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The difference between appearances and reality


Bjørn Lomborg click for source

COPENHAGEN – Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, wants to be the world’s first CO2-neutral city by 2025. But, as many other well-meaning cities and countries have discovered, cutting CO2 significantly is more difficult than it seems, and may require quite a bit of creative accounting.

More surprisingly, Copenhagen’s politicians have confidently declared that cutting CO2 now will ultimately make the city and its citizens wealthier, with today’s expensive green-energy investments more than paying off when fossil-fuel prices rise. But how can deliberately limiting one’s options improve one’s prospects? These sound more like the arguments of green campaigners – and they are most likely wrong.

The first challenge that Copenhagen faces in reaching its zero-emissions goal is the lack of cost-effective alternatives for some sources of CO2, particularly automobiles. Denmark already provides the world’s largest subsidy to electric cars by exempting them from its marginal 180% car-registration tax. For the most popular electric car, the Nissan Leaf, this exemption is worth $85,000 (€63,000). Yet, just 1,536 of Denmark’s 2.7 million cars are electric.

If there is one thing that distresses me more than  any other when it comes to warministas is their naive belief that the so called “alternatives” can be viable as this piece form Bjørn Lomborg argues in the piece that I quote that it needs much more than creative accounting and the pretense of viability .

Its certainty to be recommended to my readers who are interested in the issue of Climate change
Cheers Comrades


Dead, deceased, it is no more, it has shuffled off its mortal coil, the Carbon tax has fucking snuffed it, or death of a vile impost on our lives.

The tragedy of the Carbon tax/ETS is not in its passing but that it ever existed in the first place because it was always based on a false premise, namely that it was ever going to make the slightest bit of difference to the global climate and so many leaders, on both sides of politics have been destroyed by it.  It took out Rudd, Turnbull and Gillard in turn and it also played its part in taking out the resurrected Rudd as well. There has been more bullshit produced to promote the various incarnations of this toxic scheme than our national herd. And for what? All that it ever gave us was a wildly expensive token gesture and a rather nasty piece of socialist wealth redistribution which in layman’s language means it was a totally useless money churn.

Even if you believe the AGW proposition there is no reason to believe in the often chanted mantra that the best way to address it is through a “market mechanism” because there is absolutely no reason to believe that such a mechanism  can ever produce the desired outcome without some nasty unforeseen consequences, of which the massive spike in energy costs is a rather good example, and before anyone says “its the gold plating of the poles and wires” that caused the majority  of those price rises  I’m going to say that the “gold plating” is just another example of the same thinking that the poor long suffering consumers are an eternal milch cow that can be taken for granted by planers and ideologues just as they take for granted the idea that costs for essential commodities can rise endlessly  and no one will suffer or object.

Suffer and object we have and now the vile impost on every aspect of our lives has be dispatched to the dustbin of history and any claims that it will bring down Abbott in its passing are utterly ridiculous. The trend in technology now  is very much focused on energy being used as efficiently as possible and for that I do think that, to some extent,  we can  thank the panic merchants of the Green Religion but just as we can take from the Christian religion useful notions of community and what makes a good society without taking on the supernatural Mumbo Jumbo of that faith. So to we can take the good things that have come from the Green religion, like seeing our planet and its biosphere as a whole and complexly interconnected entity of which we are just a small part, but we can let go of its millenarian prognostications and dire predictions of doom  because no matter what life and the earth itself is far more resilient and adaptive than the doom merchants of the Green religion are willing to admit

Cheers Comrades


The IPCC now says it’s OK to adapt to ‘climate change’

Find below an excellent piece by Don Aitkin about the shift in the IPCC focus from mitigation to adaptation, which is something that I have been rabbiting on about for many years both here and elsewhere. I republish it here under the  terms of its creative commons licence. Further this post is dedicated to PKD  who still has not produced that long promised essay on Climate change.

When I first became interested in global warming ten years ago what puzzled me at once was the insistence on ‘mitigation’ — reducing or abolishing carbon dioxide emissions — and the  almost complete indifference to ‘adaptation’ — preparing in advance to deal with droughts, floods, high temperatures, and all the rest of the climate possibilities. We seemed to  be doing something in that direction, but hardly enough.

