Monday, June 30, 2008

Bolt's gay-baiting, homophobic base

But he's not having any of it.

No really, in a Darwin was a Christian thread today, Andrew Bolt let slip that he thinks his conservative Christian readership 'base' is 'gay-baiting' and homophobic, when asked why he promotes Christianity as an agnostic.
Andrew, aren’t you an agnostic? So why are you coming out swinging for the Christian faith?
AJFA of Moorooka
Mon 30 Jun 08 (02:05pm)

Andrew played a straight bat.

Have I? I’ve simply let someone state some facts, and added a logical conclusion of my own. Nothing more can be inferred than that I prefer facts over propaganda, regardless of what side of the argument main gain or lose.

Andrew Bolt
Mon 30 Jun 08 (02:42pm)

But another commenter smoked Andrew out of hiding.
Tom replied to AJFA
Mon 30 Jun 08 (03:04pm)


Andrew has claimed to be agnostic, but is also very careful not to offend his Christian conservative base by pushing it too hard.

In the same way he accuses artists of lacking courage in attacking Christianity rather than Islam, so too Andrew himself generally attacks the easier targets (which around here is Islam) whilst playing to his base.

Then something bizarre happened.

ANDREW REPLIES: Wow. Suddenly I understand myself. Everything I thought I said because I believed it is now revealed to me as the merest populist positioning. I’m so ashamed I think I’ll just retire right now. One thing still puzzles me though.
Why, given my crude pampering of my “base”, am I so damning of gay-baiting and homophobia? Why not simply announce I’ve found God? Why criticise so strongly The Passion of Christ? But you’ll have a theory for that too, right?

And, then it was too late.
Nick replied to AJFA
Mon 30 Jun 08 (03:36pm)
Who suggested Andrew’s base was gay-baiting homophobes? Looks like a very convincing response... to the wrong argument.

You know you’ve hit a raw nerve when the sarcasm-meter hits 11!


Tom replied to AJFA
Mon 30 Jun 08 (04:01pm)


Good point seems Andrew has a very narrow view of this “base” that he apparently doesn’t go out of his way to appeal else identified them as gay-baiting homophobes

His own words have damned him (or in this case them)...reminds me a little of this anti-Obama rant a couple of months ago

Dave replied to AJFA
Mon 30 Jun 08 (04:03pm)

Why, given my crude pampering of my “base”, am I so damning of gay-baiting and homophobia?

Did Andrew just throw his base under a bus?


Andrew's indication he hold parts of his readership in contempt, "damning" is his description, could also explain why he is so sloppy with logic when pimping for big fossil-fuel.

But of course: hiking prices of such a necessity to “stop” a warming that actually stopped in 1998 and would be unstoppable anyway is hardly something a sane person could support.

In passing off multiple yet contradictory positions on AGW as an appeal to sanity, AB is also saying that he thinks his readers are a bunch of dumb-arses who won't notice so he can get away with laziness.

And they don't. And he does. But, if someone does highlight the contradiction, they are derided by the pink dot skeptic gang as a lefty, Al Gore / Castro lover, or the like.

Don't mean anything by any of this... I'm just saying...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pell' bells toll for thee, AGW denier

Nexus 6 confesses that he has no faith in Cardinal George Pell's capability to analyse observed earthly phenomena, i.e. data.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday, Dr Pell highlighted what he says are inconvenient facts for the climate change bandwagon. These included the declaration by more than 100 international scientists, some of them members of the UN Intergovernmental panel on climate change that attempting to control climate was "ultimately futile".

I understand that the church has a mission to reach out to the marginalised and unfortunate, but it's a sorry church that needs to recruit climate change deniers to fill it's pews. George, a hint, some low-hanging fruit is so low that it's soiled.

Climate Resistence is futile

Climate Resistance is a blog in denial. They claim to be 'Challenging climate orthodoxy' in their banner line, but the only thing challenging about their latest post is typographic taste.

$IR NI¢HOLA$ $T£RN, the torturers' headline reads.

In the text, they render Sir Nick and waterboard him, all because he wrote the Stern Report over 2005/2006 — and now has the temerity to back those conclusions by launching a carbon credits ratings agency last Wednesday.

Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the UK’s Stern report on climate change, will launch a new carbon credit ratings agency on Wednesday, the first to score carbon credits on a similar basis to that used to rate debt.

Back to the Climate Resistance camp, and from what I can work out, this is the nub of their complaint.

The fact that Stern has been instrumental in creating the idea of mitigation serving that greater good must, by the very standards demanded by the environmental movement, surely raise questions about his profiting from it.

Like, why shouldn't a man back his own impressive prescience? That's how movers shake it. If the guy is wrong about the science backing his commercial bet, then he fails soon enough. If Stern is right, he stands to win large and long by being an early mover. All speed to him.

The weakness in their attack was pinged and laser-pointed out to the Climate Resistance Commanding Editor by guerrilla commenter talisker:

I hate to deprive your charming readers of any opportunity for the foam-flecked ranting they so obviously enjoy, but there is a gaping hole in your argument here.

Stern was not connected to IDEAcarbon/IDEAglobal at the time he wrote his report on climate change, or indeed when he served as chief economist at the World Bank. If he had been, or if his report had been funded in any way by companies that stood to gain from its findings, then there would have been a conflict of interest. As it stands, the comparison with Exxon's funding of climate denialists doesn't hold up to a moment's scrutiny.

As smear campaigns go, this one is well below even your own usual standards.

27 June 2008 11:23

Nice. talisker's point remains unaddressed by the Commanding Editor; transmission over.

