Home » Australian Politics » UN seats, table games and hills of beans

UN seats, table games and hills of beans

So we have won a temporary seat on the  UN security council, pardon me if I don’t do leaps  of joy at this news. As a younger man I really believed that the UN was an thing  of virtue but as i have got older I question its value more and more as its efforts to create and  maintain peace seem more and more futile and ineffectual. Thus I find myself thinking that this whole seat at the big table project from Brother Number (once was) One to be little more than a vanity project from Labor.  Does anyone want to make book on how this “achievement” will be spun? My guess is that Labor will be running ads (or at least running talking points) to the effect That only Labor has worked tirelessly to make Australia take its rightful place in  global politics and that evil Tony Abbott would have us forever amongst the unengaged global rabble…

Can you forgive my cynicism that the whole thing is “much ado about nothing”?

Our place in the world is cemented not by the empty  pretensions of the UN but by the way that we govern our nation domestically, the good governance of both our business and public institutions  and the way that we relate to our trading partners and our neighbors with fairness and equity. Playing table games with the great and powerful players at the UN don’t amount to a hill of beans in this old world …

Cheers Comrades

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39 Comments

  1. deknarf says:

    Surprised you don’t take more of a world view Iain. But then again, that’s a Right conservative way of thinking! ‘Rather be in the tent, pissing out, than out of the tent pissing in!’ comes to mind. Who cares who got us there — at least we are up playing with the big boys and not in the kiddies sandpit with accumulated cat poo! We’ll be heard on the important matters in the Security Council. If you want to be a player on the world stage then it’s a wise move to at least tread the boards!

  2. Iain Hall says:

    deknarf
    I do take a world view but that world view does not include believing that the UN is a net asset for world peace. In fact I would argue that the UN has often prolonged conflicts by forcing ceasefires and “humanitarian aid” interventions which just delays or eternally postpones a real resolution of the conflicts in question. You see I’m old fashioned enough to think taht not every conflict can be resolved by negotiation (Israel/ Palestine being a case in point) and sometimes you just have to let the combatants fight it out until one side is utterly defeated (think of Sri Lanka).

    As for “playing with the big boys” I predict that the net result will be SFA

  3. deknarf says:

    Hmm! The Hutu and the Tutsi’s was a good example of letting them fight it out. Left a lot of Tutsi’s brutally murdered — genocide comes to mind. Sri Lanka? Oh Yeh. That was where the Sinhalese bombed and blasted the crap out of all the Tamils wasn’t it? Hmm, genocide comes to mind again. Isn’t there a lot of Tamils now trying to get to Australia as refugees? That wasn’t a particularly good outcome I would have thought for the conservatives amongst us.
    It may not be super effective, and it may be bureaucratic, and it may sometimes act slowly, but it’s the best we’ve got. If Australia can make a difference then I’m all for it! But, given the NO Coalition attitude to having a seat, and the tragic possibility that they may very well be the government this time next year, I suspect your right, the net result will be SFA under a Coalition government.

  4. Craigy says:

    It’s been a bad few weeks for Wingnuts Iain. I know you, Tony, Andrew and Alan are all creaming your pants at the thought of a Coalition victory next year, but since the recent poll that had the major parties at 50/50, you must be very worried that your wet dream is going to stay just that. On top of that, the success of Juila’s take down of the tactless Abbott must have had all your extremist friends crying into their pillows.

    Now we have another win for the ALP, with Bob Carr, Julia and Rudd managing to do what Howard could not, by gaining broad support from the international community. And with this victory, turning around some of the damage done by those failed conservative ratbags.

    On top of that we now have evidence that the carbon price has actually reduced emissions. Boy that must hurt Iain, with all your support for Bolt’s trashy typing.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/data-point/power-pollution-plunges-20121017-27rn9.html

    So the ‘carbon price will make no difference to emissions’ lie you swallowed was a crock. Who would have thunk it!

    Time to change tack or move the goal posts so you can still argue against the good Government we now have……you can begin in 5,4,3,2,1……off you go!

  5. Brian says:

    You see I’m old fashioned enough to think taht not every conflict can be resolved by negotiation (Israel/ Palestine being a case in point) and sometimes you just have to let the combatants fight it out until one side is utterly defeated (think of Sri Lanka).

    Not all conflicts can be resolved by negotiation. But some that cannot can be resolved by external pressure, regional partners, sanctions, embargos, the withdrawal of aid and (finally) military intervention. And those things are best decided by the UN.

    Look, the UN is a fairly toothless and ineffective body, chiefly because the superpowers (US, Russia and China) tend to ignore it and do as they please. But that does not mean it is entirely useless for conflict resolution. Some dangerous situations have been brought to heel by the UN. To argue that conflicts should just play themselves out until one side or the other is defeated and wiped out is just silly and shows a disregard for the human suffering created by these wars.

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    Would it have been worth ‘a hill of beans’ if we’d missed out, Iain? What would you and Tony make of it then? :”Incompetent ALP Govt loses important vote for Oz” or something like that is my guess.

