Friday, February 24, 2012

Paid to spread lies on climate (?)

I reproduce below an amusing rant that I happened to come across on an Australian Leftist blog. Note that it is 100% "ad hominem" -- it is all personal abuse, accusations and aspersions. Not a single actual scientific fact is mentioned. But who can blame the author after all? Warmists have no scientific facts to promulgate -- just prophecies and appeals to authority. I am still waiting for someone to dispute the facts that have long been portrayed in the header to GREENIE WATCH. No-one ever has

The anti-climate science nonsense being promulgated by ratbag groups such as Quadrant, the IPA and the utterly degenerate and despicable Catallaxy blog depend on the rantings of a handful of so-called ‘sceptics’. According to the DeSmogblog in a series of posts (the earliest is here) the most prominent of these sceptics are being paid monthly retainers by the libertarian Heartland Institute that are funded by the usual interest groups. Heartland has in the past acted on behalf of carcinogen producers to lie about the dangers of secondary tobacco smoke – its senior personnel were in the employ of these tobacco producers – so its antics should not be unexpected. But the naiveté of the right-wing fools who promulgate and consume the lies spread by this group is surprising.

The dangerous implications of these lies rests in their success in turning the science of climate change into a so-called debate between ‘two sides’ even though the science of climate change is clear. This has been seriously damaging to the cause of trying to take foster community resolve to address climate change and damages the future world that our children will live in. All of those involved – the so-called ‘scientists’ who spread the sceptical nonsense, the right-wing ignoramuses who disperse their lies through blogs, the gutter press and the mindless sheep who provide an audience for these lies and who endlessly recycle their wrong arguments deserve the community’s condemnation. More than that an awareness of the role of such interest group lobbies in undermining informed debate needs to be understood.

It is part of a pattern for this camp – lies on climate science, crank macroeconomic theories and crank views on taxation and the use of economic instruments to address externalities. They are all part of the same web of deceit.

Bob Carter denies here that he is a mouthpiece for Heartland but does not deny he gets paid a monthly retainer by them. Bob is one of the crew of right-wing ideologues who present their views regularly in the News Corporation media such as the Australian – for example this.

Heartland claim one of the documents cited is fraudulent but do not deny the allegations above that they paid climate change denialists. DesSmogblog does not retreat from its position. Wait for a new program of lies from Catallaxy and the IPA – these are the experts in deceit.

Update: DeSmogblog point out an interesting tactic of Heartland. Raise a question about 1 document in 100 pages of documents and seek to throw doubts on the whole lot.

Update: ASIC documents suggest the denialist Australian Climate Science Coalition (Carter, Evans, Kininmonth, Plimer etc) get most of their funding from Heartland.


A conservative fires back

Leftists can hardly open their mouths without spouting abuse but in the Northern Territory, one conservative politician gave a Leftist as good as she got -- and more. She appears to have some Aboriginal ancestry so that may have emboldened her. Being "black" has its privileges

CLP firebrand Alison Anderson hit back at Labor heavy Chris Burns in Parliament labelling him "racist" and "sexist", and revealing he hates the Treasurer - and her mother.

In response to a stinging attack by Dr Burns in Parliament on Tuesday night, Ms Anderson last night kicked back - with both boots. Parliament descended into chaos during the attack, which ended with Ms Anderson being thrown out when she, according to the Government, called a Labor backbencher a " b*tch".

Ms Anderson later denied she used the 'f' word. But she admitted to saying "sookie b*tch" in the heat of battle - and said she intended to apologise.

The Member for Macdonnell began her attack by calling Dr Burns a "bizarre man". She recalled a time, when she was a Labor backbencher, that Dr Burns "mocked a victim of child abuse". "I look across at the Member for Johnston in his twilight, and what do I see? I see a human shell."

She called him a "sexist" and a "racist".

When Treasurer Delia Lawrie jumped up to defend Dr Burns, Ms Anderson offered a biting reply. "Member for Karama, remember Burnsy said he hates you and your mother too," she said.

