Sex, Denial, & Anarchy: or, How I Narrowly Avoided Joining One Nation

It all seemed tedious enough.

Last night, a local environmental group – led by an angry teen and an angrier middle aged woman – managed to get a forum together.

The by-election for Peter Costello’s vacated seat of Higgins may well be a done deal for the Liberals.

Their candidate, Kelly O’Dwyer is delightfully fresh-faced and many other wonderful things that totally don’t matter in such a safe seat. The Liberals – and everyone else – are certain she’s in.

But in the wonderfully quixotic way of idealists, the angry teen, and angrier lady sought to bring as many of the by-election candidates together as possible in order to grill them (without use of fossil fuels, of course) about their Climate Change fighting credentials.

Really, it’s the sort of event that would normally send me straight to a used-car dealership to find the biggest, most gas-guzzling four-wheel-drive, and do doughnuts in the carpark of the church hall where the forum was being held.

Don’t get me wrong: I love mother earth… and I’d rather there weren’t some sort of carbon-induced apocalypse. The preponderance of evidence and scientific opinion had me at, “hello – now stop leaving lights on everywhere.”

It’s the fervent, messianic, unquestioning stridency that makes me want to run screaming.

But… last night was so very much more than Birkenstocks and self-satisfaction!

Let’s begin with the Sex Party.

That’s right… The Australian Sex Party.

Images of thongs, stubbies, and public wrongness may come to mind, but they most certainly do not describe Sex Party candidate, Fiona Patten.

She’s actually a long-time, highly respected lobbyist against censorship and for the rights and protection of sex workers. Many of you will have heard her speak on TV or radio news. Ms Patten is both intelligent and politically savvy – but she also has a sense of humour, and won over the audience completely.

She wasn’t the most strident voice against climate change at the forum. She didn’t regurgitate reams of facts and figures. She spoke of listening to the experts and admitting when something is actually beyond her own area of expertise.

Your average Parliamentarian will opine on so many issues in a day, and will have expertise in none. That he/she would ever admit to such a thing is pretty unlikely.

Let’s just say, the entire Fiona Patten experience was very refreshing.

The next notable candidate was… and I swear to God I’m not making this up… an elderly Hungarian ex-wrestler, who was the One Nation candidate.

“Mad as a cut snake,” does not begin to describe things here.

Talking to him privately afterwards, I was further discombobulated because he was very sweet, in his own way…

“Darling, why don’t you run for politics?” he asked me.

I hemmed and hawed a bit, but he wouldn’t let go: “You must stand as a candidate for us!”

I needed approximately 48 seconds to compose myself.

It’s really wrong to laugh hysterically at old people – even if they are members of One Nation.

“Ahem… Sir, everyone I know is an immigrant, or a child of immigrants. I love immigrants. I want more immigrants. I may not be right for your party.”

Bad answer.

Oy, the lecture that ensued!

looked around desperately for Rabbi Yaron Gottlieb, who was my fellow adventurer in this particular meshigaas (insanity), to come and save me, but he was busy chatting to an anarchist (more on that later).

Back to the panel of candidates: sitting next to the Hungarian wrestler was the legendary Dr Joseph Toscano of the Anarchist Institute.

I’ve been reading his letters to the editor and op-ed pieces since I first picked up a newspaper. The very label, “Anarchist,” always gave me a small frisson, regardless of whether I agree with anything Dr Toscano argues.

That said, I wasn’t expecting the charismatic tour de force that swept the room.

Dr Toscano is also an earth lover, but he was really uninterested in the minutiae of this scientific stoush or that economists’ reports.

He was all about the rousing the rabble… telling the people to stop waiting for government to do everything for them and to take direct action themselves.

The words, “direct action” always remind me of uni students occupying chancellors’ offices, passing their waste down from a window in a bucket.

Nevertheless, it was pretty great to hear a political message that was so different from the overly workshopped, poll-driven inanities that usually dominate political discourse.

Moving down the panel table, we arrive at one Mr Stephen Murphy.

Imagine, for a moment, the room’s audience: these were people who cared enough about climate change to bother turning up to a sweltering church hall to listen to fringe political candidates.

Let’s just say these people were passionate about their cause.

Stephen Murphy rose, the only person in the room in suit and tie, and spoke of the need to debate various elements of climate change, to embrace all the evidence coming through, even if it does not accord with our worldview, and that is why he is a climate sceptic.

Oh no.

Things could have been worse.

There was no threat of violence anywhere, but there were people screaming abuse at Murphy as he spoke. A few of us, including Dr Toscano, tried to get them to pipe down, not very successfully.

Mr Murphy was very, very impressive: he never lost his cool, he never went off-message, he remained unfailingly polite.

I may not agree with his particular message, but I would far rather engage someone like him, than someone like the angry lady organiser.

She accosted me after the forum, smiled her winningest smile, and said, “I just can’t work you out. What are you for, exactly?”

I answered, “Pretty much everything you’re for, only with the space for dissenting views.”

Her face fell, “But he tells LIES! We cannot have a debate with LIES

I looked for Yaron again, and he was once more too busy glad-handing to be of any use.