  7. Richard Ryan says:

    Still cheaper in dollars sense getting a say in the UN —–compared to the the war games we are playing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Poor Howard missed his chance to secure the job on the ICC—some say he wanted to put the cricket players on “WorkChoices”

  8. Brian says:

    Would it have been worth ‘a hill of beans’ if we’d missed out, Iain? What would you and Tony make of it then?

    Or the reverse… what if we’d got it under the last Coalition government? Iain and his right winger mates here would have been hailing it as a sign of Howard’s statesmanship and Alexander Downer’s brilliant foreign policy leadership.

    The problem with some wingnuts is that they just can’t bring themselves to acknowledge when the other side does something right. They’d rather obfuscate or nit pick or make out that it’s of no great significance.

  9. Craig says:

    The UN will only last as long as other peoples money keeps pouring into it, which is the current status quo, of the global economic construct.

    Remember, “Love locally, and hate globally.”.
    :-)

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Richard

    Still cheaper in dollars sense getting a say in the UN —–compared to the the war games we are playing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Poor Howard missed his chance to secure the job on the ICC—some say he wanted to put the cricket players on “WorkChoices”

    Well i would argue that the that the way that the UN strings out the resolution of all of the conflicts taht it gets involved with actaully add to the sum total of human misery rather than lkessening it.

    Ray Dixon

    Would it have been worth ‘a hill of beans’ if we’d missed out, Iain? What would you and Tony make of it then? :”Incompetent ALP Govt loses important vote for Oz” or something like that is my guess.

    Well I suppose you could argue that atleastb we got something for the 25 millions in backshesh we coughed up to but that seat but I still reckon that its of little value in the greater scheme of things

    Brian

    You see I’m old fashioned enough to think taht not every conflict can be resolved by negotiation (Israel/ Palestine being a case in point) and sometimes you just have to let the combatants fight it out until one side is utterly defeated (think of Sri Lanka).

    Not all conflicts can be resolved by negotiation. But some that cannot can be resolved by external pressure, regional partners, sanctions, embargos, the withdrawal of aid and (finally) military intervention. And those things are best decided by the UN.

    Really? look over all of the conflicts in which the UN have intervened and ask yourself a couple of things, firstly is the conflict actually resolved or is it just ion a long term hiatais? (how about Keora? the UN have been watching the ceasefire for what sixty years? Secondly you cite sanctions but I can’t help but think of the way the minions of teh left were denouncing them in the case of Iraq and as for miltary action what a can of owrms that is!

    Look, the UN is a fairly toothless and ineffective body, chiefly because the superpowers (US, Russia and China) tend to ignore it and do as they please. But that does not mean it is entirely useless for conflict resolution. Some dangerous situations have been brought to heel by the UN.

    Please name the dangerious sitiations that have been “brought to heel” because I am having trouble thinking of where that happened ofr if it happened at all.

    To argue that conflicts should just play themselves out until one side or the other is defeated and wiped out is just silly and shows a disregard for the human suffering created by these wars.

    Did you miss the word “sometimes” in my comment Brian?

    Craigy

    It’s been a bad few weeks for Wingnuts Iain. I know you, Tony, Andrew and Alan are all creaming your pants at the thought of a Coalition victory next year, but since the recent poll that had the major parties at 50/50, you must be very worried that your wet dream is going to stay just that. On top of that, the success of Juila’s take down of the tactless Abbott must have had all your extremist friends crying into their pillows.

    Opinion now seems to be that the Poll that you mention was a “rogue” and Labor remain unelectable, As for Julia’s rant it may have invigorated the usual suspects but it clearly alienated more men than the women (and latte sippers) than that have been cheering, Of more note is her pratfall in India and how silly she looked in a bulletproof vest on that “surprise visit to Afghanistan”.

    Now we have another win for the ALP, with Bob Carr, Julia and Rudd managing to do what Howard could not, by gaining broad support from the international community. And with this victory, turning around some of the damage done by those failed conservative ratbags.

    Did Howard actually try for a UN seat? I don’t recall it at all

    On top of that we now have evidence that the carbon price has actually reduced emissions. Boy that must hurt Iain, with all your support for Bolt’s trashy typing.
    So the ‘carbon price will make no difference to emissions’ lie you swallowed was a crock. Who would have thunk it!

    My suggestion was that the Carbon tax would do nothing for the climate even if it managed to reduce emissions, so has it forestalled Ecogedden yet Craigy?

    Time to change tack or move the goal posts so you can still argue against the good Government we now have……you can begin in 5,4,3,2,1……off you go!

    THats what I love about you lefties Craigy, you have an almost limitless ability to delude yourself about what is really happening in politics ;)

  11. Craig says:

    Personally I wouldn’t give two sticks if Howard or the Liberasl bought and bribed themselves into a temporary UN seat, the UN is pretty hopeless and corrupt, Rwanda comes to mind .

