Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Greens are sexual harassers too

News from Australia's Green Party

A young Greens volunteer was sexually assaulted in Canberra. That’s scandalous enough, but the party’s response to the assault has added to the injury. Former Greens candidate Christina Hobbs weighs into the debate, in response to a staggering OpEd by party founder Bob Brown.

This week I’ve realised that in the aftermath of #MeToo, disappointment packs a particular punch when it is your hero who lands the blow.

Bob Brown has been an inspiration for much of my life. It is our common shared values of social justice and environmental sustainability that led me into a career with the United Nations. It is his legacy that inspired my first non-violent civil disobedience to protect the Liverpool Plains. I joined the party he founded, and in 2016 I represented the Greens as the ACT Senate Candidate.

It is with huge sadness therefore to see how Bob has chosen to publicly respond to a story written by the survivor of a sexual assault, seeking to use his clout to discredit and diminish her voice, and failing to recognise the immense courage it took her to speak out.

In an article printed last month in The Saturday Paper, a woman described how she was sexually assaulted by a senior Greens volunteer after leaving an election night party in 2016.

She believes the Greens failed her, and so do I. It should be a moment for radical introspection. Yet Bob began his response to the paper by referring to her as an “anonymous correspondent”, and described her criticism of the Greens as “anonymous pillorying”.

Bob may not know her identity, but I do. She was one of a number of young women who became the glue of the campaign. She is a hard working, smart, talented and effective campaigner for our movement, passionate about progressive values.

The author is not an anonymous agitator hiding in the shadows; she is a brave survivor using an alias so that this incident is not the first story that future employers, future partners or even future children read about when her name is searched online.

Bob’s letter descends into classic victim blaming, stating that she should have “immediately reported” this assault to the police, but “inexplicably” did not do so for many months. I am shocked that Bob does not recognise how difficult it is for survivors to report what has happened to them. Instead of saluting her courage and bravery in seeking justice, he has chosen to blame and criticise her.

This woman did go to the authorities, and it appears the police have decided not to press charges. Bob appears shocked by this, even though you would imagine that the former leader of Australia’s most progressive political party would know how hard it is to prosecute this type of case.

In his response, he says the police “should re-open their investigation of what reads as an open-and-shut case of rape”.

This kind of comment appears to be an attempt to shift the focus to the police as opposed to scrutinising the failures of the party itself to prevent and respond to such an incident. He says the Greens “could not and should not have been expected to substitute for the criminal justice system handling such a heinous crime”.

The young woman in question is not asking the ACT Greens to “substitute” the justice system, and it is absurd to suggest this. She does however believe that the response of the party to her earlier reports of harassment, prior to the assault, fell on deaf ears. She considers that the assault was not properly followed up when she did report it, and that the Greens haven’t fully acknowledged failings or offered her a genuine apology.

In part, this is because she disputes ACT Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury’s current public account of how the matter was handled.

Volunteers are generally entitled to the same protections as employees under workplace health and safety, and anti-discrimination laws. There are also laws that mean that, in certain situations, organisations can be held legally responsible for the actions of volunteers.

If the ACT Greens had stronger processes and guidelines in place before the election began; if senior officials and staff had been trained on strategies for creating safe workspaces; and if those in oversight positions had been empowered to properly monitor the campaign, this assault may never have happened.

Looking back, I also should have done more to raise issues relating to culture in the early months of the campaign.

If nothing is clearer it is that progressive political ideology is not enough to protect women. Rape is the consequence of unbalanced power. If checks and balances to power are not in place to support all employees or volunteers to thrive, then the #MeToo movement has shown us that sexual assault and harassment will prevail no matter what sector of our society.

As a young woman, our volunteer has never held the power in this story, and following Bob’s letter in The Saturday Paper, even less so.

Publicly detailing a sexual assault is incredibly brave. As a powerful man in the progressive movement, Bob could have used his influence to listen, to understand, and to help mediate. This could be a powerful moment for the Greens to say, “Yes #UsToo”.

Instead, Bob has used his clout to back the words of another powerful man – a Greens Minister who can hold his own.

There is no shame in admitting that we can and must do better. Our membership demands it. The ACT Greens, including Minister Rattenbury, have stated that they are already working on it.

Will our party go far enough in order for this young woman to gain closure? I don’t know. But if progressive organisations cannot be leaders in protecting and promoting women in the workplace, then we will lose authority to advocate on fundamental issues of workers rights, gender equality and justice.

The elected leaders of the Australian Greens should immediately distance themselves from Bob’s remarks. The nation’s most progressive political party must ensure such an incident never occurs again.


