Monday, August 26, 2013

Monckton is getting to them

"Hockey stick" Mann has felt the need to shoot back at Viscount Monckton after Monckton's derisive comments on his work.  But he manages to do so only by committing large sins of omission and commission.  See below.  Following is Lord Monckton's reply.

Most recently the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley of Edinburgh, Scotland, used offensive personal attacks and completely false statements in another attempt to defend Cuccinelli’s use of state funds to engage in a politically motivated attack on both me and Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia. Monckton failed to mention that his qualifications for speaking on climate science include claiming to be a member of the House of Lords despite their continued statements that he is not, and being banned for life from the United Nations climate process for impersonating a delegate from Myanmar during the last round of talks in Doha, Qatar.

Lord Monckton goes after the "hockey stick" work published more than a decade ago showing that recent warming is unusual over at least the past 1,000 years. Despite Monckton’s rambling attack, the hockey stick most certainly has not been disproved. The highest scientific body in the nation, the National Academy of Sciences, affirmed our research findings in an exhaustive independent review published in June 2006. Dozens of independent groups of scientists have independently reproduced and confirmed our findings, and more recent work by other groups summarized in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report shows that recent warmth is unusual over an even longer timeframe. There are in fact numerous independent lines of evidence that humans are warming the planet and changing our climate by burning coal and other fossil fuels. And despite Monckton’s and Battig’s claims that global warming stopped 16 years ago, in fact NASA found the warming continues unabated with the past decade the warmest on record.

In what is the most personally offensive part of Monckton’s letter, he says that references to climate " ‘deniers’ and ‘denialists’ would be illegal in Europe as being anti-Jewish, racialist hate-speech." This is particularly troubling to me both because I am Jewish and because it does not make any sense. No one is attempting to subpoena or prosecute climate change deniers. We are simply trying to make sure the public understands what the overwhelming majority of scientists believe is happening.

The reality and threat of human-caused climate change are clear. Those such as Cuccinelli, who would silence scientists, and those like Monckton who are misleading the public about this critical issue, are doing a grave injustice not just to us, but to our children and grandchildren who will inherit the legacy of the energy choices we are making today.

Unfortunately, those of us working hard to better understand the implications of climate change have to face these kind of attacks all too often. One has to wonder if Cuccinelli wants people like this coming to his defense. It is precisely these sorts of attacks by climate change deniers such as Battig that led me to write my recent book, "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars," where I discuss my experiences as a reluctant figure in the climate change debate, and what I’ve learned from them.

It is long past time to accept that climate change is real and it continues unabated, that the primary cause is fossil fuel burning, and that if we don’t do something to reduce carbon emissions we can expect far more dangerous and potentially irreversible impacts on us and our environment in the decades to come.


Global warming has stopped. Get over it

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley answers Mann's airy assertions with facts and quotes

The collapsed global warming scare certainly has some odd characters coming to its defense in this paper. Michael Mann (Aug. 25), whom the Attorney General of Virginia investigated under the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act 2000 after some statistical peculiarities in Mann’s failed attempt to abolish the medieval warm period, now bloops another blooper.

He tries to deny the embarrassing near-17-year pause in global warming because "NASA found the warming continues unabated, with the past decade the warmest on record". As an expert reviewer for the Fifth Assessment Report of the UN’s climate panel, let me correct his latest gaffe.

The SATELLITE temperature record shows a remarkably flat "trend".  The minute trend that there is (-.02) shows cooling

The monthly near-surface temperature record from the RSS satellites (above) shows no warming trend for 16 years 8 months. But go back 20 years and some warming shows up. The temperature climbed from 1993-1996, then stopped.

So the latest decade is a bit warmer than those that went before, but there has still been no warming for almost 17 years. Even the climate-science chairman of the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, admits that. Elementary, my dear Michael. Tut, tut! Statistics 101.

Mann says there is "evidence that humans are warming the planet". There can’t be. For 200 months there has been no warming at all. Get over it. Get a life.

