RIP Australia’s Carbon Tax

July 16, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Just as the EPA is trying to force us into a de facto carbon tax, Australia comes to its senses and repeals former-PM Gillard’s monstrosity. Well done, Tony Abbott!

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Carbontax_tombstoneUPDATE: at ~ 11:14AM local time in Australia, it was repealed!

From ABC: Legislation to scrap the carbon tax has passed the Federal Parliament in a major win for the Abbott Government.

After a lengthy debate, the Senate voted to get rid of the price on carbon, with 39 senators voting for and 32 voting against.

This was the Government’s third attempt to scrap the tax since the election – the first two were rejected by the Senate.

The Australian reports:

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On climate change, Tony Abbott tells Europe to stuff it

April 6, 2014
Tony Abott Australia

Has no time for nonsense

Australia is scheduled to host the annual G20 heads-of-state meeting this year. The G20 is an informal grouping dedicated promoting international financial stability, and the host country gets to set the agenda. For some strange reason Tony Abbott, Australia’s Liberal prime minister, has decided that the G20 should stick to its brief and said that global warming/climate change/ritual denunciations of the Demon CO2 will not be on he agenda.

This has made Europe unhappy.

European Union officials say Australia has become completely “disengaged” on climate change since Tony Abbott was elected in September last year.

They are disappointed with the Prime Minister’s approach, saying Australia was considered an important climate change player under Labor.

One well-placed EU official has likened the change to “losing an ally”.

The EU has a long-running emissions trading scheme which was going to be linked to Australia’s market.

But Mr Abbott has pledged to scrap the carbon price in favour of his direct action policy.

Europe is sceptical of Mr Abbott’s replacement plan.

I can hear the Eurocrats’ tongues clucking and their tut-tutting even now. How are they going to live their taxpayer-funded lifestyles and carry out their dreams of “global eco-social justice,” if more nations follow Australia’s lead? They must be so disappointed in Mr. Abbott. I’m sure he’s losing sleep over it. Perhaps from laughing.

The kicker line is this:

Mr Abbott has said he doesn’t want the G20 agenda “cluttered” by topics that would take the focus from his top priority of economic growth.

Imagine that. A national leader actually concerned about his people’s prosperity and not only unwilling to sacrifice it at the altar of eco-statist group-think, but quite willing to openly “call BS” on the whole farcical charade. I’m sure that John “Climate change is a WMD” Kerry is unhappy. You can guess how that prospect makes me feel.

It’s nice to know that, somewhere in the Anglosphere, there are still nations lead by leaders who don’t have their head stuck firmly up their progressive backsides and who know that their first job is protecting their nation’s interests, not winning a popularity contest in Brussels or Turtle Bay. Canada is another.

I can only look on with envy and hope that, someday, we rejoin them.

via JoNova

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Australia’s average temperature

July 21, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

The upshot is that, after accounting for natural events, there is no discernible trend toward warming, let alone one that could be attributed to human-generated CO2. In other words, it’s all scare-mongering on the part of the Eco-Left and Green Statists, and the fools who think they’re right.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Are Australians heading for the cooker?

Guest essay by Bill Johnston

Elections for Australia’s National (Federal) parliament are looming and carbon tax is a battleground issue.

The incumbent Labour Party have proposed to transition its existing toxic carbon tax to an emissions trading scheme, linked to that in Europe, a year earlier than planned. Supposedly this would save their ‘working families’ about $300 AUD/year for one year. The Liberal opposition party has promised to scrap the tax and ETS altogether and go for “direct action”. The fringe Greens party are wailing from the political sidelines because they don’t like anything.

IF climate change is natural; and, IF the warming is more hot air than substance, neither plan is likely to achieve anything except increase the cost of living.

