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October 19th 2015 print

Peter O'Brien

Climate Change and Mute Conservatives

The increase in global temperatures, touted by warmists but nowhere evident in almost 19 years of flat-lining satellite readings, is said to inflict many dubious ills, from shark attacks to hermaphroditic lizards. Its only demonstrable consequence, however, is the cowardice of those who dare not speak up

scared kidAt the essence of conservatism is the philosophy that, while accepting change as inevitable, it should be for the good or, at the very least, do no harm. Coupled with this should be a healthy scepticism and an insistence that any case for significant disruption of society and the economy be first subjected to rigorous examination. This raises the matter of what we now routinely refer to as “climate change” –  catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), to use one of the climateers’ favoured and emotionally laden descriptors.

Tony Abbott, speaking frankly, once conceded that “climate change is crap”. It’s difficult to know just how many conservative voters share that conviction if one goes only by the polls. Take as one example a recent Lowy survey that posed two questions. The first asked what Australia’s approach to the upcoming Paris climate conference should be, with 63% of respondents agreeing we need to “commit to significant reduction” in greenhouse gas emissions pour encourager les autres. Only 35% believe we should not make commitments ahead of other countries. But this result seems to fly in the face of responses to the second question, relating to belief in global warming. While 50% of respondents rate climate change a serious problem, 40% believe its effects will be gradual and can be dealt with by taking less costly and disruptive steps over time. The remaining 10% believe that “unless we are sure that global warming is a problem” we should take no steps at all.

So, effectively, 50% of the population does not believe catastrophic global warming is imminent or that it needs drastic, costly and immediate action.

It is my surmise that the majority of conservative voters could be classed as ‘climate sceptics’. They have looked at the evidence and discovered that there is an expanding body of research and analysis that argues against imminent and catastrophic warming, whether or not attributable to human emissions. If I am correct and a majority of conservative voters believe that catastrophic ‘climate change’ is scientifically unproven at best, and a scam at worst, then it is inconceivable that a majority of conservative politicians (by which I mean Liberals and Nationals) do not think the same way.  Surely, those elected rep[resentatives must be aware of all the flaws in the alleged science. If they remain blissfully ignorant, then it can only be because they have betrayed their responsibility to invest the issue with due diligence. And yet, apart from Cory Bernardi, we hear not a bleat from any of them.

Certainly, there is huge and rolling inertia behind the CAGW push and, yes, while we might wish professional politicians to stand on fact and principle, the reality is that all must play the game to one extent or another. Even John Howard felt compelled, eventually, to pay lip-service to Gaia’s continuing good health. That was in 1998, long before the world had discovered, courtesy of Climategate, just how corrupt what passes for “climate science” had become, with its “hiding the decline”, blackballing of sceptical colleagues and the cronyist debasement of the peer-review process.

The warming stasis, then unnoticed, was already two years old when Howard made those concessions to the Kyoto clamour; that plateau in global temperatures is now approaching nineteen years. Contrary to predictions, extreme weather events have increased in neither strength nor frequency, the ice caps remain in place (the southern one has grown considerably), nor have we have seen the much-predicted waves of climate refugees. Even the IPCC admits that 111 of its 114 climate models grossly overestimated late 20th century warming. In a nice touch of irony, that figure translates to 97% — the talismanic figure so beloved by alarmists.

Back in 1990, at the time of the First IPCC Assessment Report, the alleged experts thought that the fabled “climate sensitivity” — the temperature increase resulting from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 — was somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C.  Twenty-five years later, despite a record of almost unrelieved failure, the climateers still spruik the same estimate.

If CAGW were an established physical law, as opposed to an unproven theory, it could be defined in an equation (or set of equations) that would have at its core a specific and assigned value for “climate sensitivity”. If the sensitivity is, at most, only 1.5C, as seems more likely given the aforementioned warming stasis, any actual warming is likely to be benign, even beneficial.

