Tuesday, August 09, 2011

News items and comments


Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (04:58 pm)

They’re not rioters. They’re protesters.

UPDATE. Harry’s Place reports:

Jody McIntyre, another overly excitable Independent columnist, has just joined colleague Johann Hari in the naughty corner. McIntyre had been tweeting approvingly about the Tottenham riots and urging the masses of London to rise up against ‘the Feds’ until this appeared on the Independent website half an hour ago:

Following his recent tweets and statements on the London riots, The Independent will no longer be taking blogs from Jody McIntyre.

(Via s_dog)

UPDATE II. Further from David Thompson in the UK.

Why is it that a serious public issue like the death of schoolboy Hamidur Rahman from apparent school neglect can be buried, and the whistleblower smeared and denied work? I get it no one wants to cause trouble for an important institution like Hurlstone Agricultural High School, but maybe what happened was less the fault of the school and more related to individuals who made a mistake that shouldn't be repeated, or accepted?- David Ball, 2 days ago
Please log onto the site and vote for this comment/question. If there are sufficient votes it will be asked on News Conference on 27th August. Each FB login gets seven votes they can use on this question, or any other they find appealing. You don't need FB to login. It is free. - ed.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:53 am)

ABC clock-watcher Jonathan Holmes and Herald Sun crazy lady Jill Singer go at it on Twitter:

Singer: watching mediawatch regurgitate my column on sundaynight’s crap falconio conspiracy story. brave, brilliant and original work jonathon!

Holmes: oh sorry. You write a column and that’s that topic done.

Singer: oh sorry. let’s make our living by not acknowledging the opinion of others you feed on and then deem the topic done. so brave.

Holmes: have not read your column. So I’m not feeding on it. But I don’t have to acknowledge everyone whose opinion I happen to share.

Winner by a sharpened girly fingernail – Holmes! Singer ought to know by now that Media Watch hosts never giveany credit, not even to their most valued Presbyterian informants. Indeed, some informants are deliberatelyshunned.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:47 am)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, August 16, 2010:

There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, August 6, 2011:

With carbon tax what I’ve said all along is we’re doing this because it’s the right thing for the nation’s future.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:45 am)

Time finally did for Nancy Wake what the Nazis couldn’t do. Patrick Carlyon recalls the World War II resistance fighter’s ferocious spirit following her peaceful death at 98:

“I killed a lot of Germans, and I am only sorry I didn’t kill more,” she said.

God bless her. God bless that magnificent, gin-drinking, Nazi-killing woman.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:43 am)

Julia Gillard imagines Australian conversations:

Australians, I think, have talked and thought about high-speed rail for a long period of time. I think many Australians over cups of coffee and maybe a few drinks as well have talked about, “Wouldn’t it be good to have high-speed rail and we could have the trains run here and the trains run there.”

After a few drinks we speak of little else. You can’t walk into a bar in this country without a whole bunch of people asking you about high-speed rail, and wanting to talk about the general goodness of having trains “run here” and “run there”.

And then we remember the mud.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:40 am)

Defamer.com.au, the gossip site adored by Crikey, Marieke Hardy and especially the SMH, celebrates four years of not breaking a single story by quietly closing down.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:39 am)

It’s a Canberra carbon march, all the way from Albury:

The heavens opened as truck driver Troy “Grover” Logan yesterday began his nine-day walk to Canberra in protest against the federal government’s carbon tax …

“It is a long trip and it will take a big toll, but with the passion I have for this; with the determination I have for this, I will get there,” he said.

Mr Logan will arrive in Canberra on August 16, in time for the Election Now — No Carbon Tax rally hosted by the Consumers and Taxpayers Association on the steps of Parliament House at noon.

At least someone is wearing out their shoe leather.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:32 am)

One of the great men of British journalism leaves us:

Bill Boddy, known to his readers simply by his initials WB, was the undisputed godfather of motorsports journalism in the UK and a celebrated author and historian in the field of vintage cars.

He wrote for Motor Sport magazine for 81 years – surely a record in any field of journalism. He was the magazine’s editor for a mere 55 years, but that no doubt is also a record. He wrote his first article for the magazine in 1930 and his last just a few days before his death, at 98.

Love those initials.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:30 am)

How exactly does one measure a reduction in carbon dioxide output? The US government doesn’t know:

Two presidential administrations have tried to lower the carbon footprint left by hundreds of thousands of computers used by the federal government. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both issued executive orders requiring agencies to adopt “green IT” practices …

The GAO, the investigatory arm of Congress, concluded from a sampling of six agencies that the government has adopted “sustainable and more environmentally friendly” practices – but has little way to gauge progress.

