The March Off-Topic Thread

By March 5, 2018Other

I have had a busy few days, hence the delay. This thread is for observations and comments that are not related to the current essay. I note that the Northern Hemisphere has had a particularly nasty winter in many parts, and it is not yet over. I’ll post a reference or two here shortly.

Join the discussion 94 Comments

  • Neville says:

    Dr Roy Spencer has posted the UAH V 6 LT FEB temp anomaly. There has been another global drop from JAN 0.26 c to FEB 0.20 c.

  • Neville says:

    Prof Jim Steele looks at the lack of proper auditing of groundwater data attribution in relation to SLR.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Here is Emma Alberici’s original text.

    Do our corporate capitalists think they control public discourse so much that they want such opinion censored behind the scenes?

    Mitch Fifield, the Communications Minister, said:

    “This coverage contains multiple factual errors and misrepresentations in breach of the ABC’s editorial standards. It is neither fair, balanced, accurate nor impartial. It fails to present a balance of views on the corporate tax policy…

    [The stories] “display a lack of understanding about the tax system, and … failed to accurately present the facts or range of views on this issue with appropriate balance.”

    So what were the multiple factual errors?

    What were the misrepresentations?

    Why winge about “fair, balanced, accurate nor impartial” if the Alberici view was never covered by capo-media outlets such as Aust. Fin. Review?

    Alberici argued, with evidence, that business dogmas about tax cuts causing more jobs was false.

    Thanks heavens we have the ABC otherwise we would only be getting one view from Mitch Fifield and his corporate and media mates.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Poor ol’ blith hasn’t got any idea of economics or Co tax and refuses to learn.

      Guess why some companies don’t pay tax, blith?

      When Auntie has had it so good for so long under Turnbull, they are smart enough to realise when they overstep even his slack limits.

      • Tezza says:

        The core factual error was to treat the company tax that ought be paid as a product of the statutory corporate tax rate applied to an imaginary corporate tax base created arbitrarily in Ms Alberici’s imagination: essentially, company revenue. That error was not in the first instance of Ms Alberici’s creation, but rather embedded in the misleading sources she selectively chose to cite.
        In contrast, Parliament has legislated, over many governments of different political persuasions, for the tax due from companies to be a product of the statutory corporate tax rate and the statutorily defined corporate tax base of taxable income: roughly speaking, assessable income minus the expenses necessarily incurred in producing it, including such statutorily defined deductions as depreciation on capital. The tax law defines also how to treat over time losses that caused negative taxable income in any one accounting period. Why would any company pay tax on any other basis that what Parliament legislated? Why would they instead choose to pay some entirely different amount, in contrast to their legal obligations, and emerging solely from Ms Alberici’s imagination?
        Interestingly, the PM’s complaint was only a slight improvement on Alberici’s nonsense, as it claimed the company tax rate was applied to the base of company profit. (If that were true, the Income Tax Assessment Act would be much slimmer than it is – perhaps a good idea, but not the law that Parliament has passed.)
        So the core point is that Alberici constructed a rather florid piece of agitprop based on her dream of the company tax system whe would like, rather than the statutory system we actually have.
        Is that a big enough factual error for you? It clearly was the underpinning of an analysis that was neither accurate, fair, balanced or impartial.

        • Chris Warren says:


          Can you please cite the argument Alberici used to argue for:

          “an imaginary corporate tax base created arbitrarily in Ms Alberici’s imagination: essentially, company revenue.”

          What is the evidence that her sources embed a tax base essentially, company revenue?

  • Neville says:

    Another Green loony bites the dust in Germany. But why did they hire this fool in the first place? Still a bit like bolting the door after the Green loons have done their damage.
    And many more billions $ to be wasted here in OZ if the Labor and Green fanatics have their way. Of course this idiocy will have no measurable change by 2100 at all.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Only loons cry loon.

      Only fanatics cry fanatics.

      You do not strengthen weak arguments with strong language.

      You just guarantee you will be ignored.

  • Neville says:

    Dr Jennifer Marohasy responds to last nights 4 Corners program on their ABC.

    “Sarah Ferguson and Michael Brissenden Withhold Important Information from the Australian Public Concerning Climate Change”
    By jennifer on March 6, 2018 in Information

    “Australian politicians, and the media they sponsor, have been throwing their hands in the air and screaming unprecedented climate change – particularly over the last two weeks. A focus has been on the record number of new record hot days. But in all of this, there is no mention that the method used to actually measure hot days has changed.

    This week’s Four Corners program began by interviewing Karl Braganza from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Braganza explained that it is really only since the 1990s that we have started to see the extreme heat. What he didn’t mention is that a totally new method of measurement came into effect on 1 November 1996 – with the transition continuing, so each new year, new weather stations have their mercury thermometer replaced with an electronic probe taking one-second spot readings.

    For example, the Bureau claimed a new record hottest day for September for the state of Victoria on 23 September 2017, which was actually a one-second spike from an electronic probe installed in June 2012. The Bureau reported this as the hottest September day back to 1889. Yet back in 1889 a completely different method was being used to measure maximum daily temperatures at Mildura.

    According to Guinness World Records, a record must be standardisable and verifiable. Yet the new record from Mildura was not measured according to world standards of calibration for the use of electronic probes which specifies that one-second readings be averaged over at least one minute. Meanwhile this questionable data is being used to justify ever more expenditure on Australia’s perceived climate catastrophe – without any questioning by leading Australian journalists Michael Brissenden or Sarah Ferguson, who presented Monday night’s program that lamented the new record hot days.

    In not reporting that the incidence of “extreme heat” corresponds with a change in how maximum temperatures are measured, these two journalists, Brissenden and Ferguson, have withheld important information from the Australian public.

    Given the new, very different, method of measuring temperatures, it would be assumed that there are dozens of reports published by the Bureau that document how comparable the measurements from electronic probes have proven at different locations, and under different conditions. Yet there are none!