The ugly feud was sparked after Dr Burns accused her of "despicable" practices during her time working in Papunya. He had read out sections of a book, King Brown Country, saying she'd forced the shop to price gouge and used the funds to buy cars for a chosen few.

Ms Anderson denied all wrong-doing, and threatened to sue Dr Burns if he repeated it outside Parliament. "I give my personal assurance to this Parliament again that I've never been involved in corrupt financial practices and I've never benefited from any transactions at Papunya involving motor vehicles," she said.

Ms Anderson said the book was full of falsehoods and errors, and that she hadn't taken legal action because "in public life, one must accept such blows". She said a detailed Commonwealth report into allegations of fraud and mismanagement at Papunya had fully exonerated her.


BOOK REVIEW: The Climate Caper by Garth W Paltridge, Published by Connor Court, Australia, 2009

Below is part of a very large and informative review. Reading the whole thing definitely recommended

The Climate Caper is a “must read” for the insights it provides into the way the prospect of mild global warming has been beaten up to become “the greatest moral challenge of our times” by a recent Prime Minister of Australia. It provides some extra dots to add to the pattern explained by John Grover’s book The Struggle for Power on the worldwide political campaign against the peaceful use of nuclear power.

Grover’s book could have been called “the anti-nuclear caper”. It describes the worldwide campaign by a network of radical leftwing groups, operating initially under cover of the peace movement and then in the environmental movement. Their greatest institutional achievement came under administration of President Carter when representatives of the movement occupied many senior positions and embarked on the program of massive regulation which now prejudices the economic recovery of the US. In Australia the movement delayed the mining of uranium and prohibits the lucrative industry of storing the nuclear waste of the world and also the prospect of nuclear power.

There is a very major difference between the two campaigns and Paltridge’s book is especially helpful on that topic (though he does not refer to the previous caper at all). The anti-nuclear caper drew no support from reputable scientists, unless you count a handful of outright cranks and some ideologues from non-relevant disciplines. The incredible triumph of that no-growth campaign was to marginalise the entire scientific community. This time around the scientific community is on board and the scientists on the more realistic side of the debate have been marginalised. Paltridge provides a great start on answering the $64K question “how did this happen?”

The book has many striking features, starting with the qualifications of the author.

Emeritus Professor Garth Paltridge is an atmospheric physicist and was a Chief Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research before taking up positions in Tasmania as Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies and CEO of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre. He retired in 2002 and remains an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

He provides historical perspective because he was involved in climate science from the beginning of interest in warming, up to and beyond the point where it became inflated and politicised.

He was close to the epicentre of the explosion in the IPCC and he explains how the scientific committees of that body became subservient to the political committee.

On the science of warming he provides a luminously clear explanation of the problems with the models that provide the core of the case for drastic action.

In the Australian policy-making process he was very close to the action when the chief advisor to the Government encouraged a committee from the Academy of Science to water down some potentially damning criticisms of the model he was using as the basis of the proposals that have been taken up by the Administration.

He understands enough of the sociology of science to understand the significance of the rise of Big Science, almost entirely government-funded, and the parallel proliferation of Kuhnian “normal scientists”.

In the same way that John Stone can document the decline of professionalism and quality in the Commonwealth public service because he was there as it happened, Paltridge saw the decline of independence and the spirit of criticism in the scientific community during his career (much due to the same influences described by Stone).

All of this adds up to a compelling case to stop the rush to drastic action to address a so-called problem, namely the prospect of a degree or two of warming over the next century, which will have positives as well as negatives (if it makes any noticeable difference at all).

As a bonus the book is short and very clearly written with a light and humorous touch.

Much more HERE

The moron act of branding normal healthy kids as "obese" has now spread to Australia

A MELBOURNE mother is horrified after a child and maternal health nurse labelled her healthy three-year-old daughter "obese".

Helen Karalexis said the incident occurred when she took Viktoria to the Sunshine Child and Maternal Health clinic for a routine check-up on Wednesday.

Ms Karalexis was concerned this was not an isolated case, and that it was sending children the wrong messages.

