Home > Economics - General > The significance of agnotology

The significance of agnotology

January 7th, 2011

A year or so ago, there was a lot of fuss around the talking point, originating with Richard Lindzen of MIT that “There has been no statistically significant warming since 1995?”At the time, I observed that this meant nothing more than “given the variability in the data, we need at least 15 observations to reject the null hypothesis at 95 per cent confidence”. Thus, it was totally unwarranted to slide, as Lindzen and others did, from “no statistically significant warming” to “no significant warming” or even, in Lindzen’s case “warming has ceased for the past fourteen years”. Sad to say, most of the “sceptics” who profess to “make up their own mind” on the issues, are either too lazy or lack the mental equipment to learn the basic statistics needed to understand this point, and therefore unthinkingly repeated Lindzen’s claim. But, to anyone who understood the issues, it was obvious that a couple more observations in line with the observed warming of recent decades would be enough to bring the trend to statistical significance.

With 2010 over, we now have 16 observations starting in 1995, and (unsurprisingly to anyone who followed the argument thus far) the upward trend is now statistically significant at the 5 per cent level[1] That is, if climate change since 1995 (the time of the first IPCC report, and well after Lindzen announced himself as a sceptic) had been purely random, the odds against such an upward trend would be better than 20 to 1 against.

The obvious question is whether Lindzen will now concede that his claim, and the inference he drew from it, has been falsified, and that warming has not in fact ceased as he suggested. I’m willing to bet that what we see is evasion, obfuscation of or outright silence, not only from Lindzen, but from all of those who parroted his claim.

fn1. My estimates based on the Hadley data used by Lindzen gives an estimated trend of 0.012 degrees a year, with a t-value of 2.45.

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  1. Ikonoclast
    January 7th, 2011 at 07:17 | #1

    The significance of agnotology is that the scientific humanist revolution has withered on the vine and failed. The dream of a truly democratic society with an educated citizenry making enlightened decisions for the common good is dead. The dream has been killed by unfettered imperialist capitalism which destroys everything it touches.

  2. paul walter
    January 7th, 2011 at 07:51 | #2

    Yes, You ge thte proff’s point tho.
    Shift the goalposts, put a blindfold on and because a dozen different reputable people offer a 95% likely scenario, affording a virtual consensus; you loudly proclaim, “not until a tonne of elephant crap lands on my head, from that opening giant bucket hovering above, will I presume a likelihood”.
    The problem with this is, in the meantime, many other quite innocent people will have to get to have their lives mucked up as well.
    As for Ikonoclast’s reading, I’d say yes. The twenty first century parallel to the sixteenth/seventeenth Catholic church and Habsburg empire rejection of Copernicus and Galileo.

  3. Jeepers Creepers
  4. Ikonoclast
    January 9th, 2011 at 07:46 | #4

    Here’s a mental exercise to assist in estimating the chances of any action being taken to prevent AGW (Anthropogenic global warming).

    Current world population = 7 billion (almost).

    No. who have never heard of AGW = 3.5 billion (estimated and incl children).
    No. who have heard but dont understand = 1.5 billion (est)
    No. who have heard but are deniers = 1.0 billion (est)
    No. who understand but do nothing = 0.9 billion (est)
    No. are doing something about it = 0.1 billion (est)

    If anything, I think my estimate of 100 million people (actually doing something effective against the AGW trend) is probably an overestimate.

    This 100 million would include the scientists (except the fringe deniers), effective policy makers on this issue (thin on the ground) and private citizens who have done something genuine* to reduce their carbon footprint.

    *Note: I mean those who have radically reduced their carbon footprint and not just taken some token action like getting a few solar panels while still running 2 cars and flying away on annual ski-ing holidays.

  5. chrisl
    January 9th, 2011 at 08:48 | #5

    Note: I mean those who have radically reduced their carbon footprint and not just taken some token action like getting a few solar panels while still running 2 cars and flying away on annual ski-ing holidays.
    Ikonoclast ; You have hit the nail on the head – nobody wants to give up their lifestyle

  6. BilB
    January 9th, 2011 at 08:50 | #6

    The problem with people such as Lindzen is that once the damage done that their derailment of the GWA action can be quantified, the full cost to humanity will as meaningful as trying to comprehend the vastness of space. Accountability will be meaningless, as nothing that is now will be the same in the future. Lindzen himself, along with all of the self interested politicians and obstructive profiteering “business”people, will be amoungst of the billions of casualties of the 5 degree C world into which we are plummeting. The Lindzens are themselves just a statistical blip on the graph of how this disaster unfolds.

    The only thing that matters absolutley is what happens in the coming months with our own political process and its outcome for action. I think it is time for a totally non political conscience vote in parliament on the matter of urgent action to prevent runaway global warming.

    There needs to be an absolute irrevocable mandate to proceed with urgency, independent of politics.

  7. Ron E Joggles
    January 9th, 2011 at 09:06 | #7

    With apologies to Bill Clinton, “It’s the population, stupid.”

    AGW wouldn’t be very problematic for a global population of 1 billion, with today’s technology. Sadly, perhaps inevitably, we humans have overwhelmed every corner of the world – truly, humans are a plague upon the Earth. Global population is now unsustainably large, and I fear that the likely future includes continuing growth and widespread food and security crises.

  8. BilB
    January 9th, 2011 at 09:31 | #8

    Which will lead to a population of 1 billion, REJ. The catch is, Ron, technology will not survive the transition, so it is a pretty bleak future for the 1 billion who will be living mostly in the stepps of Russia, Northern Canada, Tasmania, New Zealand, The Falklands, Southern Africa, the Cape, and Antarctica. With a huge, hot, violently dangerous gulf between.

  9. January 9th, 2011 at 10:00 | #9

    While I’m never particularly optimistic about sound statistics coming from Lindzen and others, it is nice to see one of these issues put to bed. The unfortunate thing, however, is that it needs to be put to bed. While we have passed Fisher’s magical 5 per cent mark, one extra observation does not make the argument. The confidence of rejecting the null hypothesis of no warming has increased from slightly less to slightly more than 95 per cent.

    If the 2010 figure had not resulted in the 5 per cent mark being passed, it would not have significantly changed the strength of the case. If we had continued to gain new data points over the next five to ten years and the significance mark was still not obtained, that would have been another matter.

    A quick aside, John – your twitter link on this site does not work properly – I think there is a space between your first name and surname where there should not be.