So I replied, “Look. I agree with you on everything. You don’t need to convince me of anything. I just think that any environment that shuts down inquiry and unpopular opinions is inherently dangerous.”

That’s when the spitting started.

I let the wall of sound wash over me as this woman presented Mr Murphy as a genocidal maniac.

I tried to relax my body and just zen through it.

Only problem is, I’m the least Zen person in the history of persons, so I was fully conscious of her angry spittle, drenching my favourite dress. As with the Hungarian wrestler, somehow, I got away, but I don’t remember how.

Last on the list of notable candidates is someone that might resonate with a few of us – for all the wrong reasons.

Green’s candidate, Dr Clive Hamilton, should have been a lock for crowd darling, last night.

But he was too busy being aggressive, arrogant, and generally unpleasant to realise it.

This might explain the audience response when I asked Hamilton a question during question time.

The short version of what I asked:

“Dr Hamilton, I’m really grateful to you and the Greens for your work on climate change. My only question is, when you are dealing in such a crucial matter, why would you seek to cause hurt and create division unnecessarily? Your comments equating Climate Denialism and Holocaust Denialism are problematic because they alienate those who would otherwise support you. The Holocaust has already happened. Millions have already been killed, and millions more were scarred. This just hasn’t happened yet with climate change.”

There was a pretty intense and positive reaction to that from the audience and other candidates, that I know had nothing to do with my oratory skills and everything to do with people’s delight that Hamilton’s aggressive moral superiority had taken a small ding.

Even greenies can’t stand Green self-righteousness, it seems.

So… Yaron and I were mixing and chatting at the end. The candidates seemed quite taken with the young Rabbi in khakis and sandals.

When it came time to conduct a siccum (summation discussion) of the evening, Yaron and I realised that some of these candidates might interest Jews.

So here’s something we prepared earlier:

Coming to Auburn Road Shul:

Fiona Patten of the Australian Sex Party

Dr Joseph Toscano: Anarchist

and Stephen Murphy: Climate Change Sceptic

are all coming to

Auburn Road Centre

on Saturday, November 28.

Let me make one thing clear: the three candidates we’ve invited were the three most impressive participants last night. Yaron and I set this up with their presence specifically in mind. There’s no point in having this sort of thing if the same old boovelling (talking rubbish) dominates. It’s a waste of time. There is no time wasted, however, when listening to these three.

At 12:00pm they’ll discuss their positions on Climate Change, and also, perhaps, the possibilities for making a safe seat a little less safe.

Remember Bennelong?

  • Share/Bookmark

No related posts.

28 Responses to “Sex, Denial, & Anarchy: or, How I Narrowly Avoided Joining One Nation”

  1. Sol Salbe says:

    Sorry Alex but Bennelong is hardly a good example of a safe seat being lost. Those of us who remember Bennelong remember it as a marginal seat that required a modest 4.2 per cent swing in 2007.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • TheSadducee says:

      Noting of course that Bennelong had been held by the Liberals for 58 years continuously and of that for 33 years by the then sitting PM, of which only 1 sitting PM had lost their seat in an election (back in 1929 with PM Bruce losing).

      I’m not sure how you couldn’t assert that this validly contributed to an understanding of a “safe” seat?

      Anyways, the bigger point of concern is that it appears that no Liberal or Labor candidate attended. A sure sign of contempt held for a constituency when a candidate cannot even be bothered to attend IMHO.

      Otherwise sounded like a very interesting cast of characters.

      I personally think these types of meetings are very good for a democracy. It can help the average person see the candidates and get a grasp of their views/positions and show up what skills they have (or don’t). I think if they can’t handle a forum like this what ability will they have to represent you in parliament? Similarly, it allows the candidates to question each other openly and frankly – an opportunity ill-afforded in our current political conditions which seem heavily stage-managed and artificial.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  2. Edders says:

    I think Denial and Denialism is a very tense issue. It’s something that I’ve come across as part of my studies. I think the funniest thing is that Jewish community leadership is the worst at handling cases, and the first to straight deny things, or to try and crush denial without argument. Several examples litter history, appealing to criminalize Holocaust Denial, Denial of Israel doing anything wrong stand out.

    Now for two examples of Jews (and Israelis) doing the right way to argue against denialists and accusations. (a hint: it isn’t the classic supression and denial)

    It is to engage. That is were I believe you got it right and the organizer got it wrong. We don’t need to shun people, otherwise they become self-righteous martyrs for their cause, of which we have allowed them to be. I’ll furnish this with two examples.

    Firstly, David Irving, is the most famous of all Holocaust Deniers, has spread his beliefs about what really happened in the Holocaust, clearly being openly racist in other sections. The usual reaction is to scream and yell. However, cleverly, Devorah Lipstadt, produced a book showing the mistakes Irving makes in his work and puts him in the end as an idiot. Irving, enraged, took her to court and she won. Irving was a laughing stock and more so once again. It marginalized his supporters and showed that people who know their stuff exist on both sides and clearly in a battle between the two the “Holocaust” version won.

