Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy To Oblige The BOM

Neville Nichols says:

An independent inquiry into the Bureau of Meteorology? Bring it on

Maurice Newman, chair of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, has called for an independent review of the Bureau of Meteorology’s climate data, following a stream of recent articles in The Australian newspaper attacking the Bureau’s methods.

I support his call for an open and public inquiry into the Bureau’s climate data and the techniques that the Bureau’s scientists have used to reduce the influence of changes in instrumentation, exposure, and weather station location on its climate records.

I support it because I don’t think the Bureau gets enough opportunities to demonstrate to the public its scientific integrity, hard work, and valuable results.

An independent inquiry into the Bureau of Meteorology? Bring it on

I’m happy to bring it on.

Nicholls used the graph below, purporting to show that BOM surface data closely matches UAH satellite data. But he did a little nature trick – he expanded the scale of the satellite data (right side) to make it appear to match,the surface data! A realistic adjustment would be to do the opposite and shrink the satellite scale, because the troposphere should warm faster than the surface

Next, let’s compare the BOM data from Nicholls graph above to all 1,655 GHCN (Global Climatology Historical Network) stations in Australia. The GHCN data shows no net warming since 1880, but the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) data shows a hockey stick since 1950, and hides all temperatures before 1910.

NOTE: 1880 temperature higher than 2014

This is not a perfect comparison, because the GHCN data skews towards temperatures in the populated areas near the coasts, and under counts temperatures in the interior. But at a  minimum, it shows that there has been little or no net warming over a large swath of Australia, and a strong disagreement with the BOM data.

The BOM anomalies were calculated relative to a 1940-1980 baseline, and the GHCN anomalies were calculated as the differences of each monthly average from the 1940-1980 baseline for that month.


What Nichols really means is that he thinks any enquiry can be nobbled.  And he has just shown one way how -- JR

Let’s call a spade a spade and challenge nonsense when discussing Islamic extremism

PARADOXES and hypocrisy can turn the national security debate into series of self-defeating arguments and illogical conclusions.

Like a verbal Escher drawing, rational progress along one path can lead to an inconceivable stairway in another direction.

Some of this is unavoidable as liberal democracies compromise by restricting some freedoms to protect our broader values.

Our tolerance gives freedom of expression to ideologies that would overturn our pluralism and silence any dissent from their dogma.

And some of the ill-formed ideological arguments from the green Left are taken up by those who would impose illiberal regimes on all of us. We could get lost in the paradoxes.

The Coalition that railed indignantly against Labor’s proposed media regulation has now ­legislated — with Labor support — for tougher penalties on ­journalists revealing intelligence ­information.

And after promising to bolster free speech by weakening or revoking racial vilification laws, the Coalition is now proposing to ban speakers and organisations (such as Hizb ut-Tahrir) that have long freely expressed their views on our shores.

It pledged a Jakarta rather than Geneva emphasis in foreign policy but the Coalition has been an eager and leading protagonist in Ukraine and the Middle East.

There are some twists and turns for Tony Abbott to explain here — some no doubt justifiable because of unexpected events — but the changing perspective on freedom of speech will require expansion. On the green Left the contortions are decidedly more convoluted. Politicians and commentators who just a year or so ago supported de facto regulation of all print media content — on the spurious grounds of perceived political bias — now stridently object to narrowly focused legislative restrictions on the reporting of intelligence operations.

Take the uncritical view of media regulation from former Ten Network bureau chief Paul Bongiorno. “They are giving the citizens of this country greater redress against their treatment in the media,” Bongiorno told ABC radio in March last year, “that’s actually all these reforms are doing.”

Yet in recent weeks, seeing bipartisan support of the much more specific national security provisions, Bongiorno tweeted: “Labor’s support of the latest batch of terror laws is frightening. At least Abbott pretended in opposition to believe in our freedom.”

Hypocrisy is not his alone; the same wildly divergent approach has been evident across much of the ABC and even from the journalists union, which was “disappointed” by the proposed media regulation but says the anti-terror provisions are an “outrageous attack” on press freedom.

News organisations and commentators that have been eagerly prosecutorial of the Christian ­churches for many years now baulk at any criticism of Islam, even on related issues.

The same people, for instance, who condemn the Catholic Church for not allowing gay marriage or female priests not only fail to make the same criticism of ­Islamic tradition but actively defend the right of Muslim communities to shroud their women in burkas or niqabs.

The green-left politicians and activists who have spent more than a decade campaigning for an open-borders approach on ­asylum-seekers, demanding we accept any refugee who makes it to our shores, have opposed military intervention to save the lives of innocent civilians in Syria and Iraq.

These so-called compassion­istas have long shown a stunning disregard for the 1200 or more ­asylum-seekers who drowned trying to get to Australia by boat. But they have now trumped that with cold indifference towards the plight of Kurds, Shi’ites, Yazidis and Christians being slaughtered by Islamic State ­terrorists.

Presumably the compassion­istas believe that instead of helping them to save their families and communities, or defend their homeland, we should wait and welcome all the survivors to our shores. But the more complex and important contortions concern the grievances promulgated by ­Islamic extremists, which are all too often given succour in our political debate.

