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Business before science

With the revelation that Tony Abbott made the decision to fund Bjorn Lomberg’s position at UWA, and academics protesting that it tarnishes their reputation, one might question Tony’s scientific credentials to make this judgement call.

Tony Abbott said

“The fact that we have had if anything cooling global temperatures over the last decade, not withstanding continued dramatic increases of carbon dioxide emissions, suggests the role of CO2 is not nearly as clear as the climate catastrophists suggest.”

29 July 2009

And

“The issue is not whether climate change happens (after all, grapes grew in Britain in Roman times; crops grew in Greenland in the middle ages; and the River Thames froze in winter during the 1600s) but how much of it is man-made and what can realistically be done to tackle it.”

27 July 2009

And

“The climate has changed over the eons and we know from history, at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth the climate was considerably warmer than it is now. […] Climate change happens all the time and it is not man that drives those climate changes back in history. It is an open question how much the climate changes today and what role man plays.”

2 February 2010

And

“I want to reduce emissions […] but I think we’ve also got to accept that carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas as well.”

8 May 2010

And

“Climate change is a relatively new political issue, but it’s been happening since the earth’s beginning. The extinction of the dinosaurs is thought to have been associated with climate change. [unverified]”

9 March 2011

And

“This is a government which is proposing to put at risk our manufacturing industry, to penalise struggling families, to make a tough situation worse for millions of households right around Australia. And for what? To make not a scrap of difference to the environment any time in the next 1000 years.”

29 March 2011

And, answering a question about how CO2 emissions are calculated: ”It’s actually pretty hard to do this because carbon dioxide is invisible and it’s weightless and you can’t smell it.”

In fact there is a whole page at Skeptical Science devoted to “Climate Misinformer: Tony Abbott” with links to scientific documents refuting his assertions.

He also earned us the Colossal Fossil Award for our obstruction of progress in international action on climate change.

And let’s not forget Tony’s failed attempt to forge an alliance of “like-minded” nations to oppose carbon pricing with leaders, other than a tentative Stephen Harper, sending the clear message you are on your own there buddy.

It is important to remember the real scientific bodies that have had funding cut by the Abbott government when assessing the merit of gifting $4 million to a Danish climate contrarian whose own government won’t fund him but who appears to be the current darling of the Coalition.

science

17 comments

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  1. Gilly

    Business before Science … Huh … He has form enough to complete the alphabet.
    Coercion before Consultation
    Deceit before Decisions
    Entitlements before Endeavour
    Ideology before Investigation
    Lie before Listening
    Profits before People
    Publicity before Policy
    Spin before Sincerity
    it all revolves around Follow the ego before leading the electors.

  2. Kaye Lee

    I before we

  3. Bronte ALLAN

    And this idiot rabbit is a “qualified’ scientist? How dare he even dare to try & talk about science? He still thinks the Earth is flat! What a f*ckwit!

  4. Loz

    A government with little or no intelligence to see that money can still be made if they acknowledge climate change. Valuable climate change technology and development of new business would assist the economy and job employment. It appears that this government has no interest in the health and well being of this and future generations and absolutely no vision for economic enterprise for Australia. This government has set this country back fifty years or more and the sooner they are gone the better for all Australians.

  5. Lyle Upson.

    it’s great comedy watching the Abbott rewrite science

  6. diannaart

    Nothing is safe, from the very North to the South of Australia:

    …Mr Hunt (pants on fire) claims the area – among 170,000 hectares listed only last year, at the request of the previous Labor government – is degraded as a result of being logged, and should not have been listed. But that is disputed by, among others, Peter Hitchcock, an international consultant on world heritage values, who says about 90 per cent of it is pristine….Even Tasmania’s timber industry opposes the move, because the 170,000-hectare listing was the centrepiece of a “peace deal” struck between the industry, unions and green groups in 2011 after decades of warring over the forests…

    http://www.greatbarrierreef.org.au/tony-abbotts-australian-administration-hostile-nations-environment-history/

    …In response to questions from French climate activists, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole and BNP Paribas all said they will not be involved in proposed mines for the coal-rich Galilee Basin region of central Queensland.

    http://www.greatbarrierreef.org.au/aussie-banks-under-pressure-over-galilee-mines/

    Will Australia become a pariah?

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B4Xx2iRCMAE9lxs.png

  7. stephentardrew

    Diannaart:

    Become a pariah?

    I think we are well and truly there.

    Now to make the bastards pay.

    This is no longer a game it is damn serious and this government is infested with totally incompetent liars and nincompoops.

    The time is coming when the deniers will be forced to look into the mirror and see total incompetence fed by greed and ignorance.

