Regular WUWT readers know of the issues related to Arctic Sea Ice that we have routinely followed here. The Arctic sea ice trend is regularly used as tool to hammer public opinion, often recklessly and without any merit to the claims. The most egregious of these claims was the April of 2008 pronouncement by National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Dr. Mark Serreze of an ice free north pole in 2008. It got very wide press. It also never came true. To my knowledge, no retractions were printed by news outlets that carried his sensationally erroneous claim.
A few months later in August, when it was clear his first prediction would not come true, and apparently having learned nothing from his first incident (except maybe that the mainstream press is amazingly gullible when it comes to science) Serreze made another outlandish statement of "Arctic ice is in its death spiral" and" The Arctic could be free of summer ice by 2030?. In my opinion, Serreze uttered perhaps the most irresponsible news statements about climate second only to Jim Hansen's "death trains" fiasco. I hope somebody at NSIDC will have the good sense to reel in their loose cannon for the coming year.
Not to be outdone, in December Al Gore also got on the ice free bandwagon with his own zinger saying on video that the "entire north polar ice cap will be gone within 5 years". There's a countdown watch on that one. So it was with a bit of surprise that we witnessed the wailing and gnashing of teeth from a number of bloggers and news outlets when in his February 15th column, George Will, citing a Daily Tech column by Mike Asher, repeated a comparison of 1979 sea ice levels to present day. He wrote:
As global levels of sea ice declined last year, many experts said this was evidence of man-made global warming. Since September, however, the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change, either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began. According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.
The outrage was immediate and widespread. Media Matters: George Will spreads falsehoods Discover Magazine: George Will: Liberated From the Burden of Fact-Checking Climate Progress: Is George Will the most ignorant national columnist? One Blue Marble Blog: Double Dumb Ass Award: George Will George Monbiot in the Guardian: George Will's climate howlers and Huffington Post: Will-fully wrong. They rushed to stamp out the threat with an "anything goes" publishing mentality. There was lots of piling on by secondary bloggers and pundits.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I got interested in what was going on with odd downward jumps in the NSIDC Arctic sea ice graph, posting on Monday February 16th NSIDC makes a big sea ice extent jump - but why? Then when I was told in comments by NSIDC's Walt Meier that the issue was "not worth blogging about" I countered with Errors in publicly presented data - Worth blogging about?
It soon became clear what had happened. There was a sensor failure, a big one, and both NSIDC and Cryosphere today missed it. The failure caused Arctic sea ice to be underestimated by 500,000 square kilometers by the time Will's column was published. Ooops, that's a Murphy Moment.
So it is with some pleasure that today I offer you George Will's excellent rebuttal to the unapologetic trashing of his column . The question now is, will those same people take on Dr. Mark Serreze and Al Gore for their irresponsible proclamations this past year? Probably not. Will Serreze shoot his mouth off again this year when being asked by the press what the summer ice season will bring? Probably, but one can always hope he and others have learned something, anything, from this debacle. Let us hope that cooler heads prevail.
Climate Science in A Tornado
By George F. Will, Washington Post
Few phenomena generate as much heat as disputes about current orthodoxies concerning global warming. This column recently reported and commented on some developments pertinent to the debate about whether global warming is occurring and what can and should be done. That column, which expressed skepticism about some emphatic proclamations by the alarmed, took a stroll down memory lane, through the debris of 1970s predictions about the near certainty of calamitous global cooling.
Concerning those predictions, the New York Times was - as it is today in a contrary crusade - a megaphone for the alarmed, as when (May 21, 1975) it reported that "a major cooling of the climate" was "widely considered inevitable" because it was "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950." Now the Times, a trumpet that never sounds retreat in today's war against warming, has afforded this column an opportunity to revisit another facet of this subject - meretricious journalism in the service of dubious certitudes.
On Wednesday, the Times carried a "news analysis" - a story in the paper's news section, but one that was not just reporting news - accusing Al Gore and this columnist of inaccuracies. Gore can speak for himself. So can this columnist.
Reporter Andrew Revkin's story was headlined: "In Debate on Climate Change, Exaggeration Is a Common Pitfall." Regarding exaggeration, the Times knows whereof it speaks, especially when it revisits, if it ever does, its reporting on the global cooling scare of the 1970s, and its reporting and editorializing - sometimes a distinction without a difference - concerning today's climate controversies.
