Tag Archives: denier

Free Online Course: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Climate Change

Nothing like getting to the basics. It is sadly missing for many people and especially deniers. So, if you are reading this blog and are genuinely interested in the science underpinning climate change then here are the basics. If you’re a denier and you want to remain wilfully ignorant, sit still, don’t move and I’ll go and get your sippy cup for you.

Free course

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The Psychology of Denialism

Everything you ever wanted to know about denialism.

http://jcmooreonline.com/2014/03/03/climate-change-denial-machine-the-psychology-of-denialism/

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climate change – evidence and causes

I feel that every now and then it is good to get back to the basics of climate change science andlook at the big picture. The Royal Society in conjunction with the US National Academy of Sciences have released a primer in a straight forward Q and A style, presenting the evidence for and causes of climate change. It is written in a style that even the simplest of deniers should be able to understand….. maybe.

Climate Change – Evidence and Causes

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Why does Australian PM Tony Abbott support fossil fuel subsidies?

from The Guardian

Why does Tony Abbott support $10 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies but oppose an aid package for food manufacturer SPC-Ardmona?

An open cut mine in the Hunter Valley. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

An open cut mine in the Hunter Valley. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was only elected in September 2013, but already has a rapidly growing list of broken promises and inconsistent decisions regarding public funding support for private industry and non-profit organisations.

This includes the Australian car manufacturing industry (Ford and Holden),  scrapping the Home Energy Saver Scheme, axing $2.5 million in funding for community radio stations, stopped support for Caterpillar in Tasmania which has cost over 1000 jobs, and last Thursday rejected an aid package for Victorian-based food processing company SPC-Ardmona (despite supporting a similar aid package for Cadbury).

Meanwhile, Tony Abbott has intervened into Toyota’s workplace affairs by supporting cuts to employee wages, has privatised the Australian Valuation Office, is in the process of winding back Tasmania’s forest World Heritage listing, defunded all international environmental programs (including those run by Oxfam, Save the Children and Caritas) and cut $4.5 billion from international aid programs, has started to dismantle Australia’s marine park protection system, repealed poker machine reform designed to protect victims of gambling addiction, and approved coal-baron Clive Palmer’s coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

What’s more, the prime minister seems very happy to continue to give taxpayer’s money to fossil fuel companies to the tune of $10 billion per year in subsidies.

The fossil fuel subsidy decision is particularly inconsistent with his stance on industry support for SPC-Ardmona and the car industry. This is a prime minister who in December declared an end to corporate welfare.

But he said “we don’t want to see corporate welfare … we don’t believe in corporate welfare”.

“This government will be very loth to consider requests for subsidies, we will be very loth to do for businesses in trouble the sorts of things they should be doing for themselves,” he warned.

Fossil fuels subsidies are the most pernicious and distorting of subsidies. The biggest in Australia is the fuel tax credit scheme, which is worth $2 billion per year to mining companies, the equivalent of each taxpayer in Australia handing over $182 to the mining companies.

The national president of the Mining Union, Tony Maher called out this squandering of public funds in an article for The Drum:

I’m pro-mining to my core. But a mining sector that grows too fast causes social and economic problems that will cause damage for decades to come, if we let it. …

Down the track, it would also make sense to look again at tax and whether we are getting a fair return from mining company profits.

Ditto, subsidies. Does it really make sense for taxpayers to be funding a rebate on diesel fuel for the mining industry at a cost of $2 billion a year?

The union is a firm supporter of an emissions trading scheme, and a renewable energy target, and opponent for the fuel subsidy. In a Senate submission in 2008, it wrote:

It has been especially glaring that the mining industry, one of the most profitable industries in Australia, has received the highest rate of fuel tax credit. It is rebated the full 38.143¢ per litre, and so effectively receives its fuel free of excise. This has provided the mining industry with an incentive, in relative terms, to use liquid fossil fuels, and it has taken up that incentive with gusto.

