A dark age coming

The headline story in The AFR today begins:

The federal government has slammed plans by business to go it alone on climate and energy policy but industry leaders are holding their ground and have the backing of Labor and the Greens.

It’s a new world out there.

Meanwhile, in the US: Is The Fed Trying To Tank The Trump Economy Before The Midterms? Want to breed uncertainty? Try this on for size:

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he still favors the central bank raising short-term interest rates three more times before deciding whether more increases will be necessary to keep the economy on an even keel.

This suggests the Federal Reserve should lift rates at its December, March and June policy meetings “unless something changes,” Mr. Kaplan said Tuesday in a Wall Street Journal interview.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said then that rates remain low enough to continue stimulating economic growth. But according to the Wall Street Journal other officials have expressed a range of views, and some uncertainty, about how high rates would have to go to reach a so-called neutral level that neither spurs nor slows growth.

A COMMENT ON RISING RATES: I have been asked about rising rates in the comments. And as I have said in the past, rates have been too low for too long which has lowered the productivity of our array of investments. The issue is not whether rates should rise – they should – but whether they should rise now immediately before an election. The effect on share markets was obvious enough. Front-page treatment of a falling market can move voter sentiment, specially the way it can be played on by the media. The Fed kept rates down throughout the Obama presidency and there was never any doubt it would push them up once PDT was elected. Optics is all, and even if the adjustments brought on by higher rates are positive for the economy, it may not look that way to anyone who is paying out more on their mortgages or small-business loans.

The most ignorant highly educated fools in history

This is from Campus Review: What Scott Morrison doesn’t get about most of the voting public. And what he doesn’t get is that they are ignorant fools. Here’s the text:

When now-Prime Minster Scott Morrison brought a lump of coal into parliament in 2017, pleading “don’t be afraid, don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you,” he made a critical error. That is, assuming he wants the Coalition to retain power at the next federal election.

That’s because to Generations X (b. 1961–81) and Y (b. 1981–96), which together comprise the largest segment of the voting public, combating climate change is their priority.

Australia’s generational spread, per 2016 Census data. Photo: ABC

This is a key finding of the University of Melbourne’s Life Patterns report, released this week.

The longitudinal study, which followed a cohort that left high school in 1991 and another that left in 2006, further revealed that although they both cared about minimising the use of coal, they did so for different reasons. Gen-Xers generally worried about their children’s health, whereas Gen-Yers tended to want to protect future generations.

Report co-author Dr Julia Cook, Research Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, explained how the researchers reached this conclusion.

“In 2017, we asked participants to nominate the three most important issues facing Australia.

“One major issue unites both generations: concerns about the environment and climate change …

“… Both groups consistently expressed grave concerns about the general lack of action towards climate change mitigation from the current government.”

Among Gen-Xers (now aged 43-44), women were almost twice as likely to think this than men, yet among Gen-Yers (now aged 28-29), men predominantly held this view, albeit by a slim margin: 40 per cent compared to 34 per cent.

“We’re not going to have air to breathe soon,” a mother living in a country town said.

A father living in a rural area was equally alarmed: “Climate change could ruin their [his children’s] lives and our governments are not acting.”

The other issues the groups aired tended to reflect their respective life stages. For instance, Gen-Yers were concerned about jobs and housing affordability, while Gen-Xers were anxious about the cost of living and education – a worry potentially exacerbated by Scott Morrison’s independent and Catholic schools funding announcement on Thursday.

I actually think this is reasonably accurate. These people will bring on a collapse of our civilisation – their civilisation – and never know what happened. And then by some coincidence, this was in The Oz today: Labor’s mining of millennials’ envy is a cynical ploy that may work. There you find:

Labor’s delusion that government is better able to order economic affairs than markets has cost Australian taxpayers tens of billion dollars over the decade. Its legacy includes unplanned and unwanted school buildings, the National Broadband Network, an unreliable and expensive electricity system and debt that will pass to the next generation, and possibly the one after that.

Yet Labor is doubling down. Bill Shorten is campaigning on the party’s least diluted socialist platform since Gough Whitlam. He promises intrusive government, and more steeply progressive tax. He will re-regulate the Labor market and hand back more power to the unions.

He will attack private health insurance and penalise self-funded retirees. He will throw more money at public schools and public health under the pretence of improving services.

He will resume subsidies to wind and solar farms, bringing more pain to consumers.

