Thursday, November 13, 2014

In which the pond throws a pinch of salt over the shoulder to silence assorted forms of hysteria ...

No, Mr. Micallef, (iView here), it's not just a tizzy in Brizzy!

It's a full scale invasion. It's full-on, totally naked, fully cut aggression ...

The Ruskis are coming, the Ruskis are coming .... and talk about getting the Murdochian tabloids in a tizz and a flap and a Chicken Little mood.

Could it get any worse? Well yes, because the Ruskis are steaming towards Brizzy itself. It's the Brisbane Line all over again ...

Now the pond is alert, but not alarmed. In Sydney we still have the fortifications prepared to repel previous Ruski invasions, and if they come anywhere near good old Sydney town, they'll feel the taste of colonial steel ...

Egad Vlad, don't press the point (and check out Sydney's fortifications here).

Say what?

Indeed. But not as haf-witted or as silly as the front pages of Murdoch tabloids, getting agitated about Russian ships in international waters conforming to international law ... and meanwhile, in the Ukraine ...

But what, you ask, since you know that rhetorical questions help the pond fill in the space, about the astonishing and marvellous feat of European scientists landing a bit of space junk on a distant comet?

Well that's simple to explain. 

You see, when these religious types, fat cats sitting at their desks drawing unholy amounts of grant money, finally get around to praying extra hard, they sometimes luck in. That's the way it is with religionistas, who dress themselves up in white coats and call themselves scientists, but we all know the truth about that, and besides, it's just part of an international conspiracy to introduce a world government, with the Europeans trying to trick the UN into second place ...

When will people work out that this is the cleverest spy satellite of all? Or alternatively, when will people realise that this is just a clever show shot at Filmstudio Babelsberg in best Capricorn One style ...

But what, you ask, since you know that rhetorical questions help the pond fill in the space, about that devious, perverted alliance between the Kenyan socialist and the warped Communists, which even forced the reptiles at the Oz to push the Ruski invasion of Brizzy into second spot:

The pond has to admit it was caught on the hop.

The fiends, the despicable fiends. Now sure, when you visit Shanghai or Beijing on a bad day, you reel away with your lungs full of gunk, your nostrils blocked, your breathing laboured, and sensing you've just sliced a few years off your life, but on the surface, this seems to suggest that even the devious, perverted, filthy, vile Communists take climate science seriously ...

Where's Maurice Newman when he's needed?

Relax, the experts are at hand, and all thanks to the valiant troops of Chairman Rupert for their help in exposing the fraud.

The pond immediately consulted the world's greatest climate scientists - yes, the pond realises he's ever so humble, but the truth must be spoken - and his response was clear cut:

It was all so obvious. The Kenyan socialist had lost out, and the Chinese were only pretending, because everyone knows that climate science is just a form of necromancy conducted by chanting, fanatical true believers ... religion dressed up as science, the sort of humbug science we've all come to expect from NASA and the Europeans ...

But the pond hungered for more. Oh sure the US Republicans were on side with the Bolter, but unless you read it in the Oz, it simply lacks credibility.

Thank the long absent lord, they had a couple of expert climate scientists, top notch exponents in the field:

Where to start? Well how about with the deep thoughts of the knob polisher and forelock tugger?

We have to take the climate agreement between China and the US announced yesterday with more than a pinch of salt. There will be a lot of this sort of stuff leading up to the Paris climate meeting next year. Politicians, especially those with only two years left in office, will readily make vast, sweeping promises to be redeemed many years and political cycles hence.

More than a pinch of salt!

Yes, indeed, because the Chinese communist party has only got two years left in office, and so is inclined to readily make vast, sweeping promises knowing that it'll soon be all over, red rover ...

The climate change hysterics will of course equate, in their own minds, the Chinese and US presidential aspirations to immediate action. As history has taught us any number of times, congress never feels bound by unilateral presidential declarations. (Ask the South Vietnamese, who had the most solemn assurances of continuing military assistance from successive presidents.) 
The purpose of the announcements is clear enough — to make the respective leaders look good, take pressure off their governments in international negotiations and encourage other countries to adopt big targets and endure the associated costs. None of that is dishonourable but it is a million miles away from guaranteed action.

The climate change hysterics!

You see? Calm, clear, rational analytical language at work.

Yes, enough of this religiously inspired climate change hysteria. The congress of China will ensure that absolutely nothing to happen, and all this talk of China taking any form of action whatsoever is just so much hogwash, and forget all that idle chatter about China being a world leader in renewable energy ...

And so to the actual science, and happily Monash University has a good prof to hand ready to point the finger at government scientists (yes, yes, Monash is fully funded by the private sector, no government money involved at all):

Since similar declines in global temperature occurred in 1880-1910 and 1950-75, it is reasonable to ask whether the present apparent decline is historically unusual, and why our government science advisers ­persist in the view that steady increases in atmospheric CO2 are the major driver of such changes.

