Friday, November 27, 2009

Headlines Friday 27th November 2009


Touched by the tragic murder case of North Carolina 5-year-old Shaniya Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers star Shaquille O'Neal pays for her funeral.

Secret Service Slip-Up?
How DID two alleged high-society gate-crashers get past Secret Service agents and rub elbows with the VP and dignitaries at Obama's first state dinner?

IAEA: Iran Nuke Probe at 'Dead End'
Watchdog's chief says Tehran not cooperating with his probe into whether Iran is making nuclear arms

Thankful: $525G Mortgage Erased
New York couple home free after judge cancels debt to ruthless bankers trying to toss them on the street

John Della Bosca all loved-up in House
MP John Della Bosca has read a public love letter to his wife Belinda Neal in Parliament.

Dick Smith helped save photojournalist
MILLIONAIRE Dick Smith stepped in to help the family of kidnapped photojournalist Nigel Brennan.

Twins Trishna and Krishna in fine fettle
THE hospital room of Trishna and Krishna is filled with smiles as they adapt to separate lives.

Tenth man charged with boy sex
A TENTH man has been charged with sexually assaulting boys at a Central Western NSW boarding school, police said, with a 54-year-old man arrested at Milson's Point.

Meet the destructive Super Termites
A COUPLE'S first home will be sealed to kill an infestation of the world's most destructive termite.

One dead in university shoot-out
A UNI student has opened fire on his classmates, killing one person and wounding three.
=== Comments ===
Statistics con the final nail in Rudd’s climate change coffin
Piers Akerman
UNTIL last Friday, Wall Street’s scammer Bernard Madoff was considered the biggest fraud in world history, having taken his greedy clients for an estimated $US64.8 billion. - I am appalled at Mr Trnbull’s reasons for supporting the ETS. We know it will be ineffective and he promised not to support an ETS that wouldn’t achieve anything. We need to give the Australian economy the benefit of the doubt. We know that AGW is not happening and is merely a beat up of well meaning but duplicitous scientists linked with industry and anarchists. - ed.
===
IT’S ABOUT THE PLANET
Tim Blair
Malcolm Turnbull is more obsessed than any of us suspected:
This is about the future of our planet and the future of our children and their children …

We must retain our credibility on taking action on climate change. We cannot be seen as a party of climate sceptics and do-nothings on climate change.
Let it be recorded that Turnbull spent his final days as Liberal leader talking about the planet’s destruction. His time is up, as Dennis Shanahan notes:
Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership has been destroyed in a spectacular and unprecedented fashion.

For the first time, a grassroots revolt by local Liberal branches and members has brought down the leader of the parliamentary Liberal Party …

If the ETS passes in the Senate today, the Liberal Party could be led next week by an opponent of the ETS who will want to attack it all the way to the next election.
We can only hope.

UPDATE. “Australia is leading the revolt against Al Gore’s great big AGW conspiracy.”
===
CAUTION AGAINST LINKING
Tim Blair
The New York Times reports:
A flotilla of hundreds of icebergs that split off Antarctic ice shelves is drifting toward New Zealand and could pose a risk to ships in the south Pacific Ocean, officials said Tuesday.

The nearest one, measuring about 100 feet tall, was 160 miles southeast of New Zealand’s Stewart Island, Australian glaciologist Neal Young said …

But he cautioned against linking the appearance of the bergs in New Zealand waters to global warming.
Given that global warming is usually linked to everything, a variation of that final paragraph should really appear in every story. Reader challenge! Submit current news reports to which you’ve added the required global warming disclaimer. For example:

Delta Goodrem’s impromptu performance at the private birthday party of an international hitmaker has finally won her the big break she needs to put her career on the map in the US.

But she cautioned against linking her appearance at the private birthday party of an international hitmaker to global warming.

===
TURNBULL’S LEGACY
Tim Blair
An emissions trading scheme could be locked in place tonight:
The Rudd government is considering moving to guillotine debate on the emissions trading scheme tonight in a race against time to pass the legislation under Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership.

