The Grumpy Old Denialist Party

Bushfire Bill struck a respondent chord when he argued the case that the Liberal Party had earned the label ‘The Grumpy Old Party’.  In commenting on this piece, Bilko said “...a pervasive state of denial afflicts the Coalition”, and Michael said the same when he wrote “...their grumpy army can still NOT BELIEVE that the Coalition was voted out.”   HillbillySkeleton said something similar “Their criticism of 'Debt and Deficit' appears predicated on a complete denial of the intervention of the GFC into the economy over the last couple of years (an almost farcical, 'Don't Mention the War' posture), and the subsequent actions of the Rudd government, by going into Deficit, to ameliorate the worst effects of it on our country, appear to them to just be a socialist government showing its true colours.” 

Denial seems to be a central component of the Liberal mindset.  This piece suggests it underlies the ‘grumpiness’ that Bushfire Bill described so well.

I have written several times on TPS about this attitude of denial, and I’m not referring just to the current theme of denial of climate change.  It permeates the thinking of many senior Liberals.  In several pieces I’ve argued that Tony Abbott was, and I believe still is, in a state of denial about the validity of the election of the Rudd Government and the Coalition’s defeat in 2007.  “We were such a good Government”, Abbott laments, the implication being that it did not deserve to be thrown out, especially during such prosperous times.  He still has not grasped the essence of the defeat, acknowledging only longevity of the Howard Government, WorkChoices and the Coalition’s attitude to Climate Change as the prime factors, and now that he’s leader he’s even resurrecting elements of WorkChoices, despite proclaiming the title dead, and his climate change position continues to reek of denialism.

A 'denialist' is defined as 'one who excessively denies the truth.'  That descriptor seems to fit the Liberal Party.  And it’s not a recent thing; it’s chronic.  ‘Denialism’ is defined as ‘choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid an uncomfortable truth.  It is the refusal to accept an empirically verifiable reality. It is an essentially irrational action that withholds validation of a historical experience or event.’

In his book To the Bitter End, Peter Hartcher points to the layers of denialism in the Howard Government leading up to the 2007 election.  Despite the gathering evidence, to the point of it being overwhelming, “Howard used every moment before election day to shake up the sense that the outcome was a foregone conclusion, to demand that voters reconsider.  He tried every possible device and stratagem, thrashing around in a desperate series of twists and turns, prepared to try anything to win.  Anything, that is, short of breaking solidarity with George W. Bush [about not signing Kyoto and on Iraq] or handing power to Peter Costello.”  Howard, perhaps understandably, was denying the inevitability of defeat, but more significantly was denying the negative impact on the voters of his unshakable allegiance to George W. Bush.

Ideologically driven, Howard continued to deny the negative effect on voters of his WorkChoices legislation, until, when it was already too late, he introduced the ‘Fairness Test’ in an attempt to assuage the anger of the electorate.  The voters saw it as the cynical exercise it was.  Likewise, when facing defeat in his own seat he started to pay attention to his electorate, his denialism showed again.  He turned up to events, such as the Granny Smith Festival, that he had never ever graced with his presence.  The electors saw him as ‘on the make’.  Again, as was his habit, he tried to buy votes with massive handouts ‘in the national interest’ which too often were nothing more than pork-barrelling.  His state of denial obscured the fact that his actions were no longer effective – the people saw through them.  But he persisted.

With the Reserve Bank continuing to raise interest rates, even during an election, an event Howard in his mind denied could or should happen, as Hartcher put it, “Howard misread the changing times – he misread the economics, he misread the way the Reserve Bank would react to the economics, and he misread the politics.”   

His obsession with holding onto his Prime Ministership, his denial of the adverse effects of this on his party, hastened his downfall.

Enough of Howard’s denialism – he’s gone – what about his ministers, many of whom still adorn the Opposition benches?  Howard seems to have instilled in them the same denialist mindset.

Tony Abbott, the new leader, is denialist-in-chief.  He still bridles at the reality of the Coalition’s defeat by a sleepwalking electorate.  He still believes that the electorate will sooner or later wake up to the 'hollowness' of Kevin Rudd – 'all talk and no action' – and will return the Coalition to its rightful seat of power.

In the lead up to the election Howard ministers denied the adverse influence Howard was having on their election chances.  Even those who saw this put it aside and took no effective action to replace the man inexorably leading the Coalition to defeat.  The debacle around APEC time where several ministers thought Howard should go was another example of denialism, or at least the gutlessness of some of them to insist that he went.  Denialism in the sense: ‘How could this man who had led them to four successive and increasingly strong victories lead them to defeat?’

Every time Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott or Joe Hockey uttered the ‘debt and deficit’ mantra they were denying the reality of the GFC and the need to take radical action at the time, even if it incurred debt.  They must have believed that repeating that mantra often enough, Goebbels-style, would wake up the electorate to the Government’s 'profligacy'.  Abbott’s and Hockey’s unwillingness to give appropriate credit to the Government for its actions, actions that just about every unbiased observer now accepts saved Australia from recession, rapidly rising unemployment and business failure, is denial at its most flagrant.  And the Government’s contribution to consumer and business confidence and retail sales too is denied.  Even The Australian, which has not been a conspicuous supporter of the Government, this past weekend named Kevin Rudd as its ‘Australian of the Year’, and cited his efforts in combating the effects of the GFC as the main reason for its selection.  

Joe Hockey is in denial when he asserts that the three interest rate rises in the last few months are not due to the buoyancy of the economy and the threat of that to inflation, but instead due to the Government’s ‘reckless and unnecessary spending’. 

The sustained attack on the Schools Stimulus program by Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne and just about any other Coalition member who could get a word in, was an unseemly exercise in denialism.  The fact that only about sixty problems arose in the 24 000 projects in 9 500 schools was enough for the Coalition, and it must be said parts for the Murdoch press, to deny the beneficial effects to thousands of schools, the children and their parents.

Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop, Scott Morrison and many others are in denial when they discount the ‘push factors’ that have influenced the recent boat arrivals, insisting that it is only the ‘pull factors’ – ‘Rudd’s failed border protection policies’ – that are operative.