The Australian Taxation Office has stated that for the 2006-07 year, the mining industry was easily the heaviest user of the fuel tax credit schemes, claiming $1.47 billion of the $4.9 billion claimed. The next highest claim by an industry was transport and warehousing with $1.28 billion.

The latter industry made 171,085 claims for the credits, while the mining industry made just 6,735. This vast difference demonstrates that mining industry claims are made by a relatively small number of very large companies, while the transport claims often come from small businesses.

The mining industry’s claims on the public purse have grown rapidly over the last decade, from $754 million in 1999-2000 to $1.47 billion for the most recently-reported year. It has virtually doubled over the course of 8 years. …

That the mining industry receives such extensive fuel tax credits while claiming to be internationally competitive and unsubsidised has attracted significant criticism from an environmental perspective.

The continuing level of significant subsidy weakens the substantial argument that the industry is otherwise able to make that is it one of Australia’s great success stories. Industries that rely on subsidies or other forms of protection are not generally able to be portrayed as a success story.

Further, the mining industry is not a deserving case. There are no grounds in terms of equity, social justice or industry development to justify a significant subsidy to the mining industry.

Tony Maher made a good call when he said “Let’s stop being fooled that the interests of a small club of mining billionaires are the same as the interests of the broader Australian economy. They’re not.”

Despite global warming posing an imminent threat to Australia, and its predominate cause being the burning of fossil fuels, the Australian government is using your tax dollars to literally pay these fossil fuel companies to pollute.

As I’ve noted in the past, Tony Abbott and his government seem intent on turning Australia into a reckless “charco-state” (the coal equivalent of a petro-state).

These fossil fuel subsidies don’t just pay companies to pollute our air, water and atmosphere. They also distort our markets by making fossil fuels, like diesel and gas, artificially cheap. Special tax treatment for big oil, gas and coal projects allows fossil fuel companies to rapidly depreciate their assets, like drilling rigs. This means they get away with paying taxes that other companies are forced to.

Finally, fossil fuel subsidies are socially dangerous because many pension and superannuation funds have fossil fuel investments, risking tens or hundreds of billions in retirement savings in a carbon bubble.

What’s the basis for these decisions?

Why are massive $10 billion subsidies for one industry acceptable, but a relatively modest aid package for SPC-Ardmona unacceptable?

No doubt there are many answers to these questions.

One possible answer can be found in the work of Drew Westen, professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The author of The Political Brain, Westen describes the neurological differences in the brains of conservatives and (in US terms) liberals.

Westen, and the likes of liberal neuro-linguist George Lakoff, posited that the way that conservatives viewed money was tied to morality.

To very briefly summarise, if a person is rich, it is proof that they are a good and moral person. It demonstrates that they must be hard-workers, wise investors, who are self sufficient and possess personal discipline.

The corollary of this is that poor people, who lack money, also lack morality. To a conservative, lack of money proves that you must be lazy, ill-disciplined, self-indulgent, deviant and dependent on others.

The role of government is to support morality and punish immorality. Thus, people on welfare are immoral and thus should be penalised, while rich people should be further rewarded and incentivised to continue to be moral.

This moral system, in my view, underpins the Abbott’s government’s approach to corporate welfare, and especially to the environment.

In the conservative world-view, companies like Holden and Ford, or SPC-Ardmona are unworthy of government support because they lose money. By definition, because they need government aid, they’re immoral, dependent, ill-disciplined and lazy.

Meanwhile, companies like hugely profitable fossil fuel companies and coal miners like Clive Palmer, are good, moral companies. Their enormous profits are proof of their morality.

What does this have to do with climate change?

The conservative world view is threatened by the very existence of climate change and global warming.

If making money and profits through mining and burning fossil fuels are moral behaviours, but those activities cause dangerous climate change which threatens you and your loved ones, then can it be moral? Any suggestion that fossil fuel extraction is harmful therefore threatens the basis of conservative morality.

