Thursday, November 30, 2006

Who is Frank Luntz? And why should you comply?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frank I. Luntz (born February 23, 1962), an American pollster. Luntz formed The Luntz Research Companies in 1992, and maintains offices in Arlington, Virginia and New York City. He is considered a master of the art of political propaganda, and his use of language has led to his career as what is termed a "compliance professional," someone who uses whatever means may be at hand (propaganda, marketing, polling, sales, politics) to induce the compliance of a target audience.

Frank Luntz is the advisor to big fossil-fuel and their back-pocket Administration. He advised them on "target audience compliance".

Although Luntz later tried to distance himself from the Bush administration global warming policy, it was his idea to discredit the idea of science to keep the issue from influencing voters in the 2000 and 2004 US presidential elections. Luntz has since said that he is not responsible for what the administration has done since that time. Though he now accepts the scientific consensus that there is man-made global warming, he maintains that the science was in fact incomplete, and his recommendation sound, at the time he made it. [1]

Is this true? Sort of, and sort of not, and if true, then just true, just by the skin of its truth. I guess that's Luntz's job. No one had tested the scientific consensus up until that point, given that it had not been successfully challenged within the science community, rather it was added to as the picture became more complete.

The United States presidential election of 2004 was held on Tuesday 2 November 2004. The incumbent President, Republican George W. Bush of Texas defeated his main rival, Democratic Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts with 51% of the popular vote...

Then in the December 2004 issue of the journal Science Naomi Oreskes published "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" and established that it was uncontested amongst scientists.

The current scientific consensus is that "most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been attributable to human activities"[2]. The extent of this consensus was the subject of a study—published in December 2004 in the journal Science—that considered the abstracts of 928 refereed scientific articles in the ISI citation database identified with the keywords "global climate change". This study concluded that 75% of the 928 articles either explicitly or implicitly accepted the consensus view — the remainder of the articles covered methods or paleoclimate and did not take any stance on recent climate change[3] [4].

By dint of a month Luntz could semantically claim the 100% consensus had not been measured. He now accepts the scientific consensus on global warming, but his work lives on in the handicraft of professional skeptics, like Andrew Bolt.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Coal mining: Court rules in climate change considerations

This is the biggest thing to happen in global warming in Australia, so here it is verbatim: :::[ABC News]

Court finds climate change relevant to coal mine approval

A Newcastle environmentalist says a court ruling today means the New South Wales Government must take climate change into account when considering whether to approve new coal mines.

Peter Gray went to the New South Wales Land and Environment Court to challenge the environmental assessment for the proposed Anvill Hill coal mine in the Hunter Valley.

He argued the assessment was inadequate, because it did not take into account the impact that burning the coal would have on climate change.

The court voided the Government's decision that the environmental assessment was adequate.

Mr Gray is claiming victory, but says the ruling will not stop the mine from going ahead.

"It's certainly a setback for the process, I think it means a fresh look has to be taken at the mine," he said.

"The Government needs to consider the impacts that it will have on climate change so I do think it's a strong strike against Centennial Coal.'

The political and commercial repercussions of the Land and Environment Court ruling are being quickly felt as both the NSW and Federal Governments scramble to make sense of it. What, they didn't see the science coming? Not even the movie? But business has been asking for price signals on carbon for a while now. Now we know why.

That was late Monday. This is COD Tuesday:
The New South Wales Government says a court ruling on a coal mine proposed for the Hunter Valley could have significant implications for a range of industries, including mining.

and in federal politics, flushed from the gains of the Victorian Greens over the weekend,
Greens leader Bob Brown has attacked the Federal Opposition for voting against a motion to cap coal exports from Newcastle.

and scurrying from the light,
Federal Environment Minister Senator Ian Campbell says a proposed amendment to federal environment laws to reflect a New South Wales Environment Court ruling is not a solution to climate change.

This blog is heating up at a rate of 0.2 degrees a decade. Come back often.

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Censored, at last!

