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October 24th 2017 print

Peter O'Brien

A NEGligible Recognition of Reality

Apart from the ABC's green touts, few see rationality in our for-the-moment PM's compote of half measures intended to 'fix' an addled energy market. Unlikely to pass the Senate, the National Energy Guarantee has made Barnaby Joyce's credibility one of its first casualties

joyce turbine IIDid anyone see Barnaby Joyce interviewed by Andrew Bolt last week (Sky, Oct 17)?  I always thought Joyce was a bit of a hayseed, but I did give him credit for principle. Until now.  Questioned by Bolt in regard to Turnbull’s you-beaut National Energy Guarantee (NEG), Joyce revealed himself as one more officer on the bridge of the Coalition’s fast transit to oblivion. Maybe he always was.

His acknowledgement (or should I say admission?) that he had read Bjorn Lomborg’s excellent article in The Australian of a week-or-so ago was accompanied by the face-saving pretense that he didn’t really know much about Lomborg or his credentials. It might have been my imagination, but Joyce seemed at pains to convey the impression he had stumbled across the article, didn’t think much of it and wouldn’t be investing more thought in the entirely valid points Lomborg raises about the massive cost of renewables and alleged climate-change mitigation when judged against its negligible, if any, impact on global temperatures.

Then again, Joyce would say that. With catastropharianism still the prevailing creed on the Government benches,  Gaia forbid that anyone should accuse the deputy prime minister of being a global warming denier! Like all sensible people, he must know that the climate-change hoax is a bottomless trough for rent-seekers and climate-change careerists, yet he elevated party loyalty and a devotion to national self-harm above evidence and reason.

Joyce next waffled in true Turnbull style, defending the indefensible and failing signally to explain how a plan almost certain to be rejected by Labor, the Greens, half the Senate cross-benchers and all the Labor state premiers could possibly create certainty for any outfit mulling the construction of a new coal-fired power station. He finished with a pathetic cop-out, even by the standards of our political class. Pressed if we should have signed up to the Paris agreement in the first place,  Joyce sought refuge in the line that we must stand by our international commitments. Ruining what’s left of Australia’s industrial base and socking it to consumers with every latest power bill is the honourable and necessary thing to do, he seemed to be saying.

What, no room for re-evaluation as circumstances change?  No room for manoeuvre if an international agreement is now widely recognised as adversely and seriously impacting the national interest? No second thoughts now that Donald Trump’s America has pulled out, taking most of the climatecrats’ funding with it? Did anyone in Cabinet argue that it might have been worth holding off on ratification until things settle down a bit? Surely someone uttered that thought in the councils of the Coalition, yet in speaking with Bolt, Joyce declined to acknowledge the logic of such observations.

Did Joyce actually read the Lomborg article? If he did, how could someone of intelligence fail to see that ‘doing the honourable thing’ by sticking with our Paris commitments — which, incidentally, are aspirational, not concrete — will not only inflict immeasurable harm on Australia but will do not a scintilla of good for the climate.

Lomborg’s article is a lucid and concise, yet comprehensive, exposition of the CAGW dilemma (I use that term in deference to Lomborg, who is a believer.  Normally, I’d refer to it as a scam pure and simple). Quoting sources from the UNFCC and Nature magazine, his premise is both rigourously logical and his case unarguable.  At least from the perspective of anyone claiming to be a conservative. Once again, here is the link. This is an article that should be read.

Regarding Joyce, Neville Chamberlain’s surrender at Munich comes to mind. But there is a difference. We can give Chamberlain the benefit of the doubt and credit him with actually believing what he said about peace in his time. Barnaby Joyce, not so much. That piece of paper in his rhetorical hand, his prime minister’s cobbled-together NEG, offers not even the chimera of a hope for the return of rationality.

Comments [41]

  1. Peter says:

    Good stuff Peter. I saw the interview. We are being led by morons. All of the West has been led by morons for a long time – that’s really why Trump is thought so strange.

