We Need a Steady Voice: A Note from Phil Sawyer

Phil Port Lincoln_May 2007I am convinced that a competently run and managed party, overtly running on a pro-science platform, could win enough Senate seats in the Australian Parliament at the next election to take control from the independents and the Greens. This post briefly explores the potential for success of such a party, and invites responses from readers.

To the extent that the name should be a signifier of party identity, I have suggested that the Science Greens or Green Science, would be a good name. However, some sounding boards of mine have suggested that “science” has a bad name in the public mind! Others insist that calling oneself any kind of ” green ” will be a complete put-off with large slabs of the potential constituency.  Maybe.  However, such a name does imply that there are other kinds of greenies, ones that are patently not scientific.  And that is the starting point of the platform, as outlined below.

Another name might be the Resources Party, or some such. Whatever it is called, with the right people in the driving seat, and with candidates to knock your socks off, I believe it could have spectacular success.

My argument for why this outcome is entirely possible is not based the simple assumption that there is sufficient electoral support for policies in favour of nuclear energy and GM crops, and other such “scientific ” matters, to get over the line. There may be, but I doubt it, although judging by the unfolding debate about nuclear power, this constituency can only grow.

Rather, the key to understanding why such a party could be a startling success is in the realisation that such a party could also be tailored to tap the widespread anti-greenie sentiments that are held within the general community, which I see as a huge, but latent, slice of the electorate that no other party is prepared to pitch for. The influence on public policy of quasi-scientific environmentalism touches most Australians, and, in the form of the ETS threatens to further do so.

This situation has created an enormous constituency that basically subscribes to the barbecue wisdom that ” the greenies have too much influence over governments.”  But, aside perhaps from the Nationals, voters have nowhere to go to cast a vote against environmentalism.

By environmentalism I mean that clutch of beliefs that go beyond the realistic, and on to the fundamental, and held by people whose naive certitudes threaten the welfare of all of us,  courtesy of a compliant Government which is itself largely scientifically illiterate. Pollies are thus intimidated by their incapacity to scientifically argue anything that differs from the quasi-science of the purveyors of planetary salvation.

So we end up with a situation whereby those of an anti-green sentiment generally have no-one to vote for. Their vote instead goes to the party that best caters for their various other predispositions, which uselessly spreads the votes from this substantial slice of the electorate across all the parties. And all the other parties have common policies: they all want some sort of an ETS scheme, are against nuclear power, are obstructionist with regard to GM crops, and are happy to let the Parkies close up more and more of our land and sea, trashing lifestyles and communities in the process. A single party that generally stands against the excesses of all this planet saving madness will get considerable support.

Thus the aim of the party would be to tap this incipient coalition.  Maybe enough to capture 3 or 4 senate seats, thus ensuring that Australia will never trash its prosperity in a paroxysm of millenarianism and settler guilt, or lose opportunities because its Government was unable or unwilling to put the national interest before the electoral need to placate a sentimental rump. The very creation of a new science-based party, led by a clutch of outstanding scientists as candidates, should be sufficient, in itself, to set off an immediate tidal wave of support and notoriety. Around the world!

Support for Nuclear Energy, and GM crops would be signature “science” policies of the new party, policies that will bring the immediate wrath of environmentalists, and assure the party of early notoriety. It is even possible that success could balloon into something positively Hansonian!  ( by that I mean cheap publicity through the very novelty ).

Policies on population, the ETS and climate change, water management, forestry, national parks, fisheries, energy infrastructure priorities, etc  would be designed to assemble a broad anti-environmentalist coalition, from BHP to beekeepers, from bikers to boaties, from boffins to boofheads, from blackfellas to bankers. You get the drift.

Having assembled a variegated network of corporate and institutional support, the party launch would become the time for the candidates to appear on the scene to begin the political process with a sheaf of policies already written. Not much room for a grass roots approach. And not enough time either. A top-down electoral coup, some might say. A naked push by technocrats, impatient with leaders who wait to follow, others might say. And as for taking money from industry, I would ask why taking money from people who are frightened by the prospect of the end of the world is morally superior.

The pro-nuclear lobby, the uranium industry, and the genetic engineering industry are obvious sources of financial support. The anti ETS lobby is now substantial, and the gas, mining, and smelting industries in general would obviously be supportive of policies to decorbonise our economy with nuclear energy. For example, it is scandalous that Areva and Westinghouse cant quote for the water and power for Greater Roxby, and a stupendous amount poallRThe forestry community too, where grass roots organisations like the FCA have more members than our political parties put together, should be a natural fit, as would the fishing industry.

From the published views of unions like the AWU and CFME, one could also expect support from them, along with a smattering of think tanks, bits of academia, the denialist blogosphere, some aboriginal groups, and so on.

Aside from commercial interests and stakeholders, recreational groups should also be seen as a huge potential reservoir of support. Their memberships are often single issue type voters as well. Access and management of national parks and other public lands and waters are the issue, and the example of the recent locking up of the Barmah forest is typical, as was the end of the mountain cattlemen, more than a decade ago. Fishing industry organisations too, are up in arms all over the country. GBRMPA is regarded as a law unto itself, and other states like SA are busily locking up well managed fisheries into marine parks.

The sacrifice of tradition and lifestyle on the altar of cafe latte environmentalism demonstrates a failure of the body politic to both protect and respect the interests of ordinary people. And they are justifiably furious. And I won’t mention Black Saturday. The list goes on. A broad base on which to pitch for electoral support, it seems to me.

I am reminded of my own brief career as an ALP candidate. John Kerin was a mate who shared my misgivings about our party getting into bed with the greenies during the 1990 election. We  both saw a threat to our grand old secular social-democratic party from uncritically fellow-travelling with the greens, tempting as it it might have been, in the short term. John told me later that he raised the matter of dividing the “greenies”  into ” fundos ” and ” realos ” in cabinet, arguing that realos were ordinary Aussies who just wanted to do things better, ( and who could argue with that? ), while the fundos were those who exploited this fact to further their own agenda. We both thought it was a good idea, even if slightly borrowed from Germany. We could label anyone we differed with us as a fundo!  Easy. But apparently a certain my Richardson shot the idea down. Why, you might ask? Because it would involve candidates knowing enough science to carry out the strategy!

Twenty years down the track our country urgently needs the steadying voice of science, clearly and simply expressed from the highest levels of public life, more urgently than ever. Control of the senate is the perfect platform.

And the candidates? Only science and engineering graduates need apply.

I believe six or seven of the nine members of the Chinese Politburo are engineers. Lord help us.

What do you think?

Phil Sawyer
Adelaide, South Australia


The picture of Mr Sawyer was taken looking over Port Lincoln in May 2007.

70 Responses to We Need a Steady Voice: A Note from Phil Sawyer

  1. Larry July 28, 2009 at 6:09 am #

    Phil wrote:
    “And the candidates? Only science and engineering graduates need apply.”

    That by itself isn’t sufficient to safeguard your party from hijack. A large number of reputable scientists have some degree of belief in Climate Alarmism. Why? They’re not specialists in meteorology or related fields, and they assume that the Warmies have a reasonable level of scientific integrity. I know a leading mathematician and astrophysicist who was inclined to believe in AGW. He was very surprised when I mentioned the known fraud and raw data withholding in a phone conversation several months ago.