A politician imbued with true conservative principles, one who appreciates that change should do no harm, would take the view that there is nowhere near sufficient evidence to kill off our coal industry, hand billions of dollars to Third World kleptocrats, and drive up the price of our own energy with renewable technologies in need of large and constant subsidies. That same politician would say, ‘Let’s wait and see what transpires. Let’s give the scientists a chance to come up with something more robust than guesstimates that consistently fail to be fulfilled in fact.’

He or she might also ask why the Bureau of Meteorology has been given a free pass to keep secret the formulae for the arcane temperature-adjustments for which it resolutely refuses to account and explain.

He or she might say that only a cretin would believe that the Third World will drastically reduce CO2 emissions while simultaneously dragging itself out of poverty, an objective for which cheap and reliable power is vital.

He or she would know and understand that any treaty signed in Paris will be a Trojan Horse, designed not to lower the global mercury but to gouge money out of the West.

He or she might say, ‘If we have to do something, let us spend our citizens’ money on mitigating the effects of the extreme weather we have always had and will continue to have, regardless of CO2′s influence.’

He or she might say that if political imperatives drive the need for posturing, and as a consequence CO2 mitigation schemes, let’s spend the money on initiatives such as soil-carbon sequestration and the like which provide real benefits in terms of increased productivity and water retention in agricultural soils.

Yet from those same conservative politicians we get nothing but silence. The best and bravest utterance they can manage is the limp assertion that Australia should wait for the rest of the world to take action and then follow suit. And now, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dominating the party room, even that threadbare rationale for doing nothing harmful in the short term is likely to unravel.

Dr David Evans, an Australian modelling expert, accepts the basic IPCC physics of climate change but believes this disparity between model output and real world observations is caused by the models’s faulty architecture.  He believes those models overstate the touted effect of CO2 by a factor between five and ten times greater than reality. He has submitted his research for peer review, but is also summarizing it on wife Jo Nova’s website.  Significantly, while his arguments have been the subject of the warmists’ pro forma dismissals, they have yet to be diminished by any serious criticism.

During Tony Abbott’s prime ministerial tenure, there was a chance that climate hysteria’s rush to economic catastrophe could be hobbled, reduced to a slow shuffle. Under Turnbull, given his oft-avowed warmism, what we are likely to see is a breakneck sprint to embrace all the worst policies alleged to be combatting the global temperature increases which, as the satellite data continues to demonstrate, are not happening at all.

So far, all the heavy and sceptical lifting has been done by the likes of Bob Carter, Ian Plimer, Garth Paltridge, Jo Nova and William Kininmonth, to name but a few. These genuine scientists have been pilloried relentlessly by the agents of Warmist Inc. Yet conservative politicians have said barely a word in their defence. Not even  Tony ‘climate science is crap’ Abbott would go to bat for those making the case for the point of view to which he personally and privately subscribes.

They say silence gives consent. If purported representatives of conservatism in Canberra and the various state legislatures find scientific demolitions of the warmist cause by the sceptical luminaries listed above to be beyond their ken, then maybe, just maybe, the simple and straightforward message made famous by Lara Bingle might have some resonance.

As the Turnbull ascendancy sets the stage for the imposition of costly, ineffective and economically disastrous anti-warming measures, conservatives who remain silent on the climate scam need to hear this question loud and often: Where the bloody hell are you?

Comments [13]

  1. Jody says:

    You’re not going to win this one!! The world is convinced about climate change and people want to clean up their environment anyway. My beef is that everybody looks to government (as usual) instead of putting the control back in the hands of individual householders, many of whom waste electricity because they can afford it and who give no real active thought or action towards remedying the problem. But you can just bet you’ll find them at dinner parties tut-tutting because the Coalition isn’t doing enough. I’ve seen this with my own neighbours, many of whom burn lights 24/7!!

    • Wayne says:

      What problem? The use of electricity is only a problem if you accept CAGW which I dont. So electricity costs are going through the roof and the economy is suffering as a result to combat a non existent problem.

    • Bill Martin says:

      Jody, with this post you appear to reveal yourself as one of the supporters of the scam of CAGW. Most disappointing if so. If not, I apologise and await your declaration regarding where you stand.

