Bleeding Heart Lefty: Australia and Climate Change

Today, the Australian parliament repealed the country’s carbon reduction legislation. It has effectively left our country with no pollution reduction policy and we are the first country in the world to go from having a price on carbon pollution, to having no price on carbon pollution.

Our government campaigned hard on this for some time. They successfully prosecuted the false argument that our carbon tax was hurting Australian business and that it was ineffective in tackling the issue that it was designed for. That neither is actually true – emissions are actually down and the economy has kept growing – didn’t stop them from winning the argument. The whole discussion went from one based on facts to one based on a lowest-common-denominator argument that denigrated a populace.

The argument went something like this: people will fear losing a few dollars from their pocket in the short term more than they’ll fear something they can’t immediately see, something that will effect them in the long term. The hip pocket always rules.

——

Delayed Preface

Forgive me.

I should have prefaced this article by saying that if you don’t believe that human action is having a marked effect on the environment, if you don’t believe in human-influenced climate change, then this article probably isn’t for you.

The legitimacy of any action on climate change turns on whether people believe that an issue actually exists. I do. And I no longer have the time or the patience to discuss the pros and cons with sceptics. Others do and I admire their patience. As far as I’m concerned, however, the science is settled.

Cue the John Oliver video, which you can feel free to watch if you don’t agree (slight language warning):

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The Carbon Tax

The policy that’s just been disposed of was dubbed The Carbon Tax. Back in the 2010 election campaign, our former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said that there would be no carbon tax under a government she leads. When that government ended up relying on the Greens for support, the carbon tax they insisted on was a direct contradiction of Gillard’s pledge. That breach, along with the hung parliament itself, proved terminal to Gillard’s tenure as PM.

The carbon tax put a fixed price on carbon emissions. Like most taxes, it has a dual purpose of influencing behaviour towards a desired goal and raising some money (to be directed towards other projects that help meet the goal).

The carbon tax should have been a cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme. That was the original plan but the former government wimped out in 2009, only to return in 2010 with a carbon tax that was toxic from the get-go. The intentions were good and the tax actually worked to a large degree, but that’s of little consolation now.

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Direct (In)Action

Our new conservative government repealed the carbon tax laws today. Their plan to help tackle climate change and meet Australia’s emissions reduction goal is called Direct Action.

In short, they have a bucket of money that they’re going to offer as an incentive for companies that voluntarily reduce their polluting. It’s a reverse-auction style of fund, so companies will bid for the money but there’s no compulsion for them to do so because there’s no longer a cap on emissions. There’s merely a desire to reduce overall emissions by 5% by 2020, which is now seen variously as a very modest goal by the standards of Australia’s major trading partners and as quite inadequate by the environmental lobby.

Direct Action has been rightly described as an environmental figleaf, a token gesture to cover up the embarrassing lack of real action on climate change by this government.

In fact, I’m surprised that hardline conservatives are accepting the Direct Action plan at all. If the overarching desire of the conservative is fiscal prudence and getting Australia’s budget on track, then the spending of a couple of billion dollars on something that no-one except Tony Abbott believes will work (and the depth of his belief is the dictionary definition of ‘questionable’) then that’s pouring $2billion or so down the drain. We’ve all seen plenty of outrage about the carbon tax. I haven’t seen any outrage about that.

And how about the fact that the government has gone from charging polluters to charging the general population? No outrage from the lower taxes! crowd there, either. I guess as long as your side appears to be winning, they can do whatever they like.

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Other Cuts

Our conservative government, along with abolishing the carbon tax, has sought to dismantle the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, a body set up to finance ‘green loans’ to companies embarking on clean energy projects. The CEFC makes money for the government (fact), provides greater access to clean energy (fact) as well as jobs in the energy sectors of the future (fact). It seems logical to keep it, but they want to shut it down.

They’ve appointed a self-confessed climate sceptic to oversee a review of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. It’ll be no surprise when that’s wound back.

