Australia's bad carbon policy advice dissected

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Wrong advice, wrong policy

by Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks, Bill Kininmonth & Des Moore

From Quadrant Online April 25, 2011

Government misadvised on global warming

On November 10 last year, the government’s Multi-party Climate Change Committee (MCCC) received a summary of the state of global warming science from its sole scientist member, ANU’s Professor Will Steffen. (see Powerpoint presentation here…).

All policy discussion conducted within the committee since has been predicated upon the accuracy of Professor Steffen’s advice, which was that a high risk of human-related dangerous warming exists and that urgent steps need to be taken to curtail carbon dioxide emissions.

In a more recent speech last week, Climate Minister Combet indicated his continuing reliance upon the views of Professor Steffen, who had advised him that:

there is 100% certainty that the earth is warming, and that there is a very high level of certainty it will continue to warm unless efforts are made to reduce the levels of carbon pollution being sent into the atmosphere.

By quoting just this one statement acceptingly, the Minister encapsulates the ignorance of the government to the underlying science of climate change, which has long since moved on from the alarmist global warming simplicities of the IPCC and its Australian cheer leaders.

Politically committed to introducing a new carbon dioxide tax, the government campaign to condition public acceptance of it has moved into overdrive over the last few months. Steps taken since the election include the establishment of a parliamentary Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, a Climate Commission chaired by Professor Tim Flannery and an address at the National Press Club by Climate Minister Combet.

These and other conduits of government influence are transmitting messages based on the same unaudited, partial IPCC advice that has dominated global warming politics worldwide for the last 10 years.

Yet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an unelected, unaccountable (to Australian citizens) United Nations body made up of government officials, and its reports on climate change are authored by persons selected by the IPCC and supported by their respective governments.

There has never been a comprehensive independent scientific review of any IPCC report by a member government or by an official audit body. Nonetheless, the following five events, drawn from a much larger group of happenings, have demonstrated to all the political nature of the IPCC and its scientific advisers, and greatly damaged the credibility of the organisation as a source of accurate policy advice on climate change:

  • In December, 2008, 103 scientists, including 24 Emeritus Professors, wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations about what they saw as the unsubstantiated, alarmist projections of warming by the IPCC, concluding that the “approach of curbing CO2 emissions is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it – because attempts to drastically cut CO2 emissions will seriously slow development”.
  • In November, 2009, the leaking of the “Climategate” papers drew public attention to the malfeasant way in which scientists at the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, undertook their research on the IPCC’s global temperature record;
  • During 2010, a group of more than 40 Fellows of the Royal Society of London insisted on a revision of the Society’s (formerly alarmist) statement on global warming; the revised document acknowledged, inter alia, that ”It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future …”.
  • In February this year, 36 leading US scientists wrote an open-letter to Congress in which they disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, citing 678 peer-reviewed references in support; and
  • Also this year, a large group of members of the American Physics Society described the IPCC account of climate change as an “international fraud, the largest we have ever seen”. Under similar pressure from a group of members as the Royal Society, The American Physical Society also revised its public policy statement on climate change in 2010; in a subsequent letter of resignation, senior member and Emeritus Professor Hal Lewis from the University of California (Santa Barbara) commented of the global warming issue that “It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist”. *

It is clear, therefore, that large groups of highly qualified, professional persons exist who reject both the IPCC’s dangerous global warming paradigm, and also the need for government action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

In the absence of an official audit of IPCC science, in 2009 the four scientists among us were asked by Senator Steve Fielding to help him in his discussions with then Climate Minister Penny Wong over emissions trading legislation. Like her successor, Minister Wong turned to Professor Steffen for advice, which written advice we then audited for Senator Fielding (see pdf here…).

Over the last few weeks, we have produced similar due diligence reports on the Geelong meeting of the Climate Commission, the Labor Party’s internal strategy document on climate change, a letter written by Minister Combet in response to a request for information as to the cost of AGW policy, Mr Combet’s policy address at the Press Club, and Professor Steffen’s November, 2010, advice to the MCCC (see powerpoint here or pdf here…).

An accrued listing of these reports, with web links, is available here…

Having considered carefully all the arguments put forward by the government and its scientific advisors, we conclude:

(i) that there is no proven threat of dangerous warming of human origin,

(ii) that costly attempts to cut Australian carbon dioxide emissions will cause no change in future climate, and

(iii) that to the considerable degree that the science of climate change remains uncertain, the appropriate policy setting should be  one of preparation for and adaptation to all climate events and hazards as they occur.

