tip off

Why?

There’s a familiar refrain coming from commenters in the Murdoch press:

ANY comparison with other Western nations demonstrates that Australia is the luckiest of countries – yet the Gillard Labor-Green-independent government seems hell-bent on destroying this legacy.

Why Piers? Why would these people who have chosen to enter politics want to harm Australia?

And Gillard’s plan is to make us even weaker?

Why Andrew? Why would our Prime Minister want to harm the economy? Wouldn’t that be political suicide?

So what we have is a government obsessed with the things most of us don’t really care about, and not seeming to be in control, says Chalke.

Why Miranda? Why would a government that will have to face voters at some point dismiss them out of hand?

Can anyone explain to me in clear terms why they believe that an Australian government would actively work to sabotage our nation, and its own electoral chances? It just doesn’t pass the sniff test, and yet we are relentlessly being told that our Federal Government wants to see the citizenry put in the poor house. Why?

I was no fan of a lot of the decisions made by the Howard government, but I never believed that he wanted our nation to fail. I vehemently disagreed with his vision of how a successful Australia should look, but I didn’t think that he was planning to deliberately undermine the whole of Australia. Yet since the election of Kevin Rudd in 2007, and his replacement by Julia Gillard in 2010, there have been wails of anguish from right wing commentators that our government means to do us harm. Why? And more importantly, why are people believing it?

Why aren’t the harbingers of doom ignored and ridiculed for their ongoing chicken little routines? How have we allowed our national discourse to slide to the point where government policy, and the PM, are called treasonous? Why does anyone take seriously the moronic accusations that we are close to being subjected to a totalitarian state?

Why do journalists who haven’t yet left the realms of sanity continue to provide cover for their unhinged colleagues rather than calling them out? Why doesn’t the fourth estate seem to care that they have lost the respect of so many of their customers?

An informed citizenry is an essential part of a healthy democracy, and our media are supposed to provide us with the information to make choices about how we are governed. What seems to have evolved, not just in Australia, is a situation where the fourth estate has decided that it’s more interesting to wield power than to hold it to account. Journos would rather be “insiders” than speak truth to power, our mass media is more interested in representing those with wealth and influence than holding them responsible for their words and actions. How has this become the status quo?

Our public discourse doesn’t represent a battle of ideas at the moment, News Ltd in particular has shown that it is willing to use a number of tactics to delegitimise and silence those whose views it disagrees with, and so we are reduced to sloganeering and partisanship. Under the cloak of a free press and the “right to know” our mass media are operating in a fashion where moral and sometimes even legal breaches are ignored, why doesn’t anyone speak out against this behaviour?

It seems to me that the first step in slowing down the “he said, she said”, overwrought, vapid styles of news reporting is to keep asking “Why?”. Why is this claim being made? Why is that relevant? Why should we believe that? These are questions that we used to expect our press to ask, but if they won’t, then we need to. The amazing thing is how quickly a lot of the hysterical claims in the media fall apart if you simply ask “Why?”. The second step is to dismiss any journalist whose answer is “I don’t know, but…”, if they have not asked “Why?”, then the information they are trying to convey is meaningless.

It’s time to ask the commentariat why they believe the things that they are espousing. Why don’t they believe the IPCC? Why do they believe that our government wants to ruin our economy? Why should we trust them to base their work on unprintable secrets, told to them by unnamed people in the corridors of power? Why should we accept that anything they say has authority?

If the fourth estate now wants to wield the power it was supposed to keep in check then it is well and truly time to ask, “Why?”.

44
  • 1
    paul of albury
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    More projection perhaps?
    I think you’re probably right about Howard, he wouldn’t destroy his ideal of Australia to gain power. But in their resentment over the last election, Abbott’s Libs are taking talking down the country to new levels. It’s not so difficult to imagine that if that’s the price of power they’re happy for us to pay it. To be fair they probably do believe that an Australia without them in government can’t be right.

  • 2
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, see, here’s the problem … you’re asking people to be skeptical.

  • 3
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know, Workchoices, the bashing of pensioners and the unemployed, transporting refugees. None of those things did anything for the country and nor did the sandwich and milkshake tax cuts.

    Let’s talk about the Australian. 4 years ago they started a series of editorials demanding the pushback of “illegal immigrants”, anyone who wrote and said they are not illegal immigrants and sent the law to prove it was demonised, like me for an example.

    The press council found against them twice on their language but still it continued in stark contrast the Australia pre-Mitchell that took the time to educate the public about refugees, who they were and where they come from.