Her daughter is 108cm tall and weighs 21.1kg - when the nurse put these measurements into the computer, she told her Viktoria was obese. "I said, 'how can you tell me my daughter is obese? Look at her'," Ms Karalexis said. "She's very energetic, she's always outside playing, she's got a lot of muscle, which is heavier than fat."

The nurse recommended Ms Karalexis switch her daughter to low-fat milk, reduce her meal portions and not give her any cordials, soft drinks or fruit juice. "She almost convinced me my daughter was obese," Ms Karalexis said.

Nurses should not be relying solely on a computer program to determine whether a child was obese, but also use discretion and common sense, she said. "It's hard enough trying to get kids to eat as it is, but this could make them start thinking 'I can't eat this because I'm going to get fat'," she said.

Ms Karalexis urged parents suffering a similar experience to seek a second opinion.

A Brimbank City Council spokesman said discussions were being held with Isis Primary Care, which provides maternal and child health services in the area on its behalf, over Ms Karalexis's allegations.

Isis director of community services Michael Girolami said body mass index (BMI), which took into account a child's age, height and weight, was used to determine if a child was in a healthy weight range.

The online BMI assessment tool was available from the US Government's National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Mr Girolami said. "In this particular case, the child was placed in the 95th percentile, which is defined as "obese" in the chart," he said.

Dietitian Karen Inge said the BMI system had limitations because it measured only height and weight, not body composition, and muscle weighed more than fat.


The drift to private High Schools continues in Qld.

They try to pooh-pooh it below but State schools have to be pretty bad for so many parents to abandon them -- at a considerable monetary sacrifice. Private enrolments are now about 40% of the total, which is huge and getting bigger

STATE high schools are continuing to lose students to the independent and Catholic sectors, figures released today show.

The 2012 Day 8 state school figures - the student data used to allocate staff - show that while primary school enrolments are booming, more than 4000 Year 7 pupils from last year left the sector for private education.

State primary school enrolments rose from 310,104 on Day 8 last year to 317,072 this year - the biggest jump in the sector in recent years. Education Minister Cameron Dick said there was record growth in Prep in state schools, with 1800 extra pupils in 2012, taking the year level to more than 44,700 students across the state.

"This increase reflects the Queensland Government's successful implementation of Prep as the first year of schooling," Mr Dick said.

But the state sector lost about 10 per cent of its Year 7 students when they moved into Year 8 - a figure that was slightly less than in previous years.

About 39,880 Year 7 students were enrolled in a state school on Day 8 last year. The number of students enrolled in Year 8 at state schools this year is 35,712. Overall, state secondary enrolments dropped from 174,737 last year to 174,377 this year.

Queensland Secondary Principals' Association president Norm Fuller said this number was "insignificant" and praised his sector.

"I think state high schools offer more opportunities than the non-government sectors because state high schools offer a far broader range of curriculum," Mr Fuller said.

He said state high schools also served some regional, rural and remote areas where non-government schools didn't exist. Mr Dick said the 2012 Year 8 intake was slightly higher than last year, while a record 30,700 Year 12 students were enrolled on Day 8.

He said Queensland was the only state or territory to have increased government school enrolments every year since 2006.

"Nationally, Queensland continues to have the third-highest proportion of students in government schools, with only Northern Territory and Tasmania higher," he said.

"'We know that while state schools have shown increases in enrolments this year of more than 6600 students, we also expect non-state schools to grow when we see their enrolments later in the year."

Overall, state school student numbers rose 1.4 per cent on last year, up from 484,840 pupils on Day 8 last year to 491,449 this year.

Tiny enrolment drops were recorded in the Darling Downs, South West and Far North Queensland regions, with increases everywhere else.


1 comment:

Paul said...

"Nurses should not be relying solely on a computer program to determine whether a child was obese, but also use discretion and common sense,"

They are not taught about discretion or common sense, and they don't pick it up in a workplace that is now almost completely criteria-driven in an attempt to remove discretionary judgement. Why? Disproportionate fear of litigation thus adherence to academic models, on a background of an overall low educational standard. or in other words they turn 'em out dumb and give 'em checklists.