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Impacts of a Warming Arctic

From the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) 2006 report, Impacts of a Warming Arctic.

click image to enlarge
This record of temperature change (departures from present conditions) has been reconstructed from a Greenland ice core. The record demonstrates the high variability of the climate over the past 100 000 years. It also suggests that the climate of the past 10000 years or so, which was the time during which human civilization developed, has been unusually stable. There is concern that the rapid warming caused by the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases due to human activities could destabilize this state.

Pass onto anyone who dismisses AGW by saying climate change has always been happening. That stable period from the last 12,000 years? That's what we don't want to interfere with. They've been good years for us.

If you want to learn more, here's the 22 page ACIA pdf: Impacts of a Warming Arctic; A Wikipedia oveview: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment; The skeptics' criticisms of Impacts of a Warming Arctic are examined by; and of course, the ACIA website itself.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

California goes down hydrogen highway

Look to California for leadership on climate change action, says John Addison in CleanTechBlog:

On April 20, 2004, after 40 years of fighting it was all smiles between auto executives from Detroit and the regulators of California’s health and emissions. That day a new governor signed the historic California Hydrogen Highways Executive Order.

Two years later California has it's first hydogen refuelling station. Terry Tamminen, an energy and environmental consultant to governments and author of Lives per Gallon drives a Honda FCX hydrogen fuel cell vehicle:

The car is an electric vehicle that uses an electric motor, not an engine, and captures braking energy into advanced batteries. The car also has a fuel cell which takes hydrogen from the onboard storage tank and makes continuous electricity. From his home in Santa Monica, Terry can drive almost 200 miles then pull into a hydrogen station and refuel. Terry leases the car from Honda for $500 per month. The lease includes all maintenance and collision insurance. In the future, he may lease Honda’s latest fuel cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity for $600 per month, and get a range of almost 300 miles.

Unlike most places in the United States, Terry can find over ten hydrogen stations in the nearby Los Angeles area for a fill-up. Conveniently nearby is a new Shell gas station that also includes a hydrogen pump. The hydrogen is made from H2O at the station. Yes, water is split into hydrogen and oxygen. Customers like Terry can fuel their hydrogen vehicles in five minutes then drive off, an advantage over battery electric vehicles that are typically charged overnight.

With his zero-emission vehicle, Terry gets convenience while staying true to his environmental values.

I want one. C'on Sydney.

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Put big fossil fuel on the dock

James Hansen wants oil executives who sponsor the PR war on climate science to go to jail.

Monboit says it's not a crime, but then sheet the potential blame for runaway climate change to the fossil-fuel funded effort to sow doubt about what scientists are telling us.

But the culpability of the energy firms the climate scientist James Hansen will indict in his testimony to Congress today is clear. If we fail to stop runaway climate change, it will be largely because of campaigning by oil, coal and electricity companies, and the network of lobbyists, fake experts and thinktanks they have sponsored.

It would be a crime, if we weren't all addicted to oil. Part of the reason for the ongoing addiction has been the misinformation campaign. And its something I can't just shrug my shoulders at, as Monboit seems to.

I strongly feel that news organisations who publish climate change material that does not source the peer-reviewed literature should face public censure.

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Guide to Greener Electronics now captures carbon

The 8th edition of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics has expanded it's criteria to include both the direct and indirect carbon footprints of a manufacturer's products. An indirect footprint includes emissions from the embedded energy that goes into manufacturing and distributing a product.

Only two companies - Sony Ericsson and Sony – score above 5/10. The overall score of the ranked companies has plummeted as Greenpeace tightened requirements on electronic waste (e-waste) and toxic chemicals and adds new requirements for evaluating companies’ impact on global warming.

“Electronics giants pay attention to environmental performance on certain issues while ignoring
others that are just as important,” said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner. “Philips, for example, scores well on chemicals and energy criteria but earns a zero on e-waste since it has no global take-back policies. Philips would score higher if it took responsibility for its own branded e-waste and established equitable global take-back schemes.”

Many companies score well on energy efficiency as their products comply and exceed Energy Star standards. The best performers on energy efficiency are Sony Ericsson and Apple, with all of their models meeting, and many exceeding, Energy Star requirements. Sony Ericsson stands out as the first company to score almost top marks on all of the chemicals criteria. With all new Sony Ericsson models being PVC-free, the company also has met the new chemicals criterion in the ranking, having already banned antimony, beryllium and phthalates from models launched
since January 2008.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stop now. Or we're toast: Hansen tells Congress

Well, they didn't get it when he explained the science, the first time.

Exactly 20 years after warning America about global warming, a top NASA scientist says the situation has got so bad that the world's only hope is drastic action.

James Hansen told US Congress today that the world has long passed the "dangerous level" for greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and needs to get back to 1988 levels.

He said Earth's atmosphere can stay this loaded with man-made carbon dioxide only for a couple more decades without changes such as mass extinction, ecosystem collapse and dramatic sea level rises.

"We're toast if we don't get on a very different path," Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute of Space Sciences, who is sometimes called the godfather of global warming science, told The Associated Press. "This is the last chance."

He's the head of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies. We'd be stupid not to listen.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wind power blowing nuclear away

Desmogblog is onto a Wordwatch Institute report that says new wind power installations are outpacing new nuclear plant constructions by 10 to 1.

Much of it in China.

"The biggest surprise is China, which was barely in the wind business three years ago but which in 2007 trailed only the United States and Spain in wind installations and was fifth in total installed capacity. An estimated 3,449 mega­watts of wind turbines were added in 2007, bringing China's provisional total to 6,050 megawatts and already exceeding the govern­ment's target for 2010."