Just this morning Peter Dutton, talking about the Government’s ‘failure to deal with the nation's ailing health system’, said “That's the crazy part about Kevin Rudd's spin on health - he just keeps promising the same thing over and over again but he delivers absolutely nothing."  ‘Absolutely nothing’ mind you.  Dutton thereby completely denies the existence of the Rudd Government initiative – the most comprehensive report on health care in Australia for decades, prepared by the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.  The report was the culmination of ‘16 months of discussion, debate, consultation, research and deliberation by a team dedicated to the cause of strengthening and improving our health system for this and future generations of Australians.’  It contained over a hundred recommendations.  The Government insists implementation of them will begin this year.

Climate change of course is a hotbed for denialism in the Coalition.  Tony Abbott’s ‘absolute crap’ comment about climate change is likely close to his real beliefs, not that it’s easy to dig them out as he oscillates from ‘pass the ETS and get it off the table’, to fighting it tooth and nail in the Senate, to his declaration that he’s always been an environmentalist and wants a Green Army, to his promise to devise a scheme that will effectively mitigate Australia’s carbon emissions without a ‘Great Big New Tax’, a mantra faithfully followed by his ministers.  All this is camouflage for not wishing to address climate change frontally, which would require him to confront the denialism of Barnaby Joyce, Ron Boswell, Nick Minchin, Wilson Tuckey, Dennis Jensen, Andrew Robb, Cory Bernardi, and many others in his party.  Abbott and Co deny that the ETS is a tax on the polluters, not the public, most of which will be compensated for any resultant increase in costs.

They deny the need to do much about climate change, and the need to do it soon.

When a Liberal as senior as Nick Minchin was prepared to state his highly sceptical position on climate change on last year’s ABCs Four Corners program, how can Tony Abbott, wearing his own scepticism, his own brand of denialism, like an albatross around his neck, ever be taken seriously by the public when he talks about the need for carbon mitigation, and his plans for it.

Denial is just across the road from untruthfulness, the stock in trade of many politicians.  Sometimes it’s hard to know which is which.  Sometimes the two blur into each other.  Sometimes denial leads to untruthfulness, sometimes it’s the other way around.

Whatever its genesis, I trust the examples given above will support the thesis of this piece: that denialism is the root cause of the Coalition’s demeanour, of its grumpiness, of its ill temper.  Thus the extension of Bushfire Bill’s label to ‘The Grumpy Old Denialist Party’.

Until the Coalition collectively, and members individually accept the stark reality of its defeat and more importantly the reasons for it; accept the reality of its current parlous state and the reasons for that; until denial is put aside as an almost reflex response to every Government initiative; until rational thought, deliberation and balanced dialogue is substituted for it, it will continue to languish in the polls and in the eyes of the electorate.  Denialism is political death.

What do you think?

 

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lyn1

25/01/2010Hi Ad Expertly written again, as usual you have said it all honestly, unbiased, as it is. Tony abbott is the biggest denier of all time did you read Samanther Maiden's piece this morning, look what Abbott has said now. "Wow and big Wow" and it's in print in the magazine. We were gobsmacked at the Australian Australian of the Year award, but these latest views from Tony Abbott "Wobbley Gob stuff", he is losing more voters every day. Keep up the good work Tony, there will be no election campaign and expensive advertising for the Rudd Government, Tony Abbott is doing it all by himself. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/tony-abbott-warns-women-against-sex-before-marriage/story-e6frgczf-1225823300045 http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ Ad if you have time, please read Mangled Thoughts piece written this morning. Copied from Mangled Thoughts :- (The Right inflict pain and believe they are good. They consider their actions benevolent. Abbott comes up with a “benefaction” every day, straight off the cuff, for which we mere oafs should be grateful for. He is a complete idiot. How many Liberal Party votes has Tony Abbott destroyed? Thousands, tens of thousands, or any multiple of tens of thousands)? http://rumcorps.net/mangledthoughts/ Ad would you recommend I buy To the Bitter End, Peter Hartcher. I have read quite a lot of political books and quartly essays, but have picked up To The bitter End and put it back again.

Ad astra reply

25/01/2010Lyn1 Many thanks for your kind remarks and the informative links. Tony Abbott is his own worst enemy. His ‘foot-in-mouth’ utterances will condemn him; there’s not much worse for a politician than to be detested as a consequence of what comes out of his own mouth. He seems to be torn between voicing his strongly-held religious beliefs and exercising political prudence. I haven’t read the WW article, but certainly will. I borrowed Peter Hartcher’s book from the local library. Your library would probably have it, or if not be able to get it in. I found it an easy read. You will already be familiar with much of what he says, so you could complete it in a couple of days; there are 269 pages.

fred

25/01/2010Grumpy Old Denialist? GOD? The GOD party. How appropriate.