Professor Bob Carter, one scientist that has been sceptical from the beginning of the global warming scare, suggested long ago that Australia adopt  and adapt the New Zealand civil defence management system, which is built around the ’4 Rs’ — Reduction, Readiness, Response, Recovery. As any Australian of mature years knows, we are prone to natural ‘disasters’, and our SES system is one form of our own preparedness.

But the IPCC has never been interested. For it the key thing has been to get carbon emissions down before disaster overwhelms us. As I have argued many times, this strategy has three weaknesses: it is practically unfeasible to do it quickly, it cannot be done on a global scale, and the outcome of whatever any country does will have no discernible effect on temperature there. Given ‘the pause’, now approaching 18 years on one measure, one could also argue that there is no immediate need to do anything at all in the mitigation department. Isn’t it time, for example, that we built some more ‘flood-proofing’ dams?

Well, the IPCC has now given what seems to be a cautious go-ahead to adaptation. According to Chris Field , one of the co-chairs of the new report,

The really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change… Climate-change adaptation is not an exotic agenda that has never been tried. Governments, firms, and communities around the world are building experience with adaptation. This experience forms a starting point for bolder, more ambitious adaptations that will be important as climate and society continue to change.

Dr Field also declaredThe natural human tendency is to want things to be clear and simple. And one of the messages that doesn’t just come from the IPCC, it comes from history, is that the future doesn’t ever turn out the way you think it will be… being prepared for a wide range of possible futures is just always smart.

Does this mean that the IPCC is giving up on ‘mitigation’. No. But, at least it seems to me that, the IPCC may well be coming to the view that if it is to survive, it will have to have more than the mitigation arrow in its quiver. If I am right, then we can expect more IPCC papers on how best to adapt. Judith Curry devoted her 30 March blog to this subject, which drew 787 comments at last count. She cited an article by Andrew Lilico she had read in the Telegraph (London), which put forward the following:

… the global GDP costs of an expected global average temperature increase of 2.5 degrees Celsius over the 21st century will be between 0.2 and 2 per cent. To place that in context, the well-known Stern Review of 2006 estimated the costs as 5-20 per cent of GDP. Stern estimates the costs of his recommended policies for mitigating climate change at 2 per cent of GDP – and his estimates are widely regarded as relatively optimistic (others estimate mitigation costs as high as 10 per cent of global GDP). At a 2.4 per cent annual GDP growth rate, the global economy increases 0.2 per cent every month.

So the mitigation deal has become this: Accept enormous inconvenience, placing authoritarian control into the hands of global agencies, at huge costs that in some cases exceed 17 times the benefits even on the Government’s own evaluation criteria, with a global cost of 2 per cent of GDP at the low end and the risk that the cost will be vastly greater, and do all of this for an entire century, and then maybe – just maybe – we might save between one and ten months of global GDP growth.

Whereas previously the IPCC emphasised the effects climate change could have if not prevented, now the focus has moved on to how to make economies and societies resilient and to adapt to warming now considered inevitable. Climate exceptionalism – the notion that climate change is a challenge of a different order from, say, recessions or social inclusion or female education or many other important global policy goals – is to be down played. Instead, the new report emphasised that adapting to climate change is one of many challenges that policymakers will face but should have its proper place alongside other policies.

Our first step in adapting to climate change should be to accept that we aren’t going to mitigate it. We’re going to have to adapt. That doesn’t mean there might not be the odd mitigation-type policy, around the edges, that is cheap and feasible and worthwhile. But it does mean that the grandiloquent schemes for preventing climate change should go. Their day is done. Even the IPCC – albeit implicitly – sees that now.

It’s all too soon to say where this is going. But it would seem to me that the Abbott Government could pick up the drift and win a brownie point or two by talking sagely about ‘adaptation’ — and quote the IPCC in so doing.

An open letter to Victoria Rollison

Dear Victoria Rollison

As one of those who voted for the Abbott Government I feel duty bound to address the points that you have made in your open letter because I do believe that you are very much mistaken in your missive:

I’m seriously unhappy with you. You might think that you understand why this is the case. You might think that I’m disappointed because the Labor Party is no longer in power, and it would be a lie for me to say this doesn’t contribute to my dissatisfaction. But what’s more important, and what’s driven me to write this letter to you all, is something far larger than the people who get elected. My issue is with you. You personally, and your greed and your selfishness, and your decision to put a fractional increase in your electricity bill ahead of your responsibility to provide a sustainable future for my planet. The planet I live on. The planet I am hoping will provide my children and grandchildren with a place to live. Yes, I’m hoping you haven’t contributed to the death of my offspring. This is how seriously outraged by you I am. This is personal.