Damn you, government science advisers, why don't you go join a privately funded university?

But hang on, just who is this Michael Asten?

Yes, the pond has been down this well-trodden path before, and it was as long ago as the 31st August 2011 that Michael Ashley scribbled Event horizon: the black hole in The Australian's climate change coverage (head there for the links):

When I contacted The Australian’s opinion editor late last year to express dismay at their bias, I was given the example of Michael Asten, a part-time professorial fellow in the school of geosciences at Monash University, Melbourne, as someone who was well-qualified to comment. 
So I did some investigation into Asten and his four OpEds in The Australian over the past two years. A quick check of Asten’s peer-reviewed publications shows that while he appears to be your go-to guy if you have electromagnetic interference problems with your fluxgate magnetometer, he hasn’t published anything remotely related to climate science. He is, however, well-connected with the mining and coal industries. 
In his first OpEd (“Climate claims fail science test”, December 9, 2009), Asten wrote “recent results published by top scientists cast doubt on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s theory” and he showcased the work that Pearson et al published in the top journal Nature. 
But Asten misrepresented the findings in the Nature paper. Don’t just take my word for it— Paul Pearson and his co-authors wrote to The Australian saying “Professor Michael Asten has misrepresented our recent research by suggesting that it casts doubt on the link between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming”. 
They added, “We would like to take this opportunity to add our voices to the strong and steady message that the world scientific community is delivering to the Copenhagen negotiators — the greenhouse problem is real, imminent and potentially devastating for the planet, its life, and human civilization. Fortunately it is still not too late to avert the catastrophe.” 
You would think you couldn’t ask for a clearer statement than that, but Asten went on to argue in his second opinion piece (“More evidence CO₂ not culprit”, December 29, 2009) that he used data in Pearson’s paper to arrive at a different conclusion from Pearson himself. 
So, Asten, with no expertise in the field, is using a paper published in Nature to argue the opposite of what the paper actually says. 
He then spins this as “top scientists cast doubt” on the IPCC. Gobsmacking. 
In Asten’s third article (“CSIRO should establish if there was medieval warming Down-Under”, 13 May 2010) he asserts that if the medieval warm period was a global phenomenon, then “warming during the past century should be seen as predominantly natural climate change rather than driven by man-made carbon emissions.” 
This is bunkum. The effect of man-made carbon dioxide is clear from multiple independent lines of evidence. 
In his fourth OpEd (“Political interference will cripple climate debate”, 17 Dec 2010), Asten compares models of sea-level rise from a peer-reviewed paper by Jevrejeva et al, with observations of the sea-level by Riva et al, finding a factor of five difference. 
Asten interprets this as a serious discrepancy in climate predictions that the CSIRO was withholding from the Government. He also describes how compliant scientists were intimately involved in the formulation of Nazi racial policy, and outspoken academics were removed by the Gestapo. 
But once again, Asten misunderstands the science. The Riva et al paper wasn’t an observation of the total sea-level rise at all, just an estimate of the contribution from melting ice. The Nazi stuff is simply bizarre. 
You would think The Australian, if it had any editorial integrity, would have called a halt to Asten’s ready access to the opinion pages after serious flaws were found with each of his contributions. But the lure of publishing an opinion supporting their editorial bias, from an apparently reputable source, was just too strong to resist.  
I have singled out Asten in this article, but the same applies to every one of the climate contrarians that are repeatedly given exposure in The Australian.

Fast forward to 2014, and Asten is still in the business of raising saucy doubts and fears, casting nasturtiums here and there, and The Australian continues to have absolutely no editorial integrity, and routinely seizes any occasion to display any old opinion that supports their editorial bias...

Even the Chinese finally moving to make a formal acknowledgment of climate science and their responsibility to do something about it, is just another excuse for routine forms of denialism ... even as, up in Brizzy, the "coal, coal, coal" man is about to look and sound more and more like an out of place, out of time luddite from long ago ...

Can it get any sillier?

Well yes, there's the desperate sights and sounds of jolly Joe Hockey this very morning on RN attempting to explain how Australia is at one with the current United States move, and there's also been the pitiful Greg "wiki the walrus" Hunt attempting the same thing ...

It turns out that Hunt has been shown once more to be a fraud and a liar. In its usual seemly way, the ABC's fact checker dubbed Hunt's claims "highly ambitious" here in relation to Hunt's preferred brand of coal alchemy but Background Briefing really belled that cat a few days ago with a repeat of a story originally run in July, available here.

And there lurking in the background, is Tony "coal coal coal for eternity" Abbott, and let's slash and burn the renewable energy sector while we're at it, and all he and the Murdoch press have got left as a distraction are a few Russian ships steaming on Brizzy ...