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Intelligent Intelligent Design

Chris H of denialism has a crack at selling ID.

"Intelligent Design does a better job explaining the fundamentals of how life first appeared on Earth and how a creator could have fashioned all the species in such a way that allowed microevolution to flourish. The Creationism Museum assembles the scientific evidence and philosophical evidence, much of which derives from liturgical sources, to make the case for Intelligent Design. The Evolutionists have to coordinate this event, because they are threatened by the Kuhnian revolution now underway that increasingly supports the maxims of Intelligent Design."

The Kuhnian revolution? Cor blimey.

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AGW quake link not all it's cracked up to be

CBC News picks up some loony science:

New research compiled by Australian scientist Dr. Tom Chalko shows that global seismic activity on Earth is now five times more energetic than it was just 20 years ago. The research proves that destructive ability of earthquakes on Earth increases alarmingly fast and that this trend is set to continue, unless the problem of "global warming" is comprehensively and urgently addressed.

Maria Brumm puts it down:

Cursory examination reveals that Dr. Tom Chalko is a complete wackaloon! Even if you do not know the first thing about seismology, consider the warning signs that this "research" may actually be an attractive organic fertilizer:

  • Research article is published in a journal where 5/5 articles in the current issue are authored solely by... Dr. Tom Chalko!
  • Research article cites Wikipedia
  • Research article uses Observable Weird Capitalization for emphasis
  • Associated Press reporter was too lazy to call up any respectable seismologists for a second opinion, and probably did not alter Dr. Tom Chalko,, Ph.D.'s press release. Which would explain the Observable Weird Capitalization in the news article.

CBS (and any other news outlet that reprints this story) should be ashamed.

They were, observes Tim Lambert. Not The Drudge Report though who, unlike CBS did not pull the story.

Tim's found Chalko's research plan for 2001-2005 (he's a mechanical engineer) at Melbourne University:

If gravity is a special electromagnetic field - why can't we generate
it? If generation of gravity is possible - it should be also possible,
under certain conditions, to overcome gravity.

He wanted five years to develop his theory. He got nothing.

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Just Bolt? Or wingnut too?

Falling asleep over a poor whine, I almost missed the latest climate research findings of Andrew Bolt.

But of course: hiking prices of such a necessity to “stop” a warming that actually stopped in 1998 and would be unstoppable anyway is hardly something a sane person could support.

So, the warming that actually stopped in 1998 is unstoppable anyway?

What that about a sane person again? Andrew Bolt does not want to debate Al Gore, or Hansen, or Oreskes, Flannery, Phillip Adams, Monboit, Stern, Wong, or even Rudd.

He only wants to debate himself.

Bolt has fashioned his chi into an iron-pretzel to perfect a devastating one-man debating technique. Only he can argue (with himself) — unstoppable warming stopped in 1998 and thus remains unstoppable, even if it could be stopped — and win.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Tsvangirai chokes

I can't believe it. With 5 days to go Moragan Tsvangirai pulls out of the election run-off, handing victory to Mugabe. What a let down. Mugabe is going to go on a murderous rampage. It's a fucking disaster.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Garret must rock Oz, and not Japan

When Peter Garret walks into The International Whaling Commission meeting in Santiago, Chile this week, he will be carrying the weighty electoral expectations on his shoulders. Eighty seven per cent of voters thought Australia should take legal action against Japan to stop whaling and of these, 91 per cent said it should be done even if it meant compromising our relationship, according to Essential Research.

Then there is his job as a politician. That 91 per cent would more likely read 19 per cent if the relationship with our second biggest trading partner really was compromised once all the emotion dies down. The realisation he can't be a rock-star activist in Rudd's cautious government have caused his groupies to fall away and grumble he has 'sold-out'.

Even on this, Garrett has something to prove. A recent Essential Research poll found 71 per cent of people thought he was not doing a good job in trying to stop Japanese whaling.

So, if he doesn't deliver on the whales, but keeps the relationship good with Japan, he's in trouble. And, if he does brilliantly on the whales, but pisses off Japan too much, he's in trouble.

Oh the power and the passion, oh the temper of the time
Oh the power and the passion
Sometimes you've got to take the hardest line

He's got to do brilliantly on the whales, and make Japan happy about it. Good luck.

One thing going for him though, is the government's recent decision to freeze IWC legal prosecution and let diplomacy work. As Michell Grattan points out, we could be acting out of Australia's self-interest than for diplomatic relations.

This could be partly due to the risk of the case failing. Campbell says that in 2006, he and then attorney-general Philip Ruddock examined this course and found it was highly unlikely such an action would succeed. Failure of the court action would help the Japanese. Australia would hardly want to dramatically escalate the whaling conflict with Japan, only to end up giving legitimacy to its activity.

All is can say is that guy is lucky to be bald going into this meeting.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

James Hanson — hero

Worldwatch Institute is partnering with Grist to bring you this three-part series commemorating the 20-year anniversary of NASA scientist James Hansen's groundbreaking testimony on global climate change next week.

Great reading.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Truth brought to bear on Bolt's hypocricy

In another Andrew Bolt signature piece of twisted green-hate tenuously stuck together with gnarled logic, Hypocrisy - Hard to Bear, we get this beauty:

And ssshhh. Don’t mention that the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre says the extent of Arctic ice is in fact “greater than this time last year”.