    Secondly, is an example of Israelis using something other then denial in the cases of doing something wrong. Recently, a scandal emerged over an article which accused the IDF of harvesting organs from Palestinians and selling them to rabbis in America. The Knesset hit out at everything from the author, to the news paper and even to the government, crying “Lies” to anyone that would listen. Most in the world, already aware of this shtick, simply grew more suspicious. However, a few days, even possibly a week ago, the author of the specific article was invited to an Israeli forum to discover the article himself. He was also invited to speak at a conference and has since made a statement saying “The visit to Israel and the fact that I was part of a fair dialogue made me rethink the whole issue,”(1).

    Supression and Denial has produced people like Antony Loewenstein, our community leaders need to wake up and realize the damage being done by their actions.

    (1) – comes from http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/40563/swedish-journalist-reconsidering-organ-harvesting-story/

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Morry says:

      Edders, it seems to work very well for the Moslems, with newspapers hurriedly ensuring that the Mohammed cartoons came nowhere near them, and that no Moslem criticism passes the portals of their paper. If saying you are offended, when you are, is wrong and doesn’t work, then why does it work for them? It does look like a case of different strokes for different folks, doresn’t it?

      Sadly, we live in a post-modern world in which a substantial proportion of the population is relativist and somewhat doctrinaire. Were this not so that article, which the author freely admitted from day one was backed by not a single shred of evidence, would never have seen the light of day. Whatever that was, it wasn’t journalism.

      He did say he was shocked by the (unsurprising) anger of the Israeli response. Perhaps that’s why he visited, and Israel does present very differently up close and personal, outside the carricature we see it as in the media. Perhaps, Edders, the fault lies in a world so consumed with ideological truths that reality and rationality need to fight hard to be heard. I have taken Alex’s point, and now yours, that we should perhaps be a little less sensitive, despite that uber-sensitivity works so well for the Moslem world, and chose our battles. But my take in daily battles on the blogs is that we face a high level of bigotry in some quarters, where Jews can only do wrong. Sadly this sector includes far too many jounalists.

      Edders, you can explain yourself to many, and that’s certainly ideal where there is real dialogue, but please acknowledge that with people like David Irving, you’d be wasting your breath. Certainly if all you can do is abuse, label and name call … best to be silent. I recently had cause to take on an antisemite on the blogs. There was little point in trying to convince him of anything, but pointing to exactly where his bigotry lay in the things he said and why it was despicable generated messages of support that made it clear that you have yto stand up for yourself for others to support you.

      Perhaps, in Israel’s case, a simple “It’s a lie because dead organs are not viable” should have been enough, but would a journalist writing about organ harvesting not have known this? Not have bothered to find out? That, and that alone was the issue. Here was a Swedish newspaper trying to force Israel into an investigation by reporting something they freely admitted was probably a lie. Edders, does that kind of bigotted manipulative journalism not bother you at all?

      It’s late and that may have been a bit rambly. If it is, I’m sorry … thoughts need to be jotted down before they evaporate.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  3. Morry says:

    Thanks for a wonderful account that actually transported me to the meeting. I don’t know if it will help you sleep better, but the world as we know it isn’t coming to an end.

    Rather than succumb to the hysteria of either side of the AGW divide, I have tried to keep a sense of proportion, divorce all that is belief from real evidence, and actually try to understand the issues. As somebody who takes his science seriously there is far too much snake oil flying around … the IPCC model, that our government is acting on, has failed in most of its predictions, and should have been ababdoned long ago. Worse, any scientist who lambasts us with a CO2 global warming connection, yet fails to explain the 8 year period of global cooling we are currently experiencing has no right to their science ticket.

    The bottom line is, climate changes. That is something we can universally accept. When you crunch the numbers man’s influence, though, is negligible. Personally, I am far more fascinated with the hysteria phenomenum that has superceded science in so very many instances now. We got hysterical abput Y2K, the planes were going to fall out of the sky, our banks were going to drop out and lose our money, and the world as we know it was about to end. And the year 2000 came and went without a whisper. Earlier amongst leading scientists the first A-bomb was going to cause a chain reaction that destroyed the universe. We had bird flu and more recently swine flu “pandemics” that would spread like wildfire with millions dying. But swine flu turns out to be one of the most benign flu strains we’ve encountered. The one constant is our propensity to panic. In AGW theory the “scientific” argument runs “the polar bears have lost their homes, and we’re next as tsunamis, tornadoes and sea level rises tear our world apart”.

    Ignoring the hysterical claims of Brighton being “swamped by rising oceans” of many meters and actually going to accurate satellite measures of of sea levels (a system in place since 1992) can be very reassuring. We find that sea levels were rising at the steady linear rate of 3.3mm per annum since 1992, which has now, with the current cooling period, dropped to 1.2 mmm. The 3.3mm represents a 1 meter rise in 3 centuries. Nothing to get hysterical about. Tornadoes have dropped to the lowest level ever despite the flood of CO2 (which despite its life-giving properties our government has labelled “poison” and “pollution” … it doesn’t get more emotive and less scientific than that).

