Thursday, December 17, 2015

Plankton and global warming:  CSIRO make a mountain out of a pimple

A totally boring finding to the effect that warm-water creatures tend to live in warm water has been hyped into a threat to our fish dinners

I noted yesterday a new report that said plankton were dying out due to global warming.  And plankton are an important part of the marine food chain so the implication was that our fish dinners are threatened!  As someone who likes fish dinners I take that seriously, but I recently noted another threat to my fish dinners that turned out to be "poorly understood" so I was inclined to be suspicious of this threat too.   But I was a bit rushed for time yesterday -- I had to set aside some time for a sociable  dinner of excellent chili con carne -- so I contented myself with noting just a few immediately apparent oddities in the news report yesterday.

But today I have had time to look up the underlying academic document. It is Plankton 2015: State of Australia’s oceans, by Anthony Richardson et al., which describes itself as a "brochure".  It is NOT an academic journal article that has undergone the rigors of peer review etc. And the apparently most relevant piece of research by others that they cite turns out to be an unpublished honours thesis!  Rigor get thee behind me! 

It is basically a bureaucratic document from the CSIRO, a once respectable but now rather controversial publicly-funded Australian scientific research organization.  Warmists have got hold of it so there goes scientific caution and integrity.

And the latest "brochure" is a good example of its intellectual decline and irresponsibility.  The very first statement in their "Summary for Policymakers" is: "Climate change is altering plankton distributions".  That is partly all well and good:  Plankton distributions along the long East coast of Australia do appear to have changed in various ways.  But no evidence that any have died out is presented and there is no note of any significant shrinkage in overall abundance -- so the threat to our fish dinners dies at that point.

But what about the first part of that sentence?  Is "Climate change" behind the plankton change?  We delve further into the report and find that claim most interestingly expanded:

"Water temperature off Maria Island (east coast of Tasmania) has warmed by 1.5°C since 1944, and is a consequence of global warming and its influence on the intensification of the warm, poleward-flowing East Australian Current (EAC). The EAC now makes more incursions into Tasmanian waters than previously. The increase in strength of the EAC is likely to be a response to climate change, and has contributed to ocean warming off Australia ~3–4 times the global average."

Isn't that fun? It's changes in ocean currents that are now the culprit and those changes are now only "likely" to have been effected by global warming!  Not a single piece of evidence or reference is given to support that "likelihood" however.  Let me guess why:  There isn't any.  It's just a statement of Warmist faith.

So they have NO data about effects of global warming.  And in fact it is worse than that.  Their findings are demonstrably NOT an effect of global warming.  They are a result of LOCAL warming.  How do we know that?  Becauae, as they themselves admit, the warming in Australian waters is much greater than the global average.  If it's not global, it's not global, if I need to put it that way.

So what the report amounts to is a report of totally predictable effects of a change in ocean currents.  And ocean currents change all the time and tend to be cyclic anyway.  So the opportunistic  pseudo-scientists of the CSIRO have dressed up a perfectly routine and uninteresting piece of research as if it proved something dramatic:  A threat to our food chain from global warming.  It does nothing of the sort.  It is just self-serving propaganda designed to shore up their research grants -- JR.

Grand Mufti’s links to banned Egyptian sheik stir up tensions

Australia’s Grand Mufti, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, has visited and is recorded as publicly supporting a Middle Eastern sheik who urged the world’s Muslims to fight in Syria, approved suicide bombing and has been banned from the US, Britain and France.

They discussed “the role of ­Islamic communities in Australia”, according to Qatari media, which published a photograph of their meeting in the capital, Doha.

Dr Mohammed’s name and his Australian National Imams Council are also listed on a petition calling on Interpol to remove Qaradawi from its wanted list.  He is sought by Egyptian authorities on charges including incitement to murder and aiding a prison escape.

The petition says the charges are politically motivated. The 89-year-old Qaradawi is considered the spiritual head of Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood and is a prominent opponent of the Egyptian government.

He sanctioned suicide attacks on Israeli civilians as “heroic martyrdom operations”, described the Holocaust as “divine punishment” of Jews and has appeared to justify the killing of apostates. He was denounced as a “theologian of terror” in a statement against the use of religion to incite violence signed by 2500 Muslim intellectuals from 23 countries in 2004.

However, the petition that lists the name of Dr Mohammed and ANIC as supporters describes Qaradawi as a “moderate imam”.

News of the statement was published in Arab media and by Reuters on December 15 last year — the day gunman Man Haron Monis took hostages inside Sydney’s Lindt cafe while claiming ­allegiance to Islamic State.

Another Arabic news website, Al Hiwar (The Discussion), listed the names of those who supported the statement. It listed the names of Dr Mohammed and ANIC in a report dated December 22, 2014. Sahn Thaman, an Islamic ­research and study centre, also ­recorded the names.

