Saturday, July 31, 2010

Has the ABC's Gruen Nation made Tony Abbott's best ad?

Why Labor's solar plan in Victoria is a total crock. Only likely plant has already lost investors $130m

The utter naivety of the boosters of these green cons and ponzi schemes never ceases to amaze me. No matter how many times it is pointed out to them that none of the sums add up, they keep coming back for more!
Let’s sum up. The only one of the five to 10 solar plants “promised” by the Brumby Government over the next decade that’s even likely to be built has already lost the original investors $130 million, with the new investors refusing to commit to actually completing the thing. It will provide uncertain and very expensive power, but only after the Victorian and Federal Governments agree to stump up the rest of their promised $130 million in handouts.

But the Gillard Government is actually pulling money out of solar research, presumably on the grounds that this is an insane money pit. For instance:
THE Gillard government has stopped funding Australia’s solar research centre. The University of New South Wales’ Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence - where the multibillionaire solar entrepreneur Zhengrong Shi studied - recently lost funding under the federal government’s Australian Research Council grants.
In fact, Gillard thinks other useless and expensive mirages have more substance even than solar:
Old car owners will score a $2000 rebate if they buy a new fuel-efficient vehicle, under a “cash for clunkers” scheme announced by Julia Gillard today… The $394 million cost of the scheme will be financed by cuts in several other climate programs, including $220 million coming off the solar flagship program.
John Brumby is just one more green con man.

Much more here.

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Have a look at this photo @wikileaks - whose side are you on? Yes, she's had her nose cut off.


Time explains what the Taliban will do - and not just to girls who run away from their husbands - if it gains even more power.

It goes without saying, (or should do), that it is the Americans who have saved this young woman and she'll be sent to the United States for treatment, and may already be there. I remember seeing her story several months ago.

This is the kind of barbaric savagery that we are fighting in the form of radical Islamism.

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New York Times: ScienceBlogs has become Fox News for the religion-baiting, peak-oil crowd

Clearly I’ve been out of some loop for too long, but does everyone take for granted now that science sites are where graduate students, researchers, doctors and the “skeptical community” go not to interpret data or review experiments but to chip off one-liners, promote their books and jeer at smokers, fat people and churchgoers? And can anyone who still enjoys this class-inflected bloodsport tell me why it has to happen under the banner of science?

Hammering away at an ideology, substituting stridency for contemplation, pummeling its enemies in absentia: ScienceBlogs has become Fox News for the religion-baiting, peak-oil crowd. Though Myers and other science bloggers boast that they can be jerky in the service of anti-charlatanism, that’s not what’s bothersome about them. What’s bothersome is that the site is misleading. It’s not science by scientists, not even remotely; it’s science blogging by science bloggers. And science blogging, apparently, is a form of redundant and effortfully incendiary rhetoric that draws bad-faith moral authority from the word “science” and from occasional invocations of “peer-reviewed” thises and thats.

Under cover of intellectual rigor, the science bloggers — or many of the most visible ones, anyway — prosecute agendas so charged with bigotry that it doesn’t take a pun-happy French critic or a rapier-witted Cambridge atheist to call this whole ScienceBlogs enterprise what it is, or has become: class-war claptrap.

Via Watts Up With That?, where there is more comment.

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"Our Climate" iPhone app is rising fast, plus new link widget

Friday, July 30, 2010

Peter Van Onselen is right, if we knew what we know now back in 2007, we'd have re-elected John Howard

Sigh. Three years on and I basically feel ambivalent about being proved completely right by subsequent events.

If the past three years have taught us anything it is that if voters had their time again they would have re-elected the Howard government for a fifth term. As Tony Abbott said yesterday, "when the history of the last three years is written they will be seen as wasted years".

An electorate that had had it too good for too long airily decided it wanted a change and voted out a competent, (though not perfect), government for an opposition leader who cynically and dishonestly marketed himself as a younger version of John Howard.

In Nikki Savva's devastatingly accurate words, some time in 2007 Kevin Rudd slithered into John Howard's skin, only to shed it once it had done its job and got him elected.

Basically, the Labor Party won the 2007 election on false pretences.

The problem for me is that it was all so bloody obvious three years ago. Nothing that has transpired about the character and failings of Kevin Rudd, (or indeed the Labor government itself), has come as a surprise. It was all there to see back then, but few wanted to see. Too many people, especially in the media, wanted Howard gone (for various reasons) and were not going to let troubling reality spoil things for them.

But there's the rub, no? Reality can only be spurned for so long before it crashes the party and wrecks it.

Three years later we are left with what might have been. Essentially the record of Labor is three wasted years and tens of billions of dollars of public debt that is going to have to be paid back with interest.

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Why professors of cultural studies are as useless as tits on a bull. Gillard racist for kissing a white baby! #ausvotes

What do you say? Every time I hear somebody from the universities go on about how they are under funded boo hoo hoo, I think about this kind of asinine drivel and conclude that they are in fact over funded if they have money to waste on this kind of pseudo-academic rubbish.

Suvendrini Perera, associate professor of cultural studies at Curtin University, is alarmed that Julia Gillard kissed a white baby:
The day after the election announcement, several newspapers featured front-page photos of the Prime Minister, garbed all in white, and her (male) deputy - each bearing an exceptionally robust looking, if slightly bemused, white infant in their arms. If the central issue of the election is population, these images of the - reconstructed and thoroughly contemporary - white heterosexual family underscore that the lowering of the birth rate is off the agenda…

The ideal of the remade white heterosexual Australian family represented by Gillard and Wayne Swan at a baby welcome ceremony reaffirms the way in which the reproduction of the population is inextricably bound up with the reproduction of an established political and social order. The image stages an unspoken but unmistakeable return to the defining characteristic of Australia as a nation-state built on whiteness, and dedicated to the reproduction of the racial order established at Federation. Within this order, non-white bodies may be present, and even attain positions of relative power and prominence; however, their presence is one that must remain subject to continuing containment, subordination or assimilation…

Make no mistake: there is a deep internal consistency to the population ‘’debate’’. Beneath the facade of a thoroughly modern, optimistic and relentlessly ‘’forward-moving’’ Prime Minister is a campaign that returns us to the ‘’race election’’ threatened by John Howard in the 1990s.

