Category Archives: Climate Unfrocked

Bullsh-t Detector at Work

Warmists Fight Their Own Nuclear War

Forget North Korea’s  threat to make Australia a lake of irradiated glass because such an attack would be as nothing in comparison with the civil war amongst tax-supported catastropharians. What set them off? One side’s footnoted paper that renewables can’t hold an organic candle to atomic power

green men fightFights within the climate-alarm community are vibrant entertainment for sceptics. There’s  the fun factor as rival climate alarmists  kick shins and yank each others’ hair. And they deride each other’s extreme and foolish arguments, which saves sceptics some work. Moreover, the unedifying fights reduce the credibility of so-called climate “science” in the eyes of important onlookers like politicians.

A splendid fight-in-the-family broke out this month with the publication of a paper by four advocates of the nuclear-power route to emissions reduction. Their paper,Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems,” is published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,  edited by Lawrence Kazmerski, who visited Australia in 2010 and played a small, proud part in forcing up electricity prices to their current obscene levels.)

The study mercilessly exposes the nonsense of the wind and solar advocates, who imagine a world of 100% electricity from renewables by 2050. These fantasists have induced Australian state and federal governments to set unrealistic renewable energy targets, much as mad dogs infect bystanders with rabies. (The Victorian government, for example, last February passed its Climate Change Act with a net zero emissions target by 2050).

There is the added piquancy that all four authors exposing the technical impossibility of wind/solar regimes established their academic profiles in South Australia, where blackouts have made the state a global cautionary tale against moving to 50% renewables (let alone any  higher percent).

The lead author is Ben Heard, PhD candidate at Adelaide University, the co-authors being Professors Barry Brook (U.Tas), Tom Wigley of National Center for Atmospheric Research at Boulder, Colorado, and Corey Bradshaw (Flinders U.) All are nuclear-power advocates, which enrages their wind/solar-loving peers.

Here’s the gist of the  Heard paper:

“Our sobering results show that  100% renewable electricity supply would, at the very least, demand a reinvention of the entire electricity supply-and-demand system to enable renewable supplies to approach the reliability of current systems.  This would move humanity away from known, understood and operationally successful systems into uncertain futures with many dependencies for success and unanswered challenges in basic feasibility.”

They reviewed 24 scenario studies supporting 100% renewables as the way ahead and found not one passed the technical-feasibility test – let alone any commercial tests. On the Heard scale for technical feasibility, with a top score of 7 , they found only one study that even achieved a score of 4.

Four studies scored zero – these included, of course, the propaganda screeds presented as practial plans by WWF and Greenpeace. Another seven studies scraped up scores of just 1. Among those scoring a mere one out of seven  was a scenario co-authored by the Climateworks (Monash University/Myer Foundation) crowd, headed by Labor’s  John Thwaites, who was once Victoria’s deputy-premier. The Australian Academy of Science relied on that half-baked Climateworks exercise in its 2015 submission to the federal government endorsing the magic zero emissions solution to global warming by 2050.

The Heard paper notes the folly of such targets, remarking that

  • The  100% renewables scenarios depend on vast consumptions of biomass.  “The British scenario is a typical example; even with the assumption of a 54% reduction in primary energy consumption, biomass requires 4.1 million [hectares] of land to be committed to the growing of grasses, short-rotation forestry and coppice crops (17% of UK land area).”  (My emphasis)
  • A WWF scenario demands up to 250 million ha for biomass production for energy, along with another 4.5 billion cubic metres of biomass from existing production forests to meet a scenario of an absolute reduction in primary energy from today.
  • “To meet a target of 80% renewables in Europe by 2050 would demand an additional 228,000 km of transmission grid extensions, a +76% addition compared to the base network.”
  • Long-distance interconnector capacities may need to be 5.7 times larger than current capacities. [i]

 The authors said,

The realization of 100% renewable electricity (and energy more broadly) appears diametrically opposed to other critical sustainability issues such as eradication of poverty, land conservation and reduced ecological footprints, reduction in air pollution, preservation of biodiversity, and social justice for indigenous people.”

The Heard paper stuck it but good to the wind/solar mob, but it has its own foibles. It cites 151 footnotes, including, to my  utter surprise, Footnote 30 — a 2010 article from Green Left Weekly about then-garden variety MP Malcolm Turnbull and former NSW Premier Bob Carr  helping to launch a “Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan”. Green Left Weekly reported “the technology required to move Australia to a 100 per cent renewable energy future within ten years [i.e. by 2020] is already commercially available…and the cost is not prohibitive.”  That our current and for-the-moment Prime Minister should have associated himself with this Melbourne University-led insanity is a worry, quite apart from academics’ reliance on Green Left Weekly in their peer-reviewed publications.

That’s not the only oddity about the Heard paper. It opens with resounding claims, “The recent warming of the earth’s climate is unequivocal (1, 2)…with 2016 confirmed as the warmest year on record.” Heard certifies his “unequivocal” warming[ii]  (Footnote 1 of 151)  partially on the strength of  the notoriously-flawed John Cook “97% consensus” paper, comprehensively rebutted by a peer reviewed paper which found that, on the authors’ own analysis, the true consensus was well below 1%.

As for 2016 being a “record” warm year, sorry, Ben: the increase over 2015 was within the margin of error of the data.

Heard’s co-author Corey Bradshaw exemplifies academic life in the Green-Left cocoon. On his blog he refers to Tony Abbott “seizing power in the 2013 Australian election”, as if voters had wanted someone else. Bradshaw advises fellow-scientists to promote international diversity in their labs:

“Let the right-wing populist xenophobes2 vomit their racist bile all they want while you quietly get on with the job of making the world a smarter, more innovative, multicultural, understanding and collaborative place.”

frog with thing that grew on its bottomBradshaw’s potty-mouthed Footnote 2 here refers incoherently to “2Agent Orange, Marine le Pue, Pauline Han-cock, Nigel Fukstick, …” (I assume “Nigel Fukstick” refers to Brexit’s Nigel Farage). This is, perhaps, what can be expected of a senior academic who wears a frog for a hat.

Bradshaw’s screed on the Flinders University website says, “I joined Flinders University as the new Matthew Flinders Fellow in Global Ecology. I am also a Chief Investigator in the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage.” Perhaps Flinders U could get him to run a new Centre of Excellence for Obscenity and Political Derangement.

Bradshaw’s latest book, with the catchy title Killing the Koala and Poisoning the Prairie: Australia, America and the Environment is co-authored with none other than the world’s greatest living wrongologist Paul Ehrlich, the only environmentalist on the planet who has surpassed Tim Flannery in wildly wrong predictions. For example, Ehrlich in The Population Bomb (1968) said that the battle to feed humanity had been lost and 65 million Americans  would starve to death between 1980-89. By 1999, the US population would decline to 22.6 million, he predicted. He said in 1971, “If I were a gambler, I would take even-money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Fortunately for Ehrlich he is not a bookmaker.

Co-author of Heard and Bradshaw, Tom Wigley, was director of the  Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia until 1993. The Climategate emails reveal him adopting a novel approach to data analysis. He wrote to a later director Phil Jones (27/9/2009) about a problem with sea surface temperatures,

“So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 deg C, then this would be significant for the global mean – but we’d still have to explain the land blip.”

Another email (24/4/2003) also revealed him organising to stop sceptic scientists from having their work published.

“One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work. I use the word ‘perceived’ here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about—it is how the journal is seen by the community that counts.”

However, a number of the Climategate emails show Wigley adopting a more ethical stance than the climate cabal led by Phil Jones. Mind you, Wigley remains an enthusiast for spending truly vast amounts of other people’s money on his obsessions.

“What we need is (sic) policies that put a large amount of money into developing appropriate, carbon-neutral technologies, be it renewable energy, methods for storing carbon dioxide in the ground and so on… We need to be putting, you know, ten to 100 times more money into developing appropriate technologies to reduce the magnitude of global warming.” (My emphasis).

These criticisms of mine about the paper’s authors seem rather mild compared to what Heard’s fellow-warmists dish  out.

Economist John Quiggin (Qld University ) was until last month a member of the federals’ Climate Change Authority. He ripped into the Heard paper on his blog, without even having read it – the   abstract alone enough to make his head explode. Heard wrote to him, sarcastically, “Given how easy it is to reach me, I am amazed that anyone would write a review of a paper without actually reading it.
John, would you like a copy?”

Warmist fans of Quiggin’s blog posted this sort of stuff about the Heard team:

  • They make the three stooges look like three highly skilled experts.
  • I  really wonder at the “green” credentials of the “greens” pushing this. Honestly, I reckon they have been infiltrated by an alt-right 5th column pushing their spurious nonsense.
  • Pro-nuclear advocacy is sliding into the territory of Velikovsky[iii] and the anti-vaxxers.
  • Your [Heard’s] paper is a poor quality opinion piece masquerading as science. I repeat that I am amazed it got through peer review.
  • I think it’s kind of sad. They really really really want a nuclear playset for xmas. Poor things.

The parties on both sides of the fracas give respectful mentions to dark-green spruiker Ted Trainer, 76, Honorary Adjunct Associate Professor in Social Work at UNSW.

Trainer gets three citations in the Heard paper and, indeed, it was Trainer who alerted Quiggin to Heard’s publication. Trainer is an advocate for 90% cuts in Western living standards to help save the planet:

“(P)resent rich world levels of consumption are grossly unsustainable and we will probably have to reduce them by something like 90% if we are to achieve a sustainable and just world. Most people concerned about the state of the planet don’t seem to realise how huge the changes would have to be.”

According to Wikipedia, Trainer lives in a makeshift house at a swampy Pigface Point settlement near Sydney, where he engages in barter and a subsistence lifestyle and his house uses 98% less than average electricity.

That’s great for Ted, who I’m sure won’t starve on his academic super, but he seems somewhat dubious company for anyone trying to solve our electricity problems.

Summing up, the Heard paper provides a searing critique of the wind/solar propaganda, notwithstanding its naivete on ancilliary issues. Sadly, Heard doesn’t  check what difference any reduction in Australian emissions  – even to zero – would make to planetary temperatures. The answer: effectively zero.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable, is available here.

 


[i] A similar leap – not mentioned in the Heard paper – would be required for wind turbine installations. To achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of under 2degC warming, Texas A&M researchers have calculated that, just for wind power, an annual global installation of 485,000 5MW wind turbines would be needed by 2028, compared with an equivalent of 13,000 in 2015.

[ii] Warming in fact started in the 19th century in a rebound from the Little Ice Age, long before any CO2 anomalies

[iii]Velikovsky wrote a best seller in arguing that Earth suffered catastrophic close contacts with other planets (principally Venus and Mars) in ancient times. He became a by-word for pseudoscience.

The Natives Are Getting RETless

The Natives Are Getting RETless

According to the Prime Minister, it will take but a few more billions to perfect carbon-capture technology, protect Gaia and win the approval of those who will never vote Coalition come hell or ‘extreme weather’ high water. Alan Moran’s new book delivers the good kicking such thinking deserves

gore with ill-gotten gainsAs you might expect at the launching by Andrew Bolt of a book detailing the asinine inspiration and disastrous consequences of “green” energy policies, all present kept their clothes on at yesterday’s gathering in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Carlton. The surprise — although it isn’t really thatsurprising after all these years of the media’s dutifully parrotted warmist propaganda — is that so many of those who will scoff at Quadrant contributor Alan Moran’s Climate Change – Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era aren’t themselves laughingstocks for the stark-naked exposure of their lies and cause.

Bolt, of course, was citing Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the emperor’s new clothes, casting himself as but one among the legion of rational and observant little boys who have yelled long and loud that the shortcomings of warmism’s priests and pardoners are on full display for all to see. What he can’t figure, he told his lunchtime audience, is why the greater public remains unmoved by the costly peddling of alarmist fantasies, lies, deceits and evasions, not to mention the imposition of unworkable solutions on a non-problem.