    Oh and Craigy, that extremist Bolta is already all over the misread Graph, seams the Labor lefty journalists need a re-education course in their craft. It will be interesting to see the jobs growth in the next 3 to 6 months, production also co-insides with electricity use. The tell through in China’s economic numbers is the electricity usage, China has taken a huge hit to.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_carbon_tax_did_this_really/

    Get ready in a decade to read Gillard, KRudd and Co. are the most dysfunctional, wasteful and hopeless government of all time…

  12. Iain Hall says:

    Brian

    The problem with some wingnuts is that they just can’t bring themselves to acknowledge when the other side does something right. They’d rather obfuscate or nit pick or make out that it’s of no great significance.

    If you look back through my blog you will see that my attitude to the UN has been consistently cynical and sceptical

    But I have on ocassion praied this government when they do something right as I did here but the problem is that they dont do the right thing often enough for me to take note of it here or for that matter to vote for them

  13. Brian says:

    Really? look over all of the conflicts in which the UN have intervened and ask yourself a couple of things, firstly is the conflict actually resolved or is it just ion a long term hiatais?

    What is your point here? You expect the UN not only to prevent, contain or stop war, but also to stop it from happening in the future? That’s not really in its mandate. It’s not the UN’s job to engage in geopolitical engineering or decide the fate of nations that should be deciding their own.

    how about Keora? the UN have been watching the ceasefire for what sixty years?

    Yes, because the two nations are irreconcilably split and backed by hostile superpowers. Or would you rather this conflict had “played out” and caused the deaths of millions of Koreans, and possibly Chinese and Westerns too?

    Please name the dangerious sitiations that have been “brought to heel” because I am having trouble thinking of where that happened ofr if it happened at all.

    That’s because you are a UN-hating wingnut who has convinced himself that it does nothing and achieves nothing. I’m not going to give you a history lesson, but here’s a link to start:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_peacekeeping_missions

    Did you miss the word “sometimes” in my comment Brian?

    Did you see the word “all” in mine?

  14. GD says:

    It’s good to see Craigy return to the fold. He reckons his absurd looney tunes Green thinking is actually working. Hmm…

    Craigy, that one poll showing the major parties at 50/50, by one polling company, was some weeks ago. It hasn’t been repeated. The percentages are back to showing the woeful standing of Labor in all subsequent polls.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

    Re Joolia’s off-topic personal vendetta-like rant at Tony Abbott for daring to criticise her is just that. A personal vendetta.

    You can choose to see it as as a slap-down, but considering she used parliamentary time to vent her spleen over this supposed misogyny, when in reality she is crumbling under the usual criticism afforded a prime minister by an opposition leader, it is a bit rich to cry ‘sexism’ or ‘misogyny’.

    Howard suffered worse under Keating, yet lefties considered that great sport.

    Grow a pair, Craigy and Joolia, and stop using gender as an excuse. Cut the hypocrisy.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

    And yes, Craigy, on top of all that, you say that there is evidence that the carbon price has actually reduced emissions.

    Of course it has Craigy. Faced with increased costs, power stations shut down. And in return we replace them with what?

    Blackouts? Or increased energy prices, which we already are seeing, and as Iain asked, how has this helped the climate?

    Power station closures means increased unemployment. Something that the Greens aren’t mindful of, considering most of them are on the government teat, public service or welfare.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

    As for your last howler,

    Time to change tack or move the goal posts so you can still argue against the good Government we now have…

    Good government? Really? Does debt have no meaning for you?

    http://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2012/09/28/labor%E2%80%99s-gross-debt-tops-250-billion

    The Gillard government has today surpassed $250 billion of gross debt as confirmed by the Australian Office of Financial Management.

    “For the first time in Australia’s history Commonwealth gross debt has exceeded quarter-of-a-trillion dollars,” said Andrew Robb, Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction.

    Mr Robb said it was no wonder the government is on a ‘new taxes hunt’ of epic proportions.

    “They are so far out of touch they claim the carbon tax isn’t hurting anyone. If they think they can get away with that we know what that means. More tax slugs are on the way, with hits on superannuation and the like.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but if this is such a good government, at what point should we pull the pin on their’ good governing’ before they send the country broke?

  15. I really can’t understand the cynicism with Australia getting an albeit temporary seat on the UN security council – I’d rather we were at the table than be so arrogant to think that we can ignore the table. The UN might not be perfect (what large multinational organisation is?) but at least it attempts to be a moderating force.

    As to GD’s Jones-like rant above, including this ridiculous gem, ‘Does debt have no meaning for you?’: all developed governments – ALL – need to spend their way out of economic crisis, and they need to do it early and hard. It’s what DIDN’T happen during the Great Depression. It’s not a left-wing or right-wing position; it’s just sensible economic policy. It should be noted that Abbott has been asked repeatedly how he would have responded to the GFC if he was in power and he’s repeatedly dodged the question.