    The Bureau claims, when asked, that temperatures from its electronic probes and traditional mercury thermometers are comparable – without providing any actual evidence. My analysis of temperature data from Mildura indicates that there is a statistically significant different – with the first probe (in place from 1996 to 2000) recording too cool, and subsequent probes too warm relative to the mercury thermometer (often by up to 0.4 degrees Celsius).

    I have been attempting to bring this to the attention of the media, particularly the ABC for some months. But their journalists turn-away. They don’t want any scrutiny of this much revered institution, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

    Even in the Australian parliament there is a closing-of-ranks. Rather than consider my evidence, Monday before last Senators Richard Di Natale and Anne Urquhart from the Australian Greens claimed that the questions I have been raising about the integrity of the temperature data amounted to ‘climate denial’ and harassment of the Bureau’s CEO, Andrew Johnson.

    In reality, my few emails to Johnson have focused on the single issue of how temperatures are measured, which really has nothing whatsoever to do with denying climate change. Indeed, if we are to accurately quantify the magnitude of global warming, then the integrity of the temperature databases is paramount. Yet the number of documented anomalies continues to grow – as does the indifference of our political class”.

    “Sarah Ferguson introducing Michael Brissenden on Monday night’s ABC Four Corner’s program that ostensibly reported on climate change. Four Corner’s is a publicly funded news program, that claims to be investigative. On Monday night it could be best described as climate porn, or climate propaganda with critical information withheld – perhaps through ignorance”.

    • David says:

      Nev what Dr Marohasy (and you) need too appreciate is that these farmers are looking to make a profit. These farmers have seen the money she has hemorrhaged accepting dud bets against global warming, and have decided to take some sensible precautions against AGW.

  • Chris Warren says:

    This is fake news.

    No one has been “throwing their hands in the air ”

    No one has been “screaming”.

    No one is with-holding information.

    It is easy to calibrate electronic probes to ensure comparability with mercury.

    If I was in the Bureau or a Member of Parliament, I would ignore all this self-glorifying internet fake controversy.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “It is easy to calibrate electronic probes to ensure comparability with mercury.”

      Then why don’t they settle it by doing just that?

      Make the process transparent and obvious?

      You know, blith, as per the scientific method?

      “If I was in the Bureau or a Member of Parliament, I would ignore all this self-glorifying internet fake controversy.”

      Yes, blith, it’s always better for those responsible to ignore it and let people suspect rather than audit and prove corruption.

      How astute you are.

  • Chris Warren says:

    So why all the fuss and censorship over Emma Alberici?

    Are our millionaires, protected by Turnbull, feeling guilty, threatened by a bit of honest reportage?

    Why are the Liberal heavies and their business mates trying to direct the ABC as to what they can report?

    Here is a review from

    “The ABC’s censorship of Emma Alberici in response to pressure from Malcolm Turnbull comes at a time when the national broadcaster’s mainstream media competitors are also increasingly failing to properly inform Australians.

    Far from being, as alleged by the ABC, too opinionated, Alberici’s piece (available here) is a collation of straightforward facts — levels of profit versus wages growth in recent years, the fact that few companies pay 30% tax, the high level of investment despite our “uncompetitive” tax rate, the minimal role tax plays in business investment decisions, the comparative performance of investment and wages in Australia, and Canada, where company tax rates were reduced significantly, the decline of real wages in the UK where company taxes were also cut, the Congressional Budget Office analysis showing Australia’s tax rate is relatively low compared internationally; the relatively negligible economic benefits identified in the government’s own modelling, the fact that we’re projected to remain in deficit for several years yet.

    Sure, there was a gratuitous targeting of the salary of Alan Joyce, but otherwise none of these facts are disputed. Indeed, they’re well-known. Crikey wrote about the Canadian and British experiences, and the CBO report, eleven months ago, and no one said boo. I’ve repeatedly asked the Business Council of Australia to explain why wages growth in the UK and Canada so significantly underperformed wages growth in Australia despite their cuts to company tax, and the BCA has refused to respond. Likewise, it’s noteworthy about the hysterical response to the article that no one disputed the facts. The Financial Review, which has led the attack on the ABC, today ran a piece it headlined “Our ABC perpetrates a tax fraud” that it claimed “debunked” Alberici’s work. It was a strange “debunking” — the piece skated over nearly all of the facts in Alberici’s piece and dismissed them as “anecdotes” and “red herrings” that the authors are “not buying” because they’re at odds with economic modelling.

    This is “fake news” territory, to insist that real-world evidence from other economies that have implemented the policy you’re defending is merely “anecdote”, while economic modelling — based on ridiculous assumptions like our lack of debt, and full employment — is a better guide to reality. Then again, the AFR was already deep into denial when it comes to tax cuts. There appears to be an editorial prohibition on any mention of the extraordinary level of share buybacks going on in the US fueled by Trump’s tax cuts — now running at more than twice the level they were a year ago. You’d think that the AFR, in seeking to make the investors who read it as well informed as possible, would regard the dramatic increase in share buybacks by some of the biggest companies in the world as newsworthy, but clearly not.

    The only “tax fraud” being perpetuated here is the one by the government, business and media cheerleaders like the AFR — the broad daylight transfer of over $60 billion from taxpayers to the world’s largest corporations under the verifiably false pretences that the money will be used to increase investment and wages. It’s a quite brilliant fraud, too: corporations don’t even have to hire an array of expensive tax lawyers like the Deloittes partner who wrote the AFR piece — they just have to chip in some money to Liberal and National Party coffers and get the politicians to do the heavy lifting of reducing their tax burden.