The Liberal leader is under siege tonight amid mass resignations from his frontbench. Tony Abbott, Senate leader Nick Minchin, Deputy leader Eric Abetz, Sophie Mirabella, Tony Smith are expected to quit the frontbench.

But the government could attempt to force a vote and it needs just six votes to pass the legislation.
Turnbull is toast, but could yet – if a rushed Rudd vote is successful – still deliver an ETS. Thanks for that, Malcolm.
===
Ouch: WWF vs a real climate expert
Andrew Bolt

Should happen more often that a professional alarmist is put up against a well-informed sceptic such as astrophysicist Piers Corbyn. We could do with the laughs.
===
How the Liberals snatched back their party
Andrew Bolt

MALCOLM Turnbull is gone and all but buried. In a stunning revolt, the Liberals grassroots are reclaiming a party hijacked by a leader of the Left.

Turnbull’s leadership was finally shot dead by frontbencher Tony Abbott and the Liberals’ Senator leader, Nick Minchin.

Both told Turnbull he had to reconsider the decision that he (falsely) claimed the party took on Wednesday - to back Rudd’s colossal emissions tax to “stop” global warming.

When Turnbull refused, Abbott quit. Minchin will, too, rather than vote for a tax he knows is a fraud.

That triggered a mass resignation of other frontbenchers, enraged not only by Turnbull’s deceit, but determined to overturn his decision as well.

What’s telling is how the collapse of Turnbull’s leadership has shocked most mainstream political commentators.

How could the Liberals split on global warming, where the public demanded action? How could the party be so stupid to listen to its sceptics?

And it’s true. If you read only The Age and listened only to the ABC, this split would strike you as utterly bizarre.

In fact, for too long the shell-shocked Liberals did listen too much to the media. In a way, this is the beginning of their recovery of their pride, their principles and their fight.

For too long they believed the public would not take them seriously if they questioned man-made global warming faith, or blocked Rudd’s great green tax.

They read media beat-ups on the droughts, floods, famine and diseases they’d unleash if they did not “act” - and trembled.

But over the past couple of months a great grassroots revolt, peaking this week, has given the nervous fresh heart.
===
Emperor Rudd’s new clothes
Andrew Bolt
JUST look at this astonishing farce in Canberra, is what I should have said.

You see, I was talking to a class of year 11 students this week and found - to my horror - that few of that Harry Potter generation had even heard of the children’s story that best explains this madness.

You know, the madness of Kevin Rudd’s colossal tax on everything, which couldn’t stop global warming even if that warming were real.

I mean, too, the madness of the Liberals’ collapse under Malcolm Turnbull, and the startling rise of Kevin Andrews, the man they said was crazy.

Anyway, there I was in this classroom, talking of daring to speak the truth. Who, I asked, knew Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes?

Not one hand went up. How we’ve failed today’s children.

Older readers will know this story and its terrible relevance.

An emperor as vain as, well, our Prime Minister, hires two weavers who promise to make him the best clothes from the best cloth. This fabric, the weavers say, is so fine that only the wise and moral can see it.

In fact, if you were shamefully stupid - like a Holocaust denier or climate sceptic - you’d swear it was invisible.
===
The Liberal heroes
Andrew Bolt
Those who resigned rather than vote for a bill that will cripple Australia for the sake of false green faith.

Families, housing, community services and indigenous affairs spokesman Tony Abbott:
I would like (Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull) to change his mind about the government’s emissions trading legislation; not necessarily to reconsider the merits of an emissions trading scheme but not to rush one through the parliament just so Kevin Rudd can look good at Copenhagen.