To help clarify things, this essay presents a straightforward analysis of Australia’s overall average temperature record, in sufficient detail that it could…

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Parliament On A Knife Edge Part VIII – Panic Stations And A Palace Coup

June 26, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Really interesting background piece on yesterday’s Labor Party coup in Australia, which saw former PM (and noted earwax-eater) Kevin Rudd topple PM Julia Gillard, who herself had ousted him a couple of years ago. Australians are among the nicest people you meet, but, as James Delingpole wrote, their intra-party politics make Game of Thrones seem bland by comparison. Recommended for all politics and backstabbing geeks.

Originally posted on Be Responsible - Be Free!:

Punch and Judy

This has now gone so far beyond a joke that I hardly know where to start.

So much ink has been spilled by hoary press gallery veterans covering Labor’s leadership soap opera, that there is very little new that LibertyGibbert could possibly add. So I thought instead, I’d simply summarize the state of play for my (understandably bewildered) overseas readers. Feel free to switch off or scroll to the end if it becomes too tedious or repetitive—and believe me, folks, it does.

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European Union or EUSSR? Brussels demands power to regulate press, fire journalists

January 25, 2013
"Under state control"

“Enemy of the State”

If anyone had any notion that the European Union was anything but a bureaucratic dictatorship, this should open their eyes:

A European Union report has urged tight press regulation and demanded that Brussels officials are given control of national media supervisors with new powers to enforce fines or the sacking of journalists.

The “high level” recommendations that will be used to draft future EU legislation also attack David Cameron for failing to automatically implement proposals by the Lord Justice Leveson inquiry for a state regulation of British press.

A “high level” EU panel, that includes Latvia’s former president and a former German justice minister, was ordered by Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice-president, last year to report on “media freedom and pluralism”. It has concluded that it is time to introduce new rules to rein in the press.

“All EU countries should have independent media councils,” the report concluded.

“Media councils should have real enforcement powers, such as the imposition of fines, orders for printed or broadcast apologies, or removal of journalistic status.”

As well as setting up state regulators with draconian powers, the panel also recommended that the European Commission be placed in overall control in order to ensure that the new watchdogs do not breach EU laws.

(Emphases added)

I’m sure these new powers, if granted, will be used only for the common good, to ensure fair, sensitive journalism — as determined by a bunch of Eurocrats.

The danger of this is obvious: the power to fine or fire is the power to dictate, and the only reporters to retain their jobs will be those who say things pleasing to the mandarins in Brussels. It would be the death knell of free speech in Europe, for free speech is meaningless if it doesn’t include the right to say things that make the powerful uncomfortable, or even simply to offend. A free, unfettered press is essential to a democratic society, and if the press is fettered, so is the citizen, who becomes a subject. The society is no longer free.

The article points out that these proposed regulations are aimed largely at the British press, which has a large Euro-skeptic element and regularly ticks off the European Union elite.  Quite unsurprisingly, then, the Brussels initiative has set up howls of outrage in Britain, from whom we inherited our traditions of free speech and press freedom. With Prime Minister Cameron promising a referendum on a new arrangement, one can only hope the majority of Britons will see the danger of staying a part of this “brave new Euro-world” and vote to get the hell out.

Indeed, they may already ready be headed for the door.

PS: This article reminds me yet again how rare, fragile, and precious our traditions of free speech –the ability to speak one’s mind to the powerful without fear of reprisal– really are. In Europe, where on the Continent the governing tradition is top-down, the natural reaction of the government is to suppress annoying speech. (And in America, we see twitches of that from the Left.) Even in Australia, the people of which are our close political cousins, there is no recognized natural right of free speech. It is a right that we must not only assert and defend, but actively exercise, especially when it itself is under threat.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


January 14, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Obviously the result of global warming brought about by all those cars and heavy industry brought by the prisoners… long before they were invented. Remember: “weather is not climate.”