Can Australia move forward from the exclusionary politics of race? Certainly not with a Prime Minister whose ‘’right kind of migrant’’ is a reproduction of her own image.
Some people should really get over themselves. [And get out more?] Has she considered that Gillard simply kissed whatever baby was pushed at her, and to refuse a kiss to a white one - as Perera seems to demand - might have seemed not just racist, but a sign of madness?

Oh, and it hardly needs saying, but this article appeared in The Age. Foucault is quoted, which is always a giveaway.

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What? Even Time Magazine nows says greenies and the media exaggerated the Gulf oil spill?

Astounding stuff. But no more than what I and other people have been saying for weeks now. Oil gushing into the ocean is not a good thing. I don't like to see birds and animals covered in oil and doomed to die a horrible death.

But the fact remains that very few have actually been killed by the oil spill. Certainly only a tiny percent compared to those killed after the wreck of the Exxon Valdez all those years ago.

In terms of the Earth itself the Gulf spill is a minor and temporary irritant that will disappear, in Earth time, very quickly.

But the actions of most environmental groups, as well as large sections of the media, need to be examined and they need to be held to account for the lies, misinformation and exaggeration they have engaged in.

Within a month of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I warned that the damage done by spills tended to be wildly exaggerated, and that this one seemed to be no exception.  Two months later, Time now agrees:
President Obama has called the BP oil spill “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced,” and so has just about everyone else. Green groups are sounding alarms about the “catastrophe along the Gulf Coast,” while CBS, Fox and MSNBC are all slapping “Disaster in the Gulf” chyrons on their spill-related news… The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill — he calls it “the leak” — is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.

Well, Limbaugh has a point. The Deepwater Horizon explosion was an awful tragedy for the 11 workers who died on the rig, and it’s no leak; it’s the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. It’s also inflicting serious economic and psychological damage on coastal communities that depend on tourism, fishing and drilling. But so far — while it’s important to acknowledge that the long-term potential danger is simply unknowable for an underwater event that took place just three months ago — it does not seem to be inflicting severe environmental damage. “The impacts have been much, much less than everyone feared,” says geochemist Jacqueline Michel, a federal contractor who is coordinating shoreline assessments in Louisiana.

Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we’ve heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals. Yes, the spill prompted harsh restrictions on fishing and shrimping, but so far, the region’s fish and shrimp have tested clean, and the restrictions are gradually being lifted. And yes, scientists have warned that the oil could accelerate the destruction of Louisiana’s disintegrating coastal marshes — a real slow-motion ecological calamity — but so far, assessment teams have found only about 350 acres of oiled marshes, when Louisiana was already losing about 15,000 acres of wetlands every year.
Ditto Yahoo News:
Where is all the oil? Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared. Nor has much oil washed up on the sandy beaches and marshes along the Louisiana coast. And the small cleanup army in the Gulf has only managed to skim up a tiny fraction of the millions of gallons of oil spilled in the 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig went up in flames.

So where did the oil go? “Some of the oil evaporates,” explains Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University. That’s especially true for the more toxic components of oil, which tend to be very volatile, he says. Jeffrey W. Short, a scientist with the environmental group Oceana, told the New York Times that as much as 40 percent of the oil might have evaporated when it reached the surface…

Perhaps the most important cause of the oil’s disappearance, some researchers suspect, is that the oil has been devoured by microbes.
Ditto the Telegraph:
One hundred days on from the original blow-out, the question is beginning to be asked: might the scale of the potential environmental damage have been exaggerated?… For many marine scientists, the answer seems to be yes – and now that some of the initial fury has died down, they are putting their heads above the parapet to say so.

Dr Simon Boxall, an expert in marine pollution and dispersion at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, explains that there was panic at the estimated size of the spill, between 140 and 200 million gallons – the equivalent of about four supertankers of oil…

The combination of the fact that it was light, or “sweet”, crude oil and that the disaster happened in warm waters so far out to sea always meant, he says, that it would be dispersed very quickly. The Gulf, which has a lot of natural seepage into its waters, has, he explains, developed microbes that break down the oil.

“...When (BP’s) Tony Hayward said it was a drop in the ocean, it might have been the wrong thing to say at the time, but it was the truth. This spill is the equivalent of less than a drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. For all but a tiny bit of the Gulf, it will be back to normal within a year...”

A quick look at the statistics produced by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other bodies seems to bear out his thesis. Of the more than 2,100 miles of threatened coastline, one quarter has been touched by oil and much less has been heavily soiled. As for wildlife, the total number of animals found dead and covered in oil for the whole period is 1,296 birds, 17 sea turtles and three dolphins – that is less than one per cent of the birds killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989…

Professor Geoffrey Maitland, an energy engineer at Imperial College, agrees that the Gulf is well adapted to oil spills because tens of millions of gallons naturally seep into it every year. “Many people do not realise that oil is a naturally occurring substance and nature has a way of dealing with it,” he says. It doesn’t need to be scooped off, burnt or dispersed with chemicals. “In fact, it is often best to let it just evaporate and biodegrade naturally.

“With all the clean-up work, natural evaporation and biodegradation, I reckon 50 per cent of the oil has already gone and the rest will follow shortly. There is talk of a lot of oil below the surface, but I am a bit sceptical, as oil is less dense than water and so it floats.”
Ditto, to a lesser extent, Vanity Fair and The Washington Post:
Scientists and government officials are currently on the hunt for much of the oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, reports The Washington Post. While experts remain positive that the oil is still in the Gulf—"That stuff’s somewhere,” a researcher hypothesized to the paper—most of it is AWOL. According to the Post, “up to 4 million barrels (167 million gallons), the vast majority of the spill, remains unaccounted for in government statistics. Some of it has, most likely, been cleaned up by nature. Other amounts may be gone from the water, but they could have taken on a second life as contaminants in the air, or in landfills around the Gulf Coast.”