However there is hope, he said, as even the warmists’ altar boys in the media must be getting “a little nervy” that none of the prophesied climate catastrophes their breathless reporting so confidently endorsed have yet come to pass, nor do they appear ever likely to do so.

Click here to purchase Alan Moran’s
Climate Change: Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era

“Authorities said things would happen, like the onset of dengue fever and Tim Flannery’s dried-up dams,” Bolt noted. “Well the dams haven’t dried, [Melbourne’s are] more than two-thirds full. On the strength of that expert advice – Flannery is actually a mammologist – most capitals have spent billions to create idled desal plants.

“This suits the Greens, who don’t want new dams either. The Mitchell River catchment was created for a new dam and then was deliberately converted into a national park to thwart any dam,” he continued, referencing as his source Victoria’s former deputy-premier John Thwaites, a Labor man, who also served at Gaia’s altar as the minister for weather, akaclimate change.

Bolt also instanced the IPCC/UN prediction of 50 million climate refugees by 2010. “We’re still waiting to see them. One bloke has claimed climate refugee status and the NZ courts threw him out.”

The tall tale that polar bears would soon be extinct was all the rage a decade ago, he noted, with Al Gore’s omnibus collection of lies and distortions, An Inconvenient Truth, using animations of drowning bears to make its spurious point (and the failed presidential candidate a pile of money). That myth, only this week put to rest once and for all by the news that ursus maritinus is doing just fine, thank you, was inspired by nothing more than the observation from a low-flying plane of four drowned and floating bears that perished after a storm. Naturally the ABC, keen as always to push climate shock and horror, went big on the story at the time. Coca-Cola was moved to “raise awareness”, as they say, by putting polar bear images on cans and bottles, the scare culminating in George W. Bush putting the creatures on the endangered species list. The reality is that polar bear populations overall are thriving, but the non-story remains largely impervious to fact and reason. Indeed, even in December, as researchers were finalising the latest and most comprehensive paper to date on the robust health of polar bear populations, the ABC continued to feature its fake news about polar bears’ looming extinction.

Bolt noted that Moran’s book covers al the other massive fictions and scares, including acid rain, the health of the Antarctic ecosystem and whale numbers. The explanation for those myths longevity is quite simple: absent the panic, those armies of second-rate “scientists” and crusading academics, the rent-seekers, podium hogs and publicity hounds might have to find real work and other sourcs of income. There would be no more turning left when entering jetliners bound for all-expenses-paid international conferences and gabfests where hollow pieties, rather than facts, are the currency of participants. An astonishing 40,000 devotees of room service and free travel tripped to the Paris climate  jamboree in 2015, which makes one think admiringly of the Medici popes, who had the good sense not to parade their mistresses while preaching chastity. But climate “experts”, such as the high-school dropout Leonardo DiCaprio, see no such need as they instruct the world to cut emissions, then climb aboard private jets propelled no less by fossil fuels than their galloping hypocrisy.

morans bookThe reality is that the expensive green energy touted by such people will cause the poor and pensioners to endure unaffordable heating and cooling bills, potentially a lethal issue. As if to confirm Bolt’s point, that very same day Fairfax Media was exploring on its Domain website another aspect of the damage green theology is wreaking. Residents of high-rise apartments, Fairfax informed visitors to the site, will be hardest hit in a future plagued by inevitable South Australia-style power shortages. As if to confirm Bolt’s point about self-evident truths ignored, that same report went on to quote yet another, er, expert, Matt Mushalik of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, to the effect that people would be climbing endless flights of stairs because “few of the existing towers ever invest in renewable energy to make up for shortfalls”. The naked emperor wiggles his craggy bottom and, once again, his green courtiers acclaim cellulite as the richest and most exquisite royal velvet.

Not that apartment dwellers will be alone in their inconvenience, as the burden and imposition go well beyond the exertion of mounting 30 flights of stairs. BHP-Billiton, for example, has said South Australia’s excess energy costs have amounted to $US105 million at Olympic Dam alone, prompting a freeze on plans to expand operations at the site and the jobs that would have gone with it.

“Real money! Real jobs! Incredible!” marvelled Bolt. “Anti-warming measures have cost Australia far more than warming has ever done. Not just lost jobs and lost investment but the huge distraction of the government and bureaucracy from real issues like Aboriginal disadvantage. It’s been a shocking corruption of the public process.”

Yet even as the Liberal Party finally recognises that policies have to shift, it continues to make power systems more expensive while driving businesses to the wall. As today’s Australian Financial Review reports (paywalled):

Hardware manufacturer Alchin Long Group in Sydney’s west has had to agree to a near-doubling of its electricity price and may rethink plans to shift work back to Australia from China as a result, said Graham Lee, national operations manager. The price of the new two-year contract from Origin Energy has surged from $55.30 per megawatt-hour to $109.70.(emphasis added)

The Liberals’ addled ‘solution’ is to spend yet more taxpayer funds on subsidies in a bid to alleviate the ills sown by previous subsidies to green rent-seekers, which have made the production of baseload, coal-fired electricity uneconomic and unsustainable. If Victoria’s Portland aluminium smelter goes under as a consequence of soaring electricity prices, with the loss of 700 direct jobs and many indirect ones as well, official policy will have turned the now prosperous and pleasant Western District community into a second Moe, the Victorian town infamous for welfare dependency and social malaise. Thousands will be trapped there because house devaluations will prevent them re-buying elsewhere. Government reaction? More subsidies.

In the case of the Hazelwood power station’s imminent shuttering, the official ‘solution’ is to subsidise a skyhook technology, carbon capture and storage (CCS), which has worked nowhere else in the world. Unless Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has endorsed the expenditure of yet more millions to develop CCS, and his ministers are entirely brain-dead, they will know in their private conversations that CCS is folly on gold-plated stilts. Yet none dare raise a public voice against such madness, for such is their fear of being branded abusers of Gaia. The supreme irony, the great testament to such cowardice and craven fecklessness, is that those inner-suburban green/left critics will never vote for the Coalition no matter what they do.

Mathias Cormann, for one, knows it is all rubbish and has argued against the renewable energy targets (RET), Bolt said. Yet people like the finance minister now argue that scrapping those mandated goals would raise the spectre of sovereign risk and, as a consequence, prompt a strike of overseas investment. The notion that a healthy, growing economy powered by cheap energy might more than compensate seems never to have occurred to them.

“The final insanity is that, even if CO2 warming were real and dangerous, all the vast spending on emission cuts, and plans to spend more, will achieve no detectable reduction of future warming,” Bolt said.

“If every emitting country adhered to its Paris non-binding commitments,[i] on the IPCC’s own formula, global temperature over the rest of the century would lower by a trivial 0.168degC. Is it worth it? If politicians think it is, I would like them to say so.

“They all know the emperor is naked,” Bolt concluded, “but not one of them has the guts to tell you so.”

Tony Thomas’s book of Quadrant essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.

 


[i] The Paris agreement allows China to raise emissions by 50%, and India to double emissions. The fourth-biggest emitter, Russia, is also permitted large increases.

The Climate Cult’s Blackout Brigade

They perch and preen atop their grants, sinecures and self-regard, forever predicting planetary doom unless their addled sermons are heeded and the carbon-spewing sins of our modern world are expiated. When your lights next go out, blame them and the politicians on whose teats they suckle

co2 smokeAs Australia’s electricity systems slide towards unreliability and more blackouts – half a dozen so far, at last count –  let’s pin the responsibility on the true culprits: activist climate “scientists” peddling their dodgy CO2 alarm and insane zero-emission targets.

At their forefront is the climate cabal within the Australian Academy of Science, our peak science organisation.  In  2015, speaking for the Academy, they blithely recommended to the federal government that Australia embarks on “significant, urgent and sustained” emissions cuts. Their desired 2030 scenario — which remains the Academy’s policy — is for  CO2 emission cuts 30-40% below 2000 levels, en route to the Academy’s desired zero- emissions regime by 2050.

I emailed the Academy the following questions about its submission:

1. I don’t see any costing of the Academy’s 2030 and 2050 targets. Can you provide me with best estimates or something on costings anyway — I assume the report authors did some work on that.

2. I don’t see any breakdown of Academy targets into solar, wind, coal, nuclear, hydro, whatever. Can you assist me by detailing such breakdowns?

3. The report has little/nothing to say about how a reliable base load electricity system will operate on your 2030 and 2050 scenarios. In light of recent events, does the Academy have any suggestions on how blackouts will be avoided as Australia moves to the desired RE [renewable energy] targets?

Th reply:

“The Academy has a broad brief across the sciences. Its Fellows step up in a voluntary capacity to write documents such as this… We don’t have the in-house expertise or resources to answer your detailed questions.”

This reply went on to list the contributors to the Academy’s submission, namely Dr John A Church FAA FTSE FAMS;

Dr Ian Allison AO; Professor Michael Bird FRSE; Professor Matthew England FAA; Professor David Karoly FAMS FAMOS; Professor Jean PalutikofProfessor Peter Rayner; and Professor Steven Sherwood.

The Academy of Science itself admits that it lacks the “in-house expertise or resources” to explain why it wants to destroy the country’s electricity security and raise the price of power to all Australians. But wow, it’s great at puffing itself. The same cabal that is clueless about the real-world impacts of its emissions recommendations bragged in their 2015 submission:

“The Academy promotes scientific excellence, disseminates scientific knowledge, and provides independent scientific advice for the benefit of Australia and the world… The Academy would be pleased to provide further information or explanation on any of the points made in this submission.” (My emphasis. But the Academy wimped out when I actually asked for such information).

The Academy has form in pandering to green nostrums.

  • It sponsored and helped bankroll its Fenner Conference on the Environment at UNSW in 2014, themed as “Addicted to Growth? How to move to a Steady State Economy in Australia.” The flier compared the pursuit of economic growth to “the ideology of the cancer cell”.[1] Some speakers urged economic contraction and drops in living standards of up to 90%.[2]
  •  It trumpeted its divestment of shareholdings in supposedly-abhorrent fossil fuel companies in 2015, although the Academy  HQ in Canberra continues to enjoy unprincipled use of fossil-fuel-powered electricity. The Academy lumps in coal-related outfits like Rio Tinto with its other pariah companies in gambling, tobacco, the sex trade, and napalm production.
  • The Academy swept under the rug a damning 2010 audit of the IPCC by the 15-nation InterAcademy Council, although its then-president, Kurt Lambeck, played an important role in the audit process.[3] An Academy office-bearer justified its non-disclosure in an email:“Needless to say, any adverse findings do great damage to the credibility of climate scientists as a whole, especially in the current climate of almost religious opposition to the acceptance of climate change science.”
  • The Academy authored and promulgated climate lessons for high-schoolers, urging them to embrace green activism and political lobbying. Teachers were advised, in all seriousness, to “ask [15-16 year old] students if they have ever taken action or advocated for a cause. Do they know of anyone who has?” The teens were also asked,“Which is more effective, science awareness or advocacy, when it comes to generating 
community action? What cause would you sign up for?”
  • The Academy’s  latest chief executive is Anna-Maria Arabia, formerly Federal Labor Party adviser and climate activist, with a track record of seeking suppression of “denier” views.  She was director of policy/principal adviser to Bill Shorten for three years, earlier spending half a decade as adviser to Kim Beazley and Anthony Albanese.

The Academy  believes that global warming can be explained and predicted by using CO2 emissions as a control knob – turn up the knob (CO2 emissions) and warming occurs proportionately. This childishly-simple relationship enables the climate scientists to imagine CO2 “budgets” and use them to hypothetically keep global warming to some magic 2degC limit. Any other climate complexities, such as multiple superimposed ocean temperature cycles, cosmic rays, or 1000 other factors as yet only sketchily understood, are deemed irrelevant to global-warming forecasting.