marycontrary

25/01/2010Denialist? are yous till talking about denialists in relation to climate change, you dinosaurs?? After Climategate, here is Glaciergate. Read this and inform yourselves, instead of bleating the Krudd slogans. Read this, and meditate on how many more lies you have been fed by your trusted media that you have not found out yet. Meanwhile, we have had record snow levels pretty much everywhere in Europe and the US. and you have the gall to call denialists the people who have their doubt about global warming?? Who are the denialists exactly?? Wake up now, or face ridicule for ever. From The Sunday Times January 24, 2010 UN climate panel blunders again over Himalayan glaciers (AP Photo/Channi Anand) Claims of melting Himalayan glaciers have been cited in grant applications Jonathan Leake, Science and Environment Editor The chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Rajendra Pachauri's Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, was awarded up to £310,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers. It means that EU taxpayers are funding research into a scientific claim about glaciers that any ice researcher should immediately recognise as bogus. The revelation comes just a week after The Sunday Times highlighted serious scientific flaws in the IPCC's 2007 benchmark report on the likely impacts of global warming. The IPCC had warned that climate change was likely to melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 - an idea considered ludicrous by most glaciologists. Last week a humbled IPCC retracted that claim and corrected its report. Carnegie grant announcement from The Energy and Resources Institute EU grant announcement of research into rapid glacier melt How bloggers helped break the story Related Links Global warming and disasters link 'wrong' Sloppy science is seeping into the climate watchdog World misled over glacier meltdown Since then, however, The Sunday Times has discovered that the same bogus claim has been cited in grant applications for TERI. One of them, announced earlier this month just before the scandal broke, resulted in a £310,000 grant from Carnegie. An abstract of the grant application published on Carnegie's website said: "The Himalaya glaciers, vital to more than a dozen major rivers that sustain hundreds of millions of people in South Asia, are melting and receding at a dangerous rate. "One authoritative study reported that most of the glaciers in the region "will vanish within forty years as a result of global warming, resulting in widespread water shortages," The Carnegie money was specifically given to aid research into "the potential security and humanitarian impact on the region" as the glaciers began to disappear. Pachauri has since acknowledged that this threat, if it exists, will take centuries to have any serious effect. The money was initially given to the Global Centre, an Icelandic Foundation which then channelled it, with Carnegie's involvement, to TERI. The cash was acknowledged by TERI in a press release, issued on January 15, just before the glacier scandal became public, in which Pachauri repeated the claims of imminent glacial melt. It said: ""According to predictions of scientific merit they may indeed melt away in several decades." The same release also quoted Dr Syed Hasnain, the glaciologist who, back in 1999, made the now discredited claim that Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. He now heads Pachauri's glaciology unit at TERI which sought the grants and which is carrying out the glacier research. Critics point out that Hasnain, of all people, should have known the claim that the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 was bogus because he was meant to be a leading glaciologist specialising in the Himalayas. Any suggestion that TERI has repeated an unchecked scientific claim without checking it, in order to win grants, could prove hugely embarrassing for Pachauri and the IPCC. The second grant, from the EU, totalled £2.5m and was designed to "to assess the impact of Himalayan glaciers retreat". It was part of the EU's HighNoon project, launched last May to fund research into how India might adapt to loss of glaciers. In one presentation at last May's launch, Anastasios Kentarchos, of the European Commission's Climate Change and Environmental Risks Unit, specifically cited the bogus IPCC claims about glacier melt as a reason for pouring EU taxpayers' money into the project. Pachauri spoke at the same presentation and Hasnain is understood to have been present in the audience. The EU grant was split between leading European research institutions including Britain's Met Office, with TERI getting a major but unspecified share because it represented the host country. The "Glaciergate" affair has seen Pachauri come under increasing pressure in India, prompting him to call a press conference yesterday (Saturday) where he dismissed calls for his resignation and said no action would be taken against the authors of the erroneous section of the IPCC report. He said: "I have no intention of resigning from my position," adding the errors were unintentional and not significant in comparison to the entire report. However, other questions remain. One of the most important is in connection with Pachauri's earnings. In an interview with The Sunday Times he said his only income came from his salary at TERI. However TERI does not publish his salary and he refused to divulge it. In India questions are also being asked about Pachauri's links with GloriOil, a Houston, Texas-based oil technology company that specialises in recovering extra oil from declining oil fields . Pachauri is listed as a founder and scientific advisor. Critics say it is odd for a man committed to decarbonising energy supplies to be linked to an oil company. The problems come at a bad time for the IPCC which is recruiting scientists for its fifth report into the science and impacts underlying global warming. Yesterday, Pachauri said he intended to remain as director of the IPCC to oversee the fifth IPCC assessment report dealing with sea level rise and ice sheets, oceans, clouds and carbon accounting. The report is expected by 2014. From The Sunday Times January 24, 2010 UN climate panel blunders again over Himalayan glaciers (AP Photo/Channi Anand) Claims of melting Himalayan glaciers have been cited in grant applications Jonathan Leake, Science and Environment Editor The chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Rajendra Pachauri's Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, was awarded up to £310,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers. It means that EU taxpayers are funding research into a scientific claim about glaciers that any ice researcher should immediately recognise as bogus. The revelation comes just a week after The Sunday Times highlighted serious scientific flaws in the IPCC's 2007 benchmark report on the likely impacts of global warming. The IPCC had warned that climate change was likely to melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 - an idea considered ludicrous by most glaciologists. Last week a humbled IPCC retracted that claim and corrected its report. Carnegie grant announcement from The Energy and Resources Institute EU grant announcement of research into rapid glacier melt How bloggers helped break the story Related Links Global warming and disasters link 'wrong' Sloppy science is seeping into the climate watchdog World misled over glacier meltdown Since then, however, The Sunday Times has discovered that the same bogus claim has been cited in grant applications for TERI. One of them, announced earlier this month just before the scandal broke, resulted in a £310,000 grant from Carnegie. An abstract of the grant application published on Carnegie's website said: "The Himalaya glaciers, vital to more than a dozen major rivers that sustain hundreds of millions of people in South Asia, are melting and receding at a dangerous rate. "One authoritative study reported that most of the glaciers in the region "will vanish within forty years as a result of global warming, resulting in widespread water shortages," The Carnegie money was specifically given to aid research into "the potential security and humanitarian impact on the region" as the glaciers began to disappear. Pachauri has since acknowledged that this threat, if it exists, will take centuries to have any serious effect. The money was initially given to the Global Centre, an Icelandic Foundation which then channelled it, with Carnegie's involvement, to TERI. The cash was acknowledged by TERI in a press release, issued on January 15, just before the glacier scandal became public, in which Pachauri repeated the claims of imminent glacial melt. It said: ""According to predictions of scientific merit they may indeed melt away in several decades." The same release also quoted Dr Syed Hasnain, the glaciologist who, back in 1999, made the now discredited claim that Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. He now heads Pachauri's glaciology unit at TERI which sought the grants and which is carrying out the glacier research. Critics point out that Hasnain, of all people, should have known the claim that the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 was bogus because he was meant to be a leading glaciologist specialising in the Himalayas. Any suggestion that TERI has repeated an unchecked scientific claim without checking it, in order to win grants, could prove hugely embarrassing for Pachauri and the IPCC. The second grant, from the EU, totalled £2.5m and was designed to "to assess the impact of Himalayan glaciers retreat". It was part of the EU's HighNoon project, launched last May to fund research into how India might adapt to loss of glaciers. In one presentation at last May's launch, Anastasios Kentarchos, of the European Commission's Climate Change and Environmental Risks Unit, specifically cited the bogus IPCC claims about glacier melt as a reason for pouring EU taxpayers' money into the project. Pachauri spoke at the same presentation and Hasnain is understood to have been present in the audience. The EU grant was split between leading European research institutions including Britain's Met Office, with TERI getting a major but unspecified share because it represented the host country. The "Glaciergate" affair has seen Pachauri come under increasing pressure in India, prompting him to call a press conference yesterday (Saturday) where he dismissed calls for his resignation and said no action would be taken against the authors of the erroneous section of the IPCC report. He said: "I have no intention of resigning from my position," adding the errors were unintentional and not significant in comparison to the entire report. However, other questions remain. One of the most important is in connection with Pachauri's earnings. In an interview with The Sunday Times he said his only income came from his salary at TERI. However TERI does not publish his salary and he refused to divulge it. In India questions are also being asked about Pachauri's links with GloriOil, a Houston, Texas-based oil technology company that specialises in recovering extra oil from declining oil fields . Pachauri is listed as a founder and scientific advisor. Critics say it is odd for a man committed to decarbonising energy supplies to be linked to an oil company. The problems come at a bad time for the IPCC which is recruiting scientists for its fifth report into the science and impacts underlying global warming. Yesterday, Pachauri said he intended to remain as director of the IPCC to oversee the fifth IPCC assessment report dealing with sea level rise and ice sheets, oceans, clouds and carbon accounting. The report is expected by 2014.

