Category Archives: Climate Unfrocked

Bullsh-t Detector at Work

Quizzing our Queen of Catastrophism

KEVIN Rudd once insisted that climate scientists scrutinise and evaluate climate papers purely on the studies’ scientific merit and, therefore, must be considered impartial and above reproach. That’s only half-true at best, considering the IPCC was established to investigate “the risk of human-induced climate change”, pre-judging the case at the outset.

The International Panel (sic) of climate change scientists is made up of four thousand scientists around the world, humourless guys and girls in white coats, okay. These are not politicians. These are scientists. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd , January 29, 2010

To repeat Rudd, IPCC authors are to behave like objective scientists. I paid $15 to hear Melbourne University climate scientist Dr Joelle Gergis at Writers’ Week at the WA University last month, where I learnt she had been appointed one of the 17 IPCC ‘lead authors” on the water cycle chapter for the IPCC’s 2021 report on the Physical Science. She’s also a new councillor in Tim Flannery’s catastrophist Climate Council.

Fresh from an IPCC confab in Vancouver and not long into her talk, Gergis announced, “Climate change is with us right now. Climate change is not a scientific issue, it is  a moral and ethical challenge.” And when wrapping up, she repeated,  “It’s important to understand that this  is  an ethical and moral issue, no longer a scientific issue.”

Fancy that! To be charitable, she’s surely not thrown science out the window, but she does seem to mean that her moral and ethical concerns are pervasive. If she’s required to assess the merit of a peer reviewed paper that rejects CO2-based climate alarmism  (and there were more than 500 such papers published last year), I  hope she would readily jettison those “morals and ethics” and give that paper a fair input into her report to the IPCC.

Gergis’s activism dates back to at least 2007, when she was running a blog brimming with hostility to PM John Howard – “This is a beauty!” she lauded a cartoon of Howard as a stegosaur. On a Wentworth science leaders’ grant and mentored by Tim Flannery, she blogged, “Saturday 24 November 2007 marked the dawn of a new era in Australian politics. Kevin Rudd, leader of the Australian Labor Party, was elected as Prime Minister of Australia. The sigh of relief was audible across the country.”

Her UWA talk was of the revivalist’s hellfire kind. Global climate models predict a roasty fate for Australia as temperatures soar by 4degC (or 7degC in capitals) by 2100. The horrors are starting to happen right now. All too soon our big cities will be enduring 50degC days. Alice Springs will be uninhabitable, along with much of the outback – as vouched for by her CSIRO pals, she said. “I can assure you it will not be pretty.”

She praised the schoolkids for  their climate strikes (next up: March 15): “I am pleased to see the groundswell coming through here in the younger generation. The older generation understand to a degree but young people will be living through it.” She said, “This is a federal election year. One of the most purposeful things you can do is vote and get out and back the people who ‘get’ this.” We didn’t feel she was urging a vote for conservatives.[1]

IPCC people seem to love sympathy. As one fan-piece in the Sydney Morning Herald put it last December, IPCC authors like Gergis “will write thousands of words in careful reports, despite the fact that many of them realise they are working in politically hostile environments.” Well, try being apolitical.

At question time I asked Gergis about the IPCC 2014 report’s finding that 111 of 114 climate-model runs had exaggerated the warming from 1998-2012.[2] I intended to also ask about Dr John Christy’s UAH satellite-based global temperature series showing that the model forecasts have exaggerated actual warming since 1979 by a factor of two.[3]

She immediately disputed my premise from the IPCC about the 111 out of 114 too-hot model results, as though the IPCC had never said so or if it had, the text didn’t mean what I’d claimed.

The audience was 99% with Gergis in IPCC-denial and when I asked if I could continue my question, they roared “No!” The other 1% comprised a perplexed grape farmer who sought me out later to ask, “Why were those people so hostile?”

Gergis in her speech explained that the conviction that CO2 is driving global warming arises from running climate models with and without greenhouse gas inputs. Only models with the gases match the temperature record. [The IPCC itself in its third report  said: “In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” (Chapter 14, Section My emphasis)]

Gergis’s claim matches the Academy of Science’s 2015 unscientific claim that output from models is “compelling evidence” for CO2 causation. Among the models’ countless fudges about unknowns like cloudiness, they assume a high sensitivity of temperature to CO2 doubling (1.5-4.5degC, average about 3), whereas empirical studies have continuously lowered the range. The latest by Lewis and Curry in Journal of Climate  (2018) found sensitivity to be only 1.66degC, about half of what is assumed in the average of IPCC models.

Other Gergis riffs:

# Tackling global warming is like having a loved one with pre-cancer or cancer. Without early medical diagnosis and preventive measures, your loved one will remain in a dire situation.

 # “We are witnessing large-scale system change on our watch that wasn’t expected until mid-21stcentury.” She had witnessed Cyclone Debbie in SE Queensland in 2017, with catastrophic flooding and people having to empty out their mud and silt-covered possessions on the sidewalk to be thrown away.  “Seeing families going through that, climate change is with us right now.”

# Australia must decarbonise rapidly. It makes no sense to be generating only 3% of electricity from solar when we are the sunniest place on the planet. [The International Energy Agency’s study last month comparing full costs of solar vs coal-fired electricity in India showed coal becomes relatively cheaper as the solar share grows beyond 10% – resulting in $US65 per MWh in 2040 for solar vs $US49 for coal].

# Renewables employ double the numbers in the Australian coal industry. [That doesn’t say much for renewable workers’ productivity].

Gergis was at Writers’ Week because she published a book Sunburnt Country last year. To my ear, there was a defensive tone to her talk because she and her team came a gutser in 2012 when their $340,000-funded and peer-reviewed study of Australasia’s 1000-year past climate turned out to have an error that forced her to retract the paper. Amazingly, she won a further $352,000 from the Australian Research Council to do further work on the project in 2013-16. Typically only  15-20% of such grant applications succeed. Did the ARC assessors know the paper was retracted and awarded the extra $350,000 anyway, or did they not know and Gergis got a lucky break? How would either outcome look to unsuccessful grant applicants whose papers didn’t need retracting?

The paper’s claim that the latest thirty-year period was the warmest for 1000 years  was mocked by sceptics. The paper was meant to show unprecedented  warming from CO2 in the Southern Hemisphere, matching the notoriously-suspect ‘hockey stick’ reconstruction for the northern hemisphere by a team led by Michael Mann.[4]  As with Mann’s work, Gergis’ Southern Hemisphere reconstruction also claimed to find no significant Medieval Warming Period. Gergis and her boss David Karoly saw that as demonstrating present climate is outside the range of natural variability. Well OK, the study found Australasia is supposedly warmer now by 0.09degC compared with 1238-1267, but with a massive margin of error of  0.19degC.[5] A tenth of a degree isn’t much for warmists to hang their hats on.

Incidentally, the temperature record for 1000 years ago for Australasia and surrounding oceans was based on growth rings from a tree in NZ and another in Tasmania. One of Australia’s top-ranked researchers, plant photosynthesis specialist Graham Farquhar, said at the time that the Gergis team’s tree-ring temperature reconstructions were “problematic”   and not definitive. He’s a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, winner of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science 2015, a leading Australian Citation Laureate (300-plus papers), winner of the Nobel-equivalent Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences (Biology) in 2017, and Macfarlane Burnett Medal winner (2016).

The coding flaw in Gergis’ 2012 study was first spotted by a blogger “Jean S” on May 31, 2012 at the sceptic website Climate Audit, run by Canadian statistician Stephen McIntyre. When McIntyre asked Gergis for her study’s archived data for further scrutiny, Gergis told him to go get the data from the data’s original authors. She ended sarcastically, “This is commonly referred to as ‘research’. We will not be entertaining any further correspondence on the matter.” (It was a bit rich for her to complain later in The Conversation about “deniers” being “people who do not display the basic principles of common courtesy”).

Karoly, however, replied politely to McIntyre: “We would like to thank you and the participants at the ClimateAudit blog for your scrutiny of our study, which also identified this data processing issue.”

This left as somewhat ambiguous whether McIntyre’s team or Karoly’s found the error first. The priority issue is important in terms of scientific credits and protocols. From the Gergis team’s, emails obtained via FOI, McIntyre claims to have proven his priority. Curiously, Gergis’ paper was not the only controversial one. Karoly’s review of a Michael Mann book was published on-line in Australian Book Review in early July 2012. In it Karoly described McIntyre as a commentator on Mann’s work with “no scientific expertise” who had “repeatedly promulgated misinformation”. McIntyre complained to Karoly that the words were untrue and defamatory, and said that his critique of Mann’s work had been published in the same peer reviewed journal that hosted Mann’s study. McIntyre asked for an apology plus proper acknowledgement of Climate Audit’s role in discovering the Gergis error. Karoly didn’t apologise or acknowledge, and later wrongly claimed that McIntyre had threated legal action.

Gergis, to knock her paper back into shape, had to put it through nine rounds of revision, 21 individual reviews, and two editors. As McIntyre wrote, the exercise took longer than the American involvement in World War II. According to McIntyre, the 2016 revision involved little that is new plus some statistical approaches he considers highly objectionable.

