Carbon Price

Oct 7, 2010

Want to stop climate change? Move beyond carbon pricing

Leigh Ewbank writes: It’s time for the government and climate change advocates to stop

Leigh Ewbank writes: It’s time for the government and climate change advocates to stop obsessing over carbon pricing and get behind an investment-centred climate policy.

Polling released last week, as PM Gillard announced the members of her government’s Carbon Pricing Climate Change Committee, showed that just 37% of Australians think it is very important to implement an ETS (or other carbon-pricing measures) to address climate change. When we consider the prominence of emissions trading in contemporary climate change policy debates in Australia, it is fair to say the measure is still struggling to win strong public support.

In dominant discourses, the phenomenon of climate change is constructed primarily as a pollution problem. The logical aim of domestic climate policy within this framing is to limit the amount of carbon ‘pollution’ Australia emits. Carbon pricing is presented as the key policy initiative to achieve this end. This framework constructs the role of government as limited: it is responsible for setting carbon emissions targets and implementing carbon trading (or taxes) to create price signals to drive the transition to cleaner energy sources. Regardless of the ability of markets alone to achieve the decarbonisation needed to avoid dangerous climate changes, this is the prevailing wisdom.

The focus on climate change as a pollution problem obscures an alternative policy approach with greater potential to win public support than carbon pricing. In contrast to the pollution frame:

…the nation-building model provides Australians with a way of understanding the technological challenge at the heart of climate change. It also draws attention to the scale of engineering and can-do spirit required to transform the nation from a fossil-fueled economy to a renewable one. This approach will demonstrate the benefits of ‘green’ jobs, making the concept a reality for thousands of Australians.

As I have argued previously:

We need a nation-building project on the scale of the Snowy Mountains Scheme to invest in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure. This is the fresh approach needed to drive Australia’s transition towards a clean economy and protect the nation from dangerous climate change.

Unlike the pollution/carbon pricing frame that leaves decarbonisation to the invisible hand of the market, the nation-building approach emphasises the role of government in providing energy infrastructure. In the context of climate change, our government has the capacity — and responsibility — to use the common wealth of Australians to drive our transition to a renewable energy economy. In practice, our government would invest strategically in the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of clean technologies, with the objective of making them cheaper than fossil fuels.

The construction of new renewable energy grid infrastructure is one example of an investment-centred measure. Expanded electricity grid infrastructure would open up renewable resources for sustainable development and help overcome a non-market barrier to clean energy deployment. This type of enabling infrastructure would not benefit from emissions trading because it does not directly reduce carbon or generate offsets. Building transmission lines to remote parts of Australia rich with renewable resources is cost prohibitive for the private sector alone. This area is ripe for government leadership.

The strong level of support for the Labor government’s current nation-building initiative, the $43 billion National Broadband Network, demonstrates that the public is capable of supporting investment-centred policy. The Essential Research poll that identifies relatively mild enthusiasm for emissions trading, shows that 56% of Australians support the NBN.

Results of post-election survey conducted by the progressive group GetUp! illustrates that investment-centred policy is a popular idea in the context of climate change. According to GetUp!, 83 per cent of over 33,000 members who participated strongly support investing in renewable energy. Renewable energy investment was the top ranked issue out of ten. The least supported measure was a price on carbon. Though the findings reflect the preferences of politically progressive Australians, 33,000 is a very large sample and the results can’t simply be ignored.

If the Labor party is thinking straight they will seize the opportunity to rally the progressive base around renewable energy investment and shore up electoral support. This is a sensible move given the close election result and the possibility that the government might not complete a full three-year term.

While the new Carbon Pricing Climate Change Committee ensures that carbon pricing is on the agenda, there is room for Labor to move. The Gillard government and those in the parliament who support effective action on climate change can use carbon-pricing legislation to secure funding for an ambitious nation-building climate policy agenda.

Progressive writer Leigh Ewbank is director of online communications for Beyond Zero Emissions and blogs at The Real Ewbank.


139 thoughts on “Want to stop climate change? Move beyond carbon pricing

  1. Amber Jamieson

    I’m closing comments on this article because they are off topic now. If you want to debate the existence of climate change, I suggest you head back here:

    Thank you.

  2. kdkd

    Jak #136

    That would be absolutely fine, except that you haven’t provided a shred of credible evidence to support your position. You are suggesting some kind of conspiracy on this kind of scale, which frankly is nuts.

    What’s your failure criterion by the way? What will the weather have to show you in order to make you drop your nutty conspiracy theory?

  3. Jak

    Big Oil is a better title and you only touch upon some of the bad they do. They do a lot.

    And it suits them to sell Oil and maintain the status quo. Thats a given. Thats only a

    piece of the pie. You would be too straight, to rigid, to accept that research can be manipulated by funding and papers that dont agree can be marginalized. That with such an important issue special weather stations can be reduced in number dramatically rather than maintained.

    You skate around the edges not understanding what you are seeing. You are right in a way. The data they have feed to you supports your view.

    Problem is its wrong because the picture they have given you is the part they want you to see.

    You like many others will stay believers until the weather does not show what they show will happen. You will be dead by then. Or the cracks that can be found widen and the whole thing falls apart. I Have no idea when that will happen but a good friend of mine in a Western Intelligence agency told me the other day that his contacts are saying the scienec for AGW is flawed and that its a scam. His words.

    You wont believe me and thats fine KD. Buts thats where im coming from

  4. kdkd


    My position is that the scientific evidence I’ve looked at over the 15 years or so that I’ve been keeping abrest of the science tells me that there’s very likely a substantial problem which will threaten the infrastructure of civilisation by around 2100 if we don’t act decisively immediately[1]. The so-called sceptic arguments appear to be by and large contradictory, and not supported by the evidence.

    You had the opportunity to point me to proper evidence that allayed my concerns. Instead you reposted long-discredited talking points from right-wing climate sceptic sources, frequently backed by fossil fuel industry funding. If the evidence existed, and/or you were capable of interpreting scientific information then you would have done so. However in the absence of either of these, you chose to believe what’s most comforting for you, evidence be damned.

    [1] Of course the problem would have been less acute if we’d acted somewhat decisively a few years ago, but the fossil fuel lobby, and their political puppets have ensured that this did not happen :/

  5. Jak

    Lots and lots of people have doubts about AGW and quite rightly so. Thats the point.

    My position is the no one knows yet. Your position is Your totally sure.

    Thats a foolish position when so much doubt exists. KD you are a fundamentalist Warmist and proud of it. Thank God I dont know you in person

  6. kdkd

    Amusingly, the article I posted from Kevin Trenberth that Jak chose to ignore has some interesting material in it for the open minded sceptic. Still doesn’t support the massivley inconsistent denial postition.

  7. kdkd

    Why are you reposting comments from the excrecable British Daily Express here? They serve no purpose other than confirm your inability to discuss the science.

    The vested interests and junk science are by far mostly vested in and emenating from the fossil fuel lobby by the way.

  8. Jak

    Author GR
    Date/Time 19 Oct 2010 1:22:38pm
    Subject >Re: Q8 18.10.10 – CLIMATE ACTION
    This is such an annoying question. Do you believe in Climate Change? You can be on either side of this argument and say “Yes, the climate is changing” and as Wallaby pointed out, it always has and always will. I think it would help the whole discussion if this question was asked much more specifically and honestly. The real question is – Do HUMAN emissions of CO2 cause world climate to change? This is the hypothesis known as Anthropogenic Global Warming (AWG). It ia an hypothesis, not technically yet a theory and definitely not a fact (where is the real world as opposed to computer modelled evidence?). It is still very much open to debate. There is much more concrete evidence supporting the role of nature and natural cycles (e.g. solar cycles, orbital cycles etc) in causing the climate to change over time but this is rarely mentioned by the media and ignored by the IPCC. We need more facts, more honestl and less vested interests and less junk science.

  9. Jak

    Author Luke V
    Date/Time 19 Oct 2010 5:07:43pm
    It appears that the strongest evidence used by climate alarmists is the fact that in very recent history there has been a trend upwards in temperature.

    Nonetheless, since 1998 temperature has not increased as dramatically as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Whether or not carbon dioxide is the key cause of global warming is certainly still at issue regardless of the evident correlation between higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures.

    Those who advocate ‘action on climate change’ via carbon restrictions have been seduced by the powerful image of a graph tending upwards and dramatic reports of glacial and polar ice melts. However there is a real possibility that this ‘action’ is foolhardy and wasteful given a broader appreciation of climatic factors. The following article is worth a look if you disagree:

  10. Jak

    businessman Author Prometheous ®
    Date/Time 19 Oct 2010 2:04:13pm
    Climate change is the latest ‘F E A R” factor we all have to concentrate on, focus upon, so you don’t see what liberties ;you are loosing.

    If climate change was such an imment diseaster then why are politicians polluting with:

    8cc cars provided by us,

    frequent 1st class travel, when it would be more environmentally friendly, produces less ‘carbon footprints’ to teleconference,

    using so much paper and natural resources when alternatives can be immediately used.

    Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara resigned from the American Physical Society after 67yrs as he thought money was driving the scientific climate change debate. No climate change, but big bucks.

    As Newton stated when he resigned,
    “Fie on you, Hansen, Mann, Jones et al! You are not worthy of the name scientists! May the pox consume your shrivelled peterkins!”

    Fie on you, Gillard, Garrett, Swann, et al.

  11. Jak

    Author Wallaby
    Date/Time 19 Oct 2010 4:18:43pm
    Subject >>>Re: Q7 18.10.10 – BIASED REPORTING OF CLIMATE CHANGE
    “….pushy, know-it-all Marohasy versus the IPCC and every national Academy of Science in the world”

    Thousands of Scientist around the world are looking for continued employment. Most in the world are working the private sector for a living and the remainder are looking for Government Funds. Most governments want to hear that human interference is causing Climate Change, so who do you imagine is getting the grants to bolster their arguments?
    Certainly anyone whom doesn’t believe, has to fund research themselves, pretty fair, yeah?