39 Years of Data

The “Global Temperature Report” for December 2017 by the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) contained an illuminating global map. The map showed the global temperature change in the lower troposphere as calculated from satellite measurements from December 1979 to December 2017 – 39 years.

These calculations are independently verified by direct measurements of temperatures from weather balloons. These are the most comprehensive temperature data compiled, far more inclusive than surface-air data, taken about shoulder height off the ground, largely in westernized regions of the global land mass.

Further, it is in the atmosphere where the greenhouse gas effect occurs, not at shoulder level. [Satellite data do not include the region directly over the poles.]

These atmospheric data reveal a pronounced warming over the Arctic, as one would expect from greenhouse gas theory. However, except for the region known as Queen Maud Land, roughly south of Africa, which shows a pronounced warming, the bulk of Antarctica shows a cooling, or no change.

This is contrary to what one would expect from the greenhouse gas theory, as expressed in the 1979 Charney Report produced by the US National Academy of Sciences.

Further, the bulk of the atmosphere over the tropics does not show a strong pronounced warming, contrary to what the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asserted in its Second Assessment report, claiming it had detected a distinct human influence (human fingerprint) on climate from greenhouse gases (SAR, 1995).

The atmosphere continues to contradict the findings of the IPCC, and it is past time to re-evaluate the assumptions made by it, its supporters, and its models.

Also, when will the IPCC advocates in NOAA and NASA admit that greenhouse gas warming occurs in the atmosphere, not on or near the surface of the earth? NOAA and NASA continue to undermine their own credibility by their continued use of surface (surface-air) temperatures and by their manipulation of historic data, producing a false warming trend.


World Leading Authority: Sea Level “Absolutely Stable”… Poor Quality Data From “Office Perps"

German-speaking readers will surely want to save the text of an interview conducted by the online Baseler Zeitung (BAZ) of Switzerland with world leading sea level expert Prof. Nils-Axel Mörner.

Few scientists have scientifically published as much on sea level as Mörner has.

Yet because he rejects the alarmist scenarios touted by the media and alarmist IPCC scientists, the Swedish professor has long been the target of vicious attack campaigns aimed at discrediting him – yet to little effect.

Mörner, who headed of the Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics (P&G) Department at Stockholm University from 1991 to 2005, has studied sea level his entire career, visiting 59 countries in the process.

Sea level hijacked by an activist agenda

In the interview Mörner tells science journalist Alex Reichmuth that climate and sea level science has been completely politicized and hijacked by an activist agenda and has become a “quasi religion”.

According to the BAZ, recently Mörner has been at the Fiji Islands on multiple occasions in order “to study coastal changes and sea level rise”, and to take a first hand look at the “damage” that allegedly has occurred due to climate change over the past years.

IPCC is false

The Swedish professor tells the BAZ that he became a skeptic of alarmist climate science early on because “the IPCC always depicted the facts on the subject falsely” and “grossly exaggerated the risks of sea level rise” and that the IPCC “excessively relied on shaky computer models instead of field research.”

He tells the BAZ: “I always want to know what the facts are. That’s why I went to the Fiji Islands.”

“Very poor quality data” from “office perps”

Mörner also dismisses claims by the Swiss ProClim climate science platform who recently announced that the Fiji Islands are seeing a rapid sea level rise. According to Mörner the data were taken from poor locations. “We looked over the data, and concluded that they are of very poor quality” and that the researchers who handled the data were “office perps” who were “not specialized in coastal dynamic processes and sea level changes”.

Many of them have no clue about the real conditions.”

Sea level “absolutely stable”

Mörner tells the BAZ that sea level at the Fiji islands was in fact higher than it is today between 1550 and 1700. Coral reefs tell the story and “they don’t lie,” the Swedish professor said. He added he was not surprised by the data because “it is not the first time the IPCC has been wrong”.

Over the past 200 years: “The sea level has not changed very much. Over the past 50 to 70 years it has been absolutely stable”.

“Because they have a political agenda”

Not only is sea level rise due to climate change at the Fiji Islands exaggerated, but the same is true worldwide as a rule. When asked why are we seeing all the warnings from scientists, Mörner tells the BAZ: “Because they have a political agenda.”

Mörner warns readers that the IPCC was set up from the get-go with the foregone conclusion man was warming the globe and changing the climate: Mörner says: “And it is sticking to that like a dogma – no matter what the facts are.”

When asked if sea level rise poses a problem for the islands, Mörner answers with one simple word: “No.”

Strong evidence solar activity impacts sea level

The Swedish professor also tells the BAZ that the rates of water rushing into the ocean due to glacier melt are exaggerated and that thermal expansion of the ocean is minimal. Mörner adds:

Sea level appears to depend foremost on solar cycle and little from melting ice.”