    Fairfax, the owner of the AFR, of course can print whatever denialism it likes about the company tax cuts it will benefit from, should it ever achieve regular profitability again. As corporations, media companies can say what they like, and long may they do so, even if as a result Australians have less trust in our country’s media than virtually any other people. The ABC is different. It is funded by taxpayers and is rightly held to much higher editorial standard than private media companies. That’s why it is by far Australia’s most trusted media outlet. But the decision to cave in to government pressure and censor one of its most senior journalists, coming just days after the extraordinary decision to hand back to the government a trove of cabinet documents without sharing them with its audience, will undermine that trust. The ABC is looking increasingly like a state, not a national, broadcaster.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    “The ABC is different. It is funded by taxpayers and is rightly held to much higher editorial standard than private media companies. That’s why it is by far Australia’s most trusted media outlet.”

    Oh, dear!!

    But it must be nice for blith to know that he is not the only deluded prog around.

    The ABC is different, all right.

    Where else would you find a national media outlet that doesn’t have one commentator to represent around 50% of the population?

    The last one who slightly did has moved to Channel 9.

  • Neville says:

    Here is a transcript of Bjorn Lomborg’s summary of the Paris COP 21 fra-d and con.

    “Much has been made of the Paris Climate Agreement signed by the leaders of 178 countries in 2016. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, speaking for many, called it a “historic turning point.”

    The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, echoed the minister’s remark when she testified before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The Paris Agreement was, she said, an “incredible achievement.” But when pressed by committee members to explain exactly how much this treaty would reduce global temperatures, she would not – or could not – say.

    This combination of grand pronouncements and vague specifics is a good strategy for Paris Agreement fans to take. Because the agreement will cost a fortune, but do little to reduce global warming.

    Consider the Obama administration’s signature climate policy, the Clean Power Plan. Using the same climate prediction model that the UN uses, I found that the power plan will accomplish almost nothing. Even if its cuts to carbon dioxide emissions are fully implemented – not just for the 14 years that the Paris Agreement lasts, but for the rest of the century – the Clean Power Plan would reduce the temperature increase in 2100 by just 0.023 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The President has made further, and grander, promises of future U.S. carbon cuts, but these are only vaguely outlined. In the unlikely event that all of these extra cuts also happen, and are adhered to throughout the rest of the century, the combined reduction in temperatures would be 0.057 degrees.

    To put it another way, if the U.S. delivers for the whole century on the President’s very ambitious rhetoric, it would postpone global warming by about eight months at the end of the century.

    Now let’s add in the rest of the world’s Paris promises. If we generously assume that the promised carbon cuts for 2030 are not only met (which itself would be a U.N. first), but sustained, throughout the rest of the century, temperatures in 2100 would drop by 0.3 degrees – the equivalent of postponing warming by less than four years. Again, that’s using the UN’s own climate prediction model.

    But here’s the biggest problem: These miniscule benefits do not come free; quite the contrary.

    The cost of the Paris climate pact is likely to run to 1 to 2 trillion dollars every year, based on estimates produced by the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum and the Asia Modeling Exercise. In other words, we will spend at least one hundred trillion dollars in order to reduce the temperature, by the end of the century, by a grand total of three tenths of one degree.

    Some Paris Agreement supporters defend it by claiming that its real impact on temperatures will be much more significant than the U.N. model predicts. But this requires mental gymnastics and heroic assumptions.

    The Climate Action Tracker, widely cited by Paris Agreement fans, predicts a temperature reduction of 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. But this prediction is based very heavily on the assumption that even stronger climate policies will be adopted in the future. Actually, 98% of the assumed reductions will come only after 2030, which is what the current Paris agreement covers. And even such wishful thinking won’t achieve anything close to the 2 degrees Celsius reduction that has become the somewhat arbitrary, but widely adopted, benchmark to avoid the worst effects of global warming. The actual promised emission reductions under the Paris agreement literally get us just 1 percent of the way to the 2 degrees target. 99 percent of what would be required is put off until after 2030.

    The Paris Agreement is the wrong solution to a real problem. The right solution will most likely be found through green-energy research and development, like that promoted by Bill Gates and the Breakthrough Coalition. Mr. Gates has announced that private investors are committing $7 billion for clean energy R&D.

    Instead of political hot air and ever-larger government subsidies of today’s inefficient green technologies, those who want to combat climate change should focus on dramatically boosting green energy innovation.

    The U.S. already shows the way. With its pursuit of fracking, making it safer and more efficient every year, America has drastically reduced the cost of natural gas. This momentous switch from coal to lower-CO2 gas as a source of energy has done far more to drive down carbon-dioxide emissions than any recent government climate policy.

    Turns out that those politicians who gathered in Paris, France, could learn a lot from Paris, Texas.”

    I’m Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.”

    Download a PDF of this Transcript

  • Sometimes you have to call a loon a loon! Deep Green loons are just about as looney as they come:)

  • spangled drongo says:

    We have just come to a wonderful agreement with East Timor to give them up to 80% of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields which were on 100% Australian mainland prior to recent sea level rise and separated from East Timor by the Timor Trench both then and now.

    If sea levels were as they were then, East Timor would not be entitled to anything.

    What is it about our island neighbours wringing us out over SLR?

    • dlb says:

      Using your argument about continental shelves, then PNG and West Papua should then be states of Australia? I can’t see that happening.

      I think Australia has been mean spirited over the gas fields, especially when East Timor is such a poor nation and we are so resource rich. We currently give them around $100M in aid each year. Wouldn’t it be better that they develop their own economy through exports such as gas rather than rely on handouts from us?

      • spangled drongo says:

        Sorry, dlb, that’s a flawed analogy of an agreed boundary.