    As to the suggestion that we forget about ‘the gender thing’: why is that Gillard is copping so much crap for apparently ‘lying’? All governments – ALL – change their position as things move along and situations change. Howard was the master at it: he gave us ‘non-core promises’, which effectively was a way of saying that he’d lied during an election campaign, and he also said that Australia would ‘never ever have a GST’. So, really, why is Gillard copping so much crap? It’s because the Australian populace doesn’t mind if a man in a suit lies, but the Australian populace DOES mind if a woman in power lies- there’s the gender thing. Complaining about politicians lying is like getting upset that a second-hand car salesman was a little flexible with the truth.

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Nigel

    I really can’t understand the cynicism with Australia getting an albeit temporary seat on the UN security council – I’d rather we were at the table than be so arrogant to think that we can ignore the table. The UN might not be perfect (what large multinational organisation is?) but at least it attempts to be a moderating force.

    being “at the table is actually quite different to having any effect whilst the chair in question is occupied frankly I don’t think that we will see anything much from this sojourn at the security council

    As to GD’s Jones-like rant above, including this ridiculous gem, ‘Does debt have no meaning for you?’: all developed governments – ALL – need to spend their way out of economic crisis, and they need to do it early and hard.

    Why do you make this claim Nigel? It sounds like Voodoo economics to me! because if you look at the result of Labor’s stimulus over the last five years and what net result do you see? We are still teetering on the brink of economic disaster and now we have a huge debts to service as well so does that mean that we are really better off from government spending?

    It’s what DIDN’T happen during the Great Depression. It’s not a left-wing or right-wing position; it’s just sensible economic policy.

    You forget or are ignorant of the simple fact that what precipitated the great depression was rampant speculation and an unerring belief in eternal economic growth, the speculative bubble burst, debts had been run up based upon speculative investment and it was the collapse of economies that caused the subsequent misery. Governments simply did not have the ability to raise money to “to spend their way out of economic crisis”.

    It should be noted that Abbott has been asked repeatedly how he would have responded to the GFC if he was in power and he’s repeatedly dodged the question.

    No not dodged the question Nigel he has repeatedly pointed out that a more cautious stimulus would have given us the same sort of result with out Labor’s crippling debt.

    As to the suggestion that we forget about ‘the gender thing’: why is that Gillard is copping so much crap for apparently ‘lying’? All governments – ALL – change their position as things move along and situations change. Howard was the master at it: he gave us ‘non-core promises’, which effectively was a way of saying that he’d lied during an election campaign, and he also said that Australia would ‘never ever have a GST’.

    Gillard flat out lied about the carbon tax and then when the lie was pointed out she insisted that it was not a lie. As fro the GST Howard may have promised “no GST” but when he changed his mind he took that to the people.

    So, really, why is Gillard copping so much crap? It’s because the Australian populace doesn’t mind if a man in a suit lies, but the Australian populace DOES mind if a woman in power lies- there’s the gender thing. Complaining about politicians lying is like getting upset that a second-hand car salesman was a little flexible with the truth.

    Gillard is copping crap because she deserves it, firstly for the way she got into power, then for her lies, and then for her many deleterious decisions.

  17. Iain, how can we have any effect if we’re NOT on the Security Council? This just sounds like you don’t like Gillard and anything she does, including this.

    Re. the Great Depression – I was talking about governmental response to the crisis, not what caused it. And governments had similar tools then to what we have now. Ask any rational, reasonable economist and you’ll hear the same answer: governments must spend at times like this.

    By the way, you seem to suggest that Labor governments just spend willy-nilly because they’ve got nothing else to do. They spend because they believe that the government should be delivering services and not leaving everything to private enterprise – they believe that this leads to a more fair and stable society.

    Re. lies and politicians – I stand by my point that all governments and most politicians, regardless of which side they’re on, are a bit too easy with the truth and their language. Gillard is – regrettably – no different, but people are more upset about it all because she’s a woman.

    ‘The way she got into power’ – again, no difference to other leadership coups. Plus the role of a deputy prime minister is to take over when the government’s going down hill very quickly. The polls for Labor were falling very, very quickly. She had to do something – it was her political, professional and moral duty.

  18. Craigy says:

    Iain said;

    “Opinion now seems to be that the Poll that you mention was a “rogue” and Labor remain unelectable, As for Julia’s rant it may have invigorated the usual suspects but it clearly alienated more men than the women (and latte sippers) than that have been cheering”

    Right wing web site reports today;

    “The latest Fairfax-Neilsen poll on Monday gives Ms Gillard a 10-point margin over Mr Abbott – her biggest lead since February 2011.

    She is now seen as preferred prime minister by 50 per cent of voters – up three points from the last poll, while Mr Abbott has slipped four points to 40 per cent.

    And Labor’s two-party vote has risen for the fourth consecutive month.

    The coalition remains ahead in the two-party vote but has eased one point in five weeks to 52 per cent while the government added one point to 48 per cent.

    The poll, of 1400 voters taken last Thursday to Saturday, shows Labor’s primary vote is steady on 34 per cent, while the coalition’s has fallen two points to 43 per cent.”

    Really Iain, your cheering for your team without thinking is making you look silly….again.

    “Did Howard actually try for a UN seat?”