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Australia has recently experienced a hot summer leading to calls of “global warming did”, but its actually been cooler than the time when the first convicts arrived in Australia back in 1790

Craig Kelly

Craig Kelly – Member for Hughes, New South Wales

Guest post by Craig Kelly MP

It’s been a scorcher. With the mercury soaring to 42.3 C in Sydney last week and the city in meltdown, the papers screamed, “This is climate change. It is here. It is real.” Even the taxpayer funded Climate Commission could not hide their excitement declaring, “it was hotter than before” and that “climate change” was responsible for the “unprecedented” extreme heat Sydneysiders were experiencing.

And with the satellites unable to detect any global warming for the last 16 years, and the IPCC computer modelled predictions failing to come to fruition, Labor Government ministers were quick to exploit the situation to claim the “extreme…

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Freedom of speech beaten and left bleeding in Australia?

November 18, 2011

This is the kind of authoritarian garbage I would expect from real dictatorships, such as Venezuela or Russia or… Chicago, but not from one of the stalwarts of the Anglosphere:

THE whitewash begins. Now that the carbon tax has passed through federal parliament, the government’s clean-up brigade is getting into the swing by trying to erase any dissent against the jobs-destroying legislation.

On cue comes the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which this week issued warnings to businesses that they will face whopping fines of up to $1.1m if they blame the carbon tax for price rises.

It says it has been “directed by the Australian government to undertake a compliance and enforcement role in relation to claims made about the impact of a carbon price.”

Businesses are not even allowed to throw special carbon tax sales promotions before the tax arrives on July 1.

“Beat the Carbon Tax – Buy Now” or “Buy now before the carbon tax bites” are sales pitches that are verboten. Or at least, as the ACCC puts it, “you should be very cautious about making these types of claims”.

There will be 23 carbon cops roaming the streets doing snap audits of businesses that “choose to link your price increases to a carbon price”.

Instead, the ACCC suggests you tell customers you’ve raised prices because “the overall cost of running (your) business has increased”.

(Emphasis added)

So a barkeep or beauty salon owner in Australia can be fined one million Australian dollars for speaking the truth? (1)

Seriously?

Once again, we see the statist, totalitarian nature of the Green movement laid bare for all to see in a way that would leave Stalin smiling. Dare to criticize the dogmas of the High Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming and you’ll be fined for more than you’re worth. Question their jihad against the demon CO2 and watch as the Carbon Tax Inquisition smashes your business.

If I understand Australia’s electoral system right, the next federal election is in 2013. Julia Gillard‘s minority Labor government was already unpopular for the economy-choking carbon tax it imposed; after this… “nonsense,” I’d be surprised if she could be elected dog catcher. I’ve never known an Australian who would put up with being pushed around like this and I predict voters will shove back hard come election day.

via Watt’s Up With That?

Footnote:
(1) Australia apparently doesn’t enshrine free speech as a natural, preexisting right as we do. Instead a right to free political speech was found to be implied in the Australian constitution in the case Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation, decided by the High Court of Australia in 1997.

PS: Be sure to read the rest of Miranda Devine’s article to see just how Aussies are already suffering from skyrocketing electricity prices, which the new carbon tax will only make worse. That is exactly what Obama, his EPA, and the Green Statists have in mind for us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Global warming causes mental illness?

August 30, 2011

Is there nothing that can’t be blamed on a harmless gas that serves mainly as plant food?

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ”emotional injury, stress and despair” in the wake of these events.

The report, A Climate of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change, called the past 15 years a ”preview of life under unrestrained global warming”.

”While cyclones, drought, bushfires and floods are all a normal part of Australian life, there is no doubt our climate is changing,” the report says.

Emphasis added, because that bit is key to the whole fantasy built by this article — that dangerous man-caused climate change is leading to an increase in mental illness.

First, let’s remind ourselves of something. According to one of the high priests of the Cult of Global Warming, Dr. Phil Jones, former Director of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (1), there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995. Another, Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, once wrote in an email:

“The fact is that we cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.”

So, I ask the article’s author and the Climate Institute, where is the “unrestrained global warming?”

