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Dutch chemist Dr Hans Schreuder drew on the work of a number of climate and other scientists in his address to the Northern Ireland Climate Change Committee, which is considering legislative controls of ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions.

The UN’s IPCC bases its dire forecasts on nothing more than computer models that regard the earth as a flat disk bathed in a constant 24 hour haze of sunlight, without north and south poles, without clouds and without any relationship to the real planet we live on.

Despite much rhetoric and research over the past two decades, there is still not a single piece of actual evidence that the now-maligned carbon dioxide molecule causes global warming (or “climate change”).

Any and all schemes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are futile in terms of having an effect on reducing global temperatures or affecting the climate and any and all carbon trading exchanges are a fraudulent exercise amounting to no more than hidden taxation.

If this Committee does come to the conclusion that emission controls need to be imposed upon the people of Northern Ireland in order to make a difference to global temperatures, then it will have failed to a substantial degree in understanding the issues in hand.

I have said repeatedly over the last several years that the key question is whether there is any evidence of a correlation between human output of CO2 and changes in global climate. The answer is that there is not and never has been any such evidence.

via Ice Age Now, which also notes hundreds of low temperature records around the world over the last few months, reports of which have been strangely missing from the mainstream media.

You can imagine the headlines and warming hysteria if it were hundreds of high temperature records!

Ice Age Ending - Our Fault

Ice Age Ending - Our Fault

From memory, those are the opening words of M. Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Travelled.

It is true, of course. And the more you try to achieve, the truer it seems to be.

Rambling for a minute. When I was a teenager I remember reading a story about a woman in the US who had sued her local men’s baseball team. They had discriminated against her by refusing to let her join. She won. It was America, after all.

After playing two games, she was struck and slightly injured by a fast pitch. She promptly sued the club again, this time for failing to take account of the fact that she was a woman, and therefore had slower reaction times. Even at the age of fourteen, this struck me as the perfect example of the women’s movement in practice.

Feminists want to be treated like men, but when they are treated like men, they complain bitterly.

Men are competitive. They constantly test each other. And it is not hard to understand why. If you are going out hunting mammoth, or fighting the Viet Cong, or trying to win a critical contract for your firm, you need to know that the person next to you can take the strain. This is the purpose of ‘hazing.’

Testing gives you confidence in your own strength, and that of your fellows. While hazing can sometimes  trip over into bullying, it is not a bad thing in itself. I would not be confident on a battlefield with a buddy who burst into tears if someone laughed at the ladders in her stockings, or who complained about breaking a nail while on basic training.

Women (again generalising) test each other in different ways. When they choose to place themselves in a predominantly male environment, the prestigious world of garbage collection, for example, and are treated by men as those men treat one another, women often seem to interpret this as being picked on, belittled, put down. In fact, it should be taken as a compliment. The male workers are assuming that she can be one of them, that she can work on an equal basis.

This interpretation of equal treatment as unfair can be particularly evident in the workplace.

Again, to ramble for a minute, I worked in a bookshop where some books were stacked on high shelves. To reach them for customers or to restock, staff had to stand on a small step ladder. The female staff refused to do this, because people would be able to see their knickers. The same applied to changing lightbulbs, dusting, etc.

When I suggested that they knew this was part of the job, and that they should therefore dress appropriately, either wearing pants or longer skirts, I was berated for assuming the right to tell them what to wear.

Feminists tell women they do not, cannot succeed, because they face constant unfair discrimination. In fact, women who can do the job, and are willing to make the sacrifices (physical discomfort, repeated rejection, long hours, etc) that are needed, can do, and do do, as well as men.

Efforts to to achieve equality in employment at executive levels for women and minority groups by forcing employers to hire less qualified or able women, blacks, or whoever, only make the situation worse. People hired under such schemes will be the object of annoyance and frustration, and the knowledge that they have not genuinely earned their jobs reinforces rather than mitigates negative stereotypes.

It is not liberating or empowering for women to be told that they will never succeed because they face insurmountable obstacles of injustice and discrimination. The truth is, as Penny Vincenzi points out in this article, it is not an imaginary glass ceiling that holds women back from the top positions, it is not working as hard, not working as long, or simply not being good at their jobs.

Life is not fair. Work is not fair. Just stop whining and get on with it, and you will do as well as anyone with your commitment and abilities. That is the liberating truth.

North Korea conducted a powerful underground nuclear weapons test today.

