Iain Hall's SANDPIT

Home » Posts tagged 'Will Steffen'

Tag Archives: Will Steffen

Jo Chandler:”Good start, but only the beginning of decarbonising the economy” or kneeling in front of the AGW priests

I was spared the actual announcement yesterday because I was flat on my back under my car replacing a wheel cylinder, fortunately Leon was on the ball and gave us an excellent summary of Labor’s high pork content  climate package. This morning I have been doing the rounds of the usual suspects and I am finding pretty much what I expected. I could not help myself though when I read the piece by my favourite scientific schophant, Yep, that’s right Jo Chandler has used the announcement as a reason to cite all of her favourite priests  scientists of the Green religion Climate Science.

Lets give her piece the detailed scrutiny that such professions of faith deserve.

TURNING around emissions growth this decade and then cutting greenhouse pollution by 80 per cent by 2050 – the target announced by the Gillard government yesterday – would put Australia on the trajectory the world needs to take to avoid the catastrophic consequences of four degrees warming this century, leading climate scientists said yesterday.

Gee that sound both urgent and bad if we don’t get on board doesn’t it? However just look at the bit that I have emboldened above. Do you see the inherent problem with this argument? Yes that’s right if we are going it alone it does not matter what “trajectory” we are on if the rest of the planet is not following now does it? Of course this is a fine example of  intellectual dishonesty here  because a casual reading of the sentence above gives the impression that the Australian action is both efficacious and necessary rather than it being both futile and pointless without a concerted Global follow through. Sceptic or believer you have to admit that its is pointless for us to act unless there is equivalent resolve in the global players that truly matter , like the USA, India or most particularly China.

But they warned that the next few years would be critical and that the planet’s systems were poised on the brink of a man-made climate shock equivalent to the most devastating shifts nature had ever delivered on human civilisation.

”As a scientific community we have said we have to look at the end game, which is to decarbonise economies – especially industrialised ones – by mid-century,” ANU Climate Change Institute executive director Will Steffen, said.

”That allows some space for the developing world to bring its people out of poverty. So the 80 per cent target by 2050 is sending a strong signal in that direction,” Professor Steffen said.

It just ain’t gonna happen, There is absolutely NO evidence that there is anywhere near the political will do what alarmist like Will Steffen is advocating for here,Of course the Age’s senior writer is so imbued with the tales of disaster from alarmists like Steffen and so    much in awe of anyone in a white coat that she won’t ask them any hard questions like” if we can’t get our mitigation schemes to a point where they could work what is the best way to deal with the consequent changes to our climate?”  Instead we are delivered the same old socialist propaganda  about the obligations of the rich to enrich the poor. Its the same sort of utopian rhetoric that we have seen dripping from the tongues of every vile  Marxist dictator   from Lenin, and Stalin to Hugo Chavez. No wonder Chandler is in such awe here.

He was hopeful the momentum of such a target and the new technologies and confidence it would nurture would ultimately enable even bigger cuts. ”The first change is to just slow the growth of emissions,” he said. ”The long-term aspiration target is great and very consistent with what the science is saying we have to do. But to have a chance of reaching that, we actually have to bend the curve this decade.”

The argument that we should act now because we will save money in the long run is very popular with the priests of the Green Religion Climate scientists like Steffan. However if the underlying assumptions (that reducing emission will mitigate anthropogenic  climate change) are wrong it all becomes an expensive futility, as does a small nation like ours acting when the bigger players won’t play to those rules.  The Borg were right, even for believers, Resistance is futile.

The director of the University of Queensland Global Change Institute, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, said published modelling indicated that if all nations adopted similar targets ”there would be a good chance – more than 60 per cent – of limiting temperature rise to two degrees.

”This will be a tough but manageable world,” Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said. However, he added the caveat that such models assumed that a ”tipping point” or feedback didn’t suddenly accelerate changes in an unforseen way.

Yesterday’s announcements were crucial, if politically difficult. ”Given the pace of climate change, it is an imperative that we move quickly … carbon dioxide can no longer remain outside the calculations of the true cost of energy,” he said.

”This not only makes sense in terms of avoiding the extremely dangerous consequences of climate change, but is rational in terms of ensuring that Australia remains competitive in a world that will rapidly move away from being dependent on fossil fuels.

”This is a win for all – our planet, Australia and our children.”

Chandler trots out another doom and gloom sayer in front of whom she can genuflect. On this occasion it is the chap who has repeatedly insisted that the Great barrier reef is dying, only to have is dire predictions shown to be wrong. Like Steffen he seems to have an undue amount of faith in the notion that the nations of the world will get in line with Juliar and do as this country is doing. This is either academic naivety or wilful blindness to the political realities of our world and frankly I don’t know which is worse but either way he offers nothing useful for our future here.