  12. Jak

    Im not alone 🙂

    Author Jeremy the Realist ®
    Date/Time 19 Oct 2010 3:16:37pm
    Subject >>>>>Re: Q7 18.10.10 – BIASED REPORTING OF CLIMATE CHANGEFrom Q & A message board.

    Michael, it seems that the ABC and BBC chairman believe that climate change sceptics are indeed marginalised:

    In addition Greens activists and warmists have been caught modifying and deleting Wikipedia articles supporting climate change scepticism (such as the medieval warm period) without justification:

    And don’t even get me started about the East Anglia emails…

    Its obvious that there is a concerted effort to silence sceptics. As their theories become more prominent I think you’ll find that sceptics will become more and more numerous over time and the push for action on climate change will dwindle into nothing.

  13. kdkd

    Jak #124

    With climate change, the correct question is not “was it warmer earlier in earth’s history” but “what temperature range are suitable for the continuation of civilisation”. Your argument in post #124 has false premises for that reason.

  14. kdkd


    Bob Carter has strong links to fossil fuel industry, initially as a scientist, but more recently as an anti-global-warning political activist. His expertise is on marine geology, not in atmospheric science, so his peer reviewed publications on climate change are non-existant.

    McLean, J., De Freitas, C. & Carter, R.M. 2009 “Influence of Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” Journal of Geophysical Research 114, his only real scientific climate change publication, appears to have serious flaws – specifically the graphical techniques they use in the paper are designed to mislead.

  15. Jak

    To KD Inflexible. that plus AGW fails the real science test

  16. Jak

    Wendy I know KD eye patch is scary but have a look at this eminent scientists book some time. Heres a snippet.

    It’s amazing science. To the question of whether or not the world is warming, the answer is, “It depends”. It depends on your starting point. It used to be a lot warmer than it is now. Even in geologically recent times it’s been warmer.

    Wendy the world will have to go thru this climate myopia until its more obvious its just a variance. Until then good luck with the warmists…you’ll need it

  17. kdkd


    Can you point to these two researchers’ publication record for me so that I can assess their work for myself. I’m surprised that (if the original thing that you linked to) was so sure of their credibility, that they didn’t do this in the first place.

    So far your argument fails the real science test I’m afraid. You have shown no evidence that you have any scientific understanding. It’s time to put up or shut up.

  18. Jak

    A climate degree is a very recent thing. Almost all so called climate researchers come from other fields. Why dont you know this? This is basic stuff. A very quick search finds Professor Dr. Werner Kirstein Professor Dr. Werner Kirsch is In the field.

    Wendy I do believe now that Kd is a last say, must have the last say person. No matter how much evidence is put on here he can not bring himself to apply a scientific mind to it. So its pointless. He is inflexible and that is my reply to him now. Inflexible. that plus AGW fails the real science test

  19. kdkd

    Wendy #120

    No. I’m afraid not lying. From the article it’s impossible for me to assess the nature of the professors’ work in the area of climate science. Perhaps they have an impressive publication record in the field? If so I’d be interested to see it, but it’s strange how the article Jak linked to mentioned nothing about their areas of expertise.

    Accepting the word of the article on the basis that these professors make claims, without examining the credibility of the evidence for the claims in an objective way is argument from inappropriate authority:

    [ The most general structure of this argument is:

    1. Source A says that p is true.
    2. Source A is authoritative.
    3. Therefore, p is true.

    But scientific claims aren’t verified on who makes the claim, but on the quality of the evidence that they use to make the claim.

    See I said an intelligent discussion was possible. By suggesting that I was lying you were attempting to play the man, not the argument though. I suggest that your aggressive approach is not doing you any favours, and it’s lowering the tone of the discussion 😉

  20. Wendy

    Thats a lie KD. The name of the professors is enough. Your actually not interested cause you KNOW it all 100%. How sad

  21. kdkd

    Wendy #117

    See above. If there’s an actual scientific report with quantitative data available, then I’m happy to look at it, and critique it to my limited ability. However the link Jak made was to an appalling attack site that doesn’t link to the primary research that it referrs to. Linking to your primary sources, and justifying your approach in a way that’s acceptable to your peers is the keystone of the scientific method. There’s nothing in the report of the presentation that fits this criterion.

  22. kdkd


    The article you linked to has the the following in it:

    [ At the 7:10 mark Dr Landfried slams any peer review process run by a good ol boys network.]

    Are you really telling me that that’s appropriate scientific language?

  23. Wendy

    OK last post for sure. I seem to have some link to this site. Just looked now and there are new posts.

    Look Kd I appreciate your reply. I did think you were playing the man but I accept you are here for the science, if you say so. OK. But why for the life of me do you dismiss two Professors so casually if you are really here for the Scince

  24. Jak

    PS you did not have a good look despite asking for science only five minutes after getting some your back trying to have the last say. Conclusions. your not serious =You have a fixed position = Thats not scientific = possible you are being paid or at the best your one eyed

  25. Jak

    KD TWO professors !! they outrank you, significantly and your Mr cook Id put money on that. Not playing the man let me say this clearly “eat that science”

  26. kdkd

    Jak #113

    You apparently have trouble identifiying what science actually is. Here’s a starter from Ken Trenberth. Come back when you’ve digested that and we can have an intelligent conversation.

  27. Jak

    Hi KD lots of science here.

    Heres a teaser

    Climate Change Now Questioned At German Universities – Professors Speaking Up

    By P Gosselin on 15. Oktober 2010

    The AGW religion in Germany is in deep trouble. Consensus is crumbling. the science is coming under attack.

    It’s taken a awhile, but slowly and surely, Germany, once the premier power in science, is beginning to ask questions again. When lectures and seminars questioning climate science take place within academic circles and at German universities, then you know something is afoot.

    Skeptic blog Readers Edition posted yesterday a clip of a seminar here by Professors Dr Klaus Landfried of Heidelberg and Dr Werner Kirstein of the Institute for Geography at the University of Leipzig before an audience at the University of Leipzig. The seminar is titled:
    “Where’s The Climate Change?”

    Now Kd dont be lazy have a good look

    Jakko 🙂

  28. kdkd

    Wendy #108

    Well I have trouble with so-called climate sceptics who won’t actually engage on the scientific evidence, won’t pay attention to the evidence. So far Jak hasn’t produced any credible evidence, instead parroting the same old discredited astro-turf-lobby talking points. I lose patience with such idiocy.

    There’s no fanaticism, just attention to the evidence, rather than any underlying political agenda.

    ps. I see that the comments are about the political body nz climate science versus the nz weather service relate to a court case that has been filed but has not yet occurred. I would recommend waiting to see the result of the case. I expect it to be a big lose for the climate-delusional lobby.

    pps. Wendy, you’ll notice that recently I’ve been vigorously attacking Jak’s argument, not him. Although his refusal to engage on the science, rather than the discredited political talking points he seems to prefer leads me to question his scientific literacy.

  29. Jak

    Liam and Wendy. Thanks for the contributions. I dont think KD is a shill but he is not exemplifying how science should be approached.

  30. Liam

    Wendy I’ve been watching these two go hammer and tongs and I think you may be being harsh on Kd about being a shill and went one post too far.

    The problem may be that while AGW is fairly accepted their are problems with the science and how its been used. That NZ court case was an eye opener. Raw data badly manipulated. Both sides also have lobbies. Still its best to attempt to stay reasonable. I’m a science teacher and we endeavor to debate in a manner thats fitting for science. But like you I’m out of this forum and will await developments on both sides of the debate. let Science itself be the winner

  31. Wendy

    There you go. Kd may be being paid to do this or have vested interests. Its happened before. But yes many AGW people are fanatics. Fanatics an science mix badly.

  32. Wendy

    KD your aggressiveness is a turn off. I’m off this blog now and think some of your posts need to be edited out. You have convinced me of one thing though. AGW proponents are pushy. Science is not pushy. Jak at least is more openminded

  33. kdkd

    Oh yeah, just to clarify: my “prove me wrong” comment was that I want you to show me that there is robust scientific evidence that shows global warming is wrong. That means giving up the astro-turf delusional sites and digging in the literature to find something that doesn’t exist. You could do the work to try to prove otherwise, but you’re clearly not interested in doing anything except making astroturf delusional statements sponsored by Exxon and Koch industries.

  34. kdkd

    Jak #105

    Well the “evidence” you’ve presented to date has been pathetic. And aside from some vague conspiracy theory crap, you can’t explain properly why you reject the scientific literature that are collected at the skeptical science site (note it only reports on the scientific evidence, it doesn’t actually do science).

    So in terms of who’s presented quality evidence here, and whose argument is more robust and coherent, the answer is clear. I suggest you give up now, as you’re on a massive loser with your selective politically driven non-evidence-based reporting.

    Especially interesting is your request that “You prove AGW science is 100% robust”. Anyone with a modicum of scientific literacy will tell you that this is impossible. Science is not interested in proof, it’s interested in what hypothesis and theories the evidence supports. Seeing as your starting premises are incorrect, it’s no surprise that your answer is totally wrong 🙂

  35. Jak

    Im being caustious and Im not buying into your skeptical science type ‘prove to me’ thing. I dont need to prove anything to you. You prove AGW science is 100% robust. You cant.

  36. kdkd


    That’s pathetic ad-hominem crap from the usual denial astro-turfers. Again, why haven’t you cited a robust finding supporting your position from a proper scientific source in all this discussion?

    Because there aren’t any. Prove. Me. Wrong.

  37. Jak

    Nice try. Digest this.