Economic freedom fighters like Uber and Airbnb will face a torrid time. Labor’s addiction to regulate, combined with the trade union movement’s determination to keep every worker within their grasp, will bring down the curtains on the sharing and gig economies.

Which sums up to this:

Labor’s politics of envy has a subliminal appeal to millennials. Winding back negative gearing or capital gains concessions for investors appeals to their grievances, even though its effect will be to tighten the rental property market on which most of them depend.

Higher education on demand has inflated career expectations for some. A significant proportion find themselves employed in jobs for which they are over-qualified, on paper at least.

The Opposition Leader is relying on these voters to get him home.

Mis-educated by design, perhaps, but with no actual knowledge – both among the teachers and the taught – the tragic result.

So why are we the last to know?

There’s an old story I heard when I first came to Australia about how the original inhabitants of Tasmania had lost the art of fishing, so lived on an island surrounded by water but never ate the fish that swam in the oceans around them. So one day others may tell of a people who inhabited an island made out of coal but chose to drive their electricity using windmills while running water up hill. In this vein, let me draw the following to your attention, from The Wall Street Journal: Climate change is over. There at the start we find this:

No, I’m not saying the climate will not change in the future, or that human influence on the climate is negligible. I mean simply that climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue. All that remains is boilerplate rhetoric from the political class, frivolous nuisance lawsuits, and bureaucratic mandates on behalf of special-interest renewable-energy rent seekers.

Judged by deeds rather than words, most national governments are backing away from forced-marched decarbonization. You can date the arc of climate change as a policy priority from 1988, when highly publicized congressional hearings first elevated the issue, to 2018. President Trump’s ostentatious withdrawal from the Paris Agreement merely ratified a trend long becoming evident.

This is a trillion-dollar issue, that if you get it wrong, will lower living standards by substantial amounts for a generation at least and potentially more. From the same kinds of people who brought you Venezuela, the climate change spectre has made some people rich, has made obscure academics in obscure corners of the world of research famous and wealthy, has scared no end of our citizens about some possible rising of the oceans and an over-heated planet fifty years into the future, but has not produced a single verifiable fact about the climate.

If no one else is shooting themselves in the foot, then why are we? It’s time to stop, and return to burning coal and start building nuclear power stations just like everyone else.

How to spot a climate crank at a 100 paces

climate cult

There are some cults you spot right away, such as the Hari Krishnas who are found on the footpath everywhere. And then there are the cults that spring up in the most surprising places, like the cult of global warming. This is a guest post at Watt’s Up with That: The ‘Cult’ of Climate Change (née Global Warming). There are lots of such cults which are forms of supposedly settled science whose only value is that they provide a carte blanche to government cronyism. They also provide for their adherents a feeling that they are in the know, and even when they are a majority, a belief that they have special insight into the actual way things are unavailable to others. There is not a subject area in which they are not found. The article gives you a means to spot them when they are associated with climate absolutism. This is how the article begins:

This is the opinion of Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever , Prof. Richard Lindzen, and many others. Climate change alarmism has a surprising number of attributes of a medieval or even ancient religion. Nevertheless, real religions have some pre-requisites, like a tradition spanning at least few generations. So the proper name for climate alarmism is a cult. And these are the telltale attributes.

Now go read the rest.

What makes you think global warming types care about facts?

alan moran climate change the facts

I am happy to find that the facts are with the sceptics, but I wouldn’t be all that sure that the politics are as well. Tim Blair wrote a brief note the other day on He Continues to Believe, the he being Chris Bowen and the belief being climate change. Here’s the core:

Evidently enjoying his time in opposition and wishing to extend it, Labor’s Chris Bowen revives the carbon tax:

We continue to believe firstly that climate change is real.

Secondly, that it’s caused by humankind and thirdly, the best way of dealing with it is a price on carbon.

We continue to believe that, and that will be reflected in our detailed policy that we announce and seek a mandate to implement.

Really, Chris? A mandate for the carbon tax? That’ll be a first. Of course, this is less about saving the planet than it is about saving inner-city Labor seats from metastasising Greens. Look for Labor in coming elections to form an alliance with the Arts Party. Whatever; here’s some timely news for Bowen on the sainted occasion of his carbon quest renewal:

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.

Whatever Chris does or does not believe – and he may be as sceptical as any of us – he knows where the votes are. The biggest mistake is to believe that carbon taxes and global warming hysteria is election poison. I watch the Coalition’s climate man in action, and no sceptic he. Facts on the left are mere confetti, to be tossed in the air when you have some and ignored when you don’t.