Gergis in last month’s UWA talk bemoaned her victimhood, including having to deal with FOI requests: “I have had hostility and abuse and death threats and rest of it which is not nice. [Murmur of sympathy and indignation from audience]. There are very strong [hostile]  voices out there.  As scientists we are just collating and analyzing data, and putting it out there  before we say anything.  Our work has been through so many sets of eyes. It is easy to blog online, but for us it takes years of work.”

She said her retracted paper led to years of harassment and FOI filings  to see if her team was colluding to bias the results. “It [FOI requests] was quite disgraceful really, disgraceful. Being a climate scientist at that time was very difficult, but now people are more respectful and seeking us out … We need rational and respectful engagement and not just start shooting people down for bearing bad news. You [sceptics] are arguing with scientists who have been working a long time on this, since the 19thcentury. People with no qualifications can take a scientific idea and misconstrue it, and try to tell us how to do our job which I found quite arrogant.”

For some background, ‘Death threats’ were a mantra of Australian warmist celebrities around 2011 and got a more recent run from then-President Andrew Holmes of the Academy of Science in 2015. The reality is farcical. Climate catastrophe guru Will Steffen at the ANU mistook an overheard conversation by shooter John Coochey about culling Canberra’s pestiferous kangaroos as a warning of a sniper attack on Steffen’s people.  The Canberra Privacy Commissioner checked claims of multiple death threats to six ANU climate people, and finally published 11 emails in question, 10 of which involved no physical threat and one described “perhaps” a  possible threat made verbally at an off-campus event (this seems to be the “kangaroo cull” farce).[6]

Anna-Maria Arabia, now chief executive of the Academy of Science, reported a death threat to herself in June 2012, [7] which was nothing more than a serial pest in Seattle spraying templated threats and abuse world-wide. The real death threats are those from Islamists, forcing author Salman Rushdie, Dutch politician Geert Wilders and the late cartoonist for The Australian, Bill Leak, to seek protection and take their families into hiding. I didn’t notice any bodyguards trailling Joelle Gergis.

In Gergis’s Sunburnt Country book, there seems no upper limit to her advocacy. For a female vegan cyclist and one-time girl-band drummer, she seems quite a WW11 buff. She suggests we move to a WW11-style footing to decarbonise:

In reality, moving towards a low carbon economy represents the greatest business opportunity we have ever seen. The economic and social transformation urgently needed over the coming years is possible if the world goes into an emergency response, as it did during World War 11. During that conflict, countries dedicated more than a third of their economies to the war effort and innovation flourished…Perhaps the historic  Paris Agreement is the sign that humanity is now witnessing the dawn of this global fight for an environmentally sustainable future on earth.

She also describes Churchill’s warnings about Hitler in 1939 as a “chillingly accurate description of the climate change crisis we face today.” (By coincidence, in January 2019, the Democrats’ fresh face, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was also invoking the WW11 precedent as a way to pay for her multi-trillion “Green New Deal”).

Gergis likes the World Bank-recommended carbon price of $US40-80 by 2020, rising to $US50-100 by 2030, consistent with the Paris Agreement.   I hope couples in Sydney’s Blacktown or Melbourne’s Tarneit don ‘t mind such a hit to their family budgets. She shows only a faint recognition that if Australian capitals are to get 50degC summers as forecast by the models, there will be a desperate need for air conditioning. How would that demand be met with expensive unreliable renewables?

Running the tired and never-fulfilled meme about climate refugees, Gergis writes,“Our region’s vulnerability to humanitarian crises resulting from climate change is so high that Asia-Pacific, which includes Australia, has recently been dubbed ‘Disaster Alley’ by experts in the field.” I was intrigued by anyone comparing the Asia-Pacific region to an alley, and discovered these experts were Ian Dunlop (company director and ex-emissions trading adviser) and David Spratt, a lay blogger and author much like myself but less astute.  I last tangled with him in 2014 at a Moonee Valley Council evening session on energy savings. He was advising his audience on tactics for getting rid of Victoria’s Liberal  government in the impending election.[8]

Her book mentions,  “Some of the brightest climate scientists of our time began contemplating suicide  and developed a need for medication to cope with the anxiety of the vicious scrutiny.” She’s obviously referring to Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, who disgraced himself as author of numerous Climategate emails. Those lapses involved not just destruction of emails subject to FOI[9] but contempt for scientific mores. For example, when Australian scientist Warwick Hughes sought important temperature data from Jones’ publicly-funded research, Jones replied, “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

She paints a picture of what she calls our “apocalyptic future” (based on those models) resembling depictions of Hell by medieval painters. “Maybe future Australians will look back at our government’s inadequate action on climate change as an intergenerational crime against humanity,” she writes.

# “If the high-emissions trajectory continues, we are headed for a mass extinction event equivalent to that which wiped out the dinosaurs, along with 80 per cent of all other life on Earth, around 66 million years ago.”

# The West Antarctic ice sheet could collapse and pump up sea levels by 2.7m by 2100, putting  bits of our cities, suburbs and infrastructure under water.

# Tropical diseases like dengue could menace 5-8m Australians by 2100, including Sydney-siders

# Countless Australians, battered by weather extremes, will suffer mental health issues, chronic anxiety and hyper-vigilantism “undermining the social fabric of our society.”

# Darwin gets too hot to live in, “unleashing a wave of climate refugees”. (Maybe we could park those fleeing Darwineans in Tasmania somewhere, though there could be culture clashes with the local greenies).

She says she’s found her 18-20-year-old students at Melbourne University to be quite despondent  about the future (I’m hardly surprised). Among  other horrors she deals out to them are abrupt and irreversible tipping points. She told the UWA crowd that she and her co-authors at the IPCC will be focusing on these hypotheticals.

She singled out Guardian Australia to praise its climate coverage. The obverse is some Rupert Murdoch derangement syndrome: “[Carbon pricing in 2012] was met by a very negative media campaign by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which called for a change of government. This eventually took place in September 2013…”

After her 2012 debacle, she had her draft book fact-checked by eight scrutineers, at least one using the legendary “fine-tooth comb”. Well, checked it may have been, but the published text still  fearures a trillion-dollar understatement: parasitic Third World dictators are not demanding a mere $US100b in climate compensation for 2020, as Gergis claims. Rather, they want $US100b per annum through the 2020s.[10]

Gergis book is remarkable for what it omits, namely everything casting doubt on her climate Armageddon. The book fails the test of famed physicist Richard Feynman that scientists when communicating their hypothesis should also put down all the facts that disagree with it. As he put it, “I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity … bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to do when acting as a scientist.  And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.”

To take a few examples, Gergis lauds protests against nuclear power, but doesn’t say what’s wrong with this greenest, safest power source. Her text makes no mention of that great emitter, modern China, a crucial part of the climate projection story. She doesn’t mention the landmark 2016 study by an international team including her CSIRO colleague at the IPCC, Pep Canadell, demonstrating that CO2 has greened the planet and rolled back deserts by an area equivalent to  two and a half Australia’s.[11] She doesn’t mention the huge agricultural benefits of global warming to the boreal forest zones of Canada and Siberia.[12] And never mind the holes in her model-based CO2 causation story.

As in her UWA speech, Gergis’ book says Australia’s future “depends on every person in this country voting for governments … genuinely committed to implementing climate change policy that meaningfully addresses the largest intergenerational ethical challenge in human history…Can we live with ourselves knowing that we are passing on an unsafe and unstable future to our young ones? The good news is that Australia has a long history of communities taking a stand for environmental protection and social justice.”

The nadir of the IPCC was its 2007 Fourth Report, with its Himalayan glacier-melt howler and much other slipshod work. As a result of a swingeing audit by the InterAcademy Council,[13] the 5th report of 2013-14 was reasonably balanced and mindful of the uncertainties. But last October the IPCC was back into politicised and hyped “science” with its 1.5deg warming report. (The plenary delegates left hugging each other and bawling about it). Let’s hope the 2021 Sixth Report doesn’t lose its credibility before we’ve even read it.

Tony Thomas’s new book, The West: An insider’s tale – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ‘60s is available from Boffins Books, Perth, the Royal WA Historical Society (Nedlands) and on-line here


[1]  Her Sunburnt Country book lauds the 2017 March for Science rally, “calling on political leaders to restore respect for the critical role that science plays in forming decisions that protect the public good.”

[2]  “… an analysis of the full suite of CMIP5 historical simulations [computer models]   reveals that 111 out of 114 realisations show a [temperature] trend over 1998–2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend [actual temperatures] ensemble. This difference between simulated and observed trends could be caused by some combination of (a) internal climate variability, (b) missing or incorrect radiative forcing, and (c) model response error.”   [chapter 9, text box 9.2, page 769]

[3] Spencer, Roy, Global Warming Scepticism for Busy People. 2018. Kindle 319/1855

[4]  Canadian Mark Steyn, who is fighting a long-running defence against defamation claims by Mann, published a 320-page book “A Disgrace to the Profession” in 2015 comprising only critiques of Mann’s work by orthodox climate scientists, not by sceptics.

[5] “The average reconstructed temperature anomaly in Australasia during A.D. 1238–1267, the warmest 30-year pre-instrumental period, is 0.09°C (±0.19°C) below 1961–1990 levels.”

[6] One email read, rather harmlessly, “We have had enough! Sometime in the future your days of leeching off the taxpayers of Australia will end and you will be looking for work in the employment office where you might find a real job and contribute to society in a positive way.”