    “It was clear from the meeting that Standard Global-Warmist Meteorology hasn’t
    made any advances in 5 years – indeed it has failed – and has nowhere to go”,
    said Piers. “Their hope to overcome ‘chaos’ by slow changing things like ocean currents and CO2
    assumptions fails just as badly as their medium range forecasts beyond 10 days because the predictable solarlunar
    signal is much stronger than the noise in their ‘chaos’, and of course assumptions about CO2 are
    proven nonsense. The meting was something of a watershed and the way could open to the proper advance
    of science. However, first the religiosity of CO2-theory and the related obsession with models which
    the users absurdly believe are better than nature itself at predicting nature, must end!”.

  38. kdkd

    Jak #101

    LOL what a pathetic attempt at scamming us with partial data.

    A cold winter during the hottest year globally on record. That’s not an indication of a lack of climate change, is a strong indicator of climate change, especially if it’s repeated over several years. This paper from Nature on Early-warning signals for critical transitions describes how complex systems in transitional phases increase in variance. Exactly the phenomenon that you partially describe in your previous misguided post.

  39. Jak

    Thing is we just had a cold winter very cold and long. AGB just does not cut it with the science they present and the way they have behaved discredits them even more. I used to be a believer like you. Now Im a AGW skeptic. Im going to wait and see

  40. kdkd

    Wendy #97 cont

    Exxonwatch provides some interesting info on Exxon’s part of the climate delusion industry. There are other entities funding the same.

  41. kdkd

    Wendy #97

    99% or more of the “muddying of the science” is due to the activity of the ‘business as usual at all cost” astroturf lobby funded by Exxon-Mobil, Koch industries and others.

    Note that although I’ve asked Jak for scientific analysis, all he persists in doing is blindly repeating, and making links to the the worst of the denial websites who are encouraged by this same astroturf lobby. If he could come up with real science as opposed to his political posturing, he would have done so by now. Meanwhile he’s crowned his denial credentials via a call for false balance. Neutrality in science is not the same as neutrality in the humanities. Scientific balance and objectivity is achieved by attention to the available evidence. All Jak does is repeat discredited climate-delusional talking points.

    This discussion is an open and shut case, and Jak’s argument is well shut outside the room of rationality.

  42. Jak

    I agree Wendy. When AGW gets such promotion in the name of real Science some balance is needed. This is sobering and should be ….

    This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.

  43. Wendy

    Look guys you both have points but I think THE point is that the science has to be done right. Thats what Science means to me…being neutral!

    Im more than a little surprised how the science for AGM has been compromised and muddied and papers that challenge AGW have been marginalized by those who seem to promote AGM. This is too important for politics.

    I know Wiki has its limits but its accessed by many people. So thats a worry too.

  44. kdkd

    Jak #95

    You forgot to add “because of my blinding politicial ideology” at the end of your last sentence.


    You’re still totally unable to show using any credible standard of evidence why your epithet “junk science” applies. Here’s a real example of junk science by the way.

  45. Jak

    Im not the physisist. Unlike the author of skeptical science many people who dont rate the skeptical science site at all well ARE scientists of one persuasion or another.

    Im actualy open minded about the climate but the way the warmists are conducting themelves is far from scientific or ethical. I smell a rat

  46. Jak

    I repeat no ones forcing you to defend junk science: Science is skeptical. About your main reference Skeptical Science.

    The first red flag is the fact that Science (by definition) is skeptical, so why the repetition in the name? It’s something like naming a site “The attractive fashion model”.

  47. kdkd

    Jak #89

    Well you must be a pretty poor physisist. Skeptical science avoids discussion of politics, preferring to discuss scientific issues. You seem to have issues with these scientific issues, but can not give a single detailed scientific article as to why. My only conclusions is that (apart from you must either be a pretty poor physicist, or in a field far far away from climate science) that you’re blinded by your own political ideology, and so are unable to properly assess the scientific evidence.

  48. kdkd


    You’re really boring me with your trite repetitions . Where’s the quantitative detail in the link at post #90. Not there? No it isn’t. If Kaiser could make a substantial claim that falsified the sicence, he’d be a star in the peer reviewed literature. But that hasn’t happened here because he hasn’t put terms in his model to account for the <a href=""carbon cycle. It’s such a trivial deliberate or accidental error, it hasn’t even been discussed substantially by the real scientists because there’s no substance to his claim.

    Post #91 is one of these tedious personal attacks in lieu of scientific evidence.

    If you could do better I’d suggest that you did, but instead, as you’re clearly scientifically illiterate and motivated only by your political position, then you should just give up.

  49. Jak

    Oh Dear its all been a sham! Not Science at all.

    William Connolley, arguably the world’s most influential global warming advocate after Al Gore, has lost his bully pulpit. Through his position at Wikipedia, Connolley for years kept dissenting views on global warming out of Wikipedia, allowing only those that promoted the view that global warming represented a threat to mankind. As a result, Wikipedia became a leading source of global warming propaganda, with Connolley its chief propagandist.
    His career as a global warming propagandist has now been stopped, following a unanimous verdict that came down today through an arbitration proceeding conducted by Wikipedia. In the decision, a slap-down for the once-powerful Connolley by his peers, he has been barred from participating in any article, discussion or forum dealing with global warming.
    In addition, because he rewrote biographies of scientists and others he disagreed with, to either belittle their accomplishments or make them appear to be frauds, Wikipedia barred him — again unanimously — from editing biographies of those in the climate change field.

  50. Jak

    Lets check out the science ‘for’ again. just how wrong is it?

    German chemist, Dr Klaus Kaiser has published evidence that proves the Royal Society (RS) has been caught out making schoolboy errors in mathematical calculations over the duration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere. Backed up by a review by a leading Swedish mathematics professor the revelation is a serious embarrassment to the credibility of once revered British science institute over its stance on climate change.

  51. Jak

    Skeptical Science Critique: So in my opinion (as a physicist), the most surprising thing is that his exhaustive list of 119 reasons does not get to the fundamentals of the AGW debate in its scientific and public policy dimensions. How can such an extensive enumeration omit the most important core issues?

  52. kdkd

    Jak (and others)

    Skeptical science is merely a convenient resource where detailed about a range of so-called-climate-sceptic arguments are discussed with reference to the scientific literature. Although they discuss a range of arguments, Jak’s list seems to be at the whackjob most discredited end of the scale. I note that he’s using sites that don’t discuss things on their scientific merits, but veer immediately into personal attacks on the person that runs the skeptical science site.

    Note the total absence of scientific analysis from any of Jak’s posts. This is a scientific issue, you should be showing the scientific reasons that your position is supported, but some how you can’t. I think this is for two reasons. Firstly there aren’t any. Secondly I think you’re scientifically illiterate, and wouldn’t know scientific evidence if it sat on your head.

    Got any scientific data to back your assertions, or just the usual load of made up crap which originates form the climate astro-turf lobby? Oh only the latter? Fine – there is no evidence to support your position – just thought I’d let you know.

  53. Jak

    Liam and Wendy: this site below is an excellent appraisal of whats wrong with KD’s main resource. He has explicitly defined whats wrong with Skeptical Science.

  54. Jak

    Liam and Wendy: Here is a critique of the site Kd sent you to. Above was another:

    I was meaning to write about the cringe-inducing website called “Skeptical Science” and today’s Revkin’s piece at dotEarth finally pushed me forward.

    I feel embarrassment for John Cook, Skeptical Science author, for two reasons (neither concerning his rather disturbing photograph). First of all the very existence of such a site seems to be a loud scream at all that has gone wrong with the IPCC. If Mr Cook feels it necessary to spend as much time as he does on the topic, obviously he should be the first one to agree that the IPCC has been a communication failure.

    (not that he’s really any better himself at that: by stating that “eventually, the scientific reality will be so in our faces that inaction will be impossible“, Cook is confirming that “the scientific reality” is currently not “so in our faces” as his scholarly lists of scientific papers appear to suggest)

    The second reason I find Skeptical Science a disaster is that all it is ever going to tell us is that AGW is a self-consistent theory and there has been plenty of papers written on the topic. That can only highlight what will forever be missing: the science that was prevented to be published, the open questions, the competing claims within AGW orthodoxy.

  55. Jak

    John Cook might be skeptical about skeptics, but when it comes to government funded committee reports, not so much.

    The author of “skeptical science” has finally decided to try to point out things he thinks are flaws in The Skeptics Handbook. Instead, he misquotes me, shies away from actually displaying the damning graphs I use, gets a bit confused about the difference between a law and a measurement, unwittingly disagrees with his own heroes, and misunderstands the climate models he bases his faith on. Not so “skeptical” eh John? He’s put together a page of half-truths and sloppy errors and only took 21 months to do it. Watch how I use direct quotes from him, the same references, and the same graphs, and trump each point he tries to make. His unskeptical faith in a theory means he accepts some bizarre caveats while trying to whitewash the empirical findings.

    In the end, John Cook trusts the scientists who collect grants funded by the fear-of-a-crisis and who want more of his money, but he’s skeptical of unfunded scientists who ask him to look at the evidence and tell him to keep his own cash.

  56. Jak

    It has also emerged that the research institute run by the head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, has given a series of awards to companies that have provided it with financial support.

  57. kdkd

    Wendy #80:

    Cold records being broken during the joint-equal warmest year globally on record is a sign that the climate system is undergoing increased variance which is diagnostic that there is a problem.

    Liam #81:

    No the reason that the mainstream media haven’t engaged in the desired beat-up from the fossil fuel astroturf lobby is that one just needs to scratch the surface of the “scandal” to discover that it’s all politically motivated surface, and there’s no substance belief. Links to useful scientific resources are available here.

  58. kdkd

    Jak #79

    Blatant misquote, and failure to interpret statistical information properly. A detailed explanation of the actual meaning of his statement.

