Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category

Why Gillard’s tax is mad

June 13, 2011

We didn’t get the desktop computer revolution by taxing typewriters

With all the noise from the earnest arguments over the carbon dioxide tax — rather like the debate about the number on angels on a pinhead — it seems increasingly difficult to stand back and see just why Julia Gillard’s tax is so bad.

Steven Hayward, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and blogger at powerlineblog.com is very concerned that:

the monomania for near-term suppression of greenhouse gas emissions through cap and trade or carbon taxes or similar means is the single largest environmental policy mistake of the last generation.

Haward makes a complex argument very simple. It is a point that has been explained by leading Australian commentators like Terry McCrann, Henry Ergas, and Andrew Bolt tirelessly, and also so often by Bjorn Lomborg. It is a point so obvious, that the continuing squabbles and false discussions in the media over minutiae is very disturbing and very frustrating.

The way to reduce carbon emissions is not to make carbon-based energy more expensive, but rather make low- and non-carbon energy cheaper at a large scale, so the whole world can adopt it, not just rich nations. This is a massive innovation problem, but you can’t promote energy innovation by economically ruinous taxes and regulation.

We didn’t get the railroad by making horse-drawn wagons more expensive; we didn’t get the automobile by taxing the railroads; we didn’t get the desktop computer revolution by taxing typewriters, slide-rules, and file cabinets.

It is time to stop ending the charade that we can enact shell game policies like cap and trade that will do nothing to actually solve the problem, but only increase the price of energy and slow down our already strangled economy. I support sensible efforts for government to promote energy technology breakthroughs, but am against subsidizing uncompetitive technologies.

The international diplomacy of climate change is the most implausible and unpromising initiative since the disarmament talks of the 1930s, and for many of the same reasons; the Kyoto Protocol and its progeny are the climate diplomacy equivalent of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 that promised to end war (a treaty that is still on the books, by the way), and finally, future historians are going to look back on this whole period as the climate policy equivalent of wage and price controls to fight inflation in the 1970s.

Penny Sackett resigns

February 18, 2011

“A breath of fresh”, yes, but “courage” Senator Milne?

Penny Sackett, astronomer and climate change activist — aka Australia’s Chief Scientist — resigned yesterday after only half way through her five-year appointment, citing personal and professional reasons.

As we know, Professor Sackett, was a very outspoken proponent for the need to act on climate change, but like so many in this area, somewhat light on facts. Gilding the lilly, as one does with departures, gloden handshakes and at funerals, Julia Gillard said that she,

has offered objective, clear and constructive advice during her 2 1/2 years at the helm of this important office.

Kim Carr, who apparently doesn’t like her, talked of her “substantial contribution” to scientific debate.

The reward for the most fatuous comment comes from Senator Christine Milne. She applauded Professor Sackett for being a “breath of fresh air” and courageous.

Her courage in responding to and advocating about the climate challenge has been noted and appreciated by many Australians.

In such a prestigious post, with so many billions flowing from governments world wide and so many institutions pushing the climate change agenda, and of course not forgetting the trips overseas and the compliant media circus, it is hard to see where courage comes in.

Garnaut under scrutiny from Ergas

February 10, 2011

Will Gillard’s Court Jester ever realise that he and his Queen have no clothes — even as they still insist on global warming?

Henry Ergas has delivered a sober punch to the nonsense in Ross Garnaut’s report, Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Climate Change Action. Will he be questioned by our compliant media and be held to account?

Garnaut is not a climate scientist but he is meant to be an economist. Ergas makes a pretty simple economic point.

It is obvious, however, that no one would accept an offer to invest $1 today in a project that would return only $1                  70 years from now …

Taking into account these benefits of postponement both in the scenario in which agreement is reached and in that in which it is not, the report’s logic would again tell against unilateral action.
The report avoids this conclusion by not modelling costs and benefits in the scenario in which we abate but the world as a whole does not. It ignores that scenario altogether.
This is inconsistent with the risk assessment framework it rightly recommends.

The report’s conclusions are therefore not properly made out. Until they are, its calls for immediate unilateral action, with all its costs, remain unconvincing.

Another critic, Bjorn Lomborg will be coming to Melbourne in March to further look at the futility of expensive carbon abatement measures. He accepts that global warming is real, but thinks that it can be solved at relatively low cost without compromising social and economic development.

This also may be too difficult for our media to honestly deal with.

Flannery is Australia’s real Nostradamus kid

February 9, 2011

We can learn from history

The entry on Nostradamus in Wikipedia is very instructive in understanding our ex-Australian of the Year, Tim Flannery, and his rise to such national prominence and influence.

Most academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus’s quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power.

Following popular trends, he wrote an almanac for 1550. He was so encouraged by the almanac’s success that he decided to write one or more annually….