Well the wicked West won't censor me, so I have no hope of making it big-time here, but trawling though my logs I discovered I am getting some sneaky visitors from somewhere. Possibly. I need more evidence before I can say for sure.
Welcome enterprising visitor. Whether you are from (in no particular order) Pakistan, India, Iran or China, or anywhere else you may be using the masking service to get around someone's firewall black list (hopefully not during working hours, eh?). Welcome to freedom of (my) opinion. And yours. Definitely feel free to leave a comment if you wish.

Not everyone in the West wishes me to express my opinion freely, though. Indeed, in my very own country I am being censored by a rogue News opinion journalist. :::[Andrew Bolt Blog]
Posted by Wadard of Sydney on Tue 28 Nov 06 at 01:26pm


Andrew Bolt


You said goodbye to this site in a particularly abusive comment, even for you, and I’m rather anxious for you to follow through, given my wish to encourage a more civilised debate.


Andrew Bolt
Tue 28 Nov 06 (02:00pm)

The man who called Dr Tim Flannery a wombat in his headline, and who is giving me short thrift with his SNIP shtick for abuse, accuses me of abuse whenever I request he only use scientific research from peer-review journals to make his case for anthropogenic global warming skepticism. :::[AB Blog: Greenpeace neo-cons hype up the terror threat]

Posted by Wadard of Sydney on Mon 27 Nov 06 at 11:10pm

I have temporarily broken my lurking to congratulate you on using peer-reviewed science, even if it is only computer modeling, to make your points about science:
"The study was performed for EPRI by ABS Consulting’s Irvine, Calif., office and by San Diego-based ANATECH. It was peer reviewed and critiqued as the computer modeling was being done by internationally recognized experts with decades of experience in structural analysis."

911's Friday 13th is here

I even complimented you on my blog for using it, and I hope this is a sign of more to come, especially when you blog about global warming.

So there, dear visitor, even in my country we have those who would stifle the voice of reason, and surprise, surprise, it's the very people most vocal in claiming to be for free-speech, democracy, et. al. It is more than reasonable to request that a skeptic stick to peer-review research in assembling their scientific arguments on global warming for the media. Especially given the stakes.

And if you do come across these skeptics spouting their opinion in your travels behind whatever curtain, or corporate firewall, you are behind, ask them to back it up with facts wrought from the Darwinian-like struggle for validity that occurs when scientific ideas are thown up for analysis by the most intellectually-rigorous scientists of their disciplines, as happens when research is published in peer-review journals. They'll shut you up, and thereby concede, quicker than they can type...


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Monday, November 27, 2006

9/11's Friday the 13th is here

What is your worst nighmare? If it is a commercial jetliner flying into one of Howard's 25 new nuclear facilities, then don't click the following link. :::[Greenpeace: Friday the 13th is here]

But if you are the type to be reassured by Andrew Bolt, who was on the ABC Insiders panel yesterday when the Greenpeace UK ad was aired for discussion, then fine. Click it. He rightly uses a peer-reviewed study (at last!) from 2002 to underline his point that America's nuclear power stations can withstand the 9,500 pound (4,309 kgs) impact of a Boeing 767-400 jetliner flying in at an assumed speed of 350 miles (550 kms) per hour and it "Would Not Breach Structures Housing Reactor Fuel".

The reason? They present a much smaller target than the WTC and the Pentagon so the combined force of the impacts of fueselage and engines is not fully transfered to the power station structure, which remains intact, protecting against radiation release.

If you ask me - well, they said that about the WTC, didn't they? That they would withstand a commercial jetliner impact. And still be standing. I trust that the scenarios modeled were accurate, but what if something outside those assumptions happened? The biggest Aussie back-yard bbq you'll ever see, that's what. I'm certainly not reassured by the capabilities of our government and allies to put the jihad djinni back in the bottle. Quite the opposite, in fact. While they are seemingly doing everything to train the next generation of al qaeda in the Baghad University of Blowback, and doing everthing else to roll-out their terror franchise globally, I just don't think this government should be trusted with building terrorist targets in 25 Australian cities.