We have no science portfolio at the federal level. This is the first time Australia’s had no Minister for Science since the 1930’s. And funding to Australia’s major science body, the CSIRO, has been cut by over $100million.

The Climate Commission was closed almost immediately upon the Coalition’s election last year. This body’s task was to provide meaningful, authoritative and publicly digestible information about climate change. The main identity from the Climate Commission, Tim Flannery, has since founded the Climate Council through public donation, a funding model that I’m sure is a constant source of pleasure to conservatives everywhere.

In all, the recent Coalition budget slashed proposed spending on climate research and clean energy from more than $5billion to just $500 million over the next 4 years.

And despite all that, our Prime Minister stood in front of TV cameras today and said “We are a conservationist government” with a straight face.

——

The Future of Climate Change in Australia

Today, Australia went from being a leader in climate change action to falling more than a decade behind the rest of the world. In just one day.

Climate change is not going to go away as an issue in this country. First, it has science on its side. There’s a old saying down here (and in other parts of the world) about not letting facts get in the way of a good story. But facts should, and will, prevail. Especially on an issue as important as this.

Australia is experiencing more and more in the way of extreme weather activity. We’ve always had bushfires and we’ve always had storms. It’s the intensity, frequency and ferocity of these occurrences that’s increasing. Climate change plays a part in this; as the countryside gets drier the fires get more intense and as the seas get warmer, the storms get more fierce. The people who don’t believe the modelling on climate change will eventually see the evidence for themselves. Hopefully for them, it’ll be on television rather than in person.

The window is slowly closing on mankind’s ability to take meaningful action. Australia is now at least 10 years behind on joining a meaningful global effort and our Liberal-National coalition, who are more intent on staying in power than they are on making a positive difference for all Australians, will ride the opposition and their carbon tax pony as far into the ground as possible. In fact, Christopher Pyne (aka the most annoying man in Australia) said as much today, saying during question time that the government was going to hang the carbon tax around the Labor Party’s neck like a stinking carcass.

There’s your playing field. It’s set.

Officially, the government actually believes in the doctrine of man-made climate change. Despite our Prime Minister being (in)famous for saying that the science behind climate change was absolute crap. And despite the government’s policies not supporting any real belief in the science. And despite them demonising anyone who’s policies advocate meaningful action. But officially, they do believe.

Welcome to Australia.

I felt compelled to write something about this today. I realise it’s not much, though. It contributes nothing new to the debate and has no new insight. I just wanted to get it off my chest. For the absolute best article on this subject I’ve seen today, read Lenore Taylor’s editorial at The Guardian. It sums up Australia’s dilemma beautifully.

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37 Comments

  1. It seems like the vast majority have their blinders on so they can continue with business as usual—nothing to worry about. I’m glad you took the time to speak up on this subject. Good read.

  2. Sad day for OZ…and the world…but I fear many politicians in other countries are wishing they could do the same…including right here in the USofA. There plenty of nay-sayers here on the subject.

    Another case of corporate hands down the trousers of politicians. I doubt one could find enough politicians ON THE PLANET to fill a “Smart ForTwo”, who aren’t beholding to some lobbying group.

    Personally, I’m sick to death of the whole lot.

  3. I’m a skeptic. The climate in our world has changed for thousands of years and it continues to this day. Correlation doesn’t equal cause-and-effect. I’ve yet to come across a cogent argument that puts humans in the driver seat.

    A better argument for carbon reduction is, in my view, conservation. That is, even if you don’t believe that the climate is linked to carbon consumption, know that our dependence upon carbon energy is real and it must be conserved for now and the future of our planet. That is, to my way of thinking, the best rationale for carbon limits.and so I support environmentalism as a whole for that reason.

    To me, the worst part of the existing legislation here and elsewhere is that laws make inefficient processes clean up after themselves rather than foster innovation aimed more toward higher efficiency and less waste. We keep doing business in the same way wanting different results just because we tack on different regulations. It’s not good enough.