    They just don’t realise they are on borrowed time and will become ignorant uneducated scientifically challenged fools shamed by the world at large.

  8. Kaye Lee

    If something is a success, like the renewable energy target, it’s a failure. If something is a failure, like Direct Action, then it’s an outstanding success. If something is cheap, like a market price for carbon, then it is expensive. If something is more expensive, like purchases by the Emissions Reduction Fund, then it is really cheap. If something is bad, like coal, then it is good for humanity. And if something is good, like wind turbines, it is not just bad, it is offensive. If a target can be met, like 41,000GWh of renewables, or even 33,500GWh, then it can’t. And if a target can’t be met, like 5 per cent emissions reduction by 2020 with Direct Action, then of course it can. And if you are a politician in Australia, then …. the next election will be interesting.

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/10-things-we-learned-about-abbotts-contempt-for-climate-81165

    Well worth reading the whole article

  9. stephentardrew

    Nothing to be seen here. Just a small example one mornings releases on global warming. It just boggles the mind that so many live in such self-imposed ignorance.

    High mountains warming faster than expected
    Apr 23, 2015

    http://phys.org/news/2015-04-high-mountains-faster.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ctgr-item&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

    Changes in water vapor and clouds are amplifying global warming
    Posted on 23 April 2015 by John Abraham

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/changes-in-water-vapor-clouds-amplifying-warming.html

    Heat still on despite warming slowdown
    Apr 23, 2015

    http://phys.org/news/2015-04-slowdown.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ctgr-item&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

    Thawing permafrost feeds climate change
    Apr 23, 2015

    http://phys.org/news/2015-04-permafrost-climate.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ctgr-item&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

  10. Divergent Aussie

    Bizarre stuff. Let’s go back a few years, to 2008. Labor wanted to scrap the solar rebate $8000. The coalition cried foul and labor then introduced the RET multiplier in response. Poor policy because it fueled solar at the expense of other renewable eventually resulting in the split of the RET in 2010. The gentailers were able to pick up cheap RECs courtesy of the RECs multiplier and feed ins and sit on their hands for a while. Killed investment in large scale renewables stone dead. You can’t rely on 100% non-dispatchable renewables for your energy system.
    http://www.andrewrobb.com.au/Media/GoldsteinMediaReleases/tabid/72/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/819/Labor-switches-off-debate-to-ensure-solar-doesnt-shine.aspx
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/government-scraps-8000-solar-subsidy-20081217-70sl.html

  11. Kaye Lee

    Greg Hunt,” Sheridan tells us, “is going to cut Australia’s carbon emissions four times more than Labor did with its carbon tax at 1 per cent of the price per tonne of emissions cut under the carbon tax.”

    Hold on, sunshine. Greg Hunt has not actually cut anything yet. He’s had some people express an interest in cutting their emissions in exchange, of course, for a small taxpayer-funded consideration. But Sheridan’s most egregious mistake is to accept the numbers spooned to him by Environment Minister Hunt, who claims, not for the first time, that the cost of abatement under the previous government’s carbon tax was around $1300 per tonne.

    The Gregs, pere et fils, obtain this number by dividing the total revenue collected by the carbon tax by the reduction in emissions in each year of the tax’s operation compared to the year before it came into effect.

    This procedure — calling it a “calculation” would be to award Sheridan a scientific lustre that is scarcely supported by the bumbling innumeracy that he seems to bring to everything he writes — gets at least two things wrong. The first is simple: the amount of abatement that takes place is not simply last year’s emissions minus this year’s emissions. It is the amount of emissions that would have taken place this year without a carbon tax (or whatever) minus the amount that actually were emitted.

    The second mistake is to consider the total revenue raised by the carbon tax as the abatement “cost”. It isn’t. In fact, the carbon tax was paid on emissions that were not reduced; the abatement cost was therefore the amount of money spent on doing things — planting trees, installing more efficient combustion engines or whatever — in order to avoid paying the tax.

    The tax put an upper limit on the amount of money anyone would be willing to pay to reduce their emissions. If the price were higher than the statutory rate of the tax, it would make economic sense to simply pay the tax. We can therefore be more or less certain that, unless companies were negligent, it cost no more than $24.15 a tonne to abate emissions under the carbon tax, with the average abatement cost per tonne lower than that.

    Another way of thinking about it is this: the money raised by the carbon tax wasn’t piled onto a bonfire and burned. It was used to lower other taxes, including personal income tax. If you want to count the revenue raised by the carbon tax as a “cost”, then you have to include the lowering of other taxes as a ‘”benefit” in addition to the emissions that were abated. Only if the carbon tax were more economically inefficient than the taxes it replaced would it be a net cost to the economy.