If nature and natural resources exist as things to be conquered, exploited or used to make moral profits, then regulation that prevents this by definition is immoral. When it comes to conservation, environmental protection and climate change mitigation, the conservative morality of Abbott sees laws that protect biodiversity and our natural heritage as illegitimate hindrances to the moral activity of making profits.

Regulation is a form of interference in moral activities, and at worst, creates dependency. Renewable energy subsidies and targets distorts the profit-meritocracy.

Tony Abbott will always support subsidies for fossil fuel companies because they are moral companies, although at times his political instincts have made him a weather-vane on the issue.

Support for renewable energy, assistance for disadvantaged people, foreign aid, or industry packages for Holden, Ford and Australian manufacturing should be opposed because it is the role of government to punish immorality, and lack of money is proof of that immorality.

As I said, there are many possible reasons for Tony Abbott’s stance on fossil fuel subsidies and “corporate welfare”. You may have your own view; let me know in the comments.

Find out more about fossil fuel subsidies here.

Original story here

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Filed under Climate Change, idiot politicians, Rogue's Gallery

21 flaws in Tony Abbott’s climate policy

By James Wight at Precarious Climate

Australia’s new Abbott Government intends to replace the former government’s climate policies with a “Direct Action Plan”, consisting mainly of an “Emissions Reduction Fund”. This post will examine the flaws of the proposals outlined in the recently released Green Paper.

 

They should have just called it the “Paper”, because it contains very little that is green. Large sections discuss how best to “allow businesses to continue ordinary operations without penalty”, “encourage efficient greenfield and brownfield expansions as an integral part of national economic development”, “allow businesses to determine their own approaches to ensuring emissions are at best practice levels”, “work closely with the [electricity] sector on how the policy can best apply to its needs” and design “flexible compliance arrangements”. The Green Paper says the policy is “founded on a presumption of economic growth as a positive and inevitable good for Australia” (if it’s inevitable, why is the Government going to such lengths to protect it?).

 

What we know about Abbott’s climate policies

 

Emissions Reduction Fund

The Emissions Reduction Fund is a voluntary incentive-based market mechanism supposed to deliver the cheapest possible emissions cuts. It will begin in July and will aim… read the rest here.

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dodgy survey

I’m no expert on surveys so when I received a request to fill out a survey from the Scottish, Climate and Energy Forum (SCEF )I was initially reluctant to fill it out. I didn’t know who they were or what they were about. What was their motivation? I decided to check them out so I visited their website.

The first thing I like to do when I visit a climate website is check out whose blogs they are promoting….who their friends are. They have Bishop Hill, Judith Curry, ClimateAudit, a couple of antiwind blogs and ScottishSceptic the owner of which I received the invite from, Mike Haseler. I was surprised to not see my favourite two deniers, Anthony crybaby Watts and JoNova. The website is a veritable treasure trove of denier nonsense with everything from Mike Salsby lectures to a pdf called “Global Warming the Facts” complete with some dodgy uncited graphs and the IPCC schematic, much loved and often misinterpreted as a graph by deniers, that shows the medieval warm period being warmer than today (up to 2000).

Anyway, Mike Haseler, who claims to be  “a Climate Scientist as I am more of a scientist than most who work on climate” which is code for “not a climate scientist” is the chairman of SCEF and runs the blog “ScottishSceptic”. According to his ABOUT page he is a bit of a legend in his own lunchtime but his link to climate science is extremely tenuous. Building temperature controllers and measurement equipment makes Mike as much a climate scientist as being able to change a car tyre makes me a world champion rally driver.

Anyway, I figured, with a non-expert “agnostic” running an opt in survey about the background of people engaged in  the “debate” about climate through a denier den website with no prospect of any results from the survey ever being published in a peer reviewed journal, it was worth responding. Here is my survey…

q0102q03q04q0506q07q08q09q10q11q1213q1415q16q1718q19q20Before I submitted my survey I did change the answer to the last one to “response 1/50″. Anyway, that was fun. It might be interesting to check back on the SCEF site in future to see how they spin and then extrapolate their results. I have a fair idea already.