    I never said that, but he and his ratbags did manage to damage our reputation around the globe, something that this Government has managed to fix. The election at the UN is clear evidence of this.

    “My suggestion was that the Carbon tax would do nothing for the climate even if it managed to reduce emissions”

    Nice attempt at a bit of tricky spin, you would do well working for Abbott’s spin factory….Now, can you explain how reducing carbon emissions does nothing for the climate…..no……well I guess your point is just more empty Andrew Bolt talking points then….. as usual…..

    Please try a bit harder next time….Cheers.

  19. Craigy says:

    Sorry forgot the link….

    http://www.news.com.au/national/new-poll-shows-gillard-popularity-rising/story-fndo4eg9-1226500392217

    It also said this…..“The Greens picked up a point to 11 per cent.”

    And this………“In contrast, Mr Abbott’s disapproval is up one point to 60 per cent, a new personal record high

    So 60% of Australians think Abbott would not make a good PM…..I await your call for him to step down Iain.

  20. Craig says:

    Bring back KRudd, :-D.

    Labor have been down and out in the polls since Gillard said, “There will be no Carbon tax under the government I lead.”, which was just after the last election, in fact some of the polls have been lower then under KRudd for a long time. The polls demand another chance for KRudd to lead the nation to oblivion. Perhaps KRudd would replace the treasurer with someone who’s actually more competent then a sewer rat. KRudd would also replace all the Labor sexists and misogynists like that Shorten fellow, with his pie remarks and offending the ex ABC McKew, thinking a mature woman Journalist couldn’t write her own book.

    Really Labor is stuffed, Labor only has personal smears and media manipulations left in the kitty bag. No more monetary bribes, and only savings on offer(Code word for increased taxes, reduced government benefits, and public service reductions ect…)

  21. GD says:

    Latest polls? oh get real! Read and weep Craigy

    http://essentialvision.com.au/category/essentialreport

    You are truly living in la-la land.

    As for the Greens, after the wipe-out in the Canberra elections, it’s not looking good is it?
    First Queensland, then NSW and Victoria and now the ACT, you’re losing seats everywhere.

    It seems, Craigy, that the rest of the country doesn’t live in la-la land like you and Milne and the child senator.

    Keep dreamin’, and enjoy that government job, while it lasts.

  22. Craigy says:

    I look forward to your response Iain.

  23. Iain Hall says:

    Craigy

    “The latest Fairfax-Neilsen poll on Monday gives Ms Gillard a 10-point margin over Mr Abbott – her biggest lead since February 2011.

    She is now seen as preferred prime minister by 50 per cent of voters – up three points from the last poll, while Mr Abbott has slipped four points to 40 per cent.

    That is in the “preferred” PM section Craigy and it don’t amount to much where it counts ibn the seats that are likely to be won at the election, and it that more crucial count Labor is still in a losing position

    And Labor’s two-party vote has risen for the fourth consecutive month.

    Considering that labor have been in the losing by a landslide position for most of the last two years I would not be breaking out the champers yet if I were you ;)

    The coalition remains ahead in the two-party vote but has eased one point in five weeks to 52 per cent while the government added one point to 48 per cent.

    Just wait until the voters digest Swan’s latest MFYO I douybt that it will solidify labor’s vote any

    The poll, of 1400 voters taken last Thursday to Saturday, shows Labor’s primary vote is steady on 34 per cent, while the coalition’s has fallen two points to 43 per cent.”

    Labor will still be soundly defeated on those numbers Craigy

    Really Iain, your cheering for your team without thinking is making you look silly….again.

    I’m not one taken to cheering for any team but even blind Freddy can see that Labor are still in deep shit electorally its just a question of how deep is the pit they are in.

    “Did Howard actually try for a UN seat?”

    I never said that, but he and his ratbags did manage to damage our reputation around the globe, something that this Government has managed to fix. The election at the UN is clear evidence of this.

    The clear implication from your previous comment was that Labor had succeeded where Howard had failed, its wrong because Howard was sensible enough to see that the seat is of little or no consequence.

    “My suggestion was that the Carbon tax would do nothing for the climate even if it managed to reduce emissions”

    Nice attempt at a bit of tricky spin, you would do well working for Abbott’s spin factory….Now, can you explain how reducing carbon emissions does nothing for the climate…..no……well I guess your point is just more empty Andrew Bolt talking points then….. as usual…..

    Call me naive but I tend to think that if a tax is created with the intention of addressing a climate problem then it should actually have some effect on the problem now even if the tax were 100% effective in achieving its targets what would be the effect on temperatures, in Centigrade please ;)

    Please try a bit harder next time….Cheers.

    Trying as hard as I can mate ;)

  24. Brian says:

    Labor will lose the next election. I would bet my house on it. The only thing suggested by this polling is that they might lose by a slightly smaller margin than earlier anticipated.

    Are you a climate scientist Iain? Or just an Alan Jones-style armchair pundit?

  25. Iain Hall says:

    Brian I am not a “climate scientist” nor am a mad ranter like Jones I have followed the issue for many years though and I have likewise had a life time of arguing with those of the god bothering bent and believe me the parallels between the two groups are spookily close!