Tim Lambert picks him up: Andrew Bolt goes quote mining

That quote was brutally ripped from its context on this page, which says:

Arctic sea ice still on track for extreme melt ...

Although ice extent is slightly greater than this time last year, the average decline rate through the month of May was 8,000 square kilometers per day (3,000 square miles per day) faster than last May. Ice extent as the month closed approached last May's value.

And this month it's been running neck and neck with last year's melt.

A hand-full of Bolt's commentators point out the fault in his argument.

Hmmm, is the author’s point that environmentalists and journalists have an environmental impact, and therefore scientists are wrong if they think increased greenhouse gas concentrations won’t enhance the greenhouse effect? Or that polar bears can kill people, so therefore we shouldn’t care if they go extinct? Or that some people writesilly things on the internet, therefore it’s okay to quote the US National Snow and Ice Data Center out of context?

Link to Lambert's piece

Steve L of Canada (Reply)
Fri 20 Jun 08 (09:23am)

Andrew Bolt says: ‘Don’t mention that the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre says the extent of Arctic ice is in fact “greater than this time last year”.’ It does and the same report, published on its website , also says the ice is thinner and more likely to melt. The NSIDC also states: ‘Although ice extent is slightly greater than this time last year, the average decline rate through the month of May was 8,000 square kilometers per day (3,000 square miles per day) faster than last May.’ The report adds: ‘Average Arctic Ocean surface air temperatures in May were generally higher than normal. While anomalies were modest (+1 to 3 degrees Celsius, +2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit) over most of the region, temperatures over the Baffin Bay region were as much as 6 degrees C (11 degrees F) above normal.’ Oh such irony, when you point your accusing pen at others for selective reporting. Hypocrisy? Pretentious? Moi?

Stuart Nuttall of Exeter, England (Reply)

And ssshhh. Don’t mention that the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre says the extent of Arctic ice is in fact “greater than this time last year”.

Tim Lambert provides some balance for this cherry picked from context.

strange days indeed (Reply)

Arctic sea ice is on a long-term downward trend. There is a bit more this year because of an exceptionally warm 2007 which caused a decline even greater than the norm. This year the coverage has reverted to the normal downward trend, which means a temporary increase over 2007.

Exactly the same argument applies to 1998, which was abnormally hot because of the El Nino fluctuation. It’s only by picking 1998 that Andrew is able to make this “it hasn’t warmed” claim. It has warmed since 1997 and since 1999.

Polar bear populations are increasing because hunting them has been forbidden. This has nothing to do with the extent of the ice. Just as it is a mistake to focus on one year (2008 ice or 1998 temperature) it is a mistake to focus on one species. Most studies say that large numbers of species are headed for extinction if global warming cannot be mitigated.

James (Reply)

Arctic sea ice melt ‘even faster’

Arctic sea ice is melting even faster than last year, despite a cold winter.

Data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) shows that the year began with ice covering a larger area than at the beginning of 2007.

ANDREW of Melbourne (Reply)

The only sign of a possible response from Bolt was this.

Can someone please tell me why my comment from earlier today did not make it onot Andrew’s Blog??? Or was it censored when he was proven to be a liar.

Not bearing up well under your own hypocrisy, AB,?

Also looks like you may have suffered a spate of White Hat Trolling! Good to see your argument being opened like a tin can, calmly, rationally, and indisputably. The only honourable thing left for you to do is retract.

But, I am not bullish about that. In fact, I'm positively...

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Would the Camry $35 mill be better spent on Green Car 2.0?

I've been letting the Australian climate change political commentary slide a bit since the election and the ratifying of the Kyoto treaty. The honey moon is over for the new government, protracted though it was, and all their climate change policies and promises are now coming up for public scrutiny.

Kyoto Kev is on notice to deliver. Let's not forget that this last election was the first Australian green election, where climate change was one of the top three issues for the electorate.

Bernard Keane take a critical view of what Rudd's recent announcement, of $35 million for Toyota to help build a hybrid Camry by 2010, really signals:

Judging not merely by yesterday’s announcement, but the Government’s manufacturing pronouncements generally, the car industry has got the Rudd Government every bit as much under its spell as it had the previous Government, and more.

For a time it looked like Rudd was different. His obsession with policy, his willingness to break from the ALP mould, his strong focus on skills, education and infrastructure,
all suggested his Government might have the capacity to resist traditional rent-seeker calls from sectors used to bending governments to their will. Rudd seemed to be focussing on enhancing the economy’s capacity to respond and adapt to changing economic circumstances, rather than trying to steer it.

And Michael Pascoe take a ROI view to say we should at least wait for Green Car 2.0, if we are to bribe the car manufacturers.

Oh the Camry deal garnered plenty of headlines – for the declared first instalment of $35 million it was relatively cheap PR – but a more important story was tucked away inside Saturday’s SMH Drive section: Hyundai says it will have a production version of a second-generation fuel-cell vehicle on the streets by 2012.

We won't have the hydrogen fuelling station infrastructure by 2012, but Pascoe argues, after interviewing Tim Flannery, that there is no time left for investments in outmoded technology.

The reality is that we continue to fluff around the edges of global warming. By the time we signed Kyoto with many self-congratulatory photo opportunities, the actual treaty was useless as the science has unfortunately moved on to a much more precarious world.

I shared a flight recently with Tim Flannery and interviewed him for Eureka Report – an exercise that inevitably leaves one less sure about our outlook.

When we eventually get serious, there will be no exemptions for a hefty carbon charge levied through trading and/or direct tax, coal-fired power stations without full CO2 capture have at most two decades to go, the future of burning Latrobe Valley mud (sometimes called brown coal) can be measured in single digits, and we’re likely to have some hefty regulation in the transport sector about just how much carbon is allowed to be burned.