“Even with the potential of green IT, the effectiveness of agencies’ efforts cannot be measured,” the GAO said.

Seems like a sound basis upon which to establish an economy.


… are, first, from page 123-124 of Thomas Cahill’s Mysteries of the Middle Ages(2006):

Plumbing was unknown [in the middle ages]…. Because individual bathing in a copper basin in a drafty castle could lead so easily to chill, then to fever and death, kings and queens seldom bathed more than once a month, those with neither washer woman nor ewerer at their command scarcely more than once or twice a year. Despite their silks and linens, their frequent changes of costume, their liberal burning of Arabian incense, the royals stank, as did their retinues. More than this, the chamber pot was the sole device for receiving human waste. A small castle – or even a large one – might become downright uninhabitable after many weeks of residence by such a throng [ellipsis added].

And yet – and yet - Cahill here describes the stinkingest of the stinkingest rich of the pre-capitalist age. Let’s read Cahill a bit further, to page 188:

What appalls a modern dreamer about the Middle Ages is not so much the distance that lay between peasant and prince as that there was seldom any way of shortening that distance: the peasant would always be a peasant, the prince always a prince.

And yet… the rigid stratification of social roles was shaken by the rise of the merchant class, the medieval bourgeoisie [ellipsis in the original].


Satz on markets



This week’s EconTalk is Stanford professor of philosophy Debra Satz talkingabout why she finds some markets noxious and what ought to be done about it. I take a different approach. It’s a civilized conversation between two people who look at the world very differently.


The neocon fury sparked by the recent debt-ceiling deal – a deal that, to hear neocons tell the story, will force Pentagon Generals and Admirals out of their offices and onto Constitution Ave. to beg for spare change from passing motorists – is maddening. Neocons, after all, are to spending on defense the military what “Progressives” are to spending on education: no amount is ever enough, and anycuts – even any proposed reductions in the projected growth rate of spending – are alleged to foolishly sacrifice this nation’s security and future on the altar of some misguided notion that government should be strictly limited in all realms.

I was going to blog on this matter more, but I can do no better than to link to this essay by Reason’s exquisitely insightful Shikha Dalmia.


Protesters? No, ferals without a cause

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (06:42 pm)

Mad. Exactly the culture of victimhood which licences such trash:

The BBC was criticised for its political correctness last night after continually referring to the yobs rioting across London as “protesters”.

Two days after a peaceful protest over the death of suspected gangster Mark Duggan in Tottenham ended, the corporation was still using the term to describe violent looters.

That was despite the fact that hundreds of youths, with no connection to events in Tottenham, had since run riot across the capital.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and police have all condemned the youths as “criminals” whose behaviour is “utterly appalling”. Yet senior BBC presenters and reporters on the ground yesterday continued to describe those behind the violence as “protesters”.

The move sparked a wave of anger from members of the public on Twitter.

Duncan Barkes wrote on the micro-blogging website: “Hello BBC. They are not protesters, are they? Rioters better description. I mean, what’s the cause for the protest?”


Damian Thompson:

The roots of these appalling events are many and tangled, but for the moment let’s just focus on one: the way Britain’s educational establishment has cringed helplessly in the face of a gang culture that rejects every tenet of liberal society. It’s violent, it’s sexist, it’s homophobic and it’s racist. But it is broadly tolerated by many people in the black community, which has lost control of its teenage youths. Those youths scare the wits out of teachers and social workers – and some police officers, too. The threat of physical violence is ever present in many schools, and one can hardly blame individual teachers for recoiling from it. But we should and must blame those schools and education authorities that have made extra space for gang culture in children’s lives because they believe it is an authentic expression of Afro-Caribbean and Asian identity. We are seeing a lot of black faces on our screens tonight; it’s a shame that the spotlight can’t also fall on those white multiculturalists who made this outrage possible.


The cultural backlash may have begun already:

Jody McIntyre, another overly excitable Independent columnist, has just joined colleague Johann Hari in the naughty corner. McIntyre had been tweeting approvingly about the Tottenham riots and urging the masses of London to rise up against ‘the Feds’ until this appeared on the Independent website half an hour ago:

Following his recent tweets and statements on the London riots, The Independent will no longer be taking blogs from Jody McIntyre.