    They became increasingly brutal in their assessments of the so-called Pacific Solution, especially Greg Sheridan yet it was Sheridan who first mooted the notion of push backs which he knows very well is illegal.

    The ABC followed suit, the commercial media sent journos out to demonise, they published estimates questions as “exclusive stories”, yet ignored the real stories.

    4 long years of relentless hate has led to the day we need Colin Barnett to point out that trading orphans to Malaysia is indefensible.

    Why? Because Gillard and Abbott went into a death spiral they do not know how to get out of and the children will be the collateral damage in their depraved dance.

  • 4
    William Conroy
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    if you keep repeating a lie often enough then it becomes reality hence the stock market falls pushed down by the “weel be rooooooned brigade”. Abbort will go to any lengths to get into the lodge and blame everything on the last lot. Overcoming that inertia is like stopping the QW2 one good thing is we have two years to clobber abbort. MSM etc etc

  • 5
    Ray Hunt
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    What a terrible job the government is doing.

    Unemployment is the lowest in the OECD. Government debt is the lowest of the OECD countries and exports as a share of GDP are currently second-highest after Germany.

    The government’s real weakness? Using the same incompetent NSW-right communication cronies that almost lost them the 2010 election. They could not sell cold beer in the front bar of a Mt Isa pub. They can’t manage issues. They keep getting work.

  • 6
    Angra
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Only one answer to this question.

    Chocolate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy52yueBX_s

  • 7
    Angra
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Sorry – here’s the full version in stereo –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHjieD6CTYs

  • 8
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Excellent piece. Too bad very few people will do that.

  • 9
    Agent
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Dave asks: “Why Andrew? Why would our Prime Minister want to harm the economy? Wouldn’t that be political suicide?”

    Because she has been captured by an extremist green agenda that puts “material prosperity of Australians” waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy down the priority list.

    Done.

  • 10
    fredex
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Well there is a teensy bit of consistent logic in the accusations by the far right that the Oz legacy is beeing destroyed.
    Its just that when we ask which aspects of what legacy for whom that we see their problem.
    Take tax cuts for example.
    Under Howard’s COALition they went to the rich who didn’t need them.
    Now tax cuts benefit the poor who need it more.
    Yikes!
    Then in the good ole days, the environment was a thing to be exploited for profit by the few.
    Now there is some sort of awareness that something needs to be done about protecting the environment, eg water, air, that sorta stuff, and that the rich and greedy should pay their bit towards the minimal fixups.
    Yikes!
    Or take industrial relations, you know where corporate owners got to have all the power and the public SFA.
    Even the extremely minimal changes to workNOchoices are seen as a breakdown of the Oz legacy that the greedy few prefer.
    Or take the issue of women in our society.
    No longer is it a given that they should be unpaid stay at home housewives and breeders [I forget the exact words of Costello's comment about 'one for the country'] now they [OK actually parents in general] can take a break from work and expect to get some pay and, yikes, have their job kept on hold for them.

    And so on.
    Scary ain’t it?

  • 11
    SHV
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Dave,

    Assuming your question isn’t merely rhetorical, check out:

    http://medialens.org/

    And read everything they’ve ever written, including their book “Newspeak in the 21st Century”.

    My view is that the Murdoch media is beyond redemption and we urgently need to break it up for sale OR open our doors to all foreign owners to come along and compete with them (currently against the law).

    The commercial media has and will always be suspect, maximum diversity of control is the only thing that has ever worked to deliver something of value to the citizenry.

  • 12
    AR
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    The shoutback jocks’ constant claims that the government is incompetent and aim the country remind me of racists claiming immigrants live on the dole and take our jobs.
    Does. Not. Compute.
    Anyway, who cares about global warming, it doesn’t matter, just turn up the air/con to 11.
    Or drive your turbo charged V8 rilly, rilly fast with the windows down to get the air in.

  • 13
    AR
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    and aim the countryV/I>… would be “and aim to destroy the country”.

  • 14
    Will S
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Because they hate our freedoms, just like those people we bombed in the middle east

  • 15
    Max Power
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Karl Rove can answer your question better than I ever could:

    “[You are] in what we call the reality-based community, who believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world really works anymore.We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html?_r=1&ex=1255665600&en=890a96189e162076&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland

  • 16
    SHV
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Spot on, max.

  • 17
    Bellistner
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    In two years, we go back to the polls.
    In two years, I expect to have my house paid off and be completely. debt. free.

    A tiny part of me wants Abbott to win, just so we can all see how shit he really is. But only a tiny part (it’s the same part that wanted Howard to win just so we could watch him squirm as the economy fell apart).