Anyway, whether a 4,309 kg engine gets to penetrate the shell structure of a power plant or not, the terrorists achieve their aims by flying into them.

“Clearly an impact of this magnitude would do great damage to a plant’s ability to generate electricity. But the findings show, far more importantly, that public health and safety would be protected.”

Joe F. Colvin, NEI’s president and chief executive officer. :::[NEI]

Apart from the psychological king-hit we will suffer, will every life support system linked into that electric grid have long-term back-up generators? Will anything much at all?

I ask because it makes my point - if we are dependant on centralised non-renewable energy, we make ourselves targets. But I don't see terrorists seeking to take out your solar roof panels one-by-one to disrupt society.

Decentralised, renewable energy, whether off-the-grid, or selling excess capacity back into the grid, is the only way to go for a resilient, secure and safe energy source to take us into the future, for generations.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Iceberg armada floats a global warming business

The Stern Report warns of the economic perils of climate change, but he hadn't considered the global warming tourism boom to be had before we get to The Day After. New Zealand eco-capitalists are capitalising on the never seen before armada of 100 or so icebergs that are bumping into South Island, as they are driven further north than they usually get to before melting. So with eight charter planes and two helicopters newly commandeered to run two viewings a day, it's only a matter of time before a tourist films an iceberg cracking and sheering in all its magnificence. :::[SMH Video]

Ok, so I previously said that these iceberg shouldn't be used to make a case for global warming, but that hasn't stopped our eco-capitalists living off the tips of the icebergs (I hope you're off-setting your emissions, bro, you need trees to make icebergs). I anticipate boat fishing tours over the north pole next.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Green revolution is a green technology one

It's too easy for the climate change skeptics to paint the environmentally conscious as the back to the caves types. Sadly this gets some traction with those with shallow perceptions, but a bit of thought tells you that it is rubbish. :::[Wired 14:05: The Next Green Revolution]

With climate change hard upon us, a new green movement is taking shape, one that embraces environmentalism's concerns but rejects its worn-out answers. Technology can be a font of endlessly creative solutions. Business can be a vehicle for change. Prosperity can help us build the kind of world we want. Scientific exploration, innovative design, and cultural evolution are the most powerful tools we have. Entrepreneurial zeal and market forces, guided by sustainable policies, can propel the world into a bright green future.

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Bill Clinton on peak oil, and his reading list

Question: Do you believe that the OPEC nations have exaggerated their oil reserves and if so, what are the implications?

Bill Clinton: Well first of all I’m not a petroleum geologist, but I can tell you this... :::[Carbonsink]


Update: Graph on U.S. Gov't Defense spending vs. their research on energy. No wonder the response to peak-oil musical chairs is most likely going to be a military one, than adaption.

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Greens poised to win balance in Victorian election

GREENS leader Bob Brown is "cautiously optimistic" that his party will get the balance of power in Victoria's upper house.

A Galaxy Opinion poll forecast the Greens to win 12 per cent of the vote in today's state election, tipping Greens candidate Dr Richard DiNatale to take the lower house seat of Melbourne from Health Minister Bronwyn Pike.

In the 40 seat upper house the party may find the real power with opinion polls showing the likelihood of it winning between three and six seats. Enough to give it the balance of power. :::[News]

Andrew Bolt, of Melbourne, is asking, "please explain?". Time will soon tell whether Senator Brown explains right:

"Big issues like the drought, water supplies and climate change are at the forefront and people appreciate the Greens' role in tackling these issues."

Well he would say that - he's got the right to, he's leadhis party from the feral edge of Australian politics into the center, a long march in a few short years. Anyway, this is only the beginning of what I predict. :::[Australian politics starts to go green.]