Mann says his discredited attempt to rewrite medieval temperatures "has not been disproved". Well, here is what Professor Ross McKitrick, who exposed Mann’s statistical peculiarities in the learned journals, had to say about it:

"… The conclusions are unsupported by the data. At the political level the emerging debate is about whether the enormous international trust that has been placed in the IPCC was betrayed. The hockey stick story reveals that the IPCC allowed a deeply flawed study to dominate the Third Assessment Report, which suggests the possibility of bias in the Report-writing process. In view of the massive global influence of IPCC Reports, there is an urgent need to bias-proof future assessments …".

And here is the report of three Congressional statisticians in 2006:

"… we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent.

"Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.

"Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis."

Mann goes on to say, "Dozens of independent groups of scientists have independently reproduced and confirmed our findings …". His double use of "independent" was scarcely the mot juste. Here is what the three statisticians told Congress:

"In our further exploration of the social network of authorships in temperature reconstruction, we found that at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of co-authored papers with him.

"Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface."

Mann then complains at my pointing out that his earlier offensive references to climate " ‘deniers’ and ‘denialists’ would be illegal in Europe as being anti-Jewish, racialist hate-speech." He says he is Jewish. Then he should know better than to use such unscientific and (in Europe) illegal terms, calculated to imply Holocaust denial on the part of his opponents.

Mann says the House of Lords says I am not a member when I say I am. Sigh! Mann knows no more of British constitutional practice than he does of elementary statistics. Hansard records that the House has recognized my title to succeed my late beloved father, but does not record the House as saying I am not a member. Facts wrong again, Mike, baby. Try doing science, not invective.

Finally, Mann says I "impersonated a delegate from Myanmar" at a UN conference. Do I look Burmese? Do I sound Burmese? Did the chairman of the conference say he thought I was Burmese? No. He said he knew I was not from Burma. Facts wrong yet again, Mickey.

Meanwhile, the world continues to fail to warm as predicted. Not only Attorneys General but also taxpayers will soon, and rightly, be demanding their money back from the grasping profiteers of doom who so monstrously over-egged this particular pudding.

Via email

The wind farms that generate enough power to make a few cups of tea

Some of Britain’s biggest wind farms are at times producing only enough electricity to make a few cups of tea, according to official industry figures.

Data released by one of the largest green energy companies shows wind farms producing enough electricity only to boil two to three kettles at a time. At one stage last week, three big wind farms even took electricity out of the National Grid - to run basic power supplies on site - rather than actually supplying electricity to households.

The wind farms’ owner said that in still conditions electricty "import" can occur for a few hours until the wind picks up. Such a phenomenon is known in the industry as "parasitic consumption".

The data reveals just how much electricity is being generated by each wind farm at a given moment. It is published by RWE npower renewables, a subsidiary of a German energy company operating 27 wind farms across England, Scotland and Wales,

The figures show just how little electricity giant turbines produce at certain times bolstering claims by critics that wind turbines cannot be relied upon to provide a constant source of electricity.

The Telegraph examined a snapshot of RWE’s own figures on Thursday afternoon last week. One wind farm Trysglwyn, which is in Anglesey in Wales, was producing a total of 6 kilowatts (KW) - just enough to boil two kettles each with 3KW of power.

The wind farm has 14 turbines and a theoretical capacity of 5.6 megawatts (MW). In other words, the wind farm was producing just 0.001 per cent of its maximum capacity.

Little Cheyne Court wind farm, which consists of 26 turbines each of them 377ft high, was producing 129KW of electricity last Thursday afternoon.  The wind farm, which was hugely controversial when it was built at a cost of £50 million on the site of Romney Marsh in Kent, is the largest in the south east of England. Its supply last Thursday was equivalent to the boiling of just 43 kettles - or 0.002 per cent of its maximum capacity of 59.8MW.

At the same time in the very north of Scotland, near Wick, Bilbster wind farm was producing 268KW of electricity, the equivalent of boiling 89 kettles. The wind farm consists of three turbines each 295ft high.

According to RWE’s own data, three wind farms on Thursday afternoon appeared to be taking electricity from the National Grid rather than supplying it.  The eight turbines at Knabs Ridge, which is close to Harrogate in Yorkshire, used up 86KW of electricity while Lambrigg wind farm’s five turbines in Cumbria took 10KW from the grid.  Llyn Alaw wind farm, which is in Anglesey, and consists of 34 turbines also produced a negative output, according to RWE’s own data, of minus 80KW.