Associate professor of environmental studies at Melbourne University Peter Christoff was cautious about the 2050 target.

”The issue hangs on the rate of reduction – the volume of carbon emitted, not the final figure,” he said. ”An analogy is trying to lose 30 kilos by Christmas. Start now, you’ve got a chance. Start on December 23rd, and you’ll need a knife and the surgery will be very unpleasant and probably lethal.

”If Australia’s rate of emissions reduction was to be meaningful, it would have to be a lot faster than minus 5 per cent by 2020, unless we intend to crash our economy in the following decade.”

Oh how cute 🙄 its the old weight loss for Christmas analogy 🙄 so in essence the very same” act now and it will be cheaper in the long run” fallacy,  truly this whole effort from Chandler is just one huge appeal to authority without a skerrik of good sense or reason

The head of ANU’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Tony McMichael, said Australia’s actions were significant when seen within the context of the global response.

”To argue that curbing Australian emissions makes no difference to global emissions is as wrong-headed as arguing that paying personal income tax makes no difference to the nation’s budget,” Professor McMichael said.

”Arresting climate change is a collective responsibility and Australia’s step forward will be noticed by other governments, as we notice theirs.”

This guy is an academic administrator and yet he comes across here as being entirely oblivious to the political reality of our world, either that or he has an entirely unrealistic view of the global significance of this country. In terms of global emissions we are what is it less than 2% of the equation. Well this just proves that having a PHD certainly does not ensure that you have the answer. Sadly it appears that Chandler thinks otherwise.

Professor Steffen said the policy was also significant for including scientific voices in the composition of the proposed Climate Change Authority and for recognising the importance of preserving and using landscapes to offset emissions.

”Finding mechanisms for putting carbon back into landscapes enhances biodiversity,” he said. ”More biodiverse ecosystems store more carbon, more securely and are more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”

I suppose I should be thankful that I find something to sort of agree with at the end of this sycophantic diatribe form Chandler. Adding carbon to our environment in the form of tree planting or as a soil enhancer has some benefits in and of themselves, the former provides us with a harvest-able resource and the latter can make our agriculture more productive (hmm do I hear echo’s of Tony Abbott?? )  But I find it rather disturbing that any government should let the priests of any religion near the levers of power, especially when that religion is tantamount to a millenarian cult.

So here we are at the end of another AGW panic piece by Jo Chandler and what a dreary piece of “journalism” it is, full of citations from the AGW orthodoxy and very light on for any sort of analysis of what these men are actaully saying here. I don’t know about anyone else but I expect more from someone who draws a wage from Fairfax as a “senior writer”, like insight and an understanding of the real politics of the issue. Then again this piece was probably conceived and written  over just one to many Chai Latte….

Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler’s religious revival meeting, now sing a Green hallelujah!!!

I have spent a lifetime opposing the excesses of the overtly religious, and at the same time I find the nature of belief just utterly fascinating. In my younger days it was discussing Catholicism in particular and Christianity in general that amused me but now I feel a certain ambivalence about faiths inspired by the teachings of Jesus on the understanding that, for the most part, the faith has some good things to offer human society.

I am far less sanguine about the followers of the AGW religion however, especially about the way that they claim a “scientific” underpinning for their dogma. So today I look at the latest revival meeting promo from the (new) Age’s latest Profit of the Green faith Jo Chandler and for your reading pleasure I translate the text into the sort of religious rhetoric that we are a little more  familiar with:

In little remote scientific communities like the Australian Antarctic Division’s Casey Station, on the East Antarctic coast, a roar from the ice might briefly interrupt the labour or conversation of the scientists and tradesfolk who are resident there, working on some aspect of deciphering the climate story. For those lucky enough to be among them, to hear it, it sends a shiver of humility through your bones. You are, after all, at the mercy of this grumbling giant. The cryosphere speaks rarely but emphatically.

O great goddess we are but your humble servants, we send our priestly  emissaries  into the cold wilderness so that they may better know the wonders of your divine being…

By definition, the cryosphere is that part of the planet which is covered in white – the ice sheets of the poles, the fields of pack ice, the glaciers, the frozen lakes and snowfields. Scientists will also tell you that it is the most confounding player in the climate puzzle.

Glaciologists and climate modellers are in a race to penetrate the secrets of the dazzling ice, to anticipate what warming will do to the hidden dynamics of the great ice sheets of the Arctic and the Antarctic. The largest unknown in the myriad projections of sea-level rise over the next century is the potential for rapid collapse of ice sheets.