This type of thinking fits what eminent Princeton atomic physicist Will Happer described last week as “cult” mentality. Happer said, “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”[4]

The Academy’s eight authors are also in love with the idea that because Australia is a rich country, it should be first to make sacrifices to its living standards, while so-called “developing” countries like (nuclear-armed) China, India and Pakistan enjoy a holiday to crank out emissions without restraint.[5] The submission cites approvingly “the common but differentiated responsibilities of nations” – this being code from  the UN’s Third World corruptocrats for handing them the developed world’s wealth. The Academy also imagines that “it is in our national interest” to show “international leadership” on emissions cuts. These  dubious and self-damaging propositions are political not science-related and the Academy squanders its intellectual/scientific capital by canvassing them.[6]

Another characteristic of the Academy’s climate scientists is to assume that more global warming will be a bad thing. It will bring, their submission says, more and worse extreme weather, degrade farm output, drown Asian megacities from sea-level rise (if so, when? In 2200?), drown low-lying tropical islands (Charles Darwin scotched that idea in 1837) and, of course, kill the Great Barrier Reef, which mysteriously survived several comparable warming episodes in the  past 10,000 years.

Reality checks

  • The Academy’s “extreme weather” meme is not, in broad terms, even endorsed by the IPCC’s 5th report. The most comprehensive study to date, published last week, “found that the frequency of hail storms, thunderstorms and high wind events has decreased by nearly 50 percent on average throughout China since 1960.”
  •  The less than 1degC of global warming in the past 150 years has been accompanied by record output of food crops, sufficient to feed a global population increased by 2.5 billion  in the past 30 years. With the global food import bill at a six-year low, the amazing rise in crop productivity shows no sign of stalling. Another 1degC of warming would seem, on past form, an excellent thing for food output for the world’s under-nourished.
  • The fertilizing effect of our emissions-caused CO2 increase has greened the planet, creating the vegetative equivalent of two continental United States. What’s the Academy got to say about that?

The Academy-eight’s submission cited only six external papers, one of them co-authored by a “R.K. Pachauri” (who happens to be devoid of science qualifications). Rajendra Pachauri resigned abruptly as IPCC chair in February 2015 (three months before the Academy submission citing him) after a 29-year-old female subordinate at his TERI think-tank  alleged the 75-year-old  had spent the previous 15 months pursuing and sexually harasing her.[7] Soon after, New Delhi police charged the Academy-cited author with molestation, stalking, sexual harassment and criminal intimidation. His initial and wildly improbable defence (later abandoned) was that some “climate enemy” had hacked his phone, computer and whatsapp account to send the woman all those dirty texts and lurid suggestions.[8]

For those in the Academy who would claim Pachauri’s sex obsessions are nothing to do with his IPCC work, please note that while chairing the 37th IPCC plenary in Batumi, Georgia, in 2013, attended by 229 politicians from 92 countries, Pachauri was surreptitiously firing off come-hither notes to his outraged and much put-upon staffer. Prosecutors are yet to have their charges against him tested in the notoriously slow and corruptible Indian courts.

Another of the meagre citations in the Academy’s submission is to a report on “Deep Decarbonisation in 2050” from the Monash/Myer ClimateWorks think-tank (2014) and authored by sundry Climateworks, CSIRO and ANU warmist fanatics.

This document posits a $60 per tonne carbon price by 2020 (current price on European markets, five Euros). The carbon price would rise thereafter by more than 4% a year to 2050, at which happy date Australians will supposedly  bask in unprecedented riches and affordable electricity per capita, along with  zero thermal coal usage.

Climateworks outlines a scenario in which, thanks to “very strong abatement incentives” i.e. subsidies,  cars by 2050 are running on electricity and hydrogen, while trucks, planes and mining machinery are powered largely by biofuels. (The authors also hope to see a return to wooden buildings, rather than old-fashioned brick, steel and concrete). The implications include that Australia would need to plant in the very broad vicinity of between 600,000 hectares and 1.7 million every year of forestry for carbon credits and biomass.[9] Needless to say, the  Science Academy’s climate team took the document seriously, although it more resembles a Greens senator’s wet dream.

A third citation in the Academy submission of  Professor Lesley Hughes, David Karoly et al is to an IPCC document on Australasian warming which, just coincidentally, happens to have been lead-authored by Professor Lesley Hughes and reviewed by David Karoly.

The main citation, however, is to the Academy’s own 2015 booklet, “The science of climate change: Questions and answers”. One of that document’s remarkable feature (citation 45) is the trust it places in Michael Mann’s notorious and discredited 2000-year ‘Hockey Stick’ temperature reconstruction.

The document’s main surprise is that the Academy imagines output of climate models constitutes “compelling evidence” that human-caused CO2 increases are warming the planet.[10]  In fact, the model outputs are “compelling evidence” of nothing other than the assumptions and tweaks chosen by the modellers, such as inordinately-high sensitivity of temperature to CO2 increases. This, and the satellite-measured 18 years of warming hiatus,  have led to models over-forecasting recent warming two- or threefold, and to the IPCC’s acknowledgement that 111 out of 114 model runs have exaggerated actual warming. Yet so-called predictions from these models out to 2100 are the basis for the Academy wanting trillion-dollar decarbonising of the world’s energy usage and prolonged energy poverty for the Third World.

Even more absurdly, the Academy booklet’s “proof” of man-made CO2 warming is that climate models are supposedly poor with 150-year hindcasts (recreation of past temperature trends) when only “natural” influences are included, but more accurate when human CO2 outputs are included.[11]

The reality is that modellers have no idea about the impact of a host of natural and crucial variables such as cloud feedback effects. The IPCC in its 2007 report listed more than a dozen climate forcing factors for which it rated scientific understanding as “Medium to Low”, “Low” or “Very Low”.  In several key passages, the IPCC acknowledged serious defects in the models.[12]Yet the Australian Academy, despite its normal fawning over IPCC findings, continues to assume the models are more or less perfect.

This misplaced trust allows the  Academy to claim that juxtaposing pairs of (flawed and unvalidated) models can   “prove” CO2 impacts. It’s a mystery how the so-called climate scientists have hoodwinked the world with such nonsense for decades.

A particularly lame and incestuous line in the Academy Q&A document reads, “Some models predict that, when the current slowdown [ie warming hiatus] ends, renewed warming will be rapid.” Flip to the citations (No. 87) and you discover that the document co-author Matthew England is citing is his own 2014 paper, which purports to explain away the hiatus with modelled stuff about Pacific trade wind changes pushing heat into the ocean – one of more than 60 different and often contradictory hypotheses to date on the “pause”.[13]

Instead of sledging each other over renewables target levels, the political parties would benefit from auditing the climate science behind the targets – and discovering that it’s tainted and threadbare. And in the case of the Academy of Science, it’s activism.

Tony Thomas’s book of Quadrant essays, “That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print” is available here.


[1] As 95% of Academy Fellows live off the taxpayer, the Academy presumably took the view that the vast unemployment  from a no-growth economy would be other people’s problem.

[2] “(P)resent rich world levels of consumption are grossly unsustainable and we will probably have to reduce them by something like 90% if we are to achieve a sustainable and just world. Most people concerned about the state of the planet don’t seem to realise how huge the changes would have to be.” Ted Trainer, quoted by speaker Haydn Washington.

[3] The InterAcademy Council, representing 15 national science academies, found “significant shortcomings in each major step [i.e. every major step] of IPCC’s assessment process”.

[4] A classic “cultist” example, also common in Australia, is claiming that any unusual weather event – such as the Californian drought – is linked to anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The Californian drought has been overtaken in the past month or two by torrential rain. The more brazen climate “scientists” are now trying to link that rain to AGW as well.

[5] China plans for its emissions not even to peak until 2030. In the three years to 2020, it will add  coal-fired electricity generation equivalent to the entire electricity generation of Canada.

[6] The Academy submission is not 100% loopy as it acknowledges (twice) that “it is not possible to avoid all climate change”. Congrats, guys, on that profundity.

[7] “I feel broken and scarred in body and mind due to Dr. Pachauri’s behavior and actions. I get frequent panic attacks due to the constant harassment and being made to feel like an object of vulgar desire from this man, who is old enough to be my grandfather … I was very scared of losing my reputation and employment if I complained to anyone.” 

One of Pachauri’s messages reads: “I find it now very difficult to hug you. What haunts me are your words from the last time that I ‘grabbed’ your body. That would apply to someone who would want to molest you. I loved you in the soul, mind, heart…”

[8] The Academy-cited Pachauri previously published a sari-ripping novel, Return to Almora, featuring orgies, masturbation and unsettling descriptions of sex with reluctant women.

[9] Climateworks: “The analysis suggests that the total biofuel use would amount to about 15GL in 2050, which is equivalent to about 44 percent of today’s domestic petroleum refining capacity.”

[10] The Academy: “Together with physical principles and knowledge of past variations, models provide compelling evidence that recent changes are due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. They tell us that, unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced greatly and greenhouse gas concentrations are stabilised, greenhouse warming will continue to increase.”

[11]  The Academy: “Models can successfully reproduce the observed warming over the last 150 years when both natural and human influences are included, but not when natural influences act alone. This is both an important test of the climate models against observations and also a demonstration that recent observed global warming results largely from human rather than natural influences on climate.”

[12] (a)       ”There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols).” [WG I SPM, section D.1, page 15, bullet point 2, and full Synthesis Report on page SYR-8).

(b) “This difference between simulated [i.e. model output] 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”. (WGI contribution, chapter 9, text box 9.2, page 769)

[13] Rather than vainly trying to account for the pause, “pause-buster” climate people at America’s NOAA now alter past data to remove the pause from the climate record.

COMMENTS [2]

  1. Peter OBrien

    Tony, your last paragraph is the clincher. It is beyond me why the sceptics in the Coalition, such as Craig Kelly, aren’t singing this from the rooftops everyday. What better way to bolster your case for coal fired power than to expose the dubious nature of the CAGW scam. There is more than enough evidence for, even, Turnbull to say there’s not enough evidence.

  2. Ian MacDougall

    Going by this Tony Thomas revelation, it would not surprise me to learn that (a) the Australian Academy of Science is a total cesspit of sexual predators, unfit even for the company of the present POTUS, and that (b) it has been moved in on by the Flat Earth Society and the Von Daniken League, and is flogging homeopathic remedies as a sideline.
    I honestly don’t know what this whole wide world is coming to.

    It’s a mystery how the so-called climate scientists have hoodwinked the world with such nonsense for decades.

    I would not stop there, and the scam won’t either. That strange gurgling sound coming from every point of the compass these days has to be not rising seas, but the whole world drowning in the snake oil it has been talked into buying.

Earth Hour in 3D: Dim, Dark and Dopey

For the past decade legions of the gullible have been signalling their eco-virtue by candles’ glow, turning off the lights for 60 minutes as an offering to poor, overheated Gaia. It makes little sense, but promoters are delighted the faithful can still write cheques in the gloom

earth hourWorld Wide Fund for Nature (Australia) is gearing up for its tenth idiotic Earth Hour at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 25. Once again it will be urging people to turn off lights  (but not fridges, freezers, TVs, dishwashers, computers, aircons and smart-phones). If WWF is aware that satellite data shows no atmospheric warming for the past 18 years, that information figures nowhere in its literature.

Of course, any large-scale lights-off actually increases CO2emissions because generators have to do inefficient ramping-up of power when the lights go on again. Such quibbles have never worried   WWF.

Earth Hour is run by national manager Anna Rose. She is co-founder and former head of the Youth Climate Coalition, and spouse of Simon Sheik, former national director of GetUp, failed Greens candidate and, most recently, promoter of a fossil-fuel-free superfund.[1] Rose claims, on the basis of sample surveys from consultancy AMR, that a quarter (nearly 6m) of the Australian population took part in Earth Hour 2016.[2] That’s a big call. In 2015, she was claiming one in three Australians (7.7m)  took part in 2014.

