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TO HELL WITH SCIENCE, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND HUMAN CONSEQUENCES September 17, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, CLIMATE CHANGE.
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Today, the new Federal Government will be sworn into office. Yesterday, Tony Abbott announced his Cabinet and Ministry.

Australia, we are told, will be open for business. Hold onto the furniture, including the ergonomic office chairs. Science and climate change were not considered significant enough to warrant designated ministers. Way to go.

One can only imagine how the Infrastructure Prime Minister is going to travel without climate modelling, and what waste that might entail. We now have fully fledged climate change denial in office, and nobody to say the model will not fly.

{The following is a bit of a mishmash of articles.  Scan through for anything that may be of interest, or perhaps you missed.)

There is a case against Global Warming, which is not to say it is a case against role of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and other Greenhouse Gases play in fundamental system change.

Mike Adams writing at Natural News, who has a scientific background, argues, among other points, the conspiracy theory and the notion that the computer modelling is flawed. He points out the BBC reported that the Artic would be ice free by 2013, and the opposite happened, the ice cap expanded.

He writes (in fairness these are quotes from an argument, that includes polar bears):

In truth, global warming has never been a scientific argument from the get-go. It has always been — and always will be — a political argument dressed up in the language of science.

For political reasons that have nothing to do with science or reality, certain globalist operatives needed to convince the world’s populations that doomsday was coming if they didn’t reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But in order to pull this off, these operatives first needed to demonize carbon dioxide, the single most important nutrient on the planet for reforestation, plant growth, food production and “greening” the planet.

Then:

Now that the global warming hoax has been utterly discredited, you have to ask how the scientists were so terribly wrong about it all along.

If you discount for a moment the idea that they were all just lying about it, you have to conclude that their computer models used to predict the effects of rising CO2 levels are wildly inaccurate. Computer models are, of course, attempts by scientists to guess how changes in certain variables might impact outcomes.

But these models are based on guesses that may or may not reflect reality. After all, your local TV weatherman uses incredibly advanced modeling technology but can barely tell you with any degree of accuracy whether it’s going to rain tomorrow. What makes anyone think similar computer models can accurately predict global temperature changes over the next century?

The Daily Mail is reporting US climate expert Professor Judith Curry as saying “In fact, the uncertainty is getting bigger. It’s now clear the models are way too sensitive to carbon dioxide. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence level.”

To me these assertions are not persuasive arguments, but interesting nonetheless, particularly the comment by Professor Curry. There has been questions raised over the new government’s “direct action plan”. For myself I have not a clue what it means in practice. In 2010, Tony Abbott was adamant that the Carbon Tax would be repealed. He said:

Should the Coalition win the next election, the carbon tax repeal process will be the first thing I do. There is no mystery to this. Essentially, all that it requires is the passage of the repeal bill through the parliament. After all, what is done by legislation can be undone by legislation.

I don’t expect the Greens to support repealing the carbon tax. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine the Labor Party, beaten in an election that’s a referendum on the carbon tax, committing suicide twice by resisting the new government’s mandate.

If they do, there is a constitutional procedure designed for just this eventuality. It’s called a double dissolution. I would not hesitate to seek a second mandate to repeal this toxic tax. Indeed, it would be my duty to do so.

So the possibility exists that the newly elected Senators may not get a chance to take their places in the Senate. I doubt this threat will be put into action.

Both Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt have observed that the demand for electricity is inelastic. I imagine they are probably right. But, they do not seem to take into account the opportunity to switch to alternatives, such as solar panels. Tony Abbott has also said that coal represents a cheap source of energy, and is a comparative advantage for Australia. ABC News found that Greg Hunt had quoted the CSIRO correctly without the qualifications.

Prior to the Election, Ben Eltham predicted:

. . . Claiming a mandate on carbon is a handy tactic that will allow Abbott and his cheerleaders in the Murdoch tabloids to argue that the question of carbon pricing has been settled, and that Labor is on the wrong side of history.

