Saturday, January 12, 2013

Proles, your lumpen is ready ...

So Jenny Macklin admits she might have been a tad insensitive, and Adam 'let's live on $35 for a week' Bandt allegedly forked over 800k for a property back in 2010, meaning that the 35 smackeroos he wanted to live on would have to be net of any mortgage.

And these are the 'progressive' forces aligned to save the lumpenproletariat. Stand by proles, your lumpen is ready.

Meanwhile, over at the Twilight Zone, sometimes known as The Australian, there's the usual bunch of conservative reading dedicated to the empowerment of the rich. Stand by proles, your lumpen is ready.

There's an immense predictability involved in reading the rag, a kind of deja vu of the soul. Christopher Pearson, for example, belatedly joins the discussion in relation to mandatory voting, and who made a bet that 'nanny state' would get an outing, a canter, or even a gallop?

Sorry, the pond doesn't pay out when there are such short odds.

Even more astonishing, somehow we're expected to reconcile the header Right to vote stronger than right not to, (behind the paywall so you can eat your porridge in peace), and this:

The strong argument against compulsory voting is simply one of liberty. In a free country, the right to decide not to vote ought to be enshrined and as much taken for granted as the right to vote. In its favour is that it ensures the maximum enfranchisement of the electorate in making people take ownership of their government. But I think we could all do with a little less nanny-state-inspired taking ownership.

Yes, dumb subbie, what Pearson is saying is that the right not to vote is stronger than the nanny-state-required and enforced right to vote.

It says something when even the subbies can't wade through Pearson's gibberish to arrive at the point he's making.

Meanwhile, in another part of the rag, you can almost feel the sigh of collective despair, as Lauren Wilson presents an exclusive, which is about as exclusive as the pond announcing that it ate a mix of cornflakes and muesli this morning. (yes a little Kellogg madness with Swiss bircher heartiness, guaranteed to produce a weird sex life).

Yep, The Australian is here to advise the world, exclusively in bright red letters, that the carbon tax failed to wipe Whyalla from the map, something first noted in June 2012 when Whyalla Mayor downplays carbon tax impact. 

Or perhaps they've just caught up with the news that saturated the Border Mail that the Carbon tax not all it was cooked up to be, because a hundred days after the introduction of the carbon tax, good old Barners prediction of a $100 leg of lamb roast had resulted in the price of a 1.7 kilo leg of lamb falling to $18. 

Exclusive to the pond: the Border Mail exclusively scoops rag of the year for fish and chip wrapping, The Australian.

Of course the lizard Oz could have run an 'exclusive' with the header Electricity prices still a big issue, but somehow it seems the rag is doddering towards senility.

Sharp eyed readers will have noted however that the "exclusive", which is about as exclusive as the pond's Chinese-manufactured underwear, provides a segue into yet another epic work by Graham "let's distort the environment of truth" editor Lloyd:

The header, Climate results validate sceptics (behind the paywall so you can sit next to the air conditioner reading something worthwhile), is at best a distortion, or more accurately a flat-out misrepresentation, which in the old days in Tamworth would have been called a downright dishonest lie.

In the guise of fair and balanced reporting, Lloyd opens with this gambit:

On one analysis, the forecast confirms what many people have been saying for some time. Global warming effectively stopped 17 years ago and, if the new forecast is accurate, that "pause" will be extended to 20 years. 

Actually, the adjustment to the estimate of global temperatures still predicts a rise about the 1971-2012 average (and let's not even get into the cherry picking of a trend over three decades), and even Lloyd feels compelled to quote the Met:

The Met Office says despite the change, "we will continue to see near-record levels of global temperatures in the next few years". "This means temperatures will remain well above the long-term average and we will continue to see temperatures like those which resulted in 2000-2009 being the warmest decade in the instrumental record dating back to 1850."

Yes, it's still warming, according to the Met, and to others in despair at the way one projection has turned into yet another emailgate.

So please note, subbie, the climate results don't at all validate sceptics, but that doesn't stop Lloyd from generating FUD for the rest of the piece, quoting sceptics, berating the Met for not being able to predict the weather in a week's time, bemoaning how it's impossible to separate out natural variations, sobbing about the impossibility of satisfactory predictions, shifting the timeline of proof a couple of decades down the track, and hoping that - since climate change is now reported like a cosmic soccer match - real science will now be promoted over political spin and avoid future "foolish extrapolations". It's Delingpole light (you can read about the Met Office v. James Delingpole in a home fixture here).

Which all sounds like Br'er Rabbit yabbering about the briar patch. Where would The Australian be without its spinning and deviance and fradulent misrepsentations and James Delingpoles and sundry other raving ratbags and denialists? It's the home of the cosmic soccer match, and it pays over the odds for its 'star players'.

Lloyd wraps up the FUD session with this grand pronouncement:

Better models, which reflect greater scientific understanding, can only be a good thing, particularly if it means the outlook, in the near term at least, is not as bad as it once might have seemed.