(Thanks to readers Owen and Gordon.)


Three million hits

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (02:43 pm)

Good heavens, but July was a monster for us: 274,417 unique browers logged on to give the blog a record 3,022,755 page impressions.

Thanks very much indeed. The carbon dioxide tax may be killing the Gillard Government, but it’s an ill wind ...


London burning

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (01:12 pm)

Not simply race riots now:

RIOT police have faced off with youths in fresh violence in London in the third day of disorder after some of the worst rioting in the British capital in years at the weekend.

Scores of young people gathered in a main street in the eastern district of Hackney, smashing up buildings and breaking into a truck that became stranded in the middle of the road, pulling out its contents… Several parked cars were also set on fire…

The trouble began when police tried to carry out a stop and search operation, the BBC said....

Police were also called to Lewisham in south London, where a handful of cars were set alight and several shops were looted.

In Peckham, a poor area in the south of the capital, TV pictures showed a business premises on fire, with flames threatening to spread to neighbouring properties. Youths also tried to set fire to a double decker bus, which was left badly scorched.

The riots broke out in the north London district of Tottenham on Saturday night, following a protest against the death of a local man in a police shooting last week, and the violence spread to other parts of the city on Sunday.

Police said they had made 215 arrests since the riots began with the youngest person arrested an 11-year-old boy. Thirty-five police officers have been injured.

The districts worst hit by the violence at the weekend - Tottenham, Brixton in south London, and now Hackney - are multi-ethnic areas which have high rates of unemployment.

David Green describes a collapse of authority, thanks in part to the politics of racial grievance:

What caused these riots and why did the police lose control? Some commentators think the disorder was understandable and justified; some say the police “had it coming”; others that the violence was only to be expected given the unemployment and poverty in the area.

Some local people told journalists of their resentment towards the police. One student said: “The police never talk to us, they ignore us, they don’t think we’re human in this area.” A youth worker claimed: “The way the police treat black people is like we’re nothing.” And a retired accountant who has lived locally for 30 years reported that some of the police “behave in an arrogant manner that puts people’s backs up”.

Other residents who witnessed people carrying off carpets, trainers and watches noticed that they included individuals of all “colours and creeds”, suggesting an outburst of sheer lawlessness rather than righteous retaliation for past racial slights…

But what should we make of another theory, that the police handled the rioters with kid gloves because they were paralysed by fear of being called racist?

Anyone in touch with police leaders will know that most are fully signed-up supporters of the doctrine that the police should use force only as a last resort… Reluctance to use force is right and we should be reluctant to reproach the police for it. However, a second attitude was at work in Tottenham. Since the Macpherson report of 1999 the police have been hyper-sensitive about race. This attitude has now become so paradoxical that they find themselves standing aside when members of ethnic minorities are being harmed. The people who ran shops, or who lived in the flats above, were not given the protection they deserved.

The police have been made to feel that they are the “white police”, and that they lack legitimacy in “black areas”.... Instead of upholding strict impartiality, in 2002 police leaders published a “hate-crime manual” via the Association of Chief Police Officers. It was a defining moment that undermined the highest traditions of policing. The ideal of impartial justice was dismissed with particular scorn. “Colour blind” (in quotation marks to signify its implausibility) policing was defined as “policing that purports to treat everyone in the same way. Such an approach is flawed and unjust. It fails to take account of the fact that different people have different reactions and different needs...” ...

In this kind of atmosphere, it’s not surprising that officers in charge of a riot think it safer to wait for orders from the top rather than use their discretion to protect the public without fear or favour.


It’s worrying how widespread the riots are:


Map with incidents key here.


Melanie Phillips:

What we are seeing, in the sluggish and unprepared reaction of the police and political class to these events, compounded by their serial failure to grasp from previous such disturbances just what is going on here, is a catastrophic combination of professional inertia and incompetence, serial eyes off the ball, paralysing political correctness, an apparent reluctance to identify, name and deal with subversive activity, a capital’s police force in systemic disarray, a criminal justice system that has become an insulting joke, a refusal from the top to draw clear lines in the sand and to exercise moral and political leadership, a pandering instead to mob rule, tyro politicians who have never had a grown-up job and couldn’t run the proverbial whelk-stall let alone get a grip on a culture teetering on the edge of the cliff, a third-rate civil service machine that no longer can be relied on to keep the show on the road, a culture of narcissistic selfishness on an epic scale and a general breakdown in education, morality and elementary codes of civilised behaviour, much of it deliberately willed on for the past three decades by a grossly irresponsible and politically motivated intelligentsia that set out to smash the west.