It was mainly in response to the almanacs that the nobility and other prominent persons from far away soon started asking for horoscopes and “psychic” advice from him, though he generally expected his clients to supply the birth charts on which these would be based, rather than calculating them himself as a professional astrologer would have done. When obliged to attempt this himself on the basis of the published tables of the day, he always made numerous errors, and never adjusted the figures for his clients’ place or time of birth …

He then began his project of writing a book of one thousand mainly French quatrains, which constitute the largely undated prophecies for which he is most famous today. Feeling vulnerable to religious fanatics, however, he devised a method of obscuring his meaning by using “Virgilianized” syntax, word games and a mixture of other languages …

The quatrains, published in a book titled Les Propheties (The Prophecies), received a mixed reaction when they were published. Some people thought Nostradamus was a servant of evil, a fake, or insane, while many of the elite thought his quatrains were spiritually-inspired prophecies. In the light of their post-Biblical sources, Nostradamus himself encouraged this belief. Catherine de Médicis, the queen consort of King Henri II of France, was one of Nostradamus’ greatest admirers. After reading his almanacs for 1555, which hinted at unnamed threats to the royal family, she summoned him to Paris to explain them and to draw up horoscopes for her children … By the time of his death in 1566, Catherine had made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to her son, the young King Charles IX of France.

According to David Spears, political editor of Sky News, Tim Flannery is to become the chairman of the Gillard government’s  Climate Commission. Its role is to build community consensus for a carbon price in place of a citizen’s assembly. What goes around, comes around. For a brief look at the record of our own true blue Nostradamus kid, go to Andrew Bolt’s summary.

ABC, please !! It is not unusual weather in Melbourne

February 5, 2011

It is just more of the same … really

Everyone, of course, is talking about this “really strange summer” in Melbourne. Warmists are just busting to believe that something odd is indeed happening, something to do with global warming. After all, how many weeks of holidays down on the coast have been spoiled by rain and exceptionally cold beach weather?

It all reminds me of my grandmother-in-law who announced one Good Friday morning that the gloomy black clouds hovering in the sky was a “sign” from God to remind us of Jesus’ crucifixion. She claimed that it always rained on Good Friday.

One can smile indulgently on an elderly woman’s naïve understanding of meteorology, but it is a lot harder to sympathize with the government’s leading global warming court jester, Ross Garnaut, with his self-satisfied grin, announcing “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Andrew Bolt has listed, yet again, a timely reminder, in case leading ABC journalists bleat out the “unusual weather = global warming” alarm. For any other warmists, please stare at the above photo, and ask yourselves, what is this telling me….

UK Met Office scandal starts?

January 9, 2011

Very expensive dreams taken for reality at our expense

“The trouble is that we simply don’t know how much to trust the Met Office. How often does it get the weather right and wrong. And we don’t know how it compares with other, independent forecasters.”

Roger Harrabin, an environment analyst at the BBC

 

The scandal following the closing of Heathrow Airport and the consistent failure of the British Met Office to get anywhere near predicting the present catastrophically cold winter in the UK is just starting to heat up.

If the politicians think trouble is ahead, they back the winners, not only has the Met Office predictions of mild winter been wrong three winters in the row, they have been SEEN to be wrong, there was plenty of mainstream press coverage before the harsh winters that other forecaster were predicting a severe winter. Following the last years mild winter prediction by the Met Office, there was even BBC coverage debating whether their very expensive super computer had a ‘warm bias’ which was wildly reported in the mainstream media in the UK

Read this searing account, published in Watts Up With That?

It should be a delight to follow the developments.

ABC Ockham’s Razor propaganda

January 8, 2011

A confusion about science and democracy, again

The ABC Science Department is continuing in its role as the propaganda arm for climate change orthodoxy. In a transparently self-serving  Ockham’s Razor this morning,  Julian Cribb is pleading for more communication from scientists to the general public, to better convince them of the soundness of catastrophic global warming science.

Cribb seems to utterly confuse the role of democracy and the role of science. Like many environmentalists and warminists, he has an alarmingly totalitarian view of the role of science in our society.

As the debate around climate change is now demonstrating, we cannot rely upon democratically elected governments to take the right decisions, from a scientific point of view.

While a substantial part, or even a very vocal part of society doubts, denies or rejects the scientific consensus, politicians will usually seek political safety in inaction.

Unfortunately for science, politics is governed by the rules of political logic, not those of scientific logic.

And the rules of political logic are that if you want to change the mind of a politician, then you must first change the minds of their voters.

This clearly is the sort of approach that fits well with the ABC and Ockham’s Razor presenter Robyn Williams, who commissions and introduces this sort of authoritarian thinking. Williams himself has been responsible for broadcasting ill-judged and misinformed interpretations of climate science by, for instance, absurdly claiming that sea levels could rise by 100 metres this century.

But the biggest irony in Cribb’s presentation, is that he perceives a failure of communication by scientists as a cause of the failure of the public to be convinced on global warming. He claims at the outset:

The need for open science has never been more pressing.

This simply defies common sense. At no time in recent memory has the orthodox view on climate science been more open. Indeed, it is daily heavily promoted, propagandized and disseminated in films, documentaries, electronic and print media, in the very selection of items for news services, through schools, by government scientists and political parties.

However, against this overwhelming evidence, Cribb  manages to select just one scientist — one that has been discredited for some of the most exaggerated claims in the climate science firmament — as an example of how climate scientists are being gagged.