  59. Liam

    Climategate Was and is a big deal. i dont think its been really examined by the mainstream.

  60. Wendy

    Thanks Jak. there are scientists on those links, but it takes abit of work to follow the trail. Quite surprising finds. I’m not sure at all about Global Warming anymore. There are a lot of cold records being broken too. Something is going on but the Science ‘for’ has been tainted IMO while the Science ‘against’ is too compelling to dismiss

  61. Jak

    Professor Phil Jones, East Anglia Climatic Research Unit had to finally concede “There has been no global warming since 1995”

  62. kdkd

    Jak #77

    I’ve asked you repeatedly to find scientific sources supporting your argument, but you won’t. I’m guessing that’s because you can’t. Your actual understanding of science, and how it’s done seems pretty ropey too, so I’m not holding my breath. These discredited “sceptic” arguments you’re trotting out are old and tired.

    Here’s a nice article that exposes the idiocy of your position. Hint – when your argument can be destroyed by (satirical in this case) logic, it seriously lacks validity.

  63. Jak

    To everyone but KD who has no time to waste. Google ‘Global warming lies’ and ‘Global warming Hoax: News

    Good sites exposing the junk science of GW

  64. Jak

    I dont care if you read them reply or not. Ive got some news for you, Crikey is not the KD site. This is about truth vs a scam. GW is the scam..lots of science proves this at conservapedia. The site you pointed out is based on cooked data.

  65. kdkd

    Jak #74

    [ Im politely asking you to provide real science for AGW ]

    And I’m telling you to stop wasting my time. I’ve already pointed you to a good quality scientific resource (with citations to the published literature), and all you can do in return is ignore that, and continue to spout a pile of discredited unscientific politically motivated paranoid crap.

  66. Jak

    ABC News reported Al Gore also took footage of digitally enhanced melting ice from the fictional movie, The Day After Tomorrow, and then used it in his schlockumentary = Junk science

    Im politely asking you to provide real science for AGW

  67. Jak

    Global warming = junk science, data cooking, politics and money = loada shitt

  68. kdkd


    Yeah, junk science that comes from the peer reviewed scientific literatrue. Better to take info from the right wing lunatic fringe with an economic axe to grind.

    You’ll excuse me being totally unconvinced by your so-called-argument. Here’s some junk science outlining the beat up that was climategate btw.

    Again, I’m politely reqesting that you stop wasting my and others’ time with this rubbish. Get a real (scientific) argument or give up.

  69. Jak

    KDKd you have a bad case of Jnnk scienceitis. Defintion from a scientist.

    The term “Junk Science” has become popular since the turn of the millennium. Much of what is published by the media and even many mainstream scientists can be thought of as junk science. But, what is junk science? As a scientist and engineer, my definition of junk science is this: the publishing or expounding of “science” theories or “science facts” that directly or indirectly contradict established other scientific facts or principles. Global warming, geologic dating techniques, and uniformitarianism all can be considered junk science as much of the physical evidence argues against them.

    William Hunt.

    I’m not convinced at all about Global warming for precisely those reasons. The lies exposed by Climategate are exactly what Mt Hunt and many other prominent scientists are talking about.

    You persist with your line and that’s OK but you dont have consensus and never will IMHO. Only time will prove you wrong.

    Im open to a host of reasons why the weather is variable. Global warming as the answer is just to narrow and the science for it has been plagued by corruption. The fanatics for it, the warmists have a messianic like mindset which brings to mind this quote.

    “If you can impress any man with an absorbing conviction of the supreme importance of some moral or religious doctrine; if you can make him believe that those who reject that doctrine are doomed to eternal perdition; if you then give that man power, and by means of his ignorance blind him to the ulterior consequences of his own act,-he will infallibly persecute those who deny his doctrine.”
    – Henry Thomas Buckle

    Now throw in money and thats a potent mix.

  70. Jak

    Yes Im forcing you here wasting your time with my magical powers. Not

  71. Jak

    kdkd Is that all you have. Is this your peer reviewed reference proof.
    Heres a review of your proof Site: Skeptical science
    Yet, what does he offer in rebuttal? Frankly, nothing that I can discern other than referencing the same sources over and over again.
    He conveniently lumps together people who don’t believe in global warming at all with people who are aware that global warming has been going on for tens of thousands of years but don’t wholeheartedly and blindly buy into the current fad that any recent changes in global warming are “anthropogenic”.
    Mr. “Skeptical Science” does his own cherry picking of facts, selectively ignoring valid questions by people visiting his site while repeatedly referring to his same ole’ defenses.
    Mr. “Skeptical Science”, what’s your point … other than an oxymoronic attempt to ridicule and suppress those you disagree with?

  72. kdkd

    Here’s a nice write-up of the divergence problem with references to the scientific literature.

    Now please stop wasting my time.

  73. kdkd

    Jak #66

    Bored now. It’s very hard not to maintain decorum when faced with this kind of politically motivated, idiotic posturing about climate change.

    I already pointed you to a comprehensive scientifically based resource

    “Hide the decline” is a specific colloquial reference to something called the divergence problem, and not what you’re claiming it is at all. Please don’t insult the readers’ intelligece by repeating falsehoods such as “the world has cooled since 2001”.

  74. Jak

    KD Ive had some days off hence the raft of posts. While Im working the next couple of days its your turn to get some references that prove global warming is a fact.

    Dont forget the scientists on YOUR side wrote that memorable line in their leaked emails. “Hide the decline”. Yep thats hide the temperature decline that shows the world has cooled since 2001.

    “Hide the decline”.

    Love it

  75. Jak

    ps pasted that too close

    and here are the thousands of leaked documents

  76. Jak

    To other readers. Some of you may know already how science descended into farce. The veil began to drop on what has already become clear as the greatest scientific fraud in this history of mankind. An increasing number of highly qualified scientists slowly began to realize that the “climate science” community was a facade. This site is from one of them

    The author is highly qualified.
    John P. Costella

    B.E.(Elec.)(Hons.) B.Sc.(Hons.) Ph.D.(Physics) Grad.Dip.Ed.

  77. Jak

    KD at some point you need to own your own knowledge and find your own sources. Use the above links I gave you if you are TRULY lost. They many many Scientists in them. Im a Uni trained researcher. Its not too hard. I will give you one last link taking you at face value as being interested.

    Look at it, all of you and know Al Gore is full of it

  78. kdkd


    Find me some credible sources. You’re exclusively citing from the poorly researched, politically motivated, fossil fuel industry (and associated astroturf lobby) right wing wingnut sources. If you expect to be taken seriously you’ll have to find material from the scientific literature.

  79. Jak

    Oh You are unfamiliar with the NZ issue. Hmmm. Funny that…after all here is the science you crave. It takes 5 mins to get familiar. But Oh well, despite being here you have lost interest. I’ll go for the bouns point.

    it was reported that scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in the United Kingdom confessed to throwing out most of the raw temperature data on which the theory of global warming is founded.[13] The admittance occurred following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

    If you have the time read this again “confessed to throwing out most of the raw temperature data on which the theory of global warming is founded”

    Bonus point secured for jak

  80. kdkd

    I’ve lost interest really. I’m unfamilliar with the NZ issue, and it only seems to have prominence on climate-lunatic blogs, rather than in the scientific literature, so call me cynical but …

    Meanwhile the GISS seems to be failing to confirm your astroturf lobby style denial.

  81. Jak

    I dare you to redefine your definition of lunatic fringe

    NZ climate Science coalition.

    “The global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. ” Distinguished American physicist Hal Lewis in his letter resigning from the American Physical Society.

  82. Jak

    When conspiracy becomes fact. Dont believe it?

    Researcher from Climategate University Implicated in Data Fraud
    As reported in a Suite101 article by the same writer of April 2010 ‘Kiwigate is a Carbon Copy of Climategate’ it was shown that the scientist who made the controversial “bold adjustments” is none other than Jim Salinger who is also a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Salinger was dismissed by NIWA earlier this year for speaking without authorization to the media. The discredited researcher originally worked at Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the institution at the center of the Climategate scandal.

    Bogus Data Destroyed before it could be independently verified
    In circumstances strangely similar to those witnessed in the Climategate controversy Kiwigate appears to match Climategate in three key three facets. First, climate scientists declined to submit their data for independent analysis. Second, when backed into a corner the scientists claimed their adjustments had been ‘lost’. Third, the raw data itself proves no warming trend.

  83. Jak

    KDKD says

    “It’s very difficult to remain patient when lunatic views are promoted as mainstream.”

    Now now, read the crikey forum rules and if you find a thread tiring read something else.

    Your entitled to your opinion just dont succumb to the temptation to abuse when you feel frustrated and it’ll all be tickety boo.

    As for your statement “None of this is helped by the fact that most economists fail to recognise ecological resource limitations properly, and compounding this, the media’s grounding in political economy”

    Can you reference that? I immediately thought of Occams razor. While not always right sometimes the simple explanation is best. Simply: We are in trouble. “in a finite world population has increased alarmingly and is rising”.

    Its not helped by climate scientists fudging the figures.

  84. kdkd


    Many apologies. It’s very difficult to remain patient when lunatic views are promoted as mainstream. Anyone with a knowledge of ecology will recongnise issues related to resource limitation immediately, and constant repetition of the same tired talking points which do not recognise that we’re hitting this ceiling are tiresome to say the least.

    None of this is helped by the fact that most economists fail to recognise ecological resource limitations properly, and compounding this, the media’s grounding in political economy (rather than something more scientifically based, and less anthropocentric ) means that the lunatic fringe (e.g. Bolt, Devine etc) is frequently portrayed as credible. Which means that nutjob conspiracy theories get the time of day that they probably shouldn’t.