Some believe that a portion of the oil was consumed by ocean-dwelling microbes. The tiny organisms, like humans, enjoy oil on their seafood. But the microbes can only do so much: scientists are also reporting that masses of oil have migrated miles away from the spill… Still, of the 5.2 million barrels that likely leaked, we’ve only destroyed 1.2 million barrels worth of the stuff. The country will continue to restlessly search the land and seas for oil, which, really, is exactly what we’ve always done anyway.

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Doesn't take long....

Watts Up With That? reaches 50 million unique hits - is the world's most read climate blog

One of the reasons for this I believe is that the sceptics tend to be nicer and more polite than those pushing the global warming barrow.

Anthony Watts from Watts Up With That? is a perfect example of this.

Polite, cautious and prepared to allow space on his blog for people he may not agree with.

But see how one recent example of this is dealt with by Joe Romm from the Climate Progress blog:
No other climate related blog has a 50 million hit number. Some, like Joe Romm try to claim the numbers don’t matter, or try to claim that some other number matters more. But (and it’s a big one) he doesn’t show his own number counter. At least RC does. Yesterday Joe Romm fell to a new low, even for his normal angry and juvenile fare, with this :
If you want to know why PIOMAS is a credible model , you can read the post by the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s Walt Meier on this at WattsUpWithCrap — yes, he really posted there:
(emphasis mine)
Sigh, grow up Joe, this isn’t grade school. Dr. Meier asked to post here. He didn’t ask to post at CP, and you can’t see the reason for this because you don’t allow guest posts on your blog that might conflict with your view. Dr. Meier knows that even if he writes something I might not fully agree with, I’ll still allow it as long as it is presented with decorum, facts, and respect for the readers. He doesn’t need to denigrate people to get his point across. We have a different idea, maybe it might be a more “robust” one, maybe not.

And thus the hysterics lose the battle of public opinion. They really do seem to be a very nasty and bitter bunch of people.

Anyway, you can read the rest of Anthony's reflections on this latest milestone here.

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Five to be paid $300,000 a year to make sure Labor's 'Citizen’s Assembly' reaches the "right" conclusions #ausvotes

I knew it. It was always going to be a set up leading to a predetermined conclusion. But at the end they'll be able to say that they have "consulted" with the community!

Five lucky climateers are set to earn almost as much as the Prime Minister:
The five climate change experts Julia Gillard hopes to inform public opinion on the issue will be paid an average of $300,000 a year.
It’s a four-year deal, so these temperature talkers will be rolling in it. The hours don’t sound too difficult:
Part of the commission’s role will be to assist the 150-member Citizen’s Assembly, a group designed to find a consensus on the issue.

The costing request shows the government expects the assembly to meet three times, the first being later this year and then twice more by the middle of 2012. The government expects its plan to cost $2.7 million.

Who will be the chosen five?

UPDATE. Henry Ergas on the citizens’ assembly:
It undermines both the preconditions that make for good government. It avoids taking a stance on a crucial issue, thus circumventing the bases of political accountability. At the same time, it empanels what amounts to a jury, but without the safeguards indispensable for jury processes to have legitimacy.

But it will make five clowns rich.

UPDATE II. The global warming movement is kaput! Finito! Done!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Liberal ad attacks Labor lemons

New "Our Climate" iPhone app released

Great news, and a present for the many readers of WUWT.  The “Our Climate” iPhone App has made it through Apple’s review process unscathed and the App is now available for download on the iTunes Store worldwide.

Here’s what the menu screen looks like:

From the website:

Our Climate is your “go-to” climate information resource.  It is the most comprehensive, fun and informative climate education resource available for Apple® iOS devices, such as the iPhone® and iPod Touch® platforms.

You have all the information at your fingertips, wherever you go, to help you get a more complete picture on what is happening to our climate!

Our Climate features a number of “bite-size” climate information nuggets that you can absorb without needing a PhD in climate science! These information nuggets offer you rapid insight to some of the most interesting aspects of our climate, both today and in the past.

Try your hand at our fun climate quiz, where the answers are never really what you think at first!  See if you can get your score up to that of a professional climate scientist…

With literally dozens of built-in tutorials, Our Climate will help you understand how basic climate science operates and, most importantly, help you distinguish between climate facts, climate theories and popular misconceptions.

Once you feel familiar with the basics, why not participate in our anonymous global poll on attitudes towards Global Warming?  When you have expressed your views, you can then see by region how the rest of the world’s users of Our Climate have voted.

Since climate issues do feature heavily in the news, you also have a climate-centric news feed directly on the App.  This offers you quick access to some of the top climate stories of the day.

Finally, Our Climate comes packed with a large number of very recent climate datasets that you can browse at your own pace, or perhaps use to settle a debate with friends!  Each dataset comes with a detailed set of comments to help you understand what the data is all about.

The App’s main website is here:

More here

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Prostate cancer scare is misleading

Full article at The Sydney Morning Herald:

Underbelly actor Daniel Amalm is one of several young Australian celebrities who appear in Prostate Cancer Foundation advertisements to say that prostate cancer can kill men "just like me".

Amalm is 31. The ads urge all men older than 50, and those older than 40 with a family history of the disease, to get tested. Yet, of the 75,433 men who died from prostate cancer between 1968 and 2007, just two were aged 30-34.

Given that no government anywhere in the world, no peak cancer control agency, and no high-level, independent review has ever supported screening, it is important to question the foundation's campaign and consider what it might achieve if it was wildly successful.