In western society it is not unusual for scientists to be actually gagged – as in the appalling suppression of climate science under the US Bush Administration in the case of NASA’s Dr Jim Hansen…

Cribb also ignores the role of Climategate in discrediting the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, the IPCC and others. Shouldn’t he also factor in the catastrophic failure of the British Met Office  — currently fighting a scandal concerning its total incompetence in predicting the current cold winter in Europe — our own CSIRO, or the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for failing to provide forecasts — before it became obvious — of our damaging floods, or to manage to get even simple seasonal weather forecasts remotely accurate. He believes our scientists [presumably the warminists],

employed on the public payroll [are] being ordered to keep their mouths shut about some important discovery, insight or expert opinion …

I wonder if he has bothered to read The Climate Caper by Garth Paltridge, a retired Australian atmospheric physicist, where he sets out just which mouths are being ordered shut.

Julian Cribb urges,

… that science become more open and more democratic in its approach.

Science, and more especially climate science, has nothing to do with democracy. This notion, with its implication for scientific activism, has been the ruin of climate science over the last two decades and shows that Julian Cribb and the ABC Science Department understand little about the meaning of ‘disinterested’ science.

More Green waste

December 11, 2010

What freezing weather?


More in the litany of waste, expense, taxes and ineffectual action on climate change from Christopher Booker of the UK Telegraph. We can only pray that Australian doesn’t go further down this destructive road.

Back in Britain we had the latest report of the Climate Change Committee, set up under the Climate Change Act, chaired by Lord (Adair) Turner. This bunch of academics now proposes that Britain should lead the world by cutting its carbon emissions by 60 per cent in the next 20 years. One of the chief ways to do this, says Lord Turner, will be to ensure that there are 11 million electric cars on Britain’s roads by 2030. Quite how 11 million motorists will be persuaded to pay more than £20,000 a time for these vehicles when, for little more than half that, they could buy a Ford Focus, Lord Turner does not say.

The warminists never cease to impress on us how hot the last decade has been, how this summer will be another killer, or how dry winter was going to be. So it is fair to remind them, as Booker does,  that in England, the “last week of November and the first of December was the coldest ever recorded since the measurements began in 1659”. Or that in Scotland, the army was called out because the “country ground to a halt in up to three feet of snow.” Or that at Cancun, where the experts were saving the Earth, “six days running, local temperatures also fell to their lowest, for the date, since records began 100 years ago”.

Doesn’t matter. They don’t take any notice. Lord Stern wants to “raise an extra £15 billion a year in ‘green taxes’” to give to the third world for them to build wind turbines. Read all about this destructive folly.

UPDATE.

Too late it seems.

Gillard is frittering another $599 million to seem green.

Faine and economic ignorance of the Left

December 9, 2010

Water tanks would cost nearly 200 times more…

Jon Faine, spruiking Green policies on the ABC yet again this week, promotes the mandating of rain tanks for Melburnians. This desire of his underlines the economic and mathematical illiteracy of the Left. They can’t do sums, and have no idea of real costs to real people, most of whom can simply not afford the luxuries they indulge in themselves.

From my reckoning [figures from official government websites]:

The average total cost of a 5,000 litre tank is around $3,137.

For a Melbourne population of 4,644,950, there are 1,667,687 households. Therefore, the total price for mandating rain tanks would be approximately $5 billion and they would store a potential 8,330 ML of water.

The dam that Labor has refused to build, the Mitchell Dam, would have had a capacity of 500,000 ML. That is, one dam, costing around $1.5 billion — that is a third of the cost of rain tanks and equivalent to just three years of operation of the $5 billion desal plant — would have stored 62 times more water. This is, dollar for dollar, nearly 200 times more water for the money spent. Or to put it another way, Faine’s planned mandated water tanks, if they were to do what this one dam could do for $1.5 billion, would cost individuals the equivalent of $180 billion.

In addition, the proposed mandated rain water tanks would, in a drought, last an average household — at 155 litres per person — only two or three weeks.   The one extra dam would supply water to Melbourne, at the same rate — for around two years.

Maybe households in Fitzroy can afford this nonsense but it would either hurt the poor, or if subsidized, overwhelm the taxpayer. Either way, it is crazy economics and utterly stupid as a way of waterproofing a city like Melbourne. But do the fanatical greens care at all ?

From Nopenhagen to Yes We Cancun

December 6, 2010

The IPCC and Perma-socialism


A very amusing communication from Christopher Monkton has appeared on What’s Up with That, documenting the stupidity and waste that is the UN Climate Change Conference.

Instead, the Martini Marxists dancing the night away doing the Cancun Can-Can with the 25 pneumatic bunny girls in the newly-opened Playboy Casino on the ocean-front strip in Cancun have decided to copy the bureaucrats of the European Union, whose crafty, crabwise coup d’etat over the last three or four decades has transferred all real political power, little by little, treaty by treaty, to the dismal dictatorship of Brussels.

Read on about how the “enviro zombs’” plan to destroy democracy world wide. If these buggers get purchase, it will be quite depressing, really.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.