RWE is thought to be the only one of the major electricity generating companies to publish such detailed, instantaneous information on the power supplied by its wind farms.

Opponents of wind turbines, who claim they are also costly to run and unsightly, say RWE’s figures show just how unreliable wind energy is.

While the snapshot analysed by the Telegraph shows how little electricity was produced by some wind farms on still, summer days, there have been other times in the past month when wind farm owners have been paid by the National Grid to shut down in order not to over load the electricity supply system.

Such payments - known as constraint payments - have reached £7.5 million for the first three weeks of August.  In other words, claim critics, there are times when turbines produce too much electricity and moments when they do not produce enough.

The Government has been keen to promote wind energy in its attempt to meet a European Union-wide target of providing 15 per cent of energy needs from renewable energy by 2020. The Labour government introduced a consumer subsidy, added on to electricity bills, to encourage the construction of wind farms.  That subsidy is predicted to rise to £6 billion by 2020.

John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, a think tank which has been critical of wind farms, said: "Professional analysts have long known that fluctuating wind turbine output is poorly correlated with demand, but RWE’s new website is a very valuable addition to the data available to the general public, and will encourage informed debate about the relative potential for different renewable technologies.  "The truth will be painful for some, but the facts have to be faced sooner or later."

Dr Constable added: "The uncontrollably variable output of wind power already imposes significant grid and system management costs on the consumer, costs which are set to grow dramatically; we need to ask ourselves whether the EU renewables targets for 2020 are really affordable."

RWE said the company through wind farms and hydroelectric schemes had the capacity to produce enough renewable energy for 800,000 households. RWE npower renewables is the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy and one of the UK’s leading renewable energy developers and operators.

A spokeswoman said: "Low wind speeds were the primary cause of the figures observed at the sites in question yesterday. For a few hours these sites had no generation or a very small amount of import.

"In very low wind conditions import can occur to power wind farm control systems and keep turbines ready to respond when the wind picks up. These are very small amounts of consumption.  "August is generally a low wind month and also one of the lower months for consumption.

"Wind turbines generate clean energy in the region of 80-85% of the time from fuel delivered straight to the point of generation without the impacts from extraction, transportation or supply security challenges. As such wind energy is inherently efficient."

RenewableUK, the trade body representing the wind industry, said the UK possessed "the best wind resource in Europe".  Maf Smith, its deputy chief executive, said: "You need to look at the year as a whole - the latest Government figures show that in 2012, more than 11 per cent of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources, with wind providing the lion’s share.  "We hit a new record in March when we generated enough electricity from wind at one point to power four out of 10 British homes.

"So while our critics may choose to pick out individual examples of periods when it was less windy, we prefer to look at the bigger picture as that’s far more representative overall."


Stop Foolish Ethanol Mandates

The problems continue at President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency. Under fire for their leadership using private email addresses to illegally conduct official business and enacting new regulations through coordinated lawsuit settlements with outside environmental groups, the EPA shows no sign of slowing down in Obama's second term.

Last month, in an attempt to deflect attention from scandals at the IRS, the NSA and the embassy in Benghazi, the Administration has turned its attention to the issue of climate change.

At the center of their new environmental policies is the EPA's Renewable Renewable Fuel Standards, which mandates the use of ethanol and biofuels in the production of gasoline. This a prime example of misguided government regulation, as it punishes companies to use a type of hybrid fuel - known as cellulosic biofuel - which does not yet exist on the commercial market. In addition, drives up prices at the gas station for consumers (10 cents/gallon in 2011), while simultaneously driving up cost of food.

Record-high corn prices have also led to increased pressure on other grains such as wheat and soy - both of which have jumped in prices and are found in animal feed and numerous food products. Experts at the agriculture investment house Rabobank estimate there will be a historic 14% jump in overall food prices in the next year. As our economy recovers, this is the last thing struggling families should have to endure.