Bushfire Bill

26/01/2010"Marycontrary" probably realises most would not bother to read her 928 cut-and-pasted words from various newspapers. But every cloud has a silver lining. Mary can now accuse those who declined the opportunity to scan her block quotations of "burying their heads in the sand", or refusal to accept the truth, or somesuch. The interesting thing about Climate Warming blunders (and it seems the Himalayan Glacier controversy is a doozy) is that the odd misreported "fact" or the occasional overstatement of a situation within UN Climate documents is seen as conclusive proof that the whole science of Global Warming is bunkum. The reverse is not true. While record snow in Europe proves the Climate is cooling, not warming, record high temperatures in other areas of the world are just "weather". Climate scientists are not allowed to make mistakes, or gild the lily. Climate Denialists freely do this, showing graphs that go up not down, but yet insisting (often with lots of shouting and large, unreadable chunks of text taken out of Murdoch newspapers) that they demonstrate the Earth is getting colder. Climate is now political. It's a proxy for the old Left-Right divide. Just ask Tony Abbott whose guiding political principle seems to be, "If my enemy says 'X', I say 'Y'". Both sides are equally guilty. Lefties suspect industrialists (one the whole major supporters of right-wing politicians) of not caring about the damage they are doing, and their political proteges of cynically bowing to the opinions of their sources of funding. On the right, where an expressed opinion is seen as an equally valid mechanism compared to carefully gathered scientific data (and an easier one to maintain, by the simple mechanism of saying, "I have a right to my opinion", as if that settles everything), scientists are seen as grant-hungry bludgers, cooking up storms in teacups, leading technologically naive left-wing governments to impose onerous "great big taxes" upon long-suffering "ordinary people" (of whom the deniers fancy themselves as prime examples). The issue that divides Left and Right could be anything: Iraq, Work Choices, deficit budgeting, child care, asylum seekers or Climate Change. There are thousands of potential subjects ready for milking as battlegrounds in the Political Wars. The Grand Old Denialist Party has cobbled together a hastily wrought amalgam of issues - from a lone nutter up a pole trying to get a [i]Howard regime[/i] environmental law reversed, to the "crap" of Climate Change - and has used them to appeal to a disparate gaggle of recalcitrant shock-jocks, [i]Daily Telegraph[/i] journalists, their readers and listeners, in order to bash the Rudd government. Whatever goes wrong is Rudd's fault. Whatever goes right is down to the glorious rule of the previous Howard mob (of which Abbott, Hockey and Bishop are the rightful heirs). Hence we see the not unsurprising failure of the Copenhagen talks as a rebuttal of not only of the whole of Climate science, but a personal slap in the face to Kevin Rudd. We see the triumphant emergence of Australia from the GFC, via the Labor stimulus package, not only as ruining our country's future (for it certainly can't be blamed for ruining its present), but as a cynical response to a non-event, the Y2K of 2008-2010. Joe Hockey's "Rudd Recession" of early 2009, where hundreds of thousands of jobs were to be lost, all due to the debt junkies of the Labor Party, has become "Recession? [i]What[/i] Recession?" a mere six months later. Joe even tries sometimes to work both sides of the issue by claiming that we didn't have a Recession (Howard's triumph), but [i]will be[/i] having one in the near future (Rudd's shame). All this conflicting opinion is dutifully reported, blandly and matter-of-factly, by media organs such as the Murdoch newspapers and (to their own shame) the cowed ABC, as part of a cynical he-said/she-said exercise. Fact has given way to opinion, analysis to stenography. The media is not paid to think... it's paid to print any old rubbish, as long as a member of "The Alternative Government" spouts it. And when they contradict their own words of a few days (or even hours) before, that's reported too. Tony Abbott can say he believes in Climate Change. He can say it's "crap". He can say the Liberals should pass it just to get it off the table. He can say they should block it because they're not there to just agree with the government on everything. The startling conclusion? Tony Abbott is a man we can trust: "You always know where Tony Abbott stands." By extension, you always know where the Liberal Party stands, as long as you don't blink. Recessions or not (we've had both), Climate Crap or Climate Change (from either side of Abbot's mouth), China versus Japan as our main diplomatic goal, Labor Taxes compared to Liberal Levies, and Liberal politicians turning up to school hall openings they condemned the day before as wrecking the economy... the human blink reflex is tested severely at every turn by the Deniers' antics. It's not so much the denial that rankles. It's that they see the average Australian as a complete mug who will believe anything, as long as a Lib says it and a radio announcer (styling himself as a "Battler", but earning more in one year than most of his listeners ever will in a lifetime) assures us that today's line is the current truth.

Bilko

26/01/2010AD As usual a well thought out piece my died in the wool next door grumpy old Liberal neighbor can not say a good thing about Labor or Kevin Rudd no matter what the situation. He epitomizes everything your article says and it permeates right through to the bottom of the Liberals psyche where the Mad Monk resides. Reality will possible invade that mindset when they lose another dozen or more seats at the next election but I shall not hold my breath or lose any sleep over it. Keep up the good work and thanks for the reference in the opening para

