Monday, July 07, 2008


Australian Prime Minister Kevin "Tokenism" Rudd is trying to do something significant for a change but he has no ideas of his own so has jumped on the Greenie bandwagon and wants to pass laws to stop global warming! The huge costs and total futility of what he proposes have however caused some people to sit up and take notice. In setting out detailed proposals for new laws, Rudd relies heavily on the "Garnaut Report" -- a piece of conventional Warmism that he commissioned from a tame economist. That report has been particularly criticized. Six current articles below

Garnaut climate report - Three Key Questions that were Ignored

An Australian Group of Global Warming Sceptics today claimed that the Garnaut Report had totally ignored the three key questions in the debate. The chairman of The Carbon Sense Coalition, Mr Viv Forbes, said that the major question is a scientific one: "Have man's emissions of CO2 caused unusual global warming or done harm to the world environment?" An increasing number of scientists all over the world are very clear on this and their answer is a resounding "NO". For starters see the Oregon Petition and the Manhattan Declaration

It is irresponsible for the government to get this far without having an independent enquiry on the science, a fundamental first step in a rational due diligence of this massive economic intervention.

"The second question not considered by the Garnaut Report is "What are the full costs and benefits likely to accrue to Australians if we embark on this course?" This major question is avoided by explanations of "no data" or "the modelling is not completed".

"Already we are seeing the costs associated with misguided policies designed to reduce Global Warming: a world shortage of food cause by diversion of land from food production to ethanol; power shortages and blackouts as power station construction is deferred; soaring prices for gas as people are coerced to convert from one carbon fuel to another; shortages of refined diesel and petrol as refinery construction is delayed; and instability and losses in financial markets concerned about the future cost of travel, transport, energy and food."

"But nowhere have we seen estimates of the total cost of all the taxes, disruptions, shortages, cost increases and unnecessary investments associated with all the emission permits, ration coupons, energy mandates, trading schemes, quotas, bureaucracy and approvals."

"The third key question not considered by Professor Garnaut, is "Is it politically likely that rest of the world will adopt these draconian mitigation policies, or will Australia and New Zealand be left hanging like dead dingos on a barbed wire fence?"

"No democracy will accept the costs and disruptions envisaged to achieve the fairy-land goals for cuts in carbon emissions. Therefore this whole mitigation scheme must fail and will eventually be abandoned, but only after causing huge costs."

"The rejection of green taxes in recent UK by-elections, the defeat of the Emissions Trading proposals by the US Senate, the revolt about electricity prices among German politicians, the worldwide food riots and the truckie blockades all over Europe should surely warn our worldly-wise PM that this decision is just too hard, even for him."

"Even if we faced more global warming, which is the better way to go - prepare to adapt, or try to change the world and its climate? Is adaptation or mitigation the sensible policy?"

"The climate is always changing and will continue to do so no matter what Professor Garnaut and Minister Wong say or do about it. Our ancestors have survived massive climate change - floods of Biblical dimensions, storms more violent than Katrina, volcanism to dwarf Krakatau, Saharan droughts, seas that evaporated and then flooded back and flourishing greenhouse forests followed by glacial ages of ice."

"Many species and individuals died in the periodic ages of chaos but our ancestors adapted and survived. They went on to thrive in the occasional warm, moist, calm periods like today. (Incidentally, polar bears also managed to adapt and survive periods warmer and colder than today.) The best we can do today is to make sure we have the financial and industrial resources to cope with whatever the climate has in store for us."

"And if Mother Nature has another Little Ice Age in store, that will cause more damage than any one of the 23 different computer generated global warming predictions from the Mis-fortune Tellers at the IPCC."


Kevin Rudd faces climate revolt from state Labor governments

KEVIN Rudd has been warned against rushing ahead with a carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS), with a union boss saying workers should not lose their jobs just so the Prime Minister can keep his. Mr Rudd is facing a savage backlash from unions and state Labor over the timing of an ETS, which was the centrepiece of the Garnaut Review into how Australia should tackle climate change. The scheme would raise billions of dollars for the Government through the sale of pollution permits.