Egyptian-born Dr Mohammed is widely seen as a Muslim Brotherhood supporter. Like Qaradawi, he is a graduate of Cairo’s al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning.

Dr Mohammed did not reply to written questions put via his spokeswoman.

Asked for confirmation that the Grand Mufti signed the petition or consented to it, a spokeswoman declined to comment yesterday.

A few weeks after he met Dr Mohammed, in May 2013, Qaradawi called on Sunni Muslims around the world to travel to Syria to fight Shia Muslims and other “infidels” supporting the secular Assad regime.

He told worshippers at the Umar bin al-Khattab mosque in Doha: “Everyone who has the ability, who is trained to fight ... has to go. I call on Muslims to go and support their brothers in Syria.  “We cannot ask our brothers to be killed while we watch.”

The Syrian war soon became a magnet for would-be jihadists from the West.

An estimated 110 Australians were fighting with extremist groups — mostly Islamic State — in Syria and Iraq last month, the Attorney-General, George Brandis, said. At least 41 have been killed.

Rodger Shanahan, of the ­Australian National University’s National Security College, said Dr Mohammed and ANIC — which claims to represent most of Australia’s Sunni clerics — should have condemned Qara­dawi’s influential Syria sermon for “advocating violence in the name of religion.”

“Here was a leading Sunni scholar calling on people to go to Syria to kill people on the basis of their religious faith, and Aus­tralia’s Sunni leadership did not call him out — no press release, no newspaper article, nothing,” ­Associate Professor Shanahan said.

He described ANIC and the Grand Mufti’s support for Qara­dawi as hypocritical given their response to the Paris terror ­attacks.

They cited Western foreign policy, military intervention and “Islamophobia” as “causative factors” of terrorism but failed to also blame religious motivation.

Professor Shanahan said ANIC and Dr Mohammed were “happy to rail against the policies of Australia or the West” but failed to criticise Qaradawi’s “intolerant views on Christians, Jews and Shia Muslims” and his call to arms in Syria.

This showed ANIC’s “complete unwillingness to confront the issue of Islamic violence and those who advocate it,” he said.

Qaradawi reaches a huge global audience via his website and his long-running “Sharia and Life” program on Al-Jazeera Arabic television, with an estimated 60 million viewers including in Australia.

Chairman of Sydney’s Parramatta Mosque Neil El-Kadomi said Qaradawi’s rhetoric might have encouraged young Aus­tralians to go to fight in Syria. “When Qaradawi called for jihad in Syria, how many lives were lost because of his speech?” he asked.

Mr El-Kadomi described Dr Mohammed’s support for Qara­dawi as “a stupid move” that would divide Muslims in Australia. “Qaradawi did a lot of wrong things.  “We should be encouraging peace, not supporting people who tell people to go and fight and kill.”

Mr El-Kadomi argued publicly with Dr Mohammed over his perceived failure to support Mr El-Kadomi when he found himself in the media spotlight following the murder of police employee Curtis Cheng on October 2. He was shot by a 15-year-old boy who prayed at Parramatta Mosque.

Australian National University lecturer Raihan Ismail said Qaradawi was notorious for his rhetoric against non-Sunni ­Muslims. “Some Muslims would naturally be unhappy if the Grand Mufti acted in a way that could be seen as political in nature, especially concerning a divisive figure like Qaradawi,” Dr Ismail said. “However, if you are sympathetic towards the Muslim Brotherhood, you will also be sympathetic towards Qaradawi.”

The deputy chairman of the Islamic High Council of Australia, Sheik Ibrahim El-Shafie, said Dr Mohammed’s support for Qara­dawi risked creating a backlash against Muslims in Western ­societies.

Dr Mohammed was “only speaking for himself and maybe a small group around him. Most Muslims in Australia and around the world would disown such extremist views,” Sheik El-Shafie said.

The Islamic High Council, a Sunni organisation that distances itself from the larger ANIC, has called for intensified efforts to fight terrorism, including banning “extremist views which promote terrorist acts.”


Coal may be down but still has spark as BHP expands Hay Point terminal

BHP Billiton has opened the last of its $US10 billion in developments by cutting the ribbon at the expanded Hay Point coal terminal.

While the $US3 billion project was sanctioned in 2011 at the height of the mining boom, the coal giant is expecting the current slump, which has pushed coking coal prices to the $US70 a tonne range, to get worse.

And it warned that it was prepared to shut mines if they were cash-flow negative “for any period of time”.

But it’s not all bad news. BHP is considering a brown fields expansion of the new Caval Ridge mine, near Moranbah, to improve productivity of its wash plant.