*crickets*

But let’s get back to the article’s thesis. It rests on two pillars:

  1. That changing climate (2) and severe weather events can lead to stress and various mental illnesses.
  2. That these events and therefore the mental illnesses can be attributed to anthropogenic global warming.

I have no disagreement with the first point, nor am I making light of the mentally ill. Fire, drought, earthquake, hurricanes, tornadoes… all these and other disasters can lead to the loss of property, loss of a job, injury or even the death of loved ones. Sure, all this can lead to stress and possible mental illness. I’ve seen it myself in the wake the wildfires and temblors that periodically ravage California.

So, sure. A connection between natural disasters and mental illness? No problem.

But it’s in the second point that Erik Jensen Health of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Climate Institute take a Wile E. Coyote-like leap off the cliff of logic. First for assuming anthropogenic global warming exists when it is very much in question. (See also Carter and Plimer.) And second for listing event after event with the underlying assumption that AGW must be the cause, while never presenting a skeptical viewpoint and without ever investigating if  these events fall outside the norms of Australia’s climate history, whether as recorded by human observers or seen in the paleoclimatological record.

This wasn’t an article about science or even the problems of mental illness. It’s just unchallenged assertion after unchallenged assertion, all meant to scare the reader by invoking the dread demon Climate Change. It was nothing more than a fire-and-brimstone sermon at an Al Gore revival meeting:

“Repent, ye racist greenhouse gas-spewing sinners, lest your communities collapse and your children go nuts because of your crimes against Gaea! THOU SHALT DE-CARBONIZE!!”

The SMH should be embarrassed for running such tripe.

via WUWT

Footnotes:
(1) Also a key figure in the Climategate scandal. (See also)
(2) Of course the Earth’s climate (really, a range of regional climates) is changing. We live on a dynamic planet that has never been in a steady state. But there is no evidence showing that any changes now occurring are beyond what has happened in the past. It’s not CO2, folks, it’s the sun.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Aussie PM comes to his senses, ditches cap-and-trade

April 27, 2010

No, not because he realized anthropogenic global warming is a fraud and a farce. It is, after all, the great moral imperative of our time (said the noted ear-wax eater). Rather, he shelved the bill because he realized he couldn’t forcve the bill through in the face of firm opposition:

AFTER months of avoiding even mentioning an emissions trading scheme Kevin Rudd has formally dumped Labor’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until at least after the next election, and possibly the one after that.

After months of refusing to defend or promote the answer to the greatest moral and economic challenge “of our time” or to propose an alternative the Prime Minister has simply put it off as an inconvenient political truth and tried to blame the Coalition and the Greens for obstruction in the Senate.

It was an odd coalition: the Liberal-National alliance opposed plan on skeptical grounds, while the Greens thought it didn’t go far enough. Regardless, the effect was to block a scheme on which Canberra had already wasted hundreds of millions and would cripple large portions of the Australian economy if implemented.

No matter how it came about, I call that a win for good policy and common sense. Let’s hope President Obama meets similar success in our own Senate as the Democrats’ cap-and-trade legislation is brought to the floor.

(via WUWT)


Religion of misogyny and child-abuse

April 10, 2010

Two items in the news: In Australia, a Muslim man strangled his Muslim wife to death for being too Australian:

A man who killed his wife by using her veil to strangle her in their Melbourne home did so in the belief he was entitled to dominate her, a Supreme Court judge has found.

Soltan Azizi was today sentenced to 22 years’ jail by Justice Betty King, who said the Afghani refugee had been physically abusive towards Marzieh Rahimi throughout their 14-year marriage.

Justice King said Ms Rahimi had sought help from social workers and was intending to leave Azizi, despite him warning that he would kill her if she tried.

She said Azizi had complained to Ms Rahimi’s sister in the days prior to her killing that his wife was becoming “too Australian”, meaning “she was not a docile and good wife in the terms you expected her to be”.

“It is clear you were unable to accept that your wife had rights, which rights included the ability to leave you if that was what she desired,” Justice King said.