        They can’t develop it themselves because that trench is a moving division of the two continental plates that prevents piping it across so we have to produce all the work and expense and provide them with the majority of the money.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Victoria’s Daniel Andrews agrees to give some workers [fire fighters and possibly other emergency workers] up to 195 days paid leave a year:

    “Analysis of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade enterprise bargaining agreement by the Herald Sun revealed provisions that allow fireys to be ­absent on pay for up to 196 days a year”

    I’ve been a voluntary Rural FB member for 30 years and never got a thing other than endless work and the joy of making donations.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Bye, bye glaciers …

    [Svalbard – Norway]

  • Chris Warren says:

    Interesting BoM chart showing Australian warming.

  • margaret says:

    “But then there is Amartya Sen.
    Every major work on material inequality in the 21st century owes a debt to Sen. But his own writings treat material inequality as though the moral frameworks and social relationships that mediate economic exchanges matter. Famine is the nadir of material deprivation. But it seldom occurs – Sen argues – for lack of food. To understand why a people goes hungry, look not for catastrophic crop failure; look rather for malfunctions of the moral economy that moderates competing demands upon a scarce commodity. Material inequality of the most egregious kind is the problem here. But piecemeal modifications to the machinery of production and distribution will not solve it. The relationships between different members of the economy must be put right. Only then will there be enough to go around.”

    • spangled drongo says:

      Do spare us the Marxist view of capitalism if you want to retain any cred, marg.

      You must surely recall how effective it has proved itself to be.

      • margaret says:

        Meaningless words from an absolute a-hole.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Do you know anything about Amartya Sen, marg?

          Like that he used to be a member of and be seriously involved in the same marxist group at Cambridge as Burgess and Maclean?

          Ever heard of them?

          Guy and Donald?


        • margaret says:

          Asked how he relaxes, he replies: “I read a lot and like arguing with people.” Wikipedia
          On that basis alone – my hero hahaha

    • Chris Warren says:

      Fascists oppose…

      “The relationships between different members of the economy must be put right.”

      Capitalists pretend that one day…

      “The relationships between different members of the economy must be put right.”

      Rednecks are unable to understand as several of the words have more than one syllable.

      • spangled drongo says:

        And neo-Marxists, meanwhile, don’t have a clue, hey, blith?

      • spangled drongo says:

        It doesn’t occur to a neo-M like our blith, that since the termination of our many Marxist empires in the 20th C our world population has exploded and yet there is more to go round than ever before.

  • margaret says:

    “Written in 1981, The Drover’s Boy tells the story of the relationship between a white drover and an Aboriginal woman. As Egan explains in the catalogue, the parity of such couplings is highly debatable, but these relationships were not uncommon in the heyday of Australia’s pastoral history.

    Marchant’s paintings illustrate the song, which is a series of reminiscences occasioned by the death of the Aboriginal woman, who everyone except the drover thought was a boy.

    Because such unions were illegal, the women were made to flatten their breasts with a scarf and dress like men.

    The paintings, like the song, are palatable versions of a very disquieting truth.

    As the song goes “Shoot the bucks, grab a gin/ Cut her hair, break her in”.

    Egan was moved by the number of Aboriginal women he met who had been “stockmen” and his words are affecting: “Remember the girl who was bedmate and guide/ Rode with the drover side by side,/ Watched the bullocks, flayed the hide, Faithful wife never a bride, Bred his sons for the cattle runs”.”

    • spangled drongo says:

      That’s pretty much rubbish, marg. Aboriginal girls are “broken in” by old Aboriginal men at a very early age. You obviously don’t pay attention to what’s still going on, and always has, at all the Aboriginal settlements, camps and communities.

      When I was an apprentice to an old Aboriginal rainmaker in the Channel Country he used to beg me to drive him to various branches of his tribe because he was beyond walking the hundreds of miles involved so he could be involved in this job of “breaking them in”.

      I used to write reams of correspondence to the various tribes [much better than smoke signals, he reckoned] on his behalf to organise various business and that was just part of it.

      These days it’s very young girls and young men as well and those girls are doing it a lot tougher than the “Drover’s Boy”.

      Two year old rape.

      Often having their second baby before they become teenagers.

      Drugs and alcohol make it much worse.

      White people have known about this since the beginning but preventing this from happening to little girls makes them the “stolen generations” so we turn a blind eye.

      Bess Price has tried to wise us up but we refuse to listen.

      • dlb says:

        With no knowledge of this and a complete outsider there may be truth in both what Marg and SD are saying.

        I would have thought young women could be acquired by white settlers by force, by mutual attraction, by buying them off, or possibly a gift in return for some favour. Of course the procurement of women for the first two reasons would create hostilities, but how prevalent was it? Also blacks working on, or receiving charity from white farms may have dropped many of their customs regarding sexual relations.

        Dressing young women up as boys to avert the gaze of authorities sounds plausible.

        I also don’t dispute what SD is saying about “breaking them in”.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “Dressing young women up as boys to avert the gaze of authorities sounds plausible.”

          Just hard to hide when they got pregnant.

          There has always been consideration for aboriginals from whites. I found this on the Bunya Pine. 1842 was the time that free settlers moved into Qld as you have mentioned, dlb, WRT Tamborine and Mundoolun stations:

          “Remarkably, all native stands of this tree were protected from logging by Crown decree, issued by Governor Gipps in 1842:

          It having been represented to the Governor that a district exists to the Northward of Moreton Bay in which a fruit-bearing Tree abounds, called Bunya, or Banya Bunya, and that the Aborigines from considerable distance resort at certain times of the year to this District for the purpose of eating the fruit of the said Tree:– His Excellency is pleased to direct that no Licenses [sic] be granted for the occupation of any Lands within the said District in which the Bunya or Banya Bunya Tree is found. And notice is herby given, that the several Crown Commissioners in the New England and Moreton Bay Districts have been instructed to remove any person who may be in the unauthorised occupation of Land whereon the said Bunya or Banya Bunya Trees are to be found His Excellency has also directed that no Licenses [sic] to cut Timber be granted within the said District (New South Wales Government Gazette 1842.04.14, quoted in Huth 2002).”