It was neither greed no selfishness that motivated me to vote for the Abbott government, it was a profound disappointment with the six years of labor government, I was disappointed when its two leading lights Rudd and Gillard    dissipated their electoral capital with their  eternal self serving power struggle> I was also horribly disappointed by the fact that Labor never seemed to be able to manage  even any of their sometimes laudable ideas properly into fruition> But when it comes to the Climate change policy they pursued  I was angry at both the needless impost upon the cost of living and the clear futility of their grand plan. If the AGW theory is correct nothing that Labor did and that we are all collectively paying for is going to make a scrap of difference to the future of the planet.

So you probably noticed, or more likely didn’t unless Kyle Sandilands/Stefanovic mentioned it, that approximately 60,000 Australians turned out on Sunday to rally for action to combat climate change. You know, climate change, that thing that you deny, discount, laugh at, and generally ignore every time you have the opportunity. And yes, if you’re an Abbott voter, I do believe it’s fair to put you in this bucket. If you even begin to tell me you want action to reduce the catastrophic effects of climate change and that you also voted for the man who vowed to ‘axe the tax’, the very mechanism that was reducing Australian emissions and contributing to a world-wide acceptance of the need to do something about climate change, I will tell you you’re a moron. A dangerous moron. And this leads me to my reason for writing you this letter. I want you to know that I’m not just pissed off with you. I’m furious* (*not a strong enough word). And I’m not pandering to you anymore. This is a call for those who share my anger not to pander to you either.

I was well aware of the rallies you mention Victoria, but I think that you need to put the numbers that you are so proud of into perspective. We have more than twenty million people living in this country which means that as a proportion of our national population the turnout was truly miniscule. You may or may not be aware of this but the claims of a pending climate apocalypse have been rather oversold and like the boy who cried wolf its most vehement proponents are less than credible anymore. Like you I care very much about the fate of the planet that we share and will leave to our offspring and I’m even angry too. But I’m angry that so much effort and treasure has been wasted on the futility of mitigation rather than making us so much more flexible in our thinking and so much more capable of adapting to any changes that actually occur to the climate.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that climate change rally-ers have been out in the streets before, with similar rallies calling for similar action to do something about climate change. Yes, we’ve been out before. But I think it’s time things changed. I think it’s time to talk about what’s happened in Australia. I think it’s time to call you all out for what you have done. Australia had action and emissions were reducing. But now Abbott is undoing it, because you supported him to do this. Because you elected Abbott, you have brought about an outcome which equates to you personally choosing a few dollars in your pocket over the safety of the planet. You don’t seem to care about your taxpayer dollars being wasted on Abbott’s ludicrous tree-planting exercise, Direct Action. Nor do you care that every credible scientist – and most economists – know that this policy will not work. This waste of money scheme is going to end up costing you far more personally, through your tax dollars, than the Carbon Price would ever have cost you. And no one has yet been able to explain to me in words that make sense how you processed this decision into a rational thought.

Yes I understand that its the same people who turn up to such events and I even share some of your cynicism about Tony Abbott’s Direct Action plan but it at least has a chance to do some good for our environment even if the AGW theory is a load of old cobblers. That said there is no chance at all that the Labor scheme will make a scrap of difference to either the climate or to the environment in general. I just can’t understand why you cling so desperately to such a futile scheme that will enrich spivs and shysters.

I actually think it’s pointless that we, those who want action, rally quietly in huge numbers and then go back to our day jobs on Monday and tell our work colleagues that we were there at the rally and how it’s going to help. We’re talking to work colleagues who, in their majority, have used their democratic vote to empower a man who everyone with half-a-brain knows is a climate change denier, for the personally convenient purpose of maintaining his friendship/donor relationship with the likes of Gina Rinehart.

