Sunday, October 10, 2010


Four current articles below

Australia's malicious ABC Science Show

Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) currently dominates climate science to the extent that many consider it a fact – not a theory. The famous philosopher of science, Thomas Kuhn, would describe AGW as the current dominant paradigm because this is where the majority of professional scientists claim their allegiance. Of course there are dissenters, commonly referred to as sceptics or deniers, and Kuhn would have correctly predict that these individual would be excluded from the scientific community as evidenced in the Climategate emails.

It is particularly evident from the Climategate emails that a group within the scientific community will go to great lengths to deny so-called sceptics the opportunity to publish in the peer-reviewed literature including through the removal of editors and stacking of review committees.

Nevertheless, outspoken sceptic Bob Carter has managed, over his distinguished career to amass a long list of publications in the peer-reviewed literature including publications of direct relevance to climate science in the best international peer-reviewed science journals.

I make specific mention of Professor Carter and his publication record, because yesterday, on the ABC Science Show, it was repeatedly stated that Professor Carter has a very poor publication record.

Robyn Williams’ introduction to the interview explains:

“Bob Ward says those who seek to reinterpret the science of climate change often have minimal publication records. Publication involves peer review. This process weeds out experiments and papers which are sub-standard. By contrast, anyone can write a book, write a newspaper article, or address public meetings. Bob Ward mentions a paper by Bob Carter, saying it contains false quotes and numerous examples of inaccuracy. Bob Ward says the Carter paper is the worst that has ever been published about climate change.”

Worst, in the actual interview not one specific, substantive error of science is raised by Mr Ward, or Mr Williams, to illustrate the general accusation.

While it is generally acknowledged that Mr Williams is hopelessly biased when it comes to the issue of climate change, his malicious treatment of Professor Carter is beyond anything reasonably acceptable on a science show broadcast by the ABC.

While an apology is in order, in addition I suggest that Mr Williams dedicate a show, within the next month or so, to an interview with Professor Carter to discuss the science in his new book ‘Climate: the Counter Consensus’.


Coal OR Crops? NO. Coal AND Crops

The Queensland Government has announced plans to create a new category of restricted land called “Strategic Cropping Land” which bans all mining or development. The Carbon Sense Coalition has lodged a submission opposing the proposal. See: here

If Queensland’s politicians were really concerned about food security they would not have sterilised millions of acres of grazing land under scrub clearing bans, conservation zones, heritage areas, wild rivers, national parks and other anti-farming bans.

Nor would they have encouraged the diversion of cropping land from producing food for humans to producing ethanol for cars; or used false global warming dogma to justify covering food producing land with feral forests of carbon credit trees.

It seems that the Queensland government has a secret plan to destroy Queensland’s primary industries, all motivated by suicidal Green hostility to the production of carbon fuels and foods, mainly coal, cattle and sheep.

Queensland has always relied on both mining and farming. To undermine mining on the pretence of helping food production is false and destructive. This is not about crops or food – it is just another chapter in the Green war on carbon fuels whose goal is to prevent development of new coal mines and power stations.

The hidden tragedy of this silly policy is that we will never know which protected paddock is underlain by a treasure house of coal or minerals. With modern machinery and knowledge of soils and plants it would be very easy to replace the food lost in the tiny area of crop land likely to be disturbed by coal mining.

The choice is not “Coal or Crops”. A sensible policy is “Coal AND Crops”.

This proposal is quietly slipping beneath the radar. Have a look at the enormous area covered. When this blanket of bans is added to the Wild Rivers sterilisation, development and industry will be excluded from a huge area of Queensland. Future generations will be far poorer if this proposal succeeds, but few people will understand why.


Greenie flatulence

The Northern Territory Government is funding a university study to measure the impact of Australia's wild camel population on climate change.

Charles Darwin University has been funded for the year-long study to monitor the impact of the wild camel herd on the carbon cycle.

It is estimated that more than one million camels are roaming the country's arid regions.

The study will monitor carbon emissions and sequestration, in particular, looking at camel flatulence and the greenhouse gas effect created by decomposing carcasses.

The university says Indigenous people in remote communities will be involved in the project on Aboriginal land.

It is expected to shed light on the environmental impact of techniques for camel management, like animal culling.


Labor locked in deadly embrace with the Greens

GILLARD'S alliance with the minority party was ill-advised and could prove fatal

Christopher Pearson

JULIA Gillard's success in cobbling together a slim majority has distracted attention from Labor's biggest problem. The ALP is being cannibalised to the point where it may not have a future as a governing party in its own right.

It hasn't maintained anything like its normal percentage of the 18 to 34-year-old voters, especially in inner-city electorates. According to Newspoll, 50 per cent of them intended to give their primary vote to Labor during the period from July to September 2008, but it fell to 35 per cent during the month of August this year.