Even the Americans already have basic vehicle fuel efficiency standards, however generous they might be. We don’t – but we will be able to watch our politicians and public servants motor by in Kamrys next decade.

I get the feeling we need to keep an closer eye on this government's follow-through with respect to climate change.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Australia accused of dragging post-Kyoto chain

Glen Milne was saying only today that the Australian Labor Party might spin itself into being the first one-term government in the modern political era.

I can see that happening, if they do not follow through with the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol they ratified on Australia's behalf as their first act of government.

According to a delegate at the Bonn summit where representatives from 172 countries began gathering proposals on measures to slow global warming by curbing carbon emissions and on how to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

Australia has been accused of dragging the chain.

But participants said not enough ideas were put on the table, and environmental organisations accused Australia, the US and Canada of obstructing progress.

The Climate Institute CEO John Connor said Australia must reveal how much revenue from a carbon emissions trading scheme would be invested in climate change initiatives.

"These climate talks have concluded amidst mounting concern, but not yet panic, about the ability of world leaders to conclude a global agreement by end of 2009 as agreed in Bali," Mr Connor said from Bonn.

"In the end all parties agreed that a new spirit of commitment and urgency will be needed to reach the shared desire for a global agreement.

"Australia can help this by signalling that it will do its fair share by dedicating a significant amount of its emissions trading revenue into ensuring developing countries build clean energy infrastructure and help prepare them for the impacts of unavoidable climate change."

The fortnight of talks in Bonn marks the first major climate change meeting since the gathering in Bali last December.

The aim is to devise an accord to succeed the 1997 Kyoto protocol, which set targets for 37 industrial countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an average of five per cent by 2012.

Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate change official, said the proposals needed to become much more focused.

Harald Dovland, the Norwegian chairman of a key working group, was frustrated at the slow progress in Bonn.

"We need a completely new spirit of co-operation," he said.

"If we continue in this mode and speed of work, I fear we will not succeed in achieving the goals set in our work program."

Delegates will reconvene in August in Accra, Ghana, and again in Poznan, Poland, in December.

At least four more major conferences are scheduled for 2009.

Comment was being sought from the Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.

Australia only contributes 1 or 2% of the world's GHG emissions, or so we are often told by the skeptics. And, if you exclude our coal exports, they have a point. If we only sluggishly work our way down to our targets, we are not going to make much of an overall impact. The skeptics are right about that.

So if we (the people) are going to go through the pain of transferring from one economy to another anyway, then there is only one way to do it that makes sense, and that is to take a leadership role and make the maximum impact possible. After 12 years of being known as denialists and delayers of action, we are uniquely positioned to lead by example, but only have one shot at assuming this: Before the standing ovation Australia's delegation received at the Bali conference becomes a distant memory.

Global warming denialists right: See for yourself

Sammy Jankis of memeplex confronts his own bias towards climate scientists in order to give 'the other side' of 'the debate' a fair go, and seriously examine the claims of the skeptics.

He did his own research, faithfully following their formulations, and has published his methodology and results in easy to follow language, so the average punter can reproduce the experiment for themselves.

What he found will surprise you, as it did me. Maybe the denialists are right, after all?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

History of climate change public debate

Spencer Weart is a science historian who has written a two part history on how popular opinion about climate change has evolved.

H/t: Only In It For The Gold

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The Economic Consensus

Another day, another Rabett dropping. Today's one has been specially selected to drive the entire climate denial industry triskaidekaphobic.

Another list.
  • Joseph Aldy, Resources for the Future
  • James Edmonds, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Richard Howarth, Dartmouth College
  • Bruce McCarl, Texas A&M University
  • Robert Mendelsohn, Yale University
  • William Nordhaus, Yale University S
  • ergey Paltsev, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • William Pizer, Resources for the Future
  • David Popp, Syracuse University
  • John Reilly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Roger Sedjo, Resources for the Future
  • Kathleen Segerson, University of Connecticut
  • Brent Sohngen, Ohio State University
  • Robert Stavins, Harvard University
  • Richard Tol, Economic and Social Research Institute
  • Martin Weitzman, Harvard University
  • Peter Wilcoxen, Syracuse University
  • Gary Yohe, Wesleyan University
So what do they have in common??

So, find out.

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How do global warming skeptics think?

In a thought provoking post Fergus Brown of Old man in a cave, explores the public terrain that the AGW communicator, civilian or scientist, has to negotiate.

The first type of ‘lay’ skepticism is the doubt about the facts. The issue is of ‘what’. Generally, more people are content to agree that climate does in fact change, and is changing now, than are inclined to have other doubts. Perhaps this is because we are well-trained to understand that science is good at questions of ‘what’, in other words, the recording and observation of fact and its reporting, of measurement and the observation of trends. Really, there shouldn’t be any debate about this at all, since either the climate is warming or it is not, and either it is being correctly measured or it is not, but even here, the lay reader can be drawn into doubt by skeptics or scientists who cast doubt on the reliability of observing systems or of methodologies.

We don’t understand the problems, but we do understand that the existence of a ‘problem’ in itself casts doubt on the reliability of the claimed facts. Thus, if we are already disposed to skepticism, our doubts are reinforced by the very existence of disagreement; we are able to say ‘See, it isn’t all that certain after all…I am right to have my doubts, since some scientists also have them.’ This skepticism can be challenged by reason and evidence, though people still tend to see only what they want to.