    1. “I’m a skeptic.”

      Why does this not surprise me. I suppose you believe that the Moon Landing in 1969 never really took place either?

      Sure…climate change has been a part of the planet from Day-One…but never in such an accelerated manner. And as the world’s population continues to grow at an ever increasing pace, so does Man’s affect on the climate, and the planet as a whole. But I suppose you don’t agree with that either. So keep you head in the sand a little longer.

      1. “…never in such an accelerated manner.”

        Neither you nor science at large can support that statement.

        As far as having my head in the sand, I don’t. I read, wanting the next guy’s paper to be the one with proof. Turns out that you can’t prove how the earth works or doesn’t with about 30 years worth of almost consistent data. Bummer.

        The best course of action is to do what we all know is right (conservation, cleaner technology, etc.) because it is what we should do as humans. I am just as environmentally conscious as any conspiracy believer but I do it without having to be scared by a bunch of self-flagellating scientists rushing to be the first one to finish the exam. I do it because it is the right thing to do, not because Neill Degrasse Tyson arrogantly ridicules anyone that doesn’t fall in line with him. If you have to quash debate, you have something to hide.

        You do not know me, and thus you don’t know I spent nearly ten years of my career retrofitting major fossil-fired power plants with air pollution control systems to meet the air quality regulations. You don’t know that I am intimately aware of how regulations are written and passed in the US. I’ll open your eyes a little. You know all of those dirty, filthy lobbyists that supposedly get pharmaceutical companies big profits and keep bankers out of hot water? Well, those very same dirty, filthy lobbyists are hired by people who want extreme environmental measures passed. You wanna know something else? They use the very same tactics, grease the very same palms and lie the very same lies to get either pro-business or pro-regulation legislation passed. It just depends upon the day of the week and who pays their paycheck at that time. The best friend a lobbyist can have is an hysterical bunch of voters at the doorsteps of Congress. If it’s drugs, they want people crazed about the high cost of drugs. If it’s environmental regs, they want the California new age hippies protesting in Berkley. This is a business. It’s a business that has a profit motive.

        Once again, I act responsibly, and so you shouldn’t disagree with my position — I support better, more meaningful regulations. I simply think that we should be focusing on better solutions rather than wringing our hands and quick fixing the old ones.

          1. A pity the second one links to a scientific paper that costs $32 to download. The title asserts human-driven change, but the short summary details only the weather predictions, not the link to humans in the drivers seat.

            All ‘link’ papers that I’ve read confuse correlation with cause-and-effect. We know there were very hot periods in the earth’s history at times when human populations were very small — this is why Kansas is a hotbed for seaborne dinosaur bones. How can we know the correlation indicates cause when there is at least one other known cause for which we cannot account? It isn’t logical. COULD the warming be caused by people? Yes, absolutely it could. Has it been proven? No.

            Again, I say this: Do what is right. Do what you know to be right. Don’t bludgeon me with scare tactics spread by people with an ax to grind.

            (An additional factoid that is sometimes lost: Warm temperatures favor CO2 release from the ocean’s surface, so warm ocean temperatures themselves create more atmospheric CO2, even without prior rises in atmospheric CO2 levels. Thus rising CO2 is a very poor indicator BY ITSELF of pinpointing cause. Again, this isn’t nay saying, but it’s a factor that cannot be ignored and it has absolutely been ignored in many of the hand-wringing pseudo-science papers that I’ve read.)

      2. Nice ad hominem there… Anazing how poorly this reflects on one’s argument and intellect. Thanks to Swade for nipping it in the bud.

    2. You are right to be skeptical, it seems hardly a day goes by when there is not some new fraud discovered that has been perpetrated by the global warming/climate change crowd. It sounds here like Australia is making the right decision.

      It was none other than the late Professor Reid Bryson, the father of modern climate science, who referred to the idea of man-made global warming as “a bunch of hooey.” Bryson also stated:

      “Humans are polluting the air and adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere,
      but the effect is tiny.