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Carbon dioxide in the dock

In a week's time Massachusetts and allies, a coalition of state and nonprofit groups, get their day in court to sue the EPA for refusing to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emitted from motor vehicles and other greenhouse gases. :::[Gristmill]. After losing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently, Massachusetts has convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to consider two specific questions:

Massachusetts v. EPA

#1. "Whether the EPA Administrator has authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other air pollutants associated with climate change under [the Clean Air Act]", and
#2. "whether the EPA Administrator may decline to issue emission standards for motor vehicles based on policy considerations not enumerated in [the Clean Air Act]".

Put simply, the certiorari are to decide whether the EPA has the duty to regulate carbon as a pollutant and, if so, do they have a right to not do their job properly? The EPA will be arguing that they have the right to choose the defintion of what a pollutant is?

Ohh boy. This is exciting. The first oral arguments will be heard at 10:00 AM on November 29th, and Gristmill's Justin Pidot will be slicing and dicing the transcripts as they become available.

I wonder what disinformation campaign about the role of excess CO2 the CEI will come up with this time around? I am still stuffing my entrails back into my sides after their "Carbon Dioxide: They call it Pollution, We call it Life" TVC effort did the rounds on commercial television in the US. Are they really going to take this Supreme Court assault lying down? Is their funding drying up?

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Gaia gets a gander on Bolt's Faith Festival

Andrew Bolt has posted rules for his blog which will hopefully take out the more shrill commenting that goes on. In all credit to him, he's becoming a good moderator given his workload. He's also offered to post sermons from all denominations, which seemed the appropriate time for the Green Religion of Gaia Worship to come out of the woods. Especially given Andrew has been so loud and long in warning about this neo-Pagan resurgence. So I jumped at the chance to proselytise:

I support the new rules and it will make for better commenting. In the spirit of the inclusiveness of the inter-faith dialogue you propose, would you accept a sermon from the Green religion - though you often rail against it?

I would be happy to drop into the nearest oak-grove, next full moon, and report my local druid's global warming sermon. I might plant a sapling for you. ;)

I hope he sees it as a bit of fun and gives me a go. Or I'll have to change the headline.

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Has Howard's global warming Tampa set sail?

Catching the latest in global warming skepticism at the blog of its most diehard proponent, Andrew Bolt, I found him gleeful at the prospect of the Federal Liberals being ahead of Labor on the environmental vote. :::[Voters wary of global warming hot heads].

This bizarre result might prove that merely genuflecting to the god of global warming gets you respect:

A POLL has found the Coalition leading Labor on the management of climate change, leaving the ALP scrambling to defend its environmental credentials.
The Ipsos Mackay poll found climate change would determine the vote of 60 per cent of Australians at the next election.

Twenty-four per cent of respondents said the Greens were the best party to manage climate change, while 23 per cent chose the Liberals and just 19 per cent chose Labor.

The Liberals are trusted on this almost as much as the Greens, and more than Labor?

That tells me the poll could also show that the hot gospellors of the new faith make a lot of voters nervous, and that less is more for a politiciann trying to scare up votes.

I would be amazed if the the Australian voter would allow Howard and this government to turn on a five cent piece on global warming. But, it's happened before, and if anyone can, he can.

I looked for more information about the poll, and discovered that no media organisation, other than Murdoch's News, has published it. :::[Google: "allintext: "Ipsos Mackay poll" "climate change" "60%"in past three month].

Nothing to see here, like with most of Bolt's links. But before moving along, this does raise the question of whether Howard deserves to get a free pass from his recalcitrant history on acknowledging the real science of global warming, and the real economics of climate change. Does he deserve it, if he has a climate change epiphany on his personal road to Damascus, or in today's terms, Washington? I'll be looking at this, and the recent history of the politics of climate change in Australia in upcoming posts. Lest we forget who got us into this situation.