Junk surveys produce “nonsense”

When asked by the BAZ why he became skeptical, Mörner recalls the “great anger” from an IPCC representative when he spoke at a 1991 sea level conference in the USA. He was surprised by the reaction, alluding to the fact that it is normal to have different views in science. And as the years followed, he became increasingly aware of the falsehoods made by the IPCC and the organization’s refusal to admit to them.

On the subject of publishing research results:

Publishers of scientific journals no longer accept papers that challenge the claims made by the IPCC, no matter the paper’s quality.”

In his decades long career, Mörner has authored some 650 publications, and he tells the BAZ that he has no plans to stop fighting. “No one can stop me.”

Near the end of the interview Mörner calls the claim that 97% of all climate scientists believe global warming is man-made “nonsense” and that the number comes from “unserious surveys”.

In truth the majority of scientists reject the IPCC claims. Depending on the field, it’s between 50 and 80 percent.”

Cooling over the next decades

Mörner also sees little reason to reduce CO2 emissions, and calls the belief in man-made climate change a religious movement driven by public funding.

In conclusion Mörner tells the BAZ that he thinks solar activity will likely decrease and that cooling will ensue over the coming decades.

Then it will become clear just how wrong the global warming warnings are.”


Things Your Professor Didn’t Tell You About Climate Change

Davos 2018 is gone, but not forgotten. This year’s World Economic Forum provided yet another opportunity for those who believe in apocalyptic climate change to harangue us about the evils of greenhouse gases amid warnings the world will end in 2050 or 2100 or one of these days when it gets warm enough. Most striking is the annual spectacle of the world’s wealthy and privileged disembarking from their fuel-gulping private jets and limousines or emerging from luxury hotel suites, to proclaim the world must cut back on the use of fossil fuels, or to question why the world’s common people do not feel as deeply or passionately about climate change as they do.

Other than a propensity for believing everything they are told, why are these people so agitated?

If you look at climate change predictions, almost all of them are bad. Critics refer to these views collectively as climate alarmism. Alarmists believe the Earth’s climate is warming because greenhouse gases are being added to the atmosphere through human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. They claim unless the buildup of greenhouse gases is stopped, global temperatures will begin to rise exponentially, which will have terrible consequences, such as major flora and fauna extinctions, coastal inundation caused by melting ice caps, heatwaves, drought, famine, economic collapse, war, and the potential for human extinction.

The basis for many of these predictions are the reports issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). One of the functions of the IPCC is to model the Earth’s climate to predict changes in global temperature. Although the Earth is warming a bit, their models always seem to be more enthusiastic about warming than the Earth appears to be. In fact, a recent study from the UK suggests climate models factor in too much warming.

In science, if a hypothesis is proposed and predictions based on that hypothesis happen as predicted, the hypothesis becomes a theory. If not, the hypothesis is rejected. Not so with global warming. When global temperatures fail to meet the IPCC’s model predictions, they simply move the prediction date out into the future, all the while making it clear the global warming apocalypse is still coming.

Speaking of ominous, in 2006 former vice-president and climate change activist Al Gore claimed:

Unless drastic measures are taken to reduce greenhouse gases in the next ten years, the world will reach a point of no return.

I doubt that point was reached a few weeks ago when I shoveled a surprise blanket of frozen climate change off my driveway. Fortunately, this and many of Gore’s other ominous climate predictions, have not come true.

So, what do we really know?

First, we know the percentage of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing. Carbon dioxide levels are approximately 45% higher now than they were 150 years ago, likely caused by the burning of fossil fuels during the twentieth century and recent industrialization in Asia.

Even though the present warming trend may be linked to rising amounts of CO2, this is an unproven hypothesis, not settled science. Scientists are still arguing over surface temperature data, including the way it is collected, adjusted, and interpreted; whether CO2 is affecting global temperatures as much as believed; and if water vapor, which humans have no control over, really dominates the greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Incidentally, the news about carbon dioxide is not all bad. An international study found plant life thriving worldwide thanks to higher CO2 levels.

We know the Sun has a larger effect on the Earth’s climate than anything else. Small changes in solar insolation due to variations in the Sun’s energy output or cyclical variations in the Earth’s orbit, known as the Milankovitch Cycles, can make a big difference in the surface temperature. Yes, greenhouse gasses, ocean currents, volcanic eruptions, and many other things can affect the climate, but the Sun is still the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.

We live in an ice age. Over the last 450,000 years the ‘normal’ average global temperature has been approximately 5 degrees Centigrade cooler than it is today. During that time our climate cycled between long cool periods, known as glacials, which can last 50,000-100,000 years, and shorter warm periods called interglacials, which usually last between 10,000-20,000 years. During glacial periods glaciers and continental ice sheets develop and grow. During interglacial periods, like the one we are experiencing now, the Earth warms and sea level rises as most of the ice melts.

