How Abbott Must Recast Coalition Climate Policy

KEVIN Rudd took over as Australian Prime Minister replacing Julia Gillard on June 26, 2013. Since then, with the announcement by Mr Rudd that he now intends to bring forward the transition from a strict carbon tax to an emissions trading scheme, the politics of climate change and carbon taxing have changed dramatically. If the Opposition, led by Tony Abbott, is to stay competitive, and become relevant, it urgently needs a proper alternative plan to address climate change.

The answer is to introduce a new climate policy based upon preparation for, and adaptation to, all weather and climate related events whether they be of natural or of potentially human causation. Such a policy could be practical, cost-effective and efficacious, which is why it has been recommended by so many independent commentators and expert scientists over the last five years. This adaptive policy is well summarized in the last chapter of Bob Carter’s new book, ‘Taxing Air: Facts and Fallacies About Climate Change’ [1]. Tax Air book

Yes, Professor Carter, like Mr Rudd does believe in climate change and the need for a national climate policy.

The advantage of Carter’s plan, however, over anything that Mr Rudd is currently proposing is that it is open to the possibility of global cooling, as well as global warming.

Professor Carter suggests that the highly contentious ‘global warming’ problem be recast through the development of science-based adaptive response strategies that can deal with whatever nature in the end serves up. In his book the major climate-related hazards in Australia are listed as cyclones, storms, floods, landslides, droughts and bushfires, as well as the longer term hazards of abrupt or extended warmings or coolings in temperature and their attendant consequences (Page 236).

Tony Abbott’s plan, after he won the Australian federal election on 14th September, was to scrap the carbon tax. But the election is now unlikely to be held on 14th September and Kevin Rudd is about to “scrap the carbon tax” [2]?

The best thing Abbot could do in response would be to scrap his proposed Direction Action Plan and come up with a proper plan to address the very real climate-related risks as detailed in Professor Carter’s new book.

After all, the Direction Action Plan was never about addressing climate change it was always just a plan to waste an awful lot of money on feel-good things like planting trees, that would never really address the issue of global warming, that no one was convinced Mr Abbot really believed in. As long as the Australian public had a carbon tax to hate, Mr Abbott could perhaps hide behind this fig leaf of a policy. Now, given Mr Rudd’s plans to scrap the tax, the fig leaf is likely to become a liability.

As Professor Carter explains on the last page of his book:

“Pursuing expensive and futile schemes to combat the speculative, and quite possibly illusory, risks of human-induced global warming is both pointless and wealth-sapping. Instead any sensible national climate policy must primarily address the well known risks of natural climate events and change.”


1. For more information visit

2. Rudd tipped to scrap carbon tax. Bigpond News. July 14, 2013

Bob Carter is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers in professional scientific journals. The great majority of these concern interpretations of ancient environments, including paleo-climatic studies. Link to full of list of publications here…


145 Responses to How Abbott Must Recast Coalition Climate Policy

  1. Neville July 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Let’s face it Krudd’s labor party haven’t got a clue about so called CAGW. All the recent members of Gillard’s labor and now Rudd’s labor party have told us they are “tackling CC and taking action on CC”etc etc.

    Of course they are just wasting billions $ for a zero result, nothing at all will favourably change the temp, weather or climate by a jot
    It’s just that they haven’t the brains or common sense to understand simple maths. Abbott and the coalition are trapped because enough voters actually think something should and can be done or at least try and do blah, blah.

    Carter is correct we should reserve our efforts for adaptation and more R&D, anything else is a complete waste of time and money.

  2. Luke July 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Well the Coalition are just a bunch of deniers who want to “look reasonable” – “oh we’re not deniers – we believe in AGW (although we really don’t) and we have another plan”.

    But I don’t think the nation should be talking their advice from Prof Carter given the only published paper on relevant meteorology was shot to pieces.

    And what a load of meaningless gesturing “In his book the major climate-related hazards in Australia are listed as cyclones, storms, floods, landslides, droughts and bushfires” well yeah tell us something we don’t know.

    But faux sceptics and inactivists will have now emboldened a Coalition, poised to destroy the nations’s climate science base, if Labor don’t get there and do it first.

    The systems, individuals, papers, data systems and models that exist in the contemporary scene have been indiscriminately and non-stop assaulted by the Australian pretend sceptic movement.

    There’s virtually nothing left to salvage unless you’re complete hypocrites.

    Neville will suddenly rush in and claim “Oh but I believe in ENSO” without thinking what he’s saying. Perhaps we need a book burning where Bob can decide which texts stay and what goes?

    You’re trashed the library of Alexandria – there won’t be much left and who would want to become a climate scientist in Australia. To be abused by you lot? To endure little creeps like Neville screeching corrupt at you every day. Really?

  3. Ian Thomson July 15, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Unfortunately Mr Goldman-Sachs Turnbull and his business colleagues, are circling in the background rubbing their hands together, at the prospect of buying and selling taxpayer subsidised carbon credits.
    The bottom line is that they really do not care who wins the election , so long as money can be made. Tony could end up being hung out to dry.
    Just watch for timely interviews on our ABC this week with Turnbull, Hewson ,big business and the finance sector , about our future “best way forward to combat climate change”.

    Meanwhile here is the result you will be paying for. ––insane-true-eco-scandals.html

  4. el gordo July 15, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Jen is correct, essentially Abbott has to drop his mindless DAP and tell the electorate the truth, no matter how politically dangerous.

    The task of convincing people that nothing unusual is happening with climate, after being brainwashed for 30 years, will be no easy task and fraught with danger.

    There is still time for Abbott to reinvent himself, explaining to the masses that the models are flawed, the CC science is dodgy, and that politicians and journalists have found strength in ignorance.

    As it stands now, unless Abbott ‘mans up’, I’ll be writing across by ballot paper “A pox on both your houses”. My conscience is clear as global cooling slowly gathers pace.

    Carter for Climate Commissioner!

  5. spangled drongo July 15, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    “You’re trashed the library of Alexandria”

    Luke thinks the Manns, the Lewandowskis, the Phil Jones of this world represent the flower of science and shoots any messenger that shows them up for the charlatans they are.

    The fact is that while the Sir Paul Nurses of this world are in absolute denial of the state of the science on climate and just want to lecture others without admitting their own limited knowledge, political acceptance of the true state of our knowledge [and capacity to do anything about it] is never going to be addressed.

    If there were any truth to defend in that library, honest scholars would be prepared to discuss it and maybe politicians could do an honest job.

    If there were more books from authors like Bob Carter in that library he might have a point.

    That’s not a library Luke, more like an Ettamogah Pub.

  6. spangled drongo July 15, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    But the good books eventually find their way [if they don’t get burnt]:

  7. Neville July 15, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    EG I agree that it’s all BS but all of us should vote and make sure we put Labor and the Greens last.

    We don’t have to vote for the coalition first, what’s wrong with the Sceptics party or a number of others who don’t believe we should tax air?

    The Bolter has a good post about the madness of Labor’s taxing air message over the last few years. How many billions $ have they flushed down the drain in just 3 years for a zero return?

    And it doesn’t matter about Luke’s ranting contortions above, he knows that it will take hundreds to several thousands of years to reduce co2 levels to 280ppmv.
    But if he’s correct and this level of 400ppmv is the highest in 1 million years, then reducing that extra 120ppmv may take thousands of years longer to achieve.

    Remember Luke claims he believes the ice core data on temp and co2 levels. When the Eemian temps dropped sharply into the last ice age ( 118,000 years ago) co2 levels didn’t start to drop for another 6,000 years.
    Remember that was from a level of about 280 ppmv not the present 400 ppmv. I’m arguing all this from Luke and alarmist’s point of view, just to show the lag involved according to their beliefs.

    I mean how many trillions $ do they expect thousands of generations to waste their time and money on? And no certainty about the result and when it would end?

  8. Luke July 15, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Spangled – specifically how does Bob’s book help you?

    The sceptics party will get no votes – mob of cranks.

    Neville in terms of CO2 you wouldn’t know. You only read disinformation not the literature. Essentially you’re waffling on.

  9. Neville July 15, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    A good post at WUWT about OZ’s co2 tax and how it became a stupid, poorly structured mess and a sop to the greens.

  10. Neville July 15, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Well Luke looks like you’ve got me, now tell me where I’m wrong? Is my Eemian example wrong?

  11. Luke July 15, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    What has ice cores and CO2 got to do with anything on AGW Neville? Why wouldn’t there be a lag – are you that dense to think this means something. Only the 4th time I’ve asked you too. One factor non-science Neville.

  12. Debbie July 15, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    “..There’s virtually nothing left to salvage unless you’re complete hypocrites….”.
    Not to put too fine a point on it Luke….
    But they have largely trashed themselves….it has next to nothing to do with all these imaginary enemies you continually refer to as ‘faux sceptics’ and ‘deniers’.
    The data is perfectly safe.

  13. el gordo July 15, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    ‘…what’s wrong with the Sceptics party or a number of others who don’t believe we should tax air?’

    In my backwater the Nats will probably get in, no matter how popular Kev is. On principle, if Abbott fails to repeat his comment that “climate change science is crap”…. then screw him.

    Nevertheless, I’ll see who else is running in my electorate and give some thought to alternatives.

  14. ianl8888 July 15, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I prefer Ross McKitrick’s approach:

    My only question on McKitrick’s approach is:

    WHO will be the gate-keeper of the temperature graphs ?

    Perhaps the Resident Dipstick here … would we trust him?

  15. cohenite July 15, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    “You’re trashed the library of Alexandria”

    “That’s not a library Luke, more like an Ettamogah Pub.”

    Ettamogah brothel more likely.

  16. Luke July 15, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Cohenite’s summary of all Australian climate science after his geography course. I’m sure anyone who’s left after the purge will be so happy to work with the likes of you. Hope too many planes don’t fly into things they’re not supposed to.

  17. el gordo July 15, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    ‘What has ice cores and CO2 got to do with anything on AGW Neville?’

    Similar to what Salby said in Hamburg, CO2 chases temperatures and not the other way round.

    This has profound implications for humanity.

  18. Debbie July 15, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    It was never the genuine scientists as you well know. Air traffic etc do a sterling job.
    It has always been about the ‘politics’ and in particular the nasty after taste of misanthropy that lives in environmental/ climate science and the ‘activism’ that supports it.
    If you want to see an example of ‘trashing’ you don’t need to look much further than there.
    Along with everyone else with a modicum of common sense, I absolutely believe that if there was no such species as homo sapiens, the global environment and the global climate would be different. Whether it would be ‘better’ is a completely nonsense argument. . . in fact it’s really another form of ‘denialism’.

  19. Luke July 15, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    All the science is interlinked Debbie – you’ll have to get out your sewing kit and unpick line by line and piece by piece all the physics you don’t like. There will be no radiation models or data ingest systems left so that will render all modelling and forecasts systems inoperative. Your denier mates have only been saying that all the science is wrong, data corrupted and staff corrupted for about a decade. Surely you’ll be purging all that and replacing it with Bob’s book. Won’t be much left.

    El Gordo doesn’t get it either.

  20. el gordo July 15, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    ‘El Gordo doesn’t get it either.’

    Convince me, comrade. Do you really expect a pick-up in temperatures over the next 20 years?

  21. spangled drongo July 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Robyn Williams in his science show 24/11/2012 where he equated climate sceptics with paedophiles, drug takers etc has “astonishingly” been completely cleared by ACMA [file No. ACMA 2013/126] in spite of many sceptics taking strong objection to that show.

