Friday, December 18, 2015

Measured or faked climate?

A Finnish professor looks at the hanky panky in a climate record from Australia -- showing how "adjustments" have turned a cooling trend into a warming one.  My rough translation from the Finnish below.  Finnish is a really pesky language

I wrote earlier today  on the Paris climate agreement, and in connection with our neighboring area, changes in climate statistics graphs.

I compared the current GISS statistics in 2011 to previous  statistics. And I was shocked. See below the past equivalent comparisons of Alice Springs climate statistics.

By way of background  I on April 16, 2012 made ​​a screenshot of Alice Springs temperatures developments, because it differed significantly from months earlier. Which differed from the earlier again (and which does not exist anymore on the GISS website, even though it was still there in March 2012 when I took the screenshot of the then uploads). In April 2012, the statistics showed a  climate that cooled dramatically.

The Alice Springs temperature history, however, was once again changed dramatically  on 10/22/2014 far as the screenshot shows.

Time changes in the Australian climate statistics do not, however, stop there. From the evidence of the current GISS: Look at the  image today. It tells more than a thousand words.

Pay attention to the last, and its differences to previous years.  And think about why all the latest measurements have been in need of repair? Originally they seemed quite unbiased.

Compare also the magnitude of the changes throughout the period. Most simply, it is by evaluating the images with minimum temperatures. You will see that in the last hundred years, climate change has accelerated remarkably high between October 2014 and to this day.

This is due to the fact that a hundred years ago temperatures have been shown to have cooled considerably compared to the current high.

After all, have we just been fooled? Surely!


The thought police are livid about my cartoon? Now that’s funny

Bill Leak

I don’t know an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University called Amanda Wise, but she knows me. She knows me so well, in fact, that she’s not only able to tell me what my cartoons mean, but she’s also able to tell me what I was thinking while I was drawing them.

There I was, naively thinking that if I drew a group of poor Indian people trying to eat solar panels contained in parcels sent to them by the UN anyone seeing the cartoon would assume it meant the people in it were hungry. But, no. What I thought I was thinking wasn’t what I was thinking at all. According to Ms Wise, my “unequivocally racist” cartoon drew on “very base stereotypes of third world, underdeveloped people who don’t know what to do with technology”.

These and other startling revelations were included in an article by Amanda Meade in The Guardian on Monday. As well as being sternly reminded by the shocked Ms Wise that my cartoon would be unacceptable in Britain, the US and Canada (heaven forbid!), I was also told my cartoon was “racist” by no less an authority than Yin Paradies of Deakin University, whose research includes the economic effects of racism.

Professor Paradies didn’t think I’d made the people in my cartoon look hungry, either, but rather, in my own twisted, racist way, I’d managed to portray not only them but the entire population of India as “too stupid to handle renewable energy”.

I’ve been reliably informed my cartoon also triggered a hostile response from the sanctimonious but bloodthirsty mob who spend their time trawling the internet looking for anything they find offensive to provide them with an opportunity to join the orgy of competitive compassion and moral grandstanding that is Twitter.

Such people, understandably, are probably on a bit of a high at the moment having just spent a couple of weeks watching heroic and revered climate scientists such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Penn and Robert Redford spouting a series of hypocritical platitudes in Paris that culminated in world leaders signing up to an agreement to meet again in five years so they can sign another one, thereby saving the world from an impending environmental catastrophe. Again.

No wonder they’re angry. First chance I get I spoil the party by reminding them that, back here, in the real world, there are billions of people who not only lack food, health, water and education, but also have no access to electricity, and more than 20 per cent of them live in India.

And there’s something obscene about the fact that there are billions of others who’ve had all those things all their coal-power-driven lives and they’re now distributing solar panels to the world’s poor because they think that provides a virtuous, if inadequate, form of electricity for which they should be grateful. I think that’s racist, I think it’s condescending, and I think it’s immoral. But it’s also the truth, and when an impertinent cartoonist dares to tell the truth these days he’d better watch out because telling the truth is a dangerously subversive thing to do.

It has the same ability to simultaneously shock some people while amusing others that four-letter words used to have when Lenny Bruce discovered he could use them to such devastating effect that his audiences would still be laughing while he was being dragged offstage by the police and arrested for obscenity.

In court, Bruce argued he was being denied his right to freedom of speech, and so he was. But I can’t help thinking he had it easy, living at a time when the only people who had to stand up for their rights to freedom of speech were comedians who wanted to say f. k in public.

And not only that, but the only people he had to worry about offending were undercover coppers in the audience whose job it was to be offended so they could arrest him for doing his job.

These days, the undercover policemen in the audience waiting for him to swear would be the least of his worries. They’d be outnumbered 100 to one by members of the Politically Correct Thought Police Task Force, all armed with iPhones and Twitter accounts, ready to pounce the moment he said something that might not necessarily offend them but could, potentially, offend someone else.

There’s no doubt the cartoon I drew for Monday’s paper offended a lot of people. While they might not have enjoyed looking at it, I’m quite sure they enjoyed using it as an excuse to parade their moral vanity.

And, while I prefer to discover there are people who think my cartoons are funny, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t derive a certain amount of pleasure from discovering they enrage the ones that don’t


The young white male has slipped educationally

 Paul Sheehan

Young white men are losing their traditional advantages in Australia. Their once dominant position is being eroded incrementally, in measurable ways, with each passing year.

The Higher School Certificate results provide an annual snapshot of this relative decline (and it is relative, not absolute). The superior performance of young women compared with young men remains strong.

This year, when I took out all the niche language subjects, apart from the one subject everybody has to sit, English, 37 females topped NSW in a subject, compared with 22 males.

No male domain is safe any longer. Young women topped the state in automotive examination, business services, financial services, primary industries and legal studies.