    • MOAB says:

      I have never believed in stupidity of the top-echelon politicians. They are simply self-servant minions of higher powers and they never go against the flow unless there is a tangible benefit at the end for their dear selves. Trump is a refreshing change coz he shuns the higher powers (to some extent at least).

  2. Davidovich says:

    Well said, Peter. We hear that Abbott was effectively shut down by Turnbull and not given the opportunity to show the indescribable stupidity of the NEG. Few remain in the Coalition who have the intelligence and courage, if they ever did, to call out this latest piece of nonsense from their leader.

  3. Gbees says:

    Yes, it was the first thing that struck me when both Barnaby and Freydenberg trotted out the indefensible argument that “we must stand by our commitment”. So let’s all hold hands and jump off the cliff together. We’ll be dead but at least we’ll be respected for sticking to our commitment, even if the commitment is based upon a fraud i.e. catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. The truth to their response I think lay in their desire to retain their positions in cabinet. They are unable to challenge Turnbull. So they place their own personal ambitions ahead of Australia’s future.

  4. Bill Martin says:

    This is yet another one of those articles frequently published by QOL that infuriates the dedicated (addled minded) climate catastropharians. Now that the poorly concealed “pause” in warming is augmented by receding sea levels, these poor deluded souls are in ever increasing strife, being deprived of one straw to hang on after another.

  5. Ian MacDougall says:

    Like all sensible people, he must know that the climate-change hoax is a bottomless trough for rent-seekers and climate-change careerists, yet he elevated party loyalty and a devotion to national self-harm above evidence and reason.

    “Evidence and reason” is what has led the overwhelming majority of the world’s climatologists and scientific organisations to endorse the AGW proposition.
    Its opponents, including Peter O’Brien, have established that they have no recourse but the most ludicrous conspiracy theory of all time to present as their “evidence and reason” to justify their opposition. Only one of said “rent-seekers and climate-change careerists” needs to break ranks and expose and denounce the whole ‘scam’ in order to win accolades and prizes galore and dine out on it for a long time after.
    It seems to be a fact of nature that the properties of the CO2 molecule do not coincide with the financial interest of those whose incomes and short term considerations involve the big time burning of coal. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is. But the planet Venus, with its atmosphere ~98% CO2 and surface temperature the highest of any known, including Mercury (closest planet to the Sun) is always there to remind us of what the Ostrich School of Climatology would have us ignore: CO2 traps heat. Alright if it is under control, but the grand daddy of all problems if it escapes.

    NB: My sub is about to run out, my financial controller prefers me not to renew, and I disincline to ignore her. So on that recursive note I bid all here at this curate’s egg of a site (a fond) farewell.

    • Charles says:

      A masterpiece in rhetorical drivel and incomprehension as your final posting Ian MacIKnowItAll, it could not be a more fitting exit.

    • Bernard Tola says:

      The atmosphere of Venus is 98% CO2. That of Earth is 0.04% CO2. Are you sure that there is an element of comparison between the two?

    • Peter OBrien says:

      Ian, the crux of your argument is that if CAGW were a scam it would take only one whistleblower to come clean, the whole sham would be exposed and the whistleblower would clean up, being feted all over the shop. On the face of it that might sound a reasonable point (at least to the credulous).

      In fact this reasoning sounds very much like a comfort blanket for someone who does not care to address the real questions raised by sceptics. But it does not hold water.

      First of all it assumes that the CAGW proposition is a monolithic edifice with all activities being directed from a single central source. But it is not. It is much more like a cellular structure with various agencies acting more or less independently but drawing on the output of others. These cells include the cabal of ‘climate scientists’ whose current positions and prominence rely entirely on the CAGW proposition, the IPCC, various other scientific disciplines which benefit from the copious flow of grant money that attends any suggestion of impending catastrophe, multitudinous rent-seeking renewable energy companies reliant on generous government subsidies, governments of all political persuasions driven by various ideological pressure groups such as Greenpeace. In some cases the glue which holds this structure together is pure venery but, at the scientific level, often it is noble cause corruption – all the more difficult to defeat because of that.

