerve, I reckon.
Also, they think that a smart-arse response, to people that have laid out credible evidence in defence of their position, or contradicting the malarky the sneering sceptic has come out with, will make us quail in fear of their obnoxious self. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 28. 2011 08:38 AM

Ad astra reply

tony s
We have occasionally had bloggers here that have been rude, personal and arrogant, but in twenty-four hours you have broken all records for all of these unbecoming attributes.  The tenor of your words with successive posts suggests that that is what you were setting out to do.

You question my intelligence, my comprehension and my capacity for understanding, a tactic regularly used by those whose arguments lack cogency and conviction.  You resemble one who resorts to personal invective when you are losing an argument, not an attractive attribute.  But maybe you do not mind being an unattractive visitor.  You may even enjoy it.  

Even more reprehensible in my view, is that you sarcastically reject arguments put forward, for instance by 2353, you accuse FS of ‘odd logic’ and parading virtuosity, you scoff at Jason’s grammar, and you use ‘quack, quack’ to deride Lyn.  What sort of a person are you?

The word ‘denier’ is a word that has been in use for eons.  The fact that you choose to associate that word in your mind with Holocaust denial is your problem, not mine.  So why on earth should I apologize for using a common English word?  This tactic of association is one that Christopher Pyne tried out in the House, so I can only presume that it is seen in his circle as a useful weapon to counter the accusation of climate change denial that those who believe in AGW use against those who believe that it is ‘absolute crap’, if I may borrow a phrase.  Give up on this spurious argument. It is making you look foolish.

You continue to quibble about what is and is not Lovelock’s opinion, as if that is pivotal to your argument.  Let me give you a test.  In the same paragraph from which you quote, the one about ‘weak science’, and consequent to that ‘weak science’ statement, Lovelock says: “So why on earth are the politicians spending a fortune of our money when we can least afford it on doing things to prevent events 50 years from now? They’ve employed scientists to tell them what they want to hear.”  Just so we can get on the same plane, tell us if you consider they are, or are not, Lovelock’s opinions?

You make the statement that: “Just because Gaia is a hypothesis, it is not scientific.”  What are you trying to say?  You may have a better definition of ‘hypothesis’, but Wikipedia says: “A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon….For a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories.” So are you saying that the Gaia hypothesis is not testable, and therefore not scientific?  If so, you had better alert Lovelock.

As I said in an earlier post you are tiresome, inconsistent in your arguments, and unwilling to concede that you might have wrong even one assertion that you make; in your responses to me you insist that you are right and I am wrong.  There seems little possibility of reasoned debate, or agreement.  For this reason, tell me why it would be worth my time and effort to respond to any further post by you unless it is couched in more reasonable language, and more cogently argued?

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 08:43 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 08:56 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn, Jason, 2353, FS and any other blogger who feels insulted by tony s

I can only express my regret that we have in tony s a visitor who resorts to personal comment in an unacceptable way.  While we encourage debate and accept disagreement as part of the blogging process, we have always insisted that personal abuse will not be tolerated.  If it continues as part of the comments of tony s, I will delete any offending post when I see it.  He may come from other blog sites where such behaviour is the norm, and not yet realize it is not the norm here.  

I can but apologize to you for this unwelcome intrusion into our usual orderly, courteous and well-informed debate.

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 09:02 AM

Jason

tony s,
      I can't be bothered with you!You appear out of nowhere take offence at something that wasn't even written about you and then demand an apology.
Who in fact are you? are you a climatologist? can you speak with anymore authority on CC than anyone else? put up or shut up.
tony s I just hate your tatics you say you are right and you will shout down those who don't hold your views.
Shout all you like 18 sitting days until the senate changes and something no matter how small will pass the parliament on CC.

Jason

April 28. 2011 09:21 AM

Jason

AA,
  I wouldn't worry,his opinions hold no more weight than those of the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny.

Jason

April 28. 2011 09:44 AM

TalkTurkey

Swordsfolks!

Remember just to have fun with trolls!

Trip-Trap! Trip-Trap! went the bridge . . .

TalkTurkey

April 28. 2011 10:41 AM

lyn

Hi Ad

Don't worry, you are very important to us.  Everyone has read your patient, quiet measured responses, you are to be admired
Ad .  This thread is a very important conversation also very interesting, your article is brilliant.  These people do not deserve one minute of your time.

We have 180 commenters now on TPS at last count, all are intelligent, providing us with fantastic opinions, there is
no room for these talking nonsense hooligans.

You know, they have a tactic, when I bother to think about their reasoning, they are attempting to destroy blogs that don't agree with their crazy  no-brain opinions, besides they want the Liberals back in power.

Ad I agree with you, just moderate their comments and delete them at your own discretion .

SmileSmileSmileSmilecheers

lyn

April 28. 2011 10:55 AM

lyn

Hi Ad

Congratulations, your article is on Crikey's Politics page again, all the more readers for TPS.  

http://www.crikey.com.au/

lyn

April 28. 2011 11:24 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your kind and reassuring words.  Being such a long-time participant in TPS, you know we have dealt with personalities similar to tony s before, but they were not as irksome as he has been in just twenty-four hours.  While I welcome difference of opinion that is backed by facts and reasoning, I deplore resort to personal invective.  That is the refuge of those destitute of a well-reasoned position.  Tony s’ tactic may be to disrupt TPS rather than add to our understanding of the contentious issue of climate change, as you suggest.  I hope he will realize that if he contributes meaningfully, people will respond similarly.  If his aim is disruption, he will be ignored or his unseemly comments erased.

It is gratifying that the number of commentors has reached 180.  It is pleasing too to see that Crickey has listed the current piece on climate change on its ‘Politics’ page.  I wonder how tony s would regard that acknowledgement.

Jason
Thank you too for your reassurance.  You are right; the opinion of tony s is just that.  He has a right to express any opinion he holds, but no right to demean and discard the opinions with which he disagrees without advancing a convincing rebuttal based on facts and reasoning and free from personal invective.

TT
I feel somewhat averse to having fun with trolls.  I would prefer to have reasoned discourse. But when that fails, as I fear it may have with tony s, I suppose having fun is the next best option.

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 01:18 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

This is an excellent column, I know you will appreciate:

The truth is out there, Stephan Lewandowsky, ABC

Indeed, tragically and paradoxically, among Republicans acceptance of the science decreases with their level of education as well as with their self-reported knowledge: Whereas Democrats who believe they understand global warming better also are more likely to believe that it poses a threat in their lifetimes, among Republicans increased belief in understanding global warming is associated with decreased perception of its severity. The more they think they know, the more ignorant they reveal themselves to be.

What prevents action on climate change in Australia, thus forestalling the additional three million jobs that CSIRO foresees to arise from a transition to a sustainable society, is not the free-market economy, but the trumping of facts by ideological extremism.


http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/266186.html

lyn

April 28. 2011 02:41 PM

Rx

Remember TT's wise advice from an earlier blog: Never address trolls directly. Refer to them in the third-person if you must, mock them, talk about them, but never talk TO them. (That's if you cannot resist ignoring them utterly).

Rx

April 28. 2011 03:02 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you so much for the link to the Lewandowsky article on 'Unleashed'. It is a gem. Every believer and every skeptic and denier should read it.