  10. BilB
    January 9th, 2011 at 10:45 | #10

    The arguments of Lindzen and any others like him are demolished by data coming from the Argos programme. The oceans are heating and accelerating in their heating. This is a system of such enormous size that it takes a fundamentally massive environmental process to make it happen. The feed back is well under way with atmospheric H2O increased already by 4% leading to the unprecedented rains and floods now accelerating in frequency. These are phenomenon way beyond statistical arguments about air temperature and time.

    But interestingly the recent floods are a pointer to the future. Now that we have kicked off this CO2 buildup and the methane buildup that follows I expect to see, even in what is left of my lifetime, how the Grand Canyon was formed, and all of California’s oil at the same time. There is an Australian microlight enthusiast living in the US who has a website http://www.emuvideo.com at which he posts videos of his flights over the Arizona wilderness and the Grand Canyon. When you see this landscape from the air it is blatantly obvious that this landscape was carved by massive amounts of rainfall. Rainfall way beyond anything that we can comprehend today, but we are getting a little glimpse just now.

    So how our environmental future plays out now is that as the poles melt, the ocean heats, and water surface area increases, atmospheric H2O skyrockets and some time later as the temperature passes through 4 deg C heading for 5 deg C global temperature rise, the ocean currents start to stall. This causes stagnent seas which with the massive runoff from the land carrying huge nutrient loads become huge algal bloom fields. At this point the process of atmospheric restabalisation begins. The algae begin reducing the disolved CO2 from the seas and sink to be entrapped in the bountiful sediments forming beneath them, and the oil replenishment starts.

    The is a catch. There is not enough CO2 in the system to create anything like the original oil fields. Where has it gone? It is in the methyl hydrates in the deeper seas. So there are 2 possibilities. We might get a short cycle of a few thousand years, or we might a hugely extended cycle of atmospheric scrubbing, tens of thousands of years, if the methane in the hydrates boils off to be later captured by the algae and resequestered as oil.

    What a shame I can’t be around to see how the whole process plays out.

  11. Fran Barlow
    January 9th, 2011 at 10:47 | #11

    One might have added that even if one didn’t have a grasp of the 95% confidence threshhold for “statistical significance” that the broader principle — absence of evidence is not evidence of absence — ought to have kicked in, at least for those claiming to stand within the scientific paradigm.

  12. BilB
    January 9th, 2011 at 11:39 | #12

    I am having a good crystal ball day today.

    It occurs to me that the big fashion item in 150 years will be human scalp overcoats.

    With the massive and drastic environmental upheaval and the subsequent dislocation that is well underway with a 3 deg C global temperature increase, most mammal species die out. Human populations are decimated by violent weather events (winds of 300 kph become common) starvation and disease, the only source of fur like materials will be from humans themselves. So a future burial right will involve a scalping to preserve the only other animal organic material easily available other than feathers.

    That is a nice combination, future fashion designers can do a lot with feather and fur.

  13. Tony G
    January 9th, 2011 at 15:45 | #13

    A “Newspoll” selection homogenised weather stations, that only cover a micro fraction of the globes atmosphere, is hardly conclusive scientific evidence that it is either, warming or cooling.

    It is a fraud to assert on that basis, that the atmosphere is warming.

    There is conclusive ‘proof’ that the proponents of excessive government are fraudulent to assert that the introduction of a carbon tax will stop the climate changing.

  14. Chris O’Neill
    January 9th, 2011 at 15:50 | #14

    With 2010 over, we now have 16 observations starting in 1995, and (unsurprisingly to anyone who followed the argument thus far) the upward trend is now statistically significant at the 5 per cent level[1]

    The obvious question is whether Lindzen will now concede that his claim, and the inference he drew from it, has been falsified, and that warming has not in fact ceased as he suggested. I’m willing to bet that what we see is evasion, obfuscation of or outright silence, not only from Lindzen,

    Would these include him saying “no statistically significant warming in the past 15 years” where, of course, the last 15 years now starts in 1996. This strawman that will never die and shows the intellectual dishonesty of the proponents. It’s amazing that someone who purports to be a climate scientist attaches any climatic significance to data from a period of 15 years. As I point out repeatedly, much less than 30 years is not even long enough to measure the climate, let alone changes in the climate. But perhaps Lindzen has a “lying for Jesus” attitude.

    Bilb:

    Lindzen himself, along with all of the self interested politicians and obstructive profiteering “business”people, will be amoungst of the billions of casualties of the 5 degree C world into which we are plummeting.

    Lindzen is 70 and will be 71 next month. I don’t think he will live long enough to see the above.

  15. BilB
    January 9th, 2011 at 16:48 | #15

    Well Lindzen after being more right for a decade in his early career may be heading into a phase of being not so right

    “Lindzen hypothesized that the Earth may act like an infrared iris. A sea surface temperature increase in the tropics would result in reduced cirrus clouds and thus more infrared radiation leakage from Earth’s atmosphere.[37] This hypothesis suggests a negative feedback which would counter the effects of CO2 warming by lowering the climate sensitivity. Satellite data from CERES has led researchers investigating Lindzen’s theory to conclude that the Iris effect would instead warm the atmosphere.”

    Maybe it helps to have a steady supply of students providing fresh ideas to test and be right about.

    But then he knows way more than I ever will, so it is up to the atmosphere to decide.

  16. BilB
    January 9th, 2011 at 16:50 | #16

    ChrisOneill,

    Some people we should cryo freeze, and thaw at an appropriate time in the future. I can think of a few.

  17. January 9th, 2011 at 16:58 | #17

    OT but very topical – may I suggest a thread dedicated to the political implications of the Tuscon shooting:

    The Left-liberal line that the shooter is a Tea Party sympathiser and terrorist seems to be a complete crock. The shooter is some misty-eyed dreamer of the Chapman variety, some reports characterize him as a “Left-liberal”.

    The rush to judgement to blame the Tea Party stands in stark double-standard contrast to the media-academia’s endless thumb-sucking and fence-sitting when presented with a clear case of (Left-wing) political terrorism, such as the Fort Hood massacre. Occam’s razor is apparently banned under OH&S rules of political engagement.

    But this tragedy presents a political opportunity to a shrewd operator. If Obama is smart he will use it to head off the Right-wing revival.

    The parallels with McVeigh and the Contract with America movement are striking. Especially the prospect that Obama could do a Clinton and use this moment to pivot against the Right-wing.

    Shooting an attractive blonde Congressman is definitely uncool. I predict that this moment will be the long-awaited turn around in the Tea Party movement.Lot of prospective Tea-Party voters will be turned off.

    So in that sense the Left-liberal political instinct to pin this assassination on the militant Right-wing is sound.

  18. Alan
    January 9th, 2011 at 17:37 | #18

    While I don’t wish to conflate agnotology and Strochiasticism, for the moment I will listen to the sheriff who has actually spoken to the alleged assassin:

    “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” the sheriff said. “And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

    I will also note that it seems somewhat unlikely a left-liberal would choose to assassinate an ideological ally and I seem to have missed the US left indulging in superheated rhetoric about reloading instead of retreating.

  19. Michael of Summerhill
    January 9th, 2011 at 17:44 | #19

    Jack Strocchi, some good news for the latest reports indicate Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in Tucson and a prominent supporter of solar energy is awake. But on a sad note other reports indicate eighteen other people were also shot by Jared Loughner, 22 who is a fan of Sarah Palin and the tea party movement and six have been confirmed dead including a 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and one or more of Ms. Giffords’ aides. As to whether he acted alone is uncertain.

  20. Alice
    January 9th, 2011 at 18:01 | #20

    @Alan
    Perhaps one need look no further than the inflammatory media style than to wonder why events like this occur.
    Mordoch for one is not in the habit of genteel reporting and we have covered this issue before on another thread

    the level of right wing vitriol in the media has many things to answer for (and Id like Murdoch to just disappear between you and me. He was labelled a warmong in inflaming the Iraq war. He is a warmonger – and this is just another symptom in my view of an entirely sick media).

  21. Alice
    January 9th, 2011 at 18:06 | #21

    @Jack Strocchi
    Oh for goodness sake Jack – you just cant help yourself. You are so desperate to shift this one on to some left liberal when it just aint so buddy.
    Your political punditry on this one is expected (you keep favouring the right even when they are so wrong) – you are re living the 1970s with right heroes living in your head (and 30 years later the aristocracies are riding high and everyone else is sinking but you cant face it),

    and you are so wrong on this one you have lost all credibility at being a political pundit.

    How can one man be so wrong?

  22. Fran Barlow
    January 9th, 2011 at 18:08 | #22

    @Michael of Summerhill

    And in a bizarre twist, the 9-year old killed, Christina Greene was born on September 11, 2001 and had gone to the event as part of one of those “get to know about politics” life lessons. She’d been featured on some video of post-9/11 “hope of America” promotions.

    Apparently she was on her “elementary” school student council and the only girl in the school baseball team. If all of that is not a media angle, it’s hard to know what would be.

    That should play well in the wash up to this disaster.

    Really, this story is about the intersection of several of the nastier aspects of US cultural life — ignorance, anomie, the poor state of the health (especially mental health) and education systems, especially in the south, the influence of right-wing populism, the gross differences between rich and poor and of course their bizarre and anachronistic gun laws. In another ironic twist, Giffords was a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

    That’s a cultural cocktail that is always going to come up tasting extremely nasty.

    Giffords was on Palin’s “take back the 20″ crosshairs list and had complained about the door that was being opened after her office had been vandalised following her support for what the right calls “Obamacare”. Palin had advised the Tea Party, following the mid-terms to “reload”. We don’t know if Loughner was answering the call, but given the animus engendered amongst wide layers of borderline crazy reactionaries, something like this was always a distinct possibility. It will be interesting if an accomplice does in fact turn up, because the police are reportedly looking for one.

  23. Fran Barlow
    January 9th, 2011 at 18:18 | #23

    A link to Palin’s now deleted tweet:

    Commonsense Conservatives & Lovers of America Don’t retreat! — Instead Reload!

  24. Michael of Summerhill
    January 9th, 2011 at 18:22 | #24

    Fran Barlow, it is a sad day for Americans and hopefully politicians from all persuasions will unite to change the law and ban guns.

  25. Fran Barlow
    January 9th, 2011 at 18:48 | #25

    @Michael of Summerhill

    Something far more sweeping than a mere rethink of gun usage is called for MOSH.

  26. gerard
    January 9th, 2011 at 19:33 | #26

    Out of the 20 democrats that Palin targeted with crosshairs in this map, Giffords was one of only two that was re-elected in 2010, in an extremely close race against a Republican opponent who made Palin seem moderate. Like many others who voted for the health care bill she was apparently subject to threats by ‘town-hall’ types. After several cases of right-wing political violence in the past couple of years and a huge increase in the volume of threats to elected officials since Obama was elected, not to mention the intensity of extreme eliminationist rhetoric that is now standard on the Republican right, you really can’t blame anyone for jumping to the conclusion that the shooter might have been a teabagger.

    From watching the stoner’s bizarre videos it seems that he isn’t a Palinite by any stretch, or coherent enough for any sort of political label to apply (let alone ‘left-Liberal’, seriously Jack). If he had to be categorized it would be as some sort of gold-bug with the type of obsession about currency from the Ron Paul / Alex Jones twilight zone. This type does have some presence on the fringe of the tea party movement, which attracts nuts of all varieties. In any case, police are still looking for accomplices so it’s too early to judge whether or not he was a lone nut.

    He’s of the typical age for the onset of schizophrenia, which it is obvious from his videos that he has. He managed to get himself a gun in any case. With excellent timing the loathsome governor of Arizona Jan Brewer had just signed into law the right to carry concealed weapons without a permit, while gutting funding for mental health.

    As for Jack Strocchi’s example of the Fort Hood massacre being ‘left-wing’ terrorism’, Jared Loughner’s videos have reminded me of the power of syllogism, which I now employ;

    Fort Hood shooter was a radical Islamist.

    Radical Islamism is not ‘left-wing’.

    Therefore the Fort Hood massacre was not ‘left-wing terrorism’.

  27. gerard
    January 9th, 2011 at 19:35 | #27

    Link to Palin’s map not working:

    http://imgur.com/pZpu8

  28. Alan
    January 9th, 2011 at 20:46 | #28

    Apparently Palin disagrees with Jack, because apart from filling up her comment thread with the customary poor Sarah bleating, the crosshairs map disappeared from her website faster than Russia seen from Palazzo Palin. It’s interesting that, no matter what, conservatives are always victims.

  29. Freelander
    January 9th, 2011 at 21:43 | #29

    Sadly forgotten is that the number two worst terrorist act against the US on US soil, was the act of a “Freedom” fighter striking a blow against their ‘oppressive’ Federal Government by blowing up some mostly office workers and some of their children in Oklahoma. Rash words might not kill but they can lead to acts that do. Recently shocking was the issuing of ‘fatwas’ by various US politicians against Julian Assange. Even more shocking was the silence of almost all of our leaders in refusing to condemn those statements.

  30. Chris O’Neill
    January 9th, 2011 at 22:39 | #30

    Getting back toward the topic of this thread, as pointed out by Jeepers Creepers, Sinclair Davidson and Co refuse to let the “no warming since 1995″ meme die. They’re happy to be living in an alternate universe.

  31. quokka
    January 10th, 2011 at 00:36 | #31

    @Ikonoclast

    This World Bank public opinion survey makes for interesting reading http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWDR2010/Resources/CC_Poll_Report_July_01_2010.pdf

    One of the more interesting findings is that in general the poorer the nation, the stronger the belief in the serious nature of climate change and the stronger the public opinion for action to mitigate climate change.

  32. Alan
    January 10th, 2011 at 08:38 | #32

    The Palin camp, which deleted the crosshairs map from their website, is now claiming that the crosshairs were not crosshairs at all but surveyor’s sights. No doubt that is why they pulled the map in the first place, why Palin so dramatically announced ‘Don’t retreat, re-survey’ and why her Alaska doco showed its star parading around Alaska with a theodolite. Oh wait…

  33. Fran Barlow
    January 10th, 2011 at 12:36 | #33

    And yet more on the epistemic closure/agnotology issue. As usual, The Blot is a generous sustainer:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/01/andrew_bolt_vs_percentages.php#more

    Dennis Ambler checks the statistics behind recently claims that 97 per cent of climate scientists believe man is heating the planet and finds evidence of some exaggeration:

    However a headline of “0.73% of climate scientists think that humans are affecting the climate” doesn’t quite have the same ring as 97% does it?

    The response to this question was 75 specialists out of 77, so here we have our massive 97%.

    It is disingenuous to now use the “climate scientists” as a new population sample size. The response figure of 3,146 is the figure against which the 75 out of 77 should be compared and in this case we get not 97% but just 2.38%.

    I kid you not people (HT Deltoid).

  34. Tony G
    January 10th, 2011 at 16:45 | #34

    Fran,

    Just because a bunch of fraudsters THINK something is happening doesn’t mean squirt shyte.

    If the planet is getting warmer the average global temperature would rise. The global average temperature can not actually be measured properly yet Franger. That is why the fraudsters have to use an anomaly instead of the real thing,

    Unfortunately for the AGW fraudsters the actual average global temperature shows a cooling.

  35. Alan
    January 10th, 2011 at 17:23 | #35

    Tony G

    If:

    The global average temperature can not actually be measured properly

    how do you know:

    the actual average global temperature shows a cooling

    Both propositions cannot be true.

    If the actual average global temperature cannot be measured how do you know know that it is cooling?

  36. Tony G
    January 10th, 2011 at 17:50 | #36

    Alan, yes they can show both. Global average temperatures can not be measured with a degree of accuracy to ascertain whether it is warming or cooling., So depending how you measure it, it will show either a warming, a cooling or a static temperature.

  37. Alan
    January 10th, 2011 at 18:26 | #37

    Tony G

    Um that’s a fail. You cannot believe that a quantity cannot be measured and then tell us the result of measuring the quantity.

  38. Freelander
    January 10th, 2011 at 18:27 | #38

    I think AGW deniers should adopt Palin’s ‘war cry’: “Don’t Retreat, Reload” which I have alway interpreted as saying “Don’t Retreat, Get Drunk Again”.

  39. Tony G
    January 10th, 2011 at 19:19 | #39

    No Alan, I think you fail , unless you can tell me what the actual average global temperature is? Please provide a link to one.

  40. Fran Barlow
    January 10th, 2011 at 19:20 | #40

    And in any event Alan, satellite measurements of the radiative energy balance show that over the last 40+ years, the planet has acquired energy, in just the quantity that separate measurements indicate and in the bandwidths one would expect from CO2-driven radiative forcing.

    To deny this, one needs a whole new physics, and I don’t imagine Tony is up to it.

  41. Tony G
    January 10th, 2011 at 19:49 | #41

    Franger, I think you need to brush up on thermodynamics.

    If they cant work out the speed of motion of the individual atom (temperature) , how the hell are they going to work out the speed and motion of the atom multiplied by the number of atoms (mass) so affected? i.e (heat.)

  42. gregh
    January 10th, 2011 at 19:51 | #42

    @Tony G
    tonyG, that is such a silly comment that you should hang your head in shame

  43. Tony G
    January 10th, 2011 at 20:50 | #43

    gregI

    I think you’d better brush up on the molecular theory of heat, as you and Fran do not seem to know the difference between temperature and heat.

  44. gregh
    January 10th, 2011 at 20:56 | #44

    @Tony G
    I’ve got my PhD in a science discipline Tony G – I’m pretty comfortable with understanding the nature of the error you made.

  45. Tony G
    January 10th, 2011 at 21:11 | #45

    gregi,

    Oh goodi, enlighten us all on the “error [I've] made” o learned one.

  46. Charlie
    January 10th, 2011 at 22:31 | #46

    Prof JQ: Your “fn1. My estimates based on the Hadley data used by Lindzen gives an estimated trend of 0.012 degrees a year, with a t-value of 2.45″ is interesting as it refutes both Lindzen and the IPCC’s AR4. Your trend implies 0.12 degrees per decade, and only 1.2 degrees by 2110, yet IPCC predicts at least 3.4 degrees for its A2 scenario in 2100 (WG1: p.13).

    In fact all of the IPCC’s “best estimates” for temps in 2100 are well above yours for 2110. How so?

  47. Alan
    January 10th, 2011 at 23:33 | #47

    Tony G

    I don’t have to prove anything. You say both that actual average global temperature cannot be measured and that you know what it is. The question is not the actual value but how you, on your own statement, know the value of a quantity you say cannot be measured. You have joined Rumsfeldt in a whole new branch of epistemology, the known unknowable.

  48. Freelander
    January 10th, 2011 at 23:44 | #48

    Rumsfeld’s real expertise was in “Not knowing but thinking you know”.

  49. Jill Rush
    January 11th, 2011 at 00:15 | #49

    Sound point of logic Alan #35. There are links between the AGW deniers and the Tea Party – an inability to think matters through. No wonder we are in so much trouble. Once they would have known they were out of their depth but now they believe that their ignorant opinion is worth twice as much as a considered opinion because they believe it fervently and god is on their side. What a shame that they are prepared to gamble so greatly with the future.