Traditionally, mathematics, mathematics extension, mathematics general, modern history, ancient history and geography were male bastions, but this no longer applies. All six subjects were topped or co-topped by young women in 2015.

The disproportionate academic success of students of Asian background was repeated in 2015. It has been structural for decades. They dominated the hard sciences again, topping physics, chemistry, information processing and technology, mathematics, mathematics extension 1, mathematics extension 2 and information and digital technology.

Take away nine subjects topped by males of Asian background, and males of European background topped only 13 of the 59 non-language subjects, or 22 per cent. This is a marked underperformance, given that European-background males make up just under 30 per cent of HSC students.

The slippage is relative. Young white males might be as productive as ever, but relative to other groups, they are falling behind.

The majority of students at Australian universities are women. The majority of graduates are women, including the majority of graduates in the professions. The disparity has been widening for years.

Inevitably, the impact of this change is rippling through the workforce. The number of women who are the main income-earners in their households has been a rising trend for years.

There are still disparities in income that favour men – a point of enduring contention – but our society has yet to work out an affordable way to bridge the income gap created by women taking extended leave to have and raise children. This reflects a structural gap more than a discriminatory one.

In terms of reputational slippage, young white men are in relative decline. I was stunned by a recent survey in Britain in which white men in their 20s placed spectacularly last in a rating of reputation.

The survey was conducted by YouGov, a British international market research company. In summarising its survey, YouGov wrote: "Data from 48 separate surveys reveals that young white men are seen as the worst ethnic, gender or age group on five negative traits, and the second-worst on five positive traits.

"The people we regard as the laziest, rudest, most promiscuous, drunken drug-takers are white men in their 20s."

Sheehan goes on to elborate about the poor ratings of young white men in Britain but seems not to realize that political correctness would have had a large effect on the results.  For instance, given their high level of criminality, young black men  would undoubtedly have been very negatively rated but to do so would be on the brink of illegality in Britain today.  A British pastor has just been prosecuted for saying that Muslims serve the Devil


Uber legal in NSW, taxi owners to be compensated

UBER is legal in NSW after Premier Mike Baird’s cabinet agreed on giving the ride-sharing service the green light.

Cabinet today agreed to immediately legalise the UberX service, and finalised a compensation plan for taxi owners who will see the value of their plates drop dramatically.

The Uber Black service — similar to a limo or premium option — is already legal.

Transport minister Andrew Constance said today: “NSW will have a new transport economy.”

More than 50 taxi and hire care regulations have been immediately repealed.

“As of midnight tonight ride-sharing services in NSW will become legal,” Mr Constance said.

About 5800 perpetual plate owners will be given a $20,000 flat fee for the plate ownership, with multiple plate owners able to claim for a maximum of two plates.

A compensation fund budgeted at $250 million will be distributed on a case-by-case basis for plate owners who purchased them recently

The legalisation of the controversial cab service will mean traditional taxis will still have the exclusive right to pick up passengers from ranks and off the street, and will have exclusive access to Sydney Airport.

Uber drivers will now have to pay a licence fee and undergo criminal checks, as well as regularly get their cars checked for safety.

The compensation plan agreed to by the government includes a one-off fixed payment for the ownership of taxi plates, as well as a scaled compensation fund where owners who have held taxi plates for the least amount of time to be eligible for a bigger payout.

Mr Constance said customers had moved with technology. “It’s time for industry and and government to move the same way,” Mr Constance said. He said the changes mean a $30 million reduction in regulatory costs for the industry.

A point-to-point task force recommended the $20,000 payment for perpetual licences, and an industry adjustment of up to $142 million. More than 90 per cent of licensees, who own one or two plates, will receive the $20,000 payment.

Mr Constance said he expects all fares to come down as a result.

NSW is the second jurisdiction to legalise UberX, following the ACT in October.


Queensland debt to grow to almost $80b

Queensland's Labor government looks increasingly unlikely to stop total state debt climbing to almost $80 billion within three years.

A $1.5 billion write-down in mining and payroll tax revenue has also increased total debt by $865 million since the budget was handed down in August.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt's first budget forecast total debt hitting $77.1 billion by 2018/19, but his Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review, released on Tuesday, shows it's now on track to hit $79.7 billion by then.

"Of course, we want to see it go down," he said.

"(But) the important point from our perspective is we are focused on the kind of debt that actually impacts directly on Queenslander taxpayers - and that is general government sector debt."

However, general government sector debt was also set to grow from $37.9 billion this financial year to almost $41 billion in 2019/19, according to official figures.

Shadow treasurer John Paul-Langbroek accused Mr Pitt of trying to trick Queenslanders about the state's level of debt.

"Curtis Pitt is literally speaking in tongues, the tongues of Treasury," he said.

The government has outlined further measures to cut general government sector debt.

Debts owed by the state-owned Ports of Gladstone, North Queensland Bulk Ports and SunWater will be shifted from the government's balance sheet to their own books.

A special $150 million dividend will also be collected from power firm Stanwell Corporation.

Mr Pitt said the measures would trim $1 billion in general government debt this financial year.

The government also plans to save $680 million by proceeding merging state-owned energy networks Ergon and Energex and making generators Stanwell and CS Energy more efficient.

Labor promised to merge power generators during the state election, but has since been advised against the move by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Mr Pitt said the $6 million annual cost of an expanded cabinet, from the 14 to 17 ministers, would be offset by reducing government advertising, contractors and consultants.

He added that he was in no hurry to get the state's AAA credit rating back because Treasury has advised it would be "imprudent".

"We will continue to chip away at debt, but we need to get our priorities right," Mr Pitt said.

"We think this is a very responsible approach to economic management in this state."


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