Saturday, November 08, 2014

In which the pond starts out wanting a better debate, but in the end settles for a glass of Orange-O ...

Every so often, the pond feels like awarding "what a cheeky git, what a foolish futtock" award ...

But on reflection, the reptiles publishing a notorious, hot-headed, climate denialist like Chris Kenny calling for a 'better debate' (as opposed to 'better science' - remember always teach and print the controversy) surely deserves, warrants, a "golden fuckwit" award ...

Yes, this was the rag that yesterday published Maurice Newman, who concluded his piece with a reference to an ABC poll:

While the debate over the RET and Direct Action shows all sides of politics remain hostage to the climate change cartel, an ABC radio poll asked: “Is the IPCC right that on current fossil use ‘projec­tories’, we are heading for a global warming of four or five degrees by century’s end?” The result? Of 3101 votes counted, 91 per cent voted no, only 9 per cent yes. 
Enough said.

Now at first blush that was stupid enough, since such polls are rigorously unscientific, open to gaming, and anybody who references them as proving anything about anything are indeed futtocks of the first water ...

But then came the news that the poll had indeed been gamed:

There's plenty more here at the original posting, which concludes:

This is a small selection of tweets, blogs and Facebook posts asking members of the climate denial community to vote in the poll. Enough said?

Well enough said about Maurice ... and what can be said about the reptiles and their kool aid that hasn't already been said before ...

But there's a little more to be said about Kenny this day, because Kenny likes to pretend he's even-handed and considered when it comes to climate change, a balanced student of the science, a weigher of options, a poised chap with pert expertise:


What in fact you get from the reptiles, courtesy Maurice, and Kenny, is robust denialism.

But you have to head off to his native lair to see Kenny in his prime.

He runs the line that he's a cool considered character all the time. But it's always this sort of line:

Regular readers will know I like to tilt at the windmill of climate alarmism. 
For my trouble, I am constantly attacked as a denier (in itself is a vile term, previously reserved for Holocaust deniers). 
It doesn't seem to matter to alarmists that no sensible person would deny the climate is changing - it always has and always will change. 

Which is perhaps the most bog standard and most profoundly stupid line of the average bog denialist ...

Perhaps only matched by recollections of a personal kind. You know, in the old days, when it got hot, we took a mattress out the back and gazed up at the stars ... as if that's got anything to do with anything when it comes to the science ...

Meanwhile, in that piece here, let's look at the result of Kenny's call for a calm, rational debate and discussion, as Kenny bravely puts himself in the "informed people" camp. Let's catch the tone of voice:

Zealots ... Greens activists and political poseurs ... nasty zero sum-game ...moral panic ... laughable ... tosh ... climate alarmism ... alarmists ...

Large elements of the political class, including the Greens, Labor, environmental groups, most of the media and, especially, the public broadcasters are committed to this doomsday cult. 

Even before last week became totally hysterical, ABC TV news ran one of their typical climate stories with alarmist language about the impact on marine life.

Yes, that's a scientific debate deploying science right down there with Maurice Newman ...


And then comes this:

The trouble with the alarmists is they make it seem less like climate or weather, and more like religion.

Oh sweet long absent lord, not the religion meme.

That age-old trope amongst denialists ... except you're not supposed to call Kenny a denialist.

Well denialist is in the Oxford here and it suits Kenny very well:

A person who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence: 

the small minority of very vocal climate change denialists

You can also Greg Hunt Denialism here - careful, watch out for stray walri - but it's enough for the pond that Kenny should, in the usual way, attempt to conflate religion and science, and thereby allege that those who accept the science are somehow fundamentalists chanting slogans in the darkness.

It goes without saying that whenever Kenny gets a chance to deny, confuse or conflate, he'll be there with spades, as in Distorting the data on our changeable climate.

Now others have spent profitable time picking away at Kenny and his arguments and his logic - as in The Australian's own jaundiced view of climate science - but the pond has a simpler test.

If Kenny is so keen on balanced, sensible, intelligent debate, why isn't he ravaging the reptiles for their wretched coverage? Why isn't he mocking Newman for using a half-baked, half-arsed online poll as some kind of fatuous evidence about nothing except the fine art of gaming and trolling?

Sssh, mum's the word.

How silly does it get?

Well Kenny and the reptiles all joined Abbott in demonising climate science and a tax on carbon, and gleefully joined in the destruction of the tax.


With the Coalition and Labor committed to the same emissions reduction goal, the farce is laid bare. And Denniss has some cut-through logic that would send our partisan debate into a spin.
“The best way to fund Direct Action,” he says, “would be with a modest carbon price.”
 It is a logical conclusion. 

It reminded the pond of that first dystopian novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano, which is all about a near-future society where human labor has been almost completely replaced by mechanization.