Premier Annasaticia Palaszczuk said the opening of the Hay Point terminal was a sign of confidence in an industry that was the backbone of the Queensland economy.

She said Queensland coal exports reached a record 219 million tonnes in the last financial year.


This wasn’t terrorism, they say. Sure

Clover Moore is a Greenie extremist and an all-purpose nut

Standing in Martin place yesterday, to mark the one year anniversary of the Lindt café siege, Lord Mayor Clover Moore unilaterally declared: “It wasn’t a terrorist event.”   

“I thought it was really important as a city leader to stress that this is a one-off, isolated event by someone who shouldn’t have been out on bail, a very violent background, clearly a mental illness, ”she told the ABC.

The small fact that the Iranian-born self-styled sheik Man Haron Monis Man Monis took 17 people hostage in the name of Islamic State seems to have escaped our city’s senior civic leader.

He asked police to deliver an Islamic State flag to the Lindt café that day but made do with a black Islamic flag of the type used by al-Qaeda.

His message to media outlets through his terrified hostages was that Australia was under attack from ISIS.

In its propaganda magazine Dabiq, ISIS later praised Monis as a “mujahid in the path of Allah”.

“Monis added his name to the list of Muslims who answered the [caliph’s] call to strike those waging war against the Islamic State.”

Sure, it wasn’t terrorism, Clover.

What does it take for people like our Lord Mayor to understand the threat of a totalitarian Islamist ideology which is dedicated to establishing a worldwide Caliphate under Shariah law in preparation for the Final Battle against the kuffar.

Whether it’s ISIS or al-Qaeda or Boko Haram, the ideology is the same, and it’s attracting millions of supporters around the world.

It doesn’t help mainstream Australian Muslims to have deniers like Clover running cover for terrorists, or fanning a false sense of grievance and victimhood in their community.

Sydneysiders don’t need the Lord Mayor to shield us from the truth to be cohesive and decent. The spontaneous crowds who went to Martin Place in the aftermath of the terrorist atrocity to pay their respects to the dead and show strength and unity in the face of terror are a silent rebuke to her insult.

The biggest insult was the “Illridewithyou” hashtag that Clover lauded yesterday, claiming that after the siege, “Muslim women in particular felt fearful travelling on public transport and there was this spontaneous hashtag “I’ll ride with you” and there were thousands and thousands and thousands of tweets. That’s who we are.”

No. The hashtag was the worst leftist fraud, defending theoretical victims of Islamophobia while the real victims were still hostages of a violent Islamist. Did the hash-tivists not realise the hostages were still in mortal danger?

The Greens candidate who began it all with tweet on a train in Brisbane had imagined the incident that sparked the hashtag.

Rachael Jacobs had been reading about the Sydney siege on her phone when she saw a woman in front of her fiddling with her headscarf, a sign she immediately decided was fear of Islamophobia.

“It was obscene moral posturing, endorsed and promoted by Clover, in a direct inversion of the truth”

So she tweeted her compassion for “victims of the siege who were not in the cafe”.

She never spoke to the woman and said later: “She might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm”.

It was obscene moral posturing, endorsed and promoted by Clover, in a direct inversion of the truth.

“The very real risk that the siege might set off a chain reaction of tit-for-tat attacks on Muslim Australians, fanned by tabloid columnists, was quickly dampened by our multicultural, harmonious society,” she said.

There were never going to be tit for tat attacks on Muslims, just as there weren’t after the two other ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in Australia in the last 15 months.

The Left’s opportunistic incitement of Muslim victimhood is divisive and dangerous.

You can see it in the violent so-called “anti-racism” counter protests anytime Reclaim Australia or any anti-Islamisation group gets together. The violence invariably starts with the socialist and anarchist groups staging the counter-protests.

You saw it on Sunday at Cronulla when mask-wearing abusive counter-protesters outnumbered anti-Islamists barbecuing a pig five to one.

It was the ten year anniversary of the Cronulla riots and the counter-protest that sparked.

There is no excuse for the violence of the thugs and drunken yobbos who attacked innocent Muslim passers-by that day. No one is interested in root causes, no matter how many lifeguards were beaten up beforehand or bikini-clad women harassed.

But in the organised, brutal revenge attacks the next two days, we saw the seeds of the Islamist threat we face today.

Carloads of Muslim thugs from Lakemba and Punchbowl descended on the Sutherland Shire armed with baseball bats and machetes to send a message for Sydney. They broke shop windows, smashed up cars and attacked anyone not cowering behind closed doors. It was a criminal show of strength that never was properly answered.

But history has been rewritten now, so that all we hear about is Islamophobia. Cronulla has become synonymous with Muslim victimhood.

We cannot let Clover and the hashtaggers do the same with the Martin Place siege.


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