And now London is being smashed as a result.


Police overrwhelmed, mob utterly fearless and jeering with contempt:

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh says the profile of the rioters has changed:

On Sunday we had some younger groups, aged 14 to 17, the profile last night changed to dramatically with older groups in cars doing organised looting. They were more focused on injuring London Ambulance staff who were trying to help, fire officers and of course police.

Rioters smash into a Notting Hill restaurant:

The looters were yelling at us to get down and throwing stuff all over the place. I got down and started taking off my wedding and engagement ring to hide somewhere, but unfortunately wasn’t fast enough. One looter came up and demanded my phone. I didn’t have it with me since it was in my purse and it was out of arm reach. I also didn’t want to lead him to my passport, so I said I didn’t have one.

He told me to take off my rings and grabbed my hand, trying to yank them off. His friend tried to help too, but the rings wouldn’t come off and I just yelled at him that I’d take them off myself. In hindsight, now that I know that gun control is so fierce in England and he only had bat, I should have held on to my rings better and maybe slugged him in the face.

(Thanks to readers Anne and John.)


Carbon tax kills an Indian investment

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (12:59 pm)

Proof that Julia Gillard’s mad carbon dioxide tax is killing investment already:

“NEW DELHI – NTPC Ltd.’s plans to acquire coal mines abroad have been hit by high valuations and proposed rule changes in Indonesia and Australia that could make the fossil fuel there more expensive, the state-run company’s chairman said Wednesday.

High coal prices have driven up valuations of mines. Also, the cost of coal produced will go up as Australia plans to levy a tax of A$23 ($24.79) for each metric ton of carbon emitted from 2012 and Indonesia is set to link the price of coal exported to international coal indexes this year, Arup Roy Choudhury said.

Surely all these are a dampener on our overseas buy-out plans,” he told reporters. NTPC, India’s largest power producer, requires 164 million tons of coal this fiscal year through March to run its plants. The company, which meets part of its fossil fuel requirement through imports, has been scouting for overseas assets to secure raw material.

But last week it decided not to bid for Australian coal miner Bandanna Energy Ltd., and Mr. Choudhury said this was because the cost to produce coal from Bandanna’s mines will be high and therefore won’t be viable.”


FORMER Treasury secretary John Stone has blasted the federal government over its economic credentials and called for the “insane” mining and carbon taxes to be abolished amid the global turmoil engulfing Australia.

(Thanks to reader Malcolm.)


Anti-Israel protesters arrested

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (12:03 pm)

Some Jewish shopkeepers will feel a little safer:

Pro-Palestinian campaigners Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) say four of their members have been arrested for breaching their bail conditions, set after a protest in Melbourne last month.

BDS describes itself as a “wide coalition of the largest Palestinian organisations, trade unions, networks and NGOs” and has targeted businesses linked to Israel, urging customers to boycott them.

Last month, 19 activists were arrested outside a Max Brenner store after allegedly chaining themselves to furniture.

The group was not to go within 50 metres of the company’s two CBD stores.

A spokeswoman for BDS says the four protesters were arrested early this morning.

(No comments for legal reasons.)


Al Gore feels the heat, and has a meltdown

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (10:59 am)

“Goddamn”. “Bullshit”. Al Gore is losing his cool as he loses the argument.


So when the oceans won’t warm as your global warming models predicted, tweak the models:

The independent studies from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the Met Office show how natural climate variability can temporarily mask longer-term trends in upper ocean heat content and sea surface temperature.

The upper 700 metres of the global ocean has seen a rise in temperature since reliable records began in the late 1960s. However, there has been a pause in this warming during the period from 2003 to 2010. The papers published this week offer explanations for this.

Climate model simulations from KNMI show that such pauses in upper ocean warming occur regularly as part of the climate system’s natural variability…

A different set of model simulations from the Met Office supports the idea of heat moving to the deeper ocean explaining the recent pause in upper ocean warming.

(Thanks to reader Craig.)


Crean firms further. Even with Shorten

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (10:46 am)


SportsBet a month ago had Simon Crean at $101 to replace Julia Gillard. Since then...

Either smart money is going on Crean, or some people took my speculation all too seriously.


Reader Seadrift:

Crean is rising to the top.