      It’s like there is an elephant charging in and you worry about the fact
      that there is a fly sitting on its head. It’s just a total misplacement
      of emphasis. It really isn’t science because there’s no really good
      scientific evidence.

      There is a lot of money to be made in this.If you want to be an eminent
      scientist you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You
      canât get grants unless you say, Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon
      dioxide…

      There is very little truth to what is being said and an awful lot
      of religion. It’s almost a religion. Where you have to believe in
      anthropogenic (or man-made) global warming or else you are nuts.”

      Like anything else, as Bryson indicated, you need to follow the money. What it’s really all about is a path to more money and power for the political class. These control freaks are always looking for ways to metastasize the State into more aspects of the proles’ lives, as well as lusting after lucrative ways to steal ever more wealth in the form of taxation. That, and of course it is a religion for the rank-and-file True Believers, whose general approach is similar to that of Creation Scientists “proving” that the Earth is only 6000 years old.

      Basically I have no problem with anyone’s religion as long as it does not affect others. People are free to believe in man-made global warming or the tooth fairy for all I care as long as I’m left out of it. The trouble is that the politicians have latched onto this as their newest gravy train, so it is necessary to push back.

      I know this opinion will not be popular here, so that’s all I’m going to say about it other than I personally refuse to lower my own “carbon footprint” in order placate the politicians or their useful idiots. CO2 is NOT a pollutant.

      1. You are right to be skeptical, it seems hardly a day goes by when there is not some new fraud discovered that has been perpetrated by the global warming/climate change crowd.

        I must have missed yesterday’s fraud. What was it again?

        That’s what I love about the modern right – the absolutism.

        You can always find a scientist willing to support a point of view (like you say, follow the money) especially if it means you don’t have to change what you think or how you act. The problem is, about 95%-plus of the science community TODAY sits in another camp from this ‘father of climate science’ (which we all know is short for, “he’s an old guy”).

        “Like anything else, as Bryson indicated, you need to follow the money. What it’s really all about is a path to more money and power for the political class.”

        So it makes total sense that the elite of our political class just repealed the legislation, then.

        The ‘follow the money’ thing doesn’t make any sense, either. Who’s got more money to buy the climate science they like? A windmill inventor that needs to create a bigger market, or a giant global energy corporation doing billions of dollars in revenue PER DAY? I guess follow-the-money does make sense, but not for the reasons you state.

        1. Well, I wasn’t going to get further into this, but since you mention it…

          This is not just some random scientist we are talking about here, this is the man who founded the field of modern climate science.

          Bryson also stated:

          “There is no question the earth has been warming. It is coming out of the
          ‘Little Ice Age.’ However, there is no credible evidence that it is due
          to mankind and carbon dioxide. We’ve been coming out of a Little Ice
          Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for
          300 years. It’s been warming up for a long time.

          Just because almost all of the scientific community believes in man-made
          global warming proves absolutely nothing. Consensus doesn’t prove anything,
          in science or anywhere else, except in democracy, maybe.”

          The elite of your political class apparently consists of at least a few right-minded people who are interested in more than their own self-aggrandizement at the expense of the public. We even have some here in the U.S. like that, just not enough to make a difference, at least not yet. At the moment the inmates are largely in charge of the asylum, but hopefully we will be able to change that in the near future.

          1. WUWT? The Infowars of the climate world? One guy in a tinfoil hat ‘finds’ a variation in data from thousands of data points – from 70 years ago – and that means everything about climate science and its consequences is complete bunkum. It’s a massive bet to make.

            Cue the John Oliver video again. Because again, this article is about the right/wrong way to address climate change and what our Australian government has just done. It’s not whether it’s real or not. In my mind, that question is settled. In yours, it’s settled on the other side. Each to their own.

