Archive for March, 2012

ALP’s deafness to self understanding

March 26, 2012

                  ALP      GREENS      ABC  

Following the commentary on the Labor rout in the Queensland elections, I find the earnest discussion and entrail analysis by the ALP, the ABC and the Greens something to behold.

Whether it be on the various current affairs programmes, interviews with ALP pollies from the Prime Minister down, or the Greens,  or most  ABC commentators, none are able to articulate, let alone allow themselves to think about why Labor is on the nose.

It certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with communicating better, or working harder in the interests of Australia, or Julia going for more visits to Queensland.

My father taught me fifty years ago that people judge you not on your apologies — although with the ALP there is precious little of that — but on your performance.  It is almost a year ago that an ACCI survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of Australians were against a carbon tax and only half that amount supported it. Over 70 percent felt it would have a negative effect on the cost of living.

Six months later in October a Newspoll confirmed these figures, revealing that even amongst young voters — 18 to 34 year olds — there was overwhelming opposition. Out of blind faith, Gillard and her ideological followers of the Left believe that once the Carbon Tax is passed then people will see that the sky has not fallen in; even though it did precisely that for the ALP in Queensland last Saturday.

Since then, of course, the weather has not helped, and all the wrong predictions and exaggerations by Flannery, CSIRO, Wong and scientific “experts” and politicians, have come home to roost.

Tony Abbott made the point yesterday that if Gillard wants to keep the ear plugs in then good luck to her. His comment reminded me of Oddesyus, who blocked the ears of his sailors with wax but with prescience and curiosity had himself lashed to the ship’s mast to be able hear and understand the empty attractiveness of the call of the Sirens. After avoiding the fatal call, he then saw the bleached bones of previous sailors who had not heeded the warning on the beach.

We can now see the bleached bones of Anna Bligh’s sailors. The problem for Gillard and for Labor, and for the Left generally, is that they have never been curious about reality and are congenitally incapable of self-understanding.

How the ABC does it

March 16, 2012

 Alberici shows fearlessness and fights for the truth with discredited warminist

Surely a Walkely award should be rewarded to Emma Alberici for her sharp, analytical and challenging questioning of Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann in an interview on Lateline this week. It should be recalled that Mann has been thoroughly and completely discredited for his hockey stick graph, a complex story that has been covered in detail in many places. The idea that Alberici may have even read or knows about these other points of view is open to question.

One can only dream of such questioning of Ian Plimer or Bob Carter on the subject of their writing on the same topic. Maybe it was this style of  biased Dorothy Dixer type questioning that inspired the government to get Ray Finkelstein to enquire into the Australian media.

EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The Climate Commission’s latest report says global average temperatures have continued to rise over the last decade. It’s all part of the research that started more than 20 years ago in the United States. The lead climate scientist in much of that work was Michael Mann. Mann says he’s the central object of attack in what some have characterised as the best funded, most carefully orchestrated assault on science the world has known.

EMMA ALBERICI: Much of the modern debate around climate change can be traced back to your 1998 graph, what was known as “the hockey stick”. Now, that was made famous in Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth. It showed temperatures dating back 1,000 years. In your book you concede that thermometer readings don’t reach much further back in time than a century, so how reliable is this graph as a measure of climate trends?

EMMA ALBERICI: Back in 1998 a television interviewer asked you if your research proved that humans were responsible for global warming. Your answer was that it was highly suggestive of that conclusion, but you wouldn’t go further than that back then. At what point were you finally convinced that that link did exist?

EMMA ALBERICI: Your critics refer to what’s known as the medieval warming period of around 1,000 years ago when there were no coal-fired power stations, no motor vehicles and other modern phenomena that could explain the temperature rises as you suggest, and yet the planet was going through an extended heat spell between that period of 11th and 14th centuries. How do you explain that?

EMMA ALBERICI: Now you’ve just published a book called The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars and I have to say it’s a book that reads much more like a thriller than a scientific textbook. You’ve had death threats and charges that you misappropriated funds. On one occasion you went to work and were greeted by the FBI. Tell us what happened there.

EMMA ALBERICI: Who are these vested interest groups?

EMMA ALBERICI: Now recount for us the events on that most pivotal day in November, 2009.

EMMA ALBERICI: Can I just pick you up on that because of course it became known, as we know, as “Climate-gate” and it’s been picked over extensively. Much has turned on the word “trick” – Mike’s nature trick, which we assume you were the Mike that’s being referred to in that particular email from the University of East Anglia in the UK. In anyone’s language, trick implies some kind of deception.

EMMA ALBERICI: If I can just pick you up in that same passage where “Mike’s nature trick” was used, there was also the unfortunate term “hide the decline”, which many people have assumed meant hide the decline in temperatures when you were trying to advance a thesis that temperatures were rising.

EMMA ALBERICI: Now given your research shows a recent increase of almost one degree Celsius across the globe, a rise unprecedented, as you say, during at least the last thousand years, what do you think are the implications of your research for Australia in particular of doing nothing to stop carbon emissions that are linked to those rising temperatures?

EMMA ALBERICI: Michael Mann, thank you very much for your time this evening.