Which returns us to Revkin. In a story ostensibly about journalism, he simply asserts - how does he know this? - that the last decade, which passed without warming, was just "a pause in warming." His attempt to contact this writer was an e-mail sent at 5:47 p.m., a few hours before the Times began printing his story, which was not so time-sensitive - it concerned controversies already many days running - that it had to appear the next day. But Revkin reported that "experts said" this columnist's intervention in the climate debate was "riddled with" inaccuracies. Revkin's supposed experts might exist and might have expertise but they do not have names that Revkin wished to divulge.
As for the anonymous scientists' unspecified claims about the column's supposedly myriad inaccuracies: The column contained many factual assertions but only one has been challenged. The challenge is mistaken.
Citing data from the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, as interpreted on Jan. 1 by Daily Tech, a technology and science news blog, the column said that since September "the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change, either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began." According to the center, global sea ice levels at the end of 2008 were "near or slightly lower than" those of 1979. The center generally does not make its statistics available, but in a Jan. 12 statement the center confirmed that global sea ice levels were within a difference of less than 3 percent of the 1980 level.
So the column accurately reported what the center had reported. But on Feb. 15, the Sunday the column appeared, the center, then receiving many e-mail inquiries, issued a statement saying "we do not know where George Will is getting his information." The answer was: From the center, via Daily Tech. Consult the center's Web site where, on Jan. 12, the center posted the confirmation of the data that this column subsequently reported accurately.
The scientists at the Illinois center offer their statistics with responsible caveats germane to margins of error in measurements and precise seasonal comparisons of year-on-year estimates of global sea ice. Nowadays, however, scientists often find themselves enveloped in furies triggered by any expression of skepticism about the global warming consensus (which will prevail until a diametrically different consensus comes along; see the 1970s) in the media-environmental complex. Concerning which:
On Feb. 18 the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that from early January until the middle of this month, a defective performance by satellite monitors that measure sea ice caused an underestimation of the extent of Arctic sea ice by 193,000 square miles, which is approximately the size of California.
The Times ("All the news that's fit to print"), which as of this writing had not printed that story, should unleash Revkin and his unnamed experts.
Heat From a Global Warming Column
Comment from the Washington Post ombudsman:
Opinion columnists are free to choose whatever facts bolster their arguments. But they aren't free to distort them. The question of whether that happened is at the core of an uproar over a recent George F. Will column and The Post's fact-checking process.
Will's Feb. 15 column, headlined "Dark Green Doomsayers," ridiculed "eco-pessimists" and cited a string of "predicted planetary calamities" that Will said have never come to pass. A key paragraph, aimed at those who believe in man-made global warming, asserted: "According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979." The column triggered e-mails to The Post from hundreds of angry environmental activists and a few scientists, many asserting that the center had said exactly the opposite.
The ruckus grew when I e-mailed readers who had inquired about the editing process for Will's column. My comments accurately conveyed what I had been told by editorial page editor Fred Hiatt -- that multiple editors had checked Will's sources, including the reference to the Arctic Climate Research Center. Although I didn't render a judgment, my response was understandably seen as an institutional defense and prompted an orchestrated e-mail campaign in which thousands demanded that The Post correct Will's "falsehoods." Like they say when the pro football rookie gets clobbered: "Welcome to the NFL."
The messages, often identical in wording, were soon countered by waves of e-mails defending Will and attacking what many labeled "global warming alarmists" trying to muzzle him. By mid-week, it was a bit like watching chairs being thrown in a bar fight. Responding to the controversy, Will wrote again on Friday and insisted that his first column "accurately reported what the center had reported."
As the debate continues, questions linger about The Post's editing process. And there are separate questions about how The Post reacted once readers began questioning the accuracy of Will's column.
First, the editing process. My inquiry shows that there was fact-checking at multiple levels. It began with Will's own research assistant, Greg Reed. When the column was submitted on Feb. 12 to The Washington Post Writers Group, which edits and syndicates it, Reed sent an accompanying e-mail that provided roughly 20 Internet reference links in support of key assertions in the column. Richard Aldacushion, editorial production manager at the Writers Group, said he reviewed every link. The column was then edited by editorial director Alan Shearer and managing editor James Hill.
