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Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

Being a black guy, that’s a peace prize! Making a sandwich, that’s a peace prize!

From PJTV. Hilarious!

Well, not quite:

His Excellency Ban Ki Moon
Secretary-General, United Nations
New York, NY
United States of America
8 December 2009

Dear Secretary-General,

Climate change science is in a period of ‘negative discovery’ – the more we learn about this exceptionally complex and rapidly evolving field the more we realize how little we know. Truly, the science is NOT settled.

Therefore, there is no sound reason to impose expensive and restrictive public policy decisions on the peoples of the Earth without first providing convincing evidence that human activities are causing dangerous climate change beyond that resulting from natural causes. Before any precipitate action is taken, we must have solid observational data demonstrating that recent changes in climate differ substantially from changes observed in the past and are well in excess of normal variations caused by solar cycles, ocean currents, changes in the Earth’s orbital parameters and other natural phenomena.

We the undersigned, being qualified in climate-related scientific disciplines, challenge the UNFCCC and supporters of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to produce convincing OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE for their claims of dangerous human-caused global warming and other changes in climate. Projections of possible future scenarios from unproven computer models of climate are not acceptable substitutes for real world data obtained through unbiased and rigorous scientific investigation.

Specifically, we challenge supporters of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused climate change to demonstrate that:

1.Variations in global climate in the last hundred years are significantly outside the natural range experienced in previous centuries;

2.Humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse gases’ (GHG) are having a dangerous impact on global climate;
3.Computer-based models can meaningfully replicate the impact of all of the natural factors that may significantly influence climate;
4.Sea levels are rising dangerously at a rate that has accelerated with increasing human GHG emissions, thereby threatening small islands and coastal communities;
5.The incidence of malaria is increasing due to recent climate changes;
6.Human society and natural ecosystems cannot adapt to foreseeable climate change as they have done in the past;
7.Worldwide glacier retreat, and sea ice melting in Polar Regions , is unusual and related to increases in human GHG emissions;
8.Polar bears and other Arctic and Antarctic wildlife are unable to adapt to anticipated local climate change effects, independent of the causes of those changes;
9.Hurricanes, other tropical cyclones and associated extreme weather events are increasing in severity and frequency;
10.Data recorded by ground-based stations are a reliable indicator of surface temperature trends.

It is not the responsibility of ‘climate realist’ scientists to prove that dangerous human-caused climate change is not happening. Rather, it is those who propose that it is, and promote the allocation of massive investments to solve the supposed ‘problem’, who have the obligation to convincingly demonstrate that recent climate change is not of mostly natural origin and, if we do nothing, catastrophic change will ensue. To date, this they have utterly failed to do so.

Signed by over 100 leading climate scientists.

See the full list at Copenhagen Climate Challenge.

via Australian Conservative.

Just one more thing before the lager and nuts:

Global Warming - What's Really Endangered?

From Town Hall.

And finally (no I really mean it this time), if you are still in any doubt that scary AGW is  a fraud, bad science, based on cherry picked and manipulated data, a load of old cobblers, the opiate of the newsreaders, read Disproving the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Problem by Leonard Weinstein.

Dr Weinstein is a former senior research scientist who worked more than 30 years at the NASA Langley Research Center and is now senior research fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace.

He writes: “In order to support a theory, specific predictions need to be made that are based on the claims of the theory, and the predictions then need to happen.”

He lists six predictions required by the CO2 caused AGW theory and shows how not one has occurred. Also from Town Hall, with thanks.

If it were not for the vast amounts of money being made, AGW would have hit the remainder bins years ago.

PS. It’s cold and foggy and boring in Copenhagen.

PPS. Sarah Palin has some sensible words about Crapenhogen:

The last thing America needs is misguided legislation that will raise taxes and cost jobs — particularly when the push for such legislation rests on agenda-driven science. Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference.

You go, girl.

Or that’s what the AGW alarmists would have you believe, with ever more shrill warnings about melting ice, starving Africans, extinct frogs, and the hottest decade ever in Australia. No really, you have to believe me.

Whatever.

‘Whatever’, is becoming the standard, and appropriate, response to the decadal scientific scare oscillation (DSSO).

