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The thing is that as there are now many thousands of people who have studied science enough to have “qualifications” it has become a very “broad church” that has elements that can support and endorse almost any proposition. Add to that the fact that there are many millions of people who are reasonably scientifically literate and an Internet to allow anyone to engage in the previously closed shop and you have the foundations for science becoming the new secular religion of the modern world.
No more perfect example of the making science a religion exists than the branch of science that deals with our climate and trying to predict the way that it may change into the future. Because “climate science” is utterly immune to any testing by the foundational tenet of science, the scientific method, So instead of being able to test the theory of AGW (which we can’t do because we don’t have a spare planet earth to experiment on) we the public are fed a constant stream of faith statements and dire predictions all of which are based upon some rather convoluted reasoning built upon a great deal of assumption, a little bit of (incomplete) data and huge amounts of confirmation bias, The proponents of this theory have take on a priest like role and many of their congregation argue about what they imagine will happen with the certainty of the religious zealot.
the simple truth is always going to be that we won’t know what the future of the climate will be until it actually happens and we are going to have to adapt to any changes if and when they come. We can try to anticipate change and spend a great deal of effort and treasure in the process but what if those anticipations are based on a wrong call? That was the underlying point of Newman’s piece in the Australian. As a “clever country” we have to be able to jump which ever way we have to to survive and prosper into the future. The planet is littered with edifices to failed millenarian thinking, the temples and monuments meant to placate the gods that did not avert the expected end of humanity lets not fall into the same trap of wasted effort just because the priests of the new warming religion wear white coats and use computers instead of tearing the beating hearts out the chests of human sacrifices on the altars of their faith.
I am actually sorry that I was MIA for last night’s QandA but I had an engagement with my son to play a game for the evening. However Palmer is certainly proving what a clown he is. What a shameless fool who sadly has the money (or access to funds) to make manifest some wild and crazy schemes the latest of which is his bonkers climate change conference where he plans to invite a whole swag of former world leaders to his dinosaur park for an utterly pointless chat fest. I am of course only guessing but I doubt that anyone with any real gravitas will attend but what is the bet that Clive’s new Bestie Al Gore is getting this stupid conference as payment for Clive’s road to Damascus conversion to the Green religion a few weeks ago? Palmer is as predictable as the plot of a $2 porno.
that said What Comrade Yale has to say as the post script to his post can not be seen as anything but the most amusing satire.
AND ANOTHER THING: One thing the Fairfax press is prepared to cover this morning is the plan by Palmer to establish his own national news publication; pitched as a “newspaper competitor” to Rupert Murdoch, Palmer has registered (or is in the process of doing so) the names The Australasian Times, The Australian Times, and Australian News.
There always seems to be a high-profile target wherever these “initiatives” by Palmer is concerned; not merely content to attempt to destroy a Prime Minister and a Premier, it now appears Palmer fancies himself to knock the most powerful media proprietor in the Western world down a few pegs as well.
Given the way he has conducted his political activities to date and what seems to be his conviction that the rest of us share his obsession with himself, it will be fascinating to see what passes as Palmer’s version of “unbiased news” — if this latest hare-brained scheme ever amounts to anything.
My guess is that even if it gets off the ground, it will find very limited favour with the news-consuming public; having spent 20 years in and around media companies and having acquired a firm grasp of what is involved in running them, my guess is that such an enterprise will haemorrhage money from Palmer’s fortune for as long as he is silly enough to persist with it.
Should it ever come to pass, Murdoch will be laughing — literally — all the way to the bank.
Not only will Murdoch be laughing but so too will the many washed up ex Fairfax journalists who will undoubtedly be lining up to sell their souls, and arses to Palmer for a few pieces of silver, even if the arse in question is pock marked with anti TB injections.
Palmer is a Joke who has worn out our ability to laugh at him these days its just a tired sigh from me at any of his antics but one thing is certain and that is we can be sure that the only thing that Palmer is interested in is having his ego massaged continually by making himself the center of every possible issue in Australian politics. Sadly we may have to put up with his pulsating blubber for some time to come because the happy ending that the public dream of won’t come soon enough and in the mean time we have to endure something that is almost too horrible to countenance no matter what side of politics you lay on.
I found this piece in the Oz due to an Irate Warminista on twitter:
This is utterly idiotic http://t.co/Nz4nfhQklf That this person is an Abbott advisor speaks volumes. Newman is unstable at best.