  26. Brian says:

    I see, I thought from a couple of things you said that you must have had some expertise in the field. I tend to turn off when I see the unqualified discussing this issue.

    Global warming advocates and religious nutters might occasionally behave in a similar way. But I’m more inclined to believe scientific theory than the superstitious mutterings from some centuries old book written by goat herders.

  27. Iain Hall says:

    Brian

    I see, I thought from a couple of things you said that you must have had some expertise in the field. I tend to turn off when I see the unqualified discussing this issue.

    You don’t have to have “expertise in the field” to see some of the glaring holes in the AGW theory, most notably the weakness in paleo-climate reconstructions using proxy data and the lack of a finite measurement for climate sensitivity to increases in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Global warming advocates and religious nutters might occasionally behave in a similar way. But I’m more inclined to believe scientific theory than the superstitious mutterings from some centuries old book written by goat herders.

    Its more than occasional in my experience Brian its all about faith in a millenarian cult for the large part.

  28. Craigy says:

    Labor will still be soundly defeated on those numbers Craigy “

    Well, no. It seems your cheering for Tony IS getting in the way of rational thought….

    The TPP vote has Labor 4 points behind, which is a number that can easily be made up over a campaign – if history tells us anything.

    “The clear implication from your previous comment was that Labor had succeeded where Howard had failed”

    No it wasn’t, again your bias has you reading things that aren’t said. Howard DID fail in foreign policy and made this country unpopular around the globe. Labor has done much to improve that, the UN election is a good example as I said.

    “what would be the effect on temperatures, in Centigrade please “

    No idea Iain, I’m not studying climate science, but the best science available tells us that we need to start reducing carbon emissions and this policy is clearly achieving that, something that wingnuts like yourself have been opposing, because most of you don’t think carbon is a problem. Why? Because that famous climate scientist Andrew Bolt tells you so. I suppose you believe that the warming stopped 16 years ago and that proves it’s all a great conspiracy as well?

    “Just wait until the voters digest Swan’s latest MFYO I douybt that it will solidify labor’s vote any “

    All Governments have to belt tighten at times Iain, in fact it is what the man you love, Tony, has been calling for. I would be happy to see the baby bonus go all together, I figure so would most people. Do you think Howard’s middle class welfare is money well spent?

    Anyway, a tough mini budget now, so they can spend a bit before the election is good politics and something your side has done every time they have been in power, Howard was an expert at the ol’ pork barrel.

    Abbot is a real problem for your mob. He is very unpopular, I’m sure you wouldn’t deny this. While the ALP may still loose the next election, my view (and I may be wrong of course) is that it will be very close unless they dump Abbott and move to someone else (please not Joe Hockey).

    The Greens are holding their own in terms of votes gained, but as many have pointed out, without the good preferences they got last time (from both sides) they will struggle to win as many seats. It is clear they are still very popular though, even with the dishonest campaign to destroy them run by News ltd and the opposition. They are not imploding like the Democrats did and they have a long life ahead of them. What do you think?

  29. Craigy says:

    While the ALP may still loose the next election….

    Sorry, should have been lose…..

  30. Craigy says:

    “most notably the weakness in paleo-climate reconstructions using proxy data and the lack of a finite measurement for climate sensitivity to increases in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    Oh boy!……own goal again Iain…..

    Please explain – If you have no expertise in the field, who told you the reconstructions are weak? How do you know that? Can we see your paper explaining your understanding or can you point to the research that makes that clear to you?

    Go on, give it a go, show us you are at least smarter than your Guru Bolt.

  31. Iain Hall says:

    “Labor will still be soundly defeated on those numbers Craigy “

    Well, no. It seems your cheering for Tony IS getting in the way of rational thought….

    I’m booing Labor far more than I Cheering for Tony Craig

    The TPP vote has Labor 4 points behind, which is a number that can easily be made up over a campaign – if history tells us anything.

    You keep telling yourself that if it gives you comfort but being overly optimistic just means that the plunge to the reality of a clear Labor defeat will that much more severe for you though.


    “The clear implication from your previous comment was that Labor had succeeded where Howard had failed”

    No it wasn’t, again your bias has you reading things that aren’t said. Howard DID fail in foreign policy and made this country unpopular around the globe. Labor has done much to improve that, the UN election is a good example as I said.

    Nice try at trying to wriggle out of what you said however I absolutely disagree with your opinion that Howard’s foreign policy was a “failure” like all administrations his had some high and low points. You say that his policies made us “unpopular” with whom would that be?

    “what would be the effect on temperatures, in Centigrade please “

    No idea Iain, I’m not studying climate science, but the best science available tells us that we need to start reducing carbon emissions and this policy is clearly achieving that, something that wingnuts like yourself have been opposing, because most of you don’t think carbon is a problem. Why? Because that famous climate scientist Andrew Bolt tells you so. I suppose you believe that the warming stopped 16 years ago and that proves it’s all a great conspiracy as well?