  • 18
    RobJ
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    In two years, I expect to have my house paid off and be completely. debt. free.

    Same here… I think I’ll make a big redraw though so I can go overseas for a well deserved, long holiday of a lifetime.

    Personally I’ll be OK under Labor or Coalition, face it, they’re both shit and I’m doing fine. Thing is I vote with my conscience not my hip pocket, I wish others would do the same then it would be less likely that as a nation we’d treat the children of asylum seekers like cattle. Or as a nation we’d care more about people than cattle.

  • 19
    Duncan
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    “A tiny part of me wants Abbott to win…”

    Don’t worry, he will.

    “..just so we can all see how sh!t he really is.”

    This will never happen. Regardless of how sh!t he is, the media will cover his arse and allow him to blame the previous Labor government.

    The Libs are desperately hoping our economy will fall in a heap before the next election. But even if current global financial woes DON’T hit Oz and trash our economy, Abbott will still win. He will then wreck the country and then blame Labor for having squandered the Coalitions surplus.

    RobJ & Bellistner

    Being debt free is great. We lived like paupers (for years my inlaws referred to our place as “cold comfort farm”) for about 5 years to pay off our place, now whatever happens we are buffered and our cost of living is peanuts.

    In 2-3 years, we expect to be buying a small, “entry level” dairy farm and finally escape the lot of the tenant farmer. This would not be possible with out the equity we have built and the money have saved as a direct consequence of being debt free.

  • 20
    Captain Col
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    “Why don’t they believe the IPCC?”

    Because the IPCC has been proved wrong, biassed and guilty of exactly what Jeremy is grizzling about here – silencing legitimate dissent.

    “Why do they believe that our government wants to ruin our economy?”

    They (journalists and government) don’t understand the economy in the first place. Hint: It is run by private enterprise, risk/reward and initiative – not the government. And a gratuitous prediction: Keynes will soon be discredited for ever in the US and others will follow. Second, they care less about the economy than they do about power for themselves. They (the government) want to keep power from private hands such as rich bussinessmen, go getters and the aspirational. So they feed their trolls who will ultimately consume them.

    “Why should we trust them to base their work on unprintable secrets, told to them by unnamed people in the corridors of power? Why should we accept that anything they say has authority?”

    We shouldn’t. But then again, we can look for alternative views on the same subject which can inform our decisions. Try reading (and understanding) the media you hate and you may well find some truth.

    Finally, my view is that the left bias of journalists in general is a self imposed handicap. Too many of them agree with too many of their mates and they can’t, for the life of them, understand the why everyone else doesn’t agree with them. They should get out more… to the ‘burbs.

  • 21
    DeanL
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    There’s a total shamelessness and lack of self-inspection about right wing commentariat. They’ll happily condemn the whole of the “Left” for somehow siding with Islamic terrorists and Saddam but, along comes a right wing looney who actually categorically states that he has been inspired by elements of the political Right and they run a mile and write it off, castigating the Left again in the same act of denial. Funny, if it wasn’t so tragic.

    The way that the far right has turned on their governments in Australia and The USA is also telling – yes, there was some idiotic sentiments expressed by many over Howard and Bush – but also a lot of valid criticism – nobody seems to be willing to sheet home any of the blame for the USA’s current predicament to Bush and, the economic geniuses Howard and Costello said the boom would last and last…But there’s a real anti-democratic and totalitarian element within the far right that is more than a little disturbing and their Norwegian friend is very much symptomatic.

  • 22
    GaryM
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    “Finally, my view is that the left bias of journalists in general is a self imposed handicap. Too many of them agree with too many of their mates and they can’t, for the life of them, understand the why everyone else doesn’t agree with them. They should get out more… to the ‘burbs.”

    You really can’t make this stuff up. “Left bias of journalists” What a load of twaddle.

    Capt Col do you really live on this planet? The media and its journos in this fair land, are just the opposite of your fantasy, they have more right wing bias than a Pomey tea clipper in a storm..I would pay close attention to what is happening of late, the expose of your so called biased lefty media, is becoming clearer as each day passes. We will soon see how left they are.

  • 23
    jules
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    “Because the IPCC has been proved wrong, biassed and guilty of exactly what Jeremy is grizzling about here – silencing legitimate dissent.”

    and

    They should get out more… to the ‘burbs.

    LOL WUT?

  • 24
    SHV
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    But GaryM, they MUST be ‘left’ biased.

    Why just today at Rupert’s Byron Bay Writer’s Festival, Rupert’s Nikki Savva said they were.

    Rupert’s Andrew Bolt often says they are. In fact, I’m unable to think of anyone who works for Rupert who HASN’T pointed out the fact that everyone else in the remaining 20% or so of the media he doesn’t influence is ‘left’ biased.

  • 25
    Mano derecho
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    GaryM, I understand it’s hard to resist when the stupid reaches that level, but please don’t feed the troll.

  • 26
    AR
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Even wretches like Rove are warning against, and are clearly terrified by, what they created with their “alternative to reality” – the Tea Party being merely the most visible.
    Is it too much to hope that our shoutback jocks & shameless polemicists will understand the concept of mea culpa when the result of their mendacious ravings finally hits the fan? (sorry, rhetorical question)
    Duncan@19 – I wish you the best but suggest that a dairy farm is going to be subject to all sorts of regulation & market manipulation. Would you not consider going for a mixed farm so that, when the externalities begin to fail you & your will still be eating, and food you can trust.

  • 27
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    CC @20

    I don’t like to have to respond like this, but … what a load of talking-point twaddle. Let’s go through it:

    “Why don’t they believe the IPCC?”

    Because the IPCC has been proved wrong, biassed and guilty of exactly what Jeremy is grizzling about here – silencing legitimate dissent.

    Proved? Really? Do you know what the word “proved” actually means? Something being claimed by people who (a) have an axe to grind and (b) have no actual first-hand knowledge isn’t proof. As far as I can see, the IPCC hasn’t been “proved” wrong at all. It’s going to take quite a bit longer to know for sure whether its predictions and proposed remedies are correct. The question of bias is as it ever was – downright hard to prove one way or another, so I tend to rely somewhat more heavily on whether they turn out to be right. And “silencing legitimate dissent”? Really? If it was silenced, then HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT?

    This “silencing dissent” thing really is laughable. AB claims that, then relies on apparently NOT silenced, published, peer reviewed articles to support his own arguments. He tries to make out that universities and public bodies are infected with warmist zealots, then interviews professors and public servants who agree with him. It’s a load of crap. Stop eating it. If the majority of people in positions of authority hold to a certain point of view … it’s just possible that maybe they’re right?

    They (journalists and government) don’t understand the economy in the first place. Hint: It is run by private enterprise, risk/reward and initiative – not the government.

    And apparently you don’t understand it either – it’s not “run” by anybody. It’s the activity of public AND private entities, and individuals. It’s sure as heck regulated by the government, though. And I’d much rather it be regulated by people I get a chance to vote for than by people I don’t get a chance to vote for.

    And a gratuitous prediction: Keynes will soon be discredited for ever in the US and others will follow.

    Really? How? Explain to me how “keynes” is being discredited. Because a bunch of poorly-regulated securities trading and (ought-to-be) criminal lending practices fracked up their banking system? How’s that “keynes’” fault? We didn’t go the way of the US precisely because we DO all the things that you are (by implication) bagging. We have properly regulated banks and stock markets. We have a rational monetary system. We have a government that does take a hand in moderating and regulating the housing market and preventing the sort of thing that created the problem. And when the balloon DID go up, our government took a big swig of that keynes prescription and became a significant consumer of goods and services. I would suggest to you that you’re sitting right in the middle of the freakin’ poster child of what americans call “keynesian” governance (incorrectly, IMHO).

    Second, they care less about the economy than they do about power for themselves.

    Rubbish. The last 30 years of government shows that both sides of politics know the value of sound, steady economic efficiency and growth. The labs have just as much a track record on that as the libs. Some might even suggest more. Successful politicians know the cardinal rule of australian elections – governments rise and fall with the economy.

    They (the government) want to keep power from private hands such as rich bussinessmen, go getters and the aspirational.

    Just exactly what sort of “power” are you suggesting we give to these “rich businessmen”? I don’t want them to have “power”. I want them to be bound to the same laws and restrictions that I am. I want them to be successful, sure. But power should only be gained through elections. Not wealth.

    So they feed their trolls who will ultimately consume them.

    *yawn*

    Finally, my view is that the left bias of journalists in general is a self imposed handicap.

    You’re right. If they were right-wing bastards they might own newspapers of their own, rather than merely working for right-wing bastards.

    Too many of them agree with too many of their mates and they can’t, for the life of them, understand the why everyone else doesn’t agree with them.

    That applies to journalists on all sides. And I’d also add that they seem to emit an air of unjustified infallibility.

  • 28
    GaryM
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    “Why just today at Rupert’s Byron Bay Writer’s Festival, Rupert’s Nikki Savva said they were.”

    Indeed. The problem is these RWDB’s really are winning the P.R. war. It seams the more B.S. thrown in about the “so called ” left bias in the media the more the proletariat are swallowing it. I despair.

    As far as feeding the Troll goes, true, just responding to this nonsense legitimises it into a debate. Which BTW, is not warranted. Anyone who can’t see the media in this country for what it is, must be in a coma. Yep I’m guilty for feeding the Troll, I just can’t help myself.

  • 29
    SHV
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Don’t despair GaryM,

    All we have to do is change the FIRB policies so that we make foreign control of our news media illegal. (Of course, it already IS for everybody on this planet except Rupert Murdoch).

    So easy. Just make Murdoch obey the laws we already have. If he didn’t own the ALP we would have this by now.

  • 30
    Duncan
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    “Duncan@19 – I wish you the best but suggest that a dairy farm is going to be subject to all sorts of regulation & market manipulation. Would you not consider going for a mixed farm so that, when the externalities begin to fail you & your will still be eating, and food you can trust.”

    Thanks for the response AR.

    We are pretty into self sufficiency and already grow a lot of our own meat, veg and some fruit on our current place (a little 5 acre farmlet) This will never change, regardless of what other business we get involved in.

    However, my wife is a dairy farm manager/herd manager with a degree in Ag. science, and is pretty much top of her game. She has managed one of the biggest dairy sheds in the country, w/ a herd of over 1200 cows, so our main income will always be dairy.

    (the woman is utterly obsessed with every aspect of dairy management, nutrition, agronomy, animal health etc…i barely hear a word from her not related to cows in some way!)

    I agree with you 100% re: mixed farming BTW. We are hoping to be running a herd of about 120-150 dairy cows, a small dairy beef operation, and free range poultry in mobile “egg wagons” as part of our pasture renovation and pest control programme.

    I firmly believe that future climate and economic conditions will require us to be much more flexible, have several income streams and reduce our reliance on external inputs as much as possible.

  • 31
    jules
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Right on Duncan. Transition is the way of the future.

  • 32
    jules
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I meant resilience.

  • 33
    Duncan
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Both are probably pretty accurate jules.

    The transition to resilience? :)

  • 34
    Captain Col
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the predictable reponse, Matthew. I’ll answer only a few.

    “Proved? Really?” Yes.

    “Do you know what the word “proved” actually means?” Yes.

    “Something being claimed by people who (a) have an axe to grind” That’s how we come to decisions, by seeking out alternatives and then evaluating them all. Not just the first thing we thought of doing.

    “and (b) have no actual first-hand knowledge isn’t proof.” You don’t need first hand knowledge of for example Himalayan glaciers to know the IPCC was bulshitting. They admitted it themselves. You don’t need first hand knowledge of the science to check whether the supposedly fully peer reviewed IPCC assessment reports were not in fact fully peer reviewed. You can check for yourself.

    “As far as I can see, the IPCC hasn’t been “proved” wrong at all.” You are limiting your research to Crikey???

    “It’s going to take quite a bit longer to know for sure whether its predictions and proposed remedies are correct.” It made projections, not predictions. Be aware of the difference. Projections are scenario and assumption based and then modelled by computer. They fail because none of the computer models has been verified. No computer can yet model the climate we have already experienced let alone the future. And none of the “predictions” have been remotely proved by observations. Where’s the hot spot predicted by the warmists but unable to be found by actual thermometers?

    “The question of bias is as it ever was – downright hard to prove one way or another, so I tend to rely somewhat more heavily on whether they turn out to be right.” On climate change we could be waiting for another century before you’ll admit you were wrong. I’m happy to wait for your eventual apology. But increasingly warmists such as you are jumping ship to more neutral ground. Don’t be the last.

    “And “silencing legitimate dissent”? Really? If it was silenced, then HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT?” Well because those the IPCC silenced have been gradually popping up and saying so and the press has been more open to publishing this fact. But note the time taken since the 2007 IPCC report. They were silenced for a considerable time but the truth is slowly emerging. Are you happy that this is the case or would you rather the IPCC had a robust process to to include ALL the evidence, not just the supporting evidence? Finally, perhaps you were unaware of the so called climategate emails? An insider (who otherwise would have been silenced) produces the documents proving that important imputs to the IPCC deliberately excluded, inconvenient papers excluded from peer review by the insiders, and much more.

    THAT’S HOW WE KNOW ABOUT IT. Is that your view of an open process?

    I could go on to your next paragraph, but you get the picture.

  • 35
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the predictable reponse, Matthew. I’ll answer only a few.

    Oohh, I’m disappointed. You had a shovel, but you stopped digging. I’m still very keen to hear why you think “keynes” is discredited when you’re sitting in a country which has done very well by following one of keynes’ key observations – that the government is a participant in the economy, and a significant consumer of goods and services.

    Ok, let’s see what you’ve got.

    I don’t see any evidence yet that you understand what “proved” means. You said “the IPCC has been proved wrong, biassed and guilty of … silencing legitimate dissent”. It hasn’t been proved wrong. The accusations of bias have yet to be substantiated and it’s simply not possible for the IPCC to silence anybody.

    You don’t need first hand knowledge of for example Himalayan glaciers to know the IPCC was bulshitting. They admitted it themselves.

    Yep. That was a mighty cock-up. No doubt about it. Working group II had some slack procedures for checking its sources, and seems to have had a habit of padding its references. They shouldn’t have written 2035, it should have been 2350. That was wrong, and you’re right to say that they admitted it. The next report had better have somebody with a sharp eye reviewing WGII, because that sort of crap is a massive distraction from the actual science … which, I stress, is not the responsibility of WGII. But somebody screwed up, and I hope they won’t be invited back to do it again in 2014.

    You don’t need first hand knowledge of the science to check whether the supposedly fully peer reviewed IPCC assessment reports were not in fact fully peer reviewed. You can check for yourself.

    Yep. Like I said, WGII (which doesn’t address the scientific basis for AGW or the projections) really let the side down. They did indeed include references that they should have. And “silenced dissenters” have done an excellent job of pointing those out. What they haven’t done, though, is show how excluding the weak references (none of which actually stood alone, which I’m sure you already knew) actually changes the substance of IPCC 2007. There’s smoke, but no actual fire.

    “You are limiting your research to Crikey???”

    Actually, no. When “climate gate” hit, and the steady stream of beat-ups was coming from The Times, I wasn’t posting over here. I was still a regular over and andy’s place, and I got to see all the claims he was cutting and pasting. And I do believe I shot a fair few of them down, too. I wasn’t actually all that interested before the climategate/copenhagen coincidence. It was actually mr b who encouraged me to have a look at what the skeptics were saying. And what the skeptics were saying really didn’t hold much water when one bothered to check the facts.

    On climate change we could be waiting for another century before you’ll admit you were wrong.

    I don’t think we’ll need to wait that long to know one way or another.

    Well because those the IPCC silenced have been gradually popping up and saying so and the press has been more open to publishing this fact. But note the time taken since the 2007 IPCC report. They were silenced for a considerable time but the truth is slowly emerging.

    Here’s a lark. Let’s use the google time machine to assess that claim. Are you sitting comfortably? Let’s begin:

    click here (in case that doesn’t work, search “IPCC -police climate scandal” and restrict to hits before 2006)

    Have a look through that list, and pay attention to the dates. No, criticism of the IPCC is not a new thing. There are hits there that go back to the 90′s. Nobody was “silenced”. Not after 2007, and not before. So if somebody CLAIMS to have been “silenced”, perhaps you should look a bit more closely at what they’re saying.

    “Are you happy that this is the case or would you rather the IPCC had a robust process to to include ALL the evidence, not just the supporting evidence?”

    What do you mean by “include”? Do they have to print everything that’s ever been written in their final reports? Or just the stuff that’s relevant and correct?

    “Finally, perhaps you were unaware of the so called climategate emails? An insider (who otherwise would have been silenced) produces the documents proving that important imputs to the IPCC deliberately excluded, inconvenient papers excluded from peer review by the insiders, and much more.”

    Much less, actually. The climate gate emails showed a great deal of hubris and egotism – things I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear me say are quite common in academic environments – but they don’t quite contain the hard evidence you think they do. They showed big-noting talk FANTASIZING about doing those things, but no talk about actually ever having done them. Maybe you should turn away from what other people say about the emails, and just read them yourself. They’re actually pretty underwhelming. Phil jones might be a berk, but if those emails really did show proof of that sort of behavior, it would have been extremely difficult for even the MOST carefully stacked inquiry to clear him, let alone three times.

  • 36
    Captain Col
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Another predictable response, Matthew. Save yourself additional keyboard cramp if you wish or you can argue long into the night. As I’ve told myself before, debating climate on this site is unproductive. Suffice to say (as I’ve said before) you believe your scientists and I’ll believe mine and we can both happily debate other stuff. Nobody here will believe it possible their climate gods were wrong until the next ice age, then the’ll still point out the inevitable heating to come.