In 2012, during the worst drought for farmers in 50 years, the RFS diverted more than 50% our nation's corn supply into ethanol production. As corn is part of many foods you and I enjoy every day, even many left-wing global hunger advocates are opposed to the use of corn in fuel. Destroying food to be used in inefficient forms of fuel is bad policy with serious repercussions.

In June 2012, three senators - John Barrasso (R - Wyoming), Mark Pryor (D - Arkansas), and Pat Toomey (R - Pennsylvania) launched a bipartisan effort to get rid of renewable fuel standards entirely. According to Sen. Barrasso, "The Renewable Fuel Standard is fundamentally broken and beyond repair. Instead of delivering meaningful environmental benefits, it's driven up food and fuel costs for American families. This flawed program will also inevitably lead to widespread lawsuits against American manufacturers. When Congress enacts bad policy, the right response is to scrap it and start over."

It is clear that these fuel standards aren't working for consumers or refiners. Policy makers should focus on building more oil refineries and approving things such as the Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands oil from Canada into our country. The Renewable Fuel Standard should be repealed.


Plain Dealer: Example of Worldwide Editorial Disgrace!

By Rich Kozlovich

On August 23, 2013 the Editorial Board of the Plain Dealer published an editorial titled, Time to stop dragging our feet on climate change and acknowledge the imperative of international cooperation, citing a United Nations report saying, "Climate change is real and it's our fault".  I would like to know exactly what climate change are they talking about?  Is "Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)" the change they are discussing?  Clearly that can’t be the case because the Earth stopped warming over 15 years ago.

Perhaps they are unaware that atmospheric temperature readings never supported the AGW position from the beginning, and the ground readings were so corrupted by placement and equipment failures that those readings became scientifically worthless.  That makes this statement - "human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010," by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meaningless.

Let’s take a look at this anyway. James Taylor recently published an article titled, More Global Warming Alarmist Games: Doctoring The Temperature Record where he asserts that that

"alarmists claim we should trust their computer models even after the models have been proven inaccurate when measured against real-world data. As shocking as that assertion is, it pales in comparison to another common tactic employed by global warming alarmists: doctoring the real-world temperature data."

So is this just a big mistake, or is it fraud?  There are things that all scientists (no matter which side of this issue they are on) must absolutely know for sure, and one of those incontrovertible facts is:

"for more than 30 years now satellite data and surface station data have been available for analysis. Surprisingly, the scientists who oversee the collection of surface temperature data report more warming than the satellite data report. This tells us either that sources of artificial warming have not been properly filtered from the surface temperature data, or the warming of the past 33 years is not due to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide."

Taylor goes on to say:

"Climate scientist Roy Spencer, who oversees the NASA satellite instruments measuring global temperatures, reports that virtually all of the warming claimed by the overseers of U.S. surface temperature stations is the result of adjustments government-employed scientists make to the raw data. The objective, unaltered temperature readings show essentially no warming since 1973."
In short, all of the projected steep temperature increases have failed to occur!"

Then the PD goes on to state:

"denial about the human role in climate change has to end if the world hopes to keep major coastal cities such as New York and London above water."  There have been articles that make truly alarming statements such as; "by 2100, scientists and computer models estimate that sea levels globally could rise as much as 3.3 feet," and this study predicts that the East Coast could see "8 to 11 inches more" than this, hence "putting one of the world’s most costly coasts in danger of flooding….".

I can understand how that would scare the average reader, but journalists are at the center of the infomation world; there is absolutely no excuse for them accepting this kind of scare mongering.  It's all baloney!

All these numbers are made up based on computer modeling –Game Boy Science – and just as in programming a game they make adjustments that fit the scenario to which they subscribe.  In some video game that's no big deal, but in science it's - garbage in, garbage out.  In the real world of real observations, such as satellite measurements, no such rise is being detected at all.  Jo Nova reports in an article titled, Man-made sea-level rises are due to global adjustments, saying:

"It’s well known and often quoted that sea levels have been rising by 2-3mm a year every year for the last 20 years. But it’s not well known that the original raw satellite data doesn’t show that at all.

"What astonished me was the sea levels first recorded by the Topex Poseidon satellite array showed virtually no rise at all from 1993-2001. Surely not, I thought. I asked sea-level expert Nils Axel-Morner, and he confirmed: "Yes, it is as bad as that." Now, given that Envisat (the European satellite) showed no rise from 2003-2011 (until it was adjusted) that means we have almost 20 years of raw satellite data showing very little rise.

We thought satellites would finally give us a definitive answer on sea levels. Instead, like the tide gauges, and every other tool available to mankind, apparently satellites systematically underestimate the rising trends. And despite the speed of light being quite quick and all, it can take years for the data to finally arrive. Sometimes 4 or 5 (or 10 years) after the measurement was made scientists "discover" that it was wrong.

Now of course, any one of these adjustments could be for very legitimate reasons and give us results closer to the truth. But the adjustments always bring data closer to the modeled trend. It’s decidedly non-random. Either there is a God who thinks teasing climate scientists is spiffy, or else there is something fishy going on, and some investigative journalists need to ask some investigative questions. Is that sea-level rise due to global warming or is it due to global adjustments?"

The PD editorial went on to claim:

"The Nobel Prize-winning group's fifth assessment on climate change declares that it is 95 percent certain that the burning of fossil fuels worldwide is making the planet warmer, melting ice caps at the poles and raising water levels throughout the world. (Its 2007 report made similar assertions with 90 percent certainty.) Avoiding that catastrophic scenario should be a top priority for all nations."

Baloney is now being followed by horsepucky!

That 95 percent certainty is based on what?  Not on CO2 measurements surely; because the CO2 levels have risen dramatically over the last 15 years and the so-called warming trend ended over 15 years ago.   That is one of the absolutes all these people must know.  If that is the case we have to conclude CO2 has no bearing on global temperatures, and that rationale is in harmony with history and what we see going in reality.

I don’t think "New York, London, Shanghai, Venice and other cities" are going to have to worry about being "threatened by an almost two-foot deluge by 2100", and as for the world erring on the side of caution…that is a plea for acceptance of the Precautionary Principle, which is a plea to return to the primitive.  It always sounds so reasonable, but it’s also irrational because we are totally incapable of correctly predicting the weather a week from now, let alone predicting what climate changes may or may not occur in ten, fifty or one hundered years from now.

Admittedly, weather isn’t climate; but since climate is far more complex than mere weather we need to get over this idea that we're going to predict it with computer modeling - or crystal ball gazing - nor do have the ability to control it.  The natural forces that control the Earth’s weather patterns and climate are powerful and unpredictable.  Most importantly; our ability to alter either may make for a great science fiction story; but make no mistake about’s still fiction.

The PD Editorial Staff concluded that if we didn’t accept the conclusions of the United Nations IPCC disaster was in the making, and "That would be a worldwide disgrace."

What is really a disgrace is the Plain Dealer’s quality of journalism.  Journalism of this order may create bigger problems for the PD than merely cutting down on how many days they publish.  Their continued existence as a publishing entity may become their next big concern; and if this is the best they have to should be!




In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG comments on the campaign launch of the Green Party.

Grass versus Kangaroos

Kangaroos lost.  It's not only people that Greenies don't like

Animal welfare activists are using the federal election to punish the ACT Greens for last month's kangaroo cull.

The Animal Justice Party - which secured the ideal "A" spot on the ACT Senate ballot paper - has placed the Greens last on its preference list.

ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, who is the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, oversaw the shooting deaths of about 1450 kangaroos last month to protect rare grasslands from overgrazing.

The Greens' lead Senate candidate, Simon Sheikh, said on Sunday the Animal Justice Party's "silly decision" was disappointing.  "Many of the party's supporters have found out about this and told me they are deeply disappointed."

Yet the fledgling party's national campaign director, Willow Sloane, said the Greens had betrayed voters and must be sent a strong message.

"Mr Rattenbury signed off on the murder of up to 1600 kangaroos, despite extremely credible scientific evidence showing that a no-kill alternative was [preferable] and also far cheaper for taxpayers," she said.

Her party was right to be "totally uncompromising", she said.  "Until now, people concerned by the treatment of animals usually voted for the Greens," she said.  "They were probably just as shocked as us by what we saw last month: their blatant disregard, their lack of compassion and their lack of ethics."