Despite the ready public availability of our reports, and of similar analyses by other independent scientists that also demonstrate there is no justification for continued alarm about global warming, neither the government nor its scientific advisors have offered answers to the criticisms presented. Meanwhile, the MCCC continues on its stately way, its members making major public policy decisions awhile that are based upon patently flawed and inadequate scientific advice.

Good public policy is seldom formulated on the back of determined ignorance, accompanied by an ostrich-like refusal to participate in rational public discussion.


Bob Carter is a geologist, David Evans a mathematician and computer modeller, Stewart Franks a hydrologist and engineer, Bill Kininmonth a meteorologist and former Director of the National Climate Centre, and Des Moore a former Deputy Secretary of Treasury.

* Correction and updated paragraph added by request of Dr. Bob Carter, 4/25

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April 25, 2011 12:17 am

The Australians need to stop this carbon dioxide tax for the sake of their children and grandchildren.
If implemented, it will destroy the Australian economy – which is the intention of the Fabian eco-loons and eco-fascists behind this idea in the first place.

Robert G Browne
April 25, 2011 12:17 am

One must concede given the available evidence at the disposal of Greg Combet, that there is another motivation to continue with the current climate policy. I like many others cannot see any logical reason to continue with a tax on carbon dioxide, other than to create a new revenue stream for the government and the UN.
The arrogance of those currently in power is just astounding!

April 25, 2011 12:44 am

Nicely balanced.
Just hope it has an effect.

UK Sceptic
April 25, 2011 12:53 am

We receive the same political we know best about climate science so shut up and do as you’re told attitude when it is obvious that these hubristic dimwits actually know sod all about climate science and understand even less.

April 25, 2011 1:03 am

Here’s what you Aussies need to do to reverse this, add some teeth:
If you want to have a barbie, you must first attend a town meeting!
In the meeting, are you going to let them ban your CO2 spewing barbies?
Solved. ☺

Keith Minto
April 25, 2011 1:07 am

Politically committed to introducing a new carbon dioxide tax.

They were opposed to the tax at the last election in August because of a perceived electoral backlash. This very public promise was broken recently and the Labor government has been plunging in popularity in the polls.
Climate minister Combet has been given the hot potato to sell this tax/ ‘carbon pollution reduction scheme’ and I must say that he does not very happy about it. His demeanour does not match the upbeat commentary.
A question for journalists out there, to ask Combet or Gillard.
“Minister, if this ‘carbon pollution tax’ is passed and subsequently the science reveals that the basis of this tax is deeply flawed, will you repeal this tax and refund the money?”

Tom Harley
April 25, 2011 1:20 am

As the above authors write, it is about time that the IPCC and the authors of the IPCC reports are subjected to an independent inquiry. Failure to do so soon will inevitably result in many cases of expensive litigation, where discovery and cross-examination will destroy careers, governments and media, with an inevitable blight on science.

April 25, 2011 1:34 am

Bob Carter et al thank you so much for this. There can be no doubt that the Climate Hysteria has been politically driven rather than scientifically driven. Donna Laframboise has done an excellent job of uncovering the ‘credentials’ of many of the so-called ‘world’s top scientists’ and how the message from the real science has been distorted by the chosen few ‘lead authors’.
We’ve seen a massive growth in Big Government and Big NGOs funded by governments in the last few decades – time now to listen to what the real scientists say and to put an end to pork-barrel politics.

April 25, 2011 1:40 am

Hmm. The sudden about-face by Gillard suggests the possibility of “orders from on high” and she’s just doing as she is told to do …
—could this have anything to do with it?
I notice New Zealand’s Dr. Nick Smith—the Minister in Charge of the Climate—is promising a fast charge deeper into the economic cul de sac of “reducing carbon emissions” even more. Ouch.

Stephen Wilde
April 25, 2011 1:45 am

Just about on topic here is a nice critique of the problems with modern economics that applies equally to the so called ‘science’ of climate change.