For example, 20% more people in the US believe in angels than believe in terrifying human caused global warming.

Well done, I say. This is good evidence of the common sense of the common people. From what I have seen and read, there is more reason to believe in angels than AGW, or most other fairy tale monsters.

Meanwhile, the lamestream media are beginning to see the writing in the ice.

The Australian today carried an article discussing two major studies reported in peer reviewed scientific journals, both of which seriously undermine the alarmist non-science.

On Monday CNN gave a substantial amount of air time to real climate science. That is, science that fairly addresses the complications of climate modelling and examines real world data without multiple layers of massage and hot rock therapy.

Fair reporting on CNN? OMG! The world really is ending.

Finally, yesterday’s Telegraph included a long and careful article by Christopher Booker detailing the astonishing costs of reducing CO2 emissions to the levels proposed by the scare crew.

Don’t forget, Decadal Scientific Scare Oscillation. DSSO.

This will save you from any pointless fear when the new ‘We must do something about this right now at great expense or the world will end’ scenario appears in five years time.

The Daily Mail manages to write nearly 1,000 words on the problem of increasing violence caused by a growth in fundamentalism, without once mentioning what kind of fundamentalism this might be.

Those pesky Baptists just won’t stop mutilating their daughters’ genitals. And they seem to have a predilection for killing them if they fall if love with the wrong bloke.

Detectives are still investigating the death of mother-of-two Geeta Aulakh, 28, who was hacked to death with a sword in Greenford, north west London last month. An 18-year-old student has been charged with her murder.

Oh, a student. Could have been Salvation Army. Or maybe some Anglicans were visiting from Sydney.

The closest the Daily Mail gets to giving the game away, you know, informing people about what’s going on, is this:

In July, a 24-year-old Asian man from Denmark lost part of his tongue and was left blind in one eye when he had acid thrown in his face in Leytonstone.  Police believe he was attacked over his relationship with a married Muslim woman.  Two men are awaiting trial over the assault.

Campaigners believe honour attacks are on the up due to rising fundamentalism in communities around Britain. …

Detective Chief Inspector Gerry Campbell, of the Metropolitan Police, said: ‘The description of this type of crime is misplaced. There is no honour in these crimes.’

He certainly got that right. But what about some honour in reporting?

via Jihad Watch.

Mr Rudd announced today that families would be compensated for the extra costs caused by Labor’s planned ETS.

But what exactly is the point of a tax if the businesses who will pay the tax are going to be compensated for the extra tax they pay by taxing someone else more so that the businesses can be compensated, and then compensating the people who are being taxed extra to pay the compensation for the first group. Where is that money going to come from?

If I can’t work it out, it’s a good thing Labor is in charge, their being so brainy and all.

Except the public Rudd wants to impress with his generosity is not impressed at all.

A sample of comments from the above linked story:

The real problem if you beleive in climate change is that they are blaming it on carbon dioxide emissions which is 90% generated by energy and transportation which is used to bring goods and services to consumers. So here in lies the problems, Australia consumes 30 tonnes of carbon per a capita and the sustainable amount according to the “experts” is 3 tonnes per a capita globally… so realistically you need people to consume only 1/10 of what they consume now… how do you get them to do this? well you tax the crap out of them so they can’t spend money on anything… but hey wait, whats the point of a tax that you just give back to the public in hand outs. uhmm well nothing, its just money going back and forth, govt taxes businesses, businesses ups the costs of goods, and the goverments gives the money back to the people to pay for the increase costs and were back at square one except money is effectively loss on administration costs, govt “looks” like they are doing something about climate change, and they “look” like they are giving free money to the public when in reality they’ve done nothing. it’s pretty simple, if your serious on climate change, start building nuclear energy

By compensating for price hikes, consumers will still buy just as much of polluting products. All this will lead to is inflation. While I don’t like the guy, Abbott will be getting my vote.

So there you have it, there will be a massive tax hike and we will still be paying for it, even though we get some of it back. See another mining company ready to sign a deal in indo. They will leave in droves shortly if an ETS is adopted. Love ’em or hate ’em, the mines and miners make a massive contribution to our nation’s economy. Would I have a business if there hadn’t been a mining boom? NOT ON YOUR NELLIE! Can’t feed the kids on air now, can we?