The media-savvy WWF has been theming its annual Earth Hours. Last year’s theme was “Protect the Aussie places we love” with sub-texts about global warming destroying the Barrier Reef by 2050 and other alarmist mantras (the Reef made it safely through previous eras of strong warming). The 2017 Earth Hour theme is “the voice of the future generation”, taking into overdrive WWF’s propaganda assault in schools.

WWF’s partner in the schools’ Earth Hour exercise is Cool Australia, a green/left outfit founded and run by Jason Kimberley of the  wealthy Just Jeans clan. Cool Australia claims more than 52,000 educators whose lessons reached more than 1,050,000 students in 2016. (It is a national scandal that schools have become such hotbeds of green/left indoctrination).

The Cool Australia material has much in common with the views of the Left Renewal faction of the Greens Party, and its “fight to bring about the end of capitalism”.  Cool’s anti-capitalism curriculum is based on the rantings of far-left Canadian author Naomi Klein and her agitprop book, This Changes Everything.  Klein  views conventional green policies as way too conservative. Her goal is to marshall a green activist horde to subvert Western civilisation at grassroots level.

Cool Australia offers Years 9 and 10 no fewer than ten lesson units based on the Klein book and video. One lesson, for example, is titled,“This changes everything – climate change vs capitalism”. Cool Australia counsels the kiddies, “…an opportunity for a new economic model that accounts for both people and the planet in a just and sustainable way.” The film of the same title has Klein saying, “I’ve spent six years wandering through the wreckage caused by the carbon in the air and the economic system that put it there.” A title comes up, “Capitalism” with a voiceover, “We are going in completely the wrong direction.” It ends with a narrator’s question: “What if global warming is not only a crisis? What if it is the best chance you are ever going to get to build a better world? Change or be changed!”

Cool Australia provides these “thought-starting” keywords for the climate/capitalism lessons:

global warming, floods, drought, carbon dioxide, weather, resource use, coral bleaching, bush fires, carbon tax, humans

In regard to cpitalism, keywords provided are

profit, money, private wealth, rich, poor, winners, loser, consumption, stuff, resources, economic systems, private ownership, humans

Teachers are exhorted thus:

Hot tip: Repeat this activity at the end of the unit to assess students’ understanding.”[3]

There is no reference to capitalism and free trade lifting billions out of poverty in the past half-century.

WWF’s president is another mega-millionaire, Rob Purves of the Purves Environmental Fund. Purves’ fortune derived from Clyde Industries and billion-dollar diagnostics/aged-care group DCA. WWF in turn is a “curriculum partner” of Cool Australia. Purves is also a sponsor of Earth Hour, governor of the Youth Climate Coalition and director of Tim Flannery’s Climate Council. Prominent on the Earth Hour web pages is WWF’s “Donate” menu, donations being tax deductible.

This appeal inspired me to look up WWF’s local 2016 accounts. CEO Dermot O’Gorman, his conservation director Gilly Llewellyn, and their CFO took in $632,000 in combined pay, but WWF doesn’t disclose what each received.WWF employment benefits

WWF fund-raised $22.8 million — but, oh dear, $9.2 million, or 40%, was burned by the costs of fund-raising. (In the past three years, WWF has spent an amazing $29 million on fund-raising costs. That includes about $10 million in the past two years alone for on-going  “supporter acquisition programs”  aimed at an “appropriate return” from its givers over three to five years. Do regular donors understand how much is going to  third-party professional fund-raisers?

Of the $29.5 million in latest income, WWF managed to spend only $16.4 million — 56% on what it calls “conservation”.[4]  [5] Still, WWF Australia with its $30 milion annual revenue is small beer compared with the US-based  World Wildlife Fund Inc. (latest revenue: $US249m). That group’s five-year revenue comfortably tops ten figures, at $US1.1b. The 2016 fund-raising expense ratio is 11%, compared with the 40% for WWF Australia.

Saving the planet is a responsible job andCEO Carter Roberts pulled in $US941,000 last year, up more than 100% compared with his pay in 2009 of $US455,000.  President Obama is paid only $US400,000. Roberts’ chief operating officer, Marcia Marsh, gets $US576,000. Both state their working weeks as 40 hours. Nearly 200 staff are on six-figures, and a dozen on $US300,000 plus.  A couple of PR flacks are on $US260,000 and $US315,000.

WWF in the US is also gearing up for Earth Hour to help save our hapless planet. “Even a tweet can make a difference,” it says, demonstrating near-clinical inability to separate fantasy from the real world.

I had a thought that WWF India might not be promoting Earth Hour, given that 300 million Indian peasants are eking out short and brutish lives in no-electricity squalor. Regardless, WWF India is urging Indians  to “switch off your lights” and invest in solar power.[6]

In Australia, WWF, lacking all sense of the ridiculous, asks students to analyse global warming impacts on their spaghetti bolognaise   (wheat, beef, cheese and tomato) and pavlovas (egg, sugar, rasberries, blueberries).[7]

Last year WWF globally set out six key goals, ranked as: forest conservation; oceans conservation; clean water; protecting important species; doubling net food availability and freezing its footprint; and last-listed, “Creating a climate-resilient and zero-carbon world powered by renewable energy”. WWF Australia seems over-focused on the last item.

I mentioned the annual theming of Earth Hour in Australia. The 2015 theme was of special interest: how global warming imperils Australia’s “fresh healthy home-grown food”, and how we should “make a stand for our food and farmers”. These farmers allegedly had their backs to the wall as they valiantly battled global warming’s adverse impacts.

Anna Rose declaimed, “Aussies are proud of our farmers for feeding the nation but they are on the frontline of global warming and are already feeling the effects of rising temperatures and more extreme weather.”

Mike Hirst, managing director of long-time Earth Hour sponsor Bendigo Bank, chimed in, “Across this land, thousands of farmers are grappling with the challenge of global warming while producing the food which we and millions of people around the world depend on.”

WWF/Earth Hour figured it could get some traction with this story because many farmers were having a bad season. For 2014-15, by value, wheat was down 11%; cotton down 52%; rice down 16%; veges down 5%; milk static and total crops down 5%. The WWF publicity asserted that “Global warming is challenging our farmers and affecting our supply of good-quality fresh food.” WWF had little trouble getting hard-luck stories from 55 assorted farmers about how climate change was doing them in.

WWF also whistled up its pet catastrophists such as David Karoly at Melbourne University to do a report, Appetite for Change: Global Warming Impacts on Food and Farming Regions in Australia.  Here’s Karoly’s  insights about southern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania:

Continued substantial warming is expected over the rest of this century, from 0.6°C to 1.3°C by 2030  and up to 4°C by 2070 with ongoing high greenhouse-gas emissions. A warming climate will be associated with more hot days and nights, including more summer heat waves, and fewer cold days and nights, including fewer winter frosts. The number of days hotter than 35°C is expected to increase by about 20 per cent by 2030 and possibly more than double by 2070… The reduced rainfall and higher temperatures are expected to lead to more frequent and intense droughts and bushfires, and greater stress on water resources.” (My emphasis).[8]

Other specialists then weighed in with predictions about how 50 food items – from wheat and beef to octopi[9] and zucchini — will be trashed by Karoly’s “expected” global warming. We learn from the  authors that carrots are doomed to tastelessness and poor texture; toast and raspberry jam will be in short supply; avocado and Vegemite will taste worse; beetroots will blush less red; fruit trees will be stunted and heat-struck chickens will have nervous breakdowns.

WWF’s poster woman for the Earth Hour book on how warming will degrade farming was South Gippsland dairy farmer Marian Macdonald. However, her writings a year later rather subvert her message:

The big question still remains for this farmer: how common will this type of season be in the future? The climate modelling is just not detailed or accurate enough. All we know is that it will be drier, warmer and more unpredictable than ever. And that’s nowhere near enough information to make good decisions. To be frank, we don’t even have a worthwhile forecast for the next fortnight or the three months ahead. The Bureau of Meteorology’s oft-reported seasonal outlook is so unreliable here, it is literally the equivalent of tossing a coin – by the Bureau’s own admission.” (My emphasisTo paraphrase, the BOM can’t forecast a fortnight ahead but is great at those 100-year forecasts).

The climate gloom in regard to farming was all early 2015.[10] How about now? Well, I never! Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says agriculture is entering a “golden era” of prosperity and growth that will last at least five years: “We haven’t seen anything like this right across all regions and sectors — beef, lamb, grains, wool, sugar, kangaroo meat, live cattle, chickpeas, even the dairy industry is recovering — for almost a century. The good times are finally here.”

As The Australian’s rural correspondent Sue Neales puts it, “Last year [2016] was an extraordinary one: record farmgate prices for sheep and cattle, rising wool prices, a magnificent season yielding a record 52 million tonne grain and pulse crop.… farming is seen as a profession with a bright, unstoppable future.”

National agricultural production will be a record $60 billion in value this year for the first time and is tipped to go to $100 billion in the next decade. (CSIRO chief Larry Marshall has made the obvious point that to meet Asian food demand, we’ll need to double our water usage. This hardly suits the green agenda of no-dams).

The bumper crops are not just in Australia but global. The Food & Agriculture Organisation late last year raised its forecast for global wheat production to a record 742.4 million tonnes, and global rice output to a record 498m tonnes.

So as Earth Hour nears on March 25, and WWF publicity ramps up, don’t take it too seriously. Maybe even celebrate the joy of electricity by leaving your lights on.

Tony Thomas new book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.

__________________________________

 [1] According to the blurbs, she became a climate change campaigner after her grandparent’s farm in North Western NSW was affected by drought, and Anna “connected the dots” to climate change – quite a feat.

[2] One major participant is the Australian Defence Force

[3] Klein’s “solutions” for an allegedly fairer and more humane society are pushed at students by teachers using the Cool Australia social-justice material. The “solutions” include a basic income for all and higher taxes on the affluent; enforcing industry to reduce or cut completely its CO2 emissions; banning deep-water drilling, fracking and tar sands production; “re-localising” production of food and goods (i.e. diminishing trade); and “community-controlled clean energy systems”. The students are exhorted to discuss the “Call to Action” theme of Canada’s March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate, as a creed for a “just transition” to a fairer world.

[4] WWF income included $783,000 in government grants, of which $376,000 was from DFAT. WWF spent $2.7m on what it calls “community education”.

[5] Earth Hour: “Regular donations are critical to our ability to manage our large team of volunteers across the country with certainty around our budget. We do what we can with very little, but it all adds up.”

[6] “What has Earth Hour achieved since the movement began?” The sponsors’ list includes   “Solar-powered lights were installed in three villages without electricity in India.”

[7] When I noticed and wrote about the spagbol talking point last December, some readers insisted I must have been hoaxed.

[8] Karoly in 2009 thought it a great idea for Earth Hour to become permanent:

“We need to repeat Earth Hour every hour of the day, every day of the year, so that these actions are part of our normal lives”.

[9] “Computer modelling projections for pale octopus indicate warming could lead to eventual decline. Increased carbon-dioxide may make octopus more vulnerable to predators, and combined climate factors may have complex effects.” Octopi, don’t say you weren’t warned.

[10] “According to the CSIRO, production from cropping and livestock is projected to decline by 2030 over much of southern Australia due to increased drought and the “fact” that the availability of nutrients will limit productivity in most Australian landscapes…” Professor Richard Eckard, Melbourne University, March 2015.

Warmism’s Martial Plan

Obama declines to bomb an ISIS convoy because burning trucks will boost CO2 emissions … Australia’s defence wallahs fret about rising seas and drowning air bases …  alarmist ratbaggery distorts strategy and budgets. Military effectiveness has a new enemy: the climate-scam crowd

green fleetThe US military is in flux as President-elect Trump prepares to rid it of Obama’s global-warming overlays. This switch is underway just as the Australian military is starting to adopt Obama-style environmentalism, after a decade’s passive resistance to  climate politics.