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/266186.html

In it Lewandowsky refers to a May 19 2010 document from the US National Academy of Sciences, America's highest scientific body, which summarised the current state of climate science.  Key paragraphs were: "...human activities are influencing climate. As discussed in the following chapters, scientific evidence that the Earth is warming is now overwhelming. There is also a multitude of evidence that this warming results primarily from human activities, especially burning fossil fuels and other activities that release heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. Projections of future climate change indicate that Earth will continue to warm unless significant and sustained actions are taken to limit emissions of GHGs. Increasing temperatures and GHG concentrations are driving a multitude of related and interacting changes in the Earth system, including decreases in the amounts of ice stored in mountain glaciers and polar regions, increases in sea level, changes in ocean chemistry, and changes in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, precipitation events, and droughts. These changes in turn pose significant risks to both human and ecological systems. Although the details of how the future impacts of climate change will unfold are not as well understood as the basic causes and mechanisms of climate change, we can reasonably expect that the consequences of climate change will be more severe if actions are not taken to limit its magnitude and adapt to its impacts.

"Scientific research will never completely eliminate uncertainties about climate change and its risks to human health and well-being, but it can provide information that can be helpful to decision makers who must make choices in the face of risk."

The link to the US NAC document is: books.nap.edu/openbook.php

Lewandowsky addresses the question of why well educated people who are capable of engaging with the science, remain climate skeptics/deniers. He concludes: "The peer-reviewed psychological literature provides some insight into this question. Numerous studies converge onto the conclusion that there is a strong correlation between a person's endorsement of unregulated free markets as the solution to society's needs on the one hand, and rejection of climate science on the other. The more "fundamentalist" a person is disposed towards the free market, the more likely they are to be in denial of global warming.

"But what do markets have to do with geophysics or the thermal properties of CO2?

"The answer is that global warming poses a potential threat to laissez-faire business. If emissions must be cut, then markets must be regulated or at least “nudged” towards alternative sources of energy—and any possibility of regulation is considered a threat to the very essence of their worldview by those for whom the free market is humanity's crowning achievement.

"It is this deep psychological threat that in part explains the hyper-emotionality of the anti-science discourse: the frenetic alarmism about a "world government", the rhetoric of "warmist" or "extremist" levelled at scientists who rely on the peer reviewed literature, the ready invocation of the spectre of "socialism"—they all point to the perception of threat so fundamental that even crazed beliefs can constitute an alluring antidote."

That view has a ring of authenticity about it.  What do you think?

As i'm writing this on the iPad in the hairdresser's salon, it won't allow me to place the quotes in italics.  Apologies.

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 03:07 PM

Ad astra reply

Rx
That is good advice.  It's a technique the has been useful with previous 'trolls'.

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 03:25 PM

lyn

Hi RX

Thankyou so much for reminding me of what talk Turkey said:

Remember TT's wise advice from an earlier blog: Never address trolls directly. Refer to them in the third-person if you must, mock them, talk about them, but never talk TO them. (That's if you cannot resist ignoring them utterly).

RX don't tell Talk Turkey, but I had completely forgotten about those wise words and I am amazed at myself for being so stupid.

Cheers to you RX

lyn

April 28. 2011 03:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         As I said, it's a very powerful lobby that people who believe in doing something about Global Warming and it's causes, mainly the products of the fossil fuel industry, are fighting against. We are but humble believers in the science. They are a powerful lobby. They have billions of dollars at their disposal to fund Right Wing Think Tanks, Media Production Houses, travelling Carnival Barkers, er, spokespeople for their cause, and even the funding of political parties committed to the cause of wrecking any attempt by government committed to doing something about Global Warming.
   I mean, just think about who is funding Tony Abbott's travels around Australia spruiking for the cause. I thought the Liberal Party were virtually broke after the last election, however is at the helm of a well-oiled campaign machine that goes from one side of Australia to the other on a regular basis, in order to allow him to spread the Anti Action on Climate Change message and the Anti Mining Tax message. I mean, it's obvious to Blind Freddy that it's either Gina Rheinhart or Clive Palmer, and we'll likely never know. That doesn't stop it being reprehensible that such an unholy alliance can buy political prominence and distort the message.

Feral Skeleton

April 28. 2011 03:42 PM

NormanK

For Christopher - the poster-boy for decorous behaviour in parliament.

Poor old English language. She turns Her back for a second and when She looks over Her shoulder yet another group of people have commandeered one of Her progeny to exploit for their own purposes and She is expected to provide an alternative.

There once was a climate change sceptic
Whose demeanour became apoplectic
To call him denier
Only raises his ire
His wounds now demand antiseptic.

NormanK

April 28. 2011 03:53 PM

clarkie

Ad,
Thanks for the welcome, although I don't appreciate your contributor Feral Skeleton greeting me, on no acquaintance, with accusations of 'pig-ignorance' and defence of climate deniers, whom he calls my mates. I would have thought as a matter of logic the fact that I was talking about adaptation to climate change might have told Feral Skeleton that I am not a climate change denier. If climate deniers need defending I am sure they can, and will, do it themselves.
To respond to your more gracious comments, Ad, the point I would like to make is that I fear if we devote too much of our collective effort to trying to reverse climate change, and we fail, and we have devoted too little effort to adaptation, then we will fall catastrophically between two stools. Of course, I am not suggesting that we stop doing what we are doing to slow or halt or reverse the warming trend. I just don't have as much confidence as some that what we are doing will turn around a force that is global in scale. I also am not certain that committing everything to an effort which might prove incompletely effective is the most sensible use of our collective resources, human and financial. Of course, we will continue to develop low-carbon energy sources and electricity storage technologies that will hopefully make renewables effective for continuous electricity supply in future. We will continue to develop geothermal sources. We will not abandon the work on carbon capture and storage, even though that seems a less promising prospect than it did a year or so ago. And we should continue to figure out how to use energy more efficiently and avoid its profligate waste.
The point I obviously failed to make in my first contribution is that we must not get so caught up in a seemingly two-sided argument about the validity or otherwise of climate change science that we stop thinking about what we need to do to be ready as a species for the consequences of climate warming. As Tim Flannery has pointed out, it could be 1000 years or more before we know if we have had a mitigating effect on climate change and the extent of that beneficial effect. So we should be thinking imaginatively now about what practical measures we can take to address the potential and actual harmful effects of climate warming. For example, how we do we sort out the Murray-Darling system without having to depend on reversing climate change to do s? What practical initiatives can we think of to save threatened species that do not depend on us reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels? Reducing greenhouse gases cannot be the sole solution to every environmental challenge that global warming will present to us. If we behave as if it is, then we are probably doomed.
The effort against damaging climate change will involve the allocation of scarce resources. All human activity does. Adaptation to the harmful effects of a warming climate must attract its appropriate share of resources. Perhaps there could be a sensible discussion about that, not just a knee-jerk assumption that to work on adaptation means to stop working against climate warming. And please, let's grow beyond this thinking that to speak of anything other than wholehearted support for climate mitigation orthodoxy is to be condemned as a climate denier.
Clarkie

clarkie

April 28. 2011 03:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Acerbic Conehead is hilarious and leaves me laughing out loud.
Mungo Macallum leaves me with a wry smile on my face:
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/167238.html
  What he has to say about acting on Climate Change, about 2/3 of the way through the article, is extremely pertinent.

Feral Skeleton

April 28. 2011 04:00 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Here is another wonderful column for you, Mr Denmore
right on our topic:

Cubby went onto say that it just wouldn't do to run front page stories every day saying 'Earth Still Warming; Extinction Approaches', because that wasn't news. Journalists had to find new angles to the story constantly and if someone was going to come along with a potty theory about socialist world government conspiracies, well all very good because the copy has to keep on coming.

