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Day to Day Politics: I thought we had moved on from ratbag conspiracy theorists like him.

Friday 19 August 2016

Climate Science has always been somewhat of a layperson’s dilemma. Monday night’s Q&A programme yet again demonstrated that there are still conspiracy nutter mentalities who gain prominence by being controversially stupid.

When the debate turned to Climate Change even renowned physicist Brian Cox was dumbfounded by One Nation senator-elect Malcolm Roberts’ arguments. Roberts suggested that the figures presented by Cox were manipulated by NASA and that it was all essentially a lot of lies. The audience laughed. How are we so blindly stupid that we elect these people.

Why he was even given a seat on the panel is beyond me. Even more so is why Greg Hunt was allowed to lie about the effectiveness of the Coalition’s Direct Action policy is also beyond me.

But all that aside how does the layperson comprehend it all.

During the 2000 federal election campaign I tuned onto the ‘7.30 Report’, the night Kerry O’Brien interviewed Tony Abbott about the coalitions ‘Broadband Policy’. During the interview, Abbott who was totally out of his depth appealed to O’Brien not to ask questions of a technological nature because he simply did not understand it. As a voter, I was appalled that anyone with ambitions at the time to become Prime Minister should know so little about his own policy. (Mind you, at the time he could not introduce his party’s economic policy either, but that is another matter).

What occurred to me on reflection was that if Abbott knew so little about the science of the internet, how could he have developed such an insightful knowledge of climate science as to be able to dismiss it as crap? This in turn prompted me to question my own comprehension.

I had to admit that although I followed the debate rigorously and considered myself well-informed. I in fact like many others knew little of the science itself. Frankly, I have enough trouble with the pop up toaster.

Ask me about literature, art, political and religious philosophy, music, sport and I can handle myself adequately but science no. Ask me to explain how an atom is split, how carbon dating works, how science takes us to space, advances in medical science, how a mobile telephony phone system works, DNA, genetics or electricity is produced then I would be hard pressed to explain. In fact, I could not and the reader will understand I have only minutely touched on some branches of science.

So as a layperson, where does this leave me? Whom do I believe? Well for me it is a no brainer. I come down on the side of science. In the last few years, I have under gone a number of operations. I have had a heart attack and bowel cancer. When confronted with these issues never once (when consulting with surgeons) did I question the diagnosis I accepted that scientific research had given my doctors the knowledge to perform whatever procedure was necessary.

Therefore, it goes that I cannot explain how many things function or occur. I simply know that science through reasoned, rational enquiry, evaluation and testing proves that they do.

For the life of me, I cannot understand people who accept science’’ in fact’’ and use it every day somehow become brain-dead when it comes to climate science.

However, lay people like me who believe in the existence of climate change cannot honestly claim to know the veracity of the science for ourselves but are happy to delegate this task to climate scientists. Laypeople simply do not have the knowledge to adjudicate on the issue.

On the other hand the, those who deny the overwhelming scientific consensus seek to justify their belief by attaching themselves to a minority of  science sceptics with obscure qualifications or worse to right-wing shock jocks and journalists with no scientific training what so ever. These people (like you and me) have no way of evaluating the volume of data produced by the various scientific institutions. One of the most outspoken sceptics (Andrew Bolt) has been found guilty of deceptive lying in that he defamed some white skinned aboriginals.

One has to wonder how many he has told when writing about his favourite topic climate change.

If I do not support the 95% of scientists, every major scientific institution and the research that is constantly peer evaluated I am obliged to accept the alternative. That is that I should take seriously the likes of Andrew Bolt (a journalist) Alan Jones, (I’m not sure how you would describe his contribution to society) Lord Monckton (a discredited something who was once a lobbyist for the tobacco companies), Nick Minchin and Tony Abbott (both politicians) or new kid on the block Malcolm Roberts. In fact, Minchin is on the record as saying that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy to replace communism. None of the aforementioned people has a background or expertise in climate science.

Now that’s not to say that they should not have a view and that that view should not be considered as should any laypersons if they are of that ilk. But surely, we must respect the science otherwise; you put into question all science.

As to which way is the best to tackle the problem in Australia this is more open for the layperson to investigate. In this country, we have two propositions. One is an emissions trading scheme.