The ADF has already capitulated to feminists and inclusiveness mavens, with top brass applauding then-Human Rights Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick for her 2014 report castigating the force’s “masculine norms” and “warrior culture”. The ADF was also told by Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert in the Abbott government in March, 2015, to recruit an imam for the benefit of the force’s 100 Muslim recruits. The coming capitulation is to the hyped climate “science” of the ANU Climate Institute and Tim Flannery’s crusading Climate Council.

This essay looks at the status quo with environmentalism in the US military, and the recent flow-ons to Australia.

What happens when the military gets climate-minded played out in Syria a year ago. Russian President Vladimir Putin was annoyed at  Turkey shooting down a Russian SU-24 bomber. So he blew the whistle on America’s  reluctance to attack Syrian ISIS road tankers carting oil into Turkey. Those black-market oil sales generate the main funding for ISIS.[1]

Showing Russian reconnaissance footage, Putin spoke of “vehicles, carrying oil, lined up in a chain going beyond the horizon…a living oil pipe day and night.” US reporters wondered why the Obama administration hadn’t ordered US planes to  blow up the “living oil pipe”. The public explanation from former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell was that Obama did not want “to create environmental damage” or wreck infrastructure that Syrians would need in peace-time.

In an Obama version of shock and awe, A-10s Warthog ground-attack planes and Spectre gunships did start attacking the tankers, but only after leaflet drops to give the ISIS tanker drivers a considerate 45 minutes to “get out of your trucks now and run away from them.”

Concern about CO2 emissions from exploding ISIS oil tankers is just one facet of Obama’s generalship. Since 2009 he has been issuing progressively-tougher Executive Orders to government agencies, including Defence, demanding that global warming issues be raised to top-priority status. Obama has several times publicly declared climate change to  be an equal or greater threat than terrorism, and the Obama/Kerry team recently  moved climate change talks from the Oval Office to the “Situation Room,” for military/security discussion of  active threats to the US.

Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer and U.S. Central Command planner, says the Pentagon is introducing climate change, right down to military tactics, techniques and procedures level.

China’s military doctrine is less convoluted: “China’s armed forces uphold combat effectiveness as the sole and fundamental standard and work to build themselves into a people’s military that can fight and win.”  Putin, like his Chinese counterparts, has not afflicted the Russian military with climate provisos.

Another serious “threat to national security” posited by Obama is from politicians who deny that various extreme weather events are demonstrations of climate change.  Whatever dissent existed among the top US brass about the Obama campaign went mainly unspoken, while more ambitious officers competed publicly  to burnish their climate credentials. But in mid-2015, General Martin Dempsey, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made his disgust clear by issuing a 14-page policy statement on military doctrine that contains not one mention of climate change.

Trump’s eagerness to drain Obama’s military swamp is evident from his 74 questions to the Department of Energy. He wants to identify all programs tainted by Obama’s junk science, along with the programs’ bureaucratic champions. The specificity of the questions is impressive, and designed to trump any civil-service obfuscation and passive resistance. The Brits take a perverse pride in Yes, Minister bureaucrats who run rings around their politicians. Trump and his realpolitik appointees intend to (and know how to) beat the bureaucrats.

The US Navy’s so-called “Great Green Fleet” reflects Obama’s priorities, and has some direct Australian flow-ons. The background is the Navy target to run 50% on planet-friendly alternative fuels by 2020, along with many conventional energy-saving measures.  In practice, if a fuel stock contains as little as 10% biofuel, it can be fudged into the ‘green’ category.

Obama’s original intent was emissions reductions to slow global warming. During that era of $US120+ for a barrel for oil, producing fuel from chicken fat and old cooking oil didn’t seem wholly irrational. Even so, Navy coffers were depleted by at least a billion dollars in subsidies to biofuel refineries and infrastructure, with leakages to the usual green parasites and scammers.

The three US military-spec biofuel refineries can put out a mere 100 million gallons of biofuel a year, relative to the US military’s total fuel use of 4.6  billion gallons.

The biofuels policy has required constant patches to make it sensible-seeming in the real world. In this era of sub-$US50 per barrel oil, justifying biofuels is not easy. Even to Obama, the program must look like a dead man walking. The flaws, and their patches, include

  • Low energy density: Normal biofuels pack less energy per unit volume, an obvious burden to the military. The suppliers must offer “Third Generation” biofuels which somehow equal the energy-density of petroleum.
  • Extra expense: Suppliers must win orders commercially, which is only made possible by government subsidies to upstream processing.
  • Transition problems: Supplied biofuels must be ‘drop-in’ capable and require no modification to ships’  fuel equipment.
  • No actual saving in emissions: The farm-intensive nature of biofuels means their life-cycle CO2 emissions are normally worse than for fossil fuels. Suppliers are now required to demonstrate life-cycle CO2 savings, or at least go through the motions of doing so.
  • Crop diversions from foodstocks to biofuels: Nearly half US corn production is now diverted to biofuels and the world’s poorest suffer because of more expensive foodstocks. Suppliers must show (somehow) that their cropping is “complementary” to food production.

A Rand report in 2011 for the Secretary of Defence concluded (p83): “There is no direct benefit to the Department of Defense or the services from using alternative fuels rather than petroleum-derived fuels.”

After all that, the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, can muster only two rationales for the biofuel switch. The first is that it benefits growers in Ohio and other corn-producing states. Well, it would. The second is that biofuels improve US fuel security : “It keeps … fuel from being used as a weapon against us,”  he said. This is absurd, given America’s vast new  wealth of  fracked petroleum and  impending energy self-sufficiency.

Back home now, as newsreaders say, and Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk last August took a break from the mass-hiring of public servants to sign a “high-level agreement” on  biofuels with the US Navy’s deputy under-secretary for management, Thomas Hicks. Her vision is for the US green navy to be able to refuel at Queensland ports with ‘drop-in’ local biofuels. This would ease the US Pacific fleet’s self-inflicted logistical issue of running on two different but equivalent fuel stocks, one of them virtually unavailable outside the US. Palaszczuk’s plan is to explore how to “make Queensland the biofuel hub of the Asia Pacific”. She sees the signing as “a giant stride” towards a new Queensland industry generating “the next wave of long-term, export-oriented job opportunities”.

She has also “lured” (her word)  Southern Oil Refining from NSW to build a $16 million biofuel pilot plant at Gladstone using sugar-cane waste. If successful, it would be scaled to a $150 million refinery making 200 million litres of military-style biofuel.

Meanwhile, Australian scientists are supposedly close to using eucalyptus trees to develop ‘green’ jet fuel. According to Anthony Bergin of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, this terrific idea could also revegetate arid areas and military training ranges with suitable trees, along with creating jobs for indigenes while ironing out the ups and downs of commercial fuel prices.”[2] This really over-sells some embryonic research.

Obama’s notions of a climate-friendly military are now getting traction with the Australian Defence Force. For example, the ADF is an official supporter of WWF’s Earth Hour. At 8pm next March 25, expect lights at the ADF’s Russell offices to twinkle off (happily, it’s a Saturday night).

The military is seen by Australia’s social-justice set as a trophy agency – capturing it would be a PR coup. A more sinister agenda emanates from the Greens Party, with its policy  for downgrading military capacity to non-offensive roles, with funding to be cut accordingly; ranks having the right to conscientiously object to what they see as illegal military actions; and closure of all foreign bases and joint facilities in Australia.[3] By also  loading up  the ADF with social-justice add-ons, the Greens can effect and enjoy the force’s reduction in combat capability.

Until 2009, the emissions-haters had got nowhere with the ADF, despite Kevin Rudd’s accession and his come-and-go assertion of 2008 that climate is the greatest moral challenge of our time. In a huge embarrassment to the warmist community, the 2009 Defence White Paper had this to say:

4.61  Uncertainty about the effects of climate change and the period of time over which potential impacts may develop makes it difficult to assess its strategic consequences. Large-scale strategic consequences 
of climate change are not likely to be felt before 2030.”  (My emphasis)

Although the White Paper went on to fret about drowning island states etc., along with imagined future droughts, floods and cyclones, the damage was done – who really cares about hypothetical weather 20 years hence? Not the ADF, for starters.

To add to the Greens’ annoyance, the 2009 White Paper also included a bitchy aside that social instabilities and resource pressures, “whether caused by climate change or other dynamics” could create issues.  Heavens, doubt is expressed!

Those 2009 heresies could not be allowed to stand, since military greenies were  clamouring that global warming is already upon us (regardless that atmospheric warming has now been insignificant for the past 18 years, apart from the 2015-16 El Nino spike). So in the 2013 White Paper, the year 2030 disappeared, along with any doubts about global warming . The White Paper continued to gloom about South Pacific islands and added the fashionable memes about myriads of climate refugees.  (The UN  converted this scare to farce by forecasting in 2005 a surge of 50 million refugeesby 2010 . When challenged on it in 2010, the UNEP people furtively shifted the end-date to 2020. A further furtive shift is likely three years’ hence).

The 2016 White Paper, which had its main gestation during the un-green Abbott Prime Ministership,[4] keeps the climate story brief and muddled. It talks, as usual, about the Pacific islands’ instability, but not from 2030 (2009 report) but out to 2035. Quite a difference. With a rush of honesty, it puts the instability down to economic growth, crime, and social problems, with “climate change challenges” cited last on the list. Later it says climate change “will” see big sea rises and more and worse extreme weather events, with more calls on the ADF for neighborly help.

The “increased extreme weather” rationale is a croc. Roger Pielke Jr.,  professor of environmental studies at the  University of Colorado and a specialist in extreme weather’s history, has found  no significant trends in global tropical cyclone and floods frequency over the past 50-to-100 years. Nor has the IPCC. After giving such evidence to Congress in 2013, Pielke was witch-hunted by Democrat politicians falsely claiming he had dishonestly concealed fossil-fuel funding.

There is a new and somewhat comical concern for Australian coastal ADF facilities, because of the feared CO2-driven sea rises. There were further ADF inquiries in 2015 about the peril, putting the RAAF Townsville on the front line of sogginess (the findings are secret). I can assist the ADF by noting tide gauges at Townsville show 130mm of rise since 1959, that’s 5 inches in 57 years — or, put another way,  a bit more than the length of my hand (8in) per 100 years. Also that Queensland sea levels have been flat geologically for 7000 years; and that the current global sea rise is not accelerating.[5] Allowing for the climate models’ wild exaggerations to date, I’d say Townsville RAAF tarmac is safe from global-warming swamping till about 2100 or maybe 2300.  Indeed, a   Nature Climate Change study published in August found via satellites a net global gain of land totaling 58,000 square km. This included 13,500 sq km of coastal land surface, during  a 30 year period of spectacular CO2 emissions.

All-up, the ADF’s most workshopped public statements give global warming a perfunctory run of negative factoids, certainly not in the apocalyptic tone sought by green advocates inside and outside Defence.

The ginger group working to wean the ADF into climateering is led by ADF chief  (1998-02), and now ANU academic Admiral Chris Barrie (Ret.)[6] Barrie, like the HRC’s Gillian Triggs, also virulently criticized the Abbott-led asylum-seeker policy. Despite the degree of operational insight one would assume to be conferred by the title “admiral”, Barrie got it wrong on the tow-back solution, incorrectly predicting tht boats would be burnt and sunk by their undocumented occupants.

On global warming, Barrie is  heavily influenced by the ANU’s Climate Institute boss Will “Death Threats” Steffen. In 2015 they wrote a joint report for Flannery’s Climate Council on why the ADF should elevate global warming to a central place in strategy.

Another ardent climate pusher is Major Michael Thomas (Ret.) He says the politicisation of climate change had been “a huge distraction to defence”, i.e. it had resisted the urgings of the unelected academics and various ex-military. Thomas, who refers without quotes to the “progressive” Rudd-Gillard governments, said a year ago, “There are pockets of interest within the military on the subject, but it’s not something that has captured the attention of our senior leadership…”

Similarly Barrie, who teaches at the Australian National University, said captains and majors “get it” but “we were just not getting it where it really mattered…We do need to get the leadership all signed up in politics and the ADF.” Since Turnbull took over as PM, the brass  are publicly hitching the ADF to the warmist bandwagon.