The foundation repeatedly emphasises that men need to make informed decisions about being tested. Here's some uncontestable information that you won't find on the Prostate Cancer Foundation's website, nor in its TV ads.

First, prostate cancer is a disease that far more men die with rather than from.

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Man-made warming of Australia detected

The BOM claim their adjustments are random and neutral. Yet when Ken looked at the raw data from Australia’s 100 high quality rural sites, the adjustments increased the trend in the raw data by 40% — from a 0.6°C rise over 100 years, to 0.85°C over 100 years.

In an email to Ken, Dr David Jones, Head of Climate Monitoring and Prediction, National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, made a clear claim that the adjustments had no real effect:
“On the issue of adjustments you find that these have a near zero impact on the all Australian temperature because these tend to be equally positive and negative across the network (as would be expected given they are adjustments for random station changes).”
Perhaps there are good reasons for all these corrections.  But if Ken’s analysis is right, the adjustments themselves account for a third of the reported warming trend in Australia.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review from the Geological Society of "The Hockey Stick Illusion - Climategate and the corruption of science"

In 1998 a graph, which was to become famous as the ‘Hockey Stick’, made its debut in the pages of the prestigious journal Nature. The graph, constructed by climate scientist Michael Mann and colleagues, purported to show that late 20th Century temperatures were unprecedented in at least 1000 years. For many this was the smoking gun of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). Before long the Hockey Stick became the icon of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and took (unacknowledged) centre-stage in Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth. The scientific community immediately, and virtually unanimously, accepted the Hockey Stick at face value, even though it eliminated such familiar episodes of climatic history as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age; these were explained away as regional or diachronous phenomena.

Not everybody, though, was prepared to take this new climate history on trust. Foremost among these sceptics was a Canadian mining engineer, Steve McIntyre. Over several years, in the teeth of resistance from the paleoclimatological community, he laboriously collected the raw data (mainly tree ring measurements) from which the Hockey Stick was derived. McIntyre identified numerous shortcomings with the reconstruction. The charges included cherry picking of data, use of invalid proxies and poor statistical techniques, which together produced a picture of exceptional 20th Century warming that was not present in the underlying data.

The response of the ‘Hockey Team’ (as Mann and colleagues came to be known) was to circle the wagons. McIntyre was dismissed as a crank, or a flunkey of the oil companies. Attempts were made to prevent publication of his analyses in the scientific press. When these tactics failed to silence him, the Hockey Team claimed that many independent studies confirmed their results. McIntyre, though, was able to show that these ‘independent’ studies used the same flawed data sets and techniques as the Hockey Stick and inevitably reached the same erroneous conclusions. The debate eventually reached Washington where two congressional committees concluded that Mann’s statistics could not support the conclusions he drew from them. Nonetheless the Hockey Team, with the support of the IPCC, pressed ahead with their depiction of the Hockey Stick as ‘settled science’.

Andrew Montford tells this detective story in exhilarating style. He has assembled an impressive case that the consensus view on recent climate history started as poor science and was corrupted when climate scientists became embroiled in IPCC politics. His portrayal of the palaeoclimatology community is devastating; they are revealed as amateurish, secretive, evasive and belligerent. But the most serious charge is that they have simply failed to demonstrate any scientific integrity in confronting McIntyre. The University of East Anglia emails, which appeared just as Montford was completing his book, suggest that the Hockey Team were more interested in knobbling McIntyre than in addressing his arguments.

The wider scientific community does not escape criticism. No serious effort was made to subject the Hockey Stick to independent scrutiny, despite its profound implications for the future of the planet and its inhabitants. In response to external challenge the scientific establishment’s reflex action was to side with the paleoclimatologists without bothering to check the evidence. This approach, no better than that of any other vested interest group, should dismay everyone of genuine scientific spirit.

Montford’s book ends on what is perhaps an inevitable low note, because the Hockey Team has not conceded that its temperature reconstructions are seriously flawed. However, if The Hockey Stick Illusion provokes a truly independent review of the evidence it will have served its purpose.


From Greenie Watch

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The worst newspaper headline for Labor so far? #ausvotes

Today’s front page pays tribute to a famous line from the Daily News:

image image

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The great marine environmental disaster that wasn't? Mother Nature doing her job?

From ABC News:

For 86 days, oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's damaged well, dumping some 200 million gallons of crude into sensitive ecosystems. BP and the federal government have amassed an army to clean the oil up, but there's one problem -- they're having trouble finding it. At its peak last month, the oil slick was the size of Kansas, but it has been rapidly shrinking, now down to the size of New Hampshire.

Today, ABC News surveyed a marsh area and found none, and even on a flight out to the rig site Sunday with the Coast Guard, there was no oil to be seen. "That oil is somewhere. It didn't just disappear," said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.

Salvador Cepriano is one of the men searching for crude. Cepriano, a shrimper, has been laying out boom with his boat, but he's found that there's no oil to catch. "I think it is underneath the water. It's in between the bottom and the top of the water," Cepriano said.

Even the federal government admits that locating the oil has become a problem. "It is becoming a very elusive bunch of oil for us to find," said National Incident Cmdr. Thad Allen. The numbers don't lie: two weeks ago, skimmers picked up about 25,000 barrels of oily water. Last Thursday, they gathered just 200 barrels.

Still, it doesn't mean that all the oil that gushed for weeks is gone. Thousands of small oil patches remain below the surface, but experts say an astonishing amount has disappeared, reabsorbed into the environment.

"[It's] mother nature doing her job," said Ed Overton, a professor of environmental studies at Louisiana State University.

The light crude began to deteriorate the moment it escaped at high pressure, and then it was zapped with dispersants to speed the process along. The oil that did make it to the ocean's surface was broken up by 88-degree water, baked by 100-degree sun, eaten by microbes, and whipped apart by wind and waves.