Green dreams turn to nightmare

March 14, 2012

More Green ideas prove to be silly disasters

This UK idea sounds even better than the useless windfarms.

So, in order to reduce our CO2 emissions, we subsidise power companies to burn wood which ends up emitting much more CO2 than the fossil fuels it replaces.

But of course, why didn’t I think of that.

Warminists are on the offensive

March 14, 2012

CSIRO continues to confuse fantasy with reality 

Professor Richard S Lindzen, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, addressed a seminar at the House of Commons Committe rooms in London on 22 February. He gave a sober and clear assessment of the state of climate science at the present moment. 

As a counter to the persistent and ongoing propaganda shamefully promoted by our own CSIRO and Met bureauthis simple summary in so few words by Professor Lindzen, indicates the major flaws in the orthodox scare campaign: it should be read, marked, learnt and inwardly digested:

 

BRIEFLY, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal.

The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

His preentation to the House of Commons can be seen here.

 

[Thanks to Andrew Bolt]

Matt Ridley prize for environmental heresy

March 7, 2012

How to earn yourself a cool $12,000 simply by thinking clearly

Just so we are clear about the importance of wind farms in reducing our carbon output on the planet, Matt Ridley reports that to the nearest whole number, “the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero.”

Yes. That’s right, zero. In addition, Ridley detects that the wind blowing against wind energy is fast becoming a torrent of darkness for this useless, costly, destructive industry.

Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine — despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a per cent worldwide.

The article offers us a glimmer of hope by suggesting that the British government is at last wavering in its enthusiasm for this wasteful, mad industry. Ridley outlines just why it is useless, how it has led to the most shocking corruption, and how the shale gas revolution, of all things, is forcing government’s to see wind for what it is: expensive, uneconomic and finally, totally outdated.

Ridley has been important in the general debate on global warming and in his understanding of the folly of Green projects. He explains the evident madness of these projects as a form of “noble cause corruption”.

Politicians are especially susceptible to this condition. In a wish to be seen as modern, they will embrace all manner of fashionable causes. When this sets in — groupthink grips political parties, and the media therefore decide there is no debate — the gravest of errors can take root. The subsidising of useless wind turbines was born of a deep intellectual error, one incubated by failure to challenge conventional wisdom.

It is precisely this consensus-worshipping, heretic-hunting environment where the greatest errors can be made. There are some 3,500 wind turbines in Britain, with hundreds more under construction. It would be a shame for them all to be dismantled. The biggest one should remain, like a crane on an abandoned quay, for future generations to marvel at. They will never be an efficient way to generate power. But there can be no better monument to the folly of mankind.

Finkelstein monsters democracy

March 7, 2012

Finkelstein left of the proverbial fish fork

David Kemp sums up the problem with the Gillard government’s approach to media control and the proposed News Media Council in a most elegant and precise manner.

There are really only two choices. One is accountability to the people, the other is accountability to government. There is a semi-fascist in-between option: accountability to the media industry. Only one of these options is compatible with democracy.

This makes obvious the inherent conflict of interest in the government’s proposition even before analysing Finkelstein’s own half-cocked research.

There is no such thing as an independent government agency, free of conflicting interests, so long as government chooses who will be the members of the agency, and dismisses and funds them (as it must). Government is not impartial. It is a huge concentration of partisan power and self- interest. That is why we need democracy and its essential condition, freedom of speech, to keep government in check.

It has been revealed that one piece of research Finkelstein relied on his report on media bias and unfairness of reporting was by a very unreliable activist source. In any case, that piece of research begs the very question about the importance of the media’s role in challenging policiy assumptions of not just that of Gillard government, but any government, .

If any doubt still remains in the liberal left mind, it should be troubled by the indignation of Paul Kelly.

This report is a watershed in Australia’s political history. The anger of the Gillard government towards media criticism has resulted in a blueprint for enforced media regulation never before seen in Australia.

Finkelstein’s arrogance is supreme: he asserts that he can devise a statutory system that does not infringe press freedom and he claims his model “will right wrongs perpetrated by the media” and make the media “accountable to their audiences”. It is astonishing stuff.

All I can do is express my gratitude to News Limited, the only really strong bulwark in Australia standing against the ABC, the Fairfax Fairfax press and the Labor/Green alliance government, all of which are so clearly to the left of your proverbial fish fork.

The dying Swan: but not the ballet

March 4, 2012

The Treasurer is really out of his depth 

Henry Ergas has again managed a sober analysis, this time of where Wayne Swan has gone wrong, why his piece in The Monthly is misplaced envy, and how it raises in the reader’s mind why a man with such a profound misunderstanding of how an economy works can be running the Treasury of our country.

No government has done more than Gillard and Swan’s to undermine longstanding public processes of policy assessment, while making backroom deals central to its modus operandi. Nor has any government done more to entrench the narrow interest group on which it relies, the unions, or been as unaccountable in dispensing taxpayers’ money to its favoured constituents.

That, not Rinehart’s wealth, is the danger our democracy faces. For Rinehart’s wealth is exposed to the disciplines and vicissitudes of world markets; poor governance, in contrast, is perpetuated by the coercive powers of the state.


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