    Anyway, there’s nothing to prevent James Hansen (PhD astrophysics) clones from becoming active in your new political party, unless you screen for ideological purity. Back in the early 1990s, billionaire Ross Perot founded the Reform party in the US. My understanding was that his main concern was economic policy. The Perot Factor, which eroded support for Bush the Elder, contributed to Clinton’s victory in 1992.

    The election of 2000 was a different ball of wax. Pat Buchanan, who is known for his extreme right-wing views hijacked the party, and appeared as a presidential candidate. In Florida, due to the illegal (according to state law) and difficult-to-read ballot, thousands of seniors with marginal vision, who had intended to vote for Gore, accidentally voted for Bush Jr. That was one of several pivotal events that contributed to The Shrub’s apparent victory.

    Single-issue party or eventual major party? The former would be less vulnerable to hijacking. In a country with proportional representation, a single-issue party could make a difference. In Sweden, the fastest growing party is the Pirate Party. A lot of younger people (especially file-sharers) there feel that the intellectual property laws are too strict. The newest members are up in arms about the possible judicial misconduct in the Pirate Bay trial. In Sweden, 4% of the vote entitles you to a seat in their parliament.

  2. Louis Hissink July 28, 2009 at 6:23 am #

    The Chinese Premier is a geologist.

  3. Louis Hissink July 28, 2009 at 6:54 am #


    I think it more important to fully understand how this issue got entangled with the Greens etc in the first place.

    When did this idea first took root? Margaret Mead’s conference of 1975 seems to have been the starting point since the players then are the e prominent AGW players now – Stephen Schneider, John Holdren, to mention a couple.

    I must also add that any political party is intrinsically devisive – since it separates “us” from “them” and this system has been operating since time immemorial.

    I am a member of the Climate Sceptics Party and it’s intentions seem to be the same as yours. So why propose another one under a different flag?

    Is that because of the perception that the Climate Sceptics might be dominated by Tories?

    There is also the real danger of such a party you are advocating turning into a priestly caste, and I cannot really see much difference between it, and their antecedents, the various Churches. Instead of crimson robes we propose to have pundits grabed in white coats.

    It would be far better to white-ant the existing major parties than create more splinter groups in the political domain. Mind you some serious knee-capping has to occur in the ALP to wrest control away from the bruvvers and the Fabians, and perhaps the white-ant scenario is too optimistic in this case.

    Over to the others.

  4. Luke July 28, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    How can you have a “pro-science” party full of anti-scientific climate denialists. Basically a rag tag bunch of retired geologists, economists and property rights actvists. What a bunch of old coots. About as electorally appealling as a Besser brick. Just think you’ll probably have Plimer or McLean as head of your climate policy group.

  5. Jeremy C July 28, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    Andddd I nominate as the natural leader………. Sarah Palin!!

  6. Ayrdale July 28, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    There is a vacuum waiting to be filled. It is now accepted by the electorate that green actually means red, and that green politicians fly their green flag with hypocritical arrogance.

    A party that captured the imagination of the Australian public in this manner, would probably have an international appeal.

    Go for it !

  7. Neville July 28, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Number one problem for a new party is a lack of recognition, perhaps the sceptics have a chance if they can get some publicity soon before the next election.
    Then they need preferences from the major parties and they won’t be coming from labor.
    If you can be recognised by say 5% of the electorate in 6 months time you would be doing a very good job.
    How to get publicity is the number one problem even if your message is an attractive one and knocking the greens is certainly attractive.

  8. Patrick B July 28, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    I really don’t know where Phil is getting his info from. Australians have consistently shown support for protection of the environment. The Nationals’ numbers in the Federal parliament reflect the fact that the pro-development anti-environmentalism agenda is a vote loser. Australians are also anti-libertarian, and I detect a sub-text driven by that nasty ideology (here Birdy Birdy), this is not the US. It’s amazing to see the hero worship amoungst the denialist/fundi/libertarian colalition here for those in the US who claim Obama is dragging them towards Socialism. By US standards we are Socialist and most of us are loving it and express abhorance at the US system. I advise the “Science Greens” to stop wasting each others time and money. The Democrats have a better chance at a comeback than you do of toppling the Greens.

  9. SJT July 28, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    I think you should select Ian Mott and Graeme Bird as your candidates.

  10. Noel Skippen July 28, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Can I suggest that the word ‘rational’ be the basis of the new party. The green aspect of most issues attracts an emotional and, at times, an almost religious slant and rational discussion of facts becomes impossible.
    Rational debate is what we need, but are denied by the greens who rely on emotion and ad hominem attacks to promote their causes.

  11. janama July 28, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    the problem is the current liberal party – the latest poll says that the approval for the ETS has dropped from 61% to 41% whilst those wanting to wait until after Copenhagen has risen to 45%.

    Turnbull has been shifting around on his arse like a dog with worms on the subject – at least Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott have stated clearly that they are sceptics as are most of the party – even labor’s Ferguson is a sceptic – they’ve just missed the perfect opportunity to gain some ground yet Turnbull’s reticence has dropped his popularity down to 16%.


    and No – I see no need for a new party.

  12. C. Paul Barreira July 28, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    I voted invalidly at the more or less recent by-election in Mayo. More important than my response to the liberal candidate was–and remains–the determination by the Liberal party to follow Labor and the Greens on their righteous and irredeemable path to Zimbabwe. The outlook now is so bad that one must surely abandon all hope. It will be for a few years only that I shall be free to listen to my CD collection (Haydn string quartets, especially), so I must make the most of it. Fraud, deceit and rent-seeking rule. And, the privileged few excepted, the lights will fail.

    One scientists, very generally speaking, and public life: remember that of the 14 very senior figures of the German National-Socialist regime who attended the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, eight had doctorates from the most prestigious universities in Central Europe. (See Mark Roseman, The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution (Penguin, 2002).)

  13. Green Davey July 28, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Sorry Phil,
    I enjoy your contributions to this blog, but I can’t vote for you, despite my Welsh ancestry. You look too much like a Druid. I note that most successful career ‘environmentalists’ in the ACF, Greenpeace, WWF, IPCC etc. are now non-Druids, at least in appearance. They must have been advised by PR experts. In the seventies, I fancied being a Druid, so I grew a beard, but my wife told me it smelt like mouldy hay. I now accept what Roald Dahl had to say on beards.
    Further, like H.G. Wells, and I think at least one of the Huxleys, I would be worried about ‘scientists taking over the world’. There’s something missing in their training, or their brains. There’s a problem in the universities.
    Humanists would be a better bet, or, ideally, educated people who balance science with humanities. Philosopher Queens or Kings perhaps? As Stewie pointed out on another thread, there are plenty of Green Queens, but, from what I have seen of their philosophy, it is poor.

  14. Graeme Bird July 28, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    At first the idea of only having science graduates is a bit spooky for a political party. But on the other hand we’d only expect this to be a small outfit. Not actually running things. So maybe it might be an idea.

    We just want people to be sufficiently abusive of these anti-science green idiots. These compulsive liars. But most of all we want awesome firepower directed at anyone who compromises with this filth. There has been too much soft-pedaling going on. Too much triangulating towards what after all is blatant science fraud. And so the cutoff of only having science and engineering graduates could be helpful. Everyone being a graduate could be helpful in wresting the science mantle off these people who have no affinity for science at all. And who are really just a bunch of superstitious primitives and compulsive liars.

  15. wes george July 28, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    Go with the Science Party. Or maybe Fair Science Party. Keep on message, simple and focused. Don’t worry about “science” as an alienating term. Those who fear rational analysis of the empirical evidence aren’t going to vote for you no matter what it’s called. See Luke’s post.

    Become a quick study of the history of minor parties in Australia. Learn from their precedents, then apply. Approach the founding of a new party with the same sort of empirical evidence based approach you plan to bring to national policy debates.

    Don’t align the Science Party with corporations or institutions that have a vested interest in a particular outcome!

    To this day I have friends who believe that any science sceptical of AGW is a naked lie invented by Big Tobacco and Oil, so deep has that myth penetrated the public imagination. Set the party’s funding up so that this conspiracy theory can not be transferred to it.

    Make it clear that the Science Party understands the interests of big corporations isn’t any more likely to align with purely good science than that of big government. The Science Party must be perceived by the public as the same sort of independent, dispassionate arbitrator of policy facts that the scientific method is of experimental hypotheses.

    Sincerely and positively reach out in all directions with an open mind and a desire to make new allies and genuinely listen hard to what others have to say. Take notes. If only to better deconstruct their arguments in the future.

    Reach out to the Greenies and the experienced Parkies (whose on the ground wisdom is often vast) To the unionists, academics and enviro NGOs and CSIRO. You’ll be surprised how many oppressed voices of reason live in our institutions just waiting for the liberation you can offer! Give everyone more than a fair chance to ally with empiricism and compassionate reason or explain why irrational and delusional policies are in our national interest.

    Publicly, keep focused on the single most resonant 1 or 2 issues of the day. Repetition of a few talking points matters. Don’t confuse the public.

    Don’t post a public position on every issue facing Australia that requires scientific insight. The ABC will have too many sound bites to twist and they’ll vignette the Science Party as nutters overnight. Before anyone ever hears your main talking points, the water hole of public perception will be poisoned. Remember you’re trying to get a foot in the door, once established the party’s platform can become more detailed and expansive. The first moments of the party’s emergence will be the most critical–everything that can go wrong will. So keep it simple.

    Post a platform of unimpeachable principles upon which you stand and promise to bring to parliament. Once clearly articulated, the principles of rational, non-ideological inquiry into the empirical bases of public policy designs can be applied to any circumstance from AGW to indigenous health.

    Above all, first establish the raison de etat for the Science Party firmly in the public mind. If a clear image can be secured in the public’s mind of the Science Party half the battle is won.

    Begin with a narrative of the basic problem the Science Party hopes to address in parliament: The fundamental illiteracy of the Greens, Labor and the Coalition in matters of science in a world where policy designs are far more dependent upon a rationally compassionate analysis of empirical evidence than the old political traditions derived from last century’s great ideological battles.

    Repeat this narrative until it penetrates the public’s imagination.

  16. Richard Pinsent July 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    Just what is needed. A party to block irresponsible legislation. Will certainly vote for it

  17. phil sawyer July 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    To Patrick B.

    Your assumption that I, as someone who sees aspects of fundamentalism and millenarianism in the environment movement, must therefore be paranoid about socialism, and a rightie in general, is flawed. For a start, the last paragraph of my blog mentions that I was an ALP candidate in 1990. I remain a self confessed social democrat, albiet of a liberal persuasion. At the risk of upsetting Louis Hissink, I would even confess some sympathy for the dreaded Fabianism! Is the ALP not left enough for you?
    My point is that if you think the millenarian madnesss we are currently witnessing with AGW has anything to do with enlightenment values, or socialism, marxism, or science itself for that matter, then you are sadly mistaken. Its a poisonous outbreak of religious fervour. Saving the planet for chrissake! What self centred hubris. Mass delusion. Communism, Fascism, Utopianism Rampant. Green Flu!

    This sort of silliness has happened before of course, but every time it does, it’s dressed in new clothes, so people dont recognise whats happening. How can you, when you are inside it? Even the Pope now talks of ” the fragile ecological balance “.

    And when social democracy fails to deliver the goods in terms of emissions cuts, and economic transformation so zealously demanded by the likes of Hansen? What then? Chuck out democracy because the stupid majority won’t vote for their own impoverishment? Greenie fundamentalism should be seen as the antithesis of socialist and marxist views of society. People of the left who think the green AGW agenda will further the cause of socialism are sadly mistaken. It is a banana skin to fascism, that’s what it is.

  18. Ian Mott July 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Phil, you made a good fist of defining the general problem but you blew yourself out of the water once you got to implementation. A grass roots political organisation but with candidates restricted to science and engineering graduates looks like an electoral oxymoron to me. If you are into the “best science” business you must also be in the best candidate business. If you are into the “no preconceptions” business then you cannot be in the “top down” policy business.

    To define an unmet political niche is the easy part. Devising the strategy that will take you from day zero along the critical path to the maximum capture of that electoral niche is also not a particularly difficult task for anyone with a decade or more of careful, insider, observation of successful operators and campaigns. The fundamental problem is that you are attempting to achieve your goal with a political party, not a business product or service. And that means you are reliant on whatever human resources, political skill sets, personal baggages and campaign knowledge bases that happen to present themselves. And once they are in place you have buckleys chance of replacing them with someone better.

    You expose your campaign strategy to maximum potential for diversion into futile, counter productive cul-de-sacs, blind alleys, reinvented wheels, and untold tedium as you wait for people with serious skill and perceptual deficiencies to blunder their way up even some of the most rudimentary learning curves during the most critical times of an effective campaign. Even the smallest red herring will take them “off task” and “off time”.

    And it must be said that on their record to date, scientists and engineers are amongst worst practitioners of the political arts. They are adept at continually refining their preparation for technical skirmishes while the key campaign objectives languish. Yes, the science is important but it is just a blunt stick if it is not sharpened by campaigning competence and thrust with political dexterity.

    So my advice to anyone who can see the merit of capturing this political niche is to forget about your Field Marshall’s baton. Go out and build up a local team of activists and then show us all that you have developed the habit of delivering the events, programs and stunts that can capture the local media coverage needed to highlight the issue. And when you have made all the mistakes required to master the skills demanded for 10 person operations, then get to work building your capacity for 30 person operations. And when three of you can get together for 100 person campaign events then you can decide, based on actual results, who will be your captain. And when there is enough captains to maintain continuous campaigning and continuous media coverage, then you might have a snow flakes chance in hell of embarking on, and not straying from, the specific strategy that will capture this political niche.

    Anything less is a time wasting wank.

  19. Luke July 28, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    “Post a platform of unimpeachable principles upon which you stand ” – gee Wes – this could get sceptic members into lots of trouble – unless the principles are shall we say “flexible”.

    Anyway we’re supporting Birdie to be your media spokesman – he’s a natural. He needs every opportunity he can get to represent you. Can we help?

  20. Luke July 28, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    SJT – I think we need to get get Motty and Phil as media spokesmen too. Don’t you think the public will warm to them. SJT I think they could bring it off The arguments are compelling. The charisma is simply overpowering.

  21. Patrick B July 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm #


    I didn’t read the bit about you being in the ALP, but so was Michael Costello and he’s no Marxist. Anyway, even if you don’t want it a party of the kind that you describe will be taken over by all the nutjob libertarians out there who see seatbelt and cycle helmet laws as just as much a threat to elightment values as a program for action on AGW.
    My point is, and I think some of your own rhetoric bears this out, that the fight for against measures to mitigate AGW is an ideological one. It has little to do with science. If science was all that mattered then the weight of evidence would say that warming exists and that human activity probably has something to do with it. Whether any action can make a difference is debatable. But, when it comes to the sceptics, if you separtate the ideology from the science, theres a pipet full of science and a tanker full of ideology.



  22. phil sawyer July 28, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    Ian Mott,
    I wrote the blog to see what reaction it might get, and to see if there were folks in jennifers blogland that saw things the way I do. Maybe a bit of mischief designed to flush out some candidates perhaps? As for personally trying to get the science greens up and going, I can play little or no part. Being a smoker I am a social pariah. I dont go to meetings and stuff. Or offices or restraunts. Beer gardens only. So I’m politically useless. Just a druid. The fluid druid. Thats me.

  23. Deb July 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    Glad you put inverted commas around ‘science’ at least some of the time Phil. Sounds like you really mean an ‘anti-science’ party.

    I don’t think it will fly – the electorate does at least some thinking and reading!

  24. Graeme Bird July 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    “Sorry Phil,
    I enjoy your contributions to this blog, but I can’t vote for you, despite my Welsh ancestry. You look too much like a Druid. I note that most successful career ‘environmentalists’ in the ACF, Greenpeace, WWF, IPCC etc. are now non-Druids, at least in appearance.”

    Airhead. The Druid look is a cool look. Yeah it would be worry-some for scientists to be running things. But thats not what we are talking about here. The idea isn’t even so much to get votes. Its really about forcing the Labour and Liberal parties to triangulate in ones direction in their best efforts to STOP the bleed of votes to you. This is why stridency is needed in a minor party. Rather than ambitions for great political power.

  25. Ian Mott July 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    I’m sorry if I came over a little blunt, Phil, it wasn’t directed at yourself. I recently co-founded a party only to watch it snatch pathos and mediocrity from the jaws of a great idea. It was a real eye opener. One can explain a strategy 50 times to the wrong people and never once have it substantively contested yet still have them doing things directly at variance with it the very next day.

    And as one of the small group of non-smokers rights activists who, in the 1980s, turned public attitudes to your habit through 180 degrees, I will not actually apologise for your pariah status but, rather, justify you new status on the basis of my deep and sincerest concern for your health and well being.

    I note that your visage would blend in very well at my local, unauthorised, watering hole called, “the dog house”. It is a barely converted cow bails without windows and missing a wall but with as big an internal fire as the conditions call for. The only way of locating it is by way of reference to the person who owned the place more than 30 years ago so it weeds out any unwelcome blow-ins or licensing types quite nicely. The only difference would be that our druids tend to have much more hair below their mouth than they do above it. If you are missing half a finger, drive a Blitz, or have an opinion on how not to winch a D7 down a cliff with yourself still in it, then you would be most welcome at the navel of the universe.

  26. Vice Admiral Asperamanka July 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    This proposal has already been tried and was a modest, though short-lived, success.

    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGEbOhUdZik

  27. wes george July 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    “My point is that if you think the millenarian madnesss we are currently witnessing with AGW has anything to do with enlightenment values, or socialism, marxism, or science itself for that matter, then you are sadly mistaken. Its a poisonous outbreak of religious fervour. Saving the planet for chrissake! What self centred hubris. Mass delusion.”

    Good point. However, I would argue that a pact with the devil has been made between the far left and the new collectivist Green religion. Enviro-fundamentalism and the Left’s desire for revenge against the success of capitalism have aligned in an unholy axis. With perfect hindsight one can see this was always inevitable since as far back as Rachael Carson’s “Silent Spring.”

    You’re right that the wheels will fall off once the more moderate see what they’ve created. Useful idiots, like Patrick B, don’t have a clue of the dialectic they ride mindlessly upon. The fundamentalists can hope it will be too late by the time they figure it out.

    I remember Bob Brown telling us one morning last year on Radio National that we “will lose the planet” if we don’t cut CO2 emissions by 50% by 2040. It was a clarifying moment for me. A respected, nominally rational member of Parliament had just announce THE APOCALYPSE unless we performed a technologically inconceivable penance for our vile lifestyles and Fran Kelly didn’t bat an eyelash at this Old Testament prophecy.

    Today’s policy discourse has reach such a level of cognitive disconnect from an empirically based grasp of reality that the main security threat to Australia has become the psychologically delusional state of our polity and mass media.

    The great irony of the modern Western world is that while we have managed to banish the irrational aspects of the Christian faith from our public life we were unsuccessful in filling the vacuum left with the rational values of the Enlightenment. Our society has grievously failed to educate at least one generation of children.

    Instead that dark vacuum in the human heart was filled with a new secular constellation of superstitions, shames, guilt, taboos, voodoos and fear-based irrational prejudiced. Like the old Christian prejudices these news fears and guilt serve a master. Although it has only been in the last decade that the master of this new class of zombies has realised its sway and begun to wield its newfound power.

    Phil’s correct, we have taken our first steps down the path towards fascism, but this time the path leads through atavistic collectivism rather than through nationalist militarism.

  28. cohenite July 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    A tad unfair Ian.

    Phil; disunity is death politically; Joe Public already has an anti-AGW party, The Climate Sceptics;


    Many splinter groups don’t magnify but reduce the message. Right now Joe Public is starting to cotton on that the greens mean business and that business is the usual elitist wowserism; the days of baked dinners, beer and v-8s are going to be finished and the bed-time story will be a cold dark one with the power too expensive and too little other than to be sent to the green enclaves at Clive Hamilton and Penny Wong estates.

    TCS is a centrist party; it is deliberately plain-spoken; commonsense is a lost art with the urban elite and silver-tails living in denial and ego-massaging cognitive dissonance and the green dominated ALP doing a masterful job of wedging the lobotomised libs; labor has got the unions on board by promising the jobs will stay as China and India gobble up more of the coal and gas and definitely yellow-cake, while the greens will be mollified by the imposition of the full force of the AGW measures locally; it will be the last form of entertainment; standing on the headlines, shivering and watching the coal ships power out of port.

    To explain this cant the science is important; for instance David Stockwell’s new paper on climate regime shifts as statistically verified in temperature breaks leaves no room for an AGW trend;


    But at the end of the day Joe Public doesn’t want to be patronised and as I say, plain-speaking about the greens intentions is what is needed. This was never about the science and Joe knows this; it’s about life-style, the evils of consumerism and Western capitalism dovetailing with the green ideology that humanity is a blight on pristine nature; the modern Mathusians in Erhlich and Holdren, Hamilton and Albrecht are leading the charge of putting nature ahead of humanity. The plain-speaking will consist of pointing out the virtues of the prosperity achieved over the last 50 years; the basis of that prosperity in cheap energy and the big lie of green energy being able to replace the tried and tested sources.

    Someone will have to sell nuclear; maybe we can get some French and Scandinavian spokespeople out here.