    Good ol’ dependable ABC/ACMA. Lewandowsky was also on that show putting in the boot in his usual scientific manner:

    Who did you say was trashing the library, Luke?

  22. Debbie July 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    To paraphrase you Luke. . .
    What utter rot. . .
    The sky is not about to fall in anytime soon. . . despite the doomsaying of people like you.
    The data is public property, it’s filed and it’s perfectly safe.
    There is no particular physics I don’t like Luke. . . what an extra ordinary claim.
    To paraphrase you again. . .
    Are you that dense?

  23. Debbie July 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    BTW Luke. . .
    There is a GINORMOUS MASSIVE chasm between ‘the science is settled’ and ‘the science is wrong’.

  24. Neville July 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Luke makes accusations but can’t answer my questions as usual. So tell us Lukey is our 400ppmv co2 level the highest level in 1 million years?

    Do we both accept that the ice cores show a lag of hundreds of years to thousands of years after a change in temp? Yes or No? And YES the ice cores show a co2 lag of 6,000 years after the temp dropped into the last ice age.

    I mean what is it you don’t understand about these facts? Talk about selective cherry picking, you’re the world champ.

    So tell us how long before our reduction ????? in OZ co2 emissions will have an impact on future levels? Will it be hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of years? AND WHY?

    Don’t forget OZ emits just 1.3% of human emissions of co2. If you can’t answer then don’t bother with more infantile abuse.

  25. Neville July 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    The Poms now rely on diesel engines to produce RENEWABLE????? wind energy.

    But don’t worry Lukey won’t understand this part of the CAGW CON either.

  26. John Sayers July 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I’m really concerned for Tony Abbott on this one and I’m sure it concerns him. I’m sure that he and many of his colleagues would love to stand up and admit their scepticism but they know only too well the backlash they’d get, not from the public, but the MSM and more importantly the ABC.

    The Catalyst team, still smarting from the caning they got from Joanne Nova, will be in there kicking like hell along with Tony Jones, Robyn Williams and Philip Adams. Carlton and the fairfax team will unite with their ex mates Marr and Taylor at the Guardian and they’ll pull in the CSIRO and the BoM and it will be endless attacks, endless name calling and endless distraction from the continuing failures of Emperor Kevin. It will be a blood bath.

    If I was Tony I’d keep a low profile on this subject and continue to do what he has done up until now – accept that climate change is real and a serious threat to the planet, accept that the scientists are right, continue to insist that his direct action plan will not only benefit the climate but will sequester CO2, will achieve the 5% reduction as promised and will be beneficial to agriculture and the environment and will create jobs as opposed to Kevin’s plan that only benefits the high profit banks and the wealthy carbon investors. In other words pull a greenie on them. His plan is practical and affordable and it won’t push up the cost of living or the cost of electricity.

    Sure it’s bullsit but the truth is way too dangerous at the present time.

  27. John Sayers July 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I might add that for a start I’d bring in Dr Christine Jones B.Sc.PhD.

    Dr Annette Cowie

    Peter Andrews and his natural sequence farming mob, get Gerry Harvey’s endorsement etc.

    get some scientists to back up his plan and make it a whole greenie program.

  28. John Sayers July 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Here’s a preview of what’s to come.

  29. jennifer July 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Australians, for all their many fault, do have some sense of what is, and is not genuine, and they like a fight.
    On this issue of climate change Tony Abbot is not genuine, and the electorate knows it. If he wants a fighting chance of winning the election he needs to start speaking the truth on this, and a few other issues. Other wise he will lose the election and for all the right reasons… Because there was no principle or conviction in his policies and politics.

  30. John Sayers July 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I do hope you are right Jennifer – over at a lefty forum they were telling me that the only reason Abbott was preferred PM is because he was supported by the MSM and the ABC!

  31. John Sayers July 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Do you really believe there is principle or conviction in Kevin Rudd’s policies and politics yet he has shot Labor up to a fighting chance in the polls?

  32. Johnathan Wilkes July 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    “PM is because he was supported by the MSM and the ABC!”

    They must be delusional.

    I never liked JH or TA for various reasons but I agree with Jennifer there is a time for a politician to come clean, stuff the public opinion.
    If he did that I’d forgive him for his past action.

  33. jennifer July 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Kevin Rudd believes in himself and all his policies, even though they have changed.

  34. Neville July 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Jennifer and JW, I’m not sure what you’re saying? While Abbott and the coalition deserve some criticism, surely the Labor party are the real villians in this farce.

    If you honestly believe that Labor is genuine about saving the planet then you must also think thay are stupid morons? How come they are striving to export as much coal, iron ore and gas in ever increasing tonnages, yet tell us we must reduce Co2 pollution here in OZ?

    Where’s the logic and reason in any of this idiocy? They are the ones who’ve told us “this is the greatest moral challenge of our generation” and “we are tackling CC and taking action on CC”.

    If you condemn the Coalition then why don’t you condemn Rudd, Gillard and Labor? Don’t forget that Ferguson also told the Vic govt they should modify their brown coal so that it too could be exported overseas.
    The trouble is the entire issue of the mitigation of CAGW has progressed with only a few people able to argue in any logical reasonable manner.
    Why is that ? Why can’t people take a pause and step back and see the stupidity of their position?

  35. jennifer July 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm #


    Abbott may be a sceptic, but he is pretending to believe in AGW. Like most Australians I have more respect for someone like Rudd, who is at least honest to what he believes in.

    I am also intrigued that you think it is OK for Abbott to be dishonest on this issue, because he should be frightened of the ABC. You, like the ABC, seem to consider the average Australian something of a ‘mug’.

  36. Johnathan Wilkes July 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    neville “If you condemn the Coalition then why don’t you condemn Rudd, Gillard and Labor?”

    But I do Neville, criticizing one does not exclude criticizing the other.
    The point is TA got the leadership over MT because of the ground swelling of opposition to the carbon tax which MT supported.

    And what happened? He caved in to G Hunt and others and been too afraid to voice an honest opinion ever since.
    I must admit, in a way, I don’t blame him for keeping low, if you take into account the constant stream of unjustified claims and abuse directed at him.

    For some reason they fear him.

  37. spangled drongo July 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    I think Abbott realises that to be frank and sceptical is to bring down the wrath of the fools and he [possibly rightly] believes them to be [combined with the rusted-ons and the Greens] the balance of power.

    There are lots of Lukheads out there.

    Let’s face it, they wouldn’t change their minds in an ice age:

  38. Debbie July 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Unfortunately I think we’ll all be picking which we think is the ‘least worst’ set of rather unclear policy positions. Kevin’s latest statements on Carbon tax/ETS have drawn scorn from the Greens as well as the coalition. . . and they’re rather devoid of practical detail.

  39. Neville July 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Jennifer you skipped over the most important part of my question. Is Rudd, Gillard and Labor just to be pardoned because they are genuine morons for not understanding the stupidity of their position?

    If real mitigation of CAGW is such an important issue then how can you export increasing tonnages of coal, iron ore and gas ?

    In other words the fleabite we condemn here in OZ is called pollution, but the millions tonnes extra we export is just good business?
    Vic is even encouraged to modify brown coal so that can add to the export tonnages. Martin Ferguson actually stated that Vic’s brown coal deposits could be the equivalent of another Pilbara.
    And boy that’s huge. Don’t you see any hypocrisy and stupidity in the position they hold?

    Don’t also forget the harm they are inflicting on OZ businesses and jobs through their stupidity. Countries overseas can use our cheaper coal, gas etc to create new jobs and industry while OZ must use super expensive, unreliable and fraudulent solar and wind energy.

    Germany has been down this path of fraudulent solar and wind energy and is now building new brown coal power stations to get cheaper energy so they can remain competitive.

  40. Johnathan Wilkes July 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    ” You, like the ABC, seem to consider the average Australian something of a ‘mug’.”

    I think you’ll find they would plead guilty as charged.

    I myself do not feel superior to a gnat, but I assure you the average aussie voter is a “MUG”

    Have you looked at the number of welfare recipients lately?
    If people can vote themselves benefits they don’t rightly deserve they will.
    One of the downsides of ‘democracy’.

  41. John Sayers July 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Following the 2007 election he was appointed to Brendan Nelson’s Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs and the Voluntary Sector. He resigned from this position in Malcolm Turnbull’s shadow cabinet on 26 November 2009 in protest against Liberal Party support for the Rudd Government’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).[2] Following a spill motion, Abbott defeated Turnbull 42 votes to 41 in a party leadership ballot, becoming Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition.

    Abbotts position is perfectly clear – he defeated Turnbull over the ETS and now that Rudd is backflipping on the carbon tax and bringing on the ETS early Abbott should stand his ground. Rud has gone form saying that the Carbon tax is fine, people are well compensated etc to now saying that it’s pushing up the cost of living and electricity so therefore we should move to an ETS. With Rudd backflipping everywhere it’s imperative that the Coalition remain steadfast.

    Dr Christine Jones on Landline was asked how much carbon her farming practices could sequester – she replied that if 2% of farmers changed their agriculture methods to hers we could sequester all the carbon we emit.

    Even Philip Adams interviewed her where she said the same thing to a similar question from Philip.

    The problem is that she announced it on the ABC so it vanished into their biased void.

  42. Neville July 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Just to add to this mess. What will the price of carbon credits be worth in the near future? Who knows?

    Just more stupidity from Labor, at least with the Coalition we can just stop planting trees. Just another reason to vote Labor and Greens last in the Reps and senate. But if you prefer taxes on the air you breathe then vote labor.

  43. John Sayers July 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    “Have you looked at the number of welfare recipients lately?
    If people can vote themselves benefits they don’t rightly deserve they will.”

    Johnathan – the Greens are onto that – Christine Milne has announced a $50/week increase in the dole at a cost of $7 billion. She knows Obama got in via the welfare vote and she knows the greens are caput unless she can attract the welfare vote here in Oz.

  44. Ian Thomson July 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi Neville,
    Germany , as the ‘capital ‘ of Europe has the upper hand , because nobody else there had half of the country – (E. Germany ) – running 1930’s machinery , that they could shut down and get a veritable avalanche of EU carbon credits. So they could be super green, stay rich and then ‘brown ‘ a little and still be admirable. John Cleese’s satire , now edited by the BBC was mm mm.

    Jen, I believe you are right, but are the movers and shakers brave enough to give him a go.
    It is the 30 second grab, politics of cowardice and reality TV . Will they give it a go or sack him in panic about their bank accounts ?

    Not one of them , State or Federal , has represented this (Riverina) area since Tim retired.
    AND nobody actually respects them. Those varied independent dills, who sided with Julia to form Govt, ARE respected , by those they represent.
    The Katter party candidate here, put up most of the money for ‘Muddied Waters’ ( Just saying ).
    So you people who are about to destroy your ballot paper, — Look for a patriot. There are still some around and time for them is running out.
    Every parliamentary term , State or Federal, leads to more party money and bigger salaries for the Party people. They are soon going to be the only choice.

    The Fishers and Shooters party -seriously- in NSW , allowed the sale of Snowy , in exchange for $80,000 ( to them ) of Electoral funding.

    You can stop this nonsense now and so could Tony. If they let him.

  45. ianl8888 July 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm #


    Your quote:

    ” …Rudd, who is at least honest to what he believes in”

    I am genuinely astonished, disheartened actually. Do you really think that ?