In fact, precisely the opposite is true. Carbon policy is not settled, and Labor is right to claim it will stick to its guns in opposition. Climate change is real and worsening, with the IPCC’s Rajendra Pachauri recently telling the world we are at “five minutes to midnight” when it comes to saving the planet. An Australian government that walked away from its binding 5 per cent target on reducing emissions would be a huge symbolic blow to international action. In the meantime, the sophisticated infrastructure that Labor has painstakingly built on carbon – the Climate Commission, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, even the Department of Climate Change itself – will be dismantled. The war against carbon will even spill over into academia, with reports today that the Coalition would start vetting Australian Research Council grants to make sure they weren’t wasted on research on public art and climate change, to take one very specific example.

Richard Kingsford observed in The Sydney Morning Herald, “Clueless and Careless about the Environment”:

There is a yawning gap between scientific understanding of our environment and public policy, and it is not just confined to climate change, where long-term benefits of effective policy are a casualty to debate about short-term costs.

Part of the problem may be the relatively poor representation of science in the halls of power.

I examined the background of all 820 or so politicians in our federal, state and territory governments, and of those with a degree – just over half of them – nearly 80 per cent have an arts, economics or law degree. Only about 5 per cent of all politicians have a science degree.

This pattern was reflected in cabinet and shadow cabinets – only one environment minister possesses a science degree.

Environmental issues are increasingly complex, requiring understanding of the long-term trade-offs between development and environmental sustainability. Even experienced conservation scientists find these problems challenging. How well do the backgrounds of our politicians equip them to decide the future of our environment?

I found this article from The Conversation, ” Study Offers Clues on 20th Century Global Warming Wobbles” particularly interesting:

The amount of solar radiation passing through Earth’s atmosphere and reaching the ground globally peaked in the 1930s, substantially decreased from the 1940s to the 1970s, and changed little after that, a new study has found.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that “neither the rapid increase in temperature from the 1970s through the 1990s nor the slowdown of warming in the early 21st century appear to be significantly related to changes of Rs (solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface)”.

The new finding may help explain variations in warming during the 20th century. The authors showed that, while aerosols and clouds did play some role in temperature variations, they did not have a major effect on global mean land temperatures after 1985.

The authors, Kaicun Wang from Beijing Normal University and Robert E. Dickinson from the University of Texas at Austin, compiled a global data set of daily temperatures from the 1900s and through to 2010.

They analysed the relationship between the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth and diurnal temperature range (the daily temperature variations that occur as day turns into night).

The authors of the study said that “the overall increase of global temperature over the last century has been largely attributable to the increase of greenhouse gases. Less well understood are the reasons for the variability of this increase on a decadal time scale… However, global temperatures do not appear to be significantly affected by changing Rs (solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface).”

The IPCC report has been discredited in the eyes of some, even before it has been released. In the context of electing a climate change denying government that intends to do with either a Carbon Tax or Emissions Trading, which has the potential to create the use of alternative technology as reduce emissions, its’ warming is stark. Kiley Krow at Climate Progress reported:

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which Pachuari heads, is slated to release its long-awaited Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) later this month. Drafts of the report seen by Reuters point to an even greater certainty that humans are the primary drivers of global warming, “It is at least 95 percent likely that human activities — chiefly the burning of fossil fuels — are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.” This is up from 90 percent in the 2007 report, 66 percent in 2001 and just over 50 percent in 1995, “steadily squeezing out the arguments by a small minority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame.”
Other leaks suggest the report will address the coming threat of sea-level rise and refute recent claims of a slowdown in the pace of warming, a notion that has been seized upon by climate change skeptics.
However, as Joe Romm explains, IPCC reports can only be considered a partial assessment of the true magnitude of climate change impacts because they represent “an instantly out-of-date snapshot that lowballs future warming because it continues to ignore large parts of the recent literature and omit what it can’t model.”
AR5′s shortcomings aside, Pachuari is clear that governments worldwide can no longer defer their responsibility to address climate change. He told the crowd on Monday that reining in greenhouse-gas emissions was still possible if countries, including in the developing world, rethought their approach to economic growth, reported Agence-France Press — a shift that would boost energy security, cut pollution and improve health, and also offer new job opportunities.
“We cannot isolate ourselves from anything that happens in any part of this planet. It will affect all of us in some way or the other,” Pachauri said.

Ben Cubby wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald prior to the election:

If you flip a coin 342 times and it lands on nothing but tails, common sense suggests there might be something other than pure chance at play.

The same common sense doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to developing policies to tackle climate change.