The PM pledges families will pay little or nothing for his ETS scheme, is that so. Is Mr Rudd going to pay for it out of his own pocket then? If not where does he think the money comes from to pay for all these mega dollars he keeps handing out, it comes from Mums and Dads and You and Me, it really is frightening.

Sorry, Kev. We’re just not buying it.

Despite the morbid prognostications of Mr Mackerras and the left-wing locos, I said before the Higgins and Bradfield by-elections that both seats would be retained easily by the Liberals, that neither would go to preferences, and that there was a chance both candidates would be returned with increased majorities.

I even gave a fairly detailed analysis of why I thought so.

By 8.30 on Saturday night it was clear the Liberals had won both seats easily. It was not clear then what the final two party result would be. I said that increased majorities were still likely after postal and absentee votes were counted.

My guesses on the night were:

Higgins 58% to 42%. Actual result 59.6% to 40.4%.

Bradfield 64% to 36%. Actual result 63.9% to 36.1%.

About half a percent increase in the majority in Bradfield. About what I expected – 64% is a pretty decisive result and will be difficult to better.

But a nearly 3% increase in Higgins – the seat Mackerras said would be lost to Clive Hamilton and the Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden Party.

When you consider both seats had lost long-time, high profile, popular incumbents, this is an an amazing result.

And I did pretty well, too.

A common view about the date of Christmas goes something like this:

“Well, it was a pagan festival, something to do with the sun, and the Christians pinched it to try to make their religion more popular.”

This is one of those things people just ‘know’. But like many things everyone ‘just knew’ at one time (eg, the Sun goes round the earth, older women with moles are witches), we now know this to be false.

The belief that Christians appropriated a pagan festival and made it into Christmas started with Paul Jablonski, a German historian writing in the 17th century.

A radical protestant, Jablonski wanted to show that the Catholic faith was unreliable because it had almost immediately started absorbing pagan beliefs and customs. Jablonski believed, and wanted to prove, that ‘Sola Scriptura’ (Scripture alone) was the only safe foundation for faith.

In the Julian calendar, created in 45 B.C. the winter solstice fell on December 25th. It seemed obvious to Jablonski that the day must have had a pagan significance before it had a Christian one.

He was wrong.

In fact the feast of Sol Invictus, or the invincible sun, was instituted by the emperor Aurelian in 274AD. By this time Christians had been celebrating the birth of Jesus on that date for many years.

Hippolytus, a priest in Rome, wrote thirty years before this that Jesus’ birth “took place eight days before the kalends of January,” that is, on December 25th. St John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, also confirms that Christians had celebrated the birth of Christ on this date from the early days of the Church.

It was the pagans who attempted to bolster their falling numbers by appropriating a Christian festival, not the other way around.

How could the Church have known when Jesus was born? The simplest explanation is that Mary, Jesus’ mother, told His disciples what had happened, and they remembered and told those who came after, just as they related the other facts of Jesus’ life and teaching.

A little additional confirmation comes from John Chrysostom. He explains that the date is confirmed by Luke 1 which says Zechariah was performing priestly duty in the Temple when an angel told him his wife Elizabeth she would bear John the Baptist.

During the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Mary was also visited by an angel and Jesus was conceived. She then went immediately to visit Elizabeth, who was her cousin.

The 24 classes of Jewish priests served by roster in the Temple. Zechariah was in the eighth class. Jewish tradition tells us the class on duty when the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70.

Calculating back from that, Zechariah’s class would have been serving in October in the year before Jesus’ birth. That is when Elizabeth became pregnant.

Mary visited Elizabeth six months later, just after her visit from the angel Gabriel. That is, in March. Jesus was born nine months later – in December.

So Happy Christmas!

No surprise there.

Mr Rudd says he is not interested in debating climate change with Mr Abbott.

He says Mr Abbott should stop talking and develop a coherent policy on climate change.

Give him time Kevin. And start packing.

In a speech to the Australia Israel leadership Forum on Sunday night Julia Gillard said :

“But with passion must come reason. While we extend debate to all views, our policies must be based on scientific consensus and our actions should be based on reason.”

So far so good. But what do you do if there is a conflict between reason and consensus?