“… Her death clearly resulted because of your belief that you were entitled to dominate and dictate to your wife what she could and could not do.”

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch points out that honor killings like the above keep happening because Islamic teachings excuse and even encourage them.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, police stopped a ten-year old boy before he could turn himself into a suicide bomber:

A 10-year-old Iraqi boy allegedly recruited by al-Qaeda was about to blow himself in a suicide attack on Wednesday just east of Fallujah when police spotted and arrested him, a senior officer said.

The incident occurred near a police checkpoint in Amariyat Al-Fallujah, a village 15km east of the former Sunni rebel bastion of Fallujah and due west of Baghdad, said Captain Anas al-Issawi.

“The 10-year-old boy had been used by al-Qaeda in the past to place bombs,” Issawi said, adding that the child disappeared from his family home in Amariyat Al-Fallujah four days ago.

“Three men aboard a van drove him to the isolated village of Shitsher (75km west of Baghdad) to prepare him for the suicide operation,” the officer said, quoting the boy’s own testimony.

On Wednesday morning the men helped the boy don an explosives-rigged vest under the traditional dishdasha (long robe) and drove him at dawn to the outskirts of Amariyat Al-Fallujah.

They instructed him to blow himself up as soon as the place began milling with people, the officer said, quoting the boy’s testimony.

Congratulations to the IP for rescuing the boy. This disgusting manipulation of children by these brave, brave mujaheddin is all too common. (via The Jawa Report)


First head rolls in Climategate?

December 2, 2009

The scientific-fraud scandal first revealed in emails and computer code leaked from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit has claimed its first scalp: the  CRU’s director, Dr. Phil Jones has temporarily stepped down pending an investigation:

The head of the British research unit at the center of a controversy over the disclosure of thousands of e-mail messages among climate-change scientists has stepped down pending the outcome of an investigation.

Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England, said that he would leave his post while the university conducted a review of the release of the e-mail messages. The university has called the release and publication of the messages a “criminal breach” of the school’s computer systems.

The e-mail exchanges among several prominent American and British climate-change scientists appear to reveal efforts to keep the work of skeptical scientists out of major journals and the possible hoarding and manipulation of data to overstate the case for human-caused climate change.

They forgot the part where he says he’s “leaving to spend more time with his family.” That’s de rigeur in scandals these days.

I don’t know whether this is the beginnings of a faux-investigation that will whitewash the scandal, or if Jones is being prepped as the sacrificial victim for the greater good of CRU and the AGW Cause, or if it’s the start of a genuine housecleaning and a move toward transparency climate science. I hope for the latter, but I suspect there’s strong pressure for one of the first two options.

And this isn’t the first investigation started in the wake of Climategate: the article also mentions that Michael Mann, author of one of the infamous and debunked hockey stick graphs, in now under investigation by his employers, the University of Pennsylvania. I bet these won’t be the last, either.

RELATED: The consequences are spreading outside the realms of science and academia, as the Australian Senate defeated a government measure to impose a destructive cap and trade scheme on the country by a vote of 41-33. Climategate was a certain contributor to this. Under Australian rules, this could lead to a dissolution of both houses of Parliament and a general election in early 2010. Let’s hope that Australia’s is just the first among many governments to come to their senses. More at Hot Air.


ClimateGate links

November 27, 2009

It may be a holiday here in the US, but the news and revelations about the scandal that may sink the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming didn’t take the weekend off. Here are some of the more interesting links to cross the Public Secrets case desk:

There’s never just one:

The biggest item, and the one that has to have cultists and alarmists worldwide burning candles to Al Gore, is news that the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit may not be the only site to have manipulated data to fit a preferred result. New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has been accused of manipulating data to show a warming trend where none existed. Lawrence Solomon of Canada’s Financial Post reveals a connection from NIWA back to the corruption-tainted CRU, while James Delingpole comments on the deepening shame.

