|Mr Bolt reports:|
The important point here is uncertainty.
While the UN and the IPCC assume that climate feedbacks are positive, ie that the responses within the climate system to increasing carbon dioxide will have the net effect of making any warming worse, the reality is that we just don't know if this is true or not, and here we have an example where the system changes to possibly mitigate against any warming effect.
However, a knowledge of geological history should have prepared people for this. We know that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been greater in the past without causing the kind of doomsday outcomes the Greens keep droning on and on about, so we should expect that the dynamic responses of the system will probably tend towards returning it to a reasonable equilibrium.
Friday, February 25, 2011
(Bill Leak's devastating cartoon from this morning's Weekend Australian.)Terry McCrann points to the irreconcilable contradiction that lies at the heart of JuLiar Gillard's "national suicide pledge" to introduce two new taxes and drive up the cost of everything.
The proposed resources rent tax, (not in itself necessarily a bad idea), is based upon the assumption that the Chinese and Indian economies will continue to grow at their current breakneck speeds for the foreseeable future, and thus save the government's bottom line.
That is, they will continue to suck in the resources we mine, including coal, and continue to emit more and more carbon dioxide.
China is of course already now the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide and this is set only to grow in coming years.
Oh, but what's that I hear you say? China says it is embracing the wonderful fluffy future by setting the kind of renewable energy targets that will make dolphins sing and cuddly polar bears leap for joy, while we'll have the flying cars and floating cities we were promised all powered by nothing more than the sun's love?
Wind farms and solar panels are the window dressing hung on all this to make it look pretty. Nothing more.
And then there is India closely following behind.
Now, the upshot of all this is the fact that any reductions we make to the tiny 1.5% of global emissions that we produce are going to be completely dwarfed by the increases in global emissions made just by China and India, (let alone the rest of Asia and other parts of the world with growing economies).
(And if you honestly think the world is waiting with bated breath to see what Australia does, to then follow our lead, then you aren't a sucker, you are a fool.)
So, what's the point of setting out on a course of action whose only practical outcome will be to drive up the cost of everything we buy, either directly or indirectly, but which will have no environmental outcome at all?
Why is JuLiar all of a sudden a convert to taking action on climate change when, as Laurie Oakes observes, "just 10 months ago Gillard was demanding then prime minister Kevin Rudd shelve plans for an ETS. So strident was she on the issue that Rudd, according to a source close to him at the time, worried that she might actually “leave the show”?"
I suspect JuLiar doesn't really hold especially strong views on climate change, but she does know a political problem when she sees one, and she knows that one of Labor's biggest problems at the moment is the perception that it doesn't believe in anything or stand for anything.
Cue the return of the "greatest moral challenge of our time."
(And if you want a bit of a primer on just how differently the media treats one side of politics compared to the other, just go here and here and here.)
Finally, surely I'm not the only one worried that this bunch of clowns is "running" the country?
Thursday, February 24, 2011
|Even Richard Farmer from the very left-leaning Crikey.com.au is appalled at the way Julia Gillard has gone back on what she said to the Australian people during the last federal election campaign.|
Here's the video:
Though very quickly on Twitter the excuse was 'well, John Howard said there'd never be a GST, and then he introduced it.'
Which is fine, except for one little point.
Howard, once he'd decided to try again to introduce a GST first took the proposal to the people at a general election. He staked his political survival on winning that election, and thus gaining a mandate, before introducing it.
He didn't say during that election campaign he wouldn't introduce a goods and services tax, only to do so once returned as the prime minister.
Unlike Ms Gillard and her carbon tax.
And I'll pose the question here I've previously put to the Greens, only to be fobbed off: by how much will this measure, which by its very nature will drive up the cost of just about everything, reduce the average global temperature?
Friday, February 18, 2011
|It seems Sharon Begley can be rational when she wants to be.|
If she could apply a similar degree of healthy and appropriate scepticism to her climate change reporting, I'd be very pleased.
It appears a lot of medical research suffers from the same problem that a lot of climate research suffers from, ie "stasticulation" - the use of inappropriate statistical methods to arrive at, at best, erroneous conclusions or, at worst, contrived ones.
In climate science, the now infamous Hockey Stick is possibly the most egregious example.
And where would we be without epidemiology? For one thing, we'd have far fewer bullshit "health" stories in the papers and on the nightly news:
Which is of course what certain people have been banging on about for years.
Even the case against second-hand cigarette smoke, (but not smoking itself), is based upon some pretty dodgy epidemiological studies with quite weak findings.
But this isn't about anti-science. It isn't an endorsement of rubbish like so-called complimentary or alternative therapies which either basically don't work or end up making you sicker.
And don't get me started on the anti-oxidant religion.
It is however about the proper application of the scientific method, but with an understanding that our knowledge is always contingent and partial.
Our minds should always be open to the possibility that, despite our best efforts, we can still be wrong and that we still have things to learn.
Yet another reason to be sceptical about the "science is settled" crowd, wherever we find them.
Keep in mind though, these reassessments aren't coming from fringe alternative medicine crackpots, but from men and women schooled in the scientific method and applying its most powerful insights.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Archbishop Cranmer queries as to whether or not the BBC's Michael Buerk did compare climate sceptics to paedophiles
Initially, His Grace was persuaded by Bishop Hill's indignation at the inflammatory juxtaposition of multiculturalist sceptics and anthropogenic climate-change deniers with paedophiles. But, having reflected (and having read some of Mr Buerk's other pronouncements on the BBC), it is evident that he is actually criticising those who propagate absolutist dogma and hold to an unquestionable creed.
The rest of His Grace's rumination is here.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Part of Mark Riley's defense of his nakedly biased attempt to 'get' the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in Australia, has been to claim that there was no imputation made about Abbott's "shit happens" comment in Afghanistan.
The above picture shows this is a lie.
|Two within a fortnight of each other.|
So those wanting to jump on the climate change bandwagon may want to be cautious.
Maybe also cautious about media tropes like "one-in-a-hundred."
Is the climate "changing" for Queensland, or is it more a case of it going back to what it used to be?
The basic answer is that we really just don't know.
NASA's Hansen produces warming in January that the satellites didn't see, but still below Scenario C
|Steven Goddard has it here.|
I don't think Paul is my favourite palaeoartist, but he is very, very good.
A developmental phase shift moved digits 1, 2 and 3 of the dinosaurian hand to positions 2, 3 and 4 in birds
Some say it's the last holdout for a handful of scientists still not convinced that birds evolved from dinosaurs. The fingers of the two groups of animals, they say, just don't match up. As embryos, birds seem to develop the equivalent of our middle three fingers, but theropods—two-legged, primarily carnivorous dinosaurs from which birds are thought to have evolved—sport the equivalent of our thumb, index, and middle fingers. Now, a study of chick embryos shows thatbirds do indeed have thumb, index, and middle "fingers" in their wings.
The rest here.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
What this inherent uncertainty -- perhaps better characterized as inherent ignorance -- means of course is that strategies of robust decision making make good sense. That is to say, with respect to preparing for future extreme events, we should emphasize those strategies that are insensitive to uncertainties. Perhaps the most robust finding of each of these studies (and the broader literature) is that future damages will increase regardless of the the effects of human-caused climate change. Thus, improving adaptive capacity is a no-regrets course of action.
The rest here.