      Underground political and terrorist movements have employed this cellular structure for generations. Why? Because no single whistleblower or traitor can destroy them. And so it is with CAGW.

      The only whistleblower capable of destroying the CAGW hypothesis must come from within the group of climate scientists and, if you ignore those climate scientists who have been sceptical from the start such as Professor Richard Lindzen, there is at least one former believer, one renegade as the warmist establishment would have it, who has spoken out – Professor Judith Curry, whom I referenced in my original article. And look where it got her. The forces ranged against her were simply too great. How many others have looked at what happened to her, and, for another example, Professor Willie Soon, and decided to take the money and run? There are other examples.

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Peter,
        ‘Scam’ as in your statement above: “Normally, I’d refer to it [CAGW] as a scam pure and simple” is another word for fraud. Scammers are often in the news for various reasons, none of them involving honest dealing. But I suppose we can have an unconscious scam, just as we can have unconscious shoplifting.
        There is also an important difference between explaining phenomena and explaining them away.
        You explain away mainstream climatology and the support for it by those 198 scientific organisations worldwide, which include the CSIRO and the Royal Society, and focus instead on that small minority of dissenters like Lindzen and Curry. OK. They might be on the money. We can all only hope so. But this is known as confirmation bias, and is not so far removed from Trump’s effort to destroy US climate data, which in turn can only be likened to radical brain surgery, carried out on himself, by himself; or to the famous refusal of those late-Mediaeval clerics when invited by Galileo to look through his telescope at the heavens.
        Maybe a minor fall in the rate of rise in sea levels will put most of those scientists and their organisations into reverse. But what we are dealing with here is what the climatologist David Archer has called The Long Thaw in his book of the same title. I doubt it is going to alter its established trend on the strength of some blip in a chart. And I don’t have all that much faith in Turnbull or his NEG.
        So. I have been something of a Lone Ranger round these here parts. Time to saddle up and say “Let’s hit the trail, Tonto. Our work’s done here.”

    • ianl says:

      > “Evidence and reason …”

      You have resolutely avoided these right through to the end, trollster. I can only assume that your financial controller has now amputated your arms in a last ditch attempt to stop them waving around.

      Lomborg’s consistent position, and mine for well over 15 years now, is commonly described as lukewarm – which indeed is where empirical evidence (not hypothesis) leads us. Gross exaggerations, aka climate porn, are designed to scare the scientifically illiterate and mathematically innumerate population into aquiescing to much lower living standards without a great deal of hard resistance. As all propagandists know, this technique of taking a mild-mannered fact and bulking it up with doomsday scares unmitigated by empiricism generally works. So the Lomborg’s of the world must be quashed as lukewarm hypotheses mitigate against panic. Best done by ad homs … disenlightenment, you see.

      At this time, we have about 400ppm of atmospheric CO2 – imagine 4 small pebbles amongst 10,000 other small ones. Now add 0.8C of global temperature rise (however loosely measured) over 150 years. Scared yet ? Now realise that bush fires, floods, storms, cyclones and other destructive but finite events have not increased in either frequency or intensity over at least that 150 years. Even scarier, isn’t it ? Finally, glacial growth/retreat about evenly spread, sea level rise slowing to miniscule rates, polar vortexes still dumping snowstorms as they did for George Washington, oceans remaining stubbornly alkaline and refusing to warm, Nino/Nina oscillations still occurring … completely terrifying !

      What *is* scary is the absolute refusal of activists, either Govt or NGO’s, to accept accountability for base load power supply. Apart from the existing alphabet soup of bureaucratic green blobs (AEMO, NEM, CCA, RET, LRET, NEG, CET and … it goes on forever), we now have the Energy Security Agency ESA, OMG. The Board is comprised of luvvies appointed by Waffle’s office. One can only hope that the head honcho has been misquoted out of context and blah, etc, because her first reported statement to the MSM was: “All that’s required is for the power supply to be sorted out”. Pure Nanny Statism – “Don’t you worry about that”. Then she is reported as saying that all we need are a few more interconnectors – what generating source are these to be connected to ? Doesn’t say, but don’t you worry about that.