The other is a direct action policy where taxpayer’s funds are given (repeat “are given”) to the polluters to clean up the mess they have created without any guarantees they will do so. In all my research, this method has no credence among professionals. Indeed, Greg Hunt has not produced one economist in support of direct action. Before he became Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote angrily about how the scheme would be a costly disaster.  Treasury has qualitative evidence to suggest his plan will cost twice as much as they have committed. It is a shame, indeed sad to see shadow minister Greg Hunt who wrote his university thesis (with honors) in support of a carbon tax trying to defend Direct action.

In conclusion, for me as a layperson it seems logical to support the evidence the scientists have produced. I think all the people of this earth and our planet deserve the benefit of any doubt.

Alternatively, when science discovers a cure for cancer do I just say “crap”?

Australia in fact produces 1.4 of the world’s emissions and people therefore argue that whatever we do to reduce them will have little or no effect. All the countries combined that produce less than 1.5 per cent (including Great Brittan) actually total one third of world emissions so it follows that if we and the other smaller emitters do something to reduce them we will be having an effect on a third of the problem and that is a large contribution.

My thought for the day.

“We all incur a cost for the upkeep of our health. Why then should we not be liable for the cost of a healthy planet”.

 

60 comments

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  1. quiltingforkids

    But is it not obvious that the climate deniers are in fact on the payroll of the climate destroying industries? It seems to me that, perhaps aside from religious weirdos who only follow what God deigns to wiggle his finger about, the industrial laying of wasters to our Earth is the work of folks like our very own Koch brothers and others of their ilk. Believing in climate science forces you to consider doing something about climate change, and that almost inevitably requires action to control the industries that are the primary culprits. Those industries do not want to do anything and will pay our politicians to ignore the problem, mainly by denying the science.

  2. Peter F

    I agree with you, Greg Hunt should be shadow minister. Apart from that little slip, a great article – if only we had politicians who actually cared.

  3. jim

    Good post again, Well I think some things just have no answer, watching Q&A it was sickening listening to MR, especially when he went into his well rehearsed bit about god and love made me want to puke as I think he has no clue of either and it was said purely to make out like he was a good guy/angel , what I think is very wrong about our pollies is that they in fact need very little or no education to become one, take a medical doctor they have to study for at least five years before they even practice. or an accountant yet we have some one( with little education) in charge of the nations credit cards.

    We have the worst government . since 1949 and it’s this LNP,……As the Australia Institute’s research in June found – across a broad range of economic measures, the Abbott/Turnbull government has performed the worst of any Australian government since 1949. Economist Jim Stanford’s report examines economic performance across 12 indicators – including GDP per capita, the unemployment rate, employment growth and the growth of real business investment and intellectual property investment …

  4. 1petermcc

    On the matter of Andrew Bolt’s knowledge of the Science of Climate Change, he once appeared on RN’s Science Show and was asked by Williams how he managed to keep up with the flood of scientific papers?

    As Williams said he had trouble keeping across the topic and that was his primary job.

    Bolt’s reply?

    “Oh, I haven’t got time to do that.”

    Years later we discovered in his court appearance that very little research goes into his work. He still manages to retain the confidence of the ill-informed though.

  5. Stephen

    It’s an interesting idea to pay businesses and people not to do something as harmful and dangerous as pollution.
    After all we all know they will use the money to affect change and improve their processes for the better good of themselves and others and profits.
    The idea that they would take the money and do as little as possible to keep the funds coming as long as possible is laughable business wouldn’t dream of acting like that. Nor would they after a few years consider it as a permanent entitlement and scream and complain mightily if it was withdrawn bemoaning the calamity to come.
    I think we should adopt this idea for all such needs i.e speeding, drunk driving, complying with Centrelink requirements, dug taking, tax avoidance, the potential uses are endless.
    Using a carrot and not a stick may be an unusual approach for a Liberal Government, but could not possibly be a backdoor way to channel public funds to donors and mates, I refuse to believe such noble and selfless individuals would ever act in such a way.
    I feel disappointed for all you sad cynics out there.

  6. Keith

    I think you need to be able to do mental gymnastics to reach the kind of conclusions Roberts comes up with. He asks for empirical evidence; yet, it is apparent that his views are created by conspiracy theories.

    Quote:

    “Roberts variously claims that the United Nations is trying to impose world government on us through climate policy, and that CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology are corrupt institutions that, one presumes, have fabricated the climate extremes that we increasingly observe all over the world.