Penny Wong to be a mum

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (10:29 am)

Lovely news from Senator Penny Wong, but she is forced to share it with millions and I fear may have to defend it from thousands. Wish her the very best:

My partner, Sophie Allouache, and I are delighted to be expecting a child in December.

Like any expecting parents, the prospect of welcoming this child into our lives fills us both with joy.

We are extremely grateful to our IVF service and staff, and to our donor, for giving us the opportunity to raise a child together.

The biological father of the child is known to us, and will be known to the child. We have agreed with him that his name will not be released to the media.

We have chosen to make this statement about Sophie’s pregnancy as we understand there may be public interest due to my position. This is, however, a very private matter and we ask for our privacy to be respected during this time.

(No link to the email.)


Newspoll: Labor stuck on 44 per cent to 56

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (05:51 am)

Wearing out shoe leather gets Julia Gillard to exactly the same terrible spot:

JULIA Gillard’s burst of policy outcomes in health, border protection and climate change has failed to lift her popularity, with the latest Newspoll showing no improvement for Labor in the past fortnight.

Despite a flurry of government policy activity in recent weeks, the Newspoll conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend found the Coalition ahead of Labor by 56 per cent to 44 per cent in two-party-preferred terms.

And that’s with Tony Abbott off overseas for more of the past fortnight.


Niki Savva on who’s pulling their weight in the Coalition, or, in the case of Malcolm Turnbull, some of it:

A national poll of 1000 voters conducted in July by JWS Research has come up with a surprising finding that Abbott has nudged just ahead of Gillard on the question of which leader has a stronger team. Mind you it’s only a tiny margin of 25 per cent to 24 per cent, and 51 per cent of people say both, neither or can’t say, but it is highly unusual for an opposition to be ahead of the government on this question, given the profile - or lack of it - that shadow ministers usually have, and especially in an operation where Abbott is so dominant in the media.

According to John Scales, of JWS Research, opposition frontbenchers who typically rate a mention in focus groups are Turnbull, Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop, Andrew Robb, Christopher Pyne and Barnaby Joyce.

According to Scales, Turnbull’s antics have been nowhere near as disruptive for the Liberals and Abbott as have Kevin Rudd’s for Labor and Gillard.


US stocks keep falling

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (05:33 am)

It’s getting more ominous:

US stocks have plunged more than five per cent in the wake of America’s credit rating downgrade.

A bloodbath overnight:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 634.76 points, or 5.55 percent, to finish at 10,809.85, well-below the psychologically-significant 11,000 mark. The move marks the blue-chip index’s biggest point and percent drop since Dec. 1, 2008. ...

The S&P 500 plummeted 79.92 points, or 6.66 percent, to close at 1,119.46, its lowest close since Sept. 10, 2010.

Nasdaq sank 174.72 points, or 6.90 percent, to end at 2,357.69, its lowest close since October 4, 2010.


Gerard Henderson:

Early this year, Gillard announced the government would introduce a carbon tax leading, in time, to an emissions trading scheme. This means if there is a second wave of the global financial crisis, Australia will be tackling another northern Atlantic downturn as one of the few nations in the world with a carbon tax and with a highly regulated industrial relations system. What’s more, Labor’s commitment by Gillard to put the budget into surplus, if implemented, would rule out another large stimulus package.


Terry McCrann is not pessimitic. Just worried:

… if China kept booming, while we wouldn’t exactly sail through, the damage wouldn’t be that severe.

This of course raises a fundamental question. Could China continue to boom through GFC II?

The answer depends on the severity of any GFC II.

A relatively mild crisis - actually what we’ve seen to date - would not be inconsistent with China continuing to boom and Australia to thrive.

..But I’d suggest it would be impossible for China to not be dragged into, and to some extent, under, by a serious global financial meltdown.

In 2008 China kept at bay the GFC and the global recession in the developed world that followed, by switching from an export-focus to a massive internal infrastructure build.

That’s their version of our school halls, but on a much more vast scale and with more effective focus.

Could they now redouble it? No. Or switch to ‘something else?’ Again, no.


Where will they stay? Work? Learn?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (05:19 am)

The Malaysian deal also involves bringing in 4000 refugees from Malaysia, many originally from Burma. What help - and at what cost - does the Gillard Government intend to give people who are going to struggle to earn their own way?