      That none of this matters in the slightest to climatic conditions has been agreed to by our Chief Scientist. That must make him part of this “giant conspiracy”, I suppose. Noble Cause Corruption is a far more accurate phrase. Why Australia ? I suspect because we have no history of revolt or revolution and are generally easily manipulated for the remainder of the West to observe as an experiment.

      Not a hard grid engineer or hard physical scientist in cooee of the ESA. As unpromising as it can possibly be. Corporate power generators are an oligopoly with a (legitimate) interest in maintaining this new status quo, even infesting television programmes with vomitous propaganda. Crony subsidies with growth guaranteed by government, funded with taxation extracted by force. Waffle is genuinely proud of himself; bipartisan, albeit tacit, political agreement that this is how it is and will remain so. No way out. Cassandra rules …

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Your rant is noted.

      • Warty says:

        Being one of the scientifically illiterate and indeed one of the mathematically innumerate, I do, nevertheless, know something about religion.
        Claim and counter claim have long bewildered me and detailed arguments about melting glaciers, and profound rebuttals about falling temperatures, both have me reaching out for a triple strength coffee.
        But when AGL, my erstwhile electricity supplier boasts about looking forward to blowing up coal fired power stations, then my hip pocket hurts like hell. When the actor, chosen to gloat the appropriate AGL ad. lines, looks remarkably like every other metro ‘male’ in St Kilda or Annandale or Balmain, then I’m empowered to smell a rat.
        When the same inner city chinless worshipping wonders abjure Christianity, meditating instead on the matriarchal benevolence of Gaia, surrounded as she is by offerings of rose petals and pet rocks, I begin to move ever so quietly out of the room, down the hallway, on my way to the air conditioned pub on the corner.
        In terms of climate, the world seems as ever was, and the Duke of Wellington itself seems a world away from transgen toilets and lisping he/shes, and all the other things that have me reaching for a Crown lager.
        With a film of froth on my upper lip life is good.

    • Bill Martin says:

      Seeing that you are signing off for good Ian, I offer the following.

      I can’t recall anyone ever disputing the fact that CO2 traps heat, which is one of your favourite hobby horses along with sea level rise, which, by the way, is now falling according to NASA. The dispute is over the significance of the heat-trapping aspect of CO2, particularly at the infinitesimally minute proportion of it in our atmosphere and the even tinier variation of it over time.

      I was developing considerable regard for you at one stage which you steadily eroded with your increasingly vehement support of CAGW. Sad to have to say, no-one will miss your comments. Best of luck, just the same.

    • en passant says:

      Macbot,
      As I suspect you are just a random word programme, has someone pulled the electricity plug? Couldn’t afford it, perhaps – or a measly $59 for this excellent forum, yet you told us about your CO2 spewing self-indulgent trip to Alaska? Well, as nothing else you ever said added up at least your (hopefully) final post is consistent.

      As for CO2: “… Venus, with its atmosphere ~98% CO2 and surface temperature the highest of any known …” Actually, it is 97% CO2 on Venus – and it is that 1% that makes ALL the difference. After all, Mars is 96% CO2 and cold as … So, why isn’t Mars hot? Could it be that the Sun’s infrared is less?

      Please do not answer. Just go away and enjoy your self-induced green poverty.

      I’ll take bets he recants and is back by CHRISTMAS [trigger-warning] as we are the only friends he has.

      As Ian ‘know-it-all’ MacBot never provided any empirical references, can ANYONE state what they believe would be the IDEAL concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere AND also tell us what would be the IDEAL global average temperature – and why? Recent warming and increases in CO2 have lead to increased global greenery, record harvests and … what a wonderful world when reality beats cultish ‘beliefs’. Do ‘bots’ and RWG’s have beliefs?