Mr Sheikh said Canberrans should "reject the preferences that parties tell them" and decide for themselves whom to preference.

He was proud of his record on animal rights in his former role as national director of GetUp! - which campaigned to ban live exports.  "I worked alongside the leaders of the animal rights movement in Australia and I'm convinced voters will realise the Greens are the party best placed to champion these issues," Mr Sheikh said.

After last month's cull, Mr Rattenbury said he wanted to explore alternatives in future, such as tranquilising and moving kangaroos to other parts of the ACT.

Yet Animal Justice Party ACT candidate Marcus Fillinger, an air force marksman who also runs an animal shelter, dismissed the minister's change of heart as a late attempt to win preferences.

"[The Greens] wanted to talk preferences while kangaroos were getting their heads blown off," Mr Fillinger said. "It's a dirty, dirty game.  "When Mr Rattenbury is rubber-stamping a permit to kill, I take it personally."

In Senate elections, most voters - about three in four in the ACT - take the simpler option of voting "above the line". The party that wins an above-the-line vote gets to decide how these voters' preferences flow.

When choosing which of the larger parties to favour, the Animal Justice Party settled on Labor, the Liberals and then the Greens. The Bullet Train for Australia Party opted for the Greens, Labor then the Liberals.

However, the Stable Population Party split its vote three ways, giving the three larger parties an equal share of preferences.


Fishermen slam radical catch limit plan in NSW

A review of recreational fishing rules in NSW, which includes recommendations to halve the allowable daily catch for many popular south coast species, has been widely condemned by angling groups as lazy, poorly timed and lacking in science and logic.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has received more than 3500 submissions on the discussion paper which recommends a 50 per cent reduction in fishing bag limits for species such as snapper, flathead, tailor, trevally, luderick and bream.  The review also recommends a combined total daily catch limit of 20 or 30 saltwater finfish.

President of the Canberra Fisherman's Club, Glen Malam, said the recommendations had no conservation basis and the review was poorly timed ahead of a major survey of recreational anglers due next year.

"Our main view is that there is absolutely no science behind it – there is really no logic behind it."  "For some of these species there really isn't any logical reason [to reduce bag limits].

Mr Malam said the recommendations might achieve the [department's] aim of reducing the complexity of fishing rules for different species, but that was no basis for the intelligent management of a fishery.

He said if the department was serious about conservation and managing fish stocks for the future it should examine bag limits on larger fish.

"You can wipe out a couple of hundred small fish that are undersize and it doesn't have much impact.  "Take out two or three really big fish and that could mean several thousand fish won't be there next year."

President of the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA) NSW branch, Stan Konstantaras, described the review process as "lazy" and lacking any solid science.  "The first question you have to ask is 'are recreation fishing stocks in danger?' That question hasn't been answered ever," he said.

Mr Konstantaras said the review ignored community concerns about commercial fishing activities such as the netting of estuaries.

"Instead it has just proposed a broad-brush 50 per cent reduction in recreational fishing bag limits."  "They have taken the easy option. It's no different to the debate we had around marine parks. And the sanctuary zones – there was no science there either."

Mr Konstantaras said he wouldn't be against changes if there was evidence to suggest they were necessary.

"If our bream are in danger or under threat from recreational fishing activity then tell us why and tell us what we need to do," he said.  "We are sustainable anglers and if we need to change our activities and curtail what we take then so be it.  "But as far as we know our fish stocks are healthy and there is not any recreational fishing species under threat."

The review recommends even tougher bag limits for some deep-water species.  A reduction of 60 per cent (five to two) in the daily catch limit is proposed for blue-eye trevalla, banded rockcod, hapuka and gemfish.

Mr Malam said anglers spent hundreds of dollars travelling well out to sea to chase these species.

"To spend an hour travelling out to sea to catch two fish in 10 minutes then turn around and come back – it's just silly really."

The office of NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson declined a request to speak to the minister about criticisms of the review. Instead, Fairfax Media was referred to the department's manager of recreational fisheries, Bryan van der Walt.

"We've developed the discussion paper in light of a lot of issues," Mr van der Walt said. "The recreational sector in NSW is a large sector – there are one million fishers in NSW – so we do these reviews periodically – the last one was in 2007. Between reviews we get a lot of representations from the community about various things.

