Now where were we?
Looking back, it has to be admitted that the pond mishandled the seasonal transition with a singular lack of grace and style.
No top ten worst lists, no top ten best lists, no new year's resolutions, not even an award for the 2013 loon of the year.
It turned out that this was just as well, because a late-breaking streaker, a stout-hearted stallion made a very late rails run, and turned the rest of the field into mere amateur idlers and dilettantes - or a wrong 'un of English cricketers, if you will ...
Yep, good old Maurice Newman caught everyone napping and convincingly won racing away, with his epic Crowds go cold on climate cost (behind the lizard oz paywall because you have to pay to access 'loon of the year material' of this quality), which just made the cut by being published on 31st December at 12.00 am. Talk about a narrow squeak! But what a squeak!
The quality of the paranoia, the awareness of an international conspiracy at work, was both breath-taking and inspirational. Black helicopters? Bah, humbug:
Since its first report in 1990, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change progressively has applied mass psychology through a compliant media to spread the delusion that wicked Western industrialists are causing irreparable damage to the climate.
But it got even better. You see, Germany is in ruins and so is Britain and so too is Australia, and forget all that nonsense about dollars and wages and Gina wanting people to work like Africans for a couple of bucks as the reason for Australia's manufacturing woes. The dollar and labour costs and anything else those foolish free market economists might come up with simply fail to cut it.
It's all to do with the madness, the complete and utter insanity:
Australia, too, has become hostage to climate change madness. It has been a major factor in the decimation of our manufacturing industry.
Newman doesn't quite manage to explain how the Germans seem to keep manufacturing people's wagons and führer wagons like the Merc (ah yes, we drove a Merc on the break), while Holden retreats to Detroit, but then you're not reading any of Maurice's ramblings for business insights, but for the luxurious pleasure of reading the rant of the year.
The real theme, you see, was the complete madness, the utter insanity, with only Maurice in the grip of truth, as established in the opening par:
In his marvellous chronicle of human gullibility, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay wrote: "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one."
Now it has been well said, by many marvellous chroniclers of human stupidity, that when men don't know the first thing about the subject at hand, they will revert to gibberish and talk of herds and religion, and never recover their senses.
Newman showed how it was done by converting science into a religion:
The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling.
When in doubt, always go the religion routine.
It means you never actually have to speak of the actual science.
Of course, it can also get atheists going, what with people like Tony "climate science is crap" Abbott believing in transubstantiation (cannibalism and an orgy of blood drinking at your local Catholic church, dressed up as wafers and wine to fool the suckers), virgin births, loaves and fishes, burning bushes, parting seas, rising from the dead - was heaven so bad?- and all the rest of the hokum. But that's actual religion, and if you think about it long and stupidly enough, it's a kind of science ...
Speaking of religion, it turns out that one of Newman's cited sources, Roy Spencer, is a keen intelligent designer:
In TCS Daily, Spencer wrote, "Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as 'fact,' I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism. In the scientific community, I am not alone. There are many fine books out there on the subject. Curiously, most of the books are written by scientists who lost faith in evolution as adults, after they learned how to apply the analytical tools they were taught in college." In the book The Evolution Crisis, Spencer wrote, "I finally became convinced that the theory of creation actually had a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution, for the creation model was actually better able to explain the physical and biological complexity in the world. [...] Science has startled us with its many discoveries and advances, but it has hit a brick wall in its attempt to rid itself of the need for a creator and designer." (and more on the "official climatologist to the Rush Limbaugh" show here and any number of entries here).
Yep, the religion behind the anti-climate science crusade seems to be firmly creationist. Sucks boo, Darwin ...
There is of course plenty more to be found in Maurice's work, including many swipes at wind energy, and delusions - yes, 'delusion' gets trotted out six times, in a epic flurry of delusionalism - with only Maurice to hand ready to tilt at the wicked, wretched windmills ... before Maurice rounded it up with this almost biblical denunciation:
From the UN down, the climate change delusion is a gigantic money tree. It is a tyranny that, despite its pretensions, favours the rich and politically powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless. But the madness of the crowds is waning and, as Mackay writes of the perpetrators: "Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later." We can only hope it comes before most of us descend into serfdom.
Punish the wicked perpetrators, the damned sinners! Now what was that about religion?
And here's the kicker, here's the killer. The reptiles tagged Newman this way:
Maurice Newman is chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council.
So it's official then!
Oh it was a right old rumble after that. Graham Lloyd, long accustomed to spreading fear and confusion about the climate science conspiracy by parroting any guff that crosses his desk, was faithfully at hand to spread the word and conduct an interview with Maurice in Climate policies helped kill manufacturing, says Maurice Newman (behind the paywall because conspiracies don't come cheap).
It was poignant, heart-rending, as Newman explained how Senator Madigan (yes he too believes in cannibalism and human blood-drinking in churches) had explained that the windmills were ruining everything:
He said the issue involved "the pain and suffering of little people living in rural Australia, environmental damage, fraud on a grand scale, deception, lies and concealment".
It's an international global conspiracy, perhaps reaching into the furthermost recesses of the universe!
Naturally the reptiles knew they were on a winner, and quickly cobbled together a follow up, Newman faces a storm on climate (behind the paywall because sustaining a conspiracy theory is so damned expensive), with a quote from a Labor party chap, because you know, teh rag is so fair and balanced ... and scientific ...