But having destroyed all the machines, at the very end of the novel, there's a flicker of hope:

In the station's waiting room, carnage was everywhere. The terrazzo floor, depicting an earlier slaughter of Iliumites by Oneida Indians, was strewn with the guts and internal secretions of the automatic ticket vendor, the automatic nylon vendor, the automatic coffee vendor, the automatic newspaper vendor, the automatic toothbrush vendor, the automatic shoeshine machine, the automatic photo studio, the automatic baggage checker, the automatic insurance salesman . . . 
But around one machine a group had gathered. The people were crowding one another excitedly, as though a great wonder were in their midst. 
Paul and Finnerty left the car to examine the mystery, and saw that the center of attention was an Orange-O machine. Orange-O, Paul recalled, was something of a cause celebre, for no one in the whole country, apparently, could stomach the stuff - no one save Doctor Francis Eldgrin Gelhorne, National Industrial, Commercial, Communications, Foodstuffs, and Resources Director. As a monument to him, Orange-O machines stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest, though the coin-box collectors never found anything in the machines but stale Orange-O. 
But now the excretor of the blended wood pulp, dye, water, and orange-type flavoring was as popular as a nymphomaniac at an American Legion convention. 
"O.K., now let's try anotha' nickel in her an' see how she does," said a familiar voice from behind the machine - the voice of Bud Calhoun. 
"Clunkle" went the coin, and then a whir, and a gurgle. 
The crowd was overjoyed. 
"Filled the cup almost to the top that time; and she's nice and cold now, too," called the man by the machine's spout. 
"But the light behind the Orange-O sign didn't light up," said a woman. 
"Supposed to." "We'll fix that, won't we, Bud?" said another voice from behind the machine. 
"You people get me about three feet of that red wire hanging out of the shoeshine machine, and somebody let me borrow their penknife a second." 
The speaker stood up and stretched, and smiled contentedly, and Paul recognized him: the tall, middle-aged, ruddy-faced man who'd fixed Paul's car with the sweatband of his hat long ago. 
The man had been desperately unhappy then. Now he was proud and smiling because his hands were busy doing what they liked to do best, Paul supposed - replacing men like himself with machines...

Yep, destroy the machines so that people can use them to re-build the machines ...

Put it another way, we've destroyed the carbon tax ... let's fix the carbon tax ...

If you can have a tax on big business to fund paid parental leave you could also have a tax on big polluters to fund Direct Action. Given the shared aims of our main parties, Denniss’s hybrid plan makes sense.

Could it get any funnier? As funny as Vonnegut's sense of irony?

Denniss’s approach demonstrates how climate change is like any other policy issue: if there is an issue to be resolved, there will be many ways to tackle it. 

 Instead, from most quarters, we get screams of looming calamity or dismissive talk of a hoax. 
 As the ABC’s Jonathan Green wrote on The Drum website last month: “They cry wolf, they cry terror, they fan the flames of ­disquiet and distrust. Because fear sells.” 
Here was the ABC preaching against emotionalism and in favour of a more considered approach. But Green, as you may have guessed, wasn’t talking about climate. 
He was railing against tabloid coverage of the terrorism threat. 
No one seems to have an interest in toning down the fear and loathing in the climate debate.

A more considered approach? What, like storming up and down the country deriding the witch and her carbon tax, and coming out with simple three word slogans to gasps of admiration from the likes of Kenny?

As for no one having an interest in toning down the fear and loathing, why surely that's a tad unfair.

After all, deploring despicable feral poseurs and alarmists in a laughable moral panic filled with alarmist tosh is just another day of rational, calm, even-handed discussion ...

And now, as the  news that the ABC has conducted a most scientific radio poll rings in our ears, proving with absolute certainty that no one accepts climate science,  what better time to trot out talk of a carbon tax like an Orange-O machine waiting to be fixed ...

Yep that golden fuckwit award has been hard earned and richly deserved ...

And now there's just time for a considered reflection on the debate, thanks to Cathy Wilcox, and more Wilcox here, a debate led on the national level, by a man who, like Kenny on a reptile level, is across all the detail and the nuance:


  1. Is Chris Kenny sure that he can handle the complexity of a better debate? Or objectively interpret data about "no sensible person", while wearing a ghost shirt, dancing with wolves, and chugging on Fanta-sy?

  2. Dot, your Vonnegut extract made me wince and the Kenny head made me squirm

    I am glad I do not have to read him as you do.

    What climate change 'debate' Kenny? All I hear are angry voices yelling at scientists. If they knew what they were talking about they may be worth listening to. But they don't. All they do is regurgitate the yammerings of others, some of whom have been shown to be less than rigorous in their scholarship.