Yes, it's all hunky dory, and the Chicken Littles have been put to bed, and everything's the best in the best of all possible worlds, and not once in the entire piece does Lloyd see fit to mention anything as unseemly as the United States experiencing the hottest year on record (and the second worst for expensive climate 'events').

Does any of this sound familiar? Yep, Fox News Questions Whether Government Faked Hottest Year on Record ...

And while we're at it, let's throw in a bonus: New York Times Dismantles its Environment Desk.

Never mind, all this is building to the really big event, an editorial by The Australian on climate science, and lucky world, everyone can benefit from the sage words of the prophet in Deciding whether it's climate (outside the paywall so you can choke on your rice bubbles for free).

Okay, after that build up you were probably expecting something epic, but it turns out that it's just Graham Lloyd recycled - the rag is always cheap, when it's not being nasty and cheap - and it's a necessary editorial and a necessary response, because people have been yammering on about the hot weather of late, and any focus on the hot weather would simply be unsupportable and unendurable, especially if it's linked to the climate, and so:

While most of our sunburnt country has sweltered through another summer heatwave, Jerusalem and other parts of the Middle East have been blanketed by rare snowstorms, and one of the world's leading centres for climate science has revised downwards its medium-term global temperature forecasts. 
This significant development has received little attention in Australia, where the tendency instead has been towards unproven and knee-jerk linking of the current record hot weather to the threat of global warming.

Uh huh. It gets warm in summer and sometimes it snows in winter. And sssh, whatever you do, don't mention climate science in a heatwave.

Naturally the lizard Oz is firmly on the side of reason, instead of emotive posturing. Yes, they actually say that, so you can enjoy the irony of the Twilight Zone home for emotional sceptic posturing making an appeal for reason ...

And then the editorial presents its own examples of FUD, and the impossibility of knowing anything for certain:

In a field where temperature variations over a decade are barely sufficient to confirm a trend, the focus by some on annual, monthly or even daily temperatures to support particular cases can be inane. While activists continually urge people to "accept the science", often too little attention is paid to the deliberations and debates within the scientific community. New Scientist this week published research suggesting sea level rises caused by global warming could lead to cooler oceans that could in turn reduce global temperatures, creating greater weather variability. We will always be confronted by floods, fires, droughts and storms. Whether climate or weather, we still have much to learn, as we look to take appropriate precautions in dealing with both.

Did you like that last little flourish? Let's separate it out:

Whether climate or weather, we still have much to learn, as we look to take appropriate precautions in dealing with both.

Appropriate precautions? And what might that be? Yes, just as things start to get interesting, the rag chickens out. 

But after all, the oceans are cooling, the temperatures have stopped rising, so it seems the appropriate precaution is to burn more coal, lots of it, heaps of it, and carry on as usual, and aspire to being a bogan, and obtain all your joys and desires through material possessions (if only Hamlet had known boganism, how happy he would have been, and how many generations of school students would never have had to suffer, when they could have been having wild parties instead).

It all brings us back to those epic Rupert Murdoch tweets:

At the time Crikey published this assessment

Rupert’s first tweet is “mostly true”, the second tweet is “utter bollocks” and when taken together they demonstrate a wanton disregard for the well-being of future generations and life on earth. (here)

So what's this all about? Well The Independent yesterday asked the obvious question, Has Rupert Murdoch turned into a climate change sceptic? (And, if so, his late mother wouldn't be very pleased), and came up with the obvious answer:

...News Corp’s corporate position on climate change is very different from that of many of its news outlets. Both Fox News and the Wall Street Journal are longstanding and outspoken climate change sceptics, as are News Corp’s main Australian titles. Although The Times is less obviously critical of accepted thinking in environmental science, it has also published articles by Ridley and it currently does not have a designated environment correspondent. 
 A cartoonist once pictured Dame Elisabeth looking over Rupert’s shoulder as he read an attack on Australia’s carbon emissions tax in one of his own papers, and asking her son: “Do you still read that rag?” 
 It seems Mr Murdoch is still reading and that he shares the scepticism.

So what's it that all about?  Well temperatures have stalled, the oceans are cooling, all's sailing along pretty smoothly, but sadly, and astonishingly, months after everyone else worked it out, The Australian has exclusively discovered that no one gives much of a toss about the limp lettuce leaf that is the carbon tax.

How to maintain the rage? How to sell Tony Abbott's vision of a balmy barmy army out doing real jobs creating valuable infrastructure projects, because there are many great possibilities waiting for an eager private sector wanting to rort the taxpayer, and prove once again the best way forward is to socialise the losses and privatise the profits?

For the manual on how to proceed, simply read The Australian. Do the FUD and then do the spend. And call it an appropriate precaution ...

Oh and proles, you'll still get your lumpen, now would you like your bath temperature increased by 0.43C, as opposed to 0.54C?

Or would you simply prefer to read about the controversy in a rag which pays attention to actual detail, as you can do here or more generally here, with not an exclusive in sight but also without a gold brick demand for payment for disingenuous dissembling which involves reporting on a single figure as if we're dealing with a provincial soccer match ...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.