        2. The fact that you painted the whole ‘modern Right’ with the ‘absolutism’ brush puts you in the same boat.

          Just sayin’.

          I’m a Right-leaning person, and I want environmental responsibility, but I just resent being fed a theory that could have merit as absolute fact by the Left (there’s that ‘absolutism’ again) when proof simply isn’t there.

          Let’s quit yelling from across the figurative aisle and try to find common ground.

          1. Forgive me. The need for speed often means I don’t include all the words I should. I meant the ‘far’ right or the ‘hard’ right. There are plenty of people on both sides of the isle willing to talk sense. It’s the hard-liners on either side that usually mean a solution’s woefully compromised. In fact, it was the determination of hard-liner’s on the left that led to a carbon tax instead of an emissions trading scheme, which is a big part of why Australia’s in the position we’re in today.

            I do think the case is made for this issue to a much greater extent than you do, but we’re all different.

            Your previous comment brought up one of the other reasons to act in what I believe is the right way, though. Conservation. In my mind, it’s simply the responsible thing to do – behaving in a way that leaves a minimal footprint. We only have one planet. We can develop it but should do so responsibly because there are plenty of generations to come.

  4. A little bit of extra heat is good, it will help us ward off the effects of the next ice age and as we all know ice ages are the real killers. Here in Canada the warming trends are opening up vast tracks of land to agriculture, extending growing seasons and as well reducing heating oil consumption due to the milder winters. Also new shipping lanes are opening up in the north as the ice melts facilitating growth in the economy there including mining, oil and gas exploration, fishing, to name a few. All good things.

    Using global warming as an excuse for a new tax is exceptionally poor strategically for govt’s to employ. It pretty much dooms emissions reductions to becoming a nasty political football that will never move forward. Govt’s should use policy and standards to effect positive change in this area instead of making it a blatant tax grab that will just end up in the pockets of politicians and their friends,

    1. You probably know that our PM is lockstep with Stephen Harper on this issue. He visited your country recently and they were all over the news here.

      A few things:

      “We all know ice ages are the real killers” – Don’t know that we’ve seen the alternative yet to know whether it’s a “real killer” or not. The pleasant conditions far northerners (and southerners) might experience for a short time will be balanced by much less pleasant conditions elsewhere. Maybe some low-lying equatorial countries suffering from rising tides and disappearing, for example. Slightly longer growing season for a few farmers vs whole islands being wiped out?

      WRT the tax strategy. Crafting this as a straight tax wasn’t the best idea and even the people who drafted the legislation know that now. The Green party had a lot of leverage on the government at that time, hence the more extreme nature of the policy. It would have been much better to start smaller and more sensibly with an emissions trading scheme based on a market price.

      “A blatant tax grab that will just end up on the pockets of politicians and their friends” – There were a lot of initiatives aimed at promoting carbon reduction, renewable energy, etc, that the funds from the carbon tax was directed to. You want handouts to friends – how about a conservative government with a $2billion fund it can divvy up amongst coal producers and other big businesses based on arbitrary ‘promises’ they make to cut their emissions? That’s the new government’s policy for you, and rather than the polluters paying for their pollution, we-the-people are just handing them the money.

      If you think giving money to polluters is a better idea than penalising them for their activities then I’ve got a wonderful plot of land to sell you…..

    1. I would not worry too much about it. Aside from the hard-core religious fanatics and power-seeking politicians, most of us in the U.S. realize that CO2 is not a pollutant. Now if Australia were releasing massive amounts of sulfur dioxide or other noxious/toxic pollution into the atmosphere the reaction might be different. Chin up, Australia is a shining example to the rest of the world!

  5. Good on you Swade, for the article itself and for your rational followups to the unhinged comments 🙂

  6. Once again, when the facts don’t conform to the conservative narrative, the facts are dismissed and/or critiqued.

    When I debated competitively, we would regularly throw out wholly bogus arguments in hopes they’d go ignored until it was too late to refute them. This is pretty much the neo-con playbook today.