The thing is Victoria you have to want more than just “action”, you have to want “effective action” and there was no way under heaven that the Labor scheme could have ever given you that. All it could have ever been was an act of climate piety, an empty indulgence that would make an almost immeasurably small change to the climate even if the science is right and the Jury is out on that point.

But that’s the thing about Tony Abbott. You people, the ones who voted for him, invented him. Like a disturbingly incoherent Frankenstein thug, you needed someone to tell you that climate change wasn’t a problem. You needed someone to maintain your comfortable status quo, to tell you that your pastimes of shopping and buying credits on your Candy Crush iPhone game were perfectly justifiable ways to spend your spare time and money. You needed this man to give you a reason to do nothing, and to campaign against action when someone tried to do something about the biggest problem our society has ever, and will ever, encounter, to make you feel like you’re not doing something wrong by doing nothing. But that’s the thing. You’re not just doing nothing. You’ve given Tony Abbott a mandate to undo the only action we had. The action we, the responsible Australians, rallied for. You’re the handbrake, you’re the ‘control z’ that could destroy the lives of my future offspring. You don’t care that people are already dying in countries you’ve heard of but never visited, as long as your electricity bill isn’t more than it was last month, which it probably isn’t because you spent half the month in Bali drinking 50c beers and buying $1 copies of Breaking Bad Season 2 so your plasma TV wasn’t on for 18 hours a day. And this is the point I want to make.

The simple truth is Victoria that there are a lot of people who voted for the Abbott government who did so out of entirely altruistic reasons, we just want the government to soundly administer its programs and departments. We want our government to put the interests of Australians ahead of the making futile acts of climate piety. Nor are we all crazy slaves to consumerism many of us tread just as lightly on the planet as you yourself do. Some of us would never even consider taking the sort of overseas holidays you and so many of the participants and your climate rallies  have on your CVs.

Climate change is not a debate. You have no right to an opinion on climate change. You’re not a climate scientist, I can guarantee it. Climate change is happening. It’s killing people now. Whether you like it or not in your comfortable little greed fest, we’re having more regular and more severe storms, droughts, floods and fires across the planet because of climate change, right now. People like me don’t go to rallies because we have nothing better to do on a weekend. And personally, I’m sick of the attitude that we, as a community of people who want to do something, should pander to people like you who refuse to listen, who refuse to understand what scientists are saying (note I say ‘understand’ and not ‘believe’ because this is not a fairy in the garden that you can choose to believe in or not). This is real. And it’s affecting those who want to do something about it just as much as it’s affecting you. But since you voted for Abbott, the coal companies are back in charge. Now we have a government who doesn’t even bother to attend the Warsaw climate conference, where the world is discussing plans to do something. Now we have an environment minister referencing Wikipedia to justify his denial.

This is where you go oh so wrong Victoria, everything in science is open to debate, without that its just not science, it is then nothing but a sort of religious dogma and it does otherwise intelligent people no good service to so misunderstand the principles of science and the scientific method. likewise it does you no good to inappropriately insist that only the priests (climate scientists) of your climate faith  have any right to an opinion on the changes that you wish to impose upon our society and the whole world. We live in a democracy Victoria and the people have spoken, you seem to be implicitly arguing for some sort of totalitarian dictatorship to “save the planet” would you really want to live in such a society? To have every aspect of your life controlled for the sake of the planet?

So this is my statement: I’m not pandering to you anymore. I’m not pretending it’s a good use of my time to try to convince you of the completely and utterly proven fact of climate change. Polite diplomacy has not got us anywhere. You need to know loud and clear that you’re the problem. And you need to take responsibility for what you and your selfish lifestyle, and your prioritising of dollars on your electricity bill have done to the continuation of the planet we all live on, the same place where we all hope to see our children live without being destroyed by your selfishness and greed.

The planet will endure well enough without the Carbon tax et al, in fact the Australian economy and environment may well do better without out its odious burden. But beyond that I share your wish for us all to tread lightly on the planet. Like you I eschew the consumer treadmill In fact I am personally a great practitioner of the the mend and make do school of thought so all of my furniture and many appliances are on their second lives. The thing is such frugality is sadly less common from people of all political percussions, and it should be an underlying imperative for all of us.