Experts stress that even though there's less and less oil as time goes on, there's still plenty around the spill site. And in the long term, no one knows what the impact of those hundreds of millions of gallons will be, deep in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tim Flannery again fails to disclose his financial interest in Geothermia

From Andrew Bolt:

The Age chooses warming alarmist Tim Flannery as one of 10 “leading Australians” to lead “an informed debate about our future”. So Flannery writes:

I have long argued that we should develop a city in the Cooper Basin — a Geothermia — as a hub for minerals processing dependent entirely on clean renewable energy.

There are two things that, yet again, are missing from Flannery’s spruiking of geothermal power and this particular site. First, he is an investor in the geothermal test plant in the Cooper Basin, and, second, his plant has beencrippled by technological difficulties. As I noted when I interviewed him on MTR: 

Bolt: You’re an investor in geothermal technology , aren’t you?

Flannery: Yeah, I am. Indeed.

How come you don’t declare that.

Flannery: Well, I’ve just done it.

Bolt: You just did because I told you.  You said that geothermal , which you are in investor of, you’ve got a plant, you’ve invested in a plant in Innamincka and you said the technology was really easy. How come that plant....

Flannery: Not really that easy.

Bolt: Well, yes.  It’s actually had technological difficulties and it’s been delayed two years because it’s not that easy, after all, is it?

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Anti-vaccination fanatics in Australia

Pat McGorry slams Labor mental health plan #ausvotes

The Prime Minister's pledge to inject nearly $280 million into mental health and suicide prevention services has been slammed by experts who say the issue has been airbrushed over yet again.

Professor McGorry told The Australian he was “devastated' with today's announcement and believed Ms Gillard  was continuing to show “a lack of leadership”.

“John Mendoza and I handed the Prime Minister a clear blueprint that was endorsed by all in the mental health sector,” Professor McGorry said.

“But she just seems to have contacted the same old advisers and rolled out policy that really is just a drop in the ocean.”

...Tony Abbott last week announced a $1.5 billion boost to the sector, including 80 mental health treatment centres, with 60 serving young people.

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Kevin Rudd gets his revenge on Julia Gillard #ausvotes

I suppose Mr Rudd is now aware of just to what extent he is loathed and hated within the Labor Party, and may feel he's got nothing to lose from leaking damaging stories about Ms Gillard to Laurie Oakes. (Tee hee.)

The hypocrisy:

First, Nine’s Laurie Oakes (having a great campaign) reports that Gillard actually questioned the boost to aged care pensions she boasted about during the debate, saying in Cabinet that they were Coalition voters. She’s also said to have opposed in Cabinet Labor’s parental leave scheme.

The damage isn’t just in the embarrassment caused. It’s that Gillard is reminded again that she has enemies even at the Cabinet level prepared to harm her. Or should I say enemies who were in Cabinet with her until four weeks ago, and aren’t going quietly.

The rorting:
JULIA Gillard has been confronted by damaging allegations of pork-barrelling following a damning audit report…

The Australian National Audit Office found the government failed to follow its own guidelines for assessing grants when dishing out $550 million from the government’s Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program…

The outcome of the assessment process, administered by Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese, was that funding was skewed in favour of ALP and independent electorates.

Projects in ALP-held electorates were approved at a higher rate compared to those in Coalition-held electorates, when considered in terms of each party’s level of political representation in the House of Representatives, the level of applications from each electorate and the types of councils within those electorates that made the applications for funding…

The $800 million Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program was set up to fund “shovel-ready” projects that could provide an economic stimulus to local communities.

But the ANAO found that delays in rolling out the projects meant the spending did not provide the planned level of stimulus to the economy in the timeframe intended.
The Nine report:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard opposed a parental leave scheme and had concerns about a pension increase when she was Kevin Rudd’s deputy, a report says.

The Nine Network’s political journalist Laurie Oakes said he had leaked information from government sources supporting this assertion.

Ms Gillard reportedly opposed in cabinet the 18-week paid parental leave scheme set at the minimum wage, which is due to begin in January 2011.

“The idea that paid parental leave would be a political winner was misconstrued,” Ms Gillard was quoted as telling cabinet.

“People beyond child-bearing age would resent it as would stay-at-home mothers.”

Ms Gillard reportedly questioned the $30 a week increase for single pensioners, billed as the biggest rise in a century since the pension was introduced.

Government sources quoted in the report said that while Ms Gillard was not opposed to the pension increase, she questioned the $14 billion cost on the grounds “elderly voters did not support Labor”.
The response of Gillard’s campaign office included this deliberately deceitful “smear”, as Oakes described it on air:
If the Liberal Party have allegations to make, they should put their names to them.
Oakes brandished his piece of paper and said that Gillard would in fact know his source was much closer to home.

(Tee hee.)

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh, kill me now. You know that oil spill? It was the aliens that did it. No, seriously!

Ancient Pagan Gnostics sought to warn humans about “MCBs” or in other words “mechanically-controlled biological entities”. Specifically, ancient Pagan Gnostics apparently referred to MCBs as “artificial man”.

MCBs include entities which appear to be human, but in effect, act as receptacles for alien manipulation according to David Icke.

Michael Cremo in his book Human Devolution documented humans as having origins in a multi-dimensional elevated consciousness. Cremo suggests that humans have been “de-evolved” into a state of consciousness that can only consciously perceive linear time. This has made humans vulnerable to lower dimensional MCBs which can exist beyond human perceptions of linear time by means of “controlled human appearing entities”.

However, according to David Icke, MCBs which operate through “fake humans” with alien controlled minds can be discerned from the lack of empathy for the welfare of Earth’s spiritual-biological consciousness.

Read on, it only gets better:

Who lack "empathy for the welfare of Earth’s spiritual-biological consciousness?" Cripes, does this mean I'm one of these fake humans?

Hey ho, that's the way it goes I suppose.

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I wonder what the white middle class race-baiters will make of this?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Der Spiegel: Are Coral Islands Really Doomed?