    Here’s a cartoon that summarises the situation nicely.

    p.s. if you want to see inappropriate language, and personal attacks on a crikey blog, check these 2000-odd comments

  85. Jak

    I respect your views. I do tend to counter punch, but wont start personal attacks. I appreciate your intervention.

    Here is the edited part of a post deleted:

    The NZ Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) inflicts shock courtroom defeat on National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) climatologists implicated in temperature data fraud.

    The specific charge brought against the Kiwi government was that its climate scientists had taken the raw temperature records of the country and then adjusted them artificially with the result that a steeper warming trend was created than would otherwise exist by examination of the raw data alone. Indeed, the original Kiwi records shows no warming during the 20th century, but after government sponsored climatologists had manipulated the data a warming trend of 1C appeared.

    “New Zealand has experienced a warming trend of approximately 0.9°C over the past 100 years.”

    According to NZCSC, climate scientists cooked the books by using the same alleged ‘trick’ employed by British and American doomsaying scientists. This involves subtly imposing a warming bias during what is known as the ‘homogenisation’ process that occurs when climate data needs to be adjusted.

  86. Amber Jamieson

    I moderate the comments on this blog and am concerned about the current standard of debate in this comment stream.

    Can you both please refer to the Crikey commenters code of conduct ( says:

    In short, we ask that people ‘play the ball not the man’.

    More specifically, we reserve the right to edit or delete comments which are offensive, make personal attacks or could expose us to legal action.

    Please help us to keep the conversation on topic by debating the issues. We reserve the right to close conversations which descend into flamewars or personal attacks.

    I have already deleted a bunch of your comments because of the level of personal attacks used. I will delete more and stop the comments on this article if it continues, or can place individual users on permanent moderation.

    Please stay on topic. Thank you.

  87. Jak

    As reported in a Suite101 article by the same writer of April 2010 ‘Kiwigate is a Carbon Copy of Climategate’ it was shown that the scientist who made the controversial “bold adjustments” is none other than Jim Salinger who is also a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Salinger was dismissed by NIWA earlier this year for speaking without authorization to the media. The discredited researcher originally worked at Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the institution at the center of the Climategate scandal.

    Salinger was also among the inner circle of climate scientists whose leaked emails precipitated the original climate controversy in November 2009.

    In an example of great hypocracy, in an email (August 4, 2003) to fellow disgraced American climate professor, Michael Mann, Salinger stated he was “extremely concerned about academic standards” among climate skeptics”.

    Oh dear KDKD looks like the whole things been a nasty money making lie. How conspiritorial!!!


  88. Jak

    Quote Gederts Skerstens

    “About now, there should be a better understanding among most of us what the Greenie/Labor slogans about Planet-Saving actually mean. About who’s going to freeze in winter.”

    Worked that ouit some time ago. Many are still in denial however.

  89. Gederts Skerstens

    Dr_Tad took the view: ” AGW is the result of secondary processes which are caused by the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere…”

    Our population is now skipping food to pay for electricity.
    The cost of electricity has risen because new coal-fired power plants have been blocked, so demand exceeds supply and prices go up.
    They’ve been blocked because of the evil Black Balloons that come out of everything dealing with energy.
    About now, there should be a better understanding among most of us what the Greenie/Labor slogans about Planet-Saving actually mean. About who’s going to freeze in winter.

  90. Jak

    Thank you for conceding I had the last word of the debate even though your praise was combined with an attempt to have the last word. But rather than ‘misinterpret’ think ‘correct’.

  91. kdkd


    nice effort on the last word, even if you do have to deliberately misinterpret my appeal to Occam’s Razor.

  92. Jak

    kdkd time will tell: bear in mind

    A simpler but less correct theory should not be preferred over a more complex but more correct one. It is this fact which gives the lie to the common misinterpretation of Occam’s Razor that “the simplest” one is usually the correct one.

  93. kdkd


    I prefer to stick to the scientific evidence. Your over complex conspiracy theory fails at Ockham’s Razor / the parsimony principle, so I’ll pass thanks.

  94. Jak

    This is the point where we get you to expose your fragile mental health even further, so please tread carefully.

    Appreciate the concern JD. Its a time of choosing. Notice that. People are taking sides, making choices about whats the right thing to do or not.

    Im not going to lower the discussion by calling you shallow and narrow and. Thats your business just as my mental or spiritual health is between me and God. It may surprise you Im a health professional…but then again why would you believe me. And I really dont care.

  95. Jak

    KD: In denial was in response to this from you

    “The remainder of your comment is off-topic on the subject of climate change”.

    Now Ive been trying to show you the link of these other topics with this topic. Simply they have untruth and fabrication and money making in common and are being exploited by the same elite. Global warming, peak oil, ponzi economies, the need to kill 1 million Iraqis, third world debt enslavement, right wing dictators…etc same shit different day. You wanna dissect one little slice of this fetid pie go ahead and quibble about the climate in 30 yrs knock yourself out.

    Heres the thing. If you get your head around this world being a place where corruption and greed and badness and self interest have been and are still in dominance your less likely to be taken in. Seeing the bigger picture is power.

    If you believe we live in a democracy and and its a fair and good place all well and good, but believers in this latter paradigm are IMHO going to get one almighty slap down one day and positions on climate will matter very little when its all gone to shit.

    It may be the US economy collapses or those nutcase Zionists launch a nuclear attack on Iran or a Galactic superwave. Whatever it is then we will see how so fragile, how so little give the world economy / food chain / fuel supply / govt / civil control really has.

  96. kdkd


    This is the point where we get you to expose your fragile mental health even further, so please tread carefully.

  97. kdkd


    In denial about what? Doesn’t seem to have much to do with climate change to me.

  98. Jak

    Its off topic if your in denial sure.

    Ah philosophy. Something simple made complicated. How do you know what they are saying is true. How do you know you dont know. Intuition. Not instinct. But intuition. keep ignoring it and it goes away.

    You dont like the questions I propose because they disturb you. You suspect quite correctly that your paradigm is flawed and that if you explore outside your safe zone you will have a paradigm shift. Its Ok to want to be safe. Its annoying when you tell others the paradigm they are in after they were once in your paradigm, does not exist.

  99. kdkd

    Jak #41

    [ KD you only know what they tell you ]

    Yes, the philosophical position that one’s mind is all that is guaranteed to exist is called solipsism and is generally not a useful mode of scientifi enquiry. The remainder of your comment is off-topic on the subject of climate change, and indicates a strong tendency towards crackpot conspiracy theory, again not a useful mode of scientific enquiry.

  100. Jak

    LOL, you don’t give up, and seem to have a strong desire to ignore the actual evidence 🙂 .

    KD you only know what they tell you. To discern whats true takes another quality. Truth today is in a morass of lies. Do you think we are sustainable? Do you think mankind can go on like this? For how much longer?

    Do you trust Israel not to bomb Iran. Do you trust the USA ion Iraq? Is the invasion of Iraq legal. Where we the weapons of mass destruction? Do you 100% believe 9/11 happened like that. 100%. Have you just read the Italian prime minister at that time say recently in a BIG Italian newspaper the CIA and Mossad did 9/11. And hes not alone. To you evn bother to question? Are you a shill (yes they are paid to troll these sites) or just under informed?

    Do you comprehend what censorship of media is like in reality?

  101. Jak

    For “he who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

    Ok thats a good point . There is a huge paid govt disinfo service in existence to keep a lid on things. All is know is that what they feed us is BS and must be questioned. You cant trust big business or big govt.

    Gloves off now as your a clever audience. This is what I do know. ‘They’ the elite know that a great change is coming. They have vast underground bases to try and survive it. The weather changes we see now is the beginning if it, an inevitable reckoning, the Earth rebelling, an outraged planet as you say. A balancing for this current madness.

    This has happened before. Have you heard of the Galactic Super wave? Google it and Paul La Violette. A level of Iridium laid down 9500 BC demarks a great extinction event and covers the entire Northern hemisphere. Below it masses of animals, above it none. That was a cosmic event. Iridium in that structure comes only from space.

    In the upheaval The Crust slipped on the mantle. The poles changed. It’s the ONLY explanation for mammoths, with buttercups in their mouths, snap frozen: After their temperate climate became the Nth pole or near its environs in less than a day!.

    The next Galactic big super wave is overdue. The changing weather we are experiencing is 15% to 20% man but mostly cosmic in nature, sunspots / cosmic rays / Galactic Gravity Waves / gamma rays.

    ‘They’ know Earth changes are coming. They wont tell. But they will instigate some new BS tax to get money for their projects and keep people down. Most people I know who research this say it will occur this decade

  102. kdkd

    Jak #38

    LOL, you don’t give up, and seem to have a strong desire to ignore the actual evidence :).

    Now if you read that BBC piece in a bit more detail than a superficial reading designed to confirm your ideological preconceptions you’ll see that Professor Latif says that “the strong warming effect that we experienced during the last decades will be interrupted. Temperatures will be more or less steady for some years, and thereafter will pickup again and continue to warm”.

    Like it or not, the scientific evidence shows a strong consilient body of work indicating that anthropogenic climate change is very likely real, and very likely of serious concern. Yes, I have the scientific skills to have looked at the data myself, and in general I find the scientific literature credible, and the drivel of blog “scientists” wanting.

  103. Jak

    Now Kd your playing to the crowd re references and in doing so either being disingenous or a bit lazy or your not open minded or all of the above: 101 internet searching is ‘follow the trail’ till it reaches the source THEN make a judgement of the source. If some rag like the mail picks up a story the source may be still fine. Now Latif is a good source. You know that. heres a BBC link.

    I suspect you have made up your mind its all about Co2 and global warming and your critical thinking is now turned off. Al Gore has made 100 Million from his fibs now hes a CEO selling carbon credits.

    Internet searching 102. Go boldly where the others dont go. In doing so you will see the science being put toward the masses is being selectively chosen. Starting with stacking the panel. The caveat is this, if you dont have an open mind your fooling yourself, your not looking properly. Im not going to drag another doubter from the brink. Its your life. Goat or sheep?

  104. Jak

    Hahaha good on you KD at least you have some fight. I’ll get back to you. in the meantime Did you check out the link above here again

  105. kdkd


    Your use of the British Daily Mail as a sientific resource is ludicrous. As is your use of the widely discredited website (that’s only one of many examples of that sites moronic fact free status by the way).

    Oh wow, and your video link – using Fox news as a reputable scientific source is particularly amusing.

    Climate is a complex subject. Using the wingnut’s misrepresentations of the state of the science really shows your ignorance. How about some holocaust denial while you’re at it – that seems to be the direction that you’re heading in with the emphasis on right wing idiots in your arguments 🙂

  106. Flower

    @Jak Posted October 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    “no its big oil, big corp who have the world by the kahunas over a barrel of oil.”

    Agreed Jak – in fact it’s predominantly the mining industry, multi-national corporations and their rent boys like Watts and the right-wing think tanks who suck up big bucks from the fossil fuel industry to dirty things up so they can continue abusing an outraged planet.

    You have supplied us with an oxymoron – Anthony Watts’ blog (WUWT) to support your argument? Watts would have to be the most vociferous oil shill on the planet. His nonsense is constantly debunked by experts; he has zero credentials in anything – a weatherman on a radio station.

    Deniers and error-riddled Marc Morano and Lorne Gunt spun Mojib Latif’s remarks out of control which the cut and paste Watts latched onto. Watts never publishes an apology for the unmitigated swill he perpetuates but I’m sure his masters rejoice!

    Latif, who, was subsequently interviewed and asked whether he was a climate sceptic, explained:

    “If my name was not Mojib Latif, my name would be global warming. So I really believe in Global Warming………..! We all agree that in the long run, the earth will considerably warm, if we do not considerably reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Watts et al wear the lepers’ bell – ostracised and reviled for bludging off the environment in the 21st century!

    For “he who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

  107. Jak

    “In A Time Of Universal Deceit, Telling The Truth Becomes A Revolutionary Act” – George Orwell, Author “All Truth Passes Through Three stages. First, It Is Ridiculed, Second It Is Violently Opposed, And Third, It Is Accepted As Self-Evident” – Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher

  108. Jak

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    “Consider this that from 2000 to 2007, global wind installations grew 426% from ..”

    Good post. This sort of data has been around for some time.

    Q/ why did that sob Howard push for nuclear A/ he was a lobbyist for the groups who make money from nuclear installations costs / supply even as the people who pay (taxpayer) for it lose as pointed out above

    Q Whats stopping us from being 100% solar producing? Not the sun we have, not the area we have, not even the tech…………no its big oil, big corp who have the world by the kahunas over a barrel of oil. And who will stand up for us? Our elected Gov? No back to kds naivety again. The govts do what they are told to do

  109. Flower

    Consider this that from 2000 to 2007, global wind installations grew 426% from 17,502 MW to 91,993 MW. Germany, Spain, and the USA were the leading installers over that period with 22,247 MW, 15,145 MW, and 16,818 MW, respectively. By region, Europe was the far-and-away leader with 61.4% of total installations.

    Some 300,000 renewable energy jobs have been created in Germany in the last decade.

    Temperatures in Germany on July 14 this year, climbed above 30 degrees Celsius. The day set a record in solar energy. For the first time, combined electrical output of solar panels in Germany was more than 50 percent of the output of the nation’s 17 nuclear plants operating at the same time.

    A lesson from this – if it can be done in Germany, in the heart of Europe, it can be done many fold in Australia..

    Last December 26, Germany received heavy winds delivering free electrical energy and wind turbines produced up to 20.100 megawatts of power, pushing the price for electricity into the negative.

    Study author Mark Cooper, the Vermont Law School Institute’s senior research fellow for economic analysis, said: “The problems in the French nuclear industry are similar to the problems that have long afflicted the U.S. industry, so there it no reason to believe that things will change if the U.S. follows the French path.

    “Nuclear power will remain a ward of the state, as has been true throughout its history in France; a great burden on ratepayers, as has been the case throughout its history in both France and the U.S.; and it will retard the development of lower-cost renewables alternatives, as it has done in France and portions of the U.S.”

    The Report says that nuclear reactors are not cheaper in France. Both the U.S. and French nuclear industries have experienced severe cost escalation in recent years.

    Measured in 2008 dollars, U.S. and French overnight costs were similar in the early 1970s, about $1,000 per kilowatt (kW). In the U.S. they escalated to the range of $3,000 to $4,000 per kW by the mid-1980s. The final reactors were generally in the $5,000 to $6,000 range. French costs increased to the range of $2,000-$3,000 in the mid-1980s and $3,000 to $5,000 in the 1990s. The report finds that the claim that standardization, learning, or large increases in the number (and size) of reactors under construction will lower costs is not supported in the data.

    Commenting on the study, Stephen Thomas, professor of energy studies, University of Greenwich, London, and a member of the editorial boards of Energy Policy, Utility Policy, Energy & Environment, and International Journal of Regulation and Governance, said:

    “The French nuclear power industry is in crisis on three counts: its new reactor technology, the Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR), is proving expensive and difficult to build and gaining safety approval is proving slow and problematic; the existing 58 reactors are far less reliable than its European and US peers; and its flagship nuclear companies, the utility Electricité de France (EDF) and the reactor vendor, Areva are struggling to control their levels of debt … This experience suggests that, far from being a model to emulate, the French experience is a cautionary tale of overdependence on nuclear power and on the state becoming too embroiled in commercial decisions.”

    Many hundreds of uranium miners are looking for a free ride to chew the arse out of Mother Nature in Australia (or what’s left of it) and the ethics-free nuclear industry in both France and the US will continue to milk the old reactors for sheer profit, well past their decommissioning dates, and often their safety limits. Both countries will become a nuclear fossil within 10-15 years.

    And ullo ullo – the legacy of Chernobyl again rears its very ugly head and the facts are finally published in English by the New York Academy of Sciences: “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” authors Alexey Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, and Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko of the Institute of Radiation Safety, in Minsk, Belarus.

    Drawing upon extensive data, the authors estimate the number of deaths worldwide due to Chernobyl fallout from 1986 through 2004 was 985,000, a number that has since increased. By contrast, WHO (officially gagged in the 60s by nukes’ door to door salesman the IAEA) and the IAEA estimated in 2005, 9,000 deaths and some 200,000 people sickened. Oh yeah – that’s the spin in English – talking in tongues so to speak -forked tongues that is!

  110. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Gees Jak, mention the Nazis and complete the trifecta.

  111. Jak

    In a stunning revelation, he told the Daily Mail that:

    “a significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles – perhaps as much as 50 percent.”

    Quite a revelation, and a smack down of much of the climate science in the last 30 years that attributes the cause mostly to CO2 increases.

    In other news, Arctic sea ice is on the rise too.

    According to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007.I’m betting that summer 2010 will have even more ice retained.

    Right now, there doesn’t appear to be much of that “rotten ice” that one Canadian alarmist researcher squawked about to the media just a few weeks ago. In fact, we aren’t looking bad at all compared to 30 years ago.

  112. Jak

    Oh yeah kdkd reference this

    Latif, is a professor at the Leibniz Institute at Germany’s Kiel University and an author of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Latif is a prominent scientist in the UN’s IPCC climate research group.

    Latif thinks the cold snap Americans, Brits, and Europeans have been suffering through is the beginning of another cycle, this one a down cycle. He says we’re in for 30 years of cooler temperatures. While maybe it is a harsh prediction, he calls it a “mini ice age”. That phrase is sure to stick in the craw of more than a few people. His theory is based on an analysis of natural oscillations in water temperatures in the oceans.

    According to his He believes our current cold weather pattern is a pause, a “30-years-long blip”, in the larger cycle of global warming, which postulates that temperatures will rise rapidly over the coming years.

  113. Jak

    Global cooling and global warming are both too simplistic. It may be better to say Nature is rebelling or the weather is now extremely variable. But if people become obsessed with global warming alone then global cooling its counterpart needs to be mentioned. The big picture is that the Planet is changing.

    The cold this December and January has been noteworthy and newsworthy. We just posted that December 2009 was the Second Snowiest on Record in the Northern Hemisphere. Beijing was hit by its heaviest snowfall in 60 years, and Korea had the largest snowfall ever recorded since record keeping began in 1937. Plus all of Britain was recently covered by snow.

    The cold is setting records too.

    Oranges are freezing and millions of tropical fish are dying in Florida, there are Record low temperatures in Cuba and thousands of new low temperature records being set in the USA as well as Europe.

    There are signs everywhere, according to an article in the Daily Mail, which produced this graphic below:

  114. Jak

    Mars warming. Do you think that the entire global warming scam is being done by bit players? These people can manipulate scientists and media. They are adept at creating sites and data to debunk other views. You dont have a chance to know whats going on if you rely on mainstream media

    Here is my acid test. 9/11. Go thru all the so called conspiracy data with an open mind. Start by googling ‘five dancing Israelis’. Look up the sites where tens of thousands of professionals say these buildings did not come down in the official version way. Surf you tube. Do some real deep research. See how the explosive cut steel was gone very quickly. Read many many firemens testimonials of internal explosives. I have . Millions, yes millions of others have too. Then you will understand that your trust is misplaced and everything post that event is a lie.

    But like most people you will no doubt have a mind funk. It takes a strong will to digest what has gone down. But if you or another do the hard yards…

    ….you then wonder….If they the baddies can do that, can still fool the masses about such a massive murderous lie do you really trust them to be open about whats really going on in the solar system, on the planet with the weather.