 

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Weakest argument ever?

I’m not going to go into too much detail here. Over at the Australian Independent Media Network blog, Kaye Lee wrote an excellent piece exposing some of the poor credentials of “experts”, deniers like Tom Harris from the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) like to rely on. Well, I urge you to go there and read for yourself. In the comment section, Harris had a bit to say exposing his ignorance yet again and when handed his arse in his hat, mercifully didn’t return. One commentator though, in reference to a photograph of Christopher Monckton in a link (probably because he had nothing intelligent to say about the article), had this to say…

blackFrom what I can gather, the photo in question was this one…

monckton

Given that he posed for this photo…… Anyway, if the intention was to focus on the symptoms of his Graves Disease, Kaye could have used these pics…

GwdChristopherMonckton187654-20110701-lord-monckton

Personally, I think a more apt photo of Monckton that doesn’t highlight his eyes but his other disability, it would be this one….

lordmonckton

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Filed under Classic denier comments

Abbott cannot deny this…

Maurice Newman, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's advisor, reveals his new headware.

Maurice Newman, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s advisor, reveals his new headwear.

Australian Prime Minister Tony “climate change is crap” Abbott, regularly denies that he denies the overwhelming scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change. To demonstrate his acceptance of the scientific consensus, he wants to introduce his plan called Direct Action. This is what it looks like…

Direct Action

To further fight climate change and demonstrate his unwavering care for the environment, his government has approved the expansion of the Abbot Point coal and gas terminal, given the green light to Clive Palmer’s massive coal mining operation in the Galilee Basin and divested the Commonwealth’s environmental responsibilities to individual States, effectively opening up the opportunities for Campbell Newman to further damage the Great Barrier Reef, the O’Farrell government in NSW to devastate agricultural land with unfettered gas fracking and the Tasmanian government to log old growth forests.

Anyway, it seems now, his main advisor, Maurice Newman is an ACC denying conspiracy theorist. Yes, you read that right. The main advisor to the leader of my country, is a conspiracy theorist, and Abbott cannot deny it.

From APP:

An attack on the United Nations climate body by Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser shows the coalition is not serious about climate change, the federal opposition says.

Chair of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, Maurice Newman, accused the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of “dishonesty and deceit” in an opinion piece published in The Australian on Tuesday.

Mr Newman said the IPCC had exploited the masses by promoting the “scientific delusion” of climate change, writing: “If the IPCC were your financial adviser, you would have sacked it long ago.”

Labor’s acting environment spokesman, Shayne Neumann, seized on the comments, saying they proved that the coalition did not accept the scientific evidence of climate change.

“The prime minister must ask Mr Newman to withdraw his comments which damage Australia’s relationships with its trading partners, all of whom accept that climate change is real and are taking steps to reduce carbon pollution,” Mr Neumann said in a statement.

“The worst part about Mr Newman’s ignorant comments is that he’s only voicing what we know Tony Abbott thinks about climate change.”

Mr Neumann said Australia was already a “laughing stock” because of the government’s push to scrap the carbon tax.

Abbott, if he is truly accepting of the scientific consensus, as he says, is surely now in an untenable position in regards to his advisor. Failure to sack the loony bastard will be seen as complicity. The bottom line is, nobody really believes Tony Abbott when he talks about climate change. He has changed his position so many times depending on who he is pandering to, it beggars belief. He surrounds himself with morons and every whackjob denier he can find. He is also on the record as admitting he cannot be trusted to tell the truth unless what he is saying is carefully scripted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc5ljcri6Nk

Now, this is where things get weasely…seriously weasely. As recently as November 13, 2013, Tony Abbott said in parliament…

“If I may, for the benefit of the member, say, the government accepts that climate change is real and that humanity does make a contribution, but the important thing is to take strong and effective action to deal with it.”