Your legacy is a country which convinced other wavering, weak societies that there was no point taking action, because it would just be un-done if they did. You will be remembered, and studied by future generations as the people who had the chance to do something, but were too selfish, mean, greedy and self-centered to sacrifice just a small amount for the benefit of the future. I don’t give a shit if this statement upsets you. You deserve to feel upset. You deserve to feel like total cowards. You needed to think of people in the future, and all you could think of was an insignificant sacrifice on your electricity bill which might affect how much, ever so slightly, you can afford to spend on your lifestyle today. You could have just made the easy and smart decision to cut down on your electricity usage, which was really the point of the Carbon Price in the first place. But this was an inconvenience to you. Your mindset is a complete outrage. You’ve democratically elected the most dangerous person you could possibly have voted for at a tipping point in the future of humanity, and you argue in favor of this disastrous decision with all your energy whenever you can. This is beyond wrong. Your behaviour is reprehensible and it’s time we told you so.

Where your argument falls down is in your misplaced faith in the ability of humanity as a whole to consistently work together for a single purpose not just for a sort time but forever. Surely with your interest in politics and history you must realise that such cooperation is just totally at odds with the totality of human existence?  We are by a very nature a quarrelsome creature who just can not play together well for long enough to make any Global scheme work. So you are just going to have to face the reality that the plan can n0t be made to work. Which means we have no choice but to adapt if and when the climate changes.  There is just  no point in doing anything else.

Next time you’re in the tea room at work equating climate change to the Y2K bug, I think someone should tell you you’re a blight on our future. Next time you spout your bullshit about the science not being settled on my Twitter stream, or you write loony comments on my blog to justify why you don’t want to do anything about climate change, I’m not going to engage in a debate with you as this just gives you the idea you’ve got some credibility in the argument. You have no credibility. I’m going to tell you you’re selfish and greedy. And I’m going to bring up this conversation with you rather than letting you ignore it. I’m calling on others who are as concerned as I am about the path this country has chosen not to pander to you anymore either. This is not a debate. This is you choosing to play Russian roulette with the lives of my unborn children. It’s not time for me to try to convince you to do the right thing because you’ve already had the chance to do the right thing and you spectacularly didn’t do it. Those who are worried about climate change aren’t going to get anywhere by being nice to you people. It’s time to get angry. It’s time to explain to you the gigantic error you have made. You voted for Tony Abbott. Now you have to live with what that means. It’s time to pop your comfortable little bubble. You’ve done the wrong thing.

Well I actually have children Victoria and I can tell you one thing and that is children certainly focus your attention on the future so I am doing my best to make sure that they are practical resourceful people who can make the most of what life throws at them. But I am also trying very hard to protect them form the sort of millenarian thinking that has clearly affected you on the issue of climate change. Our individual lives are oh so short and we are all rather insignificant.  so all that I can do to close is suggest that  when it comes to the climate we need to heed the wisdom serenity prayer even if you are, like me, an unbeliever:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference

We both as individuals will not be able to change the climate and it is nothing but a vain conceit to think otherwise so the only way for you to get past the pain and anguish you feel at present is to gain the wisdom about  that which you can and can not change

Yours Sincerely

Iain Hall

Bling and a wheeled fat-man’s coffin

Here at Chez Hall I hobble around and try to make the things that I can’t afford to buy and one of my long term projects has been to refurbish/rebuild my trailer. Find below some pictures of the project which I have felt moved to finish recently because I need it to pick up some parts for the Morris. The final result does look rather funereal, in fact I make jokes about it being a fat-man’s coffin.


How is this Mascot for a bit of bling on the Morris? $45 on ebay


I have been building my trailer  for a while now and mainly it has been languishing unfinished behind the shed


The point of the exercise was to make something that was light weight and totally recycled, in fact the only thing that is new on this project is a few fasteners and some welding supplies .I will be fitting the lights today and they are all sourced from a motorcycle


The steel came from here and there , some courtesy of my brother’s scrap heap , the skin was from a couple of steel doors . The guards are from an old ford tyre ,the axle and springs   from the back of a Barina , The Jockey wheel came from the recycling shed at my local tip . the floor is a sheet of form ply from a ute -load of the stuff that I was given by a friend.  There are eight trunk handles that I have had in the cupboard for the last decade that will provide tie down points to secure  any load,

Cheers Comrades


The million hit Blog


If you are reading this it means that the hit counter for the Sandpit has ticked over the one million hits milestone  which is worthy of note in anyone’s  language, more so in the case of this blog because for most of its existence there has been a sustained campaign to harass and denigrate yours truly and the other authors who post here.