    In the world of Malcolm Roberts, these agencies are marionettes of a “cabal” of “the major banking families in the world”. Given the parallels with certain strands of anti-Jewish sentiment, it’s perhaps an unfortunate coincidence that Roberts has reportedly relied on a notorious Holocaust denier to support this theory.”

    from:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/08/14/galileo-gambit-and-other-stories-three-main-tactics-climate-denial

    But, temperatures do need to be modified to take into account changes around weather station that have been operating for over a century. Trees, buildings, or roads etc may have been built near weather stations, these alter temperature readings. Though there is little difference generally between the raw temperatures from stations and the modified temperature.
    There are something like 10,000 land based weather stations around Earth; global temperatures are derived from the data of all of these stations.

    The problem for Roberts is that nature keeps saying he is wrong:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/08/17/these-stunning-blue-lakes-just-gave-us-a-new-reason-to-worry-about-antarctica/?utm_term=.b0c7796898f6

    Or, there are several of these kind of situations:

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/billiondollar-flood-has-louisiana-reeling-98l-may-become-a-tropical-

  7. helvityni

    Wonderful article, John Lord.

    Little Mr Hunt is useless in any portfolio, when seeing him interviewed, all I can think is: stop wrinkling your forehead…
    Next we’ll have Ms Hanson on 7.30, I don’t how know good old Kerry O’Brian would have handled that.

  8. gary elt

    as a lay person I am overwhelmed with concern for what I see on the weather radar and frustrated with my own ignorance and lack of faith in the politicians and scientists that make life changing decisions for my own good

  9. kathysutherland2013

    Although I’m not a scientist, I’m smart enough to respect the skills, knowledge and conclusions of science, in the same way as I’m smart enough to respect the skills and knowlege of the medical and pharmaceutical experts who prescribe particular medications to control my epilepsy. I’d be stupid to argue with them – not to mention having seizures all over the place!

  10. Adrianne Haddow

    My concern with the ABC and other media outlets is the air time they give to Ms Hanson and her crew. In time, continued exposure to these people and their un-informed opinions, normalises them in the eyes of the public.

    They should not be acknowledged as having any credibility, yet their opinions are sought after and published, in the hopes of creating controversy, and laughably, ‘debate’. Of course, when debate shows flaws in their arguments, they fall back on their beliefs in the mythical creator who will fix it all.

    It’s a sad future when the motley mob are given the opportunity to effect legislation that will impinge on the safety and health of the rest of us.

  11. wam

    I am a believer that we got rich effing up the climate with coal and we cannot deny the rest of the world their opportunity/ So coal or renewables are the only way forward for the billions of non europeans who need energy to develop?

    ‘incur a cost for medicare by the levy’.
    oops do we incur a cost for those who don’t incur a cost??????? oops oops are some of us lifters and incur a cost for those who don’t incur a cost and those who can arrange not to incur the cost call themselves lifters????

  12. Kaye Lee

    The government is correct to say Australia met its initial Kyoto target. What it doesn’t often say is that the target was an 8 per cent increase in emissions between 1990 and the years 2008-2012.

    What it also doesn’t say is that it largely met the target by reducing land-clearing. Australia’s industrial emissions – the main game in tackling climate change – rose about 30 per cent over that period.

    Every time I hear them say that Australian emissions are too small to count I want to scream. We are ranked 52 by population but 13 by emissions and 1 on per capita emissions. Our 24 million people emit more than the UK’s 65 million people.

    The greenhouse gas emissions in other countries from the proposed increase in coal export capacity of the major Australian ports will greatly outweigh the proposed reductions in Australia’s emissions from Direct Action and the ERF.

  13. Kaye Lee

    As for understanding the science, skeptical science is an outstanding site which anticipates and answers/debunks all the deniers arguments. Their answers have different degrees of complexity – basic, intermediate or advanced, depending on your prior knowledge and interest level. Malcolm Roberts should take a look some time.

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

  14. Jasen

    As a scientist myself, yet not one in climate science, I respect that my fellow scientists who work in this field know plenty more than I ever will even though I follow the research. Nobody would question my own work in genetics, therefore I find it scarily amusing that others would question the outcome of those who’s lives are intimately involved in the study of the climate and the impacts to nature around it.

  15. Peter F

    Wonderful graph Kaye.- . Isn’t it fascinating how the steps are all level, with apparently no ‘step’ between them? You will now be accused of distorting the graph by showing the red line.