They use the holy tools to seek out the nature of your divinity so that they may better understand the nature of the apocalypse that we are certain is coming…

In East Antarctica over the past three summers, a team of Australian, American, British and French glaciologists have flown thousands of kilometres surveying the continent aboard an aircraft fitted with specialist radar instruments capable of seeing deep inside and beneath the ancient ice. They are trying to map the shape and contours of the underlying bedrock. This information is critical to figuring out how warming will impact on the speed and flow of glaciers.

We shall not even dare to believe that each year brings more ice to the Antarctic….

It is one narrative amongst dozens of similar stories of field science, chapters in the great, imperative news issue of our era. This is a story which would seem to have all the ingredients of an electrifying piece of journalism – adventure, adrenaline, adversity, great pictures, and the stakes could not be higher.

I give thanks that in my quest to understand the Goddess that I have had a “girls own adventure

Antarctica and Greenland hold enough ice to raise global sea levels by some 70 metres, and the deep time geological record tells us that collapses of the ice sheets in history – in response to natural climatic triggers like volcanic eruptions or shifts in the Earth’s orbit – have caused sea level shifts of up to 20 metres over periods as brief as half a century. How they might respond to the trigger of human-induced greenhouse warming will now determine high tide on every coast of every nation.

Repent now or feel the wrath of the goddess !!!

The information collected from the ICECAP (Investigating the Cryospheric Evolution of the Central Antarctic Plate) survey flights is one piece of the puzzle. It will then be considered alongside the reams of analysis of the latest satellite data. All this is crunched through the merciless process of peer review before finding its way into publication in a scientific journal, after which it is exposed to broader debate and interrogation.

Blessed are the priests  who are writing the liturgy and that if we poor unwashed would just accept the words of the Profits then we can all be saved!

Give me a hallelujah!!!

In the journal pages research teams state their arguments and expose their methodology in the amphitheatre of the scientific literature, the archive of 350 years of investigative endeavour, and wait to see what happens next. Time and the next study might validate them; it might over-rule them. This is not the ping-pong of obscure matters, it is the most important conversation on the planet. And yet much of it is invisible.

We all know how keen the faithful are to use the odd trick to spread the word and long may they do so!!

Raise your voices to Gaia children!

If you rely on traditional mass media for your news – the morning paper, the evening news, the midday headlines – you will likely have little sense of the dimensions of the cryosphere story or any of the other critical narratives within the climate science discussion, like the vanishing of biodiversity, or the change in the chemistry of the oceans known as “the other CO2 problem”, ocean acidification. (If you are motivated and invested enough to use the internet and new media to follow the science you have the opportunity to be better informed, although human inclination will likely sequester you in the tent which supports your beliefs.)

Now don’t you be deceived by reading the unapproved sources and texts! there is but one truth and we are its Profits!

Can I hear you denounce Satan’s servants who dare to sow the seeds of doubt into the minds of the faithful, the servants of Satan are everywhere! So do not stray  from the one true path.

Give me another hallelujah!!!

A headline here or there might suddenly emerge, inspired by some new piece of research. It might catch your eye by declaring something alarming. But read on, and will likely be answered within 500 words of newsprint, or a 30-second broadcast grab, by a contrary voice attached to vague but reassuringly scientific credentials insinuating that it’s really nothing to worry about.

Be  well aware that the tongue of Satan is talented at deception and he may well use the language of the faithful to fool you into the morass of doubt , but hold strong to your faith in the face of such slick adversity!!!

Do I hear an “out with Satan?” Praise Gaia!!

At every level, as in so many areas of evolving climate science, shifts in the ice mass balance, in the speed of the flow of glaciers, represent a deeply complex story. It is a live, dynamic frontier of scientific argument. It is steeped in caveats and questions, every statement accompanied by carefully calculated equations of probability and possibility.

The path is hard  and the journey is long my brethren but have faith in the priests of our glorious faith that we can make simple that which is  so complex and we can give you answers where none currently exist because we have the insight of the Goddess to draw upon.

Praise the Goddess!!!!

There is little scope for such equivocation within the news agenda; little room to accommodate all those baffling qualifiers within the shrinking editorial space of newspapers particularly. Editors, and readers, insist on certainty, on brevity. They are also inclined to controversy, confrontation, provocation and entertainment. Science which does not meet these criteria, for all its rigour and merit, misses out.

Be you not deceived by false prophets who read the holy scripture in a manner unapproved by the goddess or her high priests. Those false prophets  dare to describe the divine posterior as if her vestments are but an illusion, when we all know that they are made of the finest organic fibres.

Add to this the wild, unscientific prevailing winds which determine the news agenda of any particular day. Whether a big science story makes the cut or not might be determined by the outcome of a particularly exciting football match, the whims and inclinations of gatekeeper duty editors; on who died that day, who got married, who was in court and on what charges.

Only those anointed in the name of the Goddess should be believed and beware of anything that claims to be more important than the Message of the Goddess.