    Meanwhile we have a PM who claims that climate change is 'crap' and yet is prepared to give a selected few billions of dollars to fix a problem he has asserted does not exist.

    He is becoming more like the Cheshire Cat every day. One day soon all that will be left of him is the rictus grin. David Rowe seems to be heading in that direction.

    Scientists who spend their lives measuring things, observing, solving and testing before making any projections must despair of the ill and uninformed rabble whose voices are the loudest.

    These people are inflexible fundamentalists. They believe in unlimited economic growth. Those with concerns must be leftists. The Left is bad, very bad. Climate change is code for destroying the market economy. And so they shine a torch under the sagging mattress where The Reds dwell and drag out a hapless comrade, stick him in the stocks and take turns in hurling rotten cabbages in his direction.

    Their malignant foolishness will not prevail. I am confident of that. One day in the not too distant future the Chinese will stop buying our coal. You can't tell me that people who want to invest in new coal mines might find it more difficult in coming decades to raise the funds.

    Shout all you like Kenny and pals. You are dinosaurs.

    1. "One day in the not too distant future the Chinese will stop buying our coal..."

      Asbestos, Barnyard, and the Robber yesterday distracted with a COALition plan for that contingency.

      A plan for going solar you might ask? WTF, not so fast. Shut your GAB. It's for limited gung ho limited "free" trade in limited agricultural sales to China, significantly in the limitless numbers of northern live cattle available for export (and with no back-loading of workers says the Robber, trust me).

      But a new report warns that CSG development in the Pilliga risks depressurising the Great Artesian Basin.


      The new report reveals The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) in the Pilliga Forest of North West NSW is one of the most critical water recharge areas and is under siege from unconventional gas mining.

      Resource company Santos has put forward plans to the Federal Government to drill 850 coal seam gas wells into the area mapped as the highest water significance in NSW.

      Report author, Mr Banks, an adjunct research fellow with Queensland University, said CSG mining required holes to be drilled hundreds of metres to reduce pressure in the seam and allow methane gas to be extracted.

      He said that in a worst-case scenario the loss of pressure could be enough to stop bores flowing throughout the basin, which is the sole water source for towns and farms across 22 per cent of Australia. Equipping the bores with pumps would cost ­billions, he said.

      "The GAB is being destroyed by two things. Firstly, by the incredible wastage from the thousands of uncapped bores; but principally by the enormous water usage by the mining and coal seam gas industries, which are depleting and polluting the stressed GAB even further."

    2. That's OK, Anon. Abbott's answer will be 'dams, dams, dams!'

  3. Replies
    1. hohohoho the stupids want to claim that they have some knowledge about Teh Enlightenment? That's funny, and a fantastic opportunity for them to show how little they do know about this period. Can't wait to hear some more light-weight and twisted 'analysis' from their narrow nasty little minds.

      For another example - Cater is bad enough - of how shallow their understanding of this period in history actually, listen if you can to the fools on Counterpoint last week. I did myself some damage face-palming.

      And where is Amanda the redoubtable? Is she boning up on the Enlightenment so she can give us her commonsense conservative womanly take on the issue?

      I guess they have given up trying to convince people that they are good Christians and that that is what makes them better than the rest of the people so the next thing on the list of things that the white civilization has is the enlightenment.

      It is clear that they can't claim any superiority for their Christianity over Islam and the Jews, unless ........they actually follow the teachings of Jesus.

      Why cannot they see that they are such awful hypocrites?

      Of course, Dunning-Kruger and those cognitive biases of all kinds including Motivated cognition and guess what? Motivated cognition sounds just the same sort of thinking that Freud recognised and described as defence mechanisms.

      Muslims can see it but our great white men and their women who suck it up for the patriachy cannot.
      They cannot see how their hypocrisy in claiming superiority over muslims because they *have* Jesus and then they blatantly violate their Jesus morals and somehow expect the respect that comes from *being* Christian.

    2. Boko Halal, translated by City of Light locals as The Good Book, is all the Enlightenment the West needs. From the phonics of 'In the Beginning was the Word' to the basic science of 'Fiat Lux', Judeo-Christian values are the foundations of Civilization. And, whatever is done in life, always make sure to read the money-changers' pamphlets and never the table-upturners', through the Right end of the Galilean telescope.

  4. This Kenny bloke, did I hear right that he fucked a dog once?

    1. Apparently someone circulated an image of him caught in the act, but the pond doesn't know anything more about it ...

  5. "I want a promise from Putin on MH17, says Abbott."
    That makes me want to slap myself upside my own haid.

  6. Markson's been getting on her self-obsessed high-horse again about not being allowed to harass Barrie Cassidy. Helen Razer calls her out for what she is.

    “Write something, you contemptible tools.”


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