  16. Max Gross

    Dumbed-down, ill-informed and wilfully ignorant voters will elect dumbed-down, ill-informed and wilfully ignorant politicians. This is not sustainable and can only have one outcome. We. Are. F*cked!

  17. Mark Chorlton

    This is a copy of a “discussion” on FB with a supporter of the One Nation Senator I had in response to a Guardian Australia FB piece on the temp graph shown by Prof. Cox on Q & A.

    Mark Chorlton But it’s not empirical according to One Nation (wonder if they know what the word means?).

    Like · Reply · 1 · August 16 at 12:14pm

    Steve Mills He’s an Honours graduate in Engineering from Qld Uni, worked for years in that field, also a Masters in Business Administration from Chicago Uni (arguably one of the world’s 3 leadings schools in that field).

    So yeah, the Senator understands a lot of things.

    You may wish to reflect upon the Senator’s education & intellectual horsepower, compare that to your own mental agility.

    Something for you to reflect upon, before you sneer at your intellectual superiors.

    Like · Reply · August 16 at 12:47pm

    Mark Chorlton Steve Mills. I have a PhD and have lectured in Statistics as well as being a lecturer at the University of Newcastle for 13 years, have several peer reviewed scientific journals and have supervised quite a number of Masters and PhD students. I can send you my CV if you like. And may I ask what your academic qualifications are before you sneer at me!

    Like · Reply · 1 · August 16 at 2:44pm · Edited

    Mark Chorlton Forgot to mention my Honors degree and TAFE Certificate in Metallurgy and invitation to talk at Oxford University (arguably one of the best Universities in the world). And all of this completed after being born deformed with pychomelia and a severe spinal scoliosis which has required 4 major spinal surgeries. I’ve done f*cking well and according to the WAIS III (Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale Version 3) I have an IQ of 145. Look up the stats and see where that falls on the distribution of IQ scores. The stats would suggest I don’t have too many intellectual superiors. So please don’t belittle me.

    Like · Reply · 1 · August 16 at 2:54pm · Edited

    Sara Donnelly Ohhh snap!

    Unlike · Reply · 1 · August 16 at 3:53pm

    Mark Chorlton Just thinking about Steve Mills, wonder if he is the Senator? Never mentioned the senator in my initial post yet the reply was all about the senator being my “intellectual superiour”. Always a worry when supporters of a political party and the elected politicians consider themselves superior to the citizens who elected them (all 77!).

    Like · Reply · August 17 at 7:47am

  18. helvityni

    According to Pauline Hanson an ATO decision to install squat toilets in its office is un-Australian.

    For all us foreigners who wan to fit in, such announcements from Pauline are important guidelines.Luckily I already prefer Vegemite to Marmite….

  19. Kaye Lee

    Ummm….when I was young most of us had pan toilets in the backyard picked up once a week by the dunny carter. Too many bad memories to even begin to talk about. The further my bottom was from them the better.

  20. Jack Staw

    Malcolm Roberts knows that no one can prove Climate change data by empirical evidence. The analogy is like he has a smoker who lives to be a hundred and everyone else said the person would die much earlier because of their smoking.Malcolm Roberts has just developed a nut job clause that suit’s his purpose. Gee! he my be right but by the time we get to test it; the planet may be too far gone.

  21. Mark Chorlton

    Why is it bad to try and clean up our only habitable planet? Why is it bad to create new industries to provide jobs?

  22. Harquebus

    Australia exports its carbon emissions. Not our problem. (Sarc.)

    Three relevant articles that I have just read today. I come across about a dozen or so like this every week.

    https://robertscribbler.com/2016/08/18/warm-arctic-storm-tearing-sea-ice-to-shreds-amidst-big-2016-heat-spike/

    https://theconversation.com/we-have-almost-certainly-blown-the-1-5-degree-global-warming-target-63720

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/18/ice-scientists-arctic-ice-disappearing-reduce-emissions-peter-wadhams

    If there was somewhere for me to regularly post them for you John, I would. What is not generally known is that, global warming is exponential. That means the consequences are a lot closer than most people think and some consequences have already arrived.

    Large scale methane release is a serious civilization destroying danger. Our ABC and MSM are complicit in their silence on this issue.