Next, it went to The Post's op-ed editor, Autumn Brewington, who said she also reviewed the sources. The editors who checked the Arctic Research Climate Center Web site believe it did not, on balance, run counter to Will's assertion that global sea ice levels "now equal those of 1979." I reviewed the same Web citation and reached a different conclusion.
It said that while global sea ice areas are "near or slightly lower than those observed in late 1979," sea ice area in the Northern Hemisphere is "almost one million sq. km below" the levels of late 1979. That's roughly the size of Texas and California combined. In my mind, it should have triggered a call for clarification to the center.
But according to Bill Chapman, a climate scientist with the center, there was no call from Will or Post editors before the column appeared. He added that it wasn't until last Tuesday -- nine days after The Post began receiving demands for a correction -- that he heard from an editor at the newspaper. It was Brewington who finally e-mailed, offering Chapman the opportunity to write something that might help clear the air....
There is a disturbing if-you-don't-agree-with-me-you're-an-idiot tone to much of the global warming debate. Thoughtful discourse is noticeably absent in the current dispute. But that's where The Post could have helped, and can in the future. On its news pages, it can recommit to reporting on climate change that is authoritative and deep. On the editorial pages, it can present a mix of respected and informed viewpoints. And online, it can encourage dialogue that is robust, even if it becomes bellicose.
Another onslaught of global cooling in the USA
A rare snowstorm blanketed the southern states of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee on Sunday and churned northward, leaving residents from Maryland to Maine bracing for heavy snowfall overnight, forecasters said. The late-winter snowflakes took the typically temperate South by surprise as snowploughs struggled to clear the clogged roads, airlines cancelled flights and accidents spiked among motorists unaccustomed to the slick, icy conditions.
Up to 47cm of snow have fallen on parts of Tennessee since late on Saturday, and up to 14cm accumulated in Alabama and North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service. "Crews continue to work to clear snow and ice from roadways across Tennessee where as much as 15 inches (38cm) of snow fell overnight,'' the Tennessee Department of Transportation said in a statement. The conditions led to a number of crashes overnight along the I-40, a major highway route in western Tennessee, and on I-75 in the eastern part of the state close to the Kentucky state line.
Delta Air Lines cancelled over 300 flights - mostly to and from Atlanta, Georgia - due to snowy weather, CNN reported.
Winter storm warnings remained in effect across much of the south, while the northeastern states of New England were warned of snow accumulations of 10 to 20cm in the Mid-Atlantic region, the National Weather Service said late Sunday. Heavier falls of over 30cm were possible in some areas, it said, predicting the northern leg of the winter storm would unleash its fury late on Sunday and into early Monday. The heaviest snow in the region was forecast for Massachusetts, Rhode Island and northeastern Connecticut, with up to 38cm.
Philadelphia and New York were advised to expect up to 36cm. Up to 25cm could pile up in the nation's capital, Washington, by late on Monday, forecasters said. Officials told The Washington Post the storm there could be the largest in three years. Tornado watches were also in effect from southeastern Georgia to northern Florida.
Global warming protest may get snowed out
I interrupt the snowstorm updates to bring you this pressing issue. Monday, March 2nd 2009 is the date for a scheduled protest by Capitol Climate Action (CCA). Their website labels it:
"Mass civil disobedience at the coal fired power plant in Washington, DC"
CCA claims this will be the largest mass civil disobedience for the climate in US history. There is actually a request to wear dress clothes. That seems odd. Is this a target to get young Americans in a vogue protest?
My forecast from this morning can be found here (I will have a new update by this evening). If you go just by the NWS forecast, then snow will range between 5-10 inches with wind gusts over 30 mph. The snowstorm forecast is ironic not only because it falls on the date of this protest, but also because it is a late season event. The normal high for the date in Washington, DC is 51F. What would be worse: Keep the protest on in the snowstorm, or cancel it because of the snowstorm?