    It makes me sad that so many people continue to allow themselves to be duped by big money that have only their own self interest in mind.

  7. A meteor impact would be quite helpful right about now. Not only would the atmospheric dust reflect heat, but an impact crater in the northern Virginia/Maryland area would cut out a lot of CO2 producers as well. 😉

  8. The last ice age was responsible for mass extinctions. Also featured was glacial coverage in North America of all of Canada and as far south as Missouri in the US – that is the bulk of the agricultural food production on this continent. As well all of Northern Europe was covered in miles thick ice. We would all be extinct! When the trend starts to towards a cooling trend then it is time to worry as an ice age can develop quickly, ie within a few generations on a human scale. It wasn’t to long ago, in the 1970’s, that all the talk among the climate science folks was about ice age fears.

    A little bit of extra heat right now, human caused or otherwise, is not all that bad in comparison with the known devastating effects of an ice age. We humans will just have to roll with the punches and imo focus our efforts/resources on any of the potential negative effects of a warming trend such as bolstering our harbours and relocating people from low lying areas if necessary etc.Losing a few South Pacific atolls/island nations is a small potatoes in the bigger picture.

    Giving money to polluters? Never said that! My idea is for governments to use policy, standards, regulation to tackle big industrial polluters and reduce pollution. Don’t tax the people!!

  9. I see we opened a can of woop ass (full of Cfc’s) here I have not gone into hibernation but shall return to the discussion soon as I have an urgent errand. Hint I have personally met some of the world’s leading scientists!

  10. This is a good post Swade.

    I love the way you set yourself up as ‘bleeding heart lefty’ whenever you say something that might cause the tumbleweed to roll through Pistonhead Alley as holsters are unbuttoned, guns are cocked and the saloon bar piano suddenly stops playing.

    I can just see Slim Dusty and his friends turning on their stools and glaring at you now, waiting to see what outlandish stuff you’re going to come out with next.

    Anyway, a thoughtful response from eggs n grits, I reckon.

    In my view, the trouble with climate-change scepticism is that it all too often comes across sooner or later as selfish hard-of-thinking conservativism, and indeed in many cases it seems to be just that.

    But on the other hand, I think people are right to be sceptical about the extent to which the powers-that-be (mis)use this issue as a means of keeping their snouts in the trough at the expense of the average Joe.

    The sad irony is that Mr Abbot, whose sheer nastiness is only made tolerable by his George Dubya comedy value, clearly doesn’t give a Castlemaine XXXX for the average Joe he pretends to represent.

    I think that instinctively most people know that caring for the environment is the right thing to do, they just resent having an agenda imposed upon them.

    Take wind farms, for instance. I think that when someone builds a windfarm and tells people it is owned by a big energy company or central government, then there will be a tendency to say: no way, not in my back yard.

    But if it turns out that the windfarm is going to be owned by the local community and all of its profits will be used to repay its construction and provide the local families with cheap, clean electricity then I think people are open to persuasion.

    Same goes with climate change. At the moment the phenomenon itself is still too abstract and open to interpretation in terms of what many people reckon they can see and feel around them, while the official Climate-change Agenda ™ in the media tends to be dominated by elites that the ordinary Joe doesn’t trust. And there are still legitimate questions about the science.

    For me, prudence alone dictates we must strive to eliminate man-made emissions of C02. Everything else, from hard science to common sense and the view from the queue on the motorway, dictates that we need to move even further in the direction of reduce, reuse, recycle.

    Anyone who thinks that caring about the cleanliness and pleasantness of the world in which we live is a hippy-dippy agenda invented by middle-class liberals in the 1960s needs to just stop for a second and think again.

    Those principles of mending, making do and taking proper care of the land around us are as old as mankind itself. These are, in fact, truly conservative principles in the best sense of the word.