    What I do get excited about is a research paper I recently read describing a new climate model, based on the actual forces that drive climate and the mathematics of “synchronised chaos”. This one, unlike the IPCC one, accurately “predicts” the major climate changes of the past. This includes a climate change event in the 1970s, with the associated temperature rises which now seem to be settling. The prediction is that the next climate changing event will occurr in about 20 years time. The program was run both with no CO2 factor, then using the most horrific IPCC predictions of 780ppm CO2, and there was no change in climate outcome. This was just one of possibly thousands of papers that negate AGW theory (I’ve seen, not read :-) , 450 papers).

    The bottom line is that we need to wait till the science settles into an acceptable consensus, and that with the globe cooling there is no need to panic as the very fact of global cooling, whilst we have runaway generation of CO2, negates AGW theory. There are many models and theories out there … science will ultimately settle on one, and the evidence is clear in my mind that it won’t be AGW.

    In a replay of the scientists who worked for big tobacco to disprove any tobacco-cancer link, too many scientists today are dependent for their livelihood and research grants on advocating AGW, starting with the IPCC scientists, too many of whom have deliberately fudged and misrepresented data.

    Wait and sleep well Alex, and the world will settle back into a modicum of normalcy till the next scare.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Alex Fein says:

      Morry, you have no idea how much I would love what you say to be true.

      Not having a science background (except for the cosmetics chemistry) renders me really powerless on this one. Whereas I can feel confident opining on certain non-science areas, this whole CC business just leaves me overwhelmed.

      I really do have to look to consensus among people with the right credentials, and they’re all telling me to improve my swimming skills :)

      Have a good Shabbes, Morry. Hope you eat, rest, and enjoy! :)

    • Morry says:

      Thanks for the wishes, Alex. Perhaps we need to remember that not so long ago the same people were telling you to smoke, learn Russian, hide under school desks to be safe in a nuclear attack, and that planes woould fall out of the sky because of the date … I’ve learnt to be true to my own counsel. The rest seems to fall into place nicely.

      I have done the eating and now the resting … and always enjoy :-) ! May your Shabbat be blessed with calm joy and intimate warmth, Alex.

      Shabbat Shalom

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Phil O'Semetic says:

      Morry, could you pass on a link to the non-linear modelling paper you refer to?

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  4. Ittay says:

    Morry, every one of your claims about climate change has been rebutted here: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_change/science/skeptics.asp

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Alan Hughes says:

      Ittay,
      I agree with you and I believe in human induced climate change, but it is just that a belief.
      I am not sure of your scientific credentials, but atmospheric science is so complex and contains so many variables that it is impossible to say anything about our environment with any certainty.
      In fact changing merely one of the parameters can often change the results by 180 degrees. It is so complex that even the largest super computers can only comprehend a small proportion of the effects of mankind on the environment. Therefore talking about climate change as gospel truth is clearly a mistake.
      I am also not certain that you are aware but science and scientific proofs are usually accompanied with facts and figures, of which there were none in the article. While I do not wish to defame David Suzuki who clearly understands science and is entitled to his opinions, your claim that all our claims on climate change can be answered by an article that discusses international treaties cannot be justified.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Morry says:

      I’m surprised, Ittay that anyone would post this. It rebuts nothing I wrote, in fact deals with no facts at all, but is rather a litany of personal attacks against anybody who would dare question. The first lie lies in the first sentence “The debate is over about whether or not climate change is real”.

      No! There is no debate about that at all. Everybody accepts that climate changes, with the possible exception of a few kooks. It has always changed and it will always change. Two things, however, are challenged. The first is that man, or even CO2, has any influence on climate change, the other the IPCC’s predictions, most of which have failed to materailise … something totally unacceptable in computer modelling and scientific theory. If you’ve bothered to follow recent events the IPCC scientists at Britain’s prestigious CRU, the major drivers of AGW, stand to be totally discredited by the publication of emails that document the fudging of data and the very deliberate misrepresentationm, the strongarming of any who disagreed … it is a sad indictment, check at http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=154
      If nothing else should frighten you it’s an email from Phil Jones, arguably the most influential IPCC scientist, saying “This is all gut feeling, no science, but years of experience of dealing with global scales and varaibility”. That’s a matter of faith, not science.

      But not even that is relevant, because I don’t need to present a theory (though I did above, one of 450 peer reviewed papers that negate the IPCC position or offer an alternative), but only discuss the IPCC one. The theory is that rising CO2 levels lead to rising temperatures, yet, for the past 8 years, global temperatures have been dropping, despite a 5% increase in CO2 levels. That alone should be enough to disprove the theory. Add to that the fact that medieval times were hotter than now, and our current CO2 levels represent one of the lowest ever, and you may begin to understand why this theory sucks. Given that man’s contribution to CO2 levels is around 3%, even if we totally obliterated all human input, we would have little effect. I do see it as an immense arrogance that man believes he has the power to change the face of the planet so easily, when those changes clearly have so little to do with man.

      Ittay, and the others who have been kind enough to comment, I would suggest that rather than going to judgemental sites that add nothing but insult to the debate, go, as I do, to those actually producing studies and reports. Go to the bodies responsible for sea level measurement (accurate satellite), rather than the Age, and you will avoid the hysteria by seeing a graph in which the sea levels have risen linearly since 1992, when the progam began, at a rate of 3.3mm per annum … except more recently when it droped to 1.2mm, the exact opposite of IPCC predictions.

