The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Pre-emptive Al Gore is Fat Blog Strike

Al Gore will be visiting Melbourne next month to address Safe Climate Australia on his plan to switch the US economy to clean energy in 10 years. Expect a flurry of outraged indignation from the usual suspects claiming that there is no such thing as human-produced-CO2-induced climate change because Al Gore is fat and a hypocrite for flying here in a jumbo jet to speak to rent-seeking totalitarian greens who want to destroy civilisation and eat your babies. What to speak of the fact that Safe Climate Australia will be charging exorbitant admission prices so only elitists can attend.

You heard it here first.

Filed under: Blogging, Environment, Wingnuttery, ,

The Ice Age is coming! Antartica is warming!

A new reconstruction of Antarctic surface temperature.

A new reconstruction of Antarctic surface temperature.

In recent years, scientists have struggled to explain measurements which seemed to indicate that Antarctica has been cooling – a trend much relied on by the denialist lobby to give support to their message that the earth has started cooling and we are on our way to a new Ice age. Well not any more. New research published in Nature has found that, in fact, the iciest continent is undergoing the same changes as the rest of the planet.

“What we did is we took advantage of the fact that, in fact, there is data. There’s over 25 years now of data from satellites, which provides an alternative way to measure the temperature,” Professor Steig said.

By correlating the two, the research team believes it has come up with an accurate picture stretching back half a century, and it shows western Antarctica especially has been getting warmer by about a 10th of a degree every decade.

“What we found, in a nutshell, is that Antarctica is not cooling,” Professor Steig said.

“Now some parts of it have been cooling, but only since the late 1970s, and only in certain seasons, primarily in autumn.

“On average the entire continent is warming and especially it is warming in winter and spring. Finally, west Antarctica, just like the Antarctic peninsula, is warming in all seasons.”

But new research has found that, in fact, the iciest continent is undergoing the same changes as the rest of the planet.

Scientists find evidence Antartica is warming – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A cold day in January will have the good folks at Jennifer Marohasy’s blog in a frenzy of AGW denunciation before morning tea. Strangely, no-one there has posted on this yet. Maybe they’re all on holiday, or the hot weather has them re-examining temperature data for counter-trends. But then again, Nature is a notorious hotbed of unscrupulous warmaholic climatologists rigging data to fit the AGW narrative so they can maintain their funding grants and turn us all into socialists. Or something.

Filed under: Environment, Science, , , ,

Jennifer Marohasy does irony, again

“The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

“I would suggest that this job is not made any easier by activist-journalists who deliberately set out to deceive…”

“The hoax is really just more misinformation from those who distrust science and is illustrative of the increasing blurring of the line between advocacy and science journalism.”

Jennifer Marohasy » Magazine Duped by anti-GM Activist – A Case of More of the Same

Oh, Jennifer, the irony!

Filed under: Environment, Humour, Media, , , ,

Marohasy’s Denialist Church of True Believers

If you believe the folks at Jennifer Marohasy’s environmental blog, Anthropogenic Global Warming has been thoroughly disproved beyond all doubt, and those who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge this are akin to religious zealots in the high church of the IPCC who have irrationally adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet.
This is the latest strategy of the denialists – let’s talk endlessly claiming that global warming has been disproved and then argue that non-denialists are deluded with nothing but blind faith to support their position – never the mind reality.
Yet the reality is that scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the case for AGW, and opinion polls show the vast majority of the general population agree. Ironically, it is the denialists who have unshaken faith that the planet is cooling and that there is no such thing as AGW, and that the science supports their belief.
Of course, a professional scientific contrarian like Marohasy knows full well that she will never win the debate – the name of the game for denialists is to obscure, obfuscate, confound and generally misdirect the debate, on behalf of her corporate masters (BHP Billiton, Murray Irrigation, Gunns, and Monsanto, for e.g.) in order to delay political and regulatory action dealing with limiting carbon emissions and the fostering of renewable energy technology. And she has a loyal band of true-believers willing to sing from the same hymn sheet and make as much noise as possible. They also fervently believe that it is our moral and ethical obligation to maintain our affluent lifestyle as the only effective means of solving world poverty and inequity. Those damned environmental extremists want to deprive our children of energy and destroy our economy and our way of life! How dare they!

We know that Marohasy is a dedicated environmentalist, for her site often has pictures and stories about endangered species. Why, only this week, in response to the Victorian Government’s plan to protect 83,000ha of Murray River Red Gum environment from cattle grazing and logging she argued against the park on the grounds that this will endanger the survival of Koalas in the area. The logic is that there is not enough water for the trees (did I mention that one of Marohasy’s corporate sponsors is Murray Irrigation, who represent the water allocation interests of Monsanto, Big Cotton and Big Rice) so it is better to reduce the number of trees to match the amount of water available and thus save the Koalas! Or something.