Climate change is but one area where this novelty-for-novelty's sake happens. Financial journalism is full of it. Every financial journalist knows in their heart of hearts that you can't "beat" the market and that a whole industry is supported by this ridiculous notion.

thefailedestate.blogspot.com/.../...rtainment.html

lyn

April 28. 2011 04:31 PM

Feral Skeleton

   See what you get when you get hoodwinked into electing Coalitiion governments again?
   O'Farrell picking up right where Labor left off
Glenn Dyer writes:
BARRY O'FARRELL, NSW LABOR, NSW LIBERALS

On March 29, Crikey described the claims of a black hole in the NSW government's finances as "a load of statistical noise and rubbish" and "a rounding error". Yesterday, an inquiry report from the man appointed by new Premier Barry O'Farrell to get to the bottom of that black hole supported that contention -- ie, there is no hole. But what about the poor public servant who is being forced to reapply for his job?

According to media reports this morning, acting-Treasury secretary Michael Lambert wrote: ''There is no evidence of any misreporting or non-utilisation of available information.''

The so-called budget black hole was, according to Lambert, due entirely to revenue shortfalls of $500 million a year, due to weak GST revenues and an expected slowdown in property transactions over the next four years. They are factors other governments, new and used, are complaining about.

According to Lambert, the shortfall is a budget variance of ''less than 1%'': in other words, a rounding error.

Lambert also cast doubt on O'Farrell's figure because it was based on five-year forecasts and not the usual four-year basis for budget comparisons (a point made by Crikey). Lambert suggested a more realistic figure was $1.93 billion.

And in terms of the total budget spending over the next four years of more than $240 billion, that $1.93 billion is indeed a rounding error and nothing more.

So O'Farrell's bombastic claims that Labor ''cooked the books'' to cover up a $4.5 billion hole in the state's finances are wrong many times over. Not that he was willing to face up to his error yesterday. He tap-danced his way through to a new claim, as the SMH reported this morning:

    "Releasing the report yesterday, Mr O'Farrell said it ''confirms that Labor did indeed cook the books'' because it confirmed that Treasury was directed by Labor to redistribute rail spending across the budget forward estimates to prevent it going into deficit.

    "It meant that instead of going into deficit in 2013-14 the budget was forecast to be $129 million in surplus when the half-yearly budget update was published in December.

    "Mr Lambert said that Labor's decision was 'not inconsistent with accounting standards' and was identified in the half-yearly update."

O'Farrell rejects that, claiming it is only done in certain circumstances, and he completely avoided the fact that it had already been disclosed. That's an inconvenient truth.

But that pales besides the complete act of bastardry that the Premier is doing to the former head of Treasury, Michael Schur, who was sent on leave when O'Farrell first aired his black hole bulldust and is now being forced to reapply for his job by the putative NSW Treasurer, Mike Baird (who had his portfolio stripped of many functions by O'Farrell, without complaint).

The Australian's NSW political reporter, Imre Salusinszky, this morning quite rightly belts O'Farrell for treating a senior public servant this way, and a public servant who proved his independence by not supporting the former Labor government's power sell-off in an appearance before the state's upper house inquiry.

"So O'Farrell has chosen to begin his premiership with a disgraceful politicisation of the state's financial position that also seems certain to deprive him of Schur's services.

"So is he softening voters up for budget cuts or simply trying to deepen Labor's ignominy? Fiscal credibility was the one strength NSW Labor could lay claim to, even in its twilight. Lambert's report leaves that secure -- but O'Farrell's credibility damaged."

And that's very true. O'Farrell came to power promising a new way of governing in NSW.

The claims about budget black holes is the stuff of everyday political bullsh-t and posturing. The ALP turned that into an art form in its long time ruining NSW.

In his handling of Schur, O'Farrell had continued the usual grubby way the former ALP governments governed, putting themselves first before the rights of individuals, especially public servants with backbone and integrity.

   They're worse! They haven't even been in power for more than 2 ups and they are already as bad as it took the ALP to get to after 5 terms in NSW.

Feral Skeleton

April 28. 2011 04:38 PM

thenewjj

2353,

"so while you are prepared to pay top dollar for the "protection" of your property you couldn't give a stuff about the world your descendants will inherit.  Charming demonstration of morals and values there.  By the way most of our trading partners have or are introducing a mechanism to stabilise/reduce carbon emissions."

Well apart from this little extract being a bit offensive, it also doesnt make sense. There are multiple insurance companies out there creating a competitive environment which causes my insurance policy to not be as expensive.

The other issue with you insurance policy metaphor is that, for almost everything now you have to get insurance to be able to get a loan from the bank. Therefore, really, you cant own your house or car (because most of us have a loan) paying the extra cost of insurance. This makes it a level playing field, a playing field that does not exist at the moment amongst us and our major trading partners. So we have to pay extra while our competitors dont.

Let us keep our contribution into perspective, 1.4%, i think it is. So really to say that i have no morals or ethics because i have insurance is ridiculous. Why destroy industries when you can wait until our major trading partners implement a trading scheme so that no one is grossly effected.

thenewjj

April 28. 2011 04:44 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

If people are going use the Tim Flannery "GOTCHA", as above, they need to get the story right, Media Watch did it for the nation:

The 1000 year episode was a stinking beat up by none other than Bolt and Steve Price:

Gotcha!

Andrew Bolt was a bit slow on the uptake, but Steve Price knows a headline when he hears one...

Steve Price: No meaningful change in world temperatures for a thousand years! This is not just if Australia does it, if the world does it!
—MTR, The Steve Price Breakfast Show, 25th March, 2011
Listen to the full MTR interview with Tim Flannery

Read Tim Flannery's Letter to the Editor

Now it's not the job of ABC News, or the Fairfax newspapers, which also ignored it, to point out that the Flannery story was flummery.

But it is Media Watch's job. And now we've done it

It's elementary, my dear Bolt



www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3181944.htm

lyn

April 28. 2011 04:47 PM

Feral Skeleton

clarkie,
        My apologies. I thought that you were adopting one of the, now tried and true, debating points of the Climate Change Sceptics, that is, that we should carry on regardless and just adapt when, or if, Global Warming occurs. Also that, if Global Warming is to occur then that just presents the market with new entrepeneurial opportunities. Which just blithely glosses over the fact of Global Warming, that, whilst the NorthWest Passage may be opened up and Russia may be able to drill for oil there and Container Ships will have a quicker path to the North American continent, massive social and environmental dislocation will occur.

Feral Skeleton

April 28. 2011 04:48 PM

macca

Years ago, when youthful,fit and social, I spent much of my time in the public bar of my local pub. Always, without fail, some blow-in would join the conversation and just go out their way to antagonize us locals. Many others joined in the debates and we had great conversations, most often agreeing to disagree but respect and common courtesy held sway. The big mouths, or, as they were  called, the mug lairs, found themselves universally ignored. The tended to slink out of the bar in much the same manner the slunk in. On one or two memorable occasions they catapulted out backwards after throwing  their faces up against "beef Ives'" fist.

I wonder why their modern day counterparts have slunk in to The Political Sword.....interesting.

macca

April 28. 2011 05:09 PM

lyn

Macca

Nobody is going to pull the wool over your eyes, and there are no flies on you.