THESE Burmese refugees living in a squalid tenement in Kuala Lumpur are exultant about their imminent transfer to Australia,.. Three generations of one family have been squashed into a tiny flat for three years after running from torture, death and oppression in their native state…

Tum Cung, the 51-year-old patriarch, said yesterday he just hoped for the best for his family… Looking around at his wife, nursing his younger son, and gazing at his five other children, he said he did not know how the legal stay might affect the flow of refugees from Malaysia to Australia…

Ngun Khen, Tum Cung’s 44-year-old wife, broke into a broad smile every time Australia was mentioned.... “we have been told ‘you will see a lot of food, and you will never have difficulties in Australia’.”

The family received the visas last Wednesday, after the Australia-Malaysia deal was signed, and so her family of 10 will absorb a fraction of the 4000 promised places in Australia. Her oldest daughter, Sui Ngaih Tlem, 21, is already married and has a two-year-old son of her own.

Sui Ngaih Tlem has a younger sister and four younger brothers, ranging in age from 18 to 11, and a baby brother aged nearly two.

No one in the family speaks English…

Tum Cung works in wiring, earning about 900 Malaysian ringgit ($288) a month.. His son-in-law, Ram Lien Ceu, the only other wage-earner, washes clothes for a hotel

And at the moment, this seems to be a one-way deal:

AUSTRALIA’S refugee processing system has been gridlocked after the High Court extended an injunction banning the transfer of asylum-seekers to Malaysia and judge Kenneth Hayne slammed the Gillard government’s “half-baked” attempts to defend its case.

But as Immigration Minister Chris Bowen talked down the significance of yesterday’s ruling, which halted for at least two weeks the deportation of 16 asylum-seekers to Malaysia due to fly out yesterday, he conceded Australia would begin accepting 4000 refugees from Malaysia, regardless of the outcome.


Warming may be good for us, but this tax is not

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (12:08 am)

Peter R. Hartley, the George & Cynthia Mitchell Professor of Economics at Rice University, warns Australia that warming may not hurt us, but trying to stop it certainly will:

The experimental evidence suggests that at least 10 percentage points of the increase in wheat and rice yields since 1750 is the result of the roughly 35% increase in CO2 in the atmosphere that has occurred over the same period. The free fertiliser provided to farmers by continued CO2 emissions over the next few decades could be essential for feeding the expected world population in 2050…

With regard to direct impacts on human health, numerous studies in many countries, and therefore for a range of climates, have shown that abnormal cold snaps have more adverse direct effects on health than do abnormal heat waves. Consistent with this finding, significantly more people die on average in the winter than in the summer. Climate models predict that the largest temperature increases from CO2 will occur in the coldest air masses in the middle of winter. Since such air masses have temperatures far below zero degrees centigrade, an increase of even five degrees centigrade is likely to be more beneficial than harmful. Furthermore, insofar as high latitude air masses warm also in autumn and spring, high latitude grain producing areas in Canada, Northern Europe and Russia could be expected to benefit considerably from the longer growing seasons…

The latter discussion raises another point. Climate is always changing. Controlling the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at best does something about just one source of climate change. Climate will still change regardless of what happens to CO2. This reduces the certainty with which we can claim benefits from controlling CO2. For example, we might incur costs to reduce temperature increases only to discover that we are heading into a natural cooling cycle that could make temperature rises more beneficial. Uncertainty about the benefits of controlling CO2 in turn raises the risk and therefore reduces the value of investing in technologies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions…

Of particular relevance for current policy discussions, it would be an expensive but futile exercise for Australia to restrict CO2 emissions unilaterally. Since Australia currently produces less than 1.4% of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions, if the Australian economy were completely shut down, the resulting effect on global surface temperatures would not be measurable even if the climate models predicting the largest effect from CO2 accumulation turn out to be accurate. Nor is it likely that substantial reductions in emissions from Australia would have any effect on policies adopted by others. Canada, Japan and Russia have already announced that they are not going to support an extension of Kyoto-type controls on CO2 emissions. The United States Congress has made it clear that it will not agree to binding restrictions on CO2 emissions without China and other large developing nations being included in the regime, which as I argued above will not happen.

Meanwhile, an excellent survey on Watts Up With That of what the rest of the world is doing. Answer: not much. We’re fools.

Professor Hartley’s full Reid Oration to the University of Western Australia follows:


Don’t mention the tax

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (12:05 am)

Once “everyone” wanted to “price carbon”. Now even the NSW Labor Opposition won’t wear it:

OPPOSITION Leader John Robertson told colleagues yesterday they will never hear him publicly support a carbon tax and that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had completely mishandled the issue.