Filed under: Environment, Pseudoscience, , ,

God is Green

Film-maker Mark Dowd travels the world to question religious leaders as to why faith, the greatest motivator of man, is doing so little to confront the devastating problem of climate change. He discovers that especially in the US systematic efforts by AGW campaigners are winning over many evangelical churches and their congregations, and such will campaigns will be instrumental in effecting climate change policies.

Skeptics and deniers will be outraged, and very, very afraid.

Filed under: Big Picture, Environment, Politics, ,

Scientists claim proof humans to blame for polar warming

Oh dear!. Yet IPA’s corporate environmental spokesperson Jennifer Marohasy continues to live a world where Arctic ice may actually be increasing, and hey, Britain has had some unseasonably cold weather so clearly global warming is just a leftist tax-eating conspiracy design to deprive corporations of their well-earned profits accrued purely in the service of the progress of mankind.

Scientists say they have been able to prove for the first time that human activity is contributing to the warming of both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Scientists claim proof humans to blame for polar warming – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Filed under: Environment, Wingnuttery, , ,

Global cooling wishful thinking is melting away

Damn it! Just when Global Warming Denialists thought they getting somewhere with the global cooling theory, the polar ice caps just keep melting away.

It might be the depths of winter in Antarctica but scientists say they’re seeing more signs of global warming on the frozen continent.New satellite photos show the Wilkins Ice Shelf is even closer to breaking from the peninsula. Experts say the effects of warming there now look irreversible.

Antarctic ice shelf ‘hanging on by a thread’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Russia is on the hunt for a lucrative slice of the Arctic. Moscow plans to use international law to ask that a huge section of the Arctic Continental Shelf be recognised as Russian territory.

It’s the latest move in a new rush to claim the enormous natural resources believed to be under the ocean, now accessible due to the melting ice cap.

A new report by a Russian parliamentary committee says the ice cover has shrunk by almost 25 per cent since 2005.”The north in general is more sensitive to the climate changing than lower attitudes,” parliamentary committee member Yury Vorobyov said.

“So scientists, politicians and industrialists should focus their attention on climate change.”

Arctic fever: Russia races against time to stake claim – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Filed under: Environment, ,

Economic opportunity and the ETS

Spooner - The AgeMalcolm Turnbull gave a creditable performance on Lateline last night as he stabilised the Opposition’s hitherto shambolic stance on climate change and an emissions trading scheme. Turnbull has returned the Opposition to its policy stance enunciated during the death throes of the Howard government – with the caveat that they’d like to delay it another year.

Turnbull wholeheartedly endorses the need for an ETS, so the remaining quibbles concern when it should be introduced and the rate at which it kicks in once it’s started. 2012 is probably soon enough, according to Turnbull, who repeatedly reminded us that an ETS is ‘very complicated’. In other words, he is trying to buy time and concessions on behalf of the big emitters in the Australian economy. As I’ve said before, an ETS can’t be that difficult. As suggested on last night’s premiere of The Hollowmen, you can go the full policy monty in 18 months, so 2010 is definitely do-able.

The Opposition is ever keen to focus on the costs imposed by an ETS, as if there will only be negative impacts for the economy – ‘we don’t want to get too far ahead of the pack’. While details remain to seen, it is likely that the initial imposts for the individual will be in the order of a few hundred dollars a year – less than the impact of a tax cut foregone – which the electorate is largely prepared to wear, as long something is done. The biggest losers will be the extractive and fossil fuel industry Corporations, and even they will either be given generous concessions or pass the costs on to consumers wherever possible. It is this interest group that Malcolm is representing with the ‘hasten slowly’ warnings.

Yet this week’s G8 meeting gives symbolic encouragement to the notion of Global action on emission reduction. One likely outcome of the 2008 US Presidential election will be a commitment to a US ETS which will be legislated sooner rather than later, whomever wins. Last year the Global ETS market was worth about $64bn, according to the World Bank, more than doubling from $31bn in 2006. That value would soar to more than $3,000bn a year by 2020 if the US introduced carbon trading.

The world is moving closer to a global ETS. With the US on board, it will become increasingly difficult for India and China (who are both signatories to the Kyoto Agreement) not to do likewise, especially in the face of their customer economies imposing carbon tariffs on Chinese products.

So where does all this leave Australia? If there was the likelihood of a rapidly expanding global market for say, coal or iron ore, our businesses would be gearing up for it post haste, years in advance, in order to cash in on the boom. Yet the Opposition want us to drag our feet until we see what everyone else does first. At the least, there will be massive profit opportunities in the Carbon market for our market traders, but more significantly there will be a booming global market for carbon-neutral technologies (even ‘clean’ coal). Given our history of innovative invention – carbon-neutral technology is an ideal economic opportunity for Australian businesses to prosper, which might also go some way to ameliorating our worsening trade deficit.

That is the misfortune of all this dithering, dallying and delaying on behalf of the fossil industries. Australia is missing out on transformative opportunities presented by the inevitability of a global ETS. The sooner we get on with it, the better off we’ll be as a nation. We don’t hear the Liberals, the self-appointed proponents of business and the economy, talking about the opportunity costs involved in further delay.