          In later years when tribes ceased to be myall and plantations arose elsewhere, the restriction was lifted and it was milled as a great resource.

  • spangled drongo says:

    And made the rest up himself. Which is fair enough. I have seen plenty of young aboriginal women in drovers camps but never as in that song.

    Your link only supports my claims.

    • Neville says:

      SD you’re spot on , but I don’t think you’ll change the fantasist’s point of view.
      Just like their CAGW these people believe in their fantasies about so called Aboriginal culture and are not interested in the real world.
      Fancy quoting Egan , gezzz give me strength.
      They should definitely listen to Bess Price and other concerned women who have the courage to tell the truth about these mongrels and their vile behaviour.

      • spangled drongo says:

        But we still must apologise for it regularly and keep increasing the handouts, Neville.

        If only people like our marg could force themselves to live in the real world.

        And stop being such hypocrites.

        Think of the money [and the little girls] it would save.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Of course, not on such urgent issues as global warming, but voters in Turkey and China have preferred dictatorships to democracy.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Global warming is hitting the Northern Hemisphere hard.

    And there are those denialists who think that the fact that disrupted weather is bringing cold air further south is good news.

  • Neville says:

    Jo Nova has a look at Flannery’s prophesy in 2007 that Perth would become a Ghost city. Unbelievable garbage from this rank amateur and Perth has boomed over the last 11 years as has WA.

    When will these fools wake up to these false prophets?

    Tim Flannery in 2007: after a two month crash course in climate change, the man was a prophet
    Flannery, Tim, Photo 2004, The West Australian.

    Tim Flannery, 2004, The West Australian.

    Flannery will be on Q&A tonight (bet you can’t wait, copy your questions and tweets below please!). Let’s check the exact wording of his original 2004 prediction that Perth would become a ghost town. It tells us something, not just about Flannery and a messiah complex (he really does talk of himself as an old testament prophet), but about journalism. Back then journalists interviewed critics too. Flannery was even called “alarmist” in 2004.

    The original story had the calm headline: “Perth Will Die, says Top Scientist”. That article has gone beyond the space time continuum, but thankfully, it was preserved by the Wayback Machine.

    Perth will become a ghost city within decades as rising global temperatures turn the Wheatbelt into a desert and drive species to the brink of extinction, a leading Australian scientist warns.

    –Carmelo Amalfi, The West Australian
    Perth in 2018, is wet, cool and productive and 30% larger:

    Dams are at their equal highest level at the end of summer since 2002, and Perth has 67 billion litres more than any year of the last seven. The desert seems to be shrinking, arid regions are 11% greener. A record grain crop last year was followed by a bumper one this year. Instead of being abandoned in the decade after Flannery’s prediction, WA had the fastest population growth rate in the nation getting a massive 25% larger from 2006-2016. Perth grew 28% in the same period.
    To bring back the rain, Flannery advised windmills to defeat “the enemy”:

    In years to come these will be seen as totems to the wind and sun gods:

    The South Australian Museum director and author of the best-selling The Future Eaters said a major shift from coal to renewable fuels such as solar and wind energy was needed in WA. “Coal is the enemy,” Dr Flannery said…

    In 2007 he was offered the chance to step back but Flannery went double or nothing, practically biblical:

    As temperatures around the world warmed by 2 to 7 per cent, [Per cent of what? — asks Jo] Sydney could glimpse its future by looking at the devastating impact that global warming had already had on Perth, which he said was likely to become a “ghost metropolis”.

    “There will be conditions not seen in 40 million years…”

    –Anne Davies, Sydney Morning Herald

    Perhaps “per cent” was a misprint. But 40 million years was not, and includes the formation of the Antarctic circumpolar current, super volcanoes, asteroid strikes, countless ice ages and millions of years of temperatures higher than present. The end of the last ice age saw a 125m sea level rise.

    Still it’s not like the man is a paleontologist… oh, wait.

    And what do we make of this 2007 admission? The man was billed as a “top scientist” in 2004, but in Feb 2007 he tells us he’s just spent two whole months reading about “climate change”.

    Dr Flannery said he had spent the past two months reading “everything I can get my hands on” about climate change, and had been horrified by what he had learnt.
    After a full nine week crash course, the man is a prophet:

    The next line after that:

    “I wake up in the morning thinking there are lots of times when people have woken up feeling like this, like the Old Testament prophets,” Dr Flannery said.

    “I try to find a way out of it, but I can’t. Its life-changing to realise what is going on.”

    –Anne Davies Sydney Morning Herald

    Flannery, expert on fossil mammals, offers his global geopolitical, physiological, and economic synopsis:

    “We are one of the most physically vulnerable people on the Earth,” Dr Flannery told the Herald.

    The dryness of the continent made it especially fragile in the face of climate change.

    “There may be a few worse places, like Bangladesh. But southern Australia is going to be impacted very severely and very detrimentally by global climate change.”

    Somehow a nation which is among the richest, with more square kilometers per person, more resources per capita than possibly anywhere on the planet, and on a stable landmass, and exporting food and coal, are “the most physically vulnerable people on Earth”. The journalist, Anne Davies, did not even question this or think it might be worth getting a second opinion.
    Archaic media: Back in the old days journalists would talk to critics too:

    In 2004, in a different era, when Carmelo Amalfi of The West, had the sensationalist headline “Perth Will Die” but still clung to the old fashioned anachronistic habit of getting an alternate view, in this case from Jorg Imberger, who called Flannery’s prediction “alarmist” (even though he seemed to believe the IPCC):

    Jorg Imberger, head of the University of WA’s centre for water research, agreed, saying the plant would produce about 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. “Building such a plant is the worst thing we can do when we have Yaragadee, with 1000 years of water in it,” he said from Singapore yesterday. But Dr Imberger said Dr Flannery was wrong to suggest WA was heading for an arid future when overall the world was getting wetter, not drier. He said his forecast was alarmist.
    It’s a simple world. Flannery appears to be a one-variable man:

    Hydrologists understand that streamflow and run off is determined by undergrowth, land clearing, evaporation rates, wind speed, etc. Flannery seems to think that only temperature matters. Warming means “less rain” which means “less run off” which means “death to flowers”:

    He said a global temperature rise of less than 1C last century had robbed the State of over half its annual rainfall run-off. Global temperature rises of up to 6C would transform Perth into an arid city unable to feed itself.