I started blogging on a whim mainly because I needed to register with Blogger to comment on an Anti Andrew Bolt  blog, I have  changed the name and the platform on which this blog is published several times until I settled upon the current title and I am  very happy to n0w share this blog with three other regular contributors who ad greatly to the diversity of  the posts published here. The heart of blogging is not so much the posts themselves but rather it is the comment threads that those posts inspire and over the years we have had some very lively discussion threads that have given their participants lots of fun.


You see fun is what this blog is all about. Even when we have covered the most serious issues I like to think that we can do so with enough levity to keep it friendly.


So in the style of an awards night I have to offer a very sincere thank you, firstly to my fellow authors Ray Dixon (and his alter ego SockPuppet),  GD and to  Leon Bertrand, further I want to thank our readers for coming back on a regular basis to enjoy the musings on this page especially those of you who disagree with what I and the other authors write because without that disagreement we would not have the lively arguments in the comment threads. I also want to thank my wife and family for putting up with this sometimes grumpy blogger on a daily basis and last but not least I want to thank our family dog Bonnie for reminding me on a regular basis that I am only human and that nothing is more important than “walkies “

Cheers to all of our Comrades



“Earth Hour” and the virtues of eating cake


Ah that environmental equivalent to the hate week that Orwell spoke of in 1984 is almost upon us and like hate week  its all about manipulating the feelings of the proles so that the dominate religious  ideology can be both strengthened and reinforced.  Thus when we are exhorted to turn off our lights for earth hour those of us who do not plunge our homes and business into darkness can paint targets on our foreheads for the faithful to aim at with their condescending scorn.However like a lot of religious mumbo jumbo the underlying assumption about the effectiveness of this act of environmental contrition will be grossly overstated as will the culpability of humanity for the claimed changes in the climate. With that all in mind  I found Bjorn  Lomborg‘s argument in today’s Oz most compelling:

click or source

click or source

You don’t have to succumb to the group think about the “virtue” of turning off your lights or worse yet joining in to the immoral stupidity of getting your snout into the Photovoltaic subsidy trough that drives energy costs up for everyone else. There are better ways than these empty gestures to tread lightly on the planet, holiday in this country rather than taking that jet fueled jaunt around the planet, use your appliances and cars until they are worn out instead of replacing them when the warranty runs out. Forgo the pleasures of the fashion industry by only buying new clothes when your old ones are worn out, heck you could even seek a better balance between the need to be clean and the frequency and duration of your showering. All of theses things are going to make more difference to the planet than turning your lights off for one hour, especially if you have, like yours truly, already  been using the most efficient LED lights (that use 85% less energy than an incandescent bulb )for quite some time …

Never been a big fan of cake Comrades


Booking seats on the Titanic

Hmm you have got to love those Loopy Greens and their Peons in that Quango invented by Gillard to buy their parliamentary endorsement…


click for source

While I certainly do understand the strict letter of the law interpretation of  the “caretaker conventions ” its ludicrous that this Quango  is prepared to enter into contracts  and disperse Largess in the full knowledge that the coalition will close down the Quango at the earliest possible opportunity.   Frankly I suspect that those who enter into contracts with this instrumentality would have a very hard time suing   for compensation after a change of government because the coalition have made it very clear that that they will wind up this utterly useless sop to Greens ideology and its likely that a judge would agree with the incoming government that any contracts would be void and not liable to compensation.  Even if this were not the case its unlikely that the Green cronies would have spent all of the 10 billion by September 14 so all the Greens could hope to do is deprive the treasury of some budgetary savings when this quango is abolished.

Finally what is the bet that all employees of this Quango are on short term contracts?

Cheers Comrades

a new scheme to extract  energy from spinning girls will have the dual benifit of crating employment for the pretty young things and they are less of a threat to bird-life.

A new scheme to extract energy from spinning girls will have the dual benefit of creating employment for the pretty young things and they will be  less of a threat to bird-life than the wind farms that they will replace.

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