The comments were made in shadow cabinet and caucus yesterday, Labor sources said, and are seen as a clear move away from the line taken by former premier Kristina Keneally at the last election when she supported the tax.

Mr Robertson’s comments also come after Labor MPs Noreen Hay and Cherie Burton refused to show up for a vote in support of the tax in state parliament last week.

Ms Hay, the MLA for Wollongong, was said to be concerned about the future of steelworkers in her electorate.


Solidarity, comrade

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 09, 11 (12:03 am)


Reader M senses a certain political vibe from Monash University’s politics department.

Regardless of any sentence, his followers should be ashamed.
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Source: www.youtube.com
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Space stuff by AGW believers
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The problem is ALP government
THE operators of southeast Queensland's Wivenhoe Dam have absolved themselves of responsibility for the January floods, declaring their operations were "best practice".
Technology is expensive and premature.
A RADICAL plan to power campus airconditioning and heating from hot aquifers under the University of Western Australia has collapsed after the company at the centre of the project pulled out yesterday...
Gillard government fails to plan
THE $12.5 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme would lose credibility and support unless massive shortfalls in accommodation and disability support staff and technology were addressed first, t...
Early intervention is best.
TUMMY time and breastfeeding support for first-time mothers could reduce a child's chance of becoming obese.
Welcome back
CYCLONE-hit banana farms in north Queensland have begun shipping to supermarkets again, but consumers will have to wait a few more weeks for prices to drop.
They want to wriggle
THE government and opposition yesterday rejected former ABC managing director David Hill's call for a review of the public broadcaster, saying his concerns could be dealt with by the convergence revie...
No disgrace. It is a big project.
PREMIER Barry O'Farrell has stripped Planning Minister Brad Hazzard of responsibility for Barangaroo after a review recommended his government negotiate to move the $6 billion project's centrepiece ho...
Where is the split?
TENSIONS are emerging between the state government and Infrastructure NSW over the North West Rail Link.

Nothing backdated?
FORMER prime minister Paul Keating and former NSW premier Kristina Keneally have welcomed the findings of an independent report that they say vindicates the positions they have taken on Barangaroo, th...
It isn't anyone else
A BLOOD relative of Natalie Jean Wood has come forward to offer a DNA sample in a bid to confirm the identity of remains found in her Surry Hills home.
THESE Burmese refugees living in a squalid tenement in Kuala Lumpur are exultant about their imminent transfer to Australia, smiling broadly at the very mention of the name and the possibility of a ne...
Pyne has it right
LIBERAL frontbencher Christopher Pyne has called on Australia to lift its defence spending, arguing that the rise of China has created "the most uncertain strategic environment since the Battle of Mid...
A bit like Alan Bond.
TWO teenagers have been deemed unfit to stand trial over a killer Black Saturday bushfire because of impaired mental capability.
Wrong person to say so. We need one good person who is ALP in the federal government lower house. Robertson's position is as absurd as Carr promising NSW would not invade Iraq.
OPPOSITION Leader John Robertson told colleagues yesterday they will never hear him publicly support a carbon tax and that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had completely mishandled the issue.
1666 revisited
BRITISH Home Secretary Theresa May says the number of people arrested in rioting in London has reached 215 as fresh violence broke out.
Swan is an abysmal Treasurer
AUSTRALIAN shares have lost $33 billion in value after another brutal day on the stock market.

Stupid old bugger
THERE might be no such thing as friends in politics but Bob Hawke sure knows how to stand by a mate - even one convicted of drink spiking and indecent assault.

There is a dream that many have that one day there will be peace. And quiet.
MORE than a quarter of Australians are panic stricken within a minute of fearing they have lost their mobile phone.
Her life has changed.
A BRAVE Madeleine Pulver had one thing on her mind yesterday as she returned to school - her HSC trial exams.
My family had served in the Dutch resistance. I thank you for your service, and grace.
HER enemies called her the White Mouse but World War II heroine Nancy Wake had the heart of a lion.
ALP policy is bad.
THE federal government's Malaysian Solution was in disarray last night with a High Court injunction delaying the deportation of new asylum seekers for at least two weeks.
My entire house is a mess. I am reminded Dr Boston used to have a clean desk every evening he left work
THE next time your report is late to the boss's desk, you can blame the general hubbub of your workplace.

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