    Your call

  115. kdkd

    Jak #21

    [email protected] delusions. Detailed scientific based rebuttals of all of your “arguments” are available here (click on the links to the ones you’re especially interested in for more details. Your sheep in wolf’s clothing ignorance doesn’t really cut it I’m afraid 😉

    Just for giggles here are the 140-character or less rebuttals of your nonsense, but follow the link above for more details:

    Mars and Jupiter are not warming, and anyway the sun has recently been cooling slightly.

    A variety of different measurements find steadily rising sea levels over the past century.

    The last decade 2000-2009 was the hottest on record.

  116. Jak

    Global warming is bunkum. Sea levels are stable in the Pacific. Mars and Venus and Saturns moons are heating up. Why? WHY?. There are weather changes here but overall the world has cooled in the last few years despite variable weather as a results of this change. Check the data dont be sheeple.

    Global COOLING is real. Dont continue to be a sucker

  117. Michael Rynn

    This entire materialist civilisation with our economy are heading towards major limits. Peak oil is starting to strangle with increasing economic cost. Human carbon emissions build up in atmosphere and oceans. A major climate tipping point will be reached iwithin five years, when north pole will be ice free during summer, with far changing effects. By then Nature will be taxing us with the carbon price, wether we like it or not. There will be serious negative economic benefits. If we are still freely burning carbon for our power at that stage, we will be compounding and accelarating our punishments.

    Eventually Natures carbon taxes of climate change will make our civilisation untenable. When we reach degree of climate severity at which global civilization is compelled to collapse, our global emissions may drop below the new harsh accounting that Nature can absorb. This will determine the new stable state of the climate for thousands of years. Judging by the current overgrowth of population and economy, our human race needs a very hot hostile climate with maximum resource poverty to keep its population and economic ambitions in check. Since our current policies and actions have barely gone above “beyond zero action”, getting to “beyond zero emissions” does require an awful lot more commitment. It requires nothing less than a wartime effort, all hands on deck, a major redirection of all resources, major redistribution of funding. In particular there has to be major rationing and reduction of carbon emissions. We are running short on time to wait for ideal solutions, and do not even have the time to wait for energy source replacements to maintain the short term luxury life to which we are accustomed. Shortages and costs will have to spur renewable energy innovation.

  118. Dr_Tad

    John Morgan @18: “It’s not “constructed” as a pollution problem, it is a pollution problem.”

    While carbon emissions are often looked at as a “pollution” problem, the role of fossil fuels in the global economy and the nature of emissions’ effect on climate makes a “pollution” a wholly inadequate way of conceptualising them. This is for two main reasons:

    (1) Those aspects of production which lead to carbon emissions are at the centre of the world economy and on a massive scale, thereby requiring an epochal change in the way that economic activity is organised. The “pollution” model fails to account for how transformative the necessary measures will be… it’s not just a matter of fitting smokestack filters or cleaning up a mess. Furthermore, the investment sunk into these aspects of the economy is on such a scale that very wealthy and powerful interests are directly threatened by any serious attempt at climate action.

    (2) The “pollution” (in the form of emissions) has an effect on the environment that then takes on a life of its own. AGW is the result of secondary processes which are caused by the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere and there is increasing evidence of how this accelerates and no longer be amenable toshort-term emissions reduction measures once “tipping points” are passed. In terms borrowed from the philosophy of science, AGW is an “emergent property” of carbon accumulation.

    One of the difficulties with sticking to a “pollution” paradigm is that it grossly understates the nature of the scientific problem (AGW) as well as the political hurdles that need to be surpassed to tackle it effectively (its central place in capitalism).

    It is for these reasons that the usual radical Green attack on “economic growth” also misunderstands the nature of the problem. It is the global capitalist economy’s contingent relationship with carbon emitting energy that must be tackled, not “growth” in general (although there is a valid critique of capitalist growth to be made, in this case it just doesn’t apply).

  119. John Morgan

    “In dominant discourses, the phenomenon of climate change is constructed primarily as a pollution problem.”

    Undergraduate doublespeak. It’s not “constructed” as a pollution problem, it is a pollution problem. And it is a pollution problem irrespective of any “discourse”, and whether or not its “dominant”.

  120. Roger Clifton

    I agree with John Bennetts’ drift @15 that nuclear fission is the only proven cost-effective alternative to fossil fuel generation, but would add, “on the big scale”.

    On the smallest scales however, wind-plus-storage and solar-plus-storage, do replace diesel generation. (So I agree there with Mark Duffett — if he were actually asserted it.) How small? Well, a station homestead, at 1 kW, to communities at 20 kW, may not sound big, but there are a heck of a lot of them in Australia. It is still expensive and subsidised, and its capacity to replace diesel is limited by the amount and cost of lead-acid battery storage. If renewables-plus-storage are to encroach on traditional generation, their successively improved versions may become attractive to successively larger “grids” in the bush – without subsidy.

    Replacing diesel is the prospect for renewables-plus-storage. Replacing gas turbines is the prospect for small nuclear plants. Even between those, there is an overlap…

    The town of Galena, Alaska is installing (US regulator permitting) 10 MWe nuclear reactor to replace its fuel oil generation. Toshiba is supporting the installation to serve as a demonstration of how the 4S reactor can replace diesel on small grids of the 10 MW scale.

    Because the 4S is autonomous, that is, does not require manpower, a major cost variable is how many security guards are required by the regulator!

  121. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Michael James, when you write about a gas-fired replacement for Hazelwood do you mean a plant running on a new source of natural gas (from say Bass Strait) or do you mean constructing a gas-from-coal plant between Hazelwood and its coal mine which converts the same old dirty brown coal into (relatively) clean gas – and no mention of the carbon dioxide budget of this process?

  122. John Bennetts

    Most certainly, nuclear (existing, safe and well understood) has some advantages which so-called renewable energy struggles to find. For example, all semi-random sources of electricity must be backed up by gas turbines or similar, using FF. The alternative to GT’s is to sit in the dark and shiver whenever the wind doesn’t blow.

    A link above is very well worth following – Mark Duffet @ 10.

    The BZE report has been comprehensively and completely destroyed by comment at that site, yet charlatans keep pushing its nonsense. Leigh Ewbank is neither progressive nor even part of the solution. He represents a maximum cost path to failure.

    A question for Mark: “When, if ever, have wind, solar or other renewables forced the retirement from service of a single fossil fuel power generator?” The answer is “Never!”

    The only country to retire coal by constructing non-GHG alternatives is France, via a nuclear program 30-plus years ago. Nuclear fusion is today the only proven, cost-effective, safe form of power generation which has the capacity to supplant fossil fuel generation. Let’s get on with it.

  123. Roger Clifton

    The article presents a very cogent argument for proactive de-carbonisation of our economy. However while the reader was distracted by the eloquence, the author has niftily replaced “non-carbon energy” as the logical alternative, with the phrase “renewable energy”.

    Hey, who says that renewable energy is the only feasible non-carbon source?

    As proposed, the energy revolution would only have the support of a minority of the public. The revolution would more likely get underway if it included all alternatives.

    One definite advantage of making carbon expensive is that the market will seek out all viable alternatives to carbon fuels. Nuclear may be found cost-effective for big grids and renewables for small.

  124. Meski

    If we’re happy (?) to spend 43 billion on fibre infrastructure, 170 billion doesn’t seem too large a step. (its a fraction of the cost of the USA’s annual interest bill 🙂

  125. Kevin Cox

    A price on carbon will work if the money collected is invested in ways to reduce ghg in the atmosphere. If this is not done it will not work simply increase the price of energy.

    However, there is a much simpler, easier, less costly way that was used by the first governor of the Commonwealth Bank, Sir Denison Miller, back in 1907. Miller funded the first world war and much of the new Australian Nations public infrastructure with zero or low interest credit backed by the Commonwealth.

    In other words he issued credit with a price related to the risk of the credit not being honoured. The risk of it not being honoured is zero if the people of Australia back it.

    The Australian government can do the same today. It can ask the banks to issue low interest or zero interest credit to the people of Australia who agree to use the credit to invest in renewables and ways to reduce the level of ghg. This is a market mechanism but it does not require an increase in the price of energy nor does the government need to go into debt – the government only guarantees the credit. Individuals who decide to take up the credit have no risk. Their only job is to try to make sure they get the most from their investment in the market place of investment opportunities.

  126. Michael R James

    MarkD and FrankC:
    [The failure of wind has just prompted the anti-nuclear Germans to refurbish their 17 nuclear plants.]

    I think you both know better. It has nothing to do with wind power. And keeping their hugely expensive existing nuclear power plants in operation only makes sense, and in no way represents a model for Australia that would have to start from scratch. Hmm, 17 plants would cost about A$170 billion (see: Even the expensive wind option looks good by comparison: the $1B Macarthur windfarm will have 140 turbines (Vesta of Denmark’s V112 turbine 3MW) giving 420MW installed capacity (35% efficiency=147MW average availability). So if you spent that $170B on wind (which no one, Frank, is saying should be done; ok, maybe Beyond Zero) it would buy about 71GWh installed and about 25GWh delivered–approximately half Australia’s current electricity generation.
    But the point is, call it $170B or half that (for the optimists) $85B, this buys an awful lot of pilot or full-scale alternatives (mostly solar-thermal, geothermal). It is this CHOICE and its opportunity cost, not even the arguable merits or demerits of nuclear power, that should drive the discussion in Australia (Frank!).

  127. Mark Duffett


    This thread already contains dissent to the first view (that AGW is real, happening and dangerous)

    Er, where? Frank @1 may hold that view (I’m still not too sure), but he doesn’t express it here.

    what is to be done about it, but this is a question much more framed in an area outside most scientists’ expertise: the field of politics.