A particular goal of the lobbyists is the creation of peak bureaucratic councils within the ADF on global warming, to include climate scientists and other activists.  This would give them more power than merely hosting external joint seminars and writing climate tracts for ADF consumption.

Chief of the Army Lt.Gen. Angus Campbell also has been nobbled by the ANU Climate Institute, inserting their apocalyptic factoids into an important speech to the Chief of Army’s Exercise last September 6. The speech drew on three luminaries from the Climate Change Institute –   Steffen, Andrew Glikson[7] and Janette Lindesay.

The speech drew on three luminaries from the Climate Change Institute –   Steffen, Andrew Glikson[7] and Janette Lindesay.

“For the first time in mankind’s history our planet may become unsuitable for habitation in many of the places where large populations presently live,” Campbell fantasised. He quoted the Institute that “changes would be irreversible on the time scale of human civilisation and would dramatically change the planet as we know it.”

Campbell hasn’t noticed that the nearly one degree of global warming to date has promoted massive gains in food output.[8] Nor that CO2’s beneficial effects in the past  30 years include greening the planet’s deserts to an extent equal to 2.5 times the area of Australia. Even the ABC couldn’t ignore that bit of news.[9]

Instead, the Lt-Gen has put his trust in IPCC computer models which, although claiming prescience to year 2100, never foresaw the past two decades’ warming hiatus (as measured by satellites), and on average are now overstating actual warming by a factor of two or three times.

Campbell doubled-down on his Year 2100 soothsaying, quoting that failure to check emissions would lead to a 23% drop in world economic output by 2100. This futurism on stilts derived from a2015 Stanford-based study in Nature. An equivalent would be a cavalry colonel in 1900 forecasting army transport in 2000. A decade ago we had the UK report by Lord Stern, wildly mis-forecasting net benefits of emissions control over the next half-century. Economists mocked his use of an absurd 1.4% future discount rate to ensure that emission reductions came out all good.

Campbell also trotted out the drowning-atolls meme, which has been debunked by tide gauges,  post-war aerial mapping– and Charles Darwin, who provided the theoretical refutation in 1836.   The islands may be uninhabitable by 2050, as Campbell suggests. But that would be from eco-degradation by the fast-breeding  locals, not from  imperceptible sea rises. As mentioned, the 2016 White Paper hinted at the main causations.

All this may become moot when President Trump marches the climate crowd out of the military sphere. With the Turnbull government wedded to spending nine-figure sums on anti-global- warming symbolism, the ADF may continue to be white-anted by global warming accretions. Within the ADF must be thousands of front-line people sickened by their employer’s pivot to political correctness and irrational solutions to non-problems. How it all plays out will be seen in the next federal election. At least the social justice warriors aren’t yet demanding “safe spaces” in the military.

Tony Thomas’ new book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.

[1]  Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan,  owns an oil company and Syrian authorities say Bilal is the main buyer.

[2]  ANU researcher Dr  Carston Kulheim suggests: “If we could plant 20 million hectares of eucalyptus species worldwide, which is currently the same amount that is planted for pulp and paper, we would be able to produce enough jet fuel for five per cent of the aviation industry.”

[3] “The deployment of Australian Defence Forces (ADF) must be for defence and peace-keeping, and not for offensive action.”

[4] A discussion paper in 2014 on the impending report made no mention of climate change. Admiral Barrie has claimed Abbott banned use of the words “climate change”.

[5] It’s within the margin of error of the data, and that data has been heavily adjusted in the first place.

[6] Barrie hit the headlines in 2001 when he first endorsed, then disendorsed, a caption to a Navy photo that said asylum seekers of Siev 4 had thrown children overboard. Actually the asylum-seekers wrecked the steering and engine on 7 October, 2001 and next day, unsurprisingly, the ship sank.
Navy people rescued 76 children from the sea.  Distinctions between thrown overboard and dumped in the water are hardly material. One child was thrown overboard (Vessel Siev 7, 24 October, 2001), and another asylum-seeker made such determined efforts to throw a child overboard that he had to be handcuffed (Siev 9, 31 October, 2001).

[7] Glikson: “The unbearable knowledge, that global warming to 3 and 4 degrees C can only spell the demise of numerous species and a collapse of civilisation as we know it under extreme global temperatures, casts a shadow on day-to-day life.”

[8] The study led by Delphine Deryng, an environmental scientist at Columbia University’s Centre for Climate Systems Research, and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies predicted average yields of current rain-fed wheat areas, mostly located in the West’s higher latitudes, might go up by almost 10 per cent, with less water consumption needed. But average yields of irrigated wheat, which account for much of India and China’s production, could decline by four per cent.

[9] Robert Macklin in his 2015 book Warrior Elite  manages to get reality 100% wrong, writing,  “And nowhere is climate change more obvious, as the Sahara advances south at frightening speed.”

COMMENTS [14]

  1. Bill Martin

    In the not very distant future children will incredulously ask their grandparents “gran/grandpa, is it true that when you were going to school you were taught that the world was heating up and everybody would die because … (get an endless list of details from any greenie to complete the question.)

    • en passant

      Bill,
      My 7-year old grandson, does not ask me your question.

      Instead he tells me with the experience of life that only pre-youth tots can assert with certainty: we are indeed going to fry & die, by heat, cold, starvation, resource depletion, industrial greed, pollution, mining, over-fishing, drought, drowning and disease et al … Education has changed since my day, but then I missed both the 20th Century’s totalitarian cults and learned to read, to write and became somewhat numerate. Fortunately, he has caught the Third Environmental Wave.

      Tony,
      I have a 50-year association with the military and retain a keen interest in Defence matters. Everything you say is correct, so we are doomed, but it will not be because of climate. Not only are our politicians inept and self-serving, to the point of treason in some cases (hat tip to Richard H for identifying their behaviour for what it is), but some of the numerous Defence related organisations to which I still belong, including the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), have been undermined.

      The stunning Green kumbayah proposal that “The deployment of Australian Defence Forces (ADF) must be for defence and peace-keeping, and not for offensive action” is beyond answering as you cannot debate intellectual microbes. All I can think of is that we need their negotiating skills in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and wherever … because they know of course, that ISIS is just a fiction of the alt-Right imagination. Peace in our time …

      I thought this comment was beyond parody as it had plumbed the Marianas Trench of inanity, but it was easily topped by Admiral Chris Barrie’s fictional description of the current climate situation and our potential future.

      Unfortunately, RUSI has become critically infected with the Climate Whatever blather. I have been carrying the Winter 2016 RUSI magazine (Vol. 67, No. 2) around with me since last July. It contains an appalling Editorial Opinion supporting the ‘climate-change’ hoax as if it was both real and a serious threat. The absolute tosh presented as a threat to Australia (naturally requiring consultants to direct the ADF resources necessary to take action to fight this chimera. I wonder what ‘winning’ looks like – and how we could measure it?) is a disgrace to the lives of the real warriors tasked with defending Australia. That our non-combatant ADF commanders are focused on so many irrelevant shadow boxing climate and sexual preference non-issues, then the core purpose of the military is maligned and its fighting effectiveness is compromised. The Anzac legend is now history that can no longer be taught as students could not relate to their ethos.
      I counted 37 factual and statistical errors in a 4-page article, surely a record {at least until you give the (hopefully) last Australian of the Year some space and high heels in which to make a fool of himself. I would be happy to debate Admiral Barrie on his favourite myth, but I doubt he would accept my offer as debating on real facts and not parroted cliches are apparently not his strong point.

      I offered to write a reasoned and factual rebuttal to the Barrie fairy tale for the RUSI magazine, (without any histrionics, but no prisoners would be taken) but my offer was rejected. I assume an alternative reality does not fit the green-tinted propaganda I have increasingly noticed that RUSI has now subscribed to.

      If the ADF & organisations like RUSI continue to promote fictional analyses of non-problems, then the leadership of our ‘warrior scholars’ in adding value by intellectually contributing to the debate concerning the defence of Australia is severely diminished.

      The excuse given by Bozo Bazza for refusing to allow his military to kill the enemy because it might pollute the atmosphere is incredible in the true sense of the word. I am sure he had more personal reasons …

      I could go on, but then this would no longer be a comment, but an article in itself.

      As a bonus, let me predict that the fossil-fuelled French short-fin Baitfish will NEVER be built in Australia. You heard it here first.”

  2. Richard H

    In a better age, such vile efforts to undermine our armed forces’ fighting capability would be briefly described in one word: treason.

  3. Keith Kennelly

    Richard

    Yes that required all our ‘authorities’ to have a backbone.

  4. Bushranger71

    The 2 Chiefs of Defence Force (both now Knighted) who followed Barrie had even greater damaging effects on Australia’s military integrity in my view, especially the Air Force member noted for his catastrophic support of many the flawed hardware decisions spawned by the Howard Government from Year 2000 onwards, and still rolling.

    The galling bit is that these guys are exalted by The Establishment. In recent times, just one Admiral chose to retire prematurely, probably because he did not want to be caught up in the snowballing quagmire; but it has been a very long time since there has been an Australian military leader prepared to fall on his sword to defend the undermining of military integrity by the politically correct disease that now infests the nation, and especially Canberra.

    • Bushranger71

      Errata. I meant to say in the last sentence ‘…to defend against the undermining of military integrity…’. Not as sharp now at 79!

      The other key aspect worth mention here is the progressive breakdown of a functional Defence infrastructure and military cultural decay originated with the creation of a thinly-veiled unified ADF resulting from the Tange Reorganization in 1974. Both of the major political parties were complicit.

  5. Davidovich

    Thanks Tony, for this informative and alarming article. This dangerous inanity by Obama and defence leaders in the US and Australia needs to receive broader exposure as, surely, most Australians would be appalled by what is happening to our Defence Forces and thus to the real security of our country and, by Obama’s actions, to the world. On reflection, given en passant’s experience with his 7 year old grandson, perhaps most Australians would not be too concerned.

    • padraic

      I remember reading in 2014 that story of how the ADF was castigated for having “masculine norms” and a “warrior culture” and thinking that such attributes were vital for such an organisation and wondering how they would cope with attributes approved by the feministas – perhaps instead of shooting at the enemy they could “counsel” them about their inappropriate behaviour, using all the unenemployed psychology graduates pumped out by our universities. God, what a mess. The feminisation of the Western male is in full swing. The other thing that Tony correctly highlights is the sale of oil by ISIS to fund their war. At least we now know it was being sold quite openly in Turkey as convoys of trucks crossed the border without too much trouble. So if Sunni Turkey supports ISIS and ships ISIS fighters to Europe masquerading as victims why hasn’t anyone called them out? It’s a little wonder that people in the West are becoming “deplorable” when they are being treated like mushrooms by their politician and media.

  6. Ian MacDougall

    According to the article: “The public explanation from former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell was that Obama did not want ‘to create environmental damage’ or wreck infrastructure that Syrians would need in peace-time. According to the link below, the American orders to spare the controversial convoy were about avoidance of civilian casualties, and NOT military timidity.

    But the agenda underlying this piece appears to be Tony Thomas’ long-established aversion to climatology. By implication, as science is essentially indivisible, he should also be agin the more basic science as well. He should be against Arrhenius, for his discovery of the heat-trapping properties of CO2 gas. Beyond that, he should also denounce the contributions made to chemistry by Antoine Lavoisier (concept of elements) Meyer and Mendeleev (the periodic system) because Arrhenius rested on them, and thus their work has negative implications for climate ‘scepticism’.
    That will leave TT with the theories of the Medieval alchemists, (phlogiston and all that) and precious little else. The physics of Archimedes, hopefully, might just squeak by.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/17/world/middleeast/us-strikes-syria-oil.html

    • Tony Thomas

      Thanks Ian. I’m perfectly comfortable with the theory of heat-trapping gases.
      I’m not happy with the IPCC formulation that more than half the past 60 years warming is due to human-caused CO2 increases. Since the IPCC’s understanding of natural climate forcing factors is poor (as the IPCC conceded in its 2007 report), its quantification of CO2 effects vs natural effects must be guesswork. How important to climate change is the multitude of overlapping oceanic cycles, including cycles of up to 60 years or maybe longer? How important is the sunspot cycle on warming/cooling? Cloudiness levels are known to be highly important to warming/cooling but the IPCC doesn’t even pretend to have a handle on global cloudiness levels and changes. The IPCC’s understanding of the global carbon cycle is also low; many elements of the cycle have previously been grossly miscalculated by the IPCC.
      In this milieu of wobbly climate “science”, far too many “climate scientists” have disgraced themselves by choosing to become political activists. The scandals involved have been legion.