  23. Keith

    Mark

    Whether climate is changing through natural variation or is man created we must do something about it. All the evidence is that burning fossil fuels is; apart from maybe caused by some natural variation, has human finger prints all over it. Being at a busy airport or in amongst traffic snarls provides a glimpse of what is happening on every continent; then, we have added emissions from coal fired power utilities.

    To suggest that somebody knows better than others because of their intellect is plain dumb!!

    Currently, Arctic sea ice extent is the third lowest ever recorded; on a blog site it has been suggest that it is at second lowest extent. Quite possible with the huge storm that has just occurred up there. Another factor as shown by the prior reference is melt ponds sitting on the East Antarctic ice sheet. The cryosphere is meant to be the planets air conditioner; it is breaking down. In relation to the cryosphere, I’ve yet to see something sensible being written about thawing permafrost, drunken trees or disappearing glaciers.

  24. Sam

    The thing is, we know they are morons but the people that believe in them will ignore this and continue to champion them.

    What we have to do is convince those in the middle that this topic is worth their time, concern and effort to effect lasting change.

    Sadly it’s easier for people in the middle to put this topic in the ‘too hard’ basket and ignore it, than do anything and this just makes it easier for the deniers to hold power and maintain the status quo.

  25. Kaye Lee

    The thing that really concerns me is that, despite all the evidence, Australians baulked at paying $10 a week to do something about it, even though low income earners were actually better off under the carbon tax compensation package which most people seem to forget about.

    When the carbon tax was introduced, the tax free threshold was lifted from $6000 to $18,200 to help low income households manage any additional expenses. This gave someone on $18,200 an extra $1830 along with other boosts for pensioners and the unemployed. Trade exposed industries also received compensation. Tony Abbott chose populism in discarding the revenue from the carbon tax whilst keeping the compensation for it thereby cutting our revenue by about another $7 billion a year

    Will Tony Abbott ever admit that this was another example of his poor judgement contributing to toxic partisanship to the detriment of the country and the world?

  26. Anomander

    If Roberts’ is so adamant in his opinion – where exactly is the empirical evidence to support his assertions? Not just the words of some commentator – present us with thousands of peer-reviewed studies that categorically prove his theory.

    If he can’t do that, then he needs to shut his stupid effing mouth and leave it to the professionals.

  27. Anomander

    What irks me is when the government rants on about our government debt, so concerned we can’t leave a debt legacy for future generations.

    Yet they seem content to leave our children with the legacy of a destroyed world, species death and environmental devastation on an epic scale, and a much, much greater cost for our generation’s inaction.

  28. silkworm

    I watched that idiot Roberts on Q and A, and I noted that when the issue of Bill Leak’s cartoon came up, Roberts took Leak’s side. Roberts is not just a climate science denier, but true his Hansonist credentials, he is a garden variety racist as well.

  29. Bendrupts

    Kaye The thing that really concerns me is that, despite all the evidence, Australians baulked at paying $10 a week to do something about it, even though low income earners were actually better off under the carbon tax compensation package which most people seem to forget about.

    Australia’s didn’t baulk at paying $10 a week. Conservative party right wing not wanting to pay any extra tax big business loving American style TEA Party Ideology did. The Liberal party are run by lobbyists and Big Business. The Liberals are an out of control bunch of cowboys drunk on power. Who don’t realise they are idiot puppets.

  30. Harquebus

    Sock puppets. Someone’s hand is always up there arses making their lips move.

  31. Graeme Henchel

    One thing is certain. It is an absolute waste of time trying to argue with or convince otherwise the likes of Hanson, Roberts, and Bolt et al. There stance is their stchtick. It is their ticket to the trough. Notoriety sells newspapers and gains further opportunities to spruik your stupidity to an ill informed public. These populist charlatans can not afford to alter their views.

    As depressing as it is that we currently have more than our usual cohort of overt nutters in the parliament perhaps this is the opportunity we have to expose these nutters and their lack of real solutions. Roberts certainly made an absolute fool of himself on QandA and Hanson will also be revealed as an opportunist with no constructive ideas.

  32. helvityni

    I blame Australia’s compulsory voting system for getting all the nutters into the parliament.. The rednecks who are not interested in public affairs and know nothing about politics are woken up and forced to vote; of course like picks like, the Muslim haters vote for the Paulines and her ilk.

    Leave the voting to well-informed, intelligent people, who have compassion and who care about education, progress, CC….