This was brought into stark relief when Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Wassim Doureihi was interviewed on the ABC’s Lateline this week.

Host Emma Alberici clashed with Doureihi for most of the interview in an unsuccessful effort to have him condemn the murderous actions of Islamic State. This was good theatre and an important point was made.

But the more significant point, and the more nuanced issue for Western liberal democracies to deal with, was that Alberici found it difficult to seriously contest his political grievances.

Doureihi trotted out the familiar complaints about “colonial occupation” and “Western interference in Islamic” lands.

We had the predictable references to the 2003 Iraq invasion — “a million people lost their lives on a lie” — as well as the usual resort to moral equivalence: “It is not Muslims who are dropping bombs from their fighter jets.”

The green Left will find it difficult to undermine this sophistry because it has spent so long promoting similar misinterpretations of Middle Eastern affairs.

In opposing Australia’s military deployment Greens leader Christine Milne has talked about “blindly following the United States” into “another quagmire in the Middle East” and has even called the latest action a “US incursion into Iraq”.

Milne is hardly challenged on this nonsense by our public broadcaster and other media, so it is not surprising that Hizb ut-Tahrir gets away with similar obfuscation.

Crucially, these political arguments are all a ruse anyway.

Islamic extremists use these political causes to undermine the foreign policy and domestic support of Western governments, and to motivate followers and potential recruits.

Whatever the complexities of each cited dilemma — be it the ­Israel-Palestine imbroglio, the role of the Saudi royal family or complaints about the Shia-­dominated Baghdad government — they are not the motivating ­factors.

Resolution of these issues will not satisfy the extremists — they are tools used for propaganda ­purposes.

The extremist ideology respects no government other than an all-powerful Islamic caliphate, and will abide no law except sharia law.

We will need to challenge this ideology with intelligent, sure-footed debate, as well as vigilance and resolve.


Labor Party leader says Labor wants to 'tackle carbon pollution', but rules out return of carbon tax

Labor will not bring a carbon tax to the next election but a market mechanism is still the best way of dealing with emissions, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.

While urging the government to address China's recently introduced tariff on Australian coal, Mr Shorten said the Australian people had spoken on the carbon tax at the last election, which saw Labor lose office.

"We will not have a carbon tax, the Australian people have spoken and Labor is not going to go back to that," Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

Fairfax Media earlier reported Mr Shorten had confirmed Labor would take a carbon price, although not a tax, to the election.

"Labor doesn't support a carbon tax, but in terms of real and effective action on climate change I do support a market-based system to set a price and that's where the rest of the world's going," Mr Shorten told Fairfax.

On Saturday he said it was "important we use the market ... to help set a priority in terms of tackling climate change.

"So we will have a sensible policy on climate change. We do want to tackle carbon pollution, but we won't be going back to what you saw in the past."

Mr Shorten also urged the government to "sort out" China's surprise decision during free trade talks to impose tariffs on Australian coal.  The decision is a blow to Australian producers dealing with China, the second biggest market for coal, and comes as free trade negotiations continue with an agreement expected later this year. 

"This is a new obstacle in the path of Australian coal," Mr Shorten said.  "I think the government looks silly when it talks about negotiating a free trade agreement with China, the very people it says it's making new progress in negotiations with. "The government needs to sort this issue out."

Mr Shorten praised the industry for making real efforts to remain competitive, but said mineral producers on the east coast of the country were doing it tough.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday described China's decision as a hiccup.  "This is the kind of hiccup in our biggest and most important trading relationship that we just don't want or need," the prime minister told reporters in Canberra on Friday.  "I think that we will work with the Chinese to get to the bottom of what seems to have happened overnight."

Environment minister Greg Hunt is expected to address Mr Shorten's comment's on the carbon tax at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.


People Power Victoria - No Smart Meters Party Campaign Launch

People Power Victoria – No Smart Meters (PPV) campaign launch for the 2014 Victorian election will be held as follows:  Saturday 11th October, 3:00 pm sharp, Oakleigh Grammar Community Conference Centre, 77-81 Willesden Rd, Oakleigh (Hughesdale)

PPV will run in every Upper House seat and selected Lower House seats.

As a newly registered party, PPV has been formed in response to growing public unrest with how Victorians are being treated by essential service corporations and government departments, and in particular, disdain towards our right to cost-effective, safe, and privacy-protected services.

“The Party provides a focal point for voters who are frustrated by the lack of political action and feel strongly that much more needs to be done through our parliamentary system to protect the human and democratic rights of Victorians.  It is a party based on consumer rights and protection,” said Marc Florio, PPV spokesperson.

PPV is centred on opposing the mandated rollout of wireless smart meters for electricity, gas and water, and on the commitment to re-establish a healthy environment for Victorians.

“The community's experience with rising essential services’ costs and disregard of our rights and wellbeing is epitomised by the incompetent and aggressive rollout of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (smart meters) program.”

“Many Victorians have already been adversely affected by the compulsory rollout, be it financially or via deteriorating health as a direct result of exposure to radiation from smart meters. Many also see it as a gross invasion of their privacy,” he said.


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