Having lost a swag of that cohort at the age when they're apt to be most idealistic and engaged, Labor is unlikely to be able to count on many of them regularly giving it their first preferences later on.

In outer suburban and regional seats, socially conservative, blue-collar workers and their families were once the core of Labor's vote. That support base was eroded under Paul Keating and sizeable chunks of it swung to John Howard until Work Choices. Tony Abbott has won most of them back and can expect to make further inroads.

None of this is lost on Gillard, of course. However, her decision to enter into a formal agreement with the Greens tells us she hasn't grasped the policy implications. If she is to have any hope of surviving as a long-term leader, her first task is to defend what the advertising agencies call Labor's "brand". The ALP can't afford to be cast in the role of a senior partner in a long-term alliance with the Greens because they are competing for the loyalty of the same voters and Labor will keep bleeding votes.

Some party loyalists within Club Sensible say the agreement was necessary to build the momentum, along with Andrew Wilkie's pledge of support, so as to cajole the rural independents. I don't buy it. At this distance, especially in the light of ABC1's Four Corners program last week and Rob Oakeshott's revelations about his voting habits, their decision seems to have been a foregone conclusion.

Given that the Greens' Adam Bandt had already repeatedly ruled out supporting the Coalition, no pact needed to be formalised or concessions made last month. Whatever message it sent to the independents is as nothing compared with the one sent to all the voters who veer from election to election between the two main parties: we are prepared to vacate the middle ground and govern from the Left.

Why, regular readers may be wondering, am I not delighted by Gillard's folly? The answer is simple. The national interest demands that at any given time both main parties should be capable of running competent governments, neither of which would be beholden to fringe parties.

For almost all of its recent history the ALP has understood that the Australian electorate is pragmatic and, if anything, mildly conservative. Modern Labor has been most successful when it framed its policies accordingly.

Even when the Hawke government's primary vote slumped in 1990 and it was relying on the minor parties for their preferences, it made relatively few concessions to them.

Gillard will justify her embrace of the Greens in terms of running a minority government and improving the relationship before the new Greens senators take their places next July. But if her strategic sense was anywhere near as developed as her tactical skills, she and her ministers would be reminding voters of why the Greens' policy on almost everything is utopian, ill-considered and not properly costed.

To consolidate their own position as parties for grown-ups, Labor and the Coalition should always speak of the Greens as the infantile party: resolutely irresponsible, innumerate and a threat to the economy.

They should also be pointing out that the Greens provide a flag of convenience for former Moscow-liners, Trotskyites and other ultra-leftist ratbags.

Rather than promising "to engage in a respectful conversation" with them, Gillard should take a leaf out of Kevin Rudd's book and barely speak to them at all. If she wanted to govern from the Centre, she would seldom need their votes because she could usually be confident of support from the Coalition under Abbott.

Bob Hawke relied on Coalition votes, notably under John Howard, to pass most of his economic reforms.

There was plenty of room for product differentiation to preserve the parties' brands and to allow for politicking at the margins.

Both sides were able to take some of the credit. The reforms were overdue and courageous on the government's part because in the short term they often adversely affected traditional Labor voters. Nonetheless, the national interest has seldom been better served than in the Hawke years and it's no coincidence that he won four elections on the trot.

Gillard's pact with the Greens virtually rules out a return to the Hawke tradition. Even if she cared to do so, I doubt that she's politically nimble enough to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. The junking of her pre-election promise that there'd be no carbon tax and the design of a committee to consider the tax that deliberately excludes half the polity tell us several things.

The first is that the alliance with the Greens is more than merely symbolic. The Coalition's claims about a secret preference deal with strings attached were warranted.

Second, she lacks even rudimentary caution. Given that it was she who persuaded Rudd to drop the emissions trading system, we can be confident her acceptance of a carbon tax is not a matter of conviction but a high-stakes gamble that the rest of the world will move in the same direction. It was an option that she need not have exercised and may well prove disastrous, for Labor and the economy. It's a decision she could comfortably have deferred until 2013. By then we may have a better idea what -- if anything -- the Americans and the Chinese in particular are proposing to do about carbon.

Pragmatic, mildly conservative voters don't like politicians taking premature, high-stakes gambles, especially ones that drive up the cost of living. If Abbott succeeds in painting the carbon tax in those terms, Labor may decide to depose Gillard before he has the chance to defeat her.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Ever notice how the ABC or SBS ALWAYS sneak a "Climate Change" story into their news services? Ususally its just some barely credited body or individual telling us what will probably/might/could/ is likely to/has a greater than 50% chance of/are certain it could happen if we don't "take action" (pay more money) now. NOW!!! Repetition has always been central to advertising.