The infamous Dr. James Hansen should be there leading the charge. My post last week about 2008 being the coldest year this decade included a reference to Hansen. I wrote, "This is the same man who turned off the air conditioning in the Capitol while speaking about Global Warming on a hot day in 1988." I also mentioned his exposure of bad data for Russia just this past October. He used September data (a statistically warmer month) in place of cooler October data. This skewed the temperatures upward.
I don't knock him for his extreme beliefs, but I do disagree with the questionable tactics he uses to get his message across. According to Fox News , he is in hot water since he works for NASA, yet is helping to organize a protest.
It seems like the Climate Crew has had some trouble getting their messages across. It's almost as if mixed signals are coordinated by nature itself. Marc Marano, Communications Director for the GOP on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) sent out a list of events that seem to follow the Gore Effect. This was labeled by Politico.com as:
The so-called Gore Effect happens when a global warming-related event, or appearance by the former vice president and climate change crusader, Al Gore, is marked by exceedingly cold weather or unseasonably winter weather.
Check out this list courtesy of Marc Marano:
Note: The "Gore Effect" has a long and storied history. What follows is a sampling of how Mother Nature enjoys mocking global warming fear promoters.
1) First October snow since 1922 blankets London as global warming bill debated - October 2008
2) Global Warming Vote on Snowy Day in Washington - Senate committee debates expensive climate change bill snow blanket D.C. - December 2007
3) HOUSE HEARING ON 'WARMING OF THE PLANET' CANCELED AFTER SNOW/ICE STORM - February 2007
4) NOT AGAIN! DC 'Snow Advisory' Issued on Day of Congressional Global Warming Hearing - March 2007
5) Gore decries 'global warming' in bitterly cold NYC - December 2006
6) Gore delivers environmental message at Harvard - ...with near 125-year record breaking low temps - October 2008
7) Global warming activists urged to focus on Earth Day rallies and ignore snow as it 'piles up outside our windows' - April 17, 2007
8) No Joke! Cyclists 'braved freezing cold temps' to promote global warming awareness in New York - October 22, 2008
9) Global warming protest in Maryland frosted with snow - January 2008
10) Global warming rally in the snow - April 2007
11) Snow won't dampen global-warming rallies - April 2007
12) Brrr. - Obama to global warming demonstrators: 'This is probably not the weather to hold up those signs...it's a little chilly today' - October 28, 2008
13) Global Warming Awareness Walk Braves Snow Storm - March 2007
14) The Gore Effect, Cont. - Gore speaks in Italy during 'rare' cold and snow
15) Tracking 'The Gore Effect' - Politico November 26,6, 2008
16) Climate protest cancelled 'due to rain and cold' - Nov. 23, 2008
SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
Why Biofuels Are the Rainforest's Worst Enemy
Comment from a Green/Left site:
With governments and consumers scrambling for alternatives to fossil fuel, worldwide demand for biofuels has gone through the roof; in Europe, where more than half of all automobiles run on diesel, consumption of biodiesel is set to triple by 2010. US subsidies for biofuels, mostly ethanol, will add up to $92 billion between 2006 and 2012, and producers in developing countries like Indonesia are often eligible for millions of dollars in development money from the World Bank.
But amid the hype, problems have emerged. Biodiesel emits less than one-quarter the carbon of regular diesel once it's burned. But when production-and the destruction of ecosystems in the developing countries where most biofuel crops are grown-is factored in, many biofuels may actually emit more carbon than does petroleum, the journal Science reported last year. Because oil palms don't absorb as much CO2 as the rainforest or peatlands they replace, palm oil can generate as much as 10 times more carbon than petroleum, according to the advocacy group Food First. Thanks in large part to oil palm plantations, Indonesia is now the world's third-largest emitter of CO2, trailing only the US and China.
Yet Indonesia aims to expand these plantations from 16 million acres currently to almost 26 million by 2015. If deforestation, which is due largely to oil palm, continues at the present rate, 98 percent of the country's forest-one of only a handful of large rainforests remaining in the world-will be degraded or gone by 2022. And although Indonesia has strict environmental regulations and formally recognizes customary land rights, those laws are only as effective as the local bureaucrats enforcing them. "For the permit certification, a guy just comes to your office and you just pay him off," explains Ong Kee Chau, a former Wilmar executive who was responsible for most of the company's operations on Borneo. "This is how it works." For everyone from national politicians to struggling villagers, biofuel represents opportunity. "Oil palm is one of our areas of competitiveness," explains Herry Purnomo, an Indonesia-based forestry researcher. "We can't compete with information technologies or in auto manufacturing, but we have plantations."
