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A report from Brisbane

Reader Grant left this in the comments to the previous post:

I live in Brisbane on high ground. Brisbane is flooding and up to 20,000 properties will be under water by tomorrow. Our major dam is at 190% capacity and they had to release 600,000 megalitres yesterday to just keep it at that. 75% of Queensland has been declared a flood disaster area and that is roughly half a million square kilometres. This is not a disaster anywhere near the order of magnitude of the Boxing Day tsunami or the Haiti earthquake. However people have died and more bodies will be found when search and rescue can find them. They have been swept away.

Delingpole’s article (not written by him) was incorrect in many aspects. Certainly more dams should have been built even if they might have put pressure on the rare lesser spotted tadpole in the catchment area. The Greens of course and local landowners put an end to that and will continue to do so as long as the Greens exist. However more dams wouldn’t have stopped the current severe floods unless an unrealistic number had been built. They may have saved some properties but the rivers do need to flow.

Eventually the waters will recede, bodies will be buried, clean-ups will commence, money will be paid out or borrowed and people will start again. Strangely however, Australian climate scientists have been noticeably absent in the media during these floods. Not on television, newspaper or radio. Not a peep. They were queuing up to get their earnest dials on TV after the hot summer and tragic deaths of the Victorian bushfires. Solemn looks, hand clasping, oh dear, if you’d only listened to us. Of course, they’d predicted this warming and were more than happy to tell us about it.

So have their precipitation predictions had anything to do with their recent camera shyness? Possibly. Here’s Prof Tim Flannery in New Scientist in 2007 –

Over the past 50 years southern Australia has lost about 20 per cent of its rainfall, and one cause is almost certainly global warming. Similar losses have been experienced in eastern Australia, and although the science is less certain it is probable that global warming is behind these losses too........Desalination plants can provide insurance against drought. In Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months. Of course, these plants should be supplied by zero-carbon power sources

Here’s Dr David Jones from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in 2008 –

IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent… “Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones. January 4, 2008
The only uncertainty now was whether the changing pattern was “85 per cent, 95 per cent or 100 per cent the result of the enhanced greenhouse effect”

Note the precision in the probabilities. Very impressive. However, Dr Jones unfortunately appears to suffer from xenophobia. Here’s a communication from Prof Phil Jones (for it is he) gleefully relating in a Climategate email about our Dr David Jones –

2. Had an email from David Jones of BMRC, Melbourne. He said
they are ignoring anybody who has dealings with CA, as there are
threads on it about Australian sites

So Global Warming causes droughts up until a week ago. No doubt they are working on a paper that proves that Global Warming can cause a flood now and then. A peer reviewed article in Nature will appear soon. Data freely available on request except of course to “anyone who has dealings with CA”. That’s the way science is done after all.

Seriously, these two have failed. Failed completely, utterly and abysmally with their climate predictions. After these terrible events abate, these people should be put in front of some sort of panel and held to account for their predictions and asked why they were so wrong. It won’t happen of course but why should anyone give two squirts of guinea pigs piss about their predictions for the future?

Am I pissed off about this? Yes, I am.

But at least a Nobel laureate is on top of it all –

Speaking to an audience of government officials, business leaders and NGOs in Jakarta, the Nobel laureate cited devastating floods in Australia and Pakistan and last year’s drought in Russia as evidence that unchecked global warming threatened famine, poverty and wide-scale destruction


Your humble host has spent the last hour trawling the web for interesting global warming snippets with which to regale you this morning...with a complete lack of success. Perhaps global warming has been cancelled for today. 

Perhaps it's just me though - it's snowing outside and having not seen green for two months I'm a bit fed up of it.

In the meantime, here's something that pricked my interest on my internet travels - a posting on the Spectator site reporting on a talk given by an economist of the Austrian school. The subject was the reasons for the economic crash. What struck me was not only how odd it is to see an MSM publication addressing heavy topics like Austrian economics, but also how many of the Spectator's readers had responded with comments. There seems to be a real interest, although whether driven by "we aren't taken in by the blame-the-bankers narrative" or just a desire for more demanding material, I can't say.


How about updating the bristlecone data?

Al Fin, a new blog to me, takes a look at the amount of money the US taxpayer is spending on climate change this year. It's a big number.


I wonder if they could spare a few bob to update the tree ring data, and in particular the bristlecones?


[I've removed the image showing the breakdown of the numbers, as it appears to have been causing some problems. Follow the link to see a copy]


Focus magazine on sceptics

P Gosselin reports on a sceptic friendly article in the German Focus magazine, covering the recent EIKE conference of sceptics.

The story looks in-depth at the climate conference and the overall atmosphere for skeptics in Germany, but does it fairly, something we are not at all accustomed to from the rest of the hostile media here in the Vaterland.



Damian on lunatics

Damian Carrington is discussing violence over at the GuardianEco blog, inspired (if that is the right word)  by events in Arizona. His point is that there are lots of threats of violence around the fringes of the climate debate, and he refers to emails that were apparently sent to Stephen Schneider and Leo Hickman.