    Rudd’s “policies” (oh, puhleeease) do not just change, they whirlygig 180o from one empty-headed piece of rhetoric to another, depending on the way the opinion polls bounce. There is NO substance (the Sun King actually devalues that as programmatic specificity), only deeply cynical appeals to people who WANT to believe him

    This comment doesn’t support Abbott – he’s an absolute boofhead. However, in my quite long experience, economic conditions remain more vibrant for longer periods under the LNP than the ALP

    My general view is that I want (demand, actually), hard, costed, detailed, accountable policies BEFORE an election. Since these are never forthcoming, the only intellectually honest response is an informal vote

    BUT I can find no hard evidence anywhere that Rudderless is honest. You dishearten me to the point where cynicism is the only sensible response. So … I’ve often wondered at that Luke’s continued presence here, with his constant stream of pointless, puerile ad-homs. Why do you encourage him, I wonder ?

  46. Luke July 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    says ianl8888 ignoring his own and others ad homs

  47. Luke July 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Neville CO2 follows temperature because the warming is initiated by a change in solar insolation – a duh.

  48. Neville July 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    More on that stupid nonsense from the Rudd labor party. Henry Ergas explains that we will be sending billions $ overseas every year paying for AIR from who knows where. Geeezzzz.

    Ergas today warns Rudd will be sending billions of our dollars to foreign green speculators:

    “If Treasury’s modelling is to be believed, once prices get to European levels, achieving the emissions cuts Rudd pledged would require purchasing 80 per cent or more of abatement to 2025 from the European ETS. But even at today’s European prices, that entails a transfer of more than $8bn from Australian businesses and consumers to the speculators who bought the emissions permits of bankrupt eastern European producers of coal, iron and steel.

    What environmental gain could possibly come from that transfer, which taxes Australians to pay Europeans for emissions cuts they made long ago? And there will of course be the damage to the budget, with a fall in the carbon price to $10 reducing revenues to 2016-17 by about $14bn.”

    So if you want to support foreign speculators by transfering billions of our dollars overseas and achieve zero change to the climate and temp just keep voting for Rudd.

  49. jennifer July 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    Neville, I didn’t pardon anyone.

    Ian8888, I am not sure why you are so astonished that I believe Rudd believes in himself and his policies. That doesn’t mean I believe in them, or that they are sensible or constant.

    My point of this post is simply to suggest that Kevin Rudd has a policy on the important issue of climate change that he believes in. Tony Abbott, if he took Bob Carter’s advice, could have a much better climate change policy and one that he (Abbott) could really believe in. It would be a big job explaining the essence of the new policy to the Australian public because of all the gatekeepers… But it is not difficult to Understand, is imminently sensible and could facilitate the emergence of the real Tony Abbott.

  50. Debbie July 15, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    So Luke?
    Why isn’t that what the ‘settled science’ as publicised by the AGW celebs says?
    ah duh!

  51. el gordo July 15, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Abbott is changing strategy.

    ‘A reporter inquired whether this made carbon markets just the same as financial markets. Abbott repeated his definition: “Let’s think about it. It’s a market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no one.”

    Murphy in the Guardian

  52. Neville July 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    But Debbie you see Lukey reckons co2 is now the all conquering force that TODAY changes our climate and temp.
    Not back then of course but it does today. Back then it was just a second rater that lazily followed temp, sometimes UP and sometimes DOWN.

    But it was very lazy at times, taking many thousands of years to follow it’s mate the temp. SARC.

  53. Neville July 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    A good review of Bob’s new book by Matt Ridley.

    EG I thought that was fairly clever from Abbott and BTW I hope you can find a good candidate to vote for in your electorate.

  54. el gordo July 15, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    If Abbott has decided to tell the truth on CC, or risk losing the un-loseable election, then they will get my support.

    Its a risky strategy, but at this stage the Coalition has little choice.

  55. Luke July 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    So Jen may I ask what Bob’s sage advice on a ripper climate policy is?

  56. Neville July 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    A good post by Steve McIntyre exposing Sir Paul Nurse the president of the Royal Society. Where do they get these people from, surely anyone off the street would do as good a job? That remark about him on the plane at the end is a humdinger.
    Methinks he would be a very good mate for our narcissistic Kevin.

  57. John Sayers July 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    “So Jen may I ask what Bob’s sage advice on a ripper climate policy is?”

    I won’t answer for Jen but I’ll answer for myself.

    We don’t need a ripper climate policy – we don’t need any climate policy at all – there’s nothing wrong with the climate, it’s changing, it’s always changed – 20 years ago if you’d said you were a climatologist at party people would have said what’s that? That’s the way it should be.

  58. Luke July 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    I’m asking Jen not your ill informed opinion. Jo Nova also thinks climate is important. If you don’t think climate is important pull your roof down and be at one with it.

  59. John Sayers July 16, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    No Luke – she’s been saying predicting the climate is important. She dreams of a computer model that actually CAN predict the weather for farmers, surfers, snow skiers, firefighters and everyone in our society who wishes to know what is going to happen weather wise.

    A reasonable request – unfortunately it’s beyond us at this point so I’ll ignore your ill informed opinion.

  60. Luke July 16, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    At this point John you’ve descended into silliness. “unfortunately it’s beyond us at this point” an incredibly stupid comment and demonstrably wrong. John go and twang your banjo – honestly mate I wonder about your intelligence. So in John’s world we just do a bit of step to the right and a step to the left and we mindlessly try to iterate something in a policy vacuum? Good grief.

  61. John Sayers July 16, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    Not at all Luke – I didn’t even click on your link as I knew where you were going.
    It is beyond us at this moment and the sooner people like you realise it the better. Do you want me to link to all the peer reviewed papers that support my statement that models are faulty?

    With respect to Joanne here’s what she posted just the other day:

    “With regard to Jimmy, bless you, don’t you think farmers and land-management folk would like to be able to predict la ninas, and floods, droughts, sea level, and wet seasons etc? ”

    C’mon. A climate model that worked would be a brilliant thing.

  62. el gordo July 16, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    Plan B appears reliable.

  63. spangled drongo July 16, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    This is the sort of climate policy Luke and his mates support. If you can develop it you can control the world:

  64. Luke July 16, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    John – what a mish mash of disconnected rubbish in your brain. I really am stunned. It’s just a hotch potch of disconnected bits of factoids. And I’m amazed that you can hold contradictory thoughts with such poise. So we’ve now got a “Jo’s” right but I hate it sort of vibe.

    Your minds are some fog of weather, seasonal forecasting, climate change, bits and pieces of physics, models which you don’t understand, developments which you don’t comprehend.

    All you read is disinformation slops. Ignore whole literatures which never get reported.

    And hold bird brain ideas like Neville’s ice core traces actually mean something useful.

    If El Gordo thinks Plan B is “reliable” – well stun me right a simple paragraph as to what it is?

    But we won’t see this – will simply be a parade of Neville’s press clippings which impress him mightily coz that’s about his class level.

    Here’s my press clipping for today – at least it’s of some use.

  65. Peter Lang July 16, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Uncertainty about the problem is a given, but uncertainty about the chosen solution is inexcusable. We should be confident that our solutions are going to be effective, and the more expensive the solution the more confident we should be.

    Big responses require high levels of confidence that they will work. Carbon-pricing schemes fail this test.

  66. Peter Lang July 16, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    I agree with Bob Carter:

    “Pursuing expensive and futile schemes to combat the speculative, and quite possibly illusory, risks of human-induced global warming is both pointless and wealth-sapping. Instead any sensible national climate policy must primarily address the well known risks of natural climate events and change.”

    I agree with Jennifer Marohasy:

    The best thing Abbot could do in response would be to scrap his proposed Direction Action Plan and come up with a proper plan to address the very real climate-related risks …

    However, I understand that it is a political solution to address the concerns of the very many people who are not listening to anything anyone says but “just want the government to do something to fix the climate problem.” The advantages of the LNP’s ‘Direct Action’ policy are 1) the costs are limited, 2) it can be easily adjusted or stopped, 3) we are not committed to high cost policies that probably will achieve nothing and will be orphaned when it becomes even more clear the world is not going to implement carbon pricing, 4) we are not outsourcing control of Australia’s economy to Brussels. In contrast, costs of the ETS are huge ($1.35 trillion (undiscounted), $400 billion discounted to 2050, ref.
    “What the carbon tax and ETS wsill really cost”

    The ETS will be tied to the EU ETS and this outsources significant control of our cost of energy to Brussels.

    The ETS is highly inflexible. It cannot be changed easily when the evidence about the effects of GHG emisisons change. It cannot be easily adjusted or stopped

  67. Peter Lang July 16, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    No one, who has thought through the issues, should support a carbon tax, or an ETS.

    1. They cannot succeed – for the reasons explained here:
    No gain and lots of pain with the ETS

    2. They will seriously disadvantage economies that try to implement them – as explained here:
    What the Carbon Tax and ETS will Really Cost

    3. They will achieve no measurable benefits for the climate, sea levels or critters

    4. There is a better way that will work to cut global GHG emissions. It is the economically rational way. Only an economically rational policies will succeed and be sustainable, because they do not require direction by government, politicians, bureaucrats, NGO’s special interest groups. This explains the better way:

    Decarbonising the global economy requires and economically rational approach:

    Alternative to carbon pricing – Reduce existing market distortions

    The links provide essential background to understanding why I am saying carbon pricing cannot succeed.

  68. Doug Hurst July 16, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    China is building a new coal-fired power station every week and India is building them as fast as it can. Nothing we do will change CO2 levels or climate while countries like China and India continue to ramp up their emissions at this rate. If we closed down Australia completely, increased Chinese CO2 output would replace the missing CO2 in less than four months.

    Abbott’s policy should be to recognise that our actions to date have cost a fortune without doing anything useful, to do nothing more and to repeal all previous feel good but useless efforts. This would make us much richer and the world no worse off.

  69. Ian Thomson July 16, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    I would like someone at the ABC , or in Luke’s camp , to tell me how long any government can get away with continuous electricity price increases. When the inevitable (on current policies ) ,trebling of gas wholesale price hits, the bubble must burst.
    (Remember , a 70% increase on wholesale refrigerant gas took retail from $25 pk, to $165 pk.
    Such is the GST etc. What will 3x on gas wholesale do ?)
    When the insult is rubbed in by having windfarms jammed in unwilling neighbourhoods and when inevitably, the subsidies are withdrawn (as in US) and the rusting things are left to rust dangerously by bankrupt companies.( As in US )

    As a very mild family man remarked to me recently, “Any normal country would have had a revolution by now”
    The family power bill and the industrial one ( built into prices we pay ), cannot forever support a whole industry of St Vinnies etc, using the levied money given them by the Governments to pay power bills for those who just cannot possibly pay. Tens of thousands of disenfranchised pensioners and working poor. It is an imperfect, stupid circle.
    It has to fail, we have an economy which is shrinking at a rate totally unnoticed in the Cities as yet. Yes, Ford and a few high profile firms are cutting back painfully, but THOUSANDS of fruit trees are being bulldozed and burned in the entire Murray Valley.Dairy and vegetable and grain processing is now hideously expensive , with carbon taxing busting electricity and refrigeration budgets wide open.

    Tony please go for it. Bite it off at the ankles , before it swallows the country.

  70. Peggy Balfour July 16, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Oh fer gawdsake read this and then try to tell us that our present climate is caused by man-made CO2.

    This is a 15.35 mb download but well worth the wait. A chronological listing of weather events from year 1 A.D. to 1900.