You know you have told about the Local Pub get together, and the loud mouths.  Well I was thinking this  morning it's a bit like me sitting on my front balcony having a lovely afternoon tea and scones chat, oh! about the weather, the roads, the buildings, Anna Bligh, Can Do Campbell, abnoxious Pyne, Climate Change,  along comes somebody and says that's not right what your saying, this is what you should be saying,
you should say what I tell you to say, and what's more you should believe what I am telling you, it's your house, your balcony, but I am still going to ruin your scones and jam and cream, what's more I will even stay here and ruin your balcony.

Cheers Lyn

lyn

April 28. 2011 05:17 PM

2353

AA - thank you for the (needless) apology.  You are correct, this blog is a pleasant place to be and we have (and probably will again) be subjected to fools who don't understand the power of discussion.

jj - I would have thought that someone of your claimed intelligence would have realised the reason that finance companies insist on insurance is so there is a lesser risk of default by you if an incident happens to your asset (financed by them).

For the record I have two reasonably recent model cars sitting in the garage downstairs that are not financially encumbered.  They are both insured with a policy that is not the cheapest in the market by a long shot - however the terms and conditions of the policy fit with my requirements.  Cheap is not necessarily good value for money - compare your policy to others.  Your argument that others don't do it so we shouldn't is nonsensical.  Apart from the obvious response that someone has to go first (which isn't Australia anyway), no one has seen the terms and conditions of the CPRS anyway - how do we know that imports won't have an rating system imposed - like the UK has done for airline travel (look it up - it directly disadvantages Australia).  A "Green Tax" is charged that is calculated directly on the distance the passenger has traveled on their current ticket (so changing planes in Singapore doesn't reduce your liability).

2353

April 28. 2011 05:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

lyn,
    Yum, scones and jam and cream. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 28. 2011 05:36 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I don’t know how you find them Lyn but you always come up trumps.  Mr Denmore’s piece is apt, and isn’t it interesting that the way the media is dealing with climate change was central to his story.

NormanK
That is a clever limerick.

FS
That is the same powerful lobby that did so much damage to the Governments’ MRRT, and having had success then it will continue its strong- arm tactics as long as they are yielding results.  I bet you are right – Tony Abbott’s peregrinations are likely funded by vested interests – through the Coalition coffers of course.  

Incidentally, the Lewandowsky article began by pointing to the widely held belief in the US that Barack Obama was not born in the US despite incontrovertible evidence that he was.  People will believe or not believe what their ideological position dictates.  As Lewandowsky said, facts are trumped by ideological extremism.

Mungo’s piece was Mungo at his very best.

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 05:36 PM

Ad astra reply

Clarkie
Thank you for your helpful contribution to the climate change debate.  You point to two important alternatives – emissions control to reduce the rise in global warming, or adaptive measures to cope with its effects.  You favour adaptive measures.  James Lovelock is of a similar mind.  He seems to have reached this position because he believes mankind is too stupid to take the actions necessary for emissions control.  Paraphrased, he says: “Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades….I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change…The inertia of humans is so huge that you can't really do anything meaningful.

“One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is ‘modern democracy’… Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”


Lovelock…“believes the world's best hope is to invest in adaptation measures, such as building sea defences around the cities that are most vulnerable to sea-level rises. He thinks only a catastrophic event would now persuade humanity to take the threat of climate change seriously enough, such as the collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica, such as the Pine Island glacier, which would immediately push up sea level.”

Although the main aim of emissions trading systems is to reduce emissions and begin to reverse the warming trend, a consequent outcome is the transformation of economies to low emission enterprises.  It is claimed that this will create more and cleaner jobs than we have now, some hundreds of thousands.  That sounds worthwhile in itself.  The other argument in favour of moving now to a low carbon economy is that to delay doing so will allow other nations to get a head start and leave Australia wallowing in their wake.  There is much emphasis given to the view that Australia must not move ahead of the rest of the world and threaten its industries by so doing, especially since we produce only 1.4% of the world’s emissions, (although we still are the largest per capita emitters). That seems to be a furphy, as the rest of the world, especially Europe and Asia, is moving ahead rapidly with a range of measures to reduce carbon emissions and thereby change to low carbon economies with lots of ‘green’ jobs creating sources of renewable energy.  Germany is a classic example.

So with limited resources, where do we deploy them?  The consensus seems to be that reducing carbon emissions is the priority.  But I can imagine that people living in the Ganges delta in Bangladesh, just a few feet above sea level, might believe building protective walls would be a better option.

Again, thank you for raising for debate the alternative to action on carbon emissions – adaption.

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 05:39 PM

clarkie


NormanK
I have an educated lay-person's understanding of "the interconectedness of global bio-systems" as you express it. I doubt that human beings currently have the knowledge or the capacity to work in concert sufficiently well or powerfully  to influence those biosystems in anything but an incidental way. I am much more confident of the capacity of people in communities as large as nations, but probably no larger, to change their environments as a response to the forces unleashed by global biosystems. It makes sense for people to act to do what they can and achieve progress, rather than to over-reach and fall far short.
Thank you for saying that there is room for discussion of ideas that are somewhere in between a fully orthodox climate change activist position and a completely reactionary climate denier position. It does seem to me that even on this site there is too much of the 'if you're not with us you're agin' us' attitude. Some other sites seem only to offer a sort of ritualised on-line combat which is completely unproductive. Perhaps we have been watching politicians doing that for so long that we have forgotten what civil discourse looks and feels like.
Just as there is room for a middle course in discussion of these issues, I believe there will prove to be a middle way between doing nothing to work against climate warming and devoting all our effort solely to reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. And somewhere in that middle ground will be an effort to adapt our environments and the ways in which we live to manage the consequences of the warming that we most likely cannot completely prevent.
I do believe species other than humans have intrinsic value, but if ever forced to make a choice between human beings and other species, I will pick human beings every time.
Humankind is the only species that can work both to reduce the extent of climate warming and to adapt to its likely consequences.
clarkie

clarkie

April 28. 2011 05:51 PM

Ad astra reply

macca and Lyn
What great analogies to trolls you portray.  And in the process spoiling your freshly baked scones Lyn!  BTW, how can you bake scones and still have time for fossicking out your marvellous links?

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 05:57 PM

macca

Clarkie,

I have the uneasy feeling that curbing carbon emissions via a tax is going to be one of the less painless adaptations we're going to have to make.

macca

April 28. 2011 06:11 PM

NormanK

clarkie
I'm glad you responded directly to my comment. If gives me the chance to offer a small apology for misinterpreting your intentions. To be fair, your comment (in isolation) appeared to be advocating adaption instead of rather than as well as other measures. We can agree to disagree on the relative importance of human beings - neither here nor there really unless one were to advocate the complete destruction of one in favour of the other.
Sadly, I think the adaption you speak of will be an even harder row to hoe than either pollution abatement or business as usual. Until such time as the effects start to bite large populations in meaningful and incontrovertible ways, it will be a difficult proposition to sell. I just hope enough innovators forge ahead with their research so that when the time comes solutions will be on the drawing board, small trial projects will have pointed to the best solutions and economical ways of achieving them.
Welcome to TPS. Hopefully you will find that many of us here have open minds and encourage civil discourse despite our differences. Ad astra will no doubt attest that it is an on-going struggle to avoid degenerating into a site which indulges in ritualised on-line combat. That whole aspect of contemporary discourse drives me loopy and to my mind it makes TPS that much more valuable.

NormanK

April 28. 2011 08:56 PM

LittleJan

I found this site through the Crikey link and was enjoying the polite conversation and, for the main part, measured responses.