4 eyes
April 25, 2011 2:01 am

Just venting. The engineer in me squirms when the Australian Govt makes its endless condescending (trust us), intolerant (if you don’t agree with us you’re a denier), illogical (the science is settled, we won’t entertain any new facts or theories) and at times childishly immature (we had better do something just in case) statements on AGW. It is both frustrating and embarassing when the Govt refuses to consider either the latest facts (i.e. flat temperatures and possibly a reversal of sea level rise and the enormous implications that a drop in sea level implies) or an alternate hypothesis. They still maintain the outrageously simplistic position that the science is settled. Science has nothing to do with the debate anymore in Australia – it is all politics and the end game will all be about saving face, not saving the country or, more grandiosely, saving the world. The last thing the Australian Govt wants to hear now is that AGW is not a significant issue and not a risk, even if it comes from the IPCC itself. The naivity of the Govt in accepting what they are told without serious question, second opinion or robust PUBLIC debate by a cross-section of the scientists, not the lobbyists and the pollies, is almost criminal. And it is a horrifying scenario for them because they have flatly refused to listen to all qualified opinions – in short they have taken a punt. One thing Bob Carter and co. can do and must do is to make sure their qualified opinions are published widely and then take no prisoners when the facts finally win out. I maintain that any climate focussed professional scientist in Australia including any in the CSIRO who refuses to at least publicly acknowledge that the facts do not strongly support AGW and that there may be other more significant factors driving climate change does so at his or her own risk. Sounds rather unforgiving but most of us in our professional lives have to make a decision on ethical behaviour over self interest. It is now the turn for scientists involved in climate issues.

John Marshall
April 25, 2011 2:23 am

The Australian Prime Minister is in town this coming weekend for some wedding. I expect her chats with the groom’s father will drive further climate idiocy in Australia.
Keep up the good work Prof. Carter!!!!

April 25, 2011 2:42 am

Terrific summary of the situation.
In a more condensed form, this is the type of ‘letter to the editor’ I have attempted to write to my local newspaper.. which they then don’t print.
There absolutely no alternative opinion allowed in the media here.
Why is Australia, in particular, under attack?

Joe Lalonde
April 25, 2011 2:45 am

It really has nothing to do with carbon.
Collecting new taxes that can be adjusted, yet blamed on the market system.

James Fosser
April 25, 2011 2:55 am

Prime Minister Gillard is out in Asia at the moment assuring all the governments that Australia will continue to supply coal and gas and even increase it in the future. Yet she is pushing for a carbon tax at home. What hypocrisy! What does she think coal and gas supplies as a by-product apart from energy?

val majkus
April 25, 2011 3:04 am

As an Australian I applaud and thank each of the authors for tireless work in advocating and publicising the non popular view
the world needs independent thought and work by experts like each of these authors and those other Australians who are prepared to battle against the tide of popular opinion
At some stage the tide will turn but courage (and it does take courage to counter a prevailing ‘consensus’) is always to be applauded
I’ve limited this comment to the authors and Australians but I do of course recognise this courage and independence is not confined to Australian experts

Christopher Hanley
April 25, 2011 3:24 am

For interested readers unfamiliar with Australian political history, particularly pertaining to the Australian Labor Party (ALP), Ray Evans here gives an objective potted history:

April 25, 2011 3:45 am

There are none so blind as they who will not see; there are none so deaf as they who will not hear.
There are none so pig-ignorant as politicians with a mission to save the world enrich themselves.

Rod from Oz
April 25, 2011 3:46 am

It doesn’t matter what these four say – or what Andrew Bolt says, for that matter – the Australian Government will only listen to the opinions that they want to. Our leaders have determined on a course of some sort of ‘carbon’ tax (to be worked out as they go along!) and the only experts that matter are those who agree with the proposed tax. Prior to the last election there would be NO carbon tax, but an evenly balanced parliament where the Government relies on three independants in the lower house (two of whom are ex conservatives and represent conservative electorates) and on the treacherous Greens in the senate, has seen the Government turn 180 degrees and now favour a carbon tax.
Under this Government we will endure destruction of our ecomony for absolutely no environmental benefit (global or otherwise) all for the sake of relying on political harlots with the sole purpose of staying in power.

April 25, 2011 3:48 am

…There are none so pig-ignorant as politicians with a mission to save the world enrich themselves.