      The bottom line is that any scientific theory is less than useless if it fails to make accurate predictions. The IPCC theory, based on tree ring thickness, something that varies with 5 other factors outside temperature and makes the entire investigation suss, fails in almost all its predictions. It’s a religion, not a science.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  5. PP says:

    The science of climate change has been clear for over 20 years. Climate change denial is not a scientific problem although deniers always disguise their views as scientific. Climate change denial is a political and psychological problem. Most deniers are either extremist right wingers who see environmentalism as a threat to capitalism and thereby ignore the scientific evidence, and make up their own to “defeat” environmentalism – or they are people who just can’t deal with the horrible reality that the climate crisis threatens billions of lives and just how huge and frightening it is.

    Many of course are just funded by fossil fuel corporations, who want to keep the status quo going for as long as possible so they keep making large profits. No large corporation would now deny climate change is happening (and is caused by humans) in public because it is such a nonsensical opinion, with all reliable evidence pointing in the other direction.

    The problem is, the call to delay action – as the denier Morry calls for above – is the real aim of the deniers. But we do this at our peril – we may have already left it too late to avoid runaway climate change.

    It’s all well and good for this blog to make fun of climate activists, but it is understandable that people get angry over this issue – it is already killing people all over the globe and has the potential to destroy everything that we value in this world.

    The truly sensible people are the ones that are angry and active on climate change – not the ones that comfort themselves with their barriers of denial and cynicism.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Morry says:

      The problem is, the call to delay action – as the denier Morry calls for above – is the real aim of the deniers. But we do this at our peril – we may have already left it too late to avoid runaway climate change

      PP, I’m sure the label “denier” was supposed to be derogatory. In reality I deny nothing and have no aims. I am and have always been a seeker of truth. So, if, as you say, “the science of climate change has been clear for over 20 years”, you will have no difficulty explaining why for the past 8 years, despite increasing CO2 levels, global temperatures have dropped (forget that sea level rises have flattened, at this point it’s a red herring). From the hacked emails I cited above it was a clear sticking point for the IPCC scientists that they simply had no explanation, despite their commitment to AGW theory. Perhaps you’ll do better.

      Thousands of emails present a very ugly picture of, at best, very shaky science based on the thickness of tree rings being an indicator of temperature. These scientists proved to be selective in the rings they chose, and ignored that so many other factors like water, sunlight and leaf density determine ring thickness. Less science and more snake oil, so no, not “the science of climate change”, but AGW theory, is far from clear and is challenged by thousands of scientists in the field. With the release of these emails and the unmasking of the bullies and their strongarm tactics, that should change dramamtically as more and more scientists will feel free to step foward.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • PP says:

      Ittay’s link (below) is right – the deniers go on about how the Earth has cooled over the last 8 years (they used to say the Earth has cooled since 1998, then they suddenly changed it to 2001 – still can’t work out why that was – typical of the way they twist and ignore the rebuttals to their arguments).

      Deniers use a statistical trick to try to fool people into thinking global warming has stopped (but then they say it hasn’t stopped, but that it is due to natural cycles – which are about 100-1000 times slower than what we’re seeing now – so has it stopped or hasn’t it?)

      They will show you a graph saying that the Earth has cooled over the last 10 (now they say 8) years, but they won’t show you all the years prior to that year – that’s what Steve Fielding, the idiot from the Family First party does.

      If they showed the whole graph from all the years data was available, everyone would see a clear warming trend. Garnaut got statisticians to look at this graph and they said there was a clear warming trend and that that trend was continuing (this was in 2008).

      And I use the term denier on purpose. True sceptics weigh up the evidence and come to a considered conclusion. True sceptics, such as myself, have long accepted that the vast majority of the evidence is that humans are causing the climate to change and that we have to act urgently to avoid catastrophe and economic collapse.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  6. PP says:

    Oh, and one last thing – Alex, if you feel overwhelmed by the climate science, I am happy to give you a simplified run-through of the basics – it makes a big difference to understanding the issue – I am not a scientist but have spend a lot of time getting my head around the science and understanding the issue as I work in the policy area. (and it can be our own little Hashy reunion).

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Alex Fein says:

      Hi, PP.

      Thank you very much for the offer. It is much appreciated

      It’s not that I don’t know/understand the basic precepts, it’s just that when such a debate gets intricate: it’s a problem for me.

      As I stated earler, when something is so far out of my area of knowledge, I feel forced to rely on the expertise of others: ie. if there is an overwhelming scientific consus on something (eg. that humans are causing significant climate change and the that the potential for disasterous consequences is very real).

      I like to rely on people who are subject to peer review and the rigors of academic debate – the best example of which is Jared DIamond whom I’ve adored for nearly 2 decades. He is more than just a man of science: he’s the interdisciplinary master.