Now give me another hallelujah!

An important scientific discovery may be obscured because it emerges on a day when other events dominate the headlines. A less significant piece of work will make the front page because it lands on a slow news day, because it supports broader political agendas, or simply because it is assessed as having more value because it swims against the prevailing tide of grim news and might make us all feel a little safer.

Let not the worries of this world stand in the way of you doing the bidding of the goddess and let nothing stray you from the path of righteousness !

The late Professor Stephen Schneider – a leading American climatologist and veteran scientific street-fighter – called these paradigms “mediarology”. The science of journalism, he and his peers lamented, tends to create strange distortions in climate science, with orthodox research losing much in translation.

It is a deep shame that so many in the once blessed profession of the journal have strayed from the path and that they dare to pervert the one true faith.

Scientists, he argued, are not like opponents in a court room or a parliament – they don’t assemble to vigorously fight two polar opposite ends of an argument. When questioned, they will more likely seek to canvass “a spectrum of potential outcomes, which are often accompanied by a history of scientific assessment of the relative credibility of each possibility”. Try selling that to an editor, in 500 words or less.

Verily the laity of the journal know not the proper way to discover the truth of the liturgy and it is only those wearing the blessed white coats that can lead us to salvation.

Let me hear you Praise the Goddess with a truly rousing Hallelujah!!!

Journalists are reared in a culture which instructs them to get “both sides” of a story – a fine model where two sides of equal weight and gravitas are pitched at one another. But the task becomes a formidable juggling act where an issue is multi-faceted or heavily skewed. For instance, where 97 out of 100 scientists hold one position, and three say something else – proportions which reflect the positions of active, publishing climate scientists on the question of human-induced warming – is a 50-50 balance of views fair play, or is it a distortion?

The forces of Satan would have you believe that the blessed consensus of the anointed ones has no standing but we true believers know that when we all sing with one voice that the song we sing must be pleasing to the Goddess.

Schneider argued journalists needed to replace knee-jerk models of balance with a more accurate, fairer doctrine of perspective, one which communicated not only the range of opinion, but the relative credibility of each opinion within the scientific community.

We need to ensure that those who walk the path of the blessed Goddess are not questioned by the foul minions of doubt

Journalists, scientists and the public are in a period of transition, one where the implications for our lifestyles and our economy means we need – as a matter of urgency – to learn to reflect on how we communicate and hear one another. One where we need to apply more sophisticated tests of rigour to the information which is brought to us. One where we all learn to speak and understand the language of science – of credibility and caveats, the plus and minus of uncertainty and probability.

Only when you have accepted the goddess as your personal saviour will you truly understand the need for the holy tithe that the doubters would deny our self righteous leaders and Profits

In going into the field to join scientists and research the stories within my book, Feeling The Heat, my objective was to try to contribute to shifting the conversation on climate to a new paradigm. I set out to employ long-form narrative journalism to take people inside the scientific story, to feel the conditions and meet the people at the front line, to have them explain their processes, their theories, their insights, even their fears. I wanted to populate the climate narrative with real humans, as it is the most deeply challenging of human stories.

Verily I have made pilgrimages to the far places of the earthwhich hold the keys to our earthly salvation and I have discovered that only by paying due deference to those learned priests of the one true faith that I have been saved. But salvation is something to share so I ask you to dig deep and buy my holy book, so that my ministry may be fruitful and so that I can minister in all of the unholy holiday resorts and spread the name of the Goddess with pride.

The climate discussion – in parliaments, in policy, in pubs, schools, shops, street corners and in the Twitterverse – has barely begun. It will be a deeply wearisome, exhausting, exasperating conversation if it remains mired in tired, contrived news structures; round and round we will go, condemned to the eternal groundhog day argument – “is it real?”.

It is cold comfort to reflect that if the cryosphere indeed has something powerfully contradictory to say, ultimately it will make itself heard.

Once again I must remind you that the fight against Satan will be long and hard fought and we must not let those merchants of doubt distract us form the one true path. Otherwise the wrath of the Goddess will be visited upon us all!

Praise the Goddess!!!

To celebrate the recent launch of Jo Chandler’s book Feeling the Heat and to promote discussion about climate change issues, The Age will host a forum at Media House tonight at 6pm to discuss the reporting of climate change. The speakers are Professor David Karoly of Melbourne University, Professor Will Steffen of the Climate Commission and Jo Chandler. It will be moderated by Age environment reporter Adam Morton.

Verily I offer to you all a welcome to our revival meeting where you can hear the wisdom of some most notable Profits of the faith, oh and don’t forget that you can buy copies of my holy book

Amen and  for the Goddess a final Hallelujah !!!

all quotes from here :
Cheers Comrades
%d bloggers like this: