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Delusion and delay

August 17th, 2010

Tony Abbott demonstrates yet again why he is utterly unqualified to be Prime Minister, pushing the absurd line that “global warming stopped in 1998″ [1]. As John Cook points out, this silliness requires three separate cherrypicks, each worse than the last. And, as the same story shows, the rest of the Liberal Party is just as bad.

But is it any better to understand the science and do nothing about it as the Labor Party under Gillard is doing? The hacks and spin merchants who now control Labor policy are every bit as bad as Abbott. Delay is just as bad as delusion.

Truly this election is the most depressing I can recall in forty years. If there has been one in our history where both parties have so thoroughly dodged the issues, I’m not aware of it.

fn1. As previously stated, I’m not willing to debate the science of climate change on this blog, since there are plenty of better venues. But you don’t need much expertise in the statistics of time series to expose this line for the dishonest piece of cherrypicking it is. Anyone who espouses it is either a liar or a fool. If anyone wishes to put themselves into one or other of these categories in the comments thread they are welcome to do so.

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  1. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 19th, 2010 at 09:56 | #1

    Ikonoclast, in a court of law lawyers are expected to know the difference between what are facts and what is law. In Abbott’s case he does not even know what are ‘facts’ let alone the law.

  2. Ikonoclast
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:17 | #2

    Abbott is an example of how faith reasoning completely clouds the intellect. If you reason from faith any flight of metaphysical fancy is possible and empirical realities never get in the way. If you reason from an empirical basis, real world verifiable facts serve as a check on fanciful or illogical reasoning.

    If you reason from an empirical basis there are some things you can know with reasonable certainty. You also are aware that there are many, many things which are outside the scope of your knoweldge. If you reason from a priori faith assumptions then, to put it colloquially, you think you know everything when you actually know nothing at all. That pretty well sums up Abbott. Along with his arrogant assumption that because God is on his side, even when he’s wrong he’s still right.

    Faith reasoners are dangerous fanatics all.

  3. Alice
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:22 | #3

    This clip is clever and it sums up (in some strange way) what really scares me about the Coalition (and politics)…..”no handlebars”..a world where everything is OK and nothing at all needs steering? Artwork quite amazing too.

  4. paul walter
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:47 | #4

    Nice little thumb nail from Ikon.

  5. paul walter
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:53 | #5

    No handle bars. “Oh, Brave New World”.
    There’s just a scent of 1968 in it.

  6. Alice
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:01 | #6

    @paul walter
    and a little bit of Pink Floyd?

  7. paul walter
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:37 | #7

    Am thinking of the turbulent times of 68 and 69. The film clip is what we should have seen in 1975, heading toward Reaganism. That its turned up, shows what history from a distance shows about how the new generation sees the era against those of us about back in those times through to now.
    In a sense the music reminds me of Gerry Rafferty and the sensibility of “Baker Street”.

  8. paul walter
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:40 | #8

    Here’s a thought. Swap the components for the two thread starters.
    “Delusion on stimulus” and “Open letter on delay”.

  9. Alexander
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:03 | #9

    Bold statement about Labor “understanding” the underlying science ;)

    Even though I would not expect everyone to have read the entire IPCC report (the synthesis report, plus the reports from the working groups), one would expect politicians to have at least read the summary report for policy makers – as a bare minimum.

    But then again, you wouldn’t want to confuse the electorate with weird things such as facts.

    Just shows how disconnected Australian climate policy really is.

  10. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:36 | #10

    Alexander, here is one undeniable fact ‘few are punting on a hung Parliament’ which can only mean Labor is over the line.

  11. Jim Rose
    August 19th, 2010 at 14:28 | #11

    @Alexander
    relevent ministers will have read the summaries of IPCC report prepared for them by their own departments and other advisors giving their views of the weight of the evidience and more than in the IPCC report on the implications for Australia.

    counter-example, do you expect ministers to read important court judgments or the departmental advice on those judgments along with department prepared options on what next?

  12. amused
    August 19th, 2010 at 17:54 | #12

    This clip is clever and it sums up (in some strange way) what really scares me about the Coalition (and politics)…..”no handlebars”..

    Jeez. That was cheerful. Not.

  13. Alice
    August 19th, 2010 at 18:27 | #13

    @amused
    No it wasnt cheerful was it Amused?…..started out innocent enough but it got much much worse…
    so lets all let the markets drive themselves with no handlebars? Good idea?

    I dont think so.

  14. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 19th, 2010 at 19:19 | #14

    Alice, unless I am totally wrong Tony Abbott has not made any significant gains since he replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Leader of the Opposition on December 1, 2009. For this very reason after preferences are distributed the election result should follow the same script ALP 53% and L-NP 47%.

  15. Jim Rose
    August 19th, 2010 at 20:13 | #15

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    The demise of Rudd was not a significant gain for Abbott?! Abbott’s unwillingness to join hand-in-hand with Rudd and go to the next election endorsing a carbon tax, as turnbull would have, led to the great back-down on emissions trading

    When Abbott became opposition leader 7 months ago, the Liberals had no chance.

    Now the liberals do have a chance, so much so that the ALP puppet masters re-branded the whole show under a new leader, a slogan of moving forward, and no carbon tax until the Liberals agree.

    I am still tipping Abbott, just, because a lingering doubt that will become terminal for the real Julia when voters pick up the ballot paper.

    The voters never had a scintilla of doubt about who they were voting for and the approach to governance that each symbolised when the real John, the real Bob and the real Paul were seeking the PM’s office in 1980s, 1990s and up until 2007.

    The voters thought they were voting for the real deal for Kevin07, and dumped him with no second chance for a come-back when they found out that they were deceived on a core issue.

    Abbott is what you see is what you get. none of this “being for it after being against it” and “this is the real Julia” double-dealing.

    there is one thing the voters hate more that a politician, it is a phoney indecisive politician. the voters elect strong decisive politicians. nothing less will do.

  16. Chris W
    August 19th, 2010 at 20:18 | #16

    Jim @ 20:13,

    You’re kidding aren’t you ? Mr “Parental leave over my dead body” Abbott swings like a weather vane when it suits him !!

  17. Jim Rose
    August 19th, 2010 at 21:05 | #17

    @Chris W
    so the Libs would have a better chance on saturday if turnbull was still their leader?

  18. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 19th, 2010 at 21:34 | #18

    Chris W, the Liberals blew it when Abbott took over from Turnbull. All talk & no action.

  19. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 19th, 2010 at 22:16 | #19

    Chris W, if the above stats are correct then Labor is no worse off than when they won in 2007.

  20. Alice
    August 19th, 2010 at 22:27 | #20

    Im tipping an ALP Greens force….I hope the Greens get more in the senate. We need to swing away from the extreme right wing policies that are doing so much damage (the same sort of policies that have wreaked total havoc in the US).
    Imagine even thinking now that unregulated markets would regulate themselves. It seems such a stupid idea in the post GFC world and the extent to which the Coalition has taken market worship has become absurd. They cant even work with government. How can you have leaders that despise the very systems of government they are supposed to head (using the derogatory term “bureaucrats” for anyone who does work in government)?
    An Abbot led government is fuzzy logic.

  21. Jim Rose
    August 19th, 2010 at 23:28 | #21

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    So turnbull had Rudd’s scalp well within in his sights, and Abbott just stole the right to finish Rudd off?

    Rudd was a dead carcass hanging up and just flapping in the wind, waiting to be cut down well before Abbott became opposition leader.

    The liberals voted out of an opposition leader who was about the cutdown a PM, and had even a better chance of winning than Abbott now has.

    why was rudd deposed if it was not fear of outright electoral defeat?

  22. Ken Fabos
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:24 | #22

    I’m constantly amazed that anyone can interpret a hot spike (1998) within a warming trend as any anything but more evidence of warming; if Abbott can’t see the problem with that – and it’s clear he can’t – I don’t think he has the smarts to run our country.

    I can’t see that Abbott would be willing to trust the superior abilities of others (like Chief Scientist or CSIRO head) when they fundamentally disagree with his interpretation of the ‘facts’. Watch out though – on the basis that climate science can be seen as both ’cause’ to the ‘effect’ of calls for ‘new green taxes’ as well as costing taxpayers money in it’s own right, it could look perfect for cost cutting under an Abbott government. Then we really would be utterly reliant on God (and maybe Ian Plimer) helping us. Now that’s alarming.

    Gillard, I think, has superior ability but looks deeply beholden to the Labor power brokers (whose abilities are impressive but not in a good way) and those power brokers are more concerned with staying in power than in facing the big issues and would cut her down as readily as Rudd should she take a stand on anything ‘divisive’ without permission.

    Meanwhile the distinctions between informing, advertising, opinionating and entertaining have blurred and the result is frankly awful. Big media will take down any leader of any stripe that takes a stand on something divisive without their permission; permission being largely related to the relative advertising budget of the competing interests. And Big media has it’s own interests in fanning controversies to attract readers/viewers/listeners that is wholly unrelated to the kind of informing that supposedly underpins democratic choices.

  23. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:47 | #23

    Ken Fabos, some commentators are starting to question the latest Newspoll results. So maybe the Galaxy poll is a wee bit more accurate.

  24. may
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:55 | #24

    welcome back JQ

    we will fight them on the boatramps.

    two niggles from a small mind:

    1)the Rudd govt and the Gillard govt and the abbot govt are bulldust.
    can we get on to calling our administrations by their proper names.

    2) the conservatives have had since the possibility of a double dissolution to present all policies costed to the Australian people.

  25. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 20th, 2010 at 13:01 | #25

    May, there has never been an Abbott government but there has been a lot of bulldust coming from the rabble within the Shadow Cabinet.

  26. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 20th, 2010 at 13:21 | #26

    For those interested in the latest Galaxy poll, the results show primary support for the ALP has gone down since Nov 2007 from 43.4% to 38% & the L-NP down from 42.1% to 33% and but not enough for the L-NP to win tomorrow after preferences are distributed.

  27. Jim Rose
    August 20th, 2010 at 14:03 | #27

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Have the liberals won any opinion polls in the last 10 or 15 years except on election day?

    as an example, howard was almost always behind in the polls, having to fight back to win on the one day that counts.

    I am sure latham was a bit surprised when he lost in 2004. Was the swing to howard and his winning the senate picked up in the polls?

  28. paul walter
    August 20th, 2010 at 15:11 | #28

    Yes Jim, of course it was, particulary after the judas like response of the Tassie Logging mafia against Latham’s more economically and environmentally sound policy, released, then sabotaged.

  29. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 20th, 2010 at 15:56 | #29

    Paul Walter, if I am not mistaken the majority of voters voted for Labor in 2007 because:

    “John Howard is a liar and a backflipper.”
    “I can’t stand the country being run by a corrupt PM.”
    “I have never liked the Liberal puppets — Howard is Bush’s puppet.”
    “John Howard is too American.”
    “I think John Howard should never have gained leadership of 21 million people — he never achieved anything and he took Labor’s ideas.
    “I despise John Howard. His policies of fear and lies, as well as Iraq.
    “Because I wouldn’t trust John Howard as far as I could throw him; he’s a liar.”
    But then I could be wrong.

  30. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 20th, 2010 at 16:30 | #30

    To conclude, I find the Roy Morgan & Galaxy polls more credible than the Newspoll. Until next time all the best for tomorrow.

  31. Jim Rose
    August 20th, 2010 at 16:31 | #31

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    you are wrong. howard was re-elected 3 times despite these faults.

  32. Jill Rush
    August 20th, 2010 at 17:54 | #32

    I find it amazing that Tony Abbott believes firmly in a being which conveniently dictates that men rule. There is no way of proving that God exists although I suppose those that are making Mary McKillop a saint would disagree.

    On the other hand Tony Abbott doesn’t believe in global warming which has a mountain of science to support its existence.

    And he is within the grasp of being Prime Minister of this country. If he is elected then not only will the case have to be made again and again there will not even be any way to change his mind to take action – unless we can arrange a message from God. Perhaps on one of his runs he will find a tablet of stone to guide him.

  33. paul walter
    August 20th, 2010 at 18:53 | #33

    ” Unless we can arrange a message from God”- Jill Rush.
    A lightning strike, say?
    Now why would God typify the wastage of carbon dioxide creating a lightning strike, when we know She is a good Green, most likely?

  34. Chris O’Neill
    August 20th, 2010 at 20:06 | #34

    Tony G:

    It was necessary to change the theories name from global warming to climate change.

    At least his spelling is as good as his climate science.

  35. Chris O’Neill
    August 20th, 2010 at 20:44 | #35

    Also by Abbott in the SMH article:

    we have a credible response that will achieve a 5 per cent reduction by 2020

    What a shameless liar.

  36. August 20th, 2010 at 22:42 | #36

    @Chris O’Neill

    Tony doesn’t know what the last two characters “CC” stand for in UNFCCC and when this body arose. He has also missed when the IPCC was set up and the similarity.

    As he is ignorant, I think we can excuse him that.

  37. Tony G
    August 21st, 2010 at 00:17 | #37

    Chris O’Neill said @ 35

    “What a shameless liar.”

    It is better than being a dickhe-d like you Chris, next you will be telling us they can accurately measure a global average temperature, well they can’t Chris and that is a funny anomaly just like you.

  38. Chris O’Neill
    August 21st, 2010 at 05:06 | #38

    Anyone who votes for an undefended shameless liar like Tony Abbott deserves everything they get.

  39. Donald Oats
    August 21st, 2010 at 07:25 | #39

    @Tony G
    Well, you can’t measure the average of something that doesn’t exist – temperature – because that is what the Essex paper told us all. That is why scientists just make it up using a random number generator called a thermometer. It does a great job, and with just a little more work the scientists can compute some really strange numbers they call anomalies. Sure fooled the grant payers (oops!, Let the cat out of the bag.), and we all know that scientists get to spend grants on cars and iPads ‘n’ stuff for themselves, their partners, the kids, etc. And supercomputers; the biggest gaming boxes in the world. That’s what you taxpayers – scientists and their mates are not taxpayers, thanks to grants – pay for!! And you get a bunch of anomalies no one can make head or tails of. Whattabargain, ay?
    [/sarcasm]

    Take a chill pill Tony.

  40. Tony G
    August 21st, 2010 at 12:52 | #40

    Don,

    they use temperature anomalies (departure from average) and not absolute temperature measurements because temperature averaging generally shows cooling. (which is probally what is happening)

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/anomalies.html

    NOAA;

    “Absolute estimates of global average surface temperature are difficult to compile for several reasons. Some regions have few temperature measurement stations (e.g., the Sahara Desert) and interpolation must be made over large, data-sparse regions. In mountainous areas, most observations come from the inhabited valleys, so the effect of elevation on a region’s average temperature must be considered as well. For example, a summer month over an area may be cooler than average, both at a mountain top and in a nearby valley, but the absolute temperatures will be quite different at the two locations. The use of anomalies in this case will show that temperatures for both locations were BELOW average.”

  41. Chris O’Neill
    August 21st, 2010 at 17:43 | #41

    NOAA make an example to illustrate the concept of consistency of anomalies but Tony G can only pick up the word that is used purely for the sake of example, i.e. “cooler”. What a moron. No wonder he’s a science denialist.

  42. Tony G
    August 22nd, 2010 at 23:50 | #42

    Chris, they admit themselves that they cant measure a global temperature so how can they tell if it is changing? you moron.

  43. paul walter
    August 23rd, 2010 at 00:38 | #43

    Tony g, if you are standing knee deep in a septic tank, you know you are doing better than with the water flooding up towards your mouth past your chin?

  44. Chris O’Neill
    August 24th, 2010 at 22:00 | #44

    they admit themselves that they cant measure a global temperature so how can they tell if it is changing?

    So someone could take a mercury thermometer that had all its markings removed (and thus doesn’t show the standard temperature), put a mark against where the mercury currently is, but couldn’t tell if it was warmer or cooler later on by referring to his mark.

    This Tony G is as dumb as they come.

  45. Tony G
    August 24th, 2010 at 22:53 | #45

    Not as dumb as you Chris, one who believes in the AGW hoax data that NOAA peddles; when the absolute temperature readings show a cooling, normalize the data and express it as an anomaly, that’ll warm things up.

  46. Chris O’Neill
    August 25th, 2010 at 08:27 | #46

    Tony G can’t even understand disproof by contrary example. He’s as dumb as they come.

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