The world has just experienced its 342nd consecutive month of hotter-than-average temperatures, according to data collected by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That’s a run of more than 28 years.

And Australia has just had its warmest 12 months since modern records began – which is stunningly unusual, given we’ve just experienced a double-dip La Nina cycle, meaning it should now be cooler than average, not hotter than ever.

Yet Australia is on the cusp of dismantling much of its climate change policy infrastructure, shrinking the roles of some of its key scientists and advisers, and plunging the nation into a further round of bickering over global warming.

For all its many, many faults and missteps in climate policy over the past six years, Labor has finally put in place a suite of reforms that can meet Australia’s international pledges, start the job of steeling the nation against future climate-related shocks, and position us to take advantage of opportunities in solar and wind energy. In the emissions trading scheme, it has also built the mechanism to control Australia’s greenhouse gas output as required.

The Coalition has spent the past six years insisting that it would respect Australia’s bipartisan minimum commitments on greenhouse gas cuts.

The main selling point of its Direct Action plan was always that it could allegedly do the same job as the government’s carbon price – cut emissions to 5 per cent below their 2000 level by 2020 – but do it more cheaply.

Now, with an election win all but assured, Tony Abbott has casually suggested that it might not in fact be able to do the job.

Mark Karlin wrote at Truthout:

Jeff Goodell, author of the Rolling Stone article observes “But perhaps the most significant thing about the new IPCC report is not the scientific findings. It’s that the release of the report may actually mark the beginning of a new phase of the climate wars – one in which scientists and activists learn to fight back.”

That is good news for a planet that is crowded with people regarded as marketing targets more than humans by an industrial economy that is driven by the assumption that happiness and economic well-being are driven by ever-expanding consumption.

There used to be, many decades ago, a high-profile movement known as Zero Population Growth (ZPG) which achieved prominence for advocating that the ability of the earth to sustain limitless population growth was — well — limited.

Explosive population growth combined with the ongoing triumph of the vulture industrial sector behemoths in delaying action on reversing climate change have created the perfect storm of impending disaster.

Taking a bleak view, Goodall ends his article with this comment:

In a more rational world, of course, we wouldn’t need any more IPCC assessments. We would have listened to the scientists, built a global consensus and forged international agreements to reduce carbon pollution and head off the risk of climate catastrophe. But in the 25 years since the IPCC was formed, global carbon pollution is rising faster than ever. Future readers may view IPCC reports not as landmarks of scientific inquiry, but as suicide notes from a lost civilization.

Let us hope that we can manage to become “a more rational world.”

The focus on Climate Change has been how it affects Australia, while ignoring what is happening in the rest of the world, especially among the poorest people. Cruelty and indifference might be similar to the consensus of the major parties on refugees and asylum seekers. Global Humanitarian Forum identifies, “The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis”:

The findings of the report indicate that every year climate change leaves over 300,000 people
dead, 325 million people seriously affected, and economic losses of US$125 billion. Four billion
people are vulnerable, and 500 million people are at extreme risk. These figures represent averages
based on projected trends over many years and carry a significant margin of error. The real numbers
could be lower or higher. The different figures are each explained in more detail and in context in
the relevant sections of the report. Detailed information describing how these figures have been
calculated is also included in the respective sections and in the end matter of the report.

These already alarming figures may prove too conservative. Weather-related disasters alone
cause significant economic losses. Over the past five years this toll has gone as high as $230 billion,
with several years around $100 billion and a single year around $50 billion. Such disasters have
increased in frequency and severity over the past 30 years in part due to climate change. Over and
above these cost are impacts on health, water supply and other shocks not taken into account.
Some would say that the worst years are not representative and they may not be. But scientists
expect that years like these will be repeated more often in the near future.

Ken Davis, Professor of Meteorology takes up the issue of the ethical implications of climate change:

We might take time out to contemplate this situation.

Comments»

1. cartoonmick - September 17, 2013

Climate change, who is to blame, why is it so, please explain, and so, just like a game of table tennis, the “facts(?)” are tossed backwards and forwards until we (in the middle) go dizzy with exhaustion.

Who is right and by how much?

Maybe this short post will explain all which needs explaining about climate sceptics . . . . . .

http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/the-final-chapter/

Cheers

Mick

2. wmmbb - September 17, 2013

Good luck Mick.


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