As the Prime Minister conceded yesterday that rising electricity, food and petrol prices were an inevitable consequence of the scheme, he pledged that the Government was mindful of the risks to family budgets and to jobs. But Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes has accused Mr Rudd of being "hell bent" on introducing the ETS by 2010 just to keep an election promise, despite the danger of forcing jobs offshore. "I would rather see that period of time dragged out a bit to ensure that there aren't any errors in the design," he said. "If we ensure that the adequate levels of compensation and recognition are given to industries so that they are given ... time to clean up their act ... then no job needs to be lost. In fact, jobs should be created."

The Federal Opposition has also said the ETS should be delayed to ensure it was done properly. Shadow Treasurer Malcolm Turnbull has said the scheme would be "half-cocked" if introduced on the government's timetable. Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson said today the environment would be no better off with a rushed scheme. "Mr Rudd is taking Australia way out in front of the rest of the world and in doing so places significant risk on the Australian economy ... for no environmental gain at all," he said on ABC radio. "The rest of the world, particularly the big emitters, will not yet be ready (by 2012)."

In his attack on the Garnaut report, NSW Treasurer Michael Costa has backed free permits for electricity generators, saying today in The Australian that "Chicken Little" warnings about the dangers of climate change are no substitute for a rigorous economic and scientific debate.

Mr Howes said an ETS would be little more than a trade tariff "against ourselves" if high-polluting countries such as China and Brazil were not taking similar measures.

In his draft report, released on Friday, Professor Ross Garnaut said Australia would be hit harder by climate change than other countries would be - and therefore needed to act now. But he also said the government should pressure other polluters to follow suit quickly.

Mr Costa warns that while the states support the implementation of an ETS, the risks to the economy are severe if the Rudd Government gets it wrong, citing the children's fable of the hen that thought the sky was falling after being hit on the head by an acorn. "Chicken Little arguments are no substitute for getting right the important details on issues of far reaching consequence, but Professor (Ross) Garnaut himself has said his detailed economic impact modelling won't be available until August," he writes. "For example, claims from some quarters that the Great Barrier Reef would be destroyed if Australia, which emits less than 2 per cent of global greenhouse gases, does not adopt an ETS are patent nonsense."

The Government also faces growing calls to offer free permits to polluters to stagger the impact of putting a price on carbon, or embrace the Howard government option of a safety valve system that would place an effective cap on the price of carbon, allowing polluters to pay a fine rather than buy more permits once a certain price for carbon was exceeded.


Emissions Trading Scheme Will Kill Family Farms

Forget all the arguments about global warming being real or not. It's too late for that. What is real is that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is hell bent on introducing an Emissions Trading Scheme to prove to the world what a good global citizen Australia is, regardless of the consequences to our economy.

What the main stream media have missed in the flood of coverage is the potential devastation to rural Australia the emission trading scheme will be. Agriculture will not be a `covered' industry, you can back that in.

That is of little consequence. What it does mean is that an emission trading scheme will dramatically increase the cost of every farm input. Farmers unlike power stations and fuel refiners have zero ability to pass those costs on.

AgForce President Peter Kenny tells us that the modeling AgForce has done has shown that farm input costs will increase by 15-40% depending on the industry. Livestock producers are at the lower end of the scale with grain croppers and intensive industries at the high end.

This coming on top of a record year of AgFlation will be the death knell for many smaller farmers. New South Wales Farmers Federation President Jock Laurie recently told us that they believe AgFlation based on the 4 major farm inputs - chemical, fertiliser, diesel and interest rates is running somewhere between 60 and 80%. Jock said that they were waiting on modelling to be completed to come up with the final figure.

It is up to the National Farmers Federation as the peak farmer lobby to put farmers case before PM Rudd and his team. If they are not able to secure some relief for farmers from the burden of the emissions trading scheme we will see the greatest upheaval in rural Australia in our history. Family farms will be sold into large corporate farming ventures. Corporates with massive dollars behind them will be able to survive as they can operate under the efficiencies of sheer size & scale.