The UN security council will meet. No doubt Kim Jong-il is quaking in his tiny boots as he contemplates the arrival of another letter telling him how angry they are.

President Obama and other world leaders have said they are gravely concerned. All to be expected. Not so expected is that China has also condemned the test.

Share markets have fallen slightly in response to the news of the test. Asian oil prices have also fallen.

On the other hand, shares in defense related companies jumped.

I think Kim Jong-il is on a mission to change his theme song. I’m So Ronery just isn’t doing it for him any more.

But if he wants to start singing ‘So What,’ I think I like Pink’s version better.

This column by a physicist and climatologist is a week old. But it is worth reading because of its clear comparison of the predictions of global warming theory with real word observations.

The conclusion: global warming theory is: a political movement with nearly all the recognised climatologists throughout the world dissenting from the man made global warming theory. This can be seen on the US Senate Environment committee web site with over 700 leading climatologists from 24 different countries including Nobel Prize laureates all dissenting from the man made global warming theory.

The magnificent Cardinal Pell, a champion of compassion and common sense, also notes that global warming just doesn’t seem to be happening:

… history shows the planet is dynamic and the climate is always changing, sometimes drastically.

Contrary evidence is already changing the debate.  Australia, with its tiny economy, is no longer aiming to lead the world.  The threat of massive job losses and increasing awareness of new evidence will provoke even greater caution in the future…

Evidence shows the wheels are falling from the climate catastrophe bandwagon.

The end to the global warming nonsense cannot come soon enough. Eventually governments will stop wasting vast amounts of time and money, and sabotaging key industries, to prevent something that isn’t happening.

Perhaps then, at least until the next mindless scare, we will have the will to deal with some of the world’s real problems.

Kleenmaid is (was) an Australian whitegoods manufacturer. I have owned a few of their products over the years, and found them to be well-designed and well-made.

Creditors including the Westpac bank (the same bank that mistakenly deposited $10 million in a NZ customer’s account), voted this morning to wind up the company, which has nearly $100 million in debts.

Directors Brad and Andrew Young said they were really upset, you know,and the financial situation and everything, and they were like, sorry and everything.

But liquidator John Greig, a partner of Deloitte, warned it was unlikely that creditors would ever see their money. He said the brothers appeared to have put all their property in their wives’ names.

Mr Greig said he had alerted the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over the removal of 30 boxes of documents from Kleenmaid’s Sunshine Coast headquarters on Friday by two of the company’s three directors, Andrew Young and his brother Brad.

Deloitte reported to creditors that it was likely that Kleenmaid had traded while insolvent for at least two years.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, franchisees are claiming the mess could have been prevented five years ago if the ACCC had taken their claims of malpractice seriously.

Trading in shares in another major whitegoods manufacturer, Fisher and Paykel, was halted on the ASX today pending a statement on the company’s financial position.

To believe seeing Australian tax-payer funded film Samson and Delilah would be a waste of time and money:

1.  Peter Garrett likes it.

2. It won an award at Cannes.

All day Saturday and Sunday, so no posts, probably, on either of those days.

Keep the faith!

And it was given by Dick Cheney.

Regardless of your opinions about ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ you should read this. For good or ill (and I think good) Cheney’s speech gives clear understanding of the concerns and reasoning behind the Bush administration’s decisions about how to deal with the threat of terrorism.

It is well-argued, passionate and convincing. Go read the whole thing. Here are a couple of excerpts:

To make certain our nation country never again faced such a day of horror, we developed a comprehensive strategy, beginning with far greater homeland security to make the United States a harder target. But since wars cannot be won on the defensive, we moved decisively against the terrorists in their hideouts and sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks. We decided, as well, to confront the regimes that sponsored terrorists, and to go after those who provide sanctuary, funding, and weapons to enemies of the United States. We turned special attention to regimes that had the capacity to build weapons of mass destruction, and might transfer such weapons to terrorists.

We did all of these things, and with bipartisan support put all these policies in place. It has resulted in serious blows against enemy operations … the take-down of the A.Q. Khan network … and the dismantling of Libya’s nuclear program. It’s required the commitment of many thousands of troops in two theaters of war, with high points and some low points in both Iraq and Afghanistan – and at every turn, the people of our military carried the heaviest burden. Well over seven years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive – and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed…

… somehow, when the soul-searching was done and the veil was lifted on the policies of the Bush administration, the public was given less than half the truth. The released memos were carefully redacted to leave out references to what our government learned through the methods in question. Other memos, laying out specific terrorist plots that were averted, apparently were not even considered for release. For reasons the administration has yet to explain, they believe the public has a right to know the method of the questions, but not the content of the answers.