  71. maurie July 16, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Since the coalition has chosen to sit on their hands for the last few years, while the union party
    enacted the vote buying scam tax, it will now be very difficult to convince many as even quite sensible people seem to have allowed themselves to be convinced that the blatant lying isn’t. Ouir media seem to be possessed with the rationality of an average eleven year old kid. The public service departments
    have been bluffed into taking the union party’s line with the threat of reduced funding. All this & we live in Australia, not somewhere like Italy or Greece.

  72. Drewe Bantick July 16, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    I liked Tony Abbotts comments on the ETS – harks back to his days of saying the ‘science is crap’ & points the way toward the scrapping of the direct action plan. Perhaps Kevin Rudds move to soften the toxicity of the Carbon Tax could be just the thing to force the LNP to take a truthful stand on climate (taking an axe to the RET is a good start).

  73. sp July 16, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Luke wants to know – “what Bob’s sage advice on a ripper climate policy is?”

    In the meantime he believes the planets temp will be reduced by 0.5C by 2010 if europe applies its CO2 “scheme”.

    As if anybody can say what the temperature will be in 2100.

    But Luke believes he knows – despite presenting no calculation or proof – just another AGW warmist scaremonger – a political activist who pretends to do science – a watermelon who thinks we need a climate policy – an ill-mannered idiot with delusions of importance

  74. spangled drongo July 16, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Maurie, vote-buying tax scams are exactly what succeed in this day of the non-sceptical, non-analytical, biased, alarmist MSM.

    When you add that to the “47 per centers”, ie the “born entitled”, an opposition can’t campaign on logic anymore.

    If KRUDD gets in again we are set to become another Greece type basket case. Socially and financially.

  75. sp July 16, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Michael Crichton:

    “When we allow science to become political then we are lost. We will enter the internet version of the Dark Ages, an era of stifling fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better.”

  76. el gordo July 16, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    ‘Plan B is “reliable” – well stun me right a simple paragraph as to what it is?’

    It is quite simple, we accept that CO2 doesn’t cause global warming, which leaves us with the null hypothesis… our star is the main driver of earthly weather and climate.

    Plan B incorporates that thinking and is prepared for any eventuality.

  77. John Morland July 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    I intend to go to Bob Carter’s book launch. I was once a concerned believer of AGW but the more I read, thought and applied by astronomy knowledge (as an amateur astronomer) the more skeptical I became on the AGW scaremongering. Yes climates change, they have since life started on Earth and no amount of landscape desecrating, property value destroying useless windmills nor expensive inefficent solar panels on each and every roof will stop climates changing.

    As carbohydrates are not the enemy in a diet, CO2 is not the enemy in the environment. We depend on the carbon cycle for LIFE. As John Tyndall noted, CO2 was the weakest absorber of the calorific rays and water vapour the strongest.

    Yes, CO2 has a marginal effect, by far the strongest CO2 absorbtion line is at the IR wavelength of 15 microns (+- 1.5 microns) which equates (under Wien’s displacement law) to a black body radiator at a temperature of -80 deg C. That similiar to Vostock, Antartica in July/August. CO2 freezes at -78.5C and, if touched, dry ice causes cold burns on flesh. So to all you catastrophic AGW warmists – a lot of warming in that one! In fact it is even less, as we are dealing with a fixed absorption line, whereas a -80degC black body emits a broader radiation distribution further down the infrared spectra but its radiation is cut off sharply at a shorter IR wavelength.

    The other two CO2 absorption lines are at the IR 2.8 and 4.2 microns wavelength which equate to temperatures of 762 C and 417 C respectively. Even extreme catastrophic alarmisst would agree that this is irrelevant to Earth’s greenhouse effect. But these 2 absorption lines, help to cool Earth by absorbing solar radiation at those wavelengths and re-emitting nearly half back to space, blocking some of that radiation reaching Earth’s surface. Yes, catastrophic AGW alarmists – CO2 also COOLS! Cool, huh.

    Oh, I hear, any slight increase in temperature due to CO2 causes a lot more water vapour in the air – a far stronger infrared absorber. So we come to climate sensitivity. The jury is still out but, so far, it appears that sensitivity is much lower than the alarmist have been ranting.

    I agree with Bob Carter and Peter Lang, a far better allocation of resources than funding ugly windmills is to build our adaption, preparation and resilience to changing climates whether warmer/colder, wetter/dryer, consistent/extreme events.

  78. Luke July 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    So there is no plan B and you’re full of it.

  79. Neville July 16, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    The Bolter takes on the delusional warmist fools at Fairfax.

    These people can look facts in the eye and believe something else entirely at odds with reality. Who believes their Kiribati joke anymore? But these people have no shame and just love to spread more of their ridiculous BS.

    Does that remind you of a serial ranter not a million miles from this blog?

  80. Luke July 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Well Nev –

  81. John Morland July 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Yes Luke, I am full of it. Full of physics laws that blow away the climate catastrophics such as you.

    Here is another one. Bring Earth to Venus’s orbit and Earth’s temperature will rapidly rise to a mid/high 6o’s C average (from it current mid/high 14 deg C). Do you know what Venus’s temperature is at 1 atmosphere pressure (some 50 km above its surface? Low/mid 70’s deg C!

    Gosh, similar temperatures despite one planet having .004% CO2, the other 97-98% CO2 atmospheres. Yes, I am full of these inconvenient (real not junk AGW science) scientific physical facts.

  82. david purcell July 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Abbott must reject the ETS as well as the C tax. Neither will accomplish anything except a fall in living standards and making many European holders of permits very rich especially if the ETS “floating rate” is pushed artificially high by Europe. Tying our economy to basket case Europe is asking for trouble. Abbott and Hunt must enunciate their policy in detail ASAP. With the trillions already wasted worldwide on AGW abatement (for no result) we should be diverting future funds to eliminate disease and world poverty. Thank God for those like Carter, J Nova, WUWT and others who will speak up and say it as it is.

  83. Ian Thomson July 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Here’s a nice link for you Luke , nice song and unlike today, the poor buggers didn’t blame carbon dioxide, they blamed an unseasonal wind change.Sit back and listen and look at the pictures and add a 21st century voice over of climate doom- if it makes you feel better.

  84. Neville July 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Thanks Lukey, that’s about your level of comprehension and grip on reality. But let’s see what those krudd ETS coupons may be worth in the future after the idiots in the EU finish manipulating their fraudulent and corrupt system.

    We’ll be linked directly to this EU disaster under Krudd’s clueless ETS and it could be worth anything in a few years time.

    Just about everyone has had a go at rorting this EU ponzi scheme over the last few years and even the Mafia have joined them at the trough.
    The police have had to be called in a number of times trying to trace the validity of the certificates etc and the system was closed down more than once to clean up the mess.

    In fact Julie Bishop wrote a good article listing the corruption and rorting of the EU system in the Fairfax press.
    Remember this is about 87% of the world’s trades in co2 credits. Just more corruption and fraud involved in this mitigation of CAGW mirage.

  85. Luke July 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

  86. Debbie July 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Why are we getting links to supermarket/dept store chains?

  87. Neville July 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Don’t worry Debbie he’s just having a minor breakdown. He knows he’s been done like a dinner and can’t persist with his charade any longer.

    He’s now into his shopping phase to try and get some solace and comfort. BTW here’s that article from Julie Bishop listing all the fraud and corruption in the EU trades of co2 certificates.

    All the countries involved are listed, even Papua New guinea gets a mention. The police made 100 arrests in Europe, in just one instance.
    They say that this will be the white collar crime of the future. But that makes sense because CAGW mitigation must be the greatest fraud in the last 100 years.

  88. Luke July 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Just mocking Neville’s tedious style and noting any ability to engage in any discussion. Seems more relevant don’t you think?

    It’s simply boring – there’s only so many times you can screech fraud. Neville’s such a screecher. Why doesn’t he actually mount a court case and stop stuffing around. DOn’t tell us – go and do something about it.

    The place has simply become a graffiti wall as a substitute for some discussion and exploration of values/propositions.

    For example Plan B has been mentioned here a number of times but you can’t even get a discussion on what it might be. I tried to get a discussion going on the problems of mavericks in institutional research – another major theme that recurs here.

    It seems that cut and paste is what we’ve been reduced to. There are no thoughts anymore – we just parrot others opinions.

  89. Ian Thomson July 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    What’d you buy at Aldi Luke ? The chemical wine or the Belgian milk ?

    The rorts so far uncovered must only be the tip of the iceberg in the alt energy business. If Mr Soros is in there , imagine all the lesser lights of politics and crime .The slush funds are of previously unimagined proportions .
    Things like the tale of Pachauri and Indian steel replacing British steel , free , with EU credits.Shut one open one, magic.
    Russian mafia money ruining sovereign nations through green schemes and money in , money out.

    The ICAC will spend months, eventually, finding funny things in NSW alone.
    But X factor is on TV and that stuff is politics .
    Unless someone can get the real message across nothing will change.
    Tony will need good advice.

  90. Peter Lang July 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I hope Jennifer will delete all the comments that add nothing of value to the debate about climate policies.

  91. Luke July 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm #


  92. el gordo July 16, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Peter, its a robust discussion and Jen is a firm believer in free speech. Wandering off the track is not a criminal offence around here.

  93. Neville July 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    I agree with Peter, I’ve never ever posted inane nonsense about shopping before , but I’ve had some fairly relevant comments deleted a number of times.

  94. jennifer July 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Peter Lang,

    Thanks for your insight comments and useful links and reminders

    I can’t agree with you though, that Abbott’s ‘Direction Action’ plan is better than an ETS. At least that is what you seem to be saying.

    It doesn’t need to be a case of either/or. The Coalition should have a sensible policy on Climate and Climate Change Change – I will detail Bob Carter’s Plan B – in a future blog post.

    The reality is that climate related disasters cost Australia billions of dollars and so much heart break each year. Many of them are avoidable or could be better managed. I’m particularly thinking of the flooding of Brisbane a few years ago. The flood in January 2011 was created by dam operators who panicked and released too much water out of a Wivenhoe dam too quickly. There would never have been so much water in the dam at that time if the Brisbane community had not become conditioned to the false belief that the dam would never fill again. … a consequence of current climate change policies.

    In short, and to reiterate, this democracy needs the opposition to articulate an alternative and proper climate and climate change policy… their Direction Action Plan is the sort of nonsense one might expect from the Australian Greens.

    Luke et al.,

    If you only comment when you have something useful, relevant or insight to say you are more likely to be read. If you persist with nonsense comments I will start deleting chunks of comments… unfortunately some good links can get lost when I do this… become some people are silly enough to include a useful piece of information in a response to nonsense.

  95. Debbie July 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Perhaps he bought Pakistani basmati? 🙂
    Plan B is mostly about doing more of what we know works and to stop pretending that mankind can control the weather/climate or stop it from changing via a tax/ETS
    The burning question is why have we wasted so much time, money and political scalps flogging a dead horse?

  96. el gordo July 16, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    ‘The Climate Institute says a growing number of Australians reject the argument the carbon tax is based on false science and agree the impost should be given a go.

    ‘Attitudes about climate change were emerging from the shadows of the perceived “carbon tax lie”, institute CEO John Connor said.

    “There is a sentiment of give carbon pricing a go,” he said in a statement.

    The research found that two-thirds of Australians accept climate change science, with a majority believing it was having an impact.

    “Opposition to carbon pricing has dropped significantly but that’s not to say the policy is popular or understood,” Mr Connor said.