    But nuclear should be the only big change offered to the good citizenry. Howard lost because he started to get too radical; the good sense of the Australian public resides in their inate conservatism and appreciation of a fair deal; the greens have played on this latter characteristic by peddaling this lie about nature being in its death throes and shoving pictures of cuddly polar bears down the throats of people. Well, polar bears are a good emblem of the hypocrisy here since they are voracious, tough mean sobs, just like nature. The message has to be that everything that is good, civilized and decent over the last 50 years has come about by keeping nature at arms length; it’s our planet but like a house you buld it to suit; you don’t leave it alone and sit in the back-yard looking at the bloody thing. Be proud, be human! Cuddle Bjorn Lomborg not a polar bear; unless you’re a greenie.

    At TCS our first motto was going to be; what do we want? Nothing. Things are going along fine; there are environmental issues which can be worked at and the human world isn’t perfect but its a damn side better than under the lash of mother N.

    So Phil, come on down and join TCS.

  29. phil sawyer July 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Thank you Wes George for your thoughtful comments. The silent spring was seminal indeed. And the anti supersonic jet movement an early manifestation of this nascent politics. Then came the big one, the nobbling of the nuclear power industry, ( bastard child of the MAD policy ), resulting in vast amounts of co2 being belched out for the next thirty years, which we now have to adress urgently, without resorting to nuclear. However the setting of impossible emissions targets will eventually come home to roost. Two things could happen then. Either we go nuclear and use genetic technology etc to meet the targets, which one might call the Switowski strategy, a reasonable outcome even. Or the whole ETS thing will collapse completely, a victim of the voters final refusal to vote for their own impoverishment. Then we will see some antisocial activity I reckon. Green guerillas, for instance. And calls for the suspension of democracy in order to save the planet. We live in interesting times indeed.
    One must also admit that the silent spring resulted in a revolution in industrial practice in the US. End of most pollution into waterways for example.

  30. SJT July 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    “To explain this cant the science is important; for instance David Stockwell’s new paper on climate regime shifts as statistically verified in temperature breaks leaves no room for an AGW trend;”

    What a load of bollocks. What constitutes the massive mechanism to create this ‘climate shift’? It is just a statistical concoction with no real world explanation. You are claiming there is a long term temperature decline, except for a massive jump that appears in the middle of it out of nowhere.

  31. cohenite July 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Little will, you are such a nong; you and sod, like a pair of Myna birds are following me around with this ridiculous chirping; have you read the paper? Obviously not because you would see reference to the well documented oceanographic effect described by such people as Guilderson and Schrag, McPhaden and Zhang [only their 2004 paper is referenced, they have a good 2002 paper as well]; this link also looks at the “massive mechanism” and the step approach to statistically describing it;


    The surface/atmosphere link around the 1976 GPCS is also looked at here;


    The issue here, which was also covered in the unfairly maligned McLean paper, is that the upwelling variation creates a SST radiative imbalance with the atmosphere, not because of backradiation from the heat transference from the ocean as AGW supposes but because the ocean heat transfer initiates meridional movement in the ocean and atmosphere of the heat leaving a cloud free area above the upwelling site; this cloud free area allows greater insolation and the increase of OHC despite heat transfer to the atmosphere; the meridional transfer produces re-emergence effects regionally which may be seasonally warmer or cooler depending on the level of cloud; this effect is shown in David’s paper with the flat trend in Australia after the break whereas globally the post 1976 break is slightly upward reflecting the extra insolation at the upwelling site and those regional sites where re-emergence is warmer.

    Also note that globally post 1998 when the upwelling resumed that there was another climate shift with a correlated decrease in temperature trend post break. As you would expect.

    Take it to your lord and master little will and let him scorn it!

  32. Vice Admiral Asperamanka July 28, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    Phil, Phil, Phil, me old darlin’, you have it completely frack to bunt.

    “resulting in vast amounts of co2 being belched out for the next thirty years, which we now have to address urgently”


    CO2 is a great boon to mankind. Without it, there would nothing for the cattle to eat so no steaks. It’s a FERTILIZER, remember. If it wasn’t for increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution would never have happened.

  33. Please Explain July 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    I think Pauline was asked about the separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary. Well sadly there wasn’t any and still isn’t and things are now worse without an independent media and with a public service infected with political appointees. The time and resources SJT, sod, luke etc devote to this site arguing against the bleeding obvious is indicative of how deep into our pockets the rot has set.

    Trying to define scientist and engineer in the current state of our learned institutions will not be easy as they are churning out environmental scientists who seem to believe what they are told and engineers who will gladly state water will flow up hill for the purpose of property developments.

    My suggestion would be to return the choice of candidate to the electorate and away from political parties. The power of these parties lies in their attachment to the public teat. They no longer need to raise community funds and I am unaware of a party even announcing membership or fund-raising functions at an electorate level.

    Money is power and at the moment our politicians are beholden to party preselection and the alternative of working for an income is totally foreign and deeply fearfull to these incumbents and their spin doctors waiting in line for their turn at the trough.

    So forget the science, the agenda should be to return politics to a community service not Abbott’s “vocation”. Get rid of the slush of electoral funding and government advertising that has destroyed the independent media. Get rid of the nanny state laws that have put placed honest citizens at the mercy of the legal system or the associated insurance and compliance costs.

    So my suggestion would be ” The Undo Party ” before and ETS ties the final knot around our necks

  34. SJT July 28, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    “The issue here, which was also covered in the unfairly maligned McLean paper,”

    I’ll pass the message on to Lucia.

  35. Green Davey July 28, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    Be very careful, Phil. You might end up with your proposed party being taken over by Morlock mechanics like Graeme ‘Turkey’ Bird. At a given signal, on the Night of the Long Knives, they will murder the Druids in their beds. Then you will know how Doctor Frankenstein felt. I’m off to alert the Eloi.

  36. cohenite July 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    You’re really dhogaza aren’t you little will.

  37. Louis Hissink July 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm #


    “Basically a rag tag bunch of retired geologists” – another terminoligical inexactitude?

    I am not retired.

    Perhaps you should retire from here?

  38. wes george July 28, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    The stage is set for the end of democracy in the West.

    I’m not saying it will happen, just that the dialectic rationale is now in place to suspend most of our civil rights, primarily those of speech, property, assembly and movement. All on the high moral grounds of saving us from a climate holocaust.

    After all, freedom is pretty meaningless if we’re all dead. Of course, we will retain the right to vote, but a special council must approve the candidates. So Luke and Patrick will argue endlessly we still live in a free democracy…Well, no, they won’t…because this blog will be deleted and Jen will be in doing re-education somewhere north of Woomera.

    When Bob Brown declares that unless we knock our economy back to the gross national product equivalent of 1955 to avoid an apocalypse, he must know this cannot be achieved within the framework of free and open democracy. If he really believes “the planet will be lost” he must literally know that a putsch will be required to save the Earth from the masses who will simply vote against living on rations until it is far too late to save any life more advanced than cockroaches. Our continued freedom will destroy the biosphere.

    Likewise in the US, if the Waxman-Markey ETS bill is passed. it will be the last act of the Democrats before they’re voted out of both houses due to the gruesome effects of this single bill upon the US economy.

    If Al Gore, James Hansen, et al, really believe the only way to save life on Earth is through centrally mandated control of the world’s economy, rather than to allow the naturally accelerating pace of technological evolution to take care of things as it always has in the past (just-in-time solutions) Then they must now seriously consider the option of seizing power simultaneously across the Western world, then hoping–with a combined threat of trade embargo and possibly nuclear annihilation–to force China and India to come on board to form a One World Government Solution to Everything.