    That may be so at the moment, but it shouldn’t be. It belongs at least as much in the realm of engineering and quantifiable economics. Otherwise we get results like “83 per cent of over 33,000 (GetUp!) members who participated strongly support investing in renewable energy…Though the findings reflect the preferences of politically progressive Australians…”

    That’s putting it politely. ‘Ignorant’ is the word I’d use.

    “…33,000 is a very large sample and the results can’t simply be ignored.”

    Just watch me. What can’t be ignored is the obvious caveat you mentioned, as if doing so excuses it.


    a parallel carbon tax and ETS…will drive massive investment in green energy and over time the market will decide which particular system works best for Australia

    Only if it’s allowed to.

    @1 “The failure of wind has just prompted the anti-nuclear Germans to refurbish their 17 nuclear plants. Fanfuckingtastic.”

    Well, yes, actually, if the rest of us learn from the Germans’ mistakes.

    That one of its main proponents is pleading for massive government expenditure in preference any free market choice in determing the generation mix tells you everything you need to know about the viability of schemes for 100% renewables. Beyond Zero Emissions is a trillion-dollar recipe for rolling blackouts.

  128. Michael R James

    The power of a carbon tax is best illustrated by the case of Hazelwood, which I wrote about in Crikey in August:

    “Hazelwood emits 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. …..bring in a $20 per tonne carbon tax which would cost Hazelwood $320 million per year. International Power is at least correct, in that without this clear price signal, it is hard to close dirty clunkers like Hazelwood and to encourage their replacement. With the price signal, even one at $20 per tonne—the lowest end of the scale recommended by economists and environmentalists—it would do exactly what all advocates claim. The company would build the gas-fired replacement in record time.”

    Of course some environmentalists will pall at the idea of replacing coal by gas but in this case the saving is two thirds of carbon output. The gas replacement is ready to go and could be built in a few years, but still with a real carbon price the owners may well take a look at combining it with other zero carbon options (though the wind turbines combination does not make much sense if for different reasons than Frank Campbell believes).’s-worst-polluting-coal-generator/

  129. Bogdanovist

    As said in #2, this whole article presents a false either/or choice. I have no objection to a large ‘Nation Building’ project funding by Government, as long as it can be implemented at a good price and more importantly, does not create a monopoly which may act to suppress private investment and innovation.

    For example, if the Government built some massive renewable power plant or network, then made the power available at the same cost as coal power (by running at a loss, effectively subsidising the enterprise) then you would see zero private investment or research into renewable ever again in this country. A very very bad outcome.

    On the other hand, if you put a price on carbon (however that is achieved) and then also built some large Government owned generator selling power at a market rate (possible now because of the carbon price) then you still have incentive for private investment and research into renewables which could compete with the Government provider.

    Others have also mentioned lack of Government support for ‘commercialisation’ of renewable technology. I have no problem with this. Anything that relies on a Government handout to be viable will be unstable and liable to collapse with any change in policy as to the amount or rules surrounding the grant. Far better in my view to make a structural change that puts a price on carbon, and commit to keeping that system in place. Then companies wanting to commercialise renewable technology can do that in the same way any other company brings a new product to market. That will ensure that good sustainable companies are involved, rather than those good at squeezing money out of bureacrats.

  130. Dr_Tad

    Climate scientists have provoked two debates in recent years. The first is that AGW is real, happening and dangerous. By and large they have successfully convinced the majority of people of this, and that something must be done. The second is on the question of what is to be done about it, but this is a question much more framed in an area outside most scientists’ expertise: the field of politics.

    This thread already contains dissent to the first view, but Leigh is addressing the second debate on the presumption that the first is settled, so I have no intention of feeding the skeptical trolls.

    Leigh is, I think, absolutely right to raise the question of market versus state because it is important politically. The market approach (“carbon pricing” in whatever form) is a product of trying to find a form of climate action that is palatable to the powerful capitalist interests who are resistant to the costs of serious action.

    It is also about reassuring those powerful interests that the same markets which create massive concentrations of wealth for them at the top of society remain in place to guarantee more of the same. Carbon pricing as formulated in either the cap & trade or current carbon tax models is inherently regressive, as even Ross Garnaut has pointed out. All the debate around “efficiency” is not much more than a smokescreen for making sure that ordinary people and not big business pay for any transition (with some derisory “compensation” to take the sting out).

    There is no guarantee that a state-run solution will be progressive, or that it will be efficient or just. But there are two key advantages of demanding a serious state-based approach. First, because we know what kinds of economic transformation are necessary (a rapid shift to renewables, mass public transit networks, etc), a state can effect such change much more quickly and directly than roundabout market signals can. The analogy is the rapid transformation of the US economy for WWII… something that would have been a disaster if FDR had used a market based approach.

    The second advantage is that citizens can build pressure on states to take specific action much more easily than trying to shape market mechanisms to indirectly serve a social good. Neoliberalism has hollowed out democratic possibilities by claiming states are powerless before markets. I would argue that the GFC shows us pretty starkly how dependent markets are on states. Better that we bail out the climate than another bunch of greedy corporations and banks, IMHO.

    Of course the political value of winning broad social consensus around a progressive “nation-building” approach is anathema to the entrenched private interests we face. Those on this thread defending market approaches, however, are either using the cover of discredited neoclassical economics to spruik for those powerful interests, or have started by surrendering to the neoliberal idea of “there is no alternative”.

  131. Space Kidette

    After having the privilege of working on a project for the commercialisation of a renewable energy I was shocked to discover that the government will invest the money for the science but does almost nothing to help commercialise it, and in many cases current government legislation works against the adoption of renewable energies. On top of that ministers are reluctant to lobby (against the current money hungry energy providers) for changes to legislation.

    This leaves many Australian inventors to head overseas with the innovation the Australian Government funded. The scenario is, when it comes to the money generation part of the project, someone other country reaps the rewards while we taxpayers pay the bills.

    There are some truly incredible innovations out there, who in my mind, represent real inflection points in this sector. The government should be working to keep these innovations in Australia and to remove the obstacles to their commercialisation and implementation.

    Until we work to remove the obstacles to implementation, this industry will be left languishing, while the current energy providers continue to gouge customers in a virtual monopoly and continue to contribute, unapologetically, to the climate change problem.

  132. Acidic Muse


    I wouldn’t worry too much. A price on carbon is now inevitable, as BHP’s Marius Kloppers and others in the business lobby are now openly acknowledging. More than likely, we’ll have a parallel carbon tax and ETS – which will enable companies to choose between simply paying the tax or purchasing carbon credits from Goldman Sachs et al. Either way it will drive massive investment in green energy and over time the market will decide which particular system works best for Australia

    Meanwhile the Chicken Little Conservatives will continue insisting the sky is falling until such times as their corporate sponsors are turning a nice profit out of the green economy – when they will no doubt start claiming it was their idea all along 🙂

  133. kdkd

    Well, it seems to me that it would make sense to use the revenue from carbon pricing to drive an investment focused programme. While kneejerk naysayers like Frank Campbell the energy intensive industry rent-seekers, and the Opposition keep going with their wrecking strategy, it’s difficult to see how a positive outcome can happen though.

  134. Acidic Muse

    I agree Guytar – Leigh’s arguments hold no water whatsoever.

    Putting a price on carbon is all about giving the PRIVATE SECTOR real incentive to invest strategically in the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of clean technologies

    The idea that Government should be forking out billions of our tax dollars paying for all the ground work whilst private enterprise continues to happily generate huge profits using high carbon emitting legacy technologies is patently absurd.

    This is simply a case of the right wing economic rationalists flip flopping on their usual obsession with market based solutions because in this instance, getting Government to take on the entire financial burden of kick starting the Green Economy best serves the short term bottom line interests of private enterprise. It amazes me how quick they are to advocate corporate welfare as a solution to problems created by poor or short tem market choices when they seem so adverse to most of the more social functions of welfare

  135. guytaur

    Your entire piece here is argued on a massively false assumption. The either or argument. Putting a price on carbon does not exclude any investment in infrastructure happening. In fact the economists like Nicholas Stern and Ross Garnaut have argues for a particular way of putting a price on carbon for a reason.
    They see this as the best way of empowering business to invest in infrastructure and taking some of the load off of government.
    A market mechanism to avoid a marxist approach to tackling carbon.
    Social mechanisms of governments doing in energy grids what our government is doing with the NBN are not excluded by this.
    The whole problem with the energy grid argument of course it ignores alternatives that inventors and business investment in that can come up with.
    On ABC’s “The New Inventors” for example there was an invention of more efficient solar cells being able to be painted onto every roof. This means the need for a massive energy grid of wires losing power over distance due to physics and the efficiency of that system could be an old way of thinking. Locking in that thinking by not having a market mechanism that is flexible and able to adjust strikes me as just plain wrong.

  136. Frank Campbell

    “government would invest strategically in the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of clean technologies”

    Common sense, you’d think. But the sleight-of-mind in this piece is exposed by the following:

    “Building transmission lines to remote parts of Australia rich with renewable resources is cost prohibitive for the private sector alone.”

    Renewables are not ready. They are either technically undeveloped, grossly uneconomic or proven failures (eg wind). Some are all of the above. Covering Australia with high-capacity transmission lines would be at best premature, at worst a staggering waste of capital.

    The priority has to be technical development. The plethora of possible renewables is comic, ranging from shit-gas to hot rocks, from algae to waves. Only govt. is likely to fund basic research. So get on with it. The current mess is not merely burning capital, it hands the future to nuclear. The failure of wind has just prompted the anti-nuclear Germans to refurbish their 17 nuclear plants. Fanfuckingtastic.

    Do you think people are going to put up with vastly increased power bills? Useless wind costs 4 times FF power. Current solar is worse.

    “Progressive” Ewbank? The word must have been redefined. This energy “policy” is a savage attack on the working class and the rural poor.

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