  50. BilB
    January 11th, 2011 at 07:06 | #50

    TonyG @34,

    Where ever do you get the notion that the average global temperature cannot be measured?

    The global average temperature is determined by the in crease in the average night time temperature. This is when the effect of CO2 heat retention is doing its work. And that is very measureably demonstrating global temperature rise.

  51. BilB
    January 11th, 2011 at 07:22 | #51
  52. Fran Barlow
    January 11th, 2011 at 09:11 | #52

    @Jill Rush

    Once they would have known they were out of their depth but now they believe that their ignorant opinion is worth twice as much as a considered opinion because they believe it fervently and god is on their side.

    More to the point, it is right because the provenance of the opinion is local in all of the metaphoric and literal senses of local. What one hears over the back fence, reads in one’s local paper, what seems intuitive, what one thinks one sees with one’s own eyes, hears repeated by someone socially similar to you in a register in which you are comfortable, is more authentic and reliable than anything else. Education and responsibility to a wider community makes people remote and thus subverts their credibility. They could be acting for others. Their location presses upon the point of average man’s existential angst.

    That is, if you will, the populist episteme and it’s scarcely limited either to America or the delusionals in the battle over climate policy. It’s the context in which one can begin to make sense of what has been called agnotology or epistemic closure. It’s a whole new paradigm of knowledge, and delightfully from the point of view of the most privileged stakeholders in the system, the gatekeepers of this new knowledge are those best placed to define everyone’s “local”. From such an epistemology did the narratives and themes of f*scism emerge.

    This is a time for all who want to foreclose a descent into misanthropic public policy to assert the primacy of evidence and intellectual rigour in human affairs.

  53. Michael of Summerhill
    January 11th, 2011 at 09:38 | #53

    Alice, the other day I raised the issue of the NSW Liberal Party being divided and should have stressed that the problem has a lot to do with two wright-wing factions and the Taliban Catholics. But lately Cardinal Pell has upped the ante by criticising progressive Catholic MPs whom he claims “fly under the Christian or Captain Catholic flag” but “blithely disregard Christian perspectives” when they vote in parliament on moral issues. Well that is a distortion of the facts for MPs have an obligation for good government and to make laws for the people of NSW whom have varying religious beliefs.

  54. Ken Fabos
    January 11th, 2011 at 09:39 | #54

    As an example of the success of Agnotology with respect to climate science – meet TonyG.

    To the specific example, it’s clear to me that there was deliberate intent to confuse the specific technical term ‘statistically significant’ with ‘significant’ and therefore create the distinct and demonstrably false impression of ‘none at all’. I’m inclined to think that Ocean Heat Content, trends in land ice and Sea levels are more appropriate indicators of global climate change than surface air temperatures, but that’s another issue.

    As a question put to leading climate scientist Phil Jones it demonstrates that whoever composed that particular question knew that ‘statistically-significant ‘ is a technical term requiring a technically correct answer, knew that the period was too short to allow an unequivocal answer, knew that the general public would equate ‘no statistically significant global warming’ with no real warming. And knew that Phil Jones would answer it honestly. Turning that honesty against him and deliberately misinterpreting what was said is a clear example of the depth of intellectual dishonesty climate science denialists will stoop to.

    Like the ‘no cooling since 1998′ argument that uses an exceptionally hot year as both cherry picked start point and baseline for all future temperature changes as well as deliberately failing to give consideration for a known natural variation – ENSO – as basis for arguing that climate change is all natural variation, it just demonstrates their complete lack of scientific integrity. And yet we have a would-be Prime Minister who seems quite taken by such arguments – and enjoys strong support within his party and in the wider community. Scary.

  55. Michael of Summerhill
    January 11th, 2011 at 09:44 | #55

    Sorry John, the above should have been posted at NSW Labor Headed For Defeat.

  56. Alan
    January 11th, 2011 at 12:59 | #56

    @Fran

    I agree about the need for evidence and logic. Tony G’s current forensic problem is, however, independent of evidence. He tells us that a quantity cannot be measured and then tells us the value of that quantity. There is no universe in which that argument can be valid, whether the real universe of climate change or even the delusional universe of Tony G.

  57. BilB
    January 11th, 2011 at 14:03 | #57

    Well here is the “ultimate and final word” on agnatology, and every thing else

    http://catchthefire.com.au/blog/2011/01/08/are-the-qld-floods-the-result-of-kevin-rudd-speaking-against-israel/

  58. Doug
    January 11th, 2011 at 14:36 | #58

    An observation on the discussion on agnotology: as I read the arguments of TonyG, for example, the implication of his argument about what we know and need to know about climate change before we do anything seems to be that unless we have totally complete and utterly accurate knowledge of some matter relevant to an issue, say the reality of climate change, we should do nothing.

    If this rule were applied more generally the result would be that we would end up doing nothing about anything because we don’t have complete and utter knowledge of everything.

    Is not the question here of knowledge that is fit for purpose – that is we generally act on the basis of relatively limited information. We make assessments about its relative accuracy, adequacy and reliablility for the purpose at hand.

  59. Ken Fabos
    January 11th, 2011 at 14:42 | #59

    BilB – rather a lot of collateral damage. I’d have expected Godlike accuracy but I think the ‘inland tsunami’ missed Kevin Rudd’s home completely.

  60. Fran Barlow
    January 11th, 2011 at 14:52 | #60

    @Fran Barlow

    And just to underscore the point I made above, here is Rachel Maddow, describing the parallel conservative universe of undebunkable made up stuff at work.

    This is the context within which the recent events in Tucson take place, and of course much else that bears balefully upon public policy more generally.

    For the record, this clip was posted on 4/11/2010, well before the Tucson matter.

  61. Jill Rush
    January 11th, 2011 at 18:55 | #61

    #10 Fran Barlow – Good clip Fran but you just know that those who are in the parallel right wing conspiracy universe would not watch or if they did wouldn’t believe that the stuff on FOX wasn’t true.

    The matters that Rachel raises however are not over the back fence but mainstream media which is rumour and innuendo – the stuff of Communist and other dictatorships where people are brainwashed.

    The depth of ignorance was illustrated for me by a radio clip of a Tea Party representative in regard to the events of Tucson where it was all the fault of the left wingers who support Fascism and Communism and nothing at all to do with the actions of the Tea Party people who just know that the USA is the greatest country on earth – which seems to be enough to exonerate Sarah Palin for her violent references and images.