    A 1C rise was enough to wipe out an estimated two-thirds of WA’s native flowering plants.

    Another day I’ll do something on the issue of rainfall versus runoff in WA which is a whole ‘nother topic.

    For the moment, this is really about the media. Flannery doesn’t realize it, but he’s been hung out to dry by the failure of the media to ask sensible questions and interview informed critics. With better journalism, his wild, unresearched fantasies would have been ignored, or couched in sane terms with skeptical headlines. But the man has been walking the red carpet for years because he was so uninformed he could say the things that real experts couldn’t. He deserves the mocking he gets.

    We heard years ago from an insider at The Australian Greenhouse Office that he appeared to be a dejected man when he walked.
    More information:

    Warwick Hughes on Perth Catchments and water history (where the photo and original link came from).

    Wayback machine on dam storage in Perth
    Wayback machine on the Water Corp 2003

    If anyone knows a link to long term data on water storage in Perth (eg a monthly total for the last few decades) please add that in comments. The WA Water corp seems to prefer to “forget” data more than 4 – 8 years old. It must be there somewhere? Where are the long term graphs?

    *Edited – The end of the last ice age the seas rose 125m.

    **Edited, Anne Davies was the correct author of the SMH article not Louise Pemble. Apologies. Louise Pemble authored an article in 2007 about Flannery for PerthNow.
    Rating: 9.9/10

    • Chris Warren says:

      This is a typical slanderous attack on Flannery by denialists.

      Flannery’s comment in 2004 was;

      “My hypothesis is Perth will become a ghost metropolis over the next few decades unless governments acknowledge that global warming is a reality.”

      Not one cranky denialist has quoted him properly.

      You do not represent “next few decades” by the last 13 years and people should be encouraged to present their various hypotheses without being censored by wingeing denialists.

      Global warming is an average spatial and temporal event. You can always find cases which contradict any average and which denialists invariably wave around in their self-styled stupefaction.

      It may be that global warming increases water vapour and therefore rain and temperature. If so, what happens if this increasing does not stop?

      We end up with a world somewhat like the age of the dinosaurs.

  • Neville says:

    Chris you’re denying the bleeding obvious. A slightly warmer Sth OZ, Vic, SWWA and Southern OZ should see an increase in rainfall, not a decrease.
    In fact recent long term drought studies show much worse droughts over the last 1,000 years when Co2 was about 280 ppm. See Calvo et al and Vance et al for example and other long term studies like Prof De Deckker’s 20 years of work over southern OZ.
    Certainly Southern OZ and South OZ now have increased rainfall trends compared to the earlier 20th century record. So it seems that Flannery’s Co2 attribution for extended droughts is bogus nonsense, but I expect the religious fanatics will still twist and turn and deny logic and reason to describe the OZ rainfall record since 1900.
    But if some areas of Sth/Southern OZ now receive more rainfall, it stretches common sense to blame Co2 for less rainfall over SWWA and Tassie over the same period. That’s unless you truly believe that co2 is some magic molecule that acts like reverse fairy dust depending on where it settles?

    Here’s the SA and Southern OZ rainfall since 1900. Both have an increasing trend as does NSW, Qld, WA, NT, Nth OZ and Vic is line ball. Of course we now know that the last Mill drought was caused by positive+ neutral IOD over about an 18 year period of time. See UNSW study and their claim to have solved this enigma.

    IOW nothing to do with increased Co2 emissions. Flannery was wrong in 2007 and should be the last person that anyone should listen to now and into the future.

    • Chris Warren says:


      This is a lie.

      “Chris you’re denying the bleeding obvious. A slightly warmer Sth OZ, Vic, SWWA and Southern OZ should see an increase in rainfall, not a decrease.”

      I never, never, said a warmer Australia would decrease rainfall.

      Are you totally unable to listen to, or comprehend, what others are saying – unless it fits your preconception?

      So where is this “Flannery’s Co2 attribution for extended droughts is bogus nonsense,”?

      Have you, and your sect, misunderstood him yet again.

  • Neville says:

    Geezzz Chris, how do I make this simple for you?
    Flannery claimed that human Co2 emissions would turn Perth into a Ghost City, because rainfall would rapidly decrease.
    I’m saying the record since 1900 is a mixed bag for SA, SWWA, Vic Tassie and Southern OZ, therefore it is probably part of ocean oscillations like the IOD etc.

    And WA has an increased rainfall trend since 1900 and SWWA still has slightly higher rainfall than Vic, even though there has been a fall over the last 25 years.

    Be honest, Flannery’s claim that increased co2 emissions would lead to more devastating droughts is complete nonsense. Do you agree or not?
    Don’t forget he claimed that “even the rains that fall will not actually fill our dams and river systems.” Is Flannery correct or not, just look at the years of flooding all over the country since he made those stupid comments.

    BTW the last MDB flood was caused by the strong negative IOD in the Indian ocean. And this occurred during the strong 2016 el nino. . Here’s Flannery making his bizzare claims about our dams and river systems.

    • Chris Warren says:


      Making it wrong, does not make it easy for anyone except your branch of true believers.

      Flannery did not say:

      “rainfall would rapidly decrease.”

      This was your fabrication.

      Flannery said:

      “My hypothesis is Perth will become a ghost metropolis over the next few decades unless governments acknowledge that global warming is a reality.”