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Eyn Pyssant:
        “Please do not answer.”
        Will do.

        • en passant says:

          You just anwered, so you are wrong again – and as usual could not tell us the destination you seek. Like whatsisname in ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ you say a lot but you know nuthink.

          Dear Lord, when does his access to this forum run out (though I suspect he is only trolling us with his threat to go away)?

        • CarerP says:

          Ian Mac:
          I like people who are consistent and you are certainly that. With some of your spare time I urge you to get “Not for Greens” by Ian Plimer and even if you do not agree it is a great read. Happy retirement.

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            CarerP:
            I am sure it is. I have Plimer’s Heaven+Earth which I reviewed at https://noahsarc.wordpress.com/plimers-climatology-101/ and his How to get Expelled from School which summarises his position. I have the latter on my bookshelf along with Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren, Bill McKibben’s Eaarth, David Archer’s The Long Thaw, and The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer Weart: all recommended.
            Plimer’s two books I have rather heavily annotated. My own grandchildren will inherit them one day not too soon. I hope.

  6. Keith Kennelly says:

    Yep

    Can’t refute the NASA data so like the typical denier
    Ian the Denier turns tail and bolts for the nearest exit.

    I Knew it was only a matter of time that once the real data was presented Ian couldn’t possibly change his blind faith views and his only recourse once his final straw became sodden by facts and started to sink away he’d go. Pounds to pennies he’ll leave avowing his corrupted argument about sore teeth.

    Hahahaha

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    Hey Ian

    I want to be able to continue to taunt you, as payback, for all the lies, deceit and just plain wrongheadedness you’ve dished up here sooooo I’ve decided I’ll pay your subscription for the n ct year.
    The cost will be far outweighed by the pleasure I’ll get in kno ing you will be able to read all the dumping of c..p you are about to receive.

    Cheers Keith

    • Jody says:

      Keith, you are the legitimate Troll on this site. And your maniacal ‘ha ha’s’ are tangible evidence that whatever it is you imbibe – liquid as well as written and aural – is doing you and us no good.

      • Keith Kennelly says:

        Jody

        You don’t realise how much of a butt you are making of yourself with this slagging off about me drinking.

        You will feel horrified if ever we meet.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      You would probably have done better to take it into your nearest club and fed it through the first poker machine you found. That’s if they did not whistle up their bouncer first because of your compulsive maniacal cackle.

      “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” – after Virgil.

  8. en passant says:

    Once Jody is also gone this will be an enjoyably great site to read …

  9. Wyndham Dix says:

    Ian MacD, I enter the lists reluctantly to invite you to furnish your mind with information from this web site:- http://climatechangedispatch.com/swimming-in-co2/

    Please look particularly at the second graphic, the point on its horizontal axis approximately 450 million years ago and the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and average global temperature at that time.

    Then please read the two closing paragraphs at the foot of the article. I will listen to any credible explanation you can give for planet Earth not being much warmer at a time when atmospheric CO2 was circa 12 times that of today. Your Venusian theory suggests that Earth should have been sweltering all those years ago.

    If you wish to dispute the findings of Messrs Scotese and Berner and the author of the article, Mr Heib, you need to take it up with them.

    And please do not quibble that the article was written 10 years ago and that we know much more today. The trajectory of knowledge and common sense is not unfailingly upwards.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      “According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.”
      I would not disagree. But today’s Earth, for the first time in its entire history, has ice at both geographic poles. This affects its albedo, ocean currents and atmospheric circulation, with climate effects more profound in higher latitudes.
      The diminution of glaciers and polar ice is reflected in the upward-trending sea level. My guess is that on present trends, after that ice goes a lot more ocean evaporation will occur, and the skies will probably be cloudier: perhaps being permanently cloudy in places other than parts of Scandinavia. And a lot wetter. This might green up the Sahara, Central Australia, and our place. Also flood every port city in the world and boost the market for gondolas around Australia: particularly in Sydney.
      At my earliest practical opportunity I will recommend to Scotese et al that they amend to that effect. At my earliest practical opportunity.