    This kind of response shows how deep the problem is that Prof Q refers to and that plausible deniability doesn’t even come into it. It really is a parallel universe where “facts” are made up and repeated until people think that the “facts” must be right otherwise it wouldn’t be on TV or in the newspaper. Should we really be discussing brainwashing as a phenomenon?

  62. paul of albury
    January 11th, 2011 at 19:08 | #62

    I love the line ‘those things aren’t just stupid, they’re true on the political right’. But then she’s a lesbian vampire so why would you believe her. It’s really hard not to laugh, and yet it’s so dangerous.

  63. January 11th, 2011 at 19:25 | #63

    gerard @ #26 said:

    As for Jack Strocchi’s example of the Fort Hood massacre being ‘left-wing’ terrorism’, Jared Loughner’s videos have reminded me of the power of syllogism, which I now employ; Fort Hood shooter was a radical Islamist. Radical Islamism is not ‘left-wing’. Therefore the Fort Hood massacre was not ‘left-wing terrorism’

    The "power of the syllogism" depends on the veracity of the premises and the facility of the operator. In gerard's case its very much GIGO. He might want to get his logical evaluator checked out, it seems badly in need of a reconditioning. 

    Left-wing is the political movement that empowers lower-status disadvantaged or despised groups groups. 

    Traditional lower-status Muslims face social sanction from the higher powers that be in the Middle East, whether they be Baathist states the IDF or the Pentagon. Thus radical Islamism is Left-wing as it fights for lower class, disenfranchised and dispossessed Muslims, for better and worse..

    Radical Islamism is obviously not liberal. The fact that radical Islamists also oppress other lower-status people, such as women, children and other religions, is neither here nor there. Pecking orders are ubiquitous, even, or especially, in prisons.

    So to restate the syllogism:

    Left-wing parties empower the lower-status 

    -> Palestinians are lower-status

    -> Radical Islamists support Palestinian uprising

    -> Fort Hood shooter was a radical Islamist

    -> Fort Hood shooter was Left-wing

    And this logic accords with empirics. The Fort Hood shooter carried out his act of terrorism on behalf of Palestinians, an attempt to empower the lower-status. And he directed against the US military, an agency that establishes the higher-status.

    QED

  64. Alan
    January 11th, 2011 at 20:54 | #64

    Leftwing parties empower the lower-status

    -> Elites are upper status

    -> John Howard was bitterly critical of elites

    Ergo)

    John Howard is a leftwinger

    Strocchissticism does not validate all syllogisms and the Strocchiastic definition of leftwing would, according to most teabaggers, include their movement.

  65. January 11th, 2011 at 21:46 | #65

    Alan @ #14 said:

    Strocchissticism does not validate all syllogisms and the Strocchiastic definition of leftwing would, according to most teabaggers, include their movement.

    You are confused, identifying Right-wing with the (allegedly higher-status) elites and Left-wing with the (allegedly lower-status) populus. A common error amongst simple minded ideologues, whose sense of irony deserts them when attempting social analysis.*

    My definition of Right-wing or Left-wing does not refer to the status of the representing party, which is as Michels noted always run by elites of one sort or another. It refers to the status of the represented social group.

    The Culture War is the exception that proves my rule about the politics of status differentials. It reverses ideological polarities because the conflict hinges on a conflict over the relative status of the traditional majority and fashionable minorities

    Cultural Left elitists represent fashionable “constructivist” notions of higher status. ie minority NESB, colored races, non-Christian religions. Cultural Right populists represent traditional conservative notion of higher-status ie majority Caucasian race, Christian religion and Constitutional ruler.

    Of course its doubtful whether white cultural elites really do care to enhance the status of minorities. They are generally concerned about degrading the status of other white people, generally those less educated but with more money ie rednecks, crackers etc.

    Minorities are just pawns in a white persons status game.

    I know, I know, you prefer a straightforward morality play where the Left-wing wear the white hats and support the masses. But the Cultural Left’s agnotology over anthropology means that this problem has long since eluded its intellectual grasp.

    * Which is why contemporary social satire is dominated by Right-wing cultural critics eg Wolfe, Humphries, Christian Lander. Mainly directed at the grotesque ideological contortions of cultural elitists “radical chic” SWPL etc

  66. James Haughton
    January 11th, 2011 at 21:54 | #66

    Ooo, a fallacy of the undistributed middle – haven’t come across that one since first year! Let me have a go!

    My dog enjoys bones
    Skeletons are bones
    Osteopaths enjoy working with skeletons
    Therefore my dog is an osteopath

    Left wing radicals empower cafe latte sellers
    Italians are cafe latte sellers
    Berlusconi supports Italians
    Therefore Berlusconi is a left wing radical cafe latte seller

    Strocchi can’t even get his premises right. Radical terrorist Islam is mostly supported/bankrolled by extremely wealthy aristocratic Sunni sheikhs as a way of distracting their populations from demanding democracy and a fair share of the oil money. Their populations are mostly Shia and are commonly targeted by the radical Sunni groups Strocchi claims support them against their masters. It is to laugh, ne?

    As for the claim that current left-wing violence is somehow the equal of current white right-wing violence, I defy Strocchi to read the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Insurrection timeline and tell me there is no connection between violence and the right at this point that far outweighs the other side.

    Strocchi’s true problem is that in his racially prejudiced soul he is no more able to countenance a black president than the Tea Party are and so will excuse anything that would rectify the situation. I suggest that he take a look at the Insurrection timeline entry for February 19 2010 and see if he can honestly and completely dissociate his own position from the sentiments expressed therein.

  67. James Haughton
    January 11th, 2011 at 22:02 | #67

    Bingo! A Strocchi white power rant against the agnotology of anthropology which refuses to recognise that whites are the natural ruling class, right on cue!

  68. Jill Rush
    January 11th, 2011 at 22:40 | #68

    Jack #13. Unfortunately your logic fails you at the first step.

    Left wing parties MAY empower lower status people – then again they might disempower those of lower status.

    So might right wing parties – Nazism and Fascism are examples of this. Intolerance knows no allegiance. However at the moment it appears that intolerance has taken root in the right wing and those leading the charge are prepared to lie and to damn the consequences as long as they oppose taking any action on climate change and many other things. They cannot see how things can be done differently to business as usual and have an antagonistic attitude which helps them believe that lying doesn’t matter as long as they can get people to think what they say is true.