    Well the global temperatures don’t seem to be following the AGW script now do they?

    Just wait until the voters digest Swan’s latest MFYO I douybt that it will solidify labor’s vote any

    All Governments have to belt tighten at times Iain, in fact it is what the man you love, Tony, has been calling for. I would be happy to see the baby bonus go all together, I figure so would most people. Do you think Howard’s middle class welfare is money well spent?“

    Nice attempt at deflection Craigy but I don’t seem to recall a single budget delivered by Swan that was ever even within cooee of its predictions by the mid year review. As for the baby bonus I am unsurprised that you are indifferent to it you are beyond making new children, but for younger people making new Australians it has been a great help

    Anyway, a tough mini budget now, so they can spend a bit before the election is good politics and something your side has done every time they have been in power, Howard was an expert at the ol’ pork barrel.

    Yes and unlike Swan and labor he actually had pork in the barrel to share out labor have to borrow for their pork and they have zero credibility on matters financial…

    Abbot is a real problem for your mob. He is very unpopular, I’m sure you wouldn’t deny this. While the ALP may still loose the next election, my view (and I may be wrong of course) is that it will be very close unless they dump Abbott and move to someone else (please not Joe Hockey).

    Abbott is certainly unpopular with you lefties but that is fine we don’t expect you to vote for the coalition anyway.

    The Greens are holding their own in terms of votes gained, but as many have pointed out, without the good preferences they got last time (from both sides) they will struggle to win as many seats. It is clear they are still very popular though, even with the dishonest campaign to destroy them run by News ltd and the opposition. They are not imploding like the Democrats did and they have a long life ahead of them. What do you think?

    Which means the net result will be the Greens will be , quite rightly delegated to the fringes where they belong, now and forever :)

  32. Iain Hall says:

    Not an own goal at all Craigy, its simple really: modern temperature readings using satellites is quite extensive, refined and detailed, manually collected temperature data is at least an order of magnitude less extensive, less refined and less detailed than that, and then we come to proxies like tree rings and isotopes et al, and they are orders of magnitude less extensive, less refined and less detailed than the instrumental record. So its hardly incomprehensible to even a layman like me that you can’t make much more than the most generalised comparisons between the current climate and paleo climate reconstructions.

  33. Brian says:

    You don’t have to have “expertise in the field” to see some of the glaring holes in the AGW theory, most notably the weakness in paleo-climate reconstructions using proxy data and the lack of a finite measurement for climate sensitivity to increases in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere

    This is where I have a problem with laymen claiming expertise in the subject, Iain. My own opinion of not that different from yours, I’m more on the sceptical side than anything else, mainly because AGW is a constructionist theory built on long-term modelling with no control data. But that’s all it is: an opinion. I don’t place any value in my opinion because I’m neither qualified or experienced in any relevant earth sciences. I don’t place any value in your opinion for the same reason. Or Andrew Bolt’s. Or Alan Jones’. Or anyone else who doesn’t have some relevant expertise.

    Reading, accepting and chanting the mantras of pro- or anti-AGW theory scientists does not make you informed. It just makes you opinionated. For me, it comes down to trusting experts and authorities on this. If more than 90% of scientists and scientific organisations support the theory of AGW, that’s fairly overwhelming. If it were 60 or 70%, I’d be much more sceptical than I am. If 90% of doctors or oncologists told you that you had cancer, you’d accept their advice and seek treatment. You wouldn’t cling to a minority who said you were perfectly healthy. The same law of probabilities applies to AGW, I think.

  34. Iain Hall says:

    Brian

    This is where I have a problem with laymen claiming expertise in the subject, Iain. My own opinion of not that different from yours, I’m more on the sceptical side than anything else, mainly because AGW is a constructionist theory built on long-term modelling with no control data. But that’s all it is: an opinion. I don’t place any value in my opinion because I’m neither qualified or experienced in any relevant earth sciences. I don’t place any value in your opinion for the same reason. Or Andrew Bolt’s. Or Alan Jones’. Or anyone else who doesn’t have some relevant expertise.

    This is where we differ Brian because I don’t genuflect to any authority figure no matter how eminent frankly when all you have got is an appeal to authority I reckon that you ain’t got much. That said why even have an opinion at all if you don’t value it in the slightest? I may well be wrong but experience has taught me that if something smells hokey then the odds of it being hokey are pretty high, AGW smells hokey to me.

    Reading, accepting and chanting the mantras of pro- or anti-AGW theory scientists does not make you informed. It just makes you opinionated. For me, it comes down to trusting experts and authorities on this. If more than 90% of scientists and scientific organisations support the theory of AGW, that’s fairly overwhelming. If it were 60 or 70%, I’d be much more sceptical than I am. If 90% of doctors or oncologists told you that you had cancer, you’d accept their advice and seek treatment. You wouldn’t cling to a minority who said you were perfectly healthy. The same law of probabilities applies to AGW, I think.