Well it kept the colonials in fear and distraction in the 1890s. Who knows, it might work again ...

Ah well, there's nothing left but a few cartoons, thanks to the two great Davids of our time, and more D Rowe here, and more D Pope there.


  1. Bloody lefties like SBS and The Independent bursting Australia's red scare bubble.

    "Russian ships have been sent to international events before, including the 2009 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Singapore and the former President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to San Francisco in 2010...The movement of these vessels is entirely consistent with provisions under international law for military vessels to exercise freedom of navigation in international waters"

    1. Dammit, Anon, that's not fair. We need to be afraid, very afraid ...

    2. And don't mention the fuss about US and UK naval exercises in controversial locations.

      USN bombing exercises on a peaceful Caribbean island

      And RN exercises off Gibraltar designed to piss off Spain -

      Plus of course the RAN breaching Indonesian territorial waters on several occasions to return some poor buggers we'd bombed the hell out of in their home countries.

    3. Anon, Joe Hockey sounded like Jim Hacker this morning.

      Asked about the US-China tango and the future of Team Australia coal, he waffled and mumbled and circled and dodged until he remembered GAS! Oh joy! Oh rapture! Just as Jim Hacker's terrified voice strengthened with Churchillian certainty when he was able to seize on something familiar and soothing, so did Joe's as he banged on about our gas-charged future.

      Yes Treasurer you did. You did.

      Miss Pitty Pat

    4. But, but, the IPA's John Roskam has already explained (on ABC radio, even) that the RAN breaches were accidents "because they couldn't see land" - I kid you not

  2. Oh Dot, that Mr Hockey on RN this morning was positively so positive and upbeat about his prescriptions for 'growth'. Strange how unconvinced I was although he sounded so upbeat and so sure of his analysis despite all the proof we have that he is a fckwit about economics.

    Is he taking anti-depressants do you think to be able to maintain all that inappropriate self-esteem and self-confidence and ignore the cognitive dissonance that must be gurgling on somewhere in his brain?

    1. Anon, don't you know? Our total future wellbeing hinges on the government talking up the economy. They talked it down to get into office, now they have to talk it up again.

      Otherwise somebody might blame them for something.

  3. Oh My God! A schism!

    Pope Francis has dared to shirtfront St Tones!

    "“Throughout the world, the G20 countries included, there are far too many women and men suffering from severe malnutrition, a rise in the number of the unemployed, an extremely high percentage of young people without work and an increase in social exclusion which can lead to criminal activity and even the recruitment of terrorists,” the pope said in the letter released by the Vatican on Tuesday.

    “In addition, there are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy.

    “It is my hope that a substantial and productive consensus can be achieved regarding the agenda items. I likewise hope that the assessment of the results of this consensus will not be restricted to global indices but will take into account as well real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of unacceptable inequality...

    “It (United Nations agreements) should also lead to eliminating the root causes of terrorism, which has reached proportions hitherto unimaginable; these include poverty, underdevelopment and exclusion,..

    I take this opportunity to ask the G20 member states to be examples of generosity and solidarity in meeting the many needs of the victims of these conflicts, and especially of refugees,”

    Will St Tones declare anathema? Or even do a Henry the eight and excommunicate this meddling priest?

  4. Yeah, but, no, but ... "Petty, puerile and ...silly". What, DP?
    I am compelled to replay what Abbott *really* thinks about Russia, and, at the same time, what Brandis thinks of Abbott.
    Is Putin right wing? Not by Russian standards.

  5. Dave Pope's nice portrayal of Abbott: all pecker, no wood?

  6. The General in charge of NATO is called Breedlove!

    Is this an example of anti-nominative determinism?

    1. Kubrick mastered this some 30 years ago with Strangelove.

      Funny how things come around, and truth is stranger than fiction.

  7. Could it get any sillier, you ask? Why, just go to Catallaxy and see all the RWNJs having brain explosions over the US-China deal.

    Asten and Co. Prostitutes, DP. I can't think of a better word to describe them. Whores, sex workers, call girls, white slaves, rent boys, gigolos filles de joie, Cyprians, doxies, drabs, queans, trulls, wenches all.

    1. ... pop up girlies ?

  8. 'Our P3 campaign to help our hero who stood up to thugs' appears to be working its subtleties at home and abroad:

    "Alarmist media reports stoked the tension between Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the country's most high-profile tabloid newspapers carrying headlines about the Russian vessels that steamed towards Australia from the Solomon Islands ahead of the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane."

  9. Why does Greg Sheridan think other countries committing to big targets will have associated costs if he doesn't think the Obama-China deal will?

  10. I'm waiting for Bolt and his ilk to claim that the landing on the comet wasn't real and was really faked up in a studio in the Mohave desert.


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