  69. Alan
    January 11th, 2011 at 22:53 | #69

    My reading skills are reasonably good. After reading the latest Strocchiastic fulmination I confess I am not quite sure what he is saying, except that apparently taxing an opponent with Cultural Left elitism is a complete refutation to all arguments. If Jack’s premise required further definition, as he admits by giving one, then the fault is in his original statement of his syllogism. As far as I know John Howard did not at any time place on record his intent to use ‘elites’ in the same sense as Jack, so I am not completely sure why Jack gets to retroject his definition into Howard’s statements.

  70. Alan
    January 11th, 2011 at 23:54 | #70

    Just quietly I would have thought that people like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert made some slight contribution to political satire, but then they may be Cultural Left elitists who do not count.

  71. NME
    January 12th, 2011 at 13:52 | #71

    @James Haughton#16

    Can I have a go? how about this one:

    All Radical Left Wingers are atheists (Empirical)
    All Radical Islamists are Radical Left Wingers (Proven by Strocchi)
    Therefore all Radical Islamists are atheists.

    This revelation may be just shocking enough to bring about the end of the war on terror without another shot being fired!

  72. Freelander
    January 12th, 2011 at 14:59 | #72

    Non-FoxNews watching UnAmerican Globalised Radical Atheist Islamic Communist Terrorist Oil Industry Foreign Business Owner undermining us with cheap labour, no human rights, no environmental or safety standards, Free Trade, manipulated excessively low exchange rates and an unfair much higher saving rate, driving up prices because they refuse to remain poor, as God intended, threatening us because they also refuse to stay unarmed and leave us with undisputed military domination, again, as God intended? Is there any other sin that can be attributed to this ultimate bad guy?

  73. Freelander
    January 12th, 2011 at 15:02 | #73

    Oh, yes not to mention their latte drinking proclivities, cultural left elitism and ‘black armband’ historical revisionism.

  74. Fran Barlow
    January 12th, 2011 at 17:33 | #74

    I’m just waiting for Jack to explain to supporters of the Tea Party that they are all radical lefties.

  75. Fran Barlow
    January 12th, 2011 at 17:39 | #75

    Jack reminds me of Humpty Dumpty from Alice in Wonderland.

    When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

    The question is, said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things.

    The question is, said Humpty Dumpty, which is to be master — that’s all.

  76. Michael of Sumerhill
    January 12th, 2011 at 18:07 | #76

    Fran Barlow, since the topic is on ‘the significance of agnotology’ and given my limited knowledge on the subject matter and the fact I love my latte, maybe there is a link between the Tea Party, David H. Koch and the tea herbal smoke shops in Houston. Tell me I am wrong.

  77. Alice
    January 12th, 2011 at 18:13 | #77

    @Jack Strocchi
    Strocchi – leans his political punditry heavily to the right (but its a right no one recognises any more, and I doubt Strocchi has any thing much to say at all about the modern right – which has become both republican and democrat, liberal and labor, and is indistinguishable).

  78. Alice
    January 12th, 2011 at 18:16 | #78

    So the right has all power.

    That is the entire source of the economic problems that bedevil us. Fix a road? Mend a school building? repair a broken rail line? Make the trains run clean and on time?
    Cant be done. Waiting for the private sector to fix it. Isnt going to happen.

  79. Chris O’Neill
    January 12th, 2011 at 22:44 | #79

    Pr Q:

    Thus, it was totally unwarranted to slide, as Lindzen and others did, from “no statistically significant warming” to “no significant warming” or even, in Lindzen’s case “warming has ceased for the past fourteen years”. Sad to say, most of the “sceptics” who profess to “make up their own mind” on the issues, are either too lazy or lack the mental equipment to learn the basic statistics needed to understand this point, and therefore unthinkingly repeated Lindzen’s claim.

    If you have a look over at Australian Denial Central, you’ll see that even though they do understand the basic statistics to know what “no statistically significant” warming means, they lack the ability with logic to know that this means something different from “no warming” or Lindzen’s “warming has ceased for the past fourteen years”. The alternate universe is alive and (some form of) well.

  80. Alan
    January 12th, 2011 at 23:51 | #80

    it’s interesting that those people focus so closely on contesting a couple of data points. The current state of the world, Queensland and northern NSW being tragic examples, fits quite closely to the broader predictions of climate science. It does not fit at all with claims like the world is actually cooling.

  81. Michael of Sumerhill
    January 13th, 2011 at 08:23 | #81

    Alan, I tend to agree for experts knew as far back as June last year of La Nina and the changing weather pattern over the South Pacific. But as for global warming being directly responsible for warmer than usual sea surface temperatures around Australia is unknown but my guess is they are correlated.

  82. Alan
    January 13th, 2011 at 09:07 | #82

    NASA and NOAA seem to disagree with Tony G.

  83. Alan
    January 14th, 2011 at 14:30 | #83

    @MoSH

    It looks like one third of the sea surface temperature increase is attributable to global warming:

    Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., told Reuters that waters off northern Australia are more than 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than they were before 1970 — and a third of that warming can be attributed to climate change.

    “The extra water vapor fuels the monsoon and thus alters the winds and the monsoon itself and so this likely increases the rainfall further,” he said.

    Kirtman said there is also ongoing discussion about whether climate change is changing the behavior of the El Niño Southern Oscillation.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2007 that computer model projections did not indicate the weather cycle’s strength or frequency would alter during the 21st century. But some scientists, Kirtman among them, now suggest that ENSO may shift as climate change intensifies.

    Which brings us back to what degree of certainty you need before you act. The climate science predicts a world with many more extreme weather events. Given their insistence that the world is cooling (although they claim no-one can measure either cooling or warming) the climate manipulators would seem to be predicting a world with fewer extreme weather events. They should go to Pakistan, Brazil or Queensland.

    Contrary to the Monckton line, addressing climate change is not all that expensive and does not require a massive expansion of the public sector. Reducing the chance of extreme weather events like these floods, even if only by 1/3, seems to me a fairly desirable objective.

  84. Michael of Summerhill
    January 15th, 2011 at 08:55 | #84

    Alan, it seems other scientists agree with Kevin Trenberth for Matthew England of the UNSW Climate Change Research Center argues that ‘The waters off Australia are the warmest ever measured and those waters provide moisture to the atmosphere for the Queensland and northern Australia monsoon’. But if as Kevin Trenberth argues that for every ’1 degree Celsius sea surface temperature anomalies gives 10 to 15 percent increase in rainfall’, then the science is correct about AGW and the sceptics are just raving on.

