Archive for June, 2011

June 24, 2011

Australian Finanical Review – what a paper!

The great things about the business press are
a) that they don’t cover celebrities and sports and all that stuff that you’d otherwise have to filter out
b) the facts per page ratio is bearable (compared with the dross in Murdoch)

Friday 24th’s paper is no exception.

How Gillard took on Rudd
Pamela Williams
Gillard has made an even greater mess since, with her own failure to adequately explain her reasons for breaking a 2010 election promise not to introduce a carbon tax – and those reasons that she has advanced (circumstances change) have failed to find any traction in a sullen and disenchanted electorate.

Yup.  I must say, it’s very unreasonable of the electorate to expect “no carbon tax” would mean “no carbon tax.”

New or old, it’s a precarious paradigm
Laura Tingle [who is the best regular reporter/commentator I’ve encountered. If people have better suggestions, please let me know.]
The farce of Abbott’s call for a plebiscite on a carbon price (which he would only take notice of if it agreed with him) seems to confirm that the Coalition is starting to run out of ways to keep its daily assault on the carbon price in the news cycle. [ACN: I am sure the Murdoch press will continue to oblige him, as long as is inhumanly possible!]
The opposition must now hope that any signs of dissent on the other side of the carbon debate will provide some new fodder because otherwise it will have at least five or six weeks over winter when the bicyle-like momentum of Abbott’s whole raison d’etre could slow.

There are real political dangers ahead for Lab/Lib/Greens/Indies in this. The number one danger – that we will emerge with a scheme that does SFA for carbon emissions – seems like a racing certainty. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut (RIP) used to say.

The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee may still not agree at all, or only in part, on a carbon price. While there will then be intense pressure on the Greens to make a deal on a climate price, if the tricky issues like coal and electricity generation compensation can’t be solved, Labor may yet have to take its chances with bits of its packaged on the floor of both houses, as independent MP Tony Windsor noted last week.

Quite. Labor needs to not look weak, and might just take the game of chicken through to the lower house instead of faffing on into mid-July. This whole shamozzle will drag on till September when the legislation comes out. Nerves of steel and all that…

Meanwhile, business ain’t happy…

Carbon confusion unites retail giants
Sue Mitchell
Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings and David Jones yesterday called on the federal government to provide greater clarity on the carbon tax and expressed doubt it could be introduced by July next year because they had yet to be consulted on its implementation.

and who’dathunkit – elsewhere a Coal Miner sez the sky will fall…
Vale Australia’s head of coal operations asserts ”Coal, if it is thermal, I don’t think can live with any carbon tax.”

June 24, 2011

“Lord” Monckton calls Garnaut a Nazi, to visit Adelaide

Page 15 of today’s Tiser (which of course does not contain any letters rebutting the “it’s all volcanoes” crap that they spewed on Wednesday).

Monckton called Garnaut a Nazi in a presentation in Los Angeles. Monckton has form (he tastefully flung around the term “Hitler Youth” at Copenhagen) and this was no slip of the tongue – his powerpoint presentation has the swastika on a white circle against a red background. On the red background is “Australian government economist Final Report, 2011”.

Tony Abbott will share a stage with this clown at a Perth conference on mining. Meanwhile, Monckton’s booking at the Adelaide German Club on July 22 is being “looked into” by its president. Um, reputational risk, much?

June 23, 2011

Global warming beyond doubt says… ex-head of Australian Coal Association

So, the evil conspiracy to hoax everyone about so-called climate change has found a new stooge! Ian Dunlop, noted communist and luddite and, um, former chairman of the Australian Coal Association, and former chief executive of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
He’s got a stonking opinion piece in the 23/6/2011 Australian Financial Review, that should be compulsory reading… Emphasis added.

Global warming is about risk and uncertainty. It is beyond reasonable doubt that the world is warming and that human carbon emissions are a major contributor. The risks of destabilising the climatic equilibrium, under which humanity as we know it has developed through the 11,000 years of the Holocene period, are now escalating rapidly.
The glaring omission in current national discourse is any mention of these risks.
The credible climate scientists have been sounding urgent warnings for some time. There is virtually no one addressing the real risks. The science on an issue this complex will not be settled for a long time, but that requires even greater prudence in managing risk and uncertainty, particularly where climatic changes may be sudden and irreversible….