What does science have to do with real world facts?

In the mail, so to speak, I was sent this from the Mail on Sunday last month: Why my own Royal Society is wrong on climate change: A devastating critique of world’s leading scientific organisation by one of its Fellows. Here is the gist of it in the first few paras:

Five years ago, I was one of 43 Fellows of the Royal Society – the first and arguably still the most prestigious scientific organisation in the world – who wrote to our then-president about its approach to climate change. We warned that the Society was in danger of violating its founding principle, summed up in its famous motto ‘Nullius in verba’ – or ‘Don’t take another’s word for it; check it out for yourself’.

The reason for our warning was a Society document which stated breezily: ‘If you don’t believe in climate change you are using one of the following [eight] misleading arguments.’

The implication was clear: the Society seemed to be saying there was no longer room for meaningful debate about the claim that the world is warming dangerously because of human activity, because the science behind this was ‘settled’. . . .

Yet the Society continues to produce a stream of reports which reveal little sign of this. The latest example is the pre-Christmas booklet A Short Guide To Climate Science. Last year also saw the joint publication with the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of Climate Change: Evidence And Causes, and a report called Resilience. Through these documents, the Society has lent its name to claims – such as trends towards increasing extreme weather and climate casualties – that simply do not match real-world facts.

Oh those real world facts. Why should that get in the way of anything? These people are doing a bang up job of demonstrating that science is where the truth is. Because this is from The Daily Mail today: Our climate models are WRONG: Global warming has slowed – and recent changes are down to ‘natural variability’, says study. If the facts don’t allow you to use your models to reach the conclusions you want to reach, just get another model. Watch how it’s done:

To test these, [the research team] created a new statistical model based on reconstructed empirical records of surface temperatures over the last 1,000 years.

‘By comparing our model against theirs, we found that climate models largely get the ‘big picture’ right but seem to underestimate the magnitude of natural decade-to-decade climate wiggles,’ Brown said.

‘Our model shows these wiggles can be big enough that they could have accounted for a reasonable portion of the accelerated warming we experienced from 1975 to 2000, as well as the reduced rate in warming that occurred from 2002 to 2013.’

‘Statistically, it’s pretty unlikely that an 11-year hiatus in warming, like the one we saw at the start of this century, would occur if the underlying human-caused warming was progressing at a rate as fast as the most severe IPCC projections,’ Brown said.

In other words, it doesn’t actually matter what happens in the real world, climate change is happening. And it’s not an 11-year hiatus, it’s now up to 17, but that too, I’m sure, fits into the data. There is, in fact, the way this has gone on, no observation that we can apparently make that is inconsistent with a prior belief in global warming.

Of course, the interesting part is why they so desperately want the planet to be warming, and why they want this warming to be man-made. Methinks there may be other agendas running, not least amongst which is a desire for more grant money to look into this problem further. But the anti-free-market agenda no doubt remains the top priority, as my own model conclusively shows.

[Thanks to Des for sending the Royal Society story along.]

You can see why UKIP is starting to win seats

BEFORE . . .

white van

How insufferable these people are! This was the front page of The Age a couple of days ago: UK Tories slam Tony Abbott on climate policy.

The attitude of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the global challenges of climate change is “eccentric”, “baffling” and “flat earther”, according to a group of senior British Conservatives.

The group, including Prime Minister David Cameron’s Minister for Energy and a former Thatcher Minister and chairman of the Conservative Party, says Mr Abbot’s position on climate change represents a betrayal of the fundamental ideals of Conservatism and those of his political heroine, Margaret Thatcher.

In a series of wide-ranging, separate interviews on UK climate change policy with The Age, they warn that Australia is taking enormous risks investing in coal and will come under increasing market and political pressure to play its part in the global battle against climate change.

I never read about such people without thinking they are intrinsically dull witted. To be taken in by such obvious flim flan is not a recommendation for someone in public life.