  85. Alan
    January 15th, 2011 at 10:49 | #85

    This is a great example of how illiterate is the Monckton claim that CO2 is a ‘harmless trace gas’. H2O is a considerably more more harmless trace gas but you do not want the proportion of it in the atmosphere to go high enough to do damage. I guess though, by Monckton’s illogic, the megafloods in Pakistan, Brazil, Sri Lanka and Australia are harmless because water is not a poison.

  86. Michael of Summerhill
    January 16th, 2011 at 09:39 | #86

    Alan, the Monckton of NSW politics who does not believe in AGW is sceptical ‘Barry O’Farrell’, that is correct the one and same ‘Barry O’Farrell’ who has jumped in bed with nazis so don’t believe a word he says about fixing NSW for he is all bull.

  87. Fran Barlow
    January 16th, 2011 at 09:59 | #87

    @Michael of Summerhill

    Which N@zis has O’Farrell jumped into bed with?

  88. Alan
    January 16th, 2011 at 10:42 | #88

    MoSH

    I do not believe a word O’Farrell utters. Sadly, NSW Labor has also made it impossible to believe a word they utter. Throwing the core values of your voters out the window does that to you.

  89. Alan
    January 16th, 2011 at 10:43 | #89

    Apologies to Pr Q. This is obviously not an appropriate thread to pursue MoSH’s attempt to whitewash NSW Labor.

  90. Michael of Summerhill
    January 16th, 2011 at 11:24 | #90

    Fran Barlow, the media has covered the issue but for those who do not know what is going on even former PM John Howard scolded Liberal members for attending functions honouring past Nazi leaders. And Barry O’Farrell just happens to be one of the stooges on the far wright who are AGW sceptics.

  91. Monkey’s Uncle
    January 16th, 2011 at 22:10 | #91

    MoSH, you seem to be getting a little desperate. Godwin’s law. Methinks you need a good lie down.

  92. Monkey’s Uncle
    January 16th, 2011 at 22:30 | #92

    The majority of terrorist organizations (radical Islam, IRA, Basque separatists) tend to be somewhat left-leaning. Moreover, if you look at recent events such as the violent protests through much of the UK and Europe against government cutbacks and austerity, it would appear that the Left are somewhat more inclined to resort to violence in order to advance their political goals.

    The attempt to paint Jared Loughner as a right-winger appears to be an altogether too desperate attempt by sections of the left-liberal commentariat to distract from this fact and settle the scorecard. It was an unprofessional mugging, and a fair few individuals will suffer a well-deserved loss of credibility because of it.

    In any case, basic human decency suggests that one should not be too quick to exploit human tragedy for political gain, at least until the picture is really clear.

  93. Alan
    January 16th, 2011 at 22:54 | #93

    Monkey’s Uncle

    I’d submit that if basic human decency suggests that one should not be too quick to exploit human tragedy for political gain it is inappropriate for you to be too quick to exploit human tragedy for political gain by identifying everything evil in the world as leftwing. In particular the association of radical Islam as leftwing is more than merely faintly ridiculous.

  94. Michael of Summerhill
    January 17th, 2011 at 05:38 | #94

    No Monkey’s Uncle, the truth hurts. Tell me I am wrong.

  95. Michael of Summerhill
    January 17th, 2011 at 06:50 | #95

    Don’t bother answering Monkey’s Uncle, for now I will tell the truth about the fraud Barry O’Farrell. On the 28 December 2010, O’Farrell admitted in an interview with Michael Smith of 2UE he does not believe in AGW. As for John Howard scolding Liberal Party members, this related to outcries from the Croatian Embassy, the Jewish and Croatian communities of Australia etc who were outraged when former Communications Minister Helen Coonan, Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and NSW Upper House MP David Clarke attended a Ustase regime function on 10 April 2007. And who can forget Lyenko Urbanchich and/or the uglies or their offshoots who now dominate NSW Liberal politics and ongoing infighting between two extreme factions for preselection. That is correct Monkey’s Uncle they are nazi lovers.

  96. Fran Barlow
    January 17th, 2011 at 07:34 | #96

    @Monkey’s Uncle

    MU … you should have stopped at #41 …

    #42 was ridiculous and (like MoSH), a thread hijack

  97. Michael of Summerhill
    January 17th, 2011 at 08:35 | #97

    Fran Barlow, I was just pointing out that O’Farrell is in the same league as other sceptics and his policies have a lot to do with the extreme right wing-faction beliefs, no more and no less. Have to go.

  98. Alan
    January 17th, 2011 at 10:06 | #98

    MoSH

    A purely negative campaign is suicide for a political party.

    During the federal election candidates were being directed not to talk about the government’s achievements, but to keep on talking about WorkChoices. Even now, months later, the prime minister barely gives an interview without talking about it. If the NSW Labor government retained any shred of legitimacy you would not be embarrassing yourself with this guff about O’Farrell. Every time you raise it you only remind us how NSW Labor, to an even greater extent than Federal Labor, has abandoned its own people for the big end of town. It is as persuasive as you telling us that the Kaye bill, Green legislation opposed by the Labor party, is somehow a reason to vote Labor.

    Understand I have no intention of voting Liberal. My vote will exhaust before it reaches either major party. It will be the first time in my life that I have not preferenced Labor. I know that will assist the election of an O’Farrell government. I do not see that as worse than a continuation of the present government. At least there is some slight hope that Labor can recover its soul in opposition.

  99. Michael of Summerhill
    January 17th, 2011 at 11:37 | #99

    Alan, show me where NSW Labor is anti AGW and NSW Liberals/Nationals pro AGW. Get your facts wright for you speak with a fork tongue.

  100. Alan
    January 17th, 2011 at 17:46 | #100

    NSW Labor may well claim to be against climate change as does the Gillard government. After you take out the occasional embarrassment like the citizens assembly on delaying action against climate change as long as electorally convenient, the climate achievements of those governments come down to remarkably low proposed emission reductions, increases in MRET, a series of on again off again focus group-driven programs like Green Loans and the solar feed-in tariff, and shovelling as much coal as possible out of the ground and exporting it.

    No doubt there are members and supporters of those governments who are genuinely opposed to climate change. Their influence does not seem to carry nearly as much weight as the coal exporters. NSW Labor’s avowed position on climate change would be a reason to support them only if you believed it would be followed more honestly than Iemma’s privatisation pledge.

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