Ad astra reply

26/01/2010BB Thank you for saving me the trouble of responding to marycontrary, who is clearly a climate change denier, presumably living in the Northern hemisphere, and is adult. The advantage of being an adult denier is that death will likely occur before the catastrophic effects of climate change are apparent, allowing the denier to go to the grave convinced of the correctness of his or her position. In a way this is a metaphor for any long-reaching issue. Another such contemporary issue is the aging of the population. We all know that this is happening, but projecting one’s mind to mid century where Treasury estimates that there will be fewer than half the present number of wage earners to each welfare recipient (currently 5:1), and contemplating the dire effects of that change, is not easy. Most middle-aged adults will not survive another forty years to see it for themselves. It’s so easy to regard distant threats as vague, trivial and not all that urgent. It’s too easy to sit in a vehicle catapulting down a long, long incline with increasing speed falsely comforted by the erroneous belief that the vehicle has good brakes and there’s plenty of time to jam them on. It is much easier to believe the sceptics who deny the problem, the naysayers who say nothing needs to be done now – there’s plenty of time. Kevin Rudd has the challenging task of persuading the Australian population to act now on climate change, a population that is becoming increasingly sceptical about the reality of climate change and the need to do anything as substantial about it as an ETS, thanks to Abbott, Joyce and the Coalition generally. I predict that likewise he will have difficulty convincing the people that we must act on the aging of the population now, especially if that involves any pain. Politicians facing hard decisions are tempted into laissez faire, rather than upset the electorate and lose votes. Returning to marycontrary, it’s a pity she/he chose to deface this website with a cut and paste job, but more offensive is her/his assumption that we are dinosaurs who are ignorant of the facts that fill out her/his voluminous post. As you point out, the deniers believe they can demolish years of observations and painstaking work of thousands of climate change scientists by reference to a couple of mistakes, typographical errors, or a few examples of less-than-careful science, while feeling no responsibility to validate their own outrageous rebuttals with sound science. I heard a climate scientist on the ABC pointing out that most climate scientists have a ‘day job’ and that their contribution to the IPCC is voluntary and unpaid, and that in contrast there is now a large phalanx of climate change deniers who are well-funded by vested interests to promote their message. There is one on tour in Australia at present. Finally, I agree with you that worse than the denial is the belief that we will swallow it hook, line and sinker. Regrettably some do, as is evidenced by the latest Essential Research Report http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/Media/Essential_Report_250110.pdf that showed more of those surveyed agreeing with the Opposition views on the ETS than the Government’s. This seems to confirm the view that many people would prefer to take the easier option, even if it is less effective. There is a big educational job ahead of the Government in 2010. Bilko Your comments are always worth reading, and acknowledging. I have relatives like your grumpy neighbour. Rational debate is not possible, and in deference to one’s health should be avoided.

Erica Vincent

26/01/2010What a load of CRAP. Happy Austalia Day :-))

Erica Vincent

26/01/2010Oh by the way, check out Essential Report out today, "ALP Poorest Polling in three years"

Bushfire Bill

26/01/2010[i]"Oh by the way, check out Essential Report out today, 'ALP Poorest Polling in three years'"[/i] After looking at the Essential Research poll, it's interesting that... * A fair industrial relations system * Addressing climate change * Protecting the environment * Australian jobs and protection of local industries * Ensuring a quality education for all children * Political leadership * Ensuring a quality water supply * Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system * Ensuring a fair taxation system * Housing affordability * Controlling interest rates ... all of which have Labor with healthy leads, practically [i]define[/i] "good management of the economy", yet when the question is specifically put, the respondents have the Coalition ahead of Labor on "Management of the Economy" by 35% to 28%. One wonders just what Rudd and his government have to do - after they have saved us (against all Coalition "advice", and many of the "pundits'" sobering prognostications) from the GFC so that we are ahead of the world in economic performance, and when interest rates got to a lower point than they ever were under Howard - to secure the Best To Manage the Economy guernsey. It appears that confident (if grumpy) sounding guys in suits, who sound like they know everything there is to know about government in Australia (except how to win elections!), and who despise and decry everything Labor does in the economic field, seem to have more clout when it comes to the key question of "Economic Performance". I'm not at all saying the poll respondents are mistaken or wrong in their opinions (after all, they're only [i]their opinions[/i]), but if keeping housing affordability high, managing interest rates, ensuring a fair workplace, providing quality education for our children, supplying good water and keeping our citizens healthy aren't enough to qualify as better economic managers, then I am at a loss to see what the crunch criterion is. Clearly, Essential Research have neglected to ask one or more salient questions that might help its readers get to the heart fo the matter. In the meantime I'll content myself with the (according to Ercia Vincent, quoted above) "ALP Poorest Polling in Three Years" by noting that if an election were to be held today, the ALP would romp home - 56% to 44% - leaving the Liberals and Nationals with not much more than a cricket team's worth of players with which to "take the fight up to the government". With this kind of poor performance, I can sincerely say, "I hope Rudd keeps it up."

janice

27/01/2010Yes Bushfire Bill, I am one who wouldn't bother reading cut'n paste posts such as that of Marycontrary. He/she is one of those sceptics with little understanding of climate change and rather than attempt to inform him or herself, he/she falls back on political bias and soaks up everything and anything that might justify a denialist attitude. These are people like Bilko's neighbour where it is impossible for rational debate and in deference to one's health, should be avoided. (Ad Astra's words). The avatar allocated to Erica Vincent says far more than words. Another supporter of the Grumpy Old Party seeking desperately for signs that the Australian voters have finally stopped sleepwalking and/or might be stupid enough to return to the regressive thinking of the Howard decade. These people will never ever admit that a Labor Government can do anything right. Worse than this though, these same people cannot and will not look at any information other than that which they want to see or hear and therefore are left to wallow in blind ignorance of the pros and cons of all issues that concern the electorate. Meanwhile, The Mad Monk is kept busy digging himself out of the holes his big mouth puts him into. As expected, Abbott cannot separate his religious righteousness and sermonising from the need to serve an electorate as a whole. He has spent some 20 years in politics yet does not appear to have more than headline knowledge of issues other than those taught by his religion. IMO, when he found himself accidently made leader of the opposition, his first media interviews brought out his incompetence and lack of knowledge because over 20 years he has only bothered to get a surface understanding of all other issues. It is no wonder he wavers with different opinions from day to day. It is also no wonder that he was obviously gobsmacked when he 'won' the leadership.