Corporate farming operations however do little or nothing for rural communities many of which will shrivel and eventually die under such a scenario. When a corporate operates a farming enterprise that was once operated by say 10 smaller family farms they do it with a skeleton permanent work force supplemented by `fly in' contractors. Infrastructure and services such as schools, hospitals, doctors, chemists and service businesses in these small communities depend on farming families. Without them these communities have no future.

So forget worrying about the 3 million people who may lose their jobs in the Energy sector, and power stations closing down. Those industries can pass their cost of emission permits onto consumers.

Be worried, very worried about yourselves and the 1,000's of other family farms that simply will not be viable as the manufacturers of every farm input, steel, timber, rubber, water, electricity, machinery, chemical, fertilizer, diesel, power etc pass those costs onto farmers who have no ability to pass them onto their customers.


Garnaut scenario 'simply wrong'

CLIMATE change sceptics have attacked the Garnaut orthodoxy that without immediate action to slash greenhouse gas emissions, Australia will suffer "diabolical" consequences. Rejecting predictions that the Great Barrier Reef would be destroyed and rainfall patterns radically altered without immediate moves to cut carbon emissions, climatologist Stewart Franks said scenarios set out by Ross Garnaut were simply wrong. "The whole idea that you can say that by 2030 or 2040 rainfall will be a certain percentage less is a complete nonsense because it ignores the natural variability," he said.

Professor Franks, an expert in hydro-climatic variability at the University of Newcastle in NSW, said Australia's current drought had nothing to do with increased carbon emissions, but was instead caused by natural rainfall events. "We have these incredibly dry periods that can last for decades, and we then have these similar decades that are wetter than average. This is all due to El Nino and La Nina," he said.

Professor Franks said although Australia was very dry, it had more water per capita than any other country in the world. "It's a question of how we manage that water, and we've been particularly bad at managing the Murray-Darling Basin," he said. Professor Franks said an emissions trading scheme would achieve nothing. "The truth is that there will be a lot of pain for absolutely no gain," he said.

But even those who accept Professor Garnaut's predictions about the impact of current levels of greenhouse gas emissions are not convinced that an emissions trading scheme in 2010 is the best solution. Concept Economics executive director of analysis Brian Fisher said he did not question the science underlying Professor Garnaut's draft report, but it was futile "cutting the throats of the Australian export industry" unless the rest of the world also agreed to take action on their carbon output. "Having an emissions trading scheme in Australia will not save the Barrier Reef. What we need is full global co-operation," he said.

Dr Fisher said the best way to combat global warming was to persist with multilateral negotiations. "None of these things happen in a day," he said. "I think, frankly, we've got another 10 hard years of negotiation before we make the sort of progress we need to have both the developed and developing countries on board."

Dr Fisher backed Professor Garnaut's view that Australia should invest heavily in clean technology. "But unless there can be proper account taken of the impact on competitiveness of trade-exposed industries, all we're going to do is reduce Australia's welfare, reduce jobs in Australia, and basically make little or no contribution to solving the problem," he said.

ITS Global principal Alan Oxley said Professor Garnaut was wrong to suggest the problem required urgent action. "The argument has no basis - we do have the luxury of time. It's a 100-year problem," he said. "This is something we should be beginning quite gingerly." Mr Oxley, a former Australian ambassador to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, said there was no point in Australia acting faster to cut its emissions than the rest of the world. "At this point, we should be somewhat experimental, and just see how it goes," he said.


More BOM nonsense

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology are Warmist true believers. Predicting widespread drought as a result of warming shows how dishonest they are. Warmer seas evaporate more and lead to MORE rain

A DIRE new scientific report predicts severe droughts and a tenfold increase in the number of extremely hot days in Australia. The Federal Government, which commissioned the nation's top scientists to compile the report, described the predictions as "like a disaster novel". "Exceptionally hot years are likely to occur every one to two years on average over the period 2010 to 2040," it warns.

