Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rudd knows nothing about climate science

There were several immediate ripostes to Rudd's ignorance of this matter -- e.g. from Andrew Bolt -- but I let the matter lie at the time -- knowing how easily Rudd's ignorance could be exposed. Joanne Nova has however done an excellent hatchet job on his ignorance, complete with a very wide-ranging set of temperature graphs. I reproduce just her opening salvo below. Go the the original for graphics

Rudd let slip a line in his frustration this week that reveals how little he knows about the topic he holds so dear. He has so completely swallowed the PR on climate science, that when poked, he reflexively fires back exaggerated scientific claims that would make even the IPCC blush. In 2007 the IPCC and Gore et al offered Rudd the perfect Election-Wedge-on-a-Platter. They’d primed the audience with propaganda; trained the crowd to recite: Carbon is pollution. It looked like a no-brainer. Yet having based his leadership and campaign on it, it’s obvious he had not done even the most basic of checks (and still apparently hasn’t).

It’s an abject lesson in the importance of doing some homework before rewriting a nation’s economy.

Last week Tony Abbott (the Australian opposition leader) told school children that it was warmer ”at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth”. This banal line set off a flurry of denial and bluster.

Rudd was incredulous in the Parliamentary Hansard record to the opposition members last week: "…how is it that, in the 21st century, you could support this Leader of the Opposition, who says that the world was hotter in Jesus’ time? How could you actually hold to a belief, in defiance of total science around the world, that somehow in the last 2000 years the world has become cooler, not warmer? How could you stand behind a leader who says that the industrial revolution, in effect, did not happen?"

In defiance of “total science”? Or totalitarian science?

It’s true it’s difficult to know the exact temperature of the globe in the year one (it’s difficult to know the exact global temperature in 1975, too), but there are scientists reporting in journals from all over the world that back up Mr Abbott. We know it really must have been warmer in Europe thanks to written historical records and artefacts that pop out of melting glaciers. As William Kinninmonth points out, Hannibal took an army of elephants across the Alps in winter in 200 BC. And we all know that the Romans are not known for wearing fur coats.

Rudd is apoplectic with the non-sequitur about the industrial revolution: If temperatures were warmer in 10BC, somehow that nullifies the steam engine 1800 years later? In Rudd-land, no one can even imagine the parallel universe where carbon might not control the climate.

A warmer world in Roman times?

A quick tour of peer reviewed research around the globe shows it was also warmer in China, North America, Venezuela, South Africa, and the Sargasso Sea 2000 years ago. And of course, Greenland tells an evocative tale.

Long-term, temperatures have been declining for at least 3000 years. The graph stops about 100 years ago but even allowing for the extra rise in the last century, temperatures today are cooler than in Medieval times and cooler than Roman times. It’s clear from hundreds of studies that the medieval warm period was a global phenomenon and was warmer than today. Some of the studies below may not include modern temperatures, but they show that the Roman era was comparable to Medieval times.


Another Rudd backflip

Do they ever stop?

You can add ads to Rudd’s list of policy backflips. Have you heard a radio advert lately telling you that the new health reforms are really good for you? They are hard to miss and there is avalanche to come.

According to the Budget, the Rudd Government will spend $126 million on five campaigns in the next few months. These campaigns cover topics including climate change, tax reform, health reform, broadband and paid parental leave. $33 million will be spent in the next six weeks alone.

You would be right to be surprised by this given the high talk and large promises made by Kevin 07 prior to the last election.

He promised in May 2007 that a Rudd Government would have the Auditor General ‘vet’ all government advertising programmes over $250,000 to ensure that they were not political. After watering down this promise in government, the new ‘Kevin 10’ dumped this promise two days before Easter this year.

In fact, he was so strong in his claim, he actually said to Matthew Franklin at The Australian:

“Why not have a system whereby three months prior to when an election is due ... for there to be a ban on publicly-funded advertising unless explicitly agreed between the leader of the government and the leader of the Opposition?” Mr Rudd said. “That is an absolute undertaking from us. I believe this is a sick cancer within our system. It is a cancer on democracy.”

An ‘absolute commitment’ which is interesting because we are now about three months from an election and one may be entitled to think that at this stage Kevin 10 would be seeking Tony Abbott’s agreement on which ads should go ahead and which should not. Now Kevin 10 may do that, but it does seem quite strange that the list of advertising campaigns just happens to fit into the political priorities for the Labor Government and these are issues that are undoubtedly contentious and unlikely to be agreed to by the Opposition.

One thing is for sure, the climate change advertising won’t mention the words ‘greatest moral challenge of our time’ or for that matter ‘political courage’.

To make it worse, as the Punch revealed here previously, punters are also faced with State Labor Governments advertising for their federal comrades. The funny thing is that in Kevin 07’s day he had a plan to fix State Labor Governments advertising as well when he said:

“If we form the next government of Australia, that (the Auditor General vetting) would be a requirement that we would make through the Council of Australian Governments to all states and territories

The fact is Kevin 07 and Kevin 10 barely share the same DNA.