    Obviously, this is a highly unlikely scenario. But then so were the events that resulted in World War I and II. Therefore, it is instructive to contemplate.

    All the basic ingredients are coming together — A scientifically illiterate population so dumb that 50% of Americans say evolution is a hoax. A citizenry so divorced from a historical understanding of their own culture that they are unaware of the unique grace the past has bestowed upon our age. They’ll know not what they’ve squandered until it’s too late.

    A mass media which long ago lost its journalistic ethics and whose staff is drawn from the same scientifically illiterate population to which they preach.

    A financial crisis exaggerated as THE catastrophic failure, due to greed, of our world market system, which cannot be solved by anything shy of nationalizing key sectors of the economy.

    A charismatic world leader who believes himself righteously morally superior in a corrupt society founded upon fundamental injustice, yet his polls are falling because that cruelly unjust society is rejecting his revolutionary reforms.

    And bleak forecasts of a biblical apocalypse within our lifetime, unless a world government takes control of the future of the Earth’s entire climate! — Id est, every aspect of each individual human being’s existence must be regulated to the requirements of a Gaiatic stasis determined by the IPCC. One can imagine some decades hence when even your right to bear children or to live past a certain age might be regulated by socio-climatological actuary tables.

    Given today’s political and economic tensions, it’s possible that a major new terrorist attack in the USA ( or a further massive economic shock, such as China dumping a trillion US treasury notes) to knock the whole complex system of Western civilization out of the grip of the strange attractor of liberal democracy and market economy we have enjoyed since WWII and into a brave new collectivist world with a command economy. As Keating would say, it’s the paradigm shift we had to have.

    Obama may shortly require martial law in the US to implement his cultural revolution. He might well secretly welcome a shock so severe that some percentage of the American population would think martial law justified. Once some form of martial law is established the AGW acolytes would demand it stay in place until the Earth is Saved, which according to their Fortran climate models should occur about 2450 AD.

    No conspiracy theory is needed for something like the above to come to past, merely the typically Shakespearean devotion to tragic idiocy human nature seems so inexorably drawn into about every 75 years or so. In fact, chaos, rather than conspiracy, is required.

    From there complexity compounds to render all further rational predictions of events impossible.

    But I’ll bet you can imagine a few…

  39. Louis Hissink July 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm #


    I am never upset at anyone wanting to show some sympathy for the Fabians – I am a liberalist and only become upset when others wish to dictate my activities and stealing my income via taxes.

    The Fabians were basically Lenin’s useful idiots, and I suspect in one sense they need all the sympathy they could get.

    That said, history is history and considering George Bernard Shaw’s opinons on the Fabian Goal, anyone who believes the Fabians to be some polite debating society needs counselling.

  40. Louis Hissink July 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    SJT: “What a load of bollocks. What constitutes the massive mechanism to create this ‘climate shift’? It is just a statistical concoction with no real world explanation. You are claiming there is a long term temperature decline, except for a massive jump that appears in the middle of it out of nowhere.”

    Data is Data, but when a self admitted, undredentialed computer programmer starts to wax lyrically about fundamental science, and who also admits not having any scientific training, then the “climate shift” highlighted by David Stockwell, and others, becomes of great interest, especially when no geological input was used to identify that shift.

    (I note some stridency in your tone SJW, starting to stress out with the ever slowly dawning realisation you have backed the wrong horse?)

  41. MarcH July 28, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Sounds interesting Phil. For the name how about the “Empirical Party? Members would be called empiricists. I am prepared to join and run having no one left to vote for in my own electorate. The newly formed climate sceptic party are a little one issue for my liking. There are plenty of other issues that could benefit from a little critical thinking.

  42. Donal July 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    Phil, I was travelling quite well on your journey until I came to the bit about CO2 “which we have to address urgently” ! Rubbish!

    What in heaven’s name are you on about?

    I thought you were heading in the sensible direction, but that statement is on a par with the most asinine utterances of the miserable Penny Wong. And Greg Hunt. And Al Gore. And the rest of the sorry bunch of scientific illiterates.

    I feel I have been duped by you. You can stick ETS Tax schemes right where they belong – yes, that’s right. And I suggest you do some basic research about why CO2 is irrelevant, before wondering about new parties. Talk about remaining on message!! What a shagging disappointment.

  43. cinders July 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    At the last Federal Election the ALP secured 40% of the Senate Vote, with the coalition almost identical with 39.6%. These figures varied from State to State but generally 20% of the vote in the last Senate election went to minor parties. Whilst an independent managed to be elected in SA, the Greens were the only effective party and grabbed 9% of the vote that they claimed was a major and stunning victory (perhaps some of this % is a protest vote that might go to another well known minor party).

    However for the 11% of voters that don’t like the Majors or just want to keep them honest in the Senate, and don’t like the greens political agenda, then there is a desperate need for a well organised and effective minor party.

    Based on this available 11% this party can only hope to win seat by relying on the preferences of the major parties. Below the line voting is only viable in small population electorates of Tasmania and the NT, for the rest a preference flow must be negotiated with all other parties.

    A legitimate non green political minor party should be able to appeal to the middle ground attracting preferences from both the left and the right, and conversely splitting their preferences 50-50 to the majors.

    However can it be single issue such as ‘science based’, when there is a broad range of opinion from scientists, see the academic activists on the Wilderness Society Wildcountry panel and those in CSIRO advocating urgent action to prevent a Global warming crisis, it needs to be more! Perhaps an established party might be worthy of support. Family First with only one Senator has demonstrated its effectiveness in dealing with Penny Wong and her scientific advisors, can it be broadened to receive the support of the missing 11%.

    In the 2004 Senate poll in Tasmania, high profile green Christine Milne was almost defeated by a little known family first candidate, so it is not impossible. The other alternative is to get the majors to preference each other and thus deny the greens the opportunity to add to their 9% under shady backroom preference deals, after all more than 14% is needed to win a seat in the half senate election. Having no greens seeking the balance of power will take the politics out of green science issues.

  44. Wutra July 28, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    I am astounded that there are still people who think that CO2 has anything to do with industrial activity. Undersea volcanoes not only release methane from magma but also pyrolise organic sedimentary layers beneath the abyssal plains. This is clearly demonstrated by the gradual rise in the acidity of ocean waters. As the CO2 comes out of solution, it collects in the lower atmosphere, being denser than oxygen or nitrogen. Lightning strikes then convert these naturally occurring hydrocarbons to CO2. This is clearly dermonstrated by the higher concentration of CO2 in the tropics, where lightning is more frequent. Any guess about the latitude of the Mauna Kea CO2 observatory? Yep, right in the tropics.

    Sorry, Phil, you have been ensnared. Read the REAL science.

  45. Louis Hissink July 29, 2009 at 6:56 am #


    How do you manage to have CO2 coming out of solution collecting in the lower atmosphere, to then have these naturally occurring hydrocarbons being struck by lightning, converting them to CO2.

    Otherwise interesting idea – especially the prevalance of lightning along the Earth’s tropical zone. I wonder if there is any observation of lightning at either of the polar regions?

  46. Louis Hissink July 29, 2009 at 7:05 am #


    “What a shagging disappointment” – I was wondering when someone would spot that – not even gimlet eyed cohenite spotted it.