Other posts on the greening of Australian politics:
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Sunday, November 19, 2006

How to talk to climate skeptics

Coby Beck set forth to provide a layman's guide on "how to talk to a climate skeptic". Find the common logical fallacies and the appropriate reference material to avoid the typical "is too, is not" exchanges these things frequently devolve into. :::[Gristmill via Worldcoolers]

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Worldcoolers: Canada shamed, Stern summarised

I've just joined up to Worldcoolers, a grass-roots Internet network that's spreading the news on developments covering global warming, a field that's moving at a cracking pace now. It's essentially a news-alerts collective, a networked human aggregator. Here are the first two articles I spotted via their desktop application:

There's a story about Canada's pitiful attempt at reaching their Kyoto targets :::[Worldcoolers]

Kyoto committed Canada to cutting emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. Emissions are now 35 percent above that target and are set to rise more rapidly as oil-rich tar sands are opened up in western Canada, which happens to be the Conservatives' power base.

And a BBC At-A-Glance Stern Report Review. :::[Worldcoolers]

  • Extreme weather could reduce global gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 1%
  • A two to three degrees Celsius rise in temperatures could reduce global economic output by 3%
  • If temperatures rise by five degrees Celsius, up to 10% of global output could be lost. The poorest countries would lose more than 10% of their output
  • In the worst case scenario global consumption per head would fall 20%

  • To stabilise at manageable levels, emissions would need to stabilise in the next 20 years and fall between 1% and 3% after that. This would cost 1% of GDP

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    Australia's Nairobi spectator status tragic: Opposion

    It's the biggest game in town, but - like the United States - Australia has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, so was given only observer status at the high-level talks in Nairobi which ended this week. :::[News]

    It is a tragedy that Australia could not fully participate in the UN's Climate Change Conference in Kenya, opposition environment spokesman Anthony Albanese said today.

    He described the Howard Government's postition as "all over the shop" on climate change and said we could never be a world leader on the issue until it signed up to the Kyoto agreement.

    "Australia should ratify the Kyoto Protocol and never again should the world meet without Australia having a seat at the table to determine the way forward.

    "It is quite clear that Kyoto, whilst not perfect, is the vehicle which the world will move forward on post-2012."

    The Howard government seems set on delaying the inevitable for as long as possible.

    Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell, who along with many of his counterparts from rich nations called for a review of the Kyoto Protocol at the two-week summit in Nairobi, acknowledged the slow progress of the talks.

    "My own sense is that none of the action or activity is at the sort of pace the world needs, but momentum is probably building," Senator Campbell told Reuters.

    It's all he can say. My own sense is that Ian Campbell's paucity of contribution gives truth to Albenese's claims.

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    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    Increasing carbon dioxide does not make forest grow faster

    Even Prime Minister John Howard finally, finally conceding a carbon tax in the future doesn't stop Andrew Bolt from encouraging people to emit more carbon dioxide - to fertilise the world's forests.

    Releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere spurs global warming. Trees absorb carbon dioxide.

    In fact, they thrive on the stuff, and all this thriving and spreading was predicted.

    Pedal to the metal, tree lovers!

    Perhaps Andrew felt his logic exposed, because he felt the need to bolter it with annecdotal research. The pox vox:


    Reader White Mouse reports:

    My daughter works at a hydroponic farm where they actually pump CO2 into the glass houses because the plants grow faster and produce more fruit.

    Hmm. Would that work on a global scale?

    I wondered that myself, did some research, and dropped a debunk on his blog. I'm reposting it here because Andrew can be selective when publishing me.

    Good question, Andrew - it's been looked into by:

    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Princeton University.

    Pacala, S.W., J.P. Casperson and M. Hansen. 2003. Forest Inventory Data Falsify Ecosystem Models of CO2 Fertilization. (Manuscript Abstract)

    We analyze tree growth data from Wisconsin forest inventories completed in 1968, 1983, 1996 and 2002. These show that the rate of forest tree growth decreased steadily over the period, in contrast to the increases predicted by CO2 fertilization models. Measured growth rate changed an average of -0.27% y-1 (95% confidence range: -0.05% to -0.49% y-1), whereas the prediction for CO2 fertilization is 0.16% y-1 (corresponding to a ß of 0.36). The high statistical precision is due both to large sample sizes and positive inter-temporal correlations among the growth rates within the same plot. Decreased growth occurred in stands of all ages, and so our results are not caused by age-related declines in growth.