Or even easier, what do you do if the confict is between reason and science on one hand, and a carefully constructed mirage of consensus on the other?

If Julia is true to her principles, she will end up voting with the Liberals.

OK, a little poetic license there.

There ABC’s refusal to mention Climategate/Climaquiddick, or to acknowledge the lack of warming for the last ten years, or any aspect of scientific reality, means it is getting more and more desperate for stories to bolster up its Christmas TEOTWAWKI appeal.

TEOTWAWKI is an ancient Mayan word that means bollocks.

All right then, it isn’t. It stands for The End Of The World As We Know It.

What the ABC needs is to get rid of the medieval warm period. No, darn, we tried that already. How about a story about some charismatic mega-fauna driven to the ultimate extremes of horror by human inaction on climate change?

No problem. How about:

Some grim evidence of the effects of climate change are emerging in Canada’s far north.

Scientists are reporting more cases of cannibalism among Polar Bears.

Tourists often take excursions to northern Manitoba, for a first hand look at Polar bears. But one group recently experienced a horrifying site as a male bear separated a cub from its mother, then killed and ate the cub.

Scientists say there have been at least eight cases of polar bears eating cubs this year. They say the cubs are being killed for food.

Gosh. Horrifying. The tourists were crying and shaken. Those cute poley bears are like, wild and stuff. And hungry. It must be global warming!

Except, that, as local Inuit elder Jose Kusugak points out, the whole story is TEOTWAWKI, in the Mayan sense. He says male polar bears kill and eat other bears frequently. Nor are their numbers decreasing.

Conservationists disagree. They’ve never seen bears eating bears before, and it’s yukky. But according to the peer reviewed scientific literature, Jose is right.

My wife asked me on the way into Kingscote yesterday if I thought a double disillusionment was likely.

She meant double dissolution, and corrected herself immediately. But it is a great phrase.

For the Labor Party, a double disillusionment is more likely than a double dissolution.

Malcolm Mackerras predicted on Thursday that the Liberals would lose in Higgins and that Bradfield would go to preferences. This is a big prediction when you consider that both have been safe conservative seats since they were created.

Labor is not running a candidate in either seat. This means the only meaningful opposition to Kelly O’Dwyer in Higgins and Paul Fletcher in Bradfield is the Greens.

The Greens vote in both electorates will increase substantially. This is not because people agree with the Greens’ policies, but because those who will not vote Liberal have no one else to vote for.

But neither electorate will go to preferences. Both will remain safe Liberal seats. There is even a possibility that the Liberal’s primary vote in both seats will increase.

Of course, tomorrow I could be the one suffering from double disillusionment. But I don’t think so.

For the Greens to take the necessary number of votes from both Labor and Liberal in either seat to force a count of preferences would require that:

  1. Liberals voters turn from the Liberal Party because the Liberals now have a more conservative leader. This is not likely. The Liberals do better, not worse, when they are more conservative, and when their policies can be clearly and easily distinguished from those of Labor.
  2. Voters in general are convinced that anthropogenic global warming is real, and are more concerned about the impact of AGW than they are about the economic consequences of an ETS, or of Australia signing up to the Copenhagen Treaty. This is a little harder to call. My impression is that most ordinary people do think there is possibly, maybe, perhaps something in the AGW scare. This is hardly surprising – the media has had 15 years to convince them, with very little of the opposing view allowed through the filters. But are they more concerned about this than job losses and increased taxes? I don’t think so.
  3. Even for Liberal Party voters who do believe in AGW, and think its possible consequences merit action which will slow down industry, increase prices, etc (and this is a minority group), doing something about AGW would have to be more important to them than any other policy matter which has infuenced their vote before. There will certainly be some who fall into this group. But enough to force either electorate to preferences? Highly unlikely.

The ABC says the result will be a voter verdict on the Liberal Party stoush. The change of leadership and the issues that lead to to it have had enough media coverage for this to be true.

But there are other local and state considerations.

Two of those considerations may push votes to Liberal.

Bradfield is in Sydney. Sydney is in New South Wales.

The NSW Labor Party is a train wreck, with even left wing union bosses predicting it will be annihilated at the polls in the next state election. This disillusionment with Labor, even among Labor diehards, will have an effect in Bradfield.