The long-term interests of the country should not be hostage to someone’s ego or, indeed, to pride in an opinion that once made sense but has been overtaken by events… Climate change certainly takes place. The issue is how much of it is due to man’s activity and what is the best response to it… At this point, though, the argument is not so much about the merits of an ETS as about whether it makes sense for Australia to have one before the US, Canada, China and India; and whether it’s good governance to have one designed in political horse-trading rushed through the parliament before its implications can really be digested. There’s no doubt that a go-it-alone ETS would export Australian jobs to countries where carbon emissions are taken less seriously.
Liberals Senate leader Nick Minchin:
This was in response to a groundswell of opposition from colleagues, the business community and constituents in relation to the position adopted by the coalition to support the passage of amended legislation over the coming days.
Senate deputy leader Eric Abetz:
I owe it to the households that will be hit with an extra $1100 per year cost for no environmental dividend...
Early childhood education spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella:
I am not prepared to vote in favour of a scheme that will change our economy forever . . . certainly not before the rest of the world makes a decision at Copenhagen.
Opposition whip Liberal Michael Johnson:
In the Party Room I expressed clearly and strongly my personal opposition to supporting the Labor Government’s ETS… The first reason being that the net outcome is not one that does anything whatsoever for reducing in any meaningful way Australia’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The second reason is that the ETS, at its core, is a massive tax on the Australian people and the Australian economy. Substantial jobs will be lost and Australia’s international competitiveness will be severely compromised against the economies of China, India and Brazil.
Senate whip Stephen Parry

Shadow assistant Treasurer Tony Smith

Deputy whip Judith Adams

Deputy whip David Bushby

Shadow parliamentary secretaries Mathias Cormann, Brett Mason and Mitch Fifield:
We are opposed to the passage of Labor’s Emissions Trading Scheme prior to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and before any similar action by our major trading partners. Consequently, we are unable to support the Leader of the Opposition’s decision to support the passage of these bills.

We believe that Labor’s ETS risks Australian jobs and Australia’s standard of living for no environmental benefit. It is not in our national interest… In the absence of an appropriately comprehensive global agreement an Australian ETS will push up the price of everything, lead to job losses, place pressure on our economy and place our energy security at risk – for no environmental benefit.
The timeline on how it all unfolded here.

Honorable mentions:
BY MIDDAY yesterday it was apparent the climate change rebels had not accepted Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to back the amended emissions trading scheme.

They were openly running a campaign of defiance, designed to stir up anger among the Liberal Party’s grassroots in a bid to convince their colleagues who were supporting Turnbull to change their minds.

Senator Cory Bernardi was doing radio interviews to spread his call far and wide. His fellow climate change sceptic, Dennis Jensen, used Facebook.

‘’We have been getting unprecedented emails on the ETS, unprecedented in both volume and anger. Let your members and Senators know what you think, and get your friends and aquaintances to do likewise.’’
And, of course, there is Kevin Andrews, who had the courage to stand against Turnbull in protest at his deceit in deciding the party backed his stand on Rudd’s green tax on everything:

It was clear to me and to many of my colleagues ... that there was a majority who were in favour of either deferring consideration of it until next year or opposing it outright.
===
Climategate: a word of advice to the scientists
Andrew Bolt
The tide is turning. and fast. There will soon be an accounting - and the mood and the money for it. The reputation of science - and of many scientists - will be damaged severely.

Until now those scientists who knew the science behind global warming theory was weak or flawed largely kept their doubts to themselves, out of fear or other forms of self-interest. I’ve had the emails from some confessing to just that.

But self-interest should dictate they now make a stand. They need to show, for their own sake and for the sake of science, that they were on the right side of this debate, even if belatedly. Already I see some speaking - one even writing a book - who did not speak two years ago. There must be more now, to halt this madness before even more harm is done.

A decade from now, when scientists and the public look back at this extraordinary scandal, this great fit of collective madness, the question will be asked: on which side were you?

Now is the time to make sure you can answer with pride. Speak up. Reveal. Undo the damage.
===
Rudd tries to ram through his giant tax
Andrew Bolt
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/tony-abbott-poised-to-resign-from-shadow-cabinet-over-ets/story-e6frgczf-1225804240855So this is how the biggest single tax increase in modern history gets through Parliament - through a trick, avoiding proper scrutiny:
KEVIN Rudd will force the divided Liberal Party to vote on an emissions trading scheme by 3:45pm tomorrow amid leadership turmoil and mass resignations from the frontbench.