Abbott has made a few of these statements and they are misleading. In my opinion he has misled parliament as it is essentially lip service designed to confuse anyone listening to him. What he has done here is use weasel words to give the impression that he accepts the science underpinning climate change but he doesn’t quantify his statement. How much of our climate change does he think can be attributed to human activity? Is it most, in concurrence with the IPCC? Perhaps he thinks it’s minimal, in which case he is indeed classifying himself as an ACC denier. Where he does agree with the scientific consensus on climate change is that it is serious. If it isn’t, why take strong and effective action to deal with it? Right? (let’s ignore the fact that “Direct Action” will increase emissions by 16% by  2020 and put extra money in polluters pockets).

In the end, Tony Abbott will probably be able to deny that he misled the parliament by making a statement that he thinks climate change is mostly natural, and as such, in his underdeveloped brain, allowing increased mining activity and other environmentally destructive activities will have no effect. To be fair, it is a politically clever position to take in the short-term but I sense the tide is already changing since the election. With every bushfire, flood, cyclone, drought and record temperature and heat wave we experience, another nail is hammered into Abbott’s coal and oil funded climate coffin. With every tax break and bit of favouritism given to billionaire miners at the expense of the disaffected, disabled and disadvantaged, Abbott further ensures his political demise. With every broken promise, and there are many already, and breach of human rights poorly concealed, the boot to kick him to the curb gains a greater backswing. It’s only another 2 and a bit years of conservative garbage we have to put up with, and then we can get about acting like adults, applying our critical thinking skills, and doing what needs to be done to stop climate change. I’m counting down the days.

As for the conspiracy theorist, I suspect he won’t be going anywhere. The upside is he will be the gift that keeps on giving. I can barely wait for his next bit of lunacy.

The hashtag is getting a  short run and some of them are brilliant.

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morons like…

this idiot…

Thank you for the wonderful personal attack in response to a fairly innocuous reply to some one that is equally mentally delusion as what you get up finding yourself faced with every day. Tony Abbot does not know you nor does he care about your kind of people, as most of the sane world does. You are so inconsequential and delusional that the people in white coats should be just around the corner to gather you up when the carbon tax is repealed and Australians can prosper and expand their economy again with out the restrains of idiots like you and what’s her name, (edited). You are fun to poke and that I will do using your Facebook account. You should do like whatshername and cancel your account. Mike.

Okay…first, I’m going to ignore your personal attack on me complaining about personal attacks. Unlike you, I am not a hypocrite.

Second, your comment wasn’t “innocuous“, it was abusive and creepy.

Third, you say “…some one that is equally mentally delusion as what you get up finding youself faced with every day.” Are you sure English is your first language? I will assume you are actually insinuating that I am “mentally delusion” here although the way it reads it could be referring to anyone…even you.

Fourth, I would certainly hope that Tony Abbot (sic) does care about my “kind of people” as he has been elected to represent all Australians, not just the loony right wingers. That’s his job. In my country, the office of Prime Minister is meant to be above politics and decisions the Prime Minister and his government make are meant to be in the national interest. While people like you bleat on about freedom, the way you act and talk is akin to that of a facist. The irony is immense. But what exactly is my “kind of people“? That would be middle class, hard working, clean living, family oriented, tax paying, law abiding, educated, generous and intelligent people. You are correct, Tony Abbott doesn’t care about my “kind of people” but you are correct when you say “most of the sane world does.

Fifth you say, “You are so inconsequential and delusional that the people in white coats should be just around the corner to gather you up…“. Gee I hope so! Since I moved to Queensland, I have found it difficult to secure a decent job in my scientific discipline due to the very right-wing, backward and loony Campbell Newman sacking environmental scientists left, right and centre. Some scientists gathering me up will be great.

