Sunday, March 23, 2014

Taking a few steps backwards ...

(Above: a couple of oldies but goodies, the latter to celebrate the news that First Dog is leaving Crikey and heading off to The Guardian, story at mUmBRELLA here)

Amazing scenes.

Miranda the Devine scribbling furiously in the Terror, the least trusted newspaper in the world, Sinodinos delay is an own goal:

Sinodinos’ tardy acceptance of the reality of his situation has delivered ammunition to those cynics who regard the major parties as equally reprehensible. It’s played into the hands of those who claim the last three years didn’t represent a new ethical low in public life and that it was just Tony Abbott’s aggressive “misogyny” which made politics look tawdry. It gave succour to those who say the royal commissions into corrupt unions and pink batts are politically motivated and hypocritical. It’s given Penny Wong her first taste of blood.

And so on and so forth. How bizarre can it get?

Eric Abetz on ABC’s 730 looked like any of the myriad Labor spin artists we have seen blithely defending the indefensible. “You came into government promising new standards of probity and accountability,” he was asked. “Doesn’t this sound very much like NSW Labor Inc?” Groan. 

Oh no, not sweet Eric. Groan.

For a government which won its spurs on the back of what Christopher Pyne rightly calls the “sewer” of Labor politics, standing by Sinodinos a fraction too long was a devastating own goal.

Oh no, not the poodle. Groan.

Just as shocking is the way Samantha Maiden drags Bill Heffernan into the affair in Arthur Sinodinos, Bill Heffernan and the Australian Water Holdings affair (paywall affected):

How did the Liberal Party’s much loved success story, the son of Greek migrants who did good end up mired in this terrible mess? 
 Ultimately, Sinodinos should have known better. In politics as in life, judgments are made about the company you keep. 
 With a lifelong distaste for all that glitters in Sydney’s world of wheelers and dealers, Heffernan was never going to let the mystery of EightByFive slide.

Oh dear, not heroic Bill battling for truth and justice.

The pond felt like it had spent Sunday morning bathing in a stew of the ABC and the Fairfaxians. Could it get any worse?

Oh no, not dear old Bronnie. Groan.

She's the head clown in the circus? Seems so, if you read Bronwyn Bishop's role as Speaker in federal Parliament is becoming a circus (paywall affected)...

Meanwhile, over at Fairfax, the Fairfaxians were showing the reptiles just how top notch, hard hitting investigative reporting should be featured at the top of the digital page (no links, screen cap only):

The pond began to feel disorientated, in the way you do when stumbling out of bed in a deep sleep, or getting chilled and the mind turning numb.

Everything seemed wrong, out of kilter, out of sorts. The Fairfaxians trying to match the Daily Mail, and the reptiles ravaging the Liberal party?

How could this be? How to redress the balance?

Surely there was a way the Devine, for example, could rush to judgment, jump the shark and nuke the fridge, and maintain her status as the Sunday voice of the demented Murdochians?

Glad you asked, and happily it's there under the sub-header Hot debate is under review:

As Labor and the Greens blocked the government’s repeal of the carbon tax in the Senate, last week, on the other side of the world came the first rumbles that the scientific establishment may be seriously rethinking the costly climate alarmism that has landed us in this pickle.

Uh huh. The American Physical Society is conducting a review of its statement on climate change, and the Devine takes great heart from three of the six of the names involved, all stout-hearted sceptics and deniers:

After six years in which global temperatures have not budged, computer models which predicted wild warming are looking dodgy. May the APS review be the start of a trend, which leaves Labor, the Greens and the Australian Science Academy like shags on a very cold rock.

Now there's as fine an example of the scientific principle and method at work as can be imagined. Reach a foreordained conclusion, appoint true believers to make it so, and issue a report confirming that the prejudice is reality.

Rush off to the APS site, and you cop this rather dull statement, more here:

The standing policy of the society is to review its statements every five years. The society first adopted the climate change statement seven years ago, but appended an addendum in 2010. The review also coincides with the release of the latest report on the physical science basis of climate change from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 
The months-long process started last year with the formation of the subcommittee and a steering committee, which is guiding the statement review subcommittee through the review process. In addition to weighing the opinions of experts from its workshop, the review subcommittee is researching information related to climate change and reviewing the roughly 1,500-page climate change report by the IPCC. 
If a new statement is drafted, it will be submitted to the full POPA committee in June. Once approved by POPA, it will go to the APS executive board for a vote. If approved there, the proposed statement will be posted on the society’s website for members to read and comment on, likely sometime later in 2014. 
Once all of the comments have been collected, POPA will again review the statement and may revise it further based on members’ input. It will then go to the executive board and the full council for a vote on whether the statement should be officially adopted in its final form. 
“We’re not rushing this. Climate science and climate change will be around a long time and we want to get this right before sending it out to the membership for review and comment,” Jaffe said.

What's that? Climate science and climate change will be around a long time?

And the APS is embarking on a process, which if it were the IPCC, would see the Devine frothing at the mouth about bureaucratisation of science and consensus science and all the other usual saws ...

Of course the APS has been there before, what with Hal Lewis carrying on like a tortured wombat, and some in the membership acting like a bunch of geologists deeply afraid for the mining industry.

Whatever the political processes might conclude, the only likely result is the ongoing politicisation of the science, much blather about models, and bugger all attention paid to the actual findings based on actual research ...

Meanwhile, over at the Fairfaxians, there was Tom Arup seeming not to understand that climate science was over, dead in the water, a cold shag on a very remote rock, as he scribbled IPCC warns climate chaos will worsen, harming Australia's economy.

Tom claims to have seen a final draft of the current IPCC report, which places the fuss at the APS in a different light, what with it being likely that there will be a whole new set of questions being asked after the report's release on March 31st.

What implications might there be?

Jean Palutikof, a review editor of the assessment and director of Australia's National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, said while adaptation measures were important, there were limits to what the world could achieve, and it was important to cut global emissions to ensure thresholds were not reached. 
''It is quite black-and-white there is a risk we will go beyond the limits of the natural environment and human society to adapt to the climate,'' Professor Palutikof said. 
A spokesman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the government recognised the importance of adapting to climate change, pointing to the refunding of the research facility, which it has asked to ''focus on putting practical adaptation information in the hands of decision-makers so we can build a stronger and more resilient Australia''.

Say what?

We'll have to adapt to climate change?

O tempora o mores!

Et tu Greg Hunt?

Or should that be Greg Hunt is a cold shag on a very cold rock?

And who will tell the Devine that she should have scribbled May the APS review be the start of a trend, which leaves Labor, the Greens, the Australian Science Academy and Greg Hunt and his spokesperson like shags on a very cold rock.

The pond loves the smell of irony and napalm on a Sunday morning ... and thanks the long absent lord for sort of order being restored in the world ...

And so to a few old jokes to wrap it up ...

1 comment:

  1. I propose that from now on the name of Hunt should be pronounced with a snarl and a spit - just like the Carry On crew pronounced "the Count" in Don't Lose Your Head.


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