    Neither the direct analysis of growth rates in Wisconsin, nor the re-analysis of the Michigan inventories is consistent with the CO2 fertilization model in Joos et al. (2002).

    State-of-the-art ecosystem models of CO2 fertilization are evidently false for this region over the later third of the 20th century. We discuss the implications of this and other reasons for skepticism about the future magnitude of CO2 fertilization. In particular, the fossil fuel emissions reductions required to stabilize atmospheric CO2 at 500+50 ppm must begin decades sooner if the predictions of the CO2 fertilization models in the IPCC Third Assessment (Prentice et al. 2001) are incorrect. The difference between a terrestrial carbon sink that grows because of CO2 fertilization, and one that shrinks because it is caused by recovery from past land use, is the difference between the luxury of decades of delay and the need to act now.

    [End abstract]

    ... and the answer is no, so we have even less time to reduce emissions than the IPCC previously thought .

    The reason why forests are coming back is a direct result of conservation as a reading of your News article tells you.

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    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Costello concedes on carbon trading

    News just in, is that Australian Treasurer has put a stake though the heart of the Liberal Government's current energy policy, and acknowledges that Australia will have to be involved in an international carbon-trading scheme.

    Peter 'Interview with a Vampire Costello' image borrowed (at night) from Poligoths

    "I think the ground is changing," he told ABC television programme, Insiders, today:

    "... and I think from Australia's point of view if the world starts
    moving towards a carbon trading system, we can't be left out of that.

    "I think the weakness up until now has been that key consumers such as China and India have not been in this.

    "But as the world moves towards a carbon trading system, Australia obviously can't stand out against the rest of the world."

    This is significant. Someone's learning the lessons of the US Republicans' routing in their mid-terms, and Costello seems to be distancing himself from Howard's stance. How green will Australian politics get?

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    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    Iraq, corruption, economy or pushing "global warming alarmist" term?

    The US Mid Term Elections 2006 Republican routing, what was that all about? Sahlah has a list, and it is encouraging that Bush's peddling of the "global warming alarmist" term is on her list. And ending habeas corpus. And forgetting about Osama Bin Laden. The list goes on...

    So the big question being asked by some conservative opinion journalists in Australia is does Bush's Man-Of-Steel, Deputy-Sherrif, and Partner-in-The-Coalition-Of-The-Willing have a such list?

    I'll kick off with:
    • Not signing up to Kyoto
    • Pushing the idea that reducing carbon emissions would damage the economy
    • Letting the Greenhouse Mafia write government energy policy
    • Bailing out Stan Howard
    • Interfering with Brazillian ethanol importation into Australia, to protect his Queensland sugercane mates
    • Free-trade hypocrisy in relation to above point
    • Capping the ethanol limit at 10% in ethanol blend petrol to protect his petrol mates
    • Not increasing renewable energy target quotas, thus drawing investment into renewables, then killing it off.
    • Ignoring energy demand reduction, or efficiency yield improvements as a greenhouse strategy
    • Putting all his eggs into the nuclear and yet to be developed 'clean-coal' technological solutions baskets that are yet to be weaved
    • Their AP6 Group pretend policy to tackling climate change
    • Misrepresenting our 'not landclearing' as Australia on track to meeting our 'Kyoto' targets
    And that's just the global warming related items. There are many others for me, and it's hard to say what is most disturbing. Suspension of habeus corpus by a government is a big one for me. Whatever Hicks did, it wasn't bad enough for us to overturn an 800 year old, hard-earned civilising principle of law. And basis of human rights. It also diminishes what it means to be an Australian if the government of the day can decide that because they don't like you that they throw you to the wolves if you get in trouble overseas. I'm not for getting into trouble overseas, but the country demands loyalty of us as citizens. Well, the expectation is reciprocal; even the worst of ours should be entitled to a fair trial, and to expect our diplomats to do their utmost to bring this about.

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    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    The heat is on, it's on the street

    Who would have thought it?