      I fully expect that as governments have now acknowledged global warming is a reality, that some steps may be taken to slow down such warming and prevent cities becoming a ghost metroplis.

      But if governments, recant on this acknowlegement or do nothing, then all humanity is at stakeand the globe may wellturn into a very wet, steamy unliveable environment or a over heated dry desert – or both.

      Your carping cries against Flannery are just your responding to the dog-whistles from Nova and Bolt.

      If you actually read the UNSW piece you alluded to, you would soon see, yet again, how little you understand the relevant material, and yet again your own source contradicts you.

      Please don’t bother posting rubbish from Bolt – no-one except a thin smear of nutters takes any notice – and boy don’t the nutters clap at his outpourings.

      • Neville says:

        Chris you really have problems and don’t understand how silly you seem trying to make sense of a person like Flannery and his dud forecasts.
        Bolt always refers to data and evidence when he argues his case and so does Jo Nova. Their ABC treats so much of their cause as a religion and totally ignore data and evidence and yet you’re still there cheering them on. Bolt was correct and the ABC was wrong and only a true believer would think otherwise.
        Flannery was clearly wrong about more droughts/ less rainfall in a warming world, but you seem to want 2 bob each way and just ignore his quotes or try and tell us he meant something else.
        Meanwhile global greening continues and 7.4 billion people now have a much higher standard of living and have a much higher life expectancy than at any time in history.
        Obviously we’re doing something right and if you can’t understand it that’s your problem, not mine.

        • Chris Warren says:


          You have not cited any real quote.

          Where did Flannery say: “…rapidly decrease”.

          or do you want to withdraw your claim?

          I have not said whether or not I agree with which of his statements.

          Bolt and Nova do not provide proper refereed evidence.

          • Neville says:

            As I said Chris you’ve got 2 bob each way. I’ve supplied the BOM rainfall data and I say that if the planet warms we can usually expect more precipitation.
            But this will sort itself out over a very long period of time. I listened to the ABC country hour about 6 years ago where a Melbourne scientist was interviewed about his team’s 500 year drought study.
            He said we’ve been very lucky here in OZ and “the last 100 years is about as good as it gets”.
            I’ll find it one day, but I think it was from Melb or Monash uni and must have been after 2010.

  • Neville says:

    The Arctic was warming rapidly nearly 100 years ago ( 1922) and was probably following the warm AMO cycle. Greenland and the Arctic then cooled from the late 1940s to the mid 1990s, before warming again until the present day.
    A number of PR studies support this 1922 article using real historic measurements from Greenland etc.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    For those who like a bit of humour in their life, there is a wonderful ‘interactive’ puff piece on the ABC web site. The lowly proles can play with birth, death and lifespan, and learn just how desperately we need high levels of immigration so the increasing hordes of grandmas and grandpas won’t have to sleep on the street … and we pay taxes for this crap.

  • Neville says:

    More desperate nonsense and BS from their ABC con merchants. The Bolter checked the data and found these people are telling us porkies once again. But what else would you expect from their ABC and SBS?

  • spangled drongo says:

    -45c at Nunavut and this again at the “warm” end:

  • beththeserf says:

    Say, spangled drongo, 2014 ill famed cli-fi-sci antarctic misadventure all over again.
    When will cli-fi-scientists ever learn, when will they ever learn. *

    * Insanity is when yr do the same think over again and expect a different result.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes, beth, these alarmist scientists believe that without humans, the climate would have stayed the same since the beginning of the industrial revolution/end of LIA period.

      Can you believe that we give the funding to run around the world trying to show how much damage we are doing when they are totally incapable of quantifying any of it?

      They are in total denial that the LIA, medieval warm period and all other climate cycles existed simply as part of Nat Var.

      And that Nat Var then was just as great as any we have at present.

  • spangled drongo says:

    NOAA has yet again been caught exaggerating ‘global warming’ by fiddling with the raw temperature data.
    This time, that data concerns the recent record-breaking cold across the northeastern U.S. which NOAA is trying to erase from history.

  • beththeserf says:

    Oh Noah!
    Erasing the past.
    So Orwellian.
    So Mannian.
    So BOM data-
    Deja vu all
    over again.

  • Neville says:

    We shouldn’t forget that the Antarctic peninsula has been cooling for 20 years.
    And the ice core record shows similar warming and cooling events over the last 2,000 years. Perhaps some repair to the Ozone, SSTemps, wind shifts and nat variability arte also the answer. Who knows?
    It will be interesting to see what happens in the Arctic when the AMO changes to the cool phase in the 2020s. Certainly Arctic temps are much lower than Eemian temps were and much higher SLs as well.

  • Neville says:

    What a wonderful sane scientist Bob Carter was and here he is with the Bolter looking at the facts behind some of the scary Flannery fairy tales.
    Amazing that even Steffen lets the cat out of the bag under Bolter’s pressure.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Neville, John Sayers and I went to see him at the Sheraton Mirage when Anthony Watts came out, about 8 years ago. He was most impressive.

      We tried to get Luke to come but he ducked it. Facts like that are too embarrassing.

  • Neville says:

    There’s another big reduction in the sale of electric cars in the UK.
    Even the generous taxpayer funding cannot entice people to buy these duds. Just one more reason the mitigation of so called CAGW is a con and fra-d.
    And if Labor wins here in OZ we can expect many more billions of $ to be wasted on this idiocy.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Will South Australia now get smart and get fracking?

    “According to the Energy Information Administration, there has been a sharp reduction in power-plant emissions over a 10-year period. Since the start of the shale revolution in 2006 and leading up to 2016, annual sulfur-dioxide emissions dropped 81 percent, from 9.5 million metric tons to 1.8 million tons, and nitrogen oxides fell from 3.8 million metric tons to 1.63 million tons, a reduction of 57 percent.