Bushfire Bill

27/01/2010I guess my point about Climate Change being a political issue applied to both sides of the equation: Left and Right. I'll fess up to not having read all, or even a lot of the science. I recently designed a gas nozzle to enable supersonic flow at the point of exit. Research for that took me four weeks. First was grasping the concepts. Then I looked for simple equations to determine size of entry portal, throat and size of exit portal, as well as length of the nozzle. There were none: they are all complicated and require an understanding of theoretical issues outside the actual practical task I didn't even suspect existed. When I had designed and constructed the device (and yes, it worked) I went back and read some of the stuff that had glazed my eyes over just a few weeks before. Amazingly, it all made sense! In between my first readings and my final product I had absorbed basic principles and, more importantly reached a state of understanding of the concepts to a point where I could visualize the problem in my head, without resort to the complicated equations (like when you first realize you're thinking in French, not translating between English and French, as you learn the language). The rest, I know now, was straightforward. But that was a simple (in retrospect!) applied gas law project. The deep complexities of Climate Change are beyond me. I understand that CO2 (which co-incidentally was also the gas I needed to accellerate to supersonic speeds) absorbs infra red radiation, trapping it. Hence, any extra heat generated, either by man-made or natural processes will linger longer (as they say) in the atmosphere. I also understand that we have burnt - over the space of a dozen or so decades - the fossilized remains of [i]hundreds of millions[/i] of years of life and death in the plant world, especially in the petrochemical area.... oil. This is an extra input to the ecosystem, and an unnatural one, which must add to the heat stored in the atmosphere. At the same time we are reducing the area of temperate and tropical forests, the great carbon sinks of our planet. This must mean that less of the excess CO2 is able to be absorbed. Driving all this is the ballooning world population and urban industrialization. To me that is unsustainable growth, and is the main problem facing humanity... CO2 pollution and its heating effects are incidental to this central issue, and merely symptoms of it. Once we have solved the CO2 problem, we have to address the population problem, or else our species and much of our planet is doomed to failure, probably within just a few centuries. There is so much material on this, much of it esoteric (like my supersonic nozzle equations), that it is impossible to understand it, or read even a small proportion of it. This applies to both Climate Change Deniers and Accepters. The best way to deal with the problem (or [i]seemingly[/i] the best way) is to look for exceptions that [i]dis[/i]prove the rule. So we have the situation where a physical exception or a human blunder (like the Himalayan glacier furphy) that seems to incdicate CLimate Change is not as serious an issue as many think it is, is given undue weight by the anti-Climate Change Deniers. Likewise, a single, if huge, iceberg floating around Macquarie Island is used by Acceptors as proof that Antarctica is falling into the sea. I really do not know which one is right, if either. For myself, and others like me - who haven't read the science in full, just the headlines - we have to turn to the experts. But some "experts" are not that at all. The Indian professor who was mis-quoted on the Himalayan glaciers wasn't an expert, although he was touted as one by others. Andrew Bolt is not an expert, although he vainly fancies himself as one, making the ricidulous assertion on [i]Insiders[/i] that only [i]he[/i] had read the science out of those present on the panel. It's such a stupid thing to say that Annabell Crabbe made up the brilliant "University Of East Bum-Crack" jibe to deal with Bolt's pomposity. Whether it's hard evidence that contradicts a case, or a human foible or error, the single exception to the rule is much easier to use to "prove" a case than its converse, the rest of science. So finally, we fall back on tribalism or, in the political context, the Left-Right ying and yang of which politician to trust. The science then becomes marginalized, almost unimportant, except as a McGuffin to the main story, which is bashing each other over the head with words, epithets, accusations and counter-accusations simply because each side hates the other, at least in a political sense. As Arthur C. Clarke once put it, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Once upon a time (not long ago) supersonic nozzles were not only magic to me, but completely counter-intuitive. Now I have a grasp of how they work, I can't conceive that I ever doubted the basic principles. Sadly, Climate Science is still a mystery, too advanced for my feeble brain to [i]fully[/i] comprehend. So I rely on the headline news. If I had relied on the headline "Himalayan Glaciers To Go in 20 Years" I'd have been relying on wrong information. But would I have been wrong to rely on it? It was in a respected paper, part of the UN evidence concerning Climate Change. No, I wouldn't have been wrong to rely on it, just wrong anyway. Likewise those who take Bolt's upward sloping graphs and kid themselves that they represent a downward slope of temperatures, are just as wrong in the final result but, as Bolt is an "expert" (and claims to be quoting other "experts"), are they [i]wrong[/i] to seek advice from a learned authority? In both cases both sides are taking things essentially on faith because they have neither the time, nor the resources, nor the training to absorb the science. What is incomprehensible has become magic, a suitable and fertile ground when we're talking political tribalism. We believe because the other guy disbelieves, and vice versa. We hate them because they live on the other side of the valley. We claim to use logic and reliable data, but it is really only others who gather it and collate it for us. We are taking the experts at their word, not only that what they say is correct, but that they are even experts. I think there should be an admission of all this, from both sides of politics: whether Climate Change is real or not, the Climate Change [i]debate[/i] is essentially tribal. There should be a formal inquiry into the science of Climate Change to decide whether it exists, does not exist, or needs further work. God knows who would chair it. A politically stacked panel from either side would be anathema to the aim of the exercise. It's a pity we have to try to predict what will happen, but there we have it: if the worst comes true than we need to act now, to lead good lives and be kind to each other... which (if you think about it) is what another religious leader, requiring faith, told us to do before any of this got really serious. It was, and remains good advice, whether it's getting hotter or cooler.

Ad astra reply

27/01/2010Erica Vincent Bushfire Bill and janice have already made pertinent comments about your contribution. May I add that simply posting a one-liner that characterizes the whole piece as ‘CRAP’ won’t do on [i]TPS[/i]. Your comments will be taken seriously only when you take the time to argue your case, when you logically address the issues raised in the piece with which you disagree and show them to be inaccurate or incorrect. Likewise, there’s not much point simply drawing our attention to the latest Essential Research Report, which most of our visitors will have seen. Tell us how you interpret it, and what you believe it might mean. You give the impression that you are excited about its content. If you’re a Coalition supporter that’s understandable after three years of poor polling. Time will tell whether the trends persist, and if they do, how the Government will respond. In the meantime the report shows that the voting intentions remain around what they have been for three years – the primary vote for Labor is 46 (up 1), the Coalition is 37 (down 1) and the TPP is 56/44, the same as the previous week. You didn’t point us to last Friday’s Morgan Face-to-Face where the ALP primary vote rose 2% to 47.5%, and the Coalition fell 1.5% to 35.5%, leading to a TPP of 58.5, up 1.5 from the last Face-to-Face, with the Coalition down 1.5 to 41.5. This Morgan poll carried the headline [i]ALP strengthens lead after Summer holidays[/i].