    In country where the Australian government have let the self-styled Greenhouse Mafia, the fossil-fuel lobby, effectively write their energy policy.

    In a country where the Greenhouse Mafia used political influence our leading climate scientists censored.

    In a world where global Greenhouse Mafia money has spent-up big pushing doubt int the public analysis of the science. To great effect; a study by Naomie Oreskes established that the scientific consensus on global warming is absolute, but in the public discussion half the oxygen is given to climate change skeptics. Here, we have our Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Piers Akerman as mercenary foot soldiers in the War on Climate. A war they have lost.

    I have seriously underestimated the Australian public. They are a lot more aware of the problem than I had imagined. It makes writing this blog more rewarding. It's amusing to watch the government play catch up.

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    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Australian politics starts to go green

    Peter Harcher gazes into the entrails of the Herald/ACNeilsen poll surprise finding that 91% of Australians believe global warming is a very serious or somewhat serious problem, to divine the behaviour of the political parties leading up to next year's election. :::[SMH]

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    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Giant icebergs off NZ not from global warming

    So says the newsreport on ABC Lateline, and good on them for pointing out there is no reason for linking it to global warming and peddling alarmism.

    The truth about global warming is sobering enough.

    The armarda of 100 giant icebergs is drifting at a rate of 2 kilometers an hour north towards South Island NZ, and is currently 250kms off-shore.

    So here is my call - in order to save ourselved from the drought we could mobilise a few tugboats out of Tassie, lasso, and nick 'em for ourselves. If we get a rise out of the Kiwis, even better. :::[Perthnow]

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    Drive beyond oil drive

    NRDC, Natural Resources Defense Council, who style themselves as America's nation's most effective environmental group, is hitting the road to promote solutions to America's dependence on oil. This week, the Sunshine State!

    Gentlemen, start your emissions-free engines: :::[Drive Beyond Oil]

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    The Climate Skeptic Challenge

    After reading Andrew Bolt's latest insistence that the world has gone mad about global warming, I threw down a challenge to his legion of fellow sceptics:

    If "propaganda has integrity", then Andrew Bolt is a paragon of virtue.

    One commenter wrote:

    "Given that Global Warming has been news for a few years now, surely some of those early prediction dates must have passed and the events forecast failed to materialise. Time to "out" all those false prophets and hold them accountable for their claims."

    Ahh, excellent test. I throw this up as a challenge to the sceptics commenting here and, of course, Andrew: if anyone can find verifiable evidence that one of the early prediction dates have passed I will publish it on my blog, Global Warming Watch, under a big heading saying that "I could be wrong about global warming".

    My blog lives here: and as you can see, I am a strong believer of the idea of man-made global warming.

    I might even show Andrew how it's done and say sorry ;)

    1a. Said evidence may come from the general media, but any claims it makes must be accurate, and be accurately representative of, and sourced to published scientific papers in any of the peer-reviewed scientific journals that exist to cater to the wide-ranging disciplines of climate-science.

    1b. No other sources for evidence will be considered. It doesn't have to just ulitmately come from a climate-scientist, or those in closely related fields, but also has had to be published in relevent scientific journals. Don't want nuffin from scientists speaking out of school, so to speak.

    2. Entries must be in before Christmas. They will be judged as they come to hand.

    3. All entries will be published on my blog, but only those entries proving an earlier-predicted global warming event has not come to pass, and that meet the above conditions, will be posted under the special headline, "I could be wrong about global warming".

    4. I am the final arbiter, but will take submissions and consult widely before passing judgement. I commit to remain bias free - hey, my integrity is at stake, and it is something I value highly.

    I trust the conditions are not too onerous. You can publish the evidence here, or in the comments section on my blog, and you don't even have to be a sceptic to play - just curious.

    So any takers? Can I have a virtual show of hands? Andrew?

    To his credit Andrew published the challenge, but I wonder if anyone is brave enough to have a go?