    What the Gregs (Sheridan and Hunt) don’t get about emissions abatement

  12. townsvilleblog

    Abbott and the LNP must believe that their coal mining mates can continue to mine and burn coal up till around 2050 and we can still avoid the affects of Climate Change. I have news for them it has already begun.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Australia is emerging as “public enemy number one” of the United Nations climate change negotiations to be held in Paris in December, according to a Nobel laureate of medicine speaking from a sustainability symposium in Hong Kong.

    Prof Peter Doherty is representing Australia at the symposium, held every three years and which is being attended by 11 other laureates from around the world, who will sign a memorandum detailing their recommendations for making major cities sustainable.

    Large cities contributed disproportionally to climate change, he said, with roughly 75% of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels coming from cities.

    It meant designing new buildings to be energy efficient, and focusing on public transport rather than building new roads, would be key measures for major cities in trying to curb global warming, he said, with up to 80% of the population expected to be living in large cities by 2050.

    But he said it may be tough to get the Australian government to endorse and adopt the symposium memorandum, which will urge governments to make climate change mitigation in major cities a focus of climate change policy.

    “I don’t think we’re going to get far with the present government leadership, but when [communications minister] Malcolm Turnbull was leading the party he was quite willing to sign on to a carbon trading scheme, so there are those people open to the evidence,” Doherty said.

    “The difference between people like me and the person running the government is I’m interested in evidence, insights, solutions and solving problems, and he is interested in ideology and looking backwards. But we won’t be deterred.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/25/australia-public-enemy-number-one-of-un-climate-talks-says-nobel-laureate

  14. Divergent Aussie

    Didn’t someone say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? So we had a bird in the hand, carbon tax, and we foresook it for birds in the bush (direct action). Truly bizzare.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Hunt’s most compelling claim is that Labor’s carbon tax “reduced emissions at over $1,300 per tonne [while] the Emissions Reduction Fund auction price averages $13.95 per tonne”.

    “That’s right, Labor’s failed carbon tax was more than 93 times more expensive,” Hunt said.

    All three of the experts New Matilda put this claim to dismissed it as “nonsense”.

    “The most important thing to get straight in terms of misinformation and misleading comments there yesterday was Minister Hunt’s assertion that the carbon price was $1,300 per tonne,” Professor Frank Jotzo said. “That’s about as wrong as you can possibly get it,” he said.

    The real price was in the 20-odd dollar range, and if the carbon tax had been allowed to develop into an emissions trading scheme, which it would’ve by now, the price would be linked to the European system which is trading at around the $10 mark.

    Hunt’s other glaring omission is that while the Coalition’s policy is a cost, the carbon tax raised revenue.

    What the government has actually done is spend $660 million of taxpayers’ funds buying 47 million tonnes of carbon abatement. In contrast, Professor Jotzo’s Australian National University study on the emissions reductions directly attributable to the carbon price in the electricity sector alone found that it had achieved an abatement of between 11 and 17 million tonnes over its two year life, while raising around $6 billion in revenue.

    The Climate Institute had estimated that the carbon tax – which would already be a fully-fledged emissions trading scheme – would have achieved something in the order of a 15 per cent emissions reduction by 2020.

    Under the ERF, there’s no guarantee the government will even make the five per cent reduction on 2000 emissions levels it has committed to achieving by 2020. The Climate Change Authority – which was set up to advise the government on emissions reductions targets – has suggested a 19 per cent reduction by 2020 is necessary. But according to Connor, under the ERF “there’s no independent modelling which shows that we can achieve even what is an inadequate and increasingly irrelevant [five per cent] target”.

    Minister Hunt claims the government will “easily” achieve the target, but few experts agree. To start with, the government has just spent roughly a quarter of the $2.55 billion it has said it’s willing to spend on the ERF but, at 47 million tonnes, it’s only bought around 15 per cent of the abatement needed to meet the five per cent target.

    There’s also no guarantee the contracts companies won in Thursday’s ‘reverse auction’ will be discharged before the 2020 deadline. Many of them extend for seven or 10 years, and the government has not provided information about when the abatements need to be achieved.

    https://newmatilda.com/2015/04/25/simple-guide-understanding-greg-hunt%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98nonsense%E2%80%99-carbon-con#sthash.RhnM0A74.egVqXN6n.dpuf

  16. eli nes

    didn’t see labor on the loser side? If they cannot make a noise about unemployed the worse since howard, or a question that massive borrowing has fixed labor’s mess perhaps on the morning show with some figures what chance have they on climate
    ps saw a snippet where the discussion was equalised with 3 sceptics and 97 scientists quite funny???

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