The Maldives have become a symbol of the dangers of global warming, amid fears the low-lying nation could disappear as a result of rising sea levels. But one team of scientists believes the truth is more complicated. The Maldives coral islands, they postulate, may be growing with the rising waters.,1518,707884,00.html

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Channel 7 dredges up a joke Abbott made 30 years ago to shaft him on behalf of Labor

I will thank Channel 7 for one thing though.

It has proved my argument that the excuse lefties use when they can finally no longer deny that the ABC is hopelessly biased towards the Left, ie that this forms a "natural" balance to the conservative bias of the commercial media, is nothing more than delusional bullshit.

The media as a whole is, (and as I'm in a generous mood this morning let's extend the love to David Marr and his honest admission of this), overwhelmingly Left-wing in orientation and bias.

This is why Julia Gillard is given one free-pass after another while someone like Tony Abbott has the media forensically prosecuting the case as to why his physical fitness is somehow wrong and an reason to be against him.

Gillard has consistently lied about her past with the Socialist Forum and was the "other woman" that lead to the break up of Labor minister Craig Emerson's marriage. But what's the bet that Channel 7 will stay well clear of that little tit-bit?

What exactly did we do to deserve such a poor excuse for a media in this country? Just how badly are we served by these biased hacks dishing up idiotic non-stories as if they were important?
Briefly ignoring Julia Gillard command to “move forward”, Channel 7 - I suspect with Labor’s help - delves back to a joke Tony Abbott made nearly 30 years ago about Prince Charles having given a speech that was “about as much use as Linda Lovelace with her mouth closed”.

For “balance” it does include the briefest of references to Gillard “past as a hard-core Left-winger”, which is a bland way of describing her leadership of the Socialist Forum, which helped to recycle former Communist Party members into the Labor Party.

Worse, Channel 7 failure to note that Gillard was in fact telling a flagrant untruth in the one grab it showed of her explaining away that past:
I was 20 and 21.
In fact, Gillard was already 22 or 23 when the Socialist Forum was formed, and she wrote radical pamphlets for the Socialist Forum in her mid 20s . She remained a member until she was at least 40, according to her own parliamentary register of interests:
The parliamentary register of interests states Ms Gillard remained a member of Socialist Forum from 1998-2002, after which the group merged with the Fabian Society.

The Herald Sun has also seen a 1994 promotional flyer presenting her as a guest speaker at a Forum event. It describes her as a “member of the Socialist Forum Management Committee”.
She would then have been at least 32.

Previously Gillard has claimed she was merely the part-time typist for the Socialist Forum, which she in fact served as a member of its management committee.

I’d say Gillard;s pattern of deceit over her role in a radical Leftist group - a role that lasted until as recently as eight years ago - is of far greater importance than an inconsequential joke told by Abbott 28 years ago, and honestly confessed to.

But note that also gleefully jumping onto this story is the “moving forward” Age:
Note also the complete absence once more of any mention of Gillard’s own past.

This “report” seems the work of Labor’s muckrakers, trying to destroy Abbott’s female vote. Which has reader Andrew V wondering why it doesn’t cut both ways:
Even better, if these guys are gonna hammer Abbott for a thirty year joke, why don’t they investigate, as has been mentioned by readers of this blog a number of times, her relaionship with Craig Emerson, which resulted in him leaving his wife!?

Wanna turn women off Gillardine, imagine if they find out she was “The Other Woman”, someone which most women seem to despise. Indeed, it is damn near impossible to find any information about it, as I tried this search, and wasn’t able to find much on the details of the Emerson split! Why ignore that over Abbott’s joke?

This media has a lot to answer for!!

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Noel Pearson explains why 'Closing the Gap' is just another white middle-class wank doomed to failure

If we agree on anything we agree that the egregious position of indigenous Australians is intolerable and must be remedied. If it would be wrong to disagree with this intent, it is completely correct to have vigorous debate and disagreement about how this intent might be effected.

Closing the Gap as currently conceived does not have the philosophical and policy rigour to achieve its stated intent. The philosophy and policies falling under the rubric come from the traditionally dominant progressive centre and left of Australian thinking about policy towards the natives, and they are wrong.

It is time to make plain something which Australian liberals have been too long reticent to declare: there is no closing any gap without Adam Smith.

The rest here.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

ABC's bias on display for all to see

But this week, the first of the federal election campaign, some have questioned the way Kerry O'Brien -- one of the long-serving ABC old guard -- has handled two major interviews.

O'Brien interviewed Julia Gillard on day three of the campaign. He did not ask a single question about Building the Education Revolution, the multi-billion-dollar scheme to upgrade the nation's schools that has been plagued by waste and rorts, despite the fact that Gillard, before she became Prime Minister, was the education minister. He did not ask about the failed home insulation scheme, either. O'Brien did ask about the failed East Timor solution, putting the question this way: "You seemed to show inexperience in the way you handled your attempt to persuade East Timor to embrace a regional refugee centre for asylum-seekers. How do you persuade Australians that you're a safe pair of hands on all those very tricky foreign policy issues?"

You read the full article from The Australian here.

I know it's from 1996, but this recollection by a former ABC staffer does beautifully sum it all up:
"The reality is different. ABC newsrooms get very nervous when the Liberal Party looks a winning chance and they get angry when Liberal governments retain power.

"One classic example was the clarion call of 1996 when a flustered senior current affairs producer exhorted the troops to get stuck into the Libs because, 'we could lose this thing . . . Keating could lose'.

"Programs such as The 7.30 Report are built on a Labor culture of ALP for the workers (including struggling journos), and Kerry O'Brien didn't disappoint when he gave honeymooning PM Julia Gillard a nice run on Monday night."

And no children, this is not excusable because it 'balances' a pro-Coalition bias in the commercial media.

For one thing, the people who make the news there are by and large just as Left-wing and "progressive" as their fellow journalists at the ABC.