It seems the arrogant priests of the AGW cult have at last met their Nemesis.

The Silence of the Lambs American Media:

You would think that a scandal of this potential magnitude would be on all the networks and in all the major papers of the United States.

You would be wrong. They are doing their level-best to ignore or downplay this crisis in AGW orthodoxy. In fact, the Russians are covering this more honestly than the American press:

Hang your heads in shame, MSM. The Russian press has more integrity than you.

Update: The New York Times refuses to publish the leaked emails, citing ethical concerns, yet it had no problem releasing national secrets in wartime. Ethics. Yeah. Sure.  Waiting

Other Links:

Senior members of the opposition Liberal Party in Australia have resigned in protest of the Party leader’s support for a cap-and-trade scheme. Though no direct link to ClimateGate was drawn, it’s a reasonable inference thanks to the timing.

Perhaps this is a good time to reread the late Michael Crighton’s speech about environmentalism as a religion.

Oh, my. The revered BBC had the CRU’s files a month ago and didn’t say a thing. Media bias at the Beeb? Say it ain’t so!

An excellent summary of the significance of the CRU email and program files. I disagree with the author’s conclusion after item four (I think this sets AGW theory back to square zero), but the summation itself is good.

I have to ask: without utter and complete transparency on the part of advocates of man-caused climate change, how can anyone trust their claims in the future? They have to release all raw data and make available the raw code of their programs. If they’re right, why hide anything? Nothing else will do.

Their credibility is in ruins.


Global warming watch

April 29, 2009

Australia has just set record low temperatures. How about that, O Goracle?

Pope Al

 


Learn from Australia

December 5, 2008

Breathalyzer tests for legislators — genius!! Voting while drunk would explain so much… Hee hee

(via Pax Parabellum)

 


Is global warming a front for control freaks?

December 11, 2007

What is it with climate-change alarmists that they feel a deep-seated need to regulate, limit, and tax all we do — including our children?

A WEST Australian medical expert wants families to pay a $5000-plus "baby levy" at birth and an annual carbon tax of up to $800 a child.

Writing in today’s Medical Journal of Australia, Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child’s lifetime.

Professor Walters, clinical associate professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia and the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, called for condoms and "greenhouse-friendly" services such as sterilisation procedures to earn carbon credits.

And he implied the Federal Government should ditch the $4133 baby bonus and consider population controls like those in China and India.

Professor Walters said the average annual carbon dioxide emission by an Australian individual was about 17 metric tons, including energy use.

"Every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing but by the profligate consumption of resources typical of our society," he wrote.

I wonder if he’s willing to pay back taxes for all the damage he’s done to the planet so far by living? Shouldn’t he have done what this self-hating nitwit has done to herself? Maybe he should drop the pretense at rational policy and become the spokesman for these guys?

Meanwhile researchers publishing in a major scientific journal* have looked at the predictions based on models of atmospheric warming and have found no connection to greenhouse gas emissions — in other words, no evidence of man-caused global warming:

We examine tropospheric temperature trends of 67 runs from 22 Climate of the 20th Century model simulations and try to reconcile them with the best available updated observations (in the tropics during the satellite era). Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs. These conclusions contrast strongly with those of recent publications based on essentially the same data.

Maybe they just want to avoid paying the baby tax.

LINKS: More at Contentions.

*(article citation:

AU: David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer
TI: A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions
SO: International Journal of Climatology
VL: 9999
NO: 9999
PG: n/a
YR: 2007
CP: Copyright © 2007 Royal Meteorological Society
ON: 1097-0088
PN: 0899-8418
AD: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA; Department of Atmospheric Science and Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA; Science and Environmental Policy Project, Arlington, VA 22202, USA; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA
DOI: 10.1002/joc.1651
US: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joc.1651)

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the article that’s not hidden behind a subscriber wall.