"One of those things is the potential reduction in bag limits which provide for greater conservation of our fish stocks but also a fairer sharing of the catch between fishers."

He said the department used all of the scientific information available to it. "We try and undertake assessments of around 100 different species every year. Our scientists undertake these assessments with the information that is available to us and we assess the status of those stocks. For most of the stocks we do have information, but for some species, there certainly are some information gaps."


More traitors to conservative voters

It was Oakeshott and Windsor last time. This time it is Palmer and Katter.  Greens to get crucial Senate preferences from independent conservative candidates.  You have to understand the Australian electoral system to understand what that is all about, however.

Last week more than 40 parties lodged their Senate "group voting tickets" with the Australian Electoral Commission. Like native bird populations during a drought, these parties disappear in between elections only to magically appear at an election to funnel votes to the party lucky enough to benefit from back-room preference deals.

Now, if you would please tell me where your Senate above-the-line preferences go, I will be far more comfortable. But, be honest - you haven't a clue.

Senate ballot papers are more than a metre long in some states. A record number of voters are set to put their vote "above the line", and then they won't have preferences; other parties will determine them for them.

This is where the fun starts. Let's start with Clive Palmer. Clive has billions of dollars worth of coal assets and a nickel refinery near Townsville. It is perfectly logical then that he has preferenced the Greens; a party that wants to phase out coalmining and shut down Clive's nickel refinery.

Indeed, Clive's preferences are a wild ride. In Queensland, if you vote for Clive Palmer, your votes go to Family First, then to the Socialists, then to the Greens, Fishing and Lifestyle, Katter, the LNP, One Nation, Democrats and finally to the Australian Christians, presumably to ask forgiveness.

Who knew Clive had such a fondness for unreconstructed socialists? They are his second preference. He wants to be PM; perhaps he will be the Hugo Chavez of the South Seas. It is not just Queensland though. Clive is preferencing the Greens ahead of the major parties, and ahead of many minor parties, in all states. What a paradox? Clive's entry may protect the balance of power of the Greens, perhaps one billionaire the Greens will learn to love.

The Katter party, which ostensibly is opposed to everything Green, is preferencing the Greens ahead of the Liberals in the ACT, and ahead of Nick Xenophon in South Australia. Bob Katter may be instrumental in helping the Greens keep the balance of power by helping a Green senator to be elected in the ACT.

Bob has also done a deal with the Labor Party in Queensland. Bob represents a conservative electorate where more than 60 per cent of voters preferred the LNP to Labor at the last election. Bob has been preparing the ground. He needs Labor's preferences, and he needs the money of the trade unions. He has been voting accordingly.

This year Bob voted more with Labor in Parliament than with the Coalition. He supported right of union entry laws and the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, and opposed attempts to impose the same fines and penalties on union officials that are imposed on company directors who do the wrong thing. He failed to turn up to a vote of no confidence in the government.

Bob is now a member of the Green-Labor-Independent government, and Clive has lodged his application. The rainbow coalition continues through the back-room deals of preferences, against the interests of the people they represent.

Haven't we had enough of this? The past three years show what a disaster it can be when minor parties and independents run things. Minority government is an experiment that has failed, but it will continue in a different form if people go shopping in the Senate. And, the Senate ballot paper does look like a shopping list. People like to go shopping. They like fishing, so they vote for the fishing party. Their garden is green, and they like their garden, so they vote Green.

The problem is that once you number "1" above the line, what happens next remains a mystery to most. That vote for Clive Palmer may elect a Green and a vote for Bob Katter may elect Labor.

This is not democracy, it is the selection of a parliament by deals, not by votes.

Don Chipp once said the Senate was there to "keep the bastards honest". I think it is a little simpler this time; we just need to know which bastard their bastard is passing your vote to.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


1 comment:

John A said...

I must not be reading this correctly -

"Wind turbines generate clean energy in the region of 80-85% of the time..."

Does this really mean that two or more months of the year there will be no power? So it would be spread out, an hour here and four there - still not comfortable, is it? But I suppose it meets government (and EU) targets.