[7] She was then CEO of Science and Technology Australia

[8] They write for the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, a Melbourne think tank promoting “actions to re-instate natural climate processes that generate global  average temperatures and ocean acidity that are safe for all species and civilisation – i.e. preindustrial temperatures and acidity.”

[9] Mike [Mann], Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise… Can you also email Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. – Cheers, Phil

[10] Her text: “The US was also expected to provide a considerable portion of the US$100 billion in aid to developing nations by 2020 to help them cut emissions…”

[11] Both Gergis and Canadell were delegates to the IPCC lead author meeting in Vancouver in January.

[12] “By 2099, roughly 76% of the boreal regionmight reach crop feasible GDD [growing degree days] conditions, compared to the current 32%. The leading edge of the feasible GDD will shift northwards up to 1200 km by 2099”

[13] The IAC report found “significant shortcomings in each [i.e. every] major step of IPCC’s assessment process”.

  • Doubting Thomas

    I read Steve McIntyre’s savage demolition of her paper on his Climate Audit site at the time. He does not suffer fools gladly.

  • Bwana Neusi

    And now they are trying to claim that the solar minimum is attributing to global warming (sorry climate change).

  • Ilajd

    What’s missing from this coterie of alarmists is a passion for science and an appreciation of the scientific method. If we could harness the energy given off by Richard Feynman spinning in his grave the energy crisis would be solved.

  • pgang

    Did anybody see Kudelka’s infantile anti-coal ‘cartoon’ in the Australian today? (Cartoon? His scratchings make any 5 year old a cartoonist).

    Why does The Australian publish him? Good cartoons used to be a newspaper’s greatest asset, but now they don’t seem to even look at the copy before it’s published.

  • ianl

    Gergis’ 2012 paper was skewered by Jean S on Steve McIntyre’s website. The essential “error” (and not really an error so much as hubris) was that the paper claimed to have demonstrated unequivocal anthropogenicall-caused warming without cherry picking the data using an objective data pre-screen technique. Jean S found that core claim was completely untrue – the data was indeed a cherry pick.

    The lesser of the paper’s authors examined Jean S’ comment and realised it was perfectly true. He (lesser author) then actually emailed Gergis et al saying so and suggesting an urgent review. Since this core issue fundamentally destroyed the paper, requiring its’ withdrawal (denied by Karoly even as it was occurring), the “review and rewrite” took some considerable time and deniability. Even then, it was nor republished but referred to in the IPCC Pages 2k as a reference without acknowledgement of its’ leprositic provenance.

    I expect the term “black start” will become understood in its’ true awfulness over the next few years. gergil has helped this to become inevitable.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    “People with no qualifications can take a scientific idea and misconstrue it, and try to tell us how to do our job which I found quite arrogant.”

    Yet so much of the real mischief here comes from people with qualifications who take a scientific hypothesis and misconstrue it to further their alarmist careers. Quite arrogant, don’t you think?

    One only has to look (carefully) at the stuff produced by the experts to see what I mean. Two examples below.

    How many scientists does it take to change a planet’s climate? Judging from this paper published online on June 19, 2017 – “Causes of differences in model and satellite tropospheric warming rates” – by Benjamin Santer, Matthew England, Michael Mann and others – at least sixteen, being the number of authors.

    This Santer et al. paper is revealing, both in content and timing. It tries to explain (in six pages) the divergence between actual global temperatures and those projected by climate models during the past two decades. A stunning admission, one confirming what sceptics had been suggesting for years: the models are not infallible.

    The divergence arose, the paper concluded, because they could not predict correctly the magnitude of certain so-called natural forcings, including solar intensity, volcanic activity and internal variability. As for model “sensitivity” to atmospheric carbon dioxide, it was assumed to be correct.

    “We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.”

    IMO a cheeky, fallacious argument. For if model projections (aka “predictions”) could be explained away on this occasion by evoking “systematic deficiencies”, nebulous phenomena such as “internal variability”, or the poor quality of real-world data, presumably they could be explained away at any time in the future by the gatekeepers of climate-truth and their masters. In other words, the hypotheses hard-wired into the models were/are unfalsifiable, i.e. pseudoscience.


    Secondly, here’s another dark secret in the alarmist attic. The experts apparently have yet to agree on a definition for the word “cause”. Not a good look.

    “Among other lacking items [in the event attribution framework], perhaps the most important one regards the absence of definition for the word cause. Several recurrent controversial arguments in the realm of event attribution may possibly be related to this lacking definition of causality: for instance, an argument often made (Trenberth, 2012) is that any single event has multiple causes, so one can never assert that CO2 emissions, nor any other factors, have actually caused the event. (A. Hannart et al, American Meteorological Society, January 2016, p. 100)

    For the unhinged alarmist, of course, every nasty event on the planet has only one cause: “climate change”.

  • padraic

    If climate scientists need drugs to cope with the coming Armageddon no wonder they come out with such garbage with their addled brains. Let’s assume they get their way and all electricity is produced by Gaia’s sun and wind (they love getting things for free – like the dole, research grants etc). The next step will be to create some other catastropharian vision that needs some sort of social flagellation and repentance – suffering will set you free should be their motto.

    Nothing has changed. I came across some old family letters the other day and this is what my father said in a letter to me when I was overseas. At the time he was living in what is now called an “inner-west” suburb of Sydney:- “Saturday 6 March 1965 – Today (11.30 am) it is already 97 degF in the City and up to 10-15 degrees hotter in the suburbs. The horizon is a pall of smoke from bush fires which are raging all around Sydney. Drought or near drought conditions prevail over most of NSW, which is described as a “tinderbox”. Bad as it is here, Victoria is worse. 2,000 people, including troops are fighting huge fires in East Gippsland where homes have been wiped out and a couple of firefighters have lost their lives. As I write, another two are missing, thought to have been cut off by a sudden change in the wind. Marulan and Towrang (near Goulburn) are both threatened by huge fires and are appealing for firefighters. Nearer home, the Galston Gorge and the Manly reservoir area are both ablaze. Nearer home, the scrub out at the Sutherland-Menai-Georges River area is blazing. The gusty hot nor-easterly would not help and in fact just dries you right out when you step out the door. It is too hot to run the kids down to the beach. We tried the other day, but the paths and sand were so hot that even the dog jibbed at walking on the paths or beach. The kitten, which we took along for the ride, ended up a case of heat prostration.”

    My Note: These were the days when homes were not generally air-conditioned nor were cars, when people used to drive with the driver’s window down with a small wind deflector attached to the front of the driver’s window. So why do these delicate flowers of today think anything is different. It has always been thus in Australia.

  • Bushranger71

    Herewith some clear thinking (sanity) from Patrick Moore, the co-founder and former President of ‘Greenpeace’:

    ‘Fear has been used all through history to gain control of people’s minds and wallets and all else, and the climate catastrophe is strictly a fear campaign — well, fear and guilt — you’re afraid you’re killing your children because you’re driving them in your SUV and emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and you feel guilty for doing that. There’s no stronger motivation than those two.

    And so you’ve got the green movement creating stories that instill fear in the public. You’ve got the media echo chamber — fake news — repeating it over and over and over again to everybody that they’re killing their children, and then you’ve got the green politicians who are buying scientists with government money to produce fear for them in the form of scientific-looking materials, and then you’ve got the green businesses, the rent-seekers and the crony capitalists who are taking advantage of massive subsidies, huge tax write-offs, and government mandates requiring their technologies to make a fortune on this, and then of course you’ve got the scientists who are willingly, they’re basically hooked on government grants.

    When they talk about the 99 percent consensus [among scientists] on climate change, that’s a completely ridiculous and false numbers, but most of the scientists — put it in quotes, scientists — who are pushing this catastrophic theory are getting paid by public money. They are not being paid by General Electric or Dupont or 3M to do this research, where private companies expect to get something useful from their research that might produce a better product and make them a profit in the end because people want it — build a better mousetrap type of idea — but most of what these so-called scientists are doing is simply producing more fear so that politicians can use it control people’s mind and get their votes because some of the people are convinced, ‘Oh, this politician can save my kid from certain doom.’

    It is the biggest lie since people thought the Earth was at the center of the universe. This is Galileo-type stuff. If you remember, Galileo discovered that the sun was at the center of the solar system and the Earth revolved around it. He was sentenced to death by the Catholic Church, and only because he recanted was he allowed to live in house arrest for the rest of his life.

    So this was around the beginning of what we call the Enlightenment, when science became the way in which we gained knowledge instead of using superstition and instead of using invisible demons and whatever else, we started to understand that you have to have observation of actual events and then you have to repeat those observations over and over again, and that is basically the scientific method.

    It’s taking over science with superstition and a kind of toxic combination of religion and political ideology. There is no truth to this. It is a complete hoax and scam.’

    Australia is a vast land subject of course to regional climatic variations with huge oceans on 3 sides of the continent generating seasonal changes due to sea temperature effects since time began. Droughts, flooding rains, lightning initiated bushfires, etcetera are just part of our natural tapestry.

    A good thing began happening in 2008 with progressive compilation of spatial mapping of groundwater and surface water throughout the catchments of the continent. This should enable better appreciation of crucial hydrology within all of the basins.

    Although the multiple government agencies involved are infested with many brainwashed ‘warmistas’, the raw scientific data should be invaluable, if objectively interpreted.

