Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cautious good citizens, proceed with care, myrmidon Murdochians and Chris Bergian IPA'ers are coming your way ...

(Above: the Daily Terror responding to a Climate Commission report in its own inimitable front page way).

You have to admire the Daily Terror. Drawing itself up on to its righteous toes in Caution and care with our climate, the editorial delivers a truly fruity piece of advice to the citizens of Australia, in response to the latest Climate Commission report:

As a basic rule, we should always endeavour to care for our environment and to minimise our impact. At the same time, we should be cautious when assessing the power of that impact. We urge that all citizens read the commission's report, and to proceed with care.

Proceed with care? Why a kindly officer plod or a Canberra bureaucrat couldn't come up with a better form of obfuscation.

But how might we proceed with care? Is there a yellow light, officer?

Well the text that precedes the warning gives all the clues you need. First of all, there's the politics:

Climate change is a deeply political issue, at least as much as it is a scientific issue.

Yes the Daily Terror knows all about how to make it a deeply political issue, rather than soil itself with scientific concerns. Because, you see, there's the politics:

Whether or not one is inclined to follow or dispute claims that humankind is overwhelmingly responsible for global warming ....

Yes don't bother about the science, just dispute the claims ....and remember the politics: is also worth keeping in mind the new report arrives at a time when the federal government's carbon tax is proving deeply unpopular with the electorate.

In any other context, this would be a form of slander or defamation in relation to the authors of the report, who are thereby characterised not as scientists, but as lick spittle lackeys doing the work of the federal Labor government.

And naturally it's the valiant Terror that sees through their fraudulent science, and their devious political manoeuvres:

...considering the enormous sums of public money dedicated to climate change issues, and the potential differences that policy decisions may have on people throughout NSW, the political element of the climate debate deserves rigorous inspection.

What's that you say? At last an examination of the deeply political behaviour of the Daily Terror and the rest of the Murdochians?

No way Jose, because you see there's the Flannery factor, the Terror's favourite straw man, and ever available piñata ripe for yet another bashing:

Those who have followed the climate debate closely will be aware that Professor Tim Flannery, the head of the commission, previously forecast that Sydney's dams might run entirely dry by 2007.
Our dams are now overflowing.

Why that settles the science, right there and then. The dams are overflowing, QED.

But what, you ask, does the holy Terror have to say about the actual report and its findings and predictions in the editorial?

Well nothing really, but why worry.

There's a report on the current Sydney weather, with the remarkable insight that recent unseasonal hot temperatures are about to disappear under winter's chill blast (Summer goes with chill blast).

And naturally there's a poll. Do you believe in climate change?

That's right, it's a belief, like any other religious superstition, and happily the Daily Terror's readers aren't mug punters who are going to fall for primitive superstitions of any kind. When last consulted, the oracle of public opinion was running 79% in favour of atheism, and only 21% of scientific religious fanatics willing to profess faith in science and the odious Flannery and so click the poll to confirm that they were indeed true simple-minded simpleton climate change true believers ...

Happily in aid of an unbiased view of the science, the Terror ended the story accompanying the poll with a quote from Bob Carter. And what do you know? He said the science was all bunkum ...

Who'd have thunk it? It's just a few hot days, and the rest is nonsense, and computer models are wrong, and in fact there's been a slight cooling.

Not that you can't take that as in any way being inclined to influence readers or the outcome of the poll, which is tremendously scientific, and insightful. It's simply a guide to the way simpletons who think there might be something to climate science are in fact simple-minded.

And naturally there's another hatchet piece on Tim Flannery, this time delivered by Gemma Jones consulting that oracle British scientist James Lovelock, now a firm Terror favourite since he's recanted his own hysteria, and found a new way to publicise himself by lending his name to Climate change alarmist warnings all hot air, says British scientist James Lovelock.

Here's Gemma Jones' notion of penetrating, probing, scientific questions:

Has Tim Flannery been discredited with all the wet weather lately? Do you still believe in man-made climate change, or is it just like Y2K for the new millennium? Tell us below.

Um Gemma, Y2K was an actual problem. People spent millions sorting it out. That's why it had a minimal impact.

Oh forget it, when you're wanting to get the punters agitated and excited, it's better to just yammer on about wet weather, the Y2K and being a believer. Climate science as the lyrics to a song by the Monkeys.

You see, scientific method isn't exactly Gemma's modus operandi. In her story linking Flannery and Lovelock, she doesn't actually bother to ask Lovelock actual questions.

Instead she rabbits on about Tim Flannery being wrong, and then shifts over to paraphrase what Lovelock told MSNBC, and then links this back to Flannery.

