Wednesday 17th of October 2018

on the balancing beam...


blah blah blah...


In response, Garnaut said that there was a tendency for economists "to tailor the analysis to what their client wants". In other words, Garnaut was suggesting that economists employed by business cannot be taken at face value. But, apparently, economists who are engaged as consultants by governments are completely credible. I asked both Cameron and ABC management why Garnaut's role as a paid consultant to the Gillard government was not mentioned during the interview. There was no reply.

Of course Garnaut says what he believes. However, so do most of his critics. Of course Monckton was irresponsible to link Garnaut with Hitler. But so were those who linked Howard with the Third Reich. Any cooling of the political debate will require contributions from all parties.

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Gus: contribution from all parties?... Excellent. It's the tug o' war going nowhere except in favour of the miners. On the count of three everyone pulls on the rope and the side that looses will be declared the loser... Say, on one side we have overweight-overfed super-rich miners with deep pockets and a tan that would make Meagan Gale jealous... and on the other side we have a few underpaid punny scientists who work day and night crunching frightening numbers and who never see the sun... So whose side is telling the biggest porkies in this conferencing... Pull!!! Pull harder!!!!... But is the debate in Gerard's mind about who has called whom a whatever-Hitler or is it to try and understand global warming per se?... Ah I see global warming is only a small side issue — compared to comparing Howard to Hitler (the names start with the same aspirated letter) — a puny concept that is only in the mind of ninety-nine per cent of scientists who have vested interest in getting grants for practicing annoying research on stuff no-one understands ... while the miners, bless their darkcoal-coated souls, have only our warm winter interests at heart. (Polls on global warming, done in winter, are a con).

Yes... Unless the miners accept that global warming is a reality and stop having Lord Monckton for dinner, there is no real debate. Why? Because most denialists of global warming — including Lord Monckton — use fake and distorted data to promote their cause. But the miners won't want to know that? they only want to know the "truth" as massaged by the denialists?...
Well hell no... They are more sadistic than that... The miners use the old trick of blue ink (SMH 28/06/11) to show how environmentally conscious they are, in an advert to pan the idea of a carbon tax, while of course wink wink, they understand that global warming is real, wink wink... Blah blah blah... Meanwhile they get in bed with Lord Monckton to destroy our understanding of the reality of global warming by confusing the issue ten times over. Another conspiracy? Sure, these people work hard at choosing their cunning words carefully... The advert is about job losses, not the reality global warming...
Nor do the miners explore what would happen should we do nothing about global warming... I have bad news for you: CO2 is the culprit. Our use of the extra carbon that was not part of the surface carbon equation for millions of years on earth is inducing global warming FAST. Ipso facto, we have to reduce our usage of this EXTRA carbon down to below very specific levels. We have to reduce our WORLDWIDE emissions of CO2 by 60 per cent in the year 2050 to minimise global warming at 2 degrees extra on present temperature. To say that this is going to be painless would be a lie.
Of course in the toon above, it's quite easy to see which both sides of the fence Henderson refers to... The same on both side while the other arguments that show that global warming is real, don't have a look in...

a half truth is a whole lie...

Cherry-picking the evidence to suit a pseudo-scientific argument misses the alarming reality.

A YIDDISH proverb states ''a half truth is a whole lie''. By withholding vital information, it's possible to lead you towards the opposite conclusion to the one you would get from considering the full picture. In Bob Carter's opinion piece on this page yesterday, this technique of cherry-picking half-truths is on full display, with frequent examples of statements that distort climate science.

The partial truths are further bolstered by scientific statements that have almost no basis in fact. It is not surprising that people present such fallacies, since the blogosphere is full of climate pseudo-science, but it is surprising that newspapers are still reporting such statements. Opinion is one thing, but scientific fact is another. Every major science body in the world has effectively refuted the assertions made by Carter.

So what is the full picture? To understand what's happening to the global climate, we need to look at temperature change over the entire planet. Two scientific teams - NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast - have constructed temperature records spanning the whole globe. Both find consistent results, using independent methods, with the two hottest years on record being 2010 and 2005. Both find the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet, with melting sea ice acting as a positive feedback that amplifies the warming.

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retarding difficult human action...

in his silly rant, Gerard tells us that about the good Lord Monckton:

Commercial radio and television, along with the tabloid press, tended to report him seriously. However, he was ridiculed on some ABC programs and in parts of the broadsheet press.

