If the science is settled, why do we need all these people working at it?

By | ABC, Climate Change, Environment, History, Language, Media, Politics, Religion, Research | 47 Comments

I had hoped to spend more of my time and energy on subjects other than ‘climate change’, apart from completing my ‘perspective’ summary. But in the last few days there has been some ‘news’ in this domain, and this  post is devoted to it. I begin with the email that the CEO of CSIRO, Dr Larry Marshall, sent to his staff, letting them know that about 350 jobs would be terminated, a lot of them in the ‘climate change’ area. That was bad enough , as far as climate botherers were concerned. But it was his rationale that really stirred…

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My perspective on ‘climate change’ and global warming. 3. The core argument behind the AGW scare

By | Climate Change, Environment, History, Language, Media, Politics, Religion, Research | 14 Comments

In this third essay I want to illuminate the several strands of the core argument behind the notion that global warming is dangerous for humanity, as well as threatening for other residents in the eco-system of the planet. In my first venture into the debate (A Cool Look…) I summarised the 2008 AGW proposition like this: Human activity in burning coal and oil, and clearing forests has, over the past century, put an enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere where it has combined with water vapour and other gases like methane to increase global temperatures in an unprecedented way. The evidence…

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Is it time for the Republic of Australia?

By | ABC, History, Media, Politics, Society | 23 Comments

Australia Day produced a small flurry of republican sentiment, with the Prime Minister and all the Premiers and Chief Ministers save one (Colin Barnett in WA) agreeing that it was time for us to think seriously about the coming Republic of Australia. I thought about it seriously for thirty seconds or so. I don’t think it’s likely to happen in my lifetime, not a great deal of which is probably left. So it is a matter that I can leave cheerfully to the good sense of the Australian people, at the time of their choosing. I suppose I would care if the style were changed to…

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My perspective on ‘climate change’ and global warming. 2. A chronology of the scare

By | Climate Change, Education, Environment, History, Media, Politics, Religion, Research, Society | 39 Comments

In this second essay about my perspective on global warming I step back to provide a chronology. An interest in weather and its variability is part of our culture, and may even be embedded in the human psyche. It continues to be important to know when it rained last year, when floods come, how long droughts last, and so on. Human societies are vulnerable to changes in the weather, and even more to changes in climate (meaning, the average of weather over thirty years — the current conventional definition). Rome got its bread from the wheat grown on the North African shores on…

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What is Australia Day for?

By | ABC, Education, History, Indigenous, Media, Politics, Religion, Research | 41 Comments

As Australia Day approached I kept getting new messages about what it was about. One was that it would cause the largest number of claimed ‘sickies’ every recorded by Australian employers on Monday, because the holiday fell on Tuesday. Another was that I would show myself as a true Australian by having a barbecue in the backyard, having bought the right tools from a hardware store. Another said I should be eating lamb on Australia Day. Yet another, from Adam Gilchrist, a former Australian of the Year, was that I could do almost anything (I think), as long as I stopped…

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My perspective on ‘climate change’ and global warming. 1: History

By | Other | 36 Comments

About ten years ago I began to read widely in the area of ‘the environment’ for a book I was then writing about Australia’s next fifty years. It soon became clear to me that I would have to deal with the apparent threat of global warming, which was much in the news from Greens and the Left generally. The more I read the more unhappy I felt. While global warming was not a field in which I had any competence, years of reading scientific papers and assessing scientists’ requests for money for research had given me some capacity to interrogate argument and…

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What should we do about the United Nations?

By | ABC, Climate Change, Health, History, Media, Politics, Society | 55 Comments

The CoP21 meeting held in Paris at the end of last year, about which I wrote at the time, must have been the largest international meeting ever held, with the total attendance  approaching 50,000 ‘delegates’ and hangers-on, including 3,000 journalists. The numbers about attendance keep appearing. I was pleased that Australia’s contingent seems to have been reasonably modest. Canada’s, at 383 (including several photographers), was apparently larger than those of the USA, UK and Australia put together. In Justin Trudeau the Canadians appear to have their very own home-grown version of Kevin Rudd. The whole show prompted me to look again at the…

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The first for 2016

By | Climate Change, History, Politics, Religion, Research | 94 Comments

I start with a bit of housekeeping. The website began on 16 July 2012, with a post explaining why I was going down this path. It drew no comments, but the next one, on the carbon tax, drew three. Since then there have been just over 700 posts, which is a lot of writing — I’d estimate 750,000 words. And there have been nearly 6,000 comments. In all, 48,000 unique individuals have come to the site, for 130,000 sessions, with 320,000 page-views — on average, each visitor reads 2.5 pages, or two-and-a-half posts. Each post seems to attract about one-third new…

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The best summary of the ‘climate change’ issue I have read for a long time

By | ABC, Climate Change, Environment, History, Language, Politics, Religion, Research | 20 Comments

This is my last post for the year, and given that ‘climate change’ has been the dominant theme in 2015, and that the Paris Agreement has been accepted, at least in Paris, I thought I would finish the year with a simple piece on the ‘climate change’ issue. Most of it is the text of the verbal remarks that Professor Judith Curry made to a Senate Committee she was delivering her testimony to in early December. There’s nothing new in it, but she said it accessibly and well. For those who don’t know who she is, Professor Curry is probably…

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After Paris — what now?

By | ABC, Environment, History, Language, Media, Politics, Religion, Research | 13 Comments

I decided that I would write nothing about the Paris Conference of the Parties (CoP) meeting until there was an outcome, on the ground that I am not a theatre critic, and that I was not in Paris. That outcome occurred over the weekend. My own expectations have been first, that nothing of consequence would occur and second, that whatever the outcome it would be hailed as an outstanding success. Indeed, no one voted against the Draft Proposal, which was adopted, so that was in line with my expectations. I’ve now read the Draft Proposal and the Annex. The Draft could be submitted to the…

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