Geoff Sherrington
April 25, 2011 3:50 am

Citizens of Australia are not being informed of the facts. Advances in understanding since IPCC 2007 are scarcely mentioned. Requests for documentation from the “in” scientists are deferred, refused, or said to be available for a price.
An increasing populace is demanding that the matter be put to a vote, be it by a Referendum or by a Dissolution of the present Parliament.There is no place in modern Government for concealment, deceit and the making of significant decisions without the people being informed of the pros and cons.
We have plenty of cons. In a few months the newly elected Upper House will be sworn it. Its balance of power will sometimes be held by Greens.
The main research bodies, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, have issued a number of forecasts in the last 20 years that have proven to be very poor. They continue on their merry way, containing dissidents within the ranks with Mafia-like tactics. Don’t take my word, ask Bill Kininmonth. He used to work there. David Evans used to work in climate change for the Government before seeing the light.
I weep.

amicus curiae
April 25, 2011 3:59 am

R g brown, Exactly.
they need to gain funds to cover stuff ups and bail themselves out.
the NBN will just make them greedier for rises sooner.
so called asistance, won’t last long.
rip off everyone, keep a stash and hand the rest to select groups to encourage their votes.
more poor than rich voters when all’s said n done.
and too few who need to and should read the above ifo, either will not bother, or understand, if they do.
It goes against what they have had drummed into them for decades..
concise facts and truth are strangers to MSM, all too often

April 25, 2011 4:01 am

What are the chances of wrapping this text in a cricket bat, and belting our leaders with it?

April 25, 2011 4:11 am

Save the Plants: Emit as much CO2 as you can muster.
Don’t be a CO2 BioScrooge.

Peter Miller
April 25, 2011 4:23 am

As I have said many times before on this blog.
The central cornerstone of the global warming argument is that because temperatures increase a little bit because of rising carbon dioxide levels – most of us accept that – this triggers horrific rises in temperatures because of the feedback effect of rising water vapour levels and amounts of clouds – the latter theory is complete BS – Why?
If it was true, we would see the evidence in the geological record. Is it there?
No, it is not.
Just another inconvenient fact which dumb politicians and the AGW cult refuse to recognise.

Julian in Wales
April 25, 2011 4:28 am

When I read articles like this I get the impression that the sceptic’s arguments are becoming increesingly well organised, prepared and presented. No well balanced outsider can argue with the main points made here, and government ignorance is looking like obstinacy.
Go on slamming the ram into the door, at some point the door will give.

April 25, 2011 4:31 am

I cannot believe people are so ignorant of dissenting views!. Are they all WRONG for some unknown reason, are they all part of a cult?. Have they been told some unknown story that the Aliens don’t like CO2 and when they arrive they will be angry!? . Just WRONG not EVIL doesn’t cut it for me?! . Something is a foot ?? The corruption of the scientific method must be plain as the noses on these people faces, Yet they still lay straight in bed?, Maybe they are lizards in disguise.

April 25, 2011 4:39 am

The Vancouver Sun in today’s paper is saying:
“Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd lost his job after scrapping a similar promise last year, and admitted this month he had made a mistake.”
Making it seem that he lost his job because he didn’t bring in a carbon tax or market based mechanism of pricing carbon emissions.

April 25, 2011 4:42 am

James Fosser says:
April 25, 2011 at 2:55 am
“Prime Minister Gillard is out in Asia at the moment assuring all the governments that Australia will continue to supply coal and gas and even increase it in the future. Yet she is pushing for a carbon tax at home. What hypocrisy! What does she think coal and gas supplies as a by-product apart from energy?”
I’m sure James, that she hasn’t got the first clue. Simple high school chemistry probably isn’t a strong point for a far left wing, former ambulance chasing lawyer and student activist.

April 25, 2011 4:51 am

val majkus says: April 25, 2011 at 3:04 am
‘As an Australian I applaud and thank each of the authors for tireless work in advocating and publicising the non popular view…’

Agree Val. And also writing and publishing the scientific view.
ShaneCMuir says: April 25, 2011 at 2:42 am
‘…..Why is Australia, in particular, under attack?

Grab a beer and your atlas of the world.
Quadrant Online has placed and listed 2008-2011 AGW artcles on their website
Start with Ray Evans 1st September 2008
The Chilling Costs of Climate Catastrophism

C.M. Carmichael
April 25, 2011 4:57 am

Climate ” science” is to science, like astrology is to astonomy. Its wildly popular, rich predictive cousin, and their models are just horoscopes for the gullible. They look at the same information as actual scientists, but draw much more profitable conclusions from it. Just be glad most national capitals are not near volcanoes, or they would be throwing one virgin after another into them. We all have laughed at weather reports that are obviously wrong 5 minutes after they are made, I think most meteorologists have sub-basement offices ( no windows). Yet somehow we are supposed to believe their 50-100 year forecasts and turn out the lights on society? When these guys can nail down a 5 day forecast consistantly, I may begin to trust the 7 day….. etc.