Anyone who doesn't think this bias shows in the commercial media is, to not put too fine a point on it, an idiot.

Either that or they don't watch the commercial channels and don't read newspapers.

The Fairfax media, publishers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, is overwhelmingly left of centre in its orientation.

Plus, some of the most nakedly anti-Coalition pieces I have seen on TV have been on the commercial channels. As I say, the world-view of most journalists is left of centre and it shows.

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On the meltdown at

UPDATE: LuboŇ° Motl finds some interesting tidbits about the state of science at Sb, see below the “Continue reading” line.

UPDATE2: PZ Myers ends his “strike” and flames me.

Many WUWT readers are familiar with some blogs that reside at Sb. For example there’s Wikipedia edit master, William Connolley’s “Stoat-taking Science by the throat“, Tim Lambert’s “Deltoid“,  and some others like the well known Pharyngula by the ever grouchy PZ. Myers. It’s all good fun to read.

But, now there’s quite an exodus occurring at the conglomerate.

More here.

Though I wouldn't describe P Z Myers as grouchy. Nasty, vicious and petty yes. Grouchy doesn't come close to capturing what a nasty piece of work he is.

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Explaining misconceptions on "The Greenhouse Effect"

From Watts Up With That?:

Guest post By Ben Herman and Roger A. Pielke Sr.

During the past several months there have been various, unpublished studies circulating around the blogosphere and elsewhere claiming that the “greenhouse effect” cannot warm the Earth’s atmosphere. We would like to briefly explain the arguments that have been put forth and why they are incorrect.  Two of the primary arguments that have been used are

  1. By virtue of the second law of  Thermodynamics, heat cannot be transferred from a colder to a warmer body, and
  2. Since solar energy is the basic source of all energy on Earth, if we do not change the amount of solar energy absorbed, we cannot change the effective radiating temperature of the Earth.

Both of the above statements are certainly true, but as we will show, the so-called  “greenhouse theory” does not violate either of these two statements. (we use quotation marks around the  words “greenhouse theory” to indicate that while this terminology has been generally adopted to explain the predicted warming with the addition of absorbing gases into the atmosphere, the actual process is quite a bit different from how a greenhouse heats).

The rest here.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Do we have the worst media in the world?

I am starting to wonder.

Been following today the latest "gotcha" moment in the media, ie the supposed ultra-embarrassment of Tony Abbott when he blundered into a fruit & veg shop run by a Vietnamese refugee.

You get it - he wants to stop the boats and who does his incompetent campaign, (which according to Channel 7 already has the wheels falling off of it after a couple of days), put him in front of? A boat person.

Oh how they laughed and tittered and guffawed. It gelled so, so perfectly with what your average Lefty member of the media so wanted to see.

Except for one tiny little problem.

Mr Tran, apart from saying he'll probably vote for Mr Abbott anyway, wasn't a boat person.

He fled from Vietnam to Indonesia, where he claimed asylum and then spent time in a camp waiting his turn to be accepted for resettlement in Australia.

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Green Britain faces blackouts and soaring electricity bills

*Bangs head on desk*

And there are still people who think "renewable" energy makes sense. Astounding.
BRITAIN faces years of blackouts and soaring electricity bills because of the drive toward green power, a leading energy expert warned last night.

A growing obsession with global warming and “renewable” sources threatens the stability of our supply.

Derek Birkett, a former Grid Control Engineer who has a lifetime’s experience in electricity supply throughout Britain, warned that the cost of the crisis could match that of the recent banking collapse.

And he claimed that renewable energy expectations were now nothing more than “dangerous illusions” which would hit consumers hard in the pocket.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Climate scientist writes "my global warming skepticism, for dummies"

Even a $40 per tonne carbon tax would double the cost of power

Slowest July Arctic Melt Ever

The NOAA is taking the liberty of declaring 2010 the hottest ever, even though it’s only July! So what’s all the hurry? Well, you have to get them scary global-hotting headlines out while you can, and any way you can. When you’re desperate - you’re desperate.

They’ve seen their own forecasts for the rest of the year, and so they know it’s their last chance. Just check the leading climatic indicators on my homepage and you’ll see why.

Now on Arctic sea ice, allow me to use the same NOAA “scientific” method and declare that the Arctic has experienced the slowest July ice melt ever! (Well, at least so far).

Look at the ice melts from June 30 – July 15 for the following years, taken from AMSR-E.

Sea ice melt

Year 6/30 to 7/15 ......... Daily rate

2002 1.126 million sq km 75,000 sq km / day
2003 1.014 ................ 67,000
2004 1.019 ................ 68,000
2005 1.152 ................ 77,000
2006 1.210 ................ 80,000
2007 1.742 ................ 116,000
2008 1.216 ................ 81,000
2009 1.413 ................ 94,000
2010 0.807 ................ 54,000

Never has ice melted so slowly in mid summer as it has this year. Indeed sea ice melt in July 2010 is less than half the melt rate in 2007. It’s far below anything we’ve seen on record. Would the NOAA already call it a record low melt for the month?

And as Lubos Motl pointed out 3 days ago here, total global sea ice is above normal. Also see here. Indeed sea ice is rebounding, and surprisingly just at a time when it’s supposively the “hottest ever”. Someone is wrong, obviously.

Do you think anyone in the media is going to run this story?


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New Scientist on the #Climategate enquiries - "Incredibly, none looked at the quality of the science itself"

This is a week of extremes in quotes about climate. On one end of the scale we have professor Steven Schneider with a set of quotes so beyond the absurd, that he now has his own “jumping the shark” TV sitcom moment.