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    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Walk against Warming global

    Sydney saw an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 protesters 'Walk against Warming' yesterday, gathering in Martin Place, ahead of international talks on climate change in Kenya, demanding world leaders act now to curb global warming. Today we say that 22,500 protesters packed out Traflagar Square in London to participate in 'Walk against Warming':

    The event included a march from the United States embassy in protest against US President George W Bush's refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on cutting climate-warming gases from fossil fuels.

    By rights it should have also wound its way past the Australian embassy.

    Barrie Cassidy, presenter of the ABC Insiders program this morning described the groundswell of global warming awareness as a 'tsunami', propelled by the success of Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth", the strong signals from business leaders for carbon emissions price signals, the Stern Report release and Rupert Murdoch's conversion to the cause by his son, Lachlan. The tsunami hit in London:

    "We are reaching audiences today in a way that was impossible a year ago," Ashok Sinha, director of organisers Stop Climate Chaos (SCC), told Reuters.

    "We are getting people to look at the total carbon emisson of their lives and to start making adjustments, because every single bit helps.

    "We are talking about personal actions but it is also building up pressure on governments to take action to stop the destruction of the planet."

    It's particularly gratifying for me. This blog started out as an investigation into the facts of global warming, and then I realised that facts were not the only things being considered, if at all, in constructing public policy on climate change in Australia and the US. It was the considerable considerations of entrenched dirty energy industries that were mainly being considered while they muddied the science for the public. They did this by mobilising a phalanx of journos, opinion journos like Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun, to spout well orchestrated and deliberately duplicious pseudo-science to depict the scientific consensus as nonexistent. The thinking behind this strategy is that if the public is confused, then they go with the status quo, and make no changes to what energy they choose to consume.

    Well the stragegy is not working for 12,000 Sydney and 22,500 Londoner protesters this weekend, nor the 9 out of 10 Australians who believe our big fossil fuel friendly government is not doing what it needs to be doing. Just learning about the facts is an instrinsically satisfying part of this blog. But I see that the public is keenly aware, and that it has not been sidetracked into inertia by the professional global warming skeptics mobilised by the Big Fossil-Fuel fueled thinktank industry, and it makes up for some of the effort I have devoted to this blog.

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    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Good and bad global warming tipping points

    A Fred Pearce Guardian article published in the SMH today is the first MSM article to point out that climate skeptics are ominously right about one thing:

    All this suggests that the climate sceptics are right in one sense. They say the future is much less certain than the climate models predict. They have a point. We know less than we think. But the sceptics are wrong in concluding the models have been exaggerating the threat. Far from it. Evidence emerging in the past five years or so suggests the presence of many previously unknown tipping points that could trigger dangerous climate change.

    The article, about how we have not thought through how fast Greenland can melt, is timely in this recent period of hightened awareness of global warming. It is coalescing from tectonic shifts in the public discussion caused by Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" world tour, the release of the Stern Report, the admission from John Howard about AGW, and not least, uncle Rupert Murdoch's conversion. Proof plenty of this are the estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people who 'Walked against Warming' in Sydney's CBD today, despite the wet and rain. Thank goodness, because now we badly need to talk about tipping points:

    That is what is so worrying about the British Met Office's warning that the Amazon rainforest could die by mid-century, releasing its stored carbon from trees and soils into the air. And why we should take serious note when Peter Cox, professor of climate systems at Exeter University, warns that the world's soils - soaking up carbon for centuries - may be close to a tipping beyond which they will release it all again.

    Other threats lurk on the horizon. We know that there are trillions of tonnes of methane, a virulent greenhouse gas, trapped in permafrost and in sediments beneath the ocean bed. There are fears this methane may start leaking out as temperatures rise. It seems this happened 55 million years ago, when gradual warming of the atmosphere penetrated to the ocean depths and unlocked the methane, which caused a much greater warming that resulted in the extinction of millions of species.

    The only good tipping point is the one going on right now in the public conversation. Gore is right, the the impetus for a global warming policy that deals with the problem, rather than pander to Big Fossil or Radiological Fuel, is only going to come from voters.

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