Les Francis
April 25, 2011 5:01 am

The KRudd and Gillard Government have screwed up every policy they have undertaken. The countries foreign debt is spiraling upward. They need this tax – any tax to rein in their past and future government policy bumblings.

Daniel H
April 25, 2011 5:43 am

Thanks for posting another great article from Professor Bob Carter. He is certainly one of the more articulate and credible spokesmen for the skeptical side of the AGW argument. However, I have some concerns related to the following claim made in the article:

Also this year, a large group of members of the American Physics Society described the IPCC account of climate change as an “international fraud, the largest we have ever seen”.

First, shouldn’t it be the American Physical Society (APS)? Second, a simple Google search does not yield any original results for the quote “international fraud, the largest we have ever seen”; every hit references back to this same article. Third, the quote sounds very similar to what former APS member Hal Lewis said in his famous resignation letter to the APS: “It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist”. Fourth, even if the article misquoted Hal Lewis, that doesn’t explain how one man’s opinion was somehow morphed into a statement from “a large group of members of the American Physics Society”.

John Q Public
April 25, 2011 6:00 am

It was never about Climage Change. It’s always been about the money: tax grab by those in power.
The Left always believe that “more tax dollars” is all we need.

Drynow Katherine NT
April 25, 2011 6:11 am

I’ll give you all the drum, the hockey stick will go ballistic with heat at the end of this year. Why? Because if we are still getting hotter an hotter all the time well, we have had a very cool wet season, already now it’s cooler than most mid years, so’s the old hockey stick must be dragging like a worn out bulls turnout right now. He will really need to spring to attention at the end of the year. Get out your sunnies.

April 25, 2011 6:33 am

The American Physical Society issued a strong Climate position in Nov. 2007. In April 2010 it issued a “commentary” backing off slightly without really changing direction. It is a long way from a charge of fraud. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an APS contingent calling for one.
APS Climate Statement
National Policy / 07.1 CLIMATE CHANGE
(Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007)

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
Climate Change Commentary
(adopted by Council on April 18, 2010)

The second sentence in the second paragraph [Actually it is the third paragraph] states that without mitigating actions significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and health are likely. Such predicted disruptions are based on direct measurements (e.g., ocean acidification, rising sea levels, etc.), on the study of past climate change phenomena, and on climate models. Climate models calculate the effects of natural and anthropogenic changes on the ecosphere, such as doubling of the CO2-equivalent [1] concentration relative to its pre-industrial value by the year 2100. These models have uncertainties associated with radiative response functions, especially clouds and water vapor. However, the models show that water vapor has a net positive feedback effect (in addition to CO2 and other gases) on global temperatures. The impact of clouds is less certain because of their dual role as scatterers of incoming solar radiation and as greenhouse contributors. The uncertainty in the net effect of human activity on climate is reflected in the broad distribution of the predicted magnitude of the consequence of doubling of the CO2-equivalent concentration. The uncertainty in the estimates from various climate models for doubling CO2-equivalent concentration is in the range of 1°C to 3°C with the probability distributions having long tails out to much larger temperature changes.
The last sentence in the second paragraph articulates an immediate policy action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to deal with the possible catastrophic outcomes that could accompany large global temperature increases. Even with the uncertainties in the models, it is increasingly difficult to rule out that non-negligible increases in global temperature are a consequence of rising anthropogenic CO2. Thus given the significant risks associated with global climate change, prudent steps should be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now while continuing to improve the observational data and the model predictions.
My comments: What is still completely missing is any support that rising global temperatures are indeed harmful and should be counteracted. If you are concerned about uncertainty, how an increase in average global temperature of 2 dec C will be distributed in time and space on this planet would be a critical concern. Yet it gets no attention whatsoever.