    They come from the same stable that says a mile-long queue of air-polluting SUVs with one person riding in each in them is just stupid and wrong. It’s bad for air quality, it chokes up the streets and it gives the drivers a big lardy ass and a whole load of stress.

    I used to live in a choked-up city where walking around silted up your lungs and cycling was unpleasant at best and downright lethal at worst, and now I stay in a place full of real, dedicated bike lanes that I use every day and lots of greenery, and it is f***ing magic. This isn’t a hippy agenda, it’s just plain common sense.

    Anyway, roll on the organically grown battery cells for the new Saab of 2025!

  11. Swade good to see you on the side of common sense and even if we are mistaken surely for our descendents sakes we should weigh a doubt against a certainty and go the way of ,if we are wrong it does not change things ,but if we are right then we have done the responsible thing.

  12. Well I’ve returned from from a very busy couple of days including yesterday’s huge SAAB meet in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was great to see so many young people who are still as fanatical as ever with their cars.

    But going back to the subject at hand the Climate Change debate. This is my point of view and because of my deep expertise in politics, climate change is a political issue rather than a scientific one and some may feel uncomfortable but this is how I see things.

    Here in Wisconsin which is literally the center of the the political universe for where America goes from here. Wisconsin because we have a great Governor who is so hated by the left because they fear that if he wins re-election in November he will probably run for President in 2016 thereby ending the Socialist agenda which is to stymie economic growth in the name of so called climate change which replaced “Global Warming ” as that term has now become pointless.

    I have met some very prominent scientists who can debunk this myth. William Gray, the world’s leading expert on ocean currents which do effect climate: Willie Wei-Hock Soon is an astrophysicist and geoscientist at the Solar and Stellar Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He is also a receiving editor for the journal New Astronomy; Yuri Korobok, astrophysicist;
    Mark Morano of http://www.climatedepot.com

    This is an attempt by the Left to perpetuate a massive fraud which was exposed when scientists supporting this theory conspired with emails at the University of East Anglia to deliberately falsify evidence to advance their agenda. First of all, their livelihoods depend on receiving grants to perpetuate this theory and as the evidence crumbles around them the more they lie. The earth has actually been cooling in the past 20 years. Just this week Al Gore who makes his vast fortune by spin arrived as usual with record lowest temperatures in Brisbane. The reason I bring the Left into this is this is all about control and income distribution by taxing people of their money to such an extent that people will never be able to accumulate wealth because of these so called carbon tax credits. This makes the population dependent on government.

    First of all carbon dioxide is plant food to which very life on this planet is sustained. so many people (approx. 11%) today are scientifically illiterate. The reason I talked to the above named scientists is I can engage in an intelligent conversions with them because I understand correlations of how things work.

    This brings me back to the USA and Wisconsin politics. Our state is one of the most dependent on coal-fired electrical generation because we are one of the most productive states in manufacturing jobs. The Federal Gov. (EPA) is mandating 22% energy production by renewable energy. The flaw with this is that electrical supply has to be constant and if there are calm days with no wind we will be stuck. The environmentalists won’t allow nuclear expansion. The hideous part is that electrical rates will double and as a retiree on a fixed income I have no insight how I will pay my utility bills because I’m stretched to the limit now. This very scenario is now happening in Britain with her pensioners.

    Gov. Scott Walker’s opponents are subtly undermining employment opportunities in our state to ruin his performance resume by prevaricating the facts. I welcome discussion.

    1. If you’ve met all those famous sciencey people, how come you’re trotting out old chestnuts like “plants need CO2” as if making more and more of the stuff is a really, really good thing? It’s amazing that forests survived in much larger volumes centuries ago without an industrial revolution to help them grow, don’t you think?

      But I digress…..

      Allow me to draw your attention once again to this section of my article:

      I should have prefaced this article by saying that if you don’t believe that human action is having a marked effect on the environment, if you don’t believe in human-influenced climate change, then this article probably isn’t for you.