  • johanna

    “People with no qualifications can take a scientific idea and misconstrue it, and try to tell us how to do our job which I found quite arrogant.”

    This is utterly dishonest. People like Steve McIntyre and Jean Sibelius are highly qualified in their field. It is so-called climate ‘scientists’ who either do not understand or deliberately misuse statistics who misconstrue data. That is why so many of their papers got shot down in flames at McIntyre’s blog.

    As for the accusation of arrogance – arrogance is treating legitimate requests for the data and methodology underlying your conclusions as a form of persecution, instead of the embodiment of the scientific method.

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Gen Activist

A network of Green groups are mobilising our children for the climate wars

9 February 2019

The strike by schoolchildren to halt climate change is on again for Friday, March 15. If you are five years old and reading this, gird your loins or trainer pants, according to one website that encourages climate activism from ages 5-17. The official kids’ strike page considers more savvy older kids, at age 7, to be ready for the renewables and Stop Adani crusade. The Schoolstrike4climate site says some students will strike not just on the Friday but for a week or a day per week, or ongoing.

The strikes are inspired by the one-girl Swedish strike of Greta Thunberg, 16. She told a TED talk on December 12 that because of politicians’ inaction against fossil fuels, she suffered depression at 11, stopped eating and talking and lost 10kg. She says she was later diagnosed with Asberger’s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and ‘selective mutism’ – meaning that she only speaks when she thinks it is necessary. Greta needs our symapthy, not a global megaphone. Instead, she took the stage at the UN climate fest at Katowice, telling delegates they were immature for leaving climate burdens to children. She turned up again (by train) at the Davos conference in January, telling well-heeled and applauding attendees they were sacrificing priceless planetary values ‘to continue making unimaginable amounts of money.’

Australia’s previous school strike week from November 30 generated positive pile-on from a mostly complaisant media. Fiery claims like Greta’s were bruited by a 14-year-old spokesgirl from Castlemaine, who told a Spring Street rally: ‘If we continue to live the way we do, then by 2050 climate scientists predict that half a billion of the 9 billion who will be living on this planet will survive. The chances that I will survive that are very low and the chances that everyone and everything I love will survive that are practically impossible.’

The renewed kids’ strikes are part of the assault against the Coalition in the 2019 election, plus the Adani coal project in Queensland. The March 15 organisers blame global warming for local heat waves and (strangely) for flash flooding in cities, and in their rallying email claim, ‘Half of the Great Barrier Reef is dead.’ They write, ‘We are in the thick of the climate crisis. Prolonged drought is crippling farming communities. Catastrophic bushfires and severe cyclones are threatening people’s homes. Heatwaves are sweeping the nation.’

The anonymous authors don‘t mention Queensland’s un-drought conditions or the late-January cold snap of minus 50 degrees Celsius in the US Mid-West, colder than at the South Pole (-30 C).

All strike text is in ad agency dialect. So who’s writing the script? The kid organisers say some parents, teachers, friends and supporters are helping but it’s all student-led: ‘After all, when we’re not striking we’re at school for at least 6 hours per day.’ The kids or ersatz kids also ask adults to ‘put deniers in their place’, deniers being ‘just a noisy shrinking minority’. The reality on strike leadership shows Victoria’s green backers of the strike all formally cross-linked but prone to run their own races.

The media-savvy Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), was official helper-in-chief for December’s strike. But it’s now on a near-invisible profile to preserve the kid-power narrative.

AYCC is a registered charity with 70 staff, 1,000 volunteers and a budget of $2.9m. It got $310,000 from grants last year, likely via taxpayers. AYCC executives, a decade past teen-hood, specialise in prose like this from National Director Gemma Borgo-Caratti: ‘Coal companies are using big money to silence everyday voices and hold us back from climate action. Even as communities pick up the pieces after a bushfire or sweat through another 45 degree day, fossil fuel companies are profiting from making this problem worse. It is sickening that fossil fuel companies are allowed to donate millions to our politicians… Companies with such a clear vested interest should be banned from donations that influence politics’.

AYCC big backers include the Purves Environmental Fund, run by aged-care/radiology tycoon Robert E. Purves. In 2017 the fund allocated $746,000 jointly to the AYCC, the Climate Council and two other green groups (2016: $1.3m). Another backer is the Kimberley Foundation (from the Just Jeans tycoon clan).

Non-charity GetUp! with 60-70 full-time staff had $8.4m revenue in 2017. GetUp! provided links to the kids’ December strike teams in 26 cities. GetUp! director Alex Rafalowicz is a co-founder of AYCC. The co-founder of AYCC, Anna Rose, is married to GetUp! founder Simon Sheikh. And so on.

AYCC and GetUp! are signed on with top-level charity Environment Victoria (EV), with 50 years campaigning experience. EV’s latest report shows 21 staff and $2.74m revenue, mainly via fund-raising. From 2016-17 it ceased accepting government money. EV lists about 110 partners. They include the Trades Hall Council and the Electrical Trades Union; hard-liners and Greenpeace; nearly 20 city councils; Uniting and several other churches; Anglicare, Brotherhood of St Laurence, and Smith Family; and Melbourne, Swinburne and RMIT universities. EV is also campaigning to get the voting age lowered to 16 (non–compulsory), and for 14 and 15 year-olds to start enrolling. EV says, ‘It is in this [high school] environment that the most positive voting experience can possibly take place.’ EV campaigned for 12 years against what it called Australia’s ‘oldest and dirtiest’ Hazelwood power station, which shut (or ‘stopped polluting’) in March 2017. EV’s annual report said, prematurely, ‘As we predicted, Victoria has adapted well to the closure of Hazelwood power station’. The report described Victoria’s risk of blackouts as ‘non-existent’, no comfort to 200,000 blacked-out Victorians on January 25 and all Victorian households averaging $500 added electricity cost for the day, payable on lay-by.

EV has spun off an entity Repower Australia dedicated to 100 per cent renewables by 2030. Repower lists among key partners AYCC, GetUp! and 350 Australia. Its home page, which still promotes the December strike, pictures supporters as young as about eight. Its hellfire prose damns greedy power polluters hoarding profits from making people sick and poisoning the planet.

Victoria’s green spiderweb illustrates why conservatives are in a sorry state. Immersing oneself in this Green success story is like entering a post-sane era. Only a placard from the previous kids’ strike lightened my mood:

‘Sorry I can’t tidy my bedroom, I have to save the planet’.

The Very Model of a Global Green Rorter

The Very Model of a Global Green Rorter

That Third World cesspits sent hundreds — nay, thousands — of freeloading delegates to the latest catastrophist gabfest is, sadly, to be expected. But they have something of an excuse: when it comes to living high on the climate dollar, the UN’s Erik Solheim is the gold standard

From top to bottom, things don’t get more disgusting than at the UN Environment Program, which runs the UN’s anti-emissions campaign. Indeed, UNEP under its director Maurice Strong in 1988 co-founded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In 2005 Strong was caught red-handed at the UN with a $US988,000 cheque from a South Korean business man. Strong fled to the safety of Beijing — China has no extradition treaty with the US — and he lived there, honoured and unprosecuted, until his death in 2015.

Life at the top of UNEP is no longer so spectacular, but its latest director-general, Erik Solheim (above), had to resign last month when an internal audit exposed his rorting of travel and lifestyle costs. While preaching against CO2 emissions, he enjoyed aerial globetrotting for 529 days of 668 days (audited) since getting the job in 2016.

More of Solheim later, but let’s take a look now at the underbelly of UNEP’s COP24 at Katowice, a talkfest for 23,000 designed to save the planet and transfer at least  $US100 billion a year, as of 2020, from the West to African and other Third World basket-cases. Numbers of these countries displayed their integrity by each flying literally hundreds of freeloaders to Poland, their travel and living costs disbursed from UN funds courtesy of UN donors, including Australia.

Resoures-rich Republic of Guinea in general fits the Trump definition of “a shithole country”. It’s 85% Muslim, 96-98% of women suffer genital mutilation, child marriage and illiteracy rates are among the world’s highest, 5% of women can expect death in childbirth, close to 40% of the population suffers malnutrition, and health threats range from HIV/AIDS to malaria and ebola. Only a quarter of the population has electricity, children are trafficked with impunity for sex and slavery, and after nine years, no security forces have been tried for a 2009 pre-election massacre of 156 people and rape of more than 100 women. Need it be said that the government is monstrously corrupt?

But in one respect Guinea is a world champion – the size of its delegations to UN climate change confabs. At COP24 in Katowice this month, freeloaders from Guinea comprised 406 of the 14,000 official delegates, easily outclassing Congo with only 237 and Ivory Coast with 208. Last year at COP23 in Bonn, Guinea sent 355, beaten by Ivory Coast with a stunning 492. At the Paris COP21, Guinea sent 398.

The Guinea total includes politicians, officials, and NGO people. They trooped to a special UN office at Katowice, presented passport and plane tickets, and collected their cash from a nearby bank window. How much allowed? For the minimum stay of 12 days, US2328 or $A3235. Last year in Germany, $A4914.

The mind reels at the delegate numbers: Sudan 172; Senegal 171; Benin 139; Chad 57. Our tiny Pacific neighbors, none of them climate-drowning, weren’t going to miss out: Fiji 60; Tonga 26; Vanuatu 23; Tuvalu 21; Timor Leste 21; PNG 19; Nauru 14. Australia sent 30 – all paid for by the government, not the UN.