The only way to get to Pareh is to travel up the Kumba River, typically in a traditional wooden boat fitted with an outboard motor. When I make the trip with a researcher from Friends of the Earth-Indonesia, we arrive about two hours after sundown. Momonus and his wife, Margareta, receive us in their home. (The people I meet in Pareh all go by single names.) There is no furniture; we sit in flickering candlelight around plastic tablecloths spread on the floor. Pages of newspaper have been pasted over gaps in the walls, and in one room I read a story about girls being kidnapped and used as sex slaves by plantation workers.
After a meal of fiddlehead ferns and banana flowers, the front room begins to fill with village men who spill out onto the porch and linger in the doorway. All wear freshly washed T-shirts and jeans or khakis, and all of them smoke except Momonus, a 38-year-old with a low, solid build, dark hair, and a thin mustache. The men tell me that if the government and Duta Palma continue to rebuff them, they will resort to their machetes. (The Dayak have a history of head-hunting, although nowadays they mostly use that reputation to inspire fear.) As the meeting winds down, Julian, a young father of two, asks if anyone has been to the boundary between the forest and the plantation. Another young man speaks up. Yes, he was recently there, and didn't see any logging.
The next day, I go with Momonus, Julian, and two other villagers to see for ourselves. On motorbikes, we navigate the ribbon of slick mud that passes for a road. After two perilous hours, we reach the land Duta Palma has seized.
The contrast between past and future is extreme. The ancestral forest is carpeted with ferns and flowers; monkeys swing from branches of wild mango, teak, and ironwood trees, and soaring above it all is a majestic canopy of dipterocarps. One of the rainforest's iconic treasures, dipterocarps bloom just once every four years but do so in unison, their vivid red flowers erupting over millions of acres.
Across the road is a moonscape. Charred trunks lie prone as far as the eye can see. On the horizon we can make out a thin emerald seam-the encroaching column of palms. Duta Palma has also planted seedlings in a narrow band along the border of the community's land, like a message written in green: The forest belongs to the palm.
I have just witnessed the palm companies' modus operandi in miniature. Operatives will proposition community members to assemble a logging crew in return for a sum that is insignificant to the company and a fortune to a villager. Some people will say no-Julian refused $6,000. But the company will keep trying until someone says yes, and someone almost always does. This helps the plantations expand into the forests, but, even more important, it sows betrayal and division that undermine the opposition.
Is there any hope for Indonesia's rainforests-and the people who depend on them? To answer that question, I visit an older oil palm plantation, Perseroan Terbatas Bumi Pratama Khatulistiwa. It's owned by Wilmar and located in the coastal district of Pontianak, near the village of Mega Timur. This terrain used to be tropical peatland forest, but in 1996, Wilmar began razing the groves and digging deep canals to drain the soil. Now the land is a uniform grid of oil palms. According to Greenpeace, the destruction and degradation of Indonesian peatlands releases 4 percent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.
Unlike the Dayak of Pareh, the peasants of Mega Timur welcomed the plantation, seeing it as their ticket to a better life. Many families agreed to surrender their land to Wilmar; each received in exchange a smaller plot sown with palm, with the cost of the planting passed on to the family in the form of a loan. This is a common arrangement that somewhat resembles sharecropping: The peasants are obliged to sell their harvest to the company at a set price, regardless of the market rate. The Wilmar plantation siphons off half the money as payments on the planting loans; it also deducts fees for roads and drainage systems, fertilizer and pesticides, harvest collection, security and administrative charges, and a deposit into a mandatory savings account. After almost a decade of working with the company, none of the smallholders I talk to know how much they've earned, how much they've saved, or what portion of their loans they've paid. They do know, however, that floods are common now that the wetlands are gone. Several times a year their fields are submerged, sometimes for weeks on end.