The reptiles even ran a piece by Mohamed Nasheed, Denialists defy tradition (behind the paywall because it costs to publish the controversy), blathering on about the Maldives sinking, while claiming at the same time to be a conservative believer in free markets, small government, globalisation, Thatcherism and Reagonomics.
Rubbish sir, you're a delusional part of a massive international conspiracy, a mere pawn. Don't bother Maurice with your petty concerns. Sinking islands indeed ...
And there were other responses, typically led by those arch-conspirators at Fairfax and The Graudian. Jonathan Swan's piece, Tony Abbott's business adviser says Australia taken 'hostage' by 'climate change madness', (forced video at end of link) used this photo, both apocalyptic and comfortably religious, as an illustration:
Oh Lord, save us from the crazed, crazy climate scientists
The Graudian, in Tony Abbott's top business adviser accuses IPCC of 'dishonesty and deceit' favoured a rather more glum illustration:
Still, there's a whiff, a hint of paranoia in the glumness.
Then there was Australia, 'hostage to climate change madness'? To say so is madness indeed, and at least one proposal for a new year's resolution- Tony Abbott's new year's resolution: disavow climate change extremist Maurice Newman - and David Karoly even accused Newman of being a flat earther who'd mistaken the new year for April Fool's Day in Maurice Newman's flat-earth thinking ignores climate change facts. (forced video at end of link)
Of course that's just part of Newman's boldness, and bravery - perhaps the source of his greatness.
How wonderful that he should have decided to hit out, just as newspapers were faithfully recording the news that Åustralia had just experienced its hottest year on record since records began.
It naturally led to obvious stories like Australia swelters under a sham climate change policy after hottest year on record.
Pshaw! Silly Alexander White! Fancy not understanding that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology is one of the key players in the gigantic fraudulent international global conspiracy ...
But for the real measure of Newman's genius, you just have to look at the opposition.
Oh sure, the Fairfaxians tried it on, by publishing John McLean's Lack of accountability clouding the climate change debate.
McLean also did a heap of IPCC bashing, but the main thing clouding the Fairfaxian approach was the way McLean's credentials were distorted (you can find McLean here in Climate Misinformer: Favourite climate myths by John McLean), resulting in an angry note to L'Age by reader Jason Good, who mentioned McLean's preferred organisations were favoured by ExxonMobile funding (here).
Way too obvious Mr. McLean! And a pitiful effort from the Fairfaxians, who really don't get the denialist spirit that's the sturm und drang of the Murdochians.
Naturally the Daily Terror tried its little heart out. The most distrusted newspaper in Australia missed out on Newman, so there was much amusement about the Antarctic explorers getting stuck on board ship while heading south.
The Terror dusted off the moths and the smell of napthalene flakes to give the jolly rogered Roger Franklin a run In the icy grip of fear that global warming is claptrap, but it was feeble, pitiful stuff.
Oh there's no doubting that the Roger is a wonderfully insightful climate scientist, but the best he could manage was a few jokes about warmists and grants, because taking a dime from Rupert Murdoch and the least trusted newspaper in Australia is so much more ethical ...
Miranda the Devine was also on hand, but since her hero Lord Monckton ran off with the fundies she's never recovered the zest, and it has to be said that Warmists trapped by irony off Antartica was a tepid effort.
Oh sure, there was a flurry of 'warmists' being in pathological denial, but it surely takes an expert form of pathological denialism not to mention once Australia's record year of heat...
That's the way the ironical argument proceeds in the tabloid fundamentalist mind, certainty to the exclusion of all other possibilities ...
Of course there's an irony about denialists seizing on a weather event, when they relentlessly whine about warmists seizing on weather events, but somehow it lacked any pizzazz.
One hapless Graudian journalist bit on the tease with Five basic Antarctic facts for climate change sceptics, but it was a storm in an Antarctic teacup.
What gives Maurice grunt is that he dared to sign the federal government's name to his rant.
Now where was Tony Abbott? In France, so they say. And Greg Hunt? No doubt off at a meeting of the flat earth society, or taking advice from his government's business advisor.
The capper to all this?
Well at the same time that Newman was breaking into the press, news came that one third of the US population rejected the theory of evolution and for some bizarre reason the news.com.au website determined it would run a story Are the very mental shortcuts our brain has evolved for efficiency working against the acceptance of evolution?
Never mind that this is an old story, given a fresh coat of paint by a new survey.
What was amusing was the way the Murdochians cannily outlined the challenged comprehension at work in the world of the "teach the controversy" Murdochians ...
But let's ignore all this talk of science, which is really a religion, and religion, which is really a science.
The pond has a most unexpected winner, a champeen of international global conspiracies, even if the news is now so last year, and already new challengers are surging on to the track, eager to show their stuff ...
Bold, brave Cory Bernardi has made an early run in the new year for the prize that rightfully should have been his in 2013.
Oh yes, Cory Bernardi calls for debate on abortion in controversial new book (forced video at end of link) suggests that 2014 is going to be a grand year for the pond, and for aspirational loons who want to tilt at windmills, and who knows, achieve the ultimate heights scaled by Maurice Newman.
Now if only we could present an autographed copy of David Pope's cartoon as a prize - and remember, there's always more Popery here.
Why the wicked lad even had something to say about that record so studiously ignored by the Murdochians, suggesting he probably sketches while flying to work on a black helicopter ...