Nature guru David Attenborough saw no irony in warning at the opening about “the collapse of civilisations” from too much CO2. Oh, the irony! The Katowice summit was itself estimated to emit an extra 55,000 tonnes of CO2, excluding the formidable emissions from delegates’ junketeering via scheduled flights or celebrity private jet. There was also the cost to Poland  and the atmosphere of building virtually an entire new town for the 30,000 visitors. Those 55,000 tonnes emissions, by the way, equate with the annual emissions of about 8500 homes, 12,000 cars or 728 tanker-truck loads of petrol.

The UN’s face-saver is that it pays for CO2 offsets, in this case for planting 7 million trees in Poland. It also offers free lanyards to visitors who buy CO2 offsets. Good work, UN.

Erik the Rorter pauses between flights to urge reductions in global emissions.

A person might say of Guinea and Benin, “Well, that’s Africa for you.” But the worst cesspit of nation (to use a more genteel turn of phrase than that favoured by Trump) must be Norway, for hypocrisy. Its one-time  (2007-12) environment minister  and Socialist Left/Greens politician Erik Solheim moved in 2016 to run the UN Environment Program (UNEP) with its budget of $US780 million. UNEP operates as the “global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda.”

Solheim quit as executive director last month after being sprung by auditors for massive luxury travel and expense rorting. He totted up $US488,000 ($A 678,000) for 22 months travel, involving 80% of his workdays. There were also 76 days’ worth of unexplained sojourns in Oslo and Paris. On one weekend he flew Washington DC to Paris for a weekend’s relaxation, returning Paris-New York. Who was authorising such trips? One of Solheim’s subordinates – unusual, that.

UNEP headquarters are in Nairobi, but who would want to work there? So Solheim allowed two pet staff unofficial licence to work out of Paris instead, at a cost of $US23,000-plus in extra travel. Other managers told the press that Solheim had been “getting away with murder” with his “haphazard and dictatorial management style”.

A Norwegian company won business from UNEP last April and, shortly after, decided to hire his spouse, Gry Ulverud Solheim. Mr Solheim had to recuse himself from further dealings with the company and, in his official capacity, his missus.

Some US staff considered Solheim had grown far too chummy with China, and they were suspicious of Solheim’s environmental examinations of the Middle Kingdom’s vast Belt and Road project. He also made an unpublicised UNEP $US500,000 donation to the Volvo Ocean Race. At least the public knew where those yachts were going. UN Environment people in general were gadding about a lot, and their destinations and reasons remain something of a mystery. The auditors sought data on 596 staff trips, but 210 trips couldn’t be documented and another 200 had to be hastily documented post-audit. The UN internal preliminary audit was leaked to The Guardian UK. The full report is still not public.

Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Belgium and the Netherlands withheld some $US50 million in UNEP funding when they learnt of Solheim’s habits, threatening UNEP with a financial crisis. One wonders why Australia’s UNEP rep made no  overt contribution to the fightback against top-level rorting.

Solheim initially maintained that he couldn’t be treated like at 7am-4pm factory worker and shouldn’t be asked “stupid questions”  about his work arrangements. When the audit came out, Solheim led his top troops on a three-day soul-searching retreat. They just had time to agree on a “commitment to a set of principles to guide the way we work and interact”, before he bugged out of UNEP the next day.

The auditors said Solheim had “no regard for abiding by the set regulations and rules,” noting this was a “reputation risk” for an organisation dedicated to fighting climate change. Solheim’s behavior, they said, was “contrary to the ethos of carbon emission reduction.”  The auditors drew attention to a 2011 policy UN statement that it would set an example of probity, including on environmental sustainability. These UN statements of good intent are a regular affair, just as are the exposures of UN corruption.

Solheim’s farewell:  “As I have maintained throughout this process, I have been and remain committed to doing what I believe to be in the best interest of UN Environment and the mission we are here to achieve.

“For this reason, after deep reflection and in close consultation with the Secretary-General, I am stepping down.”

One would also think the UN Secretary-General António Guterres would be outraged by Solheim’s jet-about rorting. No, no, no. He waved him on his way with praise for the “transformational change needed to make a real difference in the lives of people and promote the cause of the environment.”

“The secretary general is grateful for Mr. Solheim’s service and recognises that he has been a leading voice in drawing the world’s attention to critical environmental challenges, including plastics pollution and circularity; climate action; the rights of environmental defenders; biodiversity; and environmental security,” the Secretary-General said.

Solheim says he will continue to fight for environmental causes. “I am sad to be leaving, as we have achieved so much together,” he told staff in a tweet. “I will continue to champion the cause of the environment!”

Whether it’s African parasites piling onto the annual climate junk-fests or the top UN climate man rorting the system silly, even the most fervent catastrophists must sometimes wonder at the company they keep.

Tony Thomas’s new book The West: an insider’s tales – a romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ‘6os, is available here.

  • Davidovich

    It is doubtful the most fervent catastrophists would waste time being concerned about the company they keep. What is concerning is the apathy and acceptance of our political leaders in tolerating this hypocrisy and rorting.

  • ianl


    [forced by the deliberate removal of the reply nesting]

    >” What is concerning is the apathy and acceptance of our political leaders in tolerating this hypocrisy and rorting.”

    This acceptance is because they themselves expect a rort as payoff when their political time here is up.

    As I’ve noted in an earlier thread, the French yellow vests have shown the only practical way to deal with this corruption – and showed it with exceeding clarity.

Young minds filled with green mush

Young minds filled with
green mush

The original Children’s Crusade, if it actually happened, didn’t end well for the pre-pubescent zealots, who are said to have ended up as slaves. Today’s kids would know as much if their brainwashers, also known as ‘teachers’, focused on fact rather than getting them into the streets to demonstrate against nasty weather

  • Lawrie Ayres

    There are three groups of idiots or fools here; the kids, their teachers and their parents. When there is so much ignorance how can sensible policies ever be developed and implemented. The only saving grace is that not every kid went on strike and as one said ” If the strike was held on Saturday no one would have turned up”. So much for sacrifice. These same cretins will drive or be driven to school, demand the air conditioners be turned on and spend their weekends in front of the big flat screen while mum makes their bed and dad mows the lawn. Reality will strike and for some very soon as the lights go off, the A/C shudders to a stop and the jobs become harder to find.

  • en passant

    In a previous comment I pointed out that I was suffering from an endlessly ‘unprecedented’ cold fortnight in Melbourne in November. At home the heater was on as well as my jumper. At the end I quipped: “But not to worry, after the BoM has tortured and homogenised the data they will declare we have just had the warmest November evaaaa and that I should not believe my frostbitten toes …”

    Sure enough
    Melbourne just had its warmest November evaaaa. I’ll be out there in my Parka and ski gear at the next Children’s Crusade

  • padraic

    You can see why the Greens want to lower the voting age to 16 and stop seniors voting after a certain age. There is an innate connection behind the Greens and the childlike mindset.

  • whitelaughter

    pdraic is correct; and this absurdity will continue until we return the voting age to 21. *If* children had time to shake off their brainwashing before they could vote, it would destroy the motivation to indoctrinate them, and who knows? School might be left to actually teach real subjects.
    Failing that, businesses are going to have to reward kids for leaving school at 16.

    Still, the climate change skeptics here should take heart. The threat of man made climate change worries me, but there’s no point in me doing anything while irresponsible stunts like this are ongoing – having an intelligent public debate on the subject has been rendered impractical by these tantrums. So you lot are going to win the propaganda war simply by your opponents repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Greg Williams

    I sent this letter to the local paper here in WA.

    I see that a miniscule percentage of secondary and primary school students skipped school on Friday and turned out to protest on Friday against a perceived lack of action on climate change. I teach in a secondary school and often, in an attempt to get able students to think about what they are learning in their Science and Humanities classes, present what could be taken as a somewhat heretical point of view on what is happening. While the students argue vigourously with what I have to say, I have yet to come across a student who will argue with facts rather than emotion on this issue. When engaged in healthy debate, I always ask the students what the problem is, and always it gets down to carbon pollution, or, in other words, carbon dioxide pollution. I then ask if they know what the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is, and I have yet to come across a student who does know this. After I have informed them that it’s a little above 400 parts per million, or 0.04% of the atmoshere, I ask if they know what is the minimum amount of this gas to enable life to continue on this planet. Again, I have yet to find a student who knows this, so I let them know that it’s a little under 200 parts per million. Then I ask them that if, as they claim, there is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, how much is just right, so that we can have a perfect, unchanging climate. Again, there has never been a response to this, as no one on the planet knows how much is just right.

    Then, when I ask these fervent adherents of the belief that carbon dioxide produced by humanity is destroying the planet, what they are actually doing to stop this process, it seems they are doing very little. They all dash out to get their drivers’ licenses; they all continue to use their mobiile phones; none of them wants to sacrifice their holiday trips on fossil fuel burning aircraft; they all want the air-conditioning on on hot days, and the heater on on cold days.

    You can rest assured that all of the students protesting on Friday burned a lot of fossil fuel getting to and from their respective protesting points. They are the perfect example of virtue signalling.