      • en passant says:

        MacBot,
        Do you ever read your comments?

        “But today’s Earth, for the first time in its entire history, has ice at both geographic poles. This affects its albedo, ocean currents and atmospheric circulation, with climate effects more profound in higher latitudes.”

        What utter twaddle. There was ice at both poles during EVERY Ice Age. The Vostok core drilling in Antarctica goes back 650,000 years and the Greenland Core 300,000 years.

        Sorry to burst your random thought-bubble yet again.

  10. en passant says:

    MacBot,
    One more refutation for you to read by battery and starlight:
    https://www.thegwpf.com/new-study-global-warming-standstill-confirmed-climate-models-wrong/

    I enjoyed Delingpole’s comment:
    “Anyone at this late stage who is still on the alarmist side of the argument is either a liar, a cheat, a crook, a scamster, an incompetent, a dullard, a time-server, a charlatan or someone so monumentally stupid that they really should be banned by law from having an opinion on any subject whatsoever. And that’s just the scientists.
    The parasitic industry profiting from all that junk-science nonsense the alarmists keep pumping into the ether is even worse.”

    Sounds about right.

  11. Keith Kennelly says:

    Jody

    And you are totally devoid of humour.

    Its only who can not see the humour in Ian the Deniers demise in the face of real scientific data.

    You too have become a butt.

    This morning I had another great laugh. I walked with a man on the marina pontoon and we remarked on the weather.

    I pointed out it was likely to be a wet summer.
    He nodded and said. Hummm global warming.

    I said is not happening. He looked at me as James and with doubt.
    I said the NASA data says the ocean levels are falling and without that fundamental then global warming isn’t happening.

    His first response was telling.
    ‘What you are right and 97% of the world’s scientists are wrong.’
    I said partly true. The 97% are wrong but the data from NASA is correct, not me.’
    His second response was also telling.
    ‘What you are going to hang your belief on just one fact?’

    I smiled, thought of Ian the Denier, and said.
    ‘That’s what global warmers have done as their ‘truths ‘ have been debunked. And rising sea levels are fundamental for global warming to occur.’

    His reaction to that was even more telling. He b came angry and said NASA is a supporter of GW and the data can’t be right. I’ll check.’

    I offered to give hi m the website to check. But he was already withdrawing from my company and I heard him yelling.
    ‘I’ll check!’

    Great day, today.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      “I said the NASA data says the ocean levels are falling and without that fundamental then global warming isn’t happening.”
      So when the ocean starts rising again you will join us antiskeptical ‘warmists’? And then leave when they fall again. And then return when they rise?
      Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. A bit like the plight of the Ancient Mariner. Keith returns; then leaves; then returns; then leaves…..

  12. en passant says:

    I am amazed you were not tempted to give him a gentle push …

  13. Keith Kennelly says:

    Ian
    Never in any recorded data anywhere have the oceans fallen for three years in a row. That is what is so significant.

    Odd Ian, but it is only you who has stated the oceans were key. I’ve never ever said they were that crucial. So as usual you’ve started a straw man argument about my position. You cannot point to any position I’ve stated on ocean levels.

    But of course if the falling and decelerating rising trends reverses then I’ll reevaluate the position with regard to cooling and sea levels but then I’d also have to reevaluate in the context of reevaluating all the other evidence against warming as well.

    Unlike you I’ve not had my fundamental belief in global cooling challenged … anywhere.

    I’m consistent. You are a joke and like all your claims the one about me coming and going is fundamentally flawed.

    You and Jody make a great pair … both always wrong.

  14. Keith Kennelly says:

    Homer
    Perhaps you’d love me to contribute a little towards me paying The and sub to remain.