  33. Barry

    A very good article Mr Lord. The earths climate changes, always has and always will. The big problem at the moment is that humans are accelerating the change.

  34. jimhaz

    [The thing that really concerns me is that, despite all the evidence, Australians baulked at paying $10 a week to do something about it, even though low income earners were actually better off under the carbon tax compensation package which most people seem to forget about]

    Although Abbott and the shock jocks are the ones who ruined the carbon tax, the ALP must take some of the blame for not reducing the rate which as far as I recall was 3 times greater than the prevailing rate in Europe. They needed to reduce it only double the OS rate – but were not strategically smart enough to do so.

    In my view the ALP must also take the blame for its failure as they were the one in State govs who I imagine secretly DIRECTED the government controlled IPART to increase rates by 70% in the 4 years prior to the CT. Why – 2 reasons the main one was fattening up the generators for sale and the 2nd one was to make renewables more affordable.

    This is the issue the ALP can go jump on. They played the Australian people and deserved what they got.

  35. Karl Young

    Good point ( jimhazHarquebus) The Labor Party are not street wise anymore. And too arrogant to change their thinking midstream.

  36. kathysutherland2013

    @helvityni – compulsory voting is the closest we’re going to get to some semblance of democracy. We can’t deny people a vote because they have different opinions. I think it’s important to try and educate people to do their own research and think for themselves. The transferable nature of our voting system, particularly in the Senate, is pretty dodgy.

  37. jimhaz

    @ Karl. I am not Harquebus and don’t even recall using another name here so far. No chance of me calling myself after a gun, but more importantly I’m far too nihilistic to care as much as he does about the future of the human animal. For me it’s Que Sera Sera.

  38. Gangey1959

    Another great article John.
    Its just a thought, but maybe mr roberts and his bunch of brainless dickheaded f*ckwit moronic cretinous mates are right, and climate science is all just made up to make the people who have spent their adult live studying it and becoming experts in their field feel good about themselves. A bit like the high up religious nutters but without the pretty clothes and funny hats and charges of paedophilia.
    Having said that, no one can deny the fact that the ice caps are shrinking, or the glaciers are getting smaller in the land of the wrong white crowd and other places, or that the ocean level is rising to the point that small(er) islands around the world are being consumed, despite the best efforts of the chinese to the contrary.
    So why the f*ck don’t we all just kick back and let them have their say, listen to what they tell us needs to be done, and just do it.
    Give them 10 years. If they are wrong, nothing will change, and we can all point at them and laugh and call them silly names.
    If they are right, WE ALL WIN (The religious nutters and climate science deniers included)
    As for poor hesadumbic hunt, I’m fairly sure that his home planet has sent someone out to look for him, but you never can be certain of things like that. He doesn’t belong here, of that we can be sure. (I have a cure in the back shed, but MT won’t let me talk about it)

  39. guest

    There are some rather vague and misleading comments here. I need some help on some of them.

    Harquebus –

    be assured that methane is mentioned widely in writing about Climate Change. It is more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.

    jimhaz –

    increases in costs of energy. I thought much of the increased cost of energy came from the need for power generators to extend and renew power lines and poles. That was the story spread about after the power utilities had been sold or leased. Another factor is the increasing use of solar panels and renewables, which has reduced profits for power generators.
    The use of ‘jimhazHarquebus’ was Karl Young addressing both you posters, not one, by name.
    So you, jimhaz, want Labor to change its thinking. It was apparent to me that Labor was way ahead of the Coalition in its thinking during the election campaign. What exactly do you want changed – and why?

    Gangey1959 –

    ‘mr roberts and his mates are wrong’, you say. Agreed. So who is it you refer to when you say ‘listen to what they tell us needs to be done, and just do it’?
    If you refer to climate scientists, the reason we do not do what they say is because there are too many vested interests, too much for them to lose. That is why the whole discussion is in a muddle here in Oz, because there are so many people who are persuaded by the vested interests of fossil fuels, geology, right-wing politics, conspiracy theorists, and religion. Nutters like Roberts are just pests who have nothing to contribute, least of all ’empirical evidence’ against climate change.

    And we needed to be acting to reduce emissions long, long ago.