Released just days after the Garnaut report on climate change and emissions trading, the report predicts devastating consequences for farming and the environment. It suggests that in the next 20 to 30 years, droughts will be far more frequent and severe across Australia, with South Australia, the Murray-Darling Basin and Western Australia faring worst of all.

The conclusions cast yet more doubt on the slow pace of reform of water use in the Basin after governments last week refused to free up water trading between regions or to accelerate a 10-year water licence buy-back program. The report says a 10 per cent drop in mean annual rainfall across most of Australia is possible, leading to a tripling of the risk of "exceptionally" low rainfall in SA.

Independent scientists and climatologists at the CSRIO and the Bureau of Meteorology compiled the "Drought: Exceptional Circumstances report. Agriculture Minister Tony Burke yesterday released the report and said the outlook was extremely worrying. "While this is a scientific report, parts of those higher-end predictions read more like a disaster novel than a scientific report," he said. "When we talk about extreme temperature, the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology have found that events of extreme temperature that used to occur once every 20 to 25 years are now likely to occur once every one to two years, as we move towards the year 2030. "South Australia and the Murray-Darling Basin region are among the worst affected regions in Australia."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the report as "very disturbing". "When it comes to exceptional or extreme drought, exceptionally high temperatures, the historical assumption that this occurred once every 20 years has now been revised down to between every one and two years," he said. "Now this is a serious revision of the impact of climate change on drought."

The study divided Australia's agricultural regions into seven areas. SA and the southern half of WA were treated as one giant region designated "SW WA". It found under more extreme scenarios, drought declaration - the first stage in securing emergency financial assistance for farmers - was likely to be necessary four times as often and across much bigger areas. "Declarations are likely to be triggered about twice as often (at least four times as often in SW WA) and over double the area (quadruple the area in SW WA)," the report concludes.

National Farmers' Federation chief executive Ben Fargher said it was clear from this study and Professor Garnaut's work more needed to be done to protect farmers. "Both reports highlight how exposed agriculture is to the risk of climate change," he told The Advertiser. "We agree there is a big risk, I mean we are working with the climate every day so no one feels more exposed to the risk than the people working in the climate."

He said the challenge now was to design policy to manage growing risks. This included dramatically increasing research and development in climate change, spending more on adaptation strategies, the use of drought-resistant species of plants to get "more crop from each drop", including greater use of genetically modified species.

The report's authors said the sheer frequency of drought and extreme temperature years effectively rendered useless the existing system of drought assistance. "In summary, this study suggests that the existing (emergency funding) trigger definition is not appropriate under a changing climate," they said. "Future drought policy may be better served by avoiding the need for a trigger at all."

The study follows the widely anticipated Garnaut draft report into the economic impact of climate change and the benefits of an emissions trading scheme. Professor Garnaut found the cost of doing nothing strongly outweighed the costs of establishing an ETS even if it meant petrol and electricity costs would rise. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong is due to release a Government discussion paper next week at the National Press Club in Canberra.

While Labor's criticism of the previous Howard Government was almost fanatical regarding taxpayer-funded advertising, Senator Wong yesterday hinted that a big advertising campaign could be in the offing to help sell an emissions trading scheme. "We do have to ensure that people understand what the emissions trading scheme will do, what climate change will mean," she said. "This is an enormous and complex policy challenge, so of course, the Government does have a responsibility to ensure the community is there."


Garnaut failed on science and economics

By Piers Akerman

TAXPAYERS should ask Professor Ross Garnaut for their money back: his report is little more than a fearmongering document designed to bolster the age-old socialist agenda of wealth redistribution. It fails from the basis of science and it fails from the basis of economics but it will, however, warm the hearts of the anti-capitalist doom merchants of Europe and inner-urban branches of the Labor Party with its prognostications. Nostradamus would be proud.