Sixth, “...when the carbon tax is repealed and Australians can prosper and expand their economy again with out the restrains of idiots like you and what’s her name, (edited).” It pays to do a little bit of research before commenting so you don’t look stupid. Too late in your case. While the rest of the world really struggled over the last 5 years due to the GFC, Australia’s economy was one of the few that continued to grow. Why? Left wing government. After the introduction of the carbon “tax” the Australian economy continued to grow at a rate higher than most of the rest of the world. I guess my “restrains” were fairly innocuous.

I had to pull my secret admirer’s comment out of the spam folder where his crap ends up. Apparently he hasn’t realised that I have blocked him on Facebook and did so a long time ago. I’ve had a couple of stalkers before but they gave up long before this goose.

I know you are reading this, dopey, so go ahead, poke me on Facebook if you can. You have been blocked there. Maybe you’d like to try my email uknowispeaksense@y7mail.com although you won’t get much joy there either. Your emails will end up with the penis enlargement, internet dating, Nigeria scams and viagra emails where they belong. That’s quite apt really. Perhaps you will follow me on Twitter @uknowiSS?

So, who is my secret admirer? I guess if you are inclined to bother you could work it out from previous posts and comment history but I wouldn’t. It’s not worth your time. I did however do a short post on angry old white males once. He fits that mould with the exception that, rather than listening to Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt, my secret admirer, being an American, lists the following people in his list of page likes on Facebook:

Fox and Friends: No need for any explanation however, I do recall that there was once a study that showed people who relied only on Fox news knew less about the world than people who didn’t watch any television at all….scary

The Huckabee Show: ““Huckabee” is a weekly #1 rated weekend show on Fox News which airs Saturdays & Sundays at 8PM ET.” The top rated Fox show is hardly an endorsement.

Brigitte Gabriel: President of some mob called ACT for America, a xenophobic, uber right-wing, nationalistic organisation dedicated to painting all Muslims as terrorists.

Allen West for President: A fan page for a loony Tea Party Republican congressman

United States Senator Mike Lee: A Tea Party alligned lunatic.

Ted Cruz: Another Tea Party alligned lunatic.

Conservative Daily: “The page for conservative Americans.”

Glenn Beck: Possibly the looniest (and the loudest) of the uber right wing cable TV hosts.

Anyone seeing a pattern here? Next…

CFACT: With posts like this…With sea level, extreme weather, temperature, polar ice and evan polar bears all stable…” Say no more.

Laura Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly are also in the list of pages that my secret admirer follows. It’s no wonder he is the way he is. 

At first, I figured the only thing he had to gain with his idiotic comments was getting his loony message out there but now that I have banned him, he seems to gain some weird satisfaction in being banned and ridiculed, almost as though my kicking him to the curb vindicates his whacky position. Sad, weird and….well….sad.

In the bigger picture, the one thing that those of us who accept the expert consensus on the climate can take heart from, is knowing that in 20 years, the vast majority of the angry old white males, the science denying right wing retards, like my secret admirer, will be dead or infirm. By then, the ever-shrinking voice of dissent, ignorance and scientific illiteracy will be nothing more than a quaint curiosity, like flat Earthers, moon-landing hoaxers, 9-11 truthers and various other conspiracy theorists, and the rest of us will be able to get on and do what needs to be done to fight and adapt to climate change, unimpeded. Hopefully by then it won’t be too late.

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Filed under Classic denier comments, Rogue's Gallery

Guess what morons?

Climate change is happening, it has always happened, and it is happening faster then it should because of we humans, and our burning fossil fuels. Now, the non-morons can relax with the realisation that I wasn’t addressing them and was directing that at anthropogenic climate change deniers. Please enjoy this video from Hank as he dismisses 10 common climate denier memes. The only criticism I have of his video is that he speaks far too quickly for morons to comprehend. However, if they can operate a mouse they should be able to pause and replay as often as they need to. For the rest of you, enjoy.

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Filed under AGW comments, Climate Change, Uncategorized

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