(hat tip: LGF and Power Line)


Out with the old, in with the new

November 25, 2007

Australian writer Peter Day introduces readers at Pajamas Media to Kevin Rudd, the newly elected Prime Minister of Down Under. He argues that, while Americans mourn the departure of John Howard, they can take some comfort that Mr. Rudd has accepted Howard’s legacy:

This is not quite the ignominious end for Howard that it may appear.

Kevin Rudd defeated him only by first accepting that Howard has permanently changed the ground rules of Australian politics – in a conservative direction. Throughout this campaign, the Labor leader stressed repeatedly that he was an ‘economic conservative’. He didn’t just say that: he gave the claim substance by actually underbidding Howard, by a significant margin, in the amount of pork he was prepared to offer to the electorate in campaign promises.

The other big difference with Rudd, compared with some other Labor leaders of recent years, is that he is essentially unthreatening to mainstream Australian values – including, most importantly, the American alliance. He showed this in his victory speech on Saturday night, which he used as an occasion to send ‘greetings’ to ‘our great friend and ally, the United States’.

The next few years should be interesting to watch. Besides, how can one not like a Prime Minister who visits lap-dance clubs and eats his own ear wax?

 

 


A friend exits

November 24, 2007

Australians ended the political career of Prime Minister John Howard, sending his Liberal/National Party coalition to a landslide loss. Howard was gracious in defeat, recounting the successes of his government and wishing his successor, Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd, well:

"My fellow Australians, a few moments ago I telephoned Mr Kevin Rudd and I congratulated him and the Australian Labor Party on an emphatic victory,” Mr Howard told the crowd.

Mr Howard said he harboured no ill will to Mr Rudd.

"I wish him well in the task that he will undertake,” Mr Howard said.

"We bequeath to him a nation that is stronger and prouder.”

Mr Howard spoke of the economic prosperity Australia had enjoyed under the coalition.

"I’ve led a government that has taken this country from deep debt to strong prosperity,” he said.

"I’ve led a government that has never shirked the difficult decisions.

"I’ve led a government that has reformed the Australian economy and left it the envy of the world.”

"Can I say to all of you it has been an immense privilege every day of my life over the last 11 and half years to have been prime minister of this beautiful country,” Mr Howard said.

He said he wanted to thank the Australian people for that privilege.

"It’s something that has really been the most unbelievable experience.

"The Australian people are the greatest people on earth and this is the greatest country on earth.”

I think Americans owe John Howard a debt of thanks, too, appropriately enough for Thanksgiving weekend. After 9-11, Howard placed Australia in her traditional role alongside the United States, ready for a fight. Both in Afghanistan and Iraq (the latter not without controversy in Australia), Australian special forces played crucial roles. True to Australian form, Mr. Howard was refreshingly plainspoken and forthright about the threat from Islamic fascism and wasn’t afraid to tell Islamists in Australia where they could go. Among the Anglophone nations, Howard had become a respected leader.

Nor was he willing to "go along to get along" when it came to climate change, sharing President Bush’s skepticism for the Kyoto Treaty.

The West could use more leaders like John Howard.

I’m certain the American Left, the so-called "Progressives," will interpret this as a repudiation of the aggressive Bush approach to terrorism by the Australian electorate. Before they pop the champagne corks (or crack open a Foster’s), I would remind them of Tip O’Neill‘s dictum: "All politics is local." While I haven’t followed Australian politics, I’m willing to bet domestic national issues played the key role, and maybe just public fatigue after 11 years under John Howard. No matter how successful a government may be, sometimes the electorate just wants change.

(I still shake my head at the British throwing Churchill out of office in 1945, for example.)

Furthermore, while the pro-Bush leaders after 9-11, Aznar, Blair, Koizumi, Berlusconi, and now Howard, are all gone, so too are the anti-Bush crowd: Schroeder, Chirac, and Chretien, as Mark Steyn points out. It’s hard to spot an anti-Bush trend here.

So, thank you John Howard. You’ve been a good friend and a stalwart ally, and I imagine you’ll go down in the books as one of the most successful Prime Ministers Australia has ever had.