    Mind you, after nearly 50 years of teaching secondary students, many think I may be the fossil that needs to be burned!

Christiana Figueres, the Green Fairy

Ever-polite Stan Grant tried his very best to keep Christiana Figueres drifting off in a cloud of sob-sister vapours to Warmist Land, where only the transfer of vast wealth from the West to Third World kleptocrats can foil global warming. Yes, Stan gave it his best shot, but he never had a chance

christine IILord Tennyson with his “tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean” has been an inspiration to Christiana Figueres (left). She was secretary-general of the top-level UN climate body UNFCCC (2010-16)  and spruiked doom on Stan Grant’s Matter of Fact show on ABC-TV on October 9.

Figueres is billed as the architect of 2015′s Paris Accord which commits China, India, and now the US, to nothing. Meanwhile the West is supposed to transfer  $US100 billion a year to Third World leaders, such as the PNG politicians who’ve just ordered 40 Maseratis and three Bentleys.

The $US100b is actually small change by Figueres’ standards. A year ago she challenged Principles of Responsible Investment signatories, with $US70 trillion under management, to put 1% into renewables by 2020.[1] If I’ve got all the zeroes down pat, she’s talking $US700 billion.

Snuffles and sobs accompany her listing of future climate horrors unless we spend $US38 trillion on renewables during the next 16 years. That’s nearly half of current world GDP. I was disappointed that she stayed dry-eyed during the encounter with the ever-affable Stan Grant while delivering her litany of climate fictions and forecasts. She also accused the commendably sceptical Grant of using “infantile arguments”.

Are any recent graduates of ritzy St Catherine’s in Sydney’s Waverley reading this piece? Girls, remember her addressing your 1000-strong assembly in 2015. She had a box of Kleenex handy, and bare moments into her speech she told you, “I have tissues here because it always pains me … [a pause] to see   [a suppressed sob] … the evidence of what we’ve done.” She explained later to a worshipful SMH reporter, “I always have emotional moments when there are children in front of me…Unfortunately the painful evidence is upon us, there is no country in the world , not one single country, that has not had some extreme weather event that is related to climate change.”

The alarmist Climate Home News has noted, “Her passion for tackling climate change has many times spilled over into tears.” At Cancun in 2010, for example, she dabbed her tissues as she told kids she “had inherited a severely diminished planet [sobs] .. I just can’t look my daughters in the eye and not do what I can [more sobs].” I doubt her two daughters, now aged 30 and 29, will really do it tough. They’re both graduates from top universities (Yale and London School of Economis) and globe-trotting finance/gender/climate consultants.

One  tear-jerking oration involves Figueres in the Costa Rican jungle as a kid to see the golden toad, which from 2004 became the supposed first casualty of climate change. Her two daughters would never see one, she mourned. Nice anecdote except that better research has now attributed the apparent loss of the toads to natural El Nino cycles, not global warming.

Palace-raised Figueres  is from the  ruling  dynasty of Costa Rica (pop. 5m). Her father was president  for three terms and more than 12 years, while her brother, Jose Figueres, was president for four years.[2] Her mother was a parliamentarian and ambassador to Israel and  her half-sister an ambassador to the US. At the UN and later, her politics have been champagne-socialist. She achieved perpetual quotability with this ripper from  February 2015, which I’ve taken from the official UN press release:

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.” 

She views a halt to growth in the West with equanimity. “Industrialised countries must stop growing — that’s fine. But developing countries must continue to grow their economy in order to bring their people out of poverty … We’re saying: “Okay, you guys, you can continue to grow, you can bring your people out of poverty — but you can’t do it with disgusting fossil fuels that those guys use’.”

After the severe flooding in Somerset and on the Thames in 2014, aggravated by maintenance and dredging failures, Figueres tastelessly found a silver lining: “It’s unfortunate that we have to have these weather events, but there is a silver lining if you wish, that they remind us  solving climate change, addressing climate change in a timely way, is not a partisan issue.”

Her ideology was also on view in 2014 when she praised the  Chinese dictatorship for “doing it right” with its can-do approach to climate “because its political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles seen in countries including the U.S.” Representative democracy, it’s such a pain!

A year ago, Scientific American headlined her profile: “The woman who saved the planet”. Sub-head: “By harnessing ‘female energy’,  Christiana Figueres convinced humanity 
to take on climate change.” We also read that she has “warded off global catastrophe” by opening the Paris talks not just to governments but “to the private sector, the spiritual community, the scientists.” (Curious, who she puts last, isn’t it? She should also have mentioned the Paris hordes of green NGOs). She claims she created “a surround-sound effect” so that no matter where governments turned, they heard “a chorus of yes, yes, yes. Yes, we can go forward with ambition, yes, this makes economic sense, yes, the technologies are there, yes, the science is there, yes, the morality is there.”   But no, Ms Figueres, the $US100 billion a year for the Third World isn’t there and the Green Climate Fund meetings have fallen into  farce.

Figueres must stagger under all her honors and awards. They include the  Shackleton Medal, the Grand Medal of the City of Paris, the Legion of Honor, the German Great Cross of Merit, the Guardian Medal of Honor, the 2015 Hero of El Pais award, the Global Thinker Award, Four Freedoms Award and the Solar Champion Award from the woke folk of California. She was No 7 on Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2016, and a Top Five Most Powerful Women in Science last year. Quite a haul for someone who is yet to discover that weather isn’t climate.

Her flagship role today is convenor of the Mission 2020 activist lobby, which in 2017 was claiming humanity had only three years to stop the planet evolving into hothouse earth with “devastating heat extremes and unmanageable sea level rise”.[3] Mission 2020 just wants us to spent $US1 trillion a year by 2020 on renewables and coal phase-outs, thus saving the planet.[4]

Figueres in the run-up to the Queensland election late last year was lobbying against the proposed $1 billion concessional rail loan to Adani for its Carmichael coal project. (Who needs Russians?)  She claimed the loan would trash Australia’s reputation internationally and undermine the Paris Accords, as if China and India aren’t doing a good job of that already.

During the Stan Grant interview, hyperbole was rampant. “We are at the crossroads deciding the future of humanity on this planet,” she said, also posing  three questions, all with false premises:

  • Do you want bushfires raging across the East Coast for six months at a time or do you want a thriving and prosperous agricultural sector?After 1degC of global warming, wildfires are on a falling global trend.[5] Australian wheat exports in 50 years are up from 6.4m tonnes to 16m tonnes, with a record 25m tonnes six years ago.
  •  Do you want to cause geopolitical instability because Pacific nations will not survive (rising seas) and they will have to be simply migrated, or do you want to open up your energy system to be a limitless force from wind and sun and to be a jobs and energy source for the world?Tuvalu’s 101 islands have actually expanded by 3% in area in 40 years. Al Gore falsely claimed in his Inconvenient Truth movie of 2006 — that some island populations had been evacuated, a spurious assertion that has never corrected There are no island refugees from climate change to date. Wind and solar power are unreliable, require subsidies and confer no trade advantage to Australia.  The high cost of renewables has reversed our once-powerful energy competitiveness.
  • Do you want the Great Barrier Reef or do you want the largest aquatic cemetery in the world?The Barrier Reef has survived thousands of years of much hotter climate than today’s or the purported heat  level by 2050. It’s already recovering fast from two years’ bleaching events.

To his credit, Stan Grant kept trying to introduce reality checks such as coal’s status as Australia major energy source and export earner, while Figueres responded with her word salads. “Coal doesn’t have any place in the global energy system anymore … It would be unreasonable to expect Australia would completely demise its coal industry overnight but (it should) smoothly move out of coal energy because you have many other sources of energy and exports…”

She thought replacing coal energy and exports over 10-20 years “should not be that difficult.” Reality check: The anti-coal Coalswarm plant tracker reports that China now has as much new coal-fired capacity under development – 259GW – as the entire US coal-fired power industry – 266GW.

Grant asked why Australia should make sacrifices while China (and India) are unconstrained on emissions.

“That’s a very infantile argument,” she replied, saying that all national commitments were self-determined and voluntary. “It’s a myth that addressing climate change is a huge burden, it’s a huge opportunity. The global economy will grow between 20 and 26 trillion dollars just because we are moving to a new technology creating 65 million new jobs where young people are needing such jobs.”

The supposed “65 million new energy jobs” is a pointer that solar and wind energy is more labor-intensive, hence less productive, than equivalent  coal-fired power stations – even  disregarding renewables’ unreliability. Subsidised jobs are an economic burden, not a benefit.

Last month in another interview she turned the dial up to 11, claiming inter alia that “catastrophic heat waves” have stricken Australia. “After a year of unprecedented wildfires, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters around the worldit is clear that the climate crisis is already upon us,” she claimed. “Without more effective political leadership to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions immediately, the apocalyptic conditions of a warming planet will become the new normal.”

Sorry, no. The new IPCC report once again says that there is little basis for claiming that drought, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes have increased, much less increased due to greenhouse gases.[6]

Figueres’ nickname among sceptics is “Tinkerbell”. If it means she’s divorced from reality, she’s earned it.

Tony Thomas’s new book The West: An insider’s tales – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ’60s, can be bought here

[1] Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is UN-linked but claims independence.

[2]  The brother Jose Maria resigned abruptly as CEO of the World Economic Forum in 2004 after confirming that he had pocketed more than $US900,000 consulting fees from Alcatel, contrary to WEF rules. He blamed an oversight.