In 2007, Kevin 07 was an economic conservative. In 2010, he has handed down the biggest budget deficit in history.

In 2007, Kevin 07 wanted 260 more child care centres. In 2010, Kevin 10 dumps the policy altogether.

In 2007, Kevin 07declared climate change to be the greatest moral challenge of our time. In 2010, Kevin 10 can’t run away from it fast enough.

So, in the coming months when you hear Kevin Rudd say he is ‘absolutely committed’ to a policy, don’t trust him because what he says before an election won’t stand after an election.

You can be sure that the Rudd/Gillard Government will always do what is in the Labor Party’s interest, not that of Australia’s future.


Joe Hockey takes swing at e-Health scheme

It cost the British taxpayer over 12 BILLION pounds for their eHealth scheme so one must fervently hope that Hockey wins this one

JOE Hockey will today map out the Coalition's return to economic conservatism, promising to cut the Rudd government's controversial new e-Health scheme to save $467 million and announcing a review of the Trade Practices Act to help small business.

In a speech to the National Press Club, the opposition Treasury spokesman will announce that the review -- which he will describe as the most significant in decades -- will not be headed by Treasury secretary Ken Henry. That is an apparent swipe at the independence of the Treasury boss.

The "root and branch" review will be charged with easing burdens on small business and infrastructure projects through the laws defining business conduct.

And the Coalition will kill the e-Health scheme which was announced with the budget and which will cost $467m over the next two years. Mr Hockey will argue that the initiative is fundamentally flawed.

It is one of a number of cuts the Coalition will announce to prove it is willing to be tough in order to get the budget back into surplus.

The E-health initiative gives patients the choice of opting in to the system, even though all Australians will automatically be given a new identification number that can be linked to their medical records. The budget papers say patients will be able to access their e-Health records when and where needed.

In the Rudd government scheme, patients' sensitive health records, including test results and prescriptions, will be stored on a national database accessible via the internet.

Mr Hockey will use the speech to cement the Coalition's economic credentials and will attack Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan as irresponsible spenders who turned a $20 billion budget surplus into a $27bn deficit in just one year and had broken so many 2007 election promises they could no longer be believed.

Tony Abbott yesterday refused to pre-empt what changes Mr Hockey might announce in terms of savings and said this would be an important speech. "He's going to broaden and deepen our attack on the budget," the Opposition Leader said.

But he did hint that his proposal for a "green army", which was expected to cost $750m a year, could initially be scaled back to find savings.

Mr Abbott said he remained committed to the plan to mobilise a 15,000-strong green army to work on land-care projects but said it would take time to implement. "We'll be building up to it. It's not going to happen overnight," he said.

The Opposition Leader last week vowed a Coalition government would save $4bn by freezing public service recruitment.

He has also pledged to overhaul the government's school building program, oppose Labor's planned resource super-profits tax and scrap its $43bn national broadband network.


Hospital staff pull knives on one-another but that's OK

Is there no limit to Queensland Health negligence?

THREE Gold Coast Hospital workers involved in two violent confrontations, including a stabbing, at the Southport facility have reportedly gone undisciplined and continued working on full pay.

Hospital sources have told the Bulletin the latest incident allegedly involved a worker stabbing a fellow hospital employee in the leg after a rubbish row erupted in a staff lunchroom in late April.

It was the second time knives had been pulled in disputes between porter staff in recent months and three men at the centre of the violence have not been disciplined.

While Queensland Health has refused to comment on whether the employee involved in the latest incident was still working, Health Minister Paul Lucas said the allegations were of concern and had been passed to police.

However, a hospital insider yesterday said victims had been actively discouraged from reporting matters to police while perpetrators had remained working on full pay as snail-paced internal investigations were undertaken.

A worker, aged in his 20s, needed stitches after a knife was thrown during a lunchroom dispute in April. The hospital source said the young man had misjudged as he threw his lunch wrapper towards the bin and it landed beside another staff member. "He turned around and lost it completely," said the source.

The source alleged the staff member lifted up the rubbish, and also a steak knife, and threw it towards the young man. "The knife ... penetrated the person in the thigh, through the material of his uniform, and embedded in his thigh," said the source.

The victim required four or five stitches in the wound and a tetanus shot. He has since been off work on stress leave. "But the person who did the damage (is) walking around working at the hospital," said the source.

"You don't expect to go to work and have a knife thrown. "I do feel they are going to sweep it under the carpet. In what other industry can you throw a knife at someone and still be walking around doing a job?"

About 70 porters work at the Gold Coast Hospital.


1 comment:

Paul said...

The orderlies in certain Melbourne hospitals in the 1990s ran the places like nasty little bogan empires, with management scared to address anything. This was under the Cain/Kirner Camelot when their union was run by a succession of leftist thugs (I hesitate to use the term "Leftist" because that would imply they believed in something, but they identified with the Communist Victorian Trades Hall of the day). I recall nurses who complained about their conduct having their car tyres slashed. It was the Kennett Government that finally stopped the rot.