Sir Ian Crisp

27/01/2010Thank you AA for rescuing TPS from a sinister force. Your piece ‘The Grumpy Old Denialist Party’ is a continuation of your 2009 theme ‘Rudd: good…All Others: bad. You prattle endlessly about the negative media coverage that Rudd gets but have you ever stopped to examine your own comment pieces. If we eliminated all the nasty names from your comment pieces (Abbott, Minchin, Pyne, Turnbull, et al) you would qualify as one of those negative journos you dislike. Just an observation mind you. The assiduousness you bring to your role of Praefectus Praetorio of Rudd’s Praetorian Guard hasn’t been rewarded in the Australia Day 2010 Honours List. I was shocked at your omission. Please think vewwy vewwy carefully before you invite sinister forces to promote evil via TPS.

janice

27/01/2010Bushfire Bill, I think the majority of people do not understand the science regarding climate change - even those who claim to have read every morsel put out on the subject. It is far too complex a matter for non-scientific minds to comprehend so in the main, we all must rely on what scientists on both sides are telling us. For years scientists have been presenting the world with all sorts of data, predictions and warnings that have been largely ignored until suddenly we reach the point where the signs point to a red alert that time is running out and decisions have to be made whether to act or do nothing in the belief that what will be, will be. For me, I take the view that mankind would be stupid in the extreme to simply accept that what will be, will be. If it turns out that CC acceptors are wrong and the deniers are right, at least action to reduce CO2 emissions will deliver us a cleaner planet and alternative energy sources for future generations when there is no more coal to dig up out of the earth and oil is just a memory. Maybe the populations of the world would better serve themselves if they stopped trying to work out which scientific data is right or wrong and began to weigh up whether it would be better for mankind to live in less polluted cities.

Ad astra reply

27/01/2010Sir Ian Welcome back in 2010. You castigate me for arguing a theme that paints the Coalition in a poor light, as a collection of denialists, which you suggest is the product of my "Rudd: good…All Others: bad” attitude. Well, if you feel my critique is inaccurate or incorrect, please set me straight with a well argued rebuttal. It’s no good just labelling me "Praefectus Praetorio of Rudd’s Praetorian Guard"; that just looks like ‘shooting the messenger’. No I wasn’t in this year’s Australia Day Awards; my award came in 1987, long before Kevin Rudd rose to prominence. I’m not aware that I "prattle endlessly about the negative media coverage that Rudd gets", but if that’s your perception, that’s your perception. Maybe writing some positive things about Rudd and his Government provides a certain counterbalance to the negativity that emanates from the MSM, particularly the Murdoch press. Finally, as always, you inject a cryptic note, this time your concluding sentence: “Please think vewwy vewwy carefully before you invite sinister forces to promote evil via TPS.” I wish I knew what you meant.

Sir Ian Crisp

27/01/2010So, Dennis, what should we conclude from your latest foray into Newspoll interpretation? You will recall with chagrin the comments that your interpretations of Newspoll in the last Howard year evoked, the angry criticism of what so many saw as your seriously biased reporting. You will remember the article you penned criticizing the impertinent bloggers who had the temerity to question your analyses; you will recall the angry editorial in The Australian demeaning bloggers, suggesting they were not journalists’ bootlaces, and should get a real job. From “Dennis Shanahan is at it again” by AA on December 8, 2009. “It’s no good just labelling me "Praefectus Praetorio of Rudd’s Praetorian Guard"; that just looks like ‘shooting the messenger’” said AA on 27 January, 2009. What were you saying about ‘shooting the messenger’? I think you've had a shot at every journo who has dared to say something negative about Rudd.

Ad astra reply

27/01/2010Sir Ian Re-read [i]Dennis Shanahan is at it again[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2009/12/08/Dennis-Shanahan-is-at-it-again.aspx and you will see that that piece systematically rebuts Dennis’ [i]Newspoll[/i] analysis, point by point. It shoots down Dennis’ arguments; if he is shot in the process, so be it. In commenting on that piece you said, [i]inter alia[/i] [quote]“Ad Astra, before I read any article in our newspapers I look to see which journalist has written the article and I then consult your list of ‘approved’ journalists. Mr Shanahan is on your ‘ignore’ list so I don’t read his articles.”[/quote] I suggest you re-appraise my piece after reading the Shanahan articles that were the subject of my critique: [i]Voters switching back to Coalition[/i] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/voters-switching-back-to-coalition/story-e6frg75f-1225807521914 and [i]Abbott gamble pays off for Libs[/i] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/abbott-gamble-pays-off-for-libs/story-e6frgczf-1225807524519

Bushfire Bill

27/01/2010Sir Ian, You make a great point... except you are wrong, and Dennis Shanahan was [i]so[/i] wrong. AA properly took apart Shanahan's interpretation of the Newspoll. It wasn't a "Rudd Good... Others Bad" piece. It was a well-reasoned, correct critique. Or are you suggesting AA should have said Dennis is right, when Dennis was (and demonstrably so) so comprehansively wrong, just to avoid the accusation of being a Shanahan Hater? Your point doesn't make sense. At all.

janice

28/01/2010SIC, what is really driving your criticism of Ad astra's pieces? Given that the journalists of OO and the rest of the Murdoch press indulge in blatant negativity regarding Rudd and the Labor Government, you surely cannot expect those who see positives not to take them to task. It is not a matter of 'Rudd:good - All others:bad'. It is about the simple fact that the Murdoch press, in particular, is hell bent on painting Rudd and the Labor Government as ALL bad and, together with the Coalition, cannot bring themselves to make any positive comments regarding Rudd and Labor.

Sir Ian Crisp

28/01/2010Janice, I have expressed an opinion which is no less and certainly no more valid than your own opinion. Why go after the OO? Do I detect that is was a slight personal pique that forced you to criticise the Murdoch stable of newspapers? That’s hard to understand when you consider the following: Leadership forged in the financial fire Economic activity is accelerating, consumer and business confidence has rebounded and unemployment last month fell to 5.5 per cent, a figure that is close to the modern definition of full employment. Rudd's adept handling of the economy during the GFC and its aftermath has delivered the Prime Minister a towering lead over his political rivals. It is also why he has been named The Weekend Australian's Australian of the Year for 2009. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/leadership-forged-in-the-financial-fire/story-e6frg6nf-1225822707253 Would you reject that honour being bestowed on Rudd by the Murdoch press? You well remember that AA placed his hand over his heart and took an oath to uphold all of Mark Bahnisch’s “43 Blogger’s Commandments”. Some of those Commandments include: Be prepared to challenge ‘sacred cows’ Be prepared to confront and disassemble dishonest, disingenuous, biased speech or writing Be accurate and rich with verifiable facts Include all the relevant facts, not a biased selection Be intellectually honest Avoid heavy sarcasm and personal jibes AA must now live by those Commandments.