My last stop in Indonesia is the Center for International Forestry Research, a serene, wooded compound where more than 100 top scientists are working out ways to protect the world's forests and their peoples. Researcher Herry Purnomo is part of an international team that has devised a plan to pay developing countries to leave the trees standing. Known as the Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Degradation initiative, the program is projected to cost a mere $12 billion annually worldwide-not bad considering that the US government has spent $126 billion on post-Katrina reconstruction. But international agencies and Western governments have promised only $1 billion so far-"nowhere near what there needs to be," Purnomo says with frustration.
Australia: Warmist Wong is wrong
Business has a new nickname for Climate Change Minister Penny Wong. They call her "The High Priestess", reflecting the view that Wong has been overtaken by religious zeal - rather than rationality - in her campaign to impose the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on Australia. It also reflects the fact that in the context of the global financial crisis this is now a changed world from the one in which the idea of an emissions trading scheme was debated before the last federal election.
Back then the collapse of the world's financial markets was dismissed by Labor. Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan scoffed at the idea of a global downturn. At that time they were obsessed by an economy which they thought was on an inflation-fuelled freight train, running out of control and in need of a yank on the interest-rate brake. And Peter Costello, warning of a "global tsunami", was labelled a desperate Henny Penny, peddling fear as an election device to scare voters back into the Coalition fold.
Not now. In the resource-boom environment that prevailed then, business was prepared to countenance the idea of an ETS - even if it involved some job losses and extra cost - because with the economy expected to stay on a growth path it was an acceptable price to pay for a cleaner, greener future.
No more. Last week saw a decisive shift in sentiment, with the influential Australian Industry Group - generally seen as close to the Government - calling for a delay in the introduction of any ETS until 2012, rather than the Government's proposed 2010. In a statement, the AIG described 2010 as "neither necessary nor realistic" and was explicit too about the likely impact of the bleak global outlook on Australia's emissions task. "Australia is already on track to meet its Kyoto commitments over the period to 2012," the group said. "The sharp downturn in the economy and the associated reduction in emissions . . . will reduce our abatement task in the short term."
In other words, the targets set and still championed by Wong are now irrelevant. The truth is, business always had reservations, but in the afterglow of Rudd's emphatic 2007 mandate it kept those concerns muted. But now AIG's reservations have been echoed by Onesteel, BlueScope Steel and the Australian Farm Institute.
Andrew Robb is Wong's Coalition opposite number on the ETS. Even before his instalment in this position he had around 50 major companies coming quietly through his back door, pressuring him to get Wong to change tack. Since January, when formally endorsed to shadow Wong, he's had 20 more.
In a week in which the loss of 1850 jobs at Pacific Brands has finally crystallised the truly national threat to employment security flowing from the global credit crunch, the Opposition is now linking the ETS directly to these fears. "Every sewing machine, every production line, every mill, every conveyor belt, every piece of machinery that uses energy will suffer a new cost as a result of the ETS that our overseas competitors will not have to face," thundered former National Party Senate leader Ron Boswell last week.
His point is that in setting carbon-reduction targets, Australia is well ahead of its low-wage trade and manufacturing competitors such as India and China. The United Nations conference on climate change in Copenhagen later this year will try to bring those developing countries and others on board. But if it fails in this endeavour, the Opposition argues, Australian industry will be dangerously exposed.
A year ago, Boswell was almost a lone voice. Even the Coalition was committed to an ETS - and this remains nominally the case - but Malcolm Turnbull now says it's only part of the solution. Boswell suddenly has company. Under this pressure, the Government - if not Wong - appears also to be shifting ground. First, Treasurer Wayne Swan tried quietly to set up an inquiry into the merits of an ETS - despite the fact the Government was already nominally committed to such a scheme. When the obvious contradiction blew up in his face, Swan scuttled the idea.
Last week there was another straw in the wind. In his first minor front-bench reshuffle, Kevin Rudd assigned one of the best operators in the Government, Greg Combet, to become parliamentary secretary to Wong with explicit responsibility for climate change. There are two ways of looking at this: Combet is there to help Wong, or he's there to ride shotgun on Rudd's behalf. In his former guise as ACTU Secretary, Combet had only one priority: the protection of workers' jobs. After the human and economic tragedy of PacBrands, Wong may find Rudd's focus too has shifted Combet's way. In which case, last week may turn out to be the time when the ETS - at least in its current form - hit the wall.
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