Over on the left wing of the president’s party, there appears to be little curiosity in finding out what was learned from the terrorists. The kind of answers they’re after would be heard before a so-called “Truth Commission.” Some are even demanding that those who recommended and approved the interrogations be prosecuted, in effect treating political disagreements as a punishable offense, and political opponents as criminals. It’s hard to imagine a worse precedent, filled with more possibilities for trouble and abuse, than to have an incoming administration criminalize the policy decisions of its predecessors…

It is a fact that only detainees of the highest intelligence value were ever subjected to enhanced interrogation. You’ve heard endlessly about waterboarding. It happened to three terrorists. One of them was Khalid Sheikh Muhammed – the mastermind of 9/11, who has also boasted about beheading Daniel Pearl.

We had a lot of blind spots after the attacks on our country. We didn’t know about al-Qaeda’s plans, but Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and a few others did know. And with many thousands of innocent lives potentially in the balance, we didn’t think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.

Some of the decisions made may have been mistaken. Some of the methods may have been questionable. But after reading Cheney’s speech I am even more convinced that those who made those very difficult decisions were men and women who were not just concerned about protecting America’s interests, but were also passionately concerned about doing what was right.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has declared his intention to follow Barack Obama’s plan to impose strict limits on CO2 emissions from motor vehicles. This will increase costs, and cost jobs.

CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a vital part of the cycle of life. Plants need it. There is no evidence that human produced CO2 has ever had any affect on climate.

In other words, imposing limits on vehicle CO2 emissions is pointless, popularist posturing. Damaging, pointless posturing.

And incidentally, remember all those claims that US cars couldn’t be sold in China because their emissions were too high?

China Daily reports: “Obama’s automobile emission deal enhances the difficulty for Chinese auto manufacturers to export their vehicles to the US market, a highly-matured market Chinese players are dreaming of, as it’s even harder for Chinese vehicles to meet the new and stricter emission requirements,” said Zhong Shi, an independent auto analyst.

On Tim Lambert’s Deltoid blog, all about what’s wrong, or might be wrong, with Ian Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth.

Some of the critics seem not to have read the book at all. Most attack Professor Plimer personally – he’s an idiot, why would you bother with him, just read the science.

Many resort to the consensus argument – I don’t need to look through that stupid telescope, all the scientists say the Sun goes round the Earth.

Some pick on what may be errors in footnotes or minor arguments. You get claims like ‘I found two mistakes on two pages, so statistical analysis proves there’s a mistake on every page. And besides, it hasn’t sold as many copies as Andrew Bolt says it has. So there.’

You can almost imagine Mr Lambert poking his tongue out at the screen.

In any book of this length and complexity there are going to be mistakes. But none of the critics deal with the key issue of whether there is any correlation between human emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and changes in global climate.

Where they venture into climate science at all, their criticisms are quickly trounced.

Perhaps Mr Lambert and his chums could do with a brush-up on both courtesy and integrity in debate.

The desperation is telling.

And brainer. And more fun.

However, I can understand some of them being a bit disgruntled about a political ally posting photos of them on a website without their permission. Even if the idea was that the more hot women in the Liberal (conservative) Party, the more successful the party might be in recruiting men. 

There’s nothing in any of the photos that would detract from my opinion of the women involved. They just look like attractive, intelligent women who don’t take themselves too seriously. And that’s another thing that makes them likeable.

Now if only the rest of the Liberal Party could work on being interesting, attractive and likeable.

Current dual layer DVDs hold 9GB – enough for a couple of full length movies, or about 2,000 photos.

Researchers at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology have found a way to store some 10,000 GB of data on a single disk the same size as current DVDs. This means they can hold up to 2,000 movies or 100,000 songs.

The new ‘Super DVDs’ should be available for home use within ten years.

Cool.

I have some simple rules I apply to any argument I undertake, whether in person, in print, or on this site.

Tackle the ideas, not the person. If you can only win an argument by denigrating your opponents, you deserve to lose.

If the person is the problem, say why as clearly and as generously as possible. Don’t write people off because you disagree with them.

State the other person’s point of view fairly. If you have to distort what your opponents are saying to defeat them in argument, then you have lost, or ought to.