We know, due to the above-mentioned factors and other natural climate oscillations, such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the 11-year Sunspot Cycle, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and perhaps the De Vries Solar Cycle, the world’s climate continually changes. This means the present warming trend could be a natural climate oscillation unrelated to CO2 or possibly a combination of both.

One of those oscillations occurred between 1940 and 1977 as the Earth went through a minor cooling trend, possibly linked to the PDO. This prompted a global cooling scare as scientists feared we were sliding into another glacial period.

We are fairly certain the Earth has been warmer in the past than it is today, perhaps as recently as 950 -1250 AD during the Medieval Warm Period, or 5000-8000 years ago during the Holocene Climatic Optimum, or during the Eemian Interglacial Period around 130,000-125,000 years ago.

We are also certain sea level was higher in the past than it is today. In their 2014 Climate Report the IPCC claims:

Maximum global mean sea level during the last interglacial period (129,000 to 116,000 years ago) was, for several thousand years, at least 5 m higher than present.

So, if the Earth was naturally warmer in the past and sea level was higher, both without extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, doesn’t this cast doubt on the CO2 apocalypse?

One item of concern is sea level, which has risen a bit over eight inches since 1880. Alarmists point out roughly ten percent of the world’s population live near the ocean at elevations of ten meters or less, and they present this information as if sea level rise is an imminent threat.

The present accepted rate of sea-level rise is about the thickness of two pennies stacked one on top of the other, around 3 millimeters per year. At this rate, sea level would rise barely 9 inches by 2100, meaning New York City, average elevation 10 meters, would be flooded in a little over 3,000 years. The point is this is a slow-motion process and something we can deal with.

To sum up, there are plenty of reasons to doubt human activities are the sole cause of climate change. If you are feeling anxious or guilty because of alarmist predictions, relax. The climate will continue to warm and cool and it is a good bet Mother Nature will be the one in the driver’s seat. If you still want to be an eco-warrior, recycle, plant a tree, and try to be energy efficient. It is good for the planet.


Great Barrier Reef in 'deep trouble' as climate, other threats mount: official

More lying Greenie propaganda.  Their claims about bleaching in 2015/2016 were not and could not be verified.  When Prof. Ridd pointed that out, what did they do?  Present evidence of verification?  No way.  They sued Peter Ridd for letting the cat out of the bag.  What frauds!  What jerks!  They just love the funding they get for their lies.  They've just got $60 million from the Feds

The Great Barrier Reef is in "deep trouble" as climate change and other threats mount, hindering the ability of corals to rebound from natural events, a senior scientist with the reef's Marine Park Authority said.

Unprecedented back-to-back mass coral bleachings resulted in 29 per cent of the shallow water corals dying in the summer of 2015-16 and a further 20 per cent last summer, David Wachenfeld, director of recovery at the authority, said.

Fortunately, "there's no prediction of substantial mass bleachings at this point" for this summer. Still, February - typically the worst month for heat stress on corals - "is going to be a slightly nervous month" for scientists, Dr Wachenfeld said.

The roughly 50-per cent death rate for the corals excludes damage done last March by Cyclone Debbie, which tore into the northern end of the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef - an area largely spared from the bleaching events.

While corals have a natural ability to bounce back, the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather made recovery harder.

"[E]very time we get impacts on the reef, they are slightly or a lot worse than previous impacts," Dr Wachenfeld told Fairfax Media. "And the question is, as we keep seeing bigger impacts, will the reef continue to be as resilient as it has been in the past?"

How climate change will affect the Great Barrier Reef and other parts of Australia will feature at a week-long gathering of senior scientists in Sydney for the first Australian/New Zealand Climate Forum held in seven years.

Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and one of the speakers at the event, said scientists were in "uncharted territory" when it came to predicting how fast the reef can recover.

"Normally, after a cyclone, it takes 10-15 years for the fastest-growing species to bounce back," Professor Hughes said.

"Optimistically, 50 per cent mortality after the two recent heatwaves means the glass is still half full," he said. "The survivors ... are tougher than the corals that died - there is about a billion of them, and they are reproducing."

Dr Wachenfeld said tackling other stressors on corals, including from nutrient run-off from farms and the latest big outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish, were important local efforts to help corals rebound.

"That's the way to give the reef the best chance to survive the global threat of climate change," he said.

"The reef is still a dynamic, vibrant, awesome place," Dr Wachenfeld said. "But it's in deep trouble, and at the moment, it's not heading in the right direction."




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


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