And Labor only needs seven votes from the divided Liberal Party to secure the passage of the legislation.
Let the new Liberal leader spell it out immediately. No one can bank on certainty from these laws. A new Liberal government will repeal it - and as early as next year. The slogan will be: Say no to a new tax.
===
VERDICT IN
Tim Blair
Do you believe that climate change is really happening?
YES - 38.69% (790 votes)
NO - 61.31% (1252 votes)
Click to vote. Meanwhile, other media outlets won’t ask questions.
===
Climategate: How Faine censored the sceptical news
Andrew Bolt
ABC radio host Jon Faine explains why he will not even discuss a story which has:

* caused an international controversy

* shocked world leaders in climate science

* triggered calls for an inquiry by a former British Chancellor of the Exchequer

* caused fellow Leftist and warmist crusader George Monbiot to call for the resignation of one of the warmist scientists, and complain that fellow Leftists who ignore it are in denial.

* helped to prompt a Liberal revolt against Malcolm Turnbull

* caused warmist crusader Tim Flannery to confess on ABC television for the first time that the world had indeed been cooling, and ”when the computer modelling and the real world data disagrees you have a problem” and “we have to understand why the cooling is occurring, because the current modelling doesn’t reflect it”.

* revealed that one of the co-authors of the IPCC report that Faine cites as gospel conceded ”we can’t account for the lack of warming, it’s a travesty that we can’t”.

So here’s Faine’s explanation for his censorship of what’s clearly a huge story with serious ramifications:
We make decisions every day [based] on our own opinions about what we think are the main stories. And what we leave out is often as important as what we put in, and that was my judgement of this issue..

That was my assessment of whether this was actually of any significance or not, and I decided that it wasn’t and we wouldn’t spend time on it. It suits the conspiracy theorists beautifully...
It was a small, even a tiny fragment of a sidebar of a secondary issue to the edge of the periphery of something people were talking about other than the main game. That’s how I saw it.
It suits the “conspiracy theorists beautifully”. In other words, it suits the sceptics - and that must not be allowed to happen.

Unprofessional doesn’t quite cover it. Scandalous is much closer.
===
How many boats before Rudd scraps his new laws?
Andrew Bolt
Yet another on Kevin Rudd’s welcome mat:
A navy patrol boat has gone to the aid of a vessel carrying 29 suspected asylum seekers and a crew of two about 150 nautical miles southwest of the Ashmore Islands… It is the 48th asylum seeker vessel to arrive in Australian waters this year.
“Gone to the aid”?

So I look up once more the Immigration Department’s on-line statistics:

Wow. The red dot I’ve added marks when Rudd announced he was about to weaken our laws against boat people. Draw your own conclusions.
===
When journalists thought it right to check the records
Andrew Bolt
Once upon a time, the Sydney Morning Herald dared to think that climate had its cycles, and the climate records should be studied. Now, when faced with just this kind of evidence, here’s how a Sydney Morning Herald journalists responds.

I’m afraid we’ve infantilised.
===
Climategate: that decline, now unhidden
Andrew Bolt
So when Climatic Research Unit head Phil Jones boasted privately he had used a “trick” to ”hide the decline” of temperatures as reconstructed from tree ring data, which decline was actually hidden?

Steve McIntyre demonstrates :
For now, here is a graphic showing the deleted data in red:


Figure 1. Two versions of Briffa MXD reconstruction, showing archived and climategate versions. The relevant IPCC 2001 graph, shown below, clearly does not show the decline in the Briffa MXD reconstruction.
The post-1960 data was deleted from the archived version of this reconstruction at NOAA here and not shown in the corresponding figure in Briffa et al 2001. Nor was the decline shown in the IPCC 2001 graph, one that Mann, Jones, Briffa, Folland and Karl were working in the two weeks prior to the “trick” email (or for that matter in the IPCC 2007 graph, an issue that I’ll return to.)…

Contrary to Gavin Schmidt’s claim that the decline is ”hidden in plain sight”, the inconvenient data has simply been deleted.

The reason, as explained on Sep 22, 1999 by Michael Mann to coauthors in 938018124.txt, was to avoid giving “fodder to the skeptics”. Reasonable people might well disagree with Gavin Schmidt as to whether this is a “a good way to deal with a problem” or simply a trick.

UPDATE

How Australia’s climate records were fixed to produce signs of a warming. Scientist Warwick Hughes explains.
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