  97. Neville July 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    EG the Climate institute must be as barking mad as the Krudd Labor govt. Why would you give anything a go when simple maths proves it can’t have any impact?

    IOW they want to send billions $ overseas every year to buy useless scraps of paper from who knows where that can’t change the climate or temp by a jot.

    When they do a proper audit on the origins of these paper scraps the entire mess blows up and they have to call in the police.

    How have we become so delusional and idiotic, hardly the actions of a smart country. But we can export as much coal, ore and gas as we want and nobody could care less????

  98. el gordo July 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    ‘How have we become so delusional and idiotic,’

    Let’s start with the monk, he’s a first class idiot.

    TONY ABBOTT: Our policies are very practical, they make obvious sense. We’ll plant more trees, we’ll produce better soils, we’ll use smarter technologies – these will produce a better environment here in Australia.


  99. el gordo July 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    ‘How have we become so delusional and idiotic,’

    Sophisticated propaganda has given us mass delusion …. it could take years to remedy the malady.

  100. Peter Lang July 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    @ July 16th, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you for your reply. I’ll attempt to clarify what I mean. First, I’ll respond to your comment about ‘climate related disasters’.

    The reality is that climate related disasters cost Australia billions of dollars and so much heart break each year. Many of them are avoidable or could be better managed. I’m particularly thinking of the flooding of Brisbane a few years ago.

    I do not agree these types of events are related to man’s GHG emissions; therefore, policies such as the ETS and ‘Direct Action’ to cut GHG emissions will not have any effect on these types of disasters, for many decades at least. Actually, they could make matters worse because they will disadvantage Australia’s economy making us less able to afford good adaptation policies, such as flood mitigation, better infrastructure, etc.. I think this is what Bob Carter, Bjorn Lomborg and other rational experts have been advocating for a long time.

    I can’t agree with you though, that Abbott’s ‘Direction Action’ plan is better than an ETS. At least that is what you seem to be saying.

    Well, I didn’t mean to say it quite like that. It depends what you and I mean by “better” than an ETS. I suspect you may be more focused on reducing GHG emissions in Australia or reducing climate damages in Australia and believe the ETS would be better than the Direct Action policy. My focus is much broader than that. My focus is on what is ‘economically better’ over the long term and the least risk economically. To be least risk the policy needs to be highly flexible. That is, the government can dump or change it at any time with minimum consequences for the economy. On that basis, the Direct Action approach is superior to the ETS.

    The Direct Action policy has a limit on the cost. It is much less than what the ETS will cost the economy (see:

    The ETS will achieve no benefits (i.e. climate damages avoided) but will disadvantage Australia’s economy. The ‘Direct Action policy’ is flexible. We can change it, dump it, and join an international ETS with little difficulty or whatever the world agrees to do.

    To further clarify what I meant in my previous comment – BTW, it is important to read the four links I provided in that comment):

    1. I am persuaded that the ETS will not survive. The EU ETS will not survive either. They will deliver no benefits (i.e. no climate damages avoided) and seriously damage Australia’s and EU’s international competitiveness. It’s already happening in the EU, and possibly here too. Treasury’s modelling assumes there will be an international emission trading scheme. But, as explained here, and particularly the article by Professor Richard Tol: there will be no global carbon price. Without an international ETS, Australia’s (and the EU) ETS cannot survive.

    2. If I had my choice Australia wouldn’t have any mitigation policy other than ‘No Regrets’ policies at this time. We’d participate in international negotiations and when the large emitting countries and blocks reach agreement we’d join too. We probably take a similar position as USA and Canada because our economies are similar and similarly dependent on fossil fuels.

    3. Uncertainty about the problem is a given, but uncertainty about the chosen solution is inexcusable. We should be confident that our solutions are going to be effective, and the more expensive the solution the more confident we should be.

    Big responses require high levels of confidence that they will work. Carbon-pricing schemes fail this test.

    In short, and to reiterate, this democracy needs the opposition to articulate an alternative and proper climate and climate change policy…

    Well, I don’t believe it is practicable nor wise for Oppositions to provide detailed policies. They do not have the resources of government to enable them to do that properly. Therefore, it would just set them up to be a sitting duck for the Government to use all the resources at its disposal to nit pick and white-ant what ever the Opposition puts up. All the Opposition can reasonably do is lay out their broad approach and hold the government to account for its policies and management competence, or lack of. Tony Abbott was in John Hewson’s office when he lost the ‘unloseable election’ in 1993 because he tried to provide too much policy detail. Oppositions cannot provide the same level of policy detail as we should expect from the Government.

    It doesn’t need to be a case of either/or. The Coalition should have a sensible policy on Climate and Climate Change Change

    I agree. I think it should be:

    1. high level, broad brush, an outline, objective focused

    2. Flexible, able to readily adjust to whatever is agreed internationally

    3. Net benefit for Australia’s economy in all time periods

    4. Does not disadvantage Australia’s business interests compared with our main trading partners and competitors

    5. Recognise that nothing Australia does to cut GHG emissions would make the slightest difference to the climate unless it is part of a global scheme. So anything we do that disadvantages our economy compared with our trading partners and competitors should not be supported, IMO.

    6. Recognise that pricing carbon is the wrong approach for the reasons explained in the links in my previous comment. The right approach is explained in these two comments:

    Decarbonising the global economy requires and economically rational approach

    Alternative to carbon pricing – Reduce existing market distortions

  101. jennifer July 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Thanks Peter, But just to clarify, I don’t believe the flooding of Brisbane had anything to do with GHG emissions, but it was a disaster and a consequence of bad policies, in fact misleading policies related to climate change. Indeed the government department responsible for operates of the Wivenhoe dam was being managed by an activist who did not believe that the dam would ever fill again, let alone overflow because he believed Tim Flannery et al.. You see the policies in place were wrong because of the believe in AGW. We need proper policies.

    If you would like to outline the type of “high level, broad brush” policy you think could be adopted by the Coalition, please email me something for posting as a new thread.

  102. Robert July 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    You can turn the Maldives into a deluxe tourist paradise so that the subject of climate change is suddenly unfashionable, but low lying backwaters like Kiribati have smelt the dollars and know that bleating about climate beats getting a real job. Who can blame poor people if they beg? Climate policy, not soccer, has become the world game, with some scrambling for billions and others scrambling for crumbs.

    Unfocused climate plans will stay in fashion because they are nicer to contemplate and easier to manipulate, no matter how wasteful or pointless. Any focused climate plan will be stupendously expensive, and could be stupendously embarrassing. For example, NY city was built near sea level in a hurricane zone notorious for centuries, after true category cyclones in years like 1821, 1938 amongst others. A number of these events were far more intense than Sandy, which was very large in area but did not even have a category at landfall. (Superstorm and Frankenstorm are code for: “We wish we could call it a hurricane”.) Yet to make use of rubble from the World Trade Centre and to make a real estate killing, the Hudson was narrowed by 700 feet at its mouth to make more Battery Park real estate. It’s little wonder that people like Bloomberg want to keep the focus on climate change rather than irresponsible development. Just think of the cost of undoing that one blunder. Multiply the cost many millions of times.

    We are going to have to lift our game, that’s for sure, but we are going to have to just live with a lot of climate problems. You can’t retrofit a civilisation. You can drain Fairfield, but you can’t drain Bangladesh. Climate proofing the world is like digging up those thousands of streets all over Oz to install the NBN. Regardless of how good an idea it is, it won’t get done.

    Monsoons will fail utterly, the Yellow River will flood worse than it has ever been known to flood, Victoria and Tasmanian crown fires will terrify a new generation. The dynasties of China and Egypt rose and fell with climate change. Climate is power. Climate doesn’t just change, it is nothing but change. I’m not arguing against Bob Carter, or progress, or prudence. The sane way Darwin was rebuilt after Tracey is a credit to the Aussie mentality. Pink batts and the New Class have caused us to lose faith in public spending on great projects, but I say let’s chuck out the New Class and have the projects.

    However, when climate gets really nasty, you can only do so much. On an HD television screen it all looks sort of controllable, something one can theorise about. But once you’re out there and facing its full force…

  103. Peter Lang July 16, 2013 at 10:36 pm #


    I agree that Brisbane floods were result of bad policy and poor decisions by those in charge (be it due to group think, herd mentality, motivated reasoning or whatever). (I followed the reporting of the Brisbane floods inquiry fairly closely.) So I think we are in 97% consensus on this 🙂

    I suspect the flooding of New York City by Storm Sandy could be attributed to similar reasons. And also the fact we nearly ran out of water for most of our capital cities (building dams was no PC for about 30 years) and had to build very expensive desalination plants, most of which are now moth-balled.

    I am now thinking about your last paragraph.

  104. el gordo July 16, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Here’s a few quotes from Abbott on CC and he appears to be all over the place. I would go so far as to say he’s as stupid as Greg Hunt.


    ‘high level, broad brush, an outline, objective focused’

    Judith Curry is a luke warmer and I’m thinking you are ignorant of the science. Do you believe temperatures will rise over the next couple of decades or fall?

    This is the debate, not whether one stupid scheme is better than the other, but how to convince people that nothing unusual is happening with climate because CO2 doesn’t cause global warming.

    This is what Abbott should tell the electorate, but I suspect he lacks the bottle to think outside the square.

  105. Luke July 16, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    “Indeed the government department responsible for operates of the Wivenhoe dam was being managed by an activist who did not believe that the dam would ever fill again, let alone overflow because he believed Tim Flannery et al.’

    Any proof of this outrageous comment ?

    Your exact words here Jen are amazing and I think you really need to substantiate. “An activist” that’s singular – was managing the dam. I expect you to offer zero proof and hand wave and so it’s just sceptic bunk – just more repetition of memes to hope they’ll stick.

    There’s extremely good reasons to think that the Brisbane floods were increased by AGW – that’s souped up – not caused – record SSTs and atmospheric water vapour for a start. The extreme rainfall event that caused the water to rise near fuse plug height was an indicator in itself. The fact that the flood heights in Brisbane didn’t reach previous records is that previous events involved immediate tropical cyclones and that there is a major new dam.

  106. Luke July 16, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    “2. If I had my choice Australia wouldn’t have any mitigation policy other than ‘No Regrets’ policies at this time. We’d participate in international negotiations and when the large emitting countries and blocks reach agreement we’d join too. We probably take a similar position as USA and Canada because our economies are similar and similarly dependent on fossil fuels.”

    Peter a highly sensible comment and please hang around. I agree that unilateral action is not sensible. If No Regrets is a reasonable approach if economically-rational efficiency-based measures are adopted.

    But climate policy is not only about climate change and greenhouse-carbon issues. The incredible variability that Australia is exposed to is the major issue. And so some quality research into mechanisms of seasonal, interannual and quasi-decadal variability are very worthwhile and some progress has been made.

    However cut and paste madness here has prevented any rational discussion of what might be achievable or needed. However the position is difficult for sceptics as they have panned the individuals involved in variability research (who unfortunately find AGW like drift in many of their indicators), their models and data sets – there ain’t much left unless the critics are hypocrites. And so we’ll have to get into sceptic supervised line by line examination of codes for non-appropriate algorithms and physics re-training camps . So perhaps we can replace all the meteorologists in BoM and CSIRO with sceptics who would know much better. Oh the horror.