[3] Among the 60 signatories to the document is Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation and, from 2000-10, president of the ACTU.

[4] Mission 2020  is no relation to the British 10:10 green group which made a film comedy about murdering child sceptics.

[5] “The data available to date do not support a general increase in area burned or in fire severity for many regions of the world. Indeed there is increasing evidence that there is overall less fire in the landscape today than there has been centuries ago, although the magnitude of this reduction still needs to be examined in more detail.”


[6] Drought:           “…low confidence in the sign of drought trends since 1950 at global scale… likely to be trends in some regions of the world, including increases in drought in the Mediterranean and W Africa & decreases in droughts in central N America & NW Australia”

Floods: “There is low confidence due to limited evidence, however, that anthropogenic climate change has affected the frequency and the magnitude of floods. ”



  1. Lawrie Ayres

    Despite her outright lies and ignorance of even basic science this woman continues to be treated as a climate guru by left wing media and politicians. She is a charlatan and the media that fawns over her are even worse.

  2. Greg Williams

    What continues to amaze me is the almost total acceptance of carbon dioxide as a major pollutant. I am a teacher of high school students. I teach at a very good school, where the students are highly motivated, work hard, and achieve excellent results on the way to an almost 100% enrolment at university. I was handing out a booklet I had made up for my Year 8 Maths class today, and the students were complaining that I was killing off the forests. I stopped to point out to them that there was lots of CO2 around these days, so the trees were growing out of control, and that we actually needed to cut some down to make way for all the growth ( tongue in cheek of course). I went on to say how good CO2 was for the environment. Well, there was almost uproar over that. They were all convinced that it was poison. While I would have loved to have spent some time pointing out to them that without CO2 at reasonable levels, we would all be dead, the need to continue on with my Maths programme prevailed and discussion was cut off. The point of this is that of the 25 students in the room, it was pretty clear that all of them, at the tender age of about 13, were convinced that CO2 would be the death of us all. While most of the Science and Humanities teachers at my school treat me as the spawn of Satan when it comes to any discussion on CAGW, one Geography teacher actually asked me to take her Year 11 class one day to present an alternative view. That was pretty well received, but it was obvious that I wasn’t going to change too many opinions of the kids in that particular class. The kids just believe unquestioningly that CO2 and fossil fuels are going to be the death of the planet. Having said that, they all get dropped off to school each morning in their fancy SUVs and head off to Europe for the long vacation we have in our winter here in WA.

    • padraic

      The valid point about SUVs and flights to Europe reminds me of a tongue in cheek definition of toxicological “Risk”. The normal rational definition is “Risk = Hazard + Exposure”, but for the greenies it is “Risk = Hazard + Outrage”.

  3. Alice Thermopolis

    Thanks Tony

    There were tears in Cancun (2010) too, together with blood and sweat.

    Figueres, the new UNFCC executive secretary used her opening statement to urge attendees to embrace the wisdom of Ixchel, an ancient Mayan jaguar (and weather) goddess.

    Ixchel? She was a moon goddess, Figueres explained, “the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you — because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change using both reason and creativity.”

    Ixchel, or Ix Chel, was a winning – or disturbing – choice, depending on your carbon politics and religion. The “high-segment” audience fortunately was spared details of the goddess’s darker – and bloodier – side. Could a formidable old woman with a writhing serpent headdress and crossed bones embroidered on her skirt ever be reasonable?

    She was actually a moody and malevolent goddess, motivated more by divine wrath than reason. As for weaving, Ixchel’s only tapestries were destructive floods and storms.

    Perfect, of course, as the unofficial patron saint for pagan climate alarmists and decarbonistas.

    Also tearful were the delegates who so earnestly wanted to put “the CAN in CANCUN!”

    At UN COPs, sacrificial victims are not laid on a stone slab. They are taken into a room and subject to hand-wringing, mind-bending and heart-rending eco-sentiment about saving the planet.


Change Everything? You Bet. Spectator 14 October 2018

Tony Thomas Oct 13



Naomi Klein from Canada oversees courses for tens of thousands of Australian high school students.

She’s an anarcho-environmentalist mobilising grass-roots mobs like Occupy to overturn capitalism. She never finished her Bachelor degree but made a hit with her 2014 book “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate”. As a New York Times reviewer hyper-ventilated: “[It’s] a book of such ambition and consequence that it is almost unreviewable.” Klein cites a 2012 author of a paper, “Is the Earth fucked?” who  tells her, “Yeah, pretty much!”

Klein has collaborated with tax-free charity Cool Australia to provide no fewer than ten discrete lessons based on “This Changes Everything” for our Year 9-10 kids. Each lesson certifies, “Produced in partnership with ‘This Changes Everything’”. Other lessons are co-partnered with lobbyists WWF.

Cool Australia has hundreds of free environment lessons  in ready-to-go format. From Cool’s start in 2008, the modules are now used by 89,000 teachers in about 80% of schools. It claims 1.7–1.9 million kids took lessons in 2017, though I dunno, its 2016 figure was only 1m.

Cool is the creation of the Jason and Craig Kimberley family, which sold its Just Jeans chain for $64m in 2001. Independent charity watchdog ChangePath fails Cool on transparency (zero Stars out of three). Who knows where Cool’s $1m revenue in 2016 came from? Donations were only $162,000. It’s got other mega-rich pals like wotif$140m beneficiary Graeme Wood.

Bendigo Bank departed last year as Cool’s big sponsor since 2014. The bank explains guardedly that both parties had moved on and agreed to split. New sponsor is Teachers Health, covering 300,000 educators.



Jason Kimberley says Cool’s goal is for students to be empowered change agents able to identify and solve world issues. Maybe they should pass their driver’s test before they fix the Middle East.

Teachers require kids, as per Cool lessons, to mobilise to improve society and harangue parents, small businesses, MPs, councillors and the public. With every child in class required to state his/her view, any kid would need outside knowledge and a hero’s courage to buck the teachers.

The climate zealotry in schools – also enforced by teachers unions – contrasts with polls of Australian adults showing 43% sceptical of the human-caused warming doom (Climate Institute, 2017).

Much of Cool’s urgings are harmless, like picking up plastic and conserving tapwater, though it admits to kids’ growing message-fatigue. But Cool’s climate gospel is driven right down to pre-schoolers, or tiny-trots.

“Early Learning Hot and Cold” lesson for pre-schoolers: “Using less electricity and finding alternative and greener sources of electricity – such as wind or solar – is essential to addressing climate change.” The material adds helpfully: New words for children to learn: “Electricity”, “Energy”.

Recommends one teacher: “Great ideas that we can use with the children  on the importance of sustainability at kindy and at home.” At kindy? It’s not as though we out-pollute Nigeria.

Klein is a master (or mistress) of videos brainwashing kids with her messages like,“Our economic model is at war with life on earth.”

One film depicts Greek villagers battling an Eldorado Gold project start-up. They chant, “The birds are welcoming us. Everything is blooming. We are one with this mountain. We won’t survive without it. To victory!”

Interviewer: What is the core problem? Peasant woman– “It is the economic system, capitalism I guess… They will go away and leave a desert behind.”

Narrator: Squeeze the earth, squeeze the people.

Mining equipment was torched (not shown in film), while demonstrators are shown being tear-gassed. Eldorado last year mothballed its billion-dollar mine, citing delays with permits. As if Greece needs such projects.

Another movie finishes with Germans – including a rabbi – literally sobbing for joy over new wind and solar plants.

The material harps on imminent economic collapse, hat tip to Karl Marx.“Thought starter: How do you think climate change would be affected if the global economy collapsed?”

Klein’s nostrums include higher wealth taxes and “basic income for all”, carbon taxes, fracking bans and anti-trade ‘re-localising’. She promotes worker and community ownership and “community-controlled” clean energy (tell that to AGL).

Teacher: “Do students have their own strategies for how to develop a clean and just economy?”


Her courses time-travel to the future where all  climate horrors have come true, including Sydneysiders expiring from dengue fever.

A strange graphic includes such Tim Flannery-style Gaia worshipping as “Consider everything alive and animate. Create a personal dialogue with your environment. Talk to it.”

Cool lists the Human Rights Commission among its “guys [that] get our creative juices flowing.
They are our daily go-tos and our funnest (sic) playmates.” Ex-HRC head Gillian Triggs pops up “fighting for freedom, equality, fairness and Justice”, except for persecuted QUT students and those, sadly, still saying what they like around the kitchen table. Other “funnest playmates” are  teachers’ unions and the Victorian Democratic Republic’s Education Department.

(Here’s a factoid: the Victorian Essential Learning Standards up to 2013 prescribed “Climate Change” lessons in seven different subjects for the small kid in Years 1-2, even including “Health, Physical Education – Movement and Physical Activity”).

Klein concludes disarmingly: “What if global warming is not only a crisis? What if it is the best chance we will ever get to build a better world?Change or be changed!”

A 2017 survey found 15-20% of Cool-registered teachers – particularly coordinators – were using the website 10 to more than 30 times a year. Most sought lesson plans which they used four times each. Cool has become a free, popular substitute for teacher-centred input.

