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Friday lay day

Its my Friday blog lay day which today means a short blog day. Yesterday, July 17, 2014, the Australian government voted to scrap the Carbon Tax as the climate change denialists proved that the destiny of our nation is in the hands of those who are ignorant of reality. We shouldn’t be surprised by that. The abandonment of respect for knowledge in favour of sham works in favour of the financial and corporate elites who fund the political parties. Society used to value education. Now it rejects the research findings that educated people, who know far more about things in specific areas, in favour of views propagated by morons. I wasn’t a great fan of the Carbon Tax (I prefer regulative approaches aka telling the coal industry it has 20 years to close down, no questions), but Australia now has no official position on combatting global warming. That will make us the pariahs of the world in years to come.

The Guardian article this week (July 16, 2014) by Robert Manne, the former right-winger who has seen the poverty of that leaning – History will condemn climate change denialists – captures what has been going on.

Manne says:

1. “For the past 200 years, western culture has granted science pre-eminent cultural authority. A quarter century ago, a consensus formed among contemporary scientists specialising in the study of the climate. The consensus comprised one principal idea: the primary source of energy on which industrial civilisation relied – the burning of fossil fuels – was dangerously increasing the temperature of the earth.”

2. “Anti-science climate change denialism began with money cynically and strategically supplied by the massive American fossil fuel corporations. From there it spread to the powerful US network of neo-liberal “think-tanks” whose purpose was to produce the ideas helping to make the world safe for the wealthiest members of the society – the so-called 1%. And from the think-tanks climate change denialism steadily spread downwards to American society more generally, thanks to rabid right wing media like Fox News …”

3. “As a consequence of the spread of climate change denialism, tens of millions of American citizens now base their opinions on the kind of pseudo-knowledge manufactured by the climate change denialist blogs and disseminated daily by the right-wing media.”

4. “those without any genuine scientific understanding or training” are now considered by politicians etc as being “as qualified to form an opinion as professors who have devoted their lives to one of the disciplines of climate science.”

5. “The right-wing denialists, now dominant within the Coalition, often call themselves conservatives. They are not. At the heart of true conservatism is the belief that each new generation forms the vital bridge between past and future, and is charged with the responsibility of passing the earth and its cultural treasures to their children and grandchildren in sound order. History will condemn the climate change denialists, here and elsewhere, for their contribution to the coming catastrophe that their cupidity, their arrogance, their myopia and their selfishness have bequeathed to the young and the generations still unborn.”

Johnny Winter dead

The great US guitar player – Johnny Winter – died on Wednesday (July 16, 2014) at the age of 70.

Here is a great track – I’m yours and I’m hers – from Johnny Winter’s first album in 1969. He often played covers but this was one of his original efforts and is better for it.

Saturday Quiz

The Saturday Quiz will be back again tomorrow. It will be of an appropriate order of difficulty (-:

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2014 Bill Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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    This Post Has 6 Comments
    1. I think the problem was the natural scientists were modelling a phenomenon that was really still in its infancy. In the years to come we will probably realise that this very serious and now is indeed he time to act. So far every model I’ve seen that was predicting temperature rises to the modern day over the last 10 to 15 years has been out by nearly an order of magnitude. That’s a disastrous result that strikes at the heart of the credibility of the modelling (but not the scientists). The volatility in the recent climate goes some way in explaining these very large errors, but validating these models would prove quite tough. Over time I think they’ll get it right.

      In the meantime, the charts I’ve seen show that the mainstream scientists got their modelling nearly spot on up until about the year 2000. But since then, there has actually been bugger-all warming even though China has released more crap into the atmosphere than can fathomed over the same period. Ouch!

      “Compared to the actual temperature rise since 1980, the average of 32 top climate models (the so-called CMIP5) overestimates it by 71-159%. A new Nature Climate Change study shows that the prevailing climate models produced estimates that overshot the temperature rise over the last 15 years by more than 300%.” Professor Bjorn Lomborg, September 2013.

      Overall I am optimistic. I think humans have the ingenuity to figure out clean and affordable ways to supply energy needs.

      Cheers :)

    2. Homo Saps is a creature of delusions – Delusions of faith (religion).
      Delusions of grandeur (politics).
      Delusions of knowledge (anti-science).
      Delusions of infinite growth (conventional economics)
      Delusions of energy (thinking that we can go on burning fossil fuels with great abandonment – thinking we can replace those fossil fuels with energy from the Sun).
      Delusions of choice ( anti-nuclear campaigners).

      A carbon tax set at a realistic level could have changed some behaviour for the better but it was nowhere near a solution to global warming. Cap and trade is just a scam to benefit the FIRE sector.

      And,yes,we can turn things around but it will take a major attitude change across our society.

      And,yes, regulation and positive government actions can put the fossil fuel industry back where it belongs – deep underground with a stake through its heart.

    3. Bill…re “right-wing denialists”….it is transparent why the 1% want to drill the Rocky Mountains down to an ant hill, in America: For pure GREED! But I scratched my head over why a segment of the 99% went along—i.e., carried water for the 1% in their denial….with the combination being a real menace in our finding a solution to our obvious climate change….but concluded it is because of the most pernicious belief around, today: “That the market can provide anybody wanting a job, with a job” [but given “automation”, alone, becomes less true daily as we advance into our 21st Century economy]. But if we follow this logic system out—this segment believes the market is their only source of jobs—and they are willing to let the planet fry….so they can have a “job”!
      For the sake of the planet, alone, it provides a powerful argument for our taking that next step in our economic evolution, and the implementation of the Buffer Stock Employment Model, in my mind. FULL EMPLOYMENT IS A PRO-MARKET CONCEPT, Amazon

    4. “Climate change denialists”: Three logical fallacies detected.

      First, you have moved the goalposts as global warming was your original concern.

      Second, it is a strawman as climate change is natural, it has been going on since the beginning of the Earth and will continue – no one denies this simple fact.

      Third, it is a red herring as anthropogenic global warming is the real issue and you seem to deny the lack of surface warming for 17 years now.

    5. @ Esp Ghia:

      Not sure about that Bjørn Lomborg guy, he seems to be a fossil stooge, and has been in trouble for falsifying data:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B8rn_Lomborg#Accusations_of_scientific_dishonesty

      The whole notion of a “pause” or no warming since 1998 (or 2000) isn’t very solid either:

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/global-temperature-the-post-1998-surprise/

      Have a look at data-model comparisons on http://www.realclimate.org:

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/evaluating-a-1981-temperature-projection/
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/02/2011-updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

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