— Evan Keith Beaver (@evcricket) August 13, 2014
So naturally I checked out the link only to find a quite interesting argument suggesting that the evidence supports the notion that its variation in solar activity that drives climate change rather than changes in the composition of the atmosphere:
Yet during the past 20 years the US alone has poured about $US80 billion into climate change research on the presumption that humans are the primary cause. The effect has been to largely preordain scientific conclusions. It set in train a virtuous cycle where the more scientists pointed to human causes, the more governments funded their research.
At the same time, like primitive civilisations offering up sacrifices to appease the gods, many governments, including Australia’s former Labor government, used the biased research to pursue “green” gesture politics. This has inflicted serious damage on economies and diminished the West’s standing and effectiveness in world affairs.
University of Pennsylvania professor of psychology Philip Tetlock explains: “When journal reviewers, editors and funding agencies feel the same way about a course, they are less likely to detect and correct potential logical or methodological bias.” How true. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its acolytes pay scant attention to any science, however strong the empirical evidence, that may relegate human causes to a lesser status.
This mindset sought to bury the results of Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark’s experiments using the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. For the first time in controlled conditions, Svensmark’s hypothesis that the sun alters the climate by influencing cosmic ray influx and cloud formation was validated. The head of CERN, which runs the laboratory, obviously afraid of how this heretical conclusion would be received within the global warming establishment, urged caution be used in interpreting the results “in this highly political area of climate change debate”. And the media obliged.
But Svensmark is not alone. For example, Russian scientists at the Pulkovo Observatory are convinced the world is in for a cooling period that will last for 200-250 years. Respected Norwegian solar physicist Pal Brekke warns temperatures may actually fall for the next 50 years. Leading British climate scientist Mike Lockwood, of Reading University, found 24 occasions in the past 10,000 years when the sun was declining as it is now, but could find none where the decline was as fast. He says a return of the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830), which included “the year without summer”, is “more likely than not”. In their book The Neglected Sun , Sebastian Luning and Fritz Varenholt think that temperatures could be two-tenths of a degree Celsius cooler by 2030 because of a predicted anaemic sun. They say it would mean “warming getting postponed far into the future”.
If the world does indeed move into a cooling period, its citizens are ill-prepared. After the 2008 financial crisis, most economies are still struggling to recover. Cheap electricity in a colder climate will be critical, yet distorted price signals caused by renewable energy policies are driving out reliable baseload generators. Attracting fresh investment will be difficult, expensive and slow.
Only time will tell, but it is fanciful to believe that it will be business as usual in a colder global climate. A war-weary world’s response to recent events in the Middle East, Russia’s excursion into the Crimea and Ukraine and China’s annexation of air space over Japan’s Senkaku/Daioyu Islands has so far been muted. It is interesting to contemplate how the West would handle the geopolitical and humanitarian challenges brought on by a colder climate’s shorter growing seasons and likely food shortages. Abundance is conducive to peace. However, a scenario where nations are desperately competing for available energy and food will bring unpredictable threats, far more testing than anything we have seen in recent history.
I don’t know if this line of argument is correct but it does suggest that when it comes to addressing any future change in our climate that we would be better served by not assuming that the climate is going to be hotter into the future if it were to swing the other way though what would it mean for this country? I don’t think that we would have too much trouble in terms of our agriculture but we may have to change what we grow where. In terms of our energy sources we are quite well placed because we do have extensive reserves of fossil fuels but on the downside much of our housing stock in the northern parts of the country are not well suited to the cold. The thing is though no matter which way the climate may change we have to be prepared to cut our coats according to the cloth and the most important thing that will enable us to do that is flexible minds that are good at problem solving. The trouble with so many AGW true believers is that they are utterly inflexible in their thinking and they feel very threatened even by the possibility that their profits may be wrong so how do you think that they would go in a cold future rather than a hot one?
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 .
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
Ok Comrades its time to admit that something has surprised me in politics, thankfully for my dear readers that does not happen very often. You see I did not expect the Palmer Gore love in that we saw yesterday in the media who were going on as if what was announced would be upsetting the Abbott government. First the positives the hated Carbon tax will be abolished and its repeal bills passed and also a positive is that the “direct action policy appears to be impossible to pass. The renewable energy target thing is a relatively minor inconvenience as is the block the government’s plans to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation especially if the cost savings from no direct action policy is taken into account. The final positive is that Palmer has proven, with one fell swoop, that he is about as real and genuine as one of his robot dinosaurs. Talk about playing both ends of the field! After this we need a brand new superlative for hypocrisy, here is a coal miner getting up close and personal with a high priest of the Green religion, Ah well they do have utter hypocrisy in common.
What we can be sure of is that the Palmer circus is going to be entertaining us for a while yet with or without imported clowns like Al Gore