But the second type of issue is far more difficult to deal with. These are the issues not of what is happening to the climate, but of why. We are inclined to understand debates on causality as being more uncertain than issues of fact, since they are often not easily resolvable by purely scientific method, and they are, in our minds, ultimately ‘matters of opinion’. Of those who are skeptical about AGW, more have doubt about the causality than the observation. Here is where the do-nothings have their richest ground; there are many ways to reinforce peoples’ predisposition to doubt when the issue appears, on the surface, to be about matters of opinion.

As well as his well-argued position, I like Brown's title: The Skeptic problem

It's not something that will go away soon enough.

2008 Arctic sea ice extent — another record low?

Climate Change commented about this six weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Colorado researchers say there is a 3 in 5 chance that 2008 will have a new record low. Mr. Atmoz also has a post on this.

It is my non-quantified opinion that we’ve hit one of the first “tipping points” as far as global warming is concerned, or at least we will over the next few years – a commitment to seasonal loss of arctic sea ice regardless of what we do to CO2 emissions. We’ll be able to see by autumn if summer ice hit a new low, so stay tuned.

Their autumn, our spring. Stay tuned for the autumnal/spring equinox September 22, 2008.

Flooded with pink dots of deceit

In L. Ron Bolt's latest ministering to his Carbon Pinkies, he uses the three dot trick favoured by sceptics:

Greenpeace drowns the truth, and now may be made to pay:

Greenpeace gets pink spot #1, straight up. Truth — #2. Prospect of comeuppance for imagined slight — pink spot in 3rd spot.

But who is really drowning the truth? Here's Bolt's take.

A group of real estate developers and property owners in La Manga del Mar Menor - a spit of sandy, low-lying coastal land and Murcia’s premier beach resort - are threatening to take Greenpeace to court over its graphic predictions of what global warming may do to the area, which they say have caused house prices to plummet.

The lawsuit, which the plaintiffs plan to present unless Greenpeace agrees to an out of court settlement of almost EUR 30 million in damages, comes more than six months after La Manga featured prominently in a photo book published by the environmental organisation

(T)he book, Photoclima, shows digitally modified photos of La Manga submerged in water with only the tops of hotels, apartment blocks and palm trees emerging from the blue Mediterranean

“We want to create alarm and a call to action,” Juan López de Uralde, Greenpeace’s director in Spain, said when the book was published.

I’ll say it did. The truth, of course, that even the UN’s alarmist IPCC predicts sea level rises at the unlikely worst this century of just 59 cms. Let’s hope Greenpeace is brought to account for such deceptive and alarmist nonsense.

Next: Al Gore.

And here's what google shows he and his source have left out.

Greenpeace hopes to spur Spain and other industrial nations into action with the publication, which also uses statistics from the UN panel on climate change and visually examines the potential of reduced crop yields, parched waterways, coastal flooding, land loss, salination of ground water, forest fires, and glacial retreat.

Greenpeace’s director in Spain, Juan López de Uralde, said the intention of the book was not to use “scientific rigour” but to “create alarm and a call to action” via visuals. Europe projects an average rise in its sea levels of up to .9 meters by 2100. Photoclima features one of Europe’s premier destinations to dramatize the landscape of the future and the subsequent shape-shifting dilemmas of global proportions.

That post was dated November 29, 2007. Over six months ago. If Greenpeace claimed up front that it was art, I see no cause for complaint by Bolt, or the real estate developers. Rising sea levels has been on the cards for 20 years. Caveat emptor.

The omission is pointed out by one of his commenter, AJ, but to no avail. An rash of pink spots breaks out amongst the sceptics, and nobody can wait for Greenpeace to get what's owing.

There could be some interesting implications depending on which way this action goes. If denialist use hyperbole to claim mitigating climate change will ruin the economy, why shouldn't Greenpeace use hyperbole to claim climate change will ruin our habitats? Why shouldn't the real estate developers sue the denialists for pushing their misleading propaganda?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Friday the 13th

The modern reason why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky is said to come from Friday October the 13th, 1307. On this date, the Pope of the church in Rome in conjunction with the King of France, carried out a secret death warrant Against "the Knights Templar". The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. The Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified. The destruction of the Templar Knights was so complete and terrible that it will always be remembered as an unlucky day.

It was also unlucky for the pope and the king of France. When Jacques DeMolay was burned at the stake in front of the Pope Clement V and King Philip the Fair, he cursed them wiz 'ees dying breath. They both died the next year.

Word of the Day:
Friday July 13, 2007

triskaidekaphobia \tris-ky-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh\, noun:
A morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.

Thirteen people, pledged to eliminate triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, today tried to reassure American sufferers by renting a 13 ft plot of land in Brooklyn for 13 cents . . . a month.
-- Daily Telegraph, January 14, 1967

Past disasters linked to the number 13 hardly help triskaidekaphobics overcome their affliction. The most famous is the Apollo 13 mission, launched on April 11, 1970 (the sum of 4, 11 and 70 equals 85 - which when added together comes to 13), from Pad 39 (three times 13) at 13:13 local time, and struck by an explosion on April 13.
-- "It's just bad luck that the 13th is so often a Friday", Electronic Telegraph, September 8, 1996

Triskaidekaphobia is from Greek treiskaideka, triskaideka, thirteen (treis, three + kai, and + deka, ten) + phobos, fear.

blog it

Monday, June 09, 2008

90% of RW think tanks push climate change denial

Ever wondered where AGW sceptics get their arguments from?