  107. Debbie July 17, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    I really wish you would stop arguing across an imaginary chasm. Climate research into the incredible variability of WEATHER/ climate that Australia is exposed to. . . is not. . .and has NEVER been an issue.
    NO ONE here (including you) is advocating that we replace all the meteorologists in BOM & CSIRO.
    That assumption/accusation is just rubbish.. . also known as a ‘strawman’.
    AND. . the management of Wivenhoe was driven by RULES & POLICIES that were formulated on impractical modelling. It was not disimilar to the poor management of Eucumbene & downstream in my part of the world when the drought broke . . all about the formulas and precious little to do with the actual state of the catchment.
    Although much more dramatic and short term damage occured in QLD.
    Robert’s post outlines the problems with attitude.

  108. Luke July 17, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Come on Debbie – your mates have libeled a swag of mainstream Australian climate scientists by now. Just regular commentary. Read up – only days ago scuttling CMAR was canvassed on here. It is not a strawman argument. Read Nova.

    Jen has stated that the dam was managed by an “activist”. I look forward to her substantiation (sound of crickets or hand waving glibness expected).

    And I’m afraid Wivenhoe did have everything to do with its catchment antecedent conditions and a one in 5000 event over the dam. Obviously the clutch of engineers weren’t doing anything except sitting around with their feet up watching TV and drinking coffee waiting for the “activist” to give instructions.

    Impractical modelling Debs – I simply spit on your foolish assessment – the engineers full well know how many cumecs do what to the river level with tides and so forth. Do you think they use an abacus and a set of dice. These sort of pig ignorant comments just make me laugh at the extent of your stupidity.

    Hindsight has now derived a very controversial move to draw down the dam below full supply level i.e. a modification of the original Joh era design rules I say very controversial. If it rains the water released is worth nothing – go into a drought sequence and it’s worth millions. Why the decision is controversial. Wouldn’t like to be in the decision-makers shoes with the lynch mob public mentality out there. Get it wrong either way and you’ll be lynched.

    Of course a prudent science body would be most interested in extreme events future and palaeo and what a greenhouse world might do to super-cell behaviour under enhanced La Nina conditions. Unless of course you like your engineering free form libertarian anarchy. It’s probably all there in Bob’s Plan B.

  109. Jennifer Marohasy July 17, 2013 at 7:11 am #


    To clarify, I wrote the department was managed by an activist. I was referring to Greg Withers. I understand he had no formal qualifications in NRM, but a passion for AGW.

  110. Debbie July 17, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    in the real world. . . people are expected to learn from their mistakes and then move on.
    Wivenhoe is a rather well designed storage that does have flood mitigation capabilities.
    The managers followed rules & regs born of severe drought conditions that lacked the sensible flexibility that the dam was built to have.
    Your comments re cumecs and what the managers understand re inflows & tides etc neither proves or disproves Jen’s comment or mine.
    The dam was not built to make or lose millions in a drought or a flood. . . It was built to help manage a highly variable resource.

  111. Jennifer Marohasy July 17, 2013 at 8:22 am #


    Wivenhoe dam was actually built after the 1974 flood specifically for flood mitigation.

    The original purpose of Wivenhoe dam was changed, because AGW policy, that dictated government water management policy, wrongly determined that flooding was no longer an issue for Brisbane… that the issue into the future was how to store enough water given declining rainfall. So Wivenhoe dam became primarily a dam for water storage.

    This is just one example of why I believe the coalition needs to be putting forward a proper climate and climate change policy… so there can be proper planning for the management of dams like Wivenhoe.

  112. Luke July 17, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    So DERM was managed by Greg Withers. Really ? And Withers managed Wivenhoe Dam water releases. The hydrologists and SEQ Water will be pleased to find that out.

    And the original purpose of Wivenhoe Dam was changed eh? (even though the manual was the same).

    Right …

    Jen I have to ask – are you on any medication? If you seriously believe any of that I am speechless.

    Jen – I asked for some proof. You just replied with a whole bunch of sceptic propaganda rot. Are you that into the sceptic meme and conspiracy theory that you can’t see daylight?

    So I’ll ask again – do you have any tangible proof of your assertion.

  113. jennifer July 17, 2013 at 8:45 am #


    In the first instance, can you please confirm, who was running the department responsible for dam management when Brisbane flooded in January 2011?

  114. Luke July 17, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    “The managers followed rules & regs born of severe drought conditions” ERR NOPE ! just drivel Debbie – substantiate your arrant nonsense. A copy of some document or policy announcement or dam manual that even hints at that would be good. Sound of crickets.

    “that lacked the sensible flexibility that the dam was built to have.” what like a whooping 130% flood compartment on top of 100% FSL.

    “The dam was not built to make or lose millions in a drought or a flood. . . It was built to help manage a highly variable resource.”

    uhh huh rightyo Debs – and that resource would be what apples, chickens, tooth picks – I know might it be megalitres of water ? And if you let the water go Debbie – you might find that strangely – it’s not in what we call “the dam”.

    Now I’m so glad that Jen knows that Wivenhoe is built “specifically” for flood mitigation – so we can empty it and have no flood risk at all. Someone should suggest that to SEQ Water – they won’t have thought of that.

  115. jennifer July 17, 2013 at 8:51 am #


    I would like to clarify the situation, indeed I may be mistaken. So can we start at the beginning…

    Was Greg Withers in-charge of the department in-charge of dam management in January 2011?

    When and why was the Wivenhoe Dam built?

  116. Luke July 17, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Gee Jen – could that have been John Bradley? hmmmm

    SEQ Water might have had some interest in the facility as well (Sarc).

    Jen – what you don’t want to hear or read is that an extraordinary wet year, saturated catchment, multiple events, 4 engineers working their bums off trying to manage a very complex situation with no sleep, and some off the meter “AGWish” rainfall intensity over that catchment.

    The only modification that can now be made in hindsight is to pre-emptively drop the dam below FSL – you may be amazed to know Jen that Wivenhoe has a dual water supply/flood mitigation function. As I said if it rains again the water released has no cost but if you went into a longish drought sequence (and I know you sceptics can predict that) the value of the water released is millions. So the “new decision” is controversial.

  117. Luke July 17, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Obviously Greg Withers extensive appearance at the flood inquiry would well show his involvement (sarc) – you could quote that perhaps?

  118. Luke July 17, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Yes clearly the government never thought it would rain again – Withers must have had massive influence – and that’s why “Between April 2004 and September 2008, a 165-metre (541 ft) wide auxiliary spillway with a three-bay fuse plug was installed on the western portion of the dam to further mitigate flooding.”

    Obviously this would have been done by a government who never thought it would rain again.

    Honestly Jen !

  119. jennifer July 17, 2013 at 9:21 am #


    Can you please answer my first two questions? I’d be happy if you provided a URL or two.

  120. Luke July 17, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Gee Jen – you never answer my questions. And you don’t provide any URLs for your conspiracy theories.

    Debbie Best was acting in stead of Terry Wall. Bradley cut short his leave to be back on Jan 10 or 11. See Courier Mail.

    In any case these levels bureaucrats don’t manage operational events (unless they’re handy with a slide rule). The engineers are pre-determined on much longer time scales and on duty.

    Wivenhoe was built in response to 1974 flooding to be a dual flood mitigation and water supply dam and has been managed so since commissioning in 1984 by a number of administrations on both sides..

    I assume you would acknowledge it’s massive pre-designed flood compartment. Do you have any evidence that it’s design and management have changed (pre Jan 11 2011)?

  121. Robert July 17, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    The pretense that we can know and model future climate is proving to be its own climate catastrophe as we cultivate timidity and beggary in the face of a Nature that has always produced extremes, hyper extremes…and whatever comes over hyper.

    Publish-or-Perish is grotesque, and we are seeing the results now as Australian scientists lose what Macfarlane Burnet described as their great edge: commonsense without arrogance. Some of the silliest and most pompous pretenders in the boosterism that passes for “climate science” are Australians. The shabbiest “findings” and gang-reviewed trash are produced by Australians. What a come down. What a danger.

    At least Abbott’s aimless Direct Action plan can be like Rudd’s NBN plan. After a bit, everyone just throws down their shovels and walks away. But creating a global tax on a fraction of thin air, and making it what the New Class call a “market-based mechanism”, will have us looking back on the GFC with fondness. It’s certain that a compliant climate scientist is a banker’s favourite vegetable.

  122. Luke July 17, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    You might also explain why a government who thinks it’s never going to rain again would be raising the height of the Russ Hinze Dam in the middle of a drought – 2007 onwards.

    Jen I don’t think you’ll find Flannery lunching with dam engineers somehow. Sceptic conspiracies are much more fun though.

  123. jennifer July 17, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Luke, Can you tell me who was in-charge of the department that was managing the Wivenhoe Dam in January 2011 – I am meaning the person ultimately responsible for the department over the January 2011 period. One or more names would be good. I thought it was Greg Withers that was in-charge of that department. If I am wrong, could you please say so, and provide the correct name. Jen

  124. Luke July 17, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    It wasn’t Greg Withers

    As I said above it was Debbie Best and she had previous experience of the area.

    But it’s not really relevant – once an operational event is underway one needs to let the engineers work. It would be fringe-worthy to think we’re back to the days when Joh or Clem Jones are phoning dam engineers on gate operations.

  125. Luke July 17, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    John Bradley returned from curtailed leave on Jan 11.

  126. jennifer July 17, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    So Debbie Best was the Acting Director General until January 11th? And then John Bradley came back from holidays to the position of Director General when it appeared the dam was in trouble?

    Can you tell me what position Greg Withers had within government at that time?

  127. Luke July 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm #


    Withers – Head of the Office of Climate Change as he’d been for a long time.

    But the dam wasn’t in trouble. To imply that the dam was in trouble is mischievous. Fuse plugs would have operated. This structure in the picture is designed to erode and prevent the dam overtopping. It didn’t come to that but went close – if it did that height of water would have poured down the river system. Engineers juggled matters to prevent that.

    A flood event of this magnitude would demand recall of a CEO under contingency planning. But he/she would have little or no capacity to interfere with engineering operations.

    I find your line of questioning curious. do you think upper management stand there with a mega-phone and direct live flood operations?

    Once a live event is running the on-ground mandated engineering teams do their job. Just like a Police Commissioner doesn’t direct every bank robbery intervention directly. The US Army Corp of Engineers found the engineers did a very good job under difficult circumstances. They have now been cleared.

    The only improvement one can make is to drop the dam below FSL before an event. Requires a rewrite of how Joh era rules. Has been done. Result is controversial (IMO). No such thing as a free lunch – there are tradeoffs and uncertainty involved.

    IMO the engineers were dealing with a demonstrably super-charged La Nina – December water vapour off the meter and SSTs. Extraordinary stuff.

  128. jennifer July 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm #


    Thanks for the clarification.

    To continue my line of questioning…

    Q1. Would management of the water in the Wivenhoe dam have been influenced by the seasonal weather forecasts for the upcoming summer period?

    Q2. Which department provided the seasonal weather forecast?

  129. Luke July 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Not in 2011 as the dam is supposedly designed to cope with La Nina flooding.

    Everyone knew that a major La Nina event was underway. One of BoM’s forecasts back in August was weird – but that’s only one bit of information.

    The forecasts aren’t that precise but it was well expected that a wet season would occur. Everyone says well I knew that. We actually they don’t as not every river was in flood everywhere. It’s a matter of probability.

    Synoptic forecasts are from BoM. Seasonal forecasts from BoM. Actual weather event operations BoM. Other forecasts from various groups would be thrown into the mix.

    But if it’s a record event you won’t predict it statistically. And I know you don’t believe in supercomputer modelling of physics so ….