Like all who have signed on to the view that humans are responsible for global warming, Professor Garnaut cites the IPCC's (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) projections on the rate of climate change as coming from a scientifically based consensus. This is complete rubbish. The only consensus was between bureaucrats who wanted to agree to a number, the energy-rich Saudis wanted a low number, the energy-deficient Europeans wanted a low number, and they struck a deal which is the basis of Professor Garnaut's consensus.

Starting with that humbug, he then segues to Australia and, with the arrogance of a Belinda Neal, proposes that Australia should be the global leader in a fight against climate change. King Canute could teach him a thing or two about humility but, then again, Professor Garnaut was handpicked for his task by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the master of agenda control.

The world is coming to an end, he says; Kakadu will be inundated, the Great Barrier Reef will die, the Murray-Darling river system will dry up unless we act now. Oh, sure. But where does he conjure up this fantasy from when the IPCC's own temperature projections are already falling over? Taken over the past 10 years, the trend line for temperature is flat. If taken from 2001, the trend shows global temperatures falling. It is as if he is suffering from some cognitive dissonance. Even the thousands of Argos robots which bob up and down through the ocean levels have measured no increases in temperatures as they sample at different depths.

Professor Garnaut's appearance at the National Press Club on Friday revealed him to be the bureaucrat's bureaucrat, which may be why our uber-bureaucrat Prime Minister fell for him in the first place. He is not, however, as polished as Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes, Minister. Sir Humphrey would not, for example, have insinuated that the adoption of a new tax on industry would make rain fall on the Murray-Darling basin.

He would not have made the mistake of sending out a report which pointed to lower dam levels in the Perth region - which Professor Garnaut blamed on climate change - when those directly engaged in the West Australian water industry know that there is less run-off into Perth's dams now because of the regrowth in the once-cleared catchment area. Professor Garnaut and his team weren't able to model many important factors because of shaky data, yet he expects us to believe that his predictions of catastrophic consequence should be immediately acted upon.

A few weeks ago, Mr Rudd was congratulated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his support for multilateralism (the failed UN, that is), and Professor Garnaut is also a believer in such institutions, yet he believes that it is imperative that Australia take immediate action on climate change so our nation can be a role model for our neighbours. Who knows where they teach this stuff, but the notion of anyone of the failed states in the Pacific, or our great Indonesian neighbour to the north, deciding that we are role model in this or anything is so laughably arrogant that it defies description. Only a basket-weaving Balmain boy scout could possibly believe that other nations would willingly plunge into economic decline because Australia had set the lead.

The biggest environmental crisis facing us today is the collapse of the Murray-Darling system which has little to do with climate change and everything to do with bad political decisions on water use. The Rudd government and each of the Labor states put that in the too-hard basket last week and pushed it off for another committee meeting to decide what committee should decide on what action.

Senator Penny Wong, who has shown herself to be nothing more than a more eloquent version of her assistant minister, Peter Garrett, and just as useless, says Professor Garnaut's report demonstrates that Australia must act on the climate issue. Any reading of this irresponsible report would demand that any action be cautiously approached and taken only after exhaustive research, not Ruddite back-of-the-envelope modelling based on flawed inputs.

As for the haste, help me, what a joke. One bushfire, one volcano, one cyclone would destroy in seconds any efforts of a vastly greater magnitude than Australians could physically undertake over 50 years.

Perhaps Mr Rudd wants this report to artificially stampede Australians, to distract them from their more pressing economic problems - who knows? But it is worth recalling that the last major economic reform this nation underwent, the introduction of the GST (opposed by Labor and Mr Rudd in particular, until he won office), was sold to the public over 17 long years, by Labor Treasurer Paul Keating, Coalition Opposition leader John Hewson and Prime Minister John Howard. The public knew what it was getting.

Professor Garnaut throws up promises of disaster and hopes to generate a wave of fear which would force the Government to take some action. Forget it, and forget the notion that our near neighbours would line up to cut their economic throats just because we willingly plunged into recession to assuage the guilt of a gathering of gullible Gaia followers in Canberra.



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