  7. PP says:

    The peer review standard will serve you well – no climate change denier has had anything published in a peer reviewed journal for a very long time (some of them have never been published) – they’re just not up to scratch. They tend to self-publish or get funding through groups like the Cato or Heartland institutes.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

  8. Ittay says:

    Morry, you write that “for the past 8 years, global temperatures have been dropping, despite a 5% increase in CO2 levels.”
    You can read a clear response to that here:
    http://www.grist.org/article/global-warming-stopped-in-1998/

    The overwhelming evidence is that Co2 emissions produced by humans and animals do increase the temperature of the world. See here for all the aerial photographs of this. http://climate.nasa.gov/

    If climate change is a myth, then can you explain to me why nasa, david suziki and thousands of scientists are telling us to act now? Id be interested to hear what you think their agenda is, along with the agenda of all the world leaders gathering at copenhagen this month to do something about this crisis that the world is facing.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Alan Hughes says:

      To all the dictators of the new climate change world.

      The scientific world is full of universally accepted theories that with time became apparent that they were simply wrong. This process continued even into this century.

      I personally believe that humans have changed the environment and for the worse, but this side of the debate is not even close to conclusive.

      When people as above become abusive toward people who are trying to have a rational debate as is occurring above it highlights two issues:
      1) It implies a lower then average intelligence of the people involved since they cannot actually argue their point rationally. As a great thinker once said: “Defamation is the last refuge of non-thinkers and knaves”
      2) It suggests that they fear the truth in the other side of the debate, so they attack it mercilessly in the hope that people will be too afraid to realise the holes in their own arguments.

      If you argue the scientific facts (that is numbers and data, a scientific fact does not become true because a UN committee votes it to be true) then you may have a very good chance of winning the debate. If you do not and keep down the path of defamation you run the danger of people one day waking up and realising that the Emperor has not clothes.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  9. Alan Hughes says:

    For all the those wishing to stifle the debate please look at this article from today
    http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/hackers-leak-emails-stoking-climate-debate-20091123-iu6u.html

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Morry says:

      Alan, I agree with the above entirely. I too believe that humans have changed the environment for the worse. We have polluted our air and water, and therefore our food. There are intolerable levels of allergies and cancers as a result, even in babies. What effect does the higher and higher frequency radiation we are currently inundated with have on our bodies?

      Relatively few are addressing these issues because so many wasted resources and so much research funding is going into an act of nature, climate change. Perhaps, now that the scientific scam involving the leading proponents of AGW has been uncovered, some of those resources can be turned to improving our environment and our lives. I sincerely hope so.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  10. Morry says:

    Clearly what I wrote wasn’t really read, so let me reiterate. Climate does change, and has changed for millions of years and will continue to change for millions more. We all believe in climate change.

    Somebody has presented a theory which I consider ill-conceived, irrational and wrong … as is my right. I’m not looking to change anybody’s mind on it, because I’m a firm believer that truth will ultimately win out. I do however resent the hysterical scare tactics, and accusations of disloyalty to the planet, designed to strongarm people into kowtowing to what is little more than a politically correct view, in my opinion. Sadly, for so many, it has boiled down to a religion of faith, where the issues have no great relevance, but the argument rather runs, as above “If climate change is a myth, then can you explain to me why nasa, david suziki and thousands of scientists are telling us to act now?”

    Ittay you ask about their agenda … it’s twofold. The first is that they actually believe, to a totalitarian degree. The hacked emails I posted earlier present a mindset wherein prestigious academic journals were being strongarmed and threatened if they posted non-AGW papers, where these scientists refused to open their research for peer review, where they tweaked data so it would fit the theory. In brief, where they became wholly unscientific, because they felt they knew/know what is best for us, science be hanged … and it was actually said. The other motivation is simple, the bigger the AGW scare the more funds are made available for research. It has already cost around $14 billion. No funding worries is every researcher’s dream. Basically it’s much the same motivation as the scientists who worked for big tobacco and swore black and blue that smoking was safe. You can still be a scientist and know which side your bread is buttered on.

    My major concern, though, is our fix. Our government plans to give away $7billion of our hard-earned money, a huge major additional tax, to third world countries including China and India. Forget that no other nation is on board. Have you asked yourself exactly how this will save the planet? From where I sit, not a single emission of CO2 will be prevented by this payment. In fact, one has to ask “what will China and India do with the billions they receive?” Given that both would like to be part of the first world, they would produce CO2 spewing industries, not subject to the kind of emission control we have, and the world would clearly be far worse off. The same holds for the other third world countries, but to a lesser degree.

    If you truly believe the planet to be on the edge of disaster, how can you possibly agree to Rudd’s plan that will definitely push it over the edge? Why aren’t you out there demonstrating against it?

    As to the rest, I go to primary sources for my information, to the web pages of the people who actually do the research and make the measurements … not some paid hireling of David Suzuki, who has an opinion. We all have an opinion.

    In my world, whilst still above an arbitrary norm, global temperatures have been dropping. In my world sea level rises that were 3.3mm per annum have dropped to 1.2mm. Hurricane levels are the lowest in decades.

    In my world I have a listing of 450 recently published and peer reviewed papers that negate AGW by presenting alternate models for climate change. And in my world Roy Spencer, Ph.D., U.S. Science Team Leader for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s collection of satellite temperature data and a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s Earth System Science Center, on July 22 told the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee why the scientific data lead him to conclude global warming is not a crisis.