  40. wam

    dear ogh dear helvityni(2pm) the pollies are selected before there is any voting. so 20-30 of the 50% of australians, who do not fit your description for voting, have already chosen the pollies.
    You intelligent people just prefer eg thompson, slipper, joyce, bullock, malc who have been selected for you.
    Like you lord, I trust medical science despite in pommieland about 750 a month die of misdiagnosis and Australia by population about 6 times worse at an estimated 18000 per year(abc 2013)
    Everyone believes in climate change.
    The argument is whether man made carbon dioxide emissions are the cause of global warming.
    I have no problem rationalising that millions of years of stored hydrocarbons being returned to the atmosphere at a staggering rate by Australians must affect the balance and, as per the glasshouse effect, warm the planet.
    But that simplistic view is hardly scientific enough for religious twits who believe their god can save or destroy his world.
    The church has no problems with god and his angels having balls and a working cock.
    The women of the church, especially those of helvityni’s description, have no problem believing what the men tell them.

  41. Alan Baird

    Who’s responsible for the ad placements in AIMN? Congrats on getting the Murdoch press to waste its money in trying to get above participants to buy a Murdoch paper! Snowball’s chance in hell.

  42. Michael Taylor

    Alan, everybody gets different ads. The ads are based on the visitor’s browser history. As such I don’t get ads for the Murdoch media.

  43. paulwalter

    Capitalism. Makes beggars of us all.

  44. Möbius Ecko

    guest at 6:41 pm

    Harquebus –

    be assured that methane is mentioned widely in writing about Climate Change. It is more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.

    What Harquebus states is true, but the big difference between methane and CO², and indeed water vapour, which is also a greater forcer of greenhouse than CO², is permanency.

    Of all the greenhouse gases CO² is by far the longest lasting. It can continue to effect climate for thousands of years whilst methane lasts for about 12 years.

    Of the greenhouse gases the ones we can do the most to ameliorate are CO² and methane, there’s little we can about water vapour. As CO² is the longest lasting it’s the one scientists want humanity to work on reducing.

  45. Jonathan Frodsham

    Ha ha ha ha, GISS was caught red handed adjusting the data so was BOM. You people are brainwashed fools.

  46. Jack Walters

    Let’s look at some the giants of science and their views on man made global warming. Then, let’s compare them to some e-mails that leaked out by scientists that are pushing the scheme.

    “The geologic record suggests that climate ought not to concern us too much when we’re gazing into the energy future, not because it’s unimportant, but because it’s beyond our power to control.” – Robert Laughlin (Nobel Prize Laureate)
    “”Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.” – Frederick Seitz (Pioneer in the field of solid-state physics and President Emeritus of the National Academy of Sciences, United States.)
    ” …”The scientific facts indicate that all the temperature changes observed in the last 100 years were largely natural changes and were not caused by carbon dioxide produced in human activities.” – Robert Jastrow ( Founding Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and hosted more than 100 CBS-TV network programs on space science.) “”The available data on climate change, however, do not support these predictions, nor do they support the idea that human activity has caused, or will cause, a dangerous increase in global temperatures. …These facts indicate that theoretical estimates of the greenhouse problem have greatly exaggerated its seriousness.” – William Nierenberg

    “I’m a skeptic. …Global Warming it’s become a new religion. You’re not supposed to be against Global Warming. You have basically no choice. And I tell you how many scientists support that. But the number of scientists is not important. The only thing that’s important is if the scientists are correct; that’s the important part.” – Ivar Giaever (Nobel Prize in Physics)

    “My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.” – Freeman Dyson

    Now the biggest grant receivers pushing the man made climate change thinking they were expressing their views in private e-mails (that got leaked): From: Kevin Trenberth (US National Center for Atmospheric Research). To: Michael Mann. Oct 12, 2009
    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t… Our observing system is inadequate”

    “Mike Mann refuses to talk to these people and I can understand why. They are just trying to find if we’ve done anything wrong.” – Phil Jones

    His work is involved in policy-making worldwide. It is astonishing he does not grasp this and as such the need to ensure his research is reliable.

    “We also have a Data Protection Act, which I will hide behind.” – Phil Jones

    “In an odd way (the death of John Daly) is cheering news!” – Phil Jones

    OK folks. I am now ready for the ad hominem attacks that are the hallmarks of man made global warming believers. Koch Bros. sock puppet capitalist pig. I’ve seen it all before. But the truth shall set you free. Question everything.