Put your own evidence fairly. Be open to the possibility you may be wrong, and be willing to be convinced by the evidence others offer.

Test/check everything.

It’s OK to make mistakes (occasionally). It’s OK for other people to make mistakes too. Mistakes do not necessarily indicate carelessness or dishonesty.

Yet despite these simple rules, when it comes to wretched hives of scum and villainly, Mos Eisley has nothing on the internet.

Here are the concluding paragraphs of an article by Kevin DeYoung on First Things:

Here, then, a little advice for the tough guys: Save the big guns for the big issues. Don’t try to die on every hill; the hills are crowded already and you only have so many lives to lose. Be courteous wherever possible (Col. 4:6). Drop the rhetorical bombs and launch the satire missiles only as a last resort. Be patient with those who really want to understand (2 Tim. 2:25). And remember, it’s ok to have an unarticulated thought (Prov. 18:2).

And for the tender ones: Dare to not qualify. Don’t pad your criticisms with fluff praise (Gal. 1:10). If you have affirmations of substances, go for it. But don’t be a self-protective flatterer. Don’t be afraid to be misunderstood. Don’t soften a needed jab of logic. And when you get an ad hominen right hook, don’t take it personally (1 Cor. 4:3–4).

And for everyone: please, please argue with actual arguments. Don’t just emote or dismiss the other side with labels. Explain why your side makes more sense. Try more persuasion, less pouting (2 Cor. 5:11). Give reasons, not just reactions (Acts 18:19).

Here’s hoping against hope that thinking adults, Christians especially, can sustain meaningful discourse without resorting to name-calling or cowardly equivocation. Christ calls us to love, which is something entirely different than being a jerk or playing it safe. A.W. Tozer got it right: “The kingdom of God, has suffered a great deal of harm from fighters—men who would rather fight than pray; but the kingdom of God has also been done great harm by men who would rather be nice than right.”

The Telegraph reports this morning that the UK government will allow all Gurkhas with a record of honourable service  to settle in the UK.

All Gurkha veterans were finally granted the right to live in Britain yesterday as the Government was forced into a humiliating climbdown. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, confirmed the policy reversal for those with four years’service in a Commons statement following an intense three year campaign, led by Joanna Lumley, the actress.

The victory brings to an end more than 20 years of demands to give Gurkha veterans equal rights and has left Gordon Brown and his ministers embarrassed after misjudging the public mood.

Joanna Lumley was generous in her response to Gordon Brown, and expressed her thanks that his government had finally done the right thing.

But others were openly frustrated about the gap between Labour’s claims to the be party which cares about ordinary people, and its policies and practices.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat Leader whose Commons motion led directly to the Government’s volte-face, labelled it a “great victory” but added: “Gordon Brown has finally woken up to the principle that people across Britain understand instinctively: if someone is prepared to die for this country, they must be allowed to live in it.

“Tragically this decision will come too late for many of those brave Gurkhas who have been waiting so long to see justice done.

“Gordon Brown’s claim of a ‘moral compass’ rings hollow when, on every issue from Gurkhas to expenses, he has to be dragged every inch of the way towards doing the right thing.”

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, said: “It is just a shame that the Government had to be dragged kicking and screaming through the courts and then through the crowds of Gurkhas outside parliament before it finally did the right thing.”

I meant to say something about this a week ago, then forgot about it, and found it again today while looking at something else. It still seems worth commenting on.

Britain seems to be willing to let just about anyone in. The pollies don’t want to appear harsh, after all.

But that free for all welcome does not apply to the Gurkhas.

Joanna Lumley has pointed out more than once that the Gurkhas fought for Britain in several nasty places and have a genuine claim on the loyalty and goodwill of the British people.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas looked like a ninny in comparison with the delicious and brainy Joanna.

Woolas said “They (the Gurkhas) may be a special case morally, but legally you cannot legislate on the basis. I can’t say ‘let the nice people in and the nasty people not’. We have to have a law,” he said.

While accepting the principle that “if you are prepared to die for this country you should be allowed to live here”, Mr Woolas warned it could open up retrospective cases for other Second World war veterans.

Joanna pointed out, with scathingly raised eyebrows, that there is hardly a overwhelming horde of  World War Two veterans waiting to take over Britain. And surely it is a simple matter to change whatever laws are needed to grant residency rights to anyone who has served honourably in combat in the British armed forces.

The expressions on her face in some of the photos are just delightful.