    A clue comes from the condescending reaction to my identification of the AGW movement with the Fabians – Phil is simply a horse of another colour, but still a horse, as you have discovered.

    The Fabian way is to takeover society by infiltrating it like white ants. And anyone who has pretentions of greeniness remains in principle a collectivist who expect a dictator to arrange their lives for them, so they each individually are not responsible for their mistakes.

    After all, that was the SS excuse was it not? Only obeying orders? Same approach is used today under the various OSH regulations – personal responsibility is gone and the “State” is ultimately responsible. But you can’t indict a State, only individuals.

  47. cohenite July 29, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Nah, Louis, I just lost interest; druids and science;


    The world is going nuts; I might reactivate some old gold exploration licences and forget about the whole mess.

  48. Please Explain July 29, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Cinders is in my opinion on the right track. I trust Family First can adhere to the principles of a secular democracy and also avoid Phil’s good- hearted but idealistic use of the states house of review to pursue just causes.

    Australians are currently on a precipice with the good old Fabians (the poor you) like the mastermind of Medibank Hayden having convinced > 50 % of the population ( the poor me) that the rest should work a little harder to support their entitlements. Because this largess is administered remotely from the community the proud often miss out where the deceitful and shameless take advantage of our hard earned tax dollars.

    I don’t know how a civilization peacefully recovers from this chasm, as I have said in a previous post money is power and if we can remove our representatives from the teat of publicly funded political parties and bring the people who selflessly donate their time to helping their communities back into politics we may stop the rot. Politics isn’t a job and does not require much effort as the public servant performs the functions of providing services. By turning off the career stream to the trough we should be able to remove the trash from high school debating teams, student unions and arts law faculties that has infested all levels of government.

  49. toby July 29, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    Phil, have you got your dates wrong? Its not april 1! You come to this blog which is clearly sceptical of the effects of co2 and the pseudoscience on which it depends, and try to convince us of the need for a new “science party”. And then you say we need to rush to reduce co2 levels!
    Are you sure you have come to the right place with your enquiries??!

    The climate sceptic party whilst narrow in its purpose is not designed to actually manage the country. It is designed to throw a reasoned voice into the debate and hopefully prevent a crippling ETS. Once thats done, in my own opinion, the job of the climate sceptics will be done.
    Can you imagine what would happen if the greens ever got to run the country! They are smart and pick on issues that appeal to minority groups ( I do not mean the environment here… the environment matters to us all and all parties now have to consider this because almost all of us are infact environmentalists in one form or another)…they know full well they will never actually have to act on their “policies.”They say and do whatever they think will get them a vote
    You do however make some interesting points in that many of us now don t know who to vote for… I suspect I will vote national ( SO LONG AS BARNABY KEEPS UP THE FIGHT) for the first time in my life if we don t get the CSP up and running….come on sign up!

  50. Ian Mott July 29, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    I checked the Qld Family First web site and found that their last election campaign was almost entirely anti-abortion stuff. Aside from the arguments pro and con, this is highly toxic to a majority of the science/ sceptic community while its removal from the FF platform may well dump half their existing vote. The problem with building a quota out of the 11% non-green, non-major party vote is that it is attached to very strong views that are easily offended. There is a way around it but this is hardly the appropriate forum to air it.

    In any event, Fielding has already captured the sceptic vote in SA while Barnaby has done so well for the sceptics in Qld that he could even deliver surplus votes towards a second quota, drawn from both regional ALP (miners) and urban Lib sceptics.

  51. Wutra July 29, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    Louis, I was a little too brief.

    As undersea volcanoes release methane from magma and pyrolise organic sedimentary layers, at the high temperature centre of the hot rock, we get (for example, only one of several similar reactions) CH4 + 2H2O = CO2 + 4H2 and CH4 + H2O = CO + 3H2. The first of these produces CO2 directly, the second after the CO is oxidised when it reaches the atmosphere.

    Further away from the hot spot, these reactions are quenched by the cold water so only pyrolysis products and deep-earth hydrocarbons are released. These also get oxidised by lightning.

    The distribution of lightning is shown at
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast05dec_1.htm Interesting to note the prevalence of lightning strikes along the north Siberian coast, where methane is seen bubbling out of the ocean.
    See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217203407.htm

    Anyway, Louis, I guess you know more about this than I do – over to you 🙂

  52. phil sawyer July 29, 2009 at 11:38 am #


    I didn’t mean to infer that I agreed with the proposition that the extra CO2 produced because of the defeat of the nuclear power industry ” required urgent attention “. I was merely trying to point out the irony of the situation whereby the AGW brigade, having caused much of the ” CO2 problem ” themselves, now want it fixed. I apologise for the ambigiuty.

  53. phil sawyer July 29, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    You say the CSP wants to stop the ETS and then its job is done. I can only agree with those who suggest your focus is to narrow. For a start, control of the senate means the casting vote on a myriad of issues unconnected with your platform. Alcopops come to mind. The anti abortion candidate becomes a student of climate change!

    People need to have some idea of the party’s general stance and reason for being, and how it will approach the myriad issues that will arise. The Democrats had the slogan of ” keep the bastards honest “. Yours should be ” keep the bastards scientific “!

    By the way everyone, have we have forgotten that there is the skeleton of a nationally organised centre left party still lying around the place somewhere, a party that lost its way and was abandoned by the voters.

    Yes, the Democrats! A more ideologically rigorous liberal-minded party might have recognised the threat posed by eco-fundamentalism and become the party we need. Alas they dropped the ball. We should not be too critical. So did a large slice of the social democrats. Maybe someone should send a copy of this post to the young mother in Adelaide. Natasha, your country needs you!

    Back to earth. Toby, what exactly is your policy alternative to the ETS framework? Simple rejection in the senate, and that is it? Job done? Will you propose a credible policy for the uptake of nuclear energy? How will such a policy dovetail with the outcome of Copenhagen, which will be an ETS protocol, of indeterminate rigour?

    Dont get me wrong Leon, Toby, et al @CSP. You are a genuine expression of grass roots disgust at the pollies fellow-travelling with the ecotopians, an attitude I share, and I wish your experiment all the best. Who knows, it may grow like topsy, and you might be forced to rethink its narrow focus, and maybe even change its name, if necessary.

  54. toby July 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    Phil, I am not politically wise, I have never been a member of a political party before, and I doubt i will be again. I am sure you are right that the csp needs more than a single issue. We are aware of this from what I have seen during the planning stages . I am not however in any way controlling the bus or trying to. I joined simply because I am so worried about the consequences of an ETS and big brother taking control of our lives. I also worry that so many people are stupid enough to think it will actually accomplish anything. I thought long and hard before joining but decided it would be cowardly not to put my name to something that I felt so deeply about. The CSP will have other policies and issues but for me it is all about the bullshit surrounding climate and the futility of an ETS.
    An earlier thread about the decline of the west has a ring of truth about it. Europe has been in decline for a while now and they are the ones driving the AGW bus with their kyoto protocol and IPCC. Europe will bring the rest of us with it if we allow it.
    I have little respect for politicians and government. Although I do recognise the need for government!

    I would advocate the use of nuclear and believe we can enrich our country further by selling it and storing the waste products securely. We should become the next “middle east”.
    Given current technology, as oil reserves run down, it is inevitable that nuclear will play a significant role. I have little time for wind or solar until we are able to store their energy.