In Higgins, the Greens have run a celebrity candidate, Clive Hamilton. But Clive is not a local, and is not popular. Leftie (but relatively sensible leftie) David Jackmanson wrote in the Age yesterday that:

It’s a sign of the decline of Left politics that a reactionary, pro-censorship sexual moraliser who hates the idea of working people enjoying a higher material standard of living could ever be considered left-wing.

Finally, some former Green voters are disillusioned with the Greens because despite their claims about the urgency of immediate action to stop climate change, they have blocked the government’s ETS legislation at every turn because they could not get their own way.

And Mackerras and other left-wing commentators believe that voters will flock from the Liberals to the Greens because the Liberals under Abbott voted with the Greens to block the ETS?

Double disillusionment.

Update:

It is 7.30pm South Australian time and already the ABC is running the headline: Liberal candidate Kelly O’Dwyer expected to claim victory in Higgins by-election.

7.35 pm. The ABC has: Liberals On Verge Of By-election Victory.

At this stage Kelly O’Dwyer in Higgins and and Paul Fletcher in Bradfield both have a slightly higher percentage of the vote than the previous Liberal incumbents. It is still very early though.

7.45. Paying insufficient attention to what is happening in the kitchen, and I have burnt my dinner. Another Crown Lager will make me feel better.

8.25pm The ABC has: Kelly O’Dwyer Claims Victory in the Melbourne Seat of Higgins

Channel Nine News headlines with: ‘I was trying to be cool’ Chubby teacher gets fired after doing striptease for rowdy students. Good to see they are keeping their eye on the ball.

8.35 Kelly O’Dwyer has claimed victory in Higgins. With 58.2% of votes counted, she has 51.5% of the primary vote.

Greens candidate Clive Hamliton has 35.2%. Considering this is the Greens and Labor vote combined, it is an embarrassing result.

In Bradfield Paul Fletcher has 55.5% of the primary vote with 58.5% counted. Greens candidate Susie Gemmell has 26.1%. Again, given that Labor did not field a candidate, this is a dismal result for the Greens.

It should also be embarrassing for Malcolm Mackerras and the rest of his motley mob. Why did they get this so wrong?

Probably a story for another time, but in essence, I think it is because most ABC commentators simply do not talk to anyone outside their own circle. No-one they know votes Liberal, and they are genuinely taken aback when people express an opinion they do not share.

8.50pm SA time. Last update for the night.

Paul Fletcher has claimed victory in Bradfield.

In Higgins with 61.5% counted, the result is Liberal 51.5%, Greens 35.2%, expected two party result, Liberal 57.4, Greens 42.6%.

In the last election the two party result in Higgins was Liberal 57%, Labor 43%.

In Bradfield with 61.4% counted, the result is Liberal 55.5%, Greens 25.8%, expected two party result, Liberal 63.3%, Greens 36.7%.

In the last election the two party result in Bradfield was Liberal 63.5% Labor 36.5%

Postal, absentee and hospital votes in both electorates tend to favour the Liberals by about 70%, so the final result, which will not be known for a few days, should give another half a percent overall to Liberal in each seat.

This would give a final two party result in Higgins of about 58% to 42%, and in Bradfield of about 64% to 36%.

Last ABC headline for the night: Liberals Knock Out Greens in By-elections.

ABC election analyst Antony Green says there has been no discernible swing to the Greens after preferences.

Afghanistan was always going to be a harder fight than Iraq.

It is also a fight that must be won – not just for the people of Afghanistan, but for the people of Pakistan. If Afghanistan falls, Pakistan will be in danger.

If Pakistan falls, the world will be in danger.

So I was pleased when Obama announced a ‘surge’ of 30,000 troops, even though it had taken months of damaging dithering for that announcement to be made.

But he also announced that troops would be withdrawn beginning in 18 months time.

As Ken Taylor at The Minority Report points out, this has turned an almost certain victory against terrorism and oppression into an almost certain defeat:

… the pathetic announcement that The United States would begin pulling out of Afghanistan in July of 2011 clearly signals to the enemy that all they need do is wait eighteen months until we leave and then step in and take over the country. Even an imbecile understands that telling an enemy when you plan to leave the field of battle only allows that enemy to hide and bide its time until deescalation.