    • CyrilH says:

      Limiting Carbon Dioxide emissions has nothing to do with cleaning up the environment. Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. It would be much better for all if this was realised and the money now being diverted into reducing a naturally occurring gas wehich is the basis for all life of earth was actually spent cleaning up the environment.

      By tghe way. The biggest environmental problems on the planet are not in the developed industrial countries but in the third world. The best thing for the environment in the third world would be the supply of reliable inexpensive electricity. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is with coal fired power stations.

  2. Keith Kennelly says:

    Climate change is real. It happens.
    Global warming is crap.

  3. Ken says:

    Knowing that many of our politicians are not the ‘sharpest pencils in the box’ one would never the less think that they have at least a little common sense remaining between their ears. If that was the case it’s not too hard for them to see that the ‘warmists’ have nothing in the way of truth to back up their proven falsehoods. It may also be constructive for those pollies to ask a broad spectrum of the voters who put them where they are, as to what is their thinking on this important subject. Not holding my breath on this request.

    • Lo says:

      No matter what a broad spectrum of voters think, facts are facts. What people think or are manipulated to think is part of the problem. Cute polar bears dying, pretty coral bleaching etc etc ad nauseum. We should respect and admire the courage of Ian Plimer, Bob Carter and that genius who released the emails that exposed the whole scam and scammers. The people who’ve had the courage to swim against the tide have saved us billions and given us truth. Disappointing that most of our politicians are missing from that crew but probably they have little understanding of the scientific method and are unable to determine who or what to believe.

  4. Richard H says:

    The problem for the sceptic in the Coalition is that he is – contra your deduction, in my view – likely outnumbered by the combination of warmists and don’t-knows. The don’t-knows see no good reason to risk an MSM onslaught from opposing the warmist consensus that exists in nearly all social institutions (and no, I don’t mean the fraudulent 97 per cent ‘consensus’ among climate scientists).

    I suspect that in a decade or two (but probably no sooner) the evidence will become overwhelming that the greenhouse scare was baseless. At that point nearly all public institutions will quietly change their positions and pretend that they were sceptics all along (“We have always been at war with Eastasia”). I can only hope that the individuals most responsible for this monumental fraud are still alive at that time so that they can be condemned in the court of public opinion.

    • Peter OBrien says:

      Richard,

      outnumbered or not there must be more than a few genuine sceptics in the Coalition ranks. They should speak up. It is their duty to speak up. My point is that there is more than enough evidence for them to make a ‘hasten slowly’ argument that might resonate with voters.

  5. Egil says:

    Perspective is good.
    If the planet is 3-4 Billion years old, as wise men say it is, then the last 200 years equates to the last 15 seconds or so of this one year.
    If age of planet is put in one year perspective, then we are living in the last second of 31/12/15!
    The industrial revolution started a few seconds ago.
    We are living in the best of times in so many ways.
    But fossil fuels and nuclear resources will run out in 15 or 20 “seconds”.
    The Greens may be loopy in some respects, but neither fossil nor nuclear will keep us going long term.

  6. Bill Martin says:

    Highly intelligent, well informed people could not possibly support CAGW because they believe/understand the “science” behind it. They have a sinister ulterior motive. They see the scam as an excellent means of frightening us into accepting the development of a world government – as openly and enthusiastically advocated by Bob Brown – to rule over us for our own good. They dream of utopia where everything is shared equally between all peoples of the world, there are no rich and poor people, no environment-destroying industry and all happily sing kumbaya. The more astute amongst them also realise that such “ideal” state of affairs could only be established and maintained by indiscriminate force but the consider that the end justifies the means. Sadly, Pope Francis is the most prominent of these “well-meaning” group, so is Malcolm Turnbull, closer to home.

    As to why conservative politicians fail to speak up against the conspiracy, it is likely to be an amalgam of ignorance and cowardice, in varying proportions from individual to individual.