    I hope my membership will help to achieve the 500 members we require to actually try and bring some rationality back to the debate. But anything I say should be taken as my words and not those of the parties. As stated I am politically naive. But perhaps having a policy of assessing costs and benefits of issues in the senate would be a good place to start, with a non political bias ( is that possible!?) that is not just focusing on what the public wants to hear, and what will get them reelected.

    Can an ETS change the climate? common sense suggests no way…but common sense is not very common is it!

  55. Green Davey July 30, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    I find your ideas on volcanoes interesting. Do we know (website?) exactly how many undersea eruptions occur each year, and where? Or are there abyssal black smokers about which we know little, or nothing?

  56. Green Davey July 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Hello again Wutra,

    I have partly answered my own question, but you may know more:


    I find this some of the most interesting research around. How about the Eifuku, releasing liquid CO2? Or the 800 nautical mile Mariana Arc. That beats ABC images of power station cooling towers. Luke and SJT won’t like it – too close to the jugular?

  57. SJT July 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    “Luke and SJT won’t like it – too close to the jugular?”

    Won’t like what?

  58. Louis Hissink July 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm #


    Ok, and as Professor Plimer pointed out, ignoring the geological evidence leads to all sorts of erroneous conclusions though it seems Green Davey has made an interesting discovery – though poor old SJT seems a little confused over it.

    A questioner during the Plimer – Warden debate pointed out that while volcanoes might emit more CO2 that humanity could produce in a decade, such volcanoes also emit aerosols which cause dimming. Plimer’s response to that question was that he would be most interested in observing the 85% of submarine volcanic eruptions emit aerosols into the atmosphere.

    So it seems our IPCC and it’s camp followers are geologically a little more than dim.

  59. Green Davey July 30, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    Why not call it the ‘Black Smoker Party’? That might fit in with your personal habits. A plank in the party platform might be to use nuclear waste to block hydrothermal vents, so halting global warming.

  60. SJT July 30, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

    “A questioner during the Plimer – Warden debate pointed out that while volcanoes might emit more CO2 that humanity could produce in a decade, such volcanoes also emit aerosols which cause dimming. Plimer’s response to that question was that he would be most interested in observing the 85% of submarine volcanic eruptions emit aerosols into the atmosphere.”

    Can you point to where the CO2 is bubbling to the surface? Because at the present, the oceans are actively absorbing, not emitting, CO2.

  61. Louis Hissink July 30, 2009 at 8:26 pm #


    Plimer was wondering about the aerosols being emitted to the ocean surfaces from submarine volcanism and their subsequent transport to the atmosphere by wind, presumably, and not CO2.

    You do know what an aerosol is, do you not?

    The rest of your statement is scientific nonsense.

  62. Haz July 30, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    What about the “Progress Party” to signal an Enlightenment heritage? Also, a bit of humility. The key in all this is to allow science and philosophy to reflect on each other. Science also has an aesthetic – hence the idea of a paradigm, or internal and sometimes false consistency. Before we point out that others are trapped in a paradigm, lets admit that its always a possibility and hence not be too quick to claim “true science” for the skeptics. Getting to the truth is always tough and vigilant work.

  63. Ian Thomson July 30, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    You smoker you, that means you are kicked outside the pub on the footpath. Try not to breathe in the 3Nitrobenzanthrone from the passing trucks, buses and other diesel powered traffic. Crusaders never mention it it is apparently above reproach.
    As an ex smoker I still stick to , “Get off the Tax Tit and ban them ,or shut up”

    I digress. Briefly others are right – Scientists are easily confused, in the public mind, with Scientists.
    Sorry ,unless someone has taken the time not taken by the public ,to get to know you , you may be just another author of a new report on tooth decay.

    Many voters might be very sceptical of something with such a name.

    How about a reference to food ? Half of Madagascar’s arable land gone to ethanol , things like that.
    Vast tracts of food producing land being decommissioned in Australia- on shonky river science .
    Australian money off to bulldoze native vegetation in 3rd world places to grow food ,wierd..
    Perhaps the right candidates might break through the ignorance barrier on such things.

    Steer clear of GM food, as a person with the odd allergy , it is ‘sus’

    And as others have said, steer clear of the sort of sponsorship now cruelling the major parties

    good luck

  64. Graeme Bird July 31, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    The problem might be that people are asking themselves…… “Will such an outfit get a lot of votes and a bunch of Senators…” Thats not the issue in my view. I think its really about education, education education. One might it like the votes if they arrive. But its really about getting the main parties to change their act so as to stop leakage from there own voter-pool. And also to try and get your crowd identified with the good name of science instead of these irrational posing lunatics. Like imagine the left coming up with the following mantras “The science is settled” “Climate Change is real” and all that. And this actually stooging people. So much so that when you start talking about the issue the average punter tells you this is not what the scientists are saying.

    The party, or indeed the association, would be a success just so long as people thought that what the scientists were saying was what the party was saying. Which indeed would be (hopefully) what the scientific EVIDENCE was saying.

    Giving the thumbs down on this idea on account of soothsaying to do with the capture of future votes is besides the point. Look at the communists. They seldom got a great deal of votes. Yet their influence was everywhere. There they were. Breathing slogans into every dummies mind from the centre-right all across the spectrum. It all comes from Lenin having this idea to put up a high barrier to entry.

    Its worth putting a group together with a high barrier to entry. The point being to exercise influence more generally and to get a swag of votes perhaps, but as a secondary matter. I think you ought to see if you could get something started. If not a party a lobby group. If not a lobby group some sort of strategy group.

    I mean these lunatics really seek to do us in. They are not going to stop their wrecking-ball from internal dynamics alone.

  65. Green Davey July 31, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    Mr. G. Turkey-Bird.
    I have rumbled you – ‘fess up now, you are really Luke in deep cover as an agent-provocateur.

  66. cohenite July 31, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    little will, what is your source for saying the oceans are currently net absorbers of CO2?

  67. SJT July 31, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    “little will, what is your source for saying the oceans are currently net absorbers of CO2?”

    It’s well known.


  68. Mik July 31, 2009 at 3:23 pm #


    As was previously put on this blog, education is the key. The willing ignorance displayed – especially by the media – and senior ministers in the Rudd government – about ‘Carbon footprint’, ‘Carbon Reduction’ etc is incredible (these people know basic chemistry, and should not peddle such garbage).

    And as a geologist who has pulled up very large (stinking) sulphide rich, submarine chimneys (and seen them spewing out all manner of material), I am not sure about the engineering involved with putting nuclear waste to plug up these interesting geological precipitates (could make a good Masters thesis?), but I am sure we will have underwater base metal mines soon. Mother nature – she will not quit smoking – would be a good banner at the party launch.

  69. cohenite August 1, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    I don’t think it’s as simple as that little will;


    Even if you think all the increase in CO2 is human caused doesn’t mean that the warming seas have not been net emitters of CO2 because the biosphere has increased by about 25% over the last 30 years.

  70. SJT August 1, 2009 at 8:33 am #

    That paper is indeed a good example of “sticking your neck out”. He has entered the world of fantasy, and has not actually revealed anything, as he himself admits. It’s typical of the stuff Watts accepts without question. Also incorporates the ‘detrending’ hack that McLean also uses to make decisions about trends.

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