And then there’s Labour. The picture shows a white van in front of a house with the flag of St George all across the front. The flag is the flag of England; the white van is a common symbol of the working class English typically used in a snide sort of way. And it was posted by the Labour shadow attorney-general – who no longer is the shadow attorney-general – as an example of the idiocy she seemed to find in the English for loving England. The complete story:

A little background is needed here: In England, “White van man” is a contemptuous term for a delivery driver, who is seen as representative of the working class. Class hatreds are ferocious in England but are usually denied. The other thing you need to know is that the St George flag has become a common emblem for English patriotism and opposition to immigration. And the party expected to win the by-election (UKIP) is an anti-immigration pary, so the picture in effect said: “Only the despised working class vote for UKIP”. And for a Labour Party MP to show contempt for the workers is fatal. In only a matter of hours she had to resign from her front-bench job. She is a former barrister (Trial Lawyer), who sent her children to private schools — so it is highly probable that her tweet did indeed reflect snobbish views.

People are quite partial to their own countries, which carry their own traditions and history. Progressive internationalists of all parties may yet – I can only hope – find themselves up against a buzzsaw of opposition to the many attempts by our political elites to open our borders and sever these connections with our own past.


ukip rochester result

Obama knows so little about so much

This is what you don’t get in the mainstream press in the United States:

THE Queensland government, as host of last weekend’s G20 ­summit, is incensed over what it sees as an ill-informed, insulting speech from Barack Obama about climate change, the Great Barrier Reef and coal.

The idea that there might be an ounce of honesty in what Obama says or does is one of those myths that will not die. He has only one ambition, which is to do down our way of life and wreck it as comprehensively as he can. His mentor was Saul Alinski, his closest associate was the “weatherman” Bill Ayers, and he sat in the front pew of Reverend Wright’s church for twenty years. And if that doesn’t convince you, why don’t you just look at his economic, immigration, defence and foreign policies. Is it just chance, do you think, that every single thing he has done has made matters worse?

I only wish that being insulting and ill-informed was the worst of it. It is also interesting to see the issue of climate change and energy come up in this same story.

Tony Abbott told the G20 session that the “four-fifths” of the ­developed world that had used fossil fuels for economic growth could not now deny “the other fifth” ­access to coal to generate electricity for the hundred million people who were without it.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi picked up on the theme yesterday in his speech to federal parliament, calling for new-generation energy “that does not cause our glaciers to melt”. . . .

French President Francois Hollande, the host of the Paris climate change conference next year, spoke for eight minutes exclusively on climate change. Mr Modi talked of the need for access to electricity for the world’s poor.

Meanwhile the ill-informed President of the United States brought this message with him:

Mr Obama said on Saturday that climate change “here in ­Australia” means “longer droughts, more wildfires” and “the incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened”.

He knows so little about so much.

What’s the right word for people dumb enough to believe the planet is warming?

There is about as much evidence that the planet is warming because of human activity as there is that Yuri Geller can bend spoons with the power of his mind. This, too, has been validated by scientists and here is a not untypical example:

Professor Victor Weisskopf physicist who studied under Niels Bohr worked on the A bomb and over saw the development of European atom smashers.

“I was shocked and amazed how Mr Geller bent my office key at MIT while I was holding it. The sturdy key kept bending in my hand; I can not explain this phenomenon I can only assume that it could relate could relate to quantum chromo dynamics”.

The credulous stupidity of half the population on AGW is something that those of us who have not succumbed to this mania can merely observe but find almost impossible to explain. But like Professor Weisskopf, Professor Michael Mann, the notorious fraud and inventor of the hockey schtick, remains an authority to those with the will to believe.

What we therefore need is a term of abuse for those who help to perpetuate this fraud.

If people who refuse to accept the planet is warming are called “deniers” by those ill-informed enough to be certain about something that still seems very unlikely, then what should we call those who accept climate change in the face of all evidence to the contrary? I will open this for debate, but at the moment “gullibles” is the word I have come up with which I admit is not perfect. Nevertheless, the concept seems accurate even if the word does not. Here is the online definition of “gullible” which includes the synonyms found in bold below so there is something to the concept and it does seem to fit. The example of its usage, shown in italics, is also just as found on the net which also seems to be a perfect fit.

easily persuaded to believe something; credulous.
“an attempt to persuade a gullible public to spend their money”
synonyms: credulous, over-trusting, over-trustful, trustful, easily deceived/led, easily taken in, exploitable, dupable, deceivable, impressionable, unsuspecting, unsuspicious, unwary, unguarded, unsceptical, ingenuous, naive, innocent, simple, inexperienced, unworldly, green, as green as grass, childlike, ignorant


As it says here, by definition if you are gullible you are “easily deceived or cheated” and also “easily taken in or tricked”. That is therefore no doubt why such people persistently vote for the parties of the left.