    Spencer said: we now have new satellite evidence which strongly suggests that the climate system is much less sensitive than is claimed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
    Another way of saying this is that the real climate system appears to be dominated by “negative feedbacks”—instead of the “positive feedbacks” which are displayed by all 20 computerized climate models utilized by the IPCC.

    “Positive feedback” means unstable climate. Why the IPCC would deliberately model this way is a question I leave for you. But because my world includes people like Spencer, I worry little about our climatic future, but if that’s your poison enjoy. I just ask that you don’t insist I take that road with you, when all the signs are that the consensus has shifted radically in my direction. Believe what you will, and I’ll do the same, and the truth will out in the end.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

  11. Morry says:

    Positions are changing rapidly on the question of global warming since the AGW scientists’ emails were uncovered and their case began unravelling. Even Tim Flannery, arguably Australia’s greatest alarmist in the field, when confronted on Lateline with the emails of the global warming conspiracy, conceded holes in the “science is settled” argument and admitted to what he hadn’t before:

    We’re dealing with an incomplete understanding of the way the earth system works… When we come to the last few years when we haven’t seen a continuation of that (warming) trend we don’t understand all of the factors that create earth’s climate…We just don’t understand the way the whole system works… See, these people work with models, computer modelling. So when the computer modelling and the real world data disagree you’ve got a very interesting problem… Sure for the last 10 years we’ve gone through a slight cooling trend.

    In the immortal words of the Beatles when they wrote about this “It won’t be long, yeah, yeah, yeah” … but who’s going to convey this to our government before they put us into debt for the next century?

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

  12. Jon says:

    The IPCC report suggests that there is a 90% certainty that global warming is caused by humans. Sure, there is room for debate, but amongst serious scientists – the issues are narrower -namely, not so much whether humans caused global warming, but by how much will it cause global warming in the future.

    The climate sceptics do not deserve the same amount of space or time, as the scientists in the field who have studied the evidence and published in reputable peer review journal. By analogy, should the proponents of intelligent design (which included a number of scientists) be given the same amount of time as evolutionary biologists? Should we still be debating and giving space to the view that autism is caused by vaccinations, despite the fact that the evidence does not support it, just to be fair?

    If we take Ian Plimer’s book – outside of the right wing commentariat, it hasn’t received a decent review from any scientist who researches climate change. One only has to look at his exchange with the Guardian’s environment reporter, George Monbiot, to realise, that he ain’t the great scholar of climate change he pretends to be – dodging basic flaws in his book, and coming up with questions to Monbiot, which turned out to be equally dodgy.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Morry says:

      Jon, you could have been right, but events have overtaken what you’re saying. Let me try to put it into a nutshell.

      Some 30 scientists who shared a belief that man was destroying the planet with CO2 got together and successfully took over the IPCC, bypassed the all-important peer review in order to present dodgy science that would have been unacceptable, ad even tried to control what prestigious climate journals published in the way of research papers. The fact that they controlled the IPCC means that the report that you’re citing is less than meaningless. The best that can be said of the situation is that all their work needs to be reviewed … basically it’s nonsense with the results of research, already based on faulty premises, fudged to arrive at the desirable conclusion. These 30 scientists controlled the IPCC, and most of the world’s governments have been unquestioningly following IPCC recommendations, which means that these 30 scientists have been setting world policy in line with their personal agenda.

      I don’t want to get bogged down in too much detail, unless people are interested, but PPs “The peer review standard will serve you well – no climate change denier has had anything published in a peer reviewed journal for a very long time” is very apropos here.

      In reality I have a list of 450 recently published papers by scientits who don’t hold with the AWG climate model and present alternatives, so, yes, they are being published. But let’s indeed look at the peer review system, why it failed in this case and allowed 30 scientists to publish politics rather than science. When a paper is written the writer provides a list of 6 colleagues in the field from whom the reviewers are chosen. In the case of the 30, they simply listed each other and “reviewed” each other’s work, so their work wasn’t ever faulted, and no real reviewing was taking place.

      The simple truth is that their work is baseless on so many levels it would be laughable, if our government wasn’t about to give away $70 billion based on it. It starts with basic premises. The most important is the issue of “feedback”. Negative feedback, the way almost all cycles work in nature, means stable systems. An appropriate example is the CO2 cycle. Say there is a surge in CO2 levels, this promotes plant growth, which uses CO2 which reduces CO2 levels … a system that stabilises itself, negative feedback. Positive feedback leads to unstable destructive systems. These 30 scientists started with the decision to present a world in turmoil and chose all 20 IPCC models to have positive feedback. There was no need to explain this decision as their work was only being reviewed by the peers of their own group, and, as the emails show, they resisted allowing anybody outside the group seeing their studies, even under FOI legislation.