Ozzie John
April 25, 2011 7:20 am

Another view is that this tax has nothing to do with climate, but is simply using the AGW scare campaign as a tool to deliver an extreme socialist agenda under the false guise of saving the planet.
Of course the concept of socialism is not new and one wonders why there is a need to re-test a failed experiment (for the n’th time) in a country that has been so successful with a conservative-capitalist approach to government.
– And trying to sneak it in under this guise is proof that even the socialists know it’s not a popular system that would be embraced on it’s own (failed) merits !
Are we now on a precipace where constitutional democracy and the freedoms attached could soon be replaced by socialist pseudo-dictatorships who control power via digital media-driven propaganda and control of information ?
Without trying to sound like a consparacy theorist….
– The media in most countries is now an exclusive left wing club (a deliberate outcome ?)
– We now have internet filters being legislated (eg: could it be used to filter WUWT or any non-conforming information ?)
– Science is corrupted (Climate-Gate) and now being used as a control vehicle (AGW).
– Schools and universities are selling the socialist message as a form of religious indoctrination (eg: Al Gore’s Inconvenient truth is now included in the corriculum)
– Sceptics are labelled ‘deniers’ as a means to isolate and discredit.
Notable Proof Points:
– There is no mainstream media scrutiny of any fanciful AGW claim. In fact to the contrary, all absurd claims are treated as gospel with no media follow up.
– People in general now ask “Do you believe in AGW?”, meaning we have moved beyond science where proof is replaced by belief.
– Western economies moving rapidly from surplus to massive debt. A large debt economy justifies large taxes and wealth re-distribution. It creates the perfect system to lock-in socialism. The GFC has been used in some countries including Australia to justify massive spending (largely through waste) to speed up this outcome.
– Deliberate lies by socialist party leaders to win office (eg: Julia Gillard’s “No Carbon Tax” statement days before the 2010 election) combined with the media defence of the changed position. (What ever happened to the media supporting the will of the people, ie: democracy ?)
We live in interesting times – But at least we still have WUWT !

April 25, 2011 7:26 am

There are some inroads/progress in engaging with the ordinary blue collar voter in the Australian electorate, they understand the implications of a big brother style tax, especially in the hands of an inept government who has a social agenda. There are plenty examples of extreme waste of taxpayers money, and hurt for middle Australia in terms of rising energy and utility costs.
Unfortunately it is the section of the Australian public who have been university educated, and either employed in those universities or in the environmental government industry, who see themselves as educated and committed environmentalists, they fell hook line and sinker for the Al Gore style put up in Inconvenient Truth, declared themselves as aligned with the consensus scientists and lead the extreme condemnation of the few well qualified Climate Scientists that tried to put alternative views. The also were very free in branding them as apologists for Big Tobacco and Big oil, so excluding any rational science that was put up in rebuttal, and they were the same group demanding peer reviewed literature and lauding the IPCC scientists. hey then turned their attention to those that dared to question and labelled them as deniers with deliberate overtones of reframing the debate to exclude these nasty ignorant and ill informed rabble. They studiously avoided debating any aspect of the science as it was ludicrous to do so as any well educated thinking person knew there was a solid consensus by highly qualified scientists who ALL supported the overwhelming evidence of catastrophic anthropogenic Global Warming.
No matter what was put up by those nasty deniers, it was never debated, just ridiculed and shoved aside. Climate Gate was a real game changer in the Australian intelligencia, it shook them, they reeled under the reality, but then gradually shored themselves up as their clay feet heroes dodged, denied and hedged in desperation and then with the white wash enquiries as some comfort, they could again ignore and deny, and take comfort in the Australian Broadcasting Commission exhibiting their same intellectual bias by not trying to engage with rational climate debate, but a closed mind to any debate, don’t give the other side any real platform to be heard.
A we don’t want to hear attitude, that came up very clearly in many internet attempts to raise scepical views of Climate science, historical data, or worse still the growing number of peer reviewed climate papers that challenge the very heart and soul of their entrenched views.
This continues today, concrete minds, concrete thinking of those self designated inteligensia who really wont change until their original heroes admit their manipulations and abuse of the science and biasing the modelling results, and covertly hoping that they will come up with some magic reincarnation of the science that will fix what they know to be wrong, but wont ever admit.
The Australian government is truly in trouble with its voter base, but considers it can “buy” the voter allegiance it needs by promises, veritable free buckets of beer in vast unlimited quantities. The intelligensia desperately needs spin and deception and ignorance and the Government will try through its funding to control the university professorial support to its aims.
So that is the moral and point of change that our rational scientists must achieve, either an admission from the “heroes” who skewed the science to their own ends, (highly unlikely) or capture the media including the left wing media with inescapable climate science (sense) or work on enlisting the many scientists who while sceptical, are frightened to challenge their universities or the government.
The compliant government scientists like those speaking to a public meeting in Bendigo later this week, need to be challenged, need to be held accountable for what they say and where needed the substance of their science questioned in well prepared media engagement at a local and town hall level.
I commend those that have so far taken up the challenge, but far more needs to be done in the interests of credible clmate science.