Love the pub and balcony/scone allegory, macca & Lyn.  Nice work!

AA - your piece was very thought-provoking.  The tension between the reductionist/holistic views is something that I've encountered lately in other areas, namely health.

In answer to your question - My own understanding is that the climate is changing and that mankind is playing some part in that.  There are more humans on the planet than ever before in history - surely that alone has to have some impact.  Perhaps that will garner accusations of naivety from those who hold an opposing view - I'm not aware of any peer-reviewed studies that confirm or deny my hypothesis.

Another "belief" that I have is that the debate over whether or not climate change is solely attributable to mankind's activity is a distraction from the main issue, which is similar to clarkie's view in that we need to adapt to the changes while at the same time developing new technologies and changing the economy in a way that increases the sustainability of our way of life.  

LittleJan

April 28. 2011 09:26 PM

lyn

Hi LittleJan

What a delight to see you here, welcome to TPS, everyone hopes you keep coming back.

Thankyou for your very thoughtful comment a pleasure to read.
So pleased you enjoyed the pub and the balcony.

The climate change debate is very intense with an amazing amount of opinions that will still be debated long after we have gone I suppose.  My husband says he is not sure enough to debate either way, he says he is doing his bit, by pink bats, solar panels, water savers, etc. and listening to informed opinions.

Cheers

lyn

April 28. 2011 09:29 PM

Ad astra reply

LittleJan
Welcome to the TPS family. Do come again.  Thank you for your comments.  It was in the health field that I first encountered the reductionist/holistic divide.

I’m glad you are enjoying the site.  Thank you for your contribution.  Of course you are right about the number of human beings on the planet, which is increasingly inexorably.  We really do need to study what population our planet can sustain and what resources are needed to sustain us all in reasonable comfort.  There has been talk of wars over land and food and water.  We need to reflect on how that might come about and take adaptive action.

We do need new technologies – the NBN is one that I believe has enormous potential, and we need to refashion our economy to a low emission one.  Lots of change is needed – but with all the political argument that is going on, are we capable, or will we all go under still arguing the toss?

Ad astra reply

April 28. 2011 09:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

   One point I do wish to make, that may well be interpreted as partisan by some, but which needs delineating I feel, is that you could almost construe Tony Abbott's 'Direct Action' plan for reducing CO2 emissions by 5% by 2020(if, in fact, it leads to the goal is another question), as an 'adaptive' mechanism for dealing with Climate Change. That is, plant more trees, recarbonise the soil, pay for the dirtiest emitters to cease and desist production at their facility, and let the rest of the economy carry on business as usual, i.e. 'adapt', as the outcome is in the lap of the gods. No seeking to change the behaviiour of industry by sending a price signal, no wanting to lead the citizenry to change their ways. Just let them all carry on as is but hope that their behavioural changes, as they 'adapt' to the changing conditions around them are enough to save the furniture. Hmmm. That approach puts a lot of faith in human beings and businesses to act altruistically to enable positive 'adaptation' as conditions deteriorate. As they will because Tony Abbott isn't about working towards a global consensus for action on Climate Change either. Just doing some embroidery around the edges, and letting  the human race 'adapt' as the Climate Changes, because the Climate always has changed, according to Tony Abbott. It was different in Jesus' time to what it is now, and the human race is still trundling along OK. So, why worry?

Feral Skeleton

April 28. 2011 10:03 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Grog is talking about the Trolls, a brilliant article tonight, and of course every article he writes is brilliant..

Obama Feeds the Trolls, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut

Don’t feed the trolls. The trolls are those areshats who go on blogs and twitter etc and sprout bullsh*t just to get those who hold the opposite view to bite. They hate being ignored, and engaging with them never leads anywhere

grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../...a-feeds-trolls.html

lyn

April 29. 2011 12:21 AM

Rx

Feral Skeleton,

I think you're being rather too generous to the Coalition in giving conscientious analysis to their "direct action "plan". I'd say you've given their "plan" as much or more thought than they have themselves. I believe what happened was, they sniffed the political breeze, decided they had to "offer a climate change policy" (so-called), so they hastily cobbled together a few scientific-sounding measures, worked out means by which they could use this excuse for some creative pork-barrelling of farmers and industry, cynically chucked in a few feelgood "initiatives" (plant trees) ... focus-grouped what to call the thing, and, hey presto! they've got a U-beaut "direct action plan".

Abbott is a denier (his varying pleas to the contrary notwithstanding). He got the leadership job because he is that. He appointed many of his shadow Ministers on account of them also being that (or, at best, skeptics). He has rejected every climate change approach which at varying stages he has supported - emissions trading and carbon tax. Given his pattern of behaviour - the denial, flip-flopping, turning his back on previously-held policies, the scare campaigning about Great Big New Tax, the political weathervaning for which he's notorious - there is nothing that suggests he is anything but a Phoney, a Phoney Abbott, on climate change and the need to do something to counter it. Heck, he believes God is coming back to Earth at any stroke of the clock to destroy all mortal human life ... the end of the world is just around the corner, so why would he bother expending political capital on, or indeed doing anything strenuous about, a climate change problem he believes is absolute crap? His so-called direct action plan is a political solution, nothing more, nothing less. He'd drop it like a hot potato the moment he thought people were distracted by something else. Oooh, ooh, look! over there! a unicorn! ... ooh, look over THERE - terrorists! Stinkin' phoney.

Rx

April 29. 2011 06:32 AM

Jason

FS,
  
Business gives cold shoulder to Coalition climate plan Adam Morton and Tom Arup
April 29, 2011
.The Coalition is struggling to win business support for its climate plan, with no company chiefs signed up to spruik it as a better way to cut carbon dioxide emissions than a carbon tax

thenewjj,
        in the same article your man Windsor says
"
''My challenge to the industry is … you come up with a scheme and I'm more than happy to take that into the multi-party climate change committee,'' he said. ''Put up or shut up - and come up with something that's better

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...-plan-20110428-1dywm.html

Jason

April 29. 2011 06:45 AM

thenewjj

2353,

It doesnt matter whether we have seen the new model yet because we know it has to be less helpful to industry. The government has already said that they wish to make this new scheme revenue neutral, whereas the last CPRS was going to run a deficit (due to greater compensation). Also, the government has stated that 50%+ of the revenue acquired by the tax is going to go to households. The CPRS was only going to dish out around 40% to households. You dont have to be a genius to know that there is now less money on the table to compensate industry, and it is due to this that you are seeing companies such as BHP get a little skid-dish.

thenewjj

April 29. 2011 07:35 AM

lyn


TODAY'S LINKS


Obama Feeds the Trolls, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut
Don’t feed the trolls. The trolls are those areshats who go on blogs and twitter etc and sprout bullsh*t just to get those who hold the opposite view to bite. They hate being ignored, and engaging with them never leads anywhere
grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../...a-feeds-trolls.html

That's Entertainment Revisited , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
And now, for the sake of entertainment, novelty and "story-telling" - even if those splendid yarns misinform the public
-  it is prepared to put the planet at risk. This is why the Fourth Estate has become the Failed Estate.
thefailedestate.blogspot.com/.../...rtainment.html

Looking after their own, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison
Andrew Bolt highlighted the personal blog and twitter account of Amy Coopes, an account which clearly noted that it
reflected her personal views, not those of her employer. Bolt didn’t
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#more-9895