    So the current modification is to use that seasonal forecast information in an ongoing adaptive process to make live “expert” decisions about lowering the FSL. Had the 2011 event not occurred this would still not be happening.

  130. Luke July 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I find it charmingly naive that sceptics think Flannery is somehow lurking in the background of hydrology and engineering groups (full of AGW sceptics anyway), somehow telling dam engineers to hold onto water. Adjust your tinfoil hat Jen !

  131. jennifer July 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    I don’t think I’ve mentioned Flannery.

    If I may continue with my questions…

    Q1. What did the government officers within Mr Wither’s department advise regarding the seasonal weather forecasters for summer 2010/11?

    Q2. How did this information influence plans for management of the Wivenhoe dam?

    And I can tell you why the “BOM forecast back in August [2010] was weird”. That was because the BOM managers gave advice consistent with AGW theory and output from their GCMs.

  132. Faustino aka Genghis Cunn July 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Jennifer, I agree with your article, but, like ianl8888, I’m astonished that you “have more respect for someone like Rudd, who is at least honest to what he believes in.” I’ve worked for Rudd, and he’s been my local member for some time, and in my view and that of many others who know him, he believes only in his own self-aggrandisement. I don’t think he has any core, enduring beliefs, he changes tack whenever it suits his egotistical purposes. I’ve worked with him on policy development, and although he has in the past been referred to as a “policy wonk,” he does not have strong skills in this area. He will pursue ill-founded policies on a whim, and change them on another whim. I have reservations about Abbott and many of his policies, which I have expressed in other fora and to Coalition MPs, but I have some respect for him and none for Rudd.

  133. Luke July 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Debs did on Flannery.

    Q1. Dunno. But SPOTA-1 was for wet so probably wet if he read such things. Dunno really.

    Q2 – answered before – nuh – no capacity to – Joh era rules.

    Do seasonal forecast later any dam decision in Australia hitherto 2011

    “BOM managers gave advice consistent with AGW theory and output from their GCMs” err nope and really stupid comment for you to make and shows how little your understand at all Jen. For an arch sceptic this is very poor. Utter peurile rot from you. If this is your level of analysis give AGW away now. You’re not even aware of how systems work. Just 100% sceptic meming and bunk and you don’t learn.

    I can only imagine what is all too common on here that you have some pre-conceived mish mash of long term AGW projections for a drier Queensland with short term seasonal even next few years predictions. All brewed up in some sort of negative hate soup with chilli powder and thorn garnish.

    The seasonal forecast at the time was statistical nothing to do AGW and GCMs. (Well correction if you knew anything you’d realise you’d have AGW trends emerging in some of the stats but that’s something you don’t want to hear and a partial reason for developing POAMA). And in fact as far as I remember POAMA was for La Nina too. August or was it Sept was one of those yucky little bits of statistical issues with BoM outlooks that many of us don’t like.

    And even if POAMA had been operational AGW would have little impact on a season with such a strong La Nina backdrop.

    Forecasts are ongoing. And there’s this thing called “the local BOM office”. You know Jen they just sit there chatting AGW every day and looking at GCMs – that’s all they do (Sarc).

    All of course which you’ve been told before and will drift in one ear and out the other.

  134. Debbie July 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I mentioned that he was an AGW celeb who has said some outrageous stuff but that was not relevant to this discussion re management of Wivenhoe.
    No one has said much of the other stuff you are claiming either. . . Like your weird interpretation of what you say that others think scientists in CSIRO & BOM do.

  135. Luke July 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Debbie google ….. flannery marohasy never rain again

  136. Luke July 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Debbie if I have misattributed to you I apologise. Consider my comments an integrative generic response to multiple posters i.e. the pre-dominant blog meme

  137. Robert July 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    When eastern Australia became a wetter place after 1949, it did so suddenly. The rain in 1950 was quite something, but it’s that inland sea the size of England and Wales which formed to the west of Sydney in 1955 during the Hunter Floods which stands out for me. Here’s the question I like to pose: if the same thing happened again, or if we had a repeat of the extraordinary Bulahdelah Tornado of 1970, or of Cyclone Mahina of 1899, or of the world’s greatest known wildfire (Victoria 1851)…could we trust the climatariat to be sufficiently balanced to point out that these things had occurred before? Even with allowances for different land use, observational means etc? I’ll say boldly that we could not trust them one bit and that they would instead insist on modern climate exceptionalism. They would exploit things to the hilt. If pressed on the past they will shift to fairy floss like “frequency” and “extremes” to keep their case alive. What’s frequent? What’s extreme?

    In my region, all of the records for driest month were set between the 1880s and the 1950s. All of them. 1902 was, understandably, the driest year, while 1963 was our wettest. How could anybody have argued for a permanently drier Australia based on the drier decades after 1980? (Whether or not they said “no more rain” or “less rain” is neither here nor there.) Now the same pretend experts are cunningly shifting the terms to “extremes” and away from simple heat and drought. They think they are on to a good thing there and they are right. They will never run out of “extremes”; it’s just a matter of emphasising and dramatising the freshest events while leaving the previous ones to fade away in a drawer. It is a massive falsehood.

    That’s why the climatariat has to go. (By the way, sats and radar are great, but forecasting sucks these days, unless the approaching weather is extremely obvious. Around here we are given to ignoring the published stuff and just checking the sat etc. Some of us even step outside for a look. Really, forecasting sucks. Why is that?)

  138. Luke July 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Coz you want to be something it’s not. Certainty.

  139. Beth Cooper July 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    Responding to Faustino’s comment on PM Rudd, this article by Henry Ergas,
    in The Australian, outlines Rudd’s record.

    “Kevin Rudd’s real record as PM speaks for itself

    ON April 20, 2008, 1000 of the “nation’s best and brightest thinkers” rose in stage-managed unison to give a triumphant Kevin Rudd a standing ovation. With the delegates to the 2020 Summit having agreed that 1 per cent of all public spending should be devoted to the arts and that every employer should be obliged to provide 30 minutes of free fitness training a day, the imagination had seized power. And Rudd, who had guided Labor out of the wilderness, was its messiah.

    Two years, two months and three days later, the Rudd prime ministership was no more. If his colleagues turned so spectacularly against the man they had hailed as their saviour, it was not in a fit of pique. Rather, it was because everything he touched turned to dust. And his mistakes not only doomed him but cursed his successor, leaving the nation with a trail of broken policies, unrealistic promises and crippling financial commitments.

    That Rudd would come unstuck was inherent in his approach, which was an imitation of Peter Beattie’s in Queensland: a headline a day, the impression of a problem fixed, and then rapidly move on before appearance and reality could collide.

    But what may succeed, at least for a while, in state government is hardly sufficient to cope with the challenges of running the country; and the problems were compounded by Rudd’s inability to work with his colleagues, his chaotic approach to decision-making and his lack of any stable, internally coherent, intellectual framework.

    He would demand advice and then ignore it; refusing to set priorities, he would leap from issue to issue, resolving none; and veering between indecision and excess, he could never steer a moderate course that allowed for adaptation as circumstances changed. Unwilling to rise above partisanship, his constant attempts to wedge opponents precluded building consensus on difficult issues, depriving him of political cover when it was most needed; insecure in his convictions, his preferred strategy was invariably the ambush, undermining the prospects of gaining agreement.

    The result was a sequence of ever more poorly judged decisions interlaced with erratic, poorly explained changes in stance.

    Although no single policy could possibly capture all of Rudd’s flaws, the response to illegal boat arrivals must come close. It is impossible to say what, if anything, he now believes, or has ever believed, about this issue. Alternating between hawk and dove, he campaigned in 2007 on a tough, “turn back the boats” line; but once in office, he made a virtue of dismantling the Howard government’s Pacific Solution, describing it as “just wrong” and inconsistent with “the humanity of the situation”.

    As boat arrivals picked up, he disregarded departmental advice and repeatedly denied there was any relation whatsoever between that increase and his scrapping of Howard’s policies. With detention centres overflowing, a de facto toughening was under way; but Rudd nonetheless went into the 2010 leadership challenge vowing that he would not “be lurching to the Right” on asylum-seekers.

    Lost in those U-turns was any understanding of why Howard’s approach had succeeded: his steadfast commitment to its implementation, which signalled to the people-smugglers that the government would do whatever it legitimately could to undermine their trade. Indeed, the most careful academic study of boat arrivals, by migration specialist Tim Hatton of the Australian National University, attributes more than half the fall in boat arrivals to the staunchness of Howard’s resolve and the clarity of the message it sent.

    But, craving approval, Rudd needed to be all things to all people: a humanitarian for those who advocated for refugees; tough-minded for the swinging voters in western Sydney. With their fine antennas, the people-smugglers saw through his inconsistencies; and by 2010, immense damage had been done. As the report of Julia Gillard’s expert panel on asylum-seekers noted, the people-smuggling networks had become deeply entrenched in the region. Gillard’s efforts were hardly up to the task of reversing that harm, which has imposed more than $10 billion in unnecessary public spending and will plague any future government.

    The same alternation between lofty rhetoric and indecisive, confused implementation destroyed Rudd’s climate change policy. Central to his 2007 campaign, it should have brought out the best in the man; instead, it brought out the worst.

    He could easily have secured broad-ranging agreement with Malcolm Turnbull on an emissions trading system early in 2009; his prolonged refusal to do so helped destroy Turnbull’s leadership and made Rudd dependent on the ever-intransigent Greens for Senate approval. But having insisted that an ETS had to be legislated before the December 2009 Copenhagen climate change conference, he then suddenly resiled from his commitment to press ahead with the scheme.

    Faced with a double dissolution he would likely have won, he clearly lacked the courage to push “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time” to the electoral test. As well as casting doubt on the sincerity of what he repeatedly portrayed as his most deeply held conviction, that meant postponing the issue’s resolution until long after the window of opportunity to build a consensus had shut; Gillard’s ham-fisted attempts to cope with that legacy contributed greatly to her eventual demise.

    But the fallout from the reversal on the ETS went further than that. For, having abandoned his flagship policy, Rudd tried to divert public attention by pledging to solve, once and for all, the funding of public hospitals.

    The proposed policy, which stripped the states of one-third of their GST revenues and of their primary role in channelling funds to hospitals, had been sprung on the premiers with little warning and even less consultation; it bore only the loosest relation to the analysis Rudd had commissioned from the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission, and had never been mentioned in the discussions that followed the release of the commission’s final report.

    Yet Rudd gave the premiers merely five weeks to agree to his proposals, which entailed a fundamental change in the allocation of responsibilities in the Federation and a drastic revision to the GST. In the chaos that followed, neither Rudd nor any of his ministers had even bothered to speak to Colin Barnett; that failure, combined with the inherent deficiencies of the Rudd scheme, doomed the proposal, which required the unanimous approval of the states.

    This area too was therefore left almost completely bereft of achievements. Rudd had placed improved healthcare at the heart of his 2007 commitments; and he had even promised a constitutional amendment to “take over” the state systems if his proposals were rejected. As it turned out, however, he ignored the NHHRC’s sensible recommendations about long-term funding structures, while the ill-conceived spending programs he implemented proved inefficient and ineffectual, with waiting times for elective surgery actually rising.

    As a result, the task of securing an outcome with the states on health reform also fell into Gillard’s lap, leading to an agreement whose steps forward were bought at the cost of commonwealth financial obligations so large and open-ended as to be potentially ruinous.