A research team at Environmental Politics concludes that 9 out of 10 books published since 1972 that dispute the seriousness of environmental problems and mainstream science can be traced back to a conservative think tank (CTT).

The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism
Peter J. Jacques; Riley E. Dunlap; Mark Freeman
Department of Political Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA.
Department of Sociology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA

Environmental scepticism denies the seriousness of environmental problems, and self-professed 'sceptics' claim to be unbiased analysts combating 'junk science'. This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992, are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs). Further, we analyse CTTs involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them espouse environmental scepticism. We conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism, and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the weakening of US commitment to environmental protection.

Environmental scepticism is:

In summary, environmental scepticism consists of four key themes. First, environmental scepticism is defined by its denial of the seriousness of environmental problems and dismissal of scientific evidence documenting these problems. This primary theme sets environmental scepticism apart from earlier environmental opposition movements like the US 'wise use movement' and 'sage brush rebellion' (Switzer 1997). Second, environmental scepticism draws upon the first theme to question the importance of environmentally protective policies. Third, environmental scepticism endorses an anti-regulatory/anti-corporate liability position that flows from the first two claims. Lastly, environmental sceptics often cast environmental protection as threatening Western progress.

The conclusion:

Our analyses of the sceptical literature and CTTs indicate an unambiguous linkage between the two. Over 92 per cent of environmentally sceptical books are linked to conservative think tanks, and 90 per cent of conservative think tanks interested in environmental issues espouse scepticism. Environmental scepticism began in the US, is strongest in the US, and exploded after the end of the Cold War and the emergence of global environmental concern stimulated by the 1992 Earth Summit. Environmental scepticism is an elite-driven reaction to global environmentalism, organised by core actors within the conservative movement. Promoting scepticism is a key tactic of the anti-environmental counter-movement coordinated by CTTs, designed specifically to undermine the environmental movement's efforts to legitimise its claims via science. Thus, the notion that environmental sceptics are unbiased analysts exposing the myths and scare tactics employed by those they label as practitioners of 'junk science' lacks credibility. Similarly, the self-portrayal of sceptics as marginalised 'Davids' battling the powerful 'Goliath' of environmentalists and environmental scientists is a charade, as sceptics are supported by politically powerful CTTs funded by wealthy foundations and corporations.

Why should these deceptive sceptics get away with it? Expose them for the science-less frauds they are, at every turn.

H/t Not a Hedgehog

Bolty's dotty deniers play with pink swirls

L. Ron Bolt and his Carbon Pinkies are organising quickly. They have a bumper-sticker, a t-shirt design, and now this poster.

From their recently savaging of the arts community, you would think this bunch were creative savages. But no. It's good to see they are not so literal that they are going to be constrained by the tight pink dot brief given to them by their Sceptic-In-Chief.

And that the SIC is not so inflexible he can't recognise a good, out-of-brief idea when it is staring him in the face. A tight pink swirl can pass for pink dot when it's spinning... so thumbs up from Bolt. It's ruled in, and it's on.

Decisive leadership bears fruit, and Australia's new army of sceptics now have their version of Al Gore's evil documentary poster upon which to proclaim their position.

Which is that AGW scepticism is a convenient untruth!


Not so bright, these pink dots, are they?

Personal carbon trading

Was this the future being debated in the British House of Commons by the Environmental Audit Committee, last month?

A House of Commons committee suggested last week that the U.K. Parliament create a personal carbon-trading scheme for all citizens of the United Kingdom. It was the strongest statement yet by any government in favor of an individual cap-and-trade system for buying and selling greenhouse gas emissions.

Personal carbon trading would provide a set "carbon emissions allowance" to each citizen and establish a national carbon budget. Individuals would then be able to trade their carbon credits with one another on a designated carbon market if they chose to purchase additional energy or to partake in activities that would exceed the allowed emissions limit, such as riding a plane.

Seems logical to me, but there will be adjustment pains. Seems logical to Tim Yeo, the committee chairman, when he told the BBC,"It's the single best instrument to encourage every man, woman, and child in the country to make a low-carbon choice every day. The problem with green taxes is they tend to bear most heavily on poor households. This way poor households will be able to make cash rewards for their decisions."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Spotted by Bolty's dotty denialists

Spotted a fair bit of traffic coming in from Andrew Bolt Blog today, after posting my piece on his pink spot campaign last night. Turns out one of his regular commenters, strange days indeed, spotted that I captured his comment in my piece, and had gone back and bragged about it.

Any feedback is good, and the only complaint about my blog seems to be the Global Warming Watch line, "THE ONLY SAFE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IS 150,000,000 KILOMETERS AWAY” by Boltite grumbler, "The Greek". No faulting of my logic, though. Just didn't like me saying it.


Spotted that the steady traffic from Andrew Bolt Blog stopped after 7:00pm, which is when one of the Boltites must have spotted this post and lagged to Andrew, who removed strange days indeed's boast post, 'n cut me off. Easy come, easy go.

Petrol's up. So is Glover

In arguing against a cut in the fuel excise, Richard Glover tells us to get used to higher prices, and that it is a good thing. He's right of course, on both counts. Oil just hit a new high.

HOORAY for high petrol prices. No one wants to say the unpleasant truth, so I'll say it again. Hooray for high petrol prices. They are changing our behaviour faster than decades worth of hand-wringing over the environment. Public transport is booming; and there's fresh funding for alternative fuels.

The market is doing what the market does best: sending a crystal-clear message in the form of a price rise. Supply and demand are out of kilter and the price will keep rising until they're back in lockstep. No emotion, no rhetoric, just reality.