    In scientific terms consensus or vigorous agreement is of negligible value, (think about previously agreed “facts” pertaining to the shape of the planet or its place in the universe) what matters is the extent to which a theory can be tested by the scientific method AGW theory can not be thus tested by any practical experiment and all of the posturing by advocates for the theory require very large doses of faith to fill in the gaps. That is why I find it to be such a religious phenomena rather than a scientific one.

  35. Brian says:

    This is where we differ Brian because I don’t genuflect to any authority figure no matter how eminent frankly when all you have got is an appeal to authority I reckon that you ain’t got much.

    An appeal to the authority of a scientific expert, or a consensus of scientists, carries tonnes more weight than the chirping of Andrew Bolt (a university drop out) Alan Jones (a former English teacher) or Lord Monckton (an ex-journalist). Or for that matter, Iain Hall (blogger).

    Scientists have contributed far more to our world in the past 100 years than politicians, priests or pundits. I am happy to put my trust in their findings, while keeping a wary eye open. I don’t “genuflect” to anyone but in matters of medicine I trust doctors, in matters of law I trust lawyers and in matters of science I trust scientists. It’s really very simple.

    That said why even have an opinion at all if you don’t value it in the slightest?

    Because I have perspective and humility. I know the difference between opinions and facts and I know that I don’t know everything. Sadly, some don’t have that sense of perspective.

    I may well be wrong but experience has taught me that if something smells hokey then the odds of it being hokey are pretty high, AGW smells hokey to me.

    The brain is a better reasoning tool than the nose, in my experience. If something smells, it might simply be because you don’t like it, not because it’s bad.

    what matters is the extent to which a theory can be tested by the scientific method AGW theory can not be thus tested by any practical experiment

    Well this is my concern too. The scope and scale of the research environment (Earth) really defies any kind of empirical study. For AGW to stand or fall it must rely on enormous amounts of data, most of which will prove or show nothing on its own. The bigger the task, the greater the margin for error. Nevertheless, while I remain sceptical, I still trust this process much more than I trust unqualified amateur scientists who claim to know the truth.

    all of the posturing by advocates for the theory require very large doses of faith to fill in the gaps. That is why I find it to be such a religious phenomena rather than a scientific one.

    Well like I said, AGW is a constructionist theory, that is one aspect that leaves it open to scrutiny. But at least it is a theory based on evidence and data. The same arguments about “leaps of faith” were made when Darwin postulated his theory of evolution, a theory now widely accepted by all sensible people. In my view it takes a great deal more “religious faith” for high minded laymen, journalists and bloggers to contradict the vast majority of scientists.

  36. Iain Hall says:

    Brian
    I don’t think that we are as much at odds in our position on this issue as it would seem, except upon the matter of trust in the scientific establishment. I am at heart something of an anarchist which is why I am so unwilling to accept even the authority of “scientists” unless they put a sound argument.

    While I agree about the contribution of science over the last 100 years has been substantial within in the last forty years or there has been an awful lot of spending on science and instead of being a vocation it has become an industry in its own right and to my mind this is where “climate science” is corrupted. In fact it has been a “wonderful” example of a self perpetuating money making venture especially since the conversion of various politicians to the faith has seen rivers of cash devoted to climate research.
    Don’t get me wrong I am a great believer in research but when so much of those efforts a directed at attempting the impossible, getting global agreement is essentially unobtainable, and even if it wasn’t so all of the so called cures for the problem are both expensive and based upon some dubious modelling, So if the theory of AGW has any virtues then I suggest that the only sensible approach has to be to adapt to any climatic changes if and when they happen rather than endlessly running around doing an impression of Corporal Jones.

  37. GD says:

    Brian stated:

    For me, it comes down to trusting experts and authorities on this. If more than 90% of scientists and scientific organisations support the theory of AGW, that’s fairly overwhelming.

    Brian, where is your citation for that statement? From my reading, and none of it is from Alan Jones or Andrew Bolt, is that there are many accredited scientists who disagree with this so-called ‘consensus’.

    As Iain rightfully pointed out, a ‘consensus’ on any scientific theory is only that, a consensus, it is not proof.

    I’d suggest you buy some books instead of being seduced by the ’90% of scientists’ meme that is currently pervading the mainstream media.

    So, two questions, which scientists are you trusting?

    And more stringently, which authorities?

    I do hope it’s not Flannery and the CSIRO.

  38. Brian says:

    Brian, where is your citation for that statement? From my reading, and none of it is from Alan Jones or Andrew Bolt, is that there are many accredited scientists who disagree with this so-called ‘consensus’.

    There have been I host of studies and surveys into global warming views in the scientific community. Two I have seen were done by Stanford University and MIT in the US. They both surveyed 1,300+ qualified, peer-reviewed climate researchers and both found that in excess of 90% accepted the theory of AGW. The New York Times also researched AGW positions in scientific research organisations, government and independent, worldwide, and the findings were similar.

    There is no shortage of sceptics, qualified and unqualified. But only an idiot would argue there’s no consensus of support for AGW.

  39. GD says:

    Here’s a pertinent comment:

    The only “Green Jobs” are liquidators.

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