Damian is right of course, but I do wonder if he is going to raise the subject of George Monbiot too, the great man having opined thusly?

...every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned.

As Damian puts it,

So it's clear that even in issues such as climate change there is an active fringe of people deploying violent rhetoric and hate mail against those with whom they disagree. Could that tip the balance between thought and action in the mind of an unstable individual? It's a worryingly plausible thought.

I find it hard to disagree.


Keep on spinning

You are not going to believe this, no sooner have our green friends rebranded the crisis formerly known as global warming from `climate change' to `climate disruption' than they change their minds again. The Australian has the story:

THE term "climate change" could be replaced by "climate challenges" if a federal commissioned marketing study is taken onboard.

The study of attitudes to climate change among farmers, commissioned by the Agriculture Department, found only 27 per cent of those surveyed believed human activity was causing climate change, compared with 58 per cent of urban dwellers.


Indy defends itself

The Independent has now issued a defence of its publication of the David Viner `Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past' story. As commenters note it's not a very strong defence, putting the blame on the headline writers.

A more accurate headline would be something like: "Snowfalls are becoming less frequent in our little corner of the world but that doesn't necessarily mean that snow will disappear from our lives completely and forever." Unfortunately, any sub-editor who would suggest such a tediously long headline is unlikely to last very long.

H/T Jiminy Cricket in the comments.


Cold weather probe?

The House of Commons Transport Committee looks set to probe the weather chaos this winter, in an apparent response to GWPF's call for such a probe.

Louise Ellman, as chairman of the Transport Select committee, has received official requests to launch a wide-ranging inquiry into why snowfalls up to the Christmas/New Year break crippled the rail and road system.

If given the go-ahead it will focus on the coalition government’s alleged failure to respond to Met Office warnings of severe weather.

That led to weeks of turmoil with trains cancelled, motorways shut and thousands of travellers stranded in appalling weather.

The story is slightly odd, as it seems as if no decision has yet been taken on whether to hold an inquiry, but one assumes that the source, the Liverpool Echo, has some sort of word that it is likely to happen.

(H/T Benny Peiser)


I can't do this any more

Not me - I'm going to keep going. I'm talking about a commenter on this thread:

And as far as being dedicated progressives, we sit in the dark with the electric lights turned off for an hour once a year and call it radical. We are embarrassing ourselves.


I can't do this anymore. CO2 was our Iraq War of lies and fear mongering.

Does anyone else feel bad about condemning childrent to DEATH BY CO2? It's not progressive. Let's move on, PLEASE!!!!!


The Heretic

The Guardian has an interesting article about two new shows about to open in London's West End.

The National Theatre's Greenland will attempt to give an overview of the dangers posed by climate change and will broadly support the idea, shared by the vast majority of scientists, that global warming is occurring because humans have been pumping more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. By contrast, The Heretic, at the Royal Court, will provide support for those who deny mankind is causing climate change.

The Heretic sounds quite interesting...

The play, by Richard Bean – whose work includes the National's English People Very Nice – is described as a black comedy by the Royal Court, though it refused to discuss the show with the Observer. "The Heretic obviously discusses global warming and climate change but it's much more of a discussion/debate as to what it means to be a scientist and the subject of empiricism," said a spokesman.

The show has a home page here, although I'm not sure they have quite the right visuals to go with it.


Baroness Buscombe

Now here's a thing. Do you remember the various Press Complaints Commission decisions that have interested us sceptics in recent years? There was the Sunday Times sudden and rather odd decision to take down the Amazongate article apparently under PCC pressure. The other one that comes to mind is the highly odd decision that climate change is not a matter relating to current public policy.

So would it surprise you to know that Baroness Buscombe, the chairman of the PCC, is also vice-chairman of GLOBE UK? That's `Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment', for those of you who don't remember. She has occupied the latter position since 2007.

It's a very small world, isn't it?


Greenery BC

More evidence that greens are in retreat, with candidates for the premier's job in British Columbia sounding distinctly cool on the idea of ever-increasing green taxes.

If there was any doubt that the climate-change push is in retreat, have a look at the race in British Columbia to replace outgoing Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell.

Candidates for the premier's job are raising questions about whether the province should rethink its climate-change program, one of the most aggressive in North America.

It's the first positive sign for business that B.C. is not going to continue to strike out on its own with environmental regulation and put large sectors of its economy at a severe disadvantage.



Toronto Sun on Climate Files

Lorrie Goldstein of the Toronto Sun asks if maybe climate science shouldn't be just a bit more open, and citing Fred Pearce's The Climate Files as evidence. The tone of the article is interesting, with Goldstein noting that Pearce is not a "denier", but pointing out his criticisms of the climatology community's failure to check its findings.

As well as taking pot shots at climatology peer review, he also has things to say about the Climategate inquiries:

Simply having panels of sympathetic academics (or politicians) take a cursory look at the work of climate scientists and pronounce it sound — what happened following Climategate — doesn’t cut it.


Josh 65


A smear piece

The main target of Adrian Kelleher's article in Ireland's Village magazine appears to be Richard Tol, with Ian Plimer referred to as a "fraud" for good measure.