In the best tabloid style, she adroitly dresses this up as Lovelock dressing down Flannery. And when she runs out of quotes from Lovelock on MSNBC, she turns to Flannery praising Lovelock, on the ABC and in The Monthly, so that it's clear that the man respects the man who's denounced him ... while talking on MSNBC in a general way about climate change.

You might call it stupendously insightful journalism; others might call it lazy, suspect, malicious, devious, and running a political agenda. Seems poor Gemma couldn't get Lovelock on the phone.

Either way, it's a wondrous job of conflation and distortion, and a stark reminder that when it comes to climate change, the Terror has made it much more a political issue than a scientific one, and that readers should proceed with extreme care, and perhaps a dash of caution.

Why they might even conclude it's a vile, misleading, reprehensible, distorting rag ...

But enough with the Terror and climate science, please pardon the pond if we briefly indulge in a Bergian text for the day, published yesterday in The Age under the header Forget about the tango, it takes two to be radical.

It's Chris Berg at his finest:

... when progressives look at conservatives, they get bewildered.

Uh huh. Poor bewildered progressives.

Projecting their moral framework onto conservatives doesn't seem to explain much. So the progressives offer different explanations: conservatives must be selfish, heartless.

Uh huh. Well let's overlook the deliberately offensive and provocative use of the word "progressive" and its idle, insolent, indolent juxtaposition with the notion of conservative, and let's put it another way

Let's instead resort to an old-fashioned word. Liberal.

Projecting their moral framework onto liberals doesn't seem to explain much. So the conservatives offer different explanations: liberals must be immoral, indulgent, soft, weak, prissy, offensively lax, addle-brained and wretched.

Are we getting anywhere?

Kevin Rudd famously wrote that free market conservatives dressed greed up as economic philosophy. He might just as well have said he was completely mystified that anybody could disagree with him.

Indeed. Because it's well known that free market conservatives never dress up greed as an economic philosophy. They just let it roam about in the nude ...

Rudd could not reconcile his moral philosophy with the beliefs of others. His projection failed. And people attack what they cannot understand.

People attack what they cannot understand?!

At last an explanation of why the IPA doesn't understand climate science, and why Berg fails to understand that it was the owners of the Titanic who had the primary obligation to ensure there were sufficient lifeboats and a decent evacuation plan available for the customers on the Titanic.

When progressives look at their opponents, they don't realise the right has a different and legitimate moral framework.

Indeed. Let's put it another way:

When conservatives look at their opponents, they don't realise that liberals/the left/progressives - abuse them how you well for the slack bastards they are - have a different and legitimate moral framework.

Or some such tweedledum dweedledee twaddle. But do go on:

And when radical partisans of all stripes confront their opponents, they imagine a great political divide, and become more radical in response.
When we believe our values are the only possible ones, we make politics more hostile than it need be. We're angry not because we think we're all different, but because we think we're all alike.

Indeed. Unless of course we put it another way:

We're angry not because we think we're all alike but because we think we're all different.

Clear? Well as clear as mud perhaps on a bright autumn tabloid day ...

As usual Berg has derived his half-baked thoughts and ideas from a bit of personality and social psychology research, from which he's derived twee meaningless conclusions that suit his view of the world. Which is to accuse others of having a different view of the world, and failing to get his. Or some such thing.

Wouldn't it be simpler to shout:

North shore tossers.

Oops sorry, the pond understands that the north shore is full of suffering souls, and not mentioning their suffering is a form of class warfare.

And now the climate change people have embarked on warfare on Sydney's western suburbs, predicting all sorts of doom, gloom and future nasty weather events.

Political disagreement isn't really about politics. It is about competing worldviews; different conceptions of ethics, morality, relationships and communities.

You don't say. Could it also be about competing truisms and cliches and stereotypes? Or even banality incorporated?

... how polarised do you think Australian politics has become? Have Australians really bunkered down into bitter, warring camps on issues such as climate change and refugees.


Happily climate change isn't happening, or if it is, it doesn't matter what causes it, or so Berg was only recently assuring us.

But at last we can say with some certainty that thanks to the Daily Terror and the rest of the Murdoch camp and the IPA mob, Australia really has bunkered down into bitter, warring camps on the issue of climate change.

Now there's a triumph for myrmidon Murdochians and the IPA.

And perhaps Berg gets one thing right:

...the more radical your politics are, the more radical you imagine everybody else's politics to be.

Has there ever been a better evocation of the modus operandi of the IPA and the minions of Murdoch as they beaver away at climate science?

Oh sacred aunts and uncles, can there be a greater universal comedy than this?

(Below: no doubt you were wondering how The Australian, that superior tabloid, headlined its coverage. Rest easy, it seems western Sydney might have been hotter, but it's just the tarmac, and happy families can still go on picnics in the warming sun. So many upsides for climate change.

No link, in case you're tempted to fork over a gold bar to get to the science).

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