On the other end, we have the New Scientist,  shocking warmists and skeptics alike with some hardcore doubt about the outcome of the Muir-Russell and other Climategate inquiries. They write:
But what happened to intellectual candour – especially in conceding the shortcomings of these inquiries and discussing the way that science is done. Without candour, public trust in climate science cannot be restored, nor should it be.
Russell’s team left other stones unturned. They decided against detailed analysis of all the emails in the public domain. They examined just three instances of possible abuse of peer review, and just two cases when CRU researchers may have abused their roles as authors of IPCC reports. There were others. They have not studied hundreds of thousands more unpublished emails from the CRU. Surely openness would require their release.

All this, plus the failure to investigate whether emails were deleted to prevent their release under freedom of information laws, makes it harder to accept Russell’s conclusion that the “rigour and honesty” of the scientists concerned “are not in doubt”.
Full article here at The New Scientist

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Old Spice in the library

And so it continues. This is a very good take-off though.

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Low vitamin D levels 'increases risk of Parkinson's'. Or do they?

Chicago Climate Exchange flatlining - even at only 10 cents a ton, nobody is buying

Kids can now buy Carbon Credits at the museum from the flatlining Chicago Climate Exchange, which Gore and Pachauri are advisers for.

They may as well just throw their money down the toilet as CCX is now in EPIC FAIL mode. Sure, take money from the kids, why not?

The months of flatlining at the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) should be a hint to the rest of the world that carbon trading is dead. Time to take it off life support. Even at 10 cents a ton, nobody wants it. At it’s peak in July 2008, it traded for $7.50 per ton of CO2.

Chicago Climate Exchange close on June 30th, 2010 – click for source
See who is on the CCX advisory board here

Watts Up With That?

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Oh right, I get it, CO2 only makes the bad & naughty plants grow!

From the Chicago Field Museum Climate Exhibit: CO2 makes Poison Ivy grow. Yes, but what about the millions of other plants in the biosphere that is booming? What about agriculture? I really resent this sort of one sided presentation foisted on children that won’t know any better.

Dear oh dear. The rest here.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Public health scare campaigns do not help obese, research finds

We really need to have another look at all the public health "experts" and activists and reassess whether or not they are actually doing more harm than good.

Not talking about doctors or nurses, but the various academic departments set up to promote public health and outfits like Healthways here in Western Australia or the several organisations set up to "advocate" for assoted diseases and maladies.

The trouble is, in my view, that these people and bodies become institutionalised. That is, they take on an institutional life of their own and protecting this and the benefits it brings them, (think about all the community groups for a moment - they all have at least one person on a substantial salary, as well as other paid staff), becomes increasingly the driver of their actions.

You can see this with the Cancer Council now peddling very dubious claims about diet and cancer. The evidence may be weak, but it keeps them in the public relations competition as they compete for money from governments and the general public, (which of course is necessary to pay the CEO and several managers, provide cars for them etc etc).

It also explains why here in Australia these groups insist on pushing for the introduction of nanny-state measures designed to force people to be 'virtuous,' whether they want to be or not, such as the traffic light code system for food or restricting what is sold at school tuckshops, despite the fact that all of them have already been tried overseas and failed.

And nowhere more than with diet and fat is this nannyish need to engage in a moral crusade against latterday "sin" seen at its proscriptive and hysterical worst.

Nothing short of surgery or North Korea will keep the fat off a fatty for long. It's pissing into the wind to try

PUBLIC health campaigns warning of the dangers of obesity demonised fat people and did nothing to help them lose weight, research has found.

Interviews with 142 obese adults found many felt stigmatised, shamed and blamed by government health campaigns, according to a Monash University study led by health sociologist Dr Samantha Thomas.

The Cancer Council's ad linking increased waist size with a greater cancer risk was particularly disliked, Dr Thomas said. Positive campaigns, such Go For Your Life, which encouraged physical activity and healthy eating, were better received, the Herald Sun reports.

"The public health campaigns that people feel are stigmatising are often based on personal blame, personal responsibility and the assumption that if you tell people enough to lose weight, they will," Dr Thomas said.

"Unfortunately for most obese people, that just isn't the case. The causes of obesity are really complex and are not necessarily due to people being lazy, inactive and eating the wrong foods."

Scare campaigns simply didn't work.

"They have not shown to be effective in reducing the prevalence or the level of obesity," she said.

Lilydale mother Elizabeth Sutherland, who was not involved in the study but readily concedes she is overweight, agreed with the study's results.

"The problem is that the campaigns stigmatise people," she said. "You are made to feel guilty about something that is already quite difficult - it can be quite hard living as a fat person in the community."

Dr Thomas said such campaigns often reinforced the public perception that all overweight people were unhealthy: "They are based on the assumption that all people who are fat have, or will have, health problems, and that they will be a burden on the health system, which just isn't always the case."

But Craig Sinclair, director of the Cancer Prevention Centre at Cancer Council Victoria, defended the campaigns.

"We know that many people do not properly understand these risks, so we have an obligation to raise awareness of the strong link between cancer and obesity," he said.

Dr Thomas said the diet industry benefited from "scary" health messages.

"Research has shown 95 per cent of people who go on a commercial diet will regain the weight," she said. "There is also research showing the continual cycle of losing and regaining weight is actually more dangerous and damaging for people's health."

The Monash study findings are published in BioMed Central's open-access journal BMC Public Health.


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A newspaper at war with itself over #Climategate

Okay, I admit it, that's talking things up a bit, but here we have both sides of the debate in what is essentially the same newspaper.

There now seems to be a trenchcoat war brewing between journalists over the Climategate whitewashes and the recent “blacklist”. For example, the WSJ recently ran a story on the folly of the Muir-Russell inquiry, and is being lambasted for taking a stand on the skeptical side. One journalistic camp accepts the blacklist and inquiry decision without question, the other camp sees through it and questions why such basic things as why the inquiries never talked to the plaintiffs (skeptics) and why climate activists need such a list at all except to isolate people.

One such war of words is taking place in an unlikely place ; on the pages of the Financial Post in Canada.

Two columns, two opinions. One in my opinion, ugly, the other matter of fact. You be the judge for yourselves which is which.

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