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Friday lay day

Its Friday and my blog lay day – which might mean anything. That is, I might write no blog or just a small blog. Its what I call freedom. A big week has gone. Edward Elgar will publish the English-version of my Euro book – more details later. The Treasurer has turned his nonsensical fiscal statement into a ‘trainwreck’, we learn that the world is actually in danger of ‘global cooling’ and more NSW conservative politicians bit the dust as the corruption scandal widens. Next stop – the Federal Liberal Party administration. It is lots of fun watching the conservatives meltdown.

The current conservative Australian government has appointed a few zealots as their advisers in policy relating to business, educational reform etc.

Recently, we had to put up with the claim by one of its educational advisers, one Kevin Donnelly who is head of the Government’s national curriculum review that “the use of corporal punishment for ill-disciplined children in schools” (Source) was an “effective” way to discipline children.

This is the same character who “was previously employed by tobacco firm Phillip Morris to design a school program teaching children about peer pressure and decision making that did not discuss the health dangers of smoking” (Source).

Other classic Donnelly quotes include: “Multiculturalism is based on the mistaken belief that all cultures are of equal worth and that it is unfair to discriminate and argue that some practices are wrong” (2011).

He also wants the Bible taught in all public schools.

Yesterday, we were confronted with the ranting Maurice Newman in an Op Ed in Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper – We’re ill-prepared if the iceman cometh.

Newman is the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council. He has been behind the establishment of major conservative think tanks in Australia and is not a scientist (has a background in finance).

He is on the record as saying that those who believe that climate change is occurring and presents a serious challenge are trapped in “uncritical group-think” (Source).

His position on climate change has hardened and in December 2013 he wrote:

… the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change progressively has applied mass psychology through a compliant media to spread the delusion that wicked Western industrialists are causing irreparable damage to the climate. Crowds go cold on climate cost

Yesterday’s article continues his campaign. He is now asserting contrary to what most scientists consider to be a reasonable interpretation of the research, that the world is cooling as a result of solar activity. The same activity that he claims is responsible for the period of warming over the last 50 years.

He considers that there is “growing evidence that climate change is determined by the sun, not humans”. He wants the Government to start cutting funding towards “biased research to pursue gesture politics”. That funding “has inflicted serious damage on economies and diminished the West’s standing and effectiveness in world ­affairs.”

He also opposes investment in renewable energy.

I am also not a scientist specialising in solar radiation solar cycles or cosmic rays. But I read the literature and can interpret statistical results accurately.

It is clear that the sun is our power plant and influences the climate on both an annual and seasonal basis. But the industrial revolution added another “significant influence on Earth’s climate” (Source)

NASA have had a major project going for some years now studying solar variability, called SORCE (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment), which provides “an extremely accurate reading of total solar irradiance” via the Total Irradiance Monitor.

The aim is to measure the “subtle changes in solar radiation brought on by the sunspot cycles”.

Using data from SORCE, a NASA scientist concluded that”

For the last 20 to 30 years, we believe greenhouse gases have been the dominant influence on recent climate change”.

They concluded that “solar heating accounts for about 0.15c or 25 percent” of the increase in the Earth’s average temperature.

I quote NASA because they are at the top end of the estimates of solar impacts. There is a strong body of scientific research that estimates the total impact on global warming arising from solar activity to be in the range of 5 per cent.

I know that criticising ‘outsiders’ to a mainstream discipline is sometimes fraught – given my position in the economics profession. But mainstream economics is in denial of the evidence – the Groupthink that dominates my profession basically invents facts in defiance of reality.

The climate change mainstream appears consistent with measurement and facts that anyone with training in mathematical statistics can appreciate. That is a big difference.

Music Segment – Dumb Ways to Die – A political message for the Treasurer

The UK Guardian article today – Dumb ways to sell a budget, a singalong guide for Joe Hockey – reminded me of a nice video that came out during last year’s Melbourne Film Festival called “Dumb Ways to Die”.

The Treasurer has really starred this week with his claims that the poor don’t drive cars so won’t be damaged by a hike in fuel taxes.

The Guardian thinks the song would be a good singalong for the Treasurer given that the May Fiscal Statement is now a “trainwreck”.

The – video – was designed as a public service announcement by Metro Trains in Melbourne to promote rail safety. It became a YouTube sensation and was banned in Russia.

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 2 Comments
    1. The basic scientific evidence for anthropogenic global warming has been out there and up front for years.To my knowledge there has been no credible scientific refutation of that evidence.

      Let’s leave the deniers behind in their own excrement. The real question is – what the hell are we going to do about it ?

      To date I’ve seen a lot of gnashing of teeth and heard a lot of wailing but not so much of practical solutions, just a plethora of airy fairy ideas.
      Problems don’t get solved by running around in circles like headless chooks.

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