    By the way, you have proved the IPCC wrong yourself. Read what you wrote. I never said everything they said was wrong. There are some very good bits. But they fail to live up to their own standards let alone any scientific ones.

    Also, my term ‘silenced’ refers to being scientifically excluded and therefore less able to be published and less sought after in the media. A non-IPCC example might be David Bellamy who was the BBC’s darling of eveything environmental until he revealed he didn’t believe the global warming bull and he has hardly been heard of since. Certainly not on the BBC. So silenced doesn’t mean bound and gagged; just ostracised.

    I mean by ‘include’ the scientific principle to include all results no matter whether they support the theory or not so that people reading can see the where the doubt lies. The IPCC was once very good at expressing doubts about their projections. They still do, but the shiny bums who write the summaries don’t emphasize doubts. They spin. So they don’t have to include every bit of research, but they do have to note where researchers have come to different conclusions using the same evidence. Again I ask are you happy for contrary views to be excluded (perhaps with such a long response you conveniently forgot to answer that bit).

    On to Keynes. The US has decided to tighten the belt a notch which is hardly Keynesian. The K solution would be to stimulate with even bigger government spending. Why not shove a few more $trillion of borrowed dough down the drain? It is not the turning point, but it is a start. The sensible solution to stimulate would be to cut govt. spending, repay debt, reduce taxes where possible and allow the private sector to flourish unimpeded. Just like people in the’burbs do in tough times.

  • 37
    Bellistner
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Duncan said:

    free range poultry in mobile “egg wagons” as part of our pasture renovation and pest control programme.

    Yeah, chickens are quite good at pest control (and anyone who has ever kept chooks will notice that they each have their own personality). Our last lot pretty much destroyed our garden, though (why they didn’t forage further afield, I’ve no idea. Must have been a lot of tasty treats in that leaf-litter).

  • 38
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    “Do you know what the word “proved” actually means?” Yes.

    As you once claimed that An Inconvenient Truth had been “legally proved wrong” when the judge, in fact, ruled in its favour I would suggest that no, you don’t know what the word means.

    Also, my term ‘silenced’ refers to being scientifically excluded and therefore less able to be published and less sought after in the media.

    So you are alleging “conspiracy”. Of course, all skeptic arguments have been roundly debunked, but because you only read third-hand versions of the science on denier blogs you won’t know this. They are excluded, Col, because they are wrong and have scientifically been proven wrong. That’s what science does. Science is competitive and there is a certain Nobel prize for anyone who can overturn the AGW theory – so why hasn’t it happened?

    (Also, David Bellamy is lying. He isn’t being gagged by the BBC. He stopped making programmes ten years before he publicly doubted AGW. But why bother with the truth when a conspiracy theory confirms your beliefs?)

    Col’s attitude towards science (“You believe your scientists and I’ll believe mine.”) perfectly sums up his ideology – just believe whatever you want and only look for evidence that tells you what you want to hear.

    Unfortunately science doesn’t conform to political ideology.

    Are you happy that this is the case or would you rather the IPCC had a robust process to to include ALL the evidence, not just the supporting evidence?

    What is “all” the evidence? You mean it should include all the non-peer reviewed and uncited articles in no-name journals by non-climate scientists that are widely debunked the moment they are published? Should blog posts be published? How about blog comments?

    Of course not. You are a fool.

    There is a peer review process. That deniers are unable to get their work published in any serious journal is not evidence of a conspiracy, which is all you see. It is evidence of weak science. When Roy Spencer publishes a paper in an unrelated journal and it can’t even last two days without being solidly debunked, you have to ask yourself – is it all part of the conspiracy? Or maybe, just maybe, he’s wrong?

    See Col, AGW is a coherent theory. Firstly there is the theory itself which was first hypothesised back in the 1800′s. Then there are the thousands of lines of empirical evidence (thermometers, both surface and satellite, melting icecaps, rising seas, shifting agricultural zones, increased droughts, increased heat records and decreased cold records etc.) which back it up.

    And deniers? There’s nothing. There is no coherent theory for what’s happening to the climate, and the evidence against it is flimsy and largely cherry-picked from scientific papers that actually support the consensus. It may amaze you to know that the “evidence” you demand be included in the IPCC AR is actually already there, and supports the theory. Maybe you should read it.

    Where’s the hot spot predicted by the warmists but unable to be found by actual thermometers?