Why I gave up Australian newspapers, Malcolm Farnsworth, The Drum
News Limited’s The Australian maintains a serious demeanour but is increasingly characterised by bizarre preoccupations
that cast doubt on its news values.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/380470.html

"Financial planning" - a sales force masquerades as a profession, David Walker, Club Troppo
This is why calling the industry “financial planning’ is like calling the brothel business “personal counselling”. Sure, you might get some counselling as a byproduct, but the people in the industry are, by and large,
clubtroppo.com.au/.../

Paul Howes and the mysterious membership figures, Trevor  Cook, The Conversation
In February this year, Howes launched a workplace safety campaign with the tagline “Guard it or ban it”.
theconversation.edu.au/.../paul-howes-and-the-mysterious-membership-figures-1139

Murdoch broadsheet gives lesson in how not to report news, Antony Loewenstein
Murdoch’s Australian has spent the last months demonising NSW Greens Senator elect Lee Rhiannon. The main reason is her
strong and principled support for sanctions against apartheid Israel
antonyloewenstein.com/.../

The problem with asylum seekers, Dave Bath, Balneus
Abbott that should be giving congratulations to Julia and KRudd for cutting applications from the peak when Abbott’s
mob ran the joint in 2000 – when numbers were 50% higher than today.
balneus.wordpress.com/.../

TPV By Any Other Name?, New Matilda
In a doorstop interview at his Fairfield electoral office on Tuesday, Bowen summed up the difference between his
policy and the Howard government’s TPV regime like this
newmatilda.com/2011/04/28/tpv-any-other-name

Multiculturalism: it’s on the agenda, Miglo, Cafe Whispers
The recently established Joint Standing Committee on Migration has commenced an inquiry into multiculturalism in
Australia.  Some of the key issues to be addressed will
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

Unto us a child was born, Peter Martin
It's a moving document:
http://www.petermartin.com.au/

Journalism's future , Gary Sauer -Thompson, Public Opinion
journalism is in formation. This is one in which deception and lies become the norm instead of truth and facts; the media
becomes more politically partisan and polarized; fake interviews;
www.sauer-thompson.com/.../journalisms-fut.php

Climate Clippings 54, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo,
If we continue to release CO2 into the atmosphere at current rates, within a decade we will reach a tipping point beyond
which ocean warming will occur no matter what we do, reducing the reef’s chances of survival,
larvatusprodeo.net/.../#more-20818

All Because We Wuz Robbed!, Neil Cook, The Bannerman
For the ideologues though, no amount of rational argument will sway them from their dogma. They will agitate against
change which in itself is ironic as atrophy is the enemy of progress, yet these same dogmatic individuals
www.waddayano.org/.../...because_we_wuz_robbed.php

Ups and downs, Opinion Dominion
I've previously speculated on the coming Carbon Wars (cruise missiles being sent to destroy Chinese coal power plants,
anyone?) I kind of like it when someone who's actually doing climate science stuff
opiniondominion.blogspot.com/.../...and-downs.html

Understanding the National Broadband Network Rollout, Madhanskumar, Whatis 3GService. Com
This unique network is made up of glass cables similar in shape to a strand of human hair. They are then covered by flexible, plastic tubing so they are able to bend without breaking the internal cables.
whatis3gservice.com/understanding-the-national-broadband-network-rollout

A final word on Trump's birther claims, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices
Not content with making himself a laughing stock over Barack Obama's place of birth, the trolling Trump then
went after the U.S. President's academic history.
northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/.../...r-claims.html


READING



A wallet, a browser and a social networking tool, Xan Rice, Inside Story
the country’s biggest mobile service provider, has sold more than twelve million SIM cards – almost one for every three Kenyans.The vast majority of their customers would never have had a fixed-line phone
inside.org.au/.../

Will the Human Global Superorganism Secure Our Place in the Universe, David Braun, National Geographic
despite all of the selfishness and political spin and everything else that tries to derail us from what we know needs to be done. Our victory will be in preserving the good in humanity and giving future generations
newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/.../

Newspapers

Clamp on trusts would hit key MPs , Siobhain Ryan, The Australian
parliamentarians, with 19 House of Representatives MPs and 13 senators holding family trusts.Twenty-one of the
32 are Coalition MPs, nine are Labor and three are independents
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226045898292

lyn

April 29. 2011 07:47 AM

2353

jj - BHP have recently announced a $46BILLION mining project in Central Queensland - hardly skittish (I assume that's what "skid-dish" is supposed to mean).  There is also a considerable amount of exploration work being conducted across Central and Southern Queensland for coal and gas projects (I was in the Central Queensland coalfields last weekend and was driving around Sthn Queensland yesterday).  Its also interesting that you can "know" anything about a scheme where the details have yet to be released.  Secondly, unless you run a "industry" you are not in a position to state what is more or less helpful to them as you are not privy to the internal workings of the organisation - remembering their public and private positions may be completely different.  In my opinion the details should have been released on day 1 - but that's a different discussion.

You still haven't answered the original question but at least have attempted to engage in discussion - a pleasant change from your usual modus operandi.

2353

April 29. 2011 07:57 AM

Ad astra reply

Jason
Thank you for the link to the Age article.  There are some paragraphs that supporters of the Coalition 'direct action' plan should read:

"The Coalition is struggling to win business support for its climate plan, with no company chiefs signed up to spruik it as a better way to cut carbon dioxide emissions than a carbon tax.

"Last month former Reserve Bank board member Dick Warburton said he had agreed to assemble a team to promote the Coalition's plan for a $10 billion fund to pay for emissions cuts, and that he expected to make an announcement about it in mid-March.

"But Mr Warburton has told The Age that he is yet to convince any business leaders to join a Coalition round table to promote its climate policy.

"The battle to attract business support followed the Coalition's failure to win backing from economists for its direct action plan as a viable long-term alternative to a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme.

"Mr Warburton acknowledged that a failure to get public business support would be seen as a blow to the legitimacy of the Coalition's policy.

''It would add to the credibility if they would [support the policy], no doubt about that, but if they don't, they don't,'' he said.

"Major corporations including Qantas, BHP Billiton and other mining and energy companies have backed a carbon price as the best way to cut emissions, though many have expressed concern about the scheme's design.

"Analysts have expressed doubt over whether the Coalition's alternative policy would achieve the 5 per cent emissions target, and warned it was likely to cost significantly more than $10 billion if it did.

"Mr Warburton, a leading business figure, said there had been a shift in attitude against a carbon price, reflected in a recent letter from the Business Council of Australia to Prime Minister Julia Gillard expressing its concerns. He estimated 80 per cent of the BCA's 120 members opposed a carbon tax.

"But a BCA spokesman and some member companies - including oil and gas giant Woodside and steel maker BlueScope - said Mr Warburton had not approached them about the Coalition's policy.

"Independent MP Tony Windsor, a member of the government's climate committee, yesterday challenged business leaders who did not like the carbon tax to come up with an alternative, saying he was sick of mixed signals from business.

''My challenge to the industry is … you come up with a scheme and I'm more than happy to take that into the multi-party climate change committee,'' he said. ''Put up or shut up - and come up with something that's better.''

It's time the rest of the MSM exposed the Coalition 'direct action' plan for the sham it is, as Rx has so nicely pointed out in his early morning comment.

