Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Climategate MkII

So, here we are on what might in grand sweeping terms be considered the eve of the Durban Climate Change Conference, and behold from the depths of the internet comes more of what rose up to entertain us just before Copenhagen.

I won't go into nauseating detail on what's going on, except to post one link to a relevant site, because I assume that anyone who follows this blog also follows the ebb and flow of politics in general and has not been living under a rock since I started posting here. I also make no apologies for the site posted to - I'm sure everyone knows where I stand on the matter.

There is a difference between then and now - in Copenhagen, the Forces Underpinning Climate Change (for want of a better term, and FUCC is certainly what I want to scream whenever they open their mouths these days) were seemingly on the rise to their zenith. In my (then) country of residence, the government was on a roll to push an emissions trading scheme through Parliament with the IMO craven assent of the Leader of the Opposition - who it was alleged was once a merchant banker, always a merchant banker, and saw in the ETS the pot of gold at the end of the merchant banking rainbow.

It didn't work out that way. Climategate erupted, the Australian Liberal Party grassroots erupted (after which said ex-merchant-banker was no longer the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Reps), and the Copenhagen conference which was to have been the crystal-goblet-smashing high note of the F.U.C.C. thus far, degenerated into a farce in which nothing was accomplished and in the course of which dozens of screaming young zealots interrupted sub-conferences of a more skeptical bent and one of them later thrust one of the conferees (Viscount Monckton) into the gutter. The Emissions Trading Scheme likewise died, its champion seemingly unwilling to go into the double-dissolution election he had threatened the Opposition with before his predecessor's chief headkicker became his official opponent.

Since then, a fair bit more has come out that puts the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis in doubt - or at least the assertion that "the science is settled" - and it could justifiably be said to be in retreat, with emission trading schemes everywhere proving vulnerable to rorting, wind turbines having severe maintainability problems (that have been known for some time), and nations which attempted to switch to a "green economy" instead haemorrhaging green banknotes (and productive jobs) at a rate of knots. Unfortunately it did not stop the Australian government pushing through the Carbon Tax that Prime Minister Gillard unequivocally stated would never happen under a government she led (so who, if she is not to be called a liar or at least grossly misleading, is leading that government?), nor from apparently doing its best to ensure that tax could never, ever, ever be repealed without ruinous cost.

That small victory for the anthropogenic warmists notwithstanding, the whole deal could generally be said to be in retreat now. China has always been loath to embrace "decarbonisation", India likewise, and the US is backing away at a rate of knots. Britain may be swallowing the kool-aid, but at least expansion of nuclear power is part of the formula (if you're going to shut down fossil-fired power, replacing at least some of it with another 24/7 baseload system goes a way towards proving you're still half sane), while France already draws 80% of its electricity from nuclear power and could probably "decarbonise" without plunging its people into the horror of perpetual rolling power shortages (pity the Australians, whose government will not even let a private concern contemplate setting up a single reactor, and whose fringe elements want to dismantle the research reactor which supplies Australian cancer sufferers with much of their diagnostic and treatment radioactives).

So as we go into Durban, with AGW/CC in retreat, along comes Climategate II - I shall say very little except that from the content of what I have read, one or two people did have the honesty to say that what the rest of them appear to have been doing was at best grossly foolish and at worst scientifically indefensible... and one of them raised the possibility that it really might all be a natural variation they hadn't explained yet.

There is a great deal of correspondence indicating the failure of "the models" to work as expected, and once more I detect the suggestion that data were being smoothed and corrected in very creative ways. Much that is slanderous appears to have been said about skeptics of the AGW/CC theory, and there are hints that a great deal of fobbing off was taking place with regard to raw data. Deletion of correspondence is advised at one point, as is waiting until the very end of a Freedom of Information request period to refuse (in hope of wearing the applicant down, perhaps?).

This is, allegedly, nothing new - much of whatever is here was apparently also in the possession of the leaker(s) before Copenhagen - but it seems to confirm the pattern and to strengthen what many have been thinking since. One can hardly blame the leaker(s) for holding something critical back against the hour of need, and indeed it probably pays them well not to have put all their eggs in one basket.

AGW/CC is clomping into Durban with proverbial concrete boots on its feet. The IPCC, formerly AGW/CC's authority of choice for appeals to authority, is itself backing away from the claims and wondering if it's all just noise in the natural variation of weather and climate. And now this.

I am beginning to think the skeptics may have won.

IN BREAKING NEWS - the (Labor) Speaker of the House of Representatives has announced he is standing down, and a Liberal Party politician will take his place. This moves Labor, formerly with one foot in the grave and the other on the slippery edge, back from the brink: either Adam Bandt or Andrew Wilkie can pull out of the Labor-Green-Independent alliance without bringing the government down at once. This may mean that Gillard is about to lose one MP and knows it - either a certain Mr Craig Thomson (facing allegations of malfeasance in his previous role as a union heavyweight, successful prosecution of which would see him in prison and out of Parliament) or - given that Gillard has been repositioning herself towards the centre, perhaps in a bid to make herself electable - even Mr Bandt, if she angers the Greens sufficiently. But Bandt will never side with the Liberal-National coalition, partly because they are anathema to him and partly because the election that follows will wipe him out and quite possibly decimate his party in the Senate. In the end, it makes no difference - there must be an election in 2013, and all the indications are that the ALP and probably the Greens as well will be given the hammering of their lives.


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