    • Eeyore says:

      As I struggled thru reading on science and scientific method a singular consistency presented itself, that is to say “we don’t know” is a positive thing, scientists are prepared to jettison or modify a theory if one that better fits the empirical evidence presents itself. It is the fundamental tenant of science that any theory is thrown away or modified the moment it is proven wrong or a different theory that better describes the evidence is presented.
      It follows that if research shows that the evidence supports the theory, the theory ought be able to extrapolate expected outcomes. This is only partially proving to be the case, forecast changes in the environment are not always in alignment with the theory and following scientific method means that we need to accept the theory until such times as it no longer represents the empirical evidence. The key point here is the theory does not get thrown out but modified based on the latest empirical evidence, think about Newtons laws and Einsteins laws of motion. Newtons laws served (although only partially accurate) until the more accurate Einstein one was discovered.

      This is not what we are being told, the IPCC reports, news reports and imbeciles like Tim Flannery wandering around making foolish statements about sea levels rising 8 stories and at the same time buying waterfront homes explains why many (myself included) viewed AGW with the extreme skepticism deserved of a time share deal on the gold coast.

      Television programs showing steam coming out of chimneys whilst talking about CO2 levels are small lies that make distrust the only realistic response. If they will lie about the little things they will bullshit you remorselessly when there is a $ involved. In fact, it’s very interesting to just compare the language used by these cretins and the scientists whose words they mine like a dung beetle that’s just discovered an elephant’s outhouse.

      Scientists use more circumspect and intellectually honest language when putting forward their interpretations of the evidence, Tim Flannery and his ilk resorts to the dogmatic absolutism of the religious zealot who, certain of the infallible truth of his new scripture, can’t even conceive of the possibility of being wrong.

      Those responsible for arguing the AGW in our news and for our government claim total knowledge, science does not, arguments from such positions is faith and leads to people who are not predisposed to believe everything they are told to strongly question the fundamental fact of AGWs existence. That the consensus is in and we are to blame is a authoritative argument and it is a marketing mistake of epic proportions to argue from authority or absolutism.

      The Green movement (as distinct from the Green political party) want to tell you how to live, those that promote these changes to our society are not doing so out of any evil plan, they honestly believe that “their way” represents a better path for humanity. This becomes obvious when resolutions are couched in terms of absolutism, when it is proposed that you cannot question, that you must accept an argument from authority, it is then a debate that has been hijacked from science by those promoting “their” world view. Recalling that argument from absolutism is faith, it uses tools that are popular in other “faiths” (the catholic church is a gun at it) the main tool is guilt.

      Slavoj Žižek said it well “Guilt for the threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring. We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty, it all depends on us. We pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard to accept is that without serious industrial level change we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbs, whatever,just so we can be sure that we are doing something. We make our individual contribution like the football fan who supports his team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping up and down, in the belief that this will somehow influence the game’s outcome”.
      Well from what I have read it wont change the game, any resolution has to be done on a industrial scale and has to be dealt with primarily from the first world. Whacking on a carbon tax wont cut it, it is too little too late and wont be directed correctly anyway, think about the last time you saw a government tax being used for what it was originally brought in for…..3c on the litre for new roads anyone?

      I cant help but to have some sympathy with the views held by the more strident AGW adherents. There is only one recourse open to us and that is the instant halt of all commerce in the world, the return to a bronze age culture where life was dirty, short and often painful. So who up for it? Fancy using home made candles to read at night? No TV to keep the kids out of your hair? No air conditioning on those hot/cold days? Want some toast for breakfast, best go chop the wood and build a fire first. Hope you don’t need dental work or require medical support, vaccines or medication. It matters not that you don’t have the time or money to educate your kids now, they wont need a education anyway, they will be too busy turning a sod so they can eat.

      Human nature wont let this happen, we like our comforts too much and so we should, we have spent a millennial getting away from living like bronze age subsistence farmers who wants to go backwards? I notice Tim Flannery flies around the country and consumes power in his waterfront mansion, if a hypocritical lying douche bag like him can why cant the rest of us? If the rest of us can, why cant some dirt poor Chinese family have at least a light bulb, refrigerator and a twin tub washing machine?