Cool’s asylum seeker coverage is just as one-sided – with at least 12 “lessons” based on activist Eve Orner’s 2016“Chasing Asylum” film with such commentary as: “Staff would have to be trained how to use a Hoffman’s knife. The knife would be used to cut people down when they are found hanging.”

Learning Intentions: Students will recognise that human rights and social justice are core in issues relating to seeking asylum. Students will identify ways to take action at their school or in their community…


Teachers love the stuff. “Wow! I’m vibrating with joy after going through your gazillion lessons and resources… this is gold,” testified Terrina Phelan, sustainability teacher at St Mary’s Primary, Echuca, on the website. A coordinator (hopefully not of English courses) wrote that the lessons gave her “piece of mind”. Maybe parents could give their local school a piece of mind too. #





















Ex-BHP Chief: Scrap Paris Now

The company he once led continues to pleasure the warmists by bowing and scraping before Gaila’s carbon-free altar,  but ex-chief Jerry Ellis has had enough: the Paris accord is “a farce” and a sane government would exit the pact in a heartbeat

jerry ellisEx-chairman of BHP (1997-99), Jerry Ellis  (left) ex-chancellor of Monash University, and an ex-director of ANZ Bank, has called for Australia to dump the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Ellis’s intervention puts cat among climate pigeons. 

The alarmists like to lie that sceptics are a fringe group. Ellis is hardly fringe. His former BHP continues to promote the story about human-caused catastrophic CO2 warming, as does Monash University. Ellis is an awkwardness for both.

By coming out against climate alarmism, Ellis, 91,  is giving added respectability to scepticism, much as ex-PM Tony Abbott did with his London sceptic speech of last October.[i] The credibility of the sceptic case, of course, rests not on authority figures but data such as the  more than two-fold exaggeration of warming since 1980 by the climate models on which the CO2 scare is based.

Here is Ellis’s statement on Paris.

Why Australia should Clexit Paris Treaty

It is clear that the push to meet the Paris carbon dioxide emission targets is leading to higher power costs, and hence prices, and unreliable supply.

It is also a fact that the predictions of the warmists have not happened.

The IPCC scientific reports are stated in possibilities, yet the guidance for policy makers is written as certainty. A farce.

I hope the new leadership of the Australian Government has the courage to guide our country in a rational manner on this subject. as Angus Taylor seems keen to do, and abandons the Paris Treaty.

Jerry Ellis AO

Ellis’ intervention comes on the heels of calls from Green Climate Fund supporters for Australia to add another $400m to its $1b plus commitment and $200m contribution to date. The fund under the Paris accord is supposed to parcel up $US100b a year in developed country donations to help the third-world combat climate change. The fund peaked at  $US10b – thanks particularly to President Obama – but has only $US3b left. Its July meeting of donors and third-worlders   disbanded in chaos with no decisions made and  the resignation on the spot of its executive director, Australian ex-climate bureaucrat Howard Bamsey.

The policy of Ellis’s former BHP on climate change reads:

BHP accepts the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment of climate change science, which has found that warming of the climate is unequivocal, the human influence is clear and physical impacts are unavoidable.

Climate change is a global challenge that requires a collaborative market and policy response. Playing our part in responding to climate change is a priority governance and strategic issue for BHP. Our Board is actively engaged in the governance of climate change issues, supported by the Sustainability Committee. Management has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of our climate change strategy.

Our climate change strategy focuses on reducing our operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, investing in low emissions technologies, promoting product stewardship, managing climate-related risk and opportunity, and working with others to enhance the global policy and market response.”

Former One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts has replied to Ellis,

“A pity that your [BHP] successor in Jac Nasser, his CEO Andrew Mackenzie and his Coal Division President who is now Minerals Operations President Mike Henry lack your understanding.

What holds them back? Is theirs a lack of basic knowledge, a lack of integrity or a lack of courage? Or do they simply not care about humanity and the environment. Coal saved the whales. Coal saved the forests. Coal gave us cheap, clean energy that raised human productivity, prosperity and wealth that enables us today to care for the environment better than at any time in human history.”

Ellis is Chairman of MBD Energy, a director of Iron Road and on the Advisory Council of The Sentient Group. He is an ex- chairman of auto brake company Pacifica Group Ltd, and has chaired Australia’s premier environmental advocacy group Landcare Australia.

Ellis’ statement is published on the website of the Clexit [Climate Exit] Coalition.

The coalition was set up in 2016 by Queensland’s Viv Forbes, who runs it as secretary. A semi-retired geologist and current  livestock  breeder, he put in 40 years’ work for   coal, minerals and petroleum companies including as a director of Stanmore Coal.  The coalition committee includes ex-Czech President (2003-13) Vaclav Klaus , who is patron, Professors Will Happer  (US) and Ole Humlum (Norway), Chris (Lord) Monckton and leading blogger Roger Tattersall (UK) and astrophysicist and geoscientist Dr Willie Soon (US).

Forbes this month invited members  to add a statement on why their country should quit the Paris Accord. Ellis, an original coalition member, responded with this week’s statement. Others came in from more than 20 people representing Sweden, France, US, UK, Canada, Germany and others.

Ellis is now in the same camp as Hugh Morgan, CEO of Western Mining 1990-2003 and a Reserve Bank director 1996-2007. Morgan said today, “Ellis is absolutely right. People think the Paris Accord is just about commitments to lower CO2. It is really about transferring wealth through the UN to the so-called Less Developed Countries. It’s about advancing centralised control of people’s lives on a global scale.”

Morgan believes the alarmist movement has got so far because of backing by Western millennials who have been indoctrinated during their education. Enjoying living standards unprecedented in world history, they have embraced alarmism as a new secular religion, he says.

Ellis’ intervention could encourage other Paris sceptics to come out, including some top figures in Australia’s premier science bodies.

Tony Thomas’s new essay collection The West: An insider’s tales – a romping reporter in Perth’s innocent 1960s, can be pre-ordered hereTo get tickets to the launch in Carlton at 6pm on October 10, click here.

[i] With hindsight,that speech could have lit the fuse for last month’s ousting of climate-alarmist PM Turnbull.

[ii] The “Bloggies” annual awards


  1. Geoff Sherrington

    Many people from mining and exploration are among the strongest critics of the global warming scare. We became used to the large scale and long time periods of geologic processes as opposed to alarm because, for example, Arctic ice extent fell for a few years arcade ago.
    We are also critics because we have realistic targets. Ore bodies are either present or absent in exploration terms and they are mostly economic or not to mine. When we use science to discover and characterise deposits,there is no gain from creative processing of data or invention of data, such as is widespread in climate work, where the target changes to fit the theory and the non-rigid goalposts.
    You do not have to be eccentric or in a minority to arrive at this view. When global warming first started, its backers were the odd ones out. Failure to make a scientific case for global warming was always present, offset by massive advertising expenditure that convinced many of the gullible. Geoff

    • Peter Sandery

      Well and succinctly put, Geoff, I cannot understand why so many educated Australians cannot see the scientific logic to your argument but accept the chants of the modern day alchemists who turn words instead of base metals into money.

    • ianl

      C’mon Geoff – “mining hurts Gaia”. This widespread sentiment cannot be displaced with logic or facts. All that is needed to carry the myth is a photo-shopped picture of water vapour from cooling towers being deliberately and dishonestly portrayed as evil, black carbon smoke.

      For well over two decades now, I’ve harangued those who control the capital in mining circles to go public with fightback. They have persisted with the cowardly view that soft, back-room lobbying would suffice. Only in the last 12 months has there been some minor admissions that this was silly, but the green blob had well and truly won by then. As Ian Plimer pointed out (a statement of the bleeding obvious, unfortunately): there has to be much more pain yet.

      The ALP Govts of Q’ld and Vic plan to inflict that pain increasingly. The Lib SA Govt is as bat-crazy as the ALP. Liddell’s closure in a year or so will aggravate the destruction, probably a tipping point. As precise as Jerry Ellis is, he will be dismissed, shouted down, as a senile, old (white) man. Emotional power plays need no logic, evidence or common sense. In fact, such concepts are seen as inimical and will be squashed.

  2. Jody

    Uh oh, sorry, but corporate Australia has jumped in significant numbers onto the virtue signalling bandwagon. For their trouble they’re going to end up with gender pay issues, quotas and now Paris and renewables. They needed to be smarter in the first place, instead of putting their feet in the door and preventing it from being shut.

  3. Davidovich

    Thomas writes “Morgan believes the alarmist movement has got so far because of backing by Western millennials who have been indoctrinated during their education.” Hugh Morgan is quite correct, our education system has been overtaken by ideologues who teach only their view of climate and brook no dissent.

    I recently gave a necessarily short talk to my local Rotary Club on the facts about carbon dioxide which included the graph of average global temperatures produced by Prof Spencer and Dr Christy from NOAA satellite data showing the global hiatus in warming over 18 years or so. The talk also had graphs of ice core data illustrating that, for millennia, atmospheric carbon dioxide lagged hundreds of years behind global temperatures. A recently retired school principal was furious that such ‘fringe’ material should be shown as fact and was contrary to the orthodoxy on anthropogenic global warming or climate change. He called for me to be censured and to be ashamed of myself for such an error of judgement as to present such material. Sadly, this intolerant and doctrinaire attitude is prevalent within our education system from kindergarten to university and the damage being done to science and scientific process is huge.