The Dog’s Bollocks

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

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, , ,

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, ,

Nelson to tackle tackling Climate Change

Bruce Petty - The AgeBrendan Nelson is buoyed by a ‘stunning’ result in which two conservative candidates defeated a Labor candidate to retain a seat held by the National Party for the last 40 years. The MSM are convinced that the defeat sends a message to the federal Rudd government, although no-one is entirely clear exactly what that message is. Apparently the electorate is unhappy about the cost of living and reckon that Rudd needs to do something about global oil prices, the rorting of grocery prices by our supermarket duopoly, the tax on alcopops, and falling share prices as the sub-prime shake-down continues. Or something.

Nelson is convinced the electorate is responding to the price of petrol and his plan to cut the fuel excise by 5c a litre. Now he is warning: “I suspect there’s a high probability that we won’t support what the Government chooses to do.”

Never mind that the Garnaut draaft report won’t be released until Friday and the Government won’t outline its options until July 16. Never mind that one of the reasons the Howard government was dumped from office was its climate change denialism and the electorate’s desire to do something done about it. Nelson is, to be fair, not a denialist – he wants to tackle climate change too. Just as long as we don’t have to actually do anything about it and it doesn’t cost us anything. Well apart from using a few government-subsidised energy efficient light bulbs, and maybe some minor carbon trading scheme for those able to make some money out of it.

Good luck with that one, Brendan. There’s nothing like re-fighting the last war as a strategy for winning the next one.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Environment, Media, Politics, , ,

The Ethics of Climate Change: Pay Now or Pay More Later?

Sci AmWeighing our own prosperity against the chances that climate change will diminish the well-being of our grandchildren calls on economists to make hard ethical judgments, says John Broome in a thorough analysis in Scientific American. The economists in our midst are naturally concerned with the impact of dealing with climate change and advertantly or otherwise encourage our politicians to err on the side of recklessness. The denialist debate prefers to cast doubt on the science, but Broome places the ball firmly back in the court of the economists. Climate change is the ethical issue of our time.

In a nutshell Broome argues:

  • Future generations will suffer most of the harmful effects of global climate change. Yet if the world economy grows, they will be richer than we are.
  • The present generation must decide, with the help of expert advice from economists, whether to aggressively reduce the chances of future harm or to let our richer descendants largely fend for themselves.
  • Economists cannot avoid making ethical choices in formulating their advice.
  • Even the small chance of utter catastrophe from global warming raises special problems for ethical discussion.

What should we do about climate change? The question is an ethical one. Science, including the science of economics, can help discover the causes and effects of climate change. It can also help work out what we can do about climate change. But what we should do is an ethical question.

By emitting greenhouse gases, are the rich perpetrating an injustice on the world’s poor? How should we respond to the small but real chance that climate change could lead to worldwide catastrophe?

In going about our daily lives, each of us causes greenhouse gases to be emitted. Driving a car, using electric power, buying anything whose manufacture or transport consumes energy—all those activities generate greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. In that way, what we each do for our own benefit harms others. Perhaps at the moment we cannot help it, and in the past we did not realize we were doing it. But the elementary moral principle I mentioned tells us we should try to stop doing it and compensate the people we harm.

Weighing benefits to some people against costs to others is an ethical matter. But many of the costs and benefits of mitigating climate change present themselves in economic terms, and economics has useful methods of weighing benefits against costs in complex cases. So here economics can work in the service of ethics.

No wonder the Bolts of this world would rather deny there is even a problem. It’s much easier than reflecting on the ethics of one’s lifestyle and compensating for the impact we are knowingly inflicting on the world’s poor. We might have to make personal sacrifices! That would never do.

Economics in the service of ethics rather than personal affluence? I’d like to see that!

Filed under: Economics, Environment, Politics, Science, , , ,

Bolt’s Laws of Climate Change

1. Unusually warm weather does not prove global warming.

2. Unusually cold weather disproves global warming.

ABC OnlineWeather does not drive climate. Repeat three times daily until inflammation subsides. If symptoms persist, see a doctor.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Environment, Media, Nonsense, , ,

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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