Rx

28/01/2010Poor old SIC just wants the Liberals back in to give his grandkids the "benefits" of WorkNOchoices.

janice

28/01/2010SIC, of course your opinion is no more, nor no less valid than mine. However, IMO Ad astra does, in fact, uphold all of those commandments to which you refer. Dennis Shannahan and his ilk have well deserved the criticisms they attracted on this site (and in the comments following his pieces) because they were either blatantly misleading, blatant mis-interpretations of facts, were personally biased pieces dressed up as factual reporting or a combination of all three. It's funny you should point out the excerpt taken from 'Leadership Forged in the Financial Fire' in which for the very first time positive acknowledgement was given to our PM Rudd. Both Ad Astra and I stated we were 'gobsmacked' to read such accolades coming from the OO and others looked for the back-handers they thought must surely be there. I note the same reactions being expressed elsewhere. Besides, one would be very wise to count one's fingers after a 'Murdoch' handshake.

Sir Ian Crisp

28/01/2010Janice…..relax. Don’t fog up those glasses. Sit back…have some avocado dip and some punch.

Bushfire Bill

28/01/2010The Australian only gave Rudd the accolade so that followers like Sir Ian could cite one - just ONE - example of how they lavished praise upon Rudd. One complimentary article against literally hundreds of negative ones doth not "balance" amke.

lyn1

28/01/2010Hi Ad and Bushfire Bill Couldn't be better said Bushfire Bill, ( Sir Ian could cite one - just ONE - example of how they lavished praise upon Rudd). Sir Ian Crisp sounds like he is a life time member of the The Grumpy Old Denialist Party’. ('Rudd:good - All others:bad') says Sir Ian Crisp, I hope you are proud of the Grumpy Old Denialist Party's Leader now, after his last few days. The Blogosphere has gone wild the MSM has gone into overdrive, commenters on major bloggs are sending links all over the the web, twitter has gone crazy, my face, and don't mention utube. I will tell you what! it does not look pretty for The Grumpy Old Denialist Party at all. Tony Abbott trying to get himself out of another awful mess he has created, says I was asked a question and I answered the truth, well the truth is Tony Abbott invited the Womens weekly into his house for the interview, he could have retracted any comments before they went to print, and he did not have to answer any delicate personal questions. This was not a door stop interview with trick on the spot questions. Helen Mccabe at the Womens Weekly must be laughing herself to sleep, she has fooled Tony Abbott into revealing his (should be private, kept in his family, beyond politics) beliefs. Also loosing thousands more voters for the Grumpy Old Denialist Party. Janice your comments are always of high quality and well thought out.

Macca

28/01/2010Ahh SIC, How I have missed you. Give my regards to your mum,Janet,and Dad Piers. Also say g'day too godfather Andrew. Great to have you back.

Ad astra reply

28/01/2010BB Thank you for your supportive remarks. lyn1 Your remarks as usual are spot on. Macca Welcome back in 2010 - I like you humour. janice Your comments are right on the money. I'm sure you won't let Sir Ian's remarks upset you. This evening I've posted a rather academic piece, [i]The political dilemma of an ageing population[/i]. It's got some interesting facts and figures about the consequences of this very important long-term issue. Your comments and opinions would be welcome. Bushfire Bill is preparing another piece that will likely be posted sometime this coming weekend.

HillbillySkeleton

29/01/2010Wow! Sir Ian Conservative, er, Crisp, you don't seem to read over whatever it is that you have just typed into this blog, because if you id, in criticising AA's lack of adherance to Mark Bahnisch's 43 Rules of Blogging, by quoting the following: Be prepared to challenge ‘sacred cows’ Be prepared to confront and disassemble dishonest, disingenuous, biased speech or writing Be accurate and rich with verifiable facts Include all the relevant facts, not a biased selection Be intellectually honest Avoid heavy sarcasm and personal jibes ...that you were trying to have those reading believe that AA was not following, you have actually pointed to and made clear to me the following 2 facts: 1. Ad Astra was doing exactly those things with his analysis of the Shanahan Opinion piece, and 2. You weren't, and don't, with your blogs. * Anyway, suffice to say that, in true conservative troll, grenade-thrower style, what you did have to say bore little resemblance to the topic at hand, and was merely reflexive defensive rhetoric from an obvious Rightoid who will never be able to see reason, and especially not from someone as reasonable as Ad Astra, that you have tarred with the 'Lefty' brush. It's such a pity that you will not engage in a spirited debate here around the facts because you obviously have enough sentience to construct a reasonable sentence or two.

HillbillySkeleton

29/01/2010Might I just point out, apropos of a general comment on the Mad Monk and his political tactics and rhetoric, that I have noticed him replacing the theme of 'Action on Climate Change', with 'Direct Action on the Environment'. In an attempt to delegitamise the very concept of Global Warming a bit more. It's not so much about a price signal for polluters with him anymore, just more Howardesque agrarian socialism and direct funding of local fiefdoms in quiescant 'environment' groups that do all the little, but still appreciated, things for our local community environment; as opposed to giving voice and power to the bigger environmental networks that have made much of the running in the Global Warming debate. Very mean, and very tricky, IMHO.

Here's Johnny

30/01/2010AA & BB you are flogging a dead horse: Copenhagen failed; IPCC compromised by environmental lobby groups and now its work is being discredited; Kevin Rudd is quietly but rapidly distancing himself from his “greatest moral challenge of our generation.” comments regarding AGW. Low form to resort to ad hominiem comments on marycontrary & sir ian.

Ad astra reply

31/01/2010Here’s Johnny Are you suggesting that we dismiss the IPCC claims about global warming because of a few errors in their documentation and a couple of instances of dodgy scientific reporting? Are you saying all the other scientific evidence, thousands of pages of it ought to be now summarily dismissed? Do think it’s all nonsense and that nothing needs to be done? Is this what you imply by your reference to [quote] “...flogging a dead horse”[/quote]? If so, I’m relieved we’re not relying on you to manage the climate change issue. Even Tony Abbott, despite his ‘absolute crap’ comment about climate change, still believes in carbon mitigation, and is promising to mitigate it ‘without a great big new tax’.
What does two plus 1 equal?