  47. Alan Baird

    I have never browsed ANYTHING that Murdoch prints on line. We all know the Murdoch press is a waste of time and thought. Derision is the only reaction that springs to mind. I carefully avoid buying anything that comes from the Murdoch stable including Farks and Farks Nooze. Subject closed.

  48. paulwalter

    Some times you err on the detail.

    I thought the comment from Kaye Lee, 19/8, involving Australia’s legendary stinginess, was a beaut.

  49. Terry2

    Intriguing insights to George Brandis as his diary is revealed following a FOI application approved by the Federal Court.This extract from 2014 as the Turnbull coupe is building, courtesy Crikey :

    “April 17, 2014

    Strange encounter with Malcolm while having my coffee in Aussies. He suddenly popped his head up from under the table and whispered, “Is it safe?” I told him I didn’t know what he meant, and he nodded and tapped his nose. “Play the long game,” he murmured, and then disappeared beneath the table again. No idea what that’s all about — he has been getting odder and odder since 2009.

    In the afternoon had another budget meeting with Joe. He asked me if I knew long division. I tried to show him how to do it but he just kept moaning, “my head hurts!” Gave up in the end and asked him how he was going reducing the deficit. Very well, he promised, before going sort of quiet for a while. Eventually he asked me how much I thought his desk was worth. Told him I couldn’t say. He nodded sadly. Asked Joe if he’d like to catch a movie after work, but he said he had a waxing appointment.”

  50. Carol Taylor

    It seems that Sam has resigned citing that the ongoing concentration on his mistake is a distraction from what is important to Australia and Australians. Now that the MSM has got its way, I hope that Liberal politicians will likewise be hounded into resigning…but we know that won’t happen.

  51. paulwalter

    Just back from the shops and library. astonished at the magnitude and intensity of the anti Dastyari beat up.

    I thought I was reading the Herald Sun, not the Age.

  52. Carol Taylor

    Paulwalter, all a bit suspicious in my opinion. Yesterday, I counted no less than FIVE anti Dastyari articles each putting a different slant on a different piece of non-factual speculation. These were all in Fairfax yet the usual anti Labor suspects eg news.com hardly mentioned it. Why? And what was in it for Fairfax?

    I suspect that Sam had become too high profile, too popular and far too Muslim and so had to be brought down.

  53. cornlegend

    The Labor Party owes me nothing and I owe the Labor Party everything. Bill Shorten and the team don’t deserve this distraction.
    Sam

  54. helvityni

    Carol Taylor, agree, and as far as I know he is not even a practicing Muslim…

  55. Carol Taylor

    Cornlegend, something the Libs don’t have me-thinks, and this is loyalty..putting the party ahead of one’s own self-interest.

    Helvityni, I believe that’s so, but perhaps this is what made Dastyari so dangerous to the far right of the Liberal Party, a moderate, young non-practicising Muslim..with a sense of humour. This doesn’t fit into far right wing rhetoric at all, of how they want Muslims portrayed. My guess is that we will now see Hansonite types smirking ‘typical dishonest, lying Muslim’.

  56. John L

    Jack Walters – Have you read the book – “The Merchants of Doubt”.
    The book criticizes the so-called Merchants of Doubt, some predominantly American science key players, above all Bill Nierenberg, Fred Seitz, and Fred Singer. All three are physicists: Singer was a rocket scientist, whereas Nierenberg and Seitz worked on the atomic bomb. They have been active on topics like acid rain, tobacco smoking, global warming and pesticides. The book claims that these scientists have challenged and diluted the scientific consensus in the various fields, as of the dangers of smoking, the effects of acid rain, the existence of the ozone hole, and the existence of anthropogenic climate change.
    Seitz and Singer have been involved with institutions such as The Heritage Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute and George C. Marshall Institute in the United States. Funded by corporations and conservative foundations, these organizations have opposed many forms of state intervention or regulation of U.S. citizens. The book lists similar tactics in each case: “discredit the science, disseminate false information, spread confusion, and promote doubt”.
    The book states that Seitz, Singer, Nierenberg and Robert Jastrow were all fiercely anti-communist and they viewed government regulation as a step towards socialism and communism.
    The authors argue that, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, they looked for another great threat to free market capitalism and found it in environmentalism.
    They need something to rail/crusade against.

    The quotes you post sound similar – and a couple sound (like so many) as if they’ve been taken out of context, when , if taken in context, the general quote is quite the opposite.

    Just saying…..

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