April 25, 2011 7:29 am

Must apologize for the spelling, should have re-read before posting – hate laptops and small keyboards!!

April 25, 2011 7:57 am

cut to the chase – Australia’s future will be at risk every moment until Abbot becomes PM.

Beth Cooper
April 25, 2011 8:08 am

Ironic that PM Gillard advised her predecesser to drop his carbon tax only to reintroduce it herself. She is now in a catch 22 position, condemned, like Kevin Rudd if she renegs and so obliged to go ahead with a tax that almost no one wants. Her government is now very unpopular.

April 25, 2011 8:12 am

It’s so funny. Various governments may have quite silently instigated little energy taxes here and there, eventually tying them into a UN controlled effort towards Smart Grid controlled “conservation” program. But their eyes bugged out and they ran around like kids in a candy store when offered up a junk science end-of-the-world scenario that seemed to have legs, so much so as to offer nearly unlimited power over average citizens and average businesses. Now they are frantically trying to grab some of the promised power before the entire house of cards falls down.
Climategate was actually a minor event revolving around a botched graph or two and the sad xenophobia of an insider group, at least as far as lay readership is concerned. But I have noticed a huge sea change in popular attitude. In almost every news story that allows comments, with growing intensity over the last 6-12 months, there is an angry mob vibe, the equivalent of pitchforks and torches, with AGW supporters merely link bombing this or that small collection of very specific journal articles, most of which can easily be found to be righteously criticized if you Google them.
I think that the post-Climategate series of books that appeared allowed a critical mass of thinker types unfamiliar with the shear brazenness of deception within the environmental movement (and recently climate science too) to give word up to their whole collection of friends and family, just enough so that if their “smart uncle” was suddenly on the case then those truly unfamiliar with broken hockey stick science suddenly had their BS detectors re-calibrated to support skepticism.
This candid interview with left wing journalist and intellectual Alexander Cockburn shows how these books (which are much more accessible to a newcomer than a huge blog archive) are effecting even those on the left who were initially enthralled with Global Warming claims:

Martin Lewitt
April 25, 2011 8:47 am

It is strange that the APS statement is that the models show that “net” water vapor feedback is positive. Water vapor’s greenhouse effect is a positive feedback, but what are they netting? It is not at all clear that the water cycle, of which the water vapor is just one component is a net positive feedback. And the models, with their cloud uncertainties, and correlated under representation of precipitation are not credible with regards to the water cycle as a whole. “Net” water vapor feedback??? Perhaps they are just acknowledging the cooling effect of water vapor IR emission higher in the troposphere, but that would seem a bit of nit, given how much drying the upper troposphere is.
I’ll grant that the climate is warming, but if the net feedback is negative instead of positive (climate sensitivity of 1 degree C or less), the decades 100 years from now may well be cooler, due to natural variation, probably depending upon the state of the PDO.

April 25, 2011 8:57 am

Count your blessings Australia. In the UK our politicians have committed £18bn per annum to a low carbon economy (even though the country is bust). There appears to be no way of stopping it because of a cross party consensus on saving the planet. By the way the UK contributes 1.7% to global carbon emissions.

April 25, 2011 9:00 am

Mention is made of “American Physical Society (APS)” and “American Physics Society”
See the following from the “Institute of Physics” of which #10 is shown below (emphasis mine):
“10. The scope of the UEA review is, not inappropriately, restricted to the ALLEGATIONS OF SCIENTIFIC MALPRACTICE and evasion of the Freedom of Information Act at the CRU. However, most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other leading institutions involved in the formulation of the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change. In so far as those scientists were complicit in the alleged scientific malpractices, there is need for a wider inquiry into the integrity of the scientific process in this field.”

Baa Humbug
April 25, 2011 12:13 pm

This Australian Government (Labor Party) is finished, it has passed the point of no return.
The important thing for Australia is what the next government (The Liberal Party) will do regarding AGW.
On that front there is good news. I did a little research work for a Liberal Party candidate leading up to the last election. He e-mailed me recently asking my opinion of Professor Bob Carter. The Liberals were considering inviting him to give a talk at one of their upcoming gatherings. (Yes hard to believe they didn’t know enough about Prof Carter) I told him what I thought of Prof Carter, i.e. that he is a highly intelligent, well informed and articulate man who will present them with AGW information in an easily understood way that will allow the attendees to think for themselves and make up their own minds.
Once the government changes here, we will find that many many honest scientists will be given a voice, (I will do my best to make it so) and that can only be a good thing.