All around the world, the message is being received and is being acted on with remarkable speed.

In the US, car-pooling in some areas is up by 88 per cent. In Britain there are waiting lists for energy-efficient cars, such as the Prius. In Sydney, the past year has seen a million extra passengers on the bus system.

If a Bob Geldof save-the-world concert had achieved one-millionth of the impact, we'd be thrilled and amazed. The hip-pocket nerve is, as always, easier to pluck than the conscience.

The solutions to global warming will be hatched in the market.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Spot the climate change sceptic — pink

An extraordinary over-reaction to a joke just might grow some legs. With pink spots.

Story so far:

It seems the Chaser lads, of world-wide Osama Bin to APEC fame, have Andrew Bolt seeing spots. Pink spots.

THE boys from the ABC’s Chaser show a map of Australia in their new show at the Athenaeum with a pink dot to indicate the whereabouts of our very last global warming sceptic.

Actually, there’s just a single pink dot in that entire expanse, and it’s plonked right over Melbourne. Over this tower with Herald Sun on top, in fact.

To be absolutely specific, it’s over this very chair in which I’m now sitting, typing furiously with a mad cackle and hair all wild.

He's not taking this lying down. Turning the sting in his own sling, he's gone on the front slipper; out, proud, and determined to wear his pink dot as a badge of honour. He's working harder than the Energiser bunny to fashion his followers into an army of proud pink polka dotted sceptics.

So hand the pink dots around, and I urge you all to wear them with pride.

Do not be ashamed to be dotty, because global warming is a faith that even its loudest preachers seem not quite to believe.

The next day reveals that his entreaties have driven the Bolt base to burst through their rose-coloured-glass creative ceiling.

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 07, 08 (12:04 am)

Yesterday I noted that the Chaser had a map of Australia with a single pink dot to indicate the last global warming sceptic in Australia.

Reader John has kindly mocked up a graphic for a T-shirt or bumper sticker for the many readers who yesterday demanded they be struck pink, too:

So has reader Peter:

Your advice, please: Do I print up T-shirts? Or can you improve on these images?

No, you can't improve on See the Light, C02's Alright! Sorry. So, come in spinner...

Andrew, Arthur here:
I’d like to order 5 x t-shirts, 5 x bumper stickers and 5 x badges.
My wife, myself and my 3 children will wear them all with great pleasure, honour and pride. (It’ll be interesting too see the reaction from the ‘man in the street’!)

Arthur McArthur of Mount Martha

Jesus! Print t-shirts please - I’ll buy one. I’ve been dying to be counted as a sceptic.

austen tasseltine of adelaide

Austen's obviously not hear of irony. In an unexpected twist, Bolt's bravery has split the base. Others want in, but are struggling with the pinkness of it all.

Wouldn’t such a shirt mean that, walking down the street, you’d get beaten up by ultra-right-wing gay-bashers and then again by extreme-left climate change dogooders? How about a manly “mission brown” dot or perhaps navy?

Geoff of Dulwich

Old Sailor Man replied to Geoff
Sat 07 Jun 08 (07:55am)

I agree -do away with the pink....images of code pink, pinko. If it must start with “P” try purple or puce

Puce? My god. But the funniest commenters are the piss-takers.

Sceptics need a movement. For too long they have muttered around the edges. Now things are getting serious, with the Chaser boys throwing down the gauntlet. How a name?

The Carbon Pinkies

It 'll catch on.

A secret sign, where you raise your pinkie when you first meet someone. If they raise their pinkie in reply, you know they are a Carbon Pinkie, a fellow sceptic; sound of mind and staunch of heart.

Left pinkie full extended indicates sunspot watchers, and left pinkie half-cocked, means they are a Maunder Minimalist.

Right pinkie on full extension at shoulder height means they are a red-blooded Global Warming is a Body that's Ten Years Cold' stand-up kinda bloke/blokette. RH pinkie, half-cocked tells you they are alarmiphopic, with keen selective-hearing.


When sceptics get organised, how about a band along the lines of Crow's 12 Foot of Grunt?

L. Ron. Bolt and the Pink Polka Dots.

Or a book/movie?

A bold, pink heading: Battlefield Earth
Subhead: The Sceptics Cookbook

And a shot of the Earth from space with a big pink spot superimposed on it.

Strapline: If you can't beat 'em, heat 'em!


Ok, a joke.

Q. What do you call a sceptics convention?

A. An measles outbreak.

strange days indeed

Or how about a design for the front and back?:

I’m a Climate Change Skeptic who’s Not Sorry and who OPPOSES the Republic, Further Muslim Immigration, Feminists, Changing the Flag, a Bill of Rights, Kevin Rudd, Arts Funding, Bringing the Troops Home, Ted Baillieu, Greenpeace, going Soft on Crime, Phillip Adams, going Soft on Drugs, The Chinese Government, the Dalai Lama, the Refugee Convention, Malcolm Turnbull, Gay Marriage, Bill Henson, Arabs, the UN…

...and Groupthink.

Mercurius of New York

Maybe it should read ‘I cherry pick data to prove in my own mind i am smarter than the membership of the National Academy of Science, The Royal Society, AAAS and just about every other scientific body in the world”

Rob Hill

T-Shirts? The future won’t be warm enough for T-Shirts, Andrew. Not when 1998 was the Hottest Year Ever(TM) and all the predictions except yours are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

A real global warming skeptic would wear a full-length parka, mittens and thermal underwear.

Why don’t you get a batch made up?


Mercurius of New York

A batch of Kool-Aid.