Common sense demands that a military action never sets a specific end date, but then no one has ever accused Barack Obama of having any common sense. Once again Obama fails to take heed the lessons of Vietnam. At one point the Vietcong were on the verge of surrendering because we had them on the run. Then it was announced that The United States would begin drawing down our troops and the Viet Cong pulled back and went into hiding until the draw down was complete. Within weeks after our signaled withdrawal was over the Vietcong overpowered South Vietnam and have controlled the country since. …

It took more than three months to develop this strategy which is weak and very much designed to appease Obama’s liberal base and a political maneuver rather than a strategy for victory, defeating our enemy, destroying Al Qaeda and the Taliban and leave a stable and secure Afghanistan free of terrorist influence. It seems that Obama’s goal is to leave without victory and offer the Afghans as a lamb of sacrifice for the country to once again becomes a terrorist safe haven after the enemy waits out Obama’s signaled end date of surrender. A danger to the world, a danger to the Afghans and most importantly a danger to The United States.

The article is worth reading in its entirety. The only thing Ken gets wrong is his claim that being a danger to the US is more important than being a danger to the Afghans or to the world. But since the US is still bearing the major part of the cost of that war, a measure of parochialism is understandable.

Public opinion on climate change is shifting as awareness grows that the media has not been telling the whole story. People want to know what the evidence and arguments are.

I have posted links to my introduction to the politics and science of global warming before. It is (I hope and believe) an easy to read, accurate and straightforward summary of key theories and evidence.

Please feel free to download, copy, give to friends, send to politicians, etc.

Despite the floor crossing brain-ejecting party betraying antics of Boyce and Troeth, the ETS/CPRS/RAT scheme has been defeated in the Senate.

At very least this will give parliament time to re-examine the evidence.

And for as long as common sense prevails we have been saved from a pointless and crippling tax on everything.

Senators Sue Boyce and Judith Troeth have announced their intention to cross the floor and vote for Labor’s mind-bogglingly pointless and expensive ETS.

They both express the hope that the party members and constituents they are betraying will understand they have acted in good faith.

I have just emailed both of them as follows:

Dear Senator,

I urge you to vote against Labor’s ETS scheme.

Opposition and government both have an absolute obligation to ensure that legislation which would impose massive additional costs on industry and transport, and consequently undermine the wealth of every Australian, is necessary and based on clear evidence. The ETS is neither.

The evidence for human caused global warming is very thin indeed.

Over 30,000 scientists have signed a petition saying humans are not causing harmful climate change.

The ETS will not change the climate. It will achieve nothing at huge cost.

At very least there is no rational reason to rush this legislation through.

Please oppose it.

Why?

Senators, have you read from a variety of sources on the climate debate?

Have you, for example, read the recent WSJ article by one of the world’s leading climate scientists, Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorolgy at MIT, in which he says:

Our perceptions of nature are similarly dragged back centuries (by climate change alarmism) so that the normal occasional occurrences of open water in summer over the North Pole, droughts, floods, hurricanes, sea-level variations, etc. are all taken as omens, portending doom due to our sinful ways (as epitomized by our carbon footprint).

Have you read the petition signed by over 30,000 scientists disputing the claim humans are causing harmful climate change?

Have you considered the massive summary of peer reviewed research undertaken by the Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change?

Have you spoken to leading Australian scientists like Ian Plimer or Robert Carter?

If you have not yet managed any of that, have you at least read a straightforward lay summary of why the alarmist claims are doubtful? Like Jo Nova’s or mine (Jo Nova’s is prettier, but I think mine is more substantial).

And if you haven’t done any of these things, on what basis do you claim to be acting in good faith?

Your opinions may be strong. So were Mussolini’s.

Acting in good faith means more than just having strong opinions and acting on them. It certainly means more than leaning out the window and deciding it is a little hotter than it used to be.

Acting in good faith means wanting to do the right thing. Good intentions are a start. But doing the right thing depends on sound knowledge – on thinking the right thing.

Thinking the right thing means thinking based on the evidence; careful, honest research, and being willing to have your opinions challenged.

If you do not do this, then your claims of good faith are no more than hot air.

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