    Try again Mr Science. Even the hardest of deniers no longer believe this one.

    Nobody here will believe it possible their climate gods were wrong until the next ice age

    Are you saying that the next ice age (that is expected tens of thousands of years from now) will prove AGW wrong? Do you think we should wait until then?

  • 39
    Eponymous
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I love it when people claim ‘the IPCC was wrong!’. It’s a clear indicator that they are a light-weight and don’t really understand the IPCC or climate science.

    The IPCC doesn’t do any science, they just collect reports from scientists and summarise what they mean. So, if one of their summaries is wrong, the original paper is still correct. In the case of AR4 if one conclusion of the IPCC is wrong, it still means that almost 30,000 papers are still yet to be disproven.

  • 40
    Lifesajoke
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    What gets me is ‘they’ continually claim the government is incompetent, hopeless useless… then they claim the goverment is intent on “destroying Oz’. Well if they are so incompetent, and they want to destroy oz – won’t they fail and thereby make oz even better? Or is my logic left biased?

  • 41
    returnedman
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Oooooh, Col’s made a PREDICTION again!

    Let’s see how true this one turns out to be.

  • 42
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Returnedman, we should give Col some credit. At least he admits he bases his scientific views on his political ideology and only believes people who tell him what he wants to hear.

    Meanwhile…

  • 43
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    “On to Keynes. The US has decided to tighten the belt a notch which is hardly Keynesian.”

    Um, ok. But when are you going to get to the part about “keynes” being discredited? Are you saying that australia’s fiscal policies over the last 20+ years have been wrong?

    “The K solution would be to stimulate with even bigger government spending. Why not shove a few more $trillion of borrowed dough down the drain? It is not the turning point, but it is a start.”

    Yep. I see what the US is doing. They’d be in line to regret it in a couple of years, but they’re too badly misinformed to understand what’s going to happen next.

    “The sensible solution to stimulate would be to cut govt. spending, repay debt, reduce taxes where possible and allow the private sector to flourish unimpeded.”

    This is what I mean by talking point twaddle. Do you understand that “repay debt” means increase the overall net surplus? I.e start to increase the margin between spending and taxation? How is that a good policy to implement precisely when the economy is tanking? The time to do that is in the good years. You know, the bush years. That was the time to save and pay down debt. Howard was right to do that as well.

    “Just like people in the’burbs do in tough times.”

    And that’s the problem. Everybody sees risk and says “bugger – better stop spending”. And economic activity shrinks. That’s precisely what is happening, and for each individual person, that’s probably the right thing to do. But for the economy overall it’s a problem. People stop spending, which means other people stop doing stuff, which means THEY stop spending, and so on. We know what happens when governments don’t step in to stimulate activity in a crisis like that and boost confidence – it’s called a depression.

    Now – I’m all for the “cutting taxes” bit. But to cut spending is the wrong thing to do. Or, rather, it’s the wrong time to do it, because there’s no private sector to take up the slack – the slack being the resulting unemployed, the resulting goods and services, and so on. It’s great policy – but now’s the wrong time for it.

  • 44
    Captain Col
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Back for more Matthew?

    “Discredited” in my eyes and in the eyes of several economists I respect. As I said it’s a start only. But gradually economic thinking will change because we have the perfect test cases following the GFC in the US, Australia, Europe etc and we have the results of those stimulus packages in detail. None worked.

    So the US is, “too badly misinformed to understand what’s going to happen next”. Drop them a line mate and let ‘em know how to run a superpower.

    Yes, “repay debt”. It means pay back more than you continue to borrow. Reduce the overall level of debt. I don’t think I said to spend more than you take in taxes. That was covered by “cut govt. spending”. And this is “talking point twaddle”?

    “Everybody sees risk” and where there’s risk, there’s also reward. “People stop spending, which means other people stop doing stuff, which means THEY stop spending, and so on.” Well people only stop spending until they are confident they can pay their bills and cover their costs or they see opportunities for investment … you know … despite its faults, capitalism works. You say “it’s called a depression” – well the answer to downturns is for the government to pull back and allow the economy to adjust to new circumstances, not inflate it with borrowed dough and try an soldier on regadless. Wages should fall in tough times if the argument is that they should rise in good times.

    “But to cut spending is the wrong thing to do. Or, rather, it’s the wrong time to do it, because there’s no private sector to take up the slack”. Classic Keynes bull. There’s always a private sector. And it will always look for opportunities (if big brother gets off its back).

    It is never the wrong time to implement good, sensible policy.

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