But then again, we never were really that good at the entrepreneurial side of business – unless it involved digging stuff up, growing stuff or chopping stuff down and selling it the highest bidder with as little effort as possible. Value adding? Down-stream processing? What’s that??

Filed under: Big Picture, Economics, Environment, Politics, ,

Cherry picking with Jennifer Marohasy

You can learn all kinds of amazing scientific things at Jennifer Marohasy’s Politics and Environment Blog. Global warming alarmism is causing paranoid psychosis in our young people and water policy reform for the Murray Darling Basin isn’t going to end the drought!

Not that there really is such a thing as ‘drought’. It’s more a Cyclical Rainfall Deficiency kind of thing. We don’t really need water regulations depriving corporate cotton and rice of valuable profits and destroying the economy, we just need more rain! Not that ‘drought’ is caused by climate change or global warming, mind you, because Jennifer is always able to find modeling that shows the planet is actually cooling. In fact, we’re probably heading for an early Ice Age even as we speak.

On the other hand, any climate modelling which predicts global warming climate change is clearly flawed and treated with the contempt it deserves. And only expert climate scientists are allowed to argue the merits of the global warming case. And conversely, anyone can argue against climate science with authority, even if one isn’t a scientist at all!

Carbon emissions are of no concern. They may even help to improve agriculture in Greenland and that’s clearly a good thing. Not that the climate is actually warming, mind you, but if it were. And the world food crisis? That’s the fault of food crop demand for the biofuel industry caused by those hypocritical Greenies and their environmentally destructive hybrid vehicles. Anyway, Jennifer has a simple solution to the world food crisis. Monsanto™ GM crops! Too easy.

Jennifer reinforces her credentials as a concerned environmental scientist with regular posts about the wonderful and strange creatures found in rainforests and cute stories about endangered species. Not koalas, though. Nor polar bears, for that would suggest that the Arctic Ice cap is disappearing when actually it’s probably increasing.

After about a decade of field work, Jennifer Marohasy is now a Fellow at the IPA. Jennifer has worked for the Queensland sugar industry and Murray Irrigation Limited. She helped establish the Australian Environment Foundation – ‘a different kind of environment group in that it is evidence-based, solution focused and works from a basis that environmental protection and sustainable resource use are generally compatible.’ A quick perusal of their website includes illuminating evidence-based articles such as:

  • Feeding the world
  • Are environmentalists on the road to Damascus?
  • The Greens: illogical and treacherous
  • Fighting for Red River Gums
  • Red Gum Lock-up is not the Solution
  • Global warming zealots are stifling scientific debate
  • The Great Great Barrier Reef Swindle
  • Climate recantation: IPCC models don’t predict and are unscientific
  • High price for load of hot air – climate change hysteria is costing us billions
  • GM: debate the science not the values

Jennifer says she is motivated by her interest in the environment – ‘how it can be farmed, mined and harvested for food, fibre, timber, minerals and energy and also how wildlife and wilderness areas can best be protected.’

Given that her employer, the conservative (but not Right Wing) Liberal Party thinktank, the Institute of Public Affairs receives funding from special interest groups, including Murray Irrigation Limited, Visyboard, Telstra, Western Mining, BHP Billiton, the tobacco industry, Gunns Limited and Monsanto, I suspect she came in through the Overton window.

Ok that’s my annual Jennifer Marohasy (Mahr oh hassee – the first ‘a’ is long and the second ‘a’ is short) rant. I will try not to read anymore of this dissembling pseudoscientific nonsense. I promise…

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Environment, Politics, ,

A carbon trading scheme – how hard can it be?

CrikeyProfessor Garnaut has thrown down the gauntlet with the release of his draft report on climate change which calls for the introduction of an emissions trading scheme without delay. Initial reaction from various interest groups is positive. The challenge for the Rudd Government is to take the tough decisions and begin implementing the climate change policies for which it was elected. We should see the details around August/September.

Meanwhile the federal opposition are maintaining its support for a climate change policy as long as it won’t cost anything and we don’t actually have to do anything. Nelson and Turnbull reckon that a carbon trading scheme is way too complicated to introduce any time before 2012. How hard can it be? Australia is awash with economists – surely it can’t be difficult for them to come up with a scheme? Determine the targets, establish pricing mechanisms and Bob’s your uncle. But then again, maybe the Liberals want to buy some time to keep it alive as an election issue – seeing how the petrol excise worked so well for them. It will be much harder to exploit fear and apprehension once the scheme is in place, the details known, and the punters are just getting on and dealing with it as they see fit.

Filed under: Economics, Environment, Politics, ,

The Dog’s Bollocks

What they say

The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

This is the person who tried to analyse Hayek. This is actually a person who needs a shrink. – JC

Shut up slim. You’re an idiot.
Just you stay honest and keep that thinking cap on. – GMB

Insightful perspectives on politics and discussion of matters epistemological? I’m sold! - Bruce

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