To propose a strategy of either denial or wait, see and adapt – in light of current empirical evidence and the balance of expert advice – is a serious breach of fiduciary responsibility, both corporately and nationally; a breach only too evident in the business approach to carbon pricing.

June 23, 2011

Australian Financial Review clippings

The Fin is, as far as I can see, the only paper giving detailed serious coverage on the negotiations/bun-fights around the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee.

Here’s snippets from Marcus Priest’s story in today’s paper
Crossbench push for solar

The Greens and key NSW independents have backed a push for a new national scheme to support the solar industry, amid criticism of the Productivity Commission’s findings about the expense of solar panels….

Bob Brown rejected a report that the government and Greens were close to a deal “We have very real hurdles in the negotiation process.” The AFR says “It is understood a deal is not expected for at least a fortnight….

A report by consultants Connection Research and financial analysts SuperRatings has found that most ASX100 companies would comfortably be able to absorb a $20 carbon tax, even without compensation.

June 22, 2011

Superb site: “New Anthropocene”

Which comes at an interesting time, since I’m putting together a youtube video explaining what the anthropocene is…

Here’s the site. Have a wander…

June 22, 2011

Cartoon: 7 ages of denial

This is from this rather cool cartoonist.

June 21, 2011

#Tisertosh 22 June: Volcanically stupid

Normal service has resumed. On Monday the Advertiser published about 5 letters all pushing the “carbon dioxide is only 0.038% of the atmosphere” line (presumably they keep them all and theme them?)
Yesterday they published a couple of rebuttals (not mine) among the usual tosh. This was a false and fleeting glimmer of sanity because today they’ve pulled out the latest batch of “volcanoes” letters. (Presumably on Friday or Saturday will come the “sunspots” letters?)
The Advertiser is in breach of any recognisable standard of responsibility or decency. If they had a shred of either they would hire a reputable peer-reviewed climate scientists to write a weekly column based on the beserk nonsense that is sent in (and that they continue to publish).

Just for the record:
Well, 145-255 million tonnes(metric) of CO2 are emitted by volcanoes annually. Compare with ~348 million metric tons of global CO2 emissions in 2006 from the cement industry alone.

I get my facts – from those noted climate alarmists … the US Geological Survey.

PS The top letter in the Tiser today does that classic thing of claiming that there is still a debate among the world’s scientists and pointing to a totally bogus petition. What a species. Not just the letter writer, but the Tiser staff who do this, and the sheeple (myself included) sleep-walking to catastrophe.

June 21, 2011

Carbon tax would need to be $60 per tonne…

This from those noted communists and techno-phobes at the Australian Financial Review (21 June 2011)

$60 will cut it: energy experts
by Matthew Dunckley

Energy experts have warned that a carbon price must be higher than that already flagged by the government to produce the desired shift in the shape of Australia’s energy generation.
The federal government is in negotiations with the independents and the Greens to strike the price that the nation’s top greenhouse gas emitters will pay, but the government has already indicated the starting price will be much less than $40 per tonne.
Creative Energy Solutions director Carl Daley said if the government still wanted to achieve a 5 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 compared to 2000 levels, as signalled under the junked carbon pollution reduction scheme, it would need to put a much higher price on carbon.

Pigs will fly.

June 21, 2011

Official: Oceans knackered

Richard Black from the BBC reports

The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists.

In a new report, they warn that ocean life is “at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history”.

They conclude that issues such as over-fishing, pollution and climate change are acting together in ways that have not previously been recognised. (emphasis added)


You mean, if we start hacking away at complex systems that we don’t really understand, then there might be interactions and feedback loops that make for unpleasant surprises? Who knew?

June 21, 2011

Abbott sparks hilarity

Ah, the man is comedy gold. “We must have a referendum!!” he bellows. It gets him a few front pages, dominates the news (ltd) cycle. He then somewhat spoils the effect by admitting that if the vote doesn’t go the way he wants, he’ll ignore it

See here also.