    And over the same period, annual carbon-dioxide emissions dropped 22.5 percent, from 2.5 billion metric tons to 1.9 billion tons. Today carbon-dioxide emissions from power production are at late-1980s levels. Think about it: Even as electricity production has risen, carbon emissions fell.”

    • spangled drongo says:

      This is the most recent gas discovery in the south east. Not to mention the huge Cooper Basin where it all began with Santos 60 years ago. I was out there when Santos arrived and in spite of gas pipelines to the south they are not utilising it as they should.

      They could have low emissions, absolute reliability and the lowest cost.

      “There is enough gas in the ground in South Australia to power our grid and supply businesses and homes for centuries, which is why this valuable local resource needs to be developed …”

      But instead, let’s just continue to emit, pay top dollar for power and [what trooly rooly counts] virtue signal to the world.

  • Neville says:

    SD I wouldn’t hold my breath
    waiting for fracking to start in SA anytime soon.

    In fact I heard yesterday that the SA Libs have promised a ban on fracking for the next 10 years.
    BTW this is that 500 year drought study I mentioned earlier.
    Certainly the period since 1900 is as good as it gets comparing OZ droughts and rainfall.
    But they’ll still listen to clueless Flannery and ignore real data and evidence and continue to waste endless billions of $ on BS and fra-d.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Neville, wouldn’t it be fascinating if scientists had some motivation in demonstrating how much worse the climate was in the past?

      Imagine the fertile ground they would have to present the multiple disasters and catastrophes.

      And it would be all down to Nat Var.

      Thinks….., maybe if we could convince them that CO2 emissions are beneficial….

  • Neville says:

    Yet more filth and pig ignorance from their ABC in response to the rape of a toddler in the NT.
    The one billion $ taxpayer funding should be withdrawn from this biased Greens/Labor machine ASAP . Why is it so?

  • spangled drongo says:

    The hypocrisy is deafening!!!

    The leader of the party that is most responsible for these out of control bushfires – because they make sure that fuel reduction programs don’t proceed because of “endangerment” to wildlife – has the hubris to blame our lack of commitment to climate change:

    “Deflecting criticism over his handling of the Batman defeat and poor results in this month’s South Australian and Tasmanian elections, Senator Di Natale linked the Turnbull government’s climate change policies to the bushfires in NSW and Victoria”

    Is there anything more corrupt than a left progressive?

    • Neville says:

      Geeeezzzz SD, that’s like Bob Brown blaming the Coal industry for our much lower numbers of cyclones to hit the east coast of OZ.
      Unbelievably stupid , but people vote for these donkeys and Labor pollies as well. Certainly a number here share their religious mania.
      BTW Christopher Monckton says that there is an elementary error in physics that has lead to a too high ECS.
      His team has calculated a net positive sensitivity of just 1.2 c and hopefully this may be tested in court in the US. Who knows?

  • Neville says:

    At Dr Curry’s blog Nic Lewis is having another look at ECS. This is part one.

  • Chris Warren says:

    “Yet more filth and pig ignorance from” … Neville and Co.

  • Chris Warren says:

    More “…religious mania.” from Neville and Co.

  • Chris Warren says:

    “… ignore the facts about the real world.” like a Neville and Co.

  • Chris Warren says:

    “Unbelievably stupid ” Neville and Co.

  • Chris Warren says:

    “… clueless … BS and fra-d.” from Neville and Co.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Even withering blither doesn’t constitute an argument, blith, luv.

      Unless you back it up with substance.

      No matter how deluded you may be.

    • spangled drongo says:

      But it does confirm what I keep telling you about your problem.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s the EIA’s graph on coal use between 1980 and 2040. You’ll note that the OECD countries use of coal has stayed within about 10% of the 1980 level and will continue to do so until 2040.
    Certainly nearly all of the coal increase since 1980 has come from the non OECD countries like China, India etc.
    Of course most people are ignorant of these facts and a lot of my educated friends are surprised when I mention these facts.
    Here in OZ we will continue to see a big increase in population( through immigration) and yet we are supposed to sharply decrease our co2 emissions in the coming decades.
    But we will still be the world’s biggest exporter of coal and will be one of the biggest exporters of gas and iron ore for a long time to come. It’s just that we are not allowed to use fossil fuels at home to provide cheap and reliable energy.
    Why is it so?

  • Neville says:

    Here’s another interesting SL post from Kip Hansen using latest NOAA data. NOAA states that 20th century SLR was 1.7 mm a year measured at the tide gauges. That’s about 7 inches for 20th century SLR.
    I’m still waiting for Judith Curry’s summary of the satellite data. It should be interesting.

  • Neville says:

    The Bolter’s podcast from 20th March exposes the deception and lies of the Greens. See 1 min 20 secs to 8.25 secs.
    How do these Green fools get away with this year after year when the Bolter can so easily refute their nonsense using publicly available data that can be accessed by anyone online?
    And why would any informed person want to vote for these fantasists? After all we are supposed to be living in the 21 st century, not Medieval Europe or listening to a witchdoctor dancing around a campfire.
    I guess some people never wake up and desperately need to believe any lie that stupid people tell them? IOW the blind leading the blind and happily flushing billions $ down the drain (for no measurable change) in the process.

  • Neville says:

    This Washington Democrat blames snowfall on Jewish Bankers. This would be amusing if it wasn’t so barking mad.
    It looks like more donkeys voting for donkeys just like the fools voting for Green donkeys here in OZ.
    But what more can the Jews be blamed for I wonder? Hitler and Stalin were mad Jew haters too and would be proud of this stupid Democrat councillor blaming Jews for his lousy weather. Unbelievable but true.

  • Neville says:

    Terry McCrann gives an excellent summary of Wind power???? on election day in SA.
    The data tells the story, not the BS coming from deluded Weatherill and his stupid Green mates. Proper evidence and data, ya gotta luv it.

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