Dr A Burns
April 25, 2011 3:11 pm

In statements such as this, I feel it is very important to be precise about quotes and sources. It leaves skeptics wide open to criticism.
The following is not accurate:
‘American Physics Society described the IPCC account of climate change as an “international fraud, the largest we have ever seen”.’

April 25, 2011 6:03 pm

ShaneCMuir asked, Why is Australia, in particular, under attack?
Paul Kelly, a chief editor in the Murdoch press, once said Australia is the laboratory of globalization and John Howard (former PM) is the chief scientist. They try things out on us to see if they’ll run. Generally we’re an apathetic lot, but people are stirring over this “carbon” tax. They’re increasingly sceptical of the dodgy science and the ridiculous claim that the science is settled. But the killer is the government’s hubris.
Here’s what somebody wrote to me, “.. in my lifetime I do not remember as insane a plan as to add a “carbon tax” to put up the cost of everything, so that people will consume less, and then to give them taxpayers’ money to pay for the increased cost!! Is our government truly mad or just so incompetent we set new standards of idiocy?”

Pamela Gray
April 25, 2011 7:25 pm

Don’t know about Australia, but there is a 100% chance that Wallowa County, and now Umatilla County, are cooling! To the “point” that a decent woman can’t go outside without a down-coat on!!!!!

Bernd Felsche
April 25, 2011 8:00 pm

Antonia has missed one important factor.
In Australia, voting is compulsory. The apathetic, ignorant, naive and gullible are compelled to vote. Campaigns based upon fear readily exploit that demographic.
ISTM that there’s an increasing proportion of voters choosing “none of the above” by “voting informal”. Although the increase in illiteracy and lack of numeracy could account for quite a bit of the informal voting trends.
Apathy is the greatest enemy of democracy.
Democracy, amongst the majority of the electorate, is considered to be an occasional event, endured at election time. But for democracy to function, it must be a continuous process where the electorate watches the actions of those they’ve honoured to represent them.
Democracy has failed when the electorate considers those elected to be rulers.

Keith Minto
April 26, 2011 12:34 am

Bernd Felsche says:
April 25, 2011 at 8:00 pm
In Australia, voting is compulsory. The apathetic, ignorant, naive and gullible are compelled to vote. Campaigns based upon fear readily exploit that demographic.

Bernd, this topic surfaces every now and then, with ‘compulsory voting’ remaining the preferred option if opinion polls are to be believed.
It is not compulsory to vote. You risk a fine if you do not vote, you can turn up at the polling booth, sign your name and go home, if you like.
Is it better to have the usual 5% informal vote and have a poll that has meaning or a non-compulsory vote where only 50% cast their ballot? It may sound ‘big-brotherish’ but we accept it.
And do you know who benefits from ‘compulsory’ voting ???……the Labor left.

Larry in Texas
April 26, 2011 2:16 am

You Aussies have to do what the Irish voters did to Fianna Fail – if the Labor government doesn’t listen to you and they continue their backward, corrupt, and foolish ways, you must decimate them at the polls. Leave them few seats for exercising any kind of power. Arrogant know-it-all politicians must be punished, and punished severely.

Dr Lamington
April 26, 2011 4:37 am

To win the LNP need Turnball and he wants a ETS.

April 26, 2011 4:46 am

What the American Physics Society says:
National Policy
(Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007)
Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
April 26, 2011 4:15 pm

@Pamela Gray on April 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm:
The cooling is relative. You’ve gotten so hot that the outdoors now feels colder.

Mike Bromley the Kurd
April 27, 2011 3:01 am

It is truly amazing how two-dimensional…or even one-dimensional these parrots are. At least feathered parrots are cute. Take heart, this is unsustainable. It will collapse.

April 28, 2011 2:58 am

The turning points for many Australian voters have been massive increases in water and power costs. Where I live, we have just been told that water prices have to rise because we all did the right thing during the drought and reduced consumption – hence prices have to rise to make up the shortfall in revenue.
As for electricity – we are looking at increases in the order of 10 or 15% a year – partly thanks to a regulatory system that rewards whatever bill they send, and spiced up with stupid solar schemes that reward owners (not renters) with subsidies for installation and for their subsequent bills. It is extraordinary that the Greens, so-called defenders of ordinary people, have participated in one of the biggest rip-offs of low income people in our history. Yet they somehow maintain their status as the ‘conscience’ of Australia.

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