Ad astra reply

April 29. 2011 08:06 AM

Feral Skeleton

Rx,
   Sadly there isn't an emoticon for putting one's tongue firmly in one's cheek. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 29. 2011 08:16 AM

Feral Skeleton

jj,
   Less compensation for the Rentseekers from industry, who refuse to publically support the government's efforts to price Carbon emissions, yet behind closed doors are importuning with the best of them, is a good thing. I mean, are you saying that profitable businesses should be compensated more than struggling families? And they are all profitable as of their last Annual Report. Also, as has been calculated elsewhere, the amount of profit loss flowing through to EITEIs is minimal. I know they all hate to lose even one dollar in profit, but maybe they should put their public spiritedness hat on and agree to forego that little bit of profit for the general benefit of the environment we all live in. Even them.
They will be compensated anyway, so maybe, as a result of going from the generous compensation of the Rudd package, which everyone agreed was too generous to industry, accepting maybe, 1c less per dollar profit, as they go from >50% compensation, to <50% of compensation can be the little bit of pain for more equitable gain generally in the community they will forego. It may even bring them some good karma by way of increased profits! Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 29. 2011 08:18 AM

Feral Skeleton

Oh, boo hoo, no 'Direct Action' Champions. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 29. 2011 08:22 AM

Feral Skeleton

2353,
     jj is just a po' country boy, cut him some verbal slack. Us elite city slickers should just quietly sip our lattes, with the correct spelling on the side of the cup, and gently chuckle in bemusement instead to save him from tres embarassment. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 29. 2011 08:47 AM

Feral Skeleton

More shonky behaviour from the NSW O'Farrell government:
www.smh.com.au/.../...s-new-mp-20110428-1dyx3.html
  Just goes to prove the Gillard government's point that there are people on the Disability Pension who could take on full-time jobs. Even a few Liberal Party malingerers. Smile

Feral Skeleton

April 29. 2011 08:54 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra reply

April 29. 2011 12:42 PM

NormanK

This is one of the things that most annoys me about contemporary journalism.
If you were to read this :
Network technologists have started pushing cutting-edge techniques for massively boosting speed on copper lines and wireless broadband services.
Telecommunications equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent and its China-based rival, Huawei, are working on ADSL technology that can generate speeds of 750Mbps-1Gbps on copper in technical trials.
Similarly, Australia's peak science agency, the CSIRO, is working on wireless technology called Ngara that could deliver dedicated 75Mbps wireless broadband to rural homes.
Ngara is five times more spectrally efficient than the best wireless technology now in commercial operation.


Service providers wring more speed out of copper networks by Andrew Colley
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frgakx-1226005975254
... you could be forgiven for concluding that perhaps the NBN is indeed hastily conceived and soon to be outdated, especially if you are already of that opinion.
However under the same masthead, in the same column, by the same author but dated five days earlier we can find this summation of that same technology :
However, both of the newer technologies face barriers to adoption. CSIRO's wireless technology is more suitable in the country than the city. Its Ngara base stations will be called on to serve only about 24 dwellings each, with clear view of its antenna.
Conversely, next-generation copper technology is suited to high-density premises such as corporate offices and unit blocks.
Huawei's and Alcatel's DSL technology require four copper lines running a maximum distance of 400m. Most Australian homes have two copper lines and, according to Telstra, 60 per cent run more than 1.2km from their nearest exchange.


High-speed copper option of limited use by Andrew Colley
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6nf-1226003262743
So the new technologies will beautifully complement the NBN's fibre but that is not the thrust of the later column.
Lazy? Sloppy? Deliberately misleading? Whatever the reason, it is very poor service to its readers.

NormanK

April 29. 2011 02:17 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Having read the links you provided I echo your annoyance.  On article paints a sober picture of the potential of copper, while the other talks about technology: “…boosting the maximum grunt from copper and wireless broadband to deliver speeds in a class to match the 100 megabits per second the federal government has pledged for the National Broadband Network.” Taken together, what conclusion can we draw?  That copper will do instead of the NBN, or that it is so limited that it can’t?

The ‘journalistic diagnosis’ has nothing to do with the facts.  Otherwise Colley should have integrated the facts into one (or two) balanced pieces.  The diagnosis is captured by what Lindsay Tanner uses for the title of his new book ’Sideshow – Dumbing Down Democracy, in which he maintains that the media is focused more on entertainment than the promulgation of facts.  It is the headlines and the first paragraph that carries the entertainment – a touch of sensation to titillate readers, many of which would not read further.

The fact that the two articles seem to be in conflict, and in one article the headline is in conflict with the first paragraph, seems not to concern the writer, the subeditor and presumably the editor also.  The conclusions you draw are all possible: the journalist is lazy, sloppy or deliberately misleading.

Ad astra reply

April 29. 2011 02:50 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for yet another interesting collection of links.  

Relevant to the contemporary piece is the National Geographic Daily News: Will the Human Global Superorganism Secure Our Place in the Universe? by David Braun newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/.../

His interview of Tim Flannery is most enlightening.  A couple of paragraphs particularly caught my attention as they reflected comments made here on TPS: "But there are other critical moments stealing up on us. One of them is the climate issue. We know that the remaining carbon budget that we have to make sure that we don’t tip ourselves into a period of dangerous climate change is very, very tight. It’s going to be very hard for us to come in as a species under that carbon budget, so that we end up with less than two degrees of warming on the planet.

“The human population is growing. This month we reach seven billion people.  About forty years from now, there will be somewhere between eight and ten billion of us, most likely around about nine billion. But again, we will influence that outcome if we manage to help the most underprivileged, and particularly educate women in the poorest countries, then we may end up closer to eight than ten [billion].

"So there are just a few of the critical moments that are stealing up on us.


Pity that so many can’t or won’t see the biological catastrophe hurtling our way, the time of arrival of which nobody can predict.  Those who say ‘don’t worry, it’s crap anyway, and even if it’s not, it’s a long way off’, will go down with the rest of us, oblivious of the fact that it could have been predicted and avoided.

The whole piece is well worth a read.

I also liked particularly the piece by Malcolm Farnsworth on The Drum: Why I gave up Australian newspapers, which will interest anyone who is disgusted with most of today’s MSM. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/380470.html

My experience parallels his.  I have given up buying newspapers, except for The Weekend Age and the weekend Australian Financial Review.  I seldom look at online papers, except when a link is provided in a comment here or in your links, and I have no subscription to online papers behind a pay wall.  I have a free subscription to The New York Times.  Most of the online information I glean is from the Fifth Estate, which of course sometimes directs readers to an MSM paper.

Farnsworth has a very poor view of contemporary journalism and ends by saying if they want him back as a consumer: ‘Give me a reason to come back.’

Your links are must better value than any newspaper is providing, which is why I use my iPad, sometimes in bed, to catch up with the news.

Ad astra reply

April 29. 2011 02:56 PM

Jason

AA,
  Speaking of newspapers Malcom Farnsworth over on the drum has written about why he has given them up!

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/380470.html

Jason

April 29. 2011 03:21 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason
I'll leave your link in as it is such a good article by Malcolm Farnsworth.

Ad astra reply

April 29. 2011 03:23 PM

Gravel

Ad Astra

Thank you for your great piece. I was able to relate to your analogies that you used.

I was amazed that there were over two hundred comments then disappointed to see that several commenters were just being disruptive.  

There was no need to apologise  Ad Astra, us regulars and others that read this blog because of the pleasant attitude of most of the contributors will never blame you.  I have learnt to not read after recognising the avatar of several nasty bloggers and just scroll right past.  I do love most of the intelligent responses that add new facts to your article.  