      The legitimacy of any action on climate change turns on whether people believe that an issue actually exists. I do. And I no longer have the time or the patience to discuss the pros and cons with sceptics. Others do and I admire their patience. As far as I’m concerned, however, the science is settled.

      Cue the John Oliver video, which you can feel free to watch if you don’t agree (slight language warning):

      ——

      This is NOT about whether you personally believe in the science or not.

      It’s about what people who don’t think like you are going to do about it (while people who think as you do take a free ride).

    2. Funny, I thought the reason my energy bills doubled in Britain over the past decade or so was to fund the the increasingly gigantic annual profit of my energy supplier, who operated in a de facto cartel with the other big energy suppliers, while I was fed a load of PR bull about bills going up because of the cost of building a few windfarms and fluctuations in wholesale gas prices.

      If that perspective puts me on the Left, then I’m cool with that.

      Likewise, if being annoyed at a complete dysfunctional “market” that requires these profiteering corporations to constantly pester and time-waste with people to get them to switch between suppliers to nobody’s real benefit except the suppliers themselves, also puts me on the left then I am cooler than a Marxist guerrilla in shades with that one.

  13. There is no doubt the world is warming up but I’m with eggs on this one re cause and effect. When there are many other constitute causes other than CO2 levels it is absolutely impossible to say for certain that CO2 and pollution are the underlying major cause of global warming. This can make me a bit intolerant with adamant climate change fanatics as they present their incomplete knowledge as fact. That being said I don’t agree with us polluting the only known planet in the universe that can support life, how selfish,arrogant and shortsighted is that?

    A quick analogy – if you have high blood pressure from a genetic condition (parallel with the earth’s normal heating- cooling cycle) unless you are an idiot you don’t go stuffing your face with a diet high in salt, sugar and fat (CO/pollution parallel) and think it isn’t going to make things worse. Straws and camels backs come to mind.

    one thing I am totally skeptical about is ‘green’ taxes, these are just a convenient, pious, excuse for taking more money from our pockets.

    In summary my belief is that for a period (decades/centuries/millennia?) the world will keep getting warmer purely due to natural cycles whatever we do but we shouldn’t make things worse.
    Ironically at some point in the far off future the whole of northern Europe and Canada for example will be covered 100’s of feet deep in ice again and future generations will bemoan the loss of their homes and countries as they have to migrate south. We live on a beautiful but hostile and volatile planet and its the only one we’ve got so lets take care of it but also remember we aren’t modern day king Canute’s trying to stop the inevitable. It will get warmer whatever and we need scientist to develop strategies to deal with this regarding health, desertification and the other risks from rising temperatures rather than on studies (funded by lobbyists who demand a particular outcome) that will change nothing at all.

  14. This video shows what total BS this fraud is. I have permanent frostbite damage from this winter: The great lakes icebreakers only recently left Lake Superior. My thoughts on the economic control are the real reasons for this as I stated.

    The damage which was far greater than anything man is capably of from a natural disasters like Mt. Pinatubo or even Krakatoa or a few years ago in Iceland have now been cleaned up by nature herself.
    To have the prevaricator-in-chief say we need to do something now makes my case because he is deliberately stopping the “Keystone Pipeline” bringing oil from Canada to Texas to stop pollution is for all to see. He deliberate authorizes oil-tanker trains that are far more polluting and in danger of accidents just to award his crony Warren (all you can eat) Buffet with the lucrative in the pocket contracts.

    This is a shorter response than I wanted. I will not have the time to reply to this until mi-August as I am now preparing fro the long drive to the Saab Convention in Oregon and I’m emotionally worn out blogging, unbeaten in response against the “Rocket Scientists,” in Hamasistan. But going back to original thesis that this is about politics, not science, this was published after my above article, corroborating what I stated.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/23/130-environmental-groups-call-for-an-end-to-capitalism/

    1. Peter, please do me a favour. Don’t rush back from SOC to reply. In fact, don’t reply at all because rubbish like that isn’t welcome.