      • Ian MacDougall

        Tony,

        That may well be the case.
        BUT you have committed yourself to the proposition that AGW has to be a ‘scam’ and a total fraud, giving yourself no room to move except deeper into it. Because if you allow the tiniest smidgin of a chance of a possibility that mainstream climatology might just be right, then you are in much the same position as that occupied by the pacifists in the 1930s as the probability of a new world war steadily tightened in the direction of certainty.
        Likewise the 197 scientific organizations that endorse the position that climate change is being caused by human action, including the CSIRO, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Society: they all have to be wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!
        And it gets worse. In order to do that, mainstream climatology has to be presented either as a ship of fools, or as a 100% venality-motivated watertight global scientific conspiracy: one that would put the wackiest ‘9/11 truther’ in the shade. Moreover, any uncertainties in the science (and the systems that govern the climate are pretty chaotic) have to be trumpeted and pointed to as vigorously as possible. As you do.

        I would honestly like you to be right. But I will back the future of my descendants over the ever-diminishing chance that you are, and over the transient needs of the fossil-carbon industry and its shills any day.

        https://www.opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php

        • Tony Thomas

          Thanks again Ian. It may surprise you but I have never referred to CAGW (don’t forget the C-for-Catastrophic is an important part of the package) as a “scam” or “fraud” in general. The system here at QO is that authors write the articles but the editor writes the headlines and opening ‘precede’.
          The 197 science organisations you refer to as endorsing CAGW, with 3-4 exceptions, have never surveyed their members about it. In the case of the Royal Society, its pro-CAGW policy a few years back was strongly disputed by an internal group which forced the leadership to tone down their language in a re-issued policy statement.On the few instances where science-body members have been surveyed, the results (as I recall) are typically only 60-40 in favour.
          Keep in mind that the IPCC’s original remit was and is to study the risks of human-induced climate change, which rather begs the question. Its job is not to study natural climate change per se.

          Next point is that for scientists to secure employment and research funding, they generally need to be ‘on board’ the CAGW bandwagon. For the sake of argument, if funding were directed ONLY to, say, solar influence on climate, you can bet that a vast global research industry on that topic would emerge. I wouldn’t expect many papers to be published saying that solar influences are negligible.
          Finally, despite this monopsonistic funding for CAGW research, the “science” of climate change includes hundreds of peer reviewed papers annually disputing the IPCC CAGW mantras. For some reasons this body of science is almost never acknowledged by the climate warriors. There were 280 such papers in 2015 and 240 in the first half of 2016.
          http://notrickszone.com/skeptic-papers-2016/#sthash.BMXWtI2v.Tgh7Br8I.dpbs

    • PT

      Yawn. Ian, what was going to happen with that exported oil in the trucks Obama wouldn’t bomb for “environmental” concerns? Oh that’s right! Refined into diesel and petrol and burned! I remember the spurious claims made by “experts” about how a war in the Gulf in 1990 would raise global temperatures by 3 to 5degC! The same “experts” who gave us the nuclear winter etc. clearly “the science” was excessively influenced by ideology!

    • en passant

      Jellyfish Ian is back, just as ignorant and repetitive in 2017 as he was in 2016. He is still Ommm, Ommmming his myths and will fight with all his might to achieve his objective.

      Unfortunately, he has no idea what this objective is, so maybe it is just the contrarian fight of being annoying that he seeks to achieve. At least he is good at that badness.

      Ian,
      If there is an objective (or Holy Grail) you seek, what is it?

      1. What is the ideal average global temperature? and
      2. What is the ideal concentration of CO2 all our mitigation efforts are designed to achieve?

      I know you have no idea, as it is the green kool-aid to which you are addicte, but surely if you do not know where you are going then, like the brainless Tinman in Wizard of Oz any road will take you there?

      Sounds about right … and you are keeping embarrassing company, accompanied by many scientifically illiterate politicians.

      Let me spoil the start to everyone’s year. I just paid my QUARTERLY all-electric home bill. It was $50. Then again, this is because I live in Asia, only 30km from a huge coal-oil-gas fired power station. My bill shocked me, until I realised it was only so big because we forgot to turn off the water heater for the two-months we were not living there.

      I have challenged every warmist wonk to list seven benefits of +2°C and in return I will list seven bad effects. I predict (with the help of a computer model) that Ian will obfuscate, but will not accept the challenge.

      In short, Ian will just annoy us realists for 2017, because he can. Like a jellyfish, he does not need a sensible reason for chanting his mantra, because he is just Ian being Ian.

Finally, Warmists Find a Real Threat

Whatever else he does, President-elect Donald Trump can be counted on to shoo those green snouts out of the climate-scare trough — first by repealing Obama’s executive orders, then by re-directing from the UN to domestic environmental concerns. It’s a beautiful thing

green pig“I’m feeling very flat today,” snuffled Amanda McKenzie, CEO of Tim Flannery’s crowd-funded Climate Council.  As she should, given that  President-elect Trump will  end  the trillion-dollar renewable-energy scam so beloved by the council.

McKenzie continues, “Progress on climate change can feel hopeless and it’s tempting to give up and turn away.” But instead, she rattles the tin for donations of $10 a month “to allow us to undertake some massive projects next year that will power communities and everyday Australians to spearhead our renewable energy transition.” Good luck with that, Amanda.

Throughout the Western world, green lobbies are likewise oscillating between despair and self-delusion over the Trump election.

Trump’s agenda – as per his election website –  includes

  • Unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.
  • Declare American energy dominance a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States.
  • Become, and stay, totally independent of any need to import energy from the OPEC cartel or any nations hostile to our interests.
  • Rescind all job-destroying Obama executive actions.
  • Reduce and eliminate all barriers to responsible energy production, creating at least a half million jobs a year, $30 billion in higher wages, and cheaper energy.

Trump says Obama’s onslaught of regulations has been a massive self-inflicted economic wound denying  Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under their feet: “This is the American People’s treasure, and they are entitled to share in the riches.” ore than that, the president-elect’s  common-sense policies make the 20,000 climate careerists and activists in Marrakech, led by Vice-President John Kerry, seem comically irrelevant. They were supposed to be implementing the feeble Paris climate accord – notwithstanding that China has just announced a 19% expansion of coal capacity over the next five years.

But with the US leadership no longer concerned about climate doom, the rationale for these annual talk-fests (22  to date) has evaporated. Robert McNally, energy consultant and former George W. Bush adviser,  says climate change policy “is going to come to a screeching halt. The Paris Agreement from a U.S. perspective is a dead agreement walking.”

The agreement now has only the EU’s backing in terms of actual and significant cuts to emissions, although Australia is also now pledging to do its tiny bit for foot-shooting insanity. The EU’s continued subsidies to renewables will merely worsen its competitiveness vis a vis the new energy powerhouse across the Atlantic.

Trump has pledged not only to rip up the Paris deal, but to withdraw all US climate funding to the UN. The UN climate fund is supposed to build to $100b a year for Third World mendicants. Obama has given $500m so far and pledged $3 billion to the UN climate fund,  but Trump will divert those billions to domestic environmental projects such as the Florida Everglades. As he told supporters,  “We’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars. We don’t even know who’s doing what with the money.”

Obama, unable to get his climate legislation through the Republican-controlled Congress, used regulatory powers instead to get the job done. Trump can now neutralize those efforts simply by reversal or non-enforcement of the regulations.

One of the climate war’s best-kept secrets is that there is no real constituency for renewables, other than vested interests and noisy green groups.[1] That’s why both candidates gave global warming so little prominence in the campaign. Nearly a third of Americans think the global warming scare is a total hoax.

It’s a similar story internationally: a UN annual poll last month (9.7m respondents) had “action on climate change” rating dead last among 16 issues, with top ratings going to education, health care and jobs. Even people from the richest nations rated climate action only 10th. The poll in 2015 got the same result.

Trump’s personal view on climate-change science  is that  CO2 is probably causing some warming but the scare is vastly exaggerated.[2] He will therefore reverse Obama’s assault on the coal and coal-fired power sectors and give them a better chance to compete with natural gas.

Trump’s choice of key climate advisers is a nightmare for the warmist establishment. To transition the US Environmental Protection Agency from climate activism, he’s picked outspoken skeptic Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy & Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute . The CEI is equivalent to Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs.

Ebell laughs at his leftist critics and cites to congress his Greenpeace listing as a leading “climate criminal”.  He thinks warming will not be a problem for one or two centuries; meanwhile we should expand access to all types of energy – on an unsubsidized basis.

Canadian climate scientist Tim Ball told a Melbourne seminar this week that Trump is getting science advice from satellite meteorologist Dr Roy Spencer. Spencer’s  data has demonstrated that orthodox climate models have exaggerated actual warming by a factor of two to three. His own readings from satellites showed no significant warming for the 21 years up to the 2015-16 El Nino spike. He emphasises the vast uncertainties about climate forecasting and the still-unknown roles of natural forces.

Spencer, who holds a NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for global temperature monitoring, believes  the near-universal funding of climate research by governments causes a bias towards catastrophic forecasting, since governments won’t fund non-problems. He wants funding to be at arm’s length from political interests. For the Department of Energy, Trump has picked energy lobbyist Mike McKenna, with ties to the industry-backed American Energy Alliance and Institute for Energy Research.

Trump’s election is rocking the climate-scare industry to its foundations. Four decades of madness is coming to an end.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here

 


[1] A YouGov poll of 18,000 people in 17 countries last February  found only 9.2 percent of Americans rank global warming as their biggest concern.   Their biggest concern was global terrorism (28%).

[2] His understudy Mike Pence hits the same note: ‘I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming’.

Left-Brained Science

The Australian Academy of Science has a new chief — a woman with no PhD but, rather, the sort of credentials that so often these days seem prerequisites to head any body demanding taxpayer “investment” in its members’ pet causes and passions: Labor staffer, warmist and beat-up artist

arabia mugThe Australian Academy of Science has a new chief executive, veteran Federal Labor Party adviser and activist Anna-Maria Arabia (left). It seems unlikely that she will do anything to arrest the Academy’s decade-long slide into green/Left hokum.

Arabia, whose role starts on October 24, has been director of policy/principal adviser to Bill Shorten for the past three years, earlier spending half a decade as adviser to Kim Beazley and Anthony Albanese. Pre-Shorten, she was  CEO of Science & Technology Australia (STA).[1] On June 20, 2011, she led a war party of 200 STA members  on an anti-science crusade to parliamentarians, her  message being that “political leaders must put a stop to the misinformation campaign” by skeptics of the catastrophic global warming hypothesis, whom she bizarrely labelled “climate deniers”. Maybe she mistook federal parliament for the Reichstag.

In any event, elected members have declined to implement her wished-for legislative program against those who don’t believe human-caused CO2 emissions since 1950 have caused more than half of the subsequent minor and wholly beneficial global warming.

In this lock-em-up category you could put half of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), whose  professional members were surveyed  in 2013 with the results  coming out 52% warmists, 48% sceptic. A further survey of 4092 AMS members published last May  found a third did not support the warmist agenda. Maybe Arabia’s first job at the Academy of Science will be to organize its first-ever survey of its Fellows on warmism – or would that be too dangerous to the official 97% narrative?