Gravel

April 29. 2011 03:24 PM

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Folks
As the Royal Wedding is within hours of beginning, it is fitting that we have a preview via Acerbic Conehead's A Right Royal Wedding.  Enjoy his delectable satire and the unseemly machinations of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL!

www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...oyal-Wedding.aspx

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April 29. 2011 03:39 PM

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Gravel
Thank you for your kind remarks.  We did have a disruptive visitor but he has not been back for a couple of days.  Of course he may come back and will be welcome if he complies with our rules of courtesy to other bloggers.  The piece attracted great interest, which shows that serious people regard climate change as important, perhaps more so than some of our politicians.

I hope you are feeling better.

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April 29. 2011 03:46 PM

Jason

AA,
THE new national broadband network (NBN) will make working life more flexible but many people still don't know what the network is all about, its chief executive says.
NBN Co head Mike Quigley appeared before a federal parliamentary inquiry in Sydney where he was questioned about the nine-year project to build the network.

He said the network would save money in the long run, improve the country's productivity and cited the use of teleconferencing in his own office as an example.

"We now have in our facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra - high definition ... video conferencing which means large bandwidth that saves us getting on planes," he said.

"We also expect more of our people (to) telework from home - that will keep people off the roads, which means less money needs to go into normal infrastructure."
Mr Quigley said video conferencing was an overwhelming driver behind demand for more bandwidth.

"I would say that the world is simply becoming more video oriented," he told the parliamentary committee travelling the country getting views about the NBN and its role and potential.

"It's not just about entertainment, it's about video conferencing, it's about medical imaging, it's about remote education."

NBN Co's $36 billion mission is to reach 93 per cent of Australian homes.

Mr Quigley said there was still a common misconception that NBN would be an internet service provider, when in fact it would be a wholesale company.

"There's still a lot of people in the community who assume we are going to be the replacement for a retail service provider," he said.

"We've certainly learned that we need to increase our efforts in that communication."

Australian Telecommunications Users Group managing director Rosemary Sinclair told the inquiry that she supported the policy but NBN Co needed to do more to engage with the community.

"We'd like to see NBN company itself much more directly engaged with users," Ms Sinclair said.

"We definitely understand the distinction between retail and wholesale but we think that this is such a big policy and a program, it's important that all Australians understand what the change means and are in a position to be able to support the policy and be interested in the services when they're available."

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communication was sitting at New South Wales Parliament House in Sydney today.

www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frf7ko-1226047007352

Jason

April 29. 2011 03:52 PM

NormanK

Ad astra
For those of us who still harbour hopes that the ABC will return to its Charter and provide us with objective informative news coverage, last night's Lindsay Tanner interview with Leigh Sales gave us little cause to be optimistic. If we hope that the change for the better might be sparked by those on the front line, so to speak, and that journalists like Sales will see that they are at least equally to blame for the dire straits in which current political reporting and the polity find themselves, she didn't seem particularly open to the suggestion.
Sales' demeanour was less than hospitable when Tanner suggested the dumbing down of reporting was a self-perpetuating downward spiral in which the media plays a large part, the defences came up and out came the schoolmarm face.
Even if the decision-makers above the journalists make decrees regarding an altering of behaviour, if the journalists are reluctant or just plain can't see the problem then the change is going to be that much slower in being brought about.

www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2011/s3202992.htm

Chris Uhlman's interview with Tony Abbott seemed more controlled than usual but I have to wonder how many cameras were involved. If the cut-aways of Uhlman asking the questions were done after the interview, we have no way of knowing what tone of voice or body language he employed. Having said that, he does seem to have toned himself down a bit over recent weeks.

FS
You almost got a bite out of me with your fishing expedition where you used the DAP as bait. Fortunately, I gaffa tape my knees to the chair these days and they are limited in their capacity to jerk. Nice cast, though.

NormanK

April 29. 2011 03:55 PM

Jason

This is great.

Bill Maher on Letterman takes down Trump, Palin, Iowan Republicans, Mitt Romney and the Tea Party

www.youtube.com/watch

Jason

April 29. 2011 05:39 PM

Jason

The Prince of Wales has condemned climate change sceptics for their "corrosive" impact on public opinion and accused them of playing a "reckless game of roulette" with the planet.

In a speech at a European parliament climate conference in Brussels, he also warned environmentalists they needed to do much more to convince people to adopt a greener lifestyle.

He challenged the green lobby to start selling the benefits of sustainable living instead of focusing on what people should give up.

Questioning why the public had not eagerly embraced sustainable living, the prince said: "My conclusion is that, for too long, environmentalists have tended to concentrate on what people need to stop doing. If we are constantly told that living environmentally-friendly lives means giving up all that makes life worthwhile, then it is no surprise that people refuse to change."

He told the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit that efforts to sell greener living had been undermined by climate change sceptics.

"I have to say, this process has not exactly been helped by the corrosive effect on public opinion of those climate change sceptics who deny the vast body of scientific evidence that shows beyond any reasonable doubt that global warming has been exacerbated by human industrialised activity."

The implication, he said, was that those who accept the evidence of hundreds of scientists around the world are "secretly conspiring to undermine and deliberately destroy the entire market-based capitalist system which now dominates the world".

The prince questioned how sceptics would explain their position to future generations who had to deal with the adverse effects of failing to tackle climate change.

"I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they failed their future," he said.

"I wonder, will such people be held accountable at the end of the day for the absolute refusal to countenance a precautionary approach? For this plays a most reckless game of roulette with the future inheritance of those who come after us."

The prince also warned MEPs and business leaders that efforts to tackle climate change would fail if economic growth continued to come at the expense of the environment. He challenged them to break the link between growth and the production of high-carbon goods, saying a "business as usual" approach to increasing national wealth was at odds with tackling climate change.

"I cannot see how we can possibly maintain the growth of GDP in the long term if we continue to consume our planet as voraciously as we are doing," he said.

The prince also warned that unless deforestation was tackled all other efforts to reduce global warming would be in vain.

"Stopping deforestation is not a lifestyle choice, it is an absolutely critical part of any low-carbon growth plan," he said.

"If we fail to address this problem, despite everything else we might do, there is no answer to climate change."


www.guardian.co.uk/.../prince-charles-climate-change-sceptics

Jason

April 30. 2011 09:15 AM

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Jason
Apologies for missing your two comments – I was preoccupied with the AC post, and then with cleaning up the property.

The Herald Sun account of the Mike Quigley encounter with the parliamentary committee is interesting and even more interesting is that the Herald Sun actually published a piece supportive of the NBN.  Is the tide turning?

The Guardian account of the Prince of Wales is encouraging.  He has been a great advocate for the environment.

Thank you for these informative links.

I too found the Letterman interview of Bill Maher amusing and revealing.

NormanK
I missed your comment also.  I saw only fragments of the Leigh Sales interview with Lindsay Tanner but read the transcript this morning.  Leigh was on the defensive, perhaps not surprisingly after Lindsay’s attack on the media and its role in trivializing politics.  Although she reacted that way in the interview, she may reflect on what he said and even read his book.  She is a serious journalist who may decide that her professionalism is more important to her than the occasional gotcha moment.  I missed most of the Chris Uhlmann interview but must catch up on iView.  Maybe he is already modifying his approach after all the criticism he and the ABC have copped recently.  It is only the most arrogant of broadcasters who are immune to criticism, and, like Leigh Sales, he would value his professional reputation, especially at the beginning of his 7.30 stint.

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