    But the collapse of Rudd’s hospital funding proposal was trifling compared to the debacle of the resource super-profits tax.

    Rudd had wanted to go to the 2010 election with solid credentials on tax reform; additionally, the RSPT had the potential to wedge the Coalition while delivering a large revenue stream that could fund election promises. And coming a mere fortnight after the failure of his hospital reforms, the RSPT yet again served to shift the focus of attention from the latest fiasco.

    However, every aspect of the process that led to the RSPT was comprehensively mismanaged. Instead of releasing the Henry tax report for public discussion, thus giving time for its proposals to gain community acceptance and for glitches to be identified and addressed, Rudd sat on it for four months, unable to decide which of its recommendations would be worth pursuing.

    He did hold some discussion with the miners, who had been broadly supportive of a move towards a profits-based tax, assuring them no decisions would be taken without full consultation; but those assurances proved entirely false.

    Rather, in the worst error of political judgment since when Ben Chifley, without having adequately consulted his colleagues or worked through the consequences, told the press he would nationalise the banks, Rudd announced the RSPT as a fait accompli. But the mining tax he announced was little more than a theorist’s concept sketch; it was entirely unclear how it would be implemented.

    What was clear, however, was that it threatened to expropriate existing assets, bankrupt the industry’s more heavily indebted players and do serious damage to future investment. And it was also clear that Rudd didn’t understand the tax, was incapable of explaining it and was hopelessly confused about its implications. Faced with the predictable onslaught, his days were numbered, while the cause of tax reform was durably set back.

    Any account of Rudd’s record, however, would be incomplete without consideration of national defence. This area, too, had been central to the conservative image he sought to project in 2007; and yet again, promises that were barely credible when they were made were soon reduced to rubble.

    That is not to deny the valuable work done by the audit of the defence budget, which the Rudd government commissioned from George Pappas and McKinsey in 2008. And the goals of the defence Strategic Reform Program that came out of that review were feasible and desirable.

    But Rudd injected into the 2009 defence white paper future equipment purchases that dwarfed previous defence build-ups: the RAN alone was to acquire 12 conventional submarines, eight frigates and 20 multi-role offshore patrol vessels during the next 20 years. In each instance, the vessels were to be substantially larger and more sophisticated than those they replaced, and in the case of the submarines more numerous by a factor of two. Even if defence expenditure had increased as programmed in the white paper, the promised acquisitions would have been underfunded by close to 60 per cent.

    That programmed funding, however, never materialised. Merely eight days after seizing the headlines with the release of his “think big” defence strategy, Rudd slashed defence outlays in the 2009-10 budget, deferring 80 per cent of the much-touted increases into the never-never land beyond forward estimates.

    It is inconceivable that Rudd, when he appeared on talk shows promoting a “massive boost for Australian defence industry”, was unaware of the expenditure cuts that would be announced within a week. But even putting questions of simple honesty aside, the result was to throw defence planning into the complete disarray from which it is still struggling to recover.

    By most standards, failure in all these areas, which were the core of his 2007 campaign, would be a damning indictment. In Rudd’s mind, however, they are minor caveats on his success in responding to the global financial crisis: the froth, in Lenin’s phrase, on the tidal wave of history. And there can be no doubt that the GFC, which began in mid-2007 but only reached a crescendo in late 2008 and early 2009, posed significant risks to the Australian economy.

    Yet it was also apparent that we were relatively well placed to weather the storm: the banking system was fundamentally sound; labour market flexibility had not yet been undermined by the Fair Work Act; and China seemed likely to ensure its rapid growth continued, fuelling strong demand for our resource exports. Moreover, a flexible exchange rate, the very considerable scope for monetary easing provided by high real interest rates and the strength of the commonwealth’s fiscal position meant that should conditions deteriorate, there was every capacity to respond.

    All that ought to have encouraged an approach that was cautious and incremental, allowing policy adjustments as circumstances changed. Strengthening the case for such an approach were the risks highlighted in the recessions of the 1970s and 80s, when stimulus packages undermined the quality of public expenditure, locked in wasteful programs that proved difficult to eliminate and led to spiralling public debt.

    But a careful, deliberate response was not in Rudd’s DNA, much less in his perceived political interests. And, perhaps mindful of the long history of conflicts between prime ministers and treasurers, Rudd had chosen in Wayne Swan an adviser who was unlikely to displace his master, but whose understanding of economic policy was scarcely better than Rudd’s.

    After mounting the scare campaign to end all scare campaigns as to the severity of the crisis the economy faced, the second stimulus package Rudd and Swan devised committed public spending of unparalleled scale and duration. Filled with programs whose design would have disgraced a Third World government, the flaws in measures such as the home insulation scheme and Building the Education Revolution were obvious from the start. And the excuse of the GFC was used to justify a growing list of questionable interventions, stretching from Rudd’s $500 million Green Car fund to the infamous “Rudd bank” (with its potential liabilities of up to $26bn).

    It was not only the quality of public spending that suffered in the rush to distribute taxpayers’ money; it was also the integrity of public processes. The decision to bypass the Productivity Commission and instead rely on handpicked panels to recommend assistance to the car and textiles industries, and the spectacular rise in the number of exemptions granted from the requirement to file regulation impact statements, were symptoms of Rudd’s contempt for accountability mechanisms that had been respected by both sides of politics. But that disregard for proper process reached a peak with the $43bn National Broadband Network. In 2008, Rudd had solemnly promised “infrastructure decision-making based on rigorous cost-benefit analysis”. But the decision to proceed with the NBN, the largest infrastructure project in Australia’s history, was made on the back of an envelope during a flight between Melbourne and Brisbane, with technical information gleaned from Wikipedia and costings based on rough (and seriously inaccurate) estimates for Britain.

    Given the failure to undertake even the most elementary of assessments, the missed milestones and cost blowouts that have plagued the NBN’s deployment could hardly be surprising.

    The process that led to the NBN was itself emblematic of Rudd’s style. In the lead-up to the 2007 election, Rudd and communications minister Stephen Conroy, in talks with Telstra, had given firm assurances, on a confidential basis, that Labor would proceed with Telstra’s planned fibre-to-the-node network; and Labor in fact campaigned on the basis of delivering such a network, at a cost to taxpayers of $4.7bn. Once in office, however, all bets were off, and a bungled tender process led to Telstra’s bid being disqualified and the other proposals judged inadequate.

    Good sense at that point would have suggested going back to basics; but incapable of admitting mistakes, much less correcting them, Rudd and Conroy chose to square the error, covering up the fiasco by mandating the most grandiose option available, imposing costs on taxpayers up to 10 times those of the FTTN.

    The excuse Rudd and Conroy gave was that building a government-owned NBN would avoid the need to make up to $20bn in payments to Telstra, which an FTTN, they claimed, would have required. But it was obvious that the alternative they had chosen did not avoid those payments, which ultimately have proved nearly as large as those envisaged for the FTTN (and which Telstra’s initial bid would have avoided entirely).

    Australia therefore was burdened with a venture that, whatever its technical attractions, competed with more worthwhile private-sector projects for scarce capital and skilled labour and was poorly planned, badly managed and massively costly.

    It would consequently be an understatement to say Rudd wasted a good crisis; rather, he used the crisis to wreak further harm. Quantifying the losses that has imposed on future taxpayers is not easy, but even ignoring the NBN, it is clear that stimulus-related expenditure decisions worth about $64bn since the 2008-09 budget were completely unnecessary, as they involved outlays after the economy had returned to trend growth.

    Taking account of the inefficiencies caused by the taxes needed to ultimately finance that amount, the reduction in private sector income is between $76.5bn and $95.6bn, while even with interest rates of 3 to 5 per cent the debt-servicing cost approaches $3bn a year.

    Adding just the predictable losses on the NBN, which are in the order of $18bn, those costs rise to between $94.5bn and $113.6bn, yielding an average reduction in private income under Rudd of about $785m for each and every week he was in office.

    Those costs will weigh on the Australian economy for years to come. Already unemployment is higher than it was during the worst period of the GFC; but the fiscal hole Rudd left means there is far less scope for boosting public spending than there was five years ago. And with interest rates at historic lows, so that monetary policy has little room to move, we are more vulnerable to global economic risks than at any time since the late 90s.

    The messiah of the 2020 Summit therefore proved a very inferior prophet. And most of all, he failed dismally as a leader.

    That is not because of any shortage of ability; on the contrary, his resources of energy, endurance and determination are second to none. But leadership requires more than an unusually elevated dose of political vitamins: it requires a disciplined intellectual framework that can shape an understanding of the past, underpin mastery of the present and guide the search to enlarge the future. Lacking that, no number of resurrections can transform persistent failure into enduring success. To believe otherwise is to court ultimate disaster, with nothing but disappointment along the way.”

  140. Robert July 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Certainty? By no means. Uncertainty and inaccuracy are fine with me.

    But they suck.

  141. Debbie July 18, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    People like me are not demanding certainty about the weather/climate Luke.
    We’re actually sick of the AGW celebs claiming they are certain, that it’s ‘settled’ and the only way to fix it is to tax thin air.
    I would prefer to pursue the bureaucratic concept of ‘accountability’ as I seriously suspect that definition is radically different to people who run their own businesses, like farmers 🙂
    As I said previously, AGW celebs can get away with saying some outrageous stuff about ‘furure climate’ and have it accepted as certain fact.

  142. Robert July 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    EVERYBODY should read Professor Roger Pielke Jr’s testimony to the US Senate committee on 18 July 2013. One part includes “some activists, politicians, journalists corporate and government agency representatives and even scientists who should know better have made claims unsupportable based on evidence and research”.

  143. Lou Coppola July 26, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Why all this fuss about ‘climate change’ that has been occurring for billions of years?

    Anyone who has conducted thorough research, knows that alleged ‘climate change’ in the warming sense, is not about science, but about politics….specifically the UN’s Agenda 21 plan…….that is, to take control of global energy resources, spike prices to a level that destroys western industry and then take control of bankrupted nations under the banner of ‘one world governance’.

    Abbott’s is suffering the consequences of not sticking with his knowledge of this all being ‘crap’ and instead employing a populist ‘me too’ approach. He must now draw a line in the sand and expose this issue for what it is… international fraud conceived by corrupt government, greedy global financiers and profit driven multinational companies.

    Come on Tony, tell the electorate what’s really happening……the truth never hurt anyone!

  144. Ray July 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    “Warmism” has become a ‘religion’. To belong, all that is required is faith in AGW. The believers look up to the AGW-peddling scientists who con the media (e.g. the biassed ABC), socalled science academies, and the gullible politicians and members of the public into joining their fold. Socalled scientific consensus on AGW is the ‘doctrine’ that they preach.

    The fact that there is no scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that anthropogenic emissions cause dangerous global warming, is irrelevant to the believers. The fact that there has been no statistically significant global warming for some 17 years, does not prompt them to question AGW. The fact that this is clear evidence that the climate models grossly over-estimate the influence, if any, of anthropogenic emissions, is ignored.

    There is no scientific nor economic justification for spending billions and billions of dollars to reduce anthropogenic emissions. But this is what has happened. The result has been the promotion of unreliable, inefficient renewable energy development at the cost of discouraging cost efficient coal-fired energy, that has in turn resulted in the doubling of electricity prices, that has in turn substantially forced up the cost of a key factor of production and the cost of living, and destroyed Australia’s comparable energy cost advantage.

    But the key question that is forgotten is: what effect has it had on global warming? The answer is absolutely nothing!

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