Arabia succeeds Dr Sue Meek, who stepped down in July, 2016, after eight years as Academy CE. Arabia is described by the Canberra Times as “a qualified neuroscientist”.She has a B.Sc (Hons) but did not complete the Ph.D.  candidacy she started at Melbourne University. A publication search shows one paper from 1998 — she was among  three authors — on inducing depression in rats with chemical injections.

How much influence the Academy CE has vis a vis the Academy’s office-bearers (drawn from its 491 Fellows) is hard for an outsider to say. The Academy has never disclosed that useful indicator, the CE’s salary.[2]

As for the Academy’s love affair with green foolishness, here are some examples.

  • In 2014 the Academy sponsored and part-funded a conference  at UNSW for zero-growth lunatics, titled   “Addicted to Growth? How to move to a Steady State Economy in Australia.” Some of the eco-loons cited there actually wanted a 90% cut in economic output as part of their anti-capitalism agenda. No speaker was invited to put a contrary view, e.g. that a switch, even to a zero-economic growth regime, would make the 1930s recession look like a picnic. Whether sponsoring this farrago was CE’s Sue Meek’s idea or top-down from the board, I don’t know. The Academy hoped its zero-growth sponsorship would  be forgotten when it clamored to politicians last December for more science funding to promote economic growth.[3]

If new CE Arabia organizes another zero-growth conference will someone please remind her of her statement when appointed last August 31: “Particularly in straitened economic times, Australia must benefit from science which is a key driver of the knowledge economy.”

  • Arabia also pledges to promote science education for students. The Academy’s official curriculum unit for students on global warming, which was recently and mercifully terminated, shilled for green activism for 16 year olds.The Academy advised teachers, in all seriousness, to “ask [15-16 year old] students if they have ever taken action or advocated for a cause. Do they know of anyone who has?”…  Key vocabulary: advocacy, campaign, champion, environmentalist.” 


In the   Year 10 “Big Scale” module, the modestly-named In search of the truth section suggests work on  “advocacy and campaigning (e.g., produce a blog)”. The material added, threateningly, This activity could be used for an assessment task – see assessment overview.”   

Teens were grilled in ‘Activity 6.4 Climate change champions’:

“Which is more effective, science awareness or advocacy, when it comes to generating 
community action? What cause would you sign up for?”

Other features of the Academy’s student curriculum included virulent anti-mining and anti-fossil fuel messages, Hollywood celebrity endorsements in  lieu of data examination, and advice to ignore all contrary evidence regarding warming catastrophism.

  • Attuned to magical green solutions, the Academy’ has a policy for Australia to move to zero net emissions by 2050Germany, the UK and our own South Australia are belatedly discovering that green energy magic doesn’t work because renewables come at huge cost for an unreliable output..
  • The Academy hit peak posturing last year when President Andrew Holmes (a chemist) announced to a conference in Hobart that the Academy had divested fossil-fuel stocks – maybe $5 million worth – from its $40 million investment portfolio. His office would not elaborate to Quadrant on whether Academy Fellows are also abandoning their fossil-fuel-powered electricity security and their fossil-fuel powered runabouts, but as virtue-signalling the  president’s announcement went down a treat with his green audience.

At the same event in Hobart, Holmes continued to bang on indignantly about our grant-pampered climate scientists getting rude emails from the public. His office at the time declined to tell Quadrant whether these are new rude emails or whether Holmes was just reviving the Academy’s  “death threat” nonsense from 2011.

One “death threat” from a “sniper” was nothing more than a mis-overheard third-party conversation about kangarroo culling in the ACT. Of 11 purported death-threat emails to ANU climate scientists over six months, an official inquiry prompted by skeptic  blogger Simon Turnill found ten were not death threats and one was “possibly intimidating and its highest perhaps alluding to a threat” [4].

arabia tweetIf you say so, Ms Arabia

On the  day  in 2011 that Arabia’s anti-science crusade to Parliament started, she upped the ante and told the ABC she had received an emailed death threat that very morning! That was a stretch. A serial internet pest in Seattle boasted the next day of having sent the email. “I Googled for her email and did my usual Nazi Bitch Whore litany, like I do every day. My usual litany includes, ‘When the Grand Jury is done with you, I’ll enjoy watched (sic) them string you up.’”

This missive was indeed abusive and, as Arabia said, totally unacceptable, but it was not a death threat, just a cut-and-paste diatribe. If jelly-livered climate scientists want to know what a real death threat looks like, they could consult Dutch politician Geert Wilders (round-the-clock bodyguards) or The Australian’s cartoonist Bill Leak, who has gone incognito after intercepted Islamist chatter about detaching his head ASAP.

We can live in hope that Arabia will bring in more discipline to Academy procedures. It would be worthwhile, for example, to have tighter pedigree checks on fellowship nominees.  Among the Academy’s Fellows is Tim Flannery, elected in 2012, who is the catastropharian 2004 prophet of Perth and Sydney becoming waterless ghost cities.  Flannery has some culpability for Australia’s multi-billion investments in idled desalination plants. Some of his views put him closer to the crackpot camp than the Academy one. I’m thinking here of his 2010 prediction that during this century “the planet will have acquired a brain and a nervous system that will make it act as a living animal, as a living organism”.

Arabia could also bring more practical relevance to the Academy’s climate work. For example, she might initiate an Academy fact-finder on whether Pacific islands’ claims to be drowning amid rising seas is a load of bollocks, as peer-reviewed findings by Auckland University’s Professor Paul Kench have demonstrated. An Academy white paper of that nature could save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid for bogus purposes…

There has never been a more exciting time to be Academy Chief Executive.

Tony Thomas’s new book of 40 Quadrant essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here


[1] In a bit of ‘musical chairs’, the Academy’s PR Kylie Walker has moved across to become CEO of STA.

[2] The CE role is a bit mysterious as she/he is  neither on the 17-member governing council nor the executive committee.

[3] The Academy: “More than three decades of exponential growth in Australia’s per-capita GDP is tapering, and if nothing changes Australia will fall out of the G20 within 15 years.”

[4]  Typical alleged ‘death threats’ included

• “There will be a day of facing the music for the Pitman type frauds … Pitman you are a f**king fool!” [This refers to Dr Andy Pitman of UNSW]

• “If we see you continue, we will get extremely organised and precise against you. We will not do so if you rightfully argue against our points from a science view. But we will if you choose to stray into attacks on us as people or as a movement. The institution and funders that support you will find the attention concerning.”

• “F**k off mate, stop the personal attacks. Just do your science or you will end up collateral damage in the war, GET IT.”

COMMENTS [11]

  1. Ian MacDougall

    Oh, I dunno. There’s static (growthless) growth, and then again there’s the dynamic variety.
    The first could happen if everyone took in everyone else’s washing. A huge rate of growth, but only for a limited time.
    ;-)

  2. whitelaughter

    “In this lock-em-up category you could put half of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), whose professional members were surveyed in 2013 with the results coming out 52% warmists, 48% sceptic.”

    If you *read* your own link, you will see that the breakdown is:
    Is GW happening? If so, what is its cause?

    52 – Yes; mostly human
    10 – Yes; equally human and natural
    5 – Yes; mostly natural
    20 – Yes; insufficient evidence
    1 – Yes; don’t know cause
    7 – Don’t know if GW is happening
    4 – GW is not happening

    referring to that as “48% skeptic” is deliberately deceptive. And makes me uninclined to bother checking other links.

    • Ian MacDougall

      From that link:

      (A) “Climate science experts who publish mostly on climate change and climate scientists who publish mostly on other topics were the two groups most likely to be convinced that humans have contributed to global warming, with 93% of each group indicating their concurrence. The two groups least likely to be convinced of this were the nonpublishing climate scientists and nonpublishing meteorologists/ atmospheric scientists, at 65% and 59%, respectively. In the middle were the two groups of publishing meteorologists/atmospheric scientists at 79% and 78%, respectively.”

      By way of contrast, Tony Thomas says (B) “In this lock-em-up category you could put half of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), whose professional members were surveyed in 2013 with the results coming out 52% warmists, 48% sceptic. A further survey of 4092 AMS members published last May found a third did not support the warmist agenda.” [ie meaning 2/3 did. -IM]

      It strikes me that there is a severe disconnect between (A) and (B).
      I frankly have not a clue how this could possibly have arisen.

      • Salome

        1/3 is a lot more than just a couple of isolated nutjobs. It means that there is still a serious debate to be had–needing both sides to be articulated.

      • Tony Thomas

        Easily reconciled. Nearly all skeptics agree that humans have “contributed” to warming. The crucial point is that the orthodoxy or ‘consensus’ is that humans have contributed to more than half the past century’s observed warming. This ‘more than half’ is the disagreement. A skeptic may for example agree only that humans have contributed a miniscule fraction. The onus is on the orthodox to produce evidence – other than unvalidated models – for the ‘more than half’.

    • Tony Thomas

      I defined non-warmists in the para immediately above:
      “those who don’t believe human-caused CO2 emissions since 1950 have caused more than half of the subsequent minor and wholly beneficial global warming.”
      I guess my term ‘skeptic’ for the 48% maybe would be better as “non-warmists”.

  3. en passant

    AAS = All the Academic Shills

  4. Keith Kennelly

    Hey whitey

    Warmist nut jobs believe warming is caused by human manufactured co2 emissions. They believe anyone who questions or has doubts about that are sceptics.

    The above figures show that 48% do not agree with the warmest nutjob fantasy.

    Where is you deception? Probably from the same manuel as the infamous 97 %. Mind you you could always homogenise the figures …

    • Ian MacDougall

      Keith: I think you mean “hide the decline.” As in Climategate
      Mind you, the world’s one ocean disagrees with your position on AGW:
      GMSL Rates
      CU: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
      AVISO: 3.3 ± 0.6 mm/yr
      CSIRO: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
      NASA GSFC: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr
      NOAA: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr (w/ GIA)

      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

      • ianl

        > “Oh, I dunno”

        The only accurate statement you’ve made. Have you answered any real questions yet ? I thought not.

        When did the miniscule sea level you keep quoting actually start ? That needs a date with hard, empirical evidence ?

        What empirical evidence is there that isostasy/eustasy (geologically longstanding processes with varying rates and signs) is caused only by increasing atmospheric CO2 by 4 molecules in every 10,000 ?

        Ignoring these issues simply underscores your ignorance; quoting irrelevant links that you haven’t read emphasises it.

        Now for the sounds of cowardly silence …

        • Ian MacDougall

          ianl (or whatever your real name is):
          And a merry Christmas to you, too.
          When did the ‘miniscule’ (!) rate of rise start?
          A rate of 3.3 mm/yr is 33 mm per decade, 330 mm per century and 3,300 mm (3.3 metres per millennium world-wide). That can only be due to glacial ice melt and/or thermal expansion of ocean water, not to weird events like comets falling into it or anything like that. How ‘miniscule’ depends on how long you are prepared to wait.
          “What empirical evidence is there that isostasy/eustasy (geologically longstanding processes with varying rates and signs) is caused only by increasing atmospheric CO2 by 4 molecules in every 10,000 ?”
          Well as far as I know, isostatic processes, crustal movements and such are completely independent of the composition of the atmosphere. Of course, the heat content of the atmospheric/oceanic systems is another matter.
          Nor can sea level rise have been going for long, otherwise it would have been noticed world-wide by historians, harbour authorities, and damn near everyone else: even your ‘sceptical’ self. This suggests rather strongly that the mainstream climatologists are right, and that it is anthropogenic: ie since the Industrial Revolution got started, around AD 1750; presumably accelerating from that year on.
          Take that as 1750 AD. Roughly.
          I may be wrong, but there is a faint echo of one Senator Malcolm Roberts in what you write. So, ianl or whatever your real name is, have a read of http://www.desmogblog.com/malcolm-roberts
          And Marry Christmas again.