LINKS: More at Captain’s Quarters, Pajamas Media (with lots of links!), Little Green Footballs, Contentions, Power Line, Britain and America, Tigerhawk, and Blue Crab Boulevard.

 


Global warming hypocrites

April 8, 2007

They’re not just an American phenomenon: Australia has its share of "do as I say, not as I do" eco-humbugs, too, as Caroline Overington shows:

Still, this newspaper decided to cover the event [Earth Hour] as if it were news, and on Sunday, when I came in to work, I was assigned to speak to [World Wildlife Fund] chief Greg Bourne about Earth Hour. Trouble is, try as I did all day, I couldn’t find him. Why not? Because Bourne wasn’t around. He was on an aeroplane.

Now, why should that matter? Well, Bourne knows this as well as anyone, but air travel is one of the worst things you can do if you believe you are trying to save the planet. On one calculation, about 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide a person are generated when flying return from Sydney to London. Another calculation is half that but, either way, it’s a monstrous amount of the stuff, delivered right where the Earth is most vulnerable. Nicholas Stern – an economist from Britain who is the greens’ pin-up boy – says flying by plane is the equivalent of beating the planet with a sledgehammer, or something like that.

Did that stop Bourne from boarding a long-haul flight to Singapore just hours after the great switch-off? Did it hell. He got on the plane because, apparently, it was urgently important to attend meetings in Asia with "international colleagues" who wanted to make Earth Hour a global event.

In the process, Bourne’s plane dumped on the weary planet about a quarter of the C02 that was allegedly saved during Earth Hour. Organisers say 24 tonnes of C02 was saved, but in fact none was saved, just stored, in effect, for later use. And it takes a tonne or three a person to fly to Asia; on the way back, he’d dump the same amount. Now, this may be stating the obvious, but if Bourne is serious about climate change, he should not be flying. He could have been tele-conferencing. Nothing else makes sense. But, then, much about Earth Hour didn’t make sense.

Rather than "send a message," all Earth Hour did was show once again how the Climate Change Cult is really an elitist enterprise: while Goracles tell the rest of us cut back, conserve, and learn to "make do," they can continue to use the modern polluting conveniences, because their work is far more important. And, in the process, controlling and restraining our lives. The poor would stay poor, since to give them modern conveniences like a refrigerator or electric lighting would be harmful to the planet. Besides, if the poor don’t stay poor, how will Al Gore be able to use carbon credits to offset the power wasted by his huge mansion?

Lord, save me from those who would save me.

Addendum: I forgot to point out that I’m not a climate-change denier. Far from it: the Earth is a dynamic system in a constant state of change, as the historical record shows: there have been both periods of warming and periods of cooling. What I find dubious is the "evidence" for anthropogenic climate change and the claim that there is now an unarguable consensus that compels us to undertake immediate, drastic, and harmful countermeasures.

 


Bombing plot foiled in Indonesia

April 5, 2007

A joint effort by Indonesian and Australian investigators has uncovered and foiled a bombing plot that would have been larger than the Bali bombing of 2002. The accused bombers are members of Jemaah Islamiah, al-Qaeda’s Southeast Asian affiliate.

(hat tip: PJM)

 


Frederick the Great weeps

March 22, 2007

German Soldiers Contest Tornado Mission In Afghanistan

A group of German soldiers are contesting the military’s decision to send Tornado jets to Afghanistan to carry out surveillance missions for NATO, the defence ministry confirmed on Friday.

Officers have published a letter in the online newspaper Netzeitung accusing Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung of misleading the country about the mandate of the mission.

The group, who belong to an army association called the "Darmstaedter Signal", dispute Jung’s repeated assurances that it is not a combat mission.

"The results of the reconnaissance flights will be used directly to support the combat led by ground troops and fighter aircraft," they said.

Can’t have that, now, can we?

Thank God for Australia.

 

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