      As you can see from the facts presented by Roy Spencer, Ph.D., U.S. Science Team Leader for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s collection of satellite temperature data and a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s Earth System Science, in my post above, “the real climate system appears to be dominated by “negative feedbacks”

      In other words, runaway nothing, extreme nothing and nothing to worry about. Many of the more prominent AWG advocates have already recanted, so if Jon, PP, and Ittay don’t, my world remains intact. Sadly these 30 may have taken down some good scientists and robbed them of credibility with their meshugas.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  13. Aaron Goldnerds says:

    Israel used to be at the forefront of Green technology back in the 70s when the oil crisis kicked in and the desert got hotter, but since then they’ve been too busy letting Russians run the place, developing and selling weapons of death and building illegal housing commission flats for Lubavitcher off-shoots who deny the country exists.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0

    • Morry says:

      I can see that you invested a lot of time in researching your comment, Aaron. Israel is indeed one of the foremost world leaders in green technology. I googled “Israel’s green technology” and here’s the first item that popped up, an article titled Israel’s green technology leads world, but not at home complete with a picture of Israeli wind turbines … that’s how easy an informed opinion can be:

      article
      Despite Israel’s carcinogenic waterways, local companies lead the world in clean-water know-how, and 2007 is set to be a banner year for foreign sales of the blue-and-white technology.

      Dozens of groups from across the globe are planning trips to Israel this year with an eye toward purchasing some of the environmentally friendly technology being developed by Israeli scientists. The industry brought approximately one billion dollars last year, but Avraham Israeli, head of Water and Environmental Technology at the Israel Export Institute, said Israel’s slice of the international pie could be $10 billion.
      “The rate of delegations visiting Israel at this point is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” he said. “Companies in Israel have been dealing with water shortages and environmental issues since the founding of the state. We have a lot to contribute to the international community and they are now beginning to recognize this.”
      Spain, Turkey, Poland, China and Australia have already scheduled visits, he said. Israeli said there were more inquiries than he could answer.
      “The government has set the goal of expanding this industry because they know Israel has a lot to sell,” said Israeli. The international community orders $400b. a year in new water technologies, he said, and Israel wants $10b. of that.
      “We think it is realistic, because we are set to lead the world in this,” said Israeli. “It is just a matter of opening our eyes and seizing on the opportunity.”
      He pointed to a delegation he hosted from Tarragona, Spain. While Spain has a thriving agricultural industry, it faces constant droughts, said Israeli.
      The Spanish delegation wanted to learn how Israel used maximized its water resources. The visitors left with information about reverse osmosis, recycling water for various usages, and treating water with clean systems.
      “The Spanish delegation was prepared for their visit with materials and other information, but they were still amazed by what they saw here,” said Israeli.
      Israel has developed a name for itself in these fields, he said Israeli, but has not capitalized on the same technologies here.
      “So many companies come across the same problem. They are trying to sell their wares abroad. Let’s say, solar energy. And then they get asked, does your country, does Israel use this technology? And the answer is no. And that sets us back,” said Israeli.
      He cited a solar plant recently built by an Israeli company in the Mohave Desert of California. It is currently the largest in the world, and the same Israeli company has plans to build another solar plant in the US and one is Spain.
      “Yet Israel still does not have a single solar energy plant like that,” said Israeli.
      “I am not a politician… but I think it is clear that they are not pushing the environmental technology because that is not really the issue that is going to win them the next election,” he said Israeli. “We are creating our own events and organizing to bring more attention to the industry here.”
      In October, Israel will host the fourth International Water Technologies and Environmental Control Exhibition and Conference.

      Support this comment Thumb up 0

  14. Phil O'Semetic says:

    Non Linear mathematics, complex systems, the popular term “Chaos” theory… all of these are emergent fields of inquiry in the 21st. century. For much of recent human history, linear, mechanistic models and mental constructs have informed our understanding of the world. We tend to break things down into one or two variables so as to more easily understand the relationships between things.
    X increases as y decreases. x shows an inverse exponential relationship to y, etc.
    That is the level the general public tends to comprehend science at.
    Of course, climate models are more sophisticated than this and must factor multiple feedback loops and many, many co-related variables. These models are of predictive value to climate science if they generate steady state or linear like responses within their key variables. A model that predicts well may in fact, evidentially indicate incompleteness. That is to say, one scientists watertight prophesy may be sloppy modelling to another.
    Consensus does not necessarilly indicate you are successfully navigating the maze. The science of our biosphere is not complete.
    The interface between atmosphere and ocean is haltingly understood IMHO. The volume of the worlds oceans is approx. 1.37 billion cubic kilometers, 2.2 percent locked up in the ice caps. The volume of the troposphere may be est. @ around 51 billion cubic kilometers. The rate of exchange of carbon between them is subject to many, many, many variables. If the oceans were to boil and evaporate tomorrow, our atmosphere would probably reach the moon? Geologists observe the vast limestone landscapes that cover the earth and have a different appreciation of the scale of climate change than an atmospheric scientist has. Life on earth has found other climates in geological history much more conducive to life than the present arrangement.
    So, I hope all this uncertainty and doubt may paradoxically bring some peace of mind to those suffering under the sturm & drang of climate science. When I get anxious, I like to stand on the seashore and listen to the sound of the waves. I espescially like the fizzing and foaming of the waves as they run up the sand. It’s reassuring to know that there are 1.3 trillion m3 of carbonated sody pop sloshing around 2/3 of the planets surface.

    Thankyou.

    Support this comment Thumb up 0