For example, The Age ran a story that Abbott would talk to the visiting hereditary peer under the heading "'Mad Monk' Meets Monckton". This was accompanied by a large colour photo of Monckton's face from forehead to nose only, replete with protruding eyes. He suffers from Graves' disease. It is impossible to imagine journalists mocking a sufferer of breast or prostate cancer in such a way.

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Sure Gerard, we cartoonists make fun of the wild bulging eyes of Monckton... but a prostate cancer sufferer may not bombard us with idiotic pseudo-scientific analysis that is designed to retard difficult human action on a very important subject: the relative future of this little planet.
And of all serious analytical mass media, the ABC might be the best (though according to the ABC "inquisition", most of its news has to be "balanced" — ie 50 per cent porkie, 50 per cent truth). The only place where one would get a proper picture would be The Science Show with Robyn Williams — so in general the ABC is far from being up there with scientific journals... The broadsheets in this country can be counted on one's hand... one, two: The SMH and the Age... Most of the Australian (Murdoch's broadsheet) opinionators being supporters of Lord Monckton... The tabloid press is also mostly controlled by Murdoch and the main commercial shock jock radios are controlled by ... shock jocks who love Lord Monckton...
So real science has a big problem communicating the facts: The earth is warming and our burning of fossil fuel is the culprit. See letter to prue... see also of farts and nitrogen

undeserved non-accolade...

I implore the academy not to add Viscount Monckton to the long and distinguished list of the gagged and banned. He does not deserve to stand alongside Aung San Suu Kyi, Mandela, Darwin or Mick Jagger. If the Academy gags Lord Monckton it will reward  him with a wholly undeserved gravitas, and afford him the glow of the messiah among his flock. Censored by lefties and eggheads sponging off our tax dollar, the things he wasn’t allowed to say will take on an unwarranted profundity. The flock will be whispering of NATO, a world government, thought-control, and only fearless mavericks like the Viscount standing in the way of a global communist dystopia.

Here’s the tastiest irony; these 50 or so academics want a university RUN BY A CHURCH to ban a man from speaking because they are afraid he might speak balderdash. "He stands for the kind of ignorance and superstition that universities have a duty to counter," they say. Well, he does too. But counter him by refutation and argument. Not by banning him. If a person can be banned from University for speaking ignorantly and superstitiously Jesus will have to set up his soapbox across the road from Notre Dame when he returns and shout through the chain-link fence with a bullhorn.

garnaut to the barricades again...

The crisis in Australia’s political system is less about the quality of individual politicians and more to do with the “majority media” and business lobby groups drowning out the independent centre for their own self-interest, distinguished economist, Prof Ross Garnaut has said.

Garnaut, speaking during a panel discussion at the 2018 Outlook Conference in Melbourne, said the big economic reform period of the 1980s came to an end with the rancorous debate about the GST before it was introduced in 2000, “followed by years in which major policy change, reform, in the national interest became rare, more difficult, and temporary”.

Governments since had attempted big reforms, such as the Howard government’s industrial changes, WorkChoices, the Rudd government’s macroeconomic policies to avoid recession during the global financial crisis of 2008, and the Gillard government’s climate policies from 2012, which were working and “would have allowed Australian contribution of its fair share to an international effort without economic disruption or substantial cost”.

All were repudiated, with the “macroeconomic policies that kept Australia out of recession … shouted down by the majority media and the then opposition parties to an extent that will create barriers to Australia responding wisely next time we face recessionary pressures from the global economy”.

Garnaut, a senior economic adviser to former prime minister Bob Hawke and author of a landmark review into the impacts of climate change in 2008, told the conference “Australia is in trouble”. A key reason was “a thinning of an informed, engaged, independent centre of our polity”.

“The majority media and the business lobbies have drowned out the independent centre, with raucous assertion of opinions that are convenient to their private interests. The words that are shouted most loudly are now taken by their proponents as facts.”

Most damaging to economic policy was the “promotion of cash-for comment economic modelling, where the truth is incidental to promotion of outcomes that suit the private interests that commission them”.

He said the most obvious examples were climate policy and the taxation of corporate incomes. The result had been community distrust in institutions.

“The loud voices do their best to shout down the institutions that have retained public trust. A sullen electorate is inclined to doubt its political leaders, and disinclined to follow them, both when they are right and when they are wrong.”

Garnaut declined to specify which parts of the “majority media” were responsible. The outlook conference is sponsored by the Australian and the University of Melbourne.

He told Guardian Australia there was a need for a better resourced and competitive media, and there was “a case for fiscal support for smaller voices.”

There was also “a risk of the deterioration going further” with the proposed merger of Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media.


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before the zingers of the future…



our ship looks a bit tattered...