The Dog’s Bollocks

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

How hot is it?

Sure is hot!

Sure is hot!

One story you won’t be reading about this week’s record-breaking heatwave engulfing South Eastern Australia, is Jennifer Marohasy claiming it’s evidence of climate change – and she’d be right. When Europe experienced a cold snap in October, Marohasy’s band of merrymen, claimed it was nudge-nudge evidence wink-wink of global cooling. It’s scientific nonsense to use short term fluctuations to predict long-term trends like climate change. Indicative time intervals are measured in decades, not weeks, or even years. Jennifer knows that, of course, but it’s never really been about the science, has it? The wonks may argue hockey-sticks and solar forcings, but your average mug punter understands extremes of unprecedented weather events ro be climate change and wants something done about it.

Really hot!

Really hot!

Meanwhile Victorian rail and power grids are melting and buckling under the heat. Thank you very much Jeff Kennett and Allan Stockdale! Fadishly following European fashion, these guys flogged off our public transport and energy utilities to global corporations like Connex in the name of competition and economic rationalism. We were told they would run more efficiently and more economically. The hell they do. It seems as though maintenance and investment is premised on 90% of it working 90% of the time. Victoria’s powergird was running hot at about 97% capacity today. 100,000s of people in homes, schools, police stations, businesses and offices (assuming you could actually get to work on a broken rail network, that is) were without power for much of the day in rolling blackouts while the guys on the levers try to prevent the whole thing from blowing up.

The energy utilities blame the consumers for wanting to avoid the heat by watching the plasma TV with the AC unit on full chill. I blame Harvey Norman.

Michael Clayton-Jones

Awesomely hot! Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

Oh yeah, Neil Young at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl was one magic benefit of the heat wave. Balmy as all hell, everyone happy, excited and laid back all at the same time. Mr Young was in fine form. My second eldest, who has seen many performances of famous acts, reckons Neil is untouchable. A true rock and roll legend who tells it how it is.

Filed under: Economics, , , , ,

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, , , ,

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, , ,

Marohasy pwned on ‘Climate Change Delusion’

Jennifer's press photoJennifer Marohasy’s blog yesterday reported on a 17 year old male inpatient admitted to the Psychiatric Unit of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. With an 8 month history of depression, the boy ‘had visions of apocolyptic events’ and had ‘developed the belief that, due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of millions of people through exhaustion of water supplies.’

Co-contributor Paul Biggs, who works in medical research at Birmingham University, was responsible for the post and suggested that ‘psychiatrists are treating a 17-year-old tipped over the edge by global warming fearmongers?’

I happened to be the first to comment (what else are you going to do on a wintry day during school holidays?):

Well Jennifer – this takes the cake and sets a new low for even your blog’s standards. Clearly, the 17 year old was suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Paul would have us believe that this boy’s condition was brought on by ‘global warming fearmongers’.

I’m convinced.

Of course, I was immediately taken to task for my lack of evidence about the boy’s diagnosis and for being a deluded global warming alarmist, and in manner typical of the comment threads at this site, the discussion went off all over the place.

I was challenged by one commenter as to whether I’d read the actual journal article and he ‘kindly’ provided the link. The article was a ‘pay-per-view’ which I wasn’t about to cough up for. Turns out the challenging commenter hadn’t read it either. Never mind that my objection was about the scurrilous and unscientific manner in which this story was being being used to score a cheap cynical point, not the content of the journal article.

Despite being asked, Paul didn’t post the text of the article. Eventually another commenter provided the full text which allowed me a final comment on the whole hilarious saga:

“The final diagnosis was major depressive disorder with psychotic features. ”

So the boy was having a psychotic episode…

“This case provides another fascinating illustration of the cultural and environmental specificity of manifestations of psychosis.”

And the ‘climate change delusion’ was a manifestation of the psychosis with nary a mention of causality or suggestion of a mechanism by which the psychosis resulted from being ‘tipped over the edge by global warming fearmongers?’

See first comment. QED.

It’s very rare to score a point on these kind of blogs, so in a self-congratulatory kind of way I thought I’d share the moment here.

As resident environmental skeptic for the IPA, Jennifer values ‘evidence-based’ science. In the case of Paul Biggs, she may want to exercise a little more editorial rigour. Otherwise her blog is slowly but surely descending into the realms of Bolt and Blair, complete with a handful of loyal and faithful rabid winged monkeys.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Blogging, ,

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, ,

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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